An act of civil obedience. Kids with cameras drive the speed limit en masse, thereby blocking traffic and raising questions not only about the difference between de facto and de jure speed limits, but also about how incredibly pissed I'd be had I been behind them. [via]
Meet the Loremo. Up until now high efficiency vehicles have looked a little bizarre, to say the least. Recently the Toyota Prius (in its 2.0 form) brought HE cars more into the mainstream, but the Loremo looks to beat it hands down. Having lightened the car as much as possible -- it weighs a paltry 450kg, less than half a ton -- engineers were able to bring its fuel consumption down to 1.5l/100km, or over 150 mpg. And make it look pretty good. And bring the cost down to less than 11,000 euro. The company says it'll be available in 2009, but are they for real? (via digg)
"Q: Is that another car on top?
A: Yes, it's a VW bug." -- Carthedral. A few more (clearer, daylight) photos here.
A: Yes, it's a VW bug." -- Carthedral. A few more (clearer, daylight) photos here.
Crush My 307. A British buyer of a crummy French car (when clearly he should of bought a German car) wants to raise enough money to buy a sensible car so that he can crush his car into a cube and give it back the manufacturer, Peugeot, after a long list of problems. Been sold a lemon? Maybe this is for you.
"We tacitly agree to accept a certain level of carnage in order to use the highways in ways we value." [pdf, 750kB] Three particle physicists analyze data from crash tests and crash statistics, and show that pickup trucks pose a much greater risk to other drivers than any other type of vehicle, even SUVs. [pdf, 880kB] Also, I found some totally rad videos of airplane crash tests from nasa. Sweet!!
The best helicopter gunship in the world, flown by the best pilots in the world, the British Army (sic), against the best handling car in the world, driven by an idiot. Who wants to be an idiot for Christmas?
The Bugatti Veyron, according to Jeremy Clarkson on last night's Top Gear, may well be the Concorde of cars. So Clarkson is a man prone to hyperbole, but this time the facts might just back him up. A throw-away remark from VW boss Ferdinand Piëch became the informal design brief. A 1000 horsepower car capable of the north side of 400kph/250mph. It looks futuristic, but has the stats to match. 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds. In an acceleration race with a McLaren F1 (the previous fastest supercar), the Veyron can give the F1 a head-start to 120mph, but will still beat it to 200mph. At 250mph, the 100 litre fuel tank will empty in 12 minutes, and you can brake to stand-still in just ten seconds (albeit covering the length of four football pitches in the process). The car will set you back most of UK £1,000,000 but that's barely an indicator: the few that exist are being sold at loss because they "just wanted to see if they could". With an industry facing shifting priorities, there may never be another super-car quite like this.
Photos of the outcome of a motorcycle merging with a car @ 155 miles per hour.
Deaths from international terrorism compared with road crash deaths in OECD countries (Abstract). In a study published in the Journal Injury Prevention, researchers found that people in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries are 390 times more likely to die in car crashes than in terrorist attacks. The conclusion of the Brief Report (PDF): "Policy makers need to be aware of this when allocating resources to preventing these two avoidable causes of mortality."
"The Car Music Project was conceived in late 1991 by composer Bill Milbrodt, when his personal car, battered and road-weary, was nearing the end of its useful life. It had endured close to 200,000 miles of road life with little mechanical maintenance and even less cosmetic attention. It would cost more to repair than it was worth and the poor thing had virtually no value as a trade-in. The paint was faded, pesky springs poked through the upholstery, knobs and handles were missing, and the electrical system was iffy. It dripped oil, blew smoke, and made more noise than a cement mixer. It was time to turn the car into music."
Photos before the show starts Yakutat AK; Portland, OR; San Diego, CA; L.A; Cleveland, OH.
The Omkara Project "..the word Omkara meaning - ' the vehicle to cross the ocean of life ' Crossing this ocean is the journey that the mortal being must undertake in a lifetime and henceforth encounter the three basic elements of mortality - creation, preservation and destruction."
The car for penny-pinching clean-air fanatics who have arduous daily commutes, don't like music or driving and are too anti-social to carpool
The Honda Civic GX NGV is a car that you can fuel up at home by using a unit that taps into your home's natural gas line. There are two major benefits of owning a natural gas powered car: (1) they can use HOV lanes in California; and (2) using residential natural gas as fuel can save a heavy commuter up to $1,000 per year in fuel costs. Ultimately, though, the Honda Civic GX NGV is only for penny-pinching clean-air fanatics who have arduous daily commutes, don't like music or driving and are too anti-social to carpool.
The use of a mobile phone up to 10 minutes before a crash is associated with a fourfold increased likelihood of crashing according to a forthcoming article in the British Medical Journal. There is no safety advantage in 'hands-free' devices. The authors interviewed 456 drivers in hospital ERs in Perth, and then accessed, with consent, their phone records. The authors had wanted to carry out the study in the United States, but the phone companies would not release customer billing records, even with a customer's consent. [Article pdf free for the next few days, but BMJ will charge for it after next week I think.]
