Archive for July, 2007

Gibbs Aquada Amphibian Vehicle Ready for 2009

July 26, 2007

Gibbs Technologies Ltd., a company that is based in the UK is said to commence its marketing of the Aquada amphibious vehicle. Right. This is another vehicle that uses the amphibian technology, which allows this vehicle to operate in both land and water.

According to a report from ForbesAutos, Gibbs is planning to move its production operations here in the U.S. The Gibbs Amphibians, a subsidiary of Gibbs Technologies Ltd. that manufacturer’s amphibious military vehicles will produce the Aquada in the US. In fact, the company said they are already testing 10 Aquadas in Michigan.

Alan Gibbs, the company’s founder and chairman said: “Our market research indicates that a line-up of high-speed amphibious vehicles similar to the Aquada could generate annual sales volumes of 100,000 or more within five years. A commercially viable high-speed amphibious vehicle has eluded auto manufacturers, entrepreneurs and inventors for more than 100 years. Recent developments in light-weight materials, engine technology and vehicle architecture, however, have enabled us to accomplish what many believed to be impossible.”

Anyway, the scheduled production of the Aquada in the U.S. will be in 2009, with a production target of 100,00 units every year.

Check out the specs of the Gibbs Aquada below.

Category: Private Light Vehicle and RCD Category D
Engine: 175 hp, 24 valve, V6 with EEC compliant immobiliser
Gearbox: 5 speed auto and reverse
Fuel: 95 Ron Unleaded
Fuel tank capacity: 15 gallons/67 litres
Wheels and Tires:
Front – 16 x 6.5 J 6 spoke alloy wheels with 215 x 65 tires; Rear – 16 x 6.5 J 6 spoke
alloy wheels and 225 x 60 tires
Brakes: All round power assisted discs. Front ventilated
Suspension: Computer controlled air/oil hydraulic self-levelling with variable ride height
Steering: Power assisted on road and water
Seating: 3 across-centre steer. Seats can be elevated for improved visibility on water
Seat belts: Three-point pre-tension seat belts for driver and 2 passengers
Kerb weight: 1466 kg
Permissible gross weight: 1750 kg
Jet Proprietary: Gibbs unit
Trim tabs: Dihedral electric trim tabs
Bilge pumps: 3 independent systems
Buoyancy: Non-sinkable if swamped
Lights: Marine navigation lights
Fire protection: Automatic engine compartment suppression system
Boot capacity: 35 kg
Hood: Bimini style
Heater: Included
Audio: Water-resistant CD/radio

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AIADA names 10 luxury cars with lowest resale value

July 17, 2007

The AIADA (American International Automobile Dealers Association, the only organization whose sole purpose is to represent, serve, and protect America’s 11,000 international nameplate automobile franchises) newsletter reported that poor reliability, senescent designs and supply that oversteps demand are the main causes of low resale values.

The top 10 luxury vehicles which are likely to shed the most value over time each have at least one of those qualities.

Forbes magazine has piled up a list of those ten with pictures and explanations of their value-losing potential.

The Lincoln Town Car and the Mercury Grand Marquis are the top two value losers on the list. Both cars are being sold in huge numbers to different vehicle fleets, such as limo, taxi and rental agencies, and they use really old technology – those that were built decades ago.

Larry Batton, president and founder of Auto Appraisal Group Inc., said that these two cars are outdated and do not meet the desires of modern buyers. Similar issue is tagged on other cars on this list – their price is too high for the value they offer.

It is important to not, however, that this list is not about bad cars. As a matter of fact, they usually perform well. But an Auto Channel journalist asks “how much are you willing to pay for perceived prestige?”

Forbes List of 10 Worst Residual Valued Luxury Cars
10. Cadillac SRX V8
MSRP: $43,870
Residual Value After Five Years: 27 percent*

9. Ford Expedition V8 4WD
MSRP: $32,895
Residual Value After Five Years: 27 percent

8. Cadillac DTS V8
MSRP: $41,990
Residual Value After Five Years: 26 percent*

7. Cadillac STS V6
MSRP: $42,765
Residual Value After Five Years: 26 percent*

6. Lincoln MKZ AWD
MSRP: $31,765
Residual Value After Five Years: 26 percent*

5. Mercedes-Benz E550
MSRP: $59,775
Residual Value After Five Years: 26 percent*

4. Jaguar S-Type V6
MSRP: $49,000
Residual Value After Five Years: 25 percent*

3. Jaguar X-Type Sedan and Wagon
MSRP: 34,995
Residual Value After Five Years: 25 percent

2. Mercury Grand Marquis LS
MSRP: $30,320
Residual Value After Five Years: 23 percent*

1. Lincoln Town Car
MSRP: $42,985
Residual Value After Five Years: 17 percent*

Entries with asterisk (*) means their residual values are courtesy of Kelley Blue Book and are expressed as a percentage of the original MSRP.

