We spend a lot of time evaluating the electronics in new cars, digging through navigation system menus, hooking up phones and iPods, and listening to audio systems. But occasionally we get to put these very same cars on the track, to find out how their performance technologies work under stress.
This year, we drove a wide variety of cars on the track at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. There was the new Hyundai Genesis Coupe and Chevrolet Camaro. We had familiar rides such as the BMW M3 and Acura TL SH-AWD. Then there were the race-bred cars, the Audi R8 and … Read more
With all the emphasis on eco-friendly cars at recent auto shows, we didn't expect to see so many performance cars in New York.
But many automakers had souped-up versions of existing models on display, giving driving enthusiasts something to enjoy. Mercedes-Benz had an AMG version of its E-class and BMW made the X6 into an M. VW launched the new GTI and Nissan NISMO'd its 370Z. Honda even showed up with a Mugen-equipped Fit.
With the 335d, BMW adds the sportiest car to its limited diesel line-up in the U.S. Using twin-turbos strapped to a 3-liter inline six-cylinder engine, the 335d puts a lot of power to the wheels of its conventional 3-series chassis, most of it in the form of outrageous torque. The cabin electronics are highlighted by the new iDrive interface, which offers updated navigation and new features such as onboard music storage.
Editors' note: Google has just informed us that the launch of this new feature will be delayed, and is not occurring on March 26. Google would not specify a date when the new feature will be launched.
On March 26, Google lets you get in the path of American Le Mans racers on the track at Mazda raceway Laguna Seca. Specifically, Google was able to roll one of its Street View trucks, which use a spherical camera to take 360-degree photos, around the track in front of the cars preparing for the final race of the 2008 American Le Mans … Read more
In conjunction with the launch of its tC Release Series 5.0, a Scion tC featuring racing components, Scion is offering 2,000 virtual versions of the car for the online drag racing game Nitto 1320 Legends. To get the car, you will have to register for and download Nitto 1320 Legends, a free game, and poke around the Scion tC Release Series 5.0 Web site to find an Easter egg. Once found, enter your username for the game, and the site will let you know if you've won the car. Scion is giving away the virtual racers … Read more
G-Oil, made from in part from animal fats, is a now the official motor oil of the International Motor Sports Association's American Le Mans Series.
The two groups announced the change in a joint statement released Thursday.
The sanctioning by the International Motor Sports Association is an added bonus for Green Earth Technologies for attracting consumers. The company's G-Oil SAE 5W-30 received certification in early March from the American Petroleum Institute for meeting the performance specifications standards for gasoline engine oils. It then got the go-ahead to use the certification logo on its packaging.
Prior to that, the … Read more
DETROIT--While the switch to electric power steering will boost fuel economy, it also opens the door to driver-friendly features for Ford vehicles--specifically, parallel-parking assist and a torque-assist feature that reduces driver effort on crowned road surfaces.
By 2012, 90 percent of Ford's vehicles, including light-duty trucks, will be equipped with standard electric power steering, replacing hydraulic steering.
"It improves fuel economy by 3 to 5 percent--which, depending on the size of the vehicle and the engine, equates to somewhere between 0.4 and a full 1 mpg," said Ali Jammoul, chief engineer of North American chassis.
Ford is purchasing electric power steering systems from Delphi and TRW Automotive. Valeo provides the parking-assist module. … Read more
GT cars, the stuff that posters on the walls of high school boys' bedrooms are made of, made a strong showing at the 2009 Geneva auto show, with new examples from Aston Martin, Ferrari, and Lamborghini, among others. The variety we found at the show included standard gas engines, hybrids, and full electric versions, and all boast astounding performance figures.
Every once in a while a YouTube clip will inspire you, though this one may give you the chills. The Saab Performance Team is in Northern Sweden putting the Saab 9-3x through the paces on an icy track. This clip posted by Swade99 will warm up any winter day.