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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 : http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/car-designated-classic/story-16471187-detail/story.html
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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.

Notes

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.

Source : http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2012/06/spy-shots-new-2013-ford-mondeo-sedan.html
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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.

11771  620xfloat= img 5535 Mitsubishi ASX Compact SUV Test Drive Review in Malaysia
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.

12000  620xfloat= img 4042 Mitsubishi ASX Compact SUV Test Drive Review in Malaysia
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.

11997  620xfloat= img 4023 Mitsubishi ASX Compact SUV Test Drive Review in Malaysia
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.

12008  620xfloat= img 4113 Mitsubishi ASX Compact SUV Test Drive Review in Malaysia
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.

12009  620xfloat= img 4128 Mitsubishi ASX Compact SUV Test Drive Review in Malaysia
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.

12006  620xfloat= img 4105 Mitsubishi ASX Compact SUV Test Drive Review in Malaysia
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.

11773  620xfloat= img 5552 Mitsubishi ASX Compact SUV Test Drive Review in Malaysia
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.

12012  620xfloat= img 4167 Mitsubishi ASX Compact SUV Test Drive Review in Malaysia
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.

11774  620xfloat= img 5554 Mitsubishi ASX Compact SUV Test Drive Review in Malaysia
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

Nissan loads Altima with style, substance





The mid-size 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV can make you think you're in an upscale Infiniti. One of the keys to this car's excellence is its inherent quality.

The 2013 Nissan Altima

 

You're not going to see Lindsay Lohan crash a 2013 Nissan Altima into the back of a garbage truck. Your 10-year-old won't be hanging a poster of one on his bedroom wall next to a Lamborghini Aventador and Kobe Bryant. The car won't have a heavily scripted cameo in the next "Avengers" movie withRobert Downey Jr.'s character at the wheel.

Mid-size sedans don't get that kind of attention. This Nissan should.


The mid-size segment traditionally has the allure of a used toothbrush with none of the minty residue. Putting function long before form will have that effect on a car. But doing so also makes sense; cars such as the Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Malibu and the previous Nissan Altima are the bestselling cars the companies make. You don't sell 1,000 cars a day by offending the masses.


Yet the 2013 Altima 2.5 SV is so thoroughly conceived and executed, it might be the first time you've lusted over such garden-variety transportation since you took the training wheels off your bicycle. And this time, you don't even need a helmet.


One of the key elements to the new Altima's excellence is its inherent quality. Cars in the mid-size coterie are often an assemblage of compromises to keep costs manageable. Thus, doors sound hollow when you close them; interior panels are stamped out of hard, cheap plastic and an overflow of the world's noises (wind, road, compensatory Harley-Davidsons) seep into the cabin.


None of these problems plagued the Altima. Blindfold friends and take them for a ride in this Nissan and they'd swear you'd robbed an Infiniti dealership. The interior is one of the quietest and best-made in its class. Any button, switch or surface that occupants touch belies the car's economy, while the dashboard layout is clean and intuitive.


My solidly middle-class test car, a $24,880, pre-production Altima 2.5 SV, came standard with niceties like a backup camera, a color digital display in the instrument panel, dual-zone climate control and keyless entry. The most basic Altima 2.5 starts at $22,280, and all of them are put together by American hands in Nissan's plant in Smyrna, Tenn.


The new Altimas also come with NASA-inspired seats designed to reduce driver fatigue. Although Nissan has dubbed them Zero-Gravity seats, you should disavow notions of floating Jell-O or slow-motion back flips; they're still just seats.


But after my week with the car, I came away impressed with them; the chairs manage to squish and support at the same time. Unfortunately, the headrests are oddly positioned and hard as nails (maybe that's where they put the gravity). Interior room is average for this class, though rear headroom is a tad tight.


On the road, swaddled in your space seats and surrounded by the quality interior, the Altima's ride is comfortable but firm. Its predilections err more toward sporty driving than will other cars in this segment. This comes most sharply into focus when you toss the Altima into a turn and come out on the other side smiling rather than cringing.


This is possible largely because of a system on all new Altimas that will lightly feather the brake on the front inside wheel to reduce understeer. A well-balanced suspension design doesn't hurt; neither does shedding 80 pounds compared with the previous model.


Nissan is due kudos for giving the Altima impressive steering feel by way of an electronic-hydraulic power-assisted setup. Although it may be a smidge less fuel-efficient than the full-electric systems dominating many of today's autos, it's a trade-off you will appreciate every time you turn the wheel.


Unfortunately, the Altima does make a concession to fuel efficiency with its gearbox. Like its predecessor, the 2013 Altima comes with a continuously variable transmission. It's the sole detractor from the car's sporty demeanor and the general quietude of the interior.


