• MiTo Gets It On With Alfa

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    ALFA Romeo has announced it can reveal a Ti version of its Brera coupe at this week’s Paris motor show, at which the Italian brand’s all-new MiTo entry-level hatch will also make its motor show debut.

    While the MiTo was launched in Europe in July and definately will go on sale here in mid-2009, Australian Alfa Romeo importer Ateco Automotive says it has no intends to bolster its 159 Ti and 159 Sportwagon Ti range using the Brera Ti.

    Alfa Romeo2009 MiTo center imageLeft: Alfa Romeo Brerea Ti.

    Alfa will show five variants in the MiTo at Paris: three powered with a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine and wearing an activity Pack, as well as 2 equipped with a Comfort Pack and 1.6-litre JTDM turbo-diesel engine.

    Both the Comfort and Sport equipment grades will be combined in the Selective version from the MiTo, which will comprise the foglights, spoiler, white-illuminated instruments and 17 or 18-inch wheels in the Sport Pack, as well as the dual-zone climate-control, rear parking sensors, automatic headlights, front armrest and rain-sensing wipers which include in the Comfort Pack.

    A 2008 model year 159 will also be revealed, featuring several of the upgrades that already display on the 159 Ti. Other running changes, including changes to the rear seats to improve legroom, new instruments and overall weight savings, will arrive here as part of a 2009 upgrade for the 159.


  • Make traffic your happy place

    If you don’t learn how to find some peace in the Southern California traffic, you’re at a huge disadvantage. Here in the land of sun and angels, traffic is just part of our regular existence and we can either fight it or embrace it. I’ve lived in Los Angeles ten years now, and I remember the day that something clicked in my brain and I ceased to get frustrated in traffic. The 405 was a parking lot and I was late for an appointment. The freeway was moving at about one mile per hour (I’m not exaggerating!) and the road rage was percolating from my every pore. And then this moment came when the sun reached that point in the sky that wasn’t right in my eyes and it got a little cooler. I said to myself, “I’ve been craving some alone time, and now I have it. What am I so upset about?” Traffic is something you can’t control so you shouldn’t pretend. You had best make it your happy place.

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    This all starts with the right car. For me, the right car is fuel efficient, has a working air conditioner, a blu-tooth system that allows me to call or text or listen to my ipod without ever taking my eyes off the road. Oh yeah, it also has to be very safe and equally sexy. I like to feel good in my car. That’s why I recommend any of the vehicles from the latest armada of Nissans. The Nissan Altima is a stunning sedan that is professional looking and fun to drive. It comes as a hybrid, so you won’t have to spend a ton on gas and it’s loaded with standard safety features that will make you feel as safe as can be. What’s more, the blu-tooth technology that it comes with allows you, the driver, to listen to podcasts, books on tape or talk on the phone, all at the push of a button on the steering wheel. That makes your car easier to maneuver, safer to you and your neighbors on the road, and more a delight to pilot. I like to get in my car and let my Pandora lead the mood of my drive.

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    If you’re in the market for a new car, or if you are loathing your daily commute, a new Altima will improve your quality of life exponentially. Find one at either www.downtownnissan.com or http://www.downtownnissan.com and get inspired on your commute.

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    Now my car has become my best friend. Through my podcasts it regularly informs about my interesting world, and I stay connected to my family and friends on all of those previously painful commutes. Happy traffic everyone!


  • Making It Best With The Alfa Romeo / MiTo / TwinAir

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    IF you’re in the market for a rorty yet practical coupe with tons of badge cred, the newly updated MiTo in base TwinAir guise steps right out from the shadows among the bargain light-car buys around australia today.

    You’ll stand out and save money on every tank-full, and if you can handle the dating cabin design and a manual gearbox, you’ll also grow to love punting this terrific little $22,500 tearaway around.


  • What You Need To Know About The 2013 Nissan Murano Z51 Series 3 TI

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    The 2013 Nissan Murano Z51 doesn’t exactly bring anything revolutionary to the table, nevertheless it does have enough tricks up its sleeve to separate itself from predecessors. If you haven’t noticed by now, it’s more dashing than ever, new features populate the latest version of the mid-size crossover SUV; and. Below, we discuss these improvements to help you determine if the 2013 Murano is really a worthwhile purchase.

