August 2011

Fiat and Gucci team up for stylish Gucci 500 editions

(August 20, 2011) Fiat will offer upscale Gucci editions of its 500 coupe and cabriolet in the U.S. starting in December. Fiat isn't saying what the price will be yet. The base 500 coupe and convertible start at $16,000 and $20,000 with shipping.

Fiat officials say "the new Fiat 500 by Gucci limited-edition models represent the perfect combination of craftsmanship and style, and bring together two of Italy’s most respected brands.

Maserati looks to build SUV in Detroit

(August 19, 2011) MILAN – Fiat S.p.A.'s ultra-luxury Maserati brand plans to build its first sport-utility vehicle at Chrysler Group's Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit, said a person familiar with the matter. A concept version of the model, which will be based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee, is due to be unveiled at the IAA in Frankfurt next month, said the person, who declined to be identified before the official announcement.

Aerodynamic duo bring life’s passions to help Malibu buyers save at the pump

(August 19, 2011) DETROIT — John “Moose” Bednarchik and Suzanne “Suzy” Cody are not your typical automotive engineers. He’s an admitted “fitness nut” who got a second chance at life after nearly dying of a heart attack at age 33. She’s a blue-haired, Camaro-driving, roller derby-playing mom. Together, they’ve helped shape the design of Chevrolet’s most fuel-efficient midsize car ever, the 2013 Malibu.

Land Rover Defender gets new diesel engine

(August 19,2011) GAYDON, Warwickshire — The rugged, spartan Land Rover Defender, which was sold in the U.S. for only three years from 1994-1997, lives on in Europe as a rugged go-anywhere vehicle.

It stills looks much like it did during its brief stint in U.S. showrooms, but continual improvements have been made to the vehicle.

Second-generation Kia Picanto city car reaches UK showrooms Sept. 1

(August 19, 2011) Revealed earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show, the three-door version of the new second-generation Kia Picanto city car enters the British market this fall with prices starting from £7,795 ($12,472). Kia has revealed the official specs and pricing for the new Picanto, a model which will go on sale on Sept. 1 in the UK.

First two of four Transit Connect electrics delivered to Detroit Edison

(August 19, 2011) DEARBORN, Mich. — Detroit Edison President and Chief Operating Officer, Steven Kurmas, this week presented two out of four recently-purchased Ford Transit Connect Electric vehicles at DTE Energy headquarters in downtown Detroit.

With the addition of these four Transit Connect Electrics, DTE Energy continues its effort to expand the company's use of alternative-fuel vehicles.

New purchase gives USC largest campus electric stand-up vehicle fleet

(August 19, 2011) COSTA MESA, Calif. (PRNewswire) — T3 Motion, a producer of clean technology electric vehicles, announced this week that the University of Southern California has placed an order for nine additional T3 ESVs to supplement their electric vehicle fleet.

In 2007, USC entered a trial period with T3 ESVs to assess the vehicle benefits and capabilities for security initiatives. Since then, the school has purchased 28 ESVs — making their fleet the largest of any university worldwide. The vehicles have been used on the 300-acre campus for security patrol checks, student escorts, traffic and crowd control.

GM hot rod engine gets OK from California pollution watchdog

(August 18, 2011) GRAND BLANC, Mich. — The E-ROD 5.3-liter crate engine package is getting the green light from the California Air Resources Board, which says it can be legally installed in 1995-and-earlier cars and trucks that predate OBD II on-board emissions diagnostics.

The certification — carrying Executive Order D-126-31 — is the second in GM Performance Parts’  E-ROD lineup to get the all-clear for use on some 20 million pre-1996 vehicles on California roads. Both manual and automatic versions of the E-ROD 5.3L are good to go.

$8 million grant awarded to develop energy recovery system

(August 18, 2011) NORTHVILLE, Mich. (PRNewswire) — Amerigon Incorporated has announced it has been awarded an $8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to lead the development of an energy recovery system that can improve passenger car fuel efficiency by five percent by converting waste heat from gas exhaust into electric power using a thermoelectric generator.

Cadillac to use Converj concept as premium extended-range plug-in

(August 18, 2011) DETROIT — The innovative Cadillac Converj Concept, a luxury coupe with extended-range electric vehicle technology, is moving forward as a production car that will be called the Cadillac ELR. 

Development of the ELR is just underway, so details on performance, price and timing will be announced later.