Tuesday November 30th, 2010 11:20 Vauxhall’s Snow Socks

Vauxhall Snow socks

In December, 2009, and January, 2010, British Insurers paid out almost 400 million pounds in damages, most of it caused by ice and snow- related accidents. Now, there is a new car accessory on the market to help bring those claims down.

The product is Vauxhall snow socks. What a clever idea. This is a cloth cover to help winterize your tyres. The snow sock is not as unwieldy as snow chains and is more effective for driving in winter weather than snow tyres.

Vauxhall snow socks are made of a fabric with a design that runs against the direction the vehicle is travelling in, giving the tyres a better grip in ice and snow. Unlike snow tyres, they are very portable, and are easily attached. This makes them a convenient item to have when winter weather catches the driver unprepared.

These snow socks are almost a one-size-fits-all product. They will adapt to any model of car, and if used and stored according to instructions, will last for years.

Vauxhall snow socks could not have entered the market at a better time. The snow has already started falling, but thanks to this ingenious invention, insurers are hopeful that claims for accidents will be lower this winter than the 269,000 plus claims paid out last year.

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Monday November 29th, 2010 17:35 Jaguar is celebrating 75 Years in Style- Welcome the Jaguar C-X75

Jagua C-X75

It was nearly twenty years ago, in the early 1990′s, when Jaguar last put a new super model car on the market. Now, in commemoration of their 75th anniversary, they have introduced the Jaguar C-X75 concept car. This new car combines lithium-ion batteries, four electric motors, and two gas turbine generators as its power sources.

The Jaguar C-X75 has a 195 horsepower electric motor for each of its four wheels. All together these can produce 778 horsepower. The two gas turbine generators can supply extra power to the electric motors, or they can recharge the battery pack. The batteries can also be charged from an ordinary electrical outlet in about six hours.
On just battery power, this Jaguar can go up to 68 miles. When the electric part of the powertrain combines with the twin gas turbines, the C-X75 can go as far as 560 miles. The C-X75 can reach a little over 60 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds, and it can go as fast as 205 miles per hour!

The styling of this Jaguar concept car is remarkable, and its gorgeous and artful interior only adds to its appeal. The switch to start the Jaguar C-X75 is located on an overhead control panel that somewhat replicates that of an airplane. After it is started, the C-X75 certainly does not give the impression of being the supercar that it is. It is almost totally quiet, and only a very low hum can be heard from the electric motors.

The C-X75 performs in one of two ways. It can be driven by battery power alone in its standard mode or with added power from the turbine generators in its Track Mode. Either way, it is one awesome concept car. We can only hope that it will eventually put on the production line.

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Friday November 26th, 2010 17:05 Aston Marton’s New Production

The new first production of the luxury Aston Martin car is now on display at Herrods in London, England until December 11th, 2010. Presently the newest model is only available to previous Aston Martin customers. It carries a £30,000 price tag.

The new Cygnet supermini model is made from the Toyota iQ body sent from Japan. The body is then hand painted, trimmed and assembled all by hand. The interior has leather. The Cygnet super mini features side strakes, alloy wheels, C-shaped lights in the rear and an a sporty aluminum grille. It is capable of going from 0-60 in 14.7 seconds, 1.33 liter petrol 4 cylinder engine. The engine is a four pot developing 97bhp and 92lb foot. The Co2 stays around 113g/km and gets about 59mpg (94.95kph). Sadly this is the slowest car Aston Marton has produced since it only reaches 106mph, (170.59kph).

Not only is the Cygnet supermini made to have lower CO2 emissions and more eco-friendly but additionally it can be driven in tight streets and around corners other cars cannot go, alas it is not the James Bond model so it can only travel on streets. It may be small but it is built with the details that our customers have come to love over the years. Choose from our paint colors, trim and finish to make your car the way you want it to look.

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Wednesday November 24th, 2010 19:48 The Morgan Threewheel is back!