    The Exterior

    One of the most notable changes in the 2013 version of the Nissan Murano is its sleeker, bolder, and a lot more handsome shell. The various elements which encase the exterior-the grille (not everyone will be fond of its styling, though), the headlights, and the front bumper, and the like-complement each other in a way that favors the vehicle’s outer aesthetics. The final result is a youthful and contemporary carry out Nissan’s premier crossover. To put it simply, it looks good.

    The Interior

    Looking inside, you could easily discern that the focus of the 2013 Nissan Murano’s refinements is in the cabin. The Murano has always pegged itself like a luxury SUV (although it’s somewhat affordable compared to that segment of cheicles), thus most of the modifications in the interior were done to modernize the aesthetic, and enhance passenger comfort. The smooth feel of your trim in the interior needs to be enough to meet your need to have affluence; just don’t expect it to be on the level of bona fide luxury automobiles, and also you won’t be left feeling disappointed. The dashboard is stunning, and also the navigation system that’s embedded at its center remains one of the most user-friendly ones out there. In terms of space, the Murano provides a lot in both leg room (36.3 inches) and cargo area (32 cubic-feet).

    The Mechanics

    The 2013 Murano Z51 Series 3 TI practically remains unchanged in connection with this. But as we say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t correct it.” The Murano has always excelled in this department due to its use of an excellent 3.5-L V6 engine (which is capable of putting out just as much as 260hp) that’s partnered having a continuously variable transmission (CVT) system. The pairing’s 1-2 punch powers the Murano’s rather large frame with relative ease. In fact, after seeing the Murano’s effectiveness, other automakers have adopted the utilization of CVT for their own crossovers.

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    Conclusion

    Sandwiched in-between the luxury and the value-for-money vehicle segment, the 2013 Nissan Murano’s worth becomes highly subjective. If you’ve decided to go because of it, do check out Nissan Perth for the best deals for this premium crossover SUV. But if you’re looking for something less more and fancier economical, it is possible to shift your attention towards direction from the bigger and simpler Nissan Pathfinder instead.


  • Tips for Greener Driving

    The importance of becoming carbon friendly and green driving has never been more relevant. It’s up to all of us to do our bit and help to save this fragile planet we call home – polluting the atmosphere in giant gas guzzlers is no longer acceptable and even drivers of giant gas guzzlers need to do their bit towards helping to ensure that their gas guzzlers guzzle even that little bit less gas than usual (this is starting to feel like one of those tongue twisters).

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    Even the most unfriendly of motors can be made that little bit friendlier by following these green driving tips which not only help the environment but they also help your bank balance.

    • Be smooth and steady – everything which you do quickly and abruptly uses up more fuel, that’s the easiest way to think about it. Accelerate slowly and steadily, slow down and speed up gradually and carefully – abrupt stopping and starting just means that your car engine has to work even harder than usual which all takes additional fuel.

    • Throw out the clutter – the heavier your vehicle the more fuel it will take to make it move, stands to reason really. Do you really need to carry your set of golf clubs everywhere you go just in case you can nip off from the office for an hour? No, I didn’t think so. Every pound of additional weight is ballast which just means that you are burning more fuel to carry it.

    • Cut down on the resistance – air resistance that is. If you are still driving around with the luggage box on the car roof from your road trip last spring then take it off, the bike racks too from your cycling weekend 3 months ago. Streamlining your ride helps to cut down the resistance and save on fuel.

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    • Close your windows – and your sunroof if you are driving at speeds of more than 40 mph – it’s such a drag and drag uses fuel.

    • Try walking once in a while – too many people get into the habit of hopping into the car to drive around the block for a bottle of milk. Short and non-urgent trips should be enjoyed on foot or by bicycle instead of adding to the stress and pollution of your friendly neighborhood traffic jam. Get out and walk, you never know, it could catch on.

    • Keep things running smoothly – a well maintained vehicle is a fuel efficient vehicle so it is important that you check your oil levels, tire pressures, battery etc every once in a while to make sure that everything is working as it should.

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    • Protect your car from extreme temperatures – don’t just snuggle down in your own cozy bed, get your car an insulating blanket for the frosty nights too. This can help your engine to achieve the maximum fuel efficiency sooner the next morning; you won’t have to leave the engine running for a half hour before everything is warmed up sufficiently for the drive around the block.

