These days, the online world seems to be mostly full of scary things and overly-opinionated people shouting at each other. With that in mind, let us give you a few minutes of calming solace as we bring you something small, cute and utterly inoffensive: the Skoda Element. It’s not - I’m afraid - a production car, rather a one-off piece of work created by a group of students from the Skoda Vocational School. Taking a Citigo and completely reworking the bodywork, the students have created a door-less, open-top, all-electric beach buggy, and it might just be the most adorable car we’ve ever seen. … [Read more...] about The Skoda Element Is The Adorable Beach Buggy The World Needs Right Now
The world's first 'flat-pack' truck - the Global Vehicle Trust Ox - has been revealed in London, designed to provide low-cost all-terrain mobility for remote parts of Africa and the developing world. Across Africa and other developing countries, there is intense need for improved transport, for both everyday living as well as emergencies. The Ox truck has been designed specifically to tackle a host of transport challenges, and to undertake crucial daily tasks, such as collect drinking water and transporting grain, fertilizer or building materials. It is unlike any other vehicle and has no direct competitor - whether from a concept, performance or pricing point of view. The Ox originated from the vision of Sir Torquil Norman. Five years ago, he founded the Global Vehicle Trust (GVT), to pursue his ambition to help people in the developing world by providing cost-effective mobility. The GVT subsequently briefed renowned automotive designer Professor Gordon Murray on a unique humanitarian … [Read more...] about Revealed: The worlds first flat-pack truck
The Indian automotive industry is the sixth largest in the world having deep forward and backward linkages with several key segments of the economy. The industry has a strong positive multiplier effect which acts as a key driver of economic growth. As India rapidly emerges as a global sourcing hub for automakers across the globe, the Indian automotive industry is also fast transforming to meet the expectations and stringent norms of its diverse customers. The well-developed Indian auto industry produces a wide variety of vehicles - passenger cars, light, medium, heavy commercial vehicles, multi-utility vehicles, two-wheelers, tractors and other off-road vehicles, while the Indian auto component sector manufactures a complete portfolio of products which include engine parts, drive transmission and steering parts, body and chassis, suspension and braking parts, equipment and electrical parts, besides others. The components industry grows in tandem with the vehicle industry and with the … [Read more...] about Auto components – Made in India for the world
Keshub Mahindra, chairman emeritus, Mahindra & Mahindra, has seen the birth of the Indian automobile industry. In an exclusive interview with Hormazd Sorabjee, he takes us on a fascinating drive down memory lane. You have seen the evolution of the Indian auto industry. Tell us how it all began? The story starts in 1947, when I was asked to appear in Delhi for a meeting with the Defence Minister. There were a few of us in that meeting and he took us into confidence and said that we were having immense problems getting spare parts for our tanks. The British and others were all playing games and that we could not continue importing parts, so we had to do something about it. He said that the government had taken some tough decisions and had decided to develop its own automotive industry for our needs. Then he asked us, "What do you gentlemen think?" I said, "We don't know a damn thing about the auto industry"! I asked the chap sitting next to me, Colonel Menon, who became one of the … [Read more...] about I dont think we realised that our ability to innovate would capture the world.
Pavan Kumar, Managing Director (South Asia), Altair Engineering Ltd Pavan Kumar, MD (South Asia), Altair Engineering Ltd, speaks to Kiran Bajad about how its simulation software tools can fast-forward product prototyping and why even Tier 3 suppliers should be taking advantage of such programs. Can you detail Altair Engineering’s involvement with the automotive industry?Altair Engineering is a 30-year-old company, which was set up in Detroit. We began as a consultancy company and foresaw the need for software products. That’s how our HyperMesh, a universal pre- and post-processes software, came into being. Altair’s core area is simulation-led consultancy and products. We have introduced the middle stage wherein after detailed design, automotive companies can take their product to a simulation environment. It is here that products can be simulated in real-life physical conditions including bad roads, crash, noise and handling without the need for OEMs to create a … [Read more...] about ‘We can give Tier 2 and 3 suppliers the ability to compete with the best in the world.’
