sábado, 28 de noviembre de 2009

More About 2009 Infiniti G37 Coupe

Two-part-bed-plate construction which is more rigid than a single piece casting for reduced vibration levels. It also permits sustained use at higher revs: the V6 is red-lined at 7,500rpm.

By continually altering valve lift and therefore the quantity of air in the combustion chamber it provides a more powerful combustion phase to increase torque and power. Best of all, as the valves control the intake rather than a conventional butterfly, response to throttle inputs is immediate. WEL improves fuel economy and lowers emissions compared to standard valve lift systems.

In keeping with the performance profile of the Coupe, infiniti engineers have developed a special aural soundtrack for the car. Equal length tubular exhaust manifolds and a symmetrical exhaust and silencer system have allowed the engineers to create a linear sound with a good balance between low and high frequency notes.

Infiniti G37 Coupe uses the second-generation version of Infiniti's FM platform. The 'front midship' engine location sees the compact V6 mounted in the front of the car, but as low and as far back as possible, with most of the block behind the front axle line. The result lowers the centre of gravity and helps to deliver the optimum front to rear weight distribution.

The fully independent suspension uses lightweight aluminum components to reduce weight as much as possible. A double wishbone set up at the front and a subframe-mounted multi-link arrangement at the rear allied to an extremely rigid body shell, gives the Infiniti G37 Coupe agile handling perfectly in keeping with its performance potential.

Standard features include the intelligent I-key with smart access and push button starter, a six-disc, seven speaker audio system with an RCA AUX-in jack socket for MP3 players. Bluetooth phone connectivity and cruise control with speed limiter can all be operated via switches on the leather-trimmed multi-function steering wheel.

Other standard features include power seats, aluminum pedals and footrest, auto-dimming rear view mirror, front and rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, 18-inch alloy wheels, six airbags and integrated fog lamps. For the perfect driving position, the binnacle is attached not to the dashboard but to the steering column itself, and moves with the wheel when the latter is adjusted for reach and  rake.

The G37 GT version adds extra comfort with leather upholstery, a 10-way power driver's seat with lumbar support and  memory and an 8-way powered passenger front seat. Heated front seats are also standard and the I-key incorporates memory positions for driver's seat, steering wheel column and door mirrors.

High levels of passive safety were a priority at the design stage. As a result, the Infiniti G37 Coupe has a full complement of six airbags, with dual-stage front airbags, seat belt sensors and passenger seat occupancy sensor. The front seats incorporate hip and thorax bags, while there are front-to-rear curtain airbags for protection in a side impact.

Testing every Infiniti in the harshest of conditions ensures the durability and peace of mind that buyers can expect from the products.
Vancouver B.C. Car Info
Wpg Auto Dealer

miércoles, 25 de noviembre de 2009

Dramatic performance in a thoroughly seductive shape

From Netcarshow.com.

The Infiniti G37 Coupe offers dramatic performance in a thoroughly seductive shape. Although sharing a great deal of hardware with the Infiniti G37 Sedan, the Coupe is designed to appeal to different buyer.

There are three versions of the Infiniti G37 Coupe on offer - the well equipped G37 Coupe, the more luxurious GT version with leather upholstery, and the sport oriented S version with 4-Wheel Active Steer system, a Viscous Limited Slip Differential (VLSD) and sports suspension settings among other changes.

A long bonnet, short overhangs and dramatically raked roof line give the Infiniti G37 Coupe a silhouette that sets it apart from rival products based more heavily on their saloon counterparts.

Designed as a modern sports car without compromise, the Infiniti G37 Coupe has elegant and sophisticated proportions allied to an expressive, curving shoulder-line to give a feeling of movement even when stationary. The shorter and lower roofline also helps accentuate the Coupe's low centre of gravity and gives a clear indication that this is essentially a rear-wheel-drive car.
Vancouver B.C. Car Info
Wpg Auto Dealer

domingo, 22 de noviembre de 2009

Type of vehicle: All-wheel-drive compact SUV

Engine: 3.5L DOHC V6

Power: 268 h.p. 6,800 r.p.m.; 258 ft-lbs. of torque 2,400 r.p.m.

