Driving performance and economy: How to find the perfect balance

The performance vs. economy question is one that tends to vex motorists looking to buy a new vehicle. However, you don’t necessarily have to steer clear of the high performance models and the non-eco options to be able to achieve economy with what you drive. There are still ways to ensure that you get the perfect balance between these two crucial factors.

Buy a car that suits your needs

If you want to get the best in terms of both performance and economy then finding a car that is the right fit for your lifestyle is going to be crucial. For example, if you live in an urban environment and you’re only likely to need a car for driving around the city then there’s no need for a car with a large engine to support high speeds and powerful acceleration.

A smaller car with a smaller engine will be both more convenient for cramped driving and parking conditions and much more economical in terms of being suited to the style of driving that a city requires. On the other hand, if you’re looking to cover longer distances at higher speeds, a larger engine can do this much more economically.

Considering the options

There are lots of crossovers today between performance models and vehicles that have a more economical drive. For example, many manufacturers today include “sport” mode (or 4WD), which means that there are additional performance options available on a car that is essentially designed to be a more economical option to drive every day.

Turbocharging is another technological advance that creates more choice. Those cars that have this function may have smaller engines that are actually able to produce more power than larger engines made in previous years. So, with some models, you can have all the power and performance of a larger car with the economy of a smaller engine.

Driving and maintenance

You can increase the economical nature of any car by making sure that it is properly maintained. For example, ensuring that you have the right pressure in your tyres means you can reduce fuel consumption – if tyre pressure is too low then more fuel will be necessary to overcome added resistance. The way you drive will also have an impact on how economical the vehicle is – gentle acceleration and smooth driving consume less fuel. Keeping speeds low and avoiding a situation where you have to break suddenly will also help to reduce unnecessary fuel consumption, making the car more economical to drive.

Additional features

Many performance cars today also include features that are designed to improve economy. For example, if your vehicle has cruise control you could save around 6%in fuel costs while driving on the motorway. Other features, such as LED headlights and emissions sensors, have a range of benefits, both when it comes to economising and also the impact that you’re having on the world around while driving.

Performance vs. economy is not such a choice as it might have been in years gone by. Today, there are many more options for integrating both into your daily drive.

Get in touch with Jewelultra today for all your automotive needs.

What will cars of the future look like?

The auto industry is changing, fast. We have seen more disruption in the last decade than there has been for a century. The way we drive, the type of cars we buy, the fuel we use and even whether we operate the car ourselves have all begun to change. So much so that it’s difficult to imagine today what the cars of the future will look like.

Changing the concept of the car

Cars have always been closely associated with the internal combustion engine. However, technology has begun to take us beyond this idea to methods of propulsion like batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. As more governments establish higher targets for non-petrol or diesel cars on the roads in the next decade, it looks like we are reaching the end of the era of the combustion engine. Today, the market for electric cars has expanded enormously and there is a whole range of options for all budgets, with an increasing number of performance-focused design features being integrated too.

Overturning ownership

Another big change to the future of the car could be to individual ownership. Currently, although we are a one – or two – car per household society, very few people actually own their own vehicle. Instead, most people choose to rent their car – 90% of new cars are purchased using some kind of car finance scheme.

In the future, ownership could shift once again so that vehicles are shared between individuals in order to save on costs – car pool type arrangements could make cars available to drivers, as and when required, with the expense of maintenance and cost price shared. Alternatively, we may switch to simply hiring cars for necessary journeys or driving them only for sport.

The autonomous question

Although a decade ago the idea of a driverless car would have seemed like pure fantasy, this is now very much a potential reality. Autonomous cars can’t yet be used on the roads but they are much further ahead in development terms than they have ever been. There are a lot of very convincing reasons why autonomous cars could become the next big thing. Among them, the statistic that 90% of all car accidents are the result of human driver error.

Although there are some significant perception obstacles to overcome for the autonomous car to go mainstream, the reality is that the roads are likely to be a lot safer without humans behind the wheel. Autonomous cars could also make our vehicles into something of a taxi service. Rather than driving somewhere, then having to park and retrieve the car later, an autonomous car would drop passengers off and then make its own way home. It could then be programmed to pick up later at the right time.

Cars are changing at every level, from the needs that consumers have for them to the way that manufacturers are making fundamental changes to design.

Developments over the next decade could be interesting to observe – one thing we do know is that the cars of tomorrow will be nothing like the vehicles that we have today.

Get in touch with Jewelultra for all your car requirements today.

How has automotive technology evolved over the years?

