AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
When it comes to automotive styling numerous design trends are popular today, but future vehicles are guaranteed to look very different. Functional styling elements will likely play a bigger role in exterior design, things like integrated air vents and spoilers. Naturally vehicle interiors will receive major updates as well, but arguably government regulations are the most important things driving change. Ever-increasing safety and fuel-economy standards are impacting automotive design in major ways.
Considering their prevalence today, it’s easy to forget that just five years ago we saw our first set of LED headlights on a production vehicle. Even back then car makers were putting LEDs on concept cars to dazzle show-goers and catch the eyes of the media. But today, LED (light-emitting diode) lights are no longer isolated to just one-off concepts or premium luxury vehicles.
Opel is now the first automaker to road-test a fully integrated matrix light in its prototype vehicles. Its new LED light matrix technology is designed to make night time driving safer by using high beams in standard driving mode.
While that may sound annoying to the other drivers on the road, the light matrix is designed to keep the beam glare free, automatically adapting it to the traffic situation. Essentially the LED light matrix can adjust more rapidly to the traffic situation than any other solution that relies on the driver, or is based on mechanical components.
By working in combination with the front camera, the matrix light will adjust the second the sensors from the camera detect light sources from oncoming or proceeding traffic. The area in front of the vehicle will be completely dimmed while the rest of the road will remain brightly illuminated. This help ensures that drivers in front of the light matrix aren’t pestered, but other non-illuminated obstacles remain well lit.
Each of the two matrix headlights consists of four light segments. Behind each segment, there are four different light sources that can be switched on or off individually, giving it 16 possible combinations per headlight. In total, there are 256 different light settings that will change and adjust without the driver noticing.
Opel plans to implement the LED lighting matrix in its vehicles over the next few years.
Watch a video of it in action after the break.
Kia has released pricing details for its 2012 Rio sedan, starting at $13,400 or $200 less than the 5-door version. That price is before the $750 destination and handling fee.
The cheapest version comes with a 6-speed manual transmission, but if you aren’t willing or can’t drive stick the price jumps to $15,250 with a 6-speed automatic.
The Rio comes in three trim levels: LX, EX and SX, all powered by the same 1.6-liter gasoline direct injection (GDI) making 138 horsepower. The same applies to the sedan as did our review of the 5-door sibling. Even at it’s most basic, you’re getting a well equipped car, though it won’t be impressive to driving enthusiasts, of course that isn’t the market Kia caters to.
The Rio is all about value and practicality with a host of standard features and an estimated 30 mpg with city driving and 40 mpg on the highway. Fuel economy gets a boost thanks to and Idle Stop and Go generally reserved for hybrids and luxury cars. The engine shuts down when the car isn’t moving and starts when the driver’s foot comes off the brake pedal.
Standard features include air conditioning, electric power steering, an MP3-capable audio system with USB ports, SiriusXM Satellite Radio with three months of free service, electronic stability control, ABS, hill control assist and vehicle stability management.
If you opt for the premium SX package (starting at $18,250), Kia dolls the car up with LED accent lights on the front as well as LED tail lights. The interior gets also gets improvements with a leather wrapped steering wheel and metal pedals. Dual illuminated vanity mirrors and power-folding side-view mirrors and a backup camera are also meant to add a luxurious feeling.
Finally, the car comes with their Supervision meter cluster and a voice-activated “infotainment” system.
GALLERY: 2012 Kia Rio Sedan
What will those kooky tuners think of next? Tommy Kaira, a leading manufacturer of very fine JDM goodies, has been perfecting its Nissan GT-R LED emblem since their preview at Tokyo Auto Salon 2010. They’ve also took the liberty to announce more LED-equipped goodies from rear side markers, door sills and front winkers. LED is all the craze now on vehicles, so it’s nice to see Tommy Kaira jumping on and offering accessories in LED form.
Prepare to pay though if these products are catching your eye. Tommy Kaira is hardly known for offering bargain-bin priced products. The rear LED emblem is around $625.00 while a pair of LED rear side markers are $395.00 for clear, $440.00 for smoked. Still have a few bucks in your wallet? Well the front winkers are $475.00 and the front LED emblem is also $625.00. Just dying to have those LED door sill plates? Get ready to drop $1195.00.
Clearly these LED products are luxury accessories for any fast and furious GT-R owner, but for those wanting every little possible mod for their monster of a sports car, well here it is.
[Source: GTR Blog]
GALLERY: Tommy Kaira Nissan GT-R LEDs