The 2010 Lexus RX450h has a revised power train and a slick new iDrive killer called "remote touch." We check it out at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Hyundai has been reaching for the stars lately, comparing its cars to other automakers' luxury models and launching the Genesis luxury sedan. Now the company wants to be "the most fuel-efficient automaker on the planet," according to Hyundai Vice President for Product Development John Krafcik. To achieve its lofty goals, Hyundai showed off its Blue Drive hybrid power train at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show. This power train works similarly to full hybrids from Toyota and Ford, powering the car under electric or a combination of gas and electric, but Hyundai takes a leap forward by using … Read more
The Insight is back to do battle with the Prius (and possibly impersonate one). Brian Cooley takes a look at it on the floor of the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The Fusion, Ford's bread-and-butter mid-size sedan, gets a significant update for 2010, complete with new body work, new cabin tech options, and an all new hybrid model. Ford built on the hybrid powertrain technology it already uses in the Ford Escape Hybrid, but significantly retunes it for the Fusion, giving it a top electric speed of about 47 mph. Gas mileage is estimated to be around 38mpg city and 35mpg highway. Along with its high-tech powertrain, the Fusion Hybrid gets an innovative instrument cluster with a variety of gauges to monitor economy and powertrain operation. Putting it over the … Read more
LOS ANGELES--The Green Car Journal gave its 2009 Green Car of the Year award to the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show. This year's list of nominees included the BMW 335d, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Saturn Vue 2 Mode Hybrid, and Smart ForTwo. The Jetta TDI uses a 2-liter, turbocharged, diesel, four-cylinder engine to achieve an EPA-rated 41mpg highway fuel economy and 30mpg city. Volkswagen's new clean diesel technology makes the car legal in all 50 states, meeting California's stringent Air Resources Board requirements, under which is qualifies as a SULEV, or Super … Read more
SolarWorld's offer to General Motors is no joke. The German-based solar-power company is serious about wanting to purchase GM's Opel division, SolarWorld CEO Frank H. Asbeck said Thursday morning on German radio.
The initial announcement sparked a flurry of market, analyst, and media skepticism on Wednesday. Asbeck took to the airwaves to clarify his company's position on Thursday. (A transcript of the interview in German … Read more
Five finalists were announced for the 2008 LA Auto Show's Green Car of the Year award. Only one of them can be crowned king, but which will it be?
There are a broad range of green technologies represented in this year's field: clean diesels, gasoline-electric hybrids, and a tiny, thrifty gasoline engine.
Will the winner be the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, which we've heard so much about over the past few months? Perhaps it will be the newly announced BMW 335d, with its 50-state-compliant clean diesel? Representing gas-electric hybrids are the Saturn Vue 2 Mode Hybrid and the … Read more
Just a year after it got an update, the Mercury Mariner Hybrid gets yet another update for 2009, but this one counts for a lot. Ford fits it with the best cabin tech available, which includes the excellent Sync system for integrating MP3 players and cell phones, along with Sirius Travel Link, giving you traffic information and gas prices right in the car. The Mariner Hybrid also gets a bigger gas engine than the previous model, but it doesn't bring the EPA mileage numbers down. During our testing, it didn't seem to make much difference either way.
Ford's SmartGauge system is set to debut on the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. We've seen what it looks like and what it can do. I have to say that the SmartGauge looks great in pictures, but it looks so much better in motion.
I wonder how much of this will translate directly into production. The interface is slick, but the "efficiency leaves" feature seems sort of gimmicky, where a simple mpg readout would suffice.