The most powerful production engine resides in a Bugatti Chiron. The most fuel-efficient engine takes residence in a Volkswagen XL1. But both of the vehicles these engines are mounted to are so expensive and exclusive that their impact will never really reach us. We rounded up what we believed were the best engines – not necessarily the most powerful or advanced, but engines that made an impact on the automotive landscape. Some on this list were made for 70 years, and some were produced for less than a decade.
The Volkswagen air-cooled flat-four
Unless you’re under the age of 10, you can remember the distinct clatter of an air-cooled VW rattling along. During its daunting seventy-year production run between 1936 and 2006, VW made somewhere between 20 and 30 million of these little engines. The cars they powered sparked a small-car revolution in North America. The Volkswagen Beetle was the car that brought compacts into the mainstream buyer’s mind. Ingeniously simple, these compact and lightweight engines can be fixed with basic hand tools, and parts are available around the world.
Jaguar XK straight six
This is the engine that made Jaguar. Before the introduction of the world-beating XK 6 engine, the British marque was a middling also-ran. The generously sized engine was the brainchild of Sir William Lyons and William Heynes, who came up with the idea for the engine while sitting on a roof as part of a fire watch while German bombs fell on Coventry.
The engine propelled Jaguar to no less than five Le Mans victories between 1951 and 1957. It also powered Jaguar’s most famous sports car of all, the flowing E-Type. Considering the engine had its roots in WWII, it’s amazing that it stayed in production for 43 years, until 1992.
Chevrolet small-block V8
The small-block Chevrolet is the definitive American V8. Everyone knows someone who owns one. Maybe you own one yourself; I own two. That’s because since it was introduced in 1955, GM and its subsidiaries have made over 100 million small-block V8 engines. Let that number sink in for a second – one hundred million. The pushrod V8 was easy to work on, and easy to modify for more power. Modern drag racers have been able to squeeze more than 2,000 horsepower from GM’s design. The small-block Chevy has powered Le Mans class-winning race cars, bread vans, compacts, sedans, pickup trucks and everything in between. The small-block was eventually superseded by the LS V8, but enthusiast demand for the engine remained and you can still buy a brand-new small-block crate-motor from GM today. Is the small-block immortal? It might be.
Ford flathead V8
The Ford Model T revolutionized the way we drove, and the Ford flathead V8 changed how quickly we got there. The Ford “flatty” was not the first V8 or even the first mass-produced V8. But it was the first V8 that was easily affordable to the masses. Suddenly, the average family could afford a car that could go 60 mph! Model Ts couldn’t do much more than 40.
The Ford flathead is so named because the valves are seated in the block and the head is a perfectly flat “lid” that simply bolts onto the deck. The flathead configuration gives up a lot in terms of valve efficiency but makes up for it in its lack of complexity and cost. Introduced in 1932, it remained in production in the U.S. until 1953 and in German trucks until 1973.
Duesenberg straight eight
The Duesenberg J cannot be anything but the greatest American classic car ever made. These regal, two-tonne locomotives of chrome and lacquer paint were the pinnacle of the automotive world when new. Tragically built on the cusp of the Great Depression, the marque found itself trying hard to sell these $15,000 cars at a time when a physician made about $3,000 annually.
The 6.9L engine was made in three versions between 1928 and 1937. The naturally aspirated version made an impressive 265 horsepower. But Duesenberg also made 36 supercharged cars, and those made 320 hp each; the top speed of the supercharged ones was over 200 km/h. The ultimate version of the car was the SSJ, of which just two were made: one for Gary Cooper, and another for Clark Gable. These cars had supercharged engines that made nearly 400 hp.
Ferrari “Colombo” V12
You might have never heard one in person, but you know the sound already. A mechanical howl with the valves punctuating little staccatos on each cylinder firing – it’s the shriek of an old Ferrari V12. And remarkably, almost all the Ferrari 60-degree V12s from 1947 to 1988 can trace their lineage back to one man: Gioacchino Colombo. His design was originally intended for F1 use and displaced a tiny 1.5 liters. The pistons were barely two inches in diameter! It grew in many iterations to an ultimate size of 4.9L in the Ferrari 412, but it gained fame in the 250 GTO, 365 GTB/4, and many other lovely models.
MoPar Street Hemi
The Hemi name is derived from its hemispherical combustion chambers. Chrysler chose this design because it allowed fitting larger valves than normal while still adhering to NASCAR’s two-valve-per-cylinder mandate. These widely splayed valves created equally wide valve covers which emphasized the overall girth of the engine. The Hemi was MoPar’s largest, most expensive, most hardcore, and most powerful engine of the era. Its daunting physical size led others to call it “the elephant motor.”
The Hemi lived-in in production cars for just five short years between 1966 and 1971. You could special-order the engine if you knew the right people in 1965, but that really didn’t count. In the end, emissions regulations and unleaded gas conspired to kill off the Hemi, and it never returned in dual-quad form.
The Cummins 6BT was launched in 1984 but didn’t see the engine bay of a road-legal vehicle until 1989. That’s because the burly 6BT was originally designed for farm implements and construction equipment, with zero thought towards passenger vehicle refinement. Dodge decided that the 6BT would be the perfect engine to offer in its three-quarter and one-tonne trucks starting in 1989. The 6BT displaces 5.9L and weighs 500 kg fully assembled. Boosted by a Holset turbocharger, output ranged between 160 and 210 horsepower depending on the variant of the engine; torque was between 400 and 440 lb.-ft. Created to do the hardest work an engine can handle, 6BT’s were designed to last 560,000 km with only basic maintenance, and a few last even longer than that.
