Archive for the ‘Cars/Autos’ Category
On the most recent episode of Discovery Channel’s “MythBusters,” Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara tested whether a few techniques collectively known as “hypermiling” can double your fuel economy. They took two cars, a new sedan and an older coupe, and drove normally as far as they could on exactly 3 gallons of gas. They then repeated the process using hypermiling techniques.
The results? The new car was able to drive 40 percent farther while hypermiling (30 miles per gallon, up from 21.3 mpg), while the older car went 70 percent farther (45.3 mpg, up from 26 mpg). The myth is busted, because they couldn’t double their fuel economy, but a 70 percent improvement is impressive. And it could save a lot of money at the pump.
Only driving techniques and modifications legal in California were employed, so everything they did to get that massive improvement in miles per gallon is probably legal for you, too. But since laws vary from state to state, you’ll want to make sure anything you pull from this list is permitted where you live.
Here’s what to do:
Never drive above 45 mph
Yes, this includes highways. And yes, you’ll make a lot of enemies. But if you can pull off driving no faster than 45 mph, you’ll use a lot less fuel.
Remove passenger side mirror
The thinking here is that by reducing wind resistance, you’ll improve mileage. Removing things sticking out from the side of your car should do that.
Avoid braking and rapid acceleration
This is the foundation of hypermiling. Not only do you need to gradually bring your car up to speed, but also drive to minimize braking. This means driving slower overall, looking as far ahead as possible, and braking less around turns.
Turn off engine at red lights
If the engine is off, you’re not using gas. If you can ignore a little horn honking and spiteful hand gestures you’ll get from the cars behind you while you start back up when the light turns green, you’ll spend less on gas.
Windows up/AC off
If you can stand the heat, you can save some money. By keeping your windows up and the AC off, you reduce the strain on your engine and maintain the aerodynamics of your car.
Try to stay relaxed
Angry drivers burn more fuel. It’s a myth that “MythBusters” has already tested, but the lesson learned has become part of hypermiling. If you feel yourself getting stressed behind the wheel (and if you’re driving without AC no faster than 45 mph on the freeway and turning your engine off at every red light, you probably will) try taking a few deep breaths to calm down and remember that your goal is zen-like fuel savings.
Legally draft when possible
This is another technique that’s been tested by “MythBusters” (albeit to an extreme). If you can find an opportunity to legally draft the vehicle in front of you, take it. Drafting is simply driving at a close but still reasonable distance behind the vehicle in front of you.
But while driving extremely close to something like a big rig will save you a ton of gas, it’s incredibly dangerous. Always remember: Your life is more important than your money.
Overinflate tires by 10 percent
Though it may reduce the lifespan of your tires, slightly overinflating them may help you get a few more miles out of each tank of gas.
Cover car in streamlining skin
While it may seem a bit goofy, ”MythBusters” covered the cars in some kind of streamlining skin. It’s unclear exactly what they used in this episode, but they’ve already shown that adding dimples to your car can increase its mileage, so a skin might not be so far-fetched.
Try to navigate intersections to always go through green lights
If you have to stop, you’ll have to start back up again. And accelerating up to speed takes fuel. Minimize the number of red lights you encounter and you’ll use less.
The spare tire in your trunk is convenient when needed, but adds a bunch of weight to the car. If you’re comfortable driving without it, remove it. And while you’re at it, remove anything else that’s adding unnecessary weight, like that set of golf clubs still in your trunk.
We’ll cut to the chase here. That quarter-million-dollar Maybach Jay-Z and Kanye West nearly totaled in their “Otis” video: now up for auction. The doors have been ripped off, and the exhaust basically converted into a flamethrower. (They never said it was street legal.)
Via gtspirit.com – Back at the IAA in Frankfurt Maserati presented their SUV concept that will hit the roads in 2013. The concept got the name ‘Kubang’, but this will not be official name when the SUV hits streets around the world.
Rumours go that the final name will be ‘Cinqueporte’. Confirmation comes from the fact that Maserati has recently registered the name at the European patent and trademark office.
For most of us this will not be a big surprise as Maserati’s four4-door saloon is called the Quattroporte and the SUV will come with five doors. Cinqueporte is easily translated as ‘five doors’.
According to the Italian manufacturer the Kubang maintains the integrity of Maserati’s DNA by offering driving pleasure and a luxury atmosphere similar to today’s high-end sports and luxury cars. The Italians also claim that the style, engine, suspensions, brakes, handling and performance will all unmistakably be Maserati.
The engine of the Maserati Kubang will be produced by Ferrari and coupled to an AT eight-speed automatic transmission. More details regarding the new Maserati SUV will be unveiled in the near future, so stay tuned for more!
