Sunday, December 18, 2011

Acura’s New NSX, 2013 Buick Encore, 2013 Dodge Dart, 2013 SRT Viper

Acura’s New NSX
Been away from your computer this week and missed all the automotive news? We’ve gathered a few of the top stories of the past week for your convenience.
Acura’s Future Product Plans — Including New NSX

Acura shared some its future product plans, the most exciting of which were promises of a new NSX supercar. A concept version of the NSX will bow at the Detroit auto show in January 2012, but we probably won’t see the finished production model for another three years. The aggressive, angular new coupe will showcase Honda’s technology know-how, with a hybrid SH-AWD drivetrain that uses a gasoline engine to power the rear wheels, and twin electric motors to power the fronts. In addition, Acura dished on the 2013 ILX, which is a small Honda Civic-based sedan; the 2013 RDX, which is an updated version of Acura’s small crossover; and a new flagship model that might be as large as a BMW 7 Series.
Buick Teases 2013 Encore Crossover Before Detroit Unveiling

Buick revealed a small teaser image of the 2013 Encore, a small crossover that will make its official debut at the Detroit show. The Encore will slot below the Enclave in Buick’s lineup, and is slated to offer the same range of upscale amenities, including QuietTuning noise reduction, we’ve come to expect from all Buick products. Both four- and six-cylinder engines are likely in store for the Encore.

Inside Look: Dodge Releases More 2013 Dart Interior Photos

Dodge has revived the Dart name from its archives and will apply it to a new small sedan, the 2013 Dart. Having granted us a look at the outside, Dodge has now shared photos of the interior of the upcoming Dart. A high-quality, Dodge Charger-inspired dashboard is home to a touch-screen infotainment system and a customizable LCD in the instrument cluster. The new Dart is based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, although that platform will be lengthened and widened slightly for use in the American-spec Dart. The new car will make its debut at the Detroit show and should go on sale next year.

Read more: http://rumors.automobilemag.com/

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Toyota, Yamaha unveil connected electric trike, e-bike

e-bike
With populations in urban centers expected to surge over the next few decades, auto manufacturers are looking beyond cars to find ways to mobilize the population without using more fossil fuels. Toyota teamed up with Yamaha to show off a couple of electric bicycle concepts at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. They're not the first companies to tackle e-bikes, but they could be the first companies to show how these non-traditional EVs can be connected to smart grids.

The three-wheeled EC-Miu and the electrically power-assisted Pas With bicycle are designed to work with the Toyota Smart Center, an advanced smart grid energy-management system designed for homes, businesses, and power companies, which means your e-bike will be another appliance you can manage online.

Commuters will be able to recharge these e-bikes using the same G-Station charging stations used by electric vehicles. Embedded Wi-Fi capability will give riders a way to use smartphone-based navigation and telematics services.

The manufacturers went one step further and modeled how electric bicycles could be integrated in city-wide bike-sharing programs, creating a mashup of Daimler's electric Car2Go program in San Diego and Paris' Velib project. By giving commuters a way to get from A to B without breaking a sweat, these electric bike concepts could make it easier to opt for two or three wheels instead of four, which would help ease congestion on city streets. However, they'll still have the problem of creating helmet hair.

No information on range, speed, or charging times were given in the news statement, but for comparison, the Smart eBike has a range of about 62 miles and a top speed of about 15 mph.

source:http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57333645-1

Monday, December 05, 2011

Honda Adds Almost 1 Million New Vehicles To Airbag Recall

honda
Honda‘s airbag woes grew significantly after they recalled an almost 1 million additional vehicles.

The issue involves airbag pressure in 2001 and 2002 Accords, Civics and Odysseys from 2001 through 2003, CR-Vs from 2002 to 2003 and 2003 Pilots. The recall also affects 2002 and 2003 Acura 3.2 TLs and 2003 3.2 CLs.

The latest development primarily includes vehicles sold in North America. Owners can expect to receive notice soon if their car is included The recall started three years ago, so far Honda has recalled 2.8 million vehicles.

source:www.autoguide.com

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Toyota’s Latest Concept Car – 'Smartphone on Four Wheels'

toyota latest car
Japanese car maker Toyota has unveiled a new concept car which is designed like a smartphone, featuring multiple touch screen panels on the outside The Fun-Vii, which stands for vehicle interactive internet, was unveiled by the company ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show, in order to showcase what the car maker plans for the future, when drivers will be able to interact with their cars in a way similar to how they use a smartphone.

The car's outside is embedded with a series of touch screen panels that allow the driver to change the body colour and display content. The company said that people will also be able to customise the interior of the car depending on their mood According to the concept images released by Toyota, the car's windshield will come with augmented reality capabilities and will also feature a virtual assistant for navigation and other driving related information.

Toyota has no plans to launch the car in the mainstream market but aims to demonstrate how technology can be used to make cars with great design and interactiveness with the external environment.

Source : itproportal.com

Sunday, November 27, 2011

World's Most Expensive Car: 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic


The Bugatti Type 57 and is subsequent variants are the most desirable cars on the planet right now, and Youtube user CarsandCoffeIrvine has a very interesting video of the most expensive one ever, this awesome Atlantic model.

Called by many the most beautiful car from the pre-war ear, the Atlantic body has flowing coupe lines and its most liked for that unique dorsal seam running the whole length of the car. This feature is actually a bit like what you see on fighter planes of the time, since the body is made of aluminum alloy and has to be riveted as it could not be welded.

Only four of these were ever made and of those two have survived This is the car that was previously owned by Dr. Peter Williamson and was sold for between $30 and $40 million at an auction in May 2010. The other is in Paris and belongs to Ralph Lauren’s amazing collection.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Arctic Cat XC 450 ATV Recall Issued Due to Bent Tie-Rods

Arctic Cat XC 450 ATV
Nearly 1,400 Arctic Cat XC 450 all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) have been recalled due to fears that they may pose a crash hazard an Arctic Cat XC 450 ATV recall was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on November 10, after Arctic Cat Inc. received at least three reports of bent tie-rods.

The CPSC warns that the tie-rods could lead to a loss of control of the ATVs, though there have been no reports of injuries related to the defective Arctic Cats all 2011 Arctic Cat XC 450 ATVs and some 2012 Arctic Cat XC 450 ATVs are affected by the recall. The 2012 models affected by the recall have 6V0101 through 6V0178 and 700101 through 700230 as the last six digits of their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The VIN can be found on the lower front frame tube below the front bumper.

The ATVs come in black and orange or black and lime green and have the words “Arctic Cat” on each side of the cowl, and the “450 XC” on the front of the cowl. There are about 1,384 units in all affected by the recall The recalled ATVs were sold at Arctic Cat dealerships nationwide from February 2011 to present for between $6,500 and $6,900. They were made in Taiwan.

