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2016's Fastest Cars on the Market​

After the age of the American cowboy culture, the vacuum had to be filled with something else. The cowboy culture was defined by speed, aggression and ambition. It is thus little wonder that the first muscle cars were American, tuned V8 engines that could eat the miles fast. Are you surprised that a car’s output is measured in horsepower? A crude interpretation of how many horses could be needed to produce the kind of power in a given time… you know work done over time taken. Today, we have street legal production cars that can go faster than a jet when it is at full speed for takeoff.

The World's Fastest Cars Continue reading “2016's Fastest Cars on the Market​” »

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Automatic vs. Manual: Which is Better?

The history of car transmissions

Over one hundred years ago, when the internal combustion engine barely produced a single horsepower, a single-speed transmission and clutch was all that was necessary to get moving. With the introduction of the 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen, the first road trip traveled along at a blistering 16 km/h. Eventually, with the development of more powerful engines, multispeed transmissions were necessary to eliminate the jerky motion that would inevitably occur when slamming into gear to get moving. Multispeed transmissions also enabled cars to go ever faster, such as the 1908 Ford Model T, equipped with a 15 kW engine and two-speed transmission, which had a top speed of up to 72 km/h.

Used Automatic vs. Manual Transmission Continue reading “Automatic vs. Manual: Which is Better?” »

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Are you getting the most out of your motor oil?

When it comes to car maintenance, perhaps the most frequent thing we need to do is wash the carand change motor oil. Of course, less often, we also need to change the engine air filter, engine coolant, transmission fluid, brake pads, brake fluid, and tires, to name a few. Most older vehicles, as the age-old rule-of-thumb suggests, had their oil change every 3,000 miles or three months, whichever came first. Modern vehicles may stipulate, depending on usage, up to 10,000 miles between oil changes, thanks to modern engine manufacturing processes, as well as modern lubricant technology. The question is, is your motor oil doing all it should, or all it could? Are you ready for a different kind of oil change?

oil change used car pre-owned synthetic conventional oil
Continue reading “Are you getting the most out of your motor oil?” »

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A Quick Look At The 2016 Mazda CX-9



Most of us would prefer to fill our weekends by cruising in a BMW M4, Mercedes-AMG anything, or a  nice Audi R8. All great cars to conquer miles of pavement as quickly and nimbly as possible; however, none are practical for carrying the family to and fro. For the average man, weekend road trips usually mean family outings; so practical is the word of the day. Practical is three rows, quiet, and plenty of cargo space. Practical doesn't scream ''mid-life crisis in progress'' to our neighbors. Even so, we do not necessarily want practical to mean boring or under-powered. Let's have a look at the 2016 Mazda CX-9 to see if it can address some of the more boring aspects of a three-row family hauler. Continue reading “A Quick Look At The 2016 Mazda CX-9” »

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Announcing the BE FORWARD Song Contest

Do you have what it takes? We're giving away $1,000 CASH to whoever writes the best #BeForwardSong! Show of your musical skills and enter your compositions today!

Click here to learn more: http://goo.gl/rLQEez



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A Quick Look At The 2017 Nissan Pathfinder


2017 marks the fifth production year of the fourth generation R52 series Nissan Pathfinder; a great time for a mid-cycle refresh of the crossover SUV. While this is a mild refresh, the Pathfinder now offers boosted power output, new driver-assist tech, and some style tweaks. One has to wonder if these are enough to help the Pathfinder catch up to the competition. Continue reading “A Quick Look At The 2017 Nissan Pathfinder” »

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A Quick Look At The 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera PDK Automatic


Each time Porsche turns its focus to a major revision of the 911, many fans of the series worry that the classic GT will be lost in the interest of modernization. The announcement of the 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera PDK Automatic is one such revision that has caused more than a few Porsche aficionados to start speculating on the downfall of the entire 911 species. We thought it best to try to allay those fears by telling the new GT's story.image-3 Continue reading “A Quick Look At The 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera PDK Automatic” »

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The 2017 Ford GT: The Americans Get It Right

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The End Of The Clutch As We Know It?


