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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Splinter, the wooden supecar, makes first appearance at IWF

Joe Harmon, a designer from North Carolina, decided last year he was going to build the first supercar of the world with a body entirely made of wood. His idea was to first present the car at the 2008 IWF (International Woodworking Fair) in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Named Splinter, the car would have a mid-mounted 4.6-litre V8 NorthStar engine able to produce 600 bhp for the rear wheels, with the help of two Roots superchargers and would weight something below 1,200 kg. For the ones that did not believe the idea, the car was at IWF:

We still have no images of the car there, but as soon as we obtain them, they will be here. Splinter is 4.43 m long, 2.08 m wide, 1.07 m tall and has a wheelbase of 2.67 m. According to Joe Harmon, the car will be fully driveable by December. Let's hope to show you soon a video with the car moving with its beautiful wooden wheels and body!

Source: Joe Harmon

Department of Energy lends Fisker $528.7 million for Karma and Project Nina

Well, it seems like that sex-on-wheels advert has done its job. Fisker's development of the oh so desirable Karma PHEV and its lower-cost sibling, now known as Project Nina (inspired by Christopher Columbus' escape from the Old World, no less), has been given a significant boost by the US government. Henrik Fisker himself has been quoted as saying that once the conditional loan is in, "it wouldn't take long to get the lower-cost plug-in hybrid on the road." If the company carries over the aggressive styling from the luxury model, it might have a real winner on its hands, though -- we know -- it's got to be cheap enough first. While waiting for that $528.7 million to work its magic, you can gawk at the solar paneled roof on the Karma, to be found after the break.

Source: Engadget

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lowest Fuel Consumption Volkswagen's Car Set World Record

The world's most fuel efficient couple, John and Helen Taylor, have broken the current world record for lowest fuel consumption across the 48 contiguous United States averaging 58.82 miles to the gallon. They ended their 20 day trip in West Virginia on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008. To help them break the world record, they drove the all-new, 50-state-compliant clean diesel Volkswagen Jetta TDI, fueled by Shell Ultra Low Sulfur diesel fuel under real world driving conditions, simply applying easy to use fuel saving tips and the latest efficient engine technology available for good clean diesel fun.

"We are very excited and grateful to have broken the current Guinness World Record for lowest fuel consumption across the 48 contiguous United States," said Helen Taylor. "We would like to thank Volkswagen for providing us their new clean diesel Jetta that helped us get another World Record and to Shell for supplying the diesel fuel."

The previous Guinness World Record for the lowest fuel consumption on a nationwide drive was 51.58 miles per gallon and the Taylors broke it by setting a new record of 58.82 miles per gallon, a whopping 14 percent improvement. In 20 days, driving across 48 states the Taylors drove 9,419 miles, exceeding 60 mpg on several legs of the record-setting run, spending only 6.9 cents per mile (total was $653).

"The terrain was very diverse, the weather less than ideal, and the traffic heavy at rush hour and the VW Jetta TDI handled it all beautifully, showing its fuel efficiency and its fun-to-drive dynamic capability, just two of this vehicle's many attributes," said John Taylor. "The car efficiently helped us to drive to a fuel economy world record."

People were encouraged to e-mail the Taylors along the way at: fuelacademy @ with any questions they may have about the tour, the vehicle or about fuel economy tips and join their "Fan" page on As of the end of the trip, more than 2,000 people have e-mailed the Taylors.

Approximately 12 official check-in and refueling stops across the country were included throughout the duration of the drive. The couple drove on a counter-clockwise route passing through: Washington D.C.; New York City, Rutland, Vermont; Toledo, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; Spearfish, S.D.; Missoula, Mont.; Winnemucca, Nev.; Santa Monica, Calif.; Durango, Colo.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Mount Vernon, Ill.; Ponchatoula, La.; and, Beckley, W.V. Some of the fuel saving tips the Taylors advocate include: avoiding idling and higher speeds, minimizing vehicle drag and performing regular vehicle maintenance.

The Taylors have made a 26-year career out of driving economically and conducting workshops globally on fuel-efficient driving techniques. They have collected 82 world fuel economy and vehicle-related records from drives around the globe in Australia, Asia, South Africa, Europe, the Middle East and North America.

Source: World Amazing Records

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How the Batmobile Works

Whether you have seen the movie "Batman Begins" or not, you have probably seen the Batmobile. It is shaped like a spaceship -- a spaceship that has had tires grafted onto it to make it street legal. The Batmobile used in "Batman Begins" is an icon for the movie and acts like a giant rolling advertisement for the film.

The Batmobile is real. Every single time you see the Batmobile in the movie, you are seeing a real, physical object, not a computer-generated graphic. Whether it is driving on city streets at 100 mph, landing in the Batcave or pulling up to the scene of a crime, what you're looking at is a real car. When the Batmobile flies 30 feet through the waterfall to land in the Batcave, what's landing is a real, 5,000-pound vehicle. The Batmobile is so real that it actually served as the pace car for a major NASCAR race held in June 2005.

