Shopping? Check out our latest product comparisons

Automotive

BMW incorporates thermal imaging into newly available Night Vision driver assistance syste...

August 23, 2006 Thermal Imaging has long been used by the military to see in the dark in mission-critical situations, so it’s not surprising that it is being used in BMW’s new Night Vision driver assistance system. In using thermal imaging as the basis for the system, BMW engineers have opted for an approach that places greater focus on detecting people and animals at danger. Objects which radiate heat are shown particularly bright and are therefore drawn to the attention of the driver. In urban areas, lighting is usually sufficient for drivers to recognise dangers with the naked eye, but BMW Night Vision is most effective on country roads where pedestrians, cyclists and animals can be detected earlier. The system also has advantages on unlit streets or dark courtyards and poorly lit car parks. Australian accident statistics show that 45 per cent of fatal road accidents occur at night, even though more than two thirds of all driving is done during the day, so the new system addresses a serious issue - driving at night represents a significant potential danger. The Night Vision system is now available as an option in the BMW 7 Series, 5 Series and 6 Series. The thermal imaging camera covers a range of up to 300 metres or almost 1,000 feet ahead of the car, almost twice as far as near infrared systems on the Mercedes S Class and the Lexus LX470. Great image gallery with video.  Read More

JCB DIESELMAX takes Bonneville Diesel Speed Record to 317mph

August 22, 2006 The international diesel land-speed record for diesel-powered vehicles moved a step closer last week as the JCB DIESELMAX broke the Bonneville Salt Flats course record with a measured-mile speed of 317mph. Having already achieved a recorded average speed over a measured mile of 308mph in the late afternoon of Thursday 17 August, the JCB DIESELMAX needed to complete a second run within a twenty four hour period at least matching this speed in order to take the record. On Friday, the second run was completed successfully achieving a speed of 325mph. The average speed of the two runs was thus recorded as 317.021mph, thus establishing the JCB DIESELMAX as the fastest-ever diesel over the Bonneville course.  Read More

Renting a rocketship

August 21, 2006 As technology enables new ways of doing things, so too there are new financial and social constructs which offer a cost efficient, top class lifestyle and access to the automobiles you desire. We’ve recently written about luxury car sharing clubs, fractional ownership and lifestyle clubs, but of course there’s always good old short term rental. The remarkable autobahn system is the best-of-breed, highly efficient, high speed road system that covers Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The German autobahns famously have no speed limits over much of their rural sections, and although there is a recommended speed limit of 130 km/h (81.25 mph) and insurance companies may refuse to settle part of the claim if the driver is found to have driven at an unsafe speed, speeds over 200 km/h (125 mph) are not uncommon, and there is a breed of German automotive specialists that caters to the exclusive high speed sports car market which the high speeds facilitate. TechArt is such a company - it takes Porsches and makes them even more sporty and exclusive – the type of exclusivity and cost that denies mere mortals from ever experiencing them. The company trialled and found the rental business for its finest specimens suddenly blossoming. Now you can rent a car like this modified 635 hp Porsche Carrera GT, the 600 bhp Cayenne Magnum we wrote about recently, or maybe a 997 for a weekend, a week or longer. If you’re in Germany the car can meet you at the airport or be delivered to your hotel or home. It’s just the thing for cruising the Rhine valley on a Sunday afternoon or to supply the ground transport component of a business trip, special event or serendipitous adventure. The TECHART dream car fleet is yummy, but the excuse for the story is a Porsche Carrera GT the company recently customized for one of its long-time customers – that’s it pictured. Story inside.  Read More

EOS Highway 1 concept debuts at Pebble Beach

August 19, 2006 Volkswagen is debuting the Eos Highway 1 design study at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this weekend. It will be showcased on the Concept Lawn in front of the Lodge at Pebble Beach, an ideal setting to emphasize Eos Highway 1’s seductive blend of elegance and sporty dynamics. The production Eos 3.2 L, with standard DSG, goes on sale October 2, 2006 at US$36,850.  Read More

