Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Chicago Auto Show Hosts the World Debut of a Number of New Vehicle Models

The 2012 Chicago Auto Show has recently served as the venue for the global debut of a number of new vehicle models. Most of these car makers are planning to penetrate the global automobile market this year and this is the main reason why they took the opportunity to launch their line-ups at the windy city since this is one of the most popular auto shows held annually.
This strategy usually pays well because a lot of car buyers across the globe who are in the market for new automobiles are considering the Chicago Auto Show as the best way to learn about the upcoming car models that would surely hit the dealerships worldwide by the time they decide to buy their next vehicles. Among the car manufacturers who launched their global car models at the Chicago Auto Show are the following.
1. Acura
Acura launched two of its latest vehicle models that the brand would be selling in different automobile markets across the globe at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. These are the 2013 Acura ILX and the redesigned Acura RDX. The 2013 Acura ILX sedan will serve as the replacement for the outgoing TSX model. This is offered in three drivetrains which will also include Acura's first hybrid vehicle. The ILX is based on the platform used by the Honda Civic. In addition to this, the ILX shares the powertrains and the underpinnings found on the Civic.
The redesigned Acura RDX crossover on the other hand was the refreshed version of its predecessor. Acura has changed the engine used in the RDX by replacing the 2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with a bigger and more powerful 3.5-liter V-6 engine. Due to this, the RDX gained a significant boost in power, 33 horsepower to be exact. In addition to this, Acura used a new transmission on the latest version of the RDX and this was the 6-speed automatic transmission that is equipped with a new lockup torque converter.
2. Chrysler Group
Just like Acura, two of the global models from the Chrysler group have made its world debut at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. This includes the Ram full-sized pickup and Chrysler's 300 S. The Ram brand presented the Laramie Limited which is a special edition of its heavy-duty as well as light-duty pickups. The Laramie is fully loaded with impressive features such as the upscale leather elements on its door and seats as well as the black interior trim pieces made of high-gloss materials.
Chrysler on the other hand introduced the blacked-out version of the Chrysler 300 sedan dubbed as the "Mopar '12." This will be offered as a limited edition vehicle with unique elements of styling and an upgraded gear ratio for enhanced acceleration.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Things To Consider When Shipping A Vehicle

Thinking of transporting your car abroad?
There are a number of ways in which car shipping can be carried out with minimum fuss and ease, this can be in an open container trailer or a closed one, this will of course entirely depend on the vehicle and its worth, alternatively, you can do it the old-fashioned way of driving it yourself.
Some of the most important factors to take into consideration is not just the cost of transporting the vehicle but also that you need to take into account the risk while driving, the wear and tear of the vehicle, expensive tolls if you are driving through France, devaluation of the vehicle due to increased mileage, not to mention the price of fuel and your own personal time in driving from A to B.
One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways for shipping your car is via a reputable car shipping company; here are a few pointers worth considering when selecting a good company:
1) Are they FULLY insured should the unthinkable happen
2) Does that insurance cover them FULLY in the countries your vehicle will be transported through
3) Do they offer open or enclosed trailers or an option to suit you
4) Have they shipped a vehicle like yours in the past
5) Can they provide any references from past clients
6) How long will it take for your vehicle to leave to its final destination
7) How long will they take to deliver your vehicle to you
The person handing the vehicle over to the shipping company will have to provide certain documents which the company transporting your car must have in their possession in order to make the trip, this is a legal requirement:
1) Copy of the original V5 vehicle ownership document
2) A Copy of the passport of whoever is handing the vehicle over
Before you entrust your vehicle to a car shipping company, take a few precautions so that there aren't any misunderstandings later on:
1) Make note of any scratches, marks or bumps
2) Take photos of the car just before handing it over
3) Remove all your personal belongings
4) Make sure you leave the key fob with alarm/ immobiliser
5) Check for any leaks and that the car runs well, some transport companies will not ship vehicles that don't run, make sure you clear this with your chosen company first.
When you work out the cost of driving or taking the ferry you can see why so many people opt to have their vehicle transported internationally by professionals but following this advice will reduce potential problems.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Chicago Live: Range-Topping 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible

