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The 2.5 liter gasoline VW Rabbit available in the U.S. gets 26 MPG combined (city/highway).  (Source: Volkswagen of America)

  (Source: Volkswagen of America)
VW pairs diesels with electric motors to achieve nearly 70 MPG in its Golf hatchback

Hybrid technology is often a hot topic of discussion on DailyTech. Detractors of hybrid technology often point out that diesel engines would make a better alternative to achieve greater fuel efficiency. Hybrid proponents often point out that while diesel are more efficient than gasoline motors, they are far dirtier.

Volkswagen is looking to bring the two camps together and will unveil a diesel-electric hybrid version of its popular Golf hatchback (known as the Rabbit here in the U.S.) in Geneva. According to the German automotive giant, the Golf Hybrid will achieve 83.9 MPG (Imperial gallons) which is roughly 69.9 MPG here in the U.S. Carbon dioxide emissions are also limited to just 89g/km.

The diesel engine used in the Golf Hybrid meets all Euro 5 emissions criteria and also passes the stringent Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions standards here in the U.S.

Given that costs involved with producing a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain, VW is looking to spread the technology to a number of its vehicle lines. According to 4Car, likely transplants include the VW Jetta and the Audi A3. Other Golf-based vehicles that would be a prime target for the new powertrain include the upcoming VW Tiguan and Audi Q5 crossovers.

VW isn't the only company; however, that is looking towards diesel-electric hybrid powertrains. DailyTech reported on Peugeot's 308 Hybrid HDi in late August 2007. The 308 Hybrid HDi features a 107 HP diesel engine which is paired to a 22 HP electric motor. The combined system helps the vehicle achieve 69 MPG.

Diesel technology is seeing a rather large resurgence in the U.S. thanks to new CAFE regulations. VW is bringing back its TDI motors now that they meet Tier 2 Bin 5 standards, Nissan is looking to drop a Renault diesel engine into its next generation Maxima and Honda will provide four and six-cylinder diesel engines for its cars and trucks.



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About time
By Lord 666 on 2/21/2008 12:00:20 PM , Rating: 2
No timetable given in either articles, but as usual, the US will more than likely get it last.

Love my 2006 TDI, but looking forward to the new common rails from Honda and VW.




RE: About time
By SoCalBoomer on 2/21/2008 12:05:08 PM , Rating: 2
which sucks - but dang would this be sweet!


RE: About time
By Samus on 2/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: About time
By Hare on 2/21/2008 1:53:38 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
which is why the Focus outsells the Golf 6:1 in all of Europe in the hot hatch market.

That's BS.

Top selling cars in Germany (2007)
http://internationaltrade.suite101.com/article.cfm...

1. VW Golf
18. Ford Focus

Mercedes C-class, BMW 3-class and Audi A4 all sold more than Ford Focus. "More than double as many Golfs were sold as second place car VW Passat or third placed BMW 3-Series"


RE: About time
By Spuke on 2/21/2008 1:58:56 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Top selling cars in Germany (2007)
He said Europe which includes Germany. The Focus is number three with the Golf at number two.

http://tinyurl.com/228pz4


RE: About time
By Hare on 2/21/2008 2:22:15 PM , Rating: 2
I gave an example. He said "all of Europe" and "6:1".

Clearly his "facts" were incorrect.


RE: About time
By themadmilkman on 2/21/2008 4:30:25 PM , Rating: 3
Your example reeked of somebody trying to twist statistics to his own favor. He said all of Europe. You said just Germany. It would be entirely possible (although someone else provided a link saying otherwise) that the Focus did in fact outsell the Golf 6:1 in all of Europe, but did very poor just in Germany.

That's why your post was crap, and required the follow up post.


RE: About time
By omnicronx on 2/21/2008 8:43:43 PM , Rating: 5
He made a grammar mistake, you told us something everyone already knows, German cars sell well in Germany...What are the chances!


RE: About time
By Jeeves on 2/22/2008 7:30:57 PM , Rating: 2
According to this, they certainly are ...

http://cars.uk.msn.com/News/Top_ten_article.aspx?c...


RE: About time
By microAmp on 2/22/2008 9:18:25 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe he believes the Third Reich won WWII in Europe. ;)


RE: About time
By murphyslabrat on 2/22/2008 1:04:48 PM , Rating: 2
They did, it was on Sliders


RE: About time
By Pneumothorax on 2/21/2008 4:30:11 PM , Rating: 2
The Euro focus is way superior vehicle to the outdated one that ford flaunts for it's home turf. Kinda sad really, you'd think they'd learn from doing the same crap to the Escort. I'm talking about here and now also, not what mulally is promising. It's kinda like a reverse honda/toyota. They usually keep their best stuff for Japan, BUT Ford gives the USA their crappy cars while their euro/aus versions kick butt!


RE: About time
By goku on 2/22/2008 2:11:01 AM , Rating: 2
So no matter what, we always end up with the crappy stuff. I mean just look at cell phones, look at how long it took to get 3G here, in japan & europe they had color cell phones in 2000 while we were sporting B&W until at least 2002.


RE: About time
By Lord 666 on 2/21/2008 12:09:46 PM , Rating: 2
Please correct the typo of "Tier 2 Bin 3" to the correct "Tier 2 Bin 5"

There is already misinformation out there on what Tier 2 Bin 5 standards really is versus EU 4 or 5.


RE: About time
By Spuke on 2/21/2008 12:30:20 PM , Rating: 2
If this is based on the Rabbit (the Golf is a hatchback too and is still sold here guys), then I figure the diesel hybrid will start around $25k. It might be a little more because of its potential higher level of trim than standard Rabbit's (because its more expensive).


RE: About time
By eye smite on 2/21/2008 12:22:20 PM , Rating: 5
I'm glad to see real progress being made. Having cars that get over 50mpg here in America is long overdue. Should be nice.


Rabbit?
By Spivonious on 2/21/2008 12:51:58 PM , Rating: 2
The Golf is not the Rabbit, at least in the US. I find it odd that VW would choose the same name for different models.




RE: Rabbit?
By SeeManRun on 2/21/2008 12:56:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Golf is not the Rabbit, at least in the US. I find it odd that VW would choose the same name for different models.


