вторник, 18 декабря 2007 г.

Early look: Honda Pilot prototype


Honda has released a sketch of its Pilot prototype ahead of the SUV's debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Like the automaker did last year with the Accord Coupe Concept, look for the Pilot prototype to be very close to the production model.

No details were released with the sketch, but next-generation Pilot will take on a more rugged SUV look. Honda says the Pilot "will emphasize authentic SUV styling, clever interior packaging and advanced technologies for safety, fuel efficiency and convenience."
The Pilot's eight-passenger seating is expected to be retained in the next iteration.
Spy photographers spotted a Pilot prototype out testing earlier this year.

Source: http://www.leftlanenews.com/honda-pilot-future.html

среда, 3 октября 2007 г.

Honda Accord Review

I remember sitting in a park with my father a quarter-century ago, pointing at a nearby car. "What do you think that is?" "A BMW?" Nope, but his guess was not without reason. The second-generation Accord lifted more than a few design cues from the storied German marque. The 1982 sedan was also notable for its astounding attention to detail, compactness and efficiency. For those "in the know," the Accord revealed Detroit's sedans as over-sized, over-powered and indelicate. Now that Honda's eighth-generation Accord faces a supposedly chastened Detroit, does the new model maintain the mechanical high ground?

The new Honda Accord is 20 inches longer, eight inches wider, four inches taller and 1,000 pounds heavier than the motor my father misidentified. In other words, it's larger and heavier than the '80's Detroit iron reviled by Honda's early fans. And yet the Accord has come full circle. After years of increasingly bland styling, the ubiquitous sedan once again begs to be mistaken for a BMW.

Looking at the new Accord from the rear three-quarter perspective, clocking the C-pillar kink and the wrap-around taillights (that continue to the roofline's down-sweep), it's a dead ringer for the current BMW 5-Series. From other perspectives, the Honda's design is less derivative– and less eye-catching. This despite a swage line slicing downwards from the rear and a bit of Bimmeresque flame surfacing. A distinctly un-Honda abundance of front overhang does nothing for the proportions.

Still, overall, mission accomplished. The new Honda Accord looks much more expensive than both its predecessor and its classmates.

Inside, the Accord's instrument panel sweeps across the cabin like a 5-Series' dash. Unfortunately, this aesthetic "homage" extends to the Accord's ergonomics. The new controls are just as complex as any Bimmer's, with more buttons than a professional seamstress AND a large iDrive-inspired eight-way knob. So much for "We make it simple."  The Accord's front seats are well shaped for both comfort and [a modicum of] lateral support, especially when clad with grippy cloth. Thanks to the supersized external dimensions, the enlarged cabin is roomy enough for four Big and Tall preferred customers. The Accord's rear seat folds in a single section to expand a class-trailing trunk; unusually intrusive rear strut towers defeat the purpose of a 60/40 split.

The 1982 Accord was motivated by a mere 75 horsepower. For years Honda refused to offer a V6 as a matter of principle. Gen 8 Accord buyers can still opt for a four-cylinder engine, with either 177 horses ( LX) or 190hp (EX). That's plenty of poke for a family runabout, right? Wrong. Pitted against the upsized Accord's 3,433-pound curb weight (EX-L with autobox), the four pot must rev its little 16-Valve DOHC i-VTEC® heart out to get the job done. The resulting 21/31 EPA ratings aren't class-leading.

Enter the new 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6. Hello cubes, goodbye revs. Needless to say, the extra displacement works wonders in the oomph department, with minimal torque steer. The six may not deliver neck-snapping thrills or sing a lusty long, but it's a refined piece that engenders mindless merging and perspiration-free passing.

These powerplants deserve better partners. When hooked up to either engine, the still-five-speed automatic didn't behave well. It occasionally held a gear too long, or refused to downshift, or bumped when going from gear to gear. Maybe the transmissions needed more miles to adapt to my driving style. Maybe not. Fancy manually shifting the recalcitrant slushbox instead? Buy an Acura.

Though the Accord's steering feels nicely weighted and precise, the suspension is tuned for touring, not sport. Going around curves, the double wishbones deliver most of the solid, tightly damped and thoroughly composed feel of a BMW– without the Bavarian's sporting edge. Many competitors offer the option of firmer suspension tuning, but Honda doesn't believe in options. The Accord's suspension settings are a deft compromise between comfort and control. It is, nevertheless, a compromise. Enthusiasts will not be well satisfied; everyone else will be.

The Accord's soft-core suspension settings does have its advantages: banishing the bump-thump busyness that sometimes afflicted the previous Accord on patchy pavement. There's still more road noise than you'll find in some Accord alteratives, but it's much less pronounced than in many past Hondas.

The new Honda Accord is an impressive piece of automotive artistry. It's well-built, roomy, properly-priced and (with the V6) powerful. It raises Honda's trademark refinement to a new level, with much of the look and some of the feel of a base BMW 5-Series.

