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Automotive

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

Happy Birthday to Formula One

The world's premier television sport had a major birthday this week. On May 13, 1950, the first ever Formula One World Championship race was held at the UK’s Silverstone motor racing circuit with Alfa Romeo storming to an historic 1-2-3 podium lockout. Italian Giuseppe Farina, nephew of the founder of the influential automotive stylist Pininfarina, dominated proceedings in his 300 bhp Alfa Romeo 158 ('15' for 1,500cc and '8' for 8 cylinders), with the three Alfas two laps clear of the 21-strong field. F1's influence has grown over the last 60 years to the point where more than 600 million people watch each race - that is, one in every eleven human beings watches each F1 race.Read More

Just how good will autonomous cars get? Watch this!!!

It's the kind of spectacular driving stunt we expect of James Bond or Frank Martin - slam the Aston Martin/Audi into reverse, plant the gas pedal, wait for momentum to pick up, then flick the wheel to perform a faultless 180 degree pirouette into an impossibly tight parking space. Only celluloid superheroes can drive like this and get it right every time ... oh, and autonomous vehicles. Faultless driving stunts are not normally associated with autonomous vehicles but check out this video because it'll help get everyone accustomed to the concept! Computers will eventually out-drive, out-think and out-perform humans on every level and this clip of autonomous supervehicle Stanley shows that computers out-driving us will be sooner rather than later.Read More

Porsche's new 620 bhp 911 GT2 RS – the most powerful street-legal Porsche yet

Porsche is to show a new limited edition (500 only) 911 GT2 RS at the Moscow Auto Show. The new RS will be the fastest and most powerful road car Porsche has ever produced. In comparison to the existing 911 GT2, the RS has 90 bhp more and weighs 70 kilograms (154 lb) less, consumes 5% less fuel at 11.9 ltr/100 km (equal to 23.7 mpg) and emits 5% less CO2 at 284 g/km. It's the blistering performance which will pull the punters though. The 620 bhp pushing a curb weight of 1370 kg makes for awesome acceleration: 0 to 100 kmh in 3.5 seconds, 0 to 200 kmh in just 9.8 seconds, and 0 to 300 kmh in 28.9 seconds. Top speed is 330 kmh and the car has already lapped the fabled Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit in seven minutes and 18 seconds. The 911 GT2 RS base price is EUR 200,000. It hits European showrooms in September and the USA in October 2010Read More

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