Fuel Cell Motorsport - silent, energy-efficient and modular

August 19, 2006 We love big ideas and this one is a ripper – a young and dynamic Dutch-based company named Formula Zero is setting up a new fuel cell race car class to help generate public enthusiasm, demonstrate the viability, and accelerate the uptake of emission-free transport. Now here’s the really clever bit – the intention is to construct a complete portable travelling circus a-la-Formula-One, which can be set up on any flat surface, complete with racetrack, grandstands, hospitality, pits, clean technology power and hydrogen generation and timing facilities. The 600 metre track will include seating for 1500 spectators and the races will be held in conjunction with major motor shows, motor racing events, international political summits, industrial fairs and events such as the Paris Air Show, Goodwood, Festival of speed, and the Michelin Challenge Bibendum. Six races will be held during 2008–09 with university teams competing from across the world. The aim is to start with go-karts on the smaller track and scale-up to full size fuel cell race cars on full race circuits as technology allows over the next decade, all under the auspices of the FIA. Formula Zero is seeking sponsors, host event partners and University teams interested in fielding a car and we think this is a winner.  Read More

TechArt Magnum 600bhp sports 4x4

August 16, 2006 The visually arresting German creation dubbed the TechArt Magnum is proof that 4x4s can outgun Supercars in the power stakes. Based on the already brutal 450bhp Porsche Cayenne Turbo, the Magnum’s bodywork and suspension have been extensively reworked by renowned German Porsche specialist, TechArt, to deliver a whopping 600bhp from its heavily modified twin turbo V8 engine. Despite weighing in at over 2300kg, the Magnum is capable of accelerating to 60mph in a Lamborghini Gallardo humbling 4.5 seconds. Where speed limits allow, TechArt’s ultimate interpretation of the Cayenne will reach 183 mph and the nice thing is the amount of space inside.  Read More

The Gold-plated Porsche

August 16, 2006 The town of Pforzheim in south-west Germany is famous for its jewellery and watch-making industry and accordingly is known as “the City of Gold.” The city is also the home of the first Gold-plated Porsche. Visualis, which is situated in Pforzheim, commissioned an artist to gild a Porsche Boxster in 22 carat beaten gold last year and now comes the news that the Gold Boxter will be followed by a limited edition model and nine further Porsches will be plated. All the major components, from the control elements such as the steering wheel and door knobs to the car body and alloy rims, are all gold plated, making the two seater extraordinarily expensive, and a price that Visualis has not yet disclosed. Nine further Porsche Models will undergo the same, unique refinement process to continue the creative project. Visualis’ Petra Koehler reports that “curious people are already anxious to know who are going to be the owners of these magnificent automobiles.” If you fancy owning such an exquisite object, perhaps start by emailing Petra.  Read More

Bisazza's digital mosaic design service

August 14, 2006 We’ve previously written about the advent of digital technology in creating design tools for wallpaper, drapes, and carpets, even fingernails, and the extraordinary results that can be obtained. Now we can report that the digital age has touched even the ancient craft of mosaic tiling. Bisazza is probably the best known mosaic tile company in the world, with its exquisite wares gracing the floors, walls and ceilings of luxury hotels, palaces and designer piazzas across the planet. Bisazza now offers a service where you can choose the digital image you require for a wall, ceiling or floor, send it to them, and they will create the templates for the creation of the mosaic with the 10x10 and 20x20mm Bisazza tile. The service came to our attention when MINI used the service to create some extraordinary motorcars for exhibition purposes. Extraordinary image gallery of the MINIs and some of Bisazza's remarkable mosaics.  Read More

Siemens VDO visualises the electric wheel hub motor

August 13, 2006 Siemens VDO engineers are working on plans to integrate the drivetrain, steering, shock absorbers and brakes directly into the wheels of future cars. This concept, called eCorner, is claimed by Siemens VDO to be the basis for the ecological "Drive-by-Wire" automobiles which will become a common sight on roads in 15 years. eCorner replaces the conventional wheel suspension with hydraulic shock absorbers, mechanical steering, hydraulic brakes and, above all, conventional internal combustion engines. For car owners, Siemens VDO expects eCorner to translate into improved fuel mileage, more safety and greater convenience. Implementing eCorner would offer automotive designers far greater freedom to create future cars with an electric drivetrain and electronic control.  Read More

Peugeot 908 RC 5.5-litre V12 HDi limousine

August 12, 2006 Just 12 months ago, we wrote about Peugeot’s delectable two-seat 907 GT coupe concept being prepared for the major European Motor Show of the summer (Frankfurt), and now we’re seeing yet another 12 cylinder luxury masterpiece being prepared for its public debut at Mondial De L’Automobile (Paris) on September 30. This one though is very different as it is powered by a new breed of motor which is mounted behind the passengers. The 5.5-litre V12 HDi DPFS (diesel particulate filter system) diesel engine was designed to take part in the "Le Mans Race Series" programme in 2007 and has a level of performance unprecedented for a diesel engine - more than a 700bhp and an astounding 1200Nm of torque.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 28,272 articles