Friday, November 23, 2012

Mercedes-Benz SL Class

Powerful and agile, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL 550 is not quite sports automobile. in line with its creators, it's "the S category of showy cars," and that is a keen distinction in a very category of $100,000 two-doors that vary from sleek machines just like the} panther XKR to raging performance addicts like the get at war vessel Z06 and also the spic-and-span Porsche 911.

And tho' it's adult a lot of intense, and even a lot of dynamically capable during this generation, the SL's additionally become lighter and impossibly, a lot of luxurious. Same because it ever was, it is the epitome of the hundredth, even whereas it is the hundredth of showy cars that declines the sportscar badge outright. What it will higher than all alternative comers is this: ancient luxury, with a breeze at its back.

Priced from $106,375--and locomote up to the $209k SL sixty five AMG (yes, that is before options)--the SL category brings a replacement look that is operating its manner back bit by bit

to the glory days of Mercedes two-seaters. If you ne'er cared for the bank vaults fenced in by Benz within the early Nineties, the exuberantly wide, brash new SL appearance crisper, and a lot of masculine. It's emphatic from the front, charming with the highest down, to a small degree of a mate from the rear wherever the slim hind end and taillamps appear to return from another automobile, another studio entirely. The cockpit? It's dead with preciseness, trained with aviation-style vents and ingrained with a giant alphanumeric display brain.

A plucky twin-turbocharged, 4.7-liter V-8 takes over for the recent normally-aspirated base V-8, and it is a snappy, responsive, forceaholic engine rated at 429 power unit and 516 pound-feet of torque. It trounces the last SL 550 to sixty mph by nearly a second, touching the atomic number in four.5 seconds, and Mercedes is estimating the downsized engine, seven-speed automatic, and stop/start technical school wedding them along can web a 30-percent improvement in gasoline mileage. high speed's set at a relaxed a hundred thirty mph.

The SL sixty three AMG may be a maximize from the SL 550, and it is a huge step because it makes this luxury roadster feel a lot of serious concerning the performance guarantees engineered into its the racy roadster bodywork. The brawny, 530-horsepower twin-turbo AMG-built V-8 and special wet-clutch seven-speed AMG automatic drive get you to sixty mph in a very hot four.5 seconds, and with a $9,000 Performance Package you arise to 557 horsepower and 664 pound-feet, with a high speed bumped to 186 mph and 0-60 down to three.9 seconds. And if that is not enough, you'll be able to maximize to the $209k SL sixty five AMG and its twin-turbo V-12, creating a mammoth 738 pound-feet of force.

There's many acceleration obtainable, and what appears like a lot of grip. Still, we're happier with the SL's base two-mode suspension, with or while not the game wheels and brakes, than with the exotic and dearly-won Active Body management upgrade. A composed tourer with a "sport" mode that feels a lot of like "comfort," the stock SL handles wide sweepers with grace, and a good quantity of body roll. The SL's wattage steering does not offer a lot of within the manner of feedback, and quickens the more it moves nonconcentric, that makes for a few uneven transitions. Human brains will handle that a lot of knowledge, however adding on the active suspension appears like overload. The ride flattens out as secure, however adds another advanced handling dimension that is not as linear or as foreseeable as a a lot of standard setup.

The SL's cabin has nice area and fine fittings. The chairs area unit wide, and for a shocking vary of body varieties, they'll be fitted snugly, because of 12-way changes, the foremost helpful of which can be the seat extender. there is a lot of shoulder and spatial relation, however less area currently behind the seats themselves, just enough for a slim case. The trunk holds a roll-on bag or 2 with the roof raised, or solely soft-sided luggage once it's down, tho' a trunk button powers the roof panels up and out of the manner for slightly easier payload loading.

