Jul 302012
 

A new regenerative braking system has recently been introduced by Mazda. The machine uses kinetic energy from braking to power the car’s electrical system. The “Intelligent Energy Loop” system is called I ELOOP for short. The system is intended to make an internal combustion automobile function as almost as possible like a hybrid automobile.

Energy converted

Generally kinetic energy is lost in the brakes and heat but is converted into electricity with this system. An Electric Double layer Capacitor is used for storage. This is where the electricity is then sent.

Engine going on and off

You are able to conserve fuel with the “i-stop” program named by Mazda that shuts off the motor automatically whenever the automobile stops. The electricity stored in the super-capacitor is then used to run auxiliary capabilities such as the sound system, lights, heating, and ac. Then, you are able to get the engine to automatically start. The accelerator gets depressed at that point.

Much better gas mileage

For stop and go city driving the system will be great. As reported by a Mazda press release:

“In real-world driving conditions with frequent acceleration and braking, ‘i-ELOOP’ improves fuel economy by approximately 10 percent.”

What’s wrong with it?

Power comes out very easily out of the super-capacitors that can only store electricity for a short while, as reported by “Car and Driver” arguing against the device. The article also explains that the super-capacitor doesn’t take long to charge. In fact, it will only take seconds. You will most likely never have to replace the super-capacitors since they last for a long time. This is certainly an advantage. Batteries do not do it.

BMW comparable to it

The system is comparable to the BMW EfficientDynamics system in that it stores power generated while braking. However, the BMW uses a more costly glass-mat battery instead of the capacitor.

Accessible in 2012

Mazda Motors plans to start introducing the machine in its new vehicles next year.

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Jul 292012
 

Carbon Motors, an automobile company that has produced a special law enforcement automobile, has just produced an open letter addressed to the White House Cabinet. The company wants the federal loan it requested two years back to be approved, so it can begin supplying the country’s police with vehicles.

Business wants to put bespoke cruiser on the streets

The E7 is a po-lice automobile produced by the Carbon Motors Corpora-tion that would be very beneficial to several law enforcement forces. The compa-ny hoped to obtain a loan it applied for two years back, according to Auto Blog. This loan would be given to the business under the Advanced Technology Automobile Manufacturing Program, which is an initiative the George W. Bush administration put together for the Department of Energy. There would not be any consumer versions of the car pro-duced, producing it solely a police automobile.

The White House Cabinet was given an open letter from the compa-ny recently. Hopefully this will allow the start of production on the first bespoke law enforcement interceptor.

An excellent car

As reported by Carbon’s site, the E7 police car should produce over 250 horsepower and obtain from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6.5 seconds. Its price is projected to be comparable with standard po-lice automobiles, which are typically retail vehicles with extensive modifications.

The two things that the Carbon E7 has over all of its competition is that it emits 40 percent less carbon than other police cars and gets an average combined gasoline mileage between 28 and 30 miles per gallon. According to the EPA, the 2009 Ford Crown Victoria gets 19 miles per gallon as a popular law enforcement vehicle.

BMW agreed to license its 3.0-liter inline-six cylinder diesel engine for use in the E7, accord-ing to AutoBlog. BMW currently offers a 3 series sedan, the 335d, and the X5d SUV with the 3.0-liter diesel in the U.S.

With over 20,000 E7 cruiser or-ders already in, the company could create 10,000 jobs in Connersville, Ind., to build the automobile. This would only be possible if the business were to get the $310 million loan.

Most popular diesel

The E7 cruiser would be the most used diesel vehicle on the road if it is able to produce the 20,000 vehi-cles that have been ordered with the loan.

The three most popular diesel automobiles are the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, the Volkswagen Golf TDA and the BMW X35d. The Jetta is the number one sold Jetta in the United States with 56,717 sold this year between January and July. The other two do not even come close in sales to the Jetta. Only about 3 percent of all passenger cars sold even have diesel abilities. Not very several individuals own a diesel automobile.

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Jun 152012
 

The business Mini John Cooper Works, a division of BMW AG, says it promises to release the brand new hard-top John Cooper Works GP II in May. It is meant to be an improved sequel to the much-coveted 2006 Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works GP, or the Mini Cooper GP, which had a very restricted run.

Next month debut

Never known for its comfort, there were only 2,000 of the performance-skewed 2006 Mini Cooper GPS ever made; and of those, only about 415 were ever shipped to the U.S.

The introduction of the Mini GP II will happen in La Castellet, France at the Mini United Festival. The festival will last from May 11 to May 13.

BMW’s M section CEO Dr. Kay Segler publicized this on Wed at a meeting about the New York Auto show. The New York Auto Show will open on April 5.

