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Breakdown of Transmission Types

Out of all of the systems controlling your car, one of the most important is the transmission. This mechanism transmits the power from the engine to the wheels.

To better understand how a transmission works, first you need to understand a few key terms.

Transmission Gear

Transmission gear refers to the set of toothed wheels that function together to alter or determine the relationship between the speed of the wheels and the engine speed of the vehicle. This term also describes the ratio of the gears selected by the driver on the output and input shafts.

 Gear Ratio

The gear ratio refers to the ratio at which the output and input gears rotate (i.e. 3:4 ratio).


A clutch is a mechanism for connecting and then disconnecting the engine from the transmission system of the vehicle.

 Shift Lever

The shift lever refers to the control lever first used by the driver to manage the gear range of the transmission.


An H-Pattern is used to describe the arrangement of gears designated on the knob of the shift lever, which is where the placement falls in a parallel row series.

Once you understand the terminology, then it is easier to grasp the function and mechanics of a transmission.

Types of Transmissions

Cars are manufactured with a variety of transmission types. These types include:

  • Manual Transmission (MT)
  • Dual-clutch Transmission (DCT)
  • Automatic Transmission (AT)
  • Semi-Automatic Transmission (SAT)
  • Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)

The automatic transmission is by far the most popular variety, but the manual transmission with its simpler function and construction is also an old-time favorite.

Manual Transmission

A manual transmission includes a set of gears and a pair of shafts, the output shafts and input shafts. During an engagement, the gears on one shaft mesh with the other gears on the other. The overall gear ratio results between the engaged gear on the output shaft and the selected gear on the input shaft. Overall, the manual transmission is fully operated by the driver without any computer controls which makes it the most exciting for an auto enthusiast.

 Dual-Clutch Transmission

The function of the dual-clutch transmission is almost the same as a manual transmission, but the difference lies in the control system. The dual-clutch transmission features a computer control. As it bridges the gap between automatic and manual transmissions, then it is becoming widely popular among customers. The biggest advantages of the dual-clutch transmission are its fuel economy, ease of operation, and shift times.

Automatic Transmission

The automatic transmission is the most popular type of transmission. One of the main differences between a manual transmission and an automatic transmission is that the automatic transmission doesn’t have a clutch. The automatic transmission uses a torque converter to couple or decouple the gear set with the engine.

The automatic transmission can be further sub-categorized into the semi-automatic transmission and continuously variable transmission.

Semi-Automatic Transmission

A semi-automatic transmission is a system that uses electronic processors, actuators, and sensors for gearshifts on the driver’s command. With the semi-automatic transmission in use, there isn’t any need to use a clutch pedal for changing gear. In this system, electronic equipment actuates the clutch, synchronizing the torque and timing required for smooth and quick gearshifts. Semi-automatic transmissions are popular in many vehicles.

Continuously Variable Transmission

A continuously variable transmission, or a single-speed transmission, is a type of automatic transmission that can move seamlessly through gear ratios falling between a minimum and maximum value. It is one of the best features of the CVT, as other mechanical transmissions offer a finite number of gear ratios. It is because of its flexibility that the input shaft then maintains a consistent angular velocity.

How a Transmission Works

When the driver shifts to select gears in the manual transmission, then the shifter engages a linkage which controls the gears movement along the input shaft. On moving the lever, backward or forward, the driver selects between the two gears given on a linkage. Note that the car with four gears uses two gear links while the model with five speeds uses three gear links. By moving the shift lever right and left, the driver makes changes between the linkages.

First, the driver disconnects the engine from the transmission’s input shaft by pushing the clutch pedal. When he does, then it engages the gear in the manual transmission. The disconnection frees the input shaft gears to move. Then, the gears on the shaft are engaged when the engine sends torque through it. Once the clutch disconnects the power to the transmission from the engine, then the driver chooses the appropriate gear while releasing the clutch which re-engages the power of the engine to the input shaft. Finally, this process propels the vehicle using the chosen gear ratio.

Automatic Transmissions

As in the manual transmission, the mechanics of the automatic transmission use one concentric shaft.  The gears on this shaft work as the ratio of output to input gear speed changes. The process involves engagement of one gear with another. Here, a complex hydraulics system is present which controls the mechanism and not a shift lever. This system includes a set of planetary gears, engaged at a given time. An electronic control unit programmed to suit the engine, which in turn, controls this hydraulic control system.

The gear sets are connected by a series of internal clutches to the motor’s input. These move as the hydraulic system moves and determine the gear ratio of the output to the drive shaft.

The functioning of a semi-automatic transmission and continuously variable transmissions is far better than that of traditional automatic transmissions. As mentioned earlier, with semi-automatic transmissions there isn’t any need for shifting the gears manually, as the transmission’s computer handles the job. Semi-automatics retain a clutch like a manual transmission controlled by electro-hydraulic systems.

Dual Clutch Transmissions

The dual-clutch transmission uses two different clutches, each at even and odd gear sets. It almost seems like two manual gearboxes placed into a single housing. Typically, the dual clutch transmissions operate in the same way as a standard automatic transmission with no clutch pedal and a PRND gear selector. They may also function like an automatic transmission, where the gears can be shifted automatically via a separate gate or paddle shifters on the gear selector.

Several components work together to move your vehicle. If any one of them is out of alignment, then the car won’t travel. Getting the clutch and gears to operate smoothly can be difficult, but with proper maintenance, your transmission should hold up. First, check your transmission fluid when you change your oil. Then, take your car to a transmission shop if you feel it shifting hard or there is a lack of power. The transmission is an extremely important system within any vehicle.



Autobahn History and Statistics

There’s a popular misconception that there are no speed limits on the Autobahn. About 40% of the German Autobahn system is speed regulated. However, did you immediately catch the significance of that? If 40% is regulated, that means 60% is NOT.

Today’s German Autobahn system stretches 8,047 miles across most of Germany. They post speed limits on the Autobahn near cities and across stretches with a history of accidents. However, even then, the speed limit stays a fast 81 mph.

History of the Autobahn

In 1929, Germany built its first Autobahn link between Opladen and Dusseldorf. After seeing the benefits of this high-speed road system, Adolf Hitler started a program to build two east-west and north-south links. However, despite the propaganda of the time, the Autobahn was not built for military purposes. Before the horrendous acts that led to World War II began to occur in the late 1930s, the Autobahn helped bring Germany out of the depression. The road system allowed Germany to promote economic growth by generating additional jobs in construction.

