5 New Engine Technologies That Make Cars More Fun to Drive

There are people who see the rising corporate average fuel economy as bad news. They bemoan the death of the big engines, the V-8s that delivered lots of power and sucked up a lot of gas. They say that driving won’t be fun anymore, that we’ll all be forced to buy dull cars with high fuel economy scores.

Then there are others who have known the CAFE standards would have to rise. They saw the higher fuel economy requirements as a challenge, and they began to work on new technologies that would be good for the planet, good for our wallets and still cool. These people are called engineers.


Here are five engine technologies available today or in the very near future, at a variety of price points. These examples promise that the future of driving will still be fun, whether it’s in a tiny city car with a direct-injected engine or a supercar with a “push to pass” hybrid booster button.


  1. Cylinders on Demand

This type of engine only uses the cylinders it needs, when it needs them. But when it reaches cruising speed a few seconds later, it no longer has that heavy workload to maintain. Four of those eight cylinders cut out completely, so the engine acts like a four-cylinder. If you need to pass, the other four cylinders kick in again, and then cut out when the car’s speed is steady again. This technology improves fuel efficiency by about 10 percent when cruising along at speed.


  1. EV Power Boost

Over the past decade and more, electric-gasoline hybrid systems have become commonplace. The technology works, the batteries last and the gas mileage is some of the best in the world. It’s powered by a supercharged 3-liter V-6 gasoline engine and an electric motor, just as most hybrids are.


  1. Flex Fuel

This technology, which allows a driver to choose between regular gasoline and an ethanol blend, has been around for a while. Ethanol blends are designated by the letter E followed by a number; E85 means the fuel is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The Flex Fuel badge usually means the vehicle can use up to E85, as well as lower-percentage blends like E10.


  1. Direct Injection

In a direct-injected engine, highly pressurized fuel is squirted directly into the combustion chamber at the top of the piston’s stroke, near the spark plug. Since this creates quite a bit of pressure in the combustion chamber, direct injection can cause knocking, too, just like higher compression ratios. Ford Motor Company has solved this problem by combining direct injection with turbo charging, which uses exhaust gases to boost performance. By bringing these two proven technologies together, Ford has built engines that are more powerful than their predecessors, even though they’re smaller and use less fuel.


  1. Higher Compression Ratios

One way to improve performance and fuel economy is to increase the compression ratio inside the engine. The compression ratio refers to the amount of fuel and air squeezed into the combustion chamber. When this ratio is higher, it uses fuel more efficiently.


All this engine technology as well as weight-saving materials and a new transmission mean 15 percent lower fuel consumption and emissions and 15 percent more torque. And increased torque translates into more driving fun. Are you guys excited?

Posted under Technology

My Personal List of Upcoming New Cars This Year

Are you guys excited for the upcoming new cars this year? Here I have compiled a list of these cars that I greatly admire!

Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

Though it bears the Shelby name, this is the creation of Ford’s SVT group. It’s more the spiritual successor to the recent and beloved Boss 302 than the most recent Shelby that ground-thumping supercharged beast known as the GT500. So why call it a Shelby instead of a Boss or a Cobra or a Mach or a Sprint or a Ghia or other? Because attaching the Shelby name allows Ford to charge more. Why it matters? Why it matters?! What’s wrong with you?


The GT350 uses the same “S550” platform that underpins the 2015 Mustang. I anticipate that this version will ride on a significantly stiffer suspension with adjustable dampers. Early test vehicles, spotted around the company’s Dearborn, Michigan, headquarters, wore cross-drilled carbon-ceramic brake rotors. Those mules were also rolling on 19-inch Michelin Pilot Super Sport summer performance tires, with bodies pierced by a centre hood vent and what appeared to be functional fender vents behind the front wheels.


Jaguar XE

Code-named X760, a compact sports sedan aimed squarely at the BMW 3-series. The car’s fluid design is modelled after that of the XF and the XJ, and its beauty should be one of the car’s main selling points.


Jaguar sold about 76,000 cars worldwide in 2013 while BMW sold nearly 120,000 3-series in the U.S. alone. A 3-series competitor is critical to establishing Jaguar as an A-lister among premium marques, and it is expected to bring significant economies of scale to Jaguar Land Rover’s operations by sharing components with future models from both brands. Unlike the Ford-based X-type, this compact sports sedan will get an all-new rear-drive platform that can be upfitted with four-wheel drive.


Hyundai Genesis

The evolution of Hyundai’s rear-drive luxury mid-sizer. The second gen boasts major equipment upgrades, including Google Glass integration and automatic braking and lane-keeping assist, the latter two all the more necessary because of the first. Hyundai continues to probe higher price points, and the Genesis will continue that trend. The “DH” Genesis is on a new platform with a three-inch-longer wheelbase than before and a revised front/rear multilink suspension design.


