Mitsubishi i-MiEV, 2011, Japan Car

 
 
 
 

Mitsubishi i-MiEV, 2011

Previewed as concept carat the 2003 Frankfurt Auto Show, then launched in Japan in January 2006, recipient of many an award and well received by media and customers alike, the innovative A-Segment "i" has been selected as the platform for MMC's next generation electric vehicle project: the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, whose Euro-spec. version (left-hand-drive and right-hand-drive is officially unveiled at the 2010 Paris Motor Show).

Making the best use of the mid-ship architecture of this new urban vehicle, the electric "i" or "i MiEV" then was announced in October 2006 as a research vehicle powered by a compact and lightweight motor and high-energy density lithium-ion batteries.

Less than 3 years later, once a thorough development process was completed accumulating over 500,000 km of testing, the car was launched in Japan as "i-MiEV" in July 2009 first with fleet customers. Books were then opened for private customers as well, the first deliveries to this second wave of Japanese clients taking place from April 2010.

The next commercial step starts today in Paris, prior to a start of production at MMC's Mizushima plant in October. Deliveries to European customers will then start in 14 selected markets from December 2010, depending country by country.

The 40 years of EV know-how at Mitsubishi
When announced as an EV research vehicle back in October 2006, the then non-hyphened "i MiEV" was the outcome of forty years of research and development at Mitsubishi in the area of electric powertrain.

The development and production of EVs started at Mitsubishi in October 1966, when Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (In 1970, the automobile division of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. was spun off to become today's Mitsubishi Motors Corporation) was commissioned by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to build EV prototypes and conduct testing programs using improved battery technology: an inaugural EV program that was followed by several others, all laying the foundations for today's i-MiEV production car.

The Mitsubishi Motors was also one of the first auto manufacturers to recognize the superiority of the lithium-ion battery over lead-acid batteries in terms of energy and output densities as demonstrated through the development in 1994 of the Chariot HEV plug-in hybrid, itself followed by various and successive testing programs to seek further improvements in performance, safety, reliability and durability.

Over 500,000 km of thorough testing
With the intention of moving the then "i MiEV" into commercial production Mitsubishi Motors carried out a number of in-house testing programs where the car sailed through, including extensive poor surface track, durability and reliability and crashworthiness.

In parallel, Mitsubishi i-MiEV went through a process of acquiring data through extensive fleet testing under a variety of climatic and real driving conditions. As an example, in Japan, a year-long joint proving program with 7 Japanese power companies using 37 development cars was carried out, covering a total of 300,000 km of testing and everyday commercial use.
The same process was engaged outside of Japan as well. In the case of Europe, 11 cars were used for a further 200,000 km of testing in a joint effort among Mitsubishi Corporation, its MC Automobile (Europe) N.V. subsidiary, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors Europe towards European customers, be they corporate or private.

Self (battery)-reliant
In a further step towards making electric vehicles a viable business proposition, on December 12, 2007 Mitsubishi Motors Corporation joined hands with GS Yuasa Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation and set up "Lithium Energy Japan" (LEJ), to develop, manufacture and sell large-size lithium-ion cells.

The LEJ joint-venture each partner brought its own leading know-how:

  •     GS Yuasa possesses advanced technologies in large lithium-ion batteries and is striving to broaden their applications.
  •     Mitsubishi Corporation intends to enter the battery manufacturing business and aims to create other related businesses as well.
  •     Mitsubishi Motors Corporation - which had electric cars on the road in Japan as early as 1971 - is working to strengthen its prominent position in (proprietary) EV technology.
LEJ plans to ramp up production of lithium-ion cells for use in powering Mitsubishi i-MiEV, enough from a start during FY2009 at its new plant in Kusatsu City Shiga Prefecture - the world's first plant dedicated to the mass-production of lithium-ion batteries for EVs, and to increase production volume thereafter with appropriate capacity to accompany the sales development of MMC's EVs:
  •     2,300 units (= equivalent of Mitsubishi i-MiEV traction battery packs) from June 2009,
  •     4,500 units from June 2010,
  •     With the start of production at LEJ's Kyoto plant the figure should reach 11,000 units,
  •     Lastly, the Ritto plant should allow for a total of 50,000 units from December 2012.
Space saving architecture
As a reminder, Mitsubishi i-MiEV is based on the "i" minicar platform where the rear-midship petrol engine and floor-mounted central fuel tank are replaced with a lithium-ion traction battery pack, the motor, the inverter and other EV components with only a modicum of modifications required to turn the petrol "i" into Mitsubishi i-MiEV.

This feature allowed the installation of a large capacity high density lithium-ion 88-cell traction battery pack within the long 2,550 mm wheelbase, i.e. without compromising seating for 4, whilst lowering the center of gravity of the car (by 65 mm vs. the petrol-powered "i") and protecting the batteries in case of a crash. Same for replacing i's 660 cc internal combustion engine with the 66.6ps/49 kW permanent magnet synchronous electric motor and ancillaries which preserved all 227 l of luggage space (extended to 860 l when both rear seats are folded down - VDA method).

High Capacity / Low costs
EV traction batteries must have high energy density. For that purpose, Mitsubishi i-MiEV utilizes LEJ's specifically developed high density lithium-ion battery pack, where each high capacity battery module can fit under the floor.

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV accepts 2 types of traction battery charging systems:
  •     The "Household Charging System" for anywhere near an ordinary electric outlet, via the household charger plug located on the right side of the vehicle: using European 230V 1 phase (16A) current, Mitsubishi i-MiEV can be re-charged in 6 hours from "Low Energy" warning. (Actual charging times may vary depending on such factors as air temperature and power source status).
  •     The "Quick Charger System" for speedy charging - where utilities, power companies, municipalities or corporations have installed quick chargers. There, Mitsubishi i-MiEV can be connected via the Quick Charger plug located on the left side of the vehicle: using the three-phase 200V 50 kW Quick Charge System, the car can be recharged from zero to 80% of its total charge in about 30 minutes (Actual charging times may vary depending on such factors as air temperature and power source status).
Motor (power unit)
Mitsubishi i-MiEV uses a high-efficiency compact and lightweight permanent magnet synchronous electric motor specially developed for the vehicle.
The unit generates maximum torque from low engine speeds (180 Nm - 0 to 2,000 rpm) to deliver powerful response (66.6ps/49 kW) and a seamless driving experience. When the vehicle slows down the regenerative braking system causes the motor to operate as a generator, the energy recovered being stored in the drive battery.

Transmission
Mitsubishi i-MiEV uses a lightweight and compact single-speed reduction gear transmission, exploiting the high low-end torque inherent to the electric motor and eliminating the need for complex gear shifting mechanisms as found in internal combustion engine powered vehicles.

On-board charger
Mitsubishi i-MiEV comes with a compact, lightweight on-board charger that allows the traction battery to be charged using a domestic AC line (voltage depends on the country).

DC/DC converter
The DC/DC converter is used to charge the 12-volt auxiliary battery and power electrical equipment. It is integrated with the on-board charger in a single unit to reduce size and weight.

Inverter
Mitsubishi i-MiEV 's motor is driven by an alternating current. The inverter converts high-voltage direct current from the traction battery to alternating current and supplies motor with the power required to drive the vehicle.

"MiEV OS" operating system
In this respect, Mitsubishi's "MiEV OS" (or "MiEV Operating System") - an advanced integrated vehicle management system into which the company has poured its wealth of know-how gained from decades of electric vehicle R&D - has provided the kind of high performance and reliability that befits a new-generation EV. "MiEV OS" has been awarded "2009 Japan Automotive Hall of Fame Car Technology of the Year" by the Japan Automotive Hall of Fame, a non-profit organization.

"MiEV OS" gathers data and information from all the major EV components to provide integrated management of the car's performance. This advanced management system constantly monitors battery status and the energy recovered from the regenerative brakes while regulating output to ensure smooth and powerful acceleration from a full stop. As a result the system optimizes and minimizes energy consumption to deliver the most appropriate actual on-road performance.

