2011 Mercedes-Benz CL Class Price, Review & Picture

2011 Mercedes-Benz CL Class Price, Review & Picture – New Car Reviews, The 2011 CL-Class lineup features a restyled body and cabin and new mbrace telematics. The CL550′s 5.5-liter V-8 has been replaced by a 4.6-liter, 429-horsepower direct-injection V-8 with 47 more horses and a whopping 185 pound-feet more torque. The CL63 gets a new twin-turbo 5.5-liter direct-injected V-8 with stop/start technology, plus AMG’s seven-speed multi-clutch trans. CL65 now offers more power, and there are several new safety systems on all models.

The CL-Class by Mercedes-Benz is the vehicle manufacturer’s largest coupe offering sporting a wheel base of 116-inches. The car is shorter than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The CL-Class has a similar styling to the S-Class and when the latter vehicle got a redesign the CL-Class was also redesigned. In 2011 models, new changes have been made including the addition of extravagant wheel arches, assertive contouring, and an angular nose and tail.

There are not many coupes offered at this price or size. The CL-Class resides in an elite group; The vehicle is a competitor of Bentley and Jaguar offerings. Car buyers that choose the CL-Class can choose from the V-8 or V-12 motor. Both engines are joined to a seven-speed auto tranny. The V-8, direct injection, twin-turbo engine offers 429 horsepower and the CL-Class comes with all-wheel-drive too.

The CL-Class offers a great deal of power and its steering is refined. The car buyer will be more than pleased in his or her investment. The rear seating is somewhat compromised however, so if you demand spaciousness, opt for the S-Class instead.

The 2011 C-Class receives a new hood, grille, and fenders, and a new exterior color, Magnetite Black, is available. There are also LED turn signals and taillights. The C-Class rolls on 18-, 19-, or 20-inch wheels depending on trim level and options. The CL-Class seats four. Leather seating, 14-way power heated and vented seats and an 11-speaker harman/kardon audio system are standard. Alcantara headliner, Bluetooth interface, iPod integration, and heated steering wheel are available.

The smallest engine, now a twin-turbo V-8, adds nearly 200 pound-feet of torque for 2011. The largest engine also has more power: 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. All four provide smooth, seemingly endless power backed by a choice of seven-speed automatics. Despite its large size, the CL-Class’ handling is top-notch; AMG options make straight-line 0-to-60 runs even more entertaining and braking power even more impressive. Dual front airbags, front and rear side airbags, driver-side knee bag, and full-length head curtain are standard. Also standard are four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, stability control, attention assist, active lane keeping assist, and active blind spot assist.

Body styles: Coupe
Engines: 4.6L V-8, 5.5L turbocharged V-8, 6.0L V-12, 6.2L V-12
Transmissions: 7-speed automatic
Models: CL550 4MATIC, CL63 AMG, CL600, CL65 AMG

Price : $113,150 – $209,300

2011 Nissan Armada Price, Review & Picture

2011 Nissan Armada Price, Review & Picture – New Car Reviews, For 2011 the Armada’s lineup has been shuffled. The new SV and SL replace the previous SE and Titanium, respectively, while the top-of-the-line Platinum continues unchanged. New exterior (Espresso Black) and interior (Almond) hues are added to the color palettes. All two-wheel-drive models now come with a 2.94 rear axle ratio, helping increase towing capacity to 8200 pounds.

The Armada is an SUV from Nissan. It stems from the ladder frame F-Alpha platform. It is a full sized vehicle with the attributes of a truck if considering its payload and towing abilities, but it still looks sporty. The Armada can achieve zero-to-sixty in 6.8 seconds. It brakes from sixty-to-zero in 128 feet, and it has a eight seater, spacious interior. The vehicle is practical and spacious. It has a second row of seats that fold flat for even more space. The last row of seating has a 60-40 split so more cargo area is supplied too. The Armada is fitted with a 5.6-Liter V-8 engine coupled to a five-speed auto tranny.