I'm building a Cobra with 900 horsepower but I'd much rather something friendlier to the environment
GreenCar.com Useful info on hybrid technology, electric vehicles, hydrogen and biodiesel. Features include Carroll Shelby on alternative fuel, Dr. Gerhard Schmidt (Vice President Ford motor co.), Ray Bradbury on Women Drivers.
The Ariel Atom is a pretty nifty car. No doors, no screen, no roof. Just a frame and the bare minimum to get you from 0 to 60mph in 2.9 seconds. This video review of the Atom is worth it just to see the driver's face get distorted a little more than three minutes into it.
Barris Motor Car Collection Auction. You can buy a General Lee, Stephen King's Christine, The Bev. Hillbilly's Swamp Rat, KITT, The Bandit, a power ranger strato cycle, the bat cycle, grease lightning and more.
The Aurora (mostly pictures, slightly more info here). One car, two men, three decades of rust. Guy buys truly hideous 1957 prototype car from junkyard, restores it to gleaming unsightliness. Conne_ticut?
On the mission to understand and communicate miracles of Life on Earth and the mysteries reaching beyond the stars.
Daisy Duke Needs A Blogger! Yeeee-Hah. Put your pedal to the metal to see how fast you can apply for the ultimate dream job: getting paid $100,000 to watch the high-flying, stump-yanking muscle of the #1 rated car in TV and film history - The General Lee '69 Dodge Charger on THE DUKES OF HAZZARD! Watch the Dukes of Hazzard every night and blog about it, and you could be a 6 figure blogger!
Be careful where you park. And you thought your morning was bad.
MIT Media Labs' concept car project - redefining automotive design and thought, overseen by William J. Mitchell and Frank Gehry [PDF]...via Don Norman's Concept Cars essay...
CARtoons was MAD Magazine for the hot-rod enthusiast, a bimonthly magazine-format comic book which I used to read regularly until it quietly disappeared from the newsracks in 1991 after a 30-year run. Reminded of the magazine earlier I was thrilled to find the website of George Trosley, the long-term CARtoons artist behind Krass and Bernie and the magazine's excellent how-to-draw articles whose results decorated my binders through high school. Those who remember the mag might enjoy the CARtoons archive he hosts, with scans of features and covers and writeups about the mag and its artists, many of whom passed away too soon. Still need a wild hot-rod fix? Ed "Big Daddy" Roth passed away in 2001, but Rat Fink lives on.
The Complete Rules to Calling Shotgun. and the subsequent amendments.
Road Trip USA. This simply titled site is one of the better travel sites I have seen for back-road ramblings around the USA. Not only are the routes described some of the best, the writing is extensive (at least book length), of high quality and obviously by someone who has traveled every single mile personally. I only wish I had it on my last trip. Recommended for the arm-chair or car-seat traveler alike.
Syashin Mania is a collection of photos of pop culture Japan. In this case it is fan car art of Ayumi Hamasaki, a popular singer. (Some other pages on the site are NSFW.)
Show Me Your Motor! "Some guy once said he had an awesome car he imported from Japan. No one believed him so we said "take a picture of a carton of milk, bread, and a sign that says "Initial D World" or "IDW" in your passenger seat". He responded saying "Ok, when I get milk tomorrow". We never heard from him again but it has evolved into doing it on the hood instead." Tradition! Tradition! Car traditions! [Via AlexChat]
Plymouth - Dakar Challenge 2005. 3000 mile race from Britain to Senegal, Africa. The Rules: Participant cars must cost $100UK pounds or less. Maximum budget for vehicle preparation: $15UK pounds. No outside assistance during race drivers are on their own. First to finish wins, cars donated to charity.
Hack your car. AutoXRAY scans internal vehicle computers and gives detailed diagnostics and real-time graphing output.
French-fried cars for New Year In Detroit, it has been a custom to fire guns during New Year's celebrations. Perhaps we should put aside our current dislike of the French and borrow this fine way to usher in a brand new year. After all, it is the French who have given us taste, culture, refinement, and the liberty of self-expression.
Back seat driver? Next time you get to drive a Williams F1 BMW around Indianapolis, you will want to know how to do it right. Thanks to the onboard telemetry spy system you can see how Ralf Schumacher tachs to 19000 rpm as he shifts up to 4th and reaches 333 kph on the straightaway, as recorded on the telemetry display (SWF). Compare with other tracks.
Can't get to the track? Drive your phone.
Can't get to the track? Drive your phone.
"Van Gogh never sold a painting in his life and died a pauper" is Toby Richards-Carpenter defending a car designer that may be destroying BMW. Chris Bangle is the designer that believes it's all about the art, but his many enemies are petitioning him to stop the damage to BMW's reputation and bank balance. Whatever, his unusal/innovative work seems worth discussing.
