Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Monday, February 26, 2018

SMITH & SNIFF - Jonny's Fiat 126

Los Angeles Moves Against Van Dwellers #Vanlife

Los Angeles Moves Against Van Dwellers

It is now illegal to sleep in RVs.

Under the new laws, it is illegal to sleep in a car or RV that is parked in a residentially zoned area from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Areas within one block of a park, daycare, or school are entirely off limits. Fines will range anywhere from $25 to $75 which is impossible to pay for most people in these situations.

1997-2016 Daewoo Matiz M100 M150 - 20 Years in Production

The M100 and M150 Daewoo Matiz story.

Here is a picture montage video of the M150 model.

I wanted to buy it as new here in Russia where it was available for many years and use it as a second car, a small city car for quick runs to the grocer's and baker's and butcher's and barber's and what not, and also for driving through the crammed backyards of Moscow's apartment dwellings where its small size and maneuverability would be ideal.

I even researched the car a little, pulled pictures from the Internet and looked at the dealers in my location.

But, as so many other things, it didn't play out and so here's what my file says on the car.

First off, the Daewoo Matiz was in production far longer than most people realize, the M150 variant in particular was produced into 2016.

And that makes it a near 20 year production run - from 1997 to well into 2016 when it continued to be manufactured and sold as the Ravon Matiz - an impressive feat that only the few and the most iconic vehicles have accomplished in the history of the automobile. 

While its production in South Korea and various other Daewoo factories indeed ended in 2005, the M150 version continued to be made by Uz-Daewoo in Uzbekistan into 2016 (from 2015 on it was sold as the rebadged Ravon Matiz).

The M100 Daewoo Matiz was based on Italdesign's Lucciola project.

The Daewoo Matiz was the final outcome of the Lucciola project, introduced in 1992 as a research prototype.
The Matiz, a compact MPV, decidedly revolutionised the very concept of city-car. Within a length of just 3.5 metres, it offered liveable space for five passengers and offered all the comforts of a higher segment cars.
At the 1992 Turin motor show, the Lucciola was introduced as a car prototype for recreational use designed mainly for town traffic.
The challenge was to concentrate attributes formerly exclusive to a higher segment cars within a car of very compact size: five seats, five doors and the ability to pass crash tests.
A few years later, the chairman of Daewoo came across the Lucciola when he was searching for a project of this type to launch. The determination and conviction of Daewoo made it possible to create the Matiz, a city car that won major commercial success, as borne out by sales of 2,500,000 in 10 years.
The M150 facelift was designed at Daewoo's Worthing Technical Centre and introduced in South Korea in late 2000, and exported from 2001. 

As per 2017 Uz-Daewoo apparently doesn't make the M150 anymore, not even as the Ravon Matiz.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

The New PEUGEOT 508

PCA announces the New 508:

Here is that massive press-release verbatim:

The New PEUGEOT 508: the radical saloon!

Thu, 22/02/2018 - 01:00

The new PEUGEOT 508 changes everything. Its structure is more compact and
its height reduced. The new exterior design is sharper and more robust,
while the car’s spectacular interior includes an evolution of the iconic
PEUGEOT i-Cockpit®. Its exemplary road-handling, new engines, countless
technology features and quantum leap in quality means the new PEUGEOT
508 sets a world class standard within the D-segment and further
supports the Brand’s upmarket strategy.

“The new PEUGEOT 508 is finally here! Following the success of our latest
major launches and our SUV offensive with the PEUGEOT 2008, 3008 and
5008 models, we needed a vision for the large PEUGEOT saloon that would
continue to shake up the market with a vehicle that rivals the best. And
in D-segment cars, we’re competing with the world’s greatest
automakers. More than ever, the new PEUGEOT 508 embodies the ambition
we’ve been stating for several years already: to make PEUGEOT the top
high-end generalist automotive brand.” 

A changing concept for a changing segment

In the European market, the traditional D-segment saloon has been stagnant
for the last four years, after more than a decade of decline. Under
pressure  from a diverse range of customer preferences and designs,
especially from the SUV market, the large saloon now only finds favour
through offering wider variety and adopting a more pronounced identity, .

It was against this backdrop that the designers behind the new PEUGEOT 508
stated their clear aim: to move away from the conventional boot-lid,
four-door shape and towards a five-door fastback coupé-saloon.

