Fuel Efficient Cars At The Geneva Auto Show

The current biggest issue in the automotive industry is how to produce vehicles which will help in the protection of the environment. Global warming is an issue that has to be addressed immediately and car makers are joining the fray to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases being produced by vehicles. Hybrid cars, flex-fuel vehicles, and fuel cell powered vehicles – these are just some of the technologies being developed by auto makers in an effort to decrease the dependency on the non-renewable source of energy that is the fossil fuel.

What car makers have achieved in the field of fuel-efficient car making is being showcased at this year’s Geneva Auto Show. Different car makers are showing what they can do in terms of producing vehicles that will help the environment and preserve it for future generations. Furthermore, the current discussion about emission standards in Europe has played a major role on what car makers chose to showcase at the aforementioned event.

DaimlerChrysler is one of the car makers that will be unveiling their environment friendly vehicle. They have developed a lower-emission diesel engine that will be an addition to their lineup in the near future. It can be noted that the European market is already hosting a large number of diesel engine powered vehicles. The popularity of the diesel engine in Europe is due to its ability to provide adequate power and torque while cutting down emission and fuel consumption cost.

Another auto maker known for producing environment friendly cars which will unveil another concept vehicle at the Geneva Auto Show is Toyota. The Asian brand will put on display their new Toyota Hybrid X concept. The car maker is already known for producing high quality hybrid vehicles and the concept will surely be an improvement over the already fuel-efficient cars that Toyota has in its current lineup.

The major players in the auto industry are not the only manufacturers aiming for better fuel-efficiency on their mass-produced cars. In fact, Brilliance JinBei Automobile from China will be showcasing small and fuel efficient cars at the 2007 Geneva International Auto Show. The development effort that these companies took in the manufacturing of fuel-efficient cars will go a long way in the protection of the environment. While these developments cannot immediately stop global warming as immediate as an EBC brake rotor, further expansion of studies with regards to this technology will one day provide the perfect solution to put a stop to the emission of greenhouse gases.

The public can only hope that the commitment of these car makers in the development of cleaner car technologies will not waver. As for now, the public can view these innovations at the motor show which will be open to the public from March 8 until the 18th.

Tips On Creating A Personalized Show Board, Great Pictures – Part 2

In part one of this series we discussed how to create a show board that will be unique, and be an extension of your personality. In this article we will provide you with some tips on taking great photographs for display on your show board, or for wall hangings. The evolution of computer graphics has been carried into the automotive photography industry making car art explode. However, in order to get a high quality print, the photographs which are the foundation must meet minimum quality standards. Computer graphics can correct for some photography errors, but not all, and often these corrections take time, and time is money, your money.

This article will focus on photography tips that I have learned over the years which have been helpful. When displaying your vehicle at a show, enthusiasts like yourself pay close attention to every detail down to the shine on the bolts to ensure that the car is perfect. The end quality of your display is dependent upon your attention to details. Whenever I take a photograph or create art I do exactly the same. Starting with the right photographs is key.

Before taking your pictures keep in mind the following suggestions so you will get the best possible results.

1. So many of your vehicles shine like a mirror, so it is important not to have it directly in bright sun to minimize the glare. Graphic tools can remove some of this from the picture, but often specific details such as emblems will be washed out and can not be restored. Pay attention to any reflections and shadowing that could make body panels look like a poor paint job or in need of body work. Also make sure that your reflection is not visible.

2. Often there are small replica cars in the rear window or on display elsewhere in the car. If you have tinted windows often the replica will not be clear. I suggest that you take pictures both with the model showing, and with it removed.

3. Remove any window plaques, displays or show stickers or items hanging from your mirror that you do not want to be in the photograph. They look great at a show, but could detract from the final photograph.

4. Background selection is key. Unless you want the background where you are taking the photographs to be included in the final work, it is best to park the vehicle in front of a plain background such as a building or where there are no cars in the background. This will help with the editing for the fantasy graphics work.

5. Take a series of photographs with all doors, hood, trunk are completely closed. This series should include the following shots.

- Straight on from the front

- Straight on from the back

- Left front quarter to side panel shot

- Right front quarter to side panel shot

- Straight on left/right side

- Real quarter panel shot.

Many of you will have areas that are special to you, such as an emblem, gas cap, dash board, steering wheel, or even a specific body part. Take a photograph of each of these areas and incorporate them into the art work.

For some examples of the views above, refer to http://www.PalmieriConcepts.com in the “Photo Tips” Section.

Range-Topping 2013 Kia Optima SX Limited Live at the Chicago Auto Show

After its previous appearance in a Super Bowl spot with a Motley-Crue-inspired theme, the 2013 Kia Optima SX Limited made its official launch at the Chicago auto show as a range-topping model included on this year’s mid-sized Optima line-up.

Upon its debut, a lot of car experts, automotive journalists, and observers at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show noticed that the 2013 Kia Optima SX Limited is not just an ordinary Optima. In fact, these individuals have suspected that the Limited is fully loaded with a lot of features not found on its siblings. As time goes by, these suspicions were eventually proven to be true.

