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Driving 101: Do I REALLY Need To Use Premium Gas? 30
Jul
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Driving, fuel, Kurt, News, Technical on 07 30th, 2012

Gas Pump – image by flickr user blmurch

Buying a new car these days is an incredibly expensive proposition, and the costs hardly stop when you pay off the car. Low profile tires on big wheels may look cool, but they’re also incredibly expensive to replace (at least if you purchase the kind of performance-oriented rubber your car was designed for). Opt for high-end carbon ceramic brakes, and replacement pads and rotors will likely cost in the thousands of dollars. Even fueling your car on a regular basis can be expensive if the manufacturer recommends premium gas for best performance.

One of the questions we get asked on a regular basis is “does it matter what grade of gas I put in my car?” The short form answer is “yes,” but how much it matters is determined by a lot of different factors. In some cases, your penalty will simply be reduced performance, but in other cases you risk detonation, which in extreme cases can destroy your engine. In any event. a car designed for premium fuel won’t run as well on regular, and will likely consume more of the cheap stuff, reducing your perceived savings.

Regular gas, believe it or not, is more combustible than premium gas, and it burns quicker. Engines that support the use of regular unleaded fuel typically have lower compression ratios, and don’t rely on turbocharging or supercharging to make power. In other words, engines designed to run on regular unleaded fuel tend to be stuffed in economy cars and mainstream sedans that don’t need to make a lot of power.

Modern engines often use specially shaped combustion chambers, high compression ratios, gasoline direct injection and forced induction to ensure a complete (and cleaner) burn of fuel, and produce more power from a smaller displacement. The end result is that the engine runs best on gasoline that won’t ignite before it’s suppose to, a condition called “preignition” or “detonation.” From inside the car, you’ll hear this as knock in the engine, and knock is a very, very bad thing.

The quick explanation is this: fuel vapor in the combustion chamber is igniting before it’s suppose to, likely before the compression stroke is through. Instead of the explosion happening when the piston reaches top dead center, it’s happening when the piston is still moving upwards. The net result can be catastrophic engine damage, which is why modern engines are equipped with knock sensors to detect and correct for this. When these sensors detect preignition, timing is set back until preignition is no longer a threat; the down side is that engine output is reduced, too, meaning your car doesn’t make the horsepower and torque it’s supposed to.

Under normal driving conditions. knock sensors can generally compensate for using regular gas in a vehicle designed for premium. Under more severe conditions, such as towing, mountain driving, extreme heat or a combination of these factors, knock sensors may not be able to retard timing enough to prevent engine damage.

Manufacturers are aware of this, which is why they rate their vehicles accordingly. If you see “Premium Fuel Required” in your owners manual, our suggestion is that you follow this to the letter and fill your car only with premium fuel. On the other hand, if your manual says “Premium Fuel Recommended,” you can likely get away with a tank of the cheap stuff as long as you’re willing to sacrifice fuel economy and performance. We still wouldn’t recommend it, but it’s unlikely you’ll face any severe consequences.

If the difference in price between a tank full of premium gas and a tank full of regular gas is going to break the bank for you, our suggestion is simple: buy another vehicle that doesn’t require premium fuel. On the other hand, we believe in getting all the horsepower we pay for, so all of our vehicles that specify premium get filled with it, each and every time.

Image credit: flickr user blmurch



Citroen C4 Picasso and Grand C4 Picasso Models Updated 4
Sep
Posted by Alex Ion in Automotive News, Autostyle, C4 Picasso, Citroen, CO2, e-HDi, front, fuel, Grand C4 Picasso, grille, interior, LED, Modified car Talk, Motor Show, tail, Upcoming Events on 09 4th, 2010

Citroen has released the first pictures of the 2011 Citroen C4 Picasso and the three-row seven-seat Grand C4 Picasso. Both the updated models will be unveiled at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.

The facelifted models come with a re-designed front end. Both the cars will be coming with the company’s new logo on the grille and LED daytime running lights. It also comes with revised tail lights and some interior materials are also getting changes.

The C4 Picasso comes equipped with Citroen’s e-HDi technology which incorporates emissions busting features such as Stop/Start technology and a regenerative alternator.

