Monday, June 23, 2014

Audi A3 towing a camping trailer

The folks at often come with the discussion about the towing ability of compact cars, in spite of the low tow ratings for the U.S.-spec versions of some cars. When I saw this old Audi A3 TDI matched to a camping trailer, I had to take the pictures. Spotted in my hometown, Porto Alegre, where some matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup are being held.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Honda Biz 125 Flex, among the cleanest-running vehicles in the world

Some penny-pinchers in the United States might be kinda jealous that Honda doesn't offer any of its newer Cubs back there, since it's among the cheapest-to-run motor vehicles in the whole world. Anyway, there are also those "eco-conscious" customers who would still want a basic motorcycle just for their city commuting, or if they have the nuts they could even try some short-distance road trips too. The current Brazilian-made Honda Biz 125 PGM-FI is also remarkable for featuring flexfuel ability, decreasing its environmental footprint when running on ethanol. The good old air-cooled horizontal single-cylinder engine, increased to 125cc and fitted with electronic fuel injection, can take it around 65 MPH top speed while still returning 125 MPG effortlessly on gasoline, or around 80 MPG on pure ethanol.
On a sidenote, the air-cooling also eliminates the need for cooling fluids, hoses and a water pump, decreasing not just the manufacturing energy expense but also the amount of replacement parts required throughout the vehicle's lifespan. In general, altough requiring less raw materials and energy to be manufactured, motorcycles had been regarded as polluting more for a given amount of fuel used than a car due to less stringent emissions standards in the past, but nowadays with EFI and catalytic converter getting widespread they become cleaner. For those who commute solo, want to decrease their footprint and don't have so much hauling to do, that's a reasonable option.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Brazilian Ford F-250 short-bed with an aftermarket double-cab conversion

There were some versions of the Ford F-250 assembled exclusively in Brazil, with the regular cab matched to the short bed, with 3 engines that were never offered in the versions assembled in North America, such as the Essex 4.2L V6 from the F-150, the Cummins 4BT in a 141hp rating with a fully-mechanical injection system or 203hp with common-rail electronic injection, and the Brazilian-made MWM Sprint 6.07 TCA, all these engines backed by a 5-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive only. Before the introduction of double-cab versions in the local market in 2003, altough they were already locally-assembled for export to Australia including 4-wheel drive and other options such as the Triton 5.4L V8 gasser engine, the PowerStroke 7.3 and automatic transmission (standard with the Triton, and not available for the MWM engine), there were aftermarket conversions based in the regular cab. Some had the frame stretched to different extents, while other ones didn't, such as this one which also retained only 2 doors.