Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
The next-generation Transit will be at least 300 lb (136 kg) lighter than today's E-Series van and provide a minimum 25% fuel-economy improvement, Derrick Kuzak, Group Vice President of Ford's Global Product Development, said at a Dec. 7 commercial vehicles media event at the company's Dearborn, MI, Product Development Center.
According to Rob Stevens, Ford's Chief Program Engineer for Commercial Vehicles, the Transit van eventually will replace the E-Series full-size van in the North American marketplace following an undetermined period of overlap between the nameplates.
The Transit van's unibody is an underlying reason for the vehicle being lighter weight than an E-Series counterpart. The current Transit van is offered in three different wheelbases, four different body lengths, and three different roof heights.
Ford is investing $1.1 billion to retrofit one-half of its Kansas City Assembly Plant to accommodate the production of the Transit van for the North American market. (Production of F-150 light-duty pickup trucks will be unaffected by the facility upgrades.)
The automaker currently sells its Transit van outside the North American market in various cargo, passenger, and chassis cab configurations with a choice of three diesel engines—a 2.2-L four-cylinder, a 2.4-L four-cylinder, and a 3.2-L five-cylinder.
Transit Connect, Transit Connect Electric, and Transit Connect Taxi are C-Class commercial vans. All have sold globally for a decade. In the U.S. market, the Transit Connect launched in MY2010 while the Transit Connect Electric and Transit Connect Taxi launched in MY2011.
Monday, October 31, 2011
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Thursday, September 22, 2011
Daihatsu Motor Co. began marketing its new compact car "Mira e:S," the most fuel efficient non-hybrid gasoline car on the market.
The car runs around 30 kilometers to the liter, and is Daihatsu's try to capture a share of the green car market with an extremely efficient gasoline car. Such cars have been called the "third" type of green car after hybrids and electric vehicles.
"We've returned to the things that create compact cars appealing. Low price, good fuel economy, and little use of resources and forced them to the limit," said Daihatsu President Koichi Ina at an announcement of the Mira e:S's sale in Tokyo. In add-on to superb fuel economy, the Mira e:S's price tag has been kept low, with prices starting at 795,000 yen.
The car carries a new engine with enhanced fuel-burning efficiency and a function that turns off the engine automatically when speed drops to seven kilometers per hour or lower. By finding ways to decrease the number of parts, engineers made the car around 60 kilograms lighter, or about 8 percent lighter, than earlier cars in the Mira line.
To maintain prices down, Daihatsu used parts from Chinese and South Korean makers for the first time. "We cannot permit our company to be adversely affected by foreign exchange rates," said Ina, who expressed his intent to increase imports of parts from abroad.
"Interest in compact cars has grown-up, and we are expect a boost in demand," said Ina. The company predicts high sales of the new car: 120,000 for the first year, and 50,000 for the rest of this year.
The company plans to initiate technology used in the Mira e:S into other car models, including ones made and sold in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Travel with Convenience
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Renault’s product manager, Beatrice Foucher, proclaimed at the Frankfurt Motor Show that the new Clio generation will also get “an athlete”, in the form of a Renault sport version, while it will still be saving the planet by using a downsized turbocharged engine.
“Look to the new Twingo for even more clues, such as the more technical headlights, large diamond logo and black gloss grille”, said Beatrice Foucher. “It will be a real wide car and much lower too.
There is always a bigger volume for the five-door car. It is expensive to invest in a three-door and you make less money on it, so it’s not as profitable”, added the Renault official.
The French automaker says that the new Clio generation is inspired by the DeZir Concept and Renault’s designers, in their turn, say that the DeZir Concept was inspired by Aston Martin V8 Vantage, so now we are truly peculiar what the new Clio will look like.
This is all we now for now about the new model which will enter Renault’s line-up starting from next year and unluckily, with the Frankfurt Motor Show keeping them busy, the French didn’t release any images or even sketches of the future Clio.
Friday, September 9, 2011
New Electric Cars for China
Hyundai's been on the ascendency these past few years, and they've decided to make a new electric vehicle brand only for the Chinese market, in partnership with Beijing Automotive (the Chinese government normally forces companies from outside the country to form joint ventures with local companies, mostly as a way to transfer technology).
