THE Nissan Qashqai, one of the UK’s bestselling cars, had the highest breakdown rate of all vehicles in a poll. One in five owners questioned needed to replace their battery in the past year — up to five times the average for other cars of the same age. Malfunctioning exterior features and dodgy suspension systems are among the problems encountered by motorists, according to a survey of 44,000 people, covering 52,000 cars, by Which?. Nissan said it was aware of some instances of battery failure and has taken steps to address the issue, including changing its battery supplier and updating software. Three-to-eight-year-old versions of the Tesla Model S also had a high fault rate with 22 per cent having an issue with exterior features such as locks. This is 10 times higher than for a typical car in the same age range.most read in motorsPULL A FAST ONE Cannonball Run drivers break records with 200mph blast across the US HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH This is how much alcohol you can … [Read more...] about Bestselling Nissan Qashqai comes up with the highest breakdown rate of UK cars in poll
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Chrysler's regular new Pacifica, introduced earlier this year, uses a 3.6-liter V6 and a nine-speed automatic transmission planted in a new chassis making extensive use of lighter aluminum and magnesium, netting a chassis 250 pounds (113kg) lighter than before. We've driven this iteration (the review is coming soon) and were fairly blown away by its total competence and convenience, plus the fact that small misbehaving children can be stowed under the floor where the "Stow 'n Go" center-row seats play hide-and-seek. The new Pacifica also looks quite svelte, cutting a far more dashing figure than the minivan it replaces. At this year's LA Auto Show, Chrysler launched the Hybrid version, which also plugs in for charging and uses a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack netting a pure electric range of 30 miles (48km) (and a total of 260 hp/194kW), making it the world's first plug-in hybrid minivan. For families who seek the utility, space, and easy ingress/egress of a … [Read more...] about The very first plug-in hybrid minivan answers a long overdue question
Efficiency and connectedness are the buzzwords for the 2015 Frankfurt motor show, which opened to the press a couple of days ago and runs until September 27. The pursuit of more miles per gallon, or per battery charge, and the integration of car systems with mobile devices are the most common themes running through the announcements from the major automakers at the biennial bash that fills the vast Messe Frankfurt exhibition halls with the motor industry’s most exciting new metal. But, don't despair: this is Germany, the land of the unrestricted autobahn, so the Frankfurt débuts aren’t all about economy and convenience. There’s plenty of good ol' speed on tap, too. Porsche Mission E Porsche’s Mission E concept is a sports car with a 911-like profile, but with four doors, four seats, and a battery-electric powertrain (yes, this is Porsche’s first fully electric vehicle). Mission E is said to hit 62mph (100km/h) from rest in 3.5 seconds and … [Read more...] about 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show: The world’s motor giants reveal the cars of tomorrow
As any fan of LJK Setright will no doubt remind you, the V12 is the king of engines, perfectly balanced no matter the V-angle. The LJK is also something of a dying breed; smaller-capacity turbocharged V8s are more than capable of giving top-of-the-line models sufficient power without the complexity, cost, and and weight of 12 cylinders. But dying isn't the same as being extinct, and BMW has decided to buck the trend with its new flagship, the $153,800 M760i. We first saw the big BMW at last year's New York International Auto Show. But it wasn't until late last month that the automaker finally allowed the media—Ars included—behind the wheel. I admit, I have a soft spot for V12s, particularly those built by BMW. My admiration for the V12 began when I was exposed to a 750iL (E32) during my formative car years, and it's the same reason I stare wistfully at a local 850 CSi while a separate part of my brain tries to comprehend the servicing costs. BMW evidently remembers … [Read more...] about The 2017 BMW M760i is a hell of a car, but is it an M?
Lithium batteries have become incredibly popular for electronic devices, and the emphasis on weight and size for those batteries means that the amount of raw materials tied up in them isn't too large. But that's absolutely not the case for the other growing use of lithium batteries: electric vehicles. These lithium batteries weigh hundreds of kilograms and contain a substantial amount of raw materials, some of which can be quite valuable. Due to the relative youth of the automotive electrical-battery market, however, an organized recycling industry is only just now developing, and it faces significant technical hurdles before recycling becomes both widespread and economical. In today's issue of Nature, a group of researchers take a look at possible means of recycling and considers how to get the most value out of electric-vehicle batteries after they're no longer performing well enough to run a car. Before recycling The authors of the analysis make one thing clear up front: the … [Read more...] about Recycling cars’ lithium batteries is more complicated than you might think