Friday, February 28, 2014

COMPARE THE 2014 RAM 1500 ECO DIESEL VS 2014 RAM 2500

Finally there is a choice in the types of trucks you can have: light-duty or heavy-duty. The 2014 model year has brought in significant improvements to the entire Ram truck line. Ram has become the first manufacturer to bring to market a diesel engine available in a ½-ton pickup since the ’90s and has revolutionized the ¾-ton by introducing the first-ever factory five-link rear suspension in a heavy-duty application. These trucks have both thrown off the ties that have historically bound their segments, and by breaking with tradition Ram has created two exceptional machines.

There continues to remian many questions about this change: Will the 1500 live up to Ram’s reputation without a Cummins? Will a 3.0L V-6 be powerful enough? Can the Ram 2500 still tow as well as it used to? It was for this reason that we felt it to be our duty to acquire both of these trucks and run them side by side through a series of real-world tests. We set out to not only answer these questions but also to help people decide which truck is the right one for their needs. At the end of the day, not everyone needs a ¾-ton, but everybody should be driving a diesel.

To compare two different classes of trucks may seem like blasphemy to some, but when we look at the hard facts, these two are more similar than they seem at first glance. Keeping things as close to real-world as possible, we ordered our testers outfitted as most would buy them, and as similarly as possible. Both trucks are crew cab four-wheel-drive shortbeds, and both are trimmed in premium packages. The two trucks are also dimensionally similar, as they share the same sheetmetal from the grille back to the C-pillar, and they both come equipped with the same five-link-style rear suspension. Marking the only notable difference in options between our subjects is that the Ram 1500 was delivered with the company’s optional air suspension, Ram Boxes, and 20-inch wheels. And while both are equipped with shortbeds, the 1500’s measures 5 feet 7 inches, and the 2500’s is a slightly larger 6 feet 4 inches.

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel The ’14 Ram 1500 4x4 was delivered with the new 3.0L EcoDiesel engine, ZF 8HP70 eight-speed automatic transmission, and BorgWarner 44-44 transfer case. To keep the test as close to equal as possible, a Crew Cab in Laramie trim was selected. 

And now we take a close look at the 2014 Ram 1500
2014 Ram 2500 Our ’14 Ram 2500 4x4 tester arrived equipped with the 6.7L Cummins engine mated to the 68RFE automatic transmission and BorgWarner 44-46 transfer case. The drivetrain was wrapped in a Crew Cab body with a Laramie Longhorn trim package. 

The highway is where trucks spend most of their life—even four-wheel-drive models—so to adequately test these two we mapped out a 500-mile loop that would take us along both flat highway and up to nearly 5,000 feet of elevation, four different times. Our two professional drivers set the cruise control at 5 mph over the posted speed limit (75 mph) and swapped vehicle position at the halfway point. At the end of our drive, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel netted an impressive 28.47 mpg, while the Cummins 6.7L-equipped 2500 knocked down 19.97 mpg.

On the highway is where the Ram 1500 with the EcoDiesel really excels. Power delivery from the 3.0L V-6 is extremely smooth and incredibly linear, accelerating briskly to well beyond the legal speed limit. While it doesn’t pack quite the same punch off the line as its Hemi-powered brethren (which, at 5.7L, is nearly twice the displacement of the VM V-6), passing is a nonissue thanks to the engine’s 420 lb-ft of torque. Sitting in the cab, one would be hard pressed to tell the truck is even running, let alone powered by a diesel. Ram engineers worked tirelessly to ensure the EcoDiesel was extremely smooth and quiet, and we would say their hard work has paid off. Shifting from the eight-speed transmission is polished and works well at keeping the EcoDiesel firmly in its powerband. Steering feel is effortless thanks to the electric power assist. It has good road feedback and a nice, on-center feel. 

Stepping into the Ram 2500, the power difference is immediately noticeable, along with the increase in perceived turbo lag. The heavy-duty 68RFE six-speed transmission fires off quick and firm shifts, which are much more noticeable than the more refined eight-speed found in the 1500. While quieter than previous generations, inside or out you know when the 6.7L Cummins engine is running. Steering feel is somewhat heavy and a bit dead on center compared to the 1500, which helps to instill confidence when towing and aids in giving the truck a heavy-duty feel. While the Ram 2500 is primarily a workhorse, it rolls down the road straight and smooth, leaving very little to be desired.

One of the biggest complaints about ¾-ton trucks that we have heard over the years has been about ride quality. Traditionally, to achieve the high payload and towing capacities, these trucks have needed an extremely firm suspension. Ram has now turned the heavy-duty world on its head with the introduction of the first-ever five-link coil spring rear suspension on a ¾-ton. Similar in design and upsized 10 percent from the smaller Ram 1500, the new rear suspension provides a smoothness that was previously only achieved with a trailer in tow. The Ram 2500’s ride is not soft, but it is no longer kidney-jarringly stiff. A comparison we can all relate to would be a leaf-sprung truck with 800 pounds of sandbags in the bed. The switch to a three-link-style front suspension provides far greater roll stiffness compared to the previous generation four-link suspension. Overall, we didn’t notice any increase in body roll or negative handling from the new style of suspension—only a greatly improved ride. 

The Ram 1500 chassis and suspension are carryover from the previous model years and performed exactly as expected. The ride is compliant enough to isolate its occupants from highway irregularities, but not so soft as to lose its truck-like feeling. Optioned onto our Ram 1500 was the company’s air suspension system, which replaces the coil springs at all four corners. This system allows for the vehicle to lower into an aerodynamic mode while at highway speeds for better fuel economy, and to rise up when increased ground clearance is required. It also has the ability to self-level to adjust for trailer tongue weight or a payload in the bed. At $1,695, the upcharge for the air suspension is so reasonable, there’s almost no reason not to check that box.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

THE 2014 HONDA ACCORD

The ninth-generation Accord has a look that’s both sporty and sophisticated. And it begins right up front with the bold yet elegant grille.

185-hp, 2.4-Liter, 16-Valve, Earth Dreams Technology DOHC i-VTEC® 4-Cylinder Engine

The Earth Dreams Technology DOHC i-VTEC® system enhances the effect of VTEC® on Accord's 4-cylinder engines with Variable Timing Control™, or VTC™. And direct-injection technology leads to better combustion and a more efficient use of fuel.

Eco Assist™ System
With Eco Assist, there are two ways for car and driver to work together to improve fuel efficiency. Coaching bars around the speedometer will change from white to green depending on how efficiently you're driving. The longer they stay green, the farther you’ll go on a tankful. Or, push the ECON button, and your Accord automatically adjusts its fuel-consuming systems to maximize efficiency.

6-Speed Automatic Transmission
We've added a sixth gear to the Accord, because sometimes you just need to kick it up a notch. The 6-speed automatic transmission uses the engine's broad torque curve for brisk acceleration, optimized fuel economy and smooth shifting.

