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Offline Thucydides

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Cult cars
« on: August 01, 2012, 21:58:06 »
Reading this Jay Leno piece reminded me of my first car, a SAAB 99 Turbo, purchased for no better reason than it was the "coolest" car in the parking lot (everyone else was buying Cameros and Firebirds). Sadly, when SAAB was purchased by General Motors, the brand was mismanaged into the ground. Trying to sell Saab's alongside Saturns made no sense from any perspective that I could see, and rebadging Chevy Blazers with the SAAB grill and emblem (along with various other vehicles from different companies) certainly did not make these vehicles SAAB's.

For me, the essence of SAAB was the fact they were essentially designed by aircraft designers with extra time on their hands ("Hey Sven, come over here. We're going to build a car!"), and the way a SAAB was designed and built reflected a sheer love of engineering for its own sake, rather than bean counting. The only other car company I ever encountered with a similar philosophy was Citroen, and that identity was erased when Peugeot bought them out. SAAB has changed hands several times now, but I don't see them coming back as a car company. Pity:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/jay-leno/vintage/long-live-saab-jay-leno-remembers-the-quirky-carmaker-9989519?click=pp

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Long Live Saab! Jay Leno Remembers the Quirky Carmaker
Yet another company is trying to pick Saab up off the scrap heap and revive the marque. But the Saab that Jay Leno knew and loved is gone. Here's why it's worth celebrating the achievements of this weird but innovative automaker.
By Jay Leno

A handy bracket holds a spare can of two-stroke oil.

John Lamm

July 30, 2012 6:30 AM
Somewhere over in Sweden there's a Dumpster full of Saab letterhead, employee ID badges, and day planners. There are guys going through what once were Saab's offices, hanging auction tags on the furniture, computers, printers, and water coolers.

Saab went bankrupt in December 2011; in June, a company called National Electric Vehicle Sweden AN (NEVS) announced it would buy the marque, reportedly to make electric vehicles bearing the venerable name. NEVS is owned 51/49 by Chinese and Japanese interests, respectively, and China is the initial target market for the next generation of Saabs. But the Saab I knew and loved is gone, and I miss it.

When I was a kid, Saabs were unique. I first rode in one while I was in high school. A friend's mother had an old model with a two-stroke engine and a differential incorporating a freewheel hub system like the one on a 10-speed bicycle. It didn't go fast, but when my friend's mom took her foot off the accelerator pedal, there was no compression braking. The car just kept rolling along. I was fascinated.

Saabs were front-drivers when every American car had rear drive. Their two-stroke, three-cylinder engines sounded like popcorn machines—poppoppoppaaawwwp!—while other cars were muffled into silence. The first Saab car, the 1950 model 92, was built around an aerodynamically slick unibody. It rode on an all-independent torsion bar suspension and used something called rack-and-pinion steering. It was impossible to over-rev a Saab's engine because it ran out of power before the redline. So you just threw your boot at the gas pedal and shifted up until there was evidence of forward momentum. All that unconventional engineering led to good fuel economy: Saabs got better than 25 mpg.

In the '50s and '60s, owning a Saab meant more than having an odd car in your garage; it was a lifestyle choice. With that two-stroke engine, you had to premix your gas and oil. So you trudged to the gas station with two 5-gallon cans, filled them up most of the way with gasoline, and then topped them off with oil at a 50:1 ratio. After a shaking to mix them up—and remember, gas weighs more than 6 pounds a gallon—you could fill the Saab's fuel tank. But there was never any oil sump to drain and virtually no other routine engine maintenance. Under the hood a clamp held an extra quart of premix oil.

On cold mornings, if you wanted to warm up a Saab's engine more quickly, you pulled a chain dangling from the dashboard to lower a "shade" that blocked airflow to the radiator. Naturally, the cabin heater was phenomenal.

My Saab is a 1958 model 93B. It doesn't have the key on the floor like later Saabs, but this was the first year for the one-piece front windshield, and the doors are hinged at the back, suicide style. With a 750-cc engine making about 33 hp, it's not fast. But you can go 70 mph down the road with four people in it. It has cruise control too; just put your foot to the floor and keep it there.

To me, however, my Saab's most fascinating detail is the water pump that's located on the back end of the generator. The Swedes could made it work, but imagine if a British car company had tried this. At best it would have functioned correctly; at worst it would have electrocuted anyone who touched it.

