Gathered here are the Oppositelock posts that people put a good deal of effort into writing over the weekend and Monday. It includes an ode to the VW camper van, a Lamborghini that time forgot, the Aston Martin Virage/Vantage and more.
When I was in high school, Robbie, a friend of mine who owned a 900, needed someone to drive his car home from school for him. I remember asking what kind of car it was, as I'd never paid much attention to what he drove. After getting a quick rundown on the car, I felt like I had more questions than answers.Read Full Article
Toyota Motor Corporation Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada predicted yesterday that hybrid vehicles will play a larger role in the future development of automotive propulsion systems than widely recognized.
Uchiyamada, in remarks before the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., said that hybrids retain key advantages that will continue to make them popular with consumers.
“Some people say hybrid vehicles such as the Prius are only a bridge to the future. But we think it could be a long bridge and a very sturdy one,” Uchiyamada said. “There are many more gains we can achieve with hybrids.”
Toyota said it is working on the fourth generation of the Prius.
“In each of the previous moves to a new generation, we achieved a 10 percent increase in mileage per gallon,” Uchiyamada said. “We are committed to beating that record this time.”
Toyota offers more types of hybrids than any other manufacturer. As of March, it had sold 5 million hybrid vehicles around the world and the Prius lineup alone hit a cumulative level of 3 million sales globally in June.
Toyota said it recognizes that the auto industry will need to strive even harder to achieve ambitious mileage standards established by the Obama Administration.
“Today I wish to call on the industry to sell 5 million hybrids in the U.S. by the end of 2016,” Uchiyamada said. “It’s only when we put ourselves under the same kind of intense pressure we faced in developing the Prius that we can achieve great goals. That’s what it takes. I want our industry to achieve this goal.”
Over the longer term, Uchiyamada said he was particularly excited by a new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle the company is developing, which will have zero tail pipe emissions. Without the issues of driving range and charging time that electric vehicles have.
“I personally expect a lot from this hydrogen fuel cell technology,” said Uchiyamada. “Perhaps 15 years from now, we can meet again here in Washington and we will know exactly which system has prevailed,” he added.
In other remarks, Uchiyamada also stated that “some manufacturers are announcing vehicles that will be completely autonomous but Toyota believes new technologies, such as sensors that can apply brakes or control steering, should be added carefully and in stages. Toyota embraces the goal of zero highway fatalities but believes drivers may need to remain in control of their vehicles for the foreseeable future.”
Uchiyamada, who became chairman earlier this year and is widely known as the father of the Prius, continued by saying that “more industry-government cooperation is necessary to allow the creation of Intelligent Transportation Systems in which cars can communicate with each other and with the transportation infrastructure to prevent accidents, ease congestion and reduce emissions.”
The post Toyota Chairman Calls For 5 Million Hybrids In The US By End Of 2016 appeared first on HybridCars.com.
General Motors and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC) announced they are expanding their collaboration in the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Through a new Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, GM and TARDEC will jointly test new hydrogen fuel cell-related materials and designs to evaluate their performance and durability before assembling them into full-scale fuel cell propulsion systems.
Both parties said this collaborative effort will enable GM and TARDEC to jointly develop technology that meets both of their requirements, accomplishing more tangible results than either entity could achieve on its own.
The project is expected to continue for up to five years.
“GM welcomes the opportunity to further expand our work with TARDEC developing fuel cell technology,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM’s global fuel cell engineering activities. “We believe hydrogen fuel cell technology holds tremendous potential to one day help reduce our dependence on petroleum and we are committed to building on our leadership through the continued development.”
This is the second fuel cell-related announcement GM has made this year. In July, GM and Honda announced a long-term, definitive master agreement to co-develop a next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming for the 2020 time frame.
According to the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, GM ranked No. 1 in total fuel cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012. GM said its Project Driveway program, launched in 2007, has accumulated nearly 3 million miles of real-world driving in a fleet of 119 hydrogen-powered vehicles, more than any other automaker.
