Novos Fimes do Cine HD

The Best Romantic Valentine's Gift from Bentley !

There is only two weeks left for Valentine’s Day! I am pretty sure that, many of you are saying there is no point to buy gift just for this day, it is made for increasing shopping and many more things. However, many people will be saying these similar sentences while they are shopping for Valentine’s Day gift :) And for some people buying is a big problem! Not anymore :)

Bentley just announced its "ultimate" Valentine’s Day gift! No, that's a Bentley Continental GTC Speed; it is a ski! Yes, a car manufacturer is offering skis for valentine's gift. I have never seen more interesting gift from a car company which is aiming for an emotional day :) The most eye catching feature of these skis is its price tag, 6800€! Huge bargain! I hope that, price is for a pair not for each one :)
And here is the main reason why they charge this amount just for skis;

"Made to last a lifetime, zai for Bentley skis are designed to be durable, reliable and resistant to corrosion, with each pair featuring unique and patented technology and materials, which make them not only ‘one-of-a-kind’ but also a world first. Zaiìra®, the novel composite material used in the skis, was originally created for use in the latest generation of aircraft. It contains carbon fibres that are used on the skis’ top layer, in combination with natural rubber in the central part, as well as a carbon fabric in composition with chrome steel in the torsion part and long carbon fibre Reinforced Thermoplastic Composites (LFRTP). This combination of technology and performance give maximum performance with minimum weight as well as the ability to lie firmly and reliably in the snow, whatever its condition."

As I don't know how to ski, hopefully nobody will buy a pair of Zai for Bentley Skis :) At least they could have offered a more romantic colour !

Pictures are from;
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Future of driving: Radar

Last night I was watching a documentary about how the radar significantly changed the fate of Second World War. Actually this technology significantly changed world’s history. Now radars are used in everywhere; if you buy a Mercedes S Class with all technological gadgets, you will have parking radars, short range radars for scanning car in front you, long range radars to scan ongoing traffic. In Lexus, they also offer rear radar to move head rests to change their position before rear end crash.

What I am going to say will probably sound like talking about ultra thin flat screen in 1920s! Probably somewhere in Deutschland, some German companies are working on this. I am talking about radars to show the cars around us. As I know, cars are not flying and it is quite hard to scan the whole traffic in ground is quite hard but their assumption; cars will communicate with each other. With the help of GPS and mobile phone technology, they can tell other cars about their exact position and drivers can see what is coming next.

Some people are saying all these technologies will create cars which could drive by their selves. Actually, we have it and it is called taxi (Reference, Top Gear James May). I want to give a very simple example; do the airplanes fly without pilots? I have never seen a plane without pilot taking off or landing. Yes, they have lots of supplementary systems for fly safety but still they need pilots. It is the same with cars, as we have more and more technology we will keep driving the cars. Because, all these systems are identifying world with 1 and 0 numbers. Actually this perspective to world is very limited and I would not totally rely my life on a machine which does not know the number next to 1 and I will keep driving with the help of ones and zeros.

Picture is from;
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Audi A8 in The International

Audi A8 is a very nice elegant big saloon, made from aluminium and offering Quattro four wheel drive. It has a different character than its competitors. However, its sales performance is not performing as good as Quattro is performing on snow! A8 is one of the most famous cars on movies. Since Rodin, Audi A8 became took a part in many movies. In marketing terms, it is called product placement. Audi pays money to producer and they place the A8 on movie. Actually A8 is looking very cool on movies. Imagine Lexus LS 600h in International movie, bankers are driving hybrid Lexus which will competely dull ! Or BMW 7 Series; it would be very uncomfortable for bankers while they are thinking about what to invest. Mercedes S Class; we know it, it is appearing in Sex and the City. I was thinking about Maserati QuattroPorte; I really love this car. But it is an italian car, too much excitement for this movie! Also, bankers will not be willing drive a car which tends to break down and does not offer as much comfort as the competitors.