Beyond their engineering idiosyncrasies, though, Saabs were effective. The company was building rigid, lightweight, and aerodynamic cars when other manufacturers ignored these considerations in their engineering. A Saab didn't look or drive like anything else on the road, and it attracted buyers to match.

It seemed for a while that every time a professor at a college in New England was awarded tenure, he or she got a Saab to go along with it. Intellectuals, eccentrics, and other free-minded, countercultural types seemed to adopt Saabs almost instinctively. The author Kurt Vonnegut even owned a Saab dealership—Saab Cape Cod—in the late '50s.

When Saab switched to Ford-sourced four-stroke V-4 engines in 1967, the brand lost some of its charm for me. Of course, Saab did some innovative things after that. The 1978 Saab 99 Turbo ushered in a new era of efficiency, and the later 900 Turbo was sophisticated. Then GM bought Saab, intending to turn it into a BMW competitor. Suddenly there were Saabs that were Subarus with new badges or Chevy TrailBlazers with their ignition key on the floor. Without quirkiness, Saab became just another car.

Read more: Long Live Saab! Jay Leno Remembers the Quirky Carmaker - Popular Mechanics
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline medicineman

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2012, 23:29:18 »
So this didn't make it into the cult car list?

MM

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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2012, 16:45:31 »
For certain values of "cult", I would imagine..... >:D
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline X Royal

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2012, 23:39:06 »
So this didn't make it into the cult car list?
I remember those. Had one.
1976 & even had the optional bigger motor of 258 ci.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2012, 12:03:36 »
Some real cult cars from the 1930's, at the height of the Art Deco movement. Poetry literally in motion:

http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/glory-days-automotive-design-bugatti-voisin-vehicles-nissan-cube-gallery-1.1164882?pmSlide=0
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Online jollyjacktar

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2012, 13:12:11 »
 :goodpost:  +300

I'm in love with those.

Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2012, 16:25:06 »
How about the white 1970 Dodge Challenger from the movie Vanishing Point?

I believe it was supposed to have a 440 ci engine with a six pack on it.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2013, 23:00:58 »
The Mustang that might have been. Having to choose between a mid engine sports car or a '68 "Boss" Mustang would actually be a difficult choice...

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/06/the-mustang-that-never-was/
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2013, 23:32:29 »
While not a car, this electric motorcycle demonstrates some of the limits to what is possible. The bit about how long it takes to charge using a 110 V outlet should be a warning for anyone who seriously is advocating for electric cars; imagine an entire neighbourhood "plugging in" for the night...

http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-reviews/first-drives/2014-mission-rs-electric-motorcycle-first-ride-review

Quote
First Ride: 2014 Mission RS
A game-changing electric tour de force.

By Wes Siler August 2, 2013 / Photos by Kynan Tait

The Mission RS promises to be the first electric motorcycle to compete with gas bikes on outright performance. Two years ago, it set a new lap record at Laguna Seca of 1:31.3, good enough that it would have qualified fifth on the grid of the AMA Daytona Sportbike race happening the same weekend. Thats with a top speed restricted to just 130 mph to conserve battery power, mind you.

Electric powertrains have held much promise in motorcycles for years. They should deliver more performance than their internal-combustion equivalents. But they haven’t, until now.

It’s common for a gas-powered superbike to exceed the Mission’s 160-hp figure, but 120 lb-ft of torque is 20 or so more than even the most powerful Ducatis. And all of it is available all the time, with no need to chase revs or gears. Thrust is simply a function of how far you twist the throttle. And you’d better hang on—this bike is powerful enough to wheelie on full throttle or, if you’re more restrained, run 0–60 mph in around three seconds. It’ll keep running all they way to a top speed of 150 mph. (It’s limited to that in the interest of range conservation.)

Without the reciprocating inertia and vibration of a traditional internal-combustion engine, the Mission delivers a level of feedback hitherto impossible. Rider inputs are,better informed, and the bike reacts more immediately than ever before.

540 pounds is a lot of weight to push around a driveway, garage or parking lot, but clustering the heavy components (the batteries) around an ideal center of gravity pays huge dividends. Once underway, the Mission’s heft simply disappears, creating a bike with rapid steering, yet excellent stability.

