By Roger Hart
Mazda's next-generation of powertrains, called Sky, will feature a variety of new technologies that company engineers say improve fuel-efficiency by 20 percent. The Sky engines--Sky-G for the gasoline version, Sky-D for diesel--coupled with a Sky-Drive automatic transmission or a six-speed manual, were offered for test drives during a technology day in Berlin.
The Sky-G engine we drove was a 2.0-liter inline-four that made 160 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque. Globally, the I4 engine is Mazda's main power source. With direct injection and a high-compression ratio of 14:1, the engine was smooth with impressive low-end torque, something small four-cylinder engines are not known for.
Evora marks the first all-new Lotus in 15 years.
You might not expect a sports car with a Toyota V6 engine and a mere 280 horsepower to challenge the likes of Porsches and Corvettes. But the Lotus Evora -- the first all-new Lotus in 15 years -- proves again that Lotus’ lighter-is-better philosophy pays huge dividends on the road or the racetrack.
With an aluminum chassis that weighs a mere 440 pounds, and tipping the scales at barely 3,000 pounds overall, the two-plus-two Evora weighs about 250 pounds less than a comparable Porsche 911 or Corvette, and 750 less than the burly, all-wheel-drive Nissan GT-R. And while many of those cars will pull away from the Lotus in a straight line, they’ll be toast the minute the road starts to twist and bend. The Evora’s midengine, 3.5-liter V6 sends it from zero to 60 mph in a reasonably swift 4.8 seconds, but the Evora’s supercar levels of steering feel and cornering grip are what make it so electrifying to drive. Try this one: Lotus says the Evora’s chassis is fully 50 percent stiffer than a Ferrari F430’s, another key to its uncanny handling. The Evora also pulls nearly 1.25 G’s of cornering force around turns, topping most supercars that cost $250,000 or more. In contrast, a well-optioned Evora will set you back about $85,000. On public roads in New York’s Hudson Valley, I couldn’t find a turn that could truly challenge the Evora’s awesome handling capabilities.
Bond's Aston Martin up for sale.
The car not only has the iconic looks, but also comes with working props representing the machine guns, nail-droppers, switchable plates and bulletproof shield (though no seat belt -- apparently a good offense is the best defense) made famous by the various early Bond flicks. The car goes on sale at RM Auctions and is expected to fetch a cool $5 million, if not more. Check out the video after the jump.
Insurance group president criticizes NHTSA for lack of focus.
Curbing these two behaviors, Lund argued, would best help to reduce deaths on America's roads.
By Jake Lingeman
Lingenfelter Performance Engineering is reviving a name from the growing list of dead car companies, building a reimagined, 2010 Chevrolet Camaro-based Trans Am for the PlayStation generation.
Ken Lingenfelter and his Decatur, Ind., team redesigned almost every panel of the Camaro, leaving only the doors and the roof intact. They parked a 1971 Pontiac Trans Am alongside the donor car for inspiration. The recessed headlights and fog lights and the twin grille with offsetting borders practically scream Burt Reynolds. The seats are covered in a period-appropriate pattern and fabric, and it's swathed in GM's classic blue.
At the heart of the new Trans Am is Lingenfelter's 455-cubic-inch RHS aluminum block, ported and polished heads, a custom grind camshaft and a Fast LSX 102 intake. The overhaul is a 655-hp, 610-lb-ft walk down Memory Drag Strip.
Buckeye Bullet 2.5 sets land-speed record for battery-electrics
This week, the Buckeye Bullet 2.5, created by engineering students at Ohio State University in partnership with French EV manufacturer Venturi, blasted through Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats with a two-way average speed of 307.7 mph. That's the average of two mile-long trips taken within 60 minutes of one another, though the Buckeye Bullet can go faster than that -- it exited one of the mile-long trips at an astonishing 320 mph.
Add 1.1 million to the total recall tally.
The affected vehicles are Matrixes and Corollas from the 2005 to 2008 model year, all of which were sold in North America.
By Wes Raynal
If the 412 hp from your 5.0-liter Mustang just isn't quite enough, Roush Performance Products has launched the ROUSHcharger tuner kit for your car, boosting output to 550 hp on pump gasoline with more than 470 lb-ft of torque. The kit (part number 421140) has a suggested retail price of $5,999 and is available now.
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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