HID vs LED for Cars

By , , , , Permalink

Benefits of HID Lights

B7 S4 HID Fogs - Before & After

Also known as xenon headlights, HID (or high intensity charge bulbs) feature an arc of electricity created by electricity travelling between two tungsten electrodes inside the bulb, which is filled with xenon gas. The result is a brighter light than you get from a tungsten element alone. To put that into perspective, you can get about 3,000 lumens (a unit measuring the amount of light emitted per second) from an HID bulb, whereas a halogen bulb emits just about half that amount, for a difference of 90 square meters vs. 30 square meters of illumination. That results in better night driving visibility and increased safety, even in bad weather. HID bulbs also use much less energy than halogen bulbs and last much longer than halogen bulbs – 2000 hours of illumination as opposed to just 450. On the downside, HID lights are rather expensive when compared to other types of lights and because they are uniquely shaped, it can be difficult to retrofit an older car with these bulbs.

Pros:

  • Far brighter light, and a cooler color than halogen
  • Far less energy consumption than halogen
  • Longer lasting that halogen

Cons:

  • Bigger shape than halogen (may not fit)
  • Needs a projector lens to focus beam or may blind oncoming drivers
  • Requires a ballast to power it (needs room to mount)
  • May need a coding update to your ECU

Benefits of LED lights

LED DRL for B7 Audi A4 & S4

LED bulbs are relatively new on the automotive lighting scene, but they have gained huge popularity in recent years. LEDs are electrical conductors that emit light when they are turned on by way of an electrical circuit. The circuit is either switched on or it is off; these bulbs do not require a heating up period. One of the biggest advantages in favor of LED headlights is that they have very few parts. That means they can be made quite small and can withstand any vibrations and bumps that may occur on rough roads. They, too, consume less energy than halogen bulbs and are very long-lasting, sometimes up to tens of thousands of hours. One of the most popular reasons for choosing LED bulbs is that they come in many different colors of light.

Pros:

  • Brighter than halogen, but less bright than HID
  • More color options than halogen or HID, option for strobe lighting
  • Less energy consumption than halogen
  • Longer lasting than halogen
  • Smaller, easier to fit shape than HID
  • No ballast required

Cons:

  • May require resistors to avoid a “bulb out” error on dash
  • Light does not project as far

LEDs are cheaper, smaller, don’t need a special ballast or projector lens, and have more color options, which makes them the ideal choice for replacing smaller bulbs like turn signals, reverse lights, or reverse lights…but for lights that you need a longer field of vision, like your headlights, fog lights, or a separate spot light (i.e. on a roof or separate light rail) HIDs are the way to go. Automakers are now making LEDs that work well as a main headlight beam or fog light beam, but that technology is very expensive and requires special wiring and headlight lenses that can’t be easily retrofitted, so for now this technology isn’t obtainable unless your car also came with a OEM LED headlight/fog light option.

Hennessey Venom GT Spyder is the world’s fastest convertible

By Permalink

Beats Bugatti Veyron Super Sport Vitesse record

The Hennessey Venom GT Spyder has achieved a world record 265.6mph top speed. The record breaking number was officially confirmed by RaceLogic and took place at a 2.9-mile long runway at a US Navy base in Lemoore, California.

That figure puts the Venom GT Spyder’s record ahead of the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport Vitesse, which previously managed 254mph.

The GT Spyder used featured a revised and updated 7.0-litre twin-turbo V8 which produced 1451bhp. That puts the new Spyder’s powertrain 207bhp ahead of the previous iteration and translates to a reported 0-60mph time of 2.4 seconds.

Hennessey says it will produce three of the cars to celebrate the record breaking run, each one priced in at over £1 million.

Previous attempts at record breaking by Hennessey Performance saw the Guinness Book of World Records disallow a top speed run by the Venom GT Coupe, as it didn’t complete the run down both directions of a runway. Still, the Coupe did achieve an incredible 270.49mph. Thanks to rules and regulations though, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport retained the world record title with its 267.7mph top speed.

Hennessey’s next-generation Venom, called the F5, is already making bold claims. The Texas-based tuning shop is claiming a potential 290mph top speed as well as in excess of 1400bhp. That will pit the car directly up against the 1479bhp Bugatti Chiron and 261mph top speed.

evo’s Richard Meaden visited Hennessey Performance back in 2013 and drove the Venom GT Coupe back in its 1244bhp form. You can watch that video below.

