The first model released since Ferrari began talking about fuel efficiency has aerodynamics working in its favor, but not much else
By Mike SpinelliPosted 05.14.2008 at 10:52 am 1 Comment
Ferrari California (2009)
Ferrari hasn't yet pulled the $50-a-yard, Swiss voile cotton sheet back on its latest model, the California. But the company did release its initial media package on the car earlier today. It revealed a sleek grand tourer sporting the first front-mounted V8 in the company's history. The California is also the first all-new model to arrive since the iconic brand started hinting at a new focus on fuel efficiency. Say what?
Reports surface that GM uses human cadavers as crash dummies—but is that anything new?
By Mike SpinelliPosted 05.13.2008 at 2:57 pm 7 Comments
Does GM use human bodies as crash test dummies? That's not the plot of a 1970s cult classic; it's the claim of one car-safety specialist in Sweden, who told newspaper Expressen that GM recently wrapped up a multiyear research study using human cadavers in car-crash simulations. The man says Saab cars were involved in the project, which reportedly involved people who had donated their own bodies—assumedly in the name of scientific research—not political dissidents. Well, that's a relief.
By Mike SpinelliPosted 05.09.2008 at 4:46 pm 0 Comments
Ferraristi have been burning the midnight olio waiting for a sign -- any sign -- from Maranello regarding the company's new GT model. They got their wish today at 1 pm New York time, when Ferrari launched a teaser Web site to serve as the only official information source for the new GT, which we hear will look like a smaller version of the Ferrari 599GTB.
Japan's latest sci-fi monster, the Yamaha Tesseract, hunches on four wheels instead of two. This beastie is designed to retain all the turning sensations of a two-wheeled ride, without the threat of Godzilla-style carnage in the hands of an inexperienced rider.
Car enthusiasts come together to dig up the truth behind "leaked photos" of a much-anticipated sports car
By Mike SpinelliPosted 05.05.2008 at 5:47 pm 4 Comments
The Internet loves a scoop, and car lovers love to speculate on new models. That's the perfect environment in which to incubate Photoshop renderings of sports cars hinted at, but unconfirmed. The latest engagement of wishful thinking hit the Internet this past weekend. It's a take on a car BMW officials have yet to announce but which the German media has been predicting for several years: the return of the BMW M1, a two-seat sports car the Munich-based company built in the mid-1970s.
The famed manufacturer squeezes more horses into its slimmed-down motorcycle
By Matthew CokeleyPosted 05.02.2008 at 12:29 pm 3 Comments
Ducati upped the ante, unleashing a bike with an 849cc engine that weighs no more than competitors in the 600cc range. In fact, the Superbike 848 weighs 44 pounds less than its 749cc predecessor. To shed pounds, Ducati uses vacural molding, a fabrication process that inhales molten alloy directly into die casts to create a seamless piece of aluminum. This eliminates the need to fasten multiple pieces with welds and bolts that weaken a structure and add weight.
By Mike SpinelliPosted 05.01.2008 at 3:39 pm 3 Comments
Let's face it. It's hard to design a new exotic supercar. The most timeless shapes were spoken for years ago, and every exotic since then has been just a derivative mishmash of science fiction and aerodynamics optimization (especially the homemade ones). That's not to say a car like the Lamborghini Gallardo isn't good looking in its own way, or that the Aston Martin DB9 isn't a luscious piece of eye candy. It's just that those traditional parameters of automotive beauty—see any Ferrari built before 1972—no longer exist.
The newest federal fuel mileage regulations affect car manufacturers differently—so what does that means for companies like Porsche?
By Mike SpinelliPosted 04.29.2008 at 4:53 pm 13 Comments
Could new federal fuel mileage regulations kill sports-car specialists like Porsche? Probably not, but those companies may have to pay heavy fines as the cost of doing business or radically change their US product mix. That's AutoWeek's interpretation of new rules proposed by the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
A concept for a safer crosswalk projects a virtual barrier to remind drivers where and when to stop
By Mike SpinelliPosted 04.28.2008 at 6:11 pm 16 Comments
Hanyoung Lee wants you to be seen. The South Korea-based product designer devised a prototypical warning device to prevent pedestrian strikes along roadway crosswalks. It's called the Virtual Wall, a visual barrier created from plasma laser beams.
From next month's 24 Hours of Nürburgring endurance race to next year's F1 season, auto racing is embracing hybrid initiatives
By Mike SpinelliPosted 04.28.2008 at 5:01 pm 24 Comments
Making Formula One racing "greener" may be as much a marketing decision as a policy of corporate responsibility. But according to F1 officials, there's another reason to do so. The series has been moving further out of sync with the technical direction of the passenger car industry, which increasingly has fuel economy on the brain. F1 was always intended to be a bellwether, not a rogue element. That's one reason why, beginning in 2009 Formula One racing will introduce a hybrid-drive system into the series. If you want a sneak preview of how a hybrid setup might work in a racing application, keep an eye on how well one oddly named race car performs in next month's 24 Hours of Nürburgring endurance challenge in Germany next month.