ಬುಧವಾರ, ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ 29, 2012

False Messiah

Comment spammers keep posting links to videos on Youtube about Ahn Sahng-hong.  He was the leader of a Korean church splintered from the 7th Day Adventists, and his followers are apparently convinced he was the Messiah.  Bizarre.

ಸೋಮವಾರ, ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ 27, 2012

Chicago Movers for Stress Free Relocation

Moving your home can be a great stress and a resource of physical exhaustion due to many traumatic projects provided in the whole procedure. One may face a lot of problems involved in the procedure of shifting and transfer from one place to another. To avoid all this problem and tension, you should search for help of some experts that can help you out in going your family products from your resource of getaway to the new getaway. If you ever find yourself confused in this clutter, it means you need help of a trusted and respected going organizations that can take the entire problem of your transfer process.

Chicago movers stress free relocation

A good moving organization would offer you everything in its solutions such as supplying, running, unloading and unpacking to ordering of your useful family or workplace items. These organizations have a team of devoted personnel that is professional in its job and can guarantee you with protected and safe carry of your items. For a wide range of transfer solutions such as supplying, transport, going, running, unloading, unpacking and ordering of your useful items, you'll require searching thoroughly for the best organization in your area.

In obtain to enhance their transfer solutions, many companies also offer insurance solutions, package services, courier services, international shifting, sea cargo services, air freight services, transportation services, warehousing and storage services. For a well-known supplying and movers, you should look for the quality, quick, cost-effective, economic and trusted relocation services. The services can be used for local, nationwide as well as worldwide transfer or shifting. With consistent upgrades in their services, Chicago movers in Illinois are getting popular in each and every part of various places.

ಶುಕ್ರವಾರ, ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ 24, 2012

Ram: Selling With Euro Sex?

Sex sells.  Put an attractive and barely clad model in a car commercial and men's heads will swivel towards the candy.

The new Ram being advertised looks like a luxuried-up version, similar to the Ford F150 Platinum, with a nice interior and tasteful bling.  Fine.

What confuses me about the new Ram ad on Youtube, "The Dark Side of Ram", is that it has a sort of Euro supermodel / James Bond feel to it.

But isn't Ram a domestic, "all American" sort of blue collar brand?  I don't get the marketing here.

I wonder what DeLorenzo has to say?

ಬುಧವಾರ, ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ 22, 2012

Volvo releases new S60 TTA racing car

In racing car series VOLVO is not the new name, it dominates the European racing cars. Now Volvo and Polestar combines to dominate the Swedish racing car championship. Volvo has other plans to change over to the TTA Racing Elite League. Rather than this Volvo and Polestar fielded in STCC and WTCC , the TTA exposed based on S60 sedan. It has 420 horse power and V6 driving and rear wheels through a 6 speed sequential gear box and it is boosted KERS regenerative braking system.
But the New S60 TTA is shaded by baby blue and has 450 horse power all wheel drive C30 prototype.

Motorsport show should be cool, exciting and fair. Volvo will fight with our competitors for selling best models. They are actually going forward to TTA -Racing Elite League 2012.

Feature of New Volvo S60 TTA

Length : 470 mm
Height : 1205 mm
Width : 1970 mm
Wheelbase : 2750 mm
Suspension : Double wishbone, three-way dampers
Track width : 1660 mm front/1630 mm rear
Body : Carbon fibre
Engine : V6 with hybrid system
Power : 420 BHP
Gearbox : 6-speed sequential paddles on steering wheel
Hybrid system : Kinetic Energy Recovery System
Brakes: Front : 4-piston calipers, 370 mm ventilated discs
Rear wing : 1600 mm width/300 mm depth
Rear : 4-piston calipers, 360 mm ventilated discs
Rims : 18″ with centre wheel nut
Front : 260/660-18
Back : 280/660-18

Newt's A Tool

From the Detroit News:

"You can't put a gun rack in a Volt," Gingrich said in a line that drew cheers at a speech in Georgia this weekend, and is now appearing in his stump speech. "We believe in the right to bear arms and we like to bear the arms in our trucks."

Seriously, Newt, stop the pandering.  You're a wealthy former history professor and politician, not the kind of guy who drives a truck with a gun rack.  When was the last time you went game hunting?

