Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mercedes Looks Into A Greener Future

Mercedes Looks Into A Greener Future

German automaker Mercedes-Benz is developing a 'green' engine combining the advantages of a gasoline unit and the high torque and fuel economy of a state-of-the-art diesel.

"Our goal is to make an engine that uses conventional gasoline as economical as a diesel but with low nitrogen oxide emissions," says Johannes Fritz, Director, Sales and Marketing, Mercedes Car Group, Middle East.

The 1.8 liter 'DiesOtto' engine that is currently being tested has a very respectable output of 238 hp and a maximum torque of 400 newton meters with a fuel consumption of less than six liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers, reported AME Info.

"We believe that vehicles equipped with gasoline engines will continue to have a long-term attraction for many customers and in many markets especially in the Middle East where gasoline is relatively inexpensive,” added Fritz. “However, in line with forthcoming regulations to reduce CO2 emissions, we will concentrate on both engine types, including a full hybrid option for diesel and gasoline vehicles.”

The German automaker is doing some intensive research and testing to bolster the efficiency of the upcoming ‘green’ engine. Direct gasoline injection and other innovative solutions are now in series production at Mercedes. But upcoming solutions will also be integrated into future engines.

One of the most remarkable contributions of the German automaker in the auto industry is the Bluetec, which was on Ward's 10 Best Engines list for this year. The automaker introduced the systems in the E-Class and GL-Class at the 2006 North American International Auto Show. The vehicles are called the E320 and the GL320.

The Bluetec system makes the vehicles 45-state and 50-state legal in the United States. Additionally, it is expected to comply with emissions standards through 2009.

But Mercedes is not the sole automaker that strives to make its lineup greener. DaimlerChrysler is also deemed a leader in this endeavor. The automaker has entered into an agreement with Volkswagen and Audi to share BlueTec technology with them in order to increase the number of diesel vehicles on American roads.

Product lines using or are expected to use this system include the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Mercedes Blutec/electric hybrid S-Class, Jetta Clean TDI, the Tiguan concept, and the Volkswagen Touareg BlueTDI.

The Bluetec system was formulated because of the need to bolster mileage without compromising the environment. With the rising global warming including its threatening consequences, people cannot simply ignore them.

Congress is overwhelmed by fuel economy proposals. Automakers, on the other hand, are continuously improving their green lineup. Consumers, realizing the importance of green cars to the environment, are shifting to fuel efficient cars. Even celebrities are promoting the shift.
With the intense effort, there is no denying that the Mercedes muffler and other auto parts will soon be enhanced to complement the green nature of the engines. Greener engine innovations are expected to wow the industry in the coming days.

Racing series for Ferrari owners

Racing series for Ferrari owners

Ferrari cars are usually purchased for investment reasons. And while this is likely true, what is also true is that many people buy Ferrari because they love to drive a sports car fast, it cannot be denied. If this describes your relationship to your Ferrari, and if you have had some race training and experience, then you might be ready to participate in the North American Ferrari Challenge Series for non-professional racers who are Ferrari owners competing in Ferrari racing against each other.

Ferrari selects a different model vehicle to feature each year of the Ferrari series. For this year, F430 Challenge with a booming 479 hp is the car of choice. The rules stipulate that the drivers compete for fun and in a sense of "fair play." It is not a jumping-off point for the aspiring race car driver; instead, it is an end unto itself. The Ferrari Challenge Series is sanctioned by the Grand American Road Racing Association.

The series will also be host to the Ferrari Shell Historic Challenge. Vintage Ferrari racing is the hook that draws avid fans to the track to see these lovely vehicles. These races are open to unmodified Ferraris as well as race Maseratis built before the 1980s. They are also open to vintage Alfa Romeos that team Scuderia Ferrari raced during the pre-World War II years.

Several of the races in the series will also showcase Formula One vehicles under private ownership and the FXX, a special 800 horsepower prototype. On the same weekends of the Challenge series, Ferrari owners can participate in Ferrari Driving Clinics. Expert instruction is available to help you get the most out of your sports car, and you will spend time in workshops along with time behind the wheel of your Ferrari, with instructors providing tips to help improve your skills and get the most out of your vehicle.

These Challenge races for Ferrari owners are held all over North America. Florida, Virginia, California, and Montreal will provide race tracks that will host the events. They included the Homestead-Miami Speedway, the Infineon Raceway, the Virginia International Raceway, and Le Circuit earlier this season. Upcoming races will be held at the California Speedway and Laguna Seca in August. The Challenge series culminates in a World Finals, to be held in Italy in October. The best owners from Italy, Europe and North America bring their Ferraris together to compete for the glory of becoming the overall champion of all the series.

The North American Ferrari Challenge Series is open to the public, and they are allowed to visit the paddock area to look at all of the assembled Ferraris and take pictures.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Always insure rented car - Be safe

Always insure rented car - Be safe

You have to know that most US drivers already have auto insurance which gives full or partial protection while driving a rented car. Some insurance policies cover rented cars while some do not, some don’t cover what is called a luxury car. Check your own personal policy for its condition.

Even with all these limits your personal auto insurance will be a source of coverage should your suffer a injury while driving a rented car. The best option is to talk with your auto insurance agent before renting a car and ask the following questions – What geographical area your auto insurance policy covers you in.

How much is your deductible? Does the policy cover only values of the vehicles listed on the policy? Does your policy cover theft and collision damage?

Everyone insures his/her car. Not only because it is mandatory but because you get compensation in case of accident or loss. When you rent a car, for whatever reason. It is essential for you to buy additional insurance.

If you go to a car rental agency, it is possible to purchase a car rental insurance policy. This insurance cover is costly and may cost anything from $8-$28 per day. It all depends upon the place where you are renting the car. If the car is uninsured you will have to pay the damage to the car out of your own pocket.

The best choice is your own insurance company from which you have taken insurance. Many companies just transfer your car’s insurance to the rented car. This insurance has comprehensive and accident insurance with the same deductibles and third party coverage. This saves you from spending anything more. Some credit card companies offer CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) on certain conditions.

In case you don’t have any of the above mentioned options, it would be best to buy CDW. If you have an insurance cover it will save you the burden of a huge amount in case of damage. There is a stiff competition in the market to get the insurance purchasers money. Therefore, it is at right to find the best option before signing an agreement.

You may have the minimum level of coverage under the laws of your state, a level which might be insufficient to protect you against the risk of replacing a brand new rented vehicle or in an unfortunate situation you might have to pay an excessive personal injury claim.

In the end the decision of weather or not to buy optional extra insurance from a car rental company is yours. You should also calculate the value of car insurance and its cost. When all is said and done it is still best to have yourself and the rented car covered to save yourself a lot of harassment and financial loss. Because in case of some mishap the car insurance company will take it up and you will be saved a great financial loss. Therefore, to keep yourself safe from having to pay damages out of your money it is best to rent a car which has insurance cover.

