Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Are we ready for a future not too dissimilar to that portrayed in Minority Report? I’m not referring to bald people predicting murders before they occur, but rather to cars that don’t need us — the drivers. Being a big fan of driving myself, this is a question that naturally presented itself when I read news of Audi’s new autonomous car system.

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Audi itself prefers to call it a “piloted” system, reinforcing the idea that these cars should not necessarily be left entirely to their own devices, but that human guidance should still be present to supervise the whole driving experience. The human element is then not altogether done away with, but still present like pilots are with commercial sized airplanes — ready to take the wheel should gremlins suddenly make their presence felt.

Autonomous cars have been on the radar for a while, with Google being the main pioneer in this field, but Audi has proven itself to be at the forefront of this technology where automakers are concerned.

In 2010, working alongside Stanford University, the Volkswagen Group put an autonomous Audi TTSon the Pikes Peak hill climb, completing the 156-turn, 19.99 km track in 27 minutes. Proof then, that although we are encouraged to be mindful over driving, a truly autonomous form of personal transportation is not that far in the future. In fact, the Nevada DMV recently awarded Audi with the first automaker autonomous car license — making Audi autonomous vehicles road-legal.

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What are the implications of such technology though? Well, we can imagine that it will take navigation to the next level, wherein tech will not only guide you to your destination, but drive you there as well. Self-parking vehicles are already entering the market, but as it becomes a standard feature busy parking lots will now have more space than ever, with regular and consistent parking behavior occurring across the board.

A couple of years ago I would have looked upon this technological advance with disdain, pretending to be a purist and reminding others of the sheer driving pleasure that can be derived from jumping into a car and driving through a mountain pass. However, I am a bit older now, and maybe the novelty and excitement of driving has subsided because I can look at this and think — wow, how nice would it be to actually look at, and appreciate, the mountain pass that I’m driving through? The end verdict — we’re looking at the best of both worlds. Drive when you want, relax when you want.

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So, a little disclaimer at the bottom here just to say that this is a story that I wrote for a very good website – Gearburn.com.  Click for all things gadgety.  Click Here for a direct link to the story on their website.

 

Alright, so this is probably one of the coolest things that I have seen in a while.  This is a new music video done by the band OK Go in partnership with Chevrolet.  To be honest, I’ve never heard of this group until I stumbled across this little nugget. After this though, I think I’m going to be quite the fan…

OK Go set up over 1000 instruments over two miles of desert outside Los Angeles.  They drive a Chevrolet Sonic through an obstacle course of these instruments, fitted with retractable pneumatic arms designed to play the instruments as they drive past.

The video took four months to prepare and 4 days to shoot.  Everything is legit, no stand-ins or anything.  Front man Damian even took stunt-driving lessons.  Get this: the pianos had their lowest octaves tuned to the same note so that they’d play the right note no matter where they were struck.

Genius.  Now watch and learn.

Hello! It’s been way too long since my last update on this here blog, and for that I am eternally apologetic.  Here’s something pretty to look at:

The Ferrari 458 - quite the looker...

To be honest, I have no truly valid excuse to give as to why I have been so slack.  Without wanting to go into too much detail, my life has been pretty crazy of late.  What with relocations and job-hunting, I’ve only recently found myself settling down a little bit.

Now that I have the time and energy to devote back into my writing, I think it’s about high time that I get things rolling with this blog again.  I have some plans for growth and expansion in the future, and yet again I want to encourage you, the readers, to get involved.  The glory of using a platform such as this is that it really allows us to create a community, and I can hardly think of anything more Utopian than a car-loving community.

On that note, you can look forward to more news, fun, eye-candy and opinion pieces, as well as input from new contributors.  In short, I’m talking about progress.  MADmotoring is back, come ride with us…

New TopGear Trailer!

Posted: June 17, 2011 in News, Videos
Tags: , , , ,

This is for fans of TopGear out there.  The new season starts on 26 June, and in the trailer we’ve been given some hints as to what we can expect from the boys this time around.