Transmission: Seven-speed manumatic

Brakes: Four-wheel disc with ABS

Tires: P235/50R19

Price: base/as tested: $41,800/$51,800

Destination charge: $1,995

Transport Canada fuel economy L/100 km: 13.3 city, 9.6 hwy.

Standard features: Power door locks, windows and mirrors, Thermatic dual-zone climate control air conditioning with micron air filter, AM/FM/CD/MP3 player with in-dash CD player, steering wheel mounted audio controls, DVD navigation system, cruise control, power glass sunroof, information display, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, leather seats, 10-way power front seats, heated front seats, split-folding rear seats, auto headlights, dual front air bags, side curtain air bags, side air bags, crash-responsive Neck-Pro front head restraints, First Aid kit, Tire Pressure Loss Warning system.
Vancouver B.C. Car Info
Wpg Auto Dealer

jueves, 19 de noviembre de 2009

The X1

To a couple of degrees. Understeer is also a non-issue for two reasons: The P225/50R17 tires and a top-notch electronic stability/dynamic traction control system (DSC with DTC).

     This electronic overseer not only does all of the usual understeer/oversteer correction - in conjunction with xDrive - it has a neat feature that takes it to the next tier of performance.

     Performance Control uses the brakes to physically turn the vehicle into the corner. If the driver runs into understeer in a left-hand bend, the system does two things: It applies the left rear brake, which turns the car into the corner, and it ramps up the power output to counter the drag caused by the application. On the test route, the system worked to perfection.

     For the driver, everything happens so seamlessly the X1 retains it sure footed feel even as it begins to slip out of control. As with other Bimmers, the system has three modes - on, the DTC mode (which allows the back end to drift out a little before it steps in) and off. The last is for the brave (or foolish) because the DTC mode is so proficient.

     The test drive included some off roading and a delightfully twisty road loop. In the dirt, the fact all of the under-car mechanicals are packaged up and out of the way gives the X1 194 mm of ground clearance. That and the short overhangs give it some real boonie-bashing potential. The road route included a frenetic run to the top of a mountain and back down. The serpentine course demonstrated just how planted the X1 is when its driven with elan - the handling dynamics are first rate and the steering feel is second to none.

     The X1 is a very capable vehicle. It handles exceptionally well, the diesel engine delivers good power and there is decent versatility. If you take from this that the current X3 sport-ute is reaching the end of its life, you're right expect a replacement hot on the heels of the X1's launch in 2010.
Vancouver B.C. Car Info
Wpg Auto Dealer

sábado, 14 de noviembre de 2009

However, that was not the case with BMW's new X1 sport-ute. The heavily camouflaged vehicles I drove were ready to roll except for a few not-quite right interior trim pieces.

     The X1 is based on the 3 Series platform, which means it rides on a 2,760-millimetre wheelbase. This provides plenty of cabin space (enough for four adults to sit in comfort) and good cargo room - 14.8 cubic feet with the 40/20/40 - split/folding rear seats upright and 47.6 cu. ft. with them flat.

     The cabin is also finished in typical BMW fashion. The materials are off the top shelf and the amenities are there for all to enjoy. If you have ridden in a 3 Series, you're familiar with the X.1. In the tester's case, everything from comfortable 10-way power seats, a harman/kardon audio system and power sunroof to a navigation system and iDrive (lifted from the 3 Series) were all in place.

     Mind you, when the X1 lands in Canada, many of these features will be on the options list. Mechanically, the X1 is very well endowed. The xDrive 23d test vehicles featured a sweetheart of an engine teamed with a six-speed manumatic, the latter better than most in that it allows the driver to shift manually even when in Drive. The engine was a delightful 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel that produces 204 horsepower and a very healthy 295 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 r.p.m.

     When the X1 comes in Canada, it will likely be offered with a 3.0L in-line-six gas engine that pushes 230 h.p. and 200lb-ft of torque at 2,750 r.p.m. A 2.0L four could also be in the cards - in Europe, it produces 170 h.p. and 155 lb-ft of torque. However, if there's any justice, the diesel will be offered as an option as it delivers  the pull of the six with a four-cylinder's fuel efficiency.

