The UK automotive industry is seeing great numbers with a lot of newly registered vehicles each year. In fact, last year had the highest number on record for the country with over 2.6million new vehicles registered. This brings into mind which vehicles are capturing the hearts of the British people. Well, here are 3 of them:
Ford Fiesta Hatchback
According to records, there have been more cars bearing the name of Ford Fiesta being sold in the country than any other model, with the latest version having released on sale in 2008 and getting a facelift by the end of 2013. It is not difficult to see why this car has dominated the UK’s best-selling vehicle chart, as it is comfortable, well-built and looking beautiful inside and out. Withal, it is really how it drives that really sets it apart—even described by owners as one that offers an enjoyable driving experience that is close to certain so-called sports cars. It is also safe, with a full 5-star crash-test rating, and its economical versions can top 85 miles per gallon (mpg), while just emitting so little carbon dioxide (CO2).
Nissan Qashqai SUV
The Qashqai led off the crossover-SUV class of vehicle when its first generation was introduced in the UK in 2007, with a relatively compact size for an SUV, raised driving position and a running cost that was similar to a conventional hatchback, which is why it has become a favourite among the Brits. Building on the original model’s success, its second generation, which is now carrying the latest version, has added more technology, more comfortable ride and sharper design. Because of its popularity, this crossover SUV has brought forth rivals from mainstream manufacturers, though it still represents the best all-around unit.
Mercedes C-Class Saloon
Due to its impressive refinement, low-running costs and luxurious interior filled with technology, this car has always been a popular choice among company car buyers not only in the UK, but also in other places around the world. It offers a superb ride that makes it the perfect car for the country’s motorways. Have you ever owned one of these vehicles? What do you think?
People dreamed of flying cars. Breakthroughs in car technology suggest that we’re about to see one soon. In a hangar in Prineville, Oregon, car engineer Sam Bousfield gave Smithsoian a glimpse of his flying car, which he expects to fly sometime this year. But whether or not, Bousfield’s flying car successfully takes off, and we’re sure to see all kinds of new and interesting vehicles in the near future.
Here are some of those of futuristic smartcar features that will definitely change the way we drive.
Sometime in the future, collision will be a thing of the past as vehicles learn how to community among themselves. Technologies that are capable of warning drivers of an approaching vehicle or preventing a collision by automatically setting the brakes off are now available. As a matter of fact, German luxury vehicle manufacturer BMW has successfully created a car that automatically parks itself when it senses an impending crash. The BMW i3 which was featured in last year’s CES in Las Vegas is designed with an ActiveAssist technology that enables the car to brake automatically when it is about to hit a brick wall, another vehicles, or any object along its path.
Driver Monitoring System
Drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving. Authorities have noted an increase in its occurrence. It can be prevented in the future with a driver monitoring technology. The system will track your driving habits, such as speed, grip on steering wheel and the like. When it senses that you are having hard time controlling your car, it will suggest that you pull over, get a nap or even go the nearest coffee shop.
There’s no doubt that solar power is the most environmentally friendly ways to get around. But that would mean that the car’s exterior will be lined up with solar panels to ensure that it would catch the sun’s rays to the cost of aesthetic design. The good news though is that car makers are looking for ways to integrate solar panels in car design without sacrificing aesthetic.
Automobile makers continue to make safety a top priority when manufacturing all their makes and models. Here are the sedans in 2016 that have the best safety ratings according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):
This perennial bestseller and the car that many Americans have been loving to drive got high safety ratings for the 2016 gasoline and hybrid model category. It scored top ratings in side crash tests and in rollover and frontal crash tests. Its passenger-side protection is highly commended, as well as its driver’s side. This sedan is highly recommended forward collision and lane departure warnings, which are already enabled on the previous model, Camry Hybrid, delivering a complete package for safety.
Though this car was not able to match the sales of the Camry, it does have the same ratings on crash tests. It garnered the perfect ratings in both frontal and side crash tests, with the only demerit coming in the rollover test, where it landed just one point compared to the Camry.
For whatever reason, this car, which is universally loved, has never beaten the two cars mentioned above, with not so favorable reviews all over the internet. However, car safety authorities had trouble finding any with its safety specs, where it nailed down perfect scores in the frontal and side crash tests, and just shorted a point in the rollover test. Moreover, this car received the Top Safety Pick+ designation for this year.
