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Sunday, July 20, 2008
Pierre Money Mart can help you with all kinds of auto loans. We’ve got thousands of vehicles choose from and we invested the time, money and effort in developing the number one special finance department in the world.
Diposting oleh Indra di 11:26 AM
Monday, March 3, 2008
MONTEREY, Calif. - The people of BMW keep hammering their new Series 1 as the spiritual successor of the company flagship 2002 model. You remember that one, is it not? It was manufactured between 1968 and 1976 and helped set the small Bavarian company on the map here in the United States.
For us, Series 1 looks more like a second generation 3 Series, which, unlike 2002, originated from a factory convertible. Well, regardless of the model of the Series 1 convertible owes its lineage is Stateside and we are pleased to note that this was pretty good.
Power comes from either a 230-hp 3.0-liter inline Six for the 128i or the 300-hp twin-turbo version of the same engine for the 135i. And as a seducer BMW offers the flavor that so many buyers lust after. The great son is there, as is the control damped feel more Bimmer brand chassis amp feedback from subtle signals at low speed at full intensity that the rate increases.
Despite the small size of the Series 1, there is room for drivers and passengers through the high seat tracks that enable front seats and encroach on the back seat of space. Hey, they are only occasional rear seats, right? Unless you need to pass rear-seat passengers every day, this is the BMW you need, and all the doors that you could want.
A powered soft-top was chosen because it consumes less space than the baggage retractable hardtop. And, of course, it is cheaper to produce. The mechanism is said to erect or himself on the sly about 22 seconds, the vehicle up to 30 mph. We checked, and, of course, it does. BMW claims the trunk is large enough to swallow two golf bags and can be extended when the upper part of the folding up by the storage space out of the way. A password-sac or snowboards for skies are on the list of options.
Availability of the 128i model has been limited to the introduction of the car here, so we conducted manual and automatic versions of the 135i. And the performance of this model is scintillating. After all, he has proven twin-turbo silken sledgehammer under the hood.
BMW 135i says will hit 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, while the 128i needs 6.1 for the same job. From experience, we know that the company estimates are conservative. Appropriately, our two 135is standard equipment supplied with some performers, like six-piston brake calipers at the front and a body-kit aerodynamics. The optional sport package adds 18-in. Wheels with low-profile, high-performance tires (up to 17-in. Wheels standard), with modernized spring, shock and bar calibrations.
In conjunction with the new double-pivot aluminum before and five link rear suspension designs, sport allows the vehicle dynamics package on an equal footing with many of the best sports cars. The 135i's balance is particularly good during transitions from one direction to another. We understand some stretches of road near Skyline Boulevard outside San Francisco, at a rate that would have made a rally navigator nauseous. And not just once the 135i Cabriolet must use its control system dynamic stability to save our buttocks.
The penalty is a strong enough race, which produces a little more thrill terrain frame of the windshield and the steering wheel. It is not enough to disturb, but you noticed the small lateral moves, and especially since the mirror. If this is a problem, consider removing the package for a gentler sport that configuration does not need to use the body as a reservoir secondary spring. Or, you can simply buy the cup.
But while you miss something special: Sun-protected optional leather upholstery is unique to the ragtop 1 Series car, which is specially adapted to the climate control system. As usual with BMW, there is an exhaustive list of optional equipment. And did we mention that the Series 1 convertible deploying automatic rollbars that pop up behind the rear seats when the car detects an incident of reversal? Well, it's done. And no, we have not tested these.
Diposting oleh Indra di 12:50 PM
It's been more than 20 years since GM's excitement division, Pontiac, last offered a rear-drive sedan with a V8. And it has been even longer since any Poncho with more than two doors was really exciting to drive. Instead, we have had two solid decades of front-wheel-drive sedans and V6 engine and a handful of years with a rather uninspired, before drive, V8-powered Grand Prix GXP. This is hardly the stuff of our dreams muscle car.
Well, with next G8, Pontiac appears to have my son back.