The well-rounded Accord's 2.4-liter four-cylinder works well with its unobtrusive CVT and got an impressive 30 mpg overall. The 3.5-liter V6 is lively and refined, and with the six-speed automatic gets a very good 26 mpg overall. Handling is quite agile and secure, and the ride is compliant but not as good as some competitors'. The cabin is roomy, with supportive seats. Top-trim models have a fussy radio. A plug-in hybrid, with an EV range of 10 to 15 miles, is available in selected states, while a regular hybrid is also available. Reliability of the redesigned four-cylinder sedan is average, but the V6 sedan and coupe versions are below average. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

XF 3.0 2014 JAGUAR SEDAN


Settle into heated bond grain leather six-way power adjustable front seats, including memory function with two settings for the driver’s seat, exterior mirrors and steering wheel. The bond grain stitched instrument panel, and Knurled Aluminum with Blackwood veneer complete the luxurious look, while assertive 19 inch Artura alloy wheels make heavy metal black jaguars further enhance the dynamic exterior. 

he rear parking aid and Touch-screen visual indicator make slipping into tight spaces easier, while headlight glare from nighttime traffic is reduced by the auto-dimming interior rearview mirror.4 The 250 watt Jaguar Sound System purrs your songs and Front Media Interface with USB and iPod® connectivity let you listen to your favorite music like ,bye Hall and Oats ooo she man eater , watch out boy she'll chew you up .She come at night she beast watch  out boy or she'll get you ?

Discover the performance of a V8 engine with the efficiency of a V6. The supercharged V6 in the XF 3.0 possesses a range of innovative induction technologies, including direct injection and twin Variable Camshaft Timing designed to help maximize power and efficiency. With 332 lb-ft of torque available across a broad range of engine speeds, the XF 3.0 is always ready to pounce. she only come on night for a run ? 
The XF 8-speed electronic automatic transmission constantly adapts for almost imperceptible, quick, smooth gearshifts and multiple downshifts with no perceptible loss of power between changes. For greater driver involvement, paddle shifter positioned behind the steering wheel offer manual gear-selection control.

The transmission is controlled by the beautifully designed JaguarDrive Selector™, which rises into your hand once the Start/Stop button is pressed. Simply rotate the selector to move from Park to Reverse or Drive. JaguarDrive Control™ offers specific settings for the drivetrain: Dynamic Mode, for a more engaging driving experience, or Winter Mode, providing more progressive throttle control for slippery conditions.4

Enjoy the convenience and comfort of six-way power front seat adjustment with the added luxury of bond grain leather, plus a two-position driver memory seat. If the day is cold, indulge in the luxury of heated front driver and passenger seats.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

THE BMW i8 HYBRID ALL WHEEL DRIVE


The BMW i8 is ready to revolutionise its vehicle class. As the first sports car with the consumption and emission values of a compact car. The strength of the plug-in hybrid lies in the perfect synchronisation of electric motor and combustion engine, that’s brought to the street with the highest efficiency and dynamics. No longer a vision, but charged intelligence. 

A sports car at first glance. Extremely low and wide when viewed from the front, a flat silhouette, powerfully-formed surfaces and precise lines. A second look reveals the well-planned revolution. With design dedicated to function. Sustainability and efficiency meet their equals in dynamics and sportiness. The street is the stage on which the BMW i8 displays how these ideals interact: hugging the ground in typical BMW style as it glides along.

Exterior design
Long wheelbase, short overhangs, solid status as it crouches on the street: the BMW i8 has all the characteristics of a full-blooded sports car. The front appears extremely low and wide. Everything is arranged to be optimally aerodynamic. At the same time, the flat, but prominent double kidney grill makes this vehicle’s origins clear. A V-shaped ‘black belt’ starts on the bonnet and dynamically wraps around the bodyshell to the rear.

Viewed from the side, the exaggerated wedge shape, the long drawn-out lines and the flat silhouette underscore the dynamics and fulfil the expectations one has of a sports car. From the front to the rear, the car has a very dynamic, three-dimensional appearance. Surfaces and lines overlap and interlock, a method known as ‘layering’. This joins all the surfaces harmoniously and allows compact and unbelievably agile look. Its monolithic appearance lends the BMW i8 its extraordinarily powerful stature.
Off to a swinging start: the special sports car aspect of the BMW i8 is unmistakeable after just a glance at the spectacular scissor doors. The prominent scissor doors – which swing upwards when opened – are an optical highlight and blend perfectly in the smooth lines of the aerodynamic bodyshell.

From the inside, the doors emphasise the entire sporty character of the interior and guide the driver’s gaze forward. The decorative door handle is ergonomically located in the inside of the door panel.

LED headlights are standard in the BMW i8 and go perfectly with the exceptional sports car concept. All lighting elements are completely in LED and low-beam and high-beam are widely spaced. The optional high-beam headlights with laser light technology* includes a typical BMW i U-shaped frame, from which the running lights and the built-in indicators are operated. A second, wide light frame surrounds the innovative laser light unit and emphasises its three-dimensionality. a passively lit blue band signalises the lighting unit’s innovative technology. In the equipment with laser light, the headlights have a brilliant metallic side cover rather than a dark one. The overall impression of the light concept is unmistakeably BMW i8.

The consistently sporty look of the exterior is continued seamlessly in the interior of the BMW i8. In the interior, the layering principle creates a novel relationship between functionality and clear form. All elements are light and dynamically positioned. The equipment lines ‘Carpo’ and ‘Neso’ employ the particularly light leather ‘Spheric’. This material, used for the first time in a series-production vehicle, is over 20 per cent lighter than regular leather. Lightweight construction is implemented visually; for example, the visible carbon elements in the door sill highlight its low weight.
A classic sports car character and the typical BMW driver orientation are both equally prominent in the design of the BMW i8. The centre console is aligned towards the driver. All the instruments and signs in the digital instrument panel, with its two large displays, are simple to use. Passengers all sit particularly close to the ground and the narrow lightweight seats provide reliable support and a high level of comfort even when cornering rapidly. The iDrive Controller is conveniently located on the centre console that optically bisects the vehicle.

Colour and material design underscores the guiding idea of a smart, sustainable sports car concept. Three equipment lines – ‘Halo’, ‘Carpo’ and ‘Neso’ – differ in terms of materials used. ‘Halo’ and ‘Carpo’ are full leather equipment; ‘Halo’ is the top of the range with leather tanned in olive leaf extract and ‘Carpo’ comes in two colours, ‘Ivory White’ and ‘Amido’. The equipment concept ‘Neso’ is the most direct implementation of future-orientated mobility: a pure and clever blend of resource-saving materials that contrast with each other and evoke modern sportiness in every detail. The use of lightweight and recycled materials in all the material concepts proves that sustainability doesn’t herald the end of premium products, but instead, shows where their future lies.

The sporty character of the BMW i8 is noticeable everywhere, thanks to the vehicle’s intelligent drive control system. Its combustion engine and electric drive interact precisely, while the exceptional control of all flows of energy results in an optimal combination of efficiency and dynamics.

In eDrive mode, the BMW i8 drives completely electrically, while Hybrid mode allows the intelligent combination of two types of drive that provide optimal traction in every situation. The electric drive, a powerful 96 kW (131 hp), is located on the front axle. The rear axle is driven by an authoritative three-cylinder petrol engine with 170 kW (231 hp). All four wheels can be powered simultaneously by two engines and – depending on the driving situation – the advantages of front, rear or al-wheel drive utilised. In extra-urban environments, the fully-fledged all-wheel drive in the BMW i8 comes into its own – at speeds of up to 250 km/h.

Monday, February 24, 2014

THE 2014 AUDI A3 SEDAN IS COMING SOON

The all-new Audi A3 Sedan is a small car breaking big rules. The arresting design, visionary technology and luxurious performance of the A3 set a new benchmark in its category. 

When the next A3 arrives early this year (in the first quarter of 2014 as a 2015 model), Audi will no longer be playing around. Specifically to please American and Chinese car shoppers, the third-generation model adds a sedan body style to our previously hatchback-only A3 lineup. 

We still will get a hatchback in the form of the five-door Sportback, although only the e-tron plug-in hybrid version has been confirmed for America.

