green cars

green cars

  eco friendly vehicle using low c02 emission or no emission at all.

Mopar, AMG , SVT, and TRD – all names synonymous with factory performance with balanced characteristics and an intact vehicle warranty. Yet with these great names in manufacturer-approved performance parts, one automaker was suspiciously absent from the scene despite having a huge aftermarket following: Honda .

That’s about to change with Honda’s new Honda Performance Development, or HPD division. Roll out will be quite slow, however, as the division builds a name for itself within the Honda brand. HPD’s first project is the slow-selling Honda CR-Z hybrid .

Owners of manual-transmission CR-Zs can now have Honda install a 200,000 rpm Rotrex centrifugal traction-drive supercharger mated to a Griffiths air-to-air intercooler. A respectable 57-horsepower increase is expected, bringing total horsepower to 187 ponies, while fuel consumption remains at 42 mpg. Other modifications to the CR-Z includes a performance exhaust, suspension upgrades, a wheel and tire package, and a big brake kit. Not bad for a hybrid.

Philip LaPointe, manager of HPD Street Performance, told Automotive News in an interview that, “We’re sticking our first toe in the water. We didn’t want to start with too high volume. We need to know who’s going to build the parts and distribute them. We need to get our dealers and logistics up to speed."

LaPointe continued saying the performance parts for other Honda models would go on sale over the next few years. Buys will likely be waiting till the all-new 2016 Civic rolls out before a full-on HPD kit would be available from the dealer showroom, however. “The dream scenario is to have performance parts available at [new-product] launch,” he said.

Although the factory warranty would remain, HPD-outfitted cars would likely see their warranties reduced by years and mileage. The traditional five-year/60,000-mile warranty would fall to three-years/30,000 miles. Reason being that Honda’s durability testing for new cars doesn’t include the extra strains of “spirited driving” and “high-speed loading” typically seen on modified, performance-oriented versions of its vehicles.

Click past the jump for more on the Honda CR-Z by HPD

Posted on by Tushar  
BMW i3

The biggest highlight of this year’s Frankfurt motor show has to be the BMW i range, including the production i8 hybrid-electric sports car. If you look at the BMW i range, the Bavarians have taken a giant leap when it comes to putting together sustainable-energy motoring.

Until now, the Toyota Prius has managed to stand the test of time, although of late, sales have been slow despite it being Hollywood certified. Unlike the Prius, the BMW i BMW i 3 is an all-electric hatchback, which means prospective owners would have to live with the anxiety of running out of juice at the wrong time. Hence, critics would choose to disregard the i3 much like any other purely electric automobile.

Now, the U.S. market will see the BMW i3 go on sale in the latter half of 2014, but it hits showrooms next month on the other side of the Atlantic. That said, BMW is taking advance orders for the car, and you will be surprised to know, much like BMW themselves, that more folks are showing interest in the i3 than initially thought.

BMW Europe already has 8,000 pre-orders for the BMW i3, which is way beyond what the company had expected. In fact, BMW is now pondering a further increase in investment to boost production if demand for the car persists. This was confirmed by BMW’s chief financial officer during a press conference.

Are we witnessing a paradigm shift in the way we perceive electric mobility? Well, it is difficult to confirm but the BMW i range has certainly caught the attention of the people. BMW has made huge investments into this project, as some estimates claim that BMW has pumped as much as $2.7 billion into the i range. Even with this massive investment, BMW is set to make a profit on each car sold.

The morale is certainly high at BMW and riding on the success, the company has already trademarked i1 through i9. Quite obviously, the i1 would be the smallest of the i-range and the most affordable. We suspect that the i9 may be a higher-performance version of the i8 , although BMW does not wish to make an M Performance version of the i8.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 BMW i3

Posted on by Simona  

The attention of the U.S. auto market is focused squarely on the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show , but the folks in Japan are more interested in what’s going on at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show set to open its gates on November 21st.

Japan-based Mazda is also turning its focus to its home country with an impressive lineup for the Tokyo show, with one of the vehicles being a concept version based on the new Mazda3 . This Mazda3 concept will offer an all-new engine that is bound to get all those looking to rid themselves of fossil fuels amped up for the show.

Mazda has decided to offer this new Mazda3 concept with a CNG -powered engine. This isn’t too much of a surprise, considering the increasing demand for CNG-powered vehicles — or anything other than gasoline, for that matter.

