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Role of Hybrid Cars in the Current Auto Crisis

Role of Hybrid Cars in the Current Auto Crisis

The downfall of the economy has left a major effect on the automotive industry. The automotive industry crisis of 2008-2009 is just another of the unprecedented events in the car industry’s long history. The collapse of the economy and the consequent slowing down has affected the U.S. auto markets much more than the European or the Asian markets.

This fall started during the 2003-2008 energy crises that resulted in the collapse of poor fuel-efficient vehicles like sports utility vehicles and pickup trucks. The Big Three of the American market slowly had to admit their defeat when car sales began to slide. The rise in prices of raw materials that were essential for car manufacturing was another factor that led to its great plunge.

In the meantime, the Big Three, GM, Ford and Chrysler, were facing criticism for their irresponsible role in ignoring the impact their cars had on environmental politics. Al Gore, in the 2007 edition of his book, ‘An Inconvenient Truth”, said that these companies are “trying to sell large, inefficient gas-guzzlers” in spite of the poor demand for their products.

The U.S. auto’s fuel efficiency requirement was another critical aspect, which along with these other factors, made the market formulate a switch to European and Japanese cars for a solution. While the car manufacturers were striving for 45 mpg in Japan, 35 mpg in China, 52 mpg in the EU by 2012, this figure was a pitiful 25 mpg in the U.S. resulting in a public outcry. Moreover, the impact it would impose on the environment made it a major cause of worry for environmentalists and politicians alike.

As a result, in the middle of the auto crisis, some took this opportunity to present new potential options. These were hybrid cars. After the launch of the first hybrid car in 1999 in the U.S., the Honda Insight, there was no looking back. Statistics reveal that the first 17 sales in December 1999 was followed by the sale of 1.5 million hybrids.

Today the competition with hybrid car manufacturers has risen tremendously. Hybrid car manufacturers, like the 2010 Toyota Prius, 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid FWD and Honda Civic Hybrid 2010, aim at 51/48 mpg, 41/36 mpg and 40/45 mpg fuel efficiency, respectively, on both city roads and the highway. The increased efficiency of these cars brought down the cost to drive 125 miles to an amount between $1.71 and $1.31.

In the current economic crunch where every penny counts, hybrid cars ensure maximum service to its customers. Toyota, for example, offers a 100,000 mile warranty on the battery pack and emission components, and Honda offers an 80,000 mile warranty. The reduction in wear and tear results in better savings for consumers.

Annual greenhouse gas emissions are significantly lower, with the Honda Accord claiming 6.8 tons, and the Honda Civic Hybrid showing 4.4 tons annually, and an annual 8 tons for premier gasoline engine.

In short, with better fuel efficiency, interesting price ranges, attractive features and a faster payback period, these hybrid cars play a great role in the modern economic scenario.…

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Nissan GT-R – The Epoch-Making Car

Nissan GT-R – The Epoch-Making Car

When the Prince Automobile Company merged with Nissan-Datsun in 1967, it gave way to the beginning of new GT-R legend series. Though the super car came from the humble Nissan Skyline family saloon, it was right at the time when the FIA GT series was making waves in the market. Nissan wanted to take on the Porsche 904 in the Japanese Grand Prix since the earliest predecessor of the GTR, the S54 2000 GT-B, came second in the very first race in 1964. So in 1969, Nissan premiered its first race-spec GT-R and it overtook the Porsche 904 in the race. That was the beginning of the legend of the GTR Skyline.

Nissan rolled out the next generation of the GTR, a four-door sedan PGC10 2000 GTR. It was good enough to achieve 33 victories in a short span of one and a half year. In 1972, the Skyline GTR, which had 1000 victories, was discontinued by the company. The next year, it brought out a better version of Skyline GT-R, a 2-litre engine driving the rear wheels. The production was suddenly stopped in 1977 due to poor sales. The last of the original GTRs from the Nissan saloon was the KPGC110 2000GTR. But it was never used for race and is still kept at a unit as historical reference in Zama.

The setback of 1973 Skyline GT-R, which was powered by a 1989cc engine, was due to the oil crisis and it smothered the enthusiasm for high-performance cars in the market. Sixteen years later, in 1989 the new GT-R version of Skyline with advanced technologies like four-wheel drive system ‘Attesa-ETS’ and the Super-Hicas four-wheel steering was launched. It progressed from 1989 until 2002 in R32, R33 and R34 specifications. In 2007, Nissan displayed a redesigned concept. The new Nissan GT-R was based on this concept and did not carry the Skyline badge. Thus the Nissan Skyline GT-R, which has achieved great success on the race track, is still forms the heritage of Nissan.

