Category Archives: Automobile Accessories

Motorists are Needlessly Wasting Fuel Through Ignorance

Whilst the usual focus of TorqueCars is on car tuning, they spend a lot of time educating drivers, making the roads a safer place and keeping the flow of traffic going.

The forums are full of tips and pointers from seasoned car tuners and enthusiasts from around the world making it a great destination for people looking for sound advice.

TorqueCars note that there are a few common mistakes drivers make that are costing them hundreds each year.

Poor maintenance of the car wastes money. Oil changes are vital and reduce wear and tear on the engine. Good quality oils can also save fuel by effectively reducing the friction in the engine. Low oil levels and using the wrong oil really accelerates engine wear and worn engines are less efficient and will use more fuel.

Additionally when filters get clogged up, air fuel and oil they add restrictions into the engine decreasing efficiency.

Tyre pressures make a big difference to your fuel consumption. Under inflated tyres can adversely affect your handling, in addition to wasting fuel. TorqueCars owner Waynne Smith says, “In the real world simple things like checking tyre pressures, adjusting your driving style and correctly servicing your car can make a massive difference to your motoring expenses and costs.”

Driving style and habits are certainly one of the biggest wastes of resources. Most inexperienced drivers are guilty of at least some of the following fuel wasting habits.

Driving too fast – this can waste around 15% of your fuel or more! Going at 50mph is a lot more fuel efficient than driving at 70mph. Every 5 mph over 70 uses exponentially more fuel.

Braking hard also wastes a lot of momentum. Just easing off the throttle earlier as you approach a stop or junction will also avoid wasting fuel.

There is also another top tip from TorqueCars. Choose the right gear! Contrary to popular belief being in too high OR too low a gear will waste fuel. Your aim should be to keep the car in it’s power band where it is most efficient. Going outside of this will not only waste fuel but will increase the wear and tear on your engine resulting in costly repairs.

In addition to these fuel saving tips there are some tuning modifications you can apply to your car to maximise your fuel. TorqueCars website goes into these in some detail and they range from remaps, internal engine work and modification to the wheels and tyres.

Via EPR Network
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Auto Windscreens bags Morrisons

Automotive glazing supplier Auto Windscreens has bagged its first deal in the retail sector with supermarket Morrisons.

Auto Windscreens successfully completed a three month trial for Morrisons in Kent and Glasgow, to check out processes, procedures and service at both ends of the country. It has now been named the sole glazing provider for the fleet of commercial vehicles delivering products from nine distribution centres to 480 stores around the UK. Auto Windscreens expects to undertake around 450 jobs annually on Morrisons’ vehicles, which, depending on the time of year, number between 650-750.

Auto Windscreens’ Sales Director, Joy Cooper, said: “Winning the Morrisons account is a huge coup for us. Its vehicles operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and work to very tight deadlines, so it requires the highest standard of service from its suppliers. We’re proud to be working with Morrisons and look forward to helping it keep its commercial vehicles on the road.”

John Ward, Head of the Vehicle Maintenance Unit at Morrisons, said: “Auto Windscreens demonstrated a commitment to deliver the right solution in terms of service delivery and price competitiveness, and we’re pleased to have them on board.”

Auto Windscreens has grown significantly in the last year, opening new fitting centres in the South East, Wales and the East Midlands, and expanding its national and regional sales teams to meet increased customer demand. For more information about Auto Windscreens, call 0800 999 5000 or visit www.autowindscreens.co.uk. For more information about Morrisons, visit www.morrisons.co.uk.

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SEAT Offers 3 Years Of Worry-Free Motoring

SEAT Ireland has unveiled a quintet of special offers to take the stress out of buying a new car in 2013. The SEAT brand is enjoying a renaissance in Ireland, with two new models set to arrive in showrooms in the coming months: the generously-proportioned new Toledo, which goes on sale in November, and an all-new Leon, due to arrive in 2013.

However, SEAT customers won’t have to wait to avail of a host of new car offers. Buyers of all new SEAT cars from the newly revamped range can avail of 3% finance, one of the lowest rates available from any lender, as well as 3 years of free servicing which will take much of the worry out of both purchasing and owning a new car in 2013. Additionally, SEAT is offering 3 years roadside assistance, a 3 year car warranty and, for cars ordered before December 21st, there will be 3,000km of free fuel.

“In these challenging times customers will naturally look for a value proposition and we were able to realign all of our product range and add 10-15% of additional value either through price reductions or additional specification,” said Adam Chamberlain, Brand Director of SEAT Ireland. “Now, alongside a great product proposition, consumers have got very strong offers to allow them to have worry-free motoring for 3 years. Our cars are now more affordable and with these offers the SEAT range now offers truly great cars at great prices.”

More information can be found at www.seat.ie.

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SEAT introduces the Mii ‘Miinx’

SEAT has announced the introduction of a pink Mii, called the ‘Miinx’.

The Miinx is the work of Cornwall dealership Dales SEAT, and was created as a one-off show car after Sales Manager Tom Rawlings decided one evening that he fancied doing “something different.” Work began immediately, with the dealership choosing a Mii Sport in Deep Black metallic as the basis for the as-yet-unnamed car.

The Mii’s bodywork was covered in a pink gloss vinyl wrap, while the lights were tinted with a translucent film, resulting in a more pronounced, contrasting look.

Once the wrap had been applied, Dales posted a picture on Twitter and asked for some name ideas. ‘Miinky’, as it was for a while, generated plenty of discussion, though eventually the Miinx sobriquet was settled upon.

Aside from the wrap, the Miinx is a standard three-door Mii Sport. Power comes from a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine with 75 PS and it gets a generous standard equipment list including 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, leather steering wheel and gear knob, dark tinted rear windows, front fog lights, and sports suspension.