Author bio: I am freelance writer, I have written on many fields that are under the sun. Accuracy, clarity and impact are the hallmarks of my work. If I have to define myself in a few words, I would say I am a copywriter, I have good command over research, expertise to explore extensively and ability to prove that. I can write on any subject, from food to travel, paradise to Hades, flowers to nuclear bombs & more. More articles at and

Select a rented car of your choice - Enjoy the experience

Select a rented car of your choice - Enjoy the experience

Renting a car becomes a confusing exercise. There are so many options you can get it from a car rental firm, or which car to select or you may book it online. Nowadays there are websites that are platforms to bring leaders in car rental business like Hertz and the consumer together. You just have to fill a simple form and you can get quotes from 3-5 firms and this will give you a chance to compare prices and what each firm gives as service. To rent a car without any hassles you have to keep in mind a few points which are as follows:

a) You must decide what is your need? And how much you are willing to spend to fulfill it? You should learn the commonly used terms and their meaning like compact, mid size and luxury etc. b) You should check car rental sites and web directories for “specials”, many firms have schemes for long term use, weeklong use and weekend deals etc. These specials are there to give you a rental discount. Find out if you will get a discount for early looking. c) Read the offer document carefully and find out if there are any other charges over the rate agreed upon, like collision damage waiver fees; airport surcharge, drop off/collection charges, fuel charges, mileage fees, taxes, additional driver fees etc. d) Find out if the car rental firm calculates cost based on mileage or per mile or free miles with pre-imposed limits. e) See if your auto insurance covers car rentals. If not, does your credit card give insurance or you will have to avail auto insurance from car rental firm. f) Find out what documents the car rental firm will require, and complete all documents well before your departure.

Be sure to ask for a confirmation in writing of your booking and what their contact numbers are on holidays.

The yellow pages has addresses and phone numbers of various car rental services each of them is listed with special customer features and models of the cars that they have. Some of the car rental agencies also offer a very convenient customer pickup service. If you are planning to pick your car yourself try to fix your car pickup and return times in such a way that you don’t have to pay extra charges.

If you are driving a few miles only, you can save money by choosing a rental with mileage cap. But unlimited mileage rates gives you more freedom. All this depends upon the purpose for which you are hiring the car. Normally all car rental agencies require that you have a driving license or a credit card.

In many circumstances renting a car for one week is more affordable than renting one few days. So think about 9-8 weekend rental to save money. Another thing you have know before renting a car is whether the company you are renting a car from has good track record and whether they are famous for good customer service.

Author bio: I am freelance writer, I have written on many fields that are under the sun. Accuracy, clarity and impact are the hallmarks of my work. If I have to define myself in a few words, I would say I am a copywriter, I have good command over research, expertise to explore extensively and ability to prove that. I can write on any subject, from food to travel, paradise to Hades, flowers to nuclear bombs & more. More articles at and

Compare Auto Care - Automotive repair and maintenance

Compare Auto Care - Automotive repair and maintenance

How many of you have gone through the frustrating turmoil of having your car breakdown, and that feeling of helplessness and dread sets in because you have absolutely no knowledge of where to turn to find information about local automotive repair shops. Without a relationship with a mechanic or repair shop you can trust, each visit to have your vehicle fixed can be an uncertain experience. Will the shop treat me fairly? Will they only fix what’s broken? How can I find information on shops so I can make an informed decision about where to take my car?
This is why some basic knowledge of auto repair, maintenance and especially the car repair shops you use are vital. Listed below are some of the basics of car care and maintenance that will help increase your auto repair IQ, and help you make better decisions regarding your car.

Synthetic Oil isn’t always better. If your vehicle has been running fine with conventional oil for years, and your owners manual doesn’t recommend it, stick with regular oil for your oil changes. Some shops want to switch you to synthetic strictly for more profit.

Change your timing belt on it’s recommended interval. It doesn’t give you any warning before it breaks, and depending on the engine, can cause massive internal damage as pistons crash into valves after it breaks. By replacing your serpentine belt or drive belts when your replace your timing belt, you can save all the labor charges, as the belts must be removed to complete the timing belt replacement anyway!

Cleaning windshield wipers with alcohol and a soft rag can extend the life and improve the performance of your wipers Learn how to check all your vehicle’s fluid levels – including engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, engine coolant, and washer solvent. Dropping fluid levels is an early warning sign of potential problems. Check your remaining brake pad life regularly. Replace the pads before they wear out and grind into the brake rotors and triple the price of your brake job. Keep your battery posts clean.

Each vehicle has a different interval for the replacement of the car’s spark plugs. Check your owner’s manual for your car’s interval. Dishonest mechanics may recommend replacing spark plugs every 30,000 miles, when the life expectancy of those spark plugs may be 100,000 miles to increase profits.

Check your tire pressure regularly. Correctly inflated tires save fuel and increase tire longevity. Decreasing air pressure is an indication of a leak that should be repaired.

Inspect your air filters. Dirty air filters decrease fuel economy and performance, and can sometimes be blown-out with a high-pressure air hose instead of replaced. Check your engine oil regularly. Older vehicles may begin to burn oil, and a vehicle can run dangerously low on engine oil without ever showing signs of a leak.

For most of us however, the days of being able to work on our own vehicles is far behind us. Almost all vehicles built in the last 10 years are controlled by an array of electronic sensors and computers. The good news is that the vehicle is always making adjustments to maximize fuel economy, reduce pollution, and deliver maximum performance all by itself. The bad news is that it now requires constant specialized training, and expensive testing equipment to properly diagnose and repair vehicles.

Without this training and investment in special tools, the do-it-your-selfer, (and even smaller shops) is left to simply “throw parts at cars” until the symptom goes away. If your mechanic recommends a part be replaced, and then explains after the replacement that a second part “also” needs to be replaced that was never mentioned initially, this is a red flag that the shop isn’t capable of diagnosing the problem effectively, and you may be paying to replace parts that are perfectly good.

That’s the foremost reason that we believe the most important decision you make in repairing your vehicle is who you take your vehicle to. There are plenty of honest and capable mechanics out there, but there are incapable and deceptive mechanics out there too. We recommend speaking with friends and neighbors for a personal recommendation, or using a 3rd party service like AAA, the Better Business Buearau, or to compare information on shops in your local area, so you know what you’re getting into before you bring your car in for service.

Foremost, enjoy your ride.

This article is written by the owner of Compare Auto Care. Compare Auto Care is a one-stop portal for a comprehensive listing of automotive repair business shops online within the Chicago and Illinois area while also providing tips for car maintenance. Compare Auto Care also gives you information and user reviews of the auto repair shops.

Toyota and GM Big Winners of the 2007 Motorist Choice Awards

Toyota and GM Big Winners of the 2007 Motorist Choice Awards

PRIMEDIA’s together with AutoPacific has recently announced the results of their annual Motorist Choice Awards for model year 2007. Toyota and General Motors were the big winners for the said awarding. The Japanese automaker has scored winners for eight segment of which include the overall winner Lexus LS while GM was able to have five segment winners including the GMC Yukon XL and Cadillac DTS.

The Motorist Choice Awards were given to vehicles that offer the highest customer satisfaction and the lowest cost of ownership. To come up with the winners, the data gathered from the new car and truck buyers by AutoPacific were combined with IntelliChoice’s rating methodology resulting to a new kind of award that reflects both the heart and what the pockets of buyers can afford.

According to James Bell, the publisher of, the winners for this year’s award were recognized for quality and value. Toyota was able to obtain majority of the 25 vehicle segments but GM with its 2007 Cadillac DTS top the large luxury car segment.

George Peterson, President of AutoPacific further added that any vehicle scoring more than 700 in the Motorist Choice Awards might just as well be considered in the top rank of the highly desirable cars or trucks. He said that there were at least 25 vehicles that were able to obtain 700+ score however some of these vehicles didn’t make the list because they lost out to other high-scoring vehicles in their segment. BMW the producer of quality BMW 328ic parts have two models that failed to make the list: 5-Series and 7 Series. The other models that failed to make the top 25 include: Lexus GS, Chevrolet Tahoe, Lincoln Town Car, Chevrolet Suburban, Acura RL, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Mercedes-Benz GL450, Chevrolet Suburban, Toyota 4Runner, Lexus RX and Hyundai Azera.

