Thursday, December 27, 2007


True to form, BMW has revealed the production version of its new X6 'Sports Activity Coupe' looking almost exactly like the concept version shown in Frankfurt earlier this year. The new X6, which follows closely from other BMW X models save for the flowing coupe-like roofline, is the third SAV launched by the company. The name itself is meant to shake off any negative association that people have with traditional SUVs, and instead highlight the sporting style for which BMWs are renowned.

It seems fairly appropriate then that with this new model, BMW has opted for a design language that communicates an athletic aesthetic meant to emphasize the driving characteristics offered by BMWs. The sport aspect continues to the interior, with tense surfaces blending into one another. Kneepads are present on both sides of the center console and the transmission can be shifted via paddles on the steering wheel, a standard feature. The elevated individual four seats, giving a commanding seating position, are divided by a center console running the width of the cabin. The luggage compartment is entirely separate as it is in a coupe.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hybrid Car History: Past, Present and Future

2000 Honda Insight
When Honda released the Insight in 1999, it was the first production hybrid electric car available in the U.S. For five consecutive years, it earned the highest combined EPA rating for fuel economy in a passenger car at 60/66 mpg (city/highway). The gas-electric combination along with an aerodynamic, lightweight aluminum chassis allowed the Insight to be the most fuel efficient car. As the first Honda hybrid car, the Insight was created to obtain the best possible mileage, therefore it is a small, lightweight two-seater with a small, high-efficiency gasoline engine. The concept of the Honda Insight hybrid and the reasons for its development began because of Honda's philosophy that motor vehicles should function in harmony with the environment. For over 25 years, this automaker has been researching high-mileage, low-emission vehicles. Among Honda hybrid cars, the earlier Civics met pollution standards and Honda has been testing various alternative sources of power-from all electric cars to solar-powered vehicles. The first version of the Honda Insight hybrid, the JV-X concept car, was introduced in 1997 in Tokyo and Los Angeles. The next edition, the VV concept car, was presented in 1999 in Detroit. Perhaps due to its size, the Honda Insight hybrid has not sold well against the Honda Civic hybrid and the Toyota Prius, which have four doors and obtain nearly as good mileage for comparable cost.

2004 Toyota Prius
With gas prices at all time highs and pollution levels rising as fast, an increasing number of motorists are demanding the kind of technology the Toyota Prius offers. With an EPA rating of 60/51 mpg (city/highway), the Prius is at the top of fuel-efficient cars in the mid-size sedan class. This Toyota hybrid car's emissions are the lowest of any conventional or hybrid car being sold, and its price is in line with other cars of its size. As the world's first mass-produced hybrid electric car, the Prius meets the California Super Ultra Low Emission rating, reducing CO2 emissions up to 50% and regulated tailpipe emissions by up to 90% over conventional vehicles. "When the 2005 Prius arrives in dealerships this fall it will exceed all expectations, marking the arrival of hybrid technology into the mainstream consumer mindset," remarked Don Esmond, senior vice president and general manager, Toyota Division. "Furthermore, the debut of the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system will represent a major breakthrough in global-friendly powertrain technology." The 2005 Prius starts at $21,275, up about $1,000 from the 2004. Popular with Hollywood celebrities from Cameron Diaz to Rob Reiner, this Toyota hybrid car is the most successful hybrid to date. Toyota has sold more than 120,000 Prius models in the U.S. through the end of 2004. Monthly sales have been averaging 10,000 units in 2005. Winner of the 2004 Motor Trend Car of the Year and Consumer Reports Best Green Car, statistics for this Toyota hybrid car are backed by the laboratory testing done by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). With the success of the first Toyota hybrid car, this carmaker entered the SUV hybrid car market with the release of the Toyota Highlander hybrid and Lexus SUV hybrid in early 2005. And the Lexus SUV hybrid is poised for a late 2004, early 2005 launch.

2004 Honda Civic Hybrid
In 2002, Honda launched the Civic Hybrid as a direct competitor to the Toyota Prius. It looks like a Civic, drives like a Civic, but at an average of 48 mpg, the Honda Civic hybrid gets almost 30% higher mileage than its non-hybrid counterpart and all the performance quality Honda is known for. On the outside it appears to be just like a conventional Civic four-door, 5-passenger sedan in size and design, but under the hood, however, is where the differences exist. A cover beneath the engine and rear floor improves aerodynamics and subsequently fuel economy, and a cable runs from the transmission housing to connect the electric motor stashed between the transmission and the gas engine to the battery control at the rear. The Honda Civic hybrid's electric components are more compact than the Honda Insight hybrid's and are lodged between the back of the rear seat at the front of the trunk, accessible through a trunk panel. The 2004 Honda Civic hybrid was named to's list of the "Top 10 Most Fuel Efficient Cars for 2004." And IntelliChoice®, a leading automotive information company, named the Honda Civic hybrid the Best Overall Value for a Compact Over $17,000. "Putting hybrid technology into our most popular model is a further indication of Honda's commitment to hybrid technology and our confidence that consumers are ready for more hybrid models," said Tom Elliott, Executive VP, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Honda hybrid cars remains at the forefront with the release of the Accord hybrid in late 2004 and the newly upgraded 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid.

