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Car manufacturers winning the war against car theft - News

Car manufacturers are confidently proclaiming that they are winning the war against car crime. And the statistics over the last 20 years prove as much. Thanks to the coded keys which most modern cars use, unless the criminals can get their hands on the key, then simply hotwiring the car isn’t an option. In the UK over the last seven years car theft has fallen by around two-thirds.

Perhaps even more impressively, 20 years ago around 600,000 cars were stolen in the UK each year. Last year that number was down to 107,000. In fact the coded keys, factory alarms, immobilizers, trackers and other in-built security features of modern cars are so effective, that the weak link is now the forgetful owner who leaves their keys somewhere a thief can easily find them. Continue

Project Kahn Audi A5 Convertible - Modified Cars

One of the UK’s best known tuners, Project Kahn, has had a go at making the Audi A5 convertible even more stylish. And they’ve been pretty successful. Instead of going for over the top modifications and randomly placed vents and bulges, Project Kahn’s designers have given the A5 a mild facelift which is inspired by the Audi R8.

The styling package consists of new front and rear bumpers, a rear spoiler, billet steel door mirror housings, red painted brake calipers, lowered suspension and massive 21 inch RSX lightweight wheels finished in matt black. Continue

2012 BMW M5 - Sports Cars

Despite the fact the 2012 BMW M5 isn’t due to be unveiled in the flesh until this year's Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The car has been fully revealed in photographic form, along with some of the more important details concerning its engineering. For the F10 generation M5, the high-revving V10 of the previous E60 M5 has been ditched in favor of a twin-turbocharged V8.

Despite loosing two cylinders, the 2012 M5 is faster and more powerful than its predecessor. The new V8 develops 552 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. In addition, the maximum power output is delivered at 6,000 rpm - 1,750 rpm lower than the old V10. Reflecting the increases in power, the 2012 BMW M5 gets from 0-62 mph (100km/h) in just 4.4 seconds, 0.3 seconds faster than the E60 M5. The electronically limited top speed of 155mph remains the same. Continue

Stolen Subaru Impreza racing car filmed driving on highway - News

On Saturday evening, a Subaru Impreza racing car (which had been set up for drifting) was stolen from Santa Pod racetrack in Bedfordshire, England. Just 45 minutes later a motorist filmed the car hurtling along the M25 motorway.

At the time, the guy filming the Impreza didn’t realise it had been ‘borrowed’ from its rightful owners, Team JapSpeed. This particular impreza was highly modified, to the extent that it was no longer road legal, and it doesn’t have any number plates.

WWII B17 bomber 'Liberty Belle' crashes near Chicago - News

One of the last remaining airworthy B17 Flying Fortresses has been destroyed in a crash near Chicago. The aircraft, painted in the colors of the original 'Liberty Belle' B17, took off from Aurora Municipal Airport yesterday, and 20 minutes later it was in a field engulfed in flames. All seven onboard escaped unharmed.

The drama unfolded as the B17's pilot was alerted to an onboard fire by the pilot of a different aircraft. The bomber then made a successful emergency landing in a nearby field. Once on the ground, the crew and passengers evacuated before the fire spread throughout the aircraft's fuselage. Continue

2011 Ferrari World Design Contest reaches second stage - News

The first part of Ferrari’s 2011 World Design Contest is now history. The contest, a collaboration between Ferrari and Autodesk, asked 50 of the world’s leading design schools to imagine a Ferrari for the future. Out of those 50, only 7 have made it though to the second round. The finalists are: IED and IAAD from Turin (Italy), the London Royal College of Arts (UK), the European Design Institute Barcelona (Spain), Seoul’s Hong-ik College (Korea), the DSK Supinfocom from Pune (India) and the College For Creative Studies in Detroit (USA).

In the second part of the 2011 Ferrari World Design Contest, each school can create up to three distinct designs, and present them as 3D Autodesk Alias computer models and 1:4 scale models. The brief is to design a Ferrari hypercar of the future which uses the latest and greatest materials and technology. Continue

A day in the life of a New York City intersection - Videos

Ron Gabriel, a student of the School of Visual Arts in New York, decided that for his thesis project he would create a stylised video which highlighted the number of near misses and minor incidents that occur on just one NYC intersection on a daily basis.

After capturing the incidents on film, Gabriel then added graphics which identify and track the movements of the various parties involved, whether they’re pedestrians, cyclists or drivers. The result is something that looks like an augmented reality display from the future. But it isn't. It's idiots doing what they do best. Continue

Where is the safest place to sit on a...
- News

If you're unfortunate enough to be a passenger involved in a serious accident, whether it's on public transport or in a car, where you choose to sit could literally make the difference between life and death. Continue

Ryan X-13 Vertijet - Aircraft

The Ryan X-13 Vertijet was an experimental aircraft designed to further explore the idea of VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) flight. The Ryan X-13 Vertijet was born out of a previous project conducted by Ryan at the behest of the United States Navy. Just after WWII the Navy had been studying the feasibility of submarine-based aircraft, and from 1947 to 1951 Ryan conducted a series of tethered flight tests with unmanned VTOL aircraft. Based on that project, in 1953, the company was awarded a USAAF contract to develop two prototypes of a full-size, manned VTOL aircraft – these aircraft were designated the X-13 Vertifan.