That’s enough with cars. I found a continuity mistake in International and I have placed those parts from the movie and Audi A8 was the star. In the first scene, we see the banker. He is talking and steering wheel is straight and after couple of minutes later the steering it headed to right. A8 did not move to anywhere and the banker did not touch the steering, but the A8 decided to go right. Very clever car ;)

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Today, Tomorrow, Recall Toyota

Toyota has the reputation of problem free manufacturer for a long time. Despite its ridiculous design and plastic obsessed interior, Toyota cars do not tend to break down very easily and they never received a serious recall from service.

However there are some facts about manufacturing and manufacturing fault. Every production has a certain percentage of production failure and this is scientifically proofed. And small failures tend to occur in every car brand. And this has positive correlation with production size; as the production increases, failures tend to increase more. Companies like Toyota, Ford, Fiat, Mercedes, VW have high potential of failures; however in order to prevent these they have various quality checks. Toyota has one of the best quality control systems in automotive industry until it failed! Now Toyota recalls more than two millions of cars because throttle pedal problem. Yes, a very basic thing is very close to destroy Toyota's reputation!

Unlike other brands, Toyota does not associate with sport, comfort or status vehicle. It is mainly associated with high quality, problem free, reasonable priced elements and when one of these elements started to erode, it tends to create a domino effect and the whole reputation collapses. If Toyota invested on status, nice design, superb handling or any other elements which can be found in European car brands, Toyota can survive with them also. But losing one of the most vital elements of automotive industry from your brand reputation is not something which can be recovered very easily.

Future of Toyota is not very brilliant after this sudden recall, I always recommended Toyota as it has very production quality despite its lack of good design and lack of character. Now, there is nothing left to promote for Toyota. It is neither fun to drive nor nice to look at it.

I have choosen Toyota Landcruise especially as a picture to show. Because, this shows how Toyota is very good at ruining a very well designed car!

Picture is from;
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Ferrari powered by battery !

Don't re-read the title, it is true! Ferrari will reveal the hybrid 599 at Geneva Motor Show. Hopefully it won't have a similar structure which can found in Prius :) Ferrari is transferring technology from Formula 1 to production cars. Ferrari's are offering many technologies those are directly transferred from F1. This time Ferrari is transferring the kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) and combines with hybrid technology.

Of course, Ferrari's hybrid won't be offering a slower Ferrari for more price! This KERS technology is currently used by F1 cars, by pushing a button the energy stored while braking can be used for boosting the car. And you will have a faster 599, also Ferrari is saying hybrid 599 %35 is more economical. I don't think that, many Ferrari buyers will be influenced by this economy! Offering a hybrid means, while parking your 599, there won't any engine noise; just an electric engine!

If I could ever have money to buy a 599, will I buy a hybrid version !? I can consider it after I have a test drive with non-hybrid and hybrid models. May be this KERS technology can offer same feeling from F1.

Pictures are from;
Varta Website
My own picture
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Symbolic Meanings of Cars

Most of us don't realize but every brand, every car, in some cases every engine option have a symbolic meaning constructed by us. People tend to attach meanings to brands firstly, Mercedes is a rich men car, Bentley is an ultimate rich men car, VW reasonable price with good quality and it goes like that. Car companies also knew this situation very well and they try to add new meanings to their products by introducing better models and upgrading the quality! VW did this by introducing Phaëton and Bugatti Veyron. Veyron presented what VW can do and their ability in technology! Phaëton also introduced very innovative technologies to market and also became a flagship for VW and tried to change VW brand image. And this happened, when it is compared with a decade ago, VW's brand image shifted up! Phaëton is also perceived as a luxury car but nobody tends to buy.

Mercedes, BMW and Audi is offering vehicles from small segment to luxury segment. They nearly have a vehicle in each segment and they love to create new ones. In addition to this, they are trying to increase more customers by offering a wide range of engine option from 1,6lt engines to 5lt engines in same car. As they offer many cars with many engines, they are differently priced. Extending product range is a good way to increase sales but also emerges different meanings to different products. There is a very good example for this; Mercedes C 180 Kompressor is offering 1,6lt engine as an entry level and C350 is the one model below the AMG model line. C180 K and C350 are offered in the same but their meanings are totally different. Firstly, they have a huge price difference. Someone who bought a C350 is perceived as a wealth person, because the car has bigger engine, consumes more fuel and more expensive. When all these notions came to together, it emerges a symbolic meaning for a very specific model. On the other hand, C180 K is perceived as reasonable priced Mercedes. Of course, it is quite hard to identify the wealth of the owner by looking at the engine size but this tends to happen most of the time.

