Friday, October 30, 2009

The Lamborghini Estoque is a concept car built by Lamborghini. Unlike current production Lamborghini cars, which are mid-engine two-seat sports cars, the Estoque is a four-door sedan.

The Estoque was introduced at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. The Estoque is the first front-engine vehicle by Lamborghini since the LM002 utility vehicle. Despite being classed as a concept car, the Estoque is being seriously considered for production. It is described as a "concept for a $230,000 four-door sedan". It currently houses a 5.2 litre V10 engine, although there has been speculation that this could be replaced by a V12, V8, or possibly even a hybrid or turbo-diesel engine.

As with other Lamborghinis, the Estoque derives its name from Spanish-style bullfighting. An estoque is a type of sword traditionally used by matadors.

It was reported on 22 March 2009 that Lamborghini had cancelled its production plans for the Estoque, citing poor economic conditions and the competition posed by related vehicles. However, it was further reported on 23 March 2009 that the Estoque had not reached the production planning stage and that the decision whether to produce the Estoque or not has been delayed, but was still being considered.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

General Motors thinks its products can hang with the best in the world, but many Americans don't agree. It's an issue that can be addressed with several years of carefully-planned marketing and patience.

Or with a schoolyard dare.

Those who know GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz could have predicted how this would turn out.

Lutz, a 77-year old former Marine Corps fighter pilot who delayed his retirement to guide the company's post-bankruptcy marketing efforts and is known for his brash nature, figured a race would do it. USA Today reports that the "septuagenarian marketing chief...will race a handful of high-priced, high-performance rivals at a New York track Thursday to put a fine point on GM's new slogan, ‘May the best car win.'"

The "best car" in this case, the company hopes, is the Cadillac CTS-V sedan. USA Today explains, "Lutz will pilot a Cadillac CTS-V with a 6.2-liter, supercharged V-8 rated 556 horsepower," around the race track at New York's Monticello Motor Club. "GM says it's a showroom stock - unmodified - CTS-V," running a little over $60,000.

One-hundred-twenty people applied to challenge Lutz, and seven were chosen. Los Angeles' Examiner reports, "Of the seven, three are auto journalists," while four are not auto industry professionals, but simply owners of other sport sedans who think they can beat Lutz in his Caddy. Among the vehicles chosen to race are a BMW M3, a BMW M5, and an Audi RS4.

At least one vehicle won't be racing, however. A journalist from the automotive blog Jalopnik accepted the challenge, and planned to show up in a Jaguar XFR on loan from Jaguar . . . until the company pulled the car out of the race. Jalopnik explains, "They're afraid the XFR can't handle the strain. Specifically, the brakes. Without better brake cooling," Jaguar officials, "are concerned the XFR just can't put the necessary laps in." Jalopnik's team, instead, will compete in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

Mercedes-Benz also declined to provide a car for the challenge. USA Today notes, "Mercedes-Benz spokesman Jeff Day says he declined to provide cars because of ‘how heavily the deck is stacked.' GM picked the venue, Lutz has racing experience and M-B is concerned -- as are other makers -- that there's no way to verify GM has not modified the car."

Lutz issued his challenge in an October 13 post on GM's FastLane blog. "If you own a car comparable to the Cadillac CTS-V (a 4-door production stock sport sedan) and you want to match up against me and the Cadillac, you can join us at Monticello," he wrote. "We're going to take away every last excuse people have not to consider our products...In other words, we believe we have achieved our goal of building the world's fastest sedan, but I look forward to putting that theory to the test."

We'll bring final results of the challenge tomorrow, but those who want to keep track during the day can follow the event's official twitter feed all day.

If you're in the market for a new car, check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars as well as this month's best car deals.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V is a small crossover SUV manufactured by the Japanese company Honda since 1996. It was loosely derived from the Honda Civic to satisfy a public demand for a sport-utility vehicle from Honda. There are discrepancies as to what "CR-V" stands for, with Honda sources in different markets citing different meanings.

