Tesla Model S scores five stars in NHTSA crash tests [w/video]

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Tesla Motors, Videos

Tesla Model S NHTSA crash

Tesla Motors is having a good week. Right after the California-based maker of the Model S electric vehicle reported better than expected earnings and vehicle-production numbers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) let it be known that the Model S received five-star crash-test ratings, according to Automotive News. That means the sedan received the best possible marks for frontal and side-impact crashes, as well as for rollover. The bad news: some Teslas were destroyed in the process. It’s part of a trend. Earlier versions of the Model S also received top crash test scores last year. Before that, the all-electric Roadster also passed crash tests back in 2008.

A refresher on the other good news of the week: Tesla announced Wednesday that it increased sales to 5,150 vehicles for the second quarter, and said it may double production next year. After reporting its first profit in the first quarter, Tesla’s second-quarter gross margin was 22 percent and may reach 25 percent by year-end. Tesla’s second-quarter revenue was $405.1 million and the company narrowed its second-quarter loss to $30.2 million from a $105.5 million loss a year earlier.

You can check out several Model S crash-test videos below, though you might want to cover your eyes.

Continue reading Tesla Model S scores five stars in NHTSA crash tests [w/video]

Tesla Model S scores five stars in NHTSA crash tests [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Fri, 09 Aug 2013 10:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Land Rover tests electric Defender with impressive results

Filed under: SUV, Technology, Work, Land Rover, UK, Electric, Off-Road

Land Rover sent its first Electric Defender to be tested at the Eden Project.

Unveiled at this year’s Geneva Auto Show, six Land Rover Electric Defenders were produced to research the electrification of all-terrain vehicles in real-world test scenarios. The first Electric Defender to receive a test assignment, a four-wheel-drive 110 Pick Up, was sent to the Eden Project in Cornwall, England, to pull the four-carriage road train that transports visitors around the environmentally friendly plant research site. The SUV has no problem pulling up to 12 tons up a six-percent incline.

The Electric Defender in its original, single-battery configuration can operate for up to 50 miles, with a little over 12 miles in reserve. Functioning at low speeds, it can pull the carriages around the site for about eight hours before it needs a recharge, Land Rover states, but the recent addition of a second lithium-ion battery should lengthen the Defender’s run time while helping to even out out the truck’s weight distribution for better stability. Amazingly, the truck is able to pull the road train with one electric motor that produces 94 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque.

One of the new technologies the Electric Defender is testing is a hill-descent function linked to the regenerative braking system. Up to 80 percent of the batteries’ power can be regenerated in this way. During each downhill trip made at the Eden Project, the SUV regenerates up to 30 kilowatts of power.

We don’t know where the other Electric Defenders will be sent for testing, but we’ll let you know as soon as we find out. Meanwhile, you can take a look at the full press release below.

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Land Rover tests electric Defender with impressive results originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Aug 2013 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: IIHS tests brace of new small cars, many earn Top Safety Pick status [w/video]

Filed under: Etc., Safety, Videos

2011 nissan juke crash test

Small cars score big in latest IIHS crash tests – Click above to watch video after the jump

Thirteen enter, six leave … with Top Safety Pick awards. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety spent some time driving (and smashing) a big group of small cars. Six of those cars received top honors from the IIHS by scoring a rating of “Good” across the board. The 2012 Ford Focus, 2012 Honda Civic sedan, 2011 Hyunda Elantra, 2011 Lexus CT200h, 2011 Nissan Juke and 2011 Toyota Prius are all the small-car place to be in the event of an accident.

This crop of small cars are also quite fuel efficient. All vehicles in the top six offer a version that gets at least 40 miles per gallon on the highway.

The rest of the vehicles tested faired well. Only the older Suzuki SX4 and Dodge Caliber received “Mediocre” ratings in some categories. Every car tested, however, received multiple “Good” ratings. Click past the jump to watch the IIHS talk about about the small car crash tests. Also, be sure to check out the breakdown of the ratings by vehicle (pdf file).

Continue reading IIHS tests brace of new small cars, many earn Top Safety Pick status [w/video]

IIHS tests brace of new small cars, many earn Top Safety Pick status [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 26 May 2011 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: LA Sheriff’s Department tests new police cruisers, compiles findings in 174-page report

Filed under: Sedan, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Police/Emergency

2011 chevrolet caprice police car

2011 Chevrolet Caprice Police Car – Click above for high-res image gallery

Curious about the latest crop of cop cars? The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department – which undoubtedly has good reason to be interested in such machines – has released a bit of data to help clue you in on the newest cruisers. California’s Boys in Blue put 15 vehicles through rigorous testing, and they ended up with a rather large stack of results. How large are we talking?

174 pages.

We thought cops hated paperwork, but it appears the movie industry has again lied to us. Those 174 pages are filled with stats on all 15 test vehicles, officer insight into vehicle performance and results from the various types of tests applied.

