Hybrid Replacement Rendered: 2011 Honda CR-ZX

The bad news for Honda fans is that the NSX's V10 successor has been canned while a replacement for the S2000 roadster that will end production this year is nowhere in sight (aside from magazine centerfolds, that is). The good news is that the CR-X will return, though in a somewhat different form tailored to meet the needs of today's 'eco-frenzy' world. In other words, the CR-X's successor will be a dedicated hybrid model - something in the likes of the Insight.
Honda has said for almost two years that the very good looking CR-Z hybrid concept would make it to production. We've heard that the production version of the CR-Z would harken back to the original two-seat CRX and would be more aggressive and sporty than the 2009 Insight. Now, Japan's Best Car magazine has tried to imagine what such a car might look like, even enlarging (it appears) the big front vent. The new dedicated hybrid's name will be the CR-ZX.

Renault Kangoo Be Bop Z.E.

The Renault Kangoo Be Bop as from this summer to show how far the French have with their technology for electric cars. The prototype, which has nothing to do with really planned series models, is driven by a motor of 44 kW (60 hp) that is powered by a lithium-ion battery of 15 kWh. Some guests with the Kangoo Be Bop Z.E. to drive if Renault not only the technology testing and responses losweken, but also know that the electric car it is to come.
For the Kangoo Be Bop Z.E. to charge, he has a plug of the Marechal-type, but will not be applied to the production version of the electric Kangoo Express who is to come. This plug is the result of an attempt to standardize a universal ring for electrical connection. Twenty manufacturers, including Renault, and energy producers are currently working together with the German group RWE to this project. The three phase plug with a voltage of 400 volts will allow a battery in just 20 minutes to load fully.

The models are expected by 2011 will be primarily derived from existing Renaults: a family saloon the size of a middle class and an electric version of the Kangoo Express. Later in the year 2011 follows an electric Renault with its own design. For 2012 is another model ZE (Zero Emission or nuluitstoot) on the planning. Renault works for these projects together with business partner Nissan, but both brands will present their own projects offer. The alliance has in each case the aim to play a major role in the development of the fully electric cars.

New styling JE Design Scirocco TDI

German-based tuner JE Design has released a new range of styling and performance accessories for the Volkswagen Scirocco.

Under the hood, JE Design equips the standard 2.0-liter TDI engine with a revised ECU module which boosts the engine's performance from 140 hp (103 kW) to 180 hp (133 kW) and 400 Nm of torque. Performance stats include a 0-100 km/h time of 8.4 seconds (a reduction of 0.9 seconds) and a top speed of 213 km/h (an improvement of 6 km/h). The company also offers a performance package for the 2.0-liter TDI CR, it produces 205 hp (171 kW) and 410 Nm of torque (up from 170 hp (125 kW) and 350 Nm of torque). 0-100 km/h takes 7.1 seconds (an improvement of 0.7 seconds) and the top speed is increased to 229 km/h (up from 222 km/h).
The 2.0-liter TDI performance package costs 1,249 euros while the 2.0-liter TDI CR package retails for 1,449 euros.

A new and Cool Looks of Chevrolet Spark Daewoo Matiz

The 2010 Chevrolet Spark was finally unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show after General Motors reneged on a promise to show it at the North American International Auto Show two months earlier. These are the first pictures of the car out in the open. While the badges say Daewoo Matiz, the car is definitely the next Spark.
The interior bears a lot of resemblance with the concept in places like the steering wheel and the instrument constellate which is attached to the wheel. That says the steering wheel column could be adjustable.

It is to be powered by a 1.0-litre engine with 66hp (49kW) and a 1.2-litre petrol with 78hp (57kw). The fitted transmission is a 5-speed manual which helps to get the car from 0 - 100km/h in a leisurely 12.4 seconds.

New BMW City Electric Car in 2012

"The MINI E will play a significant role in the derivation of forthcoming strategic and technological decisions, " says BMW spokesperson Nathalie Bauters. "In talking about their experience with the MINI E, customers will be helping MINI and the BMW Group determine the viability of electric vehicles in big cities."
"The MINI E is just one example of what the BMW Group is doing to develop future mobility concepts that are efficient and help reduce our impact on the environment and our dependence on foreign oil.," she says. "MINI E is the first product of BMW’s project i (i stands for international, intelligent and innovative) – a program designed to research and develop transportation strategies and new types of vehicles specifically to meet the needs of the world’s growing mega-cities."
And according to BMW CEO the first project i car will be launched in 2012 and be less expensive than the BMW 1 series or MINI Cooper.
The BMW City will be a 3-door hatch pure electric 4-seater with BMW styling and 100 mile range. It will likely get a new name.

New Citroen C3 Unveiled In Auto Industry

Citroen has decided to officially reveal the new Citroen C3 months before its scheduled Frankfurt Motor Show debut. The move comes just a few days
The car's front end is completely redesigned, with a sportier front bumper featuring integrated fog lights. The new rear light cluster is designed rather well, and is a nice step up from the current C3 model. We are still not certain if the entire rear bumper will be painted in the same exterior color of the car, or if the lower section will remain black for all vehicles. Either way, the bumper's new shape is a nice touch.

At 3.94 meters long, the new C3 is about 12 cm longer than the current model. The next C3 will also be about 5 cm wider, coming in at 1.71 meters. Turning circle is a tight 10.2 meters, an improvement on the outgoing generation.

One of the first models available will feature the HDi 90 DPFS engine, meant to showcase the car's green cred. The engine expels 99 grams of CO2 per kilometer, making this a more environmentally friendly option. When new powerplants are introduced in 2011, emissions could be reduced to 90 g/km. Start/Stop looks to be included right off the bat, with a retuned system coming with the new engines.
The new Citroen C3 will be built in France at the company's facilities in Aulnay and Poissy. The car will be available beginning in November.

New Citroen C3 Unveiled In Auto Industry

Citroen has decided to officially reveal the new Citroen C3 months before its scheduled Frankfurt Motor Show debut. The move comes just a few days
The car's front end is completely redesigned, with a sportier front bumper featuring integrated fog lights. The new rear light cluster is designed rather well, and is a nice step up from the current C3 model. We are still not certain if the entire rear bumper will be painted in the same exterior color of the car, or if the lower section will remain black for all vehicles. Either way, the bumper's new shape is a nice touch.

At 3.94 meters long, the new C3 is about 12 cm longer than the current model. The next C3 will also be about 5 cm wider, coming in at 1.71 meters. Turning circle is a tight 10.2 meters, an improvement on the outgoing generation.

One of the first models available will feature the HDi 90 DPFS engine, meant to showcase the car's green cred. The engine expels 99 grams of CO2 per kilometer, making this a more environmentally friendly option. When new powerplants are introduced in 2011, emissions could be reduced to 90 g/km. Start/Stop looks to be included right off the bat, with a retuned system coming with the new engines.
The new Citroen C3 will be built in France at the company's facilities in Aulnay and Poissy. The car will be available beginning in November.

Breaking news of the week: First UK Bound Ferrari California gets Special 'F1 CAL'

Breaking news of the week Ferrari has purchased the UK number plate "F1 CAL", and will be placing it on the first Ferrari California shipped to that country, according to Autocar. The first Britain-bound unit of Ferrari's front-engined 2+2 should arrive in 2011.

Unveiled at last year's Paris Motor Show, the Ferrari California is the automaker's first car to have a folding metal hard-top. Equipped with a 460 horsepower, direct-injection, 4.3-liter V8 engine, the car travels from 0-100 km/h in less than four seconds. Other features include the F1-Trac system (seen on the 599 GTB Fiorano), carbon/ceramic brakes, and a multilink rear suspension system.

"We wanted the perfect registration to befit its desirability," said Ferrari North Europe's Richard Gordon. The regional manager continued to say, "Thankfully, DVLA Personalised Registrations released its F-series last year and we worked hard to ensure we were able to secure F1 CAL - a registration that can only be described as ideal for our new car."

Ferrari will try to produce roughly 5,000 units of the California every year. The car is believed to be sold out through 2012..

Breaking News : Ford Focus BEV trials in the UK from early 2010.

