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Archive for November, 2007

What’s With the New MPG Standards?

November 30, 2007 Leave a comment
What’s With the New MPG Standards?

Americans love big things. Big houses, big estates, big cars – yes, all BIG.

But if the new energy bill will be passed, the American trend will be reversed.

The bill proposed by top Democrats late Friday to augment average new vehicle fuel economy to 35 miles per gallon by 2020. It means that American cars will get smaller and possibly more costly. The proposed bill would require American automakers to produce fuel-saving vehicles such as hybrids, diesels and gasoline direct-injection systems that boost the efficiency of internal-combustion motors.

So expect more Toyota Prius, Honda Fit and other similar vehicles on the road. But does this mean the end of SUVs and pickups?

Nah-ah. SUV and pickup lovers won’t necessary be disappointed. Auto state law makers, spearheaded by House Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell, a Michigan Democrat, guaranteed that automakers will have regulatory maneuvering room to continue offering bigger vehicles, and potentially some federal subsidies to offset the costs of overhauling their factories and fleets.

The auto industry’s acquiescence to the proposed 35-mpg target signals that auto makers — who’ve long warned of economic doom from stricter mileage regulations — believe they have the flexibility to meet the challenge, said The Wall Street Journal. Moreover, the persistence of $3 and up gasoline prices, and popular concern about climate change and energy security, have begun to shift consumers buying patterns toward more fuel-efficient models anyway, the report added.

“There are tough, new … standards contained in the energy bill before Congress that pose a significant technical and economic challenge to the industry,” said General Motors Corp. CEO Rick Wagoner. “But, it’s a challenge that GM is prepared to put forth its best effort to meet with an array of engineering, research and development resources.”

There’s no question about it, automakers will definitely entertain lineup modification. As they go about their plans, the thinking will be mileage.

Concentration on the 0-60 performance, big engines and large horsepower numbers will diminish. The balance will tilt toward improving mileage, an automaker official told the WSJ. Powerful sports cars like the iconic Ford Mustang could become endangered, Global Insight said, though exactly how auto makers will recalibrate their product mix remained unclear.

For starters, that likely means more gasoline-electric hybrids in dealer showrooms. Hybrids garner only 2% of the U.S. light-vehicle market today, but the broad effect of the mileage deal reached on Capitol Hill late last week could push that market share to 25% by 2020, said the Global Insight.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, assuming a 35-mpg target average, consumers could expect to save nearly $22 billion a year in gasoline costs, assuming a price at the pump of $2.55. But the introduction of advanced technologies by auto makers to meet that target won’t come without costs. Price premiums for advanced-technology autos could exceed $5,000 on average, automakers said.

Compared to the maker of Acura CL EGR valve, the new mileage bill will be etching a big challenge for Detroit’s Big 3. They have to efficiently manage their production and polish their lineup. It will never be easy. But if the bill is approved, their will be no exit.

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2009 Toyota Matrix/2009 Pontiac Vibe: Winners At LA Auto Show

November 30, 2007 Leave a comment

If the 2009 model year of the Toyota Corolla received a very disappointing LOSER tag because of its unimpressive features and ridiculous new design, the 2009 Toyota Matrix/2009 Pontiac Vibe, which was a combination car of both Toyota And GMC and also a hybrid car, received the WINNER tag.

Cars.com staffs namely David Thomas, Joe Wiesenfelder and Mike Hanley was able to attend the LA Auto Show and part of their job was to look into the different models and describe their personal views towards it. They also check every detail of every new car to ensure quality and durability if it comes to production. Of course, these people know how car parts like a condenser works.

Here is what they said:

2009 Toyota Matrix/2009 Pontiac Vibe

David Thomas: Winner
Like the Corolla, neither one of these hatchbacks seem to up the ante in quality. Don’t get me wrong, they’re worlds better than the cars they replace, but again the competition is stiff.

Joe Wiesenfelder: Winner
The styling doesn’t knock me out in either case, but it never has, and that’s a determination you can make on your own. I have appreciated these models, and the redesign doesn’t change that. The hatchback body style seems to keep people out of larger cars, and between today’s high fuel prices and disproportionate attention to hybrids, conventional fuel-sippers like these are what we need. Toyota and Pontiac wisely brought back all-wheel drive, which is also good to have at a modest price. My hope is that they’ve improved the in-cabin noise, which has always been a shortcoming. As for the Civic … there’s no four-door hatchback.

Mike Hanley: Winner
An infusion of style into both of these models’ exteriors and interiors should give a boost to their appeal, and with hatchbacks gaining renewed interest in the market, these two are poised to take a bigger piece of that pie.

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Congratulations To The CTS!

