Honda will race a CR-Z hybrid in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The car will use Electric SH-AWD, which probably means it will be using electric motors to power the rear wheels. Whether the Pikes Peak CR-Z uses the same powertrain as the upcoming Acura NSX or the 3.5-liter V6 with three-motor hybrid system used in the Acura RLX Sport Hybrid is still unclear. The car will also use Acura's Precision All-Wheel Steering (P-AWS) system. The CR-Z will be piloted by Tetsuya Yamano. Read more at Hybrid Cars, or, if you read Japanese, at Response.

Tesla has introduced a thinner, liquid-cooled Supercharger cable. While the convenience of not having to "wrestle a good-sized snake into the car," as Elon Musk calls it in a shareholder speech, is wonderful, it could also allow for faster charging in the future. The liquid-cooled charging cable "also has the potential for increased power of the Supercharger long-term," says Musk. A cable able to withstand larger loads could mean shorter stops when it's time for a charge. Tesla has installed the first next-generation cable at the Mountain View Supercharger. Read more at Charged EVs.

Smart is offering its Twinamic automatic dual-clutch transmission on more models in Europe. In addition to the 71-horsepower Smart Fortwo, the DCT will now be available in the 90-horsepower Fortwo and the 71-horsepower Forfour. In the Fortwo, the Twinamic DCT adds €1,275 (about $1,437) to the price over the manual transmission, and is an extra €1,425 (about $1,606) in the Forfour. The option of steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters as part of the Sport package makes driving the efficient microcar even more fun. Deliveries of the newly equipped vehicles begin at the end of July. Read more in the press release below.

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smart extends twinamic range for fortwo and forfour: Even more models with automatic transmission

Stuttgart. Following in the footsteps of the smart fortwo with 52 kW/71 hp, the smart fortwo with 66 kW/90 hp and the smart forfour with 52 kW/71 hp are now also available with fully automatic twinamic dual clutch transmission. This costs an extra 1275 euros compared to the versions with 5-speed manual transmission (forfour: 1425 euros). This means that both model series now offer a choice between no fewer than nine engine/transmission combinations. Delivery of the new models will begin at the end of July 2015. At the same time, smart has made some detail modifications to the interior: the prime equipment line is now available exclusively in black-grey. The passion equipment line is now additionally available in black-grey.

The benefits of the twinamic are enhanced ease of shifting as well as especially smooth gearshifts without interruption of tractive power. Unique in the small/micro car segment, the dual clutch transmission meets the needs of all those drivers who, while valuing the convenience of an automatic transmission in city traffic, wish to keep the option of sporty manual shifting. The optional Sport package with shift paddles on the steering wheel makes for even greater driving pleasure.

The data for the two new smart models with twinamic at a glance:
fortwo 66 kW
forfour 52 kW
Number of cylinders/arrangement
Displacement (cc)
Rated output (kW/hp)
at rpm
Rated torque (Nm)
at rpm
Combined consumption from (l/100 km)
Combined CO2 emissions from (g/km)
Efficiency class
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)
Maximum speed (km/h)
Price (in euros)
from 13,065
from 12,980

Recommended retail price for Germany incl. 19% VAT

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