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Monday, January 22, 2007

The Top 7 Concept Cars for 2007 - Jaguar C-XF

So, this is what a Jaguar looks like when they let chief designer Ian Callum loose with his imagination, a pen and crack staff of automotive fabricators. My pick for best in show, the lines of the C-XF form the basis for the next-generation Jaguar S-Type. We love the snub nose, flared rear-haunches and modern British luxury. Sources say it may be affordable too, so start saving.

The Top 7 Concept Cars for 2007 - Mercedes-Benz Ocean Drive Concept

A case of the "why nots" must have reverberated through the Mercedes-Benz design center. How else would you explain reaching into the S600 parts bin to create this over-the-top and luxurious four-door convertible? With a top that folds up or down in 18 seconds and enough suede and leather to cover a sofa factory, this concept is everything a show car should be: Desirable.

The Top 7 Concept Cars for 2007 - Lincoln MKR

Lincoln refers to the MKR as "guilt-free luxury." The interior of the MKR features environmentally-friendly appointments like a chrome-free leather interior, mohair carpeting, a re-engineered oak instrument panel and soy seat foam. The green idea extends under the hood, too, with its TwinForce 3.5L V6 twin-turbo direct injection engine that produces V8 power in a V6. It also runs on E85. 400 horsepower and it's green - we like.

The Top 7 Concept Cars for 2007 - Mitsubishi Prototype

Boy racers of the world unite. Flared fenders, loads of style and a turbo-charged four banger. And, says Mitsubishi, it has "the most power ever in an Evolution model." Just the fact that Mitsubishi said they'd make a new EVO in the first place is tremendous and this time around, it comes with an optional automatic transmission. The gauntlet has been thrown down, Subaru.

The Top 7 Concept Cars for 2007 - Camaro Convertible Concept

Nothing says U.S.A. like a Camaro, shown here in its convertible guise for the first time. Chevrolet says they'll produce the ragtop as a 2009 model. We'll take ours in the classic colors; bright red with black racing stripes. Fuzzy dice, of course, are extra.

The Top 7 Concept Cars for 2007 - Volvo XC60

We think Volvo is moving the right direction with their recent design ethos. Show something in concept form at a major auto show and then "Ta-Dah!" a year or so later, produce a similar looking production model. The XC60 is Volvo's small crossover. We like the proportion of this concept, not too big, not too small with a clean Scandinavian-inspired interior. Oh, and it will also come in candy apple green which will add some pop to the grey pictured here. This concept is a winner.

The Top 7 Concept Cars for 2007 - Acura Advanced Sports Car Concept

A very radical departure from the vehicle it may replace, the venerable NSX, this Acura looks to us like a futuristic version of the iconic Corvette remixed in the key of a Japanese tuner. Note the long hood NSX fans. That's where the front mounted V-10 engine will go, not the middle of the car. Progress sometimes hurts purists the most.

The Top 7 Concept Cars for 2007

Mazda Ryuga

Auto design, like most things in life, is subjective. What would be considered good taste and great style for one person is another's automotive nightmare. Add a layer of complexity like what someone thinks about car design and the levels of subjectivity get seriously convoluted.

The two constants in the automotive design world are progress and change. Jon Ikeda, principal designer at the Acura Design Center, sums it up nicely by saying, "If you design an automobile right, it should look new until the next model comes out." Easier said than done, Mr. Ikeda.

So, continuing on this theme, here are the top picks for the best concept cars from the 2007 North American International Auto Show. Again, it's just one man's opinion. That said, if I attended the launch of the much-vilified Ford Edsel in 1957, I would have said it looked great. Let the fighting begin.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Vampire Jet Car Does 0-270 MPH in 6 Seconds, Eats Driver


Here's a 300MPH Jet car that weighs 2,200 lbs, is 30 feet long and drinks 7-10 gallons of fuel per mile. The jet-car accelerates from 0 to 272 mph in six seconds and is powered by a Rolls Royce Orpheus jet engine theoretically capable of 370mph. The car holds the "Outright British Land Speed Record" and doesn't like to be told what to do. Top Gear's Richard Hammond is in the hospital after the car ate shit at about 270MPH. Bad jet-car, bad!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

How does Superman travel when he's not flying?

Ever wondered how Superman moves around when he's not in the air? Ta daa...

Gillette Mach 3 Turbo - Car or Shaver?!

