Jay Leno tests drives the 2017 Acura NSX which he loves. He talks about the original NSX which he says was the original Japanese supercar, and made the Italians up their game. Now we have the new NSX and Leno gets to have some fun with it.
Improvements in technology are changing the way we think about motoring. The ever-rising phenomenon of personal driver services like Uber and Lyft challenge the way we go about our lives, and Apple and Google are even infiltrating your car these days via smartphone-like interfaces on dashboard displays. This post takes a look at the technology to watch out for in the near future.
The headline grabbing innovator, Elon Musk’s revolutionary Tesla Motors now have the capability to be semi-autonomous with adaptive cruise control and lane keeping capabilities.
Hailed as the future of motoring, 2016’s Tesla Model S comes in a range between 70-90kW. With four-wheel drive as standard, this model can drive a maximum of around 240 miles on just one charge. The Model X can accommodate 6-7 passengers depending on how it’s set up, but comes at a heftier price.
The drive towards more electric-friendly motoring is pioneered by Tesla Motors who aim to make going electric far easier by developing way to make batteries more efficient. The costs, however remain high.
With fierce competition, BMW have raised their game with the recent dawn of the 7-Series, their most technologically advanced car yet. A car that can park itself with the help of your digital display key fob acting as a remote control, this is really at the cutting edge.
Reuters report that there will soon be an eDrive version of the 7-Series, keeping BMW at the forefront of motoring technology with the likes of Tesla Motors.
The downside to all this innovation is inevitably the financial cost. Until such technology is available to the masses, you can get for a fraction of the price when you buy used.
The Scandinavian car giant will be selling keyless cars in 2017. This will involve no chunky key fob, just an app on your phone that connects to the car’s Bluetooth. Not particularly ground-breaking, but changing the way we use our cars.
This innovation paves the way for virtual car sharing technology where you will be able to share a ‘virtual key’ in the soon to be piloted car sharing scheme ‘Sunfleet.’ This may not mark the end of the reign of the physical key, but still the innovation starts the ball rolling for other fundamental changes.
If you’re a technophile this news will be exciting but not come as much surprise. Rest assured that more developments are just around the corner.
About 25% of new car buyers lease their cars and the number goes higher for owners of luxury vehicles. In fact, a full half of customers driving high end model cars like Mercedes, BMWs and Jaguars lease their cars. Yes, leasing is a very popular method to use a car but the finances aren’t as straightforward as an out-and-out car purchase is. If you are considering leasing a car, here’s a few things that the wants you to know.
You’ve seen the ads. “For just $199 a month you can drive a brand new Toyota Camry .” While this figure is technically possible, this price is usually when you lease a bare-bones vehicle. The problem is that dealerships often sell out of the bare-bones vehicles that they can offer such low leasing rates with. Typically the actual rate that you will pay for a leased car will be higher because the vehicle involved is more expensive because it is feature laden. These are generally not things of little value but features like up-graded interiors, air conditioning, infotainment systems and other creature comforts.
Don’t draw the conclusion, however, that since you see rock bottom prices in the TV ads that the dealer is executing a bait-and-switch. (Such routines are illegal anyway.) Every dealer quickly sells out their bare-bone units but keep in mind, you probably don’t want a bare-bones car anyway. Your lease payment will almost certainly be more than what you saw on TV but it will be on the actual car you want.
Ever wonder how the dealer sets the monthly lease price? It’s a complicated formula but you can ask your dealer to elaborate on this for you. If you do this, you will bump into a concept called the “Residual Value”. Car dealers set certain residual values for every car model they lease. This residual value will be what they estimate a car will be worth at a certain mileage and condition when the lease expires. As you’d expect, a higher residual value lowers the monthly cost that you will pay. High quality cars generally have higher residual value than others.
Deep into every car lease is another obscure financial factor you will find; an interest rate modifier called the “money factor.” Money factors are adjustments to the annual percentage rates. Unlike the annual percentage rate (APR) laid out in a finance contract, dealers write out the money factor in five decimals. They vary from car to car and reflect the “deal” the car dealer is offering you. Example: when a car dealer is trying to clean out some excess inventory, they will often adjust the money factor so your effective APR is less than usual and thus more attractive.
But wait, there are more fees you should know about and they aren’t stated as such in typical lease agreements. They are more like “terms and conditions”. For example, as the owner of a leased car, you have to repair any damage that occurs and do it right away. You also have to have routine maintenance performed and you have to keep the vehicle mileage under a certain threshold before your lease ends. These are important restrictions so you should be careful to factor this into your decision to lease a car.
Don’t forget the sales tax also. This can vary more widely than you’d think. Some car dealers collect tax based on the full purchase price of leased vehicle, not the depreciated cost a lessee actually pays. This can be a chuck of money you pay upfront.
You may not have ever thought of doing it but decals can add a nice custom touch to a car. Custom decals are available online and most sign shops can print them too. You can use them to jazz up your car or even for advertising your business. Think you might be interested? Here’s guide to installing them.
1 – First, clean the outside of your car thoroughly. Make sure to do it in a cool location so soap scum doesn’t dry on the car. There are special cleaning solutions that you can buy just for washing cars and trucks. Looking at the paint surface from an angle, make sure you don’t see any streaks.
On windows, use isopropyl alcohol to remove any oils or other residue. Saturate a cloth with the alcohol then wipe down the window where the decal will be applied. Looking at the window from an angle, make sure you don’t see any streaks.
2 – If you are going to apply the decal to the car’s paint, you might want to consider a quick polishing. If you feel comfortable with an electric buffer, you might want to use one. If you don't have an electric buffer you can polish the car with good car wax wax and a soft sponge. Apply the wax to the sponge and rub it on a small area of the car in a firm circular motion. Allow the wax to dry which takes just a few minutes. Use a soft cloth to buff the car until no wax residue remains and the area shines.
3 - Position the decals on the car and secure temporarily with genuine painters tape. (Do not use a stronger variety of tape as it may hurt the paint when removed.) If the decals are large, consider having someone help you hold them.
4 – Ready to apply the decals? Lift up them up and peel away the top edge of the backing. Press the exposed adhesive firmly onto the car. Then slowly peel away the rest of the backing in a downward motion, smoothing it out with your hand. Just run over any body edges, such as door gaps, window gaps, etc.
5 - Trim the decal away from the body edges of the car very carefully. Wrap the loose edges. This is best done with a steady hand and a razor knife.
6 – You will probably find that you have some bubbles under the decal. Don’t worry, you can smooth these out with a rubber spatula or a similar device. Slowly and smoothly press out the bubbles, maneuvering them to the edge of the decal until the air escapes and the bubble disappears.
A trick: Once the adhesive on the decal sticks to the car surface, you won’t be able to move it easily. A trick the pros use is to apply a thin layer of water so you can float your decal into position. Once your decal is where you desire, mark the location with the painter’s tape, blot the area dry with a clean towel and then apply it.