Nissan and Mitsubishi work together on small electric cars

Following reports that Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will open a new, efficient global small car plant in Thailand, other reports that MMC and Nissan are talking about a 50-50 joint company in 2011 are a lot more interesting. Automotive News (sub. req.) is reporting that the two Japanese automakers could bring a small car to market together in 2012 and – and here's where it gets good – they might also work together on electric vehicles. Mitsubishi has been making the Mitsubishi iMiEV for years and Nissan just sold the first Leaf. The two automakers also participate in a joint car-sharing program in Kyoto, Japan.
A statement from Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said no details have been decided but an analyst at a consulting company in Tokyo told AN that, "The alliance of the two automakers seems to be a good one as we can expect more cooperation in electric vehicles going forward." Ghosn's statement said the partnership "is important for Nissan as it supports our expansion in emerging markets, meets immediate capacity needs overseas and enables us to grow our mini car business in Japan."
Mitsubishi and Nissan already work together on some vehicles, like the Mitsubishi Lancer Cargo (made by Nissan) and the Minicab, Town Box, eKWagon and Pajero Mini models (built by Mitsubishi for Nissan).

New Honda Civic Hit Indian Roads in 2011

The New Generation Civic takes its official avatar when Honda revealed the alluring sketch of this beautiful model. The official prototype of this spectacular new Honda Civic will go public in January 2011 and the occasion decided for the big unveil is 2011 Detroit show. And at a good note the ultra modern designed ninth generation Honda Civic will be ready for sale in the 2011 springs.
A deep analysis of this sketch will give some idea about the basic looks of New Generation Honda Civic but the depth of styling still remains hidden under the artistic work. The car was earlier speculated to be carrying a conservative looks but the official avatar portrays a muscular and far better designing of New Generation Honda Civic. If we keep all the existing designs of Honda Civic and keep this sketch on other end, the sketch will surely keep your eyes busy admiring the cuts and muscular yet compact designing.
The designing of New Generation Honda Civic can be traced from Honda CRZ, Honda Accord and Honda Jazz. The beautiful car might give its first appearance in Japan by 2011 and till then we can really hope that soon the most awaited New Generation Honda Civic makes its way to Indian markets. Honda Civic is already a big success in Indian markets and now the new generation model is further heating up the market and car enthusiast is already standing in line to welcome this uniquely designed Honda Civic.

Audi A1 Launched in India by 2011 source AMICARS

Audi, the German auto makers is expected to come with its strong and sturdy car, Audi A1, in the Indian auto market. India, the second fastest growing auto market, holds 70 per cent of the market share in the small car segment and as per the experts, buyers welcome the small luxury cars too in this segment such as BMW Mini, Volkswagen Beetle, Fiat 500 and and soon to be launched Audi A1. These cars other than fuel efficiency are suffixed with advanced features which will sure turn the heads of many when rolled out on roads.
The all new Audi A1 is speculated to be coming with a price tag of Rs 18 lakh to Rs 19 lakh which excludes the import duties. Along with it, a special sports model will also be launched. The new car model will come with 1.4 litre engine suffixed with the Audi's S-Tronic seven speed automatic transmission. The 90 kW, 1.4 litre turbocharged fuel stratified injection (TFSI) engine which is capable of generating maximum torque of 200 Nm at 1500 rpm enables the Audi A1 to zoom from 0 to 100 kmph in few blinks of 8.9 seconds accelerating it to a maximum speed of 203 kmph. The stout, masculine car will be affixed with German technology and will come in both diesel and petrol car models. As per the speculations, the compact Audi A1wil be entering the Indian auto market in the last quarter of 2011.

Other than, the athletic look and technologically advanced car is loaded with various features which is sure to spoil the passenger in luxury. These features include Bluetooth, I-Pod Connectivity, multi functioning steering wheel like sort style, climate control and more.

Audi, in India is rapidly capturing the Indian auto market. In the last 11 months of 2010, has already sold 2,803 cars in the domestic auto sector compared to last year's sale of 1,645 cars same time. The German auto brand in India accounted for an impressive growth of 70.40 per cent. The Audi cars are know for perfection in terms of its German technology, style and advanced features. There are seven car models Audi rules the Indian auto market with, such as Audi A4, Audi A6, Audi A8, Audi Q5, Audi Q7, Audi A8 and Audi TT.

