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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Getting More Horsepower

English: School model of engine. Français : Ma...
English: School model of engine. Français : Maquette scolaire d'un moteur à explosion. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Marielle Solidum

Horsepower is a humorous thing - this is because we tend to want more if we have more; but in most cases, more horsepower means a more expensive automobile, it can also mean a combination of some expensive car enhancements. However, in our everyday life having more horsepower isn't really the key if you're not a regular track day racer. What is horsepower? Are there any more convenient ways to get it? Well, Yes!

Not all modifications require an excessive amount of time, money and labor. There are several ways you can maximize your engine's potential by simply keeping a record on operating fundamentals. Understanding these factors may help us understand some definitive principles.

Definitions - Horsepower and Torque:

Horsepower is mainly the rate at which an engine works. Engine output comprises of two main factors - horsepower and torque. Torque is the turning force produced by the engine and it is what is responsible for automobiles with fast speed and smoking tires. It determines the rate at which an engine can move at. If you have more horsepower, you can get more work done. The bottom line is: torque is responsible for acceleration, while horsepower is the rate of acceleration.

Petrol engines can produce more power per liter of displacement than the diesel engine which has the same displacement; but the diesel engine can produce more or equal amount of torque than the petrol engine. If you observe, all commercial and heavy vehicles use diesel engines. This is because of the massive low-speed torque they produce. Diesel engine is not ideal for drag racing but it is surely ideal for delivering things to mountainous terrains.

More Horsepower:

To make your engine produce more horsepower, the key is to keep it in optimum running condition. Here's a checklist:

- Always utilize the highly recommended grade of oil and stick to one brand of gasoline once you determine that it's the best for your automobile. This ensures consistency. This keeps the engine running clean and reliable, while also helping to increase engine life.

- Ensure that the air intake and air filter are clean. Check the air filter regularly to make absolutely sure that it isn't getting blocked, clogged or saturated with particulate matter. Like the air intake, the exhaust system is of equal importance. Get your exhaust checked for discharges and clogged components. High gas expenditure and consequential high waste materials usually mean improper combustion or malfunctioning components. You can also consider a high volume performance air filter and even a free flow exhaust depending on what the street legal regulations allow.

- While there are fuel additives available that promise to "keep your engine clean and deliver maximum performance"; avoid using them. Instead, choose products that don't have any physical impact on the engine and its functions like Magnum Fuel Rx. It's a device that uses radio frequency waves to alter the atomic signature of your fuel which gives standard gasoline the performance of higher octane fuel. This leads to cleaner combustion, better fuel consumption, more horsepower and lower emissions with just a simple installation procedure.

Indeed, having more horsepower can be easily attained. You just have to go about it in the most effective way.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tips On How To Open An Automobile Body Shop

Armstrong Siddeley coachwork
Armstrong Siddeley coachwork (Photo credit: Leonard John Matthews)
By Walton Hong

Opening an car body shop is not a straightforward job. Plenty of planning and preparation should be done to help make the shop common and successful. One of the first things that you need to complete will be to put together a listing of restore companies that you intend to supply. Apart from fixing scuffs and scratches attributable to key mishaps and collisions, it is possible to also supply expert services like body alignment, panel substitution and brake system fix. Some more things that you really have to do to to be able to open an automobile repair shop are specific underneath.

Before beginning any business venture, it is essential to know the methods of the trade. On-job-training in an additional car repair shop is an excellent choice. You could even be present at academic courses to know new means of fixing ruined vehicles. On top of that to prevalent instruments like a dent puller, sand blaster and paint guns, buy protection equipment like goggles, gloves and respirators. In case you work in a very committed method, the popularity of your car body shop is bound to increase. At the time your pool of clientele increases, you will need to rent workers to assist you full the maintenance projects within a timely method. Retain the services of only those mechanics and specialists that have the requisite skills and experience to conduct automobile repair and modification projects perfectly.

A failsafe business prepare will enable you to to use your revenue fruitfully. On the SBA internet site, it is possible to get loads of info on how to build a superb business plan for organising an vehicle body shop. In addition to placing apart money for equipment, instruments, rent, insurance and salaries, keep some funds apart to the advertising of your business opportunity. Identify your SWOT and be wary of threats.

Your vehicle body shop needs to be simply accessible. A location in close proximity to a fuel station or highway could well be best. Your buddies, family and rewarding real estate agents can assist you to seek out an idyllic location for your shop. Advertisements can also be helpful. Weigh the pros and cons of renting versus getting. The decision will mostly rely upon your start-up funds. If possible choose for pre-existing shops or garages. You will get plenty of things you need to start your business. Get a business license in the local governing administration. You will need to spend a small price to get the license. The following thing you need to undertake is take a look at the IRS web site and fill out the web type to get your EIN. As soon as you get the EIN, it will come to be less difficult in your case to file revenue tax.

