The new motto is "value for money".

First, Volkswagen did it with Skoda, and it seems that Renault is going the same way with the Dacia brand.

If you remember, for a while Skodas were cheap and usually based on older Volkswagen mechanical platforms, and then after excellent sales results, they started arriving at slightly higher prices.

Renault is now targeting higher margins for the Dacia brand, which it has owned for more than two decades. The new motto is "value for money", and the goal is not just to sell cheap cars.

Margins are now 10 percent, CEO Luca de Meo said in his updated strategic plan on Tuesday, and the markup will reach 15 percent by 2030.

It is a level similar to that now achieved by premium brands such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, writes Automotive News Europe.

Dacia is now ready to attack the more profitable compact segment, starting with the current seven-seat Jogger crossover. A compact SUV, the Bigster, should appear in 2024, followed by two more compact models by 2030.

"Dacia will boldly enter the compact segment, where the margins are at least twice as high as in the vehicle segment it is in today," said de Meo, who describes the Romanian brand as "the golden nugget of the Renault company."

It seems that a model like the Sandero will remain an important lure for buyers, but the idea is to move into segments where profits are much higher.

Thursday, 17 November 2022 05:35

Five tips to extend the life of your car

It often happens that in the event of a car breakdown, the cost of repair is significantly higher than if proper maintenance had been performed. The advice "prevention is better than cure" also applies to cars, and timely car care and regular maintenance can save you a lot of money.

Postponing car maintenance can be very expensive, as it often happens that the repair amount is many times higher than the cost of regular maintenance. Breakdowns are the main reason a car needs service, so consider these five tips to extend the life of your four-wheeler.

1. Importance of preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance is important in order to achieve greater savings. For example, loss of antifreeze has been shown to be a very common failure that can cause a major problem and therefore increase costs. If not repaired, the engine may overheat, causing the head gasket to fail. In this way, the final cost of the repair is higher than it was at the beginning, and the vehicle will have to spend more time in the service. The bigger the defect, the higher the cost and the more time it takes to repair it.

2. Perform regular service

In addition to this annual inspection, a periodic inspection of wear components such as tires, brakes, shock absorbers, steering, oil level and other fluids is recommended. According to experts, these checks are very important in order to detect early symptoms of potential major failures in the future. Timely diagnosis is key to reducing the possibility of a major failure.

3. Follow the manufacturer's specifications regarding regular service

During regular services, the wear of various parts of the vehicle is controlled and analyzed. This inspection can be annual, or after a certain number of kilometers driven. You should keep in mind that regular service cannot be done outside the manufacturer's official service centers without losing the warranty.

4. See a professional

At the slightest sign of wear or damage, the best option is to take the vehicle to a professional service as soon as possible. If a warning light comes on on the dashboard, do not ignore it. Any breakdown should be repaired as soon as possible, as it can potentially cause even bigger problems with the vehicle.

5. Check the car in case of an accident

If you had an accident or just a slight knock, the car should be checked. What appears to be a simple knock on the sheet metal can lead to more serious failures in the future that cannot be seen with the naked eye. As Auto Klub writes, in the event of an accident, there are elements of the vehicle that can be affected and which are initially not given the importance they deserve, such as the operation of airbags, seat belts or windshields.

Wednesday, 16 November 2022 13:26

2024 Mazda CX-70 Review

Mazda is growing its SUV setup to incorporate another two-line fair size model called the CX-70. It rides on another stage and is supposed to be more lavish than the brand's more modest CX-5 and CX-50 SUVs. A module half breed drivetrain is probably going to be accessible, alongside an inline-six motor with a 48-volt mixture framework — like the powertrains found in numerous BMW and Mercedes models. While Mazda hasn't yet uncovered the CX-70, we anticipate that it should seem to be like the Europe-market CX-60 (imagined) yet highlight a more extensive body. Its inside will offer more space than the CX-5's and will probably be wearing premium materials.

What's going on for 2024?

The CX-70 is an all-new SUV that in the middle of between the minimal CX-50 and the three-column CX-9. Mazda is currently overhauling its scope of hybrids and says there will be another new model called the CX-90 coming soon also.