Plans are to start marketing the first electric car from the new brand in the first half of 2012, which means they've been working on it awhile, or it’s based on another EV model that Hyundai plans to release elsewhere. And maybe the Chinese experience will help make EVs more affordable around the world...
China has been encouraging its automakers to jump into the growing market of hybrid and electric cars so they will be able to vie with global competitors. The Chinese government said earlier that it will invest more than 100 billion Yuan (US$15.5 billion) to help nurture the new car industry over 10 years, opening this year.
In May, the Chinese government begin a plan to subsidize private purchases of alternative fuel cars in five cities Shanghai, Hangzhou, Changchun, Hefei and Shenzhen offering carmakers up to 50,000 yuan for each plug-in hybrid car and a maximum of 60,000 yuan for each full electric vehicle.
Chen Qingquan, chairman of the World Electric Vehicle Association, projected that the volume of new energy vehicles will attain 500,000 by 2015 in China and double to 1 million by 2020.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Skoda will be unveiling a new concept car at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, called the Mission L.
This C-segment sedan is based on the car maker’s new design language, and appears to be a more production-ready version of the Vision D revealed before in the year. When you consider the car from the side you clearly find the cues inherited from the D, especially the taillights, and the rear hatch.
The unique shape of the body gives it the profile of a sedan but with added practicality, as the rear window opens with the trunk lid, like the old Citroen Xantia.
Distinctive design features include the signature grille, and the LED headlights, which will likely make it into production entire.
No words on the technical specs yet. For that we should wait for the Frankfurt show.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
The third generation of the admired Panda model in its 31year history has just been officially revealed by Fiat and it has a more flexible exterior design with rounder lines but its power still remains under the 90 HP barrier.
According to the automaker, the new Panda model comes with four airbags, anti-lock, daytime running lamps, sunroof and electric power steering, some of them as standard, a few available as an alternative, Fiat didn’t say which is what yet.
The 2012 Panda is powered by Twin Air two-cylinder petrol engine delivering 64 BHP in the 0.9 Aspirated TwinAir form and 84 BHP in the 0.9 liter Turbo. A larger 1.2 liter and 68 BHP petrol unit is also existing, along with the 1.3 liter Multijet diesel which is developing 74 BHP.
The engines will be affiliated to Fiat’s Dualogic robotized manual transmission and the stop/start system will also be available.
The building quality of the new Panda generation will be enhanced by using 603 state-of-the-art robots and the new 2012 model will come in production in winter 2011 at the Giambattista Vico plant in Naples.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Toyota introduces today the all-new, seventh-generation Camry, America's best-selling car for nine years running & 13 of the past 14 years.
The 2012 Camry introductions a bold, sophisticated new design with a wider interior, improved driving dynamics and an even quieter ride than before. Since from Introduce, Toyota has sold more than 15 million Camry models world-wide.
"The all new 2012 Camry blends a development of the car's values such as comfort, efficiency, reliability and safety with a more attractive design and engaging driving experience," said Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager.
The Toyota Camry once again offers three power train choices, all of which have been enhanced for 2012 to give better fuel economy and more responsive performance.
All Camry models with the revised 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that offer 178 horsepower, an increase of nine hp, and 170 lb.-ft. of peak torque.
EPA-estimated fuel economy figures are 25 mpg city/35 highway, and the 28 mpg combined is two more than the earlier generation Camry. The 2.5-liter engine employs Dual VVT-i (Dual Variable Valve Timing-intelligent), which controls valve timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts for optimal performance and efficiency at all engine speeds.
The Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS) help optimize torque over a broad engine speed range.
To tease out the Camry’s claim to improved performance, Toyota proclaimed that the 2012 model would be the official pace car at the Daytona 500 Nascar race next year.
Denny Hamlin, who drives for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Sprint Cup series, piloted a Camry appareled in pace-car livery onto the Paramount Studios lot during Tuesday’s presentation.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Maruti Suzuki doesn't anticipate cutting vehicle production in September as the forthcoming festival season and an upgraded version of the Swift hatchback will likely drive more customers to its showrooms.
