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Archive for February, 2007

Hybrid Cars In Demand

February 28, 2007 Leave a comment

hybrid vehicle

Good news to all eco-friendly car enthusiasts. There is an increase of 28% from last year’s 254,545 and this number pertains to those new registered hybrids. It’s good news for environmentalists and hybrid makers knowing that the demand did quite slow down last 2006 which then became recorded as the second-lowest year-over-year increase since 2000.

Lonnie Miller, the director of Industry Analysis for R. L. Polk & Co., said, “Consumers know that hybrids are important to the environment, but they are not the only option. Automakers still have obstacles to overcome to prove the merit of owning a hybrid.” The director of the Detroit-based firm that tracks automotive registrations also adds, “Noting that many potential customers are risk-averse… toward the relatively new-to-market technology.”

The production of hybrid cars sprung enormously after the release of the US’ very first Honda Insight Hybrid. The other hybrids that followed suit include the Saturn Vue Green Line and the Nissan Altima Hybrid. But nothing beats the fame of the Japanese car Toyota Pruis which accounted a total of 42.8% on the total number of hybrid cars that were registered. However, even if there are plenty of new hybrids produced, only three hybrid cars accounted for three-quarters of hybrid registrations last year. These were the Toyota Pruis, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid (12.5%) and the Honda Civic Hybrid (12.3%). The secret must be the catalytic converter found on these hybrid cars.

According to Polk Research, more than half of the 700 hybrid owners believe that all vehicles on the road must be running using the hybrid technology. They say that it is okay to pay premium over the use of the technology to achieve long-term environmental benefits.

Another study conducted by the PULS Market Research in Germany showed 42.7% of the 3,500 car buyers in the U.S., Germany, France, Great Britain, India and China are viewing hybrid cars and fuel-efficient vehicles as the car technology that we would all find in the future. Almost near to those who chose hydrogen fuel cells at 41.9% and alternative fuel-powered vehicles as the best option at 38%. Surprisingly, only 11.5% chose advanced diesel or gasoline technology.

It’s really good to know that people around the world are concerned about the environment. I guess they are more aware now that they should not only choose the car with outstanding performance parts but those who can preserve our environment as well.

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Kia Drops Lid Concept At Geneva

February 24, 2007 Leave a comment

Kia Ex Cee’d concept vehicle

Kia will be reproducing the Cee’d hatchback this year. And guess what? It will be coming out in showrooms of the highly anticipated Geneva Auto Show coming this March. The event would be the first time that the Kia Cee’d would be making its way to the auto public. The new vehicle will be the first Kia car to be designed by Peter Schreyer, the design boss who recently defected from Volkswagen.

The Ex Cee’d concept will be the replacement to its previous model as it will be ending its production later this year. The New Cee’d was first launched in Europe and it will be coming out having five doors and is now going to be considered a wagon. It will be expected to be available in the summer. The Cabrio will arrive in 2008.

Volkswagen designer Schreyer wanted the car to have its very unique features which is why he opted for a canvas hood rather than a folding metal hardtop because according to him, “I’m convinced the fabric roof will have a renaissance. We’ve all lived with the romantic idea of open-air driving for a long time and for me, it’s the quintessential element of a truly rewarding cabrio.” Exclusive Kia parts will be seen on the new concept as well.

The exterior body parts of the vehicle is coming painted with meringue white plus with a ‘bitter chocolate’ top. The two colors are repeatedly used in the leather interior. It will be running on 19-inch alloy wheels.

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The Swiss Rinspeed eXasis Concept: Wraps Off At Geneva Auto Show

February 21, 2007 Leave a comment

Swiss Rinspeed eXasis Concept

With the fast growing technology today, no one will be amazed if there will come a time that a flying car is made and would be available for the public. There goes the Swiss Rinspeed eXasis Concept which will be revealing itself in a new flesh and design this coming Geneva Auto Show on March.

The announcement of the Swiss engineering company Esoro that they will be making a car concept eXasis reminds me that 40 years ago when an all-plastic car was made in Germany. The car was made to celebrate Rinspeed’s 30 long years in the car business. As excited as they may seem, they revealed some of its spy shots on the net just before the Geneva Auto show opens.

Rinspeed is the known maker of wacky vehicle concepts that is usually revealed to the public. However, no matter how weird most of their concepts are, the public seem to like them. Take the 2004 Rinspeed Splash concept as an example. After revealing the concept, they have attracted much interest from the viewers who were wanting to have the concept run across the roads of London.

The newest eXasis concept’s Tonneau cover is an all yellow transparent plastic body that creates a 3D effect. The looks are based on the conventional classic racers, mentioning the cigar-shaped body as well as the fore-and-aft seating, along with open wheels. Inside the mirage car are two-seat specially developed Recaro seats forming around plastic ribs.

Under the hood lies a monstrous supercharged 150-hp, two-cylinder engine that runs on bioethanol, with a Porsche-like acceleration and weights at about 1650 pounds.

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Mercedes-Benz Revamps the G-Wagen

February 17, 2007 Leave a comment


Mercedes-Benz’s off-road, all-terrain cross-country vehicle got something new to boast about.

The German automaker has released the details and availability of its completely redesigned G-Class model range. Commonly called as the G-Wagen, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is one of the most continuing production models from the company. The vehicle was first used for military services during the early 70s, and was put on commercial production in 1979.

That is history. Let us get back to the present and see what the revamped Mercedes-Benz G-Class models have to offer.

