ಶನಿವಾರ, ಏಪ್ರಿಲ್ 21, 2012

Predatory Lexus Face

When I saw the new design for the 2013 Lexus GS 350, I was reminded of something... 


Or perhaps

2011 LA Auto Show - Exclusive photos

Bridgestone Airless Tire Concept

Cool.  From PhysOrg.com.

Michelin has also been working on the Tweel airless tire for some time now, but it isn't ready for civilian commercial sale, yet.


2015's Land Rover Defender will build in India

The report of Autocar states that 2015’s Land Rover Defender will be built at Tata’s plant in pune,India. The Defender is a truly old school body-on-frame SUV that sells in small numbers compared to the rest of the Land Rover line. But it has benefitted from latest technology, some regulatory gymnastics and exemptions and, like the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen, a warm place in people's minds. If it's going to be around, though, LR would like to move more of them. Building the next invention model in Pune with last meeting of some examples in England, a reverse of what's done now with products like the knockdown Freelander could give the Defender's bottom line the further advance technology it needs, as well as close proximity to Middle Eastern and Asian markets. It is estimated that the next Tata Aria SUV will be close enough in dimensions and developed to share the same facility with the 2015 Defender. It is predicted to have the common features of the DC100 idea. The present Defender is slated to stay on sale until 2017, and will probably be built in Solihull, England.

Review: Thermos Stainless King

I have finally found the ultimate travel coffee tumbler.  I'm throwing the rest away, this is it:

The Thermos Travel King.  It is a double walled stainless tumbler.  In use, it has kept my coffee and tea hot for hours, without ever warming up to the touch on the outside at all.  It has a simple but effective silicone gasket system, which switches from free flowing to tightly sealed with the flip of a lever.  It even has a neat little hook inside the lid to hang a tea bag without trailing the string out and ruining the seal.

These are not cheap, but they seem to be built to last.  Worth every dollar.

  • Keeps hot stuff hot a long time
  • Seals tightly
  • Tea bag hook
  • Disassembles for easy cleaning
  • Not cheap
  • Made in China
  • Some users report paint flaking off with use (but I would not care myself)
*I received no compensation for this review, I am just a happy customer.

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Land Rover planning for a larger Evoque

land rover evoqueReports suggest that Land Rover may be working to launch a larger version of the Range Rover Evoque in order to split the difference between the current Evoque and Range Rover Sport models because the latter vehicle moves farther up market.

Maruti launches new swift Dzire

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. introduced the cheaper model of its Swift Dzire sedan as part of efforts to retain its position as the country's largest car maker by sales.

Comparing with the current 4.1 meter long model Dzire the new one is 3.95 meters, qualifying it for a lower federal excise tax.

Normally the government imposes a 10% tax on cars measuring up to 4 meters in length. These cars has a diesel engine of only up to 1.5 liters or a gasoline engine of up to 1.2-liters.

The managing executive officer Mayank Pareek told that the gasoline version of the new Dzire model will cost 479,000 rupees ($9,677)-619,000 rupees at New Delhi dealerships and the diesel model will cost 580,000 rupees-709,000 rupees. But Mr. Pareek told that the latest model will cost 25,000 rupees-30,000 rupees less than the existing model and he told Maruti will continue to market the existing model of the Swift Dzire but mainly target it at taxi operators.

The new Swift Dzire model is based on the Swift hatchback platform. Maruti has invested 2.2 billion rupees to manufacture the new car in addition to the 5.5 billion rupees invested in the new Swift platform.

2012 Detroit NAIAS: Shelby GT500 Dyno Pull

Ford had some cojones. Not content to just show off the outrageously powerful 650HP GT500, they actually set up a dyno, strapped one down, and did 140mph pulls ever hour. It was LOUD.I am amazed the fire marshal allowed it.

ಶುಕ್ರವಾರ, ಏಪ್ರಿಲ್ 20, 2012

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Driven: Jaguar XF 2.2 collection


