Johnson Controls To Supply Chery With Batteries

January 16, 2008

As the Chinese auto market continues to grow, so does the number of choices offered to consumers. Chery Automobile, a Chinese automaker announced that it will be launching a hybrid vehicle for the Chinese auto market. Said vehicle will be the answer of the automaker to the increasing demand for more fuel efficient vehicles in the Chinese auto market.

Hybrid vehicles as we all known by now are powered by a battery pack complementing an internal combustion engine. For Chery’s hybrid vehicles, they will be equipped with battery packs from Johnson Controls. The company will be supplying the automaker with nickel metal hydride batteries.

Mary Ann Wright, vice president and general manager of Johnson Controls’ hybrid battery business said: “As car sales continue to significantly increase in China, Johnson Controls-Saft is committed to partnering with automakers to develop fuel-efficient vehicles for consumers who want – and need – to make purchasing decisions that are good for the environment.”

“With world-class engineering centers in the United States, Europe and China, we have the technical capability to partner with our customers as consumers around the world increasingly demand energy-efficient, high performance vehicles,” she added.

Although experts are saying that lithium-ion batteries will be more practical than NI-MH batteries, Johnson Controls continues its development of the latter. They are making Ni-MH batteries much more compact and thus, lightweight and at the same time, increase the power that it can store.

In conclusion, Wright said: “This is as much about the successful launch and ability to commercially manufacture this vehicle as it is about the development of an effective engineering team with the technical capabilities to support China’s fast growing future needs in the hybrid automotive market.”

We Want Photos!

January 10, 2008

The Danish tuning house, Kleemann has issued a press release regarding the project they are working on—the new Kleemann ML63K which is based on the Mercedes ML 63 AMG. Unfortunately, no photos have been shown which leave us clueless on what it looks like. Anyway, basing on press release the ML63K is equipped with a 6.3 liter V8 engine which has been already exhausted by the AMG to its very limits when it extracts 510 hp, Kleeman on the other hand has manage to extract an amazing 800 hp with 1,000 Nm of torque.

The new Kleemann ML63K Bi-turbo can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4 seconds and can reach a top speed of 300 km/h. It rides on 20 inch Kleemann TS-7 wheels(315/35 R20) and painted with the exclusive Nordic White matte color. It also comes equipped with a hand-made 400 km/h speedometer. In terms of how many will be offered the Danish tuner has not released the figures.

Nissan to Present Five Concept Vehicles at the 2008 Tokyo Auto Salon

January 10, 2008

Nissan will be presenting several concepts at this year’s 2008 Tokyo Auto Salon scheduled on January 11 to 13. The Japanese automaker will present a total of five concepts and two race cars. The term concept as applied for this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon refers more to new body kit, suspension, wing, etc and not on the actual concept study.

The five concept vehicles to be presented by Nissan at the show include:

• Skyline in both coupe and sedan form. The coupe will be given the aerosports package while the sedan will have the aero package.
• Nissan X-Trail X-tremer and Dualis or Qashqai Premium Concept
• Two Race cars: the NisMo Z Super GT 2007 and Endless Advan Z

More details are to be presented during the show.

The sexiest car for a lady is…

January 8, 2008

A woman inside a classic convertible is a beauty but being able to drive the car well is the finishing touch. Evecar.com, a website of cars for women surveyed a group of men to find out what car would drive them crazy seeing a woman drive and the winner is, the Mercedes Benz SL Roadster. Made famous by the movie High Society driven by celebrated actress Grace Kelly, this classic eye catcher was built from 1955 to 1963.
Evecars.com editor Alex Jenner-Fust said, “The vintage Mercedes SL Roadster is undeniably a beautiful car that oozes style and class. Buying one isn’t cheap,but proves the owner appreciates the finer things in life.”

Performance cars occupied most slots in the list including the Porsche 911, Mitsubishi Evo and the Subaru Impreza, Land Rover tough not a sports car strikingly made it to the top 10.

Jenner-Fust explained, “The men we polled loved the idea of a woman at the wheel of a high-performance car – but only if she knew how to handle it.

“That’s why the idea of a Land Rover Defender driven by the Queen is far more appealing than a modern Mercedes convertible being driven – or crashed! – by the likes of Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears.”

Radical Enduro series driver Martin Schlaeppi voted for the Evo, “It’s a car for people who love driving and it takes effort and concentration to drive well. Evo drivers know about their cars and that’s why it’s sexy to see a woman driving one.”

To get the best results, women from the motoring industry were asked which car they find pleasurable driving. The women suggested wide range of two-seater convertibles from the Jaguar XKR, Caterham Seven, Porsche 911 and the Mitsubishi Evo.