2005 Ford Escape Hybrid/GMC Hybrid trucks
The next few years promise an onslaught of new hybrid vehicles. The most exciting of these are the hybrid SUVs and hybrid trucks. Among the SUV hybrids are the Toyota Highlander, Saturn VUE SUV, the Lexus RX400H and the Ford Escape hybrid SUV. In the works also are the Dodge Ram, Chevy Silverado and GM Sierra pickups. The timing is not concrete, but's Web site and newsletter will keep you informed as new models are released.

The Chevy Silverado hybrid pickup is positioned to be the first full-size hybrid pickup to enter the market, with an EPA rating of 18/20 mpg (city/highway) in the 2WD and 17/19 mpg in the 4WD. This is estimated to be 5-13% better mileage than the non-hybrid pickup.

The GMC Sierra hybrid pickup, which may fight for first place against the Silverado as the first hybrid pickup, has the same EPA ratings as the Chevy Silverado hybrid and also will be available in 2WD and 4WD.

Ford, the first U.S. automaker to launch a hybrid, released the 2005 Ford Escape hybrid SUV in late 2004. This fuel-efficient car has an EPA rating of 36/31 mpg (city/highway) and has as much power as the non-hybrid, which averages 25 mpg. The first full-hybrid SUV to hit the market, Ford's hybrid SUV is priced around $26,970 for front-wheel drive and from $28,595 for four-wheel drive, which will have a slightly lower mileage rating (the non-hybrids start at $19,855). "The demand is high and it's growing," stated Angela Coletti, Ford's spokesperson for the vehicle line. She also said the automaker plans to sell around 20,000 Ford hybrid SUVs the first year and will increase output as the market demands it.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Proton new model 2008

I got this email last week. Seem like proton will lunch new model for a next year.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lamborghini Reventón

Here’s a Lamborghini for those who think the Murciélago is just too shy and retiring! This is the Reventón, a special edition of the brand’s flagship supercar, sporting a striking new body and a £787,250 price tag.

As only 20 have been made available, it’s certainly exclusive. But can it really be worth nearly five times as much as the model it’s based on?

One thing is for sure: it’s absolutely stunning. The carbon fibre bodywork, which has been penned by the Lambor­ghini Style Centre in Italy, is influenced by the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter.

Add camouflage-style paintwork and matt black wheels, and it looks as though it’s escaped from an air force base. According to company sources, the design isn’t a one-off, either. All future Lamborghinis for the next decade will follow the Reventón’s cues.

Power comes from the same 6.5-litre V12 engine as in the Murciélago LP640, but with an additional 10bhp – taking the total output to a storming 641bhp. The 0-62mph sprint still takes 3.4 seconds, but the Reventón is even more responsive in-gear. It sounds incred­ible, delivering a raucous bark that can be heard from miles away.

There is great fun to be had from blipping the revs on the downchange, but the standard-fit e-gear semi-auto box – which features steering wheel paddles – is jerky at low speeds.

The Murciélago’s optional 380mm ceramic brakes are also included, and they provide outstanding stopping power. With ultra-wide Pirelli tyres and four-wheel-drive traction, there’s lots of grip – but only the very talen­ted will tame the Lambo on the limit. Inside, the Alcantara-trimmed bucket seats are unforgivingly hard, but the digital display on the dash is neat.

It can switch between analogue dials or an aero-influenced readout, complete with G-force meter! Similar to the set-up in jet fighters, it shows the pull being exerted while braking, accelerating and cornering. So the car provides a remarkable experience, but is it really worth nearly £800,000? Well, all 20 examples of the Reventón have been sold – one is in the UK. For those buyers, the answer is an emphatic yes.

Rival: Bugatti Veyron
The Lamborghini is no match for the £810,000 Veyron on the road. But both are amazing to look at and true collectors’ items. As all Reventóns have been sold, well heeled fans of the exclusive supercar experience will have to go knocking on Bugatti’s door.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Evolution Of BMW M3

The BMW M3 is a high performance edition of the popular compact car BMW 3-series automobile, made by BMW. The first day operating a BMW M3 can be a bit challenging, but hold on and adjust, since the payoff is worth it.

By benefiting from the outstanding overall design of the chassis components, a skilled driver in a BMW M3 can achieve an exceptionally high level of lateral acceleration. Featuring large compound disc brakes and electronic anti-lock, stopping power for the new BMW M3 is strong, precise and consistent.

The question is whether or not this handsome beast is most beneficial for your pocket? Well, numerous individuals say yes, if you have the experience on how to manage your finances the right way, and purchase the correct car for your needs. There are numerous unique generations of the BMW M3, which of course translates into the price variations as well.

If you are have a smaller budget, but still want an M3, then you should go for a used one. On the other hand if you have a higher budget range, you can go for the newer models.

One thing to be keep in mind is that in luxury vehicles, older cars are in numerous respects as good as new.

There is a wide range and many styles of custom wheels to choose from, so a BMW M3 can be made as individual as the person who drives it. Now let us go through the various generations of the BMW M3.....


This is the earliest version of the BMW M3. Essentially as we know, the standard design of the M3, which is the sports version of the popular compact BMW 3 Series, was introduced here. The M badge carried not only the nature of this automobile being powerful, but also being stylish.