The evolution of automotive technology has come a long way since the first gas engine car was invented in 1886. Before that, the only cars that existed were powered by steam, which was a cumbersome, noisy and inefficient option for the earliest automobiles. Given that this was really not much more than a century ago, it’s incredible to think how far the auto industry has come with the slick and efficient models of today.

The first car

It was Karl Benz who created that very first car back in 1886. However, this early model bore only a slight resemblance to the vehicles we use today. It produced 0.75 horsepower, had just three wheels and looked a lot like a long tricycle. Between the 1880s and the 1920s, cars began to change but had very few of the features that most of us consider to be essential to the modern driving experience. For example, these early models were without windscreens or turning signals and most didn’t even have a round steering wheel.

Ford Motors

In 1906 automotive technology experienced its first big milestone when Ford Motors released its Model T. After that, thanks to the invention of the assembly line, cars began to emerge that bore a much stronger resemblance to the modern model. Ford, General Motors and Chrysler started to work on evolving automotive technology at a blistering pace and by the 1920s were making cars that could reach up to 35 horsepower, producing speeds of up to 20 miles per hour.

Changes and developments in the car industry

Although the car industry continued to change and develop, a century ago car engines could still only ignite from one fuel: gasoline. It wasn’t until the mid 1930s that Mercedes Benz changed the landscape of fuel by introducing the ‘Mercedes-Benz 260 D,’ which ran on diesel. A century later concerns about the impact of these fuels would lead to another huge rethink of automotive technology with the development of hybrid and electric vehicles. With this new technology, drivers today can refuel on electricity, as opposed to diesel or gasoline, which should eventually be both more cost effective for consumers and better for the environment too.

Top speeds

As the years went on, improvements in auto technology have created cars that can go much faster. From those initial models that could reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour, today the top speeds achieved by street-legal production cars are almost 300 miles per hour. The way we drive changed too, perhaps most significantly with the introduction of the first automatic transmission based vehicle in the 1940s. The 1950s saw the driving experience improve thanks to power steering and cruise control. Since then, advances have come thick and fast, from the introduction of GPS through to high level security systems and electric windows and air conditioning.

Automotive technology has gone through many different evolutions over the years. As cars continue to get smarter, faster and more environmentally friendly, there seems to be no limit to what auto innovation can achieve.

Get in touch with Jewelultra today for all your automotive care requirements.

Could new car technology mean the end of the hybrid?

When the hybrid car was first pioneered the reception in the auto industry wasn’t exactly enthusiastic. While the Prius and Insight were happily received by many eco conscious consumers, large numbers of industry insiders were unimpressed. And then came the big crackdown on emissions that forced carmakers across the world to start considering alternatives to the petrol engine. Emissions targets set in the US and EU suddenly meant that carmakers had to evolve to be able to meet them. So, the hybrid became mainstream. But has it ever really found a permanent niche?

Hybrids are not the popular choice anymore

Although hybrids once seemed to offer a solution to the problems that carmakers are having when it comes to reducing emissions, they don’t anymore. In fact, most manufacturers have realised that the development costs of getting these cars on the road are out of proportion to the emissions savings that can be made by designing them.

Many carmakers need to start making real savings to meet emissions targets such as those set in the EU (95g/km by 2020 and 2021). These green goals are about to start being phased in and there is a general sense in the industry that reliance on hybrid models simply isn’t going to help many auto brands to reach them.

Why are carmakers abandoning the hybrid?

Primarily because of the huge fines that are likely to be applied if those emissions targets are not met. There is plenty of evidence of the auto industry taking a step back from the hybrid. For example, several years ago the BMW M3 was intended to be a hybrid but this element has now been abandoned by the carmaker.

Thanks to new technology that has started to become more available in the past couple of years there are now pure electric alternatives that don’t have any emissions consequences. And, for many in the industry, embracing this technology is the only way to avoid those heavy fines.

The technology that means the end of the hybrid

Electric Vehicles (EVs) have come on leaps and bounds in recent years as investment has poured into designing new technology that will help to create the cars of the future. Perhaps one of the biggest issues for the plug-in EV has always been range. However, battery sizes and capacity now mean that this has all changed – the Tesla Model 3, for example, has a range of more than 300 miles and the Chevy Bolt EV hatchback around 230 miles.

Performance has also spiked sharply and we are beginning to see the first high performance all electric vehicles emerge. Plus cost – one of the biggest obstacles to widespread consumer purchasing – is being brought down thanks to advances in technology, with price parity with petrol vehicles expected in just a couple of years.

