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Tag Archives: automotive

Tesla Model S Does Quarter Mile In The Twelves

We knew the Tesla Model S was fast, but when we read that it was doing the quarter mile consistently in the 12s. region, we were blown away. “This past weekend at the Palm Beach International Raceway in Florida, the National Electric Drag Racing Association awarded the Tesla Model S its stamp of officiation for being “the quickest production vehicle” in quarter mile tests.” It ran the distance in 12.371 at 110.84mph, a number that is very impressive for very large and very fast combustion cars, let alone electric ones. It’s even more impressive considering the Model S is rated at only 416HP and weighs in at a hefty 4,700 lbs. Clearly the electric power delivery and curve, and instantaneous torque, all combined with the lack of gear changes (it uses a single-speed gear-reduction transmission) produce the kind of thrust that is hard to match without consuming ridiculous amounts of gasoline. And don’t forget that despite the blistering acceleration, the Model S is capable of traveling up to 350 miles on a charge, although of course this is with more sedate driving.

This car is still a luxury item, and it’s not even one that will really save you money on the long run. It is however electric, and on par with luxury sedans in its class, cost-wise. So all else being equal, if you’re really hankering for a greener ride but are worried about performance issues, the Tesla Model S won’t let you down.

VIA [ Engadget ]

Ever Wanted To See A Tractor Do Donuts?

You can if you watch the below video featuring Rickard Nilsson and his creation. He stuffed a Volvo 240 engine in a tractor and set it loose on the unsuspecting fields near his home. Needless to say, the fields are now ruined. But we’re not too concerned because frankly, this is just awesome!

That’s one fast tractor and also what looks like an accident waiting to happen.

VIA [ Laughing Squid ]

Hennessy Makes A Caddy Right With The VR1200 Twin-Turbo V8

Long gone are the days that the word Cadillac is automatically associated with a nice present Jerry Seinfeld would make to his Florida-bound parents. With the CTS-V, the Caddy has already gone from tepid to torrid, and automobile tuner extraordinaire Hennessy has taken that platform and pumped it full of otherworldly steroids. The result is the VR1200, a machine so fantastically fast that it reaches 60mph in just 2.9 seconds and flies through the quarter mile in 10.2s. It does this thanks to its 7.0L twin-turbo V8 that pumps out an astonishing 1,066 rear wheel HP along with 964 lb-ft of rear wheel torque. If you’re so foolish as to keep the pedal to the metal until it reaches its maximum, you’ll be travelling at 242 mph, or just 10mph short of the Bugatti Veyron’s early records.

Aside from 15.1inch carbon discs and massive Brembo callipers, the VR1200 has carbon fiber accents throughout. Interior luxury touches include an Alcantara layer for the steering wheel as well as upgraded leather and stitching.

So… the price tag? We… don’t know. But they’re only making 12, so it’ll be one of those items that if you have to ask, you can’t afford.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

That Shiny New BMW Of Yours? Yeah… Turns Out It’s Pretty Easy To Steal

By David Ponce

The newer generations of BMW’s have keys that would appear to make theft pretty hard to accomplish. There’s really no way to start the car without them, and since they’re encoded right at the dealership (with blanks sent over from Germany), no one but you has access to them. The encryption is strong, so they can’t be hacked… and yet… Turns out that some enterprising thieves have found a way to steal a new BMW in less than 90 seconds. The ways this is done is by purchasing a key encoder, which is sold on the black market in some parts of Europe for $8,000 or thereabouts. They then smash the driver’s side window and attach this encoder from the outside to the ODB-II port, which is not password protected. It appears that the cars’ alarm system has a blind spot right in front of the ODB-II port, so sticking your arm inside doesn’t seem to trigger anything. From there it’s just a matter of programming a blank (which the miscreants also appear to be able to acquire, although an old fob can also be reprogrammed) and leaving with the car, making use of their newly minted keyfob. This seems to affect every BMW, from the 1-series to the X6.

BMW’s official response? “Yeah, we know about this. And guess what, it’s a problem all premium, luxury cars face. (Not in those actual words.)” So, uh, looks like BMW won’t do much for you. Maybe keep a dog next to your car at night?

Anyway, hit the jump for a video of a car being stolen using this method, and another of a key being programmed with one of the illicit encoders.

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BMW Unveils i8 Spyder Concept

By David Ponce

BMW is going to town with their i8 cars. The above is the third instalment in their electric-gas hybrids: the i8 Spyder. It’s a shorter car, and one with two less spots for passengers. And one less roof. And while some might find it ugly, we think it looks awesome! Some specs:

96 kW/131 hp on the front, coupled with a 164 kW/223 hp gasoline engine on the back, which accelerate the car from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5 seconds, with a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).

