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Automotive

— Automotive

Porsche releases technical innovations on new 4-door Panamera luxury sportster

Porsche's 4-door Panamera will be finally unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show on April 20 - not that we haven't already had plenty of chances to take a good look at it through the company's prolific PR department. Designed to be at once more luxurious than an S-Class Benz and sportier than a Beemer M5, the Panamera is the first 4-door Porsche with an uncompromising performance focus. It looks like a belter too, considering rumors that the 500-horsepower, US$132,600 turbo model actually had to be reined back in performance terms just so it wouldn't trouser the 911, which is supposed to be Porsche's performance flagship. As a brand new, extreme high end model, you'd be expecting the Panamera to pack a few technological punches - and you'd be right. Here's a few of the key innovations. Read More
— Automotive

Lithium Ion Battery breakthrough promises 100-fold boost in performance

Researchers have developed a new advanced Lithium Ion battery that will allow mobile phone and laptop computers to be fully charged in seconds. Electric car batteries may be charged in as little as five minutes, removing one of the main barriers to wider uptake of EVs. Solar and wind power generation could also benefit as better batteries could be used to store surplus energy. Read More
— Automotive

First images of Lamborghini Murcielago LP 650-4 Roadster

Automobili Lamborghini has released the first photographs of a limited edition Murcielago LP 650-4 Roadster. The Roadster version of the Murcielago will offer an uprated 6.5 litre V12 engine producing 650 hp (478 kW) along with permanent four-wheel drive and attain a top speed of around 330 Km/h (205mph). With 660 Nm of torque, the LP 650-4 Roadster will accelerate from 0-100km/h (0-62mph) in 3.4 seconds Read More
— Automotive

Mercedes AMG builds a new Gullwing

For the first time in its 40 year history, the Mercedes-Benz performance brand AMG has developed a vehicle completely in-house: the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. This "super sports car" takes an AMG 6.3-litre V8 front-mid engine developing 420 kW/571 hp peak output, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and sports suspension with aluminum double wishbones, wraps it in an aluminum spaceframe and throws in a set of always-in-style gullwing doors. The combination of the company's first ever use of an aluminum chassis and body frame coupled with lightweight, high-strength components such as a carbon-fiber driveshaft delivers a kerb weight of just 1620 kilograms and a power-to-weight ratio of 2.84 kg/hp. Provisional performance figures put acceleration at 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds with a top speed of 315 kmh. Read More
— Automotive

Sentience intelligent cruise control demonstrated: you steer, it works the pedals

The driverless car of the future is getting closer every day, as more and more technologies come along that take critical jobs away from the driver and put them in the hands of lightning-fast, all-seeing computers. One of the latest and most ambitious of these systems has just been successfully demonstrated in the UK; the Sentience system is a kind of hyper-intelligent cruise control system designed specifically to minimize fuel consumption and emissions. It calculates the best route for you based on traffic, topography, curves, speed limits and a host of other information, and then actually takes over the throttle and brakes for you for the entire journey. It keeps you strictly within speed limits, slows down for corners, speed bumps and roundabouts, and it even knows when the lights ahead are about to turn red, so you don't waste petrol accelerating towards a stop point. Fuel savings in testing have been between 5% and 24% - a very significant figure - and Sentience is expected to be available on production cars, for a minimal cost, as soon as 2012. Incredible stuff. Read More
— Automotive

TH!NK FROST: AWD, all-wheel-steer electric sports car concept

While World Rally Championship cars travel at incredible speed on ice covered roads using studded tires, something with a little more surface area is needed for an Arctic Off-Road vehicle. Taking cues off four track snowmobiles Norwegian designer Anders Gloslie designed the FROST as a concept proposal for TH!NK, an electric car company based in Norway. The layout of the FROST is a 2-seat sports car platform based on a tubular space frame chassis with double wishbone suspension front and rear teamed with push-rod actuated in-board coil over shock and spring units. The suspension features hydraulic wheel extenders to increase the track when required and the proposed electric drivetrain features All Wheel Drive (AWD), all-wheel-steering and radical tracks instead of conventional wheels that should offer superior traction when driving on snow, ice and slush. Read More
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