Mercedes also offer high performance car line and named as AMG! They all have huge engines with enourmous amount of power. And there is an interesting diversification of two AMG models. 63 AMG and 65 AMG; S Class, SL Class and CL Class are offered by two huge engine options. 63 and 65! 63 is a 6,2lt eight cylinder engine which produces 525 horsepower and the car accelerate to 100km/h in 4,6 seconds. These figures are amazing and anyone who drives this car would be shocked! However Mercedes has something more shocking! 65 engine option, this is a six litre twelve cylinder engine with enormous amount of everything. It is producing 612 horsepower and 1000nm of torque which means it could rotate the world the opposite direction. This engine is also available with 63 AMG engine. Unfortunately, this 65 engine cannot transfer all its power to tarmac. The enormous amount of power cannot be controlled by the car and the performance difference between 63 is only 0,2 second faster. 65 engine could only provide that small amount of performance advantage, this situation is the same with while overtaking other cars. Too much power is uncontrollable and there is a very slight performance difference with the cheaper engine.

The price difference between 63 and 65 is more than 70 000 € for S Class in Germany. And you get nothing very special. But, people are buying 65! Are they crazy? You can spot SL 65 AMG or S 65 AMG in London very easily. And in London, it is impossible to use its potential. Here comes the secret thing, the symbolic meanings of owning S 65 AMG. When you buy this car, you show that you can afford the most expensive Mercedes which does not have a significant difference from the cheaper one, you will have twelve cylinders and aggressive looking car. This car becomes a part of the personal identity and representer of its owner! I have more money, I don't care about anything else, I just bought it and I am in twelve cylinder club!

Symbolic meanings of products cannot be controlled very easily, customers are willing to emerge new and different meanings to every product and attach with a different social status. Therefore, extending product range and offering more option might help to increase sales but also hinders the risk of misunderstood by customers. Like Bentley and Aston Martin, offering a limited range of cars will strength their position on market and construct a very clear brand image. However in Mercedes, BMW and Audi; wide range of vehicles construct very different meanings and they will influence the main brand image. Extending the product line and the consequences of new products play vital role for constructing a stable brand image.

Pictures are;
Mercedes C Class
Mercedes S63 AMG
Mercedes S65 AMG

Pictures are from;
Mercedes Website
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Ford Europe is waking up!

Today I was reading a news release from Ford Europe. It was mentioning about the future Focus, Mondeo and future technologies. I was really excited about this news. Since last five years, Ford was not able to offer very competitive cars. Yes, the Mondeo and S-Max are very beautifully designed but the technological features were not that competitive, especially when you compare with Germans. New Mondeo did not receive a new petrol engine or a new diesel engine or a new small turbo engine. There were some gossips about these engines but they have never revealed. Of course, we cannot ignore the fact about Ford's financial problems which always badly affected the Ford Europe. (A small info; unlike Ford America, Ford Europe is making profits.) Also Ford stuck on old automatic transmissions which are only offering four-speed and there is also a CVT transmission and a dual clutch auto for only 2,0 lt engines. They look nice on paper but when you compare with VW, VW is a decade beyond the Ford.

I am pretty sure that, Ford has the know-how to produce, every technology VW is offering but Ford was reluctant to offer them. But after this news release, I am pretty sure that Ford will become competitive like old days. Why? Let me tell you some facts about the near future of Ford vehicles;

Torque Vectoring Control (I don't know what this is)
Blind Spot
Electric Power Steering
Adaptive Cruise Control for Focus, Mondeo, and other big boys
Lane Assistance
Auto High Beam
Road Sign Recognition
Low Speed Collision Mitigation System
Active Grille Shutters to Improve Aerodynamic Drag (This is available in BMW X6)
Dual Clutch Gearbox

And many more things. Most of these technologies are available in premium segment cars with high price tags. Eventually, we can have these in a Ford Focus or Ford Mondeo. I think Ford should have done these earlier. Even though, these technologies are proof of Ford ambition to become a very strong competitor to Germans!