The Citroen C4 Picasso facelift will be able to cover 100 Km on just 4.4 liters of fuel (5.0 liters/100 Km for the Grand C4 Picasso facelift) while CO2 emissions have dropped at 125 grams per Km (130 g/Km for the Grand C4 Picasso).

Both the models will go on sale at the end of the year.



Fisker Karma Plug-in Hybrid Surfaces in the Form of a Promotional Video 25
Aug
Posted by Alex Ion in accelerate, Automotive News, battery, Detroit, engine, Fisker, fuel, Green Auto, Karma, kW, launched., motors, Plug-in Hybrid, sale, sedan, speed, torque., turbocharged, video, Videos on 08 25th, 2010

Fisker has released a promotional video of the luxury plug-in hybrid, the Fisker Karma. The car features two electric motors, which are powered by a 200kW lithium-ion battery pack that produces 300 kW (402 hp / 408 PS) and 1,300 Nm (959 lb/ft) of torque.

The battery pack allows the car to travel up to 50 miles before a 2.0-liter turbocharged petrol engine kicks in to recharge it. The car can accelerate from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in approximately six seconds, and has a top speed of 201 km/h (125 mph). It has an estimated combined fuel consumption rating of 2L/100km (117.6 mpg US).

Fisker Karma2
Fisker Karma
Fisker Karma1

The Karma, a four-door, four-seat luxury sports sedan, was unveiled at the Detroit auto show in January last year. It was scheduled to go on sale last year, but the sale was delayed for unspecified reasons. We can expect the car to be launched in 2011. The promotional video is here for you to see.

(Via WCF)



Spy Pictures of the Three-Seater Ferrari Marlboro Red Rush Out in the Open 10
Aug
Posted by Alex Ion in Automotive News, Autostyle, engine, F1, F1 News, Ferrari, Fiorano, Formula, fuel, Marlboro on 08 10th, 2010

If you see it from a distance, it is similar to the Ferrari that won Schumacher his world titles. But when it races to your side in a matter of seconds, you realize the difference. It’s the Prancing Horse’s three-seater dubbed “Marlboro Red Rush”, which was seen doing laps at Fiorano.

Rumors about the Ferrari F1 three-seater have been circulating for a while now. Some spy photos taken at the Fiorano Circuit, in Italy, has revealed the Marlboro Red Rush cruising in the rain. Two passengers can accommodate themselves in the seats placed behind the driver’s seat. The car, capable of sprinting to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 2.9 seconds, can reach 300 km/h (186 mph) in a mere 13 seconds. The car which is based on a Formula One F2002 653 chassis has an 800 PS (789 bhp / 588 kW) engine that operates at 17,000 rpm. It carries 50 liters of fuel, and weighs a total of 845 kilograms. The 5-meters long, 1.8 meters wide car has a top speed of 325 km/h (202 mph).

(Via WCF)


Spy Pictures of the Three-Seater Ferrari Marlboro Red Rush Out in the Open 10
Aug
Posted by Alex Ion in Automotive News, Autostyle, engine, F1, F1 News, Ferrari, Fiorano, Formula, fuel, Marlboro Red Rush, speed on 08 10th, 2010

If you see it from a distance, it is similar to the Ferrari that won Schumacher his world titles. But when it races to your side in a matter of seconds, you realize the difference. It’s the Prancing Horse’s three-seater dubbed “Marlboro Red Rush”, which was seen doing laps at Fiorano.

Rumors about the Ferrari F1 three-seater have been circulating for a while now. Some spy photos taken at the Fiorano Circuit, in Italy, has revealed the Marlboro Red Rush cruising in the rain. Two passengers can accommodate themselves in the seats placed behind the driver’s seat. The car, capable of sprinting to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 2.9 seconds, can reach 300 km/h (186 mph) in a mere 13 seconds. The car which is based on a Formula One F2002 653 chassis has an 800 PS (789 bhp / 588 kW) engine that operates at 17,000 rpm. It carries 50 liters of fuel, and weighs a total of 845 kilograms. The 5-meters long, 1.8 meters wide car has a top speed of 325 km/h (202 mph).

(Via WCF)






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