Late next year, you'll be able to buy your own flying car -- er, "roadable aircraft" -- thanks to a thumbs-up from the Federal Aviation Administration. As long as you have $194,000 and a sport pilot license.
The agency approved the Transition plane-car this week, giving it a Light Sport Aircraft rating. The test prototype has been flying for about a year, but plane-maker Terrafugia will unveil its production-class plane next month at the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual convention in Oshkosh, Wisc.
A California team recently tested a wind-powered car that can actually outrun the wind, adding more fuel to a lingering physics debate.
In a test two weeks ago, the car hit a top speed 2.86 times faster than the wind, according to its creators. Some physicists say this should be impossible, but car-builder Rick Cavallaro says that's exactly what happened on May 16. What gives?
Using homemade software and a standard computer port, a team of scientists has figured out exactly how easy it is to hack into a modern car -- scary news for motorists already wary of faulty brake and accelerator systems.
The research team wrote code that allows them to turn off the brakes in a moving car, change the speedometer reading, blast hot air or music on the radio, and lock passengers inside the car, PCWorld reports.
We cover all the bases: droolworthy visions, dramatic departures, genre-defining pioneers and true forehead-slappers (a nuclear-powered Ford sedan? Why not!).
By Wes SilerPosted 04.16.2010 at 11:49 am 6 Comments
Concept cars represent much more than flights of fancy from the minds of ambitious auto designers. They're great ways to test public reaction to a new look before committing to production; they build carefully crafted buzz around factors marketers want you to associate with their brands; they can drum up investment and, at a minimum, they'll drive foot traffic to an automaker's stand at autoshows.
Most importantly, concept cars represent a way for automakers to take risks without putting the future of their companies on the line. And from such risk comes both wildly ambitious breakthroughs and spectacular, disastrous flops. Here we've assembled ten of the most important concept cars that run the full gamut of conceptual successes and failures.
General Motors touted the automatic driving mode of its two-wheel electric car when it unveiled the vehicle last month in Shanghai, China. Now there's a video that shows the hands-off driving experience future commuters can expect from the EN-V.
How would you like an urban two-seater, two-wheeled electric vehicle that navigates on its own through traffic or takes you home late at night after one too many rounds at the bar? That's the concept behind the Electric Networked-Vehicle (EN-V) unveiled yesterday by General Motors in Shanghai, China.
The first morning of this year's Los Angeles auto show, the CEO of General Motors, Fritz Henderson, was scheduled to give the keynote address. The night before, he got fired. (Excuse me: He "resigned"). That, however, was the only real drama at this year's show, and for the sake of the auto industry, that's a good thing.
For around 13 grand, Electric Cars of Springfield (ECOS) will turn your old beater into an all-electric commuter car. But for a few bucks (around $77,000) more, they'll build you an entire, turn-key sports car. It's called the Harbinger. It hits an electronically limited 117 miles per hour, gets to 60 mph in five seconds and undercuts the Tesla roadster on price. Did I mention it comes with Lamborghini-style scissor doors?
With GM's Volt extended-range electric car set to arrive in dealerships by early next decade, some are asking whether US buyers will be switched off by a $40,000 Chevy. But would those buyers -- essentially early adopters of GM's new plug-in, gas-electric propulsion technology dubbed Voltec -- be more likely to plunk down such a wad of cash on a Caddy?
Industrial designer Alberto Villareal had an idea for a zero-emissions taxicab to replace the copious cabs of his home domicile: smog-choked Mexico City. He named the fuel-cell-powered taxi, which maximizes space while reducing weight and uses solar power to supplement its electrical system, MX-Libris.
Officials at Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany thought MX-Libris was such a novel solution to the city's car-for-hire ills that they gave Villareal their coveted Red Dot design award in 2008. Now, Villareal says two Mexico-based companies -- a taxi distribution and management firm and a car body maker -- could be ready to build a prototype of MX-Libris, and maybe even put it into production.