The new CNG Concept features a dual-fuel system that runs on either gasoline or CNG, making refilling the tank as convenient as possible. This new system allows the concept to reduce emission by about 20 percent. If natural gas prices are near the same $2.06 per gallon that they are here, then it will like save some bucks (Yen) at the pumps too.

Alongside the new CNG Concept Mazda will display a few other concepts based on the new Mazda6.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Mazda3.

Posted on by Simona  
Smart Fortwo

The next generation Smart ForTwo was caught testing in many times, but pretty much each time we were looking at a mule, not at the real deal. However, today our spy photographers managed to catch the car wearing the real Smart nose up front. As a proof this is the part of the body that wears pretty much all the camouflage.

The new ForTwo will be developed in cooperation with Renault as a result of a previous agreement signed between Daimler, Renault Renault , and Nissan in April 2010. It will be built on a new platform called Project Edison that will also be used for the upcoming Twingo, but also for the next ForFour. All three models will get a rear mounted engine and a rear-wheel-drive system. This new platform will make the next ForTwo a little bit larger than the current generation.

Expect the new Smart ForTwo to be unveiled in March 2014 at the Geneva Car Show, and click past the jump for a closer look at this tiny machine testing somehwere warm.

Compressed Natural Gas has never gained traction in retail-aimed vehicles, but for large fleet companies and government municipalities, CNG makes a lot of sense.

It is cheaper, easier to transport, and far cleaner than any gasoline and even EV cars that fill their batteries with coal-fired electricity.

Amid a flurry of other green and eco messages touting GM’s improving eco-friendly manufacturing, General Motors CEO Dan Akerson also announced on Wednesday that Chevrolet will be offering the all-new Impala sedan with CNG capabilities.

General Motors is expecting slow initial sales of around 750 to 1,000 units during the first year, but expects the marketplace to become more open to CNG-powered vehicles as time goes by.

There is no word yet on pricing, but other CNG vehicles see an additional $7,500 to $9,500 in costs over its gasoline-powered counterpart.

The move to offer a fleet-targeted CNG Impala an interesting one as GM has tirelessly worked to reposition the more upscale 2014 Impala far away from the mass-production, cash-only/rental-car feel the previous generation of Impalas suffered from. However, the new Impala does offer fleet customers more room and refinement than other vehicles in that market segment.

Click past the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Impala CNG and the standard 2014 model with gasoline engines.

With the Fisker offices all boarded up and awaiting a final sale to some random foreign country, who are we to turn to for high-end vehicle fires? Well, since Tesla has been everything that Fisker has not since, well, forever, who better to step into the automobile-flambé role than Fisker’s one time competitor that wasn’t really a competitor, but still was — or however the two used to spin that whole deal...

Yup, what you see in the video above is a Tesla Model S doing its best Fisker Karma impression, and we must say that it’s doing a mighty fine job indeed. Reports from Tesla claim that this Model S struck metal debris on the roadway and the debris caused damage to the battery pack. The driver continued on his merry way, despite the vehicle’s warning systems telling him to pull over and shut the vehicle off. The end result is the expensive BBQ you see above.

Mental note to all Tesla Model S owners; this is not a 2002 Cavalier where the check engine light is safe to ignore and easily blocked out by a few inches of electrical tape. This is a high-tech electric car with enough juice to make Texas’ electric chair blush in envy. When it says "pull over," you just may want to listen to it.

Fortunately, the driver wasn’t physically hurt, but we’re sure his wallet will feel the pain when it comes insurance premium time. Unfortunately for Tesla, its stock didn’t take too kindly to the flaming Model S, as it dropped 6 percent on Wednesday and continued to fall as of noon on Thursday. It is on a slight upswing for now, but this just goes to show just how badly one driver’s negligence can harshly impact a company.

We’ll keep you updated.

Click past the jump to read more on the Tesla Model S.

Posted on by TB +  

Sounding like a marriage between a vacuum company and a grocery-store cell phone, Drayson Racing Technology and Qualcomm are preparing the next wave of revolutionary EV technology: induction charging with no cords. As the marquee sponsors and tech suppliers of next year’s all-new electric racing series, dubbed Formula E, these two companies might be some of the most innovative movers and shakers in electric vehicle technology.