Ford will begin testing of a battery-powered Ford Focus fleet in the UK from early 2010.
The Focus-based electric car that Ford is developing with Magna for a 2011 introduction is not the only EV program in the company. Early next year, Ford will start testing a fleet of battery-powered Focuses in the UK with funding from a British government program. The Technology Strategy Board announced a total of £25 million for eight projects, including the Ford EV test (we'll have details on the others up soon). Unlike the production-intent program in the U.S., Ford is collaborating with its partner for the Transit Connect EV, Smith Electric vehicles. The battery Focuses will be used by staff from Scottish and Southern Energy in Hillingdon, Middlesex, a utility which is partnering with Smith and Ford on the program
This set-up targets a range of up to 100 miles and a top speed of 80mph. The Tourneo can be plugged directly into a standard mains socket, and a full battery charge takes six to eight hours.
The Ford Focus BEVs are being developed at Ford's UK research and development centre at Dunton in Essex, which currently develops powertrains for all Ford vehicles in Europe.

Breaking News: Ford Gets $5.9 Billion in U.S. Aid while Nissan and Tesla take $2.1 billion in loans

Breaking news of this week Ford Motor Company will now accept a different $5.9 billion loan from the U.S. government. Ford intends to use the money to increase their vehicle's fuel economy across a variety of vehicles, including an all-electric Ford Focus.
Ford has previously stated interest in a Focus EV. The next generation Focus platform should come out in 2010, with the electrified model hitting dealerships about two years later. Ford is also said to be working on an all-electric commercial van for 2010, and a plug-in Ford Escape Hybrid for 2011.
Another automaker taking the States up on its offer is Nissan, who will use $1.6 billion to develop electric vehicles. Nissan is ramping up capacity at their Smyrna, Tennessee, manufacturing facility. They hope the location will be able to produce up to 150,000 electric vehicles.
Meanwhile, California-based Tesla is borrowing $465 million to engineer their upcoming all-electric sedan. Tesla plans to price the sedan under $55,000, provided they can efficiently produce electric transmissions and battery packs. Recent reports suggest the firm will build the Model S sedan in southern California.
Companies producing autos in the United States will have to comply with new federal mandates requiring fleets to maintain a 35 mpg. The rules will go into effect in 2016.

More than 100 applications for aid have been sent to the Energy Department. Loan repayment will begin in 2012.

The Vauxhall Astra Roadster has been set for a 2011 release

Vauxhall is trying to show the world that they are not slowing down. The Vauxhall Astra Roadster has been set for a 2011 or 2012 release.

This will follow the debut of the five-door Astra, which should see the light of day at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The three-door model, and the Sport Tourer estate, will appear in 2010, while the Zafira MPV will likely be shown off in 2010 or 2011, according to the magazine.

Vauxhall's upcoming convertible could be built with performance in mind, in line with the Vauxhall VXR (Opel Insignia OPC). The VXR uses a 237 hp 2.0-liter turbo four cylinder, and has a stiff chassis, lightweight MacPherson struts, and ventilated brakes. Some call the VXR a competitor to the Audi S4.

Using the same engine, or one with similar abilities, the Astra Roadster would have access to more power than the entry level BMW Z4 roadster, and a bit less than the 258 hp BMW Z4 sDrive30i. However, the speculative report from the magazine suggests that the Roadster could be a price-break option for customers interested in the Audi TT, which gets about 250 hp from its 3.2-liter VR6. If released, Vauxhall would likely position the car to compete with the VW BlueSport and Scirocco CC. Auto Express suggests that the Roadster might get a re-tuned engine set to produce 270 horsepower, making it a real competitor to all four vehicles. A base 1.4-liter petrol engine producing 150 horsepower could also be available, as well as a turbodiesel 2.0-liter CDTI generating 170 hp.

Toyota will release a new hydrogen car in 2015

It’s a good news of hydrogen car lover
Well Toyota drove one of its hydrogen fuel cell vehicles from Alaska to Vancouver, British Columbia. Earlier that same year, a Toyota FCHV drove from Tokyo to Osaka on one tank of H2. The company is certainly in favor of at least researching the technology, and has repeatedly said that it will start series production of a fuel cell vehicle in the middle of the next decade. At one point, Toyota hinted that 2014 might mark the big year, but that's looking unlikely now. During a recent shareholders' meeting in Japan, Toyota VP Masatami Takimoto said that Toyota now plans to start production of this new car in 2015. That's still quite soon, and no one expects the hydrogen infrastructure problem to be solved by then.

Good news Renault planning 3 electric vehicles

It’s a good news for us Renault Planning to make three new electric vehicles as the report of the Frankfurt Motor Show will see three new electric vehicles on the Renault stand, including a concept previewing an all new model. The concept is expected to be based on the same dedicated platform that alliance partner Nissan is using for its new EV coming in 2010. The Nissan EV should appear later in the fall at the Tokyo show. Renault development chief Christian Steyer told AutoCar that the EVs will get some distinctive styling to set them apart from the rest of the lineup.

In addition to the cars, Renault will apparently be showing off both fast charging technology and battery swapping equipment. In addition to the dedicated EV concept, Renault is also expected to show production electric conversions of the Megane and Kangoo. The Megane will be the first EV to go on sale in Israel under the Renault-Nissan partnership with Better Place.

Electric Smart to go in to production

Smart has been trialing its Smart EV for the last couple of years in the UK, with customers paying £375 per month for the joy of being a guinea pig for the little city car in electric form. Which actually seems like a huge amount of money to me, especially considering the benefits for Mercedes in terms of feedback. Blimey, for only £20 more you can get a new Jaguar XF Diesel! Still, the trials are ongoing, and as a result of the feedback Mercedes has announced that the Smart EV will go in to limited production from 2010.
You won’t be surprised to learn that after Mercedes 10% stake in Tesla that it is Tesla who are to provide the batteries for the second generation Smart Electric Car. With this technology in place, the Smart EV gets a greater range, shorter charging times and better performance.
The press release is big on quotes about the wonders of the Smart Electric, as you would expect. Boris Johnson says:
It is absolutely fantastic to see manufacturers like smart leading the way to make the electric vehicle an easy choice for Londoners. The move to electric vehicles, which emit zero pollution on London’s streets, will have a massive impact on cutting carbon emissions to curb climate change whilst improving air quality and noise levels for our citizens.
Mercedes also make play of the Smart EVs ‘Nippy’ performance. Nippy? It will get to 30mph in 6.5 seconds and manage a massive 60mph. And they are making play of the price – company car tax notional value of £13,750. Well, I’m sorry, but for less than even the notional tax value you can get the superb Fiesta EConetic, which will do 70+ mpg and have emissions (admittedly at the point of use, not foisted on the poor people who live by the power station) that, when you factor everything in, are probably lower than the Smart EV.
Still, this is the way we are going – at least for now – so the Smart EV adds choice for those who want an electric city car.

Toyota Prius hybrid review

The green car revolution. It is the unlikely transport of choice for the thinking film star's passage to the Oscars. And it has probably made its creator a loss for years. But the Toyota Prius has come to symbolise all cleaner, greener cars, as the biggest-selling low-emission car on the planet.
Its success is not without controversy, however. Critics of the petrol/electric hybrid Prius argue that its CO2 emissions and fuel consumption are no better than those of a good diesel, that its motorway fuel economy is very average and that it makes little sense to carry the heft of an additional battery and an electric motor that is frequently idle when the car is cruising.
Toyota categorises the Prius in the Ford Mondeo class of family cars. No conventionally propelled car in this class gets close to the Prius's 89g/km CO2 figure, nor its 72.4mpg Combined fuel consumption (which happens to be the same figure for Urban consumption).
That claimed figure was a source of contention with the previous model, many drivers getting nowhere near it in practice, though that hasn't prevented them from becoming among the most satisfied car owners on the planet according to some surveys.
The difference between the claims and reality is an area that Toyota's engineers have tackled with this new-generation model. Cleaner aerodynamics and low rolling-resistance tyres have produced one third of the 10 per cent economy improvement, while an enlarged petrol engine and improved transmission efficiency produce most of the rest of the gains, which are all the more impressive given that this Prius is quicker to 62mph and 70kg heavier.
Note that if you buy the Prius with the larger, 17in wheels the fuel consumption and emissions deteriorate slightly (70.6mpg and 92g/km), although the top speed and 0-62mph time are identical.
So, does it work? During a brief economy run we achieved 80.5mpg, though we travelled quite slowly. Driven briskly, that fell to 48.7mpg, but a typical drive should see consumption well into the 50s, with 60mpg a real possibility.
And there are more tools, this time, to help you achieve it. The previous Prius could be driven in electric mode only, but was barely capable of travelling more than a few hundred yards, whereas this one will go more than a mile.