GM is currently building a new Fuel Cell Development Laboratory in Pontiac, Mich., where the majority of the company’s fuel cell development work will take place.
TARDEC and GM’s respective fuel cell laboratories are about 20 miles apart and GM and TARDEC engineers are developing extensive plans to share physical material and data between the locations.
TARDEC said it opened a new Fuel Cell Research Laboratory located in the recently opened Ground System Power and Energy Laboratory building in Warren, Mich. The state-of-the-art facility enables TARDEC to test and integrate the fuel cell systems it has been developing for military applications for more than a decade.
“The Army continues to investigate technologies and partnerships that give the United States a decisive advantage,” said TARDEC Director Paul Rogers. “Our relationships – like this one with GM – are maturing and accelerating technologies critical to the transportation and energy capabilities of the future.”
Additionally, TARDEC said it is evaluating GM fuel cell vehicles in a comprehensive demonstration in Hawaii. The technology has possible military applications ranging from ground vehicles to mobile generators.
The post U.S. Army And GM Collaborating On Hydrogen Fuel Cells appeared first on HybridCars.com.
The six partners in the “H2 Mobility” initiative – Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde, OMV, Shell and Total – have agreed on a specific action plan for the construction of a German hydrogen refueling network for fuel cell powered electric vehicles.
By 2023, the current network of 15 filling stations in Germany’s public hydrogen infrastructure shall be expanded to about 400 H2 filling stations.
As a first step the deployment of 100 hydrogen stations in Germany over the next 4 years is expected. This would ensure a need-related supply for fuel cell powered electric vehicles to be introduced into the market in the next years.
An agreement in principle has been signed by representatives of all the partners involved.
In addition to plans for a nationwide filling station network, the agreement includes the principles for the procurement and distribution of the necessary hydrogen and a request for support to the German Federal Government.
Following the foundation of a joint venture (subject to necessary regulatory approvals), gradual expansion of the national filling station network will start next year. This means that an H2 supply suitable for everyday use shall be created not only for densely populated areas and main traffic arteries, but also for rural areas.
Daimler said the objective is to offer an H2 station at least every 90 kilometers of highway between densely populated areas. According to this plan in metropolitan areas, drivers of fuel cell powered vehicles will have at least 10 hydrogen refueling stations available, starting in 2023.
The partners thus believe zero tailpipe emission H2-mobility will be increasingly attractive for customers.
The “H2 Mobility” initiative expects that a total investment of around €350 million will be required for this future-oriented infrastructure project.
The launch of fuel cell powered production vehicles on the German market has been announced by manufacturers for 2015. In addition to attractive procurement and operating costs for the vehicles, a need-related number of H2 filling stations is one of the major preconditions for market success.
Accordingly the planned “H2 Mobility” joint venture will work closely with the automobile industry.
Daimler also said that fuel cell powered electric vehicles can make a considerable contribution to establishing Germany as the lead market for sustainable mobility solutions and efficient technologies. This is because the great advantage of this drive technology lies in the significant reduction of CO2 emissions.
The post H2 Mobility’s Action Plans Aims To Create German Hydrogen Refueling Network appeared first on HybridCars.com.
BMW has revealed its pricing for its 2013 and 2014 model lineup, with several vehicles getting price increases ranging from $200 to $2,000. The M5 sedan, M6 Gran Coupe, M6 Convertible and M6 Coupe are all seeing their prices increased by $2,000 compared to the 2013 model year. The M5 will start from $93,825 while... more
Ah, first world problems… If you thought that owning a Lamborghini is pure awesomeness 365 days a year, prepare for a reality check. Especially if you’re planning on buying a Lamborghini Diablo in the future, you should watch the following videos made by the owner of a 2001 model.
In the first video, Rob Dahm tells the story (a pretty long one in fact) of how he crashed the car while driving in the rain on used tires (a big double-no for any supercar owner).