Initially, the limited-access road was used by the Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix racing team for high-speed record attempts. Rudolf Caracciola set one of the highest speeds for a public roadway during this time. The racing came to an end in 1938 with the tragic death of a popular German race driver, Bern Rosemeyer. Shortly after, when the War broke out, they used the roads  for military transport.

After WWII, new sections of the system were added onto the existing Autobahns. Each decade saw additions to the roads until they reached their current span just after the turn of the Millennium.

“The Autobahn” is a Misnomer

Often, foreigners will refer to the German road system as “The Autobahn” when in fact it forms a series of connected roads. Similar to the interstates found in America, these roads have multiple lanes of traffic flowing in two directions. Often, they have a central barrier and shoulders to the side.

In 1974, The German government adopted an autobahn numbering system. Each road identifies itself by a capital “A” followed by a number. Larger autobahns that cross the country have single digits, while shorter roads have double digits.

Some very short stretches of road exist which they designed only for local traffic. Each of these roads uses three digits. They base which digits they use on the direction of travel (e.g. east to west, north to south).

The Speed Limit on the German Autobahns

The autobahns serve as the German freeways. As we already stated, over half of these roads do not post set speed limits. The ones that do serve heavily congested areas near cities. Also, certain stretches of road with dangerous curves have posted regulations.

During inclement weather, parts of the Autobahn system come under speed regulation and they enforce limits set in construction zones.

Posted “recommendations” for speed limits show on the roads where no official speed regulation exists. If a car exceeds the recommendation and causes an accident, they might have liability for damages. However, it’s pretty common to see a Porsche or BMW flying down the road at over 100 mph.

In the late 1990’s, one of Germany’s political parties took up the cause of environmentalism. They claimed that the high speeds were contributing to air pollution and pushed for a national speed limit. They were unsuccessful at imposing the national limit, but they did manage to pass regulations in forested areas.

Autobahn Accident Statistics

Over the past decade, traffic fatalities across all of the European nations have seen a decline. However, a good number of accidents still occur on the Autobahn.

  • Out of the total accidents that occurred on the Autobahn, 67% of them happened in areas that featured no posted speed limit.
  • Rural road deaths that occurred on the Autobahn were 5 times more than the deaths that occurred in automobile accidents.
  • In 2013, deaths on the Autobahn rose by 8% over those in 2012.

For drivers who want to go fast, the Autobahn is perfect. Large stretches of the road have no posted speed limits and other drivers understand how to navigate speeding traffic. With over 8000 miles of road before you, you can drive for days.

How fast can you drive on the Autobahn? As fast as your car can go.



Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) Functionality

When the wheels of a vehicle lock up on a slippery or wet road, skidding is often the result. Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) keep your wheels in constant tractive contact with the road which prevents skidding. ABS works on the principles of the cadence and threshold braking systems. However, it does the job with more control and at much faster rate.

Components of Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS)

Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) feature four main components:

  • Controller
  • Pump
  • Valves
  • Wheel Speed Sensors

Each of these components works together to keep your car from going into a skid.


The controller works as an ECU unit in the vehicle. It receives information from the wheel speed sensors which send a signal to the controller if a wheel loses traction. The controller then limits the braking force as well as activates the ABS modulator which further activates the braking valves.


The pump in the anti-lock braking system restores the pressure released by the valves to the hydraulic brakes. At the first detection of wheel slip, the valve releases when the controller sends the signal. The pump restores the desired amount of pressure released by the valve to the braking system. The controller modulates the status of the pumps to provide the amount of pressure desired to reduce slipping.


Each brake controlled by the ABS includes a valve in its brake line. The valve in some systems has three positions. In the first position, the valve is open. The pressure is passed right from the master cylinder to the brake. In the second position, the valve blocks the brake line which isolates it from the master cylinder. This valve position doesn’t allow the pressure to increase. In the third position, the valve releases pressure from the brakes.

Wheel Speed Sensors

Wheel Speed Sensors determine the acceleration and deceleration of a wheel. The speed sensors use a Hall Effect sensor and a magnet, or an electromagnetic coil and a toothed wheel for generating a signal. The differential or rotation of the wheel creates a magnetic field around the speed sensor. The magnetic field fluctuation generates a voltage in the speed sensor.

The Working of the Anti-Lock Braking System

The anti-lock braking system works with the regular braking system by pumping them automatically. The controller of the Anti-Lock Braking system monitors the sensors at all times. It looks out for any unexpected decelerations in the wheels. If a deceleration is sensed, the ABS system works to stop the vehicle evenly and quickly.

Such a rapid deceleration isn’t possible without reducing the amount of pressure to that brake until the brake reaches the point of acceleration. The controller then increases the pressure until the vehicle decelerates again. ABS handle this before the wheel can change the speed. As a result, the speed of the wheel slows down. At this point, the brakes keep the wheels close to the lock up threshold. This provides maximum braking power to the system.

Does the Anti-Lock Braking System work?

Yes, the anti-lock braking system helps stop a vehicle safely. The system prevents the wheels of the vehicle from locking up and stops the vehicle in the shortest distance possible, even on the slippery surfaces.

According to a study conducted in 1996 by the Insurance Institute, cars equipped with ABS were involved in fewer fatal accidents than the cars that didn’t feature this system. The study stated that although vehicles equipped with ABS were less likely to encounter fatal accidents involving other cars, they were more likely to meet fatal accidents than others. There are a number of speculations for this.

According to some, the drivers operating the cars equipped with ABS used the system incorrectly, either by releasing the brakes or pumping the brakes.

Nevertheless, the recent reports state that the accident rate for cars fitted with an ABS is improving. Regardless, the effectiveness of this system cannot be disregarded. It does work as intended when driver error does not come into play.

When used correctly, a vehicle with ABS slows down more quickly than a vehicle equipped with simply a threshold braking system. It is wise to know how to apply the ABS and how to drive in inclement conditions to maximize safety.


