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Glamour & Fun spoiling your car

If there is something that in people’s opinion is last in their list of glamorous things to do, is having to take your car to be serviced, or even worse, for repairs. In fact, I can only think of going to the dentist as more annoying and even aggravating than having to deal with an auto mechanic.

However, it was an incredibly refreshing experience discovering that there is a shop in Houston that makes this experience quite the opposite. The name to know and definitely remember is Auto Check Elite.

The only caveat is that it is situated in Katy, so you could consider location an inconvenience if you live in The Woodlands. However, even that is taking care of, when you have your vehicle picked up anywhere in Houston, and a replacement is brought to you while your car is being serviced. And when your vehicle is ready, it is brought back to you, not only in perfect condition, but clean as when it came out of the factory. This is what I call “The Ultimate Automobile Service Concierge”. No one understands better than Matthew -proud owner of Auto Check Elite- that a beautifully clean car runs ten times better than a dirty one. Of course, it’s just a matter of perception, but we have to agree one hundred percent with him on this.

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You can have your car serviced and groomed, without ever having to put a foot in their shop, but do you really want to avoid having to go to this totally out of the ordinary automobile boutique? I don’t think so. From the moment you step in the door, you know this is not just another auto mechanic. In fact, it’s an adventure.
The way you are greeted flags a clear signal that you are up for a white glove experience. But before you even get to talk about your car, there is no way you can help not being distracted by the decoration in the lobby. This is a small, gorgeous exhibit as I have not seen anywhere else. Here you don’t need a bunch of magazines in a service waiting area to keep you busy. There is plenty around to make you smile.

But once you step into the shop (no worries about grease or dust, this place is as impeccable as Houston’s Art Museum), you know your car will be in the hands of expert, passionate car lovers, and the most advanced and expensive technology, well worth your luxury automobile.

This is where the romance between your car and its technician begins. A true love story.

The magic behind Auto Check Elite starts fresh every morning, around a conference table and coffee on the second floor. Led by Matthew, the team of experts discuss not just the duties at hand for the day, but their new big thing. There is something new every day. A new idea, a new technology to be implemented, a new machine to consider buying, a new course to take, something funny to laugh about, a unique paint job for one of the garage doors to be discussed, a new event to be part of. Whatever it is, this “family” of car lovers embraces the project as if the business was their own.

Passion, attention to detail and precision on the job, are the combined names of the game, every day, on every single car, from an oil change or a new set of turbos, to a custom performance project.

One thing remains the same, though: the team members. Each one has a specific set of talents and expertise, key to the completion of any task. It is Matthew’s philosophy that contentment and happiness should be part of his team’s experience, day in and day out.

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THE MORGAN

The Morgan Motor Company is a family-owned British motor car manufacturer that was founded in 1910 by Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan. The Morgan Motor Company announced that they would launch the 3 Wheeler in 2011 at the Geneva Motor Show. The 3 Wheeler was initially said to have a Harley-Davidson Screaming Eagle V-twin engine and a Mazda 5-speed manual transmission, and was estimated to deliver 115 horsepower (86 kW) at the rear wheel. However, there was a surprise when the prototype that was shown at Geneva had an S&S engine. Production three-wheelers turned out to have S&S engines. The kerb weight was originally estimated to be less than 500 kilograms (1,102 lb), but the final weight was tested at 550 kg (1,212 lb). The acceleration from zero to 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) was estimated by Morgan as 4.5 seconds, with an (estimated) top speed of 115 miles per hour (185 km/h). The three-wheeler is to be homologated as a motorcycle in the United States. The company states that 850 deposits have been taken since the announcement in 2011. Customer deliveries began in Europe in February 2012. USA deliveries are not expected before June 2012, when the first imported three-wheeler was displayed in New York City and at the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance. The Morgan 3 Wheeler was featured in a Series 18 episode of UK motoring show Top Gear where presenter Richard Hammondpicked the Morgan 3 Wheeler in a comparison of track-day cars. The 3 Wheeler won the “Not-A-Car of the Year 2011″ in Top Gear.