The vehicle retains its on-and off-road capabilities, but the appearance and interior features was redesigned for 2007. The vehicle is also equipped with sophisticated in-car technologies inside and out. So far, the noticeable exterior enhancements include LED style tail lights and the sports exhaust system, complementing other exterior Mercedes parts. On the inside, the face lifted Mercedes-Benz G-Class features a comfortable interior along with new standard components including instrument cluster, chrome-ring surrounds, COMAND APS control and display unit with DVD navigation system, built-in radio, CD player, telephone keypad, and a new four-spoke multifunction steering wheel. Optional features include “ARTICO” interior package with leather appointments, new “Cognac” leather upholstery package, and reversing camera with 6.5-inch screen.

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is already available for orders and will roll out in dealerships in April 2007. The G-Class model range includes G 500 Station Wagon, G 55 AMG, and G 320 CDI. Powertrain options for the three model trims ranges from 224 hp up to 500 hp engines.

Unfortunately, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class will only roll out in European markets. You can import one though.

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Keep Your Child Safe on Seats

February 14, 2007 Leave a comment

As a part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Child Passenger Safety Week, DaimlerChrysler’s SeatCheck safety program has provided some safety measures for parents to properly place their children in safety seats.

– Infants must always be placed in rear-facing seats until they are at least one year old and 20 lbs. If less than a year old and more than 20 lbs., be sure they ride in a seat approved for heavier babies and continue to ride rear-facing until at least one year old. Children may ride rear-facing in many seats up to 35 lbs. Never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of a passenger air bag.

– Once children are forward-facing, they should ride in a forward-facing seat (convertible seat) until they reach approximately 40 lbs. All children who have outgrown child safety seats should be properly restrained in booster seats until they are 4’9″ tall.

– Old/used child safety seats should not be used unless you are certain they have never been in a crash and you have all the parts (including instructions). Seats six years old or older should be discarded and never used. To check if your safety seat has been recalled, check the seat recall list on http://www.seatcheck.org.

– Always read both the vehicle owner’s manual and the instructions that come with the child safety seat.

– Vehicles and rear- and forward-facing child safety seats manufactured after September 1, 2002, are equipped with LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) to help ease the installation of child safety seats. For more information on LATCH, visit http://www.seatcheck.org.

– Children 12 & under should always be properly restrained in the back seat.

– It’s important to remember that the “best” child safety seat is the one that correctly fits the child, the vehicle, and is used correctly every time.

– Get your child safety seats checked to make sure it is installed properly!

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2008 VW R32 Headed for Chicago Auto Show

February 8, 2007 Leave a comment

Volkswagen has finally announced what they have in store for American auto enthusiasts at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show.

Volkswagen of America said they will bring back the R32 sports hatchback to roll out in US market as a 2008 model year vehicle. The Germany-based automaker released some brief details of the vehicle. Here it is:

The 2nd-generation Volkswagen R32 still features the 3.2-liter V-6 engine under its hood, pumping out 250 horsepower and 236 ft. lbs. amount of peak torque. The R32 also retains Volkswagen’s patented powertrain technology like the DSG (direct-shift gearbox) transmission and 4MOTION all-wheel-drive (AWD) configuration. With this powertrain package, the R32 can sprint from 0 to 60 in just 6.4 seconds.

Now for the exterior features, the VW R32 is equipped with Bi-Xenon headlights, rear roof spoiler and a deep front spoiler for a sporty look, body-colored bumpers, and R32 exterior badges. The R32 rides on an 18-inch alloy wheels (with tires of course) and twin chrome exhaust pipes (with flowmaster mufflers I think).

On the inside, you can put your butt on the R32’s comfortable sports seats and feel Volkswagen’s Climatronic automatic climate control system. You can also listen to its premium audio system with ten speakers. Other interior features include rain sensing wipers, auto dimming rear-view mirror, heated front seats and heated washer nozzles, and cruise control. The VW R32 doesn’t make you worry in bumping onto something because the vehicle is equipped with advanced safety components including electronic stabilization program (ESP) anti lock braking system (ABS) with brake assists, electronic brake pressure distribution, and standard air bags.

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Experts Share Car Battery Tips

February 8, 2007 Leave a comment
car battery

Why should you keep your car parts and your car battery in good condition? Well, car experts say that by doing such, you are freeing yourself from these things: (1) the hassle of finding new replacement parts, (2) spending to buy the new parts, and (3) being stuck in the middle of nowhere because your car broke down.

And when it comes to your car’s battery, one of the country’s largest retailers of cars, shares some expert advice. “Unfortunately, the automotive battery is one of many highly abused, seldom maintained, but very important parts on the modern automobile,” explains Juan Crespo, CarMax’s ASE Master Technician. He even further adds, “Usually no attention is paid to the battery unless it is suspected of causing a problem. The most common problem encountered with batteries is low voltage or low charge.”

So to keep your battery in good condition, here are some things you should keep in mind:

  • Batteries contain chemicals so make sure that you wear the proper gear and protection when you are working with them.
  • Make sure that your car battery’s terminals are clean. If there is some corrosion present, find time to clean them up. There are some tips online on how to do such without getting harmed (or without harming your car).
  • Check and see that the battery is secure on the mounting bracket. If it is loose, it could actually start up severe damage around it as well as starting up short circuits.
  • Keep the case of your car battery clean. Baking soda in warm water does work miracles.
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