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Category Archives: automotive

Kumho Releases Scented Tires, World Scratches Head

kumho scented tires

By David Ponce

We never thought we’d see the day where tire manufacturers would target women with lavender scented candles. But that’s what they did just a couple of weeks ago. Kumho recently announced the release of the world’s first “Aroma Tire” that replaces the normal ?black rubber? smell with heat-resistant oils in the scent of lavender, and in later versions, neroli (orange) or jasmine. The tires are aimed at women who drive cars such as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Subaru Outback, Chrysler Sebring and Ford Taurus.

We’re not entirely sure when this aroma will be released in sufficient quantities through regular use (how much rubber do you burn off just by driving down the road?), so the real-life application of this product makes you wonder: will the ladies have to pull donuts in a parking lot? Or will you have lavender scented car wreck scenes?

Whatever the case, the tires are expected to cost between $120 and $140, and are going to be available in Q1 of 2007.

[Kumho Press Release ] VIA [ SciFi Tech ]

Liquid Snow Chain

liquid snow chain By David Ponce

We’re struggling a little bit between mechanical translations and personal Italian knowledge to extract information on this product. This is what we’re getting: Snow Chain is a polymer liquid that you apply to your tires to simulate snow chains. It hardens upon contact with water, and provides additional traction in icy and snowy conditions. Upon hitting dry asphalt again, it will simply erode away. It’s allegedly completely biodegradable, so it won’t harm the environment (much).

This sounds like something everyone should keep in their trunk, and if it works as advertised, the ? 30 asking price sounds more than reasonable. The product page is in Italian, so if there are any details we missed, our Italian readers are more than welcome to enlighten us.

[ Snow Chain ] VIA [ Gadgetblog.it ]

Eclectic Car: Very Green

eclectic car
By David Edney

This car is by far the silliest thing I have ever seen on four wheels, if that is what they are even called on this thing. The Venturi Eclectic car claims it is the world’s first “energy-autonomous” vehicle. They equipped the circus looking car with a solar panel and a wind turbine so it can get power from the elements. It also has a plug for recharging from an outlet, which I’m sure is the way this will be charged 99.99% of the time because the panel and turbine combined give you only 14 miles a day (If you live in Florida during a Hurricane). The “vehicles” go on sale next summer for $31,000 and they are Limited Editions; only 200 are being made. I’m sure they will sell out quick. Production models won’t be made until 2009. I’m so excited I could pee myself.

[ Venturi ] VIA [ Sci Fi ]

Back Seat GPS Gaming

BackseatGPS

By David Edney

You pretty much can’t buy an SUV or any car with a backseat without having a TV, a DVD player, and gaming devices installed. Of course, this makes hooking up your PS3 or Nintendo Wii to your car easier now, but a group of Swedish programmers want to kick it up a notch and embed GPS into your everyday driving life in order to turn the whole trip into a game. The Backseat Playground, as they call it, would take the real world around your vehicle and integrate it into the gameplay and story line. For this whole thing to work it would need the 3D input of the area you are driving in. The setup is in prototype stage in Stockholm (meaning it is working over a 45 square kilometer area), but it will probably be a while until this thing goes global. Unless of course Google buys them. We can’t help but feel that this would be the ultimate I spy game.

VIA [ Engadget ]

Suzuki Dutton S2 Amphibious 4×4 Crosses English Channel

watertruck By David Edney

Once again the amphibious vehicle world has shown its face. The Suzuki Dutton S2, as it is called, crossed the English channel to France in 7 hours and 5 minutes. That’s not as fast as the Gibbs Aquada amphibious car, but you have to take a few things into consideration: first it is fully road registrable, and has 4WD capabilities. You can buy it with a regular gas engine or diesel engine. You can order a right or left drive for those driving on the “wrong” side of the road, and to top it off it costs less than US$50,000, which is more affordable than other aqua vehicles out on the market. The company who sells these bad boys also wanted to point out that there was almost no planning involved before the cast off and the ideal crossing conditions weren’t perfect. The main website even has instructions for driving it so you don’t look silly.

[Product Page] VIA [Gizmag]

In Car Internet

incarinternet
By David Edney

It’s finally here!! You can now have an Internet connection in your vehicle without rigging some monstrosity outside your window. TracNet, a system that allows passengers to access the Internet on a vehicle’s video screens can be installed on anything that moves. It also turns your vehicle into a moving hot spot so you can use your laptop. It does use Verizon’s High Speed Internet, so the DSL high-speeds are still nonexistent, but it will be here soon. The $80 a month price isn’t that great either, but I’m sure that will go down eventually.

The current price is $1,995 for the automotive version of TracNet. The system operates on Verizon Wireless’ high-speed network, which costs another $60 to $80 a month. There is also a $10 monthly charge for MSN TV, the service from Microsoft Corp. that brings the Internet to TV screens. The consumer provides the screens.

VIA CNN Technology

Porsche 917 Inspired Sofa

Porsche 917 Sofa (Image courtesy Inspired Design)By Andrew Liszewski

Though completely impractical I don’t think any car nut can look at this sofa and not want one for their own pad.

Billed as a “unique piece of creative art” the sofa is designed to look like the front end of a Porsche 917 which was raced at LeMans in the early 70’s. The body of the sofa is made with actual fibreglass and is painted with nine coats of two-pack automotive paint for a great looking, durable finish. Even the underside of the sofa looks good and is made from 16 gauge tubular steel that is finished with a black powder coat.

Functioning headlights and brake lights are available as an option and if the blue and orange paint job doesn’t do it for you the sofa can be finished with any color scheme or graphics you like. Keep in mind though that being the envy of all your car-loving friends does come at a price, specifically about $7,500.

[Porsche 917 Inspired Sofa] VIA [Autoblog]

UK Man Builds World’s Fastest Street Legal Car, Shames Bugatti

By David Ponce

You know, if you want to drop a cool million on an exotic sportscar, you’re more than welcome. The Veyron awaits. But you should know that all your money won’t get you the fastest. Not by a long shot. UK car nut Andy Frost has spent several years modifying a 1971 Vauxhall Vectra, and has successfully built the world’s fastest (non-production) street legal car, dubbed “Red Victor 2″. How fast you ask? How about 0 to 60 in one second flat. That’s right, one. Compare that to the Veyron’s now paltry “sub-3 seconds”. Or, how about a quarter mile time of 7.8 seconds, compared to the McLaren F1’s now positively snailish 11.1 seconds. It hits 140mph in around five seconds and reaches 183 in 7.8 seconds. Under the hood, Frost has packed a 9.3 litre V8, with two huge turbos generating 2,200 bhp… more than twice as much as the Veyron’s puny 1,001. Only problem we see, aside from the lack of luxuries on the inside, is the gluttonous appetite for fuel: the car averages 5 miles per gallon. But who cares? As the guy on the video says: “If Satan was a car, this would be Satan.”

The funny thing about all this is that Frost has spent perhaps as “little” as $180,000 on the car over the years; Bugatti would like you to feel special for spending more than five times as much on a car that now, in terms of performance alone, seems positively emasculated.

Check out the video.

VIA [Express And Star]