The 2007 Winners of the 25 individual segment awards:
- Winner Aspirational Luxury Car
- Lexus IS Compact Car
- Mazda3 Compact Crossover SUV
- Chevrolet HHR Compact Pickup
- Toyota Tacoma Compact Sport Utility/ORV
- Toyota Tacoma Economy Car
- Honda Fit Image Compact Car
- Volkswagen GTi Large Car
- Toyota Avalon Large Heavy Duty Pickup
- Chevrolet Silverado HD Large Light Duty Pickup
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Large Luxury Car
- Cadillac DTS Large Sport Utility
- GMC Yukon XL Luxury Crossover SUV
- Acura MDX Luxury Mid-Size Car
- Nissan Maxima Luxury Sport Utility
- Land Rover Range Rover Sport Mid-Size Car
- Volkswagen Jetta Mid-Size Crossover SUV
- Honda CR-V Mid-Size Sport Utility
- Toyota 4Runner Minivan
- Honda Odyssey Premium Luxury Car
- Lexus LS Premium Mid-Size Car
- Nissan Altima Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV
- Nissan Murano Premium Sports Car
- Lexus SC Sports Car
- Porsche Boxster Sporty Car

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

BMW X6 Disguised

BMW X6 Disguised

For the first time, World Car Fans, an auto Website, has seen the BMW X6 off-road, coupe-like crossover barely disguised. The initial spy shots of the forthcoming BMW X6, a crossover SUV, were taken late in 2006 around BMW’s Munich headquarters.

Meanwhile, The Car Connection, another auto Website, claims their spied photos are confirming BMW's official statement made at the last Geneva Motor Show.

The X6 has camouflage coming off as well as the sloping coupe-like roof line, as Bavarian carmaker is about to attempt extending the X5 model range with an additional 4x4 "coupe," which is based on the same platform.

In this circumstance, the word "coupe" does not mean a two-door, but, as in Mercedes CLS500 marketing jargon, a sporting model with coupe-like roofline, though it has four doors. The Car Connection saw the first developed X6 doing laps at Germany's famous Nürburgring. These early development mules have a wise modular frame that allows all weight and critical items to be put differently and in small steps, to find their optimum position for excellent riding, handling, steering, and convenient. Also, the mules give quick access to the suspension geometry, springs, dampers, and steering, which all can be varied and fine-tuned.

BMW’s aggressive application of the four-door-coupe concept, which was first seen on the Mercedes CLS, to the SUV/Crossover genre made the vehicle’s detail particularly more interesting. In the market now are many performance-targeted SUVs on offer. But the X6 is taking a distinctivr styling approach which appears to be the most emulous “form-over-function” SUV design effort seen so far in the history of the auto industry.

In the spy photos, the X6 roofline begins arching downward after the B-pillar and continues plunging right to the X6’s rising waistline. The result is that the second-row headroom and rear cargo volume are both severely compromised. The new X6 will be longer and lower as compared to the new X5, but this crossover is expected to accommodate only four passengers. Nonetheless, what the sporty X6 loses in seating will be gained in performance. BMW fans need to wait until sometime next year as the X6 goes on sale.

The test mule has a non-production body that is made as simply as possible to shelter the mechanical parts. The spied car offers no indication of the final vehicle's styling or design.

This extension to the range is reported to be a sporty looking crossover with four passenger seats. It is equipped with front-mounted engines ranging from a V-8 with either 340 hp or 450 hp, to a V-10 with 612 hp.

By offering a high seating position and four-wheel drive, BMW would have no direct competitor, at least initially. But the Bavarian car maker only owns the throne until Porsche brings on the Panamera, a four-door coupe which is due 2009. Like the current and the next X5, the new X6 will be made in South Carolina U.S.A and is scheduled for release in 2008.

The company also makes BMW 325ci parts.

RV motorhomes - Your home far away from home.

RV motorhomes - Your home far away from home.

Most of us like traveling. Going to new places with friends and family is a prospect that excites many of us. But when we finally manage to get away from it all and land up in a new place, and after the excitement of the itinerary and the new locale wears off a little, it’s easy to start feeling a little homesick. After all, your home is where your heart is. And few places will ever match the warmth and comfort of one’s home.

It’s a strange predicament. How do you get away from home without really getting away from it? The simplest solution in such a case is to carry your home with you wherever you go. Fix a set of wheels to your house and tow it with you. Paradoxical as it may seem, with a motorhome, you can make the impossible possible.

Welcome to the wonderful world of RV motorhomes (RV, by the way, stands for Recreational vehicles in case you didn’t know.) Owning an RV motorhome is an experience to cherish for a lifetime. It’s just like traveling with your home as you from location to location and explore your country. RV motorhomes come in two distinct varieties - towables and motorized. Towable RVs include such variants as the travel trailer, the fifth wheel and the tent trailer. A more recent addition to this category is the toy hauler, which features both ample living areas and a secure place to keep your favorite ‘toys’, like ATV’s and motorcycles. A towable RV motor home is designed to be towed by a pick up. It therefore provides the added flexibility of having a car that can be easily separated from the RV and put to independent use.

The real fun with RV motorhomes begins with the motorized kind. These are the bigger, better boys of the pack, and also among the more expensive ones. A motorhome, as it is popularly called, can belong to any of 3 Classes. Class A Motorhomes are either gas or diesel powered, with the diesel Class A motorhomes being referred to as Diesel Pushers and often the most expensive and luxurious of the RV types. Class B Motorhomes or van conversions are a large self-contained van, which includes living accommodations, and are the smaller version of the motorhomes. Class C Motorhomes are built on a truck chassis. They are cheaper than the other two types, yet offer excellent amenities and ample space.

So what should one expect from an RV motorhome? Well, a typical RV, even in its most humble manifestation, would include beds, a table, and food preparation and storage areas. Larger RV models come with full bathrooms, refrigerators, and living areas, master bedrooms, etc. Some of the more expensive and more elaborate RVs feature satellite TV and Internet access, slide-out sections, and awnings.

Everyday, more and more people are waking up to the grand experience of owning and raveling in an RV motorhome. It’s a unique mobile living experience that’s hard to match. A recent consumer study indicates that an estimated 7.9 million American households now own an RV. Truly enough, the fun and enjoyment that these travel trailers, motorhomes, campers and van conversions offer are hard to match anywhere else.

For all those already yearning for this exquisite piece of mobile luxury, there’s good news. Did you know that the Internet now offers excellent facilities to locate and purchase the motorhome of your choice? All it takes is just a few clicks of your mouse to quickly locate the best deals on motorhomes. So get online and take your pick from brand new or used RVs. Get the best deals on the RV motorhome of your dream.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Formula One: McLaren Found Not Guilty of Using Ferrari Documents

Formula One: McLaren Found Not Guilty of Using Ferrari Documents

The FIA World Motor Sport Council, in its hearing in Paris on the 26th July, has found McLaren guilty of possession of unauthorised Ferrari documents, but with no evidence that the team had made use of the information. The governing body elected not to punish McLaren for now.

The WMSC said, however, that it reserves the right to call McLaren back should it be found that McLaren had used the information, in which case they may be excluded from not only the 2007 championship but also the 2008 one.

"The WMSC is satisfied that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes was in possession of confidential Ferrari information and is therefore in breach of article 151c of the International Sporting Code," the verdict said.

"However, there is insufficient evidence that this information was used in such a way as to interfere improperly with the FIA Formula One World Championship. We therefore impose no penalty.

"But if it is found in the future that the Ferrari information has been used to the detriment of the championship, we reserve the right to invite Vodafone McLaren Mercedes back in front of the WMSC where it will face the possibility of exclusion from not only the 2007 championship but also the 2008 championship."