The Mii Miinx is a compact way of making a very big statement. It’s also charitable, with Dales planning to give £100 to the Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity for every car sold.

“One thing’s for sure, the Miinx is a car that always provokes a strong reaction, good or bad,” said Tom Rawlings.

“We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the response to the special edition since we launched it. From the day we first parked it outside our showroom, people have made a point of coming in to tell us what they think.

“The car’s also divided opinion on Twitter. I tweeted a photo and within minutes hundreds of people were commenting about it. But we couldn’t believe it when people from all over the place started calling the dealership to enquire about the car. We’ve obviously done something right,” he added.

Dales has received a raft of enquiries about the Miinx – one from as far afield as northern Scotland – and has consequently begun taking firm orders.

Every Miinx sold will come with the SEAT Portable System included – the removable multimedia device that SEAT is currently giving away free with cars bought using SEAT Solutions finance.

For more information on the SEAT Miinx call Dales SEAT now on 01209 821144. Follow Dales on Twitter @DALESCornwall, and SEAT @SEAT_cars_UK

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SEAT unveils the new Ibiza CUPRA

SEAT officially raises the bar in the supermini class with the introduction of the sensational Ibiza CUPRA. First shown as a concept during April’s Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, the Ibiza CUPRA is now unveiled in barely touched production form.

Performance is scintillating, with a 0-62mph time of just 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 142 mph, yet exceptionally efficient, with average fuel consumption of 47.9 mpg.

Due to arrive in the UK in January 2013, the new car follows more than 16 years of heritage. The CUPRA name was born in 1996 as a special, top-of-the-line Ibiza built to commemorate SEAT’s World Rally Championship victory in the 2.0-litre category. Since then a CUPRA has always featured in the SEAT model line-up, with the name adorning both the Ibiza and Leon ranges.

“The Ibiza CUPRA is one of the icons of the SEAT brand,” said James Muir, President of SEAT S.A. “Its stunning design and refined dynamics promise driving fun mile-for-mile. With its innovative technologies, upgraded interior and further improved quality, the new Ibiza CUPRA clearly shows how quickly and consistently our brand is continuing to develop.”

Powered by a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine that develops 180 PS and 250 Nm, owing to a turbocharger and a supercharger as well as direct injection, the latest Ibiza CUPRAhatchback is truly worthy of the name, and begins the next chapter of the CUPRA success story.

The TSI power unit guarantees exceptionally refined performance during day-to-day driving, while a unique sound actuator in the exhaust system allows for an extra sporty sound when the driver desires it. The seven-speed DSG twin-clutch automatic transmission with its extremely short shift times can be operated via paddles mounted behind the steering wheel.

The chassis of the Ibiza CUPRA has been tuned for maximum agility and precision. The ride height has been lowered compared to the standard car. An XDS electronic differential lock reduces the tendency to under steer and improves handling through fast corners, and an ESP electronic stability system incorporating hill start is part of the safety package that comes as standard on the Ibiza CUPRA. The car has been awarded the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test.

The new Ibiza CUPRA is a dynamic supermini with a solid and powerful stance. The new face gets a broad grille and very forceful air intakes to emphasise the breadth, solidity and power of the car. The sophisticated design of the front headlamps shows the attention to detail inherent with SEAT workmanship.

The entertainment system in the Ibiza CUPRA is completely new and the high-performance audio system is enhanced by the innovative SEAT Portable System. The highly functional unit is removable for mobile use yet perfectly integrated into the vehicle electronics system. Its extensive functions include a navigation system, Bluetooth audio streaming, a Micro SD card slot for music storage, hands-free phone system with voice control, and an on-board computer.

Additionally, a ‘photo frame’ facility allows users to personalise their system with images, while a useful ‘notepad’ function allows occupants to set handy reminders, and the screen can act as a torch for users when they leave the car at night.

Via EPR Network
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Cadillac Sponsors 2012 Winter Park Concours d’Elegance

Cadillac will be the primary sponsor of the 2012 Winter Park Concours d’Elegance, taking place Nov. 11 in Old Winter Park, Fla.

Winter Park Concours d’Elegance is one of the most prestigiously-ranked and exotic classic car shows in the United States. During the one-day event, Winter Park’s downtown Park Avenue area will be closed, allowing up-close access to individual autos and automotive groupings. Accenting the event will be music and dining, all combining to make the Concours d’ Elegance a special day for visitors to Winter Park.

“Cadillac is pleased to support 2012 Concours d’Elegance,” said Dave Fitzwater, Cadillac Regional Director, Southeast Region. “Our brand is synonymous with luxury and design and we look forward to being a part of the beautiful display of classic cars that will be showcased.

A free event to the public, Concours d’Elegance is expected to draw more than 75,000 attendees, many of them from outside the Central Florida area.

“Between the classic car exhibitors and the people who travel to Central Florida to see the classic cars, we anticipate as many as 5,000 out-of-area attendees,” according to Tim Weber, who oversees the 2012 Winter Park Concours d’Elegance.

The three day automotive celebration begins with a ticket-only event at Sanford International Airport on Friday, Nov. 9 and concludes with the Concours event on Sunday, Nov. 11.

Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. In recent years, Cadillac has engineered a historic renaissance led by artful engineering and advanced technology. More information on Cadillac can be found at media.cadillac.com.

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President of Volkswagen AG reiterates the commitment of the group to Spain

Dr. Martin Winterkorn, president of the Volkswagen AG Board of Directors, has participated in the Hispano-German Entrepreneurs Meeting, which took place in the executive headquarters of the government, and which counted on the presence of the President of Government, Mariano Rajoy, and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

“Volkswagen will continue its close link with Spain in the future,” assured Dr. Winterkorn during his address before the heads of the principal German and Spanish companies. According to the president of the Volkswagen Group, Spain has played an exemplary role in the last few weeks, having taken brave but successful decisions. “Of course, results are not achieved from one day to the next, but the direction is the correct one. I am sure that they will be achieved,” he added.