The chubby dimensions of the Ryan X-13 Vertijet meant it wasn’t the most beautiful aircraft the world had ever seen. It’s compact dimensions were necessary to keep the weight to a minimum. There was just enough room within the aircraft’s fuselage for a single seat cockpit, and a 10,000 lbf (45kN) Rolls-Royce Avon turbojet engine. The wings were mounted at the very peak of the fuselage, and they had a pronounced Delta-wing shape. The high position of the wings was intended to improve stability in horizontal flight. Continue

Triango Revelation - Sports Cars

The Triango Revelation is an all-new sports car which is being developed in Hungary. The preliminary design phase of the Revelation began in 2008, when designer Tamas Jakus ‘Jakusa’ started sketching out his vision for a radical super car which would be built by a different Hungarian company with the slightly confusing name of Urban Motorsport England.

The ‘Triango’ part of the Revalation’s name is derived from the word triangle, as the car’s lines are punctuated by a series of triangular shapes and surfaces. Jakusa has done a good job of making sure the car doesn’t have a dull generic supercar appearance, or styling which is copied from another manufacturer. The Triango Revelation’s styling is bold and futuristic, while also being within the realms of possibility for a small volume manufacturer. Continue

Megane Renaultsport 265 Trophy - Hot Hatches

The fastest roadgoing Renault ever is not some super-expensive halo car, or a homologation special from the past, it’s this, the Megane Renaultsport 265 Trophy. It’s got an extra 15 horsepower over the current Megane Renaultsport 250, taking the total to 265 horsepower – see what they did with the name there? The extra power now means the car can reach 62 mph (100 km/h) in exactly 6 seconds, and the top speed has been increased to 158 mph.

In order to coax an 15 extra horsepower and 20Nm (14.7 lb-ft) of torque from the car’s 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, Renaultsport have raised the maximum turbo boost pressure slightly, while also redesigning the air intake tract to compliment the higher pressure and operating temperatures. Continue

Australian-built Hoverbike - Strange Vehicles

The lure to join Darth Vader’s evil Imperial Empire must have been strong for riders of the Imperial Speeder Bike. Not only did these guys get the coolest helmets, they also got the coolest mode of transport. That’s almost enough to make you forget that your boss was an evil megalomaniac with respiratory problems.

An Australian inventor called Chris Malloy has spent the last two and a half years building his very own Imperial Speeder bike-like hoverbike in his garage at home. Oddly, the seed idea for his creation came from his helicopter instructor, who had likened the R22 helicopter to an airborne motorbike. Disagreeing with his instructors analogy, Malloy set about creating something that really was like an airborne motorcycle. Continue

Race Car Technical Illustrations - News

The man responsible for these amazing technical drawings of race cars is Roy Scorer, a technical illustrator whose nine-to-five involves creating detailed technical illustrations for the MOD. In his spare time he creates finely crafted images of a variety of different race cars. We’ve covered some of his previous works in the past, including the Anatomy of a National Hot Rod, and the Anatomy of a V8 Stock Car. This time around we've been sent five images, showing five different race cars in all their HD glory.

MSV Explorer semi-submersible - Submersibles

GRP Laminates, a company based in the Isle of Wight (a small island just off the southern coast of England), have just unveiled their latest product. The MSV Explorer is a semi-submersible vessel - just like the EGO semi-submersible we covered last week - but the MSV Explorer also comes with its own dedicated 42.6 foot (13 meter) catamaran, the SP02. The SP02 catamaran can transport the MSV Explorer quickly and safely to the area to be explored, and then lift it into and out of the water.

RSC Predator GT - News

RSC (Rotary Super Cars) of Germany have decided to have another go at designing a rotary-engined super car. Their first effort, the RSC Raptor GT, rightly came in for some heavy criticism for basically being a Ferrari 599 clone. The new car, which is completely different in design also gets a new name, the Predator GT. It might not be the most beautiful supercar in the world, in fact it’s fairly ugly. But at least it’s more original – although this time there seems to be a hint of lamborghini.

RSC is planning on offering four different versions of the Predator GT. The models will include the 500 horsepower Predator GT-S, the 800 horsepower Predator GT-RS, the 1,200 horsepower Predator GT-RSR, and a race-spec version called the Predator GT-Clubsport which has an unspecified power output. Continue

Video: look who's driving - Videos

This video is considerably better than you might initially think. It's also nice to see that even drug dealers in the favela's of Rio de Janeiro have a sense of humor. Continue

EDWARD - Electric Diwheel - Strange Vehicles

Engineering students at the University of Adelaide on the southern coast of Australia have developed an electric powered diwheel called EDWARD. This is the first diwheel we've featured on diseno-art. We've seen a couple of monowheels in the past, namely the Wheelsurf and the insane McLean V8 monowheel. Diwheels like EDWARD have the obvious advantage of being far more stable, but as an added bonus they can turn 360 degrees on the spot, whereas a monowheel requires a large turning circle.

The EDWARD project was started in 2009 when the mechanical components and electric drive system were put together to create a fun but slightly uncontrollable single person vehicle. Then in 2010 EDWARD was upgraded with a computerised system which could not only keep the seat level at all times (a feature called slosh control), but also a clever system that meant the driver could go inverted while the machine automatically balanced itself and provided accurate guidance control at the same time. Continue

TrakRok Concept - Strange Vehicles

The TrakRok Concept from Canadian designer Alexei Mikhailov is so many different shades of awesome it's difficult to know where to start. The TrakRok Concept fuses design elements from snowmobiles and quad bikes in order to produce a radical vehicle which can tackle, snow, mud, gravel and other off-road surfaces with ease.

