Archive for August, 2011
Scientists across the globe have been looking for alternative fuel sources for years, but a group of researchers at Tulane University may have stumbled across one source nobody considered – old newspapers.
The team of scientists believes that a bacteria found in old newsprint has the ability to turn organic material into butanol, which can be used as a gas-tank substitute, The Detroit News reports. The bacteria was first discovered in the New Orleans zoo, and the researchers say this finding could have a significant impact on alternative energy.
"In the United States alone, at least 323 million tons of cellulosic materials that could be used to produce butanol are thrown out each year," Harshad Velankar, a scientists working with the research team, told the news source.
While the findings are exciting, it is still a long way off until the fuel source is ever implemented. According to the publication, a patent is still pending on the strain and whether or not is is commercially viable will remain to be seen.
Choosing between a new and used car can sometimes be a difficult choice for motorists. However, for those looking to find the best deal possible, sometimes pre-owned vehicles are the best route to take. Still, the decision-making process can be tough to make, especially with so many choice available. Forbes recently unveiled its list of the best used cars currently on the market.
For families who are looking for a car with plenty of seating capacity, the 2008 Ford Edge is the way to go. In addition to offering five passengers a comfortable and quiet ride, the Edge also comes with Ford's Sync voice control system, which allows drivers to access mp3 players, text messages and cell phones.
As for sedans, the publication recommends the Ford Fusion or the Mercury Milan. Both models come with an adequate 160-horsepower engine while also providing a roomy interior that can seat five.
Motorists looking to get behind the wheel of a used pick-up truck should check out the Toyota Tundra, Forbes says. The main selling points of the Tundra are that it offers plenty of power (381 horsepower, 5.7-liter engine) without sacrificing a smooth ride.
Whether looking for a Tundra or a Fusion, New Jersey Auto Auction offers motorists with plenty of makes and models at affordable prices.
Russia-based auto manufacturer has made a name for itself as of late by turning heads, and the unveiling of its latest SUV certainly did just that. Autoblog reports that its newest car, the female-oriented Pombron Iron Diamond, is being marketed in a very unique way.
The first ad for the car features a a Playboy bunny, fresh off the pages of the September issue from Latvia, dancing around in front of the uniquely-designed car. The ad might seem to be appeal more to men than the supposed female target audience, but it certainly has made waves.
As for the car itself, Dartz explained Iron Diamond earlier this year. However, how it is specifically tailored to women remains to be seen.
"All we see the modern trends – more and more ladies like to drive big cars, and if so – of course they want to drive unique and exclusive," the company said, adding in poorly-translated English that the SUV only has three doors and is shorter than most models.
Motorists, be they male or female, looking to get behind the wheel of a used SUV should check out New Jersey Auto Auction, which offers plenty of makes and models at affordable prices.
The Ford Crown Victoria rose to prominence as the popular choice for police cars across the United States, but now the iconic vehicle is being retired. The Detroit Free Press reports that while consumers haven't been able to buy the cars since 2008, police stations still had the opportunity, but now that era has come to a close.
The reason for the change is that Ford is expected to provide law enforcement with a new line of cars based off their popular Taurus and Explorer SUV designs. Despite the move, which is being conducted in the hopes that it will improve fuel economy, some police stations are hesitant to adopt the switch.
"The Taurus isn't going to work for us. It's too small," John Zumalt, the police chief in South Charleston, North Carolina, told the news source. "We're looking at the Caprice from Chevrolet and the Dodge Charger."
The car has also been a popular product among average drivers as well, who praised its rear wheel drive and durable V-8 engine, making it one of the best cars to drive in the winter.
Motorists looking to get behind the wheel of a Ford will want to check out New Jersey Auto Auction, which offers plenty of makes and models at affordable prices.
The Cadillac Escalade has become somewhat of a status symbol, so it comes as no surprise that car thieves target the luxury SUV more than any other car. The Associated Press reports that a new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) shows the vehicle is six times more likely to be stolen than the average car.
The findings were based on insurance claims of stolen cars between 2008 and 2010 and also included cars that had components such as parts and stereos stolen as well. Specifically, 10.8 claims were filed for every 1,000 insured Escalades compared to an average of 1.7 per 1,000.
