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Cars We Hate Part 21 – China’s Top 10

Mitsuoka Orochi

China’s economic boom is now very obvious in the automotive industry which has risen in the last few years tremendously. However, some of the local automakers really don’t have a design studio where they should invest time and money for the design of the car. Instead, most of them decide to “borrow” the looks of popular cars from across the world and make them uglier. Here is our top ten of the ugliest cars “Made in China”.

Number 10 – Chery Rely X5

At number 10 we find the Rely X5 from Chery, a car that came out in the second part of 2009, which is tremendously ugly both outside and inside. The build construction of this car is appalling while the overall appearance is as ugly as the Pontiac Aztek. This is probably the first car in the automotive history that has a verb in its name. What’s good about it? Nothing really, except maybe for the big trunk.

Number 9 – Chery A5

Another car made by Chery is the A5, a compact vehicle which is the very first Chinese-designed mass-production hybrid model. This A5 certainly won’t win any beauty contests plus its name is not very original either. It was launched back in 2006 and they still make it today. Much like the SUV we’ve mentioned, this one too has borrowed a lot of design cues from other models, blending all of them in a cheap-looking package.

Number 8 – Greatwall Coolbear

No, this isn’t the Scion xB, it is a cheap clone made by Greatwall. The Coolbear (awful name by the way) is powered by a 4-cylinder 1.5-liter engine which is mated to a 5-speed CVT gearbox. How in the world Toyota allows Greatwall to manufacture this model is beyond my understanding…

Number 7 – Chery Fulwin2

We have yet another car from Chery (and there will be others too), this time the Fulwin2 that came out last year. Under its hood is a 1.5-liter ACTECO engine mated to a manual transmission. The engine develops 80 kW at 6,000 rpm and a peak torque of 140 Nm at 3,000 rpm. The back of the car is just wrong and it looks extremely poor designed. The rear seems to be a little higher than the front.

Number 6 – Lifan 320

Here is another cheap clone – the Lifan 320. As you probably figured this out by now, this is a poor imitation of the Mini. It made its debut at the 2008 edition of the Beijing Auto Show and they sell it not only in China, but also Peru and Russia. It has a 4-cylinder 1.3-liter engine that fires 87 hp, linked to a 5-speed manual/automatic gearbox. Why would anybody buy this hideous rip-off?

Number 5 – BYD Flyer

On our number five spot we find the BYD Flyer, a city car that has been developed by the government-owned Xian Qinhuan Automobile. The car is produced by BYD Auto and has 3- and 4-cylinder engines borrowed from old generation Suzuki units. What’s wrong with it? Well, everything. The proportions of the car don’t make any sense and it seems to be very unstable.

Number 4 – Chery QQ6

I’m not sure from which car they stole the design and made it worse, but it is really very hard to create such an ugly car. This one too is manufactured by Chery and it is a 4-door sedan based on a platform “developed” by the Chinese automaker. It’s also being sold in Chile where it has a 1.1-liter engine, whereas in China it can be purchased also with a more powerful 1.3-liter unit.

Number 3 – Zhongtai M300

To be honest, I’ve never heard about Zhongtai before I started researching for this article. As you can see, the M300 looks a lot like the Fiat Multipla. So, what happens when you steal the design of an ugly car? You create an even uglier car that looks dreadful, especially from the sides.

Number 2 – Huapu Haishang

I’ve never heard about this car either, but it deserves the second place in our top. Looking at its front, especially the headlights, it looks a lot like an Audi. From the sides and the back it looks pretty much like a Hyundai Accent, a car that as you know isn’t a looker, especially the older generations.

Number 1 – Chery QQ

We’ve saved the best for last – the Chery QQ. If you’ve been reading automotive news in the last couple of years, you probably know that the Chery QQ has been the subject of an industrial copyright and intellectual rights controversy. GM stated that the car is a copy of the Daewoo Matiz (Chevrolet Spark) and they are totally right. Even though the Matiz is not a looker, the QQ is horrible, both inside and out. Even the interior looks like a Matiz. The car is being sold not only in China, but also in Chile (Chery IQ), Pakistan, South Africa, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam (the cheapest car in the country) and Sri Lanka.

Chery QQ

What can we learn from all of this? Well, China has a lot to learn regarding the design of a car. Instead of stealing it, they should invest a lot of money and time into creating their own designs. However, we should be thankful to China because who knows what might have happened to popular automakers like Volvo and Saab if it weren’t for rich investors.

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[press release] Infiniti Announces U.S. Pricing on 2012 QX and EX

– QX Becomes Second Infiniti to Feature Advanced Blind Spot Intervention™ System –
Infiniti today announced U.S. pricing for the 2012 Infiniti QX full-size luxury SUV and 2012 Infiniti EX luxury crossover. Both are on sale now at Infiniti retailers nationwide.

2012 Infiniti QX
Following record sales for the totally redesigned 2011 Infiniti QX, pricing for the 2012 model year remains unchanged. It is once again offered in two fully equipped models – Infiniti QX56 2WD and Infiniti QX56 4WD. Several option packages have been modified to make some features more accessible in lower-level packages, and new features have been added to the Deluxe Touring and Technology Packages.

One of the major enhancements to the QX for 2012 is the addition of Blind Spot Intervention™ to the Technology Package. A world’s first system, Blind Spot Intervention™ helps alert the driver to vehicles in the blind spot area, then actively assists the QX back to the center of the travel lane if the driver begins to move over.