Each front wheel of the TrakRok gets its own dedicated electric motor, and because the rear track is also powered, again by an electric motor, the TrakRok should be able to drag itself though even the most inhospitable terrain. Continue

2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class - 4x4s

The Mercedes-Benz M-Class is all-new for 2012, and here it is. Replacing the previous generation, which had been around since 2005, the 2012 M-Class has noticably sharper lines – which is in keeping with the rest of Mercedes’ models. The 2012 M-Class retains the old model’s unique wrap-around rear window, and also its basic profile, but everything has been made just that little bit crisper and sharper.

The 2012 ML will be available globally in a range of versions, including the ML250 Bluetec, ML350 Bluetec and ML350 BlueEfficiency, all with 4Matic all-wheel drive systems and seven-speed automatic transmissions. Continue

World Land Speed Record attempt needs your help* - News

*If you happen to live near Pendine Sands in the UK.

Don Wales, grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell the habitual World Speed Record setter, is currently planning his latest record attempt. Wales hopes to set a new world land speed record for an electric car in 2013. He’s aiming for 500mph, and as part of the record attempt he needs to do lots and lots of speed trials and preparation runs. Continue

Blast from the past: 2001 Nissan Nails Concept - News

The Nissan Nails concept is an odd looking pickup truck concept which the Japanese manufacturer rolled out at the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show. As history has shown, the Nissan Nails concept never went any further than the show car stage. Which is probably a good thing. It’s hard to imagine it being a successful utility vehicle, or anything else for that matter.

When the car was debuted 10 years ago Nissan’s press department excitedly announced that the Nails; "suggests new, flexible ways of using vehicles as 'a tool for communicating with friends', rather than simply as 'a means of transportation'. The Nails concept integrates advanced communications tools including cellular phones."

Of course nowadays if a mainstream manufacturer brought a concept car to an auto show which DIDN’T have an array of communication an connectivity, eyebrows would be raised. But just a decade ago it was still relatively new. Continue

Bahrain F1 decision ‘shameful’ - News

UPDATED: Proving that there is still a thimbleful of honor left in top level politics, MPs in the Houses of Parliment have criticised F1's governing body for rescheduling the Bahrain race for October. The race is back on despite the violent crackdown on democracy protesters over the last few months, and the fact the Bahraini government has recently detained dozens of doctors and nurses whose only ‘crime’ was to provide medical aid to injured protesters. In a damming indictment of the total lack of morality on the part of the FIA, all 26 members voted in favor of reinstating the race.

Video: Spinning forklift fights back - Videos

Forklift trucks and their unique capabilities, coupled with their sometimes unpredictable handling, have provided video sharing sites like YouTube with a plentiful bounty of mishaps and amusing accidents all caught on tape. When this bored forklift driver decided to document his hoonage, he was probably expecting to be the star of a video which showed his skill and bravery when taking his little machine to the limits. Instead he shows what will happen when the machines start to fight back. Because as we all know, when the machines do rise up they won’t destroy humanity right away, they’ll play with us first. Continue

Nissan Juke modified by Impul - Modified Cars

Nissan’s Juke compact suv is rarely praised for its appearance. In fact it’s usually ridiculed. It seems odd then that a tuning company would want to make it even more ugly. But that’s exactly what Japan-based tuner Impul decided to do.

The visual changes include an over-the-top aero package that comprises of a new front bumper with a very busy looking lower lip, wide sideskirts, side window air deflectors, plastic wheel arch trim, a rear diffuser, and a massive rear wing that looks like it belongs on one of the cars from the “the fast and the ludicrous”. In addition to the new bodywork, Impul have fitted the Nissan Juke with 19-inch wheels with low profile tires, a sports suspension kit which lowers the ride height and higher spec brakes.

Mercedes-Benz "60 Years Mercedes-Benz Unimog" concept - News

The Mercedes-Benz Unimog truck is one of the world's most capable off-roaders, as it is, off-the-shelf and with no modifications. Daimler Benz took over production of the Unimog in 1951, five years after the first prototype had been designed by Albert Friedrich, and built by Erhard und Söhne (Erhard and Sons) in the southern German town of Schwäbisch Gmünd. To celebrate the 60th anniversary of Mercedes’ fruitful relationship with the Unimog, the company have developed a radical concept vehicle. And when I say radical, I mean mental.

The concept's name doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. In fact the name "60 Years Mercedes-Benz Unimog" is more of a statement than a title. Putting that aside, the 60 Years Mercedes-Benz Unimog concept is a jaw dropping machine. Based on a Unimog U 5000 chassis, the concept was developed through a joint effort between the Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks (MBS) division, the Daimler commercial vehicle designers in Sindelfingen and an unnamed model designing partner. Continue

2012 Vauxhall Astra GTC - Hot Hatches

As promised, Vauxhall unloaded all the details and images of the 2012 Vauxhall/Opel Astra GTC on June 7th 2011. The production Astra GTC is based on the GTC Paris Concept which debuted in September 2010.

