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J.D. Power and Associates Reports:Despite Overall Industry Improvement in Long-Term Dependability, Some Vehicle Brands Don’t Receive the Credit They’re Due – Japanese Models Capture Nine Segment Awards, While Domestic Models Garner Seven and European Models Earn Three

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WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 18 March 2010 – Twenty-five of 36 vehicle brands have improved in long-term dependability in 2010 compared with their performance in 2009, continuing a steady trend of industry-wide improvement. However, for some of these brands, consumer perceptions have not kept pace with their actual performance, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS) released today.

The study, which measures problems experienced by original owners of three-year-old (2007 model year) vehicles, includes 198 different problem symptoms across all areas of the vehicle. Overall dependability is determined by the level of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality.

The Vehicle Dependability Study is used extensively by vehicle manufacturers worldwide to help design and build better vehicles-which typically translates to higher resale values-and by consumers to help them make more-informed choices for both new- and used- vehicle purchases. According to J.D. Power and Associates, among new-vehicle shoppers, perception of quality and dependability is the most influential factor in their decision to purchase a specific vehicle model.

The study finds that several brands that perform well in long-term dependability in 2010 are avoided at relatively high rates due to consumer concerns about dependability. Among brands included in VDS, Cadillac, Ford, Hyundai, Lincoln and Mercury have the greatest lags between dependability performance and consumer perception.

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Inside McLaren Automotive: The Launch of a New Car Company

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McLaren’s unique ambition

To build a brand new car is a challenge; to build a brand new sports car that is ground-breaking, efficient, high-quality, lightweight, practical, dynamic, safe, comfortable, and visually arresting is a greater challenge still.

McLaren Automotive will take the challenge to a rare, and possibly unique, level. Starting with the MP4-12C, the new company will design and develop a range of premium high-performance sports cars with such attributes from components that are bespoke, innovative and unique. It will then produce them in a new manufacturing facility with the intention of selling and servicing through a dedicated global retail network. Finally the aim is to service customers and cars to a higher level of quality than any premium sports car business has ever offered.

What credentials does McLaren offer to take such bold and courageous steps?

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Written by youngmanmaster

March 18, 2010 at 9:12 pm

FORD FIESTA, TOP 12 ‘AMERICAN IDOLS’ GET PERSONAL

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  • Ford is adding an exciting new element to its sponsorship of “American Idol” by giving each of the top 12 contestants a unique opportunity to work with Ford designers and create their own customized 2011 Ford Fiesta graphics
  • This new element will be featured in a video segment in tonight’s episode of “American Idol,” which airs at 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET live/PT tape-delayed on FOX; fans will be able to see the Idols’ customized Fiesta designs at http://www.americanidol.com
  • With the help of four up-and-coming Ford designers, the Top 12 Idols created their own personalized Fiesta theme, using color, custom body graphics, wheel treatments and other accessories to make the vehicle an expression of each contestant’s personality
  • More than 100,000 people have already expressed an interest in the all-new 2011 Ford Fiesta due to the success of the Fiesta Movement social media initiative

DEARBORN, Mich., March 17, 2010 – Ford Motor Company is adding an exciting new element to its sponsorship of the hit television series “American Idol,” giving the top 12 Idols a unique opportunity to work with Ford designers and create their own personalized 2011 Ford Fiesta.

Tonight’s episode of “American Idol,” which airs at 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET live/PT tape-delayed on FOX, will feature this new element in a video segment.

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HAPPY 60TH BIRTHDAY TO THE WORLD’S MOST POPULAR VAN

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Production of the Volkswagen Transporter van officially started in March 1950 and during the 60 years since then it has become one of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ best-selling models globally, the number one imported van in the UK as well as one of the most iconic and popular vans in the world.

With over 10 million produced, the Volkswagen Transporter has evolved through five generations of functional and practical bodystyles, each representing the ultimate multi-purpose vehicle of its time and loved by business and private users alike for transporting goods or people for work or leisure. This unique heritage is the focus of the current ‘Evolution of Van’ advertising campaign for the new Transporter which was launched in the UK in January.

The first T1 ‘split-screen’ model was powered by a four-cylinder, air-cooled, 1.1-litre petrol engine mounted at the back of the vehicle. It produced 25 PS of power and had a top speed of about 60 mph. By comparison, the new Transporter enjoys the refinement of Volkswagen’s latest 2.0-litre, common rail, turbocharged diesel engine, available with power outputs ranging from 84 PS to 180 PS and a top speed of up to 119 mph, plus the latest stability control systems and braking technology that would have sounded like something from a science fiction novel 60 years ago.

