Puncture-proof tires that incorporate a flexible internal matrix instead of air are nothing new, in and of themselves. In the past several years, we’ve seen prototypes from the likes of Michelin
. Colorado-based Britek Tire and Rubber has also been developing something similar, known as the Energy Return Wheel. While the ERW is intended mainly for cars, the company recently released a video showing a prototype set of the wheels in use – on a mountain bike.
The internal combustion engine (ICE) has had a remarkably successful century and a half. Unfortunately, it’s notoriously inefficient, wasting anywhere from 30 to 99 percent of the energy it produces and spews unburned fuel into the air. Last week, Gizmag interviewed Dr. Alexander Shkolnik, President and CEO of LiquidPiston, Inc. about its LiquidPiston X2 - a 40-bhp rotary engine that burns a variety of fuels and requires no valves, cooling systems, radiators or mufflers, yet promises a thermodynamic efficiency of 75 percent.
You may think that the pistons in your car’s engine slide in and out of the cylinder bore holes smooth as silk, but according to researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology, the process could be smoother. If it was, your car would burn less gasoline, and require less oil for lubrication. Well, those researchers have developed an engine-building tool, designed to minimize engine cylinder friction.
Lamborghini’s Aventador LP 700-4
is doing something that supercars aren't exactly famous for – it’s saving fuel. Not satisfied with a car that can do 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 2.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 350 km/h (217 mph), Lamborghini has fitted the Aventador LP 700-4 with a fuel economy system that includes an automatic engine start/stop and a cylinder deactivation system.
With U.S. mileage standards set to rise to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, Carmakers are working flat out to make their vehicles burn as little fuel as possible. One approach is to develop new drivetrains based on hybrid or all-electric
technology, but regardless of the platform, weight reduction remains very much a part of the equation. Toyota is pointing to its 2013 Avalon as an example of its progress on this front, having designed the mid-size sedan with 110 pounds (49.89 kg) less weight than the 2012 model.
A new report drafted by Airbus as part of its “Smarter Skies” initiative sees the aircraft manufacturing company looking toward 2050 and beyond, in order to consider what can be done to meet the expected growth in future air travel sustainably. The ambitious plans put forward include assisted take-off, free-glide landings, and aircraft flying in formation.
Chances are, at some point you’ve seen vehicles that were designed with streamlined little knobs on their hoods or roofs, to improve their aerodynamics. While such features have been shown to work, they generally haven’t been available as an aftermarket product. Now, however, if you want those knobs on your car, you can have them – in the form of GasPods.
With fuel costs continuing to rise, the search is on for ways to make cars lighter and improve fuel efficiency, without compromising strength and safety. NanoSteel, a Rhode Island-based company recently announced the development of new nano-structured advanced high-strength alloys whose strength and ductility meet automotive structural demands. The company plans on marketing its sheet metal products in 2013 and has recently received investment from GM suggesting they could soon be appearing in production vehicles.
Ford definitely appears to have Toyota in its sights with its 2013 C-MAX line
. Having already revealed the C-MAX Hybrid
will be cheaper than Toyota’s Prius v
, the U.S. automaker is now boasting that its hybrid utility vehicle beats the Prius v in the fuel economy stakes by up to 7 mpg (33.6 liters/100 km). It is also the first vehicle to offer the same fuel economy rating in both city and highway driving.
Aston University's entry into this year's Shell Eco-Marathon may look
a little low-tech, but that didn't stop the hydrogen-fueled cardboard and plywood flat-pack car from scooping the Eco-Design award at the European event, held in Rotterdam in May.