Why Leasing Makes More Sense

•May 28, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Leasing can be used for three main purposes:

1. To get out of negative equity on your current vehicle.

2. As a low payment option.

3. To save money and use your hard earned dollars on something better. Maybe a vacation?

Benefits of leasing for a customer:

Lower payments, lower cash investment, more vehicle for the money, newer car more often (latest technology), latest safety features, lower maintenance expenses, zero risks from changing market values and conditions, zero trade hassel, zero negative equity, factory warranty coverage, credit builder, cash liquidity, tax advantages = less taxes, increase mpg = less money at the pump, and more end of term options!!

There are many lease concerns, I will answer a few of them here but if you have any more please contact me and I will answer them right away:

Concern #1: I want to own my own vehicle.

                    – Unless you pay cash, the bank technically owns your vehicle. In a lease, you own what you pay for. So, technically in a lease you own, in a buy you never do!

Concern #2: I drive to many miles.

                   – On average miles and time depreciate the vehicle the fastest. When you own a vehicle the average mile costs 37.4 cents. In a lease it costs .10 cents. Your saving money right from the begining. There are high mile leases, but, if you go over its still only .15 cents per mile vs. 37.4 cents per mile. The miles are irrelevant, the real question is how long do you really want to own this vehicle?

Concern #3: I only pay cash for all my vehicles, I do not like debt.

              – My suggestion as a parent and a single parent at that, is to leave the money in the bank for an emergency, fixed residual value provides market protection, put the money into something that generates more money, or do a one pay lease which equals no monthly payments. In addition to cash liquidity, you will have the benefit of NOT owning a depreciating asset. You can always exercise your purchase option IF and only if it makes sense financially later.

Any mroe questions?

 

2013 Scion FR-S “Bringing Sport Back” Commercial: Shut Up and Drive [The Ad Section]

•May 20, 2013 • Leave a Comment

FR-S inline I like this commercial. I like it because it’s simple, edgy, and exciting, just like the car it advertises. It makes me want to get in an FR-S and drive it. Not just own it, but drive it. How many commercials these days make you want to do that? Not many. Sure, there are plenty of ads that use carefully chosen words, exquisite locations, and beautifully choreographed tracking shots to make you lust for a car’s silhouette, options, and status, but this commercial isn’t about that stuff—it’s a simple celebration of the sheer fun of hard driving. Like an old-school sports car, the FR-S gives you just what you need to have fun: Two-hundred horsepower, adequate torque, rear-wheel drive, great brakes, and a clutch pedal, all at a price that’s pretty damned affordable. There’s a reason it made it onto our 2013 10Best Cars roster.

 I like that this spot is raw and visceral, with no plot or spoken words. Just good, old-fashioned thrashing around an isolated country road, steering wheel in one hand and shift lever in the other, with enough driver’s point-of-view shots to give you a sense of what it’s like behind the wheel. The music is appropriately pumped and fitting for the youngish and male target audience, but not overpowering like, say, the Soundgarden/Paw/Hammerbox tracks on the old Road Rash game for PlayStation, Sega Saturn, etc. (for those of you who remember), and you can hear the tire squeals and 2.0-liter boxer-four’s song throughout. The exterior product shots all look terrific, and the instruments are made to look as if they were lifted from something more expensive. I also like that there’s no copy, just punchy minimalist supers that culminate in a closing title that lingers long enough to register where to go to get more information.

 


5th Gear5th GearSince the FR-S is also sold as the Subaru BRZ, I was curious to see how the latter company advertises its version of the car, but all I could find were some Japanese spots (aimed, interestingly, at women, not that there’s anything wrong with that), and a 60-second Canadian commercial entitled “Scorched,” in which a BRZ that’s parked in a commercial garage is so hot, it blisters the paint on nearby signs and sets off the sprinkler system. It definitely grabs your attention, but it’s so heavy on pyrotechnics and drama—I kept waiting for Megadeth to emerge from the cloud of smoke—that it totally lacks the human connection that makes the Scion ad work so well. Yeah, it’s cool to be hot, but in the end it’s the sheer fun of driving that makes the BRZ and the FR-S—and Scion’s commercial—so appealing to us enthusiasts.

Give me a call to get your FR-S and start having fun today! 616-710-6454

 

Do you have credit issues but would still like to be treated like a person, not a number?

•May 13, 2013 • Leave a Comment

We all know that bad things happen to good people. Unfortuantly, the banks do not care about that. So, you work hard to pay your bills, and do the best you can with what you have. Now what can you do?

Here at Toyota/Scion of Grand Rapids, we understand your needs. We will do everything we can to structure a deal to get the bank to buy. There are tons of tips and tricks we can do. Let us help you! We will treat you with the love and respect you deserve.

Please call me at 616-574-8100 or come see me 2555 28TH ST. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49512.

9 tips for buying a car warranty:

•May 7, 2013 • Leave a Comment
As a professional in the car business, (even though I do not make a dime off of it), I always suggest to all my customers, that they buy some form of warranty on their new pre-owned vehicle. I suggest keeping your new huge investment protected always. Here are a few tips on selecting what is the right warranty (s) for you.
Nine Warranty-Buying Tips:

1. Never buy a warranty based strictly on a phone sales pitch.

2. Always have a contract in hand for review before you make a decision.

3. Don’t be taken in by “today only” price pitches.

4. Every contract has an “insurer” or “underwriter.” Find out who that is and check the company at ambest.com, the website for A.M. Best, a century-old insurance-rating service.

5. Make sure you know your deductible, and that it is only charged once per repair visit.

6. Never buy a warranty based on the performance of a product—a bottle of magic liquid, for example. That tactic is a way around certain consumer-protection laws.

7. Buy from a company that pays directly for repairs, not one that says it will reimburse you.

8. Extended warranties are often transferable. When you purchase a car with an extended warranty, paying a transfer fee (which usually varies by state) will transfer the remaining coverage.

9. Get the refund policy in writing. If you sell the car and don’t transfer the warranty to somebody else, you should be entitled to a refund for the unused portion of the warranty.

My Favorite Wine on Top!! Check out how Andretti Winery Scores!!!!

•May 1, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Wine Tasting: Andretti Winery, Jeff Gordon Cellars, Bernardus Winery, Childress Vineyards

How Their Wines Qualify: Various well-known auto racers have put their names on some pricey hooch. We conduct a snooty tasting.

  • October 2010
  •                 PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROY RITCHIE             

     
 
 
     
 
 
     

If you’ve seen Google Earth shots of  Michael Schumacher’s castle in Bland, Switzerland (not a joke), you may have deduced by now that there is big money in racing. Naturally, successful drivers and owners, from NASCAR to Formula 1, are always looking for ways to make their cash piles even bigger. Apparently, owning a vineyard—or at least bottling wine with your famous name on the label—is a good way to go.