New redesigned Dashboard of Hyundai Hybrid car

Hyundai Motor Co. yesterday released images of the newly designed dashboard for the liquefied petroleum gas-electric hybrid version of the Avante compact sedan. The car, which will be launched next month, is the country's first hybrid electric that comes with a 1.6-litre LPG engine that manages 17.8 kilometres per litre of fuel.

The dashboard has an image of a plant that lights up if the car is maintained at the highest fuel efficiency.

The dashboard also has an Eco Guide display that tells the driver how economically the car is being driven

German test with certified biodiesel shows great results

A recent test in Germany attempted to test claims by Neste that its biodiesel is sustainable. The tests involved 14 Daimler vehicles, DHL, the German Post, OMV and the Stuttgart bus company. The test involved about one million kilometers driven with NExBTL biodiesel that were produced from certified palm oil. The results stated that this fuel helped reduce NOx by 15 percent, compared to regular diesel, as well as CO2 emissions by 60 percent. The test measured each step in the production chain to assess its environmental efficiency and found that certified biofuels are the way to go, as there is no point in using biofuels that were produced with too many pesticides or old and polluting machinery

Nissan considering building EVs and batteries in the U.S.

Earlier this year, Nissan applied for low interest loans under the Department of Energy Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing incentive Program. In order to qualify for those loans, Nissan would have to use it to build something in the U.S. It now appears that if Nissan gets the loan it will put in a line to build electric vehicles at its Smyrna, Tennessee assembly plant. The line, which is expected to have a capacity of 50-100,000 units annually, could be up and running by 2012.

Automotive Energy Supply Company, the Nissan-NEC battery joint venture, also plans to set up shop in Smyrna. Initial production of both batteries and electric cars will start in Japan in 2010. Reuters is reporting that Nissan is expecting to get approval for a loan of $1 billion for the assembly and battery projects.

VW Scirocco special edition “Remis” by HS Motorsport

This year's Wörthersee tour featured plenty of cars as usual. One of the eye-catchers present was the Volkswagen Scirocco coupe. Tuners HS Motorsport decided to take the tour out of its venue and into their workshop by making this car they call Remis. The Munich-based company started by reworking the standard 2.0-litre TSI engine to produce more power.

Coming from the factory the 2.0-litre registers 200hp (147kW) on the dyno. HS changed the air intake system and the exhaust system. The latter consists of a 70mm flame pipe, a new EU-approved catalytic converter, rear and front mufflers. Together these and one or two other additions now give the engine 290hp (213kW). HS doesn't stop there. Promises of a 320hp (235kW) pack have been made for the buyer with more performance requirements. Braking power comes from Brembo via special narrow one-piece discs and callipers.

The body kit is made of a carbon fiber front bumper, side skirts and rear bumper. The car runs on 245/30 ZR20 matt black rims with 9x20 with Vredestein tyres.

Inside HS installed heated Recaro Sportster CS seats with black Remis-special leather upholstery and white Remis embroidery.

Toyota decided no work on diesel Hybrid

There's no doubt that the Toyota Prius is the most well-known green car in the world, a fact that's as often attributed to the car's distinctive styling as it is to the car's impressive fuel efficiency.
Toyota has already set a high benchmark with the new 1.8-litre petrol hybrid Prius, and it sees plug-in technology as the next ecological step.
The Japanese giant is also not such a major player with diesels, and while it did a deal with Isuzu in 2007 to develop a new aluminium-block 1.6-litre diesel, a unit that could be used to power a diesel hybrid Prius, production of that engine is not scheduled to begin until 2012 at the earliest

We already make a diesel hybrid truck in Japan, but in order to mass-market diesel hybrids we need to make the exhaust emissions much cleaner, and that requires development. You have to combine this clean emissions technology with the hybrid system cost, so that means that, currently, it's a very high-cost powertrain for us. So for Toyota, it will take many more years.
A plug-in hybrid version of the new Prius, with a lithium-ion battery pack, is due in Japan before the end of the year. The UK will also get to see the car, probably in 2010; Toyota may confirm that plan within the next month.
The numbers are small, though; Toyota’s aim is to do a run of 200 plug-in cars for Japan, then a further 300 for the US and Europe.

Mazda3 isn't really a new car, more of a facelift

I'm sure they have cut down the noise, but there was a lot to cut down.It wouldn't take a genius to cut the noise of a helicopter landing outside your bedroom window by putting a pillow on your head, but it would still be pretty noisy. And so it is with the Mazda3.
The 1.6-litre engine generates an invasive and unpleasant racket partly, but not entirely, masked by the substantial road and wind noise.
Expect to see these driven by people who, from afar, look to have terrible constipation. But they will be pulling the face we all pull when subjected to a dismal and deafening din but can't take our hands off the wheel to stick our fingers in our ears.
It's not a peaceful and welcoming environment in which to meditate and think calm thoughts. So what does this new Mazda3 have to offer?
In fact, it isn't really a new car, more of a facelift. And at first glance, it looks pretty much the same as the old Mazda3: ie, not very exciting.
And once on the move, the road and wind noise soon become invasive and boring. That noisy 1.6-litre petrol engine is unchanged from the outgoing model.
It's gutless at the bottom of the rev range, but shows signs of springing to life as you push it harder. And just as you think it's about to put its back into it, it runs out of puff and goes all weedy again.
Unfortunately, the ride is suitably harsh to match the aural offensive and makes for uncomfortable progress across anything but the smoothest tarmac.
And there's little solace and comfort from the surroundings either. The plastic used for the dash and door panels feels cheap and flimsy. It will last a long time but that's an irritation because the best thing a substance as nasty as this could do is rot away within a week of leaving the factory.
Then there are the gizmos - millions of them. What Mazda appears to have done, maybe to take our minds off the nasty plastic and noise, is to make it available with every luxury and technical bauble known to car-kind.
Mine had dual-zone air-conditioning, heated seats, electric mirrors and windows and buttons on the steering wheel to control the stereo, your iPod, the telephone and the cruise control.
I wouldn't be surprised if one turned on my electric blanket. And I'd swap at least a third of the gadgets for nicer surfaces and a third less noise.
For this facelift of the Mazda3, it seems Mazda decided on the gizmos and features they wanted then tweaked the fit and finish to bring it all in on a budget.
I would rather they had started with a standard of quality and added only the extras they could manage for that budget.
Mazda has some top stuff at the moment. The 2 is excellent and the MX-5 is, for me, just about the best two-seater roadster on the market. With this though, they've dropped the ball.
There are far better mid-sized hatchbacks out there and I struggle to see why anyone would reject them all on the way to deciding it has to be the Mazda3.
The Rivals
Kia Ceed 1.6LS
Extended seven-year warranty, well-made, honest transport.
Fiat Bravo 1.6 Mjet
Stylish Italian alternative. Closest rival to Mazda on price and power is a diesel. £15,750
Ford Focus 1.6 Style
Is it me or are Fords getting to be rather expensive these days? Top notch all the same.
The Facts
Mazda3 five-door hatchback
Price: £15,500
Engine: 1.6-litre four-cylinder, 105bhp
0-62mph: 11.0sec
Fuel consumption:

Ford raises the stakes and expands the Kuga range

TAKE a look at the new 4x4 that’s going to turn heads on and off-road! This striking machine is a coupé version of Ford’s popular Kuga, and it’s set to take style to the top of the agenda in the SUV sector.
From out of nowhere comes this reporting claiming that Ford is readying a Ford Kuga coupe. The magazine suggests -without a source- that Ford could be planning both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive versions of a three-door Kuga, to be introduced sometime in 2011.
The source is showing off interesting-looking renderings of the sport activity vehicle with a "sloping roofline" and a look inspired by the Ford Fiesta. Styling lines are meant to remind us of the Ford Iosis X concept seen during the 2006 Paris Motor Show. Looking at old renderings of the Iosis X makes it seem like the Auto Express artist lifted the entire front end from that vehicle. The artist added large alloy wheels, raising the vehicle off the ground in similar fashion to the Iosis X. By basing the renderings off the Iosis series of concepts, Auto Express has digitally built a car that is easily distinguished from the Kuga SUV (seen above).
As a budget priced vehicle, the Ford Kuga Coupe could be a good entry-level choice for those looking to purchase an SAV. If produced, the vehicle could get a 1.6-liter turbo petrol with up to 180 horsepower. This engine would be a newcomer appearing alongside the turbocharged, direct-injection EcoBoost petrol units. Two turbodiesel units, including a 128 hp 1.6-liter and a 197hp 2.0-liter, could also make it on the car. The 2.0-liter model may also be made as a 168hp version.
Speculation has a six-speed manual or Powershift twin-clutch automatic transmission offered for the car. Other features would include a new sat-nav unit, rearward facing camera, Bluetooth, panoramic glass roof (not seen in the renderings), and start-stop technology.

