260.5 EVs set world record for electric vehicle parade [w/video]

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Green Culture, Europe/EU

A half Nissan Leaf participates in the world record EV gathering in Oslo, Norway

Norway has long led Europe in electric vehicle adoption, and now the country’s EV advocates can boast of holding a new world record: the largest-ever gathering of moving electric vehicles. We are particularly amused that the record was set by 260 and a half EVs, since one of the cars was a cutaway version of the Nissan Leaf. The sliced EV is complete enough to drive, and was thus eligible to participate in the emissions-free parade.

Organized by the Electric Vehicle Union (EVU) and the Norwegian EV Association, the 2.5-mile parade featured a lot of Leafs (understandable, since it’s the world’s best-selling electric car) and took place in and around Oslo, Norway’s capital. For proof, the drive “was monitored by two-camera carrying drones to ensure that all vehicles were moving simultaneously and qualified for the new world record.” In support, Nissan announced it wants to have its EVs from around the world reach a cumulative 1 billion all-electric kilometers (621,371 miles) by the first day of 2015. A video featuring snippets of happy EV drivers talking about their cars and a press release about the event are available below.

The previous EV record was set last December when 225 Leaf EVs gathered at Silverstone in the UK. 260.5 certainly is a lot, but we have National Plug In Day coming up in the US at the end of the month, so we’ll see if this new record stands for more than 30 days.

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260.5 EVs set world record for electric vehicle parade [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 13:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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260.5 EVs set world record for electric vehicle parade [w/video]

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Green Culture, Europe/EU

A half Nissan Leaf participates in the world record EV gathering in Oslo, Norway

Norway has long led Europe in electric vehicle adoption, and now the country’s EV advocates can boast of holding a new world record: the largest-ever gathering of moving electric vehicles. We are particularly amused that the record was set by 260 and a half EVs, since one of the cars was a cutaway version of the Nissan Leaf. The sliced EV is complete enough to drive, and was thus eligible to participate in the emissions-free parade.

Organized by the Electric Vehicle Union (EVU) and the Norwegian EV Association, the 2.5-mile parade featured a lot of Leafs (understandable, since it’s the world’s best-selling electric car) and took place in and around Oslo, Norway’s capital. For proof, the drive “was monitored by two-camera carrying drones to ensure that all vehicles were moving simultaneously and qualified for the new world record.” In support, Nissan announced it wants to have its EVs from around the world reach a cumulative 1 billion all-electric kilometers (621,371 miles) by the first day of 2015. A video featuring snippets of happy EV drivers talking about their cars and a press release about the event are available below.

The previous EV record was set last December when 225 Leaf EVs gathered at Silverstone in the UK. 260.5 certainly is a lot, but we have National Plug In Day coming up in the US at the end of the month, so we’ll see if this new record stands for more than 30 days.

Continue reading 260.5 EVs set world record for electric vehicle parade [w/video]

260.5 EVs set world record for electric vehicle parade [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 13:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Formula E calendar set at ten races, top F1 teams being courted

Filed under: Motorsports, Performance, Electric

Formula E, the open-wheel EV racing series has finalized the calendar for its inaugural season. Set to kick of in 2014, the races looks like to have been distributed quite evenly across the globe.

Two American races (LA and Miami) along with a pair of South American races in Rio and Buenos Aires round out the contests in the New World. London, Berlin and Rome make up the European leg of the championship, while Beijing, Bangkok and Putrajaya cover Asia.

This news follows a report from Autoweek that Formula E is courting some of the top Formula One teams. According to AW, series organizer Alejandro Agag is already in talks with McLaren, and is of the opinion that one day the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull will take part in the emissions free series.

Despite the current lack of big names, the parts of the Formula E cars look promising. Batteries from Williams are mated to electric motors from McLaren, while Dallara provides the chassis. Like F1, there’s only one tire supplier, although we’re happy to announce it’s Michelin rather than Pirelli. Series test driver Lucas di Grassi showed us just what the FE cars can do with an in-car video a few months ago.

As for drivers, we don’t see Sebastien Vettel leaving his gas-powered racer soon. Formula E could see an influx of retired F1 drivers and GP2 veterans, although Agag told Autoweek “I can’t say any names yet.” The series will kickoff in 2014, in the Italian capital of Rome.

Formula E calendar set at ten races, top F1 teams being courted originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Jul 2013 18:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lego approves fan-made Mars Rover Curiosity set for production [w/video]

Filed under: Toys/Games

Lego has announced that the Mars Rover Curiosity will become the Danish company’s next user-designed Cuusoo set to reach store shelves. The company’s Cuusoo program allows anyone to submit an idea for a Lego set that could make it to production. After having been among a small group of sets to receive at least 10,000 votes – the minimum required – in the 2012 Fall Review on the Lego Cuusoo site, the Mars Rover Curiosity then survived an exhaustive review process, which not all sets do (sorry, UCS Sandcrawler), before receiving final approval from the company. While it got the nod, pricing and availability is yet to be determined as the set continues being developed for mass production. Scroll down to watch Lego make the announcement on video.