From driving over cars in a monster-truck type vehicle, to a race against Winter Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams and her skeleton bob sled Arthur, the new season looks promising.

Have a look at the trailer…

A head-on collision involving a Ferrari 456 was caught on CCTV in Buenos Aires last week.  After having lost control, the supercar swung sideways across the road directly into an oncoming VW Gol.

Reports have said that the Ferrari driver didn’t sustain any major injuries, but more importantly the driver of the VW Gol survived and escaped with several broken bones and other minor injuries.

Here’s the video:

Source: Autoblog UK

In the news today you can read about how the Nissan Leaf is going to be driven by Chad Hord at Pikes Peak.  They’ve left it pretty bog standard, except for the addition of bucket seats, harnesses and a roll cage, and most of the interior software has been removed.  The engine hasn’t been touched.

So it’s going to battle to reach the podium, but it does have the small advantage of not needing air, so when it hits the higher end of the course it won’t suffer from any power loss.  I’m still a bit sceptical though…

I found this commercial for the Leaf online and it made me laugh.  Enjoy.

Formula One reached its peak at the Canadian Grand Prix.  The race lasted for over four hours from lights to flag, thanks mostly to the rain and the safety hazards that came with it.  Below is a video by Allianz with post race news…

It’s the new M5!

Posted: June 16, 2011 in News, Pictures
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The new M5 has finally been revealed by BMW, and it looks good.

The biggest change can be seen under the hood, where BMW have switched the V10 for a 4.4litre twin-turbocharged V8 that puts out 555bhp and a massive 506lb ft of torque.  BMW promise that it is “lag-free” and gives a “trademark M car thrust”.

The new M5 has a seven-speed double clutch auto ‘box and three modes installed, with S1 being the gentlest to S3 where things get a bit more brutal.  In S3, the M5 clocks 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds and 0-124mph in 13 seconds.  The top speed is limited to 155mph, or 190mph with the “M Driver’s Package”.

On the M5 you can also find damper control, stability control, six-piston brake callipers and an “M dynamic mode”, while you can also programme two individual setups for the car and called up through the M Drive buttons.

In terms of looks, well… Take note of the 19inch M light alloy wheels, the rear spoiler, a rear apron with diffusers, flared wheel arches, intakes for the engine and brakes and the pair of tin exhaust tailpipes.  An aggressive super saloon that acts like it looks.

You can find the same stuff you’d expect on the inside too: sport seats, an M leather steering wheel, M-specific instrument cluster and the full options range from the 5 Series saloon, including a 10.2inch screen with iDrive control display.  Oh, and there’s also a head-up display.

Enjoy the M5 gallery…

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Source: TopGear.com

Ford has set about marketing the new Focus – to be released in 2012 – using a viral marketing campaign that will give you a good laugh.

He comes in the form of an orange puppet, and his name is Doug.  The slightly chauvinistic, yet disarmingly charming puppet has been brought in as Ford’s spokespuppet with the aim of… Well, I’m not quite sure what his job actually is.

He’s been at this for a while now and he’s getting quite settled into his new role at Ford, but at the same time he seems to be unsettling his co-workers.  Watch the videos below and see for yourself.

 

 

From me to you...

As anyone who may actually be following this blog will have noticed, this “Hong Kong Car of the Week” thing is not happening on a weekly basis.  This is entirely my own fault, because sometimes I am human and can be lazy.  Other times, I can actually be really busy too.  Either way, to quote Top Gear: “We were ambitious, but rubbish.”

So I’ve decided to change the segment to “Spotted” for a couple of reasons.  This will now give me more freedom to blog about vehicles as I see them, rather than seeing one and waiting up to a week before writing about it, whilst also giving some leeway for a period of not spotting any cars.  This also gives me further freedom in that I just have to change the end of the segment’s name to suit my location.  So say I’m in the UK for a holiday and I see a gorgeous Aston.  Now I can snap a pic and write about it, with the title “Spotted in the UK”.  Great right?  Awesome.  Here’s one to freedom…