The repair bill is not for the fainthearted: $11,000 for a set of four brake rotors (he couldn’t buy just one, they’re only available in sets of four), $10,000 to replace the carbon fiber front bumper and front fender, more than $4,000 for the wheels - and there's also a damaged suspension for which he didn't do the math yet. That's at least $25,000 for a car he bought used for $130,000. Ouch!
In the second video, he points out some inconveniences of the Lambo in a funny way, such as the fact that, although it’s a supercar, it still runs out of battery sometimes, and that the interior has no concept of ergonomics whatsoever. The video may seem annoying at first, but his remarks are simply sarcastic.
Finally, there’s a third video in which he shows what it’s like to drive the Diablo. If you want more, you can check out his YouTube channel where there are many more videos about his experience with the Diablo.
By Dan Mihalascu
When you think of automakers with certified pre-owned (CPO) programs, Koenigsegg isn’t exactly one that pops up. But now you can add the Swedish automaker to the list, which specializes in high-performance rare exotics. Celebrating its 10th year of production, Koenigsegg has launched its own CPO program “to offer warranty and a level of service... more
Everyone knows that the Bugatti Veyron is one of the most expensive cars to build and that VW loses a lot of money on each unit made. But while the Bugatti is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of losses per vehicle in Europe (€4,617,500 / $6,231,316), it is not the vehicle that inflicted the biggest loss on its company.
According to a research by brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein that was published by The Economist, the “honor” goes to the first generation Smart ForTwo, built between 1997 and 2006. The 749,000 units produced generated a loss of €3.35 billion ($4.52 billion) for parent company Daimler.
The main reason was that the automaker injected a huge amount of cash in the project, building a new dedicated plant, an all-new platform and 3-cylinder engines. As if that wasn’t enough, the Smart also failed to meet its sales targets by 40 percent. The maths show that Daimler lost €4,470 ($6,032) on each ForTwo it made.
Other vehicles, like the Fiat Stilo (2001-2009), simply failed to convince their target group of customers. The 769,000 units made were 70 percent less than Fiat’s estimates, bringing the company a huge loss of €2.10 billion ($2.83 billion), €2,730 ($3,685) per vehicle.
The top 3 is completed by the VW Phaeton, which is a rather different case as it was built simply to satisfy the personal whim of VW chairman Ferdinand Piech. Between 2001 and 2012, VW made 72,000 Phaetons and lost €28,100 ($37,910) on each of them. Total loss was €1.99 billion ($2.68 billion).
The top 10 of Europe’s biggest loss-making cars is completed by the Peugeot 1007 (€1.90 billion), first-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class (€1.71 billion), Bugatti Veyron (€1.70 billion), Jaguar X-Type (€1.70 billion), third-generation Renault Laguna (€1.54 billion), Audi A2 (€1.33 billion) and Renault Vel Satis (€1.20 billion).
By Dan MihalascuStory References: The Economist
The all-new 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a lighter and more nimble replacement to the old model. This affects all variants in the range, but it should perhaps be most noticeable on the 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 AMG powered S63. It may be one of (if not) the last cars to use that engine, according to a report we did not long ago, so we might as well enjoy its sound while they last.
Below we posted a video of what is believed to be the S63 being driven around the often-painted the Nurburgring Nordschleife, courtesy of TouriClips, and I can say that it sounds just as good as I was expecting it to - no surprises here.
Moreover, it looks really composed and clean through the bends, though, that may also be a byproduct of it not being driven particularly fast around them – I can’t tell for sure, but it looks quite slow in and fast out, to me.
Regardless, it’s quite a sight on the track, and it can’t be any slower than its predecessor, since it carries around less weight, so it should be better at trying to be a sports car. It remains to be seen if it's sharper than the Panamera Turbo, but then again, the Porsche isn't as good as the S at being a plush limousine, nor does it look as classy and clean.
