Extended-range vehicles offer electric operation with the convenience of a traditional gasoline-powered car
There is often a debate over whether government regulation is good or bad. But in the case of Uncle Sam's mandate that all new cars have electronic stability control (ESC), the news is good. According to data assembled by Consumer Reports, 2200 lives have been saved by the technology in three years.
Before every car, SUV and truck sold in America gets turned into a gas-electric hybrid or all-electric vehicle to meet stiffer fuel economy standards imposed by the government, automakers are adding more and more technology that has been around for years to the internal combustion engine to reduce the amount of gas they burn.
"Diesel fuel" is one of those terms that divides drivers and vehicle owners. To some, it elicits, "Cool," and "Fun." To others, the term brings out "Ugh!" But it is really all about knowing the facts, and understanding how diesel fuel works before deciding on whether you might want to own a car, truck or SUV that runs on diesel instead of gasoline.
Pirelli has distinguished itself in the tire market by creating products for its performance and racecars with technology that can then be applied to luxury and general consumer cars. The brand's renewed foray into Formula 1 racing after a 20-year absence has enhanced the emphasis on its tire technology, which hinges on tire tread designs. In its second straight year of being the sole supplier for Formula 1 with the 63rd FIA World Championship at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, the tires f
Turbo chargers have been around the auto industry for decades, typically used to boost the performance of already powerful engines. But today, the turbo is showing up in cars, SUVs and trucks of every stripe and price to boost fuel economy.
Collision avoidance is the next frontier in safety. Ever since seat-belts became mandatory equipment in the 1960s, most safety improvements have been focused on surviving an accident. From impact-absorbing bumpers to multiple airbags, the idea has long been to make a car more able to take a hit and still protect its passengers. Automakers have been very successful in their efforts, so now they're turning towards using technology to help cars avoid accidents altogether. The cars are literally bec
It glows on your car's dashboard and instantly ignites terror and loathing in the hearts and wallets of drivers; the dreaded "Check Engine" warning light. For some, it is a minor irritant to be ignored. Even Public Television's "Car Guys" joke that the remedy is to put a piece of duct-tape over it. Some cynics believe the "Check Engine" light was invented to get vehicle owners to schedule more visits to the dealer for service. Some cars, after all, seem to have such a sensitive "Check Engine" l
All-wheel-drive vehicles have systems in which the engine drives all four wheels at the same time, as opposed to just the front wheels in most cars. By means of sensors and the vehicle's central computer power from the engine is routed to each wheel depending on your traction. If you are traveling on a dry road, your car will operate in front-drive mode or rear-drive mode, depending on its orientation. A BMW all-wheel-drive vehicle tagged with the "x" designation will travel in rear-drive on a d
Automatic transmissions in today's vehicles are very different from the "slushboxes" of years past. In fact, in many new cars and trucks, automatic transmissions actually return higher fuel economy than manuals. While the first automatic transmissions only had two forward gears, and even as late as the 1990's it was common to see three-speed automatics, these transmissions have been entirely supplanted by modern designs. The automatics in today's cars use computers to control when they shift, an
Gasoline direct injection is one of those technologies that make you think, "Why the heck didn't they figure this out sooner?" It's a simple fix to the regular old combustion engine, and it saves a lot of fuel. Instead of mixing air and gasoline outside the combustion chamber, the system sprays gasoline directly into the chamber. The result is literally more bang for your buck. (Don't worry, we'll explain this all in detail in a little bit).
A hybrid is a car or truck that has both an internal-combustion gasoline engine and an electric motor to drive its wheels. These two work together to power the car in the most efficient fashion possible. This means that sometimes the gas engine drives the wheels alone, while other times the electric motor adds its power. Some hybrids even allow the electric motor to power the car for limited distances all by itself.