A bold design

“The design of the new PEUGEOT 508 completes an entirely revamped range. It
benefits from all the stylistic features we included in our latest
concept cars like the PEUGEOT Exalt and the PEUGEOT Instinct. The
i-Cockpit® in the new PEUGEOT 508 is actually taken directly from the
Exalt concept car.” 

Gilles VIDAL, PEUGEOT Director of Design

At first glance, the new PEUGEOT 508 surprises onlookers with an energetic and expressive presence. The
car’s height has been reduced – it now barely reaches 1.40 m – and the
aerodynamic lines of the vehicle are reminiscent of the
coupé style.

The front end is impressive, even aggressive.
The finely fashioned, radiator grill with chrome-plated chequerboard
asserts itself between the Full LED headlights, inspiration for which
was drawn straight from the brand’s latest concept car: PEUGEOT
Instinct. With the famous lion centred on its radiator grill and the 508
logo upon the nose of the bonnet, the new PEUGEOT 508 pays tribute to
its acclaimed predecessors, the PEUGEOT 504 and 504 coupé.

The vertical visual signature of the opalescent LED daytime running lights
provides a distinct, exclusive identity. Sharp and slender, they frame
the car’s front end, running from the headlights to the bumper’s air

The horizontal bonnet has been lowered as much as possible to enhance the dynamism of the new PEUGEOT 508
and the overall silhouette has been designed to appeal from every
angle. This attention to bodywork design is usually reserved for the
most premium of vehicles.  All of these standout features at the front
of the new PEUGEOT 508 culminate to give the car a real sense of quality
and character, all of which are perfectly aligned with modern PEUGEOT
design language.

The roof line of the new PEUGEOT 508 is low and sleek, following the premium sector design cues. The car appears compact: its length is limited to 4.75 m, vs 4.83m of the outgoing car, for improved manoeuvrability. The low glazed surfaces further sharpen the car’s outline and reveal frameless doors.
Nothing spoils the model’s silhouette: there is no conventional overlap
of the bonnet, glazing support and door frames; gap and flush-fitting
have been reduced in size with first-class know-how; the wheels have
been adjusted to perfectly fill the wheel arches; and the roof aerial
has been removed (now silk-screened). PEUGEOT has utilised its expert
knowledge to maximise the car’s aesthetic appeal and quality.

Spanning the rear end and framed between the rear lights is the glossy black horizontal strip that now characterises PEUGEOT’s latest vehicles. Yet what immediately stand out are the three-dimensional Full LED rear lights.
Taken straight from the design of the most recent PEUGEOT concept cars
and first seen on Quartz, these lights, which are illuminated throughout
the night and day with adaptive intensity, make the coloured
claws constantly visible. To further impress, these iconic lights will
differ in appearance depending on side or full rear view.  
They are instantly identifiable and a clear signature of the brand.

back of the car also reveals an original feature of the new PEUGEOT
508: a deftly hidden tailgate that blends elegance with practicality and
gives optimal access to the 487-litre boot. (See detailed description on page 12).

New PEUGEOT 508: Running Footage, Exterior, Interior

Monday, February 12, 2018

Cannonball Run - Ray Stevens

How UAZ-452 / 2206 Conquered Japan

How the Bread Loaf aka Bukhanka (nickname of the UAZ-452 / 2206 van) Conquered Japan
Original article:
Author: Александр Беленький
Photo: Александр Беленький
Unauthorized and unsolicited translation from the Russian by this blogger

"Coffin on wheels", "rust bucket with nails". That's what some call the Bukhanka back home.

But in Japan, the UAZ is considered an icon of style.

Who would have thought of it, but they do dream about owning one!

Buy a UAZ van, emanate real coolness.

Why does a Japanese man need a Russian UAZ van?
I met with an owner of a Bukhanka and rolled along Japan roads in a Russian van.

The sound of an Ulyanovsk engine splitting the silence of a Japanese village appeared much earlier than the familiar silhouette loomed on the horizon. The owner of the rare car looked very pleased.

I met Yuichi Wong Kei on Facebook. In Japan there nominally is a club of lovers of Russian cars, UAZ and Nivas, but it was not easy to find them. Finally, it turned out that one of the "Bukhankas" is not far from my Japan route. That day I was going to a nursery for snow macaques but traded them for this meeting.