"It's so wildly popular as far as pop culture goes," Matt Moore, a vice president of HLDI told the AP. "Watching the TV you see professional athletes coming in and out of them and other celebrities too. It's a status symbol."
While the Escalade was the most popular among crooks, the Audi A6 four-wheel drive was the least sought-after. Additionally, two American-made cars, the Mercury Mariner and Chevroley Equinox were low on the list as well.
Ford recently announced that it was partnering with Toyota to help create fuel-efficient trucks and SUVs. Not to be outdone, General Motors and LG Group will be teaming up to design electric vehicles in the future.
The partnership seems like a logical one as LG has worked on the electric engine for the popular Chevrolet Volt as well as the Opel Ampera. The venture will focus on finding other areas to use the technology, and seems to be beneficial to LG, GM and consumers.
"Many solutions for tomorrow’s transportation needs may be available more quickly by building on our partnership strategy," said GM vice chairman Steve Girsky. "Consumers benefit by getting the latest fuel-saving technology faster if we work with the best suppliers and we save time and money in the development process."
The move will likely prove to be an important one in the coming years as the U.S. government recently called for cars to have a 54.5 miles per gallon fuel economy by 2025.
Drivers looking to get behind the wheel of a fuel-efficient car may want to check out New Jersey Auto Auction, which offers plenty of models at affordable prices.
Ford has enjoyed a positive response to its Eurpoean release of the popular F-150 with the EcoBoost engine, and now drivers of other Ford cars will have the opportunity to enjoy the innovative technology as well. The automaker announced that it is offering the EcoBoost in the upcoming models of the Edge and the Explorer.
This will be the first time any Ford vehicles in North America have been outfitted with the four-cylinder model – the move comes after it was found to be especially popular in Europe. The engines combine turbocharging with direct injection and are part of a larger effort by Ford to make all of its cars more fuel-efficient without sacrificing performance or power.
"An EcoBoost powertrain puts Edge and Explorer fuel efficiency over the top, while the next-generation Ford Focus brings an extended portfolio of models with premium technology, comfort and convenience offerings," said Ford President of The Americas Mark Fields.
Drivers looking to get behind the wheel of a fuel-efficient Ford may want to check out New Jersey Auto Auction, which has plenty of models at affordable prices.
U.S. News and World Report recently unveiled its list of top cars for families, and Toyota and Honda lead the way. Whether families are looking for a compact sedan or a luxurious SUV to take kids to and from school, the popular Japanese manufacturers seem to have them covered.
The publication offered rankings in 20 different categories including Best Wagon, Best Hybrid Car and Best Off-Road SUV. Honda took home a number of awards such as Best Minivan, which it captured with its renowned Odyessy. The Honda CR-V also was named Best Affordable Compact SUV.
Not to be outdone, Toyota also shined brightly in the rankings. The Highlander was named Best Hybrid SUV while the Prius earned the honor for hybrid car.
"If you have the right family car, spending time in it is enjoyable for the whole family," the news source reports. "The wrong family car can make time on the road uncomfortable, frustrating and expensive."
Families looking to get into a Toyota or Honda may want to check out New Jersey Auto Auction, which offers plenty of makes and models at affordable prices.
The Chevrolet Malibu has been a mainstay in American automotive culture, and the classic car will be making it's European debut later this year at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. General Motors announced that the newly redesigned Malibu will go on sale there for the first time next year, offering motorists a slew of impressive features.
Among the new aspects of the Malibu is a cockpit design that is much more spacious and inviting than in previous years. Additionally, it has a few new storage areas, bluetooth wireless capabilities and a seven-inch touch screen radio.
Furthermore, new Malibu drivers will be treated to a boost in performance as well, highlighted by premium steering and an isolated engine cradle that reduces noise.
"The Chevrolet Malibu is the brand's new top-of-the-range offering, bringing proven value with a premium feel to Europe's midsize segment." said Wayne Brannon, the president and managing director of Chevrolet Europe.
Motorists who are looking to pick up a Chevrolet Malibu may want to check out New Jersey Auto Auction, which offers plenty of used cars at affordable prices.
Toyota will reveal its redesigned Camry on Tuesday, showing to the world the new look they've given their flagship car. It will be the first time in five years that Toyota has redesigned the Camry and comes at a time when the manufacturer faces a number of struggles.
