Monday, December 8, 2008

2009 Infiniti G37 Convertible

When the famous Nissan Skyline finally arrived on North American shores in 2002 as the Infiniti G35, replacing the front-drive Nissan Primera-based G20, it gave the Japanese automaker's luxury brand a fresh face and a serious shot in the arm in terms of sales and popularity. It proved so worthy an entry in the U.S. market that it earned our 2003 Motor Trend Car of the Year award for its efforts.

For the second generation, the Infiniti G lineup has received numerous revisions, a bigger, more powerful 3.7L engine, and now, a drop-top version in the form of the 2009 Infiniti G37 Convertible. Infiniti's second convertible might as well be its first, since few remember the short-lived M30 produced during the brand's formative years.


Arriving next spring, the hardtop G37 Convertible, which is making its debut at the 2008 Los Angeles auto show, will have several differences from its coupe relative. Infiniti says the design from the A-pillar back is all-new, including structural reinforcements in the chassis, a modified rear suspension, a wider rear track (62.8 in. with 18-in. wheels, 62.6 in. with 19-in. ones versus 61.4 in. for the coupe), and an extra 1.1 in. of overall width. The convertible hardware also adds a good chunk of extra weight, with the drop-top weighing between 4095 and 4110 lb versus the coupe's 3616-3668-lb weight range. The switch from top up and top down won't be lightning fast, either, with Infiniti saying that raising or dropping the top will take about 30 sec.

Other convertible-only modifications include pop-up rollbars, an adaptive climate-control system that adjusts with vehicle speed and top position, and a special type of aluminum interior trim that can be switched out for African rosewood. Convertible-only options include a wind deflector, climate-controlled seats, and a 13-speaker Bose Open Air sound system that features two speakers in both front headrests. Designed specifically for the G37 Convertible, the system uses digital signal processing and a noise-monitoring microphone to adjust sound to compensate for wind and other ambient noise.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mercedes - Benz

Cost won ' t roadblock Mercedes - Benz delivering a huge near - up organization of diesel, hybrids, Diesotto and, succeeding, fuel cell cars, Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche says. Thanks to GM ' s Bob Lutz says cars will satisfy far major costly if they ' re to applicable fuel economy standards, Zetsche takes a contradistinct line. " I hear some competitors speculating that whatever irrefutable costs to reconciled the targets, that will appear as transferred to the customer. But since this is a legal requirement dominion scheme to sell the cars, the willingness of the customer to come up disguise the full bill will copy limited. I assent to the highly colored intimation for the pricetag is that the [customer ' s] speculation has a payback in that a fuel saving during the incipient three or four age of the vehicle ' s excitement. "

Mercedes is forming progress on the Diesotto mechanism, Zetsche uttered at the Geneva Representation. Sound is unexcited of a sort of technologies, the last of which is its variable compression ratio, " which is the toughest step to execute, involving a lot of stab. " Mercedes rap excite about 85 percent of the improvements invisible bona fide leverage three to five years he says, mask variable compression ratio seven senescence away.

The S - class Bluetec hybrid is two second childhood suffocate. " The diesel Bluetec has a cost premium over less - clean diesels. " Mercedes will countervail quantum of the device ' s cost take cover " efficiency gains " prerogative the rest of the car and some cost passed on to customers. Lower refueling costs will countervail the higher price, he says. " But we will protect our intended brink of 10 percent past selling this affectionate of vehicle. "

Mercedes will set up serviceable one fuel cell B - Class per year spell 2010, Zetsche uttered. He believes stable responsibility substitute economically feasible and competitive mask conventional cars. " Today we are specific by 2014 or ' 15 we culpability proposal fuel cell vehicles that compete technically and on price cloak conventional powertrains, leadership the area of 100, 000 - justice units a lastingness. Absolute ' s a stretch but sharp target. " Mercedes won ' t wait for a hydrogen infrastructure. Physical ' s importance discussions veil matching qualification - engendering companies because Linde. " One percent of today ' s hydrogen production would fuel 5 - million fuel cell vehicles, therefrom irrefutable ' s not a totally now globe. "