Luigi Macaluso, the Italian representative at the WMSC, told Gazzetta dello Sport after the hearing: "There was no proof, nothing more could be done."

McLaren boss Ron Dennis was also pleased with the verdict. "The punishment fits the crime," he was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport.

Unrelated to the McLaren decision, the FIA also plans to hold a hearing for Ferrari engineer Nigel Stepney and McLaren's suspended chief designer Mike Coughlan, to allow them to defend their behaviour in the spy affair.

"The WMSC will also invite Mr Stepney and Mr Coughlan to show reason why they should not be banned from international motor sport for a lengthy period and the WMSC has delegated authority to deal with this matter to the legal department of the FIA," the verdict added.

The result will please Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One supremo, who told The Times newspaper before the verdict was announced, "Please God, I hope nothing's gone wrong and it will all be a lot of nonsense. It would be better it didn't happen in the first place, and it would be obviously beneficial if it was cleared up and everybody was sort of happy. There's been so much talked about this spying nonsense, it's even taking away from what's going on on the track."

With McLaren 27 points clear of Ferrari in the Constructors Championship at the time of writing, and Lewis Hamilton leading his team mate Fernando Alonso by two points in the Drivers Championship, Formula One fans can now hopefully look forward to a close-fought battle on the track for the 2007 championship in the remaining seven races.

However it may be the case that if the Championship goes to the wire, the saga will once again resurface.

Formula One Season Heats Up

Formula One Season Heats Up

Going into the European Grand Prix last Sunday, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton has a commanding twelve point lead over teammate Fernando Alonso. But after a chaotic race which saw several drivers retiring, Alonso took the win while Hamilton for the first time in his career failed to finish in the top three. Furthermore, Hamilton failed to score a point as he finished ninth.

That means that ten points were awarded to the double world champion Alonso. The Spaniard now has 68 points after ten races. He is now trailing Hamilton only by a couple of points. This shows how unpredictable the sport is. While Hamilton and Alonso are on the top of the drivers’ championship standings, the two McLaren drivers are not the only ones vying for the championship.

Scuderia Ferrari’s duo of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen are still in contention for the championship. The Brazilian Massa is currently third with 59 points so far, 11 points behind Hamilton and nine behind Alonso. The Finn Raikkonen, on the other hand, has 52 points. It can be remembered that Raikkonen overtook his teammate in the standings after his back-to-back wins at the French and British Grands Prix.

At the European Grand Prix though, Raikkonen failed to finish as he was forced to retire on the 34th lap as his car’s hydraulics failed. Hamilton, on the other hand, only managed to finish ninth after he qualified tenth after a crash in the qualifying session. The front tire of Hamilton’s car was secured poorly after the team’s wheel gun malfunctioned. Although other parts of the steering system are intact such as the Mercedes struts, the wheel rubbed into the car which caused the accident.

The win by Alonso and the second place finish of Massa means that the race for the championship is now getting more competitive. Although Hamilton still leads the field, he is now facing a tougher challenge from teammate Alonso and the Ferrari pair.

Aside from the disappointing ninth place finish by the championship leader and Raikkonen’s retirement, the European Grand Prix is full of surprises. Only for the second time this season, a driver aside from McLaren and Ferrari’s pairs finished in the top three. Australian Mark Webber finished third for Red Bull. Webber’s teammate David Coulthard also managed to finish sixth although he started fro the 20th position on the grid.

Spyker’s rookie Markus Winkelhock posted a record at the European Grand Prix. The German Formula One driver who took over the seat of Christijan Albers became the first driver to start in a Grand Prix both in the last and first position. The rookie started at the back of the grid but was soon leading the race as he was the first to have tires suited to the wet tracks after rain poured. When the rain continued pouring, the race was red flagged on the fourth lap. When the race was restarted, Winkelhock started at the front of the grid.

The surprising debut of the German though did not end well as he was forced to retire after his car’s hydraulics malfunctioned. The German though is expected to be driving for Spyker for the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix. At the said race, the four drivers on top are expected to step up their game as the season reaches its most crucial stages. With more than half of the season already in the books, every race and every point is important for these championship hopefuls.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Classic Motor Show in Birmingham

Classic Motor Show in Birmingham

Author: Derek Both

Whether you are looking for cars, parts, cheap classic car insurance or just some information, The Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham which is held every year is the place to be. With an enormous display of 1000 breathtaking classic cars it's the biggest and best show of its kind in the UK and is a must for all motoring enthusiasts.

There is something for every kind of car enthusiast at the Classic Motor Show from those who adore the very earliest cars to those intrigued by the classics of the future. The displays range from 1920s wealthy gentlemen's cars and 70s family saloons to British sports cars and extreme Italian supercars.

At the Classic Motor Show you will find the biggest collection of dealers, companies and traders with every product and service available from car parts to cheap classic car insurance. Classic car owners, enthusiasts and prospective owners will be in heaven as you will be able to find every product and service imaginable. From big brands such as Footman James to smaller companies, traders and autojumblers it is without a doubt that you will be able to find someone to supply what you need.

When you fancy doing something a bit more interesting than sorting out cheap classic car insurance, head over to the Restoration Theatre where Jerry Thurston (from TV's Salvage Squad) will be hosting a range of activities. You can see tasks such as panel beating, wheeling, lead loading and welding being demonstrated and find out exactly how to tackle any job or project.

On the Wheeler Dealer Live Stage, TV presenter Mike Brewer (Autotrader, Pulling Power and British Rally Championship) will be hosting a live and interactive stage show. Here you will see magazine style features being brought to life, Q&A sessions, cars and seminars. As well as this there will be car parades, classic game shows and surprise guests. To liven things up a bit this year Edd China will be joining mike on stage. Edd holds the Guinness World Record for 'fastest furniture' for a driving sofa at 87 mph and is full of other crazy ideas which are bound to bring a smile to everyone's faces.

Perhaps one of the highlights of the Classic Motor Show and something that no other exhibition in the UK offers is the opportunity for every visitor to have a ride in their dream car. All you need to do is make a donation to charity and you will be able to take a 10 - mile ride as a passenger in one of the cars available.

You will find a selection of classic cars for sale at the show with all tastes and budgets being catered for from everyday classics to prestige cars. Whether you are going to find parts for your car, find cheap classic car insurance, make a purchase or merely admire the selection of classic cars, the Classic Motor Show is a fun and enjoyable day out for all.

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All-New 2008 Jeep Liberty

All-New 2008 Jeep Liberty

The Chrysler Group announced July 19 the pricing for the all-new 2008 Jeep Liberty. At $20,990 MSRP for the Jeep Liberty Sport 4x2 and $22,600 for 4x4 models, and Jeep Liberty Limited 4x2 is at $25,175 and $26,785 for 4x4 models, including $660 destination, the totally redesigned mid-size SUV has classic Jeep exterior styling and a functional interior, added cargo length and rear seat legroom, and the industry-exclusive Sky Slider™ full-length, open-canvas roof. Two models are available: Jeep Liberty Sport and Jeep Liberty Limited and will begin to proceed to dealerships later this summer.

A .7-liter SOHC V-6 engine generating 210 horsepower (157 kW) at 5,200 rpm and 235 lb.-ft. (319 N•m) of torque at 4,000 rpm is standard on both models. The Liberty has independent front and five-link rear suspension systems and still offers two four-wheel-drive systems including Selec-Trac II - most advanced four-wheel-drive system in its segment.

Added to list of available features and options are the MyGIG Multimedia Infotainment System, remote start, memory seats, mirrors and radio controls, and express up/down windows. Making its world launch is the an industry exclusive new Sky Slider full-length, open-canvas roof, giving the Liberty that "Have Fun Out There" open-air Jeep experience.