Overall the concept and the production car are very similar in appearance - which is a good thing. The biggest differences are found at the front, where the bumper has been restlyed and fitted with less stylised but more practical driving lights. At the rear the production car gets a lightly revised bumper with a larger black panel rising from under the car, and a more traditional tailpipe design. Continue

2012 MINI Coupe - News

The long awaited MINI Coupe is so very nearly here. A production version has been on the cards since MINI revealed the car in concept form at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Today they released all the intimate details of the new Coupe and what different flavors it will come in. The only thing MINI forgot to do was take all the camouflage off the car before getting their camera out. clearly MINI want to slowly bleed the information out over time in order to garner as much attention as possible.

The MINI Coupe is the first two-seater production car to come from the company since it was reborn under BMW ownership. Like all MINIs there is a strong focus on driver enjoyment, although with the Coupe it’s taken up a notch. The MINI Coupe wasn’t designed to be a practical car, so the engine options, chassis setup, weight distribution, packaging and aerodynamics don’t need to be compromised by things like making sure there’s ample cargo space or rear-seat legroom. Continue

Tesla Model S Alpha - News

As Tesla’s Model S inches closer and closer to production, more and more details about the car are being released. To accompany the extra info is a new gallery of images which show the car in a more production ready state of development. The car is also going by a new name; the Tesla Model S Alpha.

From the initial Tesla Model S prototype to the current car there aren’t any major changes to report on. However there are a number of subtle styling differences. The most recent photos show a sportier front bumper with extra air intakes below the headlights, slightly larger side mirrors (a must if the car was to enter production), smaller side vents just aft of the front wheels, and at the rear there are new taillights and a couple of extra lights integrated into the diffuser. Continue

EGO semi-submersible boat - Strange Vehicles

The EGO semi-submersible boat is a vehicle designed and manufactured in South Korea by a company called Raonhaje. The unusual vessel is basically a small boat with a two-person underwater cabin attached beneath. You access the underwater bit via a hatch in the center of the boat, and climb down a short ladder. In the submerged section of the EGO are a couple of comfy looking seats, a steering wheel and an instrument panel. Oddly it seems, the EGO can only be controlled when you’re under the waves – which might make solo dockings an interesting and frustrating task! Continue

2012 BMW 1-Series - News

BMW’s 1-Series model has proved to be a fairly successful vehicle since it was first launched in 2004. Now at the age of seven, it’s getting its first full makeover, which involves an all-new platform and new engines. To go along with its new mechanical elements, the 2012 1-Series has also been restyled to better fit with BMW’s latest designs.

If you thought the original 1-Series had controversial looks, then the 2012 model takes it up a notch. Viewed from the rear there isn’t a considerable difference – despite the fact the two cars don’t share a single body panel or styling detail. The taillights have been redesigned, and they now sit just below the bottom of the rear window – instead of touching it as they did on the 1st gen model. The rear bumper has been tweaked, and it now has an inset strip which sits just below the license plate. Other than that, the rear has been given slightly softer lines than its predecessor. Continue

Audi R8 GT Spyder - Sports Cars

Audi has finally revealed the R8 GT Spyder in all its glory. The top-of-the-range model combines the open air experience of the R8 Spyder, with the phenomenal grunt of the R8 GT's 560 horsepower V10 engine.

Much of the R8 GT Spyder’s development and engineering was concentrated on keeping the weight to a minimum. In fact Audi have managed to trim 85 kgs (187 lbs) - or the weight of an average man - off the bulk of the standard R8 Spyder. As always, the use of carbon fiber was key to keeping the weight to a minimum. The cover for the soft top, the rear spoiler and the rear bumper are all made of the stuff, while the shells for the lightweight racing seats are formed from glass fiber-reinforced polymer. Continue

Volkswagen Golf R Cabriolet concept
- Concept Cars

The Worthersee car show in Austria has proved itself to be an important venue for almost all the marques under VW's control. Audi debuted the A1 clubsport quattro at the show, Skoda did likewise with their Fabia vRS 2000 concept, and now Volkswagen has followed suit with the Golf R Cabriolet concept.

The Volkswagen Golf R Cabriolet concept is based on VW's latest Golf Cabriolet, but with all the fixings to bring it up to 'R' spec. That means its got the same turbocharged 2.0 litre 4-cylinder engine putting out 265 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm, and the same 155 mph electronically limited top speed. The Golf R Cabriolet concept is a fraction slower to 62 mph (100 km/h) than its hardtop counterpart. But it still manages to get there in under six seconds. Continue

Skoda Fabia vRS 2000 concept - Concept Cars

At the Audi, VW, Skoda and Seat festival called GTI-Treffen, that occurs each year in Wörthersee, Austria, Skoda unveiled a brand new concept car. The Skoda Fabia vRS 2000 concept was specially built for the event, although chances are it’ll make an appearance at several other major auto shows this year.

The concept uses some of the design cues from the Fabia Super 2000 rally car. For example; the competition-like extra-wide wheel arches and multi-spoke white-painted wheels. The car is actually based on a Fabia Super 2000 too, so the looks aren’t just skin deep. Where the Fabia vRS 2000 concept differs from the rally car is up top. Skoda’s engineers have chopped the roof off and cut down all the windows to form a stylish roadster. It can’t have been a simple task either, as the car still retains all four doors and seats. Continue

Porsche 911 Turbo S China Edition - News

Porsche is currently celebrating its tenth year in what is currently the fastest growing car market in the world, China. In order to mark their first decade in the country, Porsche have created a special edition version of the 911 Turbo S.

