Archive for the ‘Automobile Trends And Tech’ Category

What’s New in 2018 Vehicles

Posted on: September 11th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

2018 vehicle trends2018 Vehicle Trends

Those shiny new 2018 models are just around the corner and car aficionados everywhere have some pretty cool things to look forward to. Though the range of new vehicles coming out is vast, here are some key 2018 vehicle trends that have people’s eyebrows raised in intrigue, and with good reason.

More Horsepower

Drivers with a need for some serious oomph will be all-too-pleased with some of automotive’s recent upgrades in the 2018 lineup. For example, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, a limited-production model, comes equipped with a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that can pull as much as 840 horsepower, making this puppy a street-legal drag racer if ever we’ve seen one.

Superfast

What’s power without speed? There are some models making their debut in the upcoming year that top out at super-illegal speeds, but if a trip to the Autobahn (or racetrack) is in your future, you might get to make the most of picks like the Ferrari 812 Superfast, a sleek car with a top speed of 211 mph – without any turbo or supercharging.

Emphasis on Sports Cars

In case you couldn’t sense the trend in the 2018 vehicle trends, there’s a lot of sports cars making their way into the new car lineup. While there are still plenty of options available for everyone else, this is shaping up to be a great year for sports car enthusiasts the world over. There’s the top-performing Lamborghini Huracan Performante, the Lexus LC, Honda Civic Type R, and many more, all making their mark on the sports car world with increased power, performance, and added features to boot!

Increased Eco-Friendly Features

As vehicle tech continues to advance, so does the performance of eco-friendly choices like the Nissan Leaf, among others. More and more, electric car options are rocking seriously increased ranges (in the case of the leaf, boasting an excess of 200 miles before recharging is needed). It’s exciting to see this space getting more robust and more capable, a trend that’s only expected to continue into 2018 and beyond.

Semi-Autonomous Drives

The long-awaited Tesla Model 3 makes its debut for 2018 and is already making waves, too. The less expensive and smaller model has been anticipated for some time and looks to deliver on all the hype it’s created. Perhaps one of the biggest things to note about this one is Tesla’s Autopilot system, providing a semi-autonomous ride for drivers. Remember when self-driving cars were just a far off future idea akin to jetpacks and hoverboards? Well, welcome to the future, everybody.

How to Use This Information

Car tech is constantly shifting and advancing in so many different ways. Whether it’s in-car tech or finding ways to provide more power, more speed, and greater performance in unexpectedly small packages, there’s a lot to look for when you want the best of the best. But no matter how decked out your vehicle might be, there are those unfortunate times you could use auto body repair. That’s where we come in. Give us a call at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

The Ultimate Convertibles for Enjoying Your Colorado Summer

Posted on: July 20th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

colorado convertiblePerfect Colorado Convertibles

In Colorado, enjoying the summer is all about being outside. Heading to the mountains or cruising through town, windows down and warm summer air flowing through your car as the sunlight beams down is one of the best parts of living in this beautiful state. So when you want to take your summertime enjoyment to the next level, a convertible seems like the obvious choice. However, finding a convertible that can look great driving downtown AND get you to the mountains without any trouble isn’t the easiest thing.

If you’re looking for a perfect Colorado convertible that is perfect for those our summers, as your Denver auto repair experts, we’ve got you covered. Consider these reliable Colorado convertibles that will let you go top-down and up high without thinking twice.

1. 2016 Jeep Wrangler

Though Jeep Wrangler may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think convertible, there’s no denying that the 2016 Wrangler with its open-air capabilities and rugged handling make it the perfect choice for the mountaineering Coloradan. The hard-top convertible is a great choice for those who want to spend every weekend and day off at higher elevations while still enjoying the freedom of the convertible experience.

2. 2015 Infiniti Q60

This sleek convertible might be a little on the heavier side, but its 330-horsepower, v6 engine does a good job of being able to handle the added weight. The Infiniti Q60 has a gorgeous frame and will serve you well if you prefer to stay around the front range. It might not be the best choice for your wild mountain adventures, but for the city-dweller with a desire for a reliable car with a top-down option, this is a great choice. Just think how slick you’d look rolling into RiNo in one of these.