Ford Motor Company has recently unveiled the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 convertible at the 2012 Chicago auto show and this has captured a lot of attention from the event's audience since this model promises to provide almost all of the features found on the Mustang coupe.
The 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500 convertible is powered by a supercharged 5.8-liter V-8 engine. This engine which is capable of producing up 650 horsepower is also the same engine used on the Shelby GT500 coupe. Due to this, the Shelby GT500 coupe and convertible currently holds the crown as the most powerful Mustangs that were produced by Ford.
Most of the car experts that were present at the Chicago auto show when the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 convertible was unveiled were quite amazed by the maximum power output that the vehicle is capable of producing. These car experts were expecting that the convertible will only be producing a limited amount of horsepower since it is equipped with a droptop. Most of them are thinking that excessive power might ruin the vehicle's capability to launch and detach its roof while running but their assumptions were spoiled with what they have seen on the new GT500 Shelby convertible.
The remarkable features that were seen on the topless Shelby GT500 simply proves that Ford engineers and vehicle developers were able to find a way to allow the convertible to handle the possible challenges that the supercharged V-8 engine could  pose against its roof's mechanism. Obviously, Ford has used a lot of modern components to deal with this condition and the results were evidently impressive.
But aside from the improvements implemented on the vehicle's roof, Ford has also did a great job in improving the overall performance of the supercharged V-8 that was used on the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 convertible. The company successfully bored out an additional 0.4-liter on the 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 engine that was used on the previous version of the GT500 and this allowed the 2013 model to produce more horsepower than its predecessor.  In addition to this, the latest version's engine is using the updated cylinder heads, new piston squirters, and the newest TVS supercharger.
Finally, the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 convertible's external appearance has also impressed all almost all of the observers that were able to take a closer look at the vehicle. Its blunt nose, newly-installed LED tail lights, and brand-new set of headlights made the GT500 convertible look more trendy and sporty.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The 2013 GMC Acadia Bowed at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show

One of the most popular vehicle models that bowed at the 2012 Chicago auto show is the 2013 GMC Acadia. Upon its first introduction into the market, this model was able to establish itself as one of the best in its class. As a result, General Motors has decided to upgrade this model and this eventually led to the production of the 2013 GMC Acadia.
When the 2013 GMC Acadia was unveiled at the 2012 Chicago auto show, a lot of car experts have noticed that the latest version of the iconic crossover model has received a major facelift from General Motors. This simply means that most of the dominant features of the previous year's version were changed and these changes allowed the new Acadia to have an image of its own.
When viewed in front, the 2013 GMC Acadia has a muscular stance. Due to this, the latest version looks more capable and intimidating. Thanks to its new upright design and the three-bar grille that was installed on the vehicle's front fascia. In addition to this, the vehicle is now fitted with a pair of LED running lights and these are offered as a standard feature of the vehicle.
Aside from the upgrades that were implemented in front, the Acadia's rear was also subjected to a few changes. The current model is now equipped with a wraparound rear glass and a new rear spoiler. The vehicle's rear bumper was redesigned and the primary purpose of this was to make the Acadia's front and rear portion quite coordinated.
General Motors has also revised the interior layout. But instead of using hard plastics and other cheap components, the company's designers decided to use more soft-touch materials   inside the vehicle's cabin. Aside from that, the stitching that was used to fasten the soft-touch materials in place was also remarkable. On top of these, the ambient lighting that was installed inside the Acadia makes the vehicle's cabin look more elegant and upscale most especially at night.
In terms of performance, the 2013 GMC Acadia is still capable of towing a maximum load of up to 5,000 pounds. Its 3.6-liter direct injection V-6 engine allows the Acadia to generate a maximum power output of 288 horsepower. The engine is mated to an improved 6-speed automatic transmission that provides a better shifting response and drivability. Given this engine and transmission, the 2013 GMC Acadia with a front-wheel drive system obtains the fuel economy ratings of 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the highway.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Sneak Preview of the 2012 Chicago Auto Show