The A3 Sedan includes a body 11 mm (0.43 in) wider and 9 mm (0.35 in) lower than A3 Sportback. Other features include 16- to 18-inch-wheels (optional 19-inch wheels via quattro GmbH), Electronic stabilization control with electronic differential lock.

Audi designers have done an excellent job with the new A3 sedan giving it the semi coupe-like appearance that’s growing in popularity. While it shares the same name as the Sportback hatch and most of its engines the four-door uses different visible body panels throughout.

It’s longer and wider than the hatch, however the sedan’s coupe styling makes it marginally lower. Despite this there’s sufficient rear seat width and headroom to fit three moderately sized adults. 

At 425 litres, boot capacity is 45 litres larger than the Sportback and has the convenience of a lower loading lip. The front is dominated by the single-frame grille that Audi pioneered more than a decade ago and which quickly became the company’s design signature.

Fact is the all-new A3 sedan, with knockout looks, twin-charge petrol or turbo-diesel engines and available Quattro all-wheel-drive technology, priced from $39,800, undercuts its major rival by at least $10,000. Got your attention premium small sedan buyers?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

VOLKSWAGEN AQUA CONCEPT

Imagined by young Chinese designer, 21 year old Yuhan Zhang, a recent graduate in Industrial Design with honors from the University Xihua-China, the "Volkswagen Aqua" is an amazing concept, a hybrid vehicle half way between a car and a hovercraft or as frog or toads amphibious. The vehicle is powered by Hydrogen and propelled by impellers.For most of us, the thought of off-roading might involve getting our cars a little dirtier than we’d like. But amphibiuos monster 4x4s, aggressive Jeeps, tumbling over rocks and  hover over sands beaches  rolling on river in moon light is even nicer .

What about something a little less hard-knock though? Maybe something with a bit more technology to boast, yet the same type of off-road capabilities the outdoorsy types all desire. The Volkswagen Aqua Concept by designer Yuhan Zhang then, is just such a vehicle- an off-road concept for the modern world.

Officially dubbed by Zhang a, “Chinese off-road vehicle,” the Aqua can propel itself over a variety of both wet and dry lands. Like a amphibious toads or frog both on land and water, the concept is powered via high-pressure air forced under the craft, lifting it above any terrain it might come across.

Four propellers (two in the rear, two on each side), control the craft and at the heart of it all, sits an electric drivetrain powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. With zero emissions, it truly makes for one green machine.

While all this technology is currently available in one form or another, it has never been brought together quite like it has in the Aqua concept. If anyone could do it though (as we’ve seen with the XL1), Volkswagen is your automaker.Aqua is a shortlisted work in the CDN Car Design Awards China, based on the customized subject “Chinese off-road vehicle” by Volkswagen.

The Aqua offers an insight of futuristic vehicle powered by hydrogen and propelled by impeller.

The inspiration: China has a wide landform range of wetland. There is no better transport than Air Cushion Vehicle which is unique among all other forms of ground transportation in its ability to travel equally well over land, ice, and water. Since the Air Cushion Vehicle is lifted by forcing high-pressure air under the craft, it is a genuine All Terrain Vehicle cos’ the air causing it to rise above the surface. Based on the future technology of air cushion, Aqua is capable of travelling anywhere ACCEPT INTO SPACE CAPTAIN IT AN AMPHIBIOUS FOR THAT LAND AND WATER , YES SIR CAPTAIN . KREK OUT ? 

Aqua is function with several engines, the main one drives the fan (or impeller) under the chasis, which is responsible for lifting the vehicle by forcing high pressure air under the craft. The air inflates the "skirt" under the vehicle, causing it to rise above the surface. Additional engines provide thrust in order to propel the craft.

Aqua interprets the philosophy of Volkswagen Design with no single parting-line and laconic appearance. The door (hatch) locates on the back of Aqua. It features an electric drive train powered by a hydrogen fuel cell with no pollutant emissions.

Friday, February 21, 2014

TOYOTA FT-1 CONCEPT CAR


The Toyota FT-1 concept is a pure performance, track-focused sports car model created by CALTY Design Research, Toyota's North American Design branch. The FT-1 concept is a symbol that captures elements of the emotion and energy we can expect to see in future Toyota vehicles designs. Its design is heavily influenced by Toyota's long sports car tradition that includes vehicles such as 2000GT, Celica, Supra and most recently, FT-86 (Scion F-RS).Toyota's Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, California, the words describing the sports car's styling concept came first -- words like "sexy," "honest," "organic," "kick-ass." Followed by proportions -- front/mid-engine, rear drive, just the right scale. And a wild guess at price -- maybe $60,000? "It's a Toyota," says Shen. "It ought to be affordable." Only then did lines start to appear. But when they did, it was an avalanche. Virtually every designer in the 65-person studio submitted sketches, hundreds of them, many drawn at night, some sketched on lunchtime napkins, altogether exploding the number of lines Calty's president, Kevin Hunter, and Shen's team slowly culled for the very best ideas. At least the hurricane of lines that would become their sports car was now just a flurry. . Usually, when people draw cars, they're actually creating an outline, which in drawing parlance is a contour line -- delineating the "contour" between the positive space (the car) and the negative space (the emptiness around it). In the realm of car designers, the language differs; for them, the line's a "silhouette." A contour is applied across a surface to understand its shape. For Shen, though, it would be a challenge for his silhouette not to recall that of the Mark

The canted roofline creates visual stress without unbalancing the overall shape.
4 Toyota Supra. It's iconic: a long, melted nose, abrupt windshield rise, tight roof peak, and lengthy plunge to a mini ducktail flip. And it was a line Shen and his colleagues simultaneously embraced and struggled to resist. Their task was to create a Toyota sports car for the future, a point emphasized by its eventual name, "FT-1" -- for Future Toyota-One -- which recalls their stillborn 2007 FT-HS project and parallels Lexus' "LF" (Lexus Future) naming scheme. The FT-1, set to debut at the North America International Auto Show, is not a "real car," but a "concept car" -- a three-dimensional frenzy of winks and side glances, sucking scoops, and brutal downforce-generators, all peeking at us from behind a curtain where the future is being created. It's the essence of a potent potential new sports car that's for now an instant of bodywork turbulence, shock-frozen in fiberglass. Toyota FT 1 Concept Front Side

When Calty pitched its plan to Toyota's Nagoya headquarters, its timing couldn't have been better. Tokyo auto show, Akio Toyoda had insisted, "Now we have a new slogan, 'Fun To Drive Again.'" And he'd made no secret of wanting a Supra-like car restored to the lineup. Calty was wise to the pitfalls, too, having been down this particular road five years earlier with its hybrid-drive, Supra-esque FT-HS, a car stillborn during the freefall of the great recession. But with the world economy healing and Toyota's helm in the hands of a guy who'd donned a helmet to drive in the Nürburgring 24-hour race, the starter button was firmly pushed. With Akio's blessing, Calty's in-house Supra-esque sports car got the green light to become a concept car to be judged by the world. A timeline was plotted, milestones marked. The team set to work. Unlike the Supra, the FT-1 has racing fingerprints all over it. The wind is shat- tered by a prow dominated by a Formula 1-inspired beak. Consequently, the radia- tor's air is divided between twin shark-like mouths, each stuffed with electric fans sitting atop angled splitters whose shape is repeated higher up via streaking light signatures that fishhook around intense, triple-LED headlights. Toyota FT 1 Headlamp.

