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2016 Audi A4 G-Tron

2016 Audi A4 G-Tron

You may have heard by now that Audi has managed to make a carbon-neutral fuel out of water and carbon dioxide pulled from the air. This is all well and good, but will it work in your car? Nope, but don’t worry, Audi has a solution for that: the A4 G-Tron. The somewhat unfortunately named concept was just unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show, and is perhaps most remarkable for being fairly unremarkable. It is basically just a 2016 Audi A4 Avant (wagon) with a dual fuel system, and even this system isn’t too radically different from existing systems that have been in use for years.

It is perhaps not even right to call this a concept, since the G-Tron won’t look any different from other A4s when it hits dealerships in about a year’s time, minus the big decals on the sides, of course. You might be thinking that a year from now is awfully soon for a car that runs on some kind of half-magical new kind of fuel for which there is basically no infrastructure yet. But the G-Tron will also run on natural gas, and regular pump gas as well, giving you more choices for fuel than you ever knew you wanted.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi A4 g-tron.

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Chevrolet Silverado Chassis Cab Gets CNG Capability

Chevrolet Silverado Chassis Cab Gets CNG Capability

Chevrolet has just announced it will continue offering its bi-fuel option on the 2016 Silverado 3500. The setup allows customers to power the truck using either Compressed Natural Gas or standard gasoline. Directed at fleet customers, the bi-fuel option is only available on regular cab Silverado Chassis Cabs but can be had with either 2WD or 4WD.

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2016 Ford F-150 Gets CNG Capability

2016 Ford F-150 Gets CNG Capability

Ford has announced it will offer its Compressed Natural Gas and Propane prep package on the 2016 F-150. What’s more, Ford is upfitting the 5.0-liter V-8 rather than the 3.7-liter V-6 as it has in years past. That means CNG/P customers get the upgraded capability with the V-8, but at the same $315 upfit charge.

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2014 Honda Civic Natural Gas

2014 Honda Civic Natural Gas

It has become abundantly obvious to the majority of the world that we are running out of oil, and by proxy, out of gasoline. With every automaker scrambling to find a way to get cleaner and greener cars, the are surprisingly few marques trying to perfect the art of alternative fuels.

Honda is on the cutting edge of alternative propulsion. Cars like the FCX Clarity prove that Honda has that ability, guts and know how to produce and sell a production version of a hydrogen-powered vehicle.

Honda is taking that same drive and innovation to its Civic line, and now you can purchase a new 2014 Honda Civic Natural Gas. With an updated exterior, and better nationwide availability, the Civic Natural Gas is proving that you don’t necessarily need gasoline to get your motor running.

Learn about the new Civic Natural Gas and where you can buy one below in our review.

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2013 Mazda3 Skyactiv-CNG Concept

2013 Mazda3 Skyactiv-CNG Concept

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.

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CNG 2015 Chevy Impala Is So Clean It Makes Prius Look Like Hummer

CNG 2015 Chevy Impala Is So Clean It Makes Prius Look Like Hummer

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.

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2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD

2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD

With the roaring applause still ringing from the recent debuts of the new Silverado 1500, Tahoe and Suburban, Chevy has also revealed a pretty heavy revamp for the 2015 HD trucks.

It seems the welcome reception to all the other new bow-tie trucks means that the 2014 model year will be very short: GM pushed up the HD release so that all the factories can start gearing up for the hugely-improved 2015 model year.

The Silverado HD’s updates are actually much deeper than a facelift, with the largest changes coming from the way the truck body is mounted to the chassis. Chevrolet is using a new type of welding process that is claimed to bring large increases in all rigidity measurements, cabin quietness and ride comfort.

The new nose looks pretty great, actually. Chevy’s truck styling really seems to be very sharp these days. Projector beam lamps update the nose nicely, and a very dramatic chrome grille has far more shaping and structure to its surfaces.

Improvements to cooling and aerodynamics are hoped to increase highway fuel economy, where these big trucks really start to chug whatever fuel they are using at anything over 65 mph.

Drag is a real issue for these machines, and any HD owner will tell you that an 80 mph cruise with a trailer can switch the usual miles per gallon into gallons per mile.

Other changes include a totally-redesigned cabin, seats, infotainment and the whole vehicle’s electronic architecture. Under the hood, the engines are carryover but have a new engine management that integrates all the towing and stability safety features into its work flow.

What this boils down to for buyers is better economy, higher payload and towing stats, and a cruise control that now claims to be able to maintain a set speed even with a heavy trailer out back. Previous cruise controls for many cars will pop off and fail to keep a speed if doing so might make the engine stall.

So it is truck-a-palooza at Chevrolet this winter. Are buyers swayed by the new looks and vastly superior cabin?

