The Car Geek: November 2006

The Car Geek

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Volvo, Chrysler and Ford Recall a Total of 300,000 Vehicles

In the news: recalls.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced four separate auto recalls affecting about 300,600 vehicles.

Volvo Recalls: 2002 C70 convertible

According to NHTSA, Volvo is recalling some C70, C70 convertible, S60, S70, S80, V70, V70XC and XC70 models from the 1999-2002 model years to check for a malfunctioning electronic throttle module in the vehicle's speed controls which may cause the vehicles to unnecessarily go into "limp home" mode, in which the vehicle's speed is limited to 10 to 30 mph.

Chrysler Recalls: 2005-2006 Chrysler Pacifica

Meanwhile, Chrysler is recalling 127,928 Pacificas from the 2005-2006 model years to due to fuel pump modules and powertrain control module software problems that may allow the engine to stall under certain conditions. Chrysler is likewise recalling 2,258 Sebring sedans from the 2007 model year with a hood latch part that may break and allow the hood to open while driving.

Ford Recalls: 2007 Ford Crown Victoria

Last on the recall list is Ford, which is recalling 422 Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis sedans from the 2007 model year to properly secure the windshield to the body. Dealers will replace the windshields at no cost to owners.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

IIHS: Foreign Brands Move to Top of '07 Safety List

Hyundai Entourage: 2007 Top Safety Pick Winner In the news: thirteen cars and trucks from foreign manufacturers - including the Kia Sedona and Hyundai Entourage - won Top Safety Pick honors for 2007 models from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Kia Sedona: 2007 Top Safety Pick Winner

The winners included models of the Audi A6 built in December 2006 and later, Audi A4, Saab 9-3, Subaru Legacy with optional ESC, Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Volvo XC90, Acura RDX, Honda Pilot, Subaru B9 Tribeca, Honda CR-V and the Subaru Forester equipped with optional ESC.

Foreign brands dominated the list, but so did cheaper ones; with the insurers giving the highest rating to seven vehicles under $30,000, including the Kia Sedona and the Hyundai Entourage.

Some of the 2006 winners were dropped from the list "because the manufacturers haven't improved the head restraints from acceptable to good or don't offer ESC (electronic stability control)," said Adrian Lund, institute president. Among the vehicles that won in 2006 but were shut out this year are the Ford Five Hundred, Mercury Montego and Chevrolet Malibu. Though the four-door Honda Civic won last year, in contrast no small cars won in this year's awards. Most 2007 Civics do not have ESC, a requirement in this year's awards.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mitsubishi may offer a diesel in the U.S.

Mitsubishi may offer a diesel in the U.S. Autoweek reports: a diesel engine that Mitsubishi is developing for Europe also could be sold in the United States.

"We plan to have the diesel ready for Europe first before 2010, but we are not excluding the U.S. market," said Hiroshi Harunari, CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc.

Harunari reportedly said the four-cylinder engine is being developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan. The CEO reiterated that should U.S. car buyers accept the technology (that Honda and other automakers are set to launch in the country), Mitsubishi will do the same. At the same time Harunari also expressed doubts on whether U.S. car buyers are really interested in small cars instead of larger, affordable cars that deliver good fuel mileage.

Mitsubishi has said it will bring an electric car to the United States, but no timetable has been set for that vehicle. Harunari also says Mitsubishi is studying whether to sell vehicles in this country that burn ethanol.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Volkswagen unveils high-performance Passat R36

Volkswagen Passat R36 The much-anticipated Passat R36 was unveiled by Volkswagen today. The Passat R36 is a high performance variant of the popular sedan and wagon. The 296 horsepower R36 features a DSG transmission and 4Motion all-wheel-drive.

Zero to 62 mph takes 5.6 seconds for the sedan and 5.8 seconds for the wagon, thanks to a power 3.6 liter FSI engine. The cars have a top speed of 155 mph.

The R36 will be on display at the Essen Motor Show in Germany, taking place December 1 to 10.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

GM set to promote new hybrids

General Motors is reportedly planning a marketing push to promote its hybrid vehicles and other fuel-saving technologies.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the effort is part of a strategy to lift the automaker's image as a leader in automotive technology. GM is said to be hoping to use some of the money it will save from closing plants and cutting jobs this year to accelerate development of hybrids, hydrogen fuel cells and other technologies.

