Pioneer Electronics Road Show and Buildoff 2009


pioneer_leadin1

Pioneer Electronics, purveyors of fine mobile and home electronics, invited the RevdCars.com gang down to Long Beach to check out their annual Road Show event. A special once-a-year event, the Road Show is a Pioneer dealer- and media-only event showcasing new products and technologies soon coming to a Pioneer Electronics dealer near you. This year’s Road Show focused on 4 new double-DIN in-dash navigation and multimedia headunits, ranging from $600 to $1,600 MSRP.

Pioneer AVIC-U310BT

Affordably priced at $600 MSRP, the AVIC-U310BT should be a hot seller. With a long list of features for the driver wanting a step up from the typical stock car stereo, this navigation headunit should perform quite well:

  • Full-color 4.3-inch WQVGA touch screen display
  • 2GB on-board memory
  • AVIC-FEEDS for customized POI lists
  • Built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling
  • iPod / iPhone control
  • 2 RCA pre-outs
  • XM / Sirius / HD Radio compatible
  • Pioneer’s Advanced Sound Retriever (ASR)

Pioneer AVIC-X710BT

The AVIC-X710BT ($900 MSRP) and the AVIC-X910BT ($1,100 MSRP) is the next evolutionary step from the U series. With a bigger screen and a host of other features, these two models should fit well the needs of most mobile electronics enthusiasts:

  • Full-color 5.8-inch high-resolution WVGA touch screen display
  • AVIC-FEEDS for customized POI lists
  • Voice control for iPod / iPhone and compatible mobile phones
  • Built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling
  • iPod / iPhone control
  • 3 RCA pre-outs
  • XM / Sirius / HD Radio compatible
  • Pioneer’s Advanced Sound Retriever (ASR)
  • Built-in MSN Direct tuner (AVIC-X910BT)
  • DVD playback (AVIC-X910BT)

Pioneer AVIC-Z110BT

As Pioneer’s flagship in-dash navigation product, the AVIC-Z110BT ($1,600 MSRP) elevates the game even further over its Z-series predecessors:

  • Full-color 7-inch high-resolution touch screen display
  • Customized touch screen interface
  • Highway Signboard Guidance
  • Voice input for navigation
  • 4GB on-board memory
  • Built-in MSN Direct tuner
  • DVD playback
  • AVIC-FEEDS for customized POI lists
  • Voice control for iPod / iPhone and compatible mobile phones
  • Built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling
  • iPod / iPhone control
  • 3 RCA pre-outs
  • XM / Sirius / HD Radio compatible
  • Pioneer’s Advanced Sound Retriever (ASR)

Last but not least, a select group of Pioneer dealers were tasked with building SQ (sound quality) oriented sound systems in demo vehicles utilizing various Pioneer mobile electronics products. In keeping with the sign / mood of the times, builds were kept someone on the low key side, including budgets. Regardless, the builds reflected a very high level of creativity, quality, and, of course, clean delivery of music. Congrats to these Pioneer dealers for putting together an awesome presentation.

Sourcebox

Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.
Long Beach, CA
www.pioneerelectronics.com

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Shoot to Kill!

distraction

How many of you have seen what’s depicted above? A mindless, careless driver completely distracted by “multitasking” while driving a car? Obviously, it’s not just about putting on make up or holding a cell phone while driving. I’ve seen people read books and newspapers, text messaging, reading emails, eat and even put on mascara while using the mirror in the flip down visor!

State governments have been on a frenzy lately, making text messaging and using a mobile phone (while holding the handset) illegal and subject to getting pulled over and fined. Sure, that’s a start but here in California, at least, it’s been a weak effort at best. I’ve been almost run off the road by more than a handful of stupid drivers who can’t bother to look over their shoulders before changing lanes. Several of them had the audacity to flip me off because I used the horn the remind them that they almost ran me off the road. And it’s not limited to any single vehicle type or demographic either. You’re just as likely to see the same stupid and illegal behavior from drivers of old POS clunkers to, get this, drivers of a Lamborghini Gallardo and a Maserati Gran Turismo. I understand if you drive a POS, you might not have the funds to buy a Bluetooth headset, but a Lambo? A Maserati? YOU have absolutely NO EXCUSE for not having a hands free system in your car. Both cars have built-in hands-free systems if I am not mistaken. Or perhaps you aren’t smart enough to figure out how to connect your phone to your car??!!

In California, the fine for the first mobile phone offense is $25. Of course, this fine gets raised to a little under $100 by the time the courts tack on all sorts of fees, but it isn’t enough. They seriously need to raise the fine to, say, $500 for the first offense, $1,000 for the second, and so on. Until the authorities gets serious about cracking down and imposing stiff penalties on these idiots, the same jackass behavior will continue.

Rather than raising car registration fees as they have done in California, punishing all residents, why not truly punish the worthy instead?

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Mitsubishi Triton or New Zealand Goat?? Now You Can Have Both!

Daniel Lewis

For some of you who have been hit hard by the recession, you may have a hard time deciding on what you need more. Do you need a fuel efficient, 1.8 ton tow capacity, versatile truck, or a goat who has fleece, milk, and gets rid of weeds in an eco-friendly way? Tough choice right? Well in New Zealand, when you purchase a new Mitsubishi Triton before August, you now get a free goat! You hear that? That’s the sound of a recession-stricken nation rejoicing!!!

