Auto Speculation & Rumors
Info here isn’t confirmed by MFG’s, its the latest speculation and rumors to be found on the internet.
Info here isn’t confirmed by MFG’s, its the latest speculation and rumors to be found on the internet.
What do you get when you cross the DNA from a SmartforTwo, with a Hummer H3, and then add a battery pack? You get a vehicle that was made by UK coach builder Prindville to help accomplish a few different tasks, while still performing the general function of being a simple mode of transportation.
The Prindville EV Hummer is a small two door EV that has the look of the H3 Hummer that was discontinued by General Motors back in 2010. Most Gearheads know that the Hummer brand was great for what it was, but when gas prices steadily increased the big and brash, in your face Hummer civilian line became something some still loved, but many others began to hate. GM had no real choice, but to shut down production of any and all Hummer vehicles.
So now we have the face of the Hummer being reintroduced so to speak, as an EV, but not in the same size like you would think. This is where the whole DNA of a Smart car comes into play. The Prindville EV Hummer is tiny to say the least, it’s actually smaller than one of those famous British Black cabs that roam all over the streets of Great Britain. The EV Hummer comes with a standard 75 Volt power system that is carried by an ultra light-weight aluminum chassis that allows this car to drive distances from 30 to 68 miles on one charge. There are a few different trim levels, but no real spec have been released as of yet.
This Eco friendly Hummer, as funny as that sounds is an official vehicle. The Prindville company took the time to go to General Motors and essentially commission the Hummer name, as well as the look that everyone once knew of. Prindville wanted this car to be more than your everyday A to B car. They wanted businesses to take advantage of the look of this EV for advertising, as well as getting that helpful tax break in the beginning of the year. Now keep in mind, that this mini Hummer will never see any off-roading whatsoever, unless somebody else decides to buy on of these little micro runabouts, and pumps up the power output for personal use. Other than that, this new EV will be created for a few lucky potential customers who are willing to pay the $40,000USD for it. That’s about 30,850 Euros, and 24,949 GBP for all you Brits out there who would actually be interested in something like this.
The Prindville EV Hummer as mentioned will be available with a few trim level options, and will come with some of the following items. Items such as Carbon Fiber pieces, leather interior, CD/MP3 player, molded headlights, LEDS, Chrome wheels, a Solar Panel sunroof and many more options that can be had when you walk through the door. Prindville will only be making 25 of these special little micro EV’s for the world. So if you really want to stick it to the Smart EV, or feel the need to channel your Eco Schwarzenegger, this is the car for you. Find Prindville coach builders and see if they can hook you up with one before they run out.
For many drivers who perform the everyday tasks of taking themselves to, and from work on an everyday basis, would normally never notice something different when it passes them by on the road. Not unless it was something either in an extremely hideous color, or a very odd shape, but nevertheless they really wouldn’t catch sight of anything remotely odd. With that said what of the drivers who notice just about everything on the roads? The ones like you or me, who would notice that body kit on a car that’s traveling in the opposite direction at over 55mph, and could actually name the type of kit it was? Yes, we do exist.
So like me, there were some other people who noticed similar vehicular car qualities, and decided to make something better out of something that was already great. There’s a company by the name of G-Power that has been around for quite a bit of time, and they seem to love to do nothing more than tune the HELL out of a BMW. In this instance, we find that the teams over at G-Power have decided to bust up a few knuckles on a brand new BMW M6 Coupe. Just to let you know, this isn’t their first rodeo.
When the BMW M6 Coupe rolls of the assembly line, it comes with a standard 553hp, and 500lb feet of torque, but like with any good tuner, stock numbers are not enough to live by. G-Power bumped up the power to a whopping 631hp, and 558lb feet of torque, by adding in a twin turbo charged system, which is just enough to get this slick looking car going sideways, or in any direction for that matter.
Just like their last projects, G-Power included more in their projects than just power. In this highly tuned BMW M6, there is also a newly developed sport suspension package consisting of coil over shocks, and upgraded bushings. Low profile Z rated tires help deliver all of the new found torque that’s hitting the road, and stopping this beast is the latest in Carbon Fiber braking technology. Finish off the package with a Titanium exhaust, and a very sexy looking body kit and you have yourself a winner. Being that this BMW M6 is G-Power’s third time messing around with a Beemer, you can expect to see more parts being thrown at this model in the upcoming future.
With all of Volkswagen’s great, and colorful improvements that have been made to the 2012, and 2013 Beetle, you had to figure there was some bad news that was bound to pop up at some point right? Well, here we are on the negative side of the information pool, with news of an automotive recall that Volkswagen themselves have issued out.
This automotive recall pertains to a safety issue that Volkswagen themselves have found out just recently, and urgently moved forward with the process of alerting all Beetle owners. The new Beetle affected is that of the 2012 to 2013 model that was manufactured between, February 2012 throughout August 2012.
