Tuesday, 21 December 2010
The tires on vehicles are one of the most important safety factors, yet we tend to take them for granted more than any other feature. Your car tires keep you and your loved ones safe, give you a comfortable ride and also contribute to more efficient gas mileage. With value like that it's important to give them special attention. The first thing you want to do is to check your auto tires for wear to confirm that you need new ones. An easy method for this is to take a penny and insert it into the tread. If Lincoln's head can be seen you need new tires. Other signals are wear bars, breaks, slashes and evidence of uneven wear.
Once you have determined that you need new tires you need to consider the type of driving you do. This includes the weather, distance and speeds that you normally drive. Car tires are designed for specific results. Many people are the most comfortable with an all-season tire because it is a good compromise for all conditions. Take a look at your current tire size to know what size your new ones should be. On the side of your auto tires you'll see a number such as P275/75/R15. The P represents passenger followed by the width and then a number that represents the height which is a ratio of the height to width. An R should follow which stands for radial and then the final number is the diameter of the wheel.
Now that you know the type of car tires you need and the size that fits your car it's time to go shopping. Car dealerships, tire specialty stores, discount stores and the Internet are all good options for getting a good deal on the price of new auto tires. Competition on the Internet is very high so good deals are found everyday. Regardless of where you buy your tires it's important to have them installed by a professional. They have all the special machines and tools needed for proper and safe installation. They will also do the necessary balancing and aligning.
Once you have your new car tires installed it is important to perform proper maintenance to keep them at their best for as long as possible. This includes regularly rotating them to keep the wear even, regularly checking the air pressure to assure that you get the best gas mileage and they are at a safe level. Taking proper care of you auto tires will not only keep you and your family safe but will save you money by extending their lifespan.
Ken Geers the writer can be found at Sporto Motoring Accessories Sporto Motoring offers automotive interior and exterior accessories to enhance and protect your vehicle investment.
Sunday, 12 December 2010
This is the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR. It's quite literally the best blend of performance on the track while giving you a excellent ride for everyday driving, and it definitely proves itself every time you step on the gas. Can I get 5 of these to go please?
The new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is offered in two different versions, one being the GSR which only has a five speed manual transmission, Recaro Sports Seats and Enkei Wheels. You can also get the optional spoiler, the HID headlights and the upgraded sound system. These are all nice and everything, but if you had that extra thousand available, spend on it on what i'm driving today.
The new MR model is sublime in every way possible. It comes with Mitsubishi's new Twin Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST) which makes driving this car so great. It shifts smooth and very quick. I don't think I lost any torque at all between shifts which is fantastic. You can also use the three different modes: Normal, Sport and S-Sport, depending on how aggressive and fast you want to shift. It also comes with Eibach springs, Bilstein shock absorbers, lightweight brake rotors, and BBS forged-alloy wheels. And at only $38,990 it's a great price. Of course, you could go with the Touring version which has a few little extra perks to it for $40,990.
As always, the Lancer Evolution's come with a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder MIVEC4 motor producing 295 hp and 300 pound-feet of torque and the Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) drive system.
Taking this thing on the main city roads is very comfortable. Although, when you hit bumps I will have to say you feel them right away. It's not exactly comfortable and you find yourself every now and then dodging bumps and holes in the roads much to the displeasure of people around you. However, that is one thing that I didn't let bother me. On good roads it feels great, and to smoke some dumb hillbilly in a pickup truck off the stoplights was great as well (no lie, he got his ass kicked).
Taking it to the highway, it was fantastic. Stepping on the gas you get instant power, and extremely smooth shifting thanks to the new gearbox. It was just unbelievably good. Sorry to the local law enforcement, but I got the car up to 130mph before I decided to slow down. Guess you would have had to be there to catch me. I then pulled off to the country roads, set the mode to S-Sport, and took it to the corners. It goes around them really fast, but it just feels so smooth. It's almost perfection at it's best. If I could, I would drive 45 minutes away from here to the nearest road course and beat the hell out of this car, but I guess that's not for me to do.
Now I could also talk about the extra sound insulation, the optional navigation, upgraded audio with Sirius Satellite reception, and leather seats. But I think when you buy a car like this, you're not getting it for these little extra things. You're getting it for the overall experience of it. It's a great car for a great price.
Matt Straub is the Editor for Street Diaries, an online car news, reviews, and opinions web site designed for the everyday car enthusiast. Originally formed by a group of people who love cars in 2007, the web site has grown from a once small news web site, to a social media network, and finally now into a large information blog.
Every two weeks Matt does a review on a popular or top end vehicle on the market and gives it his opinion how how it handles not only in city driving, but highway and country roads. He also does the Car Opinions on things that "drive him nuts" about cars or what people do with them.
Visit our web site at http://street-diaries.com/
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
It can't be much "newer" than this one - the Fiat 500 which will be a 2012 model and not available until next year. It was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show last week and I was lucky enough to have a front row seat during the press conference. During the two day media frenzy, this press conference and unveiling probably received the most attention of all the events.
After some loud music and swirling spotlights, a small, red 1957 Fiat 500 drove onto the stage. A very attractive lady got out of the car. Attractive females and shiny automobiles have always been a part of car shows. But it became instantly obvious that this was not a typical female model or product specialist employee. This was Laura Soave, the Chief Executive for Fiat North America.
Soave has been with the North American Volkswagen team for several years, but Fiat recently hired her to take control of the brand in the United States. She is a first-generation Italian-American with a lot of her family still in Italy. She commented, "This is not just a job for me, it is a passion and very near and dear to my heart." She showed a photo on the large screen, of her as a small girl standing on the hood of a Fiat back in Italy.
The 2012 Fiat 500 will be called a Cinquecento and will compete directly against the Mini-Cooper and other small cars. Besides looking very cute, the anticipated price of $15,500 attracts a lot of attention. The Cinquecento will have a six speed automatic transmission for the North American market. Standard shift is all that is available in Europe. The styling and overall looks will remain true to the Fiat heritage and Soave is almost passionate about that. Her sense of duty to Fiat was obvious throughout her talk. "My job is to protect the Fiat brand and keep it consistent around the world," she said.
The Fiat 500 Cinquecento will retain the European names for the three trim levels - Pop, Sport, and Lounge. Each of these models was driven onto the stage during the press introduction. There are 14 exterior colors and 14 interior colors, and these will all have Italian names. This was Soave's idea also. "I renamed all our colors in Italian to distinguish ourselves more and have more Italian-ness in the brand," she commented. For example, red will be called "roso."
The exterior styling is basically unchanged from the past few years of the European model. Like the Mini-Cooper, it is considered "retro" and looks very similar to the little 1957 model that opened the press conference. Changes that are not obvious to the eye are abundant, however. These include a redesigned body structure that meets American regulatory requirements for crashworthiness. The cabin is quieter, in response to US customers demand for quietness. The floor, trunk, and instrument include new sound-deadening materials. There are new body and door seals as well as hydraulic powertrain mounts that help minimize engine vibrations.
Doug Betts is Chrysler Group's Senior Vice-President and very involved with the Fiat 500 introduction. He said, "The Fiat 500 is an excellent package to start with. As we enhanced it to match North American driving conditions and consumer expectations, we also made sure to preserve the world-class, fit-and-finish standards achieved by Fiat's development team."
The Fiat 500 is powered by a 1.4 liter MultiAir engine that is considered highly efficient. There are new four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, a revised electronic stability control system, and a redesigned twist-beam rear suspension feature.
The Fiat 500 is creating a lot of excitement among journalists and I look forward to a test drive sometime next year. Because Fiat has been out of the American market for about 15 years, it will take some adjustments. With the purchase of Chrysler Group by Fiat, the obvious solution will be to initially merge the two. Chrysler is currently identifying major dealerships which will offer the Fiat 500 for sale. It will available early next year.
ALAN GELL, Lh.D.