I believe the Golf turned into the Rabbit. There is no Golf anymore. Not new ones anyway.


RE: Rabbit?
By ChronoReverse on 2/21/2008 1:09:37 PM , Rating: 2
It was first the Rabbit then it was the Golf. Recently it's back to Rabbit again.


RE: Rabbit?
By Drexial on 2/21/2008 1:31:17 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah after the rabbit got a bad reputation they changed it to golf. then for what ever reason, they changed it back to the rabbit.


RE: Rabbit?
By Spivonious on 2/21/2008 3:25:17 PM , Rating: 1
No, first it was Rabbit, then it was Rabbit GTI, then it was GTI. The Golf (IIRC) was a larger version of the GTI.


RE: Rabbit?
By Spivonious on 2/22/2008 2:44:49 PM , Rating: 2
Rate me down all you want, but this is how it happened. My dad had a Rabbit GTI back in the 80s. According to Wikipedia this was known as the Golf in Europe. The Golf in the U.S. was a different car than the GTI (the GTI was a 2-door and the Golf was a 4-door).


RE: Rabbit?
By tallcool1 on 2/22/2008 3:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
Silly rabbit, trix are for kids!


RE: Rabbit?
By darkangelism on 2/21/2008 1:40:59 PM , Rating: 2
The golf still exists in the US its called the GTI or GLI


RE: Rabbit?
By amdsupport on 2/21/2008 2:14:52 PM , Rating: 2
VW america made the last minute decision to change the name from Golf to Rabbit for the American market Mk5, its still known as the golf everywhere else.


Gotta love TDI
By xavier78 on 2/21/2008 1:20:07 PM , Rating: 2
I have a VW Jetta TDI 2004 (old body) and the front was hit by a truck (small ford) and the truck took more damage than my VW and the VW was parked! I don't know about the hybrids...but if it has a diesel, it's MOST likely to have a stronger body to support the diesel engine...that's why even in Dallas (SUV haven in my mind), I have no fear about driving my smaller VW




RE: Gotta love TDI
By Hare on 2/21/2008 1:47:55 PM , Rating: 1
There's no real weight difference between diesel and gasoline engines.

Audi A3 1.6 FSI 1225kg, 1.9Tdi 1295kg
VW Golf 2003 1.6 1184kg, 1.9Tdi 1251kg
VW Jetta 2005 1.6 1270kg, 1.9 Tdi 1345kg

Basically diesel engines are simpler than comparable gasoline engines and only slightly heavier due to usually larger displacement. The difference is so small that it doesn't require any changes to the car's chassis.

Btw. Quick fact. Over 50% of cars sold in Europe are diesels.


RE: Gotta love TDI
By Spuke on 2/21/2008 2:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Basically diesel engines are simpler than comparable gasoline engines
No, they're the same really with common rail style diesels being a bit more complex than a typical gas engine.


RE: Gotta love TDI
By masher2 (blog) on 2/21/2008 2:14:03 PM , Rating: 2
Once you hang all the plumbing off a diesel engine required to meet T2B5 emission standards, it does wind up being considerably more complex. That's one of the reasons some automakers are a bit leery about introducing these.


RE: Gotta love TDI
By Janooo on 2/22/2008 11:12:51 AM , Rating: 2
Not true. It's simpler. It's more reliable. You get better mileage out of diesel engine.


RE: Gotta love TDI
By DeepBlue1975 on 2/22/2008 3:53:45 PM , Rating: 2
In the US.

The rest of the world has no problems with diesel car. In fact, in europe half the cars sold are diesel by these times.

As for complexity, diesel engines are really complex... Buy so are actual petrol engines. Fuel injection systems, several measurement instruments between the air intake and the engine, and between the engine and the exhaust, and then you have an endless number of mechanic parts inside the engine, all prone to broke, all wasting lots of energy because of mechanical frictions...

Internal combustion engines have grown so complex over the years, that I'm really longing to see new, from the ground-up designed engines that are simpler, and, specially, more efficient (average petrol engines have an efficiency of about 20%, the rest goes to waste)

I really start to hate internal combustion engines, I can't understand how in a 2 hundred year period no viable alternatives were found and introduced to market.

The rotative engines are kinda cool, more efficient than normal "push the piston up and down by using multiple rods connected together" design, but have their share of problems too, and they weren't too perfected as I think only one company keeps using them (mazda)


RE: Gotta love TDI
By turbineguy on 2/21/2008 2:36:45 PM , Rating: 2
>>Basically diesel engines are simpler than comparable gasoline engines and only slightly heavier due to usually larger displacement<<

The ignition system is definitely simpler, but they're heavier due to the stronger construction required from higher compression ratios. Thicker block & cyl head castings add to the engine's weight. And now the addition of aftertreatment equip like particle traps adds to the diesel's overall weight.


RE: Gotta love TDI
By random git on 2/21/2008 3:25:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Basically diesel engines are simpler than comparable gasoline engines

you forgot that just about all diesels in small cars are turbocharged - that's what the T in Tdi stands for. The turbo assembly etc makes diesels more complicated which is also seen in the higher price of diesel models.


RE: Gotta love TDI
By Hare on 2/21/2008 4:13:14 PM , Rating: 1
Actually I didn't forget but I quess I was generalizing. Modern engines are pretty complex (both gasoline and diesel).


Very nice...but...
By Donkeyshins on 2/21/2008 7:29:32 PM , Rating: 2
I'm waiting with bated breath (hopefully not in vain) for the BMW 120d or 123d to make its way over from Europe. 50+ MPG on the freeway with BMW performance and handling would be a hoot!




RE: Very nice...but...
By Spuke on 2/22/2008 12:19:30 AM , Rating: 2
204 hp at 3400 lbs equals barely adequate performance. People here on DT ask for cars like these all the time but would you support it if BMW brought it here? History says no.


RE: Very nice...but...
By Lord 666 on 2/22/2008 1:01:49 AM , Rating: 2
You forgot to include the 295 pounds of torque (400nm).

With the 123d, it will do 0-62 in 6.9... not too shabby. while averaging somewhere in the 40mpg range. Top speed is 145mph.