Sneak Preview of New VW Tiguan

July 7, 2007

The German automaker Volkswagen has finally released the initial details of its Tiguan sports utility vehicle (SUV) that is scheduled to make its world premiere at the upcoming IIA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany. According to Volkswagen, the Tiguan is “a multitalent with driving characteristics that are just as agile as they are comfortable, high utility value and groundbreaking technologies.”

Volkswagen will be offering turbocharged direct injection engines for customers. In addition, TSI and TDI variants will be also offered, featuring common rail fuel injection system for the latter. TD engines for the VW Tiguan pumps out 140 hp (103 kW) and 170 hp (125 kW) at engine speeds of 1,750. Torque output is at 320 Nm or 350 Nm in four-wheel drive configuration.

The turbocharged direct injection gasoline engines for the VW Tiguan offer powerful performance. Horsepower and torque outputs vary from 110 kW / 150 hp, 125 kW / 170 hp and 147 kW / 200 hp. For the 150 hp TSI engine, maximum torque output is 240 Nm at 1,750 rpm while the 170 hp and 200 hp TSI variants generates 280 Nm at 1,800 rpm. These power plants for the Tiguan will be mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox or a VW dual-shift gearbox (DSG). In addition, Volkswagen is also considering offering the new seven-speed gearbox for the twin turbocharged versions of these engines.

According to a Volkswagen official press release, “Like the Touareg, the second Volkswagen SUV also presents a self-confident design. Shaping the front of the new Tiguan are the sexy proportions that Volkswagen first introduced with the Concept A Study that garnered worldwide attention – a crossover of a coupe and SUV. On the sides an elongated and powerfully modulated silhouette spans between the extended wheel arches with a – typical Volkswagen – unmistakable C-pillar. A very short overhang characterizes the steep rear end. Also significant are the front headlights and rear lights with matching shapes.”

So what does customers should expect for this new VW model? Well, the VW Tiguan comes with standard features like new entertainment system with Siemens 6.5-inch color touchscreen, 30-gigabyte hard disk, VW 4Motion configuration, electronically controlled differential, hill-descent control, automatic hill holder, and ABS antilock braking system, just to name the few.

This is just a preview on what the VW Tiguan has in store for us auto enthusiasts. Watch out for other upcoming Volkswagen press releases for other details about the vehicle

11 sexy cars for 2007

July 4, 2007

Among the many, only a few were chosen.

ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine (RTM) announced in July 2 the chosen few for this year’s most anticipated 11th Annual Sexy Car Buyer’s Guide.

Following is the top 10 sexiest, hottest, and wildest wheels to make the 2007 “sexiest” list:
— Chevrolet Corvette
— Dodge Charger
— Ford Mustang
— Jaguar XK and XKR
— Mazda MX-5 Miata
— Mercedes-Benz SLK
— Nissan 350Z
— Porsche Cayman Coupe
— Saturn Sky
— VW Eos Hard-Top Roadster

The 2007 Jaguar XK/XKR, earlier this year, won the 2007 International Car of the Year Award in the sports car category “Most Sex Appeal”.

Similarly, the 2007 Ford Mustang bagged the Road & Travel Magazine’s 3rd annual HEART STRING Award for the most emotionally-compelling car commercial of the year.

The all-new Saturn Sky roadster, Porsche Cayman Coupe and VW Eos hard-top roadster made their first appearances in the Sexy Car Buyer’s Guide and they all proved that “sexy” can come in all shapes, sizes and prices.

The RTM’s 11th Annual Sexy Car Buyer’s Guide is showcased in July’s “Romance Issue” (http://www.roadandtravel.com/). It comes with a full review on what makes each specific automobile sizzle and satisfy. These revved-up roadsters were test driven by the RTM editors and are assured to leave drivers and readers tempting and desiring for more.

Eligibility and criteria in choosing vehicles for the Sexy Car Buyer’s Guide is simple: pure sex appeal.

RTM’s Editor-in-Chief Courtney Caldwell said that Sports Cars are all about the emotions that they inspire from the warm sensations of smooth leather on one’s skin to the youthful, sexy spirit they invoke when driving with the top down and wind in the passenger(s) and driver’s hair. He added that sports cars are all about image, how they make the people look, how they make the people feel.