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Park your car like James Bond

For some people parking their car is a big issue. Some of them want to keep them inside their garage, some of them park them far away from their house just to feel safe. And some of them do not wish to show their car to others! Lastly, if you have limited area in your house, car is consuming unnecessary place. Or some people want to park their car in a style. Parking a car in stylish way??!! It does sound weird but it is now possible by German company Wörth!

Imagine you have just bought your Aston Martin DBS and would you park like a Honda Civic, leave it next to side walk, of course not, when you are driving the same with James Bond! If you could afford to buy DBS, it is quite clear that you would have a very nice house. So, the problem is how park your DBS like James Bond.
As you could see from the picture, there is no car. Actually, there are plenty of cars parked in this area but we cannot see them! No, they don't have any military style camouflage. The surface this area is the top of the parking place. The cars are parked under the surface of this place and there is no visible entrance. Actually the whole area is equipped with invisible garages.

When you arrive to your house or this house, you just get out from your car and push the button to raise the parking place. Then drive through the parking place and push the button to disappear the parking space. It is a basic elevator for parking your car. Very effective, smart design and does not ruin the view or you suffer to park your car ;)

There is no stylish way to park your car :)

For more detail please click to this link. Invisible Garage

Pictures are from;
Aston Martin
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Perfect Combination for Bugatti Veyron

Matching shoes and handbags are vital for ladies. For every occasion they try their best to match two things together. This complicated and tiring process is a part of every ladies life!

If you are man, you don't need to care about these things very much, until now! In Holland, a Bugatti Veyron is on sale with a same colour transporter truck. There is one thing more cool than Bugatti Veyron is a Bugatti Veyron with transporter truck with the same colour!

This interesting matching is available JamesList website. However there is one thing interesting; Bugatti is produced by VW and the truck is Mercedes Atego. In my opinion to make a better match, the truck should have been a MAN, as the MAN is partly owned by VW.

Anyway, if you have €895,000 to spend for a car, you have bargian here! Click Here

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How to fuel future?

In 1890s, internal combustion engine was a fresh technology and it was a great opportunity to replace inefficient horses which have limited top speed of seventy km/h. There were some electric engine cars and plans to run diesel engine with peanut oil but they were all died by petrol. End of 19th century was the rise of the petrol, people find out that petrol is something very vulnerable  and can be used in cars. It can be considered as petrol is invented a bit earlier than petrol engine! And this made it very easy to fill the cars' tank. Engineers did not invent an engine which is using something that does not exist!

However the case is totally opposite now! We are trying to find ways to use electric cars and hydrogen cars. But both of them cannot be filled very easily. Honda's fuel cell car works on hydrogen and it does not emit any emissions at all :) That's a great news but producing hydrogen is an expensive and complicate process. It will take decades to have hydrogen filling stations like petrol stations. So the car is ready but its fuel is not ready!

With electric cars, situation is a bit complicated. We can charge our e-car by plugging into our wall at home but it takes very long time to charge and electricity is not something cheap and you still emit emissions while charging it. One other fact; if we all drive electric cars and charge them at night, we could end up burning the whole electricity network which is not designed to charge whole countries' cars! So, there should be a huge investment to upgrade electricity network for charging our cars.

In the two alternative cases, invented technology is moving faster than the fuelling technology. I cannot say the exact for hydrogen cars but I could see one thing clear, we will drive petrol engine for quite some time.

