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Archive for the ‘industry news’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Would You Let Elon Musk Connect Your Brain to a Computer?

Elon Musk isn’t a bad guy. He can be arrogant at times (can’t we all?) but he’s made huge strides in battery technology, autonomous driving technology, and even getting big hunks of metal (that may eventually carry us to Mars) into space. You would think that a man like Musk, who’s splitting his time between companies like SpaceX and Tesla, would have a full plate, but apparently, his plate isn’t full enough as he has announced a new venture that seeks to interface our brains with computers. The company, which is in the very early stages of creation is called “Neuralink” and looks to implant tiny electrodes in our brains to allow us to connect directly to computers.

The crazy thing is that the whole thing has been pretty well thought out, and has been a concept routinely explored in science fiction as well. If this new company is successful, it would be able to make a direct cortical interface between man and computer, ultimately allowing our thoughts and maybe even memories to be downloaded to a computer, or allow us to control a computer without using anything but our minds. Eventually, the technology could even be used to increase cognitive capabilities that allow us to increase our intelligence and memory. It’s like adding RAM to a computer, really. It might sound a little outlandish but, believe it or not, it’s actually a feasible idea. After all, the human brain is considered to be the most advanced computer in existence thus far, right?

Keep reading for the rest of the story

PostHeaderIcon California Sticks it to Trump; Approves Vehicle Pollution Rules

What happens when an entire state hates the President of the United States? Well, it defies him every chance they get, and in this case, they gave Trump the proverbial middle finger by approving vehicle emission regulations for 2022 to 2025 that the Trump admiration says needs further review. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) reviewed their own rules (and the work of independent analysts, apparently) and found that it’s vehicles standards are achievable and cost-effective. Meanwhile, the Trump administration looks to possibly relax emissions regulations at the federal level, with EPA Boss Scott Pruitt, saying that the 2025 emissions rules merits review.

But, that didn’t stop California and CARB from going ahead and pushing its regulations through anyway. The standards set in place would require a fuel economy as high as 46.3 mpg in 2025. The stricter pollution controls are expected, by the U.S. and California, to increase the cost of each car sold in 2025 by about $1,000. But, the Trump Administration is more worried about protecting jobs and providing consumers with affordable cars. Meanwhile, CARB board member Daniel Sperling has said that “If anything, these standards should be more aggressive.”

In the end, it’s the beginning of a battle that’s going to last at least as long as Trump is in office. The federal government can challenge California’s ability to make rules about greenhouse gasses and fuel economy, but that will only stir the pot and make things worse.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

PostHeaderIcon Anarchists Go Wild In Oregon, Repair Potholes

Anarchy – it’s a term often associated with pandemonium, craziness, mass hysteria. After all, how can society survive without the protections of the state? Well, as it turns out, the state can leave much to be desired, as evidenced by the fact our roads are falling to pieces before our eyes. As such, a group of Portland anarchists have taken it upon themselves to fill in the gaps – literally.

As reported by local news outlet The Oregonian, an anonymous group dubbed “Portland Anarchist Road Care” has decided to take the initiative in fixing the city’s mangled streets. The group reportedly repaired potholes on Southeast Salmon Street last month, and plan further repairs in the near future.

“By creating structures to serve the same purpose as state structures, such as our organization, we have the ability to show that government is not necessary for society to function, that we can have a truly free and liberated society,” a group representative stated in an email to The Oregonian.

City officials warn that while there is no explicit law forbidding the repairs, there could be issues with liability if the repairs are not done properly.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Elon Musk Not Happy About Trump's New Plan for Nasa

Earth’s atmosphere serves as the doorstep to the rest of the universe with an all-new frontier just waiting to be explored and discoveries waiting to be made. It’s been more than 40 years since any human (that we know of) has stepped foot on a celestial body other than the earth, and Elon Musk plans to send a manned mission to mars as early as 2022 via his prized SpaceX rockets that are, in fact, very promising. However, on the other side of the spectrum, President Trump signed legislation S. 442, which provides funding of $19.5 billion to NASA and a goal (or ultimatum) to get to Mars by 2033.