The Mission features a bespoke operating system and huge, touchscreen interface. It's also Internet connected, allowing you to record and share 1080p image-stabilized video of your ride, along with a Google map of your route and telemetry data like lean angles, acceleration and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

While you don’t feel it on the road, 540 lbs is a lot to push around a driveway, garage or parking lot. Recharge time on a standard 110v outlet is so bad that Mission doesn’t disclose it. When plugged into a 220v line with the available twin-charger system, the 17 kWh battery recharges fully in under two hours. Operating range is around 140 miles highway (Mission calls it "real world") or 230 miles in the city.

Finally realizing the promise of electric motivation, the Mission RS is superior to every performance motorcycle yet created. On real roads, it’s faster and better handling than any conventionally powered bike, delivering unprecedented feel and control while connecting emotionally with its rider in a whole new way—it sounds like a TIE Fighter on an attack run.

This $58,999 RS model is limited to just 40 units. Once it’s delivered, the Mission R will enter production starting at just $32,499 (before a $2,500 federal tax credit), blunted only by a slightly lower-quality (but still extremely nice) suspension and wheels.

On two wheels at least, gas power just became obsolete.

Regular readers should know my particular hobbyhorse for electric vehicles is the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC), which can convert thee chemical energy fo hydrocarbons directly to electrical energy. Exchanging the battery pack for an SOFC and fuel tank should provide the same performance (the electric engine does not care where the power is coming from) with lower weight and the range and conveinience of a gasoline powered motorcycle. The only other bike that made a real point of grouping everything in order to concentrate and lower the center of gravity prior to this was the ELF-E raceing bike (which even had the fuel tank under the engine in the interest of a low COG).
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2013, 20:28:28 »
A great slideshow of analog sports cars: ones with little or no automtion (traction control, electronic or automatic gearboxes etc). Entries range from the Dodge Viper to the Mazda Miata, and Lotus, Porsche and Ferrari all have entries as well as Toyota(?) Who woud have thunk?

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/vintage-speed/10-great-analog-sports-cars?click=pp#slide-1
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline JayB

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2013, 21:33:06 »
Some real cult cars from the 1930's, at the height of the Art Deco movement. Poetry literally in motion:

http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/glory-days-automotive-design-bugatti-voisin-vehicles-nissan-cube-gallery-1.1164882?pmSlide=0

I agree. You can really see the time and passion put into designing those 1930's Bugatti's and such. Fine curves and a flowing design. Looking at cars such as the Nissan Cube, those are gimmick cars. I can picture the design team of that car, 2 AM, fast food wrappers laying on the table, struggling to meet the 8 o'clock deadline. That said, there are some beautiful cars on the road today too though.

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2013, 22:10:17 »
Get on the bus. Take a ride with us.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2lSGnPl-ww

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2014, 22:50:43 »
A '49 Cadillac at Pikes Peak. Follow the link for hte video:

http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-videos/1949-cadillac-pikes-peak-better-than-coffee
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2014, 18:26:49 »
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2014, 01:11:11 »
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2014, 20:33:24 »
Modified VW pickup trucks do a cross country run across Russia from Moscow to the Bering Sea. Sadly even the stock version of the truck isn't available in North America:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/02/06/volkswagens-beastly-pickup-breaks-off-roading-record-on-the-way-to-the-olympics/

Quote
Volkswagen’s Beastly Pickup Breaks Off-Roading Record on the Way to the Olympics
Feb. 6, 2014 10:30pm   
Elizabeth Kreft

Volkswagen built three beastly, souped-up versions of their Amarok pickup to promote the 2014 Winter Olympics in more rural areas of Russia. Along the way, they busted through the world record for the longest off-road trek in a single country.

Volkswagens Beastly Pickup Breaks Off Roading Record on the Way to the Olympics
Two in the trio of Volkswagen Amarok pickups trek through the brush along the Russian landscape. (Volkswagen).
The Amarok — which means ‘arctic wolf’ in the Inuit languages — is an appropriate name for these automobiles, that look more like monster trucks than road-worthy vehicles.

The Volkswagen team set a new Guinness World Record with the outrageous trucks by traveling 16,000 kilometers (just under 10,000 miles) over 60 days between the Russian capitol of Moscow and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky – one of the worlds largest cities that sits on the Bering Sea and has no road leading into it, Wired reported.

