Besides the handling, we found little impressive about the Impreza GT. And a look at Subaru's Impreza models made us wonder what the company was thinking. Here's a car that's supposed to sit between the base Impreza and the sportier WRX, offering more horsepower than the low-end models. But cabin tech is almost entirely unavailable in the Impreza GT and you get stuck with an automatic transmission. After going through the electronics and running the car around twisty mountain roads, we would rather have the comparably priced WRX.
As you can probably tell from Monday's video and various "On the Road" segments of the Car Tech Podcast, I love burning a little rubber. So when I saw this video floating around the blogosphere of Ken Block drifting his Crawford Performance Subaru Impreza around a rather unconventional course, my jaw literally dropped. Here's a guy who elevates the simple act of turning tires into white clouds of smoke to an art form.
TOKYO--Two new challengers from Japan have joined the race for electric vehicles.
Subaru says it will start fleet sales of a four-seat electric car next year, and Toyota Motor Corp. for the first time has confirmed plans for a battery-powered offering in the early 2010s.
Both companies are stepping up the zero-emissions mantra as Japanese rivals Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. push ahead on what many see as the future of automobiles.
Nissan plans U.S.-fleet sales of an electric vehicle in 2010. Mitsubishi is eyeing a 2010 launch of its electric iMiEV in Japan, followed by Europe and the United States.
Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe announced the company's electric-vehicle plans last month at Toyota's annual business strategy meeting. Details were sparse, but R&D chief Masatami Takimoto said the car's range would be limited by the performance of today's batteries.
"For the time being, the most realistic approach is to use pure electric vehicles for short-distance travel," Takimoto said. "So in the early stage of the 2010s, we would like to offer a compact, very small electric vehicle on a small-scale basis."
Toyota has been testing its ultracompact E-com since 1999. But the bubble-shaped runabout seats only two, a load deemed impractical by most electric vehicle contenders.… Read more
FM transmitters that connect an MP3 player to a car stereo are notoriously unreliable, subject to lots of interference in urban areas and sub-FM-quality sound. My own experience with these devices was so bad, I paid about $200 to get an FM modulator hooked into the internal FM receiver in my car stereo. That means I can hook any MP3 player's headphone output directly into an FM frequency on my car stereo. (I couldn't just buy a new car stereo with a direct input because I drive a 2006 Subaru Outback...more on this issue here.)
So when … Read more
In a major update, the 2009 Subaru Forester features a longer wheelbase and a modernized exterior design. And, for the first time, a navigation system is available. Unfortunately, our test vehicle was the low trim 2.5X Premium model, and navigation is only in the top trim 2.5XT Limited model. Likewise, the audio system in the 2.5X Premium is pretty lackluster, with only four speakers. Go up to the 2.5XT trim and you get a six speaker system with a six-disc CD changer.
Although unimpressive on the cabin tech front, the car offers a good amount of … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--I was sitting in a Costco here Wednesday night, waiting to have four new tires put on my 2001 Subaru Outback--after literally having just spent $900 on a tune-up and several other items. Paradoxically, I was thinking that Subaru makes a pretty good car.
It was this very Subaru that I spent 16 days in two summers ago on Road Trip 2006, when I drove 3,279 miles around the Pacific Northwest. That year, CNET News let me try a driving trip in search of stories, but I had to take my own car and pay all my own … Read more
As the odometer on the Subaru Outback 2.5 XT that I'm driving around in on Road Trip 2008 approached 3,000 miles, I saw a sign for the Hank Williams Sr. Boyhood Home and Museum.
Of course, I was tooling along on Interstate 65, heading toward Montgomery, Ala., on my way to Columbus, Ga., when I saw the sign.
Thinking that this was a chance … Read more
Subaru announced today a follow-up to its R1e electric minicar, a bigger electric car built on its Stella platform. The Stella is a four-seat car sold in Japan, narrow but tall. The electric Stella concept uses a 40-kilowatt electric motor powered by lithium ion batteries. This powertrain gives it a maximum speed of 62 miles per hour and a range of 50 miles.
Subaru built the electric Stella concept to test out a car with more practical interior space than the R1e. Five of the Stella concepts will be used at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako summit in July, while one … Read more
Electric cars are the only real option for stopping carbon dioxide emissions from the tailpipe, and thus preventing global climate change. But as of today, you can't visit your local dealer's row and drive away in an electric car. Things are changing, though, and here is a selection of new electric cars we've seen at recent auto shows.
While some concept cars look as if they come from a future that never will be, others represent cars that will actually go into production. We've gathered the most realistic concept cars from the last auto show season to see how the near future will look.