Awesome or Scary? Manhattan Bridge Bounces Around All Day

Daniel Lewis

Manhattan Bridge
Manhattan Bridge

For those of you who may have slept through science class in grade school, this may be terrifying. To me, it’s an awesome way of showing great science in action. Since I am not the greatest teacher of this stuff in the world, I will let PBS explain it to you:

Bridge Basics
Bridge Basics

“Suspension Bridge: Forces
In all suspension bridges, the roadway hangs from massive steel cables, which are draped over two towers and secured into solid concrete blocks, called anchorages, on both ends of the bridge. The cars push down on the roadway, but because the roadway is suspended, the cables transfer the load into compression in the two towers. The two towers support most of the bridge’s weight.” PBS.org

And now, here is a video showing the Manhattan Bridge in action:

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Audi A5 Sportback

We Americans are yet again slapped in the face, with Audi launching the A5 Sportback in Europe but no plans to introduce the car to the US market. With three engine options – the 180bhp or 211bhp 2.0L TFSI, or the 265bhp 3.2 V6 – and three diesel engine options – the 170bhp 2.0 TDI, the 190bhp 2.7L TDI and the 240bh 3.0L TDI – the Sportback is being positioned as the entry level model in the A5 model series (although we think it belongs more in the A4 line up).

Sure, we’ve been critics of manufacturers offering an excessive number of trim levels for each model in their line up, but the A5 Sportback sure looks pretty and wouldn’t look out of place in the driveway of anyone here in the good old US of A.

 

Sourcebox

Audi of America, Inc.
2200 Ferdinand Porsche Drive
Herndon, VA 20171
1-800-FOR-AUDI (367-2834)

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Funniest Car Classified Ever

Daniel Lewis

Stunting Accord
Accord For Sale

This has got to be one of the greatest for sale ads I have seen for a car. The seller states that the vehicle is a 1987 gold Honda Accord with 13″ wheels. Apparently, this car will allow the owner to achieve a high status in their neighborhood. Also, if you are a skilled driver, the car has jumping capabilities and do wheelies. How could you say no, right? The reason why they want to sell the car is that, “it’s too damn ballin for us”. Click the link to see more pictures. KSL Car Classifieds

“1987 GOLD honda accord on 13s..Talk about getn STATUS in the HOOD… It does RUN…really it does. Has New tires, New gold 2 hours custom spray paint job of 6 cans @6.23 a can, and stunts on 13” chrome hubcaps. Has radiator leak. Drives okay… but you have to keep putting coolant in it… but experts say thats with most off road cars anyways. It has dings and dents on the body. The car does have jumping capabilities and can ride a wheelie on front and back wheels with a skilled driver of course…Do not attempt if you suck @ driving. Reason for selling: it’s too damn ballin for us. We want to tone it down a bit and maybe get a Rally Van. I only put PREMIUM 91 gas in it and change the oil every 20 jumps and not a jump more! Pick up this ballin whip for cash money only.. for a steal @ A REDUCED price thats bustin my balls for $250 O.B.O or 250 items off the dolla menu. or trade for something else that runs of equal or better value preferable better. “PS: okay due to all the fan email for this ad, i’ve been asked who we are and is this really a real ad.. yes it is for sale, I’ll answer the questions later on. If you want MORE stay TUNED for the video footage.. It will be getting jumped this weekend yes the 24th… I can’t believe all the emails and how fast this has traveled around haha. myspace.com/smokinggrits thanks again for all the mail haha i hope you enjoyed it as much as we have-

JD-“

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2009 Nissan cube: What The Heck Is That? REDUX

feature_by_johnchoi

cube_front_quarter_profile1Photos courtesy of Nissan North America

Introduction

In 2004, the Scion xB (or the Toyota bB as it is originally known as in Japan) set a new trend in the automotive marketplace with its quirky design, affordable pricing and a marketing push that specifically targeted younger, first time buyers. Indeed, the first few xB’s that roamed the streets often solicited a universal response: “What the heck is that?” The first generation xB drew quite a crowd, young AND old, to dealerships across the country to take a closer look and, more often than not, take home the Kleenex box on wheels.

Fast forward to the present. The xB has morphed into something much less than its original self, losing that design “edge” and the fuel efficiency of the 1.5L engine, however anemic the power delivery may have been. And with these changes, the obligatory price of entry has gone up as well. The xB was no longer innovative nor affordable, distancing itself from the very qualities that made it so appealing to so many.

Thankfully, a new generation of the Kleenex box is hitting American car dealers and bringing back “the funk” in a major way.