Volkswagens Beastly Pickup Breaks Off Roading Record on the Way to the Olympics

According to Wired, the nine-man team traveled across a huge variety of terrain, including Lake Baikal, where they slipped their way over three-foot thick ice, and Iultin Pass, where the crew — despite the amazing off-roading abilities of the suped-up trucks — still managed to get stuck in the incredibly deep Russian snow.

Volkswagens Beastly Pickup Breaks Off Roading Record on the Way to the Olympics
According to Interbrand.com, “Amarok” means “arctic wolf” in the Inuit language, and the animal is considered, by the Eskimos of Northern Canada and Greenland, to be the king of the wild.

The specially-made trucks were equipped with “an array of GPS and navigation equipment essential for the backcountry trip across Siberia, along with enormous off-road tires and heavy-duty shocks, additional exterior lighting and storage, a roll cage, and more,” Wired reported. But the greasy bits were left alone, including the Amarok’s stock 2.0-liter diesel engine and 4Motion all-wheel drive.

Volkswagens Beastly Pickup Breaks Off Roading Record on the Way to the Olympics
This photo shows just how high the Amarok body sits off the ground due to the fat tires and heavy-duty shocks. (Volkswagen).
Volkswagens Beastly Pickup Breaks Off Roading Record on the Way to the Olympics
The Amarok Expedition Trek covered nearly two-thirds of the frozen country (Volkswagen).
Sadly, the Olympic version of the Amarok won’t be mass-produced for sale, and U.S. readers can’t even get their hands on the standard version of the Amarok as it isn’t sold in America.

Volkswagen Group is a German-owned, multinational car company and is the second largest automotive revenue company in the world. The company provided more than 3,000 Volkswagen, Audi and Škoda vehicles to the Sochi 2014 organizing committee, in addition to the specially built pickups.

Check out their trek video here:
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2014, 21:13:23 »
Perhaps not to surprisingly, Bugatti also dabbled in aircraft design, at one point working on an aircraft to attack the world airspeed record. As an expression of the engineering and art deco aesthetic of the time, the 100P was an exquisite flying sculpture, but alas, was never flown due to the intervention of the Second World War. The world air speed record was achieved by the Germans with the rather brutish ME-209, which was essentially an engine with a small airframe wrapped around it, hardly elegant or even particularly advanced for the time. Now a team has used the plans and drawings to recreate the 100P:

http://www.roadandtrack.com/go/news/finishing-bugatti-dream-100p

Quote
Finishing Bugatti's dream: the completed 100P's public debut
A 1930's technological marvel comes alive.

By Eddy Eckart February 12, 2014 / Photos by Mullin Automotive Museum

Veyron owners take note: your vehicle will no longer be the fastest Bugatti in existence. Some 77 years after it was originally conceived, a completed Bugatti 100P airplane will see the light of day at the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California as a part of the Art of Bugatti Exhibit. Designed to reach speeds of nearly 500 mph, the beautiful and technologically advanced 100P was a collaboration between Ettore Bugatti and Belgian engineer Louis de Monge. Development of the 100P began in 1937 but World War II and the advancing German army forced Bugatti to put the plane into hiding in 1940.

READ THIS: Paris-bound Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Waterspeed Collection pays homage to 1937 hydroplane

The public will have the chance to view this Art Deco-style airplane and its technological marvels beginning March 20. The compact and light 100P features mid-mounted twin 450-hp engines powering counter-rotating propellers, allowing speeds only achieved at that time by planes with twice the horsepower. The forward-pitched wings and zero drag cooling system predate many of the most advanced military aircraft of the era. Most interestingly, the plane also features an automatic flap adjustment system utilizing an advanced analog computer, that sets the flaps according to air pressure, throttle, and air speed. It was in the original patent for the 100P, but was never implemented due to the war.

Mullin Automotive Museum
Scott Wilson, John Lawson, and Simon Birney of Le Reve Blue ("the Blue Dream") began construction of the 100P in 2009 based on the patents, aerodynamic designs, and dimensions of the original, which, while it survived the war, was no longer suitable for flight. The completion of the 100P represents a highlight of the storied career of Ettore Bugatti, whose vehicles represented the pinnacle of prewar design and technology. Now, if only we could arrange a comparison test between a Veyron Super Sport and the 100P.

