ಬುಧವಾರ, ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್ 28, 2011

SUVs Less Dangerous To Others*

A new study by the IIHS shows that SUVs which strike cars of a similar weight are now not more dangerous than other types of vehicles.  This is great news, as it shows that automakers have been taking the interface issue seriously.   By adjusting the heights of crash structures, moving towards unibody designs, and improving crumple on light SUVs, automakers have been able to meet or even exceed sedan crash performance.  


The study looks at crashes where vehicles collide which are within 500lbs in weight of each other.  It does not say much about crashes where the vehicles are farther apart, for example a 5000lb SUV striking a 3500lb car.  In cases like those, injuries and deaths are still going to be lopsided, with the occupants of the lighter vehicle suffering more damage.  

This chart from IIHS is telling, it shows how heavier vehicles tend to have higher partner death rates than lighter ones.  

At the end of the day, a larger, heavier vehicle is still safer, for the people riding in it.  But not necessarily for the others on the road.

Chicago Movers and its Efficient Packing Facilities

The Chicago movers can do all sort of moving service from local move to piano move in a most well-organized way and the local movers utilize tissue papers while packing your fragile items and create your own packing list. They do not pack delicate items with weighty items and hold all your valuables in the moving truck. Along with packing service the local movers make available the order boxes as per your condition. Order boxes are required because segregation of things is necessary while packing and you cannot pack delicate items with additional items so separate boxes are required for each and every thing. The Chicago mover make available of different moving boxes like book box, linen box, china box, picture box and wardrobe box for our packing convenience.

Order for a most excellent order boxes and packing service beside with packing paper and packing tape and forever have a preference the local movers who do the moving service in a specialized way. There are several skilled Chicago mover who provide the professional moving service in a reasonably priced with customer satisfaction. Whatever the moving types, constantly the customer’s convenience is Chicago movers because the moving companies act as a local movers as well as long distance movers, etc and does all types of moving service with self moving services.

ಮಂಗಳವಾರ, ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್ 27, 2011

My Sad HP Tale

I decided to replace my stuttering old Dell Optiplex desktop (Core 2 circa 2008) with a new desktop.  I saw a very good deal on Woot!--an HP Pavilion with a quad core AMD CPU and 1TB HDD for all of $300.  It was, of course, refurbished.

That was a mistake.

The HP came loaded down with crapware (trials, useless media players, etc.).  The Pavilion case was made of very thin metal, and thing made a lof of an and drive noise compared to my old machine.  But the worse part was that it came broken.  Despite having 4 RAM slots, the motherboard would not boot if I put more than 2 sticks of memory in it.  HP agreed this was an issue, but informed me my machine was out of warranty.  After several long phone calls with customer service (in India) I finally got them to extend my warranty to the proper 90 days, and accept the machine for repair.

It came back with a new motherboard, and would accept more memory.  But this one would run for a seemingly random amount of time, and then freeze solid. It wouldn't even write the errors into the Windows system log, so I had no way of knowing what was wrong.

The machine went back to Woot for a refund, and I bought a factory refurbished Dell Optiplex 780, with Intel Core 2 Quad CPU.  

The Dell Optiplex came with no crapware, other than a a free trial for a virus scanner, which was easily removed.  The machine is quiet, and fast, and with a free web coupon, it was cheap too.  And, unlike the HP, the Dell came with a 3 year warranty, and an actual restore DVD.

ಬುಧವಾರ, ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್ 21, 2011

Honda Releases Details on Honda Fit Electric Concept

honda fit

Honda didn't stole the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, but Honda used the stage to present some of its greener prototypes, its EV Concept.

The Honda EV Concept is designed to meet the daily driving needs of the average commuter and utilizes the same five-passenger layout found in the popular Honda Jazz Fit.

When the production version of the Honda EV Concept hits the streets in 2012, it will be powered by a lithium-ion battery and coaxial electric motor. The motor, derived from the unit found in the FCX Clarity fuel cell car, is efficient and powerful while remaining quiet at highway speeds according to Honda.

Source: http://www.autoblog.com

2011 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS - Pick of the Litter

2011 porsche 911 gts

Twenty-two. That's how many Porsche 911 variants are available right now. And by this time next year, this one – the 2011 Porsche 911 GTS – would be the pick of the litter. It's the definition of the daily-driver's supercar and comes equipped with everything you need. It's perfect and you might need it now.

Source: http://www.autoblog.com/

ಸೋಮವಾರ, ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್ 19, 2011

The I3 Is The New I4?

Ford has unveiled a GTDI (gasoline turbocharged direct injection) 3 cylinder engine, which they brand Ecoboost.  The 1.0L inline 3 will power the Fiesta and Focus C-Max in Europe in 2012, and will be competitive in power to the 1.6L I4 Ford currently offers, according to Ford's PR.  That means HP and torque numbers around 100-120HP and 110-120 ft-lb of torque.   Due to reduced weight and the variable-displacement effect of turbo charging, fuel economy numbers will be big.

Getting 100+ HP out of 1.0L is impressive, and matches the power output of such high-end makers such as Audi, BMW, and Porsche.  

The only other automaker that I have heard was working on a 3-cylinder engine, potentially for North America, was BMW (Mini).

Ford hasn't announced North American plans for the 1.0L Ecoboost, but I expect it will show up here eventually in Fiesta and possibly as a base engine for the Focus.   People will have to get used to such a small engine, and only 3 cylinders, but thanks to CAFE, very small engines are the way of the future. 

ಗುರುವಾರ, ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್ 15, 2011

ಗುರುವಾರ, ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್ 8, 2011

Volvo Kills V8

So I'm a few months late, but I just now noticed that for 2012, Volvo is no longer offering the Yamaha sourced narrow bank V8 (4.4L, 311HP) on the XC90.  It was available in 2011, offering a dismal EPA fuel economy of 16MPG combined.

I never liked the idea of Volvo selling a V8.  Volvo has for many years been known for inline engines (I5 and I6), often hopped up with turbos.  This allowed them to stretch for performance without giving up too much fuel economy.  

The last Volvo I owned was a naturally aspirated I5.  It wasn't quick, but it got the job done, and I was able ot average around 26MPG around town.

No Buick Wagon For U.S.


According to a Buick spokesman who spoke to Edmunds, there won't be a Buick wagon for the U.S.  

Won't someone build a fun-to-drive wagon for the U.S. market?  Hello?  

ಸೋಮವಾರ, ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್ 5, 2011

Ducati Diavel AMG debuts in Frankfurt

ducati diavel amg

Ducati and AMG are all set to promote their new partnership at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. That is the stage where the two performance brands will unveil the the Ducati Diavel AMG Special Edition. The bike starts out with the Diavel Carbon model upgraded with special wheels, radiator grilles, exhaust and Alcantara saddle.

ಗುರುವಾರ, ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್ 1, 2011

2013 Lexus GS 450h debuts in Frankfurt

2013 Lexus GS 450h

Lexus was not happy with the open-handed slap Infiniti dealt in the sports sedan war. These two are the ones playing the game but Lexus us not going to be quiet in the battle because the automaker has been planning to launch a new weapon to the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The German auto show will be the place where the 2013 Lexus GS 450h will make its debut worldwide. No details has been released so far for the four door sedan but it may utilize the current 450h's 3.5-liter V6 in combination with an electric motor.