Exhibited at the Houston Exotic Auto Festival
and on display at
Auto Check Elite
25551 Kingsland Blvd, Katy, TX 77494
281.644.9045 | autocheckelite.com

 

The street-legal LOTUS Evora 400

El Lotus es un auto muy conocido y prestigioso entre los Hispanos. En América Latina siempre hemos apreciado esta marca como vanguardista en autos de carrera y alto desempeño.

Es por ello que nos llena de emoción ver como el Lotus continúa avanzando a la cabeza de los mejores autos superdeportivos. Ahora con el Evora 400, un auto de carrera apenas legal para circular por las calles de Houston, Lotus ha conseguido el auto más rápido del Nuevo Milenio, y sin embargo lo suficientemente civilizado como para estar alfombrado y contar con aire acondicionado.

Su chasis liviano ha sido rebajado y ensanchado para facilitar la entrada y salida de la cabina al cuerpo, compuesto de 2 asientos o 2 + 2. El Evora 400 emana el espíritu de liviandad y la pureza de conducción de manera sucinta. A pesar de producir 407 hp de su motor V6 sobrealimentado de 3.5 litros, con su cómoda cabina que presenta muchas características nuevas, el peso total del Evora 400 se ha reducido en 93 libras sobre su antecesor, a 3,120, lo cual lo hace más liviano que Ferrari, Porsche o McLaren.

Como resultado, su exquisita relación potencia / peso, combinada con un paquete aerodinámico que mantiene su aceleración pero aumenta la carga aerodinámica a altas velocidades, simplemente mejora su atractivo de superdeportivo.

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Cuando seleccionas el primero de sus seis engranajes manuales de relación cerrada, la aceleración es visceralmente emocionante. De hecho, la versión automática es incluso más rápida de lo esperado, y su rendimiento se agudiza con la configuración Race en el sistema Dynamic Performance Management. Un V-max de 186 mph (300 kph), experimentado desde la cabina del Evora 400, proporciona la prueba positiva de que Lotus hace que la propiedad del superdeportivo no solo sea extremadamente enfocada sino también fascinante.

El Evora 400 es el modelo más rápido de Lotus, digno de un superdeportivo. Es elegantemente atractivo, bellamente diseñado, pero a propósito aerodinámico. Desde sus nuevas y agresivas tomas de enfriamiento frontales, pasando por los fascinantes gráficos laterales, hasta su prominente trasero, su difusor de flujo de aire de 5 palas y su nuevo spoiler de cola de tres elementos, es en cada pulgada un superdeportivo especialmente diseñado. Sin embargo, debido a que es un Lotus, el Evora 400 presenta ‘cero levantamiento’, aunque el paquete aerodinámico aumenta la carga aerodinámica a 71 libras a 150 mph.

El Lotus Evora encabeza una gama de roadsters y coupés más pequeños, más livianos, de uno o dos asientos, que están disponibles en cualquier parte del mundo para uso en carretera, pero que solo se pueden vender aquí como autos de carrera sin licencia.

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Visión de conjunto

La gran noticia para el 2018 Lotus Evora es la calificación de 407 caballos de fuerza, que llega por cortesía de un nuevo sobrealimentador Edelbrock Roots que aumenta el impulso de 2.9 psi a 8.7 psi y (más importante) agrega un circuito intercooler aire-agua . En conjunto, estas mejoras ayudan a meter 40 por ciento más de aire en el motor V-6 de 3.5 litros con base en Toyota, y esto agrega un aumento de 55 hp y 7 lb-pie en la salida con respecto al Evora S sobrealimentado. El manual la transmisión obtiene un diferencial de deslizamiento limitado de Torsen y un enfriador para garantizar un rendimiento confiable de la pista. La adaptación de la dinámica de manejo para adaptarse al nuevo tren motriz requería muelles revisados, amortiguadores y geometría estática, y neumáticos traseros más anchos (285 / 30R hasta 275 / 30R20). Un cambio de Pirelli a Michelin Pilot Super Sports mejora aún más el agarre del chasis. Deteniendo esa potencia extra están los discos de freno AP Racing que crecen de 13.8 a 14.6 pulgadas en el frente, y de 13.1 a 13.8 pulgadas en la parte posterior. Ambas son unidades “compuestas” ventiladas y perforadas de 1.3 pulgadas de ancho (centros de aluminio con superficies de fricción de acero) que son casi tan livianas como los discos de cerámica de carbono pero menos costosas de comprar y mantener.

