Exterior Color: White
Interior Color: Gray
Trim: Classic Sedan 4-Door
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: RWD
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
The wheel ranks right up there with the telescope and four-slice toaster in the pantheon of inventions that have moved humankind forward. But what if a circle in three dimensions had never occurred to anyone, and we all had just moved on without it? Perhaps we'd be driving around in Lucas Motors Landspeeders with anti-gravity engines. Or maybe we'd have the same cars we do today, just without wheels.
That's the thought experiment that seems to have led French photographer Renaud Marion to create his six-image series called Air Drive. The shots depict cars throughout many eras of motoring that look normal except for one thing: they have no wheels. The models used include a Jaguar XK120, Cadillac DeVille (shown above), Chevrolet El Camino and Camaro, and Mercedes-Benz SL and 300 roadsters.
Perhaps one day when our future becomes our past, you'll be able to walk the street and see with your own eyes the rust and patina of age on our nation's fleet of floating cars. Until then, Monsieur Marion's photographs will have to do.
We've been on the fence with NASCAR for some time now. On one hand, it's some of the closest racing anywhere in motorsports, with actual passing and door-handle-to-door-handle action as a matter of course. But on the other, it's become template racing - a personality-driven sport more about the drivers than any sort of loyalty to a particular automaker. The Car Of Tomorrow format really rammed that message home, with a racecar's identity coming down to little more than headlamp stickers slapped on the nose. That's not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but we've wondered for some time what's in it for the automakers, who pay big money to stay in a series that has had little increasingly little do with street car sales, let alone innovation.
Apparently General Motors was beginning to wonder the same thing. In a new ESPN report, Rick Hendrick, team owner of Hendrick Motorsports, suggests that GM would have seriously considered leaving NASCAR if it wasn't for the move away from the COT to the new Gen 6 racer. According to Hendrick, GM North America boss Mark Reuss spearheaded the charge away from the 2007 COT and toward a racecar with clearer automaker ties - cars like the new Chevrolet SS racer shown above. Learn more about the fight for a closer-to-production look in the ESPN story at the link.
Now, if we could just get more rear-wheel drive V8 coupes into showrooms....
Just looking at the new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, it's not hard to see that the car's design was created with aerodynamics at the forefront, but Chevrolet designers point out exactly what went into designing the iconic coupe in a pair of recently released videos. The videos show the Corvette going through early design phases, including clay models and wind tunnel tests, as well as talking to the car's chief engineer, Tadge Juechter.
Both videos help explain various aspects of the C7 Corvette, but it's the aero tuning of the car that is most interesting. This includes extra attention paid to the lower air dam and vented hood to help reduce drag and lift, while the rear quarter inlets are for differential and transmission cooling. Juechter said that some of these aero-tuned elements were inspired from GM's involvement in racing.
If you have about five minutes and you can't get enough information about the new 'Vette, then check out the videos posted below.