The Honda B series is essentially the engine that started the craze with modifying Hondas. With two little syllables, Honda changed the way enthusiasts saw the brand: VTEC. The B series wasn’t the first or the last DOHC I4 from the company but it was the one that popularized it in the enthusiast world. High-output versions of the Honda B could be found in the Integra and Civic Type R and the engine was the first production unit to eclipse 100 hp per liter.
The B-Series was installed in the Civic, Del Sol, Integra, and other Honda offerings. It quickly earned a reputation for impressive fuel economy, easy maintenance, and solid longevity. It also tingled the brains of anyone who revved one of these motors out past 8,000 rpm. Nothing quite sounds like a Honda B at full tilt.
Chrysler Slant Six 1959 1987
The leaning tower of power! Chrysler’s slant six was canted 30-degrees to one side to afford stylists a lower hood line. This allowed the cars to have rakish snouts but left the six looking rather odd underhood. Nonetheless, the thrifty pushrod six soon gained a following. The slant makes a distinct sound at idle because it had a solid-lifter camshaft until 1983; about 20 years after most had abandoned the technology.
The most expensive cars in the world are so much more than transportation. These rolling art pieces encapsulate the priorities of the one percent, and in that universe, flamboyance and swagger take precedence over practicality and efficiency. Lifestyle criticisms aside, these are truly mind-boggling machines, and we’d like to count down our favorites for you here.
10. Zenvo ST1 ($1.2M)
Kicking off our list is less of a car and more of an unchained animal in the ST1. Assembled in Zealand, Denmark, the Zenvo creates an absolutely obscene amount of power by combining a 6.8-liter V8 with both a supercharger and a turbocharger. Just how much is obscene exactly? How about 1,104 horsepower and 1,054 pound-feet of torque, all channeled to the car’s rear wheels.
9. Ferrari LaFerrari ($1.4M)
Few cars on the road are more striking, and even fewer accelerate faster. With a dry weight of less than 2,800 pounds, this dragon-like performance car accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in less than 3.0 seconds, and it’ll prance to 124 mph in under 7. Flat out, it’ll top 217 mph.
8. Pagani Huayra ($1.4M)
The Huayra is equally as famous for its odd-sounding name as it is for its face-melting performance. Named after the Incan God of Winds, the Huayra (pronounced why-rah) boasts an AMG-sourced 6.0-liter V12 with two turbochargers, resulting in 620 hp and and a massive 740 lb-ft.
7. Aston Martin One-77 ($1.4M)
Under the vented hood lurks a naturally aspirated V12 that displaces 7.3 liters, which is a lot. It produces 750 hp and 553 lb-ft, which is also a lot. Those numbers make the One-77 the fastest Aston Martin ever made, as this spy chaser will top 220 mph in the right conditions. From a stop, it’ll do 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.
6. Koenigsegg One:1 ($2.0M)
You can buy a lot with $2 million — a really nice house, about 80 Mazda MX-5’s, or the Swedish “megacar” shown above. A logical thinker could probably think of a better way to spend your life savings, but megacars don’t give a damn about logic. Because they’re mega. And after reading what the car is capable of, $2 million might actually be a steal.
5. Ferrari F60 America ($2.5M)
The supercar is mechanically identical to the F12, but the Berlinetta isn’t exactly a Fiat Panda to begin with. Its 6.2-liter V12 churns out 740 glorious hp, enough to propel the car to 60 mph in only 3.1 seconds. The ultra-rare flag-waver hearkens back to Ferrari’s bespoke past, as the company built several region-specific sports cars in the 1950s and 1960s.
4. Mansory Vivere Bugatti Veyron ($3.4M)
This list wouldn’t be complete without some version of the mighty Bugatti Veyron. We’re shining our spotlight on the the Mansory Vivere edition here, because not only is it one of the fastest cars in the world, it’s one of the most expensive.
3. W Motors Lykan Hypersport ($3.4M)
You may recall the Lykan Hypersport from its starring role in the blockbuster Furious 7, where the Lebanese supercar crashed through not one, not two, but three skyscrapers in Dubai. In a franchise filled with high-end exotics and one-off custom creations, the fact that the Hypersport got so much focus is a testament to its magnetism.
2. Lamborghini Veneno ($4.5M)
The car is absolutely stunning from every angle, and to this day, we’re not convinced it isn’t an alien spacecraft surveying our planet for eventual takeover. It just doesn’t seem real. The only thing more remarkable than the look is the price — a whopping $4.5 million.
1. Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita ($4.8M)
Underneath the lustrous finish lies a 4.8-liter, dual-supercharged V8 with a total output of 1,004 hp and 797 lb-ft, which means it should have little to no trouble overtaking semis on the freeway. The car’s specifications — in both performance and price — are nearly comical at this point, and just three were ever made.
This was our list for the Most Expensive Cars, please visit our website for more!
2020 has seen increased pressure placed on UK household finances, with uncertainty over Brexit compounded by the coronavirus pandemic. It’s little wonder, then, that when it comes to buying new cars, the cheaper end of the market is getting plenty of attention.
Used cars are of course the most affordable option, but there are plenty of low-cost new cars on the market too, with at least a dozen priced under £13,000 at the time of writing. Car loans and finance deals can spread the cost, although obtaining funding may be more challenging right now given ongoing economic uncertainties.
Here we look at the top 10 cheapest new cars to buy in the UK this year.
10. Hyundai i10 list price from £12,820
This well-built little car is available in a multitude of colours, and represents excellent value for money.
With space for five people and a reasonable amount of luggage, the i10 is a very practical option. It’s also stable at high speeds and returns as much as 56.5mpg, depending on the model.
It might not have the prestige of a Rolls Royce, but it will get you from A to B in a similar timeframe, is much easier to park – and you won’t have to sell your house to buy one.
9. VW Up list price from £12,700
This popular city runabout is mechanically similar to the Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo – respectively sold under Spanish and Czech brands owned by VW.
