The new X6 crossover vehicle is ready for debut at the Frankfurt IAA (International Auto Show) this month. For now, all we have are spy shots and this video in which the BMW chief designer talks fluff while keeping the car under wraps. Via Left Lane News.
The Bugatti Veyron is an incredible car - and surprisingly smaller than I thought it would be when I saw one in Spain. So how do you build a 1,001 horse power automobile that burns 1.33 gallons of gasoline per minute, and requires 45,000 liters of air in the process? How Stuff Works has an article that dissects the Veyron into its mechanical bits. And if you haven't seen it yet, check out this video of Top Gear's James May take the Veyron to its top speed of 253mph.
As you may know I've been waiting with bated breath to get behind the wheel of the FCX ever since Honda announced that the vehicle would be available in 2008. According to Left Lane News, the hydrogen-powered FCX has become the first car to meet government requirements to receive a $12,000 IRS tax credit. Why is car so cool? Its hydrogen fuel cell produces water as its only exhaust! Currently there are fifteen 2002 FCX models in the US being leased to companies and only two (correct me if I'm wrong) to private households. Rumor has it that the 2008 model will be available in limited quantity and on a leased-basis only. So, Honda, if you are listening - I want my FCX! In fact, I just received my specialty license plates for my future FCX this week!
The Canadian Federal Court of Appeals has ruled that Nissan will again be able to use the letter 'M' in Infiniti automobile ads in Canada. Back in March, 2007 BMW won an injunction to stop Nissan from using the letter, claiming trademark infringement. BMW has used the 'M' designation to denote their line of high-performance versions of their vehicles since 1978 in Germany (and 1987 in Canada). However, the recent court ruling stated that BMW could not successfully prove a trademark infringement. From Left Lane News:
"BMW says the issue does not lie with the use of 'M' for the Infiniti
M35 and M45 models, but rather with a Canadian ad that uses the
tag-line, "the M is coming." According to Canada's National Post,
BMW claims the use of the letter confuses its brand with the "inferior
and more modestly priced" Infiniti brand cars. BMW's only recourse is
to petition the Supreme Court to hear the case or to reach an agreement
UPDATE: Smart has announced an addition of an electric-powered Smart ForTwo model to their lineup. It's powered by a 41hp all-electric engine capable of 69mph with a 70 mile range per charge. The vehicle charges itself in 8 hours and will cost around $3 per charge. Although it is carbon neutral to operate, the electricity consumed may not be carbon neutral in production. I am still eagerly awaiting Honda's hydrogen powered FCX later this year.
Here are two cars that I've waited awhile to see in the US, and they are finally here (almost)! Available for the first time in the US in 2008 will be the Daimler-Chrysler designed Smart cars. They are available in Europe in various configurations, including a nice coupe model. However, the US will get the two seater "Smart fortwo" first. I had a chance to take a ride in these cars when I lived in Montreal, and I found them to be great city cars-especially when it comes to parking! Judging by the popularity of hybrid cars and consistently high gasoline prices, I think America may finally be ready for this 60-mpg vehicle.
Also debuting is the follow-up to Infiniti's popular G35 sports coupe, the 2008 model G37. The production shots look sharp with more muscular shapes and aggressive lines and new grill. Cars always look different in person than in pictures. So I'll reserved final judgment until I see it firsthand.
Nissan recently unveiled a new concept car employing technology to detect whether the driver has been drinking. The system is composed of breath alcohol sensors, a camera that detects alertness by via facial recognition software, and perspiration detectors that measure the level of alcohol in one's perspiration! When alcohol levels above predetermined levels are detected, the system automatically locks the transmission, thus immobilizing the vehicle. Although facial recognition to determine driver drowsiness is not new, this is the first time it has been implemented in conjunction with alcohol sensors. For more details click HERE. Via Jalopnik. Nissan is Japan's third largest car manufacturer.
Hot on the tire tracks of the Mini revival comes the iconic Fiat 500 for 2008. The original car debuted in 1957 and has been fondly remembered since, even making an appearance in Pixar's movie "Cars" as Luigi the tire shop owner. Fiat is considering selling the car in the US through Maserati dealerships, but we may have to wait until 2010. Bummer. Check out the pics below and see why this car is an instant classic. It's just so cute that you want to give it a hug. Via Motor Trend.
surveyed ranked text messaging above even their own emotional state as
the biggest reason for poor driving. The survey studied 900 students from 26 schools, 37 percent of whom
ranked text messaging as "extremely" or "very" distracting.
Interestingly, only 14 percent of the teens surveyed said that talking on that very same cell phone is a major distraction.
I guess more people were excited about this automobile death match than I thought - even Entertainment Weekly. Entertainment Weekly?! Anyhow, the long-awaited head to head between the much anticipated 2008 Infiniti G37 and the sublime BMW 335i is here. I won't spoil it for you, but I will refer you to Motor Trend for the page turning story. I will say that I prefer the BMW from an aesthetic perspective. Chris Bangle and his design team has done well with this one. The Infiniti still lacks a bit of stylish flare in my opinion. But I will reserve final judgment until I see it in person.
This afternoon, BMW will be the first automaker to announce a fully integrated system for Apple's brand-new iPhone. BMW supposedly has a 6 month exclusive contract with Apple to be the only automaker to have iPhone integration, with other companies following suit afterwards. Initially, BMW will only offer integration for U.S. models, but with
international sales of the iPhone a given, BMW is likely to extend the
technology across to other markets. Stay tuned for more information
this afternoon. Via Left Lane News.