"I don't think we'll involve to cut production beyond August," Mayank Pareek, managing executive officer for sales and marketing at Maruti, said at the introduction of the upgraded Swift hatchback.
Two month long festival season, which begins in the last week of September, is considered auspicious to make new purchases in India.
India's largest car maker Maruti by sales, fell 5% in the April-July period to 317,187 autos. That compares with a 4% arise in total sales of cars and sport-utility vehicles in India to 785,204 autos.
"The Swift has been a bestseller since it’s established. We wait for even better demand for the new Swift," said Shinzo Nakanishi, chief executive and managing director.
Maruti introduced Swift small car in May 2005, and since sold more than 600,000 units of the model. The Swift is one of the Maruti's bestselling models with a waiting period of up to six weeks.
Maruti has already got orders for 50,000 units of the upgraded Swift, Mr. Pareek said, adding that the company will lift production capacity for the car because of the strong demand. Also he added that Maruti will raise Swift's production to 17,000-18,000 a month by November from about 12,000 currently.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
The German premium car maker said in a press release that the urban concept car, which will be made of lightweight carbon fiber, will blend “elements of a racing car, a fun car and an urban car.”
Rival BMW recently also unveiled a new city car, the i3, which will seat four.
Other car brands are also developing smaller, electrically driven vehicles that will provide to urban habitants. The moves are activated by prospect that more people will live in megacities and that concerns over air pollution will trigger a sharp rise in electric vehicles in those cities.
Audi said its concept car is not based on any earlier model. The two-seater will contain controls and materials that will all be ultra light. The driver can adjust the steering wheel and pedals and the roof slides open to the rear to let in passengers.
Sporting 21-inch wheels, the Audi concept car will be impelled by two e-tron electric motors that will be motorized by a lithium-ion battery.
Coolest thing about the Audi urban concept car is? Sporting 21-inch wheels.
Monday, August 8, 2011
GMI has great hopes from the newly launched Beat Diesel model and anticipates that it will certainly add to its reputation. At the launch of the diesel variant, GMI President and MD, Karl Slym said, “Offering a diesel engine developed for Indian consumers in our most popular model is a momentous achievement for GM India.”
The Beat Diesel was designed with the goal to effectively cope up with the fuel worries as it provides the ARAI certified mileage of 24 kmpl. Beat Diesel accompanies 1.0 XSDE SMARTECH Engine, designed specifically for Indian market by the Bangalore based GM Technical Centre in partnership with GM Power-train Europe. It renders 58.5 PS at the rate of 4000 rpm with 150 Nm torque. Furthermore, Beat Diesel will prove to be economical as the engine oil will need to be changed only once in 1.5 years. The car allows better fuel economy and superior emission performance too.
The model's 65% high-strength steel body cage provides better resident safety. The sleek and stylish interior of the model is complemented by an advance in-dash integrated ice-blue lit music system. Additionally, the new Chevrolet Beat Diesel model costs between Rs. 4.40 lacs and Rs 5.5 lacs and comes with three years or 1 lac kilometre warranty.
GMI has great hopes from Beat Diesel and expects it to touch new borders of success; however, the way is not as smooth as it was speculated. The dynamics of auto business will surely change after the government indicated on Thursday that dual pricing of diesel may be introduced to remove the subsidy enjoyed by car owners.
Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, affirmed in the Lok Sabha that passenger cars were consuming about 15% of the diesel supplied in the country and that "we can try to work out mechanism, so that this section is not subsidised".
Oil Minister, Jaipal Reddy, also supported the Finance Minister's concern about the subsidised diesel. Besides, all these statements are coming at a time when most of the car manufacturers are working hard to maximize their share of the domestic diesel car market. Moreover, the number of sales of diesel cars has risen over the last few years only as diesel is cheaper than petrol.
All the car manufacturers have voiced their bear on as any change in policy or an additional tax on the fuel would harm an already sulky auto market. Besides, domestic car sales has already faced constant decline, which is 10% year-on-year in July. This is the worst statistics since the 7% decline in January 2009.
