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August 15, 2013

New Holland’s updated CX

Filed under: solar lighting — Tags: , — solaroutdoorlight @ 8:03 am

NEW Holland has revealed revised ranges at the top and tail of its straw walker combine line during a European harvesting event held in France which saw the marque launch a new line of variable chamber round balers.

While external revisions are harder to spot, introductions to the innards of the manufacturer’s latest Elevation generation of CX7/8000 five- and six-walker combines include an innovative new separation feature designed to reduce the likelihood of losses and blockages.

Labelled Opti-Speed and claimed to be unique in the industry, the system automatically varies walker speed according to field gradient, based on one of four settings selected by the operator. While the maize and rice settings are likely to find limited use in the UK, the others are geared for the specific seed/plant matter characteristics of oilseed rape and wheat/cereals.

When driving uphill, walker speed is reduced according to gradient severity to retain material over the walkers for longer. This aims to improve separation and reduce the risk of excessive grain loss out of the back of the combine before it has been separated from the straw. Conversely, when harvesting downhill, walker speed is increased to prevent crop backing up and causing blockages.

The system is backed by Opti-Fan cleaning, which further compensates for the effects of uphill and downhill slopes. After the operator has set their desired fan speed on level ground, the system automatically adjusts it when the combine works up or downhill, to prevent sieve overload and/or separation losses.

Opti-Clean, which is standard on machines specified with a self-levelling cleaning shoe, is claimed to improve cleaning performance by up to 20 per cent by optimising the sieve stroke and throwing angle. The grain pan and the pre and top sieves operate independently,We offer solar photovoltaic system and commercial incentives to encourage our customers to install solar energy systems. which New Holland claims boosts cleaning capacity. A longer sieve stroke and steep throwing angle keep more material airborne for enhanced separation.

Further developments include grain tank growth across the range, with CX8080 and CX8090 Elevation models holding a maximum 11,500 litres. Unloading speed is up 14 per cent to a maximum 125 litres/second, emptying the largest tank in just more than 90 seconds.

New Holland’s in-house designed SmartTrax rubber track system is available on the five-walker CX7090 and six-walker CX8080 and CX8090 Elevation models, in 610mm (24in) versions to keep transport width within 3.5m, and in 760mm (30in) variants for extreme conditions.

Additional upgrades for CX Elevation combines include an IntelliView IV colour touchscreen monitor with 264mm (10in) screen, optional HID lighting and upgraded seating, including a full-leather option.

Why is disorder faster?

In the study, the team focused on a class of organic materials known as conjugated or semiconducting polymers—chains of carbon atoms that have the properties of plastic, and the ability to absorb sunlight and conduct electricity.

Discovered nearly 40 years ago, semiconducting polymers have long been considered ideal candidates for ultrathin solar cells, light-emitting diodes, and transistors. Unlike silicon crystals used in rooftop solar panels, semiconducting polymers are lightweight and can be processed at room temperature with ink-jet printers and other inexpensive techniques. So why aren’t buildings today covered with plastic solar cells?

“One reason they haven’t been commercialized is because of poor performance,” Salleo says. “In a solar cell, electrons need to move through the materials fast, but semiconducting polymers have poor electron mobility.”

To find out why,I’m not sure how led downlight fit into that equation if they are left on. Salleo joined Rodrigo Noriega and Jonathan Rivnay, who were Stanford graduate students at the time, in analyzing more than two decades of experimental data.

“Over the years,A solar lamp is a portable light fixture composed of an LED lamp, a photovoltaic solar panel, and a rechargeable battery. many people designed stiffer polymers with the goal of making highly organized crystals, but the charge mobility remained relatively poor,” Salleo says. “Then several labs created polymers that looked disordered and yet had very high charge mobility. It was a puzzle why these new materials worked better than the more structured crystalline ones.”For more information, please visit

August 13, 2013

In other “RHONJ” doings

Filed under: solar lighting — Tags: , — solaroutdoorlight @ 7:04 am

There are some things I wish I could forget ever having seen. One of them was the two patches of flesh (and some underlying fat) that a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon removed from Jacqueline Laurita’s tummy, glimpsed in Sunday night’s episode. One hunk of the trimmed belly fat even sported a heart tattoo. If you were zipping around the channels and stopped at that sight, you might have thought you were watching “Forensic Files,” not “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”

“How did you all handle seeing my cutlets on the table during surgery?” Jac asked in her cast blog, which she posted in the wee hours of Monday morning.