The 196 ,1-inch long G8 rides on a 114.8-in wheelbase and is produced in Adelaide, Australia, at a plant already churning out market-Aussie Holden Commodore sedan. Both Holdens and Pontiacs use GM's new rear-drive architecture Zeta-the same as you find in the next Camaro 2009. The Commodore has been a huge success Down Under, and after having spent a week with our G8 Ignition Orange GT test car, we can see why.
The GT model is a solid 6.0-litre L76 V8 with 361 horsepower and 385 lb.-ft. of torque coupled to a six-speed automatic. Base cars get the GM 3.6 liter V6 with 256 horsepower and 248 lb.-ft. of torque, coupled to a five-speed automatic. Unfortunately, no manual transmission will be offered. The V8 is similar to the largest production V8s can be found under the hood of some GM trucks, even though it does not have variable valve timing, as those engines truck. Regardless, it is a Gen IV small-block V8 with pieces from several sources rather prestigious as the intake manifold of the engine Corvette LS3. And it has the Active Fuel Management (AFM), so the big engine can shut down half the cylinders and conserve fuel. The system can run in the third, fourth, fifth or sixth gear, in the past, the MFA has only worked at the speed overdrive. And that helps to track the GT 15 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway. (Six-cylinder models are rated at 17/25).
Pontiac says the 3995-pound G8 GT will reach 60 mph in 5.3 seconds and run through the 0.25-mile in 13.8 seconds at 101 mph. These numbers are solid, rivaling expensive 425-hp Dodge Charger SRT8 sedan and blasting the 340-hp Charger R / T in the weeds. In the street, the G8 feels even faster than these figures suggest. The V8 pulls strong from the lowest point on the tachometer all the way up to the top of the gauge. And the transmission of sound crisp moves throughout the gearbox. Smoky burnouts? Check. Yes, certainly, it accelerates like a muscle sedan. And our test car melted-down, 19 - in. Proving that the rear tires. But the magic of the G8 move is deeply buried under the floor.
The G8 systems, suspension and steering are some of the best GM product. One afternoon, we reached our favorite canyons high above the crashing waves of Malibu, California, we expect a blade, but an individual driving experience, but we were wrong, the direction is straightforward, accurate and lively . And the G8's multi-link strut front and four rear suspension link appears to have been set up to work perfectly with rough, twisty-sections of blacktop that must be Aussie influence. In fact, the harder you run the G8 in the twisties, the less it tends to be felt. Better still, if you choose the car V8 model V6, you get the same basic suspension tune. Unlike some automatic with manual shift controls, transmission G8 held on the train until you hit the engine of rev limiter at 6000 rpm. So there was never an opportunity of this mid-boring upshift corner.
Inside, the G8 will certainly not be mistaken for a luxury sedan. And it is normal. The important stuff like a big wheel and leather seats of support are included in the package Sport. The rear seats are carved deep and comfortable for six footers. And there are plenty of way for skis and other devices where the 17 ,5-cu-ft. Tronc is not enough. Like the exterior sheet metal, much of the interior of the G8 is shared with the Holden sedan. The only oddity is the Aussie fairly wide screen digital top of the pile center of the oil pressure and voltage. It is a return to the digital dashboards 1980's that one could live without.
The G8 GT is a relative performance to negotiate, from only $ 29995. If you have a little more money, and aspire to an even more powerful G8, stay tuned: The rumors persist about a GXP model with more than 400 horsepower LS3 Corvette engine and a six speed manual. Pontiac performance is back, baby. -- Ben Stewart
Diposting oleh Indra di 10:06 AM
From behind the bold rimmed steering wheel and windshield in a vertical position of the Mini Clubman, there is no suggestion that the Mini is anything but, in addition, a mini convention. In fact, from the scoreboard before the Clubman is the same as all other Minis. And all of how the car sounds, looks and the horse is exactly what you expect from this success reincarnation of the British classic.
But this Clubman version of the Mini is approximately 9.6 inches longer overall than the original, with a wheelbase that is an additional 3.2 inches And when you first glance in the mirror, you are surprised an explosion and a vertical rear window Commune where the two rear doors meet.
