Dec 112011
 

Two of the world’s hottest cars were launched in New Delhi in India recently.

The Ferrari FF was launched in October followed by the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 in early November.

The initials in the Ferrari FF stand for ‘Ferrari Four‘, referring to the first four-wheel drive vehicle made by the automaker. Ferrari calls it a Grand Tourer, meaning it is for long distance driving. The car has been designed in the ‘shooting brake’ style, and therefore resembles the hunting carriages (that were called shooting brakes) used in the olden days.

Call it what you will but it is definitely the fastest four-seater automobile ever made – it can reach a speed of 334.75 km/h.

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Aug 302011
 

Driving in rush hours inevitably leads to bouts of road rage, especially during the afternoon when everyone is in a rush to get home.

Breakthrough research has some new advice on how to deal with road rage:

Get Enough Sleep
According to an episode of Myth-busters (a TV show on The Discovery Channel), sleepy drivers are bad drivers, because they are usually in a bad mood and drive erratically. So make sure you get enough sleep.

Cool Down with Classical Music
A study by the American Psychological Association (APA) finds that aggressive music, such as rock and gangster rap, induces hostile behavior. Flipping the logic, it makes sense to listen to calming music that Continue reading »

Aug 182011
 

Last month, the second Eco-marathon Asia, organized by a leading oil company, culminated at the Sepang Circuit in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia. A total o f93 teams from 13 countries participated, including nine teams from Pakistan.

Participating teams designed their own eco-friendly vehicles, but the marathon is not about speed, it’s about fuel economy and eco-friendliness. The car that gets the most mileage out of a liter of fuel wins.

Entries from Pakistan included:

1. Air-X’s ‘Air-X Proto’:
This car runs on batteries that charge in just two hours and consumes only one unit of electricity per charge. Weighing less than 30 kilograms, its chassis is fashioned from aluminum.

2. Winmark’s ‘Uzbaa’:
An Eco-marathon veteran, this year, Uzbaa was modified with fibre-glass body parts and an EFI (electric fuel injection) engine that offers more mileage; the designers claim that this version can drive up to 200 kilometers per liter of petrol, a vast improvement.

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Jul 172011
 

Whenever I have to visit a fuel pump for filling up my car’s gas tank, one thing that really annoys me is that I was here yesterday wasn’t I? I can say this on everyone’s behalf that we all want to save money on fuel but the question here is how? I am so used to leisure that I will never want to go for biking, cycling or walking and that too in a weather which is hot and humid. Let’s face the truth that buying fuel will always be a necessity so we have to save fuel if we want to save money.

Honestly, I thought saving fuel would be the most difficult thing where I will be sacrificing a lot. But we can make it happen by simple changes and no these changes does not include walking for miles and miles. Let me tell you 10 simple ways to save your fuel

Avoid Fast Driving

People are slowly and gradually getting to know the fact that aggressive driving burns fuel quickly. Also, I have seen people flooring the accelerator and pushing the brakes on signals to be able to cross a car. This is one way which will burn your fuel like anything. So, avoid driving fast as much as you can.

Follow Speed Limit

Speed limits are set for your safety but they are also very good for fuel saving. A general perception is that people should speed up on a highway which is not really true. If you are not driving according to the speed limit it will reduce the gas mileage which is obviously a waste of money.

Do not Drive Unless it is Necessary

Understand that driving is for far destinations and if you just have to go to grocery store to buy a couple of things, why take the car. Walking is a better option if you do not have to travel to a place far away.

Do not Sit in Idle

Shut the car off if you are not moving especially at the signals. I know for a fact that it is not easy considering the kind of traffic we have these days but if moving your car will take a minute, shut it off and save fuel. Continue reading »

Apr 192011
 

Recently, at the 81st Geneva Motor Show, BMW launched its new concept car – The Vision Connected Drive (VCD). The VCD has a futuristic, curvy body – a departure from traditional BMWs with a long wheelbase and bonnet that blends seamlessly with its frame-less windscreen. The VCD’s electro-mechanical sliding doors, which disappear into the vehicle’s body, enhance this futuristic look and they eye-shaped headlights and L-shaped rear lights, which have in-built sensors to monitor traffic, make it look like a car that you would find in a Star Wars movies.