Member, Texas Press Association
Member, Texas Auto Writers Association
Monday, 29 November 2010
Skoda Superb has been given a rebirth by Volkswagen designers who have named this flagship car of Skoda family in honor of the luxurious Skoda Superb of 1930's. It shares its platform with highly successful WV Passat model. Dubbed as executive car, current models include 1.8L I4 Turbo as standard engine. More powerful petrol and diesel engines include 2.8L V6 30v and 2.5L V6 TDI, respectively.
A recent facelift offers new radiator grille, headlights, side repeater indicators and C-shaped tail lights. As part of refurbishment project, interior panel is fitted with real wood and includes extras that were once hallmark of original Skoda Superb. Utilizing transverse engine layout, the all new B6 comes with fuel stratified injection turbocharged engine which can be upgraded to a powerful 3.6L 191kw FSI VR6 versions, providing reduced fuel consumption. For automobile enthusiasts who prefer even more power, Skoda engineers are now offering an optional direct shift gearbox with 6 or 7 speed transmissions in all trim combination. These trim levels are classified as Comfort, Ambition and Elegance in Europe, however, in UK they are marketed as S, SE, Elegance and Greenline. A Combi 5 door estate model is already introduced in Frankfurt Auto Show. This version of Skoda family cars is made for car owners who prefer luxury and more passenger space.
Produced in Czech Republic and India, Skoda Superb B6 2008, contains 4motion four wheel drive which is fitted with more advanced technology, constituting top of the line petrol engines such as 3.6 L VR6 FSI 4x4. Similarly, powerful diesel variants have also been reintroduced to include 1.9 L I4 TDI PD DPF Greenline and 2.0 L I4 TDI CR DPF. It seems that Skoda Superb designers are bent on providing even more choices. Their motives are expressed in classical 'Laurin and Klement' model which derives its features not only from original Skoda masterpiece but also from Rolls Royce. Like Rolls Royce it includes components such as an umbrella hidden in rear door panel.
As of 2008, the first generation Skoda Superb has stopped production. In its place, B6 is being offered in either 5 door liftback sedan or 5 door estate versions. Based on Volkswagen Group A5 PQ35 platform, the new version is a touch longer and wider than its predecessor. Fortunately, a slight price difference should not limit loyal Skoda buyers to catch onto the latest frenzy in Czech Republic and certain other East European markets.
Gurg Sumit Kumar provides reviews on latest car models, automobiles and all four wheelers. Find more about his latest review on Skoda Superb, its specifications, features and all the available models.
Monday, 22 November 2010
Sleek, elegant, chic and sporty are not words you might normally associate with a 4x4 - and you'd be extremely unlikely to use them all at once to describe the same 4x4. That is until the advent of Volvo's XC60.
Since bringing the utilitarian off-roader into the family leisure market, car makers have striven to style it and tailor it to offer the broadest appeal, with varying degrees of success. Some try a 4x4/MPV cross, while others go for a more laid-back SUV image. There's even been an attempt by a premium car maker at trying to turn its large SUV into a sleek sports coupe, with notably unsleek, nay, grotesque, results!
Unlike many SUVs, Volvo's XC60 manages to retain, and even enhance, the svelte lines and subtle contours of its more lightweight saloon and estate brethren. In fact, if you lowered an XC60 to make it adopt a road-hugging stance, it would doubtless appear as a rather rakish sports estate. Volvo calls it "emotional" styling.
You wouldn't accuse the XC60's interior of being overdone. It is fresh, modem, stylish and, above all, simple. The all-anthracite lower-half trim of our test example might seem dull and oppressive in some cars, but with little more to lift it than white contrast stitching and tastefully applied bright moldings, the Volvo manages an air of smart practicality. You'd expect nothing less from Swedish design.
The focal point is without doubt Volvo's now well known 'floating' center console, in this instance having a bright metallic finish. It presents an array of logically-arranged and clearly-marked controls - the human-shaped air-distribution graphic being a particular case in point - which become almost intuitive at first glance. Above this and the CD slot resides the clear sat-nav screen, slightly inset to reduce reflections in the window glass, and located on the same plane as the instruments where a quick glance enables immediate visual clarity without refocusing.
Gauges - just the two - convey the necessary details via annular analogue dials and (that word again) 'floating' pointers with digital supplementary information displayed in their centers. They have a chronographic look to them, but Volvo has thankfully resisted the usually Far-Eastern car manufacturers' trend to decorate them with too much bling and fancy illumination.
In true Volvo tradition, the seats are well-shaped, supportive and comfortable with those in the front offering a useful range of adjustment. The rear compartment boasts reasonable if not commodious legroom, and the nicely contoured seat should provide three average-sized adults with cozy but comfortable travel. The 40:20:40 split/fold seat gives a flat load floor when the one-touch release levers are operated.
Zoned climate control gives a degree (actually, quite a few degrees) of heating/cooling versatility and clean cabin air using filtration and Volvo's Clean Zone Interior Package, an innovative air-purging system.
Five-cylinder engines make a deal of sense, being as responsive as a 'four' yet almost as smooth as a 'six', although the smoothness bit is less apparent with an oil burner. Once warmed up, though, the D5 is a pleasant enough diesel, delivering brisk performance in concert with the smooth-shifting six-speed Geartronic transmission, which also has Sport mode and manual override.
Having originally thought the steering over-weighted, a few miles later it seemed to feel quicker and more responsive. Speed-dependent assistance is available as standard or an option, depending on model, with a user-selection facility.
In normal conditions the all-wheel drive system is front-biased, with torque re-apportioned via the computer-controlled hydraulic clutch as available grip alters. Volvo's Instant Traction is designed to assist with standing starts. Ride is quite firm (maybe due to the BMW X3 being an XC60 benchmark) but gives car-like cornering and handling, though well-judged initial compliance takes the sting out of many road imperfections.
The Volvo's City Safety helps avoid low-speed accidents; Collision Warning with Auto Brake and Adaptive Cruise Control with Distance Alert operate at higher speeds; BUS reveals your blind spots; DAC and LDW try to stop you falling asleep or straying out of lane; and IDIS delays phone calls while you deal with complex driving situations. These systems can be had along with Volvo's renowned safety design and engineering assisted by Roll Stability Control, Hill Descent Control, Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, and Trailer Stability Assist. Oh, and there's Park Assist...
The Volvo's 90kg nose weight offers a good margin to accommodate most appropriate caravans, and rectangular, straight-edged door mirrors provide a better platform than many for towing mirrors.
The XC60 proved to be brisk, turning in a 0-60mph time of 14.5 seconds despite initial take-off being softened by the automatic gearbox.. Hill starts were equally as trouble-free. The outfit felt quite unruffled in urban conditions, possibly due to the assurance of City Safety, and with a 30-50mph time of 6.1 sec was rarely in danger of holding up other traffic. Normal auto mode coped well, smoothly finding itself in the right gear at the right time.
The steering could occasionally feel a bit weighty in tight, twisty urban conditions but improved at higher speeds to become smooth, responsive and accurate, where the Volvo felt in complete control through strings of minor-road bends. On steep descents manual gear selection could be useful, but the strong brakes with their various driver- assistance systems provided reassurance.
At motorway speeds the XC60 tracked straight and true, though on a very windy test day some buffeting was experienced, as was some enforced deviation offline from large overtaking trucks and coaches.
Ride comfort in all conditions was firm, though rarely uncomfortably so, and the XC60 managed to damp out the caravan's bump reactions very competently over all but the worst ruts.
Think of this SUV as a tall, slinky, blonde Swede that'll never have a blonde moment, yet is very XC.
Check out these automotive reviews from hybrids to the latest forklift truck models, and HGV to forklift training guides.
Jeremy Clarkson reviews the new Audi R8 supercar and claims it to be one of the best supercars in the world - only to be interrupted by a competitive Richard Hammond in a Porsche 911. Which one is better - the Porsche 911 or the Audi R8? The only way to settle this argument is through a Top Gear special drag race! Who will win? Watch this clip in full to find out.
