Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Mike Hanlon

With both the Flyboard and Jetovator under US$10,000, an entirely new water sport can be h...

The propagation of new thought in any global arena doesn't take long these days and with rapid development teams capable of building and testing prototypes in just a few months, entire markets can seemingly spring from nowhere. In 2009, JetLev showed its US$100,000 Jetlev (top left). Within months of production starting, French PWC legend Franky Zapata recognized that most of the hardware required for such a device was already contained in a PWC and created the Flyboard (top right) - a US$7500 accessory that attaches to any existing PWC with 150 plus horsepower. Now the people who brought you the Sea Breacher (bottom left) have completed a long-standing project to build the Jetovator (bottom right), a jet bike with a motorcycle seating position and controls. Three competitors makes a market - and all inside three short years.  Read More

The SeaScape 12 is a four-seat, power-sensing, proportional pedal-assist watercraft with l...

Bionx has taken its proportional assist technology used in pedal-assist bicycles and developed the SeaScape 12, a low-maintenance, no noise and no local pollution craft that's designed to carry two adults and two children and will deliver a speed of 5 knots (5.8 mph) for around 4-5 hours. It's a human-electric hybrid for the water.  Read More

The Mugen Electric - Honda's first electric race bike

Electric motorcycle racing became a lot more interesting today when the TT Zero race at the Isle of Man was run and the top three riders all finished at average speeds of more than 100 mph. The win went to the Segway MotoCzysz team with Michael Rutter producing a lap of 104.56 mph but the extra strong showing of a 102.215 mph lap on the Mugen (Honda) ridden by John McGuinness indicates the electric bike racing scene is going to be very competitive in the near future.  Read More

Orsos Island is 20 meters wide and 37 meters long, with 1,000 m² of living space available...

The concept of a floating island has been with us throughout history, but sprang back into the limelight just four years ago when Wally Yachts came up with an island-themed megayacht named the Wally Island. At an estimated US$200 million, the Wally Island was not designed for the common man, but the concept appears to have ignited a flurry of activity in the marine industry, with new designs focused on a comfortable movable living space that breaks the naval architectural mold. Now an Austrian-based company intends to manufacture much smaller, tailor made miniature floating islands, at a fraction of the cost.  Read More

The Gnarboard looks like so much fun

The growing availability of high capability electric motors is currently in the process of revolutionizing every aspect of personal transport. In a short time, electric skateboards have gone from being docile and anemic to having enough power to do burn-outs and wheelies. In April we looked at all the available 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-wheel transportation appliances on the market, but envisaged nothing quite like the newly announced US$6100 Gnarboard 4WD Trail Rider with its 3.4 kW of power and peak-power output of 16.5 kW. The Gnarboard accelerates so hard that it can hit its top speed of 28 mph in 1.9 seconds, which is faster than almost anything on the road. Ridden by an expert, it is quite possibly the fastest urban point-to-point conveyance available, yet can be ridden through soft sand and up the steepest of trails. For pure road riding, there's also a slick-tired 4WD road board available.  Read More

Designing his own Ferrari SP12 EC was, to quote Clapton from the story, ‘one of the most s...

Ferrari has always set high standards for its customer interaction, and the latest press bulletin indicates it is continuing to explore new means of communicating with its customers, this time in the digital realm. "FERRARI BUILDS A UNIQUE SUPERCAR FOR ‘GOD’" was the headline. Blasphemy for some, but I knew who they meant. Eric Clapton. Developed from the Ferrari 458 Italia, Eric Clapton’s unique Ferrari SP12 EC was designed by the Centro Stile Ferrari in collaboration with Pininfarina and Ferrari’s engineers.  Read More

Renault reinterprets the Alpine A110 to commemorate its 50th Birthday

It's fifty years ago since the Renault Alpine A110 Berlinette was introduced as one of the most beautiful road cars of its time, embodying light weight and sweet handling and furthering the long and successful Renault motorsport heritage by winning rallies all over the world. Not surprisingly, such a memorable automotive birthday has precipitated a very appealing concept car. The Renault Alpine A110-50, is a reinterpretation of the original Alpine's key features in a thoroughly modern way, all cloaked in stylish Alpine Blue carbon fiber bodywork, with a 400 bhp Mégane Trophy power train. All up weight is 880 kg. It seems like a recipe for a very stylish rocketship.  Read More

Take the automotive investment challenge - how much did these vehicles sell for at auction...

So you think you have an eye for value in assessing investment-quality cars and motorcycles? Here are a dozen cars and motorcycles that went to auction last week. We've included the official description, several images and the official estimates on price from the auctioneer. Can you guess how much each sold for? Answers at the bottom of the story.  Read More

The prototype wFoil 18 Albatross

We're not quite sure why the sudden interest in hydrofoil innovation in Slovenia, but last week's Internautica event saw the release of two different and quite radical recreational hydrofoil craft. The first was the Quadrofoil electric hydrofoil sportscar for the water, and the second is the wFoil 18 Albatross, a cross between a WWI seaplane and a modern hydrofoil which is capable of 50 knots.  Read More

The Golf GTI

For three decades, the annual GTI-Treffen held at the Austrian Lake Wörthersee’ has been one of the highlights of the European calendar for Volkswagen enthusiasts. It is increasingly a venue where Volkswagen communes with its closest fans and presents an array of concepts to assess market viability. This year it showed five new cars: the Golf GTI Cabriolet which had debuted at Geneva International Motor Show, plus four completely new concepts - the Polo R-WRC, Polo WRC Street, Golf GTI Black Dynamic and Golf GTI White Concept.  Read More

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