The power train was the 2.3 liters S14 engine, derived from the M10's inline-4 block, and the valve train and head architecture from BMWs notable but then historical M1 and later the singular M6's inline-6 cylinder. The first car resulted in 195 hp, then further retooled to 215 hp, and then to 238 hp.

The BMW M3 was initially fitted with a firmer and more aerodynamic body shell in addition to "box flared" fenders, which only the M6 had. This was basically to accommodate a wider track with bigger wheels and tires, which was typical of a muscle car.

People tend not to give much thought about the BMW M3 catalytic converter, nevertheless when it comes to the environment, it's one of the vehicle's most significant components. The BMW M3 is the most powerful M3 that BMW have produced this far and because of the environmental movement and recent down sizing movement possibly the most powerful that will be made until we have more environmental friendly choices to power our cars.


After 6 years this version of the BMW M3 was ushered in. This E36 coupe model got the 3.0 liters straight-6 engine, which created 286 hp. Four years later, this was increased to a higher power train of 321 hp, which was derived from a new 3.2 liters. As an alternative, a new SMG gearbox was integrated. Named as one of the best models manufactured, this car is still available.

Drivers of the race-bred BMW M3 can also orient the car's manner and performance because of the Mdrive, which is placed on the steering wheel for quick access to the vehicle setup kept in the Mdrive menu. The highly dynamic driving experience of the new BMW M3 is the outcome of the 50/50 front-rear weight distribution, rear wheel drive, recently designed chassis with specific, weight-optimized components, distinctive BMW M axle kinematics, forged aluminum track control arms, complex high-performance brake system and electronic damper control (edc).


This is the most recent version of the BMW M3. The principal batch of the E46 BMW M3 came in Laguna Seca Blue, with a more current SMG Drivelogic or the SMG II, producing a power of 343 hp. The M3 is also lower in gross weight than it past models. One of the reasons for this low weight is that the newer BMW M3 is the first production car in its industry segment to feature a roof constructed of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFP).

Author: Listen to Corbin Newlyn as he shares his insights as an expert author and an avid writer in the automotive field. If you would like to learn more go to BMW Dealership Comparison advice and at BMW Richmond information.
Credit to:

Sunday, September 23, 2007

What is a GPS System?

GPS stands for “Global Positioning System.” A GPS is a Global Navigation Satellite System that uses a number of satellites to send transmission data from earth, to the satellite, and back again.

A Global Positioning System requires the use of a receiver that enables the system to determine elements such as location, time, direction, and speed.

Today, it is common to see cars that have GPS systems included, however you may be surprised to discover that the GPS system was designed and developed by the United States Department of Defense. Originally, the system was referred to as the Navstar GPS, but today people simply refer to it as a GPS.

In addition to all of the military uses for a GPS system, civilians have found it to be an incredible navigational tool that is conductive for every day life.

If your car is stolen, you can track where it has been taken with GPS. You can program in your point of departure and destination and your GPS will give you complete directions for a trip. It can tell you how long your trip will take and the exact route you should take.

The GPS system is comprised of twenty-four satellites that circle the earth twice per day. The receiver contacts the satellite and in turn, can return a user’s exact location, including the time that the data was received from the satellite.

What is fascinating to note, is that when the satellite receives the information regarding the user’s location, it determines where the person is located, based on the amount of time it takes for the satellite to obtain the information from the receiver. This is a process known as triangulation.

Since there are twenty-four satellites in orbit, the GPS system doesn’t just rely on the information obtained from one. It uses several more satellites to create a latitude and longitude reading. Then, the system begins to add all of the coordinates and information together and creates an electronic map.

Today’s GPS systems are extremely accurate. The twenty-four satellites are constantly in motion, circling the earth. They have been estimated to travel at speeds of 7,000 miles per hour. They receive information by transmitting signals. The signals are low radio frequencies on channels L1 and L2.

However, although today’s GPS systems are far superior to when they were first in operation, back in 1978, there are still factors that can cause faulty signals and data.

Some of the most common factors that can affect the signal and its accuracy include delays in the Ionosphere and Troposphere, Signal multipaths, Clock errors in the receivers, Errors in Orbit, The number of Satellites that are visible, and a weak satellite signal.

The uses of a GPS system are vast, and they have helped increase and enhance safety for our citizens. In addition, the GPS system is a phenomenal navigational tool that is vital to every traveler.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Future Ford Focus?

Ford will unveil the Kuga, a small four-wheel-drive crossover based on the European market Focus C-Max, at the upcoming Frankfurt motor show.

Ford says Kuga balances style with technology and promises on-road dynamics coupled with off-road ability. The car goes on sale in Europe in early 2008.

The Kuga will be previewed alongside the new Ford Verve Concept small car that shows the company’s plan for the next Fiesta.

Kuga’s styling is based on the kinetic design shown in the iosis X concept car revealed at the 2006 Paris Motor Show, said John Fleming, the president and CEO, Ford of Europe. Strength and athleticism in the design are key attributes of the kinetic philosophy, highlighted in Kuga with bold graphics such as the trapezoidal front grills, rising belt-line and kick-up of the rear window graphic and the dramatic swept back headlamp shapes.

