Thursday, February 17, 2011

Comfortable Car Seats – What are They?

When we speak about seat we should understand that one size fits not everyone. That’s why most of cars even the cheapest ones from the very beginning of their life offered adjustable front seats. To ensure that a car will be able to accommodate both pop and mom, all vehicles are equipped with cranks and levers which allow a great number of seat movements. Owing to this a person of any constitution feels comfortable in a vehicle. Is most luxury cars total support of every muscle of your body is ensured by a specifically designed command center.
Now our car seats are more comfortable and controlled than ever. For instance, a $24,000 Volkswagen Passat is provided with a 12-way power seat. Personally I can’t even imagine how, to hell with it, a seat can move in 12 different ways?!  To make the problem clear we decided to investigate cars at the Chicago Auto Show. We were intending to investigate a dozen of vehicles whose prices range from $13,000 to over $100,000 to see all the ways the car seats can be adjusted.
Here the results.
Two- and Four-Way Manual Adjustments
The Toyota Tacoma’s front seats move in two ways – forward and backward  here the backrest is fixed as well as in some other bench-seat pickups. If the car offers a reclining backrest, it is a four – way adjustment. Some cars have additional bonus for the fit. Their front seats are provided with additional levers situated near the head restraints. They allow moving the seats along their track, so backseat occupants gain additional room for their legs.
Car Seat Adjustment
Six-, Eight- and 10-Way Manual Adjustments
Most car seats also provide height adjustment which allows the driver to position himself comfortably to drive. Such cars as Chevy Aveo offer knob height adjustment, some like Nissan Sentra offer pump-jack-style adjustments. The last variant is preferable as it is easier to yank a lever a few times than to press a knob again and again.
More perfect seat adjusting system is offered by such vehicles as Toyota FJ Cruiser which offers not only height adjuster but also a seat angle adjuster that changes the tilt of the cushion. Hyundai Elantra Touring introduces also lumbar support adjuster. The Volvo C30 comes with lumbar support and an angle adjuster (to adjust angle here it is easier to use lever instead of knob). The car offers ten ways of adjustment. Not bad, isn’t it?
Basic Power Adjustment
Levers and knobs take too much room and have a critical mass and still they do not offer a fully-adjusted seat as move seats in limited numbers of positions. That’s why most modern cars offer a few power adjustments, for instance, the power backrest tilt in the Volkswagen Jetta. The Volkswagen R32 offers four-way power lumbar support. All other adjustments are manual in this car.
Six-way power adjusters are more typical. They move height and angle of the cushion and move the seal along the track forward and backward.   The backrests in these vehicles are regulated manually.
Eight- and 10-Way Power
Most garden-variety power seats allow six adjustments moving in eight ways. They provide height up or down, forward or backward and angle pitching forward or back adjustment and powering the backrest recline. Such adjustment is offered by the Mazda CX-7, for example.
The 10-way power seat is designed for business class, like the Hyundai Azera’s leather-trimmed seat.
Comfort and Luxury: 12-, 14- and 16-Way Power
To add some adjustment to the 10-way system car makers should involve some creativity as it is difficult to group together the controls. The brightest example is the Cadillac STS. It offers a 12-way adjustment which allows eight-way cushion/seatback and four-way lumbar movements. Cadillac DTS offers additionally a back massager.
A real bonus for sportsmen is adjustable cushion and seatback bolsters offered by the Infiniti G37.
The Jaguar XK, at the same time, has no seat-cushion bolster adjustments (the seatback bolsters are still adjustable). However, it adds four-way power lumbar and a power cushion extender. It is necessary to mention that all the controls in this car are placed at the door which is much more suitable than alongside the seats. This is a good example for other luxurious cars.
Car Seat Adjustment
If you are a happy owner of deep pockets and 12-way adjusting is not enough for you, then…..
18-Way and Up    is really what you need.
It seems that car seat perfection knows no limits. The Lexus LS 600h< for example, offers a power cushion extender and power-elevating head restraints (to tell the truth we are not sure that car seats really need these options). Together with adjustable seat belt the adjusting system includes 18 ways to seat as comfortably as possible.
You want something more…? No problem. The Audi A8 L besides of all adjusters mentioned above offers a backrest that can adjust for lower and upper angles. Total adjustment in this car count 22! And all this is only for the front seats. This is more adjustments than Camry has for all seats combined.
We do not know exactly but it is quite possible that such cars as Mercedes, BMW, Maybach and Rolls-Royce have even more adjustments.

