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Tag Archives: automotive

SmartRim Protects Your Pricey Mags From Curb Damage


Many modern cars come with parking sensors that help you avoid hitting the car parked behind you. That’s great, but they do very little to help you avoid getting too close to the curb and scratching your precious mags. SmartRim changes all that. It’s an ultrasound-powered proximity sensor that attaches to the inside of each wheel well, and connects to a smartphone app. As you park, the sensors will indicate how close to the curb you are and help you avoid hitting it. There are no wires, so installation is a breeze.

Additional features include accelerometers that can tell you if the valet took your ride for an unhealthy spin, and the ability to use regular AA batteries for power; a single AA battery will last up to 1,000 parking cycles.

It’s currently being funded on Indiegogo, and a set of 4 SmartRim sensors will cost you $345. That’s a lot, but if you really think about it, you only need two for the back wheels, which is a very reasonable $179 pledge at the moment.


[ Project Page ] VIA [ TheAwesomer ]

Ultima Evolution Supercar Breaks All Kinds Of Records


When you enter the dreamlike realm of the supercar, you’re not only paying for rubbernecking good looks and unrivalled exclusivity and status: you’re also paying for performance. British carmaker Ultima may just have put the world’s fastest accelerating car on the road with the Evolution. This thing is stupid fast. Just as a reference, know that the world’s current champion, the Ferrari LaFerrari does the 0-60mph in 2.6 seconds, and completes the 1/4 mile race in 9.7 seconds at 149.1mph. Most supercars hover around the 2.7s-2.9s range in their 0-60 times. But the Evolution? It gets to 60 mph (97 km/h) [in] 2.3 seconds, [and does] 0-100 mph (161 km/h) in 4.9 seconds, and 0-150 mph (241 km/h) in 8.9 seconds. The standing quarter mile (0.4 km) is reportedly achievable in 9.2 seconds, with the car hitting 156 mph (251 km/h)! That’s 0.5 seconds faster than the LaFerrari, which is huge!

Think about it: the Ultima Evolution reaches 150mph faster than some cars take to get to 60mph! It does this through a combination of a fuel-injected LS Chevrolet V8 engine, and a ridiculously low weight of just 950 kg (2,094 lb). Power options range from 350bph, to a blistering 1,020bph, which although lower than some competitors, is clearly more than enough given the car’s overall low weight.

There are lots of other things to say about this car, but you can read more on Gizmag’s article, linked below. And if you were hoping to get your hands on one, you’ll obviously have to pay, although not as much as you might imagine. Options start at £65,995 (about US$100,000), and we imagine go much, much higher than that for the top of the line models.


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Drivemotion LED Car Sign Helps You Communicate With Other Motorists


There’s a fairly limited number of ways for you to communicate a message to someone else on the road, and the most popular one unfortunately involves a finger that should in most cases remain unflipped. That doesn’t mean you always want to convey a message of aggression; maybe you want to thank someone for letting you merge, or you just want the world to know you’re in a happy mood. The Drivemotion LED Car Sign allows you to quickly access 16 different preset messages or faces with the touch of a couple of buttons, ranging the gamut from “Sorry” to “back off”. They’re all displayed through LEDs on a 6-inch wide board that you affix to your rear window with a suction cup.

Now, be aware that this may not be legal in your state or jurisdiction, so it’s up to you to check on that. But if you’re in the clear and the idea fancies you, it’ll cost you $40.


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You’re Looking At A Rubber Band Race Car


That’s right. That sweet looking locomotive construction is a remote controlled race car whose only power comes from a single elastic rubber band tightly wound into 8-inch (203-mm) loops, and stuffed into a carbon fiber tube that runs the length of the car. It’s called the Cirin, and is the creation of “students Max Greenberg, Sameer Yeleswarapu and Ian Cullimore at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. They created it to compete in the school’s Formula E Race, an annual event in which teams from around the world pit their custom-made rubber band-powered miniature cars against one another.” The Cirin’s body and frame is modelled after the internal structure of a bird’s wing bones, which allows it to withstand the high torsional forces created by the rubber band. The 6 ft (5 m) of looped elastic allowed it to travel 500 ft (152 m) at speeds of up to 30 mph (48 km/h), which is pretty impressive… but didn’t win the team the race. They did receive an award for best design, build, and approach, so it’s kind of hard to tell who ‘won’ in the end. It reportedly cost them $500 to make, but that doesn’t include the donated laser sintering, 3D printing job by 3D printing company SolidConcepts.


