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New Sample Bill will Aid States in Banning Texting While Driving

Posted by autotran on February 22, 2010

Sample Bill Supported by Auto and Wireless Industries and the Safety Community

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today unveiled sample legislation to be used as a starting point for states crafting new laws to prohibit texting while behind-the-wheel, the latest step in the campaign against distracted driving.

The sample state law, prepared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a cross-section of safety and industry organizations, would authorize law enforcement officers to stop a vehicle and issue a citation to drivers who are texting while driving.

“Texting while driving, like talking on cell phones while driving, is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening practice,” said Secretary LaHood.  “This language, which we created with a variety of safety organizations, is another powerful tool in our arsenal to help the states combat this serious threat.”

There is heightened concern about the risks of texting while driving because texting combines three types of distraction – visual, taking the eyes off the road;  manual, taking the hands off the wheel;  and cognitive, taking the mind off the road.

According to NHTSA research, nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver, and more than half a million were injured. Research also shows that the most frequent offenders are the youngest and least-experienced drivers, men and women under 20 years of age.

“Our top priority is safety and we are determined to help the states eradicate the dangerous practice of texting while driving,” said David Strickland, Administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The sample state law is patterned on the Executive Order issued by President Obama on October 1, 2009, directing federal employees not to engage in text messaging while driving government-owned vehicles or with government-owned equipment.  Federal employees were required to comply with the ban starting on December 30, 2009.

In addition, on January 26, Secretary LaHood announced federal guidance to prohibit texting by drivers of commercial vehicles such as large trucks and buses.  Truck and bus drivers who text while driving commercial vehicles may be subject to civil or criminal penalties of up to $2,750.

Secretary LaHood announced the department’s plan to pursue this regulatory action at the Distracted Driving Summit he convened in September 2009.  The department recently launched a federal website, www.distraction.gov, as a forum and information clearinghouse.  Distraction.gov is a source of comprehensive information on distracted driving.

Currently, nineteen States and the District of Columbia have texting laws covering all drivers.  In 2009, more than 200 distracted driving bills were considered by State legislatures and legislative activity is expected to remain strong in 2010.

Click here to see the sample bill and the groups that participated in drafting it.
http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/DOT/NHTSA/Rulemaking/Texting_Law_021910.pdf

Source: http://www.dot.gov

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Tata introduces hybrid car ‘Prius’ in India

Posted by autotran on January 7, 2010

Japanese car major Toyota on Thursday launched the availability of its latest generation hybrid car ‘Prius’ in India, besides launching the CNG version of its popular sedan Corolla Altis.

Priced between Rs.26.55 lakh and Rs.27.86 lakh, the third generation Prius, which became the world’s first mass produced hybrid vehicle in 1997, com

Prius Plug-in Hybrid

BEAUTY ON FOUR WHEELS: Toyota Motor Corp. Executive Vice President Takeshi Uchiyamada demonstrates during a photo session of its "Prius Plug-in Hybrid" on Dec. 14, 2009 in Tokyo: File Photo: AP

es with 1.8 litre petrol engine with a battery of 60 kilowatt.

This will have three driving modes

  1. Power mode,
  2. Eco mode and
  3. Electric vehicle mode (battery).

Prius, which in Latin means ‘to go before,’ is ‘equipped with the latest version of its pioneering technologyToyota Hybrid System II (also called Hybrid Synergy Drive) — that has achieved world-leading fuel efficiency.

“Through the launch of Prius, Toyota is keen to demonstrate its commitment to offer the latest eco-friendly automotive technology to its customers in India. Prius today is the most successful hybrid in the world with cumulative sales of nearly 15-lakh. We will continue to popularise environmental-friendly vehicles in India to further our efforts to help save the environment,” said Toyota Kirloskar Motor Deputy Managing Director Sandeep Singh.

“Prius will be imported as completely built-up unit from Japan. We have ordered 200 units for India that will be sold during March-December 2010, while the bookings have already started. Prius will be available only in 10 cities, including the metros and smaller cities like Chandigarh, Pune and Ahmedabad, while the waiting period for the hybrid will be about two months” Mr. Singh said.

Source: http://beta.thehindu.com/business/companies/article76987.ece?homepage=true

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Tata introduces Mini – Minivan

Posted by autotran on January 7, 2010

Visit New Delhi and you will be overwhelmed by the number of motorized trikes hustling and bustling through the city proper. They are practically the official vehicle of India because of their low cost, ease of maintenance and small (Mini)size. But just as Tata is trying to revolutionize the world of budget motoring with the Nano, the Indian automaker wants to offer another form of urban transport to replace the much-loved trike (Van). The Tata Magic Iris is it.

