This week the auto-blog world served up a number of good stories highlighting an increased focus on fuel efficiency and the environment. The gas2.0 blog posted a notice on a new brand under the Volkswagen umbrella: BlueMotionTechnologies. This new company will work on all of Volkswagen’s most “green” tech, including a stop-start system and regenerative braking that should improve fuel efficiency as well as a couple of new catalytic-converter technologies that should help clean up emissions.
The TopGear blog posted a quick note on the fact that Fiat’s resurrected 500 now offers stop-start technology – which Fiat is calling Start&Stop – to both improve fuel mileage and reduce emissions. We hope this will increase the likelihood that Chrysler will help get the Fiat 500 on sale here in the U.S. ASAP.
The Cars For Girls site summarized a Forbes.com list that names the Kia Optima the best car for carpooling. The ten-slot list focused on safety ratings, capacity and comfort, fuel efficiency, and entertainment options, and it split evenly between U.S. and foreign automakers, with all foreign car spots taken by Asian brands.
Edmunds’ Inside Line passed along news on a new shock absorber developed by MIT students that collects kinetic energy developed when a car hits a bump in the road and turns that energy into electricity. Apparently multiple truck companies and the U.S. military have expressed interest, and AM General has loaned the students a vehicle for further testing.
Wired’s Autopia posted two different stories on diesel cars being considered for the U.S. market that suggest at least one of the Big Three still doesn’t get it. Tony Borroz happily notes that Audi will bring its diesel-powered A3 TDI to the U.S. by 2010. But on the same day, Ben Mack notes that Ford will not make its diesel powered ECOnetic Fiesta available in the U.S. next year – only the gas-powered version. Many readers of Mack’s post felt that maybe he didn’t get it very well either, though, since he trumpeted the diesel Fiesta’s UK mileage rating, apparently without understanding how different that is than a U.S. EPA estimate (UK ratings use Imperial gallons, which are ~1.2 U.S. gallons, among other things).
I was pleased to read good news on the fuel-efficiency and environmental fronts, but some of my favorite auto-blog posts in the last week have been built around photo galleries. Here are my favorites:
- Bush’s Auto Blog’s gallery featuring the ’57 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa that could set the world record for highest price ever paid for an automobile (photo above). I kind of liked Bush’s Danica Patrick gallery, too.
- Jalopnik’s gallery of photos by designer Rafael Reston, who imagined what the Dodge Viper might have looked like had it debuted in 1967
- Sports Car Digest’s new gallery from the Porsche Museum in Germany
That’s all for now. Please let me know what topics you’d like to see get more coverage on the CarGurus Blog.