By Brad Constant
WITH VIDEO -- Red Bull Racing's X1 Prototype, designed by Adrian Newey and tested by Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel, will be included in the Gran Turismo 5 video game set to go on sale in November.
When creating Gran Turismo 5, the Polyphony Digital design team wanted an ultimate car, one not limited by the rules.
"Every race in the world today conforms to some sort of regulations, and every racing car is built to fit within those various regulations," said Kazunori Yamauchi, president of Polyphony Digital Inc. "However, the X1 is something new, created from a 'what-if' scenario, a dream we have long held at Polyphony."
The design team asked Newey, Red Bull Racing's chief technical officer and aerodynamic expert, to act as technical adviser and to help create the dream car.
"We all have a dream about pushing the boundaries, where the performance of the car and the experience of the driver take precedence over the rules," said Newey. "As a result, the X1 Prototype is dynamite to drive."
To test the virtual car, Polyphony brought in Red Bull driver Vettel. He drove the X1 around a virtual copy of Japan's Suzuka race course, shattering the real world record set by Kimi Räikkönen in 2005 by more than 20 seconds.
"Adrian's dream car handled brilliantly," said Vettel. "There are few tracks that reward bravery and commitment more than Suzuka, and I can't think of a better way to experience the pace and performance of the X1 Prototype than going through 130R at full throttle."
The second annual summit on distracted driving.
The numbers are sobering: 5,474 deaths -- accounting for 16 percent of all traffic fatalities over the past year -- and 448,000 injuries. And those numbers don't even tell the whole story of the toll taken by distracted driving, as LaHood notes that not all states document distracted driving in their crash reports.
By Diana T. Kurylko, Automotive News
An ambitious plan to increase Volkswagen brand sales in the United States to 800,000 by 2018--up from 213,454 last year--begins with a mid-sized sedan to be built starting early next year in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Later, the new factory will add the Polo small car or a mid-sized SUV--possibly both.
Here is a rundown of VW's product plans through 2013.
The Nismo 370Z is the best sports-car bang for your buck.
There's no contest. Since its redesign, the Nissan 370Z is the best new sports car you’ll find for less than $40,000; it's the poor man’s Porsche of the moment. Its only real competition is the Mazda RX8, a brilliant handler, but without the ponies or the torque to keep up with the Z.
I’m therefore happy to report that an even-better version, the Nismo 370Z -- a factory-tuned scorcher with an added injection of style and performance -- still sneaks under the 40-grand mark with a base tag of $39,910.
The 2011 Ford pickup goes on tour.
First thing first: Let's look at the engine options. There's the base 3.7-liter V6; the much-ballyhooed 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost, reportedly putting out around 400 horses and the same number of lb-ft of torque; a 5.0-liter V8; and the creme de la creme 6.2-liter V8 for Platinum editions.
Plans for an extended-range EV are in the works.
The EV will use a rotary engine to recharge the batteries, according to Automotive News. Audi development chief Michael Dick, in an earlier interview with Motor Trend magazine, went on record as saying that the current prototype is "running very well." According to Dick, a pilot project will be started at the end of the year, with a small series of vehicles expected at the end of 2012 or the beginning of 2013. The small size of the rotary engine allows the vehicle to remain a 4-seater, with the expected amount of interior room.
By Brad Constant
The Elise was equipped with Toyota's last 2ZZ-GE VVTL-i engine, the same engine found in older versions of the Lotus Elise and Exige.
“The presentation of Toyota's last 2ZZ engine in the Elise is a symbolic gesture of our continued respect and deep appreciation for our partner not only acknowledging our past, but also looking forward to our future together,” Bahar said in a statement.
Self-regulating traffic lights.
The concept of self-regulating traffic lights is being explored by Stefan Lämmer of the Dresden University of Technology, in Dresden, Germany, and Dirk Helbing of ETH Zurich, who are creating traffic signals that both monitor traffic in real time and communicate with other networked signals to effectively and efficiently manage the flow of traffic. Read more after the jump.
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Clifford Atiyeh has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own. Raised in Volvos, he has grown to love fast, irresponsible vehicles of all kinds. He is the senior news editor at MSN Autos and also reports for Car and Driver, Road & Track, The Boston Globe and other publications.
In the garage: 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (not his)
Doug Newcomb has covered car technology for over 20 years for outlets ranging from Rolling Stone to Edmunds.com. In 2008, he published his first book, "Car Audio for Dummies" (Wiley). He lives and drives in Hood River, Ore., with his wife and two kids, who share his passion for cars and technology.
In the garage: 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS, two 1984 Chevrolet Blazers, 2008 Honda CR-V
James Tate learned to drive stick at age 13 in a 1988 Land Cruiser - in La Paz, Bolivia. He's since been a mechanic, on a pit crew and has wrenched on every car he's owned since his first 1989 Honda CRX Si (and won't stop until the car is a 1973 Porsche 911 RS). His work has appeared in Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, Automobile and others.
In the garage: 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera, 1988 BMW M5