Tata Magic Iris

Tata Magic Iris

Tata Magic Iris

Tata Magic Iris

Tata Magic Iris

Tata Magic Iris

Tata Magic Iris

Tata Magic Iris

Tata Magic Iris

Tata Magic Iris

Tata Magic Iris

Tata Magic Iris

We don’t have exact dimensions, but as you can see in the images, it is small – the wheelbase isn’t much longer than a baseball bat and the wheels max out at 12 inches (10-inch hoops are standard). Nestled within the steel five-seater (two in front and three out back) is a 611cc, water-cooled diesel churning out a 11 horsepower, allowing the diminutive box to hit a maximum speed of 34 mph. While its specs aren’t about to set the world on fire, it’s considerably more versatile than the trike it aims to replace. Tata hasn’t announced pricing yet, but expect the Magic Iris to come in well below $2,000 when it hits Indian roads later this year.

Source: http://www.autoblog.com/2010/01/06/auto-expo-2010-tata-magic-iris-is-ready-to-take-on-the-trike/

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010

Posted by autotran on December 31, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010

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Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Posted by autotran on December 21, 2009

The Interwebs have discovered some additional images of the Geneva Motor Show-bound Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Although there is a full-on rear shot, these are more about details and lighting elements than taking the entire car in. The new hatch won’t suffer from any lack of LED’s, with an array of four in the headlights and a basket full of them in the rear taillights and third brake light.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Fiat’s aims to sell around 100,000 units per year, and with five engine choices on offer at launch, the company is doing its best not to leave any potential customer out. If we’re lucky, that pool of potential customers will include Americans that aren’t ex-pats… Have a look at what’s coming in the gallery of high-res images below.

Source: http://www.autoblog.com/2009/12/21/more-pics-of-the-alfa-romeo-giulietta-appear/

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New DOT Consumer Rule Limits Airline Tarmac Delays, Provides Other Passenger Protections

Posted by autotran on December 21, 2009

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced a new rule that significantly strengthens protections afforded to consumers by, among other things, establishing a hard time limit after which U.S. airlines must allow passengers to deplane from domestic flights.

“Airline passengers have rights, and these new rules will require airlines to live up to their obligation to treat their customers fairly,” Secretary LaHood said.

The new rule prohibits U.S. airlines operating domestic flights from permitting an aircraft to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours without deplaning passengers, with exceptions allowed only for safety or security or if air traffic control advises the pilot in command that returning to the terminal would disrupt airport operations. U.S. carriers operating international flights departing from or arriving in the United States must specify, in advance, their own time limits for deplaning passengers, with the same exceptions applicable.

Carriers are required to provide adequate food and potable drinking water for passengers within two hours of the aircraft being delayed on the tarmac and to maintain operable lavatories and, if necessary, provide medical attention.

This rule was adopted in response to a series of incidents in which passengers were stranded on the ground aboard aircraft for lengthy periods and also in response to the high incidence of flight delays and other consumer problems. In one of the most recent tarmac delay incidents, the Department fined Continental Airlines, ExpressJet Airlines and Mesaba Airlines a total of $175,000 for their roles in a nearly six-hour ground delay at Rochester, MN.

The rule also:

  • Prohibits airlines from scheduling chronically delayed flights, subjecting those who do to DOT enforcement action for unfair and deceptive practices;
  • Requires airlines to designate an airline employee to monitor the effects of flight delays and cancellations, respond in a timely and substantive fashion to consumer complaints and provide information to consumers on where to file complaints;
  • Requires airlines to display on their website flight delay information for each domestic flight they operate;
  • Requires airlines to adopt customer service plans and audit their own compliance with their plans; and
  • Prohibits airlines from retroactively applying material changes to their contracts of carriage that could have a negative impact on consumers who already have purchased tickets.

Today’s final rule was adopted following a review of public comments on a proposal issued in November 2008. The Department also plans to begin another rulemaking designed to further strengthen protections for air travelers. Among the areas under consideration are: a requirement that airlines submit to the Department for review and approval their contingency plans for lengthy tarmac delays; reporting of additional tarmac delay data; disclosure of baggage fees; and strengthening requirements that airline ads disclose the full fare consumers must pay for tickets.

The rule goes into effect 120 days after date of publication in the Federal Register. The rule may be obtained on the Internet at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2007-0022.

