2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Jack Martin

The Subaru Advanced Tourer Concept

Subaru's biggest announcement for next month's Tokyo Motor Show was expected to be the BRZ sports car, but now news has arrived that it will also show an “Advanced Tourer Concept” powered by its trademark horizontally-opposed engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD), but with turbocharging and direct fuel injection, plus a single-motor hybrid system, all driving through a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Paradoxically Subaru has fitted the car with its EyeSight driver assist system, and a steering wheel which incorporates a “large monitor” for access to “maps, television and internet services.” Perhaps news about the carnage resulting from distracted driving hasn't reached Japan yet.  Read More

AH-64D Apache Combat Helicopter gets upgraded

Boeing has now produced more than 1200 of its fearsome US$20 million AH-64 multi-role attack helicopter, but with the first deliveries of the latest AH-64D Apache Block III this week, the capabilities of the 36 year old design have been lifted significantly. The Block III Apache incorporates 26 new technologies, a vastly improved 3,400 shaft horsepower drive system with a split-torque face gear transmission, a new composite main rotor blade, an enhanced digital electronic control unit, better performance and more payload, which effectively equals either more range, or more firepower.  Read More

The BRZ Concept is expected to have exceptional driving dynamics

It feels like we've been waiting for Subaru's BRZ concept forever. The BRZ is a joint development effort between Toyota and Subaru, using a 2.0 liter version of Subaru's signature horizontally-opposed engine with Toyota's direct injection system. Toyota will sell the car as the FT-86 which it showed as a concept two years ago at the Tokyo Motor Show and has since shown with revised styling. The near identical BRZ concept will be seen for the first time at the Los Angeles Auto Show two weeks from now and can be expected in showrooms in the United States spring of 2012.  Read More

The Varley evR450

Another high-performance electric sportscar broke cover last week from an unlikely source. To be built by a 125 year-old Australian company specializing in aerospace, defense and electric vehicles, the less-than-US$215,000 gull-winged Varley evR450 was on display at the Third Annual Australian Electric Vehicle Conference. Composites will enable the evR450 to be "featherweight" and development relationships with other EV specialists Tritium and Ultramotive have yielded an "ironless" AC motor with 300 kW of peak power and 1100 Nm of torque. The company is claiming a 0-100 km/h time of 3.8 seconds and an electronically-limited top speed of 200 km/h (125 mph). The evR450's range of 150 km (93.21 miles) can be doubled with an additional (but obviously heavier) lithium-ion battery pack and ...  Read More

Kleenspeed's 160 mph EV-X11

The FIA, governing body of internal-combustion-engined motorsport, appears to have finally recognized the bleeding obvious (that electric vehicles will become mainstream) and is planning a high profile electric racing championship series beginning in 2013. The FIA Formula E Championship series has not been publicly framed as yet so it is not known if the series will be run at the same venues as the Formula One series but it can be expected to be held at a range of international venues and will logically serve as the first official championship for electric vehicles. Whether the series will have world championship status ...  Read More

Cars are getting smaller, so this is definitely a view of the future of car pimping.

The annual SEMA show is a place where the mechanically remarkable is average, the unexpected isn't and where you'll find look-at-me engineering solutions well beyond the preposterous. Hence Toyota's decision to focus its SEMA display around tuning and pimping its iQ luxury city car was always going to create interest. Three iQs have been created for the show's Tuner Challenge, with a fourth custom special displaying a radical chop-top that can be controlled by iPad and serves as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot and power charging station.  Read More

BYD's all-electric e6 hits the market - 87 mph and a range of 190 miles

One of the stars of the Chinese automotive industry is Shenzen-based BYD, which although only sixth largest of the Chinese manufacturers, had the country's top selling individual vehicle last year in the form of the BYD F3 (a Toyota Corolla E120 clone). Now, after substantive testing of its e6 all-electric model in taxi and company fleets, the five-seater 75 kW, 87 mph crossover has gone on sale to the Chinese public, with a (claimed) range of 300 km (186 miles), which would give it the longest range of any EV in the world at present. It also has a smartphone-based information system which seems at least as advanced as anything currently available anywhere.  Read More

Perhaps the most compelling feature of the new 1D X is its low light capability for both v...

Canon is to upgrade its flagship EOS 1-series digital SLR camera from March 2012 when the weatherproof US$6,800 Canon EOS-1D X will supersede the EOS-1D Mark IV and EOS-1Ds Mark III. Among the many new features of the EOS-1D X is a new 61-Point High Density Reticular AF system, AF continuous shooting at 12 fps (14 fps with mirror lock-up), a full-frame 18.1MP CMOS sensor, an ISO range of 100-51200, the world's fastest shutter release lag (as short as just 36 milliseconds), and full high definition movie recording.  Read More

The first sketch of the new Toyota hybrid LMP1 car

Toyota is the world's largest car maker and it is going sports car racing. Next year it intends to enter the hotly-contested LMP1 class with a car powered by a petrol hybrid power-train. Toyota's intention to promote its hybrid engine prowess appears certain to invigorate Le Mans racing as Peugeot already has a hybrid diesel under testing for next year and Porsche is rumored to have a hybrid race car ready by 2013.  Read More

2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R

Kawasaki has released details of its 2012 ZX-14R and the Japanese giant has once again gazumped the competition to retake top spot on the motorcycle horsepower ladder. No figures have been released, other than the statement that it will be the fastest accelerating motorcycle in production and it that has the most powerful production motorcycle engine ever built. This article summarizes everything that's known about the new monster and its (estimated) 210 bhp and awesome power curve.  Read More

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