Evaluating and Which One to Purchase

Estimating for the CX-70 hasn't been declared, yet we anticipate that it should offer a comparable scope of trim levels as other Mazda models. All-wheel drive will be standard no matter how you look at it, yet we don't know precisely which powertrain designs will be standard and discretionary. Search for the module crossover arrangement to cost a piece extra.

Motor, Transmission, and Execution

We think the CX-70 will offer a decision of either an inline-six gas motor with a 48-volt crossover framework or a module half breed drivetrain with a 2.5-liter inline-four. The inline-six will probably create upwards of 300 drive and put its power through an eight-speed programmed transmission. The module mixture model is supposed to share its powertrain with the CX-60, which offers a joined result of 323 pull and 369 pound-feet of force and claims an electric traveling scope of 39 miles. Under the CX-70 is Mazda's new stage highlighting a longitudinal motor design, which in principle could empower both back and all-wheel drive — however all CX-70s will come norm with the last option. This design means to give taking care of, execution and refinement more much the same as extravagance SUVs from BMW and Mercedes when contrasted and standard SUVs, which use front-drive based cross over motor stages. It likewise empowers the planners to give the CX-70 the scramble to-front-hub extents of the costly back drive extravagance vehicles and SUVS.

The CX-70 will be a two-line model with space for five travelers. To oblige its more upscale twisted, the CX-70 will have a more pleasant lodge than many comparatively valued rivals. In the event that the CX-60's inside is any sign, it will offer extravagant materials, for example, woven materials, Nappa cowhide, and wood trim that make for an alluring dashboard plan.

Infotainment and Availability

We think the CX-70 will have an infotainment screen as extensive as 12.3-inches, like the screen that is prepared on the comparative CX-60 worldwide model. It will be constrained by a revolving handle on the mid control area. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto cell phone availability highlights ought to be standard hardware.

The most effective method to Purchase AND Keep A Vehicle

Security and Driver-Help Elements

Most Mazda models offer an extensive variety of driver-help highlights as standard hardware and we don't expect the CX-70 to be any unique. Key security elements will probably include:

  • Standard programmed crisis slowing down
  • Standard path takeoff cautioning and path keep help
  • Standard vulnerable side observing

The verdict

The 2023 Honda Civic Type R capitalizes on the benefits of the mainstream Civic’s new-for-2022 platform and retains all of what made the previous-generation Type R great, while dialing back its aggressive exterior styling.

Versus the competition: The new Type R debuts with more close competitors than its predecessor had. The Hyundai Elantra N, Toyota GR Corolla and Volkswagen Golf R are key rivals, track-focused compact cars that offer manual transmissions and horsepower ratings in the ballpark of the Civic Type R — and all of them are similarly exciting to drive.

American enthusiasts rejoiced when Honda saw fit to bring its top-performance Civic Type R model to the U.S. for the 2017 model year. Prior to that, the Civic Type R was forbidden fruit, offered in select foreign markets from 1997 but never available in North America. When the ‘17 Civic Type R finally launched here, however, its hyper-aggressive exterior styling gave many shoppers pause.

Though it might have looked like a vehicular extra from the first three “Fast and Furious” movies, the 2017-21 Civic Type R’s outlandish, boy-racer looks covered a finely honed track machine with an astutely tuned chassis and smooth, strong turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The Type R offered racetrack-ready performance with a livable character in everyday driving, and even came with a few upscale interior touches that gave it a classier vibe than your everyday Civic.

The Type R took a one-year breather when the Civic was redesigned for the 2022 model year, and it returns on the car’s new platform for 2023. The basic concept stays the same: front-wheel drive, a four-door hatchback body style and lots of high-performance hardware. At Honda’s invitation, I drove the new Civic Type R on the road in California’s Napa Valley area and briefly on the track at Sonoma Raceway. (Per our ethics policy, pays for its own airfare and lodging when attending such manufacturer-sponsored events.)

Upgrades Under the Hood

Like the previous-gen Civic Type R, the new one is powered by Honda’s K20C1 turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder, but the engine gets a few noteworthy upgrades. The turbocharger is new, the air intake flow rate has been increased, and a new active-valve exhaust system increases exhaust flow by 13% over the previous-gen Type R. The result is 315 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 310 pounds-feet of torque from 2,600-4,000 rpm (improvements of 9 hp and 15 pounds-feet over the previous Type R). Engine cooling has also been improved via a larger front bumper opening, larger radiator and larger-diameter cooling fan.