At face value, the funding and goal to get to Mars seems promising, as that means that NASA isn’t going to experience the same funding cuts as other science agencies in the mix. It looks so good, in fact, that Recode co-founder, Kara Swisher, tweeted to Musk saying “Somewhere @elonmusk is smiling.” As it turns out, though, Musk has a completely different view and isn’t really happy at all. See, Musk wanted added funding for the Mars mission, while in fact, this bill does nothing of the sorts. His replies on twitter say it all:

“ @Karaswisher I am not. (smiling) This bill changes almost nothing about what NASA is doing. Existing programs stay in place, and there is no added funding for Mars.” He continued in a second tweet, saying that maybe there will be a bill in the future that makes a difference, but this one isn’t it. And, he’s not the only expert who thinks that way either. Scott Pace, the director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, thinks it’s more of a vote for stability than it is a great leap forward.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

PostHeaderIcon Shelby GT350 Owners Are Ready to Burn the Blue Oval at the Stake

The Ford Shelby GT350 was Ford’s answer to the new Camaro Z/28 and the car Ford enthusiasts had been waiting for. It came with more aggressive exterior styling that reduced aerodynamic drag, a new front splitter, angled ducts in the grille, a vent on the hood, and real vents in the lower fascia that help to keep the front brakes cool under heavy load. It even had a belly pan to help increase air flow through. And, Ford even replaced the 5.0-liter with a 5.2-liter flat-plane crank V-8 that delivers an awesome 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. So, it’s got the credentials of a track-ready car and was marketed as such, but a bunch of owners of this “track-ready” car say it’s not track ready at all and seek financial compensation from the blue oval for being duped into thinking it was.

Apparently, the GT350 will suddenly lose speed and power once on the track. And, in some cases, this can happen in as little as 15 minutes. That doesn’t sound like it makes for a fun day at the track, does it? As the story goes, it has been found that base model GT350s or those equipped with the technology package can overheat due to defective transmissions and rear differentials that overheat without external coolers. As such, the computer detects the overheating and puts the car into limp mode, causing it to lose power and slow down suddenly – something that not only ruins your run at the track but also poses a serious safety issue if there’s anyone close to you when limp mode is activated.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

PostHeaderIcon BMW And Mercedes Are Now Realizing What Their Customers Have Known For A Long Time

A lot of people knew that this was bound to happen. The only question was when it was going to. Turns out, both BMW and Mercedes-Benz are finally realizing the consequences of their actions with regards to having too many models and niches in their lineups.

Speaking with Car and Driver at the Geneva Motor Show, Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales and marketing, indicated that while Bimmer still has a few models that are in the pipeline, the current lineup – or checkerboard, as he puts it – of body styles and segments is already brimming full. And so, the German automaker is planning to take action by removing some body styles from its current lineup in the future. In a somewhat ironic bit of happenstance, Mercedes-Benz chief Dieter Zetsche admitted that same thing in Geneva when he said that his company is planning to do the same thing in the near future.

Neither BMW nor Mercedes-Benz dived into the specifics of its plans, but the common thread between the two companies appears to be a new-found willingness to trim its current lineup and get rid of models that aren’t selling very well. In both cases, traditional coupes and their open-top counterparts appear to be the ones most likely to be sent to the chopping block.

“The segment that is not really progressing is the roadster segment,”Robertson said.

And so, a future with fewer coupes and roadsters could be in store for the two German titans. It took both companies this long to recognize it; let’s hope then that it doesn’t take either of them as long to take action.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon The Bugatti Chiron Proves that the Wealthy Live a Different Way of Life than the Rest of Us

So, when you decide to purchase a new piece of technology or a new car, you probably make it a point to test it for yourself before actually committing to your purchase and signing on the dotted line, right? Well, for most of us, that’s the smart thing to do. Hell, I couldn’t buy a $3,000 winter beater without giving it a long drive to make sure it’s worthy of my ownership. Plus, it helps to tell you whether or not the car is worth the hype. But, when it comes to those with deep pockets and a love for supercars, apparently things go a little differently as shown by the fact that someone just ordered the 250th Bugatti Chiron. This means that half of the models planned for production have officially been spoken for.

