technology

technology

  New technologies are everywhere and especially in our cars: ABS, airbags, lane change detection, GPS and more...

This year is shaping up to be a phenomenal time for fans of racing video games. Not only is Forza 5 going strong, but we have rumors of a new Gran Turismo floating around, there is the upcoming Grid Autosport and we even get a new Mario Kart this year. Beyond all these games, there is one new title that has me drooling more than any other, Project CARS.

If you have yet to hear of this game, then crawl out from under your freaking rock and listen up! Project CARS is being developed by Slightly Mad Studios, the crazy team that was responsible for bringing us games like Need For Speed: Shift and Shift 2: Unleashed. This new game is one of the largest and most ambitious racing games ever created. Not only in terms of track and car number, but in terms of visual quality and simulation accuracy. Think of it as a mix of Gran Turismo’s massive quantity of cars and tracks mixed with Forza’s painstaking attention to detail.

With every new screenshot and video that arrives the game looks better and bigger and I get even more excited. If you don’t believe me about the quality, hit the jump and check out this astonishing new trailer. It features open wheel racers, track-day toys, GT3 cars and more, all tearing it up around tracks and city streets the world over from the Nurburgring to London.

Look for this new game to hit PC, Xbox One, PS4 and WiiU later this year.

Aston Martin has a certain knack for creating some of the most beautiful and finely crafted automobiles in the world. They also have a reputation for being eternally on the verge of bankruptcy and utter collapse. Thanks to this constant state of disarray over the years, Aston Martin has gotten really good at pinching pennies and making their engineering dollars go the distance.

If you need proof of the engineering frugality, I give you the VH architecture. If you are unfamiliar with that term, it is simply the platform/backbone that Aston Martin is currently using for all of its cars. Not only are they using the same basic bones for every car, those bones have existed basically since the first Vanquish . That was 2001.

Now while these old bones have been through several revisions to handle Aston’s newest machines like the One-77 and the new Vanquish , the truth is the platform is beginning to show its age. Thankfully, in part to a new partnership with Mercedes-Benz , Aston is finally going to build an all-new platform. This means that every new Aston Martin going forward will be lighter, stiffer and better performing than ever before.

As a bonus, Aston is teaming up with AMG to build an all-new, bespoke V8. Suddenly I am less sad that the AMG 6.2 is dead.

I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet! Aside from the shiny new V-8s, Aston has confirmed to Autoblog that the V-12 is sticking around too. In a world where even Ferrari is looking at turbocharged V-6 power for its fastest cars, seeing the Brits stand up and wave that V-12 middle-finger is refreshing.

Cheers to you, Aston Martin.

Click past the jump to read more about the Aston Martin-Daimler partnership.

Like most Japanese automakers, Nissan has come up with an array of technologies that aim to improve the automobiles in its lineup. The GT-R ’s advanced powertrain and chassis, the Leaf EV and its upcoming autonomous vehicle come to mind.

While the self-driving Nissan is still at least five years away and will probably arrive alongside similar vehicles from Toyota or Ford , the company has just announced a brand-new technology that might become available on production cars in the future.

This time we’re not talking about a revolutionary engine or a vehicle that runs on alternative fuels, but an innovative paint technology that repels the mud, rain and the dirt automobiles are subjected to each and every day. In short, Nissan claims it has created a self-cleaning car with help from a super-hydrophobic and oleophobic paint.

Dubbed Ultra-Every Dry, the innovation consists of a special coating that creates "a protective layer of air" between the paint and the environment that stops water and dirt from leaving marks on the car’s body. To demonstrate the technology, Nissan used an Euro-spec Note model that had one side coated with the said paint, while the other remained as it came from the factory.

The result is pretty impressive, but it won’t run car washes out of business just yet. The product is still in its testing phase and Nissan says there are currently no plan for the technology to be offered to the public. However, the feature could become available as a "future aftermarket option" at a date that has yet to be unveiled.

Video and more details after the jump.

Ford ’s intentions with the brand-new, sixth-generation Mustang are more than obvious. The more European design, the independent rear suspension and the new tech behind it are there with one purpose, to make it appealing to a global audience.

