If it’s auto related and it’s new then it’s here.
If it’s auto related and it’s new then it’s here.
What do you get when you cross the DNA from a SmartforTwo, with a Hummer H3, and then add a battery pack? You get a vehicle that was made by UK coach builder Prindville to help accomplish a few different tasks, while still performing the general function of being a simple mode of transportation.
The Prindville EV Hummer is a small two door EV that has the look of the H3 Hummer that was discontinued by General Motors back in 2010. Most Gearheads know that the Hummer brand was great for what it was, but when gas prices steadily increased the big and brash, in your face Hummer civilian line became something some still loved, but many others began to hate. GM had no real choice, but to shut down production of any and all Hummer vehicles.
So now we have the face of the Hummer being reintroduced so to speak, as an EV, but not in the same size like you would think. This is where the whole DNA of a Smart car comes into play. The Prindville EV Hummer is tiny to say the least, it’s actually smaller than one of those famous British Black cabs that roam all over the streets of Great Britain. The EV Hummer comes with a standard 75 Volt power system that is carried by an ultra light-weight aluminum chassis that allows this car to drive distances from 30 to 68 miles on one charge. There are a few different trim levels, but no real spec have been released as of yet.
This Eco friendly Hummer, as funny as that sounds is an official vehicle. The Prindville company took the time to go to General Motors and essentially commission the Hummer name, as well as the look that everyone once knew of. Prindville wanted this car to be more than your everyday A to B car. They wanted businesses to take advantage of the look of this EV for advertising, as well as getting that helpful tax break in the beginning of the year. Now keep in mind, that this mini Hummer will never see any off-roading whatsoever, unless somebody else decides to buy on of these little micro runabouts, and pumps up the power output for personal use. Other than that, this new EV will be created for a few lucky potential customers who are willing to pay the $40,000USD for it. That’s about 30,850 Euros, and 24,949 GBP for all you Brits out there who would actually be interested in something like this.
The Prindville EV Hummer as mentioned will be available with a few trim level options, and will come with some of the following items. Items such as Carbon Fiber pieces, leather interior, CD/MP3 player, molded headlights, LEDS, Chrome wheels, a Solar Panel sunroof and many more options that can be had when you walk through the door. Prindville will only be making 25 of these special little micro EV’s for the world. So if you really want to stick it to the Smart EV, or feel the need to channel your Eco Schwarzenegger, this is the car for you. Find Prindville coach builders and see if they can hook you up with one before they run out.
The 2012 BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is faster and lasts longer. BMW has been fiddling with the 2013 5 Series model, and now promises both more horsepower and better fuel-efficiency for the high-riding times.
The specs, which first appeared on the 2013 BMW 5 Series GT in England, will also come to the American models for the 2013 model year, according to Motor Trend. For starters, the 5 Series GT will now come with power boost and improved MPG, Valvetronic system, the start-stop function, and the new Eco-Pro feature. Those wondering about the benefits of owning the 2013 5 Series GT in today’s demand for better vehicle performance and less need for BMW repair will find the answers below.
BMW claims that the 535i GT by 2.25 miles per gallon, increases gas efficiency and the 550i GT boasts a 4.6 miles per gallon improvement, details an article on motortrend.com. Although the 535i GT retains its 300 horsepower, the 550i GT power has been boosted by a remarkable ten percent, thanks to its new N63TU engine (which offers high performance) and a 445 horsepower 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine.
Car and Driver explains how the Valvetronic system was revealed as the power behind the new 2013 BMW 5 Series GT engine. Valvetronic is BMW’s proprietary valve timing and lift system, and its presence in the N63TU engine is credited with the improved new power.
The 2013 BMW 5 Series GT vehicles are now equipped with auto stop and start. When the car is in neutral or at a standstill, the engine will automatically turn off. As the clutch is depressed, the engine restarts — significantly reducing emissions and fuel consumption. Of course, the signature iDrive multimedia interface will be present as well as a navigation system with a large display.
For the 2012 3 Series Sedans, the Eco Pro driving mode significantly boosted BMW sales, and the 2013 BMW 5 Series GT now boasts the same system. The Eco Pro is a driving mode option (not a requirement) aimed at drivers who want to make the most of their fuel efficiency. The Eco Pro mode fine tunes throttle inputs and makes several other adjustments to get the maximum benefit from the minimum fuel. This addition is the primary reason for the improved fuel economy throughout the 2013 BMW 5 Series GT family.
The BMW brand has always been known for its sleek style, powerful engines and cutting edge engineering. All of these things still remain true for 2013 as the brand continues to grow as a leader in the world of luxury auto engineering.
