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Saturday
Apr092011

Quarter Mile Times

Dragstrip test of the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R

 

Friday
Apr082011

Vroom Room 

Good Morning!

Its Friday, another Vroom Room, and where is Spring? In the meantime make yourself comfortable we have cappuccino and biscotti this morning. 

Have you noticed the ongoing, or is it never ending discussions about automotive journalism, or is auto writers, and other folks continuing to drum a doom and gloom scenario for the entire industry. 

Some of our thoughts....

[] The industry, the product has changed, anyone seeking to relive the "old days" should consider acquiring an old car, and enjoy the nostalgia of the old days, or build a hot rod if you need to get more interactive.

[] its a time of social everything the "social autosphere" (did we coin this term) is adopted by everyone and anyone to get the word out, raise the level of awareness. Perhaps its even inexpensive advertising for manufacturers.

[] The enduring urban legends of reliability, which vehicles have problems. Modern vehicles are dramatically improved with comprehensive warranties, and extended warranties. Even used vehicles are readily available with extended warranties. While components are sourced from all over the planet, aggregated and assembled by a myriad of people that comprise the supply chain.

[] Its the consumer/customer that decides which vehicle is of interest to them, where they perceive value, not the auto writer, auto journalist, or the enthusiast. Every enthusiast wants a manual transmission car, and every customers buyes an automatic transmission.

[] In an age of limited attention span, accompanied by a deluge of information. Who reads all the information that is available? As we constantly mention you have to be your own editor.

[] Technology enables a myriad of perspectives to express, and disseminate themselves, again we always mention that anyone can publish. 

[] Its intrinsic of human nature to be defensive of their turf, to get a larger share of the available resources. See the grass greener of the other side, or throw stones to the other side.

The "old goats" that have been around this business for a few decades, that are still passionate about the business, and understand the 360 degree spectrum, probably still find it exciting! While enjoying to watch the various turf wars/battles of the "younger goats" many of whom have a day job in another, and lack the 360 view.

Its all cool....

If you remember Ayrton Senna...an entire documentary...here.

Yes...old race cars...here.

 

 

Thursday
Apr072011

Nuclear Generating Plant

What does nuclear energy have to do with cars? Not much....or a lot...especially when the supply chain is interrupted.

During the past few weeks we have seen photos of utter devastation of the Fukushima plant, and a myriad of comments, from a myriad of experts, accompanied by the ongoing leakage of nuclear/radioactive materials in the local environment, and farther out.

Its the first time that a major nuclear incident has occured with the Internet empowering the dissemination of information in all its forms. As you can imagine, scientific information from folks that are in the nuclear reactor business is discreet, and succinct.  Obvious that when something goes really wrong at a nuclear plant, resolving the problem is a formidable challenge that will take years...it does not go away by pressing a button.

We all know the famous formula: E=MC2

Uncontrolled its a bomb, controlled its a nuclear plant generating massive amounts of steam that spin turbines to generate electricity, when the control mechanisms (massive amounts of cooling water) of the plant are dammaged its a formidable challenge to regain control of an overheated reactor, and avoid radioactive emissions/seepage or worse. In addition to being a lenghty process fraught with unknowns to permanently resolve the problem. 

An informative presentation from nuclear scientists of the events in the Fukushima plant as of a few weeks ago.

Fukushima Engineering Presentation 03-20-11



Wednesday
Apr062011

Adaptive Cruise Control

Yesterday driving (my car) on the 404 southbound (if you know the GTA) on a mission to fetch the next vehicle to review. As I emerge from the on ramp in the right lane, and start chequing the mirrors to progress to the middle lane. 

You know when you notice an unfamiliar grille...is it a Genesis, is it an Equus, grille seems too big for a Genesis...linger in the middle lane to let the car come up in the left lane...its an Equus...first time I see an Equus on the road. Reasonable street presence, but not a wow moment.

Get behind the Equuus, the restengular exhaust tips are cool, acceptable stance from the rear, on a few occasions the brake lights of the Equus light up depending on traffic conditions.

Here is the deal....

This Equus is on the cruise control at a speed slightly higher (+ 5 kph) than the flow of traffic. As the brake lights come on a few times, its obvious that a human would not brake in such a fashion, plus the car resumes instantly after braking. 

Could it be? Sure looks like it...YES this Equus is on the adaptive cruise control set at xxx kph. Following the car, the moment its brakes lights blinked, I momentarily let off the gas, to maintain a constant distance from the Equus, as its doing with the vehicle in front. 

As an aside, this is easy if you have had an opportunity to drive a vehicle with an adaptive cruise control for enough kilometers to acquire an understanding of how the adaptive cruise control behaves, and its decision process under various conditions. 

Followed the Equus for several kilometers, at one point the car in front of the Equus changed lanes, and as expected the Equus accelerated vigorously seeking to achieve its set speed. 

Wondering when or if it will present itself again, to follow a vehicle on the adaptive cruise control, and replicate the actions of the cruise while following the car, a unique experience. Yes the human brain fully engaged in driving is "smarter" than an adaptive cruise control, especially that you can anticipate ahead of the vehicles immediately in front of you. 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Apr062011

Corvette Racing Sebring Recap

When a video tells the whole story....