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  Some useful reading for anyone who owns a car or plan to buy or sell one in the near future

Posted on by TB +  

The bi-annual Frankfurt Auto Show is easily the most important in the world, battling with Geneva and Detroit for the most important reveals. A gentleman’s agreement sees Frankfurt and Paris alternate every other year, so each can hog the limelight and be the year’s prime spectacle — larger than any other traveling circus in history.

The reason it is so critical is that it is able to draw a huge number of the world’s best automakers, suppliers, tech partners and executives in one place. Even as shows in Asia and lifestyle/hybrid launches in Los Angeles gain momentum, typically nothing compares with Frankfurt in terms of volume of new models, debuts and concepts .

For competitive insights and also a great look at the current agenda of the global auto industry, there is no better place than Germany in mid-September. Its overlap with Oktoberfest — in September, despite its name — allows the best time to soak up the local culture of beer gardens, honeybees, pretzels and roaring Deutsch laughter.

Feet will ache from hours wandering circles in this massive expo center. Despite being mostly an open floor plan, the importance of the show means the manufacturer stands are two and three-story buildings assembled inside. By conservative estimates, this two-week event will cost a major player like BMW Group over $35 million in planning, design, signage, stages, turn-tables, media displays, etc. once the crowds have left.

This makes walking around seem like visiting a very crowded future IKEA, but instead of desk lamps, Frankfurt is all about concept cars, booth babes and Porsche posters. This giant automotive candy store is massive, though, so wear your most comfortable walking shoes and get ready for some warm beers! The show runs from September 12th through the 22nd for the general public and the press days run from September 10th through 11th.

Come join the fun after the jump for the full Frankfurt 2013 Auto Show preview, with a full list of manufacturers on display and the special concepts they will reveal.

The history of Mercedes’ high performance arm, AMG, began back in 1967, and since then, they have created some of the fastest, coolest, and most innovative models on the market. To show just how much work is put into preparing these vehicles, the company has released a video featuring a virtual guided tour through the headquarters of Mercedes-AMG in Affalterbach with exclusive insights to the engineering and development of the performance brand of Mercedes-Benz . If you ever wanted to know how history is written, but haven’t had the chance to actually take a ride trip to Affalterbach, this video is the closest you will get to finding out how an AMG model is developed.

The video also shows off some of the most amazing cars being built, including the SLS AMG .

The automotive world is full of trends and copycatting, so it is not uncommon to see drivetrain modifications start off small and explode as the years progress. If you think back, you will find one of the slower growing trends in automotive history was fuel injection, as it dates way back to 1925, then by 1940 it was first made electronic by Alfa Romeo engineers. In 1952, it became commercially available via Bosch, but only a few automakers made use of it. By the early-1990s, all but a handful of cars had electronic fuel injection of some sort.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, in terms of rate of growth, is the elimination of V-8 engines in favor of more practical turbocharged V-6 engines. The Ford F-150 has been on the front lines of this V-8 abandonment front and it all began with the elimination of all but two V-8 engines in 2011 – the 5.0-liter V-8 and 6.2-liter V-8 were the only 8-cylinder engines available – and replacing them with a series of V-6 engines, including: a high-output non-turbo, a 302-horsepower 3.5-liter, a 302-horsepower 3.7-liter, and a 365-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 engine.

Since this successful introduction of forced-induction V-6 engines by Ford, seemingly every company is working on a hot turbocharged V-6 to replace their V-8 engines. The most notable is General Motor’s work on a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 for its upcoming Escalade redesign and the new Silverado and Sierra. There are also whispers of a twin-turbo V-6 for the Camaro . Dodge has fallen behind, but has turned its focus more toward making its existing V-8 powered trucks more economical, but will eventually have to switch to turbo power to keep pace.

So the question on everyone’s mind is how do these turbo charged V-6s stack up to the aging and fuel-hungry V-8s?

Click past the jump to read our comparison between the two options.

Posted on by Brad Anderson

Despite the McLaren F1 and McLaren MP4-12C having been built by the same company, the British marque has faced such dramatic changes since the inception of the F1 that one could consider the MP4-12C to have been built by a completely new firm. And it’s little wonder why many would believe that.

