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James R. Cochran

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The automobile industry has witnessed a lot of drastic changes. There are a lot of companies that are perfecting technologies to offer better and powerful cars. Especially sports cars today are clocking unimaginable speeds because of various technologies and advancements. In this article, we will see some of the 8 High-Tech Features Revving up Sports Cars.

Reduction of heat with Aerogel

For people who are into automobiles, you would have definitely heard that Chevy Corvette Stingray as implied the suspension technology used in F1 cars. In this kind of suspension where there is a half-inch gel which is called an aerogel. It reduces the heat up to a considerable amount. The gel was actually designed to be used in the NASA spacesuits. 99.8 percent of the space in the gel is empty space.

Adding air to supercharger through headlight intake

If you take a close look at the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, you will find an air catcher intake opening in the front driver side headlight. This opening actually pumps air into the supercharger. This is one of the main reasons why this beast is able to clock 14,600 rpm and gives the engine of 600 hp.

Four-wheel steering

The iconic Porsche 911 Turbo has always managed to live up to the expectations with extraordinary capabilities.  The four-wheel steering in this car is unique because at a speed of 31mph the rear and front wheels turn in the opposite directions to have better control at lower speeds. When the speed exceeds 50mph both the tires will turn in the same direction. This technology not just helps in better steering but also helps to park the car easily. You can see a lot of sports cars and business sedans like Acura RLX using this technology.

Automatic Raising Spoiler

This technology was first applied in the Jaguar F-Type. It is a unique car which has its entire body built with aluminum. If you look at the car, you will not see any spoilers. But when the car clocks a speed of 70mph, the spoilers will raise automatically raise. It again drops down when the speed comes to 50mph. These spoilers are capable of reducing the lift by 264 pounds.

Centre of gravity reduction with design

Scion FR-S engineers who were involved in designing has stated that the main innovation of the entire design is the oil pan. It is located in the lower part of the engine which gives the advantage to the car. The entire weight of the car is 2645 pounds. The car can easily drift in the corners.

Few engine alterations can do the trick

A few adjustments were all it took to convert an Infinity Q60 business sedan into a performance vehicle. The adjustments in the air-fuel mixture, ignition timings had a very considerable impact in increasing the performance of the vehicle. It was able to produce 348 horsepower.

Amplifying the sound electronically

Ford Focus has electronically controlled valves which amplifies the noise of the engine. The roar of the engine is between 200 to 450Hz. You can get a horsepower of more than 250, and you will never feel that you are driving a Ford.

Deactivating the cylinders

Audi RS 7 which is one of the masterpieces from the German auto giant in a V 8 model. When the speed comes down to 27mph or when you hit the cruise control the car automatically cuts the power supply from four cylinders. It again turns on the supply when you exceed 40mph.

Hybrid cars aren’t only good for the environment. They are easy on your pocket too when it comes to car insurance premiums. The newest fuel craze can help you save much more than you would ever expect with a normal car. Combined with fuel efficiency, you have much to cheer about if you own a hybrid car. These cars help save fuel since they alternate between an electric motor and conventional gasoline engine.

Hybrid cars are considered ‘low risk’ by auto insurance companies, thereby attracting lower premiums. Most auto insurance companies offer a 10% discount to owners of hybrid vehicles. These drivers are more likely to be mature drivers who drive carefully and are less likely to end up in an accident with the need to file claims. Being in the ‘preferred insurance category’ qualifies hybrid car owners for lower insurance rates. Most of these drivers are between the ages of 41 to 60, a group that is considered finically stable and less likely to participate in reckless activities. Some insurance companies are involved in special carbon offsetting programs, where a portion of your insurance premium goes towards the manufacture of environmentally friendly products.

Hybrid car owners are likely to receive cash back incentives, which once again leads to great savings. Besides, it balances out the initial cost of buying a hybrid car. It is advisable to do a bit of comparison shopping for hybrid car insurance. Not every insurance provider offers discounts to hybrid car owners since the repairs in the event of an accident can add up to a significant sum. It is prudent to compare quotes online in order to make a well informed decision prior to purchasing hybrid auto insurance. The bottom line is to save as much as you can and reap the benefits of tax credits along with affordable hybrid auto insurance. Don’t wait for an insurance company to offer you discounts, instead, make sure you ask for them.

In a bid to bring cleaner air to London’s millions of residents and visitors, the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) was introduced in 2008, and it has proved to be a successful initiative. At the beginning of 2012, the parameters of the requirements will be changing, and many companies have so far failed to heed the warnings from Transport for London (TfL).

The city has had a major pollution issue for many decades, and even into the 21st century things didn’t seem to be getting any better. Therefore, the scheme was instigated with a view to encouraging companies of all shapes and sizes to be more aware of their vehicle emissions. Those that failed to meet the requirements would be charged a fee to enter London.

Definitely time for a change

According to TfL, pollution accounts for around 1,000 premature deaths every year in and around London, a staggering statistic when you consider there has been some degree of clean air legislation in place for many decades. Even those who were against the establishment of the zone realised that something really had to be done.

The implementation of the zone was a major project in itself, requiring vast quantities of road signs, leaflets and a major advertising campaign. As is always the case in such matters, the public, as well as the business community, took a little time to get used to the idea. Nowadays, regular visitors to London are all too aware of what’s required of them.