India Map

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dog sledge caps tryst with Arctic

dog sledge
The magic of the Arctic had cast such a lingering spell on the Arctic Challengers of Oman in the past three days that even after the temperatures dropped further and the chilly winds got harsher, the explorers longed for more thrill. And why not? After all where else on the earth could one experience such an unspoilt wilderness from such close quarters?but the unfavourable weather conditions prevented us from exploring the interiors and we were advised not to go further North. So the last leg of our trip faced a setback and our plans of meeting the Inuit people had to be called off.

“We were told that these inhabitants of the remotest part of the Arctic have adapted themselves to the harsh climate. Learning about the Inuit culture is as interesting as experiencing the wonders of the frozen wilderness of the Arctic. Sadly, we had to forego our dreams of meeting them.not being able to meet the Inuit people left us extremely disappointed but we were aware that ‘safety comes first’. Hence, we decided to stay back in the town and make the best of what we had.

It seemed to be a day of heartbreaks. First, we missed the opportunity of meeting the Inuit people and later we could not see the magnificence of the Northern Lights, especially the time when the glaciers get lit by the glow of the Northern Lights, owing to the bad weather conditions.

India Map

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Land Rover’s DC100 debuts in Los Angeles

Land Rover DC100
Land Rover has presented its DC100 and DC100 Sport concepts at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The company said the models “investigate the potential design direction for a replacement for the iconic Defender,” and they are being displayed to judge North American reaction and explore the possibility of bringing the Defender back to the U.S. market “The Defender has always been at the heart of the Land Rover brand and single-handedly defines our go-anywhere, can-do spirit,” said John Edwards, Land Rover global brand director.

“Our ambition is to create an all-new Defender for a global market that remains absolutely faithful to its original DNA: tough, versatile, durable and capable. At the same time, it will be developed for the 21st century and adaptable for the needs of future generations.”evolved since their unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show last September, the concepts now ride on optimized off-road 20-inch alloy wheels with Cooper all-terrain tires.

The DC100 also features expedition accessories with a raised air-intake snorkel for wading, and a roof rack the concepts use a next-generation Terrain-i system which creates a map of the topography in front of the car and displays it as a 3D visualization, automatically identifying potential hazards and suggesting alternative routes. A new Wade Aid system uses sonar sensors to measure water depth, and optimizes the car for water crossings by closing body vents, raising the ride height, selecting a low gear and advising the safest speed.

Tourism Links

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Get Your Bike Geek on at the Bike Expo This Weekend

bike expo
This weekend brings the geekiest, bike geariest local event of the year—The San Francisco Bike Expo for all of you bike nerds like me, the SF Bike Expo at Cow Palace is the local motherland of all things pedal-powered. It’s the once-a-year event where all of the local bike shops unload their inventory and bike companies big and small showcase their goods.

If you’re looking for vintage wool jerseys from the ’70s then this is your place. If you’re wanting to ogle the custom handbuilt frames of small-batch bike builders, this is your spot. And if you just want to watch pretty bikers model the latest cycletastic fashion, or BMXers tear it up on a jumps course, you can do that too. Best yet, if you’re looking for a good deal on a new or used bike, there’s no better time to find one.

Tourism Links

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Electric carmaker CODA opens global HQ in LA

coda electric car
Electric carmaker CODA Automotive Inc. opened its worldwide headquarters in Los Angeles on Thursday, strengthening California's bid to become the hub of clean-energy business the state hopes will create thousands of new jobs CODA, a startup company that began in Santa Monica, formally unveiled a 100,000-square-foot engineering, research and sales center that has more than 200 employees "it is a milestone. We started with a few people in a Santa Monica hangar just about four years ago," CODA spokeswoman Larkin Hill said.

"Dynamic innovation is a key building block of California's 21st century economy," Gov. Jerry Brown said at the ceremony. "Car companies like CODA are investing in California because our laws encourage electric cars and recognize the paramount importance of reducing oil dependency We see it as a catalyst that will usher in new jobs, more investment, and a stronger clean-tech industry to Los Angeles," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said.

CODA is working on a five-passenger sedan with a range of up to 150 miles per charge. It will be manufactured in China and final assembly will take place at a plant in Benicia, Calif. The car will sell for $44,900, or $32,400 after federal and state credits for electric vehicles.

Tourism Links

Monday, November 07, 2011

Steamboats not a-comin' to Cincinnati next year

riverboat
Cincinnati’s latest Tall Stacks riverboat festival is being delayed because of other events competing for sponsorship money the next Tall Stacks Music, Arts & Heritage Festival had been tentatively planned for October 2012. Organizers tell The Cincinnati Enquirer they hope to reschedule for 2013.

They indicate that a 2012 edition of Tall Stacks would have had difficulty landing sponsors because of the World Choir Games, also set for next year in Cincinnati tall Stacks started in 1988 to celebrate Cincinnati’s bicentennial and has been held six times since then. The last time was in 2006 and featured 16 boats that drew 800,000 spectators.

Tourism Links

Sunday, November 06, 2011

New Helicopter To Boost Wildlife Conservation Operations

helicopter
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has received a major boost in its air operations following the acquisition of a new Bell 407 helicopter.

The chopper, with a carrying capacity of seven, is set to further enhance conservation work.

The purchase of the helicopter is seen as an important investment expected to generate more revenue in addition to aiding KWS’s air services which include air patrols vital in anti-poaching operations, animal censuses and surveillance, large mammal translocation and client personnel transportation, among others.

During the launch of the helicopter, KWS Director Julius Kipng’etich also commissioned a new VIP lounge at the KWS Wilson Airport Hangar offices in Nairobi .

Mr Kipng’etich said as part of the organisation’s force modernisation and expansion programme, plans are underway to increase its aircraft in the next few years.

This would see the purchase of an additional caravan aircraft in 2013 and ensure that by 2015, each park should have at least one light aircraft to enhance operations.

The Director also challenged staff to come up with a proposal to acquire another hangar at the Wilson Airport aimed at multiplying the airwing’s efficiency and increase its productivity.

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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Red Bull Racing Team Martinsville II race report


And the hits just kept on coming. And coming. And coming. By the time Sunday’s Tums Fast Relief 500 was complete, 18 caution flags had waved that consumed more than a fifth of the 500 laps at Martinsville Speedway, putting the pace car third on the laps led list with 108. Brian Vickers, according to NASCAR’s cumulative report, was involved in five of them — three before lap 100.

Vickers drove into the top 10 courtesy of longer runs in the race’s middle stages and was running ninth with 50 laps to go. But the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota, already beaten and battered, took its worst shot when Matt Kenseth punted Vickers’ car into the turn-three wall with 42 laps to go. That irked an already frustrated driver, and Vickers, who had gone from a possible top 10 to multiple laps down, countered on Kenseth not long after in the same spot.

The end result? A 30th-place finish and a scrap heap of a race car that didn’t see the checkered flag for only the second time this season.

“These are the races where we all get to capitalize on it and do all the other things right, keep working hard and get yourself back in the game,” said Ryan Pemberton, Vickers’ crew chief. “Right there at the end, we just took ourselves out of it. We were in the game and now we’re out of the game — after all that. Four or five hours into the race and we finally get into good position, like, ‘OK, here’s the chance to capitalize on something.’ And we didn’t even have the chance to swing the bat.”