Can your SUV match that performance?


RE: Very nice...but...
By Spuke on 2/25/2008 11:23:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Can your SUV match that performance?
I don't own one but there are SUV's that can match its performance. It's not a holy grail by any means.


By Anonymous Freak on 2/21/2008 10:43:28 PM , Rating: 3
Back in 2004, when my wife and I were considering a new car, two of the top three options were a Toyota Prius, and a VW Jetta TDI. The Prius won. If the Jetta had been a 69 MPG hybrid TDI, it would have won, hands down.




RE: VW Diesel vs. Hybrid. Hybrid won for me in 2004.
By Sandok on 2/22/2008 11:31:34 AM , Rating: 2
Well it all comes down to preference... I way prefer the Jetta over the Prius (it's only ugly mofo in my opinion... I know it's for drag effiency but yuck!)

German quality FTW!


By HVAC on 2/22/2008 12:35:04 PM , Rating: 2
German quality? Broke two turbos on a VW TDi while their engineers were still scratching, trying to figure out how.

They may over-engineer things, but their quality is dependent on the whim of their supplier base.


!?
By DeepBlue1975 on 2/21/2008 2:56:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
VW isn't the only company; however, that is looking towards diesel-electric hybrid powertrains. DailyTech reported on Peugeot's 308 Hybrid HDi in late August 2007. The 308 Hybrid HDi features a 107 HP diesel engine which is paired to a 128 HP electric motor. The combined system helps the vehicle achieve 69 MPG.


I'm sure the electric motor in the 308 is MUCH LESS than 128hp.... More in the likes of... just 28.




RE: !?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 2/21/2008 2:59:45 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/08/peugeot-to...

That being said, the electric motor in the Camry Hybrid produces 47 HP

The electric motor in the Lexus GS 450h produces 197 HP.


RE: !?
By DeepBlue1975 on 2/21/2008 5:17:43 PM , Rating: 2
There you got it, on that article you linked:

quote:

The demonstrator’s parallel hybrid powerplant uses an 80 kW (107 hp) 1.6 HDi DPFS diesel engine coupled with a 16 kW (continuous) electric motor providing a maximum power output of 96 kW (129 hp)


The electrical motor has only 16kw = 22hp, that combined with the 107hp of the Diesel one yields 129hp.

So, I don't know where the 128hp figure for the electrical motor only came......


Nice.
By Mitch101 on 2/21/2008 11:57:23 AM , Rating: 2
Sweet finally a cool car with incredible gas mileage. It wasn't bad before but now it has some serious wow.




CA?
By Haltech on 2/21/2008 7:04:05 PM , Rating: 2
Did you guys find out whether it will meet the CA smog standards? I remember then raising them recently and was curious if it might come over.




Cost comparison.
By WTurner on 2/21/2008 11:33:52 PM , Rating: 2
This may have already been asked, but does anyone know what the base price will be for the diesel hybrid here in the US?

I am curious to see how much more it will be compared to a regular Golf (or Rabbit) diesel.




VW
By Dr Dave on 2/27/2008 3:40:22 PM , Rating: 2
My last VW was a diesel Rabbit. VW does not have a very good track record when it comes to diesel engines. That was my very last VW. When a car company refuses to own up to its warranty they won't get another dime out of me. I personally believe that VW adopted the PT Barnum slogan: "there's a sucker born every minute".

This way to the egress------->




By gochichi on 3/2/2008 12:00:04 AM , Rating: 2
When you average out the fuel economy of the 2003 Golf TDI I had, and the fuel economy of the tow truck to tow it a few times a year and the MPG figure is not all that impressive anymore. Fuel for my friends picking me up, fuel for taxicabs, fuel for car rentals and so on. "Efficient" is not the first word that comes to mind. A Corolla, a Civic, a Fit, a Yaris would handily be more efficient and economical.

Not that the diesel freezing in the fuel line at highway speeds is at all dangerous though. Yes I used additive, yes the instruction manual said NOT to ... and then they sent me an addendum that said nevermind DO add it. Oh, did I mention that changing the battery (nothing else, just the battery) cost $480.00?? The warranty was 50,000 miles, I easily claimed $5,000.00 of repairs in that time, plus the "scheduled maintanence". At 52,200 miles, only shortly after having had major work done under warranty I had to change the battery and that's all I could take. It was always towed too... could never just get things going and roll it in... nope, just COMPLETE death after complete death.

We are nuts though. We think "German = quality" and I got a ridiculously high resale value for that car... so "yay for ignorance!" It wasn't all diesel's fault though, the transmission completely went out as well at about 27K miles.

Yeah, great car. Don't get me wrong, I wish they were reliable but they simply are not. Desirable and reliable are two very different things.

So for a company that can't handle building a reliable diesel car in 2003 to undertake the task of building a hybrid diesel seems to me like it's simply not realistic. Then again, I guess the whole VW business model is to rape the customer at the dealership.

Wow, just wow... just the scheduled maintanence on my $15,700 Golf was about $1100.00 for the first year. The scheduled maintanence for my 2006 Camry was under $100.00. (Oil change at the dealership was $17.00 after a coupon, while the Golf was at least $55.00). Now the new Golf with the fancy engine is going to cost close to $30,000.00.

I don't have anything against VW, though I should because they don't build a reliable car. Just thought I should alert you all, in case you're holding your breath hoping that you'll save money of all things by buying this science experiment by a car company with a terrible track record.

If the price per gallong were $11.00 I could see that it might be a good gamble. And by the way, it's not good for the environment when a car has defective parts that have to be replaced, it takes a WHOLE lot of energy to make cars and parts, (shipping alone) it also takes resources and in the case of the hybrid battery it takes all kinds of iky stuff to do it as well.

One more thing: Diesel has more energy, it just does... so comparing diesel gallons with gasoline gallons is kind of silly. Though in theory, using Carnot's theorem diesel is more efficient since diesel burns at a much higher temperature.

I like this concept car I really do, just beware that you need to be a brave soul with quite a bit of cash and patience for it all to pan out. This car could easily go from headlines and into a scandal (due the very likely unreliability) and you'd be stuck trying to resell a lemon.

