The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT Final Edition will be the swan song for the iconic line. If you want one, make sure you've got the money in the bank (we're guessing it'll run near $250,000) and get in line--there'll just be 350 units produced for the last of the SLS AMG vehicles, each rocking a 6.3-liter V8 engine with 591-horsepower. You can feast your eyes on one, with its red and black two-tone paint job, at the Los Angeles Auto Show and Tokyo Motor Show.
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If you're looking for a luxury EV and want a more established name than Tesla, BMW has entered the fray with the i3. In fact, the BMW i3 is both the first EV from the company, as well as a platform to build on for the future. The i3 will be priced at $41,350 when it goes on sale in the US in Q2 2013, although, like many electric vehicles, it isn't for everyone.
While it isn't the most expensive EV on the market, it also costs well above what the typical car buyer pays for a new vehicle. Also, range anxiety will be a problem for some as well, as a fully-charged BMW i3 will only get you 80-100 miles. If that worries you, you can opt for the 650cc two-cylinder generator add-on, that makes the i3 similar to a Chevy Volt, letting you get extra range through using gasoline. At 170 horsepower coupled with 184 pound-feet of torque, you'll be able to go from zero to sixty in seven seconds.
BMW definitely knows how to make a car, and for EV enthusiasts who've grown weary of the odd space-age concepts found in some other car manufacturer lines, could be a breath of clean, fresh, environmentally-safe air.
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Tesla will be showing its new technology that allows Model S owners to swap battery packs in their vehicles as its design center in California on June 20th. CEO Elon Musk made the announcement on Twitter, reinforcing previous statements that Tesla would allow its customer to driver longer distances without the need to wait for the battery to charge at a Supercharger location.
We aren't sure if this applies to current Models S cards, or if this is a redesign that will be part of future models. Apparently, switching out the batteries takes just minutes--about the same amount of time that it takes an average car to be filled up with gas.
Live pack swap demo on Thurs night at 8pm California time at our design studio in Hawthorne. Seeing is believing.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 18, 2013
At the D11 conference, Tesla CEO Elon Musk just announced a major expansion to the Tesla Supercharger network. According to Musk:
"There's going to be a dramatic acceleration of the Supercharging network. By the end of next month, we'll triple the Supercharger coverage area. There's a map that'll go live tomorrow. By the end of this year, you'll be able to drive from LA to NY just using the Supercharger network. We're improving the density of Superchargers in well-traveled routes, as well as the overall coverage area."
This is huge, as there is always range anxiety for owners of vehicles that are 100% powered by electricity. Rapid expansion of Tesla's Supercharger network is essential to curbing that feeling. Tesla Model S owners using the Supercharger can go from 0% to 80% charged in 30 minutes. Of course, the Model S is a very expensive vehicle, but getting Superchargers in place for when Tesla expects to have a $30,000 range vehicle for sale (in about three years, according to Musk,) will go a long way towards buyer confidence.
The Tesla Model S has just received the highest form of praise from Consumer Reports--best car it has ever tested. That is quite an achievement, and an amazing vote of confidence for the small California-based car manufacturer. Consumer Reports even made sure to reiterate that it didn't just mean best electric car, but rather, the Tesla Model S was simply the best car Consumer Reports has ever tested, period. Standout features like a battery that allows the driver to go 200 miles before needing to be recharged (although that is a $10,000 add-on option,) incredible handling due to the weight and low placement of the battery, and the ability to go from 0-60 in 5.6 seconds. The vehicle tested would retail for $89,650, and to be honest, we'd expect a car that costs that much to be in the running for "best car tested" in any media outlet.
Get a look at the Consumer Reports Telsa Model S video review after the break.
Ford and Spotify have announced a partnership that sees the popular streaming music service make an appearance in Ford vehicles. Spotify is now compatible with Ford SYNC AppLink, streaming its catalog of over 20 million tracks over the car radio. You'll need to download the new iOS or Android Spotify apps to take advantage of the new hotness. You be able to access your songs, playlists, and custom stations, and can even control things with voice commands. Aside from Spotify, Ford SYNC AppLink allows you to access other service, like Pandora, Amazon Cloud Player, MOG, Slacker, and Rhapsody.
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Ford and Amazon have announced that Amazon MP3 for Android has been updated with Ford SYNC support, which means that you can use your Android device with Ford's admittedly awesome infotainment system to access all your tracks stored in your Amazon Cloud Player. As is typical with SYNC, you can even control playback with voice commands. Amazon MP3 2.8 for Android also includes the typical bug fixes, and the store has been redesigned to show more search results.
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The 2012 Ford Focus Electric is the very first all-electric car released by the company, and is marketed as America's most fuel-efficient five-passenger vehicle, what with it's 110 MPGe city rating (99 MPGe highway) and up to 76 mile range on a single charge. We were able to spend a week with the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, and we're here to report back with our thoughts. Is it a worthy contender in the electric car movement? Read on.
GM is the first to announce Siri integration with two new car models: the Chevrolet Spark and the Sonic Drive. The feature was dubbed "Eyes Free" and was announced at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June by former iOS chief, Scott Forstall. Basically, "Eyes Free" will be integrated via the car's Bluetooth functionality and the iPhone itself. The user can then initiate Siri's voice command by tapping a button on the steering wheel, and Siri's responses will be played over the car's audio system. Other car manufacturers such as Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, Jaguar, Audi, Land rover, GM, BMW and Mercedes are slated to incorporate Siri's "Eyes Free" as well. Check out the full press release after the break.
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In this episode we give you a look at the 2013 Ford Taurus Limited, focusing on the Active Park Assist feature. With Active Park Assist, the car takes car of parallel parking for you. That's right - THE CAR CAN PARK ITSELF! You simply hit a button to let the car know that you are looking to park, and it uses its sensors to find a space you'll fit into. Once it does, you're in charge of the gas and brake pedals, while the Taurus steers itself into the spot with perfection. Definitely a feature from the future that you can get on your Ford today.
[Camera credit: Eric Vitolo]