The Porsche 918 Spyder concept was revealed in Geneva
When Porsche AG showed the 918 Spyder at the Geneva show in March, we said it was a car to “make anyone a believer in hybrid
Well, maybe not anyone, but Porsche now says it has almost 900 potential buyers for the two-seater hybrid prototype as the German automaker gets closer to approving production.
What can $528.7 million buy you these days?
GM, Columbia University explores 'New York and the Electric Car.'
The forum, according to The New York Times Wheels blog, was more of "celebration" than anything else -- there was also a lot of cross-interest, with longtime former GM Vice President Lawrence Burns, also director of sustainable mobility for Columbia's Earth Institute. Jeffrey Sachs, who heads the institute, said that the world is on the cusp of a global electric revolution and that it will start in the world's biggest cities.
Arthur Kressner, director of power-supply research and development at Con Ed, said New York has a grid capable of handling the demand from electric vehicles, with the exception of rare peak demand times. The Wheels blog post doesn't say whether the grid can handle the demand because the demand, right now, is about zero.
Anti-texting campaigns are on the move.
First, the Governors Highway Safety Association and member state highway safety agencies are teaming up with Oprah Winfrey, the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and Harpo Productions for a No Phone Zone Day on April 30. This will be in conjunction with a very special episode (aren't they all?) of Oprah's show in which the media queen addresses the dangers of distracted driving. This will likely be followed up soon after by Oprah claiming to have eradicated the scourge once and for all, accompanied by some tears and harpsichord music in the background. If interested in the details, you can check out the press release here.
For those who prefer humor, rather than self-satisfied melodrama, as an antidote to the world's ills, check out Ken Jeong and Joel McHale, from NBC's show "Community," and the off-beat anti-texting-while-driving public-service announcement they've put out, after the jump. The humorous announcement was released via a partnership between dosomething.org and Sprint, and promotes the use of anti-texting "thumb socks" -- you'll understand when you see the video. It's a humorous attempt to solve a very serious problem, especially among teenagers, for whom car accidents are the country's No. 1 cause of death.
By Dale Jewett
Fans of the Audi R8 and Bugatti Veyron sports cars--a group that includes all of us here at AutoWeek--have the chance on Monday night to go behind the scenes and see how these road rockets are built.
The National Geographic Channel, available on cable and satellite TV systems, tells all about the Audi R8 on an episode of Ultimate Factories that airs at 10 p.m. Eastern. The show takes views into Audi's assembly plant in Neckarsulm, Germany, where workers build up the R8's aluminum space frame by hand.
Expensive fix, unfortunately not under warranty, suggested for Tundra owners.
Owners of 2007 and 2008 Tundra models are being asked to replace the air induction pump and/or the vehicle's air injection switching valves, which according to reports have been taking on water. Two points of bad news here: First, these systems seem to be failing right around the time Toyota's 3-year/36,000-mile warranty expires; second, the total cost for fixes can run up to four grand.
By Hans Greimel, Automotive News
Front and rear lamps raised from the body surface and pronounced spoilers are two tricks Nissan will use more often to improve the aerodynamics and handling of vehicles--in addition to giving them a futuristic flair, global design chief Shiro Nakamura says.
The goal: Win young drivers and bring sales of models such as the Nissan Altima in line with Japanese rivals
"The important thing is the front end and the rear end," Nakamura said during an April 12 interview at the company's main design studio south of Tokyo. "Traditionally, the lamp surface has been flush with or a continuation of body surface. Now we are disconnecting that surface."
Improving aerodynamics is a key strategy for Nissan as automakers race to improve fuel efficiency and meet stricter global emissions standards. Nakamura says he aims for a drag coefficient below 0.3 for all his designs. The Toyota Prius, by comparison, has drag of 0.25.
Volkswagen's latest electric vehicle is purpose-built to serve the public as a taxi.
Pure electrics, though, seem to have hit the natural consciousness as the next logical step in the clean, green and mainstream car movement. EVs such as the Nissan Leaf have been eagerly awaited by both the media and more than 100,000 potential buyers, while the Tesla Roadster has shown what electrics can do on the high end.
Volkswagen, the world's third-largest automaker, has its own EV slated for showrooms in 2013; however, its newest electric concept is more akin to those airport buses: a purpose-built, all-electric taxi, aimed at congested urban markets.
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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