8 finalists for Car of the Year 2013
2. Aston Martin One-77 $1,850,000. The name "One-77" says it all: beauty and power in One, limited to 77 units. With 750 hp, it is able to travel from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and reaching a maximum speed of 220 mph.
3. Lamborghini Reventon $1,600,000. The most powerful and the most expensive Lamborghini ever built is the third on the list. It takes 3.3 seconds to reach 60 mph and it has a top speed of 211 mph. Its rarity (limited to 20) and slick design are the reasons why it is so expensive and costly to own.
German automobile giant BMW, on Friday, launched its all-new 3 Series in India.
The company is jostling for space in the Indian luxury car market with strong competition coming from the other German auto majors Mercedes and Audi.
The new BMW 3 Series CKD (completely knocked down) kits are assembled at BMW’s plant at Mahindra World City near Chennai, and deliveries will start across India immediately.
Addressing a press conference, Andreas Schaaf, President, BMW Group India, said the vehicle was available in two design schemes — Sport Line and Luxury Line.
The all-India ex-showroom prices for the diesel variants are: Rs.28.9 lakh for BMW 320d, Rs.31.5 lakh for the BMW 320d Sport Line, Rs.31.5 lakh for BMW 320d Luxury Line and Rs.36.9 lakh for the Luxury Plus. The only petrol variant is the BMW 328i Sport Line priced at Rs.37.9 lakh.
The cars come in Alpine White and Melbourne Red as non-metallic colours, and Black Sapphire, Glacier Silver, Havanna, Imperial Blue Brilliant Effect and Mineral Grey in a metallic finish.
“We sold 4,457 cars this year till June and hope to emerge as the leading luxury car player in India again this year. In India, we sold 8,656 units of the BMW 3 series since 2007 and this year, we will have plenty of new launches. We are looking at a new 6 series coupe, a 7 series refresh and new look X1 and X6,’’said Mr. Schaaf.
BMW at present has 25 sales outlets and it will be increased to 40 by end-2012. Mr. Schaaf said all models of the new BMW 3 series would feature the new Eco Pro mode as standard which enables efficient driving and reduced fuel consumption. “The diesel variants’ fuel efficiency is 18.88 km per litre, 20 per cent better than competitors.’’
The BMW Group has invested Rs.180 crore in India, including a production plant near Chennai with a capacity of 11,000 units per annum. It sells the BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce in India. The plant makes the BMW 3 series, the BMW 5 Series and BMW X1 in petrol and diesel and the X3 diesel.
Nevada has become the first state in the United States to approve self-driving cars, a necessary step for Google's vision to become a reality.
In a statement, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles said that its Legislative Commission today approved regulations allowing for the operation of self-driving vehicles on the state's roadways. Nevada's rules are the next step in a process began last June, when the state passed a bill that required its DMV to draft the rules.
Autonomous test vehicles will display a red license plate, Nevada officials said. If and when the technology is approved for public use, the cars will carry a green license plate. Nevada's standard licese plates are bluish-gray, with most of the license plate representing mountains fading into a yellowish sky.
The regulations are a boon for Google, which stunned the industry in late 2010 when it disclosed that it not only had developed an autonomous car, but had successfully tested it on public roadways. Now, Nevada could be prepping for the first self-driving cars to populate the streets of Las Vegas, among other cities.
"Nevada is the first state to embrace what is surely the future of automobiles," Department of Motor Vehicles director Bruce Breslow said in a statement. "These regulations establish requirements companies must meet to test their vehicles on Nevada's public roadways as well as requirements for residents to legally operate them in the future."
Nevada said it worked with Google, automobile manufacturers, testing professionals, insurance companies, universities and law enforcement to develop the regulations. Other states also have similar bills that will be voted upon to determine if they, too, can follow suit.
"Our work doesn't stop here," Breslow said. "The department is currently developing licensing procedures for companies that want to test their self-driving vehicles in Nevada. Nevada is proud to be the first state to embrace this emergent technology and the department looks forward to sustaining partnerships as the technology evolves."
In August of 2010, Google actually said that its cars had traveled more than 160,000 miles without incident - not without driver intervention, but without an accident. Video confirmed that one of Google's self-driving cars had been involved in a fender-bender, that Google blamed on the Google human driver in the car, rather than the vehicle's autonomous systems. (Google has also released videos of its autonomous vehicles in action.)
Sergey Brin, a Google co-founder who has taken the self-driving car and other special projects under his wing, has he wants the self-driving car to drive a million miles without an accident. The company has also patented a "landing strip" for the cars, able to orient it or transfer information to it via short-range wireless technologies.
Two other car companies have publicly said they're developing autonomous cars, as well: Audi and Volkswagen.
Described as “ideal for everyday journeys within a radius of about 10 kilometers,” it’s the sort of wild, weird and wacky prototype that has traditionally been part of the fun of going to the biennial Tokyo Motor Show.