The Chicago auto show that is held annually is definitely one of the most popular events that most car manufacturers wouldn't want to miss. This is because the auto show allows them to unveil and launch the latest and the upcoming vehicle models that they want to introduce into the market within a year as well as those that they intend to release in the near future.
The auto show also serves as one of the most effective options for car these car makers to present the latest car models into the buying public hoping that doing this would eventually increase the demand for the vehicles that they offer. Due to this fact, the 2012 Chicago auto show became a venue for the launching of the different vehicle line-ups that might hit the market this year.  Among the most popular car makers who participated in this year's Chicago auto show are the following.
1. Volkswagen
Volkswagen has presented the North American version of the VW Beetle at the Chicago auto show. This event has also marked the availability of the diesel engine-propelled Beetle in the United States and the rest of the North American market. The presentation revealed some of the significant changes that Volkswagen has implemented on its longest running model expecting that these would encourage more buyers to purchase the iconic Beetle.
2. Toyota
Toyota took the opportunity to unveil the mid-cycle refreshed Land Cruiser at the 2012 Chicago auto show. Toyota has upgraded the Land Cruiser's looks and other features to make this more attractive to buyers. The upgrades that Toyota has conducted are aimed to improve the vehicle's appeal to buyers since Toyota has somehow realized that the Land Cruiser is one of the company's rarely purchased models in the US despite of its impressive performance and features. Aside from the Land Cruiser, Toyota has also unveiled the more luxurious Lexus LX 570 during this event.
3. Nissan
Just like Toyota, Nissan has also featured two of its latest models at the Chicago auto show. The first model was the mid-cycle upgraded 370Z sports car. Nissan has upgraded the 370Z and this effort has provided the sports car with a new look and a number of added features. In addition to this, Nissan launched the 12-passenger version of the NV200 to cater to the needs of buyers who are in the market for vehicles with larger interior and cargo space.
4. Kia
The 2012 Chicago auto show also served as the venue for Kia's presentation of the Track'ster concept. The Track'ster was a two-door sport-oriented version of the Kia Soul and this is intended to capture the segment dominated by younger buyers who prefer to purchase cars with unique styling and features.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Next Generation Cars

Whenever we imagine the future, there's always a car in the picture: the self-driving car, the flying car, the wheel-less elevated car, and what have you.
Perhaps, this fascination we all share for futuristic cars is one reason why, when it comes to the car of the future, the future is here and now. The driverless car, the flying car, and a host of other amazing cars most of us have only dared to dream about are already in existence.
The Flying Car
If you saw it in action, you wouldn't even know it's a car. With those wings and those tiny wheels, the Transition flying through the air looks more like a tiny airplane than anything else.
But it is a car nonetheless. The moment it lands, you can fold up its wings and drive it through suburban streets or city highways. It will turn heads nonetheless because of its very unusual appearance. Its wheels, for one, are much smaller than a regular car's. If they were any bigger, they would make the car too heavy to fly.
The Transition can carry two passengers and can only be driven legally by somebody who has both a driver's license and a pilot's license. Alas, if you get stuck on traffic, you still can't use your flying car to fly away from it all as this baby needs a good, long, empty runway to take off, just like any old plane.
The Driverless Car
The Driverless Car is one of Google Inc.'s lesser known innovations. It uses a combination of sensor and software to know where it is, what is around it, and where it is going. For navigation, it uses - what else? - Google Maps!
To facilitate the eventual public use of their car, Google has been lobbying for driverless car laws, and in 2011, such a law governing the use of driverless cars was passed in the US state of Nevada. In May 2012, Nevada issued its first license for the operation of a driverless car.
Amid concerns as to the safety of such a car, Google has assured the public that none of its driverless cars has ever been involved in an accident - at least, not while it was on driverless mode. The company admits that one of its driverless cars had in fact been involved in a five-car collision in 2011; it asserts, however, that at that time, the car was being operated by a human driver.
The Super-Fast Electric Car
Electric cars are old news, but to date, we have learned to manage our expectations on how fast they can go and how long their batteries will last. The Keio Advanced Zero-Emission Vehicle Eliica, however, is set to challenge those expectations.
This four-seater eight-wheel car can travel up to 125 miles on a single charge and can reach speeds of up to 230 mph. It can go from 0 to 62 mph in just 4.1 seconds. It's so fast, it has broken records set by gasoline-powered cars.
Of course, all that power needs batteries. The car's entire floor area is packed with lithium-ion batteries, which take 10 hours to go from empty to full charge.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bestop Jeep Tops