The President of the Volkswagen AG Board of Directors highlighted the role of the Group within the automobile industry in Spain: “The activities of our Group represent 25% of the Spanish automotive industry and, with the SEAT brand, Volkswagen and Audi, we are among the companies with the highest volume of business in Spain. Besides, we are the major industrial investor in the area of research and development, and we employ more than 18,000 people between the factories of Pamplona and SEAT Martorell.”

Regarding the current situation of the automobile market Dr. Winterkorn pointed out:
“It is true that SEAT is especially suffering the steep drop of the domestic Spanish market, but it is also true that it has the product and the adequate team, so that when the market recuperates, the brand will grow exponentially. SEAT will continue to be a fundamental element in the global strategy of the Volkswagen Group,” he added.

Dr. Winterkorn also made reference to “the high rate of youth unemployment,” which poses “a complicated mortgage upon the future of Europe. Facing it should be the political as well as the economic objective.” He also confirmed the commitment of the company to future generations: “With the ‘Start Up Europe’ Program, we are creating professional opportunities for young engineers. And also here in Spain we are manifesting our commitment with the implementation of dual training,” he said.

“The Volkswagen Group is a perfect example for demonstrating that the ‘European Idea’ has future potential. We have 12 brands in 7 countries of the EU that work together successfully. At Volkswagen, we believe in Europe. And we are willing to give our support so that Spanish and European industries can be strong and solvent in the future,” he concluded.

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SEAT Leon to debut at Paris Motor Show

SEAT is set to unveil the most important new model in its recent history at the 2012 Mondial de l’Automobile – the all-new Leon.

Combining effortless beauty with greater practicality than its two preceding generations, the new Leon is the most advanced car that SEAT has ever produced and a landmark for the Spanish company. The introduction of the new Leon makes the 2012 Paris Motor Show an epoch-defining event for SEAT, during which the first of a new model family is introduced – a family that will extend the Leon’s reach further than ever before.

And with the official introduction of the new, production-ready Toledo hatchback, SEAT really does have compact family car segment covered. The new Toledo boasts an incredible amount of cabin space and a 550-litre boot, wrapped in a compact body shell and with a price that’s more supermini than family car.

Alongside the two new cars, SEAT will also display the exciting Mii FR Line Concept. First shown at the 2012 GTI Treffen event in Worthersee, Austria, the Mii FR Line Concept alludes to how the city car could look were it to become available in FR trim.

Finally, the Paris Motor Show represents the official market introduction of SEAT’s new corporate identity, which brings a more modern, streamlined look to the existing ‘S’ logo found on the grille and tailgate of every SEAT model. It will be used first on the new Leon, before being rolled out to the entire range from 2013.

Speaking about SEAT’s presence at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, UK Director Peter Wyhinny said: “We’re hugely excited about what we have in store for this year’s Paris show. The all-new Leon is a remarkable car, oozing Spanish flair but bursting with technology and offering genuine versatility. We can’t wait to show it in the metal so that its beauty and presence can really be appreciated, and beyond that we’re eagerly anticipating getting people behind the wheel so they can feel just how dynamic this car really is.

“In addition, the introduction of the new, fourth-generation Toledo is a big step for us, because it gives our customers the chance to own a car with unique visual appeal but that packs a practicality punch way above its compact size and price. Its five-door hatchback layout brings the model back to the spirit of the ground-breaking original, which was a huge success. We’re convinced that buyers will take this new Toledo to their hearts.

“And with the stunning Mii FR Line Concept sitting on our Paris show stand too, alluding to a sportier future for the sensational city car, there are good times ahead for SEAT. Adding the new Leon and Toledo to models like the Mii, the Exeo and the multi-award winning Alhambra, the SEAT line-up is bigger, better and more exciting than ever before and there’s much more to come.”

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Autoglass Celebrates Landmark Birthday and 30 Million Customers

Autoglass, the UK’s leading vehicle glass repair and replacement specialist, has announced it has served over 30 million customers and replaced 17 million windscreens as it celebrates 40 years of serving UK motorists.

The company is celebrating its 40th birthday with the launch of a stop-motion video highlighting 40 years of automotive innovation, featuring its staff from across the UK.

Matthew Mycock, Autoglass Managing Director commented: “The company and industry has undergone enormous change over the last 40 years. Our focus on innovation and customer service has seen us lead the industry to keep the windscreens of UK motorists in a safe and high quality condition for driving. We are incredibly proud to have served over 30 million British motorists over our history. It is a remarkable statistic that on average, over the last 40 years Autoglass has repaired or replaced a customer’s vehicle glass every 42 seconds.”

Launched in 1972, Autoglass was based in Salford, Manchester providing a vehicle glass replacement service across the North of England. Primarily a branch-based operation, the company also had mobile technicians, providing an emergency roadside windscreen replacement service to motorists whose windscreen shattered – a common problem in the 1970s when windscreens were made from toughened glass.

It was in 1983 that Autoglass was merged with Bedford-based Windscreens to become a national business, expanding across the UK over the next few years with an increasingly mobile operation.

As part of the global Belron group, Autoglass was able to benefit from the world’s largest vehicle glass repair and replacement (VGRR) specialist’s expertise and recognised the importance of investing in research, training and quality tools to achieve the highest standards. This drove the ambition to be the UK’s best VGRR service provider and to set the industry standard.