This SUV grips the road for a .76g of lateral grip due to the inclusion of a control arm suspension. It rides like a sedan. It has exceptional handling an ergonomic styling. The V-8 Armada Endurance uses E-8 Flex Fuel or regular unleaded. It has a mediocre fuel economy delivering 12 mpg/18 mpg. A new model will appear in a year, based on the Japan-sourced Patrol. Armada’s two-box design, out since 2004, has aged well, thanks in part to a bold front grille, flared fenders, and “hidden” rear door handles. Available exterior equipment includes fog lamps and a chrome roof rack. With a long 123.2-inch wheelbase but relatively short 207.7-inch overall length, the Armada manages to deliver impressive room for eight passengers and up to 97.1 cubic feet of cargo space. A gated floor-mounted shifter provides a carlike experience.

A 5.6-liter Endurance V-8 rated at 317 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque motivates the Armada with gusto. Paired to a five-speed automatic, the 5.6 pushes the 5700-pound Armada from 0 to 60 in under seven seconds. The full-size eight-passenger Armada features a heavy-duty fully boxed ladder frame and control-arm suspension, both of which contribute to 0.76 g lateral acceleration. The Armada comes fitted with front, front-side, and side curtain airbags, the last for outboard occupants in all three rows. The Armada also gets front-seat active head restraints, stability control, and a tire pressure monitoring system.

Bodystyle: SUV
Engine: 5.6L V-8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Models: SL, SV, Platinum

New Car for new market

New Car for new market – what car reviews, Sportage is a jeep or SUV type vehicles manufactured by KIA Motors Automotive Company. This car was launched in late 1993. KIA Sportage has 2 generations, the Sportage I (1993-2003) and the Sportage II (2004-present). Entered Indonesia through CBU Build Up that means the Kia Sportage is not assembled in Indonesia. However, as a manufacturer of Indonesia pledged to sell the Kia Sportage is assembled in Indonesia. Although the price is affordable, safety equipment is to install the ABS and EBD control systems suppose to control braking and airbag seven points, and is equipped with Cruise Control. Sportage I and II are very economical in terms of fuel consumption to reach 13.5 kilometers to a liter of gasoline. For diesel engines, Sportage I and II can reach 20 kilometers to a liter of diesel. While Kia Sportage 2700cc engine can only travel 7.5 km a liter of gasoline.

While the engine choice will be made 2.0-liter capacity and 2.4-liter 4-cylinder petrol and diesel type which consists of 1.7-liter and 2.0-liter. As Tucson is sold in the North American market, the latest Sportage will tuck 6-speed transmission. The engine generates maximum power of 166 horsepower, available in two variants of the transmission, the six-speed manual and automatic. Kia, an affiliate company of Hyundai Motor Co.., targets sales of 140,000 units of the new Sportage this year, including 37,000 units for the domestic market. New Kia Sportage 2011 brings new innovations applied to sports utility vehicle (SUV) this. It was there in the front seat, and later will become an option. Sportage is equipped with front seat heating and ventilation system developed by Amerigon Incorporated (AI).ower, available in two variants of the transmission, the six-speed manual and automatic. Kia, an affiliate company of Hyundai Motor Co.., targets sales of 140,000 units of the new Sportage this year, including 37,000 units for the domestic market. New Kia Sportage 2011 brings new innovations applied to sports utility vehicle (SUV)

No more gas guzzling: the SUVs that skimp on fuel

The old gas guzzling image of the SUV is being left behind as a slew of recent models show fuel efficiency is now one of the top priorities for drivers and manufacturers.

Hybrid vehicles in particular are at the forefront of this trend, with big motoring names pouring resources into ensuring that going green no longer means compromising on performance.