Via benzinsider.com – We’ve had our fair share of crazy and useless crap on the site, but here is another one that will surely trump those that have come before it. For those stinking rich bastards out there, but also for those that love dreaming at owning something like this, I present to you the glass rims. You’ve seen chrome and aluminum wheels, but I bet this is the first time you’ve seen these. I have to say that they look amazing on a car, absolutely amazing, and with a price tag of above 5k per wheel, these surely should only be put on cars above $100,000. The only problem with these is that the cleaning will be ridiculously difficult. Of course they aren’t glass, but some kind of a plastic material; no idea on who makes them, but I am sure someone will find out.
Update: We know much more about the “Glass” wheels now; it seems that the wheels are made by Forgiato and are the Radurra series. Check out more pictures below or head over to their website. Thank you Cdoke.
Via Car and Driver – Given the superlative nature and awesome speed of Bugatti’s already-legendary, 250-plus-mph Veyron supercar, interest in the manufacturer’s follow-up is intense. The company had previously gone on record as saying that its next model wouldn’t be a supercar, but details were scant—until now. In a recent article from the German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, Bugatti CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer confirms that the new car will be in the vein of the controversial 16 C Galibier concept, which we examined (and this scribe didn’t particularly like) back in 2009. It will seat four and have a generous trunk, Dürheimer says; you can bet that a set of fitted luggage will be one of the pricey options. We care somewhat more about what’s fitted up front, of course, which the article claims will be a 16-cylinder powerplant, although output wasn’t mentioned. (The W-16 under the Galibier’s butterfly bonnet delivers a mere 800 hp, somewhat less than the 1001 churned up by the 8.0-liter W-16 in the mid-engine Veyron.) The Galibier concept is big, though, so don’t expect Veyron-esque, sub-three-second 0-to-60 sprints no matter how much carbon fiber and aluminum the new car contains. Interestingly, a hybrid model (presumably a plug-in) is on the docket as well, with an electric-only driving range of about 25 miles, according to Dürheimer.
Also interesting is Dürheimer’s hope of selling between 1000 and 1500 of the super-luxe conveyance over the course of its lifetime, roughly triple the number of Veyron coupes and Grand Sport convertibles Bugatti has built since 2004. The story also projects that the big Bug will go on sale during the fall of 2012, about a year earlier than most stated projections. How much will it cost? Dürheimer says it will command at least €1M, which amounts to about $1.42 million at today’s exchange rates.
Porsche Panamera Stingray GTR ($TBA). Aggressively modified by Russian outfit TopCar, this limited edition — only 25 are being made — sports sedan features a nearly all-new carbon fiber and Kevlar body, including new front and rear bumpers, air vents, front and rear fender extenders, front and rear doors — the latter of which open with the press of a button — bonnet, wings, rear diffuser, spoiler, and side skirts, along with performance enhancements like a sport air filter, intake manifold, and valved exhaust system that boost horsepower north of the 600 mark. I heard my boy Hakim Taylor already ordered his.
Trade-In Value*: $975
Original Price in 1994: $15,430
New Car Value (2011): $20,200
And the winner of the Most Stolen Vehicle contest is … the Honda Accord! The model year is 1994, the year that NAFTA was established, skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed in the knee with a pipe and O.J. Simpson took the entire nation on a high-speed chase.
The Accord is loved by both drivers and thieves and is universally stolen all over America. Drivers love it for its quality and refinement. It handles well, rates high on safety and maintenance and has a roomy interior. Thieves, of course, love them for their parts, which don’t change much from year to year, and for their lack of anti-theft technology.
Land Rover will showcase its luxury skills when it unveils this maxed-up Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate Edition at the 2011 Geneva motor show.
Gaydon calls it the ‘most luxurious Range Rover’ and it has a pair of Apple iPads installed in to the rear entertainment system as standard so businessmen and kids can smear grubby fingers aplenty as they work and play. A pair of individual back seats is fitted in place of a rear bench, and there’s an aluminium laptop table too.
There’s an array of finery thrown at the interior: soft-touch leather is used throughout, as well as machined aluminium inserts and Kalahari wood veneers, while the rear load bay is lined with a teak decking.
Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate Edition: the engines
A pair of engines are available: the 4.4 TDV8 or the 5.0 petrol supercharged V8. Both come with ZF’s eight-speed auto, and the petrol motor will thrust the top Rangie to 60mph in 5.9sec.
Outside you’ll spot the Autobiography Ultimate by a pair of unique colours – red or stone – 20in alloy wheels, body-coloured handles, a smoked radiator grille and side vents.
Just 500 Ultimate Range Rovers will be built. What price such OTT luxury? We won’t know until later in 2011 when the car goes on sale. It’s a bit of a swansong for the Range Rover – the new one lands next year.
The new 2012 Range Rover
The 2012 Rangie will set a new stylistic marker for Land Rover, in the same way that the 2000 model did. For starters, it’ll be aluminium, to carve around 20% off its hefty waistline.
Power comes from V6 and V8 engines while we’ll also see the first hybrid model from Jaguar Land Rover: the 4x4s were deemed more important than the Jags, so the Range Rover will debut this important technology, most likely in diesel-electric form.