Top 10 cars to turn men’s heads
Mercedes SL Roadster
Porsche 911
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo
Land Rover Defender
Subaru Impreza
Rolls-Royce Phantom
Range Rover Sport
Fiat 500
VW Golf R32
Caterham Seven

Loremo Cabrio Concept to Debut at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show

January 7, 2008

Loremo AG which is a German automaker corporation and maker of the dubbed cleverest car of the year, the LS concept has recently announced that they would create a sport car that can consume two times less than that of a Toyota Prius. The German automaker Loremo also plans of presenting the said concept model at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show and it will in the form of a cabriolet.

It can be remembered that it was also in Geneva that the 2006 LS concept car was unveiled. It has a 2-cylinder turbodiesel engine with 20hp and fuel consumption of 1.51/100km while the sport version GT had a 3-cylinder turbodiesel with 50 hp and consumes 2.71/100km. Despite its low fuel consumption it can reach a top speed of 220km/h.

Production model of the LS concept is expected to arrive in 2010 and due to the depleting fossil energy resources the German automaker plans of having an electric motor for subsequent models.

Must-Have SUVs of 2008

January 2, 2008

In preparation for the coming New Year, Forbes Autos has revealed its list of the Hottest SUVs of 2008. Included on the list are the following:

2009 BMW X6
Buick Enclave
Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid
2009 Chrysler Aspen Hybrid
2009 Dodge Durango Hybrid
Ford Escape Hybrid
GMC Acadia
GMC Yukon Hybrid
Hummer H3 Alpha
Infiniti EX35
Land Rover LR2
Lexus LX 570
Mazda Tribute Hybrid
Mercury Mariner Hybrid
Nissan Murano
Porsche Cayenne
Saturn Outlook
Saturn Vue Green Line
Spyker Peking-to-Paris
Subaru Tribeca
Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Toyota Land Cruiser
Toyota Sequoia

For a more comprehensive description of the above vehicles kindly just visit forbesautos.com.

Nissan’s Infiniti FX Takes Hybrid Technology to New Heights

December 27, 2007

Nissan will give its new Infiniti FX SUV with a new form of hybrid train that is according to Autoblog. This new type of hybrid system enables the electric motor to provide assistance to a gasoline engine even at higher speeds.

The Japanese automaker believes that its new hybrid system will offer remarkable fuel savings for urban, suburban, and rural buyers attributed to the increase in mileage on both highways and city streets.

The hybrid powertrains make use of electric motor at low speeds and for the initial acceleration ideal for city driving and during stop-and-go traffic.

Unfortunately, the FX is scheduled to hit production by 2011 but the 2009 Infiniti FX will be offered with either a V6 or V8 gasoline engine or with Renault-built V6 diesel in 2010.

AAA’s 2007-2008 The Great Pretenders Party Guide

December 7, 2007

Since drinking seems to be inevitable during parties AAA has decided to release free booklet of nonalcoholic drink recipes combining good taste and sound advice on how to reduce fatalities and injuries caused by drunk driving. The booklet is entitled 2007-2008 Great Pretenders Party Guide featuring some of the best nonalcoholic drink recipes derived from AAA’s Diamond Award-winning restaurants across the Midwest.

The booklet may also be given as a Christmas gift since it can fit inside a stocking. The Great Pretenders Party Guide just takes the alcohol but not the fun of drinking.

For the coming Christmas festivities AAA recommends Cinnamon Cheer from the Ritz-Carlton in Dearborn, Michigan or if you prefer something healthy then have a sip of the Pomegranate Lime Fresh from the Fairmont Chicago—both at AAA Four-Diamond rated establishments.

You may also get some of the alcohol-free drink recipes included in the 2007-2008 special edition of The Great Pretenders Party Guide for free online at http://www.AAA.com/Pretenders or by participating at AAA branch locations.

The nonalcoholic recipes that were included in the free booklet were provided by AAA Diamond-rated hotels and restaurants located in the eight states served by six AAA clubs in The Auto Club Group (ACG)—AAA Chicago, AAA Michigan, AAA Minnesota/Iowa, AAA Nebraska, AAA North Dakota, and AAA Wisconsin.

Hopefully these nonalcoholic drink recipes from AAA would reduce the number of fatalities recorded in 2006 wherein more than 17,600 people died due to alcohol-related accidents which is rather scary if you are to think about it since that would mean one death for every half hour.

Aside from nonalcoholic drink recipes the booklet also showcases information on trendy new food items that are not only tasty but are very easy to prepare.

For more information on The Great Pretenders Party Guide kindly visit any AAA branch office or call their toll-free number at 866-YOUR-AAA (968-7222) or download a copy of the booklet at http://www.AAA.com/Pretenders.