General Motors India President Karl Slym said "We are for market-driven price of diesel. Already the sales of car and passenger vehicles are sluggish in the domestic market and any change in policy will further impact it". However, GMI is not taking it as a fatal issue, as the Vice President of GM India, P. Balendran, adds, “We have diesel models, but diesel has other advantages than simply being a cheaper fuel. Diesel technology today is cleaner and fuel efficiency of diesel vehicles is higher. We would rather let the consumer choose according to his requirements”.
There are lot of hurdle race in the way, but GMI hopes that all these issues will not hurt Beat Diesel sales that much as it is ready to face all challenges boldly.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
The i3 concept is a fully-electric city car with an everyday driving range of about 160 km (100 miles) per charge, and the i8 is a sporty 4-seater plug-in hybrid that combines electric and petrol drive to give a good compromise among emission-free commuting and petrol-powered range and performance.
Both cars make widespread use of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) to keep weight down, and both offer a raft of fascinating new driver assist and efficiency initiatives that look likely to make it throughout to the real world.
The BMW i3 - all-electric city boy
First up is the town car getabout - the i3. As a fully electric car, it's mainly aimed at urban commuting, but its battery range is conditioned to a level a little beyond that. On the FTP72 cycle, it's rated for 225 km (140 miles), but BMW says the car's everyday range, being driven by regular lead-foot clowns like you and I, is more like 160 km (100 miles).
Acceleration is in the range of 8 seconds to 100 kph (62 mph), but it should be fairly zippy off the line, as it develops 100 percent of its torque from a standstill. Top speed should be about 150 kph (93 mph) - but that's electronically limited, because autobahn speeds can be brutally draining on most electric vehicles.
The i3's large battery pack sits under the floor of the vehicle in a slab that's protected from crash damage by a number of buffer zones in the structure. As batteries are typically the most expensive part of an electric vehicle, you'd surely want to protect them.
The 170 hp electric motor, single-gear drive system and differential are located over the driven rear axle, and there's room there for an optional range extender - a high efficiency petrol engine that putts away and brings forth electricity to charge the batteries. With the range extender on board, you can roughly double the i3's range, and fill up at any petrol station.
The BMW i8 - a clean, hybrid all-rounder
While the i3 is best suited to round-town usage, the i8 has broader dreams. It uses the same electric motor as the i3, this time mounted over the front axle, in conjunction with a three-cylinder, 220 horsepower petrol engine over the rear axle. Blended, you're looking at a 354 horsepower all-wheel-drive with 550 Nm of torque.
All wheel drive isn't altogether accurate though - the i8 constantly proportions the power between the front and rear drive systems according to how the car is being driven. With a much smaller battery system than the i3, the i8 can only manage around 35 km (20 miles) in full electric drive mode - but then, that would cover an emission-free commute for the majority of people.
The true value of the hybrid system comes with longer range driving, where on the EU cycle, the i8 carries off a banging 104 miles per gallon (2.7 liters per 100 km). Driven hard, the fuel consumption will double, but don't forget that the Toyota Prius is advertised as a 50 mpg hybrid and is nowhere near as much fun.
Like the i3, the i8's top speed is electronically governed, but this time at a very sporty 250 kph (155 mph), so it'll hold its head high on any autobahn. The i8 will hit 100 kph (62 mph) in a brisk 5 seconds or less, decent sports car territory there, and the car's entire underbelly is totally enclosed to boost aerodynamic efficiency and cut down fuel consumption.
The i3 and i8 share a contrive philosophy and a number of characteristics worth talking about.
LifeDrive component separation and CFRP
Both cars are built on the LifeDrive philosophy, which separates the drive and passenger components and treats each differently. The Drive components, including engines, suspension, structural and crash protection functions, are chiefly housed in aluminum structures, while the Life elements - effectively the passenger cell - are designed using high strength, featherweight, carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP).
Accelerator/Decelerator pedal and regenerative braking
Even as they incorporate it in different ways, both cars feature a regenerative braking system to hold the battery topped up and cut down wear on the conventional brake system.