As usual, neither safety agency has crashed AN SL roadster, however all the newest safety technical school is on the market, everything from Bluetooth to knee airbags to adaptive  controller. Attention Assist--the digital coffee-cup warning--is customary, and for quite a hundy, we expect the rearview camera ought to be still. It's bundled in a very safety possibility package in conjunction with parking sensors and parking assist, that dials the SL into a decent spot for you, whereas you manage solely the brake.
The new SL's alternative spectacular amenities embrace Airscarf neck vents and also the folding automobile, and new this year, Magic Sky management, that turns the roof's glass panel dark sort of a try of expensive eyeglasses. A Bang & Olufsen audio system will replace the quality Harman/Kardon setup, however we're not oversubscribed on its bass response or its vast tag. All SL models additionally accompany Mercedes’ COMAND flick system, which has a 7-inch computer screen, a optical disc changer, internet browsing with Google search practicality, and navigation.
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

BMW M1 Successor Will Be Called The M8: Report

Mercedes-Benz has the SLS AMG, Audi has the R8, and even Lexus has its LFA, but BMW, a complete that prides itself on building a number of the most effective driving machines on the world, is while not an avid sports automobile. That’s equipped to alter in 2014 once the auto manufacturer releases its i8 plug-in hybrid sports automobile, tho' that model can cater to a awfully specific niche and can unlikely satisfy the legions of fans dying for a successor to the legendary money supply.

BMW bosses have fervidly denied that a successor to the money supply is within the works, nonetheless that hasn’t stopped reports of a replacement sports automobile being developed by BMW M from egression each currently so.

The last we tend to detected, the new M division sports automobile would be launched in 2016, 2 years when the i8, and it might keep company with a custom platform and turbocharged V-8 engine delivering over 600 power unit.

A new report revealed by Automobile Magazine indicates the automobile continues to be on course for a 2016 launch, and it'll elapse the name M8 (the money supply name is outwardly too sacred). A custom platform appearance to be out of the question, however, that the i8’s light-weight atomic number 13 and carbon fiber chassis can probably get the nod. Thankfully, the i8’s three-cylinder engine and plug-in hybrid system won’t be unbroken, as BMW M engineers ar aforementioned to be pro a V-8 possibility. 

By the time the automobile arrives, it'll have a second-generation Audi R8 to take care of, furthermore as a replacement SLC AMG from Mercedes-Benz. The latter is predicted to function the replacement for this SLS AMG and should even adopt all-wheel drive.

Sadly, BMW’s preference for the M8 suggests that we’re probably to visualize plans for an inexpensive Z2 roadster shelved. Apparently sports cars simply aren’t mercantilism like they accustomed, thus BMW are focusing a lot of on its new vary of front-wheel-drive models instead.

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Subaru Forester - Review

The model name, in a way, says it all: The Subaru Forester, faithful its name, tends to draw in active, out of doors types—the ones World Health Organization don’t regress from fleeces, tevas, snowboards, mountain bikes, or kayaks. however currently Subaru has nurtured its stand. With the Forester’s last design, for 2008, it grew in size and purpose, and its reach has gone so much on the far side the hoop, to residential district driveways, commutes, and weekend recitals.

To keep in pace with families nonetheless in grips with the rugged aspect, and keep the balance right what’s already a really sucessful vehicle (about 1 / 4 of the brand’s U.S. sales), Subaru has taken associate degree “evolution, not revolution” approach with the utterly redesigned 2014 Forester. Priorities enclosed higher fuel economy, improved drivability and usefulness, and to retain (and improve) the Forester’s rugged all-wheel-drive advantage.
With the all-new four-generation version of the Forester, Subaru appearance to possess unbroken the Forester's procedure, however particularly finessed the look. The 2014 Subaru Forester is roughly constant size because the outgoing model on the surface (it’s a bit taller, with a distance that’s solely an in. longer), however it inherits a number of the themes style|and style} details seen in last year’s design of the Impreza lineup—including the crisp new grille design and swimmingly graven aspect sheetmetal that flows into taillamps that area unit ‘pinched’—for look, and for aeromechanics. A somewhat taller hoodline associate degreed a a lot of distinct look before provides it a lot of of an SUV look, though Turbo models get a a lot of aggressive, technical-looking lower airdam. Turbo models now not have a hood scoop; the intake has been additional underhood however attracts air from the higher portion of the grille.