New Volvo XC 60

Recently Volvo released official photos of the new XC60 ‘sporty crossover’ the company is set to reveal at the forthcoming Geneva Auto Show. The design of the new car has been transformed greatly, but the production of the car is definitely based on the XC concept unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in 2007.
Volvo XC 60
Steve Mattin, Volvo Cars Design Director says: “This car is changed with more emotive form and more energy than any other Volvo”. Really Volvo XC60 mix two car typologies – the kind of a conventional wagon with the attributes of the off-roading SUV. Off course XC60 follows on from other XC models with its athletic body, large wheels and high ground clearance.
Inside, the XC60 model is not as innovative as its concept precursor. The white iPod center console streaming off the IP was done away and being replaced with a more staid and even traditional IP design, that is complete with wood grain for the center console. The sale of the new car will start in Europe in the second half of 2008.

Brands and Companies’ DSRs for March

There are some articles which announce that Match was terrible month for automotive industry. Perhaps it is so but for some brands it was rather a successful one. The matter is in the fact that in these articles the number of cars sold in March this year is compared to that of the last year. It is not quite correct. It is necessary to compare average number of vehicles sold per day. Lat year we had two extra selling days, that’s why it is not enough just to look at raw figures.
Cars Sales in March
The figures given below demonstrate the change of Daily Sales Rate (DSR) and illustrate that some brands were very successful selling more cars per day.
This does not concern the General Motors and Chrysler LLC and we shall not sugarcoat their performance. These two brands have sold 13% fewer vehicles per day in comparison with the last year.
Ford Motor Co however managed to get out of this difficult situation owing to a hot-selling Focus and reduced the losses to just -7.7%.. The sane with Toyota Co – its average sales level went down to 3.4%..
Meanwhile Honda America, the BMW Group and Nissan North America seem to know what to do to avoid such losses as these brands managed to increase their DSR in March.
Jaguar is up for the first time that we can remember. The brand has achieved this positive result thanks to the first month of XF sales. Saab also managed t improve its DSR by 12.4% last month.
Volkswagen with its 21.5% has jumped out of nowhere.
However the Crown of the Biggest Winner should be given to MINI with a 26.4% rise in its DSR.
MINI Clubman
Acura (-15.8% )
Audi (7.2% )
BMW (-1.7%)
Buick (-18.2% )
Cadillac (-0.8% )
Chevrolet (-16.9% )
Chrysler (-15.8% )
Dodge (-15.3% )
Ford (-6.7% )
GMC (1.2% )
Honda (6.9% )
HUMMER (-23.3% )
Hyundai (9.8% )
Infiniti (7.3% )
Jaguar (13.2% )
Jeep (-5.1% )
Kia (-2.8% )
Land Rover (-10.2% )
Lexus (-6.9% )
Lincoln (-20.4% )
Mazda (-6.0% )
Mercedes (3.7% )
Mercury (-11.4% )
MINI (26.4% )
Mitsubishi (-7.7% )
Nissan (3.1% )
Pontiac (-10.1% )
Porsche (-13.8% )
Saab (12.4% )
Saturn (-7.5% )
Toyota (-2.9% )
Volkswagen (21.5% )
Volvo (-6.4% )
BMW Group (1.8% )
Chrysler Group (-13.2% )
Ford Motor Co (-7.7% )
General Motors (-13% )
Honda America (4.2%)
Nissan North America (3.6%)
Toyota Motor Co. (-3.4%)

