Smart recently showed off its new hybrid pickup truck. Yup, you read right, a pickup truck from the company that makes the tiny ForTwo vehicle. The Smart For-us aims to recast the vision of the pickup as green and urban friendly. We’re not too sure how that will pan out, as most pickups are used as utility vehicles or off-road beasts. By the looks of the Smart For-us, it looks like it would be afraid to tread on grass, let alone the American roads. Though a concept idea, this “truck” would be powered 55-kilowatt magnetoelectric motor, achieving about 80 MPG. Though great on gas mileage, the Smart For-us leaves much to be desired by the average truck buyer.
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Living in the northwest, the weather can make of break your day. From sun, to snow, to rain, it can all be seen in one day, depending on the season. So as any Northwesty, I'm constantly checking my iPhone for updated weather conditions. But alas, no two weather apps, let alone forecasters, can agree on Seattle weather.
Ford has announced that they will be neighboring next to Intel, Google, and other Silicon Valley giants. Other automotive giants such as Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW have already moved into the Valley, and Ford will be moving its Research and Innovations (R&I) Unit into the neighborhood. The question you might be asking is, "what does Ford and Northwest weather have to do with each other?" The answer is real-time data. Ford is aiming to utilize the sensors in its vehicles to transfer data to the client services we use.
Put it this way, when you're driving down the highway and it begins to rain, the sensors on the wipers transmit a signal to a client service; say a weather app you might use on your phone. The more vehicles equipped with this technology, the more accurate our weather forecasting becomes. Furthermore, I can see this technology also providing real-time traffic congestion info. In conjunction with a solid GPS, your commuting time could be reduced.
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The death of a legend left many asking "Why?" Honda has always been pushing the envelope in reliability and fuel efficiency, from the days it rocked Detroit with its Civic CRX HF, a car which was fun to drive, yet provided the fuel efficiency people wanted; to its current line-up which holds true to that same spirit. However, the lack of a true sports car has haunted Honda's line-up from they day they killed the NSX. While Detroit pushed ahead with its pony cars, Honda was left in the dust put-putting along.
Well those days are hopefully soon to be over. The rebirth of its sports car, the Acura NSX will push the industry and consumer standard of what we expect a sports car should be. As we all fight for greater fuel efficiency and alternative fuels, that leaves the word of sports cars a thing of the past. Or does it?
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Car and Driver has released a simple infographic that explains how we should all be setting up the rear-view and outside mirrors on our cars to get rid of that pesky blind spot. I must admit, when looking at their examples of how to set up your mirrors improperly, they're definitely talking about me. The recommended setup comes from the Society of Automotive Engineers:
The paper advocates adjusting the mirrors so far outward that the viewing angle of the side mirrors just overlaps that of the cabin's rearview mirror. This can be disorienting for drivers used to seeing the flanks of their own car in the side mirrors. But when correctly positioned, the mirrors negate a car's blind spots. This obviates the need to glance over your shoulder to safely change lanes as well as the need for an expensive blind-spot warning system.
Get a look at the full instructions in the graphic after the break.
As the NHTSA conducts its investigation, Chevrolet will provide any current owner with a loaner vehicle until the agency concludes its investigation, the automaker said. Those who want a loaner can contact their Volt advisor to arrange for a trade-in.
"A vehicle loan program of this nature is well beyond the norm for a preliminary investigation, and it underlines our commitment to the vehicle and its owners," Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, said in a statement. "These steps are the right ones to take regardless of any immediate impact on our operations."
The Chevrolet Volt has been perhaps the most highly publicized effort by an American carmaker to develop a hybrid vehicle. The Volt's appeal, in hands-on tests, is that the car can go a rated 35 miles on electricity alone before shifting to a gas-powered electric generator that can add hundreds of miles to its range. The Volt uses lithium-ion batteries to store a charge. It qualifies as a low-emissions vehicle that will be able to drive in California's HOV lanes, even with just the driver in the car.
