Skip to main content

At Witz End

  • 0
    Exclusive: A look at low-rolling resistance tires
    Do they really save fuel, and at what sacrifice of other important tire attributes? 1401991080

    Flat-out down Mid-Ohio's long back straight – not really straight because it has a fast dog-leg kink – braking hard into the tricky right-left combination that follows, I was having a great time. For a former racer, any time spent on a wonderful road course like Mid-Ohio, even in a ...

  • 0
    Exclusive: How Volvo's new Drive-E Engines set the stage for plug-in-ification
    Fuel efficient, modular engines ready today and tomorrow 1395341820

    It's not quite the equivalent of the all-encompassing full-vehicle efficiency program that is Mazda Skyactiv, but beginning with the 2015 S60 mid-size sedan, the V60 sport wagon and the XC60 crossover models, Swedish automaker Volvo's "Drive-E" efficiency-enhancing effort starts with an all-new ...

  • 0
    Exclusive: GM executive chief EV engineer says reducing cost of plug-in vehicles is 'huge priority'
    Would deal with customer's No. 1 complaint about Chevy Volt 1395086400

    As we know, another major automaker investing heavily in electrified vehicles is General Motors, and it's doing things much differently than rivals BMW, Ford or Nissan. The Chevrolet Volt extended-range EV is a modest seller at its $35,000 sticker price but a huge hit with owners. The Chevy Spark ...

  • 0
    Exclusive: Senior VP Hildegard Wortmann says BMW's electric journey is just beginning
    i3, i8 are upscale and green, but also 'proper BMWs' 1394812680

    Anyone who questions BMW's effort or sincerity on electrified vehicles should have a chat with Hildegard Wortmann, the German automaker's senior vice president over product management for automobiles and aftersales. I was fortunate to do just that at the Detroit North American International Auto ...

  • 0
    Exclusive: Ford director says company has big efficiency plans, but no dedicated EV
    1394639820

    The annual autofest known as the North American International Auto Show previews a plethora of exciting new products that we'll see and drive later in the year, from tiny urban commuters to family sedans and crossovers to hard-working big pickups and SUVs. It's also a once-a-year cornucopia of ...

  • 0
    Exclusive: A conversation with GM's Mark Reuss on MPG, aluminum and Corvettes
    Sometimes the person and the job are a perfect fit 1392828720

    There was plenty to talk about when General Motors hosted its annual mid-December holiday media reception a few months ago. GM had just decided to pull its global Chevrolet brand out of major European markets, where Chevys have competed directly with GM Europe Opel and Vauxhall vehicles, and the ...

  • 0
    Exclusive: Cadillac ELR vs. BMW i3
    New luxury plug-ins are completely different in just about every way 1385600160

    A day before the Los Angeles Auto Show press days, I enjoyed the rare opportunity to drive both the Cadillac ELR luxury EREV and the futuristic BMW i3 EV (with optional extended range). Both are distinctive looking, technically fascinating and fun to drive, and both are clearly aimed at upscale ...

  • 0
    Exclusive: 2013 Automotive Hall of Fame inductees talk CAFE, vehicle electrification
    1385081880

    In 1939, New York City hosted both the future-gazing New York World's Fair (pictured below) and the founding of what would later become the history-focused Automotive Hall of Fame. The latter's mission, then as now, was to honor and perpetuate the memories of auto industry pioneers. It moved to ...

  • 0
    Exclusive: The Volt Experience: Using it like an owner
    1378147980

    Has there been any other vehicle in automotive history so maligned by those who don't know or understand it, yet so loved by those who do? Critics typically see the Chevy Volt as an electric car with a pitiful 38-mile range (as if the range-extending engine/generator weren't there), while media ...

  • 0
    Exclusive: Concours d'Elegance of America gets first-ever EV display
    1375833360

    A concours d'elegance (French for "parade of elegance") is a high-zoot, high-buck display of mostly pristine historic and collectible automobiles, most of them unaffordable to most of us. Probably the best known such events in the US are the nose-in-the-air Pebble Beach Concours in Monterey, CA, ...

  • 0
    Exclusive: Teeny-tiny Cars: Are they cheap and fuel-efficient enough to justify their drawbacks?
    1374083760

    The San Francisco US press launch of the teeny-tiny two-seat 2008 Smart Fortwo involved an interesting presentation and drive experience. I learned that its history dates back to the late 1980s when SMH (Swatch watches) CEO Nicolas Hayek decided that a substantial number of people wanted a small, ...

  • 0
    Featured: Fiat 500e, the best EV conversion yet?
    1367859540

    We began our Fiat 500e Los Angeles press-launch drive with 95 miles showing on our 500e's range gauge – interesting, since the car's EPA-rated range is 87 miles city/highway combined. Because the 500e's range-calculating algorithm looks at the last 100 miles, then the last 10 miles and the ...

  • 0
    Exclusive: VP Don Butler says Cadillac prefers electric assist over full EVs
    1366070100

    One other interesting and timely interview I was offered at this year's Detroit North American International Auto Show was with Don Butler, Cadillac's enthusiastic marketing VP. Why so timely? Because it was right after Cadillac unveiled the production version of its soon-to-come (early 2014) ELR ...

  • 0
    Exclusive: Ford COO Mark Fields: electrified vehicles could be up to 25% of sales by 2020
    1363651800

    I was fortunate to get one-on-one chats with two top GM technology leaders (John Lauckner and Larry Nitz) at this year's Detroit North American International Auto Show, but no other automaker offered that opportunity. However, while I was resting and enjoying lunch in Ford's media lounge, in ...

  • 0
    Exclusive: Q&A: Larry Nitz says GM "committed to electrification as a long-term journey"
    1363044600

    Anyone who still doesn't believe that General Motors is serious about advanced technology in general, and vehicle electrification in particular, hasn't yet learned that post-bankruptcy GM is a very different company run by different people with a different set of priorities, most of which we ...

  • 0
    Exclusive: Q&A: John Lauckner, General Motors chief technology officer
    1361833260

    John Lauckner, one of the masterminds behind General Motors' breakthrough Chevrolet Volt EREV, has a full bag of big responsibilities these days that he calls the "technology trifecta." First, he is GM's chief technology officer. Second, he's R&D vice president. Third, as if those two jobs ...

  • 0
    Fuel economy follies: Cheatin' or mistaken?
    1357232340

    Automotive journalists have been hearing a consistent message from Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia: their attributes top the competition. Over the last few years, they have claimed superiority for most of their products in nearly every measure that matters, from power and torque to interior and ...

  • 0
    Exclusive: Is there hope for affordable lead-acid EV batteries?
    1355158140

    Why Not Improve The Cheap Chemistry? When General Motors launched its pioneering two-seat EV1 in 1997, its batteries were "advanced" lead acid (PbA). That means they were big, heavy, had low energy density and a limited life. But it was the best available chemistry at the time. That first EV1's ...

  • 0
    Exclusive: The Electrification of Detroit: A look Ford C-Max Energi, GM's EV efforts
    1354900200

    It was lucky for me that GM's recent media forum on its electrification efforts was in San Francisco, since I would already be there for the press launch for the Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid. And GM promised a session with its new global product guru, Mary Barra, and a brief drive of a ...

  • 0
    Exclusive: Fisker Revelations: new leader, good car, huge challenges
    1351878660

    I finally got to drive a Fisker Karma (great model name!), and found it better than expected. The occasion was the annual Motor Press Guild (MPG) "Track Days" at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA, where four Karmas were lined up to be driven by attending media. Not on the track of course, but on ...

Loading

Loading
Autoblog iPhone App