New TOYOTA ETIOS hatchback launch in March 2011

Toyota Etios will be launched soon in the domestic market. The Japanese auto giants will launch Toyota Etios sedan first and is expected that Toyota Etios Hatch will be out by March 2011. The hatch model of Toyota Etios will be affixed with 1.2 litre petrol engine producing almost 80 bhp power and rolling close to 20 kmpl in the fuel efficiency test of ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India).
Toyota is also planning for the 1.4 litre diesel engine which is fixed in the Toyota Corolla Altis diesel engine. Though, the VGT is missing in this option. Toyota Motors is planning to go for fixed geometry turbo which will be cost effective. The car will fetch fuel economy which can be achieved with the use of diesel engine. Toyota Motors will come with the sedan which will be affixed with 1.5 litre engine which will be followed in the hatch engine later.

Toyota Motors has won the hearts of many with its technological expertize, and great looking machines. In India, Toyota runs with seven models Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla Altis, Toyota Fortuner, Toyota Innova, Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, Toyota Land Crusier and Toyota Prius.
By launching the new car in sedan and hatchback models, the Japaneses auto giant will be stepping in the second phase of the investment in the Indian auto market. The company will further start with its expansion plan with the launch of the small car. Toyota Motors to spread itself in the domestic market also wishes to set another manufacturing plant in the sub continent which will produce engines for Toyota Etios, the hatch back. With the set up of the new plant the automotive will be more competitive in the domestic auto sector. As per the reports, Toyota has selected a land of 20 acres for its production plant which is close to the Bidadi plant of the Toyota.
Well as the small car segment is brewing, Honda Motors, is also expected to launch its small car. The concept of the small car was presented in the Delhi Expo in January 2010 by Honda. Honda has crafted the new small car as per the standards of the Indian markets. The small car segment is a growing sector in the domestic auto market which is crowded with numerous cars but still holds potential.

International Markets: Hertz will offer electric Smart carsharing vehicles in three U.S. cities

The company specialized in car rental Hertz Corporation and Smart USA, a subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group company, exclusive distributor of the Smart Fortwo in the United States, have signed an agreement that the first offer electric vehicles in service Smart Fortwo Electric Drive in three cities: New York, Washington and San Francisco.

Delivery of the first electric car is scheduled for Dec. 15 in New York and will join the Connect carsharing system by Hertz.

For Hertz, the partnership is part of their electrical mobility program to offer its customers a variety of 100% electric vehicles and hybrids, but has not yet informed about the potential extension of this agreement in other U.S. cities.

To date, the group has already signed agreements with manufacturers Coda and Nissan, as well as system supplier electric vehicle charging NRG Energy to develop a network of recharge in the state of Texas

Tata Launched New Electric car Indica Vista in Thailand Motor Show

Tata Motors, the famous automobile manufacturer from India, took advantage of the Salon International de l'Automobile, which is currently taking place on lands Thai (Thai Motor Expo 2010) to unveil its new electric vehicle. Named the Indica Vista Electric (or EV), the fully electric-powered vehicle has aroused keen interest among those attending the event. This car is an electric version of the classical model, was manufactured by TMETC (Tata Motors European Technical Centre), a UK subsidiary of Indian giant

Intended to enter the market next year, the Indica Vista Electric has a carrying capacity of four. Drawing its power from a battery of Lithium-Ion Electric Indica Vista sets the bar very high as regards the market for electric cars, especially with its attractive performance characteristics. Going from 0 to 100 kph in 10 seconds, this vehicle has autonomy of 200 km. Its most important feature is that it is based on the "bestseller" Tata. Indeed, it was selling for less than 9,000 dollars on the Indian market.

Earlier this year, the manufacturer had presented a prototype of the Indica Vista at the Electric International Automobile Expo in New Delhi. She caused a sensation, attracting the attention of almost all visitors. Despite the official unveiling of the Indica Vista Electric, no further information has been disclosed, either for price or for the official date of its release.