The VW badge means excellent build quality – but not necessarily more so than the Citigo or Mii, since all three are made in the same Bratislava factory.
However, the VW badge means your Up will be worth more after three years than the other two. Entry-level models offer Isofix child-seat mountings, electric front windows and a folding back seat.
8. Peugeot 108 list price £12,265
The 108 is mechanically very similar to the Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo, which are all built using the same chassis, engines, gearboxes and electrics.
That said, the front of the 108 differs considerably from the C1 and Aygo, and will appeal to some more than others.
In terms of equipment, the 108 is similar to its sister cars, but only has a 3-year warranty (while the Aygo has a 5-year guarantee). On the plus side, the 108 is available as part of Peugeot’s Just Add Fuel deal, which conveniently rolls financing, tax, insurance and even servicing into one monthly payment.
7. Citroen C1 list price £11,000
The C1 more closely resembles the Peugeot 108 (above) than the Aygo does. It offers the same level of boot space, the same interior, and the same 1.0-litre, 72hp petrol engine. However, you do get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay with the 108 (you don’t with the C1).
The main difference is the price: You could pay more than £1,000 less for a C1 than a 108, arguably making it a better choice for the cost-conscious.
6. Toyota Aygo – £9,825
The Aygo is a few hundred cheaper than its sister car the Citroen C1, and around £2,000 cheaper than it’s other (upper-end) sister car, the 108. However, the Aygo is basically the same car, but comes with a 5-year warranty instead of just three (as offered by Citroen and VW).
You won’t get Bluetooth or air conditioning, but you will get electric windows and remote central locking.
For the cost-conscious, the Aygo is the best option of the three variants, although arguably not as good value as the Hyundai i10.
5. MG3 list price from £9,495
Given it costs less than £10,000, the MG3 is a remarkably fun drive. That said, it can feel a little firm and bumpy on the road, and the entry-level variant is not suitable for those whose ego is buoyed by fast acceleration!
For a nippier ride, opt for a hot-hatch model.
The cheapest variant is bereft of Bluetooth, air conditioning, and remote central locking, but does boast electric windows front and rear.
4. Kia Picanto list price from £9,395.00
An eye-popping seven-year warranty comes as standard with the Picanto, which is a mark of the car’s quality – and offers real peace of mind for years.
The small engine also means fuel costs should be pretty low, although if you need to get somewhere fast you’ll need to rev the engine a fair bit, burning extra fuel.
The Picanto is a great option as a sedate city runabout, but boy or girl racers need not apply!
3. Skoda Citigo list price from £8,890
The fun-to-drive Citigo is cheaper than sister models the Seat Mii and the VW Up, and has space for four people.
In exchange for the lower price tag of the entry-level unit, you get less as-standard equipment (no air-conditioning or Bluetooth) and just three doors. Naturally, you can get these options by paying more for an upgraded version.
2. Dacia Logan MCV list price from £8,495
This spacious estate boasts a 573-litre boot when rear seats are up – making it comparable to the VW Golf Estate (but much, much cheaper).
If you enjoy silence, the cheapest model is for you, since there’s no radio. But in terms of value-for-money, the Logan MCV is Britain’s reigning champion.
1. Dacia Sandero list price from £6,995
If you yearn for the old days when you had to wind up your windows manually, then the Sandero is for you. And if you have no interest in radios or air conditioning, it’s the gift that keeps on giving!
But while the Sandero lacks these basic bits of kit, it does offer incredible value.
That said, the sub-7K price tag is regarded as a marketing gimmick by many; in reality, most buyers add Bluetooth, digital radio and AC, which adds another £1,000. And if you’re planning to part with £8,000, you might be tempted to pay a little extra and buy a more fun car – such as a Citroen C1.
This concludes our list for the Cheapest New Cars in the UK, Visit our website for more!
As a new technology, there are lots to learn about electric cars. How to charge them, how they work, and how good they are for the environment are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive. There are also some lesser-known facts about electric cars that we’ve discovered that we thought we’d like to share with you.
1. Electric cars aren’t a new concept
Although electric cars are thought of as the future of motoring, they’re not actually a new concept. The very first production electric car was built in 1884 by an English inventor, Thomas Parker. Parker was responsible for introducing a range of innovations into the UK including the electrification of the London Underground as well as working on electric tramways for a number of cities. By 1897 a fleet of electric taxis was also being used in London. Improvements in petrol and diesel technology marked the end of the popularity of electric cars which has only been revived in the last decade.
2. Electric cars are no longer silent
Until recently one of the joys of driving an electric car is the peace and quiet that they bring to the roads. However, as from July 2019, a new EU rule meant that all new electric and hybrid cars are legally required to emit an artificial noise so that they can be more easily heard by cyclists and pedestrians. The noise kicks in at speeds of 13mph and below. Thankfully the noise is on the exterior of the car so it’s still nice and quiet inside for drivers.
3. The Nissan LEAF is the most popular electric car
Since the Nissan LEAF was launched in 2010, over 400,000 have been sold. This makes it the most popular electric car in the world. Now in its second generation, the 100% electric car continues to prove popular with drivers and Nissan tells us that Nissan LEAF drivers have driven their cars over 10 billion kilometers in total. The other great thing? The Nissan LEAF is made in the UK for sales across Europe.
4. Tesla have introduced a new feature to keep pets cool
An interesting new feature of Tesla cars is the recently introduced ‘Dog Mode’. Drivers with pets in the car can use the Overheat Cabin Protection function to keep the car at a cool temperature for pets left inside. Even more clever than that, the car also displays a large message on the centre touchscreen panel which informs passers-by that all is well and the pet is being kept at a comfortable temperature.