Mitsubishi Triton

In a drive to help the rural community stave off the recession, Mitsubishi Motors is supporting primary productivity by offering a free goat with every new Triton sold before August.

“We firmly believe that New Zealand’s recovery is in the hands of the rural sector and they’re the people who are buying our utes,” said MMNZ general manager of sales and marketing Peter Wilkins. “Goats, like our Tritons, are hardy, versatile units, which will integrate directly into existing farm operations”.

“Goats improve farm productivity by providing an environmentally friendly defence against noxious weeds and they’re a lot cheaper than toxic sprays”.

“Goats also provide export commodities that can help improve our balance of payments. They grow a fine micron fleece, much like the renowned Merino, which can be used to produce high-quality garments. Goat’s milk provides a nutritious alternative for the growing number of lactose intolerant people and while goat meat is seldom featured in Western restaurants, developing countries consume vast quantities,” said Mr Wilkins.

“And, most importantly, there is no such thing as Goat Flu – so no threat to tourism. It’s hard to see a downside,” he added.

“At MMNZ, we are aware that three years of drought has severely depleted sheep and beef populations, so what better time to ‘float the goat’?” said Mr Wilkins. “We’ll supply a free goat with every Triton sold before August and do our bit to loosen the grip of the recession”.

“On the off chance that the purchaser already has enough goats or feels that goat herding is better left to those in drier climes, we’ll supply a ‘no goat package’ consisting of a five-year/100,000km extended warranty, five free WOF inspections, 5,000km road user charges, five years of roadside assistance and $500 of genuine or approved Triton accessories,” Mr Wilkins said. [Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand]

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Now, You Can Even Drink Motorsports

Daniel Lewis

I think this is the sweetest wine bottle I’ve ever seen. I don’t really care what it tastes like. What I do know is that I want a bottle of this in my house. After searching through Google, it was pretty hard for me to find a price (~$70), and I still haven’t found a place where I could buy this bad boy.

Neil Ashmead GTS

Neil Ashmead GTS
bottle3

“Elderton’s Neil Ashmead GTS 2008 Grand Tourer Shiraz is a tribute wine who’s packaging celebrates the life and loves of the late Neil Ashmead, a passionate South Australian wine man who had a lust for life and a love of fast cars.

Playing on Neil’s passions and reflecting his outgoing personality, the design pays homage to the Holden GTS – complete with go-fast stripes, shark gills and topped with a 6-speed gear stick. A winner’s wreath neck-label completes the package.” TheDieline.com

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Cheap Thrills: Turtle Wax ICE Wheel Cleaner

turtle_wax_ice_wheel_cleaner
I have to admit that one of the biggest reasons why I hold off washing my car is cleaning the wheels. As I am sure many of you will agree, it really is a pain in the butt, especially if the wheels have an intricate design with all those nooks and crannies that hide / hold brake dust and grime like no other. And when they are some pricey wheels like the Volk CE-28N wheels on the in-house Evo IX MR, you don’t want to use a cheap product that may scratch or damage such expensive wheels.

While visiting the local Pep Boys, I noticed a new wheel cleaning product from Turtle Wax – ICE Wheel & Tire Cleaner. With a solution in a spray bottle and a detachable wheel brush, it looked like a worthy product to check out. I had been looking for a soft wheel brush that could fit within and between the spokes of the CE-28Ns without banging things up. Of special concern was finding a brush that could fit into the center section of the wheel, where the Rays lugnuts are quite recessed for any ordinary wheel brush to fit. The ICE brushhead looked like it could do the job.

In practice, the product works really well. Pulling the trigger produces a foamy spray, which do a great job of clinging to the wheel surface, pulling off much of the brake dust and grime. And the brushhead is very effective in doing final clean up duties on the wheels, especially handy for the tight confines at the center of the wheels, where lugnuts tend to hide / mask surrounding contamination. Compared to the old way of cleaning wheels – with a microfiber towel and solution – using the ICE system definitely cut down on wheel cleaning time. So much so that I may actually clean them on a regular basis rather than waiting for the wheels become so dirty that they look like bronze anodized wheels from all the accumulated dirt and brake dust!

I do have a question and a comment for the folks at Turtle Wax, however. How safe is the solution for the sensitive clearcoats on aftermarket wheels? And I would recommend coating the brush handle area with a thin layer of rubber so that the plastic handle that could mar or scratch the wheel being cleaned. Will have to wait to see what the folks at Turtle Wax have to say.

P.S. – all of our “Cheap Thrills’ product reviews are unendorsed, honest-to-goodness evaluations; we pay for the product ourselves and try it out; whether it’s stellar or just plain sucks, we’ll definitely you know!

Sourcebox

Turtle Wax, Inc.
P.O. Box 247
Westmont, IL 60559-0247
1-800-Turtle Wax

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MPG Power Tour, May 2009

Daniel Lewis

As American Express would say, “Membership has its privileges.” And that’s certainly the case with membership in the Motor Press Guild.

At their latest Power Tour event, one designed to “open the doors” to some of the best private automotive collections around, we were treated to three stops. Starting with an immaculate collection of hot rods and customs, then a collection of race cars that competed in some of the hallmark open wheel events in the US, and a final stop at the newly opened Honda Museum, we were treated to sights that are not open to the public.

But that doesn’t mean we can share our experience with you. Check out the following photos of some of the baddest cars & race cars in Southern California and make sure you have a napkin on hand to wipe the drool from your face!

 

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