Bicycle Safety Rules to Follow This Summer

bicycleNo matter how some drivers resent it, summer is the time of bicyclists. Even if you have a car, you may want to take your bike out for a ride periodically, or even switch over to bicycle transport entirely. If you’re going to be on your bike a lot this summer, follow these bicycle safety rules to keep yourself and others safe.

Before you go out on your bike, check it for mechanical problems. Underinflated tires, faulty brakes, and tangled chains are all things that can make you fall or even run into a car or another bicyclist. Make sure you know the traffic laws and how bicycling relates to them. Mostly, you’ll just be following regular traffic laws, so always signal before turning, stop at stop signs, and stay in the far right lane.

The key to being a safe bicyclist is being predictable, and following traffic laws is part of that. It’s also about making what you intend to do next obvious to the people around you with hand signals and looks.

First Look at the 2017 Porsche Panamera Luxury Sedan

In the last couple weeks, several online auto bloggers have had the chance to go to Cape Town, South Africa and preview the new 2017 Porsche Panamera prototype, a total redesign of the Panamera. The new Panamera is based on Porsche’s Modular Standard Platform base and will be available with both a V6 and V8 engine with an estimated range of 440 to 550 hp.

2016 Porsche Panamera
2016 Porsche Panamera Available at Gossett VW Porsche

A huge change from the previous large, heavy version of the Panamera, the 2017 model is lighter, better looking, and has a totally new interior. That includes a more modern instrument panel, a 12-inch touchscreen, and two 7-inch displays, one for vehicle information and one for connectivity and easy access to features like night vision. The Panamera is a rear-wheel drive car with a front engine and has available all-wheel drive.

Testers universally agree that the best part of the Panamera is the incredible ride quality. Several emphasized the utter lack of body roll, one blogger calling it “unlike any other luxury sedan on the market.” If you’re interested in the first look at the 2017 Porsche Panamera, check out the links above.

Easy-to-Follow Tips on Saving Gas

fuel upAfter a long, blissful period of gas prices consistently below two dollars, they’re starting to go back up again. It’s a shame, but there are ways we can conserve fuel without going back to the bank-breaking fill-ups of yesteryear. Here are some quick tips on saving gas as prices shoot up this summer.

First of all, slow down. That’s really the easiest way to save gas. Cars get their best mileage around 60 mph, which is part of why we use less gas on the freeway, so going 80 isn’t doing you any favors. Plus, when you’re going slower, you don’t need to brake as hard or suddenly—another thing that uses up a lot of fuel.

Keep an eye on tire pressure—low pressure means more fuel use!

You should also keep in mind that rolling your windows down at speeds under 45 mph is better than using air conditioning, but as soon as you get up above that, the AC is more efficient than having the windows down because the drag from the wind reduces aerodynamics.

Don’t idle when you can help it, so avoid left turns even if it takes you a bit out of the way.

Futuristic Volkswagen BUDD-e Concept Car at NYIAS

VolkswagenThe Volkswagen BUDD-e concept car, which was shown last month at the New York International Auto Show, is what Volkswagen is calling the “truly social car”—it uses voice recognition technology to talk to you.

Initially revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, the BUDD-e concept has a basic system of commands such as opening doors and activating the navigation system, but its voice recognition software is still less advanced than Apple’s Siri.

Voice recognition isn’t all this car has going for it, though. The 34-inch backseat display, curved dashboard touchscreen, and motion-activated door handles all make the BUDD-e car feel like it’s straight out of the future. This super-advanced electric car will have a range of 230 miles and take only 30 minutes to charge to 80% from 0%.

According to Volkswagen, the BUDD-e won’t be on the road until 2020. Expect it to be made available by the end of the decade though, marking a breakthrough in an EV world that is currently held back by long charging times and limited range.

What to Do If You Hydroplane

rainWith spring comes showers, and driving in the rain can be a nerve-wracking, especially when you hydroplane. Here’s what to do in case you start to hydroplane.

  1. Remain calm – The worst thing you could do if you hydroplane is panic. Take a deep breath and tackle the situation calmly.
  2. Do not brake or accelerate suddenly – Since hydroplaning is a loss of traction to the front tires, sudden braking will lock only the rear tires, which will cause a spinout. Sudden acceleration could pull the vehicle straight ahead, which could be dangerous.
  3. Look for an open space – Find an open and clear space to direct your car toward.
  4. Lightly accelerate – Stay lightly on your accelerator and gently guide your car to the open space you identified until it gains its traction back.

To avoid hydroplaning in general, don’t use cruise control in heavy rains because of its tendency toward sudden acceleration. Also make sure that your tires are in good shape. The better your tire tread is, the better it will grip the road in rainy weather. Make sure to drive slower in the rain!

Fuel-Efficient Porsche Vehicles on Their Way

Porsche MacanPorsche is known for its performance cars that are typically heavy on gas consumption. But now, Porsche is playing with a balance between economy and performance for road-ready, fuel-efficient vehicles.

The new Porsche Macan premiered at the New York Auto Show and hinted at the future of Porsche. The four-cylinder engine is unlike many of Porsche’s V6 and V8-equipped cars – but for a good reason.