We’ll be honest… we’ve only skimmed. We’re not quite ready to take a deep dive into this particular PDF, however, it’s available for you to peruse at the LA County Sheriff’s Department website, should you have some time to kill.

LA Sheriff’s Department tests new police cruisers, compiles findings in 174-page report originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 16 May 2011 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf earn Top Safety Picks in first IIHS electric vehicle crash tests

Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Safety, Hatchback, Chevrolet, GM, Nissan, Electric

chevy volt crash test

Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf Crash Tests – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has completed its first test of mainstream plug-in vehicles, and both the 2011 Chevrolet Volt and the 2011 Nissan Leaf have were named “Good” for their front, side, rear, and rollover crash protection. Testing procedures for these plug-in vehicles were exactly the same as for any other automobile the IIHS tests, as they should be.

The two plug-in pioneers join 80 other 2011 vehicles in earning the Top Safety Pick title, thanks to their fine performance in instrumented crash testing and their standard electronic stability control. For what it’s worth, other fuel sippers like the 2010 Toyota Prius and 2010 Honda Insight have also been named Top Safety Picks in the past. That said, the IIHS has taken issue with some plug-in electric vehicles in the past, specifically the not-quite-a-car NEVs like the Gem e2 or the Wheego Whip.

Of course, we all know how much fun it is to watch brand-new cars being smashed to bits in the name of safety, so we’ve gone ahead and embedded a video of the two plug-ins undergoing the crash testing process. Hit the jump to see for yourself and to check out the official press release.

Gallery: 2011 Chevrolet Volt crash tests

2011 Chevrolet Volt crash tests2011 Chevrolet Volt crash tests2011 Chevrolet Volt crash tests2011 Chevrolet Volt crash tests2011 Chevrolet Volt crash tests

Gallery: 2011 Nissan Leaf crash tests

2011 Nissan Leaf crash tests2011 Nissan Leaf crash tests2011 Nissan Leaf crash tests2011 Nissan Leaf crash tests2011 Nissan Leaf crash tests

[Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety]

Continue reading Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf earn Top Safety Picks in first IIHS electric vehicle crash tests

Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf earn Top Safety Picks in first IIHS electric vehicle crash tests originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 26 Apr 2011 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BMW Z4 GT3 undergoes first round of customer tests

Filed under: Motorsports, Convertible, Europe, BMW, Racing

2011 BMW Z4 GT3

2011 BMW Z4 GT3 – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2011 BMW Z4 GT3 proved it can win races back in January when it took the overall victory at the Dubai 24 Hours. Never one to rest on its laurels, BMW took the car from the winners circle in Dubai and put it right back on a test track. After a good beating throughout March, BMW made aerodynamic and electronic tweaks to get the racer into absolute state-of-the-art shape for customer entries in 2011 GT3 competition.

The BMW Z4 GT3 resembles its production cousin in name and basic shape only. Most of its body panels have been significantly altered to keep the car slipping through the air and bolted to the road.

Under the hood, the production Z’s six-cylinder heart has been ripped out and replaced with the same 4.4-liter V8 that sees duty in the M3. The V8 feeds power to the ground through a six-speed paddle-shifted sequential manual. Stuffing all that engineering know-how into the Z4 GT3 isn’t cheap, either; the car retails at just north of $450,000. Full press release after the jump.

Gallery: 2011 BMW Z4 GT3

2011 BMW Z4 GT32011 BMW Z4 GT32011 BMW Z4 GT32011 BMW Z4 GT3

[Source: BMW]

Continue reading BMW Z4 GT3 undergoes first round of customer tests

BMW Z4 GT3 undergoes first round of customer tests originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 10 Apr 2011 12:22:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: GM produces HD pickup truck comparison tests

Filed under: Truck, Videos, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Diesel

HD truck shootout

Chevy Silverado HD Truck Shootout – Click above to watch the video after the break

Back in the fall, our friends over at Pickuptrucks.com pitted the diesel-equipped Chevrolet Silverado HD against the oil-burning Ford Super Duty in a battle of high-altitude acceleration. Even though the Ford behemoth holds a slight edge in horsepower and torque, the Chevrolet beat the Blue Oval machine handily in the steep-grade acceleration challenge. We’d think General Motors would be satisfied with the results, but apparently The General needed to go a step further.

GM hired independent testers from AMCI to once again put up the Silverado HD against the Ford Super Duty, and this time the Ram HD was also invited along. Naturally, GM recorded the whole thing. The three trucks battled it out with a pair of 0-60 competitions, including one with a 1,500-pound payload, and again on a seven-percent grade with a 3,000-pound payload. That’s only the beginning, as the three trucks duked it out for supremacy in trailer sag, frame rigidity, passing power and braking. Since GM is broadcasting all seven competitions with a glut of Youtube videos, you can probably guess which truck reigns supreme. Still, the videos are entertaining and they’re hosted by the one and only Howie Long.

