Friday, March 30, 2007

Asian Brands to Showcase Concept Vehicles at New York Auto Show

Asian car brands have been increasingly becoming popular in the United States. Aside from Toyota and Honda, other car manufacturers from the Orient are tightening their grips on the U.S. auto market. The popularity of these brands is due to the fuel economy and reliability that their car offers.
Aside from that, Asian branded vehicles are relatively priced lower than that of their U.S. counterparts. In the upcoming New York International Auto Show (NYIAS), these Asian brands look to increase their popularity among American auto enthusiasts by showcasing their concept vehicles at the said event. While these vehicles may take some time before they are put into production, their unveiling at the country's largest motor show will increase the popularity of their brand.
One Asian brand that has been making waves in the U.S. auto scene is Honda. At the upcoming New York Auto Show, the company will unveil its Accord Coupe Concept. The concept vehicle will provide a glimpse of what the new generation Accord will be like. The concept vehicle is powered by a V6 engine designed to reduce fuel consumption and lessen harmful emissions.
The newest technology from Honda that will be showcased at the event is the Variable Cylinder Management. Aside from that, the concept vehicle will also be featuring Honda's ACE Body Structure which is essentially a design system which gives the front-end of the vehicle the ability to absorb a substantial amount of energy in the event of front end collision.
Toyota, now the second largest car manufacturer in the world, continues its surge to get to the top of the list. Their good performance in terms of sale has been a gauge of how popular Toyota is in the United States. Their continuing quest for supremacy in the U.S. auto market leads them to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan with the Toyota FT HS concept vehicle in tow.
The Toyota FT HS is a hybrid sports car which comes combining the fuel economy of a hybrid electric vehicle with the high performance and good looks of a sports car. The concept is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine mated with an advanced hybrid system and a powerful battery pack. The concept vehicle is estimated to rocket to 60 miles per hour from a standstill in less than four seconds. Aside from that powerful acceleration, the concept vehicle is also estimated to have a very high top speed, thanks to its power output of nearly 400 hp. That amount of power and torque in a hybrid vehicle is unheard of before and only EBC Greenstuff brake pads can provide good stopping power to.
These concept vehicles are proof of the competition between the two Japanese car makers and their drive to increase their foothold on the U.S. auto market. Both the Honda Accord Coupe Concept and the Toyota FT HS will be showcased at the New York International Auto Show which will open its doors on the sixth of April and will end on the fifteenth of the same month.
About the Author
Anthony Fontanelle is a 35-year-old automotive buff who grew up in the Windy City. He does freelance work for an automotive magazine when he is not busy customizing cars in his shop.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

XC70: Volvo For All Seasons

Volvo Car's new XC70 all-wheel drive estate offers significantly improved levels of an all-road-all-season ability and an appealing drive feel that is mated to outstanding safety features, superb versatility and sophisticated comfort to lure more fanatics to experience its lasting enigma. Enthusiasts say they have finally found the vehicle that could withstand different seasons. Now, everyone can enjoy the free-spitted driving any time of the year. This is the solid fact that the Volvo XC70 has retained its magnetic appeal. The current generation of the vehicle has reached around 40,000 sales in its best year. "We had a winning concept from the very outset and we have continuously refined it," said Fredrik Arp, the president and CEO of Volvo Car Corp. "The all-new XC70 maintains its tough, capable attitude while at the same time growing more comfortable. Additionally, our design team has given the vehicle a more elegant, more luxurious look."

Arp added, "This segment has been our specialty ever since we invented it back in the 1950s. Our competitors can count on us remaining number one in the future, too. In the all-new V70, rear passengers and luggage both ride in first class." Volvo is now aiming to introduce the Volvo XC70 in China to reach third place in the model's sales statistics. Arp noted, "There is a considerable appetite for cars with pronounced attitude on the fast-growing Chinese market. The Volvo XC90 is already very popular and we are convinced the all-new XC70 will play a significant role in our plans for continued fast sales growth in China."

"Our successful XC range will soon be expanded with the new XC60. With three exciting XC models, we will cover even more of the growing number of car buyers who want the very best of two worlds - capable muscles and luxurious, comfortable passenger-car comfort," added Arp. "And it all began with the XC70, which has now become even more attractive than before."
Volvo made the XC70 sportier, bolder and more functional because it was engineered to accommodate weather changes and season transitions. The pool of Volvo engineers significantly upgraded the levels of road capability and refinement to pave way for a more appealing vehicle that ensures unmatched levels of athleticism, versatility and safety which are characteristically Volvos.

