Follow @rpmgo

Road Trip Survival Guide

A road trip is a timeless adventure in travel. The open road allows us to encounter new and interesting locations not to mention majestic landscapes but there are several details to consider when planning a road trip.

Here are some helpful tips to ensure a successful and memorable experience for drivers and passengers alike.

1. Safety First

It is important to keep up with your vehicle’s scheduled maintenance prior to planning your road trip. Before you leave it is recommended that your vehicle undergo a full preventive maintenance inspection, which includes: checking fluid levels, four wheel tire rotation, brake inspection, and a visual inspection of filters, belts, and hoses.

Checking your vehicles spare tire is also vital. For most vehicles it takes just a few minutes to remove a spare tire and verify the size, tread health, and inflation pressure. Should you need it, you’ll be glad you did.

2. Roadside Emergency Kit

Whether you purchase one or make your own every roadside emergency kit should contain the following basic items: a first aid kit, emergency flare, a fire extinguisher, jack and lug wrench, foam tire sealant, spare fuses, jumper cables, and a flashlight.

Before you leave double check the contents of your emergency kit and replace any missing items. It is also a good idea to replace flashlight batteries and store an extra pack with your emergency kit.

3. Auto Insurance
Every driver should be familiar with his or her car insurance coverage and policy information. Depending on your destination you may even need to add to coverage for the duration of your road trip.

In any case since most car insurance companies also offer roadside assistance programs, travel insurance, and travel planning services, contacting your insurance provider is a great cost-effective way to plan your trip while receiving added peace of mind.

4. Fun For Everyone
Road trips are meant to be enjoyable for everyone. Whether you are going it alone or with travel companions your music play list should enhance the spirit of your adventure.

Invent a few interactive road games that everyone can play to let the good times roll along with you.

5. Off The Grid
Planned stops are as important as the unplanned ones. Allow plenty of time for you and your passengers to enjoy the scenery outside of the car, too.

Spontaneity keeps everyone involved and enthusiastic while giving the driver opportunities to stretch for the long haul.

6. Capture The Moment
Go beyond the camera with a well-placed web cam, video recorder, or daily blog post to chronicle your road trip and stay in touch with those that stayed behind.

Video footage and still photos can be combined easily for a travel montage once you return home.

7.Take A Load Off
Packing lightly will provide room and comfort inside your vehicle and maximize fuel efficiency during the drive.

It is important, however, to know what to bring so before you load your vehicle make a visual checklist of your gear and prioritize items you’ll actually need for the trip.

8. Munchies, Maps, and Mantles
Choose snacks that optimize energy and hydrate. Remember to keep drinking water on hand and plan to reload those supplies during major stops.

GPS systems and mobile phones make road travel more efficient but it is a good idea to know your route ahead of time and keep backup maps in the glove compartment should you lose wireless reception.

One final note, “Dress for the weather but pack in layers.” The main advantage is staying comfortable in any weather but in keeping your cargo light there will also be room for those unexpected purchases along the way.

Powered by Crowd Ignite

Toyota FT-86 II Concept – even more teasing!

Dear Toyota, please stop acting like a young virgin that can’t make up its mind about having sex for the first time or not. You keep telling us that we’ll see the Toyota FT-86 concept get into production someday, but you keep stalling and saying that the Toyota FT-86 II is slightly better.

You’re promising to reveal more at Frankfurt next week, but we just don’t know what to think. “It’s lighter”, you say and you show things like this teaser:

But please stop mocking us and let us have it already!

Powered by Crowd Ignite

View Comments

Leave a reply

Tronatic Atmos Concept – a French electric sportscar in the making

Have you ever dreamt of driving/riding a Light Cycle? Well, have we. There may be a small, but likely chance that you’ll get to drive a Tron inspired car made by a team of French designers. It’s called the Tronatic Atmos Concept and it looks… flabbergasting!

We’re using big words because this is quite the concept! French graphic design studio Tronatic, specialized in 3D animation and graphic, has created a test drive featuring this concept, which is both futuristic and intriguing. The concept was presented at the end of last year and is an all original design that makes the car really stand out.

Just like in a SciFi movie, the Atmos Concept has strong graphic elements and contrasts between the white stripes and the dark paint, which is surely to make it an eye catcher. The interior is as much as a spaceship as the exterior, and its fluent lines seem prepared for an airport runway more than a usual road.

There are no other technical details yet, but you can find out more from Tronatic’s nifty website.

Powered by Crowd Ignite

View Comments

Leave a reply

The Audi A2 Concept in pictures and numbers

Audi couldn’t miss to line up its new creation for the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, so it has released pictures of the lovely A2 concept.

