October 17, 2017

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Greatest Automotive Innovations Of 2017

It’s not enough to design functional, standard cars that can perform all of the traditional automobile tasks anymore. They have to be smart, comfortable, easy to use, and just cool. That’s why automakers and tech companies have been designing innovative car features from holographic dashboards to rotating chairs. These innovations can improve the driving experience, […]

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KOENIGSEGG FREEVALVE: NEW LIFE FOR THE GAS ENGINE

  For more than a century, the internal combustion engine has relied on the ungainly camshaft. This spinning rod with variable lobes sits atop the engine, where it opens and closes intake and exhaust valves during the combustion cycle. But the camshaft has a limited range of motion, so its control over the valves is […]

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MCLAREN 570S: A DRIVABLE SUPERCAR

  You don’t need an airfield to open up the McLaren 570S. A 562-horsepower engine hits 60 miles per hour in less than three seconds (and tops out at a modest 204 mph), while its carbon-fiber cabin keeps the ride stiff on tight turns. $184,900

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2017 CHEVROLET BOLT EV: THE EV FOR EVERYONE

  Affordable electric vehicles have struggled to break the 200-mile-range barrier. General Motors (no, not Tesla) is getting there first. It all comes down to the battery: The Bolt’s 288-cell, 60-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion powerhouse is heavy in nickel, which boosts energy density and extends range to 238 miles. Liberal use of aluminum in the hood, doors, tailgate, […]

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4MOMS SELF-INSTALLING CAR SEAT: FOOLPROOF INFANT SEAT

  Nearly half of all infant car seats are improperly installed, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. 4moms’ rear-facing seat makes installation idiot-proof. The base contains 20 sensors, including accelerometers and gyros, that work with motors to level the seat and tighten the straps. As long as the carrier is snapped onto the base, it will continually […]

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2017 AUDI SQ7 TDI: FULL TURBO, NO WAITING

  Powerful as it is, a turbocharger lags before kicking in; it’s asleep until exhaust builds up to spool its turbine, blasting pressurized air into the engine. The Audi SQ7 TDI uses a 7-kilowatt electric motor to spin its turbine. Inspired by Formula 1, the system hits 70,000 rpm in less than 0.25 seconds. For […]

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AIRBUS APWORKS LIGHT RIDER: 3-D PRINTED MOTORCYCLE

  Helping offset the heavy battery in the APWorks Light Rider is a fully 3D-printed body. The prototype bike’s skeletal aluminum frame cuts the weight to a svelte 77 pounds—a 30 percent dip on conventional manufacturing weight.

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2016 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT350R: LIGHTEST FEET ON A CAR

2016 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT350R: LIGHTEST FEET ON A CAR Mustangs once shared parts with burly pickup trucks. Now, the classic pony wears ultralight carbon-fiber wheels. The 19-inch rims on the Shelby each weigh some 15 pounds less than regular aluminum wheels. Less weight speeds acceleration, and greater rigidity improves handling. Don’t worry about lightenin’ […]

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HERE HD LIVE MAP: THE MOST DETAILED MAP

  Autonomous cars need maps that plot every lane marker, guard rail, and speed-limit change ahead. The dynamically updating HD Live Map from HERE—a spinoff of electronics-giant Nokia—has already logged 1.8 million miles in the U.S. and Europe. The company’s fleet of cars maps roads to an accuracy of 10 centimeters—three to five times better […]

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2017 MERCEDES-BENZ E-CLASS: CAR TALK

  When cars chat with each other, they won’t look like Pixar characters. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) will be standard within a decade, letting cars share alerts—some fool who ran a red light ahead—over encrypted radio signals. Mercedes isn’t waiting. The E-class sends traffic updates via 4G to a cloud server, alerting E-class drivers headed in […]

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