What’s the use of a turbo, eh?

mishimoto-radiators

Mishimoto radiators

Well, nothing really – they’re certainly not perfect, but they can make your car make lots and lots of power. On the negative side, they can reduce the response of the throttle and make more heat, but even if you really, really don’t lke turbos, you gotta admit that all of the fastest cars have turbos (that is, they’re turbo charged) and most cars that come off the production line are now fitted with turbochargers as well. There’s a very good reason for this – having a turbocharger means that your car will perform that much better. And a turbo won’t cost as much in the build stage, have less stresses on the engine, and there’s going to be more torque produced on a much, much wider powerband.

Compared to a supercharged engine, a turbo will give more overall power for any given boost pressure, often more midrange punch, and is still usually cheaper to build too. And finally, compared to nitrous, while a turbo setup will cost more money initially, nitrous gives no performance advantage aside from at full throttle, it’s much harder on the engine, and unless you’re just using your power very occasional mishimoto radiators,  it will soon cost you a fortune in nitrous refills; especially if you’re adding the massive amounts of power a turbo can give you. But best of all for all of us completely addicted to tuning and modifying, nothing comes close to a turbo for upgradability, so if you’re bored of your current power level, or just can’t help tweaking things, there’s almost no limit to the upgrades and power levels you can achieve with a turbo.For further info, try www.nrgperformance.co.uk

Would You Drive a Smart Car?

Would You Drive a Smart Car?
DaimlerChrysler is hoping you will. It looks like the Smart Car will be invading US shores some time in 2008. The US spec version will be a little bigger than the current offering in Europe to meet US safety standards and it will be selling under a different name as many foreign cars marketed in the US do. But overall it will be the same tiny, practical, fuel efficient, cute Smart Car. Major metropolitan areas will obviously be the target audience for the diminutive auto. But
will Americans buy into the European less : is : more automotive experience? I for one think they will.

motimage4Our partners Bradford MOT specialists Ladyroyd Garage are specialists in Smart car repairs (and smart-car repairs come to think of it!). Visit them at www.ladyroyd.co.uk or take a look at this offer: There are plenty of people out there packed into cities who want something cheap, easy to park, and fuel efficient; like a motorcycle. However these same folks do not want to risk life and limb riding a two : wheeler. As soon as people start seeing Smart Cars backed straight into a curb in a parallel parking spot, they will have to have one of there own.
The Toyota Yaris, a vehicle in the same small : car ballpark as the Smart Car, will be good barometer for future Smart Car sales.
Actually, a company called ZAP is already offering Smart Cars, which they “Americanize” themselves, to the US public.

Shut Up and Drive

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed new legislation regulating the use of cell phones by teenage drivers.

The new law will take effect July 1 2008, and specifically restricts California drivers under the age of 18 from using text messaging devices, laptop computers, or cell phones, while driving. It is hoped that the new law, which will fine teen drivers $20 for the first offense and $50 for subsequent ones, will help reduce the number of car accidents caused by young drivers being distracted by technology.

The law prohibits ALL cell : phone use, even hands : free use, while teens are behind the wheel, but it also requires adult drivers to use hands : free technology to stay connected while driving, with the same deadline of July 1st in force.

Other states with similar cell : phone legislation include Colorado and Maryland.

Friday Freebie: ParkingSearch.com

No, we’re not giving anything away free. This is merely our way of spotlighting a website that we saw. It won’t necessarily be every week, but we’ll alternate it with the usual Five for Friday lists.

This week, we wanted to tell you about ParkingSearch.com a site that hooks up those who have parking spaces to sell or rent, with those looking to buy or lease them.

If the concept of owning or leasing a parking space seems odd to you, chances are you don’t live in New York or Chicago, which together supply about 35% of the users of the site.

Still, for those urbanites who need a reliable, reasonably priced place to store their cars, this service is a fabulous idea. Check them out.

The 2008 Toyota Highlander is offered this year in standard gasoline and hybrid versions, and Toyota is very proud of the fact that it’s built on a car platform. But don’t take our word for it:

9 Camaro

I’ve had muscle cars on the brain recently, not for any particular reason other than that I was searching for something and found a line item in Google about a vintage ‘cuda selling for upwards of $2,000,000. Even for a hot car, that’s some serious change.

Retro : inspired neo : classic muscle cars are featured offerings at Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet this year, as they have been for the last couple, sparking two kinds of controversy: the first, are these modern muscles worth collecting (purists say no)? The second issue is: should we be buying things that are so totally the antitheses of modern green : thinking technology? What good is horsepower if the air outside your windows is toxic to human life?