It's summer and what better time for an off-road adventure in your jeep. The sun's rays are beaming down on you, and the blast of the air keeps you from overheating. As you move through rocky terrain, there's nothing to separate you from outside. But on the horizon, you see dark clouds coming up, getting closer and closer, absorbing the warmth of the sun and then rain comes pouring down, drenching you to your vehicle. Worst case scenario here is that you have important cargos inside. There is only one way to avoid these incident...and that's to invest into a jeep tops!
Weather is ever changing, which is a great reason why a Jeep Soft Top is well worth the investment. Jeep Tops can be put on and off within minutes and will keep cargo and other precious items safe. At 4WheelOnline.com you'll find the largest selection of styles and colors of Jeep Tops that will fit essentially fit every Jeep make or model. Below are some of the more popular Bestop Jeep Soft Tops.
Bestop Replace-A-Top: Bestop is one of the trusted brands when it comes to jeep tops. Bestop Replace-A-Top consists of fabric and windows. These Jeep Soft Top are held to factory standards to ensure quality, durability, and structural integrity. When you buy a Jeep Replace-A-Top, you can count on getting the best top on the market.
Bestop Replace-a-Top Sailcloth: If you want superior fabric material, the Bestop Replace-a-Top Sailcloth is perfect for you. It provides better insulation and temperature control, and it holds shape better over time. It also has the ability to reduces highway noise by up to 50%. This top is ideal in cold and hot areas for it will be able to keep temperature comfortable and will not shrink under the harsh weather conditions.
Bestop Supertop: The Bestop Supertop is another great choice because it comes with the windows, fabric, and the hardware that will need to be installed. Many other soft jeep tops don't come with the hardware because they assume you already have it from a previous top. It also comes with zip-out replaceable windows and a fabric that helps it retain its shape in all temperatures.
Sunrider: Jeeps are known for the experience behind the wheel; cruising the open roads while the wind is brushing up against your skin. The Sunrider is ideal for those people who like to feel the freedom in their hands. With this Jeep Top, drivers will be able to have the protection from the weather yet enjoy the breeze with the flip-back sunroof. The Sunrider is easy to install and will give meet all your expectations.
Tigertop: If you're really into vintage Jeeps, then the Tigertop is your ideal jeep top for you. It gives you the benefits of today's technological advances while maintaining a classic vintage style, making this jeep top the restorer's dream.
Pavement Ends: This kind of jeep top is inexpensive and is great for those who are looking for a great deal. The replacement top sticks to the basics structure and will provide great coverage. Some other benefits that this Jeep Soft Tops has is the ability to transform it into a sunroof.
Whats sets Bestop apart from other jeep tops is their durable, resilient materials. Bestop Jeep Tops is made from marine grade fabric; they just don't get any harder. As such, it's more resistant to discoloration and stretching, and is less vulnerable to the effects of the weather.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What You Should Know Before Buying Auto Rims

Most people are proud of the car they own, mainly due to the brand it belongs to and the enormous capacity of the car engine. However, a brawny engine and a sleek car body also need to be coupled with auto rims for a fantastic driving experience. For the uninitiated, a wheel rim or an auto rim is nothing but the metal wheel that is used to mount the tire in any car. These rims are intended for fitting the tire on your car for a smooth ride downhill as well as for enduring any kind of unexpected acceleration, turns and braking while driving. Of course, these functions are in addition to lending elegance and character to the car.
Now that we all know about the functionality that auto rims offer, we must exercise caution while selecting them for our car. We usually find auto rims for sale online or with the car dealers. Now the question arises- should you go for aftermarket rims or used car rims? Before coming to any conclusion, we must first get educated about both these options.
While aftermarket rims are intended for improving the car's operation and looks in general, we cannot deny the fact that these oversized rims simply don't serve as "eye-candy". These rims look like they have landed straight out of a superhero movie and moreover, they are known to reduce the vehicle's capability to take a turn, accelerate and primarily to apply brakes. Such car rims weigh much more than the regular ones and slow down the car suspension reaction and accuracy. A lightweight auto rim leads to comfortable rides and lets you install supple shock absorbers that are preferred by car racing professionals.
Regarding used car rims, we must consider the fact that these wheels have been already exploited while they were installed in some car earlier. Though they are low-cost and you might think that you bagged a good deal at the secondhand rim retailer, never forget that what you are paying for does not include any warranty. This also means that in case of any unfortunate incident, you will go through mental trauma with a hole in your pocket.
If you are looking for auto wheels and rims that are cost-effective and perform well at the same time, you can explore the option of re-manufactured rims. These rims are made using old rims and worked upon so that the car owner is satisfied with their functioning. Moreover, they do not cost as much as new auto rims and might come with a warranty too.
While going for new car rims, always consider recycling your old tires and rims. The car rims are made of metal and can be taken to any scrap metal recycling center for processing. So whatever kind of auto rims you opt for, try to do your bit for our environment at the same time.
The author is a freelance article writer with articles on varied subjects.

