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Automotive

Kia offers 7-Year/150,000 km warranty on all cars sold in Europe

Korean auto maker, Kia, has announced a seven-year/150,000 km bumper-to-bumper, parts-and-labour warranty for all vehicles sold and registered in Europe from January 1, 2010. This is far-and-away the longest fleet-wide warranty ever offered by a car manufacturer anywhere at any time and the move could have far reaching consequences. Brands with big reputations are charging two, five, even ten times as much for a car as Kia, yet they are clearly unprepared to guarantee their quality to the same extent, and this might well be the point the public finally understands that new price does not reflect quality, that quality is measurable, and that reputations for quality are distinctly at odds with reality. At very least, as the warranties are fully transferable to subsequent owners, Kia resale values should skyrocket.Read More

Peugeot's 200th anniversary heralds a huge year ahead

French mobility company Peugeot is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year and in achieving the milestone, has announced grandiose grand plans. It's the world’s second oldest car manufacturer (behind Daimler), the tenth largest car manufacturer, and with trucks, cars, motorcycles and bicycles, has the broadest range of mobility products in the world. In prep for its 300th year, it has updated the Lion logo it has been using since 1858, vowed to turn the brand into a style icon, adopted a new signature (Peugeot MOTION & EMOTION), stated its intention to move three places up the world’s auto maker ladder (to seventh) by 2015 with a massive new model offensive, announced a fascinating new credit/online/rental mobility service entitled Mu by Peugeot and took the wraps off a superb new hybrid 4WD and four-wheel-steering sports car – the SR1. Happy birfy to Peugeot!Read More

Dakar Rally: the usual suspects in the lead at the half way mark

After seven of the 14 legs of the 2010 Dakar Rally, the usual suspects have found their way to the fore once more. With Mitsubishi withdrawing from the event in deference to the GFC, it was predictable that Volkswagen would dominate the event and on the mid-point rest day, three factory race VW TDI Touaregs hold the first three spots, all more than 150 minutes clear of the field. In the bikes, where restrictors have been added to the inlets of machinery larger than 450cc machinery, KTM’s 690s have nevertheless dominated almost as much usual, holding first and six of the top 10 places, with two-time winner Cyril Depres an hour and 20 minutes clear of a close battle for second.Read More

Kolimat Roadscan DTW 1.0 dual lens camera - watches you as well as the road

What’s more frustrating than an accident with a fellow motorist? Trying to work out who is at fault. Aiming to do away with such disagreements and improve overall driver security is the Kolimat Roadscan DTW 1.0 Camera system. Equipped with a dual lens in-car camera that records up to 12 hours of audio and video onto an SD card, the unit also takes still pictures at regular intervals and features full GPS and Wi-Fi capabilities. But with a function that disables erasing of data for events that measure above a preset “G” force, you had better hope you’re not at fault… Read More

TomTom EASE - small package, small pricetag GPS to hit US stores

TomTom's EASE is the latest addition to its satellite navigation family and brings all the functionality, ease of use and practicality of its siblings at a fraction of the cost. Launched at CES in Las Vegas this week, the EASE blends a simple two icon interface menu, an integrated fold-away mount and the company's proprietary Map Share and IQ Routes - all for around a hundred US dollars.Read More

USD5 million Ferrari 400 Superamerica Cabriolet Pininfarina

It may be nearly half a century old, but this rare Ferrari 400 Superamerica Cabriolet Pininfarina is appreciating quite nicely with age. So well that when it goes under the hammer in Monaco in May, keen judges are expecting the 1962 supercar could fetch in excess of US$5 million. With CES top of mind right now, one wonders how many products on the showroom floor this year will appreciate in value over the next 50 years.Read More

Lee Noble promises bargain Fenix supercar this year

One of the world’s most accomplished automotive designers, Lee Noble, is to once more start his own company, and plans to produce an ultra light weight mid-engined V8 Grand Tourer supercar. Two images were released today and that's one of them at right. Noble's track record is good as it gets, having penned a string of the world’s best-handling and fastest accelerating supercars including the Ultima GTR, Ascari Ecosse and Noble M12, but in announcing his new company, to be known as Fenix, Noble has promised a 1200 kg 638 bhp car with a 0-100mph time of under seven seconds and a price tag under USD125,000. The car will target serious track day drivers, while also being completely usable on the public road. Read More

Kumho’s Tire Laser etching promises customized tyres

Get set to design your own tyre patterns. That’s the future of tyre technology as seen by Kumho, and although individual design-your-own tyre tread is probably some way away yet, it’s quite feasible that tire chains, vehicle manufacturers and other brands could soon have their name etched into the tread of the tires their fleet of cars use. According to Kumho, "Mass production tread patterns can be a compromise - part functional and part aesthetic. In the future, Kumho plans to design its treads in two stages. The functional requirement, free of compromise, will be moulded in the normal way. Any additional attributes or design features will then be etched onto the surface as required.”Read More

AVL DiTEST DPM 800: dynamic pressure measurement for motorsport

With many auto racing formulae now requiring engines to last many races or a whole season, the new AVL DPM 800 (DPM stands for Dynamic Pressure Measurement) is a gadget many autosport race teams will be keen to get their hands on - it's an in-cylinder pressure transducer that comprises a proprietary Piezo spark plug system with built-in pressure sensor which will enable engine tuning and the accurate gauging of wear rates and potential longevity as the season progresses. The DPM 800 will cost EUR 6550 when it is launched at the Autosport Engineering Show at NEC in Birmingham next week - an absolute bargain compared to what it offers.Read More

The top 10 most reliable and unreliable 4x4s

If you’re planning on choosing a roadgoing car based on racetrack results, maybe you’d better think again. With the world’s greatest off-road race, the Dakar Rally, currently powering its way through Chile, it’s interesting to note that the leaders of the event (BMW and Volkswagen) are among the least reliable 4x4 vehicles on the road, where it really counts. Newly released and highly credible information from the U.K. has revealed the most and least reliable pre-owned 4x4 and SUV cars on the market (see the top 10 lists here). Honda’s CR-V won the crown of the most reliable 4x4 by a fair margin while Audi’s A6 Allroad is the most unreliable 4x4 on the road, with Volkswagen’s Touareg and BMW’s X5 placing second and third most unreliable. That’s right folks, despite performing spectacularly in race events such as the Dakar, the VW Touareg is the second most unreliable 4x4 on the market, according to Warranty Direct. Read More

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