Picture is from;
Honda Website

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Contemporary interpretation of Rolls Royce: Ghost

Recently Rolls Royce started to offer a new car; small, affordable, more accessible, for every day. That's Rolls Royce Ghost which costs more than £200,000 in UK without any options or any other customization! When you consider with its big brother Rolls Royce Phantom and mega yachts, Ghost is a reasonable luxury car. Unlike Phantom, it is designed to be driven by its owner :) When you buy a Phantom, you are not supposed to drive by yourself, you have it have a driver! And this huge problem of hiring someone to drive your Rolls Royce emerged the idea of Ghost :)

Ghost is based on BMW 7 Series, as we expected. BMW is the owner of Rolls Royce Cars. I can guess, many people are saying; this is not a proper Rolls Royce, it is owned and produced by BMW. However this debate about automotive industry reminded me the Greek Philosophers which I studied during my undergraduate years. As I could remember they were relating every material to nature and this means everything is produced by nature. I hope I don't remember wrong :) The debates about car companies are similar to this, Rolls Royce owned by BMW and other owned by someone else! So What? I am not happy with this but if they have relationship like BMW and Rolls Royce, they don't have any problem.

Ghost is based on BMW 7 Series, they are sharing same V12 engine, same transmission and many other parts which we don't see from outside. However, Ghost is not like a 7 Series! Its design denies any relationship with 7 Series and proofs that it is a totally different car. Even though I didn't have any chance to see this car in real life, even the pictures can be considered as a solid proof. Every single detail, from outside to inside reflects the Rolls Royce heritage. The suicide doors, power reserve dial on dash board, umbrella hidden inside the door, climate control dials.

They are showing that, this car is a proper Rolls Royce. Unfortunately, BMW's stupid iDrive can be seen inside but it does not seem like the original iDrive. I hope that, it won't be useless like in BMW's. One of the interesting features of Ghost is its suspensions; Ghost is riding on air springs which help to increase comfort and isolate passengers from the road. These suspensions also have same something very interesting! Suspension system can understand the where the rear passenger is sitting and adjust the suspension to maximize the comfort for that side. Anything else?

Ghost is a great car! I love Phantom but I would not wish to drive one, it is a car to be driven by someone. This can be added to list of dream cars. Despite its huge price tag, what Ghost is offering is worth all that money. I can say one more thing; Ghost is a contemporary interpretation of Rolls Royce :)

Pictures are from;
Rolls Royce Website
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Chau Har Lee, worth to look !

Every month I am reading many different magazines to find subject to relate with car :) It is sometimes quite hard but sometimes happens suddenly! This month's Wallpaper magazine had something very interesting. Wallpaper is a design magazine, in some issues BMW was starring with Bangle's interestingly designed car! Prize winner of Manolo Blahnik Competition by Chau Har Lee. When I saw her exquisite design of high heels, I wanted to check her website to see her other projects. I was trying to find something to relate with car :) However, what I have found was very interesting shoes design. As a car addicted person, it remained me something very unusual! Front of the shoes look very familiar to radiator grills. I am pretty sure that, except me nobody has ever thought like this. Just show me the only the front of this shoes and don't mention about anything, I would guess it is a contemporary design concept may be influence by radiator grills.

Of course, my perception to design is not very good. Focusing on cars for long years, made me to perceive every kind of object like a part of a car! From ladies approach, Chau's design will be loved! It is very obvious that, they would not associate shoes and car radiator like me but if Chau's design caught a man's attention and pursued to look for her other designs. Ladies would run after ;) Porsche Design is offering driver shoes for men, I think Chau can offer driver shoes for women ! Ladies are not driving addictive but there are many of them are driving ;)

Pictures are from;
Mercedes Website
Chau Har Lee Website

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Veyron O'Brien

Last couple weeks the debate between Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien became very popular. NBC decided to change the schedules of the shows and Jay Leno went back to his Tonight Show and you know the rest. The interesting thing about this last episode in Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien's guest! It was a Bugatti Veyron dressed up like a mouse :) As he told, NBC bought a Bugatti Veyron for his show!

All the debate emerged in couple of weeks time, therefore this Bugatti Veyron might be a second hand one :) Or they did a great search for finding a new one. As the Veyron does not hold reasonable price tag, production is designed to meet customers demand.

