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Automotive

West Philly Hybrid X high school team in race for Auto X Prize

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

Automotive

Mazda’s eco-friendly next-generation engines to debut at Tokyo Motor Show

Mazda's “Technologies for Tomorrow” display at the upcoming Tokyo Motor show will see the premiere of its next-generation direct injection gasoline Mazda SKY-G engine and Mazda SKY-D clean diesel engine, which offer improved eco-friendliness and torque thanks to optimized combustion efficiency. Mazda will also reveal the first next-generation automatic transmission, the Mazda SKY-Drive, which offers first-rate fuel economy and a direct driving performance feel. As part of Mazda’s SKY concept, the new engines and transmission are designed to help Mazda achieve its goal of improving the average fuel economy of Mazda vehicles 30 percent by 2015, compared to 2008 levels, without sacrificing performance. Read More

Automotive

REVA unveils two new electric cars with emergency roadside recharging

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

Automotive

Spyker C8 Aileron Spyder prototype let loose

Spyker Cars may not have impressed in its F1 venture, but it certainly has made up for it off the track. The exclusive sportscar-maker has kept true to its promise made in March at the Geneva Auto Show by debuting the first prototype of the Spyder version of its second-generation Spyker C8 Aileron. The 300kmh open-top model is scheduled to go into production in the first half of 2010. Read More

Automotive

Nissan’s 2010 EV in detail

Nissan has showcased its electric vehicle (EV) platform on a Tiida-based hatchback model. The Nissan EV-11 prototype seats four-five adults, has a top speed of around 87mph (140kmh), a cruising range of 100 miles (160km) between charges and, being a full EV, produces zero local CO2 emissions. The in-house developed electric motor delivers 80kW (107hp) for “high response and powerful acceleration”. Nissan has also plans some clever IT for its EV platform, like remote ON/OFF charging via a cell phone or the Internet, useful mapping features including automatic updates on the nearest charging stations, a global data center providing 24/7 support and a scheme that could even see non-contact charging introduced in carparks. Read More

Automotive

Smart vehicle puts blind drivers behind the wheel

Recent technological developments are presenting increasing opportunities for blind and vision impaired people to interact with the world in ways not previously possible. However, many everyday acts we take for granted such as driving a car remain out of reach. That’s well on the way to changing thanks to a development by a team of students at the Virginia Tech University, who have designed a car that allows blind and visually impaired people to take the wheel and drive unassisted.Read More

Automotive

First-ever flexible ceramic heat shield material

Take note of the name ZircoFlex, because it will most likely, in our not-so-humble opinion, immediately become part of the lexicon and bag of tricks of every automotive, marine, aerospace and industrial manufacturer, fabricator, constructor, inventor and race engineer on the planet. We've previously written about Zircotec’s plasma sprayed ThermoHold coatings, which when applied to the surface of metallic and composite components can reduce surface temperatures by up to 33 percent. Until now, the process has had two major limitations being the need to treat parts directly using 14000ºK plasma sprays and the natural brittleness of ceramic coatings which has limited their use up to rigid substrates. Patent-pending ZircoFlex™ is a flexible ceramic heat shield material that will be available in a roll, offering a low-cost, easy-to-apply solution to the thermal protection of vital engine components. The product is set to revolutionise the use of ceramic materials for heat protection in a wide range of applications.Read More

Science

Photon-powered nanomotor transforms light directly into motion

Most solar powered motors require an intermediate step where the light is converted to electricity or heat, usually by a photovoltaic cell, before it can be used to drive the motor. But now a team of University of Florida chemists have developed a new type of “molecular nanomotor” that bypasses this step and transforms light directly into motion – albeit on a very tiny scale.Read More

Aircraft

The Multi Mode Vehicle - motorbike AND aircraft in one

Here we are in 2009 - televisions are thin, phones are smart and robots are on the rise, but still there's that nagging sense of disappointment each time you look outside and realize that cars don't fly. Samson Motorworks hopes to rescue us from this predicament, but realizing the weight and aerodynamic disadvantages of the 4-wheel platform, it has left the car in the garage and embarked on a mission to create a flying 3-wheeled enclosed motorcycle. Two dual-use Multi Mode Vehicles (MMVs) models are in development - the Skybike, which uses a patent pending telescoping wing design, and the Switchblade, which uses a scissor wing design to retract the wings when you swap the airway for the freeway.Read More

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