Though Honda sales literature in UK reportedly makes references to "Compact Recreational Vehicle", other Honda references (including the official Honda Japan CR-V Fact Book and Honda Worldwide) cite "Comfortable Runabout Vehicle". It is produced in both all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive, although in many markets such as the United Kingdom and Australia, only all-wheel drive is offered.

Honda produces the CR-V in the United Kingdom and Japan for worldwide markets, and as of 2007, North American CR-Vs are produced in East Liberty, Ohio. The CR-V is produced for the Chinese market by the Dongfeng Honda Automobile Company, a joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Corporation.

Starting in fall 2007, North American CR-Vs will also be produced in Jalisco, Mexico in addition to the US, Japan, and Britain due to high demand. Honda executives considered making the CR-V as one of the first vehicles to be produced at Honda's new facility currently finishing construction in Greensburg, Indiana that opened in fall 2008; however, the facility will initially exclusively produce the Civic, which may free up space in East Liberty for CR-V production from the 2009 model year onward.

Elsewhere, the CR-V is Honda's smallest SUV other than the related Element sold in the United States and Canada, and the HR-V sold in Europe. In size, the CR-V slots between the Element and Pilot

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gran Turismo

The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is an upcoming car and was first displayed by BMW in 2009 at the Geneva Motor Show as a concept car. It is the first production-destined rendition for BMW's Progressive Activity Sedan (PAS) series of cars, its development code was F07. The 5 GT serves as a combination of a sport sedan, an SUV, and a Gran Turismo.

The F07 platform provides a vehicle length traditionally found in a BMW 7 Series, but with the headroom found in a BMW X5. The F07 also features a unique "bi-modal" trunk, similar to the Twin Door concept on the Skoda Superb, which may be opened in a traditional car like fashion, or the entire hatch may be open in a traditional SUV fashion for larger objects. The F07 is a derivative of the F10 platform that will underpin the sixth-generation of the 5 Series.

On January 30, 2009 BMW released a video "BMW Concept: Scribble Video". The video was the first public introduction into the thought process behind the design of the progressive activity vehicle series and the upcoming 5 GT.

It will launch as a 2010 model, with an expected price between $65,000 and $70,000, during the fourth quarter of 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Audi R8 is a sports car with a longitudinally mounted mid-engine, and uses Audi's 'trademark' quattro permanent four-wheel drive system. It was introduced by the German automaker Audi AG in 2006. The car was exclusively designed, developed, and manufactured by Audi AG's high performance private subsidiary company, quattro GmbH, and is derived from the Lamborghini Gallardo.

The fundamental construction of the R8 is based on the "Audi Space Frame", and uses an aluminium monocoque which is built around a space frame. The car is built by quattro GmbH in a newly renovated factory at Audi's 'aluminium site' at Neckarsulm in Germany.

In 2005, Audi announced that the name of the successful Audi R8 race car would be used for a new road car in 2007, the Audi R8, based on the Audi Le Mans quattro concept car, appearing at the 2003 International Geneva Motor Show, and 2003 Frankfurt International Motor Show.

The R8 road car was officially launched at the Paris Auto Show on 30 September 2006. There was some confusion with the name, which the car shares with the 24 Hours of Le Mans winning R8 Le Mans Prototype (LMP), and also the 1989 Mk2 Rover 200, codenamed R8.

The Audi R8 is used as a safety car in Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters and British Superbike Championship racing series.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Aston Martin Rapide is a four-door, high-performance sport saloon, which British luxury marque Aston Martin plans to introduce in early 2010 to compete with the Maserati Quattroporte and Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, along with the upcoming Audi A7, Porsche Panamera, and Lamborghini Estoque. It was first presented as a concept car at the North American International Auto Show in 2006.

The Rapide name is a reference to the Lagonda Rapide, a saloon car produced by Lagonda, now part of Aston Martin. The car is based on an Aston Martin DB9. The estimated price for the Rapide is around $260,000 US Dollars, although it is too soon to predict its price on the US market, the Rapide should be in full production in the US by Late 2010-early 2011.

