Nissan engineers create a LEAF-based Pickup Truck

Nissan LEAF pickup truck

A team of engineers at the Nissan Technical Center in Stanfield, Arizona have just put the finishing touches to a one-of-a-kind LEAF-based pickup truck. The vehicle was created as part of a team-building exercise, but it will also act as a little workhorse at the facility, and help haul people and supplies around the tech center and proving ground – which covers an expansive 3,050 acres.

The project took several months to complete and features elements from both the Nissan Frontier and the Nissan Titan pickups, as well as the LEAF on which it is based. Nicknamed Sparky, the truck retains the LEAF’s electric drivetrain, chassis, and front half of the passenger compartment, but where the rear seats and trunk would normally be, a Nissan Frontier bed has been added. The engineers had to modify the bed (obviously) taking a little off the length, width and height. The rear of the passenger cabin, including the electric rear window, came from a Titan which was set to go into the crusher.
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Peugeot QUARTZ futuristic SUV concept

Peugeot QUARTZ concept

The headline act on the Peugeot stand at the 2014 Paris Motor Show will be this, the Peugeot QUARTZ. The QUARTZ is a futuristic SUV concept with dramatic styling and a 500 horsepower hybrid drivetrain. The concept is based on the same platform underpinning the new 308.

Peugeot say the QUARTZ represents their vision for the crossover segment, and showcases innovative materials as well as the company’s latest HYbrid system. Which in this case consists of a 270 horsepower 1.6 litre turbocharged engine assisted by a 113 horsepower electric motor which both drive the front wheels. At the rear a second 113 horsepower electric motor drives the rear wheels. The transmission is a six-speed automatic.

The QUARTZ has three driving modes to suit different conditions and requirements. In ZEV mode the vehicle uses electric power alone, allowing it to cover up to 31 miles before needing a recharge. For higher speeds or longer journeys, Road mode engages both the engine and front electric motor. And for more rigorous use the Race mode can be activated which also brings online the rear motor for maximum performance.
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Volvo XC90 R-Design – more style, more gadgets

Volvo XC90 R-Design

Potential buyers of the all-new Volvo XC90 now have another choice to make. Do they go for the R-Design package?

The Volvo XC90 R-Design adds a number of styling enhancements as well as interior gadgets. It’s not any faster or nimble, and the drivetrain choices remain the same.

“R-Design is created for people with a passion for things that add spice to life,” said Alain Visser, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Customer Service of Volvo Car Group. “It appeals to customers that love active driving and a personal, expressive design. Every single R-Design detail is designed to contribute to the individualistic and refined expression these customers desire.”
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Video: Driver in London reverses off Tow Truck

driver drives off tow truck in London

A driver in London resented the fact the fact his car was about to be towed away for a parking violation, so took matters into his own hands in a manner even the Duke boys would have been proud of.

After climbing onto the back of the tow truck the driver enters his aged Vauxhall Astra, pulls forward a fraction for a better run-up, throws it into reverse, and flies off the back of the truck.
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Top-of-the-line Vauxhall/Opel ADAM S get 150 hp turbo engine

Vauxhall Opel ADAM S

At the 2014 Paris Motor Show, the range-topping ADAM S will be unveiled by Vauxhall/Opel. The ADAM S features a more powerful engine, an upgraded chassis and some eye-catching design tweaks.

Visually the ADAM S is marked out by a new lip spoiler, side sills, a new rear bumper, a rear spoiler, ADAM S badging and unique paintwork options which includes 10 different body colors and 4 different roof colors. 17-inch wheels come fitted as standard, with 18-inchers o the options list.

