2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric DriveEnlarge Photo
Each year, marketing firms conduct countless studies to help guide car-buyers' decisions. They study vehicle reliability, the quality of the dealership experience, even how well consumers navigate automakers' websites.
Last week, Tesla Motors and its charismatic CEO, Elon Musk, did something very, very unusual. After dropping cryptic hints about some "controversial" plans, Musk revealed that Tesla would make its patented electric car technology available to anyone, at no cost, with no threat of lawsuits, provided those using it acted "in good faith".
Subaru and Volvo have, for decades, been on parallel paths, in some unlikely ways. Both industry outliers that found major success with safety, sensibility, and a somewhat offbeat sense of style, they've seemed like corporate cousins in some respects—even though there's absolutely no bloodline.
Bentley Continental GT3-R, 2014 Goodwood Festival of SpeedEnlarge Photo
A hardcore version of Bentley’s Continental GT has been hinted at since 2011 but the possibility of the luxury cruiser being turned into a track weapon never really seemed plausible until a racing version of the car was revealed last year. Now, the Continental GT race car has spawned a road-going version: the new Bentley Continental GT3-R.
Porsche was meant to reveal its new 911 GT3 RS this summer but decided to delay its arrival following the discovery of a fault with the 3.8-liter flat-six engine in the 911 GT3 that the 911 GT3 RS was to share, albeit in uprated form. The German automaker is yet to announce when we might finally see the covers come off, but has the car already been revealed… in scale model form?
The first prototypes for the convertible version of the recently revealed 2016 Audi TT coupe have been spotted. The new convertible is expected to debut at the 2014 Paris Auto Show in October and join the coupe in showrooms early next year, also as a 2016 model. Nissan e-NV200 - First Drive, June 2014From Green Car Reports:
Nissan e-NV200 - First Drive, June 2014Enlarge Photo
The Nissan Leaf is by far the world's best-selling electric car, but one of the ways Nissan has kept its cost down is by eliminating an active-cooling system for its lithium-ion battery pack. Now, however, its second mass-produced electric vehicle--the Nissan e-NV200 small commercial van--turns out to have a slightly different battery pack design than the Leaf.
Even after some of the big-picture infrastructure hurdles are remedied, will the success of fuel-cell vehicles get tripped up by the term itself? It's an issue that concerns former General Motors R&D chief Larry Burns, now a University of Michigan professor.
It's a statement of the obvious, but solar panels do their best work during the day, specifically noon and early afternoon when the sun is at its strongest. The trouble is, this rarely tallies with when energy use is at its highest--typically in the evening, when everyone gets home from work.