Aston Martin has announced that the Rapide will be built at a dedicated plant at the Magna Steyr facility in Graz, Austria. Production will start in 2010 and the factory plans to build 2,000 per year. The production version will feature a full-length glass roof and LED light bars on the rear end, two firsts for Aston Martin.

The production version of the Rapide was shown at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.

A production version of the Rapide has been spotted on several occasions in Kuwait in July and August 2009, where it is undergoing weather and performance testing.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Saturn models

The 2009 Saturn models were the Sky roadster, the Aura sedan, the Astra hatchback, the Vue small crossover SUV and the Outlook full-size crossover SUV built off the GM Lambda platform

Some recent Saturns are virtually identical to certain Opel/Vauxhall models. For example, the 2008 Saturn Vue was a rebadged Opel Antara, while the Opel GT was based on the Saturn Sky. The Opel Astra was imported from Antwerp, Belgium as the Saturn Astra . On the other hand, the Saturn Aura, while sometimes compared to the Opel Vectra, is a unique model for the North American market similar to the Pontiac G6.

The company offers two sub-lines of vehicles: "Red Line" Saturns are performance-oriented, while "Green Line" cars are more environmentally friendly hybrids. The Vue and Ion Red Line models, launched in 2004, have been joined by Vue and Aura Green Lines for the 2007 model year and a Sky Red Line the same model year. Saturn's Green Line vehicles utilize mild hybrid technology.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid is a gasoline-electric hybrid powered version of the mid-size Fusion sedan launched to the U.S. market in March 2009, with an initial sale price of US$27,270. EPA ratings for the Ford Fusion Hybrid are 41 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. In city driving a full tank delivers 700 miles. In April 2009 editors of Kelley Blue Book named the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid to its 2009 list of "Top 10 Green Cars".

The Fusion Hybrid qualifies for a hybrid tax credit of US$3,400 if purchased by March 31, 2009. The credit drops to US$ 1,700 if purchased by September 30, 2009, and to US$850 if purchased by March 31, 2010. This credit is scheduled to phase out by April 1, 2010.

This model gets better fuel economy than the Toyota Camry Hybrid, the Nissan Altima Hybrid, and the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, viewed as its competitors in the mid-size sedan segment. However, the Toyota Prius 5-door hatchback still has the best fuel economy in vehicles considered mid-size by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, though it has less interior room and is packaged as a shorter, narrower, but taller hatchback.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hybrid Synergy Drive, (HSD) is a set of hybrid car technologies developed by Toyota and used in the company's Prius, Highlander Hybrid, Camry Hybrid, It is also used in the Nissan Altima Hybrid. HSD technology produces a 'full hybrid' vehicle and allows the car to perform on the electric motor only as opposed to other brand hybrids which cannot and are considered 'mild hybrids'; it also combines an electric drive and a continuously variable transmission.

The Synergy Drive is a drive-by-wire system with no direct mechanical connection between the engine and the engine controls: both the gas pedal/accelerator and the gearshift lever in an HSD car merely send electrical signals to a control computer.

General Motors and DaimlerChrysler's Global Hybrid Cooperation is similar in that it combines the power from a single engine and two motors. In contrast, Honda's Integrated Motor Assist uses a more traditional ICE and transmission where the flywheel is replaced with an electric motor.

In the "standard" car design the alternator (AC generator) and starter (DC motor) are considered accessories that are attached to the internal combustion engine (ICE) which normally drives a transmission to power the wheels propelling the vehicle. A battery is used only to start the car's internal combustion engine and run accessories when the engine is not running.

The alternator is used to recharge the battery and run the accessories when the engine is running. HSD replaces the gear box (transmission), alternator and starter motor with a pair of powerful motor-generators[1] (designated MG1 and MG2, ~60 Hp total) with a computerized shunt system to control them, a mechanical power splitter that acts as a second differential, and a battery pack that serves as an energy reservoir. The motor-generator uses power from the battery pack to propel the vehicle at startup and at low speeds or under acceleration. The ICE may or may not be running at startup.