Hybrids were only ever meant to be a temporary measure and never really offered a viable solution to emissions issues. For consumers and carmakers alike, the future now is genuinely electric.

For all your car needs, get in touch with Jewelultra today.

Steve Pascoe’s Ford Cosworth Restoration with Diamondbrite

Steve Pascoe is a good friend of Jewelultra, and we love to hear about his latest projects, especially when Diamondbrite is involved! (Clearly it runs in the family, as his son, Paul Pascoe, is our distributor for Ireland.)

Steve’s latest project has been restoring a Ford Sierra Cosworth. However, this isn’t just any Ford. This car is one of the first 3 door Sierra Cosworth’s produced by Ford, and it needed a lot of work to bring it up to scratch. The car was previously owned by a Sierra Cosworth enthusiast, who has owned many in his time, but unfortunately the car’s condition was worse than feared. This meant that many of the parts had to be sold, leaving only the body shell remaining.

The restoration process

The body shell needed a full restoration, as the floors, sills, inner and outer wings, real wheel arches and more were all damaged. All of the rusting panels were replaced with steel, and many areas of the body were strengthened to bring the car up to race standard. The body shell alone took 12 months to restore, using genuine Ford body panels where possible.

A genuine 2.0 litre Ford Sierra Cosworth engine was purchased, featuring the stronger 200 block with balanced crank and rods. The cylinder head has been reworked to group A specification, as have the camshafts with adjustable Vernier pullies. The gearbox is a T5 racing dog box that can withstand power in excess of the predicted 450 break horsepower output. The rear end is also a Ford Motorsport Group N limited slip differential, with strengthened drive shafts.

Getting the car ready…

The whole of the running gear is to Group A specification, with a Ford Sierra Cosworth Group A suspension, as well as front anti roll bar, which required a full reworking of the crank sensor location, as well as modifications to the body shell. The work was carried out by Tim Swadkin, who is a specialist in performance Ford cars, with over 50 years’ experience working on Ford racing engines including the RS200, BDA, BDG and Cosworth.

This car is now one of only 2 known genuine Ford Sierra Cosworth’s to still exist in Rallycross around the world, and likely the only one competing in a full championship, and not just demonstration races.

Everything about this car has been geared for performance, with a modern link ECU, and an engine system managed by Clinton, from Brands Hatch Performance, a Ford and Cosworth specialist whose customers are span all corners of the globe.

The final results

The total car build cost at this point is upwards of £35,000, with the car being valued in excess of £50,000 after an extensive two-year restoration. So, what does this translate to? 0-60mph in ~3 seconds, 170mph+ top speed on current gearing, 120mph on a Rallycross track with short straights.

We’re so pleased to be able to support Steve with the restoration, as the whole car has been treated using Diamondbrite products. This will help protect the car from wear and tear, as well as preventing damage to the paintwork and interior.

Keep an eye on our blog for any updates on this, and other projects – and if you’re interested in protecting your vehicle, whether it’s a restoration, or a new buy, you can take a look at our range of Diamondbrite Automotive products here.

Motorcycle Riders: We want your help…

We’re looking for a serious year-round rider, who’s on their bike no matter what the weather, to test Diamondbrite Motorcycle Pro in the real world.

We’ll give your bike a free application of paintwork protection, worth £150, and you’ll receive an aftercare pack too.

In return, you’ll need to report back on the performance of Diamondbrite bike care products.

If you think you’ve got what it takes, send a picture of your motorcycle, with details of your annual mileage and what type of riding you do, to diamondbrite@jewelultra.com

We’ll need your entry by 31st March 2019 and the lucky rider will be announced on our Facebook page.

Drive Safe: Avoid these common car crash causes

Analysis of road accident statistics shows that many of these accidents are preventable. Although there is often an element of bad luck or bad timing involved in having a car crash, there are also many other reasons why accidents happen that are more attributable to human behaviour. If you want to stay safe on the roads then it’s important to have a good understanding of what the most common causes of car crashes are – so that you can set out to avoid them.

 

Being too tired

If you’re tired at the wheel then your reactions are likely to be slower and you’re probably going to find it difficult to concentrate on the road and on your driving. Being tired means you’re less alert and your reaction time is longer – this is one of the reasons why accidents that are the result of tiredness are 50% more likely to be fatal. Tiredness is easily dealt with – pull over and sleep or stop somewhere for the night if you’re feeling really fatigued.

