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Porsche 911 Has New Gearbox

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  • On 07, Sep 2011

“We’re all clamoring to get our greasy mitts on the new seven-speed manual transmission in the 2012 Porsche 911. Porsche has officially released a video of exactly how the gearbox works. As expected, engineers opted to use shorter ratios for gears one through six while leaving seventh gear nice and wide. That strategy is the same one employed in the company’s optional PDK, and it essentially operates as a six-speed manual with a seventh gear over drive. Porsche says the design allows the 2012 911 to deliver buyers the acceleration and performance that the vehicle has come to represent while also serving up improved fuel economy.

The Porsche marketing machine calls the new manual “puristic,” which, given the company’s enthusiasm for the PDK, we assume to mean “dated.” We’re fine with that, though. We’re not whipping the car around Le Mans, so Porsche can keep the faster-than-human shifts of the double-clutch box. We want our third pedal.”

Source: Autoblog

One Off Acura Convertible

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  • On 07, Sep 2011

“Next summer, when The Avengers opens to packed multiplexes, playboy billionaire Tony Stark will be rolling in a trick new ride. After driving an Audi R8 in the two Iron Man features, Stark apparently switches to a never-before-seen Acura sports car (in keeping with S.H.I.E.L.D.’s use of all Acura vehicles, as seen in this summer’s Thor and Captain America films).

The new ride appears in a series of on-set photos published at SuperHeroHype.com (borrowed from WENN.com) showing Robert Downey, Jr. standing next to it as Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki) look on. Another shot, posted at WorstPreviews.com (we’ve posted a cropped version here), shows the mystery Acura convertible by itself, parked on the set in New York’s Central Park.

Note to the spoiler-averse: the WorstPreviews.com report explicitly details the scenes that were filmed, and they’re reportedly for the the conclusion of the movie. So, you’ve been warned.

We also have a note in to Acura to see if they’ll give up any other information. We’ll update the post accordingly if and when we know more.”

Source: Autoblog

Jeremy Clarkson on your TomTom

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  • On 07, Sep 2011

“Way back when, animated characters were voiced by anonymous folks with great pipes. These days, you need A-list celebs to sell pixelated fish and other playthings. The disembodied and slightly stilted voices of navigation systems appear to be going the same way, and Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson is the latest talent to contribute his voice to giving directions – ironic, considering he’s made his disdain for GPS clear in the past.

According to the UK’s Daily Mail, TomTom will unveil a device next month in which the famously ornery BBC star will advise you to execute a handbrake turn – going all, well, Clarkson, when you miss your offramp. If he ever gets to be too much, apparently the unit will allow you to get directions from The Stig, which we expect will sound like not getting any voice directions at all.”

Source: Autoblog

Aston Martin V12 Zagato Production Model

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  • On 29, Aug 2011

“When Aston Martin rolls in to Frankfurt next month for the first auto show of the season, it will have the largest display the company has ever mounted at a car show. And among them will be a roadgoing version of the V12 Zagato that will see production.

Well, almost, but not quite. Aston will actually be displaying two examples of the coachbuilt special in Frankfurt, which are, as best we can tell, the only two it’s built to date. They’re called Zig and Zag, and they’re the two vehicles it raced at the Nürburgring to show what they were made of. Zig was built specifically to race and will be displayed in its full competition trim. Zag is the vehicle that wowed the crowds and the judges at Villa d’Este and was then converted to full race spec as well.

That second vehicle will now be converted back – in appearance, at least – to roadgoing trim to give us a glimpse at what the half-million-dollar coachbuilt supercar will look like when it reaches customers’ garages. It’ll also be the first time the car is shown at a major auto show, although we recently spent some time with it at Pebble Beach.”

Source: Autoblog

How Smart Phones Reduce Your Fuel Consumption

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  • On 29, Aug 2011

“In July, at the Association for Computing Machinery MobiSys conference, research teams from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Princeton University took home an award for a fuel-saving system in cars that relies on dash-mounted smartphones.

MIT says the system saves fuel by monitoring and logging the timing of traffic signals to alert drivers when slowing down could help them avoid idling at lights. By reducing idle times, MIT says the system can save gallons of gas. In tests conducted in the States, drivers saw a massive 20-per cent reduction in fuel consumption.

Dubbed SignalGuru, the idle-reducing system relies on countless images captured by the phones’ cameras. SignalGuru is able to analyze these images to predict when traffic lights will change. Somehow, the fuel-saving system works on both fixed-schedule lights and on signals that vary in duration based on traffic flow. The only downside to Signal Guru seems to be that its light-predicting accuracy varies depending on the number of vehicles outfitted with the system, which makes sense.

Oh, and, as all good scientists should, the researchers did model the impact of instructing drivers to accelerate to beat the red lights, just to see what would happen. They concluded that running the red light could be disastrous for economy figures, so the system now recommends slowing down. Science wins again!”

Source: Autoblog

Russia Approves Tunnel to USA

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  • On 29, Aug 2011

“The Russian government has given the go-ahead on an ambitious new tunnel project that could connect Siberia with Alaska via an underground rail line. If completed, the $65 billion project will be the longest underwater tunnel in the world, besting the Chunnel between England and France by twice the distance. The planned course would stretch over 105 kilometres and would snake beneath the Big and Little Diomede Islands. According to Inhabitat, the project will be funded by a private and public partnership. So why build it?

Aside from being a civil engineering marvel, the tunnel would also provide an efficient way to move 100 million tonnes of freight per year. In addition, the tunnel could provide an easy transmission route for electricity developed by tidal energy stations and wind plants in Russia to Alaska and Canada. In addition, the rail system would complete a high-speed network that could stretch from London to New York City. Unfortunately, the project doesn’t seem to be geared toward passenger travel. At least, not for now.”

Source: Autoblog

Is This The New Genesis Coupe?

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  • On 29, Aug 2011

“We’re all anxiously waiting to see what Hyundai has up its sleeves for the updated Genesis Coupe, and it looks like we may have a better idea of what’s coming down the line. Gencoupe.com forum member shcboyzone managed to lay hands on a few grainy photos of what’s appears to be the 2013 Genesis Coupe. Is this the real deal? Hard telling. If it is, the sports car will rock styling that’s very similar to what we’ve seen from the Hyundai Accent and Veloster. With a more upright fascia, hexagonal grille and sculpted lights, the similarities are unmistakable.

It looks like the vehicle will also feature unique hood louvers, though it’s unclear from the photos whether or not the pieces are actually functional. Around back, Hyundai has graced the coupe with a set of LED tail lamps as well. While this design seems to dovetail fairly closely with the heavily camouflaged mules we’ve seen in testing, we won’t know for sure whether or not this is the real deal until we get closer to the vehicle’s unveil at the next Detroit Auto Show. Head over to the Gencoupe.com forums for a closer look at the car.”

Source: Autoblog

Worldwide Oil Consumption Up

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  • On 22, Aug 2011

“Worldwide oil consumption hit a record high of 87.4 million barrels per day in 2010, with a 3.1 percent jump in use making up for the recession-inspired 1.5 percent drop in 2009.

The findings, from a Worldwatch Institute report, also point to the developing world as market growth leaders; one-third of the consumption jump came from China, where the popularity of automobiles is climbing rapidly, said autos.ca.

China now uses more than a tenth of all the world’s oil.

The Middle East remained the number one exporter of the crude stuff, and Canada’s oil sands made up about half of our country’s oil production.

At least we haven’t hit peak oil yet–right? Right!?”

Source: www.autos.sympatico.ca

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