In case you really do not have cash to put in place your automobile body shop, then you certainly should both look for an financial commitment companion or get a business financial loan within the proper agency. To get the bank loan, you have to existing your business plan together with the mortgage software. An auto maintenance shop is actually a low-risk business enterprise, and when you are taking the right methods you will absolutely find a way to open up your shop.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

BMW X6 facelift xDrive35i was launched in Malaysia

BMW has recently launched the facelifted X6 xDrive35i in Malaysia where the mid-size luxury crossover has a starting price of RM698,800.

After being teased locally on the company’s official Facebook page earlier today, the facelifted BMW x6 has been launched in Malaysia, where the model can be ordered only as the xDrive35i for the moment. The BMW X6 facelift is getting corona rings that aren’t full circles, newly designed bars onthefront grille, standard bi-xenon lights, Adaptive LED headlights, L-shaped LED taillights and more.

The cabin of the facelifted BMW X6 xDrive35i is now coming with the all-new Nevada leather in standard and the model is also getting technology like the BMW ConnectedDrive, the Head-up Display, Bluetooth Audio Streaming, on-board internet, rear-view camera with Top View, Navigation System with Bluetooth functions and those who don’t like the standard leather can order the Vermillion Red finish.

The BMW X6 facelift xDrive35i is getting the company’s 3.0 liter six-cylinder engine, which is developing a total output of 306 horsepower and it has a peak torque of 400 Nm. The unit is mated to an eight-speed sports automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The model is getting the Dynamic Performance Control as part of the xDrive all-wheel drive system which is controlling power distribution in order to optimize dynamic performance, traction and stability. The BMW X6 facelift will arrive at dealerships across Malaysia on the 14th of July.

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Nissan Grand Livina Autech was launched in Malaysia

Nissan Grand Livina Autech was launched in Malaysia

The Japanese based automaker Nissan has recently announced that the Grand Livina Autech MPV has been launched in Malaysia, where the model has a starting price of RM105,800.

According to the car manufacturer, the Nissan Grand Livina Autech is coming with a chrome polished front grille, a redesigned front bumper, a modified rear bumper, some chrome garnishing, a fresh set of 15-inch six-spoke Autech wheels, which are replacing the standard ones, the Autech emblem fitted onto the tailgate and much more.

The interior design of the Nissan Grand Livina is coming with a choice of brown or black leather which can be found on the seats and on the doors. Nissan says that the seven-seater MPV is also getting a 7-inch touch screen with a satellite navigation system and a reverse camera, along with a DVD Player, Bluetooth connectivity, USB connection and an extra 10.2-inch roof mounted LCD monitor.

Nissan says that the Grand Livina Autech multi-purpose vehicle is coming with a new bronze gold color and V-Kool Solargard Armorcoat window tinting. No changes have been made to the MPV’s suspension system or engine and the model has a starting price of RM105,800 on the road. The Nissan Grand Livina Autech will arrive at dealerships across the country between the 11th and the 15th of July.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lamborghini HK 20th Anniversary Edition Launched With Limited 8 Units

In Malaysia, Lamborghini introduced the Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Malaysia Limited Edition with limited run of 20 units back in May 2012. Previously, we thought the Gallardo MLE is exclusive enough but not until the recent launch of Gallardo LP550-2 Hong Kong 20th Anniversary Edition at the Arcade, the Cyber Port in Hong Kong. This model is specifically to celebrate its 20 years collaboration between Kingsway Cars Ltd. and Automobili Lamborghini as its official dealer in Hong Kong.

12172  620xfloat= gallardo hk20 day 2 1155 8bit final  2 Lamborghini HK 20th Anniversary Edition Launched With Limited 8 Units
Automobili Lamborghini, the world renowned Italian supercar manufacturer, has operated through its official Hong Kong dealer Kingsway Cars since 1992. Over the past 20 years in Hong Kong, Lamborghini and Kingsway Cars have introduced a series of iconic models, from the ground-breaking Diablo in the 1990’s to the Aventador, Lamborghini’s newest offering. Throughout this period, the brand has also established itself as a leading player in Hong Kong, built on a solid foundation of exceptional sales and after-sales service quality.

12167  620xfloat= 6 Lamborghini HK 20th Anniversary Edition Launched With Limited 8 Units
This year, to celebrate 20 years of successful operations, Kingsway Cars is proud to present the “Gallardo LP550-2 HK 20th Anniversary Edition” a special edition model dedicated to the Hong Kong market, with only 8 units to be produced. With a design based on the Gallardo LP550-2, the HK 20th Anniversary Edition boasts the same outstanding features and technical specifications.

