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Aerodynamics

The one-of-a-kind Freightliner SuperTruck

Back in 2009, the US Department of Energy issued its SuperTruck Challenge. The program provided funding for truck manufacturers to design and build a prototype vehicle that was at least 50 percent more freight-efficient than a baseline 2009 truck. Daimler Trucks North America recently unveiled its response – the Freightliner SuperTruck. It goes beyond the 50 percent figure, with a claimed efficiency increase of 115 percent.  Read More

The Mercedes-Maybach S-class revives the Maybach marque

In November, Mercedes Benz took the wraps off its latest go at reviving the Maybach marque and now it's handing out more details about the luxury sub-brand's S 500 and S 600. Less a car for driving than being driven in by your chauffeur, the new S-class features understated lines and is intentionally designed as a status symbol for the upper automotive crust.  Read More

Designed as a showcase for its next-generation EcoBoost engine and lightweight constructio...

Ford has redefined its sportiest ever model (the GT) for a second time, vastly improving aerodynamics, stripping weight through the use of lightweight composites, and delivering a mid-mounted, next-generation, twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 producing more than 600 horsepower. The car will be on sale next year.  Read More

Batista Pininfarina's personal championing of this radical project to build a more efficie...

The name Pininfarina is synonymous with expensive and elegant Italian sports cars such as the Maserati GranTurismo, Alfa Romeo Spyder and a log file of Ferraris such as the 365 GTB/4, Enzo, F40 and Testarossa. The global design legend does much more than style beautiful cars though, and ample testimony will appear at auction this week in the form of a little known 1960s concept car. With its four wheels arranged in a diamond shape, the tiny aerodynamic four-seater Pininfarina-X had a drag coefficient of 0.23, indicating that Pininfarina was a long way ahead of the rest of the world in exploring the critical area of aerodynamics, long before it was fashionable.  Read More

The SPOFEC package uses carbon composites

The Rolls-Royce Wraith may be the showpiece that demonstrates what the modern incarnation of the famous marque can do in th engineering as well as style departments, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement. At least, that's what car customizer SPirit OF ECstasy (SPOFEC) seems to think as it offers its Wraith upgrade package for the luxury coupe.  Read More

It is very unlikely that anyone who ever gets to drive one of these cars will have a net w...

Ferrari's new 1035-hp, 900-Nm FXX K (for KERS) hybrid is based on the 950-hp limited-edition LaFerrari hybrid supercar though it will never be sold or raced in sanctioned competition. Completely unfettered by homologation and racing regulations, the FXX K is part of a new research and development programme similar to the 599XX and FXX programmes which essentially involve laboratory cars designed specifically for the track and reserved for a select group of exclusive Ferrari client test drivers.  Read More

The low-drag aerodynamics of the Acabion Da Vinci give it a huge efficiency and top speed ...

Peter Acabion, of Acabion GTBO fame, has released details of his next concept vehicle – an ultra-efficient, 1,200 mpg, 650 km/h, solar electric successor to the car. With four enclosed wheels, a transforming aerodynamic tail, a jet fighter style cockpit and a self-loading trunk capable of storing a whole washing machine, the four- to six-seater Acabion Da Vinci would use extreme aerodynamic profiling to squeeze vastly more speed and efficiency out of its available energy than any car currently available.  Read More

The McLaren 650S Sprint, a highly modified, track version of McLaren's 640 hp 650S, will d...

McLaren has been busy with news of a duo of specially-designed boutique vehicles. First came news of the US$2 million P1 GTR, followed by a Special Operations version of the 650S. Debuting at Pebble Beach this week, the duo will now be joined by a track-focused racer in the form of the 650S Sprint.  Read More

The A330neo uses the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine

Airbus has announced the launch of the A330-800neo and the A330-900neo, which are the latest variants of the A330 two-engined widebody airliner that entered service in 1994. Airbus says that the A300neo aircraft use the new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine and are the most cost-efficient wide-body aircraft on the market with 14 percent better fuel consumption per passenger seat compared to today's A330.  Read More

In its low-drag configuration, the 'smorph' looks like a golf ball (Image: MIT)

Researchers at MIT have developed a smart curved surface that can morph at will to reduce drag, generating a series of small, evenly spaced dimples that make it resemble the outside of a golf ball. This technology could be used to reduce hurricane damage on some public buildings, as well as increase the aerodynamic and fuel efficiency in cars.  Read More

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