There are always going to be other factors, but if outright efficiency is your main criteria for finding the right SUV, then the following should make your list of top the five:

Ford’s latest hybrid is placed by numerous car sites including Edmunds as a top SUV choice for sheer miles-to-the-gallon efficiency. Its 2.5-litre engine utilises green technology that Ford has been developing for over a decade to achieve a superb 34 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway.

Fitted out with a 3.5-litre engine, going from 0 to 60 in 7.8 seconds, the Lexus packs a punch while coming in not far behind the Ford in terms of pure efficiency at 32 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway.

Using Mazda’s own SKYACTIV technology, the CX5 crossover SUV has a 2.0-litre engine that produces 155 hp. Praised by consumers and industry experts on its release earlier this year it also averages 30mpg.

A hatchback SUV which is nippy and stylishly designed, the Juke is also among the skimpiest in fuel consumption at 27 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway. Its 1.6-litre engine and 188 hp translates into an impressively sporty drive.

Evening out at 28mpg in city and highway conditions, the Toyota packs plenty of power with a 3.5-litre engine, while also being the model with the most cargo space. At the higher end of the SUV price range, this model delivers what it what it promises to.

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Drill Baby, Drill

Technology has outpaced regulation when it comes to the latest advances in oil and gas drilling and extraction. However, with both state and federal regulations under development, the law may soon catch up.

At the federal level, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) plans to release a set of revised proposed regulations addressing hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) by the end of March. A copy of the regulations, which will apply to drilling activities on federal lands, was recently leaked ahead of its publication in the federal register. The proposed regulations, originally released last May, have been revised in response to public comments. The revised regulations drop a pre-drilling compliance certification requirement, and although the rules would require disclosure of fracking chemicals to BLM, such disclosure would be made after drilling and would be subject to potential trade secret protection. The regulations additionally require that operators have an appropriate management plan for flowback water and set standards for well bore construction. Notably, unlike the original version, the revised regulations appear limited to fracking as opposed to other drilling techniques, such as “acidizing.”

The BLM is not the only federal agency looking into possible fracking regulation. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency is currently studying the effects of fracking on drinking water sources, something that could become a steppingstone to water quality based regulations.

Regulatory efforts are also heating up at the state level. For example, the California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”), released a “discussion draft” set of rules in December that would require oil companies to notify state officials at least 10 days prior to fracking and to disclose fracking fluid chemicals on the website FracFocus.org, unless such chemicals are protected as trade secrets or confidential business information. The draft rules also require well testing to assure that the well can withstand fracking force, and a public posting of information about the testing results and where fracking is scheduled to occur at least seven days before drilling.

Other recent California initiatives are also aimed at fracking. For example, SB 395 would have water produced during the drilling processes treated as hazardous waste. Other bills introduced in California would similarly subject fracking to greater scrutiny. For example, some of the provisions in proposed laws would require avoidance of seismicity risk, require oil companies to demonstrate that use of fracking would present no threat to public health and safety, require full disclosure of well construction materials and chemical use, and provide for citizen suits for disclosure failures. The California South Coast Air Quality Management District also appears ready to propose regulations governing fracking and its impact on air quality.

Between BLM and DOGGR’s proposed regulations, state legislative efforts, and indications of other possible rules, drilling oversight promises to be a big focus this year. How those efforts will impact the use of hydraulic fracturing in California remains to be seen, especially as domestic production of oil and gas surges, stimulating economic activity and reducing dependence on foreign sources. In the least, as both industry and environmentalists ramp up their arguments, we can expect a year of hearty debate over fracking related techniques and other technological developments in oil and gas exploration and production.

The Great Ethanol Caper – A Seemingly Good Idea Gone Wrong

It is a rare event indeed when oil industry, environmental groups, poverty advocates, taxpayer groups and livestock growers all unanimously agree that a federal program has gone horribly wrong. But that is exactly what happened with respect to the federal ethanol in gasoline mandate. How did this come to be?