Los cambios estructurales ensanchan la caja de pedales en 3.3 pulgadas y bajan los umbrales en 2.2 pulgadas, haciéndolos más pequeños de 1,7 pulgadas y más fáciles de subir a bordo. Los asientos Sparco se deslizan 1.2 pulgadas más hacia popa, y el ajuste y el acabado del interior de cuero cosido a mano representa un gran avance para la marca, incluyendo un nuevo sistema de navegación, información y entretenimiento.

Seguridad

Lotus se enorgullece de ser el fabricante más pequeño que vende automóviles en los EE. UU. Que cumplen con todas las normas federales de seguridad y emisiones sin requerir ninguna exención, por lo que tiene cuatro bolsas de aire, haces de impacto lateral y protección completa de parachoques: las obras. Pero ninguna agencia ha probado recientemente un Lotus recientemente.

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Mi Opinión

El Lotus Evora 400 tiene como objetivo ofrecer a los conductores una herramienta atractiva para arrasar en tu carretera rural favorita, una pista de carreras, o el Highway 99 en fin de semana. Su equilibrio neutral, su maniobrabilidad, su capacidad y disposición para girar casi sobre las caderas del conductor, su dirección ligera y comunicativa, y el robusto rendimiento de su motor, hacen de este un magnífico generador de adrenalina y satisfacción. También es lo suficientemente amplio como para tirar el equipaje de fin de semana en la cajuela y perderte en un paseo por el I-10 rumbo a San Antonio o New Orleans. Las mejoras en el interior también hacen que el precio base de $ 97,000 sea más que razonable. Sin lugar a dudas, este mole deportiva está entre las mejores opciones para los amantes de autos deportivos y exóticos.

Si deseas probarlo, puedes hacerlo en el dealere oficial de la marca, en
Lotus of Houston
Star Motor Cars
7000 Old Katy Road, Houston, TX 77024
713.868.6800
www.starmotorcars.com

2018 HOUSTON EXOTIC AUTO FESTIVAL

Continuando con la tradición de exhibir los autos más extraordinarios de Houston, nos preparamos para la edición 2018 del HOUSTON EXOTIC AUTO FESTIVAL, que se llevará a cabo el 16 de septiembre, en Sam Houston Race Park.

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Para aquellos que aún no han participado del show más importante del año en Houston, compartimos algunas fotos de nuestra edición 2017. Si el dicho de que “una imagen dice más que mil palabras” es verdadero, entonces las siguientes páginas hablarán por sí solas.

 

Highlights from 2017

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El festival se llevó a cabo en HARAS Hacienda, un lugar definitivamente a la altura de lo espectacular del evento; el lujo brillaba por todos lados. A diferencia del año anterior, escogimos un lugar al aire libre, en vez del popular NRG. Sin duda el estadio es reconocido por sus presentaciones, incluyendo el Houston Auto Show. Pero en el caso de auto exóticos y de carrera, nuestra audiencia quiere no solo ver, sino también experimentar los motores más potentes que la industria tiene que ofrecer. Esto no era posible en un lugar cerrado, donde los códigos de seguridad de la ciudad representaban una cantidad de limitaciones.

Es por ello que para una presentación de esta envergadura, definitivamente ningún lugar podría haber sido más apropiado que la hermosa hacienda de Rafael Chávez y Carmina Zamorano.
Deborah Duncan, anfitriona de “Great Day Houston” en KHOU canal 11, hizo un formidable trabajo amenizando el evento como Maestra de Ceremonias. St. Joseph’s Medical Center proveyó la protección médica de emergencia.