The 911 Turbo S China Edition doesn’t get any mechanical upgrades, so owners will have to make do with the standard Turbo S’ 530 horsepower, twin turbocharged flat-six engine and PDK (dual clutch) transmission. It’ll be hard, but hopefully they can cope! Continue

Douglas X-3 Stiletto - Strange Vehicles

The x-plane programs have yielded some fairly unusual designs over the years, and the Douglas X-3 Stiletto was no exception. The X-3 Stiletto was a prototype aircraft designed to help designers and engineers better understand what sort of features an aircraft would need in order to fly at supersonic speeds, while also being capable of taking off and land under its own power.

The Douglas X-3 Stiletto’s design was revolutionary for its day. The stubby wings and long tapering fuselage weren’t pretty, and it looked nothing like the beautifully proportioned fighter aircraft of WWII. Instead, the odd shape of the X-3 Stiletto was designed for one thing. Speed. Continue

Sentori OPEN WATER 60 M Explorer Yacht
- News

If you’re a billionaire oceanographer in the market for a new yacht to explore the world’s oceans, from remote Pacific archipelagos to the deep waters of the Marianas trench, then the naval designers at motion code: blue would like to sit down for a chat. Their latest creation is a 60 meter (197 foot) explorer yacht which will be built by the Sentori Yacht Group.

The Sentori OPEN WATER 60 M is designed to offer all the amenities of a luxury yacht, combined with the ability to be self-sufficient during epic ocean-crossing journeys. The high bow is a distinctive sign of an explorer yacht, as it helps protect against the high waves of rough seas. As a bonus it gives the vessel an impressive appearance, especially useful when pulling into places like Monaco where hundreds of luxury yachts constantly vie for attention. Continue

Is this the ugliest race car ever? - News

The annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb event is one of the most extreme motor sport competitions in the world. Each year drivers attempt to get their car from the start at Mile 7 on Pikes Peak Highway, to the top of Pikes Peak in Colorado – a distance of 12.42 miles (19.99 km). There’s 156 twists and turns over a mixture of gravel and paved sections, and during the run competitors will climb 4,721 feet (1,439 meters). At the top, the thin air will reduce power by around 30 per cent.

The most extreme cars are entered in the Unlimited group. Last year only 3 cars competed in the Unlimited class. One of them was driven by Paul Dallenbach. In 2010 he had 745 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. This year, thanks to some extensive engine modifications courtesy of Banks Power, he’s got 1,307 horsepower and 1,206 lb-ft of torque! Continue

Video: Amazing car entry - News

This guy has some amazing car entry moves which makes the Dukes standard entry method to the General Lee look positively dull. First time around it almost looks like he somehow accidentally falls into the car’s open window, it’s that quick. However the hero of the video actually performs some sort of pivoting backward controlled fall while holding what looks like an open drink. The move would probably have been considerably more difficult were he intending to sit in the driver’s seat, what with the steering wheel and everything getting in the way. But if my next passenger can successfully get in the car using this guy’s method, then no gas money will be required. Continue

Audi A1 clubsport quattro concept - News

At this year’s Wörtherseetour event in Austria (1st-4th June), the holy grail of car shows for Audi, VW, Seat and Skoda fans, Audi will unveil a highly modified A1 to show off what their entry level model is capable of – if you happen to have some of the world’s best automotive engineers and designers lounging around in your garage.

The Audi A1 clubsport quattro (yes, no capitals for “clubsport” or “quattro”) isn’t just a standard A1 with a fancy bodykit either. It’s been fitted with the same 2.5 litre, 5-cylinder, turbocharged engine normally reserved for the Audi TT RS and RS3 Sportback. However in the A1 clubsport quattro concept the engine’s potency has been increased dramatically to 503 hp and 487 lb-ft (660 Nm) of torque. Continue

When bad taste and stickers collide - News

A German company called Car Film Components (CFC), specialists in a range of different coverings for automobile styling and care, have just revealed their latest work. And it’s not pretty. For 2,200 Euros ($3,140) CFC will cover your new Volkswagen Beetle (not the new, new one for 2012) in a vinyl wrap that makes your Bug look like it was left unattended for a week at the local kindergarten. Just to top it all off, and add an incredibly mismatched style to the car, the doors, hood and trunk lid are all covered in a black velvet. Just try keeping that clean! Continue

Saab/Nespresso Concept - Concept Cars

The Saab/Nespresso concept isn’t the first vehicle to use non-automotive products and brands as part of its design inspiration. But it is one of the more unusual combinations – Swedish car manufacturers and Swiss coffee-machine makers don’t usually have too much in common. The concept was developed by Eric Leong, a final-year Transportation Design student at the Umea Institute of Design in Sweden. The project was sponsored by Saab. Continue

Homeowners using cars to sell houses - News

As much of the world struggles to extricate itself from the financial meltdown like a woolly mammoth from a prehistoric tar pit, many homeowners around the globe are finding it difficult to sell their property, due to a scarcity of buyers and a glut of bargain-priced repossessed homes. In order to make their offering stand out from the crowd, some sellers in England have resorted to using hired supercars and luxury marques in order to make their property more appealing. Continue

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster - Sports Cars

Mercedes have finally revealed the SLS AMG Roadster in its full production form. The company had released a series of images earlier this month which showed the car in very, very thin disguise. But now the car's been officialy unveiled to the world, a new set of pictures has been produced. Continue

