green cars

green cars

  green cars are good for the environment, saving gas, reducing CO2 emissions and use recycling materials

The 3.0-liter BiTDI engine that Audi has developed has pretty much flipped what we think of diesel engines – that they are torque-loaded but underpowered – on its rear. MTM has taken the A6 3.0 BiTDI, which we don’t see in the U.S., and turned it into even more powerful of a ride, as well as helping look and handle a little better.

The A6 3.0 BiTDI’s body remains essentially unchanged with MTM’s package and we don’t mind one bit. The A6’s body is pretty sexy, for a station wagon, so we are happy to see that MTM didn’t go overboard with the body kit for it. The only styling change added to the A6 are a set of custom wheels. There are actually a variety of Bimoto wheels available from MTM for this package, which range from €1,729 to €5,230 ($2,140 to $6,471 at current rates).

Helping the handling and ride height is an aftermarket F-Cantronic ECU for the air suspension, which allows you to drop the car’s center of gravity up to 25 mm (0.98 inches). This increases both handling and gives the A6 a more stylish look. This ECU runs €1,740 ($2,153 at current rates).

Helping the A6 come to a halt is a brake upgrade that includes 380 x 34 mm (14.96- x 1.33-inch) rotors with 8-piston calipers squeezing them. This kit runs €4,900 ($6,063), but you can opt for another upgrade that includes 405 x 36 mm (15.94- x 1.41-inch) rotors for an additional €1,500 ($1,856), but to get this size, you must opt for at least 20-inch wheels.

The engine sees some significant increases too, as the base ECU modification, which costs €1,700 ($2,103) will net you 365 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. This is a 57-horsepower and 81 pound-feet bump from stock. You can pump this up to a full 381 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque for an extra €100 ($123).

In all, this package will run between €10,069 ($12,464) and €15,170 ($18,771), depending on the options you choose. That’s quite a hefty fee, but this will make your A6 a true screamer.

Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4

The TopSpeed time machine has taken us ahead before to see what Porsche has in store , now that VW controls it. It has also taken us to an alternate reality, where we got to see just how the i8 could completely fall on its face. Well, now with McLaren confirming what we all suspected (that the V-12 is about to becomes extinct), we are going to fire the old time cruiser back up and see what the supercar world might have in store for us in 2020.

McLaren has already come out and said that the V-12
"belongs in a museum" and plans to downsize its engine lineup, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. You see, in 2014, the FIA is dropping its engine sizes to petite 1.5-liter V-6 plants with turbochargers and energy recovery systems. Six years after that changeover, fuel will likely be so expensive that the FIA may drop to a 4-cylinder regulation, which opens the door for supercars to borrow said technology.

This would mean no more V-12, V-10, V-8, or V-6 engines and just super-powerful 4-cylinders will remain. Pumping 500 to 600 ponies from a 4-pot is not an impossible task, but it requires very precise research and development. The smaller engines will also result in lower weight, more manageable weight ratios, and better handling. Lower weight, in turn, results in better fuel economy and quicker acceleration.

There will be some tradeoffs, as expected. No longer will we have these 200+ mph supercars. You will also have a much less comfortable drive than expected, as these 4-bangers will be much more high-strung and touchy, much like a race car.

The big picture is what matters in all of this. No longer will there be a hunkin’ V-12 engine chugging down a gallon of fuel every 8 to 11 miles. In 2020, we should see smaller 4-pots getting 16 to 18 mpg and still keeping up with their larger ancestors up to 100 mph, which is really all that matters. Ask yourself, “When was the last time I drove 200 mph in my Aventador ?”

But what about electric? Click past the jump to read about electric-powered supercars in 2020.

When Honda was teasing us with the Honda CR-Z back in late-2009 and early-2010, the teaser commercials showed us a hybrid that provided the perfect balance of economy and sport. This made us all immediately think that we were about the get the performance-minded hybrid we had been hoping for.

Well, when we finally received the specs on the 2011 CR-Z , we were slightly disappointed with the 122 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque that its 1.5-liter 4-pot pumped out. We were even more distraught when we found out that it only got 31 mpg city and 37 mpg highway – both numbers are now eclipsed by gasoline-only cars. The lack of power translated out to an 8.3-second sprint to 60 mph, which was about 1.5 seconds slower than we all expected to see.

Well, it looks like Jackson Racing has finally come up with a solution for those disappointed CR-Z drivers, as it has released a supercharger that will add some excitement to the equation, but only for 6-speed models.

