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US Ingenuity Shines through Fisker Automotive

February 18, 2012 Leave a comment

There is no question that the everyday car will eventually transition to alternate energy sources. We have seen a number of electric vehicles released to the market, but there are few that we could see taking the place of the luxury and sport gasoline-fueled cars we know and love. That may change sooner than expected. California based Fisker Automotive was founded in 2007 with a vision of creating the first line of premium luxury hybrid vehicles.

Then the 2012 Karma was born, and was hailed as the Luxury Car of the Year by Top Gear, the world’s leading automotive magazine. What strikes many about this is the fact that Top Gear is based in Europe, and granted this award to a five-year-old American manufacturer in the face of German and Italian competition that has dominated the luxury and sports car market.

What makes the Fisker brand and its products so special? The design, inspired by the “elegant lines of windswept sand dunes,” is sure to turn heads. There are unique features such as a solar roof that captures enough energy from the sun to give the car up to an extra 200 miles of driving a year. The break pads are able to transfer kinetic energy from slowing down to the battery to allow for more efficient breaking. Finally, the dual electric motors are like nothing we have ever seen before. There is an internal combustion engine that kicks in after about 50 miles of driving, but this serves only to power the electric motors thus creating a purely electric driving experience. All this translates into a 2.0 L, 4-cylinder 240 horsepower hybrid that hits 0-60 mph in 6.3 sec topping out at 125 mph.

Fisker’s first baby isn’t perfect, though. The EPA rated the 2012 Karma to run at only 20 miles per gallon, a rate that many non-hybrid vehicles beat. But this should not discount the strides the young carmaker has made in terms of American design and engineering in creating a hybrid that can compete with gasoline-powered European autos. Creating over 700 US jobs in California and Delaware, and doing business with over 40 American suppliers including GM and Goodyear, Fisker’s ingenuity should be applauded in a time when this seemed to be lacking amidst the recent turmoil of our economy.

Inaya Sabbak

Select Luxury Cars, located in Marietta, Ga. on Highway 41, hand “Selects” every vehicle. We specialize in the highest quality automobiles available in the market. Whether you live here in the Atlanta area or anywhere around the world, we will find the exact car you are dreaming of. If you are looking for a Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Audi, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari or other high end model, begin your search here and we won’t disappoint.

SIGALERT…A New Way to Live Traffic!

February 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Ever wondered what the current traffic is for your upcoming commute? Well SIGALERT may be just what you are looking for!

By far this has become one of my favorite sites when it come to staying ahead on traffic info. I was introduced to SIGALERT a few months ago by a friend of mine. He was always needing to wait for the latest traffic update via the radio which was only mentioned every 15 minutes or so, yet it only took in 5 minutes to get to the closest expressway.  Sometimes by the time the radio announced the latest report it was too late and he would get caught up in traffic and late to work or his engagements. Then he found SIGALERT!

SIGALERT is a unique site that shows you local traffic based on live time. You simply find your location, save it and when needed just log in to see how things are looking in live time. I use it first thing every morning to monitor my driving time. If I see it conjested I leave somewhat earlier to my engagement, work etc. Once you know what’s ahead of you it takes off most of the stress of driving in crazy traffic. By the way… there’s an app for that!

http://www.sigalert.com/Map.asp

Orlando Lopez

Select Luxury Cars, located in Marietta, Ga. on Highway 41, hand “Selects” every vehicle. We specialize in the highest quality automobiles available in the market. Whether you live here in the Atlanta area or anywhere around the world, we will find the exact car you are dreaming of. If you are looking for a Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Audi, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari or other high end model, begin your search here and we won’t disappoint.

Categories: Electronics

Will the iPad Kill In-Car Entertainment Systems?

Apple takes a swing at car manufacturers now, whether they intended to or not.  With the base cost for an iPad costing so much less than most of the auto makers’ DVD options, will we see fewer sales of vehicles with DVD systems included, or will the automakers partner up with Apple and others to offer the iPad (or a competing product) as the in-car entertainment system of choice?   And could this expand to airlines, trains, subways and more?

Apple iPad front and back

Apple iPad front and back - image from ZDNet.com

In an article in the Chicago Tribune, David Thomas of Cars.com says, the iPad “could prove to be a serious problem for automakers that charge a ransom for rear entertainment systems.”  It costs much less than most of the DVD in-car entertainment center options that most car manufacturers are currently offering. Ford‘s Flex crossover has an option for their Dual INViSiON (TM) DVD Headrests that sells for $1,995, while the Land Rover‘s RES (Rear Seat Entertainment) option is $2,500 and the Acura’s DVD Rear Entertainment System with a 9-inch screen and three wireless headsets goes for about $1,900.

2008 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Rear Entertainment System

2008 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Rear Entertainment System

Compare this to $500-$600 or so for an Apple iPad, and you can get two of those for far less than the manufacturer-installed (or even dealer-installed) entertainment center package.

They both have their advantages: the in-car entertainment systems are weather-tested to work from -5 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit and being less prone to breakage.  Plus you don’t have to install software to convert DVDs to iTunes then be able to watch them, and iPads in plain view in a car would be a tempting target for thieves.  The iPad is cheaper, portable, and has more functionality including email, office applications, and more.

What do you think?  Which would you choose and why?  Feel free to express your opinion in the comments section below.

World’s Fastest Street-Legal Electric Car

Oregon’s John Waylan, a/k/a “Plasma Boy,” has converted a 1972 Datsun 1200 to an all-electric vehicle, and has taken that a step further: the “White Zombie” is the world’s quickest-accelerating electric car.   On the outside, it lo0ks like an ordinary Datsun 1200, with a few racing stickers and so on, but under the hood is an entirely different story.  The conventional engine is gone.  A custom-built computer controls a surprisingly fast all-electric engine, so fast that it easily beats seemingly “fast” cars – such as Corvette and BMW M3 at Portland International Raceway’s Open Race Night.

