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Lo! The golden morn of eco-conscious motoring is a-dawning at a Tesla Supercharger station outside of Coalinga, Calif.

Tesla kicks off pilot battery swap program at California Supercharger station


Remember when Elon Musk made a big deal about the near-magical 90-second Tesla battery swap that would permit his Model S to take on conventional vehicles, at least when it came to refueling/recharging times?

Yeah, we'd almost forgotten about it, too. It was well over a year ago that we first saw a dramatic demonstration of the technology in action, after all, and we have the memory of a goldfish. Then, radio silence. Until now -- according to Tesla, the electric automaker is set to roll out a pilot version of its quick-change battery swap technology, at least to an invitation-only group of Tesla owners.

The first station will open in Coalinga, Calif. Coalinga, you'll note, is juuuuuust about halfway between Los Angeles and San Franciso. There's already a Supercharger station there, so if you're not one of the few selected for the pilot program, you can still make the roughly 400-mile trek in your Model S without worring about running out of juice. 

The next Alfa Romeo Spider will not be based on the new Mazda MX-5.

Mazda/Alfa joint roadster vanishes; new Alfa Spider still coming


The next Alfa Romeo Spider will not be based on the new Mazda MX-5, according to CAR Magazine. That’s a reversal, of course, after we heard that the two companies would pool resources on a future roadster in 2012.

Harald Wester, the brand chief of both Alfa Romeo and Maserati, told CAR, “As far as the Spider goes, the final version is, of course, no longer the two-seater FCA co-developed with Mazda, but a derivative of project Giorgio.”

Giorgio is the in-house codename for Alfa’s new rear-wheel drive platform, which will be the basis of the new Spider.

Part of the problem is that Alfa has been mandated by CEO Sergio Marchionne to only build cars

Latest Reviews

The luxury-oriented 2015 Chrysler 300C, left, and the sportier Chrysler 300S, right

2015 Chrysler 300 first drive

What is it?
It’s the first Chrysler 300 update in four years, and it enhances the 300’s appeal without significantly shifting its spot in the automotive universe. Launched by the newly minted Fiat Chrysler Automotive group (FCA), the 2015 Chrysler 300 is still as American as they come.
That’s largely because, on a continent full of front-drive Chevy Impala, Ford Taurus and Toyota Avalon competition, the 300 and its Dodge Charger corporate stablemate remain unique among mainstream American sedans. They’re built on rear-drive platforms with longitudinal engines. On one hand, the ’15 300 update is mild: a facelift front, rear, and inside, a couple of mechanical enhancements, more techno-gizmos and a trim realignment. On the other, the impact of the sum exceeds the parts. The new Chrysler 300 is refined, modernized and more distinguished than it’s been in years. 
The 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C was one of our most popular reviews of last week.

Car reviews

What we drove the week of Dec. 14


We review hundreds of cars, trucks and SUVs every year here at Autoweek. With volume like that, it's easy for some interesting vehicles to slip through the cracks. We don't want you to miss a review of your dream car, so here's a summary of all the cars we tested last week.