The Dos and Do Nots of Using ABS

  • Do apply the brakes as hard as possible and hold until the ABS completes its job to stop the vehicle.
  • You should have your ABS system inspected on a regular basis to ensure maximum safety.
  • Do steer and brake at the same time as ABS allows for this functionality, unlike threshold brakes, increasing the chance to avoid an accident.
  • Don’t ever pump the brake pedal in a vehicle fitted with ABS as this isn’t required.
  • Don’t ever take your foot off of the brake pedal if you need to quickly stop as this will increase the likelihood of an accident occurring.



2018 Lamborghini Urus SUV

2018 Lamborghini Urus SUV - Front - Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance - EuroDrift

2018 Lamborghini Urus SUV – Front – Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

2018 Lamborghini Urus SUV - Side - Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance - EuroDrift

2018 Lamborghini Urus SUV – Side – Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

With sport cars sales flagging, several of the European performance car companies branched out into the SUV market. At the forefront of this movement was Porsche. Since 2002, Porsche has enjoyed great success with its popular Cayenne SUV. Lamborghini took notice of the Cayenne’s success and announced plans to produce their SUV, the Lamborghini Urus starting in 2018.


Taking the Urus from Concept to Reality

“It’s going to change the landscape of the company,” said Alessandro Farmeschi, COO of Lamborghini during an interview with Business Insider.

Lamborghini unveiled the Urus for the first time as a concept car at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show. Since then, they have tweaked the design and made modifications to the engine. The actual production model will sport a new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 as opposed to Lamborghini’s traditional V10, originally included in the concept vehicle.

The Urus will be thrown into a SUV market already stiff with competition. It’s true that high-performance luxury SUVs remain in high-demand in the United States. However, American car manufacturers, such as Cadillac, currently dominate the market.

In addition to the Cadillac XT5 crossover, the Urus is forced to compete with Jaguar, Maserati, Bentley, and even Rolls-Royce who has announced plans for their SUV. The lone holdout is Ferrari, who denies any plans to jump in the pool.


Lamborghini Markets to a New Demographic

Though late to the party, the Urus is not the first of Lamborghini’s attempts to broaden their market base. The Huracán supercar, along with the Aventador hypercar, are non-traditional Lamborghinis designed to reach a different type of driver.

The Urus is not Lamborghini’s first SUV. In the late 1980’s, the company built its first 4-wheel model, the LM002. Designed to look and function as a military vehicle, the LM002 never really received the response that the company hoped to gain. In the end, only 328 of the cars made it through production.

The difference between the Urus and the LM002 boils down to styling. Even though the Urus qualifies as an SUV, the designers kept the sleek, powerful look of a Lamborghini sports car. It is one of the most aggressive looking daily drivers on the market.

Not only does it have the lines of a sports car, but it also drives like one. The Urus concept version topped 205 mph making it the world’s fastest SUV.


The Urus Comes as a Hybrid

For eco-conscious consumers, Lamborghini plans to offer a version of the Urus as a hybrid. They will build the hybrid using VW Group’s MLB-Evo platform.

While the Lamborghini Urus is a step into new territory for the company, there is hope that it will take the company in a new direction. Demand is high for luxury performance SUVs and Lamborghini hopes to grab their slice of the pie with the Urus.

Winter Driving

If you aren’t used to driving in snow or ice, then driving during the winter months can be dangerous. The inclement weather, reduced visibility, and icy surfaces on the roads make navigation difficult. However, by following a few basic rules, you can stay safe on icy roads. Here are few things to consider for safe winter driving.

1. Ensure a Gentle and Smooth Drive
2. Don’t Apply Your Brakes While Turning
3. Rely on Your Headlights
4. Don’t Follow too Closely
5. Don’t Rely on Four-Wheel Drive
6. Dealing With a Skid
7. Read Your Surroundings
8. Plan Your Route
9. Avoid Driving as Much as Possible


Ensure a Gentle and Smooth Drive

You need to keep in mind that driving in snow and ice is completely different from driving on dry pavement. It demands a different style of driving which takes practice. When driving on slick roads, make sure to never jerk the wheel or slam on the brakes. Abrupt changes in the attitude of the car may cause its tires to lose the grip on the surface of the road.


Don’t Apply Your Brakes While Turning

If you turn too quickly in the corners and there is ice on the surface, you run the risk of going into a skid. If this happens, your initial response might be to hit your brakes. This technique works on a dry road, but it does not work well on ice. When driving on snow or ice, it is always better to apply your brakes before the turn and take them at a slow speed.

If you go into a skid, let up on the brake and steer into it. Lightly pump your brakes as you straighten out. This will slow down the vehicle. Another way to slow down your car in wintry conditions is to use the gears. Shift down. This causes the engine to reduce the car’s speed so you can regain control.


Rely on Your Headlights

Regardless if it is day or night, you should use your car’s headlights during snowfall. During the day this helps other cars identify you. The general rule is if you need your wipers, then you need your headlights.


Don’t Follow Too Closely

Stay back from the car in front of you, especially during the winter. By extending your following distance, you get extra time to apply the brakes, and you can avoid going into a skid. If the car in front of you loses control, you want plenty of time to avoid hitting them. It only takes a second for them to flip around and hit something.


Don’t Rely on Four-Wheel Drive

A number of people think that they are safe if they have four-wheel drive, but this may not be true. Though you will have more traction on ice and snow with this system, it may not give enough braking power, making cornering tricky. So do not trust four-wheel drive completely. Take it easy on icy and slippery surfaces in order to stay out of a bad situation.


Dealing With a Skid

It is best to test the steering and brakes of your car gently to get an idea of the road’s condition. Pick a clear, straight piece of road; it should be away from junctions. If you hit a slippery road, you will feel that your car starts to skid. In this situation, allow the speed of the vehicle to decrease by itself by taking your foot off of the accelerator. Don’t use the brakes, as it may prolong the skid. In case the car starts spinning while you’re skidding, allow the vehicle to straighten up and steer into the spin’s direction.


Read Your Surroundings

Slow down when approaching a corner. Give yourself plenty of time so you can take it at a constant speed. This will save you from unsettling the car as well as give you enough time to react in case you have to navigate an obstacle.


Plan Your Route

If you draft out your route ahead of time then there are no possibilities of getting lost. Stick to the main roads as much as possible. Such roads are likely to have been gritted or cleared. Be aware of the wheel tracks when driving, especially if the road hasn’t been gritted. The packed down snow is slicker than new snow. Often the side streets are the ones that present the most problem.


