Audi promises electric car within 10 years

Audi is joining other German automakers in the effort to eliminate exhaust emissions, promising to bring an electric model to market in the next 10 years.

Rupert Stadler, Audi's chairman and chief executive, said in an interview with German weekly Welt am Sonntag published Sunday that he expects battery technology to dominate in the coming five to 10 years.

"By then we will offer cars without exhaust emissions," Reuters quoted Stadler as saying. "Electric cars offer great opportunities, which we have already seized on."

Reducing vehicle emissions is a chief concern for automakers in Germany. … Read more

Photos: Driving BMW's new models

A new BMW launch always gets our rev-counter ticking higher, so when we got the chance to test drive three new Bimmer models last week at an event hosted by the Western Automotive Journalists association, we lost no time in buckling up. From the two nimble 1-Series models to the the phenomenal M3 trio, to the curiously styled X6, we put the next generation of Bavarian Motor Work through its paces.

Check out our photos here.

BMW M3: Even better with double-clutch gearbox

When we tested the 2008 BMW M3 Coupe recently, we were so impressed with it that we gave it an Editors' Choice award. But now we've driven the M3 equipped with BMW's new double-clutch gearbox, and found that perfection could be improved upon. We got our first sense of the brilliance of this gearbox on a public road, where we shifted up through the gears until the indicator in the instrument cluster showed a seven. Yes, seven speeds. One critique we had of the six-speed manual M3 Coupe we reviewed was that its fuel economy was low, sticking … Read more

Photos: Performance testing at Laguna Seca

On the second day of the 2008 Western Automotive Journalists Media Days, we drove a variety of different cars at Laguna Seca. This famous track employs a number of technical turns, not to mention a quarter-mile straightaway, for testing handling and acceleration.

Click here for photos of production cars tested on the track at Laguna Seca.

BMW: Out of the garage, into the media room

It's one thing for automakers to focus so much on technology inside the car, but sometimes it seems that they're spending an inordinate amount of time putting their nameplates on products that have nothing to do with the road. The latest example is BMW's co-branding of the Klipsch "Palladium P-39F," marking its entry into the high-end home speaker market.

These monsters stand 5 feet tall and sport a zebra-grain veneer, finished with a brushed-aluminum base. They have an exceptionally sleek appearance thanks to their flush-mounted horns and cones, according to Luxurylaunches. True to its namesake, … Read more

Tests show BMW's hydrogen car cleans the air

BMW showed off a hydrogen-powered 7-series sedan at the 2008 SAE World Congress in Detroit that actually emits less carbon monoxide than are found in the air around it. This means the engine breaks down or converts the carbon monoxide it takes in. The emissions tests, run by Argonne Laboratories, also show a similar reduction in nonmethane organic gases. The vehicle's other emissions are all so low that standard automobile emissions testing wouldn't have detected them.

This particular demonstration vehicle uses a 6-liter combustion engine that uses hydrogen as fuel, burning it in the cylinders and, according to … Read more

Review: 2008 BMW M3

The new and highly anticipated 2008 BMW M3 embodies many qualities that made BMW's reputation. This rear-wheel-drive slugger leaves a little room to play with the handling, so expert drivers can learn to work with the car on track days, yet it works perfectly well in the daily commute, with many creature comforts, such as cutting-edge cabin tech and fine low-speed drivability. With its sizable trunk and usable rear seats, you could even make the argument that it is practical, as long as you ignore the fuel economy.

Read the review of the 2008 BMW M3.

Will plug-in hybrids stress the grid?

Plug-in hybrids are coming. General Motors, Tesla Motors, Fisker Automotive and Toyota are all coming out with gas-electric cars that can be charged from a socket.

The question now is can the grid handle it. The latest voice on the debate, Stan Hadley of the Cooling, Heating and Power Technologies Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratories, says it won't be easy. Hadley examined 182 scenarios on how plug-ins might be used in different regions in the U.S. between 2020 and 2030. Hadley assumed a 25 percent penetration of plug-ins by 2020.

In a worst case scenario, Hadley postulated … Read more

Review: 2008 BMW 750i

When driving a big sporty European sedan, such as the 2008 BMW 750i, we can't help but think we should be chasing James Bond through the Swiss Alps on some winding road while our compatriots lean out the windows and shoot at him. Of course, we know this scenario ends badly for us, with Bond pulling some kind of maneuver that will send us over a cliff with our car bursting into a ball of flame. But we can dream, can't we?

The 750i is a muscular, refined sport luxury car that sucks gas and could probably use … Read more

Photos: New models at Geneva 2008

The Geneva auto show may be loaded with supercars, design concepts, and alternative-fuel vehicles, but it is also the launchpad for a host of new production models. This year's show saw a bunch of new models from Ford Motor Co., updates from Audi and Honda, and the return of an old favorite from VW. Check out our roundup of real-world models that debuted at the 2008 Geneva show.