Living
Meant to be driven and used just as "normally" as a traditional ICE-powered car, Mitsubishi i-MiEV is a compact runabout which seats 4 within a short 3,475 m footprint, with the added bonus of 4 large doors, a real trunk (227 l of luggage space - extended to 860 l when both rear seats are folded down - VDA method) and a tight 4.5 m turning radius

Driving

In addition, Mitsubishi's i-MiEV adds range (150 km - "New European Driving Cycle "protocol), real life performance (top speed governed at 130 km/h, swift accelerations thanks to the 180 Nm of torque available from standing start), ultra-low well-to-wheel emissions, superior quietness and low level of vibrations to its potential customers.

When driving, the man-machine interface is materialized through two devices:
  •     Combination meter instrument cluster: It includes 1) an energy usage indicator that presents a visual display of power consumption and energy recovery status, 2) an energy level gauge that indicates how much remaining power there is left in the traction battery, and 3) a cruising range indicator that displays an estimate of how far the vehicle can be driven on the basis of average power consumption over the last few kilometers.
  •     Shift selector: Similar to the one of a traditional automatic gearbox, to accentuate the "regular car" feeling, it offers the usual P (Parking), R (Reverse), N (Neutral) and D (Drive) normally found with an A/T.

In addition, Mitsubishi i-MiEV also features two specific positions:
    B (Brake) which Increases the regenerative brake bias (for downhill driving).
    C (Comfort) which reduces the regenerative brake bias (for suburban driving).

The Safety
With all MMC vehicles, i-MiEV has been designed with a high standard of active & passive safety, including the specifics of its powertrain:
  • i-MiEV features MMC's patented "RISE" design meant to integrate and interconnect structural elements for an active protection of the passengers during an accident. This design brings dramatic advances in multi-directional impact safety performance, dispersing energy loads during front, side and rear crashes and controlling distortion.
  • The high voltage system traction battery pack is located inside the body frame - itself within the wheelbase - and is further protected by a well-crib frame against damage from any direction of impact.
  • The rear combination lamps use fast-illuminating LED emitters for the tail and stop lamps, making these lamps more instantly visible to following vehicles while also cutting power consumption.
  • Further standard safety measures include 6 airbags (driver + passenger + 2 x side + 2 x curtain) as well as Active Stability Control.

The cost of ownership
Translating the EV experience in financial terms, Mitsubishi i-MiEV's energy costs are minimal. In Europe and taking France as an example, a complete charge costs about € 2,00: just as low as the overall running costs of the vehicle, EVs being freed from the maintenance constrains of internal combustion engines and their transmission system.

Furthermore, Mitsubishi Motors plans to set the price (car + traction batteries) of the European-spec i-MiEV to around €33,000 - €35,000 (or equivalent) so that the final cost to the customer after government incentives (where applicable) remains under €30,000 (or equivalent) in a majority of the countries it is to be sold in.

Last but not least, MMC will offer a specific 5 year - 100,000 km warranty on all EV components.

From Japan to Europe
Whilst essentially the same car as the Mitsubishi i-MiEV sold in Japan since the summer of 2009, the EU-spec. version has been further developed to add a left-hand-drive version for continental markets and to comply with local regulations:
  •     Larger front bumper & newly-designed rear bumper,
  •     New lightweight aluminum wheels,
  •     Rear fog lamp,
  •     Larger outside rear view mirror,
  •     Immobilizer,
  •     ISO-FIX child seat anchors,
  •     9-inch brake booster,
  •     Active Stability Control (ASC),
  •     Side & curtain airbags,
  •     Large head restraints,
  •     Seat belt warning lamp,
  •     Day-time running lights,
  •     Specific left-hand drive developments (dashboard, wash-wipe & HVAC systems, etc,…)

Mitsubishi CUV, 2011

 
 
 Mitsubishi CUV, 2011

At the 2010 New York International Auto Show, Mitsubishi Motors expanded the Outlander family lineup with the debut of an all-new crossover utility vehicle (CUV). Designed from the bottom up with a striking design and rigid, lightweight body, the smart-sized crossover combines fuel efficiency with stylish and feature-rich premium performance. Using lightweight, dent-resistant plastic front fender body panels, regenerative braking and enhanced class-leading aerodynamics, engineers have brought estimated highway fuel economy into the 31mpg range. Boosting the new crossover's list of premium features are such standard technologies as Active Stability Control (ASC), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Electric Power Steering (EPS), a comprehensive seven-airbag safety system, and a cutting edge, high-contrast LCD instrument display. Active and stylish buyers will also appreciate the available LED-accented Panoramic Glass Roof, 710W nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system and FUSE Hands-free Link system.
 
2 trims will be offered in the U.S. market for 2010: the budget-minded ES with a standard 5-speed manual transmission or the premium SE with a standard sportronic 6-speed CVT with magnesium-alloy paddle shifters. Standard for all models is a fuel efficient, 148hp MIVEC-equipped 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. A CVT transmission is available on ES trim and electronically controlled All-Wheel Control (AWC) is available on SE models.

BOLD SIGNATURE DESIGN
One of the core concepts for the new Mitsubishi CUV is a striking new design language known as "compact dynamism", providing a functionally vibrant look that uses proper, flowing aerodynamics to maximize visual impact and fuel efficiency. Featuring Mitsubishi's distinctive front "jet fighter" grille treatment, the clean and refreshing body lines are both emotionally stirring and high grade. By merging the Outlander's driving position and high-impact SUV design with the vigor of a smaller package, designers have created a cutting-edge entry level CUV that fits a broad range of lifestyles.

The new Mitsubishi CUV features smoothly refined aerodynamics and a class-leading 0.33 coefficient of drag, beating the Mazda CX7 (0.34), Hyundai Tuscon (0.37), and Subaru Forester (0.38). Special steps were taken during the design process, resulting in a wind tunnel tested front face, sloping sides, and gently curving roof. With a lower coefficient of drag, the vehicle's slippery shape is able to cut through air with less effort, increasing both fuel economy and acceleration.

A wide range of eight body colors is available, including new exterior paint options Mercury Gray and Laguna Blue. The ES trim features standard high-rigidity, lightweight 16-in. wheels, available in either steel or aluminum alloy. For those looking for an even sportier look, the SE models include 18-inch alloy wheels and fog lights with chrome bezels. Owners can personalize that exterior with an array of accessories including an optional Exterior Sport Package featuring an alloy fuel door, tailgate spoiler, front skid plate, rear diffuser garnish, and front corner extensions.

Accenting the CUV's exterior treatment and functionality are the addition of LED rear combination taillights on both models and Super wide range High Intensity Discharge (S-HID) headlamps on SE models. With 35% greater light output than standard HID headlamps and a wide coverage beam, S-HID headlamps provide extra visibility and security when driving on dark roads.

SMART-SIZED PACKAGING

In essence the Outlander's "little brother", this entry-level crossover merges the Outlander family's impressive real world capability with a smaller, more maneuverable urban package. Designed to fit with a wide range of active lifestyles, the vehicle features the easy entry, exit, and turning radius of a smaller vehicle yet also the higher sightline and interior volume of a CUV. Seeking to create a dynamic new shape without compromising interior space, designers came up with a spacious five-passenger body that is 14.6-inches shorter than the Outlander. Compared to the Lancer passenger car, the new Mitsubishi CUV features a visual reference point that is almost 5-inches taller.

SMART PERFORMANCE
All models come standard with a MIVEC-equipped 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which produces 148hp at 6,000rpm and 145lb-ft of torque at 4,200rpm. Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) models produce 143hp at 6,000rpm and 143lb-ft of torque at 4,200rpm. In order to reduce weight, the engine block is cast out of lightweight aluminum and MIVEC variable valve timing technology is used to improve both engine output and efficiency.

