Archive for February, 2011

The Raging Bull Is Back

February 28, 2011 Leave a comment

When the “tractor” company affectionately known as Lamborghini came out with the Murcialago Super Veloce it was clear that an era was coming to an end. As the car is branded SV its a known fact that it will be build to maximum perfection. But it also symbolizes that the vehicles has run it course and just as an old and proud bull has been put to rest. No reason to panic though because where there is death there is rebirth, and what a rebirth it is.

The 2012 Lambhorghini Aventador LP700-4 is here. Just days before the Geneva Motor Show a sneak preview of the brand new flagship has been revealed. Details to be seen at an instant are the new body and new colors to be available. The color of the car in the photographs is a new hue Arancio Argos-Argos Orange. Aptly named after the brutally deep colored oranges grown in the ancient Greek citadel of Argos. The naming of the car has been ambivalent from the get go. Many people are glad that the vehicle received the name it did instead of the feverishly boring “Jota”. If you have bore a child worthy of the gods you wouldn’t call him Jim-Bob would you.

Getting back to the Aventador. According to the ever reliable head of the R&D, Maurizio Reggiani, the three section chassis, cabin structure V12 engine transmission and most of the parts are one hundred percent brand new. None of the concepts have been kept from the valiant Murcialago except maybe fond memories dwindling in the wind.

Boeing Aerospace actually had a little to do with the construction of this vehicle. The Aventador’s one piece passenger cell is made of a new generation reinforced carbon fiber and weighs in at just 324 pounds. The new chassis is just over 500 lbs and having a three piece setup the flexibility  has almost double since that of the Murcialago.

The engine is also brand spanking new. The 691-hp(SAE). 6.5-liter V12 (L539) is 21-hp stronger, 40 Lbs lighter, produces better fuel efficiency and sits 2.8 inches lower  in the chassis. Not to get too technical but the engine is amazing. If you wanted the same power in any other car you would have to probably brake the bank with the Buggati Veyron at 1.3 million while the Aventador is estimated to be priced at 370K.  So making a decision here is probably not going to take a calculator.

Also another factor to take into account is the all new interior that has been made. Never to say that I have something against the Murcialago but the interior of the car could have matched the price even if a little. Well this is not the case with the new one. The newly redefined standard of the aesthetics of the interior of the car even surprised the most optimistic of critics. The gorgeous speedometer and gauges are only bested by the central console. Also a big hurray for the electronic handbrake.  Having buttons next to you is nice but knowing what do with them is even better. So if you do know when and how to apply changes to the Servotronic steering force, rear differential slip degree and gearshift timings you will get your 15 minutes of fame.

Over all to get a much better look at the newly born baby beast you would have to tune in to the Geneva Motor Show. The car is spectacular with new in every direction. But a very sad fact of the matter is that Aventador is not going to arrive in the US until the end of October. Bummer, but hey if you only just dreaming about it take the time to inflate your piggy bank so that when it does arrive you can tame the new flamboyantly arrogant bull.

Categories: News

Euro NCAP Advanced Award for Infiniti LDP Technology

February 25, 2011 Leave a comment

With standard safety assist features like  Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EDB) and Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) today’s vehicles have more technology on board solely committed  to accident prevention than anything else. Contemporary passenger vehicles are designed to be more crashworthy than they used to be just a couple of years ago, yet some 30,000 Americans die in a car crash each year. Rigorous crash testing performed by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and The National Traffic Safety became the industry standards which obligate the automakers to constantly improve on their safety technology. Crashworthiness and accident prevention jumped to the first place and became the priority for automakers and their new vehicles.

Today Infinity was recognized for their high technology approach to safety prevention and constant innovations in the field of accident prevention. They were awarded Euro NCAP Advanced Award in Geneva for their Lane Departure Prevention technology which they want to make as a standard feature on all of their models. Most accidents are a result of  fatigue, whether cased by lack of sleep, or exhaustion after a hard day at work, no matter the cause the outcome of these type of incidents can be fatal. The LDP technology helps driver return the vehicle to its travelling lane by giving a warning and then making dynamic interventions if departure out of lane is still possible. Lane drifting is a result of a large proportion of fatal accidents and Infiniti predicts around 5,000 lives in Europe alone can be saved each year if the LPD will be fitted in every vehicle.

The LDP is just one part of Infiniti’s Dynamic Safety Shield, a suite of technology designed to offer a “bubble” of protection around the vehicle. Other technologies include Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) with Low Speed Following, Distance Control Assist (DCA), Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA), Blind Spot Intervention (BSI) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW). Most of these features are already offered by rival luxury automakers, and so is the LDP, but Infiniti took it to the next level. When most automakers just warn you of a possibility to drift into oncoming lane, Infiniti intervenes in form of slight braking pressure on one side of the car to help keep the Infiniti from the path of another vehicle.

The camera technology fitted on the top of the windscreen can recognize most common types of lane marking , in most weather condition and at any time of the day. This technology alone can prevent a great number of fatal accidents caused by driver fatigue, impairment, inattention or distraction and save millions of lives around the world

Categories: News Tags: , ,

Sonata – Undisputed Middle-Weight Champion

February 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Hyundai Sonata continues to set the standards for the midsize sedan sector of the US auto industry. It’s reasonable price, reliability, fuel efficiency  and modern approach leaves nothing to contingency when it comes to competition. According to Compete, a Kantar Media company  Sonata was the most shopped vehicle in January of this year. More data shows that it has been sought for by the shoppers more than any other vehicle in the industry in 7 out of the last 9 months beating the all time leaders Camry, Accord, Civic and Fusion. Leading the Hyundai brand in sales which are up 58 percent in from lat year’s January, the Sonata sold 13,261 vehicles past month which is 150 percent increase from January of 2010, no make in the industry can match such a steep increase of sales.

