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Gizmag Team

Renault's recently reworked brand identity “puts people at the forefront” while the resultant design strategy bases each new concept car on a different phase of the human life cycle. The first such concept was the DeZir coupé shown at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, which expressed the passion of "falling in love." The second concept in the series was unveiled today ahead of the Geneva Motor Show, representing the next phase of “two people exploring the world around them together." Apart from the crock of marketing soup, the rather appropriately named CAPTUR is quite interesting technically, with a clever mechanical self-locking differential and an augmented reality system. Read More
A longstanding part of the Vacheron Constantin watchmaking heritage, the World Time complication is making a noteworthy comeback in the form of the Patrimony Traditionnelle World Time model. Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin, this new mechanical self-winding movement is distinguished by its capacity to indicate the world’s 37 time zones, including those offset from Universal Coordinated Time (UCT) by a half or quarter-hour. Read More
Continental has developed a sensor (satellite) for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles which will immediately shut off the high-voltage battery in the event of a collision while the vehicle is in charge mode. This means that emergency service personnel can recover vehicles without running the risk of suffering an electric shock. Read More
The Zonda supercar established Pagani in the elite category of supercar manufacturers, so much has been expected of its successor, which we now know as the Huayra. Named appropriately after a South American God of the Wind, the Huayra will be shown to the public for the first time in Geneva a month from now. Only 20 of the gull-winged Huayras will be made per year, each costing one million euro with its main distinguishing features being a very light carbon titanium monocoque, 700 bhp, 1000 Nm twin-turbo mid-engined V12 and movable rear wing and four adjustable flaps constituting the most extensive active aerodynamic package yet to head for production. Though response to the car’s appearance is mixed, a photoshopped mock-up of a Huayra Spyder indicates the 230 mph supercar will be even better looking without a roof. Read More
F1 kicked back into life earlier this week with the first official test of the season and the unveiling of most of the 2011 cars, the most significant of which was the Red Bull RB07 – the car that will defend both Sebastian Vettel's drivers title and the energy drink’s very own constructors championship. As is generally the case, Red Bull's public relations output topped the field, and many of the highly informative illustrations in the image gallery come directly from the Red Bull press materials - images explaining the new RB7 changes, the pit crew roles and responsibilities, the 2011 steering wheel, driving position ad infinitum. Read More
Honda Japan has launched a special website featuring the all-new compact Fit Shuttle, scheduled to debut in March. The big news is that in addition to a petrol Fit Shuttle, Honda will offer a hybrid model equipped with Integrated Motor Assist making it the first wagon-type hybrid model in its class. Clearly the hybrid is now beginning to permeate every class of vehicle. Read More
Total production of the Mazda MX-5 sports car reached 900,000 units today at Mazda's Hiroshima plant in Japan. The milestone was achieved 21 years and 10 months after mass production of the first-generation MX-5 commenced in April 1989 and further extends the Mazda MX-5's lead as the best selling two-seater sports car of all time. Indeed, the MX-5 took that title from the MGB (1962-80) in May 2000 when production reached 514,853 units to exceed the iconic British sportster. Second place on the list is now held by Porsche's 911 series (1964-present and pictured) which has sold over 700,000. It's also fifty years this year since Jaguar launched the first affordable super sports two-seater, the E-Type (pictured), but more on that shortly. Read More
When weighing up the impact of electric-vehicles on the environment two factors come to the fore. EV's produce no emissions locally, but depending on where the energy comes from, they can still be producing greenhouse gases back at the power plant ... the so called "long-tailpipe" argument. That's one. The second is batteries – or more specifically, how much energy goes into making them and what to do with the massive battery packs in these cars once they've passed their lifespan. Auto manufacturers building EV infrastructure are taking this second factor into consideration and now EV pioneer Tesla has announced a battery recycling program throughout Europe that will help reduce the carbon footprint of its vehicles. Read More
Twin turbines, "Oil Change" indicator ... URWERK's description of its latest creation sounds like it should be driven, not worn on the wrist. The UR-110 continues the Swiss timepiece innovator's trend of producing off-beat displays – the time is shown by three rotating "torpedoes" mounted on planetary gears that pass down a vertical line, marked 0 to 60 minutes, on the side of the face. Sound complicated? It's actually quite a simple to read layout and because the time can be read by looking at only the right side, you can discretely sneak a peak at your titanium masterpiece without upsetting those tiresome dinner guests. Read More
Princeton University engineers have developed a new laser sensing technology that is expected to enable the remote distant detection of explosives, airborne pollutants and greenhouse gasses. The technique differs from previous remote laser-sensing methods in that the returning beam is not just a reflection or scattering of the outgoing beam but an entirely new laser beam generated by oxygen atoms whose electrons have been "excited" to high energy levels. This "air laser" is a much more powerful tool than previously existed for remote measurements of trace amounts of chemicals in the air. Read More
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