Technological Features of the Latest Audis

The newest Audi models have some of the most innovative technological features available on the market today. Audi AG, based in Ingolstadt, Germany, is the maker of sedans, SUVs, Coupes, and Convertibles, including the Audi A4, A6, Q5, TT, and Cabriolet. The company’s vehicles are well known for their space shell technology, high performance, and sleek design. Audi is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen with its own distinctive design mark and style.

The types of technological features in the latest Audis include self-parking or autonomous car parking, Audi Connect (Wi-Fi hotspots with integrated 3G/4G for on the road Internet access), and an ignition sequence start. Below, each of these technological features are discussed in more detail.

Pilot Parking (Audi Self-Parking Feature) 

The self-parking feature is something seemingly out of a 1960s science fiction magazine or an unused Star Trek script. The feature, first demonstrated in January 2013, allows an Audi car owner to park by simply pressing a button on their console or entering a command from their smart phone.

Accurate to within 10 centimeters, the pilot-parking feature may prove to be a valuable commodity for Audi owners, particularly those who live in a large city or people who are late to an event or activity. The feature works off of the vehicle’s ability to detect free spots based on signals that they transmit to on-car sensors. There are some additional technological considerations to work through, but when it becomes available, the pilot-parking feature will be a much-anticipated technological advancement for Audi.

Audio Connect 

Audi’s Audio Connect is the first Internet connection to be installed into a car. Featuring 3G/4G Internet connectivity, Audi Connect provides the driver with navigational and traffic information in real-time, easing the burdens of the road and commute on drivers. The feature uses Google Earth and Google Street View to provide mapping and location services for the vehicle’s owner. Audio Connect also makes Facebook and Twitter available in audio forms in order to promote hands-free use and to keep the driver’s attention focused on the road.

4G Internet is available mostly in Europe while 3G connectivity is provided to U.S. Audi owners via T-Mobile’s 3G network. The display for Audi Connect is built into the respective vehicle’s dash and pops up to give the driver a view of mapping and other functions.

Traffic Sign Recognition 

European Audi owners have access to a technology that identifies road signs in order to adjust the vehicle’s speed or to stop the car. Using front facing cameras, the car’s traffic sign recognition technology can read information on an approaching traffic sign and adjust the vehicle’s approach accordingly.

Pilot Parking, Audio Connect, and traffic sign recognition are just a few of the technological features provided by Audi that make its cars stand above others. These options will soon become a standard for other carmakers and their vehicles, as Audi continues to be an industry leader in developing and delivering usable technology to its owners.

Byline

In addition to car technology, Sam Josephson writes on gadgets, accessories (such as the kensington ipad keyboard), software, mobile phones and other related topics.

Image credit goes to Car-News.

A Brief History of the Volkswagen Beetle

The Classic Volkswagen Beetle is the most popular car ever produced. The Beetle was built in Germany, entering the market during a dark period of war and scandal. Orders to begin work on this iconic vehicle were actually given by Adolf Hitler himself just before World War II. Ferdinand Porsche, inventor and creator of the Porsche company, personally put the first prototype of the Volkswagen Beetle together.

Opposing Forces Synergize to Create Popular Beetle

Adolph Hitler propagated an ideology that included common people driving economically affordable cars while enjoying life. Hitler’s desire for a people’s car inspired his search for a model, and while he is often credited with designing the car, the actual designer of the Volkswagen remains a topic of some discussion.

A Czech car designer with the Tetra car manufacturer in Austria had plans for a vehicle similar to the Volkswagen Beetle, but Hitler reportedly closed down his factory after taking his plans.

Josef Ganz was a Jewish journalist and critic. He made a prototype of the Volkswagen Beetle and also had his plans displayed at an auto show at which Hitler attended. Hitler’s police eventually endangered Ganz’s journalistic career, and he was forced to flee the country. As a Jew, his contribution to Hitler’s people’s car was never recognized by the Nazi regime.

History is often recorded by those who spoke loudest, and the intricate details behind the design and designer of the Beetle will likely remain obscured forever. Hitler took the credit for sketching the iconic design, and his plans were given to car design expert Porsche. The first prototype of the car was built in Porshe’s garage, followed by more designs in a larger factory. During World War II, Hitler’s people’s car ideology was never carried out, and the people for whom Hitler planned the car were never able to have Volkswagen Beetles. During the war, the factory was closed due to the threat of an allied forces bombing, and was not able to re-open until after the war when West Germany remained under the control of allied forces.

British Influence

In December 1945, British forces in Germany re-opened the Volkswagen factory and began re-producing Volkswagen Beetles. The cars were exported all over, and in 1949 the factory was returned to German management. 1972 saw the Volkswagen Beetle become the most popular vehicle ever made.

