2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Jack Martin

The Triple-E Maersk container ship will be the world's largest ship and the most efficient

Korea’s Daewoo is to build the world’s largest ship for Mærsk line. The US$190 million, 400 meter ‘Triple-E’ class behemoths will carry 18,000 TEU containers, 2500 more than the current largest, Emma Mærsk. Superior economies of scale will enable the new monsters to surpass the industry record for both fuel efficiency and (20% better) CO2 emissions per container moved. In a move set to impact global shipping transport costs and efficiencies, ten Triple-E ships will go into service between 2013 and 2015 with a further 20 ships optioned. If the same number of containers were loaded on a train, it would be 110 km long. If they were stacked on top of one another, they’d reach beyond the stratosphere (47 km).  Read More

The new four-seat Panamera S Hybrid

Porsche added another hybrid to its range overnight. The new four-seat Panamera S Hybrid shares the power train (3.0-litre supercharged 245 kW V6 plus a 34 kW electric motor) of the Cayenne S Hybrid, offers a best case fuel consumption of 6.8 l/100 km (NEDC), CO2 emissions of 159 g/km and claims the mantle of the most economical Porsche of all time thanks to the aerodynamic advantage it has over the Cayenne. That’s also streets ahead of any other hybrid production vehicle in the luxury car class yet it still delivers Porsche acceleration all the way to its 168 mph top speed.  Read More

The world's fastest soft-top - the extreme Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible

Definitely in the “don’t try this at home” category is Juha Kankkunen’s new 205.48 mph (330.695 km/h) world speed record for driving on ice. Kankkunen drove the world’s fastest soft top, an all-wheel drive, 6-litre, 12-cylinder Continental Supersports convertible running on biofuel to capture the record on the frozen waters of the Baltic Sea, off the coast of Finland. Kankkunen bettered his own 2007 world ice speed record of 199.83 mph (321.6 km/h) set in the Continental GT at the same location. Not surprisingly, the challenges of driving on a 16.5km track of frozen ocean are many - temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees, sudden snow blizzards and potentially dangerous crosswinds not to mention the frailties of the 70cm-thick layer of sea ice.  Read More

LG Optimus 3D smartphone - records, displays and shares glasses-less 3D content

As we suggested it would a few weeks back, LG finally pulled the wraps off its 3D smartphone at Mobile World Congress 2011 today. The LG Optimus 3D has a dual-core, dual-channel and dual-memory architecture – all firsts for a smartphone – but it’s the phone’s recording, viewing and sharing of 3D content without glasses that will draw the most attention. The LG Optimus 3D’s dual 5MP lens camera captures still and moving images in 3D and the 4.3-inch WVGA display recreates 2D (up to 1080p) and 3D (up to 720p) without the use of glasses. The big question the phone is likely to answer is “who cares?” and there are a lot of people in press rooms around the world who are betting that the answer is “not many people.”  Read More

X-47B first flight: the era of the autonomous unmanned combat plane approaches

No matter how I look at this, it still seems like science fiction – a combat aircraft without a pilot that is capable of flying itself, making its own decisions, recognizing and neutralizing threats, and taking off and landing on an aircraft carrier. Last Friday (Feb 4), the Northrop Grumman-built U.S. Navy X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) aircraft successfully completed its historic first flight at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The era of the unmanned combat plane is fast approaching.  Read More

Canon's PowerShot SX230 HS - built-in GPS, 14X zoom, 12.1-MPX and 1080P video

The capability of the compact camera continues to move forward at warp speed with Canon today announcing its latest PowerShot SX230 HS model, complete with 14X optical zoom, 12.1-Megapixel images and 1080P video. The integation of a GPS receiver in the SX230 HS is another pushing of the boundaries – in addition to the logical recording of the latitude and longitude of where the image was taken in each image's EXIF data, the camera comes with mapping software so you can see where the pics were taken on a map, plus an internal GPS logger, so you can track your route on a map, making it a useful application for day or longer term trips. All this for US$350 and available next month.  Read More

Dakar 2011 - VW, KTM, Kamaz, Red Bull again

The Arab world has a new sporting superstar following the success of Qatar's Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah in winning the 2011 Dakar Rally – the longest and toughest motor race in the world. Al Attiyah headed a 1-2-3 finish for Volkswagen’s TDI diesel Touareg 3 race cars, while the usual suspects fought a tooth-and-nail battle on KTMs for the laurels – Depres and Coma battled throughout the event on times with Coma besting last year's winner at the end. In the truck section, Kamaz's Vladimir Chagin repeated last year's win while Red Bull sponsored the three major category winners for the third year in a row – we're not sure what that means but it's quite some feat.  Read More

Infographic courtesy of Nextweb

In the beginning, the language of the World Wide Web was English. Times change though, and the United States’ military’s gift to civilization knows no national boundaries, and growing worldwide adoption of the Internet has changed the audience make-up to such an extent that the dominant language of the internet is about to become Chinese. That’s not to say the Chinese are all that comfortable with this either. There has just been an official decree requiring the use of Chinese translations for all English words and phrases in newspapers, magazines and web sites. While all countries have watched the unregulated global nature of the internet erode traditional cultural values and the integrity of national languages, it seems the Chinese powers-that-be have concluded that the purity of the Chinese language needs to be preserved.  Read More

There was only one Jimi Hendrix - this is unlikely to happen again.

Now this is something that won't come along again. It's the favorite guitar of Jimi Hendrix. Voted by everyone from Rolling Stone to Time as the best guitar player ever, Hendrix favorite guitar was this vintage Epiphone FT79 and was “used for almost everything he composed" whilst he was in the United States. Given to a friend just before he died, it was subsequently on numerous recordings and film soundtracks including those by Dusty Springfield, Walker Brothers, Blue Mink, Paul McCartney and on David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs. It's coming up for auction, and is estimated to fetch GBP80,000-120,000, which seems incredibly cheap for such a piece of musical history.  Read More

Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet blurs market segments

Nissan will show a new car at the Los Angeles Motor Show later this week, which takes unique attributes from at least three different segments to create a vehicle seemingly purpose built for Southern California. Set to go on sale in early 2011, the Murano CrossCabriolet 2011 is an all-wheel drive crossover convertible which Nissan says has plenty of room for four adults, plus enough space for golf bags and luggage, even with the top down.  Read More

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