3. 2015 Lexus IS C

This is a discontinued model for Lexus, but if you can get your hands on one, it’s a perfect choice for Colorado summers. With the option of a 306 horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine, the Lexus IS C can get you where you need to go in style. And whether you’re heading to Boulder for some nearby hiking or cruising through Denver for happy hour, you can soak up the sun and feel the wind in your hair with the drop-top and four available trim levels, plus the track-ready F SPORT option. If you’re in the market for a solid convertible with a lot of options, this is your choice.

4. 2016 BMW 435i

A little pricier than some of the other choices on this list, the 2016 BMW 435i makes up for the increase in price with some serious power. Featuring a 6-cylinder engine that boasts the power to get you up into the mountains in serious style, the suspension and steering are also exceptional, making those winding mountain roads a breeze. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more luxurious way to see the beauty the Rocky Mountains have to offer than with this convertible.

How To Use This Information

These are just some Colorado convertibles to help you enjoy your Colorado Summer to the fullest. And, if you have need of a little paint touch up or even auto body repair, we’ll have your back for all you need to keep you on the road and that wind in your hair. Give us a call at 303-344-2212 or visit us online to see what we can do for you today.

Car Paint Tech Tricks You Need to Know

Posted on: July 18th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

car paint techWith automobile technology getting more advanced by the day, it’s really no surprise that the advancements are impressive for the technical experience both inside the car and out. Inside your vehicle you have smart driving systems, increased bluetooth connectivity, and ease of use tools that enhance your driving experience. Externally, however, there are also a whole host of improvements and technological advancements that make your life as an automobile owner much easier.

As your Denver car refinishing experts, we know that some of the biggest advancements in external vehicle technology come in the form of car paint tech. We’re not talking about custom LED messages that slide across the side of your vehicle – at least not yet. But there have been plenty of advancements in car paint tech in recent years that truly take a weight off your shoulders.

Self-Cleaning Paint

You know how every time you think about taking your car through the car wash, it suddenly feels like the last thing you want to do? Well, with Nissan’s latest car paint tech, those begrudging trips to the car wash may be a thing of the past. According to Huffington Post, the new paint coat developed by Nissan, is capable of warding off waters and oils as well as “mud, rain, and everyday dirt.” Now that’s the kind of paint technology we can get behind.

Scratch-Resistant Paint

Another breakthrough from Nissan came in 2008 when the automotive company started to roll out vehicles featuring their “Scratch Shield” paint, and its tech is truly impressive. Simply by driving your vehicle as you would normally, you’re helping repair any surface scratches you may have procured on the road. According to Huffington Post the paint “contains a synthetic resin that, when activated by daytime heat and sunlight, flows into surface wounds, repairing the damage in anywhere from a day to a week, depending on temperature and the depth of the scratch.”

Sunlight-Resistant Paint

Many of the paints that are on the market today for vehicles have an amazing ability to avoid sun damage with UV-resistant coating. This kind of car paint tech keeps the paint from breaking down or oxidizing with UV rays and prevents it from etching due to bird droppings, etc. for much longer than your average paint coat.

As automotive technology continues to increase with each passing year, it will be interesting to see what the car paint tech world brings us next. Paint that changes colors in different temperatures? Paint that is resistant to hail damage (wouldn’t that be nice)? There’s a world of possibilities and with each new advancement, your options as a vehicle owner get better every time.

How to Use This Information

Choosing the right paint for your vehicle is a careful balance of performance, color, and technological add-ons. If you’re curious about these different paint technologies and want to see what’s available to you, give us a call at 303-344-2212 or visit us online. We’d love to help you choose a paint that suits your needs for a price that won’t break the bank.

The Connected Car – Auto Technology to Enhance Vehicle Experience

Posted on: June 20th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

connected carAs technology increases in pretty much every sector of our lives, it’s hard not to notice one of the biggest places increased tech is coming into play – on our daily commute, errand-running, and long road trips. Our cars are one of the places that are growing the fastest in terms of new tech and ability to connect. From vehicles that serve as wifi hotspots to apps that let you have everything you need at your fingertips (without looking down at a phone screen) there’s no denying it – the future of driving is here with the connected car. But what does that mean for you and your vehicle? As your auto body shop, we thought we would take a look at all this fun tech.