But wait. Don’t good ol’ boys drink the clear lightnin’ out of Mason jars? And isn’t North Carolina soil known for growing Luckies, not Pouilly Fuissé? Well, times change, as Danica Patrick can testify.

And so we decided to examine the wines of four auto-racing worthies: drivers Mario Andretti and Jeff Gordon, owner Richard Childress, and Bernardus “Ben” Pon, who drove Porsches at Le Mans.

We asked John Jonna, who’s been selling and promoting wine in the greater Detroit area since the Sixties, to preside over a tasting at his Vinology  wine bar and restaurant in Ann Arbor.  Jonna commented on each variety, and then our own Ed. piped up. Jonna also scored each wine on a 100-point scale. We tasted a pair of chardonnays and six reds.

ANDRETTI WINERY (EST. 1996) – NAPA, CALIFORNIA

2006 Montona Reserve Merlot, $55

John Jonna: “Full bodied, light nose, deep color. Easy drinking. Lacks complexity, but good—not great, good.” 90 points

Ed.:”Montona, is that a typo?”

         

JEFF GORDON CELLARS (EST. 2005) – CALISTOGA, CALIFORNIA

2007 Ella Sofia Carneros Chardonnay, $45

JJ:”Light, less acid. Crisp but soft, very clean, oaky. I see no flaws—except it’s hot; it’s got too much alcohol [14.5 percent].” 89 points

Ed.:”Hit me again.”

         

BERNARDUS WINERY (EST. 1989) – CARMEL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

2007 Ingrid’s Vineyard Chardonnay, $45

JJ: “Dry, some oa

k, crisp apple notes—wow, it’s 14 percent alcohol. It’s good. I’d say it’s worth it.” 90 points

Ed. [under his breath]: “Probably a lot cheaper if it came from Agnes’s Vineyard.”

       

CHILDRESS VINEYARDS (EST. 2004) – LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

2006 Cabernet Franc, $17

JJ: “Light, some tannin, has some hit, but not a heavy hit. Not subtle. Finishes a little short.” 89 points

Ed.: “Rough. For the 17 bucks, wonder if  I could talk him into a half-gallon?”

       

2005 Childress Vineyards – Signature Series Meritage, $50

JJ: “Nice, but mild. Lacks fruit. It’s an attempt to make a Bordeaux. Needs red meat. Wax seal shows he cares about his wine.” 91 points

Ed.: “Uptight white broads can only drink two glasses, then they quit and begin nagging you about your third and fourth.”

       

2004 Bernardus Marinus, $36

JJ: “Big red, good tannin, no bite. Bordeaux style. Good finish.” 90 points

Ed.: “Don’t you guys dare tell anyone I ever spit out wine.”

       

2005 Jeff Gordon Napa Valley – Cabernet Sauvignon, $52

JJ: “Dense, chocolaty, subtle; classic steak wine. I think it’s the best. Clever, too:  The connoisseur and the average person would both like it. Excellent.” 93 points

Ed.: “Don’t mind if  I do.”

       

2008 Villa Andretti – California Dolcetto, $33

JJ: “Peppery nose, close to Italian style, not too much acidity.” 87 points

Ed.: “Mario should get the Momentary Modesty Award for not putting his mug on the bottle. That’s class.”

Ever wonder what a certain car term really means? Here it is:

•April 29, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Glossary of Terms by car and driver magazine:

 

  • June 2009

     
 
 
     
 
 
     

Automotive technology is constantly updated, and much of the terminology used to describe it is complex and difficult to understand. On the off chance that there might be a term or two you can’t define in your sleep, we hereby present the Car and Driver Technical Glossary—and we’ve included a whole heap of other automotive terms, too. Hopefully, you will gain enough technical wisdom to astonish the members of your local car club.

Entries starting with: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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A

A-pillar the roof support on either side of a cars windshield.

Active Suspension An extremely sophisticated, computer-controlled suspension system that uses powered actuators instead of conventional springs and shock absorbers. The actuators position a car’s wheels in the best possible manner to deal with road disturbances and handling loads.

Aerodynamic drag Drag produced by a moving object as it displaces the air in its path. Aerodynamic drag is a force usually measured in pounds; it increases in proportion to the object’s frontal area, its drag coefficient, and the square of its speed.

Air Dam A front spoiler mounted beneath the bumper and shaped to reduce the airflow under the car. Air dams can increase the airflow to radiators, reduce aerodynamic drag, and/or reduce lift.

Anti-Dive A tuned-in front suspension characteristic that converts braking-induced forces in the suspension links into a vertical force that tends to lift the body, thereby reducing dive under braking.

Anti-Lock Braking System A braking system that senses when any of the wheels have locked up—or are about to—and automatically reduces the braking forces to keep the wheels rolling. Commonly called ABS, such a system can control all four wheels or only two.

Anti-Roll Bar A suspension element (used at the front, the rear, or both ends of a car) that reduces body roll by resisting any unequal vertical motion between the pair of wheels to which it is connected. An anti-roll bar does not affect suspension stiffness when both wheels are deflected equally in the same direction. Often incorrectly called a sway bar.

Anti-Squat Similar to anti-dive, this suspension characteristic uses acceleration-induced forces in the rear suspension to reduce squat.

Apex The point(s) or region on the line through a corner that touches the corner’s inner radius.

Aspect Ratio Generally the ratio between two dimensions of an object. In tire terminology it applies to the unloaded sidewall height of the tire divided by its overall width. A lower aspect ratio implies a shorter, wider tire. When used to describe a wing it is the span of the airfoil (the long dimension perpendicular to the airflow) divided by its chord (the dimension parallel to the airflow).

Axle Tramp A form of wheel hop that occurs on cars with live axles, caused by the axle repeatedly rotating slightly with the wheels and then springing back.

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B

B-pillar The roof support between a car’s front door window and rear side window, if there is one.

Balance Shaft A shaft designed so that, as it rotates, it vibrates in a way that reduces or cancels some of the vibration produced by an engine. Not essential to an engine’s operation, balance shafts are nonetheless becoming increasingly common as a means of engine refinement. Balance-shafted four-cylinder engines use two shafts turning in opposite directions on either side of the engine’s crankshaft. A single balance shaft is used when fitted to three-cylinder and V-6 engines.

Ball Joint A flexible joint consisting of a ball in a socket, used primarily in front suspensions because it can accommodate a wide range of angular motion.

Beam Axle A rigid axle supporting the non-driven wheels. Also called a dead axle.

