I Shed A Little “Light” On The Subject

An interesting story in the automotive news world recently has been the issue over headlights. While the story has currently been on many automotive sites, I first read about it on Yahoo, and in any case, many seemed to make this issue seem very recent. However, after looking into it, the issue was actually started much further back, as  you can read in an article here that was written in February 2013 about it.

Audi has introduced “matrix LED” headlights to the world, which in short, is an advanced headlight with the ability to turn corners and automatically brighten or dim to properly illuminate the drivers view. The problem with this new system is that a United States law from 1968 says that there can only be two setting for headlights, high and low, thus, prohibiting the “matrix LED” from being on a vehicle sold in the US. Our friends in Europe will be able to enjoy Audi’s “bright” idea on their vehicles. I did do a little digging, and found what I believe is the law that states the high low beam issue. The more interesting thing to note is that before I found what I believe is the law, I am became much more aware of all the issues at hand.

One such issue is that due to the government and private sector being so distant from one another in advancement of technology, and the inability to communicate to one another about such technology; that in turn causes the government to cautiously proceed when they do not understand and cannot properly define or regulate certain technologies. That is one issue in this headlight ordeal.

Another is the overall American automotive headlight laws and regulations in general. Each state has their own laws and rules, which obviously must first adhere to the national laws. This is where I see a problem.

The problem is that not all headlights are created equal. We have all seen the cars equipped with the xenon headlights. Those emit a much different light that standard headlights. The sheer difference in light emitted by all sorts of headlights on cars on the road is really not a good case for the government to claim cars can only have two settings. Sure you can have a “high” and a “low” but the light emitted in those settings can vary from bulb to bulb and vehicle to vehicle. From what I understand, “matrix LED” equalizes what each car emits because it is senses the light surrounding your car. That would be much more beneficial to all drivers.

We have all come across a driver who has forgotten to turn off their brights. That can be unpleasant and sometimes it results in an accident. “Matrix LED” would eliminate that because it would dim for you. However, it is also fair to point out that, a system like this can be distracting and unpleasant as well. The ability for lights to change on their own in fractions of seconds could result in distracted driving in the same manner as our current method of headlight change, human error.

I can see the pros and cons of the issue. I understand both the government and the auto makers side of things. I also understand the consumer side. There are so many factors and opinions that can be weighed and expressed. Feel free to let me know what you think.

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Tidbits for Today

Tidbits for today…

I read this article earlier in the week about the GT-R. He was making decent sense…until, “I want the GT-R to be more like an NSX…” …WHAT?! Um, the GT-R should NEVER be like the NSX. It was never supposed to be like the NSX, nor is it, nor shall it ever be. Then to say “Think 560-horsepower AWD FR-S and you’re most of the way there.”  In what world is the FR-S like the NSX?! You don’t even make sense in your trippy logic! To my fellow car blogger, you are a few cylinders short of a GT-R.

I read this article about Lincoln the other day and how this author feels the company just needs to be laid to rest. I do agree. I see the whole Ford Motor Company as Apple; in a league of their own, I will leave it at that (although I’m not a big fan of Apple, so you can assume my feelings about Ford). However, with that said, I would love to take a shot at marketing a revival for Lincoln. They need to associate themselves with comebacks. Comebacks that a younger and well established customer would recognize and think to themselves, I want to be a part of that. That is just the surface of ideas that I would use to market a comeback for Lincoln. I would go so far to say that they don’t even need to do any restyling, they just need much better marketing. Image consulting is more the concept.

I was very happy that Kyle Busch swept the weekend at Texas Motor Speedway! I am a huge Joe Gibbs Racing fan and Kyle Busch fan! Super excited for all parties!

In relation to the NASCAR, I did not see any problem with the NRA sponsoring the race. It makes complete sense to me from exactly what this article states, “Eddie Gossage, the president of the Texas Motor Speedway, told CBS Sports he actually hasn’t heard much in the way of controversy over the race. He said the NRA’s sponsorship is “not about politics. It’s about sports marketing.” ITS ABOUT SPORTS MARKETING. Perfect sense in my book.

There are certainly more tidbits I have spinning around in my head, and hopefully I will be able to get more out later this week. But these ones have been swirling for a few days now and I want to make sure I am staying current and relevant. It’s what you deserve. Feel free to tell me what you think in the comments below!

Retool for the New School

Reading Autoblog today, stirred up some thoughts I have been mulling over for a while…the matter of automobile production. What really does it take to produce an automobile? If it is just like anything else in life, the willingness, passion, desire, and devotion to get it done are the ingredients to success. Why that doesn’t seem to work, or at least it was never popular up until this point I just don’t know. But I see a shift coming. A shift that will change the way automobiles are conceived, made, bought, and driven. More importantly there will be a shift to a unique connection between company, machine, and consumer.