What I'm trying to say is that I'd expect this to be one of the most expensive mainstream cars to own actually. If BMW were attempting such a task, I'd be much more excited.

A 3-series would be cheaper to own, even with $4.00/gal fuel. And the regular Civic would be WAY cheaper and you know you'd have 200K miles right there.




diesel electric
By michaeljnickelstein on 3/8/2008 9:09:35 PM , Rating: 2
The Germans are out front with this technology and will capitalize on the European models already proven when they export to the US. I believe this will transform the auto industry and make all cars and trucks much more competitive and efficient. BRING ON THE DIESEL-ELECTRIC HYBRIDS!!!!




Another car for the small to average
By Screwballl on 2/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: Another car for the small to average
By sweetsauce on 2/21/2008 12:30:30 PM , Rating: 2
Have you even looked at safety scores before you wrote this crap about SUV safety? Just shows how misinformed people can be about things like this. Just because it looks like a tank doesn't mean it is a tank.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By masher2 (blog) on 2/21/2008 12:40:13 PM , Rating: 2
Fixed-target crash tests automatically negate the mass of the automobile as a factor. However, you can't get around basic physics. In a two-car collision, the more massive car wins.

And yes, SUVs are more prone to rollover accidents. However, that's a factor a careful driver has control over, whereas being impacted by another vehicle is often out of your hands entirely.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By Lord 666 on 2/21/2008 12:58:28 PM , Rating: 2
For the initial impact, yes the larger car wins in a two vehicle impact. But the safety engineering of the car comes into play with any subsequent rollovers or impacts; mulitple car pile ups, high speed accidents on freeways, etc.

Yes and no about drivers having complete control over. Do we expect soccer mom to maintain her cool during evasive manuevers? Very doubtful. Volvo XC90 has gyro based rollover controls, something that is not in any other vehicle.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By JAB on 2/21/2008 1:05:29 PM , Rating: 2
Prudent SUV drivers have control over rollovers? LOL They are not the only ones on the road.

There is a reason that more SUV's are involved in single party crashes.

All that extra mass make it hard to avoid a crash. Top that off with the my truck/SUV is bigger than yours so I dont have to pay attention and you get a higher rate of injury many times.

I have seen SUVs get hit by a small car and the small car driver was fine but the SUV was toast because of rollover.

Tons of mass is no excuse for good design.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By mdogs444 on 2/21/2008 1:20:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Prudent SUV drivers have control over rollovers? LOL They are not the only ones on the road.

Theres also semi trucks, dump trucks, etc.
quote:
I have seen SUVs get hit by a small car and the small car driver was fine but the SUV was toast because of rollover.

That is your choice to drive what you want...but if i was going to be in an accident, id take the SUV over the compact car any day of the week.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By Donkeyshins on 2/21/2008 7:37:37 PM , Rating: 2
http://bridger.us/2002/12/16/CrashTestingMINICoope...

Guess what most Ford SUVs are based on - the F150 chassis (or F250 or F350 if you have penis-envy). Yeah, that Mini sure had its ass handed to it in the 40MPH offset barrier test...


RE: Another car for the small to average
By masher2 (blog) on 2/21/2008 8:51:46 PM , Rating: 2
Did you even read your own link? It clearly states what I said in my initial post -- that fixed-barrier crash tests have nothing to do with how the vehicles would fare in a head-on crash with each other.

For a fixed barrier, vehicle mass is negated . It's an identical test as two Mini Coopers hitting each other both moving 40mph, compared to two F150s hitting each other at the same speed.

Were the Mini and the F150 to strike each other, though, the results would be far different.


By Donkeyshins on 2/23/2008 9:28:44 PM , Rating: 2
Good point. Didn't notice that part. Apologies.

That doesn't change the fact that SUVs are inherently dangerous - both to their occupants (fixed barrier impacts, rollovers, inability to avoid collisions due to lousy handling) and to others (car to car collisions) and should be penalized insurance-wise.

If you need that sort of space, get a minivan - unless you have a need to tow heavy loads.


By Spuke on 2/21/2008 1:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Tons of mass is no excuse for good design.
What the hell does this mean? Mass is mass. The larger the vehicle the more mass it has. SUV's aren't large for the hell of it, they're large to accommodate more passengers and luggage. They're also large to allow for towing heavy loads. None of those things a car can do unless it's as big as a Rolls Royce Phantom (which still weighs as much as a SUV).


RE: Another car for the small to average
By RussianSensation on 2/21/2008 1:17:08 PM , Rating: 2
You clearly don't understand that size alone doesn't determine neither the rigidity of the frame, nor the engineering complexity that is required for proper crash impact absorption and transfer of energy to occur.

Size doesn't mean safety:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0XPbydQPIo

Here is a comparison of cars in the current era as well (Smart vs. E class Benz)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gpo8MsTezWE


RE: Another car for the small to average
By masher2 (blog) on 2/21/2008 2:11:46 PM , Rating: 3
> "Size doesn't mean safety"

Are you serious with that comparison? A 15-year old vehicle without air bags, compared to one built to safety standards from only 3 years ago? There isn't even a huge difference in their weight...the Modus weighs in at 1160 kg, and the Volvo at about 1500. That's nothing compared to the differential between an SUV and a small car.

Quite obviously other factors exist (of which frame rigidity is a huge portion) but all else being equal, if your vehicle weighs substantially more than the other car, you're going to receive substantially less of an acceleration component.

I've seen several stories of the occupants of a Hummer or Escalade colliding with a small car, and walking away without a scratch, whereas the other party was killed instantly. You'll *never* see that the other way around. Materials just aren't strong enough to overcome a 3:1 or greater differential in mass.


By random git on 2/21/2008 4:25:00 PM , Rating: 2
The first vid clearly demonstrates an even more basic principle of physics than the conservation of momentum: Newton's third law. Both cars were crushed with the same force during the impact, and the car with better impact absorption properties and structural riggedness deformed less. This holds even if one car is 3 times as massive as the other. Of course the more metal you have the easier it is to construct a rigid frame.