Beltline The line running around a car’s body formed by the bottom edges of its glass panels

Bevel Gears A gearset employing gears shaped like slices of a cone, which allows the axes of the gears to be nonparallel. Bevel gears are used to transmit motion through an angle.

Boost Pressure The increase above atmospheric pressure produced inside the intake manifold by any supercharger. It is commonly measured in psi, inches of mercury, or bar.

Brake Bias The front/rear distribution of a car’s braking power. For the shortest stopping distance, brake bias should match the car’s traction at each end during hard braking brake modulation: the process of varying pedal pressure to hold a car’s brakes on the verge of lockup. Ideally, the brakes will unlock with only a slight reduction in the pressure needed to lock them. Typically, however, a considerable pressure reduction is required.

Brake Modulation The process of varying pedal pressure to hold a car’s brakes on the verge of lockup. Ideally, the brakes will unlock with only a slight reduction in the pressure needed to lock them. Typically, however, a considerable pressure reduction is required.

Brake Torquing A procedure generally used in performance tests to improve the off-the-line acceleration of a car equipped with an automatic transmission. It is executed by firmly depressing the brake with the left foot, applying the throttle with the car in gear to increase engine rpm, then releasing the brakes. Brake torquing is particularly effective with turbocharged cars because it helps overcome turbo lag.

Breathing (engine) A term used to describe an engine’s ability to fill its cylinders with air-fuel mixture and then discharge the burnt exhaust gases. In general, the more air-fuel mixture an engine burns the more power it produces.

Bushing A simple suspension bearing that accommodates limited rotary motion, typically made of two coaxial steel tubes bonded to a sleeve of rubber between them. The compliance of the bushing in different directions has a great effect on ride harshness and handling.

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C

C-pillar The roof support between a car’s rearmost side window and its rear window. On a vehicle with four side pillars, the rearmost roof support may be called a D-pillar.

Cam Profile The shape of each lobe on a camshaft. The profile determines the amount, or “duration,” of time the valve is open; it also largely determines the valve’s maximum opening, or “lift.”

Camber The angle between the plane of a wheel’s circumference and a vertical line, measured in degrees and minutes. The tops of a car’s wheels tilt inward when the camber is negative, outward when it is positive.

Camshaft A shaft fitted with several cams, whose lobes push on valve lifters to convert rotary motion into linear motion. The opening and closing of the valves in all piston engines is regulated by one or more camshafts.

Carbon Fiber Threadlike strands of pure carbon that are extremely strong in tension (that is, when pulled) and are reasonably flexible. Carbon fiber can be bound in a matrix of plastic resin by heat, vacuum, or pressure to form a composite that is strong and light—and very expensive.

Caster The angle between a vertical line and the car’s steering axis when viewed from the side, measured in degrees and minutes.

Catalytic Converter Often simply called a “catalyst”, this is a stainless-steel canister fitted to a car’s exhaust system that contains a thin layer of catalytic material spread over a large area of inert supports. The material used is some combination of platinum, rhodium, and palladium; it induces chemical reactions that convert an engine’s exhaust emissions into less harmful products. So-called three-way catalysts are particularly efficient; their operation, however, demands very precise combustion control, which can be produced only by a feedback fuel-air-ratio control system.

Center Differential A differential used in four-wheel-drive systems to distribute power to the front and rear differentials.

Chassis A general term that refers to all of the mechanical parts of a car attached to a structural frame. In cars with unitized construction, the chassis comprises everything but the body of the car.

Coil Spring A bar of resilient metal wound into a spiral that may be compressed or extended without permanent deformation. Coil springs have many automotive applications but are particularly important as suspension springs.

Combustion Chamber The space within the cylinder when the piston is at the top of its travel. It is formed by the top of the piston and a cavity in the cylinder head. Since most of the air-fuel mixture’s combustion takes place in this space, its design and shape can greatly affect the power, fuel efficiency, and emissions of the engine.

Compliance A slight resiliency, or “give,” designed into suspension bushings to help absorb bumps. Good compliance allows the wheels to move rearward a bit as they hit bumps but doesn’t allow them to move laterally during cornering.

Composite Any material that consists of two or more components, typically one or more of high strength and one an adhesive binder. The most common composite is fiberglass, which consists of thin glass fibers bonded together in a plastic matrix. The structural properties of composites can be altered by controlling the orientation and configuration of the high-strength components.

Compression Ratio The ratio between the combined volume of a cylinder and a combustion chamber when the piston is at the bottom of its stroke, and the volume when the piston is at the top of its stroke. The higher the compression ratio, the more mechanical energy an engine can squeeze from its air-fuel mixture. Higher compression ratios, however, also make detonation more likely.

Connecting Rod The metal rod that connects a piston to a throw on a crankshaft.

Constant-Velocity Joint A particular kind of universal joint designed so that there is no cyclic fluctuation between the speeds of its input and output shafts.

Control Arm A suspension element that has one joint at one end and two joints at the other end, typically the chassis side. Also known as a wishbone or an A-arm.

Cornering Limit The maximum speed at which a car can negotiate a given curve.

Coupe A closed car with two side doors and less than 33 cubic feet of rear interior volume, according to measurements based on SAE standard J1100. A two-door car is therefore not necessarily a coupe.

Crankshaft A shaft with one or more cranks, or “throws,” that are coupled by connecting rods to the engine’s pistons. Together, the crankshaft and the con rods transform the pistons’ reciprocating motion into rotary motion.

Cylinder The round, straight-sided cavity in which the pistons move up and down. Typically made of cast iron and formed as a part of the block.

Cylinder Head The aluminum or iron casting that houses the combustion chambers, the intake and exhaust ports, and much or all of the valvetrain. The head (or heads, if an engine has more than one bank of cylinders) is always directly above the cylinders.

Cylinder Liner The circular housing that the piston moves in when the cylinder is not an integral part of the block. Also known as a “sleeve.”

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D

dBA A unit of measure for decibels, the measure of sound intensity or pressure named after Alexander Graham Bell. It is a logarithmic measurement; every 3dB increase represents a doubling of the sound pressure. The “A” in dBA indicates that the measurement was taken with an A-weighted scale; sound pressure varies across the audible spectrum, and the A-weighted scale approximates the human ear’s sensitivity to various frequencies.

de Dion Suspension A suspension system in which the rear, driven wheels are bolted to a transverse, lightweight, rigid member. Power is delivered to the wheels by universal-jointed half-shafts attached to a body-mounted differential.

Dead Pedal A footrest found to the left of the leftmost pedal. It provides a place for the driver to brace his left leg during hard cornering.

