Jun
28

The All-Electric 2017 Chevrolet Bolt Is a Game Changer

Author JoeC    Category Electric Cars     Tags

2017 Chevy BoltYou might not have heard, but GM has been hard at work on an all-new, all-electric hatchback—the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt. Giving drivers up to 200 miles of drive range and 200 hp, this new model electric vehicle lets you go gas-free while also connecting you to some of the most exciting cabin tech in the industry. Take a closer look at what this hatchback EV will have to offer when it hits the market later this year.

Powertrain Specs

What sets the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt apart from the competition is its electric motor, which gets its power from a powerful 60kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This isn’t your typical all-electric model, though, because the total output on this hatchback is a confident 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough power to reach a max speed of 91 mph and motivate the Bolt from 0 to 60 mph in less than seven seconds.

Charging and Drive Range

The Chevrolet Bolt is an all-electric vehicle, which means you won’t ever have to spend money on gas again as long as you’re driving this car. The electric motor does have to be charged, though, and you can do that via this model’s 7.2 kW charger. When plugged into a 240-volt outlet, this charger can add around 50 miles of driving range in under two hours. If you opt for more high-speed connection, you can get up to 90 miles in only 30 minutes. A fully charged Bolt has a total driving range of 200 miles, which is plenty of mileage for most day trips.

Cabin Features

This four-door car has seating for up to five passengers, which is great for a family ride—especially when you factor in the extra storage space from the hatchback design. Add to that some high-end tech features, and you’re set up for plenty of comfort, entertainment, and safety. The Chevy MyLink touchscreen interface offers smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The OnStar telematics system keeps you safe thanks to its emergency roadside assistance, automatic crash notification, and stolen vehicle assistance. Also attached to OnStar is a 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection that allows up to seven devices to connect to the Internet at one time. Topping it off is a suite of advanced driver assist safety features, including lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and forward collision warning.

Jun
1

How Does a Rotary Engine Work?

Author JoeC    Category Performance     Tags

Mazda rotary engineWhile the traditional piston engine remains the overwhelming favorite among performance combustion engines, there are a lot of auto enthusiasts out there who continue to be excited about the unique characteristics of the rotary engine. While you won’t find many vehicles motivated by the power of a rotary engine on the road today, there remain plenty of motivated enthusiasts who continue to tout the robust sound, commanding performance, and unusual engineering of the rotary engine. Find out how the rotary engine works, and discover some of the popular models fitted with the rotary engine.

How It Works

Like the engine under most car hoods today, the rotary engine is an internal combustion engine that works by channeling energy that is released when fuel is ignited. However, the design of the rotary engine is totally different from a traditional piston engine. Originally designed by German engineer Felix Wankel, the rotary engine utilizes a triangular rotor design that spins in a loop with a fuel and air intake system through a single engine compartment, from which it compresses and channels power. Unlike a conventional piston engine, the rotary engine works by rotating the cylinders around a single, fully integrated and unified system. One of the big benefits of this system is that because it works on a less complicated and more centralized system, there are less parts, less chance of breakdown, and easier and more affordable maintenance. Unfortunately, their powerful output and unique growling sound has the downside of generally poor fuel economy.

Vehicles with Rotary Engines

It’s been a long time since most auto manufacturers have designed a vehicle fitted with a rotary engine. However, Mazda has continued to tout the strength and value of these engines, and they’ve produced a model with a rotary engine as recently as the 2011 Mazda RX-8. While the Mazda rotary engine is not currently in production, there has been talk and rumors in recent years that they could be working on a newer version of the rotary engine that utilizes Mazda SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY to help improve this engine’s fuel economy prospects while delivering the throaty sound and gutsy performance of a genuine rotary engine.

 

May
2

The Honda Accord Hybrid Returns After a Year Off, More Efficient and Powerful

Author JoeC    Category Hybrid     Tags

2017 Honda Accord HybridThe 2015 Honda Accord was one of the most efficient cars on the road when it debuted, touting an EPA-estimated 50 mpg city fuel economy that made the sedans next-to-impossible to get ahold of in most areas. While Honda underestimated the demand in the past, they look to be a bit more prepared after taking a model year off, and the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid even has a better fuel economy to boot.