On the i3, this comes in the form of an accelerator/decelerator pedal, with which you're either on the gas, coasting, or braking depending on how far the pedal is pressed down. BMW approximations that around town, you can do as much as 75 percent of your braking this way - that is,without lifting your foot and hitting the brake pedal at all - and in our experience with other regenerative braking systems, that's not far off the mark. The regenerative braking system can contribute back up to 20 percent extra range to the battery charge, and it's very sensitive to use.
The press release is less clear about how the system works on the i8 - or how it works in with the petrol engine - but we assume it's somewhat similar, including a brake pedal which seems to use the regenerative system for the first part of the pedal travel, and the conventional disc brakes beyond that.
Intelligent Electronics: Proactive Front Protection, Parking Assistant, Traffic Jam Assistant
Driver aids abound on the i3 and i8, including frontal collision warning systems that flash, beep and eventually hit the brakes for you if they find out you're going to hit something.
Parking Assistant is a press-button parallel parking system that not only manages the steering to lead you into your parking spot, but also handles the accelerator, brake and gear changes for you, even if the park takes a few moves.
Traffic Jam Assistant is a wonderful stress-saver that holds a constant distance from the car in front, all the way from standstill to 40 kph(25 mph), and actually provides active steering input as well to keep you inside your lane. You just need to keep one hand on the steering wheel as you drift off to sleep.
Equally with all things in the future, the i3 and i8 will be highly integrated with your smartphone. You can use your phone to find your car,lock it, unlock it, make it beep its horn or flash its lights.
Your smartphone can also tell you where the nearest charging stations are, and through integration with the navigation system, it can tell you where to walk once you've parked your car to get to your destination.
ECO PRO mode
ECO PRO mode immediately changes the accelerator response characteristics so that you're constantly using less power for a given throttle application. It caps top speed at anywhere between 90 and 120 kph (56 and 75 mph), and it reduces the effectiveness of heating and cooling systems so they consume less too.
Whenever things get really scary, ECO PRO+ mode sets in and basically closes down everything except the absolute essentials, like demisters and whatnot. Top speed is reined in to 90 kph (56 mph) and you can be certain you're getting maximum mileage.
It'll be fascinating to see what alterations on these two concepts if and when they hit the market - but it looks fairly clear that through its i division, BMW is serious about emission-free motoring and ready to get into the game with some pretty competitive products.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
It's nothing new for a car manufacturer to dig into the world of bicycles to get its branding on a different sort of vehicle, but as with most things, when Porsche does it, it just appears well.
Through Porsche Design, the company has just introduced a duo of two-wheeled people-powered machines, and yes, they're nice-looking cool.
The more affordable of the two bikes is the Porsche Bike S, which starts with an aluminum frame and forgoes a typical chain drive in favor of an 11-speed belt drive system that's pretty interesting. It has 29-inch wheels, weighs about 26 pounds and will cost 3300 Euros when it goes on sale in Europe in September.
There's no cite of US pricing, but a release does say the bikes will come to "worldwide markets." They both also include serial numbers linked to a Porsche database that indicates whether that used bike you're purchasing is stolen.
For further serious bikers, there's also the Porsche Bike RS. Instead of aluminum, its frame is formed from carbon fiber, dropping its overall weight below 20 pounds. It has a traditional chain drive with 20 speeds and Shimano XTR components, 29-inch wheels, and disc brakes. It also has a steep price of 5900 Euros.
If you're already spending $100,000 for that new Cayenne Turbo, though, don't you think a set of these on top would just look great?
Friday, July 22, 2011
New Pre-Collision System (PCS) from Toyota will use a super sensitive radar called “millimeter-wave” radar and two cameras with infrared night vision and, according to the manufacturer, it will take control of the steering wheel and “change the direction of the vehicle” to avoid hitting an object.
"We must learn from accidents and keep making improvements in safety features," he said.
Toyota said it was aiming for zero fatalities and injuries, although it did not say when that goal would be attained.
Another system on which the Japanese car manufacturer is working is an advance of the automatic high-beam headlights, where the technology can partially shade the high-beam lights to prevent blinding.