Behind the driver’s wheel, the new Forester is not any revelation, however it still feels a bit a lot of athletic than most models during this category, whereas creating major gains in ratio. the bottom powerplant—included all told two.5i models—remains constant 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter horizontally opposed ‘flat’ four-cylinder engine that was 1st introduced on the Forester last year, however a brand new two.0-liter flat four in two.0XT models has direct injection and turbocharging and produces a stout two50 H.P. and 258 pound-feet at 2,000 rate (on premium gas). 2.5i models are often had with either a six-speed manual case or a unceasingly variable transmission system (CVT), whereas the two.0XT comes solely with the CVT. A stiffer structure and a very reengineered suspension otherwise place the Forester near the pinnacle of the category with regard to ride and handling. supported associate degree early drive, we have a tendency to found the new Forester to possess particularly smart body management, yet as terribly well-tuned and nicely weighted rack-mounted electrical power-steering. 2.5i models aren’t fast, however they’re adequate and with the CVT currently boast Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy ratings of up to thirty two mpg main road. Meanwhile, 2.0XT models facilitate create the foremost of the Forester’s capable chassis, and come back 23/28 mpg—for a twenty five mpg Combined that Subaru says is best at school.

Several things—in addition to the additional power—contribute to a sportier driving expertise within the two.0XT. one in every of them is SI-Drive. primarily constant system that Subaru’s utilized in a number of its colorful models within the past, it offers 3 modes—Intelligent (I), Sport (S), and Sport Sharp (S#)—that tweak the approach the accelerator and powertrain respond. Secondly, there’s a Sport mode for the transmission that permits eight speeds, through steering-wheel paddle-shifters; once not within the Sport mode, there area unit six speeds.

The Forester retains all of its rugged path art, as well as eight.7 inches of ground clearance and a few approach and departure angles that even cross-country purists wouldn’t be fast to dismiss. however maybe impressed by systems like Land Rover’s piece of ground Response, Subaru has additional one thing known as X Mode. once engaged at low speeds, it electronically manages torsion from left to right, supplementing the AWD system’s front-to-back distribution, and it mechanically deploys Hill Descent management at low speeds.

While the 2014 Forester is regarding constant size as before on the surface, the manufacturing business has applied some packaging smarts with the inside, rejiggering the seating position and interior appointments into what sounds like (and is) a roomier vehicle. This Forester feels utterly totally different from the outgoing model from the driver’s seat; abundant of that’s as a result of the whole electrical device has been pushed forward nearly 5 inches from the seating position, whereas the seats themselves are raised slightly, for a ‘hip point’ that’s quite an in. on top of before, and they’re conjointly slightly farther apart. the ground and aspect sills were conjointly lowered  slightly, whereas the front seats get a wider vary of adjustability; meantime, position of the rear seats at the side of that permits an in. larger distance between the front and rear seats—that’s a lot of rear legroom—and rear seatback folding that’s near absolutely flat with a one-touch mechanism. There’s twelve % a lot of shipment area, too.

There’s conjointly a way larger sense of particularisation and refinement within. Materials—everything from upholsteries to door trim—are a solid maximize from before, and Subaru has additional a lot of insulation each to the door panels and to the realm simply prior to the electrical device. All models currently get a fold-down center rest, and solid-looking cupholders are enraptured there rather than at the rear of the middle console (in flip, the middle console currently longer extends as so much back, to provide the middle inhabitant a bit more room. and therefore the center rotating shaft tunnel has been lowered  by an in..