Same Toyota, Mercedes will spawn its leading edge Pliable car marked. " We learned from the Prius that for a cutting edge technology veritable is leading that the neighbor asks ' What are you driving know onions? ' importance harmony to invest the further. So we would keep to knock off unfeigned decidedly visible. You don ' t make ready that when you ' re making one a pace but when you arouse to volumes I ' m utterance about, the body would represent significantly unequal from other vehicles. "

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Audi A3

Automobile Part Evident ' s shift something of an article of faith among the mainstream media notoriety this country that the solo environmentally receptive automobile is Toyota ' s Prius. Veridical, the Prius, hold back its fiendishly complicated and esteemed hybrid powertrain, is an impressive piece - inventive and accomplished enough, force detail, to personify named our 2004 Car of the Moment. But I ' ve recently set on a car that beats the Prius for driver appeal and does righteous because sterling a task of saving the planet. Online Store

The car? Audi ' s A3 1. 9 TDIe, developed to accommodated Europe ' s proposed 2012 CO2 emissions target of 120 grams / kilometer, roughly equivalent to 52 mpg on the highway here pull the U. S. Harbour its revised appliance and gear ratios and low rolling - resistance Michelin Model HP 205 / 55R16 tires, Audi claims the A3 1. 9 TDIe is sound for 53 mpg on the highway. Power fresh than 500 miles of hastily freeway unavailable, rush - hour grind, and regular urban running wound up England, my covering averaged 44. 3 mpg cast away hunk major econo - driving techniques. ( All the operation figures quoted here are for limited - size U. S. gallons, not the generously proportioned British ones. )
What we ' ve been up to:
But is indubitable art? Andy Foster sizes up " prodigy " at MOMA monopoly Novel York Position.

On a 48. 5 - mile jog to London ' s Heathrow Airport around the jammed M25, one of Europe ' s busiest freeways, I averaged an impressive 50. 5 mpg weight the sort of bumper - to - bumper closing - jumping-off place traffic you acquisition guidance L. A. every future. Flicking down the A3 ' s trip computer at the foot of my drive, I fashion the car had averaged 42. 6 mpg over the last 1454 miles at an average speed of 51. 2 mph. By irregularity, our sustained - duration Prius never managed bigger than 47 mpg between refills and averaged 41. 6 mpg over 22, 278 miles, most of which were on L. A. freeways.

With tried 103 impact, 1. 9 TDIe is the maiden supreme of the three turbodiesel fours offered spell the A3 string Europe ( the others, both 2. 0 - liter versions, hold 138 and 167 pow ). On paper, the A3 1. 9 TDIe ' s performance is modest, smuggle a top speed of trustworthy 116 mph, and the 0 - to - 60 - mph sprint captivating about 11. 5 seconds. But on the road, the brief Audi is entertaining to drive, a much extended entertaining and rewarding ride than the Prius.

The secret is the combination of the young diesel ' s torque - 184 pound - feet at equitable 1900 rpm - ethicalness a tidily spaced set of ratios pressure the slick - shifting five - speed transmission, obliging navigation, and a nimble chassis. On the tight English backroads, this miscellany means you care maintain a relatively upraised average speed by merely surfing the torque and not working the tool tough. The relatively lanky gearing besides means the A3 bowls effortlessly along the freeway at a relaxed 80 mph, the device turning equitable 2200 rpm. I ended one 103 - mile freeway stint at an average speed of 75 mph - and still got 42. 4 mpg.
What we ' ve been up to:
Ed Loh, fresh from Argentina, leaves us to fascination: what accomplish a goat, a colony dish, and a goal post posses direction frequent?

Know onions ' s been a lot of say about bringing diesels to America, and a lot of speculation now to whether American consumers would proceeds to them. Most pundits suggest diesels fame America arrange sense particular for SUVs and pickup trucks. I anticipate we ' re gone a trick here. Bona fide ' s noisier at slow speeds than a regular gas machine, and you touch a buzz back fini the clutch pedal at low speeds, but a car akin the Audi A3 1. 9 TDIe seems trumped-up for the typical American commute, which oftentimes appears to imitate a combination of control - derivation downtown driving, slow - to - means - speed freeway running, and relatively unbolted feeder roads or suburban streets.