Detonation A condition in which, after the spark plug fires, some of the unburned air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber explodes spontaneously, set off only by the heat and pressure of the air-fuel mixture that has already been ignited. Detonation, or “knock,” greatly increases the mechanical and thermal stresses on the engine.

Differential A special gearbox designed so that the torque fed into it is split and delivered to two outputs that can turn at different speeds. Differentials within axles are designed to split torque evenly; however, when used between the front and rear axles in four-wheel-drive systems (a center differential), they can be designed to apportion torque unevenly.

Disc Brakes Properly called caliper disc brakes: a type of brake that consists of a disc that rotates at wheel speed, straddled by a caliper that can squeeze the surfaces of the disc near its periphery. Disc brakes provide a more linear response and operate more efficiently at high temperatures and wet conditions than drum brakes.

Dive The dipping of a car’s nose that occurs when the brakes are applied. Dive is caused by a load transfer from the rear to the front suspension; this transfer occurs because the car’s center of gravity, through which all inertial forces pass, is higher than its contact patches, the points where the braking forces are exerted on the ground.

DOHC Double Overhead Camshaft: a DOHC engine has two camshafts in each cylinder head; one camshaft operates the intake valves, the other actuates the exhaust valves.

Downforce A vertical force directed downward, produced by airflow around an object: such as a car body.

Drag Coefficient A dimensionless measure of the aerodynamic sleekness of an object. A sleek car has a drag coefficient, or “Cd,” of about 0.30; a square, flat plate’s is 1.98. Also signified by Cx.

Drivability The general qualitative evaluation of a powertrain’s operating qualities, including idle smoothness, cold and hot starting, throttle response, power delivery, and tolerance for altitude changes.

Driveline Everything in the drivetrain, less the engine and the transmission.

Driveshaft The shaft that transmits power from the transmission to the differential.

Drivetrain All of a car’s components that create power and transmit it to the wheels; i.e. the engine, the transmission, the differential(s), the hubs, and any interconnecting shafts.

Drum Brakes A type of brake that has an iron casting shaped like a shallow drum that rotates with the wheel. Curved brake shoes are forced into contact with the inner periphery of this drum to provide braking.

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E

Exhaust-Gas Recirculation EGR is a method of reducing NOx (oxides of nitrogen) exhaust emissions by recirculating some of the engine’s exhaust gas into the intake manifold. The exhaust gas serves as inert filler that absorbs heat during the combustion process and reduces the peak temperature reached during combustion.

Engine Control System A computerized brain—often called the ECU, for Engine Control Unit—that regulates an engine’s operation by monitoring certain engine characteristics (rpm, coolant temperature, intake airflow, etc.) through a network of sensors and then controlling key variables (fuel metering, spark timing, EGR, etc.) according to preprogrammed schedules.

EPA Fuel Economy Laboratory fuel-economy tests administered by the Environmental Protection Agency using simulated weight and drag to re-create real driving conditions. The tests were updated for the 2008 model year to better reflect current driving conditions.

Exhaust Manifold The network of passages that gathers the exhaust gases from the various exhaust ports and routes them toward the catalysts and mufflers of the exhaust system. A manifold with free-flowing passages of a carefully designed configuration, called a “header,” can improve breathing.

Exhaust Port The passageway in the cylinder head leading from the exhaust valves to the exhaust manifold.

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F

Feedback Fuel-Air-Ratio Control A feature of a computer-controlled fuel system. By using a sensor to measure the oxygen content of the engine’s exhaust, the system keeps the fuel-air ratio very close to the proportion for chemically perfect combustion. Such tight control of the fuel-air ratio is mandatory for the proper operation of three-way catalysts.

Fiberglass A composite material that relies on small glass fibers for its strength.

Final-Drive Ratio The reduction ratio, found in the gearset of a drivetrain, that is furthest removed from the engine. Typically, the differential ratio.

Floorpan The largest and most important stamped metal part in a car’s body. Usually assembled from several smaller stampings, the floorpan forms the floor and fixes the dimensions for most of the car’s external and structural panels. It is also the foundation for many of the car’s mechanical parts.

Fluid Coupling Any device that transfers power through a fluid between its inputs and outputs. A fluid coupling basically consists of two fans in a sealed, oil-filled housing. The input fan churns the oil, and the churning oil in turn twirls the output fan. Such a coupling allows some speed difference between its input and output shafts.

Flywheel A heavy disc attached to an engine’s crankshaft to increase its rotary inertia, thereby smoothing its power flow.

Four Valves Per Cylinder A valvetrain with a total of four valves in the combustion chamber, typically two intakes and two exhausts. Compared to the more common two-valve-per-cylinder designs, a four-valve layout offers improved breathing and allows the spark plug to be located closer to center of the combustion chamber.

Four-Wheel Drift A somewhat imprecise term that describes a cornering situation in which all four tires are operating at large slip angles.

Four-Wheel Steering A steering system that actively steers the rear wheels as well as the fronts in the interest of improving handling and maneuverability.

Fuel Injection Any system that meters fuel to an engine by measuring its needs and then regulating the fuel flow, by electronic or mechanical means, through a pump and injectors. Throttle-body injection locates the injector(s) centrally in the throttle-body housing, while port injection allocates at least one injector for each cylinder near its intake port.

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G

g The unit of measure for lateral acceleration, or “road-holding.” One g is equivalent to 32.2 feet per second per second, the rate at which any object accelerates when dropped at sea level. If a car were cornering at 1.0 g—a figure that very few production cars are able to approach—the driver’s body would be pushing equally hard against the side of the seat as against the bottom of it.

Gearset A group of two or more gears used to transmit power.

Greenhouse The portion of a car’s body that rises above the beltline of the car.

Ground Effect The phenomenon that occurs when the airflow between a moving object and the ground creates downforce.

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H

Half-Shaft An articulating, rotating shaft used in independent-suspension systems to transmit power from a differential to a wheel.

Handling A general term covering all the aspects of a car’s behavior that are related to its directional control.

Heel-and-Toe A performance-oriented technique of down-shifting while braking that requires the driver to use all three pedals of a manual-transmission car simultaneously. To perform a heel-and-toe downshift, the driver brakes with the toe of his right foot and—while continuing to brake—uses the heel or the side of the same foot to blip the throttle and raise engine rpm as he downshifts. The left foot operates the clutch pedal in the normal fashion. The sequence is as follows: brake with the right toe; depress the clutch with the left foot; shift to neutral; while continuing to brake, blip the throttle with the side or the heel of the right foot to raise rpm; shift to a lower gear; let the clutch out; release the brakes. The technique is difficult to master, but after practice it can be performed in less than a second. This process is best for smooth power flow and long transmission life.

