2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid Picture
2012 Paris Auto Show
Just the Facts:
  • The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid, which is being touted by the Japanese automaker as the first permanent four-wheel-drive electric vehicle in series production, will be unveiled at the 2012 Paris Auto Show.
  • Mitsubishi Motors North America told Edmunds.com the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid, which is aiming to be one of the first plug-in crossover/SUVs here, will launch in the U.S. in late 2013 or early 2014.
  • No word yet on pricing or mpg equivalent rating.
PARIS — The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid, which is being touted by the Japanese automaker as the first permanent four-wheel-drive electric vehicle in series production, will be unveiled at the 2012 Paris Auto Show.
Mitsubishi Motors North America told Edmunds.com the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid, which is aiming to be one of the first plug-in crossover/SUVs here, will launch in the U.S. in late 2013 or early 2014.
"It is definitely coming here," said Roger Yasukawa, Mitsubishi Motors North America spokesman, in a phone conversation with Inside Line on Monday. "We are targeting fiscal year 2013 — which probably means the later part of 2013 to March 2014. As far as exact timing, we're still studying it."
No word yet on pricing or mpg equivalent rating, Yasukawa said. He also would not name the competition at this point. "This car will be unique," Yasukawa said. "It will be our second EV-based vehicle after the (Mitsubishi) i."
Mitsubishi confirmed in a statement that the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid will be sold in Europe in 2013.
The Outlander Plug-in Hybrid will feature a full-time four-wheel-drive system powered by electric motors.
While few details were made available about the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid, Mitsubishi said the hybrid system "will allow for a long haul range and very low emissions similar to that of the Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II showcar, i.e., a driving distance of over (500 miles) and a CO2 target below 50 g/km."
Mitsubishi said the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid will feature a choice of three driving modes: all-electric; a series hybrid with the gas engine aiding the electric motors; and a parallel hybrid, with the electric motors aiding the gas engine.
"As such, it will be the first mainstream car from a major manufacturer envisaged from the outset with built-in provisions" for either internal-combustion engine or plug-in hybrid electric operation, said Mitsubishi.
The Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid was first previewed at the 2009 Tokyo Auto Show in the form of the Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV. The PX stands for "plug-in hybrid crossover." The vehicle was fitted with a 1.6-liter DOHC gas engine and has front and rear wheels that are powered by two motors.

Volkswagen celebrates this year the 40th anniversary of the SP coupe, a car relatively unknown outside Brazil, its country of origin. Built by the company's Brazilian subsidiary in the '70s, the attractive coupe has an interesting story. In 1968 Rudolf Leiding, former CEO of Audi NSU, was appointed director of VW do Brasil, a job he accepted under one condition: to have the permission of building models adapted for the Brazilian market. 
In the 1970's auto imports were blocked in South America's largest market, so Leiding thought about building a two-seat sports coupe that he believed would be successful.
Together with 'Karmann-Ghia do Brasil', which at the time was building the already dated Karmann Ghia coupe, Volkswagen Brazil started developing a new coupe, which had to use as many parts as possible from VW's local model range in order to keep costs low.
The team used the platform of the VW 1600, the Brazilian version of the Type 3 (forefather of the Passat ). Engineers took the chassis, axles and the engine, while the steel body was developed from scratch. The SP also used the twin headlights of the 1600. The 54HP 1.6-liter engine that equipped the test prototype car proved itself inappropriate for a sports car so VW decided to offer this unit in a basic version called SP-1.
There were jokes that the SP name stood for "Sem Potência" (Portuguese for "without power"), but it actually came from São Paulo, Brazil's largest city. For the SP-2 version, however, engineers enlarged the displacement of the air-cooled flat-four engine to 1.7 liters. The unit thus developed 65 horsepower at 4,600 rpm and offered the SP-2 a top speed of 156 km/h (97 mph).
While the SP-1 sold in limited numbers, the SP-2 reached 10,000 units from June 1972 to February 1976, with the vast majority of them being sold in Brazil. The car was never officially sold in Europe, but one model found its way to Germany in 1971, when Rudolf Leiding was called back to VW headquarters to be installed as the company's CEO. He brought along an SP-2 as a gift to his wife. Today, European collectors own several SP-2 coupes and one can be seen in VW's museum. A few years ago, there was an attempt to revive the SP-2, but nothing has materialized so far.
By Dan Mihalascu

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The looting of the Ferrari 599 GTB owned by former Tunisian president Zein al-Abidine Ben Ali and the smashing of cars owned by his relatives including a Ferrari California may have been eye-catching in an offbeat sort of way, but there are more important automotive-related stories coming out from Tunisia.

