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Shoom! Heathrow Puts Laser-Guided Pods To Work

On: Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 2:10PM | By: Chris Salamone


ULTra Pod System at London's Heathrow test 2

It’s no secret that airport efficiency has become something of an impossible dream in the last decade. And yet, the BAA (British Airport Authority) recently commissioned an automated, battery-powered pod system named ULTra intended to minimize traveler transport time while simultaneously reducing airport costs. Starting with London’s Heathrow Airport, the first phase of the ULTra network will initially connect two car parks with Terminal 5. Total travel time is about 5-6 minutes, over 1.2 miles.

Reuters reports that a seemingly-futuristic pod system has been something of a dream for British engineers over the last 60 years. Back in 2003, those bleary-eyed dreamers received some vindication. The BAA formally evaluated the long-term transportation needs of Heathrow to ascertain options with (1) low emissions, (2) high level-of-service, (3) efficient use of space, and (4) value. The study’s conclusion: pods are the only practical solution, “providing a 60% improvement in travel time and 40% operating cost savings” over traditional rail or bus options. After years of planning and negotiation, in 2009, BAA and ULTra PRT finally entered into an operating and maintenance contract intended to last 20 years.


Rear Wheel Drive Is Coming Back!

On: Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 12:21PM | By: Peter C Sessler


Rear Wheel Drive Is Coming Back! test 2

The big three American car makers (Chrysler, GM, and Ford) are slowly bringing back rear-wheel drive cars, especially Chrysler. Does this mean that they are giving up front-wheel drive? Not at all, but they are finally acknowledging that rear-wheel is in many respects superior to front-wheel drive. Actually, rear-wheel drive never really went away as pick-up trucks and most SUVs are rear-wheel drive (RWD) vehicles.


Next Range Rover To Get Sportier And More Luxurious

On: Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 11:13AM | By: Chris Weiss


Next Range Rover To Get Sportier And More Luxurious test 2

With automakers like Bentley and Lamborghini threatening to make the Range Rover second fiddle in its own market, Land Rover appears to be planning to up its own game. Sources speaking with Autocar said that the next-generation Range Rover, scheduled to debut around this time next year, will be the marque's most advanced vehicle ever.


6,000 New Corvettes Being Recalled!

On: Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 9:34AM | By: Lou Ruggieri


6,000 New Corvettes Being Recalled! test 2

So it seems that even the venerable American sports car can be subject to faulty manufacturing from time to time. Under normal circumstances, 5,755 model call-backs doesn't represent a huge recall, but being that Corvettes are "mass produced" in relatively low numbers to begin with, nearly 6,000 represents a fairly sizable percentage of the total number of 2011-2012 models running around out there. It seems that the rear hatch hinges for some of these sporty cars were not made to handle load imposed on them in the event of a crash and could cause the hatch to fly off in the event of an accident, causing even more destruction.  

Read on for the full report from Safercar.gov


 

Lamborghini Sedan/SUV Concept At Geneva Motor Show?

On: Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 9:17AM | By: Chris Weiss


Lamborghini Sedan/SUV Concept At Geneva Motor Show? test 2

Last we checked Lamborghini was pitting a potential SUV against a potential sedan in deciding which model would join the Aventador and Gallardo/Cabrera in its line-up. There's no official word as to which direction Lamborghini will go, but we'll know for sure in a few months.

According to Motor Authority, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann recently said that Lamborghini will announce its decision on a third model early next year. To further tickle our anxiety, Winkelmann said that when Lambo decides, it will have a concept to show. Given the time frame, we take that to mean a concept sedan or SUV at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

Sant'Agata Bolognese needs a more practical model with broader appeal to boost profitability. Small-volume supercars are just not the ticket to a healthy bottom line.


GM And BMW To Partner On Green Tech

On: Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 4:41PM | By: Chris Weiss


GM And BMW To Partner On Green Tech test 2

Green technology is a multifaceted challenge facing automakers today. With governments tightening emissions restrictions, automakers must find a way to make cleaner cars. But with green technologies like batteries and hybrid systems expensive to develop and not necessarily all that fast to catch on in the market, green technology R&D is a major investment that won't necessarily pay off for years.

