Pinnacle Auto Appraisers' Blog
Keeping the auto appraising industry up to date with important auto industry and appraiser information.
Published June 12, 2012
Greyhound may be named after a fast dog, but it’s got nothing on this puppy.
A high speed electric Superbus built in The Netherlands is now street legal after the government there issued a license plate for the radical form of mass transportation.
The 23-passenger vehicle is being developed by a program at the Delft Institute of Technology headed up by physicist and former astronaut Wubbo Ockels, who in 1985 became the first Dutch citizen to travel into space on the last successful flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger.
The sleek, 50-foot-long six-wheel vehicle looks more like a stretch limo version of an exotic sports car than a typical bus, and features 16 gullwing doors and a central seating position for the driver.
Powered by lithium-ion batteries it has a theoretical range of 134 miles per charge and a top speed of 155 mph.
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500 Vehicles On Display
DENVER -- Fuel efficiency will be on the minds of visitors to Denver’s auto show this week.The auto industry is changing deeply and quickly, partly to accommodate fuel economy regulations but also to confront changing attitudes toward environmental responsibility and higher gas prices.Energy analysts predict fuel prices will continue to rise as demand grows from developing countries, and that will encourage future auto buyers to focus on fuel economy.
They’ll find plenty of options at the auto show at the Colorado Convention Center.Auto-show officials estimate that one of every five cars on display features a hybrid, electric or alternative-fuel power system.Those are things car companies talk about when showing off cars such as the Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid or the Acura NSX hybrid performance car concept.
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Published June 01, 2012
When it comes to selling your car, taking the do-it-yourself approach will likely mean more money in your pocket. Here is a guide to getting the best price when you put your car up for sale.
Set a realistic price
Use sites like Kelley Blue Book (KBB), Edmunds.com and AutoTrader.com to get a sense of how much your car is worth; you can also determine how healthy local and regional markets are.
"If your asking price is less than the KBB value, then be sure and mention this as a selling point," says Joel Ohman, a certified financial planner and the founder of CarInsuranceComparison.com. "If your asking price is higher than the KBB value, then be sure and give an explanation as to why you are asking for more, [like] extra options, custom upgrades [or] newly replaced parts."
Be honest about your car's condition
The value of a car depends heavily on its condition. Alec Gutierrez, KBB's senior market analyst for automotive insights, says that many sellers end up overpricing their cars, which could push away potential buyers and price them out of the market.
"Approximately 3 percent of all vehicles are in excellent condition," Gutierrez says, "and we have found that more than 10 percent of all visitors to KBB.com actually select 'excellent' as their assumed condition."
Make small fixes
"Having one headlight out might not be a serious issue, but it gives the impression that the car has not been well-cared for," says Brian Moody, automotive expert at AutoTrader.com.
Fix the most obvious issues. Make sure no warning lights are on, and that small cracks in the windshield and minor dents have been taken care of. You don't want the customer to demand a discount because of problems you could have fixed.
Spell out the relevant information
Do not leave critical information out of your advertisements. Gutierrez says that commonly omitted items include mileage, major options and equipment, condition and an autocheck summary. Gutierrez says that a seller should at least provide a vehicle identification number (VIN) if they do not want to pay for a carfax or autocheck summary.
Impress with your photos
Gutierrez says that one of the most common mistake people make when they are trying to sell their car involves only including one, low-quality photo in an online advertisement, or even leave the photo out completely.
"The key is to try and stand out from the crowd and provide buyers with a sense of confidence by offering up a multitude of detailed pictures," he says.
Most buyers have short attention spans, Gutierrez says, and they will often overlook ads with sub-par photos, or think that the seller is trying to hide something.
Post detailed pictures of the interior and exterior of the car, and highlight dents, dings and defects. Also remember to get your car washed inside and out before you take the pictures.
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Published May 29, 2012
Toyota considers its Scion brand an incubator for new ideas. It’s a place for the company to toe into new segments that the mother ship wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole, let alone a 10-foot car.
The Scion iQ is just that: An otherworldly city car with an edgy design that gives it the appearance of a probe recently arrived from Saturn, if not Uranus.
It’s not the first of its kind to explore these shores in recent years, that dubious honor goes to the even smaller Smart Fortwo. But just as the U.S. was second into the great beyond, Scion has its thrusters on full and is hoping to do both better and bigger than the competition from Europe.
To the latter point, the iQ is a four-seat car. Well, Scion likes to say 3+1, because the spot behind the driver is little more than trompe l’oeil, but two six-footers can fit in tandem on the shotgun side. (Note: I didn’t say comfortably.) If you ever wondered what the smallest family car is, question answered.
Behind everyone is a claimed 3.5 cubic feet of cargo space, much of which must exist in another dimension. You’d have a hard time fitting the owner’s manual back there, which you’ll need to find room for because there is no standard glove compartment. Fold down the rear seats, however, and you end up with a two-seater that has more luggage room than a Toyota Camry.
Front seat passengers are well taken care of and the iQ's enormous doors offer easy entry and an unexpectedly satisfying thunk when you close them. Thirsty? Feel free to fill one or all of the the five cup and bottle holders scattered about.
Like the geometric exterior, the cabin is done up in a sci-fi motif, complete with lots of glossy black plastic, a triangle-topped center stack and a deeply-sculpted steering wheel with controls for the standard HD radio, which sits in a pod on top of the dash. It’s hard to imagine that the Scion designers didn’t have a lot ton fun working on this little guy.
