Super hybrid Porsche 918 Spyder gets priced and production start date

Posted in Cars,Images,News,Technology by Scott Meisner on March 24th, 2011

The Porsche 918 Spyder. We’ve been following this hybrid beast for quite some time now. What started out as a concept vehicle eventually got the green light for production, and now it’s actually up for preorder. The sports car company says that it “marries unique plug-in hybrid technology and outstanding performance in a visually stunning and purely Porsche package.” And that it is. At the heart of the 918 Spyder lies a 500-plus horsepower V8 engine assisted by two electric motors with a total of at least 218 horsepower. Electric energy is stored in a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery that can be recharged from a standard household outlet. Juicing up the vehicle is expected to take about seven hours. Oh, and it’s fast. It zips from zero to 60 MPH in about 3.1 seconds and can reach a top track speed of about 199 MPH. And according to Porsche, “under the right conditions” it will be able to drive on electric power alone at speeds up to 94 MPH. Even more impressive? The plug-in hybrid delivers 78MPG.

Do you have loads of money? Then keep reading. The 918 Spyder has been given a $845,000 price tag. And now you might grown when I tell you the release window: late 2013. Porsche plans to begin production on September 18, 2013 and ship ‘em out later that year in the US. The carbon fiber-reinforced Carrera GT-inspired sports car is going to cost you a pretty penny when it ships in the distant future. But that’s expected when you mash together green with luxury. Full PR after the break, images below.

[Via Engadget]

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Meet Mercedes-Benz BIOME

Posted in Design,Images,Technology by Scott Meisner on December 5th, 2010

The Mercedes-Benz BIOME symbiosis vehicle is made from an ultralight material called BioFibre and tips the scales at just 875.5 lbs (around 394 kg). This material is significantly lighter than metal or plastic, yet more robust than steel. BioFibre is grown from proprietary DNA in the Mercedes-Benz nursery, where it collects energy from the sun and stores it in a liquid chemical bond called BioNectar4534. As part of this process, the vehicle is created from two seeds: The interior of the BIOME grows from the DNA in the Mercedes star on the front of the vehicle, while the exterior grows from the star on the rear. To accommodate specific customer requirements, the Mercedes star is genetically engineered in each case, and the vehicle “grows” when the genetic code is combined with the seed capsule. The wheels are grown from four separate seeds.

If you haven’t deduced this by now, the BIOME is an eco-friendly hybrid “vehicle of the future” that can be grown in a lab.  While it’s in use it produces oxygen, like plants, thereby contributing to improving air quality.  And when the car has reached the end of its lifecycle, it can be fully composted or used as building material.  But don’t hold your breath; a concept car like the BIOME won’t become a reality for quite some time simply because its fantastical feature set is downright impossible to implent today.  But one can dream, no?  Read more about Mercedes’ crazy ideas for the future after the break, and look in the gallery below to view the BIOME from various angles.

[Via Engadget; Gizmag]

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A car, inside out

Posted in Cars,Design,Image cache by Scott Meisner on August 6th, 2010

Oh, the magical effect of stimulating advertising.  Thanks, Volkswagon.

[Via IBelieveInAdvertising; InspireMeNow; Gizmodo]

Coke & Mentos Rocket Car

Posted in Cars,science,Video by Scott Meisner on June 2nd, 2010

We all know what happens when you combine Coke with Mentos candies (a fizzy explosion).  But have you ever imagined if the force from such an explosion could power a vehicle (of sorts) to move forward in space?  Well wonder no more, people!  Using 108 bottles of Coke Zero and 648 Mentos mints, the “Coke & Mentos guys” have created a rocket car.

The Coke Zero & Mentos Rocket Car uses a piston mechanism: a six-foot long rod sits inside a six-foot long tube attached to each bottle of Coke Zero. When the Mentos drop into the soda, the pressure tries to push the rod out of the tube. With 108 rods all pushing at once, that gives us a lot of power. All that power is pushing against a wall braced with 3,600 pounds of cement blocks. So all the force is directed into moving the Coke Zero & Mentos Rocket Car forward. We get one big push for six feet, and then it’s all coasting from there.

Watch their successful test run in the video above.  Ah, the power of science.

[Via Deadspin]

World’s fastest amphibious vehicle

Posted in Cars,Video by Scott Meisner on October 19th, 2009

The WaterCar Python goes from 0 to 60 in 4.5 seconds on land andin water.  It is built on a Dodge Ram base and it has a custom fiberglass body.  On land it uses an aluminium Corvette LS engine and in water it’s powered by a Dominator jet.  The Python is on sale now and is available to the general public for $200,000.  Check out additional images below and peek after the break for a video of it in action.

[Via Gizmodo]

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The ULTra Personal Pod cars will drive us into the future, today

Posted in Architecture,Images,Style,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on August 18th, 2009

 The ULTra (Urban Light Transit) Personal Pod “is an electric, battery-powered, 100-mpg-equivalent, elevate PRT (personal rapid transit) system.”  They are fully automated, so there is non need for a driver.  They drive around at up to 25 mph and can hold between 4-5 passengers at a time.  They run on a “special road network” that can be build near airports, office buildings, and universities.  The Pod itself has a very modern look and feel; it reminds me of the transportation pods used in “Minority Report.”  This may be the closest we ever get to an actual “flying car” (or a transportation medium that happens above on-ground traffic).  With the price of gas still fluctuating and the dependency on foreign fuel still an issue in the US, this new transportation system may be the key to a brighter future.  OK, that sounded like a creepy infomercial, but still!  The best news is that the first implementation of the system is scheduled to start later this year at the London Heathrow Airport.  Check out the video above to learn more about the Pod, and see the gallery below for some shots of what the futuristic and stylish system will look like if implementated in the real world.

[Via Engadget; ULTra PRT]