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Official: Twizy Renault Sport F1 is a racy EV that defies categorization
It recently came out that Porsche mulled a return to Formula One but chose a return to Le Mans instead, citing F1 technology's lack of relevance to its road cars. Well Porsche, take this: the Twizy Renault Sport F1 concept, "a bridge between the world of F1 technology and that of production cars." The French Formula One legend took a 17-horsepower electric Twizy and replaced the back seat with an 80-hp KERS unit, just like the ones it produces for its F1 customer teams. Then it added tires from a Formula 2 Renault and a steering wheel derived from a Formula 3.5 Renault, a front splitter, sidepods and open-wheeler mirrors. Yes, it's absurd - and by absurd we mean outstanding.
There are two KERS modes the driver can use, the first a Recovery mode that uses the Twizy's main 17-hp electric motor to recoup energy since the city car can't produce enough energy through braking to repower the KERS unit. The other is Boost mode, which allows a 13-second burst using the combined 97 horsepower available with the two motors. A single-seater-style rain light is affixed out back, and it illuminates when in Boost mode. The result is a Twizy that can dash from 0-60 miles per hour as quick as Renault's fastest car, the Megane Renaultsport 265, listed by Car magazine at six seconds. The Twizy's top speed in Boost mode climbs from 53 mph to 68 mph.
It will be shown at various events throughout the year, starting with the World Series by Renault race in Aragon, Spain on April 27 and 28. You can read all about it right now in the press release below.
Twizy Renault Sport F1 is a racy EV that defies categorization originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Apr 2013 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Report: More automakers will use turbochargers to meet CAFE standards
Plug-ins may be getting a lot of the attention from folks looking to cut emissions, but no one is forgetting the good old-fashioned turbocharger. In the end, turbos might even have a far larger impact.
Decidedly non-electrification-related features such as turbochargers, eight-speed transmissions and low rolling-resistance tires will be included on most US vehicles in 2025, the year automakers will have to meet the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard of 54.5 miles per gallon (which is closer to a "real world" 40 mpg), Wards Auto says, citing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials.
Automakers will be able to wring out 33 percent more "effective pressure" from turbochargers than they do today, with some companies boosting pressure by as much as 50 percent. That means that for every Nissan Leaf battery-electric or Toyota Prius Plug-ins, there will likely be many cars like the Hyundai Veloster Turbo (pictured) that will get better mileage thanks to a turbocharger. Even rigs like the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado may include four-cylinder engines thanks to improvements in turbocharging power.
Either way, the typical 2025 model will have about $1,800 more in fuel-saving technology than 2016 models, though the higher costs will likely be paid back in under four years, according to the EPA.
More automakers will use turbochargers to meet CAFE standards originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Thu, 25 Apr 2013 11:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Official: Toyota Me.We concept is a multifunction Tupperware car [w/video]
Not to be outdone by the Renault Twin'Z concept penned by Welsh designer Ross Lovegrove, Toyota has partnered up with French designer Jean-Marie Massaud to create the 2013 Toyota Me.We Concept. Unveiled at Le Rendez-vous Toyota in Paris, the Me.We Concept is an attempt to imagine a car that can be appreciated by owners across a wide variety of lifestyles while being courteous to the environment, too.
From a "Me" perspective, the concept is highly customizable with removable body panels, and even though it might look like just a small hatchback from the outside, Toyota claims it can also be used as a pickup (with an extendable rear panel), a convertible (with a neoprene roof panel) and even an off-road vehicle. As for the "We" part of the car, it's a fully electric vehicle with individual in-wheel motors and a battery pack mounted under the load floor. The concept has a weight of around 1,600 pounds kept low thanks to an aluminum chassis, but it also features renewable bamboo wood for the floor in addition to the fully recyclable polypropylene exterior body panels. Scroll down to see more in an official video and to check out Toyota's official press release.