Did cultural differences speed up the demise of Rover? - News

An interesting article over on the BBC news website discusses the differences between the German and English languages, and the way in which we use words and phrases. However there’s one particular paragraph which caught my eye, it relates to the take over of Rover by BMW in 1994: "When BMW bought the British car manufacturer, Rover, it took a while for the seriousness of some of the problems at Rover to sink in. All too often, British managers spoke in euphemisms that their German counterparts took at face value." Continue

Husqvarna 900cc street bike sketches - News

Up until now, Husqvarna has exclusively made dirt bikes. But under BMW’s ownership the company is developing an all-new 900cc street bike. The as-yet unnamed bike has just been revealed in a series of sketches and renders, and one thing’s for sure, Husqvarna hasn’t gone all cute and cuddly. The bike has the sharp, minimalist lines of a dirt bike, but with a supermoto twist. Continue

TopCar Porsche Panamera Stingray GTR
- Modified Cars

Porsche’s cars have always been a favorite of tuning companies. There’s so many of them in fact, that any Porsche owner looking to make some changes has a real buffet of modifiers to choose from. They range from the discreetly upgraded examples, where more time has been spent on raising performance levels than trying to raise eyebrows. And then there’s the bold and brash modifications which can be seen from the orbiting ISS. The TopCar Porsche Panamera Stingray GTR falls into the second category. Continue

Ford’s heart monitoring driver’s seat - News

Ford’s engineers in Germany have developed a prototype seat that can passively monitor a driver’s heat activity while they’re behind the wheel. The researchers hope that in time, if the system is widely adopted, the technology could significantly reduce the number of accidents and fatalities that occur as a result of motorists having heart attacks behind the wheel. Continue

Volkswagen Aqua - Strange Vehicles

The Volkswagen Aqua is a futuristic hovercraft concept created by Yuhan Zhang, a 21 year old designer from China. Yuhan just graduated with honors from Xihua University with a degree in Industrial Design. Currently she's in the process of selecting a Transportation Design course to further her studies.

The Volkswagen Aqua is designed to cope with the wide variety of terrain which covers China. From the lakes, rivers and coastal waters, to the roads, wetlands and snow and ice. The concept was shortlisted in the CDN Car Design Awards China, based on the brief entitled simply; "Chinese off-road vehicle" by Volkswagen. Continue

Top 10 vehicle related jobs - News

For anyone with more than a passing interest in vehicles, whether it’s cars, bikes, boats or planes, working somewhere within one of the directly related industries could make the difference between a working life characterised by mundane drudgery, or being in the privileged position of actually looking forward to Monday mornings. Continue

Honda Chopper - Concept Motorcycles

The Honda Chopper is another vehicle to come courtesty of the imagination of Peter Norris, the same guy who created the Pininfarina Coupe concept.

The Honda Chopper's styling draws on many and varied influences: There's the clean functional lines of medical machinery, 70's and 80's marker drawings and design (such as the Big Trak programmable electric toy vehicle), and a bit of manga thrown in. Just for good measure, there's also a healthy dose of Imperial speeder bike from Return of the Jedi. Continue

Video: Granny drifting an M3 - News

In this video, which we're fairly sure comes from Belgium, a young M3 owner gets a bit of a shock when his car takes off and starts drifting around the parking lot. It's difficult to say whether it's staged stunt, and just edited to look like a spontaneous event. Or whether the silver-haired hoon is real, and just proving that old age doesn't necessarily slow you down. Continue

Worst car modifications: Suspension Clamps - News

When it comes to modifying a car, either for power gains, handling improvements, practical reasons or styling changes, there’s often two choices. Do it right. Or do it cheap. This article won’t tell you how to do it right. But it will tell you why you shouldn’t do it cheap. This week we’re exploring the dark world of suspension clamps.

DSQUARED MINI Cooper S auctioned at Life Ball 2011 charity event - News

DSQUARED², a Canadian fashion company I’d never heard of until earlier today, have just debuted their butchered customised MINI Cooper S which will be auctioned off at the 2011 Life Ball in Vienna to raise money for combating HIV/AIDS. It's all for a good cause, but even if it had been painted in dog food (after letting it go through the dog) it would still raise a ton of money for the charity. This people is what happens when you let two fashion designers have a go at improving a car. Continue

'Half-restored' 1967 Toronado brings new meaning to the word - News

Precision Restorations of St. Louis, Missouri have performed a unique ‘ restoration’ on a 1967 Oldsmobile Toronado. The car was actually completed last year, but oddly this is the first time we’ve heard of it. It took over a year to turn what was a reasonably intact but dilapidated Toronado into the bizarre mix of old and new you’re looking at. Continue

Video: Failman forgets to set parking brake
- News

A US Mail truck driver either forgot to set his parking brake, or make sure he’d securely put his idling steed into park, resulting in a runaway vehicle circling the parking lot. Amazingly he nearly gets away with it as the truck narrowly misses the Scion first time around. The second time he isn’t quite as lucky. And the third time is the killer blow for the little Scion. Continue

BMW 328 Hommage - Concept Cars

Just days after BMW celebrated the 328's 75th anniversary, the company has unveiled a commemorative concept car which is one of the most stylish and original concepts of the past couple of years. It looks like what we'd imagine the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive concept would look like were it a classic race car.