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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Transport ministry suspends air controller for 3 months

Air transport
The transport ministry announced Friday it has suspended a 56-year-old male chief controller at Tokyo's Haneda airport for three months for posting a flight plan for the U.S. presidential aircraft, Air Force One, and other internal information on his private blog.

The controller started his blog in 2001 and posted 192 pictures taken at his workplace, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

Five of the pictures showed flight plans screened on a monitor, including the flight plan for U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Japan last November for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum held in Yokohama.

Another showed the flight plan of a U.S. Global Hawk unmanned surveillance aircraft that flew around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex shortly after the plant was crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

After finding sensitive information had been leaked that way, the ministry decided to designate flight plans for foreign government aircraft as top classified data and take other security measures.

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BMW 6 Series Coupé arrives in Kuwait

BMW 6 Series Coupé
The model has new interior and exterior designs and comes with a wealth of technology highlights that distinguish it from competitors. Offering stylish design, outstanding performance, luxury and sheer driving pleasure, the model is expected to set trends in both the premium car and sports activity vehicle segments.

Commenting on the launch, Mr. Yousef Al-Qatami, General Manager of Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive, said: "The all new BMW 6 Series Coupé, marks a new chapter in sporting design for Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive. With its beautiful exterior, luxury and innovative technology, the BMW 6 Series Coupé will make the hearts of sports car aficionados in Kuwait beat a little faster."

"The initial response we have received on this car has been positive, and we are confident it will prove popular among our customers in Kuwait," he added.

Following the launch of the BMW 6 Series Convertible earlier this year, the third generation of the 2+2-seater sports Coupé sees premium automotive manufacturer BMW adding another exciting chapter to its thirty year-long tradition in the production of sports cars.

On board to deliver the BMW 6 Series Coupé's signature driving experience is a range of innovative driver assistance systems and BMW ConnectedDrive infotainment features. The new car therefore meets the highest, not to mention the broadest, expectations of driving pleasure in a large, premium 2+2-seater in incomparable style.

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Renault Unveils Small Car Pulse in India

renault pulse
Renault SA Saturday unveiled a new small car, Pulse, in India that it plans to start selling from January to boost sales and compete with bigger rivals such as Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., Hyundai Motor Co. and Tata Motors Ltd. in Asia's third-biggest automobile market.

The Pulse, Renault's third vehicle in India, will mark the French auto maker's entry into the high volume small-car market which makes up nearly two-thirds of passenger vehicle sales in India.

It is also a part of the company's plans to introduce five car models by the end of next year.

"India is one of the key markets for us along with Brazil and Russia. This Pulse is designed and produced for Indian drivers," Carlos Tavares, chief operating officer of Renault, told reporters. He said the company plans to sell 100,000 vehicles in India by 2013.

The Pulse shares its platform with Renault's Japanese partner Nissan Motor Co.'s V-platform. Nissan already sells its Micra small car based on the same platform.

The car will be manufactured at a factory near the port town of Chennai in southern Tamil Nadu state which the company jointly owns with Nissan. The factory opened in March last year with an initial annual capacity of 200,000 cars.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

2012 Fiat 500c Review: Cute but Underpowered and Overpriced

Fiat 500c
Lest one think this is an automatic bashing of small cars – it is not. They are actually a particular favorite. The problem comes from the Fiat 500c's powertrain. This is a small – and I do mean small – car with no zip to it nor good fuel economy for its size.

Let's address the latter point first. It's one of the big knocks against the Smart car. It's little and cute like the Fiat 500 and only gets 33 mpg city and 41 mpg highway. The Fiat 500c, based on EPA figures, does even worse at 27 city and 32 mpg. A Hyundai Accent, which is bigger by all measurements, gets 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway.

That's the unsettling thing about truly small cars in the U.S. They get relatively poor fuel economy for their size and typically run on premium fuel. Who wants to pay more just to get less fuel economy?

No Power in the Fiat 500c

What's also unsettling is how under powered this little car is – even for a little car. Americans don't mind small if it has a little zip to it. The Fiat 500c has a 1.4-liter MultiAir in-line four-cylinder engine that provides 101 horsepower and 98 lb. ft. of torque. As I said last summer when I reviewed the Mazda2, torque figures in the double digits are never a good thing.

The new Fiat 500c features the world’s first Fully Variable Valve Actuation (FVVA) system on a production engine. Also known as MultiAir, this intake-valve system replaces a traditional overhead cam with hydraulic actuation controlled by four, fast-responding, electronic solenoids – delivering instantaneous air-fuel adjustment at any time in the engine cycle for maximum efficiency and power or so Fiat claims. Maybe it does deliver maximum power but it's power that is lacking.

No Safety Concerns

One thing I can't knock about small cars is their safety. Sure, you can't overcome the laws of physics. A semi tractor-trailer crashing into a Fiat 500c is never going to end well for the Fiat passengers but there's a lot more protection inside than people may realize. Don't overlook a Fiat for safety reasons. It would be a mistake.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

The new Dodge Viper will not debut next month

Dodge viper
Mania over the new 2013 Dodge Viper has given way to pure insanity, with outlets reporting that the next generation super Mopar's going to appear at a regional press event in Florida next month. Yeah, we don't think that's happening — and you should believe us, because at least two of us here are crazy enough to think even Sports Night's coming back one day so we'll believe anything if there's a shred of hope it'll happen.

This rumor has its genesis at Top Speed, who seems to have pulled it directly out of their asses. Here's what they say


Debuting an extremely important car at a an event for a bunch of local automotive journalists who, despite their charitable intentions, have little national reach? Not going to happen.

Dodge PR confirmed to us that, as much fun as that would be, it ain't happening. In a phone call that lasted all of 56 seconds.

I just think some journalists are angling to get a trip to South Florida in the winter and thus are unwilling to pick up a phone to deny the most easily deniable rumor ever.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wounded Gaddafi Shown No Mercy

Wounded Gaddafi
Dragged from hiding in a drainage pipe, a wounded Muammar Gaddafi raised his hands and begged revolutionary fighters: "Don't kill me, my sons." Within an hour, he was dead, but not before jubilant Libyans had vented decades of hatred by pulling the eccentric dictator's hair and parading his bloodied body on the hood of a truck.

The death Thursday of Gaddafi, two months after he was driven from power and into hiding, decisively buries the nearly 42-year regime that had turned the oil-rich country into an international pariah and his own personal fiefdom.

It also thrusts Libya into a new age in which its transitional leaders must overcome deep divisions and rebuild nearly all its institutions from scratch to achieve dreams of democracy.

"We have been waiting for this historic moment for a long time. Muammar Gaddafi has been killed," Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril said in the capital of Tripoli. "I would like to call on Libyans to put aside the grudges and only say one word, which is Libya, Libya, Libya."