Answer: Not well, Jac.

She actually addressed the tummy tuck (and neck lift she got at the same time) at length in that blog post:

“My decision to get a tummy tuck was easy. I always wanted one since I gave birth to Nicholas and lost all of my baby weight. My body just didn’t bounce back this time like it did in the past. Dieting and exercising couldn’t fix that mess you saw. It looked like an elephant leg. LOL! It didn’t matter how beautiful my husband, family, or friends told me I was. I wasn’t feeling it. That skin had to go, and so did that tattoo! It was cute because inside the heart was the letter “C” on top of, and connecting to, a cursive letter “L”. I had that tattoo made for my husband while we were engaged. Well…that’s ONE way to get rid of a tattoo! LOL!”

And then she ventured into the realm of Way Too Much Information:

“Before my tummy tuck, I always tricked my husband with sexy mood lighting and cute, short lingerie dresses that I could lift up the bottom and pull my boobies out of the top, trying to be sexy, while secretly hiding my mid-section. He had no idea that mess was there. I hid it well. I was embarrassed of it. Now you know why! It’s gone now, so who cares.They are called “solar” panels or solar module because most of the time, the most powerful source of light available is the Sun.”

Her husband “had no idea that mess was there.” But now he, and the world, have seen that hidden zone up close.

On a brighter note, since the surgery was in California, Jac — and RHONJ fans — got to see her daughter, Ashlee Holmes again. In New Jersey, she seemed eternally bratty, spoiled and ungrateful. But in this episode, Ashlee not only looked beautiful, but she seemed so much more mature — more so than her mother, actually, which Jacqueline even acknowledged, after Ashlee urged her mom, in vain, not to have a shot of tequila the night before surgery: “I feel like it’s role reversal. It’s like she’s being the responsible one and I’m on spring break,” Jac said.

Clearly, it was easier for Ashlee to grow up once she left the Garden State — and RHONJ. (In her latest cast blog, Jac wrote that Ashlee “is actually staying with us in New Jersey for awhile, because she decided to go to makeup school in New York.” Let’s just hope the old Ashlee won’t re-emerge.

One other Laurita-related note. Back home in Franklin Lakes, poor little C.J.Know about led high bay conversion kit and Bi-xenon HID kit. said he wasn’t feeling good. He also felt hot to the touch, according to his dad, Chris Laurita – a diagnosis that was confirmed by his sister, Caroline Manzo,The world’s largest independent online retailer for solar lighting, street lights & outdoor lighting fixtures. who then said she knew what was wrong with C.J. He had strep. Unless I heard wrong, Caroline said she could “smell it on his breath.” (Who needs thermometers or throat-cultures when Dr. Manzo is in the house?)

In other “RHONJ” doings:

They showed more of the conversations that we’d seen last week between the Lauritas and the Giudices at The Brick House in Wyckoff. The ever-composed Chris Laurita didn’t seem to react when Juicy Joe reiterated his (ignorant) views on autism. When the women, after having a heart-to-heart, rejoined the men at a table, Jac apologized to Juicy for what she’d said about his having cheated on Teresa. “I’ve forgotten it already. I really have,” said Juicy, whom we now know had far more important things to worry (and think) about.

Gia Giudice and Uncle Joe Gorga, her godfather, had a heart-to-heart, too. “Didn’t you realize that when you and my mom were tit for tat, it distanced everyone?” Gia asked. It sounded like a scripted line, but there was, of course, much truth behind it.

Read the full story at!