Our test drive reminds me of a really Escort van I once pushed around London. Except that the sound inside the Mini is pleasant and well-cushioned not like my old can rattle van. But the double doors are there for the same reason: the expansion of the utility vehicle.
As essentially a cut for large, the Mini is normal to the car cool. But rear-seat access is quite burdensome for those of us who top 6 feet by a good margin. Now, with an opening to the back-side access door on the right side of the vehicle (Mini calls a Clubdoor), which is no longer a big challenge. With the Clubdoor cut, there is a double feature shutline onto the right side of the Mini. But other than that, there is no real evidence of another access point. Mini was quite slick on the design, without outside handles or other attributes. In association with the seat in front easily released, Clubdoor makes access to the rear seat easier. There is more room back there, too, with about 1 inch more shoulder room, 2.4 inches high value, and a smidgen more for your noggin.
For such a practical car design, the Mini took some time to have a Clubman out of the depth of its production processes, which are split between three factories in Oxford, Swindon and Hams Hall in England. Considering that a wagon version of the original Mini had emerged as Mini Traveller and Countryman models as far back as 1961, the company seems to have been very cautious about this new car.
Indeed, Clubman concepts were explored at the time of the first generation new Mini, when designers juggled possible permutations including a liftback and a horizontally split tail with a clamshell tailgate window and treatment. Ultimately, the board supports dual-gate design you see here. Not only because it is the beginning of Mini cars used, they say, but because he had a distinctive look. The Mini needs to be nonconformist, whenever he can.
Because of a cleverly articulated hinge design, rear doors, and rotate away from the car at the opening, offering unrestricted access to the loading area. They must be opened in order, the right side door of the first, but it quickly becomes accustomed to it. Gaz provide adequate assistance that the effort of openness is fairly light, and the doors still ajar. If necessary, the rear seatbacks fold down to provide extra cargo volume, and there is a sub-floor storage for small objects.
Other than the additional gates and the length, Clubman is familiar. Both Cooper and Cooper S designations are available with six-speed manual or automatic. Of the Cooper S models, a six-speed automatic comes with steering wheel-mounted shift levers. Along the lines normally aspirated Cooper, a ZF continuously variable transmission (CVT) is offered as an option for the manual.
The Cooper is powered by a 1.6-litre line that produces four 118 hp and 114 lb.-ft. of torque, and accelerates from rest to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds. His figure of the average fuel consumption is 37 mpg. The Cooper S uses the 1.6-liter turbo four, and produces 172 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque, hitting 60 mph in 7.0 seconds, with 34 mpg in normal use.
All versions have Mini electric steering assistance, spring-strut front suspension and control multi-arm rear suspension. Despite the length and additional weight (about 166 pounds and 232 pounds on models Coopers S), the handle and cars drive about how normal hardtops do. Mini create an autocross on our first disc, and we tested Clubman Hardtop original models and back-to-back.
The Clubman seemed more yaw damping, which has a little bit slow to turn in. At the same time, the largest Mini was given a little more stability. Anyway, there's not enough difference between the two body styles skew your choice away from the Clubman if you need additional utility. In general, the Coopers roll slightly better than the S-blown models, and they are less prone to small and slight torque steer directional variations on rough surfaces from which the torquier, wholesale tire models sometimes suffer.
But the high-performance Minis have a lot of power and are really fast in the wild, where their bigger tires sharp turn and take the longest. If the bodies of additional openings in the Clubman have affected the structural rigidity of the Mini, it is not immediately obvious on the road to the car and drove solidly throughout. Our only complaint is the quirky placement and labeling of certain secondary checks. But since switching is identical to the rest of the hot-selling mini-series, it is hardly an impediment to sales. After all, the company sold 42000 Minis in the United States in 2007.