12177  620xfloat= img 9169 Lamborghini HK 20th Anniversary Edition Launched With Limited 8 Units
The Gallardo LP550-2 HK 20th Anniversary Edition sports on innovative solid white finish (Bianco Monocerus) on its exterior, with matt gold strips running from its front bonnet to the roof and the engine bonnet. Stamped with the symbolic “HK20”, the front spoilers and rear bumper complement the matt black finish of the rear spoilers and side skirts to create a powerful contrast with the matt white of the side mirrors.

12178  310xfloat= img 9178 Lamborghini HK 20th Anniversary Edition Launched With Limited 8 Units 12173  310xfloat= gallardo hk20 e gear selector final Lamborghini HK 20th Anniversary Edition Launched With Limited 8 Units

The predominantly black interior design features seats made with Q-citura on Alcantara, a red transmission shifter offsetting the matt black selector plate, as well as the special “HK20” logo on both headrest and side.

Are you tempted for one of the eight units? Anyway, the retail price for this exclusive Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Hong Kong 20th Anniversary Edition is HK$3,680,000 including tax.

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Monday, July 2, 2012

All-new Ford Ranger rolls in

KUALA LUMPUR - A Brazilian 'capoeira' performance kicked off Ford's introduction of the new Ranger in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

The skill and energy on display was almost palpable and to which Ford seemingly would like people to associate its latest product for Malaysia. The all-new Ranger was also introduced to the Sultanate by Premier Automobiles Sdn Bhd.

Ford designers call the new Ranger (pictured) styling "21st Century Tough" defining it as a vehicle with a taut and muscular body, while offering a contemporary look and feel with features and comfort normally found in passenger cars.

The latest Ranger is based on a new global compact
pickup truck platform. As a result, everything is new engines, gearboxes, frame, suspension, steering system, brake system, chassis, exterior sheet metal and vehicle interior.

The list continues with brand-new features for safety and passenger comfort.
The truck is available in three variants: a Duratorq TDCi1 2.2L Variable Geometry (VG) Turbo diesel engine with six-speed automatic transmission (6-AT) or manual transmission (6-MT) or a Duratorq TDCi 3.2L VG Turbo diesel engine 6-AT.

The Ranger's Duratorq TDCi 2.2L VG Turbo engine delivers 150 PS and 375Nm of torque. It offers fuel consumption of 8.1L/100 km2.

Equipped with the Duratorq TDCi 3.2L VG Turbo engine, the Wildtrak offers a power output of 200 PS with a hefty 470Nm of torque. The fuel consumption of the five-cylinder diesel engine in a combined cycle is among the leader in its class with fuel consumption at 8.91L/100 km2.

What's also notable about the Ranger is its water-wading capability.
Ford said it is among the best in the segment, with the Hi-Rider, XLT and Wildtrak models being able to wade through up to 800mm of water even when fully laden. It also boasts outstanding payload capacity of more than 1,400kg on some variants.

Safety is also improved this time around.
In addition to Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), other standard safety features include:
Load Adaptive Control (LAC): Optimal vehicle stability to help drivers manage their load
Emergency Brake Assist (EBA): Provides additional brake pressure in emergency stopping manoeuvres
Emergency Brake Light: Signals to other drivers by flashing the indicators when the vehicle decelerates quickly

In addition, the premium Ranger 3.2L Wildtrak is equipped with Electronic Stability Program (ESP), which uses advanced sensors to continuously monitor the path the vehicle is travelling on and compares it to the path the driver wants to follow, as indicated by the steering wheel.
Other features in the Wildtrak that assist vehicle stability and control include:
Hill Descent Control (HDC): Helps the driver on steep downhill grades
Hill Launch Assist (HLA): Helps the driver pull away on steep climb

Roll-Over Mitigation (ROM): Helps prevent the vehicle getting into a roll-over situation.
New and standard on on XLT variants are Bluetooth with Voice Control connectivity while the Wildtrak variant has a Dual Zone Climate Control as an added feature.

Ford Export & Growth Operations (Asia Pacific) regional manager David Westerman said "the all-new Ranger is the first pickup truck to be built under the One Ford strategy and has benefited tremendously from the full engineering expertise of Ford around the world."

Using the latest computer technologies, the product development team conducted about 30,000 computer-aided assessments on areas such as safety, durability, ergonomics, vehicle dynamics and aerodynamics during the virtual phase.