I had to leave my car at the station, so I drove for a while behind the UAZ van and watched the reaction of other drivers. Left-hand drive cars do have some presence there, but these are usually expensive Mercedes saloons. However, in the eyes of the Japanese, a UAZ Bukhanka (452 / 2206) looks much cooler than German plastic crapcans on wheels.

- Yes, he must be Russian at heart! - That's what I thought just as I opened the passenger door. Well, how else does he know how to decorate such vehicles? Only the coins under the rubber band of the windshield were missing.

We raced along the main streets of Japanese towns with the maximum permissible speed. Forty kilometers per hour in a UAZ van - only one hundred and twenty per sensation.

Yuichi loves his van and it shows. But I will not lie to you by saying that it is his only car. The UAZ is needed for shock-and-awe'ing people and hanging out, Yuichi owns a nightclub, and usually the van is parked in front of it. Unfortunately, that night the club was closed so I didn't go to visit. The Japanese man appreciates the off-road characteristics of the van, and its rugged beauty. Yes, in their eyes this is the pinnacle of automotive design.

The van really looks cool, and in Japan they do like vans and minibuses. A few years ago, on Russian television, they showed a story about another UAZ owner in Japan, and he told viewers that he was reworking and improving everything in the van.
Yuichi did not do any of this, the vehicle is almost in the same condition as it came off the assembly line.

He bought it seven years ago. And he spent more than thirty thousand euros. The van itself cost 22 thousand, the rest went to bring it in line with environmental standards.
Today UAZ vans in Japan can no longer be bought: it is impossible to import new ones due to outdated construction, inconsistencies in safety requirements and ecology (in the law, there is something that has been changed, it is impossible to upgrade such vans to meet the new requirements). And no one is willing to sell such a unique vehicle in a used condition.
So in the country of the rising sun, just about twenty of our UAZ vans keep on rolling into the sunset.

Inside the van, a passenger is traveling. This is for laughs.

This stuff reminds you of the vehicle's military specs. And judging by the mud wheel, Yuichi still gets to offroad through the woods.


However the Japanese do not like their own cars very much. But we will talk about that some other time.

Автоблог: Как «Буханка» Японию покоряла.: Как «Буханка» Японию покоряла. Оригинал статьи: Автор: Алексан...
 HoroLex: Автоблог: Как «Буханка» Японию покоряла.: Это интересно! Как «Буханка» Японию покоряла. Оригинал статьи:

Friday, February 9, 2018

Tesla Roadster in Outer Space

Thanks Elon, picture credit SpaceX.

Don't you just love it how "the world's most powerful rocket" with "an ability to lift 64 metric tons" into orbit, sends just 1,305 kg in the shape of Musk's aluminum bathtub body roadster?

In other words, it's a bit premature to claim that Falcon Heavy is the "world's most powerful" rocket. For now it's only good for 1,305 kg which is significantly less than 60 metric tons or even the 23 proven metric tons of the Progress M which for now remains the world's most powerful rocket.

Hazardous Driving in Snow and Icy Conditions in Moscow... accidents on e...

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Gran Turismo Photo Dump: Tesla Roadster 2008

A certain Tesla Roadster is in the news right now... so here are some quick pictures of a 2008 Tesla Roadster found in Gran Turismo 5.

And this is it - an instance of the 2008 Tesla Motors Tesla Roadster.

Here the car is at San Gimignano - Town Square.

The in-game description goes on like this:

"The EV sportscar born in Silicon Valley, the centre of information technology."

Established in California's Silicon Valley in 2003, Tesla Motors announced a car in 2006 that dropped the jaws of many automakers in the world who were still struggling to produce an electric vehicle. This was the announcement of the 4-seater EV sportscar with a midship layout, the Tesla Roadster.
A CFRP body was matched to an aluminum bathtub chassis based on the Lotus Elise. It also shared other components with the Elise, and is assembled at the Lotus Factory in the UK, so it's no wonder that their styling and package is similar. However, this car is powered by lithium-ion batteries and a three-phase AC motor.
Delivery began in 2008, and the initial commercial model produced a maximum output of 245 HP, and 198.9 ft-lb of torque. 0-60 mph is 3.7 seconds. The top speed is limited for safety, but still reaches 125 mph. Obviously its performance is in no way inferior to a gas-powered car, it even has a driving range of 244.2 miles per charge, which was another surprise to many.
The performance of the sports model released in the beginning of 2009 was raised to 284 HP/295.1 ft-lb. This roadster had been the focus of attention long before its release, and even though the price tag was high at $98,000, orders were placed for well over 600 cars immediately. Its final release was slightly delayed, but the initial sales were good and delivery started in Europe beginning in 2009.

