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BMW unveils the turbosteamer concept

A large percentage of the energy released when petroleum is burned disappears out the exhaust system as heat. This has always been the case but the amount of energy released looks set to be cut by more than 80% thanks to a new system devised by BMW. BMW’s announcement of the new technology is somewhat of a technological bombshell as it adds yet another form of hybrid automobile – a turbosteamer. The concept uses energy from the exhaust gasses of the traditional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) to power a steam engine which also contributes power to the automobile – an overall 15 per cent improvement for the combined drive system. Even bigger news is that the drive has been designed so that it can be installed in existing model series – meaning that every model in the BMW range could become 15% more efficient overnight if the company chose to make the reduced consumption accessible to as many people as possible.  Read More

The world's most powerful diesel car

December 14, 2005 The prospect of a diesel-engined racing car competing at the highest level became reality in Paris yesterday when Audi pulled the wraps off the new R10. The R8 it replaces has been dominant in its sphere of global sportscar racing and Audi has set itself a monumental challenge in attempting to maintain its winning form with a totally new 5.5-litre, 12-cylinder twin-turbo TDI engined racecar. Diesel engines are very different to those normally associated with car racing – they are quiet, economical, with broad mid-range torque. The R10’s usable power band apparently lies between 3,000 and 5,000 rpm, an unusually low rev range for a racing engine and one which needs far less gear changes – but hey, it’s a diesel and diesels have never been raced successfully against their petrol-engined cousins … but the Audi R10 produces over 650 hp and a colossal 1,100 Newton metres of torque and promises fascinating high tech gawking as the team prepares for its race debut at the Sebring 12 Hours (USA) in March. If Audi can pull off a win in the race for which its is built, the twice-around-the-clock Le Mans 24 Hour Race in France on June17-18, 2006, it will be a unique triumph ... and one which might mark the beginning of an exciting new ear for the once much maligned diesel.  Read More

Citroen C6 becomes the world's safest car

December 13, 2005 In a world of testosterone and adrenalin, it’s easy to concentrate on how powerful a car is rather than how clever. Well, we’re about to address that by bestowing our highest on order of merit upon the new Citroen C6 executive saloon which recently became the first car to be awarded a maximum 4 star Euro NCAP pedestrian safety rating, as well as a maximum 5 stars for occupant protection, making it arguably the safest car on the road. The decision to award the highest combination of pedestrian, occupant and child (4 stars) protection for the Citroen C6 is largely thanks to the debut of its Active Bonnet system. During an accident, the lack of space between the bonnet and the engine increases the likelihood of a serious head injury for the pedestrian. In the C6, intelligent software automatically raises the bonnet by 65mm in the event of an accident to provide previously unavailable impact absorbing space. The whole process takes less than 0.04 second.  Read More

Ascari shows another supercar

December 9, 2005 Hitting the international sportscar scene with impact is Ascari, creators of the stunning KZ1 supercar, and the world’s first purpose-built auto racing resort and now comes the news it is working on a second supercar –a GBP350,000, 600bhp, 1280kg, 220mph, six-piece carbon fibre road-going version of Ascari’s Spanish GT Race Car dubbed the A10.  Read More

Mitsubishi  2007 Eclipse Spyder and Concept-CT MIEV

December 7, 2005 It’s show-and-tell-time for the big automotive manufacturers who are preparing for the upcoming 2006 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in January. Mitsubishi will unveil two world premieres - the 2007 Eclipse Spyder and the Concept-CT MIEV. The '07 Spyder will further develop the theme of an affordable 2 + 2 exotic convertible - a powerful MIVEC engine, 650-watt audio system, and a few other surprise features usually reserved for high-priced convertibles and cabriolets. The Concept-CT's inspiration was to create a "city-technology" model and will feature a hybrid powertrain with Mitsubishi In-wheel motor Electronic Vehicle (MIEV) technology. As usual, sketches will be shown now and photos towards the end of this month.  Read More

James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 for sale

December 6, 2005 The original and most memorable of secret agent James Bond’s gadget-festooned automobiles, the Aston Martin DB5 which starred in the films Thunderball and Goldfinger, is to be sold at auction. Possibly the most famous automobile in the world during the 1960s when Ian Fleming’s books became box office hits, the highly-modified 1964 model Aston Martin was presented by gadgetmeister Q to Sean Connery (Bond) complete with.30 calibre Browning machine guns behind the front indicators, retractable tyre slashers, a retractable rear bullet proof screen, a radio telephone concealed in the door, a radar scanner with a tracking screen in the cockpit, a passenger ejector seat, an oil slick and smoke screen generator and revolving number plates. Not only did the car set the imagination of a generation in motion, it was probably the most successful product placement in history. When Flemming wrote Goldfinger, Bond was driving a DB Mk III but by the time the film was being made, the DB4 had been introduced and the DB5 was under development. The producers approached Aston Martin, the prototype DB5 was offered and eventually four complete cars were made.  Read More

Bugatti Veyron transmission technologies revealed by Ricardo at Berlin’s CTI-Symposium

December 6, 2005 The 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) system developed for the 406km/h, 987 bhp Bugatti Veyron sportscar will be shown for the first time by Ricardo at the 4th International CTI-Symposium held in Berlin this week. The twin-clutch gearbox of the Bugatti Veyron combines the dynamic advantages of a manual gearbox with the convenience of an automatic to an as yet unparalleled level of perfection. One significant differentiation criteria compared to the classic automatic gearbox is that no torque converter is used as a moving-off element. Instead, the gearbox has a twin clutch that is composed of two wet-running multi-disc clutches.  Read More

Transport Canada tests modified Otto Driving Companion

December 6, 2005 According to Canadian newspaper the Globe and Mail, Transport Canada is currently testing a new device that uses GPS satellite technology to track drivers and their speed against a digital road map to ascertain when a driver is breaking the speed limits, and two-way technology designed to slow their speed. The portable road-safety device is a derivation of the Otto Driving Companion, a device which is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand but is commonly fitted to the dashboard of a vehicle. The Otto uses GPS technology to provide a driver with real-time information about their driving environment. The Otto Driving Companion can alert a driver of approaching photo-radar zones, potentially hazardous intersections, reduced speed limits, deer crossing areas, school zones, and pedestrian crossings.  Read More

Nissan develops self-repairing paint

December 3, 2005 Nissan has developed the world’s first clear paint that repairs scratches on painted car surfaces, including scratches from car-washing machines, off-road driving and fingernails. “Scratch Guard Coat” contains a newly developed high elastic resin that helps prevent scratches from affecting the inner layers of a car’s painted surface. With “Scratch Guard Coat” a car’s scratched surface will return to its original state anywhere from one day to a week, depending on temperature and the depth of the scratch.  Read More

World Debut Of Ferrari FXX at Bologna Motor Show

December 3, 2005 - The Bologna Motor Show provided the venue for Ferrari’s world unveiling of the FXX, a car aimed at a selected group of the marque’s most dedicated and passionate clients. This prototype, of which just 29 have been built, is the most technologically advanced GT car ever to emerge from Maranello. It will be used exclusively on track as part of a specific ongoing research and development programme featuring the first ever group of Client Test Drivers. The FXX has not been homologated for road use or racing. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the FXX is the truly innovative technical client constructor collaboration programme which we’ve written about previously.  Read More

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