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Automotive

Mercedes-Benz Concept Ocean Drive design study

December 21, 2006 Mercedes-Benz will be showing its new Concept Ocean Drive four-door convertible design study at the NAIAS in January. The one-off creation is built in the tradition of large luxury convertibles, and is based on the twelve-cylinder Mercedes-Benz S 600. One of the technical highlights of the car is an AIRSCARF neck-level heating system, which is featured on all four seats, allowing occupants to enjoy top-down motoring even in the colder months of the year. Few details have been released beyond the images, and the design brief that the car should be the world's most comfortable and elegant convertible.  Read More

No more foggy windscreens

December 19, 2006
No more foggy windscreens

December 20, 2006 On cold winter mornings, car drivers often encounter moisture precipitating on the inside of the windscreen. This happens when warm, humid air comes into contact with a cold surface. At a particular temperature, known as the dew point, the moisture in the air condenses and forms a layer on the colder surface; irrespective of whether this is a glass containing a cold drink, the bathroom mirror after a shower, or the windshield of a cold car. Cold air is not able to contain as much moisture as warm air and this fact is much more noticeable in small spaces. Condensation can be prevented by increasing the volume of air (opening the windows), by heating the whole of the vehicle’s interior, or by heating at least the windshield to a temperature above the dew point. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Technology Development Group TEG in Stuttgart favour a third option. His new process warms up the windscreen – though not with costly copper heating elements, but instead with a transparent coat of carbon nano tubes (CNT).  Read More

EFIJY Concept to make North American Show Debut

December 20, 2006 Australia’s General Motors subsidiary Holden had a worldwide hit with its one-off 21st Century hot rod, EFIJY, at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney in October 2005, making news everywhere cars were the topic and a lot of places they weren’t. Remarkably, the acclaimed concept car will be shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month – the first time it has been seen outside Australia. EFIJY is a contemporary reincarnation of an iconic Australian-made 1953 Holden FJ sedan, restyled as a low-slung hot rod with a supercharged six-litre V8 engine. The car has been featured in magazines, websites and television programs around the world. Its most critical acclaim came from the United States when it was named Hot Rod of the Year by the influential Hot Rod magazine.  Read More

Spray-on ceramic coating dramatically reduces external temperatures

December 19, 2006 A high-technology ceramic coating originally developed for the nuclear industry and already used by five Formula One teams is now available for automotive applications. Applied to the exhaust manifold using a high-temperature plasma spray, the Zircotec coating greatly reduces the release of heat, helping to protect the finish of the manifold, the engine and other components in the engine bay. The coating can also be applied to turbo housings, cam covers, heat shields and other metal components. Testing by race teams has shown a reduction in under-bonnet temperature of up to 25ºC and power improvements, from the lower air induction temperatures, of up to six percent. One motorcycle racing team that employed the system used a laser-guided thermometer and found that while the exhaust can have an internal temperature of around 150 degrees Centigrade, the outside temperate can be low enough for the exhaust pipe to be removed WITHOUT using gloves.  Read More

Original Dodge Firearrow concepts to be auctioned

December 19, 2006 The only two Dodge Firearrow convertible s in the world will be going under the hammer in mid-January, giving someone a unique opportunity to own a piece of history. In an effort to create consumer excitement during 1953 and 1954, Chrysler produced four cars under the Dodge nameplate, naming them Firearrows. Each penned by Virgil Exner, the dream cars were built in a series from Firearrow I to Firearrow IV. Barrett-Jackson will feature the Firearrow II and IV models, representing the instrumental progression of the classic concept vehicle. This reprint from Special Interest Autos has the full story on the Firearrows and how they eventually went into very limited production as America's first four passenger sports car, the Dual Ghia. In their day, they were very sought after, with owners including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Debbie Reynolds and big band leader Hoagy Carmichael. One of the original four Firearrows was used by stuntperson and model Betty Skelton to set a Women’s Closed-Course World Speed Record of 143.44 mph in 1954, so you can rest assured that the Firearrows won't get left behind at the traffic lights.  Read More

Rinspeed’s Transparent eXasis Concept

December 19, 2006 We just luuuuv Rinspeed – every year the Swiss engineering futurists produce one or more remarkable automotive ideas which we feature and they never fail to produce something stimulating and thought-provoking about the future of transportation. The 2007 installment is the fully transparent creation eXasis. The insect-like body and even the floor pan of the seemingly “glass” concept car actually consist of a transparent high-tech plastic with a tinge of pale yellow. The eXasis has open wheels, a cigar-shaped body with fore and aft tandem seating, and has elements of the legendary Auto Union race cars from the first half of the last century combined with a modern Baja-1000 off-road vehicle. The car will be shown for the first time at the Geneva Auto Show next March.  Read More

Mitsubishi Prototype-X concept

December 18, 2006 Mitsubishi will unveil the Prototype X concept for a next-generation high-performance 4WD sport sedan at the 2007 North American International Auto Show (Detroit Motor Show) on January 7. The Prototype-X concept is an advance development model for the new Lancer Evolution due to be launched in 2007. Prototype-X features styling based on the current Lancer but was developed to project a visibly higher performance image. The concept model is fitted with Mitsubishi's S-AWC*1 (Super All-Wheel Control) vehicle dynamics system and handling control together with a new turbocharged MIVEC2 engine with an aluminium cylinder block and a 6-speed manual transmission.  Read More

VOLVO FH16 – the most powerful truck available for commercial transport

December 17, 2006 Last February, Volvo Trucks launched the FH16 - the market’s most powerful truck for commercial transport - with a new 16-litre engine and power levels of 660 hp and 580 hp and torque of 3100 Nm and 2800 Nm respectively. Now the range has been further extended with an engine variant of 540 hp and torque of 2600 Nm. The 540 hp 16-litre engine has been developed primarily for hauliers in the 40-tonne segment who often drive on hilly roads. It provides the necessary prerequisites for high average speeds and in combination with the Volvo Engine Brake (VEB+) and the I-Shift intelligent gear-shifting system it offers excellent driveability.  Read More

The Volvo XC60 Concept - a glimpse of the next XC

December 15, 2006 Volvo’s XC60 Concept is very much a car for the future. It not only offers the world a sneak preview of the next XC model to come from the Volvo Cars, it is also full of design innovation and reveals several design elements that will be part of future Volvos. Volvo Cars Design Director Steve Mattin and his team have designed the XC60 Concept while keeping their eyes firmly focused on one clear goal. “With more expressive, emotive shapes, it will be a magnet for the viewer’s eyes. If you say that you recognise a Volvo from 50 metres today, I want to get to the point where you will instantly spot it from twice that distance in the future.”  Read More

Kia reveals sketch of Kue driver's vehicle concept

December 15, 2006 Like many of the world’s manufacturers do when a major motor show is imminent, Kia has released a preview sketch of one of its stars of the show. The all-new Kue crossover concept car will make its world premiere at the upcoming North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in early January. The Kia Kue concept employs a different approach to the crossover utility vehicle segment by taking the CUV to a new level with performance. While possessing SUV characteristics and capabilities, the Kia Kue focuses more on giving the driver an exhilarating driving experience on the way to the home improvement centre, than on how much it can haul.  Read More

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