And now it is at Siena - Piazza del Campo.

Red Bull Hangar 7

And here are pictures of that other Tesla Roadster, picture credit SpaceX.

Gran Turismo Photo Dump: Tesla Roadster 2008: A certain Tesla Roadster is in the news right now... so here are some quick pictures of a 2008 Tesla Roadster found in Gran Turismo 5. ...

Philippines president has 30 luxury cars flattened by a bulldozer

Friday, February 2, 2018

Kia Stinger on video 2018 Kia Stinger

Kia Stinger on video 2018 Kia Stinger

Powerful all-new Fastback Sport Sedan Catapults the Kia Brand

Kia Motors follows through on the promise of a production model of the GT Concept

Designed in Frankfurt, developed on the Nürburgring, built by the brand ranked highest in initial quality1

LOS ANGELES, November 14, 2017 – Ushering in a new dynamic era for Kia Motors, the all-new 2018 Stinger is the culmination of a years-long journey fueled by the company’s bold and adventurous spirit. A five-passenger sportback poised to redefine a segment currently populated by European automakers, the Stinger promises to be the highest-performance production vehicle in the company’s history and is backed by Kia’s industry-leading warranty. Offered in five trim levels (Stinger, Premium, GT, GT1, GT2) and luxurious accommodations, the Stinger is planned to go on sale in the U.S. in December2.

“Unlike any Kia that has come before it, the Stinger really is a dream car for us and after years of commitment and hard work from a passionate group of designers, engineers and executives around the world, that dream is now a reality,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, Kia Motors America. “From its GT Concept-car origins to its tuning and refining on the legendary Nürburgring circuit, no detail was too small to be obsessed over, and the result is simply stunning.”

Instantly recognizable as a direct evolution of the concept that preceded it, the all-new 2018 Kia Stinger design was overseen by Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors’ chief design officer, and his talented team of designers in Frankfurt. Ride and handling development was looked after by Albert Biermann, head of Kia’s Vehicle Test and High Performance Development and his group of engineers in Korea and on the grueling Nürburgring racing circuit.

But what makes a true gran turismo? This question was the foundation for a years-long journey that began when the GT Concept was first unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Although every Kia design study has a purpose, the GT Concept was something considered by many outside the company as little more than a dream for a brand known for producing mass-market transportation rooted in value. But the GT Concept ignited embers of passion that sparked a fire within the organization and, over the next five years, that fire would grow beyond fantasy and morph into reality.

Once the Stinger was green lighted, that gran turismo question became a mantra as development commenced. Coming from Kia, the design had to be bold. And it was. But it also had to be nimble and fast while also luxurious and quiet. It had to achieve the perfect balance of ride and handling and seat five comfortably with room for luggage. It had to be a lot of things, but most of all, it had to be an authentic gran turismo. And it is.


Turning a concept into a production car is no small task and Schreyer looked no further than Kia’s Frankfurt studio – the birthplace of the GT Concept – to bring the Stinger to life. “A true gran turismo, a car for spirited long-distance driving, is not about outright power, hard-edged dynamics and brutal styling, all at the expense of luxury, comfort and grace,” notes Gregory Guillaume, chief designer, Kia Motors Europe. “The Stinger has nothing to do with being the first to arrive at the destination – this car is all about the journey. It’s about passion.”

From its sleek front clip through its svelte flanks, and up to its powerful haunches, the Stinger exudes a muscular confidence. Key to its road presence are the rear-wheel-drive proportions; a long hood and short front overhang, an extended wheelbase to deliver a spacious cabin, and a long rear overhang with strong shoulders. The Stinger’s stance and visual balance are designed to lend the car an air of elegance and athleticism, rather than boy-racer aggression.

The wide front and rear track, along with the recessed contours along the doors, enhance the visual power of the Stinger’s shoulder line as well as its sportback silhouette. Other functional elements of the exterior design include large air intakes and air curtains in the front, a smooth underbody, and a rear diffuser on the GT trim enhances aerodynamics, while also reducing lift. The rear valance houses four oval exhaust pipes. Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille sits proudly between complex LED headlamps.