As far as fuel consumption goes, BMW claims 3 liters per 100 km (62 miles), with 30 kilometres (19 miles) of autonomy on electric power alone.

There’s even a rumour that BMW will stash two electric scooters in the trunk, though there aren’t much details on these. The New York Auto Show is coming up, and so is Beijing’s so we should have more information then. Considering BMW plans to make the other i8 cars, pretty much as-is, there’s a good chance that the Spyder version will see production at some point in the future, unlike so many such futuristic looking concepts.

VIA [ DVice ]

Harley Davidson Hearse Will Give You A Rocking Last Ride

By David Ponce

So the thing about dying is that it’s not fun. What with all the not being alive and stuff, you’d think less people would sign up. And yet here we are, all bound to have to take that sad last trip to the cemetery. Joerg Grossmann from Germany likes Harley-Davidsons, and has seen it fit to develop the bitchin’ hearse you see pictured above. If you like to live the rock and roll lifestyle, this here hearse is the way to go. Joerg has made a business of renting out his original hearse (at $1,600 a ride), but the interest is so high that he’s now taken 10 orders to deliver them to eager customers. At $78,000, it’s not exactly something that you’d by for personal use. It is, after all, a hearse. So as an investment for an… alternative kind of funeral home, it’s not that bad an idea.

VIA [ Huffington Post ] AND [ Jalopnik ]

Video: Man Makes QuadRotor Flying DeLorean, World Drools

By David Ponce

When I was about 7 years old, I watched Back To The Future and decided I’d make the car in the movie. I embarked on a journey to recruit the help of adults; they were to help me go to a junkyard and get the parts. Yeah… things didn’t really work out the way my 7 year old mind had envisioned. But fast forward to now and what do we have here? It’s a flying DeLorean! Sure, it’s not an actual car. And well, maybe it doesn’t travel through time. But dammit if it isn’t a thing of beauty. We don’t have much details aside from what you see in the video. All we know is that its stabilization control is powered by a MultiWii, a HobbyKing 12A BlueSeries Speed Controller, and a batch of Turnigy 2204-14T motors for the engines. Electricity is a good ole Lithium battery, and not a fusion engine. And we have no idea what happens if it hits 88mph.

VIA [ TechnaBob ]

Lamborghini Aventador J Drops The Roof, And Windshield, And All Pretense Of Restraint

By David Ponce

It’s not like the Lamborghini Aventador isn’t already a badas car. We wouldn’t mind having one parked in our driveway. But the Aventador J, pictured above, well… Let’s just say that non-vital body parts might be bartered for a simple ride in it. Not only does it have no roof, it has no windshield, opting instead for wind deflectors that are meant to keep the full force of the rushing air from your face. It’s still road legal, even though it certainly looks like it shouldn’t be. It still has that 700bhp V12 engine that is in the “regular” Lambo, but has “weight-reducing, speed-increasing features like the lack of an audio, navigation, or HVAC system, Forged Composite seats with inserts made from “Carbonskin” — a new carbon fiber fabric.” So yeah, it’s a lot lighter than the original. And it’s also a lot rarer: there will be only one made. A single one.

Can you afford it? That’s a silly question, my friend. With something this rare, even if you had the money, odds are you still couldn’t buy it.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

Ford Had A Good Idea: Hatch Door That Opens With A Kick

By David Ponce

Proving that good ideas can happen even in unlikely places, Ford recently unveiled a pretty awesome feature on the SUV Kiga: a rear hatch door that opens with a kick, so you don’t have to put the groceries down. No, not Russian style, break-the-darn-door-down kicking, but a light foot motion that is detected by a carefully calibrated sensor. It only works if you have the key fob on your person, so it’s not like a random passerby could do it. And Ford spent six months at the ” Human Machine Interface laboratory, tweaking the system with the help of volunteer kickers that tested the motion sensors. They ensured that the system distinguishes between actual kicks and other motions – say a pothole in the road – so that the tailgate doesn’t inadvertently pop open when you least expect it.”

Oh and the Kuga is a European car. This feature has been available on the Ford Escape since last November. Did you know? The news here is that “Ford engineers re-calibrated the system for Europe to ensure it would still work if a tow bar had been fitted – as this is an option frequently chosen by European Kuga customers.” Still, it’s the first we hear of it. So there you have it.

[ Press Release ] VIA [ Gizmag ]