This ambition led to an innovative approach to business and to the introduction of initiatives such windscreen chip repairs (in 1990). This meant the company was able to offer further value and convenience to UK motorists. Autoglass has also worked with the BSI to set the chip repair standard, the IMI (Institute of Motor Industry) to develop the ATA (Automotive Technician Accreditation) for vehicle glass technicians and developed its own patented tools.

To celebrate 40 years of innovation and world-class service Autoglass staff from all over the UK helped to film a stop-motion video. The video showcases automotive innovation across the company’s 40-year history in a light-hearted and engaging infographic on an iPad, highlighting that throughout all the changes over the last four decades Autoglass staff have been always been on hand to help.

The video was produced from a total of 1,600 still photographs taken at the company’s Bedford branch and headquarters, involving staff from across the UK.

Autoglass fans can win a pair of tickets for a Ferrari Driving Thrill with Red Letter Days by watching the video and finding the answer to a question within the video. The video can be viewed here and to enter the competition please visit the brand’s Facebook App.

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SEAT Brings in Dual Vocation Training System

SEAT has announced it will replace the current training system in its Apprentices School with a dual one, based on the German system. This will combine theory and practice, and provide students with solid professional experience. The new syllabus will increase the number of hours by 57% (from 2,950 to 4,625) in comparison to the current system, and gives equal importance to training and work in terms of hours.

The new dual training model at SEAT’s Apprentices School will be a three-year course of study. Students will sign a training and apprenticeship contract, and all will receive a monthly payment. First-year apprentices will receive 250 Euros, second-year students 420 Euros, and third-year students 530 Euros.

Josef Schelchshorn, SEAT’s Vice-president for Human Resources, expressed his great satisfaction at the introduction in Spain of a system similar to the German one. “The project means a quantum leap in quality for our School. We are broadening and improving the training of apprentices before they join SEAT, while at the same time forging closer links with the world of work”.

Schelchshorn added that, “it is a matter of great pride for SEAT to be able to contribute to Spanish society in the form of quality training and employment.”

To date SEAT has been offering two years of Middle Grade vocational training cycle, completed with an additional one-year training course to provide students with better qualifications before joining SEAT. The syllabus now becomes broader: 1,700 work-hours are included in one of the company’s production plants, whereas to date 600 hours had been devoted to practical work in workshops. Productive practical work is also introduced in the training centre itself in order to respond to the needs of some company technical departments, allowing students to put their theoretical knowledge to practical use.

Also, first-year students will be provided with 160 hours of hands-on in-factory training in July, to which a total number of 200 hours for English language training will be added in the second and third years, as well as the continuous specialised training offered to those workers already on the SEAT workforce. Each apprentice will also have a personal tutor for the duration of the apprenticeship.

For the current academic year 2012-2013, SEAT will have an intake of 61 new first-year student apprentices, chosen from a record number of 400 applicants for the centre. As has been the case to date, once the apprentices have successfully concluded their three-year course of study, they will be entitled to join SEAT on a long-term contract. Thanks to the new contractual relationship provided by dual training, the students’ links and identification with the company will be strengthened, while at the same time increasing the attractiveness of both the centre itself and of SEAT as an employer.

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SEAT Sets Its Sights on Russia

SEAT has announced the reinforcement of its presence in Russia while strengthening its international expansion plans. The Spanish company, participating in the Moscow Motor Show, has opened a new chapter hand-in-hand with the Volkswagen Group importer to profit from the experience of the company in this market.

So far this year SEAT has doubled the size of its network in Russia, and already has 22 dealerships there, located in Moscow and St. Petersburg, plus other major cities such as Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan and Rostov-on-Don. SEAT will open three new dealerships before the year’s end, bringing the total number to 25. The aim of opening further dealerships is to cover most of the regions of the European part of the country.

SEAT President and Executive Committee Chairman James Muir stated Russia is yet another example of company’s strategy to open up new markets. He said: “We see great potential for SEAT in markets like Russia. Great design, high quality, outstanding engineering and innovative technology bring something new and fresh to the dynamic Russian automotive market.”

“The Moscow Motor Show represents a key stepping stone in the ambitions of SEAT in Russia,” Muir concluded.

At the Moscow Motor Show – the country’s most important annual automotive industry event – SEAT has announced the growth of the product range in Russia with the start of sales of the Alhambra MPV this autumn. The Alhambra is in addition to the three models currently marketed in Russia: three versions of the Ibiza (3-door SC, 5-door, and ST estate), the Leon hatchback, and the crossover SEAT Altea Freetrack, all of which are built at the Martorell plant on the outskirts of Barcelona.

Besides these four models, SEAT is also displaying the IBX, a hybrid crossover concept car than won accolades from the press and public at last year’s Geneva Motor Show for its winning combination of design and outstanding versatility.

Since Russia is a priority market for SEAT in both the short- and long-term, it has its own infrastructure in Moscow in charge of rolling out the development plan. Russia is a country with strong growth potential, and which aspires to make itself the largest car market in Europe over the next few years. In 2011 more than 2.6 million cars were sold – a figure beaten only by Germany (almost 3.2 million units) – and sales have grown 14.3% during the first half of 2012, exceeding 1.4 million vehicles.

SEAT exports about four of every five cars it manufactures to 75 different countries. One of its aims is to increase this percentage by opening up new markets, including China, where marketing activities began last April. During the first half of 2012 SEAT has achieved strong growth in Mexico (10,214 cars sold, +20.5%), Algeria (5,191, +150.0%) and Israel (3,787, 85.7%). The company has also improved its deliveries over the same period in such competitive European markets as Germany (28,404, +8.0%), the United Kingdom (19,763, +6.8%) and Switzerland (4,159, +19.4%).