When higher speeds, faster acceleration or more power for charging the batteries is needed the ICE is started by the motor-generator (acting as a starter). These features allow the ICE to normally be turned off for traffic stops—accessory power (including air conditioning if needed) is normally provided by the battery pack.

When a moving vehicle operator wants the vehicle to slow down the initial travel of the brake pedal engages the motor-generator(s) into generator mode converting much of the forward motion into electrical current flow which is used to recharge the batteries while slowing down the vehicle. In this way the forward momentum regenerates (or converts) much of the energy used to accelerate the vehicle back into stored electrical energy.

(See regenerative braking) Harder braking action engages standard front disk and rear drum brakes which are also provided for faster stops and emergency use. This wastes energy which could have been recovered and is discouraged for normal use.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SEAT Tribu

The SEAT Tribu is a compact crossover SUV to be built by Spanish automaker SEAT, S.A.. The concept car was shown at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show and featured three doors and four bucket seats . This concept was designed entirely by former Lamborghini designer Luc Donckerwolke. Since then it has been given the production go-ahead, and is expected to go on sale in the first half of 2010.

In August 2008, official SEAT designs of the production model were submitted to the World Intellectual Property Organization and subsequently leaked. Several car magazines were quick to turn these official gray-scale pictures into computer generated images that show the Tribu in near final form. Unsurprisingly, the concept car has been changed somewhat, and now has five doors and a more conventional boot opening.

The Tribu is expected to be a rebadged version of the Volkswagen Tiguan, and shall be produced in SEAT's main plant at Martorell, Spain, next to the upcoming Audi Q3

In September 2009 the manufacturer announced a postponement of the Trib├╣’s launch because of economic pressures affecting SEAT. The priority had become to ensure a reasonable return on the company’s existing recently launched or updated models such as the Exeo and Ibiza. The introduction of the Trib├╣ would not take place until after production of the Audi Q3, scheduled for 2011, had been successfully implemented at the company’s Martorell plant.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A few days before its official debut at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Salon, Toyota exposed its new Mark X that has been redesigned for the 2010 model year. The Mark X is a mid-size sports sedan that shares the same rear-wheel drive platform with the JDM Toyota Crown and Lexus GS models. It is obtainable in Japan and certain Asian markets. In addition to the refreshed exterior that gains newly styled front and rear ends, Toyota has also updated the interior with a revised instrument panel and center console.

Furthermore, Toyota claims that shoulder portion of the entrance trim for the front and rear seats has been pushed outward by 25 mm (total for left and right), while the distance between the front seats has been increased by 20 mm, resulting in a roomier interior.

The Mark X is offered in Japan with a choice of two engines, a 2.5-liter V6 that makes 203HP and 24.8 kgm aof peak torque, and a 3.5-liter V6 with 318HP at 38.7 kgm. Both engines are coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters on the steering wheel. The 2.5 V6 model can also be joint with an all-wheel drive system.

Other highlights include a new Radar Cruise Control system, equipped with a brake-control function that can maintain a fixed distance with a car in front, an Adaptive Front-lighting System and the Hill-start Assist Control.

In Japan prices range from 2,380,000 yen for the basic 250G with the 2.5 V6 and rear-wheel drive to 3,800,000 yen for the top-spec 350S L-Package. Buyers can also opt for factory-customized versions of the Mark X

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A turbocharger

A turbocharger, or turbo, is a gas compressor that is used for forced-induction of an internal combustion engine. a form of supercharger, the purpose of a turbocharger is to increase the density of air entering the engine to create more power. However, a turbocharger has the compressor powered by a turbine, driven by the engine's own exhaust gases, rather than direct mechanical drive as with many other superchargers.


The turbocharger has four main components. The turbine (almost always a radial turbine) and impeller/compressor wheels are each contained within their own folded conical housing on opposite sides of the third component, the center housing/hub rotating assembly (CHRA).

The housings fitted around the compressor impeller and turbine collect and direct the gas flow through the wheels as they spin. The size and shape can dictate some performance characteristics of the overall turbocharger. Often the same basic turbocharger assembly will be available from the manufacturer with multiple housing choices for the turbine and sometimes the compressor cover as well.