Of these, 7,500 virtual assessments were carried out in the under-body to ensure a robust vehicle foundation and more than 10,000 virtual assessments on the upper-body to align styling and functional requirements.
Once the all-new Ford Ranger prototypes were ready, they were tested extensively in 15 countries around the world during which they had to face severe heat and cold, monsoon rains, high altitudes as well as rushing rivers, arid deserts and potholed roads.

The prototypes clocked more than a million kilometres on the road supported by countless hours of exhaustive testing in state-of-the-art laboratories.

"The all-new Ranger is brought to you by Ford, a company that knows trucks, and can take on anything you throw at it. That's why we say it's 'all-new Ford Ranger versus the world'," said Westerman.
There is a waiting period of one year for the Wildtrak variant while it's three months for the XLT.
In Malaysia, Ford's 2011 retail sales soared 145 per cent partly driven by the strong performance from full-year Ranger sales, which rose more than 17 per cent from the previous year to 2,347 units. Since the Ford Ranger entered the Malaysian market in 1999, a total of over 35,000 Rangers have been sold.

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Honda Confirms 2013 Civic Updates, Mum on Specifics


As we've expected for a few months, Honda will update its Civic for 2013, just one model year after redesigning the popular compact. It's a response to criticisms, including ours, over the car's lackluster handling and cheap interior, though we still recommend the Civic for its roomy cabin and comfortable seats.
The criticism fell on receptive ears. John Mendel, head of American Honda, acknowledged the missteps in the Civic's quality late last year. Honda says the Civic now has "interior and exterior refinements" for 2013.
What exactly are they? The automaker remains mum.

"This is the only info we are going to release," company spokesman Chuck Schifsky said in an email. "Our plan is to hold a media briefing regarding the changes to the Civic for the '13 model year close to the on-sale date late this fall."

The Civic's downfalls have done little to stop sales, which are up 23% through May with slight dealer incentives. Naturally, we'll detail what’s changed once Honda releases more info.
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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Car review: VW Beetle

VW Beetle

Certain cars wrap themselves around your heart and no matter how many miles you drive, you never forget them. Same for songs, lovers, films…

The first VW Beetle I travelled in belonged to Birgit, my friend's German mother. It must be 35 years ago, but I can picture that car so clearly. It was a biscuity beige with woven plastic seats. I can still hear that distinctive rasp from its rear-mounted engine and hear Birgit cursing in German as she wrestled with its knackered gears. One day she turned to us in the back and abruptly said: "Listen, boys, when you are married, if there is ever anything strange you want to do in the bedroom, don't ask your wife…" We sat in silence as her voice trailed off. A few minutes later I saw her wipe a tear from her cheek with the back of her hand.

It seems like another life, but the latest Beetle VW has just launched to replace the New Beetle of 1998 (that in turn replaced the original Beetle of 1938) is so reminiscent of the original that anyone over the age of about 30 will soon be accelerating straight down memory lane. The car is such a return to form that when I first fired up the 160PS TSi petrol engine I was amazed it didn't rattle the windows with that familiar old clatter. To be honest I was a little disappointed, too.

Retro cars are big business these days – just look at the Fiat 500 and the Mini (I'm still hoping Citroën will do the same with its 2CV) – but we mustn't let gorging on nostalgia confuse the picture. The old cars these new vehicles replace share a name and a cultural identity with their ancestors, but that's as far as it goes. These newbies are safe, usable, reliable and comfortable, while their progenitors were little more than gussied-up death traps.

Before you throw away your Janis Joplin tape and flush the LSD down the toilet, you'll be pleased to hear the new Beetle brilliantly captures the spirit of Herbie and Woodstock while also packing plenty to convert a new generation of Beetlemaniacs.

More than 22.5m Beetles have been sold – it's the third most successful car of all time, just behind the VW Golf and Toyota Corolla. So this new design has some big shoes to fill. It's front-engined, front-wheel driven, and has three doors and four seats. It's longer, wider and lower (aren't we all) than the outgoing model, but it is also sportier and more masculine. There's no sign of that hellish "bud vase". The bonnet and roof lines are less curved and the windscreen is inclined at a much steeper angle – which again harks back to the flat screens of the old cars. The new car has also achieved a 5-star safety rating and comes with a choice of three petrol or two diesel engines. I drove the 1.4-litre Sport, which packed more vim and verve into its handling than you should rightfully expect from a bunchbacked Beetle.

There are so many faithful design points – from the top-hinged glovebox to the running boards and hooded lights – that you feel the car has been created by a bunch of sunkissed old hippies with the Love Bug ringtone on their phones. It's almost a surprise it doesn't come with a big 53 on the doors.

