Car Tech

Slow Good-bye to GM's 3.8-Liter V-6
Slow Good-bye to GM's 3.8-Liter V-6

General Motors' ubiquitous 3.8-liter V-6 is soon to become extinct. For '09, it is replaced by GM's (more) modern 3.9-liter V-6 in the Buick Lucerne, leaving it barely hanging on in the Buick LaCrosse and Pontiac Grand Prix, which share a platform. Some will cheer the eventual passing of this...Read More»

At 330,000 Miles, My Diesel Benz Is Going Veggie

Last Friday night, on my way to fill up at Refuel Biodiesel in Atlanta, I noticed a bizarre sight: a line of frustrated drivers, some with hazards flashing, some even clogging Cheshire Bridge Road, all stranded and waiting for the precious few operable pumps at the neighboring Chevron and Citgo...Read More»

Mercedes-Benz adaptive high beam headlights
Mercedes Announces Adaptive High-Beam Assistant for Spring '09

The folks in Stuttgart--the Mercedes-Benz side of town--say their latest headlight innovation, Adaptive High-Beam Assistant, takes the worry of high-beam control out of the driver's hands. By monitoring both vehicles and pedestrians in the path of an Adaptive High-Beam Assistant-equipped vehicle's...Read More»

Nissan Robot Flight of the Bumblebee
Nissan Studies the

In the grand tradition of C3PO, Hal, and Johnny 5, Nissan releases some whimsical, roboticized news by presenting us with its 'bot, BR23C. A "robotic micro-car that recreates bee characteristics with the goal of producing a system that prevents collisions altogether," the project studied, yes, the...Read More»

2009 Dodge Avenger SE
Chrysler Introduces Dual-Clutch Trans in Dodge Avenger, Chrysler Sebring

In yet another announcement of a cool piece of technology NOT available in North America, Chrysler introduces the addition of its dual-clutch transmission to the Dodge Avenger and Chrysler Sebring. Wait, what? Its dual-clutch transmission? Yup. Chrysler debuted a six-speed dual-clutch transmission...Read More»

2009 Acura TL
2010 Acura TL Gets Six-Speed Manual

Sport sedan drivers who like to shift it themselves will have to wait until model year 2010 for an Acura TL with a manual transmission. Judging by the six-speed, short-throw, aluminum-topped stick in its current TSX, we have no doubt the upcoming TL manual will be a pleasure to row through the...Read More»

2009 Nissan Maxima
Get Smart: Nissan Mates Intelligent Key with Mobile Phone

The old-school metal ignition key is rapidly going the way of the dodo. In a joint announcement today, Nissan, NTT Docomo, Inc., and Sharp Corporation introduced the development of a mobile phone capable of functioning as an "intelligent key" for automobiles in its home market of Japan. The...Read More»

2009 Toyota Prius Touring
Toyota Cuts Prices on Prius Hybrid Batteries

In the rare event that you should need to replace the NiMH (nickel metal hydride) batteries on your first- or second-generation Toyota Prius, the company is pleased to announce that they will now set you back 10 percent less. It's somewhat remarkable news in a time when the cost of everything from...Read More»

2009 Lincoln Navigator L
2009 Lincoln Navigator Is Fuel Economy Class Leader

What to do when you are a dinosaur among a herd of gazelles? Brag that you are the sprightliest dino out there, even though the gazelles may be laughing hysterically and running circles around you. Dino: "But I can carry seven people! And tow things!" Crossover Gazelle: "Uh, yeah. So can I. And I...Read More»

Chrysler EV, Jeep EV and Dodge EV
Chrysler Goes Electric, Gives GM Web ENVI

Hey, Rick Wagoner, Chrysler may be a few days late to the E-REV party, but CEO Bob Nardelli is a little more polished than you on camera. Said Nardelli himself: "We may have been knocked down, but we haven't been knocked out." Chrysler today announced a consumer Web site, Chryslergoeselectric.com...Read More»

2008 Honda Insight Concept
Honda: Fuel Cells Before Plug-Ins

Honda is still skeptical about plug-in hybrid technology, according to Bloomberg News by way of our diesel-loving friends over at Jalopnik. Voicing a concern that many engineers have about the viability of electric-only and predominantly electric vehicles coming soon to the U.S. market, Masaaki...Read More»

Dodge ev
Dodge EV in Trio of Chrysler Electric Cars for 2010

Not to be outdone in the hot new electric and E-REV segment, Chrysler has announced not one but THREE new Chrysler electric cars that rely solely or predominantly on electric motors for their forward propulsion, according to CNBC--not to mention the expansion of a fourth electric vehicle that's...Read More»

Robert Kearns movie Flash of Genius
Intermittent Wipers' Kearns Gets New Movie, Flash of Genius

Intermittent wipers may not seem the equal of sweeping cinematic themes like Alexander the Great's push across Asia, or even Cher's drive across Rodeo Drive. Flash of Genius, an upcoming release from Universal Pictures/Spyglass Entertainment, takes a stab at the tale anyway as it chronicles the...Read More»

New Honda Airbag
Honda Invents Better, Faster Airbags

Safer, more efficient, more powerful--all terms bandied about in the auto industry as a new production year dawns. But applying these terms not just to its powertrains, a new development in airbag technology puts Honda at the forefront of the latest in active safety systems for automobiles. Honda...Read More»

2009 Dodge Challenger
Keyless Go Forces Recall of 6,636 Dodge Challengers

"Keyless Go" is an apt moniker in this age of multitasking, speed-passing, Easy-Fueling drivers. But 6,636 '08-'09 Dodge Challengers with automatics are in such a seeming hurry to get moving that they may do so even when their owners would rather they stay put. Said the National Highway Traffic...Read More»

2011 Chevrolet Volt
2011 Chevy Volt Creates New Class of Green Vehicle: E-REV

In the high-efficiency world of green technology, acronyms abound. The 2011 Chevy Volt adds another to the fray with its E-REV, standing for Extended-Range Electric Vehicle. And far from PR frippery on this, the day of the Volt's very public birth, E-REV is a very significant automotive...Read More»

2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid
GM Next-Gen Duramax Diesel Boasts Engineering Tricks

GM's next-generation Duramax diesel is coming--and it boasts a host of new technology tweaks to help it deliver better gas mileage. The Duramax name is about the only thing that GM's new ultra-efficient diesel engine, in final phases of development, shares with the current iteration. The diesel...Read More»

2009 Ford F-150
Ford, Dodge Trucks Boost MPG for 2009

Treading water (with increasing urgency) while their super-efficient diesel and gas models are still in development, Dodge and Ford are introducing engineering tweaks in their 2009 full-size trucks to eke out more efficiency from existing engines. PickupTrucks.com cites "significant mileage gains"...Read More»

2008 Saab 9-3 4-door Wagon SportiCombi Angular Front Exterior View
Saab Spreads XWD Across 2009 9-3 Line

Putting a bunch of turbocharged torque through the front wheels alone can make for a car that likes to choose its own steering direction. Saab's been doing turbo front-drivers for decades, and the firm finally extends the AWD (pardon, XWD in Saab vernacular) option to all of the base 2.0T models in...Read More»

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