New BMW X1 SUV Photo looks Hot and Sexy??

Hot hot sexy sexy your screen does not need adjustment, nor is the picture out of focus. The image of the white BMW X1 which you are obviously so deeply focused on is blurred by design. It's part of yet another teasing game by BMW to build hype around the company's newest and smallest SUV. Websites like FaceBook have been used to drum up support with the target market which consists mainly of young people.
After plenty of spy pictures and official teaser images and videos the X1 will finally make a splash into the European market this autumn. Power will come from petrol and turbo diesel engines with horsepower figures of up to 204.
Wait for the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show for some face time. Full clear frontal shots will probably become available some time before then. And by that we mean shots of the car.

Fiat has launched the small car Grande Punto in India.

Fiat has launched the biggest small car Grande Punto in India. By doing this so it has thrown a challenge at Maruti and Hyundai, the two leading player in this sector.
Several customers who were recently jolted by the high pricing of Honda’s new car Jazz in India say they would prefer to go for Fiat’s Grande Punto that is no less world class a car and comes at more reasonable rate than Jazz.
Now with Fiat Grande Punto’s launch people are hoping that they can enjoy a world class mini car with all world class fixtures at a lesser price.
The third generation Fiat supermini to bear the name Punto, codenamed Project 199, the Grande Punto was unveiled at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show and went on sale later that year. Styled by Giugiaro, the car is based on the Fiat/GM SCCS platform. Whilst the model shares some of its name with the previous Punto, a large number of its components are new, including a new chassis and body shell.

The engines are the Fiat 1.2 8V Fire (65 PS), a new 1.4 8V Fire (77 PS) and the 1.4 16V StarJet (95 PS). Four MultiJet diesel engines are also available: two 1.3 16V units (75 PS (55 kW) and 90 PS (66 kW), the latter with a variable geometry turbocharger) and two 1.9 with 120 PS (88 kW) and 130 PS (96 kW), all of them with diesel particulate filter. The 1.9 diesel will be replaced with new 1.6 JTD starting in the end of 2008.

Fiat Grande Punto is available with four variants –


Emotion and Emotion Pack in both petrol and diesel engine trims.
So the pricing of this car reflects its too as its base variant Active which is powered by 1.2L petrol engine is available at Rs 3.99 lacs (as ex-showroom prices in New Delhi).
Other petrol variants Dynamic, Emotion and Emotion Pack which are packed with 1.4L FIRE petrol engine are priced in range of Rs 4.65lacs to Rs 5.61 lacs.
While all four diesel variants of Fiat Grande Punto are that is equipped with 1.3L, multijet diesel engine are priced in the range Rs 4.85 lacs to rs 6.11 lacs.

Brabus unveil features of sound alarm in its Smart Fortwo

The German tuner has unveiled its Smart Fortwo Electric Drive equipped with a few sporty features — the coolest of which is an exhaust-note generator.
The Smart has a top speed of about 60 mph and a range of 70 miles. It can trot to 30 mph in 6.5 seconds and takes eight hours for the lithium-ion battery to fully charge. Performance-wise, the car features a sport suspension and five-spoke alloy wheels that blend well with the overall design of the car.
Brabus' coolest innovation, perhaps ever, is the noise generator, which allows the bright-green car to bellow like a muscle car or, more subtly, whine like a peppy Smart — depending on which way you flick the under-dash switch. The sound is generated by an external loudspeaker positioned at the front of a car. It's initiated the moment you put the pedal to the metal.
The minty livery is continued inside, where a Kenwood head unit provides iPod connectivity and navigation.

Let’s see how soon Japan and the U.S. create different green car markets

For the last two months in Japan, hybrid vehicles from either Honda or Toyota have actually managed to outsell all other vehicles, regardless of what's powering them. Here in the States, though, Honda is reporting that it's unable to sell as many Insight hybrids as it had hoped. What's up with that?

According to Earth2Tech, the issue is with incentives. It seems that Japan has both wide-ranging subsidies to spur the sale of fuel efficient vehicles along with harsh penalties in the form of expensive fuel for choosing gas guzzlers. Here in the U.S., there may be similar programs in place, but they are not nearly as beneficial to highly fuel efficient vehicles.

For instance, hybrids like the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius are completely tax free in Japan. In contrast, U.S. tax rebates for hybrids have been all but completely phased out due to the seemingly arbitrary 60,000 limit for incentives per hybrid vehicle manufacturer.

When it comes time to sign on the dotted line, it would seem that relatively inexpensive fuel in the U.S. and a general lack of federal incentives mean that hybrid vehicles just don't pay back their increased sticker price quickly enough for most consumers in the States to justify their purchase.

New Pyramid-shaped Dream Car 123 electric what you think????

Just giving a look on this it’s looking so funny car and its shape like a Pyramid. The Dream Car 123 electric car is not your average EV. Previously named the Zanis 1 after designer and builder Greg Zanis, the car is a pyramid-shaped beast that weighs something like 8,000 pounds and carries 80 batteries and four motors. Of course, there are also neon lights. Yeah, this isn't the most efficient vehicle ever.

Zanis has big dreams, from 65-feet-tall garages that collect solar and wind energy to city-to-city tunnels where vehicles like the Dream Car 123 can go 250 mph. For now, things are a bit more modest: the prototype can only go between 15 and 20 mph (but up to 40 downhill!). The good news, if you think this is a vehilce you'd like to drive: it's for sale on eBay right now. Current bid is $10,000 and the auction ends June 23.

As the seller says in the listing, "We are selling this car to rise money for the dream car project. We need to start making the real thing." For more information about the car, check out the Dream Car 123 website and watch the two videos describing the vehicle after the jump

Kia’s got both heart and Soul

Their new Soul 4x4/MPV has incredibly sold 1,000 in just 100 days since it went on sale in the UK — with 4,000 snapped up worldwide.

It proves how cool they have become under the guidance of former Audi TT designer Peter Schreyer and his team in California.

With the No3 concept mini-MPV — which we exclusively tested in Motors last week — on the way, Kia are clearly a firm to watch.

But the Koreans are also showing that their heart is firmly on becoming more eco-friendly.

Kia are ready to launch a three-step plan to reducing CO2 emissions to ZERO by 2020. First is the Cee’d ISG (Idle, Stop and Go) which is basically the Stop/Start system already on some other small cars, which cuts the engine automatically when the car is stationary.

Kia have also formed a partnership with tyre firm Michelin, whose new silica energy-saving tyres can cut fuel consumption by another 20 PER CENT. Using these tyres, the Cee’d 1.4-litre petrol ISG will reduce emissions from 145g/km to 130g/km.

Then the Cee’d 1.6-litre petrol hybrid, which uses ISG and an electrical management system which gives the car extra power during acceleration, will cut emissions to 114g/km. That car is not due until next year.

Finally Kia are testing a fuel cell vehicle which will produce ZERO emissions. It is powered by electric and hydrogen.

They’ll help the Cee’d and Kia to grow more.
First drive: KIA CEE'D ISG

KIA are planting green seeds for their entire range — with an eco-friendly Cee’d!

Once upon a time driving an eco-friendly car was akin to throwing your credibility down the toilet.

