Archive for February, 2011

Toyota Recalls Another 2 Million Cars. Apology Needed.

When NASA released the results of a 10-month study on Toyota vehicles on Feb. 8 concluding that the automaker’s cars did not have an electronics problem that caused unintended acceleration, one of Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s columnists said the media owed the company an apology . There is no ghost in the machine and the intense media coverage caused a frenzy, Bloomberg BusinessWeek columnist Ed Wallace wrote

EDAG Light Car Sharing Concept

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EDAG Light Car Sharing concept
For the third year in a row, the crowds who will be attending the Geneva Auto Show will get a chance to experience what an open source car means. Created by EDAG, a worldwide provider of engineering services, this year’s model will be called Light Car Sharing Concept.

Compared to the previous versions of the model, the Sharing Concept has received a new body, as well as a more advanced drive train system. With them comes the first marketing solution for the car on whose creation everybody is expected to have a say.

The electric drive train of the vehicle, comprising a battery pack located in the sandwich floor, allows for a maximum range of 100 km and a top speed limited to 100 km/h. The body of the vehicle is made of fiber composites and plastic parts. The plastic can be used to display messages on the area near the car.

EDAG Light Car Sharing Concept 3

At the interior, the Light Car is as simple as it can be, featuring only the accelerator, brake, steering wheel and a lever to operate the indicators. The driver get info about speed, range and battery status via a display.

EDAG Light Car Sharing Concept 4

The range and speed should be enough, in theory, for what the creators of the vehicles plan for it. The Sharing Concept, meant as a six seater, will become part of a yet to be developed car sharing system. Provided, of course, it will ever be producer.

EDAG Light Car Sharing Concept 5

MINI Rocketman Concept Geneva Motor Show preview

MINI Rocketman Concept 3MINI Rocketman Concept 1

The pint-sized MINI Rocketman Concept has broken cover this morning ahead of its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show on March 1.

At around three and a half metres long, the Rocketman Concept is a three-door hatch with what MINI calls a ‘3+1’ seating configuration.

MINI says the Rocketman will offer a combination of “ingenious functionality, smile-inducing agility, exceptional efficiency and irresistible design”, while still remaining “typically MINI”.

MINI Rocketman Concept 2

The side doors are perhaps the most innovative feature, with a second hinge close to the front wheel arches designed to offer easier access to both the front and rear seats. The doors are designed to open wider in tight spaces, a desirable feature in small modern car parks.

The two-part tailgate is another intriguing design feature. The glass window hatch is hinged high on the roof of the vehicle, making the opening mechanism a compact one, while the lower section slides out 350mm like a draw, as opposed to the conventional bottom-hinged system.

Although MINI is yet to announce the drive system underpinning the Rocketman Concept, we expect there will be some form of electrification or hybrid technology at work.

MINI says it will achieve combined cycle fuel consumption of 3.0 litres/100km, and will not sacrifice performance, promising “enhanced sprinting ability”.

Inside, the traditional MINI central control unit can be taken out of the car and configured before the start of a trip to update navigation destinations, music playlists or mobile contacts. When connected to the car, it will provide access to a range of entertainment and communication functions, including internet connectivity.

MINI Rocketman Concept 5

The Rocketman measures 3419mm long, 1907mm wide and 1398mm tall. MINI says it will act as a study car for the brand’s future design language, with the crucial features being the “tightly contoured surfaces, large wheels … straight lines [and] resoundingly solid structure”. The large circular headlights and chrome-edged radiator grille are also elements we can expect to carry over into the next-generation MINI vehicles.

The horseshoe LED taillights are among the biggest deviations from the current design, and give the rear of the Rocketman a truly unique appearance.

MINI Rocketman Concept 6

Personalisation has become a staple of the MINI brand, and the Geneva concept does not disappoint, with a Union Jack-inspired glass roof and coloured interior lights making a bold statement.

MINI Rocketman Concept 4

MINI is expected to reveal the full details of the Rocketman Concept at Geneva, which kicks off in under a week.

Eminem earned Chrysler some buzz. Sales may be tougher get.

It can only be a good sign that Detroit carmakers have the cash on hand to advertise in pricey venues like the Super Bowl. But in Chrysler’s case, the money for its “Imported from Detroit” ad for the new 200 sedan may have been better spent elsewhere. The commercial starts with gritty images of bleak urban ruins, smoke stacks and downtown Detroit set against a lead-grey sky