There is nothing remotely green about the F-650-based Alton XUV in the picture above. The Alton beast, on display at the Chicago Auto Show, seems to be designed to provoke, with its insane GVWR of 25,999 lbs and $200,000 price tag. Still, there is at least one area where the aftermarket gearheads at Alton decided to take the weight of the vehicle into account: the thing's carbon fiber hood. I doubt the environment was on their minds as they were installing that part; they were probably laughing
I came across the Bridgestone booth at the Chicago Auto Show while they were rehearsing for an upcoming press conference. Ex-NFL player Eddie George was running through the script and Bridgestone was showing off its Super Bowl commercials, but I was more interested in the booth's "One Team, One Planet" display. I got a chance to speak about the environmental efforts that Bridgestone and Firestone have done and are doing with Dan MacDonald, Bridgestone's director of media relations, and Michael M
I've already heard a lot of wonderful oneliners about the just-unveiled International LoneStar. Over at Autoblog, someone writes that those Escalades are getting bigger every year and here at the Chicago Auto Show, we're pretty sure this name is a misprint. LoanStar is a more accurate name for this sleek new monster.
The long wait for the new fifty-state legal VW Jetta CleanTDI is almost over. After a delay from the original March launch date to finish certification, the first batch of 1,000 diesel Jettas will arrive at dealers in the US and Canada in June. You won't be able to actually buy one at that point because each dealer will only get one car. The cars will be used as demonstrators for test drives through the summer to re-introduce potential buyers to the new powertrain. In late August, VW will start
The Electric Runabout, made by Columbia, was the first electric car ridden in by a U.S. President. That historical event happened over 105 years ago, in case you were wondering. The 1903 Columbia Electric Runabout had a 40-mile range and, like most electric cars of the era, was very popular with female drivers. While that 40-mile range sound wicked good compared to today's electric cars (and concept cars), the Runabout was really more like a Walkabout since its top speed was a solid 14 miles per
Just how many hybrids has General Motors sold? Apparently not very many. We all know the Prius is the 800lb gorilla of the hybrid segment with sales of between 800,000 and 900,000 so far. A reader left a link to an IRS website in a comment the other day. The site lists which vehicles are still eligible for federal tax credits which get phased out as sales for each manufacturer increase. According to the last update in October 2007, General Motors had only sold a total of 9,577 hybrid vehicles by
After announcing a few feature updates in the Ford F150 at the Chicago Auto Show today, Ford unveiled the U.S. version of the Ford Transit Connect. This Euro-style van fits into a greener delivery niche, and Ford certainly made these vans look appealing, with four vans dancing around the stage, each decked out for a different use: musicians, caterers and the like. The Transit Connect gets good mileage for a delivery van (19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway). The designers found a way to pack 143 cubi
To get a little more information out of Coskata about this morning's announcement of a partnership with ICM to build the first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant using Coskata's proprietary process (past details on Coskata are here), we tracked down Wes Bolsen, chief marketing officer, business development at the company. Bolsen was an executive at ICM in his previous life, so he is very familiar with what ICM is all about (for now, this is building a lot of corn ethanol plants in the U.S.) and
If a GM representative is speaking to the public these days, you can bet heavily that biofuels (cellulosic ethanol), E-Flex and the phrase "Gas friendly to gas free" will be uttered. When GM North America president Troy Clarke gave the opening keynote presentation at the Chicago Auto Show today, he followed the script to the letter. During a half-hour talk that sets the stage for the show, Clarke rolled through the points we've come to expect over the past year or so.
Before the demise of Ford's Windstar/Freestar in late 2006, the company - like its crosstown competitors - offered a cargo van variant of its front wheel drive mini-van for light duty commercial applications. There are many uses where businesses need something smaller and more fuel efficient than the full-size E-Series vans. It just so happens that Ford has what they felt was exactly the right vehicle in their European line-up: the Transit Connect. The Transit Connect is a front-wheel drive van