A base Mini Cooper Clubman is at the price of $ 20600, while the Cooper S Clubman stickers at $ 24100. As usual with Mini, customization potential is enormous. There are enough options free-standing that the chances of seeing yourself coming in the other direction is virtually impossible. Besides, now that we are in a new variation in the mixture, your individuality is as safe as a house. -- Barry Winfield
Diposting oleh Indra di 9:52 AM
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts - It is a humble home of what could be the future of urban transportation. Locked in an office here at the MIT Media Lab is the latest prototype of the RoboScooter delivered ago just one month from Taiwan. Outside this room, the Media Lab is almost too eccentric for the words: an open space lined with offices, teeming with art and the explosion of plant life. This is exactly the opposite of what little space austere, where the scooter detached from the seat sits on the ground and wires snake of the cavity where the removable battery should be. The rear wheel is clamped in place, and under the fluorescent lights, in these cramped quarters, RoboScooter looks like a hospital patient. His immediate prognosis is still in the air, but here's good news: What does it look like the end, and regardless of the actual impact, the vehicle will be done.
And then there are the inevitable bad news: The first-gen RoboScooter will not be very robotic. The original concept developed by the Media Lab Smart Cities research group called wheeled which were essentially autonomous robots, with dedicated processors that could optimize braking and suspension. In a configuration with four wheels, the robots on wheels would also control steering. The group of automobile design, the City, for example, allows you to rotate each wheel independently. For a scooter, computer, the director is not necessarily more effective than the old handlebars. But for the moment, the point is moot, because the first RoboScooters to hit the streets will have no wheels, no more intelligent than a Vespa.
But here is making it more intelligent: RoboScooter will be entirely electric, with at least a lithium-ion battery pack that can be exchanged for another, fully loaded. And while the exact mechanics have not been finalized, the scooter will have the ability to turn in on itself, with its rear wheel sitting next to the front. Who covers the cost of things that could convince you to buy or rent a possible. But the most important innovation RoboScooter-one with the potential to change the state of urban transport-is on the assembly line. "A vehicle traditional internal combustion could have 1200 to 1500 pieces," said William Mitchell, director of the research group Smart Cities and a professor of architecture and media arts and sciences. "RoboScooter 150."
Hybrid vehicles are even more complex, sometimes requiring upwards of 25 percent more parts than their internal combustion. "Hybrids have a niche in the short term," says Mitchell. "But in principle, they go exactly in the wrong direction. They are doubling the complexity instead of what we should be doing, which is to reduce by half." The RoboScooter trims parties by being all electric, but also with its simple, minimalist design borderline. "We are practicing to push the argument that we should get rid of the plate, which generally encrusts a scooter," Mitchell says.
This dramatic reduction of the parties can mean dramatically production costs cheaper for Taiwan, which manufactures Sanyang Motors (SYM). It could also have an impact on similar projects for electric vehicles, like the City of car. Although this concept has not found a partner willing to market, low cost, the rationalization of the production process could enable small businesses, both in the United States and abroad, to look seriously s 'involvement. For Mitchell, everything is riding on RoboScooter.
Today, however, nobody is really riding the scooter, and it is difficult to say when somebody. The prototype is being developed, and researchers from MIT yet to be finalized its electric propulsion and how to reduce it. The final product will not be able to change style Transformers at the touch of a button. But the driver can not be expected to fight entirely on his own - the scooter would valve components, or the type of hydraulic system that will open the trunks of cars themselves. Also in question is how the vehicle will be charged. The developers originally envisioned charging racks distributed throughout the city, which could double in the rental stations in which users could buy a one-way ticket. If ever SYM decided to take this plunge, adopting a business model that is a cross between Zipcar services in the United States and the successful programme of Parisian bike rentals, it might be the biggest moment of approving a one-way trip short rental vehicle.
If-and let us be clear, this is a very big if-RoboScooter off when its introduced in Asia, the benefits could quickly snowball. The wheels may not be automated now, but the architecture is already in place for future generations of the scooter; expectation is now controlled by computer for components such as electric brakes being developed by Siemens. And if a rental system RoboScooter turns a profit, it could not only prove that short trip, one-way electric vehicles are possible, but perhaps change the current perception that EVs will become useful when they have the range to go cross-country . One potential gain can be a battery model of renting scooters swap li-ion packs, reducing the cost of ownership and solve complex problems related to the guarantee plug-in vehicles.