But the Kia Cee’d ISG changes all that. It oozes class and makes green motoring a lot more attractive.

BMW M Concept Envisions Audi R8 Rival

A '3D automotive artist' has rendered his own imagining of what a BMW M competitor to the Audi R8 would look like. Of course, this is an entirely speculative rendering that has nothing to do with BMW itself.

The artist is Idries Noah, formerly employed by GM Holden's design team in Australia. Noah says he grew tired of waiting for BMW to develop a competing model to the R8 and so came up with one his own.

His main influence, other than the R8, he says came from water. According to Noah, design details were "inspired by what's called in surfing terms 'a Barrel or Tube'. It's where the wave is hollow when it breaks." This concept of rushing water is evident in the curves that round over the wheels and the styling cues on the doors which flow into the side air intakes. Those intakes sitting boldly on the protruding rear wheelbase.

Noah writes that the design for such a model has to be "Aggressive, Sleek, Agile and totally different from anything on the road today." Consistency with BMW's design paradigm is maintained by the "the trademark grille and hockey stick pillar."

Under the hood Noah envisions an amped-up version of the 5.0 liter V10 currently found in the M6.

Sainsbury's supermarket in Gloucester, UK generates electricity from parking lot

Shoppers' cars will be used to power supermarket tills in a revolutionary new scheme.

The weight of vehicles driving over road plates into a new eco store will power a generator that creates enough electricity to keep checkouts ringing.

The system uses the same type of technology Formula 1 cars use to convert kinetic energy created during braking into speed.

At the Sainsbury's store in Gloucester, kinetic plates, which were embedded in the road yesterday, are pushed down every time a vehicle passes over them.

A pumping action is then initiated through a series of hydraulic pipes that drive a generator.

The plates are able to produce 30kw of green energy an hour - more than enough to power the store's checkouts.

The scheme at the Gloucester Quays store demonstrates the potential of kinetic energy to generate enormous amounts of electricity.

A similar system on the roadway into theme parks could provide enough power to keep rollercoasters running.

And road plates could be used on motorway slip roads to light the national road system.

Sainsbury's environment manager Alison Austin said: 'Not only are we the first to use such technology with our shoppers, but customers can now help to make their local shop greener. We want to make the weekly shop

sustainable. Using technology like this helps us reduce our use of carbon.'

Sainsbury's first used the kinetic road plates at a depot in Northampton. Following that success, it is rolling out the technology to its supermarkets.

The plates are one of many energy- saving measures at the store. Over two years, it will harvest enough rainwater - for flushing toilets - to fill an Olympic-sized pool, while solar panels heat water during the summer.

Floor-to-ceiling windows and 140 sun pipes in the roof reduce the need for artificial light, while automatic dimmer lights ensure less electricity is used on brighter days.

Cold air is also retrieved from the fridges to cool the checkout area.

David Sheehan, Sainsbury's director of store development, said: 'We use cutting-edge technology to improve our services and the store environment. At the same time we are ultimately reducing our carbon footprint.'

Ford decided to offer factory-converted LPG Fiesta in Europe

The new Ford Fiesta is now being offered with a factory-installed LPG option in Europe. This is the fourth Ford model that uses this technology and allows the car to run both with unleaded gasoline and LPG, similar to the new Golf Plus Bi-Fuel. The base model Fiesta uses a 1.4-liter gasoline engine. In the conversion, the spare tire is replaced with an additional 42-liter tank for the LPG. This model has an engine output of 92hp. Since the gasoline tank is left untouched, the Fiesta LPG has a total range of 1,200 km when burning the both fuels. Prices start at €15,490, which already includes the €1,990 conversion cost. The conversions are performed at the Ford's brand new facilities.

Hyundai starts accepting orders for Avante LPI Hybrid in Korea

Hyundai's Avante LPI Hybrid has been a long time coming. First discussed back in 2007, the company is finally ready to take pre-orders for the LPG-electric hybrid in Korea. According to the Korea Herald, interested buyers can raise their hand for an Avante LPI Hybrid as of today, but the exact price that they'll be paying won't be announced until the sometime before the vehicles July 8 launch date. Like it's Kia sibling, the Forte Hybrid, the Avante LPI Hybrid can burn liquefied petroleum gas (propane). The Avante uses a 1.6 liter engine alongside the lithium polymer batteries and features regenerative braking, stop/start and the ability to travel solely on electric power. Hyundai says that the hybrid gets fuel economy of 42 mpg (U.S.), and that this is equivalent 52 mpg (U.S.) in a gasoline-powered vehicle. Solid

Enter the Rumormill: upcoming Buick CUV may get 2-Mode hybrid powertrain

Since 2006, GM has been developing a front-wheel drive 2-mode plugin hybrid (PHEV) vehicle. The 2-mode plugin Saturn VUE was to be that car but bankruptcy and divestment of the Saturn brand has ended that plan.

GM’s contract negotiations with Penske could in theory enable that car to still be built and sourced, however that is highly unlikely.

Yet GM has said it still plans to put the plug-in 2-mode powertrain into a production vehicle but hasn’t said which one. Development work is ongoing.

Writers have speculated the new Chevrolet Equinox which gets 32 mpg highway using a direct injection 4 cylinder engine would be the likely host for the powertrain. Other speculation includes the new GMC Terrain or Cadillac SRX.

These ideas may be wrong.

GM-Volt.com has learned the new vehicle will be a Buick.

GM has designed a new small crossover (CUV) Buick which has yet to be named or unveiled. Footage of a clay model of the vehicle was leaked when CBS news filmed an interview with GM VP of Design Ed Welburn, and is shown above.

This new car shares the same platform the Saturn VUE uses and therefore is properly configured for the 2-mode hybrid and plug-in 2 mode hybrid drivetrain. The body design will be unique.

It is expected the car will make its appearance in 2011.

[UPDATE: GM has not officially confirmed this information, so should be taken as rumor at this point.]

Popularity: 1%

GM Announce Tentative Agreement to Sell Saab to Koenigsegg

After the February announcement that General Motors was planning on dumping Saab, the American parent appears to have come to terms with a suitor. supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg has agreed to take on the Swedish brand.

Both parties have signed a memorandum of understanding, with anticipation of the deal closing by the end of September. Terms of the deal include $600 million in financing provided by the European Investment Bank, and secured by the Swedish government.

Saab operations will continue in full, thanks to funding from both Koenigsegg and GM. Because of this, Saab intends to continue with the launch of "several new products that are in the final stages of development." In addition to GM continuing to provide platforms for the time being, Saab plans on building the next generation Saab 9-5 in Trollhättan, Sweden. The new 9-5 is due for a Frankfurt introduction later this year. The larger 9-5 should be about six inches longer, with a wide variety of powerful engines, all-wheel drive, and LED taillights.

What is uncertain is if these future plans include bringing the Saab Quant electric concept closer towards production. Koenigsegg is believed to be excited about the 500 kilometer-range vehicle's potential, especially considering its reported recharge time of 20 minutes.

The supercar manufacturer also plans to ramp up Saab production to 150,000 units per year by 2011, up from 20,000. That reason alone could have been enough to win the backing of the Swedish government, as jobs that could have been at risk now have a better chance of being safeguarded, provided the outcome of Saab's in-court reorganization.

With this sale moving forward, Koenigsegg will be keen to avoid mistakes made by other manufacturers in the past. The merger between Daimler and Chrysler saw the combination of a performance vehicle automaker with a volume seller. Significant problems arose when the German car company showed strong reluctance at sharing technology with their high-volume American counterpart.

Of the deal, Saab Managing Director Jan Åke Jonsson said, "Today's announcement is great news for Saab's current and future customers, dealers, suppliers and employees around the globe."

Now Tata Motors Has Planned To Build Electric, Hybrid Cars on Nano Platform

Tata Motors has plans to use the Nano platform to build electric and hybrid cars, Tata Group said highlighting the Innovation and Innovativeness of the company.

Designed with the transportation needs of a family in mind, the Nano is a full-fledged car with contemporary styling and spacious interiors conforming to standards of emissions, mileage, acceleration, safety and performance.

"The Nano is just not a car for Tata Motors, it is also a platform to create more high-end models that will sell for higher prices and yield better margins," a Tata Group's report on its innovations said.

