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FaezClutchless

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About FaezClutchless

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  1. The Bugatti Veyron is a car that many would easily recognise especially if you are a car nut. It is a powerful machine with over 1000bhp, a top speed of over 400km/h and does the century sprint in 2.46 seconds. But, I am not going to write or talk about the Bugatti Veyron. Instead this is about a car that can accomplish the century sprint in 2.5 seconds with only around half of the Veyron
  2. FaezClutchless

    Car features that are slowly getting phased out

    Nowadays, many automakers are introducing numerous features on their new models which were not available previously. These features are included to enhance or improve the driving experience on the road. Newer features (or technology, as some would say) usually come with a downside and most of the time it is either complexity or added costs. As a result, automakers face a tough time balancing these new features and the added concerns. Let's take a look at some of the automotive technologies or features that are slowly getting phased out. Compact Disc player Compact discs? Who buys them nowadays? These are the most common questions you will hear when we talk about music CDs. CD players are going through the same phase cassette decks went through when music CDs were hugely popular. Today, one can easily download songs from the cyber space. You could also easily get a portable MP3 player for a low price. The same goes for automotive stereo systems and today's auto stereo systems come with a variety of features. Many of these systems come with a connection that could plug in portable devices such as the iPhone or a USB thumb drive and the higher end ones come with an integrated Bluetooth technology. Conventional buttons and knobs Automakers are aware that consumers today love touch screen systems. There are many reasons why such systems are getting more popular. First of all, it is the level of personal customisation that a user can apply and some automakers have introduced systems that can be operated by voice. Although touch screen systems may look cool but it can be rather distracting to use when you are driving and there were also reports of such systems having problems such as lag or even a total system crash. Such systems are still at the infant stage and as time goes by, they will only get better. Manual transmissions If you were to go to a public car park and pick out ten cars, I can bet you that more than half of them do not have a traditional manual gearbox. Whatever the reasons are, drivers today just prefer automatic transmissions over a manual one. Automatic transmissions today are much more efficient than the ones used years ago. Some automakers even stress that their automated gearboxes shift faster than a human being's hand. It is common to see cars today with auto gearboxes that have six or more gears and this trend will not stop anytime soon. Large sized engines This may not really apply locally as car buyers here are more cautious of engine capacity due to the government's road tax system. But if you were to take a closer look at newer models today, you will realise that automakers are more inclined towards releasing cars with smaller sized engines and this is a good thing for local buyers. Just take a look at cars from the Volkswagen Group. Small turbocharged engines that are able to produce power and efficiency of larger ones. Another example is Ford's EcoBoost range of engines. As prices of fuel are not getting any lower, this strategy of using small capacity engines with direct injection coupled with forced-induced devices, will be the new direction for most automakers in the future. Car keys More cars today comes with keyless entry and drivers need to only carry a key fob. Some of these key fobs are rather high-tech. You could start your car remotely, open or close your rear boot etc. But it seems that the key fob is going to be extinct soon. Late last year, Hyundai introduced a concept technology that enables the owner of the car to lock and unlock his/her car and to also start it with just tapping a smart phone on the car. A Near Field Communication (NFC) tag is located at the door and all the driver has to do is to put his/her smart phone close to the tag. The system also pulls up the driver's profile and sets the audio, climate control and even phone book entries before the engine starts. It even comes with a charging pad so that your phone's battery will not dry up. The above points are just some of the features which I feel that are getting phased out by newer technologies. If you feel that there are other features which are getting phased out, please comment below.
  3. FaezClutchless

    Carnology: Board game for car nuts

    Usually when car enthusiasts see a car that interest them, either on the road or parked somewhere, they would take a moment to try and guess what make and model the car is. This might be a little weird for normal people but that is just what a car enthusiast loves to do. For those car enthusiasts who also love board games, there is a similar car guessing game which they can enjoy with family and friends. The board game is known as Carnology and the main point of the game is to test your knowledge of cars. There are over 500 picture cards of cars that date from the 1900s till today and to advance through, you will have to guess what make and model it is. The board game covers nine different types of car categories and it comprises of six different types of metal car tokens (ranging from a Volkswagen Bus to a Lamborghini Countach), a colourful playing board, 525 picture cards and a die. The board game was created by John Cupit. He is a creative designer who has worked with various products including automobiles. He was inspired to create the game by childhood road trips he had with his father and guessing cars during those times. The board game can prove quite a challenge for some as there is a category where players have to guess a car only by a picture of headlights, front grille and other parts. But if you could identify a 1970s sports car and differentiate a split window VW Bus with a full windscreen model, then you could do really well in this game. Check out more of this game at their website here.
  4. FaezClutchless

