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Higher gas mileage, electric range for 2013 Chevy Volt

The Chevrolet Volt has been on sale in all 50 states for around a year, but General Motors' engineers are still perfecting the extended range electric vehicle. Using driving data from existing owners, they have improved the fuel efficiency of the 2013 Chevrolet Volt, according to GM.

Engineers tweaked the 2013 Chevrolet Volt's battery cell chemistry to increase the battery pack's capacity from 16 kWh to 16.5 kWh. They also reduced its energy storage buffer, and the changes increase the new model's electric range from 35 miles to 38 miles. The EPA fuel economy also gets … Read more

Airbag saves man, then kills him

Perhaps you've never thought about what is inside your airbag, other than air.

This story might make you wonder.

In 2010, Ronald Smith of Scotland, was involved in a six-car accident, during which his airbag deployed successfully. He wasn't hurt, even though he had been hit from behind and had struck the car in front.

The crash was of sufficient force that his car window broke and pierced the airbag of his Vauxhall Insignia. (Vauxhall Motors is owned by General Motors.) After the crash, Smith, an engineer, reported seeing white powder emerge from the airbag. His face was … Read more

The real prize for GM's EcoCar2 challenge? A job offer

In each of the three years of EcoCar2 Challenge, General Motors will give away approximately $100,000 in prizes to the students participating in the alternative fuels vehicle competition. But for some students, the real prize will be a steady paycheck.

Headliners GM and the Department of Energy, along with 25 suppliers, sponsor EcoCar2, a three-year alternative fuels vehicle competition, as a way to encourage college students to enter the automotive industry. It provides a chance for young engineers to apply the theoretical education they gain in the classroom in the lab, giving them an advantage when it comes to … Read more

Chevy SS: Everything old is new again

It seemed that the progression of automotive engineering would eliminate the rear-wheel-drive car by 2020, but GM believes the architecture still has life enough for a limited production run. Next year the company will make a Chevrolet SS with rear-wheel drive and a V-8. We can only hope a manual transmission might be part of the mix.

In the Chevrolet SS announcement, GM noted there has not been a rear-wheel-drive Chevrolet sedan for 17 years. Has it really been that long?

The new car will be based on the same platform as the Camaro, and it seems likely it would … Read more

From battery covers to bat caves

Rather than sending Volt battery covers to the landfill, General Motors is sending them into the wild. The company is repurposing the scrapped parts as habitat for Michigan wildlife.

The old Volt battery covers came from prototype vehicles, were damaged in assembly, or were used during training exercises. The company's quality requirements mandate that they can't be used in cars, and due to the type of plastic used to mold the cover, can't be recycled.

However, John Bradburn, manager of waste-reduction efforts for GM, is an avid outdoorsman and found a second life for these parts as … Read more

Will this electric pod solve China's traffic woes?

General Motors debuted another rendering of the second-generation EN-V at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, announcing at the same time that China will be its first testing grounds for these electric pods.

The EN-V, which stands for Electric Networked Vehicle, is a two-seater electric vehicle that will be capable of communicating with other vehicles and can be driven autonomously or manually. GM designed this concept for congested megacities of the future, and hopes it will help ease parking, traffic, and pollution in dense urban environments. For that reason, it makes sense that Beijing or another city in China will host … Read more

Cadillac pushes pedal on self-driving car

A self-driving car doesn't necessarily mean handing the keys over to a robot.

General Motors' on Friday said it is testing semi-autonomous technology on its Cadillac cars called Super Cruise that takes over freeway driving. It could be available by mid decade, the company said.

It's a sign how the technology for autonomous vehicles is advancing rapidly and how what's called a "self-driving car" can take different forms.

GM said that two of its 2013 Cadillac luxury sedans, the XTS and the ATS, have a Driver Assist package that already incorporates a number of sensors … Read more

A new lease on life for Chevy Volt as demand picks up?

The Chevy Volt will restart production "earlier than previously planned" due to an uptick in demand, General Motors announced earlier this week, but will this help to quiet critics?

The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle had been slated for a five-week production suspension, but that will be cut to four weeks, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press.

This is "due to increased Volt sales since January and the need to meet demand in our strong markets, including California," GM said in a statement, according to the Free Press.

The Volt came under withering criticism from some in the mediaRead more

Chevy adds GogoLink navigation to list of MyLink apps

Pandora has become the app most widely integrated with cars, but while customized streaming-music channels are nice, navigation is much more useful. Chevy obliges by adding the GogoLink navigation app to its MyLink connectivity system.

GogoLink will be available late this year in Chevy Sonic and Spark models equipped with the MyLink option. Including it in these cars lets Chevy offer navigation at the bottom of its model lineup.… Read more

Want to know where your teen is? Ask OnStar

If you're nervous about giving your teen driver the keys to the family car, you may be able to buy peace of mind from OnStar. The telematics company now offers the ability to tell you where your vehicles, and possibly the drivers, are at any time.

Family Link is an optional add-on service to the operator-assisted emergency response and navigation services offered by OnStar. Subscribers can log on to OnStar's Family Link Web site to view a map with the vehicle's location at any time. They can also schedule e-mail or text alerts to update them periodically … Read more