And yet, the Batmobile is an illusion. Like so many other Hollywood props, the Batmobile that you see in the movie does not exist at all.

How can that be? How can something be so real that it can serve as a pace car but also be so illusory that it doesn't actually exist? In this article, we will talk with Nathan Crowley -- the man who designed the Batmobile and brought it to life in "Batman Begins" -- to find out what's going on.

In the Beginning
Let's start at the beginning and understand the "cinematic origins" of the Batmobile. In other words, let's understand how the car works in the movie.

The first thing you have to understand about Batman is that he must have a car. Unlike Superman, who has superhuman powers, Batman is a normal human being who gains all of his advanced capabilities through ingenuity and technology and usually a combination of the two. He can't shout "Up, up and away!" and fly through the air. Batman needs wheels to get around.

The second thing to understand is that, in this movie, Gotham City is portrayed as a highly dysfunctional version of New York City on steroids -- there are surprises and obstacles at every turn. So Batman needs a rugged car.

The third thing to understand is that Batman cannot, realistically, construct the car himself. Ordering all the machine tools and parts and assembling them in the basement would give away his secret identity.

So in the script, they create a mothballed military vehicle built by Wayne Enterprises. Batman requisitions this vehicle for his own purposes and paints it black to match his color scheme. The Batmobile also gains some rather remarkable abilities. For example:
It can go very, very fast.

It has a jet engine that allows it to jump/fly through the air much farther than any normal car could.

It has two driving positions -- one for driving and one for jumping/flying. It has stealth capabilities, and part of the stealth mode is a silent, electric-motor drive. Getting into and out of the car is "unusual" to say the least. There are no doors -- instead, the car "opens" somewhat like a flower. Nathan Crowley is the man who had to take that cinematic vision of the car and bring it to life on film. Now, the thing that you have to understand about Nathan is that he is a very physical guy... .

Inside the Batmobile

One of the most interesting parts of the Batmobile when you watch the movie is the way that Batman gets in and out. It is almost like a flower opening -- the roof unhinges, the windshield slides back and the seats in the car actually rise up. To make all of that origami fold and unfold, a separate team built yet another Batmobile.

This car is the one that Batman "pulls up in." It has several unique features:
It is loaded with hydraulics to make the opening and closing of the cockpit happen in a realistic way.

It has a small electric motor that lets the car drive forward, but there is no massive V-8 engine and no need for the car to drive at a high speed.

The car actually has another driver hidden inside the vehicle -- he makes the car stop and start as needed for each shot. When you see Batman inside the car, that is yet another piece of the puzzle. The interior of the car is actually a studio set that can't move at all. It is oversized so that cameras can fit inside, and it has all of the features needed to shoot the "interior shots" -- things like the seat that can move forward, the cockpit controls and so on.

And finally, there is one other version of the Batmobile -- the miniature version. It is a 6-foot-long (2-meter), 1:5 scale model of the Batmobile, complete with an electric motor drive. When you see the Batmobile flying through the air across ravines or between buildings, it is this scale model that does the flying. (But it's the 5,000-pound, race-car version that flies through the waterfall to land in the Batcave.)

So now you can start to see the complete illusion that makes the amazing car known as "the Batmobile" possible in the film.

Source: HowStuffWorks

Should I convert my car to LPG? How? Why?

As we all know, prices of petroleum is going far beyond our expectations. And it is still going up! Some of us just ignore it saying "we have no choice but to accept it, we have no control." But, how about our cars? Others may have just bought they car maybe last year or before this fast moving price hike. What can we do about that?

Hybrid cars that run using electricity may be a great resolution. However, these are quite expensive. So, not that great resolution at all.

So, what should I do?

Convert your car from petroleum to LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas). LPG price is lot cheaper unlike petroleum. There are lots of installers now in the market that can convert your car to LPG. Conversion price is cheaper given that you will save in gas costs.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Best Car Commercial

This is the best car commercial I've seen. This commercial features 1980 Isuzu Gemini so there is no computer graphic used to develop this commercial. The cars are really flying.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Longest Limo In The World

The longest limo in the world is a 100-ft long vehicle created by Jay Ohrberg of Burbank, California.

Built mainly as an exhibition piece, the owner is now allowing the rental of the vehicle for various functions and events. Although the vehicle is not technically street legal due to the vehicle’s enormous size, it can be driven from place to place with ease by a specially trained chauffer.

World's Longest Limousine

The longest limo in the world rides on 26 tires spaced along the length of the limo’s body. There are dual driver’s cabins on the vehicle, one at the front and one at the back, to help with driving the vehicle in reverse. The middle of the longest limo in the world is hinged to fold to help the vehicle make turns around corners.

Where the longest limo in the world really shines is in the passenger cabin of the limo, where state of the art luxuries abound. A heated Jacuzzi tub is nestled in the interior, along with a sun deck, a swimming pool, and a king sized bed. A helipad is located on the limo as well and the televisions inside are connected to the limo’s own satellite dish.

Source: Limoquoter