That’s good news for Bugatti and the Chiron, but what does it tell us about those with excessive amounts of money to spend? Well, they certainly don’t have commitment or trust issues. After all, all 250 of those who have bit the bullet and signed up for Bugatti’s next four-wheeled rocket, never test drove the car. And for the record, Bugatti is proud of this, as expressed by Wolfgang Durheimer, the President of Bugatti, when he said, “The fact that we have already taken orders for half of the Chiron series even without test drives so far bears witness to the great confidence of our customers in our brand and its strong aura.”

But, that story will change soon as, by the end of March, the Bugatti is planning a central test-drive event where those already on the list and other prospective customers will have the chance to get behind the wheel. But still, we’re talking about a $2.4 million car. The price in itself should be enough to prove that the car will be top notch – we all know that you get what you pay for – I just don’t think I could commit to such a large purchase without knowing how comfortable the car is, or how it drives, among other things. But, to each their own, I guess.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

PostHeaderIcon Ever Wonder Why Flights Take Longer Now Than They Used To?

When British Airways and Air France started offering flights in the Concorde Supersonic Jet back in the 1970s, it seemed as if slow flights were soon to be a thing of the past. After all, breaking the speed of sound (767.269 mph) isn’t only something that most people don’t get to experience, but is much faster than the 500 to 600 mph speeds usually seen on commercial flights. When supersonic commercial flights started taking place, some people jumped onboard just to experience it, while others found it a great alternative to spending eight hours to cross the Atlantic. But, there were a few major problems.

First off, those supersonic flights were expensive – not only for passengers but for flight operators as well. The Concord held just 100 passengers, only some of which actually paid for their tickets while others used miles earned for free flights. The Concorde was uncomfortably tight, and despite being considering “luxury” wasn’t much better than the economy seats that we purchase today on large, subsonic airliners that haul hundreds of people.

What it boils down to is the fact that supersonic flight is expensive, the transonic speed between Mach 0.8 and Mach 1.2 is turbulent and destabilizing to aircraft. So, airliners must stick below Mach 0.8 or well above it at somewhere around Mach 1.2. So much air resistance and drag creates a huge draw on fuel and thus makes supersonic flights extremely expensive and inefficient.

But, that’s not the only reason flights are slower now – even passenger jets that don’t have supersonic capability take longer to get from point A to point B. This boils down to airline companies competing for fuel economy. Flying at 550 mph is far more efficient than at 700 mph, for instance. And, as such, the slow flight times actually save enough fuel to make flights profitable for airlines.

Most general passengers would rather pay less and spend more time in the air anyway. Why not get your night’s sleep flying across the Atlantic instead of paying three or four times more to get there in a few hours? To most people, the time spent is a fair trade off to save money.

Another thing that makes for longer flight times is the sheer number of people traveling and planes in the air. Things like boarding, take off, landing, etc. are all including in flight times these days to help ensure that flights still arrive on time. But, that’s just the gist of it all. Take a look at this video from Wendover Productions that breaks it all down in detail, then tell us what you think in the comments section below.

PostHeaderIcon Ferrari Could Find Itself In Serious Trouble If Scandalous Allegations Are Proven True

Just when you thought that the auto industry was on the mend after numerous scandals rocked it to its core, another potentially devastating scandal is on the horizon, this time involving Ferrari.

A report from The Daily Mail reveals that Florida-based Ferrari salesman Robert “Bud” Root has filed a pair of lawsuits in Florida alleging Ferrari of using a device that was designed to electronically roll back the digital odometers of Ferrari models that go on sale in the pre-owned (or second-hand) market. According to Root’s lawsuit, the practice of rolling back these odometers allows Ferrari owners to sell their Ferraris to unsuspecting buyers at grossly inflated prices.

The device is reportedly called the “Deis Tester, internet” and according to the lawsuit, it has been available since 2010 and has a software program that allows it to reset a Ferrari odometer back to as low as 0 miles. Not only that but Root also alleges that Ferrari headquarters in Maranello is complicit in the activity, even going so far as publishing a written policy manual detailing how the device works and having sole authority on when to actually use the device.