As before, the engine is paired exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission — an automatic is not offered. Honda says the flywheel is 18% lighter than before, reducing rotational inertia, sharpening engine response and enabling quicker engine rev matching from the automatic rev-matching system.

Girded Loins

The basic Civic body structure receives a few rigidity-improving measures for Type R duty. Honda says it used 3.8 times more structural adhesives in critical areas and implemented structural enhancements in various components of the body and chassis architecture.

The car’s track is 1 inch wider in front and 0.75 inch wider in back than the previous Type R, and the wheels and tires are a bit wider, as well: lightweight 19-inch alloys fitted with unique Michelin Pilot Sport 4S P265/30R19 tires. (Honda Performance 19-inch forged-alloy wheels and track-focused Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires are available accessories.) The brakes have been upgraded to Brembo 13.8-inch two-piece rotors with four-piston calipers up front and 12-inch rotors in back. Honda says brake cooling has been improved through increased airflow through the front end.

Handling-focused suspension revisions include stiffer spring rates and larger, stiffer stabilizer bars front and rear. An adaptive suspension system automatically adjusts damping based on driving conditions and drive-mode selection.

On Track and Street

Uncharacteristically rainy weather in California on the day of the press event meant we were unable to push the Type R close to its limits at Sonoma Raceway, but we nonetheless got a decent sampling of its capabilities. Though wet pavement occasionally showcased the traction limitations of pushing 315 hp through the front wheels, the Type R is a ferociously capable cornerer and tenacious performer all around that remains livable in street driving despite its track-focused enhancements.

The Type R has four driver-selectable modes (Comfort, Sport, Plus R and a customizable Individual setting) that alter engine response, steering assist, suspension damping, engine sound, rev-match speed and the digital gauge cluster. In Comfort mode, the suspension is acceptably compliant over rough pavement and most bumps. The Plus R mode is best reserved for racetracks and pristine roads; it significantly stiffens the suspension and amplifies the car’s snarky character. In any driving mode, the brakes supply impressive, confidence-inspiring stopping power.

High-performance turbocharged four-cylinders aren’t typically low-end torque monsters — they need higher engine rpm for the turbocharger to spool up and provide boost for truly strong acceleration. By these standards, the Type R does exceptionally well: It pulls smoothly and strongly from relatively low rpm, and the turbo’s boost arrives in a steady, predictable-but-still-exciting fashion, accompanied by a raspy snarl from the exhaust that’s music to enthusiast ears.

The manual transmission is also a delight. It’s agreeable and easy to use thanks to a smooth, progressive clutch pedal and an excellent short-throw shifter with a precise, mechanical action. However, I wasn’t thrilled with the egg-shaped shift knob — the more traditional ball-shaped knob of the previous Type R felt more natural in my hand and easier to grip firmly. Honda offers an accessory leather-wrapped shift knob; I might opt for that instead.

Selecting the Plus R drive mode switches the digital gauge panel from traditional analog-style tachometer and speedometer dials to a racecar-style display with a horizontal tach and a prominent gear-position readout. There are also separate shift-indicator lights above the gauge cluster that illuminate progressively as the engine nears its redline. When it’s time to downshift, the rev-matching system automatically blips the throttle for smooth gear changes. (You can turn this feature off if you’re better at heel-and-toe shifting than I am.)

Speaking of performance displays, the Type R’s updated LogR Performance Datalogger system should delight the track-rat crowd. It’s now a stand-alone app (no smartphone is required) and boasts a plethora of digital gauges, including a G-meter display, engine oil temperature and pressure, intake air temperature, turbo boost pressure, steering angle and accelerator opening angle, to name a few. Also included are a stopwatch for recording lap times, integrated track maps for notable race courses across the country and even an “Auto Score” function that generates a driver score based on the smoothness of their acceleration, braking and steering.