But part of the Accord's appeal used to lie in Honda's idiosyncratic insistence on engineering cars that followed the "man maximum, machine minimum" philosophy. The new Accord is large and in charge, but in seeking to provide a 5er for the masses Honda has forsaken much of the formula that earned the model its place in American automotive history.

Source: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=5455

вторник, 2 октября 2007 г.

2009 Nissan Murano SUV Sucking The World

As a lot of Nissan cars lover come to my site from the google keywords "2009 Nissan Murano" search, I noticed that the 2009 Nissan Murano SUV is hot all over the world.

But 2009 Nissan Murano SUV is really to go out? No one can say "yes", as nothing leak from the Nissan Corp. official. Batch rumor of 2009 Nissan Murano SUV is spreading around the world. Even the Renault Koleos Concept is taken as the 2009 Nissan Murano SUV, Lol...

On Yahoo Answers, some said that, the Nissan Murano will be replaced by the Nissan Rogue in 2008, which is another Nissan's Crossover SUV, competing against with the Nissan Murano.

The All-New Nissan Rogue crossover had been released before, having intuitive all-wheel drive, smart storage, and a steet savvy 27mpg, with starting price at $19,250.

Source: http://horisly.blogspot.com/2007/09/2009-nissan-murano-suv-sucking-world.html

понедельник, 1 октября 2007 г.

How the public, not SUVs, screwed up the idea of hybrids

The public is right to be upset to find that hybrids don't automatically improve mileage by 20 MPG. Most hybrids now, compared with the market just a few years ago, are a bunch of SUVs with only slight improvements in mileage and very high annual fuel costs. The SUV fad began dying, so SUV makers looked to cost cuts, switched to crossovers, and added hybrid systems to hang on for dear life. We'll see how much they tarnish the public's perception of hybrids in the future.

The excerpt above pretty much summarizes this recent post from AutoblogGreen. They were covering an ABC News story which notes that the annual cost of hybrids (i.e. fuel cost) is rising. Both ABC News and ABG take it upon themselves to blame SUVs.

I have no love for SUVs, which is a whole other topic, but to condemn auto manufacturers for introducing "hybrids" which don't get as high gas mileage as the Prius et al? That's downright ludicrous.

They note that since 2000, the annual fuel costs of hybrids have gone up. This is due to the use of hybrid technology in pre-existing cars, resulting in a product that wasn't fuel efficiency-designed from the ground up and generally just has an electric motor slapped into the mix. While in examples like GM full-size trucks this is just a bid to get a few points higher MPG, in others like the Saturn Aura it is an attempt to introduce hybrid technology to a new low in starting price. Regardless of the product, the bottom line is that hybrid technology increases fuel efficiency and that despite whatever motivation the manufacturer might have had, it is a step in the right direction.

Instead of blaming auto companies for introducing "hybrids" that don't get elevnty-billion MPG like the Toyota Prius or Honda Insight, and thus "tarnish the public's perception of hybrids in the future," the public needs to take responsibility for knowing products before they buy. The public needs to know that the Honda Accord Hybrid, while not selling well and being discontinued after 2007, gave you the fuel economy of a compact four-cylinder car in a mid-size sedan with 255HP. The Ford Escape Hybrid gives you a mid-size SUV with gas mileage better than most sedans. GM is showing huge commitment to many forms of green auto technology, from offering the first semi-hybrid system on a full-size pickup truck to making strong pushes for E85 to offering hybrid technology (albeit not as efficient as Toyota's more expensive systems) at a new low price point.

If the public knew that and realized that today's hybrids are just a stepping stone to more efficient transportation, they might get off their keisters and pay more attention to something other than a keyword about the product they may buy - "hybrid."

Source: http://supplespub.com/rants/2007-09-26/how-the-public-not-suvs-screwed-up-the-idea-of-hybrids/

среда, 26 сентября 2007 г.

Rube Goldberg Lives

Actually, he doesn't. But his Spirit Lives On.

He would have loved this video.Wikipedia

Reuben Garret L. Goldberg (July 4, 1883 - December 7, 1970) was an American cartoonist. He earned lasting fame for his Rube Goldberg machines (complex devices that perform simple tasks in indirect and convoluted ways.)

Goldberg went to Lowell High School in San Francisco in 1900 and earned a degree in engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1904. After college, Goldberg was hired by the city of San Francisco as an engineer. However, his fondness for drawing cartoons prevailed, and after just a few months he quit the city job for a job with the San Francisco Chronicle as a sports cartoonist. The following year, he took a job with the San Francisco Bulletin, where he remained until he moved to New York City in 1907.

He drew cartoons for several newspapers, including the New York Evening Journal and the New York Evening Mail. His work entered syndication in 1915, beginning his nationwide popularity. A prolific artist, Goldberg produced several cartoon series simultaneously; titles included Mike and Ike, Boob McNutt, Foolish Questions, Lala Palooza, and The Weekly Meeting of the Tuesday Women's Club.

