In yet another push to strengthen its image as one of the leading electric vehicle manufacturers, Japanese company Nissan, together with Sumitomo, a local corporation which occupies with trading financial solutions, has announced that it will implement a new recycling program for lithium ion electric car batteries in order to prolong their life span.
This program will be called the 4R, with each “R” letter standing for one possible new use for the batteries once their life span isn’t up to par with the needs of a car. The new strategy will Re-use, Re-sell, Re-fabricate and, last but not least, recycle.
Let me explain each of them for you. First of all, lithium ion batteries which won’t be able to properly power an electric vehicle for a reasonable amount of time will be able to be re-used as storage units for power generated by things like solar panels. In terms of re-selling, the two companies will take the battery from the car of the user and give it to other companies which can then use it as an energy storage device or even a back up generator for short amounts of time. The re-fabricate alternative will see Nissan and Sumitomo refurbishing it and using it for other things. And, in case nothing can be done for the battery in question, its components, like the lithium, will be recycled and used for other things, even new batteries.
Overall, Nissan’s initiative is commendable and perhaps more companies will start their own program to take care of depleted electric car batteries.
In order to get itself more noticed, British brand Lotus has just revealed the newest special edition of its Exige model, the Exige Scura, or Exige Stealth, as it will be known in Asia and at the Tokyo Motor Show.The track-oriented version will be more darker (Scura means “dark” in Italian) and feature a unique finish with matte black paint and high gloss “Phantom Black” triple stripes, giving it a whole mini-Reventon feel. Similar to the Lambo, only 35 models will be made and sold across multiple territories, from Europe to Asia.
“The Exige Scura is a stunning vehicle which offers an adrenaline fuelled experience and is a real head-turner,” Luke Bennett, Director of Lotus Cars said. “Our Exige customers choose Lotus because we deliver thrilling performance and dynamic design and this special edition fits the bill on both counts.”
In terms of engine, the Exige Scura will have a supercharged 1.8-liter engine with VVTL-i, outputting around 260 HP and 236 Nm (174 lb-ft) of torque at around 6,000 rpm. Connected to a six-speed manual gearbox, the model will use systems like Lotus’ Launch Control and Traction Control, created for the Exige GT3 race car, and sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.1 seconds, topping out at 245 km/h (152 mph). But don’t think that dark will also be the fuel consumption, as the Exige Scura, or Stealth, will have a combined cycle of just 8.5 liters/100 km (27 mpg), with a CO2 output of 199 g/km.
On the outside, besides the interesting paint job, there will be new carbon fiber components like a front air splitter, bigger oil cooler inlet vanes, side air scoops and an enlarged rear spoiler. The interior is as spartan as always, with carbon fiber inserts on the center console.
In case this model made you curious, orders will be taken starting today from countries and territories like Europe, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Indonesia and Malaysia. Prices will be UK (£45,000 MSRP), Germany (€60,000), Euro Zone (€50,420), Italy (€61,885) and France (€61,200). Other countries will have other types of prices.
Does this new Exige made you interested? Don’t be shy and drop a comment. You might also be interested in following us on Twitter to get up to date news about articles here. Enjoy the photo gallery.
Photo Gallery: Lotus Exige Scura / Stealth
Among all of the carmakers in the world, Honda is one of the most dedicated ones to the hydrogen fuel cell and what it can do for the future of vehicles all around the world. Its FCX Clarity is a shining example that the most abundant element on earth can power a regular car, and do it efficiently.
But it seems that due to a lack of infrastructure to develop and sell hydrogen-powered cars, the Japanese company is considering the launch of several conventional electric cars, running on batteries, in order to not loose its position on the market to other companies who are focusing on regular electric vehicles.
This statement was made by the CEO of the company, Takanobu Ito, which revealed that he is considering markets like the US, Europe and even Asia for the launch of several all-electric vehicles.
