Most car guys I know loathe hybrid-electric cars. You can probably blame the Prius — a hyper-efficient car that’s a bit dull to drive, like a four-cylinder Camry. V8 afficianados, even if they only drive minivans, tend to get all worked up about the Prius, making rash assumptions about the drivers.… Read the rest
Thanks to mis-steps on the part of Henrik Fisker, Elon Musk’s Tesla was the first major modern electric-car maker — but were they the most important? It seems unlikely.
Fisker was close to making electric cars before Tesla, but ran out of cash; Tesla has yet to turn an annual profit but has strong credit lines.… Read the rest
The Fisker Karma was in development quite a long time when the company could struggle on no longer; and Chinese parts supplier Wanxiang Group bought the project, along with battery-maker A123, which had gone from a bright future with DaimlerChrysler to bankruptcy.… Read the rest
Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) are the first companies to use an innovative new substance, “Hushlloy™,” to virtually eliminate squeaks caused by plastic parts — a problem keenly felt by Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep owners.… Read the rest
Toyota announced two new transmissions today, quietly, as part of an otherwise fairly dull release on the Toyota Corolla Hatchback née Scion iM.
First is the new K120 CVT — a continuously variable transmission, but not purely driven by belts or bands.… Read the rest
Car radios have come a long way since their debut — with a single speaker and vacuum tubes that needed to be warmed up. Today, it’s not uncommon to see base economy cars with 200-watt six-speaker stereos — far from the old aftermarket-upgraded 30 watts per channel — that can read USB drives or use your phone as a music library.… Read the rest
Traditionally, there are two groups facing off over fuel economy (gas mileage) standards. On the side of raising standards are environmentalists, consumer groups seeking to lower lifetime ownership costs, and a few small groups such as generals wanting to reduce our reliance on oil from “threat-producing” countries. … Read the rest
For many people, the first indication that small automaker Karma has actually started producing its sport-luxury hybrid-electric cars was a recall on the 2018 Revero (for side airbag failure).
Today’s Karma has its roots in the Fisker Karma, unveiled way back in 2011.… Read the rest
German newspaper Bild am Sonntag printed a report claiming that Mercedes planted two software devices that turn on emissions-reduction equipment only when diesel engines being tested.
The first, Bit 15, turned off emissions equipment after 16 miles of driving, presumably the longest they expected government or private testers to be using a car, truck, or van for testing.… Read the rest
For decades, automakers have searched for ways to cut every possible penny from their costs, without making it obvious to prospective buyers. They experimented with putting the gauge cluster into the middle of the car, with moving physical controls into touch-screens, and with converting every possible knob into buttons.… Read the rest