    There are some great energy efficient motors available at fairviewford.com which can help you to save money on your gas guzzler but even if you are a gas guzzler kind of guy then these tips can help you to become that little bit greener. Check out the deals at http://fairviewford.com and see what takes your fancy. There’s bound to be something there which really catches your eye and remember – follow these driving tips to help reduce the carbon emissions of your chosen motor, whatever that may be.


  • Waiting Might Be Long For The Italian’s 2015 Jeep Renegade

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    Now, there’s a bit of a buzz on the street about the 2015 Jeep Renegade that’s got the car world buzzing, or for a least a little bit. This 2015 Jeep Renegade is the first new design so to speak that has rolled off of the Jeep line since the Fiat takeover a few months ago. Now at first, myself, and many other car people in America figured that Fiat would just take over Chrysler, bail them out, and sell the Fiat 500 side by side with the Chrysler 200 & 300. Not so much.

    Jeep-Renegade_2015_1 Apparently Fiat has done one, or two better. They smashed it to pieces, and took whatever they wanted, although they went in, and not only raided the cookie jar. So, yes, we now have a Fiat 500L sporting a tall roof, and sporting a Beats by DRE sound system. West Coast didn’t see that coming. Then there was the new Cherokee, that to me still doesn’t make any sense. That car should have replaced the Liberty, and been called as such. Everybody knows that the Liberty was garbage, and it suffered from a severe lack of balls.

    So, here we have the 2015 Jeep Renegade. Ummmm, Yeah. If memory serves me correctly, wasn’t the Renegade a 1980’s Jeep CJ that everyone, and their mother either had, or wanted? It was the slightly bulkier version of the CJ, where it had BFG off-road tires, minimal suspension lift, a white paint job, roll cage, and it was normally fitted with a 8ft long CB Radio antennae. Well at least that’s how I remember it, and I was only about nine, or ten years old when I first saw one. Now we have this cutesy little runabout that is begging for some attention, like some social media whore suffering from withdrawal. “Jeep” revealed this micro SUV at the Nissan-Juke_Nismo_RS_2015Geneva Auto Show recently, and immediately they announced that it would be in direct competition with the Nissan Juke. Thus slotting it in the “Small SUV” category. Now hold on a second! Can we address something if you don’t mind? First, off, what the Hell is a Small SUV? Are we really supposed to feel confident in knowing that we as consumers are going to now be off-roading in something that shares it’s base with a Fiat 500L? Second, why is this being put up against the Nissan Juke? The Juke is a quirky, kind of funky looking little car that serves a specific purpose of basic on road driving. These two cars, from what I see have nothing in common enough for them to be in direct competition with each other. Now unless Nissan is going to be releasing another version of the Juke, aside from the turbo version, then there’s really no point in announcing something like this.
    Anyway, the new 2015 Jeep Renegade, will come equipped with 17 inch tall All Terrain Jeep-Renegade_2015_4tires, selective terrain modes, improved off-roading, and rock crawling capabilities, and then there’s the engine options. In America the Renegade will come with Fiat’s well known 1.4L turbocharged engine making 160Hp, and 170lb feet of torque, and then there’s a 2.4L four banger that will make 184Hp, and 177lb feet of torque. The 1.4L will married to a six speed manual transmission, while the 2.4 will get an industry first nine speed automatic transmission. It seems like Jeep is doing what they can to hold onto their roots by making this new Renegade as off-road capable as possible, and they accomplished this by adding some upscale off-roading qualities. The 2015 Jeep Renegade will come with two drive systems, a new Active Drive which is an AWD system that sends power where it’s needed, and then there’s the Active Drive Low, which comes with the “Trail Hawk” version. This allows the driver to literally crawl in a very low gear setting, and maneuver around accordingly.

    Jeep-Renegade_2015_2To bring this segment to a close, the new Jeep Renegade will be one of the first, and probably not the last vehicle to be built outside of the United States. As a matter of fact it will be built in Melfi, Italy alongside the Fiat 500X. This my friends is the first step in how Fiat plans to make the Jeep name more synonymous with the Italians, even though they don’t seem to go rock crawling too, too often. I don’t know folks, a car that bears the Jeep name, with a classic Jeep sub-name , and is made in Italy, were the roads are set up for scenic tours on a Vespa, sounds a little bogus to me, but who am I to judge?