November 27, 2007 Leave a comment

It’s been a while since I last visited MotorTrend.com. But last night, I got my chance to browse some news while researching for Cadillac Escalade EXT accessories. One headline caught my attention… It’s the 2008 Cadillac CTS winning Motor Trend’s 2008 Car of the Year. I hurriedly read the content, and I only have one word for the CTS… Congratulations!

According to the world’s automotive authority and part of Source Interlink Media, they have proclaimed the selection of the Cadillac CTS as the 2008 Motor Trend Car of the Year. “The Cadillac CTS marks the first time in decades an American automobile has been designed and engineered with an eye on the global marketplace. Among its many excellent qualities, perhaps the most valuable one is that it shows Detroit can build a world class car to compete with the best Munich, Stuttgart and Toyota City have to offer. With the CTS, Detroit is officially back in the car business, not just the truck or SUV business,” says Angus MacKenzie, the editor-in-chief of Motor Trend.

“The CTS’s winning attributes go far beyond a well-designed facade,” said MacKenzie. “It’s the star of a new GM revival, and with a base price of just $32,990, the car is truly accessible to a wide spectrum of car buyers.”

“This year’s 18-car field was laden with truly significant vehicles,” said MacKenzie. “We had all-new interpretations of high-volume benchmark cars that virtually define their respective categories, such as the Honda Accord and Chrysler-Dodge minivan. We had reworked icons such as the Mini Cooper, Subaru Impreza WRX and Scion xB. We had new cars with old nameplates that carried the collective hopes of an entire company, along with all-new vehicles from Mercedes-Benz and Audi.”

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Two New Mustangs Unveiled

November 21, 2007 Leave a comment

The Ford Mustang is arguably one of the most popular high performance models of all time. Stock Mustangs are already powerful, but for those who want more power, then, these two Mustangs from Saleen may be what you are looking for.

Saleen Automotive has been known in the auto industry for having made awesome vehicles out of already great cars. Recently, Saleen unveiled two Mustang derivatives in California much to the delight of Mustang fans all over the country. The 2008 H302 and the H302SC models are the newest additions to Saleen’s offering. Both have been upgraded to give you the power that you want from a pony car.

The H in the names of the two new Mustangs represents Heritage which is what the Mustang is all about. The Ford Mustang is already a legend and the two new models showcased by Saleen is building on the history of the iconic car. Both models are equipped with 302 cubic inch engines.

“The 302 engine is the best engine that we have ever done,” enthused Rob Simmons of Saleen Powertrain. Truly, the new mustang models are engineered to have the best engine ever for an exhilarating ride.

The H302 is equipped with an engine with a power output of 390 horsepower. That power is enough to give you a thrilling ride. But of you want more, then the H302SC is right for you as it has a power output of 580 horsepower. Awesome huh?

“The H line draws its inspiration from the late sixties Boss 302 Mustang, and is a real compliment to the Ford family heritage,” said Saleen Vice Chairman and Chief Technical Officer Chris Theodore. Apart from having that huge amount of power under the hood, the two Mustangs are also employing auto parts as durable as Porsche 944 turbo parts.

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Chevy Tahoe Hybrid: Bulky Eco-Vehicle

November 16, 2007 Leave a comment
Small cars are hip and green. Pickups, sport utilities, and crossovers are rugged. But could they be green as well?

General Motors Corp. answers on the affirmative. The automaker’s Chevy brand will be unleashing the 2008 Tahoe Hybrid that is expected to bolster its lead as the most fuel-efficient large SUV on the market. The hybrid SUV has debuted this fall.

The largest American automaker has this to say: “The 2-Mode Hybrid, Chevrolet says, will deliver 21 mpg in city driving, a boost of 50 percent over the standard Tahoe with a gas-only 5.3-liter V-8. In highway driving the Tahoe Hybrid will get 30% better fuel economy than the conventional Tahoe.”

The 2-mode system is expected to make its way into most of GM’s full-size truck lineup, but the basic idea is scalable to vehicles of most any size, GM added.

The new Tahoe Hybrid is being showcased at this year’s Los Angeles auto show, alongside the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen hybrids. The producer of Chrysler radiator and Dodge hood protector also features a 2-mode hybrid system engineered in a joint venture between BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, and GM.

The Tahoe Hybrid’s dual action is actually a series of different driving modes programmed between its transmission, engine, and battery pack and motors. In the first mode, the Tahoe can run on either its electric power or its gasoline power or both. In mode two, the Tahoe uses electric power as an assist to its V-8 engine – in passing, towing, and climbing, for example. The engine is also outfitted with cylinder deactivation technology, which operates in the second mode to help dampen fuel consumption.