The Morgan Threewheel

The Morgan Motor Company has made it official…..back by very popular demand is the classic Morgan Threewheel! They received an amazing 1,000 inquires in one day. With dealers rushing to place preorders, it initiated some long waiting lists. For the first time in over 58 years, they are once again selling their classic motorbike engine threewheel. This exciting resurrection will take place next year.

With Harley-Davidson power, this threewheel is going to be styled after the original but with an updated design. Power is now being delivered to the single rear wheel by the newest 100 bhp, 1.8 L V-twin engine from Harley-Davidson, fitted to a gearbox with five speeds and is provided by Mazda. It features a cockpit designed like an aircraft that produces the smooth feeling of flying through the air. The Threewheel weighs approximately 500 kg, and Morgan estimates that it will finish the 0-60 mph sprint in 4.5 seconds while reaching 115 mph.

With the Morgan Threewheel, buyers will be given the choice of eight different colours. It will feature gloss black detailing and the option of either black or tan coloured leather interior. Customisation will be offered, as it is with all of Morgan’s cars. Prices have not yet been announced, but they will be after the launch at the Geneva Motor Show.

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Tuesday November 23rd, 2010 12:38 Gurus unite…tech-laden Focus speaks to you

The all-new 2012 Ford Focus Sedan

Gurus will love the new Focus' technology.

The 2012 Ford Focus: Official car of the 2011 International CES
The hits keep coming for Ford as the new 2012 Focus has been named the official car of the 2011 International CES.

After a successful introduction of the all new Focus and a great showing at the LA Auto Show, Ford can now focus on the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Ford is looking to showcase the high tech features of the Focus to visiting tech gurus and enthusiasts. And it being named the official car will help Ford accomplish their goal.

Ford hopes to attract techie attention with features such as Ford SYNC, MyFord Touch, HD Radio and in-car WiFi. The auto maker likes to hold the Focus’ electronic features up as an example to other cars, explaining that the technology in their new compact is usually only found in larger, more expensive cars.

“Customers want smaller cars with outstanding fuel economy, but without sacrificing any of the style, technology, connectivity and driving quality they demand from larger vehicles,” said Ken Czubay, vice president of U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service at Ford Motor Company. “With the all-new Focus leading the pack, our next-generation of smaller cars and utilities will prove that Ford is ready to meet that challenge.”

Ford is laying down the gauntlet. Why not build a car that is not only efficient but serves as the technology hub drivers want? Say what you want about distracted driving, car buyers are becoming more demanding of technology and want vehicles to play a role in their connectivity. Whether it’s simply connecting their MP3 player to the cars audio system to syncing their smart phone via Bluetooth, consumers want to know the car they’re buying is capable of what they want.

If you haven’t already, make your reservations now. The CES takes place January 6th through the 9th.

Ford’s press release follows after the break.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Sunday November 21st, 2010 20:38 Toyota Rav4 EV Unveiled

The new Toyota Rav4 EV was unveiled on November 17 at the L.A. Auto Show. This model is a joint project with Tesla Motors of California. Tesla put a Tesla electric powertrain into the crossover. This is what separates it from the Toyota Rav4 which has been available for a number of years.

This is actually the second Toyota Rav4 with an electric operating system. The company previously created a Rav4 for the lease market in early 2003. They announced at the time that the company is dedicated to the idea; however, due to poor sales of just a few hundred they said the timing was not right for the new concept.

Rumors regarding the electric Toyota Rav4 EV started last summer. The company released some teaser images of the new car recently. The new EV has the body of the SUV although it has the same powertrain as the Tesla. The electric model is set to go on sale in the United States in 2012. The company has not yet released the sticker price. The full specs of the SUV will not be released until it is unveiled at the LA Auto Show.

The joint effort of the two companies producing the Toyota Rav4 EV allows Tesla to benefit from Toyota’s manufacturing expertise. Toyota intends to learn from Tesla’s EV technology capabilities. The company also plans to benefit from the responsive and flexible approach to business and decision making that their partner offers.