By andrinoaa on 2/21/2008 4:32:51 PM , Rating: 2
You are absolutely right in this little tit for tat arguement masher2. However, if you look at the big picture, its an insane arguement.
If you need a "bigger vehicle to be safe ", there is something seriously wrong with the whole system.
If you take it to the ultimate, we will all be driving prime movers because , using the same logic, they are bigger therefore they are safer. Surely safety on the roads can only be secured by a well designed system. ie good driving skills, good car design, proper road engineering and proper enforcement.
For the average joe blow, to think bigger is safer says to me the system is not working properly. Which seguays nicely to Government responsibility for the design and up keep of the system, but here we move off topic.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By andrinoaa on 2/21/2008 4:47:33 PM , Rating: 2
You are absolutely right in this little tit for tat arguement masher2. However, if you look at the big picture, its an insane arguement.
If you need a "bigger vehicle to be safe ", there is something seriously wrong with the whole system. Do you feel unsafe sharing the roads with prime movers or suv's?
If you take it to the ultimate, we will all be driving prime movers because , using the same logic, they are bigger therefore they are safer. Surely safety on the roads can only be secured by a well designed system. ie good driving skills, good car design, proper vehicle for job at hand, proper road engineering and proper enforcement.
For the average joe blow, to think bigger is safer says to me the system is not working properly. Which segways nicely to Government responsibility for the design and up keep of the system, but here we move off topic.
Some people have commented that they don't have a full range of transport options available ie lots of bodies and not much variation in whats around. I would probably chose as they do given the constraints. As for safety, my priority would be avoid the accident first and then let the cars safety features do their work. To set the system up the other way is bad design


RE: Another car for the small to average
By Ringold on 2/21/08, Rating: 0
By andrinoaa on 2/23/2008 6:43:21 AM , Rating: 2
na na na na, don't let your insufficient education get the better of you. I assume you are still young enough to learn.
It is a system, maybe a little ad hock, but still a system.
Just remember that without government intervention, what kaos would ensue. Lets see,
No traffic lights
No road rules
No minimum safety standards.
No driver education
No drivers license
and thats after 2sec of thought. Would you care to rethink?


RE: Another car for the small to average
By Drexial on 2/21/2008 1:27:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In a two-car collision, the more massive car wins.


Yes, But if everyone buys SUVs because they feel safer. In an SUV vs SUV crash, they are worse off then in a car vs car crash because of their larger mass.

So in the end people are just making things less safe over all. Luxury SUVs are the epitome of uselessness. I can see a point for the more UTILITY SUVs. But it just seems the peak of redneck to have a luxury truck.


By Spuke on 2/21/2008 1:37:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Luxury SUVs are the epitome of uselessness.
If someone can have a luxury car then someone else can have a luxury SUV. You obviously don't see the need for one so don't buy one. Others may feel different though.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By masher2 (blog) on 2/21/2008 1:58:15 PM , Rating: 2
> "In an SUV vs SUV crash, they are worse off then in a car vs car crash"

Not true. And remember, not everyone buys SUVs. As insurance statistics have long demonstrated, by far the majority of car crashes are caused by the drivers of small, two-door coupes.


By Spuke on 2/21/2008 2:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And remember, not everyone buys SUVs.
True indeed. The best selling SUV is the Honda CR-V at 184,000 units for 2007. The best selling big SUV was the Tahoe at 146,000 units.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By Sandok on 2/22/2008 11:44:22 AM , Rating: 2
In the majority of the world, true cars win in sales against SUVs.

For North America as a continent, there are more SUVs being sold than cars.


By masher2 (blog) on 2/22/2008 12:32:30 PM , Rating: 2
Not quite. The combined market segment of light-duty trucks (which includes pickups and SUVs) outpaces cars, but that's a bit different.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By DeepBlue1975 on 2/21/2008 5:35:54 PM , Rating: 2
Nonsense. Wins????? You think someone actually WINS on a collision?

Most of car collisions are not such that a car hits another frontally, but to collide in a rather diagonal fashion is the usual situation, one in wich the front or rear end of the SUV will be pushed in a way that will

Besides, kinetic energy = 0.5m * v^2
(half the mass times the square of the velocity)

A 1000kg car going at 50m/s (sorry, imperial units are awful for calculations, anyways the conversion is easy enough to do it without a calculator...) has the same kinetic energy of a 2000kg SUV travelling at 35m/s.

So what you say is plain wrong, speed accounts for most of the kinetic energy and is more important than sheer weight. (you talked generically and didn't mention if the two vehicles were to be travelling at the same speed... which usually is not the case)

Besides:

A driver can't control a rollover if it's being hit on a side. The SUV will rollover no matter what the driver does.

And what's more important:
Cars are made with deformable front ends to absorb energy from the impact, so that the deceleration of the driver (a brisk deceleration is what usually kills you in an accident) is less.

SUVs on the other hand, are made to be sturdy and in case of a collision, their body doesn't bend so much, hence transferring more of the inertia to the driver's body, and making him more prone to serious injurys.

In a car accident, I'd rather want my car to break than my own body.
I wouldn't wanna be in anything else than a car or at most an MPV during a car accident. Anything else is more dangerous.

And as for rollover accidents:

quote:

While rollovers represent about 3% of all crashes in the U.S., almost 33% of total deaths on highways occur in rollover crashes.


This is from a site of "SUV rollover attorneys".

http://www.vehicle-injuries.com/suv-rollover-dange...


By Spuke on 2/21/2008 7:02:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
SUVs on the other hand, are made to be sturdy and in case of a collision, their body doesn't bend so much, hence transferring more of the inertia to the driver's body, and making him more prone to serious injurys.
Care to site where it says SUV's don't have crumple zones, etc.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By masher2 (blog) on 2/21/2008 8:47:47 PM , Rating: 2
> "So what you say is plain wrong, speed accounts for most of the kinetic energy "

Oops - you've made a very basic mistake of kinematics. It doesn't matter *which* vehicle is moving. Even if the larger vehicle is stationary, and the smaller vehicle moving at 100kph (or vice versa) the more massive vehicle wins. What matters is the relative speed between the vehicles.