Why is Sonata the number one pick for contemporary consumers? Maybe Forbes magazine can help us answer that question, after all they named Sonata “The Best Car for Commuters” of 2011. ” More than 42 million Americans spend at least 30 minutes in the car on their morning commute. Seven million spend over an hour.” said Forbes auto reporter, Hannah Eliot. ” For that kind of time spend in traffic, it pays to have a reliable car: something spacious enough for comfort,  small enough good gas mileage, and durable enough to withstand the occasional fender-bender.”  Does Sonata deserve all this homage from the Forbes? After all the mid-size segment has the most fierce competition in the industry and it’s filled with excellent vehicles.

Is it Spacious enough for comfort? At 192.7 inches in length, 72.8 width and 58.7 height it is the second largest vehicles in its class, with only Honda Accord winning at the exterior measurements. Albeit being smaller than Accord, on the interior Sonata offers a class winning 120.2 cubic feet of space, followed closely by the Accord with 140 cu. ft. – Hyundai engineers certainly deserve a round of applause for making the exterior sporty design which doesn’t compromise on the interior space. Sonata also offers 17 cubic ft of luggage space, which is the largest amount in the mid-size sedan sector. Yes, it really is spacious enough for a comfortable commute through congested city streets with extra space for all your wants and needs

Small enough for a good gas mileage? Well, maybe not small enough as we can see, how about the mileage?  For the sixth consecutive year, Sonata was recognized by the American Council of an Efficient Economy (ACEEE) on its annual “Greener Choices 2011” list. Sonata is the most fuel efficient non-hybrid car in its segment ranked at 24 mpg city and 35 mpg highway, thanks to its all four-cylinder engine line-up. Again it has the Accord trailing in the second place of the mid-size sector offering 23 mpg city and 33 mpg highway.

Is it durable enough to withstand the occasional fender-bender? “Build from the ground up with safety in mind” is what Hyundai says about 2011 Sonata. Hot-stamped ultra high strength steel body, advanced 6 airbag technology with standard side airbags, Electric Stability Control (ESC), and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, deliver on Hyundai’s commitment on both active and passive safety technology leadership.  Federal Government Agency – The National Traffic Safety Administration awarded the Sonata five out of five possible stars for protection both driver and front passenger in front impact crashes, and five stars in protecting rear seat passengers in side impact crashes. However in the test to prevent rollover, the car was awarded four stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Sonata its highest rating, “Good”  in both front and side impact crash test. Contradicting the results of the Federal Agency, the IIHS gave Sonata their highest rating in their new roof crash test , designed to measure the car’s ability to protect passengers during a rollover.

Awarded the “International Car of the Year” at the 2011 North American Auto Show in Detroit, named by The Car Connection the “Best Car To Buy in 2011”, named by the Midwest Automotive Media Association the “Family Vehicle of the Year” and named by the Automobile Magazine  the “Best Sedan in the Segment“, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata has accumulated an number of worthy titles to proclaim itself the champion in its class.  Introduced some 12 years ago to the hypercompetitive  American marketplace,  by an utterly mediocre carmaker, nobody envisioned the car to be an unquestionable leader in a segment with so many excellent vehicles. The car designed to look great inside and outside and at the same time meet and exceed the varied needs and wishes of the most demanding consumers in the world -Americans.  Responsive chassis, the most efficient and somewhat powerful direct-injected four cylinder engine, unbeatable pricetag, five star safety rating and great looks make  Sonata the pinnacle of the mid-size sedan segment, the mediocre Hyundai took the leading automakers by surprise, and they still don’t know what hit them.

Categories: Autos, Hyundai Tags: ,

BMW will Launch a New Eco-Fiendly Sub-Brand

February 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Long time in contemplation by BMW, the “i” sub-brand of new eco-friendly vehicles is confirmed by Bavarian Motors after all. As the world’s leading automakers gradually shift their interests towards a more efficient and less gas guzzling auto market, BMW does not want to be left behind and loose their share. Their new brand will produce regular hybrids and plug-in hybrids with double propulsion, and extended range pure electric vehicles. By 2013 they plan to release 2 cars which will be mass produced in Germany Leipzig plant, this alone will attract some 400 million euros in investments and create an approximate of 800 jobs for the Germans.

The first all electric 4-seat city car in the new line-up will be the BMW i3, also called the Megacity Vehicle, it will be powered by the company’s already revealed 1- Series’s ActiveE electric synchronous motor and will sell in the $40,000 range. The second vehicle will be the i8 super-coupe based on the 356 hp Vision Efficient Dynamics turbodiesel hybrid concept that was introduced by BMW in 2009 at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Both of the vehicle will feature an all aluminum chassis and a Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic passenger cell to offset the extra weight of the still heavy battery technology.

By incorporating with the New York based My-City Way company, BWM plans to make their new i Ventures sub-brand a convenient and efficient alternative for driving around congested cities. My-City Way is a mobile app that provides users with transportation, parking and entertainment information for over 40 cities in the US, making finding parking in a city like New York easier.

Categories: News