It has been reported by several news agencies that Tunisians are also destroying random vehicles made by Kia, Fiat, Porsche and other makers. The reason? Because the companies that distribute them are controlled by members of the ruling family. Now, in light of all the latest developments, many international automakers are reviewing their business ties to the extended family of Zein al-Abidine Ben Ali, according to the Financial Times.

The daily newspaper said that up until now, the country's car market, which totaled just under 60,000 units in 2010, was heavily regulated by its trade ministry that favored importers controlled one way or another by relatives of the former president or his wife, Leila Trabelsi.
Companies controlled or owned by the family members of the ousted presidential couple include:
-Ford, which sells cars in Tunisia through a company partially owned by Belhassen Trabelsi, the former president’s brother-in-law;
-Ennakl, a dealer for Porsche, Volkswagen, Audi, and Seat controlled by Mohamed Sakher al-Materi, the president’s son-in-law;
-Kia, which distributes its models through City Cars, part of the El Materi Princess Holding, another company controlled by the former president’s son-in-law, Mohamed Sakher al-Materi;
-Le Moteur, which acts as an importer for several companies including Mercedes-Benz and Fiat, and is owned by Marouane Mabrouk, the deposed president’s son-in-law;
-Peugeot, which is represented by Stafim, a company in which Mehdi Belgaid – said to be engaged to Halima Ben Ali, the former president’s daughter – owns a stake;
Some carmakers such as Audi have stopped exporting their cars to the country because they are not sure if they would clear customs as well for their safety once they arrive on the dealer lots. The financial daily quoted Audi as saying; “We will have to look at whether we can continue doing business with this partner and whether they are the right partner for us. ”
Ford said it also looking into the matter and reassessing ties with its Tunisian importer, while Mercedes-Benz said it found no wrongdoing on behalf of Le Moteur but will monitor the situation. A Peugeot spokesman said the automaker will wait to see what the new government will do with companies associated with the president's family.
Other carmakers, including Kia and Porsche, said that for the time being, they will continue to do business as usual with their partners. Porsche in particular said it has no plans to change its arrangement with Ennaki “as long as the company is operational and paying for cars”.
The newspaper said that Fiat "would not comment on its business in Tunisia, or its local partner."



As a result of the political turmoil going on in Tunisia, president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali has fled the country. But like any dictator on the run, Ben Ali had to leave plenty of wealth behind, accumulated in his 20+ years of totalitarian rule, including his Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, which was “repossessed” by angry protesters using a forklift. Video after the jump.

By Csaba Daradics
Source: Youtube via Autogespot


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Las Vegas to Detroit, which opens tonight in Detroit for professionals, the smartphone generates as much buzz as the electric car. And for good reason: mobile applications will become essential on board, whether to enjoy the music and surf the social networks, or drive the load of electric vehicles and hybrids. The latest example, that of Toyota. At CES, the Japanese presented "Entune", a multimedia system that allows for onboard applications of its smartphone *. The advantage is that it can control everything by voice recognition and commands to the vehicle, without having to manipulate the phone. To use it, it's very simple. It must first download the application on his mobile Entune Toyota, then connecting the device via Bluetooth to the car.
Once that is done, the driver has on board the following applications:
- Bing: the search engine from Microsoft
- From web radios (iheartradio, Pandora)
- Movietickets.com (movie tickets, schedules, trailers)
- Opentable.com (restaurants)
Toyota also offers other applications that enrich the navigation (fuel prices, traffic, weather, news) and a USB connectivity and playback voice SMS.

Watch the video:


The system will be optional in the U.S. later this year.
* Entune is compatible with most smartphones


For its part, Ford developed a new application MyFord Mobile for North America, allowing the driver of future Focus Electric (finish end 2011) to remain in constant contact with his vehicle and control it remotely. MyFord Mobile works via a smartphone or a secure website and allows the owners of Focus EV monitor and control various functions of their vehicle. In addition, an intelligent charging function developed by Microsoft allows for full-peak electricity.
This new application enables remote monitoring and controlling the levels of vehicle load, plan trips with stops at single or multiple, locate charging stations, to precondition the vehicle (heating or air conditioning ') and perform other tasks specific to electric vehicles. My Ford Mobile will also help the owners of the electric Ford Focus intelligently plan their journeys with features developed by MapQuest, by having the largest database of charging stations.


