Nissan not shuttering Leaf EV battery plants, at least not yet By

The big news on the electric vehicle front today is that Nissan is considering slowing down EV battery production in the US and UK and source all of Nissan's big packs come from Japan.

This incredible Mercedes V12 sculpture is built from bone, wood and fossils

We've seen some impressive automotive replicas, but this one definitely takes the prize as the most unique yet.

1967 Toyota 2000GT Solar Electric Vehicle

You may have packed James Bond's cars with plenty of killer tech (get it?), but the 1967 Toyota 2000GT you see above has got it's own bad boy secrets.

Ford Mondeo Titanium X Sport

The Ford Mondeo range of cars offers the best in style, appearance and performance on the roads without compromising on quality or safety.

Corvette Z06 tops Motor Trend list of shortest-stopping vehicles

Any modern performance car worth buying puts just as much emphasis on stopping as it does on going

Thursday, October 22, 2009

F1 teams play musical engines as Cosworth emerges the favorite for 2010

by Noah Joseph

As it turns out, the addition of four new teams, the departure of BMW Sauber and a massive game of musical chairs in the driver's market aren't the only big changes in store next year in Formula One. As this year's championship winds to a close, reports emerge that several teams are switching their engine partners for next year.

Following earlier reports that McLaren could fully divorce from Mercedes and acquire arch-rival BMW's engine operations, new reports indicate that both Red Bull and Williams are switching engine suppliers for the upcoming season. Williams announced a couple of weeks ago that it was terminating its deal with Toyota early due to dissatisfaction with the performance of the Japanese engine package. While the independent British team had reportedly been negotiating with Renault, inside information now indicates that Williams will take advantage of the new Cosworth package for next season instead.

Meanwhile, Red Bull could end up with the Cosworth package as well. The team has revealed that it is considering staying with Renault or alternatively switching to either Mercedes, Toyota or Cosworth. Unsatisfied with the Renault package and with McLaren reportedly vetoing RBR's tie-in with Mercedes, it's now apparently down to Toyota and Cosworth. Insiders point out that with the ban on engine development still in place for the returning manufacturers, Cosworth is the only provider capable of developing a new engine.

The two veteran teams would be joining Manor, Campos, Lotus and USF1 under Cosworth power. Ferrari, Renault and Toyota will, of course, continue building their own engines. If McLaren doesn't absorb BMW's engine department in time, it will likely stick with Mercedes, while Brawn and Force India are expected to continue with Mercedes power as well. That leaves Toro Rosso, which has yet to confirm if it will continue using Ferrari engines as it has for the past three seasons. Know all about car finance, car finance calculator, car loan, car loans at lowest rate.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Viper app allows remote start of your car with iPhone

by John Neff

As the iPhone continues to introduce apps both silly and indispensable, it should come as no surprise that there's now an app for starting your car remotely. Introduced by car alarm company Viper, the SmartStart app comes in two flavors: a $299 package if you already have a compatible Viper alarm system or a $499 deal for a stand alone unit that comes with everything you need to start operating your car with Apple's Jesus phone. In addition to remote start, the SmartStart app can also lock and unlock your car, open the trunk and sound your panic alarm.

Previously we've seen the ZipCar app for the iPhone tout lock/unlocking capabilities, but this is the first time an app has enabled your iPhone to actually turn on a car. What's next? Well, we're going to start holding our breath for an app that's lets us drive our cars using the iPhone, just like James Bond did with his 7 Series in Tomorrow Never Dies. Big breath, big breath...

Follow the jump for a video of how the system works and what it can do.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

McLaren MP4-12C production plans include retractable hardtop?

by Noah Joseph

Reports emerging from the UK are giving us a hint at what to expect in the near future from McLaren Automotive in its bid to make an assault on the exotic supercar market. The reports stem from plans filed by the F1 team's nascent road car division and its new manufacturing facility next to the current McLaren Technology Center in Woking, England.

According to Autocar, part of the layout for the new facility has been dedicated to "RHT Sub Assembly", indicating that McLaren could be preparing to produce a retractable hardtop version of the new MP4-12C. While the notion of fitting a lightweight supercar with a heavy folding roof mechanism may seem antithetical to its ethos, Ferrari made huge advances with the roof on the California, and McLaren will be looking to show up its chief rival. Insiders suggest the McLaren's folding roof could be made of either aluminum alloy or possibly carbon fiber.

The overall timeline for production, however, suggests that McLaren may have to begin producing the MP4 where the outgoing SLR has been assembled in its current facility. McLaren has ambitious plans for a new factory adjacent to its existing headquarters, but with delivery of the first new supercars scheduled for November, the new underground facility isn't likely to be ready in time.