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
It is back again and it'll deal with lots of competition from a lot of Euro convertibles. Presenting the Mercedes-Benz E-Class cabriolet! Featuring its E-Class foundations assuring that it is bigger than the CLK cabrio and that it will successfully replace, the E-Class Cabrio appears a lot like its siblings, specifically the coupe. The side profile is good-looking too and even with a top which is fabric, that has been picked to help keep the load down, the load of this vehicle is simply heavier by 120kg compared to equal hard top.
In the winter weather, you can really have a quiet driving with the roof in place similar to cruising a coupe. If the roof is lowered, it is just as awesome. And thanks to climate control, and Airscarf, one will definitely remain cozy. It also makes use of "Aircap" that is a deflector in the frame of the windscreen and a draught stop which is between the back car seats which as outlined by Merc, will minimize the wind flow and noise in the cabin at 160km/h. Nonetheless, this automobile is centered on unperturbed development since it isn't a real sports car but a luxury GT. Just simply look at the large steering wheel if you'd like proof!
With a three-link front, multi linked suspensions in the rear, together with features which make it obvious that a lot of money has been spent on the car, it's really a fantastic drive. There are much more great features like cruise control with automatic following, a rear view camera, park control, drowsiness detector, TV tuner, temperature controlled seats, auto headlights, and a lot more.
Step on the accelerator and you will definitely discover its 51:49-front to rear equilibrium providing an enjoyable agility. This vehicle navigates corners precisely using speed sensitive guiding and also dynamic dampers assist. And although there's a hint where the strong engine may well take control of the rear, the stability control though will gather up.
Nevertheless, in spite of its undoubted capability and minimal flex for a drop-top, this particular car never truly feels light-footed. It's not a big surprise though, since it weighs in at 1840kg. This car isn't as hardcore as the engine indicates nor the reality that this engine is not actually brand new won't make an impression on its buyers. They're going to still adore the muffled gurgle of its 5.4-litre V8 engine as well as the delivered acceleration. On top of it all, who will not enjoy all the extravagance of an E-Class sedan that's packaged more stylishly?
It's back again and will also encounter lots of competition from plenty of Euro convertibles. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class cabriolet! Using its E-Class foundations guaranteeing that it is larger than the CLK cabrio and that it will essentially replace, the E-Class Cabrio appears nearly the same as its siblings, mainly the coupe.
Fiat, the well known name in the automobiles market recently came up with a new hatchback called the Grande Punto. Both its exteriors and interiors look powerful and muscular. This mid sized hatchback has quite been liked by the users.
Design and Styling
The design of the Fiat Punto car is quite attractive to look at. The car is available in very varied colours such as: Exotica Red, Hip Hop Black, Bossa Nova White, Minima Grey and Medium grey. The interiors of the car are two toned. The seats have a sporty structure and padded base providing utmost comfort to the people sitting inside. The steering wheel is leather based.
The dashboard is simple and the cabin spacious. There is a lot of room for leg-space perfect for long journeys. The rear seats can be folded. Apart from the back storage area there are few notable areas of storage, advantageous for travelling on outstation tours. The rear view mirror is electronic and can be adjusted without opening the door glass. The air conditioner installed in the car is climate sensitive and adjusts the temperature accordingly.
There are many state-of-art technological features used in the car making it appear truly European. With the help of Blue & Me technology developed by Microsoft, mobile is synchronised with Bluetooth for SMSes and Voice Dialling. Fiat Punto is available in the following models: Active, Dynamic, Emotion and Emotion Pack.
Engine and other specifications
There are a total of three kinds of engine available in all the models of Grande Punto. They are: 1.2 litre petrol engine, 1.4 litre petrol engine and 1.3 litre diesel engine. The maximum power given out by these engines is 68 Bhp@ 6500 rpm and the maximum torque being 96Nm@ 2500 rpm. The fuel efficiency of Punto is seen to be a maximum of 16 kilometres per litre. The engine displacement is 1172cc, FIRE, 8 valve, SOHC. The kerb weight comes to 1140 kilograms.
The front brakes are disk type and the rear drum. The suspension is Independent Mc Pherson Struts, Teles Stabiliser Bar. The size of the tyres is 165/80 R14. The car is provided with 2 trip meters and a tachometer. The bumper resembles the colour of the body of the car.
The door mirrors are manual on both the sides. The driver seat adjustment is manual with power windows and steering. Remote boot and remote fuel filter have been provided with. The top speed of the car zooms up to 182 kilometres per hour.
The quality of the interiors is average and the fuel efficiency given out by the petrol models is low. On speeding the car, the engine produces quite a lot of noise too. The services provided by Fiat are not competent with other hatchback companies.
Fiat has made a satisfactory attempt by launching Grande Punto. This hatchback is not the best but definitely not the worst either.
Besides this Fiat Punto Car Review you can read other car reviews at http://www.techfren.com
Tuesday, 9 November 2010
As of 2010, the number of vehicles operating on the roads in the United Kingdom is in excess of 31 million, as reported by the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders). This figure is among the largest in the world and consequently leads to a very large number of breakdown cover calls every year. There are several reasons why breakdown cover is extremely essential to motorists in the United Kingdom. These factors are discussed below.
Personal vehicle travel in the UK forms one of the main backbones of the country. Therefore if a person's car breaks down unexpectedly in the middle of a journey, he or she is left with very few options available. If the breakdown occurs in a remote location, the problem is even worse. He cannot leave the car unattended on the side of the road as it would be a hazard to other motorists. This is where breakdown cover comes in. The person can easily call a roadside assistance company and they will swiftly come to help him or her out. If the vehicle has a minor breakdown such as a flat tyre or lack of radiator fluid, the mechanic can easily and quickly get it running again which is very useful for consumers.
If the problem is more severe and your vehicle cannot be fixed immediately, it is taken away to the nearest local garage while options are provided in order to help you reach the destination of your choice. These options may depend on the cover that you have chosen and may include services such as providing a hire car for you or arranging public transport which is paid for by the company. If a person does not have breakdown cover in an instance of a breakdown, the problems that he or she would face would be acute and it would make the subscription of a roadside assistance package well worth it. As it is impossible to know when and where your car will suddenly break down, it is best to be prepared in advance instead of facing headaches at times when you need to urgently reach your destination.
Breakdown cover sometimes also provides the facility of home call-out. This means that if the vehicle breaks down while parked at your own home and not in the middle of a journey, the crew will still come over and repair your car and if that is not possible it will take the car away for repairs which will save you the hassle that would have been resulted without a breakdown package.
Quote Professor is a new website looking at many general insurance lines an with plenty of hints and tips on getting the right cover.
There's a good range of petrol engines, including a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit, a 2.8-litre V6, and a supercharged 3.0-litre. The V10-engined S6 is amazingly fast, but the more popular diesel units include two 2.0-litre units, plus a sweet 2.7 and a potent 3.0 V6. The A6 is a big car, and while you might think it needs a big engine to shift it, in fact our favourite is the more powerful of the two 2.0-litre TDI units. Its smooth, powerful, refined and economical.
Ride & Handling
Although the standard suspension offers a decent blend of comfort and control, it doesnt cope with as wide a range of road conditions as the more sophisticated, more expensive air-suspension. With air added to the reassurance of traction-boosting four-wheel-drive, youre getting close to the ultimate A6. With this set-up, the A6 changes direction sharply, resists roll and clings on well. In the S6, though, the ride is very firm, and the car is not as agile as you might expect.
Sporty the A6 may be, but refinement has not been overlooked; the car is remarkably hushed up to motorway speeds. The 3.0T is the smoothie of the bunch, but all the engines, other than the 2.0-litre diesel, are impressively quiet, although the S6's V10 sounds great when you give it its head. The automatic gearbox changes gear almost imperceptibly, and the manual is much better than the one offered in the BMW 5 series.
Monday, 1 November 2010
Unfortunately, many British motorists head out into the cold and wet without carrying out the maintenance checks that could save them serious hassle in the ice and snow.
