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Automotive

June 16, 2007  Lightweight wheels are a must-have for automotive enthusiasts as they signi...

June 16, 2007 Lightweight wheels are a must-have for automotive enthusiasts as they significantly decrease unsprung weight and improve handling characteristics accordingly. Though fiber-composite materials are used in elite motorsport, and promise better long-term performance than their metal counterparts, they have been unable to make their way into the mainstream due to a lack of suitable testing methods. Standardized testing methods exist for conventional rims made of steel or aluminium, but there is doubt as to whether the testing methods for metal wheels can be applied to composite materials. Now German researchers have created a new method which can reliably simulate how an individual composite wheel will cope with the stresses of driving on public roads, including hitting the curb and potholes, and the meeting of quality standards, without destroying the wheel.  Read More

Peugeot's 908 HDi FAP

June 15, 2007 Since the invention of the automobile, winning on Sunday has meant selling lots of cars on Monday and beyond and this weekend’s running of the fabled Le Mans 24 hour race looks set to influence a lot of sales over the coming decade. Last year Audi’s R10 diesel race car used its frugal fuel consumption, 650 bhp and 1100 nm of torque to win every race it entered. Peugeot meanwhile have been developing a diesel car too – with 700 bhp and 1200 nm. This weekend they face each other for the first time. Astoundingly, the Peugeot has taken first and third grid positions in qualifying. Read on for the background and where you can watch the 24 Heures du Mans unfold.  Read More

Convertible Ford Shelby GT coming

June 14, 2007 The 2008 Ford Shelby GT will be available with a new convertible body style from August 2007. Only 2,300 2008 Shelby GT coupes and convertibles will be built in order to maintain exclusivity for collectors. Each car will feature an authentication plate on the center dashboard, as well as a matching tag under the hood for documentation in a forthcoming registry.  Read More

ZF’s Torque Vectoring rear axle drive

June 14, 2007 Driveline and Chassis Technology company ZF invests five percent of its sales (2006: EUR 600 million of EUR 11.7 billion) in Research and Development and in so doing, has developed a very interesting new Torque Vectoring rear axle drive which it claims considerably increases driving dynamics and safety reserves of all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive vehicles. The system distributes the drive torque individually to the rear axle wheels, generating a yaw moment around the vertical axis of the vehicle, which can be used both to improve agility and stabilize the vehicle. Generation of the wheel differential torque is independent from the drive torque, so it is also generated during coasting, when the driver is not accelerating. The system is ready for volume production and is already planned for volume application at BMW.  Read More

The world’s largest Scratch Car-D

June 13, 2007 Thousands of people lined up, grabbed a penny and rubbed away on the world’s first ‘Scratch Car-d’ yesterday. The unique SUV took two months to prepare and was completely covered in silver latex, the material found on lottery scratch cards, which took 14 hours to scratch off. Underneath were thousands of individual panels, with one revealing a symbol to win the vehicle. The ‘Scratch Car-d’ was unveiled in London’s Covent Garden on a bed of 16,995 pennies to mark the launch of the new Chevrolet Captiva into the UK market.  Read More

Pulstar's Pulse Plugs

June 10, 2007 Significantly increased torque and horsepower for almost any petrol vehicle, exceptional fuel economy benefits, a five minute screw-in installation process, no decrease in longevity or reliability and a miserly US$25 per unit price. These may sound like outrageous claims, but Pulstar are confident their "pulse plugs" are the next step in the evolution of the spark plug. Pulse plugs use a pulse cycle to draw the same amount of power as a normal spark plug, store it and release it at about 20,000 times the wattage. The fuel in your cylinders burns much more quickly and completely, creating extra cylinder pressure and resulting in more horsepower and torque for each revolution, not to mention wasting much less fuel in the process. They screw right in where your old plugs came out, and require no further modification. As a performance mod, they deliver more horsepower for your buck than just about any alternative - and their increased economy should see them paying for themselves within 12 months. Fantastic stuff!  Read More

The Caparo T1 - the soon-to-be, fastest accelerating car in the world

June 8, 2007 The soon-to-be world’s fastest accelerating car has broken cover during the final stages of test and development. The Caparo T1 is a high performance two-seater sports car with highly resolved aerodynamics, which has been designed with the looks and performance of a Formula One race car. The T1’s 500 kg weight and 550 bhp give it a power-to-weight ratio of 1100 bhp/tonne – better than any current supersport motorcycle and approaching that of a genuine F1 car. With series production about to commence, the car will be built for discerning customers seeking the ultimate track day experience in a road driveable vehicle. In releasing full details of the car’s specification, the company has revealed that while customer cars are being readied for start of production, preparations are also well in hand for the T1’s first public appearance as a running car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 22-24 – which effectively becomes the vehicle’s launch date.  Read More

Supercharged Seven is the most powerful Caterham ever

June 8, 2007 To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Caterham has unveiled the most powerful Seven ever; the X330 – a one-off supercharged model boasting a mind-boggling power-to-weight ratio of 600bhp per tonne. Caterham’s basic formula of useable power and extreme light weight is put clearly in perspective when viewed on a chart against the rest of the world’s exotica (see right). The stealthy, matt black concept is based around the range-topping CSR Superlight, but the addition of a supercharger to the four-cylinder 2.3 litre Ford Duratec engine increases power massively from 260 to 330bhp, as the name suggests.  Read More

Porsche tops J.D. Power 2007 Initial Quality Study second year running

June 7, 2007 Porsche enhanced its already considerable reputation yesterday by once again being awarded the number-one nameplate in the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study (IQS). The IQS measures new-vehicle quality at 90 days of ownership. It captures quality of design and quality of production (defects and malfunctions) problems experienced by owners using a problems-per-100 vehicles (PP100) metric and it’s the results of surveying a whopping 97,000 purchasers and lessees. The study includes quality comparisons by manufacturer, assembly plant, model, and platform. Porsche ranked number one for the second year running, ahead of Lexus, Lincoln, Honda and Mercedes-Benz. Honda, with the fewest problems per 100 among non-premium brands, improved from sixth since the 2006 study.  Read More

Some of the latest batch of Mitsubishi L200 trucks fitted with Transformer tops

June 6, 2007 From plumbers to mobile mechanics and ambulance services, specific industries rely on suitably equipped vehicles to cater to their particular needs, but why build these vehicles from the ground-up when a more efficient way forward can be found through utilizing a common platform and modifying it to meet any objective. This is the premise behind the Transformer Top, a system developed with the aid of boat building skills that turns a four wheel drive pickup into a dedicated vehicle for almost any application.  Read More

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