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Brief History of Seatbelts

The seatbelt is one of the great inventions of the last century. With this simple addition to cars, millions of lives have been saved. It is now the law in Canada and most of the United States that people must "buckle up" while in the car.
When I say that the seatbelt is one of the greatest inventions of the last century, I should clarify that seatbelts in cars and specifically the 3 point seatbelt are the great inventions. The first seatbelt was actually invented in 1885 for people being raised or lowered off the ground. And in 1911, Benjamin Foulois invented a seatbelt to attach to his saddle while riding a horse. It wasn't until the early 1950s, when Dr. Hunter Shelden made significant contributions to the retractable seatbelts and other car safety measures were cars equipped with properly working seatbelts. In 1958, the first car with standard seatbelts was released by the Swedish company Saab. Saab proved to be leaders on this as other car manufacturers soon followed.
The modern seatbelt is made of webbing fabric and has 3 points, one on each side of the lap, and one above the driver's left shoulder. This is proven to be the safest design in seatbelts over several studies. The 3 point was invented in 1955 by Roger Griswold and Hugh DeHaven. Volvo, who have developed and maintained the image of the safest automobile manufacturer in the world, furthered the design and put it into their 1959 vehicles.
Seatbelts still aren't worn by many people in all parts of the world. Why is that? Studies definitively show that seatbelts reduce deaths in car accidents where cars are traveling under 60 miles per hour a huge amount, almost eliminating them. So the science is pretty bulletproof. Is it because cars are seen as a removal of constraints of non-mechanized transportation, so people don't want to have to constrain themselves all over again? Lots of people who grew up without seatbelts find them uncomfortable as well. While younger generations seem to put seatbelts on and accept them as a part of riding in cars. Maybe the problem is the physics behind seatbelts is too abstract for some people, therefore they cannot visualize or perceive properly how much safer wearing a seatbelt makes them while driving.
In any case, seatbelts have greatly improved the safety of people across the world and deserves to be celebrated as innovation in its truest and best sense.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

How To Decorate Your Car With Hubcaps

Your car is a work of art. You have poured blood, sweat, tears and thousands of dollars into it so it can always look its best. From a new steering wheel cover to new back seat covers and even seatbelt pads you have given it the full works on the interior. You just sprang for a bright new paint job and all that's left to complete this masterpiece is the perfect choice of hubcaps. The best part is that this is one of the easiest DIY jobs you can do on your car. With these simple shiny almost magical snap-on discs your car can become a new creature in seconds. Poof, shazam!
Most factory vehicles roll off the assembly line with the stock wheel covers and that's a good thing, otherwise people would just end up driving around with ugly naked wheel wells. The stock wheel covers don't really have that personal flair that drivers want and are pretty generic but they do fulfill their temporary purpose which is to cover the wheel well's nakedness until a suitable replacement is found, and today the choices are endless.
Now more than ever online retailers offer a variety of hubcaps to choose from. In terms of decor you can match any sensibility or specific taste from sophisticated to whimsical and playful. The more masculine and edgy modern designs are works of art in themselves featuring intricate patterns that shock the senses.
Even if you had your heart set on rims you can get hubcaps that look just like rims and you can stay ahead of the game by paying a fraction of the price to get the same look. A fraction of the effort to install is, of course, an added bonus where you can still get the quality you want. What's more hubcaps are lightweight so that you can get added fuel efficiency compared to heavier rims. Less fuel consumption means fewer stops at the gas pump so you can stay within your budget.
Hubcaps create drama and give your car added personality. It's not just to keep debris from getting into your wheel well it's a statement to the world that you are here and it puts your unique stamp on your ride. They get you noticed so that both you and your car are taken seriously. Choosing the right wheel covers to complete your customization shows that you have vision, can execute that vision and are a creative force to be reckoned with.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ford AC Condenser for Your Car's Cooling System