With production of the F1 ending in 1998, McLaren stopped producing road cars and instead focused on developing technology for its hugely-successful Formula One team, but over the past few years all of that has changed.

Not only is McLaren’s production facility clean enough to resemble the inside of an expensive hospital but it also features a huge selection of technologically-advanced systems all of which help aid the company to produce the aforementioned MP4-12C . And on top of all that, it’s got a pretty cool name too, being dubbed the ‘McLaren Technology Centre.’

And in the latest episode of Driven on the Drive YouTube network, J.F Musial was privileged enough to get a first-hand tour of the center, after his other recent visit to Pagani’s headquarters in the heart of Italy. In what can only be described as an extremely informative and enjoyable 26-minute video, it looks in detail about what makes this facility as unique as it is as well as some in-depth discussions about the MP4-12C itself.

Well, that’s enough talking for now, so check out the video above and enjoy it!

Posted on by Alexander +

The National Association for Stock Car Racing, or NASCAR for short, is the largest sanctioning body of stock car racing in the United States, with 75,000,000 fans tuning in to see which racer will run away with the first place podium finish. The 2012 Sprint Cup Series, one of the three largest racing series sanctioned by NASCAR, just wrapped up its eighth race on April 22nd, so with 28 races left in the series, Quicken Loans thought it would be a great time to have a rundown down of some NASCAR basics. Think of it as a NASCAR for Dummies, but we’ll sugar it up by calling it NASCAR 101.

The basics of the Sprint Cup Series consist of 43 drivers, 36 point races, 23 tracks, 12 finalists, and only one man to call a champion. Aside from that, this infographic will explain the nine flags that communicate any needed information to the drivers, - yeah, it’s more than just the white and black checkered flag - the breakdown of all the tracks, and some more basic number breakdowns for the series.

From how many people make up a pit crew (seven) to how many brownies are sold during Speedweeks (21,900), this infographic will give you everything you need to know to settle in next to the screaming guy with the beer can helmet. Ahhhh, the joys of racing events.

Check out the rest of the infographic to get more helpful information and remember to check back with us for the next installment in our Car Infographics series.

Source: QuickenLoans
Posted on by Alexander + 6

If you are over the age of 25, there’s probably a good chance you have had to rent a car at least once. Be it because of an accident that has left you without a motor vehicle or because of some fine holiday traveling, rental cars are just about everywhere these days. In Europe, the UK saw more than its fair share of rental cars in 2011, dominating the commonwealth countries and the largest European nations in international rental car sales. Somehow, a certain royal wedding would be the obvious culprit of such an influx of travelers, but Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey weren’t the only sites to see. According to Facebook - via member checkins - the top five attractions of the UK were Alton Towers, Hyde Park, London Eye, Thorpe Park, and Leicester Square.

Following the UK in the running for most popular international car hire destinations was Spain (14.1%), France (12.6%), Italy (10.5%), and Portugal (4.1%).

Check out the rest of the infographic to get more helpful information and remember to check back with us for the next installment in our Car Infographics series.

Source: Avis
Posted on by Timmy Calloway 12

This 14-minute documentary features the Pagani Huayra and the companies that helped make it the beautiful combination of art and technology it has become. The video explores the Huayra’s air and wind inspired carbon fiber and titanium body design, the hand-built 6.0L twin-turbo AMG V12, the hand-assembled MHG custom tuned exhaust, the tailor-made Dani Group leather interior, and the 1000 components that are made by ASPA, including the Huayra emblem that is cut from a solid block of aluminum in a 24-hour process.

The Huayra is built with what are most likely the highest standards in the industry. Every part of this car is produced to utter perfection. Perhaps the most beautiful piece of technology on the Huayra is the active aerodynamics system: The car’s computer system monitors its behavior, and aerodynamic surfaces on all four corners of the car adjust accordingly, with the back two surfaces even acting as emergency brakes to assist the lightweight Brembos at high speed. This is not just a supercar; it is the supercar that the Ferrari F12berlinetta and Lamborghini Aventador dream about at night.

