While electric-only automaker Tesla pushes ahead with its Model S sedan, the upcoming Model X crossover and others on the horizon, other electric automakers are taking a more cautious approach with their first forays.
The Mitsubishi i, Nissan Leaf and others are worthy additions to the market, but some customers are begging for something a little more exciting–and Toyota could be the brand to deliver it.
Motorcycle racer Riccardo Russo held a three-bike lead over his nearest racer at the CIV motorcycle racing championship, but when he started the final lap, he thought he had already crossed the finish line and won.
Unfortunately for him, he was wrong. Russo began celebrating his victory by raising his body off the bike and pumping his arms in the air clearly happy and relieved. While his competitors simply zoom passed him the top of the screen visibly reads ‘Final Lap’.
It’s a little painful to watch but worth it for the tight fight to the finish among the other racers.
The moment was caught on camera and uploaded onto YouTube by MotorsTelevision.
Watch the video below:
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The latest round of ANCAP crash testing has delivered a strong set of scores, with the Holden Colorado, Hyundai i30 and Subaru BRZ all achieving the maximum five-star result.
The Holden Colorado crew-cab joins the growing list of light commercial vehicles to earn five stars for safety, ranking alongside the Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50, Volkswagen Amarok, and the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore utes.
The crew-cab variant, which accounts for approximately 80 per cent of Colorado sales, launched in Australia last month. It comes standard with electronic stability control (ESC), anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and six airbags (dual front, side and curtains).
ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh said it was encouraging to see another light commercial vehicle earn top marks for safety.
“It’s satisfying to see manufacturers lifting the safety of light commercial vehicles (LCVs),” McIntosh said. “Manufacturers have been incorporating greater levels of safety into passenger vehicles for some time now, yet the safety of LCVs has trailed.
“Pressure not only from ANCAP, but now big business, is encouraging manufacturers to elevate safety as a priority in the design and construction of new LCVs, and consumers are the winners.”
AC Schnitzer introduces a new tuning program for the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe.
The exterior design receives an upgrade with a restyled front spoiler, rear bumper with a chrome insert, as well as chrome all around the car. The German tuner also adds a new sports exhaust system.
The ACS6 Gran Coupe sits on large wheels, ranging from 19 to 21 inches in diameter (Type IV BiColor, Type IV silver, Type VIII BiColor, black and silver). Lightweight forged alloys and forged racing rims Type VIII BiColor are available in sizes 9.0 x 21″ and 10.0 x 21″ with 255/30 R 21 tires on the front and 295/25 R 21 tires on the rear.
Inside, perfect handling with corresponding “Look and Feel” is ensured by the “EVO” 3-spoke Sport Airbag steering wheel. With targeted highlights of aluminum, AC Schnitzer gives the interior a sophisticated finish: the “Black Line” aluminum cover for the i-Drive system controller, aluminum footrests and pedals, and velours floor mats give the interior even more exclusivity.
For increased performance, the ACS6 Gran Coupe has two stages of tuning:360 PS (264 kW / 355 hp) instead of the usual 320 PS (235 kW / 316 hp). The 640d model now develops 360 PS (264 kW / 355 hp) – an increase of 47 PS (35 kW / 46 hp).
2013 Chevrolet Equinox 3.6-Liter V-6 First Drive: More Power and New Shocks Aren’t Enough to Move to the Head of the Class
Within the past year, both the Honda CR-V and the Ford Escape—two 800-pound gorillas in the compact-crossover segment—have been completely redesigned. (The Toyota RAV4, a multiple comparison-test winner, will get a reboot soon.) But with no full do-over on the docket just yet for its handsome but ho-hum Equinox, Chevy clearly still had to make a move. Honda has never offered a V-6 in the CR-V and the 2013 Escape went exclusively four-cylinder (albeit with two optional turbo’d engines), and Mazda’s CX-5 is packing the least powerful four-banger in the segment, despite being brand new. For Chevy, then, getting rid of the 264-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 would make sense, right? Except it bucked the downsizing trend and replaced the 3.0-liter with a 301-hp, 3.6-liter direct-injected V-6. Wait, what?