The trunk and the back seat are filled up by sixty batteries.  The Datsun originally had 69 horsepower; now it has about 300 hp.  But the huge jump in horsepower isn’t the secret – it’s torque.  An electric engine can generate far more torque than a gas engine, and produce full torque from the first instant rather than having to work their way up to it.

John describes the engine’s sound as “like an electric drill on steroids.”

Watch the video, a news story on Oregon Public Broadcasting, to see John’s electric Datsun not only smoke past a Corvette on the race track, but also set a new world record.  Reaching over 107 mph in a quarter-mile in a fraction over 12 seconds, then later in the video he races a BMW M3 to set another world record: 11.9 seconds, then an astounding third world record in the same evening!

Here’s a quote from the Electric Car Stocks blog:

The white Zombie Datsun 1200 which was converted to an All electric car has been smoking cars that are well known for their speed! According to John Waylan also known as plasma boy, hes happy to know that he is not dependent on foreign oil and is trying to create awareness about electric vehicles by racing his car or the White Zombie against other cars known for their speed.

So far the White Zombie has proven itself to be one of the fastest street legal cars in its area!

On the first race it beets a corvette and tops 107 MPH on a quarter Mile strip in a fraction over 12 seconds! A NEW WORLD RECORD!

On the second race it beats a BMW M-3 and beats it twice in a row!

On the third race its sets another NEW WORLD RECORD in the same night @ 110 MPH on a quarter mile strip in under 12 seconds! UNBELIEVABLE! YOU HAVE TO SEE IT FOR YOURSELF!

Then later in the video, he replaces the lead acid-based batteries with substantially lighter, more efficient and more powerful lithium ion batteries, to shed about 700 pounds off of the car’s total weight and simultaneously increase the power  by about 100 horsepower — to around 400 hp.  The end result: yet another new world record: the quarter mile in under 11-1/2 seconds… and not generating even one ounce of air pollution.   Amazing.

New Heads-Up Display Utilizing Your Entire Windshield – By GM

The folks at General Motors have come up with a new type of heads-up display, this time around using the whole windshield rather than just a small section.  This takes it a step further than even the BMW 7-Series Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection system.  An article in Wired tells more:

GM says it's next-generation heads-up system can use lasers and lane detection sensors to project a "virtual" road edge onto the windshield to help drivers stay on the road during bad weather.

Rather than project info onto a portion of the windshield, GM’s latest experiment uses the entire windshield as a display. Small ultraviolet lasers project data gleaned from sensors and cameras onto the glass. General Motors geeks are working alongside researchers from several universities to develop a system that integrates night vision, navigation and on-board cameras to improve our ability to see — and avoid — problems, particularly in adverse conditions like fog.

“We’re looking to create enhanced vision systems,” says Thomas Seder, a lab manager at GM’s big R&D center in Warren, Michigan.

Trying to make a workable head-up display is a laudable goal. Drivers are inundated by ever-more information from navigation systems and the like, and they need to be able to see and process it easily while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. A practical head-up display allows that.

GM’s experimental system goes beyond the night-vision system found in cars like the BMW 7-Series and the HUDs you find in, say, the Chevrolet Corvette or Buick LaCrosse. While those systems will tell you how fast you’re going or whether you’ve left the turn signal on again, Version 2.0 could make you a safer driver.

“Let’s say you’re driving in fog, we could use the vehicle’s infrared cameras to identify where the edge of the road is and the lasers could ‘paint’ the edge of the road onto the windshield so the driver knows where the edge of the road is,”

Read More http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/03/gm-next-gen-heads-up-display/#ixzz0ifJwZjCk

Audi | MMI Navigation plus Hardware

If you have any questions about what any of these features do, or have a purchase interest, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment! Select Luxury is here for YOU! Please let us know how we can better serve you, or if you have any suggestions for future posts. Select Luxury highly recommends you keep focused on the road, and use the features described in this post while parked.

Categories: Electronics Tags: , , , , ,

2009 Maserati Quattroporte Executive GT

The Maserati Quattroporte Executive GT is a real special car. Maserati has been known in the past for making some of the most unreliable cars on the road- which has tarnished the British automakers badge for decades. Though, during the past 20 years, they have seemed to get their act back together, and the Quattroporte is a perfect example of this. The design is staggering, and combined with the racing heritage of Maserati, it is one heck of a car- beating out all of the superfast luxury sedans.

Quattroporte Exterior

The interior of the car is breathtaking. All of the woods and leathers found in the cabin are worked on and assembled by hand. The front seats heat, cool, message, and even feature a dynamic mode. The steering wheel is one of the most comfortable I’ve ever used, and the paddle shifters are properly mounted on the steering column- rather than the wheel. Each passenger in the car can control their own temperature, where they would like the air to be distributed, and the speed of the fan.

All seats are made of some of the finest leather available, and have an adjustable lumbar support system. The rear seats also have wooden picnic tables. The Navigation system which is manufactured by Bose and is only available on Maserattis and Ferraris is a breeze to use. The maps are super clear, and it has a digital jukebox to store all of your favorite CDs. The 4.7L V8 engine produces over 425 horsepower, and the sound it produces is nothing short of spectacular- which is what I expected from a motor designed and built by Ferrari.

Quattroporte Interior

If you have any questions about what any of these features do, or have a purchase interest, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment! Select Luxury is here for YOU! Please let us know how we can better serve you, or if you have any suggestions for future posts.