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

BMW 6-series coupe dressed to thrill


While it's easy to spec-up BMW's 6-series coupe to well beyond the quarter of a million dollar mark if you tick enough boxes like the M-sport option and lists of remarkable sound-systems, wheel choices and lighting alternatives, I hope I don't sound trite when I say it's still good value.

That's because, despite being very much a day-to-day turn-key sports coupe, it has sufficient performance to challenge competitors with another $100,000 to $200,000 on their sticker cards. As well as its obvious segment- mates, like the 'Benz CL ($285,000), Jaguar's XKR-S ($260,000) and the Maserati GranTurismo ($285,000), the 6-series has sufficient style and performance to be seen next to or to be driven with Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Aston Martins costing so much more.

There'll be but a single model of the 6-series Coupe for New Zealand - the 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged 650i - rather than the range of sixes and diesels and two and four-wheel-drive drivetrain options enjoyed in its native Europe. Standard gear includes sumptuous Dakota leather, chassis settings you can change with the prod of a console button and a standard sat-nav system that uses a huge fixed screen in the upper dash. The device threatens to dominate the otherwise well-organised and nicely designed cabin. There's an M Sport model which gets some subtle external body styling, special sill-plates and a chromed, Martini-striped M-badge for the bootlid as well as more sporting seats.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rolls Royce speeds up for first 100

Rolls Royce
One of the world's premier luxury car manufacturers, Rolls-Royce has decided to strengthen its operations in India, owing to the rapid growth of the Indian automobile industry. The British car maker has its presence in India for the past 75 years. When it entered the domestic market, back in 1932, the company primarily built aero engines that were first used in Tata Airlines.

Recently, Rolls-Royce Operations India Private Limited was established in Bangalore, amid celebrations of its 50-year-long partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in 2006. Since its establishment, Rolls-Royce has been inclined towards introducing its luxury cars in India. Rolls-Royce has now decided to expand its operations as well as its product range in India. Currently, the car maker has two dealerships located in Mumbai and Delhi. The company aims to achieve the desired level of expansion by the end of 2011 or early 2012.

For expanding the dealership network, the company has appointed Herfried Hasenoehrl as the Head of Business Development for Rolls-Royce India. He is expected to give new highs to the Rolls-Royce dealership network in the country. In addition, he will be responsible for identifying potential cities for sales of Rolls-Royce products.

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ford Focus Traveller: Fesche Ladezone

Ford Focus
Ob more work now belongs to the traveler was once an open question. And if so, he will bear with equanimity - he has the skills necessary to yes. Ford reduced the Focus body styles on the two (apart from the coupé-cabriolet) and after it is no longer three-door and the sedan is not offered for us to stay just 5-door and Travellers. Traveller is traditionally the address for the cluster .

Traveller (ie friends) is a perfectly fitting name, since you like the Focus is taking longer trips. Space for luggage or other leisure utensil's enough (490 and 1516 liters with rear seats folded down). At least as gratifying to the, fact that the sill is pleasantly deep down, board life of the trunk and the hatch opens before without disturbing excesses of one. The 1.6-liter Ecoboost with 182 hp ensures that there is fault with the performance anything even if one exploits the full load. Even in the lower rpm range, there are a lot of lard, to 182 hp, the engine feels but only at higher speeds.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Yamaha FZ6R: Zero Gravity Windscreens

yamaha FZ6R
Made in the USA, Zero Gravity's new line of 2009-2012 Yamaha FZ6R windscreens is now available in three distinctive styles, SR Series, Double Bubble and Sport Touring.

The stock replacement Yamaha FZ6R SR Series (20-523 shown in light smoke) approximates the size, shape and function of the OEM windscreen.

The Double Bubble (16-523 shown in light smoke), features a stepped profile design with an overall height somewhere between the SR Series and Sport Touring.

Performance is geared for sports riding, canyon carving and "tucked in" aerodynamics. Both the SR Series and Double Bubble are available in a variety of colors as well as clear, light smoke and dark smoke.

The Sport Touring Series screen (23-523 shown in light smoke), is 3 1/4" (82.55mm) taller than stock and provides enhanced wind protection while riding in the upright position aboard the Yamaha FZ6R. Mounting holes are pre-drilled. Installs using OEM fasteners. Included with each screen is a photo-detailed instruction sheet for quick installation.

Zero Gravity screens are made with cutting edge technology and feature a precise fit, hand polished visible edges and distortion free optical clarity.

Available in a variety of colors, Zero Gravity's new Yamaha FZ6R windscreens start at $89.95 and are protected with a limited factory warranty.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

GM Looking To Test Futuristic EV In Megacities Worldwide

EN-V electric
General Motors' ambitious EN-V electric concept vehicle may be coming to a city near you, as the automotive giant is looking into developing pilot projects around the world to determine just how practical the concept is.

GM has already signed a memorandum that will see the car — now dubbed the Chevrolet EN-V, short for Electric Networked Vehicle — potentially integrated into the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city in China. Other locations are being investigated for pilot programs, including the United States. Since the EN-V is designed specifically for urban dwellers, GM is looking at "selected megacities," though no specific locations were announced.

"By 2030, more than 60 percent of the world's eight billion people will live in urban areas," said Chris Perry, vice president, global Chevrolet marketing and strategy, at an event celebrating Chevrolet's 100th anniversary.

"The Chevrolet EN-V represents a possible solution for global customers living in markets where alternative transportation solutions are needed."

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ashok Leyland has plans for an Innova-like vehicle

Ashok Leyland
Company working on common platform derived from Nissan van; planning to launch 7-8 seater vehicle in 2 years.

Burgeoning demand for spacious people movers in India has led Ashok Leyland, a medium and heavy truck builder, to plan on developing a utility vehicle to take on the likes of Toyota Innova, India’s largest selling multi-seater personal vehicle.

The Chennai-based company is targeting a medium-powered, seven to eight-seater vehicle. This segment is majorly catered to by Toyota, General Motors, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra.

V Sumantran, executive vice chairman, Hinduja Automotive, said, “The demand for the Innova has defined the overall demand for such vehicles in India. The way people travel has completely changed in India in the past few years. There used to be a Tata Sumo, which got replaced by Toyota’s top-selling Qualis, which eventually made way for the Innova. Today, there is a waiting period for the Innova, which sells close to 5,000 units every month.”

Launched in 2005, the Toyota Innova (price starts at Rs 8.64 lakh, ex-showroom, Mumbai) has consistently maintained superior demand compared to the competition, despite carrying a premium price tag.

Handicapped by production constraints, Toyota Kirloskar Motors, the Indian subsidiary of Toyota Motors, sold 4,765 units of the Innova last month, a growth of 126 per cent over 2,108 units sold in the same month last year.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fairs ... Or Farm Shows

Farm Machines
When I was growing up, country life revolved around county and state fairs.

Not only were there 4-H and open class exhibits of livestock, crops and hobbies, but also the fair was where you went to see the latest farm equipment and products.