     Power is relayed to the road through BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system. Under normal circumstances, it sends 40 percent of the power to the front wheels with the balance going to the rear. If wheel spin occurs, the system can split the power evenly, or it can send all of the power to the rear wheels or any split between the extremes. As with BMW's other xDrive offerings, the X1's system is both seamless and proficient.

     In the ride department, the X1, again, succeeds. It drives more like a station wagon than a typical SUV. To begin with, there is enough compliance in the suspension to deliver a cosseting ride. However, push the X1 harder and the set-up is firm enough to limit body roll.
Vancouver B.C. Car Info

miércoles, 11 de noviembre de 2009

Road Test: Toyota Corolla GT-S

Now it burns rubber at the other end.
Toyota is in many ways the General Motors of Japanese carmakers. It has the largest share of its domestic market, it sells its cars through five distinct divisions, and it offers a comprehensive range of vehicles, from entry level turbo scooters to mid-engined sports cars to heavy-duty trucks. With so many nameplates to sell and so many market segments to cover, some sharing of powertrains and platforms is inevitable - if for no other reason than to keep the parts numbers from over loading the computers.
The latest move in this direction is a common, front-drive platform for all three new models in the 1988 Corolla lineup: the revamped four-door sedan, the new five-door wagon, and the formerly rear-wheel-drive two-door coupe. (The carried over Corolla FX models share some of the new line's components but are built on a different platform.) The induction of the GT-S coupe and its SR5 sister into the front-drive fold may come as sad news to fans of opposite-lock powerslides and parking-lot doughnuts. In truth, however, shifting the coupe's tractive power forward hasn't dramatically altered their personalities or shrunk their performance envelopes.
The SR5 remains the wallflower coupe, while the GT-S is the one with the fun moves, All the new Corollas benefit from stronger engines, though. Last year, the GT-S, along with the FX16 and the MR2, was equipped with a twin cam, four-valve-per-cylinder engine, while the other Corollas had single-overhead-cam motors. This year, all the new models are powered by twin-cam engines; the lower order Corollas now have 90 hp on tap, while the GT-S, with a freer-breathing head and port fuel injection rather than a carburetor, has 115 hp under its hood. For trivia buffs, the engine in last year's GT-S produced three less horsepower, the extra power in the new model is a result of minor induction tuning and new fuel injectors. The GT-S is further distinguished from the other new Corollas by disc brakes at all four wheels (the rest have drums at the rear), a gearbox with a taller first gear and a shorter final-drive ratio, variable-ratio rack-and-pinion steering (the others get a straight ratio), and bigger wheels and tires.
The front drive platform common to all the new Corollas gives the GT-S and the SR5 a slightly longer wheelbase than they had last year, up from 94.5 to 95.7 inches.
Both models are longer and wider, too, and their rooflines are a remarkable three inches lower. The new coupe body has a more pronounced wedge shape and a cleaner overall look; although the genetic link to the previous model is unmistakable, the package is clearly evolving in the right direction. As the sportier of the two coupes, the GT-S wears rocker-panel extensions, a rear spoiler, and "GT-S Twin Cam 16" decals on both doors. The GT-S and SR5 both have pop-up headlights, while the rest of the line gets fixed lamps.
The GT-S' interior is a comfortable, sporty environment, but we regret to say that we've seen it all before. Although massaged and freshened up the cabin is distinctly familiar both in its general layout and in its design details. Since the car is all new this year, the feeling of dejavu is a little eerie.
Not that there is anything really wrong with this interior, Hyundai would kill for the GT-S' cockpit. Itemize the pieces and everything looks aces. The steering wheel is thick and grabable; the shifter works flawlessly (the GT-S is available only with a five-speed; the analog instruments including a wildly optimistic 150-mph speedo, are eminently readable.
Vancouver B.C. Car Info 

domingo, 8 de noviembre de 2009

2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8

The embers of my love affair with the 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 first started to glow during a media preview last August when I had the opportunity to fling the Brampton, Ont.,- built retro rod around a race track in New Jersey. With its 6.1-litre Hemi V8, a newly available Tremec six-speed manual transmission borrowed from the Viper, a race bred suspension and uber-effective Brembo brakes, this car truly stirred my emotions.