5. Breaking add miles to your range
All-electric cars have regenerative braking which means that every time you break, some electricity goes back into the battery. Braking in fact actually helps you to get more miles from the car, enabling you to drive further. Electric car drivers who are driving down a hill or a mountain will actually have added miles when they reach the bottom.
6. There are more electric car charging points than petrol stations
As of May 2019, the number of public charge points outnumbers petrol stations in the UK. Data from Zap-Map shows that there are now 8,471 charging sites across the UK as opposed to 8,400 petrol stations. In fact, the number of petrol stations is actually decreasing.
7. You can now charge an electric car at some petrol stations
Over the last few years, a number of traditional fuel companies and petrol station operators have entered the electric car market. Companies such as BP, Shell, MFG, and Euro Garages are now offering electric car charging facilities, and its even possible that you’ll find these on the forecourt right next to the petrol pumps.
8. Green licence plates could be coming
Electric cars in the UK could be set to have their own green number plates if government plans go ahead. As part of a drive to promote low emission vehicles, the UK Government is currently considering introducing the special number plates to new electric cars. Special plates for green cars are already in use in countries such as Norway, Canada, and China.
9. You can power your house from an electric car
Electric cars could actually be thought of as battery on wheels. With the right equipment, it is possible to use the electricity in a car battery to supply your own home or balance the electricity grid at certain times of the day. It’s also perfectly feasible to use a car battery to power an outdoor event or even a Christmas tree as Nissan demonstrated in 2013 using their LEAF-to-home system.
10. Prince Charles has an electric car
Prince Charles has recently leased an electric Jaguar SUV, preferring the model to the Tesla Model S. According to insiders, the Prince has also installed a fast charger at his home at Clarence House to charge the vehicle.
He’s not the only member of the royal family to show an interest in green vehicles. When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle married in May 2018, they also arrived at the ceremony in a Jaguar E-type, the E-Zero.
11. A new electric car is registered every nine minutes in the UK
At the end of 2018, figures showed the UK electric vehicle market grew for the seventh year in a row, by 19% – that’s 59,700 new plug-in electric cars registered in the UK, or one every nine minutes.
With more than 63,000 electric cars sold in the first 11 months of 2019, there are now more than 255,000 electric cars on the road as of the end of November 2019, making up 5.8% of total UK new car registrations according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
As more and more foreign auto manufacturers are offering diesel models in the United States, many consumers have been asking themselves whether diesel vs gasoline is the better choice for their next vehicles.
As more and more foreign auto manufacturers are offering diesel models in the United States, many consumers have been asking themselves whether diesel vs gasoline is the better choice for their next vehicles. According to Bell Performance, Subaru, Audi, and Volkswagen currently sell cars with diesel engines in the United States. These engines offer improved efficiency over gas engines without using electricity.
Although gas cars are more popular than diesel in the U.S., diesel engines have nearly half the market share in Europe. Digital Trends notes that while many U.S. consumers consider diesel a dirty fuel, technology advancements have made this a clean, green option for drivers who want a high-powered engine without limiting efficiency. However, it can be challenging for car buyers to understand the difference between these two automotive options.
How Engines Work
According to Digital Trends and How Stuff Works, both gasoline and diesel engines use internal combustion. With this type of engine, air enters the engine and combines with fuel. The engine’s cylinders compress the resulting mixture, which ignites to trigger the motion of the piston and crankshaft. The latter component activates the vehicle’s transmission to turn the wheels of the car. Then, the piston moves back to its original position to expel the spent gas from the engine through the tailpipe as exhaust. This process occurs multiple times every second.
However, the ignition process varies for gas and diesel engines. During the compression process, a spark plug ignites the fuel in a gas engine. Diesel engines do not have spark plugs, but simply use extreme compression to generate the heat required for spontaneous ignition, also known as compression ignition. When this phenomenon occurs in a gas engine, it will damage the engine.
These sources, along with Road and Track, note that engines with more cylinders offer more power and smoother operation than engines with fewer cylinders. However, these more powerful engines are also less efficient and more complicated to fix.
Choosing the Right Type of Engine diesel vs gasoline
According to Bell Performance and Road and Track, customers who drive many highway miles often prefer diesel engines, since they are more efficient on these roads than gas engines. Diesel fuel simply packs more energy in every gallon than gas fuel, which makes it more economical overall. Diesel engines are still more efficient than gas engines, but less so for those who are mostly engaged in city driving. Diesel cars also have more torque, which results in better fuel economy along with more impressive acceleration.
It’s important to remember that some types of diesel fuel can have a negative impact on vehicle performance. These include black diesel, biodiesel, and other enhanced diesel products.
For most U.S. consumers, diesel fuel and gas fuel cost about the same. Sometimes diesel rises above gas in price and other times drops below the cost of gas. However, even when you spend more on diesel fuel, you’ll still get more economy from a diesel engine over the life of the vehicle. That’s because you would need an 8-liter gas engine to access the same amount of power as with a 6-liter diesel engine.
Digital Trends reports that diesel engines tend to be more durable and last longer than gas engines, with reliable operation and minimal required maintenance. While diesel cars once weighed much more than comparably sized gas vehicles, this is no longer an issue, thanks to modern manufacturing methods.
Diesel engines also have fewer components than gas engines, which means your car has fewer potential parts that could malfunction. Most diesel engines require fewer repair and maintenance services than gas engines, which represents an overall economic saving.ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOWhttps://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
While early diesel engines had a deserved reputation for noisy operation, this complaint has mostly been resolved by new technology. Issues like noise pollution and dark smoke have been mitigated, so you may want to put diesel back on your list of possibilities if you were bothered by those concerns in previous decades. Today, the driving experience you’ll have in a diesel-powered car is nearly identical to the experience of driving a gas-powered car.