A Hard Choice for World Green Car Award Jury

In the time of the “green” car popularity the World Green Car of the Year is a great award which allows the automotive world to understand whose work brought the best result. This is a part of the World Car of the Year competition and its finalists are announced at New-York Auto Show in April. Last year the World Green Car award was won by BMW 118d.
The candidates for the list of finalists this year are chosen by journalists from around the world. The main requirements for the participants are: they have to be new and on sale by December 31.
This year the finalists are various in sizes and brands. There are more than 20 candidates. THe list includes European autos like German Smart ED, Audi Q7 3.0 TDI, Mercedes-Benz ML/R/GL320 Bluetec and BMW 335d BluePerformance, Italian Fiat Palio Weekend Electric and Fiat Siena Tetrafuel model, French Citro├źn C1 and British Mini Cooper D and Mini E. The Swedish Volvo that still belongs to Ford but is going to be sold has five candidates for this award: Volvo C30 1.6D DRIVe, Volvo S40 1.6D DRIVe, Volvo S80 2.5 FT (Flexifuel), Volvo V50 1.6D DRIVe and Volvo V70 2.5 FT (Flexifuel).
The other vehicles on the list are North American Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon hybrids and Tesla Roadster and a number of Asian cars: Honda FCX Clarity, Mazda Hydrogen Rotary RX8, Mitsubishi i MIEV, Nissan X-Trail 20 GT, Subaru Legacy/Outback PZEV and Toyota iQ.

Acid Poured on Famous Goalkeeper’s Bentley

Britons are famous for their conservatism and love to traditions, traditions in regard to all spheres of life. This conservativeness also concerns cars and everything connected with them. Of curse it is quite possible to meet yellow Ferrari on the streets of any British city but its owner bids fair to be young man who is fond of modern music, cloth and other features of contemporary life. We mean that an average Englishman is rather reserved it its tastes and preferences.
There are exceptions of course but if it goes about Bentley… Bentley is a symbol of Great Britain as well as the Thames or Tower.
However in Scotland someone vividly has a strong dislike towards Rangers FC goalie Allan McGregor. And this unknown person has taken this feeling out on McGregor’s silver Bentley Continental GT speed. How? They just poured acid onto the car and wrote graffiti on the back of the vehicle.
Acidic Vandalism
Obviously this act of revenge is not connected with McGregor’s professional activity as he appears to be a good goalkeeper. Whatever the reason is but… acid, on a Bentley?    That’s not a way to express feelings, even the most negative, is it?

Magnum P.I. and His Ferrari 308 GTS are Returning to Our Screens

It is very interesting to write articles about car-related movies and this one will be devoted to the ’80s TV show Magnum P.I.’s silver screen conversion. I believe many people remember and like this show in which an ex-Navy seal became a private detective and worked on the Hawaiian islands saving them from various bed guys. In this film the main character played by Tom Selleck drove an iconic Ferrari 308 GTS, wore Hawaiian shirts and “big, porn mustaches”.
Tom Selleck as Magnum P.I.
The idea of making a movie about Magnum P.I. exists since 2006 but until now thing intention is resisted by Hollywood. The script is said to be ready for now and given to Matthew McConaughey to be read.
Matthew McConaughey
However the actor for the main role has not been appointed yet. Among the challengers are Ben Affleck, George Clooney and Vince Vaughn. Of course the fans of the show would be happy to see original Magnum on their screens but unfortunately Mr. Selleck considers the whole idea to be stupid and refuses from taking part in it. His refusal does not coincide with  the David Hasselhoff Theory of Celebrity Comebacks, according to which an actor never allows an old role to die.

Schumacher Steps in at Ducati test, Raikkonen Wants to Follow Him

Despite of all the Shumacher’s words that he is not going to continue his career after he has retired Formula One, the actions usually speak louder than words. So dodging by the actions of a multiple world champion driver the situation is otherwise. In our previous article we have already told you that currently Schumi is taking part in carious motorcycle races. Recently he has been called up by  by the Ducati team to replace their injured test driver.
The Ducati official test rider Vittoriano Guareschi fell off his bike and was injured when the team was in the middle of a three-day test session. Surely they had a long list of experienced and eager motorcyclists who would be happy to take Guareschi’s place. However, rather than call on any of them the team asked Michael to step in.
Raikkonen Wants to Follow
At the same time Kimi Raikkonen, Schumacher’s successor at Ferrari and current world champion commented last week that he would be glad to follow Schumacher’s example and ride a MotoGP racing bike. However his intentions were stopped for a while by Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari team principal. He thinks that Kimi is currently busy enough and he has many things to focus on and that his duty is to defend the glory of four-wheeled cars.