Introducing the Gizmag Store

Automotive

File sharing DRM protection hinders progress of in-car digital audio

November 29, 2005 Music industry measures to control the use of downloaded material are slowing development of in-car digital audio systems. A new report from leading automotive telematics consultants SBD reveals that Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection, designed to block unauthorised file sharing, can prevent downloaded tracks from being played back through a vehicle’s sound system. “Vehicle manufacturers have started to enable motorists to connect memory cards and USB flash drives to play their own digital music through their car’s audio system, but we expect quite a few are going to be disappointed as the limitations imposed by DRM become apparent,” said David Bell, SBD Managing Director.  Read More

Ford 4-trac pick-up concept

November 28, 2005 Ford has premiered an interesting concept pick-up truck at the Thailand International Motor Expo in Bangkok. The concept, dubbed 4-Trac, is a dynamic package that explores practical functionality, lifestyle and sporty uses for Ford pick-up trucks of the future. The concept takes a typical pick-up truck and adds a lot more sophistication, style and purpose. It’s a workhorse that offers off-road capability, rugged features and durable aluminum surfaces. At the same time, owners will be proud to use it as stylish transport for their active families and leisure time. The rear cargo area features six portable containers – inspired by offshore rescue boats – for carrying a variety of gear, including rescue equipment. Another innovative feature adding to 4-Trac versatility is a rear hatch that enables access from the cargo area directly into the cabin.  Read More

BMW wins World Touring Car Championship and spins out a homologation special

November 25, 2005 BMW won the 2005 FIA World Touring Car Championship for Manufacturers and its driver Andy Priaulx won the Driver’s Championship, securing back to back victories despite an 18-year gap between events - BMW won the first World Touring Car Championship in 1987, with the second (2005) Championship finishing last week in Macau, China. Co-incidental with the Championship wins, BMW has announced a limited edition performance-enhanced 3 Series Sedan to comply with FIA homologation regulations and to promote the 2005 victories and the 2006 efforts. The new BMW 320si Sedan is a limited edition of the 2006 BMW World Touring Car. It boats 127 kW and a host of race-bred features. Only 2,600 will be built.  Read More

The world's first widely-available armoured passenger vehicle

November 24, 2005 Our “Bloody Brilliant” Award for this week goes to Jaguar which has just announced a new Armoured XJ Long Wheelbase luxury saloon car. This is the first widely-available armoured passenger vehicle. The world can be a hostile and dangerous place with hundreds of war zones around the world at any given time, plus many countries where assassination and kidnapping are routine. Despite wars and organized criminal activity, life has to go on, and there are some people who feel the need to be transported in the manner befitting their station in life. An armouring industry has grown up around the 50 wars that are going on in the world, with various degrees of robustness ranging from the Donald Rumsfeld’s preferred choice of the Rhino Runner, to the Combat T-98 Armoured Luxury SUV. But these vehicle manufacturers are boutique in comparison to the robust distribution network and global marketing resources of Jaguar. Our prediction is that Jaguar’s move will add serious global recognition to the company’s already prestigious brand. Jaguar’s just-announced Armoured XJ Long Wheelbase luxury saloon car is an armoured passenger vehicle with capabilities far beyond the needs of day to day transportation with added security, without compromising the ability of the car. Prices will start from GBP199,000.  Read More

Ferrari design contest winners

November 23, 2005 The winners of Ferrari's design contest "New Concepts of the Myth" have been announced. Organised by Ferrari in conjunction with Pininfarina to search for tomorrow's car designers, the contest winners have been drawn from three continents. Ferrari head Luca di Montezemolo and Sergio Pininfarina announced the winners of the contest to the 20 finalists whose models have previously been covered by Gizmag – the winning models were the Millechili, Fiorano, Tre Diviso and the Ascari. A complete gallery of all of the contestants can be found here.  Read More