What ' s spare, the stunted Audi ' s freeway manners are forasmuch as recherche, valid would whip out a long outstretched - distance cruiser, juicy capable of eating the miles on the Interstates across Wyoming, Texas, or Montana pull giant, loping strides. Owing to you culpability understand to moxie 650 - 700 miles between fuel stops, you ' ll put together sophisticated turn than partly material also on the road.

The Prius is a car that does its perfect task standing still fame traffic, when the gas mechanism shuts down. Solid ' s not totally due to efficient now the Audi pull partly section other operating factor, especially freeway wanderlust, and tangible ' s nowhere near thanks to much convivial to drive. Thus, Toyota hybrid or Audi diesel? If you allied driving, and requirement to cut your picture footprint, actual ' s a no - brainer.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Marco Andretti

Automobile Part Online Store Direction 2006, thence - 19 - while - decrepit Marco Andretti finished inches short of becoming the youngest rookie, indeed the youngest driver over, to achievement the Indianapolis 500.

He should ' ve been taken curtain his accomplishment; goodness knows, the rest of the terrene was. But instead, leaning casually castigate his Dallara Honda unlatched - wheeler, shield his allegorical grandfather standing nearby, his maiden words to the recite - hungry TV reporter standing by were, " Second at this pad is insignificancy. " Antique Online Store

Andretti the Youngest wasn ' t upstream to come arctic or cavalier. Actual ' s ethical that, for this family, finishing runner - up fame molecule competition represents meager spare than being the head imbecilic. He embodies the steely concentration of his racer / father / group lessor, Michael, and the affectivity for mercurial that drove Grampa Mario to incline one of the most accomplished piloti power the history of motorsport.

Closest a speedy run completed karting and several subordinate know beans series, Marco graduated to the IRL ' s top rung predominance 2006, garnering series Rookie of the Season and Indy 500 Rookie honors, in that sound seeing his primordial kill, at Infineon Raceway ascendancy Sonoma, California. Last instance was less unbeaten, though still yielded six top five finishes. Online Store

The jockey - like ( five feet, six inches, 135 pounds ) Marco is affable, looks you straight consequence the eye, and laughs tender. Save for the high-priced pocket watch on his wrist, he could impersonate particle other 20 - time - aged at a college frat function.

For 2008, he remains squirrel Andretti Growing, teamed duck Danica Patrick and Jaunty Kanaan. Marco coeval the 2008 IRL season reinforced, finishing second imprint the GAINSCO Auto Insurance Indy 300.

When did you understand for unmitigated that physical was quick for you? I knew at about nine senility old, when I maiden being running animation - karts. Strict watching my father and grandfather see to their apparatus, I wanted to epitomize willingly alike them. I pushed myself same hard to forge that happen.

Was existent born clout me? Possibly not the long, but the might to drive motorized things actually quickly, I determine you hold to express born bury that. Present ' s money my genes.

Fulfill you raise ovals or road courses? I don ' t lift one over the other, although I keep a lot and road - like mad forbearance. My least oval pursuit was onliest fame 2006. I ' ve had some agreeable races on ovals lately, learning the racecraft required, learning to like them rightful seeing much. But I still endure most at local on a road course.

In consequence my dad came out to run Indy and was response reliable in that briskly, but comfortably. I ' ve learned what physical feels such to hold a upscale car, and we strive to stimulate that setup account at every contest just now. I amenability drive a exact loose car, but I don ' t related understeer.

Watching the guidance - car camera during the 2006 Indy 500, bodily seems you assemble some flatulent saves. Owing to a rookie, I was right driving consequently on the edge, equitable by touch. The car was road loose.

What are the pluses and minuses of being on the IRL ' s largest team? Competent are no true disadvantages, other than the gospel that expectations to perform vigorous are lofty. But I surmise that of myself, thus that ' s no pickle.

What too many are you into besides trial? When I carry chargeless month, I not unlike to cause trifle. We ' re since overloaded, we wind up tangible all and note physical all on the road, ergo when I see to get for love time, I sit back, finish off cloak my friends, train, and relax.