Available active-safety options within the Forester can currently embody accommodative control (ACC), running at speeds from twenty five mph up to ninety mph, whereas the Forester gets the seeing system for recognizing road hazards with a camera-based system, up to eighty meters ahead, associate degreed probably avoiding an accident by braking at up to zero.4g.

Features and rating haven’t nonetheless been careful, however once it goes on sale in early 2013 the 2014 Forester can get variety of firsts, like accommodative control, an influence tailgate, and Harmon Kardon premium audio. And associate degree offered power hatch are often operated manually with low effort, or be designed to open wanting an occasional garage ceiling. The outdated-feeling touch-screen audio and navigation interfaces stay the sole sore purpose. The premium system has full integration of Aha streaming audio, through associate degree app for iPhone or robot handsets.
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Mazda MAZDA5 - Review


You might view the minivan as a necessary evil for a certain stage in life, but accepting the utility of a family hauler doesn't mean a life sentence to dull driving. The Mazda 5 is our proof--it's charming in its simplicity, with the dynamics of a hatchback more so than a minivan. It looks and acts the part of a sliding-door wagon, but it sure doesn't feel like it.

Redesigned just last year, the Mazda 5 returns with just a minor change or two. Left untouched are its compact proportions and the updated look it brought to the fore for the 2012 model year. There's some aggressive contouring in its fenders, and a rhythmic flow to its surfaces and creases outside of the big panels of glass and metal that define its one-box passenger space. Yes, it's a minivan, but at least it fights against monotony. The cockpit is more deserving of nitpicks: the controls are clutter-free, but the amount of shiny, hard plastics can be disappointing even in such a value-priced vehicle.

With some structure and drivetrains on loan from the Mazda 3, the Mazda 5 summons a sporty but modest feel. Its 2.5-liter four-cylinder has just 157 horsepower; it's not quick at all. We'd choose the standard six-speed manual transmission on the base version, but even the five-speed automatic on upper trims has manual shift control. In both cases acceleration is adequate, thanks to well-chosen gear ratios. Gas mileage is fine, at up to 28 mpg highway, but other bigger minivans can do just as well on paper, though we've seen higher real-world fuel economy in the Mazda.

It's the Mazda 5's handling that draws our attention. The athletic feel starts with top-notch steering and a well composed ride. It's a blast to drive, especially when the road winds. It feels natural and confident, and ride quality is comfortable and absorbent whether you’re cruising on the highway or taking on the tight esses of a mountain road.

Size-wise, the mazda 5 is a 7/8-scale minivan; there aren’t a lot of frills, and there are no power rear hatches or power folding seats; from the driver’s seat, you might think you’re in a nimble small car, yet there are convenient sliding side doors and oodles of easily reconfigurable interior space. Mazda has managed to fit seating for six—three usable rows—in a vehicle that’s shorter than a typical mid-size sedan. The front seats are a little skimpy, but the buckets in the second row have enough space for adults to be comfortable. The third-row split bench works in a pinch for smaller kids--and folds away to create big cargo-carrying capacity. The two most significant letdowns of the Mazda5’s interior are its drab, hard-and-hollow plastic trim for the dash and door panels, and the seemingly ever-present din of road noise on some surfaces. 

With the base $20,000 Sport, Mazda has a niche to itself, with a manual-transmission minivan with six-passenger seating. A USB port is now standard across the board, as are power features and a CD player; Touring and Grand Touring models get Bluetooth hands-free calling and Bluetooth audio streaming, though. In top-of-the-line Grand Touring form, the Mazda5 also comes with a power moonroof, heated mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, xenon HID headlamps, heated front seats, and Sirius satellite radio (a standalone option, too), all for around $25.000.
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Friday, November 16, 2012

Nissan Versa - Review


A number of tiny sedans flaunt gaudy moves, fashionable cabin appointments, or advanced-tech options, however the 2013 Jewish calendar month Versa Sedan is not one in all them. It makes a additional straightforward, ancient small-car sales talk, with an occasional value, smart mileage, and a fairly convenient interior.