I think the turn around time for creating a concept vehicle by a company, and either not producing it, or saying that it will be produced 3-5 years down the road…is absolutely stupid. That’s a lie. If you want to make something, you will make it, end of story. Sure it takes time to reset production plants and assembly lines, gather the materials and resources, create new machines that can make the new parts…yes I get that. But really, where has that gotten us? It has gotten us to this point, where new ideas are being generated faster than that old process can keep up.

Three stories on Autoblog today relate to this topic. The first is that Nissan is planning to build a new vehicle every 6 weeks until 2016. I say that is the most brilliant plan of any company to date. That kind of diversity will make their vehicles more exclusive and personal for consumers. In this day in age, consumers want to be part of a whole, but they want to stick out in that whole. This plan that Nissan has will provide that. Creating that type of momentum for niche audiences will also start creating a desire for people to own something that has the ability to become rare, which instead of seeing an automobile, particularly a grocery getter, as a expense, it is seen as an investment.

Second story is that Lamborghini is undecided on whether to create the four dour Estoque (Which has been around for what I think is a while and it is dumb they haven’t made it yet. It’s a great vehicle with would serve a purpose.) or an SUV. My opinion, BUILD THEM BOTH! Lamborghini shocked the world a few months ago with talk that they might start creating an “everyday” line-up of vehicles. People think that it might tarnish their image. I don’t. Lamborghini will never be a second rate company. If they want to build the most powerful exotic SUV, let them. It just goes to show that others can’t do what Lamborghini can do.

Lastly; the Jeep story. Just emerging from bankruptcy and paying off their debt, Chrysler has got some major catching up to do. They had an epic super bowl commercial, but I don’t think they are being wise on riding that success. Jeep has been considering producing a pick up Wrangler for a while, aka the Gladiator. Why they have not built it yet has made sense, paying back loans and all. But the decision to yet again put it on the back burner because cash is tied up in other places; like making small cars…REALLY? The Jeep has global sales capability, it already does, and it could add to it with the pickup model. To retool the assembly line to make a pick up Jeep Wrangler is much easier I think than to retool it to create a whole new car! Chrysler, I don’t know what you’re thinking but I don’t think it is very wise on this one. Try to remember your super bowl commercial and make the right decision to do something brilliant.

Me, myself, and my vehicle

People customize their automobiles in unique ways. There is something about vehicles that represents individualism and we all seek to make our automobiles 1 of a kind. With so many aftermarket capabilities the options are really endless.

Now, the subject today is, if you have a car you need, do you/how can you make it a car you want? Is that possible?

Many people do this already, putting bumper stickers on, air fresheners in, license -plate holders on, seat covers, and an array of other modifications to make a less desired car that they need, or possibly just have to cope with, to be more bearable.  

Automobiles are a reflection  of your personality.  So become your own automotive personality!

In the event of Driving

I have done some thinking about peoples perspectives on vehicles.

This is what I know for certain that most people know.

  1. Their car needs gas
  2. Their car has four wheels
  3. Their car has an engine
  4. They really only know the make and model of their own vehicle, mostly because they have to
  5. The steering wheel turns the car
  6. The brakes stop the car
  7. P means park
  8. R means reverse
  9. D means drive
  10. ________ (insert your own no duh statement here)

Now, if you break this down, I feel that people do not understand vehicles and the potential of them because they are afraid. They are afraid of the unknown. In all honesty, vehicles are not the most simple of machines that humans have created, especially in the last 10 years with all sorts of computer sensing technologies on board an automobile.

But that really is why most people don’t care to try to understand their automobile, or driving it as an experience and a privilege, because they feel it is only there to do what they need it to do. Which, yes, I guess that statement is defeating my own point, but, it does not hide the fact that they have no clue how it does do what they need it to do. I guess people then could say, “who cares?” Well…I’m glad you asked!

I do. I care enough to want to help people understand the dynamics of owning the vehicle they own. Sure people choose the car they want, because they want it, regardless of the actual need of it. I don’t blame people for that, I’d do the same thing, it’s a free country! But, once they buy that vehicle, then what? When people actually purchase a car they want as opposed to a car the need they tend to take better care of it and enjoy it more.

So I want to help people understand that the vehicle you have, regardless of whether or not you wanted it or you needed it, is still to be enjoyed and cared for. I will begin to elaborate more on the subject more in my upcoming blogs.