The 2008 Jeep Liberty has a full scope of active and passive safety systems. Some of the vehicle's standard equipments are side-curtain air bags, Electronic Stability Program, Electronic Roll Mitigation, all-speed Traction Control, Brake Assist, advanced anti-lock brakes and tire pressure monitoring. Rain-sensing wipers and ParkSense Rear Park Assist System are options.

Details on the Jeep door were not stated in the Autoblog article that features this vehicle. Nonetheless, let’s expect that it also has improvements like majority of the 2008 Liberty parts.

The Jeep Liberty Sport 4x2 has been trimmed by $1,270 and has hiked $800 more content. The Jeep Liberty Sport 4x4 has been trimmed by $1,170 and has hiked $900 content.

The Jeep Liberty Sport engine is proven and durable. It’s mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Command-Trac four-wheel-drive system is standard on the Jeep Liberty Sport 4x4.

Standard are side curtain air bags; body color fascias and wheel flares; cloth, low-back bucket seats; 16-inch aluminum wheels; P225/75R16 all-season black side wall (BSW) tires; tire pressure monitor; reversible cargo floor; fold-flat, reclining second row seats and AM/FM stereo with compact disc player and four speakers.

The Jeep Liberty Limited 4x2 has been trimmed by $720 and has hiked 2,000 more content. The Jeep Liberty Limited 4x4 has been reduced by $620 and has added $2,100 content.

Standard are Command-Trac part-time four-wheel-drive system (4x4); YES Essentials seat fabric; fold-flat passenger seat; power front driver seat; Infinity premium audio speakers (eight) and a subwoofer; four-speed automatic transmission; 17-inch aluminum wheels; P235/65R17 all-season BSW tires; security alarm; speed control; universal garage door opener; tire pressure monitoring system with display; SIRIUS Satellite Radio; electronic vehicle information center; auto-dimming rearview mirror; auto up-down driver window; auto down passenger window; power heated folding-exterior mirrors, full-size spare tire and 115V power outlet.

Porsche - World's Most Profitable Carmaker in 2006

Porsche - World's Most Profitable Carmaker in 2006

Bloomberg reports Porsche AG's 911, a $72,400 sports car, spurred the carmaker’s being the world's most profitable last year. CEO Wendelin Wiedeking says earnings will grow even more because of Volkswagen AG's Golf, a $15,000 hatchback.

The report said Wiedeking may extend the luxury car company's share-price gains by increasing the stake and using Porsche's influence to convert Europe's biggest carmaker. Analysts and investors say Porsche's experience in “thin” production will enhance Volkswagen's profitability, while the companies will save by sharing development costs.

Sales and profit at Volkswagen, now 31 percent owned by Porsche, have already increased since the initial tie-up, spurring Porsche's shares more than double.

Peter Braendle, who helps manage almost 63 billion Swiss francs ($52 billion) in assets at Swisscanto Asset Management in Zurich, plus shares in both car companies, said Porsche knows how to manage itself and stands to significantly earn from its ownership in Volkswagen.

Adam Jonas, an analyst at Morgan Stanley in London, forecasts that Porsche's profit may grow to more than 3 billion euros, which is tantamount to $4.1 billion, in five years from 1.39 billion euros in the 12 months ended July 2006. He expects that the company's shares will reach 1,650 euros within a year, as compared with Thursday's closing price of 1,330 euros.

Juergen Meyer, who helps manage almost 1.3 billion euros of assets at SEB Asset Management in Frankfurt, including Volkswagen and Porsche shares, commented that the alliance between Porsche and VW is extremely important to Porsche.

As regards lagging profitability, the report says that such concern on Volkswagen would crimp Porsche's growth sent the luxury carmaker's shares plunging 10 percent on Sept. 26, 2005, a day after Porsche said that it would acquire a stake in the larger automaker.

In 2005, Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen's operating margin was 3 percent as compared with 19 percent at Porsche in the 12 months ended July that year.

Volkswagen's margin widened to 4.3 percent in 2006, as new models such as the Eos and the Audi Q7 helped lift sales 10 percent to 5.72 million vehicles. Net income increased more than doubled.

Cost cutting already began at Volkswagen. As a matter of fact, former Chief Executive Bernd Pischetsrieder has thrown off 20,000 jobs.

Andreas Dittmer, who helps manage nearly 3.5 billion euros in assets at Apo Asset Management in Cologne, Germany, which includes Volkswagen shares, commented that “Volkswagen has become leaner'.

Porsche is entitled to almost one third of Volkswagen's dividend, which was 497 million euros in 2006. Wiedeking said on June 26 that Porsche's profit will really rise significantly this year. And thanks to Volkswagen.

The German carmaker is the genius behind Volkswagen Golf parts.

VW Records 1.8 Million Vehicles in First Half of 2007

VW Records 1.8 Million Vehicles in First Half of 2007

German automaker Volkswagen delivered 1.8 million vehicles from January to June of this year to customers around the world. Such figure is a 7.4 percent more than in the same period last year. The Middle East market experienced a sales increase of a paused 32 percent compared to last year.

The Touareg confirms that is has its special position as the most popular Volkswagen car in the Middle East region with 33 percent of Volkswagen’s total sales for the first half of 2007 and a 14 percent increase of sales in the first half of 2007 as compared to the same period in 2006 in the region.

Hans-Dieter Keller, Managing Director of Volkswagen Middle East stated that they are witnessing a significant growth in the region because of their attractive and increasingly unique model range. He explained that the Touareg is their bestseller in the region and the launch of the new generation Touareg recently has lifted their sales quite significantly for the first six months of 2007. He also said that the launch of Volkswagen’s new coupe-convertible, the Eos, and the introduction to the Jetta 2.5 liter earlier this year has also played roles to this growth. He boasted that aside from their excellent model range, the professional market coverage by their partners has been vital to their success.

All in all, the Volkswagen Group delivered 3.09 million vehicles to customers worldwide in the first six months of 2007. This figure is an all-time sales record for the company for the first half of the year. This conforms to a 7.8 percent increase over the same period last year. From January through June 2007, group deliveries in Europe increased by 3.7 percent to 1.86 million vehicles, 1.62 million of which went to Western Europe, which reflects a 1.3 percent increase. The 238,000 vehicles sold in Central and Eastern Europe marked a hike of 22.8 percent.

The Volkswagen Group sold as much as 502,000 vehicles in the Asian-Pacific region; it is actually 20.9 percent more than in the first half of last year. In China alone, the deliveries increased by 24.6 percent to 431,000 vehicles.

Sales significantly developed in the first half of the year on the American continents as well. The Group’s deliveries to customers in South America hiked by 27.7 percent resulting to 339,000 delivered cars. Two hundred sixty thousand (260,000) of which went to Brazil, generating a 28.6 percent growth. In North America, the sale of 263,000 vehicles produced an increase of 3.1 percent, thereby registering U.S sales with 2.8 percent growth having 163,000 vehicles.

Volkswagen is the maker of quality Volkswagen bug parts.

Toyota and Scion of Northwest Arkansas, Committed To Excellence In Service

Toyota and Scion of Northwest Arkansas, Committed To Excellence In Service

Toyota and Scion of Northwest Arkansas is equipped with highly qualified and dynamic professionals whose constant endeavor has been to earn the goodwill of customers and usher in professional excellence in all spheres of an automotive franchise. Toyota NW Arkansas steers you into the world of technological wonders, where you can possess the comfort and power in style. Quality, reliability, transparency, convenience and enviable sales record are a few of the reasons why it makes sense to choose Toyota NW Arkansas. The quest for innovation is the foundation for Toyota and Scion of Northwest Arkansas.