Paired with the 2.0-liter engine in ES models is a 5-speed manual transmission or a steering column-mounted paddle shift 6-step Sportronic CVT available. SE trims come standard with the fuel economy-optimized CVT transmission. Mitsubishi engineers have spent countless development hours optimizing the CVT transmission's shift patterns and gear ratios, as well as reducing friction within its hydraulic oil control for greater fuel economy. To enhance the driving experience, magnesium alloy paddle shifters are mounted just behind the steering wheel, allowing the driver to switch between automatic and manual shifting modes without moving their hands. The CVT's manual gear shifting Sport mode can be selected by either pulling the paddle shifter while the lever is in "D" or by selecting Sport mode with the shift lever. After Sport mode is activated, the driver can shift up or down using the paddle shifters. Pulling the right paddle shifter for at least two seconds will deactivate Sport mode.

FUEL ECONOMY INNOVATIONS

The models are equipped with revolutionary new lightweight and dent resistant plastic front fenders. Made from recycled materials, the plastic body panels contribute to a lower curb weight and increased fuel efficiency. Reducing friction and drag with the road surface also helps increase fuel economy and the new crossover comes specifically equipped with tires with a low rolling resistance coefficient. An Electric Power Steering (EPS) system has also been added to eliminate the parasitic engine drag found in conventional hydraulic power steering systems, freeing up engine efficiency and increasing fuel economy.
FUN TO DRIVE
With its low curb weight, compact mobility, and available electronically controlled AWC, the compact crossover also features a fun-to-drive handling balance that resonates with active Mitsubishi CUV buyers. Designed to be nimble and swift both on-road and off-road, the vehicle combines outstanding ground clearance with a tuned MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension design. Lightweight suspension pieces and front and rear swaybars are just a few elements of a suspension that has been tuned for better agility, roll control, and ride comfort. Four-wheel independent gas-charged shock absorbers and coil springs are used at all four corners.

Standard on all models are the driver assist aids Active Stability Control (ASC) and Hill Start Assist (HSA). Making for a more controlled and pleasant driving experience through all situations, ASC helps ensure stability during slippery driving conditions and maintains control after sudden driving inputs. ASC also features traction control to prevent wheel spin, ensuring worry-free take-offs and increased grip on slippery roads. Hill Start Assist uses front and rear gravity sensors to detect steep hills or gradients and applies brake pressure to prevent the vehicle from rolling backwards, making for easier starts.

ALL-WHEEL CONTROL (AWC)

Building upon Mitsubishi's reputation in off-road performance, the SE features an available electronically controlled All-Wheel Control (AWC) 4WD system. The AWC system comes with the same capable "drive anywhere" functionality on other Mitsubishi vehicles the AWC provides increased handling, traction, and stability during any driving or weather situation. The compact design of the AWC system also calls for low viscosity transfer case oil for reduced friction and is capable of being switched between 2WD and 4WD modes, optimizing fuel efficiency.

The new crossover's AWC system also features a driver control knob, conveniently located in the center console, to adjust the electronically controlled coupling. With selectable fuel-efficient 2WD, capable 4WD Auto and rough surface 4WD Lock modes, AWC allows the driver to maximize fuel economy and traction at all times and over all surfaces.

FRESH AND HIGH-GRADE INTERIOR
From the first press of the One-touch Start System (OSS), standard on SE models, the new crossover offers the driver a modern experience. Highlighting the driver's experience is a first-in-class full color, high contrast LCD instrument display meter, accented with bold meter rings, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob. The instrument display also features an ECO driver indicator light, which signals when the vehicle is driven in a fuel-efficient manner. Covering the dashboard surfaces and extending to the door trim is a stylish, grained soft padding that gives a premium look and feel.

ADVANCED SAFETY FEATURES

The new Mitsubishi CUV was created with safety in mind. Based on the Outlander structure, which has received the highest NCAP safety rating for collision-worthiness, the new crossover uses the same Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) body design. This improves impact safety from all directions by utilizing a high rigidity body and crush zones which progressively crumble to absorb collision energy. The windshield has been given a wide glass area and high eye point for increased visibility and its lower base designed with the hood to reduce injury to pedestrians. Key structural areas on the chassis also direct energy away from the cabin and occupants while front and side members feature crush box front sections, which help reduce the cost of body repairs after minor incidents.

FUSE HANDS-FREE LINK SYSTEM
Offering greater convenience and reduced distractions, the FUSE Hands-free Link System combines advanced voice-recognition capabilities with Bluetooth 2.0 enabled hands-free calling and audio playback. With the FUSE system, drivers can experience new levels of entertainment convenience while still retaining the capability to focus fully on the road. Automatic phonebook transfer and multiple phone support are both elements of the FUSE Hands-free Link System, as well as control of the SE model's optional navigation system, which is equipped with a 40GB hard disk drive for quick point-of-interest lookup. Full iPod and USB music device charging and playback are featured as well for portable music compatibility.

PREMIUM ELECTRONICS

The additional features solidify the CUV's already refined and rich driving experience. SE models include a number of convenience features that would normally be found only in more expensive offerings such as standard automatic climate control, rain-sensing windshield wipers and the keyless FAST-key passive entry system with push-button, One-Touch Start/Stop (OSS). Also available on SE models, the optional 40GB hard disk drive navigation system provides accurate mapping and lifetime real-time traffic updates with its 7-inch LCD display and doubles as a music server. The optional Rockford Fosgate in-car entertainment system has a full 710 watts of power and nine speakers for greater sound detail and quality.

Mitsubishi ASX, 2011

 

Mitsubishi ASX, 2011

The Mitsubishi Motors extends the concept one notch below (C-segment) with the introduction of a smaller and sportier sibling: the all-new Mitsubishi ASX compact crossover. Another "global car for the regions" from Mitsubishi Motors and therefore named and specified accordingly, Mitsubishi ASX was first launched in Japan in February 2010 (as "RVR"). After its European premiere at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, it will be retailed in Europe end of spring 2010.

The Concept-cX to ASX reality
Sharing the same evocative "Kawasemi Blue" introduction color, the new Mitsubishi ASX represents a marketable interpretation of the Concept-cX show car, unveiled at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, whose success convinced MMC's management to turn it into a full-fledged production car.
Longer by nearly 20 cm (4.295 m vs the concept's 4.11 m), slightly higher (+ 6.5cm) and wider (+ 2cm), and featuring a more upright tailgate all for the sake of optimum packaging, Mitsubishi ASX shares nonetheless Concept-cX's basic design theme as well as its passenger car-like sure-footed stance.
Suggested by the gaping "Jet Fighter" grille - a nod to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.'s F-2 jet fighter and now a trademark feature for nearly all Mitsubishi Motors on-road vehicles in Europe (Colt, Lancer and Outlander) - this car-like "attitude" was a key direction for Mitsubishi designers: unencumbered by any marketing pressure to simulate an SUV look through heavy detailing (no need to with Pajero/Montero/Shogun and L200 already in the range...), they further developed Concept-cX's own vocabulary towards a less polarizing yet sharp, expressive and finely executed "sports hatch" with proper presence & substance.
Retaining Concept-cX's "compact wedge" design concept with its thrusting side character line, they optimized the overall shape, making the best use of a 14.5 cm longer wheelbase (2.67 m vs. 2.525 m) to create a lower and more balanced silhouette with a better integration of the bulging wheel arches. Accordingly, the roof line now flows down toward the rear of the car to enhance aerodynamic performance (Cd: 0.32) and to further highlight its dynamic profile.

At the front, the Jet Fighter grille appears identical to Lancer's or Outlander's. However, it is now framed within a more substantial looking clip, itself merging with a sculptured bonnet featuring a double bulge: this serves the dual purpose of contributing to better pedestrian safety, short overhang notwithstanding, and also to make the body more visible to the driver, improving maneuverability around town.
At the rear, the purpose was both to lower and widen the silhouette, whilst avoiding any sort of chunkiness resulting from the short overhang, hence the sharp aerodynamic lip at the bottom of the backlight, the slim slanted combination lamps as well as the wide trapezoidal license plate recess running in between.