Los renombrados Dave Halston y Suzanne Goulet de Las Vegas y New York hicieron una extraordinaria representacióncon de Frank Sinatra y Liza Minnelli. La hermosa pareja cantó la mayoría de las canciones clásicas que hicieron leyenda a los artistas durante más de tres décadas a partir de los 50’s.
El festival tuvo presencia de marcas tales como Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, Maserati, McLaren, Lotus, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes Benz, camionetas GMC de lujo, Ferraris de carrera, Ducati, Slinshots, drones, limosinas, joyerías y galerías de arte, entre otras atracciones, todo tanto privado como de dealers.

Los concesionarios de autos más prestigiosos de Houston y The Woodlands se dieron cita para exhibir sus últimos modelos. Esto incluyó a Rolls-Royce y Bentley Houston, Maserati, Alfa Romeo y Fiat of North Houston, Ferrari of Houston, Mercedes Benz of The Woodlands, Tom Peacock Cadillac, Aston Martin of Houston, Beck’n Masten GMC, Planet Lincoln y Crave Luxury Auto.
Ferrari of Houston exhibió por primera vez en público su Risi Competizione, el equipo de carreras de Ferrari GT más exitoso de Norteamérica, con una historia que incluye 3 victorias en las 24 Horas de Le Mans, 4 victorias en las 12 Horas de Sebring y 3 victorias en el Petit Le Mans.

Risi Competizione ha ganado carreras y campeonatos en la IMSA GT Race, American Le Mans Series y Rolex Sports Car Series, además de haber ganado tres victorias en las 24 Horas de Le Mans en 1998, 2008 y 2009. Gran parte del éxito de Risi Competizione ha llegado a través del uso de máquinas Ferrari. Lo que no podemos ignorar es el transportador gigante de autos de carrera, equipado para dar todo el mantenimiento a sus vehículos y hasta una oficina propia. Otro exponente importate del evento fue DeBoulle de River Oaks District, quien también expuso su Ferrari de competición, ganador de varias carreras importantes.

Los mejores autos del show, dentro de las categorías de Sedán de Lujo, Performance, Sedán Exótico y Excéntrico, fueron seleccionados por el jurado formado por Emilio Aragón, Carmina Zamorano y una invitada del público, quienes tuvieron la ardua tarea de escoger los tres mejores autos del show entre una cantidad de vehículos fuera de serie. El primer premio fue entregado a un Porsche 993 GT2, amarillo, cotizado en $2.4 millones, propiedad de Karl Stonberg. Sólo existen 57 autos de este mode-lo en el mundo. El 2º Mejor del Show lo ocupó un Toyota Supra super-modificado, propiedad de Mathew Roayaee, y el 3º Mejor del Show fue una Ferrari 400 Scuderia, propiedad de Rafael Chavez, y del cual sólo existen 500 en el mundo (regalo de cumpleaños de Carmina). El premio “Best of Show – People’s Choice Award” -escogido enteramente por el público-, fue indisputablemente el McLaren 675LT.

También se dieron trofeos a los mejores puestos de patrocinadores, bajo varias categorías. Los trofeos, como puede apreciarse arriba, fueron altamente codiciados.
La IV Edición del HOUSTON EXOTIC AUTO FESTIVAL viene cargada de nuevas atracciones automovilísticas. Por nada te lo pierdas.

 

Para información, visita:
www.houstonexoticautofestival.com

Garden plot on wheels for the urban jungle

Rinspeed presented the clever urban “Oasis” runabout at the CES in Las Vegas and the NAIAS in Detroit.

You can count on Swiss automotive visionary Frank M. Rinderknecht when it comes to reimagining mobility. With the Rinspeed concept vehicle “Oasis,” the ingenious self-driving electric vehicle for the city and surrounding areas, he refutes the deeply ingrained notion of the urban jungle that requires SUVs the size of battle tanks for the daily struggle for survival. His alternative concept: a maneuverable speedster with an integrated small garden plot behind the windshield.