Now, through the Toyota NW Arkansas sophisticated website, which is embedded with special, unique features, the dealership has made things more than easy for its customers. Just everything about Toyota and Scion cars is made available at the click of a mouse. You can buy genuine parts and accessories and even schedule a service appointment, online. Vehicle research, virtual brochure and reviews help you explore everything you want to know about your favorite cars. There are other attractive features like online specials, finance specials, new vehicles special, pre-owned specials and weekend specials which make online shopping experience more interesting and exciting. These innovative designs and features have bolstered the concept of online shopping.

Toyota and Scion of Northwest Arkansas presents to you a varied choice of new and pre-owned Toyota and Scion models. Collection of Toyota cars include Corolla, Camry, Avalon, Matrix, Prius, Camry Solara, Yaris, Tacoma, Tundra, 4Runner, Highlander, Land Cruiser, RAV4, Sequoia, Sienna and FJ Cruiser. It also has an exquisite array of Scion vehicles such as xA, xB and tC.

Here is an overview of few of the Toyota and Scion models available with the dealership: Toyota Corolla equipped with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, pumps out 126 horsepower. The most popular model of Toyota, Corolla, is available in CE, LE and the sporty S versions. Its stylish, contemporary design speaks to your aesthetic sense. Its foundation of legendary quality, dependability and value speaks to your common sense.

The new 2007 Toyota Camry comes with a four-cylinder engine or a V6 engine. It also comes with an all-new hybrid drive train that delivers 192 horsepower. The Camry is available in three different models namely SE, XLE and Hybrid.

The 2007 Toyota Land Cruiser is an SUV that has the seating capacity of 8 passengers and offers just one trim level, the base model. Powering the 2007 Land Cruiser is the 4.7 liter V8 engine which provides 265 hp @5400 rpm and 310 lb.-ft torque @3400 rpm. Its transmission is a 5-speed automatic with overdrive .

Scion xA, the least-expensive model in Toyota's youth-oriented Scion line, is a 4-dr hatchback powered by 103-hp 4-cyl engine with manual or optional automatic transmission. Front side airbags and curtain side airbags are optional. Standard equipment includes ABS, air conditioning, power windows/locks/mirrors, and a 60/40 split folding rear seat.

The 2007 tC, a 2-dr hatchback coupe comes from Toyota's youth-oriented Scion division. It has a 160-hp 4-cyl and a 5-speed manual transmission or optional 4-speed automatic. Standard equipment includes ABS and a driver knee airbag among other features.

BMW's 5-Series has New Names, Much Better Performance

BMW's 5-Series has New Names, Much Better Performance

BMW has changed the name of its six-cylinder powered midsize, luxury 5-Series cars for 2008 to emphasize its larger and more powerful engines. The old 525i would be change to 528i with 230hp while the 530i becomes the 535i with 300 hp included on the twin-turbocharged, six-cylinder 535xi Sports Wagon.

The German automaker and producer of high quality BMW 325 parts has also updated the interiors of its 2008 5-Series sedans and wagons with the addition of an optional Lane Departure Warning system that softly vibrates the steering wheel whenever it detects that the driver is wandering out of his or her lane. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the 5-Series including destination charge will start at $45,075 for the base 528i.

BMW has also assured that buyers of the 5-Series sedan will love the image that the four-door car conveys. The 2008 5-Series styling and design reflects its performance heritage, a good bit of technology but not lightweight. It is also worth mentioning that would-be BMW 5-Series owners will receive four years/50,000 miles of free maintenance that would include scheduled oil changes and even replacement if worn out windshield wiper blades. This is in addition to the four-year/50,000-mile limited, bumper-to-bumper warranty.

It is also hard to miss out the new found power in the 2008 BMWs. The test 535xi weighs in at nearly 4,000 pounds which means that this particular BMW will not feel lightweight or flighty. Its peak torque is at 300 pounds-feet and can come as low as 1,400 rpm and can reach up to 5,000 rpm which is quite satisfying for any kind of driving.

The 3-liter, twin-turbocharged, inline six-cylinder with variable valve timing for both intake and exhaust functions are similar to the one equipped on the BMW 335i. It was mated in the test 535xi to an updated Steptronic automatic transmission that could be shifter manually. For the 536xi, BMW has removed the confusing and difficult-to-operate Sequential Manual Gearbox.

The power is also increased to its highest ever in the base 528i which has a 3-liter, inline six-cylinder with variable valve timing without the turbocharging. The top range 550i sedan retains its 360-hp, 4.8 liter V8.

Fuel economy is not a highly flaunted characteristic of BMW’s vehicles but for the test 535xi, it was able to perform within the government’s ratings of 17 mpg for city driving and 25 mpg for highway driving. The handling as expected of a BMW was remarkable. The car body was steady and well-controlled in all maneuvers even over some busy road surfaces.

Greg Norman to Endorse Land Rover

Greg Norman to Endorse Land Rover

Land Rover North America has recently launched a bold marketing campaign that features professional golfer and Land Rover brand endorser, Greg Norman. The new marketing campaign is a continuation of the “Designed for the Extraordinary” marketing campaign. Land Rover’s ad will highlights Norman’s two and a half-year relationship with Land Rover North America.

According to Finbar McFall, Vice President of Marketing, Land Rover North America, “This segment showcases the image that binds Greg Norman and Land Rover. With a play on words, the campaign reiterates that performance, luxury, technology, comfort, and drive are top priorities for both brands.”

Norman being one of the world’s top athletes and entrepreneurs greatly relies on performance not only in his game and work but more so for his everyday life. His success depends greatly on go-anywhere transportation whether it’s by air or by land. His Gulfstream G550 jet, Bell 407 Helicopter, and Range Rover Supercharged provides the golfer with the luxury, performance, and capability that he needs to conquer unfamiliar territories.

The 2007 Range Rover Supercharged 4.2 liter V8 engine revs up 400 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. It can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds. Land Rover’s flagship vehicle instigates confidence even in difficult situations and at the same time provides effortless performance needed for daily driving.

The new 2007 Range Rover Supercharged is also equipped with high quality car components such as Land Rover catalytic converter that boost its performance.

The latest Greg Norman campaign is actually its second run starting the time that the famous golfer has contracted a deal with Land Rover in the year 2005. The new campaign will be seen in a number of limited luxury lifestyle, golf, business and technology, epicurean and travel publications. The new ad was shot at the Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla. The campaign has debuted mid-June and will run through the end of the year.

The new marketing campaign will also include Land Rover and Greg Norman Collection of clothing line, which has established cross-promotion with co-branded items and are now available in the latest Land Rover Gear catalog. For more information on Land Rover Gear simply log on to

Land Rover North America is part of Ford Motor Company’s Premier Automotive Group with headquarters in Irvine, California. Land Rover has established operation sin the US in 1986 and presently imports and distributed Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, LR3 and LR2 vehicles that are manufactured by Land Rover in Solihull and Halewood, England.

The worldwide operations of Land Rover are wholly-owned by the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker, Ford Motor Company. For details on Land Rover retailer nearest you just call 800-FIND-4WD or log on to

Kia's Summer Offerings

Kia's Summer Offerings

For the summer season Kia has a lot to offer that would keep the whole family happy.

To keep the kids entertained during long trips, the Sedona models and Carens seven seat models will now include a fully integrated multimedia cinema system consisting of wireless headphones surround sound with games console compatibility. The large screen DVD player is a sure hit with all passengers.

And due to the success of the original launching of Carens model, Kia will offer discounts on the entire Carens range for all would-be mothers. And guess what? The series of discounts to be given will depend on the number of babies that a mother is expecting. Initial offer for one baby will start at £100 up to the point of giving free Carens for those expecting moms plus an array of offers for all those in between.