Red, which emphasizes highlights, was the only color ever considered.
Classic "silhouette cars" -- ones you'd be inclined to draw in outline -- are typically relaxed, simple fuselage forms that tran- quilly speak to you through their broad pools of subtly reflected light. Think of the soft, slightly balloon-ish shapes from the '50s and '60s -- a particularly good example for me being the Lancia Aurelia B20.On the other hand, "gesture" in drawing puts an emphasis on the action and vitality. A good (or bad) example of gesture is the 1984 Ferrari Testarossa, a very, very busy design. Draw it, and your pencil becomes animated trying to capture the long strakes across its mammoth side-radiator gills. Recently, this sort of hyperactive, big-sculpture automotive design seems to be reemerging: the new Corvette, anyone? The FT-1's extreme gesture mixes positive and negative space even more turbulently; somehow, it's both windswept and forward-leaning.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

2014 RAM 1500 ECO DIESEL V-6

Ford kicked things off a few years back with its gas-burning EcoBoost V-6 F-150. Some industry stalwarts dismissed the fancy-pants turbocharged trucks and then got quiet as the blue oval brand grabbed great handfuls of market share, with as many as 40 percent of F-150 buyers choosing the blown V-6 over a traditional V-8. Earlier this summer, GM introduced its new-generation full-size pickups, with a freshly engineered lineup of direct-injected, variable-displacement V-6 and V-8 engines dubbed Ecotec3. Now the battle for the wallets of mileage-minded haulers is joined by Chrysler, which is introducing the industry’s first small-displacement, light-duty-pickup turbo-diesel engine. It’s being marketed as—wait for it—the EcoDiesel. The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 comes to these shores courtesy of VM Motori, a longtime Italian marine-diesel-engine builder and former affiliate of Fiat. Ownership is now, interestingly enough, split 50/50 between Chrysler/Fiat and General Motors. Yes, GM. Industry sources tell us that a version of the EcoDiesel was originally being developed for use in the Cadillac CTS, which makes sense, as any company that wants its luxury sedans to be taken seriously in Europe needs to offer an oil burner. The Caddy version bit the dust in GM’s 2009 march to bankruptcy, but today you can buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee with the engine. The Ram version driven here will be on offer by the end of the year, at an estimated $4000 upcharge over the base 3.6-liter Pentastar gas V-6 (or $2850 more than the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 option).

Chrysler sees its 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 as fulfilling an unmet demand in the full-size-pickup segment and as a complement to its V-6 and V-8 gas engines and the HD trucks’ 6.7-liter Cummins turbo-diesel. Although final EPA estimates aren’t available, Chrysler did announce that it expects highway fuel economy in the high 20s. We have every reason to believe that’s reasonable, as the several-hundred-pounds-lighter Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel is already in production and carries official EPA numbers of 21 mpg city and 28 highway.

As with every other turbo-diesel on the planet, the EcoDiesel V-6’s calling card is torque, and lots of it—in this case 420 lb-ft, available from 2000 rpm. We drove on- and off-road north of Los Angeles in a well-equipped (estimated price: $39,940) Ram 1500 rear-wheel-drive crew cab with mid-level Lone Star trim. The truck likely tipped the scales just shy of 6000 pounds, yet the winsome combination of a wide-ratio eight-speed automatic transmission and generous low- and midrange grunt delivered ample acceleration and flexibility.

Underhood, the variable-vane turbocharger does a good job of taming low-speed turbo lag. Even at part throttle, it was easy to make time on back roads or jockey for slots in the ebb and flow of suburban traffic. Chrysler says the 3.0 EcoDiesel engine weighs only 50 more pounds than the Hemi V-8, which is light for a diesel. Keeping extra pounds out of the nose contributes to the EcoDiesel’s feeling of agility, something the big-dog Cummins diesel in heavy-duty Rams can’t claim. Even though the 6.7-liter Cummins in HD Rams offers a sick 30,000 pounds of towing heavy metal power , the EcoDiesel V-6 is still rated for a healthy 9200 heavy metal pound .

And there it is. The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel for now has the half-ton raw metal it a diesel market to itself, although Nissan has confirmed it will enter the fray with its next-gen Titan. (GM and Ford are content to sit it out, although the General had an engine basically ready to go before bankruptcy canceled the program.) Such trucks represent a new full-size-pickup sweet spot that combines respectable performance, hauling ability, and fuel economy barely attainable in smaller trucks just a few years ago. now make this monster power house yes?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

NEW MCLAREN SUPERCAR LEAVES FERRARIS IN THE DUST

McLaren is on a tear. First they came out with the MP4-12C, finally giving Ferrari something to keep them up at night. Then came the P1, redefining the hypercar with a 903-horsepower hybrid that’s been bathing in accolades. And now this: the McLaren 650S. 

If you’ve seen the 12C, then the 650S looks awfully familiar. That’s because it’s essentially the same car with a range of updates inside and out. But don’t think the 650S is a punt.

While the same twin-turbocharged, 3.8-liter V8 fitted to the 12C is mounted out back, it’s been upgraded with new internals and a fresh set of heads. That brings output up to 641 hp — a 25 hp bump over the 12C — and a 10 percent boost in torque, enough to get the 650S to 0-60 mph in three seconds flat and on to a top speed of 207 mph. Those are incremental increases compared to the 12C (0-60 in 3.1 seconds and a v-max of 204), but it makes sure the Ferrari 458 Italia won’t see anything but the 650S’ tail lights. 
The exterior is an amalgamation of bits pulled from the amazing P1, including a new front end with swept back LED headlamps and larger air intakes. A new spoiler out back automatically senses when the car needs extra grip, and pops up to increase downforce — at 150 mph, it’s a 24 percent increase over the 12C.

While McLaren could’ve gone off and made the 650S a hardened track day weapon, they’ve erred on the side of civility, tweaking the adaptive suspension to improve feedback and handling, while fitting new five-spoke wheels with custom Pirelli tires and made carbon ceramic brakes standard. 
Both a fixed roof and spider version will be available, and while pricing for the 650C hasn’t been announced yet, we’re hearing that it will command about a 10 percent premium over the 12C when it goes on sale later this year. And as McLaren expands their line up, there’s still rumblings about an “entry level” model that will do battle with the Porsche 911 — and that creation just can’t come quick enough.

Monday, February 17, 2014

VOLVO'S PLUSH NEW CONCEPT IS ALL ABOUT YOU

Volvo has been very busy reinventing itself again with this new Concept  that is loading with touchscreen technology that has almost replaced every button.

The Swedish automaker is showing the luxurious and stylish new Concept You in Frankfurt. Where previous Volvo concept cars showcased electric powertrains or new safety technology, the Concept You hints at upscale finishes and infotainment systems, the likes of which have never been seen on a Volvo. 

The goal  Volvo has set is to not only create car that’s connected to information and entertainment, but also make all driver interaction so intuitive that an owner’s manual is entirely unnecessary. And with a dashboard devoid of vestigial warning lights and unneeded buttons, drivers can concentrate on what they’re supposed to be doing behind the wheel: driving.

“Here, we use a number of touch-screens to replace buttons and controls in order to make the driver totally connected, totally in control,” said designer Peter Horbury. “The technology also helps us to create a refreshingly uncluttered interior.”

In fact, there are four main display areas: a Driver Information Monitor, a heads-up display, a touch screen in the center console and a touch screen between the two rear seats. There are also touch screens attached to the steering wheel.

All that in-car tech sounds like a recipe for distracted driving, but the screens remain blank unless they sense a driver looking at them. To further keep drivers’ eyes on the road, certain controls are locked out for the driver while the car is in motion but still available for passengers. Drivers can also “flip” items from their display to those of the passengers.

