DETROIT — General Motors Chief Executive Mary Barra has made a bold promise to investors that the Detroit automaker will make money selling electric cars by 2021.What Barra has not explained in detail is how GM intends to do what, so far, no major automaker has done.The answer is a big bet on combining proprietary battery technology, a low-cost, flexible vehicle design and high-volume production mainly in China, according to six current and former GM and supplier executives and six industry experts interviewed by Reuters.If GM can meet Barra's ambitious profitability target, then it will house two different businesses by the mid-2020s: A traditional focus in North America on trucks, sport utility vehicles and cars fueled with petroleum, and a global electric car company centered in China, branching into pay-per-use services such as robotaxis.Barra's promise to turn a profit is a bold claim in a market segment that has been driven more by government policy than consumer demand, … [Read more...] about GM planning EVs that will turn a profit just 3 years from now
Technology 10 years from now
Volkswagen has given its B-segment Volkswagen Polo a mid-life facelift. Not content with just visual changes alone, the German carmaker has given the Polo updated engines and a revised equipment options list as well. On the exterior, the front bumper has been revised as per the spyshots we saw earlier. The new design reminds us of the bumper used on the Volkswagen Passat. There are now optional LED headlamps, which Volkswagen says is the first in the B-segment class. The other two headlamp choices are K7 headlights which are standard, and H7 dual round headlights. The rear gets a new bumper as well, together with new taillamps. There are five new alloy wheel designs. With the mid-life facelift, all Polos will be equipped as standard with an Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically brakes the vehicle after a collision to reduce kinetic energy significantly and thus minimise the chance or consequences of a second impact. Other safety options include a Driver Alert … [Read more...] about 2014 Volkswagen Polo facelift gets new technology
The international Car of the Year season is upon us! The top contenders for the European Car of the Year awards have been revealed late last year, and now it’s time for the 2013 World Car Awards. And while the European Car of the Year awards (of which there will only be one overall winner) tend to focus on everyday, affordable cars to reflect on the continent’s dismal state of economy, the World Car Awards is taking a more rounded approach by having multiple categories: World Car of the Year, World Performance Car, World Green Car and World Car Design of the Year. A jury of 66 international automotive journalists has chosen the top 10 finalists of the first two categories, with the results tabulated by global accounting firm KPMG. Each new model was rated in terms of overall merit, value, safety, environmental responsibility, emotional appeal, and significance. The contenders for the 2013 World Car of the Year title are the Audi A3, Range Rover, Mazda6, Mazda CX-5, … [Read more...] about 2013 World Car Awards top 10 finalists announced
You’ve heard the saying, “third time’s the charm,” but if you’ve been around fast cars and drag racing for very long, you may also realize that only trying something three times might be a bit optimistic. Going fast with a homebuilt car (or truck) is all about trial and error, and it’s guys like Shawn Day who relentlessly flog their machines until things work in their favor. In his case, this is the fourth engine combination to be used in his 1983 Chevy S-10, but it seems to be treating him well so far. All of the previous engine combinations have been variations of the tried-and-true small-block Chevy. After three engine failures, he’s stepped up the game with an LS-based engine transplant, but he kept it simple by converting it to a single four-barrel carburetor. Although the truck has changed a lot over the last decade, it has always been black and has always been extremely well-detailed and clean. Considering his creation started as a … [Read more...] about Shawn Day’s Super-Clean and Quick LS-Swapped S-10
In the history of American folklore few characters loom both literally and figuratively larger than Paul Bunyan’s sidekick, Babe the Blue Ox. As the story goes, Bunyan found Babe in the middle of the winter as a baby and then took him in. Eventually Babe grew to be massive and Bunyan used him to straighten out logging roads and more importantly to be his trusty companion for as long as the two of them lived. While Homer Hall’s ’70 ’Cuda doesn’t have Babe’s horns, it sure has the right color, the beastly levels of power, and a similar story of a long-lasting relationship that has stood the test of time. This car is cool for a thousand reasons and we think that you’ll agree that like ol’ Paul and Babe, Homer and his ’70 ’Cuda are a match made in heaven. “ …there is no way I could have known that I would own the car for more than 40 years and counting.” — Homer Hall The story of Homer and his ’Cuda … [Read more...] about Man Owns Pro Street ’70 ‘Cuda For 42 Years & Still Runs 10s!