I for one back up hydrogen, and hopefully this will only be a small obstacle and when the infrastructure catches up to the research already being done in the field by manufacturers like Honda or Volkswagen, vehicles like the Clarity will prevail and we won’t have to sit and recharge the batteries every evening for our car.
It seems that BMW is busy testing out a new version of its M3 GT4 model around the Nurburgring as the spies from WorldCarFans captured a few interesting pics and even a video of the model lapping the famous circuit.
It would seem that this is either a road-legal version of the GT4 race car, which will substitute the fact that the company denied making a CSL model of the current M3, or it might just be a testing version for a new KW suspension system, fact highlighted by the badge on the trunk lid and the lowered ride height.
All we know is that an even more aggressive version of the M3 is coming and can hardly wait to see what the German engineers (from either BMW or KW) can cook up. Enjoy the video below.
If the French are known for one thing, that’s style (and some rather awkward cheeses, but we’re a car blog, not a culinary one). Citroen proves this by releasing this teaser video which previews the launch of the new C3 model which will take place at the Eiffel Tower in Paris on October 22nd.
You may know that I spent a weekend in Paris celebrating the 90 years of history for the French brand, and I can tell you that we’re for a very interesting launch. Enjoy the video below and stay tuned for more details tomorrow when it will take place.
Finally the day has arrived when Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus has unveiled its supercar, the LFA, formerly known as the LF-A. The new car is powered by a massive 4.8-liter V10 engine, designed specifically to take the fight to brands like Ferrari or Lamborghini, not to mention its local rival, the Nissan GT-R.
In terms of numbers, the engine produces 553 HP at 8,700 rpm, with a torque of 480 Nm (354 lb-ft) at 6,800 rpm. What’s more interesting is that 90% of said torque will be avialable from 3,700 rpm and up to s staggering 9,000 rpm. But even though it is quite big, Lexus say that its V10 engine is even smaller than most V8 units on the market. It will send power to the rear wheels thanks to a six-speed automated gearbox, with four selectable modes of driving and a ridiculous seven-stage (!) shift-speed selector, which can upshift in just 0.2 seconds.
All of these figures means that the new LFA will sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.7 seconds, and up to 325 km/h or 202 mph.
The body is of course made out of carbon fiber, and will weight just 1,480 kg (3,263 pounds). The suspension will be a double wishboned-one at the front and a multilink arrangement at the back, just in case you were wondering. It’s also good to know that you will be stopping in time, as the brakes are carbon-ceramic ones, straight from Brembo.
In case your piggy bank or wallet was already prepared for this announcement (which they should, considering we previewed the release of the car before the Tokyo Motor Show), Lexus is already accepting orders and will begin to deliver each of the projected 500 units at the end of 2010. The price you ask? Just $375,000 or €250,000. In case you have even more money lying around, perhaps you can wait until the beginning of 2012 when Lexus will launch two special versions of the LFA, one with unique colors and another track-oriented one. Until then, enjoy the photo gallery below and the video presentation of the Lexus LFA supercar which is located after the jump.
Photo Gallery: Lexus LFA
Yesterday we were treated a new interesting ad for Volkswagen’s Fun Theory marketing campaign which revealed the world’s deepest rubbish bin in order to convince people to use them more often. This was after the carmaker transformed the stairs of a Stockholm subway station into a piano, in order to convince people to take them instead of the nearby escalators.
Now, the company set forth to promote the collection of bottles by creating a bottle bank arcade system. The idea is quite simple, see who recycles the most bottles and give them a top score for everyone to see. The result, people were lining up to introduce all of their bottles in the machine. Enjoy the video below and in case you want to share a fun idea, visit this website and you can win €2,500.
Yes, I am aware of the blasphemy that the title expresses, but according to some insiders at the Japanese company Mitsubishi, the new PX-MiEV concept (pictured above), effectively a plug-in hybrid version of the Outlander SUV, might contain technology which will be used on the next generation, high performance Lancer Evolution XI.