Ford F-150

There’s not much at stake with the launch of the new Ford F-series, except one-third of Ford’s annual profit, tens of thousands of jobs, tens of millions in executive bonuses, and possibly the fate of western civilization. Ford sold more F-series trucks in 2013 than the number of minutes in 2013, plus the number of minutes in the first five months of 2012. All by itself, the F-series business would be a Fortune 500 company.


The Ford is all-new and rides on a high-strength steel frame with an aluminum cab and bed. Ford says it shaves up to 700 pounds by going nonferrous in the body, which should significantly boost performance and fuel economy. And the F-series had some tonnage to lose: At 5800 pounds, the last EcoBoost V-6 F-150 we tested was 200 pounds heavier than a V-8–powered Chevy Silverado.


So, did you admire these new cars that I like? I can’t wait to see them during car shows!

Posted under 2015

6 Interesting Electric Cars on My List This Year

Wondering what electric cars are on the market or soon will be? Wonder no more. I’m going to run down all of them. I will also add a few key details and commentary for each one.

Here are some of the electric cars that are available in the US and all of the electric cars that are available in Europe:


  1. Renault Twizy

The Renault Twizy is a cute and fun little two-seater that comes in at a super affordable price. With just two seats, it’s clearly not a “family car,” but it is a ton of fun to drive and very adequate for most driving needs. Despite or because of its small size, the Twizy was the 10th-best-selling electric car in Europe and 15th-best-selling electric car in the world in 2013. It’s really a blast to drive. I’d recommend it.


  1. Bolloré Bluecar

The Bolloré Bluecar is a low-price, simple electric car produced and only available in France. It is used in the Autolib’ carsharing program in Paris, but is also available to retail customers. It was the 16th-best-selling electric car in Europe in 2013. It’s not going to thrill most people, but it will get you from A to B.


  1. Mitsubishi i

The Mitsubishi i (aka Mitsubishi i-MiEV) is one of the most basic electric cars on the market, but also one of the cheapest. The Citröen C-Zero, Peugeot iOn, and Mitsubishi i all have essentially the same design but serve different markets.


  1. Smart Electric Drive

The smart electric drive could be the cheapest electric car on the US market. If you don’t own or lease it for very long. However, due to an $80/month battery rental, the price rises to about the same as a 2014 Mitsubishi i within 3 years. Within about 6 years, the smart electric drive is about the same price as a 5-seat and much more plush Nissan Leaf. In my personal opinion, the smart electric drive is a hard sell unless you really want a tiny car or only want it for 2 to 3 years.


  1. Renault Zoe

If I were on the market for a car, the Renault Zoe would certainly be in the running. It’s a good-looking, 100% electric, super-affordable car with great reviews. It’s about the same price in France, its home country, as the Nissan Leaf is in the US, and just a little more than the base Leaf costs in France. Basically, the choice comes down to personal preferences.


  1. Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf is seemingly the most competitive electric car on the market. It is the world’s best-selling electric car, and sales have only been increasing. After test driving several EVs myself, I have to say that it would be hard to beat the Nissan Leaf for the money unless you have enough money to dump on a higher-end EV, like the Tesla Model S, Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric, or BMW i3.


Interested on these cars? Well, I do and I am dreaming to be able to own even one of them!


Posted under Electric Cars

Car Shows And Being A Car Junkie

Most people wonder what the big deal is with car shows and what is so good about them. The answer is cars and more cars, the car shows are not just about cars getting together to show off what they have, I mean that is the point of the car show but that isn’t the only thing that goes on at a car show. If you have ever been to a car show or a NOPI event then you know what goes on. You have a best car in show, best looking car, most customized, best restored. You have all kinds of places to win an award. They even have bikini contest at most car shows and that is the best part of the whole car show.

For that person that is bringing their car to the show it is a day that they will never forget if it is their first time entering a car show. They will enter their car and then be able to park it, detail it a little more since they drove it to the show and then just clean it up just a little bit before the judging begins.


There are dog shows on TV just like there are car shows in magazines. There isn’t any difference to a car show from a dog show. Who really cares about seeing dogs walk around on TV that is pretty lame if you were to ask me? I would rather have my shows on the discovery channel than be watching the dog shows. It doesn’t make any money unless people come to the event and that is insane.


Of the hundreds of cars that enter car shows there are only a handful of ones that are given prizes and awards at the end. Those few that do win something have been deemed the ones with the best looking cars and if that was your first car show and you won a prize then your car must have been a good looking one.


A lot of people that do not even have a car are always at the shows looking at the cars looking at which ones look the best and just look the best in general. There are tons of people who go to a car show and do not have a show car. That is ok because that will just motivate you to get a car of you like those types of cars. Even though I don’t really care much for show cars they are cool and is just too much money to spend on one car.


Even though car shows are not always considered a sport there are many contests that go on with a car show that you can say are sports, like racing laps with other cars that is a sport. Drifting is a sport and that happens at a lot of NOPI events and just a lot of car shows in general if it is a car show contest or something like that.


Well, in general, I love cars and I would die to go on car shows. That’s that!

Posted under 2015