Even more impressive is the Spark EV’s price. Our 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV 2LT tester costs only $27,820. If you can live without leatherette and heated seats, the Spark EV 1LT is only $27,495. Standard features include Chevrolet MyLink with smartphone integration, OnStar, Sirius XM, and Bluetooth. That may sound like a lot for what amounts to a Korean-made go-kart, but consider this: Spark EV buyers in Oregon are eligible to receive a $7500 rebate from the federal government for purchasing an electric car, meaning you could walk out the door with an electric Spark for just over $20,000. Californians have it even better. In addition to the $7500 federal rebate, Californians are eligible for an additional $2500 rebate. That means a Spark EV buyer in the Golden State will essentially get their vehicle’s electricity paid for its useful lifetime, given the EPA’s estimated $500 annual “fuel” cost. That also means a Spark EV Buyer in California is only really spending between $17,495 and $17,820 for their car, or just a couple hundred dollars more than a fully loaded 2014 Spark 2LT.
One of my favorite features, which you’ll also find on Ford hybrids, is the efficiency-leaves display. It’s a polite and clever way to nudge customers into driving more efficiently. Virtual leaves and flowers grow inside the right portion of instrument cluster as a reward for driving economically. At the end of the drive, the screen thanks you for driving a hybrid. On the other side of the instrument cluster, a separate screen will tell you the percent of energy recaptured each time you brake. Overall, the controls on the MKZ are easy to figure out, including those on the car’s new infotainment system. One thing I didn’t like about the interior: the cramped rear seats. At 5-foot-3, I usually have little reason to complain about a lack of legroom, but in this car, it’s undeniable.
All modern, powered, sealed subs have an analog phenomena called group delay (in the digital world this is often referred to as latency) so to best integrate sub(s) you must fix that timing issue so the sub lines up in time with the mains at the crossover frequency area. Since you cannot remove this inherent delay in the sub you must add this delay to all the top channels. The PHASE knob on a modern sub ADDS MORE delay to the sub than its intrinsic approximately 10 msec. IN A HOME THEATER SYSTEM you do this by manually setting the speaker distance settings in the setup menu. Since consumer equipment operates sort of backwards, when you increase the distance setting of the sub you are adding delay to all the other channels. (!) I suggest setting all the speaker distance settings THE SAME and to 7 feet; then add 12 feet to the SUB distance only (so the sub distance now = 19 feet). Now you have added a bit more than the correct amount of delay to the REST of the system (the L C R Ls Rs) so you can then properly use the PHASE KNOB on the sub to FINE TUNE the timing match. This will give you the best possible impulse response through the entire system; the imaging and focus should then should be uncanny, and the bass focused and as tight as possible. Again, if this is done correctly, even if the subs are behind you, you will NOT localize them; it will seem as if the bass is playing from the front of the room, where it belongs, and this is true even if the crossover frequency is as high as 120 Hz. Heres another audio non sequiter: people say that bass is non directional. This is completely wrong. Audio is more or less directional; the phrase should be bass is NON-LOCALIZABLE because the wavelengths are so much larger than your head and therefore there is no phase difference between your ears relative to the wavelength size. The higher you cross over, the more you MAY localize the bass IF the timing of the sub is so far off from the mains that it almost becomes a separate musical event in time. If the timing is correct you will feel the bass and localize on the harmonics.