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.
If BMW's rumbling steering wheel, Infiniti's Lane Departure Prevention system, and Volvo's coffee-break alert are not enough to keep you awake at the wheel, then Toyota may have developed just the thing for you. According to its announcement today, Toyota has developed an enhancement to its Pre-Crash safety system that can determine whether or not a driver's eyes are open. The system relies on a driver-monitoring camera and image-processing computer, which determine the position of the driver's upper and lower eyelids. The development follows Toyota's existing face-monitoring technology--available on the Lexus LS600h--which tracks … Read more
As we told you last September, BMW has been kicking around the idea of a fourth brand (in addition to MINI, Rolls Royce, and BMW) for a while. This week it emerges that this new addition to the Bimmer family lineup may be a dedicated "green" line of vehicles focused on high fuel economy and lower emissions. If so, the strategy would certainly make sense as it will enable BMW to meet tough environmental requirements without sacrificing too much of its performance-related DNA. BMW is one of a number of premium European brands likely to suffer most at … Read more
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
We just finished up our review of the redesigned Ford Focus, and we suspect that Dearborn may have a hit on its hands. Our top-of-the-line Focus SES tester came standard the impressive Microsoft-designed Sync media and communications interface, which is one of the most sophisticated car-tech systems available. Is this entry-level model the shot in the arm that the troubled Blue Oval needs? Find out in our full review here.
Cheap, clean hydrogen is the holy grail in the green-technology world, and Nanoptek says it could have part of the answer.
The Maynard, Mass.-based company, which Wednesday announced that it has raised $4.7 million, has come up with a low-cost, durable titania electrode that can split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.
Sunlight hits the electrode, and the electrode splits the light into a positive charge (called a hole) and an electron. Before the two charges can rejoin, the electron gets captured by the electrode and then is exploited to split water. Silicon solar cells operate on the … Read more
Not content with bringing you a veritable avalanche of our own blogs, galleries, and video coverage from the Detroit auto show, CNET.com has teamed up with AutoSpies.com for even more slide-show action.
Fuel efficiency and reduced emissions are all the rage among automakers this year, and even the supercar manufacturers are getting in on the act. Check out our image gallery of some of the red-hot, green-minded sports cars from this year's North American International Auto Show.
There was no shortage of sexy, sporty cars at this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Here are my favorites (in somewhat of a particular order):5. Mazda Furai concept
The race-bred concept, which means "wind" in Japanese, is based on the Courage C65 chassis, which Mazda used in the American Le Mans Series two seasons previously. It has a three-rotor rotary engine that's capable of churning out 450 horsepower. And while it looks awesome, I'd say the chance that it goes into production is pretty slim.4. 2009 Cadillac CTS-V
The uber-performance … Read more
If you live in Silicon Valley, you dream of the day when you will be rich enough to slum around in a Toyota Prius. Today I got to live the Prius dream. I just hope the gerbils powering the "engine" get a rest tonight.
Hertz screwed up my reservation and so "upgraded" me to a Prius. Having lived in the Valley for a few years, I was used to seeing socially conscious, ecologically smug entrepreneurs driving around in their gerbilmobiles, but this was my first chance to drive one.
It turns out that I wasn't missing a thing.… Read more
With green issues dominating the headlines at this week's Detroit auto show, you may find yourself wondering how much it costs to assuage the gas-guzzling guilt you feel when picking up your next rental car. The convenient answer is $1.25 (plus applicable taxes). That is the price at which Enterprise, National, and Alamo are selling carbon offsets to their customers in a carbon-offset program launching today. According to the companies, the $1.25 offset charge represents the cost of offsetting the CO2 impact of the average rental vehicle operating in the company's fleet. TerraPass, the company responsible … Read more