Ford might not be able to Dodge this Ram

Mopar also planning high lift Ram 1500 for Jeep Safari, Raptor put on notice

by Jeremy Korzeniewski (RSS feed) on Mar 16th 2010 at 1:58PM


Answering the question of whether Mopar’s Ram Power Wagon concept is meant to be a competitor to the awe-inspiring Ford SVT Raptor (that’d be a ‘no,’ it would seem) is a report courtesy of our friends at PickupTrucks.com that Chrysler‘s go-fast division is also planning to release a long-travel version of the Ram 1500 at the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah.

Adding credibility to Mopar’s off-road-ready Ram “research project” is the presence of veteran Baja racer Kent Kroeker, who’s KORE company is already the go-to expert for aftermarket Dodge truck goodies (see photo above of his Ram 2500 racer). Being based on the Ram 1500 means that Chrysler’s Raptor-fighter will feature independent suspension at all four corners. We should also expect plenty of suspension travel. Oh, and could this be a hint at the future?

While it’s not necessarily expected that the Ram brand will offer such a high-lift, long-travel model in dealerships right off the factory floor, there is a decent chance that the components developed for this concept could end up in a Mopar accessory or KORE catalog (or both?) sometime soon. And you can count us firmly among those looking forward to that.

 Autoblog

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I wrote about the Ford Raptor a few months ago on a separate blog, before I began this one. Here is the link to that blog.

 Here is what I think about the Dodge Ram in general. Back in the mid 90’s early 2000’s when Dodge trucks got a face lift and Chuck Norris drove his beastly Ram in “Walker Texas Ranger,” I being about 10, instantly wanted one. It was my favorite truck up until a few years ago when the Silverado became my more preferred pickup of choice.

 All that aside, there has been talk that Chrysler will make the Ram a separate model from the other models in the company. I relate this to the simple illustration that Corvette has with Chevy. People think “Corvette” they don’t think “Chevy” because the car is in a league of its own. I have a feeling, and am an advocate that Chrysler separate the Ram. They should put their focus into making it the most versatile pickup on the market.

 When I heard the rumors that the Ram might be building a Power Wagon to compete with the Ford Raptor, I couldn’t have been happier. I think that with the design the truck has, it should be built leaner and meaner in engine and off road capability, although I do think the design needs a little more refinement to match.

 If the Ram Power Wagon goes through, I would support it thoroughly, and I think it has major potential in competing with the Raptor and beating it.

Maybach may not be back

Report: Maybach to get facelift in Beijing before brand gets the axe

If a recent report out of the UK is to be believed, Maybach is set to get the axe in the very near future. However, as a last hurrah, all three models from the ultra-luxury division of Mercedes-Benz (57, 62 and Landaulet) will receive facelifts this year. The last round of top-zoot Maybachs will debut in late April at the Beijing Motor Show. Expect the changes to the lineup to be very minor – new grilles and LED lights should be about the only differences from the sedans currently on sale.

So, why kill off Maybach? Ever since the brand was resurrected in 2002, it has suffered from very slow sales. Not surprising, considering the high price tags, comparatively low content levels and the hard financial times the world has fallen on in recent years. Furthermore, parent company Mercedes-Benz has big plans to expand the S-Class range, which includes adding more upmarket versions which should fill the void of Maybach’s current offerings. Look for the new S-Class to arrive in 2014, along with a fully updated version of the R-Class people-mover, as well.

Steven J. Ewing article found on Autoblog

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I first came across Maybach around my sophomore year of high school when I found one for sale on Ebay motors in the miscellaneous cars category. I thought initially, “holy crap! Why is this thing so expensive?!” After some brief reading and browsing of photos of this massive land luxury vehicle on a golf course, I found out why.

I instantly had an inclination that it was Mercedes related, simply by design. Finding out I was correct on that, I was now pleased to be exposed to a new vehicle!

So, over the past few years, I have stopped browsing Ebay motors, and realized that Maybach is not in the news much. Until I come across an article like this.

Hmmm…will I be sad that Maybach is gone? To be honest, yes. Especially with Bugatti coming out with their new exotic luxury sedan, even though technically, Bugatti and Maybach are nowhere near in comparison except possibly in price.

I do think that the “exotic” part of Maybach is possibly part of the reason of why it will not continue within the next few years. With Aston Martin, Porsche, and soon to be Lamborghini and Bugatti all playing around with exotic sports sedans, Maybach has no performance as much to match what these vehicles can do.

But even if you put it in a realm that it would compete in. Rolls Royce and Bentley have long set the standard for ultra luxury sedans. With such a limited number of vehicles and a less known name plate, Maybach has had an uphill battle since its rebirth. However, it will be sad to see it go, simply because it was one more vehicle that added to the finer things of life.