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December 2010 Archives

Green Advice: You Filled A Diesel Car With Gasoline; Now What?

2010 Audi A3 TDI

Unless you're Argonne Laboratories, putting gasoline into a diesel fueled car is a bad problem.

Maybe it was brain fade. Perhaps you rented or borrowed an unfamiliar car. Or you simply didn't realize that nice Volkswagen or Mercedes-Benz was a new, clean-diesel car. (It also happens to particularly stupid car thieves.)

Ford Adding Start-Stop To U.S. Fleet In 2012

Europe is already knee-deep in start-stop technology, but we Yanks haven't been invited to that party yet. Why? Because of differences in the way the U.S. tests fuel economy, for the most part. Without a real numbers difference to sell the feature, it's hard to justify the added cost. Ford, however, is moving ahead with plans to add the fuel-saving tech to its North American fleet of cars--including non-hybrids--starting in 2012.

The news, released today, means that most of Ford's range could see boosts of four to ten percent in real-world city fuel economy. It's also yet another example of Ford moving to unify its global vehicle offerings.

Video: Toyota Previews 2012 Prius MPV Ahead Of Detroit Show



The 2011 Detroit Auto Show holds promise for Prius-lovers, with the first addition to the ubiquitous hybrid brand's family: an MPV, or multi-purpose vehicle. Americans may want to call it a wagon, or a hatchback, or something else, but whatever it's named, it's a longer, larger version of the Prius.

X Games skateboarder Bob Burnquist, himself a big fan of sustainable living and minimizing environmental impact, gives us a few teasers of what to expect--including a look down its long cargo area--in the video below. Beyond this small sneak peek, however, we know a bit about what to expect of the Prius MPV.

2011 Fisker Karma 'Final Pricing' Goes Up Again, To $95,900

Fisker Karma

The 2011 Fisker Karma is still on track to reach U.S. dealers in March or April, according to the company.

But there's one new piece of info: The price of the extended-range electric sports sedan has gone up. Again.

Originally announced in 2008 at a price of $80,000, the Karma fairly quickly went up to $87,900 and stayed there. Now, just before launch, 'final pricing' has risen another $8,000.

2012 Ford C-Max Final Specs: 2011 Detroit Auto Show Preview

Last fall we brought you the first drive of the 2012 Ford C-Max, but since the vehicles we drove were European-spec vehicles, we've been waiting on word of the final U.S. specifications.

Today Ford's released those specs, starting with engine output in both the C-Max's standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder or in its 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four. Both chime in with 168 horsepower--with the catch that on premium fuel, the EcoBoost four ups its power to 180 hp. Both fours come with a six-speed, dual-clutch transmission standard. Fuel economy hasn't been released, but Ford execs say a 30-mpg highway target is intended for the EcoBoost engine.

Why Leaf, Not Volt? Here's What One Of The First Leaf Owners Says

The 2011 Nissan Leaf electric car is now officially on sale. Over the past several days--beginning with the first delivery in San Francisco we covered this past weekend--Nissan has begun making actual deliveries of the Leaf. Not just to company fleets, public utilities, or those in transportation think-tanks, but to actual consumers.

One of these--the fourth nationally, and the first to take delivery in Oregon (Portland being one of the Leaf's key initial markets)--is John Duncan, who was presented his car by Mark Perry, Nissan's director for product planning, and his keys by Joel Fowler of Tonkin Nissan, in Wilsonville, Oregon, outside Portland.

Want To Buy a Toyota Prius Hybrid? This Is The Month To Do It

Auto executives always want you to buy their cars, today. That goes without saying.

But it's slightly less common for them to say, in effect, "This is the month to buy, 'cause we're going to be discounting the heck out of 'em."

Nonetheless, that was the message from Bob Carter, Toyota's group vice president and general manager, about the company's quintessential hybrid-electric vehicle the Prius.

40-MPG Cars Are Better Than Ever; Too Bad They're Not Selling

Today's small cars are better than they've ever been, even if few of them are among the EPA's all-time gas mileage champs.

And spurred by tighter fuel-economy laws, 40 miles per gallon on the highway is becoming the new target for subcompact and even compact cars.

There's just one little problem: Not only are 40-mpg models not selling particularly well, the whole small-car segment is anemic at best.

First 2011 Chevy Volts Leave Plant, Head To CA, TX, DC & NY

Production of the world's first range-extended electric car is now a reality.

Today, the first shipment of 2011 Chevrolet Volt electric cars left the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. The cars are bound for dealers and buyers in the initial launch markets: California, Texas, New York, and Washington, D.C.

Today's shipment comes exactly four years after Chevrolet began briefing the press, under embargo, about the Chevrolet Volt concept car it would unveil at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show. That concept became the 2011 Chevy Volt extended-range electric vehicle.

Ford Announces 19 Launch Markets For 2012 Focus Electric

Ford's first all-electric passenger vehicle, the 2012 Focus Electric, has just received its list of initial launch markets. Totaling 19 cities in all, the vehicle will roll out across the country with Nissan LEAF-like targets for range and performance.

Ford says the Focus Electric will be shooting for "up to 100 miles of zero C02 emissions, gas free driving on a full charge" of its liquid-cooled lithium battery pack. That's about what we've come to expect of the only other mass-market pure EV announced to date, the Nissan LEAF. But unlike the LEAF, the Focus EV won't be on the market until late 2011.

2011 Chevrolet Tahoe Review

2011 Chevrolet Tahoe

2011 Chevrolet Tahoe
Roomy, strong and refined.

By New Car Test Drive

Overview

The Chevrolet Tahoe offers good towing capabilities and can haul up to nine passengers or two passengers and a mountain of cargo or anything in between.

Inside, the first two rows offer legroom and head room comparable to most sedans but more shoulder and hip room because of Tahoe's six-and-a-half foot width. Fold the second row of seats and remove the third row and the Tahoe offers nearly 109 cubic feet of cargo space.

2011 Honda Civic Review

2011 Honda Civic

2011 Honda Civic
Benchmark compact offers something for everyone.

By New Car Test Drive


Overview

The Honda Civic is a benchmark in the compact class, noted for its reliability. A wide range of models is available. They're easy to drive, with ample windows that provide outstanding outward visibility.

We found ride quality in the Civic solid but not overly firm, with less road noise and wind whistle than is common for the class. The stiff chassis gives the Civic a solid and planted feel, with impressive stability and responsive steering, while the relatively long wheelbase smoothes the ride. Inside, the Civic is pleasant, attractive and inviting. Bluetooth and navigation are available.



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