You could walk from one exhibit to another, comparing tractors, chain saws, lawn mowers and countless other tools of the good life.

Increasingly fairs, county and stateFarm Machines, are more about entertainment than agriculture.

The Minnesota State Fair maintains the livestock show where I exhibited my Ayrshire heifer 40 years ago. However, the major agricultural suppliers have long since pulled out of Machinery Hill, not that there aren’t still many interesting exhibits to visit.

The real action for agricultural window-shopping has become the regional and national farm shows.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

China Bullet Trains Trip on Technology

Bullet Train
China celebrated its bullet trains as the home-grown pride of a nation: a rail system faster and more advanced than any other, showcasing superior Chinese technology.

However, China's high-speed rail network was in fact built with imported components—including signaling-system parts designed to prevent train collisions—that local engineers couldn't fully understand, according to a review of corporate documents and interviews with more than a dozen rail executives inside and outside China.

During a late July lightning storm, two of China's bullet trains collided in the eastern city of Wenzhou, killing 40 people and injuring nearly 200 in one of the world's worst high-speed passenger-rail accidents. China's government initially blamed flawed signaling and human error. It recently postponed public release of its crash findings.

The precise cause of the disaster remains uncertain, so there is no way to know what role, if any, the signaling assembly may have played.

An examination of China's use of foreign technology in its bullet-train signal systems highlights deep international distrust over China's industrial model, including weak intellectual-property protections, which can complicate efforts to acquire state-of-the-art technology.

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Sunday, October 09, 2011

Government’s budget-cut slows purchase of new cars

new_car
Toyota, the largest supplier of new cars in Uganda, is feeling the pinch of government’s resolve to cut-back it’s expenditure on items like motor vehicles, advertising and newspapers.

Mr Dino Bianchi, the managing director of Toyota Uganda, told Daily Monitor the budget cuts on the purchase of vehicles has affected sales because the government is the biggest buyer of new cars. “The decision is already hurting us. Of course, government is among our top buyers and a reduction in purchase affects us.”

In her 2011/2012 budget speech, the Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka said there was need to cut government expenditure on some sectors in order to improve government service delivery. Ms Kiwanuka proposed that the government would freeze the purchase of vehicles except for critical areas; including hospitals, police and security.

Other industries that were affected include hospitality and media. To cope with the freeze, Toyota has introduced initiatives to boost its sales by easing the cost of acquiring and servicing new cars. “We are however, making our cars more affordable to potential clients,” Mr Bianchi said.

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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Electric Cars Face Challenging Market In Brazil

Electric Cars
Brazil market not as ready as U.S, Japan, Europe for electric-vehicle push, Nissan CEO Ghosn says

Ghosn: No clear initiative to support adoption of electrics by Brazil government

Brazil's oil fields, high use of ethanol also seen as key factors

RIO DE JANEIRO -(Dow Jones)- The future of the automotive industry is likely in electric vehicles, but the technology faces a challenging market in Brazil, the chief executive of Japan's Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (7201.TO) said Thursday.

Carlos Ghosn, who also serves as chairman and chief executive of France's Renault SA (RNO.FR), cited Brazil's recently discovered oil fields, heavy use of biofuels and a lack of government support.

"We are pioneers in electric cars," Ghosn said during an announcement of Nissan's first factory in Brazil. "When the Brazilian government wants, when the Brazilian government is ready, we will instantly bring this technology to Brazil."

Nissan, which produces the popular Leaf electric car, doesn't view Brazil as a good candidate for early market tests of electric vehicles. The pressure to adopt the new technology isn't as strong in Brazil, which is currently rushing to develop offshore oil fields that could transform the country into one of the leading crude producers and exporters. In addition, the country is the world's largest producer of sugar-cane ethanol, with more than 80% of new cars able to run on the clean-burning biofuel.

"The attractiveness of Brazil as a market for electric cars will depend on the will of the Brazilian government to support the consumer in order to buy electric cars," Ghosn told Dow Jones Newswires in an exclusive interview earlier this week. "As long as there is no clear initiative by the government to support development of electric cars in the country, I don't think it's going to happen."

There are some signs that Brazil's government is waking up to the need for incentives to foster growth of so-called "green vehicles." Local press reports said that President Dilma Rousseff's administration was discussing plans that could allow Brazil to be at the forefront of electric-car adoption, including the end of a 25% industrial production tax on electric and hybrid vehicles.

Rio de Janeiro Governor Sergio Cabral also hailed the future of electric vehicles during Thursday's ceremony to unveil Nissan's $1.5 billion plant, which is expected to produce 200,000 vehicles per year. Rio de Janeiro wants to offer incentives to ensure that electric cars are produced in the state, said Cabral.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Hyundai holds mini-auto show

Hyundai Auto Show
Engineers from Hyundai Motor Group’s subcontractors study the bottom of a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle with its battery removed at the automaker’s Namyang Technology Research Center in Gyeonggi Province, Wednesday. Between Oct. 5 and 8, Hyundai is hosting the 8th R&D motor show with 105 vehicles to help subcontractors learn freely about the latest automobile technology. / Courtesy of Hyundai

By Kim Da-ye

Hyundai Motor Group is hosting its own mini motor show to help subcontractors study more than 100 domestic and imported vehicles at no cost.

The eighth R&D Motor Show is taking place at the automaker’s Namyang Technology Research Center in Gyeonggi Province between Oct. 5 and 8. Some 5,000 executives and employees of 445 subcontractors have been invited to attend.

The displayed fleet includes 25 Hyundai and Kia vehicles including the i40 and the K5 Hybrid as well as 80 from rival automakers.

Prior to the opening ceremony, engineers from Hyundai-Kia and subcontractors disassembled globally popular cars to study the latest automotive technology.

Hwang Chong-ha, a researcher at Yura Corporation, participated in taking apart a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle. He said, “Disassembling an imported vehicle is a great opportunity for us. It is usually difficult for a subcontractor to buy a whole imported car to merely study a part.”

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Monday, October 03, 2011

Mahindra XUV 500 launched at a starting price of Rs 10.8 lakh

Mahindra XUV 500
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), India's leading manufacturer of utility vehicles on Thursday launched its new global sport utility vehicle XUV 500 at a starting price of Rs 10.80 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi). The company will begin bookings from Saturday. This is the first major utility vehicle launch from Mahindra after its Xylo launch.

Mahindra will position the XUV 500 between the Scorpio and the premium SUV range which comprises of the Toyota Fortuner, Chevrolet Captiva, Mitubishi Outlander, Honda CR-V and the likes. The XUV 500 will be available in both 4x2 and 4x4 variants.

The vehicle will be launched in South Africa tomorrow. "In the next six months, it will be launched in Australia, South and Central America, Western Europe and SAARC countries," M&M President (Automotive and Farm Equipment) Pawan Goenka told reporters here.

In the domestic market, it will be first available in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Pune. It will be pitched against the likes of General Motors' Captiva and the Toyota Fortuner, which are priced at around Rs 19-20 lakh.

