Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.
This is the year that automotive companies will tantalize eyes and minds with full visions of autonomous cars. Mercedes opened up the year with the intriguing F 015 design study
, and Italdesign Giugiaro showed its own version of autonomy with the Geneva-debuted GEA
. Chevrolet has an equally intriguing self-driving vision, and it calls it the FNR. The "futuristic capsule" is loaded with next-generation styling, technology and ideas.
Normally more of a place a car manufacturer might go to cold-test its latest sports car, Finland is sliding its name into supercar design in a rather big, bold way. The all-new Toroidion 1MW concept car was designed, developed and built entirely in Finland. The car wrestles the title of world's most powerful all-electric supercar away from the Rimac Concept One
. At a full megawatt (1,341 hp), it's one of the most powerful supercars, period. Besides sheer power, the car showcases some interesting technologies with a wide range of potential applications, from a scalable powertrain to a fast-swap battery system.
Volkswagen revealed the all-new Transporter series van this week, and while it's not the Bulli concept
-inspired Microbus revival that the world is hungry for, it is notable as an all new generation for VW's highly successful, 65-year-old workhorse. The new T6 will arrive at dealerships and camper van conversion workshops with a host of styling, equipment and technology upgrades.
Typically a highly specialized, narrow-purpose tool that the average person would never have a use for, the throwing knife just got much more functional. San Francisco-based startup Urchin Sky equips a simple throwing knife with more than 20 different functions in the form of its Kniper multi-tool. The Kniper combines typical multi-tool elements like wrenches and drivers with not-so-typical inclusions like a tobacco pipe and fork.
The all-new Sports Limousine from Tasmania's Van Diemen Luxury Crafts joins the swelling legion of convertible, multi-use boats that includes the sports coupe-styled Revolver 44 GT
and the Kormoran super-transformer
. The Sports Limousine goes a step beyond the basic electric hard-top convertible, adding an electrically raised glasshouse to create three distinct body styles for a myriad of on-water uses. It's a cozy fishing boat, a roomy, semi-enclosed limousine, and a compact tender in one.
Mobile phones are great, but they're not ideal for every communications needs. When you're skiing down a mountain, the last thing you want to do is carve to a stop, dig around your triple-layer winterwear for your phone, and answer just to hear your buddy tell you he's waiting in the lodge – which is where you were skiing down to to meet him. The AWIRE wearable two-way radio promises to deliver that type of conversation in mere seconds so you can get on with your life. It also pairs with your smartphone to route calls and music directly to your ears.
All eyes may have been on the Cadillac CT6
at this year's New York Auto Show, but next year the luxury market will likely be more focused on its rival, the new Lincoln Continental. Lincoln previewed the type of "quiet luxury" it has in mind for its forthcoming flagship at this year's NY show. The simply named Continental Concept departs sharply from Lincoln's current design language and promises to bring some past cachet back to the Continental nameplate with a slew of luxury and technology amenities.
The all-new Horizon Multi Concept Vehicle isn't the first camper van based on the new Mercedes Vito
– we've already seen the Terra Camper Tecamp
, for one – but it is purportedly the first such camper made in the UK. The new camper van is designed to adeptly straddle the fence between everyday family van and holiday camper. A host of quick-converting interior amenities help it achieve that duality.
Whether it's the compressed air of Peugeot Citroën's Hybrid Air powertrain
, or the raft of air channeling aerodynamic upgrades on concepts like the C4 Cactus Airflow
, air mixes freely with concept car design at Citroën. The all-new Aircross Concept keeps the trend alive and packages air friendly-design into a larger utility vehicle. The concept also highlights some interesting new interior entertainment and communication technologies.
back in 2012, the Tesla Model S has gotten more powerful, more capable and more expensive. That trend continues with the all-new 70D all-wheel-drive trim, which replaces the rear-wheel-drive 60 trim as the entry-level model in the lineup, adding US$5,000 to the lowest price of Tesla ownership while increasing performance across the board.