1.26 million people killed every year on the road or from subsequent injuries... ..Four Qld road deaths in 5 hours. 42,815 people died in 2002 in automobile crashes in the United States. Shouldn't these facts give us the resolve to explore a better solution to our transportation needs? I do not see the national debate that these deaths would evoke if the cause was different. Why are we numb to this?
Pssst! Wanna Buy A Reliable, Second-Hand Car? You could do worse than start with Honest John, a plain-speaking, fiercely independent Cockney motor car wonk who'll see you right, no problem. If you're obsessive about reliability, i.e. don't have the time or inclination to look after your wheels and just want the damn thing to get you from A to B and back again, check out the often surprising Reliability Index for the most and least trustworthy automobiles. [Eurocentric warning! Btw, what are the most reliable independent car guides - preferably free and online - in the U.S, Canada, etc?]
Do Cars force us to give up the outdoors? In jail, prisoners are stuck indoors and aren't allowed to go outside except for an hour at most. But are the car-driving residents of the average American suburb consigned to the same fate? "You go from the box garage in the house to the box car, driving down the street, not touching anything or being part of your environment" says Jessica Denevan. [More Inside]
Last Saturday afternoon, Rep. Bill Janklow (SD) ran a stop sign and hit and killed a motorcyclist. Janklow has a history of driving poorly. In fact, his speedy habits have been the subject of jokes in the past. Will Janklow receive special treatment because of his fame? What kind of penalty does a crime such as this deserve?
Move over Segway! Sir Clive Sinclair, who invented the first pocket calculator (retailing at only £79.95 + VAT in 1972), the ZX80, and the ZX81 with its massive 8K operating system, is promising an update to the Sinclair C5 that will compete with the Segway.
The Gullwing is back. More photos here. Are any manufacturers other than Lamborghini using a gullwing design? Maybe DMC will reappear in the future with their own throwback.
VW Beetle days coming to end. I had a '68 as my college car in the 70's. Girls loved it. Got me where I wanted to go (most of the time). The cute car of the 50's and 60's. Have one? Had one?
At Ford, Why Wasn't Safety Job One? "Like other car companies, Ford has consistently fought mandatory increases in fuel economy....by invoking fears that higher mileage requirements would result in smaller, more dangerous vehicles. Safety has been used to beat back fuel efficiency regulations. But Ford's own internal documents and a series of recent court cases reveal a company that is shockingly indifferent to safety risks in the very class of gas-guzzling vehicles it most wants to shield from increases in fuel economy standards...All of this leads us to wonder, if Ford is willing to produce a product it knows will injure and perhaps kill a certain percentage of customers simply to maintain profit margins, does the company really have driver safety at heart when its lobbyists aggressively fight easily-achievable standards for higher corporate average fuel economy?" A new review of internal car manufacturer documents, and more questions about corporate ethics.
Volkswagon Successfully Tests Its First Hydrogen Fuel Car. "The Volkswagen Bora HY.POWER prototype, which does not use a reformer, obtains its energy from on-board hydrogen to create a hydrogen fuel cell-fuel cells generate electricity through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. Fuel cells that use hydrogen offer zero emissions and fuel cells that use gas with reformers offer near-zero emissions" Is this the future we were promised? Either way, Drivers Wanted.
An Edinburgh man got back from holiday to find his car had gone missing. It hadn't been stolen. It had been moved by the local council because it was obstructing some drain and hadn't bothered to tell him. How far can local government authority really go in matters of personal property? [more]
Car Buffs Rejoice! Bid on the cars from the upcoming Fast and the Furious 2 (side note on this movie - how far has John Singleton sunk to agree to direct this sequel?). BTW, I got dibs on the Acrua NSX... are there still people out there that can't use a spell-checker?
Sure, we all know the story about how Detroit developed, and then kept under wraps, a 100mpg carburetor is false. However, affordable 80mpg family sedans are real: behold the Supercar! They are the results of a nearly decade-long partnership between The Big Three and the Clinton administration. However the program was quietly shelved last June, the victim of the Bush administration, and corporate backpedaling. Read the whole sordid tale here. [use username/password for login] In the meantime, you'll have to settle for one of these.
Drive on air. A new engine design that not only runs on air, but cleans it too.
FORD Pulling Plug on Electric Car... Ford Motor Co. on Friday said it was pulling the plug on its Think electric vehicle division due to poor customer demand and lack of government support for the environmentally friendly cars. "The bottom line is we don't believe that this is the future of environmental transport for the mass market."
We're now one step closer to making fuel cell cars. It was announced a few days ago that Quantum Technologies' Hydrogen Storage Tank capable of powering current fuel cell cars up to 300 miles has received the highest rating from a German auto safety commission. This is part of the previously discussed billion dollar effort by GM to bring fuel cell cars to the market. Seems like we're getting one step closer to finally saying goodbye to fossil fuel powered cars.