This thing roosts! It also has enough suspension travel to land on its feet from a couple of feet in the air, goes 18-20 mph with a 3S battery, and still makes a pretty good rock crawler. So what happened? Lithium battery technology has improved over the last 10 years allowing the guys at companies like Axial to create a new breed of high-strung R/C vehicles. The key is the discharge rate, or how quickly power can go from storage to the electric motor. Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries can do this at several times the speed of the old nickel metal design. The result is lightning fast responsiveness and a lot more overall speed. For our fun, we used a 5000mAh, 11.1V, 3 S battery, the biggest battery Axial recommends for their electronics, plugged into a RR10 Bomber 1/10th scale electric 4WD. The first number that describes the battery is like the gas tank. The higher the number, the longer the battery will last. The voltage gives you speed. Out of the box, the RR10 Bomber will keep up … [Read more...] about Now R/C Trucks are Insane. Did Anyone Notice?
With so much new technology available on the market to improve the performance of vintage rides, Steve Gray says people can be pretty dismissive when it comes to his classic 1967 Camaro. After all, it’s not LS-powered—it just has a little, 400ci small-block Chevrolet with a plate kit. There are no exotic electronics, no EFI, no turbos. Factor in a 3,700-pound travel weight with a driver, small tires, and leaf springs, and Steve says most folks guess it’s a low-11-second car. Well, they’d be wrong. Steve has owned and raced his Camaro for nearly 40 years, so it has benefited from endless tuning and tinkering that has helped propel it from the 12-second zone to its current best e.t. of 9.91 at 137 mph. After buying the brand-new, fully optioned, hide-a-way-headlight car in 1978—his senior year in high school—Steve immediately started making his Chevy faster. By the 1990s, Steve was dipping into the 10s, which was pretty fast for a street car back then. … [Read more...] about A Trip Down Memory Lane: 1967 Camaro 40 Years in the Making
Fifteen years ago, I sat in front of the family computer, listened to that sound of a dial-up modem connecting to the Internet, and set out to tackle the seemingly impossible and exciting task of building my very own website: GTPlanet. The Internet was a very different place back then. There was no Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, or YouTube. No apps, smartphones, or tablets. I was a 14-year-old who had no idea what he was doing, but as I built those first pages and exchanged messages with other people around the world on my fledgling new site, I knew I had found my passion. In all the years that have followed, I still feel that same sense of excitement as I work on my own little corner of the Internet. From the start, nothing about building GTPlanet has been easy. I didn’t know what I was doing when I started, and in many ways, I still don’t. There is no instruction manual. Every day brings a new challenge, a new decision to make, a new technology … [Read more...] about GTPlanet Celebrates 15 Years Online: Thank You!
Force India have reportedly begun to take the steps needed to possibly change the team’s name to ‘Force One’. Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya recently revealed that a name change for his F1 team could be on the cards. “There is a growing feeling that maybe since we are a much-improved team in terms of performance and attracting more international sponsors, and sadly less Indian sponsors, there is a debate as to why the name should not be changed to give it a more international flavour,” said the Indian businessman. And it appears as if the first step towards a name change has been put in place. According to Motorsport.com, in the past month new companies have been registered under the names Force One Grand Prix, Force One Racing, Force One Team, Force One Technologies, Force One Hospitality, and Force One Brand. However, should Force India go ahead with renaming the team, they will need the permission of the FIA and the F1 Commission. “Force India … [Read more...] about From Force India to Force One
Are cars no longer elegant? Apparently not, says Ikuo Maeda, head of design for Mazda. 2017 Tokyo motor show - live coverage Talking at the preview of the brand’s new Vision Coupe luxury grand tourer the night before Tokyo motor show, he said: “Not many cars these days can be described as elegant." He adding that “the state of cars is so complicated”, elegance can not be achieved. Mazda Vision Coupe previews Aston Martin-rivalling grand tourer But elegance is exactly what Mazda has aimed for with its new Vision Coupe concept, a sporting grand tourer that, at least conceptually, could rival an Aston Martin in the looks department. Mazda uses lots of Japanese philosophy to describe its design ethic – most of which sounds like mumbo jumbo – but in essence, it is all about trying to achieve a minimalist aesthetic. “In Japan, in space where there is nothing, we see beauty. The empty space becomes the canvas,” … [Read more...] about Are cars no longer elegant?