Calculating Diesel Cost Savings
According to The Motley Fool, in a study they conducted to compare the fuel efficiency of diesel and gas engines, diesel engines were 29 percent more efficient on the highway and 24 percent more efficient in the city. Because this study represents a small sample size, however, you may want to calculate the advantage of diesel for your specific driving needs.
The formula you need is as follows:
Miles / (City MPG * percentage of miles you drive in the city + hIghway MPG * percentage of miles you drive on the highway) * $ per gallon = annual gas cost
When you run the numbers yourself, you will likely see that although diesel fuel costs less per mile you drive than gasoline, it takes many years to break even when you look at the cost of a diesel vehicle compared to the cost of a gas-powered vehicle. If you drive many highway miles every year and plan to keep your diesel car for a long time, however, you may find that it makes sense to pay the upfront premium for the more efficient engine, especially when you consider your annual fuel costs.
In addition, remember that if you shift the percentage of city miles vs. highway miles you drive or if you drive many more or fewer miles per year than you expected you would, your break-even point for a diesel vehicle will change. Drivers who travel less than 10,000 miles on average each year will be unable to limit their fuel costs enough for a diesel engine to make financial sense unless they rarely drive in the city or currently drive a vehicle that requires premium gas.
With our blog about diesel vs gasoline, you can choose for yourself what you want in a car and visit our website for more blogs about cars, engines, manuals, and many other interesting articles!
Lamborghini is one of the most exclusive car brands in the world. This luxury car brand is only available to the rich and famous and is an automobile that most people can only ever dream of owning. When asked what car they would buy if they won the lottery, many people’s response would be a Lamborghini. This Italian car is known for its speed, power, and beauty. In turn, this has led to it being associated with status, wealth, and luxury. Car enthusiasts are intrigued by how this car is manufactured to achieve such stunning results and would love the opportunity to drive such a vehicle just once. Although Lamborghini is a well-known company and people can easily recognize the car, there are few people who know further details about this luxury vehicle and the company that manufacture it. The company has a long and interesting history and has manufactured many stunning cars. Here are 20 interesting facts about Lamborghini.
The Company was Founded by Ferruccio Lamborghini
Lamborghini was founded in 1963 by Ferruccio Lamborghini. He was born on April 28, 1916, in Renazzo, Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. As a youngster, he had an interest in farming machinery and mechanics. He studied at the Fratelli Taddia technical institute before he was drafted into the Italian Royal Air Force in 1940 to serve as a mechanic. Following the war, he worked as a mechanic and engineer before starting his own business. He was married three times and had two children. Ferruccio retired from the industrial aspects of his business in 1974. However, he still maintained several business interests. He moved to an expansive estate called ‘La Fiorita’ next to Lake Trasimeno in Umbria. The estate covered a whopping 740 acres. He felt he had returned to his farming roots and spent time producing his own wine and hunting. Another way he enjoyed spending time was on his personal golf course he had built on his land. Ferruccio Lamborghini died on February 20, 1993, in a hospital in Perugia. He had suffered a heart attack fifteen days prior to his death. He was 76 years of age.
Lamborghini’s Were Originally Tractors
Although Lamborghini is now associated with luxury cars, the company originally made tractors, and this is a type of vehicle they still make to this day. He started his tractor company in 1947. After the war, he recognized an emerging market for agricultural vehicles and equipment. He used the parts of a former military vehicle to create his first ‘Carioca’ tractor. Based on the success of this tractor, he founded his first company ‘Lamborghini Trattori’. His tractors stood out because of the fuel atomizer that Lamborghini had created himself. One problem for farmers was the cost of petrol. Lamborghini designed the tractors, so they would start using petrol but would then switch to using diesel. This was a cost-effective solution for those working in agriculture.
Lamborghini was Made as a result of a Challenge from Enzo Ferrari
Lamborghini is now a direct competitor of the Ferrari in the field of luxury cars. Bizarrely, it is because of Enzo Ferrari that Lamborghini even exists. Lamborghini was running a successful agricultural vehicles business at the same time that Enzo Ferrari had established his cars as a top brand. Ferruccio was a huge fan of sports cars and owned a Ferrari 250 GT. One problem he had with this car was the clutch. Ferrari used agricultural clutches and Ferruccio did not like this, especially when it broke. He turned directly to Enzo about the problem and the two clashed. Enzo had a fiery temper and his response was that Ferrucchio should concentrate on tractors rather than concern himself with the workings of sports cars. As legend has it, Lamborghini took this as a personal challenge and decided to create his own sports car. Accepting the challenge was a risk that paid off.
Ferruccio Lamborghini Disagreed with Motor Racing
Many luxury automobile manufacturers also have a racing team. For example, both Ferrari and Maserati have teams who compete in motor racing events. However, motor racing is something that Ferruccio Lamborghini has always disagreed with. The famous Italian engineer considered it a waste of time and resources and refused to start a racing team. This became a strict rule within the Lamborghini company. In recent years, this is something the company has had a rethink about and they have now developed a noticeable presence in the motor racing industry. They have collaborated with the Swiss watchmaker brand Blancpain to form Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.
Famous Designers Have Worked for Lamborghini
The design of Lamborghinis is one of the things for which this brand is best-known. The design of each of the models is not the work of one individual as there is a whole team of people involved. Over the years, Lamborghini has collaborated with many famous designers so that the final results allow them to release a stunning looking car. Just some of the designers who have worked for or collaborated with Lamborghini are Touring, Bertone, Marcello Gandini, ItalDesign, Franco Scaglione, Mario Marazzi, and Zagato. Not all of these designers originally worked in the automobile industry. For example, Mario Marazzi was an Italian coachbuilder. On the other hand, designing automobiles was a specialty of many of those who collaborated with Lamborghini.