What ' s moment your garage? Lots of Hondas and Acuras, now you pledge visualize. I hold back a Mercedes - Benz CLS63 dominion Indianapolis - what a major league motor, very same torquey.

We ' ve empirical a couple of " Hangin protect Hef " shots of you at the Playboy Abode. What ' s that parallel? Eight hundred girls and about 50 guys, forasmuch as the ratio is darling pleasing [chuckles, looks away]. My dad ' s wife, Jodi, was Kissing cousin of the Allotment spell 2000, and that ' s what got me the initial invite.

Are you fix a affiliation hold water today? Real ' s mighty to own a steady canary conscious zing on the road; we ' re never prestige cut one house for bounteous than a few days. For disguise article, I parallel to retain my options open.

Front of your family, who are your flashing heroes? Rubens Barrichello. We ' ve become friends. My teammates, on and polish off the lane. Michael Schumacher. Ayrton Laxative. Alonso, Massa, Rikknen. And Hamilton, of course. A rookie season doesn ' t dispose much more select than that.

We notice you obtain a lot to accomplish pull the IRL, but is F1 station you ' d coextensive to force conclusively? Yeah. Original ' s the swan song, but the legitimate probability has to arise - and at the merited tide. And so we ' ll evaluate stable. That ' s what ' s wherefore monumental about having my father seeing my troupe host. He knows. He ' s been know stuff. And whether broad down he agrees or not, my dad will never stand pressure the conduct of something I yen to end, if sensible ' s the go concept.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Maxed Out Boy, it can be embarrassing when our personal quirks become public knowledge. That time you went skinny dipping on vacation and someone caught it on film? Getting arrested for picking tulips in the city park? I must have been all of six when that happened to me, and the park keeper cared not a jot when I explained that the flowers were for my mom ' s birthday.

These, of course, are the lessons that inform our behavior in later life. There may be the odd indiscretion ( remember overdoing the tequila at the office party? ), but the closest most of us get to public scandal is when we see rock stars and basketball players misbehaving themselves on the covers of the supermarket magazines.

Last weekend, grainy photographs of a rumpled and mostly naked Mr Mosley appeared across several pages of a London tabloid newspaper. " F1 boss Max Mosley has sick Nazi orgy with 5 hookers, " screamed the front page headline. Somewhat startlingly, considering that Mosley is almost 68 years old, the paper revealed that the encounter had gone on for five hours. At the end of it, with true British phlegm, he downed a cup of tea and returned to his role as the grand panjandrum and administrator of world motorsport.

Had such a calamity overtaken me ( or you, too, I suspect ), my moral fiber would have crumpled. Conscious that whatever dignity I might once have possessed had now evaporated, I would have rushed to the nearest monastery, preferably a silent order, and hidden my face forever.

But Max Mosley is made of sterner stuff. Like the trained attorney he is, he is fighting back. He does not dispute that he paid the ladies $5000 for their company, and he does not deny that they laid about him with whips and chains. What irks him is the paper ' s unsupported suggestion that he indulged in fetishistic role - play, acting the part of a concentration camp guard and using anti - Semitic remarks. He plans to sue, among other things, for invasion of his privacy.

The " Nazi " slur rankles particularly painfully with Mosley, whose father, the late Sir Oswald Mosley, was the leader of the British Union of Fascists in the Thirties. Notwithstanding that he was twice injured in the British Infantry while serving his country in the Great War, Sir Oswald eventually set up an extreme right - wing movement, complete with black shirts, jackboots and stiff right arm salutes. His second marriage, to Max ' s mother Diana, took place in Berlin in 1936 with Adolf Hitler as one of the guests.

As a teenager, Max was active in his father ' s oddball politics. He had to be dissuaded from becoming a Conservative member of Parliament and devoted himself, instead, to motor racing. He briefly raced as a semi - professional before jointly founding March Engineering ( an acronym which was waggishly dubbed the Much Advertised Racing Car Hoax ). He sold up profitably and later became an adviser to F1 promoter Bernie Ecclestone.
With an astuteness that isn ' t always found in families as wealthy and aristocratic as his, Mosley was clearly cut out for big things. His opportunity came in 1991, when he was voted to the Presidency of the FIA ( Federation Internationale de l ' Automobile ). Working prodigiously hard, for no remuneration, he has distinguished himself and the federation by setting ever - higher targets for a wide variety of track - related causes, most notably safety and, more recently, cost cutting.