Avoid putting yourself at the risk of suffering from a breakdown or accident this winter and get your car ready for winter in autumn. Research from breakdown specialist, Green Flag, has found that over 75 per cent of motorists don't check their battery before winter - and batteries are the most common cause of winter breakdowns!
Not making sure your battery is in tip top shape means you have a 50 percent chance of suffering from a breakdown and finding yourself stranded in the snow.
So what can you do about it? Here are five tips to avoid an autumn breakdown, courtesy of Green Flag.
1. Check your battery regularly at a garage and don't to leave your lights on.
2. Take a few minutes before you drive off and carry out a few maintenance checks.
3. Remove all ice from windows to ensure you have good all-round visibility.
4. Ensure tyres are inflated to the correct pressure and have enough tread.
5. Check the oil and water levels and top up whenever necessary.
It's always a good idea to carry your fully-charged mobile phone in the car and have the number of your breakdown cover organisation at hand, in case of emergencies. Knowing your route is a great help, and Green Flag provides a route planner which works out your route for you and is a great help when planning your trip.
Find more on breakdown cover and European breakdown cover online from Green Flag.
One of the best things about my job is that I occasionally get to drive some new car demos and this week I had the chance to get behind the wheel of the infamous Renault Clio.
Since its launch in 1991, the Renault Clio has become one of the most popular superminis on the market, breaking numerous sales records and winning a host of awards including European Car of the Year. The latest Clio is now its third generation, boasting a fresh new style and more space than ever before.
The new Renault Clio has a striking exterior design with sleek lines and the familiar 'Renault face' as seen on the Megane, Scenic and Laguna. The latest model is larger than its predecessor, boasting more boot space and rear passenger leg room than ever before. It is available as a 3 or 5-door model, both identical in dimension. My model was the entry-level Extreme model in Mercury silver which came equipped with 15'' alloy wheels, manual air conditioning, front fog lights, CD/MP3 player with fingertip controls.
On first appearance, I was quite impressed with the design of the Renault Clio. Granted, it isn't the sportiest supermini on the market but it isn't the ugliest either. Back in the day, the Clio used to be a predominantly 'female' car but I think the new exterior design has changed that. The striking Volcano red and Extreme Blue paint colours give the car a distinctively masculine appeal and more men are choosing to invest in a Clio than ever before.
Inside the Clio Extreme, the interior was pretty basic with the dashboard, gear lever and door trims all in plain black. The seats were kitted out in 'Papeete' cloth upholstery in black and grey and the carpet floor was in plain back with fixings for tailored car mats should you wish to invest in a set. The stereo was the standard CD/MP3 which is fitted in the entry model but was easy to navigate and gave reasonable sound quality. The stereo can be controlled via the steering wheel mounted controls, located just behind the indicator. The seats were comfortable and easy to adjust.
Overall, I found the interior of the Clio comfortable and practical. Most of the driver features are within fingertip reach including the handy trip computer which displayed the fuel consumption, fuel tank figures and service information. I was a little disappointed that in today's age, Renault haven't fitted a MP3/Aux input as standard on the vehicle - why not? Other than this, the Clio gave a comfortable ride for both driver and passengers.
Power & Performance:
Behind the wheel, the Clio offers a smooth and comfortable ride with impressive fuel economy. The steering was light and responsive and the handling was sharp. The 1.2 16V petrol engine I was driving offers 75 bhp and CO2 emissions of 139 g/km. Fuel consumption is at a reasonable 47.9mph.
I found the Renault Clio a nice car to drive. It was quick to pull off at traffic lights and was more than suitable for city driving. I will admit that I found the engine a little noisy when reaching higher speeds (i.e. on the motorway) but I'm assuming that a bigger engine would help resolve this issue.
Overall the Renault Clio is a nippy, compact car ideal for city living. On the road prices for the entry-level model start from £11,040.
Glenn Nutsey is a keen motorist and a regular writer for CarPress and Nationwide Vehicle Contracts. Check out Nationwide's site for the best contract hire deals in the UK and to order a wide range of Car Accessories at incredibly low prices. http://www.nationwidevehiclecontracts.co.uk
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
There are a couple of tune up checks that you can perform yourself on your Mazda. When you open the bonnet, you can have a look and see that the radiator hose and the heater hose are not leaking. More serious problems like if they are soft and floppy or hard and swollen, you need a mechanic as both of these indicate a more serious problem. In the engine a big valve cover needs to be checked quite often. This is the cylinder head, which protects the engine from oil spills. The newer Mazda models now use a 'serpentine-belt system' which is adjusted by mechanics. If this mechanism is too tight, you will have problems - talk to your local friendly service station for advice.
Normally the engine cap and rotor do not need much servicing, but with a car, nothing should be taken for granted. An experienced mechanic will check these parts and replace spark plugs and air filters as part of a routine service, especially if your engine light has been on in your electronic control panel.
If your brakes have been squeaking, this could mean that your brake pads are worn out and need to be replaced. It could also be an indication that the brake callipers are out of line, or the drums of the brakes could have problems. This sort of thing needs to be checked out professionally at once, as it is unsafe to drive a vehicle with noisy brakes. Always make sure that you keep your eye on the temperature gauge of your Mazda. This is an easy indicator of problems in your radiator. The temperature gauge should normally hover just under half, but if it moves higher or right into the red area, drive straight to a service station. It could be something simple such as adding water to the radiator, or there could be a leak in your radiator. Your car should not be driven when the temperature gauge is in the red.
Your control panel has various lights that come on when a problem is experienced in that area of the car. So, when your oil light switches on, go to a service centre and check the oil levels. You can do this very simple procedure completely on your own! If you ignore it, you can end up with having to replace the entire engine - a very expensive exercise. If you notice that your car is constantly pulling to one side, there is a problem with the tyres - either they are worn on that side or your wheel alignment is out. This is simple to fix.
For keeping your Mazda in tip top condition Mark Hannt recommends finding your local UK Mazda Dealers.
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
The Nissan Juke has really caught on with its innovative style and concept and looks like it will get off to a flying start. The Juke is being produced in Sunderland on the old Nissan Micra line and has already received over 1,200 advanced orders. There have been more than 1000 jobs created due to the production of the Juke and it is estimated that a further 2000 jobs will be created across Nissan in general as a result of the production of this model.
The Juke is a compact version of the Qashqai, already the fifth most popular car in the UK but it has a particular quirkiness to its design. Very busy, lost of curves and accents and has a feel of the vintage car about it. As visually appealing as the outside is, the interior is an example of understated elegance; its innovative central console and stylish interior. The mid-range models come equipped with the Nissan Dynamic Control Centre with push button technology and a touch screen that aims to make car entertainment as convenient as possible.
Nissan have fitted the Juke with a punchy 1.6 litre engine and with its 4X4 wheel drive it provides an excellent and agile performance. You can accelerate from zero to 60mph in less than 8.5 seconds and the car offers you 37.5mpg but does produce around 175g/km of CO2.
The OTR basic model comes in at 12,795 and you will find that there are still a lot of extras as standard, even at the entry level. Alloy wheels, six airbags, air-conditioning, ESP and remote locking. By laying out a little extra money you can quickly obtain the car of your dreams; with extras such as Bluetooth, dynamic dashboard and climate control making it well worth the additional money.
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
After months of dominating the number one spot in the new car sales lists the Fiesta has now been knocked off the top spot by the Focus.
It's the first time the Fiesta has been displaced this year - and it hasn't just been pushed down to second place - it's now sitting in the third spot as the Vauxhall Astra has jumped up a position to occupy second place. So Ford's 1-2 domination has finally been broken by their rival car brand - the Astra has had an exceptional year though.
Many of these new car sales have been attributed to the Scrappage Scheme - however the scheme has now come to an end and as most vehicles have been delivered. In total the scheme was responsible for 2.7 per cent of the total number of new vehicle sales.
When looking at the 2010 May sales compared to the 2008 May sales it's evident that they are down by 15 per cent which equates to around 26,000 sales.