August 2, 2013

Rising Star

Filed under: solar lighting — Tags: , — solaroutdoorlight @ 2:40 am

FILIPINO-owned Dreamco Automobile Co. Inc., exclusive distributor of Jiangling Motor Co. (JMC) in the country, is confident that China-made cars are slowly gaining public acceptance in the Philippine market, so much so that it has announced the arrival of its newest mid-size SUV, the all-new JMC Orion.

Known as the JMC Yusheng in other countries, the all-new Orion is one of JMC’s frontliners in the SUV segment. Launched at last year’s Philippine International Motor Show (Pims), the seven-seater Orion is poised to go toe-to-toe with its Japanese- and Korean-made rivals.

Currently, the JMC Orion is the only mid-size, locally assembled SUV in the country. Its dimensions of 4,740mm x 1,895mm x 1,862mm (length x width x height), bring it close to the size of the Mitsubishi Montero and Hyundai Veracruz.

From the outside, it actually doesn’t look like a China-made car.

The muscular flanks and curvy tail lamps of the Orion create a fresh balance of aggression and sophistication.

Inside the cabin, occupants will delight in the soft, plush seats and comfort features. The instrument panel is easy to read with its straightforwardly simple but functional rotating round dials and knobs. The high ceiling and large windows accentuate the interior space, which is really generous. Able to accommodate seven passengers, the Orion is perfect for long journeys. The second and third rows provide ample legroom and headroom. Luggage space is more than adequate and the back seats can be configured as needed.

JMC collaborated with American carmaker Ford to refine the Orion’s 2.4-liter Duratorq TDCI engine, which sings to the tune of 140 hp—the vibration was adequately suppressed without compromising power.

During my test on highways, I was totally astonished at how smooth the five-speed manual tranny changed gears. Since the engine doesn’t need to reach higher revs in achieving optimum power-to-torque ratios, fuel mileage readings of 10 to 11 km per liter on mixed city driving can be expected.

Some of the Orion’s new features are 17-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, HID projector and fog lamps, keyless entry and alarm, three-point seatbelt, automatic door lock system and backing up radar system. There’s also an audio system with AM/FM/CD/MP3/Aux modes. Standard ABS with brake force distribution and dual front airbags add value to the package.

Despite its heavy curb weight, the Orion is surprisingly light on its feet with good traction and stability control that keeps the suspension well balanced, thanks to double wishbones in front and multi-link suspension in the rear.

The best thing about this vehicle is that you won’t feel that it’s “Made in China.” There is one good question, though: Would I buy this vehicle for P1.130 million? My answer: Why not? If your priority is practicality and functionality, it’s worth it.

July 31, 2013

2014 Audi allroad

Filed under: solar lighting — Tags: — solaroutdoorlight @ 2:36 am

Introduced more than a decade ago, Audi’s original A6-based Allroad was a moderately rugged wagon built to tackle on- and off-road adventures in style. After a few years’ hiatus, the Allroad returned to dealer showrooms last year. This time based on the A4 platform, the 2014 Audi Allroad is smaller and more city-oriented. It still has the goods for all-weather pursuits and light off-road travel, but now it’s basically an A4 wagon with extra ground clearance and extra body cladding.

As is typically the case with all things Audi, though, the Allroad’s primary strength is its exquisitely appointed cabin. The design is modern and upscale, and materials quality is never less than first-rate. In the tradition of the finest luxury automobiles, even the smallest details seem to have been carefully thought through with the driver’s comfort in mind, from the gentle, eye-friendly gauge illumination to the satisfying way in which the steering wheel fits in the hands.

Handling is easy and agreeable, and the Allroad delivers the smooth ride quality that well-heeled city dwellers and suburbanites will expect. Standard all-wheel drive makes the car a suitable companion for those who slosh through rain and snow. In addition, with 7.1 inches of ground clearance and standard skid plates, it can take on deeper snow and maintained dirt roads when the need arises.