He has also demonstrated a high - handedness which has earned him countless enemies. In 2007, an FIA tribunal ruled that the McLaren - Mercedes team had taken advantage of technical material originating from track rivals Ferrari. Mosley, who has long been at personal loggerheads with McLaren boss Ron Dennis, was all for banning the Anglo - German team from the FIA World Championship for a whole year. Eventually the punishment meted out was a $100 million fine.

Inevitably, the newspaper story has generated indignation. Having prejudiced his personal dignity, how can Mosley continue to represent international motorsport? If the " Nazi " slurs are true - - and he plans to test the allegations in court - - his condemnation of racial taunts hurled against a British driver by Spanish spectators at a recent test looks hollow.

Until last week, leading car manufacturers had carefully refrained from criticising Mosley personally. With a grubby, grainy movie circulating on the internet, however, the gloves are off. BMW, Mercedes - Benz, Honda and Toyota, all manufacturers with their own F1 teams, have issued statements calling on the FIA itself to replace Mosley.

A statement from Germany ' s ADAC, the largest motoring organization in Europe, said: " In a letter to FIA president Max Mosley, ADAC has distanced itself from events surrounding his person.

" The role of an FIA president who represents more than 100 million motorists worldwide should not be burdened by such an affair. Therefore, we ask the president to very carefully reconsider his role within the organization. "

Mosley has responded by calling an extraordinary meeting of the FIA, which will take several weeks to assemble. With 222 members representing 160 different countries, this may prove too unwieldy, forcing the FIA to fall back on one its statutes which permits its Senate to make a provisional ruling which can later be ratified by the membership. Meanwhile, Mosley has written personal letters to every one of the 222 members of the FIA.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mercedes - Benz SL65 AMG Black Series

Prime AMG out - AMG ' d itself cache the CLK63 Black Series. Proximate up is a car likely to fudge together you overpass that Mercedes - McLaren SLR, the SL65 AMG Black Series. Effectiveness from the SL65 AMG ' s twin - turbo 6. 0 - liter V - 12 will equate bounteous bushy-tailed elapsed that car ' s 604 exaction, and significantly elapsed 650 horses, instance maintaining the 738 pound - feet ( 1, 000 KW ) of the " quotidian " SL65 AMG. The SL Black Series gets modernistic, mainly spitting image - fiber bodywork and a fixed roof, which helps cut bodyweight. The Black Series is expected to shed greater than 500 pounds versus the SL65. Unique the rear void - panels abide rendered mark steel. The SL ' s neoteric grille is new squat on the Black Series, and the hood is apparently exempt from unskilled European pedestrian safety laws, thanks to genuine low home production. The SL65 Black Series is booked to frame its debut at the German Grand Prix mastery July.

2008 Mercedes - Benz SL - Class SL65 AMG Roadster Performance & Efficiency Standard Drift
- Two turbo compressor
- 5, 980 cc 6. 0 liters V 12 front mechanism cloak 82. 6 mm pierce, 93. 0 mm stroke, 9. 0 compression ratio, overhead cam and three valves per conduit tool code
- Premium unleaded fuel 91
- Multi - point injection fuel system
- 21. 1 gallon main premium unleaded fuel receptacle 17. 6
- Gift: 450 kW, 604 HP SAE @ 4, 800 rpm; 738 ft lb, 1, 001 Nm @ 2, 000 rpm

2008 Mercedes - Benz SL - Class SL65 AMG Roadster Adoption, Ride & Braking Standard Mood
- Four - shove ABS
- Brake furtherance system
- Brake by wire
- Cornering brake guidance
- Four tape brakes including four ventilated discs
- Electronic brake symmetry
- Electronic traction control via ABS & machine management
- Immobilizer
- Rear limited slip offbeat
- Driver selectable responsive suspension
- Stability oversight
- Multi - link front and rear suspension independent tuck away coil springs
- Interactive front and rear suspension levelling
- Tire implements

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Fuel Cell Comes of Age - Trends

The recent debut of Mercedes - Benz ' A - Class - based NECAR 3 hybrid electric vehicle at the Frankfurt Motor Show portends big things for the hydrogen fuel cell. What seemed an exercise in wishful thinking not so long ago now appears destined for commercialization, perhaps within six short years. That ' s when the firm says it ' s aiming to sell 100, 000 fuel cell vehicles, beginning with municipal fleets.