The VCD is split into three ‘layers’

The safety layer is displayed by a red ribbon of fibre optic light which flows from the cabin to the bonnet. It displays driving related information such as speed, fuel consumption and navigation information.

The infotainment layer, displayed by a blue ribbon of fibre optic light, runs from the driver’s cabin to the passenger’s cabin. It primarily comprises a passenger information display – a touch activated screen that allows the passenger to watch movies, listen to music, access the internet and communicate with the driver.

The comfort layer, defined by a green fibre optic ribbon that extends to the exterior of the car, focuses on the car’s interaction with its surroundings. This layer can (conceptually) enable the car to connect to the internet, find a parking space, drive to it and park iself – all without human interaction.

The VCD is designed to “connect and network” the car, its driver and passenger with the surrounding world. Using a smartphone link, the car’s computer can connect to the driver’s mobile device, providing access to messages and applications.

No wonder then that the VCD is being hailed as “the ultimate social networking machine” by car enthusiasts.

 

Mar 282011
 

Most consumers who are looking for a used car prefer to buy one that has been used by a company, because they think that company maintained cars are in good condition and have been driven by efficient and trained drivers. Another factor that appeals to would be buyers is the fact that these cars are usually only three to four years old.

Some issues to consider when buying a company maintained car are:

1. Milage

The milage of company-owned cars is generally very high within a short span of time. Wear and tear given local road conditions, more so in companies that operate in the rural areas, can have an adverse impact on the remaining life of the vehicle.

2. Driving Style

In a large number of surveys carried out by motor insurance companies across many national and multinational organization, employees are found likely to drive a vehicle not owned by them far more carelessly. The car is considered a perk on the job and driven more as a joy ride than an operating tool, especially nearer the time a newer car is to be offered to the employees.

3. Maintenance

Daily maintenance like washing the car or cleaning up interiors is not conducted for many days at a stretch  by employees. Drivers who smoke might leave permanent stains. Drivers who smoke might leave permanent stains inside the car, not to mention the lingering smell of nicotine.

4. Use of Car

Many employees are also likely to lend their company-owned cars to friends and family, and show limited concern for scratching or bumping their cars.

Conclusion

Buying a used company car has many risks that weigh heavier over buying a car from a private use instead. However, a well-maintained, diligently used company car beats any other used car any day.

Mar 242011
 

In its 100 year history the automobile industry has witnessed a large number of poorly designed cars that have been failures — but there is one car that has unanimously been proclaimed by experts from all over the world as the worst car over created.

The holder of this unflattering accolade is the Yugo which was manufactured in Yugosalavia between 1975 and 1989. However, the 1985 model of the Yugo GV is generally thought to be the worst car to over come off an assembly line.

There are jokes abound about the Yugo, which has been ridiculed for everything from frequent breakdowns to its sparse interiors. The floor carpet was listed as a ‘special feature’ and it was said that the rear window defroster was only good to keep your hands warm while you pushed it.

The car’s components would fall off as the car went along and a Yugo that competed 100 miles was listed as an overarchiever. The running joke was that a local bus schedule was a critical part of the owner’s handbook.

In the 1980s the car was imported into USA. The car’s low price appealed to the need based segments while its origin from beyond the Iron Curtain fed into the consumer fad and triggered a ‘Yugomania’ of sorts. This only lasted till the car’s poor performance was mercilessly panned by critics.

Critics attribute Yugo’s failure and poor reputation to a victimization of a foreign car by the American people and media. They argue that many other cars imported into the US have had worse issues and that because automobiles are a central character in culture and society, public opinion almost always falls through for low priced, low status cars.

Any which way to argument may go the Yugo figures prominently on many worst-car lists, even heading some of them.

 Posted by at 12:59 am
Feb 272011
 

Toyota Mark X 2010Toyota unveiled Mark X sedan also called Toyota Reiz, successor to the Mark II sedan which was first introduced in 1968. The Mark X was introduced back in 2004 and is manufactured in Japan, Iwate, Kanegasaki. The latest Mark X design was introduced on October 19, 2009.