If anyone has saw the Gillette ad on tv recently, you would have noticed a bright red sports car whizzing on the road... Here's the beauty on display at 1Utama Shopping Centre recently during Gillette's roadshow.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Jalopnik G-G-Gadget Car: Hydrogen Driven Chevy Sequel and BMW Hydrogen 7

This week saw the introduction of two vastly different concept cars running engines powered by hydrogen and since that's a pretty innovative deal, let's take a moment and walk through the technology behind these two technological wonders-on-wheels, and the two diametrically opposite ways they address bringing hydrogen fuel cell power to the people. How could two hydrogen systems be so different? Well the first one, by the 'merican Revolution of Chevy, is a fully hydrogen-powered system and the other, by the German luxe powerhouse of BMW, is a gasoline-and hydrogen-powered system. What are the chances of success of either or both of these technologies in actually making it to market? Will they be fuel efficient? Will they look cool?


Monday saw the first announcement, of the Chevrolet Sequel -- an entirely hydrogen-powered and petroleum-free vehicle (except for, and we're only guessing here, but there's probably motor oil in it). The Sequel, originally introduced in 2005 at the Detroit Auto Show, was the first concept car to integrate a hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system and match it up to a bunch of cool gadgety goodness -- like steer-and brake-by-wire controls, wheel hub motors, lithium-ion batteries and a lightweight aluminum structure. The Sequel's also got a crossover SUV form factor (the "CUV" appears to be the new hotness of form factors) with a range of 300 miles between fill-ups as it pulls fuel from three carbon composite high-pressure tanks for hydrogen which it's got mounted and sandwiched into the chassis in order to protect it from damage in case of a crash.

The BMW, announced on Tuesday, is a "hybrid" in that it uses both a gasoline-and hydrogen-powered drive. The BMW Hydrogen 7 is based on the BMW 7 Series (duh!), and is powered by a 260 hp twelve-cylinder engine and features a dual-mode power unit -- controlled at the touch of a button -- that can switch from the 17.6 lb. hydrogen fuel tank (125 miles worth) to the 16.3 lb. conventional premium gasoline tank (300 miles worth). The premium gas gives it some fuel economy issues, the Hydrogen 7 gets 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway -- but by providing both drive units, it's able to get a range of more than 400 miles. It also makes certain the car will still drive even if it isn't in range of a hydrogen fuel station. For some strange reason, finding one seems to be a problem for anyone but the Jetsons. The Hydro-7's got the same creature comforts as the regular 7 Series, with electric seats (now with lumbar support!), ISOFIX child seat fastenings (you know, for kids!) and interior mirrors with something called "automatic anti-dazzle" (we've no friggin' idea!). BMW's producing 100 of them to test as a concept, with around 30 of them coming stateside -- and no, you'll probably not be able to drive one or buy one anytime soon. Neither car seems to have any performance issues requiring Levitra, with both getting 0-60 times of sub-ten seconds and top speeds of around 140 mph.

But what's funny about hydrogen power is yet again GM's finding itself actually ahead of the curve with a vehicle ahead of its time -- like the electric car some accuse it of killing -- and competitors nipping at its heels, coming out with half-steps hybrids. We'll have to see if GM's gonna have the balls to push the Sequel to, and keep it at, market -- or will they let BMW become the hydrogen version of Honda or Toyota as GM goes on to star in a documentary sequel called "Who Killed The Hydrogen Car." We guess only time will tell.

A Whole Different Kind of Fuelie: GM's Sequel to Be a Chevrolet [Jalopnik]
Burning the Midnight Liquid Fuel: BMW Reveals Hydrogen 7 [Jalopnik]

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

BMW to roll out hydrogen-power 7 Series

Tue Sep 12, 6:33 AM ET

MUNICH (Reuters) - BMW will roll out the world's first hydrogen-burning car in serial production early next year, the German premium automaker said on Tuesday, eager to put its stamp on cars with green credentials.

The specially equipped 7-Series executive cars emit only water vapor when running on hydrogen.

The car hits the market next April and will be shown at the Los Angeles car show in November, the company said. It had said in March the hydrogen cars would arrive within two years.

A spokesman said the car would be leased to selected customers rather than sold because of its high price. Leasing rates would be similar to those for a top-end BMW 760LI with a full-service package.

The BMW 7 Series Hydrogen 7 Saloon is powered by a 260 hp twelve-cylinder engine and accelerates from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 9.5 seconds. Top speed is limited electronically to 230 km/h.

BMW has said it intends to build a few hundred such cars at first. They will be able to switch between burning standard petrol and hydrogen so that drivers will not be left stranded while the infrastructure to deliver hydrogen is built up.

"The integration of hydrogen drive in an existing vehicle concept which has already proven its merits in the market paves the way for an alternative to conventional drive concepts fully accepted in the market and with all the assets the customer is looking for in practice," BMW said.