The 2,500 Volkswagen Beetle models have a potential air bag safety fault that will be addressed as soon as possible. In an official letter sent to the NHTSA, it was stated that if the front passenger seat gets wet for any reason, the module that has built inside of the seat just might malfunction to the point where the air bag that corresponds to it will not deploy properly. In other words, if the module in the seat gets wet, the sensor will not recognize that there is a person sitting there, and in the event of a crash, the air bag will not deploy.
Volkswagen has already started mailing letters to alert owners of certain model 2012 & 2013 Beetles. This automotive recall comes at an inopportune time, when the automaker has doing whatever it can to keep the 2013 Beetle relevant in the auto industry. As it stands now, Volkswagen hasn’t issued an official date of when owners can start bringing in their cars, but they made it known that all defective modules will be replaced free of charge. For more information, please contact your Volkswagen dealership, or contact the NHTSA for further details.
As we all know, the 2012 Ford F150 Raptor has been on the road for quite some time now, and it has been making a pretty good name for itself while being on the road. Since it’s introduction back at the 2010 SEMA Show the general consensus about the Raptor was borderline enthusiastic. In simple terms many people took the Raptor as another attempt by Ford to rekindle the extinguished flame formally known as the SVT Lightning. This effort was so not going in that direction.
As it stands now, the 2012 Ford F150 Raptor has established itself as being a dominant force in the pick-up truck world, and even with automakers like GM, and Dodge trying to match the success that Ford has achieved, the Raptor is going to be solidified in it’s position at number one. Now what some people may not realize is how popular the Raptor has become. It’s not often that you come across a professional auto tuner the likes of John Hennessey who wants to get his hands dirty in the engine bay of the Raptor.
So now that the 2012 Ford F150 Raptor has damn near become the “Staple” pickup truck, what does one do to ensure that they are the master of their Raptor, and not the other way around? You would enroll in a driving class the completely embodies what it is to be able to handle your Raptor anywhere, anytime. You would enroll in the Raptor Assault driving course provided by Miller Motorsports.
The Raptor Assault school is the place where you hone your abilities to handle your truck, while becoming a much better driver. Miller Motorsports has been teaching people who are everyday drivers all the way up to 5 day a week, race car enthusiasts. To take it a step further, they work with Ford directly to also help in testing of certain undisclosed projects. The way the Raptor Assault school works is, a driver would be introduced to basics of driving, and handling. Acceleration, braking techniques, approach speeds, things of that nature. Pretty much this is all covered in Part , during the in class session. Part 2 consists of the physical introduction to the vehicles at hand, and this is where the fun begins. Drivers are then set off on a controlled custom built track that encompasses what the school is all about. One of the key starting points is low speed handling, and control. The third, and final step is to perform everything you learned, at a much higher speed. All of what you learned, will be displayed in front of the instructors, and from that point they will decide whether to let you go all out, or turn it down a notch.
After everything is said, and done, the certificates of diplomacy and achievement are handed out to just about everyone who enrolled in the first place. There are a seldom few that need to continue the course, but nevertheless they graduate in the end. For what it’s worth Motor Trend sent one of their star reporters to this training camp, and she enjoyed the Hell out of it. This type of driving school would be beneficial to just about anyone who wants to be a better driver. So, be sure to look up Miller Motorsports, and the Raptor Assault school, you will not regret that you did.
An independent group decided to put the task of illustrating what a futuristic looking, go anywhere, do anything, Police patrol truck should look like, and not many automakers stepped up to the plate. The overall name of the theme was called, the 2025 Highway Patrol Vehicle. Well, as I just mentioned not many automakers signed on for this venture, but one brand did, and it was Mercedes Benz.
When the task at hand was accepted by their design team, the team members literally fell out of their seats with child like enthusiasm. They were excited to have an opportunity to do something of this magnitude right before the LA Auto Show. It’s just too bad that this challenge didn’t come during the Paris Auto Show or SEMA for that matter. Mercedes Benz would have definitely stole the show. Anyway, the MB design team put together a rendering rather quickly, and figured that it wouldn’t be enough to just have a some over exaggerated hand made drawing for people to look at, they felt the need to bring this drawing to life.
Enter the MB Ener-G-Force. This bold, and somewhat very mean looking vehicle of sorts was built for one primary function, reliability. As it stands, the Mercedes Benz G Wagon is the brand’s oldest, and most reliable 4×4 SUV to date, and what better platform to build a monster the likes of the Ener-G-Force patrol vehicle. The front end of the EGF is all business, with it’s very “In Your Face” MB grille, and silver Star emblem. The two tone paint scheme is not what you’d expect from the automaker. The front grille portion is an almost Matte Grey, while the rest of vehicle remains in a Brushed Aluminum Silver tone.
