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Jack Martin

The new bikes have been designed by Raffaele Zaccagnini

Three distant shots of a disguised prototype have emerged as the latest evidence that longtime dirt bike manufacturer Husqvarna is to begin building road bikes. We’ve previously covered the rumors and staged releases from BMW-owned Husqvarna here and here, but these are the first images yet seen of the naked streetfighter which will use a new 900cc version of the Rotax parallel twin used by BMW.  Read More

The entire belt weighs just 46 grams

OEM/ODM specialist Dayton Industrial is set to commence volume production of a low energy Bluetooth 4.0 heart-rate chest belt using Nordic Semiconductor's new µBlue nRF8001 chip. That might not seem all that ground breaking at first glance, but it’s a significant event likely to kickstart a whole new genre of health and fitness related smartphone apps which use the wireless heart-rate (HR) belt to monitor, display and analyse heart rate data. Indeed, I can see a whole new and exciting range of training apps which use social networking to support and share one's progress.  Read More

The Unimog 4WD Cabrio truck concept

It may look like one of the most outrageous automotive concepts seen in many a year, but the Unimog 4WD Cabrio Truck concept created to celebrate 60 years of Mercedes Benz Unimog production actually has some basis in history - the very first Mercedes Unimog which rolled off the production line back on June 3, 1951 was also a cabrio, and it was also green, as has been almost every other Unimog in the intervening years. Based on the current Unimog U 5000 with its exceptional off-road capabilities, the Unimog Cabrio is apparently designed to bridge current and future Unimog design.  Read More

Ford produces the smallest motor in its history - three cylinder 1.0-Liter EcoBoost

It’s a sign of the times that Ford is gearing up to launch the smallest capacity engine, with less cylinders than any it has previously produced. The new 1.0-liter EcoBoost will be launched globally in all small Ford cars, and in addition to recognized technologies employed by Ford in its EcoBoost engines, such as turbocharging, direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT), the new three-cylinder engine will have an offset crankshaft for improved fuel economy, a split cooling system that allows the cylinder block to warm up before the cylinder head, and the exhaust manifold is cast into the cylinder head to lower exhaust gas temperatures and save weight.  Read More

Limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees now looks impossible

Last year at the UN climate change talks in Cancun, it was agreed that cutting emissions sufficiently to limit the world’s temperature increase to 2°C would require a far‑reaching transformation of the global energy system. To limit the world’s temperature increase to 2°C, it was agreed that the long-term concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would need to be limited to around 450 parts per million of carbon-dioxide (CO2). Sadly, the International Energy Agency has just released figures indicating that energy-related CO2 emissions in 2010 were the highest ever, reaching 30.6 Gigatonnes (Gt). This means that to achieve the 2020 target, where emissions must not be greater than 32 Gt, emissions will need to rise less over the next ten years in total than they did between 2009 and 2010.  Read More

Aston Martin V12 Zagato debuts at Villa D’Este Concours

Though Italian design house Zagato has collaborated with every prestige automotive manufacturer at some stage or another, the company’s relationship with Aston Martin has produced some stunningly beautiful and very fast classic vehicles, as evidenced by the DB4GT Zagato, V8 Vantage Zagato and DB7 Zagato. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the DB4GT Zagato, Aston Martin and Zagato will tomorrow use the backdrop of the Villa D’Este Concours in Italy to show off a V12 Zagato based on the V12 Vantage.  Read More

MV Agusta's 1000cc 148 kW, 200 mph, F4 RR

MV Agusta has announced a new 148 kw, 1000cc version of its F4 sports bike aimed at homologating a bike with the potential to push Ducati’s 1098S, BMW’s S1000RR and Kawasaki’s ZX10R off the superstock podium. Equipped with a new 13,700 rpm short stroke engine, the original F4 frame updated to enable steering-head angle adjustment via interchangeable inserts and new and better Öhlins suspension units and lightweight wheels, the new MV Agusta F4 RR is more than double the price of any of its aforementioned competitors, so let’s hope we see a few on the racetrack that can validate the EUR 22,900 (US$32,500) price tag.  Read More

Yamaha's Super Tenere

Faced with ever-increasing adventure touring competition from KTM, Yamaha, Ducati and Honda, BMW is ramping up new model development at subsidiary Husqvarna with a view to developing more dirt-orientated large capacity off-road and semi-off-road models that will not be in direct competition with its class-leading R1200GS. Several new models will be unveiled at EICMA in November, all based on the Rotax 800cc parallel twin engine used in the BMW F800R. The Rotax engine, for those not familiar with it is a pearler, with throttle response so acutely calibrated that it can be ridden like this, so the newly developed 900cc variant can be expected to be even better.  Read More

Peugeot's EX1 electric concept

French automotive manufacturer Peugeot is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, and has promised quite a few significant announcements before the year is out. Its first electric car, the Peugeot iOn, is a rebadged Mitsubishi iMiEV, but the EX1 concept it showed last year is all its own work and looks to be a rip-snorter of a performance car to boot. Last week, the twin-electric motored 250 kW (340 bhp) EX1 set a new electric record for the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit of 9:01.338 at an average speed of 138 km/h in adverse conditions whatsmore.  Read More

Less than 1500 copies of the Liber chronicarum (Nuremberg Chronicle) were printed in Latin...

It’s easy to become blasé in the ubiquitous, 24-7 avalanche of information in which we live our lives – the challenge now is about filtering, organizing and synthesizing information into a useful and relevant form. Think back though to an earlier time when the very first books became available to the public, when the treasure trove of knowledge in our pocket that we take for granted simply did not exist. A book coming up for auction, the Liber Chronicarum (1493), was one of the very first history books available, one of the first printed illustrated books available and its scope is remarkable given it was produced 500 years ago.  Read More

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