A word of warning

Planning a road trip to France? Breathalysers are to be compulsory from 1 July. As of today,France is taking a new approach in battling drink driving by legally requiring every driver, including visitors from the UK and elsewhere, to carry a single-use breathalyser kit. However, under the new rule, drivers caught without a breathalyser will only be cautioned until November – after that point anyone caught without the kit will face an €11 fine.

The single-use breathalyser kit needed under the new rule can be used to check the driver's blood alcohol level. The legal limit in France is 0.5 grams per litre (50mg per 100ml of blood – lower than the 80mg limit in the UK). The new kit will allow people to test themselves as well as others if they suspect they are over the limit.

Single-use breathalysers cost between €0.50 and €1.50 and the authorities are trying to make sure there are enough available before the law comes into force. Breathalyser tests carrying the blue circular "NF" logo are recommended in France to comply with the legislation (this is the equivalent of the BSI kite mark in Britain), and they can be purchased online ahead of travelling. However, there are many products being sold as French breathalysers, but these won't necessarily satisfy the French police known as the Gendarmerie unless they are on an approved list. Green Flag, the breakdown service, is advising motorists to carry at least two NF-certified breathalysers at all times, so that one can be used if necessary while the other is kept to produce if requested by police.

Green Flag reminds us that anyone driving in France is already required to carry a warning triangle and a fluorescent safety vest. The vest should be carried inside the car and not the car boot. Failure to have these in the car can lead to a fine of €90. Other items required are a first aid kit, fire extinguisher and spare bulbs for car lamps, lenses and reflectors.

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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Could your car be designated as a classic

A CLASSIC car is any vehicle treasured because it has become special by virtue of its age.
That's the definition used by the Amber Valley Classic Car Club, a friendly group of motoring enthusiasts based in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
  1. VintageCars555x370
    Anything after 1945 is designated a classic
The purists will tell you that a veteran car must be pre 1904; a vintage vehicle dates from the end of the Great War until 193o, and those made up to the start of the Second World War are dubbed post vintage thoroughbreds.
Anything after 1945 is designated a classic, and the group is widening with each decade that passes.
You know you're getting older when a motor that was once an exciting new model is now a classic.
But it isn't just glamorous or sporty ranges that qualify; even the early Ford Fiesta is now counted an enduring favourite.
Research for MoneySupermarket shows that Volkswagen Beetles are the more popular historic car still being driven.
The study looked at 34 million enquiries that passed through the MoneySupermarket car insurance channel during the 12 months up to the end of March this year.
Volkswagen cleaned up, with the Beetle proving to be the most popular pre-1980 car on the road. Its successor, the Golf, is the most common 1980s and early-1990s car still being driven.
And the VW Beetle also tops the category of tax-exempt vehicles - those registered before 1973 -making up 70 per cent of all “classic” cars on the road.
Keith Tansey, of the Amber Valley club, said: “It is nice to see the variety. These cars are part of the heritage. People like to see the different types and remember the vehicles their parents drove.
“Most of the cars in the club are from the early 1970s,” said Keith.
He regularly drives a 1994 MGRV8 and also owns a 1949 MG Midget and is a member of the MG Owners Club.
Keith keeps his costs down by doing basic maintenance himself and says he has pulled his older car to bits a couple of times.
Both vehicles are garaged, which helps when it comes to insurance.
Classic cars are often quoted cheaper premiums because they are considered to be better maintained and driven less than other cars, but there are a number of things you need to consider when looking for classic car insurance.
Although HMRC defines a classic car as one that is over 20 years old and has an agreed value of £15,000 or more, there is no standard definition for insurance purposes so you should always check the insurers' thresholds before getting a quote to ensure that you get the right level of cover.
You should also get an agreed valuation on your vehicle as, without one, many insurers will only pay out the 'market value' should your car be written off and this could leave you with an insurance shortfall.
In addition, you should check whether your insurer offers genuine or after-market replacement parts. Although it may be the case that you get a cheaper quote from insurers that use non-genuine replacement parts, you may want authentic replacements, particularly if you have a valuable classic in stock condition.
It may also be worth joining a classic car owners' club as this could net you a discount of up to 15% on your policy price and, if you decide to attend any rallies or shows, then you should be covered for this under the terms of your classic policy.
Insurers will also often stipulate that you can only cover a limited number of miles under the terms of your classic car policy and so you may find that, if you are going to cover more than 7,500 miles in any one year, then your policy price may increase or you may have to take out a standard insurance policy.
If you do have an agreed mileage limit then you must make sure that you do not exceed this as this may invalidate your cover.
Also, as with any type of insurance policy, you should shop around for the best quote and also get quotes from companies that offer specialist classic car insurance as these can often work out cheaper than those offered by mainstream insurers.
One of the quickest and most convenient ways of doing this is to use MoneySupermarket's insurance comparison tool where you can get quotes from more than 100 companies in less than five minutes.
The last Labour Government tried to take some older models off the road to be replaced by more eco-friendly models.
Its scrappage scheme, also designed to kick-start thebeleaguered motor industry, ran from May 2009 to March 2010 and was a voluntary scheme for motor dealers who would give car buyers £2,000 off the price of a new vehicle if you let them scrap your old one.
But for many trading up was still not a financially viable option, even with the cash incentive.
This is why all those veteran vehicles remain on the road, kept running through a combination of regular servicing, considerate driving and probably a little TLC every now and then.
We know that Volkswagens top the list of older vehicles still being driven but, if you have any of the vehicles in the table below, you could possibly have a car for life.