No one puts a gun rack in a sedan.  And if you want to safely carry a pistol, there's plenty of room in a Volt or any other car for one of these locking pistol vaults

Stop promising moon bases.  You're done.  Go back home and spend some time with wife #3.

Gun Rack In A Volt

Open letter to Newt: "You can put a gun rack in a Chevrolet Volt!".  LOL.


ಭಾನುವಾರ, ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ 19, 2012

Volvo launches low priced cars

Volvo-new-low-priced-carsThe Chinese owned Swedish car manufacturer Volvo Auto India plans to change its pricing strategy by introducing cheaper 3 models of its four models. They also plan to introduce a small car that will compete with the likes of BMW and Audi India’s Q3.

They had launched new version of S60, S80 sedans and XC60 sports utility vehicle, it all driven by a 2-litre diesel engine. It costs below Rs. 6 lakh cheaper than the 2.4 liter diesel engine. They said that the price was decreased due to raising the sales to 20,000 vehicles a year by 2020.

Tomas Ernberg managing director of Volvo Auto India told that he was faced a lot of question regarding the pricing compared with other luxury brands. They told that the decreasing price will also help to find more dealerships.

ಶುಕ್ರವಾರ, ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ 17, 2012

ಗುರುವಾರ, ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ 16, 2012

Tesla and Daimler combined to make electric car

Tesla and Daimler have combined to build a new electric car Mercedes-Benz. As by the fourth-quarter earnings report of Tesla, they will supply a full power train includes a motor, inverter, transmission and necessary software for an unnamed electric Mercedes-Benz. Tesla will start this work on second quarter of this year. The report not tells about the production time.

Tesla and Daimler is the best combination, because they are not strangers in car markets. Tesla is a Silicon Valley based company that manufactures and sells electric cars. Tesla is the first company that produces the first fully electric sports car.

Tesla also selling an electric powertrain component that includes lithium-ion battery to other manufactures like Daimler and Toyota.Daimler is manufacturing small electric vehicle. Mercedes-Benz already got the impression at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor show by releasing their B-Class E-Cell Plus. It’s lithium-ion battery was made by the joint venture of Daimler and Evonik. It was considered as curious car.

ಬುಧವಾರ, ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ 15, 2012

JD Power 3YIS Survey Observations

The latest J.D. Power 3-year dependability survey is out.  I have colored the excellent Detroit News chart to show which brands improved and which ones got worse.  A few observations.

The industry average got significantly better, by 19 problems/100 vehicles.  

Luxury brands Lincoln, Acura, infinity, and Jaguar bucked the trend and fell in their ranking.  Jaguar's 3yis number went up by a whopping 60 problems/100 vehicles.  I'm guessing it is due to software/electronic problems.

Toyota made a good improvement, and it's young Scion brand made huge gains, 55 defects.

Hyundai improved (not suprising) but Kia fell (odd, since they are closely related).

GM, and particularly Cadillac, made big improvements.  Oddly, GMC is much worse than average.

Chrysler is now dead last, with its brands taking the bottom four slots.  Chrysler must to get their game up on quality (and I am sure that they know it) or they will not be able to compete.  

The Smugness of Tesla

I am watching the Telsa Model X presentation video (here).

At one point, when Elon Musk argues that electric vehicles produce less CO2 than gasoline vehicles, even when power is generated from fossil fuels, he puts up a map of west Virginia (heavly coal user), which he calls "worst case situation', with comic pauses.  The audience laughs.  Then comes a map of Vermont, which generates its power from hydroelectric, nuclear, and other cleaner alternatives.  Applause. 

If I was Elon Musk, I would be a little more humble.  The people of West Virginia help to subsidize a $500 million loan to Tesla, to build a plant in Calfornia.  

ಮಂಗಳವಾರ, ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ 14, 2012

NHTSA's Coming Backup Camera Mandate?

According to Automotive News, the NHTSA is going to announce a backup camera mandate to try to reduce injuries from drivers backing over pedestrians.  

I am not in favor of this mandate, because it will hurt vehicle affordability by increasing prices.  Expect the systems to add around $200/vehicle in cost.  

I think it would be better to allow automakers to install an ultrasonic system, which would give an audible and text warning, as a way to offer the benefit in a low cost package.