The Mars Rover Curiosity Lego set actually has an interesting back story. Its designer, listed as Perijove on the set’s official Cuusoo page, is a mechanical engineer who worked on the real Mars Rover Curiosity at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which means his recreation of the rover is highly accurate, not only in how it looks, but also in the details and all of its moving parts. Perijove states that the purpose of his model is “to continue the educational outreach for this incredible mission.” The timing couldn’t have been better, as the set became popular on the Lego Cuusoo site in late Summer 2012 when the real Curiosity rover touched down and began rolling around on the surface of Mars.

The last set to make it all of the way through Lego’s Cuusoo program was the Lego Back to the Future DeLorean, which received approval for production last December. Other autos-related Cuusoo sets that received 10,000+ votes and are scheduled for production review include an incredibly detailed Land Rover Defender 110 and minifig-scale Batman Tumblr.

Continue reading Lego approves fan-made Mars Rover Curiosity set for production [w/video]

Lego approves fan-made Mars Rover Curiosity set for production [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Jun 2013 19:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Caterham lineup set to expand under Team Lotus ownership

Caterham Seven Team Lotus trio

Caterham Seven Team Lotus Special Edition – Click above for high-res image gallery

It was only a few months ago that we reported on Caterham’s plans to expand its lineup. But a lot has happened since then, particularly for an automaker whose core product range is anchored in a design that goes back nearly six decades.

Since the launch of the SP/300.R, Caterham was acquired by Tony Fernandes – the same Malaysian entrepreneur behind Team Lotus F1. The new ownership is intent to keep the same management in place, but the cash injection is expected to lead to a further broadening of the company’s lineup.

Just what that will entail remains to be seen, but Autocar reports that whatever comes next down the pipeline will (arguably unlike some of Lotus’ own new products) remain faithful to Colin Chapman’s less-is-more philosophy.

The report also indicates a two-way door between Caterham and Team Lotus, the latter’s F1 cars set to feature the former’s branding while F1-derived technologies are set to trickle down to Caterham’s products. A Caterham Seven with regenerative braking and adaptive aerodynamics? Too soon to say, but the sky’s the proverbial limit.

Caterham lineup set to expand under Team Lotus ownership originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 10 May 2011 18:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BMW Vision EfficientDynamics spotted on the set of Mission: Impossible 4

Filed under: Concept Cars, Coupe, Hybrid, Performance, Europe, BMW, India, Diesel

2011 BMW Vision EfficientDynamics

2011 BMW Vision EfficientDynamics – Click above for high-res image gallery

Mission: Impossible 4 was filming in Mumbai, India with a rolling example of the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics/i8 concept on hand and ready for its closeup. The VED was accompanied by a 2011 BMW 6 Series during a scene in which the cars negotiate Mumbai’s traffic-clogged streets.

Though there’s still little indication of when the proposed 328-horsepower, three-cylinder diesel hybrid sports car will show up, this version looks mighty similar to the one caught lapping in Abu Dhabi last year. BMW’s plans for the car are still generally under wraps, but it’s likely the production version will break cover wearing the i8 badge. Thanks for the tip, Zohaib!

Gallery: 2011 BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept

2011 BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept side2011 BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept side2011 BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept top side2011 BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept top rear2011 BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept headlights

[Source: TeamBHP Images: TeamBHP]

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics spotted on the set of Mission: Impossible 4 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 23 Apr 2011 18:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nissan Leaf NISMO RC set to electrify New York

Filed under: New York Auto Show, Coupe, Nissan, Electric

Nissan Leaf Nismo RC

Nissan Leaf NISMO RC – Click above to enlarge

Nissan will unveil a racing variant of the Leaf electric car at the New York Auto Show, but the Nissan Leaf NISMO RC has little in common with its more pedestrian “sibling.” NISMO started with a lithium ion battery pack and badging from a stock Leaf, then built a completely new vehicle around it.

There are no rear doors; the carpeting, navigation and stereo system are gone; and the battery pack has been relocated to the middle of the vehicle for better weight distribution. Speaking of weight, the NISMO RC is about 40 percent lighter than the production Leaf, as a carbon fiber monocoque platform and more compact dimensions cut total weight to just 2,068 pounds. The race-ready Leaf is also a foot shorter and 6.7 inches wider, and with a scant 2.4 inches of ground clearance.

While the Nissan Leaf NISMO Nismo RC is a different animal than its production namesake, it still carries a familial resemblance, at least up front. Nissan employed LED lighting all around, a driver-adjustable rear wing and plenty of NISMO/Zero Emission graphics to ensure that onlookers know this is no fossil-fuel burner.

Nissan says the NISMO RC will be used for demonstration purposes, so don’t expect this Leaf to compete any time soon. The automaker does say, however, that it’s considering a zero-emission spec series for the future. With an estimated run time of 20 minutes under racing conditions, the 30 minute quick-charge time (to achieve 80 percent capacity) would make for some leisurely pit stops. When the Leaf NISMO RC is in motion, its 80kW AC motor generates 107 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque; good enough for a 0-60 time of 6.85 seconds and a 93-mph top speed. No land-speed records there, folks, but we’re betting this particular Leaf would be a blast to drive anyway. Hit the jump to read over Nissan’s press release.