Avoid Driving as Much as Possible

It is a good idea to heed the weather report before taking off on a long-distance drive. If possible, delay or cancel trips, especially when bad weather is expected. If canceling the trip isn’t possible, let your family or friends know about your estimated time of arrival to the destination as well as the route. Keep in mind that many hotels will allow you to reschedule a hotel stay without charging a fee. But, a full cancellation under a certain time limit, such as 24 hours, can lead to paying a hefty fee or even the full price of one night.

If you avoid going out during bad weather, you will be safe, as simple as that. Only get out on icy roads when it’s absolutely necessary. Using common sense could save your life and the lives of others.

Winter driving just takes common sense, caution, and experience. Don’t go out unless you have to. Drive slowly and know what to do in case you do lose control on the ice. Whatever you do, DON’T panic! That is often the cause of most accidents on winter roads.



Warming Up Your Car in the Winter

Most people operate under the assumption that they have to warm up their engines in cold weather. The idea is that by warming up your car, it will run better since it has a chance to idle for 10-15 minutes before driving. Older drivers swear by this practice – but, is it true? Do you need to warm your car’s engine before driving? Let’s take a look at the facts and get to the bottom of this much-debated practice.


The Role of the Thermostat

Before we move ahead, you need to understand the function of a car’s thermostat.

A thermostat is a small, yet important device that sits between the radiator and the engine of a car in liquid-cooled engines. Its job is to block the coolant flow to the radiator until the engine warms up. Once the engine hits a certain temperature, it opens and allows the coolant through so that the car does not overheat.

The important point here is that there is no flow of coolant through the engine when it is cold. While the primary purpose of coolant is to keep the engine from overheating, it does perform other tasks. Coolant reduces deposits, emissions and engine wear.


Round #1 Goes to “Warm Up Your Car.”

When the air temperature and the engine are cold, you do NOT need coolant flowing through your engine to keep it cool. However, coolant does serve other secondary purposes.


Keep the Liquids Flowing – Idling and Oil Circulation

We hope you have never had an engine seize on you – what an awful, gut-wrenching experience. Motor oil has to circulate for the engine to run. The oil reduces friction between all the moving metal parts inside the engine. Until the engine warms the oil, it is thicker and harder to move. Liken it to a human heart. When the blood is thicker, the heart has to work harder to pump it through the body. Similarly, the oil pump must work harder to move the oil through the engine. Parts move less freely, and motor wear can occur.


Round #2 Goes to “Warm Up Your Car.”

Idling your car and warming the engine also warms the oil. Parts move freely, and there is less stress on your car at higher speeds.


Idling Your Car Accomplishes Little and Wastes Money

The Environmental Defense Fund states that if you are going to stop for more than 10 seconds, then turn off the ignition.

“After ten seconds you waste more money by running the engine than restarting it.”  – Andy Darrell, Deputy Director, EDF Energy Program

Switching the car off when you can leads to extra cash in your pocket, and it will also protect your community from additional air pollution.  The efficiency of modern fuel injection, which eliminated carburetors and chokes, reduces the need to idle your car.


Round #3 Goes to “Don’t Warm Up Your Car.”

The only reason to let a car idle is to allow the engine oil to circulate, but only 3 seconds is necessary according to the Minneapolis anti-idling ordinance.


There Are No Benefits to Idling Modern Cars

There are no benefits to idling modern cars for long periods of time in the winter.  Doing so can potentially damage the engine and its components, including the spark plugs, the exhaust system, and the cylinders.  In today’s modern vehicles, the electronic fuel injection system regulates the amount of fuel that the engine needs to run efficiently.  When the engine is cold, the fuel injectors send more fuel through the system.


Round #4 Goes to “Don’t Warm Up Your Car.”

As the engine warms up, it needs less fuel to produce better performance.  So, the longer that you let a car sit idle, the more fuel you’ll waste which leads to poor engine performance as well as a reduction in mileage.


Driving Warms the Engine Faster Than Idling

Bob Aldrich, the retired webmaster of the California Energy Commission, said that “idling is not an effective way to warm up a car – it warms up faster if you just drive it.”

If the engine of a car is running at an idle state, then it’s not doing any work.  If you put a load on the car and drive it, then it will help to produce heat faster.  Modern electronic engines do not need to warm up, even in the season of winter.


Round #5 Goes to “Don’t Warm Up Your Car.”

The best way to warm the engine of modern cars is by easing into your drive and avoiding excessive engine revving.  The car’s engine warms up faster when driven compared to just idling.


Block Heaters – The Solution to the Problem

Remote starters have become popular for a number of reasons, but their main purpose is to warm up a vehicle before driving. However, the car still sits idling in the driveway – which we’ve determined may or may not be a good thing.

Block heaters could be the answer to the debate on whether to “warm” or “not warm” the vehicle. Block heaters provide the benefits of idling without the negatives.

Block heaters are designed to heat the engine and only cost $50 or less, depending on the company and model.  These block heaters work on a timer that can be set to begin warming the engine from one to two hours before driving the car in very cold climates. In other words – you can heat your car without starting the engine.


The Verdict is That “It’s a Draw.”

After reviewing the arguments and the facts involved, it appears that both sides of the debate can present valid points. There are benefits to idling older cars and warming the engine. There are also drawbacks to doing so. Using a block heater allows you to preserve the benefits of warming your engine without compromise.



Top 10 European Sports Cars Between $100,000 and $200,000 in 2016

Imagine owning a beautiful sports car, powering through turns and racing down open stretches of road. While for most people, cars over $100,000 will stay the stuff of dreams, there are some out there with the cash to make it a reality. So, for those of you who want to plan for “someday,” here is a list of the top 10 European sports cars priced between $100,000 and $200,000.



Top 10 European Sports Cars – $100,000 to $200,000


Here are the cars listed in alphabetical order.