One of the strategies many automakers are using in cleaning their fleets in a cost-effective manner is teaming up with other automakers and pooling research dollars. The latest partners are GM and BMW.


BMW: Raising The Bar - By Three

On: Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 3:40PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


BMW: Raising The Bar - By Three test 2

Be prepared for a lot of changes in the car market in the next year or so. The luxury car segment will be all aflutter, and why is that you might be wondering? Well, BMW is making significant changes to the gold standard of the industry—the venerable 3-series. You can bet the only ones keeping a closer eye than us on just what those changes are going to look like are Lexus, Infiniti, Mercedes, and Audi.


Poop Powered Bike, Never Leave The Throne Again

On: Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 2:30PM | By: Chris Salamone


TOTO Neo test 2

As Japanese toilets become increasingly bacteria free, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing, one toilet manufacturer seeks to produce the ultimate human waste receptacle. TOTO, Japan’s largest toilet maker, aims to halve their CO2 emissions in bathrooms by 2017. In support of that, the company issued the TOTO Green Challenge which features a 600-mile cross-country tour via a toilet-powered motorcycle nicknamed Neo. By toilet-powered, we mean BioGas. And by BioGas, we mean feces.

Neo is a motorcycle powered completely by human excrement. The vehicle finds fuel in noxious fumes converted from the driver’s recently deployed bombs—giving new meaning to our previous notions of bathroom availability. Indeed, provided the driver has absolutely no shame, she can literally go whenever and wherever she wants. In this case, our hypothetical driver is female simply because TOTO chose a female to drive their waste harvester across Japan! Let’s hope that jumpsuit has a rear hatch.


Nissan Thinking Of Reviving Datsun Badge For Entry Level Line

On: Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 1:25PM | By: Chris Weiss


Nissan Thinking Of Reviving Datsun Badge For Entry Level Line test 2

The Datsun brand dates back to the early 20th century and was taken over by Nissan. Nissan Motor Company marketed most of its vehicles under the Datsun brand between the time it was formed in 1933 and 1983, when Nissan officially replaced it with "Nissan" for all cars in the line. People old enough likely remember cars like the Datsun 240Z and 280Z, which were the predecessors to today's Nissan Z models, and pretty distinct sports cars on their own.

Rumor has it that Nissan is considering bringing the Datsun marque back. Datsun would in no way replace the well-established Nissan or Infiniti brands, but would be used for a new, entry level line of vehicles for developing markets.


Car Movie Review: Drive

On: Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 12:26PM | By: David Walter


Car Movie Review: Drive test 2

The protagonist in Drive (played by Ryan Gosling), whose name is never actually mentioned, rarely speaks or shows his emotions—that is, if he actually has any. Most of his days are spent either on a Hollywood movie set as a stunt driver or in a garage as a mechanic. But at night, he's an expert getaway driver. The Driver's lack of emotion and detachment from any sort of social life are what makes him so great at what he does. He never stays in one place very long and doesn't associate with anyone other than the owner of the garage (Bryan Cranston). Drama ensues when, after moving into a new temporary apartment, he can't help failing for his new neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan)—mother of six-year-old Benicio.

Sound a little cheesy to you? I thought so too. So when I went to go see it last night, I didn't have very high expectations for it.

Turns out I was wrong.


Volkswagen Recalls 168,000 Diesel Cars!

On: Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 11:20AM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Volkswagen Recalls 168,000 Diesel Cars! test 2

Volkswagen has just released a recall that will call back 168,275 diesel cars that include Jetta, Jetta Sportwagen, Golf, and Audi A3 models because of a very odd potential defect. It seems that one of the fuel lines could potentially crack due to injection pulses matching the natural frequency of the line during specific engine conditions. This could then lead to fuel leakage and potentially an engine fire. Read on to get the full report from safercar.gov