 

Going too fast

Speed limits are there for a reason, most often because they represent the optimum speed at which it’s still possible to stop safely. Speeding is a contributing factor in more than 10% of injuries that result from car crashes and several hundred people are killed every year because someone is going too fast. Make sure you know what the speed limits are for urban and country areas, stick to the signs and remember that it will be more difficult to stop in winter weather conditions, such as snow.

 

Not focusing on your driving

There are laws against using your mobile phone while driving in the UK. However, many people still don’t follow them, which is why around 3% of accidents are the result of the driver being distracted by something other than what’s on the roads. That might be a mobile phone or it could be music, smoking or eating. The easiest way to avoid having an accident in this way is to pull over if there is something you need to do, such as eating lunch or making a phone call. Driving is one activity that should never be combined with anything else.

 

Being a dangerous driver

From road rage to reckless breaking or overtaking when you shouldn’t, unfortunately there are many ways to be a dangerous driver. If you’re not driving safely on the roads then you’re putting yourself and others at risk. Not only that but if your behaviour causes an accident you may end up being prosecuted as a result – fines and prison time could be the consequences.

 

The weather

It’s not just snow and ice that cause many accidents in the UK every year but other weather conditions too. Overly bright sunlight, rain and high winds can also make driving conditions treacherous. If you know that bad weather is coming it’s always a good idea to leave yourself plenty of time to make your journey. Reduce your speed and don’t make any sudden moves.

For the sake of your own safety, as well as those of others – and to avoid expensive repair and replace bills for your car – steering clear of these common causes of car crashes is a must.

Get in touch with Jewelultra today for your car health and safety requirements.

Protect the value of your caravan or motorhome with Diamondbrite’s leisure range

A caravan or motorhome is an investment for anyone. Whether you’re planning to sell on at a future time, or you just want to ensure your vehicle looks great for every trip, protecting it will be essential. However, it’s not easy to do. Especially if your caravan or motorhome is in frequent use it can be challenging to keep it looking great and to ensure that no unseen damage is taking its toll. That’s why Diamondbrite’s leisure range was developed – to give caravan and motorhome owners the peace of mind of knowing that your investment is protected.

 

What are the risks to a caravan or motorhome?

Paintwork is what makes our vehicles feel brand new and it has a big impact on how much you enjoy your caravan or motorhome. However, the paintwork is constantly being exposed to a range of pollutants and also to the elements. This often means that the factory finish is under attack from the moment you drive the caravan or motorhome off the forecourt. As a result, the colour can start to look faded and dull.

You might also notice that there are stains on the paintwork or black streaks are appearing. Then there’s the damage that is happening on a much more microscopic level – it’s this that can do the most harm. From road gravel to pollutants in the atmosphere, the paintwork may become pitted and damaged. Even though you can’t see this happening, the end result will be a loss of overall aesthetic quality.

 

Using Diamondbrite’s leisure range      

Diamondbrite is made from refined rock oils that help to create a high gloss protective skin on your caravan or motorhome. This not only ensures that the paintwork looks great but also protects against even microscopic damage. So, how does it work?

 

Diamondbrite is a two stage process

Each stage works together to build up a durable and good looking glaze.

 

It’s incredibly effective

This tough layer can protect your caravan or motorhome from everything, from insect fluid and tree sap through to the impact of road salts and atmospheric pollutants. It can even help avoid damage from bird droppings if washed off within seven days.

 

Once Diamondbrite is applied the rest is simple

Black streaks and moss are easily removed and you’ll never have to polish your caravan or motorhome again.

 

Maintenance is straightforward after Diamondbrite

Once you have the protective layer in place you can simple clean regularly with Diamondbrite Car Shampoo.

 

A Lifetime Guarantee

Where Diamondbrite has been carried out by an approved Diamondbrite applicator the whole process is covered by a Lifetime Guarantee.

 

Increasing the sell on value

If you want to sell your caravan or motorhome on in the future, the investment in Diamondbrite will ensure that the vehicle is much more appealing to potential buyers who will look for attractive paintwork.

Diamondbrite makes looking after your caravan or motorhome easy. Cleaning is simple and you won’t need to waste any more time polishing to get – and maintain – the best aesthetic finish.  

Get in touch with Jewelultra today for more information about Diamondbrite and our other products.

How will driverless cars impact automotive culture?

Autonomous cars are on the horizon for drivers all over the world. With the first vehicles already in development it’s clear that driverless vehicles are going to be a part of automotive culture in the near future. This will mark a significant change for many of us but will the driver experience be improved or lessened as a result? There are a number of different ways in which the development of driverless cars could potentially impact on automotive culture.

