By Kevin Miller
From an engineering perspective, Chevrolet’s Volt is a technological tour de force that both highlights GM’s commitment to technology, and their engineering muscle as a global organization. It is able to travel around 35 miles on full charge, and nearly 300 more using its onboard ICE “range extender” to make electricity. While our Editor-in-Chief separately spent five days in another Chevrolet Volt, I had two days in one in which I was able to experience some of the ups and downs of EV ownership.
By Chris Haak
Back in the sixties – a decade which, scary enough, began more than a half century ago – the creators of the cartoon The Jetsons imagined a future world in which robots served humans, there were pushbutton conveniences that automated mundane tasks, and the cars could fly (and fold into a space the size of a briefcase).
We’re now halfway to 2062 when The Jetsons was allegedly taking shape, and we certainly do have many automated conveniences, but we seem to be barely any closer to all having flying cars. People living in 2062 also only have to work three hours per day; it seems that we’re trending in the opposite direction from that. However, I really do believe that the Chevrolet Volt is about as close as you can get to driving (ahem, *not* flying) the car of the future.
By Chris Haak
With fuel prices still high – and volatile – US consumers are flocking in greater numbers to more fuel-efficient vehicles. According to research that Hyundai shared with a group of journalists this morning in Charleston, SC, the subcompact segment is expected to grow by over 80 percent from 2010 to 2013. Granted, the B-segment (subcompacts) still doesn’t sell in the numbers that the C- (compacts) and D-segments (midsizers) do, but it stands to reason that US consumers will embrace more “right-sized” vehicles more readily in coming years than they did in the go-go cheap gas 1990s.
By Chris Haak
It’s not the sixties anymore, kids. Though certainly there are still high-horsepower holdouts, the days of the V8 and even V6 (or inline six)-powered family sedan are numbered.
The latest data from auto industry research firm IHS Automotive shows that four cylinder engines made up 43 percent of all new-vehicle registrations during the first half of 2011.
By Carl Malek
Volkswagen has been busy working on the finishing touches of its next generation GTI model, and it appears that a horsepower bump is in the cards for the new version of the original hot hatch. This is according to the folks over at Autocar Magazine, who claim that the familiar 2.0 liter turbocharged engine will be tweaked to help increase power from 200 horsepower to a more robust 220 horses. One of these tweaks is the use of a brand new valve lift system developed by Audi. Along with the revised engine, Autocar also states that the upcoming GTI and R variants will feature a brand new electronically controlled mechanically locking differential, which would help improve the performance of both models.