If it\’s got an engine. . .

Dorri probably likes it

Archive for September, 2006

Separated at birth? Ford Iosis-X and Isuzu Vehicross

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on September 30, 2006


One of my favorite parts of Car and Driver‘s January ’10 best’ issues is the ‘Winners and Losers’ section. In this section they typically have humorous photos of various celebrities that look similar, headlined by “Separated at Birth”.

Take a look at Ford’s new Iosis-X concept car and compare it to the Isuzu Vehicross pictured above. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – Isuzu, consider yourself flattered.

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Current Automotive Incentives

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on September 24, 2006

If you’ve ever tried to navigate through the various automakers’ websites looking for their special deals, you know just how convoluted they (the websites, not the automakers) can be. I have made direct links to each manufacturer’s special offers/incentives/etc. If you find any of these links to be broken, or if you have any to add, please let me know. Be sure to bookmark this page, as I will be keeping this list up to date as best I can.

Acura
Audi
BMW (none at this time)
Buick
Cadillac
Chevrolet
Dodge
Ford
Honda
Hummer
Hyundai
Infinity
Jaguar
Jeep
Kia
Lexus (not much here)
Mazda
Mercury
Mini (none at this time)
Nissan
Pontiac
Saab
Saturn
Scion (not much here)
Toyota

Posted in Incentives | 2 Comments »

Citgo and the Devil

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on September 23, 2006


Around here in Toccoa, GA, the cheapest gas station is Bev’s Quick Stop. That’s where I used to fill up.

Not anymore. Unless, that is, Hugo Chavez offers me an apology.

You see, Bev’s sells Citgo gas.

Perhaps I should explain. A few days ago, Hugo Chavez (that’s the Prez of Venezuala, by the way) referred to my President the Devil. That’s right; he was addressing the Security Council of the United Nations, where Bush had previously spoken, and Chavez said that the place still smelled of sulfur.

How does all of this affect my gas purchases, you ask?

Well, Citgo, inc. is wholly owned by the Venezualan government. And I, for one, will not be sending them any more of my hard-earned money.

Posted in Citgo | 2 Comments »

Maximum Efficiency

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on September 12, 2006


It seems to me that the best engine from an efficiency standpoint is a single-cylinder engine. Practical experience bears this out – my Suzuki Savage 650 (single cylinder) got 70 mpg, while my Yamaha Maxim 650 (four cylinder) gets 48. Less moving parts mean less friction. less friction means more of the energy in that gallon of gas goes to moving the car down the road.

Less moving parts also means less parts to break.

Why do we not see three-liter singles in family sedans? Or five-liter singles in sports cars?

If you know anything about engines, you already know the answer to this. A large single-cylinder engine would vibrate so badly that it would shake the car apart.

What I propose is a hybrid single-cylinder engine. Couple a large single-cylinder engine up to an electric motor/generator. The electronics controlling the motor/generator would have to be fast enough to switch from motoring to generating every other engine revolution.

When the engine is on its power stroke, the motor/generator is acting as a generator, charging a capacitor (think really fast battery). On the other three strokes, the motor/generator is acting as a motor, since the engine isn’t doing anything productive.

The hybrid motor/generator isn’t there to improve efficiency through regenerative braking, as in other hybrids, it’s just there to smooth out the big single’s power pulses, allowing it to be used in civilized transportation.

Posted in Efficiency, Engineering | 4 Comments »

Five Years / 100,000 Miles !!!

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on September 6, 2006


Finally. GM announced today that every 2007 GM vehicle would ship with a five year/100,000 mile warranty.

Could this be a step back to the path of profitability?

We can only hope.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

It’s interesting to me that I found out about this via an e-mail from someone at Hass MS&L, GM’s marketing firm. Here’s a copy of the email I received. Did anyone else out there receive a similar note?

Hi, IIGaE. We’re trying to let people know about a major announcement from GM today. We thought you and your readers would be interested.

GM is extending its powertrain warranty to 5 years or 100,000 miles on all vehicles. The warranty is fully transferable and includes roadside assistance.

GM came to this decision in large part due to customer feedback it received on its FastLane blog. For more info, please see:

http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/archives/2006/09/because_we_can.html

And let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks for your time,

Charlie Kondek
Sr. Account Executive
Hass MS&L
xxx-xxx-xxxx x xxx

Posted in GM, warranty | Leave a Comment »