Perform well with the Mini

The original Mini Cooper GP was a commemorative run, marking the end of production of the automaker’s Mini Series 1. Packing 215 horses and lacking the burden of 100 pounds of back seat, the Mini Cooper GP was the highest-performing model Mini ever produced. Eminently collectable, the entire line was snatched up, in spite of the lofty $30,000-plus price tag.

Although collectors are still interested in the 2006 Mini Cooper GP used, the value for them has decreased a lot in six year.

Checking out specifics

The exact details about the Mini Cooper GP II remain deliberately vague, but Mini hinted that the model will feature a “particularly high-performance turbo engine, racing-oriented suspension technology and exclusive, aerodynamically optimized body components.”

Regardless of the mystery, most experts speculate that its engine will pack more than the 208 horsepower available in the current Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works. World Car Enthusiasts goes so far as to predict that it will “have a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, with approximately 220 horsepower.”

There will only be a short, minimal run of the GP II, more than likely, just like the original GP. That is something that will make collectors more interested. The Mini Cooper GP II is also anticipated to have better performance than the first with less weight in the car, according to Car and Driver.

American anniversary

At the New York Auto show, Mini also publicized that it will release a new Mini special edition in red, white or blue to the public. This will be released to commemorate 10 years in the States.

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Apr 222012
 

Suzuki’s consumer satisfaction data from J.D. Power and Associates is no longer forthcoming, which specialists believe is a bad sign for the automaker’s future in the U.S. market. Sales throughout the industry have been up 13 percent in the first quarter, yet Suzuki has dropped by 2 percent over that period. This has led Suzuki to cut its marketing on social networking and television, and to close several U.S. dealerships.

Avoiding marketing

It seems like Suzuki has disappeared. Promoting executive Steve Younan left in January from Suzuki, and a replacement may never come along. The company has not aired a national commercial since 2009 and has decided to pull out of all social networking activity in the last couple of months. The car maker has even skipped both the Detroit and Los Angeles auto shows this year. The business is certainly marketing very differently than its competition.

Another sign of trouble for Suzuki came in January, when the car maker stopped receiving consumer satisfaction reports from J.D. Power and Associates. Automakers use the data compiled by J.D. Power to track dealer performance. A memorandum from Suzuki indicated that the automaker will seek a different vendor to provide this data, notes Automotive News. The position has reportedly not been filled yet.

Rating Suzuki dealerships

In 2011, American Suzuki dropped 32 dealership franchises from its roster, approximately 12 percent of its United States total. The number of Suzuki dealers has continued to drop each year since 2005, note several sources.

While American Suzuki will continue to slash programs, Suzuki dealers feel the financial pain.

May be good

Kay, who currently owns Ford, Chevrolet, Buick-GMC, Honda and Nissan Motors car dealerships west of Chicago, blamed Suzuki’s sales troubles on poor consumer awareness.

James Morrell, owner of Advantage Suzuki in Albany, N.Y., and chairman of the Suzuki Dealer Advisory Board, points out that from a large corporate standpoint, reducing the number of U.S. dealerships really had a silver lining.

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Apr 212012
 

The forthcoming Marvel hero team-up film, “The Avengers,” will even be a treat for car followers. The film teams Iron Man, Green Arrow, the Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye and Black Widow in a fight to save the world. Tony Stark — Iron Man to the planet (Robert Downey, Jr.) — having lost his Audi R8 in his last film, now drives a never-before seen convertible Acura NSX. Burt the vehicle has a secret identity, too.

Observe Acura in Hollywood

On April 11, the premiere of “The Avengers” was a massive hit. Robert Downey Jr. drove in a convertible on the red carpet at the premier. The premiere also shuttled actors back and forth with other Acura models that were made just for the movie. Some Acura TL models were in the film along with the tricked-out Acura MD. The premiere was held at the El Capitan theater in Hollywood.

A partnership

It makes perfect sense that Acura would co-sponsor the premiere.

The Acura was also the official car of last year’s “Captain America” and “Thor” movies. S.H.I.E.L.D. is an acronym for the fictitious Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.

Picture and test drive

The “Acura convertible sports car” picture was released by the car maker last week showing what Torque News believed was going to be the 2015 NSX sports car. Inside Line was able to drive the car used in the movie though, and they found out a few insider secrets about the car.

When the car was initially seen by Inside Line’s John Pearley Huffman in the Mojave Desert in California, he said it was “Gorgeous. Stop and stare, devastatingly, truly gorgeous.” He tested the car at the Honda test track, and Tony Stark’s Acura was delivered in a white semi-trailer.

However, as Huffman and his fellow workers neared the car, they noticed a familiar inside. It was the un-retouched inside trim of a 1991 Acura NSX. The interior of the car is never seen in “The Avengers” film, so no redo was necessary.