Heim Joint An extremely rigid articulating joint, commonly known as a “spherical rod-end,” used in any precision linkage. Heim joints are often used in the suspension links of race cars because they locate wheels very precisely.

Helical Gear A type of gear in which the teeth are cut at a slanting angle to the gear’s circumference. A helical design produces an even, constant tooth loading in a gearset, thereby reducing noise.

Hemi A term used to describe any engine that has hemispherical combustion chambers in its cylinder head. Although a four-valve design is more efficient, a hemi head provides room for a pair of large valves and offers good breathing characteristics.

Horsepower The common unit of measurement of an engine’s power. One horsepower equals 550 foot-pounds per second, the power needed to lift 550 pounds one foot off the ground in one second: or one pound 550 feet up in the same time.

Hotchkiss Suspension A live-axle rear suspension in which leaf springs handle both the axle’s springing and its location.

Hydraulic Lifter A valve lifter that, using simple valving and the engine’s oil pressure, can adjust its length slightly: thereby maintaining zero clearance in the valvetrain. Hydraulic lifters reduce valvetrain noise and are maintenance-free.

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I

Independent Suspension Any suspension in which the camber of a wheel is not directly affected by the vertical motion of the opposite wheel.

Intake Charge The mixture of fuel and air that flows into the engine.

Intake Manifold The network of passages that direct air or air-fuel mixture from the throttle body to the intake ports in the cylinder head. The flow typically proceeds from the throttle body into a chamber called the plenum, which in turn feeds individual tubes, called runners, leading to each intake port. Engine breathing is enhanced if the intake manifold is configured to optimize the pressure pulses in the intake system.

Intake Port The passageway in a cylinder head leading from the intake manifold to the intake valve(s).

Intercooler A heat exchanger that cools the air (or, in some installations, the intake charge) that has been heated by compression in any type of supercharger. An intercooler resembles a radiator; it houses large passages for the intake flow, and uses either outside air or water directed over it to lower the temperature of the intake flow inside.

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J

Jounce The motion of a wheel that compresses its suspension.

Jounce Bumper An elastic cushion used to stiffen the suspension gradually as it approaches the end of its jounce travel.

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K

Kickdown A downshift in an automatic transmission caused by depressing the throttle.

Knock Sensor A sensor mounted on the engine that is designed to detect the high-frequency vibrations caused by detonation. By employing a knock sensor, a computerized engine-control system allows an engine to operate very near its detonation limit: thereby improving power and efficiency.

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L

Lateral Link A suspension link that is aligned to resist sideways motion in a wheel.

Leading Link A suspension link that is aligned to resist longitudinal motions in a wheel; it is mounted to the chassis behind the wheel.

Leaf Spring A long, flat, thin, flexible piece of spring steel or various composite materials that deflects by bending when forces act upon it. Leaf springs are used primarily in suspensions.

Lift A vertical force directed upward, produced by the airflow around a moving object: such as a car body.

Lift-Throttle Oversteer A handling characteristic that causes the rear tires to lose some of their cornering grip when the throttle is released during hard cornering.

Limited-Slip Differential A differential fitted with a mechanism that limits the speed and torque differences between its two outputs. Limited slip ensures that some torque is always distributed to both wheels, even when one is on very slippery pavement.

Line The path through a corner that best accommodates a late braking point, a high cornering speed, and the fastest possible exit speed out of a corner.

Link A suspension member that has a single joint at each end.

Live Axle A rigid axle incorporating a differential and axle shafts to power the two wheels it is supporting.

Lockup The juncture at which a tire starts to skid during braking. A tire’s maximum braking force is developed when it is on the verge of lockup, so a car’s shortest stopping distances are produced when its front and rear tires approach lockup simultaneously. This is very hard to achieve under varying conditions of load and traction, so one end typically locks up before the other. Front-wheel lockup is inherently more stable than rear-wheel lockup.

Locking Differential A differential whose two outputs can be locked together, eliminating any differential action but maximizing traction under slippery conditions.

Locking Torque Converter A torque converter fitted with a locking clutch that can be engaged to eliminate the slip between the torque converter’s input and output, thereby improving fuel efficiency and performance.

Loose A slang term for oversteer.

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M

Main Bearings The bearings in an engine block that support the crankshaft.

Mid-Engine A chassis layout that positions the engine behind the passenger compartment but ahead of the rear axle.

Monocoque A type of body structure that derives its strength and rigidity from the use of thin, carefully shaped and joined panels, rather than from a framework of thick members. Also called “unit” or unitized construction.

Multileaf Spring A leaf spring with several leaves bundled together by steel bands.

Multilink Suspension A rear suspension consisting of at least four links, or “arms,” and no struts. Because multilink suspensions assign specific wheel-locating duties to each element, they provide great flexibility for optimizing both ride and handling.

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N

Neutral Steer A cornering condition in which the front and rear slip angles are roughly the same. Although seemingly an ideal state of balance, perfect neutral steer is not as stable as slight understeer.

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O

On-Center Feel The responsiveness and feel of the steering when the wheel is approximately centered. In a car with good on-center feel, the steering wheel tends to return to center when slightly deflected, assisting straight-line stability.

Opposite Lock A technique in which the steering wheel is turned in the direction away from where the car is turning. Opposite lock is used to control a car when it is oversteering and its tail is swinging wide.

Overdrive Any gearset in which the output shaft turns faster than the input shaft. Overdrive gears are used in most modern transmissions because they reduce engine rpm and improve fuel economy. Occasionally, a separate gearbox with an overdrive gearset is coupled to a conventional transmission.

Overhead Cam The type of valvetrain arrangement in which the engine’s camshaft(s) is in its cylinder head(s). When the camshaft(s) is placed close to the valves, the valvetrain components can be stiffer and lighter, allowing the valves to open and close more rapidly and the engine to run at higher rpm. In a single-overhead-cam (SOHC) layout, one camshaft actuates all of the valves in a cylinder head. In a double-overhead-camshaft (DOHC) layout, one camshaft actuates the intake valves, and one camshaft operates the exhaust valves.

Oversquare A description of an engine whose bore is larger than its stroke.

Oversteer A handling condition in which the slip angles of the rear tires are greater than the slip angles of the front tires. An oversteering car is sometimes said to be “loose,” because its tail tends to swing wide.

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P

Panhard Rod A long lateral link that provides lateral location of a rigid axle. It usually sits roughly parallel to the axle, with one end attached to the body and the other attached to theaxle.

Pent-Roof A combustion chamber whose upper surface resembles a shallow peaked roof. Usually used with four valves per cylinder.

Pitch The rotation of a car about a horizontal axis, which causes its nose or tail to bob up and down. Dive and squat are pitching motions.

