Autonomous Vehicles: Does the Future of Driving Look Bleak?

BMW, Mercedes, Audi. Each have their own name for their self driving and semi-autonomous driving systems. All of them are known for a good and great cars here and there ( on Top Gear UK they ranked BMW 3rd for having the greatest number of great cars :D). But those cars are not autonomous, that’s what makes them great. Any petrol head ought to know what a manual transmission is and that it is good for feeling connected to the car and in turn connected to the road and the whole driving experience. Any of us petrol heads knows that we prefer oversteer, which means we lean towards rear wheel drive (although Audi has a pretty sweet “Quattro” setup). In the cars of the future, it looks as though they wont be thinking of petrol heads, we might not be able to even drive cars (though that’ll take awhile if it has to happen)! We won’t be integrated into that moment of excitement and adrenaline that is out dragging another car or going ’round a corner just right. I’m not saying all cars will autonomous, I don’t know the future. But I am frightened for the youth who won’t even know what a transmission or an engine is because we’ve gone all electric, or what even a steering wheel was because they will never have to drive. Hopefully there will still be tracks and NASCAR and Formula 1, but who knows? There will definitely be museums, but is that the way we want to be remembered? Some six-year-old dragged through a assortment of odd exhibits begging to get out of the solemn and silent place? Not caring about what’s in there, all he knows is it’s boring history. I hope that we are never forgotten. The picture below is the Bugatti Veyron, the ultimate car.

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Pagani Huayra

There are few things in this world that are constant and on top of that, perfect. One thing that can be relied upon to exhibit both characteristics is Pagani. As I mentioned in my previous article, it’s because of this small company that so many others have sprung up to try their hand at making cars themselves. Mr. Pagani himself is a perfectionist and compromises nothing when it comes to his work. “Every part in a Pagani should be able to be put on display in an art gallery”, he has said and that tradition of absolute perfection didn’t stop when he began working on his next car, the Huayra (why-ra). Named after the Andean god of wind, Huayra Tata, it carries the attributes of power and speed as well as agility and suppleness that Paganis thus far have honed. It is absolutely beautiful, just look at it! It has a 700hp AMG specially tuned V-12 that also produces 737 ft/lbs of torque. It is turbocharged which to be fair, Mr. Pagani was against but had to succumb because of emission standards so on and so forth. It has really cool “active aerodynamics” which are conceivably four little ailerons that are positioned on the front and rear, reducing body roll during cornering and eliminating the need for a spoiler which by Mr. Pagani’s standards “interrupt the flow of the lines”. So nothing too ground breaking but a 220mph+ top speed from a rear-wheel drive car. So it’s fast and pretty good looking with little nifty gadgets here and there but does that mean it’s costly? Yes, yes my friend it does. You’ll have to peel off around $1.2 million or so. So what? Form over function. With added function.ImageImage

Rimac Concept_One: Croatian One Hit Wonder

After small time car companies like Koenigsegg and Pagani popped, more and more people have decided to take a stab at a car company. That leaves us with a lot of interesting cars that well, no one understands. Lots of companies are trying to make cars that look and feel like their competition. There’s even a Canadian super car which I would hope works in snow if you know what I’m talking aboot (as the Canadians might pronounce it). The Polish, Arrinera looks like an Aventador! To get a leg up they need to copy, at least the companies that have no idea what they’re doing. Every small independent car company could have a case made for it but the one I really am excited to talk about today is Rimac. They only offer the Concept_One and surprisingly they’re from Croatia. I like that, I mean no one really wants to take a vacation their for fear of being shot or stabbed or killed in a variety of ways but this little company may attract people for another reason. The Concept_One is arguably nothing special just another hypercar from god knows where that is all about bling and performance numbers. Not this though, at least not as far as I can tell. It doesn’t physically look half-bad, and yes it pumps out an insane 1088hp but where is that coming from? Not an engine, but electric motors. So if you know anything about electric motors you  might realize that that means torque from nothing, from 0 all the way to 6000rpm is non-stop, unrelenting, unmitigated torque. From 91 kWh batteries is where that power flows. 0-60 in 2.8 seconds. But the designers and engineers didn’t settle there, they didn’t say “oh well, we just have everything done lets buy a chair and graft it to the chassis, they don’t really need an interior”. They got a team of former Pininfarina designers to design it so I don’t think an interior was an after thought. You might be saying, “so this small little company actually put some thought into making a car, so what? There’s cooler stuff out there.” Well, yes. I can’t really counter that to be quite honest. The only thing I can say is someone put time, money, and thought into all of this and it’s from a country that no one would really expect. I think that this company has made its claim in the car market however small it may be. Hopefully they will continue to be inspired and keep up the good work.ImageImageImageImage

BMW 507

I know that I just put the 507 as the pic of the week, but I just feeling liking writing a post about it. I’m a huge BMW fan and I absolutely adore this car. I just love this car because its post-war but still has the old authentic feel just looking at it through photos. Sure it’ll cost you 300k and up but what I would do is send it to BMW Classic and have it restored. If you’ve ever seen anything about BMW Classic you’ll know that they can modify and even put an “M sport” package even if there wasn’t necessarily one the year your car was made. My ideal way of obtaining this car would be to find it a barn because I’d being doing the noblest thing a car enthusiast could do, save a piece of automotive history. I love how its overshadowed by the Benz 300SL, it makes it more appealing because it’s rare and everyone would rather have the Merc, except me. It’s just such a beautiful car this. It just seems like a car you wouldn’t see everyday, or once in a lifetime. Only 252 examples were made and sadly it almost sent BMW to bankruptcy. One of my favorite bits is that each one that had a hardtop had it hand made to the car so one hardtop only fit one car. It was designed my Albrecht von Goertz who was a freelance designer who had been in contact with Raymond Loewy a famous designer of the period. Loewy encouraged Goertz to be a designer and he ended up designing the 507 for BMW.Image