It has been difficult for testers to ignore how far this model has come in terms of curb appeal, but this midsize entry from Hyundai has had a 5-star safety rating for many years running. The same ratings it received for the 2016 model in the front and side crash tests, while scoring a point short in the rollover test. Like the Mazda 6, this car was also named a Top Safety Pick+ for 2016.
A conversion project gives you the opportunity to create a bespoke touring vehicle for much less than the price you would pay for a purpose-built motorhome. It’s an exciting prospect, but it’s essential to have a clear idea of what’s possible and what’s involved on a practical level. To help you make that dream of owning a tailor-made motorhome a reality, here’s a rundown of how to plan a project from scratch.
Visualise your finished motorhome from the start
Each of the planning decisions you’ll need to make regarding your motorhome conversion should be driven by one big consideration: what do you want the end product to consist of? For this, think carefully about how the finished motorhome is going to be used. Questions to consider include the following:
What are your accommodation and storage requirements? Most obviously, you should be clear on how many people will require sleeping space. You may also have specific storage requirements; for bikes or surfboards, for instance.
Do you intend to stay at sites with few or no facilities? This will help you decide what toilet, washing and kitchen facilities you will need. It will also inform your decisions on plumbing and electrics.
Where are you likely to be touring to and at what times of the year? This will affect light, ventilation and heating aspects of the project, such as the number and type of windows and vents you will want to build into the design, the specification of your heating system and whether it’s worth investing in air conditioning.
Once you have a broad idea of all of this, you can then look at what’s possible, using what type of base vehicle and at what cost. For inspiration, a Google search for campervan conversion specialists will bring up a number of conversion kit suppliers, as well as companies that can carry out the entire job for you based on your specifications. Caravan shows are useful for finding out what these conversions are like ‘in the flesh’ – you can find a list of upcoming UK shows here.
Setting your budget: factor in the cost of outside help
For matters such as fitting seatbelts, obtaining gas safety certificates, and electrical wiring, you will need professional input. For other tasks such as fitting windows and doors and adding storage units, you may be tempted to take a DIY approach. Here, it’s important to be honest when assessing your capabilities. Taken as a whole, a typical conversion project requires lots of different skills, from fitting and joinery through to welding and knowledge of electrics and plumbing.
Remember that your end product needs to meet your original specifications, while meeting all relevant safety requirements. To avoid wasting time and money on a botch job, be clear on the areas where you will need outside help and factor this into your budget.
Choosing your base vehicle: points to consider
After you’ve worked out your accommodation, storage and facilities requirements, you can then narrow down your choice of base vehicle. Potential vehicles in the mix might include the Ford Transit, Mercedes VIto and VW T4 or T5.
Van purchase will be the single largest expense connected with the project. Matters to think about as you check e-bay, dealerships and trade sites should include the following:
Will you be using it for general transportation needs? Think about whether this will be just a motorhome or whether it will also be a car substitute. If the latter, then factors such as ease of parking and urban fuel consumption may become more relevant.
Are you comfortable with driving and maneuvering? When faced with the choice between a long or short wheel-base model, ease of manoeuvring and how confident you are at driving a larger vehicle may sway your decision.
Will it have enough power? A smaller engine size may seem adequate, but especially if you intend to venture far afield, you might struggle with uphill pulling power once it’s fully kitted out and loaded up.
As with any vehicle purchase, you’ll also need to check the service history and look for telltale signs of future problems such as rust and leaks before you commit.
Ensure legal and insurance requirements are covered
After purchase of your van but before commencing any conversion work, you must have the weight of the vehicle assessed at a weighbridge. By subtracting the current weight of the vehicle from its maximum legal weight (set out on the data plate), you can workout the maximum possible additional weight you can add to the van in terms of appliances and accessories during conversion.
After conversion, you will need to change the official categorisation of your vehicle from van to motor caravan. For this, read the DVLA guidance, Registering a DIY Motor Caravan.
It’s also vital to have the right level of insurance in place, otherwise the value of all that hard work you’ve put into creating your motorhome could be lost. Motorhome insurance specialists such as Shield Total Insurance provides precisely the level of support that owners of professionally converted panel vans and DIY self-build motorhomes need, and these policies are adaptable to the specific requirements of owners.
Riding a motorcycle can be one of the most exhilarating experiences one can have. Learning to ride one, however, is not really as easy as riding a bicycle. There are aspects of riding a motorcycle that need important consideration. If you are interested to buy a motorcycle, here are few tips to take note of:
Taking driving and basic safety classes.
