The Thrustcycle Will Never Tip Over

Keith Barry Meet the Thrustcycle, a two-wheeled EV that relies on gyroscopes to stay upright and a flywheel for acceleration. If it ever becomes street legal, it’ll be like nothing else on the road — and it’ll never fall over. At first glance, the Thrustcycle appears to defy gravity, balancing its 500 pounds on just … Continue reading

Iran’s Navy Threatens the Security of the Persian Gulf

Tehran’s New Plan to Dominate its Region — and Beyond. The possibility of Tehran developing a nuclear weapon at some point poses a potential future threat to the international order. A real threat, however, has already materialized: Iran’s fast-growing navy. W. Jonathan Rue While much of the world’s attention focuses on Iran’s nuclear program, Tehran … Continue reading

Go Slow To Go Fast

Why highways move more swiftly when you force cars to crawl along at 55 mph. Tom Vanderbilt There is no more common lament voiced by the American driver than of the one about the “idiot” in the “fast lane” who’s slowing down traffic. If everyone could just drive faster, the thinking goes—if we could only … Continue reading

Cars have evolved to go faster – but humans haven’t

Faster, safer modern cars may make higher speed limits appealing, but the human body is still stuck in the slow lane Frank McKenna  Whenever a speed limit change is proposed there is a good deal of public debate. The British government’s recent call to allow drivers to do 80 miles per hour (129 kilometres per … Continue reading

America’s roads are so bad you need a German car to drive on them

Joshua Keating Here’s another entry from the world of advertising. This time it’s a new ad for the Audi A6, via Jalopnik: Voiceover: The road is not exactly a place of intelligence. Across the nation, over 100,000 miles of highways and bridges are in disrepair. Add to that, countless distractions every mile, millions of ill-equipped … Continue reading

Crowded China Sea

The superpower battle for regional supremacy in the South China Sea is heating up once again. Abraham M. Denmark For the last two years, a quiet showdown has played out over the South China Sea, the body of water bordered by China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, and Taiwan. This little-known body of … Continue reading

Ford’s Tiniest Engine Yet

Chuck Squatriglia Ford is developing its smallest engine ever, a wee little three-cylinder mill with the displacement of a soda bottle. The tiny engine is part of the automaker’s push to increase the fuel efficiency of its lineup by building smaller, but more powerful, engines. Despite its itty-bitty size, Ford says the turbocharged 1.0-liter Ecoboost … Continue reading

Working With Your Hands

Joe Nocella designs buildings by day and bikes by night. By Tom Vanderbilt Custom bike shops are sprouting up in BrooklynBy day, Joe Nocella works in a tall, 1950s building in Midtown Manhattan for architecture giant HOK, creating virtual models of construction projects. By night, and on weekends, he repairs to his small, unheated shop, … Continue reading

China’s Port in Pakistan?

China’s dream of Indian Ocean ports — the so-called string of pearls — is heightening geopolitical tensions in a rough neighborhood. BY ROBERT D. KAPLAN Pakistani officials have announced that the Chinese look favorably on taking over the operation of the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar close to the entrance of the Strait of Hormuz, … Continue reading

First to Third World in one lifetime

Clyde Prestowitz I’m sitting at Gate 31 of Washington’s Reagan National Airport waiting for a flight to Chicago. I’ve actually been sitting here for about four hours so far with no departure time in sight. During that time, I have been booked on three different flights, denied boarding on my original flight when the pilot … Continue reading

Pilot Wasn’t In Cockpit During Critical Phase

Air France Flight AF 447 Investigation What happened on board the Air France jet that crashed into the Atlantic en route from Rio to Paris? According to information obtained by SPIEGEL from the analysis of flight recorder data, pilot Marc Dubois appears not to have been in the cockpit at the time the deadly accident … Continue reading

Testosterone not Booze increases Auto Fatalities

Matt Shipman Dr. Stacy Wood Closely contested major sporting events are followed by a significant increase in traffic fatalities for fans of the winning team, according to new research from North Carolina State University. It turns out there may be more on the line than many sports fans bargained for. “A previous study showed that … Continue reading

Next post A Vincent Black Shadow for the Modern Era

Chuck Squatriglia Ian Barry and the crew at Falcon Motorcycles have rolled out another beautiful custom, this one a riff on the venerable Vincent Black Shadow. The Black Shadow was an incredible machine that essentially set the benchmark for performance through the 1950s. It was blindingly quick, something Rollie Free proved at Bonneville in 1948. … Continue reading