Sure, the Mustang benefits from a 50-year-long history and its iconic, American charm, but Ford was aware that most non-U.S. costumers that haven’t been touched by the muscle car bug were more likely to choose other offerings, such as a BMW 4 Series, over the ’Stang. Hence the diluted recipe for the 2015 model, one that has been acclaimed and criticized as well since day one.

It’s been a little more than four months since the Blue Oval took the wraps off the new Mustang , but new details around the pony are still to come. While we’re anxiously waiting for Detroit to release final performance numbers and pricing figures, the manufacturer introduced us to yet another brand-new feature that will come with the Mustang: electronic line-lock.

Don’t let the name confuse you, this is no groundbreaking technology set to improve handling or braking, but an electronic burnout-control system that enables the driver to burn rubber without risking damage to the clutch. To put it simple, when activated, the feature gains access to the stability control’s hydraulic control unit and locks the front brakes while releasing the rear brakes. This means the driver can do a burnout without having to worry about finding the perfect balance while keeping one foot on the brake pedal and the other on the throttle.

Now don’t go thinking that this new gimmick, which comes standard on Mustang GT models equipped with manual transmissions, was added so that customers can show off by creating a cloud of smoke in traffic. Ford clearly states that the electronic line-lock is intended for race track use, quoting the drivers’ need to prep their tires before pulling a quarter mile run. On the other hand, the automaker says that "racing the 2015 Mustang will void warranty," a statement that leaves up puzzled to say the least, and is in stark contrast to Chevy’s stance on the Z/28’s warranty and racing .

Ford also claims its electronic line-lock is an industry-first feature, but we know this isn’t entirely true, as BMW offers something similar — it’s called "smokey burnout" — on the new M3 and M4 models.

All told, this electronic burnout trick will be hard to swallow by muscle car purists, but we bet it will find a lot of fans among users that are looking for these kind of technologically advanced features. Now everyone can do a burnout without having to practice or worry about anything...

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ford Mustang.

Pioneering technology is a phrase that’s being thrown around rather loosely in the auto industry these days. But every so often, it applies to something that could potentially be really groundbreaking. For its part, Land Rover seems to think that it has something groundbreaking with the world’s first Transparent Bonnet concept.

Really, the name of this new technology is pretty self-explanatory. The bonnet, or hood, as we like to call it here, allows what Land Rover explains as a "new level of driver awareness". What that means is the hood provides a "see-through" augmented-reality view of the terrain ahead, making it easier for drivers to navigate around less-than-ideal conditions.

Land Rover accomplished this by putting cameras in the Discover Concept’s grille to capture data that will then be fed to a Head-Up Display inside the cabin of the vehicle. With it, the driver can see an unobstructed "see-through" view of the terrain. It’s never before done in the industry, making it that much more intriguing for everybody, us included.

The Transparent Bonnet concept is expected to be shown at the 2014 New York Auto Show with the Discovery Vision Concept . Rest assured, we’re going to keep a close eye on this new technology and see where Land Rover takes it from here.

To say Tesla is the world’s leading automotive start-up of the last 90 years would be a gross understatement. The company has done extremely well for itself, considering its mere 10-year existence and two-model lineup. Now solely producing its second product — the Model S — Tesla is on the forefront of all-electric car design and manufacturing. The Silicon Valley company can pin the majority of its success on the shoulders of its founder and CEO, Elon Musk.

CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley recently sat down with Musk for an interview about Tesla. “Well, I didn’t really think Tesla would be successful,” Musk answered regarding how he could start a car company and be successful at it. “I thought we would most likely fail. But I thought that we at least could address the false perception that people have that an electric car had to be ugly and slow and boring like a golf cart.” That sort of tenacity seems to be a driving force behind Musk’s inability to think small. “If something’s important enough you should try. Even if you [think] the probable outcome is failure.”

