BMW's hybrid electric i8, which is expected to hit the streets in 2014, will use two distinct drive systems. The front axle will employ the i3's 170HP electric motor, while a 220HP, three-cylinder internal combustion engine will drive the rear. Using that arrangement, all four wheels of the i8 will be driven at the same time, in a manner similar to that of an all-wheel-drive vehicle. (Source: Design News)
Cabe, a few years ago, Consumer Reports had a media day where they displayed electric cars, hybrids and other alternative power sources for autos. The biggest crowd of reporters -- by far -- was around a guy who had converted a single DeLorean from a gasoline- to a battery-powered drivetrain.
Awesome coverage. If I had the money I would buy a De Lorean. The body made out stainless steel (“Stains less”) would make for a better lifetime usage. Plus it is a classic, timeless body shape in my opinion. Anyone with one is sure to be a hit everywhere they go.
I don't know who keeps the concept cars. I just know it isn't me. A few years ago (okay, maybe more than a few years ago), I had the opportunity to drive a concept vehicle at a Pontiac longlead event, and I hit a speed bump a little too fast. I thought the engineer was going to throttle me. It might be my imagination, but I don't think they want to me to get close to the concept cars anymore.
The automakers do have some good technical innovations, tmash. Unfortunately, the Auto Show isn't a great place to do a deep technical dive. There were some pretty good innovations in engines, and we'll be covering those over the next couple of weeks for the engineers like yourself who are looking for a little more meat.
Have to agree. Concept vehicles used to be visionary (like the BMW "Gina"). Now they are pre-production advertisements for the marketing guys to gauge responses. If something is deemed 'ugly' or 'weird' then the vision is scrapped and the dull lines of the contemporary are used.
Where are the rocket cars, fusion powered autos, and the transforming vehicles? When gull wing doors on an SUV wow people, then we have not really seen anything new!
Actually, Al, I do have a technology that I thought was most interesting. This year, it's the engines. In the Silverado slide, you might note that I mentioned three new engines from GM (one of which is also in the Corvette). I think we'll be seeing a face-off between Ford and GM in this arena: Ford with its turbocharged EcoBoost engines and GM with its small block engines. The fuel efficiency numbers aren't in yet, but I find it interesting that the big automakers are investing in engine technology as we begin to glimpse the 54.5-mpg mandate on the horizon.
Volkswagen AG is developing a lithium-air battery that could triple the range of its electric cars, but industry experts believe it could be a long time before that chemistry is ready for production vehicles.
California’s plan to mandate an electric vehicle market isn’t the first such undertaking and certainly won’t be the last. But as the Golden State ratchets up for its next big step toward zero-emission vehicle status in 2018, it might be wise to consider a bit of history.
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