Archive for May, 2008

Kia cee’d Production Passes 200,000

May 28, 2008

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Its party time for managers and staff at Kia’s vehicle manufacturing facility at Zilina in Slovakia! Kia has marked another significant highlight when the 200,000th Kia cee’d was finally built and took off the final assembly line last May, 23, 2008, Friday. The 200,000th car is a three-door Kia pro_cee’d with a Dakar Yellow paintjob. The vehicle is intended for German customers.

“This is another truly significant day for Kia. We produced our 100,000th cee’d last September, 10 months after start-up, and with the addition of the cee’d wagon and pro_cee’d three-door hatch, we have reached our 200,000th cee’d after only eight months. We have also been consistently achieving record productivity levels while maintaining excellent build quality. These last two factors, plus the style, design, quality and durability of the Kia cee’d cars manufactured here in Slovakia, have enabled us to offer the unique Kia 7-Year Warranty on cee’d which has played a part in triggering a growing surge in Kia sales across Europe,” says Mr. In-Kyu Bae, President and CEO Kia Motors Slovakia (KMS). “

Zilina has set a series of innovative productivity records with 915 units built in a single day (Monday 21 April), 4,474 units in a single week (week starting 7 April) and 19,300 units in one month (April) this year. How about that?

“Since the Kia cee’d’s launch in Europe in December 2006, the cee’d family, with its choice of five-door, three-door and wagon body styles, plus attractive styling, high quality and 5-Star EuroNCAP safety standards, has played a significant role in winning over thousands of new consumers to the Kia brand,” says Mr. Paul Willis, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Kia Motors Europe.

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2008 Mercedes Benz Round Up

May 21, 2008

Auto experts from the various automotive sites have carried out their exclusive review for the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG, R320 CDI and C300 4MATIC. Let’s check it out!

2008 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG (via TimesOnline)

“So what has Mercedes done? Well, it’s ditched the iron lung of a supercharger and fitted a normally aspirated 6.2 litre V8. This means you get about one more brake horsepower, but before you grow too excited about that I should point out that you get a lot less torque. And it’s developed right up the rev range, exactly where you don’t want it. The engine produces more carbon dioxides too.”

2008 Mercedes-Benz R320 CDI (via)

“There are a lot of things to like about driving the R320. Top of the list must be the comfort level, and that doesn’t matter whether you are sitting in the first, second or third row seats. The suspension might be typical European in feel, a little firm but friendly, but the long wheelbase makes this a highway cruiser of the highest caliber.

Now I know that a lot of people out there are still doubtful about diesel power plants, but I can assure you that this unit produces enough performance to make any hardened gas-only lover blush with embarrassment.

2008 Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC (via AutoWeek)

“The C300 4Matic is a very nice midsize luxury cruiser, but the performance and feel are bland, bland, bland. This car probably has ample power for stodgy young professionals more concerned with showing off their three-pointed stars, but few enthusiasts will pull the trigger on it. Sure, it will haul itself into the triple-digit speed range and run there all day without complaint, but it takes some time to build velocity. And the transmission is really slow to kick down anytime it is asked to get up and go.”

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2008 Mercury Sable At A Glance

May 12, 2008

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Rounding up the vehicles in Ford’s flourishing stable of cars, the Mercury Sable is among the quality vehicles that definitely turn heads. The newest Sable in town promises a brand new exciting driving performance to new car buyers. Let’s all have a quick review about this marvelous car…

The Sable is considered as the heart of the Mercury lineup of vehicles since it was introduced as a model year in 1986. At some point, it has strangely disappeared for model year 2005. It was then accounted that it will be replaced by the Montego. And after three years, the Montego packed its bag and soon replaced by the new Sable for model 2008.

The brand Sable is highly based on the Montego when it comes to exterior design. It wasn’t a surprise after all, as it is the car that was expected to have been named Sable, that instead was called Montego, but with some significant upgrades.