 Top 10 surviving  pre-1980s cars Top 10 surviving  1980s cars Top 10 surviving early 1990s  cars (pre-1996)
 1. Volkswagen Beetle 1. Volkswagen Golf 1. Volkswagen Golf
 2. MGB 2. Austin Rover Mini 2. Nissan Micra
 3. Austin Mini  3. Ford Escort  3. Vauxhall Corsa
 4. Land Rover 88  4. Land Rover 90  4. Vauxhall Astra
5. Morris Minor  5. Ford Fiesta 5. Ford Fiesta
 6. MG Midget 6. Peugeot 205  6. Honda Civic
 7. Ford Escort 7. Ford Capri 7. Volkswagen Polo
 8. Triumph Spitfire 8. Volkswagen Polo 8. Peugeot 106
 9. Triumph Stag 9. Porsche 944 9. Ford Escort
 10. Triumph Herald 10. Ford Sierra 10. Land Rover Discovery

A wide range of vehicles made the list, from 4X4s to sporty two-seaters, which suggests all sorts of people from all walks of life are keeping older cars on the road.
But what does your car say about you? Are other people's perceptions of you driven by the car you drive? MoneySupermarket has looked into this too, so let's look at the findings.
You are what you drive?
We may not like to admit it but we are often judged on our appearance, and the MoneySupermarket research found that the type of car you drive certainly has an effect on how you are treated by other road users.
The study of 2,500 drivers found that over a third claimed they are more likely to be polite and courteous to people who own the same make of car as they do.
Other findings indicated that Ford drivers are the most polite on the roads - they are most likely to indicate and let other drivers out at junctions. They're closely followed by drivers of Audis, Citroens, Vauxhalls and Peugeots.
On the flipside, white van drivers admitted to being the least polite on the road along with Porsche, Range Rover, Land Rover and Mercedes drivers.
However, despite the fact that a quarter of them admitted parking without considering whether others can use the spaces next to them and half admitting that they fail to stop at zebra crossings, BMW drivers do not consider themselves among the top 10 rudest drivers.

Source :
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2012 Mitsubishi Lancer SE

DAMASCUS, Md. (MarketWatch) – The good news is that Mitsubishi continues to improve its products. The less-than-good news is that the competition does the same. 

But there are some impressive things about Mitsubishi’s JP:7211 +2.56% new SE model that puts it on the major-league playing field, albeit a turf it must share with intense competitors. 

The newest engine is just the shot in the arm the Lancer needed — a 2.4-liter, inline 4 that cranks out 168 hp at 6,000 rpm and 167 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. That is 20 more horsepower over the base 4 and a gain of slightly better than 20 pound-feet of torque. 

Enter a freeway, and the value of the extra power is apparent. The Lancer quickly fits into fast-moving traffic and settles down nicely at cruising speed, hampered little by the standard CVT tranny. I would guess zero to 60 in the 8-second range. The car had no problem scooting around downtown Washington, D.C., either.
Sharp exterior styling gives the Lancer a contemporary look. The seats are all-day comfortable and it was easy to get settled behind the leather-wrapped wheel despite a lack of telescoping. There was lots of room for a 6-foot-tall driver. Two 6-foot adults can be accommodated to the rear, and that surprised me. 

The radio and ventilation controls could not have been easier to use, with real-world knobs that the majority of drivers can identify with. There was no navigation system in the test car. Rear visibility was excellent.
Interior materials continue to lag behind the increasing trend to fancier insides, even among economy models. There were a lot of hard plastic surfaces, yet the Mitsu at least offered stitching along the top of the dash panel, and nice touches when on door trim. We did experience a passenger-side seat belt that locked in the fully retracted stage. Two days later it seemed to have found its own solution and worked just fine. 

The Lancer also seemed to have perfected the idea of max sun glare. It made seeing the speedo and tach more difficult even with white numerals on a black background. A between-the-instruments information display was mostly invisible during the day, as was the time display. 