The new concept, which is being show at the Tokyo Motor Show these days, contains a four-wheel drive system, which are powered by two 81 HP permanent magnet synchronous motors and a 1.6-liter MIVEC gasoline engine, which is connected only to the front wheels and serves as a generator. The most intriguing part is the fact that the whole hybrid drivetrain is centered around the company’s S-AWC handling system, borrowed from the Evo X model.
This system, which changes driving modes on the fly depending on the behavior of the car and the power in the batteries can deliver up to 140 mpg economy, according to Mitsubishi.
But while this concept will definitely lead to a hybrid Outlander by 2013, sources claim that the next Lancer Evo will also see it implemented in a production mode. What do you think? Would a hybrid Lancer Evo attract you or should the performance car be left how it is?
In yet another death-defying jump organized by Red Bull, reputed stunt and rally driver Travis Pastrana will jump a rally-spec Subaru Impreza WRX STi from a pier in Long Beach, California, and attempt to cross over 250 feet of open water in order to land on a barge anchored in the ocean.
The stunt will be part of Red Bull’s New Year, No Limits series of events, and will also be a world record breaking attempt of jumping in a rally car. The current record is held by none other than Pastrana’s teammate, Ken Block, which jumped 171 feet.
“It ought to be a pretty cool thing. I just hope they get me back to the party after I land on the barge,” Pastrana revealed in an interview. “Even more, I hope I’m not swimming. I’ve been a pretty good boy. I’ve been out of the water since then. Hopefully I’ll stay out of the water this time.”
All we can do is tune in at New Year on ESPN, which will be on the scene with live reports of the stunt. Hopefully everything will go alright and Pastrana will continue to amaze us with other record attempts.
The ridiculous, and I mean that in a good way, Veritas RS III Roadster has just entered production, its manufacturer, Vermot AG, has announced yesterday. The supercar, powered by BMW’s massive 5-liter V10 engine, will see only 30 models made, each with a price tag of €345,000 or around $514,000.
The carmaker has already revealed that eight orders have been made, from places like Australia, Monaco or the UK, and deliveries will start on January 2010, as it will take the 15 employees eight weeks to complete just a single car, with three models being made at a time.
Vermot has used only the best types of technologies available in the construction of the Veritas RS III Roadster, with its carbon fiber body featuring a tubular frame structure, ceramic brakes and a sport suspension, to keep it on the road. This means that the entire weight of the car, driver not included, tips the scale at 1,080 kg (2,381 lbs). It has been extensively testing on the Nurburgring to offer drivers the best racing feel of any car out there, but will also feature safety systems like ESP or ABS.
The engine, as I’ve said, will be the massive 5-liter V10 which is currently on the BMW M5, offering 507 HP (373 kW) with a torque of 520 Nm. Coupled with the 7-speed SMG transmission, or with an optional 6-speed manual one, it will take the RS III Roadster from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.2 seconds, and up to a speed of 347 km/h (216 mph).
Enjoy the pictures of this stunning car attached to the article.
Photo Gallery: Veritas RS III Roadster
There are plenty of people who want the luxury and the exclusiveness of owning a Rolls Royce but also need it for more “practical” reasons, such as to protect their lives in case of an attack, be it with weapons or explosives.
That is why Mutec, a German coach builder, the official armored Rolls Royce manufacturer, tests all of the models after incorporating some of the best armor technologies in them. Case in point, this pristine Rolls Royce Phantom which gets shot at with multiple weapons and sees plenty of explosives go off under and around it, without anything happening inside.
Nissan has just announced that its flagship model, the GT-R has just received another facelift in terms of both looks and mechanics. Set to be released in the spring of 2010 all around the world, the car will be a 2011 model year.
The main enhancements have been made to the navigation system, the suspension and the introduction of a new and improved catalyst. First of all, the navigation has been upgraded to an HDD-based Carwings one, which boasts not only improved functions but also an USB port with connectivity for your iPod or other music player.