Honda’s Efficient Family Sedan

We mentioned how efficient the old Accord Hybrid was, and if you were just to glance at the new fuel economy specs, you might think it took a small hit on efficiency.

  • The 2017 Accord Hybrid is rated at an EPA-estimated 49 mpg city, 47 mpg highway, and 48 mpg combined, which makes it a best-in-class fuel economy rating.
  • The 2015 Hybrid, however, was listed at EPA-estimated 50 mpg in the city and 45 mpg on the highway for 47 mpg combined.

Now, even with these ratings the 2017 model comes out ahead by an inch, but the EPA instituted new fuel economy estimating rules that would put the 2015 model closer to 48 city, 45 highway, and 47 combined mpg. So the inch becomes a few inches and the Accord Hybrid becomes even more efficient than it looked at first glance.

As far as power is concerned, the upgraded engine received a boost of 16 hp over the 2015 model for a combined system output of 212 hp, the highest of any midsize hybrid sedan.

The Latest Features

As with any new Honda, this vehicle is decked out with some of the latest in connectivity and safety features, with Honda Sensing accident prevention technology coming standard on each model. Features like satellite-linked navigation, 7-inch Display Audio with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, heated front and rear seating, and more make this one of the most elegant and luxurious sedans in addition to being so remarkably fuel efficient.

Learn More at For Car Fans

As car fans, we have some team members who love hybrids and some who are a bit lukewarm here at For Car Fans, but we think that there’s something for everyone in the 2017 Honda Accord, and drivers should reach out to their local Honda dealership to find out when they can take one for a test drive.

Mar
28

Hot Details About the Long-Awaited 2017 Acura NSX

Author JoeC    Category News     Tags

2017-acura-nsxThe highly anticipated 2017 Acura NSX has finally made its debut, giving the motoring world the follow-up it’s been waiting for to one of the most significant sports cars of the 1990s.

This second-generation supercar comes to the road powered by a twin-turbocharged DOHC V6 engine that produces a dynamite 500 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, and this baby’s top track speed is approximately 191 mph.

Way Outside the Box

In terms of its looks and powertrain, the new NSX is certainly not your typical vehicle.

In addition to the powerhouse twin-turbo engine, Honda has additionally added three electric motors—one on the engine and two on the front axle. These four power sources offer up a total system output of 573 hp and 476 lb-ft of torque.

This four-motor hybrid system is combined with electronic all-wheel drive and a 9-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Essentially, the new NSX offers up double the power of the original model.

Made in America

The new NSX models will be produced quite gradually. Once production is in full swing, Honda will build just eight of these models each day.

The next-generation NSX cars will be constructed at Honda’s Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio. This facility boasts eight MIG welding robots—which is good, as the NSX chassis alone requires between 850 and 900 welds.

NSX production will also gobble up 4 gallons of paint per car, which will be applied in 11 layers over the body of each NSX.

According to Honda’s official website for the NSX, available exterior paint colors will include:

  • Curva Red
  • Berlina Black
  • 130R White
  • Source Silver Metallic
  • Casino White Pearl
  • Nord Gray Metallic
  • Valencia Red Pearl
  • Nouvelle Blue Pearl

When assembly concludes on a new NSX model, the final step is placing the car on a four-post shaker rig for 20 minutes, which simulates various road surfaces, after which the car is put through a “monsoon test,” exposing it to twice the highest rainfall amount to be recorded during a hurricane.

During Honda’s decade-long development of this new supercar, more than 250 prototypes were built in all—all of which are scheduled to be destroyed, save some models being saved for display.