Dynamic quality
The inside, the concept of sharp, sporty elegance continues with a clear emphasis on form, trim and material rather than the usual endless pursuit of fantasized SUV-ness.
Consistent with the exterior, Mitsubishi ASX's cabin reflects a clear sense of "dynamic quality" as expressed through the hooded meter cluster shared with Outlander, the soft padding around the center instrument panel itself extending to the door trim or the carefully applied silver accents either side of the audio system or along the door panels.
At the same time, items such as the chromed round module circling the shift lever, the motorbike inspiration for both the silver accents either side of the console and for the meters.
Logically, the texturing and materials were chosen to achieve the same right touch and appearance. Although the interior color scheme is based on a black monotone, contrasting use of textures and materials was made to generate dynamism.
In this respect, particular attention was paid to the soft trim for areas touched by the occupants. This led to the development of a new type of two-tone textured padding with contrastive undulations for a smart, sporty feel.
The same approach prevailed for the seat upholstery where Mitsubishi designers and their partners of the textile industry created a new embossed woven material to add to the overall sense of sporty dynamic quality, while adding visual 3D drama to the understated black interior.

The Lancer + The Outlander
The latest vehicle developed from MMC's "Project Global" mid-size platform, Mitsubishi ASX aims at blending Lancer's passenger car on-road attitude with Outlander's commanding driving position and convenience of its clever AWC electronically-controlled 4-Wheel Drive system.
Sharing Outlander's long wheelbase of 2.67 m, the 34.5cm shorter Mitsubishi ASX essentially carries over most of Outlander's lower structure as well as the basic architecture of its chassis (MacPherson front suspension, multi-link rear suspension) suitably tuned for this smaller and lighter vehicle.
A notable improvement is the introduction of an electric power steering mechanism to further lower emissions, also fitted with both tilt and telescopic adjustments, the latter being a first for Mitsubishi Motors' current range of vehicles.

The Mitsubishi ASX offers the full palette of active & passive safety devices, including (availability according to model and market):
  •    160° Super-HiD "Wide Vision" xenon headlamps
  •    Active Stability Control
  •    Traction Control
  •    Hill Start Assist system
  •    ABS
  •    Electronic Brake Distribution
  •    Brake Assist
  •    Emergency Stop signal System
  •    7 airbags (incl. driver knee airbag)
  •    Low impact MIVEC Diesel

The latest contributor to MMC's green tech strategy, Mitsubishi ASX will also inaugurate an all-new family of all-aluminum DOHC 16v 4-cylinder Common rail Direct injection "low impact" Euro 5 Diesel engines, jointly developed by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), the latter providing - amongst others - engineering expertise gained through experience in industrial and marine Diesel engines, as well as in gas turbine technologies.
Initially offered in 1.8 liter form - first with Mitsubishi ASX and later on during the second half of 2010 in the related Lancer family - this "4N13" set of powerplants is a derivative of MMC's recent petrol engine and features innovative technologies, including a new variable geometry turbocharger as well as high-efficiency combustion characteristics that stem from the application of MMC's and MHI's own analytic technology.
Highlight of this technological showcase is Mitsubishi's proprietary MIVEC variable valve timing system: a world first for passenger car Diesel engines.

Of strategic importance in Europe against high profile competitors in a very competitive segment, the very smooth running 1,798 cc "4N13" Mitsubishi low impact Diesel MIVEC engine will be further supported in its environmental mission by the adoption - standard on all versions - of a full ClearTec low CO2 package:
  •    "Automatic Stop & Go" system
  •    Closed-flow Diesel particulate filter
  •    Electric power steering
  •    Generation Control System
  •    LED rear lamps (for low consumption)
  •    Low resistance tires

With a new 1.6 liter DOHC 16v MIVEC engine: another in-house development, the time of Mitsubishi's own 1.5 liter engine as fitted to Colt. In this Mitsubishi ASX application, it will also be made available with the full ClearTec package and be offered with a 5-speed manual transmission.

Lounge style
Stylishly restrained, Mitsubishi ASX's interior is also a very pleasant place to lounge in, whether in its layout, its functionality or its features.

Making the best usage of its long 2.67 m wheelbase, the 5-seater Mitsubishi ASX brings a comprehensive set of utility features well suited to both its compact size and the likely loading needs of its potential customers in its 416 L at rear seat back angle at 17 degrees (forward position) (393L at rear seat back angle at 23 degrees) trunk:
    * Adjustable rear back rests
    * Rear armrest with:
          o ski slot
          o cup-holders
    * 60:40 split rear seat,
    * Easy-fold rear bench,
    * Under floor tray (approx. 30l),
    * Convenience hooks + lighting

The lounge feeling is first felt  Mitsubishi ASX's panoramic glass roof: a first for Mitsubishi Motors, this wide UV-proof glass panel is equally enjoyable during day time (as a sun roof) as night time (as a moon roof), courtesy of the ambient "Moonlight" LED lighting that frames it. This panoramic glass roof comes standard with a power sunshade.

Automatic air conditioning, rain & dusk sensors, cruise control, multi-function steering wheel, rear parking monitor, Bluetooth™ & USB connectivity, privacy glass, Super HiD "Wide Vision" xenon headlamps, keyless operation system, engine stop-start button, leather upholstery, Mitsubishi Multi-Communication System with HDD navigation system & music server, Rockford Fosgate™ Premium audio, etc are also available with Mitsubishi ASX.

Mitsubishi




Mitsubishi, 2011
= Mitsubishi ASX
= Mitsubishi CUV
= Mitsubishi i-MiEV



Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi

Thursday Hate: "Welfare Queens"

Finally, someone has done the real math for the ever vigilant battle on busting the myth that commuter cyclists don't pay their way for road maintenance and construction.

The call to tax cyclists (and license them, or mandate helmet-use) is the kind of reactionary bullshit that is always proffered by those who simply wish prevent new cyclists from taking to the roads, which - as demonstrated here - is completely idiotic and against their self-interest. Why "conservatives" can't seem to get this kind of math in their heads when they're the ones who are supposed to be fiscally-minded...

Oh, well - soon it will no longer be a lifestyle "choice" but rather a lifestyle necessity and everyone can get over all the liberal vs. conservative, nonconformist conformist v conformist nonconformist, hipster douche v. jarhead douche crap and find something else to fight over. Like who to bet on in the Hunger Games.

Anyways...

According to Elly Blue, Grist.com's "Bikonomics" Professor: user gas taxes and fees only pay .07 cents per vehicle-mile-driven, not even coming close to offsetting a total of 5.6 cents/vehicle-mile cost. Add in external costs per mile driven for free parking, crashes, congestion, and land use, and the total now is nearly 34 cents a mile! That's deficit of almost 100% being paid for by state and local taxes!

Meanwhile, smaller, lighter, and cleaner cyclists pay almost the same in taxes while causing just 1 cent/mile traveled in damage costs.

Guess what that adds up to? The drivers - who harangue you constantly to "get the fuck on the sidewalk!" and to "pay your own way, freeloader!" - or just try to kill you - are the ones sucking at the government tit - to the tune of $3,000 a year, each, on average. You bikers? Yep, you're subsidizing these fucking welfare queens with a profit to the local government of about $260 each.

In fact, to run the average city road system at break even, there needs to be 12 bike commuters for every driver. Put that in your tea cup (in your H3's cup holder, of course) and drink it.

See you in the bike lane, Eric Cantor, you fucking communist.