Planetary Gears A gearset in which all of the gears are in one plane, grouped around each other like the planets around the sun. The central gear is called the “sun gear.” In mesh with it is a circular grouping of gears, called “planet gears,” mounted on a rotating carrier. The planet gears also engage teeth on the inner periphery of the “ring gear.” By holding any one of the three gear elements motionless, different ratios can be produced between the other two. Planetary gearsets are common in automatic transmissions.

Plenum Chamber A chamber, located between the throttle body and the runners of an intake manifold, used to distribute the intake charge evenly and to enhance engine breathing.

Polar Moment of Inertia The resistance of an object to rotational acceleration. When the mass of an object is distributed far from its axis of rotation, the object is said to have a high polar moment of inertia. When the mass distribution is close to the axis of rotation, it has a low polar moment of inertia. A mid-engined car has most of its mass within its wheelbase, contributing to a low polar moment of inertia, which, in turn, improves cornering turn-in.

Port Fuel Injection A type of fuel injection with at least one injector mounted in the intake port(s) of each cylinder. Usually the injector is mounted on the air intake manifold close to the port. Port fuel injection improves fuel distribution and allows greater flexibility in intake-manifold design, which can contribute to improved engine breathing.

Pound-Feet The unit of measurement for torque. One pound-foot is equal to the twisting force produced when a one-pound force is applied to the end of a one-foot-long lever.

Power The rate at which work is performed. Power is proportional to torque and rpm and is measured in horsepower.

Power Band The subjectively defined rpm range over which an engine delivers a substantial fraction of its peak power. The power band usually extends from slightly below the engine’s torque peak to slightly above its power peak.

Powertrain An engine and transmission combination.

Profile The aspect ratio of a tire.

Progressive-Rate Spring A spring with an increasing spring constant. For example, if the first inch of spring motion requires 100 pounds of force, the second inch would require more than an additional 100 pounds, and the third inch would require still more. Progressive-rate springs become stiffer as they are compressed, unlike single-rate springs, which have a fixed spring rate.

Psi Pounds per square inch, the common unit of measurement for pressure. Normal atmospheric pressure at sea level is 14.7 psi.

Push A slang term for understeer.

Pushrod A general term for any rod that transfers force in compression. In a valvetrain, pushrods are used to transfer reciprocating motion from the cam followers to a more distant part of a valvetrain, typically the rocker arms.

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R

Rack-and-Pinion A steering mechanism that consists of a gear in mesh with a toothed bar, called a “”rack.”” The ends of the rack are linked to the steered wheels with tie rods. When the gear is rotated by the steering shaft, it moves the rack from side to side: turning the wheels.

Rebound The motion of a wheel that extends the suspension. The opposite of jounce.

Recirculating-Ball A steering mechanism in which the steering shaft turns a worm gear that, in turn, causes a toothed metal block to move back and forth. Ball bearings in a recirculating track reduce friction between the worm gear and the block. As the block moves, its teeth rotate a gear connected to a steering arm, which then moves the steering linkage.

Redline The maximum recommended revolutions per minute for an engine. In cars equipped with a tachometer—an instrument that measures engine rpm—the redline is usually indicated by, surprisingly enough, a red line. Some tachometers mark the redline with a colored sector. Others have two lines: the lower one marking the maximum allowable sustained engine rpm, the higher line indicating the absolute maximum rpm.

Ride Height A measurement between the ground and some fixed reference point on a car’s body (the reference point varies according to the whims of the particular automaker). This dimension can be used to measure the amount of suspension deflection or the height of the body from the ground.

Ride Steer A generally undesirable condition in which a wheel steers slightly as its suspension compresses or extends. Also called “bump steer.”

Rigid Axle A simple non-independent suspension consisting of a rigid transverse member with wheel hubs solidly bolted to it. The axle can be attached to the body by leaf springs, or by a combination of suspension arms and links.

Ring-and-Pinion Gear Any gearset consisting of a small gear (the pinion gear) which turns a large-diameter annular gear (the ring gear).

Roadholding The ability of a car to grip the pavement. Technically described as “lateral acceleration,” because cornering is actually a continuous deviation from a straight path. Measured in gs.

Road-Load Horsepower The amount of power at the driving wheels needed to move a car down the road at a steady speed. This power varies according to the car’s speed, aerodynamic drag, and mechanical friction, as well as the tires’ rolling resistance. Road-load horsepower is distinct from engine power because the output of the engine is sapped by various mechanical losses between the engine’s output at its flywheel and the driving wheels.

Roll The rotation of a car’s body about a longitudinal axis. Also less accurately called “sway” or “lean,” it occurs in corners because the car’s center of gravity is almost always higher than the axis about which it rotates.

Rubber-Isolated Crossmember A laterally aligned structural member that is attached to the body or the frame via vibration-absorbing rubber isolators. By bolting suspension or driveline components to such crossmembers, automotive engineers can reduce the transmission of noise and/or ride harshness to the body.

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S

SAE: Society of Automotive Engineers The professional association of transportation-industry engineers. The SAE sets most automotive-industry standards for the testing, measuring, and designing of automobiles and their components.

Scrub Radius The distance from the point where the steering axis intersects the ground to the longitudinal line that runs through the center of the tire’s contact patch. Also called “steering offset.”

Sedan As used by Car and Driver, the term “sedan” refers to a fixed-roof car with at least four doors or any fixed-roof two-door car with at least 33 cubic feet of rear interior volume, according to measurements based on SAE standard J1100.

Semi-Elliptic Leaf Spring A slightly curved leaf spring that is attached to a car’s body at its ends and to a suspension component near its middle. One of the two body attachments is a shackle, which allows for changes in the spring’s length as it flexes up and down.

Semi-Trailing-Arm Suspension An independent rear-suspension system in which each wheel hub is located only by a large, roughly triangular arm that pivots at two points. Viewed from the top, the line formed by the two pivots is somewhere between parallel and perpendicular to the car’s longitudinal axis.

Series (Tire) The numerical representation of a tire’s aspect ratio. A 50-series tire has an aspect ratio of 0.50.

Shift Gate The mechanism in a transmission linkage that controls the motion of the gearshift lever. The shift gate is usually an internal mechanism, but, in some transmissions—including Ferrari five-speeds and Mercedes-Benz automatics—the shift gate is an exposed guide around the shift lever.

Shock Absorber A device that converts motion into heat, usually by forcing oil through small internal passages in a tubular housing. Used primarily to dampen suspension oscillations, shock absorbers respond to motion. Their effects, therefore, are most obvious in transient maneuvers.