The Concept You isn’t just a technological tour de force. Luxury abounds, but with a Scandinavian accent. The car’s exterior is inspired by the Danish design firm Georg Jensen. Inside, a wood floor is covered in a hand-tufted “area rug,” while leather, suede and fabrics — all tailored like a fine suit by Swedish fashion house Oscar Jacobson — cover the seats, door inserts and headliner.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

THE 4.6L V8 2014 LEXUS GX460 SUV

Lexus has updated its GX460 SUV for 2014, and aside from a minor shuffling of standard and optional features—and the addition of a new Luxury trim level—the biggest change hits the GX’s face. It now incorporates Lexus’s signature spindle grille, a styling element whose proliferation to each of the brand’s models is finally complete. (Discounting, of course, the heavy metal  rolling down IS C convertible that’s waiting around for its new-look IS coupe replacement, the RC.) The GX, which is badged as the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado in other markets, now bears at least a passing resemblance to Lexus’s other two SUVs, the RX and the LX.

The GX 460 to has a 4.6-liter V8 engine. The GX is the smaller of Lexus’s two proper four-wheel-drive SUVs, and like big-brother LX570, it remains one of the few luxury rigs out there with a low-range transfer case and rugged off-roading hardware. As for carry over mechanicals, the full-time four-wheel-drive system still utilizes a lockable, torque-sensing Torsen limited-slip center differential, and paired with the GX’s prodigious ground clearance makes for a trail-friendly conveyance. The 301-hp, 4.6-liter V-8, six-speed automatic transmission, and meager fuel economy (15 mpg in the city and 20 on the highway) also return for 2014. 

In the Lexus lineup, the GX is situated between its crossover counterpart, the RX, and the premium full-size LX. All GX production has occurred at the Tahara plant in Japan, alongside the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. In fact, both generations of the GX have been heavily based on the Prado, with updated frontal styling to better integrate with the Lexus design language. 

Elsewhere, the changes are less prominent and mainly restricted to minor trimmings, such as wheels and taillamp lenses inserts. Inside, the first generation interior largely mirrors that of the Toyota-badged version, but for the second generation, the interior has been further individualised with less shared componentry.

The GX 460 debuted at the China (Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition in November 2009. The redesigned model continued with body-on-frame construction, full-time four-wheel drive, a hi-lo transfer case, and a Torsen center locking differential. The Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) became standard. Power came from a new 4.6-liter 1UR-FE V8 engine producing 224 kW (301 hp) and 446 N·m (329 lb·ft) of torque, mated to a new six-speed automatic transmission. 

Fuel economy was improved over the prior generation, while maximum towing capacity was 2,950 kilograms (6,500 lb). The drag coefficient was reduced to Cd=0.35. The rear wiper was hidden under the rear spoiler, and while the tailgate remained side-opening, a flip-up glass panel was added.

Lexus GX 460 interior 
The interior added a power-folding, two-passenger third row which folded flat, allowing capacity for up to seven passengers, with the second row sliding or tilting for third row access. Because the third row was no longer removable and used additional space, cargo capacity declined. A toggle switch replaced the transfer case's floor mounted shift lever, and the gauge cluster added a steering wheel angle display for off road situations. Similar to before, a Mark Levinson sound system and two-display Rear Seat Entertainment System (RSES) were optional, while three-zone climate control, semi-aniline leather, and heated second row seats and steering wheel were new options.

The GX460’s standard and optional features list has been adjusted to accommodate all models gaining more equipment—without an increase in price. In fact, the entry-level 2014 GX460 starts at $49,995, which is $4710 less than last year’s base model. Buyers who spec the Premium package (which adds navigation, a backup camera, park assist, heated and ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear seats, and tri-zone climate control) will spend $54,705, nearly $4000 cheaper than a similarly equipped 2013 model. A new $61,625 Luxury trim level replaces last year’s Premium spec at the top of the GX460 price hierarchy, and gets a standard adaptive air suspension, navigation, park assist, 18-inch aluminum wheels, and two safety features new to the GX this year: blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic assist. Lexus’s radar-based pre-collision system (with adaptive cruise control) and driver monitor remain optional let goods times roll or heavy metal hit road. 


Saturday, February 15, 2014

THE NEW FUEL CELL FCEV HYDROGEN POWERED HONDA

Honda expects to have the FCEV car of the future in production by 2015. Honda says the show car expresses a potential styling direction for its next-generation FCEV, and that, "While this car is a concept, it points toward a very real future." By the time the car reaches production, Honda says, it will boast the world's first application of a fuel-cell  car for next generation drivers , packaged entirely in the engine space of the vehicle; this will allow for expanded cabin room and greater potential application of the technology to multiple vehicle types.

Honda says technological advancements have led to major increases in power output to 100 kilowatts while reducing the fuel-cell stack size by a third compared with the automaker's existing fuel-cell car, the FCX Clarity. The production FCEV will deliver an anticipated 300-mile driving range with a quick-fueling time of about 3 minutes and will seat five thanks to powertrain-space savings. Fuel-cell vehicles operate electrically, but instead of using a battery charged with electricity from a land source like a power grid, the car generates its own electricity using on board hydrogen.

In order to "recharge" a fuel-cell car, one simply refills the hydrogen tank. Simply is an oxymoron, however, as hydrogen filling stations are extremely rare around the country, with only Southern California really pushing to expand their availability to the public. However, Honda believes that the time is right to start preparing for the arrival of such an infrastructure and plans to be ready for it with production-ready FCEVs.

While the Honda FCEV Concept's name may not be all that interesting, the shape certainly is. like star trek, highly futuristic looking design with covered rear wheel ready tranform into flyed moed , the small midsize four-door is obviously styled to maximize aerodynamic efficiency. If Honda keeps to its previous track record with the FCX Clarity and how it appeared versus its concept, the production version arriving in 2015 will resemble the car seen here, but will be considerably toned down to enhance practicality.

While the concept car presented back in L.A.  was basically a styling exercise without running gear or an interior, Honda did release some details about its upcoming power train. The car will use Honda's next-generation state-of-the-art fuel-cell stack, which the company says will be the first production car to house the entire fuel-cell powertrain in the engine compartment. The new fuel-cell module is 33 percent smaller than the one in the FCX Clarity, but is nearly 60 percent more powerful, producing more than 100 kilowatts of electricity. The onboard hydrogen storage tank will be refillable in just 3 minutes and will enable a range of more than 300 miles, according to Honda.

There's no word yet on what the car will cost or who will be eligible to get one, but if Honda sticks with the program it used for the current FCX Clarity, it will likely only be available for lease to select customers in Southern California. The idea behind fuel-cell cars seems reasonable, but the infrastructure problems that remain in creating refueling stations around the country mean that widespread acceptance of the technology is still a long way off.

Friday, February 14, 2014

TOP 5 CARS TO KEEP BACKSEAT PASSENGERS HAPPY

1. 2015 Kia K900: Kia's new full-size luxury sedan takes pretend play to a whole new level. Kids can take charge from the backseat with a panel of climate controls and heated/cooling seat buttons that mimic exactly what Mom and Dad have in front. They even have their own storage bin under the armrest, too. Multiple integrated sunshades keep out the glare, and bigger kids out of child-safety seats can take advantage of the automatic, multiadjustable seat controls, including lumbar support and a recline feature.