LED strip light

Standard features on Premium models include 18-inch wheels; a panoramic sunroof; automatic headlights; cruise control; leather upholstery; automatic climate control; split-folding rear seats; a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; eight-way power front seats (with four-way power lumbar); a dash-mounted Multi Media Interface (MMI); Bluetooth phone connectivity; and a 10-speaker sound system with an iPod interface, a CD player and satellite radio. This trim is available with a Lighting package that includes bi-xenon headlights and LED running lights.

The features in the Premium trim and Lighting package are included on the Premium Plus trim, along with heated exterior mirrors, a power liftgate, keyless ignition/entry, heated front seats, driver memory functions, three-zone automatic climate control and auto-dimming mirrors. An optional MMI Navigation package adds a navigation system, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, voice controls, HD radio, a color trip computer screen, Bluetooth audio connectivity and Audi Connect (enhanced Web-based navigation, information and WiFi access). The MMI controls are also relocated from the dash to the center console. A blind-spot warning system is available as an option.

The Allroad Prestige comes standard with all of the features in the Premium trim and MMI Navigation package, plus adaptive headlights, a blind-spot warning system, manual sunshades for the rear doors and a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium sound system (optional on Premium Plus).

The Driver Assist package (offered on the Prestige trim) includes adaptive cruise control and adjustable settings for the steering and transmission. The Sport Interior package (offered on Prestige and Premium Plus) adds sport front seats and a three-spoke steering wheel with transmission shift paddles. Nineteen-inch wheels are available on the Prestige and Premium Plus, while rear side airbags are optional on all levels.

July 26, 2013

The California Italian

Filed under: solar lighting — Tags: — solaroutdoorlight @ 2:22 am

As hard as manufacturers of cars have worked at taking traditional styling (found in Mustangs, Camaros, etc.) and mixing it with new technologies, nobody has incorporated the latest advancements in engineering into familiar products as successfully as motorcycle makers. A great example of this is Moto Guzzi, for the Italian manufacturer has maintained its signature air-cooled V-Twin engine (mounted across the frame instead of laterally, like the bulk of V-Twins) while working steadfastly in the internals of the bikes to bring the latest advancements on board.

When you build a big, cruiser-style motorcycle like the 1400 California, you really have the best of both worlds, especially if you sample the Touring variant, as we did. Armed for long-haul adventures, this Moto Guzzi is as handsome as it is comfortable on the highway, and has the unique sound and feel that only this iconic European marque can deliver.

The new California 1400 Touring has an engine that looks familiar to Moto Guzzi fans, but it’s actually quite special. At 1380cc, the engine is the largest production V-Twin in Europe, and features Guzzi’s Quattrovalvole (four valve) heads. This mighty mill has a biplane quality about it as you thunder about with those big cylinders out in the breeze. But while the engine is always telling you what it’s up to, vibration is never an issue, thanks to a sophisticated mounting system.


The California also features state-of-the-art engine management with which you can adjust response with three settings: Touring, Fast and Wet. There are also three different rider selectable Traction Control settings as well, to further fine-tune the power to the road conditions. The final drive is a 6-speed transmission that gets the grunt to the ground via shaft final drive. A well-calibrated suspension makes the 750-lb. bike surprisingly light on its feet and very stable, and low-speed handling is especially user-friendly.

Unlike of a lot of touring bikes based on cruiser ergonomics, there’s a decent amount of undercarriage clearance, so you don’t scrape the floorboards during moderate cornering. The bike’s stout ABS triple disc brakes are also up the task of stopping the bike in short order, even in wet conditions.

The California 1400 Touring has an upright riding position with standard floorboards that let you move your feet around a bit and therefore offer more comfort compared with footpegs. An excellent windshield keeps the bulk of the wind blast off your chest to lower fatigue on long trips. A standard set of 35-liter rear panniers give you weatherproof storage, and a rear trunk is available as an option. A 5.4-gallon fuel tank along with mileage in the upper 30s deliver good range, and a very simply one-button Cruise Control system is standard. Other intriguing features include a headlight array with LED Daytime Running lights, a two-tone saddle that is both stylish and comfortable for you and your passenger, and standard engine and pannier guards to protect the bike during minor tip-overs. More information about the program is available on the web site at

July 24, 2013

New 7-Series And S-Class Rival

Filed under: solar lighting — Tags: — solaroutdoorlight @ 2:34 am

Realizing the folly of launching two new sedans positioned above its XTS, Cadillac has decided to focus on one instead, which it will position as a rival to the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class in the full-size luxury sedan segment. This new sedan, which is tipped to be called an LTS, will hit the streets in about two years, meaning it’s likely to launch as a 2016 model.