The low-slung cabin with its steeply raked windshield and backlight sits toward the rear of vehicle, creating a fast silhouette. Inside is a space dedicated to the thrill of driving while cossetting the occupants in luxury. Typically a high-cost option on most competitors, all Stingers come standard with a leather-appointed interior. Available ultra-soft Nappa leather covers the deeply contoured seats and the driver’s seat has available air-cell bladders in the seatback and width-adjusting bolsters for optimal support and comfort.

A confident dashboard creates a strong horizontal plane for the driver to work behind. The center console is intuitively split into two specific areas: the infotainment controls sit neatly below a large color touchscreen, while the climate and ventilation controls nestle beneath. Front and center of the driver is a thick hand-stitched multifunction leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters; the GT trim gets a “D” shaped steering wheel. The large gauges are ringed in metal and accentuated with sweeping red needles. An available color TFT screen between the gauges relays performance data such as cornering G-forces3, lap times and engine-oil temperature, along with ancillary information such as the trip computer, driver settings, navigation and diagnostics4. Aeronautically inspired spoked circular vents are found front and rear and a tasteful satin chrome ring encircles the cabin. The effect is a feeling of cocooned intimacy, enhanced with warm and inviting available multi-color LED ambient lights that softly illuminate the finely crafted interior. The long wheelbase allows for generous front and rear leg room and the low seating position provides ample head room front and back.

Kia’s Frankfurt R&D center used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software to test and validate different ideas to enhance the car’s aerodynamic profile while retaining the fastback silhouette, which can pose more challenges than conventional sedan designs. The bodywork was tapered slightly towards the rear of the car and new ‘gills’ were introduced behind the front wheel arches, each serving to reduce wake turbulence as air passes over the car’s flanks. A partially-flat underfloor cover flowing into the rear diffuser reduces drag under the car, while the rear spoiler was modeled with a slight ‘ducktail’ shape, reducing lift and increasing high-speed stability. At the front, large horizontal cooling ducts were introduced to optimize brake cooling, and air inlets are shaped to reduce front-end lift. Finally, Kia’s aerodynamicists found that reducing the height of the rear of the roof enhanced the fastback’s ‘aerofoil’ shape and improved the Stinger’s aerodynamic efficiency at the same time. The result is a drag coefficient of 0.30 Cd.


Joining the company from BMW in December, 2014, Albert Biermann’s first look at the Stinger signaled to him a car that had to live up to its stunning design from behind the wheel. “I think for the Kia brand, the Stinger is a very special moment in time,” notes Biermann. “Because nobody expects such a car, not just the way it looks but also the way it drives. It's a whole different animal.”

The car’s development took place across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North and South America, but the Nürburgring’s grueling Nordschleife is where the Stinger was honed. With 73 corners, nearly 1,000 feet of elevation and 17 percent gradients, the “Green Hell” can chew up and spit out a car of lesser mettle in just one lap. Kia’s engineers put every development Stinger through a minimum of 480 laps (equivalent to 6,214 miles) of high-stress driving around the Nordschleife for quality, reliability and durability testing. The constant combination of hard acceleration, rapid deceleration, heavy cornering, changing surfaces and camber offers an unrivaled test of dynamic prowess and the distance covered during the Stinger’s development resulted in nearly 100,000 miles of on-road testing.

Setting the manufacturing hard-points of the body-in-white would define Stinger and the engineers looked carefully across a landscape dotted with contenders. At 114.4 inches, the Stinger’s wheelbase is longer than the Audi A5 Sportback, Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS, BMW 4 Gran Coupe and the Lexus GS5. It’s also longer overall (190.2 inches) and wider (73.6 inches) than several others in the segment. With a generous 23.3 cu.-ft. of cargo space, the Stinger’s cargo area is also larger than many of its competitors, with enough space for full-size luggage or golf bags and a power liftgate with Smart Trunk functionality is available. The spacious accommodations provide more interior volume than its competitors, including the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, 4 Series Gran Coupe, Audi A5 Sportback, and the Lexus GS6.

Riding on a chassis comprised of 55 percent advanced high-strength steel, the Stinger provides an ultra-stiff foundation for the ride-and-handling engineers to work with. This rigidity also helps to reduce NVH for a quieter cabin. The MacPherson front setup features large diameter shock absorbers, high-strength wheel bearings, and an aluminum strut brace, while the reinforced five-link rear suspension is mounted to a stiffened rear subframe.