Smart Tech Cars Take On a Whole New Meaning

We’re not talking driverless cars here (although maybe soon we will be), but the term “smart car” means something entirely different now than it did 5 or 10 years ago. Nowadays, our cars are practically supercomputers of their own. Most of us are familiar with auto collision warning technology, a connected car, on the other hand, can access weather reports, get directions, see what’s going on in traffic, listen to your favorite playlists and more all from voice-activated systems or a couple of touches on your car’s steering wheel.

Being this connected makes our car travel a whole different experience, and getting the most out of what auto tech has to offer takes sorting through a lot of different apps, gadgets, and gizmos to find what’s best for your traveling needs.

Car Technology to Know

Many vehicles are now equipped with built-in systems that allow for some connectedness right out the gate. For example, the Nissan Connect system allows you to access music, podcasts, audiobooks, and more from your favorite apps by connecting with Apple CarPlay. See our Auto Trends and Technology for more articles on auto tech.

Manufacturers are moving increasingly in the direction of allowing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration to allow for the customization you already have set on your phone to translate to your driving experience.

Even if you’re not connected through one of those, most newer vehicles feature Bluetooth connection and have a certain number of apps available on your car’s dashboard like Pandora, Spotify, weather and more.

More and more third party apps and devices are working to make your vehicle experience exceptional like Viper SmartStart, which is arguably the most impressive remote start option on the market, or Zubie, which is a device that allows you to turn your vehicle into a moving wifi hotspot.

Whatever your technological desires, there’s probably an app or device to help your car meet your wildest connectivity dreams.

Why Smart Cars Matter

As smartphones continue to rule our portable tech and communication lives, distracted driving is a very real danger almost everywhere you go. The beauty of a connected car is that it allows you to enjoy the same convenience of using a smartphone without having to look down at the screen or take your eyes off the road at all. Especially with voice activation, you can ask your car to do the tech heavy lifting for you, get you where you need to go, call who you need to call, and pull up your favorite music without ever looking anywhere but on the road in front of you.

How to Use this Information

Even though auto tech is going a long way toward helping keep us safer on the roads, accidents still happen. Never forget to stay alert and use your senses while driving, and follow the rules of the road you’re on. If you find yourself in an accident or in need of repairs, don’t hesitate to call us at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

The Flying Car! [VIDEO]

Posted on: May 25th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

flying carThe flying car will be on the road in the near future! In fact, that was said back in 1964 at the New York World’s Fair. Well, we don’t know about you, but we still have yet to see a car flying around out there unless you catch a Jetsons re-run or Back to the Future.

However, that could be changing. A Slovakian company, AreoMobil, plans to make flying cars commercially available in the next 24 months.  They have been rapidly ramping up and modifying several prototypes, just in time for their formal announcement couple of weeks ago.

It looks as though their flying car is an elongated vehicle that is road ready with stowable wings. When released to the public, the flying car will be priced more for luxury car enthusiasts. The price on this car is also luxury pricing at around $1.3 million. The vehicle will be a two-seater with a 435-mile range. The take-off speed will be 81 miles per hour, which will require a good stretch of open road (good luck if you are stuck on I-25). The top air speed will be 124 miles per hour and it comes with an autopilot function. And, yes, you will need a pilot license to operate this vehicle.

But, we have heard about the imminent release of flying cars before. In fact, a company called Terrafugia promised delivery of flying cars in 2011 shortly after receiving FAA approval. They are now saying they hope to deliver their vehicles this year or next.

So, do not be surprised if the actual flying car is pushed off a couple years. In the meantime, we will go back to watching the Jetsons.