The latest information was revealed by General Motors CEO Dan Akerson during a recent interview with USA Today.

Akerson also revealed that the new sedan won’t resemble any of Cadillac’s recent concepts though certain elements, such as the vertical daytime running lights seen on the latest CTS, will feature in order to strengthen the family resemblance of Cadillac’s future lineup.

The car will be based on a new rear-wheel-drive platform for large cars General Motors Company is developing. Called Omega, this platform will share much in common with the lightweight Alpha platform underpinning Cadillac’s ATS and CTS models in order to keep costs and weight down. It will also mean that Omega-based cars could potentially share production lines with those based on the Alpha platform.

In addition to rear-wheel drive, the Omega platform will also be able to accommodate an all-wheel-drive system. Hybrid capability is also expected, though the basic engines will be V-6 and V-8 units.

What’s not clear is whether Cadillac will continue to sell both the existing XTS (its current flagship) and the new rear-wheel-drive sedan, or just the latter. There’s a chance that the XTS may stick around as the car is proving popular in the Chinese market as well as in the livery business.

It’s also uncertain what other models the Omega platform will spawn; possibilities include a large luxury coupe or convertible. GM has previously said it would need more than one model to justify development of a new platform like the Omega.

New tech features include a 6.1-inch touch-screen with a backup camera on the SE trim; and a new navigation system with a 7-inch touch-screen, voice command, 3D mapping, point-of-interest info and real-time traffic with the SE Touring Package. The SE Touring Package also includes new black-leather seating.

In addition, the new SE Premium Package features a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate premium sound system with nine speakers, including a 10-inch subwoofer. The package also boasts a new power adjustable driver seat and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. In addition, the new LED Daytime Running Lamps Package bundles LED running lights with special front corner extensions. More information about the program is available on the web site at

July 17, 2013

2014 Hyundai Equus

Filed under: solar lighting — Tags: — solaroutdoorlight @ 3:52 am

Earlier this year, Hyundai officially revealed the 2014 Equus at the New York Auto Show, revealing some revisions for its flagship luxury sedan. Changes for the model year include new 19-inch turbine-inspired wheels, the removal of chrome strips on the front and rear bumpers, revised headlight and taillight graphics, standard LED fog lamps  and the addition of new colors

Inside changes include a completely redone instrumental panel, center console, steering wheel control layout, rear seat center console controls and updated leather and trim selections. The infotainment and cluster display also feature larger screens and there are new dual entertainment systems in the back for rear-seat passengers.

The suspension is also revised, receiving new modes optimized for specific driving conditions, including snow mode, normal mode and sport mode. New bushings smooth things out even further.

The Tau 5.0-liter V8 remains as the car’s powerplant, producing 429 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. Hyundai’s eight-speed transmission sends power to the rear wheels.

Pricing for the Equus starts at $61,920 for the Signature line, while the top-of-the-line Ultimate starts at $68,920 including destination.

During a drive event for the new Equus at Hyundai’s North American Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., we were able to get the full scoop and drive the Korean automaker’s flagship luxury sedan.

The Equus’ overall look is essentially unchanged, except for some minor exterior revisions. It’s a handsome car, if not a bit generic looking. We would’ve liked to see Hyundai take more of a risk in the design department by adding more complex lines to the design (We think its cousin, the Kia Quoris, looks better). Nevertheless, the removal of the chrome strips on the rear and front bumpers help improve aesthetics while the turbine rims look more upscale than the previous 2013’s chrome clad slap-ons.

