Mitsubishi to expand production of its i-MiEV electric car
Yep, Mitsubishi plans to more than triple the production of its electric car over the next three years. To meet an anticipated demand, the company known best to young rally car enthusiasts will put out 9,000 of its zero-emissions i-MiEV electric in the fiscal year starting April 1, followed by a production run of 18,000 the following year, then bumped to 30,000 the next.
The i-MiEV went on sale last year in Japan, where it sold 1,400 units between April 2009 and March 2010. About 250 units were sold abroad during that same time frame, though not in the U.S. -- the i-MiEV will not go on sale here until April, 2011.
Chrysler begins production of the Pentastar V6 engine
Jalopnik reports on how to get a whole new gas pedal on recalled Toyotas
Complain, that is, about the "operation and/or the feel" of the replacement metal stints used to fix the sticky accelerator pedals.
Toyota -- as you can see in the paperwork included after the jump -- instructed dealers that "accelerator pedal replacement is based on specific customer request only," and that "dealers are not to solicit pedal replacements."
If, however, you get the stint replaced per the original plan, then complain as instructed above and specifically request a new pedal. Toyota will fix it -- for free.
Lexus CT200h compact hybrid heading to the States
If that schedule holds, it will be the only dedicated hybrid in the compact luxury segment.
From the company's press release:
"The CT 200h’s Lexus Hybrid Drive technology features two motor generators. Each performs specific functions and can operate as both a motor and generator. The engine-driven generator can charge the battery pack or provide additional power to the drive motor as needed. The drive motor is driven by electrical power from the hybrid battery pack or generator and provides motive force for the front wheels. The hybrid battery pack is located under the rear cargo area within the wheelbase for optimized balance."
The CT200h will also have four drive modes: Normal, Eco, Sport, and EV.
Fiat/Chrysler to produce EV versions of the Fiat 500, Dodge Ram
The EV version of the 500, which, like its gasoline counterpart, will be built in Mexico, will roll out sometime in 2012. Actual specs are scarce -- the company hasn't announced the vehicle's electric range, for example -- but the car will nonetheless be the first EV manufactured by the corporate pairing.
The company also reiterated plans to produce a 140-vehicle test fleet of plug-in electric Dodge Ram trucks.
Ford to bring European-style performance vehicles to the U.S.
On the heels of its success with the zippy, fun-to-drive Fiesta, Ford will position itself to steal youth market share from the likes of Honda and Subaru, who already offer smaller sporty and affordable models such as the Civic and Impreza. Offering enthusiast drivers affordable performance when they're young, the thinking goes, will create loyal customers for years to come.
The upcoming performance line could touch any given model in Ford's current or upcoming lineup, from the Mustang to the Ford pickup truck.
A cross-section of automotive news from around the web
First up: Ford potential deal to unload Volvo to Geely Motors has hit a snag, at least according to the Geely side of things. They won't say what the problem is, exactly, but insist that A.) It's Ford's problem, and B.) They still expect the deal to get done. [Via Automotive News.]
Warm weather and crazy incentives have driven car sales up in March, to a point not surpassed since Cash for Clunkers. [Via Detroit Free Press.] Meanwhile, some are warning that Toyota's incentives (otherwise known as "here's some free stuff, please stop hating us now") might spark an incentive war among manufacturers... which, really, is only a problem for manufacturers, and quite a good thing for anyone looking to buy a car. [Via Automotive News.]
Tanner Foust owns Mulholland Drive.
Well, much like late-night comedy, someone has done something similar to Leno, but made the whole thing way more entertaining.
Pro driver Tanner Foust of the Formula Drift circuit, in conjunction with Scion Racing and Rock Star energy drink, have put together a mind-blowing video of Foust absolutely killing Mulholland Drive, drifting that treacherous stretch of asphalt like it was made just for him and no other.
Words don't do it justice: Check it out (especially the final part, at 3:19), after the jump.
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Clifford Atiyeh has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own. Raised in Volvos, he has grown to love fast, irresponsible vehicles of all kinds. He is the senior news editor at MSN Autos and also reports for Car and Driver, Road & Track, The Boston Globe and other publications.
In the garage: 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (not his)
Doug Newcomb has covered car technology for over 20 years for outlets ranging from Rolling Stone to Edmunds.com. In 2008, he published his first book, "Car Audio for Dummies" (Wiley). He lives and drives in Hood River, Ore., with his wife and two kids, who share his passion for cars and technology.
In the garage: 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS, two 1984 Chevrolet Blazers, 2008 Honda CR-V
James Tate learned to drive stick at age 13 in a 1988 Land Cruiser - in La Paz, Bolivia. He's since been a mechanic, on a pit crew and has wrenched on every car he's owned since his first 1989 Honda CRX Si (and won't stop until the car is a 1973 Porsche 911 RS). His work has appeared in Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, Automobile and others.
In the garage: 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera, 1988 BMW M5
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