Archive for March, 2007|Monthly archive page

Bringing the turbocharger to the living room: The forced-induction PC

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We know a lot of people who like to customize their rides, and we know a few people who are computer geeks, too. When you marry the two hobbies, some very interesting projects result. If you’ve already added a turbocharger to your Cavalier and overclocked your AMD processor by going into the motherboard BIOS and messing with the settings, then you haven’t yet gone far enough.

Some very clever mod-masters have mated a turbocharger from a late 1990’s Mitsubishi Eclipse with a custom-built PC, creating the neatest cooling system on the planet. To enhance cooling, the turbo spins at 3500 RPM to circulate air through the very nicely customized PC. The exotic (and pricey) cooling system has no psi rating, since pressurizing the PC would effectively destroy it. The turbo cooling system really works too, but due to impracticality (and we’re presuming the noise) the forced cooling is only used to show off. Click on the gallery below to see pictures of this one of-a-kind system during the build.

[Source: Hacked Gadgets]

Gallery: Turbocharged PC

 

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Spy Shots: Porsche 911 GT2 running the ‘Ring

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By many accounts, the new GT3 is the greatest 911 ever. Insane levels of grip, coupled with prodigious power delivery and styling that only a purist could love, it might seem unnecessary to mess with perfection. Porsche disagrees. Again.

Originally caught testing last October, the 997 GT2 has made another appearance at everyone’s favorite playground testing grounds — the Nürburgring. This time, we get a better view of the Turbo-esque schnaz (sans fog lamps), revised intakes and rear fascia. Mounted below that expansive wing is a revised twin-turbo flat six, likely to crank out over 500 HP and sending power to the rear wheels.

We haven’t heard any rumblings recently about when the GT2 will be debuted, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed that it’ll be sometime this year.

[Source: Straightline]

 

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ALMS Round 2: Penske Porsches lead the grid at St. Pete

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When the the green flag waves later this afternoon (5:05 PM Eastern) to kick off the Acura Sports Car Challenge — round 2 of the ALMS season — on the streets of St. Petersburg, FL, Roger Penke’s Porsche RS Spyders will lead the way. The Spyders qualified 1-2, and occupy row 1 of the starting grid.

Allan McNish, the polesitter for P1, starts in the 3rd position, but is poised to make hay after turning in the fastest lap at this morning’s warmup session. McNish is followed by a trio of Acuras (Fernandez Racing, Andretti Green Racing, and Highcroft Racing). The second Audi R10, both Dyson Porsches, and the Autocon Motorsports P1 car round out the top 10. In the all-Corvette GT1 class, the #4 car will lead the #3, and in GT2, the Petersen/White Lightning Ferrari F430GT starts ahead of the Risi Competizione Ferrari.

Motorsport.com has the full qualifying order here, and you can watch the race tape-delayed on SPEED TV tonight at 8:00 PM. It should be a fun contest to watch, as the top six qualifiers were all within a second of each other.

 

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Aston Martin workers vote to strike

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Workers at Aston Martin’s Gaydon plant voted yesterday to go on strike due to discrepancies in pay for workers performing the same job. The proposed two-year contract would have increased worker pay by four-percent in the first year, followed by another .5%, plus inflation, during the second year. Not quite what the workers had hoped for, especially considering that certain laborers were getting paid a £2,500 premium for doing the exact same task.

Although over 70-percent of the Transport and General Workers’ Union members voted in favor of the strike, negotiations will likely continue in order to resolve the matter before anyone actually lays down their tools. It looks like Aston’s new owners are getting a crash course in worker management earlier than they expected.

[Source: BBC News]

 

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VIDEO: Holy holograph! Lexus ad stops foot traffic in NYC

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Holographs have certainly come a long way and you just have to see this Lexus ad to believe it. The company Vizoo is responsible for its creation and has quite a few other non-automotive holographic projectors out there as well. You’ll find them quick enough if you click around YouTube for a bit. This particular one is an interactive display for Lexus that allows users to select models and colors before beaming them into the indoor space for a 360-degree walkaround of the lifesize virtual vehicle. It’s so realistic that the shop is drawing too big of a crowd for its own good. Police can be seen in the video asking people to move along. The old, “there’s nothing to see here” line just doesn’t hold water in this case though.

The full clip showing the crowd and parts of the ad is after the jump. There’s also a video showing ViZoo’s 3D floating video image technology in action.

[Source: Fresh Creation]

Continue reading VIDEO: Holy holograph! Lexus ad stops foot traffic in NYC

 

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Confederate Wraith debuts at Bike Week in Daytona

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We don’t cover motorcycles here at Autoblog very often, but this particular bike is so special that we couldn’t resist. What bike are we speaking of? None other than the Confederate Wraith. You may remember the Wraith from a few years back, when it debuted as a prototype. What took so long to get this bike ready for production? Oh, just a an “act of God”, as the insurance companies like to call it; namely, Hurricane Katrina. The Confederate company was nearly destroyed, and without the assistance of a Mr. Barber of Barber Motorsports fame, may not be here today. Mr. George Barber was kind enough to offer his help in moving the Confederate operations from New Orleans to Birmingham, Alabama.