The rear-end design of Kuga also incorporates the graphic elements of “kinetic design” such as the high mounted tail lamps, facetted rear glass and sculptured rear bumper. The rear bumper integrates the tailpipes into the contours of the diffuser.

For production, Ford adjusted the Kuga’s coupé-like roof profile from the iosis X Concept to a slightly higher silhouette to accommodate five people.

“Kuga offers a rare blend of a wagon and SUV features together with coupé-like sporting qualities,” said Stephen Odell, vice president for Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe.

Ford said one of the challenges of the Kuga development team was to give the vehicle Ford’s driving quality while at the same time delivering off-road ability. For this reason, according to Ford, the Kuga will be available with an intelligent four-wheel-drive system which contributes to normal road use and helps give the vehicle an almost sporty dynamic ability. The fact that the Kuga will also be available as a front-wheel-drive only version emphasizes the crossover concept of the vehicle.

Kuga is powered by a 2.0-liter, 136-hp, common-rail diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Further details of the Kuga powertrain will be released closer to launch in early 2008.

The interior of the new Ford Kuga has a spacious feel—not because of the large panoramic glass roof fitted to the preview model and available as an option in production. The design of the instrument panel and center stack converge into a voluminous center console for maximum accessible storage. These interior components contribute to a comfortable surrounding for the driver and front seat passenger. The high seat and shoulder line position of the doors offers the opportunity for maximum glazed areas to give a light and airy environment for passengers and provides the driver a commanding view of their surroundings.

The materials chosen for Kuga’s interior also demonstrate the close links to the iosis X Concept. In Kuga we see again technical materials, fine leathers and striking orange piping. The Ebony interior is set off by a center console and details in the door which also feature the piano-white finish from iosis X. The luggage compartment is accessed via a split tailgate. All these elements together show how Ford intends to enable Kuga customers in the future to personalize their vehicle.

A hint of the technology coming in Kuga is seen in the new Blaupunkt navigation system which incorporates a 7- color display to show images from a rearview camera incorporated into the tailgate. This new feature, to aid reversing maneuvers, will find its way to the production version of the Kuga.

Friday, July 27, 2007

New Proton Sedan will be lunch!


Pic Cedit to:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

2009 BMW 7-Series Spy Shots

A refreshed BMW 7-Series is undergoing testing, and's spies have nabbed it a year before it goes on sale.

We're expecting the new 7-Series to have a completely new front end, similar to the 6-Series styling, and sources say the current model's extravagant design will be toned down quite a bit. The sedan should have a more elegant look than ever before. The position of the headlights and turn signals indicate low-mounted, wrap-around headlights and a wide grille, as well as a sleeker body and a more dramatic overall appearance.

In addition to the exterior updates, BMW will be introducing a new version of iDrive and, rumor has it, an eight-speed transmission.

The new 7-series is not expected to be released until sometime during the 2008 calendar year, and will arrive as a 2009 model.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

9 Ways To Lower Your Auto Insurance Costs

1. Shop Around

Prices vary from company to company, so it pays to shop around. Get at least three price quotes. You can call companies directly or access information on the Internet. Your state insurance department may also provide comparisons of prices charged by major insurers. (State insurance department phone numbers and Web sites can be found here.)

You buy insurance to protect you financially and provide peace of mind. It's important to pick a company that is financially stable. Check the financial health of insurance companies with rating companies such as A.M. Best ( and Standard & Poor’s ( and consult consumer magazines.

Get quotes from different types of insurance companies. Some sell through their own agents. These agencies have the same name as the insurance company. Some sell through independent agents who offer policies from several insurance companies. Others do not use agents. They sell directly to consumers over the phone or via the Internet.

Don't shop price alone. Ask friends and relatives for their recommendations. Contact your state insurance department to find out whether they provide information on consumer complaints by company. Pick an agent or company representative that takes the time to answer your questions. You can use the checklist on the back of this brochure to help you compare quotes from insurers and on the same coverage.

2. Before You Buy a Car, Compare Insurance Costs

Before you buy a new or used car, check into insurance costs. Car insurance premiums are based in part on the car’s sticker price, the cost to repair it, its overall safety record, and the likelihood of theft. Many insurers offer discounts for features that reduce the risk of injuries or theft. These include daytime running lights and anti-theft devices. To help you decide what car to buy, you can get information from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (

3. Ask for Higher Deductibles

Deductibles are what you pay before your insurance policy kicks in. By requesting higher deductibles, you can lower your costs substantially. For example, increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your collision and comprehensive coverage cost by 15 to 30 percent. Going to a $1,000 deductible can save you 40 percent or more. Before choosing a higher deductible, be sure you have enough money set aside to pay it if you have a claim.

4. Reduce Coverage on Older Cars

Consider dropping collision and/or comprehensive coverages on older cars. If your car is worth less than 10 times the premium, purchasing the coverage may not be cost effective. Auto dealers and banks can tell you the worth of cars. Or you can look it up online at Kelley’s Blue Book ( Review your coverage at renewal time to make sure your insurance needs haven’t changed.