A Ford AC condenser is one of the most sought after car part for air conditioning systems.
For a car to perform better, its cooling system should be superb especially since the car's interior are dependent on it. This is most needed at present with hybrid cars coming out in the market-all with their new techy support system such as GPS, car monitors and other computerized parts. This is the reason why Ford's ac condensers are one of the top auto parts being sought for.
Ford is one of today's top notch car manufacturers worldwide. They are loved for their technological advancement in creating vehicles and car parts: their sturdiness, design, quality interiors, and smooth sounding engines. We can consider their works to be top notch. This is the reason why most people are into driving a Ford - the same reason why their auto parts, especially why their AC condensers, are sought after.
If you're driving a Ford, it is best to select a car part made by the same manufacturer - if you want more superb driving experience. If you're planning to upgrade your Ford's cooling system with a new Ford AC condenser, then it is best to know first what it is and its role.
An AC condenser is responsible for the coldness of our air conditioning system. This means it simply cools all the vacuumed hot gas which is later on released by the air conditioner.
The air conditioning system starts with the refrigerants being sucked in by the AC compressor. The compressor then pressurizes and turns it into hot gas. The next step would be the refrigerant passing the condenser to be cooled. During this process, the refrigerants are turned into liquid. Once this is done, the expansion valve regulates the cold liquid refrigerants and turns it back into gas-the cold gas that is released by the air conditioner. After this step the whole process repeats itself again.
Air conditioning system is not just used for to cool ourselves whenever we're in the car. This is also to help lessen the car interior's heat which can affect our car's mechanism especially now that most vehicles are being computerized - for easy car maintenance and checkup.
Ford, being one of the leading car manufacturers around the world, has emphasized their mark in the industry as they continue to give quality cars with high tech gadgetry. With this said, we can be sure that every Ford auto part is created to complement superb performance and agility.
For those with Ford cars and are looking for ways to improve its cooling system, it is best to start first checking out reliable online auto parts stores since walk in ones can sometimes lack the selection of auto parts. Online stores give a variety of benefit to any shoppers since all they have to do is check the websites list of auto parts or call their hotline for further inquiries. By selecting the right online store you can be assured of quality and authentic branded auto parts such as a Ford AC Condenser.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Me and My Acura

I've been a truck guy for many years. My trucks have always been reliable, functional, and tall. I never felt uncomfortable on the road or felt bullied by other vehicles. When driving a truck or any large vehicle, there is a level of respect that other drivers instinctively give you. They have the greater incentive to avoid a collision with you. This had been my experience on the road almost exclusively and as far back as is worth remembering.
Not too long ago, a series of events lead me to have to forgo my truck driving days and change the direction of my driving "career". It was time for a change and I embraced it. Gas prices aren't so kind to trucks so I was looking forward to some relief in that aspect. What I did not realize was that I was about to enter a world of vehicles that is vast, and full of options. A world of convenience, comfort, power, and gadgets! I was on my way to becoming a luxury sedan driver.
After two weeks of diligent research, test drives, and consultation I fell in love with a Black Acura TSX. I felt almost a kinship with it since my dream car had always been the Acura NSX (a car that I had almost purchased a year earlier out of pure childhood whim).
In the days, weeks, and months to come, I fell not only in love, but almost obsessed with my Acura. I had come to realize that this car was not just a car. It was a design. It had been since before inception, in the hearts and minds of designers, engineers, and executives. And now, it was in mine.
My Acura no longer is just a comfortable mode of transportation. It represents me and who I am. Every aspect of it from the engine, to the interior, to the amazing luxury features represents me. My Acura TSX and I are one.
It's the steel horse that I ride, and it is faithful. It loves me and does so unconditionally. It knows all my preferences. From the way I like to sit, to my radio stations, to the interior temperature, to the way I like to accelerate and brake.
It is quiet but powerful and only taps into that power when I call upon it. I use to feel safe in a truck because of the sheer presence. Now I feel safe because my Acura and I work as one. We are ready to handle anything the road can throw at us. And we do so with precision, restrained power, and comfort.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

