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First Drive

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    First Drive: 2015 Toyota fuel cell hydrogen vehicle prototype
    Part 1: in which we drive and discuss 1386791880

    Satoshi Ogiso, dubbed "the grandfather of the Prius," said in a recent interview in Tokyo, "Earlier would have been better, but it's taken a long time to get to this point." The point Ogiso was talking about was the arrival of representative prototypes of Toyota's hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, the ...

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    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 ...

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    First Drive: Testing Toyota's three-wheel, leaning i-Road trike in Japan
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    Since 2003, Toyota has been rolling out new personal mobility concept vehicles at the Tokyo Motor Show. The first was simply called the PM – for Personal Mobility – in 2003. After that came the i-Unit in 2005, the i-Swing in 2005 and again in 2007, along with two takes on the i-Real ...

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    Official: SCI hyMod can switch rear end of car from electric to hybrid [w/video]
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    For those perplexed by making the right powertrain choice – pure battery electric, plug-in hybrid or hybrid – there may be a solution. For SCI, a Romanian concept design team, the solution would be modular units that offer the driver a choice – to transform the car from an ...

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    Cor-Vegge puts veggie oil to the Corvette test at LeMons
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    There might be only one veggie-powered Chevrolet Corvette in the world, and it's part of the 24 Hours of LeMons endurance racing series that showcases $500 beater cars. "Spank," the owner and builder, has pieced together the Cor-Vegge on a a C4 Corvette body, powered by a 1980s Oldsmobile diesel ...

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    First Drive: 2012 Toyota RAV4 EV [w/video]
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    Tesla-Hearted Toyota Offers Real Sport And Utility The 2012 Toyota RAV4 EV is the most advanced Alpha prototype electric vehicle we've ever driven. Or maybe it's a poster child for the 21st Century automotive industry where all sorts of new things are being tried, like when old-school automakers ...

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    Quick Spin: Volkswagen E-Bugster Concept [w/video]
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    Prelude To A Beetle Speedster? Driving $2 million prototypes on public roads is risky, so rather than increase the count of gray hair on their heads, Volkswagen's public relations team invited us up to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to spend some time in its all-electric E-Bugster Concept. But don't ...

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    First Drive: 2012 Chevrolet Cruze Wagon
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    Sampling Chevy's New Overseas-Only Diesel-Powered Wonder Wagon Since it came on the scene in 2009, General Motors' first truly global modern-day product, the Chevrolet Cruze, has become the company's best seller. Over 1.5 million deliveries – admittedly 46 percent to rental fleets, 12 ...

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    First Drive: 2012 Audi A8 Hybrid
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    Diesel Versus Electrons Debate Continues When it comes to the hybrid market, we assume – as most of you probably do as well – that the United States is at the top of the list to get whatever hybrid models an automaker builds. That vision is apparently altering for the Germans, ...

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    First Drive: 2013 Honda Fit EV [w/video]
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    Reminding Us That EVs Are Becoming Less Of A Compromise The 2013 Honda Fit EV, the Japanese automaker's highly anticipated answer to the Nissan Leaf, is quick, agile and actually quite fun to drive. Its cabin is roomy, outward visibility good and its styling is anything but odd. The platform is ...

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    First Drive: 2012 Fisker Karma [w/video]
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    A Genuinely Good Idea That's Compromised By Design Fisker is a company driven by design. I can't tell you how often I heard that line from the company's namesake, its PR people and engineers during my brief trip to Los Angeles to drive the production version of the 2012 Fisker Karma. And it's ...

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    First Drive: 2012 Toyota Prius C [w/video]
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    Baby Of The Family Will Play A Big Role Toyota's new 2012 Prius C doesn't look like a math problem, but that's what it is. Hidden behind its attractive hatchback body and Toyota Synergy Drive hybrid powertrain, the Prius C is just a bunch of numbers. Numbers like the car's miles per gallon ...

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    First Drive: 2012 Volkswagen Up! [w/video]
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    VW Finally Rediscovers Its (Very) Small Car Roots Big old Volkswagen is back to thinking small, and it's finally doing it right. After two frankly awful attempts at supplying the rest of the world with cheap tin boxes called Fox and Lupo, company bosses have done some soul searching and this is ...

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    Report: Ontario resident buys Chevy Volt sight unseen
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    Would you buy a vehicle without driving, touching or even seeing it? We know we wouldn't, but that's exactly what Lisa Osborne of Ontario, Canada did in late September. The Windsor-area resident became one of the first Chevrolet Volt buyers in Canada after she drove all the way to a Toronto-area ...

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    Touring the Better Place Visitor Center in Tel Aviv
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    A quick spin in the Laguna EV at the epicenter of the Better Place project Ask any addict why they don't quit, and they'll probably tell you it comes down to one sticking point. The addiction could be to caffeine or cocaine, but whatever the excuse – from work stress and social factors to ...

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    Quick Spin: Quick Spin: 2012 Infiniti M35h
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    Appealing To Both The Fast And Frugal

    2012 Infiniti M35h - Click above for high-res image gallery
    It is time for enthusiasts to embrace hybrid powertrain technology. A few short years ago, the mention of "hybrid power" conjured up images of low displacement engines, tiny electric boost motors ...

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    Peugeot-Citroen will get commercial electric van batteries from GS Yuasa
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    PSA Peugeot-Citroen has turned to GS Yuasa for lithium-ion battery packs for the automakers' upcoming commercial electric vans. The batteries will be manufactured at a Ritto, Shiga Prefecture plant owned by Lithium Energy Japan, a joint venture between GS Yuasa and Mitsubishi Motors. This plant, ...

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    Quick Spin: Toyota RAV4 EV
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    A Solid Electric CUV, For A Prototype Ahh, the joys of driving a prototype vehicle. During the annual Toyota Sustainable Mobility Seminar in San Diego, California this week, Toyota brought in a handful of all-electric RAV4 EVs for us to tool around in, but there were some caveats: The route was ...

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    Fisker Karma production finally gets underway
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    Stop the presses! Fisker Automotive has confirmed Job One of its Karma plug-in hybrid. According to Ward's Auto, the lines at Valmet Automotive in Finland are a rollin' and production-spec Karmas are "coming down," says Roger Ormisher, a spokesman for the automaker. Ormisher told Ward's Auto ...

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    Zombie meme alert: electric cars cause cancer
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    Apparently, the range anxiety meme isn't enough. The latest anti-electric vehicle (EV) topic to make a comeback is that EVs might give you cancer (previous post). Writing in Slate, Matthew DeBord calls back the potential threat posed by electromagnetic fields (EMF) in electric cars. The title of ...

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