The lawsuit further adds that Ferrari “licenses the equipment, administers the passwords and remote log-in authorisations, electronically uploads and tracks functions through the use of the device – including odometer rollbacks – through aInternet connection, and stores the electronic data.”

As for why Root stepped forward threatening to blow the lid off of the allegedly illegal practice, it appears that the 71-year old salesman reportedly fired after discovering the use of the Deis Tester and implications it could have from a legal standpoint. Root even named one of his clients, retired Sara Lee CEO C. Steve McMillan, and accused him of paying off one of the dealership’s mechanics to roll back the odometer of his Ferrari LaFerrari back to 0 miles so he could sell it a higher price than what the car was supposed to be worth.

For its part, Ferrari of Palm Beach attorney Jason Kairalla issued a statement on behalf of the dealership, saying that it “does not litigate in the newspaper,” before adding its belief that the lawsuit filed by its employee “is wholly without merit and will be vigorously defended in court.”

Meanwhile, the Italian automaker has also commented on the allegations, telling Motor Authority that the automaker does not comment on litigation that involves third parties with respect to Ferrari North America and the litigation does not involve Ferrari. The automaker threw in its own caveat, adding that it “reserves” the right to take all appropriate action against any party that has adversely affected its rights.

Continue after the jump to read the full story

PostHeaderIcon Samsung: The new S8 Won't Blow Up Your Car

Last year was a rough one for Samsung. That glorious and amazing Note 7 Phablet hit the market and everyone into carrying phones the size of cinder blocks that don’t have an apple on the back was super stoked. Well, until those phones went rogue and started self-destructing in people’s pockets, homes, and even cars. Truth be told, who knows if Samsung really told the truth, but the problem was supposedly related to the batteries used in the would-be halo phone.

There were some crazy videos out there that included a lithium-charged explosion in someone’s pocket, but one of the more recent stories before the phones were disabled was the story behind a family that nearly avoided tragedy thanks to their need to stop at home and offload something before continuing about their day of yard-sell hunting.

Long story short, a Note 7 was left charging in the center console, and next thing you know the family jeep found its Jeep heaven. Fast forward a few months to today, and Samsung is set to make its next big release, this time in the form of the next-gen Galaxy S8 lineup. As such, the brand is doing everything it can to prove that these new phones won’t explode and take out your home, Jeep, or girlfriend checking out your phone in the middle of the night.

So far, the brand has released three different ads, two of which include quick peeks into the testing each phone goes through before being shipped out and put on the shelf. In the video above, you even get to watch the battery get punctured by what one could only describe as a freaky mind probe from a science fiction movie, but it doesn’t blow up. The phone is even shown operating in excessively cold temperatures and being bent under pressure without any big boom taking place.

Apparently, the brand now has what it calls a seven-point battery test that ensures each battery is free of defect. But, let’s be honest; won’t a part of you wonder if the S8 will try to kill you too? Check out the video above to see Samsung’s “toughest safety testing ever.”

PostHeaderIcon Let's Hope That Tesla's Production Timetable For The Model 3 Doesn't Have "Delays" Written All Over It

The start of production of the Tesla Model 3 is all set to begin this July in a “limited” capacity, although according to InsideEVs, the first wave of models that roll off the production line are earmarked for Tesla’s employees and investors. While that allocation part isn’t entirely that big of a deal, the timetable for the car’s production is, especially if Tesla is serious about achieving its goals of producing 5,000 units per week by the fourth quarter of this year and 10,000 units per week sometime in 2018.

To its credit, Tesla has already started production trials for the car in anticipation of the massive volume it has to deal with once full-scale production commences. Tesla, after all, has more than 370,000 deposits to deal with, right?

For everyone’s sake then, let’s hope that the company’s production plans for the Model 3 are all ironed out. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is saying all the right things at the moment, even telling reporters recently that the ramp-up in the production of the Model 3 will happen slowly to give Tesla some form of breathing room to address potential bugs and issues.