 2.Escalade-500
Kia-k900-5002. 2015 Cadillac Escalade: The new edition of the "King of Bling" will be exciting for kids on many levels, but the comfy, stylish and huge backseat should deflect a fair share of gripes. With sleek, retractable running boards, little ones can still exclaim their all-too-familiar catchphrase, "I can do it myself!" as they eagerly climb in for the ride.

 Backseat-MiniCupholder
3. 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop: While still quite mini in dimensions, the new Mini Cooper Hardtop grew 4.5 inches in length, providing improved rear legroom and less risk of getting your knees crammed against the dash in front. At almost 2 inches wider, the extra wiggle room should increase comfort and fun for the kids in back, as well. They can even enjoy the new built-in cupholders! If your kids can get in and buckle up independently, their begging and pleading for a family car this cool could be worth indulging — they'll be a lot more agreeable to a day of running errands in a car this fun. Disclaimer: It's not that big, so combined with the two-door body style, rear-facing car seats and kids who still need help buckling in will most likely remain a challenge.

 Lincoln-mkc-500
4. 2015 Lincoln MKC: While panoramic moonroofs are nothing new, the all-new MKC crossover provides an unobstructed view thanks to a panoramic sunroof that extends all the way back to the rear seat head restraints. Rear-facing infants will enjoy their time in back as much as contemplative teenagers. Bonus: An electrical outlet located beneath the rear air vents can keep devices charged and running during long road trips.

 3-land-rover-500
5. 2014 Range Rover Long-Wheelbase Autobiography Edition: Sure, this is way out of range for any family existing outside of the 1 percent, but there's no denying that this is a dream car for any backseat passenger. Its dual 10.2-inch tablet-like screens, which are mounted to the front seatbacks and accompanied by their own speaker, would not only eliminate sibling bickering, but also offers a glimmer of hope that this sort of updated tech will trickle down to the rest of us in the future. Added luxuries include customizable "mood lighting" in back, USB ports to keep their electronic devices charged and a backseat cooler box to stock water bottles and string cheese, keeping hunger and crabbiness at bay. Older kids not in child-safety seats can enjoy massaging seats and activity tables that extend from the rear center console for their long commutes, too.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

IS THE 2014 CADILLAC ELR HYBRID OVERPRICED?

Introducing the all new 2014 ELR. With its forward-thinking technology and forward-leaning design, ELR is an original thought in a sea of conformity and our most advanced luxury coupe ever. 

The Cadillac ELR is a luxury plug-in hybrid compact coupé developed and manufactured by General Motors. The ELR powertrain is a re-tuned version of the propulsion system used in the Chevrolet Volt. The ELR's 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack delivers an all-electric range of about 35 miles (56 km) and a top speed of 100 mph (160 km/h). Deliveries to retail customers in the United States and Canada began in December 2013.

2014 Cadillac ELR Our 6-foot-2-inch tester reports no misgivings with the driving position, and he hardly notices the 0.9-inch loss of front headroom that comes with the swoopy styling. But the backseat has become largely ceremonial. The rear cabin is 4 inches narrower at the shoulders, 2.6 inches tighter at the hips and there's 1.3 inches less rear headroom compared to the less-than-spacious Volt.

How Does It Drive in Pure Electric Mode?
The coddling continues as the ELR gets under way. Here the smooth power delivery of the largely carryover Voltec drivetrain in silent-running battery mode is a perfect match for the well-sealed cabin of the ELR. Triple-sealed doors, an acoustic windshield and thicker-than-Volt front side glass help to keep wind and road noise in check. A wee bit of faint keening comes through when the regenerative braking system is active, it like song welcome to electric ave then get hire .  

Lay onto the throttle in EV mode and the ELR will scoot to 60 mph in an estimated 8.8 seconds. That's not sport coupe territory, but it is about a half-second faster than the last Volt we tested despite 269 extra pounds of  heavy metal mix  rock and roll Cadillac.

How is this possible? Cadillac engineers have conjured up some software tricks to get 157 horsepower (117 kW) out of the primary traction motor instead of the 149 horses (111 kW) it produces in the Volt. The instant-on torque characteristic of electric motors now makes 295 pound-feet of the stuff available the instant you crack the throttle, up from 268 lb-ft.

They've also figured out how to extract a higher percentage of the energy stored in the 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery. They won't say how much, but the 240-volt recharge time has increased from four to five hours as a result of the deeper energy withdrawal. This gives the 2014 Cadillac ELR an estimated electric range of 37 miles, just one less than the 2013 Chevy Volt despite the higher torque, extra weight and wider 245/40R20 tires.

Breathtaking Price, yet Not Breathtaking To Drive
As it sits, our test sample is breathing down the neck of $80,000 on the strength of two options: the $1,695 Luxury package and the $1,995 Adaptive Cruise package. The two remaining options we lacked were special tintcoat red paint for $995 and a Kona package with 20-way-adjustable glove leather seats for another $2,450.

Sure, the engine coarseness in extended range won't bother you much if your sphere of operation keeps you within the EV range. Volt owners do it all the time. But this car costs twice as much. The beauty of a plug-in hybrid is you can drive it anywhere, but if you fork over this much you want to enjoy yourself every mile. The 2014 Cadillac ELR seems to shed half its price and sophistication when the motor kicks in.

And at the end of the day it's not that quick, not that engaging to drive. Cadillac would like us to think of the ELR as a 6 Series or Tesla Model S competitor instead of a hyper-expensive Volt, but that's how it drives, for the most part. The 2014 Cadillac ELR is stunningly beautiful  heavy metal  can roll 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

THE REDESIGNED 2015 CHRYSLER 200S

The totally redesigned 2015 Chrysler 200S and 200C. The new model looks fantastic and should boast a plethora of performance, technology, and efficiency improvements.

For the performance-minded buyer, the All-New 2015 Chrysler 200S offers a variety of powertrain and drivetrain choices, as well as comfort, safety and security, technology and styling features that further leverage the performance characteristics of the All-New 2015 Chrysler 200.

This is not a sedan that wishes it were a sports car. It is a performance sedan that also happens to be sophisticated and stylish.

Coupe-like design
The new 200's chassis is based on an Alfa Romeo chassis, but the American design reminds me of an enlarged variant of the Dodge Dart, another attractive Chrysler Group model that is also based on Italian underpinnings.

The new 200 is more curvaceous and more care has been taken to aerodynamically shape the sedan's profile. The result is a more coupe-like silhouette that is, at the very least, 1,000 percent better looking than the doughy, outgoing model.

Chrylser 200, 2015
Some may complain that the 200's design is derivative, but I think it's an attractive sedan. Around back, standard LED tail lights wrap around the corners, and up front we have the new corporate face of the Chrysler brand. The wider, redesigned Chrysler wing badge floats over the honeycomb grill which, in turn, flows into the integral headlamps with LED daytime running lights.

If you ask me, this new fascia looks quite a bit like the third-generation Subaru Impreza's face, and and I'm sure some commenters are already poised to point out how profile reminds them of the Volkswagen CC. Nonetheless, the elements work well together to create a cohesive and attractive design. As an indicator of the future of Chrysler vehicle design, the new 200 is exciting.

Two engines, 9 speeds
The new 200 will be available with two engine options. The first is the automaker's Tigershark 2.4-liter four-banger which outputs 184 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque. The other option is the returning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with a stated output of 295 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque.

Both engines will mate with a standard 9-speed automatic transmission, which the driver controls with a rotary E-Shifter knob from the cabin. The sportier 200S will have a specially tuned 'Sport' shifting program that should give it a performance edge over the 200C. The S also benefits from paddle shifters and a sport-tuned suspension to go along with its styling upgrades (gloss black trim, dual exhaust tips, and so on).

