Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks.
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.
The Quadrofoil is new form of watersport recreation - a two-person electric hydrofoil which offers a thrilling and dynamic 40 km/h (25 mph/22 knot) ride along with completely silent running. Due to the remarkable efficiency of hydrofoils, it achieves all this with just one 3.7 kW electric motor, and thanks to its lightweight (150 kg/330 lb) carbon fiber and Kevlar body and in-built 4.5 kWh lithium batteries, it has a range of 100km (62 miles).
Porsche's hybrid 918 Spyder
is a 770 bhp supercar that can top 320 km/h, accelerate from 0-100 km/h in under three seconds and lap the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in seven minutes 22 seconds. The carbon fiber 918 Spyder will hit showrooms before the end of 2013, with pricing beginning at US$850,000. It's all standard fare for a supercar except for one small thing - its fuel consumption of 3.0 l/100 km (94 mpg).
It's hard not to get carried away with the superlatives when writing of the art deco wheeled sculptures of Paris-based automotive couturier Giuseppe Figoni. This exquisite 1938 Talbot-Lago T23 'Goutte d'Eau' Coupe is not just a pretty face either - an almost identical car finished third in the 1938 Le Mans 24 hour race ... and it's for sale. From the studios of French coachbuilder Figoni et Falaschi, Figoni's Talbot-Lago T23 is one of just four Jeancart-style machines still in existence.
With the World Superbike Championship
celebrating its 25th year in 2012, it is an ideal time to reflect on the profound influence the series has had on the development of the everyday motorcycle. The production-based World Superbike Championship Series is now unquestionably the most important global race series in terms of influencing buyer decision of sports motorcycles and performance accessories but as our research shows, it appears to be even more influential than that. Statistics sourced from lap-times and speed traps over the last decade indicate the rapid rate road-going sports motorcycles are improving racetrack laptimes. Indeed, today's showroom models on road tires, are now quicker than the fastest factory superbikes of just five years ago.
Our recent rundown of the coming "Transportation Appliance" marketplace
has unearthed yet another another compact fold-up electric vehicle that appears set to become the smallest of the last-mile transport options. Well-known Israeli Industrial Designer Nimrod Sapir has devoted much of his life to figuring out better ways of "getting there." Nimrod designed the ingenious Tagabike
we featured four years ago, but his Myway Compact EV is more compact than anything we've seen and might play a major role in transportation in the future.
Lockheed Martin's new Shadow Hawk weapon is deceptively small considering the influence it will likely have on warfare from this point forward. The era of unmanned warfare is about to go to a whole new level. The Shadow Hawk is an 11-pound class, 2.75-inch (7 cm) diameter, 27-inch (68 cm) long drop-glide munition released a mile or more above the target by the equally diminutive unmanned RQ-7B. It may not seem like a major leap forward in weapons technology but it most certainly is, because the Shadow Hawk munition now arms an entire fleet of RQ-7s for the US Marines and Army that could previously only be used for reconnaissance, and it does so with a much smaller and cheaper weapon.
One of the nice things about motorsport is its ability to put excellence in perspective. It hence reflects well on Audi that in debuting two race cars in the Spa Six Hour race yesterday, it achieved a rare perfect result. In fielding two each of the new Audi R18 ultra and R18 e-tron
(hybrid) quattro cars, the marque finished with a stunning 1-2-3-4. In the end, it was the diesel-only R18 ultra which prevailed over the R18 e-tron quattro diesel-electric hybrid by 46 seconds. All cars ran strongly, and the hybrids in particular will benefit from the outing, as the balance of the car with its electrically-driven front wheels is still far from optimal.
is probably the most influential automobile show in the world at present. China now produces and consumes more cars than any other nation, so its needs will heavily influence personal transport globally in coming decades. Some early trends are emerging as to what we'll see, and as congestion in China increases and parking centrally becomes prohibitively expensive, a car will increasingly only get you part of the way to your destination. Geely and BMW both showed cars with inclusive last-mile transport at Auto China, but the number of last mile Transportation Appliance options under development by auto manufacturers is growing rapidly.
Gizmag is essentially about new thought - new and better ways of doing things. Hence the DeltaWing Project which we detailed previously
, is of greater fascination than most current auto racing projects because the 1.6-liter Nissan DIG-T turbo-powered car is hugely innovative. Racetrack testing is well underway and the car recently had its first serious outing in the wet at the U.K.'s Snetterton circuit.