Stepping inside the car, the interior is plush and feature filled, but we did notice some flaws. The wood trim on the dash looks tacky and some of the buttons look cheap. There are some hard plastics found as well throughout the door panels and dash.

The dash cluster graphics are neat though, and the infotainment system is intuitive and easy to read and use. The Lexicon sound system in the Equus is excellent. Turn the bass up loud enough and you can nearly shatter the windows. In terms of features, the Hyundai has just about has every option you would expect to find in this class, with most of them being standard depending which trim you buy.

The real experience for the Equus is being a passenger. Get into the back seat and you feel like you’re a government diplomat. You’re greeted by seats that recline, move forward and give you ample leg room. Optional dual monitors behind the driver and passenger seat display movies, media and the navigation screen while the rear console can control just about everything in the car from the radio to the seat in front of you.

In terms of the driving experience, the Hyundai’s V8 is the star of the show. With the eight-speed transmission on board, power was plentiful and not once did the Equus feel slow. Customers certainly won’t be racing, but it’s nice to know you have overtaking power at your disposal when needed.

While inside, there was minimal road noise and the Hyundai swallowed up bumps and potholes fairly well. The car took sweeping corners comfortably, and although it is obviously no sports car, it’s not intended to be. The steering feels a little disconnected from the car, which seems a tad bit slow to react.

July 12, 2013

Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line

Filed under: solar lighting — Tags: , — solaroutdoorlight @ 6:30 am

In the vast expanse of the exceptionally crowded compact crossover segment, it is inevitable that otherwise worthy alternatives will fall through the cracks. Yes, while the likes of the Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4 sport new sheet metal and are snatched up no slower than chocolate cupcakes at a dessert table, certain models tend to be completely overlooked.

The Volkswagen Tiguan finds itself in this rather unfortunate predicament, much like the red velvet cupcake. It, too, plays second-fiddle to chocolate at the dessert table, but take a bite and one is instantly drawn in by its delectably sweet core and layer of frosting. But I digress. Like the car on which it’s based, the Golf, it has been around for a while. It boasts neither the sexiest sheet metal, the most powerful engine nor the most cutting-edge technological wizardry. Rather, it does many things well, despite its rather high price, without making much of a fuss.

Take the styling, for example. Onlookers in a shopping mall parking lot would be hard-pressed to stop in their tracks, bewildered by the Tiguan’s unrelenting beauty. It eschews the rounded-off styling so common with many other crossovers, embracing a more traditional two-box design. From the front, it does not look half bad, with its split two-bar chrome grille, finished off by a set of  Wholesale Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights.

Look closer and there is a badge on the grille denoting what makes our particular tester special — the R-Line package. New for 2013, it is available exclusively on the fully loaded, $37,440 Highline trim level. The package adds a handful of goodies to the Tiguan, including the aforementioned headlights as well as tinted tail lights and a spoiler on the hatch. It rides on a set of 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped around 255/40 series rubber, surprisingly (and pleasantly) wide for a car in its class.

The choice in tire width, something otherwise seemingly inconsequential, does wonders for the ride in tandem with another R-like exclusive, the sport-tuned suspension. Though the Tiguan is not the best option for the autocross or the racetrack, its driving dynamics are a wonderful surprise considering high stance. It feels very planted ascending on-ramps, rough pavement and even tight bends, far from the numb and wallowy tendencies of other crossovers.

Steering is tuned toward the light side of the equation

. It takes little effort to manoeuvre around town and in tight parking situations, and gives the driver a reasonable idea of what is going on under the wheels. As a Golf offspring, the Tiguan is not as direct as the GTI or Golf R, but is definitely up there with the Mazda CX-5 and the Subaru Forester XT. Outward visibility is good despite the small side-mirrors. Thankfully, the a back-up camera is standard.