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Gymkhana SEVEN: Just When You Thought It Couldn’t Get Better

If you’ve ever looked at a car and thought “hm, that’s pretty!”, then there’s a chance you’ll like the above video; you don’t need to be a car nut to appreciate this kind of awesome. And if you’ve ever seen a Gymkhana video, featuring the legendary Ken Block, then you already know what it’s all about. But if you thought after 6 iterations of his iconic videos, you wouldn’t be impressed anymore, think again. This time Block is driving a 1965 Ford Mustang that’s been so highly customized, you can barely tell it’s a ‘stang. It clocks in at an astonishing 845hp, and was converted to an AWD for this occasion. In the video, Ken tears down the streets of Los Angeles in what is clearly a high budget shoot, with long stretches of road blocked off to circulation. But you’ll be hooked from the start, with a smoke show for the ages. Also, keep an eye out for the part where he “skips rope” with a dancing low rider.

This video is 12 minutes long but felt like 30 seconds. It’s definitely worth a watch.

VIA [ TheAwesomer ]

FOBO Tire Monitors Tire Pressure, Connects To Your Phone


Most people don’t worry too much about tire pressure. They set it once after changing a tire, say, and then forget it. Oh sure, it’s not smart since you can get lower mileage and potentially get into an accident. But there you have it. Some of us, however, are a little more careful and a gadget like the FOBO Tire could relieve their low-tire-pressure anxieties. Using four somewhat goofy-looking tire sensors that screw onto the valve and connect to your phone via Bluetooth, you can know each tire’s status within 0.1psi. They monitor even when you’re not driving, so that you can be alerted in the middle of the night if you get a sudden pressure loss. They don’t need an external power source and instead rely on batteries which should last up to 2 years. You can even share your tire status with your friends, because you know, that’s really what they care about.

It’s $90.

[ Product Page ]

Behind The Wheel: The All New 2015 Lexus RCF

sm2015 Lexus RC F 0191

I was fortunate enough to be invited to New York to get behind the wheel of the all new 2015 Lexus RCF, just a few weeks ago. A replacement for the outgoing IS F, this car features an all new chassis, all new body, an improved engine, and a slew of other engineering tricks that represent a more of a substantial step up than a gradual evolution from the previous generation. I got to spend around 4 hours driving this beast in the streets of White Plains and on the prestigious Monticello Race Track, and between those two settings, I was able to get a thorough feel for the car’s track driving dynamics, interior appearances, and city manners. In a segment dominated by the likes of BMW’s M4 and Mercedes’ C63, the RCF came out guns blazing and fists swinging in an attempt to forge a solid space for itself alongside them. With an impressive 467hp 5.0L V8 monster under the hood, the boys from Japan meant business, and I’ll spend the next few paragraphs letting you know whether they’ve succeeded.
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Navdy HUD Makes You Feel Like You’re Driving In The Future


Let’s not pretend like we’re going to manage to curb the use of smartphones in the car. We get too many calls and texts, and need the GPS functionality too much to just believe we’ll put them away and not want to use them. The trick is in finding a responsible way to do so, and Navdy seems just about right. It’s a standalone device that sits just above your dashboard and projects a heads-up display (HUD) right onto your field of view. The image is projected on a transparent screen, which makes it look like it’s floating 2 meters in front of you, that way you never have to take your eyes off the road. Navdy lets you see who’s calling, who’s texting, and where you are and where you should be heading. It’s controlled through voice and gesture commands, has its own dedicated applications, and connects to both iOS and Android devices. Texts are read aloud through a text-to-voice function, and can be replied to in a natural manner. If a call comes in, the navigation screen is simply shrunk somewhat, but doesn’t disappear, so you won’t get lost.

All in all, it looks like a solid piece of tech for anyone who doesn’t already have something similar integrated in their car. It’s currently on pre-order for $299, but is expected to shoot up to $499 when it goes full retail. We’re not sure that the $500 price point is really the best place to be given the proposition, but we haven’t come across too many products like this before.

Incidentally, you should totally check out the promotional video below. The actor is giving off some serious Zach Galifianakis vibes.

[ Product Page ]

Tool Trolley Is Also Collapsible


Now here’s an invention (or a technological concoction, if you prefer) that will raise the eyebrows of every garage guy in North America. The collapsible tool trolley from Hazet is perfect for when you want to tote your tools over to the neighbor’s to lend them a hand with whatever, or even just around your oversized garage. With sturdy tyres, wheel locks, big castors to level out uneven surfaces, a padlock and plenty of space, this is the perfect gift for that tool guy in your life that has everything – else! Priced at about $1,780 on, this Made in Germany masterpiece is a treat for the eyes and will keep that garage a lot less messy and disorganized.

[ Amazon ] VIA [ Werd ]