Carrera Evolution Porsche 917/30 “No. 48” (27367)

Carrera took the slot car racing world by storm when they introduced their first Can Am models: the iconic McLaren M20 and Porsche 917/30 turbo panzer. The 917/30 represents the ultimate evolution of the legendary 917 chassis. In some respects I was surprised when Carrera released their first 917/30 as there are not many racing liveries. The yellow Bosch car sent to me for testing is a model of chassis number 917/30-006. Stripped of its roof, covered with wind tunnel tuned bodywork, and powered by a 5.4l twin-turbo flat 12, it is this model from Porsche that dominated the final years of the Can Am championship.

When the plug was abruptly pulled on Porsche’s Can Am program at the end of 1973, three of the six chassis constructed were never fully completed. This particular chassis was already at Penske’s shop undergoing preparation for the ’74 season so it quietly went into storage. In 1982, one of Porsche’s most famous car dealership/race team owners, Vasek Polak, acquired the chassis along with many spares though not enough to finish the car. He made it his mission to find enough spares to complete chassis #6. It took him until 1995 to complete this project after which he put it up for sale. It has since appeared in vintage races like the 2009 Monterey Historic Races where Porsche was the featured marque, and Rennsport Reunion III at Daytona in 2007.


In the few years that I’ve been collecting slot cars I’ve often noticed that for some reason yellow liveries are very difficult to reproduce. Carrera has done an excellent job with this Bosch livery. The yellow paint really pops and the tampo is very crisp and opaque. Fine details like the vents in the front fenders are nicely rendered. As is now common, Carrera Evolution cars share chassis with the D132 models. That means this model has independently rotating front wheels and a tray interior. Carrera also includes extra braid and mirrors for this car in the box. To run this car on my 20m Scalextric Sport test track I swapped out the stock guide for a narrower and shorter Special Guide Keel (85309). On the Magnet Marshal this car weighed in at 97g, and the dual traction magnets pulled 213g of downforce. Out of the box this car lapped my test track in 7.634 seconds – or about a second a lap slower than my lightly tuned Carrera Sunoco 917/30. A slight wobble on the rear axle of my test car was most likely responsible for the performance disparity between it and other Carrera Can Am models I have tested. A trip to the tire truer will be the first stop once I start tuning this car.

On the 22m wood test track I used the wheel issue also held this car back from its full potential recording a fastest lap of 8.810s. The massive rear wheels on this car use a sold centre rib. This car would respond favourably to aftermarket tires especially if they were glued to the rim. In addition to truing the tires, eliminating play in the rear axle bushings would be another area to examine in the quest for more speed.

Overall I think Carrera has done a great job on this car. They have picked an obscure but interesting subject to model the car after and have really done a good job of capturing the shape and colour of the original. The out of the box performance is acceptable and my test subject’s performance can be brought into line with that of other Carrera Can Am cars without too much work. Given that the only other way a slot racer can add a 917/30 to his collection is by building up an expensive resin kit, the Carrera becomes quite an attractive choice.

A very rare and "best of show" Vauxhall Boat Tail -- Dayton Concours, September, 2011


That is me in the background in the black long sleeve shirt with badge viewing a fabulous Vauxhall owned by Dr. Bernstein.



Riding in the rumble would be an unforgettable experience!




Mr. Rick Grant of Dayton -- one of the Midwest's most distinguished car collectors -- thinking some deep thoughts. On Rick's grandfather, one of the most important figures in the history of the automobile in America, see my The Automobile and American Life, pages 59-61.

Thanks to Ed Garten for the Photos!

Most folks know that Vauxhall was acquired by General Motors in 1925. But where did the brand name come from?
Alexander Wilson founded the Vauxhall iron Works. Located on the south bank of the Thames in London, initially the firm specialized in steam engines for marine use. its location was near the ancestral home of 12th century Norman mercenary Fulk le Breant, also known as Fulk's Hall. Later the name was changed to Fawkes Hall, then Foxhall and finally Vauxhall, an area name still in use today.
The first Vauxhall car was built in 1903, and two years later the firm moved to Luton in Bedfordshire.






Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, 2011

 
 
 

 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, 2011


The V-Series Coupe  a unique grille that doubles the car's air intake volume, an important enabler for its high-performance capabilities. It is  visually identified by a raised center section of the hood that provides clearance for the supercharger, as well as specific front and rear fascias. Like the Cadillac CTS Coupe, its exhaust is centered inside the rear fascia, but with unique twin outlets. The car rolls on 19-inch cast aluminum wheels, available in either painted or polished finishes, and Michelin Pilot Sport 2 performance tires.

The Cadillac CTS-V Coupe's rear track is nearly an inch wider than the CTS-V Sport Sedan, adding to the car's aggressive stance and enabling an extra measure of handling capability. The current CTS-V Sport Sedan has quickly established itself among the world's highest performing luxury sedans, becoming the first production four-door on street tires to break the legendary 8-minute barrier at Germany's famed Nürburgring. The new V-Series Coupe's sleeker shape and slightly lower mass ensure a similarly high level of performance.

Follows function
The Cadillac CTS-V Coupe's design is a clear visual statement of the technical precision and performance intent of the car.
The Cadillac CTS-V Coupe has the same wheelbase as the CTS-V Sport Sedan, but its overall height is about two inches (51 mm) lower and its overall length is two inches (51 mm) shorter. The two models share only the instrument panel, console, headlamps, front fenders and grille.

Design features:
    * Classic hardtop styling, with no conventional B-pillar
    * Touch-pad operation for the doors removes the need for conventional door handles
    * Faster windshield angle (62.3 degrees) and a nearly horizontal backglass enable an aerodynamic profile
    * Signature vertical lighting, highlighted with LED light pipes
    * Signature center high-mounted stop lamp functions as a rear spoiler
    * Aerodynamic roof-mounted antenna for OnStar and XM Satellite Radio

Supercharged powertrain
The Cadillac CTS-V Coupe employs the LSA 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine also found on the CTS-V Sport Sedan. Rated at 556 horsepower (415 kW) and 551 lb.-ft. of torque (747 Nm), it is the most powerful engine offered in Cadillac's history and propels the CTS-V Coupe from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds.

The LSA engine features an intercooled Eaton supercharger system, premium aluminum-alloy cylinder heads and numerous details designed to ensure it makes its power as quietly and smoothly as possible. The supercharger, for example, has a unique, four-lobe rotor design that enhances quietness while also optimizing the performance parameters of the engine.

A pair of six-speed transmissions is offered in the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe: a Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual with a dual-disc clutch and a Hydra-Matic 6L90 six-speed automatic with paddle-shift control. Performance Algorithm Shifting is part of the 6L90's programming and provides a performance-oriented shift pattern during sustained high-performance driving. As with many Cadillac models, the driver needs only to slide the shifter into the manual "gate" to put the transmission into that more aggressive mode.

Magnetic Ride Control
The V-Series reaches elite levels of road-holding performance, but also maintains the poise of a luxury car in "regular" driving conditions. The technical enabler of that dual-mode driving character is Cadillac's landmark Magnetic Ride Control. It is standard on the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe and is the world's fastest-reacting suspension technology. It uses shocks controlled by advanced magneto-rheological technology, rather than mechanical valves, to greatly accelerate response time and precision.

Electronic sensors at all four wheels literally "read the road" every millisecond, making constant adjustments to damping to create virtually instantaneous and extremely precise control of body motions. This is of particular benefit for a high-performance car because it helps keep the car very composed during hard cornering, acceleration, braking and other dynamic maneuvers.

The Magnetic Ride shocks also enable a broader range of damping control to optimize the ride and handling for all driving conditions. In the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, an extra measure of control is offered, with two selectable modes (Tour and Sport), enabling the driver to tailor the suspension for grand touring or more spirited performance driving.

Braking and tire systems
CTS-V includes sophisticated braking and tire systems, in partnership with two companies renowned for high-performance technology: Brembo and Michelin. Brembo brakes are at all four corners and include powerful, six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston calipers in the rear.

