I’ve went through and picked out some pictures of the pit walk through at the NMRA in Joliet, IL. Obviously attendees weren’t just allowed to walk up inside the tents and trailers of the drivers and car owners, but we were allowed pretty close when walking up to the drag strip. Although these pictures capture the cars and workers, they don’t even touch the feeling you get in your chest when one of these monsters is fired up.
Acura is currently working on an all new TSX Sport Wagon. It reminds me of the Audi RS6 Avant Wagonmeister, but perhaps it’s time a company blends luxury and sport wagon right. Acura promises that the TSX will be the best of performance, style, technology and utility. However, maybe because of my age, the TSX just looks like any other granny vehicle on the road.
What makes the TSX different is that it promises to offer a powerful engine, pumping power through a 4-wheel drive transmission. Furthermore, the TSX offers efficiency to keep up with the likes of smaller less useful cars, by delivering all the performance yet maintaining at least 30 miles per gallon on the high way. Like other performance sedans, this sport wagon claims a sport-tuned suspension that allows for agile handling and straight line performance.
On the style side, the new Acura TSX flaunts it’s European heritage. Clean lines and ‘a remarkably sleek wagon’ emits an elegance not usually found in a utility vehicle. While other car makers are building utility vehicles on large SUV chasis, Acura hopes buyers will tune into it’s high efficiency designs and functionality.
The Acura TSX is also pumped to the rim with technology only available in Acura vehicles. For example, topping the charts are the Acura Navigation System, Acuralink real time traffic and weather updates, high end surround sound speaker system and even a built in hard drive capable of storing over 3,000 songs.
Will the new Acura TSX bring back a niche from the brink? I suspect it won’t, that is unless Acura decides to offer a more potent engine than it’s standard 2.4 liter 4 banger. I’ve yet to see the horsepower and torque figures, but as soon as you pack that TSX full of goodies you’ll be bogged down while trying to merge onto the interstate. Efficiency is pointless unless it can be delivered in a usable package, just like the impressive cargo space.
The Hyundai Accent is now available with pricing starting at under $10,000. The Accent is a compact car that offers big value with it’s standard features, fuel efficiency, and safety features. Competing with other compact cars, the Hyundai Accent leads the pack for the price with a ton of standard features.
Hyundai Accent SE Standard Features
[ad#Google Adsense]A Hyundai Accent SE comes standard with things like a 170 watt stereo system, A/C, power most everything, sun-roof, and even a leather wrapped steering wheel. Whether you are small or large, getting behind the wheel of the Hyundai Accent becomes a comforting experience, thanks to it’s 6 way power adjustment. Oddly enough, the new Hyundai Accent also provides an amazing 92.2 cubic feet of interior space. Because of this space the Hyundai Accent is classified as a compact, yet priced like a smaller Sub-Compact.
Hyundai Accent Performance
Small cars don’t require throaty V8’s to get up to speed, so while the 110 horsepower engine may seem undersized, it’s more than sufficient to get around town safely. Because the engine is so small and efficient, the Accent is capable of getting 36 miles per gallon. The Accent is peppy enough to get in and out of traffic and getting up to speed via on-ramps is no problem. It’s the perfect car for city driving or hitting the interstate for cross country trips.
Hyundai also prides itself on it’s attention to detail which contribute to the longevity of the engine. The Hyundai Accent engine is called Alpha Series and the result of a multi-million dollar research and development phase. Each engine is checked thoroughly before leaving the Hyundai plant and guaranteed for 10 years or 100,000 miles. So, whether you pick the smooth automatic or sporty 5-speed transmission, you know your car will last longer than any other car in it’s class, or at least be repaired under warranty if not. 😉
Hyundai Accent Safety
Just because the Accent is small, doesn’t mean it has to skimp out on features so important as those that protect the passengers. The Accent provides 6 air bags, which coupled with the Accent’s other safety features reduces fatalities by up to 45%. Also standard safety highlights are Anti-Lock Brakes, and a chassis designed to absorb impact and protect passengers.