First Impressions

cube_rear4

The Nissan cube (yes, it’s lower case). Striking. Striking in a funky kind of way. The overall design is very organic in form, with no hard angles or solid corners to be found – which is rather the opposite of its namesake. The rear window wraps around to the passenger side, creating an asymmetric visual effect. The front driver and passenger window openings look more like portholes, as if you are looking through openings on a small submarine. The front fascia with its prominent headlights and low rear bumper treatment create an instant reminder of something… although that “something” isn’t apparent at first. Personally speaking, the word “octopus” comes to mind.

  • Step inside and the organic theme continues – everything is characterized by soft lines and rounded corners.
  • Unlike a commercial duty truck that is full of hard surfaces and sharp edges, the cube’s interior is inviting, a place where you COULD spend hours on end during a road trip; the seats, although lacking any significant side bolstering, are supportive and comfortable, and wrapped in good quality fabric.

cube_headliner_ripple_effect

  • Look above and the headliner has a ripple effect, the dome light positioned as the centerpoint. The same treatment is found on the audio speakers and, to a lesser extent, on the HVAC controls, tying everything together.

cube_interior_dash

  • Our evaluation cube came equipped with a bevy of audio options – XM satellite radio, iPOD / USB connectivity, CD changer, AM / FM radio. The optional Rockford Fosgate sound system delivered decent bass with clean mids and highs
  • The cube is also offered in the top-of-the-line “Krom” trim level, with a special front fascia treatment, unique design wheels and a host of other unique equipment – was this trim level name inspired by the character Crom in the movie Tron? Or perhaps by Conan the Barbarian’s god, Crom?
  • There is sufficient room to comfortably seat 4 adults; even with yours truly at the wheel, with the driver’s seat slid all the way back, there was plenty of leg room available in the rear
  • Storage space in the main compartment is everywhere and optional bungee cords, that allow you to literally hang things on the door handles, are available as an option
  • With the windshield having little rake, it feels as if the front end is miles away when sitting in the front and takes a bit of getting used to
  • There is a bit of liftover required to load items into the trunk, with cargo space seemingly at a premium – sure, you can fold down the rear seats to create more space, but if the cube is already loaded with passengers, you’d better pack lightly

Driving Impressions

If you’re expecting GT-R-like performance, look elsewhere. More than a handful of other reviews on this car speak of the cube’s lack of power under the hood. But really, is that even a relevant comment to make? Is the cube buyer looking for sub-4 second 0-60 times? 12-second quarter mile times?

The Nissan cube is intended as a stylish people hauler with a low cost of entry. The 122-hp 4-cylinder is certainly peppy and permits quick getaways from stoplights. Surely, it’s no VQ38DETT found in the GT-R, but power delivery is smooth and linear. The continually variable transmission does a great job of delivering what power the Cube does brings to the table and makes the little wagon feel quite a bit more crisp and powerful than it really is. And when things do get a little dicey, it’s good to know that traction and stability control come as standard equipment on this Nissan.

Handling is definitely aided by the placement of all four wheels at the farthest points of each corner possible. This creates an ideal weight distribution over each wheel, creating handling characteristics that belie the tall design of the Cube. For those aftermarket-inclined, they may opt to upgrade the stock 16-inch wheels and 195-width tires, but the stock set up is more than sufficient for the most of us.

Braking was steady and consistent. Initial bite, even when cold, was good and predictable. Even though the Cube is equipped with drums in the rear, you would never know it unless you took a peek under the wheels.

In terms of fuel efficiency, the cube generated an average of 27.5 miles per gallon based on a 60/40, city to highway split. That’s excellent gas mileage from a vehicle that can transport 4 adults quite comfortably.

Conclusion

New car sales have been flat over the last twelve months due to the economy sinking like the Titanic and people opting to keep their cars longer. As a matter of fact, the ratio of used car sales to new car sales went from 3:1 in 2008 to 5:1 in 2009, according to RL Polk.

Newer model cars just aren’t that exciting any more. Same, mundane designs across the board, uninspiring performance and rising sticker prices plague offerings from many manufacturers. With that being said, it’s good to see Nissan take the leap and bring this quirky, fun car to US shores. It’s certainly worth a look for new car buyers looking for a car with personality, good performance and value for money. We’re betting that the Cube will give Toyota’s Scion offering a run for its money.

Sourcebox

Nissan North America
P.O. Box 685003
Franklin TN 37068-5003
(800) NISSAN-1

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