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Cars

Windshield wipers are life-savers, but also can drive one to distraction with their incessant streaking and chattering. Well, the tyranny of the wipers may soon be over. McLaren Automotive’s chief designer Frank Stephenson told The Sunday Times that the performance motoring company is investigating the use of "ultrasonic force fields" to replace windshield wipers in automobiles. While Stephenson referred to a military source for McLaren's tech, there appears to be very little public information on how such force fields might clean a windshield during a storm, so I'm taking a look at the patent history to see how this might be accomplished. Read More
Volvo’s S60 and its V60 variant don’t exactly have a reputation for being exciting, but that hasn't prevented the Swedish carmaker from trying to infuse a bit of dash into the line. The company handed the compact executive and the estate wagon over to its Polestar Racing division and the results were unveiled last Thursday at the world première of the S60 and V60 Polestar. This limited edition is not only based on the Volvo S/V60, but also the C30 and S60 concept cars, and the Australian S60 Polestar, and are part of an extended Polestar production model range. Read More
Rain gauges are generally pretty accurate at measuring the amount of precipitation that has fallen at their location, but they can't be everywhere. This means that average rainfall figures for a region could be inaccurate, if considerably more or less rain has been falling in unmonitored areas. Cars, however, are just about everywhere that there are roads. With that in mind, researchers from Germany's University of Hanover are looking at using them to tell us how much water is coming from the sky. Read More
In some ways, the Mini Cooper is a bit like a dog. Most people who remember it as a puppy are rather surprised at how big it has grown. On Monday, at its Oxford plant, BMW presented the world premiere of new Mini line to show off the model’s latest growth spurt and the new technology hidden inside. Read More
Urbee 2, the first road-ready, fuel-efficient car built using 3D printing, is the subject of a collaboration between design firm KOR EcoLogic, direct digital manufacturers RedEye On Demand, and 3D-printing manufacturer Stratsys. Their aim is to put the 7 hp (5 kW) three-wheeled, rear-steering eco-hybrid on the roads by 2015, and then demonstrate its capabilities by crossing the US using only ten gallons (38 L) of fuel. Read More

RM Auctions, based in Blenheim, Ontario, is placing a prominent slab of Formula One racing history on the auction block with the sale of a Ferrari F310 B, chassis 179 that was once driven by Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine. Read More

Standing 20 feet from a race track while dozens of the most expensive cars in the world scream past at almost 200 mph – some might call it the best seat in the house. Except you can’t sit down. The corner marshals are the people stationed out on the track tasked with waving flags, removing debris and helping drivers whose cars have crashed. Last year I was able to volunteer to be among the large track crew for the inaugural US Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Course of the Americas in Austin, Texas, which marked the return of Formula 1 racing to the United States after several years of absence. So what's life like for a corner marshal when race weekend rolls around? Read More
According to scientists at Spain's Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), approximately five percent of vehicles on the road are responsible for about 90 percent of toxic vehicle emissions. Short of pulling each and every car over to analyze its tailpipe output, though, how does one go about identifying the offenders? Well, the UC3M researchers have helped design a system that images the emissions of individual vehicles in real time, on highways up to three lanes wide. Read More
For four decades, the Caterham Seven has been turning heads and packing large servings of performance into a very small package. This weekend, at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed, Caterham Cars is unveiling the slightly mad Caterham Seven 620 R, which will be put through its paces by F1 Team driver Charles Pic and other drivers from the Caterham stable. Built to celebrate 40 years of the Seven, Caterham says that it’s the most extreme version in the lightweight, high-performance line ever produced. Read More
Recreational amphibious vehicles are nothing new, but most are one-offs, and most tend to be boats that can creep on land, or cars that slosh slowly through water. There are exceptions, notably entries from Gibbs, but arguably, amphibious vehicles have not made the grade as true all-round vehicles that can be driven to work during the week, and on the lake on weekends. WaterCar's new Panther straddles the divide. Read More
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