Friday, December 2, 2011

Top Car Accessories

The modern car has many additional features that cars around 50 years ago did not have. Before it was all about practicality and now it is about convenience. This makes today's cars a lot more pricier but also much more engaging to drive.

One of the top latest gadgets to have in your automobile is the satellite global positioning system. This device gets you to your destinations by simple showing you a map of your current location with arrows on it that tells you where to go next. For the modern driver it really is the best thing since sliced bread because there si no need to waste time looking through a paper map anymore which can actually be a danger if you are doing it whilst driving.

Another top accessories include back of seat televisions for the passengers. This will allow the passengers in the back seat to be occupied to matter how long the journey takes, which is a good thing for the driver as they can concentrate more easily on the road.

2012 Ferrari FF Overview

All manufactures tend to have these well known formulas for their sports cars that are just as distinguishable as the brand itself. Take a V8 for instance, push the displacement out to 5.4L and drop it in a coupe and you get a Mustang. Slap on two turbos on a V6 3.8 Liter Japanese car and you get a Nissan GT-R. Supercharge a 6.2 liter V8, call it an LS9 and you get a Corvette ZR1. Squeeze 300 horsepower out of a tiny, AWD sedan with a 2.5 liter flat four cylinder engine and you get a Subaru WRX STi. But what happens when you go back to the drawing board, sketch out a fluidly designed 3-door hatch back, with vivacious curves and stunning lines, paint it - oh, let's say - red. Then, stretch out the nose; drop in a 12 cylinder engine and squeeze in an all-wheel drive system. What do you get? With years of automotive mental algorithms going through my head, fitting the features with the engine, platform, and associated brands leads me to nothing. So who is building it? No, it's not the new Prius, it's the new Ferrari FF.

That's right, Ferrari decided to go where no one has gone and build a small hatchback car, with a whole 12 cylinder engine that grips the road with all wheel drive. Three components that traditionally are almost never seen together. My first reaction is, how in the world did they manage to create a small hatchback with 12 cylinders? Their largest capacity engine ever, by the way. That seems almost disproportionally designed. But it isn't. The usual elegance and finesse of Pininfarina design is not absent in the Ferrari FF. My second reaction focuses around the fact that they fitted their first Ferrari ever with All-wheel drive, which is great and all but it brings everything down to one question in my mind: why?

Why would you step away from your traditional mid-mounted V8 engine supercars or your V12 front engine Grand Tourers to create this confusing car? The answer is simple really: Ferrari owners asked for it. That's right, Ferrari owners told Ferrari that they want an AWD car that still retains the performance and elegance of a Ferrari that can be driven like a Grand Tourer.

So at the Geneva Motor Show in March of 2011, Ferrari announced that they will replace the 612 Scaglietti Grand Tourer with the Ferrari FF; FF signifying the four seats and four-wheel drive. The Ferrari FF will be able to reach a top speed of 208 mph and accelerate from 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds, making it the fastest four-seat automobile in the world.

Considering those performance figures, there are three things that I want to consider about the FF, it's engine, weight, and AWD system. The engine displaces 6.3 Liters, is a naturally aspirated direct injected 65 degree V12 that produces 651 horsepower at 8,000 RPM and 504 lb-ft of torque at 6000 RPM. That's a significant amount of power, but once you consider the fact that it's coming from Ferrari's largest engine ever and that the car also has AWD you begin to wonder about the car's weight.

The Ferrari FF weighs in at 1,880 kg or 4,145 lbs. That's sounds like a lot, especially for a Ferrari. But it isn't, you see the outgoing 612 Scaglietti that the FF replaced, weighed in at 1,875 kg (4,134 lbs) and featured a much smaller V12, displacing 5.7 liters. Compare the weight to other high-end Grand Tourers and you start to realize how small 1,875 kg really is. Bentley's Continental GT weighs in at a well rounded 2,320 kg (5,115 lbs), giving obesity a better face than it really deserves. The Maserati GranTurismo comes in close at 1,880 kg (4,100 lbs) but only features a lighter V8. Jaguar's XK weighs in below the FF at 1,675 kg (3,690 lbs) but also features only a V8. Aston Martin's V12 Vantage is the closest to the FF with a 12-cylinder 6.0 liter engine the sleek Grand Tourer weighs in at 1,700 kg (3,741 lbs). So why does the weight even matter? It's simple really, the addition of stronger, larger engines yield higher outputs but the added weight impacts performance from an acceleration and handling perspective. It's important to consider the FF in the context of how it weighs with the competition. In general, it falls right in between other well known Grand Tourers, but we must not forget that it is the only Grand Tourer that features AWD.