How to Use this Information

While the flying car may, or may not, be here in a couple years, we do know a thing or two about the cars that stay on the ground. If you have need of auto collision repair, dent repair or other auto damage, give us a call at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

Cars that Talk To Each Other

Posted on: April 14th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

Vehicle to Vehicle CommunicationsVehicle to Vehicle Communications

Anyone who has seen the movie Cars knows that cars can talk with one another. In fact, Lightning McQueen sounds a lot like Owen Wilson! Also, KITT from Knight Rider had the ability to talk, too. But, apparently, other vehicles are learning to talk with another with vehicle to vehicles communications. As your Aurora auto body repair shop, we take a look at vehicle to vehicle communications (V2V) and what it means for drivers.

What is Vehicle to Vehicle Communications

All kidding aside, V2V is not KITT or Lightning McQueen. But, it is a new technology that the Cadillac CTS sports sedan is offering. It allows these cars to share information with other nearby cars (and their drivers) on nearby driving conditions. This includes communicating information about weather, speed, sudden braking, traffic congestion, accidents and more. This is a wi-fi like technology that is rolling out and will expand. The plans are that it will become standard on every new car.

Why V2V Communications?

The objective behind V2V, real-time communications is to help keep drivers safe. The theory is that it will help keep drivers be more aware of conditions that are beyond their line of sight. Eventually, it could be the key to the concept of car “platooning” which will all for packs of cars that are in communication with one another to drive closer together without slowdowns or accidents.

However, the real breakthrough in this technology is in warning of impending collisions. While many cars use radar to warn drivers of nearby objects, they only work a few car lengths ahead and cannot see through the nearest obstruction. With V2V wi-fi like connections among cars, nearby vehicles are, essentially, network together, so the cars can warn the drivers of impending danger that is further away or that is obstructed.

Adoption Will Grow

The adoption of this technology looks like it will grow. While the 2017 Cadillacs will have few cars to talk to at the start, current studies on the technology look very promising. Testing on has been taking place for over five years, and it actually seems to be more widely accepted that V2V is, at this stage, more reliable than autonomous, self-driving vehicles, which rely on sensors and cameras that have been shown to be fooled by weather. So, while you may not yet have a car that can drive you two work, you could have a car that is networked with other cars that help keep you safe.

How to Use This Information

Even if you, eventually, drive a car equipped with V2V technology, there will still be accidents. You will still need to stay alert and rely on your own senses. And, if an accident occurs we can have your car fixed and looking new. Call us at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

Lane Departure Warning Systems – How Do They Work

Posted on: March 14th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

lane departure warning systemsWe have all seen the commercials where a sleepy driver starts to drift and swerve into the other lane. And, to add drama to the situation, there is an oncoming car! But, miraculously, the car alerts the driver about the impending lane departure so they can avoid disaster. Sounds like science fiction. However, these lane guidance systems do just that and they are on several makes and models of this year’s vehicle. As your Aurora auto body shop, we have the in’s and out’s of how these lane departure warning systems work.

Three Versions of Lane Departure Systems

  • Lane Departure Warning – This is the most common and entry level version of the technology. This system only warns you that you are about to drift into the other lane. As a result, the driver has to take action and steer the vehicle back into the center of the lane.
  • Lane Keep Assist – This system kicks in when the car drifts too far. Then, the car will steer back into the lane, but it is up to the driver to re-center the car.
  • Lane Centering Assist – This is the latest and most advanced of these lane departure warning systems. This system is more proactive and keeps your vehicle centered as long as you have your hands, at least, lightly on the steering wheel.

How Lane Warning Systems Work

Most systems utilize a camera that is mounted high up in the windshield. The camera captures a view of the road, up to 150 feet ahead of the vehicle. The camera picks up on the painted lane markings on the road. If the camera senses that the car is drifting away from the center of the lane, the car will then warn the driver. Depending on the model and make of the car, the warning can be hepatic feedback from the steering wheel, or a visual cue on the dashboard, combined with an audio chime.

If you do intend to switch lanes, and you have lane assist or centering assist, the driver does override the system. The driver simply must steer slightly harder, but not much. The system then recognizes that you are intending to switch lanes.

Are Lane Departure Systems Reliable?