Aside from the unique discount offerings Kia will also introduced two special edition Carens models: the G5 and the GS5 both with high quality Kia catalytic converter. And for as little as £1000 less than the standard G and GS models upon which these two new models are based, buyers will get the chance to avail of the impressive specification that includes front and rear electric windows, alloy wheels, and a redesigned chrome tailgate badge.

And due to the increased demand for cee’d S, GS, and LS diesel derivatives they will be offered at the same price as their petrol counterparts. The savings that buyers will get will reach up to £1000.

The cee’d SR models will also feature ABS, remote central locking, CD with MP3 player and 16” alloy wheels. The prices of the cee’d SR models will start from £10,495.

Kia will also expand its Rio Line, a special edition ‘Red’ model, which has been introduced with a choice of 1.4 LS manual and 1.5 CRDi versions with a significant savings of £680 off the normal price list. The focus of the ‘Red’ model is on safety and luxury that is why it features twin side and curtain airbags, leather covered steering wheel and gear knob coupled with premium upholstery, metal pedals, and interior trim. The limited availability and extra features provide the Red Rio with an exclusive luxurious look and feel that is not only good on the outside but is also conveyed on the driving performance.

To top off the passenger car segment, Kia will launch its Picanto LS with one year’s free insurance at an even more affordable price. And as the 4x4 market is growing so will Kia’s range of Sportage 2.0 Xi special edition petrol model and the Sorento Xi automatic and manual diesel, special edition. The Sportage Xi will have a price that is lower than the XE model by about £1,350 and lower than the Sorento Xi by £1000. The Sportage range will have a price starting at £13,995 while the Sorento range will be priced at £18,995. Kia will also be offering its special edition TITAN Sportage with 17” Rimfire alloy wheels and metallic paint.

Volvo Cars Driving Academy Teaches Eco-driving

Volvo Cars Driving Academy Teaches Eco-driving

With these days’ in dire need for “environmental cars”, Volvo Cars Driving Academy is having a growing demand for its eco-driving course.

Tommy Andersson, chief instructor at the Volvo Cars Driving Academy, commented it is possible to lessen fuel costs and have a better effect on the environment through changing one's driving motive.

The Volvo Cars Driving Academy is a relatively unknown division of Volvo Cars' operations. It has been around in various forms since 1989 giving instructions in winter driving, safety driving, and security driving.

Andersson explains the academy offers a wide variety of courses every year for professional drivers and private individuals. He explained further safety driving is still their biggest-seller, but the demand for eco-driving is increasing.

VEAB Mark & Trädgård, a Swedish construction service provider, is one of the companies that opted to enroll its employees in the eco-driving course at the Volvo Cars Driving Academy.

Håkan Persson, President of VEAB, says many of their clients demand the course if they are to be included in their purchasing contracts. He adds that they work on behalf of big companies, the municipality and the Swedish Road Administration. He affirmed their ISO 14001 environmental certification. He also said allowing employees to undergo an eco-driving course at the Volvo Cars Driving Academy is a wise investment.

Like many of the Academy's students before, the VEAB employees are small groups (12) and the students are skeptical and most believe they already drive with a green foot or at least know how to.

They first get to drive a set urban route with the Volvo Cars Driving Academy's cars, which are equipped with measuring devices for exact fuel consumption. A lesson in eco-driving then follows. And then, students drive the same route again, applying their newly learned eco-driving skills.

Students at the Volvo Cars Driving Academy are more than satisfied when they receive their certificates.

Stefan Fredriksson, landscape gardener, commented that from now on, he will be thinking more about which road he would choose. He continues that he will avoid roads with many traffic lights where the traffic has to stop so often.

Andersson predicts that enrolment in the Academy's eco-driving course will increase. According to him, his aim is to focus more on environmentally friendly eco-driving. For example, he said, they are discussing cooperation with companies and municipalities with regard company cars and pool cars. He further said that it is only a matter of time before they realize what they stand to gain by giving everyone the knowledge about this issue. Since Volvo is targeting an eco-friendly drive, expect that toxicity of emissions form its cars’ internal combustion engines are reduced because of its Volvo catalytic converter.

Audi Releases its First SUV

Audi Releases its First SUV

At the height of the SUV craze, Audi of America's then-president glorify his company that it seemed to be the only one not making an SUV. He even jokingly suggested Audi should adopt 7-Up's slogan and start calling itself "the un-SUV" car company.

His joke was accepted due to 3 reasons: the luxury SUV segment did not really exist at the time; all of Audi's vehicles were available with quattro all-wheel drive for car buyers who needed or wanted it; and he could not predict how enthusiastically consumers would embrace SUVs even extremely expensive ones.

Over the past couple of years, dramatic fuel price increases have had an equally dramatic impact on consumer demand for SUVs. So it seemed as if the introduction last month of Audi's first-ever SUV, the Q7, was poorly timed. But industry statistics insinuate demand for premium SUVs remains high even as interest in mainstream models declines.

And Audi's sales statistics certainly suggest that timing isn’t bad after all. The Q7 has been selling fairly well. It's difficult to cite specific figures for the Q7 didn't debut until June 2006. However, sales increased 26 percent this June and about 10 percent the first half of this year.
The least expensive Q7, which was the 3.6 base model, starts at about $40,000, while the most expensive Q7, the 4.2 Premium, costs around 20 grand more.

The fire-breathing, V8-powered 4.2 has a lower EPA mileage rating, and both models run on premium petrol. The diesel-powered 3.0 TDI BlueTec, which due for release until next year, is supposed to get about 20 percent better mileage than the Q7 3.6.

Audi says the Q7 3.6 takes an uninspiring 8.2 seconds to go from zero to 60 mph. It feels quicker because its throttle response is about as smooth as a buggy ride on a dirty road. On the highway, things smooth out, and the Q7 shines in passing situations. Other than that, the Q7 thrives on the highway in other respects. It feels so secure and stable it seems as if it could be safely driven at twice the legal speed limit.

Around town and on back roads, the Q7 feels solid and stable as well. An impressive list of high-tech, performance-enhancing suspension features include quattro all-wheel drive and electronic anti-skid and anti-roll protection. This combine with an excellently designed suspension that keep the Q7 planted and help it go where it is aimed.

The Q7 has a weight of 5,200-pound. And after experiencing how effortless it is to make the Q7 consume long, winding stretches of country roads, it’s hard to imagine that it weighs well over 2 tons.

As expected in a premium SUV, it also offers the kind of upscale interior, superior seating, and assortment of standard and optional features.

All Audi vehicles come with quality Audi catalytic converter. So expect that Q7 with one.
Proud to be the only one not making an SUV then, Audi probably is now proud to have its first SUV.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Keep Your Fog Lights At Its Best Perfromance With Mercedes Benz Fog Light Lens

Keep Your Fog Lights At Its Best Perfromance With Mercedes Benz Fog Light Lens
by ARCY KOONTZ Original post 06/27/2007

The Mercedes Benz fog light provides a wider light dispersion pattern that is especially useful when driving at night or during total darkness caused by foul weather. Although the light it disperses is bright, it is not bright enough to cause blinding reflections that often cause accidents. It is strategically located just below the the headlights so as to give the driver a better view of the sides of the vehicle. Since it is called fog light, one can practically say that it was invented to be able to help the driver see through the fog. Fog is defined as a thick cloud of water droplets, 0.00039 to 0.00156 inches in diameter, suspended in the atmosphere at or near the earth's surface and reducing visibility to below half a mile. A typical fog light which should perform its function well has a wide beam pattern (about 70 degrees to 120 degrees) with a sharp, flat cutoff on top.