SPECIFICATIONS 2008 Mercury Sable Premier FWD

Base Price: $ 27,330

Price As Tested: $ 31,455

Engine Type: aluminum alloy 24-valve dual overhead cam V6 with variable cam phasing on the intake cams

Engine Size: 3.4 liters / 213 cu. in.

Horsepower: 263 @ 6250 rpm

Torque (lb-ft): 249 @ 4500 rpm

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Wheelbase / Length: 112.9 in. / 202.1 in.

Curb Weight: 3741 lbs.

Pounds Per Horsepower: 14.2

Fuel Capacity: 20 gal.

Fuel Requirement: 87 octane unleaded regular gasoline

Tires: P225/55 R18 97H Pirelli P6 Four Seasons

Brakes, front/rear: vented disc / solid disc, ABS standard

Suspension, front/rear: independent MacPherson strut / independent double A-arm

Drivetrain: transverse front engine, front-wheel drive

PERFORMANCE

EPA Fuel Economy – miles per gallon

city / highway / observe: 18 / 28 / 20

0 to 60 mph: 6.8 sec

Walk Like MADD

May 10, 2008

Do you want to kick out drunk driving away from the streets? Oh yes, we can make a difference! Check this out.

TheAuto Channel reported that Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) leadership joined 500 local supporters today at Huntington City Beach to partake in Walk Like MADD. This event is a 5 kilometer non-competitive walk that motivates the community to support MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. A shocking 1,276 people were killed in California in traffic accidents involving a driver or a motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher in 2006, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

“The main reason people continue to drive drunk today – despite 27 years of intense public education and law enforcement’s best efforts – is because they can. My son might be here today if the offender that killed him had an interlock on his vehicle.” Birch’s 21-month-old-son Courtney was killed on May 3, 1988, more than 20 years ago, by a drunk driver with a blood alcohol level of .26 at the time of the crash and was driving with a revoked license and three prior DUI convictions,” says Glynn Birch, national president of MADD.

Today, a gadget that will support the campaign has been created. It is an alcohol ignition interlock which is a breath test device connected to a vehicle’s ignition system used on the vehicles of suspected drunk drivers. Further studies revealed that these devices are up to 90 percent efficient in diminishing recidivism while fixed on the vehicle.

Here’s the catch: If all states required alcohol ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, we could save up to 4,000 lives a year. Imagine that!

The Iron Man Premiere With Audi

May 7, 2008

Audi R8 Sports Car in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood

May 2, 2008 was the much awaited day for all Iron Man fanatics all around the world. The world premiere of the blockbuster movie from Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studio was celebrated with glamorous red carpet movie premiere and a magnificent party. Various world-known celebrities arrived at the event in Audi R8’s, Audi Q7 SUV’s and Audi A8L sedans. Tony Stark’s car, the Audi R8, was also on display on the red carpet.

According to my source, the following stars horded to Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theater in the elite Audi R8, which has a 2-year waitlist: Jeff Bridges, Robert Downey Jr., Jon Favreau and Terence Howard. Gwyneth Paltrow arrived in an Audi A8L W12 sedan, and Tenacious D’s Jack Black, Leslie Bibb and Vince Vaughn were accompanied in Audi Q7’s.

In addition to this, several celebrities from various industries were present join the celebration of the Iron Man movie’s world premiere. Stars include; Rosanna Arquette, Beau Bridges, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, and Jon Voight to name these few celebrities.

“Audi is thrilled to celebrate two great properties this evening – Iron Man and the R8. Hollywood is the perfect opportunity to showcase this exciting performance of the R8, starring alongside the stellar cast of this crowd-pleasing movie,” says Jeff Kuhlman, Chief Communications Officer for Audi of America.

An enchanting motorcade of 10 police-escorted Audi R8’s swarmed the Los Angeles area earlier in the day, the greatest number of R8’s ever to be driven together in the U.S.