Perpetual Motion Hybrid

priusThere isn’t a question whether or not everyone’s lives having been touched by the silent swooshing of hybrid cars. With the promises of better economy and lower greenhouse emissions, our eco-friendly community have latched on rather quickly.

But now, there is a new player in town. A environmentally minded research firm in California seem to have challenged Newton himself. Their new device, dubbed “HydroVection”, runs on water and never needs to be refilled. Through the magic of electrolysis and other unreleased factors, the vehicle uses the water but also replenishes its supply. This perpetual motion device will most likely enter the consumer market on the second quarter of 2013.

So, sit back and relax Mr. Gore. The world is safe.

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How I Spent My Saturday…(Wheeling Carnage)

1-1This past weekend, myself and several members of my Jeep club (Bayou Jeepers) made the three hour trek from Shreveport to the Super Lift ORV park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The park boasts a very wide selection of trails in various levels of difficulty ratings ranging from mild 2s to intense 4s and 5s.  The scenery in Hot Springs is also amazing, offering great views while hitting the trails.

The journey to Hot Springs began at 4:45 Friday morning when my roommate (Shortbus on the forum) and I loaded up the Jeep along with his ATV to head north. By 9:30 we had unloaded, aired down the Jeep tires and hit the trails. Friday started out with a nice trip on whats known as ‘The Loop’. This consists of four challenging level 4 trails that are all interconnected in one way or another. It was my second shot at the Loop trails, the first being last Summer when my Jeep was still on 33 inch All-Terrain rubber. This time I was riding high on a new set of 35 inch BFG KM2s, making me extremely eager to break them in. We started with the fairly easy trail known as Ravine. It had some nice rocks to crawl and a couple fun hill climbs. From there we proceeded to Gorge, which I have somewhat of a history with. Back in December of last year, I had my first taste of Hot Springs via the passenger seat of Shortbus’s Jeep. This trail resulted in a flop to the passenger side for us on that trip.

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Fortunately my run at this trail was much more pleasant thanks to the excellent trail spotting and the traction provided by my new tires. Without too much trouble, our group ran the Gorge and headed to our next destination, known as the Can Opener. It is a quite a challenge, with loose slate and large rocks combine to create a trail where momentum is key. You have to pick your lines carefully and keep moving because the loose slate will force you to go in reverse if your wheels quit turning. This trail passed fairly uneventfully until the exit, it requires good wheel placement and a steady foot on the gas in order to get up without incident. Again, thanks to accurate spotting and good driving, our group made it up without a snag.

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The last trail on the Loop is called Slammer, and the name is very accurate. It has plenty of huge boulders, running water and some steep, rocky hill climbs. In the middle is a section of rock that requires a healthy disregard for fenders, or tube fenders, because the rocks have a knack to reach out and touch you. I made it through with only a minor scuff mark on my tube fender, but that is what its there for.

The end of the Slammer is where the fun starts. Fairly steep hill climb punctuated by some massive rocks. I was a bit overzealous with my gas pedal and ended up popping the front end off the ground much to the amusement/horror of those spectating. I didn’t realize how crazy it looked until I saw my buddy behind me hit the same rock and became airborne. But, finishing that final loop trail it was off to more adventure!

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The next trail we hit was carved out in 2003 for the Ultimate Adventure. For those unfamiliar with this event, it is put on by a 4×4 magazine. During the event they have several top-end wheelers which must drive from trail head to trail head on public roads, no trailers allowed. This trail is a blast with a nice balance of difficult and easy lines to take. Loose rock a plenty make this trail different even day to day, making it fun every time its run.

After Ultimate Adventure, we headed to a trail called Four Fingers, my personal nemesis. I had hell getting up this trail over the summer and I wasn’t entirely looking forward to the rematch. But much to my surprise the addition of 35″ tires made this trail much easier to tackle. Unlike my last trip, I didn’t need winching a single time. I was getting excited near the end and wound up bouncing my Jeep off a large rock with my rock slider. But hey, that’s what armor is for!

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Saturday was a repeat of the same trails, so late arriving club members could get in on the action. The only highlight on this day were all the Wranglers in our group that became tangled up in a very difficult spot of the Slammer. One almost came down the hill backwards, causing another driver and I to almost flip over on our driver’s side. I ended up having to take a winch up to help. He was able to recover with some creative help from a spotter.

After lunch, the rains hit. So we had to the opportunity to wheel in the rain for several hours. This makes everything amazingly slippery, and make even the most mundane obstacles more exciting.

This was an excellent trip and Super Lift ORV park is a place I would encourage anyone with a Jeep or ATV to visit. The scenery is amazing and the trails are spectacular.

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Woman Killed at NHRA Race

s-ANTRON-BROWN-NHRA-CRASH-VIDEO-KILLS-WOMAN-largeAn unidentified woman was killed after a loose tire from Anton Brown’s Top Fuel dragster flew into a spectating area. The wheel studs where sheered off at the hub after the tire started to shake violently. She was flown to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead.

On a personal note, I recently attended the Pomona Winter Nationals and was standing in the same area of the drag strip (near 1000ft mark). I’ll think twice next time about where I spectate next time I see a race. Just awful.

Here is source link with video: Huffington Post

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USF1

peterwindsor1-rgUSF1 is quite possibly one largest pieces of news in motor sport today. That is, of course, if you ignore Schumi’s return to Formula One under the wing of Brawn/Mercedes rather than the Italian powerhouse Ferrari.

Practically born from the ashes in a world of economic downturn, USF1 team principle Peter Windsor (Shown left) has created the first United States based Formula One team since the 1970’s and is easy to tell people of his philosophical reasoning behind it. He wanted to recreate the legendary “Skunk Works”. A secretive team of engineers led by Kelly Johnson in the golden era of aircraft, where he and experienced builders solved some of the most puzzling problems of modern aircraft. The model was to hire good people, work long hours and use whatever is available to them without waste. By these standards, two of the fastest aircraft in the world like the X-15 and SR-71 were born.

By USF1 basing a majority of their operations in the United States, they can build vehicles on par with the massive budgets of Europe due to ingenuity and lower taxes. A hidden secret in F1 is that a lot of the technology on European based teams was born right here in the states.

We will be following the progress of USF1 with great interest. Blog posts of their developments will pop up when broken to the press.

Good luck boys. Take the fight to them.

Link to recently opened site – USF1

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Creative Commons Rally Fighter

As someone who has perilously read about the automotive industry, few modern releases make me excited. This next bit is simply one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

Rally-Fighter-Top

Local Motors has recently built a vehicle with open source information and the public had a say in the way it was designed. Many parts utilized for this build were used from major factories like the Civic tail light and Miata door handles. Its power plant is the BMW M57 3 Liter Turbo Diesel which a hefty 265 horsepower and a whopping 425 lbs of torque. One might call this a Frankenstein effort but would be incorrect. Local Motors plans on working with the current manufacturers rather than against them. Using existing R&D and  buying aftermarket parts as a customer, everyone wins in this niche market.

Even though this monster was designed for desert racing, I wouldn’t be surprised to see one on the streets of LA very soon. Also, at its estimated price of $50,000, I can imagine to see more than one.

[Source - Jalopnik]

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