A CVT, as these transmissions are known, gives a car essentially one gear with infinite ratios. This is instead of the five or six fixed ratios (normal humans call them speeds) on most automatic and manual transmissions. In theory, a CVT always has the engine running at optimum speed (rpm) relative to the vehicle's speed, and thus is more efficient.


But because a CVT is never shifting, it allows the engine to rev higher (and therefore louder) as you're accelerating than would a car with an automatic transmission. So be prepared for more engine noise than you might expect when really pushing the Altima.


This transmission also inhibits the four-cylinder model's sporting proclivities by not offering any manual shifting. A sport mode will mimic shifts for you, but there's no way to have absolute control over this gearbox.


Making amends for this privation is a rosy bouquet of fuel economy. The four-cylinder Altima 2.5 SV I tested is rated at 27 miles per gallon in the city and 38 on the highway. This means only hybrids and diesels beat it for efficiency in this class; it solidly thumps gas-powered competitors such as the Hyundai Sonata, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. During nearly 300 miles of testing in mostly city conditions, I averaged 25 mpg.


The 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine makes 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Other than its occasional noisiness, this engine is a good one and will move the car from zero to 60 in 7.4 seconds, according to Motor Trend.


A larger, 3.5-liter V-6 will run you $2,000 to $3,600 more, depending on the model. It's good for 270 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Control freaks rejoice: Altimas with the V-6 have paddle shifters with the CVT.


Finally, Nissan did everyone a favor and covered all this in a new, silky, wind-swept exterior. Previous Altimas were never ugly, but they lacked the sleek, polished look this 2013 model has. The headlights and taillights now wrap around the Altima's corners, and then stretch up the car's sides toward one another. Meanwhile, subtle morsels of chrome on the grille, door handles and trunk lid give the look an upscale air.


2013 Altimas are starting to trickle into dealerships and they should have no trouble selling as well as the previous popular version. This bodes well for Nissan, as it gives the company a strong head start on the all-new and highly anticipated versions of the Honda Accord and Ford Fusion due this fall. In the meantime, the 2013 Altima will have its sights set on toppling the sales-leading Toyota Camry, a task it should have all the right tools to accomplish.


Just don't let Lindsay drive one.

Source : http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/automotive/new/chi-2013-nissan-altima-review-20120628,0,6839743.story 

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Now a jam-busting car that can drive itself

English: Traffic Jam in Delhi Français : Un em...
English: Traffic Jam in Delhi Français : Un embouteillage à Delhi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It may sound like a James Bond movie stuff, but engineers have developed an advanced car which they say can drive itself on just the press of a button, providing much-needed relaxation to the motorist stuck in heavy traffic jams.

When the traffic jam ends and the car reaches 30mph, the auto-pilot -- called "Traffic Jam Assist" -- hands control of the vehicle back to the refreshed driver. The revolutionary technology, developed by engineers at
US auto major Ford, is expected to be available on several of its models within five years. Prototypes are being tested at Ford's European research and advanced engineering centre in Germany and in the US, the Daily Mail reported.

Experts said its widespread adoption could help speed up traffic caught in jams by up to 37 percent and reduce journey times by 20 percent by helping cars keep pace more efficiently with the flow of the traffic.
The technology works using a camera and radar behind the rear-view mirror which scans the road ahead by picking out the white lines marking the lane, plus any other traffic
.
Signals are then sent to the "brains" of the system in a computer central processing unit or "black box". Once a jam is detected, the car uses a voice command to ask the driver if they want to switch to Traffic Jam Assist.

If the answer is yes, then the car assumes command -- braking to stop a collision with the car in front or to slow down to meet its speed, and then accelerating to keep up with the flow of cars in front when they move off. It will even recognise a car that "cuts in" ahead of the vehicle in front and take appropriate braking action needed.

The system is designed only for motorways, but coping with the problems of urban traffic is just a matter of time, Ford bosses said.

Pim van der Jagt, MD of Ford's Aachen operation said, "The car will stay in the middle of the lane even when the motorway takes a curve. It will accelerate, brake and steer itself in a jam." However, he insisted that the driver still has to pay some attention. Ford research engineer Joseph Urhahne added: "Traffic Jam Assist could help make travelling through congestion a more relaxing experience and, by keeping pace with the flow of traffic, potentially help relieve road congestion."