#1 – Aston Martin DB9 GT

MSRP: $201,075 – $238,132

Engine: 6.0L V12

Power: 540 bhp @ 6750 RPM

Torque: 457 lb-ft @ 5500 RPM

The unique appeal of the Aston Martin DB9 GT is its 6.0-liter V12 engine which generates a peak of 540 bhp at 6750 RPM. Its front mid-mounted, 48 valve, all-alloy, 5,935 cc engine is a powerful motor. The transmission is a six-speed, Touchtronic II transmission which uses a wire control system. This V12 engine can launch this luxury British sports car from 0 to 60 mph in only 4.5 seconds. The Aston Martin boasts a top speed of 183 mph and comes with several key features:

  • 10-Spoke, 20-Inch Wheels
  • Black Painted Diffuser and Splitter
  • Black Anodized Brake Calipers
  • Taillight Treatments
  • Redesigned Headlights

The DB9 GT model can be distinguished from other Aston Martins by the GT engraving on the aluminum fuel filler cap.



#2 – Audi R8 & Audi R8 Plus

MSRP: $164,150 – $191,150

Engine: 5.2L V10

Power: 540 bhp @ 7800 RPM

Torque: 398 @ 6500 RPM

The Audi R8 only takes 3.2 to 3.5 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph.  At just 48.8 inches high, 76.4 inches wide, and 174.0 inches long, the Audi R8 is short, wide and low to the ground sports car. This makes handling a breeze on curvy roads, especially for cruising through beautiful mountain roads. The Audi R8 is equipped with 19-inch wheels featuring 245/35 sizing up front and 295/35 sizing in the rear, with optional upgrades. The overall feel of the Audi R8 is like a stealthy cat on the prowl. For this Audi, it’s all about speed and power.



#3 – Bentley Continental GT

Price: $180,195

Power: 582 hp

Torque: 531 lb-ft

The Bentley Continental GT sports a new bumper at the rear, a smaller grille, and redesigned fenders. The fenders incorporate the obligatory side gills featuring the “B” logo. A lower diffuser added to this GT Speed model enhances its overall charm. You will also find a reshaped trunk lid in this successor model of the Bentley Continental. The interior updates include a revised center console, a smaller steering wheel, and new gauge faces. The seats are adorned with a new stitching pattern and softer leather or faux suede, although the diamond quilting isn’t eliminated from this upgraded version.



#4 – Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale

Price: $134,625

Power: 454 hp

Torque: 384 lb-ft

The GranTurismo includes a 4.2-liter V8 engine that can be mated either to an optional MC Race Shift 6-speed manual transmission or an Electro-Actuated MC Shift auto-manual transmission. Buyers also have the option of choosing a lighter GranTurismo MC Stradale version which comes with some exterior modifications. The 2016 Maserati GranTurismo is equipped with an automatic gearbox and fitted with an adaptive control system. It can adjust the gear-shifting mode to different conditions and individual driving styles. Like its predecessors, this new model includes all of the luxury features, such as premium CD stereo, power windows, power-adjustable leather seats, electric mirrors, multiple airbags, alloy wheels, stability control, ABS brakes, and more.



#5 – McLaren 570S

Price: $184,900

Power: 562 hp

Torque: 443 lb-ft

The McLaren 570S includes a carbon fiber tub for strength and lightweight. This upgraded model can hit speeds of up to 62 mph in just 3.2 seconds. The top speed of the 570S is around 204 mph. It flaunts an adaptive suspension and ceramic brakes. The dual-clutch, seven-speed automatic transmission, and 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V-8 engine are other optional add-ons. The 570S’s seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox provides tough competition for other 2016 luxury car models.



#6 – Mercedes-AMG GT

Price: $129,900

Power: 503 hp

Torque: 479 lb-ft

The AMG GT redefines luxury. It is fitted with 4.0-liter V8 bi-turbo engine. It can hit 60 mph from static in 3.7 seconds. Its speed tops out around 193-mph. Other features include:

  • 7-Speed Dual-Clutch Transmission with Electronically Controlled-Slip Differential
  • Dynamic Suspension
  • Dynamic Exhaust System with an Electronically Controlled Variable Vane
  • Performance Steering Wheel with Shift Paddles
  • Dynamic Select with Multiple Steering Modes
  • Driver-Selectable Suspension

The AMG GT comes with a number of trim options and safety upgrades. The adaptive braking technology and collision prevention help prevent accidents. Other safety features include the rearview camera and blind spot assist.



#7 – Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG

Price: $150,625 – $218,475

Power: 621 hp

Torque: 738 lb-ft

The SL65 AMG is more of a high-performance roadster than a luxury sports car. This vehicle is designed for people that want nothing less than “awe-inspiring.” The SL65 is more potent than its predecessors. It is fitted with 6.0-liter, V-12 twin-turbo engine. The optional active suspension of this new model allows it to move from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. The rear wheels of this vehicle get power through a seven-speed automatic transmission. The other highlights of this luxury car include altered alloy wheel designs, wood trim on the steering wheel, red brake calipers, an upgraded sound system, carbon ceramic brakes, and soft-close doors.



#8 – Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Price: $131,395

Power: 500 hp

Torque: 338 lb-ft

The GT3 RS model comes with a paddle-neutral feature. The RS also has a button to limit pit-lane speed. The rear axle ratio of the RS is shorter than the standard 911 GT3, which is an add-on for hastier takeoffs. The Porsche 911 GT3 RS can hit 60 mph from static in less than 3.1 seconds. Although the body of this upgraded model is similar to the 911 Turbo, the upgraded tires and wheels give the vehicle wider rear and front tracks. Despite the familial resemblance, this updated version manages to look meaner than its predecessors. The GT3 features sporting louvered vents mounted on the front fenders and a massive rear wing. Moreover, its brake rotors are larger than the standard models.



#9 – Porsche 911 Turbo S

Price: $182,700

Power: 580 hp

Torque: 553 lb-ft

The Porsche 911 Turbo S features a 20bhp power boost. This 2016 model is fitted with 3.8-litre, twin-turbo engine that includes new injection nozzles, higher fuel pressure, and altered inlet ports. The Turbo S reaches 62 mph in 2.9 seconds with a top track speed of 198mph. This car is much more fuel-efficient than its predecessors thanks to the revised gear change mapping and engine alterations. Like other Porsche 911 models, the only transmission option is a dual-clutch PDK.



