If racecar designers werenâ€™t constrained by speed-stifling rules, theyâ€™d create monsters of suction capable of doing 300+ mph ... upside down.
By Preston LernerPosted 09.26.2004 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Trevor Harris is laughing so hard, A waiter stops by to make sure everything's OK. Harris can't speak, so he just waves him away. Ten seconds pass. Twenty. Thirty. Finally he masters his breathing and dabs at his eyes. "And the crowd would be going crazy," he says, still chuckling despite his best efforts, "because the driver would be near death." Another laughing jag. "Not because the racing is so dangerous," he wheezes, the words escaping in a rush, "but because his blood vessels are on the verge of exploding!"
Harris isn't a contemporary Caligula salivating over a twisted 21st-century blood sport. He's an innovative engineer who's designed some of the most successful and iconoclastic racecars in motorsports history. But nothing he's created during a career spanning the Daytona 24 Hours and the Baja 1000 comes anywhere close to the bizarro vehicle he is now envisioning for the racecar formula I've suggested.
By Nicole BrananPosted 09.25.2004 at 7:00 pm 0 Comments
The business of automobile design may seem to be the uncontested territory of traditional car companies, but a closer look reveals a wide range of characters: sportswear manufacturers, electronics behemoths and architects are all venturing into the world of automobile design.
By Preston LernerPosted 09.25.2004 at 6:00 pm 0 Comments
When an oncoming train struck a Cadillac at a Georgia railroad crossing, three occupants were killed. The lone survivor filed a $12-million wrongful-death claim against the railway,
but her case was quashed by an unusual “witness.” The jury rejected the survivor’s suit after hearing evidence downloaded from the car’s onboard data recorder, or “black box.” The device revealed that the car had stopped on the tracks before it was hit.
The rise of computer-controlled traffic surveillance systems.
By Aimee CunninghamPosted 09.25.2004 at 6:00 pm 0 Comments
On February 17, 2003, Londoners awoke to a peculiar sight: moving cars. Mayor Ken Livingstone’s pay-to-drive plan for Central London began that winter morning and has since cleared queues, quickened commutes, and quieted streets—as well as many critics. Transport of London, the organization responsible for moderating traffic flow in the city, reported in April that congestion in central London is down 30 percent, and Mayor Livingstone, whose own political survival came to rely on that of his traffic plan, was re-elected in June.
Radar, lasers, wireless radio networks and other embedded tech will enable our cars to sense faraway traffic and stop accidents before they happen. But who will be in the driver’s seat?
By Paul HorrellPosted 09.25.2004 at 5:00 pm 0 Comments
I’m driving through eastern France, the blip-blip of the lane markers zinging backward through my peripheral vision at about 90 mph. I check the mirrors: nothing there. Pretending to doze off, I let the car drift gently to the left. Just as it begins to veer over the dotted line, the left side of my seat vibrates, activated by an infrared sensor looking at the road paint. Meander right, and it’s my right thigh that gets the warning.
Our proposed GreenCar, an eco-mobile that's bigger than the Prius but gets more than twice the mileage.
By Dawn StoverPosted 09.25.2004 at 4:00 pm 1 Comment
Eager buyers are waiting up to a year for a new Toyota Prius, the hot hybrid sedan that gets around 50 mpg and has negligible emissions. Imagine, then, the excitement that could be generated by our proposed GreenCar, an eco-mobile that’s bigger than the Prius but gets more than twice the mileage—without emitting a single milligram of air pollution. “It’s all about resistance and aerodynamics,” says Catherine Greener of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit energy-policy think tank.
What would happen if an architect renowned for his unruly, twisted-metal structures decided to craft a new kind of automobile? We´re about to find out.
By Jessie ScanlonPosted 09.25.2004 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Two years ago, Frank O. Gehry strapped himself into the driver's seat of a V8 Dodge Dakota pickup with bald rear tires and drove onto a skid pad at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. It was a clear day, but the pad's surface was wet, and within seconds he was sliding out of control-which was the point.
By Gregory MonePosted 09.24.2004 at 7:00 pm 0 Comments
This is the future of the recreational vehicle, its logical next step—incorporating RV features into a stylish and versatile family wagon. Call it an RUV. These new models will look as cool as any car and have high-tech functionality: a hybrid engine; a hydrogen fuel cell powering onboard systems; composite materials to reduce weight and increase strength and fuel efficiency; and plenty of communications and entertainment options for even the longest road trip.