     The relationship warmed up further when I was assigned to evaluate its category during last fall's AJAC TestFest. Again, being able to experience the menacing growl of that big Hemi, feel the rush of power when it was unleashed, even driving it tamely on public roads all combined to reinforce my passion.

     So naturally, there was much anticipation when I picked up an intimidating black SRT8 for a week-long road test. As we sometimes discover in relationships based on passion, however, things can quickly grow cold.

     The attributes I enjoyed so much during our previous encounters turned into trouble this time. Actually, our reunion started off innocently enough, picking up the gorgeous SRT8 - buffed and polished - at Chrysler's Mississauga office. However, making the two-hour run home later that day turned into a nightmare. The road surface, which had initially been dry, changed to wet and then snow covered. While its sticky, fat, 20-inch performance tires shine on dry roads and can cope adequately enough with a soggy surface, the SRT8 can't handle the white stuff.

     Although there were 425 horses eagerly waiting to be unleashed, I had to rein them in to a crawl in order to stay on the road. True, this car comes with the latest electronic gadgetry, including stability control, but it's all useless if the tires can't grip the road.

     After driving like I had eggs under the go pedal and trying to respond with the softest of touches to twitches in the car's direction, I did manage to nurse the beast home - well, almost home. There's a very slight grade in the approach to my street. In fact, it has only really grabbed my attention previously when trying to plod those final few metres after a brisk walk.

     This night, however, the SRT8, with all its power, couldn't make the snow-dusted grade. I initially made my approach with all support systems engaged as I didn't expect there would be a problem. He slowed for the intersection, then make the turn on to my street nanny kicked in and all engine in its attempt to avoid.

     I backed down the street, manual mode and tried again with a lot of wheelspin, according such a howl from the Hemi, I wake every neighbour within and there was little progress.

     Finally, I reversed all the main road, which was wet and used an alternate route to get home.

     The return run to Mississauga later also included encounter and proved equally challenging. During the intervening day there were times when the roads were true character of the SRT8 with awesome acceleration, stunning and impressive braking, all are the wonderful sounds at the slightest urging.

     Despite my initial passion for time spent with it revealed a while I had noticed previously issues resulting from its low greenhouse, the severity of to peer past the blind spots become more apparent.
Vancouver B.C. Car Info

miércoles, 4 de noviembre de 2009

Toyota Corolla 1988 Model

It is a rare day when an auto-scribe gets to test drive a real entry-level model.

     As a rule, the testers tend to be mid-range models or better, each of which usually features more than its fair share of optional equipment. In a refreshing change, the Toyota Corolla tester arrived as an entry-level stripper - the base CE with not an option to be found other than its automatic transmission ($1,000).

     The CE is a bare-bones sort of car. A couple of days earlier I had been driving a Corolla S - it comes with a minor body kit and a few welcome splashes of colour on the dash and doors along with some fancy blue flecks that are woven into the seat fabric. The CE is, in contrast, fairly described as bland. From its pressed-steel wheels to its beige interior, it can be likened to white bread sans butter.

     In this case, it is not such a bad thing as it caters to those shopping on a budget - $15,160 before the optional transmission, freight, PDI and taxes. The downside is that to get two of the more popular features - air conditioning and power locks - requires another $1,905. If you want power windows, well, that adds $3,040.

     At this point, the base car becomes somewhat more than entry-level. If there is a saving grace, it is that the enhanced convenience package that brings the air and power windows also includes one of the most important safety features offered today - a very good electronic traction/stability control system.

     In the back, the Corolla is all it should be. There is enough room for a pair of adults to sit in comfort and, if you're brave enough to risk the wrath of the teen forced to sit in the middle spot, there's somewhere for the rider to put his feet because the floor is flat. Likewise, the trunk - at 12.3 cubic feet - accommodates a family of four's luggage with space to spare. The 60/40 - split/folding rear seats add the needed versatility.