The new SUV is a further example of Toyota’s efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels as well as to cut CO2 emissions by developing more efficient and alternative powertrain technologies. The company has led the auto industry in the development of hybrid petrol-electric systems. The Prius, Auris hybrid and other models in the worldwide market are examples of their dedication.

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Thursday November 18th, 2010 10:52 BMW Invests in the Future of EV

BMW Megacity Vehicle
BMW plans to invest €400m in large scale production of electric vehicles
Earlier this year, BMW introduced their all-electric MegaCity Vehicle or MCV, which will be available in 2013.

You may think that BMW is slow to follow the trend of announcing a production-ready all-electric car. And you would be somewhat correct. There has been a global field test since mid-2009 of 600 MINI E’s. The MINI E is BMW’s quick response to the demand for electric vehicles by modifying a MINI Cooper into an all-electric car, using lithium-ion batteries. The trial is still ongoing with the possibility of MINI E drivers leasing the cars for an extended period. BMW hopes to learn a great deal about electric cars and the viability of the concept in day-to-day use.

To that end and BMW’s future in electric cars, the auto maker has announced a €400m investment in its Leipzig, Germany, factory which will become the production hub for its future EV model lineup.

BMW contends that electric vehicles should be purpose-built and better suited to buyers needs. Just replacing a cars gasoline engine with an electric motor and batteries isn’t sufficient. BMW hopes the MegaCity Vehicle will become a sub-brand within the brand lineup.

“With this innovative vehicle, designed from the ground up, we will be creating new benchmarks for electric mobility from 2013 on. Our Megacity Vehicle will be significantly lighter than conventional cars and, in terms of sustainability, will set a new standard across the entire value-added chain,” said Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.

The additional investment in EV production will help BMW break some molds regarding vehicle production. Electric cars are inherently heavy due to the combination of batteries and electric motor or motors. BMW hopes to break new ground in vehicle production by using new, light weight materials, such as carbon fibre-reinforced plastic or CFRP.

“This vehicle will radically alter the motor industry as we know it. The BMW Group is currently the only company that will be launching a volume-production vehicle on the market that features carbon fibre-reinforced material,” Reithofer said.

We should know in the next few years if BMW’s investment in the future pays off.

Guest post by Andy Mrozinski, Ridestory.com.

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Tuesday November 16th, 2010 20:34 Vauxhall Meriva: Experience the Next Level of Comfort

Vauxhall Meriva

For the British driver, the new Vauxhall Meriva offers wonderful innovations in both comfort and utility. These innovations include the FlexDoors®, Ergonomic Sports Seats, and the Flexfloor®. Designed for both style and comfort, the Meriva is sure to raise interest everywhere it goes.

The designers of the Vauxhall Meriva focused on comfort. Researchers have estimated that 80% of British adults will have back trouble at some point in their lives (1). Vauxhall has made some remarkable innovations to reduce lower back strain. The FlexDoors® were specifically designed to reduce the amount of back discomfort that often occurs when loading and unloading the car. They are designed to open much wider allowing easier access. This means that less twisting that often aggravates back problems is required. Vauxhall also includes the option for AGR certified ergonomic sport seats. These seats adjust six ways along with providing four-way lumbar support to assist the driver in maintaining proper posture. The Meriva was engineered with a high seating position; this reduces back pain as well as it enhances the drive with a feeling of roominess and comfort. The high seating position gives the driver a much better view. This makes the car safer to drive.

Vauxhall created FlexFloor to give the traveler additional options in cargo area configurations. The floor can be raised to the height of the bumper. This makes loading and unloading heavy or bulky objects easier, and it gives additional space under the floor for storing additional tools and such. These are just a few of the revolutionary design changes that the Mariva offers making life easier and more comfortable.

(1) Palmer KT, Walsh K, et al. Back pain in Britain: comparison of two prevalent surveys at an interval of 10 years.