Audi is planning to take on BMW, with their i3 model, but BMW seems to be about 2 years ahead with their release, which is planned for 2013. Premium EVs are a hot segment and I’m sure the competition in it will be fierce.

The Audi’s plans for the A2 is to fit it with a 85kW electric motor that moves the front wheels through a single-speed transmission. The car can produce 199 pound-feet of torque at most and the lithium-ion battery pack is created to last for 125 miles. Zero to sixty in just over 9 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 93 mph is not so bad for an EV.

Since the battery ads a lot of extra weight, a lot of aluminum and carbon fiber was used to get the weight down to 2,535 pounds. Audi states that an autonomous driving mode will be part of the package for the A2.

We can’t wait to see what they’ve prepared for Frankfurt, which starts next Tuesday! Until then, check out the entire photo gallery of the Audi A2 concept on our Facebook page.

Powered by Crowd Ignite

View Comments

Leave a reply

MP4-12C vs. 458 Italia (the fight is settled)

Before you find out the result of this competition, we’d like for you to pick your favorite contender. Than, remember why you like it so much and how it would look in your garage.

Would you put these two together, side by side, or would you give up one for the other?

The guys over at CarBuzz made a cute and useful infographic about the performance of both supercars and settled the dispute. Here is the data.

Powered by Crowd Ignite

View Comments

Leave a reply

MINI Cooper D was named Fun Green Car of the year

MINI Cooper D

Mini Cooper D was ranked in the top motoring manufacturers with the lowest CO2 emissions from its range, so it was named ”Fun Green Car” at the What Car? Magazine’s 2011 Green Awards.

What’s special about the Mini D is the feeling you get when you’re driving it: it feels like a kart, but it’s better designed and clearly safer. :) If you drive a Mini in London (ah, how appropriate is that?), you’re exempted from the Congestion Charge.

So you can have fun without feeling guilty for hurting the environment. I bet that Clarkson would disapprove of this, but we actually like it. :)

What other fun green cars do you know and love?

Powered by Crowd Ignite

The curtain lifts on the Jaguar C-X16 concept

Jaguar is ready to take a big step at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show! That big step had a name since today: Jaguar C-X16 concept. This two-seater Jag will blow Porsche Cayman’s top off, from the technical specs to the flawless design.

Jaguar managed to tame a 3.0-liter V6 engine and all the 376 hp it releases, along with the 332 pound-feet of torque. The C-X16 concept may be the basis for a new legend: a supercharged beauty with an added “Push to Pass” hybrid system controlled through a steering wheel-mounted button. How lovely does that sound? The electric motor is fitted with an eight-speed gearbox and what it does is enhance the performance of the car as follows: 92 hp and 173 lb-ft of twist more, at the push of the said button.

That power can take you from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and accelerate to 186 mph top speed. And all that without hurting a single leaf, since the Jaguar C-X16′s emissions are as low as 165 g/km C02 emissions and the car can travel up to 50 mph on electric power alone. That power is generated by a 1.6kWh battery pack mounted behind the rear seats, which contributes to the 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution.

The exterior design is simply exquisite and catches the eye in a second. The video below is proof:

You can see more pictures of this gorgeous concept on our Facebook page.

Do you think the Jaguar C-X16 will be a success?

Powered by Crowd Ignite

View Comments

Leave a reply

Another Frankfurt concept: the Volkswagen NILS

As any self respecting motor show, Frankfurt is ready to house and display the most daring and intriguing concept cars in the world. While car lovers and profanes alike stare in awe at them, we’ll comment and keep you posted with the car manufacturers’ daring dreams of automotive evolution.

But enough of big words, we have a new concept car to talk about, created by Volkswagen. The NILS concept is a futuristic vision for an urban, cosmopolitan commuter. Weighing only 460 kg, with an aluminum body and an all-electric powertrain, the NILS is meant to stand out of its category, mainly by its daring design, we’d say.

Designer Thomas Ingenlath, director at the Potsdam Design Center, comments: “NILS was designed to make a visual statement and transport a vision of the automotive future to the present. The car had to visually highlight the theme of sustainability, while showing a future-oriented look and simply being fun.

Gull-wing doors on a small, electric city car? Volkswagen has the courage to do it! Add free-standing wheels to that and a rear-mounted motor that delivers 15 kW with a 25 kW peak output and you’ve got yourself an interesting prototype.

Some more numbers in the press release say that the car is only 3.04 meters long, a total width of 1.39 meters and had a height of just 1.2 meters. Quite the toy, this NILS! This “toy” can be charged through a conventional 230 Volt electrical outlet (maximum charging time 2 hours).

