The Twizy Renault Sport F1 mixes diminutive electric car with a Formula 1-style KERS boost.Renault The Twizy Renault Sport F1 mixes diminutive electric car with a Formula 1-style KERS boost.

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

• What do you get when you cross a diminutive electric city car and a Formula 1 racer? The Twizy Renault Sport F1, apparently. It’s an exercise in boldness, superimposing Formula 2 wheels, a Formula-style steering wheel and a racy front splitter onto a platform that looks more likely to be moseying around a golf cart path than blasting around a racetrack. But the souped-up Twizy’s secret weapon also comes from F1’s bag of tricks. Where rear passengers would normally sit, Renault stuffed in a kinetic-energy recovery system, or KERS, that’s not unlike the ones their Formula teams use on the track. It doesn’t benefit from the extreme high speeds Formula cars’ KERS units glean their power from, but Renault said that the Twizy – which will be built in Spain – could rocket from 0 to 60 miles per hour in about six seconds to reach a top speed of 68 miles per hour. (Autoblog)

• Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla Motors, appears to be as fed up with the awful traffic on the 405 freeway in Las Angeles as many other gridlock-suffering Angelenos. Mr. Musk has already given $50,000 of his own money to Angelenos Against Gridlock, a group dedicated to speeding up the I-405 widening project that has so far faced delays and is $100 million over its $1 billion budget. He told The Los Angeles Times that he may be willing to chip in more for extra workers to expedite the job, as he has “super had it” with his regular slog through L.A. traffic. (The Los Angeles Times)

• At the Shanghai auto show this week, the American electric sports car manufacturer Detroit Electric and the Chinese automaker Geely announced a partnership aimed at developing an electric passenger car capable of reaching 124 m.p.h. The two companies said in a release that they planned 100- and 160-mile-range variants of an electric car based on Geely’s Emgrand EC7 by 2014. The two companies projected 3,000 EC7-EV sales in its first year of production and 30,000 by the end of three years. (Automotive News)

• Hyundai is under heavy fire over a suicide-theme ad for its iX35 fuel-cell car in Europe. The roughly one-minute clip depicts a depressed-looking middle-aged man who appears to be trying to kill himself by running a hose from his iX35’s exhaust pipe into the car’s interior. He does not succeed. Hyundai’s message is that the all-water emissions of the fuel-cell-driven ix35 are so clean, it’s impossible to kill yourself with the car. A London-based advertising copywriter, Holly Brockwell, sharply criticized the ad in an open letter, saying that it made her feel empty, sick and miss her father, who ended his own life using the same method when she was a young girl. Hyundai pulled the ad and apologized. (The Daily Dot)

• An auto theft ring that is said to have stolen more than 100 cars in several states has been indicted by the United States Department of Justice. The 21 people charged with the conspiracy used a number of methods to steal luxury cars and S.U.V.s, including falsifying loan applications, using fake titles from an Oklahoma Indian nation and tampering with vehicles’ tracking systems. Among the charges leveled at the alleged conspirators were bank fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy and receipt of stolen motor vehicles. If convicted, they face up to 30 years in jail and up to $1 million each in fines. (ABC News)

By THE NEW YORK TIMES