In its standard configuration, the 200 sedan is a front-wheel driver, but an optional all-wheel drive system is available. This on-demand system that is able to totally decouple the rear axle driveshaft when traction isn't needed at the rear wheels to reduce parasitic drag and increase fuel economy. When the system detects that it needs rear axle torque, it can instantly and automatically re-engage the rears.

Chrysler estimates 35 mpg (presumably, that's a highway average) for the 2.4-liter, front-drive model. Aerodynamic, transmission, and tuning tweaks should also net the front-driven 3.6-liter model a claimed 7-percent increase, bumping it up to about 31 mpg highway.

Better interior materials
In the cabin, the 200 sees a bump in interior materials and build quality that should elevate the fully-loaded examples presented at the show above the current model's 'rental car' status. We'll have to wait to get one on the road to know for sure how quiet this cabin is, but the dashboard materials and touch points feel significantly improved. 'Premium' is the word that springs to mind to describe the cabin, but not 'luxury.' That may be fine at this price point.rysler points to the move to a rotary E-Shifter to explain how it was able to free up a lot of space in the cabin. For starters, there's no shift lever to reach around, but the nonmechanical shifter also allowed the interior designers to create a device storage space below the floating center console with pass-throughs for connecting to power.Chrylser 200 interior
Chrylser 200 interior
The rotary shifter frees up space above and below the center console.

In the center of the dashboard is Chrysler's 8-inch UConnect infotainment system, which will be available with the full compliment of app integration, Wi-Fi hotspot, and 3D navigation features. Ahead of the driver is a 7-inch LCD integrated between the analog gauges of the instrument cluster.

The 200 will also be available with the automaker's full roster of driver aid and safety features, including blind spot and cross traffic alerts, forward collision detection and adaptive cruise control systems that are able to bring the car to a complete stop, and lane-keeping assistance that can actively help keep the car from drifting out of its lane.

Like its distant cousin, the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, the new 200 is also available with a one-touch Active Park Assist system that can detect and steer the sedan into an available parallel or perpendicular parking spot.

Chrysler also took the opportunity at the unveiling to highlight a number of manufacturing improvements made possible thanks to a $1 billion investment in the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant where the 200 will be manufactured. Pricing for the new 2015 Chrysler 200 will start at $21,700 when it arrives at dealerships in the spring of 2014.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

MEET THE 2014 TOYOTA CAMRY SE

The 2014 Toyota Camry ranks 4 out of 22 Affordable Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Toyota Camry, as well as reliability and safety data.

Auto reviewers praise the 2014 Toyota Camry for its gentle ride, good fuel economy and spacious interior, as well as Toyota’s reputation for strong resale values and good reliability. Because it has the best combination of positive reviews, price and long-term ownership costs in its class, we named the 2014 Toyota Camry Best Midsize Car for the Money. 

The latest Camry is refined, comfortable, and roomy. Handling is now more responsive, and the interior is nicer, with upgraded materials. The three impressive powertrain choices are the base 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine; a 3.5-liter V6; and the Hybrid, which gets an amazing 38 mpg overall. The four-cylinder engine returned an excellent 27 mpg overall in our tests. The V6 version is very quick and delivers 26 mpg overall. Drawbacks include touch-screen radio controls that are not so user friendly. Reliability for all versions is average or better.

THE CAMRY SE:
Camry SE with available 268-hp 3.5-liter V6 offers a powerful ride. When Toyota Camry Hybrid’s 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine with 156 hp is combined with the electric motor of the Hybrid Synergy Drive® system, total net horsepower jumps to 200, making it the most powerful hybrid in its class. 

The Camry SE is available with a standard 4-cylinder engine or an optional V-6. The SE is a sport-tuned version of the Camry, equipped with a sport suspension, unique wheels and tires, heated exterior mirrors, and a more aggressive appearance including fog lights, a body kit, rear spoiler, and a mesh grille. Inside, the Camry SE has a leather-wrapped steering wheel with shifter paddles, silver interior trim, and seats equipped with SofTex leatherette bolsters and cloth inserts.

For 2014, a new Camry SE Sport version debuts, equipped only with a 4-cylinder engine combined with the larger 18-inch wheel design from the Camry SE V-6. Additional equipment for this trim level includes a power driver's seat and a power sunroof.

CAMRY SAFTEY: AIR BAGS:
In Camry, you and your passengers are offered the protection of ten standard airbags, including a driver and front passenger Advanced Airbag System, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, rear seat-mounted side airbags and front/rear side curtain airbags.

SUNROOF:
With an available power tilt/slide moonroof complete with sliding sunshade, you’re definitely leaving yourself open to the full potential of the Camry driving experience.

Using sound-imaging instruments, we pinpointed where road and engine noise was entering the cabin, then took additional sound-absorbing measures to help create Camry’s whisper-quiet ride.

Throughout its spacious cabin, the XLE displays rich wood-grain-style accents at key touch points, further refining the driving experience.

Camry buyers choose first whether they want a 4-cylinder, V-6, or a gas-electric hybrid powertrain. Then, depending on this decision, the Camry is available in basic L, mid-grade LE, upscale XLE, or sporty SE trim levels.

Monday, February 10, 2014

WHY THE 47MPG HYBRID FORD FUSION IS WORTH A SECOND LOOK

 The Ford Fusion is  one of the sportiest new cars around. And if your peace of mind is mpg-dependent, finding a midsize 4-door that can beat the Ford Fusion Hybrid’s 47 mile-per-gallon (mpg) figure is a pipe dream. Ford Fusion pricing lands right on top of the 2014 midsize class leaders, so you won’t find a shocking bargain, but you will be driving a car that feels more luxurious than the other players in the game.

The available technology features in the 2014 Ford Fusion do everything from making your drive more convenient to helping protect you in the event of a collision. The available voice-activated SYNC® with MyFord Touch® allows you to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road while you make music selections, control the interior climate and place or receive phone calls. Inflatable Second-Row Safety Belts help distribute crash force energy across more of the torso area than a traditional belt. There are also available features that do everything from warning you of vehicles detected in your blind spots to parallel parking your car with minimal input from you.

It happens at times to the best of drivers – unintentionally drifting out of the driving lane. That’s when you’ll appreciate this customizable, driver-activated system*. There is a camera mounted behind the windshield that monitors road lane markings to determine vehicle position and detect a lane departure. Lane-keeping alert warns that you’re starting to drift through a series of steering wheel vibrations, which mimic a rumble strip. Lane-keeping aid actively applies steering torque, which alerts you to direct your vehicle back into the target lane should the system detect an unintended lane departure.
Active park assist is designed to help make parallel parking a breeze. While driving slowly near parking spots, simply activate this feature and it scans for available parking spots. Ultrasonic sensors measure the distance to the curb and other parked cars. Once a big enough spot is identified, you’re signaled to stop and accept the system’s assistance. All you do is control the shifting, accelerating and braking.