Solar Airplane’s Maiden European Flight

Chuck Squatriglia It took almost 13 hours, but an airplane powered only by the sun has completed the first international flight ever made by solar power, opening a new chapter in electric aviation. André Borschberg, the CEO and co-founder of Solar Impulse, left Payerne aerodrome in western Switzerland at 8:40 a.m. local time. He touched … Continue reading

Human-powered helicopter takes flight… just

Jacob Aron Forget cycling to work – how about a human-powered helicopter? Engineering students at the University of Maryland have successfully tested Gamera, a massive pedal-powered chopper. Gamera has four 13-metre wide rotors, one at each end of its 18-metre wide cross-shaped carbon-fibre frame, but weighs less than 100kg – including the human pilot, Judy … Continue reading

Super Cub Pilot Needs Mere Feet to Take Off

By Jason Paur KNIK RIVER, Alaska – Unlike other places where speed may dominate pilot discussions, up here it’s all about how slow you can go. It’s directly related to how quickly you can get off the ground and how little room you need to land. It’s called STOL, or “short take-off and landing,” and … Continue reading

Black Hawk Down

Why do helicopters seem to crash all the time? By Katy Waldman A Black Hawk helicopter No American soldiers were killed in Sunday’s raid on Osama Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound, but a helicopter sustained damage after a hard landing and the SEALs blew it up to keep the technology secret. This high-profile chopper failure is … Continue reading

Jaguar’s $1.1M Hybrid Supercar

By Chuck Squatriglia Jaguar has leapfrogged Porsche in the race to build the world’s most expensive, if not extreme, hybrid. The venerable British automaker announced today that it is working with Williams F1 to develop the C-X75, the spectacularly gorgeous supercar that dropped jaws at the Paris auto show last fall. Jag promises a car … Continue reading

Texting and the turnpike

By Nate Anderson As someone who 1) uses a computer all day and 2) is not a teenager with a featurephone, I’ve never been much for text messaging. Lots of Americans are, of course, but a recent reporting trip surprised me with how intense the topic of texting has become. Far from being just a … Continue reading

Superlight Electric Wolf

By Wes Siler Every electric racing motorcycle we’ve seen so far has suffered from one major problem: Physics. They’re all perfectly capable of transforming electrons into motive power. And some, like Chip Yates’ 190.6-mph beast, are blindingly quick. But in their pursuit of powertrain innovation, the people building these machines have overlooked, if not forgotten, … Continue reading

Scion FR-S Concept Is So Hot, We Can Taste It

By Jalopnik By Justin Hyde, Jalopnik After the most difficult gestation since someone decided “Spiderman” needed to be a musical, the Scion FR-S Concept finally appeared at the New York Auto Show, carrying the hopes for a true compact rear-wheel-drive sports car — actually coated in candy. The latest iteration of the Toyota-Subaru joint venture … Continue reading

Electric Motorcycle Hits 190.6 MPH

By Chuck Squatriglia Doing 190.6 mph is amazing under any circumstances. It is even more so when it’s done on an electric motorcycle. Chip Yates, who just keeps proving electric motorcycles are for real, hit 190.6 mph on Sunday during the Mojave Mile. It wasn’t enough for Yates to top the previous record and achieve … Continue reading

Consumer Reports calls out six cars it says are worse than their predecessors

by Steven J. Ewing  Six cars that CR says are worse than their predecessors – Click above for high-res image gallery There’s nothing like being told you aren’t as good as you used to be. "You’ve changed, man. You’ve really changed." In its annual automotive issue, Consumer Reports awards scores to each new car available … Continue reading

Rideable Hub-less Bike Actually Works

By Charlie Sorrel You know all those hub-less wheels that “designers” like to throw onto their CG concept bicycles? Well, a student of Loughborough Design School in England has actually made one. He even threw in a belt-drive for good measure. It’s called the Lanartic, and it was designed and built by Luke Douglas. Despite … Continue reading

Ford’s Future: Voice-Activated Gadgets in Electric Cars

By Maurizio Pesce HANNOVER, Germany — Eyes on the road, hands on the wheel is Ford’s mantra as it brings its voice-activated Sync infotainment system to Europe and responds to polemics about the dangers of distracted driving. CEO Alan Mulally (pictured) kept repeating the mantra this week as Ford finally brought Sync to Europe. It … Continue reading

