With the New York
and Beijing Auto Shows officially over, manufacturers now need to find other ways to attract and retain attention. Concocting specialized vehicles, sporting varying degrees of aesthetic and performance modifications, is one way automakers keep their products fresh in the global eye. This makeover technique is exactly what McLaren’s Special Operations (MSO) has done with the menacing, all-black MSO 650S Coupe Concept.
In today's world, we're surprised to see a high-end supercar that doesn't include a bunch of carbon fiber in its design. Despite prices that can be just as high-end, the material is far less common in the camper/RV market. A few designs we've covered, like the XPCamper
, have carbon fiber on their spec sheets, but it's not something you run into all over the place. In introducing a big, glossy black-carbon bus trailer that it calls the "world's first all-carbon fiber RV," Global Caravan Technologies brings a heap of carbon fiber to the market all at once.
It wasn't that long ago that bamboo-framed bikes
were thought of as a weird rarity. Thanks to its combination of durability, stiffness and vibration-damping characteristics, however, the material has been gaining popularity in recent years. That being said, some designers still find that the random nature of pure bamboo makes it a little too unpredictable for producing frames of a consistent character and quality. That's why two frame builders have developed some interesting work-arounds.
Wooden-framed bikes are things of undeniable beauty
, but they're also highly prized for their smooth ride capabilities
. At the North American Handmade Bicycle Show
, Chris Connor of Denver-based Connor Wood Bicycles introduced us to a new mountain bike named DURT, that's had sections of the steam-bent, locally-sourced reclaimed wooden frame reinforced with Kevlar for a gorgeous combination of strength, beauty and performance.
First introduced into rally racing in 1980, Audi’s AWD Quattro system has become synonymous with all wheel drive performance. Its AWD activities have since shifted from that of a rally-only diet to the arena endurance racing in the form of the championship winning R18 e-tron Quattro. For 2014, the Le Mans champion is back to defend its title packing more than just new laser headlights
– it has a completely redesigned dual-hybrid system in hand.
According to a report in Truck News
, Walmart plans on doubling the fuel efficiency of its trucking fleet by next year. In order to show that it's not kidding around, the retailer has collaborated with Peterbilt, Great Dane Trailers, and Capstone Turbine to create a concept "truck of tomorrow" known as the Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience – or WAVE.
Pedal-assist electric bikes come in all shapes
, and are made from a range of materials including aluminum
. Armin Oberhollenzer's material of choice is carbon fiber and, though his Leaos 2.0 Carbon City Design e-bike has been making appearances at bike shows throughout Europe since last year, it's now set to land on US soil.
Just days ahead of the Geneva Auto Show, manufacturers continue to leak images and vehicle details. Following on the heels of last week’s reveal of its new 650S supercar
, McLaren has just released performance specs for the vehicle. Until today power specs, styling chatter and passenger amenities were all the public had to go on, but now the company has made available the car’s true performance ability – and it is glorious.
Start with a Vauxhall/Opel/Chevrolet/Saturn Astra VXR, shed 100 kg by replacing metal with carbon fiber, then pump its 2.0-liter turbo engine to 297 hp, upgrade the suspension wheels, tires, gearbox and brakes to match, and you have the Astra VXR Extreme ... and it's street legal.
Revolution speed bikes from Munich's TroyTec bring modular, F1-inspired design to the world of recumbent racing and touring. At the heart of the line lies a carbon monocoque frame that provides the basis for easy transformation between four primary configurations. Riders can pedal up high, down low, and on rigid wheels or full suspension, depending upon the demands of the road immediately ahead.