Summer is upon us, which means that it's officially open-air motoring season. However, not all cabriolets are created equal; there are actually many different types of convertibles to choose from. We've rounded up seven of the most obvious convertible classes and the best examples of each. … Read more
As new city cars come out with less than 100 horsepower, you might have thought the horsepower wars were over. But there's still a corner of the great American garage where gearhead engineers build and tune engines to dump massive amounts of power out through driveshafts to wheels.
The team bearing Ford's blue oval on their coveralls get to wear the garage king crown for their efforts with the new Shelby GT500, which was certified to produce 662 horsepower and 631 pound-feet of torque. That makes the 2013 GT500 more powerful than the Ferrari 458 Italia -- lot more powerful. … Read more
Ever since hybrids became popular, with the second generation of the Toyota Prius, the question arose of whether the fuel savings justified a hybrid car's higher price. The extra expense for a hybrid car has been called the hybrid premium.
The extra cost for a hybrid car comes from the additional equipment in the driveline. Along with the gas engine, hybrid cars have an electric propulsion motor, a high-voltage battery pack, and a power control module, this latter component determining how to feed electric power into the drive system.
Now, with many automakers offering some type of hybrid car, … Read more
Waving goodbye to your local gas station used to involve waiting lists, lease-only pilot programs, or dropping six figures on an early adopters' plaything like the Tesla Roadster. These days, just about anyone can walk into a local dealership, plunk down $35,000, and drive away in a car that doesn't have a tailpipe.
No, the 2012 Nissan Leaf, 2012 Ford Focus Electric, and 2012 Mitsubishi i-MIEV aren't the first electric cars to hit the market. However, they are in the first batch of fully electric, zero-emissions vehicles that are priced and packaged for mass consumption. Each seats four or five adults comfortably, has space for cargo and groceries, and packs much of the same (if not better) cabin technology and creature comforts as its gasoline-powered stablemates.
We've put these three models side by side in the chart below to see how they stack up and compare with one another. Green values indicate the best-performing model in each category. Which one is best for you? Read on:… Read more
Concept cars make up our favorite displays at international auto shows. These cars show off the latest thinking within design departments, and often contain new ideas in cabin and power-train technology.
The latest season was particularly satisfying, featuring the return of an icon, promising new production-intent vehicles, excellent styling, and low- or zero-emission technology. … Read more
Last week, I rather flippantly mentioned that I'd driven Ford's new Focus Electric, but that I couldn't talk about it. I know you've been on the edge of your seat since then, so I won't bury the lead any further and just get right into what you're here for: the drive.
On the road, the Focus Electric rides nearly identically to the gasoline-powered Focus. That is, until you listen and realize that there is no exhaust note and no engine noise, only the gentle "whoosh" of the road beneath the tires and … Read more
The Ford Focus Electric has been a long time coming since it was first announced back at CES 2011. However the wait will soon be over because the tailpipe-emissions-free version of Ford's five-seater Focus is already here, and I've touched it.
Specifically, I've driven it, but Ford has asked me not to talk about the driver's-seat experience until next Tuesday (April 17), so stay tuned and check back to hear more on that.
Zero tailpipe emissions Until then, let's talk about what we do know about Ford's shot across the bow of the Nissan … Read more
Designing a car can take years, but Ford has been able to cut the process in half, from six years to three years, by using virtual reality.
"We are able to cheat reality," says Elizabeth Baron, a VR technical specialist at Ford. She says virtual reality enables the automaker to do all kinds of tests in a short period of time, though there are limitations to the technology too. SmartPlanet correspondent Sumi Das gets outfitted with the automaker's virtual-reality gear for a preview.
This video originally appeared on SmartPlanet with the headline "At Ford, using virtual reality to tweak car design.&… Read more
Very few people change the performance software on sport cars, but today Ford showed people that upgrading a car's software can be as routine as installing computer updates. The company is shipping owners of its cars with the MyFord Touch infotainment system a USB drive that changes the look and performance of the screens that access navigation, entertainment, climate control, and communications.
CNET got an exclusive look at this update when Ford's Director of Electronic Systems Engineering Jim Buczkowski stopped by to show us how it is done. After plugging in the USB drive, the car's infotainment … Read more
Ford said today its Focus Electric sedan has the highest EPA rating for fuel efficiency, nudging out the all-electric Nissan Leaf.
The Focus Electric was certified with an EPA rating of 105 miles per gallon equivalent for combined city and highway driving, according to Ford. On city alone, it's 110 MPGe and 99 for highway. MPGe converts the fuel economy of gasoline-powered cars for electric vehicles.
The range of the Focus Electric is 76 miles on a full charge and the fuel economy label will indicate that a driver can save $9,700 in fuel course over five years … Read more