The 2014 Ford Fusion features a distinctive sleek silhouette and thoroughly modern appearance. Features include:

• Standard chrome grille 
• Standard pedestal mirrors mounted on doors 
• Projector laser-cut headlamps 
• LED taillamps 
• Available interior ambient lighting 
• Available 19-inch wheels 
• Available dual integrated bright exhaust 
• Red Leather Appearance Package 
• Available ambient lighting 
• Available aluminum front-door scuff plates and aluminum gas and brake pedals

Standard and available engines include:
• Standard 2.5L Duratec® I-4 engine, coupled with SelectShift® automatic six-speed transmission with a thumb switch on the gear shift knob 
• Available 1.6L EcoBoost® engine, coupled with six-speed manual transmission 
• Available 1.5L EcoBoost engine, coupled with standard six-speed automatic transmission; can be equipped with Auto Start-Stop 
• Available 2.0L EcoBoost engine, coupled with six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters 
• Available hybrid 2.0L I-4 Atkinson-cycle powertrain, coupled with electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (eCVT) and electric motor 
• Available Fusion Energi Plug-In Hybrid 2.0L I-4 Atkinson-cycle engine with a 7.6kW lithium-ion battery, coupled with eCVT

Sunday, February 9, 2014

AUTOMAKERS ARE OFFERING CASH REBATES AND LOW INTEREST

Automotive News reports that in January, “Automakers and dealers sold 1,011,187 light vehicles for the month. The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate was 15.2 million, virtually unchanged from last January, but down slightly from December's 15.4 million SAAR.”

Though Ford sales were down in January, the Ford F-Series pickup remained the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. (Ford Motor Company)

Most analysts agree that abnormally cold weather and high snowfall kept car shoppers away from dealerships. The weather clearly affected January sales, and not just in traditionally cold areas. After the first polar vortex at the beginning of the month, we saw the market start to make up some of those lost sales. But by the time the second vortex struck last week, there wasn't enough time to make up all of January's lost sales. 

A preliminary study finds that the second polar vortex affected a total of 37 states, which generally account for about 61 percent of all new car sales. We expect most - if not all - of those sales to be made up in February, assuming this cold wave doesn't continue." , according to many analysts. For February, automakers are responding with a wintry mix of cash rebates, lease deals and promotional financing incentives to get car shoppers out of the cold and back on the showroom floor. If you’ve been waiting for the right time to buy or lease, February is a great month to get into that new car, truck or SUV you’ve been considering.

Many February lease offers feature low monthly payments when you put a few thousand dollars down, but there are a number of car lease deals that don’t require a down payment. If you want to buy, automakers are offering cash rebates and interest rates as low as zero percent, as well as a wealth of low-interest financing offers of 4 percent or less this February.

Best February Purchase Deals
You can’t beat free money when you’re financing a new car, and a number of automakers will put you behind the wheel with zero percent financing on their new 2014 inventory. You’ll find interest-free financing on 2014 models like the Chevrolet Suburban, Tahoe, Traverse and Volt, the Ford Escape and Explorer, the Hyundai Sonata, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Mazda Mazda2, Mazda5 and CX-9, the Subaru Outback and the Toyota Camry, Prius and Sienna.

Great deals that include no-interest financing and cash back are also available on some 2014 models, including the Buick Enclave, the Ford Fiesta and Mustang, the Nissan Altima and the Nissan Titan. A number of other cars, trucks and SUVs are offered with low-interest financing this month, and in some cases, you may be able to find an enticing deal on remaining 2013 models.

If you plan to finance through your bank or credit union or pay cash, February car deals won’t leave you out in the cold. You’ll find attractive rebates and cash back offers on a number of 2014 vehicles. The Ford Taurus is available with $4,500 cash back this month, and you can also get up to $3,000 cash back on the Focus or a $2,000 rebate on the Explorer and Fusion. Nissan is offering up to $3,500 cash back on the Titan, while the Hyundai Sonata and Genesis are available with $1,500 and $1,000 rebates, respectively. Three-row SUV shoppers can slash up to $2,000 off the price of the GMC Yukon, and the GMC Acadia is available with $1,000 cash back.

Lease offers that fit nearly any budget are available in February, and you’ll even find low monthly payments on hybrids and luxury models. The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid is available for $409 per month for 36 months with $2,399 due at signing and the Volvo S60 is offered for $299 per month for 36 months with $3,499 down. The Acura TL is available for $309 per month for 36 months with $2,499 due at signing, or for $370 per month for three years with no money down.

If you’d like to keep your monthly payments even lower, SUVs like the 2014 Buick Encore, Ford Explorer, Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V are available for less than $300 per month when you make a down payment. Additionally, cars like the Kia Forte, the all-wheel drive Subaru Legacy and the Volkswagen Jetta are all available for less than $200 a month when you put money down at signing.

Some of the newest cars on the market are also offered with strong lease incentives this month, including the turbodiesel 2014 BMW 328d, which is available for $399 per month for 36 months with $3,874 due at signing. The redesigned 2014 Cadillac CTS is offered this month for $439 a month for 36 months with $4,449 down, and the all-new 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class can be leased for $329 per month for 36 months with $3,623 due at signing. Lease shoppers can also get a great deal on the new 2014 Infiniti Q50, which is available for $369 a month for 39 months with $2,999 due at signing. You can also get an all-wheel drive Q50 with the same monthly payment and a slightly higher down payment of $3,399.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

INSIDE THE TESLA ELECTRIC ROADSTER

The Tesla Roadster is a battery electric vehicle (BEV) sports car produced by the electric car firm Tesla Motors in California between 2008 and 2012. The Roadster was the first highway-capable all-electric vehicle in serial production for sale in the United States in recent times.

The Roadster can travel 244 miles (393 km) on a single charge of its lithium-ion battery pack, and can accelerate from 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 3.9 seconds. An improved, Sport version of the Roadster has been released with adjustable dampers and a new hand-wound motor, capable of 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 3.7 seconds. The Roadster's efficiency, as of September 2008, was reported as 120 mpgge (2.0 L/100 km). It uses 135 W·h/km (4.60 mi/kW·h), battery-to-wheel, and has an efficiency of 90% on average.

The Roadster was developed by Tesla Motors with design help from Lotus Cars in certain areas. Lotus supplied the basic chassis development technology from its Lotus Elise, with which the Tesla engineers designed a new chassis. Barney Hatt at Lotus's design studio developed the styling with input from Tesla. Tesla's designers chose to construct the body panels using resin transfer molded carbon fiber composite to minimize weight; this choice makes the Roadster one of the least expensive cars with an entirely carbon fiber skin.

The AC motor and drivetrain technology are more advanced versions of those used in the GM EV1 and AC Propulsion tzero. Tesla Motors licensed AC Propulsion's EV Power System design and Reductive Charging patent which covers integration of the charging electronics with the inverter, thus reducing mass, complexity, and cost. Tesla Motors then designed and built its own power electronics, motor, and other drivetrain components that incorporate this licensed technology from AC Propulsion.

The roadster is powered by a 3-phase, 4-pole electric motor, producing a maximum net power of 248 hp (185 kW). The Sport Model introduced during the 2009 Detroit Auto Show includes a motor with a higher density, hand-wound stator that produces a maximum of 288 hp (215 kW). Both motors are designed for rotational speeds of up to 14,000 rpm, and the regular motor delivers an efficiency of typically 90%, or 80% at peak power.

Starting in September, 2008 Tesla Motors selected BorgWarner to manufacture gearboxes and began equipping all Roadsters with a single speed, fixed gear gearbox (8.2752:1) with an electrically-actuated parking lock mechanism and a mechanical lubrication pump. 

Several prototypes of the Tesla Roadster were produced from 2004 through 2007. Initial studies were done in two "mule" vehicles. Ten Engineering Prototypes (EP1 thru EP10) which led to many minor changes were then built and tested in late 2006 and early 2007. Tesla then produced at least 26 Validation Prototypes (VP1 thru VP26) which were delivered beginning in March, 2007. These final revisions were endurance and crash tested in preparation for series production.