Tag Archives: 2009 New York International Auto Show

Liveblog: GM, Segway Announce Personal Urban Mobility & Accessibility Concept

  This morning, GM will reveal "a revolutionary vehicle to help people move through crowded cities and alleviate the significant issues of congestion, safety, parking, affordability, and energy concerns." This vehicle may be the next evolution of the "Personal Urban Mobility & Accessibility" collaboration with Segway. We're liveblogging the details as they surface. 6:05 CST: This is, indeed, an announcement in collaboration with Segway. Chris Borroni-Bird, GM Director of Advanced Technology Vehicle Concepts, cites increasing urbanization in the future, and outlines the most rapidly growing urban areas -- Asian cities that are increasingly motorizing. Personal mobility solutions make sense in these cities. 6:10: Borroni-Bird says Today's automobiles still subscribe to a 100-year-old DNA formula. New DNA is required: Powered by electricity, controlled electronically, and connected to the Internet, infrastructure, and each other. 6:11: The PUMA prototype can reach speeds up to 25mph, and travel up to 30 miles distance. Cabin slides fore and aft to achieve balance. 6:15: GM cites development of the EV1, Autonomy concept, OnStar, and DARPA-winning "Boss" Tahoe as preludes to the PUMA prototype. Also, the term "connectology" was just tossed out. Let the forward-thinking tech jargon flow forth. 6:17: Later this year, drivable prototypes will hit the road. A "switch" will allow drivers to either let the PUMA drive itself, or drive it manually. 6:19: The wrapup: zero emissions, sustainable fuel, safe in low-speed target markets, less stress for commuters, connectivity, fun to drive (especially in manual mode), fashionable (was the Segway ever a fashion statement outside of LA?), and affordable. "Three to four times less than using a conventional car in an urban environment." 6:21: The average speed of traffic in NYC has fallen in recent years to levels within the capabilities of the PUMA concept. On a per-passenger basis, Project PUMA outperforms other transportation modes (transit bus, Prius, ForTwo, ZENN) in the areas of energy efficiency and CO2 emissions. 6:25: Conventional parking lots can hold approximately 6x as many PUMAs as regular cars, increasing space efficiency and manuverability. AAA ranks total ownership and operating costs for a midsize sedan at $8273; Manhattan commuters face parking and toll charges of up to $8,000 per year. 6:29: Autonomous operation mode may preserve mobility for elderly drivers. By-wire technology allows for either the preservation of conventional steering wheel and pedal controls, as well as other control configurations customized or repositioned to accommodate drivers' needs. 6:35: Borroni-Bird says the PUMA is more fun to drive than conventional "Neighborhood Electric Vehicles" in urban areas because of its manuverability. It can also be "packed" at train stations or mass transit lots. Value propositions compared to an electric scooter: more expensive, but weather-resistant. 6:40: Borroni-Bird hopes for collaboration with government agencies and private corporate alliances to bring PUMA to fruition. One journalist asks about a potential scenario for long distance high-speed commutes: users would "dock" their PUMAs on an "electric guideway" for high-speed long distance travel, and "undock" them for shorter lower-speed commutes. 6:47: Video and media will be available later today to coincide with New York International Auto Show announcements. Critical analysis of this technology? It's too soon to tell, but the iPhone density in this image hosted on the Segway site may be worth a thousand words.

Wednesday Wallpaper: All-New Mercedes Benz E63 AMG


  With the 2009 New York Auto Show just around the corner, we're starting to get a glimpse of the vehicles that will be shown.  One such vehicle that will be shown is this all-new Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, which features the monster 6.2-liter V8 engine found in other recent AMG models.  This new E63 gets an 11 horsepower bump from the outgoing model to 518, and torque is bumped up to a very substantial 465lb-ft.  The new E63 will also sport the new seven-speed dual clutch SpeedShift transmission that found its way into the SL63 roadster.  Mercedes-Benz claims that this reduces fuel consumption by 12%, and makes driving a whole hell of a lot more fun.  Suspension wise, the E63 gets AMGRIDE CONTROL which is Mercedes' fancy word for electronically controlled damping system.  While we here at S:S:L are a bit split on the new E-Class design direction, we all agree that we can't wait to get one of these on a road course. Full E63 AMG Wallpaper Gallery (1440x960) after the Jump

Badonkadonk: Porsche Reveals First Official Photos of the Panamera Gran Turismo

Click for Larger Image
Porsche has released the first photos of what it is calling the Panamera Gran Turismo, the first four-door in Porsche's lineup. Officially, Porsche will be marketing the Panamera as a four-door grand touring sports car, meaning potential Maxima buyers will have another choice to consider. The Panamera will feature three engines, ranging from a 300-horsepower V6 to the range topping direct injection 500-horsepower turbocharged V8. Power will get to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox or Porsche's new seven-speed PDK Doppelkupplungsgetriebe transmission. We've found that Doppelkupplungsgetriebe is a far more impressive in conversation than double-clutch, so practice up on your German. Porsche says that the Panamera will make its world debut in the Spring of 2009 and will arrive at U.S. dealers in the Fall of 2009. As a side note, after looking at these photos for a few days, I'm convinced that rear end is something that only Sir-Mix-A-Lot could love. What do you think of the Panamera? If it were YOUR money, which sport four-door would you buy? We love to see your comments!

Click for Larger Image
View Complete Porsche Panamera Gallery