When Renault unveiled its new Twingo a few weeks ago, we wrote an electric version was highly unlikely. After seeing the car in the flesh, and a talk with the people who made it, we can now confirm that there won’t be an electric Twingo. Continue reading
The Renault Zoé received one major complaint when it launched: it was impossible to plug it on a standard home socket. It was only possible with an aftermarket cable, with no support from Renault, which required all customers to buy an expensive wallbox. Renault understood this was an inconvenience, and said it was looking for a solution. The problem lied in the Chameleon charger. Contrary to Continue reading
There will be a few hybrids and electrics at the upcoming Geneva motor show, but the cars most Europeans buy are diesels, and nobody expects this to change in the foreseeable future. Happily, car manufacturers are good at making diesels, and they always make them thriftier and thriftier. Both Ford and Volvo will introduce new engines for their high-selling compacts in Geneva. Continue reading
Rinspeed, from Switzerland, is one of the most imaginative tuning firm in the world, but its latest creation looks rather mundane. It looks like a production car: a Tesla Model S. Externally, that’s still what it is, but the car has been much modified in the inside. It has been fitted with a steer-by-wire system, and that allowed the steering wheel to be installed a sliding arm. The wheel can be moved to the center, with the driver and its passenger free to enjoy a tablet computer right in front of each of them. Some might argue it will be inconvenient to drive like this, but Continue reading
It’s only a rumor, and there’s not much to back it up: Apple could buy Tesla Motors. Executives from both companies met last year, but Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, if he confirmed the talks, didn’t say a word about their content. Many investors will dream of a fusion to get the stocks even higher (and make a hefty profit), but a take-over is highly unlikely. Elon Musk says it, and so should Apple for the non exhaustive list of reasons I’ve compiled below.
There was a paradox with the Opel Adam. The car’s looking modern and cool but its engines were not at the same level, and its fuel economy wasn’t as good as the class leaders. The new downsized, turbocharged 3-cylinder changes all that. This 1.0 liter ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo makes 115 hp and 122 lb-ft of torque at a very low 1800 rpm. That’s better than an average 1.6-liter, but more than power, Opel says it is refinement which is its new engine’ strongest asset. Three cylinders engines are badly known for their rough behavior, but Opel’s engineers worked extra hours to correct that.
It’s a done deal! Fisker is less than ten years old, but the company’s already having a new start. Fisker Automotive couldn’t pay its creditors last year, so it had to go through a bankruptcy process which ended yesterday. The court approved the sale of Fisker’s assets to the highest bidder: Chinese Wanxiang group.
Hybrid sales will always be on the rise, and there will be more and more hybrids available to all drivers. This is what most people thought, but not what Europeans wanted. Honda will stop selling hybrids in Europe. The Jazz (known as the Fit in America) hybrid may continue, but the Insight and the CR-Z, models that are only available as hybrids, will go. The very simple reason behind this business decision is that very few people in Europe were buying them. Continue reading
That’s competition! The two largest French manufacturers have unveiled the same very same day their newest offering in the small city car segment. Here are the Twingo from Renault, and the 108 from Peugeot. Renault is known for bolder designs, and the new Twingo certainly confirms this. It’s also more daring below the skin, with a much unusual rear engine. Like high-end sports cars, but rear engines make a lot of sense for city cars. Continue reading
If we look at the evolution of the Ferrari V8, in the last thirty years, we’ve seen this engine growing from 3.0 liter, to 3.2 then 3.5 and 4.3 and up to 4.5 liter on the latest 458. The revised Ferrari California shows that this trend is now reversed, because the car’s new engine is down from 4297 cc to 3855. Not a big change, but still a reduction, and that is a first. The tifosi Continue reading
The hardware first, and then the software. Nissan is already known as the leader in fast charging in Europe, since it has financed the installation of more than 1,000 stations all over the continent, but the manufacturer is now looking beyond that. That means making it easy for Nissan’s EV drivers to charge at other stations. Nissan signed a partnership with French start-up Green Park Solution to reach that goal. This company has Continue reading
The world has already seen many prototypes of hybrid two-wheelers, and a three-wheeler, the Piaggio MP3 hybrid is on sale in Europe, but this is the first hybrid scooter which could be mass-produced. It comes from India. It was unveiled at the New Delhi motor show, and it’s built by Hero, the leading Indian motorbike manufacturer. It’s a pretty small scooter. Continue reading