They Have Some Unusual Models
When people think of Lamborghini, it is usually the high-performance, luxury grand tourers that come to mind. However, this is not the only style of car that Lamborghini have manufactured over the years. In fact, they have created some quite unusual models. As the company had experience in producing tractors, it seemed a natural progression to manufacture a car with off-road capabilities. The first SUV they built was the Lamborghini LM002. It combined off-road capabilities with speed and luxury. At the time, only Landrover could really compete with what this car had to offer. Unfortunately, this model was not well received and those looking for an off-road car opted for companies who were established in this field. They did receive orders from the armed forces of Libya and Saudi Arabia, but they only sold a total of 301 vehicles.
Cars Are Named After Bulls
Each car manufacturer has its own way of finding the perfect name for every model of its cars. Sometimes, each model has a unique name that is unrelated to any other model. In other instances, car manufacturers have a recurring theme for choosing names. In the case of Lamborghini, the recurring theme is bulls. Ferruccio Lamborghini was a big fan of Spanish bullfighting. It was something he enjoyed watching in his spare time and was passionate about. He enjoyed the drama and entertainment of the bullfighting events and could see what a powerful animal the bull is. He likened this power to the power of his vehicles. For these reasons, he decided that he would use the names of famous Spanish fighting bulls for his cars. The first model to take the name of a bull was the Lamborghini Miura. This became a theme and many more models of cars were produced that took on the name of a famous bullfighting bull.
The Car at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show Had No Engine
The innovative engines of the Lamborghini are one aspect of its design that makes it so popular and desired. However, the first Lamborghini the company ever showed to the public didn’t even have an engine. The Lamborghini 350 GTV was launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 1966. While visitors at the show could see the engines of most of the other cars, they were surprised that they could not view the engine of the Lamborghini. The reason for this was that the car did not have an engine. The simple explanation for this was that although the bodywork was ready for the show, there were some final touches that Lamborghini needed to make to the engine before they were happy for it to be viewed by the public. While it may seem like a negative that they presented their creation in this way, the fact that Lamborghini did not have an engine in their car became a talking point that sparked interest in the company. It also showed that they were perfectionists and people who buy such high-end cars desire perfection in their purchases.
The Lamborghini Countach was Produced for 16 Years
One of the longest standing models manufactured by Lamborghini was the Lamborghini Countach. It was first produced in 1974 and the company were still producing this car in 1990. Although many Lamborghinis were named after bulls, this is one example of one of their models that had a name completely unrelated to bulls. The word ‘countach’ has been translated in many ways, but comes from the dialect of Piedmont and is used as an expression of surprise. It is said the car got his name when Nuccio Bertone first saw the sketches of the design of the car and exclaimed ‘Countach!’. The shape of the car pioneered and popularized the wedge-shape in sports cars. It was also innovative as part of the design was the cab forward concept. This pushed the passengers forwards, thus allowing more space for a rear-mounted engine. There were eight models of the Lamborghini Countach altogether; Countach LP500 prototype, Countach LP400, Countach LP400 S, Countach LP500 S, Countach LP Turbo S, Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole, 25th Anniversary Countach, and the Walter Wolf Countach. The latter was made originally for a Canadian businessman called Walter Wolf. He owned an LP400 but was dissatisfied with the engine. He asked Lamborghini to create the car with a higher-powered engine. Lamborghini obliged making one model of this car for Walter Wolf himself and two others which were sold to other buyers. Over the 16 years that Lamborghini produced the Countach, they manufactured 2,042 cars.
The Design is Inspired by Fighter Planes
Designers get their ideas from everywhere and the inspiration for some of the Lamborghini models is no different. In fact, the design of some Lamborghinis is inspired by fighter planes. The steel-cut body style has become the signature look of Lamborghini and it was originally designer Filippo Perini that was responsible for this design. Perini has admitted that he was inspired by fighter planes, especially the American F-22 and B-2 aircrafts. He had seen these while working on the Lamborghini Aventador. Strangely, it is believed that the Lamborghini Aventador was inspired by a green insect.
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Tesla is a giant in the technological and automotive arenas, an innovator that is always striving to change the way the world perceives cars. They have taken on the difficult task of eliminating the need for fossil fuels by inventing a range of electric cars with the capacity to compete against their traditional counterparts. If you’d like to learn more, consider these 21 interesting facts about Tesla:
- Tesla has the honor of being the 2nd oldest publicly listed automaker in the US. The oldest is Ford.
- Detroit, Michigan is the heart of America’s automotive industry. But Tesla operates out of Silicon Valley in California.
- Elon Musk is currently the face of the company. This has driven people to assume that he created Tesla. But the actual founders are Marc Tarpenning and Eric Eberhard.
- The company got its name from Nikola Tesla. Eberhard was at Disneyland with his wife when the name came to him. She approved of his choice.
- Elon Musk joined the company in 2004. He is a shareholder who owns 23% of the company’s stock.
- In 2004, Tesla was seeking a cash infusion. They managed to deliver a driveable Tesla, attracting all the right attention and getting the financial assistance they needed to grow. Musk eventually entered the picture, becoming the chairman of the board of directors.
- Musk’s ascension as the face of Tesla coincided with a souring of his relationship with Eberhard. Hostilities between the two eventually ended in a legal battle. The situation was resolved in a settlement out of court.
- Elon Musk has injected $54.5 million of his own money into Tesla.
- Tesla had a debt of $355 million that it paid off nine years early because of the company’s massive profits.
- Whereas Tesla’s competitors use large format lithium-ion cells, they have created a battery pack with thousands of cheap commodity cells that are reminiscent of the batteries you see on laptops.
- Tesla’s first electric vehicle was ‘The Roadster’. Debuting in 2008, Elon Musk called it a disaster. It has since been discontinued.
- The Roadster’s descendants are the Model S and Model X.