Read more: http://www.roadandtrack.com/go/news/finishing-bugatti-dream-100p#ixzz2tRmFuWH9
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2014, 20:40:24 »
The return of Saab! We will have to see how this will turn out:

https://globalconnections.hsbc.com/global/en/articles/sweden-saab-restarts-car-production?utm_source=outbrain&utm_medium=click&utm_content=1&utm_campaign=global+gc+2013

Quote
Sweden: Saab restarts car production

Economist Intelligence Unit
Saab has restarted production at its Trollhattan factory in western Sweden today, two years after its bankruptcy and subsequent takeover by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), a Swedish-Chinese consortium.

~~NEVS, an investment group formed by Hong Kong's National Energy Holdings and a Japanese investment group, Sun Investment, bought Saab in June 2012. It initially planned to transform the company into a manufacturer of electric vehicles, using the 9-3 sedan model as a basis for the first range of cars due in early 2014. For now, Saab will produce petrol-powered versions instead, with a view to launching an electric car, using Japanese drivetrain technology, at some point in the New Year. Production volumes are expected to be low from the outset, rising according to market demand.

The Saab model currently in production, a petrol version of the 9-3 sedan from 2011, has the same exterior and interior as the old model, but a new navigation system. Thousands of these cars will be shipped to China, where Saab already produces a similar model and where emissions standards are less rigorous than the EU. Over the long term, NEVS plans to adapt Saab's current production platform, in order to make it "suitable" for fully electric vehicles.

Production will therefore be aimed initially at China, rather than Europe, where Saab's troubled history has dented its reputation. The Swedish carmaker sold around 133,000 vehicles a year as recently as 2006, but was severely affected by the global financial crisis as well as a lack of investment. Ownership passed from General Motors to Spyker, a Dutch sportscar maker, in 2010 only to declare bankruptcy less than two years later after production halted. Saab's assets were bought by NEVS, which launched production in China and then reopened Saab's Trollhattan plant in Sweden this year. Saab's vehicle parts business continues to be owned by the Swedish National Debt Office and was not included in the NEVS deal.

Another Swedish brand under Asian ownership, Volvo, is also looking to shift its focus, announcing plans to launch an on-road test of 100 self-driving vehicles in 2017. Volvo, owned by the Chinese firm Geely, will deploy the cars in "everyday driving conditions", across 50km of typical motorway and commuter routes in the Swedish city of Gothenburg.

Entitled "Drive Me", the project is a joint collaboration with the Swedish Transport Administration and Transport Agency, and forms part of the government's Vision Zero initiative, aimed at reducing road traffic injuries and fatalities to zero by 2020. The first phase of the Drive Me project will begin in 2014, where the focus will be on research and development, along with the creation of a user interface and cloud functionality. Overall, the project will deal with issues such as traffic efficiency, road safety, autonomous car infrastructure, customer confidence and the way that drivers of traditional vehicles interact with self-driving cars.

© 2013 The Economist Intelligence Unit Ltd. All rights reserved.
Whilst efforts have been taken to verify the accuracy of this information, neither The Economist Intelligence Unit Ltd. nor its affiliates can accept any responsibility or liability for reliance by any person on this information.

From viewswire.com, published under license. The original article, can be found at: www.viewswire.com
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2014, 22:03:58 »
The British are masters of irony indeed. The writers of this regulation must have been fans of Monty Python or Yes Minister:

http://www.roadandtrack.com/go/news/new-legislation-would-ban-the-jaguar-e-type-from-downtown-london

Quote
New legislation would ban Jaguar E-Type from downtown London
England tries to excommunicate its icons and golden geese.

By Max Prince March 17, 2014 / Photos by Newspress UK

In an effort to further reduce pollution in Great Britain, new regulations have been proposed that would effectively ban all classic cars from London's city center. R&T understands that the mandate, which was first floated last February, would establish an Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), disallowing all pre-2005-registered vehicles from entering a prime area of downtown London effective 2020.

Will it disrupt the lives of anybody who can't afford a newer car (see: the entire middle class) if enacted? Yes. How about those affluent Londoners who own an investment vehicle and live in the city center? Yep, them too. Don't worry, it'll also hurt working-class mechanics, truck drivers, and parts suppliers.

In case you hadn't heard, vintage cars have been one of the best-performing investments over the past decade, second only to gold. Gold. And the de facto classic car capital of the world is? You guessed it: England, particularly central London's posh business district, where many of the large banks, financiers, and importers are based. (Naturally, a fair number of those investors gobbling up Ferrari 250s and antique Bugattis at a prodigious rate also work and live in that area.)