Once one of the automotive world’s most important events, it wasn’t even clear there’d be a Tokyo Motor Show this year. It began losing steam in 2009 when most foreign automakers decided not to display their cars at the event. Complicating matters was the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that led to months of production cuts across the Japanese car industry.
Tokyo Motor Show organizers fanned out across the globe trying to convince both automakers and automotive journalists to return for this year’s show. A handful of foreign manufacturers agreed, but the 2011 show was forced to move to a decidedly smaller exhibition space — perhaps symbolic of the problems the Japanese industry as a whole is facing.
“This is a very important show and it was important for us to be here,” said Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen AG, one of the few foreign brands to have a serious presence at this year’s Tokyo show, where it showed off a new VW production model, the Passat Alltrack, as well as the Cross Coupe Concept.
But others car manufacturers were less impressed.
“It’s hardly worth being here,” said an executive from one of the Detroit automakers, asking not to be identified by name. He was at the show only to observe, he said, his company not seeing the need to mount a full display.
The reason for Detroit’s restraint is obvious: While Japanese officials have long insisted their market is open, it has seldom welcomed foreign brands, which, all in, accounted for less than 20 percent of total Japanese sales this year.
The largest foreign brand in Japan, VW, barely controls 5 percent of the market. And that market is a fraction of its former self.
Car sales in Japan’s home market have hovered at barely half their pre-bubble economy peak for much of the last decade. They’ve slowly been recovering some momentum, but few analysts expect sales to ever fully rebound. In part, that reflects a broader shift in the Japanese mindset.
“It frustrates me,” admitted Toyota’s CEO Akio Toyoda, expressing the dismay he feels when he looks at research results suggesting that young Japanese buyers are now far less interested in owning an automobile than in past generations.
It is widely acknowledged that cycling is one of the best ways for people to achieve good health and fitness. People who cycle regularly live longer than those who do not and lead healthier lives . This simple fact means that cyclists cannot possibly be more vulnerable than the population at large to life-threatening injuries such as head injury.
Indeed, cycling regularly to work (and, by extension, to school and on other regular journeys) has been shown to be the most effective thing an individual can do to improve health and increase longevity, and this applies even to people who are already active in sport and other physical activities . Cyclists typically have a level of fitness equivalent to being 10 years younger . A UK parliamentary health committee has noted:
“If the Government were to achieve its target of trebling cycling in the period 2000-2010 … that might achieve more in the fight against obesity than any individual measure we recommend within this report.” 
The health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks , perhaps by 20 to 1 according to one estimate . Safe though cycling is by comparison with other common activities, it has been shown that cycling becomes safer still the more people who do it - for a doubling in cycle use, risk decreases by a third  .
However, the converse of the above is also true. If fewer people cycle, perhaps because they have been deterred by cycle helmet laws or the exaggerated claims sometimes made to promote helmet wearing, then the health loss to both individuals and society is considerable, whilst those who continue to cycle will be at greater risk. It is likely that few people who quit cycling recover the loss of health benefits through other activity.
Below are summarised some of the health benefits of cycling, for the individual and society as a whole. Many of the benefits are not unique to cycling but are a consequence of moderate physical activity. In several cases, however, cycling enables that benefit to be achieved more easily, more widely or more effectively.
This should not be regarded as an authoritative treatment of the subject, relying as it does on the primary sources   referenced below. Those sources provide much more detailed information and full references.
The immune system serves to protect the body from infections and diverse systemic diseases. Studies show that moderate activity, such as cycling, strengthens the immune system and thus contributes to a healthy life. It can also increase activity against tumour cells, assisting the prevention of related illnesses.
Humans have several hundred muscles, which have to be used regularly in order to maintain fitness and health. A week of inactivity reduces the strength of the muscular system by up to 50% and can harm them long-term. This is particularly true for older people as aging causes muscles to shrink.
During cycling, most of the body's muscles are activated. The leg muscles are responsible for the pedalling movement; the abdomen and back muscles stabilise the body on the cycle and cushion external influences; and the shoulder-arm muscular system supports the body at the handlebars. All this trains and tightens up the muscular system, making it stronger and able to function efficiently.
This is the body's supporting framework, held together by muscles, tendons and ligaments. Exercise and the accompanying strain on the skeletal system strengthens it and increases mobility. Cycling has a positive effect on bone density and strength. Moreover, a muscular system strengthened by cycling supports and protects the skeletal system.
Posture when cycling is optimum, and the cyclic movement of the legs stimulates muscles in the lower back, where slipped discs are most likely to occur. In this way the spine is strengthened and secured against external stresses. In particular cycling can stimulate the small muscles of the vertebrae which are difficult to affect through other exercise. This can help reduce the likelihood of back pains and other problems.
Cycling is especially good at protecting and feeding cartilages as the support given by the bicycle means that the forces that act as a result of body weight are significantly reduced. The circular movement of cycling assists the transport of energy and other metabolic produces to the cartilages, reducing the likelihood of arthrosis.