The suspension system has been retuned, according to Nissan, in order to provide both a premium handling but also one suitable for the power that the GT-R has. These tweaks include the increased accuracy of the front shock absorbers and the springs, not to mention stiffening the rear suspension radius rod in order to get that power down to the road through all of the four tires.
The normal GT-R will also see the introduction of a new rear diffuser with cooling ducts, featured up until now only on the GT-R SpecV model. Talking about the top of the range car, the facelift for it includes both revamped shock absorber settings, which will give a better response to the driver, but also the addition of standard Dunlop performance tires, and the former stock Bridgestone ones can be installed as an option
Last but not least, both models have received a new set of catalyst cells which are hexagonally meshed, which will reduce ventilantion and air flow resistance, thus resulting a better response from the 3.8-liter twin turbo V6 engine in the low and mid range
Overall, some interesting additions which are bound to make many Nissan fans who postponed buying a GT-R really think about it.
As you all know, the Tokyo Motor Show has already started and boy do we have plenty of things to report on. First off, let’s start with something for the eco-conscious people out there, who will be thrilled to hear that Toyota has just launched the new Sai hybrid sedan in its native Japan.
While the car may be based on the North American Lexus HS 250h, to me it really looks like a sedan version of the Prius model. Among the differentiating factors, between the Toyota and Lexus models are the new designs for the front end, which include revamped head lamps, bonnet and bumper, and the new tail lights
The interior, as opposed to the Lexus, has a new instrument panel and center console design, as well as a new steering wheel and, as expected, doesn’t have the same quality of finishes as the pricier Lexus mode.
In terms of power, the car is basically the same, being powered by the 2.4-liter Atkinson-cycle VVTi four-cylinder engine, which words in tandem with an electric motor powered by a battery pack, giving the new sedan an output of 190 HP, which goes through a variable transmission to the front wheels.
Set to go on sale in Japan on December 7, this year, the prices will start at $37,200 and go up to $46,800 (that’s 3,380,000 yen to 4,260,000 yen). No word yet on if the Sai will be launched in other territories or if the Lexus will be the main hybrid sedan pushed by Toyota in continents like Europe or Asia.
Now we may be a bit mean by that title, but it seems that this Toyota Urban Cruiser couldn’t use all of its systems (or perhaps they were turned off) to prevent itself from going off the road outside a mountain resort in Romania.
The car was being tested by an automotive journalist, as the Car of the Year contest is currently in full swing at the aforementioned mountain resort. Also bear in mind that there was some heavy rain and perhaps the driver didn’t adjust his speed with the driving conditions and the fact that the road was full of bends.
The result though is obvious, luckily all of the many airbags deployed and the driver was safe from harm. It’s probably still best to buy a Land Cruiser for trips outside the city. The pics are courtesy of Sorin, the man responsible for our Romanian “brother” website, AutoMOD, who is now in the jury for the Romanian Car of the Year 2010 contest.
Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, comes this new release from the Porsche Design studios. Tired of branding things like clothing, watches, perfume, phones and other such “useless” objects, the company has just announced that for this winter season, you could be taking your own Porsche down the slope.
Sadly it isn’t a new discipline of downhill driving of some kind, as the company released a special bobsleigh and sledge so that you and your family can go down the slopes of your favorite winter destination in style. The bobsleigh guarantees the best handling and maneuverability, just like a real Porsche the press release says, weighing in at under 4 kilograms and will offer the best quality for people very enthusiastic about their winter sports.
The sledge, on the other hand, will be the more stylish choice, as it will be completely foldable and offers, besides the stainless steel runners, an artificial leather seat, branded with the Porsche logo. The two objects will come in special carrying bags, and are available at worldwide stores and on the Internet at the Porsche Design store.
What do you think? Are you happy with this new bobsleigh and sledge which go well with your 911 or Cayenne in a secluded winter resort in the Alps? I know I am.[/sarcasm]