Continue Reading…

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport pricing confirmed – starts at £30,875

By Permalink

New hot hatch produces 286bhp in overboost mode to match SEAT’s new Leon Cupra 290

Volkswagen has confirmed pricing for the new Golf GTI Clubsport Edition 40. Costing from £30,875, the Clubsport is a lighter and more focussed celebration of the Golf GTI.

It uses a turbocharged 2-litre four-cylinder engine which produces 261bhp, with an extra 25bhp available in overboost mode (available in 10sec bursts).

Flat out, a DSG gearboxed Clubsport can accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 5.9sec – the six-speed manual taking a tenth longer – while top speed is limited to 155mph. This is a substantial one second faster than a normal DSG GTI (with 217bhp) and half a second faster than a Performance Pack GTI (with 227bhp).

Unsurprisingly, without the luxury of four-wheel-drive the Clubsport can’t challenge the 297bhp Golf R, which dispatches the same launch in just 4.9sec. And the recently-unveiled SEAT Leon Cupra 290 can manage it in 5.7sec, though its peak 286bhp isn’t limited to 10sec overboost bursts like the Clubsport.

The Clubsport therefore manages to elbow its way into this tightly contested Volkswagen Group hot hatch pile with unique performance characteristics – and the same can be said about its exterior.

To match its extra grunt the Clubsport gains aerodynamic features like a prominent rear wing and a quartet of guiding vanes on its front bumper, finished in gloss black. Volkswagen claims that these features were shaped in the wind tunnel and therefore do produce downforce.

The car also sits on new optional Bresica 19-inch alloy wheels – 18-inch wheels are standard fitment – and flaunts black Clubsport stripes along the sides (inspired by the original 1976 GTI’s side stripe), black door mirror covers and a black roof. The launch car’s Oryx White paintjob contrasts these features nicely, and VW says more colours will be available.

Inside, the Clubsport gets a pair of bucket-style seats, finished with honeycomb patterned centres and tartan details, an Alcantara-wrapped wheel, the traditional golf-ball gear knob and red stitching to contrast. Other features include a red line on the seat belts, black headlining and red-edged floor mats, while stainless steel doorsills complete the cabin’s look.

Continue Reading…

Volvo V60 Polestar trades inline-six for 362bhp four-pot turbo

By Permalink

Polestar's latest hot Volvo trades six cylinders for four, with better performance and economy

Volvo’s new V60 Polestar doesn’t look much different to the car it replaces, but significant drivetrain changes make it both faster and more efficient than its identically-styled predecessor.

The big news can be found under the bonnet, where the old and rather tuneful inline-six has made way for one of Volvo’s new generation of turbocharged four-cylinder units.

A variant of the firm’s 2-litre ‘Drive-E’ unit, the four-pot is twin charged (using both turbocharging and supercharging) and features a larger turbo, new conrods, new camshafts, a high-capacity fuel pump and a larger air intake, compared to the T6 unit on which it’s based.

The results are 362bhp and 347lb ft of torque – 17 horses more than the car it replaces, but a little less torque than the big six’s 369lb ft. Despite the torque deficit, the 4.8-second 0-62mph time is two tenths quicker than before, thanks in part to a Polestar-fettled BorgWarner all-wheel drive system (with greater bias towards the rear wheels) and the latest eight-speed Geartronic auto – the old car had a six-speed unit.

‘All changes made to the car are about improving driveability and efficiency. The base of the new engine carries motorsport technology, with solutions such as the combination of turbo and supercharger, lightweight materials and more,’ explains Henrik Fries, vice president of R&D at Polestar.

The engine downsizing has seen the old car’s prodigous thirst (27.7mpg was the official figure, but evo typically saw numbers in the teens to low twenties) reduced, with a 34.9mpg official figure.

The other benefit is weight: While the old inline-six was aurally appealing, it was a big weight to hang over the front axle. The Drive-E engine cuts 24 kilos from that figure, and the new Polestar is 20kg lighter altogether than its predecessor (which should drop the kerb weight to 1739kg).

Changes to the electronically-assisted power steering should improve feel – something the current car lacks – while the Polestar’s serious braking hardware has become even more serious with 371mm front discs. Those hide behind a new design of 20-inch alloy wheel.

The rest of the Polestar is much as before – neat styling, an aesthetically-aging but high-quality and ultra-comfortable cabin, and the option of retina-searing Rebel Blue paintwork.

The new car is available to order now, with UK deliveries expected in the fourth quarter. There should be more cars available too, with production expanding from 750 units to between 1250-1500 cars.

Antony Ingram

1 Apr 2016

Continue Reading…

dd