By Andrei Nedelea
I get the attraction of Grand Theft Auto 5; publisher Take Two Interactive may be pushing its story and characters a lot, but they’re not really what reels people in and keeps them hooked. That job is left to the immersive open world that allows you to fulfill the grimmest of mass destructive fantasies (if you have such ideas floating around in your head, that is – some players seem to do…).
Those behind the game will always insist that their product is not to blame for any mirroring of the digital violence that is transposed into the real world, even if the perpetrators themselves say it drove them to commit their acts.
I'm not taking sides here, but at the same time, I feel that even with basic knowledge about the human brain, one should be aware of the sponge-like nature of the subconscious, which soaks up pretty much all that we see in an manner most have little control over.
With that in mind, do you think Zachary Burgess’ actions are in any way related to spending lots of time behind the controller playing the new game? He stole a truck from a parking lot with a female passenger still inside. Apparently, the driver had hopped out and went to a store, leaving the engine running.
According to NBC News, Burgess says he saw this as an opportunity to “see what it was really like to play the video game Grand Theft Auto,” so he drove off, and rammed nine cars in the same parking lot in his attempt to flee.
Do you find any of this odd from a 20-year-old freshman and lacrosse player going to Auburn University? He now faces multiple charges, the most severe of which is kidnapping.
By Andrei Nedelea
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Launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show earlier this month, the new Skoda Rapid Spaceback is the second body type of the Rapid, filling the gap between the Fabia and the Octavia. A combination between a hatchback and an estate, the Rapid Spaceback represents a more practical proposition than the sedan – and a better-looking one, if I may say so.
As the car’s launch on European markets begins in October 2013, Skoda has released more than 60 photos shot during the press test drive event that took place in Verona, Italy.
With an interior space identical to that of the Rapid sedan and a boot measuring 415/1,380 liters (14.6/48.7 cubic feet), the Rapid Spaceback is fitted with a double cargo floor in the boot, which can divide the space into two horizontal levels. Like the Rapid sedan, the Spaceback also has practical features like the ice scraper in the centrally lockable fuel filler flap, waste bin in the side door, ticket holder, multimedia holders, cup holders front and rear and the parcel shelf that can be stowed behind the rear seats.
The Rapid Spaceback debuts the Column-Electric Power Steering (C-EPS), which replaces electro-hydraulic power steering for weight-saving purposes.
The car is available with four petrol and two diesel engines at launch. The diesels are both 1.6-liter units with 88 hp (90PS) and 103 hp (105PS) respectively, while the petrol engines are a 3-cylinder 1.2-liter MPI with 74hp (75PS), two four-cylinder 1.2-liter TSI units with 84 hp (85PS) and 103 hp (105PS) respectively, plus a 1.4-liter TSI with 120hp (122PS).
All engines are available in the economical Green tec versions, with the most fuel-efficient being the entry-level diesel that averages 3.8 l/100 km (61.9 mpg US) and emits 99 g of CO2 per km.
By Dan Mihalascu
Toyota chairman, Takeshi Uchiyamada, has reaffirmed that the Japanese automaker will bring a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to the U.S. by 2015. Toyota’s first fuel cell electric vehicle will largely be based on the FCV-R concept that was unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. The production vehicle will be available in the U.S. in... more
With an all-new Mini hatchback just around the corner, the BMW-owned British carmaker has revealed technical details about the upcoming generation.
The most important announcement regards the engines, with the new car to debut a new generation of powerplants that will “optimize the balance between driving thrills and fuel consumption yet again”, according to the automaker.
The all-new Mini hatch will be the first to use both three- and four-cylinder engines, that the carmaker says will set “new standards in terms of output, performance, comfort and reliability.”
Mini hasn’t revealed output or performance specs of the engines, but confirmed the 1.5-liter displacement of the 3-cylinder engine and the 2.0-liter displacement of the 4-cylinder unit. Both engines are twin-turbocharged and feature direct injection, with the larger engine most likely to be used by the Mini Cooper S.
