Going Green with a Full Sized SUV
Aug30

Going Green with a Full Sized SUV

Those that look into various cars know that there are limited options when it comes to ecofriendly hybrid cars. New to 2013 is GMC’s turn to make a hybrid cross over in the Yukon Hybrid. Though it seems to be a little more difficult to find a bigger hybrid, GMC manages in their new line.

yukon

Starting at $54,145, the Yukon Hybrid comes standard with a 6.0L Vortec VVT V8 SFI engine with active fuel management, great for journeys that need the power provided. Took get a realistic mileage numbers, which we assume are important to potential buyers, we called up our GM experts at the Williamson GMC dealership. According to them the Yukon Hybrid will give you around 20 city and 23 highway miles per gallon. This is not a huge improvement from the gas version, but it is an improvement, and for some that is enough. The Yukon also comes with a 300-volt Hybrid battery pack and 2-mode Hybrid transmission, making it easier and more efficient to enjoy the eco-friendly ride of a life time.

Other mechanical and interior features for the Yukon include regenerative braking system, smooth ride suspension, a 9 speaker Bose sound system with CD and MP3 player, navigation radio with hard drive, Sirius XM radio and NavTraffic, Bluetooth for hands free phone use, OnStar turn-by-turn navigation, and rear seat DVD entertainment system. Not only is the Yukon a new take on the Hybrid, but it maintains a high standard in technological advancement and owner compatibility.

The interior and exterior structures of the car are just as impressive as the technological enhancements, having refined aerodynamic design, 18 inch hybrid exclusive polished aluminum wheels, assist steps, and heated, power-adjustable power-folding mirrors. The interior has heated front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, rear vision camera, auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control, remote vehicle start, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and power sun roof. GMC has made it easier for drivers and their passengers to enjoy an accident free drive with premium entertainment value.

Finally, there is nothing more important to a driver than a cars safety features. The Yukon is a tough vehicle with dual stage frontal airbags, head curtain side-impact air bags, seat-mounted side impact airbags, StabiliTrak stability control system, tire pressure monitoring system, and 6 months of OnStar with Automatic crash response.

Some of the most important things to drivers are a cars safety, reliability, and optimal performance. GMC now leads the new league of Hybrid vehicles with its 2013 Yukon, an amazingly efficient crossover to cover any ground.

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The Brand New 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In
Aug06

The Brand New 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In

There are so many vehicles in the world and it’s nearly impossible for potential buyers to see and compare all of them. But once a driver has a specific idea in mind, it gets easier. For those interested in eco-friendly cars with an amazing standard set of features need not to look further than Honda. With the 2014 Accord Plug-In, owners get everything they want in a safe and reliable mode of transportation, and then some.

hondaplug

We called up our local Milwaukee dealership, David Hobbs Honda, to get the scoop on this brand new model. If you have questions yourself or are interested in purchasing this particular vehicle you can give them a call, or simply go to the website and fill out an easy contact form. The 2014 Accord Plug-In starts at $39,780 and has a 141-hp 2.0L 16 valve DOHC i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine, 55 hp Lithium-ion battery, and electronic continuously variable transmission. There is also an Eco Assist system, Hill Start Assist, 6.6kW Onboard 32-Amp Charger, 17 inch forged alloy wheels with aero covers, and tire repair kit with 24 hour assistance. Even the Plug-Ins starting features are a step up from other basic models.

There are other safety features that come standard to the Accord including acoustic vehicle alerting system, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, vehicle stability Assist with traction control, LED daytime running head lights, advanced compatibility engineering II body structure, and an entire system of airbags. With an additional group of features including Honda LaneWatch, Bluetooth hands free link, Multi-Angle rearview camera with guide lines, steering wheel mounted controls, and HomeLink remote system, it’s impossible to not love getting to the basics of a car for a change.

Finally, the Accord comes with an impressive interior technological set up, featuring a 180-watt AM, FM, and CD audio system with six speakers, i-MID with eight inch high resolution screen, Hard Disk drive including 16-GB of audio memory, Pandora compatibility, Song By Voice, Bluetooth Streaming Audio, USB audio interface, and an MP3 and Auxiliary input jack. A drive in an Accord has just upgraded from a drive to a mobile concert.

Where other vehicle manufacturers have given their most basic versions of a model the most basic features, Honda has given its 2014 Accord Plug-In something better: an outlet to show drivers that its one of the best cars out there, even when it’s the most basic it could be.

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2013 Sonata Hybrid – In a Class by Itself
Jun25

2013 Sonata Hybrid – In a Class by Itself

hybrid

Hyundai has introduced a new technologically advanced automobile to rival its 2013 competitors. This rival comes in the form of the 2013 Sonata Hybrid and its alternative option of the Limited. Starting at $25,650 MSPR, the Sonata is given a 2.4L Atkinson Cycle 4-cylynder hybrid engine with 6-speed automatic transmission with shiftronic engine.

 

I recently paid a visit to a Hyundai dealership in the Raleigh area. The experts at Sport Durst of NC loaded me up with info on what makes this hybrid tick. Interestingly enough…most of the really cool stuff on the Sonata Hybrid is all hidden…under the hood. So we popped the hood and my guide gave me a little tour of the inner workings of this car. To start, the hybrid battery uses a polymer gel as the electrolyte that can deliver the same power as a regular engine with 25 percent less weight, 40 percent less volume, and 10 percent more efficiency. It will also last 1.7 times longer with a slow discharge to maintain power. Working simultaneously with the battery, the engine has a HEV system and a hybrid starter generator to give the hybrid up to 74 miles per hour on all-electric mode. There is also a 6-speed automatic transmission, providing 199 net horsepower on an estimated 40 highway miles per gallon. This steel high-tensile unibodied car also has a fully parallel hybrid system with Amplitude selective damping shock absorbers for smoother response and drive. Taking a test drive of the Sonata Hybrid through the streets of Raleigh, it, for the most part, felt like a normal car, including plenty of acceleration – and that was my main concern.