That’s good to hear because history hasn’t been kind on Tesla’s production promises. Remember, both the Model S and Model X experienced massive production delays during their launch. The Model X, in particular, was delayed numerous times for a myriad of reasons, including issues with suppliers that ended with ugly lawsuits on both sides. Those delays pushed the launch of the Model X from its original launch timetable in the early part of 2014 all the way to the end of 2015. That’s almost two years, if you’re keeping score.

For the sake of the Model 3, which Tesla is promoting as the model that would signal the company’s entry into mainstream markets, delays of any sort would be devastating to the company. It’s not a premium model like the Model X that can be explained through automotive and legal jargons. This is a car that has almost 400,000 pre-orders attached to it, and you can be sure that a lot of those deposits will be canceled if Tesla suffers any delays in the production of the Model 3.

Let’s all hope that it doesn’t come to that then.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Lotus Needs To Find An Owner That Will Take It Seriously

If you look at Lotus on the surface, you’ll see a company that appears to be on stable ground. It’s never been an automaker that prides itself on the volume of vehicles it makes, but it has released its share of models, most of which have been universally praised for being some of the best handling sports cars in the segment. But if you dig deep enough, you’ll realize that the soil that Lotus’ foundation stands on isn’t as stable as you’d think.

Financial trouble. Mismanagement. Multiple bouts with near-bankruptcy. The list of ills run long within Lotus, and as news comes out that the automaker is reportedly on the verge of another ownership change, the question on whether Lotus can have a stable and supportive ownership group has never been as relevant as it is today.

Reports say that DRB-Hicom, one of Malaysia’s biggest conglomerates and the current owner of Lotus, is on the verge of selling the sports car brand to Chinese manufacturer Geely. Separately, Proton could also be in play with reported talks of the PSA Group gaining a controlling stake in the Malaysian auto brand.

Two potential deals are on the table, but for now, or at least in this space, we’re only going to talk about Lotus.

The issue here is the tenuous status Lotus has had for years despite producing some of the purest sports cars in the segment. It’s gone through numerous bankruptcy ordeals just to keep the company afloat. It’s also gone through numerous ownership changes, most recently in 2012 when its parent company, Proton, was fully acquired by DRB-Hicom. Now DRB-Hicom is reportedly looking to divest Lotus from Proton and sell it to Geely, a Chinese automaker that counts Volvo among its auto brands.

Oh, and let’s not forget about the many controversies the company has been embroiled in, most notably the ouster of CEO Dany Bahar in 2012 over allegations that he was misusing company funds for his own lavish expenses. The two parties eventually settled in 2014 after multiple lawsuits but the fiasco served as another stain in the company, whether it deserved it or not.

So what do we make of this reported sale of Lotus to Geely? According to multiple reports, the Chinese automaker is keen on taking on Lotus while the PSA Group, the parent firm of Peugeot, Citroen, and DS, would be taking over Proton, thus splitting the two brands that have been linked together since 1993 when Proton acquired Lotus. Negotiations are still ongoing, but if it does happen, Lotus could find itself with another new owner. Hopefully, Geely has serious plans to turn Lotus around and bring some stability back to the company.

It’s a crying shame that the once proud British automaker has never had an ideal ownership situation for close to three decades now, but with a new ownership group reportedly on the horizon, there’s at least hope of seeing brighter days ahead for the sports car brand.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Dear Ferrari, Please Stop Giving Childish Names to Your Supercars

Needless to say, Ferrari has been doing pretty well lately. It has a solid lineup consisting of four distinct models, it’s racing program is still winning races, it’s finally using turbocharged engines, and it’s doing a great job at keeping the naturally aspirated V-12 alive. But that’s not to say there isn’t room for improvement. For starters, I think that Maranello’s designs aren’t as exciting as they used to be. But this is another story for another time. My main rant with Ferrari is the way it’s been naming its cars.

Granted, Ferrari was never very creative with car names, having used numerals based on displacement and number of cylinders almost exclusively. On the other hand, it’s responsible for the iconic “GTO” badge, as well as names like Daytona and California, both pretty cool in my opinion. In the 1990s, Maranello began using actual words alongside numerals, coming up with badges such as Scuderia and Italia. Not very inspiring, but not bad either. The Ferrari Enzo, on the other hand, was a great tribute to the company’s founder, Enzo Ferrari.