Mar
9

Our 2016 Chevy Corvette Z06 Performance Review

Author JoeC    Category Performance     Tags

2016 Chevy Corvette Z06At For Car Fans, we know that many of our readers have a love of high-performance vehicles, which is why we know you’re as excited as we are to talk about the Corvette Z06. When it comes to cars, there are few that can dream of comparing to a Corvette, and the 2016 Chevy Corvette Z06 performance specs now have the supercars of the world in their crosshairs. Priced at just $79,400 (MSRP), the 2016 Corvette Z06 is more powerful and more fun to drive than cars that cost two or three times as much, and it’s due to the combination of the supercharged aluminum V8 engine and the sport-tuned engineering. Let’s take a look at the specs of the Z06. Rest assured, you’ll want to get behind the wheel for yourself, but this is a good start.

Performance Specs

  • Under the Hood – Each of the 2016 Corvette Z06 models is powered by a naturally aspirated supercharged 6.2L V8 engine with 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque.
  • Transmission – Go old school with a 7-speed stick-shift manual transmission or embrace the latest in auto tech with an advanced 8-speed automatic transmission that gets the most out of the supercharged engine.
  • Suspension – Standard Magnetic Ride technology adapts every 10 to 15 milliseconds to adjust for current driving conditions and ensure a smooth ride.
  • Aero Package – The standard Z06 aero package comes with a unique carbon fiber hood, a new front splitter, a unique rear spoiler for improved downforce over the normal Corvette, and spats around the front wheel openings.
  • Performance Data Recorder – Show off your fiercest maneuvers with the built-in performance data recorder, logging video and real-time performance data as you drive.

These features are just a few that allow the Z06 to leave hotrods and sports cars in the past and go toe-to-toe with the best supercars in the world.

Follow For Car Fans for More

Be sure to bookmark our blog and check back regularly for news by car fans and for car fans. For the full details of the 2016 Corvette Z06 or to see it in action, visit a Chevy dealer near you.

Jan
27

Ready, Set, Cruze: 2017 Chevy Cruze Hatchback Revs into the New Model Year

Author JoeC    Category Hatchbacks     Tags

2017 Chevy Cruze HatchbackChevrolet officially unveiled its new 2017 Chevy Cruze Hatchback at the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and this highly anticipated new vehicle is set to hit dealerships in the fall of 2016.

The Cruze currently reigns as Chevrolet’s best-selling car worldwide, and a forthcoming hatchback version has fans smiling.

Everything Cruze Drivers Love and More

The Cruze Hatchback gives drivers a practical, sporty option among the members of the Cruze family, still retaining the technologies and driving features consumers have enjoyed in the 2016 Cruze sedan.

The Hatchback features the same class-leading, 106.3-inch wheelbase that is found in the Cruze sedan models, adding a unique roof and rear-end structure that includes wraparound taillamps and an integrated spoiler at the top of the liftgate.

The Cruze Hatchback does not disappoint in the realm of roominess, offering 22.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 47.2 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

You Want It, Cruze Has It

The 2017 Cruze Hatchback lineup will include LT and Premier trims as well as an RS package.

The Hatchback offers a more rigid architecture that is more than 200 pounds lighter than the previous-generation Cruze model, serving as a dynamic driving basis and also enhancing safety and efficiency.

Impressive features found on the Cruze Hatch will include:

  • More standard safety features than can be found in any compact car, including available Lane Keep Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, and Rear Park Assist
  • Segment-exclusive Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility via MyLink radio systems the and available 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Standard 1.4L turbo engine with direct injection and stop/start technologies, electric power steering, and a Z-link rear suspension (Premier models)
  • Midsize-level interior spaciousness
  • Available Teen Driver technology, which promotes safe teen driving habits and informs parents about their teenagers’ performance behind the wheel
  • Available Athens leather seating surfaces
  • Available heated front and rear seats
  • Available heated steering wheel
  • Available halogen projector-beam headlamps with LED lighting

Great Expectations

As drivers wait excitedly for the new Cruze Hatchback to hit dealerships in fall 2016, they can keep busy in the meantime by exploring and test driving the impressive, currently available 2016 Chevy Cruze models.

As the old saying goes, “Time flies,” and fall and the new Cruze Hatchback will be here before you know it!