Picture is from;
Bugatti Website
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Again VW Passat CC :)

I don't like to promote specific cars in my blog by saying their power and how they accelerate because you can find all these things on internet. However, this time I am making an exception! As you guessed from my previous blog I really love the Passat CC. They managed to vanish the boringness of family Passat and they created something totally different. And I checked the VW's Germany website for more details and I found that they made some revisions on engine range. Now we can order Passat CC with 2.0 turbo diesel engine producing 170 horsepower and coupled with 6 speed double clutch quick automatic gearbox. And when you add other things, car ends up close to 50,000€ in Germany. This price unfortunately includes the stupid boring Passat interior but the rest of the car is very nicely made, you won't stuck on that! For this price tag, you can buy BMW 3 Series with similar boring interior, also Mercedes C Class and more boring Audi A4. However, if you wish to order you BMW, Mercedes or Audi with this engine power and many options price will love to rocket to very high level without any hesitation.

I can hear from Audi lovers, buy A5 Sportback with its drawback! Sorry but A5 Sportback can be awarded as the most boring car of 2009! I like the Audi A6 but I could not like either A4 or A5 Sportback (normal A5 looks very good). One more thing, I don't like to pay extra money to car which tend to understeer. An expensive car should oversteer (losing its back on corners). Since Audi A6 2.8 Quattro, I stopped loving Audi. Audi makes great cars with very high technology and offers the excellent Quattro but I cannot love Audi. For me it is just Audi! Audi does not recall something very specific like its competitors. That is the thing which makes Audi different. People who find BMW too sporty and Mercedes to grandpa style directly head onto Audi. But I like BMW and Mercedes :)

Anyway, if you want to have a four door coupe with five seat which is economical and also offer DSG gearbox and four wheel drive; then order a Passat CC ! For this price tag, you cannot buy something better ;)

The next car which will make me exciting be Alfa Romeo MiTo automatic!
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Achtung! Passat CC fünf seated, sorry five seated

VW Passat is one of the best selling and one of the most boring family sedans on market. Despite its class leading technology features, it always has a senseless design and could not become popular like two generations of Ford Mondeo. However this cursed fate of Passat ended by something called Comfort Coupe. Yes, one of the most popular family sedan turned into junior City Bankers car! Passat CC denied its brother Passat and running away from family sedans :) And ready get ready for selling your Ford Mondeo, VW Passat, Skoda Octavia or anything which is family car with four door.

What was the Comfort Coupe? When you first saw this new Passat, you will notice its unique design and the short form of Comfort Coupe which actually caused some misunderstanding. When it was first revealed people thought that it was a coupe cabrio Passat, the short form of comfort coupe, CC. This new model has similar characteristics of Mercedes CLS, Aston Martin Rapide, Porsche Panamera with reasonable price! Like, these cars Passat CC was offering only four seats. There is no chance to accommodate the fifth person inside the car. The limited accommodation is a characteristic of coupe four doors. However, I was thinking what would happen if they offered the fifth seat in this car? Some people would say, it is against the design concept of CC. And I didn't think that much about the fifth person. And I found this car as an excellent choice for its price and feeling sorry for the fifth person.

Today, VW announced that they felt sorry for the fifth person and they are offering the seat option for fifth person as an option. Unlike other over priced options, it is only costing €100! This is bargain for a German car. With this decision, there is no official requirement to buy Passat unless you are crazy :) This new fünf seated sorry five seated Passat CC is the best sedan to buy. As you could from the picture it looks excellent, eventually it looks superb for a Passat :)

Pictures are from;
VW Website
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Luxury bed for cars: Hästens

Car manufacturers like Rolls Royce, Bentley, Mercedes and other luxury brands are offering various different brands to increase the state of luxury in their vehicles. Mostly they are focused on sound systems! However I have never seen any specific brand for seats. Why seats? Because, driver and passengers are sitting on them all the time. And I did some research and I found out a great brand which can be used in luxury vehicles seats. It is Swedish bed manufacturer Hästens :) Yes, they manufacture bed they don't have seats but their technology and know-how can be used for making car seat :)

Today's luxury cars are offering everything for the passengers but I did not see very significant feature for seats, except massage and dynamic contours. By working with Hästens, manufacturers can offer different types of seat for more comfort. And to make more sleepy :) Hopefully there are many technologies to prevent crash nowadays :)

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Testosterone Hormones vs. Winter Tyres