It was suggested that the general interest in the supermini or city-car sector had cooled in general. These small, fuel-efficient cars are the exact models which did so well under the scrappage scheme as motorists discovered the great savings that could be made under the government-funded scheme.
Now the scheme has ended its highly likely that the sales of these cars will decline - it was these types of cars that carried such high discounts.
The next few months will be very interesting - and experts will be eagerly anticipating the effects of life after the Scrappage Scheme.
Lucy Penn is an online marketer and researcher who is currently researching the Ford Fiesta Billericay
Monday, 4 October 2010
When shopping for a new vehicle, ensuring the auto comes with desirable amenities is a priority, but it's vital not to overlook the fundamental issue of safety. You'll want to ensure your vehicle is equipped with everything possible to enhance your driving experience. That is why reading reviews and gaining knowledge on your next potential automobile should be crucial in determining your purchase.
In considering the 2010 Mazda CX-9, it's important to note that this is a large model SUV and considered to be afford ably priced at anywhere from $28,000-$35,000. The vehicle's engine - a 273-horsepower 3.7-liter DOC V6 - is Mazda's largest ever made. Also known as an CUV, this is a full sized crossover with decent fuel efficiency. The fact that premium fuel is not a requirement is an additional bonus.
Options for this vehicle's trimming does include three varieties: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring, each with specific features exclusive to its classification. Another option to select from is all-wheel drive. Alternately, you may select the front wheel drive which comes standard.
For those with large families, the roomy seating can accommodate up to seven adults with a little maneuvering of middle row adjustments. Intended to ensure ample amount of leg room as well as lavish pampering for all passengers, the CX-9 boasts a luxurious interior.
Examining the functional and luxury additions, you'll find enough to please most everyone in the family. Hands-free Bluetooth capabilities offers a functional bonus. For music lovers, the Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound music system features the ultimate in car stereo pleasure. The system boasts eleven speakers of brilliantly designed surround sound.
Ensuring a quality safety system, the air bags provide protection for every passenger, with front airbags and side air curtains. Rollovers are typically a major concern with many SUV owners. In the event of such an accident, safety issues are greatly reduced with this model. The rollover protection provided by the side impact air curtains is an essential feature for many perspective buyers.
As with any vehicle however, this model doesn't come without a few flaws according to those who have carefully done their homework. Some reviews frown upon the fact that it is lacking in features, such as GPS navigation which is only available on two of the trims. Also noted in some consumer reports is a lack of pickup, although at 273 horsepower that complaint seems unwarranted.
Interesting to note, there is not a lot of cargo room for storage, due to the extensive seating area. A compromise for sure, although it may be a matter of which option is more desirable to suit ones needs.
Many consumers love the CX-9's classy curved appearance, stating that it has a more stylish design than a comparably sized mini-van. Reviews state this model resembles a very large car rather than a typical crossover, which makes it a popular choice. Not only have drivers voiced their opinions unequivocally in favor of its refined elegance, they have rated the CX-9 a favorite of the year.
By Lucy Penn
The long-awaited launch of the new Ford C-Max is almost upon us. The hotly anticipated Ford C-Max will hit Ford dealerships across the UK in October - so they are just one month away!
Ford have made picking a model and trim level even easier as they've simplified the selection. You can now pick from just two body styles and a smaller range of trim levels. The body styles consist of a 5-seater and a 7-seater. The latter of these two will be hotly anticipated by the country's motorists as two-thirds of UK motorists in this segment look for seven-seat flexibility.
The seven-seater model will be known as the Grand C-MAX and rear-sliding doors mean that passengers can benefit from easy access to the rear seats.
Both models come equipped with trendy alloy wheels, air conditioning and a sophisticated leather steering wheel as well as a digital radio/CD, Bluetooth and rear parking sensors.
The two Trim levels that are going to be available are going to be called 'Zetec' and 'Titanium' - I'm sure you'll be able to read far more about this on Ford dealer's websites!
Family cars have undergone a lot of change throughout the years. Lone gone are the days when car manufacturers would barely consult a designer as they focussed primarily on practicality.
Nowadays you'll find an influx of family cars that have hit showrooms that are very much focussed on design as well as practicality too. Citroen led the way and now many other car manufacturers are having to follow!
Lucy Penn is an online marketer currently researching ford c-max kent
Sunday, 26 September 2010
The Honda Civic 92-95 is a great car, so any choices, Hatch Back, Ferio, Coupe, a huge variety of engine swaps. Make your FWD beast a killer civic with a SEIBON carbon hood or a carbon trunk. Many stores sell cf hatches for the civic EG hatch back, upper and lower.
Long gone are the day or crazy body kits, huge front bumpers, wild side skirts and aggressive rear bumpers, but SEIBON carbon fiber hoods seems to have made it's permanent mark in the automotive scene, now OEM manufacturers are adopting the use of carbon components throughout their cars. The Civic EG 92-95 looks great with a carbon lip, carbon oem hood and carbon fiber hatch. You can even go to the extreme with cf fenders and doors.
There are too many hoods to list, but they range in styles, from light weight OEM to vented styles. Many vented styles EVO, VSII, Invader and more.
Definitely check out Google's Civic section if you own a 92-95 Civic, you can find rare carbon kevlar hoods and other parts which look awesome on a black or bronze Honda Civic. Some websites have a massive selection of composite parts, including hoods, fenders, body kits, lips, side skirts and even hatches.
The insane amount of after-market parts available for the Honda Civic EG makes part hunting almost impossible without a website that offers good navigation. Many automotive websites offer just that, excellent product navigation for the Honda Civic 92-95 EG, sortable by categories like Honda Civic Carbon Fiber Hoods.
Import tuners are very happy when they purchase SEIBON carbon fiber hoods, it's a very popular brand with great quality. SEIBON is an excellent choice, especially for the Honda Civic 92-95. VIS Racing Sports also has quite a large selection of hoods, fenders and trunks for the same car, so it's definitely worth the time to browse their large selection of products on eBay as well as AIT racing parts. If you can't find the Honda Civic part you're looking for then perhaps a company can custom make it for you.
You're probably seen these products on many website like autobuzz back in the day or 935draggers, you can also see them on many of the popular automotive car show websites featuring the pictures from Hot Import Nights or other shows here in Southern California or Florida.
Check out our S2000 Carbon Fiber Hoods FAQ Page for more information about carbon hoods for your car.
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Fiat Auto Argentina launched the new Fiat Idea. The new exterior design makes a car a strong personality, much more modern, dynamic and elegant. It has a new hood, grille and bumper. The hood became more refined, with curves and folds flat well defined. The bumper is more encompassing and robust and at the same time, the grid was refined. What is most striking are the new headlights poly double parabolic -elliptic to provide a better light distribution and excellent uniformity, with an increase of 25 % in terms of brightness. Now they are larger and are more inclined, with format similar to that of a triangle with rounded corners bent. Big changes are also verified in the rear. The gate - with integrated spoiler - and back glass are new and fit perfectly with the identity of the model, dynamic lines and surfaces better defined. The rear bumper, which brings the vehicle patent stamped follows the shape of the front and in harmony with his lines, gives strength and modernity Idea.
An important development is the rear lights incorporating innovative technology: the LED lighting system and light guides. It is the first time a segment model incorporates such lights. Innovative is also the aesthetic finish of the rear light, masked in opaque material. LEDs installed in the optics, produce a distinct visual effect when the position of the car lights are lit and light guides are illuminated. The sides are many new front fenders and chrome trim, depending on the version. A nice touch that helps define the harmonic levels of the vehicle.
The external mirrors are larger, improving visibility and providing safety. light alloy wheels, cup wheel and door handles are also new. Sporting the new version, like version Adventure, gained exclusive details. For the Sporting created a set of stylistic elements, with a more seductive and sports. Includes side skirts, spoilers front and rear spoiler and wheels unique design, as well as the headlights and rear light with black mask. The Adventure version, meanwhile, has bumpers and lights and fender- specific side, giving it a robust character - appropriate to their usage profile. The spare tire is exposed, covered and protected by a shield that was developed for this new idea.
