Friday, December 07, 2007

Auto-Future's best of the year II: stuff and people

Technical feature of the year: Nissan’s GTR architecture
The image below shows the architecture of the new Nissan GTR. This new and incredible machine uses a turbocharged V6 longitudinally placed as it should be and normally sending 100% of power to the rear wheels, as it should be. It also uses a transaxle, so the gearbox is in the rear for better weight distribution. When needed it also sends power to the front wheels so it uses a central differential that needs to be close to the gearbox, so it’s in the rear too… but it needs a shaft to send the juice to the front… hence the two big shafts you see in the middle of the car!... It’s amazing, brilliant, very effective and makes for a very impressive image like the one below.

Car name of the year: Reventon
And also best car name in all the history of cars! The Lamborghini Reventon is named after a bull that killed some famous bullfighter… we wish more bulls would have that spirit, that stupid spectacle would end very soon! The names is great but the car is not bad either… and I can see myself making conversation with some latina supermodel if I owned a Lamborghini Reventon… “si es el nombre de mi coche pero a mi tambien me llaman reventon…”. In Spain Reventon is also a nickname for some versions of the VW TDI engine that are used in the Seat Ibiza and Leon FR/Cupra models. Don’t ask why!...

Men of the year
The person below is not in the car industry, his name is Jose Barroso and he is the president of the European Commission. So is he like the President of Europe? No, his job is more like that of a burocrat, most of the time… Now in the end of last year he came up with this idea of limiting average CO2 emissions in cars to a mere 120g/km. Car manufacturers were not happy so they made a very strong lobbying against that. We are not sure what the final version of the regulation will be, but during this year something must have happened that convinced car manufacturers that Mr. Barroso’s ideas are for real. Let’s focus on the effects: Porsche made strong moves to buy VW group… VW started developing a new small-car platform…BMW decide on making a new brand focused on small cars and alternative mobility solutions… BMW and Mercedes started negotiations about sharing development of small engines… ECO labels and lower CO2 versions are everywhere in mainstream car brands… All of this is at least partially related to the need to lower CO2 emissions. We thank Mr. Barroso for exerting political leadership in this matter and we hope the response from the European car industry meets the new standards.

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