Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show
Caparo's T1 Race Extreme – 620 bhp pushing 550 kg

We've written a lot about the Caparo T1 supercar - an aluminium V8 in a carbon fibre tub designed by former McLaren employees to simulate an F1 car on the road. When the Stig ran the T1 on Top Gear's test track, it beat all previous lap times by a whopping SEVEN seconds. Just to prove that too much is never enough, the T1 is now available in a 620 bhp Race Extreme version, aimed specifically at the high end track day market. It can generate 4 G under brakes and 3.5 G during cornering - the sort of G-forces an aerobatic pilot experiences. It accelerates from 0-100 kmh in 2.8 seconds and 0-100mph in 5.8 seconds - faster than a base-jumper in free fall! With a power to weight ratio better than double that of a Bugatti Veyron, this is almost certainly the fastest accelerating production car on the planet!  Read More

The Panamera's lightweight body, showing different materials used

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

The AN-1 AeroQuad flying platform from Aeris Naviter

We've written before about the nifty flying carpet-style PAM Individual Lifting Vehicle - now it seems there's another self-stabilizing coaxial dual-rotor flying platform on the way. The AN-1 AeroQuad, from Spain's Aeris Naviter, boasts all the key advantages of the PAM VTOL platform - it's as easy to pilot as a Segway, it'll fly for up to 5 hours, and happily hover at 20-30 feet with a maximum payload of 200kg - making it very handy for crop spraying, firefighting, aerial photography, lifeguarding, rescue and border control in mountainous areas. The AeroQuad moves forward from the PAM design, though, in that it comes in both land- or water-based configurations, and either one is able to fold up after use to a size so small you only need a half-trailer to transport it.  Read More

Presumably the UV lamp would be slightly more hidden in real world applications

Besides letting in light and providing pleasant views, windows unfortunately also provide a convenient entrance for burglars. Security systems have long employed contacts that, when broken, activate an alarm, but what if the simple act of moving around outside a window were enough to raise the alert. That’s the concept behind a system developed by scientists in Berlin that sensitizes windows and doors to detect suspicious movements.  Read More

The presumably 'knife friendly' Inlet Outlet
 Pic credit: core77

It wasn’t surprising to see that power conservation was a prevalent theme for entries in this year’s core77 Greener Gadgets Design Competition – the first two places were taken by variations on household power meters. One of the entries that made it to the semi final stage that we thought warranted some kudos was the Inlet ‘Outlet’ - a concept that would see household electrical outlets accompanied by an electrical ‘inlet’ that would make it easy for householders to feed power back into the power grid.  Read More

Garmin nüvi 465T truck GPS navigator

Truckers have special requirements for on-road navigation that most of us wouldn't even consider and GPS units that cater for these needs make a good deal of sense. Garmin has now entered this niche with the announcement of the nüvi® 465T, the company's first portable navigation device designed exclusively for over the road long-haul navigation and delivery trucks.  Read More

A graphic representation of the overall device structure with the diameter roughly that of...

Researchers at the University of Miami and at the Universities of Tokyo and Tohoku, Japan, have been able to prove the existence of a "spin battery" that could have significant benefits over chemical battery systems including being much faster, less expensive and using less energy.  Read More

Young people actually prefer the “sizzle” sound of MP3’s

It seems that most people are content with the performance they get from their white iPod earbuds – subpar audio in a convenient package. Has the performance of a humble set of headphones been forgotten in favor of something more compact, and to some more fashionable? Yes is the answer according to an informal study by Stanford Professor of Music, Jonathan Berger, and apparently it doesn't end there - young people actually prefer the “sizzle” sound of MP3’s.  Read More

Zero Motorcycles 'X'

When the flag drops, the bullsh*t stops, as they say in racing, and few sectors in the auto market have as much to prove as electric motorcycles. The performance potential of electric bikes is almost unbounded, with massive advantages over petrol bikes in so many areas - and battery technology is starting to catch up with the market's needs - but until recently, there's been no international competitive showcase for the top level of electric motorcycles. Just this week, the FIM announced a zero-emissions TT Grand Prix on the Isle of Man in June - and paved the way for electric bikes to compete in the future against top-level petrol bikes. Now, off-road specialists Zero Motorcycles are gearing up for the world's first all-electric 24-hour endurance motocross race in California on April 4. The flag has dropped on electric racing. Time to see who's got the goods, and who's been telling porkies.  Read More

Movito Electric Scooter

We live in a world where the need for lighter, more efficient vehicles is glaringly apparent, and in recent times designers and automotive manufacturers have ramped up their efforts to meet this challenge. Given this climate it's not surprising to see the enviro-conscious "Movito" scooter design receive accolades in the Create the Future Design Contest. Engineer/Designer Tiam Chiem's Movito is a 2-modular design consisting of an upper scooter chassis and the base which provides the drive via an in-wheel electric motor and hubless front wheel. The modular design allows a range of possible morphs, including multiple bodies to be connected to the base or two bases to be connected in parallel to form a two-seater.  Read More

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