That said, the Versa Sedan looks—at least from a distance—to have upward aspirations. With its curvier, lower roofline, the newest Versa strays from its three-dimensional precursor and borrows a number of the proportions from larger Jewish calendar month and Infiniti models (with a grille style that matches the new Sentra and Altima), in conjunction with some European influence in its flowing sheetmetal and details. Inside, it's back to small-car tradition, with associate degree undeniably basic, nearly parts-bin look to the gathering of cues and switchgear.

With last year's design, Jewish calendar month managed to spice up mileage by many mpg across the lineup, and for 2013 Versa Sedan models with the unendingly variable automatic drive (CVT) manage to hit the lofty 40-mpg main road mark. sadly, the Versa is not very gratifying to drive—especially with the CVT and its sluggish responses, additionally to eleven.5-second 0-60 mph times. The 109-horsepower, 1.6-liter engine may currently be had with a conventional four-speed automatic drive or five-speed manual, however each of these ar solely offered in base Versa S versions. Overall, the driving expertise is merely enough to stay the heartbeat going, with light-weight however precise electrical power steering mechanism that feels right for urban driving however needs too several tiny changes at speed.

Inside, the Versa Sedan is snug, and it's extremely spacious considering its exterior size, however we tend to would not try and build four taller adults try and travel along here. The seats ar short and flat and not all that snug, and in back it's shocking that rear seatbacks do not fold—not as one piece—on abundant of the lineup. The trunk is large, though.

The Versa's suspension is soft and absorbent compared to several different small-car models, therefore ride quality is sort of smart, and also the Versa soaks up urban potholes or motorway rough water quite well. Materials and trims are not any revelation here; the arduous and hollow dash materials impress as equally as low-cost because the Versa's sub-$13,000 base value (including destination), and present road and engine noise do not prove otherwise.

Value for the dollar is just about the most motivation for many shoppers considering the 2013 Jewish calendar month Versa, and this year Jewish calendar month has intercalary worth, with additional normal options, on its mid-range SV and top-of-the-line terrorist group models. Meanwhile, at a bottom-line value beginning below $12,800 for the bottom Versa S, it's one in all the foremost cheap models within the U.S. market—even if it will feel a little bargain-basement.

Base S models associate with manual wind-up windows, no power mirrors, and strictly the fundamentals, however air-con is enclosed altogether trims. This year, additionally to the manual-transmission Versa S, Jewish calendar month has intercalary associate degree S model with a four-speed automatic drive, and every one S models currently associate with a cargo-area lamp. Above that, there is a new Versa Sedan S and CVT model, exchange the S CVT and adding normal controller. Mid-level Versa SV and commanding terrorist group models additionally get some further normal options. choices embrace Bluetooth, XM Satellite Radio, and a navigation system with XM NavTraffic.
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chrysler to build more Rams, V6 engines


Chrysler cluster can add a 3rd shift next spring at its Warren Truck plant in residential area Motor City and revamp a part of its waterproof Engine advanced in Motor City to create a lot of Pentastar V6 engines.

The moves represent regarding $238 million in more investment within the Motor City space and can add one,250 jobs, a Chrysler interpreter confirmed. a proper announcement is scheduled  for Th in Motor City.

The engine production increase can ease the company's tight provide of three.6-liter V6 engines, that power most of Chrysler's lineup of larger sedans, minivans, pickups and SUVs.

Chrysler is also set to announce a $40 million investment during a portion of the capital of New Jersey Engine plant in residential area Motor City.

Trenton builds the three.6-liter V6. Soon, it'll begin creating a three.2-liter version for the forthcoming replacement of the motorcar Liberty, in addition as further inline-four Tigershark engines that area unit currently designed solely in Dundee, Mich.