Smaller Engines for Fuel Economy

November 27, 2007

With the rise in crude oil pricing in Africa, vehicle dealers have considered boosting fuel economy as a core motor vehicle selling point. Local consumers are then offered with options to shift in car choice. Motor vehicle dealers recommend the consumers to take smaller engines and low fuel consuming cars that can help them beat the high pump prices.

Since the beginning of the year, petroleum price rose by about Sh15 to stand at an average of Sh83 per liter of premium petrol in Nairobi. This fact has made Cooper Motor Corporation (CMC) tap into the market segment with its Volkswagen Polo 1.2, which has been introduced in Kenya last June.

According to Volkswagen Sales Manager George Ngatiri, “Many motorists are now looking for ways of lowering running costs and affordability and this is what the Polo offers.”

The vehicles that are brought to the market come in different models and are priced differently.

About four months ago, CMC has added a new player into the market – the Maruti Suzuki Swift. It is a 1.3 L engine that sold six units in the past two months.

However, dealers said, the increasing petroleum price is yet to impact on the sale of big cars, which turns out to be the favorite of many buyers.

With steady sales of top range Land Rover and Range Rover, Ngatiri said, “Those who buy the Land Rover are mainly looking for reliability.”

Josephine Wahome, the marketing manager at DT Dobie (the marketers of Mercedes Benz and Nissan range of vehicles), said that the demands for All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) or four-wheel-drives (4WD) have fallen because of the changing lifestyles and the state of roads in the country. She said, “Young families are more outgoing, adventurous and want a car that can endure the rough roads.”

DT Dobie is planning to introduce four models of Nissan’s AWD range next year. It is part of the effort to tighten the company’s grip on the market segment. Wahome said, “As cars become more electronic than mechanical, gains are being made on fuel economy… Car makers have invented new technology such as electronic fuel injection that regulates the mixture of air and fuel to optimize the fuel combustion.”

To support fuel economy, changes were made on materials used in the creation of cars. Some used light weight aluminum alloy in minimizing energy loss via heat. Wahome said that Nissan Tiida is an example of a car that has been equipped with an engine made of such material.

Car designers have also considered turning to curvy shapes, which are proven to be more aero dynamic, to reduce air resistance. However, Ngatiri said that smaller engines are poised to be the main drivers of market growth in the next few years. He said, “About 60 per cent of the population is under 25 years and they will want cars they can afford.”

Toyota East Africa also joined the race for market control. It has planned to introduce the 1300cc, 1000cc and 800cc engines of the Toyota Vitz, which will compete with CMC’s Maruti Suzuki’s Swift and Volkswagen Polo 1.2. Toyota Sales Executive James Theuri said, “People want cars with good fuel consumption and can be squeezed in a small parking space.”

A good thing here is that they have the same goal, which is to provide the customers what they need – fuel economy, in times like this that gas prices keeps on surging.

Police shares Tips to combat Car Break-ins

November 16, 2007

Since break-in cases in New Braufels are growing, law enforcement officials have taken the initiative to provide the people with few simple precautionary measures to avoid becoming a victim.

According to New Braunfels Police Chief Ron Everett, “Lock that car, take all the property out and if you do leave something inside, keep it locked in the trunk.” This “lock, take or hide” philosophy is acknowledged as a strategy for drivers to combat auto break-ins, one of the most common crimes committed around the country.

Reports revealed 112 cases of cars being broken into in the city for the past two months. Though statistics regarding break-ins before September 13 were not available, Everett said that the number of cases is higher than normal. He said, “The number seems to be increasing from the past… We’re continuing to watch that trend and analyze information that will assist us in apprehending suspects and preventing the offenses.”

Everett said that police have made 10 arrests for auto break-ins this year. In some cases, the suspects were charged with either felony theft or engaging in organized criminal activity.

Everett has mentioned that the police have been using various techniques to prevent such crimes. Among included are undercover officers, bike patrols and standard patrol cars. To ensure safe parking lots at events like the Comal County Fair, Wurstfest and high school football games, the police randomly used the undercover officers and bike patrols.

Based on herald-zeitung.com, here are some safety tips to help you prevent car break-ins:

  • Remove visible items from your vehicle.
  • Always roll up windows and lock the vehicle, even if it is in front of your home.
  • Park your car in high-traffic and well-lighted areas.
  • Don’t leave personal identification documents or credit cards inside your vehicle.
  • Have a copy of your license plate and vehicle identification numbers available should your car get stolen.

Everett said, “Auto break-ins are often a crime of opportunity… Criminals are often looking for something quick and simple.”