Cars

Tesla Model S 70D brings AWD to $75k entry-level

Tesla Model S 70D brings AWD to $75k entry-level

Tesla has whipped the covers off a new version of its electric car, with the Model S 70D distilling the all-wheel-drive performance of the company's flagship model into a more affordable package. Promising 250 miles of range, the Model S 70D borrows the independent front and rear motors concept from the 155mph P85D, though scales back on the power and performance in order to hit a $75k+ price tag. It also means that Tesla's whole Model S range now consists of all-wheel-drive cars.

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Plastic car engine could create lighter cars, better gas mileage

Plastic car engine could create lighter cars, better gas mileage

When it comes to cars, lightening the load can increase performance capabilities and fuel economy. Incorporating plastic components into the body of the car can only cut down the weight so much. So, auto makers are scrambling to find ways to use plastic parts in other components of the car. German research group Fraunhofer has found a way to create a car engine using plastic parts. Sure the pistons need to be metal, but the casing that houses the cylinders can be made of plastic. Fraunhofer's plastic casing weighs 20% less than if it were made using standard aluminum, and a little goes a long way when it comes to performance and saving fuel.

Rolls-Royce unveils Project Cullinan SUV engineering mule

Rolls-Royce unveils Project Cullinan SUV engineering mule

Last February, luxury car maker Rolls-Royce surprised the automobile industry by declaring that it will be dipping its toes into the SUV segment, though of course it prefers not to call it that. Dubbed Project Cullinan, this "Effortless Everywhere" all-terrain motor car would be poised to take on the Bentley Bentayga in almost everything, probably including the price. Fast-forward two months later, Rolls-Royce is giving the public a peek at the first step in that new dream, an engineering mule that will kickstart the development and testing phase of the SUV all-terrain motor car.

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Google’s self-driving cars avoid cows—and other road hazards

Google’s self-driving cars avoid cows—and other road hazards

Self-driving cars are getting a lot of buzz lately. Companies from Google to Uber and Mercedes-Benz are each developing their own driverless car technology. In fact, Uber just partnered with Carnegie Mellon to create the Advanced Technology Center dedicated to the development driverless vehicles. If you're an engineer, you're in luck because they are hiring, too. Google is racing to get to the finish line first, and it may have an edge over the competition as its driverless vehicles can now officially avoid cows (and other conditions.)

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Mercedes and Nissan partner to launch mid-size pickup truck

Mercedes and Nissan partner to launch mid-size pickup truck

Mercedes-Benz and Nissan have officially partnered to create a new mid-size pickup truck, it has been announced. We've known about Mercedes-Benz's pickup truck aspirations for a little while now, and have even gotten a look at a concept for the eventual model (picture after the break), with the auto maker saying its truck will be, in true Mercedes fashion, a luxury offering. Under this new arrangement between the two auto makers, we now know Nissan will be the company building the truck.

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Uber pays fines in Portland ahead of possible re-launch

Uber pays fines in Portland ahead of possible re-launch

Late last year, Uber arrived in Portland, Oregon. The service was unauthorized, and city officials weren’t taking it lightly. A covert operation to request rides and fine drivers was underway (they got two warnings before a fine, technically), which brought as much confusion to the scene as happy hipsters who could bypass the taxi system. After the kerfuffle, Uber agreed to withdraw from the city for 90 days. As City Hall considers new rules that would allow Uber to operate, the ridesharing service has agreed to pay $67,750 in fines handed down by the city over the unsanctioned launch.

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Uber to hire slew of engineers, could be developing self-driving cars

Uber to hire slew of engineers, could be developing self-driving cars

Uber has big dreams, one of which might be to run fleets of self driving cars. The ride-share company is hitting the ground running as it looks to hire a range of positions including mechanical engineers from the automotive field and software engineers to work on sensors and vehicle controls. Nineteen positions were posted online today. The job listings are for Uber's newly established Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh, which is a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University. This research center will act as an experimental lab where the top minds can solve problems blocking the path to driver-less vehicles.

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Tesla taps ex-F1 engineer for service skills

Tesla taps ex-F1 engineer for service skills

Tesla has snapped up an F1 chief mechanic to lead its car servicing efforts, with CEO Elon Musk hoping Kenny Handkammer can inject a little high-octane pitstop practice into his EVs. Formerly of Red Bull Racing, Handkammer will now be based in the US as Tesla's Global Director of Service Training, helping shape how Tesla dealerships handle electric cars brought in for routine servicing along with any unforeseen issues. The appointment comes ahead of Tesla's range expanding with the Model X SUV, not to mention ambitious upgrading procedures for the older Roadster.

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HTC reportedly working on Android Auto competitor

HTC reportedly working on Android Auto competitor

HTC has made a home in your pocket, and maybe even on your wrist, but what about in your car? An interesting finding details how HTC may be angling to involve themselves in auto, creating an in-dash system that does much of what Android Auto does, but builds on it just a bit more. Codenamed ‘Cello’, HTC is doing for Android Auto what they did for Android so many years ago, seemingly bringing a skinned Android Auto to car manufacturers for inclusion with new cars.

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Panoz and DeltaWing patent two arrow-shaped road cars

Panoz and DeltaWing patent two arrow-shaped road cars

Batmobiles these are not, but they could very well be closest you can get, especially one that you can actually legally drive and flaunt around. Motorsports giant Don Panoz and DeltaWing LLC last month filed for not one but two patents over arrow-shaped road cars, a dream that the Nissan BladeGlider once inspired and now has seemingly given up on. Simply called "Street Cars", these design patents are anything but simple. Sadly, based on the designs, only one of them might actually be practical to drive on streets.

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