The interior also was refurbished. The front seats are now more enveloping, providing the driver a better driving position. The lining of the seats may be leather, bringing central armrest, plus add a small table behind the passenger seat. The seats also won new differentiated tissues for each version and the adoption of technology " embossed ", which applies shapes and embossed design, it even richer. The steering wheel is also new. Its modern design with a touch of sportiness, driving comfort provides both a visually pleasing image.
Functionality is another important aspect of the carrier. Slides prepared in strategic locations cleverly exploit the internal space. It highlights the overhead console with four slides and watch the back seat mirror, unique item in the segment, standard on all versions. Attractive and Essence versions of the new Fiat Idea have dashboard with white illumination. Modern and easier to read, brings speedometer, tachometer, markers gradual fuel level and water temperature and a display with clock, odometer, computer board and My Car Fiat.
Optionally, the Essence versions can be equipped with a more complete instrument panel, which brings information from the onboard computer level B, radio, calendar and external temperature. For the Fiat Idea Sporting it created a unique instrument panel with white light and registration "Sporting", which displays a complete set of information: speedometer, tachometer, markers gradual fuel level and temperature of water, to computers board A and B, odometer, clock, radio, calendar and display the external temperature. The Adventure version also has a distinct instrument panel with exclusive silkscreen and brings the same information as the Fiat Idea Sporting panel.
My self work with Eurodb. It's Used car sales reach record levels in the Australia in 2010. Eurodb aim for 100% customer happiness and by doing so have a wide range of used cars and new car. We have one of the largest collections of used cars in Australia. Sell Your Car or Sell My Car at Eurodb.
Monday, 13 September 2010
A legend, a masterpiece of automotive engineering, designed for absolute top performance, and styled with such classic lines it is virtually a piece of art. This is the Ferrari F430. Find a Ferrari F430 for sale, and you have found a ultra high performance work of art you will be proud to own, envied for owning, and thrilled to drive.
Produced by Ferrari from 2004 until is was replaced with the Ferrari 458 Italia in 2009, the F430 was a solid performer and continued the Ferrari legend. This beautiful car was designed to be ultra stylish with its beautiful curves and highly aerodynamic lines.
It boasts a 4.3 liter V8 engine which is a combined Ferrari/Maserati design, which gives the F430 an amazing 483hp, and a top speed of 196mph.
This mid rear engine, rear wheel drive beauty is mounted on a 102.4 in wheelbase, with an over all length of 177.6 inches, and weighs in at 3,197lbs. Ready to run as you work through the 6 speed manual transmission. It was also made with a 6-speed 'F1' electrohydraulic manual transmission for pure performance.
The design of the F430 was made to provide not only classic styling, but improved downdraft for greater handeling performance and road hugging ability. Find a Ferrari f340 for sale, and you will be looking at a chance to purchase a automotive classic, with all the performance that makes Ferrari a legend. Original MSRP pricing for the F430 was between $168,000 and $227,000.
The F430 was a leader in performance and innovations. It came equipped with E-Diff, which was a computer controlled differential which could vary the distribution of engine torque based on the cars acceleration and steering position. This was a a industry innovation, and the first of its kind ever used.
The F430 also came with a steering wheel mounted electronic stability system with which the driver can set the stability settings of the vehicle using one of five performance settings. The Ferrari F430 also came equipped with the exclusive Eagle F1 Goodyear tires, which feature run-flat capability and One Tred Technology.
The Ferrari F430 came in two model, the standard two door hardtop, and the Spider, which is the convertible version. As with all Ferrari automobiles, slip into the drivers seat and you feel like you are sliding into the cockpit of a high performance race car or aircraft. The sleek and classic dashboard offers aircraft styled instrumentation.
The F430 also featured key less entry, leather seating, power windows and door locks, an anti-theft system, and a superb ABS anti-locking braking system. If you love high performance, classic and timeless styling, and the performance only Ferrari can provide, then this is a car for you. Find a Ferrari F430 for sale, and you have found a timeless classic.
Jamie Vanderhorst has been covering the auto industry for the last 10 years, working as a professional automotive writer. One of his favourite cars is the Ferrari F430. View his favorite used cars for sale here.
Sales in the automotive market have been down lately and Jaguar's sales weren't any different. Also, it didn't help that their lineup has remained unchanged for the past few years. However, with Jaguar's flagship vehicle receiving a new look inside and out for 2011 that is all about to change.
Often cars in the luxury market will be quite similar but the intention of the 2011 Jaguar XJ is to entice customers with something that is a bit different. And the new XJ looks downright sinister. This four door sedan sports 20in. rims and has a super powerful v8 engine.
Cosmetic changes were also made. The glass line has been altered and extended with the rear sloping down to meet the trunk. The roof looks much lower almost like the car has been chopped. The Jaguar looks like it has one unbroken large piece of tinted side glass.
You can choose from numerous different variations for the wheel base and type of engines. The XJ version has the shorter 119in. wheel base and the XJL (L for large) has a wheel base of 244 inches. The very base model checks in at $72,500 with a DOHC 5-liter V-8 motor that produces 385 hp 385 lb. ft. of torque. The top of the line buys you a supercharged version of the engine cranking out 510 hp and 461 lb. ft. or torque, it also gets you the larger wheel base. Price for everything is $115k for this: the super sport model.
Engineers installed a very advanced suspension system which is comprised of continuously variable dampeners. The body though has been made 11% stiffer over last year's model. The curb weight is just over 4,000 lbs., which in the world of luxury cars is not very heavy. This allows the XJ to perform just as well as autos much smaller in size.
When it comes to speed the XJ leaves everyone else in the dust. This car can effortlessly race to 0-60 MPH in 4.4 seconds with the quarter mile zooming by in 12.7 seconds. Faster than a Camaro SS or Mustang GT which consider themselves drag strip bruisers. Fuel economy checks in at 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway for the smaller engine and 15 mpg city 21 mpg highway for the 510 hp version. The Jaguar has an electronically controlled rear differential to put the power down. The cabin epitomizes fine living and ultimate luxury with its fabulous leather, beautiful wood trim and ample accessories. The gauges grow bright where the needle is and the XJ has a sport mode. The sound system of the XJ is also incredible and offers crystal clear sound for your driving enjoyment.
If you are looking for a luxury car that packs a punch then check out the 2011 Jaguar XJ. This is a car that offers all of the amenities of a luxury car, but it can still outrace cars like the Mustang GT!
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
The BMW M3 has always been an iconic road car, that offers high performance and handling, all wrapped up in the subtle body shell of the BMW 3 series. With the launch of the very latest M3, known as the E90, BMW is hoping to further strengthen the reputation of this well known brand.
The original BMW M3, called the E30, was launched way back in 1986 and really set the standard by which all other sports saloons would be judged. This first model had a 2.3 litre 4 cylinder engine, however to keep pace with its other German rivals, in the shape of Audi and Mercedes Benz, engine capacity has steadily increased leading to the all new 4 litre V8 that is found in the E90.
For many years the BMW M3 could easily lay claim to the title of best sports saloon, however with the launch of the new Audi RS4 and Mercedes C63 AMG this claim is not so easily assured. Especially as Lexus has now joined the fray and surprised everyone with its all new, and very capable IS-F.
Initial the E90 M3 was first released as a two door coupe, which strictly speaking was called the E92, and came with the new V8 engine, a carbon fibre roof and the option of a six speed double clutch gear box that could beat the manual in the race to 60 by 0.2 seconds.
The coupe M3 was then soon followed by a four door saloon which, whilst lacking a carbon fibre roof, was shorter, wider and taller that the 2 door, and both models share the same front end design including spoiler, indicators and front car lights. This was later accompanied by a hardtop convertible, which was a move away from the fabric roofs seen on previous generation M3's.