Other revisions for 2012 include:
• The Bose® Cabin Surround® sound system receives two additional speakers (15 speakers total) and is now part of the Deluxe Touring Package
• Heated 2nd row seats with remote tip-up function move to the Theater Package (from the Deluxe Touring Package)
• Headlight washers are added to the QX56 2WD Deluxe Touring Package
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP)* are:
Model Infiniti QX56 2WD
Engine/Transmission 5.6-liter V8 / 7-speed automatic
MSRP $58,700 USD

Model Infiniti QX56 4WD
Engine/Transmission 5.6-liter V8 / 7-speed automatic
MSRP $61,800 USD

2012 Infiniti EX
The 2012 Infiniti EX is available in four models: EX35 RWD, EX35 AWD, EX35 RWD Journey and EX35 AWD Journey. Enhancements for 2012 include the addition of HomeLink® Universal Transceiver as standard equipment on the EX35 Journey (previously part of the Deluxe Touring Package).

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP)* are:
Model EX35 RWD
Engine/Transmission 3.5-liter V6 / 7-speed automatic
MSRP $35,600 USD

Model EX35 Journey RWD
Engine/Transmission 3.5-liter V6 / 7-speed automatic
MSRP $37,900 USD

Model EX35 AWD
Engine/Transmission 3.5-liter V6 / 7-speed automatic
MSRP $37,000 USD

Model EX35 Journey AWD
Engine/Transmission 3.5-liter V6 / 7-speed automatic
MSRP $39,300 USD

About the 2012 Infiniti QX
Following its total redesign for 2011, the Infiniti QX has experienced record sales and strong media and consumer reviews. The Infiniti QX is designed to attract and hold viewers’ attention, conveying its underlying sense of power and strength. The styling is dynamic, its size capable of transporting up to eight adults and their belongings with spacious elegance, and its drivetrain rugged enough to handle tasks such as towing boats or trailers (8,500-pound towing capacity, when properly equipped), while also offering 14% better fuel economy (EPA Combined) than the previous generation QX.

The QX offers a high-stiffness frame structure that enhances ride comfort while reducing noise, vibration and harshness, a standard 5.6-liter V8 engine rated at 400 horsepower and 413 lbs-ft of torque that combines the responsive acceleration of Infiniti’s VVEL (Variable Valve Event & Lift) technology with the efficiency of Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG™), and 7-speed automatic transmission.

The QX interior remains long on luxury and comfort, including standard Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System, Around View™ Monitor, Bose® 13-speaker Premium Audio System, available perforated semi-aniline leather-appointed seating and an available Theater Package with dual 7-inch color monitors.

About the 2012 Infiniti EX
The 2012 Infiniti EX35 once again combines a sleek, sculpted, elegant skin, exhilarating driving performance and an engaging interior environment – along with a suite of technologies such as an available Blind Spot Warning (BSW) system and the Around View® Monitor, which utilizes four small cameras located front, sides and rear to give the driver a “top-down view” of the outside of the vehicle and help reduce blind spots when parking.

Key highlights of the Infiniti EX include a standard 297-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine matched with a responsive 7-speed automatic transmission, available Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, standard 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and available 19-inch wheels and tires (Deluxe Touring Package), standard leather-appointed seating and available power up-folding 2nd row seat.

Other advanced technologies range from standard RearView Monitor to available Lane Departure Prevention system (LDP), Intelligent Cruise Control, Distance Control Assist (DCA) and Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) with Forward Collision Warning.

About Infiniti
Infiniti offers a full-line of luxury performance automobiles that inspire at every turn, including the G Coupe, Sedan and Convertible, Infiniti M Sedan, EX and FX crossovers, and the QX full-size SUV. More information about Infiniti and its Total Ownership Experience can be found at www.InfinitiUSA.com.

[Source: Infiniti, Photo]

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GM reveals new OnStar features, includes Facebook and voice texting

GM reveals new OnStar features, includes Facebook and voice texting

Last week we revealed a report containing all of the new features that might be implemented in the new and improved OnStar system on vehicles from General Motors.

Now, GM has officially revealed what new things will be implemented in its next gen infotainment system.

First off, the voice recognition system has been improved, in order to allow drivers and passengers to better control the systems of the car. Secondly, the Bluetooth connection will support full phonebook integration, while the navigation system has been improved. You will also be able to connect to traffic management and weather alert services in order to stay informed on trips.

OnStar will also launch a new MyLink series of mobile apps for smartphones, including ones for iPhones and those running Android OS. These will basically act like your virtual key, allowing you to lock and unlock the car, start the engine and other such things.

Here’s the more interesting part, the rumored Facebook and voice texting support. These features are still in the testing, but OnStar will allow you to post audio Facebook updates, as well as read aloud updates from your friend feed.

The voice texting part has also been confirmed, but not in the way that you were expecting. When you will receive a text message, OnStar will read it for you, and allow you to select pre-recorded messages, like “I’m driving”. This will be achieved using only your voice. Those that wanted speech-to-text capability are going to be disappointed, as GM might not implement such a thing, in order to keep from distracting the driver.

Overall, the OnStar system is becoming extremely robust, and might constitute a big advantage for GM cars in front of its rivals. What do you think?


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