Cars concept imagine for production

The S5S Raptor was Saleen’s 2008 vision for a supercar that slotted in below the maniacal S7. The best part about it was that it was damn good looking. Had it been built, it would have been powered by a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 that made 650 hp. However, because of Saleen’s obvious financial woes, the car never wound up being built and we never got another great, American supercar.

The name, of course, comes from the Nardo test track, where Volkswagen set records with the prototype car. However, instead of building this car, VW went ahead and built the Bugatti Veyron instead. You can definitely see tones of the W12 Nardo in the Veyron, but there is something even cooler about the idea of a supercar from the company that brought you the people’s car.

In 2009, Bugatti released the Galibier concept: A sedan wearing the Bugatti badge that could potentially be the Veyron’s successor. It certainly looked related to the Veyron, too. It even kept the Veyron’s W16 engine, but, ultimately, Bugatti went with the Chiron as the Veyron’s successor instead of this crazy super sedan.

Beneath the hood that stretched past the horizon lay a V16 engine that was good for 1000 hp and 1000 lb-ft of torque. Cadillac unveiled the concept in 2003 as a nod to the famed Cadillac V16 from the 1930s. The engine was a 13.6-liter beast, and it was such a pity that these never made it to the road. It could have resurrected the great American grand touring luxury tradition.

Tesla and The Billion To Buy SolarCity

Tesla will spend about $2.6 billion on solar panel maker SolarCity in an all-stock deal.

While electric car maker has said that the tie-up would create a one-stop shop for cleaner energy, some have questioned the motives behind it. Elon Musk is the chairman and biggest shareholder of both companies. And SolarCity is run by his cousin, Lyndon Rive.

SolarCity’s stock slid more than 6 percent before the market opened Monday.

The buyout gives SolarCity Corp. stockholders 0.110 Tesla common shares per SolarCity share, which puts the value of SolarCity stock at $25.37 per share. Tesla previously said it would offer $23.56 to $25.30 per SolarCity share.

Musk has cultivated the image of a maverick since he made his initial fortune as co-founder of online payment service, PayPal, which eBay bought for $1.5 billion in 2002. He is hailed as a visionary by admirers who applaud him for shaking up the auto industry with Tesla’s sleek, electric vehicles and drawing up plans to send people to Mars on Space X’s rockets. His detractors ridicule him as an unpredictable control freak.

Musk owns a 26 percent stake in Tesla Motors Inc., based in Palo Alto, California, and a 22.5 percent stake in SolarCity. His motivation to pair Tesla with the San Mateo, California, solar company primarily revolves around a battery system that stores solar energy in homes and businesses.

The deal may draw more attention to the financial position of both companies. Tesla has lost $1.2 billion in the past two years alone while SolarCity has suffered losses exceeding $1.1 billion during the same span. Analysts surveyed by FactSet are predicting a 416 million loss from Tesla this year while they believe SolarCity will lose $851 million.

On Monday, SolarCity said that it experienced lower-than-expected residential bookings in the first half of the year, so it’s reducing its full-year guidance for megawatts installed to a range of 900 to 1,000 megawatts. Its previous outlook had been for 1,000 to 1,100 megawatts.

Tesla anticipates $150 million in costs savings in the first full year after closing of any tie-up with SolarCity.

SolarCity has a 45-day “go-shop” period in which it can solicit alternative acquisition proposals. It will have to pay Tesla a $78.2 million termination fee unless it ends the deal with Tesla in order to enter an agreement with a third party that initially made an alternative offer before the “go-shop” period ended. In such an instance, SolarCity would pay a $26.1 million termination fee, according to a regulatory filing.

Turbocharged engines and a variety of bodystyles

It’s hard to see through fog when driving, and more than a few car accidents happen as a result. When ordinary car lights rendered ineffective, how can you make sure other drivers see you? Shine a laser into the fog.

The laser is already out there – and it only costs $11. The laser mounts near the bumper, and creates a red line on the ground 15 to 20 feet behind your car, ensuring that other drivers can see you in dense fog. It cuts through fog because the laser light is so much more concentrated than what’s coming from headlights or taillights. It’s a cheap and simple solution to a potentially deadly problem.

If you’re lucky, the squealing (or squeaking) noise that your brakes make when you first drive your car in the morning, particularly after rain or snow, is just surface rust being scraped off the rotors by the pads the first few times you apply the brake pedal, or the result of moisture and dirt that collects on the rotors, including from condensation caused by high humidity. If it goes away after a few brake applications, no worries.

If the noise persists most times or every time you apply the brakes or stays on continuously while you’re driving, the cause is more serious — and the fix will be more expensive.