This supercharger is available in three stages: tune yourself for $3,995, factory tuned for $4,495, and tuner system for $4,995. The first option includes only the supercharger system, the second system includes the supercharger, Hondata ECU remap and high-flow injectors, and the final kit includes the supercharger, Hondata FlashPro, Jackson’s CR-Z FlashPro calibration and high-flow injectors.

The latter kit will push the CR-Z’s output up by up to 50 horsepower and 45 pound-feet of torque, which increases it to an acceptable 172 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque. This likely brings the CR-Z’s 0 to 60 time into its anticipated range of about 6.7 seconds.

According to Jackson, this kit will not affect the CR-Z’s fuel economy under regular driving. However, if you like to keep your foot in the cooling fan, you will likely see steep fuel economy drop off. Jackson is currently working on an option for those with the whiny CVT. We say step one of that process should include scrapping the transmission, but we may be a little biased...

Click past the jump to read the presser.

Toyota managed to climb itself back into road racing with the development of the TS030 prototype, but it wasn’t without its issues. The entire project was delayed by a month, due to damages caused to its monocoque from a wreck during a round of practice.

Some people may think that Toyota is haphazardly testing these cars without the drivers being properly trained, but they would be sorely incorrect with that thought. Sin Sin ce before Toyota pulled out of road racing, it has had a racing simulator to allow drivers to get a good feel for the car they will be driving and the track they will be on.

The simulator, according to TMG driver, Kazuki Nakajima, has all of the pedal and steering wheel feel of the real cars, as well as the real feel of the track. Much like the simulator rides that were popular in the early-1990s and are still around today, the simulator is on a hydraulic base that bounces the car and moves it along with the driver‘s input through the steering, brakes, and gas.

The simulator includes 20 different tracks, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans track that you see in the above video. It also includes a slew of cars, so that drivers can get the feel of the varying cars TMG uses in races. Mild adjustments are made to the simulator to compensate for changes in the vehicle’s suspension, aerodynamics, horsepower, etc., making for a very real experience for the drivers.

Have a look at the above video and see the simulator in action yourself.

Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4

If someone hears the term “Green Aventador ,” it’s likely that they would think the supercar is just painted green and has nothing to do with the vehicle’s Eco-friendliness. Well, you may start seeing the Aventador in a completely different – and greener – light in the near future.

Auto Motor & Sport out of Sweden is claiming to have official documents that show a revised Aventador that sports cylinder deactivation and engine start-stop technology. Both of these technologies are obviously fuel saving and neither have been seen on a Lamborghini.

Supposedly, Lambo is using information from its parent company, Volkswagen , to create the deactivation system. The start-stop system is reportedly Lamborghini’s own design that is super-capacitor-based and fires up the engine faster than the typical battery system, which will result in a 180 millisecond start-up time.

The cylinder deactivation system is pretty much just like all others. At cruising speed, a series of cylinders will shut down, but once you need extra power, just slam on the gas and the cylinders fire right back up. This system, combined with the start-stop feature, is claimed to save up to 7 percent in the Aventador ’s fuel consumption.

Also in the documents is a revised suspension to make the Aventador’s ride a little more bearable. That takes it from the equivalent of a go-cart on a cobblestone road to a go-cart on a brick road. Yeah, we don’t think anything can fix the Aventador’s unbearable ride.

For now, these are just reports and rumors. We will update you as soon as Lamborghini confirms or denies the reports.

Electric vehicles and various hybrid systems are taking over the front pages of the automotive world as of late. One of the areas where hybrids and EVs haven’t completely infiltrated is the world of pickup trucks. Well, that’s until former GM executive, Bob Lutz, joined forces with the little-known Via Motors.

Via Motors has quite literally taken the electric truck, SUV, and van ball and run with it, and has started carving itself a nice little niche in the automotive world. One of its entrants is the Vtrux, which is a range-extended electric truck. The information on this new green pickup is not 100 percent available yet, but Via has posted a good amount of information on this pickup’s upcoming release.

The question on the mind of the automotive world is can an electric truck actually do well in this world of powerful diesel- and gasoline-powered pickups? The answer to this question is very simple, but to get to that answer, we have to tear into the Vtrux and find out what makes it tick.

Click past the jump to read all about the Vtrux and find out the answer to that all-important question.

