Mustang Parts
   Carrying Saleen wheels and Bullitt wheels.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Edmund's Kills Inside Line

One of my favorite automotive blogs, Inside Line, is being absorbed into its corporate host,

I don't like it.

It looks like Edmunds is abandoning the blog format, as the new "What's Hot" page that will now contain InsideLine's content does not offer comments.  And the pop-up screens are annoying.

I like Edmunds, and use it a lot, for car research.  But let the blog be the blog and the research site be the research site.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Coda Death Watch?

Bad news leaking from Coda,  according to inside sources off the record, Coda has laid off a large portion of its employees.

The other day, my employer hired someone who was formerly working at Coda.  I heard that he said that things were "tough" over at Coda.

Now, has information that Coda has laid off around 50 employees, which represents something like 50% of their employees.  

Is the Coda about to go the way of the Aptera?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Coda Flunks Front Crash Test

The NHTSA has released the test results of their crash testing for the Coda electric sedan, and amazingly, it flunked.  Coda only got 2/5 stars for the driver in a head on crash, while oddly doing quite will on side impacts.  It still gets a 4/5 overall rating due to its good performance in side impact and rollover, but a bad driver score in a front crash test is a major disappointment.

Not a good showing for the first Chinese built sedan to go on sale in the U.S.

Friday, December 07, 2012

How To Get Your 45MPG+

So you bought a shiny new hybrid, maybe a C-Max rated at 47mpg, or maybe a Prius rated at 46mpg.  You start driving it to work, and you are disappointing that that instead of mid-40's mpg, you are getting something like 37mpg.  

What you need to do is drive like the EPA's FTP75 drive cycle.

You need to have a lot of stop-and-go driving, from 0 to 30mph back to zero, with moderate acceleration.  This will maximize your regen braking and recharge your battery.
And, you need to drive an average of around 55mph for the highway portion.  All of this needs to be done on relatively flat ground, with minimal headwind.

Another trick, you need to limit your trip to the length of the EPA75 drive cycle, which is 1874s long (31.2 min).  If you drive longer, you'll use more gasoline, and get lower fuel economy; if you can drive shorter, you'll see even better numbers.

I'm only partly joking.  The biggest factor in fuel economy at highway speeds is, well, the highway speed.  If you can slow it down from 70mph to 60mph, you'll see big improvements in your fuel economy.  

(Graphic courtesy of Detroit News)
Inline image 1

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Right To Work and Unemployment

There is a raging debate in Michigan now over "Right To Work" laws, which are being proposed by the Republican controlled state legislature.  RTW would allow workers in a union shop to refuse to pay dues if they don't want to be members.

This chart, which I made, is a histogram of unemployment rates (as of Oct 2012) in Right To Work ("RTW") and Forced Union ("FU") states.

As you can see, RTW states have a lower distribution of unemployment rate, and FU states skew higher.

Now, correlation does not necessarily mean causation... but the trend is clear.  RTW states have lower unemployment rates.

The $550 Car Battery

Braille Battery is going to start selling an aftermarket car battery which uses the lithium ion chemistry instead of lead acid.  It will weigh only about 6lbs, and is claimed to hold its charge, maintain voltage under load, and recharge better than a lead acid battery.  

But this cutting edge battery will cost you: MSRP is $550, or about 5x a normal lead acid battery.

You can read the PR here. 

Monday, December 03, 2012

Lincoln Motor Company

Ford is re-branding (or, maybe, re-re-branding?) Lincoln as Lincoln Motor Company.  
Personally, I'm not sure it matters, everyone knows that Lincoln shares platforms with Fords.
The key is to get some interesting product out there, soon, before people drift away completely.  The MKZ looks promising.
One tidbit is hopeful:  From Paul Eisenstein: "Rear-wheel-drive is definitely in the works," one of Ford's top executives confirmed in a background conversation with
Let's hope so!  Based on the lack of rear wheel drive platforms at Ford (you have Mustang and Falcon in Australia) I am guessing they are looking at the obvious and resurrecting the Lincoln Coupe, based on Mustang.  Will they call it the MK9?