The color of the car was painted red to match Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit, and it was a brand new body built to go over a 1991 Acura NSX. The car was built in Oxnard, California at the Trans FX shop.

Another iconic car

The car Tony Stark drives is in great condition still in spite of the belief that typically stunt vehicles are essential for movies to perform all the stunts. Huffman explained that when he saw the car, he realized it was “one of the most extraordinary movie vehicles ever built. It is right up there with the Batmobile.”

“The Avengers” comes out on May 4 for everyone to see.

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Apr 192012
 

In a rare regionally-targeted recall campaign, General Motors Company is asking the owners of some of its crossover SUVs from numerous divisions to usher in their vehicles and have the windshield wipers looked at. Only those owners who live in the northern states will be affected.

Recall only for those in chilly

The issue stems from a nut that holds the windshield wiper arm in place. The recall affects only those owners in colder areas because cold and ice can potentially can loosen the nut and affect the operation of the wiper arm.

Different parts of the business

There are three different divisions of GM focused on by the recall. The crossover SUVs being recalled consists of 2011 and 2012 GMC Acadia, Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave vehicles. There are 50,000 automobiles being recalled. Owners can expect notification starting on April 16 if they are in one of the areas being targeted by the recall.

Not all states included

The states integrated in the recall campaign are Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West VA, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

In excess of factory specs

The defect has not caused any accidents, as far as GM knows, and the business promises to tighten the arms for free for affected owners. Owners just need to go to an authorized dealership to have it done.

The world’s largest-selling automaker also claims that, if requested by an owner, it will also tighten the windshield wiper arm nuts on impacted automobiles not in the focused on areas, free of charge.

Learn the way to contact

If you need for more information about the recalls, you can call the individual divisions of GMC, such as Buick at 800-521-7300, Chevrolet at 800-222-1020 or GMC at 800-462-8782. You can call the NHTSA instead if you want too. Use campaign #12V151000 whenever you call 888-327-4236, and you will get all the right info.

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Apr 172012
 

According to former GM head of R&D Larry Burns, self-driving cars are coming. By 2020, fleets will be standard; by 2015, most customer cars will have the benefits as options.

Get distracted while driving

The emissions in urban cities will decrease quite a bit with driverless vehicles because there will be fewer automobiles on the road. People will not get distracted, which will mean fewer crashes on the road. Distracted driving will become obsolete; people will be able to do whatever they want in the car, such as taking care of business and phone calls.

Test drives at Google

Thousands of miles have been put into driverless test automobiles on California roads. The Toyota Prius and Audi TT designs were used in the experiment done by Google. Google has gotten a lot of attention for these models. The cars do a very good job of watching for dangers, looking at stop lights and staying on the road. They appear to be very effective with radar and video cameras.

Only one accident has reportedly occurred when the driverless system was active, and that appears to have been the fault of a separate, human driver. It is notable that control could be assumed by a human driver at any point during the operation of the self-driving system.

Attempt for project in past

In 2007, General Motors entered a driverless Chevrolet Tahoe in a 55-mile race sponsored by the U.S. DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). The race occurred in Victorville, Calif., and the driverless system in the Tahoe (nicknamed “Boss”) used familiar systems, from cameras and radar to global positioning satellites. Boss won the race, reports Automotive News.

Trying the system out

On the self-driving cars, there will be adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance and lane-keeping technology. Although Burns believes the self-driving car will not come out until 2020, he does believe that these attributes will be seen on most customer automobiles by 2015.

Insurance on automobiles

It will be harder to figure out who is at fault in crashes with the new technology. That means an enormous stumbling block for the driverless automobiles will be insurance businesses.

Google’s driverless car information

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Apr 142012
 

A Ford Focus recall has been announced, for a faulty wiring harness on the windshield wiper motor. The recall includes over 140,000 automobiles, all from the 2012 model year.

Ford out to wipe defect from the Focus

About 140,310 2012 Ford Focus automobiles will be affected by the recall from Ford motor Company, according to Inside Line. Ford an-nounced the recall because of a defect in the windshield wiper motor; Ford informed the National Highway Traffic Security Administration of the recall, according to the New York Times.

The affected units were manufactured between Aug. 1, 2010, and Oct. 18, 2011. All recalled Focuses were made at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. Ford dealers have been notified that a hold has been placed on delivery of the Focus until the problem is resolved.

Where is the issue?

The chances of a chance are increased when the wiper motor does not work or works erratically. This is the issue with the Ford Focus passenger side windshield wiper. It does this due to faulty wiring that causes different fluids to leak into the harness connecter.