READ MORE: First Drive: 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe

For the UK, classic cars constitute a $7.48 billion business that employs almost 30,000 people. In a country with a GDP of $2.43 trillion and a workforce of around 30 million, that's a huge slice of the mincemeat pie. And said $7.48 billion isn't even counting capital circulated into London's hotels, restaurants, and retailers from events like the London to Brighton Rally or the Regency Street Motor Show, both held inside the proposed area, the latter of which has an annual attendance of around 250,000.

Britain, always fertile ground for irony, also seems to have forgotten that its auto industry hasn't contributed anything truly noteworthy to the motoring zeitgeist in roughly half a century (with a few notable exceptions, such as the McLaren F1). Thus, the ULEZ would take every great English car ever made—the Jaguar E-Type, Aston Martin DB5, Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, the Lotus Esprit Series 1, and even the original city car, Issigonis's Mini—and promptly ban them all from entering the most visible area of the nation's capital.

Take a moment to let that sink in.

Well-intentioned? Sure, but the proposed ULEZ is ignorant at best and outright draconian at worst. Narrow the scope, then try again. The last time a major European city tried this, the proposal went down in flames. Hopefully London's plan will follow suit.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2014, 13:19:57 »
I owned landrovers for all my life and 2 Rangerovers. A 1990's ex-military Defender can fetch between $15,000-$29,000, crazy money.

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2014, 19:07:45 »
Porsche ups the ante again with a hybrid LeMans car. A 550 Hp V4 motor....?

As they say in the article, look for some of this tech to appear in a 911 soon.

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2014/03/porsche-919/

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Porsche’s Glorious, Next-Gen Hybrid Racer

By Damon Lavrinc
03.07.14
6:30 AM

The Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 is ready to dominate the World Endurance Championship Porsche

The future of racing is about more than speed. It’s about using technology to combine performance and efficiency in a winning package. Nowhere is this more important that at Le Mans, where Porsche hopes the 919 Hybrid will redefine endurance racing.
 
Porsche is returning to the greatest race in the world after a 16 year hiatus to compete in the top-tier prototype class. Although private teams have raced, and won, at Le Mans in various iterations of the venerable Porsche 911, the automaker has not fielded a factory team since the GT1 took the overall win in 1998.
 
Porsche timed its return to exploit new World Endurance Championship regulations to make racing more efficient, in every way. That means smaller engines, hybrid drivetrains and wider use of lightweight materials. The company, which has pioneered a wide range of motorsports technology that eventually wound up on road cars, calls the 919 “the most technologically advanced race car Porsche has produced.” The machine builds on the lessons learned from the 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car and the 918 gas-electric supercar and applies them to the most grueling race in the world.
 
It’s entering an arena dominated by Audi. Although Porsche has racked up 16 outright wins at Le Mans–more than any other manufacturer–Audi is the team to beat. It’s amassed 12 wins in 14 years with its diesel racers, but has faced stiff competition from hybrid racers from Peugeot and Toyota in the past.
 
Like Porsche, Audi and Toyota are bringing hybrids to Circuit de Le Sarthe in June, but Porsche has the most at stake. It has more than a racing rep to uphold, it has a technological one as well. Ferdinand Porsche developed the world’s first hybrid car over 110 years ago. Even if Porsche purists may not want to admit it, gas-electric technology is a hallmark of the marque. And that heritage is going to come into play in a big way.
 
The LMP1-H class of prototype racers in which Audi, Porsche, and Toyota are competing must, under the rules, carry less fuel–and therefore burn less fuel–than in the past. At the bottom line, they’ve got about 30 percent less fuel per lap to play with than last year. To offset that, the amount of energy they can carry in batteries or hybrid flywheel systems has increased substantially. But naturally, there are restrictions. And here’s where it gets a bit tricky.
 
Depending on the type of drivetrain used, a car can use two, four, six, or eight megajoules per lap at Le Mans. Exceed that and they’ll be held in the pits for between 10 and 60 seconds–a lifetime in a race where minutes, or even seconds, can separate first and second place.
 
While Audi is using a diesel V6 and Toyota is running a gas V8, Porsche is a 2.0-liter V4–yes, V4–producing close to 500 horsepower and spinning at 9,000 rpm. Of course it’s got direct injection and turbocharging, but that’s not especially noteworthy considering you can find that in a Ford Focus.
 