Keep in mind that lane departure systems are not 100% accurate. As they use the lane markers on the road, it can have difficulty if driving on roads where the painting is faded or been washed away. Unfortunately, here in Colorado, that happens a lot given our road clearing operations in the winter months. Also, in rain and snow, when visibility is limited and lane markings are obscured, the system will not be able to alert the driver.

Also, on sections of the highway where there is an exit, the right lane marker does go away temporarily, forcing the systems to try and pick up the right lane marker further ahead. In early systems, this would sometimes create false notifications, but newer systems are better at accounting for highway exits.

How to Use this Information

All in all, these systems do work pretty well and continue to improve. And, they are worthwhile to look into from a safety perspective, as a lot of fatal accidents are the result of lane departure and swerving off the road. If, however, you do happen to get into an accident and need auto body repair, please let us help. Call us at 303-344-2212 or get ahold of us online.

Buying an Electric Vehicle?

Posted on: February 13th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

buying an electric vehicleSo, you are thinking about buying an electric vehicle. That is great! There have been a lot of advancements in just the past couple of years when it comes to electric vehicles. And, certainly, here in Denver, we are seeing a lot of charging stations popping up to accommodate electric vehicles. As your Denver auto collision repair experts, we have explored some items to consider when buying an electric car.

Electric Vehicle Incentives

When buying an electric vehicle, there are special incentives available to you for purchasing an electric vehicle. Some are tax credits and others are purely perks. However, there are some tax credits that are up to $7,500 depending on your vehicle. Also, some places offer free or preferred parking for electric vehicles.

Electric Vehicle Battery Myths

There are some myths that within a few years of purchasing an electric car that the battery will fail and owners must pay a fortune to have it replaced. And, sure, there are some outliers where that may have occurred, but most electric vehicle batteries are stable and last a long time. Yes, there will be slight decreases in battery range as the car ages, but most manufacturers have battery warranties in the range of eight years and 100,000 miles. Most of these warranties also include battery replacement in cases of above average range reduction.

Electric Vehicle Tips – Install a Home Charger

While some studies show that electric cars have a lower total cost of ownership than gas-powered vehicles, sometimes they do not account for the need to have a home charger installed which can cost about $1,000. If you do get an EV, you will want an off-board charger installed as it can deliver 240 volts of electricity which greatly reduces charging time.

Electric Vehicle Range Considerations

Most electric vehicles will get you about three miles per kilowatt-hour. Of course, that varies depending on your car and how you drive. But, for most EVs, a fully charged battery will get you about 80 to 100 miles. That is adequate for about 90 percent of you who live and work in Denver. You will find that you need to plan trips a little bit more and be more aware of those impromptu trips.

How to Use this Information

When it comes to electric vehicles, you will need to weigh your lifestyle and driving habits to ensure they are the right fit for you. You will alway want to consider gas versus electric and see what works for you. But, for many people, they are a great choice and save you at the pump while being more environmentally friendly.  That being said, if you find your electric vehicle in need of auto body repair, whether from a collision or hail damage, give us a call at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

Head-up Displays Coming to a Car Near You

Posted on: January 12th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

head-up displaysOnce thought to be reserved for fighter jets, vehicles on the road now use head-up displays (HUD). However, unlike fighter jets these HUD systems do not come with missile lock and targeting capabilities. But, they are still cool and useful! Today, your auto body repair experts look at these systems and some of their features.

How Head-up Displays for Auto’s Work

HUD systems simply use the windshield as a screen upon which to project important vehicle information. This information is projected on the lower section of the windshield, just below the driver’s usual line of vision. This enables the driver to keep their eyes up and on the road while still being able to observe vehicle information. Proponents of such systems claim this will help increase safety as the driver will not need to shift their head to view information on the dashboard or entertainment console.

What Information is Displayed in the HUD

Head-up displays are intended to provide crucial information to the driver, all in an easy-to-read form. This can include instrument read out, navigational directions, music information, as well as who is calling on the phone. However, some new features of HUD are great in situations where there is poor visibility, such as fog or falling snow. Since HUD systems are often connected to car radar systems and infra-red sensors, they can also display road markings to assist the driver in low visibility situations.