Toyota Me.We concept is a multifunction Tupperware car [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Apr 2013 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Report: Honda boss says Chinese drivers don't want green cars
According to The Wall Street Journal, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito believes that China's nascent car-buying demographic isn't all that interested in hybrid cars - at least not yet. The emissions story doesn't resonate with them, and certainly not for the higher purchase premium such models usually carry. What they really want, Ito believes, is reliable, affordable cars that fit their needs. When it comes to Honda sales, the numbers would appear to jibe with his thoughts: Honda sold 598,577 vehicles in China last year through its two joint ventures, yet just 542 of them were hybrids - not even a tenth of a percent. However, Toyota sold 840,500 cars in China last year, and two percent of that total, 17,300 units, were hybrids, which is closer to the still-piddling three-percent ratio of sales that Toyota posted in the US last year.
Honda offers the Insight, Fit Hybrid and CR-Z in China and plans to make components for its Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system there from next year, the hope being it will reduce the cost of hybrid cars for local buyers. That was one part of the plan Honda laid out last year to popularize its IMA system in China. Other initiatives include the introduction of a new hybrid system for mid-sized and large vehicles and a plug-in hybrid. Among the four new vehicles Honda showed during this weekend's press day for the Shanghai Motor Show (including the Concept M minivan pictured above) there was not a single hybrid among them.
Honda boss says Chinese drivers don't want green cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Apr 2013 10:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Report: Fisker execs will be questioned today over DOE loan, repayments
As we get ready for a Congressional hearing later today, news of money that Fisker Automotive owes to the US government is on the mind of regulators and the public. Therefore, the US Department of Energy has announced that it did recently collect $21 million from the struggling automaker. The DOE says that the $21 million was paid back April 11. The company's first repayment, of $10 million out of the roughly $192 million that the company took (it was originally granted a $529 million loan but never took all of the money), was due Monday but the company did not send that check. DOE spokeswoman Aoife McCarthy said in a statement that the agency is "taking strong and appropriate action on behalf of taxpayers," and that the $21 million came from a reserve account. Whether the money covers the payment due is not clear.
Today, the ever-positive-in-the-face-of-trouble co-founder Hekrik Fisker (since resigned), company CEO Tony Posawatz (maybe; reports differ) and COO Bernhard Koehler will be questioned by Republican Darrell Issa's (R-CA) Government Reform and Oversight Committee. Word is that Henrik will say the company could "survive and move forward if it can secure financial and strategic resources, to build on its achievements so far" and that Fisker's problems are the result of "a confluence of events," which sounds like we could be in for some testy testimony.
It's pretty clear Issa has got a negative attitude about the company, since the hearing's official title is: "Green Energy Oversight: Examining the Department of Energy's Bad Bet on Fisker Automotive." We'll have more later today.
Fisker execs will be questioned today over DOE loan, repayments originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 24 Apr 2013 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Official: Tesla stock reaches record high, brushes $53
Tesla Motors shares hit a record high Tuesday morning, reaching almost $53 a share in NASDAQ trading before leveling off slightly to about $51 as of late this afternoon Eastern time. Tesla touched $52.92 shortly after the markets opened on Tuesday. Shares for the company, which went public at $17 a share in June 2010, have jumped more than 50 percent during the past year.
The California-based maker of the all-electric Model S said earlier this month that Q1 was its first ever quarter in the black, noting that it beat sales targets. That news followed up Tesla chief Elon Musk's proclamation that it would pay back its US Department Energy loan in roughly half of the ten-year timeframe previously set. Musk has been vocal and optimistic about his company's future, which lead to an excited Tweet about an upcoming announcement, a Tweet that might get him in trouble with the SEC.
Musk isn't the only one who sees good things in Tesla's future. Last week, Time Magazine named Musk one of the 100 most influential people in the world. On Monday, Seeking Alpha went as far as to say Tesla shares could hit $144 in the "near mid term," especially as short sellers who expected the stock to fall are forced to cover their losses. Motley Fool took a more measured approach, saying that factors such as Tesla's cash position, its ability to sell cars to those other than early adopters and the prospect of increased EV competition from larger automakers will determine whether the stock surge is justified.Permalink | Email this | Comments
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