Furthermore, kinetic energy isn't conserved in a collision, especially in modern vehicles with very effective crumple zones. However, momentum is always conserved -- no matter what. You can distribute, destroy, or absorb KE...but "p" is constant. And it determines the best-case scenario for the amount of deceleration you'll experience. I'll be happy to demonstrate this with some hard calculations if you wish.

> " You think someone actually WINS on a collision?"

The context of my meaning was clear. Don't engage in emotional hyperbole please.


By DeepBlue1975 on 2/22/2008 12:58:24 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, what you say is right, momentum does remain constant and KE does not.

Kinetic energy, though, still accounts for the "destruction level" at the moment of impact, that is, how much energy is being generated.

A bullet shot from a gun can perforate your body because of its kinetic energy, not just because of its weight or momentum.

Example: the momentum of a 0.02 kilogram bullet traveling 6000m/s is just 120kgm/s, the same an 80kg person attains by walking at just 1.5m/s (slow walking speed).
You should be able to stop a bullet with your body if just the momentum mattered.

But instead, that same bullet attains a 720000J of KE, while the 80kg person at 1.5m/s has a KE of only 180J.
I know, the comparison is not completely fair because the bullet and the man are made of different materials...
Well, take a normal car's door and the bullet, both made of high resistance materials, and the bullet can still pierce through the car's body.

SUV's are safer on head on crashes and on those crashes where the SUV is the offender, but I'm not sure that an SUV will still be safer if the offender is a smaller car that can make it rollover. Can't find enough info about this particular case.

Nevertheless, car makers are trying to make SUVs more "compatible" with cars on collisions, that is, lowering them so the higher height of the SUV doesn't make it override a car's crumple zones.

Anyways, the supposed advantages of an SUV in a collision would stop as soon as you collide with another SUV, making a rollover situation more likely and the probability to survive smaller than that there is when two cars collide.

As for crumpling zones:

Some SUVs have them, some do not (they have framed bodies). Since 2002-2003 many automakers started adding crumple zones to SUVs, but some of them still have rigid bodies, specially pickups.

Having a framed body will make a collision with a car "easier" for an SUV because it will use the car as a crumple zone, but the surviving probabilities of those in the car drop drastically.

And if two vehicles with framed bodies collide... well... You can expect the vehicles to remain in relatively good shapes, but with no survivers from any side.

In the states about 1/3 of the population drives an SUV, so that the likelihood of an SUV colliding with another SUV instead of a car is not that low, and as SUVs are becoming more and more popular, in some few years it will be a moot point and any SUV driver will be as likely to hit or be hit by another SUV than by a car.


By MAIA on 2/21/2008 12:48:07 PM , Rating: 2
Agree ... and more: He should be worried not only about the safety of his children but about their health in the long run as well.

Is this kind of selfish attitude which will sentence future generations, read "our children".


RE: Another car for the small to average
By thornburg on 2/21/2008 12:32:37 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
... meanwhile with my 6'5" frame, I will have to stick with my 15mpg SUVs


Have you actually tried a small VW? They are actually quite good at accommodating taller individuals. I've known several tall people who only drove VWs because it was the only small/efficient car they could drive comfortably.


By Polynikes on 2/21/2008 12:57:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'm 6'2" and have been comfortable in every small car I've ever driven or ridden in.


By Drexial on 2/21/2008 1:36:39 PM , Rating: 2
I have an ad for the rabbit from the very early 80s rabbit. with an almost 7ft basketball player sitting in the car to show how roomy it was.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By Screwballl on 2/21/2008 2:48:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Have you actually tried a small VW? They are actually quite good at accommodating taller individuals. I've known several tall people who only drove VWs because it was the only small/efficient car they could drive comfortably.


I have tried all sorts of cars, trucks, SUVs, minivans and crossovers. When we bought our last one we had the choice of a Durango, Pacifica and Montana.
The Montana was good for the family but it just felt too tight around the drivers seat but the rest of the safety was there. As we do take some longer trips (2000 miles once a year), this was too tight of a space for a daily driver or long trip vehicle.
The Pacifica felt really good with decent mileage but the lack of side curtain airbags plus a higher price took that one out. With the 2004 Durango, it gets the standard 15mpg but has the side curtain airbags, 4 wheel disc with anti-lock brakes, braking assist plus all sorts of other security features for a better price than anything else.
As for my suburban, it is a 1991 3/4 ton with a 454, it gets 12 mpg. 91 means it has the old body style, all steel body, thicker frame, but is not jacked up like a lot of the other trucks out there. The only safety feature it has is seatbelts which we wear religiously. This is also a monthly driver, it is only run once or twice a month and only around this small town. Sometimes to my daughters soccer or helping pull a friends boat out of the sand or whatever.

Please do not tell me I am contributing to any problem because of my choice. I am much taller than average and am a very safe driver and I want to keep myself and my family safe. I know the number of larger vehicles out there and because of this I do not feel safe putting my family into a small tin can, whether I fit into it or not. Please do not berate or talk down to me because of this choice.

Rollovers are caused by stupid drivers. They try to drive it like a sports car and tip over when they turn too tight. Plain and simple, stupid drivers. Do not try to put this sort of stereotype onto me. In 30 years I have had one major accident that could not be blamed on me, even with a Democrat twist. Zero minor accidents which include driving in rain that drops 3" in half an hour (FL), snow that drops 12" in an hour (SD) and everything inbetween.


By Spuke on 2/21/2008 3:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
I rented a Durango once. Liked it except for the gas mileage and the way too floaty ride. I got like 13-14 mpg and I live in a rural area too.


By Hare on 2/21/2008 3:19:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Rollovers are caused by stupid drivers. They try to drive it like a sports car and tip over when they turn too tight. Plain and simple, stupid drivers
Even "smart" people make mistakes, like when trying to avoid a collision and "making a tight turn".


By Spuke on 2/21/2008 12:35:24 PM , Rating: 2
Small cars are not automatically unsafe, although I can understand the need for the utility that a SUV provides. As for your height, it really depends on your build whether or not you would comfortable in a small car. Some 6'5" guys fit fine and feel comfortable in the Solstice and others can't even get in the car (and no it's not because they're too fat).

quote:
As soon as they allow the mid to large SUVs (Durango, Explorer, Trail Blazer, Suburban, Expedition) that get 30-40mpg and at the same price as gas models, I will jump into this market.