Reborn in a new shop, and with a new purpose, Confederate decided to unleash their Wraith upon the crowd at Daytona Bike Week ’07. We would say “the unsuspecting crowd”, but the group of dedicated travellers who make up the Bike Week audience have come to expect great things, and this year, they received two. Click here to read what SPEED TV’s Neale Bayly thought of the two Wraith’s they brought, and his comments on what the bike did to the public who saw it. As a teaser, click here to check out a collage shot made up of pictures from Confederate’s website. We hope to have some more shots of the bike to share with you soon. Watch this space!

For a video of the Wraith from SPEED, follow along after the break!

[Source: SPEEDTV.com]

Continue reading Confederate Wraith debuts at Bike Week in Daytona

 

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Traction control banned in F1 beginning in 2008

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Back in 1994, the FIA banned the use of traction control systems on Formula One cars in an effort to put more emphasis on driver skill rather than technological prowess. By 2001, there was considerable hue and cry from some of the participants that certain teams were using advanced engine management software to work around the regulations, so the ban was lifted.

Next year, however, a standard ECU will be employed on all new F1 cars, allowing the FIA to keep a watchful eye on how each team uses there engine controls. Because of this standardization, a decision was reached yesterday that will totally eliminate the use of traction controls systems beginning during next year’s season.

The exact text of the new rule can be viewed by following the “Read” link below, but the short and sweet is simple: the driver cannot be informed if a drive wheel is spinning. Period.

According to Autosport.com, the ban was not only supported by the FIA, but also by the majority of the participating teams. We’re looking forward to seeing how this new regulation will affect the 2008 season, but considering the talent of most F1 drivers, we doubt they’ll be any substantial shuffling at the top of the board.

[Source: Autosport.com via Axis of Oversteer]

 

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Arkansas adopts SEMA custom car title legislation

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We recently reported how SEMA had helped get new kit and custom car registration legislation passed in Virginia. Well, the razorbacks didn’t want their Southern rivals to get too far ahead and recently passed a similar bill of their own. Arkansas made changes to their vehicle titling and registration classifications for street rods and created a new class for custom vehicles too. The bill was recently signed into law by Governor Mike Beebe after being approved by the Arkansas State Legislature. Arkansas now defines a street rod as “an altered vehicle manufactured before 1949” and a custom as “an altered vehicle at least 25 years old and manufactured after 1948.” And like the Virginia law, kit cars and replicars will get tagged as being the same model year as the car they aim to replicate. So a freshly built ’32 Ford would be a 1932 Ford, and a new Cobra would be a 1960’s car on the books.

Arkansas’ new law also allows non-original materials to be used, allocates special license plates for this class of vehicles, and lets builders use blue dot taillights. Street rods and customs will also be exempt from many of the standard equipment requirements and emissions controls. Things like catalysts and seatbelts will only have to meet period requirements. As is the case in Virginia as well, the kits and customs that are titled and registered this way will have mileage restrictions, but they tend to be limited use vehicles anyways.

[Source: Auto Spectator]

 

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Road & Track gives best look yet at the new Subaru WRX

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2008 Subaru Impreza WRXRoad & Track magazine has come clean with its take on (and photos of) the all-new Subaru Impreza WRX. The previously-released Motor Trend photo spread did absolutely nothing for the car, and was largely met with cries of anguish, pulling of hair and much gnashing of teeth. The new Subie’s 5-door appearance has proven to be controversial so far, mostly because it just didn’t look good in those particular photos. R&T’s pics cast it the car in a different light, and it fares better.

The new front end design is a lot more appealing than the Motor Trend cover led us to believe. Road & Track’s pictures, taken outside in sunlight, show that the grillework is not overly shiny. In fact, it appears to have a predominantly matte finish, with a little extra shine on the side and lower borders. The car’s hood scoop is enormous and mean-looking, and it appears ready to ingest any unlucky birds, roadside wildlife, and possibly small children that happen to venture too close. We like what we see.

In profile, the car still looks enormous (note the driver’s size compared to the rest of the car), and we get the impression that it probably is, when compared to the outgoing Impreza. One of Subaru’s goals was to make the new version more practical and appealing to the masses, and it’s obviously grown accordingly. That all said, the hatchback is looking a lot better in our eyes after seeing these new photos. Whether or not the car truly presents well “in the metal” is something we’ll be able to tell you in a few days.

The irony of all this is that the hatchback, a car every auto writer and pundit had been waiting for with bated breath, is practically old news now. Who’d have thought that the big Subie surprise awaiting us in New York would be the new WRX sedan, which has remained very much off the radar during the runup to the show?

Road & Track’s photo gallery can be found here.

Props to Dino for the tip!

[Source: Road & Track]

 

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Fast Women gives new meaning to adult toys

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Fast Women provides a scale model dream boat to go along with your scale model dream ride. Available in the most popular 1:43, 1:24 and 1:18 scales, you can get the right gal pal for your car at around $10, or get a whole harem and recreate your own DUB, VIP or SEMA show with their value sets, priced around $25-$30. Most are pre-painted, giving you the choice of blonde, brunette or redhead, but you can also choose the ultimate custom model and get them au naturale. Add only the coloring you want and the clothing you deem appropriate. Although they’ve been on the market for some time, there is a whole new range of hot rodding honeys available through the Fast Women website. If this seems to be just the thing you’ve been looking for to put the finishing touch on your dream diorama, give them a click.

[Source: Fast Women]

 

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