The introduction of Nano was compared to that of the Ford Model T, the car that completely revolutionised the automobile industry.

Nano is also expected to create a new distinct category in the auto industry - the People's Car.

Tata Group said that Tata Motors should target exports of the car in the developing countries like Brazil, China, Indonesia and Russia, where the growth rate is more than 10 per cent.

A true Indian car, Nano has 97 per cent local content. Before Nano, Maruti 800 was the lowest cost car in the Indian market priced at around Rs two lakh.

VW Reveals Golf Plus BiFuel - LPG or Petrol

The Volkswagen Golf BiFuel mkVI hatchback was first debuted at Bologna in December and now available for order. Now VW adds the VW Golf Plus variant to it's LPG lineup. The car runs on both liquified petroleum gas and conventional petrol. Both Golf hatchback and Golf Plus are the first vehicles with a factory-installed LPG system put on the market by VW.

When running on LPG the Golf Plus cuts down on emissions by 10 percent. Using a 97 horsepower 1.6-liter four-banger the car burns either 7.5 liters of petrol per 100 km, or 9.8 litres of LPG over the same distance.

Although the car burns a higher quantity of LPG than petrol, using LPG can translate to a savings of over €6.10 for every 100km using the current price of fuel in Germany. Germany charges a lower amount of tax on LPG versus petrol.

Believe it or not, LPG is available in over 4,700 filling stations in Germany alone, with the fuel available across Europe as well. Thanks to the two different fuel tanks, the car has a potential range of over 1,100 km.

The new Volkswagen Golf Plus BiFuel has a starting price of €22,460.

GM to select factory for building small cars by the end of June

General Motors has narrowed down its selection process for its new small car assembly plant to three locations. The Lake Orion, MI plant that until recently built the Pontiac G6 is one possibility as is Janesville, WI which had been building full-size SUVS. The third possibility is Spring Hill, TN, which until last year was the home of Saturn and currently builds the Chevy Traverse. Traverse production is being consolidated in Lansing, MI with the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave.

GM is currently negotiating with federal and state officials to see who will give the best deal to get the new production. The automaker hopes to make a decision by the end of June. The other thing we still don't know is which car will be built. It could be the Spark or the slightly larger B-segment car that will replace the Aveo.

And the electric car is here

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Fantasy for two or three years, the electric car is just around the corner. While the major brands have used the recent Geneva and Barcelona rooms not so much to show their prototype "electric" to announce their launch schedules. Within a few months, as they say, some of the most important and begin to produce and sell electric cars in significant series.

Is the case with the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which start shipping in Europe next year, some models of Nissan, also scheduled for 2010, and the Opel Ampera, which will be ready to sell at the end of 2011. O Renault, which already has developed a version of the Kangoo Electric, a commercial vehicle, says his communications director, Jesús Presa, "we will begin to produce and sell a large scale in 2011." When you follow a Kangoo electric version of the Mégane.

There are even some, like the Spanish GoingGreen, which will anticipate the large sector. "Is everything ready to launch the Think, an electric car produced in Norway," says its director, Gonzalo Alonso, "from June 15. For now, we will have about 600 vehicles to fleets, but from 2010 onwards and will be sold to individuals. "

The purpose of the Think company is accelerating its production from 2012 onwards. Against this background, the sudden arrival of the electric vehicle can not remain indifferent in Spain, the third largest producer of cars in Europe. Distracted on these issues
-promoting the marketing of vehicles, installation of refueling infrastructure or support to industry, could adversely affect our business. Some countries are already ahead of Spain in the marketing and support networks of recharge.

Our country has not had a prominent role in the technologies related to electric cars. Almost all research on electric vehicles, including hybrids of the two engines have great brands in collaboration with specialists in engine power. "In our case," explains Victor Piccione, head of communication of Ford Spain, we have developed the electric BEV Connect, an adaptation of conventional Connect in England in partnership with Smith Electric Vehicles. "

Spain has not, apparently, no firm role in the sector. Same has happened to the batteries, the critical point in these vehicles, a technology (which seeks the maximum energy per kilogram) and is dominated by Asia and the U.S.. Although there are some battery company and has made research on the topic, none has achieved enough to know how to be considered an ally by the major brands of cars.

This does not mean that Spain will not play a decisive role in this new phase. Like in Spain have joined their gasoline vehicles, it is expected that the big brands remain in Spain to produce their models in key supply. This is because, according to Ford and Renault, from the viewpoint of the assembly there is big difference between when the vehicle is a gasoline or electric. "We will have to do," says Piccione, "some adjustments on the assembly line is not significant." Some brands are hesitating to draw between the electric current from the assembly line or build a new to them.

Renault itself has announced its intention to produce an electric car at its plant in Valladolid from 2012, an option that, as clarified in the company, "is not determined. Valladolid is a strong candidate even though the decision was not taken before the end of the year. "

Most important for Spain, especially in a scenario of 10 years is that the light-component industry is able to adapt to new technologies linked to the vehicle. A complex issue. The electric car is very different from the conventional. Instead of the combustion engine is an electric motor, simpler, easier and cheaper to maintain and incorporate more electronics.

"The mechanics of power has nothing to do with the conventional," says Piccione, Ford. "They disappear all the components associated with the gasoline engine, carburetor, fuel injection systems, exhaust, current engine cooling systems. There is also no gearbox, which is replaced by a direct connection, a switch of two gears (forward and backward). And also change the braking systems, comprising elements to regenerate the battery in the braked. "

How many components will disappear, others will change and be totally new, expanding the electric car will pose serious challenges to the auxiliary industry. "You will benefit," says Piccione, "if it is able to adapt, so I think it will because it has always been very competitive."

To address these challenges, the management of the component industry, Sernauto has already taken several initiatives. "We started to talk to brands," says Maria Luisa Soria, head of R & D of Sernauto, and identify threats and opportunities that will bring the electric car. "

The association is developing studies on the change in different scenarios and to support the industry in developing new products, with the cooperation of Institutes of Technology as INSI (Politécnica de Madrid), or Tecnalia Cidaut. One of the companies have started to prepare is Ficosa.

"We are working," explains Vicenç Aguilera, director of technology company, "to be a partner for those who go for electric cars. We are focusing on the packaging of the batteries in its packaging, in control of their cargo or security in connection with the clashes. " The Catalan company is also working on optimizing the energy consumption of electrical components such as levers or by a communications module fractal antennas.

The change affects even those producing materials. "This is a car that has to be lighter," said Soria, "and it obliges to seek lighter materials."

Batteries also created opportunities. While energy storage technologies are taking the Japanese, Korean or American, batteries, by weight, must be produced in situ. This is the view at Renault, which battery technology will be provided by Japan's NEC.

An electric Smart Fortwo Brabus reviewed by

This is a concept car the car is not yet marketed. Brabus has a customized version of the Smart Fortwo electric reserve a surprise.
Boring electric cars? The Tesla Roadster has already shown the opposite and the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive prepared by the preparer German Brabus just brings a new denial.

Apart from some small cosmetic changes much wiser than the current Fortwo Brabus, located on the Smart Electrical gadget surprised so much fun. It will perhaps nostalgic for the combustion engine, since it reproduces the sound of a good old gas block ... on a car that shines through his silence. And attention, the sound does not come from inside, but a speaker behind the grille of the car. This means that pedestrians enjoy this fantasy.

But apart from being shifted later, this incident again raises the question of the silence of electric cars, potentially dangerous for pedestrians in town. He inaugurated a tuning a new genus, that of the electric car.
Brabus seems determined to work in this field since the author is already preparing for a Tesla Roadster

Mi-mi-scooter car, an electric vehicle Smer 100% french

Lumeneo, Franco-French Porcheville (Yvelines), will launch on the market Smer, an electric car whose dimensions are closer to those of a two wheels than a traditional automobile. Lumeneo hopes to meet the mobility needs of large cities bottled: 2,45 m long, 25 cm less than a Smart ForTwo, 84 cm wide, 10 more than the three-wheeled scooter Piaggio MP3 . But compared to the two wheels, the Smer promises more security with its belt (there are two places) and aluminum pole, and comfort through the roof ... and its 4 wheels. Currently under approval by the French authorities, the Smer should touch the french market once it has been deemed compliant.