Slotted and vented rotors enable strong initial braking force while optimizing heat resistance and eliminating fade. The brake rotors from Brembo employ a "dual-cast" technology that combines cast iron and aluminum, resulting in excellent performance and weight reduction. CTS-V also includes an electric parking brake, enabling more legroom for the driver, key for high-performance driving.

The Interior 
Recaro performance driving seats are optional in the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe and provide excellent support for spirited driving. These 14-way adjustable performance seats include pneumatic bolster controls in the seat cushions and backrests.

The Cadillac CTS-V Coupe also includes an exclusive new Saffron color option for the interior, providing a contrasting color accent carried on the seat inserts, as well as the stitching, which highlights the craftsmanship of the instrument panel, center console, door trim and seats.

The steering wheel, seat inserts and shifter are covered in microfiber, providing the luxurious character of suede without suede's inherent drawbacks of difficult care and moisture sensitivity. These accents are standard, elegant to the touch and help support high-performance driving.

The car's integrated center stack is trimmed in Obsidian black material that is also applied to the center console and door trim. Just like every CTS, the V-Series includes a hand-stitched instrument panel, door trim and center console. Leading-edge infotainment features extend to the V-Series. They include a 40-gigabyte hard drive, advanced navigation system with a deployable screen and Bose digital surround audio, as well as factory-installed Bluetooth phone integration, all standard features on the V-Series.

Accident Insurance

Accident Insurance
Source : http://www.economywatch.com/

Accident insurance provides a cash cover to a policyholder when s/he suffers injuries as a result of an accident. While insurance helps a policyholder pay off hospital and medical bills in case of accident injuries, it provides cash benefits to family members if the policyholder dies in the accident. This insurance, applicable 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, is also commonly referred to as personal accident insurance.

Under personal accident insurance, the policyholder, if injured, receives cash benefits every month, just like income, for as long as s/he is unable to work due to the accidental injuries. This income is non-taxable and does not exceed the policyholder’s after-tax earnings minus the state benefits s/he can claim. In case of death of the policyholder due to an accident, the family receives a specific lump-sum amount.

Types of Personal Accident Insurance Policies

There are eight common types of personal accident insurance policies:
  •     Individual: This policy can be taken by any individual. The benefits usually enclose partners and children. Since several activities are excluded from this policy, it is not as useful for people who love adventurous sports, like mountaineering and rock climbing.
  •     Children: The purpose of this policy is to provide financial help to parents if they are unable to work or if they incur expenses as a result of an accident.
  •     Group: This policy is used by companies to cover employees for expenses related to accidents.
  •     Self-employed: Since self employed individuals are not eligible for employee benefits, they are worse off when injured in an accident.
  •     Team: Through a team accident insurance policy, organizers can seek cover for all the members of a sports team.
  •     Professional: This policy is specifically for self employed professionals, such as a sportsperson, actor, lawyer or doctor, who have special requirements.
  •     Over 50: This policy targets people over 50 years of age, as accidents can cause more grievous injuries to them.
  •     Travel accidents: This policy offers benefits in case the policyholder meets with an accident while traveling.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG US Version, 2011, Accident Insurance

 
 

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG US Version, 2011

The super sports car boasts a purist design, the systematic incorporation of lightweight engineering and superior handling dynamics. At the same time, the SLS delivers the everyday utility and exemplary safety that typifies Mercedes, making the new Gullwing model the ideal synthesis of the strengths of Mercedes-Benz and AMG.

The new super sports car from Mercedes-Benz and AMG dazzles with its unparalleled technology package: an aluminum space-frame bodyshell with gullwing doors; an AMG 6.3-liter, front-mid V8 engine with a top power of 563 hp, 479 lb-ft of torque, and dry sump lubrication; seven-speed dual-clutch in a transaxle configuration; a sports chassis with aluminum double-wishbone suspension; and a DIN curb weight of 3,573 pounds. It's a combination that guarantees supreme handling dynamics. The car's ideal weight distribution between the front and rear axles (47 to 53 percent respectively) and its low center of gravity emphasize the outstanding sports car concept. The Gullwing model accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and has a top speed of 196 mph (electronically limited).

The Design:
The distinctive design of the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG dazzles with its passionate sportiness and reinterprets the breathtaking design of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, one of the brightest design icons of the Mercedes-Benz brand. With its pure design, the new SLS AMG reflects the teachings of modern sports car design: The nearly 6-foot-long hood, the low greenhouse positioned far back, and the short rear with the extendable rear spoiler symbolize dynamism, as do the long wheelbase, the wide track, and the large wheels. The proportions are determined by the short overhangs and the design of the super sports car, with a low-slung, front-mid engine mounted well back and a dual-clutch transmission in a transaxle configuration. The stylistic highlight is without a doubt the gullwing doors, which impart the SLS AMG with incomparable charisma and make a unique statement in this vehicle segment.

It's not just the gullwing doors that awaken reminiscences of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. The characteristic wide radiator grille with the large Mercedes star and the wing-like fin are also reminiscent of the face of the legendary sports car. The three-dimensional, sculptured front with the low, v-shaped front skirt with lateral indentations gives the Gullwing model a powerful stance on the road. The car's dominance is underscored by six large air intakes and the wide-set, vertical headlamps with intriguing components: The central bixenon low-beam headlamps with metallic wing element are framed by two LED blinkers above and two LED daytime running lights below.

Influences from aircraft construction.
The echoes of aircraft construction are stirred by the exposed Mercedes star, whose cone in profile resembles the air intake of a jet engine, and the long hood. The farther the viewer's eye wanders to the front, the greater the curvature of the hood. The same visual effect is produced by the design of the four "Silver Shadow" fins gracing the two air vent grilles on the end of the hood. These lines, which are typical for aircraft, also optically accelerate the air flowing past, giving the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG an extremely dynamic appearance even when standing still.

Interior with aircraft design elements and racing functionality...
Drivers who raise the gullwing doors of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and sit down in the sports seats will experience a very special interior. In its conception, the Mercedes-Benz designers took their cue from aircraft construction to create an ambience that immediately evokes associations with plane cockpits. The defining stylistic element is the dashboard, whose powerfully extended wing-like profile creates the impression of great width. The dashboard incorporates "silver shadow" electroplated air vents with an adjustable set of nozzles, whose shape vividly calls to mind jet engines. The instrument cluster with its shift-up LED display and two white illuminated circular instruments also appears very sporty in the metallic silver shadow look. The silver dials have red pointers and a 225 mph scale. The main feature between the dashboard's two center air vents is the COMAND multi-media system with its 7-inch screen.

The elongated center console made of real matte metal also plays upon the plane cockpit theme. Among other things, the center console incorporates the AMG DRIVE UNIT, which is aligned towards the driver's seat and enables SLS owners to customize their vehicle set-up. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission is operated by means of the E-SELECT lever, which is styled like a jet's thrust regulator. All of the control elements are constructed of real metal, boasting a shiny silver shadow surface.

The cockpit impression is rounded off by the concave interior trim of the gullwing doors, the high waistline clearance and the muscular side skirts, all of which also convey the feeling of sports car ergonomics. The high craftsmanship of the SLS interior is demonstrated by the use of refined materials such as nappa leather, real metal, and, as an option, real carbon appliqués. All of these features also express a great attention to detail. To help customize the interior, the leather is available in five designo colors: black, classic red, sand, porcelain and light brown.

The Advanced AMG 6.3-liter V8 engine with an output of 563 hp
The heart of the new SLS is a high-powered eight-cylinder engine manufactured by Mercedes-AMG. The advanced 6.3-liter V-8 engine, which has an output of 563 hp at 6,800 rpm, makes the Gullwing vehicle one of the most powerful sports cars in its segment. In conjunction with the low vehicle weight, this results in a weight-power ratio of 6.3 lb/hp. The naturally aspirated engine provides its maximum torque of 479 lb-ft at 4,750 rpm. The Gullwing vehicle accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 196 mph (all figures are preliminary). The high-torque V8 engine, which is called the M159 within the company, has a displacement of 6,208 cm³. It has been completely restructured compared to the basic M156 engine, and it displays the typical characteristics of high-performance racing engines.