And if this wasn’t sufficient, Toyota is also working on a system which will notice the driver’s heath and in case of a sudden cardiovascular irregularity it can warn the driver or stop the car.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
1. What engine size do you want?
What is under the hood is as important as what you see on the outside and what you do not see under the vehicle. A slow under-powered car can be very irritating if you travel long distance often. If you only require the car to get to the office 10 kilometers away in frustrating jams then a smaller, more economical engine is best.
2. How much money must you spend on a car?
You must first and foremost decide your short-term and long-term obligations. How much money can you spare without changing your lifestyle? If you have saved up and the cash is in the bank, then you have an even bigger trouble because there is nothing worse than having money at the ready and a list of gorgeous cars calling out to you.
3. How many seats do you require?
The passengers you expect to carry helps you determine the number of seats your new car must have. Your wife is expecting and you will now have three at the back with the child seat taking up most of the space. Count a house-help and you have it. You are looking at a 7-seater.
4. How long do you plan to keep the car?
If you plan to sell the car after two or three years what do you expect to get for it and will that amount go into financing your next car? If the answer is yes then you should ensure the value of your car is going to hold. Some cars lose about 50per cent in the first year while others hold up to 80per cent.
5. Will you be taking a loan or are you self-financing?
Today most financial institutions are offering unsecured loans so you are not obliged to buy a car that is less than 5 years old although it is recommended. This means you can afford that car of your choice. Take your time to do your homework. You might be better off with a new car than forking out millions only to have eternal mechanical troubles.
6. What’s the condition of the roads you often use?
The roads are your link to your destination. What are they like on your regular way? The car you choose must have the neccesary ground clearance to keep away from the annoying battering of the undercarriage. You must also pick out the size of rim and tyre carefully. Low profile tyres look nice but will cost you thousands of shillings to replace.
7. Are you looking for a diesel or petrol powered engine?
This is a very puzzling decision to make. Diesel engines are very efficient and the new generation ones are quiet and environmental friendly. Bigger engines consume less while smaller engines perform better. If your do high mileage then you will need an engine that goes longer without needing service.
Friday, July 15, 2011
The new Ford Fiesta RRC is based on Ford’s Fiesta RS WRC which arrogated a podium clean sweep at the FIA World Rally Championship season-opener in Sweden earlier this year.
Both cars share the same DNA but the Fiesta RRC features a 30 mm engine restrictor and aerodynamic modifications to qualify for the regional regulations. The RRC is supplied as a WRC variant with a kit of parts to enable it to be changed over to WRC specification in six hours.
The Fiesta RRC is directed at rallying’s most experienced drivers and marks the next step for drivers in their career after the extremely successful Ford Fiesta S2000.
The car is built to comply with FIA regional rally rules and the versatility of the car lets it to compete in national championships in its RRC guise but also in the World Rally Championship in its WRC variant. The Fiesta MS1 will complement the Ford Fiesta R2 and turn out to be the first step in Ford’s ladder of opportunity.
The MS1 is intended as the initial step for drivers in global markets including the USA, China, India and South America. Facebook pages have been set up to watch the progress of the new Fiesta RRC and Fiesta MS1 as they contend in regional rallies throughout the world.
M-Sport Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“We are delighted to introduce the new Ford Fiesta RRC and the Ford Fiesta MS1 as both cars offer competitors more flexibility to help further their rallying career. M-Sport have been looking to expand the range of rally cars available to our customers and the latest additions have allowed us to provide two extra rungs to Ford’s ladder of opportunity.
The Fiesta MS1 offers drivers an introduction to rallying at an affordable level whereas the Fiesta RRC/WRC provides experienced drivers with the highest level of rally car but also includes the necessary components to convert it into a regional rally car. I look forward to revealing our new cars to the world rallying scene and to monitoring their performance in regional championships across the globe.”
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
The T.27 shares its design with the ultra-compact T.25 city car revealed last year, and uses the same innovative manufacturing processes to deliver a three-seater EV with a 100 mile real-world range.
Gordon Murray Design's new model gets a modified 33bhp electric motor mated to a single-speed gearbox. The T.27 is limited to 65mph, but is said to hit that speed in less than 15 seconds.
