February 6, 2007 |
Environmentally friendly cars don't have to be slow and stodgy. ZAP, a Santa Rosa, Calif.-based importer of electric scooters and a small, short-distance electric car, aims to launch a 155-mph all-wheel-drive electric sport utility vehicle next year. If it comes to market, the $60,000 ZAP-X would join a select group of high-performance electric vehicles led by a two-seat sports car from Tesla Motors Inc. of San Carlos, Calif.
December 27, 2006 |
A proposal to increase the U.S. fuel economy standards would force Detroit-based automakers to "hand over" the market for trucks and sport utility vehicles to Japanese manufacturers, a senior General Motors Corp. executive said. Bob Lutz, GM's vice chairman and the head of the company's global product development team, said the proposed changes to the government's so-called corporate average fuel economy standards would represent an unfair burden on the traditional Big Three automakers.
October 10, 2006 |
Ford Motor Co. will recall 6,164 Escape hybrid sport utility vehicles from model year 2006 for inspections because a drivetrain shaft may fracture, a U.S. agency said. Ford will replace the shafts if necessary, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. The intermediate shaft may not have been properly heat-treated, and a fracture may result in the SUV rolling after the gearshift is placed in park, the agency said.
October 5, 2006 |
Driver deaths in side-impact collisions dropped by more than half in sport utility vehicles equipped with head-protecting side air bags, insurance industry research shows. Side air bags offering head protection could save the lives of about 2,000 drivers a year if every vehicle on the road had the equipment, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimated in a study to be released today.
October 4, 2006 |
Sales of pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles rebounded in September, automakers reported Tuesday, helped by heavy showroom incentives and a sharp decline in gasoline prices. "The biggest trend that emerged this September was the relative revival of the mid-sized SUV and light-truck segments," said Jesse Toprak, an analyst at auto data firm Edmunds.com. That was good news for beleaguered Ford Motor Co., which is in the midst of a painful restructuring. Ford posted a 5.
August 23, 2006 |
FACE it, in this city laced with freeways, we still do a lot of short sprints. First gear. Second gear. Brakes. And perhaps that's the most telling test drive for any prospective vehicle. For if you're happy in second gear, you'll likely be happy a good portion of your driving time. Hyundai's newly upgraded Santa Fe is plenty happy in second gear and beyond. A midpriced SUV -- around $26,000, dressed to thrill -- the Santa Fe makes easy work of L.A.'
July 5, 2006 |
I suppose Acura's new crossover SUV could be better. It could, for instance, run on recycled Victoria Secret catalogs or the renderings from Star Jones Reynolds' recent weight-loss program. It could fairly reapportion congressional districts every time you turn the key or make sure Steven Seagal never-never-never makes another blues album.
June 8, 2006 |
General Motors Corp.'s Cadillac Escalade sport utility vehicle is the biggest theft target for the fourth straight year, with five times the rate of insurance claims as the average U.S. vehicle, a trade group said Wednesday. The Escalade tops the Highway Loss Data Institute's theft list because it's "a big, flashy pop-culture vehicle" driven by professional athletes and television characters such as fictional Mafia boss Tony Soprano, said Kim Hazelbaker, the organization's senior vice president.
May 31, 2006 |
Sport utility vehicles are making strides to avoid rollovers, the government says, noting that 7 in 10 new SUVs are equipped with rollover-reducing electronic stability control. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released rollover results for 2006 vehicles Tuesday, finding that 39 SUVs earned four-star ratings. SUVs have shown steady improvements in the testing; two dozen SUVs received four stars last year and only one SUV tested that well in 2001.
April 19, 2006 |
THANKS to our excellent friends in the oil industry, the American market is in the midst of a general, and long overdue, right-sizing. Sales of full-size SUVs are diving off a cliff like tan, muscular men in Acapulco -- down 20% in two years. Meanwhile, sales of smaller, lighter crossover SUVs, or CUVs, are up 7.5% (456,947 units) in the first quarter of 2006, on pace to eclipse the annual sales of conventional SUVs for the first time.