Category Archives: Safe Driving

Fords Inflatable Seat Belts to Save Lives & Necks


Fords Inflatable Seat Belt

The idea is ingenious. We already use airbags in out steering wheels, dash boards, pillars, seats and headliners, so why not put one in a seat belt? If it works as intended, it should spread out the impact forces and reduce the amount of bruising that occurs. This could prove a major benefit for children and elderly people, who are often more prone to injuries during car crashes.  The inflatable belts are only being developed for the rear seats; featuring smooth edges and more padding that a sheepskin seat cover, these belts should prove to be more comfortable to wear that traditional belts.  Expect them to be released in the next generation Ford Explorer first, with more vehicles to follow. Get the full details from Ford after the jump.

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Top Gear is Back this Sunday, November 14th!


Just a heads up to all the Top Gear fans, the boys back in action this Sunday.  I just checked BBC America’s TV schedule and it doesn’t look like they’ll be airing Season 14 any time soon, you’ll have to find other means of watch it.  What will they be getting themselves into this season? Trailer here.

Gymkhana 2.1


That’s right, it’s version 2.1; a minor upgrade? Not really, it’s more like something to keep you happy until the release of Gymkhana 3. Ken Block, master of all things drift, teamed up with Rob Deryk from MTV’s Fantasy Factory to release this 2-part’s crazy, 1-part parody video to show just how safe reckless you can be using a 540+hp STi and a go cart.  Looks like fun!

Ken Block Hits the Salt Flats


Ken Block Bonneville Salt Flats

His 566 horsepower STi is pretty insane. With 590 ft-lbs of torque, his Impreza can sprint to 60MPH in 3 seconds flat. But that torque can be used for other things as well, like towing people on plastic trash cans…

Ken Block and his crew are at it again, but this time they are out setting some land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats using some less-than-traditional methods of transportation; trashcans, big wheels and plastic snow-sled from Wal-Mart. Good stuff, check out the mischief after the jump…

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Those Lucky Dog’s at AutoBlog


I’m a car fanatic.  And I appreciate hybrid technology and recognize for a number of reasons that it’s something should adopt on a large scale.  That said, my true passion lies in performance.  There is nothing like hearing a high-revving V12 at wide open throttle, or an American V8 grunt it’s torque levels from 2,000 RPM.  This is why many get in the journalism game, to have the shot at personally reviewing cars they could probably never afford, or at least justify owning.

Johnny over at AutoBlog just got his hands on a 2010 GTR for review and he ran into a pack of animals that only Godzilla could properly challenge; the Ferrari F355 Spyder, Ferrari F430 Spyder, BMW M6 and the Dodge Viper SRT10.  Just another day for the autobloggers, must be nice…

A Great Tribute to Rally


I don’t know about you guys, but rally racing has a special place in my heart. The raw horsepower, ungodly amounts of torque and the anti-lag systems just scream raw power. Unfortunately you won’t get to hear any engines in this video, but it does have an excellent soundtrack. Sit back and soak up some rally heritage.

If that doesn’t quite do it for you, here’s another with a more modern score. It’s an oldie but goodie:

The Best Racing Video of All Time: Ken Block’s Gymkhana 2


Ken Block Gymkhana 2 - Subaru STi

It was just a short 8 months ago when Ken Blocks Gymkhana video hit the net and it was one of the wildest drift videos ever produced.  Utilizing a Crawford-prepped 530WHP Subaru STi, he danced through his Gymkhana practice course with the precision of Sebastien Loeb and finished by doing donuts around a brave soul riding a Segway.

Fast forward to today; Ken Block is now sporting a new STi that boasts 566 horsepower and a gazillion ft-lbs of torque. This is the best produced racing video I’ve ever seen (save for the Pikes Peak Hill Climb) bringing you long drifts, stupid-awesome stunts and lots of fire. So sit back, grab some popcorn and enjoy the many sensations brought to you by the burning of rubber.

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Watch Your Back Massachusetts: Unmarked F150’s Now Ticketing Motorists


Ford F150 Cop Car

As if we didn’t have enough to worry about on the roads, Massachusetts has recently started using unmarked Ford F150’s to catch unlawful drivers. This was first brought to the public’s attention by Noah, a writer for the Pansy Patrol.  The description of the vehicle is a late model blue/gray F150 with an officer inside and government plates. Hidden light bars also adorn the vehicle, but chances are the only time you’ll see them are when the lights are flashing red and blue.

While I support the officers who manage traffic violations, I personally think using unmarked police vehicles is borderline to “playing by the rules”, especially when you consider the safety aspects of pulling over for an unmarked vehicle.  Now that they are using one of the most popular trucks on the road, the use of unmarked police vehicles goes farther into the gray area.

Lamborghini Academy Redefines Bull Riding


Lamborghini Academy - Gallardo in the Snow

Riding the bull at the local bar is not a bad way to spend $5, but what about $5,000? I guess it depends on the bull you’re riding, and if it’s a Gallardo LP 560-4 or a Murcielago LP 640, it’s probably a pretty good deal.  This is what the head honchos in Italy thought when they recently announced the training dates for the new Lamborghini Academy. For five grand, you get full accommodations and two days on the track at the Vallelunga or Adria Raceway in Italy. You’ll even get a video highlighting your accomplishments at graduation.