Jeep is set to release a vehicle that's based on one you'd find in Call of Duty. Chrysler said Monday that it will offer a limited-edition 2012 Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited Call of Duty: MW3 Edition, based on the Rubicon model, beginning next month. The new Jeep Wrangler will be available at a U.S. MSRP of $36,495 for the two-door model and $40,070 for the four-door (Jeep Wrangler Unlimited) model, not including destination, Chrysler said.
Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 launched today, with preorders and preloads beginning last week. The game is going head to head with Battlefield 3, which sold 5 million copies in its first week of sales.
The Jeep is prominently featured in COD:MW3, Chrysler said.
The 2012 Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited Call of Duty: MW3 Special Edition is based on the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon model and features Rubicon wheels finished in semi-gloss black, and is available either in black or bright silver. A special "Call of Duty: MW3 Special Edition" graphic appears on the front fenders and spare tire cover.
The Cadillac Converj concept was shown off at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show as the first electric vehicle for the Cadillac line. It was subsequently cancelled, but as GM has experienced success with the Chevy Volt, the Converj has returned to development at the Cadillac ELR. It will have an updated version of the Voltec powertrain, so it's basically a souped-up Volt, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The ELR is hitting production next year for a 2013 release, with specific pricing and availability details coming later.
In this episode we give you a look at the upcoming Ford SYNC Emergency Assistance feature, that is able to assist you even in areas where the native language is different than your own. It works by using GPS and cell tower locations to determine where you are in the event of an emergency. If SYNC knows you speak English, but you happen to need help in an area that speaks French, you will be contacted in English on your end, and SYNC will communicate to the responder in French, so that you can get the help you need.
Check out a video for a demo from #ForwardWithFord, which took place in Detroit, MI.
Ford brought a small fleet of intelligent vehicles to San Francisco to showcase a technology that the company expects will be mainstream in about five years, from most automakers.
Two Ford Focus cars and a Ford Expedition were equipped with a technology called Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC), which basically serves as a car-to-car wireless connection that currently serves as a crash avoidance system in Ford's implementation, and as a wireless toll collection mechanism overseas. Eventually, it could even be used for entertainment purposes.
Although Ford demonstrated the technology in a parking lot outside of AT&T Park, the company isn't alone in developing the technology. Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes, Hyundai, and Kia are all working together, plus truck, bus, and motorcycle companies, said Mike Shulman, the technical leader in Ford's Active Safety Research and Innovation department.
"Next year, we're doing a model deployment in a city where there will be thousands of equipped vehicles and trucks and buses all sending out these messages, and then the goal in 2013 is to start a regulation that will require this on all vehicles. Then, maybe consumer electronics companies would start designing products that could be retrofitted onto existing cars, because everyone sees the potential," Shulman said.
"Maybe five years from now, cars will be equipped with this," Shulman added.
BMW has announced that it plans to lease 700 demo units of its first completely electric vehicle, the BMW ActivE. They'll start the trial this fall in New York City, Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles, and parts of Connecticut, the company said in a statement. Consumers will have to pay $499 a month for a 24-month lease, plus a down payment of $2,250. Reservations start at the end of this summer.
"Based on the 1 Series Coupe, the BMW ActiveE will accelerate from 0-60 mph in under nine seconds, making it the first electric vehicle to combine the dynamic characteristics typical of a BMW with the zero-emissions benefits of driving an electric vehicle," BMW said in a press release.
When fully powered, the car's lithium-ion batteries last around 100 miles. The batteries also feature heating and cooling and can pre-condition your car to maximize power during various weather conditions.
Furthermore the dashboard features a set of instruments that track the amount of energy being consumed. Instead of a tachometer, for instance, you'll find indicators for battery consumption and charge time. And because the car is apparently very quiet, BMW has also installed a needle to let you know when a car at standstill is ready to drive again.