Seeing Red Inside

The Type R’s interior gets several performance-themed trim touches, such as red carpeting, contrast stitching and seat belts; faux suede upholstery on the front seats, door panel inserts and center console armrest; aluminum pedals; and a serial-numbered Type R badge on the dash. The main upgrades are the aforementioned short-throw shifter and a pair of sport front seats with pronounced bolsters and dual belt pass-throughs (for aftermarket racing-style harnesses). The previous-gen Type R’s front seats struck a near-ideal balance between snugness and support for aggressive driving on a racetrack and livable comfort for everyday driving and longer trips. The new seats offer a similar mix of comfort and support, though they’re a bit tighter on my backside than I remember the previous Type R’s seats being.

Those pronounced seat bolsters complicate entry and exit a bit since you can’t slide over them easily. The Civic also has a fairly low driving position for a mainstream compact car. This enhances the high-performance feel of the Type R but necessitates a deeper drop into the seats and a higher climb out than you might expect. The seats don’t offer any lumbar adjustments or heating, and the integrated head restraints aren’t adjustable.

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Compared to the front seats, the Type R’s rear seats feel very much like an afterthought. Not only do they not get the same flashy red upholstery — they’re covered in plain old black cloth, jazzed up only by the red seat belts and a bit of red contrast stitching — they make do with a plastic dual cupholder insert plunked right in the middle of the bottom cushion. There’s no flip-down rear armrest and no provision for a middle rear-seat passenger.

Practical Considerations

One of the nice things about the Civic Type R is simply that it’s a Honda Civic hatchback — a spacious, practical compact car that boasts a rear seat that can comfortably accommodate average-sized adult passengers and a versatile cargo area that offers space on par with (or more than) many subcompact SUVs.

The Type R also benefits from the improvements of the new-for-2022 Civic. The thinner, more upright windshield pillars and door-mounted side mirrors are visibility aids especially beneficial in high-performance driving. The standard Bose premium audio system sounds great, the Honda Sensing suite of active-safety features gets welcome updates including a new camera that can see farther and has a wider field of view, and the Type R now comes with blind spot warning and traffic sign recognition.

Boy Racer Begone (Mostly)

Honda has dialed back on the outlandish styling of the old Type R, but there’s still plenty to differentiate it from an Si or other mainstream Civic. In fact, other than the front doors, roof and hatchback liftgate, the Type R’s body panels and add-on components are unique, aimed at improving aerodynamic and cooling performance or increasing downforce for better high-speed stability.

The gaping front end sports a honeycomb-pattern grille and ducts for brake cooling. The hood is made of aluminum for weight savings, and it has a large vent for dissipating radiator heat and minimizing airflow resistance. Wider, flared front and rear fenders cover the wider tires. Unlike the previous-gen Type R, which wore separate rear fender flares that looked a bit tacked on, the new Type R has rear fenders with integrated flares. The rear doors are unique to the Type R, as well, flaring out to meet the wider rear fenders for a smoother, more cohesive look that Honda says also aids aerodynamics.

As with the previous Type R, a large rear wing is part of the package. It has aluminum stanchions and, thankfully, is positioned so that it doesn’t interfere with the view out the rear window — it sits just below the top of the window opening, above the driver’s sightline. A carbon-fiber wing is available as an accessory option.

The Bottom Line

Like its predecessor, the new Civic Type R is essentially an all-in, mono-spec offering — it comes in a single well-equipped trim level with everything standard. The Civic Type R is arriving at Honda dealers now, with a starting price of $43,990 (all prices include destination). The only factory option is exterior color, and there are just five of those: Crystal Black Pearl and Rallye Red are no extra cost; Boost Blue Pearl, Championship White and Sonic Gray Pearl are $395.

That’s still a serious jump over the $38,910 sticker of the regular-edition 2021 Type R, but it’s comparable to a few of the Type R’s key competitors: The redesigned-for-2022 Volkswagen Golf R, starts at $45,385, and the new-for-2023 Toyota GR Corolla starts at $43,995 in comparably equipped Circuit Edition trim. Both of those rivals have all-wheel drive, which the Type R doesn’t offer, and the GR Corolla also comes as a pared-down Core model that starts at a more accessible $36,995. The delightful Hyundai Elantra N is more affordable still and starts at $33,745. Its 276-hp, turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder gives up 39 hp to the Type R, but the N offers a similar roster of track-focused enhancements that make it a hoot to drive as well.

