Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Mike Hanlon

The Toyota hybrid TS030 team pushed the Audi Sport Team Joest teams off the top step of th...

The battle of the hybrid racing cars in World Endurance Racing took an interesting turn this weekend when Toyota's TS030 Hybrid won the fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The TS030 Hybrid uses a THS-R (Toyota Hybrid System - Racing) comprising a gasoline-burning 3.4 liter V8 engine and a 500 kJ Nisshinbo supercapacitor energy recovery unit which supplies power to the rear wheels. The Audi uses a turbocharged 3.7 liter V6 diesel engine with a 500 kJ electric flywheel accumulator to store recovered energy and feed it to the front wheels to create four-wheel-drive. It seems Audi has a worthy adversary in Toyota and the remainder of the season will be worth watching.  Read More

 Picture courtesy of World Wingsuit League

From javelin throwing, archery and chariot racing in ancient times, through bicycle, motorcycle and automobile racing in recent times, as new forms of human endeavor develop around a new technology, there's always a competition to be found. Wingsuit flying is little more than a decade old, but the spectacular nature of the endeavour has been brought together in a new competitive sport which will have its first outing with the formation of the World Wingsuit League, which will hold its first Grand Prix on October 13-14 in Hunan Province, China when the 16 best wingsuit pilots in the world will race against the clock.  Read More

Ninja 300 Kawasaki

Kawasaki has returned fire on the Honda CBR250R with an entirely new Ninja 300 version of its liquid-cooled, DOHC, 8-valve, fuel-injected parallel twin Ninja 250R. The huge market share garnered by the superb Honda single has resulted in Kawasaki bestowing a superbike feature set on the bike in the fight for long-term customers, escalating the prestige/horsepower war that has traditionally been fought with flagship four-cylinder liter-plus models to Defcon 1 status in the lower, entry-level classes.  Read More

Citroen DS3 Cabrio

Its engine has won its class in the International Engine of the Year Awards for the last six years running, it won the World Rally Drivers and Constructors Championship at its first attempt in 2011 and will win both championships again this year. Indeed, it has won numerous journalist-bestowed awards in the last two years including Top Gear's 2010 "Car of the Year." Now it's available with a sliding top which combines a three-position convertible roof with a hatchback shape, frugality, and heaps of fun. It is Citroen's DS3 Cabrio, and although we won't see it in the metal until the Mondial de l'Automobile (Paris Motor Show) later this month, it will be in showrooms within six months.  Read More

To be produced in Italy, the new models feature a new internal combustion engine architect...

With the motorcycle about to pass the automobile as the world's best selling form of motorized transport, Honda is continuing to push the capabilities of the internal combustion engine with the release of two new scooter models - the SH125i and SH150i - capable of 47.4 km/liter (111.5 mpg) and 43.8 km/liter (103 mpg) respectively. To be produced in Italy, the new fuel-injected SH models feature stop-start and a range of low friction technologies.  Read More

The Cholmondeley Pageant of Power drew big crowds who enjoyed three days of speed, power, ...

The Cholmondeley Pageant of Power (CPoP) turned on its annual kaleidoscope of horsepower, adrenalin and engineering intrigue this week. The four wheel lap record was shattered by a Caterham, the BAC Mono was the fastest road car, while the cars running against the clock included an Ariel Atom 500 V8, Radical SR3 SL, Aston Martin One-77 and Noble M600. There was a Volkswagen "Schwimmwagen" amphibian, an Edison-Puton Monowheel, and a curious BMW built during WWI using a 45.8-liter V12 BMW aircraft engine. The gallery is a wonderful pictorial celebration of CPoP.  Read More

La Jamais Contente

Despite the coming of the electric vehicle during the last decade, there were far more electric vehicle manufacturers in the world 100 years ago than there are today. Hundreds of manufacturers, a large proportion of them electric, competed in the fledgling automotive marketplace. This competition drove these manufacturers to seek new and novel ways to seek publicity, and when a French Automobile magazine ran top speed trials in December 1898, it sparked a flurry of record attempts and six land speed records in just four months. The electric Jamais Contente, which was the first purpose-built speed record attempt car, prevailed in this early tussle by raising the land speed record to 105.878 km/h (65.79 mph) in April 1899.  Read More

PowerCRATE portability solution for tablet computers

Now here's a clever solution for transporting, storing and charging multiple tablet computers for hospitals, schools, retailers and even bingo halls. The PowerCRATE is a portable (you can even air-freight tablets in situ) solution for charging 25 tablets simultaneously without connecting any power leads. Any brand of tablet can be used, charging can be on demand or programmed to take advantage of night-time electricity tariffs and each tablet can be locked inside its individual charging bay.  Read More

The Aston Martin Vanquish

The Vanquish name is to return to the Aston Martin stable with deliveries of the 183 mph, £190,000 (US$299,000) sports car expected in late 2012. There's a lot of the limited edition £1.2m One-77 supercar in the recipe, with a 565 bhp 6.0-liter V12 driving through a Touchtronic six-speed automatic gearbox, and 0-100 km/h acceleration in 4.1 seconds.  Read More

The TechnoMarine Underwater Night Club Of all the places you might meet a significant other, underwater is probably the last place that springs to mind. Hence, I guess, the novelty of an underwater nightclub. Created as a viral campaign for TechnoMarine Underwater watches, the unique nightclub "launch" was filmed at a military training facility with navy divers and the set was built 14 feet (4 m) underwater. The breathing helmets are from the commercially-available Sea Trek system, so perhaps it's not all that implausible after all.  Read More

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