Gallery: Nissan Leaf NISMO RC

Nissan Leaf Nismo RC

[Source: Nissan]

Continue reading Nissan Leaf NISMO RC set to electrify New York

Nissan Leaf NISMO RC set to electrify New York originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 17 Apr 2011 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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RCX 2011: SEMA for the RC set [w/video]

Filed under: Videos, Toys/Games

RCX 2011

RCX 2011 at the Pomona Fairplex – Click above to watch videos after the jump

We’re looking for a new hobby, and we think we’ve narrowed it down. The world of remote control vehicles has grabbed our attention and we’re eager to learn more. So we grabbed the camera, ventured out to the 2011 Remote Control Convention at the Pomona Fairplex and figured we’d totally understand the hobby by lunchtime.

We were mistaken.

In fact, we were wholly unprepared to take in the maelstrom of activity and information presented at RCX 2011. It’s like SEMA for R/C world and over 17,000 folks descended on the convention grounds over the course of two days. Bikes, cars, trucks, planes, helicopters, trains and motorcycles were all on display.

Traxxas radio controlled stadium truckThe RCX 2011 experience isn’t just about looking at vehicles in their packaging, however, because numerous tracks were set up to let us take the miniature wheel. Professionals raced their nitro buggies and truggies on a course set up with large jumps while remote control rock crawlers tackled scaled-down rugged terrain. Nearby, super sideways driving was taking place on both indoor and outdoor courses.

Even though the action was scaled down, there were plenty of examples of serious speed. Scaled-down top-fuel dragsters lined up side-by-side as those wielding the controllers eyed the light tree. Gas-powered race cars and motorcycles attacked a twisting course while the buzz of airplanes, helicopters and scale powerboats droned on in the background. When we wanted a break from the speed, we stared at the hypnotic scale train that ambled around a wonderfully detailed town.

The event is an orgy of remote control action, and it only served to bolster our interest in the hobby. We entered the RCX 2011 doors thinking we’d narrow down our choices, but the convention has only served to confuse. Do we want electric or gas, car or truck? You could walk away from RCX with a great toy for a few Jacksons, or you could’ve spent a bucketful of Benjamins on a high-powered nitro screamer.

We now know that we’ve got a lot more to learn about remote control vehicles. The Remote Control Convention isn’t a one-time event either. It’s traveling around the country and you can check out the schedule at the RCX website.

Click past the jump to watch some quick clips of various vehicles in action.

[Lead Image: Hope McCall, Air Age Media]

Images copyright (C)2011 Jeff Glucker/AOL

Continue reading RCX 2011: SEMA for the RC set [w/video]

RCX 2011: SEMA for the RC set [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Apr 2011 18:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ferrari F50 gathering set for 2011 Concorso Italiano

Filed under: Performance, Ferrari

Ferrari F50

In 2009, Concorso Italiano held a 25th anniversary reunion for the legendary 288 GTO, regarded as the first Ferrari supercar. The gathering was a resounding success, with fifteen examples showing up to break the record for the most 288 GTOs in one location at the same time. Concorso followed that up the next year with a stunning gathering of Ferrari F40s to celebrate the car’s 20th birthday.

So what’s next? The F50, of course. Concorso has announced that the third-generation Ferrari supercar will be honored at this year’s event, and are currently putting out the call for owners to bring their prized possessions to Monterey in August. Just 349 were produced from 1995 to 1997, so anything more than a few in one place would be impressive.

You can view the galleries of the 288 GTO and F40 reunions below, and look for our Monterey coverage in August for a report on the F50 gathering.

Gallery: Monterey 2010: F40 reunion at Concorso Italiano

Ferrari F40Ferrari F40Ferrari F40Ferrari F40Ferrari F40

Gallery: Ferrari 288 GTO 25th Anniversary Reunion

Photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / Frank Filipponio / AOL

Ferrari F50 gathering set for 2011 Concorso Italiano originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Mar 2011 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Car stereo prices set to soar

Filed under: Aftermarket, Etc., Plants/Manufacturing, Technology

Alpine

According to CE Outlook, the price of car stereo components may be on the rise. The report says that even before Japan suffered its earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters, manufacturers responsible for automotive audio equipment were already beginning to increase MSRPs. The main source of that surge came from steeper prices for metals like aluminum and copper, which are used in heat sinks and connectors. Rockford Fosgate and JL Audio both increased their prices by March 1 of this year after the cost of materials increased six to eight percent. Manufactures say they expect another increase of similar severity by the end of 2011.

Meanwhile, the tragedy in Japan has delayed or stopped business completely at several suppliers responsible for building car audio components. CE Outlook reports that Alpine has already announced that a number of its suppliers have suffered substantial damage. That damage may lead to delays or additional price increases as manufacturers scramble to find interim replacements.

[Source: CE Outlook]

Report: Car stereo prices set to soar originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 26 Mar 2011 11:07:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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