     With 132 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque on tap, the Corolla has a decent turn of speed. The 1.8-litre engine, which features variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust cams, is also a slick operator. The idle is smooth and, when forced to work at the top end of the rev range, it remains commendably quiet. A hand-held stopwatch put the zero-to-100-kilometres-an-hour time at 10.6 seconds, which is on par with most entry-level family cars. Where the engine really shines is its decided lack of thirst for fuel. A week long average of 6.1 litres per 100 km took the sting out of escalating gas prices.

     The optional four-speed automatic transmission works well. The shifts are smooth on the way up and fast when the driver demands a kick down to pass a slower vehicle. However, the Corolla deserves a five-speed automatic box.

     The extra gear would not only put more authority into the launch, it would relax the highway experience and improve fuel economy. If you don't mind shifting your own gears, the manual box is the better choice. The clutch action is light and progressive, and the gate is nicely defined. It also sharpens the response throttle input and shaves the acceleration time by 0.2 seconds while bettering the automatics' fuel economy.

     The Toyota Corolla has been a perennial favourite. While it's true this car does not stand out in any given discipline, it does everything demanded of a family car very nicely. The fact it boasts better than average reliability, enviable quality and excellent resale value underscores its status as one of the entry-level leaders.

Toyota Corolla Specs

Type of vehicle: Front-wheel-drive compact sedan

Engine: 1.8L DOHC four-cylinder

Power: 132 hp 6,000 rpm; 128 lb-ft of torque 4,400 rpm

Transmission: Four-speed automatic

Brakes: Front disc, rear drum with ABS

Tires: P195/65R15

Price: base/as tested: $15,160/$16,160

Destination charge: $1,270

Transport Canada fuel economy L/100 km: 7.6 city, 5.7 hwy.

Standard features:Heated power mirrors, intermittent wipers, manual crank windows, manual door locks, driver's seat manual height adjustment, AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA audio system with four speakers and auxiliary input jack, cloth seating, tilt steering, outside temperature readout, digital clock, front and rear cup holders, dual glove boxes, front and side seat-mounted air bags, drop-down side curtains, active front head restraints, engine immobilizer, tinted glass, carpeted floor mats, splash guards.
Vancouver B.C. Car Info

lunes, 2 de noviembre de 2009

Protect Yourself from Flood-Damaged Cars

Thinking about purchasing of a used car? Protect yourself from buying a flood-damaged vehicle by doing a little research and having the vehicle thoroughly checked by a trusted repair technician.

Hurricanes and tropical storms in coastal areas, however, are only part of the problem. Rain, thunderstorms, and swelling rivers all contribute to flooding disasters that seriously damage vehicles.

Auto-industry analysts caution consumers that the risk of buying a water damaged car is not limited to flood prone areas of the country. These cars often are repaired cosmetically and moved as far as Canada where they are sold to unsuspecting customer.

Before handing over any money to the seller, CAA suggests having an inspection done by a CAA Approved Auto Repair facility.

Here are some tips to help you evaluate a vehicle and rule out flood damage:
Check the trunk, glove compartment, dashboard, and flooring below the seats for signs of water damage such as silt, mud, or rust.
Examine upholstery and carpeting closely; if it doesn't match the interior or fits loosely, it may have been replaced. Discolored, faded, or stained materials could mean water damage.
Turn the ignition key and make sure that accessory and warning lights come on and work properly. Make sure the airbag and ABS lights come on.
Test the lights (both interior and exterior), windshield wipers, turn signals, cigarette lighter, radio, heater, and air conditioner several times to make sure they work.
Flex some of the wires beneath the dashboard. Wet wires will become brittle upon drying and may crack.
Sniff around to see if you smell musty odors from mildew.

If the seller does not offer a vehicle history report, use the 17-digit vehicle identification number, or VIN, available on the dashboard to check out the car's history yourself. CARFAX vehicle history reports, available to members at through a link in the automotive section at caamanitoba.com, can reveal many hidden problems in a vehicle's past, including flood tiles.