That won't happen for a LONG time. There's going to be a price premium for quite a while.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By Spivonious on 2/21/2008 12:49:33 PM , Rating: 3
My 6'5" brother-in-law has a Rabbit and is quite happy with it.


By Spivonious on 2/21/2008 12:52:50 PM , Rating: 3
Oh, and he's 250 lbs and is 27, before anyone claims he's a lanky teenager.


By themadmilkman on 2/21/2008 4:33:59 PM , Rating: 2
There's more to it than just being 6'5". An individual who is 6'5" but has relatively long legs and a relatively short torso will fit better in certain vehicles than one who has a long torso but short legs.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By SeeManRun on 2/21/2008 12:53:57 PM , Rating: 2
If you simply banned the SUV's so other people didn't drive them either, then small cars would be save. Its car vs SUV where there is a problem. Car vs car is just fine.

And if your SUV hits another car, yeah you might be safe, but hopefully you didn't just kill a family of 3 because you were watching that fancy DVD player.


By mdogs444 on 2/21/2008 1:26:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you simply banned the SUV's so other people didn't drive them

Whew, glad thats not the case.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By tim851 on 2/21/2008 1:03:42 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
as soon as you introduce your own children and the desire for safety into the equation, minivans and SUVs are the only way to go


Yeah, good thinking! And because you drive and SUV, I have to get one too, because yours is three times as likely to kill me in an accident, should I drive a sedan. Soon, all the security loving moms and dads drive SUVs to protect their children.

Then again, when we all drive SUVs, none of us gets a security advantage anymore. But SUVs are also three times as likely to kill pedestrians. So after a couple of years of automotive arms race, nobody has gained any advantage while IN the car, but we all are more threatend OUTside of the car. Including your children!


RE: Another car for the small to average
By mdogs444 on 2/21/2008 1:18:34 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
And because you drive and SUV, I have to get one too, because yours is three times as likely to kill me in an accident, should I drive a sedan.

Um, no one is forcing you to do or buy anything. But since SUV's are not illegal, are you saying that he should not have the right to purchase what he feels is added protection for himself and his family?
quote:
Then again, when we all drive SUVs, none of us gets a security advantage anymore.

Well, there's also semi's, dump trucks, etc. I would never want to get in an accident with any of those, but if it was going to happen, id sure rather it be in an SUV than a compact car.
quote:
SUVs are also three times as likely to kill pedestrians.

Im fairly certain that is more the driver's fault than the type of car. Going fast enough, im certain that it doesnt matter why type of car you are driving when you hit a pedestrian.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By semo on 2/21/2008 6:28:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Im fairly certain that is more the driver's fault than the type of car. Going fast enough, im certain that it doesnt matter why type of car you are driving when you hit a pedestrian.
cars generally provide better pedestrian protection. a person would be better off being hit by citroen c6 at 30mph than by an audi q7 traveling at the same speed

and dump trucks? but seriously, i feel what you're saying. i was hit by one last friday and then twice on sunday. it's a real problem, all those dump trucks driving around cities. i bet 2/3 of all vehicular collisions involve dump trucks.

sarcasm aside, it wouldn't make much difference i imagine what you drive if you were going to be hit by a dump truck full of sand.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By Spuke on 2/21/2008 7:07:34 PM , Rating: 1
I guess you don't live anywhere in the western US. We have TONS of large diesel semi trucks and there a quite a few accidents involving them (just saw one yesterday...that motorcycle rider lost, BTW).

BTW, have you ever been hit any vehicle at 30 mph? Care to site some statistics that state that it's better to get hit by a car at 30 mph than by a SUV at 30 mph? You do realize that people die inside cars at 30 mph let alone getting hit by one at 30 mph, right?


By semo on 2/21/2008 8:40:08 PM , Rating: 3
i just thought comparing cars to suvs and then dump trucks all of the sudden was hilarious. i live in london and there are a lot of accidents in the congestion charge zone involving cyclists and bikers unaware of blind spots and truckers turning left (with no wide-angle mirrors), ostensibly unaware of such things as cyclists and bikers.

the 30mph figure i came up with when thinking about the 30 mph zones (i.e. highly populated zones). obviously, most of the time the car would be braking before hitting a person. i agree, if hit at 30 mph most ppl won't stand a chance. don't have statistics but ncap is a pretty good guide about car/pedestrian safety.


By Spuke on 2/22/2008 12:22:33 AM , Rating: 2
So I get rated down for what exactly? Everything I said was true unlike some others here that spout BS and call it fact.


By ikkeman on 2/21/2008 1:08:06 PM , Rating: 2
if jeremy clarkson likes them, he obviously fits into one comfortably with his 6'5".

I regularly drive mine with 3 colleageus to lunch, everyone above average and fitting just fine. Between us we have a choice of SUV's and luxury Sedans, but the compact size and comfortable seating has us taking the rabbit most often. (parking space is usually at a premium during the lunch-rush)

The car is very safe to drive. brake assist, anti slip, airbags out the roof and crumpel zones. Look at the safety ratings before ranting.

in fact, (most) SUV's are inherently less save. With their higher center of mass, they are more likely to roll or flip and braking is less effective.

And they look great!


RE: Another car for the small to average
By sviola on 2/21/2008 1:26:14 PM , Rating: 1
Well, I'm 6'3" and have a VW Golf. I have no issues with front seat comfort (altough if someone as tall as me is on the back seat behind me he might be a little squeezed, but children don't have this problem). I don't even use the seat all the way back, as it is not necessary.

You shouldn't talk about something without trying it.

PS - My car is manual.


By Spuke on 2/21/2008 1:55:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You shouldn't talk about something without trying it.
I'm sure he's tried the car otherwise he wouldn't know if he fit or not. Regardless of fit, he can drive whatever he wants.

I prefer small cars because I'm a car nut and lighter weight means more acceleration, better handling, and less braking power needed. But I'm an empty nester too. I don't have a ton of kids living at home but when I did have kids at home (2 kids), my wife and I each owned sedans. It got most of the job done but there were occasions where we had to drive both cars.

