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Automotive

Ferrari celebrates 60 years of F1

We mentioned last week that Formula One was celebrating its sixtieth birthday but a key fact escaped our attention - to mention that only one team has been there for all sixty seasons, and hence was also celebrating its sixtieth birthday. The Ferrari F1 Team made its debut in round two of the inaugural F1 Championship at the Monaco Grand Prix on May 21, 1950. A second place for Italian Alberto Ascari in the Ferrari 125 set the tone for the next six decades. To date the team has taken part in 799 Grands Prix, meaning that Istanbul next weekend will be the eight hundredth. To date, Ferrari’s race record shows 211 wins, 16 Constructors’ and 15 Drivers’ titles, which makes this team the most successful in mankind's most followed sport.Read More

Remote control exhaust system offers range of exhaust notes

Without doubt, one of man's greatest delights is to experience firsthand the stereo staccato of an exhaust system trumpeting the sound of a high performance engine being controlled by an expert touch on a mountain road. Sadly, the same engine, exhaust and expert touch become highly anti-social in urban confines, so German tuning company Cobra has come up with the perfect invention for socially-responsible petrolheads – a remote-control exhaust system. At the push of a button, one can engage an electronically controlled flap on the twin 120mm tailpipes, changing the noise from subdued and refined sportiness through to unrestrained and joyful F1-madness … and back again.Read More

UPDATED: SAIC YeZ Concept Car inhales C02, emits oxygen

General Motor's Joint-Venture partner in China, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) rolled out a concept alongside GM's EN-V at Expo 2010 which in many ways is more ground-breaking than the EN-V. The idea behind the YeZ Concept is that it will photosynthesize, absorbing carbon dioxide from surrounding air and emitting oxygen back into the atmosphere. Among the many futuristic aspects of the YeZ (Chinese for “leaf” as Nissan already uses the name for a clever green concept that is heading for production) is a roof that incorporates solar panels and wheels that incorporate small wind turbines to harvest energy from the environment. And if you think this is not within reach by 2030, think again – artificial photosynthesis has proven elusive, but there's every indication it will be a commercial reality within two decades.Read More

Automobile computer systems successfully hacked

The alarming number of safety recalls appearing in headlines of late is worrying enough. Now researchers have shown that it's possible to take away driver control of a moving vehicle by remotely hacking into relatively insecure computer systems common in modern automobiles. The team managed to break into key vehicle systems to kill the engine, apply or disable the brakes and even send cheeky messages to radio or dashboard displays.Read More

Rukus - Toyota's odd-ball urban fashionomobile

Hand a crayon to a three year old, ask them to draw a car and you are likely to end up with something that looks like the Rukus. This is how Toyota describes the new Scion xB derivative that's just been launched into the Australian market. With the footprint of a Corolla hatch, the engine of a RAV4, loads of interior space and plenty of scope for customization, the Rukus is designed as an alternative to sports utility vehicles and compact wagons that will appeal to "urban trendsetters" and young families who want a combination of small footprint and space, but don't need to go offroad. The boxy shape is sure to polarize opinions on the street, but even if you think it's downright ugly - and apparently some of the company's senior executives agree - there's still a few surprises underneath the skin of this unconventional fashionomobile.Read More

The world's most coveted automobile finds a new home

RM Auctions believes it has just sold the world’s most coveted car - a rare 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO. The marque (chassis no. 4675 GT), in unmistakable Ferrari red and with the prancing horses emblazoned on the hood, has an excellent pedigree. One of only 36 250 GTOs originally produced in 1962/63 and one of a limited few with Series II GTO bodywork, it left the factory in April 1963 and was subsequently raced by Guido Fossati, Jean Guichet, Oddone Sigala, Vincenzo Nember and Luigi Taramazzo, rarely finishing outside the top three in its class and achieving numerous race wins.Read More

Tom Kent's shape shifting electric vehicle concept

While Optimus Prime and his fellow Transformers may be pure fiction, shape-shifting cars are destined to become a reality. Over the years here at Gizmag we’ve featured several examples including the Vauxhall Flextreme GT/E with its retractable aerodynamic body panels, the Rinspeed iChange with its ability to change from a one- to a three-seater, and the flexible-skinned BMW Gina. Now, it’s time to add another one to the list, as a design concept if not an actual prototype - the wheel-configuration-changing Cell.Read More

Automotive X PRIZE - Shakedown stage results

Twenty-seven vehicles have survived the first of three on-track testing stages in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. This initial Shakedown stage saw vehicles put through efficiency, safety, and performance evaluations including durability, acceleration and braking and avoidance maneuvers. The competitors will now set their sights on the Knockout Qualifying Stage at Michigan International Speedway in June.Read More

D-Drive redux: about that holy grail thing...

Every now and again, astute Gizmag readers come to the fore to keep us on our toes - and never has this been better demonstrated than with last Friday's D-Drive Infinitely Variable Transmission article. More than 40 comments and e-mails have flooded in over the weekend questioning the D-Drive's capabilities as a true IVT, and its potential efficiencies. Furthermore, an engineering report was made available on the D-Drive website that flat-out negates some of the key claims that were made in our interview video. So let's take another look at this device in the harsh light of engineering scrutiny.Read More

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