 

Relationships between drivers

A huge 80% of Britons said they suffered from road rage in 2017. This often originates from the driving habits and behaviours of other road users. However, if it’s artificial intelligence, rather than individual humans, who are responsible for how the vehicle is handled, it’s likely that the number of road rage incidents will drop significantly. In fact, road rage as a problem could even be eliminated completely.

 

The number of accidents

Around two thirds of the fatalities that are linked to traffic accidents are the result of aggressive driving. Driverless cars are automatically operated and don’t involve engagement with human emotions, such as anger. So, deaths and injuries that occur as a result of this type of accident should be eliminated. It’s also hoped that autonomous cars will make for generally safer roads thanks to the superior judgment and decision making abilities of driverless cars, which will all be based on software not mood.

 

Car ownership in general

It’s likely that car ownership is going to be reduced when driverless cars are introduced. This could be as a result of the potential cost of owning an autonomous car. However, a recent study also identified that a subscription-based model of car ownership is likely to become the norm when autonomous cars are in the majority. This would mean that most of us will not own a car but will subscribe to rent one, as and when required. The study found that the level of car ownership in the UK could fall by as much as 80% over the next decade as a result.

 

The necessity of car parks

Currently, we use car parks as somewhere to leave a vehicle while we’re at work or using certain amenities such as restaurants or the cinema. However, when driverless cars become the norm car parks will no longer be necessary. Why? Well because autonomous cars will be able to drive themselves home after transporting passengers from A to B – and to venture out to make pick ups when necessary too.

 

No such thing as drunk or underage driving

Rates of alcohol consumption could well shoot up, as the responsibility of safely navigating the car home is lifted. Plus, driverless cars will mean that anyone of any age can be on the roads – a recent study found parents would be happy to let their children ride in an autonomous car on their own.

 

Security risks will change

Instead of theft being the biggest problem with cars, it could be security. If the operating system of a driverless car is hacked then anyone in it could end up effectively a hostage to whoever takes control.

Driverless cars will mark a big shift in automotive culture, bringing with them a whole range of benefits and a few concerns too.

For all your automotive needs, get in touch with Jewelultra today on.

Why is it important to keep your car clean?

We’re all taught from an early age that cleanliness is always a good idea. However, when it comes to your car, it’s not just about making a good impression or sticking to a routine. There are a lot of benefits to taking the time to ensure that your car is clean, from how safe it is to the driving experience that you have.

 

Why it’s so crucial to keep your car clean

A dirty interior can be a hazardous environment. The inside of a car can be a fascinating place if you’re looking to learn something about a messy driver – but you wouldn’t necessarily want to touch anything in there. We tend to accumulate a wide range of junk in our cars, whether that’s sports kit or empty food wrappers. It’s essential to ensure that these are regularly removed and that the interiors are cleaned frequently. If not then your car could become a haven for bad bacteria that can begin to accumulate on surfaces such as the steering wheel, dashboard and the seats.

 

It could end up being a safety issue

If you’re a driver then you could have an accident. For most of us that won’t happen frequently (every 18 years is the average according to statistics) but to ensure that’s the case it’s crucial to take steps to ensure that you minimise the risks. If your car is dirty then existing risks are instantly increased as a result of factors such as poor visibility through dirty windows or a lack of judgment because of mirrors that have never been cleaned.

 

You’ll preserve the value of the car for longer

Almost all vehicles are depreciating assets and there’s not a lot that anyone can do about that. However, it’s possible to take steps to reduce the rate at which the vehicle drops in value.

 

Make your car last longer

Keeping it clean can make a big difference in a number of ways, including helping to keep the paintwork looking good for longer. Dirt, road debris and environmental factors, such as rain, can all have an impact on paintwork, degrading it quickly. That’s why it’s so essential to ensure that you have a cleaning system that will keep your car looking shiny and new, free from the effects of harmful grime.

 

Reducing the cost of maintenance and repairs

Any ongoing cost related to a car is something that you’ll have to factor in to a regular budget. However, if the car is kept clean then it’s much easier to ensure these expenses stay low. Clean cars are much less likely to get stuck mechanisms or damaged paintwork, for example, both of which cost money to repair.

Finally, one big reason to keep your car clean is so that you can enjoy it more. It’s difficult to feel proud of a dirty car that just doesn’t look its best. Make the most of your investment and keep it clean with a waterless wash and wax system like Diamondbrite.

 

Get in touch with Jewelultra to find out more today.

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