There would be a side benefit.  All new cars would come with LCD screens, which should allow for higher end infotainment displays on low end models.

ಸೋಮವಾರ, ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ 13, 2012

Chicago Movers and their Commercial Moving Services

Are you looking for a business move by selecting professional moving companies of trusted movers in Chicago? Have you fed up of changing movers regularly due to their standard and cheap moving services? If you are unsure about selecting the best professional moving services that give you both customer satisfaction and value for money. Then, selecting Chicago movers is the best choice for you get hassle-free professional moving services.

Doing professional movers by self is a busy and complicated process. Only with specialist advice and services, you can break a hard nut easily. A good Chicago mover gives you hassle-free moving services through their dedicated and trusted commercial moving services. Chicago movers will understand your business related specific needs with their moving a business service; Chicago Illinois-based movers do their best to reduce the trouble to your daily activity. These movers follow a demanding timeline that brings you back in the business as soon as possible. And Chicago mover establishes a time table and creates a floor-plan for the new ability so that you can get a smooth and easy professional moving service. These movers take the organization of both the structures in their hands to fulfill you with a professional move of your choice.

Chicago Movers
In the subsequent type of commercial moving services, workers and their loved ones are shifted to new destinations. In order to keep workers satisfied, Chicago movers provide them with essential information and tips on packing so that they can get ready for the switch effectively. When you engage a good Chicago-based moving company to get profitable moving solutions, you not only get a competitive offer for the move but also find a appropriate plan that help you resolve to new locations with convenience.

Chicago movers appreciate your specific needs and offer relevant commercial moving solutions accordingly. You will find various commercial moving service providers or movers that suggest you commercial services to shift an employee of a business.

ಭಾನುವಾರ, ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ 12, 2012

Sony Dash: Full of FAIL

I was really excited to get my hands on a new Sony Dash for $70 from Walmart.com.  I knew that the Dash, based on the Chumby, was not a super-fast device, sporting a middling resolution screen, a resistivle touch panel, and a wimpy 800MHz Marvel processor.  My expectations were for a serviceable clock radio with the added bonus of Facebook and news updates.

But the Dash, well, dashed all hopes of even that.

The Dash, even after a firmware update, was unable to connect to Gmail using the Gmail checker app.  It was unable, despite numerous attempts at registration through the Facebook device screen, to connect to my Facebook account.

OK, I thought, so I can't have email or Facebook, at least I can have news and weather, and internet radio.

But there are many other annoyances.  Any interaction with the thing takes forever.  It doesn't have a light sensor, so to make it to go night mode you have to either program a timer action, or manually hit the night mode button.

Then the dealbreaker.  Sony didn't think to have the device save its settings in non-volatile memory.  As a result, if you have a power glitch or brownout, the Dash wakes up and then sits there stupidly asking you to choose your wireless network, rather than automatically reconnect.

Which means that on some days, you may wake up late in the morning, wondering why your alarm never went off, to find your high-tech clock radio sitting there with a boot screen.

So it isn't really useful as a social networking device, it isn't really reliable as a clock radio.

Back to Walmart it goes.

Now, the Archos 35 Home looks promising...

ಶುಕ್ರವಾರ, ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ 10, 2012

Tesla Model X Falcon Doors

Telsa has unveiled their Model X crossover vehicle, which looks something like an enlarged Honda Crosstour or BMW X6. It is a beautiful design, overall, with elegant proportions. The most striking feature of the design are the "falcon wing" doors, which are like gullwing doors with a hinge, so they move more upward than outward as they swing open.

There are good reasons why mainstream auto makers stick with traditional swinging or sliding doors for their designs.

Upward opening doors are:
  • Harder to seal reliably (more gasket area, different closing forces)
  • Harder for passengers to open and close manually 
  • Slow to open and close if they are electric, or in an emergency
  • If the vehicle rolls over, the doors are difficult to open
  • More work in terms of crash engineering

And, this design would preven a customer from mounting a roof rack for skis or bicycles.

Tesla could have simply designed a nice set of sliding doors, but it is clear they want to be different. I think the electric powertrain and Silicon Valley pedigree of the vehicle makes it different enough.

They also have a significant risk in terms of market demand for this type of vehicle--neither the BMW X6 nor the Honda Crosstour are selling very well.