‘Game On’ for In-Car Mobile

By Chris Preuss One quick stroll around this year’s Consumer Electronics Show made clear it’s “game on” for in-car connectivity, as mobile devices collide head-on with the automobile. But if you think this is about telling your dashboard, “Play ‘White Stripes,’” you’re missing the point. The reality is that automotive connectivity will come in several … Continue reading

Toyota, Microsoft to Bring the Cloud to Cars

By Chuck Squatriglia The world’s largest automaker and the world’s largest software company are launching a $12 million venture to bring telematics to Toyotas via the cloud, allowing owners to, say, stream music, connect to information services and manage the batteries in their electric vehicles. Toyota and Microsoft say they will create a global network … Continue reading

That Didn’t Suck

The top of a Southwest Airlines passenger jet popped open at 36,000 feet, but no one was blown out through the hole. Why not? By Brian Palmer A Southwest airplaneA five-square-foot hole opened in the roof of a Southwest Airlines jet as it was cruising at 36,000 feet on Friday afternoon. Passengers reported hearing an … Continue reading

European Commission Aims to Phase Gasoline- and Diesel-Powered Cars Out of Cities by 2050

The body’s new white paper outlines a complete transportation strategy that is one of the world’s most ambitious efforts to cut oil use and greenhouse gas emissions By Saqib Rahim and ClimateWire Will there be traffic jams like this one on the Champs-�lys�es by midcentury? Image: MaryPortier via Flickr An E.U. body has outlined a … Continue reading

Taking Old Oil from Crankcase to Gas Tank

By Chuck Squatriglia Billions of gallons of motor oil are drained from engine crankcases each year, and only some of it is reused. Much of it is simply thrown away or burned. But that old oil could find new life as fuel for your car. Researchers at University of Cambridge have developed a process that … Continue reading

World’s Fastest Bike

McLaren and Specialized Team Up With a Venge-ance By Charlie Sorrel Vengeful, Vengeance, Revenge: These are just some of the headline opportunities for the McLaren/Specialized Venge Formula One car-maker McLaren and bike company Specialized have teamed up to “reinvent the road bike.” Have they done this? No, but they have made a bike that looks … Continue reading

Morgan’s Newest Car Travels Back to the Future

By Chuck Squatriglia Morgan Motor, the eccentric British automaker with one foot planted firmly in the last century, is reprising the first car it ever built and we have this to say: Oh hell yes. Sign us up. Automakers have never been short of crazy ideas, and the Morgan Threewheeler (yes, one word) is somewhere … Continue reading

Chinese Missile Ship Races to Libya

By Adam Rawnsley We’re used to seeing the U.S. Navy pull American citizens out of warzones. Now, China’s navy is doing the same thing — sending a ship to snag its people out of Libya, as the country teeters on the brink of civil war. China has redeployed the 4,000 ton missile frigate Xuzhou from … Continue reading

Boeing Wins Tanker Deal. Again.

By Spencer Ackerman Same as it ever was: Boeing won the Air Force’s $35 billion deal to build 179 flying gas stations. The decision, announced by the Air Force and Pentagon leadership Thursday afternoon, comes seven years after Congress yanked a deal to lease tankers from the U.S. aerospace giant after finding it riddled with … Continue reading

The Toyota Scandal

By Carsten Knop Translated By Ron Argentati  Edited by Heidi Kaufmann Germany – Frankfurter Allgemeine – Original Article (German)  American policy concerning Japanese car manufacturer Toyota has all the earmarks of a scandal. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood drummed the message into the American consciousness that Toyotas were unsafe. Now he has to back down. … Continue reading

Eccentric YikeBike Gives Segway a Run for Its Money

By Dylan Tweney … One big wheel to propel you forward and one little rear wheel to stabilize your ride. It’s a design that inventor Grant Ryan, the founder of YikeBike, calls a “mini-farthing.” The YikeBike’s motor is contained within the hubless main wheel. It is a tiny high-rpm model, geared down considerably to propel … Continue reading

This Guy’s No Dummy

By Randy Alfred 2005: Samuel Alderson, inventor of the automotive crash-test dummy, dies. His creation saved countless lives … and amused millions along the way. Alderson graduated from high school at age 15, but the realities of the Great Depression repeatedly interrupted his college education: He needed to help his father run the family’s sheet-metal … Continue reading

