Ken Block and Need for Speed teamed up to film the sixth installment of the world famous Gymkhana video series. They set out to create the ultimate gymkhana course which resulted in some pretty solid stunts. Check it out:
Source: Need For Speed
Cutworm Specialties of Hayesville, NC built what will probably be one of the standouts of this year’s SEMA show. The aluminum dually is inspired by a Ford Model A but is entirely scratch-built by hand. Check out the video from eGarage to see the truck in motion and the small shop where it was built. Cutworm specialties is based out of a building that used be a general store belonging to the owner’s grandfather who was also the inspiration for the name of the business. The two guys who built the truck take some time to explain why they loving building Hot Rods at the end.
Big rig stunt and race driver Mike Ryan teamed up with Gale Banks of Banks Power to redesign the compound turbo setup on his Freightliner race truck for this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Mike had previously been running turbos designed for tractor pulls. The problem is the setup only made power at high engine rpm’s and it wasn’t getting enough air into the Detroit Diesel inline-6 at low rpm’s. This made the truck sluggish accelerating out of the turns on the hill climb. Gale Banks thought it would be more useful for Mike to have a super-turbo which is also known as twincharging. This is when an engine has both a belt-driven supercharger for low rpm boost and an exhaust-driven turbocharger for efficient high rpm boost. Banks Power also adapted a fuel injection system for use with a water and methanol mixture. Meth injection is used before and after the supercharger as well as being directly injected into the cylinders to lower the temperature of the compressed air for more efficient combustion. They also designed a water fogger system to cool the intercooler and the front brakes of the truck. The end result is 2,500 horsepower and 5,000 foot-pounds of usable low-rpm torque. Gale Banks explains all of the upgrades in this interview:
Here’s some race footage of the Freightliner on course at Pikes Peak. Mike and Gale talk about the effectiveness of the super-turbo system at the end. The course was pretty wet this year which resulted in slower times, but these two guys want to come back for 2014 and be the first semi in the 11-minute range.
Sources: The Fast Lane Truck
and Banks Power Insider
Here’s another example of art imitating life and life imitating art. A lot of people regard Elon Musk, founder of Tesla car company and SpaceX rocket company, as the inspiration for at least some of the aspects of Tony Stark in the Iron Man movies (Musk had a cameo in Iron Man 2 where they talk about building an electric plane before the race in Monaco). Now they’ve flipped the script and Elon has invented a new way to navigate 3D CAD models that is similar to what Tony Stark uses to design the Iron Man suits in the movies. The best way to wrap your mind around the concept is to think of touchscreen interaction in three dimensions. Hopefully this makes creating and interacting with CAD models significantly more intuitive for everybody. I have full confidence that the open-source community could actually make something similar to this using an Xbox Kinnect and an Arduino microcontroller. We here at Flux Auto think the power of 3D modeling and digital manufacturing should be in as many hands as possible. Pun not originally intended, but we’ll go with it since it works really well here.
The prototype for the Mission RS first appeared 2 years ago as the Mission Motors Mission R. Since then, the company has changed names and turned the prototype into a production bike. I would say that the Mission RS is the two wheel equivalent of the Tesla Model S. What I mean by that is the Mission RS offers equivalent performance of an internal combustion powered sport bike without compromise. The performance is good straight up, not just when compared to other electric powered motorcycles. Mission spec’ed the same Ohlins NX30 fork, Ohlins TTX36 shock, Brembo brakes and Marchesini forged wheels as Ducati’s 1199 Panigale R. Weight is minimized by having all of the parts of the frame be stressed structural members. Power is provided by a 120 kilowatt 3-phase AC motor which puts down 160 horsepower and and 130 foot-pounds of torque to the rear wheel through a single gear ratio. A modular, passively cooled battery pack lives in the center of the frame and is available up to a 17 kilowatt-hour capacity. To put that into perspective, the Mission RS’s battery capacity is between the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf. The result is a real world range of 140 miles and a top speed of 150 mph (not at the same time). Jay Leno got to take the bike out for some street impressions:
And here’s somebody with more racing chops taking it around the Wilzig Racing Manor:
Mission Motorcycles x Wilzig Racing Manor from Mission Motorcycles on Vimeo.
Sources: Jay Leno’s Garage on YouTube, Mission Motorcycles and RideApart