ಗುರುವಾರ, ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ 9, 2012

Mahindra has planned to launch Xylo Mini before Diwali

Mahindra-mini-xyloRecently Mahindra has launched its 2012 facelift version of the Xylo MUV car for a starting price of Rs 7.37 lakh. After launching their new version, they released their company’s future plans. They told that, Mahindra has been working for next version called Mini Xylo. It has undergone testing several times and is in final stage. We have targeted to launch this Mini Xylo before Diwali.

This Mini Xylo will be priced below the existing Xylo Version and it will take on premium hatchbacks with the advantage of better ground clearance and more space. It has the feature of five-seat SUV/MUV as Renault Duster, Ford EcoSport.

The Indian Manufacturer has planned to export the new Xylo facelift version to RHD (right hand drive) markets like South Africa and Latin America. They also aspire to spread their cars to LHD (Left hand drive) markets also like Europe.

ಮಂಗಳವಾರ, ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ 7, 2012

Fisker Death Watch? Not yet, but...

Is Fisker on the way out?  Not yet, if I had to make a guess, I would say they have enough vehicles in the pipeline and enough private investors to last a while.  But cracks are showing.

Should the Department of Energy fund Fisker?  No, not unless Fisker can keep its side of the existing agreement.  The government should not re-negotiate with Fisker unless significant private backing is shown.

The Karma is a beautiful vehicle and appears to be an excellent piece of engineering.  It is also a toy for the wealthy, and a distraction.  Fisker isn't doing basic battery research, unlike the established OEMs, who have in-house science labs working on problems such as battery chemistry, thermal management, and safety. 

As lovely as the Karma is, it was a potential waste of taxpayer money to fund it. 

Department of Energy funds should be going to companies doing basic R&D on batteries, and to established OEMs who already know how to build a good car, and can target more affordable implementations.  Ford and GM, for examle, can take $500,000,000 pretty far because of their existing R&D infrastructure.

Mazda plans to sale its 2013's CX-5 on this month

Mazda-CX-5Mazda plan to launch its new car CX-5 on this month and the automaker’s north American arm has told that it will be priced from $20,695 excluding $795 for destination. Its price is higher price than other big competitors such as Hyundai Tuscon, Subaru Forester and Kia sportage. The CX-5 gives some best driving dynamics in the segment, but they not mention the fuel values.

The CX-5 has the Support of Six-speed manual transmission. Mazda mention only the initial price of $20,695, if we want to fix those six speeds automatic then it costs extra $1400. If you want to add all wheels drive then extra $1250. Then the touring models with all wheel drive starts from $23,895. The Range-topping grand touring models starts from pricing &27,045 with $1325 technology package.

The 2013 CX-5 includes 17-inch alloy wheels, push button start, cruise control, sttering-wheel mounted audion controls, usb port and it is new 2.0 liter skyactiv-G gasoline engine and other weight-saving technologies. It is available in three models such as base sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims.

Latest Updates: www.crazeforcars.com

ಭಾನುವಾರ, ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ 5, 2012

NAIAS Detroit Auto Show 2012: Part 6, Honda

The most interesting stuff at the Honda stand was the Accord coupe concept and some new Acura designs. But except for the heart-racing NSX, Honda really didn't speak much to me this time through.

The Fit EV was lonely in its little protected alcove, and relatively unloved.  It looks mostly like a Fit with some aero tweaks.



The Honda Accord coupe concept was, to be honest, a snooze.  There was some odd bling surrounding the  foglamps/faux "brake cooling vents", or whatever the big plastic grates were supposed to evoke.  But overall, the design seemed busy, a bit disjointed.


The Acura NSX, on the other hand, was lovely.  The front end reminded me of Mazda's recent design language.  Will it look this good when they build it?


Tucked away in a corner was the Acura ILX design concept.  A styling buck, this car was a glossy shell only.  No one seemed to be paying much attention to it.  It is definitely understated, but it does have a more interesting front end design than the current huge-chrome-shield look of Acura.

Honda, wake up.  Unleash the designers, and make some sculpture.  Make cars that are exciting to look at.

NAIAS Detroit Auto Show 2013: Part 5, Chrysler, Fiat, Maserati

Chrysler's more interesting displays at the 2012 NAIAS included their new Dodge Dart in cutaway view, a design concept for a minivan, and a new Maserati SUV concept.  I also coudn't help but notice that Chrysler/Fiat was the most aggressive in flaunting their female auto show presenters physical assets.