Zero Gets More Features, Pulls Cool Stoppie

By Chuck Squatriglia Zero Motorcycles has added a slew of features to its electric motorcycles. Every model finally gets (optional) 220-volt charging capacity, which means you’re good to go in about two hours. And if you’re lucky enough to find a public charging station, the bikes sport (an optional) J1772 universal plug. Look for slicker … Continue reading

A Ural, From Russia With Love, by Way of Philly

By Chuck Squatriglia    Our favorite clinical neuropsychologist is back with another amazing custom motorcycle, this one based on just about the last bike you’d think anyone would customize. After knocking everyone’s socks off with the Jack Pine — his tasty take on the Triumph Scrambler — and then fueling our lust with the Volta … Continue reading

Lighter Bikes May Not Reduce Commuting Time

A light-weight bike that costs around £1000 may not get you to work any quicker than a similar, yet heavier and cheaper model, finds research in the Christmas issue published on the British Medical Journal website. A keen cyclist since childhood, the author Dr Jeremy Groves, owns two bikes. One a second hand 13.5 kg … Continue reading

VW’s diesel hybrid: most efficient car on the planet?

Niall Firth, technology editor (Image: VW) In a world of soaring fuel prices it’s certainly a smart move. While Volkswagen’s new XL1 "Super Efficient Vehicle" might look like a "futuristic" concept car designed sometime in the late 1980s, its figures are undoubtedly impressive. Unveiled at the Qatar motor show on Tuesday night, the XL1 claims … Continue reading

Around the World in Two Hours on a ‘Traffic Internet’

By Keith Barry Building a “traffic internet” of vacuum tubes that zip drivers to anywhere on earth in under an hour and circumnavigate the globe in two hours might sound like science fiction, but work on vehicles capable of tube-travel is already underway. Acabion, a Swiss company led by former Porsche, BMW and Ferrari engineer … Continue reading

Peek Inside Mission’s Electric Superbike

By Chuck Squatriglia The Mission Motors race-prepped superbike is one impressive looking machine, and a rare look under the skin reveals it’s every bit as hot when stripped naked. Mission Motors unveiled the Mission R last month at the International Motorcycle Show, and it looked like something you’d see from Ducati. It is easily among … Continue reading

Traffic, Prosperity and Politics in China

Paul R. Pillar  An eye-catching news report out of China on Friday was that a man had been sentenced to life in prison (along with a $300,000 fine) for evading highway tolls. The offender, a farmer from Henan Province named Shi Jianfeng, had been making extra money hauling sand and gravel and used fake military … Continue reading

German Electric Airplane Approaches First Flight

By Jason Paur German airplane maker PC-Aero is progressing in the development of its single-seat electric airplane, the Elektra One. The sleek-looking composite aircraft underwent static load testing before Christmas (picture after the jump), and the company is hoping for a first flight next month. The Elektra One is the first of three electric aircraft … Continue reading

Take The Ridiculous Chinese Driving Test

Drivers in China have a reputation for being both awful and crazy, but could you pass this ridiculous Chinese driving test? Find out below. These questions were translated from a 2003 test taken by Ash Sutcliffe of the great China Car Times website. In China, drivers are required to study 1,000 questions, of which 100 … Continue reading

The electric car age just got a little closer

By Steve LeVine For the last year, Deutsche Bank’s Paul Sankey, one of the best long-range energy minds on Wall Street, has been distributing a series of provocative, deeply researched, and forward-looking notes to clients under titles like "The Peak Oil Market" and "The End of the Oil Age." Last week, Sankey produced a sixth … Continue reading

How Zip Ties Can Help You Bike Through a Blizzard

By Dylan F. Tweney Don’t get stuck in the snow because of Snowpocalypse 2010. With the right gear, you can still ride to work — on your bike. One of the cheapest winter bike hacks is to attach zip ties to your tires. It’s a quick-and-dirty way of giving yourself some much-needed traction on icy, … Continue reading

Boeing Resumes Flight Testing of 787 Dreamliner

By Jason Paur The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is back in flight-test mode with Christmas coming a few days early for the airplane maker. There have been a few 787 ferry flights between airports, mostly in the Seattle area, but there has been no flight-testing since a small fire on ZA002 on November 9. The delay … Continue reading

Road Test: Seeing Green in New Way With Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf · $35,430 Reviewed by Chuck Squatriglia The Nissan Leaf is more than a very nice car. It is the car of the future we’ve been promised in countless sci-fi movies. It is spacious, smooth and silent, effortlessly whisking you along with only the whir of its electric motor. You almost expect to hear … Continue reading