The Rinspeed boss therefore challenges the martial appearance with mobile urban gardening. With its large glazed areas and shrouds on the front wheels, the refined and swift two-seat runabout looks rather futuristic and is somewhat reminiscent of a modern interpretation of famous Star Wars icon R2D2. They both can turn on their wheels with almost a zero radius. In the case of the “Oasis,” thanks to a special steering angle, two in-wheel electric motors and torque vectoring, all developed by ZF on Lake Constance.

The self-driving Swiss vehicle is not a wallflower or strictly functional like the Google Car, but rather “next gen” – with a host of technical and visual treats inside. Because in keeping with a great tradition, the twenty-third Rinspeed concept car was again engineered by Swiss company 4erC and executed by Esoro.

Speaking of inside: The ultimate eye-catcher is the small garden with enough space for growing radishes or even little Bonsai trees. Automotive supplier Kostal adds the element of nature to the car to make it a true third space. “Home+Garden” becomes “Car+Garden” – brought together by a custom removable planter.

The small garden plot is just one of features that creates a new living space in the interior of the car. Armchairs, sideboard and TV provide a modern living room ambience in white. Everything looks welcoming and inviting, thanks to the efforts of the innovative Swabian textile developers at Strähle+Hess, and Dutch company Stahl, the world market leader in leather and synthetic surfaces in automotive interiors. Together, they created a remarkable ensemble of natural, functional leather with various designs and surfaces complemented by textiles with bright edging highlights. For this purpose, Schoeller Spinning Group supplied an all-new highly elastic wool yarn. Also worthy of note are the elegant aluminum seat bases from GF Automotive in bionic lightweight design, the futuristic retractable air vents, and the multi-purpose storage box from Dr. Schneider Unternehmensgruppe. The floor is made from real wood, and created by the specialists from MeisterWerke. All adhesive bonds in and on the “Oasis” are realized with innovative adhesives from Sika Automotive.

An eerie quiet around the football arena, but the activities on Twitter show: Injury time is almost up and tens of thousands of fans will soon flood the streets. The Rinspeed “Oasis” is equipped with Harman LIVS technologies (Life-Enhancing Intelligent Vehicle Solutions), which put it always a step ahead, and its finger on the pulse of the social web – the “Oasis” has long since planned the alternative route.
The “Oasis” lets its driver know that several Facebook friends with similar tastes have recently liked a new restaurant that just opened nearby. A quick ‘Ok’ signaled to the personal assistant of the “Oasis,” and the table has been reserved. That fast.

To interact with the Harman system, the occupants use a slightly curved 5K widescreen display with voice- or gesture-control that spans the width of the “Oasis” in front of its passengers. In manual mode, it presents the most important information in condensed form. The images of the electronic rearview mirrors are dimmed when not needed.

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The steering wheel from ZF folds flat and thus turns into a keyboard or work surface. The car thus becomes a self-driving office on wheels, complete with Office productivity software and Skype video telephony with live translation. The personal assistant not only knows which of the occupants is talking to it at the time, but also in what language the occupant speaks. The “Oasis” passengers are able to exchange and share interesting news on social media channels by using swiping gestures. In keeping with a ten-year tradition, a mechanical Carl F. Bucherer watch is integrated on the steering column. What is more: On the “Oasis,” the new Manero Flyback is rewound by the steering motions.

The next business trip begs. After dropping its owner off at the airport, the “Oasis” chauffeurs a nice couple who had searched for a ride on Facebook into the city. After dropping them off at their destination, the “Oasis” goes on Twitter to let the owners’ friends know that it is available for use at any time. They are able to summon it via WhatsApp and other social media apps. Two days later, the “Oasis” returns to the arrivals terminal of the airport, thanks to Harman LIVS punctual to the minute and unperturbed by potential flight delays, traffic jams and long lines at the baggage claim.

Curtains up for the evening entertainment with viewing enjoyment in CinemaScope, accompanied by the Harman Kardon 24-channel sound that virtually follows the passenger as the seat glides into the fully reclined position. The personal assistant takes a photo of the stunning sunset in passing – the “Oasis” keeps a diary and if desired also acts as a travel blogger to keep the Instagram followers up to date.
Feeling like taking back the wheel? Gladly – after passing an automatically administered fitness and alertness test.

