Top 100: The most desirable cars of all time

Noel McKeegan

Antonov has developed a 3-speed transmission for electric vehicles from the ground up

Electric vehicles have been a reality for more than 100 years, but it's only in the last decade or so that the world has truly woken up to their potential as a viable, cleaner urban transport alternative to their combustion engined cousins. During this EV renaissance much of the focus has been on developing improved power sources like batteries and fuel cells in order to deliver the range and performance consumers have become accustomed to during the age of oil. Transmissions on the other hand, despite being so important in the ICE space, hardly rate a mention because the wide torque curve of electric motors makes them largely irrelevant. It could be time to rethink that approach according to U.K. based engineering firm Antonov. The company has produced a 3-speed transmission designed specifically for electric vehicles that promises to bring significant efficiency gains and a better driver experience. The company's Business Development Manager Dave Paul outlined these benefits in a presentation at the IDTechEX Electric vehicles conference this week in Stuttgart.  Read More

Photo highlights from the 49th Paris International Airshow

Over two thousand international exhibitors, 142 aircraft and tens of thousands of visitors gathered at the Le Bourget exhibition center this week for the 49th International Paris Airshow. Despite some grey skies and unwelcome rain, crowds were treated to spectacular daily flying displays and insights into bleeding-edge aerospace technologies that will shape the way we travel around the planet - and beyond - in the 21st Century. Gizmag joined the throng of media organizations soaking up all that the show has to offer - here's our summary of the week in pictures.  Read More

Boeing 787 Dreamliner on display in Paris (Photo: Gizmag)

One of the most anticipated commercial airplanes in recent years made an appearance at the 49th Paris Airshow this week. The first flight-test 787 Dreamliner (ZA001) spent two days on static display on the tarmac at Le Bourget and will take a short tour through Europe before returning to the U.S.  Read More

The ZEHST concept (Photo: Noel McKeegan/Gizmag)

EADS has used the opening day of the 2011 Paris Airshow to showcase an aircraft of the future concept which contemplates speeds beyond Mach 4, meaning it could make the run from Tokyo to London in under 2.5 hours. The ZEHST (Zero Emission Hypersonic Transport) study incorporates three different propulsion systems and could carry passengers to heights of 100,000 feet (32 km) while still meeting the projected European Commission targets for reduced noise, CO2 and NOX emissions by 2050. Blue sky indeed!  Read More

Engineers at UC San Diego are mimicking the movement of bird wings to help improve the man...

The role of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has expanded rapidly in both military and civilian circles over the past decade and although most designs to date are miniature versions of conventional aircraft, we can expect to see much more radical examples emerge in the near future. In developing this next-generation of UAVs engineers are looking to go beyond the limitations of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft and to do it, they are turning to nature's ultimate flying machines - birds. We've already seen seen flapping-wing micro-aircraft, robotic seagulls and even a design based on a pterodactyl. Engineers at UC San Diego are furthering this approach with research into variable-wing techniques that could result in a bird-like UAV capable of spot landing.  Read More

First sketches of new Husqvarna 900 streetbike

Husqvarna has released sketches of what is to be the dirtbike manufacturers' first ever street machine. The naked streetfighter will use the recently announced 900cc parallel twin-cylinder engine developed by Husqvarna in conjunction with its owner BMW ... and if you like your streetfighter with strong lines and sharp angles, it looks like you're in for a treat.  Read More

Planning has been granted for a unique zero-carbon underground house in the U.K.

There's more to environmentally-friendly architecture than solar-panels and thermal mass, it's also about designing buildings that are not at-odds with their surroundings - particularly if the building is in the middle of a picturesque landscape. This example form Make Architects ticks both boxes - it uses on-site renewable energy to achieve a zero-carbon design and blends almost seamlessly into the landscape by ignoring convention and, like the residents of The Shire, going underground.  Read More

Hansjörg von Gemmingen has just clocked past 100,000 kilometers (62,000 miles) to become ...

While we had all of last century to work out the niggles of internal combustion engine powered automobiles, there's still a question or two hanging over electric vehicles - such as how long will they last? Tesla Motors is the early mover in the EV arena having commenced production of its Roadster model in early 2008 and with 1,600-odd of the all-electric sportscars now in the wild, the company has a growing pool of real-world research to draw on in that will help it answer this question and improve the long-term durability of its future models. At the head of the pack is European customer number 83, Hansjörg von Gemmingen, who has just clocked past 100,000 kilometers (62,000 miles) to become the most traveled Tesla Roadster owner to date.  Read More

Duke University scientists have outlined a theory for the use of metamaterials in facilita...

The weird properties of artificially engineered metamaterials are at the core of research into invisibility cloaking, but engineers from Duke University in North Carolina suggest that these materials could also provide a boost to another of technology's quests - wireless power transmission. In this latest hard-to-get-your-head-around metamaterial scenario, it's not the cloaked object that "disappears" - it's the space between the charger and the chargee.  Read More

Porsche Boxter E prototype

Having already made the leap into hybrid drive-trains with the GT3 R Hybrid and 918 Spyder, Porsche has now delivered a taste of possible future all-electric models by showcasing two Boxster E prototype variants at the Michelin Challenge Bibendum in Berlin last week. Designed to retain the driving dynamics of their ICE driven brethren, the 4WD and 2WD prototypes are being used to investigate the integration of EVs into the company's infrastructure as well as "explore the everyday practicality of all-electric vehicles."  Read More

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