Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Car

Ford is using wheat straw - a waste byproduct of wheat - to reinforce plastic in the inter...

Ford is the first automaker to develop and implement environmentally-friendly wheat straw-reinforced plastic in a vehicle. Before you get carried away, the car itself, a Ford Flex, isn’t made of plastic, instead, it’s just the third-row interior storage bins made from the natural fiber-based plastic that contains 20 percent wheat straw bio-filler. Surprisingly though, Ford says this application alone reduces petroleum usage by some 20,000lbs per year, cuts CO2 emissions by 30,000lbs per year, and represents a smart, sustainable usage for wheat straw, the waste byproduct of wheat.  Read More

The eWolf e2 electric sports car prototype

With electric powered vehicle development picking up pace in a big way, German based company e-Wolf is looking to take things one step further after unveiling its “e-2” EV prototype. Boasting an expected acceleration of 0-60mph in under four seconds, e-Wolf is set to deliver an Italian-inspired electric “supercar” that puts the mean in green.  Read More

The Hybrid X Team from West Philadelphia High School Academy for Automotive and Mechanical...

The Automotive X Prize is a competition aiming to “inspire a new generation of viable, super – efficient vehicles that help break our addiction to oil and stem the effects of climate change”. With a $10 million prize pot and over 100 teams from 12 countries contributing entries, an unlikely contender has emerged in the form of West Philadelphia High School’s Hybrid X Team, which is applying its experience and knowledge to two entries including the Factory Five GT based EVX GT sports car.  Read More

The Audiovox VOD10PS2 is great for bored backseat passengers and drivers who like peace an...

When I was growing up, entertainment in the backseat of a car had a whole different meaning to what it does today. Presently, backseat entertainment is geared at a much younger audience. Audiovox’s in-car VOD10PS2 Mobile Video PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system would appear to have heaps of appeal to both bored backseat youngsters and drivers who appreciate peace and quiet from passengers. This mobile video system is an all-in-one, overhead, drop-down that combines the Audiovox's overhead unit with one of the gaming industry's best-selling systems, the PlayStation 2.  Read More

A removable front panel on the Parrot RKi4800 allows you to store and recharge your iPod/i...

Parrot has released a car stereo at IAA designed for iPhones and iPods. The Rki8400 uses Bluetooth, has a USB port for hard drives or USB keys, SD Card reader and a double line-in socket for analogue sources. It provides hands-free telephony functions and another great feature is a storage compartment behind the removable front panel that hides and recharges your iPod or iPhone. That means no more cords tangling around gear shifts, or iPhones sliding around the vehicle during braking or cornering maneuvers. Plus, of course, a bit of extra security.  Read More

The 'fastest kettle in the world' on its way to breaking a 100-year-old land speed record

Last month, we reported that the British Steam Car had its sights set on several long-standing world records – and we’re happy to report that they’ve smashed not one, but two in the last week of August at Edwards Air Force Base in California. On Tuesday, August 25, they broke the world’s longest-standing speed record with a 139.843mph measured mile and then, the next day, clobbered the record for a measured kilometer with a speed of 148.308mph.  Read More

The DC31 handheld vacuum from Dyson - dual speed and more power than before

Looking more like a power tool that just transported from the Starship Enterprise, the latest hand-held vacuum from Dyson has a 10-minute battery life and a digital V2 motor that delivers constant, strong suction - ideal for small cleaning tasks around the home or in a car, boat or caravan. The DC31 has a dual power mode that gives the operator a six-minute burst of power for higher suction at the flick of a switch. Dyson demonstrated its two models, the DC31 and the DC31 Animal to our team at IFA this month, and gave Gizmag's Kate Seamer an exclusive interview.  Read More

The REVA NXG - a sporty two-seater with targa roof - is being showcased at IAA

Indian electric car company REVA will unveil two new electric cars at the forthcoming Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) on September 16. The REVA NXR is a four-seater, three-door hatchback family car aimed at urban drivers while REVA’s showcar, the NXG, is a sporty two-seater with a targa roof that was designed by Dilip Chhabria of internationally-renowned automotive design company DC Design. REVA says it has added a unique technology to its cars that addresses ‘range anxiety’ – worrying about running out of charge mid-journey. The REVive telematics technology acts like an invisible reserve fuel tank. Drivers telephone or SMS REVA for an instant remote top-up should they run out of charge. At present, details are scarce about how REVive actually works but REVA assures us all will be revealed at IAA.  Read More

The disc and roller system used in Torotrak's CVT and IVTs

Most of the efforts to produce more environmentally-friendly cars in recent years have focused on alternative fuels and more efficient engines. UK-based engineering company, Torotrak, has instead decided to turn its expertise to another vehicle component with the development of a new generation transmission that it claims can not only slash CO2 emissions and improve fuel efficiency, but also boost performance.  Read More

The Vexia Econav 435 gives drivers recommendations on the most fuel-efficient way to reach...

As GPS navigation systems increase in popularity, the world’s fuel supplies simultaneously are in decline. However, the Vexia Econav 435 GPS is attempting to do its bit for the environment by offering a system that gives drivers information on the most economical route, which gear to use and when - even how firmly to accelerate. The manufacturers say the aim of the unit is to reduce drivers' fuel consumption by up to one third.  Read More

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