What’s most impressive about the 919 is the two ways Porsche recovers energy to juice up its hybrid system. The first system uses an electric generator with a turbine driven by the exhaust. A second system gathers kinetic energy during braking just like a Toyota Prius. All that energy is stored in a water-cooled, lithium-ion battery pack (Porsche isn’t saying how big it is) that powers an electric motor (Porsche won’t say how powerful) that drives the front wheels, giving the 919 on-demand all wheel drive.
 
Porsche is competing in the Premiere Class, which gives it the maximum eight megajoules to play with. Although that means the hybrid system is heavier and more complex–which means there are more things that can go wrong–it also means less fuel consumption. Greater efficiency means less time spent refueling, which means greater distance covered, and that’s the entire point of endurance racing. Porsche says the 919′s engine will be driven at full load 75 percent of the 8.48-mile circuit, and use just 1.23 gallons of fuel in the process. Drivers adjust, on the fly, when and how the electric boost comes on, allowing them to account for, say, track conditions or a dogfight in traffic.
 
Despite all this hardware, the 919 Hybrid is remarkably light at 1,918 pounds–66 pounds lighter than last year’s cars. You can do that when you use carbon fiber for pretty much everything, from the bodywork to the tub the driver sits in. The car is tiny, too, just 183.1 inches long, about 70 inches wide, and just 41.3 inches tall–nearly waist-height. It makes the 911, which is by no means a leviathan, look absolutely huge.
 
The 919′s first battle is set to take place on April 20th at Silverstone, with the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June and another seven, six-hour races throughout the season.1
 
But don’t think all this tech is just for the track. Porsche has a storied history of bringing race technology to the road. The list includes the stuff already on your car, like fuel injection and disc brakes, and more specialized fare like dual clutch transmissions and even carbon fiber monocoque construction. Bet on Porsche using the 919 to expand that tradition. Porsche says the 919 is  a research and development platform for for future models. It’s already begun with the 918 Spyder. It’s only a matter of time before you see you see this technology in the 911.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2014, 20:00:06 »
An odd finding in the Tesla Model S. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the article is how Tesla discovered the car was being "hacked"? Are Teslas communicating with the company over the Internet without the owner being aware of this? If so, why?

http://jalopnik.com/the-tesla-model-s-is-basically-a-good-looking-it-depart-1558372928

Quote
The Tesla Model S Is Basically A Good Looking IT Department On Wheels
Jason Torchinsky

It's pretty well known that modern cars are full of little computers talking to each other. This internal network, known as the CAN bus, is pretty specific to cars and as a result is pretty unfamiliar to most people. Tesla, of course, loves to be different. And by different, I mean not different. Hear me out.P

Recently, an intrepid and curious Tesla owner found a hidden four-pin connector, and with a hunch and some trial-and-error work discovered that it is in fact an ethernet port, and wired up a standard ethernet cable to connect to it.P

What he discovered next is notable for how strangely familiar it all is to anyone with even a passing knowledge of computer networking:P

The car's internal 100 Mbps, full duplex ethernet network consists of 3 devices with assiged IP addresses in the 192.168.90.0 subnet, the center console, dashboard/nav screen and one more unknown device. Some ports and services that were open on the devices were 22 (SSH), 23 (telnet),53 (open domain), 80 (HTTP), 111 (rpcbind), 2049 (NFS), 6000 (X11). Port 80 was serving up a web page with the image or media of the current song being played. The operating system is modified version of Ubuntu using an ext3 filesystem.P

It's really odd just how, well, normal all this feels — it's just like any home or office network. They're using it in some interesting ways — for example, the current song playing artwork is being served to the center large display simply like normal web traffic. P

There's a full thread from the original poster, nlc on the Tesla Motors Club forum, that's full of really interesting information about the network, and lots of useful basic details:P

The ethernet network of the car contains 3 peripherals :
- The center console, IP Address 192.168.90.100
- The dashboard/navigation screen, IP Address 192.168.90.101
- An unknown peripheral, IP Address 192.168.90.102

These 3 peripheral send of lot of data in broadcast UDP, to 192.168.90.255 broadcat address. Different UDP ports are used depending of data type.

In fact they use the same principle a CAN bus use :

- Everyone send data on the network
- Anyone who need it listen for this data.

