A couple of weeks ago, Lexus made headlines with the unveiling of its first official "supercar" at the 2009 SEMA show in Las Vegas. The Lexus LFA that debuted at SEMA is a performance vehicle that the automaker thinks will set the standard for sports and performance cars that have a high luxury quotient. Lexus has also updated its LX 570 utility vehicle for the 2010 market, and it has bells and whistles galore. It's a good thing you get so many extras with this LX, because you definitely won't get what you bargain for in … Read more
Not too long ago I delivered a few blog posts featuring some big-ol' gas guzzling SUVs like the Hummer and the Dartz Kombat. Well, I was sitting here stumped on what to write a blog about and I thought to myself that I hadn't done a full-fledged theme week with this video blog in a while, and from there I brainstormed what to do: this week's video blog posts are going to take a look at some of the worst new and ongoing offenders in gas mileage. And I figured since I was giving Hummer some air time … Read more
Earlier this week, I posted a video featuring an SUV, the T-98 Kombat, as made by Russian manufacturer Dartz (whose $1.5M Dartz Prombron Monaco Red Diamond Edition extravagantly decked out in whale penis leather--how high-brow is that--even got lip service recently on "The Colbert Report"). Anyhoo, this particular blog (located here for your convenience) garnered the snide comment of "It looks like a Hummer...big deal." Well, funny that you should say that, sir, as today's video features the Dartz Kombat one-on-one against the Hummer H1. Let's get ready to rumble!
The Dartz … Read more
Lithium-ion battery manufacturer EnerDel has signed an 18-month, $1.29 million contract with the U.S. Army to design and test hybrid battery options for the Humvee.
Trying to power the iconic fuel-guzzling High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV aka Humvee) with a battery, may seem like trying to put out a fire with a garden hose. But a lithium-ion battery system can deliver a lot of power from a battery quickly, giving a truck like the Humvee the thrust it requires.
EnerDel, a subsidiary of Ener1, will collaborate with the U.S. Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development, and … Read more
About a week ago I was watching "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central, and all of a sudden Stephen Colbert starts talking about an extravagant SUV made by the Russian-based Dartz brand that costs roughly 1.5 million dollars and is so luxurious that its upholstery is made of genuine whale penis leather (no, I'm not making this up). While I have yet to locate video of the exact model vehicle that Stephen was talking about, I did find a clip of a similar model SUV made by Dartz in action, and since it's kinda timely, … Read more
The Nissan Rogue may go down in history as one of the most inaccurately named cars of all time. It's not mysterious. It's not particularly quick. It is relatively quiet, but you won't be catching anyone off guard in this tubby little CUV. Instead of delivering a vehicle that breaks from convention and actually "goes rogue," Nissan has given us a decidedly average, small, crossover SUV. No surprises here.
Almost everything about the Rogue can be described as good but not great, whether it's power and handling or styling and cabin tech. In fact, … Read more
The Toyota Prius is great and all, but try carrying sheets of plywood or a soccer team around in it. Oy.
Kraig Higginson, Chairman of Raser Technologies, believes there should also be hybrids that can handle some heavy lifting. His sentiment was echoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who invited the energy technology company to California last week to demonstrate its 100 mpg plug-in hybrid Hummer H3 as part of a monthly series promoting alternative-fuel vehicles in the state.
Higginson showed off the series hybrid SUV, which uses a 2.0L EcoTec engine to charge its battery. The 4WD vehicle is powered by a 200kW advanced-AC induction motor, which on an empty battery achieves 33 to 35 mpg. The 2008 Hummer H3 with a conventional gasoline power train receives a combined fuel economy of 15 mpg.
"At its worst it already meets the new CAFE standards announced by Obama," said David West, vice president of marketing for Raser.
However, West said that drivers would be able to achieve unlimited gas mileage if they charged the vehicle's battery using electricity from a standard 110-volt or 220-volt outlet, and drove less than 40 miles per day; 75 percent of all drivers typically drive this far or less daily. … Read more
A turbo-charged engine, 21-inch wheels, Bluetooth, and 600-watt THX speakers are fine, but for the SUV owner who desires everything, how about a Mobile Nuclear Radiation Detection System?
Raytheon is offering the Sports Utility Vehicle-Based Radiation Detection System, which uses advanced spectroscopic technology to detect and identify nuclear radiation, whether sitting put or on the move.
Deploy quickly and set up your own checkpoint to screen for nuclear weapons, improvised nuclear devices, and dirty bombs or just cruise and troll for high gamma and stray neutrons. The system incorporates advanced threat identification algorithms that detect and identify most radiological materials.… Read more
Raser Technologies will unveil a plug-in hybrid Hummer H3 that gets more than 100 mpg at the SAE World Congress in Detroit on April 20. The project was developed in cooperation with GM and is the "have your SUV and drive it too" answer to automotive industry critics and increasingly environmentally-conscience drivers.
By swapping the Hummer's conventional power plant--typically a V-8 engine--for an electric motor powered by a lithium ion battery, the SUV is transformed from a gas-guzzler to a green machine. The plug-in vehicle can travel up to 40 miles in all-electric mode. After the energy is depleted from the battery, the four-cylinder engine kicks in. However, the four-cylinder engine isn't connected to drivetrain and never turns the wheels of the car--its sole purpose is to recharge the lithium ion battery. … Read more
There's something different about the Nissan Cube, and it's not because it's square or has asymmetrical windows. I'm in the driver's seat, and I can't seem to adjust the rear-view mirror to fit the entire rear windshield. Is the mirror smaller than usual? Is the offset window throwing me off? Or am I just not used to driving a car with good rear visibility?
The feature of large asymmetrical windows is one of the Cube's differentiators in the crowded crossover SUV segment. Although they've been doing it for 10 years in Japan, Nissan is a relative latecomer to the box-on-wheels trend in the U.S. with the Scion xB and the Kia Soul already in the mix. To stand out in the square car market, the company seems to have made "quirkiness" their signature on the Cube. A byproduct of this design is that you finally have a car with a rear window big enough that short people can see out of. … Read more