M&M Chief of Operations (Automotive Sector) Rajesh Jejurikar said the price of the XUV500 could be revised after three months, depending on commodity prices and other input costs.

Stating that the new vehicle is a reflection of the firm's ever-growing global aspirations, M&M Vice-Chairman Anand Mahindra said: "XUV500 is much more than a car. It will be another cult vehicle, as Scorpio was."

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Hyundai Eon Small Car’s specifications and features details emerge!

Hyundai Eon
The second week of October or its thereabouts is when Hyundai India’s new bread and butter entry level model, the Eon Hatchback, will debut. Already, there is plenty of buzz surrounding the latest small car from Hyundai as this car represents a genuine alternate to the Maruti Alto, both in terms of price positioning as well as fuel economy and engine capacity. Now, we’ve just managed to lay our hands on the specifications of the Hyundai Eon, much before its launch.

We bring you these specifications courtesy a Team-Bhpian. Hence, this information isn’t yet official and the final specifications might vary from what we’re carrying on ICB today. The Hyundai Eon will arrive with a 3 cylinder, 814cc petrol engine producing a peak power of 56 PS at 5,500 rpm and a peak torque of 76.5 Nm at 4,000 rpm. The high point of this engine is the high fuel economy that is claimed for the Eon, which at 21.1 KMPL, leads the entry level small car class.

A five speed manual gearbox, which has been borrowed from the Santro Xing does gear shifting duties on the Eon. The Hyundai Eon could be available in no less than six variants and this means that like the Verna Fluidic, Hyundai India could price the Eon too in a very wide price band thus offering car buyers a lot of choice. From the information we have right now, the Eon will be available in D-Lite, D-lite(O), Era, Magna, Magna(O) and Sportz variants.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ford's F-150 Raptor gets front-view camera

Ford F-150
By now, rear-view cameras are pretty much expected in all larger cars and trucks. But a front-view camera?

You'll find it in the latest version of the F-150 SVT Raptor, Ford's 411-horsepower ultimate off-road truck. Sure, you can look at the windshield to see where you're going. But the goal of the front-view is to let you see where you can't see.

The camera is mounted on the front grille and looks down. It's meant to help drivers who are rock-crawling off-road. In rough terrain, they may not be able to see down low without the camera, Ford contends.

"It's a surprise-and-delight feature that works during low-speed crawling, and it's particularly useful for seeing in front of the vehicle when tackling large inclines," said Jamal Hameedi, Ford SVT chief engineer. "We found the system particularly useful for avoiding large rocks or placing a tire on a rock. It can even take the place of the spotter at times, which is a great feature when the truck is in 1 foot of mud."

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mind-reading car could drive you round the bend

Mind Reading Car
Nissan collaborates with Swiss scientists to develop interface between man and machine, saying it will help road safety

One of the world's largest motor manufacturers is working with scientists based in Switzerland to design a car that can read its driver's mind and predict his or her next move.

The collaboration, between Nissan and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), is intended to balance the necessities of road safety with demands for personal transport.

Scientists at the EPFL have already developed brain-machine interface (BMI) systems that allow wheelchair users to manoeuvre their chairs by thought transference. Their next step will be finding a way to incorporate that technology into the way motorists interact with their cars.

If the endeavour proves successful, the vehicles of the future may be able to prepare themselves for a left or right turn – choosing the correct speed and positioning – by gauging that their drivers are thinking about making such a turn.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Honda Brio launched at a starting price of Rs 3.95 lakh

Honda Brio
Honda has entered the business end of India's car market with the aggressively-priced Brio, sending a message that it has the gumption for a fight in the world's second-fastest-growing car market.

With a starting price of Rs 3.95 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), Brio is Honda's cheapest offering and is being launched in the middle of a trying period for the Japanese carmaker.

"Brio is our answer to the demand of mass car market. It's our most focused product," said Takashi Nagai, the president & chief executive of Honda's Indian unit. Honda Siel, the Indian arm is a joint venture with Siel, a Siddharth Shriram group company.

Honda has been struggling with falling sales, production stoppages caused by a devastating tsunami in Japan in March and the recall earlier this month of more than 70,000 City sedans to replace faulty power window switches.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

The Story of Ferrari’s Horse Emblem

Ferrari Emblem
Italian car manufacturer Ferrari has been in the business of making sports and racing cars since 1947 and in the world of Formula One racing, the car is responsible for the excitement that follows each race. Along for every ride of the Ferrari line of cars has been the prancing black horse that is the recognizable emblem of the sportscar maker.

The trademarked Prancing Horse logo of Ferrari has a story almost as impressive as the brand itself. Having been on the plane of an Italian WWI flying hero, Ferrari used the logo with advice from the pilots mother that it would bring the company luck. Take a look at the Ferrari World video below that further explains the Prancing Horse logo. See cars and more from Ferrari

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Nissan LEAF to lead the charge with noisemaker tech in Australia; Toyota says no for now

Toyota has released a video detailing its latest Vehicle Proximity Notification System (VPNS) – a system designed to improve the safety of pedestrians and other road users around near-silent hybrid and electric vehicles by emitting audible warnings – but don’t expect our Prius to get the technology any time soon.

VPNS broadcasts a range of low- and high-pitched noises when travelling below 15mph (24km/h). The pitch of the tone increases and decreases depending on the vehicle’s speed (a function called ‘pitch-shifting’).

Toyota engineers in the US say the system will improve road safety for cyclists, or pedestrians who may be distracted by mobile phones, and insists it will be especially important to the independence of blind pedestrians who rely on audible warnings from vehicles.

Toyota describes the sound as “automotive in nature, but still futuristic to match the advanced powertrain of our hybrid vehicle”, and says it has been developed to remain effective around other ambient noises and parked cars.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Honda CR-V concept doesn't mess with success

Honda CR-V
Honda debuted a CR-V concept today at the Orange County International Auto Show in Anaheim, but don't expect gullwing doors, cameras instead of rear view mirrors, or some new, revolutionary electric power train. This CR-V is a preview of the 2012 model update, the production version of which Honda will show off in November.

The concept reveals new styling, and Honda says the new CR-V will have more cabin space, a redesigned interior, and better fuel economy than the current model.

The redesign gives the CR-V a much more modern look than the previous generation, which has gone for five years without a significant update. The headlights are integrated with the grille, and a skid-plate-looking piece rises up from under the front of the car.

The hatchback is more vertical, giving the roof a straighter run from windshield to back. That detail should lead to the promised cabin space increase. Honda added an up line at the rear of the side graphic, which is very reminiscent of BMW's signature Hofmeister kink.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Public transport workers expand Cairo strike

public transport
Public transport workers and drivers in Greater Cairo went on a partial strike Wednesday demanding better pay, working conditions and buses after they failed to reach an agreement through negotiations with the Public Transportation Authority (PTA).