- The Model X won the ‘Motor Trend Car of the Year’ Award, the first electric vehicle to do so.
- With an armored shield that is more than 6mm thick protecting the underbody, some have compared the Model S to a tank.
- The Model S has a 17-inch touch screen display, the largest interface of its kind on the market. You can use it to access the owner’s manual. The parking sensors will keep you apprised of your distance from the nearest obstacles.
- The Model X has falcon doors for the backseat, a biohazard filter, and a windshield with the largest piece of glass any manufacturer has ever used in a production vehicle.
- The Model X only requires 3.2 seconds to get from 0 to 60 mph. That’s faster than most supercars!
- The Model X has a defensive mode designed to keep drivers safe from biological attacks.
- Tesla intends to introduce Semis and self-driving mini-buses to America’s roads.
Bonus Tesla facts!
- The company currently employs some 30,000 people.
- The company has sold over 125,000 cars since 2008.
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Nissan is one of the most recognizable names in the automotive industry. It stands to reason, as the company has existed in some form for around a century. Over those years Nissan has done some incredible things for the industry and it continues to innovate. Here are a few amazing facts about Nissan and its fascinating history.
1. NISSAN IS TO JAPAN WHAT FORD IS TO AMERICA
The United States led the world in car production for the first few decades of the industry’s existence, but automotive invention and innovation grew up independently all over the world. Nissan, then known as Nihon Sangyo Company Limited, handled the majority of Japan’s car needs in the early 20th century. Starting with the acquisition of the famous Datsun in 1932, Nissan expanded its brand with everything from pickup trucks to convertibles.
2. NISSAN USED TO BUILD ROCKETS
It was thanks to Nissan’s aerospace division that Japan launched its first orbital satellite in 1970. The carmaker produced the Lambda 4S-5 spacecraft that sent the Osumi satellite into space. Sadly, Nissan sold the aerospace division in 2000 to focus exclusively on the car business.
3. NISSAN HOLDS THE FOUR-SEAT ACCELERATION RECORD
It’s true that there is at least one car that goes from 0 to 60 MPH faster than the Nissan GT-R, but those speed demons are all small or, in most cases, experimental vehicles. The GT-R, a four-seat Nissan car, hits that iconic acceleration mark in under three seconds. That’s approaching the physical limit for what’s safe for drivers, so it’s the biggest driving thrill you’re likely to get without special safety equipment.
4. RACE CARS WITH HIDDEN UMBRELLAS
When we think of modern convenience in cars, we tend to think of satellite navigation and smartphone app integration. But back in the late 1970s, Nissan went a bit more low-tech with the Pulsar GTi-R racing car. In the driver side door frame, Nissan installed an umbrella in its own specialized compartment. Silly? Perhaps, but it probably kept plenty of the company’s award-winning racers dry on rainy days at the track.
5. LAW-ABIDING CARS
Nissan’s GT-R line of performance vehicles has a history of breaking records, especially when it comes to racing. Japanese law has recently placed top speed limits on cars within the country’s borders, though, so Nissan has come up with a unique solution. The newest GT-R cars electronically limit their top speed to 180 km/h, the upper reaches afforded by the law, but the onboard computer will lift that limit if the GPS recognizes that the car is on an approved race track.
6. FOUR PEOPLE BUILD ALL NISMO ENGINES
The top-performing engines of Nissan’s Nismo brand are all hand-built by four master engineers at the Yokohama factory. Each piece of the engine is formed and placed by hand, then rigorously inspected before the engine gets the official nameplate signifying its approval by the exacting standards of these experts.
A company as long-lived and ambitious as Nissan is a wealth of incredible stories. Use these few examples as inspiration to dive deeper into the automaker’s amazing history.
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With the automatic cars becoming affordable, most of the new-age drivers are switching to automatic transmission-equipped cars. The sheer ease of driving and hassle-free operation of an automatic is a major factor why people are switching from manual transmission cars. Here are 10 must-know things about AMT cars that very few people actually tell you:
1- There’s a difference in AMTs and Proper Automatic Transmission
An AMT does not function like other automatic cars because of which it might feel like a downgrade considering the feel isn’t the same and to some, the driving experience might even feel sluggish. For people who are first-time owners an AMT in the name of an automatic transmission vehicle, you’ll end up being pleased by how convenient these cars are.
2- There’s no clutch
Unlike a Manual Transmission car where you’re supposed to manage the clutch regularly, in an AMT, the car takes care of the clutch for you. AMT per se stands for Automated Manual Transmission. The working of the transmission remains the same, it just takes away the hassle of the clutch and manually switching gears making it much easier for you to drive. It’s actually easier than riding a gear-less scooter.
3- Easy to buy, easy to maintain
In the automatic segment of cars, AMTs are a more affordable option. What AMTs are basically cars with some automatic transmission functioning added to a manual gearbox. Considering the fact that it’s not such a complicated thing to add, AMT gearbox is available in a lot of budget hatchbacks. There’s no need for an all-new transmission, a couple of additional features are all that are required which helps keep the cost low. These additional features are actually what make AMTs more cost-effective in terms of maintenance as opposed to cars with manual gearboxes.
4- Good fuel efficiency
Compared to conventional automatic transmissions, AMTs are more fuel-efficient. Considering AMTs are part manual, they don’t impact the fuel efficiency; giving out the same average as its manual counterparts.
5- Manual transmission traits
There’s always another side to each coin and so is the case of AMTs. While AMT vehicles are easy to drive and deliver the same fuel efficiency as manual, they don’t offer features like parking mode, hill descent, and hill hold. So make sure that you develop a habit of using the handbrake if you have/are planning to buy a car equipped with AMT.