The Smer is the 35th vehicle to join our directory of electric cars. For detailed specifications, high-resolution photo gallery and video presentation, please see the sheet Lumeneo Smer.

Founded by Daniel and Thierry Moulène, Lumeneo is now mostly composed of technicians and engineers. To cope with rapid growth, Lumeneo just turn into SA and expects to have 40 employees by the end of 2009. For the commercialization of Smer Lumeneo is planning to open a dealership in Paris.

Heuliez two buyers to launch electric cars?

the date when the Tribunal de Commerce de Niort choose between only two candidates for the recovery of the equipment in trouble Heuliez, seeking emergency 45 million for its launch vehicle project power, his last hope of survival.

If this happens, Heuliez join the cohort of manufacturers - including french - preparing their electric car. If this happens, Heuliez join the cohort of manufacturers - including French - preparing their electric car. To know them, see our global directory of electric cars. To know them, see our comprehensive directory of electric cars.

The first candidate, the company specializes in business turnarounds Bernard Krief Consulting, has filed an offer to the global recovery, which provides equipment to keep half of the staff. The first candidate, the company specializes in business turnarounds Bernard Krief Consulting, has filed an offer to the global recovery, which provides equipment to keep half of the staff. Heuliez on file, it works with a fund of Qatar, the Chinese automaker Chery, according to the press. Heuliez on file, it works with a fund of Qatar, the Chinese automaker Chery, according to the press.

Placed in receivership for two months, Heuliez employed 1000 employees Cerizay (Deux-Sèvres). Placed in receivership for two months, employed 1000 employees Heuliez Cerizay (Deux-Sèvres).

Bernard Krief Consulting is a specialist in difficult cases: the company had already bought last year, the textile manufacturer DMC. Bernard Krief Consulting is a specialist in difficult cases: the company had already bought last year, the textile manufacturer DMC. He already bought any of a dozen firms in difficulty since 5 years. He already bought any of a dozen companies in trouble for 5 years.

The other candidate, France Industry Holdings (FIP), a group of former corporate executives, provided, however, retain 782 employees. The other candidate, France Industry Holdings (FIP), a group of former corporate executives, provided, however, retain 782 employees.

The group's president, Pierre Charvin told the New Republic as its Center project includes the launch of a second electric vehicle. The group's president, Pierre Charvin has told the New Republic of the Center that its project is the creation of a second electric vehicle. But it has not disclosed financial partners that could support its proposed takeover. But it has not disclosed financial partners that could support its proposed takeover. He requested the State (at Strategic Investment Fund) 30 million euros in aid, three times more than the government's commitments announced by up here. He requested the State (at Strategic Investment Fund) 30 million euros in aid, three times more than the government's commitments announced by up here.

The State has in effect pledged to help Heuliez to 10 million euros, via the ISP, for its electric vehicle project, but it could put more on the table if the buyer's needs, according to Luke chatel. The State has in effect pledged to help Heuliez to 10 million euros, via the ISP, for its electric vehicle project, but it could put more on the table if the buyer's needs, according to Luke chatel.

Several other aid are promised: Ségolène Royal, president of the Poitou-Charentes, was voted the regional council for support of 5 million euros in the project Heuliez electric vehicle, but it requires the government establishment of an alliance between Renault and Heuliez, claiming that Renault has received 3 billion euros in aid. Several other aid are promised: Ségolène Royal, president of the Poitou-Charentes, was voted the regional council for support of 5 million euros in the project Heuliez electric vehicle, but it requires the government establishment of an alliance between Renault and Heuliez, claiming that Renault has received 3 billion euros in aid.

For participation to be effective will require the issuance of an Order in Council authorizing the State, a procedure required when a local company to help over 1.5 million. For participation to be effective will require the issuance of an Order in Council authorizing the State, a procedure required when a local company to help over 1.5 million.

EDF has also promised a stake of up to 5 million. EDF has also promised a stake of up to 5 million.

Lexus expects to sell 25,000 HS 250h hybrids in first year

ust like the rest of the industry, Toyota's sales are down this year, and that includes its standard-bearing Prius hybrid hatchback. There are signs that the new 2010 model will revive Prius sales somewhat, and the Japanese automaker is hoping to have similar success with its new Lexus HS 250h luxury hybrid sedan. According to Mark Templin, group vice president of the Lexus Division for Toyota North America:

More than 60 percent of entry luxury sedan buyers said they would consider hybrids, and this is a segment nobody's in right now. People are feeling better about the economy, and our dealers are asking for more cars. That's a good sign.

Lexus reportedly expects to sell some 25,000 HS 250h hybrid sedans in the car's first 12 months on the market in the States, which would immediately make the new HS 250h the best selling luxury hybrid car in America. Perhaps there's reason to be optimistic – hybrid vehicles actually managed to grab market share in the month of May and the price of fuel is slowly rising again.

PICC plug-in Prius can now go 70 mph on battery power

Thanks to a beefed up bit of software, Priuses converted to plug-in drive by Plug In Conversions Corp. (PICC) have gotten quite a bit better. They can now go up to 70 mph using nothing but their batteries and get 170 mpge. The software manages to get around Toyota's built-in top speed limitation of 34 miles per hour in EV mode, as PICC president Kim Adelman told us when we spoke to him at EVS23. All of this goodness doesn't come cheap: the software upgrade will cost customers anywhere between $2,000 and $2,500 on top of the $12,500 conversion; at least there will be a free trial version available at some point. The software goest on sale later this month.

In PICC's announcment of the upgrade (which you can read after the jump), there was no explanation of how Argonne National Laboratory tested the car recently and calculated the 170 mpge number, but, previously, PICC's best and most expensive packs could get around 25 miles of EV-only range.

Riversimple Urban Car hydrogen car revealed

A ground-breaking hydrogen-powered city car, which has been designed in Britain and financed by the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, is to be unveiled next week.

Autocar can reveal that the Riversimple Urban Car will have a far smaller fuel cell than in current industry prototypes and thus needs less hydrogen to be stored on board and in fuelling stations.

The vehicle is no bigger than a Smart car, weighing just 350kg, and has been developed over three years by teams at Oxford and Cranfield universities.

It can reach 50mph and travel in excess of 200 miles, consuming the equivalent petrol energy of 300mpg in hydrogen.

Power comes from a 6kw fuel cell, which is tiny compared to the 100kw system powering the Honda Clarity.

It uses a composite body to keep the weight down and four electric motors on each wheel, which double as brakes and electricity generators.

There is a bank of ultracapacitors to store this electricity, which in turn provides most of the accelerating power, allowing for a small fuel cell.

Design for the Riversimple cars will be placed online in an 'open source' environment, meaning any small manufacturer can lease the design, better suiting local environments and allowing for the car to be built almost anywhere in the world.

The cars themselves will also be leased over 20 years, with fuelling included in the leasing cost, and the materials will be recycled at the end of each car’s lifespan.

Hugo Spowers, head of Riversimple, said: "Cars evolved under very different constraints to those of today, so we must move on. The sale of cars still rewards the maximisation of resource use – whereas we now accept that we must minimize resource use.”

Sebastian Piech, grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, along with other members of the Piech family, have backed the project so far.

“The Riversimple Urban Car represents a major step towards practical 21st century personal transport and towards the fulfilment of my great-grandfather’s ambitions for accessible personal transport but this time combining his other passions: light weight and high efficiency," said Piech.

Ten prototypes will initially be built and Riversimple hopes to team up with a city, possibly Cambridge or Peterborough, to roll out a pilot scheme.

The company says this will allow a hydrogen infrastructure to be developed alongside the introduction of the cars.

Mini Cars Can Equal Big Bills According to Crash Test

Mini cars may be heralded for their inexpensiveness and their environmental friendliness, but according to a new study the small vehicles perform poorly in low-speed crash tests.

Micro cars fit in small parking spaces and come with small price tags and fuel bills. But they can sustain big damage in a collision and not so mini repair bills are the result.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crashed micro cars into a barrier at just 3 to 6 miles per hour to test how their bumpers would protect them.

"The bumper doesn't play a huge role in more severe crashes," IIHS senior vice president Joe Nolan said. "You can be sure in low speed collisions these vehicles are going to have a lot of damage that's unnecessary."