Given the realities of today’s new-car marketplace, where trucks and SUVs are the dominant body style, it’s a happy development that performance enthusiasts have this many solid hot-rod compacts from which to choose — and all of them are invigorating to drive and cost less than the current average transaction price of a new vehicle.


Wednesday, 16 November 2022 06:35

Audi got a new logo - modernization of tradition

The four rings, of course, remain, but are now integrated into the black background.

In the auto industry, the fashion of changing logos has taken hold, and even Audi has not resisted this trend.

Instead of 3D effects, which were used by almost all car manufacturers for their emblems, today 2D simplicity is at the price.

Audi is another brand that has embraced this trend, introducing a new 2D mark for its vehicles and brand-wide branding.

The four rings remain, but are now integrated into the black background.

The idea of ​​a 2D Audi logo dates back to 2016, but it didn't really take off until 2020, when the German automaker began rethinking its corporate identity, deciding that it wanted the four rings to look the same everywhere.

The first new model to receive a new emblem on the front fascia is the recently presented Audi Q8 e-tron.

And finally, a little reminder. Until now, the Audi logo looked like this:

The sales margins enjoyed by the American electric car manufacturer Tesla are just a dream for traditional manufacturers. Tesla as a company started slowly, but for years it has been proving that it is possible to profit from electric vehicles.

The best example of Tesla's sales margins is their comparison with one of the world's largest car manufacturers - the Japanese Toyota. According to the latest financial results, Tesla earns as much as eight times more per car sold than the Japanese icon of the automotive industry.

Toyota has been at the top in terms of the number of cars sold for decades, and it can definitely be said that the Japanese company has the knowledge and skill to create successful products that bring profit. What's more, while Toyota hasn't turned to all-electric cars as quickly as many manufacturers, most of their lineup is hybrid-powered, and some of them are available as plug-in hybrids.

On the other hand, Tesla still produces only four electric models (5 if the Semi truck is also counted). That's why it's interesting how Tesla earns eight times more per car sold than Toyota. Although the math is not that precise, the fact that Tesla makes much more per unit cannot be disputed.

During the third quarter of this year, the American company reported $3.29 billion in profit, while Toyota's profit for the same period was $3.15 billion. During those three months, Toyota delivered eight times more vehicles to customers than Tesla globally.

At the end of last week, the European Commission proposed a regulation with new rules for reducing emissions from motor vehicles called Euro 7, which for the first time regulate the emissions of particles and microplastics that arise from the use of tires and brakes.

The new Euro 7 norm will replace the previous one, which has separate rules for emissions from cars and light commercial vehicles (Euro 6), and for trucks and buses (Euro VI).

The new Euro 7 standard introduces a single set of rules for limiting emissions for all motor vehicles. The new standard sets the same emission limits for all vehicles regardless of whether the vehicle uses gasoline, diesel, electric propulsion or alternative fuels. The draft regulation includes emissions from exhaust pipes, as well as brakes and tires.

This means that producers, and therefore buyers, will have a higher cost when producing, that is, buying, above all, diesel cars, which will now have to reach a slightly lower level of exhaust gases of gasoline cars.

All new cars on the European Union market will have to have zero CO2 emissions from 2035, but more than 20 percent of cars and vans, as well as more than half of heavy vehicles in 2050, are expected to still emit gases from their tailpipes.

Unlike internal combustion engines, electric vehicles have no exhaust fumes, but they still cause pollution from brakes and microplastics from tires. The new rules set additional limits on particulate emissions from brakes and microplastics from tires, and they will apply to all vehicles, even electric ones.

"We are the first in the world to regulate emissions from tires and brakes," said European Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton. The new rules also set emission limits for previously unregulated pollutants, such as nitrogen oxide emissions from heavy-duty vehicles.

As N1 writes, the European Commission believes that emissions of solid particles, which are caused by the use of brakes, will decrease by 27 percent by 2035. The plan is to reduce the emission of nitrogen oxides by 35 percent for passenger cars and vans compared to Euro 6, and by 56 percent for trucks and buses compared to the Euro VI standard.

"We cannot accept a society where air pollution is the cause of more than 300,000 premature deaths in the EU annually. The new rules will help us breathe safer and help the automotive sector become greener and more resilient," said Margrethe Vestager, Vice President of the European Commission.

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