There is something quite amazing about this car, though: Volkswagen claim that it can get from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 11 seconds, that is has a range of 65 km and a top speed of 130 km/h. Not bad for this tiny thing! The auto maker also says that it’s quite sporty and agile, with great handling. In order to believe them, we’d have to get our hands on it and see what it can do.

Safety controls include the new City Emergency Braking, that uses a laser sensor located in the front VW logo to detect the risk of an imminent collision, and can automatically brake the car. Inside, digital equipment is present, but limited. In order to keep the car light and relatively cheap, Volkswagen cut the power-steering and the side mirrors can be adjusted only manually.

Overall, it’s an interesting concept. Would you drive it?

Powered by Crowd Ignite

View Comments

Leave a reply

Schumacher and Rosberg to reveal new 2012 DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupé at Frankfurt

Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg will unveil the new DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupé during Frankfurt’s IAA at 12.00 CET, on Tuesday 13 September.

The 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show will host the first appearance of the new DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupé, prepared for the 2012 season. Another important figure in the Mercedes’s brand development, Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management at Daimler AG, and Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, will also be present at the Mercedes-Benz stand in the IAA’s Festival Hall, Frankfurt.

Here are a few words from Mercedes’s most prominent drivers, who are all quite excited to show the world the monster that they’ll be driving soon:

Michael Schumacher
: “The IAA, the world’s most important show for the automotive industry, is the perfect setting for the première of our new 2012 DTM car.”

Nico Rosberg: “I can’t wait to see how the new DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupé has turned out, which is why I’m so pleased to be there as we show it off to the world for the first time. It’s going to be a moment to remember.”

Gary Paffett
: “I was at the film and photo shoot for the new AMG Mercedes C-Coupé recently and was seriously impressed by my ‘company car’ for next season. I can’t wait to begin testing very soon.”

From the sneak preview, which features the 2012 DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupé and its skilled driver, Gary Paffett, we can make out that under the cover lies a fantastic machine, which we cannot wait to see in action!

Watch the video below:

Powered by Crowd Ignite

View Comments

Leave a reply

BMW excels in creating elegant and luxurious cars

Chauffeur Car of the Year

BMW added two more awards to its trophy case, to reinforce their reputations as a car-maker that is able to create refined and luxurious cars for the most pretentious of its customers.

The BMW 730Ld Saloon has been crowned Car of the Year at the Professional Driver Car of the Year Awards 2011, while also taking the title of Chauffeur Car of the Year. Along with that, the BMW 530d Gran Turismo retained its title of Executive Car of the Year for the second year in a row.

Mark Bursa, editor of Professional Driver magazine and chair of the judging panel, said: “The BMW 730Ld offers an exceptional mix of comfort, rear-seat luxury and driveability. Since 2009, the 7 Series has been improved, with better fuel economy now above 40mpg combined. And crucially, it’s part of a beefed-up manufacturer-backed chauffeur programme that makes it much more affordable for chauffeurs on a lease basis than either the Jaguar XJL or the Mercedes S-class.”

Executive Car of the Year

On behalf of the winner, Stephen Chater, BMW Group Corporate Operations Manager, said: “We are delighted to win these awards showing the 7 Series and 5 Series Gran Turismo to be class leading competitors in the chauffeur market. They highlight everything that BMW believe in; building cars of the highest quality that, thanks to EfficientDynamics, are amongst the most efficient in their sector.”

Exactly 33 cars were signed up for the Professional Driver Magazine Car of the Year Awards, and were judged by more than thirty judges from the chauffeuring and private hire sector and the motoring media.

Clearly, BMW’s Chauffeur Programme is paying off.

Given the opportunity to buy a chauffeur’s car, what would your choice be?

Powered by Crowd Ignite

View Comments

Leave a reply

2012 Buick Verano’s price starts at $23,470

Buick just announced today the price tag for its new luxury automobile: the Verano (which also means “summer” in Spanish). The price is set to start at $23,470, including $885 in destination charges.

The new addition to Buick’s portfolio is expected to attract new customers to this luxury brand, since both the exterior and interior design are crafted with care and attention to details.

The Verano comes as Buick’s third completely new model in the past three years and open the compact segment for the brand, which has always focused on delivering comfort and luxury.

The Verano will be available in three models, with the top model priced at $26,850, including destination charge. Fuel-efficient 2.4L four-cylinder engine and and a six-speed automatic transmission are mounted on all the models. The engine produces 180 hp at 6,700 rpm with 171 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,900 rpm.

“Verano is a great new addition to Buick because it expands the brand’s reach,” said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing. “With Verano, we’re inviting new customers into the Buick family, giving us the opportunity and privilege of building longtime Buick loyalty.”