While the concept of adding ethyl alcohol, commonly referred to as “ethanol,” to gasoline dates all the way back to the early 1900s, a real push for such a result began in the 1970s by corn growers. It finally gained some traction in the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act, which mandated that oxygenates be added to gasoline to make it burn more cleanly in areas with poor air quality. While methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) became the oxygenate of choice based primarily on its price, leakage of the chemical from underground storage tanks (and because it migrates faster and farther in soil and groundwater than other gasoline components) resulted in the product being banned and a switch by fuel manufacturers to corn-based ethanol. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 cemented the role of corn-based ethanol by including a Renewable Fuel Standard that required all gasoline sold in the nation to be comprised of 5 percent oxygenate. In 2007, that requirement was revised to require increasing amounts of oxygenate in every year up until 2022. However, starting in 2012, the amount of corn-based ethanol that could be added to gasoline was capped, and the remaining oxygenate requirement had to be filled by so-called advanced biofuels — oxygenates made from cellulosic biomass such as switch grass. If transportation fuel manufacturers failed to achieve the required levels, the law required that they purchase “waiver credits” instead. Unfortunately, while cellulosic biomass and other biofuels may someday become readily available, no such fuels for commercial use were produced in either 2011 or 2012.

This series of events, caused by federal policy, has produced a number of negative consequences that have given birth to the strange coalition of forces mentioned above, who are now lobbying Congress and the EPA to make drastic changes in the mandate. Among those consequences are the following: With respect to corn-ethanol, a huge percentage of all corn grown in the United States (at least 40 percent), which produces about 40 percent of the world’s total corn supply, has been diverted from food and animal feed production for use in fuel, resulting in an increase in the cost of corn-based products that has been estimated to be as high as 68 percent, which in turn has increased world hunger and caused rapid deforestation in order to plant more crops. Because that deforestation increases the amount of greenhouse gases trapped in the atmosphere, many experts have now concluded that ethanol causes greater harm to the environment than the gasoline it is intended to replace. With respect to advanced biofuels, fuel manufacturers have been forced to obtain waiver credits, costing millions of dollars for biofuels they did not purchase because the products do not exist, driving up the cost of providing another essential consumer commodity — motor fuel.

It will be interesting to see how this well-intentioned fiasco finally gets sorted out.

New Revisions to Federal Total Coliform Rule Unlikely to Have An Immediate Impact on Public Water Systems

The Total Coliform Rule is a national primary drinking water regulation that was published in 1989 and became effective in 1990. The rule set both health goals and maximum contaminant levels for total coliform in drinking water. The rule also provided baseline requirements for testing that water systems must undertake. Coliforms are a large class of micro-organisms found in human and animal fecal matter, used to determine whether the drinking water may have other disease-causing organisms in it. A high total coliform level in water indicates a high probability of contamination by protazoa, viruses and bacteria that may be pathogenic.

On December 20, 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency signed off on final revisions to the rule to be submitted for publication in the federal register. Based on advisory committee recommendations, the revisions will require public water systems that are vulnerable to microbial contamination to identify and fix those problems. More specifically, public water systems that are vulnerable to microbial contamination in the distribution system (as indicated by monitoring results for total coliforms and E. coli) will be required to assess the problem and take corrective action that may reduce cases of illnesses and deaths due to potential fecal contamination and waterborne pathogen exposure. The revisions will also establish criteria for public water systems to implement reduced monitoring, thereby incentivizing improved water system operations.

Some states, like California, have requirements that were already stricter than the federal requirements, and compliance with this new revision to the federal Total Coliform Rule is not required until April 2016. As a result, the publication of these changes to the rule is unlikely to have any immediate impact on many public water systems, but it may encourage states to respond with their own regulatory changes to either mirror or strengthen the new federal requirements. Many utilities already rigorously test for both total coliform and E. coli; or, they test for E. coli if there is any total coliform positive result. Because utilities must strictly adhere to regulatory sampling and notification requirements to protect the public health, and to prevent liability suits, there is also unlikely to be any immediate changes in utility sampling conduct based on this revision to the federal rule — absent specific changes in the state regulations, which govern testing. But time will tell.

