The safety-first Izh 2012 Concept motorcycle
The motorbike concept you see to the left is an updated version of one of those motorcycles -- the Izh-1 -- called the Izh 2012, and it is all about safety. The concept has an incredible amount of features designed to keep drivers safe -- many of which we don't normally associate with motorcycles, such as the dual front airbags you see in the image.
In addition, a crumple zone is built into the skeleton fork design, not to mention the type of crazy electronics you'd expect to see in the latest Volvo. From Gizmag:
"Like some systems in high-tech cars, the bike would be able to detect vehicles braking suddenly in front and automatically apply the brakes safely. It would also include proximity side sensors to detect blind spots, and the handle bars vibrate to warn riders of potential collisions."
Check out a video of the Izh 2012 concept, after the jump.
Recall of TSX cites potential fire hazard.
According to The New York Times "Wheels" blog:
"The automaker said 'prolonged under-hood temperatures' on the TSX may cause a hose to the power steering to crack and leak fluid, which could catch fire. The automaker told the [government] it first had a report of such a fire last September and began an investigation leading to the recall. However, the company is not unfamiliar with such problems on other models."
New auto-safety bill is drafted.
Brake override systems -- like the ones already seen on many German luxury cars and what Toyota has pledged to install on all vehicles going forward -- and "black box" event data recorders are among the mandatory safety features outlined in the bill. (Editor's note: Not to get nit-picky, but isn't a black box a "safety" feature in the same way an autopsy would be considered one? Figuring out what happened after the fact by definition isn't a real-time safety feature for a driver.)
By Izzi Bendall
The Japanese automaker stopped sales of the vehicle after Consumer Reports magazine declared the SUV a safety risk, warning readers that it was prone to oversteer in turns.
Suzuki promotion gives away free gas for the summer.
A smart charging station picks the best time to re-up an EV.
According to Gizmag, a German engineering group called Frounhofer has come up with a potential solution to this problem in the form of a smart charging station that powers up the vehicle when demand is otherwise low. It works like this: You clock out, head home and plug the car into the charging station -- just like everyone else. However, you have two charging options. The first is to charge immediately; the second is to let the system wait to charge until the local power grid is under the least load. To side-step the problem of waking up to an uncharged car because the system is still waiting, you simply enter the time you'll need your vehicle again, and the system will pick a time beforehand.
By Greg Migliore
The Chrysler Sebring will reportedly get a new name later this year: Nassau.
The midsize sedan is due for a freshening, including an updated interior, along with its Dodge sibling, the Avenger. The Detroit Free Press, citing anonymous sources, says the new name will be Nassau. Chrysler is not commenting on the possible name change.
"[We] definitely don't have anything to announce about the possible name change later this year," spokesman Rick Deneau said.
The Nassau moniker should ring a bell with car fans. It was the name of Hemi-powered, four-passenger luxury concept shown at the 2007 Detroit auto show. With striking looks and a prominent grille, the concept displayed a dash of panache--potentially for a future Chrysler. The concept rode on a 120-inch wheelbase and was meant to look more visually compact than a comparable Chrysler 300C, summoning the style of a shooting brake.
Consumer Reports lists its best cars for teen drivers.
Over at the Consumer Reports blog, they've put up a list of the best new and used cars for teens. The vehicles pass all their standard criteria in terms of safety and reliability, and they have some features that the magazine deems necessary for new drivers, such as electronic stability control (not the same as traction control, as they point out), curtain airbags and a low center of gravity. They rule out sports cars (obviously) as well as trucks and SUVs -- the former due to the temptation of speed, the latter due to the high center of gravity and typically poor handling, which could be a bad combination for an inexperienced driver. Best of all, many of the used cars on the list can be had for under $10,000, even in good condition.
Check out Consumer Reports' list 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