On the inside the ADAM S is offered with four different seat styles, 3 of which are unique to the sporty ADAM. The optional leather package features a black and red steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake, as well as red and white lighting for the instrument panel and door switches. The standard infotainment system is fully compatible with latest smartphones using both ANDROID and Apple iOS. It provides USB and Bluetooth connectivity, audio streaming, seven speakers and a 7-inch high-definition colour touch-screen.
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Renault EOLAB concept previews future fuel-saving tech

Renault EOLAB concept

Ahead of its public debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, Renault has published details regarding their fuel-sipping EOLAB concept. The vehicle is being used to showcase nearly 100 technical innovations which will be appearing on production Renault models over the next few years.

The Renault EOLAB, which takes its name from combining the name of ‘Aeolous’ God and Ruler of the Winds in Greek mythology, and ‘Laboratory’, is capable of achieving 1l/100km (282mpg) and 22g/km CO2 emissions on the official NEDC cycle.

To achieve such impressive figures the concept combines a lightweight construction method with a hybrid drivetrain and active aerodynamics. Renault say the EOLAB is roughly 400 kgs (880 lbs) lighter than a comparable production Clio model.
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Galactic Gear “reviews” Origin M50 Interceptor spaceship

top gear spaceship spoof

In order to garner some extra publicity for the upcoming massive multiplayer role playing game Star Citizen, its creators have developed a humerous little spoof video showing a Top Gear-esque review of the Origin M50 spaceship.

In the review a digital Jeremy Clarkson hommage introduces the M50, before taking it for a spin and pitting it against a previous model. It’s superbly done, and has certainly done the job of attracting more attention to the crowd-funded game. Not that it needed the additional exposure, having successfully attacted over $51 million in funding as of last month!
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New Batmobile unveiled – Department of Transport may have issues

new 2016 Batmobile from Batman v Superman

The first official picture of the new Batmobile which shows the car in all its glory has just been released. The car will undoubtedly be one of the stars of the upcoming flick Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which is currently being filmed in Detroit. However if Batman ever tries to get the thing approved for road use he may have to have a word with the always helpful folks at the US Department of Transport.

Of primary concern to the DOT officials will probably be the dual machine guns up front which appear to be mounted on a revolving turret equipped with video targeting. However the lack of any pedestrian safety features may lead to issues if Batman were ever inclined to put the machine into mass production, as would the woefully inadequate headlights, lack of windscreen wipers and poor side (and non-existent) rear visibility. There also may or may not be rocket launchers mounted sticking out of the hood.
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Kormaran 6-mode convertible speedboat concept

Kormaran concept speedboat

The Kormaran is a speedboat concept with more than one trick up its sleeve. Not content with making something that looks like it belongs on the set of the latest Transformers movie, the creators of the Kormaran have also designed a vessel which can morph itself into a number of different configurations at the touch of a button.

Designed in Germany the Kormaran has been in development since 2007.  The second more advanced prototype is scheduled to be built soon based on a proof of concept prototype constructed in 2012. The company have partnered with a number of specialist companies to build the vessel.
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Blackburn Beverley B-101 heavy transport aircraft

Blackburn B-101 Beverley

The Blackburn Beverley was a heavy transport aircraft operated by squadrons of the Royal Air Force Transport Command from 1957 to 1967. It was a spectacularly ugly aircraft, often described as “a block of flats with wings”. But despite its awkward proportions, it did its job very well. It was rugged, practical, and could operate from short runways of questionable quality.

The origins of the Beverley came from the manufacturer General Aircraft. They designed and built the original two prototypes, the GAL.60 Universal Freighter and the updated GAL.65. However after General Aircraft merged with Blackburn Aircraft in the early 1950s the name of the aircraft changed to the B-101 Beverley. At the same time the Bristol Hercules engines were replaced with more powerful Bristol Centaurus engines equipped with reverse-pitch propellers. These propellers gave the Beverley a very unique advantage over almost every other aircraft. When on the ground it could reverse under its own power, making it ideal for operating in confined areas and makeshift runways. The reverse-pitch propellers could also be used to slow down the aircraft once it had touched down, meaning it could land on comparatively short runways. At full load the takeoff run required 2,370 ft (722 metres) while the landing run needed was 930 ft (283 metres).
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