Handling was slightly better than I expected, and the Lancer can be fun on twisty back roads. In my one week test I got 24 mpg on regular unleaded. That was in line with the EPA rating of 22-29.
The standard four-speaker audio system was just okay, until you consider the bottom line for this car. And that was one of its strong suits. The upscale SE model went out the door for $20,990 with no options. That price includes delivery and handling. 

The Lancer still trails the Hyundai KR:005380 -0.64% Elantra, Nissan NSANY +3.26% JP:7201 +1.91% Sentra and the fun-to-drive Mazda MZDAY +2.80% JP:7261 +3.88% 3 series, but if you’re looking for a sharp-looking, four-passenger car with comfy seats, good economy and ride, it’s worth a spin. If you live in snow country, the SE’s standard all-wheel drive might make it more appealing.


The 2013 Ford F -4.96% Escape is a huge improvement, with outside styling and vastly better interior. The test model I drove through city traffic was comfortable and seemed to have plenty of power. The new interior treatment made the Escape look more expensive that its $25,000 asking price. There will be plenty of models and options for customers to consider depending on their needs and pocketbook. I look forward to driving one for a more extensive test. 

Mazda is closing down the assembly line on the rotary engine RX-8 sports car. It will go to the big garage in the sky loved by enthusiasts. But it was tough on oil consumption, emissions and gas mileage.
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Friday, June 29, 2012

Spy Shots: New 2013 Ford Mondeo Sedan Undergoing Tests in Europe

 Haven’t we already seen the next generation of Ford's Mondeo? Well, the answer to that question is a wishy-washy yes and no.
To explain, Ford has decided to go global with its new mid-size offerings, meaning that the new Fusion for North America and the Mondeo for Europe and other markets around the world are for the most part, one and the same.
So nothing really new to see in these spy pictures of a lightly camouflaged prototype that was snapped testing in the European Alps
During the presentation of the Fusion at the Detroit Show in January, Ford also dropped two pictures of the per-production new Mondeo, but did not provide any information other than that it will go on sale in Europe in early 2013.
We expect to see Ford's rival to the Volkswagen Passat and Citroen C5 to make its European debut at the Paris Motor Show in September.
Besides the modified turning signals on the headlamps, the Mondeo will also feature a re-tuned suspension adapted for European roads and a wider engine range that will include several diesel options such as Ford's 1.6-liter, 2.0-liter and 2.2-liter four-cylinder TDCIs. 
The diesels will complement Ford's 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged petrol engines. We are still waiting for Ford's decision on whether it will offer hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the Mondeo.
Last week, however, Ford confirmed that its inflatable rear seatbelt, which combines attributes of an airbag and a conventional seatbelt to reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear-seat passengers, will make its European debut on the new Mondeo.

A station wagon version of the Mondeo is likely to make its appearance within the next year or so.

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Mitsubishi ASX Compact SUV Test Drive Review in Malaysia

A few years ago, when world’s fuel prices were soaring, many automakers suffered sales losses in their SUV and large passenger car segments. However, today’s market is showing a bright future and many automakers is gradually launching their SUVs in all sizes and segments.  One of the stunning SUV concepts was the Lamborghini’s Urus concept that unveiled at 2012 Beijing Auto Show. The president of Automobili Lamborghini – Stephan Winkelmann said, “The Urus is a very concrete idea for the future of Lamborghini”. This is unbelievable, isn’t it? It means that your new sedan is old school.

Though, not all our journalists in FastMotoring know how to appreciate crossovers, trucks and SUVs. In reality, the world market of SUVs has been growing strongly since 2005 due to its characteristic and stylish appearance. In average, SUVs are dominating between 10-20% market shares in all regions. Most likely, because the modern SUVs are simply better, wiser, practical and (feel) safer.

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Back to the subject, we have recently picked up two compact SUVs for test drive in Malaysia. In this review, I will be presenting the 2012 Mitsubishi ASX 2.0 which comes with upgraded package specially for Malaysian market with the price tag below RM139k (on-the-road without insurance). It is also known as Mitsubishi RVR in Japan.

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A Mitsubishi ASX in white pearl colour is handed over to us for a review. At the first sight, it is basically a Mitsubishi Lancer affixed with a set of 4×4 wheels and tyres. I probably thought of that because the fronts carry the same facade and sidelining that similar to the Lancer. Indeed, the ASX shared the same platform as the Outlander, Lancer and Lancer Evolution X.