5. Buy your Homeowners and Auto Coverage from the Same Insurer

Many insurers will give you a break if you buy two or more types of insurance. You may also get a reduction if you have more than one vehicle insured with the same company. Some insurers reduce the rates for long-time customers. But it still makes sense to shop around! You may save money buying from different insurance companies, compared with a multi-policy discount.

6. Maintain a Good Credit Record

Establishing a solid credit history can cut your insurance costs. Insurers are increasingly using credit information to price auto insurance policies. To protect your credit standing, pay your bills on time, don't obtain more credit than you need and keep your credit balances as low as possible. Check your credit record on a regular basis and have any errors corrected promptly so that your record remains accurate.

7. Take Advantage of Low Mileage Discounts

Some companies offer discounts to motorists who drive a lower than average number of miles a year. Low mileage discounts can also apply to drivers who car pool to work.

8. Ask about Group Insurance

Some companies offer reductions to drivers who get insurance through a group plan from their employers, through professional, business and alumni groups, or other associations. Ask your employer and inquire with groups or clubs you are a member of to see if this is possible.

9. Seek Out Other Discounts

Companies offer discounts to policyholders who have not had any accidents or moving violations for a number of years. You may also get a discount if you take a defensive driving course. If there is a young driver on the policy who is a good student, has taken a drivers education course or is at a college out of the area without a car, you may also qualify for a lower rate.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Ford tried to bit the time

Ford executives bemoan the fact that their turnaround is looking better internally, but that the company is outwardly fighting a perception gap that its vehicles aren't as good as those made by some Japanese companies.

Mark Fields, Ford president of theAmericas, said the company is making good headway at stabilizing its market share. Ford has lost market share in the U.S. for eleven consecutive years, he explains, but its new product line - which he described as "the strongest in the company's history" - is giving the struggling carmaker a shot at finally ending the slide. Ford is actually ahead of schedule in stabilizing its market share at about 14 to 15 percent, one goal of its Way Forward restructuring plan, Fields said. The company's newest products such as the Mercury Milan and Ford Fusion, have been boosted by an aggressive marketing campaign, and have increased their sales this year. The Ford Edge is now outselling the Toyota Highlander and the Lincoln brand has become one of the fastest-growing luxury brands in the market, Fields added. The new Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner also have been doing very well and have given Ford added traction in the rapidly expanding crossover segment, which had been dominated by Asian brands. In May, 52 percent of Ford's sales were cars or crossovers, and same trend is holding true during June. Fields said it's the first time since 1994 that Ford's cars are outselling its trucks and minivans. The 2008 model year lineup includes the revived Taurus and Sable sedans and the updated Taurus X crossover. Formerly the Five Hundred, Montego, and Freestyle, the changes to the products went beyond the badges, said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's product development. A total of 500 hundred different engineering changes were made to the vehicles for 2008. Exterior mirror housings, for example, were notched to help improve fuel economy and reduce wind noise in the cabin. The Ford Focus also being revamped for the fall. While the 2008 Focus is built on a carryover platform, it's quieter inside and has been outfitted with features such as an iPod jack and Ford's new Sync system, which uses Bluetooth technology to enable hands-free calling. The upgrades to the interior of the vehicle will give the look and feel of a new car, Ford promises. The automaker is preparing, in fact, to make the Focus the centerpiece of a major marketing push, officials said. Kuzak also said even though the 2008 Ford F-150 is in the final year of its life cycle, an admission Ford officials have generally avoided up until now, the company has approved several enhancements including a new cargo organizer system and a built-in tool box. A new King Ranch version of the F-Series is being brought back and the back-up assist that shows a picture of what's directly in back of the tailgate on the rearview mirror is also available as option. A Chip Foose version of the F-150 also is in the works, he said. "Customers are telling us they like the product," added Fields, who noted the company's market share is stabilizing even as it reduces its dependence on fleet sales. "What we're telling people is to put us on their shopping lists," added Fields, admitting the company has to change customer perceptions. Going forward, Ford expects to concentrate its resources on safety, fuel economy, reducing cabin noise, and features such as electrically assisted power steering where the company already is a leader. Fields also said Ford essentially has met its goal of cutting 14,000 salaried jobs. Ford was seeking to reduce white-collar employment by 10,000 this year, in addition to about 4000 who left last year. "We actually are done with that,'' Fields said. "We do have some folks that are staying with us a little bit longer, through the remainder of the year, in some critical positions.'' About 27,000 U.S. hourly workers have left Dearborn-based Ford under buyout or early retirement offers as part of its effort to pare down its workforce, and Fields reiterated that number on Friday. Fields, however, also admitted the company faces substantial challenges, including repaying the $23 billion it borrowed last winter.

"Time is not our friend," he said.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Mazda Tribute Hybrid

Mazda will unveil the all-new 2008 Mazda Tribute Hybrid-Electric Vehicle (HEV) at the 2007 North American International Auto Show. With a hydrogen-powered version of the RX-8 and a hydrogen-powered hybrid version of the MAZDA 5 undergoing extensive testing in Japan, the Tribute HEV is the latest environmentally friendly vehicle to join the Mazda lineup.