It will return that performance while using significantly less energy than its rivals. According to Murray's company, the Smart EV uses 29 per cent more energy per km, with the Mitsubishi iMiEV and Mini-E on 36 per cent and 86 per cent.
Like much of the designer's work, the secret here is the T.27's low kerbweight. Murray has delivered a realistic electric car which weighs in at just 680kg, including the normally prohibitively heavy battery.
On unveiling the car, Murray said: ''Lightweight is the most powerful tool we have in our armoury in the fight against emissions and fuel expenditure. This is true of all cars and especially so with electric vehicles.''
The T.27 is intended as another showcase of Gordon Murray Design's new iStream manufacturing method, and turning it into a production actuality depends on someone investing in the entire process.
That could just be a matter of time though, as the firm is said to already be in discussions with three interested parties.
Friday, June 17, 2011
Buyers of brand-new cars can look forward to a price war in the showrooms this summer, with numerous top-selling models being formally discounted by a fifth before the haggling even starts.
As I reported lately, Vauxhall dealers have set the price agenda by taking it upon themselves to offer selected fresh-from-the-factory models discounted by thousands of pounds. But now the manufacturer has bigheartedly stepped in and instructed them to slash the price of new cars by 20 per cent across the board, for at least a month.
Even already reasonable models such as Agila are cut by £2,000-plus, while the Corsa and Meriva both have more than £3,000 off. The saving is nearer £5,000 on the British-built Astra Sports Tourer, and customers who choose an Insignia VXR Nav 2.8i V6 24v Turbo 4x4 auto will enjoy savings starting from £7,165.
Under the terms of the "Vauxhall Countdown" programme, the vast popular of the company's most popular models come with 20 per cent off – but only when a car is ordered or registered between June 17 and July 18 2011. Cars ordered prior to the 17th of this month but still not delivered will also be eligible – but only if registered between the particular dates. It's worth noting that the industry-leading 20 per cent reduction applies to the list price only and excludes factory-fitted options, delivery and other on-the-road charges, and that bottom-of-the-range Expression models, plus ES/Tech, Zafira Exclusive and Astra GTC, are excluded.
Friday, June 3, 2011
The J and SJ were the creation of German-born Fred and August Duesenberg, who came to America as children in the late 1800s. Growing up in Iowa, they were keen cyclists with enough natural mechanical capacity to build their own race-winning bicycles.
With the emergence of motorized vehicles, the brothers were soon dabbling in motorcycles and cars. In 1906, with backing from a Des Moines lawyer named Mason, they began production of the Mason car, a high-quality performer that won hill climbs and races. The company prospered and in 1910 was bought out by the Maytag Company, improved known for washing machines than for cars.
By 1913 the Duesenbergs were able to classify their own Duesenberg Motor Company in St. Paul, Minnesota, to build automobile and marine engines. They were soon producing winning racing cars that were made famous by such legendary driving greats as Eddie Rickenbacker and Ralph Mulford.
This attracted New York capital and in 1916, a $1.5 million venture was organized and a enormous factory constructed for the Duesenberg Motors Corp. in Elizabeth, New Jersey. This was during the First World War, and car building was late while the plant turned out aero engines.
When the war ended in 1918 the brothers returned to the car-building venture with a four-cylinder engine, but their hearts weren’t actually in it. This led to their departure, leaving them free to think on their real love, an eight-cylinder overhead camshaft racing engine.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
According to Bahar, Lotus will need a partner in order to offset the cost of meeting strict new emissions ratings and crash tests. If a partner can’t be establish, Lotus could look at spinning off into a private company with publicly traded stock.
Rumors of a tie-up with Toyota are only too simple to generate with both automakers sharing a long-term partnership, with Toyota supplying engines in cars like the Elise since 1994.
Bahar’s plan is to build up Lotus as a serious rival to Porsche, with total sales reaching everywhere from 6,000 to 8,000 units annually by around 2015. In order to achieve this significant growth Lotus has already unveiled its New Era plan to expand several new models including a new Elise, an Esprit and even a possible city car, among others.
According to a report by Inside Line, the company is developing a latest aluminum tub to be shared across these models, which weights 220-lbs less than the 520 lb one used in the Evora.