The Peraves MonoTracer

11 01 2009

You really need the mind of a Swiss engineer to come up with a vehicle that combines the lithe maneuverability of a motorcycle with the not-getting-rained-on-ability of a conventional automobile. In addition to looking as though it just fell out of a time machine from a distant and much cooler future, the MonoTracer furnishes its driver (and one passenger) with such luxuries as air-conditioning and windshield wipers, plus the safety of a cockpit made from Kevlar and carbon fiber and reinforced with an aluminum roll cage. The MonoTracer is also energy-efficient: its BMW engine, which goes from zero to 62 m.p.h. in 4.8 sec. (100 km/h), gets about 65 m.p.g. (28 km/L).


Tesla Roadster

31 12 2008

Electric cars were always environmentally friendly, quiet, clean — but definitely not sexy. The Tesla Roadster has changed all that. A battery-powered sports car that sells for $100,000 and has a top speed of 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h), the Roadster has excited the clean-tech crowd since it was announced in 2003. Celebrities like George Clooney joined a long waiting list for the Roadster; magazines like Wired drooled over it. After years of setbacks and shake-ups, the first Tesla Roadsters were delivered to customers this year. Reviews have been ecstatic, but Tesla Motors has been hit hard by the financial crisis. Plans to develop an affordable electric sedan have been put on hold, and Tesla is laying off employees. But even if the Roadster turns out to be a one-hit wonder, it’s been a hell of an (electric) ride.
More Information: Tesla

Now is the Best Time to Upgrade your Auto AC!

29 11 2008

I know, most of you are thinking, “Is Techno-Geek NUTS…it’s cold out, who cares about the AC?” Well to answer your question, yes I am nuts. But that is beside the point. This is the best time to have your cars AC looked at and any repairs or upgrades made. You don’t need it now. But you will need it in July and will be glad that all is working well.

Having the mechanic check things like the air compressor now can save you a bundle later. It’s cheaper to get these things taken care of in winter. Here is a great site to go to that will be glad to help you out on parts and advice:BMW AC compressor.
Go on, in July you will be glad you listened to me!

BMW AC compressor

Turbocharge Your Ride!

24 10 2008

I was looking for a way to improve my turbocharge. A couple of friends suggested I hop over to the turbocharger website and have a look. It’s perfect. They have the latest and greatest in high tech super turbo charge air induction systems available and all are reasonably priced. Just plug in the info on your year, make and model and they will list the products that they have. The vast majority of them are in stock and if you have any questions their customer service department is outstanding. I actually talked to a human immediately and it was a human who knew what he was talking about!
I know I’m a geek, but I love cars too. Probably the girlie in me. I also like to go fast. Really really fast. The better the air induction, the more horsepower I get, the faster I zoom and the smoother the ride. And quieter. The last thing I want while I am zooming along is to have some noise interfere with my Nox Arcana cd!
Anyway, if you want the most bang for your buck and want to improve everything from your horsepower to your torque, check out turbocharger.

106 MPG AIR-CAR to be a Reality!!!!!

9 08 2008

This is as High-Tech as it gets people!
You’ve heard of hybrids, electric cars and vehicles that can run on vegetable oil. But of all the contenders in the quest to produce the ultimate fuel-efficient car, this could be the first one to let you say, “fill it up with air.”

That’s the idea behind the compressed air car, which backers say could achieve a fuel economy of 106 miles per gallon.

Plenty of skepticism exists, but with many Americans trying to escape sticker shock at the gas pump, the concept is generating buzz.

The technology has been the focus of MDI, a European company founded in 1991 by a French inventor and former race car engineer.

New York-based Zero Pollution Motors is the first firm to obtain a license from MDI to produce the cars in the United States, pledging to deliver the first models in 2010 at a price tag of less than $18,000.

The concept is similar to how a locomotive works, except compressed air — not steam — moves the engine’s pistons, said Shiva Vencat, vice president of MDI and CEO of Zero Pollution Motors.

Gas still plays a role

The six-seater planned for the U.S. market would be able to reach speeds of more than 90 mph and have a range of more than 800 miles thanks to a dual energy engine, Vencat said.

The design calls for one or more tanks of compressed air under the car’s floor, as well as a tank holding at least 8 gallons of fuel.

Whether the engine uses just air or both air and fuel would depend on how fast the car is going. It would run purely on compressed air at speeds less than 35 mph, Vencat said.

Since the car could only go a short distance when using just air, fuel is needed to get the full range, he explained.

“Above 35 mph, there is an external combustion system, which is basically a heater that uses a little bit of gasoline or biofuel or ethanol or vegetable oil that will heat the air,” Vencat said.

“Heating the air increases its volume, and by increasing its volume, it increases [the car’s] range. That’s why with one gallon of gasoline or its equivalent we are able to make over 100 mpg.”

Vencat said an on-board compressor would refill the air tank while the car is running, or owners could refill it by plugging it into a power outlet for four hours.

Is it for real?

Experts aren’t sure Americans will be zipping around in air cars and getting 106 mpg, or more than twice the fuel economy of hybrid-electric vehicles such as the Toyota Prius.

It is possible to power a car with compressed air, but the mileage claim is “at the edge of possibility,” said John Callister, director of the Harvey Kinzelberg Entrepreneurship in Engineering program at Cornell University’s College of Engineering.

He noted that such dramatic fuel efficiency is associated with tiny experimental cars, not bigger mainstream ones.

“No one’s really proven a six-seater passenger car [can get] any better than 75 miles to the gallon. So this would represent a big step forward,” Callister said.

“They would have to prove that before they can throw rocks at the Prius.”

Another expert expressed concern about the amount of energy it would take to generate the required air pressure: 4,500 pounds per square inch, or more than 120 times the pressure inside the tires of a typical four-door sedan.

“That is above what you normally find even in an industrial setting,” said William Bulpitt, senior research engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Strategic Energy Institute.

“That takes quite a compressor to do. … It takes horsepower to compress the air up to that pressure.”

If you count that energy, it’s hard to believe the car would be that much more efficient than an electric vehicle, Callister said.

India shows interest

The compressed air car will get a chance to prove itself next year when it competes for the Automotive X Prize. The multimillion-dollar award will go to the team that “can win a stage race for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 mpg equivalent fuel economy,” according to the X Prize Foundation.

The air-car concept has also drawn the interest of Tata Motors, India’s largest automaker. The company announced an agreement with MDI last year to further develop and refine the technology.

However, the cars have yet to hit the streets in India or anywhere else.

“The project is under progress. We do not yet have any timeframe for launch,” said Debasis Ray, the head of corporate communications for Tata Motors.

Only prototypes exist at this point, Vencat said.

Light design

The body of the car planned for the United States would be built with fiberglass and injected foam. The chassis, composed of aluminum rods, would be glued together, not welded.

The design allows the car to be as light as possible, Vencat said.

For anyone who has doubts about its safety, he insisted computer simulations show that the vehicle would pass crash tests and meet all U.S. safety standards.

“Do you think somebody would actually put millions of dollars into making a car that will not pass safety regulations? There’s no point in doing that,” Vencat said.

Callister pointed out that there haven’t been any lightweight, 100-plus mpg cars to pass crash tests but said it could be done through a “very clever design” of a lightweight frame.

A good prototype could dispel many of the doubts about the compressed air car, he added.

“I don’t think we should discount this advance if it happens,” Callister said.