The lack of big windows, add to the Ghurka-ish look of this almost Militarized off-roader. Massive rubber tires set the tone under the beefy body of the EGF. The 20” wheels somehow fit the off-road look of the Ener-G-Force while not being to posh, or pretty. One might not notice how the LED headlights form the G in their shape, coincidence, perhaps not. The roof line of this beast is littered with lights, and some very high tech gear. On the very top, right behind the 4 pods lights, sits a terrain surveillance camera, that constantly sweeps the ground in front of the vehicle, and then sends the info to the on board computer, which then adjusts the suspension height instantaneously.
Power for the Ener-G-Forcecomes by a means I once covered in a hybrid Hyundai. This patrol vehicle uses recycled water, and Hydrogen power technology. With the on board Hydrogen converter, the water is converted into Hydrogen, which powers the electric fuel
cells, thus giving the EGF a maximum range of over 500 miles. There haven’t been a whole that has been divulged about the interior, but the LEDS that reside in the step up bar, change color to indicate power levels, of the fuel cells.
Now, keeping in mind that this build was strictly for exhibition purposes only, MB has begun looking into what a civilian version of this futuristic SUV could bring the auto manufacturer. Who knows, if Mercedes Benz is really serious enough about this project, we could see this Ener-G-Force SUV a lot sooner than 2025.
Thousands of Nissan Leaf electric vehicles [EV] have been sold, both in the US, where EVs aren’t very popular, and in Japan, where they are slightly more acceptable, but they all have the same problem. Really, it’s the same problem that all EVs have, with public perception including limited EV range, excessive recharging times, and higher up-front costs. To address some of these concerns, the next-generation Nissan Leaf, at least in Japan, is making some changes.
Nissan Senior VP, Masaaki Nishizawa, explained, “People who try out the Leaf are moved, but they are worried about cruise range.” The new Nissan Leaf gets a larger battery pack with a range up to 140 miles, whereas the old battery was only good for about 120 miles. Leaf owners have charging stations at home, but until now, only about 200 charging stations were available at Nissan dealers. By next year, Nissan Japan is planning on having over 1,000 public-access charging stations available at some 700 Nissan dealers, as well as installations at convenience stores.
The new Nissan Leaf has dashboard display helps drivers keep an eye on their battery charge, so they can plan their drive and charge accordingly, and also features a navigation system that calculates routes for best EV efficiency. The charging plug was reduced in size and weight, and the whole system was moved to the front of the vehicle, which left more room for cargo in the trunk.
The whole vehicle is lighter, and the new electric motor uses less rare-earth metals, which leads to perhaps the most impressive thing about all the upgrades – The new Nissan Leaf costs less. The old version retailed for about $37,000, while the new one will start around $31,000. Will this new technology and better pricing make it to the United States? Considering how difficult Nissan Leaf sales are here in the US, I can imagine that such a change would be welcome news to those considering an EV in the near future.
It looks like the automotive recall bug has bitten General Motors for the second time in under a week. Just last week the Detroit automaker painfully had to admit that there was a fault with their latest, and greatest, the 2013 Cadillac XTS. Now they are faced with yet another automotive recall that will potentially do more harm than it will do good.
After the 2013 Cadillac XTS was called out for it’s faulty rear head restraint issue, General Motors has had to once again get in contact with the National highway Traffic Safety Administration, and give them a few more names off of their newly designed roster. Well this time there’s some good news, and bad news. The Good News is, the problem is a small, potentially harmful, but small. The Bad News, is that it affects at least three different cars in General Motors line up.
First of all, lets hear what the actual problem is. GM’s official notice to the NHTSA explains that the problem lies with a small bar that is positioned in the dual-stage driver’s airbag module. As it’s explained further, that the bar itself may cause short circuit, thus stopping the airbag to actually deploy during a crash, or impact with the vehicle. As it stands now, General Motors has begun calling owners of the affected vehicles to come in, and have the steering wheel airbag coil replaced free of charge.
Being that this recall is only hours old, all of the info isn’t readily available, so all I have to offer you are the specific car models that are on this automotive recall list. The models of the 2,994 cars affected by this recall are the 2012 Buick Verano, the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, and lastly the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze.
This is all of the information that is available, if and when there is more info to be had, please either contact your local Chevy, Buick, or GM dealerships, or contact the NHTSA for more details.
Way to build up some suspense, Toyota. You’re going to make waiting for the fourth generation Toyota RAV4 a painful experience aren’t you? Eight days before the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, Toyota released a teaser video, showcasing the new RAV4, that is, in a word, mysterious.
Excellent soundtrack, by the way. Here is a shot I gleaned from the video, showing a more modern, refined look to the headlights, and if the new 2013 Toyota RAV4 takes its design cues further than the headlights, it will be sleeker and more engaging than ever before.