Over Twenty-One Million Sold

In 2003, the last of the classic Volkswagen Beetles emerged from a factory in Mexico. Though the United States banned the sale of this automobile due to safety concerns, they remain popular and available all over the world.

Volkswagen Beetle Today

The new style Volkswagen Beetle first came out in 1998 and new lines have hit the roads ever since. The 2014 Volkswagen Beetle is ranked twenty-ninth in affordability among small cars, and seventh among affordable convertibles by US News & World Report. The base price for today’s Volkswagen Beetle is around $20,000. Though not as iconic as the original design, Beetles remain popular cars all over the world.

Byline

Nigel Powell writes on a variety of car related ideas and topics. Those thinking about procuring a rental vehicle in the near future should contemplate the car rental insurance brand Protect Your Bubble.

Image credit goes to robsw18.

Stereotypes About VW Jetta Owners

We all look at people differently on the road when we see what kind of car they drive. The guy driving a Prius is probably some kind of environmentalist or PETA member; a middle-aged woman behind the wheel of a minivan is a soccer mom; and an older gentleman driving a sports car is suffering from a mid-life crisis. If a person drives fast, they’re probably young and reckless while slower drivers are associated with the elderly. Many individuals make judgments about drivers multiple times per day, all based on what kind of car they drive. Today we look at the VW Jetta and the stereotypes that surround it.

Only Teenage Girls Drive Jettas

If asked to describe the typical Jetta driver, most people would immediately conjure the image of a 16- to 22-year-old female who may or may not have bleached blonde hair. Why is this the first image to pop into our minds? Firstly, the Jetta is a fairly common option for parents looking to buy a car for their teenage driver – it’s safe, reliable, and common enough that finding replacement parts when the inevitable accident happens will be relatively inexpensive. There’s a common conception throughout the automotive world that German cars are dependable, which makes them attractive to parents looking for a safe vehicle for their daughters to drive around.

Jetta Drivers are More Dangerous

This stereotype ties into the previous entry. Teenage girls are well-known for texting, applying makeup, drinking sweetened lattes, and doing everything in their cars except for driving. As a result, they can be seen weaving between highway lanes as they steer with their knees and take their attention off the road to put on lipstick. The Jetta may be a sturdy vehicle, but those around it would be wise to keep a wide berth according to this stereotype.

Guys who Drive Jettas are Less Manly

One of the results of the idea that Jettas are predominantly bought by females is the idea that men who buy them are less masculine. The stereotype here is that real men would prefer a pickup truck or a more overtly masculine car (sports or luxury cars) and those who pick Jettas are choosing the lesser option. The image of Jettas as safer cars also factors into this perception.

Jetta Drivers Don’t Know Anything about How Their Cars Work

This one stems from the perception of Jetta drivers as teenage girls and from their reputation as reliable cars. Because VW cars are percieved as reliable and needing less maintenance than other cars, their owners are assumed to not know much about cars, instead picking a Jetta because they know it will be more reliable. This portrays the Jetta owner as running to a mechanic any time something seems wrong and believing whatever they’re told regarding the state of their vehicle.

Of course, stereotypes aren’t always right, but they do influence the way other people see the owners of these cars. Be mindful of these perceptions, but receive them with a grain of salt knowing that each individual driver is unique, regardless of their vehicular preference.

Byline

Jared Cook is a freelance blogger and writer who pens articles on auto repair, auto maintenance & upkeep, German auto news, the German auto industry, the U.S. auto industry and other relevant subjects; to learn more about transmission repair visit Mr. Clutch transmission repair.

Image credit goes to nappent.

Analyzing the Reputation of German Cars Around the World

For many years, German cars have had an overwhelmingly positive reputation amongst car owners throughout the world. The term “German Engineering” has become synonymous with quality and longevity. Brands like Volkswagen, Audi, and Mercedes have been known as some of the most dependable cars on the market. The BMW M3 has been a darling of performance enthusiasts the world over. However, in light of poor reliability rankings, that show many German cars among the worst in reliability, why do they maintain such a positive reputation?

History

The reputation of German cars around the world is one that rests strongly on history. In the first annual Consumer Reports reliability index, the Volkswagen Beetle ranked as one of the most reliable cars in production. In the 1940s, Volkswagen (literally, “The People’s Car”) was known to produce cheap, reliable vehicles even during World War II. Into the 1980s, Mercedes-Benz emerged as a dependable luxury car brand, a reputation that has continued to this day despite what some deem unreliable offerings from the brand in more recent history. Volkswagen’s small cars (the Rabbit, Gulf, and Polo, for example) have developed a reputation as fun, economical hatchbacks in more recent years. The BMW M3 emerged in the early 1990s and quickly established itself as a serious performance contender, a reputation that follows it to this day. Porsche’s line of 911 models has been praised consistently since its inception. Throughout the years, different manufacturers have served to maintain that reputation of German cars and keep their desirability at a high level.