BMW i8

We use the Interwebz for all sorts of really cool things. We can shop for groceries, buy Christmas presents, watch movies, stalk people on Facebook, etc. There has always been one thing that we could not do, though, and that is buy a car. Sure, you can add features and order a car until you’re blue in the face, but ultimately, you are still stuck with whatever the dealer has available – or can make a profit on.

Well, BMW is looking to change your car buying experience altogether with a new system that will allow you to actually buy cars online, according to Bloomberg. BMW will start this system with its i-Series , which has been whittled down to just the i8 and i3 , in an attempt to offset high production costs.

This will, of course, start off as just an experiment and grow from there. BMW also has to get a little fancy with how it pulls this off in the U.S., as most states forbid manufacturers from selling directly to buyers (strange law). This will likely include the introduction of third-party sales sites that handle the selling and financing of the vehicles for a much lesser rate than paying a sales person commission.

One other hurdle is how to handle the test drive part, but Tesla has already shown us how to do that: set up a few small retail shops that have a few examples of each model and pay the employees a salary just to take prospective buyers on test drives. Then again, we have doubts about Tesla’s commission-less sales actually working out, but it is a possibility, especially with the end sales occurring online.

Just think... No more greedy F&I guy with his 3-inch-thick gold chain and massive gold rings trying to sell you some outlandish service package that really doesn’t cover anything or costs more than servicing the car normally. What a wonderful concept!

Source: Bloomberg
BMW i8

We absolutely love the BMW i8 , we really do, and we are excited to see exactly what BMW brings to showrooms with its anticipated 2013 release. As we sit back and ponder a little bit more about the i8, we begin to notice that the i8 has a pretty good chance of being an absolute flop. Now, before you BMW enthusiasts start picketing in front of the TopSpeed offices, hear us out, and understand that we are just saying there’s a possibility.

So BMW is touting around the 350 to 400 combined horsepower in the i8, but we often glance right past that “combined” word and only see the total output. In reality, the i8 only boasts about 220 ponies and 221 pound-feet of torque from its gasoline power plant. The remaining power comes from the two electric motors powering the front wheels. In addition, this combination is what allows the i8 to hit 60 mph in sub-5-second times.

From what we are told by BMW, the i8 can run on electric power only for about 20 miles and the electric motors are battery powered, which gains no regenerative power from the 3-pot engine in the rear. So once the batteries die, you’re stuck piloting this likely heavy car with only 220 ponies. This becomes even more of an issue, as BMW has kept rather mum on the topic of how far the car will actually go on the combined gas-electric power.

If the batteries discharge, you are not going to sniff a 5-second 0 to 60 time, as a lot of the torque responsible for such lightning-fast acceleration is provided by these electric motors. Sans those electric aids, you are likely looking at a 8- or 9-second sprint to 60 mph, which is rather disappointing in a car that is certain to crest to $100K mark when it hits showrooms.

Again, this is purely just a look ahead at what could potentially make the i8 a bust. We certainly hope that BMW has figured out a way to prevent this from happening.

Short of learning the fact that Toyota and BMW planned on developing a sports car together and the fact that BMW loves Toyota and vice-versa, we didn’t learn much from the press conference where the two automotive giants announced their joint venture. Fortunately, BMW recently held an interview with Automotive News and released a good bit of information to shine a little clarity on the deal.

The first thing cleared up is the fact that at least two sports cars will come from this joint venture – one for Bimmer and one for Toyota Toyota . Now, if you are starting to see similarities to the Toyota-Subaru deal that spawned three identical cars – the Subaru BRZ , Toyota GT 86 , and Scion FR-S – that just wore different badges, you can scratch that nasty idea.

The BMW spokesperson made it very clear that any vehicles developed from this venture will each bear completely unique styling. That’s music to our ears, as even though we love the end result of the Subaru-Toyota deal, we really wish they would have given each model its own styling, so as to not water down the market.

In addition to the details revealed above, the BMW went on to let us know that Bimmer’s resulting sports car from this partnership will be a sustainable model – not needing gasoline – that will boast eco-friendly technology. This leads us to wonder if maybe Toyota might take part in the future development of the i8’s drivetrain, or will there be yet another i model that sits above or below the i8 that boasts Toyota technology.

Needless to say, we are pretty excited to see what in the world these two companies can come up with in the coming years. We’re not so much excited about the BMW BMW end, as sports cars are nothing new to it, but the Toyota end is truly intriguing, as seeing Toyota take this sudden shift back toward sports cars is surprising. We have about had our fill of seeing nothing but Camrys, Corollas, and Priuses on Toyota lots, so it’s a refreshing change.


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