September 23, 2013 |
“Prisoners” is either the most exceptional piece of conventional filmmaking in Hollywood or the most conventional piece of exceptional filmmaking. If that spins your head faster than a Geno Smith scramble, it should. The movie, which won the box-office crown with a solid $21.4 million this weekend , is, after all, a head-spinning hybrid, combining elements that are rarely combined. Directed by Denis Villeneuve and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman, the film centers on the father of a kidnapped girl who, when the police are unable to solve the crime, takes matters into his own hands.
September 12, 2013 |
Inch by inch, hybrids and electric cars are gaining ground in the U.S. auto market. Automakers sold 54,855 hybrids in August, reports Autodata Corp., a sales tracking firm. That is a 32% gain from the same month a year earlier and an industry record for any prior month. Sales of rechargeable cars, which include plug-in hybrids such as the Chevrolet Volt and electric-only vehicles such as the Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf, also set a record last month, climbing to 11,392, a 147% gain from the same period a year ago. Auto information company Edmunds.com says electric cars make up just 0.4% of the U.S. auto market now, but will grow to 1.5% by 2017.
September 10, 2013 |
Long claiming to build the "ultimate driving machine," BMW on Tuesday officially unveiled a new direction for its vehicles with the all-new i8 plug-in hybrid coupe. The 362-horsepower car, which broke cover on the inaugural day of the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show in Germany, joins the all-electric i3 in BMW's emerging i sub-brand of efficient vehicles. Whereas the compact i3 is aimed at urban drivers, the i8 is a sports car whose $135,925 starting price will put it in the company of Audi's R8, Porsche's 911 4S and Acura's forthcoming NSX hybrid car. PHOTOS: BMW's all-new i8 plugin hybrid The i8 pairs a turbocharged 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine and an electric motor for a total of 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.
September 9, 2013 |
In what is essentially a do-over for the giant automaker, Toyota is again recalling nearly 780,000 RAV4 sport-utilities and Lexus HS250h hybrids to fix a suspension problem. Toyota first recalled the 2006 through 2011 RAV4s and 2010 Lexus HS250hs last year but found that some of the dealers did not make the repair correctly. It also has come up with a new fix for the problem, said Cindy Knight, a spokeswoman at the automaker. The issue involves the rear suspension arm. If nuts for adjusting the rear wheel alignment are improperly tightened during service, the arm, also called the rear tire rod, might develop unwanted movement and rust.
September 6, 2013 |
Honda came out swinging in the fuel economy battle Friday with the announcement that its all-new Accord Hybrid had matched the Ford Fusion Hybrid for EPA combined fuel economy, with a rating of 47 miles per gallon. Even better for Honda fans, the Accord Hybrid did this with a 50 mpg rating in city driving, which tops the Fusion's 47 mpg figure. The Ford gains the upper hand in highway driving however, with 47 mpg to Honda's 45 mpg. The Accord Hybrid's thriftiness at the pump means that it has a range of 673 miles, Honda said, which tops both the Toyota Camry Hybrid and the Fusion Hybrid.
August 30, 2013 |
Like the American kid who returns from study abroad with a German accent, Chevrolet's latest Cruze sedan will come with a decidedly European flair. Starting in September, Chevy will offer the compact sedan with a diesel engine. It joins the two gas engines that have been available in the car since the Cruze began selling in 2010. Built in Germany, the turbo diesel engine gives Chevy a compelling fuel-efficiency play in the U.S. in the popular compact segment. The Cruze diesel is rated at 27 miles per gallon in the city and 46 on the highway.
August 29, 2013 |
With the ink barely dry on our review of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe , GM President Mark Reuss swung by the L.A. Times office in a gleaming new Cyber Gray Metallic Stingray Convertible. On his mind were consumers' changing buying habits, the strength of the auto market in the coming years and GM's plans for diesel and hybrid powertrains in its vehicles. How about a hybrid Corvette? "Actually, don't laugh," Reuss said with a telling smile. PHOTOS: The 2014 Corvette Stingray in detail Using an energy recapturing system like that found on hypercars such as Ferrari's LaFerrari or McLaren's P1 -- both hybrids -- presents many advantages.
August 15, 2013 |
Bowing to criticism that its C-Max hybrid didn't get the fuel economy claimed on its window sticker, Ford Motor Co. has restated the compact car's mileage ratings and said it will issue special payments to people who own the vehicle. Ford said it would make a special one-time, "goodwill" payment of $550 to people who purchased the C-Max and $325 to those who leased the vehicle. Everyone will get the same payment regardless of when they purchased the car or how many miles they have put on their vehicle, said Raj Nair, Ford's group vice president for global product development.
August 15, 2013 |
Bowing to criticism that its C-Max hybrid didn't get the fuel economy claimed on its window sticker, Ford Motor Co. has restated the compact car's mileage ratings and said it will issue special payments to people who own the vehicle. Ford said it would make a "goodwill" payment of $550 to people who purchased the C-Max and $325 to those who leased the vehicle. Everyone will get the same payment regardless of when they purchased the car or how many miles they have put on their vehicle, said Raj Nair, Ford's group vice president for global product development.
August 6, 2013 |
In an effort to juice up tepid sales of its 2014 Chevrolet Volt, General Motors Co. will slash the sticker price by $5,000, to $34,995, including shipping. The price cut makes the plug-in hybrid Volt more competitive with other rechargeable cars, including rival plug-in hybrids such as the Toyota Prius and all-electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf. Most of the big car companies have reduced the prices of their rechargeable vehicles this year because consumers have been slow to adopt the technology.