California Pushes Forward in the Carbon Frontier, Overcoming Legal Challenge

January was quite a month for California’s cap-and-trade program. For one thing, the program went live. For the first wave of approximately 350 regulated entities, January 1, 2013 marked the beginning of mandatory compliance with the program. Those “covered entities” will need to come up with emissions allowances or approved offsets (for up to 8 percent of the entity’s total emissions) to meet their compliance obligations, which are based on a gradual reduction of historical emissions.

On January 25, proponents of the program also defeated a lawsuit that challenged the very validity of the offset program. Namely, the Superior Court for the County of San Francisco determined that the California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) was within its authority to use a standards-based approach (as opposed to a project-specific evaluation) to determine whether an offset project would result in “additionality,” or additional emission reductions that would otherwise not have occurred. You can find a copy of the decision here.

The offset program victory follows on the heels of the launch of the first auction. Despite a last-minute lawsuit challenging CARB’s authority to raise revenue by auctioning off emission “allowances,” the first ever auction went forward. Although the $290 million generated by the auction was less than was estimated (some predicted as much as $1 billion would be raised), the auction was an important milestone.

Since the framework for a cap-and-trade system was first adopted, there has been a number of lawsuits challenging either the legality of the program as a whole or its components. But, despite a year’s delay, the program has now commenced. The government faces a new domain and continuing objection as it implements the regulatory framework, but California’s program could serve as a model for other government programs, resulting in a possible expansion of the market. Already there has been a proposal to link California’s market with Quebec’s, and there has been chatter of linkage to Australia’s carbon economy as well.

Players in the market are looking forward to the prospect of numerous opportunities, from investments relating to the trading of allowances to the development, accreditation and verification of offset projects. As California pushes forward with the cap-and trade program, we are reminded that the State’s pioneering mindset is alive and well.

California’s First Carbon Auction: Without a Hitch or Full of Glitch?

For those interested in California’s cap-and-trade program, all eyes are on the first-ever auction of greenhouse gas emission credits (or “allowances”) scheduled for Wed., Nov. 14. Although the first wave of regulated entities were allocated free allowances to meet up to 90 percent of their recent emissions, such entities will have to cut their emissions in coming years or buy allowances or offsets to make up for any emissions over and above the allocated allowances.

Although buying and selling of offsets and allowances has been going on for some time via spot and exchange trades, the auction puts a spotlight on the burgeoning market as the program’s Jan. 1 compliance commencement date looms.

More than 23 million allowances for use in 2013 are being auctioned, with an additional nearly 40 million being auctioned for use in 2015. Bids are being sold in multiples of 1,000, and the floor price has been set at $10 per allowance. Both the state and private entities holding allowances will be selling at the auction. It is anticipated that the auction could raise more than $600 million for the state, and that future auctions could raise billions more.

The auction will be conducted electronically. To participate, eligible participants must have already registered and been approved as users in CARB’s market tracking system. Various market players have planned to participate in the auction, including regulated entities and investors.

A test run of the auction took place last month and was reported by CARB and others as a success. Whether next week’s actual auction, if it occurs as scheduled, will be perceived as a success will depend not only on the auction’s mechanics, but also, of course, on the trade price established for the allowances.

There has been some speculation that state officials might yet decide to postpone the auction due to threatened litigation that, if filed, could chill potential buyers’ willingness to bid. However, with the re-election of President Obama, the Democratic dominance in state government and the national discussion regarding a possible link between climate change and Hurricane Sandy, a decision could be made to go forward with the auction despite potential auction participation impacts.

All Politics is Local: Should State or Local Government Approve Renewable Energy Projects?

