Category Archives: Cars

cars

Believe It or Not, You Can Order a Flying Car Right Now

The flying car is here! Woo! Dutch company PAL-V is on track to begin delivery of its Liberty flying car late next year, with the business officially opening up its order books to customers interested in owning the nearly half-million-dollar vehicle.

Equipped with a pair of engines—one each for ground and air travel—the two-seat Liberty is claimed to weigh a mere 1413 pounds. We assume this figure marks the Liberty’s dry weight, as the vehicle’s 26.4-gallon fuel tank is good for about 160 pounds of weight in gasoline alone. While PAL-V is keeping its lips sealed when it comes to the Liberty’s powertrain specifics, here’s what we do know: Both engines are supplied by the Austrian aircraft-engine manufacturer Rotax, and when left to its own devices on tarmac, the Liberty is said to produce 100 horsepower, achieve fuel economy of 31 mpg, and accelerate to 62 mph in less than nine seconds on its way to a 100-mph top speed.

PAL-V claims that the switch to flying mode takes between five and 10 minutes, with the company noting that most of the conversion process is done via the vehicle’s Semi-Automatic Conversion System, leaving the driver/pilot the task of manually unfolding the Liberty’s rotor blade, propeller, and tail. Entering flying mode transforms the Liberty from a 13.1-foot-long and 5.4-foot-tall car into a 20.1-foot-long and 10.5-foot-tall flying machine. In the sky, the Liberty’s secondary engine makes 200 horsepower and can speed the craft through the air at speeds as high as 112 mph while reaching a maximum operating altitude of 11,480 feet. Those seeking efficiency, though, will want to cruise at a more economical flying speed of 87 mph, which gives the gyrocopter a maximum range of 310 miles. Add a passenger in the Liberty’s second seat, though, and that range drops to 248 miles.

Of course, the PAL-V can’t be flown by just anyone. The company notes that the Liberty’s operator must have both a driver’s and pilot’s license to use the vehicle in its two forms. Likewise, a 10-to-15-minute pre-flight inspection is required before entering any airspace. Since this is the 21st century, PAL-V has developed an app that allows Liberty owners to calculate the time they’re saving overall by flying as opposed to driving, letting customers know that the time spent during the pre-flight inspection really is worth it. The app also lets the operator know how many stops are needed to fly to a given destination, among other features.

Although the PAL-V Liberty starts at $399,000 for the Sport model, interested customers can choose to drop an additional $200,000 on one of the company’s 90-unit run of Pioneer Edition models. While both the Sport and Pioneer Edition include a course to familiarize the Liberty’s new owner with the vehicle’s unique nature, as well as introductory training, only the Pioneer Edition comes standard with items such as dual controls, an electronic flight-instrument system, power heating, and carbon-fiber detailing. For what it’s worth, PAL-V notes that each of those features can be added to the Sport as well.

Those interested in purchasing a Liberty will need to write a nonrefundable deposit check for $25,000 for the Pioneer Edition or $10,000 for the Sport. Alternatively, consumers can drop $2500 ($2000 of which is refundable) to lock in a spot on the Liberty’s waiting list. While we’re as enthralled by the idea of a series-production flying car as the next person, we’d personally take our hundreds of thousands of dollars and invest it in something that’s liquid today.

Via: Believe It or Not, You Can Order a Flying Car Right Now

Concept Car Just Set COTA Lap Records,Without a Driver

Last year, the NIO EP9 ran around the Nurburgring in 7:05, making it the fastest electric car to ever lap the famed track. NIO just took the EP9 to the Circuit of the Americas where it put down a 2:40 lap time–without a driver, making it the fastest autonomous car to drive the circuit. With a human behind the wheel, the EP9 managed a 2:11 with a top speed of 170 mph–quicker than any production car at COTA.

Both are incredibly impressive, though not entirely surprising given the EP9’s specs. The car is based around a carbon fiber monocoque built to FIA LMP1 specs and features an electric motor at each wheel, allowing for precision torque vectoring adjusted in real time. Added up, those four motors produce 1360 horsepower and an astonishing 4671 lb.-ft. of torque.

To put the EP9’s manned lap in context, cars in the World Endurance Championship’s LMGTE Pro ran qualifying laps in the mid-2:04 range before last year’s Lone Star Le Mans. So, the EP9 is an electric road car that laps COTA less than seven seconds behind the best GT race cars in the world. Not bad.