2012 Mercedes E-250 Car Review

When you look at a Mercedes E-class, you realize it is not just the work of a group of people. It is the result of a constantly refined tradition, with an unending story told best by the all new Mercedes E-250 Elegance. This baby not only has sleek aerodynamics that defines visual perfection, it has also provided a super smooth ride synonymous with comfort and elegance for over 100 years.
First introduced in2010, the current Mercedes Benz E-Class has been a top seller for the German luxury automaker and on March 2012 the 500000th E-Class sedan rolled off the production line in Sindelfingen, Germany. (This figure only represents the production of current generation e class sedans with exclusions of the E-Class coupe and e class cabriolet.) Their ingenuity not stopping short, the e class designers recently unveiled the hybrid version: the E-400 and E-350 Blue TEC Hybrid capable of 56 mpg on the European combined cycle.
This is one car you will not have to chew your lips off while stuck in traffic. A new chassis and dampers that adapt to the driving conditions make this as comfortable and cruisy as a luxury sedan can get. Sitting on the driver's seat alone is quite an experience and certainly only in few cars will you find the working of the gear lever transmitted electronically through a cable. It entails full Bluetooth audio streaming as well as a 6 GB hard drive to store your favorite tunes. Talking of music, it is played through Harman/Kardon LOGIC 7 surround system to cater for the long journeys. The rear seats are slightly reclining with plenty of head and leg room, which are very practical for a family car.
Want to die in an accident? Then don't drive an e class. Its safety measures entail the PRE -SAFE systems which not only tightens the seat belts before an unavoidable accident, but also automatically closes windows, sunroof, fills up air cushions on the multi -contour seats and even moves the front seats to a safer position in the crucial moments before an accident. It also includes 11 airbags: front, side and rear ones, pelvic bag, full size window-bags for driver and front passenger and a knee-bag for the driver. That aside, the prime thought that you are in a Mercedes E-Class is enough to prevent you from dying. Ha! Ha!
The E-Class is a beautiful car in its own right, and like BMW and AUDI its going for a more subtle look of sublime elegance, only that it's doing much better; you will surely want to have one of these.
The turning feel is so smooth, more like an S-Class than a C-Class that at times you forget you are connected to the front wheels. There is almost no feedback and the suspension is best suited for normal driving though when push comes to shove it responds with profound agility around tight corners and in sudden directional changes.
Believe it or not, the 1.8L German engineered engine has the power output of engines with twice the capacity. The 1.8L E-250 CGI delivers 150kw (200bhp) and 310Nm of torque with a top speed of 242km/h and an acceleration from 0-100 km in 7.5 seconds. The more costly 2.1L E-250 CDI delivers the same power but with 500Nm of torque with a top speed of 240 km/h. its acceleration from rest to 100km/h is 7.7 seconds.
If you have five woes and fuel bills is one of them, now you have four to worry about. The engine size is a pocket friendly 1.8L for the CGI, smaller than most cars in its league yet with power commensurate or greater than theirs. The fuel economy is more like a 1.5L Toyota at 7.6L/100km (for my drive it was 7.8L/100km which I did extensively enough,) and with an additional $ 320 you get the E-250 CDI with an unbelievably low 5.1L/km, only 0.1L/100km more than the overrated Toyota Camry Hybrid.
Mercedes has never believed in smoke screen as part of its defense, and the E-250 CDI takes it even higher by being the least polluting car in its range. It emits 154g/km of C02 and promises 47.1 mpg economy-an improvement of 20g/km and 4.4 mpg over the previous generation E-220 CDI. The E-250 CGI is the least polluting e class at 134g/km of CO2.
Critics leveled against it suggest that the tail lights connote a Toyota-like appearance (many Mercedes owners hate Toyota.)
You also have to manually adjust your seat instead of electronically and that it lacks a reverse camera. The COMAND is not as intuitive as BMW's iDRIVE and the satellite navigation system is not as advanced as of the BMW 5 series.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Road Safety Budgets Being Reduced