    Bill Cosby

    Many of us here would know who Bill Cosby is and would remember his hit TV sitcom, The Cosby Show, which aired during the 1980s up till the early 1990s. But many do not know that Bill Cosby also has a taste for fine luxury automobiles. The vehicle you see above is actually a 1970s Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2 which was once owned by the comedian and was a part of his car collection at one time. The Ferrari was recently put up for sale on eBay with a starting bid of $37,500 (S$47,408). In the eBay listing, the seller who is from San Antonio, Texas, mentioned that Bill Cosby was the only owner of the car. It is possible that the seller is a dealer who deals in cars formerly owned by famous people. You might ask if there is any proof that Bill Cosby used to own this Ferrari. Situated within the interior of the car is a plaque which stated that the car was specially prepared for the actor and it was imported by a company known as Milano Imports. It was known that this particular Ferrari model was never officially imported by the local Ferrari dealerships and it was assumed that Bill Cosby ordered the car through the above mentioned company. The Ferrari is in a very good condition and judging from the pictures, it clearly shows that Bill Cosby knows how to look after his fine cars. The Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2 was produced during the 1970s with around 500 units manufactured. It was fitted with a 4.3-litre V12 engine which produces 320bhp and the engine was mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. That may not sound much nowadays but with the car's celebrity status, the starting bid is just a steal.
  5. Nobel prize winning author Ernest Hemingway's last car was a 1955 Chrysler New Yorker Convertible. Hemingway left the car on the island of Cuba before his suicide in 1961 and from then onwards, the vehicle has somehow disappeared from public view. Presumed to be lost, the car was found a couple of years back and now is the subject of an upcoming documentary about the car's history and ongoing restoration process. The New Yorker Convertible has been passed around between members of one family and there are plans to restore the car to its original condition. But, due to the United States trade embargo on Cuba, plans of restoring the car has come to a dead end. The United States trade embargo imposed on Cuba prohibits the trade of US made products to Cuba. The documentary follows actor David Soul as he tries to find a way around this embargo and get the car back on the road. David Soul is the actor who played the role of detective Kenneth Hutchinson in the television show Starsky and Hutch during the 1970s. After taking an interest in the restoration project, Soul's British passport enables him to supply the right car parts for the project and they hope that the car is able to be restored in time for the International Hemingway Colloquium which will be held in Havana in June 2013. A trailer for the documentary was released in December last year and you can catch it here at Red Earth Studio
  6. The vehicle that you see here pretty much looks like a three-wheeled motorcycle. But many aspects on this vehicle are very much car-like. This three-wheeled contraption is made by a Canadian company known as Campagna Motors and it is known as the T-Rex 16S. The Campagna T-Rex 16S is the company's latest sub-model within the T-Rex range and it is equipped with a new engine when compared to the T-Rex 14R. Let me talk about the company a little before I continue on the T-Rex 16S. Campagna Motors has been making the three-wheeled T-Rex since the 1990s. A few years ago, they merged with another company, Cirbin which developed the wider and more fully-bodied V13R model and both models are manufactured in Montreal, Canada. Unlike the T-Rex 14R which is equipped with a 1.4-litre four cylinder engine sourced from Kawasaki, the T-Rex 16S is equipped with a 1.6-litre six cylinder engine sourced from BMW. Power output from the new engine has dropped to 160bhp but the torque has increased to 175Nm. The T-Rex 14R has a power output of 197bhp with a torque value of 153Nm. The engine is mated to a six speed sequential transmission and should be able to launch the 500kg vehicle to 100km/h in less than five seconds (the 14R completes the century sprint in 3.9 seconds). As mentioned above, much of the vehicle's features are very much car-like and one of them is the steering wheel. There is also a gear knob in the middle, two bucket seats and it has similar foot pedals that you will find in a car. In other words, anyone who is familiar with car-type controls would be able to drive the T-Rex. The Campagna T-Rex 16S has a tubular chassis and it comes with an integrated roll cage and a three-point safety harness. The bodyshell is made out of fibre glass and accentuated with several carbon fibre parts. The T-Rex 16S is available in eight different body colours and the one shown here is in Winter White. Due to its car-like features, the company has mentioned that most of its customers are car enthusiasts and most of them are attracted to the vehicle's ride stability and its unique looks. Image credit: Campagna Motors
  7. The usage of advanced materials to cut vehicle weight has been rapidly increasing nowadays. Many automakers have started using materials such as aluminium, carbon fibre and carbon fibre reinforced plastics on their new models. Nissan has recently announced that they will initiate a new plan which will radically reduce vehicle weight over the next few years. The Japanese auto firm's plan will involve the usage of high strength steel in up to twenty five percent for all new vehicles. The usage of high strength steel in the automotive industry is nothing new and it has been proven that it could save unnecessary weight. But the usage of high strength has been very limited. This is due to it being very difficult to mould into complex shapes. And many automakers have chosen other materials in order to reduce vehicle weight. Nissan has developed a new 1.2 GPa ultra high strength steel which retains all the structural benefits of ordinary high strength steel but it offers a higher degree of formability and greater elongation. This will allow it to be used for parts which have complex shapes. Additionally, the company also mentioned that their current production lines are able to be modified to use the new high strength steel without any additional major upgrades. The company will start using the new material in 2017 and this will reduce vehicle weight by fifteen percent.
  8. FaezClutchless

