The price for the rear-drive, V-8-powered sport sedan includes a $995 destination charge, but doesn't yet include the anticipated gas-guzzler charge, which hasn't been calculated yet by the EPA in advance of the SS' gas-mileage ratings.
The 2014 SS goes on sale later this year as Chevy's most expensive sedan, a bit smaller than the 2014 Impala full-sizer but the heir apparent to the excitement left behind by Pontiac, which was shut down in 2009. The SS is a revamped version of Pontiac's former G8, which was itself a version of the Australian-market Holden Commodore sedan, and it's intended to be GM's best shot at the Dodge Charger SRT and the Chrysler 300 SRT. ( Continue… )
The models affected by the Toyota recall include Prius cars manufactured between March and October 2009 and Lexus HS 250h cars manufactured between June and October 2009. Of the recalls in the US, 81,570 are Prius cars and 5,030 are Lexus HS 250h cars.
"The involved vehicles are equipped with a brake pressure accumulator that may develop a fatigue crack on an internal part due to vibration," Toyota USA said in a statement on its website.
If the brake pressure accumulator cracks, nitrogen gas could be released into brake fluid, causing drivers to experience increased stopping distances. More than 90 complaints have reportedly been issued to Toyota about drivers needing to step more heavily on the brake pedal to stop their cars. ( Continue… )
Consider the improving economic indicators and an upswing in home construction; factor in relatively stable, affordable gas prices, that are expected to stay that way through the summer; and altogether, it's no surprise that during May truck sales surged with new market muscle--and that auto sales blossomed.
Sales of the Ford F-Series finished the month 31 percent higher than those of May 2012, while both GM's sales of large pickups and monthly totals at Chrysler's Ram truck brand were up 23 percent versus the same period last year.
Full-size trucks tow the market upward
Trucks have been in an oversupply situation for some time, and the high inventory levels have resulted in strong rebates for full-size trucks like the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and Dodge Ram 1500.
Shoppers were springing for trucks, as well as larger utility vehicles, in May, while compact crossovers have remained on an upward trend, and the additional deal factors look to be what helped push several of these models to record levels for the month. The Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, and Nissan Rogue all had best-ever May results, while the Rogue had its best-ever month.
Memorial Day weekend sales likely contributed to the strong performance, with more families reaching the decision point on long-deferred purchases. ( Continue… )
Plug-in car sales continued at a steady pace in May, with early estimates of perhaps 6,500 to 7,000 sold overall.
As always, precise figures are impossible because Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] does not report monthly sales as every other carmaker does.
We'll refine our totals as more reports come in over the course of the day (and, for the Ford plug-in numbers, tomorrow).
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Second-best month for Leaf
Fulfilling expectations of consistently higher deliveries, the May sales for the 2013 Nissan Leaf electric car came in at 2,138.
That's the Leaf's second-best sales month ever, trailing only March, when 2,236 were sold after supplies of U.S.-built plug-in electric cars finally started to reach Nissan dealers. ( Continue… )
Technology can be a real drag. CDs killed cassettes. MP3s killed CDs. Video killed the radio star. Bummer.
Now, a new threat looms in the dark pit we call progress: solar power. According to Grist, utilities are worried that wiring up photovoltaic cells to human ingenuity will soon upset the delicate monopoly that those companies have maintained for the past 100 years.
The article details a report from the Edison Electric Institute (PDF), which paints a bleak picture of the utility sector's future. In addition to rate hikes that make energy more expensive and tax incentives that encourage consumers to make their homes more energy efficient, the industry is also witnessing a rapid drop in the cost of solar energy hardware. Between 2008 and 2012, the price of photovoltaic panels fell from $3.80/watt to $0.86/watt -- and hold onto your hats, because it could go lower.
Adding to these dark burdens are improvements in energy storage technology. Every week, it seems like someone or other develops a new battery that can hold more power and do so longer than those on the market today. Pair those batteries with a solar setup, and you give customers something terrifying: access to 24-hour power. ( Continue… )
The last few years have seen self-driving cars go from the stuff of science fiction to the scientific method. Real cars are really driving themselves on some roads, and many current or near-future cars offer some form of assisted driving already. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants to ban them.
Or, NHTSA wants each state to ban them, at least. In an announcement today outlining its policy on automated vehicles, NHTSA called for the ban of public use of self-driving cars.
"We're encouraged by the new automated vehicle technologies being developed and implemented today, but want to ensure that motor vehicle safety is considered in the development of these advances," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "As additional states consider similar legislation, our recommendations provide lawmakers with the tools they need to encourage the safe development and implementation of automated vehicle technology." ( Continue… )
Tesla Motors has accomplished many remarkable things in its short life as a startup maker of electric cars.
But, to clear up a common misperception, its supporters should understand that it has not--yet--made a profit in its core business: designing, building, and selling the Model S all-electric luxurysport sedan.
The confusion seems to have come about because Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] reported a profitable first quarter, to the surprise of many and the elation of its shareholders.
It also took advantage a classic "short squeeze" in its stock to raise more than $1 billion in fresh equity, and used some of that money to pay off its entire low-interest loan from the U.S. Department of Energy. ( Continue… )
Teasers are usually a thing we tolerate more than we enjoy--they do give us hints of what's to come, but they also ruin the surprise. In this case, however, we've been intrigued by the possibility and, now, enticed by the reality: the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S.
A new AM28 6.0-liter V-12 engine powers the 565-horsepower V12 Vantage S, enabling a top speed of 205 mph. Zero to 60 mph times haven't been released yet, but something below four seconds is likely a safe estimate. Torque is up from the standard V12 Vantage's 420 pound-feet as well, to 457 pound-feet of torque in the S. Perhaps more importantly, measured torque at 1,000 rpm is up from 324 pound-feet to 376 pound-feet.
Some of the updates that improve the AM28's performance include hollow cam shafts and CNC machined combustion chambers.
All V12 Vantage S models get the Sportshift III automated manual transaxle (AMT). Updated from the version in the V8 Vantage S, the V12 Vantage S's gearbox provides quick, affirmative paddle shifts while saving 55 pounds over the six-speed manual gearbox. ( Continue… )
That battery-swapping electric infrastructure firmBetter Place filed for bankruptcy at the weekend won't come as a surprise to many.
The firm has struggled to find customers and suffered several setbacks over the past year, including the ousting of its CEO and delayed rollout in other countries.
For Better Place (BP) partner Renault though, the situation isn't as bleak as it might seem.
Better Place, the electric-car service that pioneered battery swapping for passenger cars, filed for bankruptcy yesterday in Israel.
A statement on the Better Place website said it had applied to a court for an orderly dissolution of the company to protect "the rights of its employees, customers and creditors."
Today is the first business day of the week in Israel.
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Over its five years of existence, Better Place raised roughly $800 million in venture capital and assistance from national governments in multiple countries. ( Continue… )