In 2009, the Nissan reached an agreement with Federation Internationale de l’Automobile GT Championship (FIA GT1) to fine tune its performance to market the car to racing team. And in 2010, Nissan was declared the Official Vehicle Supplier for the new FIA GT1 World Championship in which it will supply four GT-R cars for each SRO event and one of its high performance vehicles will take the Official Safety Car role at each event.…

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The LFA – A New GREED of Lexus?

The LFA – A New GREED of Lexus?

So a long time friend of mine and I were having a discussion the other day while he was graciously helping me with a front end alignment on my Maxima. Side note: I have this issue with paying for anything I know I can do myself. Problem is, doing a quality front end alignment with today’s wheel and tire specs would require special, expensive equipment. Hence, I have my good friend graciously help! But I digress…

Our discussion steered onto the path of the Lexus LFA. I had mentioned the recent marketing machine Lexus has unleashed on mainstream media, most notably television and online. You all have seen the commercial; the LFA sits on a dyno inside of what appears to be a clean room designed by someone from TLC. Harmonics from the admittedly gorgeous sounding engine decimate a champagne flute which has been oddly placed in front of a microphone relaying the mechanical tune.

Much less obvious is the subliminal marketing message that is actually being sent; You can’t afford this, but you might be able to afford one of our IS F’s or LS’s. Come in and see… The focal point of our conversation was the lofty price tag of the LFA, which I could not believe was $375,000. That’s right… nearly 400,000 one dollar bills. This number alone flooded my mind with countless question after question. What type of F1 tech did Toyota (Lexus’ parent) incorporate? What secret skunk works laboratory developed this thing? And of course, how fast could this car go? I was a little surprised at what I found.

Lets look at a few numbers and facts about the LFA in order to present its case: Specs? Just a 4.8 Liter V10 rated at 552 HP redlining at 9,000 RPM, rolling on 60% carbon fiber construction. Performance? Only 0-60 in 3.7 seconds with a top speed of 202 MPH. Okay, not too shabby; not too shabby at all. And certainly don’t forget about the huge ceramic brakes and the one of a kind LCD instrument screen to add to the wow factor. What’s not to like?

Getting back to the point at hand, I thought it only fair to compare my findings to other vehicles carrying similar bloodlines. The car that kept turning up was the Nissan GT-R, of the Japanese Skyline legacy. The Nissan GT-R was released for sale in the US in 2009, and despite rumors of market saturation and expensive dealer requirements, is none the less a performance power to be reckoned with. So how does the GT-R stack up against the incumbent LFA? Lets first take a look at the tale of the tape with the Nissan numbers. Specs include a 3.8 liter twin turbocharged 24 valve V6 rated at 485 HP spinning up to a respectable 7,000 RPM. Performance measures up too; 0-60 in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 193 MPH. Not a whole lot left to be desired here either. Not to mention all four of the 20″ ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels get power. You are correct sir, the GT-R is all wheel drive.

Interestingly there was one enormous feature I did not find on the Nissan GT-R in my comparison to the Lexus LFA: the price tag. While the performance and technical specifications of the LFA and GT-R stack up very closely, the cost of the vehicles differ drastically. The new 2011 model year GT-R is listed at $84,060, less than one fourth the cost of the upcoming 2012 Lexus supercar. So while you may be light years from affording the newest addition to the Lexus lineup, you can take heart knowing that you are much closer to owning a worthy adversary. In fact, you are closer to owning a fleet of them.…

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Save Money Long Term by Buying a Honda Civic

Save Money Long Term by Buying a Honda Civic

You look in the fridge for something to eat but you remember that the price of your favorite breakfast dish had risen so you didn’t purchase enough during your last shopping trip. You go to the garage, start your car and thankfully you are on your way to work and you won’t be late this time round. Just to add some spice to your morning, the fuel gauge shows the tank is almost empty and you have to hope that your car can get to the next gas station.

Times are tough and things don’t seem to be getting any better. Fuel prices shot up and so did almost everything else. To make matters even worse there is talk of a looming economic recession. Credit cards are no longer popular and many are opting to use them as sparingly as possible.

Transportation takes a big chunk of our income these days. Most people have to use a car or some other means of transportation to get to work. Some even live in one city and must commute to work in another. Personal vehicles are therefore a basic need. With the current fuel prices though, owning a personal vehicle is slowly becoming more of a luxury. It is now clear that due to the current financial crisis as a result of the biting credit crunch many Americans are opting to use other means of transport instead of their cars.