As it started snowing in my city in Turkey, I see the same story again. People spend enormous amount money to buy luxury cars but they don't tend to buy winter tyres. People with reasonable car may say, I cannot afford to buy winter tyres and I stuck on snow, that's ok! But people who are rich and ignores the winter tyres and stuck on snow is an interesting issue. Their main reason, for couple of days in snow, why I should buy winter tyres. Yes, winter tyres are for snow! So, wear your short trousers during winter until it starts to snow :)

As I noticed, people don't believe that winter tyres can make that difference and the other fact is; their testosterone (shown in right picture) levels! For some people, using winter tyres during winter time and on snow is showing your deficiency of driving ability. In more clear way; a real man should drive on snow even with slick tyres, the testosterone hormones providing the adequate help while driving on snow :) Actually I could not see any relevant impact of hormones on tyres but many tend to believe this! Actually what they are saying is a small bit of your their potential, I think they could goto space without anything more than a car with summer tyres :)

Pictures are from;
Wikipedia Website
Mercedes Website
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The most useless flappy gear pedals by BMW (Revised)

As we are in 2010, I thought that I should nominate the flappy gearboxes on market and choose the worst one :) The flappy gearboxes, which you could change the gears from steering wheel became popular by Ferrari. However at those times, end of 1990s, there was only Alfa Romeo Selespeed available and it was rubbish. Two useless button buttons like we see on ATM machines and they were very slow to act, but it was a long time ago. During 2000s; Mercedes started to offers very small buttons for gear changes on steering and replaced with bigger ones, Lamborghini, VW, Porsche, BMW, Citroën and many more started to offer gear changes through the steering wheel.

Unfortunately, BMW made the useless one, as they did with first generation iDrive. First generation iDrive can be considered as the most complicated invention in automotive industry, which does not let any driver to use it unless you are fourteen, and you would not be a driver!

Sadly, BMW's flappy pedals are not designed in a good way. Why? Gear changes are very quick but it works a bit in an unusual way. In normal conditions; when you pull the right flap on steering wheel, car increase the gear. For instance; your are driving in 3rd gear and you pulled the right flap and now you are in 4th gear. This works the same in BMW but when you wish to lower the gear, in normal conditions you will pull the left flap. You wish to lower the gear from 4th to 3rd and you pull the left flap on steering wheel. And I did the same in BMW and I was in 5th gear! In BMW, you suppose push the those flap in order to lower the gear! This is like; while going out from a shop you have to pull the door to exit. Yes, there are some place you suppose to pull the door and as usual people struggle to do it.

And my only nomination for the complicated flappy gear pedals is BMW! and winner is BMW :)

Please BMW; try to design things which normal people can use !

Edit: This design has changed, now the flaps are works as you expected :)

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Mini Countryman and Vertu share somethings in common !

I am sure that many of you heard of Vertu mobile phone. It is handmade mobile phone from Nokia, despite Nokia's technological features Vertu has actually nothing except being expensive and luxurious! Despite its price as much as a small country's GDP, people are buying it. When you consider Vertu as a phone mobile, ten years ago it could be the most technological one but now, it is one of the basic one. And it has a demand!

I know Mini and Vertu are totally different products; they only share very few things in common. People with Vertu do not tend to drive Mini very often. But their common parts are being ridiliously expensive and do not offer anything very different rather than their style.

And finally Mini revealed a car which has a demand as few as Vertu phone! This is the Mini SUV, The Countryman. Unlike its name, people who are living in country sides may not afford to buy Countryman or they might find it pointless. This new Mini, has four wheel drive, five door, big tyres, big wheel arches, and like pointless X6 it could accommodate only five people. As I consider, at the size of Ford Fiesta, four people can travel happy with the Countryman.

Mini's product extension strategy is a very good example for marketing modules. They are marginal, iconic brand with its heritage and they extend the product range to increase sales. However their ambition to extend the product range is becoming insane, BMW has every kind of Mini concept vehicles which have potential to be built! As BMW loves to take risk and create new segment but those segments may not receive the expected demand all the time. And this might be similar with Mini also, BMW is trying to maximize the Mini brand's assets and create money. This is very normal for a company because they are here to make money. But these kinds of aggressive marketing strategies may not help to grow more money in their account, instead it can erode the brand image. People who used to prefer Mini brand can adversely influence by aggressive extension policies.