Click past the jump for a closer look at the new sheetmetal, plus all the mechanical specs of the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and Silverado 3500HD.

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2014 Chevrolet Silverado HD

2014 Chevrolet Silverado HD

Comfort, safety, durability and power are the key reasons for upgrading to these heavier pickups from the lighter-duty Silverado that is all new for 2014. Even while the new model has projector beam headlights and some extra cabin tech, the 2500HD and 3500HD Silverado’s continue with only detail tweaks for 2014.

These updates include a new standard final drive ratio that boosts tow ratings by 4,500 pounds across the board, and a bi-fuel option that can run on normal gasoline or clean and affordable natural gas at the flip of a switch.

Chevy packs quite a bit more strength into these $30,000 to $50,000 2500 HD and 2500 HD trucks than their fierce cross-town rivals from Ford’s F-Series Super Duty and the Ram Heavy Duty choices.

These trucks have the rock-solid capabilities that would have required heavy and specialized machinery even a few decades ago.

Two quite unique buyer groups exist for these Texas-sized pickup trucks: people using the HD trucks to earn a living, and people who are so rich that they need to be able to transport all their toys to the cabin - at the same time. 10,000-plus tow maximum’s and fifth-wheel trailer hitches available, the Chevrolet Silverado HD trucks are only of the only ways to move a family of five, a large boat, jet ski’s and ATVs all in one trip.

These days, the Silverado HD series will happily get filthy doing the dirty work from dawn to dusk, but it must also deliver far more friendly service during the off hours. This is the real challenge for all pickup trucks, and the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD models are the last bastion of (at times) crude manners and a DuraMax exhaust drum wider than a telephone pole.

All this while hauling its drivers and their families in comfort and safety that still seems unimaginable at times for these big work trucks. Is the aging 2014 Silverado HD still up to the task in the face of a revised 2014 Ram Heavy Duty with an air suspension in back? How about versus the ever-popular Ford F-Series Super Duty and its huge cabin space?

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2013 Mercedes E 200 Natural Gas Drive

2013 Mercedes E 200 Natural Gas Drive

Mercedes is expanding its new E-Class lineup with the addition of a new E 200 Natural Gas Drive version that can run on both gasoline and affordable, environmentally friendly natural gas. This new version will deliver 20 percent less CO2 emissions and will cut fuel costs in half.

The new E 200 NGD will be put on sale in December 2013 at a starting price of €47,808 — about $63,700 at the current exchange rates.

The new E 200 NGD is powered by a new four-cylinder gasoline engine with spray-guided direct injection that delivers a total of 156 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque from 1,250 rpm. The model can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 10.4 seconds and goes up to a top speed of 136 mph. The E 200 NGD is also equipped with an ECO start/stop system that helps to further reduce fuel consumption.

The E 200 NGD is equipped with three cylinders — one behind the rear backrest and two under the floor of the trunk — that together can hold 121.5 liters of natural gas and ensure a driving range of 1,600 km (994 miles).

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Mercedes E-Class.

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2013 Audi A3 Sportback g-tron

2013 Audi A3 Sportback g-tron

Audi’s fifth world debut for the 2013 Geneva Motor Show is the A3 Sportback g-tron, which is based on the A3 Sportback and powered by CO2-neutral fuel, Audi e-gas. The model will be put on sale towards the end of the year.

The model was previewed by the TCNG e-gas project unveiled back in 2011 and Audi promised a production version will arrive in the upcoming years. The e-gas necessary for the new model will be produced at Audi’s plant in Werlte (Emsland district of Lower Saxony), Germany.

The model is based on the 1.4 TFSI version of the A3 Sportback, but with modifications made to the cylinder head, turbocharging, injection system and the catalytic converter. The two tanks under the luggage compartment floor can each hold seven kg (15.43 pounds) of e-gas and they deliver a range of 248.55 miles, plus an additional 559.23 miles when gasoline is added.

Hit the jump to read more about the Audi A3 Sportback g-tron.

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Does Obama's Re-Election Spell the End of the Gasoline-Powered Sports Car?

Does Obama’s Re-Election Spell the End of the Gasoline-Powered Sports Car?

After nearly a year of seeing Mitt Romney and Barack Obama fling mud – maybe even a little poo – back and forth at each other, the election is finally over. Love him or hate him, Obama is in office for another four years and he has already shown that he likes to dwell in the automotive realm (see: automotive bailout, Chrysler bankruptcy, and DOE loans for EV technology).

A big one on our radar these days is the renewal of the CAFÉ standards – yes, it was a renewal; the CAFÉ standards are nothing new – and their direct impact on the sport car realm. By the year 2025, all automakers must have a corporate average fuel economy rating of at least 54.5 mpg, a number that sports cars often drag down.