Are you in the zone?

Virtually the whole of Greater London is included in the scheme, which is now the world’s largest low emission zone. The M25 motorway, however, is not part of it, even on the sections that are within the borders of the Greater London region. Some sections of the M1 and M4, as well as parts of Heathrow, also come under the agreement.

In 2012, the scheme will be extended to include such vehicles as larger vans and minibuses, so if your company is likely to be affected by this you should be checking TfL’s website to see what to do next. Failing to meet the requirements of London’s low emission zone could be a seriously expensive mistake.

David Rice is a UK-based writer who travels into London on a regular basis. He writes for car leasing company Nationwide Vehicle Contracts .

Green cars are now hitting production lines, and the waves are hitting the marketplace. Every major manufacturer is developing electric cars, most are looking at hybrids in some form. If you’re a driver, this could be the best thing to happen to your wallet since customizable car insurance.

Ideas are now the big issue in auto technology. The old petrol monsters are definitely on the way out, and the race is now to see which technology triumphs. The main criteria are range, performance, battery efficiency and recharging.

The new species of cars are providing a running commentary on the transport of the future:

Peugeot iOn: electric car

This is a full size family car, with a CO2 output of 0. Created in partnership with Mitsubishi, the iOn is a suburban runabout, with a range of 100km, or to the local mall and back 20 times, on one charge. Recharge of lithium batteries is a 3 point pin system, and takes 6 hours. Top speed is said to be 110kmh.

What’s important about this design is that it’s clearly a purpose built design working on an obvious market segment. This is the family workhorse, the shopping cart and kid’s taxi. Functional designs like this are always successful, and form a huge part of the retail market.

Nissan LEAF electric car

In the same demographic, but with extras and expected to be expensive, the LEAF is a high response vehicle which behaves like a “normal” car. It has a quick charge capability which means it can be 80% recharged in half an hour.

Range and performance are similar to the iOn, and design factors indicate it’s targeted to the same market. The technology has been ramped up a lot, to include the performance factors. The LEAF will be the suburban showcase type of electric car when it hits the market.

(It will be noted that “features” and “extras” are already creating a dichotomy in high and low range electric cars. This is a typical branding approach to vehicles, and you can expect a lot more of these additions in future.)

Audi 1- First full conversion from diesel to electric?

The Audi 1 is a new diesel car which is being realistically touted as the basis of an electric version. This is a particularly important design technology issue for electric cars. The Audi 1 is a direct challenger to the new Mini. Its frame is therefore very well suited for conversion to both electric and hybrid designs. That also minimizes retooling for manufacturing purposes, reducing cost to produce.

That’s a particularly relevant issue in the production of green cars, reducing the need for outlay on specialized production. Car manufacturers have been understandably unenthusiastic about the possible costs of tooling up to produce the new electric cars, and this is definitely one of the solutions. Don’t be surprised to find Audi 1 electric and hybrid models coming onstream soon, because this car is an obvious prototype for future production.

Carbon dioxide emissions from the new cars are continuously reducing. This has been possible thanks to the continous efforts of the vehicle manufacturers who have contributed to the fall of 4.7% of new car CO2 emissions in the first half of 2010 itself compared to the previous year. This data has been released by the Society of Motor manufacturers and Traders.

In June, the data shows that the average for the new vehicles emissions were reduced to 145.2 grams/kilometers. The increase in sales of alternatively fuelled cars and hybrids have a major role in the achievement of this figure.

Manufacturers have developed engines that produces less CO2 emissions and provide more efficiency. The rise is fuel prices and the concern to the global climatic issues are the main reasons for consumers to want cars which run more and smoke less.

“Continued vehicle manufacturer efforts to improve fuel efficiency and cut emissions has further reduced average CO2 output during a better than anticipated first half of 2010,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive

The domination of petrol variants will soon come to an end. A new era of highly efficient and less emission diesel engines are developed which will soon help the diesel variants dominate. The BlueMotion technology from Volkswagen is one of those technologies that have helped reduce emissions.

Volkswagen new MPV, the VW Touran has hit British shores and it looks promising. The Touran was first unveiled at the Leipzig Motor show in April. The Touran comes with a range of petrol and innovative diesel engines. It also comes in the BlueMotion technology form.

The Touran is priced between 17,585 – 25,535 Euros. The new Touran is bigger, better and has a lot of new features. The Touran derives the design from the new Polo, Golf and Touareg. The new Touran gets alloy wheels and touches of chrome everywhere.

The VW Touran comes with a range of new engines. The Petrol variants are the 1.2L TSI giving 105 bhp and the 1.4L TSI giving 140bhp or a greater 170 bhp. The diesel variants are the 1.6L TDI that produces 90bhp and 105bhp and a 2.0L TDI engine that produces 140bhp or 170bhp.

Only the 1.6L TDI and the 1.2L TSI engine is capable in BlueMotion Trim. The 1.2L is capable of returning 47.9 mpg while emitting 139 g/km of CO2. The 1.6L TDI is capable of returning 58.8 mpg while emitting only 121 g/km of CO2.

The Volkswagen Touran have been selling really well in the Europe. With the introduction of the new one, it will hope to sell more and perform better while harming the enviromnent less. This is exactly what Volkswagen wants the Touran to do. Only time will tell us if it does live up to its expectations.