Source : http://gadgets.ndtv.com/others/news/now-a-jam-busting-car-that-can-drive-itself-236633
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The future of vehicles? PayPal founder unveils 'Tesla' electric car which accelerates faster than a BMW and travels 300 miles on a top-up of £6.40

Elon Musk, the creator of the Tesla Model S electric car, has already revolutionised the world twice.
He co-founded PayPal, one of the staple payment methods on the internet, then founded the Space X rocket project, which launched last month and made him the first commercial operator in space.
Now his electric car attempts a motor revolution - packing as it does an electric engine that can do 0-60 in a silent 4.4 seconds, two 'boots' as there is no engine in the bonnet, and 300miles between charges - which, when it comes, only costs £6,40.
Elon says he hopes to 'break the illusion' about electric cars, and show they can be the best cars in the world.
Tesla Motors delivered Model S, the world’s 'first premium electric sedan', to its first customers at an invitation-only event at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California on Friday.
The company has already pre-sold this year's first batch of 5,000 and plans to ramp up production to 20,000 in 2013.
Just launched: A customer drives a a Tesla Model S out of the factory in Fremont, California
Just launched: A customer drives a a Tesla Model S out of the factory in Fremont, California

Unique features: There is storage space in both the boot and the bonnet, and the Tesla can be fully charged up for the cost of £6.40
Unique features: No emissions, there is storage space in both the boot and the bonnet, and the Tesla can be fully charged up for the cost of £6.40

Inside the cabin, buyers will find a 17in touchscreen to control the interior, which includes a web browser and also makes your cabin wifi-enabled so that you can hook your smartphone up to the in-car internet connection.

Tesla says the average customer will claw back $8,000 (£5,100) over five years in fuel costs - although a lot of that depends on fuel prices, and as the two class of models - the basic and the performance model - come in at $49,900 (£31,500) and $84,900 (£54,000), early buyers are likely to not be considering the savings.
Indeed, early buyers are said to include the Google guys - Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
Top models can do 0-60mph in just 4.4 seconds
Speedy yet efficient: Top models can do 0-60mph in just 4.4 seconds, at an equivalent of 89mpg

Fans and workers turn out to watch the first cars leave the showroom
Fans and workers turn out to watch the first cars leave the showroom
The base model can get 160 miles between charges, while the performance model can do 300 miles between charges.
Early reviews have praised the lightning-quick, BMW 5 Series-beating acceleration, the lack of emissions, and the low centre of gravity, as well as the stylings and lines of the vehicle.
Musk told Forbes that the car should be 'as easy to use as an iPad' and is about 'breaking a spell'.
He said: 'The world has been under this illusion that electric cars cannot be as good as gasoline cars, that if you have to go with an electric car you’re accepting the car is worse.
'What the Model S is about is breaking that illusion. It’s about showing that an electric car can be the best car in the world.
'We believe customers will discover that this is the best car in every dimension – performance, safety, handling, the technology, the interface, styling, aesthetics.
'It’s something that is fundamentally better.'
For the moment, it is a premium experience, but hopefully with time these models will become the affordable one.
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SEAT takes wraps off new Toledo

SEAT takes wraps off new Toledo


SEAT has unveiled its new Toledo – the of a model that has previously sold 860,000 units.
The reveal of the Toledo, described as a hatch with saloon styling, comes just after the closely-related Rapid from Skoda.

The will be launched initially in Spain and Portugal in mid-November and then in the UK in the first quarter of 2013. Other key markets are Germany, Mexico and Turkey.

At 4.48 metres, the new Toledo measures up four centimetres longer than its predecessor from 2004. While the Toledo II was a traditional booted saloon, the new car has a saloon-like profile but is a hatchback.

The car will use the latest Volkswagen Group engines – TSI petrol units in 1.2 74bhp and 1.4-litre 120bhp sizings, and a 1.6 common-rail TDI diesel of 104bhp. The bigger petrol unit will be offered with a seven-speed dual-shift gearbox (DSG).

The smaller petrol engine will be offered with SEAT’s Ecomotive programme with CO2 emissions of 116g/km, and the diesel 104g/km.

SEAT will add an 89bhp TDI variant to the range.
The Toledo will be on from early next year and SEAT will reveal more specification details and pricing closer to the car’s launch.
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Honda CR-Z with CVT launched in Malaysia

Honda CR-Z with CVT launched in Malaysia



The Japanese based automaker Honda has recently announced that the CR-Z model, equipped with a CVT transmission, has been launched in Malaysia.

According to the car manufacturer, the Honda CR-Z equipped with a CVT transmission, has a starting price of RM119,000 on the road, which means that the Asian model is RM4,000 more expensinve than the six-speed manual version. The Honda CR-Z with its CVT transmission is still coming with the same “classis” 100,000 km or three-year warranty, while the battery has a 140,000 km or a five-year warranty. Honda says that just about everything else, besides the transmission, has remained unchanged on the CR-Z model.

As a quick reminder, the Honda CR-Z is a compact vehicle marketed as a “sport hybrid coupe”, which is combining a hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain with a traditional sports car.

The CR-Z is being manufactured by Honda ever since 2010 at the Suzuka facility, in Japan, as a successor to the Honda Insight. The Honda CR-Z is coming with a three-door body style and the model is 4,080 mm long, 1,740 mm wide and 1,395 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,435 mm and a curb weight of 1,236 kg for the CVT version.

Source : http://www.inautonews.com/honda-cr-z-with-cvt-launched-in-malaysia
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