If I were to purchase a compact car, I think I’d strongly consider what Hyundai has to offer. They’ve made leaps and bounds in development and design that appeals to buyers of all types. Their cars have proven reliability and safety certifications and for the money it’s hard not to keep the Accent on the table of possible compact car purchases. Furthermore, it’s almost impossible to go wrong when buying a brand new car for under $10,000 which comes with a 10 year warranty.
[ad#Google Adsense]Alpina has been making exclusive vehicles built around high-end luxury and astounding performance since 1983. For the past 40 years they’ve been building their cars on the BMW platform, then tweaking to their own specs. Often times this tweaking involves adding a potent turbo and other performance minded parts, not to mention increasing luxury to a level rivaling any Rolls Royce. Well, they have done it again with the latest release of the B3 S Bi Turbo.
The B3 S BI Turbo has been built around the BMW 3 Series, marrying Bi-Turbo technology with the light weight and relatively small 3 Series chassis. Originally released in 2008, the newly released 2010 version sports more torque, more performance, and less of the stuff car makers have come to hate, CO2 emissions. It’s an update in outright performance and efficiency to achieve the green status so many elites crave in society today.
With the latest installment of the B3 S Bi-Turbo capable of pumping out 400 horsepower and 397 ft lbs of torque, it gives the driver reason to rev the engine to a smooth 7,000 RPM. It’s high revving capable, but not necessary, because at 1,300 RPM there is already almost 300 horsepower already on tap.
What’s most impressive with the 2010 B3 S is it’s ability to out perform previous versions, yet still maintain 29.4 miles per gallon efficiency. Furthermore the B3 Turbo has lowered their CO2 emissions, although it’d take a liberal scientist to figure out by how much. According to the latest EU test of the B3, it’s total CO2 emissions check in at 224-225 g/km (I haven’t the slightest idea what this means).
Lastly, the B3 S Bi Turbo comes in 4 distinct model variations, including Saloon, Touring, Coupe, and Convertible. The Saloon and Touring trims are option upgrade options that are applied to either a Coupe of Convertible model. All are luxury personified, with exterior featuring functional performance modifications. Even the front chin spoiler is functional, if one should choose to push all 400 horses through the switch-tronic rear-wheel or all-wheel drive transmission.
Inside the already luxurious BMW 3 Series has been upgraded, featuring custom seat and panel trim. Plenty of custom embroidery and emblems adorn the panels and seats, making it obvious at first glance that this is no ordinary BMW. The leather feels rich and the gas pedal feels powerful and it’s been specially built in small numbers for those who are both.
VW debuted the latest iteration of their Phaeton model luxury car and it’s truly a visual improvement. Visitors to the Beijing Auto Show were lucky enough to lay eyes on the redesigned front end, accents, and new interior trim accents.
Performance wise the 2011 Volkswagen Phaeton will offer 2 different engine types, including a V6 Diesel engine capable of 240 horsepower and a V12 6.0 liter gasoline engine. Unfortunately for the US market this newly revamped VW model will not be offered, the Phaeton was a failure in the US, mainly due to it’s high price tag and VW badging. Most analysts felt that US consumers were not interested in spending $40,000 plus on a plain looking automobile.
Personally I love the new looks of the 2011 Phaeton and this may tempt enough buyers to increase it’s popularity in Europe and eventually make it’s way back to US shores. The rear end looks sporty, with rectangular exhaust tips and although the front is missing the big mouth bumper it does look functional. I can only imagine what the massive radiator for the 6 liter would look like hiding behind the front bumpers vents.
As for the interior, plenty of leather is on hand and the available trim makes it look just as luxury filled as any other competitors car on the market. In my eyes the only short coming of the 2011 Phaeton is it’s profile resemblance to an older Ford Taurus. There just isn’t anything from the side that hints at luxury or performance, no raked look, only a large cabin space. Perhaps by the time the Phaeton makes it back to the US they will have fixed this lack luster design flaw.