It’s a curious one,this. How do you make a extravagance product sit easily in the minds of thecar-buying public (and EU emissions regulators) when the zeitgeist is in favourof eco badges, small engines and lightweight models? You pinch Ford’s 2.2-litrediesel engine and put it in your big bar, which, until now, has been runningwith a choice of 3.0-litre V6 diesel or 5.0-litre supercharged petrol engines,and hope that shuts up your critics and wins you more fuel-conscious patrons.
The problem is, Jaguarhas built its standing on big, fast, commanding cars, and so does this2.2-litre diesel version make the XF a more, or less, beautiful proposition?
I love the XF, havingrun a 3.0-litre V6 edition for six months a duo of years ago. It belies itssize and weight with wonderfully delicate steering and handling that allow thedriver to place the car accurately where he/she wants it. Nothing has distortedwith this latest version, and the car looks a lot better for its facelift,which has given it meaner headlights and a sharper rear. I got jealous glancesfrom the deprived souls who bought MkI models, which abruptly look dated.
But when you begin theengine (we had the higher-powered 187bhp version of the 2.2), you get the nastydiesel jangle of a car several rungs down the class ladder. “Oh dear,” Ithought, “They’ve ruined it.” Sure enough, the engine grumbles originally infirst gear, and seems unwilling to go anywhere, so off we rumbled down theroad, me thinking Jaguar had sold itself down the river with a clangy, rattlyold banger. But build up speed, say to 40mph, and all reverts to incredibletype: it becomes a quiet workhorse with enough power for fast overtakes, andsmooth, creamy delivery. In the space of one intersection on the M3, I wentfrom hating this car to punishing myself for not gullible Jaguar to get itright. Of route it has got it right: it’s got practically the whole thing rightsince Indian firm Tata took over in 2008.
So I still love the Jaguar XF, and yes, it would emerge this is the one to buy (I can’t help feeling the 161bhpaccount would be just too feeble). With 149g/km of CO2 and a quoted 52.3mpg onthe combined cycle, versus 169g/km and 45mpg for the 3.0-litre trade, plus acheaper cost by three or four impressive, it’s the one to have.

ಮಂಗಳವಾರ, ಏಪ್ರಿಲ್ 17, 2012

Latest Volvo models on demonstrate in Dammam


First Motor Company,Al-Futtaim Group’s completely owned automotive trade and exclusive distributorand retailer of Volvo Cars in Saudi Arabia, inaugurated its first newdealership in Dammam as part of its constant efforts to provide benchmarkedauto services across the Kingdom.
Colin Cordery, organizationmanager, FMC, Torban Eckhart, leader of Volvo Turkey and GCC, David Forster,general manager FMC, as well as local administration officials, foreigndignitaries and members of the press attended the induction ceremony.
The new dealership and examinecenter, situated in the Al-Rakah area, will showcase the full range of Volvo’s mostrecent models including the popular S60 and XC60 models and soon the all newV40.
Colin Cordery said:“This new showroom exemplifies Al-Futtaim Group’s automotive division’s mostexcellent practices and processes to offer our KSA customers with superiorsales and service practice for a car brand that is esteemed and loved in theKingdom. Al-Futtaim has proven capability and familiarity in the automotiveindustry in the focus east and we will continue to provide all Volvo regularswith the same high quality of services and carry that our customers enjoythroughout the region. Our company in the UAE has been very successful allthese years, resulting in strong all-round development for the Volvo brand. TheDammam showroom is a firm step in our continual support of our regulars and welook forward to making Volvo cars available in more locations throughout theKingdom.”
David Forster said:“This facility will provide customers entrance to the latest Volvo models,after-sales trouble in a state-of-the-art service center, and sales andtrade-in of used vehicles. FMC looks frontward to introducing its customers inthe Eastern County to a new standard in service excellence from Al-Futtaim andVolvo in a recent, comfortable, and included facility.”

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ಭಾನುವಾರ, ಏಪ್ರಿಲ್ 15, 2012

Range Rover Evoque revitalized as Loder1899 Horus

Bavarian tuner, Loder1899, has publicized their new and latest program for the Range Rover Evoque. Named "Horus" means the Egyptian god. It has the lot of stylish components includes a complete front bumper, integrated fender flares and a more aggressive rear diffuser. Some other items include the optional gigantic 11x23-inch Elements IV wheels 315/35R23 Michelins and a lowered suspension. 

The price for the styling kit not includes the wheels and tires is 3,032 Euros (German VAT incl) while the whole package including painting and installation is 12,047 Euros.With the Range Rover Evoque, the design has been optimized rousing excited interest in the cars world.

ಗುರುವಾರ, ಏಪ್ರಿಲ್ 5, 2012

Nissan exec: Electric cars will win in U.S.