#10 – Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet

Price: $163,000

Power: 572 hp

Torque: 553 lb-ft

Fitted with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, this all-wheel-drive supercar from Porsche can hit 60 mph in 3 seconds. Porsche claims a 2.0 mpg improvement, which makes up around 30.4 mpg. Its luxurious interior and exterior styling make it a pleasure to drive at any time, on any road. The Porsche 911 Turbo includes 20-inch center lock wheels. The makers have upgraded the up-front width by 9 inches and the rear by 11.5 inches.


Overall, the ten sports cars mentioned above are great options at the price range of $100,000 to $200,000. From the Aston Martin to the Porsches, there are cars that fit different desires and needs. Although each car has its own perks, the decision comes down to personal preference. Hopefully, this article helped you decide which car you’d prefer at this price range.

German Automobile Reliability After 50,000 Miles

German automobile manufacturers pride themselves on innovative design. Their vehicles have some of the newest technological features on the market. However, “new” often means “unproven.” Historically, consumers have found that those “new” features came with a host of problems. Older model German cars were plagued with reliability issues. Fortunately, today’s models seem better engineered.

“Higher-ranking brands don’t go on the fritz nearly as often, or in the same manner, as their under-ranked German counterparts.” –  John Lincov, Consumer Reports, 2011

Even though newer model German cars perform better than their older versions, they are still expensive to service. Mercedes and BMW rank as the top two most expensive cars to maintain. In particular, the repairs to the German BMW 328i and Mercedes-Benz’ E350, can cost almost twice as much as their luxury counterparts. (1)


Audi’s Latest Models Win Reliability Award

Audi’s greatest issues revolved around engine and transmission problems. Although Audi’s overall quality was notably high compared to other German brands, many people were content to bypass them based on their reputation. Indeed, if you looked at the bulk data, this seemed smart. However, even in the past, there have been a couple of shining stars in the Audi lineup.

Without a doubt, the popular models such as the A4 and the Allroad were plagued with problems. The Audi A4 was noted for its powertrain and engine issues. The Allroad took flak due to powertrain and transmission issues. Older A4s are noted for excessive oil consumption. The worst model year for the Audi A4 was 2002 with engine failure occurring, on average, by 76,000 miles. Past 50,000 miles, the Allroad often succumbed to valve cover and cam tensioner leaks.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Audi’s Q7 and A8. If you sift through years of reports, malfunctions in the A8 are few. Though the First Generation Q7 did have some electrical problems, later model-years did not.

Audi listened to consumer complaints from the past and has attempted to address the issues. A newer model Audi earned one of the top five spots in Consumer Reports’ 2015 Auto Reliability Survey.

At one time, potential owners may have had reason to balk at the prospect of owning an Audi, but newer models are better designed and more reliable.


BMW Does Well with Lower-Priced Models

Like Audi, the reliability of BMW over the years depends on the model being examined. Overall, BMW’s quality compares with other German vehicles. Some models seem plagued problems, and others have stood the test of time.

BMW produced both the lowest rated BMW 745i and the highly popular BMW Z4. The 745i showed a high instance of powertrain and engine issues while the Z4 had virtually none. Accordingly, people traded in more low mileage 745is towards other models compared to the industry average.

There is a correlation between longevity and lower sticker prices. The less expensive BMWs contained fewer electronics. Consequently, it is possible that there is a direct relationship between reliability and the use of mechanical over electronic parts.


Mercedes-Benz Ranked #1 for Longevity

Public perception of Mercedes-Benz vehicles tends to be positive. Most owners report they’d buy another, and it’s not uncommon to see older models on the road. On the surface, Mercedes appears reliable.

Of the German cars, Mercedes ranks as number one for longevity. Historically, they show the highest number of high-mileage vehicles in use when compared to their German counterparts. Mercedes also boasts the highest rating for overall manufacturer quality of the German brands. However, the numbers are a bit different when Mercedes is compared to non-German brands.

Something to note is that the United States government organization that tracks vehicle safety issued more recalls, and filed more complaints about Mercedes than other brands during the last decade. It seems that, with Mercedes, you roll the dice and hope for the best.


Porsches are Expensive to Maintain

Porsche wins all sorts of awards for its new cars. However, a different story emerges when you look into their historical data. Of all the German manufacturers, Porsche had the lowest number of traded-in vehicles carrying over 180,000 miles.

A recent study of British consumers which analyzed the reliability of cars between the ages of 3 and 8 years old, rated Porsche the second least reliable vehicle on the road. The study calculated the average repair cost of a Porsche to be just over $1000; quite a hefty fee for the average consumer.

The verdict: Porsche produces well-built, high-performance vehicles that are very expensive to keep on the road.


Volkswagen Ranked Lowest of the German Brands

Volkswagen’s reputation precedes itself; it’s very common to hear phrases like “money-pit” and “disaster” thrown around. Based on the data from the last decade, one can understand why that is so.

Actually, Volkswagen was pretty close to Mercedes on the number of trade-in vehicles carrying over 180,000 miles. That would indicate that people keep their cars for a long period. However, there are also a large number of complaints regarding engine and transmission problems. Notably, the Passat and Jetta showed mostly engine complaints including several instances of engine failure due to oil sludge. Those repairs cost upwards of $2000 each.

Volkswagen received the lowest rating for overall manufacturer quality of the five German manufacturers. In 2014, when J.D. Power surveyed owners of three-year-old vehicles, they found significantly more reported problems in Volkswagen than other brands.

Based on the data available, Mercedes and Volkswagens seem to have the longest life spans. All German brands are expensive to maintain and have a history of engine and transmission problems. Out of them all, Audi seems to have their act together and now holds the top spot for reliability.

So why do people continue to purchase older model German vehicles? Most of these brands enjoy an almost “cult-like” following. Their luxury vehicles seem prestigious, and people who own them don’t seem to mind the high upkeep.



How to Care for Your Car in the Winter

During the winter, it’s important to protect both your car’s interior and exterior from the elements. Just keeping it free from dirt and road chemicals can help prevent corrosion as well as maintain a beautiful appearance. We recommend that all car owners follow the “Winter Car Care Checklist” below:

Winter Car Care Checklist

Wash Your Car – FREQUENTLY!
● Dry it Thoroughly
● Wax It – Yes, It Takes Time – But It’s Worth It!
● Clean the Interior – Properly & Thoroughly
● Monitor and Maintain All Fluid Levels
● Install Rubber Floor Mats
● Don’t Park Outside – or at Least Use a Car Cover


Wash Your Car – FREQUENTLY!