But in 2013 Ferrari launched the successor to the Enzo and thought it’s a good idea to name it the LaFerrari. Maranello explained that LaFerrari means “The Ferrari” or the “Definitive Ferrari” and also said something about fashion and accessories, something I don’t really care about.

While I do understand Ferrari’s decision to highlight the LaFerrari as its greatest supercar, I think that the name is plain childish. For one simple reason. The LaFerrari will be almost obsolete in a few years when Ferrari will launch a supercar with 1,000-horsepower or something. Then what, Ferrari? Will you name it the LaBigKahuna? And besides, can you imagine what silly badges we could have if all automakers would start to behave like this?

Moving on…

After a short break, Ferrari decided that its existing cars also need a new name with their mid-cycle updates. This is how the FF became the GTC4Lusso. While this name isn’t half bad, Ferrari took the silly road once again by renaming the F12berlinetta into the 812 Superfast. There’s nothing wrong with 812, which stands for 800 PS (789 horsepower) and 12 cylinders, but Superfast? Have I been living under a rock and Ferrari is now owned by toy manufacturer Matchbox? I get it, the 812 Superfast is indeed impressively fast, but someone at Ferrari is also incredibly childish. Or is it superchildish nowadays?

I don’t know what the guy in charge of vehicle names has been drinking recently, but I sure hope it doesn’t spread to other brands. I hate to see other companies name their cars so that they can sell more t-shirts and smartphone covers to hipsters.

Anyway, I’d like to actually thank Ferrari for making the Prius and Huayra names seem a bit more tolerable.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to drive my LeChevy to the grocery store. I only hope that the guy who double parked his TheFord finally drove away.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet SS Production Comes to an End, Order Books Set to Close in a Week

General Motors’ decision to end all Australian manufacturing is coming into effect in 2017, when the iconic Holden Commodore will be discontinued. But, this move will also affect U.S. muscle enthusiasts, who won’t be able to order the Chevrolet SS anymore. Word has it that Chevy is set to close the ordering books at the end of February, meaning there’s only a week left to place an order.

The news comes from GM Authority, which claims that the performance sedan will not be sold beyond February 28. The outlet also claims that there won’t be a send-off edition like the Commodore received in Australia, which is a shame to be honest. Instead customers will be able to order the sedan in Orange Blast Metallic instead of last year’s Some Like It Hot Red Metallic color.

But even though production and orders will come to an end, there’s a chance that inventory will mount and Chevy will end up with a solid stock of SS models. In this case, we may see significant discounts. In July 2016, Chevy rolled out a 20-percent price cut. Still, if you want to be sure that you get one, it’s safer to just place an order by February 28.

The sedan costs $48,920 including the gas guzzler tax and delivery fee and it comes standard with the 415-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8, Magnetic Selective Ride Control, OnStar 4G LTE, Brembo brakes, premium upholstery, and a range of active safety features. Options are limited to the new Orange Blast Metallic color ($395), the six-speed manual transmission, full-size spare tire and wheel ($500), and power sunroof ($900). All told, a fully equipped SS will set you back $50,715.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon The Fastest Chevrolet You Can Buy Does 200 MPH, and It's Not a Corvette

Chevrolet has just released top speed information for the latest Camaro ZL1 and the supercharged coupe is officially the fastest Chevy you can buy from a dealership. Specifically, the ZL1 Coupe has an official top speed of 198 mph, a figure that was achieved on the High Speed Oval at Germany’s Automotive Testing Papenburg proving ground.

The ZL1’s top speed was measured during two runs in opposite directions on the 7.6-mile loop. This is standard procedure, in order to account for variables like wind speed and track surface. The Camaro hit 202.3 mph in one direction and 193.3 in the other direction for an average of 198 mph. But while the official rating is set at 198, it’s more than obvious that the ZL1 is capable of running beyond the 200-mph mark.

This makes it quicker than the bonkers Corvette Z06 or any other Chevy available for purchase right now, and puts in the select company of supercars that can hit more than 200 mph. Heck, it’s just as quick as the Dodge Challenger Hellcat, and almost as fast as the Charger Hellcat, which tops out at 204 mph. Also, it’s not far off compared to supercars like the Ferrari 488 GTB or McLaren 675LT, which are rated at 205 mph.

