Published August 17, 2012
By Philippe Crowe
Yesterday in London, Hyundai showcased its latest-generation hydrogen fuel-cell technology which it aims to initially launch in the UK this year, slowly ramp up in fleets over the next few years, and along the way the hydrogen technology will find its way to the U.S.
The occasion was the “Investing in Future Transport” conference held at London’s City Hall and the news was given by Dr. Sae Hoon Kim, Hyundai’s principal fuel cell research engineer to an audience of policy makers, investors and industry representatives.
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Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are now flying a small, autonomous fixed-wing aircraft capable of navigating indoor obstacles without external guidance.
Different university labs around the country continue to push the capabilities of these tiny robotic aircraft. But most of the indoor fliers require some type of external motion-capture system or other off-board navigation source to provide information about their location. And many of the teams are using helicopters to allow for slower flight and hover capabilities. The MIT team opted to up the challenge with an airplane using an on-board scanner to navigate in the tight confines of an auditorium.
“The reason that we switched from the helicopter to the fixed-wing vehicle is that the fixed-wing vehicle is a more complicated and interesting problem,” says associate professor Nick Roy. “But also that it has a much longer flight time.”
Just like in the real world, helicopters require a lot of energy (whether it’s fuel or electricity) to turn their rotary wings in order to remain airborne, never mind actually flying to different locations. Fixed-wing airplanes require significantly less energy to maintain flight, and therefore are able to use the fuel or batteries to fly for a longer period of time.
But MIT’s real innovation is taking a big step to put true autonomy into the autonomous flight of the small indoor aircraft.
For the first time ever the Suzuki Grand Vitara SUV will be available as a two-wheel drive model in a revolutionary change for the brand that claims to have started the compact SUV trend.
“The addition of a 2WD version of Grand Vitara is a direct response to customer feedback,” Suzuki Australia general manager Tony Devers said.
Devers says in recent years the boom in 2WD models has maintained SUVs as the fastest growing segment in the market not just in Australia but around the world, with 2WD models now accounting for almost half of all SUV sales locally.
Known as the Urban, the new rear-wheel-drive-only entry-level five-door Grand Vitara will lead an updated line-up of five variants that sees every model receive a revised front end featuring a new grille and bumper, new seat fabrics, two new colours and new 17-inch alloy wheels.
The Grand Vitara Urban will follow the path of all petrol models, being offered exclusively with Suzuki’s 122kW/225Nm 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine tied to either a five-speed manual transmission or four-speed automatic.
Suzuki says despite driving two fewer wheels, the Urban matches the 4×4 Grand Vitara’s 1850kg towing capacity.
Infiniti’s Emerg-E range-extended supercar has been seen at so many events now it’s hard to believe that it’s only now making its first appearance in North America.
Meet the world’s fastest hybrid – no this isn’t the Porsche Panamera Hybrid or the Infiniti M35h Hybrid – this is the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid.
Driven by Motor Trend Associate Road Test Editor Carlos Lago, the recorded speed of of this Jetta Hybrid came in at 185.394 mph (298.363 kph) at the Bonneville Salt Flats, near Wendover, Nevada, during the Southern California Timing Association’s (SCTA) annual Speed Week.
“Achieving this speed at Bonneville shows that the all-new 2013 Jetta Hybrid is a distinctly different offering in the compact hybrid class,” said Jonathan Browning, CEO and President, VW Group of America. “As well as being expected to achieve combined fuel economy of 45 mpg, the Jetta Turbo Hybrid also retains the fun-to-drive nature you expect from a Volkswagen in a segment dominated by less exciting vehicles.”
The Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid used for the run was modified to SCTA rules. The standard Jetta Hybrid is powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged, direct-injection 4-cylinder TSI gasoline engine that generates 150 horsepower with a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission and an electric motor that provides an additional 27 hp. To achieve 185 mph, the powertrain was modified Volkswagen R&D in Wolfsburg, Germany.
There is a new trend going on for ostentatiously painted wheels, and all the big wheel makers seem to be taking part. You saw those red HRE’s, now check out these golden PUR Wheels fitted to a Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-a SV, or in plain English, the meanest Murcielago ever built. This is just about the perfect way to make a Lamborghini more showy. We don’t really dig the Rose Gold finish, but those PUR 6IX Monoblock wheels have a fantastic design.
More pictures after the jump…
Car News, Motorsports — By MR on August 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm — No Comments
Lotus has announced a lighter, track-ready variant of the Lotus Exige S that will be heading to America for racers and enthusiasts.
Two model variants will be available; the Track Day version and the full-on Competition-spec. Both cars share the same the 3.5 liter supercharged V6 engine producing up to 346hp. The sports car has a curb weight of 2,381 pounds, 200 pounds lighter than the standard Exige S. It will be able to hit 100km/h in 3.5 seconds, 0.2 seconds quicker than the normal model. The top speed is 174mph.
A special Lotus Dynamic Performance Management system offers the driver the possibility to switch between Race, Sport and Touring modes. A multi-adjustable suspension, rear diffuser and wing, aero-optimized front splitter and the Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo rubbers complement the trackbiased package. On the inside, you can get a full track package featuring a removable steering wheel, HANS-compliant race seats, a roll cage and a FIA-compliant fire extinguisher. Customers can choose between 4- or 6-point race harnesses.
Pricing of the car is set at close to $ 100,000 for the bare-bones Cup Car, but a full competition-ready version is available for $ 118,000. Both prices do not include a twenty percent VAT tax, which makes the cars closer to around $ 120,000 and $ 140,000 respectively. The production will start this December with an initial run of 20 units planned.