In parallel, this year the Spanish brand finds itself in the full flood of an unprecedented product offensive. Over the next few months the return of the Toledo and the new Leon will be added to the Mii and the new Ibiza, already on sale. Growth in the number of models will enable SEAT to broaden its market coverage and provide it with the optimal basis for continued growth in its export markets.

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Avoiding the Perils of Dangerous Car Modifications

TorqueCars http://www.torquecars.com, one of the UK’s leading online car modding communities today launched an awareness campaign to highlight the dangers of poor quality DIY car modifications by inexperienced owners.

We see many modified cars that are downright dangerous or at least going to be unreliable. It seems that lots of car owners with minimal knowledge are making changes to their cars without realising the implications. By highlighting these problems TorqueCars hope to minimise the negative impact created by these low budget, poor quality modified cars, and focus on a professional approach to car modification.

It only takes a few high profile incidents involving poorly modified cars before the clamour is raised for legislation outlawing all modifications or restricting the choice of modifications people can do.

Some young drivers seem to think that the more noise the car makes the faster it goes. Experience proves this to be incorrect and often these large exhausts and noisy induction kits have a negative effect on the cars performance and power.

One particular area of concern is with car electrics. Inexperienced DIYers will often overload circuits or hack into wires for power without making proper provisions for vibrations wear and adequate electrical insulation. These can often short out potentially causing a fire or at least creating a breakdown.

The most common electrical mistake is putting a wire straight through a bulk head without placing a rubber grommet around the wire to shield it from rubbing on the bulk head and wearing through.

A holistic approach to car modification is required where increased power is matched with up rated braking and handling. Dropping a 2.0 Turbo engine into a car which originally had a much smaller engine will offer a dramatic power hike but the brakes and suspension will be unable to handle this causing a potentially dangerous situation.

The main motivation for modifying a car is to maximise the drivers enjoyment of the vehicle. Most modifications merely release the full potential of a car where manufacturers have detuned or restricted the car in some way for economic or reputational reasons.

It is also fair to assume that each driver has their own personal preferences when it comes to a cars power band, handling characteristics and the aesthetic design of their car.

A well modified car should be safer than the standard unmodified one due to the stronger or uprated parts introduced. Braking distances can be dramatically shortened, the risk of skidding on a deceptive bend or corner or losing control should also be lower.

By increasing an engines efficiency there is often an additional saving in fuel consumption. This fact is particularly true when it comes to tuning modern turbo diesel engines.

It’s not just poorly modified cars that present a danger; poorly maintained cars are just as big a risk. According to TorqueCars senior partner Waynne Smith, “if you walk around any public car park you will find many cars will illegal tyres. The tread depth will be below the legal minimum or there will be damage to the sidewall of the tyre. We try hard to promote responsible car ownership to our members and readers of our articles.”

The forums at TorqueCars are a great place to go to discuss your car tuning project in details with experienced car modifiers and enthusiasts from around the world. By garnering as much information as you can you’ll be better placed to avoid the common pitfalls associated with modified cars.

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SEAT Delivers Three Electric Cars to Barcelona

SEAT recently delivered three new electric cars to Barcelona where the vehicles will be tested by Barcelona City Hall in its municipal car fleet for an initial six-month trial period, during which SEAT will gather information and assess performance prior to mass production of electric vehicles. With the hybrid and electric vehicles, SEAT is developing two different technologies, placing the company in an optimal position to respond to market demand.

Ramón Paredes, Executive Vice-president for Governmental and Institutional Relations at SEAT and the Volkswagen Group in Spain, declared that “once more SEAT is showing its links to emblematic projects such as development of the electric car for the future of the country”. He also underscored the fact that “we are the only brand with the capacity to think through, develop and produce an electric vehicle in Spain.”

Dr. Matthias Rabe, SEAT Executive Vice-president for R&D commented: “Delivering these electric vehicles to institutional fleets covers a new stage in our electric motoring strategy.

“SEAT’s future is electric and we are opting for diversification of alternative technologies so as to cater to different motoring needs.”

Within the framework of this strategy, SEAT has loaned one e-Altea XL to Endesa, and another to the Catalan Energy Institute (ICAEN); a further two TwinDrive – one to each of the two organisations mentioned – will be made available over the forthcoming weeks. The company is immersed in the first stage of the introduction of an electric car and envisages the loan of further vehicles to different governmental departments, institutions, and private companies interested in eco-friendly fleets over the forthcoming months.

The Altea XL Electric Ecomotive and the Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive are two vehicles with different but complementary technologies. The Altea XL Electric Ecomotive can be used in wide variety of different circumstances, and for that reason is SEAT’s first all-electric car. It has a range of 135 kilometres, a power output of 115 hp (85kW), an engine torque of 270 Nm and a top speed of 135 kph. Of the several new features found on it, two of the most striking are battery location under the rear seats and the boot, meaning no reduction in passenger compartment space, and the photovoltaic panels on the roof, cutting energy requirements for the vehicle’s air-conditioning.

The Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive couples the advantages of emission-free driving to the range of a conventional petrol-engine car. The TwinDrive allows for all-electric or hybrid driving, meaning no change whatsoever in driving habits or life style for customers. It has a range of 52 kilometres in electric mode, with a top speed of 120 kph. In mixed mode (electric and combustion) consumption is 1.7 litres, emissions are under 39 g/km, and top speed is 170 kph.

SEAT’s commitment to sustainable motoring and environmental protection extends to other brand vehicles already on the market. SEAT has a long track record of producing low-emission cars – for the record, 70% of cars marketed in Spain have emissions below 130 g/km of CO2.

Additionally SEAT is involved in other projects to promote electrical motoring in Spain. One of them – headed by SEAT – is CENIT VERDE, a public-private initiative comprising companies from different sectors, universities and research centres, and backed by the Spanish government. This project takes a global approach to research into the foundations for a successful introduction of the electric car in Spain.