In the performance stakes the new M3 certainly has the power to keep up with its rivals with the V8 engine cracking the magic 100bhp per litre figure and producing 414bhp in total, with an incredible rev range that red lines at 8,300rpm. No matter which body style you go for all versions are electronically limited to 155mph, however in the sprint 60 the coupe leads the way at 4.5 seconds, followed by the saloon at 4.7 seconds and the considerably heavier convertible at 5.3 seconds.
There is no doubt that this very latest M3 moves the sports saloon game on further, and it still has the pace, handling and driver feedback to see off the competition from Audi, Mercedes and Lexus, although their deficit on the E90 is certainly not as much as it used to be. However more tellingly, despite the increased power, grip and driver aids some of the pure driver enjoyment of the original M3 may have been lost, especially when Evo magazine ranked the original E30 M3 above all its contemporaries, including the new E90.
With this latest version of the E90 M3, BMW has really pushed the performance envelope for sports saloon car further than ever. Whilst not every car can have the performance of the new M3, you can make sure your car stands out from the crowd by upgrading your Car Bulbs By replacing your the standard halogen bulbs used in your vehicle's headlights with new xenon Headlight Bulbs your are sure to get some admiring looks.
Nissan and Infiniti cars are equipped with two new safety technologies, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist Concept and Moving Object Detection.
The first one helps the driver to avoid hitting a vehicle by reducing the risk of sudden braking. A radar sensor monitors the distance from the car in front and its relative speed. If deceleration is required, the driver is alerted through a screen display and sound. Then a force is generated that pushes the accelerator pedal and applies partial breaking, assisting the driver to slow the car down. If there is still a possibility of collision, the system applies harder braking while at the same time tightens the seatbelt of the driver.
The second system is available with other auto makers, but the version offered by Nissan offers supplementary information to the driver when he starts the car or drives at low speeds. The older version, Around View Monitor, was launched in October 2007 and was available on Infiniti EX and FX. It also uses screen display and an audio buzzer which informs the driver of moving objects that are close to the car, pedestrians included. It does so when you start the car, park it or when driving at low speed. This new feature could also be helpful in intersections with poor side visibility.
Several automakers are offering features that offer more awareness of their surroundings, and the systems are capable of higher performance if compared to the driver's abilities. Acura, Lexus, Ford or Mercedes-Benz have similar systems, but the new Nissan Forward Collision Avoidance Assist Concept takes things a step further. The Moving Object Detection uses a surround view camera system to notice any pedestrians or objects moving close to the vehicle. However, unlike similar systems on Volvo or Lexus, it only works for low speeds and does not apply brakes.
The new safety features will probably be available on Infinity next year. Nissan is not only offering improved safety feature on its vehicles. The electric Leaf has zero-emissions status, and the devotion towards electric vehicles seems to be greater than that of other car makers.
Improving emissions and increasing fuel economy is a goal for all the vehicles offered by Nissan. Next month, Nissan will launch the next generation XTRONIC CVT, continuously variable transmission. In the next few years, several hybrid models will be launched, among which Fuga Hybrid or Infiniti M35 Hybrid are the most interesting.
Use of low-displacement engines such as the HR12DE three cylinders and the HR15DE 1.5 liter is also planned for the future but also for the newly launched Juke.
Nissan Motor Co. is always trying to find ways to increase efficiency on its power trains in order to reduce carbon dioxide emission. The three and four cylinder gasoline engines offered in 2010 are examples of the company's green efforts. The company has a holistic approach on zero-emission which translated into a range of eco-technologies from which customers can choose. The commitment of this company to ongoing innovation has various facets and safety features are not the only domain in which you can notice it.
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
By Ashley Hollebone
The New Lotus Elise 1.6
- Lotus have launched an new entry level, face lifted Elise. Designed to be frugal with a planet saving ethos.
What happens when your dream car is about as much a reality as bumping into Lady Ga Ga in Tescos? Well it just becomes something you think about when you feel you need to escape the boundaries of your every day life. Not a bad a thing I guess, it gives us all goals and a place to aim.
Now let me ask another question. What if your dream car could actually become a part of your lifestyle? without you having to sell your organs. And no Lady Ga Ga won't be a part of this. Sports cars are designed to be lusted after, to be sexy and admired with their sweeping curves, powerful engines and exclusive price tags. On the subject of change, sports cars and the word 'affordable' don't tend to go in the same sentence, unless we're talking about old classics.
I'm not talking about a rusty old MGB but still an iconic British sportscar. The Lotus Elise. Now in its 15th. year of production the titchy fibre glass sports car offers an eco alternative to its pedigree of superb handling, race breed roadsters. The Lotus is made in Norwich, the same place as Turnips and Mustard.
This is the new entry level Elise, powered by its smallest engine yet. A 1.6 litre Toyota unit, coupled with a new 6 speed gearbox. This car is all about economy and at £27,000 offers supercar looks for sales rep saloon money. Now for the part that appeals to me. 56 mpg is impressive and must be considered a huge attraction with its 500 mile range. The team at Lotus have nick named this car the 149 due to its low emission output of 149g of Co2 per Km. I just think it's a nice way of saying 'yes we have the worlds most eco friendly petrol powered sports car. With the confidence of a reliable Japanese powerplant the Elise is kind of in its little world. Of course there are rival brands and models to consider but all of these lack the little Lotus's charm, lines and stunning drive. Don't think that the small engine makes the Lotus experience any less either. It doesn't. It will reach 60 mph in just 6 seconds and is capable of making you grin with ease. This new Elise handles, grips and snoggs the road like a teenage love affair, you could almost forgive yourself to think that winding roads and bends were designed 100 years ago as these industrial pioneers knew that someday a car would be built to drive around them without almost flat out.
However as much as I love this car, I feel I must say that it's not perfect. The indicator stalks are still sourced from the Vauxhall Senator parts bin which I feel could at least have used the Ford set up from the Lotus Evora or why not a nice set of their own? I understand that this car is all about economy but if you close your eyes and fire the engine up you would think you are in a Toyota Avensis, one of the dullest machines on the road. Such a disappointing engine sound, however this changes when you drive the Elise. Once taken past a certain engine rev limit a second camshaft opens up, producing a much satisfying deeper engine tone whilst aiding the power. I can't winge about the boring engine sound on this new Elise, if they had added a sporty exhaust system then the emissions would have been higher and thus taking the whole point away of this car. If you want that then get the next model up or better still an Evora if you have the money. The Elise is a car for anyone, it's at home in a supermarket car park as it would be with a WAG. Qwerky, iconic and owned by many celebrities including Jay Lo, Jennifer Lopez or what ever she wants to call herself. Oh and one other thing.. dead flies on the windscreen. Both of which will put everyone off wanting to buy a Lotus Elise. Not bad if that's all I can find to moan about.
This new Elise has been subtly tweeked. At the rear a deeper defuser aid the exciting airflow reducing drag while at the front a similar thing, although you wouldn't really know it. Lotus has always been about weight saving rather than monstrous amounts of power and this Elise is still true, weighing in at just 876 kg. This is not a car for those that want to drive flat out everywhere. It's a great touring car with this engine. Capable of keeping up but definitely not that quick. But once again I don't need to state that, this Elise is what it is. A low powered Lotus that won't get you into trouble unless you slap its face and make it angry. I am definitely of the opinion that this car, as with any little Lotus is not just a car but more of a part of you and should be described as a being rather than an object. You don't drive an Elise, you wear it like a well fitting shoe.
This car is two cars in one. Its low power means that its safe for even the most novice of drivers to handle while still retaining enough poke once pushed to waken the little car into a torrent of excitement. So who's going to buy the new 1600 cc Elise? I think those that want to own an environmentally considerate sports car. After all the Lotus will never rust so you won't need to replace it. It's bonded aluminum chassis and fibre glass coach work keep the rust factor away. Thankfully all the issues of the previous Elise's now behind, mainly the old Rover K series engined cars which went through head gaskets like no tomorrow.
With new models in the pipeline and the stunning new Evora, these are exciting times for Lotus as the company is starting to thrive once again. I'm sure you'll agree that it's great to see a British Automotive manufacturer doing well and ultimately producing a product you want. Open your eyes, wake up from your dream, your car is here!
