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Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States
A vast majority of hotels frown upon smoking inside the building these days, but Brad Keselowski doesn't follow the rules. During his introduction at the 2013 MiilerCoors Distribution Convention, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion smoked the tires of his Miller-sponsored Ford Fusion stock car, adding a pair of thick, black stripes to the carpeting of the Marriott World Center's conference room.
This definitely isn't a high-quality video, but it's the perfect vantage point to watch Keselowski lay down some rubber and receive a well-deserved standing ovation after pulling up in front of the crowd. Check out the short-but-sweet video posted below.
Believe it or not, but new pinball machines are still being made. Chicago-based Stern Pinball still makes them and has found a niche selling modern machines to individual buyers and arcade distributors. For its latest cabinet, Stern partnered with Ford to create a pinball game that pays homage to the 50th anniversary of the Mustang, including the next generation. The new machine is being unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show on February 6 and goes on sale in March.
Stern is offering the machine in three variants. The pro-level machine is meant for arcades and public spaces and retails for $4,995. All of them come with background and cabinet art by Camilo Pardo, who designed the Ford GT, and Top Gear USA host Tanner Foust is the game's announcer. Depending on where players shoot the ball, they activate events that simulate drag racing, rallying, drifting and racing the Mustang, and hitting targets lets players shift the gears up and down.
An upgraded, premium table with added art will be added later for pinball machine collectors. The third model is a signed, special edition with art of the 1965 Mustang and 2015 Mustang on the machine and chrome and Mustang badges on the speaker grilles. Prices for these editions will be announced later.
Companies ranging in size from small startups to major automakers have been experimenting with solar-powered charging stations for EVs and plug-in hybrids. And, of course, people have been powering vehicles with onboard solar panels for quite some time, too. Still, Ford's new C-Max Solar Energi Concept shows the promise of a truly practical implementation of solar on a production vehicle, and it may not be as far off in the future as we had thought.
As we reported a few days ago, the Solar concept makes use of a "concentrator lens" that focuses sunlight onto the Ford's roof-mounted solar panels. The special lens follows the rays of the sun to maximize the amount of charge being fed to the batteries of the car, taking about a day to fully charge the 21-mile, all-electric range of the C-Max Energi. Ford data suggests that combination might be enough to power 75 percent of all trips made by a statistically average driver. In turn, using the sun to power a vehicle could reduce yearly C02 emissions by up to four metric tons when compared with the driver of an average gasoline-powered sedan.
We've got live images of the C-Max Solar Energi Concept, jauntily tilted on its display to best present it's signature solar panels, straight from the CES floor.