The all-new Volvo XC70 is powered by a naturally aspirated 3.2-litre straight six-cylinder petrol engine and a 2.4-litre five-cylinder D5 turbo diesel engine. "With an active chassis, the car's driving properties improve in all situations," said Volvo Cars XC70 Project Director, Tomas Ahlborg. "It becomes both safer and more entertaining to drive." To boost the performance of the engines and the chassis, the estate is equipped with a Volvo fan clutch. Other remarkable features include the dynamic stability and traction control (DSTC), which improves stability; the power parking brake (PPB) that automatically disengages when the accelerator is pressed; and the digital signal processing (DSP) audio system.

The all-new Volvo XC70 is also equipped with dynamic styling emphasized by a catchy sporty design, a raked windscreen, tailgate angles, C30-inspired taillights and blacked-out side pillars mated to the usual off-road body kit. "The dark-coloured plastic panels at the bottom are less obvious than on the current model. But as with exclusive outdoor clothing, the protection is placed exactly where it needs to be to withstand the rough stuff," said Volvo Cars Design Director, Steve Mattin.

About the Author
Glady Reign is a 32 year old is a consultant for an automotive firm based in Detroit, Mi. she is a native of the motor city and grew up around cars hence her expertise in the automotive field.

Honda Small Hybrid Sports Concept

Honda Small Hybrid Sports Concept By Paul Tan Now we take a look at Honda, who showed us what might be the next Honda Insight, a little red concept car creatively named Honda Small Hybrid Sports Concept. The Honda Small Hybrid Sports Concept uses a 4-cylinder IMA (Integrated Motor ...


Volt coming in 2010...GM not sure if it will work

Last Tuesday, Bob Lutz, GM's product chief and Vice Chairman has set a target for the production of an all-electric car in 2010. However, there is a great concern regarding the development of the lithium-ion batteries since the automaker is not sure whether if it can be made safely and economically.

Lutz also said that they are expecting for a fully functional Volt by the end of 2007 and further added that GM would unveil all of the development process to the media. "We have set an integral target of production in 2010. Whether we can make that or not, this is still kind of an unpredictable program for us," Lutz told reporters at the Geneva Motor Show. He also added, "We're sort of outside our comfort zone."

GM has also explained its broad plans for the all-electric Volt which it has previously unveiled at last year's Detroit Auto Show unfortunately the automaker has declined in disclosing the production timeline for the Volt.

It is no secret that GM has suffered great losses with its gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles and trucks which makes some critics and competitors doubtful of whether the automaker can really push through with its Volt concept or will just capitalize on the publicity that the concept car has generated. To which Lutz answered, "Competitors who write this off as a PR exercise are going to be brutally surprised."

Electric cars to which the plug-in hybrid Volt also belongs have gain strong support from the US environmental groups due to the fact that vehicles such as the Volt help in reducing oil consumption as well as the emission of harmful greenhouse gas plus the fact that electric cars cab be recharged with power drawn from a cleaner-burning electric grid.

The world's largest producer of quality GM mirror covers has dumped an earlier experiment made on an electric car which was marketed in California as the EV1 which has made GM as the center of criticism and the primary character in the 2006 documentary "Who killed the electric car?" But according to GM, it will make up for its once-failed idea of a mass-market electric car with the production of the Volt.

The automaker said that the Volt is a much better electric car since it draws its power exclusively from a next-generation battery pack capable of being recharged by a small onboard engine or through a normal electric outlet. General Motors has further stated that it is aiming for the Volt to be able to run 40 miles on pure electric power in short driving a day without using gasoline.
Lutz also said that GM's initial work had shown that there is a need to shed off some of the bold styling cues that are present on the Volt concept including the extreme front placement of the wheels. Lutz added, "I know that we cannot make the production car look like the concept. The whole shape of the car is going to have to be a little more traditional. I would say there is still a 10 percent chance this will fail."

General Motors has obtained an eleven percent rise for its US retail sales last February which Lutz said is the result of the launching of new products and the restructuring program that the automaker has been employing.

About the Author
Noah Scott is a 30 year old native of New Jersey, writer, and car fan - having grown up with both parents being auto enthusiasts. He works for an automotive consultancy firm and regularly contributes articles to car magazines.