When you put a huge engine in a little car the most intuitive problem that comes to mind is traction control, or the ability to put the power from all 12 cylinders to the road. Essentially, the AWD, or as Ferrari calls it: "The patented 4RM four-wheel drive system," is really a RWD system that is able to redistribute torque to the front wheels as various grip "needs" are determined by smart little computers that make sure you don't wrap around a tree...or snow plow. Ferrari is exceedingly determined to emphasize their latest technology as the majority of the FFs promotional pictures are featured in low grip environments such as rain, sand or snow. Who knows, maybe Ferrari will one day have a WRC rally car? When Tiff Needell drove the Ferrari FF, he constantly tried to force the 651 horsepower to through the car sideways but he simply could not due to the immense amount of grip. If you know Tiff, you know that he can turn a car sideways faster than your last girlfriend broke up with you, yet he couldn't do it in the FF.

So what does this all mean? In a nutshell, we're talking about one of the most innovative, unique Grand Tourer's ever made. It's introduction has sparked controversy over it's "shooting-brake" design, excitement over the front-engine mounted power and anticipation by all Ferrari fans and owners. One thing's for sure, this car is designed and engineered around what Ferrari owners want, a powerful car with the typical beauty and performance balance of a Ferrari that can drive anywhere in the world, literally. At a production rate of 800/year you can expect to enjoy indefinite grip as you push all 651 horsepower to the apex while sipping your latte and explaining to your partner how it was definitely worth selling your $300,000 yacht for this car.

The New Porsche 911 Is Unveiled for 2012

Even since Porsche's humble beginnings, the company has always pursued different directions that some other car manufacturers have and broke new ground in technology and design advances, which is still something Porsche continues today. The company originally was founded and established by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, who was an Austrian automotive engineer, in 1931.

Ferdinand Porsche's early years were spent as a design engineer and consultant, which led him to create some of his best known vehicles. In fact he was responsible for creating the very first hybrid vehicle (gasoline-electric), the Volkswagen Beetle, also the Mercedes-Benz SSK/SS, as well as the first of many Porsche cars that bore his name, which were to become the forerunner of the famous Porsche 356, 550 and 911 models. Ferdinand Porsche is also credited developing the first race car with mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, called the 1923 Benz "Tropfenwagen".

Fast forward to the current day and Porsche is still breaking new ground, while changing the shape of the motoring world, especially the luxury car market, as Porsche just announced their new Porsche 911 which will make its debut and start production in 2012.

The new Porsche 911 (or as Porsche refer to it, the 991 model) will be available initially in two versions "the Carrera and the Carrera S". The Porsche 911 is still the backbone of Porsche's worldwide business and success. It is also a very competitive model which has been involved in motor-sport and synonymous with motor racing since its inception in 1963; having competed in races like the 24 hour Le Mans to grueling (tested to the limit) races like the Paris to Dakar rally.

Everything about the Porsche 911 is race proven and race-bred, the new 911 follows firmly in its predecessor's footsteps with its overall look and feel. Although this is a redesign, as opposed to just a face-lift, body-wise the over all aesthetics and shape are a 911, but the car has received some clever nip and tucks. This new 911 has much sleeker looking on appearance, with a slightly longer wheel-base and its wider body, than its for-runner 911 (the 997 model), this is aimed firmly at giving the new car greatly improved handling and stability.

The 2012 BMW M5 F10 Is The New Benchmark

As clearly noted in our video review of both the 2003 BMW M5 and the 2010 BMW M5, I have a thing for M5s. I've driven the Mercedes Benz E63 AMG, its closest competitor and I would take the BMW M5 over it any day of the week, especially the weekend. In fact, if I had $150,000 to play with and had my choice of any car, I would take BMW M5 over anything under that price ceiling - although the Mercedes Benz CLS 63 AMG is very tempting.

My point is that I believe the BMW M5 is one of the best purpose built cars on the planet. What exactly is its purpose though? Its primary purpose is to be super fast and yet practical and it does both very well.

That brings me to the new 2012 BMW M5 F10 body style, which has got to be one of the best looking 5-series ever made, in my opinion. That said, this new BMW M5 has both looks that kill and performance that slays!