Hidden on board are 11 airbags -- including one that covers the rear window -- which help it achieve an astonishingly good four-star crash test rating. I still wouldn’t want to find myself in the middle of a Suburban sandwich behind the wheel of an iQ, but four stars, that’s good, right?
Under the hood – look closely, it’s there - the iQ has a 1.3-liter 4-cylinder engine with 94 hp and a CVT automatic transmission driving the front wheels. It’s not the slowest car in America, and I’ll leave it at that.
Actually, around town it’s zippy enough and, if you don’t mind driving a car that sounds like a power tool, entirely adequate. The only time it truly disappoints is when you try to merge onto a highway and head out of town, at which point its lackluster effort comes across as the iQ trying to remind you that it doesn’t like to leave the nest.
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By Wayne Cunningham | CNET – Mon, May 14, 2012 7:17 PM EDT
Toyota showed off its RAV4 EV, the electric version of the RAV4 compact SUV, as a concept about a year and half ago at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. The wraps came off the production version of this new electric car this week, showing some speedy automobile development indeed.
More impressive is that the deal between Toyota and Tesla to develop the electric RAV4, on the heels of Toyota's decision to sell Tesla its NUMMI auto manufacturing plant, came less than two years ago. This is a car with a completely different drivetrain than that of the car on which it is based. Most model updates take longer to put into production.
The RAV4 EV would be the first electric SUV among the current generation of electric vehicles from major manufacturers. Toyota previously produced a RAV4 EV from 1997 to 2003, making the new version the second generation.
Tesla developed the battery pack and power control electronics for Toyota, a demonstration of its ability to be a tier-one supplier of electric drivetrains. Unlike the relatively long ranges Tesla vehicles have been able to boast, the RAV4 EV will only go about 100 miles on a full charge, according to Toyota. That is in keeping with the range of the Nissan Leaf and upcoming Ford Focus EV.
Toyota gave the RAV4 a sport mode, with higher acceleration and top speed than its standard drive mode. In its standard mode, the RAV4 EV will get to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds, with a top speed of 85 mph. Sport mode lifts the top speed to 100 mph and lowers the 60-mph time to 7 seconds.
The RAV4 EV will charge from empty to full in 6 hours from a 240-volt source. Toyota chose Leviton as the supplier of its preferred electric charger, which can be installed in an owner's garage. The car will also include a 110-volt charging cable, but Toyota does not specify the charging time from a 110-volt source.
The RAV4 EV goes on sale in four California metropolitan areas later this summer, at a price of $49,800, before Federal and state tax incentives. Toyota expects to produce 2,600 of the cars over the next three years.
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Take one look at these purpose-built sports cars and you'd expect them to be fast. You would be wrong. Even before we got used to powerful V6 Camrys, these ten rides chosen by Jalopnik readers were the slowest sports cars the world had ever seen.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day — the daily Jalopnik feature where editors take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by and for the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
Suggested By: unhcampus
1/4 Mile: 16.9
Why we want one anyway: The Mondial had the V8 from the sporty 308, but in a bigger, heavier, floppier body. In its first two years in the US, the Mondial had 180 horsepower and was over two seconds slower to 60 than even the crappy Corvettes of the time. Even though the back seats are for people without legs, it's a real Ferrari, with all the poise and panache you'd expect from the brand. And it's about a thousand times cooler than a chintzy 360 Modena.
Photo Credit: //www.flickr.com/photos/12949199@N00/480609078/" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(0, 102, 204); text-decoration: none; ">storem
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Not everyone is happy about the apparent resergence in the manual transmission's popularity. David Sirota, normally a pretty intelligent writer, is concerned about the "ethics" of transmission choice, an inquiry which seems to revolve around the perceived harm to the environment caused by tiny increases in fuel consumption in "some" new manual-equipped vehicles when compared to their automatic-equipped counterparts. Wait... what? We're talking about 6.75% of all new vehicles sold this year. And out of that, a smaller proportion whose automatic transmission is sophisticated enough to squeeze out a tiny theoretical advantage in fuel efficiency, usually limited to 1 or 2 additional mpg's. And bearing in mind that the bulk of manual-transmission vehicles sold are little four-bangers anyway with MPG ratings in the thirties. So, this guy is actually making this argument? See for yourself. Unless I'm missing something, he's actually saying that choosing a manual is an ethical conundrum. Unlike, for example, buying a belching diesel pickup. Or reproducing. Or getting on a plane a half-dozen times a year. Or buying a new car, period, with all the resource consumption, pollution and waste that its manufacture will necessarily entail. Nope, the thing that will bring on the environmental apocalyse is your little $13K crapbox Mazda 2, that you just had to get with the 5-speed, now didn't you??
If the rhetorical purpose of this article is to remind the consume-yourself-green crowd to check the MPG ratings before mindlessly opting for the manual on their new vehicle, then fine. But to malign an entire transmission category usually belonging to an already low-emitting vehicle based on the idea that its theoretical efficiency is sometimes eclipsed by a computer-laden automatic? That just seems like lazy thinking. Read the article here and decide for yourself.
Read More: http://autoholics.com/2012/05/16/-Department-of-Really-Stupid-Questions---Is-It-Ethical-To-Drive-Stick---635737?utm_medium=email&;utm_campaign=051612+No+Ad+Do+You+Listen+To+CDs&utm_content=051612+No+Ad+Do+You+Listen+To+CDs+Version+B+CID_20dca8a73ff932385173a0e4e49cee9a&utm_source=CD+email+newsletter&utm_term=img2
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