“The ZL1 was developed with high-speed performance in mind, incorporating a balanced aerodynamic package that reduces lift without significantly affecting drag,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “After testing the car in standard settings, which produced the 198-mph average, we set the front and rear camber adjustments to 0 degrees and the tire pressures to the maximum allowable sidewall pressure, and saw the ZL1 average over 200 mph.”

The testing was conducted on the ZL1’s production Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 tires with pressure set at 44 psi, the recommended setting for extended high-speed driving. The car’s only modifications from the stock equipment were mandatory safety features and data logging equipment. The vehicle was fitted with the available 10-speed automatic transmission.

Chevrolet also measured a 0-to-60 mph sprint of 3.5 seconds, a quarter-mile time of 11.4 seconds at 127 mph, max cornering of 1.02g and a 60-to-0 mph braking in 107 feet.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Presidents' Day Special – What Would The Commander-In-Chief Drive?

We here at TopSpeed will take any and every opportunity we can to celebrate the glorious amazing awesomeness that is the automobile. But Presidents’ Day is kinda tricky – after all, the Commander-in-chief doesn’t drive, he’s driven, right? But that got us thinking – what if a select number of U.S. presidents (both past and present) did drive? What would be their chariot of choice? What four-wheeled machine would accurately reflect their policies, their demeanor, their legacy? These are all very important questions, and we think we’ve got the answers right here in the following special holiday list.

Of course, we couldn’t give a spot to all 44 men to ever hold the highest office in the land, so instead, we went with just five. Most are relatively recent, but we couldn’t resist adding in a bit of a throwback as well.

So read on, and don’t hesitate to let us know your thoughts on which car you think the president (any president) would drive.

Continue reading for the full list.

PostHeaderIcon Turns Out Flying Cars Weren't as far off as you Thought!

Do you remember the name Pal-V? Well, if you don’t, the brand has debuted two different flying car concepts, one in 2009 and one in 2012. Both of which have been put through rigorous testing and led the way to the brand’s first official production models that will be known as the Liberty Pioneer and the Liberty Sport. What’s more, the Dutch company has officially opened its order books, and you can get your hands on one for just shy of $400,000. That’s more than models like the Rolls-Royce Dawn and the Bentley Continental GT, but that’s okay because the Pal-V can actually fly!

According to Pal-V, both models – the entry-level Liberty Sport and highly personalized Pioneer Edition – are both fully compliant with the various safety standards and regulations set forth by global governing agencies. That means that this baby should be legal to fly just about anywhere as long as you have the proper credentials and a flight plan in place. The first 90 models will be sold as Pioneer Editions at $599,000. For that kind of money, you get personalized touches here and there to go with extra features like power heating, for example. Once the initial run of 90 Pioneer editions are sold out, Pal-V will start producing and selling the entry-level Liberty Sport model and $399,000.

According to the company, “Pal-V deliberately chose to engineer, design and build a flying car with proven technologies and fully compliant with existing regulation. This leads to a first product delivery date that is realistic and imminent.” Pal-V expects North America to be a major market for its flying car.”

Those looking to enjoy the ability to fly and drive all in one model will need a driver’s license and a flying license, but outside of some special training and the big check you have to write, that’s all you need to take the world’s first production flying car for a spin.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

PostHeaderIcon Lamborghini Urus

Rumored for many years, the upcoming Lamborghini Urus, the company’s first-ever SUV, was finally spotted in production form on public roads. Although camouflaged almost entirely, the test vehicle reveals essential details about what Lambo promises to be the world’s fastest and most dynamic SUV.

With Porsche having introduced an SUV in 2003, it was only a matter of time before the other premium sports car and supercar manufacturers joined in the fun. After years of rumors, whispers, and planning, Lamborghini is the next to cross over into the high-performance soccer mom world, a.k.a. the SUV realm, with the oddly named Urus. The name first surfaced in 2008, when Lamborghini trademarked it before the introduction of the Estoque. In 2012, the Urus concept was showcased at the Beijing Auto Show and it didn’t take long before Lamborghini confirmed that a production version is set to follow.