BMW performance program for the 1M Coupe GTS/CSL for 2012

Car designer Jon Sibal may have a scoop on the upcoming E82 1M Coupe - that we may see multiple iterations of that model.

In talking to his BMW sources, Sibal discovered that BMW are looking at special edition options for the upcoming 1M Coupe that could see a limited series variant taking inspiration from such BMW classics as the E36 LTW, E46 CSL and the more recent E92 GTS.

Sibal says specifically that BMW is considering a "Performance Program" for the 1M Coupe.

"Anything is possible, we have ideas and the creativity to expand. In the end it all comes down to the reception of the car," said Sibal's BMW source in an e-mail interview with him.

The next 1M Coupe is coming in a few days but production will run only until the spring of 2012. That is a little more than a year on the assembly line. And although BMW initially planned on limiting the 1M Coupe's number to 2700 units, it now says it will make as many as the market demands.

Sibal himself doubts we'll see a special edition 1M Coupe of this current generation. As his source tells him, they will probably hold onto those ideas for the next-generation.

The 1M Coupe will be unveiled this month featuring a 250 kW (340 PS / 335 bhp) twin-turbo inline six-cylinder engine. But, as we've previously reported, a BMW product sheet listing all of the 1-Series engines showed a U.S. specified model with 332 kW (451 PS / 445 bhp).

Is Safety Compromised by size? Huge cost of mismatched bumpers

When bumpers on cars and SUVs don't line up (and many of them don't), low-speed collisions produce more damage and higher repair costs

ARLINGTON, VA - Bumpers are the first line of defense against costly damage in everyday low-speed crashes. Bumpers on cars are designed to match up with each other in collisions, but a long-standing gap in federal regulations exempts SUVs from the same rules. New Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests demonstrate the results: SUV bumpers that don't line up with those on cars can lead to huge repair bills in what should be minor collisions in stop-and-go traffic.

"SUVs and cars share the road," says Joe Nolan, the Institute's chief administrative officer. "The problem is they don't share the same bumper rules, and consumers end up paying the price."

A federal standard requires that all cars have bumpers that protect within a zone of 16 to 20 inches from the ground. This means car bumpers line up reasonably well and are more likely to engage during low-speed collisions to absorb energy and prevent damage. No bumper requirements apply to SUVs, pickups, or minivans, so when these vehicles have bumpers they often are flimsier and higher off the ground than bumpers on cars. Plus, SUVs and pickups may not have bumpers at all.

In fender-benders with SUVs, cars often end up with excessive damage to hoods, engine cooling systems, fenders, bumper covers, and safety equipment like lights. SUVs don't always come out unscathed either, often needing extensive work.

The Institute conducted 10 mph front-into-rear crash tests involving 7 pairs of 2010-11 models, each composed of a small car and small SUV from the same automaker.

"We picked vehicles from the same manufacturer because we think automakers should at the least pay attention to bumper compatibility across their own fleets," Nolan explains. "The results show that many don't."

In the tests, an SUV going 10 mph struck the back of its paired car, which was stopped. Then the configuration was reversed, with the car striking the back of its paired SUV. Results of these low-speed impacts varied widely, from a total of $850 damage to one vehicle to $6,015 damage to another. In some cases, the crash damage included major leaks from broken radiators and cooling fans. If these collisions had happened in the real world, the motorists wouldn't have been able to drive away. If they did, their vehicles could overheat, and the engines could be ruined.

Mismatched pairs: If bumpers don't match up, they'll bypass each other when vehicles collide, and the resulting crash energy will crumple the vehicle body. That's what happened when the Nissan Rogue struck the back of the Nissan Sentra in the SUV-into-car test. The Rogue's front bumper didn't line up at all with the Sentra's rear bumper, and the resulting $4,560 rear damage tally for the Sentra was the highest among all the cars in this test. The impact crumpled the car's bumper cover, trunk lid, and rear body. The Rogue ended up with a crushed and leaking radiator that kept the SUV from being driven after the test.

Bumper height mismatch contributed to pricey damage when the Ford Escape struck the rear of the Ford Focus. Their bumpers overlapped less than 2 inches, not enough to protect the Focus's rear body and trunk lid from $3,386 in repairs.