This allows the designer of the engine system to tailor the compromises between performance, response, and efficiency to application or preference. Twin-scroll designs have two valve-operated exhaust gas inlets, a smaller sharper angled one for quick response and a larger less angled one for peak performance.

The turbine and impeller wheel sizes also dictate the amount of air or exhaust that can be flowed through the system, and the relative efficiency at which they operate. Generally, the larger the turbine wheel and compressor wheel, the larger the flow capacity. Measurements and shapes can vary, as well as curvature and number of blades on the wheels. Variable geometry turbochargers are further developments of these ideas.

The center hub rotating assembly (CHRA) houses the shaft which connects the compressor impeller and turbine. It also must contain a bearing system to suspend the shaft, allowing it to rotate at very high speed with minimal friction. For instance, in automotive applications the CHRA typically uses a thrust bearing or ball bearing lubricated by a constant supply of pressurized engine oil.

The CHRA may also be considered "water cooled" by having an entry and exit point for engine coolant to be cycled. Water cooled models allow engine coolant to be used to keep the lubricating oil cooler, avoiding possible oil coking from the extreme heat found in the turbine. The development of air-foil bearings has removed this risk.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Ford Fusion Hybrid is a gasoline-electric hybrid powered version of the mid-size Ford Fusion sedan developed by the Ford Motor Company, and launched to the U.S. market in March 2009 as a 2010 model. The Fusion Hybrid is manufactured at Ford's Hermosillo Stamping & Assembly plant, located in Sonora, Mexico. Ford set a modest sales target of about 25,000 vehicles a year for the Fusion hybrid and the similar Mercury Milan. In April 2009 editors of Kelley Blue Book named the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid to its 2009 list of "Top 10 Green Cars

The hybrid electric version of the Fusion was announced at the 2005 North American International Auto Show, along with the public introduction of the original 2006 Fusion. At that time Ford announced that the hybrid version was scheduled to be introduced in early 2009 for the 2010 model year, for a suggested retail price of US$27,270. The new Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Sport officially debuted at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2008

The Fusion Hybrid was made available for press testing in December 2008 and launched to the U.S market in March 2009. During the same month two other new hybrid models also came on sale, the Honda Insight and the Mercury Milan. During the few days that were available to the public, Ford's new Fusion and Milan hybrids sold a combined 451 units, representing 3.0% of all Fusion and Milan models sold in March 2009.
According to Ford, the vehicle was built to have a fuel efficiency of 41 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway by EPA standards. On December 2008, Green Car Congress staff reported they had obtained in-city mileage of 43.1 mpg on the streets of Los Angeles. In addition, a Los Angeles Times reporter informed in December 2008 that he had obtained 52 mpg in mixed city-highway driving with little difficulty.

The Fusion is the first new hybrid vehicle the Ford brand offered in five years, and is the second hybrid vehicle after the Ford Escape Hybrid. The Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids join the Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid for Mexican-built hybrid vehicles

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is a hybrid vehicle with batteries that can be recharged by connecting a plug to an external electric power source. It shares the characteristics of both traditional hybrid electric vehicles (also called charge-maintaining hybrid electric vehicles), having an electric motor and an internal combustion engine; and of battery electric vehicles, also having a plug to connect to the electrical grid (it is a plug-in vehicle). Most PHEVs on the road today are passenger cars, but there are also PHEV versions of commercial vehicles and vans, utility trucks, buses, trains, motorcycles, scooters, and military vehicles. They are sometimes called grid-connected hybrids, gas-optional hybrids, or GO-HEVs.

The cost for electricity to power plug-in hybrids for all-electric operation has been estimated at less than one quarter of the cost of gasoline. Compared to conventional vehicles, PHEVs can reduce air pollution, dependence on petroleum and fossil fuels, and greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.[ Plug-in hybrids use no fossil fuel during their all-electric range if their batteries are charged from nuclear or renewable electricity. Other benefits include improved national energy security, fewer fill-ups at the filling station, the convenience of home recharging, opportunities to provide emergency backup power in the home, and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) applications.