Although the design has evolved over the years, the first and the latest Transporter share the same badge on the front and the same design principles of a generous loadspace and an enviable reputation for quality and durability.

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Written by youngmanmaster

March 17, 2010 at 11:52 pm

Lexus LFA Pricing

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Lexus is pleased to announce the launch of the LFA, Lexus’ first ever supercar that delivers world-class design, performance, and cutting edge technology.

A Race Car that is Street Legal A radical departure from standard Lexus development, a band of engineers approached the LFA from a non-traditional angle, pushing their technological, material, and engineering boundaries every step of the way. The result, a tour de force powered by a 4.8L V10 engine that generates 552 hp and a remarkable 9,000rpm redline. Reaching 60 mph in 3.6 seconds with a top speed over 200 mph = Super High Performance! This race-inspired power plant is mated to a uniquely developed six-speed Automated Sequential Gearbox (ASG) with paddle shifters for ultimate driver control.

Weight-saving measures were implemented in every area in the development process. The LFA features advanced Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) construction for its chassis and much of its bodywork to deliver a light, extremely strong, and impact-resistant structure. It also has carbon ceramic brake discs, and a host of other technological marvels.
Production and Pricing Start of production will begin December 2010. Consumers will be able to choose from three configurations at the Base MSRP price of $375,000.

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Sixty Years of Porsche Production in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen

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Stuttgart. The home of today’s Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, has a very special sound in the world of motoring: Zuffenhausen. Indeed, Zuffenhausen is far more than “just” a production plant rich in tradition for Porsche AG, since it is here in Zuffenhausen that the heart of the Company beats to this very day. Zuffenhausen has been Porsche’s home address for more than 70 years and more than one million Porsche sports cars have been built here in Stuttgart since 1950.

The Porsche Design and Construction office moved from Kronenstrasse 24 in downtown Stuttgart to the new group of buildings in the District of Zuffenhausen way back in June 1938. Right from the beginning, important chapters in the history of the automobile were then written in Porsche’s home plant: This is where the first series of the car destined to become the Volkswagen Beetle was built in 1938, followed in 1939 by the Type 64 as the great-grandfather of all Porsche sports cars to come in later years. Originally planned for the Berlin-Rome long-distance race, this aerodynamic, highly streamlined sports car became the trendsetter for all Porsche models to follow.

After the first few units of the Porsche 356 had been built in the Austrian town of Gmünd as of 1948, Porsche returned to Stuttgart as a genuine “car city” in late 1949. With the Porsche Plant in Zuffenhausen still being occupied at the time by the US military, Porsche first rented a production hall on the premises of the nearby Reutter & Co. GmbH Coachbuilding and Body Construction Plant, starting to prepare production in early 1950.

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Written by youngmanmaster

March 17, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Scion Announces Pricing for Restyled 2011 xB

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TORRANCE, Calif., March 16, 2010 – Scion today announced Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) for the restyled 2011 xB urban utility vehicle that will arrive at dealerships later this month. The 2011 xB is upgraded with an aggressive new look on the outside and added comfort and convenience on the inside. The enhancements to the 2011 xB come with a $150 price increase over the 2010 model resulting with MSRPs of $16,000 and $16,950 for manual and automatic transmission models, respectively.

The xB enters the 2011 model year with fresh exterior styling including changes to the front and rear bumpers, grill, headlights and taillights, which together reveal a more aggressive demeanor. The new front bumper features enlarged outer vents, improving the appearance of the vehicle’s stance. The front grille features a new honeycomb pattern and improved headlamp design. The single rear backup lamp has been integrated into combination lamps to produce a more refined appearance. The 2011 xB will be available in seven exterior colors including the all-new Army Rock Metallic and Elusive Blue Metallic. Hypnotic Teal will no longer be offered in the xB color palette.

Changes to the 2011 xB’s interior offer significantly more comfort and convenience to all of its occupants. Driver- and front-passenger seats are redesigned to include larger bolsters for greater comfort and stability. Front and rear seats have a new light gray fabric with a geometric pattern for the seating surfaces contrasted by black fabric covering the bolsters, bases and backs. A combination center console with sliding armrest has been added to increase driver comfort and utility. Improved gauge-cluster design with black background, along with a separate clock and outside temperature display, provides better visibility to information. Completing the changes, the steering wheel now includes both telescopic and tilt functions.

The delivery, processing and handling (DPH) fee for all Scion models is $670 and is not included in the MSRP. DPH fee for vehicles distributed by Southeast Toyota (SET) and Gulf States Toyota (GST) may vary.

Written by youngmanmaster

March 17, 2010 at 10:57 pm