"The mismatch problem with the Ford pair was even worse when the Focus struck the back of the Escape. The front bumper on the car underrode the high-riding Escape's rear bumper, which at 25 inches off the ground is the tallest among all the small SUVs evaluated this time around. Damage to the Focus came to $5,203 and included replacing most of the sheet metal plus many parts in front of the engine.

When the Toyota Corolla hit the rear of the Toyota RAV4 in the car-into-SUV test, damage amounted to nearly $10,000 for the pair - the highest combined test damage among all of the vehicle pairs the Institute evaluated. The RAV4 accounted for about $6,000 of the bill.

"The RAV4's so-called bumper is really just a stamped piece of sheet metal supporting the bumper cover," Nolan explains. "So instead of engaging a strong bumper, the striking Corolla hit the spare tire mounted on the RAV4's tailgate. The spare isn't designed to absorb crash energy, so it damaged the Corolla's hood, grille, headlights, air conditioner, and radiator support and crushed the RAV4's tailgate and rear body panels."

Compatible bumpers: Bumpers on Honda's CR-V and Civic were the most compatible in the test in which an SUV strikes the rear of a car, and at $2,995 the pair had the lowest combined estimated damage in this crash test. The Civic's $1,274 damage was the lowest among the cars. The CR-V is one of only 3 SUVs whose front bumpers overlapped half of the rear bumpers on the cars they hit.

"The CR-V's front bumper overlapped the Civic's rear bumper by more than 2 inches. That may not sound like much, but it's enough to allow the bumpers to do what they're supposed to do," Nolan says.

When the Kia Forte struck the back of the Hyundai Tucson, their bumpers matched up well enough to keep the Forte from underriding the SUV, limiting damage to a combined $3,601 for both vehicles. The Forte's $1,510 repair estimate was the lowest among cars in the car-into-SUV test.

The Tucson-Forte pair's bumpers also did a good job of lining up in the SUV-into-car test. The Tucson's $850 damage estimate was better than the other SUVs, and it was the only SUV that didn't have a damaged air-conditioning condenser.

Despite bumpers that aligned, results for the Forte weren't as good. The Forte had more than $3,000 rear damage because its bumper broke during impact. The car's rear body panel also was damaged.

"Of the 7 car-SUV pairs we tested, we can't point to a single one as a model of compatibility because combined damage estimates run into thousands of dollars for even the best performers," Nolan says. "In the real world that money comes straight out of consumers' wallets through deductibles and insurance premiums. Regulating SUV bumpers would ease the burden."

Regulate SUV bumpers: The Institute in July 2008 petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to regulate bumpers on SUVs and pickups the same as cars, and require them to match up in a way that shields both vehicles from costly damage. The agency in June 2009 agreed to seek comments on the petition but hasn't moved forward with a rulemaking or a low-speed compliance test for bumpers.

Regulators have long said that requiring light trucks to have bumpers would compromise off-road maneuverability and make it hard to use these kinds of vehicles at loading ramps. The Institute counters that very few SUVs and pickups are used off road. In addition, bumpers aren't the limiting factor in most vehicles' approach and departure angles. Instead air dams, bumper covers, exhaust pipes, and other trim mounted lower than the bumpers get in the way

Kicherer SLS 63 Supersport released with art photography

Instead of sending us the usual press shots, Kicherer has spiced things up by tapping renowned photographer Frank Luger to give his vision of the new SLS 63 Supersport.

While we're partially distracted by the model, the Supersport features a carbon fiber front spoiler, a stainless steel exhaust system, a new rear diffuser, and forged RS-1 wheels. To ensure the pricey components aren't ripped off when you enter a parking garage, the car has been outfitted with a lift-up system that raises the vehicle 30mm (1.2 inches) at a touch of a button.

Lastely, Kicherer has also optimized the 6.3-liter (6208cc) V8 engine to produce 610 PS (455 kW / 602 hp) and 670 Nm (494 lb-ft) of torque. While the company declined to explain the modifications, they contribute an additional 39 PS (29 kW / 38 hp) and 20 Nm (15 lb-ft) of torque.