Dodge EV seen in the flesh at LA Auto Show

by Darren Murph,

Could you tell a few auto shows were going on in California? In case you’ve somehow overlooked it, a number of automakers are showing off some swank new in-car connectivity options, and Dodge is striving to elicit even more fluids from your saliva glands by showing off the Dodge EV. We initially heard about this mythical automobile back in September, and now the very Viper-inspired whip is wowing onlookers in LA. The all-electric plug-in boasts mid-mounted batteries, a 268-horsepower engine, a 150-mile range and a 0 to 60 time of under five seconds. Have a peek at what you’ll be attempting to finance “as early as 2010” down in the read link.
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Chrysler’s Web Edition vehicle package: includes WiFi, iPod touch and a Dell Mini 9

Chrysler has been toying with in-car connectivity for months now, so it’s really no shock to see the next logical step being taken. At the San Francisco Auto Show this week, the automaker is set to showcase a “Web Edition” package, which would theoretically be available as a dealer-installed option for most Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge vehicles. The bundle would include an Autonet Mobile router (branded as Uconnect Web), a Dell Mini 9, 8GB iPod touch, Sony PSP and an Eye-Fi WiFi SD card; couple that with one year of internet service and you’ve got everything that makes up the $1,999 asking price. Reportedly, a slimmed down option will go for $1,100 and only include the router, service and Mini 9, though there’s no indication of when it’ll be hitting new whips. Nor if Chrysler will survive long enough to tell us.

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Honda’s FC Sport fuel-cell hybrid debuts in a puff of conceptual smoke

If the Tesla Roadster has proven anything other than the disruptive effects of a hyper-inflated ego, it’s that well designed eco-vehicles will sell… at any price. Yet the general design theme amongst hybrid builders appears to be your grandfather’s loafer. Honda too, just look at the FCX Clarity. So we’re pretty stoked to see Honda roll out its FC Sport concept three-seater (driver front-and-center) at the LA Auto Show using the same V-Flow fuel cell stack and electric drivetrain found in the FCX Clarity. Only thing is, it’s a non-functional concept with little hope of hitting the market anytime soon if history serves. Good news for GM but bad news for consumers. As a wise man of consumer electronics once said:

“You know how you see a show car, and it’s really cool, and then four years later you see the production car, and it sucks? And you go, What happened? They had it! They had it in the palm of their hands! They grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory! What happened was, the designers came up with this really great idea. Then they take it to the engineers, and the engineers go, ‘Nah, we can’t do that. That’s impossible.’ And so it gets a lot worse. Then they take it to the manufacturing people, and they go, ‘We can’t build that!’ And it gets a lot worse.”

Or to paraphrase: It’s like asking for a Big Mac and getting a fish sandwich.

Read — Parable of the Concept Car
Read — FC Sport