Hit the jump to watch all seven videos, followed by the GM press release. You’ll have to sacrifice about 30 minutes of your life to watch all seven, so if you want to pick and choose, we’ll go ahead and tell you that the two 0-60 tests are our favorites.

[Source: General Motors]

Continue reading Video: GM produces HD pickup truck comparison tests

Video: GM produces HD pickup truck comparison tests originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 05 Apr 2011 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Pics Aplenty: Audi R18 “Evolution 2” cars finish tests in U.S.

Filed under: Motorsports, Coupe, Europe, Audi, Diesel, Racing

Audi R18 at Sebring

2011 Audi R18 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Audi let its new diesel-powered R18 LMP1 enclosed prototype loose on the U.S. for the first time for testing over the four-day weekend surrounding the 12 Hours of Sebring. Audi tested both R18s, chassis 101 and 102, against an R15 for a control group. The first U.S tests garnered feedback from all 10 of Audi’s factory drivers.

The tests put a beating on the R18s to make sure their aerodynamics, reliability and fuel economy all stacked up to the standards set by the previous generations of Audi’s diesel LeMans prototypes.

Their next stop is Ingolstadt to be fully disassembled and checked out, before being shipped to LeMans for the 24-hour race in June. Trust us, you owe it to yourself to see the images below in their full high-res glory.

Gallery: 2011 Audi R18

2011 Audi R182011 Audi R182011 Audi R182011 Audi R182011 Audi R18

[Source: Audi]

Continue reading Pics Aplenty: Audi R18 “Evolution 2” cars finish tests in U.S.

Pics Aplenty: Audi R18 “Evolution 2” cars finish tests in U.S. originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Mar 2011 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Audi R18 tests successful at Sebring

Filed under: Motorsports, Europe, Audi, Racing

Audi R18 Testing at Sebring

Audi R18 Testing at Sebring – Click above for high-res image gallery

Audi has officially put its new R18 Le Mans racer and all nine of its factory drivers through their paces. The pair of closed-cockpit Audi bruisers and one last-generation R15 TDI spent some time lapping Sebring as part of preparations for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. Each of the cadre of pilots was able to get some seat time in all three vehicles. Interestingly enough, Audi has made it clear that the R15 “Plus Plus” will campaign alone at this year’s 12 Hours of Sebring. Audi typically uses the venue as a dry run for new hardware before showing up in France.

At this point, it appears that he R18 will enjoy its race debut at Le Mans instead. Audi motorsport boss Wolfgang Ullrich said that Sebring offers up a unique test of any race car’s mechanicals, and that the warm, dry weather in Florida is more conducive to testing than European venues. Hit the jump for the full press blast.

Gallery: Audi R18 at Sebring

[Source: Audi]

Continue reading Audi R18 tests successful at Sebring

Audi R18 tests successful at Sebring originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 31 Jan 2011 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Translogic tests Chevy Volt, reveals Mountain Mode and 0-60 time

Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Videos, Chevrolet, Electric

2011 Chevrolet Volt

Translogic Episode 5.4 – Click above to watch video after the jump

Our brothers from another mother over at Translogic just released their latest episode yesterday, episode 5.4 for whoever’s counting. Host Bradley Hasemeyer spent a day with General Motors at the automaker’s Milford Proving Ground driving the 2011 Chevrolet Volt and came away with some heretofore unknown tidbits of information about the series hybrid.

For one, in addition to Eco, Normal and Sport modes, the Volt will have what’s called Mountain Mode that allows it to climb any grade in the country. A GM engineer says they checked to be sure its Mountain Mode was adequate for any grade in the States and we have proof of at least one major mountain the Volt can climb. When Mountain Mode is selected, ideally about ten miles out from any big hills you want to climb, the Volt will kick on its on-board generator and create extra energy for the batteries. This allows the Volt’s drive system to draw more power than normal from the battery packs while climbing a grade. If the battery packs are drained and the generator’s already on, Mountain Mode will then increase the engine’s RPM to make up the difference.

Bradley also performed an impromptu 0-60 miles per hour test in the Volt, completing the run to highway speeds in 8.53 seconds while the car was in Sport mode. Not earth shatteringly quick, but plenty spry to feel normal in everyday driving conditions. Over the course of the day, Bradley drove the Volt a total of 59.7 miles, 16.1 of which occurred with the gas-powered range-extending on. During that time, 0.59 gallons of gas were consumed, which means the Volt achieved about 100 mpg for the day and 27.3 mpg while the engine was operating.

The rest of the video is full of Volt information of which we’re already aware, including how it interacts with mobile devices, charging options and the like, though we can’t say we’ve seen anybody throw around the Volt yet like Bradley did. Follow the jump to view episode 5.4 for yourself and visit the Translogic blog here.

[Source: Translogic]

Continue reading Video: Translogic tests Chevy Volt, reveals Mountain Mode and 0-60 time

Video: Translogic tests Chevy Volt, reveals Mountain Mode and 0-60 time originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 24 Aug 2010 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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