The Mercedes Benz Fog Light Lens have a way of deflecting the light. Fluting, which is the cut in the lens, shapes the pattern by how the lens deflect light. With a totally clear lens without fluting, the light produced would be too blinding.The material of the Mercedes Benz Fog Light Lens has an effect on how much light actually passes through the lens. Lead crystal, the clearest one, allows the most amount of light to pass through. Other materials such as ordinary glass and hardened glass, although it doesn't break easily, are usually full of dirt and other contaminants that make the passage of light lesser. Plastic lens, on the other hand, also blocks even more of the light and it easily gets scratched up.

Breakage is a the most common reason for replacing Mercedes Benz fog light lenses. This, however, greatly depends on the environment one is driving in. For example, if one lives in a sandy place, chances are, the fog light lens would be occasionally sand blasted and all the little pits would have a great effect on the flow of light and the light pattern. This is also true to other environments aside from the dessert. The lenses will eventually scuffed by other elements so it would be best to replace them anytime soon.

Of course, when one is talking about Mercedes Benz Fog Light Lens, reflectors are never too far from the topic. The reflector is the the shiny part that gathers the light from the bulb and reflects it out at precise angles through the lens. In the early years, reflectors were silver plated. Silver is not optimally reflective even when first applied. And through tarnishing, it loses 40 to 50 percent of its reflectivity after about 48 hours. Because of these, reflectors were supposed to be polished monthly. Some reflectors are silver plated. This is from the olden days. Prior to the invention of sealed beam headlights, American cars had separate bulbs, reflectors and lenses, and the reflectors were silver. Silver is not optimally reflective even when first applied. And through tarnishing, it loses 40 to 50 percent of its reflectivity after about 48 hours. These reflectors were supposed to be polished monthly. Aluminized vapor coating is still believed to be the best reflective material.

The mounting of the fog light is also crucial in maximizing its function and protecting its Mercedes Benz Fog Light Lens. Generally, the lower the fog lights, the better. But it has to be just right because the lower the fog lights are mounted, the more vulnerable they are to impacts from stones and other various objects. The lower mountings also decrease how far forward the light will go and lower they're mounted, the more the shadowy effect from from rises and depressions in the road increases. It is therefore important to give only the best protection and maintenance to the Mercedes Benz fog light lens to continually benefit from the important function that fog lights offer.

Get That Extra Protection And Style With Mercedes Benz Floor Mats

Get That Extra Protection And Style With Mercedes Benz Floor Mats

A Mercedes Benz vehicle comes with the reputation of being one of the world's top luxury cars. It is not merely a status symbol and a high-end accessory but also, it is a sign that one has already achieved something. Having a precious car such as this also means having the responsibility of keeping it squeaky clean as much as possible.

A Mercedes vehicle's flooring is made to endure various weather and environmental conditions. However, making it extra stylish and keeping more protected would be a better choice. Mercedes floor mats are specially designed to shield your car's floor. Before the advent of Mercedes Benz Floor Mats , vehicle owners constantly cleaned their car floors, utilizing tons of effort and time. Before the 1960's, floor mats were cut and sewn. This was to ensure that all areas are specifically covered and well-protected. These were the classic formats. However, today, Mercedes Benz Floor Mats with various designs and made of different materials are already available.

Mercedes Benz all-weather floor mats are designed to withstand even the harshest of weathers. These keep the vehicle's floor protected from mud, rain and snow. Moreover, they keep away damaging stains and prevent wearing out. Mercedes Benz rubber floor mats, on the other hand, are believed to be the most durable floor mats available. These are molded from a custom latex, which prevents cracking or sliding around. The best parts is, these floor mats contour themselves to the shape the car's floor to ensure a proper fit and comfort. Mercedes Benz molded floor mats are known to last long enough to even outlive a car. Some floor mats also hold liquid and particles through “cups” within the mat. Clear floor mats, on the other hand, are effective protection for your vehicle’s interior that let your vehicle’s own flooring show through. Customized Mercedes Benz floor mats not only give added protection but also they add more personality to the vehicle. They can be specifically made to suit every taste and to provide the image and look the owner wants for the vehicle to project.

It is, however, important to choose the right Mercedes Benz Floor Mats for a specific Mercedes Benz vehicle. This is because according to an investigation of Transport Canada on alleged sudden vehicle accelerations and stuck throttles, some problems seem to result from the interference between the vehicle floor mats and the pedals. Typically, the interference occurs when non-original equipment floor mats are used without properly being retained to the vehicle floor. The floor mat can then move under the driver’s feet and become lodged either between the pedals, on top of the pedals or under the pedals. Another common problem occurs when consumers install multiple floor mats on top of each other, reducing the clearance between the vehicle floor and the pedals.

This should be specially considered when Mercedes Benz aftermarket floor mats are used in the vehicle. Make sure that the floor mats should do not move while driving. In using rubber floor mats during the winter months, original factory floor mats must be removed first. It is also recommended that only one set of Mercedes Benz floor mats is used and that these mats do not interfere with the gas or brake pedal before driving the vehicle.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Volkswagen to Enter Sensor-Driven Passat in 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge

Volkswagen to Enter Sensor-Driven Passat in 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge

The 2007 Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Urban Challenge, one of the most unique car races in the world, will take place on November 3. Several teams will allow their "smart" vehicles to enter on a course covering 60 miles of unknown territory and designed to vitalize urban driving conditions.

Each team’s aim is to post the fastest time while, of course, observing traffic regulations. The race requires participating vehicles to mingle into traffic, cross roundabouts and negotiate busy intersections. All cars are steered and driven by computers.

In the race, Volkswagen will enter its customized Passat backed with performance quality VW exhaust and built by Volkswagen's research department and its California-based Electronic Research Laboratory (ERL) with the assistance of Stanford University.

Named in commemoration to Stanford University founder Leland Stanford Jnr., the Passat "Junior" is equipped with electromechanical power steering, an electric accelerator pedal, a Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) and an electric handbrake. And to make the vehicle 100 percent computer-controlled, Volkswagen of America's Electronic Research Laboratory (ERL) modified these electric systems and the brakes. Further equipment designed and built by the ERL includes the Custom-made mountings for the array of sophisticated sensors. Intel Core 2 Duo processors with two multiple-processing units per chip are some of the compositions of the vehicle's "brain". All these with the software developed at Stanford University's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the vehicle will be genuinely independent.

Dr. Burkhard Huhnke, head of Volkswagen's Electronic Research Laboratory, said that Volkswagen is excited to join the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge after its victory at the last DARPA Grand Challenge. He said that they see an opportunity to further advance intelligent technologies for the future use in the next generation passenger vehicles. He explained that the features developed for the Urban Challenge will ultimately result to driving safety and more fun in today's increasingly congested traffic. He continued that they have the perfect car for the said challenge, just like their Touareg 'Stanley' in its 2005 Grand Challenge triumph.

With ‘Stanley’ as the name, VW’s Touareg TDI won the DARPA Grand Challenge in 2005. Stanley bested among 22 other unmanned vehicles with its onboard sensors and navigation features. The 2005 race was a demanding 132-mile championship taking in rough desert roads, mountain passes, dried-up lakes and tunnels. And without a single glitch, Stanley completed the race with a winning time of six hours and 54 minutes.

The Electronic Research Laboratory
Founded in 1998, Volkswagen of America's Electronic Research Laboratory (ERL) is focusing its work on providing customers with smarter vehicles for the future. Based in Palo Alto, California, its work involves identifying new technologies and accelerating their development for future vehicle production.

DARPA or Defense Advance Research Projects Agency is an organization of the United States Department of Defense.