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Nine cars we wish were convertibles

The snow has melted, the sun is shining, and the days are getting longer. At the Autoblog Detroit office we feel like our winter hibernation is finally over. And with warmer temperatures come visions of opening up a convertible roof and cruising. You know, just turn up the bass and let the Alpine blast.

There are plenty of droptops on sale in the US, and more on the way (like the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata). That said, we always want more. More! More! More! In that spirit, we cooked up a list of nine cars aren’t currently sold as convertible, but ought to be. Check out our picks, below. Summer’s just around the corner.

Toyota FT 86 Open Concept

Subaru BRZ / Scion FR-S

In some parallel universe, this car actually happened. Toyota showed us a FT 86 Convertible concept at the ... read more at:

Cadillac XLR traps man for 14 hours

A 75-year old Cleveland man ended up trapped in his 2006 Cadillac XLR for 14 hours last month, according to a story reported by the Detroit Free Press. The owner of the car, Peter Pyros, hopped into his roadster to back out onto his driveway, but he quickly learned that the battery was dead. He was “trapped” because the doors use an electric button to activate the door latch to open the door. Since the battery was dead, the buttons did nothing.

Now, GM planned for an eventuality like this by placing a manual door release handle on the ground next to the seat. It’s marked with a red diagram of the driver-side door opening. There’s also a section about it in the owner’s manual. The only problem here, was that Pyros says he didn’t know the release was there, and he didn’t

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2013 Chevrolet Volt Details: New EV-Hold Mode, MyLink, Safety Systems

If you want a 2013 Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car, searching the web may not get you much.

Chevy hasn’t yet put details of next year’s Volt model on its website, for instance.

But it did release ordering details to its dealers, and the intrepid sleuths at GM Inside News uncovered them.

While the first model-year 2011 Volt was released as a fully-loaded vehicle for $41,000, the 2012 model came with a lower $39,995 price but a lot less standard equipment.

While we don’t have pricing details on the 2013 Volt yet, we do know that it gives buyers more ability to mix and match options above the base vehicle.

The list below includes both technical changes and details of new options and features, based on our reading of the 22-page ordering document.

Here’s what you need to know about the 2013 Chevrolet Volt:

UPDATED: 2016 Chevrolet Volt To Launch In January: What We Know So Far

For most of 2014, there was very little news about the Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car, and its sales in 2013 and 2014 have been stagnant at roughly 2,000 cars a month.

The most recent item of note was a $5,000 price reduction on the 2014 Volt in August 2013, to bring it closer to the center of the volume-car market, along with a battery-pack upgrade for the 2015 model.

But behind the scenes, Chevrolet has been busy preparing the next iteration of its pioneering plug-in car.

Based on published articles, a host of private conversations with industry analysts, electric-car advocates, and–yes–a few General Motors employees, here’s what we know so far about the next Volt.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We first published this article in March 2014. As the debut of the 2016 Volt approaches, Chevy has released selective details, including a peak at the front styling, some charging updates, and an overview of

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Mysterious Tesla ‘D,’ VW XL Sport, 2015 Honda CR-V Gas Mileage: Last Week In Reverse (Video)

How good were September’s electric-car sales? And, what did Elon Musk mean by the letter “D”?

This is our (slightly belated) video look back at the Week In Reverse–right here at Green Car Reports–for the seven days ending on Sunday, October 5, 2014.

Sunday, we learned that the upcoming 2016 Cadillac CT6 luxury sedan will offer a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Frame from 2014 Cadillac ELR video on YouTube, with actor Neil McDonough

Here’s hoping it sells better than the overpriced Cadillac ELR range-extended electric luxury coupe.

On Saturday, we described two new features quietly added to the Tesla Model S electric car: ‘speed assist’ and lane-departure warning.

Friday, we wrapped up our monthly plug-in electric car sales report for September. The verdict? Still above 10,000 units delivered, but not as strong as July or August.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk led our news on Thursday, with a cryptic tweet about plans to unveil ‘D’ on Thursday

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Ford Can Design Tesla-Like Electric Car, CEO Says; Does Higher-Power Charging Push Mean It May?

Ford’s CEO, Mark Fields, told Wall Street financial analysts Friday that the company had the product development staff and engineering ability to build an electric car like a Tesla.

While he didn’t say the company would do so, he did say that such a car would be “very consistent with our product strategy”.

On top of that, behind-the-scenes efforts by Ford engineers to boost the power delivered by future generations of quick-charging stations may indicate that plans are more advanced than Ford is letting on.

Puzzling CCS power push

A long-range Ford electric vehicle–in perhaps three to five years–would require a robust network of DC quick-charging stations.

Chevrolet Spark EV at CCS fast charging station in San Diego.

Those sites would perform the same function as the fast-expanding Tesla Supercharger network: recharge a large battery pack to 80 percent of its capacity in 20 to 30 minutes, making long-distance trips possible.

It appears that Ford,

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Nissan home energy-storage battery: another front against Tesla?

The Nissan Leaf electric car doesn’t compete directly with any of the luxury models from Tesla Motors, but Nissan is now targeting Tesla in a different arena.

The Japanese carmaker will offer standalone battery packs for home energy storage.

Available for pre-order in September, the xStorage line of battery packs was developed in concert with power-management company Eaton.

DON’T MISS: Tesla Didn’t Invent Home Energy Storage, Has Many Competitors (May 2015)

In Europe—where the packs were designed—consumers will be able to avoid energy tariffs by connecting them to renewable-energy sources like solar panels, Nissan says.

The ability to maximize utilization of home-solar arrays is expected to be one of the main benefits of energy-storage systems.

Battery packs can store electricity for later use, meaning excess power generated by solar panels isn’t wasted.

Nissan xStorage battery pack for energy storage

The Nissan xStorage system will have smartphone connectivity, allowing homeowners to switch between grid electricity and home

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