A lap around Nurburgring’s 73 turns is challenging even in what is deemed normal driving conditions, but take those 73 turns on a rainy day, in an open-wheeled vehicle while taking corners sideways, and that challenge is multiplied by about 100. Thankfully, Andreas Gülden, chief instructor at the Nurburgring Racing Academy, has the experience and skills to teach us all a little something on how this particular challenge is dealt with.
In this video, watch Gülden for a little over 12 minutes as he makes his way around the Nurburgring in a lap that would make even the Stig green with envy. And remember, please don’t try this at home. As previously mentioned, Gülden is a professional and this is a professional situation that needn’t be copied by amateurs. Heed the warning and don’t be a jackass.
In this episode, Adam Corolla (comedian and car enthusiast), Dan Neil (automotive columnist for The Wall Street Journal), John Salley (4-time NBA Champion and actor), and Matt Farah (SmokingTire.com) take part in a number of segments that made us laugh at loud, literally. Mixed in with the good times and "Lambo-quality comedy," the guys take part in a test comparing the automated driving versus actual driving in a 2007 BMW 328i sedan , a comparison of the Audi R8 and the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport , and an interview with racing legend, Pete Brock.
The fun doesn’t stop there as the boys go through their 0-60 and Adam’s America segments, as well as a trip to North Carolina for some dirt track racing.
Hit the jump for details on The Car Show: Season 1 Episode Three.
Anyone who lives and breathes the thrill of driving should find the time to head on over to Italy for a trip through the Stelvio Pass at one point in their lives. At 9,045 feet, it may not be the most dangerous road in the world, but it is the highest paved road in the Eastern Alps and may suit driving aficionados just fine for a holiday destination. Especially since this famed road features 60 hairpins turns, 48 just on the northern pass, and a wonderful view of beautiful landscapes. That information alone makes Stelvio Pass worthy of just about any bucket list.
The Stelvio Pass was originally built between 1820-1825 by the Austrian Empire. It connects the Valtellina with the upper Adige valley and Merano and covers a climb of 1871 meters (about 1.16 miles). Many tourists head over during open season (June-September) to marvel at the twist and turns, including the trio from Top Gear and the great Stirling Moss.
The third episode of Mercedes USA ’s AMG Driving Academy Performance Series takes us on a brief introduction into the world of slalom driving and how the tire contact patch affects the weight transfer of a car as it enters and leaves a corner.
Four-time Grand Am champion and Speed Channel host, Tommy Kendall, continues to play the role of AMG Driving Academy instructor and he introduces us to a concept that neophyte drivers may not be too familiar with: tire contact patch.
This concept, he explains, deals with how to perfectly manage the weight transfer of the car to allow it to navigate in and around a race track. It doesn’t sound all that sexy, but considering the twisty and topsy-turvy nature of race circuits, it’s something that is worth watching and listening.
Being able to manage the throttle of the car while knowing how to shift the weight from the front and back goes a long way in allowing your car to run smooth turns as opposed to big, stabbing turns that inevitable lead to understeering and oversteering.
Anybody who has ever sat behind the wheel of a high performance vehicle understands the urge that comes with being behind the wheel of a track-friendly car. But just like everything else, there’s a difference between knowing what to do and just flying by the seat of your pants. On this note, Mercedes USA and the AMG Driving Academy Performance Series have released a series of videos designed to teach the newbies how performance driving is done. And just to err on the side of caution - and knowledge, for that matter - we strongly invite everyone to watch these videos.
In the first video, professional driver and AMG Driving Academy instructor Tommy Kendall gives us the lowdown on the basic workings and fundamentals we need to know when driving high-performance vehicles. It may sound a little trivial to some, but simple things like seat and mirror adjustment, as well as optimal positions for line of sight, go a long way in turning a neophyte performance driver to a skilled, track-ready racer.
Mercedes USA is out to teach us all a little something through their AMG Driving Academy Performance series, and their second episode highlights the need to learn how to brake, AMG style.
In this episode, AMG Driving Academy instructor, Tommy Kendall, explains the apparent contradiction that to go fast, you must first learn how to go slow. The video will show Tommy as he demonstrates the fundamentals of braking, including threshold braking and trail braking.
Most drivers feel the need to speed at some point or another, so learning how to keep control of your car through braking is an absolute must in order to have your thrills and still be able to walk away from the experience. In our opinion, every automaker that produces high performance vehicle - such as the AMG models by Mercedes - should offer these same type of training course for their customers.
