Behold, the World's Fastest Log Car [Road and Track]
"THE FIRST TIME YOU SEE IT, your brain almost short circuits—nope, uh-uh, that's not real. But it is, and it is exactly what it looks like: a tree car. More specifically, it is a car made out of a western red cedar log with a concave mouth for a "grille", a wooden roll bar and wooden fenders, and a pair of turbines protruding from its rear. The thing looks ludicrous, like something a crazed Woody the Woodpecker would drive, or maybe a George Barris creation if he had ever gotten lost in the Pacific Northwest with an axe and a flask of whiskey. It gets better: The log car is rear-wheel drive, uses the mechanicals from a Mazda RX-7, and is powered by eight lithium-ion batteries. More than 500 pounds of them. Why? Why would someone do this, you might ask. And who? Who in the world would devote time to such a project? Also, what? What were they smoking? Must've been some potent stuff."
Max Verstappen drove his F1 car on a ski slope and didn't die. [YouTube]
We see Verstappen taking his Red Bull (of course) team race car and driving it up, down, and back up a ski slope. Somehow, the mix of studded tires, snow chains, and Verstappen's natural born talent keep the kid from flying off the mountain. (The super serious 9-minute one, seen directly above, is particularly full of beautiful, mind-boggling footage.) [The Verge]
Driven to Kill. The "hit-to-kill" phenomenon in China where a driver who has accidentally struck a pedestrian will stop to run over them again, or multiple times, to ensure they are dead. Trigger warning for text descriptions of gruesome vehicular murder. Lots of links to photos and videos in the article that you should click at your own discretion.
South Carolina wants to switch to digital license plates that will display messages related to the driver's eligibility to operate a vehicle. In 2010, California considered using similar technology to display advertising.
People often think that other drivers are nuts. The Nigerian authorities have taken things a step further, now requiring drivers accused of going the wrong way down a one way street to get psychiatric exams.
After nixing the idea a year ago, Chevy is again toying with the idea of bringing back the El Camino in 2015. The car will be modeled after the Holden Ute, a popular vehicle in Australia.
Ken Block Gymkhana Practice [video] (an obstacle course for cars)
The Tata Nano (pic) is a car that costs less new than the amount I've spent on gas during single car trips, recently announced to the auto market in India. The Chery QQ ^, successful , widely exported, and recognized as the Hostage Taker's Vehicle of Choice by China Car Times, is the runner-up for the world's cheapest car but is still approximately twice as expensive. Yes indeed, the price of gas is not going to come back down. So much for my coast-to-coast road trips. [more inside]
The US Clean Air Act makes it illegal to sell highly environmentally-friendly cars in 42 states. Apparently.
SUV sales are up. In spite of higher gas prices and concern about global warming, Americans still want bigger cars. It might not be enough to save the Hummer H2, though.
Right before you hit you were doing... Looks like we're all getting black boxes in our cars. As a high speed crash survivor I have to admit a certain curiosity as to the forces involved my accident happened. But I'm not sure I want to know this badly...