2014 BMW i3: BMW’s first electric vehicle arrives in the spring of 2014. The four-door, four-seat i3 hatchback uses a 170-horsepower electric motor that generates 184 pound-feet of torque. Base models run on battery power alone, with an 80-100 mile range. An optional 34-horsepower, 650-cc two-cylinder gasoline engine adds nearly $4,000 to the i3’s $41,350 base price.
n In North America, it’s estimated that improperly secured or missing gas caps results in nearly 150 million gallons of fuel to evaporate into the atmosphere.
n The original full name of automobile company started by Ferdinand Porsche in 1931 was Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche Gesellschaft mit beschrnkter Haftung, Konstruktion und Beratung fr Motoren-und Fahrzeugbau.
1934 Ford roadster, sold, $44,000: Arguably one of the best-looking Ford cars ever made, the ’34 is a visual treat from any angle. This four-seat, V-8 convertible (including room for two in the hidden rumble seat) has reportedly had only three owners in its 80-year lifespan, and its odometer shows only 19,000 miles. Well bought for $44,000. Visit www.ebaymotors.com.
The Rhino Multitool, 30 Euros (about $40), www.yeople.com/cool-multitool-rhino/: The Italian-created Rhino Multitool comes with enough built-in features to help you out in a variety of ways. Four of the most popular screwdriver bits and three different wrenches can be deployed (including one for removing and tightening lug nuts).
There’s also an ice scraper and a bottle opener. All of these features are contained inside a tough plastic holder that’s about half the size of the average cellphone.
Who am I?
To guess his secret identity, read the following clues.
1. This Iowa-born man helped make Japan’s auto industry what it is today.
2. Interestingly, American manufacturers, now envious, dismissed his ideas.
3. His 14 simple principles that transformed the auto industry included phrases such as “drive out fear.”
4. “People are entitled to self-esteem ... (the American) system crushes it out.”
5. Today, nearly 20 years after his death in 1993, the elements of his philosophy are called “Demingisms.”
One of the reasons W. Edwards Deming’s ideas worked so well in Japan is that they dovetailed with principles already in place there.
What’s up, auto doc?
Those big wheels and tires sure do look great, but something you might not have considered when you bought your new vehicle is the replacement cost of the tires. For example, just how much does a pair (or four) 20-inch tires run for a Dodge pickup? How about high-performance 19-inch tires on an Audi RS-5 (pictured)?
Just for fun, call your local tire shop and see what you’re in for. Once you’ve picked up your jaw off the countertop, you’ll realize that tire maintenance is crucial to squeezing every mile you can out of them. The usual precautions apply more than ever (go easy on the brakes and gas) and be certain to rotate your tires (and the full-size spare if you have one) and make sure the pressure is right on the money (carry a tire gauge in the vehicle). The bill won’t be any smaller when it comes time for replacements, but, with some care, you won’t need them as often.