The Pagani Huayra’s V12 engine makes 700hp and 740lb-ft. of torque. The 2,970 lb. supercar is capable of hitting 230 mph, though Pagani Automobili focuses more on dynamic driving than top speed. The Huayra was supposed to hit the U.S. market this year, but the NHTSA forced a delay by blocking U.S. sales until advanced airbag systems are installed in every car. Pagani argued that implementing the advanced airbags would cost millions, but ultimately decided to spend the extra production money. The safer Pagani Huayra will likely go on sale in America in 2013 and is expected to cost a cool $1.4 million.

Let us know what you think of this amazing work of art in the comments below.

Posted on by Alexander + 2

High tech dreams, art on wheels, poetry in emotion. This is what AutoExotika promises to feature when the new series kicks off.

What is AutoExotika? It’s a "high energy, high quality, celebration of the world’s most exotic automobiles and the men and women who design, build, collect and drive them." Basically, a team of experts will be filming at iconic racetracks, manufacturing plants, and some of the most amazing roads in order to provide viewers with an eyeful of auto erotica.

Aside from the scintillating vehicles to be presented, AutoExotika will be hosted by race car celebrity Ashley van Dyke, exotic car owner John Temerian, and serving as the brains behind the operation, technical and mechanical guru, Evan Blaustein.

Short of being able to tag along for what promises to be an insane ride, we can’t think of anything better than sitting back and experiencing AutoExotika!

Posted on by Alexander +

Recycling is huge nowadays. Everywhere we go there are canisters for our glass and plastic bottles, as well as our old cans. Small contributions like this can make a big difference, but there are other items out there - bigger items - that can be recycled into some pretty cool merchandise. Take cars, for example. An estimated 10 million vehicles are recycled every year, giving them the title of the #1 recycled product in the U.S. 75% of the materials that make up each of those 10 million vehicles is entirely recyclable, which can translate into many different things.

The biggest product recyclable from a vehicle is metal. A car is 8% non-ferrous metal and 69% ferrous metal, totaling 77% of the vehicle. The recycled metal from just one car can make 22,400 matchbox cars. Any one with a child knows just how important those matchbox cars can be to children and that’s just the metal from the car.

Another big recyclable goodie from vehicles is rubber. Rubber only makes up 3% of the recyclable material in a car, but that number is significant when translated into usable terms. 80% of all scrap tires are used to make recycled products and 2.7 million tires can be recycled into 30 million lbs of playground surfaces.

Bottomline: Recycle those old, beat up cars and make some kids happy.

Check out the rest of the infographic to get more helpful information and remember to check back with us for the next installment in our Car Infographics series.

Source: Kars4Kids
Posted on by Alexander +

Whether we realize it or not, the health of truckers across our nation is of great importance to our economy and our communities. These men and women spend hours on end delivering products to homes and businesses across the USA, with one in 16 jobs being directly tied to trucking. This leads to poor nutritional habits and a sedentary lifestyle taking a toll on their bodies, leading them to battles with lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, sleep apnea, exhaustion, and back problems, to name a few. But if they are not sitting, they aren’t making any money, so what are they to do?

The Man in White.ORG (TMIW) is now addressing this issue in a way that no other organization has done before; they have released a 4-disc, audio book (CD), titled “Truckers’ Road to Health” that educates truckers on their health. Unlike educational tools provided to truckers in the past, this audio book was written by respected medical specialists and broken down into laymen’s terms to make it easily understood by all. Topics covered in the educational audio book were chosen after interviewing hundreds of truckers, leaders in the trucking industry, and medical specialists, and include pulmonary disease, hypertension, cardiac disease, diabetes, nutrition, vision, obesity, back pain, exercising on the road, stress management, sleep apnea, and recommended health screens. Risk factors and preventive measures are discussed, along with proper nutrition, exercise and lifestyle issues. The best part about this audio book is that truckers do not need to stop making money to learn about their health; they can do it while they drive.

Full story after the jump.


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