Mobility improves quality of life by providing access to people, places and experiences. It also enables economic advancement by providing access to goods and markets. These are considered self-evident truths here in the developed world but can mobility also transform quality of life and economic development for the world’s poorest people, such as rural Africans? Imagine a solar-powered EV service that is operated and maintained by a village entrepreneur. This could address the need for many women to individually walk to collect wood from the forest (or to collect water from a well) and provide time for education or to make goods that generate income. High insolation loads in Africa can permit a low speed, lightweight vehicle to travel daily between adjacent villages. This could facilitate access to fertilizer distribution centers, to markets for crops and crafts, and to healthcare that may not exist in the village. The business is funded from users as it enables them to sell … [Read more...] about Sustainable mobility for the world’s poorest people
The Mercedes F 015 is an autonomously driven car fuelled by Hydrogen-electric hybrid powertrain and is built to meet the needs of cities in 2030. The ongoing 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has some very interesting innovations under one roof with automakers actively participating with a host of new technologies that will make it on our vehicles in the near future. After teasing its innovation for days, Mercedes-Benz has finally showcased its new futuristic concept at the 2015 CES in Las Vegas and has called it ‘F 015 Luxury in Motion’ – a self driving luxury sedan that determines the future of the company’s cars and is the most technologically advanced vehicle to come out of the company’s headquarter’s in Stuttgart, Germany. A futuristic study, the Mercedes F 015 concept has the answer to the rapidly changing world and its needs. With the number of mega-cities set to increase to 40 by 2030, the need for autonomously driven cars will increase by … [Read more...] about Mercedes F 015 Luxury In Motion Concept Is For The World In 2030
Share Facebook Tweet Pinterest Email I’m standing on the deck of the Dracula Club, looking out over a massive, lake-filled valley covered in snow and ice. The temperature hovers right below freezing, but the sun bears down on the crystalline trees. “Three, two, one. Action!” Jeremy Hart, the owner of Inc Content watches as his director counts down from below. On his mark, a bright blue Subaru WRX STI hits the rev limiter and shoots forward, slipping and sliding a few feet down a bobsled chute and skidding to a halt before a precipitous fall in the track. A few moments later, Subaru’s record-setting rally driver, Mark Higgins, throws the car into reverse and backs up to the starting point once again. After a few more adjustments, the car shoots forward again and again as the sun climbs higher in the sky. Higgins does brake stands, inching closer to the camera crew positioned directly in front of the car. Welcome to a project like none other: the Subaru … [Read more...] about Driving a Subaru WRX STI down the world’s first bobsled track? Sure. Why not?
It’s long form Saturday! Most of you probably thought you would never see the day Bertel writes a fiery manifesto for the Electric Car. Today is your day. Yesterday, we were first to run with the story that Beijing most likely will become EV capital of the world. Not because Beijing scientists have developed the miracle battery. Not because Chinese EVs suddenly go 400 miles on a single charge. Physics did not change. Beijing changes. Months ago, new car buyers in Beijing stopped dreaming about buying a new car.That dream was shattered. Now suddenly, an EV has become the only car a new car buyer can buy and drive tomorrow. Or on Monday. If one would be on sale. Here is what happened: In Beijing, the car market has completely collapsed. That does not grab you? Then what if the car market had come to a complete halt in Australia? Beijing has about the population of Australia and had car sales approaching those of Australia. Why did the Beijing market collapse? Because the city … [Read more...] about Why Beijing Will Become The World’s Electric Vehicle Capital
Calm and cautious Toyota has a better sense of humour than you might give it credit for. This is a company that’s quietly having a laugh at the expense of its biggest international rivals, VW and GM; lesser domestic enemies, Nissan and Honda; plus neighbouring Korean upstarts, Kia and Hyundai. Most of these competitors are louder, bolder and cockier. But in terms of annual vehicle production, sales, profits and market value, they lose and Toyota wins. It is the undisputed world champion of motor manufacturing. Also, it’s not doing bad in Blighty. Toyota GB is celebrating 50 successful years here, 25 of them building Toyotas at Burnaston. Its dealers are rated in the top two of our Driver Power survey. The cars get five-year warranties that most Japanese makers refuse to offer. Wonder why? • "The London Motor Show will be a sell-out success" True, Toyota has adopted an ultra-cautious ‘born to be mild’ approach to design over the decades. But it’s had … [Read more...] about “The world’s number one vehicle producer needs the world’s number one designer”