Engine/Performance

Initially, this was available in 253 horsepower (189kW) 3.0L or 212 horsepower (158 kW) 2.5 L GR series V6 engine. Both have dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing) with gasoline direct injection. All-wheel drive models have 5-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive model have 6-speed automatic transmission. In the latest model, the engine options are 2.5L 4GR-FSE V6 and 3.5L 2GR-FSE V6 found in the Crown, GS 350 and IS 350.
In the latest model Mark X, Toyota’s tuning company Modellista installed a supercharged on the 3.5L 2GR-FSE motor to create the Mark X+M Super Charger. Power output is 360ps and 50.9 kg-m. Another model in non-supercharged version of the Mark X is Vertiga.

Models

In second generation (2009), the available models are

Standard 350G, 250G, 250G Four
Premium and Sports 350S, 250G S.

Features

Length is 4730 mm or 186.22 inch or 15.51 feet.
Width is 1795 mm or 70.66 inch or 5.88 feet.
Drive Train (Layout) is FR.
Top Speed 220 km/h

Seats five and comes with power windows, side mirrors and door locks. Other features include AM/FM radio/CD/MP3 player. Other features include all Discs, Alloy Wheels and ABS  technology in breaks.

Safety

The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) technology with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD). Passive safety features include front three-point seat-belts, front-seat passenger’s front and side impact airbags and safety-reinforced chassis with front and rear crush zones to absorb impact energy.

 

Toyota Mark X 2004

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Feb 202011
 

The 53rd running of the Daytona 500 will be held later today. Forty of world’s best stock car racer will once again vie for the Harley J. Earl Trophy. Defending champion Jamie McMurray will be hoping that he can repeat his performance of last year when he held off Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win the race.

As always, the race will be held at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Since its opening in 1959, the track has been the home of ‘The Great American Race’ as the Daytona 500 is commonly known.

Besides holding the Daytona 500, which is a stock car race, the track also holds motorcycle and kart races. To cater to such different types of machines and their requirements for racing, the track is divided into different sections such as the main ‘trio-oval’ (four kilometers), motorcycle course (4.75 kilometers) for karting.

The most peculiar aspect of the track is its ‘trio oval’ shape which covers a distance of four kilometers. The track is a combination of two shapes – a triangle and an oval – and is quite different from the meandering circuits common in Formula I.

This unique shape was designed in 1958 by Bill France Sr., who was the founder of NASCAR (National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing) under the auspices of which the Daytona 500 is run. The prime advantage of such design is that the spectators can see the entire race even when it is furthest away from where they might be seated and as a result adds to their excitement.

To date, the previous 52 races have not let the fans down, and if last year’s race which saw a total of 52 lead changes and 21 separate race leaders is anything to go by, this year’s race is sure to be thrilling one.

 

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Feb 172011
 

The first Detroit Auto Show was held in 1901 and had a total of 17 exhibitors, showcasing only 33 vehicles. Since then, the Show has come a long way, and this year over 500 companies were set to be represented at the show which was scheduled from 10 – 23 January 2011. It was renamed the North American International Auto Show in 1989.

As officially know as North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), it was 23rd show. This show is considered one of the most prestigious auto shows in the world and one of the largest media events in North America, showcasing about 50 new production and concept cars every year.

The show runs for two weeks and is attended by thousands of top media and industry executives as well as millions of car buffs from all over America. Every year the number of visitors increases: 715,000 in 2010 up from 650,000 in 2009.

Given today’s environmentally anxious world, the ‘Electric Avenue‘ as some of the top manufacturers present their versions of the next generation of cars. Chinese car manufacturer BYD Auto unveiled the E6, an electric SUV, along with an electric bus. Other prominent unveiled include the Korean automaker KIA which displayed its new concept, KV7.

Although, it was not chock-full of game-changing new product but the good news is that Detroit area are reserved for the $325 to $350 million in total estimated economic impact  – about $25 million more than in 2010.

Picture Source: naias.com