Role of Advertising

Advertising has also played a large part in maintaining German brands’ reliable reputations. The aforementioned “German Engineering” tagline has been associated with Volkswagen since at least 1987, creating a connection between German cars and reliability that has lasted well into the 21st century. For decades, Mercedes-Benz commercials have strived to associate the brand with luxury, style, and reliability. Many of the brand’s historical models are still revered as some of the best cars of all time, which has also cemented the Mercedes reputation.

Sleek and Technologically Advance

Finally, German cars have gained a reputation for embracing technological advances sooner than many other brands. This has made them appear as cutting-edge driving machines enhanced by technology, which makes them more desirable among early technology adopters. For example, BMW’s iDrive system was one of the first to incorporate computer systems into automobiles to centralize vehicle system controls and allow drivers in-depth access to their vehicle’s functions. German manufacturers remain at the forefront of cars that will drive themselves, supporting that belief.

Do German Cars Deserve Their Reputations?

It’s no secret that many German cars’ reliability ratings have dipped dramatically to the point that “German Engineering” seems to be more catchphrase than true statement. However, many German cars remain among the cream of the crop, as evidenced by the results of the World Car of the Year Award competition, in which the Volkswagen up! beat out the BMW 3 series and Porsche 911 to take home the fourth title in five years for the VW brand. Luxury German brands remain in demand across the world due to stylish looks and consistently outstanding performance. Though German cars no longer provide the outstanding reliability they once did, their other merits maintain a well-deserved reputation as quality automobiles.

Byline

Drake Goodman is blogger who focuses on auto repair, auto upkeep & maintenance, used vehicles and other related subjects. Those interested in viewing used cars should see this Arlington car dealer.

Image credit goes to Nacmias Auto Dealer.

A Review of the BMW X5 Pick-Up Truck

Imagine yourself driving down a bustling highway, complete with winding roads and debris pelting the vehicle throughout. While other vehicles might have started to slow down to carefully round corners and avoid succumbing to the debris on the highway, the BMW X5 keeps moving along without hesitation.

Though this might be more of an extreme circumstance, it should help prove what kind of power the BMW X5 can utilize despite the fact that it is a very large and heavy vehicle. The advertisements might not display this vehicle as one that is designed to traverse mountainous ranges or fording rivers, but it has that kind of construction and equipment built within; after all, what else could one expect from BMW?

Indeed, when it comes to having enough space for hauling the entire family, the BMW X5 may not necessarily make the best option. To provide an example, BMW produces the X3, which is only a little bit smaller and does not handle adult backseat passengers well. In addition, there are other competitors within this segment that offer more space. However, those looking for the overall value definitely do not want to pass up the chance to get a 2013 BMW X5 vehicle.

Performance

The 2013 BMW X5 comes in three trims: the xDrive35i, the xDrive50i, and the xDrive35d.

Underneath the hood of the xDrive35i models is a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 engine capable of delivering 300 pound-feet of torque and just as many horses. Adding the M Sport package increases the output to 330 pound-feet of torque and 315 horses. This engine and the 50i both come with all-wheel drive as standard and eight-speed automatic transmission as the standard transmission. In addition, this model is capable of going to 60 miles per hour from a standstill in just 6.4 seconds. The estimated fuel economy is 16 miles per gallon in the city, 23 miles per gallon on the highway and 19 miles per gallon when combined.

Underneath the hood of the xDrive50i is a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine capable of delivering a massive 450 pound-feet of torque and 400 horses while approaching 60 miles per hour in the span of 5.3 seconds. Equipping this model with the M Sport package increases the respective values to 480 pound-feet and 440 horses. The estimated fuel economy is 14/20/16.

Finally, underneath the hood of the xDrive35d is a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 engine capable of delivering 425 pound-feet of torque and 265 horses coupled with all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic as standard. Capable of reaching 60 in 7.2 seconds, the estimated fuel economy for this model is 16 miles per gallon in the city, 26 miles per gallon on the highway and 22 miles per gallon when combined.

On the Road

When it comes to midsize luxury crossovers, the 2013 BMW X5 is certainly among the best all around. Regardless of whether you need to traverse long highways or want to go off the road and climb the mountainous ranges, the X5 is a true champion. There may be some other competitors that provide more off-road abilities, but the X5 still shines better thanks to the legendary handling that BMW has come to be known for.

It is important to keep in mind, though, that the steering can be a little heavy when it comes to driving at very low speeds. However, it does work well in most other cases. In addition, the optional active steering is also well designed for a heavy vehicle like the X5, eliminating any minor issues with the steering.

Byline

Trey Mitchell is a freelance writer based in the greater metro area of Chicago. Trey focuses his writing on car gadgetry, car reviews, car maintenance & repair, and various other car-related topics. Those interested in auto-related careers should consider cdl jobs.

Image credit goes to M 93.