The most puzzling thing about the NIO EP9, though, is that it seemingly came out of nowhere. NIO is a brand created by Chinese electric car startup, NextEV, which just last year opened up an office in Silicon Valley. The NIO EP9 is the first vehicle unveiled by NextEV, but as of yet we don’t know whether the company plans to put it into production in some form or another. NIO will hold a launch event next month at SXSW in Austin, so perhaps we’ll hear more about the company’s plans then.

Really though, we just want to drive the EP9—or let it drive us.

Via: This Electric Concept Car Just Set COTA Lap Records, With and Without a Driver

Bugatti Chiron goes through incredibly intense testing before..

Via: Each Bugatti Chiron goes through incredibly intense testing before it can be delivered 

The Bugatti Chiron Apparently Rips From 0-250-0 MPH in Under a Minute

For years, one of the AC Cobra 427’s claims to fame was its sub-14 second 0-100-0 mph run. Back in the 1960s, few cars could touch that. To illustrate how far we’ve moved on from that, though, we need to take a look at the 1500-hp Bugatti Chiron. It apparently runs from 0-250 mph and back to zero in under a minute.

Updated 02/16/17 at 11:15 a.m. ET to reflect comment from a Bugatti spokesperson.

That’s per EVO’s Dan Prosser who received this astonishing piece of information in a dinnertime conversation with Bugatti CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer. For reference, the original Veyron only topped out at a governor-limited 253 mph.

That said, a Bugatti spokesperson told Road & Track that this figure isn’t official as it hasn’t been measured yet.

Even though we’re still waiting on a complete set of specs on the Chiron, what we’ve already seen is almost beyond belief. For example, on a demonstration lap at last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Chiron hit 236 mph on the Mulsanne straight, a higher top speed than any car entered into the race.

As mind-bending as 0-250-0 mph in under a minute is, we’re still waiting on the one figure that really matters: top speed. The Chiron is limited to 261 mph, but Bugatti won’t test it without the limiter until 2018. The Veyron Super Sport did 267 mph flat out, so the Chiron has big shoes to fill.

We’ve asked Bugatti to confirm if this is true, and will update when we hear more.

Via: The Bugatti Chiron Apparently Rips From 0-250-0 MPH in Under a Minute

Immaculate Ballet of a Bugatti Chiron Being Assembled

The Bugatti Chiron, with its 1500-horsepower W16 engine and 261-mph top speed, is far from a typical car. So you’d expect the factory where it’s hand-assembled by just 20 super-specialized master technicians would be a bit different from your typical assembly line.

But you probably didn’t anticipate anything quite like this.

Inside the Bugatti factory, the floors and walls are immaculate white. The tool chests are more precisely organized than some hospital surgical suites. The technicians don’t wear pedestrian coveralls, but instead conduct their work while dressed in stylishly-fitted clothing embroidered with the Bugatti logo. And of course, everyone wears white gloves.

And the engineering goes far beyond the car itself. Just look at the articulating slats in the floor, how they spread apart and fall back together as the pedestals for front and rear subassemblies motor their way to the central monocoque, joining the three major pieces of the vehicle into one incredibly stiff unit.

We watched in rapt attention when we got a video tour of the now-defunct Veyron’s engine assembly process back in 2015. For the Chiron, which surpasses the Veyron’s performance in seemingly every metric, the method becomes even more precise, delicate, and frankly, mesmerizing to watch.

This isn’t a factory. It’s an atelier.

Via: Witness the Immaculate Ballet of a Bugatti Chiron Being Assembled

Bugatti sends first Chiron hypercars to 3 very lucky owners 

It must be a real nice day when Bugatti rings you up and says, “Your Chiron is on its way.”

That’s what three lucky owners just heard, as Bugatti has finally shipped off the first three examples of its 1,500-horsepower hypercar. With a 0-60 time of 2.3 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 260 mph, it shouldn’t have any trouble getting out in a hurry.

The first three owners are scattered around Europe and the Middle East. But, if Bugatti’s production ramp-up is to be believed, up to 70 owners will get their Chirons by year’s end. Building the Bugatti Chiron is an intense process that takes about nine months from the time a prospective owner starts configuring colors and interior materials.

The whole process is a ballet of hand assembly and modern technology. You can check out the gallery below to get an abridged rundown of exactly what it takes to bolt the Bugatti Chiron together.

Via: Bugatti sends first Chiron hypercars to 3 very lucky owners

Lamborghini’s latest just smashed the Nürburgring lap record

By; Stephen Edelstein,

Via: King of the ‘Ring! Lamborghini’s latest just smashed the Nürburgring lap record