About the only thing which isn't original is the car's name. Called the 328 Hommage, the concept features a very clever blend of retro-chic details, and the latest materials and engineering. In that way, it's a little bit like the BMW Mille Miglia concept from 2006. Continue

Aston Martin V12 Zagato - Sports Cars

The Aston Martin V12 Zagato is the latest product of Aston Martin and Zagato's intermittent collaboration. The car was officially revealed to the world on the 21th May, 2011, by the shores of Lake Como, Italy at the prestigious Villa D'Este Concours.

The Aston V12 Zagato was inspired by several of the past Aston/Zagato creations. Including the DB4GT Zagato, V8 Vantage Zagato and DB7 Zagato. Continue

Autocar BS1 - News

Autocar, one of the UK’s best known weekly car magazines, has decided that after decades of reporting on the worlds latest and greatest sports cars, they’d have a go at developing their own. Digitally.

The Autocar BS1 (I’m not entirely sure whether the BS acronym translates quite the same in UK-english) is designed to to be an out-and-out driver’s car. The brief for the BS1 – short for British Sportscar 1 – was dreamt up by Steve Sutcliffe, Autocar’s Editor-at-large. Essentially he wanted a back-to-basics, open-top two-seater with a mid-mounted engine, rear-wheel-drive and an overall weight less than 1,000 kgs (2,200 lbs). The car was then brought to digital life by Autocar’s Picture Editor Ben Summerell-Youde. Continue

C6 Corvette + German tuner = Endora SC-1
- News

The Corvette has lent itself to many a rebody, thanks to its relative affordability, almost infinite tuning potential, and easy to work with fiberglass body. The latest company to have a go at re-clothing the ubiquitous Corvette is from Germany. Called the Endora SC-1 the car has a unique sense of style which was inspired by American and European sports car design from the 1960 and 1970s. Continue

Pininfarina Coupe - Concept Cars

The Pininfarina Coupe concept was developed by Peter Norris, a graduate of Coventry University's Transportation Design course who has spent the last 10 years working as a 3D modeler for various games firms, working on major titles like Timesplitters 2 and the Star Wars franchise. Currently Norris is seeking to put his skills to use into use within the television or film industry.

The Pininfarina Coupe project is one which has evolved along the way. Initially Norris wanted to create something along the lines of the Fiat Coupe... Continue

Special Projects Ferrari Superamerica 45
- News

Ferrari’s ‘Special Projects’ division, the guys responsible for hand-crafting exclusive one-off cars for extremely wealthy Ferraristas, have just pulled the covers off their latest project. Based on the 599, the Ferrari Superamerica 45 was commissioned by New York collector and Ferrari nut Peter Kalikow. The car’s name was chosen by Kalikow to reflect the 45th anniversary of his first Ferrari purchase. Continue

Audi debuts the 2012 A6 Avant - News

The sedan version of the Audi A6 was revealed several months ago, and now its the turn of the infinitely cooler A6 Avant to step out from the shadows. Thanks to the extensive use of aluminium, which makes up roughly 20 percent of the body, the 2012 A6 Avant is up to 70kgs (154 lbs) lighter than its predecessor. That makes it a win-win situation for both agility and efficiency.

Scheduled to launch in Europe later this year, the A6 Avant is offered with a range of both diesel and gasoline engines. Power outputs range from a healthy 177hp, right up to a left-lane-of-the-Autobahn suitable 313hp. Continue

Peugeot's Competition is literally out of this world - News

Peugeot’s latest competition, designed to drum up publicity for its 3008 crossover MPV, has as its top prize a trip to the edge of space. Called the 3008 Space Odyssey, the competition will offer the winner the chance to blast off into space on board the Virgin Galactic space ship. Continue

Nissan 370Z GT Edition - News

Nissan is celebrating their 40th year in the UK, and as part of their self-appointed festivities the company has unveiled a limited edition version of the 370Z. Called the Nissan 370Z GT Edition, the new car offers special body color options, a unique stripe package, gun-metal 19-inch forged alloy wheels, and best of all, an upgrade to the suspension system which offers a balanced blend of sporty handling and enhanced ride comfort. Continue

Honda CR-Z MUGEN revealed - News

The Honda CR-Z MUGEN was initially teased in a sketch a couple of months ago, but now the first hi-res photos have arrived, along with some additional information. Based on Honda’s hybrid CR-Z, MUGEN’s tweaks have focused on extracting extra horsepower from the car’s 1.5 litre engine, thanks to a supercharger, and also reducing the car’s overall weight. One of the early prototypes, based on a standard CR-Z with a mildly tuned engine, offered zero-to-sixty times roughly similar to the Civic Type R’s. Which should put it comfortably in the 6-7 second range. Continue

UK Police employ their first electric patrol car - News

Thames Valley Police, based in the South-West of England, have just taken delivery of their first electric patrol car. Thankfully the little Mitsubishi i-MiEV will only be used for non-emergency duties in and around Milton Keynes city center. And that’s a good thing, because it’s difficult to imagine seeing this thing performing the PIT maneuver on fleeing bank robbers. Although if they’re escaping on bicycles it might be up to the job. Continue

Oakley Design Lamborghini Aventador LP760-2 - Modified Cars

Oakley Design have just revealed their tuning program for the Lamborghini Aventador, and it's all good.

