Current Affairs

McLaren Prototype Release Party

07/06/2015

Editor's Note: Contributor Ken Visser is an Automotive Photographer and Concours Judge, as well as a Computer Tech at Discovery Communications. He's an enthusiast of generally anything that moves and is excited to share his work with Velocity fans. Reach out to him about his incredible photographs at karmakvisser@yahoo.com. 

I had the good fortune of being on the receiving end of an invitation to go check out the pre-release party for the brand new McLaren 570-S.  The star-studded event was held at the Longview Gallery on 9th St. NW in Washington DC.

And of course, what do you think the first thing we see in front of the gallery?

McClaren15 prototype 092 lr sm

The first of five McLaren 650S models that were on site!  This British supercar delivers 671 hp to the rear wheels.  Starting around $270,000 for the coupe and $283,000 for the convertible, this speedster will dominate a highly competitive market with a finite number of potential consumers.  

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Van Party of Two

07/04/2015

It may be America's birthday today, but check out this hysterical birthday video that's gone viral. In less than a week it boasts 450,000 views.

The video has gained worldwide traction prompting the creator, Chris Daines, to change his name on YouTube from Bludgeoned Guitarist to The Double D's (the other party-goer is Daines's brother Paul).

The Cambridge, UK resident posted a short statement on his page about his recent fame: "I made an innocent video for me and my brother's own enjoyment, not realising that it would go viral and reach out to millions across the world I've been blown away". According to Daines's Facebook page, the brother duo has signed a licensing contract with Defy Media, who will feature the video on television advertisements. Perhaps someone should throw the brothers a party...

Have you ever hosted a celebratory bash for your set of wheels? Tell us your story and maybe you can go viral too!

Finnish Moto3 Rider's Unlikely Finish

07/03/2015

They say when you fall off the horse the best option is to get back on the horse. Niklas Ajo, a Finnish motorcyclist, disregarded the popular idiom last week. Ajo most definitely did not get back on after falling off his KTM bike in the Moto3 Dutch Grand Prix. The 20-year-old member of the RBA racing team took the final turn of the GP at Assen a bit too aggressively and was thrown from his seat. What happened next is something the racing world has never seen before.

Unfortunately Ajo, who has been racing professionally since 2011, fell from eighth to 17th place. However, he was thrilled that he did not end up smushed between his bike and the wall.

"[It] was a scary moment," said Ajo after the race to members of the press. "But I wanted to finish the race in any way and I think that was a pretty unique way!"

Unique is an understatement. His miraculous finish stole the spotlight from first place finisher Miguel Oliveira of Portugal who finished the 22 laps in 37'54.427. 

Want more bikes? Check out when the crew of What's in the Barn? found an incredibly rare set of wheels in a military warehouse. 

 

How the Blade is Made will Blow Your Mind

06/29/2015

The future of auto manufacturing is here thanks to startup company Divergent Microfactories. Enter the Blade, the first ever supercar to employ 3D printing technology. Its as efficient as it is sleek and powerful.

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Divergent Microfactories

Divergent Microfactories, based out of San Fransisco, employed a 3-D printer to create the groundbreaking chassis of this jaw-dropping supercar. Aluminum joints called Nodes connect to aerospace carbon fiber tubing to form the Blade's chassis. The structure utilizes approximately 61 pounds of aluminum and 41 pounds of carbon fiber, according to the manufacturer. In total, the chassis weighs a mere 102 pounds. But fear not skeptics, the chassis has undergone the appropriate testing and is actually industrial strength. The construction of the chassis, however, has a striking resemblance to your old K'NEX set and takes less than an hour by hand.

The Blade's revolutionary skeleton allows for a 90 percent reduction in the vehicle's overall weight-- it tips the scale at 1,388 pounds. The new lightweight infrastructure and its 700HP bi-fuel engine allow the vehicle to accelerate at enviable speeds, reaching 60 mph in just 2.2 seconds. 

The goal, however, is to widen the usage of the Node design and technology to sedans and pickups. Divergent Microfactories hopes this process will not only revolutionize automobile construction, but also encourage a reduction in emissions.

“Society has made great strides in its awareness and adoption of cleaner and greener cars. The problem is that while these cars do now exist, the actual manufacturing of them is anything but environmentally friendly,” said Kevin Czinger, founder & CEO, Divergent Microfactories. 

According to an analysis published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology the construction of gas-powered cars produces approximately 14,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide, which is 17 percent of its lifetime emissions. Electric cars are not perfect either: the study found that their production produces 30,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide.

Need another Super Car to drool over? Check out when Chasing Classic Cars spotlighted a rare '88 Porsche. 

SUPRISE! The Most American Car is...

In the 10th annual American-Made Index, Cars.com declared the most American car of 2015. Ladies and gentlemen, please remove your hats as we honor the... Toyota Camry!

The Camry, manufactured in Kentucky and Indiana, ranks number one for the first time on the American-Made Index since 2012. How on Earth is this possible, you ask? The index considers where the specific vehicles are manufactured, their total US-based sales, and the percentage of parts considered domestic under federal regulations, according to Cars.com. The index does not analyze the automaker as a whole, although Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. is the only company to produce two models on the list. 

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via Cars.com

Potentially concerning for the US market is the few number of automobiles that turn to American-made parts. This is the first time in the AMI's history that less than ten cars strongly utilize domestic content. A mere seven vehicles declare that 75 percent of parts employed are homegrown, whereas in 2010 the list was more than four times larger. 

There is good news, however. Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that the United States exported over two million cars in 2014. The growth in American exports has risen dramatically since 2009 when only one million cars left US soil.  

Love America and need a way to celebrate Independence day? Nothing screams "USA USA USA" like Americarna and the only King the US has ever had- Elvis Presley.  


Visit daily for posts about the shows and spirit of Velocity, an upscale male lifestyle network, featuring the best of the automotive, sports, adventure and travel genres.

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