Monthly Archives: July 2013

Acura TL Goes Topless

Convertibles are a ton of fun, even here in the Great Canadian North, so I think this move by Acura is a great-one! The roofless Acura TL you see above is a product of Newport Convertible Engineering. No stranger to taking the lids off of Acuras – and a bunch of other cars, like this Jaguar XJ and this Toyota FJ Cruiser – NCE says it was the first North American coachbuilder to produce an Acura NSX convertible.

NCE says the conversion takes about six weeks to complete, comes with a five-year warranty from the supplier and doesn’t void the original warranty from Acura. On top of that, the interior fitments like sun visors, trunk space and rear seat belts all remain unaltered. Customers who are absolutely against the B-pillar can have it removed, but NCE says “The vehicle will be designed differently
without the centre Bar.”

Read the full article here.

High-Tech HUD Rising in Popularity

Love this technology and hope to have it in my new car in a few years! Head-up display (HUD), a technology borrowed from the aerospace industry and first introduced by General Motors to the automotive sector in 1988, seems to be grabbing a stronger foothold among consumers, reports The Detroit News. While only about two per cent of vehicles were equipped with the technology last year, new estimates show that nine per cent of new cars will be fitted with HUD by 2020.

In automotive use, HUD is used to project relevant information directly within the driver’s forward view, thus allowing them to keep their eyes on the road. While the technology is complicated, the science is rather simple – light from a projector, usually recessed at the top of the dashboard, reflects off a special portion of the front windshield. Most of today’s systems display vehicle speed, engine speed, navigation information and warnings.

Read the complete story here.

Cadillac Looking to Stay as the Choice for the Secret Service

This car must weight a ton (or 4 or 5 at that), but it is one of the most important cars in the world, offering protection to the President of the USA! President Obama has used the same armoured limo since his inauguration in 2008. Known by many as The Beast, the Presidential Limo was provided by Cadillac and earned its nickname in large part because of its massive size, which isn’t surprising considering that its Caddy-shaped bodywork is said to sit atop a heavy-duty truck chassis.

It seems the Secret Service may be in the market for a Beast replacement, having issued a request for proposals for a new armoured limo. According to Motor Trend, Obama’s backup limo is a leftover from the Bush Administration, so it will be interesting to see if this new machine will serve as a replacement for The Beast or for its backup. The contract is to be awarded by September 29, 2013.

Read the complete article here.

Mini Changes the Countryman and Paceman

The Mini is fun and pretty close to perfect but I do like this tweak!  When Mini first introduced the Countryman, it only came as a four-seater, with a centre rail between the two seats that could house things like cup holders and could be slid back and forth. Buyers could even opt for a full-length centre rail that ran from just aft of the gear shifter all the way back between the rear seats, like we did in our long-term 2011 Cooper S Countryman All4, shown above.

Shortly after the Countryman’s launch, Mini was able to offer the vehicle with a proper rear bench seat; the company could not offer this at launch due to NHTSA guidelines that governed the minimum vehicle width for three-person seating, but those rules were changed. And now, we’ve received official confirmation of something we reported last year: the Countryman is losing its centre rail and four-person seating arrangement altogether. Moving forward, buyers will only be able to spec a Countryman with the bench seat, and a cup holder will be affixed to the back of the forward cabin’s center console.

Read the full article here.