Best Vehicles for Modern Countryside Living

The tranquil and peaceful way of life offered by the countryside is often hankered after by urbanites who’ve had their fill of fume-choked and teeming cities; they envy the Arcadian natives who’ve lived their whole lives amid beautiful, natural landscapes and fancy a bit of it for themselves.

Between 2001 and 2010, the population of less sparse villages in the UK, which includes hamlets and isolated dwellings, increased by 7% according to figures released by the government. It is clear to see that the benefits of having a home in the countryside are becoming more attractive. Continue reading Best Vehicles for Modern Countryside Living

Of Bricks and Batteries: The Anatomy of a Controversy

In Sunday’s Automobiles section, Bradley Berman writes about bricking, a term that describes what happened to the battery pack of a Tesla Roadster electric sports car that had been left unplugged for an extended period and rendered useless — in other words, a brick.

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Surveying the Plug-In Landscape

Sunday’s Automobiles section takes the measure of purely electric and hybrid vehicles that are currently on sale or coming to market in the next couple of years.

Bradley Berman spent a week with the BMW ActiveE, a purely electric version of the 1 Series coupe that serves as a test platform for BMW’s electric vehicle program. By gutting the internal-combustion innards and packing the vacated spaces with 192 battery cells, BMW created a surprisingly dexterous and spirited machine, he writes, even though the new powertrain adds nearly 1,000 pounds to the car’s curb weight.

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BMW’s New M Performance Line To Be Launched at 2012 Geneva Auto Show

BMW will introduce a new line of “enhanced” vehicles under the M Performance umbrella at the upcoming 2012 Geneva Auto Show.

To be developed by the automaker’s M GmbH subsidiary, product enhancements will include “exclusive engine variants, noticeably enhanced agility and outstanding precision on the road, plus design laced with emotional appeal,” according to BMW.

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The Eastern Promises Edition

In which we bring you motoring news from around the Web:

• As reported in last Sunday’s Automobiles section and by our colleagues at India Ink, the Detroit auto show was preceded by some notable debuts at the Delhi auto expo. The plush Ford EcoSport crossover was stared down in Delhi by a trucklike concept from Maruti Suzuki, the largest automaker by sales volume in India. The XA Alpha concept, measuring roughly 13 feet in length, makes a play for young urban-dwelling Indians with eyes for the Range Rover Evoque but not necessarily the rupees. A production vehicle would be powered by a range of gasoline and diesel engines, the automaker said. (Maruti Suzuki)

Continue reading The Eastern Promises Edition