Physical activity serves as a regulator to relieve the stress that is common in current lifestyles. It produces the balance between exertion and relaxation which is so important for the body's inner equilibrium. Cycling is especially ideal for this process, countering stress in two ways: by satisfying the need for activity where people lack movement or exercise; and by balancing out increased strain, particularly mental and emotional.
Cycling has a considerable relaxing effect due to its uniform, cyclic movement which stablises the physical and emotional functions of the body. This counteracts anxiety, depression and other psychological problems. The exercise also controls hormonal balance.
Oxygen is vital for all biological organisms and the basic prerequisite for the respiratory processes of humans. Respiration is often impaired by adiposity and lack of exercise. Among other things, regular physical activity strengthens the respiratory muscles, which leads to improved ventilation of the lungs and thus has a positive effect on oxygen exchange. Enormous positive health effects can be achieved in energy uptake and processing, through moderate cycling.
The heart is one of the most important organisms for a healthy life but can be damaged by inactivity. Cycling is ideal for training the heart to be stronger which results in less stress of the heart. All the risk factors that lead to a heart attack are reduced and regular cycling reduces the likelihood of heart attack by more than 50%.
Cycling is ideal for targeting these problems as 70% of the body's weight is borne by the saddle, thus enabling people who could not otherwise move easily to exercise to increase their physical fitness and stimulate fat metabolism. Cycling also contributes to weight reduction by burning energy.
Cycling can train the organism to use up fat reserves and also changes the cholesterol balance, favouring the protective kind over that which is threatening to health. As body weight reduces and cholesterol is optimised, a protective mechanism is enabled by continuing to cycle. Regular exercise during youth is a prevention factor against excessive body weight in adults.
Moderate cycling can prevent, or at least reduce, high blood pressure and so help to avoid stroke or damage to the organs. Blood pressure is also reduced by a lower heart rate, which is a result of regular cycling.
Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of colon, breast, prostate and pancreatic cancers, and possibly lung and endometrial cancers too.
Cycling is especially good for aerobic exercise as the strain on the body is less than in other endurance sports. Improved stamina reduces tiredness and fatigue and promotes a sense of well-being..
Beauty and attractiveness are much linked to body shape and condition. Cycling can positively influence these by controlling body weight and muscular form. Skin also benefits from the metabolic processes that are stimulated. In addition, cycling affects physical feeling which influences the perception of others.
In addition to regular moderate exercise, the body benefits from more demanding activity from time to time, which improves fitness and provides greater diversion from everyday problems. Cycling can provide more intensive activity as easily as by pedalling faster or harder.
Physical activity has a direct effect on well-being and health. Cycling has numerous advantages that can directly affect quality of life, as it provides benefits both physically and emotionally. Regular exercise, taken as an integral part of daily life, is needed to permanently enhance the quality of life.
More cycling, especially as an alternative to motor vehicle travel, would bring substantial health benefits for society as a whole due to improved air quality, reduced noise and danger, and greater independence for children.
Different approaches in voting by Jury members have produced the final result of this contest. The launch of a mass-production electric car in the market has been more awarded -twenty top points- than the sheer appeal of Alfa Romeo Giulietta or the practical originality of Opel Meriva. In spite of the lack of a large recharging network and the limited range, the Leaf represents a technical and commercial bet that might otherwise satisfy many potential consumers, especially where public incentives will come to reduce the paying price. In the history of Car of the Year, the Leaf brings the award to Nissan 18 years after the Micra, the first Japanese model to win.
The Leaf has been conceived atop an specific platform for electric vehicles, with features typical of a conventional compact car: front McPherson suspension, rear torsion beam, front wheel drive and a practical 5-door hatchback body with remarkable aerodynamics. The pack of lithium-ion batteries sits efficiently for space and weight distribution, under the floor and between the axles. Room for 4/5 occupants and a boot of reasonable volume put the practical side to the vehicle. With mechanical noise reduced to the distant buzz of the electric motor, there is a notorious sonic comfort.
Besides the reigning silence, Leaf surprises to first-time driver with the abundant torque and instantaneous response. The AC motor and a kerb weight under 1.6 tons determine a good performance level. The new Nissan is not properly a zero-emission vehicle if the ‘energy path’ is taken in account, but official ratings are very favourable. Range between recharges –up to 8 hours in a home supply point- varies a lot depending on the style of use.
Body: 5-door hatchback
Size: 4.45 X 1.77 X 1.55 m. Wheelbase: 2.69 m.
Transmission: Front wheel drive. Automatic clutch. Single gear.
Tyres/wheels: 205/55-16 (6.5 X 16)
Engine: Electric AC syncronous motor.
Power - torque: 80 kW (109 hp) at 2,730-9,800 rpm – 280 Nm at 0-2,730 rpm
Maximum speed – 0-100 km/h acceleration: 145 km/h – 11.9 s.