Instead of adding a multitude of pointless spoilers and air intakes, before bathing the car in some god-awful color combination, and bolting on some 90's-style wheels (as far too many high-end tuning companies do) Oakley Design have tastefully added to the Aventador's already gorgeous lines. Continue

Electric car sound research - News

Researchers at Warwick University in the UK are currently stalking the campus in a specially modified electric car in order to help develop an ideal sound for electric cars of the future.

As everyone knows, electric cars are much quieter than their internal combustion counterparts. For the most part that's a good thing, however for the pedestrian stepping out onto the road without looking, it could be fatal. Continue

McLaren 'Mega Mac' on its way - News

The UK car magazine Autocar is reporting that some of their 'inside sources' have confirmed McLaren is working on an all-new hypercar which will crush the opposition.

The car, which is currently going by the informal internal designation of 'Mega Mac', is apparently being prepared for a 2014 debut. Production will be limited to just 500 cars, and the price point is said to be somewhere in the region of £350,000 - £400,000 ($567,000 - $648,000). Continue

Delta E-4 Coupe - Sports Cars

Delta Motorsport, the Silverstone-based automotive engineering firm, have been developing the E-4 Coupe since 2007.

Last year they entered the car in the Automotive X-PRIZE Competition, and this year they've brought the design a step closer to full production. Continue

Bus driver road rage - News

Bus driver Matthew Smith earned himself a 12-month community order to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work, an eight-week curfew, an electronic tag, a 15-month driving ban, and a surprisingly small £50 ($80) fine after a road rage incident. Continue

Maserati GT Garbin 2020 - Concept Cars

The Maserati GT Garbin concept was developed by a trio of graduating designers studying Transportation Design at the Politecnico di Milano in Italy.

The Maserati GT Garbin was conceived for the year 2020, and although it's design was partially inspired by the Maserati Ghibli from the 60s and 70s, the team were keen to make sure the concept looked to the future and didn't have a strong retro vibe - which it certainly doesn't! Continue

Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS - Sports Cars

Hot on the heels of the 911 Carrera GTS is its all-wheel-drive counterpart, the 911 Carrera 4 GTS.

Both cars share the same 3.8 litre flat-six engine which has been tuned to produce 408 horsepower @ 7,300 rpm, and both cars have the same wide-arch bodywork of all Carrera 4 models.

While the engine is identical to that used in the two-wheel drive Carrera GTS, the four-wheel drive version incorporates Porsche Traction Management (PTM) to offer superior driving stability and traction - at the expense of some tail-out fun. Continue

The BMW 328 turns 75 - News

The BMW 328, the most successful racing car of the 1930s, has turned 75 this week.

Having started life as a racing car midway through 1936, series production of the road-going BMW 328 began in spring 1937. Weighing just 780 kgs (1,719 lbs) and developing a modest 80 horsepower in series production form the BMW 328 was advertised as a "powerful everyday car for travel and sport".

On the road, its top speed of 96 mph (155 km/h) made it one of the quickest road cars of its day. And, with only 464 examples ever made, the BMW 328 is today one of the most sought-after collector's items on the market. Continue

Aston Martin and Zagato working on a new car - News

Aston Martin and Zagato have collaborated multiple times over the previous decades, and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their first joint venture, the DB4GT Zagato, the two companies are working on a new car which will be unveiled at the Villa D'Este concours in Italy from 21st May. Continue

Video: Parking muddle - Video

It's difficult to tell from the footage whether this act of idiocy was the result of a staged prank, genuine stupidity or blatant inconsideration. Either way, no one was hurt and nothing was damaged, so we don't really care. Continue

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Record Breaking and Extreme Vehicles

Record breaking vehicles are some of the most important vehicles in the world. Information gathered from the advanced technology needed to make these extreme machines filters down to the common vehicles we see everyday:

Extreme Land Vehicles

Extreme Sea Vehicles
Extreme Air Vehicles

Beautiful and Ugly Machines

Sometimes a design can display an outstanding ability to attract or repulse.
In this new section we explore some of the most memorable - and unique - designs of all time in: Beautiful and ugly machines.

ideas on artificial intelligence

I'Robot Film promotionOver the past couple of decades, much work and progress have been made in the pursuit of creating artificial minds and life-like humanoid movement. Researchers from many different nations have experimented with recreating realistic human characteristics with some success...

Read more from this speculative article on artificial intelligence

ASIMO Honda's robot

What makes a great car?

What is the secret formula for creating an automotive icon. This short article identifies a few 'great cars' and attempts to decipher the connection.

What makes a great car?

Evolution of the bicycle

Just where did the bicycle - the humble manual version of the motorbike - come from?

Evolution of the bicycle

A brief history of car design from the 1950-1990s

Lamborghini MiuraThroughout the decades of car design there have been many events and technological advances that have helped bring about major design trend changes.

Read more on car design history

Advanced Helmet Design

No this isn't the Master Chief's helmet from X-Boxs' Halo. This is BMW's idea of what an off-road helmet should be. See this and other advanced helmet designs here.

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Buell, the motorcycle innovator
Motorcycle technology
Experiences of a novice biker
Interview with a car design student

Future car predictions

The future car - say a 2025 model - will be a very different beast to its present day grandfather. It will be packed with computers and safety devices ensuring that not even a stunt driver can crash.
Read more in this two part article:

The Future Car Predictions

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