While these series were quite popular, the one leading to his lasting fame involved a character named Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts. In this series, Goldberg would draw labeled schematics of comical "inventions" which would later bear his name. In 1995, "Rube Goldberg's Inventions", depicting Professor Butts' Self-Operating Napkin, was one of 20 strips included in the Comic Strip Classics series of commemorative U.S. postage stamps. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his political cartooning in 1948.This... massively expensive commercial which took something like 600+ takes...

Is the epitome of a Rube Goldberg Machine. Enjoy.


YouTube - World's Costliest Ad... after 606 takes

When the ad was pitched to senior executives, they signed off on it immediately without any hesitation - including the costs. There are six, and only six, hand-made Honda Accords in the world. To the horror of Honda engineers, the filmmakers disassembled two of them to make this film.

There are no computer graphics or digital tricks in the film. Everything you see really happened in real time, exactly as you see it. The film took 606 takes. On the first 605 takes, something, usually very minor, didn't work. They would then have to set the whole thing up again.

The crew spent weeks shooting night and day. By the time it was over, they were ready to change professions. The film cost six million dollars and took three months to complete including full engineering of the sequence.

In addition, it is two minutes long so every time Honda airs the film on British television, they're shelling out enough dough to keep any one of us in clover for a lifetime. However, it is fast becoming the most downloaded advertisement in Internet history. Honda executives figure the ad will soon pay for itself simply in "free viewings" (Honda isn't paying a dime to have you watch this commercial!).

Everything you see in the film (aside from the walls, floor, ramp and complete Honda Accord) is parts from those two cars. The voice-over is Garrison Keillor. When the ad was shown to Honda executives, they liked it and commented on how amazing computer graphics have gotten.

They fell off their chairs when they found out it was for real... oh no J. And how about those funky windshield wipers...?? On the new Accords, the windshield wipers have water sensors and are designed to start doing their thing automatically... as soon as they become wet. It looks a bit weird in the commercial.

At cost of $6.2 million for 90-sec commercial, this is world's costliest ad and hands down winner in the world of ads.

Source: http://www.groupnewsblog.net/2007/09/rube-goldberg-lives.html

суббота, 22 сентября 2007 г.

Honda 2008 Accord

But only a concept. However, the problem is not in Europe-new Accord will be on sale as early as the middle of next year, and addressed to the Frankfurt prototype (by the way, with the body Wagon) will be different from the serial version is likely only minor details.

True, the image of the Japanese cable car and yet no one gives. But, as you can guess, "our" Accord will be similar to that of American shildikami. It will lower wider and shorter, and design will become more aggressive.

Moreover, it is possible that the new generation Accord will be "intelligent" peeping transmission SH-AWD as the Legend sedan. And his design at the time we reminded shown in Tokyo Sports4 concept.
gmc chicago dealer
Honda Blog

Source: http://hondacar-x.blogspot.com/2007/09/honda-2008-accord.html

понедельник, 17 сентября 2007 г.

Frankfurt Preview: Mazda keeps the focus on low weight with new 6

The new generation Mazda6 will be debuting next week in Frankfurt and the Japanese brand wants to keep their "Sustainable Zoom-Zoom" strategy going. Like the subcompact Mazda2 that came out Geneva, Mazda has made weight reduction a major part of their design vision for the new car. Taking the opposite tack of the new Honda Accord, the Mazda6 will be lighter than the current model and have lower fuel consumption. All car companies need to putting effort into weight reduction since that is one of the reasons for ever more powerful engines. Keep the mass down and performance and handling both improve without sacrificing efficiency.

[Source: Mazda]
Mazda continues Lightweight Strategy
with All-New Mazda6

Leverkusen, 6th September 2007. At this year's Frankfurt Motor Show, Mazda Motor Corporation will underscore its "Sustainable Zoom-Zoom" vision for developing technologies that have less impact on the environment. Taking centre stage is the world premiere of the all-new Mazda6, which continues Mazda's lightweight strategy. It is slightly lighter, uses less fuel and produces less CO2 than its predecessor.

The all-new Mazda2 – the first model to break the upward spiral of ever-heavier cars – is also lighter, more frugal and produces far lower CO2 emissions than the previous model. In Frankfurt, Mazda introduces the diesel version of the all-new Mazda2.

The best proof of Mazda's daring, innovative spirit is the rotary engine. Mazda will celebrate the 40th anniversary of this unique technology in Frankfurt with the presentation of a Special Edition RX-8.

The Frankfurt Motor Show press days are on the 11th and 12th September. The public days are the 15th – 23rd September. Mazda will unveil the all–new Mazda6 during its press conference on Tuesday, 11th September, at 13:45, at the Mazda stand, which is No. 3.1 A08 in Hall 3.1.

Source: http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/09/06/frankfurt-preview-mazda-keeps-the-focus-on-low-weight-with-new/