  • Audi A3 E-Tron Sportback Is Coming At The End Of The Year

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    Audi recently provided a bit of an update, and history lesson, on the vehicles in its tron family of cars. Not associated with the Disney movie of the same name, these tron offerings focus around sustainability beneath the hood in the form of alternative fuel cars and plug-in style drivetrains. From this announcement comes word of plans by the German auto brand, owned by Vokswagen, to bring green cars using this line up to consumers.

    The first of the two new planned vehicles is the A3 Sportback e-tron, which saw its official debut earlier this year with the Geneva Motor Show. Slated to go on sale by the end with this year, the plug-in hybrid offers up a parallel driveline which has a 1.4 TFSI doing work in tandem with the electric motor. The e-tron transmits power from this system, as outlined by Audi, for the front wheels via a newly developed e-S tronic.

    An 8.8 kWh, liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery located ahead of the front axle powers the electrical area of the vehicle, enabling an EV only driving range of 50 kilometers (31.07 miles). The 150 kW (204 hp) of system power and 350 Nm of system torque (258.15 lb-ft) generated by the gas/electric combination offer for some impressive performance numbers, including accelerating from to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.6 seconds and reaching a high speed of 222 km/h (137.94 mph).


  • Fabulous Cars Which are Fun to Drive

    It’s easy to let life bring you down sometimes – driving around in an endless traffic jam on the way to work, to school, to the grocery store – the car can quickly become an extension of the office or of the home.
    Let’s look at a few motors which can really put the fun back into driving – cars are not just about getting from A to B you know, some of us may have forgotten that we used to love to drive for driving sake.

    Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon – on first glimpse you could be forgiven that thinking this stylish, elegant Sport Wagon is just another “run of the mill” family station wagon but there’s definitely more to this motor than meets the eye. Okay, there’s plenty of room for the whole family, their friends, the family dog, stroller and nappies but not only will it transport your brood from A to B in comfort it will also get them there in superfast (and of course safe) time. The motor has a supercharged V-8 6.2 liter engine with 556 hp, 6 speed manual transmission and more than 550 lb-ft of torque. This model has “fun” as a standard feature. Hold on to your hats.

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    Jeep Wrangler – is fun personified at a different pace. It won’t get you there anywhere near as rapidly as the previous motor but it’s great for exploring the wilderness. When it comes to fording streams, rock crawling or sliding across the slippery mud then this is the real deal. If this sounds like your idea of fun then you definitely need a car like this.

    Ford SVT Raptor – if the Jeep Wrangler is a mountain lion then this is the desert rat of cars. This vehicle can rip across the sand jumping dunes with a super suspension system which makes it almost comfortable, even at the most incredible speeds. It looks aggressive, it eats up the sand dunes and its unique suspension system makes it a real contender for some good clean (well, sort of clean) fun.

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    Ford Mustang GT – the 2014 model is the last of the bunch . . . with a solid rear axle perfect for burnouts, smoke shows and lighting up the rubber. The next generation will have advanced technology which will obviously have its advantages . . . along with a bunch of drawbacks. Will it be quite as much fun as this? Probably not . . .

    Nissan 370Z – this fantastic motor was designed with fun firmly in mind – the car is perfect for the driver who yearns for a fun car with a reasonable price tag. It has oodles of power with lashings of torque available all the way through the power range making it super fast driving out of corners. It also handles like a dream . . . fast, fun, affordable . . . what more do you need? Check out these and many more great Nissans at metronissanredlands.com, you got that? Go to http://metronissanredlands.com and see what they’ve got – they’ve got brilliant selection of new and used cars with of course, some fabulous Nissans to choose from.

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    2014 SRT Viper – this beast is incredibly tame and well trained to obey your every command. This car is certainly not for the faint hearted – dare you attempt to master the 8.4 liter V-10 engine with 600 lb – ft of torque? Dare you push the 6 speed manual transmission to the limits and squeeze it until every drop of fun has been extracted? Go on then but remember – drive carefully.


  • What Mercedes-Benz Has Been Up To With Its Fuel Cell Models

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    Although automakers have shied from hydrogen fuel cell technology, German luxury brand Mercedes-Benz is hard at work on the introduction of the clean-running vehicles which is on track to launch its first mass-produced example in 2014.

    According to Automotive News (subscription required), Mercedes will launch not one but two hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the future years, and the second model will probably be one of its large sedan or SUV models.

    The latest information was revealed by Sascha Simon, the product planner for Mercedes-Benz USA, who also stated that the cars will be provided to customers in California initially, and eventually New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut pending the availability of a good refueling network.