Single-Rate Spring A spring with a constant spring rate. For example, if a 100-pound force deflects the spring by one inch, an additional 100 pounds will deflect it one more inch, and so on until the spring either bottoms or fails.

Skidpad A large area of smooth, flat pavement used for various handling tests. Roadholding is measured by defining a large-diameter circle ( Car and Driver uses 300 feet) on the skidpad and measuring the fastest speed at which the car can negotiate the circle without sliding off.

Slip Angle The angular difference between the direction in which a tire is rolling and the plane of its wheel. Slip angle is caused by deflections in the tire’s sidewall and tread during cornering. A linear relationship between slip angles and cornering forces indicates an easily controllable tire.

Slushbox Slang for an automatic transmission.

SOHC Single overhead camshaft: SOHC engines use one camshaft in each cylinder head to operate both the exhaust valves and the intake valves.

Space Frame A particular kind of tube frame that consists exclusively of relatively short, small-diameter tubes. The tubes are welded together in a configuration that loads them primarily in tension and compression.

Spoiler An aerodynamic device that changes the direction of airflow in order to reduce lift or aerodynamic drag and/or improve engine cooling.

Squat The opposite of dive, squat is the dipping of a car’s rear end that occurs during hard acceleration. Squat is caused by a load transfer from the front to the rear suspension.

Steering Axis The line that intersects the upper and lower steering pivots on a steered wheel. On a car with a strut suspension, the steering axis is defined by the line through the strut mount on top and the ball joint on the bottom.

Steering Feel The general relationship between forces at the steering wheel and handling. Ideally, the steering effort should increase smoothly as the wheel is rotated away from center. In addition, the steering effort should build as the cornering forces at the steered wheels increase. Finally, the friction built into the steering mechanism should be small in comparison with the handling-related steering forces.

Steering Gain The relationship between yaw and the steering wheel’s position and effort. All three should be proportional and should build up smoothly.

Steering Geometry The group of design variables outside the steering mechanism that affect steering behavior, including camber, caster, linkage arrangement, ride steer, scrub radius, toe-in, and trail.

Steering Response A subjective term that combines steering feel and steering gain.

Straight-Line Tracking The ability of a car to resist road irregularities and run in a straight line without steering corrections.

Stroke The distance between the extremes of a piston’s travel in a cylinder.

Strut A suspension element in which a reinforced shock absorber is used as one of the wheel’s locating members, typically by solidly bolting the wheel hub to the bottom end of the strut.

Sump The space in the engine block under the crankshaft into which the oil drains from its various applications.

Supercharger An air compressor used to force more air into an engine than it can inhale on its own. The term is frequently applied only to mechanically driven compressors, but it actually encompasses all varieties of compressors—including turbochargers.

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T

Targa A removable-roof body style popularized by Porsche that is similar to a convertible except that it incorporates a fixed, roll-bar-like structure running from side to side behind the front seats.

Throttle-Body A housing containing a valve to regulate the airflow through the intake manifold. The throttle-body is usually located between the air cleaner and the intake plenum.

Throttle-Body Fuel Injection A form of fuel injection in which the injectors are located at the engine’s throttle-body, thereby feeding fuel to more than one cylinder. Such an arrangement saves money by using fewer injectors; but because it routes both fuel and air through the intake manifold, it eliminates some of the tuning possibilities offered by port fuel injection.

Toe-Control Link A lateral link in a multilink suspension designed to control a wheel’s direction as the suspension moves up and down.

Toe-In The intentional nonparallel orientation of opposite wheels. Toe-in is measured by subtracting the distance between the front edges of a pair of tires from the distance between the rear edges of the same pair of tires. The toe-in dimension is positive when the fronts of the tires are turned toward the center of the car.

Toe Steer The changes in the direction of a wheel that occur without driver steering input. Toe steer can be caused by ride steer or by deflections in suspension components caused by the stresses of cornering, accelerating, and/or braking on smooth and bumpy roads.

Torque The rotational equivalent of force, measured in pound-feet.

Torque Converter A particular kind of fluid coupling with a third element added to the usual input and output turbines. Called “the stator,” this additional element redirects the churning fluid against the output turbine, increasing torque. This torque increase, however, is achieved at the expense of rpm and efficiency.

Torque Steer A tendency for a car to turn in a particular direction when power is applied. Torque steer is common in front-drive cars because reaction forces created in the half-shafts can generate uneven steering forces in the front tires.

Torsion Bar A spring consisting of a long solid or tubular rod with one end fixed to the chassis and the other twisted by a lever connected to the suspension.

Traction Control An electronic control system that prevents wheelspin by detecting when a driven wheel is about to break traction, and then reducing engine power and/or applying the appropriate brakes to prevent it.

Trail-Braking A driving technique in which the driver begins to brake before entering a turn and then continues to brake as he eases into the corner. As cornering forces build, the driver gradually feathers off the brakes, trading braking power for cornering grip. By increasing the vertical loading—and thus the traction—at the front tires, trail-braking can improve a car’s turn-in.

Trailing Arm A suspension element consisting of a longitudinal member that pivots from the body at its forward end and has a wheel hub rigidly attached to its trailing end. A sufficiently rigid trailing arm can provide all of a wheel’s location. In that case it is similar to a semi-trailing arm, except that its pivot axis is exactly perpendicular to the car’s longitudinal center line.

Trailing Link A suspension link that is aligned to resist longitudinal motions in a wheel; it is mounted to the chassis ahead of the wheel.

Transaxle A transmission and a differential combined in one integrated assembly.

Transmission A gearbox with a number of selectable ratios, used to match the engine’s rpm and torque to differing vehicle requirements.

Tread Squirm The flexibility in the tire tread between the surface of the tread and the tire carcass. Snow tires, with their small, deep, unsupported tread blocks, have a large amount of tread squirm. Slick racing tires, which have no tread pattern, have very little squirm.

Tube Frame A car frame made up of rigid tubing welded together. Tube frames are easier to manufacture in small quantities than unitized frames.

Tumblehome The term that describes the convex curvature on the side of a car body.

Tuned Intake and Exhaust Systems Intake and exhaust systems that, by harnessing the pressure pulses and resonances inside the various passages and chambers of the intake and exhaust manifolds, increase the flow of intake charge into and out of the combustion chambers.

Turbocharger A supercharger powered by an exhaust-driven turbine. Turbochargers always use centrifugal-flow compressors, which operate efficiently at the high rotational speeds produced by the exhaust turbine.

Turbo Lag Within a turbocharger’s operating range, lag is the delay between the instant a car’s accelerator is depressed and the time the turbocharged engine develops a large fraction of the power available at that point in the engine’s power curve.

Turn-In The moment of transition between driving straight ahead and cornering.