The base Stinger rides on a passive suspension tuned to offer a balance of handling and ride comfort, while the GT is equipped with Kia’s first continuously damping electronically controlled suspension, called Dynamic Stability Damping Control7. While aiming to predict the driver’s inputs, depending on road conditions and driving style, the Stinger can be tuned to respond with more agility through corners as the system softens the front shocks and firms up the rear. Conversely, improved high-speed stability is achieved when the system stiffens the front shocks and softens the rear. The system is accessed by the driver through five modes (another first for Kia): Custom, Eco, Sport, Comfort and Smart.

Standard Rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS) offers razor-sharp feedback through direct mounting of the electric motor on the steering rack, enhancing steering response and reducing unwanted vibration from transmitting through the column. Variable ratio steering is standard on the GT trim and provides different ratios depending on steering angle, resulting in slower off-center steering and providing improved high speed stability.


If the chassis symbolizes the bones of a gran turismo, then surely the available powertrains represent its heart. Oriented longitudinally and set rearward beneath the long, sculpted hood, a choice of two turbocharged engines are available.

The 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II engine produces 255 horsepower8b at 6,200 rpm with 260 lb.-ft. of maximum torque available from 1,400 – 4,000 rpm, propelling the Stinger from 0-60 mph in just 5.9 seconds8. Performance credentials are further enhanced through the available 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 Lambda II engine, which produces 365 horsepower8b at 6,000 rpm and offers 376 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,350 – 4,500 rpm. With more power on tap than the Audi S5 Sportback, BMW 440i Gran Coupe, and Infiniti Q509, the Stinger GT is positioned to be a worthy challenger to the competition. As such, the Stinger GT accelerates to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds10, quicker than the six-cylinder Porsche Panamera11. Pushing the twin turbocharged V6 to its full potential will allow the Stinger GT to achieve a governed top speed of 167 mph12.

The Stinger features an in-house designed second-generation eight-speed rear-drive automatic transmission. More typically found in aviation- and racing-engine applications, the transmission features Kia’s first use of a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter on the 2.0L to help reduce torsional vibrations through the drivetrain and has been designed with an oil cooler to more efficiently handle heat build-up. Drivers can let the gearbox manage shifts on its own or may selectively run through the gears via paddle shifters mounted aft of the steering wheel. As with the suspension and steering, up to five different shift patterns may be selected through the vehicle’s electronic drive-mode system. Throttle mapping is also adjusted accordingly.

Recognizing that passionate drivers may not always reside in optimal climes, the Stinger is Kia’s first sedan available with rear- or all-wheel drive. Rear-wheel biased for optimal control in the wet or dry, the AWD system features a new Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control system which monitors driver inputs and road conditions and automatically applies power and braking force to the appropriate wheels to help maintain course in a variety of adverse conditions. The system freely distributes torque between the front and rear wheels and also can send power from side to side, depending on driving conditions. Should the system detect slippage, power is seamlessly directed towards the front or rear wheels, depending on the driving situation. Up to 50 percent of torque can be distributed to the front wheels, and in Sport mode up to 80 percent of the power can be routed to the rear wheels. Rear-drive GT2 models get the benefit of an available multi-plate limited slip differential to help evenly distribute power through the rear wheels and enhance directional stability.

A choice of alloy wheels and tires is also offered. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder models ride on 225/45R-18 performance all-season tires while the 3.3-liter V6 is shod with staggered ultra-high performance Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires that have been specifically engineered and tuned for the Stinger; 225/40R-19 in front and 255/35R-19 at the rear.

Engineers subjected the Stinger to a variety of high-speed braking tests, including continuous runs down the infamous Grossglockner High Alpine Road in the Austrian Alps for constant downhill brake testing. The Stinger GT’s stopping power comes from standard high-performance Brembo®13 disc brakes featuring quad-piston front calipers and dual-piston rear calipers, which were subjected to temperatures of more than 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit during their development. The lightweight monobloc all-aluminum calipers reduce unsprung weight and are coupled with large diameter brake discs (13.8-in. front and 13.4-in. rear) that quickly dissipate heat and deliver extremely short stopping distances.