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Geneva Motor Show 2010: Rinspeed to unveil the UC? Electric city car

Posted by autotran on December 16, 2009

When we get to Geneva next March, eccentric Swiss design house Rinspeed will be showing off a design for a new electric commuter vehicle called the “UC?” The design of the car itself doesn’t appear to be particularly novel with styling that looks like a cross between the Smart ForTwo and Fiat 500 (not to mention the Aston Martin Cygnet from earlier today).

Rinspeed UC? – click above for high-res image gallery

Rinspeed UC? – click above for high-res image gallery

However, Rinspeed is proposing an interesting approach to extending the range of the EV. Because the UC? is only 2.5 meters long, it could theoretically take advantage of the same kind of perpendicular parking that many Smart drivers use. With that in mind, Rinspeed is proposing that railroads build special train cars that would allow the UC? to be driven straight on and off for travel between cities where the 75 mile nominal plug range would make travel impractical. Since most European trains are electric, it’s even conceivable that drivers could plug in their UC? Models during the train trip. Rinspeed hopes to offer up the UC? to outside manufacturers who may want to build it.

Press release

A Clever E-Speedster to Fight Gridlock

Automobile, Train and the Web Form a New Kind of Symbiosis at the Geneva Motor Show 2010 (March 4th – 14th, 2010)

For the first time in its long history of developing groundbreaking concept cars the Swiss automobile and concept powerhouse Rinspeed is creating not just a car but a entire mobility concept. The highly likeable two-seater is powered by an electric motor and is aptly named “UC?”, which stands for “Urban Commuter” or “You see?”. It was designed for possible future series production.

Nomen est omen: The little speedster measures just 2.50 meters in length and is intended to help avoid gridlock in the inner cities. At the same time an advanced railcar loading system will add the option to cover long distances by train, comfortable, without traffic jams and stress-free. The desired mobile carport with integrated battery charging station is conveniently booked via the internet.

Rinspeed UC? – click above for high-res image gallery

Rinspeed UC? – click above for high-res image gallery

Rinspeed boss Frank M. Rinderknecht: “UC? – it’s a new and highly emotional web-based car world that interweaves individual and public transport in an intelligent way. We want to create a community of people who are open for a new definition of mobility.”

The lightweight “lovebug” is operated with a central joystick and delivers 124 Newton meters of torque. It reaches a top speed of 110 km/h and has an operating range of 120 kilometers. But the most important aspect of the vehicle is that there is a good chance that it will be built in series production. The concept is designed be easily adapted and integrated by volume manufacturers. Intensive dialogues at the highest levels are already well underway.

The partners and suppliers in the “UC?” project are:

Absaar GmbH – http://www.absaar.com

AEZ Leichtmetallräder GmbH – http://www.aez-wheels.com

AkzoNobel Car Refinishes – http://www.akzonobel.com

A.T. Kearney Global Management Consultants – http://www.atkearney.com

Carl F. Bucherer – http://www.carl-f-bucherer.com

Coop Genossenschaft – http://www.coop.ch

Die Agentur, Werbeagentur GmbH – http://www.dieagentur-group.com

J. Eberspächer GmbH & Co. KG – http://www.eberspaecher.com

Elektrizitätswerke des Kantons Zürich – http://www.ekz.ch

Esoro AG – http://www.esoro.ch

Harman/Becker Automotive Systems – http://www.harmanbecker.com

Li-Tec Battery GmbH – http://www.li-tec.de

Motorex Bucher Langenthal AG – http://www.motorex.com

Paravan GmbH – http://www.paravan.de

Pirelli Tyre (Europe) S.A. Swiss Market – http://www.pirelli.ch

Rafi GmbH &Co. KG – http://www.rafi.de

Rehau AG & Co. – http://www.rehau.com

Sellner GmbH – http://www.sellner.de

Sibu Design GmbH & CoKG – http://www.sibu.at

Ticona GmbH – http://www.ticona.de

VDO – Continental Automotive Switzerland AG – http://www.continental-corporation.com

Special thanks to:

Xmobil Design + Marketing GmbH – http://www.xmobil.de

Dominic Wuffli + Cédric Facchin

Forward-Looking Statements – This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by the Rinspeed management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Source: http://www.autoblog.com/2009/12/16/geneva-preview-rinspeed-to-unveil-the-uc-electric-city-car/

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Driven: 2010 Honda Civic EX-L Sedan at price $24,515

Posted by autotran on December 15, 2009

Heated leather seats, a nav system, voice-activated Bluetooth, a moonroof, and XM satellite radio, all on a Honda Civic? Are you kidding?

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

If you’ve known the Civic as a source of inexpensive, economical transportation in the past, it’s easy to think that on first glance at the feature set of our test 2010 Honda Civic EX-L Sedan—and its price tag: $24,515.