But not one of the seven vehicles tested received a top rating of good, while five were rated as poor. Only one received a rating of acceptable.

"This is a very low speed event. It's sort of a fast walking speed and we've got cars with $3,700 of damage in a fast walking speed collision and that's huge," Nolan said.

Part of the problem is that little cars have lower bumpers than other vehicles, he said. The mini cars' bumpers, which are supposed to bump into the bumper of the other car and protect the rest of the vehicle, instead slid under the other bumper, causing major damage.

These are the first bumper test results released under a new IIHS ratings protocol that is based on averaged repair costs and weighted to reflect real-world damage patterns.

Crash Test Results

Of the vehicles tested, the Kia Rio was the poorest performer. According to IIHS, the car did worse than most other small and midsize cars and minivans the group has tested.

The Rio mini car racked up about $3,700 damage in the full-front test alone. That's about 30 percent of its purchase price.

The vehicle sustained more than $9,000 worth of damage overall in the series of four tests performed by the IIHS.

The Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent and Mini Cooper also earned poor ratings for bumper performance.

The Honda Fit needed $3,648 worth of repairs after just one test, which is a quarter of the car's purchase price.

It was the smallest car in the group, the Smart ForTwo, which fared the best overall in the crash tests. The IIHS gave the vehicle its second highest rating of acceptable because it is made of plastic body parts that resist dents. Its body parts are also inexpensive to replace because they are pre-painted and come in small sections.

The Smart ForTwo had $3,281 worth of total damage in the four tests.

The Chevrolet Aveo was the next best with $4,490 in total damage.

IIHS said it would like to see damage of no more than $500 after a slow-speed fender bender. That's the cost of most insurance deductibles.

The Companies' Responses
Kia Motors said the IIHS's tests focused on repair costs, whereas Kia focuses on passenger safety, offering three kinds of airbags, front and rear crumple zones and tire pressure monitoring systems plus other safety features all as standard equipment.

Honda said its own 5 mph tests resulted in no body damage and only minimal bumper damage.

The other automakers that responded to ABC News' request for comment all said their vehicles meet or exceed every federal safety standard.

Caractere styling kit for Audi A5 Cabrio

After unveiling their sexy body kit for the Audi A5/S5 coupe last year, Caractere has decided to offer a similar series of styling accessories for the new A5/S5 Cabrio.

The most noticeable change is an aggressive front bumper which features massive air intakes and integrated fog lights. Out back, the sporty styling theme continues as Caractere offers a bold rear diffuser with optional tailpipe exhaust tips. The company also markets their unique CW1 wheels which are available in 19" and 20" sizes.

Although pricing information wasn't released, the styling accessories are currently on sale.

Ferrari F430 catches fire after accident

This week is turning out to be a bad one for owners of supercars, as a second high priced exotic has burst into flames.

Unlike the McLaren F1 which caught on fire spontaneously in California, this Ferrari F430 went up in smoke after an accident outside of Sibiu, Romania. Although no one was seriously injured in this fierily Ferrari wreck, the car was a total loss.

The accident occurred when the Ferrari's driver lost control and hit two oncoming vehicles which resulted in the F430 winding up in a field where a fire started in the engine compartment. Fortunately none of the other people involved were hurt and the driver and passenger escaped from the Ferrari inferno unharmed as well. However, the driver was ticketed 40 euros for the crash.

Volkswagen SuperlightCar project reduces weight of Golf shell by 30-percent

We just learned about a project from Audi that resulted in an experimental lightweight S5 that was capable of lapping the famed Nürburgring racetrack in Germany eight seconds quicker than the normal S5, despite having a 100 horsepower disadvantage. It seems that a number of other automakers are also in on the project, including Renault, Volvo, Opel, Daimler and Volkswagen, Audi's parent company.

VW reportedly assembled three separate five-door Golf bodyshells, one solely using steel, one using a mixture of low-cost materials and one using nothing but exotic, high-tech materials. According to Autocar in the UK, these concepts reduced the overall weight of the Golf's shell by between 20- and 41-percent, with the best combination of price and weight savings boasting a 30-percent weight reduction.

Besides the desirable weight loss program, these shells also needed to be at least as safe as a standard steel bodyshell and be viable for mass production. The first production vehicles using this innovative process are expected in 2012.

Electric vehicle "glut" might be coming, so watch these five companies

Here's an interesting concept: too many electric cars. While even the most optimistic EV proponents don't see electric cars making a huge dent in the number of traditional ICE vehicles any time soon, a powertrain analyst for J.D. Power and Associates, thinks that there soon (within the next decade) might be a "glut" of plug-in cars. Go figure.

Tesla’s Roadster is the only highway capable electric vehicle commercially available. Yet, J.D. Power and Associates Mike Omotoso, a powertrain analyst tells Earth2Tech, “There is a strong possibility of an EV glut” in the next ten years.

How do we get from one electric car model to too many electric cars in ten years? There's two fundamental problems with the EV market: Gas is still cheap and the projected sticker price for electrics will scare people away. If an "affordable" electric car costs $45,000, then it will be hard to get buyers on board.

Those issues could resolved in the next few years. Oil is expected to rise in price, along with it the price of gas. Also, over time, EV sticker prices should fall.

Even if those problems resolve themselves, there will still be another issue--there's a bunch of startups and traditional automakers building electric cars and plug-in hybrids. Everyday it seems like there's a new electric car being announced by someone. Only so many of these companies will make it to market and compete. Here's the five we think have the best chance:

Nissan: It's been working on its battery technology for over 15 years. Nissan is almost ready to deliver. The company has firm plans in place to roll out electric cars in the next three years. It's rumored to have received a $1.1 billion loan for building a factory in Tennessee. It wants to be aggressive on price and volume. It's serious about the electric game.

Toyota's plug-in Prius: The Prius is already a success. Now Toyota is testing plug-in hybrid versions of the car around the world, in preparation for a mass commercial launch. Take the basic concept of the Prius and ratchet it up, and we think the company has a hit on its hands.

GM's Volt: The Volt is in this group because it's explicitly backed by the U.S. government. The government wants GM to succeed. It also wants the Volt to succeed. The Volt will be pricey, and sales are not guaranteed, but we think it's got a good chance, if for no other reason beyond pride. GM will stick by the car until it's a winner. We also think people will want the car. It's good looking and drives pretty nicely.

Tesla's Model S: The company may not make it as Tesla, but now that Daimler has a 10% stake in the company, we think in a worst-case scenario, it becomes the electric arm of Daimler. Tesla already has the Roadster, and its Model S is 90% ready, though it will be pricey, might attract a decent population of buyers.

Coda Sedan: This company has the longest odds on this little list. It's advantage: It will be first on the market with an electric sedan by the end of next year. It's sticker price is $45,000, but factor in a tax credit, and the savings on gas, and the price for a driver is on par with a regular sedan. If this startup can convince 'early-adopter' types to purchase the car in the years that follow, the automaker could establish itself as a real player while the bigger companies try to get their feet underneath them.

Eighth-generation Toyota Land Cruiser launched

Toyota Kirloskar Motors launched its eighth generation Land Cruiser SUV in India on Tuesday. "In spite of the recent slowdown, the premium SUV segment has witnessed a growth, driven largely by the introduction of new models," TKM deputy managing director (marketing) Sandeep Singh said. The new SUV is 4-wheel drive model and an upgraded model of the existing version in the Indian market.
The 8th generation Toyota Land Cruiser in India. The SUV is powered by a 4.5 L V8 diesel engine generating 286 PS, and a maximum torque of 650 Nm, with 6 speed automatic transmission. It will be available in two options - one will have 9 speakers and the other will have an advanced 6 DVD, 14 JBl premium speaker system with EMV screen and a Moon Roof. These options will be available at Rs. 81.64 lakh and Rs. 83.1 lakh (ex-showroom, Thane) respectively. The new gen SUV offers the ultimate four-wheel-drive and has unparalleled cutting-edge technology and comfort features. With over 50 years of rich heritage it has sold over 5 million units globally.
Currently Toyota sells stripped down model of Land Cruiser at Rs. 40 lakh in India. The new SUV is imported as a completely built unit in India and is priced heavily due to the duty it attracts as a CBU.