There is a good possibility that one of three things will happen due to these standards. First, is the chance that automakers install more advance turbocharging technologies on vehicles in order to keep their power output high and fuel economy high too. With those technologies come rising price tags – something we are already experiencing today. The second – most unlikely – scenario is the complete elimination of all powerful sports cars, leaving behind just the likes of the underpowered-for-a-true-sports-car Scion FR-S-like vehicles. The third scenario is one that would satisfy our itch for fast cars and the EPA’s itch for eco-friendly cars, and that is the widespread development of super powerful electric, hydrogen fuel cell or natural gas sports cars.

The latter situation is one that we already know is possible. Have a look as the Tesla Model S and you’ll see a car that can travel 300 miles on a charge and still zip to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. And that is a rather large sedan, so imagine it as a sports car. Same goes for the mid-5-second sprint to 60 mph that the 5,000-pound Fisker Karma completes. The final example is the Maxximus LNG 2000 and its 1,600-horsepower natural-gas-powered engine.

We think that this renewal of Obama’s stay at the White House won’t necessarily bring about the conversion to alternative fuel sports cars in the next four years, but it will certainly accelerate the process significantly. We honestly think it is a thing to look forward too, not be afraid of. Just think, no more gas station trips!!

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2013 Range Rover Evoque by B&B Automobiltechnik

2013 Range Rover Evoque by B&B Automobiltechnik

B&B Automobiltechnik is a German tuner that specializes on German vehicles. So it was really surprising that for their latest program, they decided to take on a British SUV in the form of the Range Rover Evoque.

Really, if you’ve seen their past programs, having a British SUV on that list feels a little out of place. But to their credit, they were able to build a program that boasts of impressive improvements on the Evoque’s multitude of engine options.

The base model, which carries a 2.2-liter turbo diesel ED4 or TD4 engine, B&B was able to use its Stage 1 performance kit to increase the SUV’s output from the standard 148 horsepower and 280 lb/ft of torque all the way up 177 horsepower and 332 lb/ft of torque. If the Stage 1 program isn’t enough for you, the German tuner also has a Stage 2 kit, which boasts output even further, hitting 197 horsepower and 350 lb/ft of torque.

From there, B&B turned its attention on the 2.2-liter SD4 diesel engine. Just like the base model, this engine trim is treated to two performance programs, Level 1 package that boasts the output from 188 horsepower all the way up to 227 horsepower and 354 lb/ft of torque while the Level 2 package hits all the right notes to 241 horsepower and 369 lb/ft of torque.

Finally, there’s the top-of-the-line 2.2-liter turbocharged engine that already comes with 240 horsepower in production guise. But thanks to B&B and its Stage 1 kit, that output hits 268 horsepower while the Stage 2 kit bumps it up even further to 282 horsepower. And finally, there’s also a Stage 3 kit that gives the Evoque 295 horsepower. This program, in particular, nets the SUV a new 0-62 mph time of just 6.5 seconds with a faster top speed of 143 mph.

Calling it like we see it, B&B Automobiltechnik managed to give Evoque owners not only variety, but impressive aftermarket engine improvements.

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2013 Volkswagen Cross Caddy

2013 Volkswagen Cross Caddy

The Volkswagen Caddy, by itself, isn’t really the kind of vehicle that draws attention. Now, when you add that ’Cross’ designation, it becomes a lot more interesting, especially to the off-road customer.

The model, which is based on the Caddy Edition 30, certainly looks the part of a Volkswagen, thanks to a profile that follows along the same lines of its family. But looks isn’t what sets the Cross Caddy apart because this bad boy is all about rugged functionality.

For starters, the vehicle comes with a protective armor - yup, protective armor! - on the lower areas of the front and rear bumper, the side sills, and the wheel arches. The undercarriage on the front and rear also have their own silver guards while the silver roof rails allow for extra luggage stowing. Finally, a choice of eight body colors, including the Viper Green in the photos, are available as are the new set of 17" alloy wheels.

Inside, the vehicle’s cabin surprisingly comes with a leather trim with grey stitching on various parts of the cabin, including the handbrake lever and the gear knob. We’re not sure why there’s leather on a vehicle that’s fixing to get stained from the off-road, but hey, it does add some semblance of luxury to it. The two-tone front seats are a nice touch and the choice of either five or seven seats gives customers a nice choice of seating options.

One of the good things about the Cross Caddy is the variety of engines it will carry, including TDI, TSI, LPG, and natural gas option. As far as output is concerned, customers can opt for something as subtle as 85 horsepower all the way up to 168 horsepower.

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