The world’s first plug-in hybrid SUV is here in the US. It comes with all sorts of goodies. Twin electric motors and a gasoline engine to generate electricity or additional power, 4WD, traction control, stability control, yaw control, cameras, laser radar, the list goes on. That stuff is all fancy and necessary, but lets look at the some of the extra cool accessories you can add on your own to make it stand out a little and be special for you.
Want to keep the top surface of the painted rear bumper free from damage and preserve the vehicle’s “like new” appearance? Then you may need a genuine Toyota rear bumper protector.
Loading and unloading groceries, luggage or any type of cargo can wreak havoc on a painted rear bumper, often leaving it scratched or scraped. Protecting your vehicle can be easily achieved using a genuine Toyota rear bumper protector. They are available in several materials depending on your model of vehicle.
The injection-molded black plastic version features a raised pattern and skid-resistant surface that offers protection to the bumper surface while also adding some custom good looks.
The clear polyurethane version also helps minimize damage while providing a nearly invisible, seamless look. Some of the clear versions have logos, protection with a bit of added class.
These are even some versions that use stainless steel in the materials to offer the additional protection.
The protectors are uniquely designed to properly fit the intricate, curved surfaces of each specific Toyota vehicle’s rear bumper.
General Motors is asking the Department of Transportation for permission to put their self-driving vehicles on the road in 2019. The first Production-Ready autonomous electric cars with no steering wheels or pedals have been named Cruise AV.
GM and Cruise Automation are combining over 100 years of automotive engineering experience with state-of-the-art software and hardware to create a Motor City/Silicon Valley matchup that can safely make driverless vehicles a reality.
Mazda rotary engine technology lives on. Since the last rotary powered RX-8 sports car was retired in 2012 there has been much speculation on when we would see another Mazda rotary engine in production.
In 2017 Mazda celebrated the 50 year anniversary of the first rotary powered production vehicle. Even though rotary power had been benched, research and development has continued to refine the technology and adapt it to other fuel sources including diesel and hydrogen.
Kenichi Yamamoto who led the effort to mass produce the rotary engine passed away in December 2017 at age 95. Known as the architect of the Mazda rotary he directed development in the 1960’s and later became Mazda’s president in 1985 and chairman in 1987. In addition to his many accomplishments with rotary while president he paved the way for production of the Miata.
A teaser in 2015 at the Tokyo Motor show of a RX-9 concept car fitted with a Skyactiv-R rotary engine has kept hope alive for fans that another rotary sports car may be on the way. There is confirmation that rotary research continues and rumors from development managers that a next generation rotary engine sports car is in the pipeline.
Who knew that underneath Mazda’s Research and Development facility in Irvine, California there is a basement full of historic Mazda vehicles. Not too surprising that Mazda would preserve a museum of heritage cars, but these vehicles are not there just for display, they are maintained to be ready to drive.
For those who enjoy tinkering on classic vehicles, to be in charge of keeping Mazda’s Heritage Collection of about 80 cars road ready would be a dream come true. Mazda Motorsports Engineer Randy Miller has this dream job of curator, restoration artist, race car engineer, fabricator and maintenance mechanic.
Randy’s dad helped him work on his own cars that led to an automotive degree. After some time at Mazda’s service shop he became a R&D engineering technician that led to a full-time position with the Heritage Collection.
Mazda continues to push to make its vehicles stand out from the crowd. Allowing its designers to have more freedom than most manufacturers to inject life and soul into the vehicles they are creating. It is a philosophy Mazda calls KODO – soul of motion.
At Mazda’s Master Craft event in Los Angeles the similarities between Mazda design clay modelers and artisan bread makers became apparent. Unlike other car companies who only use computers in new vehicle design, Mazda’s modeled-by-hand design using clay is present in every step of the design process. Using clay models rather than computers and mathematics can make a car’s crisp exterior lines seemingly disappear, evoking emotion through its more fluid form instead of being “boxy and boring.” Artisan bakers agreed that “Like clay modeling, we shape every loaf by hand. It’s all about scale, shape and creating an out-of-this-world product.”
Mazda uses more clay than any other manufacturer in its KODO design process. KODO design is about “creating cars that embody the dynamic beauty of life – cars that visually suggest different expressions of this energy”. While the initial digital design model visualizes the fine details and specific materials of a vehicle, it is the sculpting from clay that brings it to life, something Mazda believes is impossible to replicate digitally.
For many people it is more a question of “what is it?” or “do I really have one?” then “do I really need to need to replace it?” For the last decade many of the vehicles on the road have a cabin air filter. It is there to help clean the incoming air into the cabin area. It is usually a pleated filter much like the engine air filter, but its job is to keep dust, pollen, and other fine particles out of the air we breathe inside the vehicle.
Since there is such a large amount of debris in the air these days it is important to check and replace this filter on a regular basis. Even more critical if there are individuals with allergies, asthma, or other health issues involved. Mitsubishi recommends replacing the filter every 15,000 miles or 12 months in normal conditions. It depends on the conditions in your area. Dusty or smoggy areas move the recommendation to inspecting your filter to every 3,750 miles or 3 months. Check your owner’s manual for your vehicle’s schedule.