Top 100: The most desirable cars of all time

Jack Martin

UVEX variotronic helmet visor automatically adjusts to light

Riding a motorcycle into bright sunlight can produce some dire outcomes, and though there are some manual solutions which significantly reduce the risk, there's never before been a solution quite like this one. This year’s Intermot Motorcycle show in Koln will see a significant and long awaited “first” for motorcyclists – a “variotronic” helmet visor. This double lens visor from UVEX can be electronically switched from light to dark by pressing a button and it can even be switched to automatic mode, where the lens is controlled directly by an integrated photo cell.  Read More

The victory podium

Not all that long ago, the mere thought of running a diesel in any form of motorsport would have had you laughed at. Diesel victories are now commonplace in long distance races thanks to the excellent power characteristics, reliability, the low fuel consumption of diesel engines and a battle between the two main TDI-engined cars in the form of the Peugeot 908 and Audi's R15. Audi Sport Team Joest added to the diesel legend on the weekend with a 1-2-3 victory using newly developed Variable Turbine Geometry (VTG) turbo-chargers on the R15's 440 kW V10 engine. The Peugeot 908s locked out the first two rows in qualifying and led the race until the 16 hour mark, but one by one, they suffered engine failure, and after 24 hours, Audi took all three steps on the podium. It wasn't exactly a rerun of the hare and the tortoise though, as the winning R15 racked up more 5,410 kilometers - more distance than has ever been achieved in 78 prior runnings of the French endurance classic. This was all the more remarkable in that it eclipsed a record set in 1971 by a Porsche 917 when the Hunaudières straight had no speed-slowing chicanes. Well done Audi!  Read More

Mazda's frugal 55mpg 4WD commuter

We know that the grass is always greener on the other side… but do the cars also have to be greener elsewhere too? Mazda's Carol micro-mini is only available in Japan yet its excellent fuel economy, affordability and specifications read like a wish list for commuters the world over - 4WD, 55 mpg, CVT, keyless entry, keyless start system, immobilizer, DOHC VVT motor, four-wheel ABS, electronic brake distribution (EBD), brake assist, split folding rear seats, heated seats… there's even wing mirror heaters to prevent fogging on cold mornings.  Read More

The world's most expensive speeding ticket

Authorities around the world have long puzzled how to effectively deter those who would endanger innocent lives by driving recklessly on public roads. Car confiscation laws are now in place in many jurisdictions within America, Canada, Australia, Holland, Israel, South Africa and Poland, and in Iran you can have your car confiscated if it is carrying a pet or an inadequately covered female or playing loud music – indeed, in Iran, you can even be imprisoned and flogged for driving offences. Maybe that would be preferable for some, compared to what happened to this guy.  Read More

The most successful automotive collector auction in history

RM Auctions’ inaugural Sporting Classics of Monaco event held on Saturday leaves little doubt that fine automobiles can be a rapidly appreciating investment. The average price achieved by the 88 cars which crossed the block was in excess of US$500,000 while the highest price fetched was EUR2,800,000 (US$3,799,600) for a 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Cabriolet Pininfarina SWB (pictured top right). Some remarkable cars were sold on the day, including (pictured clockwise from bottom right) one of the world’s most significant pre-war sports racing cars, the 1937 BMW 328 MM ‘Buegelfalte’ (undisclosed but believed to be in excess of US$6 million), a handmade Rolls Royce which was the most expensive car made in the world in 1933 (US$1,975,792) and a Maserati Tipo 61 ‘Birdcage’ (US$3,343,648). Full details, images and story inside.  Read More

 NewCon prototype touch Smartphone with flip QWERTY keyboard

In 1995 Hans Constin filed a patent for the Smartphone design of the well known Communicators. He still holds the worldwide patents today and has now come up with a new and clever solution for the era of touch smartphones à la iPhone. His NewCon Smartphone design has a large touch screen but when flipped open and turned, the compact Smartphone becomes a mini laptop with a full QWERTY keyboard. As much as we hate the QWERTY layout, it’s a clever design.  Read More

Team BMW Oracle with Larry Ellison at the helm hold the trophy aloft

The America’s Cup has been run and won, and will return to America where it has resided for the vast majority of its century and a half history. Larry Ellison’s Team BMW Oracle trimaran trounced the Swiss Alinghi team’s Catamaran as two of the most technologically advanced boats on water fought out a one-sided event.  Read More

BMW Oracle rocks the America's Cup

There’s an old maxim in racing, and it goes along the lines of “when the flag drops, the bulls**t stops” and after more three years of legal action and posturing between the teams' billionaire principals, Larry Ellison and Ernesto Bertarelli, it was a much awaited start in many ways that mercifully kicked off the America’s Cup yesterday. Just 40 nautical miles (nm) later, the whole event seems all but over, as BMW Oracle was clearly faster downwind and particularly so upwind in comparison to the defending champ Alinghi V in conditions which were expected to favor the Swiss team. The racing was compelling and very spectacular, but in the best of three series, with the second race scheduled for Sunday …  Read More

New Formula 1 rules see cars changing dramatically

Formula One will be quite different in 2010 thanks to a number of changes to the rules. The Kinetic Energy Recovery System is gone, front tires will be narrower (from 270mm to 245mm) and most significantly, there will be no refueling during races which will mean fuel tanks will need to be roughly three times larger than 2009. The changes have bred a different size and shape of car, as was evidenced over the last two days when we saw the first of the serious contender’s cars – the 2010 McLaren MP4-25 of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton and the Ferrari F10 of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso. Demonstrating the drawing power of the Prancing Horse, Ferrari attracted an audience of three million unique visitors to its web site for the launch. The season gets underway tomorrow when …  Read More

Bentley US$9800 Zai Zaiira skis

The result of a design collaboration between Bentley’s Styling Studio and the high-end Swiss ski manufacturer zai, only 250 numbered sets of these limited edition handmade black skis will be made. Zaiìra®, the novel composite material used in the skis, was originally created for use in the latest generation of aircraft. It contains carbon fibres that are used on the skis’ top layer, in combination with natural rubber in the central part, as well as a carbon fabric in composition with chrome steel in the torsion part and long carbon fibre Reinforced Thermoplastic Composites (LFRTP). This combination of technology and performance give maximum performance with minimum weight as well as the ability to lie firmly and reliably in the snow, whatever its condition.  Read More

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