Advantage: Cadillac

GM’s luxury brand that is on the rise, Cadillac, also had a strong month in March, nearly doubling it’s year-ago U.S. sales. A major part of those sales can be attributed to the compact ATS sedan which wasn’t yet available at this time last year.  Lynch’s Horter Chevrolet in Mukwonago, WI says it may be GM’s best product at the moment.

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The ATS sedan is a key component of GMs long term plan to re-energize the prestigious Cadillac brand and introduce it to a younger audience of car buyers. The ATS’s development team closely benchmarked the class-leading BMW 3-Series and automotive journalists have given the ATS high marks. While it has a long way to go to catch up with the 3-Series’ sales totals, GM seems to be viewing the revival of Cadillac as a long-term project.

Turbo in Your Future?

If you are considering a new vehicle with a diesel engine, you will almost certainly find there is a turbocharger included. Examples that can be optioned with turbocharged diesel engines are the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ram 1500 pickup,  Chevrolet Cruze, and Mazda 6 vehicles.  German manufacturers BMW, Mercedes-Benz, VW and Porsche all offer diesel engines in their US lineups.  

2014-Jeep-Grand-Cherokee-300x211Reedman Toll Dodge (Langhorne, PA) explains that turbochargers allow smaller engines to produce more power. A turbocharger forces more air, and therefore more oxygen, into the combustion process. This allows engines to be small and fuel efficient yet produce the power that larger engines do.  Turbos are also catching on in the United States in gasoline engines, often in combination with direct injection. The combination of turbocharging and direct injection allows automakers to switch to smaller gas engines also.  Its all about the fuel savings.

Behold the Dymaxion

Dymaxion cars were the brainchild of the truly Legendary R. Buckminster Fuller.  “Bucky” as he preferred to be called was one of the era’s most original thinkers.  He aimed to build the most fuel-efficient and practical car on the road. He used the word Dymaxion (a combination of the words dynamic, maximum, and tension) to describe not just his automobiles but to identify his broad futurist philosophy of “improving all of humanity’s living conditions”. 

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Bucky’s Dymaxion cars were built in 1932 in Bridgeport, CT.  BMW of Rockville (Rockville, MD) told us that the chassis for all three vehicles utilized frames, gearboxes, suspensions and flathead V8 engines from 1932 Ford Tudor Sedans.  Each was identical with two front wheels, just one in the rear (for steering) and an expansive, aircraft-like glass windshield.  Fuller claimed that the Dymaxion was capable of over 120 MPH, a speed that was only obtainable in dedicated racecars during that era, and delivered an unheard of 30 MPG.

As it turns out, Bucky never did “change the entire face of the automotive industry” with his Dymaxion cars but his legacy lives on in all those that have the courage to “buck” (pun intended) tradition and express original ideas.  Next time you see a geodesic structure, think about its creator; Buckminster Fuller, one of the 20th century’s truly original thinkers.

“Underglow” lights – Are they legal?

Maybe you have seen them. “Underglow” lights are neon or LED lights mounted under a vehicle that light up the road surface.  The effect is quite dramatic as it gives the vehicle a halo effect that makes it appear as it is “floating”.  The problem is, despite the fact that they are inarguably cool to look at, they are illegal in many states. 

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The laws concerning the use of underglow lights are typically covered under individual state laws and traffic codes.  The codes vary greatly from state to state so if you are thinking of mounting under glow lights under your car or truck, be sure to check with your state laws first. According to Arrigo Palm Beach in Southern Fl, you are allowed to have them under your vehicle in Florida but you can’t use them when on the road.  As we mentioned, check your state codes first if you are thinking of using them.

Should I use synthetic motor oil in my old car?

It depends on the vehicle’s age, mileage, and the manufacturer’s recommendations for engine lubricants.  Older vehicles tend to have engines that have larger clearances between internal moving parts. This can prove problematic for synthetic oils which are made up of thinner, smaller molecules and tend to be free flowing. Regular motor oils are thicker because they are distilled from crude oil which has longer, denser hydrocarbon oil chains.

 

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So should you switch to a synthetic your older car, after all most claim to increase gas mileage?  The answer is maybe! Many people have reported that when they started using synthetic motor oil in their high mileage car that oil consumption increased.  Since synthetic motor oil is more expensive to begin with, this can be a negative.  We recommend that you do some research on the subject and if you are a customer at Arrigo Ft. Pierce in Southern FL certainly feel free to ask their service manager.  He or she will be able to give you some advice that can help you decide.

The 2015 Subaru

Subaru  unveiled the next-generation of their WRX model on March 28th, 2013 at the New York International Autoshow.  The previous WRX models weren’t bad looking cars but the 2015 concept car shown is just stunning. For a start, it’s much more of a performance car.

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Part of the enthusiasm is that the WRX has had a loyal following of “Rally” owners for years.  This is primarily because of its hard-won reputation as a rugged, mud-slinging, off-highway rally racer.  Some journalists actualyl make fun of its “ugly duckling” look but speak reverently of its capabilities, especially in the World Rally Championship racing circuit. The World Rally Championship circuit is hugely popular in Europe. Reedman Toll Subaru in PA says there are also WRC events in Latin America and Australia, but it’s just about unknown in the United States.

Officially, the car Subaru unveiled today is a concept car, but the company hinted the car shown in New York closely resembles the finished product. It’s probably due to go on sale next year, for the 2015 model year.

Mercedes Wins Motor Trend SUV of the Year Award

For the first time ever, Motor Trend didn’t have a single body-on-frame example in their annual SUV of the Year competition.  For the 2013 competition, the overwhelming majority of the competitors were car-based. However, there was one vehicle that wasn’t. That vehicle is the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL. Mercedes has built an SUV that’s better than the rest. Not just in its competitive class: The new, second-generation GL is the best new SUV on the market period, and the winner of Motor Trend’s prize.

Source: Motor Trend Magazine