TTAC News Round-up: Clock Ticks at Volkswagen, CEO Switch and Volvo Sees a Chance

The Environmental Protection Agency is pointing at its watch and glaring at Volkswagen.

That, an opening for the Swedes, an electric propulsion prediction, a high-end guy gets a new job, and Tesla gets targeted in Hoosierville … after the break!

Read more
VIDEO: Dykes Reviews the New 2016 Chevrolet Volt, and You Should Watch It

This weekend, Alex dropped a bonus video review of the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt for us to enjoy. Unfortunately, he’s also been too busy building sheds to do a full review, so this is all we’ve got.

(It’s okay, though. The best work happens in a shed.)

Want to check it out? Hit up the video after jump.

Read more
Electric Cars Aren't So Dirty, Coal Power at 35-year Low

Electric vehicles aren’t rollin’ coal anymore — or, at least, not nearly as much as they used to.

Reuters reports coal-fired electricity generation is now at a 35-year low in the U.S., and November 2015 was the fifth month in a row more natural gas than coal was used to produce electricity.

That’s not all. From Reuters:

With just one month of data missing in 2015, some analysts think power companies may have burned more gas than coal for the full year for the first time in history.

Oh, and guess what’s dirtier than natural gas when burned? You bet: gasoline.

Read more
NAIAS 2016: 2017 Chevrolet Bolt - Seven Seconds to Sixty

After last week’s unveiling at CES, we were left with plenty of questions about the new 2017 Chevrolet Bolt. Answers came today, at least about its drivetrain.

Notably, GM mentions a low-speed driving mode that allows for single-pedal operation. This “Low” mode allows the driver to control regenerative braking with a paddle behind the steering wheel. This could be a game changer in stop-and-go traffic.

The standard drive mode allows for 0-60 mph times of seven seconds flat.

Read more
2016 BMW I8 Review - The 'Affordable' Plug-In Supercar

“Looks like sex, goes like stink” is the usual supercar mantra, but BMW’s guru was humming a different tune when penning the i8.

You see, the i8 isn’t just a sexy car with “butterfly doors.” It’s also a production prototype of sorts styled after BMW’s 2009 Vision EfficientDynamics concept.

Most supercars have exotic engines with high cylinder counts and drink premium gasoline at an alarming rate. BMW’s mission with the i8 was to make an efficient supercar and at the same time production-test technologies that will trickle down to its higher volume cars over time.

The i8’s efficiency is the key to understanding this sexy German. The i8 isn’t the best handling supercar, or even the best handling BMW. Neither is it the fastest BMW, the most luxurious BMW, or (oddly enough) the most efficient BMW. Instead, the i8 delivers M235i like lateral grip, M4 like acceleration, fuel economy that bests the 320i by a few miles per gallon and lines so sexy I got a thumbs up from a passing F430.

This isn’t your average sports car.

Read more
Weekend News Roundup: Leaf Sprouted? Volkswagen and North Korea; Fancy Fiskers

Here’s some of the news you may have missed if you were out fighting the holiday crowds and spreading some of that Yuletide cheer by burning the hell out of some cookies you were planning on giving the neighbors.

Read more
Volkswagen Slated To Show Yet Another Microbus Concept

Multiple outlets are reporting that the vehicle seen in this teaser photo from Volkswagen is none other than an electrified version of the Microbus concept and it will debut at the Consumer Electronics Show next month. The photo follows an earlier report by Autocar (which has since been updated with the same photo and new text) that said Volkswagen would bring a new Microbus to the Las Vegas convention.

We won’t disagree. We also won’t hold our breath for a production model.

Read more
Ford Isn't Very Good at Keeping Secrets About Its Electrified Fusion

Look, this is pretty awkward. While nearly every auto journalist in the country has congregated in Dearborn, Michigan today for Ford’s annual Christmas party, we’re here at work pounding out stories about Camaro steering wheels and drinking cheap coffee. We weren’t invited to the party, it’s cool. We can both be adults about the sitch.

But according to various Twitter feeds — including the Wall Street Journal’s Detroit Bureau Chief John Stoll and WWJ’s Jeffrey Gilbert— Ford is talking battery packs and showing off a covered car that looks like a Fusion with a half-assed bed sheet covering it.

Oh, and there’s a plug running right into it, as if Kevin the Ford shop hand forgot to unplug the damn thing before letting a roomful of journalists snap pictures of it.

Read more
Faraday Future Has An Electric Car to Show Next Month At CES

Faraday Future, the other, other bespoke electric luxury carmaking startup said they’ll show off their concept for the “future of mobility” next month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The automaker’s website sports a clock counting down to 7 p.m. (Pacific) Jan. 4, 2016, for the automaker’s unveiling. The company has made several high-profile hires, including head of engineering Nick Sampson who helped Tesla design chassis for their cars, according to The Verge.

In an interview with the website, Sampson said the company expects to roughly double from 400 employees now and challenge other automakers soon. The company announced last month that its looking to invest $1 billion in a factory in California, Georgia, Louisiana or Nevada.

Read more
Incentive Money Gone, Electric Car Sales Have Dried Up In Georgia

Electric car sales in Georgia have halted after that state stopped offering incentives and started charging a $200 annual fee to recoup lost gas tax revenue, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

New electric vehicle registrations plummeted 89 percent from June to August after the state stopped offering a $5,000 tax break on top of the $7,500 federal incentive. Georgia’s incentive was one of the most generous in the country.