The lack of brand recognition for these companies is not really a problem. While they stopped making their own cell phones almost a decade ago, every new Android or iPhone sold brings a payday for Qualcomm. Thousands of inventions, patents and licensing deals mean that Qualcomm is happy to sit behind the scenes, cashing checks and investing in research and development.

Every racing series would like to claim its direct influence of road car technology, but the link is often completely fictional and done for marketing authenticity. Race on Sunday, sell on Monday is the old adage explaining how to convert racing fans into buyers of humdrum production models. The Formula E concept is exciting because almost everything has to be designed and imagined from the ground up.

No 10,000-page rule books, infighting or Bernie gives the new series the freedom to explore and experiment. The challenges of an electric racing series are many, including the fact that most electric cars run out of juice after about 10 minutes of track driving.

Battery swaps at pit stops are a possibility at first, but Drayson and Qualcomm’s vision is an uninterrupted race, using induction battery chargers built into the track concrete itself. There are more than a few enormous engineering challenges to overcome, but the technology could eventually be transferred into highway charging for normal EV models like the Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model S .

Click past the jump for more details on the new technology partnership between Drayson Racing Technologies and Qualcomm’s Halo Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging system.

Posted on by TB +  

The first reviews of the production i8 and i3 are finally out, and the styling really cleans up nicely without the trademark blue disguise wrap worn by the prototypes over the past two years.

The other shock of shocks? The first drive impressions of the i8 are coming back as highly favorable, with great interactivity on the limit and track poise beyond any current EV.

This is huge news for the future of the Ultimate Driving Machine as we know it. The slow creep of isolation and refinement is becoming problematic on the M6 and other fast Bimmers, so the worry has been that adding electricity to the mix will further isolate and dull the experience.

Everyone can sigh a breathe of relief. Both BMW i models run a 50:50 weight balance, carbon-fiber tub with alloy crash cradles. These are all extremely advanced designs shared between the i8 hybrid supercar and the i3 . So, where does a potential i3 M fit in the pricing and technology mix for the future BMW i range?

With the i3 and i8 arriving at American BMW dealers together as 2015 models, all systems are go for the global roll-out of these production models. The price gap might raise an eyebrow or two: from about $43,000 for the i3 up to $135,000 for the i8 .

This exclusive preview brings the first renderings of a performance middle ground for 2016: the BMW i3 M.

Click past the jump for this amazing three-pack of renderings that show the potential style of the 2016 BMW i3 M.

Posted on by Simona  

Volkswagen released the original Golf back in 1974, and shortly after, it became one of the most appreciated models in the world. As proof to its worldwide love, there have been over 30 million units sold worldwide, so there should be no surprise that Volkswagen is trying to attract even more buyers.

VW unveiled the all-electric e-golf at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show , and it will hit the market in the spring of 2014. The model looks like a regular Golf , but it adds a particularly innovative overall technological system, improved aerodynamics and optimal rolling resistance. Also, as a first for any Volkswagen model, the new e-golf is equipped with full-LED headlights.

Along with a very efficient electric motor that ensures a driving range of up to 118 miles, the new e-golf features impressive technology, like regenerative braking and a "Discover Pro" system with a series of new functions.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen e-Golf.

Posted on by Simona  

Land Rover and Jaguar announced a collaboration to develop a new ‘Range Rover Evoque _e’ research project that tests new hybrid and battery-electric vehicle (BEV) technology. The research required a total of £16.3 million (about $25 million at the current exchange rates), and was supported by UK’s innovation agency the Technology Strategy Board.

Along with Jaguar and Land Rover, the Evoque_e’s development required the an additional 12 partners, including: Zytek Automotive, GKN Driveline, Motor Design Limited, AVL, Drive System Design, Williams Advanced Engineering, Delta Motorsport, Tata Steel, Bristol University, Cranfield University and Newcastle University.

According to the first details we have, this collaboration will bring to the market three research vehicles: the next-generation powertrain concepts for a mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV); a Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) and a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV).

While no other details were revealed, Jaguar’s previous PHEV system revealed in the XJ_e plug-in hybrid , which combines a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, with a 92-horsepower electric motor and a 12.8kWh Lithium Ion battery pack. Land Rover also revealed numerous "_e" projects, like the Range_e , which combined a 3.0-liter TDV6 diesel with an electric motor and an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.

We’ll bring you all of the details once Land Rover releases them.

Click past the jump to read more about the Land Rover Evoque.


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