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

Although that’s certainly not pricey for a vehicle today (the average price of a new vehicle lands a bit below $30k), the level of equipment is surprising, because—probably like you—I tend to associate the Civic either with frugality and basic transportation, geeky maximum fuel-efficiency (Civic Hybrid) or edgy tuner-style performance (Civic Si).

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

Go for the top-of-the-line EX or EX-L and you’ll end up with a bit of a different experience. For starters, you get the same curvy yet slab-sided exterior and odd dual-tier instrument panel that had shoppers quite polarized on introduction. But it’s accented with a few more soft-touch surfaces, upgraded trims, and perforated leather steering wheel trim. The center console has a padded, sliding armrest, while back-seat passengers get a pull-down armrest with integral cupholders.

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

The EX-L feels completely loaded, with those things aforementioned plus power everything, keyless entry, cruise control, a USB audio interface, nice 16-alloy wheels, and upgraded ventilated disc brakes. All the safety bases are covered, too, with stability control and anti-lock brakes with brake assist part of the package.

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

But while some things are different from the basic, frugal Civic you might remember, other things stay the same. For one, the five-speed automatic transmission in the 2010 Honda Civic is a little lumpy, and its shifts aren’t nearly as decisive and smooth as in some rival vehicles. Drive the Civic a little harder and the powertrain seems to smooth out and hit its stride, with letting the smooth engine rev higher and shifting more confidently. The same goes for downshifts; try to be light on the throttle and downshifts involve a slight lurch; step into it more and the downshift is more decisive. Overall, we love the manual transmission that comes with Civics and would highly recommend it over the auto for anyone who’s ever enjoyed a manual.

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

The overall goodness of the engine is hard not to love. It’s a 1.8-liter in-line four-cylinder, making 140 horsepower and just 128 pound-feet of torque, but it feels like plenty for the under-2,800-pound, front-wheel-drive Civic. An aggressive throttle calibration makes it feel perky off the line, and if you pin your foot to the floor it’ll build power all the way to redline and not disappoint. It doesn’t offer the rush of the Si, but most shoppers will love how the standard Civic’s engine doesn’t become raucous and unrefined when you rev it like so many other engines this size. Overall, the Honda Civic feels very peppy, with quick and precise steering especially in low-speed driving. On the highway the steering felt a little too light on center, leading us to make more small adjustments than we’d like. Push it hard and it feels like a more sophisticated, more expensive car whereas most other budget-priced small sedans start to show ragged edges.

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

The Civic remains one of the most fuel-efficient cars in its class in real-world driving. The EX-L came with EPA ratings of 25 mpg city, 36 highway, and we averaged nearly 29 mpg in a week’s worth city stop-and-go and suburban errand running, with plenty of cold starts. If you’re considering the Civic instead of a mid-size model like the Accord, that’s a full 30 or 40 percent better than the 21 or 22 mpg figures we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in mid-size four-cylinder sedans.

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

There have to be some compromises, right? Well there are. Try to fit adults in the back seat and you’ll notice the most pronounced difference between the Civic, or for that matter some other compact sedans with slightly less rakish rooflines. Even average-height adults will have to tuck their heads around the door line when entering, and taller adults simply won’t have enough headroom. On the plus side, if you do fit, the cushions back there are nicely contoured and there’s decent legroom.

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

In front there are also more than a few disappointments. Ever since this generation of the Honda Civic made its debut, this rather tall driver hasn’t known what to do with his right leg as it rests just beside the hard, sharp handbrake lever. Anyone above six feet tall needs to watch out for this, as it could be a deal-breaker for long trips.

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

Don’t expect anything close to luxury-car comfort in the Civic. The leather is very stiff, almost like vinyl, and the front seat heaters didn’t appreciably heat the backrests, just the lower cushions—which seemed to be the case on both sides. And although there were soft-touch inserts for the doors, the rest of the door panels, center console, and instrument panel was covered in rather hard, thin-feeling gray plastic.

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

The 2010 Civic is near the end of its product cycle, and a few of its tech features proved frustrating. The nav-system’s screen seems a bit dull and lower in resolution to a number of other systems we’ve seen recently in new models, with an odd, unintuitive menu structure and slow response, while this version of Honda’s HandsFreeLink Bluetooth system completely struck out, failing to pair with two different phones we had on hand. The Bluetooth controls can’t be accessed visually through the nav-system screen or the gauge cluster, and there’s no significant instruction on pairing through the owner’s manual or the so-called Technology Reference Guide, and didn’t have a lot of success with it. An audio help menu starts when you hit the talk button, and we managed to pair one of the phones, then were later told the phone wasn’t found, with the system locking up and muting the sound system (requiring us to turn on and off the ignition to again listen to the sound system).