What’s Hot in Car Colors?
Color is one of the most important aspects of a car. A lot of people make a decision on what car to buy based on the color.
Silver has been the reigning king of colors used for car exterior for years, followed by white and black. Gray has also always been it he mix as one of the most prevalent car colors. Now white and black have taken over as most popular colors both in North America and Europe.
According to some reports, white owes its recent rise in popularity to electronics company Apple and the fact that their mobile phones, computers and tablets, which are being used and are easily recognizable throughout the world, are predominantly white.
Car color trends have always been and are still affected by fashion and culture.
Nevertheless, there has been an increase in the usage of some more unusual colors in recent years. For example, brown and green are becoming more and more popular and are expected to be hot in the near future. While white is considered as a somewhat luxurious car color, earthy colors such as brown end green are associated with nature, wood, leaves – and that evokes a sense of calmness and serenity in car owners.
A couple of recent surveys among consumers showed that many people shopping for a car would like to buy a blue car, which shows a significant shift in people’s desires.
Moreover, people like to have a couple of different shades on their cars, so a lot of cars come in three or four variants of gray, for example.
Talking about how much traffic safety is affected by different colors, studies show that black cars are involved in car accidents more than cars with any other color, and white cars are significantly less likely to get hit because they are more visible and easily recognizable to other drivers.
As far as what colors certain types of cars are associated with, a lot of sports cars come in black, followed by blue and red, while SUV’s are overwhelmingly white or black, and minivans are preferred in silver.
What are automotive companies doing to decrease pollution and greenhouse gases? A number of different approaches have been taken over the years. At first, simply adding control devices, such as catalytic convertors [TWC] and exhaust gas recirculation [EGR] systems, reduced or eliminated most, if not all, unburned hydrocarbons [HC], oxides of nitrogen [NOx] sulfur [Sox], and carbon-monoxide [CO]. One pollutant remains, carbon-dioxide [CO2], which is directly linked to fuel efficiency. Burning one gallon of gasoline releases 19.64 pounds of CO2, no matter how old or new the vehicle. Automakers are working on getting gasoline out of the picture, by measures both moderate and extreme.
Internal Combustion Engine Technology
Today’s internal combustion engine [ICE] is basically the same as older versions, and in the last few years, enough advancement has been made to prove that ICE technology is not dead. Smaller and more efficient engines were the first step, and today’s four-cylinder engines are at least as powerful as yesterday’s six-cylinder engines, even some older V8 engines, but use less fuel. The average fuel economy in the ’60s was a paltry 15 mpg, while today the most efficient ICE-driven vehicles top 35 mpg.
Lighter weight materials, such as aluminum, reduced the amount of weight being driven by combustion making more available to drive the vehicle, helped to increase fuel efficiency, which, in turn, reduced CO2 emissions. Lighter weight materials are also finding their way into vehicle construction, such as aluminum frame work and magnesium body panels, further reducing engine load.
The standard four-stroke ICE, the Otto cycle, named after its inventor over 100 years ago, has been improved with more reliable electronic controls, such as electronic ignition systems. Timing chains are coming back into favor because they do not stretch over time, changing valve timing. Regarding valve timing, variable valve timing [VVT] systems adjust intake and exhaust valve timing, depending on engine speed and load, to increase volumetric efficiency, and therefore fuel efficiency, of the engine.
Fuel, of course, is an important part of the process, but its introduction into the air stream has changed over the years. First, mechanical carburetors mixed air and fuel via physics, but this was very inefficient. Later on, the carburetor was replaced with a single- or multiple-injector throttle body, which was somewhat more efficient, but still used way more fuel than necessary. Port fuel injection, which injected individual pulses of fuel at the intake valve of each cylinder was another step, which is used in 95% of vehicles today.
Direct fuel injection systems, toyed with as far back as the 1940′s, have only been seen diesel engines, but lately have seen a resurgence. Typical fuel injection systems run at up to 100 psi, while direct fuel injection systems run nearly 1000 psi. The higher pressure helps to atomize the fuel as it enters directly into the cylinder. Because only fuel vapor burns, and not fuel liquid, the better the fuel is atomized and evaporates in the milliseconds before ignition, the better it burns, requiring less fuel for the same power output.
A recent advancement in direct injection systems actually does away with the ignition system altogether. By superheating a typical direct injection system, the fuel reaches a critical state near spontaneous combustion. Instead of the slow flame front generated by a spark, part of which gets wasted as the cylinder is already moving away from it, the heat from compression pushes the superheated fuel past ignition and the fuel ignites evenly and instantaneously.
Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technology
Hybrid electric vehicles come in various configurations, all with the same goal in mind, to recover lost energy and to use energy more effectively. For example, when a typical ICE-driven vehicle is sitting still, the engine still idles, wasting fuel. When slowing down, the forward momentum of the vehicle is converted into heat energy by the brakes, energy lost. Finally, on acceleration, an ICE needs time to build up speed and power, which burns more fuel than when cruising.
Parallel hybrid electric vehicles [HEV] use an ICE coupled with a generator, battery pack, and electric motors. On acceleration, the electric motors have all their torque at zero rpm, resulting in the best use of energy. While cruising, the electric motor and engine drive the vehicle together, a controller governing how much of each to utilize for best fuel economy. On deceleration, the electric motors reverse polarity and function as generators to store energy in the battery pack while slowing down the vehicle. When at a stop, the ICE may not run unless the battery pack needs charging. Some parallel HEVs today top 50 mpg.
Electric Vehicle Technology
Series HEVs, or extended range electric vehicles [EVer] are basically electric vehicles [EV] with on-board generators. They have much bigger battery packs than parallel HEVs and run longer on battery power alone. The battery pack is charged at home or at a charging station, and typically require between one and eight hours of charging. Once the charge is depleted, the ICE kicks in to generate electricity to drive the vehicle, but there is no direct connection to the drive-train. Series HEVs today top 100 mpg-e, which only counts if you use the ICE. Some responsible EVer drivers have reported using less than one gallon of fuel in the last 10,000 miles.
Finally, getting rid of the ICE altogether, pure electric vehicles [EV] have large rechargeable battery packs and use no gasoline at all. Of course, CO2 emissions still figure into the overall picture, depending on how clean your energy is. Solar and wind installations reduce or eliminate the amount of CO2 you produce when driving an EV, while coal and oil installations could even increase it. Even though EVs are very economical and clean to drive, they often have higher price tags than other vehicles in their class. Additionally, EVs are not limited to tiny, bug-shaped vehicles with limited range, but are also available ranging up to 300 miles with luxury accoutrements and high technology interiors.
Global warming, caused by man-made CO2, is big news in industrial, power generation, an other circles as well. Seeing that automobiles account for 45% of all CO2 emissions in the US, and it’s clear that something needs to be done regarding fuel economy and emissions. Considering that automakers are working with concepts that are over one hundred years old, their ingenuity has led to more advancement in the last five years than in the last twenty. There are various technologies still to come, more power and efficiency, all leading to a greener driving future.
Author B. Jerew is not only an alternative fuels and hybrid-electric technology expert, he is a master-certified senior Lexus/Toyota technician. He is a regular contributor to automotive portals such as AutoFoundry.com and GreenCarInsider.com.
For many drivers who perform the everyday tasks of taking themselves to, and from work on an everyday basis, would normally never notice something different when it passes them by on the road. Not unless it was something either in an extremely hideous color, or a very odd shape, but nevertheless they really wouldn’t catch sight of anything remotely odd. With that said what of the drivers who notice just about everything on the roads? The ones like you or me, who would notice that body kit on a car that’s traveling in the opposite direction at over 55mph, and could actually name the type of kit it was? Yes, we do exist.
So like me, there were some other people who noticed similar vehicular car qualities, and decided to make something better out of something that was already great. There’s a company by the name of G-Power that has been around for quite a bit of time, and they seem to love to do nothing more than tune the HELL out of a BMW. In this instance, we find that the teams over at G-Power have decided to bust up a few knuckles on a brand new BMW M6 Coupe. Just to let you know, this isn’t their first rodeo.
When the BMW M6 Coupe rolls of the assembly line, it comes with a standard 553hp, and 500lb feet of torque, but like with any good tuner, stock numbers are not enough to live by. G-Power bumped up the power to a whopping 631hp, and 558lb feet of torque, by adding in a twin turbo charged system, which is just enough to get this slick looking car going sideways, or in any direction for that matter.
Just like their last projects, G-Power included more in their projects than just power. In this highly tuned BMW M6, there is also a newly developed sport suspension package consisting of coil over shocks, and upgraded bushings. Low profile Z rated tires help deliver all of the new found torque that’s hitting the road, and stopping this beast is the latest in Carbon Fiber braking technology. Finish off the package with a Titanium exhaust, and a very sexy looking body kit and you have yourself a winner. Being that this BMW M6 is G-Power’s third time messing around with a Beemer, you can expect to see more parts being thrown at this model in the upcoming future.