We’ve all seen them. Hell, we’ve all been them. Distracted drivers are everywhere, whether it’s a woman running late and putting on her makeup in the car or the guy who skipped lunch and is now scarfing down a double cheeseburger, these types of drivers are the ones that cause accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 80% of crashes involved driver distraction. The risk is three times higher when the driver is fiddling with their cell phone and nine times higher when the driver is reaching for something (like that cell phone). Statistics show that 79% of drivers are distracted due to changing their radio stations or CDs and 51% are distracted because of their cell phone.
These examples are some of the more obvious distractions that can cause accidents, but there even some driver habits that will lead to crushed metal. Remember taking an eyeful of that accident to see if anyone was hurt or coming back from a daydream only to brake for no apparent reason? The driving habits some of us pick up can lead to an accident just as easily as if we were on the phone. The best way to overcome these habits is to fine tune our driving techniques. Don’t just keep your eyes on the road, keep your thoughts on the road as well. Then there’s the more obvious suggestions such as catching up with your best friend while sitting on the couch and not while you’re in the car or keeping up with the flow of traffic and not cranking your neck back to see what’s going on in the other car.
Check out the rest of the infographic to get more helpful driving techniques and statistics and remember to check back with us for the next installment in our Car Infographics series.
The monster truck phenomenon began sometime in the 70s when modified pickup trucks were becoming the rage and rampant testosterone was causing men to fight the "Who’s bigger" battle. It wasn’t until about 1981 that these same trucks were used to crush the smaller, weaker vehicles, and the culture took off from there. Now, monster truck events are everywhere and the battle for the bigger, badder truck still rages on.
In order to reign supreme in an event that has about as much drama as a pro-wrestling smackdown, owners of these massive modified trucks have to pay to play. A full monster truck build can run up to $250,000 with about $150,000 per year for spare parts. Since these 12,000lb trucks make a name for themselves by smashing the competition, an additional $250,000 is needed per year for repairs and maintenance.
Cost isn’t the only issue either. A full eight man crew spends 18-20 hours spanned out in three days constructing the track for the trucks to race on. Then the weaker vehicles, such as cars, vans, buses, ambulances, and even airplanes, are hunted down to serve as prey for the massive trucks. About 3,000 vehicles per year are found in local junkyards and returned after each event.
With such painstaking lengths taken to ensure a successful and entertaining experience, it’s no wonder that Monster Truck Jams run rampant in so parts of the country.
Check out the rest of the infographic to get a more detailed breakdown of a Monster truck’s numbers and remember to check back with us for the next installment in our Car Infographics series.
Ever wonder how much food would be comparable to the amount of gas we use everyday? Okay, neither did we, but then we came across this infographic detailing just that. We may not eat as abundantly as the cartoon human (who’s surprisingly skinny considering all of the junk he’s consuming), but even that is no where near what it would take to fuel a car.
A car would need roughly 45,000 calories per day compared to our 2,000 calorie limit in order to get us where we need to go. This number is based off a gallon of gas being calculated as 31,268 calories and the average American using 1.4 gallons of gas per day. This may sound like a lot, but a car also sheds 1,125 calories per minute when traveling at 60 mph, compared to an average human’s 4.6 calories at 3 mph.
What this translates to is a bunch of numbers and conversions that would really lead us no where if we were to figure it all out. But the lesson learned in this whole thing is that if you want to eat even 1/15th of the amount of calories "consumed" by a man-made machine, then you better be ready to work just as hard to get rid of them.
Check out the rest of the infographic to get a more detailed breakdown of the fuel consumption comparison and remember to check back with us for our next installment in the Car Infographics series.
No one wants to walk out of their front door in the morning and find that their car has been unexpectedly snatched up by someone else. Although it would be an amazing excuse to get out of work, you don’t want to deal with the hassle that follows. Unfortunately an estimated $64 Billion worth of vehicles are stolen every year and only 57% of those vehicles are recovered.
What makes these numbers worse is that about half of the vehicles stolen were taken due to driver error. All this means is that the vehicles were up for grabs due to the keys being left in the ignition or the doors being left unlocked. It’s a shame, but it happens. In fact, it happens even more often if you live in California, Florida, or Texas, which are the three top states for automotive theft. Break that down to the top ten cities for automotive theft and you’ll discover that California has six cities on it.
Bottomline: You may not be able to convince douchebags to not steal cars for a living, but you can at least take every necessary precaution to make sure you are not a victim. Get a car alarm, lock up your doors, and make sure you take the keys out of the ignition.
Check back with us soon to find more interesting tidbits as part of our Car Infographics series.