If you have spent any time driving around certain parts of England lately, you will know that money is desperately needed to be spent on the roads. Repairs are needed for the potholes scattered across the road surface like pepperoni on a pizza, and even more than that, we need money to be spent on maintaining the roads so that we don't end up with yet more potholes as soon as the weather turns colder again (well, that's if it ever warms up!). Sadly, it seems the opposite is happening. Many councils across England have been reducing their road maintenance budgets by 10 percent in 2011.
Road maintenance budgets are primarily used for road surfaces. Both maintaining them (although local councils are a long way behind with this), and repairing potholes and cracks (which, again, the councils are behind in achieving). This makes driving more dangerous, as poorly maintained road surfaces may not provide enough grip to stop your car in the event of an accident, while potholes and cracks should be avoided at all costs.
If you do drive over a crack or a pothole at speed, you run the risk of damaging your car's tyres, wheels, and even chassis. A simple pothole could cause your car to be written off. It is not always easy, but the sensible thing to do is drive carefully so that no contact is made between any potholes and your tyres. Admittedly, on some roads, that can be quite challenging.
Road safety budgets have also been cut, with Camden Council in London cutting its road safety budget by a massive 70 percent in 2011. This budget covers things like rehabilitation courses for those who have committed a variety of motoring offences, and programmes to educate young drivers. Both of these have very likely been reduced, or axed completely.
it is understandable that budgets have been reduced in the current economic climate, but while the councils have been cutting their road related budgets rather dramatically, the average cuts for other council services has only been 6 percent during the same year. Also, while a lollipop person earns an average of £3000 a year, the cost of each road fatality is approximately £1.6 million. It makes no sense to cut these budgets.
So it looks like we will have to make do with the limited road care and safety services we have for the time being. By driving carefully, and safely, hopefully we can not only avoid needing any rehabilitation courses (no speeding!), but also avoid any damage to our cars. Making sure your car is in good condition by having a regular car service, checking the condition of your brakes and tyres regularly, will also help keep you safe on the roads this year.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cars of Today Are Not What They Were a Few Years Ago

Cars of today just don't seem to have the heart and soul of older cars.
In the words of the song "Things ain't what they used to be".
Sure, modern cars do the business - getting us from a to b, and very effectively, but they just don't have the feeling of the cars of yesteryear.
I suppose in a strive by the manufacturers to maximise profits and the wealth of experience they have gained over the years that they have been producing cars, they are able to piece together a vehicle that will give several years of really reliable service at a reasonable cost and earn a good profit in the process.
Cars produced in the 1980′s and earlier were certainly less reliable but simpler, with limited electrical systems. They were the type of vehicle which could be repaired by anyone with a sound knowledge of the workings of a car. What happened to contact breakers and where were we before electronic ignition systems?
Thousands of back street garages thrived as the guys who worked there understood these cars and knew the remedy to get the car fixed and back on the road quickly with their knowledge, experience and the simplest of tools.
Even a DIY home mechanics could carry out repairs to the majority of these vehicles proficiently if they followed the instructions as laid out in the workshop manual.
But with the advent of the rather complex car of today, any problems and the vehicle has to go for repair to a garage or dealership which is equipped with the right sort of equipment.
There the garage technician (they are not called mechanics nowadays) simply hooks the vehicle up to a laptop for diagnosis using hardware and software designed for that make and model of car.
The computer tells the technician what is wrong and he fixes it - although the diagnosis is not always right so things can get costly as wrong parts are unnecessarily fitted in an attempt to remedy things and some of these parts are far from cheap.
Where has the heart and soul gone from modern cars?
May be in the cost cutting, the car manufacturers left these out?
But, joking aside, I think that the quirkiness found in older cars, their unreliability, their unsureness of the old jalopy getting us home, not getting us to that date on time, having to push it when it would not start, all of this endeared us to our car somehow, almost to the extent of being in love with our car.
Some of us even gave our cars names! Including me.
Is it simply the car of today is too reliable that makes it less endearing?