They offer three packages: the Track Academy, the Advance Academy and the Winter Academy. Each option will let you get behind the wheel of a Lambo and be instructed how to under-steer, over-steer, drift and pick your line. The Winter Academy looks particularly fun; nothing like trying to control 640 horsepower in the snow.  :)

Press release after the jump.

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95MPG Civic Gets Great Fuel Economy, Scares Children


Mike Turner's 95MPG Civic - 3/4 View

It’s got a face that only a mother could love, but boy does it get good range on a full tank of gas. The secret to this Civic’s green house success is in it’s aerodynamics. You may remember from a few years ago, Infinity advertised their G35 as having a .28 co-efficient of drag, the lowest of any sports car in it’s class. The current Toyota Prius has a coefficient of drag measuring .25, which undoubtedly helps it achieve 48 miles per gallon on the freeway. So other than it’s wedge nose and space-age wheel covers, what does this funky beast have in the way of drag? A measly .17 CD. Continue reading

Ford Vehicles to Parallel Park Themselves, Driver’s Ed Students Rejoice


Ford Active Park Assist

Ford Active Park Assist

It all started with BMW, who developed the technology to have a car park itself in your garage. But that wasn’t practical enough for Toyota, who had been developing parallel parking technology. While it does “work”, many journalists have said the system is complicated to use and needs more refinement before being released to the world.

Most other auto manufacturers have been hush-hush about this technology, but Ford has decided to enter the ring with their own parallel parking system. and it looks like they’ve gotten it right. Despite the extremely larger area provided in this video, the system appears to be very simple to use.

When you’re ready to park, you hit the Park button on the center console and drive forward until you find a spot that looks like it’ll work. The parking system will ding if it thinks the spot is acceptable (cutoff is vehicle length + 20%). All you need to do then is pull forward until its happy, put the transmission into reverse and let the system take care of the rest. Pretty neat, huh? Hit the jump to see the vid.
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Oregon Trying to Outlaw Aftermarket Auto Parts


High Performance Tire

In an attempt to look Green, Oregon Governor Theodore Kulongoski is pushing to prohibit the sale of aftermarket auto parts when there are other parts available that will “decrease greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles”. Apparently this bill is focused on limiting consumer choices of tires, which makes little to no sense. The primary target is the high performance lines which, due to their sticky nature, have a higher rolling resistance to the road than all-season and economy rubbers.The slight difference in roll-resistance can often create a loss of 1/4 MPG.

Maybe the Governor is trying to think big, but letting legislatures choose what kind of tires we drive on is probably not the best idea; could you imagine driving a Corvette on a set of cheap all-seasons that don’t offer the type of dry traction a Corvette needs to keep from spinning it’s tires?

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Ford Making Cars That Will Park Themselves


This isn’t the first time we’ve seen technology like this. BMW has the technology for their cars to pull forward into a garage after you get out of the vehicle and pull out the key. Toyota has a similar technology called Intelligent Park Assist, which lets their cars parallel park themselves into a parking space, although there have been some reports that this technology might need a little more fine tuning before it’s ready for the masses.

Ford has unveiled today their own parking assist technology which is similar to Toyota’s. The cool thing about it is that it will actually find (via sensors) a parking space before you can activate the system. It will be first rolled out in the Cadillac line of autos, but it should find it’s way to Ford and maybe Mercury, if that brand doesn’t hit the chopping block. Here’s a cool demo video from Ford.

The Worlds Most Unique and Crazy Limousines


Various Exotic Limousines

I’ve collected some some photos of the world’s most luxurious, unique and wild limousines.  Many of these are custom made for the limo companies and some are custom ordered for the rich and shameless.  Hit the jump to view all the pics, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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Embrace the Parrot and go Hands Free – by AutoAnything


Today is July 1st and the new hands-free cell phone law is in full effect in California. Drivers are no longer legally allowed to drive with a handset being held to their ear. This law does allow for drivers to dial and text people, although some websites are reporting that legislation is under way to ban texting as well. The problems with outlawing texting, and not dialing while driving, are mind boggling… how can legislators reasonably expect law enforcement to determine whether someone was dialing or texting without unnecessary traffic stops and a huge invasion of privacy. Imagine an officer pulling you over and saying, “I’m going to have to inspect your cell phone to make sure you weren’t breaking the law.” Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that people should ever be texting while driving; I actually consider it far more dangerous than talking on a cell phone when behind the wheel since you have to take your eyes off the road, but getting people to stop texting while driving shouldn’t be enforced through legal channels, but instead through drivers education and parental guidance. Hopefully this anti-texting bill doesn’t get passed by the governator.

On the lighter side, Parrot Bluetooth has capitalized on the new hands-free law and started a petition to make the Parrot the official bird of California, removing the quail from its office. ParrotNotQuail.com mocks the quail, saying “77 years and no results…meet the Valley Quail”. Make sure to check out the hilarious letter to Arnold. At the time of writing this, the petition on the website states that over 500,000 signatures have been collected to remove the quail from office. I for one hope this petition is real. I think California would be a greater state if the Parrot were in charge of the Quail’s (near) former duties.