The trend among automakers to go green apparently has engulfed Ferrari, as it displayed an F430 affixed with Bio Fuel stickers on the hood and doors at the 2008 Detroit auto show. The company isn't saying anything about it until Monday, but we are willing to go out on a pretty thick limb and say Ferrari modified the F430's engine to run on some mix of ethanol. An engine set up on a stand next to the F430 had green spark plug caps and fuel rails, a color that clashed horribly with the red valve covers, but signals … Read more
Ladies and gentlemen, start your salivating. Those of us silly enough to go to Detroit in the middle of January to look at cars will be able to gawk at the super-cool Mach 5 from the Wachowski brothers' remake of the classic 1960's 'toon. The car is slated to be on display at Cobo Hall in Detroit during the 2008 North American Auto Show, beginning Jan. 13 for press and Jan. 19 for the public.
Although, like most Hollywood prop cars (and more than a few Hollywood people), it will probably be just an empty shell.
The real-life version … Read more
At CES and the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, Ford will show off its next generation navigation system, initially to be made available on the all-new Lincoln MKS. The system's 40GB hard drive will include the Gracenote database, which will automatically tag any CDs ripped to the drive, something Gracenote already does in the Cadillac CTS and Lexus LS 600h. But Gracenote goes an extra mile with Ford, providing cover art for music playing in the system. Users will be treated to a scan of the album cover art while tracks from the album play. Further, the system incorporates Gracenote'… Read more
Ahead of the 2008 Detroit auto show, Chrysler released sketches of three concept cars it will put on display. The cars come from the three main Chrysler brands, Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep, and offer a glimpse into the future of each make. A commitment to environmentalism and future power-train design is shown in that each concept runs on electricity.
Having shown prowess on the rally circuit with its Lancer Evo series, Mitsubishi turns to road performance with its Concept-RA. The company teased us today with some sketches of what its new concept car will look like: a very low-slung coupe that reminded us of the Hyundai Concept Genesis Coupe shown at the recent LA Auto Show. From Mitsubishi's press release on its new concept, the car's specifications are complete. It uses an aluminum space frame to keep weight down and all Mitsubishi's current electronic road-holding tech, such as Super All Wheel Control, Active Steering, Active Damping, … Read more
Although Detroit's big automakers have been whining about the potential negative impact of higher fuel efficiency standards might have on their business, a report issued this week says they could actually profit from stiffer regulations.
The study, conducted by Citi and Investor Network on Climate Risk studied a proposal in the U.S. senate to raise the CAF? standards. Most car makers would be unaffected in any changes through 2012. General Motors, however, could see an increase of 25 cents a share in earnings as a result of the changes. Chrysler would benefit the least.
The gains would come … Read more
We wrote about Fisker Automotive's sporty plug-in hybrid last week and now here is a picture.
The company is planning to come to market in about 18 months with a high-performance, high-end plug-in hybrid sedan. The car will cost $80,000. It will go about 50 miles on a battery charge, which isn't far, but the car will also come with a built-in gas engine that exists primarily to charge the battery. With the charging capability, the car can go around 620 miles before conking, according to Henrik Fisker, the company's CEO.
With a range of hundreds … Read more
The 2007 Detroit Auto Show ends on Sunday, and if you didn't get a chance to see it, you can enjoy the concepts, new models, and exhibits through our coverage. We've just posted our last video on the show, wrapping up the most important announcements and unveilings. For even more depth, take a look at our slide shows and blog entries about the show.
Automakers aren't the only ones using the 2007 Detroit Auto Show to show off new products; Alpine also launched its new Imprint technology at the show. Imprint isn't a new car stereo or amplifier--instead, it's part methodology and part technology for designing the perfect sound to fit any car. Alpine researcher Alan Trevena, who demonstrated the system for me, said that Imprint takes a lot of the guess work out of designing a car audio system. Instead of relying on a "golden ear," an expert who sets the audio parameters based on his or her … Read more
First, Ford went back in time to redesign its Mustang. Now, the company travels back to the 1960s yet again to design the Ford Airstream concept. Ford took Airstream along on the trip to build this new crossover car, although to me it looks more like a minivan. Designers of the concept were influenced by 2001: A Space Oddyssey for the interior, which includes organically shaped podlike seats. The most notable element of the interior is the 360-degree video screen, which can show movies, video games, or ambient displays, such as a lava lamp. Did I mention this car is … Read more