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SEAT Announces Significant Expansion In China

SEAT has announced it is committed to expanding its activities in China, following its strong presence at the Beijing Motor Show and the unveiling of SEAT showrooms in eight major Chinese cities on 24 April 2012.

Sporty leisure vehicles with a high degree of functionality are currently experiencing a considerable increase in demand in China. Following the market launch of the Leon, SEAT continued its response to the rapidly growing Chinese car market by showcasing the new Ibiza CUPRA Concept at the Beijing Motor Show. Making its world premiere at the event, the Ibiza CUPRA Concept is a close-to-production taster of the new generation of this sporty brand icon.

SEAT also featured the award-winning Alhambra. Using the Beijing Motor Show as an opportunity to gauge initial public reaction, the Alhambra could join the SEAT line-up in China in 2013, also as an import model produced in Europe.

James Muir, Chairman of SEAT, said: “SEAT has arrived in China. We are launching our success story on this market with our state-of-the-art, attractive city showrooms and with the SEAT Leon as the entry model.

“Here in China, we are observing a groundswell of increasingly discerning customers that want to differentiate themselves with their cars. SEAT stands for emotional design and state-of-the-art engineering, for guaranteed driving fun mile-for-mile. Our unique combination of design and performance, of technology and precision secures for us an enormous potential within this key marketplace.”

At the Beijing Motor Show, SEAT’s show stand displayed the new SEAT corporate identity. Characterised by a bright, expansive design, with, warm and welcoming colours, it reflected the design philosophy and the core values of the Spanish brand – clear, precise and distinctive in a highly attractive way.

All the new showrooms in China were designed in line with this new brand identity, which is scheduled for implementation worldwide. The cities to receive showrooms were: Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Wuhan and Zhengzhou.

The SEAT dealer network in China has planned to expand further over the next few months, reaching 15 operations by the end of 2012. This summer will see showrooms open in Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Nanning, Xi’an und Xiamen, with Beijing and Shanghai following.

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SEAT reveals Ibiza CUPRA Concept

SEAT has presented its Ibiza CUPRA Concept at a recent Volkswagen Group media event that signals the start of the Beijing International Motor Show. The Ibiza CUPRA was showcased as a close-to-production concept car that heralds a new generation of the iconic CUPRA model.

The Ibiza CUPRA shows the SEAT DNA in its most concentrated form: amazing performance, the latest technology and comprehensive equipment clad in an emotional design that has been consistently developed. With its compact form, the Ibiza CUPRA Concept is a sports car for every day, combining agile driving fun with a high degree of functionality. The series-production model of the new Ibiza CUPRA will arrive towards the end of 2012.

With its 132 kW / 180 hp engine, seven-speed DSG transmission with shift paddles, XDS electronic differential lock and high-performance brakes, the Ibiza CUPRA Concept aims to showcase high technological competence.

James Muir, Chairmanof SEAT, said: “With its new, powerfully accentuated design, its innovative technologies, upgraded interior and further improved quality, the new Ibiza CUPRA Concept clearly shows how our brand is continuing to develop.

“Emotional design and refined dynamics guarantee driving fun on every single kilometre. We are presenting the Ibiza CUPRA Concept at the Beijing Motor Show because this compact athlete will be an important element in the development of our brand in this key market.”

The first generation of the Ibiza CUPRA took to the streets in 1996. Since then the dynamic CUPRA models have developed to become an icon of the SEAT brand. The Ibiza CUPRA Concept shows how the next chapter of this success story will be written.

Dr. Matthias Rabe, Vice-President for Research and Development at SEAT, said:
“Immediate and linear acceleration, with agile handling, good traction and responsive brakes are the key ingredients for what the CUPRA name represents.”The new Ibiza CUPRA Concept is a perfect example of how we at SEAT are adapting the latest Volkswagen Group technology to create a unique and highly rewarding package.”

The concept car’s LED daytime running lights trace the line of the headlamps to deliver a unique light signature, as do the LED rear lights. Technically, the bi-xenon headlamps provide illumination, while cornering lights are integrated into the large fog lamps.

The side view of the three-door sports coupe is defined by its sharply drawn lines and edges, while the muscular rear shoulders and 17-inch wheels underscore its dynamics. The exterior mirrors are painted black and contrast with the distinctive Crono yellow paint finish of the CUPRA Concept in Beijing.

The entertainment system in the Ibiza CUPRA Concept is completely new. The powerful audio set-up can be complemented by the innovative SEAT Portable System. The 5-inch screen is removable for mobile use and yet integrated into the vehicle electronics. Its many functions include the navigation system, the hands-free phone system with voice control and an on-board computer. At a later point, the SEAT Portable System will be available as an option for the entire Ibiza family.

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Most Motorists Would Keep Quiet About Accidents, Survey Finds

A new survey from the Co-operative Motor Group has indicated that a majority of drivers would keep quiet if they collided with a friend or neighbour’s car by accident, although there was some variation in honesty between motorists of different age groups.

Of 2,000 people surveyed, just 24 per cent said they would ensure they told a friend in the event of a prang with their vehicle, while 26 per cent felt they would inform a neighbour. However, only one in eight participants said they would tell a stranger that they had crashed into their motor. A third, meanwhile, said they would come clean with a boss or work colleague.

The poll also suggested that older drivers were more honest than their younger counterparts, with 72 per cent of those aged 55 and over saying that they would seek to track down owner of the car they had hit regardless of who they were – as opposed to just 40 per cent of those aged between 18 and 24.