Georgia’s electric purge could portend a future in highly incentivized states, such as California and Colorado, where electric incentives and sales are still relatively strong.

Read more
Tokyo Motor Show 2015: Nissan's IDS Concept Will Show You The Best Cornering Lines, Then Drive Them For You (Video)

Nissan unveiled its [s]next Leaf[/s] IDS Concept, a semi-autonomous EV complete with a glimpse of Nissan’s coming “Intelligent Drive” features that may be equipped on some of its cars by the end of the decade.

The IDS Concept boasts an autonomous piloted driving mode for conversationalists (the seats rotate inward to invite dialogue!) a movable dash with “Minority Report” pre-cog abilities (probably) and a submarine-style style steering wheel.

But those aren’t the best concept-ish features.

Read more
2015 BMW I8 Review - Supercar for Environmentalists

2015 BMW i81.5-liter DOHC I-3, VANOS, hybrid (Gas engine: 228 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm, 236 lb-ft @ 3,700 rpm; Electric motor: 129 horsepower @ 4,800)6-speed automatic (rear) and 2-speed (front), Lithium ion battery

28 city/29 highway/28 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

27.4 mpg on the ‘I didn’t plug-in the plug-in’ cycle (Observed, MPG)

Tested Options: Giga World package

Base Price:
$137,495*
As Tested Price:
$139,495*

* Prices include $995 destination charge.

This is the car that people in the 1970s predicted we would be driving in the year 2000. Fifteen years after the turn of the millennium, the BMW i8 is the machine that looks like no other BMW — and certainly like no other car on the road. Its gasoline and plug-in electric powertrain compliment its looks, bringing together the efficiency of an electric car and the convenience of an internal combustion engine.

But there is a lot more to understand about what the BMW i8 is and is not. Is it an exotic supercar? Or is it a dream of the environmentally minded automotive enthusiast? Or is it something else altogether? Could this be the one vehicle which we cannot currently classify? Or is it all of these things?

Has the future finally arrived?

Read more
2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review - Fuel-Sipping Family Hauler (With Video)

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited

2.0-liter, DOHC I-4, CVVT, hybrid (Gas engine: 154 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm; 140 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm, Electric motor: 51 horsepower @ 1,770-2,000; 151 lb-ft @ 0-1,770 rpm)

6-speed automatic

Lithium polymer battery

40 city/44 highway/42 combined (Hybrid SE, EPA Rating, MPG)
39 city/43 highway/41 combined (Hybrid Limited, EPA Rating, MPG)

40.8 mpg (Observed, MPG)

Tested Options: Limited trim, Ultimate Package

Base Price:
$26,825*
As Tested:

$35,425*

* Prices include $825 destination charge.

Hyundai hit the styling ball out of the park with the last generation Sonata. The 2009 model was as dramatic and exciting as the previous models were drab and boring. Although the 2009 didn’t alter Hyundai’s value proposition, nor did it really break any new ground in the family car segment, the sexy curves were responsible for nearly doubling the Sonata’s sales from a middling 120,000 a year to well over 200,000. The design is widely credited for putting Hyundai firmly in the top 5 for midsized sedans and #8 on the car sales chart in general.

With the new seventh generation Sonata, Hyundai is working to prove that they are more than a one-hit wonder. The 2015 model launched their latest school of design and a new turbocharged “Eco” model that uses a 1.6L engine and a 7-speed dual clutch transmission to net 32 combined MPGs. Just one thing was missing in 2015: a hybrid model to compete with the big hitters from Ford, Honda and Toyota.

That’s where the 2016 Sonata Hybrid and the 2016 Sonata Plug-In come in.

Read more
Nissan, Toyota, Honda Team to Build Fuel-Cell Infrastructure in Japan

According to Toyota, three Japanese automakers — Honda, Toyota and Nissan — are working together to build hydrogen fuel stations around for future fuel-cell cars.

The program, which will subsidize fueling stations up to 11 million yen ($89,500) per year for each station, is meant to boost the nation’s infrastructure for hydrogen-powered cars.

Read more
Silent but Violent: Watch Rhys Millen's All-Electric Run Up Pikes Peak

All-around fast driver and New Zealander Rhys Millen had roughly 20 miles of experience behind the wheel of his Latvian-made eO electric race car before Sunday’s race.

That apparently didn’t matter as he piloted the first electric car to an overall win at the 93rd running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday.

Read more
  • Jeffro As I sit here this morning with my 2 day old TRD OFF ROAD 4RUNNER tucked safely away in the garage, my head spins with this weird desire to locate a 85 LTD equipped with the epic 😵‍💫2.3 and the FOUR ON THE FLOOR. THE HOLY GRAIL. Ying and yang baby!The search begins.
  • ToolGuy 404 error on the product link. Which probably isn't terrific marketing on TTAC's part. https://thinkwarestore.com/product/f200-pro-ca
  • ToolGuy Second picture: Do you like pegboard storage? (I don't.)
  • ToolGuy "WHAT???"(old 'I was in the artillery' joke)
  • ToolGuy Oh and this.