With all of Volkswagen’s great, and colorful improvements that have been made to the 2012, and 2013 Beetle, you had to figure there was some bad news that was bound to pop up at some point right? Well, here we are on the negative side of the information pool, with news of an automotive recall that Volkswagen themselves have issued out.
This automotive recall pertains to a safety issue that Volkswagen themselves have found out just recently, and urgently moved forward with the process of alerting all Beetle owners. The new Beetle affected is that of the 2012 to 2013 model that was manufactured between, February 2012 throughout August 2012.
The 2,500 Volkswagen Beetle models have a potential air bag safety fault that will be addressed as soon as possible. In an official letter sent to the NHTSA, it was stated that if the front passenger seat gets wet for any reason, the module that has built inside of the seat just might malfunction to the point where the air bag that corresponds to it will not deploy properly. In other words, if the module in the seat gets wet, the sensor will not recognize that there is a person sitting there, and in the event of a crash, the air bag will not deploy.
Volkswagen has already started mailing letters to alert owners of certain model 2012 & 2013 Beetles. This automotive recall comes at an inopportune time, when the automaker has doing whatever it can to keep the 2013 Beetle relevant in the auto industry. As it stands now, Volkswagen hasn’t issued an official date of when owners can start bringing in their cars, but they made it known that all defective modules will be replaced free of charge. For more information, please contact your Volkswagen dealership, or contact the NHTSA for further details.
While Carlos Ghosn, Nissan CEO, isn’t all that concerned about flagging Nissan Leaf sales in the US, he still believes that electric vehicles [EV] are coming, and there isn’t anything we can do to stop them. Worldwide, over 50,000 of the Nissan Leaf have been sold in over 100 countries, and in an effort to make recharging EVs, not only of the Leaf, but others as well, over 1,000 EV charging stations have been installed around the world.
Mexico’s EV pilot program started in 2011 in Mexico City, followed by Aguascalientes in 2012, to show that EV technology is reliable and has the potential to revolutionize vehicle emissions. The car-sharing company Carrot also has Nissan Leafs as part of its fleet. Over fifty standard charging stations have already been installed in Mexico, and the nation’s first public-access quick charger was just installed in Colonia Roma.
The new charging station is compatible with all current EVs, including the Nissan Leaf, and can give an 80% charge in about 30 minutes, but this is just the beginning. As Jose Luis Valls, Nissan Mexicana President, explains, “We do not plan to stop here. Our intention is to donate six additional charging stations in other cities around the country, helping to build EV charging station corridors that complement existing infrastructure and the resources available at users’ homes.”
Reflecting Nissan’s commitment to EV technology, there are now three Nissan dealers in Mexico qualified to service the Nissan Leaf. Additionally, in the next few years, three new EV models that Nissan is planning on releasing include a light commercial vehicle, an Infiniti EV, and a new entry-level sedan.
Using a new machine and highly sophisticated software, the National Tire Research Center [NTRC] has designed a machine that can test a tire to its limits, without putting anyone in danger. The new facility, to which General Motors [GM] donated some $5 million, will be located in Virginia, and will be used to test new tire designs.
Some estimate that an improved tire design can increase fuel efficiency by up to seven percent. With the increasing fuel economy rating of today’s vehicles, and those of the future, tire design and testing is more important than ever. On the other hand, the tires are the only thing keeping the vehicle from sliding off the road, so to maintain control, tires need to strike a critical balance between grip under varying road conditions, rolling resistance, and ride quality.
At the NTRC’s ribbon-cutting, Ken Morris, GM’s executive director of Global Vehicle Performance and Safety, said, “The work we’ll undertake at the National Tire Research Center will have a big impact on how quickly next-generation tire technologies will be developed and the accuracy of their design and engineering.”
The new machine at NTRC, valued at upwards of $11 million, is called the Flat-Trac LTRe, uses a number of different components to recreate real-world driving conditions in a controlled environment. A tire and wheel assembly, mounted on the machine, is driven by an electric motor, up to 200 mph. Running on a flat treadmill-like surface, the hydraulic systems vary weight and steering angle to reproduce the action of the specific tire and wheel combination being tested.
The LTRe will be used to test, ride quality, handling, braking and acceleration characteristics, among others. Prototype tires can be tested in a minimal amount of time, allowing the faster development and manufacturing. “It can test tires in the full range of the performance spectrum. This facility has no peer in the world. It’s going to enable a transformational leap in tire technology,” said Frank Della Pia, executive director of NTRC and former GM vehicle dynamics manager.