“Any claim you make could mean your insurance goes up when you come to renew your policy,” said Co-operative Group head of motor insurance Grant Mitchell. “It can be tempting to ignore minor scrapes or faults with your car, but it’s always best to get these fixed to avoid problems further down the line.”

There were also some differences in straightforwardness between drivers in different parts of the UK. While just 10.82 per cent of motorists in north-west England would seek to dodge the blame for a minor collision, this figure rose to 22.09 per cent among those in London – the area with the highest proportion of dishonest drivers.

Yorkshire and the Humber, the East Midlands, the south-east and Northern Ireland were also among the most honest regions, whilst their counterparts in the north-east, Scotland, Wales and the south-east were most keen to keep their heads down in the hope they’d get away with it.

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SEAT Reports Improved Profits As A Result Of Increased Exporting

SEAT has announced that internationalisation enabled it to weather the storm affecting the Spanish market in 2011 and forge ahead with its plans for growth and profitability. SEAT passed the 5 billion euros mark in terms of revenues (5,049 million, 8.3% more than the previous financial year), thanks to an increase in exports and the market success of its products.

The difficult economic situation didn’t prevent the Volkswagen Group brand from devoting 555 million euros (7% up on last year) to investment and R&D. In spite of this, SEAT improved its operating account by almost 100 million euros (30%), ending 2011 with a result totalling -232 million euros compared to the -330 million of the previous financial year. Earnings after tax improved by 43 million (41.3%) to -61 million euros.

During the presentation of the company’s results for 2011 SEAT’s President James Muir said: “SEAT has delivered on its commitments. We have improved all our indicators and this year we want to continue in the same direction.”

In 2011 SEAT delivered 3.1% more vehicles (350,009 units) worldwide, in spite of the Spanish market crisis, and at year’s end it was car registrations leader for the second year running in Spain. The company made up for the downturn in its home market by an 11.4% increase in exports, which now account for almost 80% of total deliveries.

The upturn was particularly significant in Germany (+20.9%), France (+14.6%), the United Kingdom (+9.6%) and Italy (+6.5%). SEAT increased its market share in the European Union, and also sold 35.4% more in Mexico, plus 35.6% more in North Africa and the Middle East.

Holger Kintscher, SEAT executive Vice-president for Finances and Organization remarked on the improved profits, saying: “Our company is following the plan laid out to achieve profitability. We have continued to increase earnings and optimise costs, and this has enabled us to improve our results. We have also created more than 1,000 employees and invested 555 million euros to consolidate our future. We are on the right track.”

In 2011 SEAT broadened and updated its product range with the launch onto the Spanish market of the Mii, the brand’s new city car, signalling its return to the city cars segment and greater market coverage. The Mii was joined by the revamped Exeo and the Alhambra 4, extending the range of SEAT’s award-winning MPV with a four-wheel drive version.

Thanks to the success of SEAT products and the start-up of the Audi Q3, the company increased production at Martorell, its main production facility, by 5.5%, totalling 353,420 vehicles. Both elements enabled SEAT to become one of Spain’s major generators of employment. SEAT also finalized a new, more modern and flexible collective agreement, partially linking pay to company results, as well as paving the way for the creation of yet more jobs.

The new city car Mii and the new Ibiza, the brand’s and Spain’s best-selling car, will be joined after the summer break by the new Toledo and the 5-door Leon.

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Motoring DIY skills in short supply, survey finds

A new survey has indicated that everyday car repair skills are in relatively short supply among UK motorists, with many drivers lacking any knowledge of a range of relatively simple motoring-related tasks.

According to a poll recently conducted The Co-operative Motor Group, tasks such as topping up oil levels are beyond the knowledge of many UK drivers. More than one in three of those questioned – 37 per cent – said the main reason for their lack of car repair experience was the fact they had never been shown how to do such tasks, while a similar proportion of participants felt it was the responsibility of professional mechanics.

What’s more, two out of five motorists quizzed as part of the survey said they would be unable to change a car tyre in the event of a problem, with one in seven admitting to being unable to open their car’s bonnet. New drivers are frequently asked by examiners to demonstrate how to open the bonnet as one of the ‘show me, tell me’ questions asked before driving tests – which makes this particular finding all the more worrying.

“Many drivers feel bemused by even the most simple elements of modern motoring. They admit to being unable to perform tasks that can be the difference between keeping a car running safely and without major expense, and spending hours waiting for roadside recovery,” said Co-operative Motor Group managing director Tony Guest.

Despite the apparently widespread lack of car repair knowledge and experience among British motorists – 16.95 per cent admitted to not knowing how to top up windscreen washer fluid – nearly half of participants had experienced a breakdown whilst driving their current vehicle. More than one-fifth (22 per cent), however, said they had no breakdown cover whatsoever.

“Breaking down can be a stressful event and motorists would be advised to check that they have adequate breakdown cover to make sure they can get assistance in case the worst happens,” Mr Guest added.

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The Revolutionary 2-In-1 Pressure Washer & Cleaning Brush

The Blaster Brush cleaning brush is claimed to be the easiest, fastest and most efficient carwash device in the world. Attach to a normal garden hose and off you go – a brilliant, complete car wash and rinse, done in 10 minutes, without bending, reaching or getting wet and using up to 75% less water! The Blaster Brush has a patented, non-powered, high-pressure washer attachment built in that allows the water to blast to an incredible power wash of up to 2 storeys high, whereas the old fashioned, conventional flow thru wash brush only reaches a mere 2 metres.

Although it may look like it, this is not a flow through brush. It’s far better!

Non-Powered, Easy-to-use & Versatile
Just use any standard garden hose and fit it into the bottom of the Blaster Brush’s handle, no need to go out and buy a completely new specialised hose or attachment, or an electrical extension, plugs or sockets. The water trigger controls the pressure washer spray and is conveniently situated at the base of the handle so there’s no extra effort or need to fiddle with taps.