Jan
14

Fuel-Efficient Wagons: the 2013 Kia Soul vs. the 2013 Subaru Impreza Wagon

Author JoeC    Category Wagons     Tags
2013 Kia Soul

2013 Kia Soul

Today we are looking at two gas-powered wagons: the 2013 Kia Soul and the 2013 Subaru Impreza Wagon.

2013 Kia Soul

The Kia Soul offers a unique take on the wagon with sharp lines that make it look like something out of the future. In terms of fuel economy, the vehicle is rated at 25 mpg city and 30 mpg highway thanks to a 1.6L four-cylinder engine producing 138 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque. A more powerful four-cylinder engine is available at higher trims, but fuel economy goes down a tad.

Besides its fuel efficiency, the vehicle’s draw is its low starting price of $15,175. Despite its low price, it comes standard with Bluetooth, satellite radio, and iPod connectivity. Kia clearly has consumers in mind when they built this.

2013 Subaru Impreza Wagon

The 2013 Subaru Impreza Wagon, available at Subaru South Orlando has a higher starting price at $19,165, but does have some advantages over the Kia Soul. First is a higher-powered 2.0L four-cylinder, producing 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. It too gets 25 mpg city, but has a better 33 mpg highway rating. The Subaru wagon also comes standard with all-wheel drive, making it a great choice for people who live in areas with lots of snow. Both vehicles have about the same cargo space and many features, though the Subaru doesn’t come with standard Bluetooth connectivity.

Bottom Line

While our last wagon competition was a clear winner, this one is a bit tougher. If cost is your biggest immediate concern, then you’ll be pleased with the Kia Soul. It’s affordable, stylish, and doesn’t penalize you for its lower cost by skipping on features. On the other hand, drivers interested in fuel economy and performance will want the Subaru Impreza. It’s got more power and many people, myself included, would have a hard time turning away from standard all-wheel drive. If you can’t make up your mind, the easiest way to make a decision is to take both out for a test drive.

Dec
17

Ready for the World’s First Brain-Powered Car?

Author JoeC    Category News, Technology     Tags

drivingThe age of tomorrow is here, it seems.

Futuristic automotive innovations may no longer be the stuff of science fiction. With inventions like self-driving vehicles already on the horizon from companies like Toyota, Nissan, and Tesla, other sci-fi-esque vehicle technology may be right around the corner, too.

From Gas-Powered to Brain-Powered

No, it isn’t a 1960s episode of The Jetsons. This is 2015, and the reality of a vehicle that is powered directly by a person’s brain may be much closer than we think.

A prototype of an automobile that is controlled by the brain signals of its driver has reportedly been developed by a team at Nankai University in China. The development team members are innovating technology that utilizes brain signals to make a vehicle stop, move forward and backward, and lock and unlock.

The project began due to a desire to enable physically handicapped people to drive. With the right technology, those who can’t operate an automobile with their arms, legs, hands, and feet could, with the existence of a brain-powered vehicle, roll out on the highway under the power of their minds.

How It Works

A member of the research team for the project reports that headgear worn by the driver is made up of 16 electroencephalogram sensors that perceive brain activity. Once brain signals are sent out, a computer then analyzes and interprets those signals, translating them into the appropriate commands for the vehicle.

The Future of Automobiles

The automotive industry is abuzz with innovation these days, with smart vehicles on the horizon from Google within the next five years and self-driving automobiles slated to show up from Toyota and Nissan by 2020.

The brain-powering technology from the team at Nankai University is most definitely still in the development stages. At this point, the test cars from Great Wall Motors can only drive in a straight line at the brain’s behest.

At present, no plans are in effect to manufacture this technology and make it available to the masses. But, down the road, brain-powered cars just might become the next big thing in the automotive world.

Nov
27

Bid Them Adieu: 10 Vehicles That Have Been Discontinued for 2016

Author JoeC    Category News     Tags

Prospective carWhether they vanish due to lack of consumer interest, disappear due to changing trends, or are whisked away to be revamped and renamed, discontinued vehicles are a reality of the ever-fickle automotive world.

