Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mazda Furai

Unlike RX-8, which uses a two-rotor engine, the Furai Concept uses a three-rotor engine that produces 450 horsepower while running on 100 percent ethanol fuel (E100).

Furai's exterior styling is inspired by American Le Mans Series (ALMS) racecars. Furai's basic platform comes from Mazda's "Courage C65" that was used in the ALMS series of races in 2006. As this is a design and technology exercise, Furai, which means "sound of the wind" in Japanese, will likely remain just a concept.


Lexus raises in-car entertainment to a new level with the introduction of an advanced new premium ICE package for the RX luxury SUV. It delivers better quality, improved performance and even greater versatility, but at no extra cost compared to the current system.

The new premium ICE comprises two slim tablet units, securely mounted on the back of the front seats. Each features an eight-inch WVGA screen with an integrated side loading DVD player and USB 2.0 and SD Card readers. The units are resistant to screen jitter when travelling over uneven surfaces and their larger screen size gives a wider viewing angle.

Two pairs of infrared headphones are provided, which are about 20 per cent smaller than before, making them easier for children to use. They are now foldable for easy storage. Reception has been sharpened and there is an auto power-off function. Each tablet has a manual control panel, or a remote control unit can be used, redesigned for a superior tactile quality and ease of use.

The tablets have RCA inputs for connecting compatible games consoles and a stereo 23.5mm jack point. The screens can be operated together or independently, should passengers choose to enjoy the same playback or their own choice of video, music or gaming.

The system is compatible with Region 2 DVD, CD, USB 2.0 and SD Card media. Compatible formats are DVD playback 4.3 and 1.69, MPEG2, MPEG 4, DivX, MP3 CD, MP3 DVD, photo CD JPEG, DVD video, Video CD (VCD) and Super Video CD (SVCD).

The premium ICE package, available to order now, is provided as standard on SE-L versions of the RX 350 and RX 400h. It is offered as an option on all other grades, priced £2,200.


Revisions to the London Congestion Charge announced on 12 February 2008 mean buyers of new Lexus hybrid models driving into the city will save £17 per day compared to those driving many similar saloons and SUVs from other brands.

From 27 October, new Lexus hybrid drivers will be required to pay the £8 daily charge. Existing owners will continue to have a complete exemption, so long as their car remains in the same ownership, until January 2010.

The three Lexus Hybrid Drive models: the RX 400h SUV, the GS 450h performance saloon and the LS 600h limousine, all produce CO2 emissions below the 225g/km cut-off level for VED (car tax) Band G. Under the new charging system, cars in Band G will have to pay £25 per day – potentially more than £6,000 over a full year.

The exemption for less polluting cars is recognition of the lower emissions and fuel consumption benefits of Lexus Hybrid Drive. Owners also appreciate the unrivalled refinement and quietness offered by hybrid power Lexus models, and the surprisingly smooth acceleration provided by the powerful electric motors that supplement the highly efficient petrol engine.