2008 Mazda Tribute Hybrid Electric Vehicle Features

  • A special 2.3-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine features Atkinson-cycle combustion for improved efficiency and produces 133 horsepower at 6,000 rpm.
  • A 70-kWatt (equivalent to 94 horsepower) electric traction motor provides an added boost to the drive wheels when maximum acceleration is desired.
  • A generator-motor recharges the batteries, starts the engine and helps regulate how the two propulsion channels blend together in the transaxle.
  • A special electronically controlled, continuously variable transmission (eCVT) harnesses internal combustion and electric power sources to drive the vehicle.
  • A 330-volt nickel-metal-hydride battery pack located and sealed at the rear load floor stores electrical energy.
  • An electronic vehicle system controller manages charging, drive assist and engine-starting functions. This device shuts the engine down during coasting and at stoplights to save fuel. It also converts the traction motor into a generator during braking to help recharge the batteries.
  • Wednesday, May 23, 2007

    Who exactly would pay £4.7 million for a Ferrari, even a really nice 330 Testa Rossa, asks Tim Pollard

    So a Le Mans-winning 1962 Ferrari 330 TRI/LM Testa Rossa Spyder has just sold for a record £4.7 million. I can just imagine the oohs and ahhs echoing around the Leggenda e Passione sale in Italy, competing for attention above the champagne corks and congratulatory back-slapping.

    I recognise this rare vehicle is incredibly special. Phil Hill's company car was the last front-engined Ferrari sports car. Arguably the most accomplished racer ever to wear the Pracing Horse badge even. And achingly beautiful to boot. But is it really worth £4.7 million?

    This got me thinking. Being a mere journalist, I find it hard to comprehend such values. They're out of reach for us mere mortals, yet you've got to admire the balls of the collectors who stump up such wallet-wilting sums of money. On the face of it, no construct of metal, rubber and glass can ever be worth nearly five mill, can it? And yet this car is steeped with history of the very finest order and I applaud those who choose to save them for posterity. I just pray the buyers see the car as a spiritual, rather than merely financial, investment.

    Still, it's not as crazy as Michael Schumacher's pants. A set of his racing underwear went for $742. I hope the buyer displays them prominently on his mantlepiece.

    Thursday, April 26, 2007

    Honda Unveils "Honda Small Hybrid Sports Concept" at The 2007 Geneva Motorshow

    GENEVA, Switzerland, March 6, 2007–Honda has unveiled a concept model which represents its interpretation of how a future hybrid model might appear. Honda Small Hybrid Sports Concept, a design study model, demonstrates a unique fusion of advanced environmental technology, exciting styling and fun-to-drive characteristics. This is its world premiere for the model, which has been penned by the design studio at Honda R&D Europe based in Offenbach, Germany. The Small Hybrid Sports Concept is conceived around a front-wheel drive, small car platform and is powered by a Honda IMA 4-cylinder petrol/electric hybrid system driving through a CVT transmission. It explores the idea that a car can have a low environmental impact yet still deliver all the driving enjoyment expected of a compact sports car.

    The aerodynamic design is characterised by curvaceous and contoured surfaces contrasting with sharp “folded” edges. The short front and rear overhangs, together with wheelarches that wrap tightly around large wheels, further enhance the dramatic looks of this sports coupe. An accentuated, arrow-like nose features a full width air intake with Civic family overtones. This sweeps forward into a distinct protruding centre section complete with ‘H’ logo.

    The Concept model’s fluid lines are created by a steeply raked windscreen which extends back above the occupants’ heads where it meets a one piece glass roof. This in turn flows rearwards to give the car its fastback styling, terminating in a distinctive and futuristic 3D floating glass design – a concave element which forms an additional vertical window. At its base, further distinction is provided by a ‘floating’ LED tail light unit that stretches across the full width of the car. At its centre, the glass panel extends downwards and contains an illuminated ‘Small Hybrid Sports’ name plate.

    The Hybrid Sports Concept is equipped with 165/60 section tyres mounted on 20-inch distinctive rims. Their dimension supports low rolling resistance without compromising sporty driving.

    Compact external dimensions lend themselves to nimble, agile performance on the road and help to ensure a good power to weight ratio. 4000 mm in length, 1270 mm tall and 1760 mm wide, and the 2350 mm wheelbase, in conjunction with a sports suspension, delivers stable and predictable handling characteristics.

    The body is particularly aerodynamically efficient and compact. Rear-facing digital cameras take the place of conventional door mirrors.

    Thursday, April 19, 2007

    Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia Revealed

    The Cayenne S is a sporting all-round performer. Compare to the “regular” version of the Cayenne S. the Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia has been modified on a number of points enhancing both safety and the car's racing performance.