Chinese battery manufacturer and automaker BYD Auto released the F3DM PHEV-68 (PHEV109km) hatchback to the Chinese fleet market on December 15, 2008, for 149,800 yuan (US $22,000.) Toyota, General Motors, Ford, California startups Fisker Automotive and Aptera Motors, ] Volkswagen,and Volvo have scheduled the introduction of production PHEV automobiles. The PHEV-6 (PHEV-9.7 km) Toyota Prius will be offered beginning with commercial fleets in 2009. The luxury Fisker Karma PHEV-50 (PHEV-80 km) sports car is slated for late 2009, and GM's PHEV-40 (PHEV-64 km) Chevrolet Volt and Saturn Vue and the Volkswagen Golf PHEV-50 km plug-ins are expected in 2010. Ford's PHEV-30 Escape SUV is already being used in utility fleets, and due out to the general public in 2012.

As of 2009, most PHEVs on the road in the US are conversions of 2004 or later Toyota Prius and Ford Escape models, which have had plug-in charging and more batteries added and their electric-only range extended.Several countries, including the United States and several European countries, have enacted laws to facilitate the introduction of PHEVs through tax credits, emissions mandates, and by financing research and development of advanced batteries and other related technologies. Introduction of PHEVs also benefits from laws and regulations enacted for hybrid vehicles.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chevrolet Volt

The Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle to be produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors and expected to be launched in November 2010 as a 2011 model. Its price is estimated to be near $40,000, which would give a net price of about $32,500 after the $7,500 Federal tax credit. The automaker has kept the Volt on or ahead of schedule, despite GM's Chapter 11 reorganization.

Volt's propulsion system will be based on GM's new Voltec (formerly known as E-Flex) electric vehicle platform, which differs significantly from GM's earlier BAS Hybrid and Two-Mode Hybrid systems. The first pre-production test car based on the full Volt design was built in June 2009 in Warren, Michigan[6] and by October 80 Volts had been built and were being tested in various conditions.

For up to the first 40 miles, the Volt is powered by electricity stored in its on-board lithium-ion batteries which are charged by an electrical power outlet. The Volt's 16 kWh (8.0 kWh usable) lithium-ion battery pack can be fully charged by plugging the car into a 120-240VAC residential electrical outlet using the provided SAE J1772compliant charging cord.

No external charging station will be required.Unlike most current commercially available electric hybrids, the actual propulsion of the Volt is accomplished exclusively by the electric motor.

With fully charged batteries, enough electrical energy will be stored to power the Volt up to 40 miles (64 km). This distance is capable of satisfying the daily commute for 75% of Americans, whose commute is on average 33 miles (53 km).

After 40 miles (64 km), a small 4-cylinder gasoline internal combustion engine creates electricity on-board to 53 kW (71 hp) generator extend the Volt's range to over 300 miles (483 km) The electrical power from the generator is sent to either the electric motor or the batteries, depending on the state of charge (SOC) of the battery pack and the power demanded at the wheels. The distribution is controlled by the electronic control unit (ECU) of the vehicle

Friday, October 09, 2009

Subaru claims to have implemented advanced policies which include recycling, reducing harmful emissions, educating their employees, and continuing their efforts have helped them in their environmental initiatives. The Subaru plant in Lafayette, Indiana (SIA) was the first auto assembly plant to achieve zero landfill status, nothing from the manufacturing process goes into a landfill.

The company has also developed energy efficient hybrid vehicles as well as a recycling plan for their "end-of-life" cars. Most of their modern products use aluminium throughout the vehicle, in the engine, transmission, suspension and elsewhere in each vehicle, that can be recycled when the vehicle is no longer servicable.

An excerpt from the Subaru website stated "In 2006, SIA was awarded the United States Environmental Protection Agency´s Gold Achievement Award as a top achiever in the agency's WasteWise program to reduce waste and improve recycling." The website also stated that "It also became the first U.S. automotive assembly plant to be designated a wildlife habitat."