The space that two fuel tanks take up means only the 7-Series will offer the hydrogen package at first. BMW's long-term goal is to offer hydrogen motors in all its cars.

BMW unveiled the world's fastest hydrogen-powered car at the 2004 Paris auto show. Dubbed the H2R, it can exceed 300 kilometers (185 miles) per hour and reaches 100 km per hour from a standing start in around six seconds.

While BMW is developing fuel-cell driven cars as well, it says it is concentrating on the combustion engine because the sum total of its features and characteristics offers the largest number of advantages and benefits all in one.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

2006 Audi A4

2006 Audi A4: Highlights

Audi's best-selling lineup offers three body styles: sedans, Avant wagons, and Cabriolet convertibles. All are available in A4 and high-performance S4 trim. The A4 2.0 T sedan and wagon have a 200-hp turbo 4-cyl engine. The A4 3.2 sedan and wagon have a 255-hp V6. Cabriolets have either a 170-hp turbo 4-cyl or a 220-hp V6. S4s have a 340-hp V8. Audi's quattro all-wheel drive is standard on wagons, S4s, and the 3.0 Cabrio. It's available for other models in place of front-wheel drive. Transmission choices, depending on model, include a manual, automatic, or a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that provides near-infinite drive ratios.

Sporty S line packages include 18-inch wheels, plus a firmer, lower-riding suspension. S4s have unique trim and sport suspension. All A4s have ABS and an antiskid system. Sedans and wagons include curtain side airbags and front torso side airbags; rear torso airbags are available. Cabrios come with front head/torso side airbags, plus rear support bars designed to pop up in a rollover. Cabrios have a power fabric top with heated glass rear window. Optional is a navigation system that includes Audi's MMI integrated control for audio, climate, and other functions.


Consumer Guide® Automotive places each vehicle into one of 17 classes based on size, price, and market position. Premium Compact Cars are similar in size but more expensive than Compact Cars. Premium Compacts have more standard equipment and an upscale image when compared to Compact Cars.

Our Best Buys in the Premium Compact Car class are Acura TSX, Audi A4, and BMW 3-Series. At this time we have no Recommended picks.

New or significantly redesigned models in this class include Audi A3 and Lexus IS.


For additional news and information go to the 2007 Audi A4.

2006 Audi A4 Road Test
Consumer Guide's® seasoned auto editors road test more than 200 new cars and trucks each year. We evaluate each vehicle's on-road performance in ten critical areas: acceleration, fuel economy, ride quality, handling, quietness, interior controls, front-seat room, rear-seat room, cargo volume, and overall value. The Consumer Guide® 2006 Audi A4 road test gives you a quick snapshot of the vehicle's performance with pros, cons, and numeric ratings. Also included on select reviews are Editor's Comments and Long-Term Tests.

2006 Audi A4 Prices & Equipment
The Consumer Guide® 2006 Audi A4 new-car review includes retail prices and dealer-invoice prices. In addition, our easy-to-read price charts break down the standard and optional equipment included in each trim level. Finally, we provide the latest manufacturer-rebate and dealer-incentive information to make comparison shopping a breeze.

2006 Audi A4 Specs & Safety
The Consumer Guide® 2006 Audi A4 new-vehicle Specs and Safety page includes detailed specifications charts. Each body style is included and key measurements comprise exterior and interior dimensions, curb weight, towing and payload ranges, and cargo volume. We also include engine specifications, fuel-tank capacity, and EPA fuel-economy numbers. Augmenting these numbers are NHTSA crash-test scores and a breakdown of the factory warranty.

2006 Audi A4 Photos
Since so many vehicles look alike, the Consumer Guide® 2006 Audi A4 new-vehicle review includes an extensive photo gallery. The 2006 Audi A4 features a selection of interior and exterior images. To clarify the assortment of photos, each image includes a caption that identifies the vehicle year, make, model, body style, and trim.

2006 Audi A4 Local Dealers
The process of buying a new car is overwhelming. Even when you know what kind of car you want, how do you select a dealer you can trust? We can connect you with a local Audi dealer that not only meets the highest standards of customer service, but one who will provide you with a great new-car price quote on a 2006 Audi A4 -- hassle free. You control the car-buying process with a Consumer Guide® new-car price quote in hand.

2006 Audi A4 Review
To save time, we've collected all of our 2006 Audi A4 new-vehicle information on the Full Review page. This page includes what's new for this year, a Consumer Guide® road test, complete retail and invoice prices, detailed specifications and engine ratings, and crash-test information. If you are researching new vehicles, the Full Review page is a great place to get all of the facts in one place.

Friday, August 25, 2006

KLIMS 2006