Innovating the internal combustion engine
MSN Auto's own Chuck Tannert penned an excellent piece for Popular Mechanics on the innovations taking place in the world of the combustion engine. Let's take a look at the types of technologies that could keep the ICE -- albeit a far more efficient, cleaner version -- around for decades to come.
More models to come -- maybe -- from the EV automaker as CEO Musk faces liquidity issues
The presentation, as reported by Wired, is part of Tesla's road show to woo financial types to the company's upcoming IPO, which aims to raise $178 million and hopes to value the company around $1.4 billion.
Turns out, Musk could use that public offering cash sooner rather than later: according to the New York Times Dealbook blog, the Silicon Valley wunderkind -- who has made several fortunes with companies such as PayPal, Zip2, and SpaceX -- has run out of cash.
Breaking news via AutoWeek
The chief test driver for the Lexus LF-A sports car was killed in a crash on a public road near the famed Nürburgring where a prototype of a special Nürburgring edition of the car has been undergoing testing, according to sources in Germany.
The 67-year-old Japanese test driver apparently collided with a test car driven by two BMW test drivers outside the 'Ring earlier on Wednesday. The BMW drivers were injured but were expected to survive.
By Jan Tegler
Alfa Romeo turns 100 on June 24, and the Capital Chapter of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club (AROC) is celebrating the famed Milanese maker's centennial with a weeklong series of festivities called “Alfa Century 2010.”
Centennial celebrations take place June 21-27 in numerous locations throughout the world including in Milan, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and during the Monterey weekend. But the Washington, D.C.-based AROC Capital Chapter's birthday bash represents the largest Alfa-exclusive commemoration in the United States.
Chapter president Harlan Hadley said he expects a terrific turnout of Alfa Romeos from all eras of “Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili” (A.L.F.A.) history.
Mercedes wagon outdoes the sedan
Someday, psychologists will plumb the dented brainpans of auto journalists to figure out why so many are so in love with the humble station wagon. But maybe I’ve got it figured out: for all our unhealthy obsessions with racy-yet-unattainable beauties, we’re mostly dorks who secretly want to settle down with a nice, smart, practical girl (or guy).
And there’s nothing smarter and more practical -- yet still reasonably fun and handsome -- than a wagon. SUVs generally don’t handle as well, or get as good fuel economy. Minivans? Even auto writers have standards.
Cutting back on your car insurance bill
First, make sure you're not spending too much money insuring a pile of junk. Of course you have to keep some insurance, but going keeping full coverage on a clunker means you may be insuring it for more than it's worth -- and in case the car is totaled, you'll be paid out based on the car's actual value rather than the value at which you insured it. (Check Kelley Blue Book for your car's current value.)
By Izzi Bendall
Custom-body designer Lumma Design worked over the fire-breathing BMW X6 to create an even more powerful version bolstered with carbon and aerodynamic enhancements.
It's called the Lumma CLR X 650 M, and as always, speed is paramount. It pumps out 670 hp and has a top speed of 193 mph.
California looks into transforming license plates into ad-carriers
That's right: California is looking into way to turn drivers' license plates into an advertising platform.
According to bill SB 1453, which passed without a dissenting vote on May 28, the DMV is authorized to partner with companies for R&D purposes aimed towards (and here I quote Gizmag): "the utilization of digital electronic license plates with specified areas of discussion and to conduct “real world” trials to gather data on the ability for DELP technology to deliver cost savings, workflow efficiencies and revenue generation."
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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