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U

Understeer A handling condition in which the slip angle of the front tires is greater than the slip angle of the rears. An understeering car is sometimes said to push, because it resists turning and tends to go straight.

Unitized Construction A type of body construction that doesn’t require a separate frame to provide structural strength or support for the car’s mechanical components. A unitized body can employ monocoque construction, or it can utilize strong structural elements as an integral part of its construction.

Universal Joint A joint that transmits rotary motion between two shafts that aren’t in a straight line. Depending on its design, a universal joint can accommodate a large angular variation between its inputs and outputs. The simplest kind of universal joint, called a “Hooke joint,” causes the output shaft to speed up and slow down twice for every revolution of the input shaft. This speed fluctuation increases with the angular difference between the shafts.

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V

Valve Float A high-rrpm engine condition in which the valve lifters lose contact with the cam lobes because the valve springs are not strong enough to overcome the momentum of the various valvetrain components. The onset of valve float prevents higher-rpm operation. Extended periods of valve float will damage the valvetrain.

Valve Lifter Also called a “valve follower”: the cylindrically shaped component that presses against the lobe of a camshaft and moves up and down as the cam lobe rotates. Most valve lifters have an oil-lubricated hardened face that slides on the cam lobe. So-called “roller lifters,” however, have a small roller in contact with the cam lobe: thereby reducing the friction between the cam lobe and the lifter.

Valvetrain The collection of parts that make the valves operate. The valvetrain includes the camshaft(s) and all related drive components, the various parts that convert the camshaft’s rotary motion into reciprocating motion at the valves, and the valves and their associated parts.

Viscous Coupling A particular kind of fluid coupling in which the input and output shafts mate with thin, alternately spaced discs in a cylindrical chamber. The chamber is filled with a viscous fluid that tends to cling to the discs, thereby resisting speed differences between the two shafts. Viscous couplings are used to limit the speed difference between the two outputs of a differential, or between the two axles of a car.

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W

Waste Gate A valve used to limit the boost developed in a turbocharger. A waste gate operates by allowing some of the engine’s exhaust flow to bypass the turbocharger’s turbine section under certain conditions.

Wheel Hop An undesirable suspension characteristic in which a wheel (or several) moves up and down so violently that it actually leaves the ground. Wheel hop can be caused by many problems, including excessive unsprung weight, insufficient shock damping, or poor torsional axle control.

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Y

Yaw The rotation about a vertical axis that passes through the car’s center of gravity.

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Z

Zero-Offset Steering A steering system whose geometry has a scrub radius of zero. This configuration minimizes the steering effects produced during acceleration (with front drive) or braking on varying traction surfaces.

Toyota Awards $150,000 in Grants to Mothers of Invention at Newsweek & The Daily Beast’s Third Annual Women in the World Summit in New York

•April 26, 2013 • Leave a Comment
March 10, 2012

Toyota Awards $150,000 in Grants to Mothers of Invention at Newsweek & The Daily Beast’s Third Annual Women in the World Summit in New York

Grants Given at Summit to Three Leaders Making a Global Difference Celebrate Ingenuity, Creativity and Courage

TORRANCE, Calif. (March 10, 2012) – Toyota has issued three $50,000 grants to women selected as the “Mothers of Invention” at the annual Women in the World summit to reward them for their use of innovation and courage in tackling some of the most pressing problems facing women. Grants were given to Aseneth Andrews, founder of The Catherine Ferguson Academy for Young Women; Talia Leman, founder of Randomkid.org; and Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman, inventors of the sOccket and co-founders of Uncharted Play.
The summit, hosted by Tina Brown, editor in chief of Newsweek & The Daily Beast and co-sponsored by Toyota, was held at the David H. Koch Theater at New York’s Lincoln Center, and featured three days of programming and panels aimed at addressing issues facing girls and women worldwide. Summit participants included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep, Christiane Amanpour, Diane von Fustenberg, Barbara Walters, Christine Lagarde, Lauren Bush Lauren, Chelsea Clinton and Tina Brown.
“All of these women have made incredible impacts in their communities and the world using innovation and dedication to support causes that are close to their hearts,” said Latondra Newton, Vice President, Toyota Motor North America, Inc. “The change these women have made in thousands of lives simply through their tenacity and belief in change is remarkable. Toyota has always been committed to initiatives that touch communities around the world. This event allows us to show our support in a tangible way to help these women continue the work they’re doing.”
The grants given to the Mothers of Invention by Toyota aim to bring awareness to the women’s innovative programs, as well as help further their objectives and future projects by providing additional funding.
About the Mothers of Invention:
Aseneth Andrews, Principal Founder, The Catherine Ferguson Academy for Young Women Andrews founded the school for young mothers more than 20 years ago as a revolutionary experiment in helping young women with children complete their secondary education and ultimately break the cycle of poverty that often besets one generation to the next. The unique school hosts on-site daycare facilities and features a working urban farm, with curricula connected to the farm as are nutrition and business classes since the school sells its produce at the local farmers market. The Catherine Ferguson Academy boasts an impressive rate of 90% graduates, particularly impressive considering Principal Andrews does not allow students to graduate without first securing a place in college.
Talia Leman Founder, RandomKid.org At ten years old, Leman saw Hurricane Katrina devastate New Orleans and was moved to organize other kids in her hometown of Waukee, Iowa to start a Halloween trick-or-treat collection of coins for victims in the Gulf Coast. The idea quickly caught on across the country and resulted in millions of dollars raised. Leman, now 17 years old, went on to found RandomKid.org, a Web site where teenage social entrepreneurs connect with one another to “develop, manage and accomplish” their goals of helping others. Using the site to raise money and organize efforts, 12 million children in 20 countries have taken on projects that range from building schools in Cambodia to constructing wells in Kenya. Collectively having raised close to 11 million dollars through the site, Leman saw that for every dollar invested in a youth project there is a 200 to 1000 percent return on that investment. Her most recent project is The Big Return, a program that has business leaders underwrite youth-led projects in U.S. communities.
Jessica O. Matthews and Julie Silverman Inventors of The sOccket, co-founders of Uncharted Play Invented by Matthews and Silverman, the sOccket harnesses the kinetic energy of the soccer ball during normal game play and stores it for later power needs. After play, small electronic appliances, like an LED lamp, can be plugged into the sOccket. At Uncharted Play, the goal is to convince the masses to “rethink FUNction” by creating solutions to global problems that optimize the functionality of play and inject more joy into each day. For the sOccket, the flagship movement of Uncharted Play, this meant taking a sport loved around the world and harnessing this passion to provide real, environmentally-friendly energy to power electrical appliances like LED lamps, water sterilization devices and mini refrigerators.