Now we have a truck and a sports car. The truck is for towing and hauling but my wife does use it as a daily driver too. I drive the sports car. :)


RE: Another car for the small to average
By psychobriggsy on 2/21/2008 6:39:10 PM , Rating: 2
Why is the fact that your car is manual important? Haven't seen an automatic in years, and you can't even get a full license unless you pass in a manual car (UK).


By Lord 666 on 2/21/2008 7:03:35 PM , Rating: 3
Here in the US, it would be fitting if they tested to see if American's could drive through the fast food window.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By PandaBear on 2/21/2008 2:49:39 PM , Rating: 1
-You have less control of an SUV if you are avoiding an accident, bigger mass also comes with less braking and stability BEFORE THE CRASH.

-You still kill yourself, in fact more likely to kill yourself, if you hit a tree or a concrete barrier with that giant mass.

-You are more likely to roll over if someone hit you on the side, which is more dangerous than a front/back impact. Most sedans do pretty good in front/back impact, it is the side impact that are more likely to kill or injure someone in the long term.

-You cannot get good tires for a 15mpg SUV compare to a decent sedan, I don't think suburban can get summer tires or anything V, Z, or W rated that stops on a dime.

-You are more likely to get into an accident in an SUV due to blind spot

-The same $ you spend on the SUV can get you a lot more safety in a sedan (if price is a concern).

History has shown that the safest vehicle is a MID-SIZE sedan with good safety designed in, like Ford Taurus.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By Odysseus145 on 2/21/2008 3:50:32 PM , Rating: 2
"-You still kill yourself, in fact more likely to kill yourself, if you hit a tree or a concrete barrier with that giant mass."

How's that?


RE: Another car for the small to average
By Spuke on 2/21/2008 5:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How's that?
That's what I'd like to know. Loads of people here just let whatever fly out of their mouths and swear it's gospel just because they said so. I want to see some proof.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By Donkeyshins on 2/21/2008 7:39:21 PM , Rating: 2
See: http://bridger.us/2002/12/16/CrashTestingMINICoope...

The structural integrity of most SUVs is crap because they are based on truck frames.


By themadmilkman on 2/21/2008 10:36:16 PM , Rating: 2
I'm still not sure you know what you're talking about. Structural integrity? The F150 in the link provided simply has a poorly-designed crumple zone.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By Spuke on 2/22/2008 12:30:57 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The structural integrity of most SUVs is crap because they are based on truck frames.
So you take the poor performance of one vehicle and automatically determine that ALL trucks and SUV's are crap?

If you had two sons and one was a crack addict and stole your TV and sold it, would you throw out just the crack addict son or both sons?


RE: Another car for the small to average
By masher2 (blog) on 2/22/2008 10:37:40 AM , Rating: 3
> "If you had two sons and one was a crack addict and stole your TV and sold it, would you throw out just the crack addict son or both sons? "

Both! And have a stern look at my wife's genetic background also.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By andrinoaa on 2/23/2008 6:35:03 AM , Rating: 2
I like your sense of humour! lol


By Major HooHaa on 3/3/2008 8:30:42 AM , Rating: 2
I'll admit it, we have been looking at replacing our petrol Toyota RAV4 with the new diesel model.

From the figures, I can chuck into the SUV debate that the diesel does 42 miles per gallon and gets a "4 star Euro NCAP" rating for both Adult and Child protection. It gets 3 Stars for pedestrian protection and scores "Maximum points for its performance in side impact and pole tests."

Make of that what you will.


By Major HooHaa on 3/3/2008 8:44:59 AM , Rating: 2
I think it was the Ford F150 that Jeremy Clarkson tested. He said that because it was classed as a truck, then it didn't have to pass the same safety tests that a car has to.


By psychobriggsy on 2/21/2008 6:46:21 PM , Rating: 2
Probably because most people brake when they see the tree coming at them. Momentum means that the heavier vehicle needs far far more traction to achieve the same braking effect as the lighter car. Luckily they have wider tyres and the like, but ...

Smaller cars often have the front as a crumple zone. You'll end up with crushed legs, but you'll be alive. Your back seat passengers should be fine too, if they're wearing their seatbelts.

SUVs have more rigid bodies, so your body goes from 30mph to 0mph in 0.1s. Same for all your passengers. Hope you braked early.

Say you swerve to avoid the tree ... the SUV rolls over.

Then the damn things are huge on the road and obstruct other drivers from viewing down the road. Especially as a lot of them have over tinted windows so you can't imagine the guy you are hating because he can't drive through the gap in the parked cars because the vehicle is too wide.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By Lord 666 on 2/21/2008 5:56:23 PM , Rating: 2
Ford Taurus?! I cannot speak for the latest models, but when I read this post, specically posted some pics of a 2002 Taurus involved in accident. http://www.flickr.com/photos/23386028@N08/

After two years, the child in the car seat does not have use of right arm, difficulty speaking, drools, and barely walks. The victim and their family are close friends our ours.

The child seat should have been mounted in the middle, but hindsight is 20/20.

The car almost flipped, but did not (check out the crinkle marks on side opposite impact.) If this were a SUV being hit, it would have flipped over.


By Donkeyshins on 2/21/2008 7:42:59 PM , Rating: 2
I feel for that family (as a father of two small children). However, the fault is probably more with the Graco car seat - they don't offer decent head protection in the event of an accident.

I was in a similar accident about 13 years ago (hit by a delivery van on the drivers side of the Corolla I was driving at the B-pillar) and still have problems with my left arm and lower back.


RE: Another car for the small to average
By VooDooAddict on 2/21/2008 3:43:23 PM , Rating: 3
If these cars aren't for you ... they why did you feel the need to comment?


RE: Another car for the small to average
By Spuke on 2/21/2008 7:20:29 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
If these cars aren't for you ... they why did you feel the need to comment?
Because most people believe that whatever they do is gold and whatever the next man does is shit. That's why.


By Sandok on 2/22/2008 11:54:34 AM , Rating: 2
So true... And so sad :(


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