NEW YORK (Market Watch) - Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn stood by his company’s early jump into electric cars,predicting Wednesday that high gasoline prices will raise demand as productionof the Leaf sedan ramps up later this year.
Gasoline at $4 a gallon atthe force provides “great advertising” for electric cars, Ghosn told the mediaafter his speech at the New York International Auto show.
Ghosn, president and chief executive officer of Nissan Motor Co., said the Leaf has been impacted by provideconstraints tied to last year’s earthquake in Japan, as well as costsassociated with a weaker wish.
“Electric cars hold guarantee,”he said. “All the stars are facing up for them. I’m not at all changing my chipperadvance to zero-emission cars.”
Availability should developwhen the Nissan begins U.S. fabrication of the vehicle this summer inTennessee, he said.
Initial customersatisfaction for the Japan-built Leafs sold in the U.S. thus far has been encouraging,with no complaints about show, he said.
Nissan is also readyingthe U.S. start of a company that recycles electric car batteries, he said.Battery technology will continue to get better, with more venture dollars steeredtoward lighter and cheaper versions that hold more charge, he said.
In March, Nissan sold 579Leafs in the U.S., up from 298 last year — a part of the car maker’stop-selling car, the Altima, which sold more than 41,000. Nissan has sold27,000 Leafs universal since 2011 as the top-selling zero emission vehicle inthe industry, he said.
TheNissan Leaf positions as one of the first all-electric cars in the U.S. for normalauto buyers, along with the Tesla Motors Roadster.
General Motors’ ChevroletVolt runs on batteries for about 40 miles, before a gasoline-powered creatorkicks in to recharge the car. In March, GM sold 2,289 Volts. GM said it was thebest month for the car thus future.
Ghosnsaid other car makers are readying electric cars among them; Ford Motor Co. isrolling out a battery-powered edition of its new hub car this year.

ಬುಧವಾರ, ಏಪ್ರಿಲ್ 4, 2012

The 2014 Impala

GM has unveiled the 2014 Chevrolet Impala at the NY Auto Show.  You can see nice photos here.

I like the exterior design, it is a big improvement over the current, ancient Impala. 

The interior is also a big upgrade, but to me seems a bit busy.

GM says that it will come with a choice of 2.5L I4, 2.4L eAssist (mild hybrid), and 3.6L V6 powertrains.  It should get pretty good fuel economy, but with the I4 engines pushing about 200HP, it is not going to feel very quick unless the weight is substantially reduced over the current model.  Looking at the photos, I'd be surprised if it is less than 3750#.

ಮಂಗಳವಾರ, ಏಪ್ರಿಲ್ 3, 2012

Ford's 5 "Myths", Aren't

Ford has a post on their web site listing 5 "myths" about electric vehicles.

I think these need a rebuttal.

Myth 1:
"The technology isn't ready."
Ford: "
Ford has been putting reliable, efficient hybrid electric vehicles on the road for over 10 years."
Rebuttal: Sneaky Ford is combining hybrid electric vehicles into the same bin as battery electric vehicles.  Truth is, Ford is about to release its first modern mass market BEV.  The electric Ranger of the late 1990's was a low volume fleet product.  And high profile technical issues in the new crop of EVs show that, in fact, the technology is still in flux.

Myth 2:
"Electric vehicles are too expensive."
Ford: "
Ford has yet to determine pricing on its plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and all-electric vehicles. Though the initial price of these vehicles may be higher than a conventional gas-powered vehicle, keep in mind that the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is being designed to deliver maximum fuel efficiency. So you may be able to save money on fuel costs. Tax credits may also be available. Check with your appropriate local, state and federal agencies for more information."
Rebuttal: Ford has yet to determine?  They already announced an MSRP of $40,000 for the Focus BEV, and current HEVs, I don't expect the final prices to go down by much--batteries are still expensive.  Truth is, BEVs are prohibitive for most people to buy, until battery costs are reduced dramatically.   HEVs do have a faster payoff, yet even with $4/gal gas, they are not exactly flying off of the dealer lots.

Myth 3: "I'm afraid I'm going to get stranded when the battery runs out."
Ford: "
A Ford hybrid electric vehicle has a gasoline engine, so you're in no more danger of getting stuck than you would be if you were driving a traditional gasoline engine- powered vehicle. The battery of the hybrid electric is also continuously charged while you drive. As for the all-electric vehicle now in development, Ford is working with the public and private sectors to help create the infrastructure that will enable you to recharge your all-electric vehicle in a variety of locations other than your home."
Rebuttal: Ford again combines HEV and BEV into the same answer.  If you have a Focus BEV, chances are you will only get about 75 miles (according to EPA) on average.  That's a mere one hour of driving at Michigan speeds.  Anyone driving a BEV must be careful about range, because recharging takes at least 4 hours for a full charge.

Myth 4: "My commute is too long for an electric vehicle."
Ford: "Because a hybrid electric vehicle has a gas engine as well as an electric motor, no commute is too long for a hybrid. The Ford all-electric vehicle, currently in development, is targeted to go up to 100 miles on a single charge."
Rebuttal: The average daily commute is about 40 miles, so a 75 mile average range should cover it.  But if you are driving in the winter, and using the heater, you probably won't have much range left for the grocery run after work, or the detour to pick up the dry cleaning.

Myth 5: "They don't make electric vehicles in the style I want."
Ford: "Ford offers hybrid electric vehicles in the responsive, fun-to-drive Fusion as well as the Escape small SUV. Other Ford vehicles are currently in development."
Rebuttal: Escape HEV is about to be killed.  Transit BEV is in limbo along with Azure's future.  Which leaves two styles of vehicle--compact hatch and mid-size car.