During the winter, we recommend that you wash your car about every ten days. If it’s particularly nasty outside, you might even want to do it once a week. We know it’s cold outside and the last thing you want to do is mess with a water hose and bucket. An automatic car wash can easily knock off the dirt, and you don’t even have to get out of the car.

On the warmer days, you can spend the extra time it takes to do it right. The point is to make sure you get that road grime off the undercarriage and fenders of your car. If you don’t, it will only take a couple of seasons for rust to show up. That is something you DON’T want!

Use a high-pressure hose and fresh water for cleaning the car. At home, the best way to dissolve salt off your vehicle is with baking soda. Add a generous swig into your wash bucket and use warm water. Make sure you rinse it completely! The baking soda will leave a residue if it’s not rinsed.
As a matter of point, you should always use warm water to wash your car – not hot – warm. Be careful not to do this on days where the temperatures are below freezing. The warm water could cause extremely cold windows to crack.
Use a sponge for soaping and avoid shop towels. Some shop towels contain bits of metal that can scratch the surface of your paint. When cleaning the exterior, make sure to wash under the door handles, behind the mud flaps, and in and around all crevices and cracks of the car. Pay particularly close attention to the undercarriage. That is where the road salt accumulates.


Dry Your Car Thoroughly

Running it under one of those hot air blowers at the end of the automatic car wash is NOT going to do the trick. It is important that you dry all the water off the vehicle. Those blowers are better than nothing, but they leave behind droplets. If left untreated, the water may freeze on the car. Granted, most cars have to put up with a bit of ice in the winter. However, if you are washing your car as often as you should, the paint could start to suffer from the frozen liquid.

Make sure you leave the doors open and let the trapped water dry out. Seal the vehicle’s surfaces only after it dries out completely. A chamois is inexpensive and very good for drying off cars. Microfiber towels also work well. Carry a few in your trunk, and you’ll have them when you need them.

To get the car dried before it has a chance to freeze, you may need to wash it in sections. Start with the roof and then work your way to the other sections: driver’s side, passenger’s side, front end, and rear end.

We suggest you start with the roof, for the same reason your mother cleans her house from the top floor down. In the case of your car, water and dirt fall according to gravity. Starting at the top means you won’t dampen areas you already dried.

If water freezes on the car, simply use the hose to remove the ice then clean and dry the region quickly to prevent another occurrence. When using the hose, attempt to aim the hose in a downward direction and avoid spraying other regions of the car. Then, simply dry the sections as you go.

Wax Your Car

No, you don’t have to wax your car every time you wash it. However, you do need to make sure you do a thorough waxing just before the winter season hits. The wax will protect the finish and paint of your vehicle. This is important considering all the abuse your paint takes throughout the

season. Waxing helps preserve the oils in the car’s paint, which lessens the likelihood of oxidation. Delamination and fading lead to costly paint touch-up or repainting. Trust me; it is much less expensive to add that extra coat of wax.

Even though you don’t have to wax every time you wash your car, you really should if possible. When waxing the vehicle, give special attention to its lower parts, such as the quarter panels, the front grille, and behind the wheels, where salt and ice will impact the most. To ensure a smooth application, warm the rag that you’ll be using for applying the wax. Alternatively, you can also use a hair dryer to warm the car’s surface for a more effective application of wax.


Clean the Interior – Properly & Thoroughly

There is nothing harder on the interior of a car than snow, slush, and mud. Every person that gets in and out has it on their shoes. Your floor mats are going to start looking pretty bad if you don’t keep them cleaned.

Each time you wash the outside of your car, take a few minutes to vacuum out the interior. Run a duster over the dash and use spot cleaner on the upholstery. If you have leather seats, make sure you get a good leather cleaner. Salt can destroy leather. If you have cloth floor mats – consider getting rubber ones (see below). Shampoo or soap down your floor mats and dry them thoroughly.


Monitor and Maintain Fluid Levels

Cold weather is hard on a car. It takes a while to warm up the engine and fluids tend to move around sluggishly until it gets going. To ensure the smooth function of your car during the cold weather, it’s crucial that you maintain its fluid levels.

The very first thing you need to do is to replace the windshield washing fluid from summer with a winter blend. You do NOT want your washer fluid freezing on your windshield as you are driving down the road.

You also need to check the coolant and oil levels of the vehicle to eliminate the possibilities of internal damage. Keep the gas tank at least halfway full to keep the gas lines from freezing. By maintaining the fluid levels, you can avoid any unnecessary car downtime in the snow.


Install Rubber Floor Mats

While this seems like a no-brainer, it’s amazing how many people don’t have winter floor mats. There are all sorts of rubberized mats available, in all price ranges. Some companies sell mats specifically designed to fit certain models of car, or you can buy universal mats.

If you don’t have mats, at least put down a thick towel or, in a pinch, a trash bag. Use anything you can find to keep that salt and water off your floors. It’s not just the look of the floor mats that you need to worry about. Your car’s floorboards can rust through from the top just as easily as they can from the bottom. Keep them dry!


Don’t Park Outside – or at Least Use a Car Cover

All cars deserve a heated garage, but sadly, most car owners have other things to worry about, like mortgages and hungry kids. If you can pamper your vehicle by keeping it in a heated garage – do it!

If you have an unheated garage and can clear out the bikes, mowers, and trash bins to make room for your car – do it!

However, if you don’t have a garage (or you just can’t clean out enough junk to make it usable) the least you can do is cover your car. Find parking in a clean, snow-free place. Purchase a car cover for the whole car if possible. You can buy custom car covers and universal ones from any number of suppliers. At the very least – get a windshield cover. You won’t be able to protect your paint – but you can at least save yourself the rigors of scraping.

Next to your home, your car is more than likely the second largest financial investment you’ve made. With just a little bit of care and prevention, you can keep your vehicle in tip-top shape and retain some of its value. Don’t let winter grime destroy your vehicle with delamination, cracking, or rust. Follow our “Winter Car Care Checklist” and keep your ride looking good.