To be more specific, this sedan has the most powerful engine ever fitted in a series-produced model from BMW M GmbH. The new 2012 BMW M5 F10 power plant is a newly developed, high-revving V8 with M TwinPower Turbo (consisting of Twin Scroll Twin Turbo technology, a cross-bank exhaust manifold, High Precision Injection petrol direct injection and VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control).

If you didn't understand the above, just know this... that the engine produces 560 horsepower at 6,000 - 7,000 rpm and peak torque of 502 lb-ft hits you between 1,500 and 5,750 rpm. The increase in horsepower and torque over the 2010 BMW M5 E60 is 53 hp and 122 lb-ft of torque or approximately 10% and 32% increases, respectively. The biggest difference, however, is in the torque figure which not only increases 32%, but the peaks early on at 1,500 rpm relative to the 2010 BMW M5 E60's peak at 6,100 rpm.

The instant power delivery makes the 2012 BMW M5 F10 much more responsive than the 2010 BMW M5 E60 and helps propel it from 0 - 60 mph in only 4.4 seconds (2010 BMW M5 was 4.7 seconds) and reach 124 mph in only 13.0 seconds.

What does all of the above combined with solid cornering ability mean? Well... a Nürburgring lap time that makes the 2012 BMW M5 F10 worthy of the title of "Master Slayer" of its super sport sedan brethren. Although the time is not yet official, there are rumors circulating that the new F10 BMW M5 did a Nürburgring lap in 7:55. That is faster than the Porsche Panamera Turbo (7:56), the Cadillac CTS-V (7:59) and the Mercedes Benz E63 AMG (8:10). Additionally, the new 2012 BMW M5 F10 lap time is approximately 18 seconds faster than its predecessor the 2010 BMW M5 E60 (8:13). What's even more interesting is that the BMW M5 is just as fast as the Ferrari F430 F1 (7:55).

With all of the above said, we can conclude that the new 2012 BMW M5 F10 is a phenomenal piece of machinery. However, what is greater are the minds of the German mad scientists at BMW that keep pushing these cars beyond what initially seemed impossible. So to the German mad scientists I say this, "Keep eating your wienerschnitzels and sauerkraut stuffed sausages, but most of all, keep making good cars."

Introducing the 2012 BMW 1 Series

With BMW's premiere of the new BMW 1 Series, it is clear that this 5-door compact is a cut above the rest. Remaining the only rear-wheel drive model in its class, the new BMW 1 Series is even more sporty, comfortable, fuel-efficient, and driver-friendly than its predecessor.

The exterior of the BMW 1 Series with its youthful design and striking angles creates the sporty, lively look of this compact. The front of the car displays the classic BMW kidney grille and double-round headlights combined with four contour lines on the bonnet that direct attention to the dramatic front. The roof slopes slightly towards the rear with its angled back windscreen, presenting a coupe-like design. The angular style of the BMW 1 Series makes it a sports compact unlike any other.

This sporty design does not get in the way of comfort, however. The new BMW 1 Series remains the same height as its predecessor but is 85 millimeters longer and 17 millimeters wider, providing a more spacious interior while keeping the powerful look of the exterior intact. It also offers more legroom and storage space.

All engines in the 2012 BMW 1 Series are four-cylinder models which utilize BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The TwinPower Turbo engine maximizes fuel efficiency while boosting responsiveness and performance. The car's four cylinders enhance driving dynamics through increased maximum speeds and torque. The new BMW 1 Series is also the first and only car in its class to be optionally available with an eight-speed automatic transmission, providing yet another way to increase fuel-efficiency. This technology combines the speed of a sports car with the fuel efficiency of a compact.

The BMW 1 Series focuses on the driver experience, offering several personalized engine, model, and design options. Firstly, Buyers can choose from five model versions: the BMW 118i, BMW 116i, BMW 120d, BMW 118d, and BMW 116d. The BMW 120d, 118d, and 116d models offer lower fuel consumption and emit the least amounts of CO2 while still reaching maximum speeds of 142, 132, and 125 MPH.

For an even more personalized touch, buyers can choose from two exclusive interior and exterior design features: the BMW Sport Line or the BMW Urban Line. The BMW Sport Line consists of 16-inch light-alloy star-spoke wheels, high-gloss black exterior and interior trim, leather sports steering wheel with red stitching, and sports seats. The BMW Urban Line offers 16-inch V-spoke alloy wheels, white exterior trim, acrylic glass interior trim available in white or black, and orange and LED blue ambient and courtesy lights.