This doesn’t have to be true for all owners of personal vehicles. With a Honda civic you don’t have to worry about the trends in fuel prices. The original two door coupe Honda Civic was introduced into the American market in 1972. Other models were introduced later and were found to be popular in the market as well. The fast growing popularity of the cars mainly was due to their fuel efficiency. The cars were also known to be environmentally friendly and reliable cars.

Honda civic models still hold a reputation for cost efficient fuel consumption. It is widely known that in 2008 due to high fuel prices, models of Honda civic cars were the top-selling vehicles in Canada. Following the weak economic trends, the vehicles also topped the sales lists in June 2008 in the United States.

If you are like everyone else, and want to save money in every possible way go to your nearest car dealer and ask about the Honda civic models in stock. Investing in a car that is fuel efficient will help you cut costs and save money for use elsewhere. You don’t need to worry about how much money you need to save for your fuel. This is an investment that will show returns in your finances in terms of how much you will save now since the car is environmentally friendly and in the future since the car is reliable.…

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Honda Cars

Honda Cars

Honda are one of the most recognised names in the world of motor car manufacturing and have earned a well deserved reputation for building quality vehicles that motorists around the world just love to drive.

Want to drive in style? Then consider the Honda Civic. The Civic comes as a 3-door, 5-door, Hybrid or Type R model. With a variety of options to choose from in the range as a whole the number of features which come as standard are mind boggling. They include SSD (solid state drive), an integrated satellite navigation system complete with traffic message channel and integrated Bluetooth on the top of the range Type S GT-T model.

Honda have learned valuable lessons from their involvement in Formula One motor racing to make the new Civic even better. Cruise control, audio, driver information and voice recognition satellite navigation have all combined to give what Honda call a “Dual Zone” drivers environment.

The Accord is one of Hondas top models and the latest range has added flair. The Accord comes in five options, the ES, ES GT, EX, EX GT and the top of the range Type S. The range comes with a choice of diesel or petrol engines and with manual or automatic transmission. The exception is the Type S which is powered via a 2.2 iDTEC engine with manual transmission.

Added to the Honda Accord range is the Tourer. The Accord Tourer offers the same choice of petrol engine as the rest of the Accord stable but for the first time offers automatic transmission with the diesel version.

The new CR-V range offers diesel performance as Honda have incorporated the 2.2 i-DTEC engine. The i-DTEC is a more powerful yet cleaner engine. It boasts enhanced acceleration and is hailed as one of the quietest diesel engines to have been developed. The CR-V also comes with a choice of automatic or manual transmission.

The Honda FR-V offers both style and comfort. The FR-V is a car built to carry up to six people. The style is exemplified by is chrome door handles, grille, and roof rails giving the car both a touch of elegance as well as a sporty look.

The company are rightly proud of their green credentials and they developed this a step further with the 1.3 IMA (Petrol Hybrid) CVT engine in their latest Honda Insight. This engine switches between electric and petrol power.

For those seeking a compact car the Honda Jazz is hard to beat. Compact it may be, but the Jazz offers plenty of space on the inside for both driver and passengers. The whole vehicle is a testament to the Honda design skills as they have managed to introduce a longer wheel base while compacting the engine space, to create more cabin and storage room.…

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1980’s Airwolf RC Helicopters

1980’s Airwolf RC Helicopters

Airwolf, the 1980’s hit show, took place in the Cold War Era and was based on a military crew and their Bell 222 helicopter which had a military code name of Airwolf hence the actual name of the show. The show was filled with action and espionage with the pilot on a mission to locate his brother who went missing in the Vietnam War.

The actual helicopter in the show was modeled after the real life Bell 222. This classic model developed by Bell in the early 1970’s could seat two pilots in the cabin and at least six additional passengers. It was made of light alloy and had the fuselage structured around the actual cabin. The fuel tank was an L-shape and was located at the back of the helicopter. It had turbo shaft engines and optional retractable undercarriage.

The actual helicopter in the show was grayish in color on the top and a silver whitish color beneath. For entertainment purpose there were many different props added to the plane which actually made it a very unrealistic aircraft. There was retractable machine guns, a retractable rocket launcher, prop twin turbo engines on the side, and a refueling nozzle on the inside which could be used to refuel while flying in the air.