Powering the Tiguan is Volkswagen’s ubiquitous 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. As with many other VW products beating with this heart, it does not take an engineering professor to figure it produces identical numbers to the GTI: 200 horsepower at 5,100 rpm and a 207 pound-feet of torque at 1,700 rpm. Like the GTI, the Tiguan feels it produces much more thanks to minimal turbo lag and a fairly linear powerband. Keep the radio off and the go-fast pedal pressed far enough and you can even hear the turbo spool up, something more than welcome considering its sporting genealogy.

Where it differs from the GTI is how it puts the power to the ground. The Tiguan is equipped with VW’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. Whether or not it has the chops to compete with Subaru and Audi’s systems is yet to be determined, but it certainly inspires confidence knowing all four wheels get horses and torques, regardless of weather conditions.

My only nitpick with the car lies with the transmission. Though the six-speed automatic is respectably smooth and responsive, it is not Volkswagen’s magical-elf-and-pixie-dust-powered dual-clutch Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) automatic. Rather, it is a standard, run-of-the-mill tiptronic slushbox. Slotted into Manual mode, it does not detract from the sporty drive, but I do miss the lightning-quick upshifts and downshifts. Click on their website hmhid for more information.

July 10, 2013

Toyota Verso

Filed under: solar lighting — Tags: , — solaroutdoorlight @ 3:41 am

THE Toyota Verso comes in for a bit of a mid-life facelift, although those in the know will realise that not a lot needed doing to this very good seven-seat mini-MPV. A sharper look and better emissions for the diesel models are the headliners here.

There remains a choice of two petrol engines and two diesels. Those looking for a petrol model choose between a 1.6 or a 1.8-litre Valvematic. Both are matched to a six-speed manual gearbox, with the 1.8 optionally available with a revised Multidrive CVT that has been tuned to give more of a stepped gear-shift feel, with engine revs building in a way that’s more closely linked to vehicle acceleration.


Toyota has stiffened the chassis and tuned the front MacPherson strut and rear torsion beam suspension for a more comfortable ride. The electric power steering has been adjusted for better feel and feedback and the cabin has been made quieter by adding extra damping material and by developing smaller, more aerodynamic door mirrors.

This generation Verso first appeared in the UK in 2009; it looked fresh then. Since then, ever bolder MPV styles have hit the market and Toyota clearly felt that a sharper look was required.

The facelift chiefly addresses the usual targets of grille, lights and bumpers but it’s a neatly resolved job. The overall aim has been to make the Verso look low, long and wide and there’s an eye-catching trapezoidal grille and a horizontal bar across the front that extends into the narrower headlight units. These lights now incorporate LED daytime running lights and, on upper spec versions, there are High-Intensity Discharge lights available.

The Verso remains refreshingly free of the cheap attention-grabbing gimmicks so many other manufacturers employ to claw in sales. There is nothing that will turn heads or provoke comment. The styling updates are well-judged but the Verso’s shape is inherently low-key. So not a whole lot has really changed. If you’ve driven a Verso, you’ll know that this is very good news. If you’re a potential buyer who knows what’s important in a mini-MPV, it’s largely as you were.

The Verso formula remains the same; reliability, safety, versatility and honesty. There aren’t many rivals that get close.

The design features a heavily revised multi-link axle, as well as an electronic differential lock XDS integrated into the electronic stability control (ESC). This function improves the traction of the wheels and reduces the tendency to understeer in fast cornering. Electro-mechanical progressive steering provides accuracy and fast responses.

Available in either hatch or estate guise, the Octavia vRS features a front grille with honeycomb air intakes, a unique front bumper and led  fog lights as well as bi-xenon headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights.

Other highlights include the red-lacquered brake calipers and a choice of 17, 18 or 19-inch alloy wheels. You’ll get the best ride quality on the standard 17-inch Dorado alloys. I probably wouldn’t recommend the 19-inch wheels for this country’s roads although the Xtrem alloys do look great finished in black.

The Skoda Octavia vRS does nothing particularly radical – but then it doesn’t need to. It has established a profitable niche for itself in offering a model that’s presentable, rapid, discreet and which won’t break the bank.