    Next Honda Civic Type R to get at least 270bhp

    Spring: There are no confirmation on that yet. Like any plans, it can go either way.
  9. FaezClutchless

    Next Honda Civic Type R to get at least 270bhp

    [extract] Rumours about the next Honda Civic Type R have been going around fiercely like bushfire. At times, it
  10. We have seen many luxury automakers that have lent their name to daily usable products. You would have probably seen Lamborghini laptops, Ferrari headphones etc. And now, Aston Martin is the next automaker to use their name on an everyday item used by many - a baby pram. The pram is made by British company known as Silver Cross and each pram is said to be priced around 2,000 British Pounds (around SGD$3,700). The pram will be sold exclusively at luxury retailer Harrods. The pram shares several elements from Aston Martin cars. The aluminium wheels are designed to match the ones from the Aston Martin One-77 supercar. Alcantara is used to trim the seats and premium leather for the handles. The luxurious pram also receives an air suspension which provides for a smooth ride and comfortable pushing. The pram will be a limited item as only 800 units will be made and each will come with a certificate of authenticity including an engraved plaque finished in brushed chrome. Looks like some deep-pocketed parents do not have to wait until graduation to give their children a luxurious ride.
  11. FaezClutchless

    Toyota considering a hybrid powered 86

    With the recent introduction of an open-top concept of the Toyota 86 at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, it seems that Toyota have been rather busy with their new model. And at the same time, they are considering to launch a top range version of the Toyota 86 that will be powered by a hybrid drivetrain. Tetsuya Tada, Toyota's chief engineer, has stated that designers at the Japanese auto firm have already begun work on the 86's mid-cycle facelift. The facelift model will receive some changes on the bodywork and on top of that, there will be a more powerful version of the car. It will use either a turbocharger, a supercharger or an effective hybrid powertrain that will squeeze every last horsepower out of the boxer engine. Tada also mentioned that a hybrid solution is highly possible and will bring benefits that forced induction devices do not. Additionally, he also stated on why the company did not release a more powerful version of the Toyota 86 and also a convertible model immediately after its launch. The management considered the 86 a huge risk and they needed proof that the sports coupe would hit sales target before they agree on a convertible and a powerful variant of the car. Since now they have that proof, the management can think of new ways to develop the car. If Toyota agrees on the hybrid solution, the petrol/electric powertrain will be considered a simple and inexpensive choice as they already have that technology. One of the things that they need to consider is the extra weight these hybrid powertrains pose.
  12. The usage of aluminium on cars has been rather rife lately. Benefits of using the lightweight material are downright obvious. It does not only reduce the vehicle's weight which offers better fuel economy, but it also improves the vehicle's dynamics. Engineers at Acura (Honda's luxury vehicle division) have come up with a new way of joining steel and aluminium. This new method is said to be a much simpler process compared to traditional methods. The essential part of this new method is the "3D Lock Seam" structure. The steel and aluminium parts are layered and hemmed together twice and this prevents them from detaching. The new method also uses a special adhesive that completely fills any gaps which will prevent from any corrosion. Acura has started using this new method on its 2014 RLX model (pictured above) which features aluminium panels welded to steel parts. This has helped to reduce around 17 percent of weight per door, compared to traditional welding methods. Weight reduction on the outer part of the vehicle brings the point of gravity closer towards the centre of the vehicle which improves stability. The new method also reduces the need for spot welding processes. This new joining process will eventually be used onto other models, including those in Honda's line-up. Image credit: Honda/Acura
  13. FaezClutchless

    World's cheapest four door coupe

    [extract] The term four door coupe has been recently used to describe luxury sedans with a coupe-like dimension. Typically, they have a low roof design which reduces towards the rear part of the car. Some examples are the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, Audi A7 and the Volkswagen CC. These models are normally seen as high-end range cars but a small Russian company has unveiled a model touted as the world
  14. FaezClutchless

    A look at Subaru

    [extract] Most of us would know that continental automakers are well known for their safety technologies which are featured on most of their models. Lately, Asian automakers are introducing similar features to their cars and one of them is Subaru. Subaru recently introduced its EyeSight technology in a couple of its models and the firm intends to introduce it to every one of its models. Let
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