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

The small-car market has changed a lot since the Civic’s last full redesign in 2005 (for 2006). The Civic doesn’t look nearly as cutting-edge in appearance as before, and the competition has heated up with the introduction of excellent, well-equipped and enjoyable offerings like the 2010 Mazda3 and the 2010 Kia Forte. But the Civic’s longstanding reputation for reliability and resale value are hard to overlook and especially in the lower DX and LX trims, the Civic’s level of value is tough to beat.

Source: http://blogs.thecarconnection.com/marty-blog/1040193_driven-2010-honda-civic/page-1

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FRA Issues NPRM on Technology to Prevent Train Collisions

Posted by autotran on July 21, 2009

New Rules Support Use of Positive Train Control

Today Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo announced proposed rules designed to prevent train collisions through the use of Positive Train Control. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) prescribes how railroads must use Positive Train Control systems to prevent train-to-train collisions.

PTC technology is capable of automatically controlling train speeds and movements should a locomotive engineer fail to take appropriate action. For example, such technology can force a train to stop before it passes a red signal, thereby averting a potential collision. Other benefits of PTC systems include prevention of over-speed derailments and misaligned switches, as well as unauthorized incursions by a train into work zones.

“These proposed rules give railroads the framework to use this life-saving technology,” said LaHood. “We believe this is an important step toward making freight, intercity and commuter rail lines safer for the benefit of communities across the country.”

Under the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, major freight railroads and intercity and commuter rail operators must submit their plans for PTC to FRA for approval by April, 16, 2010.  PTC systems must be fully in place by the end of 2015.  The proposed rules will specify how the technically complex PTC systems must function and indicate how FRA will assess a railroad’s PTC plan before it can become operational. 

“FRA is setting the bar high in terms of design, construction and oversight of PTC technologies among different railroads,” said FRA Administrator Joe Szabo.  “FRA will continue to advocate for ways to strengthen safety standards in the railroad industry.”

The major freight railroads have reached an agreement for the operation of PTC technology across different rail systems, allowing for industry-wide use.  In addition, FRA is coordinating efforts with the Federal Communications Commission to make a sufficient amount of radio frequency spectrum available, which is essential for PTC technology to function properly.  This development will allow PTC technology to send and receive a constant stream of wireless signals regarding the location and speed of passenger and freight trains moving along rail lines.

Source: Dot.gov

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Mercedes-Benz Reveals Electric SLS AMG

Posted by autotran on July 17, 2009

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is an exotic gull-wing supercar, still in the testing stage, that

  • packs a 6.3-liter
  • V-8 engine
  • capable of 570 horsepower
  • and consuming some gas, one assumes

Hardly en vogue these days, and that might explain the development of an electric version of the supercar, the SLS AMG with electric drive.

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, introduced this year, is powered by a 6.3-liter V-8 engine, but the company is also envisioning an electric version for the future.

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, introduced this year, is powered by a 6.3-liter V-8 engine, but the company is also envisioning an electric version for the future.

On Thursday, Mercedes issued its 1st news release on its electric SLS AMG, which will be unveiled to the press at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Unlike the electric Tesla Roadster, which is powered by an electric motor at the rear axle, the SLS AMG has 4 electric motors placed near the wheels. Mercedes said the motors aren’t in the wheel hubs, as found in many electric-car concepts. One of the criticisms of in-hub electric motors is the increase in unsprung weight, which encumbers car handling and driving dynamics.

Nevertheless, the SLS AMG electric would be all-wheel drive. The peak output, according to Mercedes, is 392 kW (or the equivalent of 525 horsepower). The protoytpe car (and there is a running prototype, according to Rob Moran, a Mercedes spokesman) uses a 400-volt lithium-ion battery with 48 kWh of energy content. The battery is liquid-cooled and can be recharged under braking.

Mercedes says that acceleration from 0 to 62 miles an hour takes around four seconds, which is similar to the Tesla Roadster (and the gas-engine SLS AMG).

The electric version of the SLS AMG has all the benefits of an electric-car layout (i.e., not having a heavy lump of an engine in the front of the car): low center of gravity, balanced weight distribution.

A diagram of the electric Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.

A diagram of the electric Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.

Daimler has made several moves recently to show that it is paying more than lip service to its claim that it is exploring alternative energy. In May, Daimler bought a stake in Telsa Motors. At the time, a Daimler board member, Thomas Weber, said “the guys from California also showed us that sporty cars” could be a good target.

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