The earliest gearboxes were a set of beveled reduction gears driven by the engine. These gears were connected to a shaft and pulley that were tied directly to the drive axle through a group of leather belts. There were only two gears. One to get going, the other to hit top speed. If the car could not climb a hill, the driver would have to stop, manually engage the lower gear, and hope it offered enough power to get to the top. It wasn't until 1894 that the basis for the modern multigear gearbox was introduced by Louis-Rene Panhard and Emile Lavassor. Even then, the gearbox was simplistic...just three gears connected to a chain-driven rear axle. In 1898, Louis Renault invented the live axle connected through a drive shaft and, viola, the modern manual gearbox was born.

How A Manual Gearbox Works

Many of you reading may already know this, some may not. We are throwing it in here just for educational purposes and to lead into why everyone is working to eliminate the clutch from the modern transmission. With a hydraulic clutch, the master cylinder pushes fluid down the clutch hose to the slave cylinder. The slave cylinder then pushes the throwout bearing back, releasing the clutch plate. You are then free to select the gear that you want, and release the clutch. Simple, but basically accurate. Every step of the process creates friction that reduces the efficiency of the car. Automatic gearboxes work in a very similar way, sans the need for the driver to mess with shifting gears by hand; however, the friction still exists. Since every government in the developed world is focusing on increased efficiency from automobiles, engineers have been searching for ways to reduce weight and eliminate the friction within the gearbox. That may very well mean the clutch has a very dim future as anything other than a museum piece.   image-2

Technology On The Horizon


The manual gearbox could easily be placed on the critically endangered species list with the industry-wide focus on efficiency. One of the latest alternatives to the current clutch setup looks to eradicate friction discs, even from dual-clutch automatics. One gentleman who is researching ways to do so is Dan Dorsch, a Ph.D. candidate and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT). Earlier this year, he won the Lemelson-MIT ''Drive it!'' award, a prize granted for the design with the best potential for societal benefit, economic success, and environmental impact.

To garner this award, he designed a hybrid-vehicle gearbox that replaces the traditional clutch or torque converter with a dog gear(a gear with interlocking teeth to couple the engine to the gearbox). The design does not completely eliminate friction, but it does significantly reduce it. In addition, the design reduces the size and weight of existing gearboxes. The main drawback to his current design is that it is intended for use in sports and supercars. The average economy ride will not benefit from the setup. 

How It Works

In Dorsch's design, the gearbox mates the engine with two electric motors. The larger of the two will start the car off at the friction limit of the tyres. The smaller motor works within the gearbox, where its job is to rev match the engine and the wheels during shifts. The second motor has two additional roles: to act as a starter and a generator as conditions require.image

The larger electric motor fills the role of first and reverse gears, smoothly meshing the engine and stationary wheels. This removes the need for a torque converter. During gear changes, the larger motor continues to provide torque to the wheels while the smaller motor rev matches. The entire process takes place in milliseconds, much more quickly than your could ever hope to do so while declutching and throttle blipping. Dorsch hopes to gain precise enough control to eliminate the  friction cones from gear synchronizers, streamlining the gearbox even further. Theoretically, the technology could provide perfect, speed-matched shifts and eliminate a few kilos from the gearbox. If so, even the power-sapping clutches in dual-clutch transmissions could be eliminated in the near future.

The technology sounds great from an efficiency standpoint, but what about the fun of a manual gearbox? There is something personal and powerful about handling your own shifting duties. There is a definite thrill to downshifting into a turn and upshifting as you rap on the engine to pull back out of it. Driving aficionados understand this lament!

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Introducing The 2017 Subaru BRZ


The Subaru BRZ has been called light and well-balanced in the past. The chassis has often been called pliant; affording the BRZ great handling. The automatic transmission has frequently been cited for its high fuel efficiency. One thing that has never been said is that the BRZ offers great acceleration. Given that this is supposed to be a sports car, one would hope that Subaru addresses that issue for the 2017 model year. Let's have a look to see.image-3 Continue reading “Introducing The 2017 Subaru BRZ” »

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