On the show the helicopter was able to perform in ways that are not possible for such an aircraft. It could fly upside down and would travel at high speeds that are impossible for a helicopter to do. The name Airwolf came from the sound of the turbo boost engines made as the helicopter flew which sounded like a howling wolf flying across the sky.

In the mid 1980’s the series, Airwolf, was finished but helicopter that stared in the show lives on today. Many Airwolf RC helicopters are made to meet the demands of collectors and hobbyists. The Airwolf RC helicopters are made in all different sizes and at different levels for beginners or experienced users. They are all model Bell 222’s but with the added features or props that were used in the show such as the retractable machine guns, retractable rocket launcher, and twin turbo engines on the sides.…

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The Secret to Getting a VIS Carbon Fiber Hood Cheap

The Secret to Getting a VIS Carbon Fiber Hood Cheap

SEIBON Carbon fiber hoods are known for two things.

Excellent Quality

Weight Reduction

SEIBON has earned a pretty good reputation, their parts are distributed by RAYS of Japan so they’re well respected. You can even start to see them in Japanese car shows in magazines like Option.

Some of the other well known names in the after-market hood industry are VIS Racing, JSP, SEIBON, and TC Sportline. All of these companies produce great SEIBON Carbon Fiber Hoods which are sold in the United States and throughout the Internet and various car forums. The best place however is Google site, because it allows you to sort by brand, price, manufacturer, and even material like carbon kevlar bonnets for instance.

The light weight SEIBON carbon fiber hoods certainly weigh less than the stock steel OEM hood of a Mitsubishi 3000GT or a Dodge Neon. Stock factory cars are usually made of steel and have heavy body parts from the factory. Reduce the weight by up to 60 pounds with a cf bonnet and trunk, even more in some cases!

Race cars are sometimes entirely made out of CF composites, or carbon kevlar. Some of today’s production high end cars are also purely Cf.

SEIBON Carbon Fiber hoods with vents can increase airflow or engine intake and intercooler. Aerodynamics can be improved upon with vented hood designs in tune with the body lines and curvature of your Mitsubishi Eclipse.

When you look at the Honda Civic hoods, make sure it’s glossy and shiny. That’s in part due to the UV protective layer is in the gelcoat. Make sure to buy a grade A, UV protected gel coat hoods, trunks and make sure it’s from a well known manufacturer.

The Invader style cf hood is pretty wild, this design flows well with aggressive kits. The EVO design looks good on Mitsubishi cars, especially the EVO’s and Mirages. The OEM is a good design for the Honda Civic 92-95 EG or for any non-turbo car that needs a light weight carbon hood.

You can get a cheap cf hood by sorting by price on an automotive website, this way the hoods that cost the least are sorted first so you can easily navigate through the cheaper models.…

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Avoiding Mistakes & Problems at Quick Oil Change Outlets

Avoiding Mistakes & Problems at Quick Oil Change Outlets

When it comes to your vehicles maintenance, nothing is more important than changing the engine oil regularly. The old adage “out of sight, out of mind” is unfortunately how a lot of people operate when it comes to doing this job. The thing is, Oil Changes are cheap. Even if you don’t try and do it yourself, there is always a “Quickie Lube” shop just around the next corner, and they are all in constant competition with each other, and will offer discount coupons and “Added Value” services to get your business. Some of them go as far as cleaning your glass inside and out, and emptying your ashtrays.

If you end up taking your car to a professional for an oil change, make sure you look their work over before driving off the lot. A lot of these Quick Oil Change places hire younger people, and that’s part of the reason that mistakes are often made.

When you are ready to pick your car up from the Oil Change place, before you pay, there are some things you need to check. First open the hood and look for the dipstick, after you find it, and making sure the car is on fairly level ground, wipe it off with a Kleenex or paper towel, stick it back in all the way, then pull it back out and look at the end to make sure the oil on the dipstick is within the “full” range. Then while you have the hood open, take a quick look around to make sure nobody left a wrench or tool laying where it shouldn’t be.

After that, start the engine and kneel down to take a quick look at the undercarriage. Look for any obvious leaks or drips, that might indicate the oil drain plug wasn’t installed correctly or the oil filter isn’t tight enough. The most common “screw up” at an oil change outlet is when the drain plug threads get “stripped” upon re-installing, or similar problem with the oil filter. Installing the wrong oil filter can create a huge crisis later on. Usually an oil leak will present itself right away with the engine running.