Subaru currently offers a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) certified Legacy, Outback, and Forester models which are available for sale anywhere in the U.S. Other car makers limit vehicles certified as PZEV in states that have adopted California emission standards. Subaru PZEV vehicles meet California's Super-Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle exhaust emission standard.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The new Bentley Mulsanne is the recently launched luxury car produced by Bentley Motors Limited. The name is derived from Bentley's famous history, which included five victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans the Mulsanne Straight being the stretch of the Le Mans racing circuit where cars reach their highest speeds.

Bentley's new flagship model which brings back the Mulsanne name, and will replace the Arnage, was unveiled at the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, on 16 August 2009. The car is expected to go on sale during 2010. Coupe and convertible variants are expected to follow at some point as replacements for the Arnage-based Brooklands and Azure respectively.

Though the car has been officially unveiled, very few details are available in public domain. However it has been confirmed that the car will retain the iconic 6.75 L (6750 cc/411 in³) V8 engine, albeit heavily redesigned. Further information is expected to be released at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The Mulsanne is also notable as it is the first flagship car to be independently designed by Bentley Motors in nearly 80 years; the last being W.O. Bentley's iconic 8 litre model in 1930.

While the price of the car has yet to be announced, the first vehicle to be produced has already been sold at an auction at the Pebble Beach event for $550,000

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A stock car, in the original sense of the term, described an automobile that has not been modified from its original factory configuration. Later the term stock car came to mean any production-based automobile used in racing. This term is used to differentiate such a car from a race car, a special, custom-built car designed only for racing purposes.

Today most stock cars may superficially resemble standard American family sedans, but are in fact purpose-built racing machines built to a strict set of regulations governing the car design ensuring that the chassis, suspension, engine, etc. are architecturally identical on all vehicles. Ironically, these regulations ensure that stock car racers are in many ways technologically less sophisticated than standard cars on the road. For example, NASCAR (the largest stock car organization in the U.S.) requires carbureted engines in all of its racing series, while fuel injection is now universal in standard passenger cars.

The closest European equivalent to stock car racing is probably touring car racing, though these are raced exclusively on road courses rather than ovals.

Stock car racing is a form of automobile racing found mainly in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Great Britain and Brazil. Traditionally, races are run on oval tracks measuring approximately ¼ mile to 2.66 miles (about 400 meters to 4.2 kilometres) in length, but are also raced on road courses[citation needed]. The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the world's largest governing body for stock car racing, and its Sprint Cup Series (named for its sponsor, Sprint Nextel Corporation) is the de facto premier series of stock car racing.

Top level races are 200 to 600 miles (320-1000 km) in length. Average speeds in the top classes are usually within 70-80% of comparable levels of open wheel racing at the same tracks. Some stock cars may reach speeds of in excess of 200 mph (320 km/h) at tracks such as Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Lowe's Motor Speedway. For safety, devices such as restrictor plates may be used at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway that limit top speeds to approximately 187 mph (301 km/h).

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Toyota has delivered proof positive that not only can the new full hybrid Prius meet its official fuel consumption figures, it can do even better.

Results from its participation in the FleetWorld MPG Marathon, Britain’s leading independent test of fuel economy, show Prius sipping petrol at a rate of 84.05mpg, 16 per cent better than the official combined cycle figure of 72.4mpg.

This exceptional tally was achieved by the driving team of Andrew Andersz and Richard Seymour, who piloted the Prius over a 350-mile route made up of the kind of roads encountered by ordinary motorists every day. The real-world driving conditions showed beyond doubt that Prius can deliver excellent economy on the open road, as well as in urban areas where its ability to run on electric motor power alone comes into play.

New Prius, which went on sale in the summer, is not only exceptionally fuel efficient, it also achieves the lowest CO2 emissions of any family car, at just 89g/km. At the same time it is more powerful than its predecessor, thanks to a new, highly efficient 1.8-litre petrol engine in its Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain. Improved aerodynamics also play a key role in its cleaner and more fuel-frugal performance, with its drag coefficient trimmed to a best-in-class 0.25.