Though the name sounds odd, it is very appropriate for the model. The Urus, also called the Aurochs, is an ancient ancestor of the modern day cow, which went extinct in 1627. These things were massive, ranging from 61 to 71 inches tall at the shoulders and weighing in at 1,500 pounds – phew, that’s a lot of quarter pounders. This makes the urus one of the largest bulls ever recorded, which is appropriate, considering the Lamborghini Urus is almost certainly going to end up being the largest to boast the raging bull emblem.

Now that we have turned off Animal Planet, we can continue with the Lamborghini Urus and not the extinct cow relative. There is some debate as to whether Lamborghini can actually support an SUV, especially after the LM002, the original Lambo SUV, fizzled out in 1993 with only 328 models ever produced.

So, can Lambo actually have a successful SUV this time around, and how does it stack up against the Porsche Cayenne and the Bentley Bentayga? Continue reading to find out more about that.

Continue reading to find out more about Lamborghini Urus.

PostHeaderIcon FCA Gives Dodge Viper Official Expiration Date

And so it is, the end of the Dodge Viper now has an official date. For years, rumors and speculation surrounding the Viper’s fate has been one of the most talked-about items in the auto industry and while we’ve known for quite a while now that Dodge was in fact sending the Viper to retirement, we didn’t receive an official date until Fiat Chrysler Automobiles design chief and former SRT CEO Ralph Gilles finally made the announcement at the Chicago Auto Show. The Dodge Viper, after a polarizing run in the industry spanning 25 years, will no longer be built on August 31, 2017.

Check your calendars, ladies and gentlemen. That’s a little over six months away until we officially say goodbye to the iconic sports car. For those who need a refresher, the Viper burst into American automotive consciousness in 1992 before becoming an unwitting victim of Chrysler’s bankruptcy that led to the car taking a temporary hiatus. It came back in 2013, but it was never the same as slow sales and evolving consumer preferences turned the Viper into an expendable model.

FCA ultimately decided in 2015 to retire the Viper this year and with Gilles’ comments in Chicago, the cast for the brash and brutish sports car’s tombstone is now being created.

It’s a sad end for the model many believed to be America’s last true sports car. For a time, the Viper was a force of sports car personality that epitomized the rawness and unbridled thrill of sports car driving. It was never the best-looking sports car, nor was it the fastest and most powerful. But it did have all three qualities in spades and unlike most of today’s refined and tech-driven performance car’s the Viper’s reputation for being difficult to tame spoke to the thrill of actually being able to drive the sports car up to its full potential.

It’s been a great run for the Dodge Viper and the car will undoubtedly be missed by the industry. But like everything else, every story has an opening and closing chapter, and the Viper’s closing chapter will come to a conclusion on August 31.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon McLaren Teams Up with BMW to Develop Next-Generation Drivetrains

British sports car manufacturer McLaren has announced a new strategic partnership to design and develop technology for its next generation of powertrains. The new project, which is part of the company’s “Track22” business plan, includes six different partners, including the BMW Group.

Details are scant as of this writing, but McLaren’s brief statement on the matter talks about “new combustion technology that will deliver a higher output per capacity than currently possible.” The British brand also aims to further reduce CO2 emissions, while simultaneously increasing engine output.

Supported and partly-funded by the British Government through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), the collaboration also includes Ricardo, McLaren’s existing engine manufacturing partner. Grainger and Worrall will join in to deliver complex, lightweight casting technology, while Lentus Composite will contribute knowledge in specialist composite structure. Finally, the University of Bath will bring its advanced research and development capabilities in internal combustion engine systems efficiency.

“This is an exciting project that plays to the strengths of all partners. McLaren Automotive has an exceptional reputation for building the world’s finest engines, as showcased by our M838T and its previous category wins in the International Engine of the Year awards. We will continue to independently design and build our own engines, and the benefits of this project will help us accelerate the development of our next generation of powertrain,” said Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren Automotive.

The result of this collaboration will most likely motivate all future McLarens, including the successor to the P1 supercar and the next-generation Super Series.

Continue reading for the full story.

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