Mini E customers having to keep their cars plugged in for 23 hours

>> Saturday, June 6, 2009

Last month, the first Mini E was delivered Peter Trepp, a venture capitalist focusing on the green industry. Along with Trepp, up to 300 Mini E customers may be in for a big disappoint when they recharge the battery of their electric-Cooper, reports Open Road.

Apparently there is a glitch in the distribution of the high-voltage charging cable that comes with the Mini E. As a result, 300 of the 450 customers who have purchased a one-year lease may only charge their Mini E from a standard 110-volt wall-socket. According to Mini spokesman Nathalie Bauters, that will require them to keep their Mini E plugged in for 23 hours to reach a full charge.

The high-voltage cable for the 300 customers won’t be available until July. With the cable, the Mini E can reach full charge in 2.5 hours.

To ease the troubles hitting the “field trial participants,” Mini E owners won’t have to pay their $850/month lease until their high-speed cable arrives.

So far, BMW has delivered 23 of the 450 Mini E prototypes.


Toyota Camry Hybrid keeps its greenness to itself

(Credit: Corinne Schulze/CNET)

If you believe virtue is its own reward, the Camry Hybrid may be the car for you. Rather than being an ostentatious hybrid icon like the Prius, the Camry Hybrid masquerades as a standard Camry sedan, beyond a few subtle badges. But in traffic it does ...


Forza 3 vs. Gran Turismo 5

Forza 3 screenshot(Credit: Take 10)

Which racing sim will be the best?(opinion)

E3 2009 has come and gone, leaving delicious trailers and tons of information for Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo 5 and Turn 10's Forza Motorsport 3 racing sims in its wake. It looks like it's time for ...


Penske in talks with GM to buy Saturn brand

Penske Automotive Group announced today that is has signed an agreement with General Motors regarding the Saturn brand.

Under the terms of the agreement, if the transaction is completed, Penske Automotive Group would obtain the rights to the Saturn brand, acquire certain assets including the Saturn parts inventory, and have ...


Toasted McLaren F1 Makes Baby Jesus Cry

>> Tuesday, June 2, 2009

<i>Oh, the humanity!</i>

Oh, the humanity!

Ok, so apparently if you are taking your McLaren out of long-term storage, make sure you have a Halon fire extinguisher (or 6) handy. This unlucky chap sprung his F1 from the lockup after a six month nap, and it turned into a veritable roman candle very quickly. Make the jump for more photos of the carnage.

<i>The tears of every clown in the world won't make this right.</i>

The tears of every clown in the world won't make this right.

The sad thing is, as you can see above, the car was a total loss. Luckily for unlucky owner in question, it was insured for $3 million, and valued at $2 million. If it turns out this is an insurance scam, I’ll be the first to grab a pitchfork and torches. That nefarious insinuation aside, it is a tragedy that it was destroyed, as only 106 were produced.

[Source: Jalopnik]


Official teaser photos of the new BMW X1

We are days away from the official unveiling of the BMW X1 production model and BMW has already started to release some teasers. While the official X1 Facebook page has been setup for quite some time now, the first “almost” official photos of the X1 just made their way onto the journalists’ hands last week during the press pre-view test drive which took place in Mallorca, Spain. With the X1 launch, BMW will introduce a new color for this small SAV: the Marrakesh Brown.

A bit surprising that the car still wears some camouflage since it was spotted fully uncovered just a few weeks back during a movie shooting in Germany, but that’s just another story. The production version of the X1 will be shown for the first time to the general public at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.


Despite receiving some negative reviews in the beginning, mostly from BMW fans, recently the opinion current has changed and many of us started to see the value in this new model and started to embrace it. BMW X1’s marketing campaign runs under the name “This is your world..”, coming from the idea of a small SAV, an urban vehicle geared towards a younger demographic who enjoy outdoor activities as well and would still like to use a spacious car to transport their surfboards, skis, snowboards or climbing equipment.

Since the X1 will go on sale in Europe only, those of us that live in the U.S. will have to wait until late 2010 before seeing the car on our roads. Initially, the X1 will launch with the following powerplants:

  • BMW X1 xDrive20d - 177 horsepower - 8.4 seconds 0-60 mph - Max Speed 132 mph (213 km/h) - 40.5 mph (5.8 liters / 100 km)
  • BMW X1 xDrive23d - 204 horsepower - 7,3 seconds 0-60 mph - Max Speed 138 mph (223 km/h) - 37 mpg (6,3 Liter / 100 km)
  • BMW X1 xDrive28i - 6.7 seconds 0-100 - Max Speed 142 mph(230 km/h)

The car will be offered in the beginning with the BMW xDrive system, but in the future, a rear-wheel drive model will follow. Pricing is unknown at this time, but it will most likely be set between the 1 Series and the X3.

The X1 Concept version revealed at the Paris Auto Show last October, was also shown recently at the BMW PGA Championship.


What You Need to Know About the GM Bankruptcy - Car News

>> Monday, June 1, 2009

In a widely anticipated move, General Motors today became the second Detroit-based automaker to recently file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Despite receiving nearly $20 billion in loans from the U.S. Treasury Department, along with last-minute, debt-for-equity deals with bondholders and concessions from both its U.S. and Canadian worker unions, GM’s U.S. operations have joined rival Chrysler in court protection as both companies try to downsize themselves in a drastically depressed market.

In what amounts to a nationalization of GM by the federal government, the U.S. Treasury is providing the company with about $30 billion in debtor-in-procession financing to make it through bankruptcy—raising GM’s government assistance total to about $50 billion. The investment results in the Treasury gaining a 60-percent interest in GM. About 18 percent will be held by the United Auto Workers’ Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA), while the Canadian government will own about 12 percent. Unsecured bondholders and creditors will get the remaining 10 percent, as well as the potential to acquire another 15 percent down the road.

Under the terms of the reorganization and similar to the restructuring path forged by Chrysler, the sale of which to Italy’s Fiat has been approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, GM will be split into two entities: a “good GM,” which includes the core Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, and Buick brands and the facilities to support those divisions; and a “bad GM,” comprised of redundant/unprofitable plants and the underperforming Hummer, Saturn, Saab, and Pontiac operations. The goal of the bankruptcy process is for the existing, overburdened automaker to turn over its best assets to a less debt-riddled “New GM.” The New GM is expected to emerge from court protection in 60–90 days as a leaner, more agile company with fewer brands, dealers, and long-term obligations. The leftover assets likely will be mired in Chapter 7 liquidation for much longer, however, as they are individually sold off or shut down entirely.

Keep Reading: What You Need to Know About the GM Bankruptcy - Car News


Leaner GM will Emerge from Bankruptcy

Henderson: Leaner GM will Emerge from Bankruptcy - Motor Trend
U.S. Government Expected to Hold Majority Share for Years

Like a LaSalle, any stock certificates you have in General Motors have become collectors' items. Like the Pontiac Aztek, they're not worth anything. And like Citigroup, GM stock is no longer part of the Dow Jones Industrial Averages. The new owners of the company are the American taxpayers, at 60 percent, the Canadian and Ontario governments, at 12 percent, the United Auto Workers' Voluntary Employee Benefit Association at 17.5 percent and unsecured bondholders who agree not to challenge the bankruptcy owning most of the rest, about 10 percent. They hold warrants to buy another 15 percent later on.


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