Mini said its future models will continue to favor sporty, agile handling and announced the introduction of electrically adjustable dampers - a first for the brand. The electric control of the damper valves will allow the system to vary the nature of responsiveness to uneven road surfaces. Mini says the dampers will have two characteristic curves for adjustment that can be activated at the touch of a button.
Drivers will be able to choose between a “decidedly sporty” drivetrain setting or a more balanced and comfortable setting.
By Dan Mihalascu
How super is the new Continental Supersports? Really super? Very super? Kinda super? Let's have John Davis and co. explain.
NASA Press Center, Houston, TX-
A 30 year-old American man has just returned from a trip in which he traveled at 127MPH in a “normal passenger car”. “This is just miraculous.” said NASA Human Physiologist David Bern, “Up until now everything we have known has told us that the human body cannot endure the dangers of traveling over 80MPH in an automobile.” David went on to say that -contrary to popular belief- the primary role of police officers is not to prevent crime, but to prevent people from going too far beyond the 65MPH speed limit, …”at which point they will disintegrate.” He added, “at least, we’re pretty sure that’s what would happen.”
Though some Americans had gone above 100MPH before, their success was said to be due to special vehicles, safety systems, or genetic mutations, “Kind of like the X-Men.” Dr. Bern said, during a Wednesday press conference.
“What makes this subject so fascinating to us is he is not genetically gifted in any particular way. He is 5’11”, weighs approximately 168lbs, and wears size 32 pants. “He is the definition of average. He isn’t particularly strong, he has no psychic abilities, and during our “bullet proof” test, we proved he, in fact, is not.
The man, who appeared at the press conference wearing a t-shirt and a sling (from the aforementioned test), regaled a transfixed audience of reporters, scientists, and “normal folk” with his tale of incredible exploration.
“It was…incredible.” he said, his eyes wide in disbelief. “I was picked up in a Porsche Cayenne S, just like the ones we have here! Or at least, it looked the same.” The man seemed excitable at the podium, his eyes jumping around the room, eager to tell the incredible tale, like a modern Columbus. “And then we got on their highway, which isn’t much different than ours, and then the driver, who was normal guy as far as I could tell, pressed the gas pedal, and we were going faster than I’ve ever been!”
Scientists are questioning Porsche on the secret use of various systems, from cold fusion to alph-magnetic force fields. They added that from the subject’s position, there was no way he could see a “gas pedal”, and thus it’s unlikely there was one. “No jet-propelled aircraft use gas pedals.” scoffed NHTSA head Charles A. Hurley.
The vehicle’s gauges were written in a strange alien script, the only number he remembered seeing was “205 k something.” Scientists concluded it was the metric measurement for velocity “kilometers per hour” which equals an unfathomable 127MPH. “But the strangest part” the amazed non-descript white guy continued, “…is that everyone around us wasn’t dying in an un-ceasing ball of nuclear fire. There wasn’t a single accident. They were as calm as our people are ordering a burger. Everyone just got where they were going, but faster.”
NASA confirmed the absence of a lethal inferno by checking thermal satellite imaging.
“If the beings around our subject were indeed human, then this could change everything we thought we knew about both people and the automobile.” Said Transportation Physicist Henry Ellsberg. “When the automobile was first developed, equestrian scientists deduced it was dangerous to simply sit inside one, moving or not, similar to walking near an active volcano. So we instituted safety regulations to protect our species. And even though cars look different today –and it’s been alleged they’re also engineered differently than they were decades ago, and there’s been some calculation that speeding isn’t the unstoppable cause of death we once thought– we kept the same regulatory systems in place, just in case. You just never know what will unravel the space-time continuum.” he finished, nervously wringing his hands and staring at the garden below his office.
The meeting concluded with scientists saying they would support an increase in American speed limits, as soon as they test the DNA of every living German.
**Watch the video below from a deranged filmmaker who uses “scientific facts and data” to prove that speed limits are not about saftey, but about revenue.**
Reported by @zackklapman
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