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

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Corvette Z06 tops Motor Trend list of shortest-stopping vehicles

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Hot Wheels holds 3D race on side of historic Aussie building

by Aaron Richardson

Hot Wheels teamed up with an Amsterdam-based company called Muse Digital to create a 3D commercial that can be projected onto buildings. In this case, Hot Wheels had Muse make them a 3D, computer-generated race between four of its iconic models.

The race was projected onto the side of the historic Sydney Customs House. So advanced are the projected 3D graphics that the building appears to get destroyed throughout the course of the race, as familiar orange track bursts through the walls and a number of other calamities ensue.

The video itself is pretty campy, but the technology behind it is seriously cool.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Subaru's RWD Sports Car getting 2.0-liter non-turbo engine, confirmed for America

by Jeremy Korzeniewski

Peanut butter and jelly. Beer and brats. Wine and cheese. Subaru and all-wheel drive. It's true – Subaru has done an enviable job convincing Americans that its automobiles are synomous with all-wheel drive, and the idea of a Subie that eschews four driven wheels for a powertrain sending its horsepower to the rear wheels only sounds like heresey to the diehard WRX driver.

But it shouldn't... at least, that's what Subaru is now trying to convince the masses with its new rear-wheel-drive Boxer Sports Car Architecture. It's worth noting that the automaker has confirmed for the first time here at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show that the upcoming production version of this sports car is coming to America. If all goes to plan, production will commence in the spring of 2012 at a Subaru production plant in Japan.

Will Subaru's American enthusiasts come to accept a rear-wheel-drive sports car from their beloved Japanese automaker? How about one that's being jointly developed with Toyota? That remains to be seen, but we'd guess the answer depends a lot on how well Subaru is able to tune the chassis to deliver proper sports car driving dynamics. To that end, Subaru (which is doing the hardcore chassis engineering on the joint Toyota/Subaru architecture) has done all it can to lower the car's center of gravity, using its tried-and-true boxer engine design that Subaru claims "is without a doubt the most suitable engine for the RWD Sports Car." There are some features to back up that claim, including all-aluminum construction and the lack of a balance shaft due to the engine's inherently smooth operation – both of which contribute to a minimal amount weight hanging off the front end of the car.

Note that the engine in this engineering study displaces just 2.0 liters and is naturally aspirated. Clearly, this isn't going to be a car that relies on sheer power for performance. According to Subaru: "Instead it maximises the potential of this newly developed chassis to achieve the fundamental characteristics of a rear-wheel-drive sports car by delivering sporty performance as driver and vehicle work in unison, as well as providing agile response afforded by its short wheel base."

It's interesting to note that the boxer engine sits lower and further back in the engine bay than other Subaru models due to the lack of a front differential or driveshafts. Such an arrangement centralizes weight and mass towards the center of the car, which aids handling and ought to help provide neutral dynamics and facilitate quick directional changes. Front struts work with a rear double-wishbone suspension arrangement, and just 101 inches (2,570 millimeters) seperates the front and rear wheels.

It certainly seems that all the necessary ingredients for an entertaining sports car are present and accounted for. Naturally, we can hope for expressive styling to match, though Subaru isn't commenting on the exterior appearance at this time. In any case, you can color us intrigued by this new rear-wheel-drive coupe from Subaru, and we look forward to finding out first hand if it drives as well as the company promises.