Some views of the Chrysler 700 concept.  The design was much too swoopy for a practical minivan, in my opinion.  The strong diagonal line applied to the B pillar area looks like it would cause very poor visibility.

The 700 product specialist was, I think, too glamorous for the vehicle.


The Maseati Kubang, an SUV which will share the Jeep Grand Cherokee/Dodge Durango platform, but not their styling.



Some views of the new Dodge Dart.  While it is a huge improvement over the clunky looking and unrefined Caliber, I don't think the Dart is as good looking as the new offerings from Ford and Chevy.  It is rounded and organic, which reminds me a bit of the old Dodge Neon.

The interior looked pretty good, if you don't mind some of the same rounded organic themes.

Underneath the Dart, a clear shot of one of the aero tricks that we will see on many new vehicles going foward: a plastic shield which helps flow air around the underside of the car.


This young lady got a lot of attention, more for her outfit I think than for the 500 Abarth she was promoting.

NAIAS Detroit Auto Show 2012: Part 4, CUE, Uconnect Take On Sync

Ford got everyone's attention when they rolled out their much loved (and much hated) infotainment system, Sync.  Now, GM and Chrysler are taking on MyFord Touch with their own touchscreen user interfaces.  I got a quick tour of the Cadillac CUE system and Dode Uconnect.

Product specialist Rosemary gave me an interactive tour of Cadillac's upcoming CUE system. It was responsive, with quick reactions to user requests. It has a nice haptic feedback feature, where the screen taps back at you when you touch a selection. This is very useful, because it helps you know that you actually touched something. CUE is also highly customizable. The user can pick his favorite buttons and drag them to the shortcut row, at the top of the screen. You can also choose a number of different display formats for the instrument cluster, which is one huge LCD screen. When you aren't interacting with it, the shortcut bar and bottom bar of icons fade away. If you reach your hand towards the screen, the extra information fades in again, offering the user an uncluttered view most of the time.

Cadillac's CUE system.

Rosemary shows me how the custom IP displays work

The sport setting shows a tachometer to the left, and on the right you can have a minature navigation view in the center of the speedometer.

Another custom view for the IP, this one just shows a large digital speedometer in the middle, with entertainment and navigation items.

 At the Dodge Dart display, I had a chance to play with Chrysler's Uconnect system. Similar to GM, it was responsive and fairly simple to use, but it didn't seem to have as many customization options as CUE. It also didn't have the haptic feedback feature.

Uconnect has a small square central LCD screen on the IP.

Uconnect has a few large icons arranged at the bottom of the screen.

Both Uconnect and CUE are going to give MyFord Touch/Sync strong competition, unless Ford steps up their game.  Ford says that a new and much improved version of MyFord Touch will appear early this year, with better latency, fewer bugs and an easier to read layout.  I hope that this is as promised, because GM and Chrysler are learning from Ford's mistakes.

ಶುಕ್ರವಾರ, ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ 3, 2012

Renault plans to launch a car in India under Rs.4 lakh

The French car manufacturer, Renault is planning to launch a passenger car in the Indian market that will be priced lower than rupees 4 lakh, which is a part of the company's global strategy. The company told that the new car will not be same as the existing platform; it will build with new platform. The managing director Marc Nassif told that we have estimated the car price below Rs.4 lakh and he told that regarding this car we will share the details shortly and it is not a project only for India, it’s an international project.

Mr. Marc Nassif told that in India already have Nano priced below Rs 2 lakh, but we don’t bother about that, because 50 per cent of car in the market priced between Rs2-4 lakh. We are not in this segment and by launching this we can enter in this segment.

In 2005 the car manufacturer Renualt entered in India and told that we will launch five new models before the year 2012. Based on this, the company had launched the Fluence Sedan in 2010 followed by the Koleos SUV in September and Renault Pulse in January 2012. The next in line is the Duster SUV and a new sedan based on the small car. We can expect that the new model Pulse will come in second half of 2012.

If the Renault will launch their cars, they concentrate on achieving sales figure of 1 lakh cars by 2013-2014. They also targets to open 100 new company outlets by the end of 2012.