The Model S has shown an electric car can be successful inside the U.S. It’s so successful, in fact, Tesla is having a hard time keeping up with demand, turning out 600 cars each week, despite a few fiery setbacks. Musk is even planning a $5 billion factory to be built within the U.S. for constructing enormous amounts of lithium-ion batteries. With the eventual lowered cost of battery production, Tesla’s next major goal is producing an all-electric car costing roughly $35,000, making the company and its technology open to a far greater number of consumers.

Click past the jump for more info on Elon Musk’s other projects

Knowing the technology that goes behind the development of a car like the 2015 Ford Mustang is important to understand why the car is what it is: a powerful piece of American engineering designed to thrill Mustang aficionados young and old. One of the more important elements about the development of the Mustang outside of its performance numbers is in the aerodynamic front, something Carl Widmann, the Mustang’s Aerodynamics Manager, touched on in this video.

The Mustang might look like an aggressively-designed muscle car that pays homage to its sporty spirits, but it’s no accident why the car was built that way. Take for instance the Mustang’s sharp nose, which Widmann describes as "forward-facing," allowing it to trap the flow of the air as it goes across the top, thus improving the car’s aerodynamic functionality.

If you’ve ever wondered why the Mustang can perform the way that it does in a seemingly uninhibited fashion, the answer lies in its aerodynamic features. It might be too complicated to understand for some people, but once you watch this video of Widmann describing the innovation in all its glory, you’ll begin to understand that the start and end of aiming for aerodynamic tightness is tantamount to building the perfect performance vehicle.

Click past the jump for the video and more details on the 2015 Ford Mustang.

Air. This simple combination of oxygen and nitrogen is one of the most difficult factors for designing a high-end supercar . It needs to be routed to the engine for combustion, funneled to various systems for cooling and it is used for downforce to keep the car stuck to the road. For most of the 20th century, designers had to make compromises to one of those systems to improve the other. You had to cut downforce to reduce drag and increase speed, or you had to increase drag to provide better brake cooling. Now though, we have active aerodynamics. The engineer’s solution to have your air-based cake and eat it too. For the most technical demonstration of active aero any production car to date we need to look no farther than the new One:1 from Swedish supercar maker Koeingsegg .

Using a complex collection of vents, flaps, motors and hinges the 2015 Koenigsegg One:1 can completely alter its aerodynamic profile and performance.

Read on to find out about all of the advanced aero technology on the Koenigsegg One:1

I don’t know about you, but this video just blew my mind. If you haven’t watched it already — spoiler alert! — Chevrolet had issues with the new Z/28 braking and cornering so hard, it would literally spin the tires around the rims. Originally, the development team though the rotation was only occurring by a few degrees, but after marking the tire’s location on the wheel, they found it rotated nearly 360 degrees while lapping the test track.

To solve the issue, Chevrolet tried several ways of locking the tire’s bead to the wheel, including coating the inner wheels with abrasive paint. Nothing stopped the problem, so the team took a media blaster to the inside of the wheel. The tiny grains of sand ate away at the smooth surface and created a slightly pitted, coarse surface for the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires to grip. It’s an ingenious solution to a hidden problem that negatively affects lap times and braking performance.

When the top-dog Camaro Z/28 hits dealers this spring, it will arrive with 505 horsepower and 481 pound-feet of torque coming from its naturally-aspirated 7.0-liter, LS7 V-8. Through the Camaro ZL1 makes more power at 580 horses and 556 pound-feet, the Z/28 is a faster track car, thanks in large part to its reduction in weight. Heavy use of carbon fiber and lightweight glass, along with a lack of many creature comforts, the Z/28 drops some 300 pounds from the ZL1’s curb weight.

Video and more about the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 after the jump.

Car junkies know how hard it is keeping a car clean from pollen, bird crap, rain and the occasional cat prints across the hood. Using a car cover seems like a logical idea, but can be worthless if you’re using the wrong type of covering. Turns out, there’s more to buying a cover than just finding one that fits your car.

It all depends on what elements you’re trying to keep away from your car and where it’s stored at. Manufacturers make covers designed for specific uses like indoor dust covers, outdoor protective covers, waterproof covers that guard against moister and mildew growth, and even sun-proof covers. They’re all designed to protect from different threats and all have their pros and cons.

Click past the jump to see the cover in action.


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