Yokohama introduces first eco-friendly race tire.

Monday January 25th, 2010 at 9:11 AM
Posted by: michael.leroy

Yokohama ADVAN ENV-R1 tire
Nano-Power rubber uses orange peels to go fast

Normally racing and the environment are not mutually exclusive terms, but Yokohama wishes to change that with a line of eco-friendly line of tires for the SCORE, SNORE and the American Le Mans Series. Much like the Yokohama dB Super E-spec tires that we covered in the past, these new tires also use orange oil to reduce the amount of petroleum used to make a tire.

According to Japanese tire maker, the ADVAN ENV-R1 reduces petroleum use by 10 percent and is easier to recycle. Yokohama also claims the ENV-R1 is the first environmentally-friendly tire to ever be used in a racing series.

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Geek Squad Shows off Mitsubishi i-MiEV at 2010 Consumer Electronics Show

Wednesday January 13th, 2010 at 9:11 AM
Posted by: michael.leroy

Geek Squad i-MiEV
The Geeks go Electric

Geek Squad, a company known for its rather iconic fleet of VW Beetles ditched the bugs and brought four fully electric Mitsubishi i-MiEV’s to the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The tech repair company said last week they are currently leasing the cars and plan on using them at retail locations.

The compact i-MiEV is a svelte 2381 pounds and is powered by a mid-engine, 63-hp electric motor. To power the motor, Mitsubishi employed a lithium-ion battery pack that consists of 22 separate modules that are mounted underneath the cabin floor. Even with the motor in the back there is still room for the Geeks to store equipment.

When a quick-charging system is employed, the i-MiEV can be recharged to 80% in just 30 minutes. A standard 220V outlet can charge the battery pack in 7 hours. The standard two-prong 110v outlet will charge the battery pack in 14 hours. The estimated range for the i-MiEV is 80-100 miles.

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Tommy Kaira tunes 2010 Toyota Prius

Friday January 8th, 2010 at 10:11 AM
Posted by: michael.leroy

Tony Kaira Toyota Prius
JDM tuner gives the plain Prius an aggressive look.

Prius owners looking to hotrod their hybrids should grab their credit card and English to Japanese dictionary. Tommy Kaira, the famous Japanese tuner best known by Americans from Gran Turismo, is now offering a range of performance parts and body kits for the car.

The body kit includes a new front bumper, a rear bumper with diffuser and side skirts. The kit really does manage to improve the rather mundane look of the car and is almost what you would expect if Toyota sold the Prius as a Scion. An odd touch is four exhaust tips which may be going a bit too far.

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Hyundai to debut plug-in hybrid concept at NAIAS

Thursday January 7th, 2010 at 10:11 AM
Posted by: michael.leroy

Hyundai Blue-Will Concept
Could the Blue-Will kill the green Prius?

Hyundai has announced that its first ever plug-in hybrid concept will make its U.S. debut at next week’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The concept is called the Blue-Will and was shown first at the Seoul Auto Show in March of last year. The car has a long list of technology that is new for the Korean automaker.

The Blue-Will will feature lithium-ion-polymer batteries that will allow the car to have a range of 40 miles in full electric mode. After the 134-hp electric motor runs out of juice, a 152-hp, 1.6-liter direct-injection four-cylinder will help power the car. Hyundai claims the Blue-Will will achieve 55 mpg in standard hybrid mode and 106 mpg plug-in mode. A continuously variable transmission, which is now the de-facto transmission for fuel efficient cars, is included.

Much like the Prius, the Blue-Will will have solar panels mounted on its panoramic glass roof to help cool the cabin and recharge the vehicles batteries. The dye-sensitized solar cells will not hinder visibility as you look out the panoramic roof.

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Audi Q5 Hybrid Revealed, Production Scheduled to Begin Next Year

Tuesday December 29th, 2009 at 10:1212 PM
Posted by: michael.leroy

2010 Audi Q5

Audi on Dec. 28 released a press statement confirming that the Q5 Hybrid will begin production at the end of 2010. The vehicle will be the first hybrid car sold by the German automaker.

The Q5 Hybrid may likely be based on the VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne. The rumored powertrain is a 3.0 liter V6 with a 52-hp electric assist engine. A hybrid A4 model should follow soon after the Q5.

Last year Audi canceled the Q5 Hybrid because the company was unhappy with the crash test results with nickel metal hydride batteries. This may have been an excuse to give Audi more time to develop their hybrid technology. There could be a chance that the Q5 could come equipped with lithium ion batteries which will improve fuel efficiency.

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