And this is not an isolated example, as other competitors already have their iPhone or Android, as with the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan with the Leaf. And those who are preparing already had the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise in this area (Audi, BMW, Smart).The BMW Group, which has developed Connected Mini around the iPhone and which runs a similar application for Round 1, shows how the car of tomorrow will be "connected".
Earlier this week, a video showing ousted Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano dangling from the forks of an industrial truck made world headlines. But that wasn't the only car from Maranello to be targeted by the angry protesters. New videos and photos showing yet another Prancing Horse model being 'liberated' have now surfaced online.
This time it's a red-colored Ferrari California claimed to be owned by a member of the former Tunisian Preseident's family named Sofiane Ben Ali. In their mad rush, Tunisian rioters utterly destroyed the hardtop convertible relieving it from tires, badges and anything else that could get their hands on.

The looting seems to have taken place in the garage where the Ferrari was parked, meaning that no one took the Italian supercar for a spin, which is kind of sad (in a twisted way of course...). Scroll down for the video and photos.
Source: Czechferrari via Autoblog.nl



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I was invited by Euro RSCG to attend the event "Rendezvous clients 2011" in Paris, during which the station has presented its projects in the field of eco-mobility.
With initiatives to encourage carpooling or using the bike to take the train, the railway company now intends to provide its customers with "door to door in their travels, not just of" Station to Station ", with a view of "sustainable mobility". This is another step taken by the rail carrier, which had already expressed its interest in projects of alternative mobility.

Through its investment fund EMP (Eco-Mobility Partners) * SNCF is particularly associated with Green Cove 123envoiture.com site to view the station offers to carpool on the screens.From their mobile phones, passengers can also learn about offerings available to upcoming stops through the establishment of a mobile portal. This service is active in the Ile-de-France (Transilien in 347 stations) and Franche-Comté with TER.




Still in car, SNCF hopes to develop car-sharing. It was thus associated with the Languedoc-Roussillon and Modulauto to establish a formula combining B and car sharing in the cities of Narbonne, Montpellier and Nimes. With supply Modulauto Liberty, regional rail users benefit from a preferential tariff access to car-sharing - a device for car rental at very short (from one hour). This service is available for free service 24/24 and 7 / 7 with an RFID badge, modeled on the Velib '. This solution is also practical and environmentally friendly source of savings for its users. Indeed, the price includes both the fuel, insurance, maintenance and subscription to the parking space.

Another innovative experiment is conducted in Pau. In 2010, Pau has become the first city in France to integrate both bikes (IDEcycle) and cars (IDElib ') self-service. The urban transport network IDELE community Pau is now at the forefront of alternative modes of transport involving buses, cycling and car sharing. Twelve cars and 220 bicycles are available near transit lines, 24 hours on 24 and 7 / 7.
Link: http://reseau-idelis.com/

Still on car sharing, I had the opportunity to interact with Guillaume Pepy, CEO of SNCF.Just before his introduction, I asked him what he thought of the decision Autolib. Remember that the station was a candidate, with the RATP, Reviews and Vinci Park. His answer: "we do not know why Bollore has been chosen, but that's life. The station is at its disposal if it can do things together. The car sharing is going to develop electric cars and other Municipalities also have projects. "



Another example is the support of electric vehicles. SNCF starts installing catch charging on its car parks for the arrival of the first zero-emission models. The rail carrier has plans to develop specific seats in two Paris train stations to accompany the launch of a new taxi company electrical in the capital. It is the firm STEP (Society of Electrical Taxis Parisiens), to whom the funds EMP envisages a boost.



The train itself can become greener. Thus, under the project PLATHEE ("Platform for Hybrid Trains energy efficient and environment-friendly"), the SNCF has created with partners a concept of hybrid engine technology consists of several blocks: Diesel "clean" and a fuel cell that produce energy, ultracapacitors and batteries that store the energy (especially during downturns) and return it later, and a power manager that orchestrates automatically use different elements of production and storage. Gains were 20% in fuel consumption over long distances, 40% on operating cycles, and 85% parked.



Always in the context of sustainable development, the company wants to generalize an eco-design of its stations with "building fully integrated into the landscape, built with local materials, use of natural resources for heating and energy (wood, geothermal). SNCF is also working on the Smart Grid.