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Monday November 15th, 2010 17:03 Mercedes SLS AMG Convertible spotted

Thinking about the perfect car that’s always been up front in the market; in class, in style and in the minds of the people who love great workmenship, this beautifully crafted Mercedes SLS AMG convertible, has proven its reputation for many. It’s sleek yet defining; it’s top-of-the-line definition has no rival. Now that you’ve gotten a chance to take a ride in the car of your dreams, how does it feel?

By the gatherings at the dealership around this particular vehicle, it seems to be a proven favorite among the crowd. And, the Mercedes SLS AMG convertible, has never looked better. This vehicle has been around long enough to prove it’s standing in the community – it fits right in.

Then there’s the simplicity of the power under your feet – so that when you drive this sleek vehicle, you know that you have transportation that you don’t mind paying for.

The Mercedes Convertible seats two comfortably. It also holds 22.4 gallons of premium fuel that gets 14/20 city and highway miles. It can turn in a 38.8 circle, with no effort, and, accelerates from 0 – 60mph in 4.5 seconds. It also can run 200mph under its 6.2-liter, V8 engine; now that’s power – WOW! What a car!

Because of it’s sleekness, the wind just pushes past the frame and moves you right into road bliss.

So, when you’re going out to purchase that next new car, you just might want to rethink the situation and swing by your Mercedes convertible dealer for a look at what they’re offering today. The Mercedes Convertible has earned it’s stripes and deserves to be in your garage tonight.

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Friday November 12th, 2010 09:30 Strange Events Close out 2010 Formula 1 Season

That was the story line prior to the Brazilian Grand Prix. According to a local prosecutor, Ferrari driver Felipe Massa could have been charged with fraud and imprisoned for up to six years if he had helped co-driver Fernando Alonso win the Formula One title.

At the time, Alonso could have won the title if he had won Sunday’s race. As it turns out, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber finished first and second.

The strange yet dangerous story line continues. Saturday night, McLaren driver Jenson Button escaped a possible armed robbery as he, his father John and manager Richard Goddard were leaving the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo. No one was hurt.

Apparently the armored vehicles provided to Button and co-driver Lewis Hamilton helped as Button’s driver was able to escape the armed bandits by forcing their vehicle through traffic. The drivers were police officers trained in avoidance techniques.

According to Button, the attack came as they traveled through a shanty town. Six individuals approached the vehicle, brandishing machine guns. Button said his driver “bounced off about five cars” before making their escape.

These two yet strange events seem somehow appropriate as we approach the culmination of the Formula 1 season this weekend in Abu Dhabi. Massa is not in contention to win the drivers championship yet his Ferrari co-driver is, leading in points out of a group of four other drivers. Button, last season’s champion, is not in contention but his co-driver has a chance, albeit a slim one.

So this weekend’s race will decide the drivers championship. The manufacturers championship has already been awarded, with Red Bull taking the honors.

So to quickly summarize who the contenders are (in case I lost you back there), the drivers with enough points to win the championship are: Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, Red Bull’s Mark Webber, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and McClaren’s Lewis Hamilton. All are worthy of the title, with both Alonso and Hamilton being past champs.

Hamilton has the least chance of winning. He would not only have to win this weekends race but the other three would have to finish out of the points. Highly unlikely.

Alonso has an excellent chance although his Ferrari’s performance has not been to the level of the Red Bull Renaults. If Alonso wins, he’s the champion. If Webber wins, Alonso must finish second. If Vettel wins, Alonso must take fifth or better.

Webber must finish fifth or better to stand any chance of winning his first championship. If he wins, Alonso can’t place better than third or it will nix his chances.

Vettel can’t finish any worse than second. If he wins Sunday’s race, Alonso must finish fifth, or worse, for Vettel to win his first title.

The end of the 2010 Formula 1 season is proving to be a good one. When was the last time the best four drivers in the series were in contention for the championship? Maybe never but this weekends race will add a drivers name to the list of greats that include Fangio, Stewart, Andretti and Villeneuve. It should prove exciting.

Guest post by Andy Mrozinski, Ridestory.com

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