Archive for April, 2009

Fiat and Chrysler have reached an alliance agreement

  Fiat and Chrysler have signed an alliance agreement, Corriere della Sera reported on its Web site. Turin, Italy-based Fiat and the Auburn Hills, Michigan- based automaker have reached an agreement, Corriere reported, citing unidentified sources. A Fiat official couldn’t confirm or deny the report. President Barack Obama plans to announce the deal at around 12 p.m. in Washington, the newspaper reported, without giving additional details. Chrysler has until today to forge an alliance with Italy’s biggest automaker, which is conditional on concessions by creditors and unions. The president’s staff is aiming for Chrysler to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as early as today to pave the way for Fiat to take a 20 percent stake in Chrysler, people familiar with the situation said. “From the Fiat angle, the best that could happen is that they do get a deal …

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President Obama advises “drive fuel-efficient cars”

  ON EARTH DAY last week, Consumer Reports offered recommendations to motorists looking for ways to make “greener automotive choices.” At the top of its list: “drive a more fuel-efficient car or SUV.” Consumer Reports wasn’t the only one making that suggestion. In an Earth Day proclamation, President Obama advised Americans to “drive fuel-efficient cars” and stressed his own commitment “to increasing fuel economy standards” as part of a campaign to “reduce greenhouse gases” and “lessen our dependence on foreign oil.” The editors of National Geographic, fielding questions online, heard from one reader troubled by the fact that “transportation is our largest consumer of oil and thus our largest emitter of carbon.” Editor Dennis Dimick replied that “buying and driving cars that get better fuel efficiency can only help” in cutting US fuel consumption, along with “driving less and using mass transit more.” At the …

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All-electric cars are about to make a comeback

  The all-electric car, which had a brief heyday less than a decade ago and then went the way of the dodo, killed off by the car companies, is about to make a comeback. Charged up with lighter, more sophisticated and efficient batteries, and competitively priced with gasoline-driven and hybrid vehicles, the new offers will be marketed and sold primarily as second cars – for running errands, taking kids to school and the like. These silent electric autos will be plugged into home outlets at night and during the day will be able to travel 100 miles or more without stopping for a charge. Nissan said recently it has developed a mas-market electric car, due out by the end of next year, that will seat five and can have its battery charged to 80 percent of capacity in 26 minutes. It will have …

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The Chevy Volt delivers 40 miles of all-electric travel before the gasoline-powered motor kicks in

  The Chevy Hybrid Volt can deliver 40 miles of all-electric travel on a single battery charge. The latest plug-in cars are leading to improved energy independence while saving consumers the price of gas at the pump. General Motors Corp calls the 2010 Chevy Hybrid a new Extended-Range Electric Vehicle which can deliver up to 40 miles of driving on a single battery charge. This means that if drivers commute only 40 miles a day, they don’t use any gasoline and produce zero emissions. The eco-friendly car has surprised analysts since it can drive on a single charge no matter if city or highway. “For up to 40 miles, the drive – no matter if city or highway – will have essentially zero tailpipe emissions. This is really important for improved air quality in the areas where we drive,” a GM spokesperson said. The …

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Honda is now thinking about plug-in hybrids as Obama policy shifts to favor battery-powered autos

  Honda Motor Co., the only company selling hydrogen-powered cars to U.S. drivers, may also develop plug-in models as U.S. policy shifts to favor battery-powered autos. Honda, which began leasing hydrogen fuel cell FCX Clarity sedans in Los Angeles last year, still sees hydrogen as the best long-term alternative to gasoline as a fuel that can cut carbon exhaust tied to global warming, President Takeo Fukui said in an interview. Still, the company will respond to a push by the Obama administration for carmakers to sell plug-ins, he said. “We understand the situation, in terms of government and incentives,” Fukui said April 23 in Detroit. “Naturally, we’re going to have to accommodate that too.” General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co., and startups Tesla Motors Inc. and Fisker Automotive Inc., are rushing out cars that can be recharged …

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AAA’s recently compiled list of top new car tech