Finally, the station also plans to launch by end 2011, an eco-calculator "pocket. Developed with the prestigious MIT, he allows, for geolocation with a mobile phone, measuring in real time CO2 emissions on a given route, whatever the mode of transport (train, tram, bus, car, walking ...). This ambitious project is called "CO2GO. When launched, the application will then be enriched with additional features: proposed routes and alternative modes of transport associated with less "polluting" practical information about businesses, utilities, parking, tourism ...

* This fund supports Coruscant (solar panels on parking), Green Cove (carpooling), Lumeneo (electric vehicle), Phitech (guiding impaired people), Urban Cab (electric scooters, delivery) and VuLOg (operator for the geolocation electric vehicles). 

Rolls Royce Phantom Built on BMW 750i V12 E32

This custom monstrosity of a Rolls Royce Phantom replica is based on one of the last elegant BMW 7-Series models, the late 1980s-early 1990s E32, and was found for sale on a Polish used car website. There are so many things wrong with the build that we don't know where to start, but the flashy Rolls Royce sticker on the steering wheel could take the prize for being the worst item on the car...
The Phantom clown clone is built on a V12-powered 750i with the seller asking a laughable €56,653 (around US$75,500 at today's exchange rates) for the car. More photos after the break.

Source: Otomoto via Motofilm


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New Ford Focus Electric: Plug-in EV Unveiled in Production Form, Goes on Sale at the end of 2011

Ford is poised to take on the Nissan Leaf EV and to a lesser extent, the more technologically advanced Chevrolet Volt extended range EV with the all-new Focus Electric that was revealed today in production guise.
The Dearborn company's first-ever all-electric passenger car is based on the latest generation of the Focus five-door hatchback. Hiding behind the very Aston Martin-like grille is an electric drivetrain comprising of an electric motor capable of 123 HP and 181 lb-ft of torque, and a single-speed transmission.

Energy is provided by a lithium-ion battery system, which has engineered by Ford in cooperation with supplier LG Chem. Ford says that with the optional wall-mounted 240-volt charge station, the batteries can be charged in three to four hours, or about half the time of the Nissan Leaf. The company did not say how long it will take to charge the batteries with the standard 120-volt convenience cord that comes with the vehicle.
The all-electric Focus is capable of reaching speeds of up 84 mph (136km/h). Ford did not give out an official number on the range, but the firm's execs have previously stated that the EV will be able to cover a distance of around 100 miles or 160km.
The Focus Electric will also get several new features and technologies including a unique version of the MyFord Touch driver connect system developed especially for electric vehicles, a new value charging feature powered by Microsoft and a smartphone app called MyFord Mobile that helps plug-in owners control their vehicles remotely.
The North American variant of the Focus Electric will be built at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, with sales to commence at the end of 2011. Ford said that for European markets, a decision on where the Focus Electric will be built is currently being finalized, but sales are scheduled to start before 2013.


Honda Dealer Memo Says 4-Cylinder CrossTour and 2012 CR-V on their Way Along with New Civic
The Honda fan-boys over at the Temple of VTEC claim to have intercepted an internal memo with details on the firm's upcoming models, which was sent out today to dealers. The email reportedly states that Honda will be releasing a lower-priced based version of the Accord CrossTour equipped with a 4-cylinder engine, with sales to start in "mid-summer". We'll remind you that that CrossTour is currently offered exclusively with a 275HP 3.5-liter V6 and available four-wheel drive.
The website notes the memo also mentions the 2012 Civic, which will arrive in "late April" (this has already been officially confirmed by Honda that will show a pre-production study at the Detroit Show next week), as well as the 2012 CR-V and the Pilot SUV, without, however, getting into any more details.





From the creator of the Alfa Romeo Vittorio Jano Sedan and Sport Wagon concepts comes this new design study for a classy-looking GT. Named after Giuseppe Merosi, a famous Italian automobile engineer Giuseppe Merosi who worked for Alfa Romeo (then named A.L.F.A.) in the beginning of the previous century, the prototype presented by Marco Procaccini from MPcardesign is a four-seater sports coupe designed to feature a much missed by Alfa Romeo fans, rear-wheel drive layout.
The styling of the Giuseppe Merosi has a similar feel to Marco's previous work, the Vittorio Jano, combining hard edges with curved surfaces and a pronounced Alfa Romeo grille. According to the designer, the car would measure around 4,300mm in length, 1,810mm in width and 1,320mm in height.
Source: MPCardesign

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