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Unread 13th March 2018, 05:21 AM
Bridgestone Bridgestone is offline
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Default 5 Game-Changing Vehicle Technologies

It’s easy to forget just how much the car you drive has changed over time. While most of your car’s technology has been widely introduced with safety in mind, much of the tech also has its origins on the race track.

Here are 5 of the most game-changing technologies to ever be introduced to your car.

1. Forced Induction

Forced induction is the compression of intake air resulting in more oxygen entering each cylinder, generating more power. Both turbochargers and superchargers can do this, but a turbocharger is the common choice today.

Early examples of turbocharged engines didn’t produce much boost pressure when in the low rev range and suffered from ‘turbo lag’, however, modern twin scroll turbine design and technology has allowed for boost to be reached much earlier.

But in an effort to lower vehicle emissions the addition of turbos to smaller engines is seeing the demise of bigger, naturally-aspirated units.

2. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control (TC)

Early traction control systems were a safety mechanism introduced to reduce wheel spin and the loss of control in slippery conditions. But for careless drivers it also meant they needn't worry about erroneous throttle input.

Modern ESC and TC has now evolved to the point that it can allow a vehicle to drive on its absolute limit without fear of losing it. The latest Ford Focus RS is one example where power is modulated at each wheel and perfectly calculated according to the amount of steering and throttle input.

3. Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT)

A technology originally developed for racing, DCT gearboxes allow rapid gear changes and other tricks such as launch control.

Inside a DCT are two clutches – one for even gears and one for odd gears. This means when driving in either an even or odd gear the other clutch is able to engage the next cog. The result is rapid gear changes without losing acceleration. It has also led to features such as launch control, which helps shoot the Nissan GT-R Nismo from 0-100km/h in just 2.7sec.

4. Electric Motors

Full electric and hybrid cars were once something reserved for eco-warriors, but the technology is now used in many new supercars that can accelerate as fast as some of the quickest petrol-powered rivals.

The advantage of an electric motor over an internal combustion engine is that it provides full torque from 0rpm. Of course, it would be impossible to provide 800Nm from 0rpm because of traction and that thing called physics, so, electric cars usually have all-wheel drive and rely on sophisticated traction control algorithms.

The Tesla Model S P100D uses a full electric powertrain to accelerate 0-100km/h in just 2.7sec... But there’s the even faster Ferrari LaFerrari that produces 708kw and 900Nm of power from its hybrid electric 6.3-litre V12 driveline and rockets 0-300km/h in under 15.0sec.

5. Fuel Injection

Perhaps the days of fuel injection are numbered as more electric cars enter the market, but in the 1980s it replaced the long-trusted carburettor when emissions testing required a more efficient fuel delivery.

Early systems weren’t great but fuel injection was rapidly revolutionised and helped lead the way to increasing turbocharger boost pressure, shutting down cylinders when cruising for economy and lowering emissions.

What has been your favourite development in the world of car tech? What are you excited about in the future? Share your thoughts below or join the conversation on Facebook.


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Unread 13th March 2018, 08:58 AM
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Driverless cars have a huge problem to overcome that I haven't heard being discussed yet, that is, how do they or will they know when & how to safely dodge pot holes in the roads?
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Unread 13th March 2018, 09:02 AM
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Ben Up North Ben Up North is online now
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At least pot holes don't bounce around like Kangaroos..
SLO White Foz, Quicksilver SVX!
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Unread 13th March 2018, 09:37 AM
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Mate, you should see the bloody roads in the USA after Winter, it looks like WW1 battlefield, they are not potholes, they are bloody craters.

When you hire a car in Boston they ask you if you want to take out "Pothole Insurance", we thought the Avis bird was having a go at us until we got outside the Airport and onto the Freeways etc., then we soon realised our folly of not taking the Insurance. Lucky for us we got from Boston to Montreal and around the top side of the Great Lakes to Niagara Falls - Detroit MI - Harrisburg PA and down to Washington DC without doing a tyre or a wheel.

I was just talking a mate a moment ago who lives in Detroit and he was saying a guy on their NEWS tonight, had done 10 tyres this Winter alone and it's not even Spring over there yet.
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Unread 13th March 2018, 09:38 AM
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This system will avoid both potholes and roos, also leaving the roads clear for me
Red Manual MY06 Forester 2.5XS
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Unread 13th March 2018, 09:41 AM
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^ very kool!
MY'03 Foz AT XS with centre lock-up
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MY'97 Outback RIP
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Unread 13th March 2018, 11:22 AM
scalman scalman is offline
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No system will avoid bad stuff if there is no place to avoid that . id rather drive my car myself all times . thanks but no autopilot for me ever. If i no wanna drive car i would just go train or bus then and relax.
I think crusie control its needed and very helpfull but just for keeping speed and lettinf you rest your legs, but driving part i still want to do myself.
Electric cars and motorcycles are future as i see it. Electric house charge your electric car and bike when you sleep and then in day you have enough batterys life to just have fun all dag. Thats future for me and green one. For now for electric offroad we have very nice offroad bikes that have so much torque as no petrol ones do . its just amazing fun in silence and no emisions.
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