by Eileen Marable
Early February has been busy in the world of cars and here at Velocity. Did you catch our One of a Kind caption contest? No? Check out the photo and winning caption here.
The rest of the news for the week was full of the glitzy, offbeat and just plain awesome new car developments.
Let’s get going:
BREAKING NEWS: Nevada Approves Driverless Cars
We usually look at the week prior, but the big news at the end of this week was Nevada approving driverless cars. Yep, it seems like something out of the movies, but it is true. We’ll look at this in more detail in the week to come, but the basics are that anyone who wants to use the driverless car program (developed with the help of Google) now will have to have a special plate and post up to a $3 million bond. When the cars become a reality for real people in the future that bond will no doubt have dropped to a reasonable level. Forget about the money for a second and consider the fact that according to the law, drivers won’t even have to be in the car when it is operating though they will be responsible for its actions. We NEED to hear your thoughts on this one!
‘Mayumi Special’ Nissan Infinity Q45
Take a look inside this amazing custom Nissan that was the result of 10 years of loving work. This blazing red Q45 was on display at the Tokyo Auto Show 2012, and according to the owner Fumihiro Takeda he wanted to “…(create) a car that was not just pretty cool, but awesome.” With all the modifications – including an audio doll as a passenger, I think you could say mission accomplished.
Photo: Tesla Press Shots/Courtesy of Engadget
Tesla’s Totally Hot Model X SUV Unveiled
If you want to feel a little bit like James Bond and you have around $50-70 thousand to spend you’ll want to consider the new Tesla crossover SUV. Equipped with a unique “gull wing” door – which Tesla calls a “falcon wing – the car is an all wheel drive that will go from zero to 60mph in 4.4 seconds. If you aren’t salivating over it being electric, powerful and super-groovy, they want you to consider the SUV’s “frunk.” Yes, frunk – that would be a trunk in the front since where a standard engine would be. Don’t you just love a company that can make up their own words?
Sweet Seatbelt Package
Mercedes Benz has released details on their new “active” seatbelt system. Designed with safety in mind, the system has multiple features designed to get users in the back seat to buckle up. In addition to being illuminated, the buckle itself will now extend itself from the seat almost three inches when a person is seated so they’ll have no trouble finding the equipment to strap in. Once buckled it automatically adjusts to proper tension for every body shape. The seatbelts also act in reverse – extending after a crash (provided the electrical system is still intact) so rescue personnel can easily unstrap passengers. Expected to roll out on their newest luxury models first, we can’t wait until the industry follows along with these cool innovations.
Baby It’s Cold Outside
Perhaps you’ve been seeing reports about the unbelievable cold and snowy weather that has Europe in its grips? Here’s another interesting fact that makes it real just how cold it is. In Germany, it has been reported that as temperatures have hit -18° farenheit diesel fuel has begun to crystallize. That’s right, the fuel is freezing. Though it is German law that fuel stations have to provide a fuel that is cold resistant it generally only works up to -8° farenheit. Those diesel owners who don’t have garages and have had their car stuck on the street are reminded to NOT add gasoline or to defrost the engine manually (like with a heater), because, well, you know – it could explode. They are advised to find a place inside to tow the vehicle and let it defrost naturally. Presumably Germany isn’t the only country having this issue so let’s spare a thought for our freezing friends in Europe!
Photo: Gibbs Technologies via Gizmag
What a Humdinga!
It’s likely you’ll want one – who wouldn’t want an SUV that converts into a boat? The reality is that this amphibious vehicle from Gibbs Technologies will more likely be something the military will invest in or perhaps even search and rescue teams. Still it is fun to dream – the 4WD has a 350hp V8 gasoline engine that provides highway speeds on land and up to 30mph in the water. The Humdinga will carry up to five passengers or payloads over 1,600 lbs. With flooding plaguing certain areas around the country and the globe, it’s nice to know there is a purpose built vehicle like this out there.
It's really a Rally car driver...
Sorry Dad… I Crashed the Car. Into the Ocean.
You all know I love ending on a humorous note. And while crashing is not generally funny, the guy behind this crash and his father seem to be taking it fairly well and no one was hurt. The story goes that after a back injury, Andrew Miedecke loaned his classic 1975 Ford Capri Terana to his son George, to compete in his place at the Targa Wrest Point Rally in Tasmania. Perhaps his dad set the bar to high by telling him not to crash and to not come in second… D’oh. Sadly, Andrew accomplished both. In his defense, the Targa rally is one of the most challenging out there – with tight turns, high speeds and harsh road conditions. Plus, the crash was not fully his fault as he technically crashed into another car that had trouble with the same turn he did. Better luck next time guys – you deserve it!
So Velocity fans, what’s on your mind this week? What have you seen that amuses or amazes. We love hearing from you!
Until next week!