    The Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia is a car tailored specifically to the requirements of long distance rally racing. The power unit of the Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia has been adopted from regular road version of the Cayenne S with hardly any changes. Output of this 4.8-liter natural aspiration V8 with direct gasoline injection remains 385 bhp (283kW) at 6200 rpm. VarioCam plus valve management ensures a smooth and consistent surge of power throughout the entire speed range. Despite the increase in power over the previous Cayenne generation, the new 4.8-liter reduces fuel consumption by approximately 15%, giving the Cayenne S a significantly longer cruising range than before – obviously a big advantage in a long distant rally. In fact, the engine is also able to run on a mixture of a gasoline and ethanol, with up to 25% of the latter. A sports exhaust system reduced for minimum weight creates a particluarly powerful and muscular sound. Like all other models in the Cayenne range, the Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia also comes with Porsche Traction Management (PTM) permanent all wheel drive. In it's basic mode, PTM feeds 62% of the engine torque to the rear wheels and 38% to the front.Then a multiple-plate clutch controlled electonically is able to vary the distribution of power as a function of driving conditions, feeding as much as 100% of the engine's power completely to the front or rear, if necessary. A transverse lock fitted additionally in the Cayenne S Transsyberia serves to enhance offroad driving qualities to an even higher standard (and is also available in the regular production model as part of an optional Offroad Technology Package). Reinforce and extra large underfloor protection panels made of aluminum and an additional cover made of stanless steel for the exhaust tailpipes protect from damage.

    Particularly in heavy terrain, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), interacting with air suspension and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) enhances traction to an even higher standard. And should the driver activate the low-range mode on the six-speed automatic transmission, PDCC will automatically switch over to the offroad mode. Thus the system allows maximum articulation of the axles. In the Special Offroad Mode provided by the air suspension, the maximum depth when crossing rivers and streams etc. is approximately 75cm. Ans using the flexible air filter snorkel, the air intake has been moved up even further to the roof of the vehicle, ensuring that the front wave typical when crossing water is not able to reach, let alone enter, the intake manifold.

    The wheels and suspension of the cayenne have also been modified for th extreme, long term demands of the rough tracks and rocky surfaces. As an example, the doublearm front axle comes with reinforced track control arms. The usual high-speed tyres fitted in the regular model are replaced by special offroad tyres measuring 255/55 R 18 T. The tyres themselves are fitted on 18inch “Cayenne S II” light-alloy wheels and the rim hubs are finished in orange, like on the Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

    To offer both driver and passenger even better protection, the Cayenne S Transsyberia comes with a safety cage bolted on to the passenger cell that follow the rules and requirements of the FIA Motorsport Authority, with the driver also being protected by an airbag for extra safety. To set off the extra weight of the safety cage and rally equipment, and to further lower the vehicle's centre of gravity, the rear seat bench, interior body panels and cound proofing material have all been removed from the car. Both the driver and front passenger enjoy the benefits of lightweight sports seats.

    Extra large air intake scoops testify to the car's superior power and performance. On the tailgate the Cayenne S Transsyberia boasts a roof spoiler with a double-wing profile fitted in position to provide even greater stability at high speeds. The front and rear air dams, in turn, are finished in stainless steel, and orange coloured wheels give the Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia a portive look. At the side this special rally model proudly boasts orange-coloured stripes bearing the name “Cayenne S Transsyberia 2007” in a look similar to that of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS. The Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia is available exclusively in 2 special colour schemes – either Basalt Balck Metallic or Chrystal Silver Metallic. And matching the model designation at the sides as well as the wheel rims, contrasting elements such as exterior mirrors, the rear wing or the additional headlights are all finished in orange. Four additional headlights are fitted on the roof and to successfully master particularly difficult and demanding terrain, as well as to salvage other vehicles, the Cayenne S Transsyberia comes with a winch easy to fit if necessary.

    The Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia comes as standard with a navigation unit enabling the team to plan their routes also off the beaton track. The glove compartment is replaced on this special model by a Tripmaster computer. The regular foot operated brake is replaced by a hand brake enabling the driver to understeer the vehicle intentionally in a tight bend. The luggage compartment also comes with two 20 liter reserve cans, and two transport boxes for tools.

    VW releases Tiguan minisite ahead of Frankfurt launch

    Volkswagen has launched a microsite for its all-new Tiguan crossover, months ahead of the compact SUV's world debut in September at the Frankfurt motor show.

    The site features actual driving scenes and downloadable features. VW says the microsite will permit prospective buyers to follow the Tiguan's development, from showcar to production. In June, users will be able to take a virtual test-drive and operate a configurator to sample different trim and performance levels.

    Visitors to the site can register for regular updates on the Tiguan, view an exclusive Web premiere closer to its launch and enter a competition draw for tickets to the Frankfurt motor show. More information will be revealed in the months leading up to the vehicle's official introduction.

    The Tiguan made its first public appearance last year as a concept at the Los Angeles auto show. The Tiguan goes into production in November but won't be available in Australian showrooms until 2008 (more here).