This is also a very quiet car, since, according to Buick, “a dozen noise-reducing and noise-cancelling technologies are used in more than 50 areas of Verano’s body structure for increased cabin isolation and quietness.” So if you’re kids are too noisy, you can take a nap in the car. :)

The Verano competes with the Acura TSX sedan and the Lexus IS 250, but boasts about having more passenger and cargo volume than them.

What do you think about this price range? Does it seem a good deal for a luxury car?

Powered by Crowd Ignite

Opel stirs curiosity with its new concept for Frankfurt

The Opel marketing team must have attended a theater class, because they sure know how to build suspense! They have released the first teaser image of a new concept they’re prepping up for the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Details are scarce, but we can guess by its aerodynamic styling that it will be a city car, meant to consolidate the automaker’s lifestyle segment. Since it’s facing the Ampera, we have a feeling that the mysterious concept will feature an electric powertrain for “emission-free urban mobility”, as Opel says.

Rumors say that Opel would want to invade Mini’s territory with a city car called Opel Junior.

On September 13th we’ll find out what it’s all about, so keep your eyes on our blog.

What do you think this new concept is all about?

Powered by Crowd Ignite

Dacia to launch Micro Hybrids in Late 2012 or Early 2013

Hybrids and electric cars are not just fancy concepts presented at motor shows anymore and they haven’t been for a while. Automakers are trying hard to come up with new technology that can save as much fuel as possible.

The proof that this wish has spread all across the world is that Dacia, the Romanian car maker that focuses on low budgets vehicles, will build hybrid cars. The project is set to start in late 2012 or early 2013 and it will speculate the need for cheaper hybrids that is pervasive in Europe right now.

Rombat will project and create new Terra HD batteries, getting them ready until 2012-2013, ready to be assembled along with the “micro hybrid 1” vehicles. The technology will stop the car when it’s stationed at a stoplight, just like the “start&stop” technology does.

The “micro hybrid 2’ that Dacia has in mind will also have regenerative braking, but this model will be released only after the first micro hybrids are released into the market.

In order to create the proper conditions for battery development, Rombat had invested over €16 million in a new factory located in Bistrita, Romania.

Now this will be an interesting challenge for both Dacia and hybrid car producers.

Would you buy a cheap hybrid if you had the option?

Powered by Crowd Ignite

BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe makes an appearance

BMW’s innovation rate is nothing short of spectacular! They seem to design and produce cars even in their sleep. And we don’t mind at all. :)

It seems that car lovers all over the world have fallen so in love with the 6 Series range, that BMW is constantly reinforcing it. It was only yesterday that we announced the BMW Alpina B6 Biturbo Convertible, that will debut at the 2012 Frankfurt Motor Show.

A cunning spy managed to get a video snap of the Gran Coupe, that features 2 extra doors. We don’t have the numbers for this beauty yet, but we think it could be a challenge for Mercedes.

No release date has been announced yet, but it can’t be that far ahead, since the engineers are already testing it on public roads.

Had you the money, would you add this car to your collection?

Powered by Crowd Ignite

View Comments

Leave a reply

Yet another recall: Honda takes back to fix 86,000 units

Honda hasn’t had a brilliant year, with recalls that surpassing 2 million vehicles in the U.S. The reasons? Engine stall and airbag issues.

Now it’s time to add 86,000 vehicles to that number, because the automaker need to replace the power master switch on thousands of CR-Vs. After five reports of driver door fires caused by faulty switches (the issue happens when the switch allows residue from interior cleaners to accumulate), the U.S. government urged Honda to take action. The cleaners tend to wear out electrical contacts, issue that can cause a fire to burst.

Some other manual transmission CR-Vs are recalled because they need an update to their electric motor controls software. The problem? Well, it’s quite complicated: when the battery is low on juice and the engine is stalled, the electric motor could rotate in the wrong direction, and when the brakes aren’t engaged, the vehicle can roll backwards even if the transmission is in a forward gear. That’s not safe at all, as you can imagine.

If you’re the owners of one of these cars, Honda will start notifying you this month.

Here’s Honda’s official statement:

“Honda is announcing these recalls to encourage all owners of affected vehicles to take their vehicles to an authorized dealer as soon as they receive notification of a recall from Honda. Notification to customers will begin in late September, 2011.

When Honda identifies concerns of this nature, nothing is more important to the company than fulfilling our obligation and responsibility to alert our customers. To this end, in addition to contacting customers by mail, after late September, owners of these vehicles will be able to determine if their vehicles require repair by going on-line to www.recalls.honda.com or by calling (800) 999-1009, and selecting option 4.”

What would you do if your car were affected by one of these issues?

Powered by Crowd Ignite

View Comments

Leave a reply

Page 1 of 1412345...10...Last »