As excited as Mitchell is about RoboScooter, he has no delusions about where she will be successful. "The scooters are perfect for Asian, European markets. They are not a good model in the States. They are connected to art directors," he says, "but pending security is higher here." For the United States, Mitchell has a vision very different from the short-term impact of a car-like city electric vehicle. It's more ambitious, multi-modal, a one-way rental model. A user might rent a scooter or a bicycle to go to the supermarket, then rent a car to bring her groceries at home. Taken by the hair as it sounds scenario, each of its components is at hand, at the technical level. The challenge is to persuade companies to take the first step. For its part, Smart Cities group expects that the current Mitchell described as a "good prototype" RoboScooter to SYM by April 1. If all goes according to plan, the scooter could hit the market in Asia next year.
Diposting oleh Indra di 9:41 AM
A good 15 years ago, Honda invited me to travel to its engineering center and proving grounds in Japan to preview a boatload of future products, including stuff like the first four-stroke chain saws, string trimmers and lawnmowers. Then I had the chance to check out a dynamometer room with an ultra-low pollution environment. This chamber was where they tested the next generation of cars-the ones we're driving around now, labeled Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (SULEV). Yeah, I think its goofy nomenclature too. Anyway, the room was hypersensitive to hydrocarbons-so sensitive that engineers found the paint on the car bodies and lubricants in the chassis and doorjambs represented a substantial amount of the pollution they were measuring. Eventually, I was told, they had to resort to bare-metal car bodies to eliminate all those false positives.
All of this was incredibly interesting, but the one thing that genuinely impressed me was the hybrid car they let me drive around the proving grounds for a half-hour or so. It was basically a tiny little Japanese domestic market cutter way too small to market in the States. I mean, it was barely bigger than a Smart Car, which, of course, they just started selling here this year. I guess times have changed. Anyway, this little tyke was powered by a 1-liter engine, and it was bog-slow. It was really too slow to be on U.S. Roads-easily slower than my old 1200-cc VW microbus, anyway. Heck, I should have had an hourglass on the dash in place of that speedometer.
But then the engineer sitting next to me toggled a switch, and the thing changed its character immediately. Acceleration was on a par with any four-banger economy cars we drive today. The boost of power came from the hybrid system he turned on, a prototype of what eventually developed into the Intelligent Honda Motor Assist (IMA) that we can buy today. It was a simple "mild" hybrid system that used a flywheel-replacing generator to convert the vehicle's kinetic energy to electricity, which was stored and routed back to the flywheel, which was then used as a motor to convert the electricity back to Forward motion. This not only improved the acceleration from that tiny engine, it improved fuel economy, too.
All of that is old hat, as you know-except for the fact that the thing did not have a battery for storing any of that 7.5 kilowatts of energy (enough to hit 0 to 50 mph three times at full throttle). Instead, it had an "ultracapacitor" under the rear seat-a metal box about the size of a violin case. At the time, Honda engineers saw the ultracapacitor as the system they would use when the IMA went into production a few years later. But like many engineering prototypes, the cost targets were never realized, and the system that ultimately went into production was battery-based.
Will nanowire based ultracapacitors ultimately wind up in hybrids? Quite possibly-we saw some stunning developments this week at MIT. The power density of batteries is superior right now, and the cost of batteries is constantly edging down. Here's what I predict: If ultracapacitors can be made successfully at a competitive price point, conventional hybrids will transition from batteries to ultracapacitors because of the capacitor's longer life span and lower internal resistance, as well as its deep-discharge tolerance. While a battery pack can be damaged by being discharged completely, capacitors simply do not care.
Plug-in hybrids, on the other hand, will still likely use batteries for their main battery pack, and capacitors for reclaiming energy while slowing down and to provide high-current acceleration. This will let the battery discharge and recharge at moderate current, which should offer better performance and battery life over the long haul. Get ready for these ultracapacitors, because I think they're on the way.
Diposting oleh Indra di 9:24 AM