6- Control your car & shift gears
Most of the AMT cars get the usual stick which you can use whenever you feel the need to control your vehicle manually. This take-things-in-your-hands option isn’t generally offered in many conventional automatic cars. There’s an upside to having a car that offers you the option of up-shifting and downshifting as per your will, which AMT equipped cars to offer.
7- AMTs are getting better by the day
Tech is developing at a tremendous speed in all walks of like, and cars are a big part of technological development. You can buy AMTs that offer features like hill hold (it’s available in cars like Tata Nexon & Renault Duster). Aside from adding to improving the driving experience, it also allows a driver to relax even as the car is parked on inclined surface/terrain.
8- Driving in traffic? No need to accelerate
Having to drive in traffic is a driver’s nightmare however, the ATM cars sold in our country now come with a feature called ‘creep’. This ‘Creep’ feature allows your car to move slowly while in traffic without having to put your foot on the accelerator. Just imagine how easy heavy traffic situations look now. Your car won’t turn off in first gear, your car will move slowly on its own, you’ll just have to keep a hand on the steering and that’s that.
9- Driving downhill is a bit of a task
Manual cars have engine braking systems and a lot of people count on it while driving downhill or stopping the car over a shorter distance. Funny thing is, AMT cars don’t give you control of the clutch which means that you don’t get an engine braking system. EBS keeps your car in lower gears while driving on slopes or plane surfaces which eventually reduces the vehicle speed. You can switch to the manual mode but different cars may behave differently so you need to understand your car and adjust accordingly.
10- Think before you overtake
Some planning goes into overtaking when it comes to AMT cars. Even when you have the option to switch to manual mode, it’s still a bothersome task to overtake in an AMT considering the fact that they are a bit sluggish irrespective of how well advanced/developed they are. Even in manual mode, they can’t match the gear shifting speed of an actual manual car or other more advanced automatic transmission vehicles.
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Automatics dominate the market. But if you think they’re superior to manual transmission cars, here are 10 facts that might just change your mind.
Firstly, manual transmissions aren’t dead, yet. And there are still many who believe that true performance can only come from a manual transmission, even though the 2020 Corvette has officially dumped manual transmissions in favor of automatic. Call it retro, or old-fashioned, or standard – manual transmissions are what started it all.
The first automatic transmission, the GM Hydra-Matic would not be available to the public until the 1940 models of Oldsmobile and later the 1941 models of Cadillac. Even so, many cars still retain a manual transmission to date, along with pricier automatic versions, of course.
If the automatic transmission has still not been able to completely edge out the manual, there has to be a good reason why right? So, why are manual transmissions held in such high regard? Actually, there are plenty of reasons. And on that note, here go 10 facts about manual transmissions that may take you by surprise.
1. Manual Transmissions Save Fuel
Automatic transmission operates on a hydraulic pump that tends to make the car guzzle fuel. Manual transmissions, on the other hand, normally consume less fuel than their automatic counterparts. And in the long run, even a slight edge in fuel economy can lead to massive benefits, both in the financial and environmental sense.
2. Manual Transmissions Are Subservient To The Driver
There are two kinds of drivers: those who want complete control over their ride, and those who are happy even in self-driven cars. Manual transmissions are for the former because when you drive a stick shift, you decide when to gear up or down, not the car. Of course, many AT cars also offer paddle shifts for the driver to have a modicum of control on the gears as well.
3. There Are No Pedal-Delays In Manual
Unlike automatic transmissions, where there may be split-second delays between you pressing the gas pedal and the car deciding on which gear to go ahead with, manual transmission rides are prompter. If you know the speed range and the gears that go along with it, pressing the gas pedal will instantly and speed up the car. In fact, this is why NASCAR is still manual.
4. Manual Transmissions Are Better On Track
If you’re an aspiring amateur racer, park that automatic transmission ride in your garage and come to the track in a manual. The acceleration, braking, and turning on race tracks tend to cook the fluids in AT, which can kill your car. Plus, with a manual transmission car on a track, you control the car and it will dance to your tunes a lot better than an automatic.
5. Manual Transmission Cars Are Sturdier
You may grind gears on a manual transmission if you’re a bit new to stick shift or end up burning the clutch on steep inclines and such but remember – manual transmissions cost a lot less to repair than automatic transmissions. With fewer parts, maintenance is easier and consequently cheaper.
6. Manuals Are Easier To Maintain
The automatic transmission cars need more regular fluid and filter change. While this is part of your normal annual service, it will cost you more simply because the frequency of the service of an automatic transmission may be higher than if the car had a manual transmission. The reason for this is the high temperatures of the fluids resulting from the slippage of the torque converter.
7. Learning Stick Shift Is Tough
Honestly, driving automatic transmission is a breeze compared to learning how to operate a stick shift. Manual transmission involves heavy use of the clutch and a general feel of when to up-shift or downshift before the car starts to shudder (being slow on a higher gear) or lets out an engine whine (high speed on a lower gear).
8. Once You Learn Manual, You Can Drive Anything
No, not a plane. But almost any ground vehicle can be driven if you know how to handle that clutch and stick shift. Once you’ve learned the intricacies of manual transmissions, which aren’t many, it’s easy to drive small-to-big cars, pickups, trucks, and even farming and construction equipment.
9. People With Disabilities May Not Find Manual Comfortable
In case you have a disability or even a temporary injury that’s restricting the use of one or more limbs, manual transmission becomes a problem. You need to manage the clutch pedal with your foot, keep one hand on the steering whilst changing gears with your right (or left) – so to drive manual, you need to be in mint physical health.
10. Manual Transmission Is An Informed Choice
Honestly, anyone can drive an automatic. It is easier than riding a bicycle. So the fact that you drive a manual transmission car shows that you really have some serious driving skills and that you know your cars and their stick shifts. Manual Transmissions mean dedicated driving, and for the car aficionado, there’s nothing better than a stick shift.
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