Posts from the ‘Car Racing’ Category

Virtual Wheels

In the beginning, the video game universe was a simple place, populated with the most basic of adolescent fantasies: playing sports, battling ghosts and aliens, and, of course, driving fast cars. Well, sort of driving cars.

The first arcade-style driving game, Atari’s “Gran Trak 10,” debuted in 1974, just two years after “Pong.” It was a single-player, race-against-the-clock competition in which the driver maneuvered a race-car icon around a simple 2-dimensional track. Primitive for sure — the graphics were laughable — but it did feature a real steering-wheel controller and a 3-speed gear shifter. Even so, the driving experience wasn’t exciting or, for that matter, close to lifelike.

It wasn’t until the 1990s that software designers bothered incorporating believable driving dynamics and real-world vehicles into their virtual creations. When it debuted on the original Sony PlayStation console in 1997, “Gran Turismo” set a new benchmark for racing simulations with its industry-leading graphics and the true-to-life performance characteristics of its virtual vehicles — specifically, handling and acceleration. The game was an instant success.

Soon, the Xbox-exclusive “Forza Motorsport” franchise began doing the same, and the dueling series turned racing games into powerful, surreptitious marketing tools, in which players spent as much time driving their virtual racers as they did lovingly customizing their exteriors.
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More Speeds for Audi

A formal press conference probably won’t happen until this summer, but we hear that Audi dealers have received their 2011 order guides, and it looks as though the company will be going from 0 to about 70 percent of U.S. sales being eight-speed automatic transmissions.

Beginning this fall, the eight-speed will replace today’s six-speed automatic in the A4 2.0-liter turbo sedan and wagon, the A5 2.0-liter turbo coupe and cabriolet, the Q5 2.0-liter turbo, the Q7 3.0-liter turbo, the Q7 diesel, the Q7 with the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 and the all-new A8 and A8L with the 4.2-liter V8.

The A3 2.0-liter turbo will come with either the dual-clutch or six-speed manual. The TT 2.0-liter turbo will only come with the dual-clutch. Front-drive A4s with the 2.0-liter turbo have CVTs. Front-drive A5 cabriolets with the 2.0-liter turbo will have CVTs.

The S4 sedan with the supercharged 3.0-liter six comes with either a dual-clutch or six-speed manual. The S5 coupe with the 4.2-liter V8 will come with either Tiptronic or six-speed manual. The S5 cabriolet with the supercharged 3.0-liter six will come with the dual-clutch trans. A6s will come with either CVT or Tiptronic. The S6 will have Tiptronic, as will the Q5 with the 3.2-liter six. V8 and V10 R8s will have either the sequential R-tronic or the six-speed manual.

Audi is also the only car company selling cars here with 100 percent direct-injection gasoline engines, as of the 2010 model year.

Design Features of Formula One Racing Cars

One of the most popular sports in the world is Formula One racing. One of the things that makes Formula One racing different than all other racing sports is the set of very stringent rules that drivers must adhere to in order to participate in the race.

There are regulations about the design of the track, the rules of the race and the construction of the race cars that participate in the Formula One racing events.

Cars must be able to travel at the fastest speed possible and be equipped with certain safety features.

Aerodynamic design is used to incorporate both speed and fuel efficiency in Formula One racecars.

The engineers who design the car use aerodynamic design to make the car be able to reach maximum speed and still be able to handle well around the turns in the track. Aerodynamics is a term usually used when referring to airplanes or jets.

Although Formula One race cars, unlike airplanes, must have a down force. This is necessary to be able to keep the tires on the track, especially as the car is speeding around dangerous curves all of the time. The Formula One cars that are designed today have such a down force that they are said to literally be able to be driven upside down.

Formula One racing requires the driver to drive at extremely high speeds and to be able to slow down quickly in the case of a stalled car.
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Nitrous Oxide Systems (NOS) No Laughing Matter

If you’re like me, you only watched all the installments of Fast and the Furious for the cars. Whatever your reasons, those movies immortalized nitrous oxide as the most popular means of boosting a car’s performance.

You wouldn’t think it, but we gear-heads have the German Second World War scientists to thank for our precious gas.

The story’s been told over and over, but for those of you who don’t know, nitrous oxide was used in military aircraft to compensate for loss of engine power the thinner air at higher altitude.

Years later in the 70’s, NOS (nitrous oxide systems) made a comeback on the racing circuit.

These days, fitting a nitrous kit is definitely the way to go for an instant boost in speed and power output. Usually stored in a blue gas bottle installed above the car’s centre console or in the boot (trunk), nitrous is injected into the intake where the heat breaks it down into nitrogen and oxygen molecules.

This way, more oxygen mixes with a more fuel, resulting in a much bigger combustion and therefore a bigger burst of power.
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