By the way, the personal assistant is also at the driver’s disposal outside the car. Thanks to a link to the Harman Ignite Cloud Platform, it allows controlling the owner’s smart home from the “Oasis,” for example. Always a step ahead, it takes care of the lights and the wellness climate as the situation demands. BlackBerry QNX supplies an integrated and certified secure and protected software platform for self-driving vehicles.

The windscreen serves as a giant display for virtual and augmented realities. Holographic laser projection technology developed by WayRay allowed to make area covered by displays significantly larger than in conventional head-up display used today. US Company Techniplas, a specialist for cognitive and networked products, developed the multi-functional rear window. It integrates not only the usual lights at the back of a car; it also serves as a display panel for the integrated clever micro delivery box. It can even be cooled or heated as needed. As a special touch, the box was sized to fit a power bank form EVA Fahrzeugtechnik, which increases the range of the “Oasis” when circumstances demand.

When it comes to automotive lighting, Rinspeed relies on proven Osram quality. The manufacturer supplies the powerful LED headlights and the two projectors in the front surround. The LED ambience lighting with reading lights integrated into the headliner comes from Forster Rohner.

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Who will own the car, who will operate it and what will it be used for? Rinspeed boss Rinderknecht has designed and equipped the car to keep all conceivable options open – if society is willing to share goods in a beneficial way. “Oasis” can be a shopping cart in the morning, a shipping services counter for a parcel service in the afternoon, and a pizza delivery vehicle at night. A digital access system from German supplier Huf makes it possible.
Apart from consulting firm EY, which contributed a study on the individualization of mobility, the masterminds behind the “Oasis” also include TOG-Tübitak. The Turkish research center – an institution not unlike the German Fraunhofer Institute – examines issues of tomorrow’s transport in its own mobility lab.

However, even the “Oasis” does need a dash of masculinity: Futuristic 20-inch Borbet Aero Design rims with laser-engraved “Oasis” logo underscore the vehicle dynamics.
Transmitting large volumes of data and information requires perfect connections and consequently is of fundamental importance for autonomous driving in particular. The intelligent antenna systems from Vites integrated into the roof play a crucial role in this regard.

Intelligent traffic management solutions from Siemens help optimize the traffic flow and thereby are a factor in providing more comfort in traveling, minimizing emissions, and enhancing the safety of all road users – for example, by warning road users of an approaching emergency vehicle. The “Oasis” uses different sensors based on NXP technology to capture a 360-degree view of its surroundings with pinpoint precision. Thanks to vehicle-to-vehicle communication, it can even look around corners and obstacles. This sensor fusion is then used to compute the safe driving maneuver.

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An innovative app from MHP allows choosing potential passengers by interest or profession. For passionate car enthusiasts who just met, this can make the long drive to the vintage car event a sheer pleasure. The “Mini Mica” from connectivity specialist Harting is a scalable and flexible computing architecture, which uses different modules for adapting the “Oasis” to the particular requirements of the vehicle user, and installs the corresponding technology features. This makes an individualization of the “Oasis fleet” with efficient use of resources possible. The secure transmission of data and information was tested and certified by independent and impartial certification specialist Dekra. Axa Winterthur provides insurance and peace of mind if the unthinkable happens.

Urban gardening on wheels as a new trend? A little bit out there? Maybe. But as always, the creation of Swiss mobility innovator Frank M. Rinderknecht is an oasis for inspiration in the otherwise rather expansive automotive wasteland. On display at the CES in Las Vegas and the NAIAS in Detroit in January 2017, and in spring 2017 – in a manner of speaking, in the Swiss national own front garden – at the Geneva Motor Show. As always, put in the best light by Vollmond Advertising Agency from Saarland, Germany.

The “Oasis“ was just be exhibited at the 2017 CES Las Vegas in the Hard Rock Hotel in the Harman Venue and at the the 2017 NAIAS in Detroit.

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