Ford to pump an additional $135 million into hybrid technology.
Ford has had great success with its acclaimed Fusion Hybrid sedan; the company has new hybrids planned for the next-generation versions of its midsize car and crossover lineup, such as the Escape and the Focus. The goal is to launch five new hybrid electrics in the U.S. by 2012, and in Europe the following year.
By Kathy Jackson, Automotive News
Lexus' small CT 200h hybrid won't go on sale until February, but a short online movie called Dark Ride is already promoting the vehicle and reaching out to younger buyers.
Lexus and its ad agency, Skinny, aim to generate excitement among consumers 16 to 44 -- known as Gen XY. That demographic is a far cry from the median age of Lexus' owners -- 57.
The movie is interactive, with online participants commanding the wheel of a CT 200h. The mission is to prevent the opposition from stealing the car's hybrid technology while driving safely to Los Angeles. The driver makes the decisions.
Rumors surface that Chinese automaker Geely plans a less expensive microcar than the Tata Nano.
Rumor has it that Chinese carmaker Geely, which most might recognize as the manufacturer that took Volvo off of Ford's hands, aims to do just that in 2010, likely with a version of the IG Fantastic concept it unveiled in Shanghai last year. (The gull-wing doors most likely won't make the cut.)
As for stats, the 1-liter engine pumping out an underwhelming 70 horsepower probably won't get your pulse pounding, but -- depending on what does it for you -- the projected sticker price of only $2,250 just might.
By Greg Migliore
This turbocharged demon packing 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque with a six-speed manual transmission and a host of performance enhancements reportedly was approved. The Detroit News, citing an interview with General Motors vice chairman Tom Stephens, said the car has been given the green light.
Crime + video = stupid.
Awhile back, I did a piece for MSN Autos on the world's dumbest car thieves. Unbelievably, filming yourself (or having your mates film you) in the act of committing a crime is not as uncommon as one would think.
Then again, dumb and easily identifiable criminals are probably a good thing compared with the masterminds, no? Enjoy the video after the jump.
French team shatters Shell Eco Marathon fuel-efficiency record.
During day one of the competition, the French squad, dubbed "Team PolyJule," and their hydrogen-powered prototype destroyed the previous record of the equivalent of 3,836 kilometers on a single liter of fuel, set by ETH Zurich of Switzerland in 2005. They did it by posting a whopping 4,414 kilometers on that same volume. Even more amazing is that the next day, they once again shattered their own 1-day-old record, adding 482 kilometers to the range to top out at the equivalent of 4,896 km per liter -- in other words, the equivalent of 11,516 miles to the gallon.
By Greg Kable
The new two-door, which will ride on the same underpinnings and draw power from the same engine as the Maybach 57S, is planned to be built in a limited run of 100 cars at the company’s workshop in Weinsberg, Germany, all with the blessing of Maybach parent company, Daimler. Daimler has carefully followed the car’s development and will supply built-up 57S chassis from its nearby Sindelfingen-based manufacturing headquarters.
House subcommittee passes Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010
The bill -- which was passed on a voice vote, meaning the next step is an as-yet-unscheduled ballot vote by full committee -- mandates brake-override systems, increases resources for federal regulators such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and facilitates more public transparency for safety-defect information. The bill, thanks to a proposed $9 per-vehicle fee (which, if we remember correctly, would start off at $3 per vehicle before tripling over the next few years), looks to double NHTSA's coffers to $280 million by 2013. Groups lobbying on behalf of auto manufacturers have argued the fees will increase costs to unacceptable levels.
Also raising ire for the auto manufacturers is the bill's "black box" provision, which would require that the safety recorders be be installed in every vehicle and that they record event data from 60 seconds before to 15 seconds after a crash. Auto lobbyists argue that the mandate would add thousands of dollars to the cost of every new vehicle.
Explore New Cars
More on MSN Autos
About Exhaust Notes
Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.
Have a story idea? Tip us off at email@example.com.
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