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
Many people love hot-hatches. They are nimble, spirited and fun, created for the enthusiast who craves for the occasional adrenalin surge. The DNA behind every hot-hatch has remained essentially the same since the whole genre began with the original Golf GTi, with wheels tucked away in each corner, a willing engine, sharp handling, and loads of street cred.
Err.. wait a minute. 'Isn't this about the BMW X1?'
Yes it is, but bear with us for a bit. For all intents and purposes, the BMW's X1 3.0i is a hot-hatch in disguise, but one that can swallow not only B-roads whole, but also your kitchen sink! What we have here is a SUV (or SAV - Sports Activity Vehicle as BMW likes to call it) that drives and handles like a very good hot-hatch. Or if you will, a hot-hatch that can carry just about anything you'd expect a SUV to. Confused? You should be, but the Jenkyl and Hyde character best sums up theX1.
Throw it into a series of corners and it hugs the desired path with tenacity and composure only a BMW SUV with the clever xDrive is able to; the AWD system that allows infinite, fully variable distribution of torque between front and rear axles that significantly reduces over- and understeer. This agility coupled with a 'sporty' tuned suspension promises many happy returns for the driver.
But that's only half the story. With a 3.0 line inline-six making 231 horses and 300Nm of torque, the X1 has sufficient muscle and flexibility to fully exploit its handling talents. Adding to the joy is a six-speed auto that even 'manual-only' fans will endorse. It is responsive, quick to react to inputs from the right foot, and clever enough In select a lower gear when going downhill, offering engine braking before you can even engage Steptronic to manually drop a gear or two. The rate of deceleration is also aided by a set of anchors that is progressive in feel and utterly easy to modulate, useful when stopping a vehicle weighing over 1800kg.
However, the steering communication is untypical of Beemers - more front-wheel drive in feel - which is perhaps attributable to the power being channeled through both axles. It is light at low speeds but accurately weighs up as the speed increases. What it lacks is the feedback associated with rear wheel driven BMWs. It is not devoid of any communication, just less so.
But this is also where the parallel between the hot-hatch and the X1 ends. Instead of being greeted by a typically snug interior of a BMW sedan, the cabin of the X1 is a pleasant place with ample space for its occupants. But it's not straight-As all round, the over-firm front seats (with electric adjustments) are only so-so in comfort, you get the feeling of sitting on top of them rather than being cosseted, though a comfortable driving position is not a problem with the multi-adjustable seats and steering wheel. And of course the panoramic glass roof that extends almost the entire length of the roof, needless to say, considerably brightens up the already airy cabin.
Other nice touches include a clever foldaway cup holder located just under the passenger side air-con vent and a fully equipped first-aid kit under the front passenger seat. The integrated stereo system is as Teutonic as they come, with simple controls and a six-disc CD changer built into the armrest. Adaptive bi-xenon headlights are also standard, and these follow the direction of steering to illuminate the intended path for better safety.
Few hot-hatches are able to carry more than a couple of days worth of luggage. Even a storing a full sized golf bag can be a difficult proposition. This is where the X1 excels. A furniture buying spree is not going to be a problem unless you intend to self-transport a bed. With up to 1560 liters of luggage space available, five large clay-pots plus luggage comfortably resided in the rear of the X1 on a recent jaunt to Ipoh.
For me, the X1 is the 'ultimate' hot-hatch. It will comfortably keep up with the best of them and still be the great all-rounder they can never be. To the well-heeled enthusiast who has to balance his appetite for driving and the fun in having the entire family out on a picnic, this has your name on it.
Kenji Alexis has been writing car reviews for close to 10 years. Come visit his latest website over at http://www.motorstop.asia to check out the in depth Honda cars reviews and all the latest automotive news.
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
By James Jakob
To get rid of the need for the keys to get into your car, you can now avail the benefit of the smart key. The recent development in automobiles has facilitated its users with the latest keyless entry system that caters to their comfort. The following article will give you an overview of the remote entry system that is in popular use.
In the arena of technological development, the emergence of keyless entry system has further equipped vehicles with the latest technology. In recent past it had yielded great success, which seems to continue till date. It provides users with the benefit to safeguard themselves from the risk of forgetting the keys inside the car, which people often fall prey to. Apart from this, it also saves the time required in the process of opening the car and this comes in very handy when you are running short of time.
The installation of this system in cars has made it easier for the users to lock or unlock their vehicle without even coming in physical contact with it. If you forgot to lock your vehicle you can effortlessly access that through the keyless entry system even if you are in a building. Simultaneously smart keys allow you to keep a check on your car as far as the security prospect is concerned. This particular system has been designed keeping in mind customer satisfaction.
The keyless system is capable of protecting your vehicle from an external threat like theft. It does not permit the entry into the car without the smart key. With the aid of a sound system the alarm gets onto the activation mode, further warning you of the danger, this is when someone other than the owner tries to attempt to open the vehicle. In this way it caters not merely to the comfort of the users but also assists them in placing a protective shield around their vehicle.
The introduction of this system takes us ahead to an advanced stage of technology, thus becoming a quintessential part in raising the bar of competition. It brings into light another crucial factor of customer requirement which is of significant importance. It is amazing to think of a system that can enable us to lock our vehicle without the manual process of applying keys to it. It is now possible to avail this facility in the lowest price possible.
A remote entry system can be easily installed in car as it incorporates user friendly features and this imparts another lesson of the recent development in the field of technology. To undergo the search regarding this system on the internet, you can begin with the keywords keyless remotes and this will open up the related options in the concerned field.
Almost all new models feature this facility as it enhances the traits of the vehicle, allowing the users to enjoy the automatic lock system.
The relevant points listed below will help you to get hold of a quality keyless entry system for your vehicle:
* Go through an ample range of sources that claim to offer the system so as to guarantee your choice.
* Verify the legal existence of the supplier to protect oneself from the threat of forgery.
* The variety availability is a must watch principle that would enable you to pick the best suitable choice for yourself.
* The proper functioning of the remote system must be verified before completing the financial transaction.
* Ensure the quality of the system as it could later hamper the smooth functioning of your vehicle or damage the security system.
The above mentioned guidelines will lead you in the right direction in your search, delivering you with satisfying results. Your search will enable you find an appropriate answer in the availability of an automatic remote lock system that will keep you updated on the grounds of technology.
This article is written by an expert working for Auto Transponder, a reliable source that makes the keyless entry remote feasible for the comfort of its customers, keeping in mind the quality of the material.
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
One of the newest additions to Audi's line of luxury vehicles is the Audi A5, a two-door sport coupe. Originally introduced with a standard six-cylinder engine, the A5 has received a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine for 2010. The new 2.0 liter engine produces 211 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, compared to the 265 horsepower 3.2 liter V6 with 243 lb-ft of torque that was the only option for the 2009 A5 and remains an option for 2010. Both engines can be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, while the four-cylinder also has a six-speed manual option.
The new four-cylinder engine, called the 2.0T by Audi, also provides better fuel economy than the V6. With a manual transmission, the 2.0T is EPA rated for 22 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined. The automatic transmission drops the fuel economy to 21 city, 27 highway, and 23 combined. The six-cylinder engine improved in fuel economy over the last year; it now is rated for 18 city, 27 highway, and 21 combined (compared to 17/26/20 for the 2009 model). With a 16.9 gallon fuel tank, the 2.0T manual has a range of 422.5 miles, while the 2.0T auto can go 388.7 miles between fill-ups and the V6 is good for 354.9 miles.
One of the highlights of the new 2.0T engine is its impressive torque. It produces more than the V6 engine, and it peaks very low in the car's RPM range. The 2.0T gets to 258 lb-ft of torque at just 1500 rpm, which has left reviewers in awe of the driving experience. Great performance is a requirement for this car, as Audi has stiff competition in this segment from the BMW 3-series and the Infiniti G37 coupe, both of which have more powerful engines.
Find out more about audi a5 engine and other industry specific topics.