The data shared on the netword seem to be in clear. I can see a Ascii header which define the type of the frame. Some data are in binary format thus it will need some reverse engineering to understand the data.

I also tested the openeds ports of the 3 peripherals :

- Central console :

PORT STATE SERVICE
22/tcp open ssh
53/tcp open domain
80/tcp open http
111/tcp open rpcbind
2049/tcp open nfs
6000/tcp open X11
MAC Address: FA:9E:70:EA:xx:xx (Unknown)

- Dashboard screen :

PORT STATE SERVICE
22/tcp open ssh
111/tcp open rpcbind
6000/tcp open X11
MAC Address: 36:C4:1F:2A:xx:xx (Unknown)

- Unknown device :

PORT STATE SERVICE
23/tcp open telnet
1050/tcp open java-or-OTGfileshare
MAC Address: 00:00:A7:01:xx:xx (Network Computing Devices)P
He even managed to get Firefox running on both the center screen and the dash cluster screen. It's interesting to see how the displays are oriented, at least according to how the OS actually sees them. I'm guessing there's some sort of reason why the screen orientation would be rotated 180° on the dash cluster, though I have no idea what it is.P

If you want to try this on your (or a very open/inattentive friend's) Tesla, here's a picture of the pinouts for the color-coded Ethernet wires. Also, you should be aware that Tesla was alerted to his explorations, and contacted him to suggest that he knock it off, already:P

This evening I got a call from service center

They told me Tesla USA engineers seen a tentative of hacking on my car...

I explained it was me because I tried to connect the diagnosis port to get some useful data (speed, power, etc...). They told me it can be related to industrial espionage and advised me to stop investigation, to not void the warranty....

Don't know if they really seen something in the log, because I just sniffed the network. Or maybe they seen the port scanning with nmap ? Or maybe they just read this topic ? 4P

I'm all for people hacking the things they own; it was decided that jailbreaking your phone is legal, though you can't blame Tesla for not wanting to be on the hook if someone does something dangerous or stupid. Still, with appropriate caveats, it's the man's car and he should be able to tinker as he pleases.5P

This opens up all kinds of interesting possibilities, especially since the protocols they're using in the car are so well-known outside the automotive universe. I'm excited to see what happens next.P
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2014, 13:45:00 »
The past of the Ford Mustang. Some are interesting in an....interesting....way:

http://www.wired.com/2014/04/mustangs-that-never-were/#slide-id-729231

Quote
Ford is celebrating the Mustang’s 50th anniversary, and as much as we love the original GT350 and the sublime second-gen Boss 302, we’re utterly fascinated by some of the Mustangs that never were.

Automakers create dozens of design studies, concepts and prototypes when developing a new car, and dozens more over the course of its life. When a car’s been around half a century, a lot of ideas wind up on the cutting room floor, and they provide fascinating glimpses into what the designers were thinking, what avenues they were pursuing. Some of them discarded quickly–the world definitely did not need a four-door Mustang(!)–and soon forgotten. Others, the Mach I concept of 1967, yielded ideas that shaped future models. And some were simply flights of fancy, like the ridiculously sexy Mustang Milano that Ford really should have built.

Ford released a trove of drawings and photos from its archives, and we dug through them all to offer the craziest and coolest Mustangs that never were. Click full screen to get the full story on each image and let us know your favorites down in the comments.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2016, 14:27:55 »
An odd finding in the Tesla Model S. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the article is how Tesla discovered the car was being "hacked"? Are Teslas communicating with the company over the Internet without the owner being aware of this? If so, why?

http://jalopnik.com/the-tesla-model-s-is-basically-a-good-looking-it-depart-1558372928

Responding to a crash involving a Tesla Model S?  Watch out for the giant explosion & hard to extinguish battery fire.

Tesla Model S battery explodes in a giant fireball after fatal crash.
https://www.inverse.com/article/23281-tesla-battery-explodes-indianapolis-crash
The cells were "firing off almost like projectiles".

Get on the bus. Take a ride with us.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2lSGnPl-ww

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Re: Cult cars
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2017, 09:12:51 »
One man decides to create his own dream car inspired by 1930 era Art Deco roadsters and limousines:

http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-shows/geneva-auto-show/interviews/a33056/the-eadon-green-black-cuillin-is-an-admirable-dream-project/
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.