I am pretty sure that, there is a demand for Mini SUV. Land Rover will offer one, BMW has X1. Mini has a different character than these brands. People who bought Mini and Mini Clubman (which did not make huge success) may not be very happy with new Mini. As the original Mini was reflecting the life style and memories from 1960s, these new models are just reflecting the contemporary marketing techniques.

Picture are from;
Mini Website
Vertu Website
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Pink Fiat 500 with Pink Driving Shoes

Since I saw the pink driving shoes in GQ Magazine by Kurt Geiger, I started to wonder which car fits best with those shoes. And I mentioned this problem in my previous post! Unfortunately, there are not many cars which are offering pink as an optional colour.

Fiat 500 is one of my favourite cars; I really like it driving character, its design, practicality and good price. And now this car has a mutual interest with Kurt Geiger's pink driving shoes! Finally today I read that Fiat 500 is offering limited edition of Pink colour! That's very cool, I finally found a car which is fitting with pink driving shoes :) Unfortunately, it is limitied edition and you can only order from internet!

Unlike other limited editions, Fiat is offering this 500 with a reasonable price which allows many people to afford but only very limited will have the chance to drive it! Eventually; pink driving shoes are available with pink Fiat 500, have fun :)

Pictures are from;
Fiat Website
Kurt Geiger Website
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GM vs. Saab

What I have read about Saab and saw how the brand was sinking last one decade proofed that GM is not automotive manufacturer. Actually automotive destroyer! VW is managing many brands without any problems, the slight price differences between VW and Audi is a proof of perfection and ability to understand the market, also consumers.

However, GM was stuck in 1950s; produce a chassis and cover it with engine and some other stuff. I cannot understand the US car manufacturers, from the same country people are producing microprocessors which is extremely tiny and does not tend to die but a huge car cannot be built without any problem. US car companies should understand that, world has changed V8 world died long time ago and brakes from chewing gum and suspension from bed spring is not welcomed in anywhere on earth. Even the US market does not prefer US brands! You have many business school which shaped the world economy contributed valuable  knowledge to literature but GM was unaware of all these things! I hope that Opel could save itself. If GM did not realize that Cadillac Escalade is something which is totally useless, there is not need to say anything more. Just compare Escalade with Range Rover, Mercedes GL Class, Toyota Land Cruiser !

Mercedes GL 350 CDi - Cadillac Escalade

Picture are from;
Saab Website
Mercedes Website
GM Website

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Lexus: MUJI Edition

I cannot agree more with Top Gear about Lexus and its achievement in perfection in dullness! I don't think that any kid on this earth would have never imagined to drive a Lexus, if someone did, she/he never saw a Ferrari yet. Lexus is very equipped, very safe, very environmental, very green with its 1980s style green digital watch, very senseless, very boring, boring and more boring. I am not saying Lexus is a bad car but there is no reasonable instinction to buy a Lexus. You should say "I want a stupid huge V8 hybrid and save the planet" and there you go, it is Lexus LS600h.
Also for long years, Lexus had accidental similarities with German cars. Probably designers dreamed the same cars in different parts of the world. The things are different in US; American people love Lexus! Lexus was made for US and they achieved the status for Lexus. However, in Japan and Europe nobody cares Lexus! Actually in Japan, Japanese people don't prefer Lexus as it is domestic car :)

However, everything from Japan is not boring :) Hopefully! As I mentioned earlier, Japanese brand Muji is a very good example of minimalist design philosophy in various goods with no-brand strategy. As I can see, Muji is doing better in Europe than Lexus. And I started to think; why Lexus does not offer any Muji Editions of their boring cars! For example; Lexus LS600h Muji Edition. The interior will be designed by Muji's designer instead of Lexus's :) Most probably, it will look much better and they could have new customers.

Lexus needs this kind of marketing tactics to increase their competitive power in Europe. People cannot be impressed by digital green watch in here.

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