Archive for January, 2013

We Hear: Next Hyundai Genesis Sedan to Feel More “German,” Four-Door Coupe Possible

2013 Hyundai Genesis sedan headlight closeup

The original Hyundai Genesis sedan made quite the entrance into the premium car market, but the automaker’s luxury offerings will only become more ambitious in the next few years. Automobile Magazine recently talked with Hyundai’s John Krafcik, who shared a few interesting details on the automaker’s future in the U.S.

The continued success of the Hyundai Genesis sedan will start with available all-wheel drive. Krafcik says the new Genesis sedan that’s unveiled at the 2014 Detroit auto show will feel more “German.” In a Second Take review of a 2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec sedan, we noted that the R-Spec model “lacks the high-speed handling feel that its name indicates, but not once was it difficult to keep the car on its intended course.” We also had minor issues with the quality of certain interior parts of the R-Spec sedan, which accelerated from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds.

Hyundai HCD 14 Genesis Concept front left view1 300x187 imageKrafcik told Automobile that the new Genesis will be more traditional — perhaps making that possible is a boldly styled coupe-like four-door. Using a few basic design elements from the controversial HCD-14 concept from the 2013 Detroit auto show, a coupe-like four-door Hyundai priced right could help the automaker steal customers away from cars like the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, Mercedes-Benz CLS, and Audi A7.

Those who want a real coupe, however, may still consider the Hyundai Genesis two-door. While the current car can’t fit a V-8 under its hood, Krafcik says the next-gen Genesis Coupe may offer power from a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 or even a naturally aspirated V-8. Though Hyundai doesn’t distinguish sales of the Genesis coupe from the sedan, Genesis sales pale in comparison to other rear-drive coupes like the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang as well as the Dodge Challenger.

Shock and strut replacement

If you’re out on the highway and you’re feeling every crack in the road and every pebble you drive over, chances are that your shocks or struts are worn out and need to be replaced. Shocks and struts perform the same basic function – dampening road vibration. When they wear out, you experience decreased comfort as well as decreased safety on the road. Wear in your car’s suspension can lead to instability on the road and increased stopping distances when braking. Many people don’t think about it, but your shocks and struts are are a vital part of your car’s safety systems.

When it’s time to replace them, the first thing to do is figure out whether you have standard shock absorbers or MacPherson-style struts. A traditional shock absorber typically will bolt directly to the car’s body and then to the suspension control arm. The leaf or coil spring is a separate piece with its own distinct mounting points. A MacPherson strut also tends to be an anchor point between the wheel carrier and the car’s body. Replacing MacPherson struts requires special tools, but can be a suitable DIY job.

Replacing standard shock absorbers is a comparatively easy process. Generally, you raise and support the end of the car you’re working on, unbolt, and then remove the shock absorber. To install the new one, you simply bolt it in, paying attention to the factory-approved torque specifications, of course.

Strut replacement is a little more complex. As struts tend to be further integrated into a car’s suspension and steering, more care needs to be taken. Often, you’ll find that a car’s alignment can be disturbed when a strut is removed and installed. One thing you can do is make alignment marks with paint to ease reinstallation. However, you should probably err on the side of safety and have an alignment done after strut replacement.

As with shocks, you raise and support the appropriate end of the car. Once you’ve made some alignment marks, you generally unbolt the strut from the wheel carrier. From there, you unbolt the strut bearing from the car and remove the strut. From there, you can either install a pre-built strut, or you can rebuild the strut yourself before installing it. To do so, you’ll need spring compressors to release the tension from the coil spring before you disassemble the strut.

Often, the difference between a worn strut and a new one is night and day in terms of road feel. In addition, your car will be safer, and new struts can only help with fuel economy.

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Hot Rod Unlimited Episode 25 – 1967 Chevrolet Impala DIY Backyard Paintjob


Owning and building custom classic cars is a dream of many automotive enthusiasts, but a number of factors keep many of us from pursuing that dream. But the staff of Hot Rod wanted to prove that having a sweet classic ride doesn’t have to break the bank. With the help of some friends and hosting a “party” Hot Rod magazine associate editor Jesse Kiser and his friends and co-workers re-painted a 1967 Chevrolet Impala, with the help of Summit Racing.

If you’ve ever visited a professional paint shop, they’re equipped with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of specialized equipment, from sprayers, mixers, ovens, and other equipment to deal with the high volume of custom and repair work they have to deal with. But when you’re only doing a one-shot or occasional paintjob, a temporary setup will do the trick. Just following some simple prep tips will ensure a professional-looking job for a reasonable price.

After an unpopular vinyl flame wrap over white, then followed by an even more unpopular yellow-green matte finish, the Impala finally got the look it deserved all along, a classic hot rod red. Kiser and the Hot Rod crew couldn’t be happier.

Be sure to watch Hot Rod Unlimited on the Motor Trend YouTube channel, and stay tuned for fresh enthusiast content added regularly.

Hennessey Venom GT Sets 0-186 MPH Acceleration Record (W/Video)

Hennessey Venom GT image 8

A 1244-hp Hennessey Venom GT has set an official Guinness World Record for the quickest accelerating production car from 0-186 mph (300 km/h), completing the run in just 13.63 seconds and an unofficial 200 mph acceleration record of 14.1 seconds at Ellington Airport outside of Houstonearlier this month. The official 0-186 mph time was the average of two acceleration runs in opposite directions verified by VBox 3i GPS-based data logging system, in compliance with Guinness rules, and with 93-octane fuel.