For some vehicles, being discontinued is the end of the line; for others, it’s merely a hiatus, allowing dealers to offload surplus inventory while the model is refreshed to return the following year.

Be Gone With You

For 2016, the following 10 vehicles will be doing a vanishing act for one reason or another:

  • Toyota Venza: Toyota’s crossover version of the popular Camry didn’t hit the mark with drivers, with sales figures falling well behind its cousin the Highlander. For that reason, this midsize wagon will not be making an appearance in 2016.
  • Scion xB: Drivers can say sayonara to this Scion model, which has been bumped in favor of the new iM four-door hatchback that will debut in 2016.
  • Scion IQ: Another Scion bites the dust in 2016. The intelligence quotient of this microcar apparently did not add up for car buyers, and Scion is pulling its plug in the new model year.
  • Nissan Xterra: After 15 years and more than 750,000 models sold, Nissan’s truck-based sport utility vehicle has been bumped from the roster due to consumer migration toward compact crossover SUVs.
  • MINI Cooper Coupe and Roadster: Some underdog MINI models are getting the ax in 2016, beginning with the MINI Cooper Coupe and MINI Cooper Roadster.
  • Land Rover LR2: A newer, younger model—the Discovery Sport—is replacing this compact SUV, offering a family-friendly third seat the LR2 didn’t have. C’est la vie.
  • Jaguar XK: Following in the tire treads of the former Jaguar XKE, the XK will get the boot in 2016.
  • Acura Infiniti Q40: With consumers gravitating toward the Q50, the Infiniti Q40 compact sedan—which has already been through the makeover process, having transformed from its former G37 identity to its current incarnation—will shuffle off the automotive coil in 2016, with the Q30 model taking its place.
  • Honda Crosstour: American consumers never quite warmed to this wagon-esque rendition of the popular Accord. For that reason, Honda Crosstour, you have been chopped.
  • Mercedes-Benz M-Class: This midsize SUV is being nudged aside in favor of the GLE-Class in a move that’s more of a renaming than a cancellation.
Oct
22

Our 2016 Cadillac CTS-V Review

Author JoeC    Category Sedan     Tags

In our 2016 Cadillac CTS-V review, we evaluate how this sports-luxury sedan fares in performance, features, and style. Since 2003, the Cadillac CTS-V has been competing with highbrow European sedans.

From its racetrack-ready performance to its highly stylish exterior, the all-new 2016 Cadillac CTS-V succeeds, and here’s why.

Power and Performance2016-cts-v-sedan-exterior

With this 2016 model, Cadillac could very well have perfected its luxury-sport sedan. This year’s engine, ripped straight from the commanding Corvette Z06, is a 6.2L V8 that puts out an immense 640 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque. Paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission, this engine improves fuel economy as well, getting an EPA-estimated 14 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway.

Looking at suspension, the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V is 25 percent more rigid and responsive than the previous model. Aluminum construction makes it lighter and more aerodynamic, and it’s an accelerator—it will take you from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds, according to Cadillac.

Whether you’re planning on doing laps on the racetrack or simply want to drive around town, the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V is fabulously fun, rigidly responsive, and seriously smart.

Features and Interior

The 2016 Cadillac CTS-V is something to look at. With 19-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, LED taillights, and other luxurious features, it’s as sleek on the outside as it is on the inside.

Inside, you’ll find:

  • Leather-trim upholstery
  • Keyless ignition
  • 20-way power front seats
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Telescoping steering column

All of these come standard; in fact, there are no trim levels for this luxury sedan, and only a few available options. For MSRP $92,040, you get a suite of elite luxury features, and our list only scratches the surface.

What about tech? This sedan’s cutting-edge standard tech includes:

  • 4G connectivity with WiFi
  • Wireless charging
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Cadillac User Experience infotainment system
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • OnStar

And these aren’t just tech staples—this is some of the most groundbreaking technology out there.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled for the CTS-V

For Car Fans encourages you to keep your eyes on our page for more coverage of the CTS-V and similar sedans. We hope you enjoyed our 2016 Cadillac CTS-V review!