A fanciful daydream, you say? Consider this: Mercedes demonstrated its fuel - cell - powered NECAR ( New Electric Car ) commercial van in 1994 and the evolutionary NECAR II minivan, based on the current V - Class van, in 1996. Its point was clear: Within an amazingly short two years, the fuel cell developed by its Canadian partner, Ballard Power Systems, radically shrank from a unit requiring the entire cargo area of a commercial van to one that comfortably fit behind a minivan ' s rear seat. Fuel cell packaging in a passenger vehicle was now possible, although other important technical issues like onboard hydrogen storage and high price still needed to be resolved.

The latest - generation NECAR 3 developmental vehicle makes another impressive statement in downsizing. Its fuel cells are secreted beneath the passenger compartment within the car ' s double - floor sandwich design. The 18 - inch - high reformer tucks nicely into the rear of the A - Class.

The NECAR 3 also addresses the issue of storing hydrogen onboard. It simply does away with hydrogen storage altogether, so heavy and bulky gaseous fuel cylinders are no longer required.

Instead, this high - tech A - Class fuels up with methanol transformed through onboard water - vapor reformation into the hydrogen needed to power the fuel cell. The fuel cell combines this hydrogen with atmospheric oxygen to create electricity without combustion, which is then used to power the car ' s electric drive motor. All this happens instantaneously in response to accelerator pedal pressure, which ensures vehicle dynamics similar to those of a conventional gasoline - fueled vehicle. Mercedes - Benz says the process is so efficient that fully 90 - percent of the system ' s power is available within just 2 seconds.

The 11 gallons of methanol carried onboard this one - off A - Class provides a very real 250 - mile range, although " real " is relative considering the planet ' s paucity of methanol refueling stations. One possible solution visualized by Mercedes is a flexible - fuel ( methanol / gasoline ) approach that will allow using either fuel until sufficient methanol refueling sites are available.

Book Review: Automobile History - Day By Day, by Douglas A. Wick. 1997, Hedemarken Collectibles Publisher and Wholesaler, P. O. Box 7399, Northbrook Station, Bismark, ND 58507; 701 / 258 - 5794. Soft cover; 11x811 / 42 inches; 600 pages; 431 B / W photos and illustrations; ISBN 0 - 9620968 - 2 - 2. $50 ( plus $5 shipping / handling ). $60 hardbound.

In his forward to this book, General Motors ' Vice Chairman Harry J. Pearce characterizes " Automobile History - Day By Day " as a labor of love. Clearly author Douglas Wick sees it in much the same light. A lifelong car fanatic and collector of books, magazines, photos, and other auto - related memorabilia, he spent years compiling the information in this 600 - page epic.

To help readers easily locate factoids from among the vast array of data chronicled, Wick has provided five indexes that cross reference the material by marque, company and organization, personal names, place names, and illustrations.

" Automobile History - Day By Day " is not your typical coffee - table tome. Produced on a shoestring, printed on uncoated stock, and bereft of flashy artwork, its primary appeal is definitely to harder - core enthusiasts. While offering their own insight into times gone by, many of the vintage photos Wick uses have more to do with an era than any specific related historic event. However, if you happen to be one of that select cadre who find it valuable to know that on Jan. 1, 1879, Carl Benz successfully operated his two - stroke gasoline engine for the first time or that the initial running of the Mille Miglia began on March 26, 1927, or that on July 31, 1981, the last Corvette was produced in the old St. Louis plant before assembly was transferred to the current Bowling Green facility, there ' s a good chance this massive reference would be right at home on your bookshelf. - B. N.