Monthly Archives: February 2016

Find The Best of British GT

The British GT Championship makes its final stop of the season at Donington Park on 11 September, and you could be there to see both class titles decided in style, with supercars from Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini and McLaren doing battle.

Pirelli is the official tyre supplier for the series, which sees all cars competing on just one specification of tyre, designed to be strong under all conditions. For dry weather, the GT3 cars have the P Zero DHC tyre and the GT4 cars make use of the P Zero DH tyre. For wet weather, both categories use the Cinturato WH tyre.

Auto Express has teamed up with Pirelli to offer a money-can’t-buy prize. As well as VIP hospitality and grid-walk passes for two, you’ll be treated to pre-race laps around Donington Park aboard British GT’s McLaren 570S safety car, before bringing the two-hour title decider to a close by waving the chequered flag!

Four lucky runners-up will also win a pair of general admission and grid-walk passes for the event.

For a chance to win this fabulous British GT experience simply answer this question:

Where will the 2016 British GT season finale take place?

A. Silverstone

B. Brands Hatch

C. Donington Park

Terms and conditions: No grid access for those aged 16 and under. Winners are responsible for their own travel to and from Donington Park. Prize valid for Sunday 11 September only. Safety Car passenger laps start at midday with sign-on beforehand. Passengers are subject to a safety disclaimer. Helmets will be provided. Total prize value non-refundable.

Based on psychological research, the brand’s new personality test asks you questions like what skill you believe is most important in life, what you like doing with your spare time and what annoys you most about other people. These questions might appear to have precisely nothing to do with the colour of your car but Ford thinks it’s cracked the code.

Answer the questions and the quiz will attempt to determine which colour car you drive from the different personality traits that are commonly associated with that colour. White, for example, is generally regarded as a very clean, precise and modern colour, while red is seen as a passionate, active and confident colour.

Is Ford really using digital wizardry and a little bit of psychological knowhow to  get inside your head? Is it going all Paul McKenna and reading your mind through the power of the internet?

The great of American cars

unduhanThe culture around American cars is so diverse, it means totally different things to different people. For many, it’s all about the mighty American Muscle Cars with their monster V8s and pumped-up styling. Other classic American car buffs love the chrome and fins of the rockin’ and rollin’ 1950s. Then there’s the Al Capone gangster period, and of course hot-rod and drag racing culture to consider too.

Some people will think of icons from closer to the dawn of motoring, such as the instantly recognisable Model T Ford. Others will immediately think of the geeky cool of the modern day electric Tesla Model S.

Motorsport has always been central to the American car dream, through machines like the Shelby Cobra and Chevrolet Corvette, not to mention the more everyday vehicles that are pressed into service in the spectacular NASCAR series.

On the road here in the UK though, it’s often the outlandish scale and style of more everyday road cars that appeals, as well as the burble of a meaty V8 engine. Classic American cars for sale reflect interest in every genre. Well-known classic models likeFord Mustangs, Chevrolet Camaros and Dodge Challengers attract ever higher prices, while all manner of old American cars can be found in the classifieds. Newer ones too, thanks to the recent trend of US manufacturers to ‘globalise’ their products and sell them here. Some, like Jeep, have been around in the UK for years, but Chevrolet is a relatively recent arrival, and Tesla is the newest kid on the block. You can buy a Corvette ‘officially’, and even Ford’s new Mustang is finally available here in right hand drive.

So for lovers of all American car brands, and of the new and old American cars they have created, this is our guide to 10 of our favourites.

Click on the links below to explore our Top 10 American Cars, and add your own thoughts in the comments…

  1. 1. Ford Mustang
  2. 2. Corvette
  3. 3. Cadillac Eldorado
  4. 4. Ford Model T
  5. 5. Jeep
  6. 6. Tesla Model S
  7. 7. Oldsmobile Curved Dash
  8. 8. Cadillac Type 53
  9. 9. Ford GT40
  10. 10. Duesenberg Model J

The Inside Of Car Power

A new carbon composite, which is the material used in recent car trunks, is now capable of running LED lights and this can help electric vehicles on a dual front.

This new composite material can at the same time withstand mechanical loads and stock electrical energy, scientists in UK and Belgium have mentioned who are the creators of this technology. Being based on activated carbon fibres, the structural supercapacitor is formed into a car boot lid that is capable of powering LEDs.

This composite can be viewed as a substitute to assembling two separate components that could aid electric vehicles by constructing bodywork which stocks power too, thus saving up on space as well as weight.

‘Multifunctional structural energy materials hold great promise in enabling more energy efficient and environmentally-friendly technologies, as they will make a considerable difference in terms of how we store and deliver energy in the future,’ says Guihua Yu, an energy storage specialist at the University of Texas in Austin, US.

Milo Shaffer of Imperial College of London, UK, is of the idea that carbon based materials are the base of various structural composites as well as electrochemical devices. He created a material that combined the strength and stiffness of structural carbon fibers and the ionic conductivity of activated carbon.

A crucial part of the study revolved around increasing the surface area of structural carbon fibers for usage as supercapacitor electrodes. The surface area and specific capacitance could be increased by three orders of magnitude formation of highly porous carbon aerogel around the fibers and this provided added benefits to its mechanical properties.

Shaffer confirms that the main challenge of the study arrived in the form of multifunctional electrolyte which needs to combine mechanical properties with ionic conductivity – two essentially inverse concepts. A balance in the performance levels was achieved by coming up with a bicontinuous structure consisting of an epoxy resin for its mechanical properties and an ionic liquid for purpose of ionic conduction.

The composites have a laminated nature and this helps energy storage devices like for instance lithium ion batteries, and the like. The question remains – ‘Why a supercapacitor then?’ Batteries have a lot of issues with volume expansion and therefore it is a tad bit difficult to make these devices well structured. Shaffer explains, ‘which is why we found supercapacitors interesting;you can have a useful energy function but don’t necessarily have any volume change.’

There is something else that needs a mention too: the power density of the material – which happens to be lower than the current technologically advanced supercapacitors. Nevertheless, Shaffer is conscious of the shortcomings of the material and the development of such a system is no easy task.

‘It is a critical step toward the right direction; various possible ways were tried to develop an optimised, processable device system,’ explains Chuizhou Meng, a supercapacitor expert at Purdue University in the US. ‘Many studies in the future will be guided by this work following the research strategy of elaborately finding a balance between mechanical and electrochemical properties.’