With the two-mode system the Tahoe still delivers a maximum tow rating of 6200 pounds and eight-passenger seating. Its stock body is largely intact, though Hybrid models are about a third of an inch lower in ride height. The hood and tailgate are made of aluminum to save weight. And the Tahoe’s body has been tweaked to allow for better aerodynamics.

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IntelliChoice’s Choices

November 14, 2007 Leave a comment

Choosing a new vehicle to buy is not an easy task. Although we have the Internet now to help us find the best vehicle for our needs without visiting dealerships in person, it is still hard to find which vehicle will actually fit our needs. Good thing IntelliChoice.com has its own list of vehicles which it dubs as the “Best Deals of the Month”.

Since the trend is always shifting in the auto market, automakers are also changing their pricing for their vehicles. People who are looking to save on their vehicle purchases should give IntelliChoice’s choices a peek. Here are their “best deals”

  • Subcompact Car MINI Cooper Hatchback
  • Compact Car over $16,000 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • Compact Car under $16,000 Honda Civic Sedan
  • Midsize Car over $21,000 Toyota Prius
  • Midsize Car under $21,000 Toyota Prius
  • Convertible MINI Cooper Convertible
  • Luxury Convertible Audi A4 Convertible
  • Near Luxury Car BMW 3 Series Sedan
  • Luxury Car Lexus ES
  • Large Car Toyota Avalon
  • Base Sport Car Volkswagen GTI 2-door
  • Sport Car Chevrolet Corvette
  • Sport Sedan/Wagon over Lexus GS Hybrid
  • $38,000
  • Sport Sedan Wagon under Infiniti G35 Sport Sedan
  • $38,000
  • Compact Utility/Crossover Ford Escape Hybrid
  • Midsize Crossover Toyota Highlander Hybrid
  • Luxury Crossover Lexus RX 400h
  • Small Wagon Toyota Matrix
  • Midsize/Large Wagon Subaru Outback Wagon
  • Intermediate Utility Hummer H3
  • Full-Size Utility GMC Yukon
  • Luxury Utility Lexus GX
  • Compact Pickup Truck 2WD Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab 2WD
  • Compact Pickup 4WD Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab 4WD
  • Full-Size Pickup Truck 2WD Toyota Tundra Regular Cab 2WD
  • 1/2 Ton
  • Full-Size Pickup Truck 2WD Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD Crew Cab 2WD
  • 3/4 Ton
  • Full-Size Pickup Truck 2WD Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD Crew Cab 2WD
  • One Ton
  • Full-Size Pickup Truck 4WD Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Extended Cab 4WD
  • 1/2 Ton
  • Full-Size Pickup Truck 4WD Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD Crew Cab 4WD
  • 3/4 Ton
  • Full-Size Pickup Truck 4WD Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD Crew Cab 4WD
  • One Ton
  • Minivan: Honda Odyssey Passenger Van
  • Full-Size Van: Ford E150 Passenger Van
  • Cargo Van: Chevrolet Uplander Cargo Van

These vehicles have the attributes that most buyers are looking for in their new cars or large vehicles. They are priced reasonably and have the same reliability as Audi aftermarket parts.

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Chrome Systems Brings Out Vehicle Data for New U.S.News Car Rankings Website

November 14, 2007 Leave a comment

If we want to know the latest and most accurate ranking among cars, we often seek information from several automotive websites. So where does this information come from and who is responsible for gathering all these data? One of the most reliable names when it comes to vehicle information etc. is Chrome Systems Inc. They are the leader in gathering, developing, and distributing best-in-class automotive facts! And today, they announced a joint venture with U.S. News Rankings & Reviews to bring out vehicle pricing, fuel economy data on auto products like the Dodge fuel saver, and arrangement services for the automotive category in its newest Internet site: http://www.rankingsandreviews.com!

According to TheAutoChannel.com, U.S. News Rankings & Reviews uses Chrome’s New Vehicle Data and it is all set to carry out complete data and facts on evaluated vehicles including their MSRP and invoice pricing, safety features, fuel economy and comprehensive specifications.

“Having Chrome information on our website complements our car rankings with the pricing, specifications, and options information that consumers need to find the best vehicle for them,” says Chad Smolinski, the Vice President of U.S.News Rankings & Reviews.

“We are extremely pleased to be partnering with U.S.News Rankings & Reviews to deliver comprehensive and accurate vehicle information for the best buying decisions. For over 20 years the automotive industry has depended on Chrome to deliver the most accurate, timely, and detailed vehicle data. We’re proud that through this new partnership we can reach more consumers and help them easily and quickly research and build vehicles to meet their lifestyle needs,” says Peter Batten, Chrome Systems General Manager.

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