Although turning the ignition on and perhaps riding on a straight road without other vehicles are easy, it can be different when you are with other drivers on the road. It is best to sign up for a motorcycle driving class so you will know the basics as well as familiarize yourself with your ride. Basic safety courses are also important because you will be taught about how to maneuver on the road at different situations, learn about proper turning especially on curves and other basic skills you need to know to be safe on the road.
Wearing proper gear.
Accidents do happen whether you are driving a car or riding a motorcycle. It is crucial to be able to protect yourself from getting fatally injured if these things happen. By investing in a helmet and protective gear like knee pads, motorcycle jacket and gloves, you can be safer on the road.
Remember, you are more exposed to danger on a motorcycle unlike on a car where you can wear a seatbelt and have a door and car body to somehow serve as a barrier. Wearing safety gear is something you can get used to and is important especially if you get into a road mishap. Also, do not skimp on your helmet and safety gear because these can save you from injuries and even death.
There are other things to consider if you are planning to invest in a bike but these two should be on the top of your list.
There are about hundreds of motorcycle models in dealerships right now that come in a variety of styles and levels of excellence, making it pretty easy for you to own a new bike if you can afford it. 2015 has been seeing the continued market split between high-end machines that astonish people with dazzling performance and those that come at lower costs and are easy to use. Here are the best bikes you can have this 2015 regardless of price and capacity:
Yamaha FZ-09 (Best Standard Bike)
This model excels in a broad category that covers sit-up motorcycles that usually have a tubular handlebar, which is meant to serve many purposes.
Kawasaki Ninja H2R (Best Superbike)
This is labeled as the ultimate and uncompromised racing-inspired performance motorcycle for the street.
KTM 390 Duke (Best Lightweight Streetbike)
This is a motorcycle in the increasingly popular sub-500cc segment, which is often considered as a great place for starters. It can be a sports bike, a standard, a naked or any type.
Ducati Scrambler (Best Middleweight Streetbike)
An expanding and exciting category, “middleweight” means more than ever, which is why the displacement here is being limited to 899cc to keep up with the times in this sporty class.
Yamaha YZF-R1M (Best Open-Class Streetbike)
Whatever your purpose is, this machine is a candidate in this segment, as long as the engine is bigger than 1,000cc.
Ducati Multistrada 1200S (Best Touring Bike)
Built for speed and comfort, touring bikes need to have standard saddlebags and a swift soul. This segment is where technology meets a lot of riding aspects, including performance, safety, luggage space and many others. Are you thinking of a thousand miles in a day? It should be no problem with this bike.
KTM 1290 Super Adventure (Best Adventure Bike)
This is an earth-conquering and long-distance traveler that is capable on pavement, gravel, dirt and mud and is great for everyday use as well.
Indian Chief Classic (Best Cruiser)
Though this is not always American, it is certainly inspired by the US, where the “long and low”, “laid back” and “bottom-end torque” were pioneered.
Yamaha YZ250F (Best Motocrosser)
Regardless of displacement, this is considered the absolute best knobby-shredding motorbike in the world.
Husqvarna FE 501 S (Best Dual-Sport/Enduro)
This can be a “street legal” or a “pure off-road-only” bike. However, it draws more smiles from you when you ride it to overcome harder terrains.
Because of their people-pleasing package that delivers a variety of utilities in a small body, sub-compact sedans are the practical choice of millions of people around the world. Though they have similar features, they definitely differ by manufacturer, which makes it difficult to choose among them. Fortunately, we’re here to help. If you’re thinking of buying yourself a sub-compact sedan, start your search with the 3 most recommended in this category of vehicles. After reading this post, do you think these cars satisfy your requirements in buying a sub-compact sedan? They should! Now, it’s up to you to choose one of them and give the nearest dealership a visit.
With an interior that offers upscale quality for the sedan segment, the 2015 Ford Fiesta is terrific for a city vehicle. It can offer you a driving experience that leans towards sporty, which includes a firmer ride, separating it from its rivals. Its base engine is a reasonably zippy 4-cylinder, but what’s more intriguing is its efficient and punchy 123-horsepower 3-cylinder turbo, though this feature only comes with the manual transmission. Aside from the sedan, it also has a hatchback model, of which interior is just the same with plenty of small-item storage spaces and compartments.
The Honda Fit has seen a complete redesign for its 2015 model, which means it’s just become more of a great car. Take note, the Fit’s near-legendary trunk volume, not to mention its ultra-handy “magic” rear seat that can fold completely flat and seat cushions that can flip up, are in comparable to that of its competition. What’s more, the new model’s rear-seat space is increased, drivability is improved and fuel economy is increased thanks to a redesigned 130-horsepower, 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, which is also synced to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). This means you get quick acceleration from the car.