The defect, according to the New York Times, was discovered at the factory, where all United States Ford Focus models are assembled. The recall being limited to automobiles made on or before Oct. 18, 2011 means Ford might have received a bad batch of parts from the manufacturer, though automakers are usually loathes disclosing if they received a bad shipment or from which manufacturer they received them from.

The recall will start by May 21. Ford will contact owners and direct them to take their cars to their local Ford dealership and service center, where the wiper wiring harness will be cleaned, inspected and sealed or swapped out as necessary, free of charge.

Finished investigation into blower motor

In other news, the National Highway Traffic Security Administration has wrapped a probe into faulty blower motor switches in the E-350 and E-450 series of large passenger vans, according to The Detroit News. The agency had received 1,036 complaints of failed switches, two of which resulted in a fire. No injuries were reported.

The NHTSA began an investigation in December of 2009 into the possibility of fire in almost 1.1 million 1997 to 2008 E-350 and E-450 vans. The investigation was upgraded to an engineering analysis in April 2010, often the last step before a recall.

All dealers have received a bulletin to replace the switch and electrical connecter with different switches that will not cause fires, although the NHTSA has not required a recall from Ford.

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Apr 102012
 

The Dodge Viper has been sorely missed by some performance car lovers. The new one has been carefully secured, but the date of its public debut has eventually showed up. The 2013 SRT Viper has just been introduced at the New York Auto Show.

Snake in the grass

The horsepower in the Dodge Viper was extremely high, making it an extremely powerful American supercar. It was also something everybody liked depending on its looks.

The Chicago Tribune explained that the last Viper generation stopped being produced last year. This is why many fans have been waiting for a new one to come. The New York Auto Show released a brand new one though.

A monster has come in the new model, as it is being manufactured by Street and Racing Technology, Chrysler’s in-house tuning division (SRT), instead of by Dodge.

Natural aspiration

The 2013 SRT Viper’s most significant feature will be the natural aspirated 8.4-liter V-10 motor with 640 horsepower and a top speed of 205 miles per hour, according to Motor Trend. It is a beast of an engine that everyone would love.

Tremec, the company that made the Corvette ZR1 transmission, produced the six-speed short-throw manual transmission, according to the Wall Street Journal. It is very unlikely to get a paddle-operated automatic.

New standards

However, according to AutoBlog, the new Viper does come with traction and stability control also as cruise control, a standard choice for the first time. Three different styles of wheels are available. Buyers can choose between gloss and matte black with five or six spokes. A special lightweight set are available as part of the SRT Track package.

Sabelt is the company that does Ferrari’s leather seats. This is also the company doing the Viper’s leather seats. The automobile will also come with an 8.4-inch touchscreen with the Uconnect Media Center by Chrysler. A Harmon Kardon sound system will also be in the car.

Motor Trend explained that the two trims, the SRT trim and GTS trim are available for the Viper. A coupe will be released first, but you can expect to see a convertible edition soon.

Spending a lot of cash

In the fall, the Viper will go on sale for, as estimated by Motor Trend, around $95,000.

There are only two vehicles that are competition to the Viper. One of them is the ZR1, with about the same power as the Viper at 638 horsepower. It costs about $111,600 though, which is more money. The Nissan Motors GT-R is another competitor. It gets 545 horsepower in a twin-turbo V-6, which means it will not have nearly the same power, but it does have all-wheel-drive and better traction. The cost is closer to the Viper at $96,820.

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Apr 082012
 

Rachel Veitch, one of the country’s eldest motorists, has been driving the same car since 1964. But time changes all things, and a week ago, Veitch told the media that she has driven her last.

Enough miles to get to the moon

The 48 year old Mercury Comet Caliente has been driven by 93 year old Florida resident Veitch for quite a while. It has over 576,000 miles on it, which is enough to get to the moon and back. She is calling it quits with driving now though since she has lost some vision and ran a red light earlier in the month.

On the ‘Tonight’ show

A couple of years ago, Veitch was in the media for having the Chariot at 559,000 miles. The vehicle lasted through three sets of shocks, eight mufflers, 18 batters and three husbands. She loved the vehicle. She appeared on the Tonight show with Jay Leno at that time.

Veitch did not get hurt in the one and only accident her Chariot went through. It was a rear-end collision that happened in 1980.

Kept vehicle well

The reason why the Chariot has been able to outlive so many other vehicles is because she took such good care of it since she purchased the automobile in the winter of 1964 for $3,289. It has been kept in great condition with complete records of all the maintenance.

Chariot future

The future of the Chariot is now unclear, but Veitch has a healthy attitude about putting her old friend aside:

Veitch is going to let the car be in a vehicle show in July and then will ask for an offer from Leno.

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