The Associated Press reports that the event, which will simultaneously take place in California, Michigan and Kentucky, will showcase the numerous upgrades being made to the car. Few details are confirmed, but one of the more impressive technological features is an entertainment system that allows drivers to connect to mobile applications.
Camry is still the number one selling car, with more than 20,000 units sold compared to its closest competitor, the Nissan Altima. Still, many felt a redesign was in order to attract a younger demographic.
"They are safe vehicles that have nothing fundamentally wrong with them, but they don't promote excitement," industry expert Jesse Tropak told the AP. "That is one of those elements you need to attract younger buyers."
Drivers looking to get behind the wheel of a Toyota may want to check out New Jersey Auto Auction, which offers plenty of models at affordable prices.
On the surface, Ford and Toyota may seem like competitors, but the two respected car manufacturers recently teamed up in an effort to provide motorists with more fuel-efficient options. The companies announced that they will collaborate to create an advanced hybrid system for light truck and SUV drivers.
The duo are expected to come to a formal agreement sometime next year, but the announcement ends years of the two working separately toward the same goal. By working together, both Ford and Toyota believe they will be able to create the next system faster than if they continued independently.
"Ford achieved a breakthrough with the Ford Fusion Hybrid, and we intend to do this again for a new group of truck and SUV buyers – customers we know very well," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development.
Specifically, the system will be focused on implementing hybrid features in a rear-wheel drive capacity. Both manufacturers are expected to implement the system in different ways.
Drivers looking to get behind the wheel of a Ford Fusion or Toyota Prius may want to check out New Jersey Auto Auction, which offers plenty of models at affordable prices.
Infiniti has been a leader in affordable luxury cars for quite some time, and the manufacturer is set to unveil the latest addition to its line up. USA Today reports that the JX Concept, a crossover SUV, will join the Infiniti fleet sometime next year.
The sleek car, which features three rows and enough seating for seven passengers, will make its first appearance at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in California, but already it is making waves within the auto industry.
Among the numerous features included in the JX Concept is a collision avoidance system that works in reverse that alerts drivers of objects in their path when they're backing up. Additionally, its third row is more spacious and less confining than other similar vehicles.
"The third row isn't the typical penalty box either, with adult-sized room for all occupants and 5.5 inches of second-row forward-back adjustability," Ben Poore told the news source.
Drivers looking to get behind the wheel of used crossover vehicle will want to stop by New Jersey Auto Auction, which provides consumers with a wide variety of makes and models at affordable prices.
Electric cars are starting to make their way onto the highways, and one school in Oregon is helping spread the appeal of the cars by offering the country's first electric avenue. Portland State University recently opened the street, which features seven electric vehicle (EV) charging stations from six different manufacturers.
The project, a joint effort between the school, Portland General Electric and the city of Portland, is being used as a two year research and development program, but it also offers numerous benefits to the community. Among the most useful features is a quick-charge station, which can be used by anybody to charge everything from trucks to bicycles.
The avenue is just one of many eco-friendly initiatives that the school, city and company hope to start over the next several years.
"As we implement new, green technologies, it is critical that we research how best to use them," school president Wim Wiewel said. "PSU is at the forefront nationally and internationally in understanding what it takes to develop sustainable transportation systems."
Drivers looking to get behind the wheel of a fuel-efficient used car may want to check out New Jersey Auto Auction, which offers plenty of affordable models.
Anybody looking to sell their used car, or trade it in for a different model, is certainly in luck. The Buffalo News reports that used car values have been steadily rising over the past several years, and are currently at some of their highest.
When it comes to Kelly Blue Book's valuation, prices are up an average of between 39 and 45 percent. It's not too hard to understand why, either. At the lowest part of the economic downturn, manufacturers reduced production, and the Cash for Clunkers program removed a large number of potential used cars from the market – and now drivers are reaping the benefits.
The rise in value has been especially helpful to consumers looking to trade in their current vehicle for a new or used model. In fact, for some drivers like West Seneca, New York, resident John Ehrig the increase in value convinced him to trade in his 2003 SLS Seville Cadillac for a 2005 Chrysler 300c in the first place.
"That's the only reason it worked out: They were willing to give me more than it was worth," Ehrig told the news source. "It was the car that had everything that I wanted."