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The look and feel of the car is fairly similar to the Lancer. It is not 100% exactly the same but I would say 80%. Inside the car, the ASX is having the same steering wheel with paddle shifters, fully automatic air conditioner with air filter, auto cruise control and dual airbags with driver’s knee airbag like the Lancer GT. The nappa leather seats (which I like the smell) with enhanced comfort are also part of the ASX offering and the 60:40 split rear seatbacks can be folded down completely flat to make more space.

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I recalled back in 2010 when I was in Australia for a vacation, I found one of the top grades of the ASX comes with Rockford Fosgate premium audio system with satellite navigation from the factory. Conversely for the Malaysian model, it comes with a Kenwood’s 2-DIN LCD touch screen headunit with 6 speakers (4 speakers and 2 tweeters) instead. Yet of course, the aux audio jack and USB port are available for any portable media players. But, there is no audio control buttons on the steering wheel.

Before you engage to the reverse gear, you need to ensure the headunit needs to power on before the rear view is display on the screen.

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The 2012 model come with more standard features for the ASX, like the keyless entry with push start button and smart key system, leather seats with enhanced comfort, and a set of 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped with 215/60 R17 tyres including the spare.

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On the technical aspect and performance, the ASX is sharing a similar 4B11 aluminium block 2.0-litre 16v inline-4 DOHC MIVEC engine that coupled with INVECS-III CVT transmission (w/ 6 virtual gears) as the current Mitsubishi Lancer GT 2.0 and Proton Inspira 2.0P model.

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From the Mitsubishi’s factory in Japan, the ASX is available with front-wheel (2WD) and all-wheel (4WD) drive variants. However, the ASX in Malaysia is a front-wheel (2WD) drive model.

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The ASX’s engine is churning a maximum output of 150PS @ 6,000rpm with a maximum torque of 197Nm @ 4,200rpm. Because it is a CVT transmission, the acceleration and gear shifting are smoother and more responsive than conventional auto gearbox. The steering of the ASX with tilt and telescopic adjustments is powered by electric instead of conventional hydraulic system. Although the CVT gearboxes and Electric Power Steering (EPS) are not many people favor but it is proven to be more fuel efficient by many automakers. It’s not rocket science, we believe those are the key reasons why the Mitsubishi ASX is one of the most fuel economical and low emission compact SUV in the market as claimed.

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The safety features of the ASX come with Active Stability Control (ASC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), dual front airbags with driver’s knee airbag, seatbelts with pretensioners, front sensor with off button, rear reverse sensor and force limiters and Hill Start Assist (HSA). The HSA is pretty useful when you start off on a steep uphill slope which I have tested. The HSA is clever enough to detect the angle and automatically maintains the braking force until the accelerator is applied.

It is also a norm that the modern SUVs offer better handling and more aerodynamic than before. Of course, the ASX is not in the exclusion list. The overall ride and comfort of the ASX is pretty good because the SUV come with a wide tread and long wheelbase. The suspension of the ASX is setup with the MacPherson struts on the front and multi-link on the rear. The rating of the shock absorber from the factory is well-tuned which able to deliver great cornering stability, control and comfort.

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Because we are ‘FastMotoring’ people that travel around the globe just because of cars, our wish lists for a motor vehicle could be a little fancy. After driving the ASX for a couple of days, I found the ASX can even better off if the car is featured with an auto climate control with digital display, auto wiper and auto headlamp with High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps.

On the other hand, the ASX is currently having a semi-auto headlamp instead, which it is capable to auto-cut off the lamps when the ignition is off to prevent battery drainage, just like the Mitsubishi Triton.

The rear passenger seats are rather straight though it provides a good lumbar back support. I suppose if there is a bit more rear seat legroom, it will be awesome for sure. I also found the engine is noisy at high revs.

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Last of all, Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia only offers the ASX with one variant. The Mitsubishi ASX 2.0 is priced at RM 138,156.10 on-the-road without insurance and available in 4 colours – White Pearl, Mica Black, Red Metallic and Titanium Grey. Lastly, the ASX includes a 3-year/100,000 km warranty as well as Mitsubishi’s 2-year free maintenance package.

Optional Accessories

- Front Corner Extension – RM 1,230
- Front Under Cover – RM 1,080
- Rear Garnish – RM 790
- Chrome Plated Door Mirror Cover – RM 780
- Side Wind Deflector – RM 420
- Rear Bumper Plate – RM470
- Tailgate Protector – RM 390
- Shift Knob – RM 230
- Side Tray Lid (Left-side luggage box) – RM 190
- Side Tray Lid (Right-side luggage box) – RM 200
- Luggage Net – RM 200
- Luggage Mat – RM 120
- Scuff Plate – RM 490
- Large Rear Spoiler:-
White Pearl & Red Metallic – RM 1,590
Black Mica & Grey Metallic – RM 1,490

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