The future of motoring - special edition

November 22, 2005 As astounding as it may seem, given that the automotive industry really didn’t get going until 100 years ago, the world’s oldest car magazine, AutoCar, turns 110 this week. In celebrating its 110-year anniversary, the original car magazine has a special issue focusing on the the future of motoring. Autocar’s investigations suggest that the car could change more in the next 20 years than it has in the last 40. ‘Cars that drive themselves, see, park and avoid accidents would have been unthinkable even 20-years ago, but this technology is not that far from showrooms according to the magazine. The special issue goes on sale today, and will no doubt be a collectors item. Happy birthday to AutoCar.  Read More

Limited Edition high performance MINI

November 21, 2005 MINI boosts output and cuts weight to offer the world a limited edition super performance model dubbed MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit. Producing a feisty 160 kW (up 6 kW on the regular factory John Cooper Works Tuning Kit), the lightweight car was revealed to MINI enthusiasts at a global MINI festival called MINI United, held in Italy this weekend. Just 2,000 copies of this new model will be produced starting from July 2006.  Read More

Combination 2-stroke  and 4-stroke engine

November 21, 2005 The 2/4SIGHT engine concept is based on an innovative combustion system combined with advanced valve train and control technologies, enabling automatic switching between two- and four- stroke operation. By matching the control strategy to make best use of the 2/4SIGHT engine’s capabilities, simulation studies have shown that the concept has the potential to deliver up to 30 per cent better fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions, compliance with Euro 4 and future emissions standards and attractive driving characteristics, with class leading torque delivery. A detailed 2.0 litre V6 gasoline engine design has now been completed which is intended to deliver levels of performance and driveability more usually associated with 3-4 litre V8. Ricardo and its partners intend to build and test the first concept demonstrator engine in mid 2006.  Read More

A new supercar and a new concept in motorsport entertainment

November 20, 2005 We're not sure which is more significant - the fact that the Ascari KZ1 has proven itself to be a serious contender as one of the world's most desirable supercars, or the company's entrepreneurial move into motorsport entertainment. The Ascari KZ1 recently pushed the McLaren out of the elite top five fastest cars in BBC Top Gear's track tests, moving into exalted company as a supercar. But the company’s ambitions stretch far beyond that, with its Race Resort Ascari due for completion in 2006. Located near Marbella in the South of Spain, the resort will offer a world class racetrack, a luxury hotel, and an array of the world’s most exotic cars to drive – if they haven’t got it, any car you fancy can be arranged. So apart from building an aerodynamic GBP235,000 KZ1 with a super-light, super-strong carbon fibre monocoque car weighing just 1,330kg capable of exhilarating acceleration all the way to 200mph, the company has also created the first automotive resort for the mega wealthy. Big enough to hold a Formula 1 test team or a function with a difference and secluded enough to do it very elegantly. Our understanding is that many more automotive resorts will spring up around the world after this one as the demand for the facilities is already threatening to overwhelm their ability to supply.  Read More

The turbocharger turns 100 years old this week

November 18, 2005 The turbocharger , which has dominated the development of the internal combustion engine for the last 30 years, turned 100 years old this week. On 16 November 1905 Swiss engineer Dr. Alfred Buchi received patent No. 204630 from the Imperial Patent Office of the German Reich for a machine consisting of a compressor (turbine compressor), a piston engine, and a turbine in sequential arrangement. Porsche chose the occassion to introduce its very latest take on the turbocharger, this time with variable turbine geometry (VTG). This extensive article covers the development and major achievements of the turbocharger and the new VTG technology which realises even more efficiency, resulting in a significant improvement of engine flexibility and acceleration particularly at low engine speeds. In introducing the new 911 model some 31 years after it gave us the first series production sports car with an exhaust gas turbocharger (the 1974 Porsche 911 Turbo), Porsche will be presenting the world's first turbocharged gasoline engine with variable turbine geometry (VTG). The core features of VTG are the variable turbine blades guiding the flow of exhaust gas from the engine in exactly the direction required on to the turbine wheel of the exhaust gas turbocharger. The principle of variable turbine geometry thus combines the benefits of a small and large exhaust gas turbocharger all in one, with the combination ensuring both very good response and high torque at low engine speeds as well as superior output and high performance at high speeds. And the supreme level of torque is now maintained consistently throughout a much wider speed range.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 26,466 articles