In the race to make cars lighter, faster, and more economical, Ferrari is thinking outside the box. Well, it's thinking about the box, to be more accurate, as this week it unveiled a concept car made partially from cardboard. Looking very much like a squished Enzo, the full-size FXX Millechili also features a power-assist hybrid drive train (one in which electricity assists rather than replaces the gasoline engine), a carbon fiber frame, and plastic-and-cardboard panels.
Toyota shareholders have approved the appointment of Jim Press, general manager of Toyota Motor North America, as a senior managing director to the company's board.
Press is the first non-Japanese person to ever be appointed to the automaker's board of directors.
The move was interpreted as a sign that the Japanese automaker wants to show the world that it's truly a global corporation.
The news comes amidst Toyota's release of May production and export results for its Toyota, Daihatsu and Hino brands.
The automaker hit its 18th consecutive month of growth in exports, which it attributed … Read more
Ferrari would like to set the record straight for those devout Catholics out there who have an extra $200,000 kicking around.
Its cars are by no means mere symbols of enviable status and power. Most people who buy Ferraris have an appreciation for the fun of driving, Amedeo Felisa, vice general manager of Ferrari, told Reuters.
"Unless having fun has become a sin, I don't believe it" is wrong, Felisa told Reuters from an event in Milan celebrating the company's 60th anniversary.
The luxury carmaker, it seems, felt it had to respond to the fifth … Read more
As far as we're concerned, this is proof positive that solar energy has finally arrived for the mass market. Supermodels and dorks alike can appreciate the "Mini Solar Racer," which is billed as "the world's smallest solar-powered car."
Given its 1.3-inch-long chassis, we tend to believe the claim. The only quibble we have is with its design--it looks kind of like a microchip on wheels in the photo on Gizmodo. But hey, the Model T wasn't exactly a thing of beauty either. And for $20, what do you expect, a Phantom?… Read more
The U.S. Senate passed a bill Thursday night that would require automakers to sell cars that get significantly better mileage by 2020.
If the bill is also passed by the House of Representatives, Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards will be raised from the current 25 miles per gallon to 35 mpg.
Automakers would still be able to sell trucks and sport utility vehicles that get below the 35 mpg mark in 2020, as long as they have other cars in their lineup to bring up their overall fleet average.
Miles-per-gallon goals for each vehicle class, and a timeline … Read more
Who would have thought green fuel was meant for speed? A few months ago fellow Craver (and speed nut) Michael Kanellos wrote of the "KillaCycle," an all-electric motorcyle that set a new record for the world's fastest electric vehicle, doing a quarter-mile in 8.168 seconds. Now the "British Steam Car Challenge" has even higher ambitions--to hit 150 miles per hour on British soil, then 200 mph on Utah's Bonneville salt flats for a new land speed record.
We don't know proverbial jack about steam cars, but it sounds as dangerous as it … Read more
A whole new crop of startups are busy living that dream, especially in Silicon Valley - and tons of money is flowing in to fund them.
EVs, Plug-in hybrids and next generation batteries and electric drive systems are exciting Silicon Valley to invest - and 2007 and … Read more
Is diesel the answer to more stringent emission standards?
Apparently it is, at least from the perspective of automakers.
Ford India announced Wednesday that it is launching a diesel version of the Ford Fiesta, the latest in a string of similar announcements in the industry.
"(This car) will dramatically change customers' perceptions about the traditional diesel vehicle. The car is designed to deliver responsive acceleration, outstanding fuel economy, and reduced emissions consistent with future norms," Scott McCormack, vice president of Ford India, said in a statement.
While environmentalists, consumers and politicians continued to discuss ethanol, hydrogen and electricity, … Read more
DaimlerChrysler, looking to meet tighter emission standards, on Tuesday announced a deal with Fiat for diesel engine technology.
The German-American company said the partnership will result in Fiat supplying 80,000 diesel engines per year beginning in 2009 to DaimlerChrysler's truck group, Mitsubishi Fuso. The group includes the Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star and Fuso trucks brands.
Daimler said that it saw the deal as a way to more easily save money and accommodate future emission standards as they come due.
"Today's and future emission regulations demand a high level of investment and technological specialization. This agreement … Read more
Is Apple looking to compete with Garmin or Alpine down the road?
German magazine Focus has reported that Apple is developing something that would combine maintenance, entertainment, communication and navigation for cars into one device and that Mercedes will be the first to feature it.
A dashboard system for Mercedes from Apple, or an iPhone integration system for the Mercedes, seems like a logical probability given the fact that the two partnered on the first iPod integration kit for cars in 2006.
Appled refused to comment directly on either possibility.
"We have not announced plans yet," said Tom … Read more