Tag Archive | "car gadgets"

Go Faster Stripes Really Work


Over the years the practice of car customisation has become a big business. Gizmo’s abound, and cars that were once thought of as transport for people whose idea of stirring performance was the ability to get out of bed in the morning are now bristling with bolt-on bonus goodies. In a way, this is understandable because motoring is so expensive these days that many drivers, especially the young, are making the best of that which they can afford.

Once upon a time all you really needed was some furry dice hanging from the rear-view mirror and maybe a cherry-bomb exhaust tail-pipe for those racetrack sound effects to effectively stylise your car. Since then motors have been adorned with flaming decals, had ‘spinners’ fitted to the wheels and been generally festooned with after-market parts to emulate more modern vehicles. Furry dice are even a little en vogue today, although if you mention it to the driver don’t be surprised if they get a little defensive and mumble something about an ‘ironic statement’.

All this has not escaped the car manufacturers. They are well aware of the level of taxation and rising household costs that the general public are subject to. For this reason buyers have seen a change in the nature of most of the cars offered to us.

It is a well known fact – even to those that own them – that the rules of our crowded roads pretty much preclude using a powerful vehicle to the max. This general slow-down has meant that high performance is ceasing to be an issue with all but the most hardcore sporting drivers. The car is becoming either a lifestyle attachment or a simple tool to do a job.

The result of these changing conditions is that most people are happy with a well priced car that looks the business without actually doing the business. Now it is about how a car looks. Some city cars for example are now decorated with go-faster stripes in an effort to look sporty. Not that long ago this would have been greeted with derision, but now it is not only accepted but appreciated as a styling choice.

So it is about how cars look. An attractively styled set of alloys really sets off a car. In design, virtually all modern cars have swooping lines, designer creases and headlights like eyes which actually do give an impression of speed and performance. Others look butch and macho for that rugged ‘Marlboro Man’ appeal, and so on. The interesting thing is that it works. We like it. Even if we aren’t allowed to put the pedal to the metal anymore in regulated Britain at least we can look as if we do. And that’s the important thing.

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Car Gadgets We’ll Love To Love


In these dark days of austerity we are all trying to save money so rather than tempting us with hugely powerful, gas guzzling rockets our canny car makers are looking at new ways to entice us behind the wheel. There’s the new range of small, turbo-charged, fuel efficient engines of course but what’s more fun is the amount of toys coming on stream in the next few years. The opportunity to personalise our cars has been around for some time now as the Citroen DS3 has proved, so what’s new on the gadget front?

Motor shows, like the recent Geneva bash, are the manufacturers’ shop window for future developments. Tiny engines, electrification and hybrid technology point to a sea-change in how we’ll view our cars in maybe five to ten years. Volkswagen have previewed the Cross Coupé, a hybrid concept with range extending technology with both Citroen and Peugeot offering similar ideas. Essentially, these cars will give the driver more options on how they choose to drive their vehicles – full power or minimal energy, two or four wheel drive and so on to suit the traffic conditions.

Here at Motorblogger, we’re rather keen on Ford’s new gadget which will make an appearance on the Kuga sometime next year. Basically, you arrive at the back of the car with armloads of shopping, but instead of fumbling with buttons and the like you simply wave your foot under the bumper and the tailgate opens! Genius. Picture this: all over the land in supermarket car parks people will be hopping about, trying to keep balance whilst waggling their foot about. It’s tied into Ford’s keyless entry system so you’ll need your key fob in your pocket, so don’t worry about the boot opening for every passing cat.

This gizmo stems from the general idea that car functions can be controlled by hand movements to navigate through menus; for example, to select music. The thinking is that, in years to come, buttons and switches can be eliminated from dashboards to allow designers more freedom for mad ideas. The Geneva show featured some even more futuristic inventiveness, at the forefront of which is the Honda Diji. The outer ‘skin’ of this concept is basically one big screen. Find an image you really like, through the car’s own connections of course, and display it. Ideal for business logos, advertising or your personalisation – as long as it’s honest, decent and legal, obviously. Everyone’s at it. Even tyre manufacturers are looking at cleaner, greener ways of producing the goods without the use of oil based products. The drive for technological advancement has hastened the speed at which even ideas that would have been considered fanciful a few years ago are now reality but the ultimate question is: how much change is the public willing to accept before techno-fatigue sets in? How long before we say ‘enough is enough – we like our cars the way they are!’

 

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bG9nZ2VyX0xvZ28uanBnIjtpOjI7czo3MzoiaHR0cDovL21vdG9yYmxvZ2dlci5jby51ay93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzMtTW90b3JfQmxvZ2dlcl9Mb2dvLnBuZyI7fTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX3ZpZGVvX2NhdGVnb3J5PC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gQXV0byBOZXdzPC9saT48L3VsPg==