“You have to adapt,” Klaus Zellmer, president of Porsche North America said, “At the moment, that means it’s a lot about hybrids.”

Though the Macan has a four-cylinder engine, its performance is still top-notch. The SUV has a progressive acceleration for its class, going from 0 to 60 in 6.1 seconds.

You get a luxury Porsche package with the new Macan while saving money on gas. The Macan will have S, GTS, and Turbo versions. The 248-horsepower four-cylinder version brings an impressive 25 combined mpg to optimize performance and economy.

The new Macan is expected to be released in July. If you want the classic power of a Porsche while still getting good fuel efficiency, keep an eye out for the Macan and future fuel-efficient Porsche vehicles.

Fastest Porsches of All Time

Porsche knows speed and style, and the brand’s vehicles never lack in performance. Curious as to just how elite these cars are? Here are five of the fastest Porches of all time:

  1. Porsche 911 GT2 RS – This car has a top track speed of 205 mph and can move from 0 to 60 in a mere 3.4 seconds.
  2. Porsche 918 Spyder – This takes a slight silver medal to the 911, topping at 202 mph. It goes from 0 to 60 in under 3.0 seconds.
  3. Porsche Carrera GT – Originally produced between 2004 and 2007, this Porsche was a game-changer with a top speed of 201.5 mph. It was one of Sport Car International’s top cars of the decade and eighth in the magazine’s top cars of all time.
  4. Porsche 911 Turbo S – A top speed of 196 mph might not hit the 200 mark, but its impressive 0 to 60 time of 3.1 seconds turns heads.
  5. Porsche 911 GT3 – Yes, another 911! This car goes a top speed of 194 mph, and has always been a favorite.

    2016 Porsche 911 GT3
    2016 Porsche 911 GT3

Spotlight on the All-New 2016 Porsche 911 R

Porsches are for racing–but they’re for the road, too! The all-new 2016 Porsche 911 R reflects exactly that. After its premiere at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show, it was clear that Porsche was tipping its hat to its past.

2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS
2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS

The first road-homologated race car bore the “911 R” name in 1967 (The “R” stands for “Racing”). The original was entered in rallies, in world record runs, and in the Targa Florio. Porsche hopes to continue that tradition with the 2016 911 R.

This car is more lightweight than ever, and is actually the lightest version of the 911 R available, weighing in at only 3,021 pounds. This car is truly “unfiltered” and you wouldn’t believe how streamlined it is.

This light, simplified 911 R comes without the “luxuries,” so there is neither air conditioning nor radio! But don’t worry, those can be added right back in, for free, at the customer’s request. Even the inside door handles are gone! Technically, they’re not gone, but there are door-opening loops instead.

This lightness means it can go up to 200 mph. So, if you want a lightweight race car, the new Porsche 911 R is the one for you.

2016 Volkswagen Jetta MOMO Edition Turns Heads at CAS

2016 VW Jetta MOMO
2016 VW Jetta MOMO at CAS

The 2016 VW Jetta GLI 2.0T is awfully sporty all on its own. This great-looking version of the Jetta was recently enhanced by the Italian garage MOMO and in the process got a whole lot sportier.

What we might call the “Italian treatment” involved a number of exciting additions. The 2016 VW Jetta GLI 2.0T MOMO Edition sits on MOMO-custom 19-inch, aluminum-alloy wheels. Called MOMO Revenge wheels, they feature a unique mesh design.

The Jetta MOMO edition offers superb handling and response. MOMO added sway bars both at the front and rear of the vehicle. They also added coilovers at every wheel. The Milltek Sport exhaust not only gives this superbly-tuned Jetta a great sound but it also improves airflow. With all of the quickness this model offers, you also need excellent stopping power. Brembo brakes do the job just fine with 14.4-inch diameter front rotors and monobloc four-piston calipers.

The 2016 Volkswagen Jetta MOMO Edition was recently on display at the Chicago Auto Show.

Top Five Best Road Trip Apps

road tripThinking about taking a road trip anytime soon? While it’s always nice to leave the technology behind, these great road trip apps can really enhance your experience!

# 1 – Waze

If you don’t have Waze by now, you are really missing out. Crowd-sourcing traffic info is simply brilliant. You won’t find more up-to-date traffic data anywhere. Plus, you can ask other Waze users about attractions as you come into a new area.

# 2 – TollSmart

Planning on traveling to a location where there are tollbooths everywhere? TollSmart helps you find out exactly how much upcoming tolls are.

# 3 – GasBuddy

Ever get off on an exit to get gas and the prices are super high? Sometimes you feel compelled to buy the gas anyway in order not to waste time. You won’t have to go through that again with GasBuddy.

# 4 – Roadside America

Tired of mainstream attractions? The Roadside America app will help you find offbeat, weird, and otherwise strange attractions nearby.

# 5 – Spotify

What’s a road trip without great jams? There are lots of great music streaming apps out there but Spotify is one of the best. Pick a human-curated playlist, lower the windows, and crank up the volume!