Hennessey Venom GT image 5 300x187 imageWhile the Hennessey Venom GT’s “cockpit” is sourced from the lightweight Lotus Exige, everything fore and aft of the passenger compartment is all-new. The Venom GT is powered by a mid-mounted twin-turbo 1244-hp 7.0-liter small-block Chevrolet V-8 combined with a claimed curb weight of just 2743 pounds, which gives the supercar a power-to-weight ratio of 2.2 pounds per horsepower.

Read more about 200-mph runs: Gunning for 200 mph in the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500

Hennessey says the Venom GT’s 200-mph acceleration time beats the Koenigsegg Agera R’s 17.68-second time and the 1200-hp Bugatti Veyron Super Sport’s 22.2 second time. During the acceleration run, the traction-limited Venom GT reached 60 mph in 3.05 seconds, 100 mph in 5.88 seconds, finished the standing quarter-mile in 10.29 seconds at 158.83 mph, and the standing half-mile at 205.65 mph. In our testing, a 987-hp Bugatti Veyron hit 60 mph in 2.7 seconds, 100 mph in 5.7 seconds, and finished the quarter-mile in 10.4 seconds at 139.9 mph.

Check out the video below for a cockpit view of the Hennessey Venom GT during the record setting run.

Source: Hennessey

Thread of the Day: Do You Like the Aston Martin Rapide S’ Revised Design? (W/Poll)

Aston Martin Rapide S right front 1

With the new Aston Martin Rapide S, the British automaker has added more power and improved driving dynamics. Perhaps just as important for a car wearing Aston Martin badges, the four-door benefits from exterior and interior styling updates. Will the Rapide S’ freshened design and power boost help the car make a bigger impact on luxury buyers?

Aston Martin Rapide S rear seats 11 300x187 imageThe Aston Martin Rapide S’ exterior tweaks are more than just superficial; some enhance aerodynamics. Horizontal slats in the larger, one-piece grille replace the horizontal and vertical slats in the standard Rapide’s two-tier grille, while a new air intake below the grille is flanked by more prominent forward-facing fascia extensions. Around back, the integrated trunk lip spoiler is taller in the middle. A new Carbon Exterior Pack includes a carbon fiber front splitter, taillight trim, rear diffuser, and mirror caps. Carbon ceramic brakes peek out from the Rapide S’ unique wheel design.

Inside, the instrument cluster has a darker surround and handcrafted, polished glass buttons – similar to those used in the Virage – are used for the transmission gear selector switches. Duotone perforated red and black leather upholstery is now available for the Rapide’s four bucket seats

Washing the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA with Kate Upton – Video Find

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA and kate upton car wash

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA is the automaker’s newest sedan superstar, but it’s competing for attention in this new commercial. In addition to the Benz’s four-door, the clip features swimsuit model Kate Upton at a car wash organized by a high school football team.

The video features all the requisite elements for a sexy car wash scene. Lots of water? Yup. Upton in Daisy Dukes? Uh huh. Upton seductively blowing suds off the palm of her hand with cheesy music playing in the background? Check. While the video description states Upton is the one doing the washing, we’re willing to bet most of you will agree she didn’t put in her fair share of elbow grease.

This won’t be the last time we’ll see Upton paired up with the 2014 CLA. Benz is planning to air a 60-second ad with the CLA that will air sometime during the fourth quarter of this year’s Super Bowl. The ad will feature both Upton and singer Usher and we have to wonder whether it’ll be as far out as the recent CLA commercial featuring a dazed model and a horse.

What’s new in car interior accessories and features?

Advance Auto PartsHere are tips about some of the car interior accessories and features available today:

Climate control systems

A simple AC system is no longer enough. Dual or even three-zone climate control systems are now important, since second or third row passengers now want to have their own temperature dials with their own gradient levels.

How many ways can you adjust power seats?

Power seats are a must—and, the more ways that you can adjust power seats, the better, especially for the driver. But a seat should also be orthopedically designed. A 6-, 8- or 10-way power seat might look good but, if it can’t support your back, it’s not for you.

Leather is great, but with kids in tow, synthetic or vinyl seats can do the job and are easy to clean.

Center car console

A well-designed center car console will hold your beverage, phone, iPod, book or other items such letters, lists and CDs. A poorly designed center car console will not.

User-friendly car navigation system

Gone are the days when turning on a radio meant just one volume button and another for stations. These days a car navigation system, coupled with? AM/FM/satellite radio, CDs, Bluetooth and MP3 input, is usually condensed into a single unit that is mounted in the center of the dashboard.? However, not all car navigation systems are comprehensive, intuitive or easy to use.

According to the J.D. Power and Associates?2011 U.S. Interior Quality and Satisfaction Study (released on September 16, 2011), it is a well designed interior that satisfies most new car owners — and is worth recommending to others. Car makers, take note!

Some of their findings:

1. The top five interior problems are all design-related, rather than technical. These include: the interior material is stained or scuffed easily; the “cruise control” feature is hard to use or has poorly positioned controls; cup holders are “difficult to use”; the center car console is hard to use; and door locks are poorly placed and/or difficult to figure out.

2. 74% of new-vehicle owners who report no interior design problems said they “definitely will” recommend their auto maker’s brand to others. Comparatively, only 54% of new car purchasers who report at least one interior design problem would do so.

3. 50% of consumers who report no interior design problems with a new car said they “definitely will” buy or lease from that car’s maker again. Only 29% of those who said they experienced at least one interior design problem would do so.

Editor’s note: Visit Advance Auto Parts for the best in car audio systems, GPS?systems,?accessories and more.?