The official reveal of the new RAV4 will take place at a press conference before the opening of the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show at the Toyota exhibit space in the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
For those not fortunate enough to be able to attend in person, the press conference will be broadcast live for the world to see, Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 9:00 am PST, at http://new.livestream.com/toyota There will also be a live interview with Toyota Division Group Vice President and General Manager, Bill Fay, at 11:30 am PST.
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Toyota Prius, synonymous with ‘hybrid’ is now fifteen years old. Time to grow up, Prius! In the beginning, this mildly-priced hybrid delivered excellent fuel economy while still carrying up to five passengers. Later, in the second generation, Prius gained some new technologies to increase fuel economy, such as an industry-first electric air conditioning compressor and a smaller, lighter nickel-metal hydride [NiMH] rechargeable battery pack.
The third generation Prius, introduced in 2010, was rated over 50 mpg, the most efficient passenger vehicle on the road, aided by more aerodynamic styling, the first electric water pump, and smaller, yet more powerful electric motor. A minor facelift in 2011 might be called a fourth generation.
Recently, Toyota Prius has gained a few siblings, including the somewhat larger Prius V mid-size station wagon, the Prius Plug-In Hybrid, with increased electric-only range up to 11 miles, and the more compact Prius c. “Well-Enough” isn’t a term that Toyota is familiar with, and so of course we wouldn’t expect Toyota R&D to leave it alone.
Currently in development and built on the smaller Prius c platform, the next-generation Prius promises to be a little bit smaller. The smaller size will shave about 150 pounds overall, increasing fuel economy even further, maybe 70 mpg, setting the standard for pure hybrid electric vehicles to come.
The power-train will keep using the current system, which includes a 98-hp four-cylinder engine, 100 kW electric motor, NiMH battery pack, and Hybrid Synergy Drive to balance output and generation depending on demand. Another feature in the works for the new Prius is the addition of a rear electric motor, sized down from the e-AWD system used in the Lexus RX 400h. The rear motor in the new Prius will work up to 37 mph for maximum traction in slippery conditions, such as snow or rain.
Of course, there isn’t much else that we can glean from the rumors and a few choice statements from Toyota engineers, but Auto Express was told “the next Prius will redefine the hybrid as we know it,” and expects it to launch in 2015.
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About a week ago I submitted an article about a new, but classic spin of a design that automaker Volkswagen had made an official announcement for. That new spin was their 2013 rendition of “Herbie, The Lovebug” also known as Edition 53.
This 53 Edition of the 2013 Turbo Beetle was of course inspired by the original Volkswagen bug of the 19060′s that ran up, and down the streets of Italy during the filming of the original movie. The Herbie styled Bug has been in the minds of many VW fan’s all over the world, but the problem came when the announcement was made that the 53 Edition 2013 Beetle would only be sold in Portugal. I know that so sucks, but nevertheless there’s a new collaboration in the works for the new 2013 Beetle.
It seems like Volkswagen can’t get enough of promoting their newly designed bug for the
world to see, and this time around the new look is a little more close to home. This time around, the new Bug in question is apply named the 2013 Beetle Fender Edition. (Not Bender from Futurama, Fender the stringed audio specialist.) Yes, the German automaker decided to dive in feet first into the musical end of the design pool, and pull off a very sleek, and “Sleeper-ish” style of vehicle for some new aspiring talented VW fans.
The 2013 Beetle Fender Editioncomes to us with a very smooth, and pristine Deep Black Pearl Metallic paint job, that can only be contrasted by the Chrome Metallic trim pieces, and 18” VW Disc style wheels. For the most part the Fender Beetle has most of it’s styling cues on the inside where it really
counts. Inside we find that Fender’s well known Starburst pattern adorns the trim panels, in a few locations. Being that this 2013 Beetle Fender Edition comes in a few different trim levels, you will be sure to find slightly different variations of the Fender trim pieces in numerous spots on the Beetle.
Even with there being different trim options, all of the Beetles will come with the fender designed Premium Audio Head Unit that has been coupled with quite a few Fender approved built in components. The audio system is comprised of a 400 watt Head Unit, a Fender Bassman Sub-woofer, two Fender Rear speakers (size not specified), two more twin speakers, and a set of four tweeters. This level of audio greatness could only possibly be topped by the BOSE system that some rare Wolfsburg Edition Jettas, and Passats used to have.
Wrapping up this musical melding of the minds is Volkswagen’s ever reliable motor options. There will be the typical options such as the 2.5L five cylinder engine that makes about 170hp, and then there’s the 2.0L turbo-charged four banger that pushes out 200hp. Either way prices range from $24,440 for the manual, and go up to around $28,200 for the Turbo with the DSG tranny in it. Just expect to see quite a few more summer parties being held around a 2013 Fender Beetle, as the owner rocks out, and makes a name for themselves.