“Our goal has never been to sell the most cars in the world.” For those who’ve been following GM’s fall from grace, this statement– following the revelation that GM has ceded its "world’s largest automaker" title to Toyota– probably comes as no surprise. Or maybe it does, because it arrived via Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco. Or maybe it doesn’t. Toyota achieved this monumental victory by focusing on a process that led to a goal; whereas GM has been all about the money, for quite some time. And therein lies the tale. You don’t need to compare long and short term business plans to understand the difference between Toyota and General Motors; although if you did, GM’s recent inability to devise a coherent platform strategy or develop a world class economy car would certainly give you pause for thought. All you have to do is sit in a few cars. You can argue that the relative quality of GM's interior plastics don’t make no … [Read more...] about Toyota Replaces GM as the World’s Largest Automaker
The Volkswagen Golf GTi may be what many consider the definitive “hot hatch,” and most enthusiasts credit it with popularizing the idea of a functional yet fun-to-drive and economical daily driver. From its roots have sprung countless pocket-sized performance variants, right up to today’s current Focus RS. But the Volkswagen Golf was far from the world’s first hatchback. It wasn’t even close. So where did the idea of a hinged-rear body panel begin? More than 40 years prior to the launch of the GTi, another innovative car introduced the world to the idea of the hatchback, among a few other new features. Are you surprised that it was French, after our Matra article last month? Until 1934, Citroën had produced cars much like every other manufacturer at the time: rear-drive, body-on-frame construction. But in 1934, the French company introduced a new concept with its Type 7A model. The drivetrain moved entirely to the front, with the 1303cc inline-four … [Read more...] about Citroën Traction Avant 11CV Commerciale – The World’s First Hatchback?
When dangerous situations arise around the world-from humanitarian crises to natural disasters and worse-we rely on heroic people and organizations to help the victims. In turn, these people rely on daring trucks to take them over mountains and mudslides, through storms and floods, and across scorching deserts; places few people in their right mind want to go and those who do pay a fortune to see just once. Working in these harsh conditions calls for the toughest, most-durable, most-capable trucks on the planet-but also vehicles that are affordable enough for nonprofits and common enough to ensure a steady supply of parts. These are the bravest trucks in the world. According to Toyota, 70 percent of all four-wheel-drive vehicles used in Africa wear its badge. In what was the least-desirable celebrity endorsement ever, a tape emerged shortly after the September 11 attacks showing Osama bin Laden and the rest of the al-Qaeda hierarchy standing in the Afghani desert flanked by a … [Read more...] about The World’s Bravest Trucks
Posted on 05.14.2015 14:00 by Ciprian Florea + It’s been nearly five decades since the Lamborghini Miura started the mid-engined supercar craze, and this exclusive automotive niche has evolved beyond the wildest dreams. All motors have been replaced by turbocharged engines, standard transmissions gave way to Formula One-based units, and aerodynamics reached a point where very few improvements can still be made. More recently, carmakers turned to electrification to improve performance and reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Technology continues to set new standards with each year, while luxury features have become mandatory for success. In all, there’s a huge gap between the 1966 Lamborghini Miura and the 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari, one that was hard to predict a few decades ago. My goal here is not to list everything that changed, but, just to make a point, it’s important to stress that top speed alone has increased dramatically. While supercars barely made it … [Read more...] about Six Reasons Why The McLaren F1 Is Still The World’s Coolest Supercar
This week, the very last Rolls-Royce Phantom rolled off the production line at the factory in Goodwood. Surprisingly, the eighth generation won’t be here until 2018, leaving the firm’s engineers time to completely rebuild the production line ready for the all-new aluminium structure. You’d be brave to argue against the Phantom being the world’s finest car, and that’s been the case pretty much throughout its seven-model history. It’s so fine that even calling it a car seems disrespectful. It’s probably the world’s last automobile, in the finest British tradition. The very last car was hand-crafted specifically for a ‘connoisseur collector’, on a grand old ocean liner theme, with a secret price tag expected to have hit seven figures. This is not the stuff of mere cars. That’s the thing about the Phantom: it was always anything but ordinary. Phantom I: 1925-1931 The name was born in the mid-1920s, when the company … [Read more...] about A Look Back At The World’s Finest Motor Car: The Rolls-Royce Phantom