The 2015 Hyundai Accent does almost everything you can ask of a small and inexpensive vehicle. With performance nearing the top of the class and interior comfort levels being competitive, Accent’s value is fantastic. Like the Fiesta, it also comes in a hatchback body style that provides a huge amount of cargo capacity. Other strong points of this car are its user-friendly controls and attractive interiors.
In recent days almost all car brands are working on producing driverless cars and a few of them have already secured some advanced safety solutions. These include automatically keeping a safe distance from other cars or bikes but the technology to work the driver’s hand need to be on the wheel. Many detectors are involved and the role of one of them is to check if the driver is holding the steering wheel. Car makers are not the only ones expanding in this field. Tech enterprises also find this a golden opportunity. Why? Because of the options it offers. Google is currently ahead but rumour has it that Apple is also intent on entering the fray. Driverless cars could greatly benefit from advance apps and safety programs.
To this day, there has been no announcement of a date or official unveiling but we can tell from the news that keep surfacing that it could be soon or as many as 10 years in the future. The first projects will by default include steering wheels giving them double functionality and the possibly to still drive yourself if you feel like it and the conditions allow. It is without a doubt going to be the biggest change in the car industry history.
Autonomous car makers promise that they will also offer more security on the streets and more safety, reducing the number of car accidents to something close to zero. This all depends on how good the technology can do. This however, raises an important question. Multiple industries will have to revise their plans for the future because of this and will have to think of ways to innovate in order to not go out of business. The first that comes to mind is that of car insurance.
If the day comes that car accidents cease, is it possible that car insurance might become absurd or unnecessary? How will the arrival of driverless cars affect such a market? The answer is no. We know for fact that electronic devices malfunction all the time. It is very likely that just like the old cars, sometimes the driverless cars will also break. The technology is simply not there yet and even if the chances are marginally small, there will still be accidents.
However, technology already exists which enhances driver assistance even today and it’s increasing the safety of driving. This means that car insurance companies should already start working on renovating their business models as the market is evolving rapidly. This may also affect prices but the key is to focus on the factor that insurance will always be necessary, as there is always error, either in the human factor or the technological factor. It is only in theory that the human factor makes more mistakes.
For instance, with the appearance of autonomous cars, individual no claims bonus could seize to exist as it may become irrelevant with the passing of time. The business of insurance companies should already start preparing for the impact of this great change.
Just when people think Elio Motor’s three-wheeler has gone for good, the company’s founder and CEO, Paul Elio, unveils a specially designed engine for the peculiar car. Early this month, Elio announced the production of a prototype engine, a 0.9-liter three-cylinder machine to power up its three-wheel car. The announcement came after the prototype underwent a series of testing using the dynamometer.
What’s Cool about the Elio Three-Wheeler?
The new engine is said to be the first in-house and American-made in a generation. It delivers a whooping 100 mph speed at the very least and tops 84 mpg fuel efficiency rating. If the numbers are true to all units, then speed enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to from Elio.
Also, Paul Elio declared the three-wheeler is going to bear a remarkably affordable price tag of $6,800 complete with fresh engine, unusual shell and all other safety accessories. Just how cool is that? If not for anything else, Elio’s three-wheel car is going to be a hit among new car owners, and would definitely be a sought-after graduation gift parents give to their teens.
Given the engine speed and fuel efficiency, not to mention the acquisition cost, car owners are going to be really excited about this one. With successful production and promotion, three-wheelers will dominate the highways for sure.
What’s Un-cool about the Elio Three-Wheeler?
Yet, all these cool things about the three-wheeler are overshadowed by the company’s financial challenges. For one, the release of the prototype engine has already been behind schedule. And the company’s current target for its market launch in 2016 is a year late.
Hopeful owners of the three-wheeler might need to wait a few years more if the company, together with its manufacturing partner Comau, cannot find funds for production. The company needs $230 million to begin production, and is in talks with lenders over a $185 million loan. Elio risks losing lease of its Shreveport production facility if it cannot obtain funds by 2016.
Elio’s three-wheel car may be too-good-to-be-true, a wishful thinking after all. That is, if the company cannot pool enough funds to start production and if it cannot push through with its planned market launch in 2016. Anyway, cheers to Paul Elio and comrades for trying.