Buying a quick car is no longer the no-brainer decision it once was, especially when the budgetary constraints of a growing family look likely to stymie your plans. The vRS offers all the solid common sense of the Skoda brand with more than enough about it to reassure anyone that they’re not on the fast track to pipe and slippersville.

July 5, 2013

Lexus unveils hot new IS 350

Filed under: solar lighting — Tags: — solaroutdoorlight @ 6:26 am

Lexus SA says it has “thrown down the gauntlet” with the totally redesigned third-generation IS sedan.

At 4665mm overall, the new IS 350 is 80mm longer and 10mm wider than its predecessor. The front overhang has increased by just 10mm, and significantly, the wheelbase has been extended by 70mm to 2800mm.

The front of the new IS represents a further evolution of the spindle grille from the GS and LS models. The design has been made more three-dimensional, and its shape accentuated by a chrome plated frame and the muscular projection of horizontal bars (E and EX models) which follow the curvature of the vehicle front.

The headlights are underscored by Lexus trademark L-shaped LED Daytime Running Lights located independently below the cluster, giving the new IS a highly distinctive visual signature.

The deep front bumper design anchors chunky front wings and flared wheel arches. Integral foglamps are housed within secondary sculpted side air intakes which control the flow of air out through the wheel arches to enhance aerodynamic performance.

We must admit, we quite like the rising crease line flowing from the lower body, through the rear wheel arch and merging into the rear lamp. Seriously sporty.

LED Daytime Running Light

The Lexus compact sedan is available in a range of nine exterior colours, of which three, Nova White, Electric Blue and Sonic Titanium, are exclusive to the F Sport model.

The F Sport package benefits from exclusive, more sporting and aggressive exterior and interior design features as well as dynamic enhancements.

It bears a modified grille and different front bumper, and the “waistline” of the grille is higher than on standard models, increasing the area of the lower grille to make it capable of drawing in a larger volume of cooling air. The grille itself has a unique, L-shaped mesh or honeycomb finish and the lower section is trimmed with a more prominent chrome-plated frame than that of the standard IS.

The bottom corners of the front bumper feature F Sport-exclusive aerodynamic detailing to provide both downforce and enhanced brake cooling. A set of 18-inch wheels feature a Y-spoke design and a dark premium metallic coated finish.

The driver’s seat is redesigned, and Lexus says it offers greater comfort and better lateral support. The seat hip point has been lowered by 9mm and rearward seat adjustment has been increased by 19mm. The LFA-inspired steering wheel features a new paddle shift switch shape, which apparently makes for easier, more accurate operation.

With 50mm of its 70mm longer wheelbase dedicated to increased rear seat space and 20mm dedicated to increased luggage capacity, the new IS offers rear seat occupants increased levels of comfort. The combination of extended wheelbase and a thinner front seat design generates an 85mm increase in knee room for the new 60:40 split/folding seats.

The new IS dashboard is divided into two distinct zones: a display zone and an operation zone. An upper display zone houses the 7-inch multi-display screen, while a lower operational zone allows access to system controls such as the second generation of Lexus’ Remote Touch Interface.

The new IS follows the GS and LS in adopting a Drive Mode Select system, with meter (instrument) illumination and multi-information display design changing from blue to red in sports driving modes.

The centre console incorporates a Lexus first: electrostatic switches to control the air conditioning temperature with the touch of a finger. The IS 350 with the standard package is equipped with a new Lexus Display Audio (LDA) system whilst EX and F SPORT grade models are equipped with Remote Touch-controlled Electro Multi Vision Navigation or EMVN multimedia systems (incorporating standard SatNav).

The new interior design is available in a choice of three smooth leather colour schemes; Black, Ivory, and, Dark Rose, an F Sport exclusive.

The engine features a lightweight, die-cast aluminium cylinder block. The unit develops 228kW at 6400rpm and 375Nm of torque at 4800rpm, accelerating the IS 350 from 0-100 km/h in 5.9 seconds and on to a maximum speed of 225km/h. Fuel consumption is pegged at 9.7  litres per 100km on the combined cycle.

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