This latest version of the 3.6 sees duty across the GM portfolio, including the Cadillac CTS and 2013 GMC Terrain, among others. The good news for the fuel-conscious is that estimated economy figures for the new V-6 versus the 3.0 are identical—17 mpg city/24 highway with front-wheel drive and 16/23 with AWD (OK, so good news for the sorta-fuel-conscious)—despite the increases in displacement and power. We estimate 0-to-60-mph times of 6.8 seconds for the front-wheel-drive version and 7.2 seconds for all-wheel-drive models. (A four-cylinder model we tested did the deed in 8.7 seconds.)
We had a chance to drive all-wheel-drive Equinoxes with both old and new V-6s back to back, and we found no difference in drivability beyond the extra kick in the pants; the upshift-happy six-speed automatic carries over, as do high output peaks that encourage a heavy right foot and make frugality difficult. (The previous V-6 offered maximum power and twist at 6950 and 5100 rpm, respectively; the new motor churns them up at 6500 and 4800.) From the sliding rear seat, however, we detected a significant difference in engine noise. The 3.6 is considerably louder for those in the second row, who are treated to a slightly buzzy and metallic note.
Along with the new engine comes a revised suspension. The Equinox now features dual-flow dampers—the 2013 Chevy Traverse, the 2013 Buick Enclave, and the Equinox’s equally updated 2013 GMC Terrain platform-mate are among the other vehicles that get them. The result is less bobbing and weaving over undulating surfaces and an incrementally improved perception of grip during cornering.
As for the interior, Chevy MyLink with navigation makes its way to the options list for the first time—in the past, buyers were forced to choose between a navigation system and MyLink—although it will be available only on the mid-level LT and range-topping LTZ trim levels. Those two trims also gain an eight-way power passenger seat (optional on the LT) and a Safety package, which includes forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, and radar-based rear park assist. Also new is an available rear-seat entertainment system that includes monitors in the back of the front headrests, dual wireless headphones, and a dual-player DVD setup—again, available as an option only on LT and LTZ trims. With any luck, it’ll distract the kids from the engine noise.
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For better or worse, BMW has been on the cutting edge of in-car technology. On the upside, it was the first automaker to offer in-dash navigation back in 1994. A decade later, BMW introduced iPod integration at a time when some competitors still had cassette players in the dash. On the downside, BMW’s pioneering iDrive was pilloried as a convoluted and confusing interface when it debuted in 2001, although it’s since become the template for center-console controllers used by several luxury automakers.
But the automotive infotainment landscape has shifted rather drastically, with mainstream brands such as Ford and Toyota providing some of the most cutting-edge connected, app-oriented systems. While premium European brands like BMW and Audi haven’t stood still, aside from advanced safety systems, paying top dollar no longer guarantees top-shelf tech – as anyone who’s been in a late-model Mercedes-Benz S-Class or Lexus LS can tell you.
This week BMW released a blitzkrieg of in-car tech that will appear in future models and seeks to re-establish the brand as the benchmark for embedded technology and infotainment. Under the umbrella term ConnectedDrive that BMW coined to include infotainment, navigation and Web-enabled services, the latest introduction encompasses everything from a refined touch-based iDrive controller to a removable LTE hotspot.
Word on the street has it that Toyota is planning an all-electric sports car that will rival Tesla as a part of a new onslaught of performance models in the works for the coming years. Now, don’t forget that Toyota has a minor stake in Tesla so this won’t be a downright ‘in you face’ to Tesla since the Toyota model may end up using some Tesla components.
Either way, Naohiko Saito, Toyota’s handling guru, says the electric powertrain previewed in the Toyota 2000GT EV at the Goodwood Festival of Speed is ‘an early part of the development process involved in refining the technology.’
The production model could have a manual gearbox mated to an electric powertrain. Toyota’s advanced drivetrain engineering chief, Hiroyuki Ogawa, says there is a ‘a desire to use a manual gearbox in our electric and hybrid sports cars.’
We definitely agree with him.
Ogawa says that a production manual electric cars is still 3-years out.
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