Although the car won't be available until 2010, GM introduced the production version of the game-changing Chevrolet Volt today. The Volt is an electric vehicle that recharges its lithium ion batteries from an AC outlet or an onboard gas engine. The production version looks very different from the concept car that was shown in 2007, with a design intended to be more aerodynamic while providing seating for four. GM also released pictures of the cabin, giving us a look at the cars futuristic controls and LCDs.
Ever since we saw the Mitsubishi Prototype-X at the 2007 Detroit auto show, the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has been at the top of our wish list. Well, near the top, right under the Nissan GT-R. Our desires for the car weren't diminished when we got our first chance to drive the MR version of the new Mitsubishi Evolution earlier this year, running it around the track at Laguna Seca. The car is a performance- and cabin-tech dream, with a look that's pure animal.
The front of the car is mostly grille, a big air intake to keep … Read more
Automakers spend a lot of effort to keep future products away from prying eyes, but sometimes their efforts can be undone quickly.
It seems that the OHIM, the trademarks and design registration office for the European Union, revealed a future Mazda design a bit ahead of time.
While some automakers ask to have their work redacted in the interest of protecting intellectual property, somewhere along the line either Mazda or the OHIM goofed on that part of the application. As a result, the 2010 Mazda3 turned up on the OHIM's Web site as part of a routine listing of … Read more
We reviewed the BMW M3 Coupe with a manual transmission and the full load of cabin tech back in April, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to test out another one, this time the 2008 BMW M3 Convertible with the new double-clutch transmission. Although our convertible M3 lacked the cabin tech options, not even having the programmable M button on the steering wheel, it still proved a remarkable car to drive with all the performance capabilities of the loaded version. And we didn't think it possible to improve on the M3's performance, but the double-clutch transmission … Read more
One of the first things we noted about the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan S is its similarity to Volkswagen's hot hatch, the GTI MkV. Both vehicles have 200 horsepower 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines. Both have about the same amount of passenger space and a similar wheelbase and track width. Aside from the Tiguan's taller stance, you'd be hard pressed to note any difference between the two vehicles when driven with a degree of civility.
However, when driven aggressively, the differences become more apparent.
The gamut of models spanned by the Mercedes C-class just got a little wider. On one end, you have the CNET Editors' Choice C63 AMG, a rip snorting beast with a 405 horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 that chugs gasoline at a rate of 16.2 mpg. Way down on the other end is the newly announced C250 CDI BlueEfficiency Prime Edition, a 204 horsepower four-cylinder that gingerly sips diesel at a rate of 45 mpg. It's hard to believe these two vehicles are cut from the same cloth, but they are.
The heart of the C250 is Mercedes' new … Read more
Five years after the Scion xB came out, a box car war is brewing with the debut of the production Kia Soul at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. Nissan will also take part with the introduction of the U.S.-bound Cube next year. Kia calls the Soul an urban crossover vehicle, but it doesn't seem likely people will start talking about UCVs. The production Soul retains much of the concept version's styling, shown this summer at the British motor show. The D-pillar retains its width, and flows into the tapering roof cap. The rear hatch also uses … Read more
Back in July, our editors spent time with the Pontiac G8 GT, complimenting the vehicle on its muscle car engine, yet noting the lack of a manual gearbox option. Perhaps Pontiac reads Car Tech, because they've released the specs on the 2009 G8 GXP and they've bumped the power and included a six speed manual transmission.
Users on the GM Inside News Forum have unearthed a PDF dyno chart on GM's media site that shows the 6.2 liter LS3 V-8 engine from the Corvette transplanted into the G8 GXP generating 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of … Read more
The Mazda RX-8 has always combined excellent sports car handling with a truly unique look and also has suffered from poor torque, making its off-the-line performance distinctly unimpressive. For 2009 the car gets a new trim level, the R3, which mixes elements of a touring and track car and attempts to solve that torque problem through revised gear ratios.
Although the car loses nothing in handling, Mazda managed to smooth out the ride a little. But the RX-8 R3 loses some tech in translation from Japan to the U.S., giving up a navigation system. But the U.S. version … Read more
Except for its price, the 2008 BMW 128i Convertible may be the least BMW-like car from the automaker. Oh, it does have all the cutting-edge tech found in BMW's other models, including a pop-up LCD that is surprisingly immune to glare. But where its turbo-charged brother, the 135i, feels glued to the road, the 128i Convertible's wheels seem to stretch away from the car in the corners. And where the 135i leaps forward with smooth and hard acceleration, the 128i Convertible's power delivery feels uneven.