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Automotive

Electronic Key Impressioner creates faster copies of lost car keys

The Electronic Key Impressioner (EKI) is a portable device that can reproduce practically any car key. It uses a sensor that goes into the lock and sends information back to a computer via USB about the location of the lock's tumblers - a corresponding computer program searches for the code and a key-cutting machine can use it to grind out a key.Read More

Porsche announces 530hp 911 Turbo S - 0-200kmh in 10.8sec

The timeless beauty of the Porsche 911 range continues with the upcoming release of the new top-of-the-line 911 Turbo S at the Geneva Motor Show (4-14 March). But don’t be deceived by its good looks alone – this new model (the first in five years) has a 30hp increase over the 911 Turbo (up from 500hp to 530hp or 390kW) and maximum torque is rated at 700Nm (516lb-ft). This impressive set of figures are delivered via a six-cylinder “boxer” engine boosted by two turbochargers with variable turbine geometry. The 911 Turbo S reaches 100kmh (62mph) in 3.3 seconds and hits 200kmh (124mph) in 10.8 seconds with a top speed of 315kmh (196mph). Even with its power upgrade, the 911 Turbo S achieves the identical fuel consumption as the regular Porsche 911 Turbo – 24.8mpg (11.4l/100km) which, Porsche says, makes it by far the most efficient in its class.Read More

Future cars: Auto bodywork composite doubles as a battery

The problem is clear. Hybrid cars and EVs rely on batteries for power, but batteries are bulky and heavy, causing the car to use up more energy. But what if a car's bodywork was made of a strong, lightweight material that could store and discharge electrical energy just as a conventional battery does? In pursuing this goal, researchers at the Imperial College London are developing a key building block for the hybrid car of the future, and the implications go way beyond automobiles - think wafer thin mobile phones and laptops that don't need a separate battery because they draw power from their casing.Read More

This car sold for US$360,000 in this condition ... and will not be restored

An archeological find of some magnitude went under the hammer this week, when a rusted 1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia that has spent the last three quarters of a century at the bottom of a lake in North Italy was auctioned. When found and raised, it validated a legend that had circulated for 70 years. Mercifully, it will not be restored, but will live on in an American museum in its partially reclaimed glory as living proof of the craftsmanship of the era in general, and the Bugatti marque in particular. The Italian legend fetched a staggering EUR 260,500 - US$360,000. They do not make 'em like this any more.Read More

New Formula 1 rules see cars changing dramatically

Formula One will be quite different in 2010 thanks to a number of changes to the rules. The Kinetic Energy Recovery System is gone, front tires will be narrower (from 270mm to 245mm) and most significantly, there will be no refueling during races which will mean fuel tanks will need to be roughly three times larger than 2009. The changes have bred a different size and shape of car, as was evidenced over the last two days when we saw the first of the serious contender’s cars – the 2010 McLaren MP4-25 of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton and the Ferrari F10 of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso. Demonstrating the drawing power of the Prancing Horse, Ferrari attracted an audience of three million unique visitors to its web site for the launch. The season gets underway tomorrow when …Read More

The appropriately named Bright IDEA hybrid delivery van

If you were a hybrid vehicle manufacturer, and you wanted to lower the world’s CO2 emissions, would you first...

  • a) Try to replace all the privately-owned gas vehicles, that mostly just drive to and from workplaces, one vehicle at a time, or...
  • b) Replace entire corporate fleets of gas delivery vehicles, that typically spend all day, every day, on the road?
Well, you’re supposed to answer “b”. That’s what Indiana-based Bright Automotive wants to do with their plug-in hybrid delivery van, the IDEA. And now that they’re close to signing a pact with an unnamed major automaker, they’re one step closer to realizing that vision.Read More

Video: SoundRacer V8 turns your boring family car into a fire-breather

Call me childish, but I reckon this is one of the best gadgets I've seen in years. The SoundRacer plugs into the cigarette lighter socket of your boring family car, then sends an FM signal to your car stereo that makes your car sound like a roaring V8, faithfully matching revs and basically making the meekest of cars feel like a monster truck. So you can enjoy a ribald hoon factor from the driver's seat without looking or sounding like a petrolhead to passers-by or the local constabulary. We had a blast making the demo video after the jump.Read More

Thailand begins coloring petrol and diesel

One of the major problems with motorized transport across Asia is that mass fraud takes place with petrol retailing. Octane-91 petrol is sold as Octane-95, Diesel B5 is sold as diesel B2 and to a much greater extent, cocktails are brewed and sold to increase profits for the retailer, with alcohol mixes very common. The mixing not only cheats the motorist but often has dire consequences for the motors using the fuel, causing massive destruction that’s difficult to trace. The Thai Government is the first to take action to overcome the problem by introducing colored petrols. From February 1, octane-91 petrol will become yellow, octane-95 petrol will be blue, and diesel B5 will be red. Read More

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