The perfect synthesis of lightweight construction and stability
The Forged pistons, a strengthened crankshaft mounting, an optimized crankcase structure, and improved lubrication by means of a need-regulated high-powered oil pump ensure maximum stability. In spite of the increased demands placed on it, the engine weight of the M159 has been further reduced. The forged pistons, as oscillating masses, make a particularly valuable contribution to this reduction. This results in a dry weight of 452 pounds, and thus a weight-power ratio of 0.8 lbs/hp — a value that is unmatched by any competitors. Sophisticated catalytic converter technology makes it possible to comply with current and future emissions limits such as EU5, LEV2 and ULEV.

Dual-clutch transmission in the transaxle configuration with the Torque Tube
The AMG 6.3-liter V-8 engine transmits its tremendous power to the rear axle via an especially lightweight drive shaft made of carbon — similar to the DTM C-Class touring car. The dual-clutch transmission is located on the rear axle (in line with the transaxle principle) and is tightly connected with the engine housing by means of a Torque Tube. In the Torque Tube, a carbon camshaft rotates with the same speed as the engine. The advantages of this sophisticated solution include the rigid connection between the engine and the transmission, which results in an optimal response to forces and torques.

The new AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT seven-speed sports transmission is responsible for the power transmission. This dual-clutch transmission is characterized by quick shifting without any interruption of traction — minimum speeds of 100 milliseconds are possible. The driver has a choice of four different driving programs: C (Controlled Efficiency), S (Sport), S+ (Sport plus) and M (Manual), as well as a RACE START function. During the Sport, Sport plus and Manual driving programs, the automatic rev-matching function is active; all of these modes can be comfortably managed via the torque regulator in the AMG DRIVE UNIT. Optimal traction is guaranteed by the mechanical differential lock, which is integrated into the compact transmission housing.
 
Wide-opening gullwing doors for easy entry
Despite the low seating position typical of sports cars, which means the seats are located only 14.5-inches above the road surface, the wide opening gullwing doors ensure easy entry and exit. The designers made sure that the doors had as large an opening angle as possible, which is why they swing up by 70 degrees. Another consideration that is just as important is that the distance between the opened doors and the road surface is an ample 5 feet, while the size of the passage between the opened doors and the upper edge of the side skirts is a generous 42 inches. By contrast, the entry height (the distance between the road surface and the upper edge of the side skirts) is a low 17.7 inches. Another important criterion for ensuring an elegant entry and exit is that the opening and closing of the doors requires little effort even when it's very cold, because of two gas-dampers next to the door hinges.

The gullwing doors require less room to open than do conventional coupe doors and can be completely opened in standard-sized garages. The gullwing doors can be opened from the interior by means of a silver shadow opening handle. Thanks to the linkage system in the door's armrest, the door is easy to handle when closing. The buttons for the power windows, the central locking system and the exterior mirror adjustment are also easily accessible in the interior trim. The interior has a spacious feeling, due primarily to the large shoulder room of 58.4 inches and the wide elbow width of 63.2 inches. In conjunction with the generous headroom of 38.9 inches and the driver's effective legroom of 41.6 inches, the deep seating position is also relaxing. The passengers benefit from a relatively steep windscreen that provides a good view.

The button for unlocking the rear hatch can be found underneath the light switch. In addition, the hatch can also be opened by using the car keys. The luggage compartment has a volume of 6.2 cu. ft.

The aluminum space frame for light weight and highest strength
The vehicle's all-new body consists of an aluminum space frame, which combines intelligent, lightweight design with the highest strength and thus further boosts the SLS' excellent handling properties. Light aluminum profiles combine the force nodes to create a stable structure. The large, low-lying cross-sections of these aluminum profiles exhibit high resistance torques, thereby ensuring the desired direct transfer of drive, braking and chassis forces. Undesired flexibility is reduced by the structure; the vehicle responds rigidly, directly and as if it was almost free of torsion.

The intelligent aluminum space frame, which has been optimized in terms of weight, is 45 percent aluminum profiles, 31 percent aluminum paneling, 20 percent cast aluminum and four percent steel. Ultra high-tensile, hot-rolled steel is used in the A-pillars to further improve occupant protection. The bodyshell weight is 531 pounds — and given that the maximum power is 563 hp, represents a top value in the super sports car segment.

Direct steering, differential lock and three-stage ESP
With a constant mechanical gear ratio of 13.6 : 1, the rack-and-pinion steering gear delivers a consistently direct steering feel, thereby meeting drivers' high expectations of a super sports car. The parameter power steering works with speed-dependent support and improves feedback for the driver as driving speed increases, a crucial factor when driving straight ahead at high speed. The mounting of the steering gear in front of the engine, on the frametype integral support, allows a particularly low engine position. The Gullwing car features a 3-stage ESP, giving the driver a choice of the three modes "ESP ON", "ESP SPORT" and "ESP OFF" at the push of a button. Even in "ESP OFF" mode, simply applying the brake pedal makes all ESP functions accessible again.

AMG high-performance, ceramic-composite brakes, new "flow forming" wheels
The AMG high-performance compound brakes on the front axle ensure the vehicle quickly comes to a stop even under an enormous load. Even better braking performance is provided by the newly developed, optional ceramic-composite brake system with larger brake discs. Thanks to their increased hardness, the ceramic brake discs offer greater safety at high temperatures and are also impressive by virtue of their weight, which has been reduced by about 40 percent. Through the reduction of the unsprung masses, they further optimize the Gullwing model's handling — which becomes especially apparent during motorway driving around bends at high speed.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Accident Insurance
http://www.americangeneral.com/

To help give your family the financial security they deserve, Accident Insurance can provide benefits for your family when an accidental injury occurs.

This plan provides a range of benefits that include:

    Accidental Death Benefits
    Dismemberment Benefits
    Emergency Room Treatment Benefits for Accidental Injury
    In-Hospital Benefits for Accidental Injury
    Disability Income Benefits for total disability resulting from a covered Accident

_____________________________________________________________________________

Mercedes F125 Concept, 2011, Car Accident Attorneys

 
 
 
 

Mercedes F125 Concept, 2011

As a marking 125 years of the automobile, Mercedes-Benz is presenting a visionary outlook on future technical developments in the luxury segment. The Mercedes-Benz F125! research vehicle anticipates future trends and prepares the way for implementation of an innovative premium concept for large, luxurious automobiles.

The  Mercedes-Benz F125 rigorously follows its vision of emission-free driving with hydrogen power, underlining the potential of H2 as an energy source for the future. While previous Mercedes-Benz research vehicles have "looked ahead" by roughly one vehicle generation - seven to eight years - the F125! as the latest technological visionary goes a whole step further, by more than two generations to the year 2025 and beyond.

The Mercedes-Benz F125! demonstrates how completely emission-free, individual mobility might be realised in the luxury segment in the future. The researchers and developers at Mercedes-Benz have incorporated already well-proven concepts and technologies which are not yet available today, but for which basic research has shown great future promise, and therefore a realistic chance of implementation in future series-production cars.

The innovations:

  •     A logical further development of the fuel cell drive system in combination with plug-in technology
  •     Revolutionary tank technology: the structure integrated hydrogen composite storage unit.
  •     Lighter and more powerful batteries, in this case based on lithium-sulphur technology, which Mercedes-Benz is examining in parallel with further development of the current lithium-ion battery and research into lithium-air technology.