What Vehicles have HUD

Head-up displays started to emerge more regularly on 2016 option lists. And, as expected, the likes of Mercedes-Benz and BMW have such options on many of their new lines. Currently, HUD is more of a luxury feature more common on premium makes and models. However, like all things, it is anticipated in the next couple of years that most car manufacturers will have HUD options available. Remember, it wasn’t too long ago that only a few cars offered heated seats and satellite radio, but now they are fairly common.

The vehicles currently on the road that have HUD options are:

  • BMW 7 Series – Shows speed limit, exit lane images, navigation, and phone call information.
  • Volvo XC90 – The nice thing about this system is it can be customized to the driver’s preferences (including location and height of projection) based on the driver’s saved seat settings.
  • Chevy Corvette Stingray – No surprise here as this car looks like a jet fighter on the ground!
  • Mazda 3 – Yep, Mazda has HUD in its mid-level S Touring trim and sedan styles. Their HUD system also includes blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings.
  • Others include Lexus RX, Jaguar XF, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class

How to Use this Information

HUD systems will become more and more common. And, we do hope they will improve safety and reduce accidents. But, accidents will still happen. If you find yourself in need of body work or feel your car could use some new paint, give us a call at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

Best Car Apps 2016

Posted on: December 21st, 2016 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

car appsThe smartphone has taken over every facet of our lives. And, that includes, for better or worse, the time we spend driving. And, while we all know that you should not text and take calls while driving (as it could lead to you needing collision repair), we do know that many vehicles today have entire onboard systems that integrate with your smartphone. Today, there are so many great apps for driving, that we thought we should run through some of our favorite car apps.

Top Car App #1 – Waze

If you drive anywhere around town, especially as a daily commuter, you need Waze. Waze is a great navigation app that has GPS. But, it plots your route based on current traffic and from reports submitted by users. For example, if you are trying to get from work to the kids’ school and there is an accident on the freeway causing backups, Waze will direct you away from the problem and plot the fastest route. You can connect the app to your calendar so it can pull up locations of events very quickly. Plus, you can save favorite locations so you can plot your course with a push of a button. And, if you see something on your routes, such as an accident or a police officer, you can alert other users with just a push of a button.

Best Car App #2 – GasBuddy

If you are on the lookout for cheap gasoline, and who isn’t, then GasBuddy is for you. GasBuddy has long been one of the best car apps out there with millions of downloads. Not only will GasBuddy show you where the cheapest gas is based on your current location, you can also submit gasoline prices and help update their user community. If you are a U.S. user and regularly submit gas prices, you can win $100 worth of gas or earn other awards.  And, while you may not think that five to ten cents a gallon don’t make a difference, it can equate to huge savings over the year.

Best Car Apps # 3 – Spotify

If you like to listen to music while driving, then you may want to add Spotify to your smartphone. In fact, some vehicles have connected features already for Spotify, or you can depend on the old reliable aux port on your car’s stereo. With Spotify, you can listen to any artist or album, as long as you are connected to the internet. If you subscribe to Spotify, you can enjoy all your music commercial free. Regardless, with Spotify, you can create your own playlists that are perfect for that long road trip or simply handling your I-25 commute.

Top Car Apps # 4 – iCarMode

If you are an iPhone user, iCarMode is among the best car apps you can find that makes navigating your phone while driving more manageable. Use iCarMode to only serve up the apps and functions you need while driving. And, it turns your apps into simple, big buttons making it easy to activate anything on your phone while driving. The simplicity of the interface helps keep you more focused on the road versus fumbling with your phone.

Best Car Apps # 5 – Dashdroid

Essentially, Dashdroid is iCarMode, but for Android smartphones. It offers a similar, clean interface with big button shortcuts to access music, contacts and it responds to voice commands, which is great when you wish to make a phone call.

How to Use This Information

When it comes to smartphone apps for driving, above all we want you to be safe. So, like any app, while driving, do keep focused on the road. And, if need be, do buy a smartphone holder for your car so you can easily reach it and examine it without looking down or having to reach for it. But, we also know that accidents do happen. If you find yourself in a fender bender, call us at 303-344-2212 or contact us online. Our auto body repair team will get your car fixed and looking like new in no time.