Advanced Technology & Convenience

In the United States, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 72,000 police-reported crashes involved driver fatigue each year14. This results in an estimated 800 deaths, and 41,000 injuries annually. A Kia first is the new Driver Attention Warning (DAW)15 system to help combat distracted or drowsy driving. The system monitors a number of inputs from the vehicle and the driver and will sound a warning chime and display a graphic in the instrument binnacle that it’s time to take a break from driving if it senses the driver’s attention level has been significantly reduced.

Forward Collision Avoidance (FCA)16 with pedestrian detection is designed to monitor vehicles and pedestrians ahead of the vehicle, and if it detects a potential collision with another vehicle or pedestrian, it works to help bring the car to a halt. Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go (SCC w/ S&G)16 is designed to maintain a pre-set distance between the Stinger and the vehicle in front and can bring the car to a full stop in traffic. Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)16 is designed to detect and monitor the vehicle’s intended lane and in certain situations, alert the driver with an audible warning along with providing steering input to help maintain the vehicle’s position. Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW)16 includes Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning (RCCW)16 which scans the area behind the vehicle when backing from a parking space and can alert the driver with an audible warning if it detects cross traffic.

Connectivity, entertainment and vehicle information can be as important as a dynamic driving experience and the Stinger comes to market with the latest infotainment systems. The available height-adjustable color Head-Up Display (HUD)17 display enables the driver to see driving information projected on the windshield glass, including speed, turn-by-turn navigation, audio and cruise control settings and Blind Spot Detection information. Bluetooth®18 hands-free operation is standard while many of the vehicle’s subsystems may be accessed through the steering-wheel-mounted controls.

Long-distance travel is a hallmark of the gran turismo ownership experience and there is a trio of high-performance audio systems designed to turn the interior into a dynamic concert hall as the miles blur by. The base audio system for the 2.0-liter turbo features six speakers and a seven-inch touchscreen with the latest version of UVO, Kia’s award-winning telematics systems. The standard system found in the 3.3-liter twin turbo ups the speaker count to nine and includes an external amplifier. The available premium Harman/Kardon®19 audio system pumps out 720 watts through an external amplifier to provide crystal-clear music. With 15 speakers and Kia’s first under-seat mounted subwoofers tucked beneath the driver and passenger seats, the system features Clari-Fi™20, a patented music restoration technology that rebuilds audio signals that are lost in the digital compression process. This technology returns a high-fidelity listening experience to any compressed digital source. The system also comes equipped with next-generation QuantumLogic™21 Surround Sound technology, which extracts signals from the original recording and redistributes them into an authentic, multidimensional soundstage for playback that is clear, refined and full of detail.

BBC TV - Perpetual Motion - The Ford Transit - 1994

Driving in the snows of Moscow

Thursday, February 1, 2018

SWAT Cops mistake Honda's Launch Control for AK47 machine gun fire

New York Times on RTR 2018 - The Real Burning Man

Noo Yawk Times gets to Bob Wells' RTR 2018.

Even though the treatment seems to be favorable, it remains to be seen if this publicity will be good for (and to) the "tribe" and Vanlife movement in general. Hint: probably it won't.

The Real Burning Man - The New York Times

Organized by Bob Wells, a 62-year-old van-dwelling evangelist who has been living on the road for over two decades, the RTR drew just 45 people when it began in 2010. This year, Mr. Wells said, rangers estimated the crowd at over 3,000. Often called a Burning Man for retirees, the RTR is starting to skew younger, at least by anecdotal measures.

Committed nomads come to share tips on solar power, stealth overnights in parking spots on city streets, van conversion, mail, hygiene, finances and low-cost dental care, which can be found over the border in the Mexican town of Los Algodones, an hour and a half away. Aspirational nomads come to test the waters, in rented mini-Winnies and camper vans. And they come to meet Mr. Wells, a celebrity here. With his abundant gray hair, lustrous beard and mellifluous voice, he is an amiable philosopher-elder of the road: Bruce Chatwin in a GMC cargo van.

Twenty-three years ago, Mr. Wells went through a bitter divorce that upended his finances. He couldn’t afford to rent an apartment on his own; with his last $1,500 in savings, he bought a box van and moved into it, stealth-parking on the streets of Anchorage, where he worked at a Safeway and where his ex-wife and two sons lived. The first nights, he cried himself to sleep. “I came into the van life kicking and screaming, but I fell in love with it,” he said.

The Real Burning Man - The New York Times

Freeriding in the Austrian Alps with the 310 D 4x4 “cabin on wheels”

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