Need to stretch over your car to get everywhere? Not anymore. The Blaster Brush has a lightweight aluminium telescopic pole where the length is adjustable to attain those difficult high reach places with the wash brush, like the roof, 4×4’s, boats and campers. It lets you effortlessly wash a section of your vehicle in just a few quick, short swipes with the washing brush, then blast off the wet soap with clean water immediately before it can streak and leave any soapy residue.

Cleaning your car has never been easier with the Blaster Brush pressure washer and cleaning brush! No more bending over or reaching leaving you with an aching back. The cleaning brush’s extra length and pressure washer means no more wet clothes, soap spills or chemicals on your hands. Since you won’t ever get wet again, you can wash your car in any weather with the best car wash products.

Non-scratch &Eco-friendly
The bristles on the cleaning brush are guaranteed 100% non-scratch and flare all the way around the rectangular design, ensuring your car’s surface is safe from any damages or scratches. The Blaster Brush pressure washer uses up to 75% less water then a normal hand car wash making it an eco car wash and saving you money on water bills. Washing and rinsing with the water jet power washer can be done simultaneously, saving you time from back tracking your steps and re-rinsing. Power washing couldn’t possibly be any more convenient and safe for your car using the Blaster Brush car wash brush with handle.

Effortless with Multiple Applications
All you need is a bucket, car shampoo and the Blaster Brush cleaning brush. No more sponges, chamois, chemicals, fancy useless gadgets or other messy car wash equipment. The water exit point is completely separate from the bristles, unlike its predecessor, the Flow Thru brush which releases water via the soapy bristles. Any stubborn grime on the car can be safely blasted off with complete ease using the power sprayer. No more scrubbing tirelessly away at mud, salt and filthy wheels and grills. It’s your first line of defence from corrosion and exterior surface damage.

The car wash brush can be used to clean refuse bins, boats, trailers, driveways, barbeques, lawn mowers, 4x4s and the list doesn’t end there:
• Boats
• Campers/ Caravans
• 4x4s
• Trailers
• Home windows
• Facia boards
• Paving
• Driveways
• Decks
• Outdoor furniture
• Barbeques
• Bicycles
• Lawnmowers
• Refuse bins
• Gutters

The patented Blaster Brush is the only power wash car washing equipment of its kind. The Blaster Brush is a must-have for any chain, DIY, home store and car wash equipment distributor because of its innovative design, efficiency and vast amount of outdoor uses. The Blaster Brush is expected to be the hottest new product on shelves by our distributors in Africa, Europe & Asia. Blaster Brush pressure washer and cleaning brush is seeking distributors and agents worldwide.

As car wash equipment manufacturers, we strive for the highest quality using only approved non-leak components. We believe the Blaster Brush is the best water-based brush product manufactured in China.

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2012 SEAT Exeo Glides Into Showrooms

The executive class 2012 SEAT Exeo is now available in the Spanish brand’s UK showrooms nationwide with even more style, economy and refinement available to savvy saloon and estate buyers.

SEAT’s much-admired Exeo saloon and Exeo ST Estate range boasts a new look and some important engineering upgrades.

The 2012 cars’ revised ‘face’ – with new bi-xenon headlights and stunning LED daytime running lights (standard on Sport models and optional on SE spec cars) – ensures it once again cuts a real dash in the executive car park.

The styling enhancements, boosted by smart new alloy wheel designs, further underline the high value SEAT Exeo Estate range’s premium look while upgrades to interior materials – including improved leather on the steering wheel and revised upholstery – create a matching premium feel.

Meanwhile, improvements to the high quality SEAT saloon and estate’s 2.0 TDI common rail power plant see emissions cut to as little as 129 g/km. Economy is similarly improved, too, with the Exeo saloon now being capable of as much as 58.9 mpg on the EU’s combined cycle.

The Exeo’s elegant styling upgrades, allied to SEAT’s on-going commitment to improving quality and fuel economy, as well as reducing emissions, are already generating even more interest in the range. The luxurious saloon and estate car line-up is the Spanish brand’s third best-seller in the UK behind the perennially popular Ibiza super-mini and Leon five-door family hatch.

As 2012 unfolds the Exeo family is set for even more upgrades, too, with the likely arrival of an Ecomotive version. SEAT’s cleanest, greenest and most fuel efficient cars all bear the Ecomotive moniker and are synonymous with environmental efficiency. The Ibiza Ecomotive, for instance, emits just 92 g/km of CO2 while the Leon Ecomotive is hot on its heels with a road tax and London congestion charge-busting CO2 figure of just 99 g/km.

The forthcoming Exeo Ecomotive will boast many of the same technologies that make its Ecomotive siblings such frugal propositions. SEAT’s effortless Start/Stop technology, for instance, will help deliver even more fuel efficiency.

SEAT is targeting an ambitious CO2 figure of less than 120 g/km for the Start/Stop-equipped Exeo which will, of course, enhance its appeal to both environmentally-conscious private buyers and UK fleet managers who demand such low car emissions levels from even their executive models.

SEAT UK Managing Director Peter Wyhinny said: “The showroom arrival of the freshly upgraded Exeo range comes at a great time for SEAT. With another record year under our belt in 2011, and sales continuing their upward trend so far this year, our dealers are already busy.

“The revised Exeo is yet another reason for buyers to visit – and that’s all before the new Ibiza super-mini range and brilliant new Mii city car make their UK debuts.

“2012 is set to be the most exciting year in SEAT’s history, and the Exeo gets things off to the perfect start.”

For full details on the entire SEAT range, together with a great car configurator, simply visit www.seat.co.uk.

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