AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Winter Driving on a Budget
Sailun Tires has been around for 12 years, but you can be forgiven if you haven’t heard of them.
Chaos ensues at local tire shops when the snow belt states get their first flurries of the season. Like an animal instinct, the first sign of fluffy white flakes has people running to the garage, stuffing the family hauler with dusty winter rubber and racing off to the installation shop. Problem is, by then it’s already too late.
Winter tires should be installed well in advance of the first snowfall. Regardless of whether they are snow tires, ice tires or winter performance tires, all cold weather rubber is designed for more than just messy weather. These tires feature rubber compound and tread designs that are created to help maintain traction in colder weather even if the roads are clear and dry.
Diesel engines are more efficient than their gasoline counterparts. There are several reasons for this; they burn a more energy-dense fuel, they’re run much higher compression ratios and there are fewer pumping losses since they have no throttle bodies. But what if you could take the best attributes of both powerplant types and combine them into one unit? That’s exactly what engineers at Hyundai are doing.
No automaker can afford to stand still these days. The pace of development is absolutely relentless, especially when it comes to powertrains. To keep its vehicles as competitive as possible, Hyundai has refined two of its engines.
Canadian Company Introduces Innovative New Concept
Winter-tire technology is advancing at a rapid rate. Today’s winter rubber is so superior to snow tires of yesteryear that the two can’t even be compared. This is great news for those who live in regions with nasty winter weather as more and more passenger vehicles are rolling off of showroom floors with summer tires or low rolling-resistance tires, neither of which are well suited to handle the white stuff.
Traction is important; it’s the difference between moving forward and sitting still. Without any friction between your vehicle’s tires and the road surface you’d never make it to work in the morning, let alone to that Grand Funk Railroad concert on Saturday night.
This winter season, are you worried about the driving habits of other drivers, or the weather affecting your car’s driving characteristics?
Snow and ice on the road can make for a slippery drive home, and the snowflakes falling from the sky can limit your visibility, so it’s no wonder that there’s a definite increase in insurance claims once winter starts.
Tech giant Intel has decided to move into the car infotainment market, teaming up with Denso, which recently developed the Entune system in various new Toyota models.
Intel, known for its microprocessors used in most of today’s computers, has created a $100 million investment fund towards the development of new hardware and software for the automotive infotainment market. Initially, the tech giant will focus on developing speech recognition, gesture recognition, and eye tracking.
Along with Entune, Denso has also developed NaviBridge and Arpeggio, infotainment technologies that work alongside today’s smartphones.
A match made in heaven? Perhaps. Both Intel and Denso are well-respected in the tech industry, but other competitors are more established and already have relationships with automakers. Still, we doubt the two heavyweights will have difficulty building those relationships.
The decision to develop this tech is one of the first projects funded by the investment fund, which was announced last month. The fund exists to promote technological innovation in the automotive industry because of the rapidly-growing role computers are playing in new cars.
[Source: Automotive News]
The last thing you want to do on a cold and snowy morning is spend 10 minutes chiseling the ice off your car’s windshield (especially if you’ve forgotten your gloves inside). Save your frostbitten fingers with the AlphaTherm Windshield Washer Fluid Heater System.
Boasting the ability to make short work of frost and ice from your car’s windshield, this system shoots out a stream of heated washer fluid that makes snow scrapers a thing of the past. The system connects to the car battery, which in turn heats the internal chamber and warms the washer fluid to 125º – 135º F in 30 seconds. Just one little squirt and the heated fluid instantly melts ice, helps clear frozen spray nozzles and unsticks wiper blades (it also gets rid of bugs, grime, road oil, streaks, bird poop and glare). While you’re driving, use it to deice windshield wiper blades and cut through ice build up.
You can use any kind of washer fluid with the AlphaTherm Windshield Washer Fluid Heater System and it’s easy to install yourself. Order it for $77.95 from Amazon.
[Source: Oh Gizmo!]
In Finland, rally champion Juha Kankkunen has cracked the 200-mph barrier on ice in a Bentley Supersports, setting a new world speed record on ice.
Atop the frozen Baltic Sea at temperatures of minus 30 degrees, he drove the AWD, W12-engined, biofuel-powered Bentley Continental Supersports convertible to a record 205.48 mph, which bested his own previous world record of 199.83 mph set at the same location in 2007.
“The last time, I narrowly missed the magical 200 mph mark in a Continental GT,” he said. “When I heard about the Supersports I was determined to go record breaking again with the Bentley Boys.”
One of the goals of the British/Finnish team was to keep the car as stock as possible: modifications included a roll cage, low-resistance Pirelli winter tires, front and rear spoilers, and a bumper-mounted parachute. Juha Kankkunen fought crosswinds and sudden blizzards on the 10-mile track, atop 27 inches of ice, to complete two runs in opposite directions. The speed was verified by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Of course, Kankkunen is no stranger to racing in extreme conditions. Since he started rallying in 1978, he has over 23 World Rally victories under his belt, been crowned World Champion four times, and won the Dakar Rally outright in 1988. Finland breeds rally champions, so the saying goes, and off the coast of Finland Kankkunen seemed within his element.
Bentley is planning a limited edition 100-car run of the Supersports to reflect this achievement, in case well-heeled buyers want to tackle the record on their own.
Hit the jump to read the official press release.