Whatever side of the issues you fall on (and we’d love to hear your perspective), we thought we’d share a list of the top five muscle cars from a “price increase since the year 2000″ point of view, as of last year’s Kelley Blue Book:

1971 Plymouth “Hemi” ‘Cuda convertible.
1969 Dodge Charger R/T : 440 hardtop.
1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z : 28/SS coupe.
1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS : 454/LS : 6 convertible
1964 Shelby Cobra 289 roadster

Women on Wheels: Vivienne Westwood and Bentley Team Up in Milan

Westwood and Bentley Together Again

Fine clothes. Fabulous shoes. Fancy cars. Many fashionistas love them all, and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood is no exception. The English designer is collaborating with famous English automaker Bentley Motors on the former’s new exhibition, opening tonight at Milan’s Palazzo Reale. This is the touring version of her exhibit, which was first presented in London at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The bond between Bentley and Westwood was on display as well at an exclusive event in Düsseldorf, during Germany’s Fashion Week, and celebrated a partnership based on similar appreciation of bold lines and personal flair  :  two elements that are crucial in high performance cars, as well as high fashion clothing.

At the Italian event, Bentley Milano will be showing off a bright yellow version of their 1992 Continental convertible, as well as providing Ms. Westwood with a Bentley Continental Flying spur for her in : town driving as well as offering her the experience of riding in their most recent cabriolet, the Continental GTC.

The exhibition represents the second such collaboration for these two quintessentially British names. The first was a show last year, “Vivienne Westwood Shoes 1973  :  2006” held at another Milan : area location, the Castello Visconteo Sforzesco in Vigevano. This year’s event, which coincides with the opening of Women’s Fashion Week in Milan will close at the end of Men’s Fashion Week, in February of next year.

The Bentley Continental GTC that Westwood will ride in at least once during her time in Milan, comes with a price tag of roughly $190,000.

Green Thursday: Hydrogen 7 BMW

We’re quite the media trawlers here at AutomotiveBlogger.net this week, but that’s not because we have nothing to say. It’s because beginning Monday we’ll be having longer, linkier, posts, with a couple of shared projects in the works with some fellow 451press.net bloggers.

In the meantime, for Green Thursday, we want to talk about Hydrogen, and while for many of us of a certain age, that brings strains of Smash Mouth’s “Walkin’ on the Sun” into our minds, for the folks at BMW hydrogen is a groovy new fuel source: totally clean, and the by : product is water.

Hydrogen cells aren’t ready for mass : market use yet, but we like that the performance car makers are getting into the mix with alternative energy sources. The Hydrogen 7 BMW is making its official debut at the Rome Film Festival. Tell Mr. DeMille it’s ready for a close : up:

Friday Freebie: Museum Day

Smithsonian Museum Day

This week’s Friday Freebie really is free, and it comes to you courtesy of Smithsonian Magazine, and Hyundai. What is it? Well, it’s museum day. Click on the image to follow the link, and get a free pass for you and a guest to spend this Saturday, September 29th, at one of a number of museums around the country.

Whether you choose a museum that focus on the evolution of automotive engineering from war tools to space flight, or simply decide to go look at some amazing art, spending a crisp fall day at a museum is a great destination for when you get into your car for a weekend drive.

2008 Toyota Camry

Happy October!
Coming at you today we have news of two different recalls, one from Volkswagen and one from Toyota  :  we’ll be adding both to our safety files.

Toyota Motor Sales, USA is recalling their all : weather floor mats that can jam the gas pedal in some Toyota and Lexus models. It’s a direct response to a federal investigation of “unintended acceleration incidents,” and about 55,000 drivers should receive letters.

Toyota owners were already warned about issues with all : weather mats earlier this month, when they were cautioned to use mat retaining hooks, and not to layer all : weather mats with regular ones. Replacements are not yet available, so owners will get a second letter about that at a later date.

Affected models are the 2007 and 2008 Toyota Camry and Lexus ES 350, but even if you’re driving the cool new 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser you should probably make sure that your floor mats are secure.

The Volkswagen Recall is a little more serious, involving Volkswagen 340,000 Jetta and Rabbit models that were manufactured in Mexico, and sold in the United States, and have mis : constructed head lights.

According to spokespeople at VW, some of the head lamps on affected vehicles are missing legally : required rubber caps that are supposed to be installed in some of the screw : sockets. While VW says there’s no danger caused by the missing caps, owners are urged to bring their car in to their local dealer to have the caps installed.