The MPG Marathon, which took place over two days last week (30 September and 1 October), also saw the Toyota iQ and Yaris models in action and both outperforming their official consumption figures. The one-litre petrol iQ finished with an average 78.69mpg and the 1.4 D-4D diesel Yaris achieved 86.18mpg, both cars much smaller than Prius, highlighting the unique abilities of the world’s best selling hybrid.

Monday, October 05, 2009

The Auto Expo is a biennial trade fair of automobile and auto component manufacturers organized at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India. Organized jointly by the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM); it is the Asia's only and the largest Complete Automotive Show

The 2008 edition of the Auto Expo was the first auto trade fair in India to be accredited by the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles (OICA).

The 10th Auto Expo 2010

The 10th edition of this premier Auto Exhibition is scheduled from 5th to 11th January 2010 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India.The 10th Auto Expo 2010 will be focusing on the theme “Mobility for All” with special emphasis on the need of environment friendly fuels/ vehicles, technological advancements, innovative designs.

As always, Auto Expo 2010 will continue to provide the platform for joint ventures, generating enquiries, one to one interaction, brand promotion, industry surveys, promoting exports, etc.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Toyota revealed the refreshed seventh-generation 2010 Camry at the 2009 North American International Auto Show. Visual changes include an updated front fascia unique to each grade, larger headlamp lenses, LED tail lamps (previously hybrids only), and new wheel/wheel cover designs. Audio systems with USB connectivity are offered, and a backup camera is integrated into the navigation system.

Two newly designed 2.5 L 2AR-FE I4 engines replace the previous 4-cylinder in non-hybrid models, which are now mated to either a 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission. The more powerful 179 horsepower (133 kW) version is exclusive to the Camry SE, and Toyota's Smart Key System is now available for the SE (while it was previously only available to the XLE). Toyota's Vehicle Stability Control becomes standard on all Camry grades. All Camry grades receive standard auto-up/down power windows for all passengers, and the dark green Spruce Mica replaces the Sky Blue Pearl exterior color.

The Aloe Green Metallic color replaces the Jasper Pearl exterior color on the Hybrid. The SE models are available with a host of new performance upgrades, including a limited-slip differential and sport exhaust system. The facelifted Camry began production in January 2009 and went on sale in March 2009 in the United States

The seventh-generation Toyota Camry is the first generation in which the Camry has been available as a gasoline/electric hybrid. The Camry Hybrid utilizes Toyota’s second generation Hybrid Synergy Drive and a 4-cylinder engine with 147 horsepower (110 kW) in conjunction with a 40 hp (30 kW) electric motor for a combined output of 187 horsepower. The Camry became the third Toyota model sold in America to be offered as a hybrid after the Prius and the Highlander Hybrid.

Camry Hybrids were initially built solely in Japan, though the majority of production has since shifted to Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky plant, which is projected to produce 45,000 of the vehicles per year. In June 2008, Toyota Motor Corporation has announced that the Camry Hybrid will also be built in a Thailand plant in 2009 and in Melbourne in 2010 with an annual production capacity of 9,000 and 10,000 respectively.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

The 2009 SRT8

The 2009 SRT8, while still equipped with the 6.1L Hemi V8, is virtually identical to its 2008 counterpart, with the main difference being the choice of either a 5-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission.

Standard features include Brembo brakes, a sport suspension, bi-xenon headlamps, heated leather sport seats, keyless go, Sirius satellite radio, and 20-inch (510 mm) forged aluminum wheels in addition to most amenities offered on the lower R/T and SE models such as air conditioning and cruise control. In addition, the 2009 will have a true "limited slip" differential.

A "Spring Special" SRT8 Challenger was also offered in B5 Blue, but thanks to rolling plant shutdowns, just over 250 Spring Special Challengers were built before the end of the 2009 model year. For 2010, SRT8 models add Detonator Yellow as an available color (at extra cost), and only with the optional "Special Edition Group".

Yellow Challengers will only be built for a limited time (October/November 2009). A retro color, Plum Crazy Pearl, is scheduled to be available during Spring 2010 production, perhaps as the new color, offered exclusively in the "Spring Special" package.