The Mercedes-Benz F125! was created as an innovative four-seater luxury saloon with a powerful, emission-free electric drive system based on the fuel cell technology developed to series production maturity by Mercedes-Benz. This study combines pioneering and highly efficient storage, drive and body shell technologies with unique control and display concepts. The research vehicle also presents itself with an expressive design which transfers the classic Mercedes design idiom into the future.Highlights of the F125!:
  •     Completely emission-free mobility with a range of up to 1000 kilometres, full day-to-day suitability, superior performance and first-class comfort.
  •     A bodyshell of innovative, lightweight hybrid construction with a high proportion of fibre-reinforced plastics and an intelligent mix of carbon-fibre, aluminium and high-strength steels, which allows a significant weight reduction while offering a further considerable improvement in safety. A high-strength construction with crash-responsive protective systems within the doors allows the omission of B-pillars, as well as the use of wide gull-wing doors which allow convenient access to the four seats. In this way the Mercedes-Benz safety philosophy and in particular the decisive principle of the rigid passenger cell developed by Béla Barényi in 1952 are being concertedly taken forward for the future of individual mobility.
  •     A high-voltage lithium-sulphur battery with a specific energy density of 350 Wh per kg at cell level, which allows considerably higher recuperation rates in combination with the e4MATIC all-wheel drive.
  •     A control and display concept based on touch, speech and hand-gestures makes the Mercedes-Benz F125! a true "companion" with whom the driver is able to interact flexibly and effortlessly. The gull-wing doors of light-weight CRP construction can also be opened and closed by hand-gestures.
  •     Highly attractive displays using 3D and projector-beam technology to open up new visual possibilities.
  •     Next-generation, substantially networked telematics allow internet-based voice control, integration into social media and extensive remote control of vehicle settings and entertainment functions.
  •     Innovative assistance systems for lasting driver stress relief, e.g. Advanced Driving Assist for semi-autonomous driving.
  •     Trailblazing exterior and interior design based on a completely new saloon architecture.

Revolutionary: structural integrated hydrogen composite storage unit

To store the hydrogen as the fuel of the future, Mercedes engineers adapted a technology which is still the object of basic research. This opens up completely new perspectives with respect to the vehicle architecture and operating range. "The structural integrated hydrogen composite unit of the F125! represents a real technological revolution, as it allows the hydrogen tank to be fully integrated into the bodyshell structure for the first time. In the future, vehicles with emission-free fuel cell drive systems could achieve the operating ranges of current diesel models with no loss of interior space," says Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber. Based on the current level of know-how, Mercedes specialists consider it possible that they may develop this technology to series production level from 2025.

The tank integrated into the floor assembly has a capacity of around 7.5 kg of hydrogen. Compared to the high-pressure tanks in use today, the H2 tank potentially requires less installation space. This is because to withstand a pressure of up to 700 bar, current tanks need to be cylindrical in shape, and owing to this round cross-section there are inevitably "cavities" between tanks installed next to or above each other. In contrast, tanks that can be filled at a pressure of 30 bar or less can be better integrated into the bodyshell. At the same time they are able to act as "structural" components.

The Lithium-sulphur battery: compact and powerful

A highly advanced, very powerful lithium-sulphur battery is envisaged for the Mercedes-Benz F125!. It has a storage capacity of 10 kWh and is installed behind the rear seats. Combining the fuel cell drive system with the innovative lithium-sulphur battery makes a total operating range of up to 1000 km possible, of which up to 50 km can be under battery-electric power alone. It can be inductively charged at "intelligent" charging stations, and the convenient charging process can be monitored by smartphone. When designing the F125!, the developers worked on the assumption that by the time of its introduction into series production, this battery type will be capable of energy densities up to 350 Wh per kg. This would represent roughly a doubling of current performance. The real potentials of this technology are however the subject of basic research, and are still difficult to assess at present.

Further development of the fuel cell as an energy source

At the heart of the drive system lies a particularly powerful further development of the Mercedes-Benz fuel cell stack which has demonstrated its efficiency and day-to-day suitability e.g. in the successful B-Class F-CELL World Drive in 2011.

The stack in the Mercedes-Benz F125!, which is further improved with respect to performance, consumption and practical suitability, provides the power for four powerful electric motors installed near the wheels, which ensure sporty, superior performance figures. All in all the modular e4MATIC system, which also uses improved drive components from the SLS AMG E-CELL, generates a continuous output of 170 kW (231 hp) and a peak output of 230 kW (313 hp).
This accelerates the F125! to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds, with a top speed of 220 km/h. Nonetheless, NEDC fuel consumption is only 0.79 kilograms of hydrogen per 100 kilometres (= 2.7 litres diesel equivalent).

The Handling, operation is substantially by natural speech supplemented with touch and intuitive hand-gestures. In the interests of maximum driver-fitness and operating safety, the Mercedes-Benz F125! becomes the perfect, always alert companion for its driver and passengers. The possibilities go well beyond those of current systems. The driver can e.g. request news items that are tailored to his personal needs, and make specific, contextual enquiries, without removing his hands from the wheel. The COMAND of tomorrow also becomes proactive.

The driver will be able to start with the traffic report or retrieve personal messages before the selected music programme begins. The weather report will then automatically come on before the journey ends, for example. Thanks to the mood-based configuration function "Moods", such individual adjustments will be completed in a matter of seconds in future. The F125! also opens up completely new dimensions when it comes to external commu-nication and the use of social networks. With the help of the Social Community Assistant, the driver alone can decide who is allowed to "disturb" him, or who receives information.

A high-resolution wide-image display allows the entire traffic situation behind the vehicle to be conveniently monitored, and makes exterior mirrors unnecessary. The image is adapted to human perceptive powers at all times, and once again provides a much clearer overview with more rapid and intuitive registration of the relevant traffic situation.

The vehicle and its multimedia system, as well as all applications and contents, can be completely remote-controlled using the Remote Convenience functions. This e.g. means that via the vehicle's specific homepage, authorised individuals have access at all times to information such as the fuel level, next scheduled service or fuel consumption. Just as easily, a home PC or of course a smartphone can be used for remote configuration of the onboard navigation or entertainment system, and to select individual interior temperature settings for each seat.

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Preparing for an Auto Accident Case
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There are a number of documents that you will need prior to filing your claim, and there are also certain things that you must ensure you do before the case against the other side is commenced.

Know What You Are Insured For
Prior to filing your claim it is vital that you have checked your insurance policy to ensure that you know the extent of your coverage. This will inform you as to whether or not the insurers will pay for a replacement vehicle, if necessary, whether they will pay your medical expenses (dependent on state laws), and the extent of the information you will need to disclose to them in relation to your employment and medical histories.

Proof Of The Accident
Immediately after the accident collect the personal and insurance details of the other person. In the majority of car accidents, the police only arrive on the scene in the aftermath of the collision. However, the police report is still of considerable importance as it provides a contemporaneous record of the weather and road conditions, the position of the vehicles, the visible damage to vehicles as well as any witness accounts. It is therefore vital that you secure a copy of the police report prior to filing your claim.

In addition, you should write a full description of the accident as you remember it as soon as possible afterwords. As memories fade in time, this is the best record you will have of the accident in the event that you need to recall it in detail later on, for example if your case goes to trial. It also helps to draw a diagram of the accident, take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, as well as to photograph the scene.

Medical Evidence
Ensure that you sign the medical release form that your insurance company sends you. However, if you consider that the request for information is too broad in scope you can request that they narrow their requirements to cover for example only the injured part of your body, e.g. your elbow, head, back or neck, rather than disclosing all of your historic medical records. However, it is also important to be open and honest about the accident and the injuries you have suffered. Make sure that you claim from your insurers under medical pay coverage.

Keep All Records of the Accident and Injuries
If you incur any out-of-pocket expenses, need to pay for medical equipment or have to buy any replacements for items damaged or destroyed in the car accident, it is vital that you retain receipts for these. Remember to keep a note of the conversations you have, both with your insurance company and with other people involved in the accident. However, it is important NOT to admit any liability in these conversations and to discuss the facts only.

Compensation for Damage to Your Vehicle
You should obtain at least two estimates for the repair of your vehicle, and conduct your own research into your vehicle’s pre-accident value in the event that it is a total loss. 
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