GM is reportedly working on a next-generation hybrid car that can be recharged by house electricity. Such "plug in" hybrids can run much longer on batteries alone, improving mileage even more than current hybrids.

GM is also expected to preview some new sport-utility vehicles that use a conventional hybrid powertrain and are due to be launched next year or in 2008.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Nissan To Debut Sentra SE-R at L.A. Auto Show

Nissan has announced that it will unveil the 2007 Sentra SE-R and 2007 Sentra SE-R Spec V on November 29 at the 2006 L.A. auto show. 2007 Nissan Sentra

Not a lot of details were revealed, but Nissan did acknowledge the use of a high-output version of its 2.5-liter four-cylinder in the SE-R Spec V. With the same engine making up to 175 horsepower in the Altima sedan, buyers can expect the high-output version to easily top 200 hp.

According to Nissan, they will reveal a "uniquely styled, exhilarating performance-oriented vehicle, which marks Nissan's entry into a previously untapped customer segment."

Well we'd just have to wait and see. Already a lot of excitement is buzzing over the Nissan Altima coupe reportedly caught by spy photographers on a photo shoot just weeks ago. Meanwhile keep your current Nissan Altima in good shape with auto parts like headlights, engine parts and bumper from Auto Parts Inner.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Volvo and Audi's New Gadgets

Blind Spot Information SystemOnce you're on the road you are exposed to numerous types of possible road accidents. The mere changing of lanes if you are not careful enough may result to an accident especially if you fail to take notice of the vehicle in your "blind spot".

To address such problem, the 2007 Audi and Volvo both developed a system that can detect vehicles that a driver may not see on either side of his car. The system will use LED displays which are to be placed near each outside rearview mirror to warn driver of approaching vehicles particular on its blind spot.

Audi's side Assist System which made its debut on the new 2007 Q7 SUV makes use of radar to sense other vehicles. Volvo has a Blind Spot Information System that is available on the new S80 sedan and makes use of cameras to detect approaching vehicles.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The 2007 Buick Rendezvous

2007 Buick Rendezvous The 2007 Buick Rendezvous has successfully combined comfort, capability, and capacity. It makes use of the QuiteTuning process and components that are designed to reduce, block, and absorb sound creating a serene riding experience. The advancements like quiet tread tires, enhanced absorbers, improved sealing techniques, and acoustic laminate front side door glass help create to block road noises.

It also features excellent traction control. The powertrain control module (PCM) computer which is a standard for CXL is provided to detect excessive front wheel spin. This same computer system is responsible for adjusting the spinning tire in order to regain traction. How? By applying first brakes to the wheel and then reducing the power by slowing down the spark to all engine cylinders.

Another great feature of the Rendezvous is its Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist. This special feature is operational while the Rendezvous is in reverse. The optional ultrasonic rear parking assist makes use of sonar to alert the driver to certain stationary objects within three feet of the bumper. The three lights found inside mounted on the rear shelf helps the driver to know just how close his car is to an obstruction.

For its interior, the Rendezvous has Onstar, Mahogany-Trimmed Wheel, Stowable Third Row Seating, EyeCue Heads-Up display and a DVD entertainment system.

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2006 Volkswagen New Beetle

2006 Volkswagen New Beetle
This year's Beetle is cute yet exudes classic styling plus, it is available in a diesel engine option. The 2006 Volkswagen is given a facelift with its new front and rear bumpers, headlights and tail lamps embody the changes that transpire. The exterior is not the only part enhanced. The interior is also given a new look and feel by adding a fresh console, redesigned instrument cluster, revised sun visors plus the addition of chrome trims.

Changes also go under the hood, last year's gasoline engine choices were replaced with 150 horsepower, 2.5 liter, five-cylinder engine that were first seen in the redesigned Jetta. Stability control has also become a standard among the 2006 Volkswagen Beetle. Plus, it is also available in two trims: the 2.5L and the 2.5L PZEV.

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