The strike began three days ago in the Mazalat Garage, but spread Wednesday morning to Nasr City, El Moneeb, Giza, Imbaba, El Ter’a Mazalat, Basateen, El Ameriya, Gesr El-Suez, 6th of October, according to the Center of Socialist Studies.

The workers believe that more public bus hubs will join the strike in the next few days, shutting down all public transportation.

The public transport sector employs about 40,000 workers. Previous nationwide strikes in 2007 and 2009 and during the January 25 uprising led to the establishment of transport workers’ independent trade union last March. . . .


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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tata Nano car worth Rs 22 crore!

Tata Nano
The Tata Group on Monday unveiled a Nano car - made with gold and silver, and studded with precious stones - worth an astronomical over Rs 22 crore.

But, it's not for sale - the valuable and fully functional car is a unique branding and promotional initiative by Goldplus Jewellery, part of Titan Industries, a Tata Group company, an official said.

The mega-value Goldplus Nano Car was unveiled on Monday evening by Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata.

The Goldplus Nano Car pales the average Rs.1.40 lakh Nano, which started with a Rs.1 lakh price tag at its launch.

The Goldplus Nano Car is billed as the world's first ever gold jewellery car and celebrates the 5,000 years of jewellery making industry in India.

The car's body is made with 80 kg 22 carat solid gold, 15 kg silver, precious stones - including diamonds, rubies - and other expensive gemstones, the official said. . . .

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Jaguar unveils C-X16 coupé concept at Frankfurt

Jaguar C-X16
Jaguar has used the occasion of the Frankfurt motor show to unveil a new coupé concept, code-named C-X16, designed to slot into the range beneath the XK.

The new car, like the XK and the XJ saloon, uses a largely aluminium structure and is also designed to have a 50:50 front/rear weight distribution in the interests of handling balance. Jaguar has indicated that the C-X16 should be capable of accelerating to 62mph from rest in 4.4 seconds and of reaching a top speed of 186mph, a similar level of performance to that achieved by the hottest version of today's XK, the XKR-S. But whereas the XKR-S uses a mighty 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine, the C-X16 is a hybrid; it pairs a 300 horsepower supercharged 3.0-litre V6 with a 95 horsepower electric motor, and is therefore projected to emit a comparatively modest 165g/km of CO2 in official tests, compared with the 292g/km achieved by the XKR-S. The power from the electric motor is provided on an “on-demand” basis. The driver of an C-X16 will be able to call upon its extra performance for brief periods by pressing what Jaguar calls a “Push to Pass” button.

At 4.445m, the C-X16 is the shortest Jaguar since the XK120 back in the 1950s. Its design is clearly related to that of the XK and previous Jaguar coupé models, although some traditional features such as the characteristic oval grille have been modified or dropped. . .

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Nissan plans to increase local content use

Nissan
PT Nissan Motor Indonesia (NMI) look ahead to the local contents of its cars assembled in Indonesia to reach 80% next year in line with the company`s plan to produce low-cost green cars (LCGC) in the country.

"This is part of efforts to achieve our short-term target in 2013," NMI President Director Takayuki Kimura said here on Saturday.

He said the increase in the local contents was also aimed at expanding the scope of Nissan products to up to 80 percent in 2014.

For its part, NMI held a meeting with supplies in Jakarta recently. The meeting was the starting point to support the company`s plan and commitment to realize the LCGC project, he said.

He said around 500 suppliers from Indonesia and other Asian countries who took part in the meeting appeared to be enthusiastic.

"The two-day meeting was aimed at exploring the possibility of cooperation between suppliers and Nissan," he said.

Now that Nissan was growing rapidly in Indonesia, it was important for NMI and suppliers to have similar understanding about the country`s business prospects. Likewise the suppliers were also expected to understand what Nissan had achieved so far, he said..

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

'Connected' cars new buzzword at IAA fair ‎

car
The times are long past when car shows reeked of motor oil and fans were obsessed with engine power and sleek designs.

With the aid of cloud computing, car makers believe the car of the future will no longer be just a vehicle, but an extension of the home or workplace, where drivers will have access to emails and keep up-to-date on their social networks even on the road.

German top-of-the-range manufacturer BMW already offers an onboard computer with internet access whereby drivers can locate a restaurant of their preference, the nearest ATM or free parking space in a matter of clicks.

And rival Daimler is not to be outdone, either: its new in-built computer allows drivers to surf the web as long as the vehicle is parked.

In its new concept car on show unveiled at the IAA this week, the Evos, Ford claims it can fine-tune the car to personal preferences, even down to the cabin temperature, and access to the driver's home entertainment systems for listening to favourite news and music programmes.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hyundai offers glimpse of new i30

hyundai i30
South Korean auto major Hyundai Motor Company on Wednesday revealed the first picture of its new generation i30 hatchback, ahead of its unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week.

In a statement, Hyundai said it expected the new generation i30 to build on the success of the original model and also the company's first model to be launched with the prefix 'i'.

According to Hyundai, the original i30 was designed and engineered in Europe and rolled out of its factory in the Czech Republic in 2007.

Last year, Hyundai sold 115,000 i30 units in Europe.

After its July 2007 launch, the i30 went on to increase its sales in Europe every year, attracting 115,000 buyers in 2010 -- the highest-ever annual sales figure for an individual Hyundai model in Europe -- and achieving total sales of more than 350,000 units up to mid-2011.

The model has been designed and engineered at the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre in R?sselsheim, Germany..

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Monday, September 12, 2011

BMW Superbike: Toseland Out, Elias In?

BMW Superbike
2012 World Superbike

Last Friday, BMW Italia World Superbike's James Toseland announced he was forced to retire from motorcycle racing due to wrist injuries sustained at private testing at Aragon in March.

With this news still looming in the WSBK paddock, the BMW Italia World Superbike team reported that Moto2 Champion and current LCR Honda rider Toni Elias is scheduled to test ride the BMW S1000RR WSBK machine at Misano Tuesday and Wednesday.

But although Elias is the likely candidate to replace Toseland for 2012, the 28-year-old Spaniard is still under contract to compete in the remaining five rounds of the 2011 MotoGP Championship.

Serafino Foti (Sports Director for the BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team) says: "The upcoming test is not aimed at replacing James in the championship, partly because Toni is already committed to the MotoGP championship. However, over the next few days we will identify and officially name the rider who will be competing for us in the last three (2011) races."..

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hybrid Air Vehicles — the future of Arctic mining is up in the air

Hybrid Vehicles
The 1985 movie Back to the Future ends with the prophetic line “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.”

Fast forward to the present to Canada’s Arctic region and that prediction is appearing to come true. The Ice Road Truckers better watch out, the future of Arctic mining and drilling may not need any roads.

British aviation pioneer Hybrid Air Vehicles Limited is proposing an alternative option for the delivery of heavy goods and equipment to remote mining sites and oil and gas drilling locations which eliminates the need for long-distance trucking.