Who should have primary authority to approve solar photovoltaic (“PV”) and other renewable energy projects not within the California Energy’s Commission’s (“CEC”) exclusive jurisdiction?  Certain interests, such as the utility-scale solar industry and independent energy producers, are in favor of the CEC permitting or having the option to permit such projects.  Other interests, including local government agencies, the wind industry, and the Sierra Club, strongly believe that the decision to site and approve these projects should be made by counties and local government.

This issue has taken on a new level of prominence with the introduction of AB 2075, a bill that would expressly strip the CEC of jurisdiction over solar PV projects and would eliminate a  code section that gives an option to applicants proposing energy “facilities” otherwise exempt from CEC jurisdiction to submit to the CEC’s exclusive jurisdiction.  Currently, the CEC has clear jurisdiction over solar thermal projects, but it is unclear whether Public Resources Code Section 25502.3 in fact authorizes CEC to agree to take jurisdiction over non-thermal energy projects such as solar PV plants.  The CEC claims that Section 25502.3 in fact does allow renewable energy powerplant proponents, including solar PV applicants, to submit to CEC jurisdiction, thereby bypassing local control over such projects.

There is a common view that the environmental review process marshaled by the CEC is less onerous and more predictable than the environmental review conducted by local government.  Local agencies and certain environmental groups believe that the CEC is not adequately protective of local interests and the environment, and that project applicants should not be able to “cherry pick” the regulator.  Those in favor of CEC jurisdiction argue that local control over energy projects can result in unpredictable permitting issues and impediments to achieving California’s 33% renewable portfolio standard (“RPS”) requirement by 2020.  For example, it is claimed that Riverside County has stalled on all its solar applications in retaliation for a trade association (the Independent Energy Producers) lawsuit attempting to overturn a new property tax on project sites.

Although the arguments surrounding this issue do not always hold up (a number of California counties have, for example, emerged as leaders in the development of renewable energy), both sides in this debate have a point.  On the one hand, local governments should certainly have a say in the land use of their domain.  On the other hand, the CEC is our state’s energy expert and is perhaps better situated to help meet California’s hefty RPS mandate.

At the end of day, although AB 2075 could potentially bring greater clarity to renewable energy permitting processes, perhaps the status quo is not all that dysfunctional.  Most renewable energy applicants will likely still go to the local government for project approval, and the local government will likely conduct an appropriate review of the project.  However, if local government politics unduly interfere with the processing of a particular project, the CEC can be an appropriate escape valve.  Given the statewide 33% RPS, a permitting process that helps route around local political tit-for-tat is not necessarily a bad thing.

Adaptation: The Future of Climate Change

For those who believe in Climate Change, there is news: True to its word, the Union of Concerned Scientists  has published Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living, a guide examining which green actions make the most difference. How important is it to turn off the lights? According to these environmentalists, not very.  The vast majority of the green advice you’ll read? Nothing more than nice gestures; perhaps a little better than the alternatives.

According to their research, when it comes to climate change, there are four primary activities that dump carbon into the atmosphere:

  • traveling from place to place;
  • keeping buildings at pleasant temperatures;
  • creating electricity;
  • and raising animals for meat.

These conclusions raise some disturbing questions for those who believe in Climate Change. Cap and Trade?  Energy from solar and wind power? Nothing seems to be working. And indeed, with China, India and other underdeveloped countries yearning to have a standard of living commensurate with ours, it’s almost a moot point to consider what we should do if the largest populations in the world are not on board. Even in the United States, environmental groups were angered and frustrated by Obama’s decision in September to postpone indefinitely a regulation to tighten ozone standards.

Perhaps the answer is adaptation. This is not a new idea, but maybe a little more energy and money should be devoted to answering some very basic questions. How do we keep our water supply intact? How do we keep our coastal cities from flooding? What are going to be the biggest issues and how can they be fixed?

There is a silver lining. For those who believe there will be major problems, consider the new business opportunities arising due to climate change. In the next ten years, it is possible that one of the new approaches to climate change will be about adapting to it.  If so, we can expect significant business investment in that nascent arena as well.