The interior design provides elegance and comfort for the driver. The interior display and controls are angled for optimal driver use and the center console is ergonomically designed to be at maximum visibility. Keyless ignition, power adjustable and heated seats, electric sunroof, and BMW Business radio and CD with six speakers come standard with every BMW 1 Series model.

The standard safety features also ensure comfort and control for the driver. Front, side and head airbags, three-point automatic seatbelts, and crumple zones with defined load paths have improved the crash test performance of the BMW 1 Series. The drive is not only smoother and more dynamic, but also safer.

The new BMW 1 Series is more than just another compact car. It embodies the style and appeal of a sports car, the convenience and comfort of fuel efficiency, and the elegance and exclusivity of a personalized vehicle.

New Electric Cars

There is a lot of action in the "electric car" scene recently. A few days after GM and Segway introduced their two-wheel two-passenger scooter-car, P.U.M.A., details on more electric cars have begun to surface.

One of these electric vehicles is Peapod, developed by Chrysler's Global Eco Mobility unit. Peapod accommodates up to four people and goes as far as 30 miles on a single charge. Peapod is a Neighborhood Electic Vehicle. This means it cannot go on highways and its top speed is limited to 25 miles per hours legally. Peapod has a removable windowed roof to give you the feeling as if you are driving a convertible. It has an iPod dock on its dash and even a trunk for your needs. Peapod is expected to hit the roads by October and its price tag is expected to be around $12,000.

Japanese automaker, Mitsubishi, on the other hand, confirmed that its i-MieV (Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle) electric car will be presented to US market before 2012. A single charge of its lithium-ion batteries will take i-MieV up to 100 miles. Mitsubishi plans to produce 20,000 i-MieVs a year if its partner GS Yuasa can keep up with the demand for lithium-ion electric car batteries. There is no official word on how much Mitsubishi's electric car will cost but it is expected to be around $30,000.

Lamborghini Reventon: $1.6 Million Car

There are expensive cars and there are non expensive ones. Some buy them out of need, some buy out of fondness. And maybe there are other types as well. But not all cars are similar. Many car lovers like collecting expensive sports cars. This is certainly a very expensive habit. Not everyone can follow it though. Such a habit becomes all the more difficult to follow when you want to have a Lamborghini Reventon. This is not because it is an ultra expensive sports car, but also because it is a limited edition car. Of course this is one of the major factors that add to its price though. Lamborghini manufactured only 20 Reventon cars and only one additional car which got manufactured for Lamborghini museum. It was produced in 2007 and now, you can buy just from some previous buyer.

Lamborghini Reventon is one of the most powerful cars in the world. The engine is a 6.5 liter twelve cylinder V12 engine that cranks up a whopping 661 horsepower at 8000 rpm and can generate maximum torque around 660 NM at 6000 rpm. It comes with a 6 speed manual transmission. Reventon can zoom from zero to 62 miles per hour in a just 3.4 seconds which is unbelievably awesome. It attains a top speed of 340 kilometers per hour. The displacement it provides is powerful 6496 cc.

The interiors of the car look like a cockpit of F 22 fighter jet. The looks and feel of the interiors are strikingly similar. Of course being a car it does not have all those sci-fi gadgets and meters inside though. The front and rear ends are extended because of which the car gets a unique feel. The seats and other elements have two tone high-quality Alcantara materials which gives it a classy and posh look. It is also loaded with an interesting and unique gadget, the G Force Meter which makes it stand out in longitudinal acceleration. If you thought the resemblance of the interiors is just a coincidence, think again because the exteriors are simply inspired by F 22 Raptor. The body shape was available in 2 body forms; one is simply Reventon and other is the Reventon Roadster.

2012 Lamborghini Reventon has arguably the greatest looks for a sports car. The various acute and obtuse angles that it has give it a unique appearance. This appearance exudes power, strength and performance which are at the core of a Lamborghini vehicle. It is interesting to know that Lamborghini Reventon was named after a fighting bull (a tradition with Lamborghini though) called Reventon who killed the famous bull fighter Felix Guzman of Mexico. Its looks do exude the strength symbolized by the bull. The exterior has majorly carbon fiber which is the reason behind the comparatively less weight. The design is simply stunning and a sure head turner.

Talking about the pros and cons, we figure the biggest con may be the price. It is one of the priciest cars around. It has a number of pros, be it the power, speed, looks, technology and even the brand itself which is known for best-in-class sports cars.

Lamborghini has a record history of introducing only the powerful machines throughout their journey where Reventon was one of them which got a lot of attention at the time of introduction.