 

The exterior of the Hybrid Sonata provides both a luxurious look as well as functionality. Though subtly different from other Sontatas, the hybrid has the lowest coefficient of drag at 0.25. The Hybrid also has LED head light accents, LED tail lights, front fog lights, and side mirror turn signal indicators. To provide a lower aerodynamic drag, the Hybrid also has 16 inch or available 17 inch alloy wheels. Finally, protecting the cars interior and drivers, the windows are solar control and block UV rays. With a cooler interior, there’s less need to have the air conditioning on, saving gas and helping reduce emissions.

 

With a protected interior comes greater technology advancement. BlueLink technology is provided with personal displays. The driver’s seat is adjustable with lumbar support, heated front and back seats, and there are dual temperature controls. With the 6.5-inch touch screen display, drivers can locate points of interest, monitor their driving, and use SiriusXM with NaviTraffic to get an idea of traffic around them. Along with the SirusuXM Radio, audio options include AM, FM, CD, and MP3, built in iPod and USB ports, with an amplifying 400 Premium audio system. The Hybrids presence will only be intensified with the subwoofer and power adding external amplifier.

 

With any car looking to reduce emissions and lead its class in technology and aerodynamics, the Hybrid also has award-winning safety options include six air bags, 4 wheel ABS, traction control, rear back up camera, and electronic brake-free distribution with brake assist. Any driver looking for safety and efficiency will find it in the eco-friendly Hybrid Sonata. Though it may look a little different, it’s easy and more to love.

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Who Says Electric Has To Be Dull?
Dec06

Who Says Electric Has To Be Dull?

At the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, FIAT showed a mysterious concept car called the “FIAT 500 BEV”. Journalists were told this was a working title for the little car on display and the BEV suffix stood for Battery Electric Vehicle. There wasn’t much data released at the show so it appears that FIAT simply wanted to make the statement that “they too” were investing in the electric car concept. Journalists noted that electric drivetrain part was fantastic but the car’s utilitarian look needed a little help.

Well, fast forward two years and things have changed a little. Now officially named the Fiat 500E, Fiat has jazzed things up a little and the first FIAT 500Es will be shown to the public at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show starting Nov. 30, 2012. Pictured below in striking orange decor, the first 500Es will be available first in California. We visited our Arrigo Palm Beach FIAT dealer and they suggested that later in 2013 that they may be released to other FIAT dealers.

As far as technology details are concerned, we are told that Chrysler technology is behind the 500E’s electric running gear. This makes perfect sense as it would seem a natural to install an all-electric drivetrain into the FIAT 500 rather than a larger car, say a Dodge Dart. Not only does the FIAT 500 present a smaller, much lighter form factor, having an electric FIAT would frankly be good for FIAT US public relations.

Pricing has yet to be determined on the 500E but competitive forces would likely put in the $30K range as this would be less than the other electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf (retail $36,050), Ford Focus Electric (retail $39,900), and the Chevy Volt (retail $39,145). As previously stated, we should all know quite a bit more about the 500E as soon as the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show opens.

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376 MPG Opel – Conspiracy
Oct12

376 MPG Opel – Conspiracy

Normally I don’t dabble in conspiracy theory websites, nor do I entertain trying to unravel the mysteries of the powers that be.  For one I’m not smart enough, for two, there are just not enough hours in the day.  However, this article, having an automotive flair to it, caught my attention.  According to the article, the author has purchased an old Opel made car, which reportedly got 376 miles per gallon.  Why hasn’t it seen the light of day or seen technology move int he direction that existed so many years ago?  Big Oil said NO!?

According to reports, this special 1959 Opel was modified in 1973 to allow the outrageous and hard to believe gas mileage.  To achieve such astronomical efficiency the gasoline was super heated before actually used in combustion.

It’s an old article, but it looks like this special fuel efficient Opel was actually sold in 2008 for over $375,000.  Plan on covering a lot of miles every year to make up the savings.

Source of green 1959 Opel that Big Oil Hates – http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2007/05/01/big-oil-conspiracy-376-mpg-opel-uncovered/

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Electric Vehicle Concerns for Winter
Nov11

Electric Vehicle Concerns for Winter

[ad#Top of Post Left]The big push for electric vehicles or EV, has been targeted at large population centers.  Specifically in the US, where pollution, traffic, and even safety can be bettered if more people drove short distance electric vehicles.  However, as EV owners are finding out, there are more bumps in the road when driving an all electric commuter.

Most notably is the recent outcry by individuals who find that their electric vehicles distance capabilities are greatly decreased during the winter months.  Heating the cabin of a vehicle requires a lot of extra energy from the battery, energy that would normally be used to spin the tires to advertised lengths.  However, large population centers like New York and Chicago get quite cold during the winter, lowering the usability of green technology.

Some work has been put into redesigning EV cabins, to supposedly make them super insulated.  There are designs being tested right now that claim to be able to heat a cars cabin using only the passengers body heat.  Unfortunately, this isn’t being put to use right now and those frigid winters in the Windy City are mighty freightening in a tiny little electric car.

Consideration is also being given to electric vehicles that remain on a power grid, which would allow them to be preheated before the driver even gets in the car.  However, some doubts have been raised over any savings that would normally be made by driving an all electric vehicle during the colder months of the year.  Turns out that the  inefficient internal combustion motor is great at giving off heat and providing a toasty drive to work in January.

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