2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Hybrid

The Modulus.002 hybrid polysynth

Though still in demand, classic analog synthesizers from decades past can be a bit of a nightmare to keep in good working order. Many modern digital emulators do a decent enough job of recreating the epic sounds of artists like Jean Michelle Jarre, Kraftwerk and Soft Cell, but some believe that they just don't have the same iconic sound qualities. Such is the thinking of a team of designers and engineers led by Philip Taysom and Paul Maddox, which has created a next gen music synth named Modulus.002. The boutique polyphonic sound machine mixes classic analog sound creation techniques with some digital magic to give musicians access to the kind of sounds made famous by vintage instruments of yesteryear.  Read More

Prof. Rolf Reitz (center) and members of his student team with the RCCI-powered Saturn

Five years ago we first heard about a Caterpillar diesel engine located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, that had been modified to run on an unlikely-sounding mixture of diesel and gasoline. Not only did the one-cylinder engine work, but it was more efficient than pure-diesel or pure-gas engines at converting the chemical energy of fuel into motion. Sitting in a basement lab, however, isn't the same as experiencing use in the real world. That's why students at UW-Madison, led by Prof. Rolf Reitz, have now put another diesel/gas engine into a 2009 Saturn.  Read More

The new Volvo XC90's hybrid drivetrain

We've seen the interior of the new Volvo XC90, and we have an idea of its shape, but until now there has been no word on what would be under the hood. Volvo has now released details of the engines that will power its new SUV.  Read More

A team of engineering students want their hybrid racing concept to set a new Nürburgring l...

In 1983, racing car driver Stefan Bellof set a Nürburgring lap time of 6 mins 11 secs in his Porsche 956. This record remains unbroken, despite many attempts to do so by some of the biggest names in the automotive industry using the most stratospherically powerful and technologically advanced cars in the world. Despite all of this, a team of ambitious engineering students from the Netherlands plans not only to beat this record with a hybrid racing prototype of their own design, but to go on to race and win at Le Mans in the very same vehicle.  Read More

Exploring the Bay Area in the Cadillac ELR

Cadillac swears its plug-in hybrid ELR isn't a bust and to help make the point, it recently let me cruise around in one for a weekend. It's a powerful and fun ride built on the guts of the Chevrolet Volt that could certainly give Tesla a run for its money, provided you've got plenty of your own to spend on one.  Read More

The Audi team proved that it knows how to win

For the last decade and a half, Audi has dominated the World Endurance Championship racing. It would be easy to dismiss yesterday's 13th Le Mans 24 Hour Race win for the company in 16 years as "same stuff, different year." In that time, it has significantly changed the world's perception of both diesel engines and hybrid power trains. Yet yesterday's win is probably its finest achievement.  Read More

The ZEOD is racing out of Le Mans' Garage 56

Nissan's ZEOD RC hybrid electric racer has set a new record at Le Mans, hitting 300 km/h (186 mph) while running on electric power only down Mulsanne Straight in qualifying this week.  Read More

Ford and Samsung are researching the possibility of a dual-battery system

Lithium-ion batteries are an industry standard for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, and Ford is convinced that they will be useful in cars without electric drive motors, too. The automaker is working with Samsung to research a dual-battery system that increases gas vehicle fuel economy.  Read More

Eco Marine Power has unveiled plans for a solar-electric powered unmanned surface vessel

Eco Marine Power (EMP) has unveiled high level design plans for an unmanned surface vessel (USV) to be powered by a solar-electric hybrid system. The Aquarius USV project began in 2011 and a prototype is expected in 2015. It will mostly be used for data collection and monitoring purposes.  Read More

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, shown here on a test flight, will be fueled by a thermoset...

As the still-to-be-announced date of the first commercial flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo approaches, more and more of the technology involved is getting nailed down. A case in point is the company's announcement that it has decided which fuel will be used in the first passenger-carrying flights of the suborbital spacecraft. The solid fuel grains that will fuel the world’s largest operational hybrid rocket will be a thermoset plastic similar to nylon.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 28,963 articles