This is one of the reasons that if you do decide to take your car to a “quickie Lube” place, you’ll want to stick with the same location for as long as you can or for the life of the vehicle. If an Oil drain plug did get “stripped” and it doesn’t leak right away, there leaves no doubt as to how it got damaged and who did it. That way if there are any costs involved in repairing it, its on them!

Before you leave you will want to ask if they checked all the tires for proper air pressure. This is a gimme, and all of these shops do it for free. You may want to take a quick look at your wiper blades while your there, because if they didn’t recommend them, chances are they didn’t check them. Most oil change places stock wiper blade refills, and will install then for nothing if you buy them there.

By always checking the detail of a shops work before you pay, it will let them know what kind of customer you are. And if you take the advice of going to the same shop every time, the employees will get to know you and have more of a tendency to stay on top of things.…

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Honda Introduces the All-New 2012 Honda Civic

Honda Introduces the All-New 2012 Honda Civic

Honda has created five different Civics to give buyers the option to get the car that matches their lifestyle. For 2012, Honda offers the Civic Sedan, Civic Coupe, Civic Si, Civic HF, and Civic Hybrid. Each one has unique characteristics that give the buyer the chance to get their perfect car.

The Civic Sedan has 4 doors, 16″ alloy wheels, and is available in alabaster silver metallic, cool mist metallic, crimson pearl, crystal black pearl, dyno blue pearl, polished metal metallic, taffeta white, and urban titanium metallic. Inside buyers will find the new intelligent Multi-Information Display, which operates as a Bluetooth Hands FreeLink. Also inside, is the USB Audio Interface that plays your iPod through the audio system and keeps it charged. The i-MID is personal and useful. It allows the buyer to upload photos, shows the current song playing, and it’s all displayed on a high-resolution color TFT LCD display.

The Civic Coupe is similar to the Sedan, but has a sporty, sleek shape and is available in several different colors. The Coupe also comes with the i-MID system and is iPod ready. It also comes with an Economy Coach to help buyers get the most out of every gallon of gas. By watching the blue and green bars on either side of the speedometer, and keeping it in the green, buyers can make their gas go farther.

The Civic Si is available in either coupe or sedan body styles and an array of colors. The Civic Si is quick and has been created with a lower coefficient of drag. Equipped with 17-inch alloys and Si-exclusive badging and decals, the Si stands out among other coupes. The exterior isn’t the only thing that makes the Si stand out though. The seats are wrapped in exclusive black cloth with red stitching and with the Si logo emblazoned on the seats, steering wheel, and floor mats.

The Civic HF is similar to the other Civics with its smooth, aerodynamic shape. However, it adds an aerodynamic decklid spoiler and unique alloy wheels that have low rolling resistance tires. The Civic HF also gets impressive fuel economy, making it a great choice for those that want to make fewer trips to the gas pump.

The Civic Hybrid is also a good choice for those that want to make fewer trips to the gas pump. The fuel efficient hybrid also comes with Eco Assist to help buyers make every gallon count.

The fifth generation Honda Civic utilizes the tagline ‘To Each Their Own’ to represent its diverse lineup.…

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Mazda RX-7 Series – A Retrospective Look

Mazda RX-7 Series – A Retrospective Look

The RX7 model from the house of Mazda was introduced for the first time during the year 1978 and the production of the vehicle was stopped in the year 2002 after a massive production of about 811,634 units in total. The Mazda RX7 falls under the category of midsize sports cars. The vehicle was released as a predecessor to the Mazda RX3.

The base model of the RX7 features the twin rotor 1146cc Wankel rotary engine with front mid ship, providing the rear wheel drive. The base model RX7 was a sports coupe model built with the lightweight body style and compact rotary engine or the Wankel engine mounted behind the front axle.

The vehicle was offered as a two seat coupe in the states of America with optional rear seats in the countries of Australia, Japan and in the other countries of the world. The Mazda RX7 was in a list of ten best lists conducted by the Car and Driver magazine for five times.

The last model produced in the RX7 series was offered in three types of engines – the 1.3 liter 13B REW that produced 188 kilo watts of power, 1.3 liter 13B REW that produced 206 kilo watts of power and the 1.3 liter 13B REW that produced 195 kilo watts of power. The sports variant of RX7 was offered in both the 4-speed automatic and in the 5-speed manual transmissions.

The current generation RX7 models are offered in three different types – R model, the touring and the base model in the North American market. The touring model comes with the leather seats, Bose Acoustic Wave system and sunroof.

Learn more about latest generation Mazda RX7 Cars Here…