We’ve been quite vocal in our opinion of “Car of the Year” awards such as those sold handed out every year by Motor Trend. Even worse are those awards bestowed by non-automotive rags where a COTY announcement ranks right up there with their pronouncements of the years trendiest sunglasses or the best place for killer mojitos. Yet, for whatever reason, Esquire has decided the world needs yet another of these useless (to everyone but their advertising department) awards. At least “the magazine for men” is up front about their selection criteria and admits “picking a car of the year is not a scientific business.” They have their “own set of priorities.” They explain a Car of the Year “should be able to stir the ol’ loins . . . it should also be attainable for most men . . . be sharp enough to impress a date and restrained enough to park next to your boss . . . [be] thrilling but not profligate, handsome but not faddish . . … [Read more...] about Just What the World Needs—Another COTY Award
When crude-oil prices topped $40 a barrel—that was August 20, 2004—all the experts were sure it couldn't stay that high. But less than a year later it was higher still, hitting $50 a barrel on July 24, 2005. "Unsustainable," said the experts. Then just six weeks later U.S. prices popped to $72 in response to Hurricane Katrina. Unfazed, the experts held firmly to their "plentiful oil" scenario. John Browne, who heads BP, the world's second-largest oil company, told one financial magazine, "Very long run, we still think the range of oil prices is $20 to $35." So BP doesn't rush into new developments; Browne says they have to be profitable at $20 oil to get the go-ahead. This cheap-oil future the experts so confidently predict is based, in part, on the assumption that Saudi Arabia, the oil-rich kingdom and largest exporter, will always be the swing producer—that means always able to crank up its flow to quench shortages, and always willing to cut its output, and … [Read more...] about One-Quarter of the World’s Oil, and No Audit Report
It’s long form Saturday! Most of you probably thought you would never see the day Bertel writes a fiery manifesto for the Electric Car. Today is your day. Yesterday, we were first to run with the story that Beijing most likely will become EV capital of the world. Not because Beijing scientists have developed the miracle battery. Not because Chinese EVs suddenly go 400 miles on a single charge. Physics did not change. Beijing changes. Months ago, new car buyers in Beijing stopped dreaming about buying a new car.That dream was shattered. Now suddenly, an EV has become the only car a new car buyer can buy and drive tomorrow. Or on Monday. If one would be on sale. Here is what happened: In Beijing, the car market has completely collapsed. That does not grab you? Then what if the car market had come to a complete halt in Australia? Beijing has about the population of Australia and had car sales approaching those of Australia. Why did the Beijing market collapse? Because the city … [Read more...] about Stick And Carrot: Why Beijing Will Become The World’s Electric Vehicle Capital
The ad says that cotton is “the fabric of our lives.” It wasn’t the fabric of my youth, I can tell you that. There were the blue school uniforms, seemingly forged in a single piece from iron-strong polyester, hot in the summer and abrasive in the winter. There were suits and ties in rough wool to wear during the weekends, sweaters in soft Lacoste velour and miserable Brooks cable knit, and the instantly dirty, plasticized leather of the Nike “Burt Bruin” shoes on my feet. And, of course, there was M-B Tex, eternal and unchanging, perennially youthful even as the car surrounding it disintegrated into flakes of chromed rust. You have to understand this: there was only really one acceptable Mercedes-Benz to own, and that was the W123-chassis 240D. The S-Class was for bounders, social climbers, and the irresponsible. I can still remember gagging with personal agitation as my father refused to even test-drive a W126 560SEL. “Not the message I’d want … [Read more...] about What The World Needs Now… Is A Wallet Made From Real MB-Tex… And GTO Trunk Fabric…
“Our goal has never been to sell the most cars in the world.” For those who’ve been following GM’s fall from grace, this statement– following the revelation that GM has ceded its "world’s largest automaker" title to Toyota– probably comes as no surprise. Or maybe it does, because it arrived via Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco. Or maybe it doesn’t. Toyota achieved this monumental victory by focusing on a process that led to a goal; whereas GM has been all about the money, for quite some time. And therein lies the tale. You don’t need to compare long and short term business plans to understand the difference between Toyota and General Motors; although if you did, GM’s recent inability to devise a coherent platform strategy or develop a world class economy car would certainly give you pause for thought. All you have to do is sit in a few cars. You can argue that the relative quality of GM's interior plastics don’t make no … [Read more...] about General Motors Death Watch 119: Toyota Replaces GM as the World’s Largest Automaker