Additional Tips for Winter Car Care

▪ Keep an ice scraper and snow shovel in your car year around, so you don’t forget.
▪ Apply tire coating or cleaner in order to ensure smooth functioning of your vehicle.
▪ Clean the windshield properly during the winter by using anti-frost washer fluid.
▪ If you have to park your car outdoors, cover it properly with a quality cover.
▪ Replace wiper blades every year to make sure you have optimal visibility.
▪ Use a mild shampoo when washing your car and dry it thoroughly.
▪ Tire cleaners can help remove salt from the sidewalls and treads.



The 5 Steps to Checking Tire Air Pressure (PSI)

The air pressure in your tires can vary from day to day. This doesn’t mean you have a leak or a bad valve stem; it’s just science. Temperature is the biggest factor in changing tire pressure. As the temperature increases, the air pressure builds in the tire. Conversely, when it gets colder, the pressure decreases and your tire can even look flat. This is why you need to check your tire pressure and air up your tires on a regular basis.

Of course, it could be that you have a leaky tire or a faulty valve stem. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need a new tire. Valve stems can be replaced for almost nothing, and a lot of tires can be patched or sealed. The best thing to do if you think you have a leak is to have a professional evaluate your tires. But first, make sure your pressure is correct and check the weather. If you have a leak, the pressure will go down even if the temperatures don’t.


How to Check Your Tire Pressure:

1. Locate the Factory Required PSI Values
2. Remove the Valve Stem Cap
3. Use the Air Pressure Gauge to Check PSI
4. Inspect the Air Pressure Gauge and Re-Test
5. Re-Install the Valve Stem Cap


#1 – Locate the Factory Required PSI Values

The optimal pressure for factory tires is located in both the owner’s manual and inside the car. On the driver’s door, there should be a sticker located about halfway down. Look at the part of the door that is covered when it’s closed (the edge).

You can also look at the tire itself. If you have installed after-market wheels or new tires, you definitely want to check the value on the tires, in addition to the owner’s manual. The PSI value can be located on the tire’s sidewall in very small print.

The number provided on the inside of the door will mostly likely differ from the number on the tire. That’s because the PSI on the inside of your door represents the ideal ride based on the car’s suspension and handling. The value on the tire sidewall is the maximum PSI value that the tire can hold. Anything more and you run the risk of a blowout on the street.

It’s always best to use the manufacturer’s recommended PSI when filling stock tires. However, some adjustment can be made for temperature. In cold weather, the pressure inside the tire drops a bit, and during hot weather, it increases. Because of this, you do need to check your pressure regularly.

Use the tire’s maximum pressure rating on the sidewall as a guideline during weather adjustments and also as a way to judge the correct pressure in custom wheels. The tires on most passenger vehicles range from 27 to 32 PSI while SUVs and trucks usually require 31 to 40 PSI.


A “Word of Caution” About Recommended PSI

The PSI values from the manufacturer are recommendations only. These values are not the maximum or minimum value for the tire pressure. Going with a lower PSI than recommended can provide traction on sand or snow while adding PSI can increase fuel efficiency.

However, you need to be careful if don’t follow the manufacturer’s recommendation. Lowering the tire pressure below the recommendation may decrease braking distances. Raising the tire pressure could cause uneven tire wear and increase braking distances.

EuroDrift recommends following the car and tire manufacturer values for PSI. The car manufacturer’s numbers are optimal for car handling. Never go above the tire manufacturer’s PSI numbers, or you might suffer a blowout. Keeping your pressure between the two for safety.


#2 – Remove the Valve Stem Cap

To remove the valve stem cap, simply unscrew it from the valve stem. The valve stem cap covers the valve stem to ensure there is no debris buildup in the stem. It is highly recommended that you have a valve stem cap on each tire as well as on your spare tire. If someone steals your valve stem cap, you can easily locate a replacement at any automotive retailer (i.e. Pep Boys).


#3 – Use the Air Pressure Gauge to Check PSI

To use the air pressure gauge, align the opening on the gauge over the valve stem. Press down firmly and evenly. This pushes the valve stem pin inward causing air to leak out through the stem and exert pressure on the gauge. You might hear a slight hissing noise as you engage the valve stem pin. However, if you have aligned the gauge correctly and pressed evenly, the noise should all but disappear.

If the reading is taken while air is leaking from the connection of the gauge and the stem, then it will not be correct. Realign the two if necessary and try again.

Depending on whether you have an electrical or mechanical air pressure gauge, the result could be different. An electrical pressure gauge provides you with a digital reading on the air pressure. The electrical pressure gauge is also more reliable than a mechanical gauge if it is calibrated correctly.

The mechanical gauge is more common and has been around for decades. A mechanical gauge uses the air pressure to move a rectangular prism within a cylinder at a distance that equates to PSI. For example, if there is 32 PSI in the tire then the air pressure will move the prism to the 32 PSI marker on the display.


#4 – Inspect the Air Pressure Gauge and Re-Test

To inspect the air pressure gauge value, simply read the display on an electronic gauge or inspect the line value on the mechanical gauge. The reading on the air gauge should make sense, and it is always a great idea to check multiple times. There is always the chance that the air pressure reading of the tire will be off due to human error. Simply not angling the gauge properly can cause the reading to be incorrect.

To make sure the tire PSI value is correct, test the PSI of the tire until the same reading is obtained two or three times. This way you can spot an erroneous reading. Differences in pressure readings could be due to human error, or it could be your gauge. Some tools are more accurate than others, and it could be that your air gauge is not working properly.

Consistent readings should indicate that you are measuring correctly and your equipment is working.


#5 – Re-Install the Valve Stem Cap

To reinstall the valve stem cap, simply screw the cap back onto the valve stem. Make sure that the cap isn’t loose but be careful not to overtighten the cap. Over-tightening the cap may strip the threads inside and possibly damage the stem.

You should check your tire pressure each time you fill the gas tank, before trips, or if you even think there might be a problem. You will know there is a problem when the car isn’t handling correctly. Look for bulging sidewalls or uneven wear on the treads. All of these are indicators that your pressure is not quite right.

It only takes a minute to check and adjust the tire pressure. Doing so just might save you from a blowout or an accident. Oh – and don’t forget to check the spare! It’s important to keep it aired up along with the other tires.



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