A continuous high-pitched squeal while you’re driving is usually the sound of a built-in wear indicator telling you that it’s time for new pads. As the pads wear down and get thinner, a small metal tab contacts the rotor like a needle on a vinyl record to warn you it’s time for new pads. (Some wear indicators may work differently and engage only when you apply the brakes.)

Other squeals and squeaks will require a brake inspection to diagnose, and may require cleaning, lubrication or adjustment, and possibly new parts. Most brake noise is caused by worn or loose parts.

For example, an unevenly worn rotor (often referred to as “warped”) won’t let the brake pads press flat against the rotor when you apply the brakes, and that can create vibrations that generate noise. Likewise, an unevenly worn pad won’t press tightly against the rotor and may chirp. Another possibility is that the pads are loosely mounted, or the shims that hold them in place have corroded or become loose.

And then there are the pads themselves. Some mechanics warn that bargain-bin pads are more likely to be noisier than higher-quality, more-expensive pads. In addition, loose or sticking calipers can contribute noise.

Get The Lease a New Car With Your Friends

Can’t afford that new Mustang by yourself? No worries. Ford announced a whole new approach to ride-sharing at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week.It will let you lease a vehicle with your friends.

A new program called Ford Credit Link allows groups of three to six people to band together to lease that new Focus, Fiesta, or any other Ford vehicle, and organize everything from payments to who has the car when via an app. The program is intended for people who like the idea of having their own set of wheels but don’t need a car full time. Compared to a service like Zipcar, this way you could get a vehicle when you want it, share it with fewer people, and potentially save a little cash in the process.

You’ll need to organize your own group, and you’ll want to make sure it’s filled with only your most responsible friends. It’s a bit like leasing an apartment with several roommates: Everybody has their share, but together you’re all responsible for coming up with the total amount. That means if Bob suddenly stops paying, everyone in the group will get dinged for that missed payment. Also, everyone will need to qualify for a lease through Ford, so your buddy with poor credit is probably out of the mix.

As far as how much of the lease payment you’re responsible for, that’s up to the group. Within the app you’ll be able to divide up payments as the group sees fit. You’ll also be able to track how long each person has used the car, so if Sara takes it on a road trip for three weeks out of the month, you might collectively decide to make her responsible for 75 percent of the month’s payment. If she moves away halfway through your 24-month lease, you can also remove her fr

The Progress of Self Driving Cars

It was the crash the auto industry knew was coming but still feared.

The death of a driver who was using Tesla Motors’ semi-autonomous mode could add to the public’s apprehension of driverless cars even before they reach the road in big numbers. Most major automakers and technology companies, including Google and Uber, are working on fully autonomous cars, and have worried that a highly publicized crash could hurt those efforts.

Joshua D. Brown, 40, of Canton, Ohio, died in the accident May 7 in Williston, Florida. According to a Tesla statement issued Thursday, the cameras on Brown’s Tesla Model S failed to distinguish the white side of a turning tractor-trailer from a brightly lit sky and didn’t automatically activate its brakes. Brown didn’t take control and activate the brakes either, Tesla said.

Brown was an enthusiastic booster of his 2015 Tesla Model S and in an April video he posted online he credited its sophisticated Autopilot system for avoiding a crash when a commercial truck swerved into his lane on an interstate.

Automakers and analysts have said they need to be careful as they introduce more and more semi-autonomous features, from automatic braking to adaptive cruise control. People can quickly learn to rely on them, or assume they work better than they actually do. The possibility of a fatal accident was always a concern.

“For years people have been saying the technology is ready, and it’s one of my pet peeves, because no it’s not,” said Bryant Walker Smith, a law professor at the University of South Carolina and an expert on autonomous driving issues.

Tesla stressed that its Autopilot system is new, noting that drivers must manually enable it and that they “must maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle” while using the system.

“Autopilot is getting better all the time, but it is not perfect and still requires the driver to remain alert,” the Palo Alto, California-based company said in a statement.

Karl Brauer, a senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book, said the accident is a huge hit to Tesla’s reputation.

“They have been touting their safety and they have been touting their advanced technology,” he said. “This situation flies in the face of both.”

Tesla’s shares dropped 3 percent in after-hours trading to $206.25 after the government said it would investigate how Tesla’s Autopilot system performed at the time of the crash.

But beyond Tesla, the accident could increase public skepticism about semi-autonomous and autonomous driving. In a survey released last month by the University of Michigan, two-thirds of drivers said they are moderately or very concerned about riding in a self-driving vehicle. Just 16 percent of the 618 drivers surveyed said they would rather ride in a self-driving car.

Walker Smith said it was inevitable that a semi-autonomous or autonomous car would crash. The Brown crash can help focus the discussion of regulators and others on driverless technology and its limitations, he said. It could also remind drivers that the technology isn’t perfect and they need to stay alert.