Compared to the other Kia Optima trims, the Limited flaunts a unique look and more intimidating stance. These characteristics were highlighted by the Limited’s new fascias in front and rear. In addition to this, the LED running lights located on top of its fog lamps, the lower door sills, and the rear spoiler tipped with chrome further suggest that the Optima SX Limited is very much different from its siblings.

Under the hood, the Limited is powered by a 2.0-liter Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine sourced from the Kia Optima SX. This engine is capable of producing 274 horses and 269 lb.-ft. of torque. The transmission as well as the sport-tuned suspension used on the Limited was also sourced from the SX. Due to this, the Limited’s fuel economy ratings of 22 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway are similar to that of the Optima SX.

When viewed inside, the 2013 Kia Optima SX Limited looks more upscale compared to the other Optima models included on the line-up. The Limited’s cabin provides a more elegant and prestigious feel. Its door trim, shift knob, and steering wheel are adorned by genuine would trim and this layout further improves the overall appearance of the Optima SX Limited. In addition to this, the door panels, center console and seats were embellished by Nappa leather.

On top of these, the 2013 Kia Optima SX Limited is offered with the standard equipments such as the paddle shifters on the steering wheel, panoramic sunroof, heated rear seats, and heated and cooled front seats. Aside from those, the SX Limited is also equipped with metal pedals, Infinity audio system with speakers, and a navigation system with a built-in back-up camera.

Due to the abundance of standard features included on the vehicle, the 2013 Kia Optima SX Limited became one of the most admired vehicles that were presented at the 2012 Chicago auto show. In addition to this, a lot of individuals that were able to take a closer look at the vehicle agree that this was probably the best vehicle that Kia has produced.

Automotive Restoration: A Frame-Off Body Repair of a 1960 Ferrari

This automotive restoration project began in June 2010, with the client’s sights set on showing it at Pebble Beach. This 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Pininfaria Cabriolet (PF Cab) had been in storage for 30 years in Arizona before being purchased by the current owner. Ferraris during this time were hand built by Italian coach makers and the engines were also hand-built by Ferrari. The 250 GT series was built for the customer that wanted a street legal car that he could also take to the race track. Of course not everyone raced their Ferraris, some customers just wanted the awesome power and beautiful styling of the 250 GT. Pininfarina is still operating and still makes concept and prototype cars for major companies around the globe.

After the Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab was disassembled and media blasted, I set about repairing and reconstructing the body to its original factory state.

This client was particularly concerned about getting the rebuild perfectly symmetrical. I had an idea, born from my experience working in the prototype industry: to build a box with a measuring system to aid the build of the vehicle. The photos below are a brief taste of posts to follow.
The first part of this post covers a measuring device we designed and built specially for this Ferrari PF Cab and the second part explains how it was used to rebuild the tail light area.

The objective of the measuring box is to figure out if a car body was built square to the chassis and is symmetrical from side to side. Before delving into measuring the body, remember that this was a Ferrari hand built body from the 1960′s, so tight tolerances are not expected. The idea is that the Ferrari PF Cab body and chassis sit on a center line inside a 3-dimensional steel framed box. The perimeter of the box acts as a measuring datum so that measurements from the box to the Ferrari PF Cab can be taken on the left and right hand sides and then compared to check symmetry.

The 3-dimensional box is divided into 3 planes representing length, depth, and height. On each axis is 1/2″ machined holes spaced 200mm apart, these holes are locations for the measuring stations. A line runs down the center of the box and the center of the chassis is aligned with a custom stand to the body. The center line only runs length ways, as the body is only symmetrical in one direction. The body is divided into a grid, with the aid of a laser, and numbered to aid recording.

These were the findings of major significance for this Ferrari PF Cab:

1. the front right-hand headlight housing is 10mm further forward than the left-hand headlight

2. the body style line is 6mm higher on the right-hand side than the left-hand

3. the complete rear end of the car is kicked over to the right hand side 50mm from the rear of the doors to the back of the Ferrari. Not from accident/damage, just how the car was built.

4. the left-hand rear tail light housing peak leans inwards 8mm

After discussing the above findings with the client, the first issues to address was the left-hand tail light problem. Now we will show the step by step rebuild and fabrication of the light housing. Why rebuild this area? On first sight the sheet metal housing clearly looked as though the top was angled inwards and second, the housing was too big for the light bezel, which formed the appearance of a step. To be correct in appearance, the surface of the bezel should be level with the surface of the paint. As part of the ‘measuring box’ process, we recorded results showing the top of the housing was 5mm to the right of center. To fix these two problems it was most practical and cost efficient to make a completely new housing and then graft it into the fender.

1. Slice away the original taillight housing from the car body.

2. Make a pattern off the original and cut a fresh piece of sheet metal to match.

3. Shape the new piece, using the old piece and the actual tail light until it fits perfectly.

4. TIG weld the new sections together.

5. Offer it up the car body, again adjusting until it fits perfectly. Cleco into place.

6. Check bottom, top, and sides against the measuring box for perfect squareness and symmetry.

7. TIG weld the new housing onto the Ferrari body.

8. Metal finish and then you are ready for paint!

Check my website for step-by-step photos of the measuring box and this process.