  There is no doubt that cars are getting smarter and more fun with the help of new tech. Conservative manufacturers are getting quicker about moving new gadgets and systems into our autos. Tech has become the cupholder of the 21st Century, helping set models apart from each other. Wading through the many options, AAA recently compiled its list of top car tech for 2009 and 2010 models: MyKey. Introduced by Ford, MyKey employs a computer chip in the vehicle’s ignition key to limit teen drivers to a top speed of 80 mph. Parents can also program the teen’s key to limit audio system levels and sound a continuous alert if the driver doesn’t wear a seatbelt. Another MyKey option is the ability to sound a chime if the teen driver exceeds 45, 55 or 65 mph. While this technology does not replace …

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2010 Lamborghini Murciélago LP670-4 SuperVeloce – offers more of everything

  SuperVeloce, or SV, is a storied name in Lamborghini’s history, seen most recently on the 1995–99 Diablo SV. The moniker is usually applied to a more powerful, gussied-up version of a car that’s near the end of its life cycle, which is what we have here in the Murciélago LP670-4 SV. Compared with the plebeian LP640, the SV’s version of the 6.5-liter V-12 develops 29 more horsepower—up from 632 to 661—owing to revised valve timing and modifications to the intake system. Torque is unchanged at 487 pound-feet. The more powerful engine doesn’t have to work as hard, either, as Lamborghini has sliced off a claimed 220 pounds, mostly through the extensive use of carbon-fiber panels and interior parts, and a lighter exhaust system. As a result of higher power, lower mass, and quicker electronic gearchanges, we expect the SV to rip …

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Porsche, Rolls-Royce, and Daimler are expanding their luxury fleets

  The economic downturn seems to be little more than a speed bump for the world’s super-luxury automakers. The latest evidence is Porsche’s Panamera, which the Stuttgart company unveiled at the Shanghai auto show on Apr. 20. Selling for a bit over $100,000 in Germany before taxes, and boasting a V8 engine capable of up to 500 horsepower, Porsche’s first four-door sedan seems almost an act of defiance in a time of environmental consciousness and less-conspicuous consumption. But Porsche is likely to meet its goal of selling 20,000 Panameras per year, says Marc-René Tonn, senior analyst at M.M. Warburg Investment Research in Hamburg. Though the Panamera would no doubt sell better in boom times, Tonn says, “there will always be a certain demand.” In this rarefied segment of the auto market, “CO2 emissions and gas mileage are not an issue.” In fact, German …

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Nissan Canada is giving away 50 Nissan Cubes to creative Canadians

  Samantha Babin wanted to tell you about the coolest campaign she has ever been involved with in her life! Nissan Canada is giving away 50 Nissan Cubes to creative Canadians! And by word of mouth, this whole campaign has been 99.9 percent solely done via social media. Mainly… Twitter via the name TheHypercube. Yes twitter is all the rage, BUT think about this… The automotive industry has shifted its way of thinking… no more big billboards, shiny commercials… print ads… they’re letting the consumer, no wait, the PASSIONATE consumers get the word out there for them! You know what i call this? Innovation…. and you know what… it’s about time!!! Now, 500 lucky Canadians, including Samantha Babin have been chosen out of thousands to “audition” for the top 50 spots via this website: www.hypercube.ca Everyone get’s to show off their creativity …

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China has overtaken the United States as the world’s largest auto market

  Both Porsche and BMW chose the glittering Shanghai Auto Show to unveil new models to the world, the first time that either company has looked outside of Europe and the US and a sign of China’s growing importance. China overtook the United States as the world’s largest auto market earlier this year and sales growth in March was a heady 10.26pc, despite the economic crisis. “This just shows how important China is to us,” said Wolfgang Porsche, a scion of the family and the current chairman of Porsche’s supervisory board. He spoke as Porsche unveiled the Panameria, a four-seater sports car that will form the company’s fourth brand behind the 911, Boxster and Cayenne. “This is really a big thing for us, a totally new car,” he said. “This is now one of the five most important car shows in the world,” said Helmut …

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