    Friday, April 13, 2007

    2007 Acura MDX

    Vehicle OverviewAcura introduced its MDX as a 2001 model. Before long, the midsize sport utility vehicle from Honda's luxury division began to tally impressive sales totals. Shoppers even faced waiting lists for the car-based seven-passenger MDX, which is loaded with luxury features. For 2007, the MDX has been redesigned, gaining more horsepower and Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, as well as numerous options.The MDX competes against such rivals as the BMW X5, Lexus RX 350 and Mercedes-Benz M-Class. It features Bluetooth connectivity, variable power-assist steering, a tire pressure monitoring system and a 5,000-pound tow rating for 2007.ExteriorWith the 2007 redesign, Acura went for a more integrated look in the MDX's rear quarters. No longer does the rear glass area look tacked on. Instead, conventional A-, B- and C-pillars are in place, and the overall look is more similar to BMW's X SUVs than Lexus models.The grille is more pronounced, with two planes of metal framing the Acura caliper badge. Side views show a pronounced, almost fender-like arch over the wheel wells. At the rear, there is an integrated bumper and an overall smooth, chiseled appearance.The MDX comes with 18-inch wheels and high-intensity-discharge low-beam headlights. A Sport Package adds auto-leveling xenon headlights and a different wheel design.InteriorThe MDX carries seven people and has a 10-way power driver's seat that can remember settings for two drivers. Front passengers have to make do with eight-way adjustment. There are also standard heated front seats, automatic three-zone climate control and a cargo space that can be configured six ways depending on how the seats are folded.An Entertainment Package includes a rear DVD entertainment system with wireless headphones and remote, a 110-volt power outlet in the center console, second-row heated outboard seats and a remote-operated power tailgate.The Technology Package includes Acura's voice-recognition navigation system, real-time traffic information and a GPS-linked, solar-sensing automatic climate control system.The Sport Package adds leather seating surfaces and metallic accents to various trim pieces.Under the HoodThe 2007 MDX gets a bigger engine that produces more power and torque. The 3.7-liter V-6 turns out 300 horsepower and 275 pounds-feet of torque, up from 253 hp and 250 pounds-feet of torque in the previous model. The engine is mated to a five-speed automatic with sequential manual shifting. Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system is standard. The Sport Package adds an active damper system.SafetyDual-stage front airbags, side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor for all three rows of seats are standard. For 2007, both the driver and front passenger get knee airbags and active head restraints. All-disc antilock brakes are installed.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2007

    New Cab at New York?

    Kia Motors America Partners With the Design Trust for Public Space to Celebrate the Centennial of the Modern-Day Taxi

    In honor of the 100th anniversary of the modern-day taxi in New York City, the all-new Kia Rondo crossover is among the vehicles to be reinvented into an iconic yellow cab, as part of Taxi '07, a project of the Design Trust for Public Space. This new collaborative process is intended to engage design professionals in fundamental civic planning.

    Automakers were challenged to incorporate practical solutions into their taxi prototypes, addressing areas such as partitions that incorporate passenger services, roof lights with improved legibility, integrated child safety seats, wheelchair accessibility and fuel efficiency.

    The all-new Kia Rondo, which offers innovative design, packaging and driving dynamics, provides both drivers and passengers with a spacious, comfortable and safe ride while occupying a small footprint - an ideal combination for New York City streets. Not only is Rondo's footprint smaller than the Ford Crown Victoria, NYC's leading taxi, it is also more fuel-efficient.

    Kia Motors America (KMA) collaborated with a consortium of NYC-based design firms led by Smart Design to build two Rondo taxi prototypes. Both vehicles were built to be safer, more accessible and more efficient than a conventional cab. The design solutions developed by Smart Design, along with Antenna Design and Birsel + Seck, have greatly improved the user experience for both the passengers and driver. Antenna Design worked to create a more legible taxi roof light, which quickly communicates the cab's availability status in a variety of lighting situations. Smart Design with Birsel + Seck designed an interior space that keeps the driver's belongings organized and accessible, and installed an L-shaped partition to protect the driver while creating a more open social environment for the passengers. A Bruno motorized front passenger seat for those with limited mobility as well as an integrated, fold-down child seat were added for extra passenger accessibility, comfort and safety.

    saurce: Worldcarfans

    Tuesday, April 10, 2007

    2007 BMW 3 Series Convertible

    The 2007 BMW 3 Series Convertible is a 2-door, 4-passenger luxury convertible, available in two trims, the 328i and the 335i.

    Upon introduction, the 328i is equipped with a standard 3.0-liter, I6, 230-horsepower engine that achieves 19-mpg in the city and 29-mpg on the highway. The 335i is equipped with a standard 3.0-liter, I6, 300-horsepower, turbo engine that achieves 19-mpg in the city and 28-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard on both trims, and a 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is optional.

    The 2007 BMW 3 Series Convertible is redesigned for 2007.

    Friday, April 6, 2007

    2nd Generation Toyota Vios in Malaysia?

    Rumour is that the new 2nd generation Toyota VIOS on our market will also offer a 1.3 liter version priced somewhere between the Perodua Myvi and the VIOS 1.5 liter, about 65k or so, which will definitely prove to be a Proton killer. But then again, rumours and word of mouth shall remain just that, just rumours, until any official announcement or press release. There are plenty of rumours going around of so-called pending new models to be released soon, they usually center around the Nissan Note and the Toyota Ractic being offered at impossible RM4x,xxx price ranges.

    After New VIOS launched in Thailand on 9 March 2007. The rumors already arrived Malaysia for the same reason. Is it will be true just wait and see unless there is official announcement or press confrence nothing can be confirm.

    Pix credit to Paultan

    New Produa Model car will be launch?

    Is this is the new model of Produa after Myvi. This picture I received from my officemate via email. The Produa seems to be launch new model after Myvi SE. The rumors already heard that this model will be launch around May or end April. The engine is about 1000cc with fuel injection system. Not much info for this car right now and for more info please check this lastest model once it launch next month.