As we spun down winding mountain roads, exercising the famous 3.5-liter V-6 and shifting with its paddles, we inwardly smiled, as the exterior of our gray 2008 Infiniti G35 didn't hint at the power and performance within. It is a sleek and curvy modern design. We like the way the hood nestles caplike between the two front fenders. However, the general shape of this sedan makes it look like a car for the everyday commute. Perhaps it looks like a car that middle managers might use to take team members out to lunch, or a car that won'… Read more
When most car companies launch a special edition, it means custom colors, maybe some new interior components, and 10 percent to 20 percent price increase. But Japanese car maker Mitsuoka went the opposite direction, launching a special edition of its Orochi model called the Orochi Zero. It comes in about 10 percent cheaper than the standard model. We first saw the Mitsuoka Orochi at the 2005 Tokyo Auto Show. This different-looking handmade car, originally based on the Acura NSX platform, uses a 3.3-liter V-6 producing 230 horsepower. We don't know why Mitsuoka decided to build the Orochi Zero, … Read more
We take a close look at photos of the updated Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class to see how the cabin tech may have been improved. The design of the CLS impressed us ever since the car's launch in 2005. But Mercedes-Benz's cabin tech has been a mixed bag, with some mediocre versions of its COMAND interface in various models. We saw great improvement with the new C-Class last year, and hope the new CLS gets a similar update.
"The car wanted us to get all the way back to downtown San Francisco from Moss Beach in only 24 minutes"
After the local authorities in the Santa Clara Valley wouldn't let us anywhere near the rare snow fall on Mount Hamilton, we did the next best thing with our 2008 Subaru Legacy tester: we took it on a GPS rally, using its navigation system as our official time-keeper and judge. Read our review to find out how we fared, and what we thought of the cabin tech and performance of Subaru's little all-wheel-drive sedan.
Read … Read more
Given the wild proliferation of stretch limos on the road today, we've always appreciated Rolls-Royce's restraint in preserving its traditional form. So it was with some trepidation that we learned of its newly extended version of the classic Phantom.
But thankfully, RR hasn't lost its senses in designing its stretched model, which has an extended-wheelbase that's 25 centimeters longer (just under 10 inches). The extension supposedly provides more leg room for the rear seats, though fellow Craver (and auto guru) Kevin Massy observes that the interior doesn't seem significantly more spacious than the original model, … Read more
This week, Daimler's long-awaited Smart Fortwo goes on sale at 70 dealerships across the country. The two-seater microcar is already a smash hit in European cities, where it combines urban-chic styling with practical parkability. We just got back from Rome--dubbed the "Smart Car capital of the world"--where we had plenty of opportunity to see the Fortwo up close. Check out our holiday snaps and the details of the next small big thing to hit the U.S. automotive market.
In this latest video from a series about GM designers, Cadillac design director Clay Dean talks about the CTS-V, the sport-tuned version of the new CTS. We gave the 2008 Cadillac CTS our Tech Car of the Year award, so the CTS-V is working from a platform we really like. In the video, Mr. Dean talks about his background a little bit, then gets up close to the car, pointing out specific design cues. Our favorite quote, "This is no boy racer, no hoorah, no frou frou. This is the real stuff."
Correction 10:35 a.m. PST: This blog initially misidentified the prime minister of Israel. He is Ehud Olmert. It also misidentified the person whose speech can be found on the Project Better Place Web site--it is by Shai Agassi--and as such an earlier version of this post also incorrectly attributed a quote from that speech.
Renault-Nissan, the government of Israel, and an electric charging station start-up founded by Shai Agassi are mounting an effort to make electric cars part of ordinary life in Israel in the next decade.
Project Better Place, Agassi's organization, will try to build 500,… Read more
BMW announced today that it will make a new double-clutch transmission available on the 2009 M3, the sport-tuned version of its 3 series. A double-clutch transmission is really a manual transmission, but can be used like an automatic. Instead of requiring the driver to push a clutch pedal, the car's computer and actuators control two clutches. When the driver selects an upshift or downshift, the system engages one of its clutches and disengages the other, making shifts faster than a traditional manual. BMW previously developed its SMG, or sequential manual gearbox, which operated like a double-clutch transmission from the … Read more
CNET News.com posted a gallery of photos covering the new Nano, a car from Tata designed to be the cheapest car in the world. Its 100,000 rupee price tag is equivalent to about $2,500. For that price you get a tiny four seater that's less than 10 feet long, and gets power from a two-cylinder 623-cc engine. The company has no current plans to export the Nano to the U.S.