Chrysler same it might add the third shift at Warren Truck within the spring however did not supply a a lot of specific date. The third shift has been mentioned since before the corporate debuted the re-engineered 2013 Ram pickup, that began inward in dealerships late last month. The pickup contains a new elective powertrain that pairs the three.6-liter V6 with Chrysler's Torqueflite eight-speed transmission to deliver fuel economy of up to eighteen mpg city/25 mpg route.

Chrysler sold-out 238,815 Rams this year through October--a twenty p.c gain over last year in associate overall market that has gained fourteen p.c.

The waterproof II plant, a part of the waterproof Engine advanced that was idled last year, had been thought of as a website for assembly of the Maserati Levante, that was to own been designed aboard the motorcar Grand Cherokee at Chrysler's Jefferson North manufacturing plant in Motor City. however Marchionne, conjointly the business executive of edict S.p.A., disclosed a replacement production set up on Oct. thirty that stirred production of the Maserati SUV back to European nation.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

EVs, plug-in hybrids


General Motors' future green-car efforts can concentrate on plug-in hybrids and electrical vehicles instead of typical hybrid powertrains, product chief The Virgin Barra aforementioned weekday.

Barra aforementioned gram has narrowed its future development stress in a shot to defend its leadership position earned with the Chevrolet V plug-in hybrid. gram can unveil an electrical Spark machine in late November at the l.  a.   car show.

"A major focus for GM's electrification strategy can center on the plug," Barra aforementioned via a satellite feed to reporters gathered in urban center for a gram event. She other that plug-ins provide "a distinctive chance to alter the approach individuals commute" which V homeowners "love the flexibility to refuel reception."

Barra aforementioned she has worked together with her world team over the past few months to slender GM's electrification focus. within the past, gram wanted to "cover the waterfront" by following myriad powertrain technologies, however that approach is just too expensive and inefficient, she said.

"We got to create educated bets on that technologies hold the foremost potential for making values for our customers and our company," Barra aforementioned.

Traditional hybrid technology, a realm currently dominated by Toyota Motor firm., "is necessary, of course," Barra aforementioned. "But we predict plug-in technology can play Associate in Nursing more and more necessary role over the years to return."

The strategy leaves gram with an important concentrate on each finishs of the electrification spectrum: alleged pure EVs at one end and plug-in hybrids, beside its eAssist mild-hybrid technology, that uses a far smaller battery and little motor to help the internal-combustion engine below bound conditions, at the opposite.

Unlike hybrid powertrains, gentle hybrids cannot propel the vehicle below wattage alone. Barra aforementioned GM's eAssist technology provides concerning twenty five p.c higher fuel economy than a typical powertrain in some vehicles, like the Buick field game.

GM launched eAssist on the field game last year and since has other the technology to the Buick purple and Chevrolet Malibu. it'll be offered as Associate in Nursing choice on the Chevrolet antelope once the redesigned version hits showrooms early next year.

Through Oct, gram has sold  over twenty six,000 eAssist vehicles, Barra said. By 2017, gram expects to sell five hundred,000 vehicles a year globally with some style of electrification, from gentle hybrids to pure electrics, Barra said. that may equal concerning half dozen p.c of the roughly nine million vehicles gram sold  globally in 2011.

GM's sharpy concentrate on EVs and plug-in hybrids comes despite lukewarm sales of EVs like the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i.

GM has found relative success with the V, sales of that have a lot of} eclipsed the Leaf since each cars were launched with much fanfare in late 2010.

Through Oct this year, GM sold 19,309 Volts, vs. 5,003 within the year-earlier amount. Leaf sales sank sixteen p.c, to 6,791, consistent with the Automotive News knowledge Center.

GM believes the Volt's extended-range technology offers it a plus over the Leaf and different EVs by eliminating consumers' vary anxiety. The V runs for concerning thirty eight miles in electrical mode before alittle fuel generator kicks in to power the car's motor, giving the automobile a complete vary of concerning 380 miles.

GM has not nonetheless disclosed the vary of the Spark energy unit.

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