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Aerodynamics

Chevrolet's non-hybrid Cruze Eco promises 40mpg highway, comparable to the hybrid Honda In...

Next week at the 2010 New York Auto Show, Chevrolet will be unveiling the compact 2011 Cruze Eco. Visually, this car isn’t going to be big news – it’s OK, but nothing you haven’t seen before. With a six-speed manual transmission, however, it should achieve an estimated 40mpg on the highway – what Chevrolet calls “hybrid-like” fuel efficiency. With that kind of mileage, but without a hybrid’s complexity or price tag, the Eco could prove pretty popular. By comparison, the hybrid Toyota Prius and Honda Insight get 49 and 43mpg highway, respectively, while the non-hybrid Honda Civic sedan gets 34.  Read More

The DeltaWing, proposed to replace the current IndyCar chassis

Two of four submissions have now been unveiled by the companies wishing to produce the next generation of IndyCar open-wheel racers, and the most recent one is one of the most fascinating looking racecars we've ever seen. The DeltaWing is a radical departure from traditional open-wheeler design - in fact, the only thing you could really compare it to is the bizarre lovechild of a drag racer and a Batmobile. With its comically narrow rocketship front end, broad rear end and narrow tyres, the DeltaWing aims to outperform the current crop of IndyCars for significantly less money, while delivering extraordinary efficiency gains and leaving a clear airstream for following cars, in order to promote close racing and overtaking. But is the public ready for a car that looks... so little like a car?  Read More

Jacobs demonstrating his modified Honda Innova 125i

Adding a self-built aerodynamic outer shell to a brand new Honda Innova 125i big-wheeled, step through scooter has resulted in its already pretty impressive fuel efficiency being improved considerably. Experienced Dutch cycle designer Allert Jacobs has spent the last couple of years designing, building and tweaking his machine before hitting the road recently for the all important road test.  Read More

The Beyss Go-One Evolution

Picture it: You’re zipping down the road in a sleek, exotic vehicle that looks like it came straight out of Blade Runner. You pull up at a red light, and a gawking onlooker asks what sort of an engine it has. To their amazement, you open the top to reveal that it’s propelled by nothing but the superhuman power of your own body. Well, that fantasy can become a reality if you’re willing to spend several thousand dollars on a velomobile. There are a number of such vehicles being produced, but perhaps none are more lusted-after than the German Beyss Go-One3. That model may soon be upstaged, however, as Beyss is set to release their latest creation, the Go-One Evolution.  Read More

Ecomodder.com's Darin Cosgrove recently added this 1.37 tailpeice to his Pontiac Firefly t...

While windtunnels have long been employed in aerospace and all forms of race engineering, we’re likely to see them employed more frequently in future in the quest for improved fuel efficiency from our automobiles. Ecomodder.com’s Darin Cosgrove recently added this 1.37 tailpiece to his Pontiac Firefly to improve its drag coefficient from 0.34 to 0.23 and its fuel efficiency by 15.1 percent at 90kmh (56mph).  Read More

The Blunt Umbrella boasts improved strength, durability, stability and is safer than tradi...

Umbrellas have been around for thousands of years but, aside from the introduction of the collapsible umbrella in 1935, their design has remained largely unchanged - despite the well known design flaws that see them flip inside out in strong winds or threaten to take out an eye with their pointy rib tips. It was this threat to his eyeballs as he negotiated busy London streets in wet weather that set 1.9 m tall New Zealand designer Greig Brebner on a mission to design a better umbrella – a goal he believes he has achieved with the Blunt Umbrella.  Read More

GRACE incorporates Formula 1 and jet technology in a street legal e-bike

Combining jet fighter technology with Formula 1 grade parts and German build quality, the GRACE street legal electric two-wheeler will start to be shipped in limited numbers next year. As well as offering a couple of city travel options, GRACE is also available in an off-road version too. The company has even manufactured a demonstration-only racy model capable of speeds up to 70kmh (44mph).  Read More

The boat tail mounted on the rear of the test truck

European tests have shown that a boat tail – a tapering protrusion mounted on the rear of a truck – leads to fuel savings of 7.5 percent. The fuel savings, which also means a cut in emissions, were realized by the boat tail dramatically reducing the drag caused by the lower-pressure effect that occurs in the wake of a vehicle.  Read More

Maria Parker training on her Cruzbike Silvio in preparation for a World Record attempt thi...

For many, the words “recumbent bicycle” conjure the image of a strange-looking vehicle with the rider set low to the ground achieving less than remarkable speeds. That perception could well become a thing of the past with the Cruzbike Silvio, the world’s only recumbent racing bike that is not only fully compatible with road bike components, but aims to eliminate many health problems associated with standard cycling.  Read More

Locusts have helped scientists unlock the secrets of insect flight (Photo: Niv Singer)

It seems that locusts, the bane of farmers the world over, have served some purpose after all. With the aid of a wind tunnel and a high-speed digital video camera, scientists have captured the changes in the shape of the locust's wings during flight and created, for the first time, a computer model that recreates the airflow and thrust generated by their complex flapping movement. Modeling the aerodynamic secrets brings us a step closer to creating miniature robot flyers with the maneuverability and energy efficiency of an insect - such micro-aircraft would likely have huge benefits for search and rescue, military activities and inspecting hazardous environments.  Read More

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