The company has developed a “hybrid” aircraft that combines the helium lift of a conventional airship with the aerodynamic shape and more conventional thrust of a vertical take-off-and-landing craft and the precision hovering and soft-landing ability of a hovercraft. It is working to give its vehicles a heavy lift payload capacity ranging from 20 tons to 200 tons.

Hybrid Air Vehicles, which has been developing vehicles for the military in conjunction with defense contractors such as Northrop Grumman, signed its first commercial contract in August with Canada-based specialty aviation company Discovery Air Innovations to build airships capable of lifting as much as 50 tons.

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Thursday, September 08, 2011

Yamaha’s new premium bike

yamaha YZF2
India Yamaha Motor on Tuesday launched the upgraded version of its premium motorcycle YZF-R15 as the Japanese bike-maker hopes to cross 5-lakh sales figure in 2011. Priced at Rs.1.07-lakh, the bike comes with a 150cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke fuel injected engine that boasts of spruced up looks and better performance in circuit riding.

“The YZF-R15 has been continuously gaining ranks in the hotly contested premium segment since its launch three years ago and we are sure to repeat the same feat for the new version too. Seeing the trend, the market for premium bikes in India offers immense scope as this segment consists of people who are looking for performance characteristics,” India Yamaha Motor CEO & Managing Director Hiroyuki Suzuki told journalists here.

The R15 version 2.0 has undergone changes as compared to the present YZF-R15 in the specs of the engine control unit (ECU), drive train unit, a long aluminium swing arm, wider front and rear tires (radial tire for the rear), split seat, LED taillights and new-design middle cowl and tail cowl, he added.

About sales, Mr. Suzuki said the company was hoping a 40 per cent growth to reach 5.2 lakh units this year against last year's 3.8-lakh units. The Japanese bike-maker will also strengthen its market share in the 150cc segment from 15 per cent to 20 per cent by the end of 2011. “We are aiming to sell 5.2 lakh units in 2011…we plan to sell 6.5 lakh units in 2012, and touch 10-lakh sales figure by 2013,” Mr. Suzuki said..

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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Tata launches a revamped Indigo eCS compact sedan with a mileage of 25 KMPL!

Tata Car
The Tata Indigo eCS Compact Sedan, which has been the pioneer of compact sedans in India, has gotten yet another upgrade from Tata Motors Limited. This time around, Tata motors have made the already fuel efficient sedan, even more fuel efficient with a raft of changes to boost the fuel economy number further. Now, the Tata Indigo eCS Diesel is touted to deliver a stunning 25 KMPL, thus making it the most efficient sedan in India.

Tata Motors attributes the higher fuel efficiency of the 1.4 Liter TDI common rail turbodiesel to five main factors. Firstly, the 1.4 liter turbodiesel engine’s ECU is said to have been optimized for maximum fuel economy. Secondly, Tata engineers have worked on the Indigo’s 1.4 Liter turbodiesel engine comprehensively to increase fuel economy.

A host of changes have been made to the engine head, block and piston for maximum combustion efficiency and reducing friction between moving parts, both of which will contribute to a higher fuel economy number. Thirdly, the Indigo eCS’ aerodynamics are said to have been improved to reduce drag...

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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Yamaha, Piaggio to launch scooters in 2012

scooter
Honda Motorcyle & Scooter India, which holds almost half the scooter market in India, faces a big challenge with two of the world’s largest scooter makers readying a foray into the country.

Next year India Yamaha Motor and Piaggio will both launch their brands here. While Piaggio is bringing the world-famous ‘Vespa’, Yamaha is believed to be eyeing the entry-level scooter market, where currently HMSI is the undisputed leader.

Interestingly, Bajaj Auto recently vacated the scooter market, saying it did not generate enough volumes for the company whereas Hero MotoCorp—a late entrant—has seen healthy volume growth with its lone scooter brand called ‘Pleasure’.

A Tier I vendor, who supplies critical components to top two-wheeler makers in India, told DNA that Yamaha is working hard on its scooter plans and will be talking about volume targets by the end of the month.

“We have been asked to supply critical components to the Yamaha scooter brand...the first scooter should be out in the market next year and as far as I can see it will have a significant indigenisation level,” the vendor said.

A spokesperson for India Yamaha Motor declined to offer any comments. Yamaha would manufacture the scooters at its existing facilities at Surajpur and Faridabad.

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Monday, September 05, 2011

Rail-based business travel drops as government advised

Train_Travel
Business travel taken on trains has decreased for the first time in five years despite increased awareness of the market and its environmental benefits. A survey of transactions from April to June show that receipts for rail journeys dropped by 175, 250, or 14%, compared to this year’s first quarter and 2% down from the same quarter last year. The sector has seemingly been replaced by air transport as corporate travel picks up, with air transactions recording growth of 6% and ancillary revenue from insurance, visa services, baggage check-in etc up 6% compared to 2010’s Q2. In addition car hire receipts improved 10% and hotel transactions increased 8%. Overall the statistics, released by the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC), showed a slower rate of growth for business travel at 4% this quarter compared to 10% growth in the first quarter.

Despite the improved air travel data, Anne Godfrey, chief executive of the GTMC said the fall was due to a reduction in travel by civil servants. “Overall growth in business travel is healthy and steady but the decrease in rail bookings is significant and would appear, as expected, that public sector cuts have impacted on this mode of transport, which has been so popular with civil servants,” she said. “Rail was the first mode of transport to recover to pre 2008 levels, with increased transactions reported in every 2010 survey and a 10% growth that year. This dramatic drop in transactions will be monitored carefully in coming months”. The results come as government has been advised by Sir Roy McNulty to remove staff from 675 train stations across the UK. It is unclear how the government will react to the consultation, which would affect mainly rural areas but some small towns and stations in London.

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Sunday, September 04, 2011

Mercedes Benz cars drive mid-size luxury segment sales in India

benz
Mercedes Benz cars are driving mid-size luxury segment sales in India. Their cars are making waves in India. The German auto giant is working tirelessly to bring the best cars to the Indian market. This seems to be the reason behind phenomenal rise of its car sales in India.

The company officially came to India in 1994 in collaboration with Telco. Traditionally, Mercedes-Benz cars have consistently catered to wealthy, rich, and super-rich consumers. The manufacturer’s name keeps on changing, but Mercedes-Benz cars remain Mercedes-Benz, for the Mercedes-Benz name has a greater brand relationship with world consumers than their manufacturer’s current corporate name – Daimler-Benz, Daimler-Chrysler, or Daimler AG.

Reports suggest that during the last eight months of this fiscal year, the Indian arm of Mercedes Benz grew by 40 per cent. A company spokesperson who was obviously over the seventh heaven due to the increased sales says, “Our sales grew by 40 per cent during the January to August period to 4,890 units in 2011 against 3,495 units during the corresponding period last year”.

Meanwhile like all other super car manufacturers, Mercedes Benz too is launching mid level sedans and sports vehicles in India to increase its sales volume. A top executive of another German auto maker Audi says, “Growth in the luxury segment is not coming from the top-end price points of above Rs 30 lakh”.

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