Toyota unveiled its first production fuel cell car last month at the Tokyo motor show (our illustration). Market launch is scheduled for early 2015, and we weren’t expecting any news before then, but the unexpected came from Hideki Watanabe who said he was interested in the technology. It matters because he’s the chief-engineer for the GS and LS lines at Lexus. Continue reading
U.K. Chancellor George Osborne has unveiled a new strategy for LPG. This is ten-year roadmap with the clear goal of making this fuel less attractive to drivers. It’s a smart move because LPG has been resting much too long on its past laurels. Sure, LPG was great forty years ago, but now that gas is lead-free, diesel fuel sulfur-free and that all cars have very sophisticated (and very effective) depollution systems, there’s hardly any difference left between the emissions of a car running on gas or LPG. Some Japanese cars Continue reading
The Ford Mustang is an American icon, no doubt about that, but for the first time since the seventies, Ford has decided to go global with it. The Mustang will now be sold worldwide, and to prove it right from the start, this new generation has been unveiled simultaneously in five different locations around the world. Bill Ford was the Barcelona event, the chosen city for Europe, no matter that Mustang sales in Spain will always be minimal.
EV sales were much surprising in Europe last month. Tesla Motors, the American start-up, has beaten Renault, an established car maker with more than 100 years of history. Renault has said several times it wanted to lead the EV market, and it’s the only manufacturer with three models on offer, but that wasn’t enough to compete against Tesla. The Renault Zoé, a car perfectly sized for Europe, found only 629 customers last month. Renault also sold 20 Fluence Z.E. and 435 Kangoo Z.E.
Making forecasts for EV sales is difficult. The margin for error is huge, and many analysts prefer to give two figures, a low and a high, but once again, Norway has beaten the most optimistic figures. Continue reading
Transport & Environment (T&E), a green-lobbying group based in Brussels, has asked a respected certification agency, TÜV Nord, to measure toxic emissions from three late model gasoline cars, all with direct high pressure fuel injection. The cars were a Ford Focus 1.0 L Ecoboost, a Hyundai i40 1.6 GDI station-wagon, and a Renault Megane 1.2 L Energy 115. The test established that all three cars are fully compliant with current emission legislation, but that they will have to be modified to meet the more stringent regulation coming in 2017. This should not be a surprise. Continue reading
Peugeot announces a major upgrade on the software controlling its hybrid models, the 3008 (the SUV) and 508 (the sedan) Hybrid4. The new software increases the electric motor’s usage. There’s more regeneration when braking, and Peugeot has increased the top speed which is possible in all electric mode. It goes from 43 to 52 mph. These improvements are particularly well Continue reading
Motor show give the opportunity to see every car on the market, but MotorNature specializes on green cars. Here are in alphabetical order all the cars which had a green flavor at the Tokyo motor show.
This is a very small car. Smaller than a Triumph Spitfire for those who know old British cars. It’s not a hybrid nor an EV, but it shows that great fuel economy doesn’t necessarily needs high tech. If the package is really small, fuel consumption will be accordingly small. The trick is to make a small car cute, and Daihatsu did it according to us.
When one thinks of Spanish cars, one doesn’t think long because there’s only one brand: Seat. And it doesn’t even make any original cars. The Spanish brand belongs to the Volkswagen group, and all Seat models share all their mechanical parts with Volkswagen models. The Seat Mii (car in the back on our illustration) is a sister model to the Volkswagen up! and the Seat Leon (car in front) is the Spanish VW Golf. As EVS27 took place in Spain Continue reading
Anyone to remember that Honda once was a pioneer in turbocharged engines development? In 1982, the Honda CX500 Turbo was the first ever production turbocharged motorbike. It didn’t convince many customers though. Its career was short, and 30 years later, it still doesn’t have a successor. Cars are different. Most German cars are turbocharged nowadays. An Audi TT or a BMW 5-series can’t be bought without a turbo. It comes standard.
The EVS27 (Electric Vehicle Symposium, 27th edition) took place this week in Barcelona. Next to the dozens of conferences, there was an exhibition, and all visitors had to agree that the most incredible car there was the Appius Idiada. Continue reading
Here comes the new Mini! No, really. Only the lights are looking different for most onlookers but the whole car has been entirely reengineered. It’s built on a newly designed platform, one which will be shared with a future front-drive BMW. Engines are new too, and they’re now all with forced induction and direct injection, gas or diesel, but the biggest surprise is assuredly that the base engine only counts three cylinders. Continue reading
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