To fully illustrate the point, the news source highlights the fact that in 2008, a three-year-old Honda Accord would have only brought the driver about $11,000 in trade in value. Today, a three-year-old Accord would get more than $16,000.
Still, there are some cars that have proven to be better trade in options than others. Specifically, CNN Money reports that Kia and Hyundai are excellent choices because they have the lowest ownership costs among sedans, making their resale value especially high.
While the market may be good for used cars right now, there are still some ways that car owners get the highest possible trade in value out of their car. One of the most important things that consumers should remember when shopping around for a trade in is to be aware of how much their car is worth, that way they can be sure whether or not they are getting a fair shake.
"The key to doing well in a transaction with a dealer is to be knowledgeable," market analyst Jack Nerad told bankrate.com.
Furthermore, the website recommends not being tied down to one dealer since going to multiple lots wlll give prospective buyers more options.
The United States is replete with scenic roads, but sometimes motorists may not know which routes to take. BMW is looking to change all that as it recently launched a free iPhone app that will allow drivers to share and rate some of the most picturesque stretches of road the country has to offer, according to Reuters.
Dubbed The Ultimate Drive, the app provides drivers with a number of features. In addition to giving them the option to share a drive of their own, it also gives them the opportunity to find paths in certain locations. Since it launched last week, BMW says that 600 routes have been added.
"There are plenty of sites that will show you the top roads to drive", Pawan Murthy, of BMW Group Financial Services, told the news source. "The roads that are filtering up [in the app] include others that very few people have ever heard of, and that's what makes it so exciting."
Motorists looking to get in a used car to check out some of the best roads may want to look to New Jersey Auto Auction, which offers plenty of makes and models at affordable prices.
Ford shocked some of its longtime customers by unveiling the EcoBoost model of the F-150, but so far the experiment has proven to be popular among drivers. Now, the manufacturer is giving motorists in eight cities across the country the opportunity to show how fuel efficient they can be.
On Tuesday, Ford launched the F-150 EcoBoost Challenge, in which drivers from eight cities will be competing to see who can get the best mileage rates in one week.
The winner will receive free Shell Nitrogen Enriched Gasoline for a year, and the residents of the winning city will be given the opportunity to get free gas for two hours and 22 minutes on September 2 in honor of the trucks 22 miles per gallon fuel-efficiency.
"This challenge is a great way to highlight the capacities of the F-150 EcoBoost – a truck specially engineered to deliver the capability people need and the fuel efficiency they really want," said Raj Sarkar, F-150 marketing manager.
Motorists looking to get behind the wheel of a used Ford will want to check out New Jersey Auto Auction, which offers plenty of makes and models at affordable prices.
The advent of Apple's iPad has made things easier in many areas of life, and car dealerships are about to get in on the action. USA Today reports that Mazda is close to equipping their dealers with the popular tablets so that they can instantly access pertinent information when talking to potential customers.
The initiative has made its way to 50 dealerships across the country, but the company hopes that it will be present in all of them at some point. By outfitting dealers with iPads, Mazda hopes it will provide more transparency and allow them to showcase the benefits of the models. Additionally, it will give dealers the opportunity to back up their claims.
"Customers who are skeptical about a sales claim can get proof, right there on the tablet," sales consultant Wayne Xides told the news source. "We can pull it up instantaneously."
Drivers who want to get behind the wheel of a used Mazda, may want to head to New Jersey Auto Auction, which offers plenty of makes and models at affordable prices.
As the school year rapidly approaches, many families will be faced with having to bring kids from activity to activity. This can be especially tough if parents are involved in carpools and will need a bigger car to accommodate all the children. Luckily, used SUVs have dropped in price since January, and there are certain models that stand out above the rest.
According to a study conducted by CarGurus, the most cost-effective used SUV for families is the 2008 GMC Acadia. This spacious vehicle can seat eight passengers, making it a good fit for parents who have to take lots of kids from place to place. Additionally, it gets an efficient 24 miles per gallon on the highway, all for under $25,000.
As for crossover models, the 2008 Honda Pilot is an excellent pick, experts say. It can fit eight children as well, while costing drivers under $20,000.
"If you are looking to upsize your car and save money, now is a good time to be shopping for used cars and specifically for SUVs, crossovers, and minivans, which have not seen the dramatic price increases of many compact models," CarGurus CEO Langley Steinert said.