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Since the early ’60s Chevrolet has used the SS badge to designate (mostly) performance oriented cars, though the harlotous name stuck itself to a few undeserving hosts over the years.
More than half a decade later the automaker has finally patented the iconic SS brand, prompting us to wonder why. It seems especially strange given that over the last 51 years, the company has never taken issue with stamping its performance variants as such.
Google’s mission towards to mass market autonomous vehicles took another step forward this week when they were granted a patent for a method of controlling the self-driving car. The patent details how the vehicle can transition from being human-driven to autonomous mode.
The technology raises an interesting thought, where the car could transition to autonomous mode on a section of road that’s dedicated to self-driving cars. Obviously we’re quite a ways out from having all of our roads populated with autonomous vehicles, but by being able to recognize a bar code or a radio tag, a vehicle could switch modes safely – especially knowing that all the vehicles around it are using the same technology.
While a lot of people are skeptical as to why Google is even pursuing this endeavor, we believe in the sake of pushing technology forward, Google is doing everyone a favor. Google of course stands by their desire to ”help prevent traffic accidents, free up people’s time, and reduce carbon emissions by fundamentally changing car use.”
Even cooler is the fact that the patent outlines how a vehicle could receive instructions from an Internet address over a wireless network. This could be pretty scary in the wrong hands, that’s for sure. We’re still waiting for the day that our Toyota Prius drives itself to a nearby McDonald’s while telling us the specials that it has for that day. Talk about the possibility of intrusive advertising.
Last week we brought you news on a new four-wheel drive hybrid system that Ferrari is working on and now it appears as though the Italian maker of exotic cars is exploring turbochargers for future production models.
Much like how the 4WD Hybrid setup came to light, the new turbocharger system was revealed due to a patent application made with the European Patent Office.
The patent is for a, “turbocharged internal combustion engine with V arrangement,” and while it doesn’t specify an eight-cylinder powerplant, the drawing certainly suggests that. Ferrari may also be working on a turbocharged V6 engine.
Also, while it isn’t clearly stated the setup shows two equally-sized turbochargers indicating it is likely to be a twin-turbo and not a bi-turbo setup. Either way, two smaller turbochargers would help give power throughout a wider powerband.
The last Ferrari to use a turbocharged setup was the iconic F40 – thought by many to be one of the greatest driver’s cars of all time. It was powered by a tiny 2.9-liter V8 engine with two turbochargers and made 471hp and 426 ft-lbs of torque, allowing it to hit 62 mph in 3.8 seconds.
Could this new turbocharged Ferrari be the successor to the Enzo?
[Source: European Patent Office via AutoCar]