Cruise Missile: If you still haven’t gotten over the news that Tom and Katie have split up, you can console yourself with bidding on a Porsche 928 driven by the couch-jumper himself in the 1983 film Risky Business. It’s one of three that appeared in the movie, and is expected to go for about $60,000, way more than you’d have to pay for a mint 928 that was never driven by a slightly unhinged movie star. The car goes on sale July 28 at the Profiles in History’s Hollywood Treasures from the Vault sale.
Herbie Goes F1 Racing?: Rumors are swirling about a Volkswagen entry in Formula 1, the world’s most popular motorsport and the place where fortunes go to die. F1 is a big draw in developing nations where car sales are increasing, and VW thinks getting its name out in front of all those potential customers could be a good business decision. The twist, however, is that VW would likely race the car under the name of one of the other companies it owns, such as Audi or Porsche, both of which have richer racing histories than Volkswagen.
If You Want Economy You Have To Pay For It: Electric cars are supposed to free us from shelling out for ever-more-expensive gasoline, right? So what’s the point of an electric car that costs $1 million? Prestige, apparently. The Rimac Concept One has a claimed range of 373 miles and a 0-60 time of 2.8 seconds. It has an electric motor at each wheel and puts out the equivalent of 1,088 horsepower. Only 88 will be made, and presumably sold to customers who aren’t smart enough to calculate how much gas they can buy for a million bucks.
That’s Using The Old Bean: Getting oil on your tires isn’t a good idea, which is odd because tires are actually made out of petroleum. But because petroleum is getting scarce, Goodyear is having a go at making tires out of oil from soybeans instead of dinosaurs. Soybean oil could reduce Goodyear’s oil use by 7 million gallons per year, and it blends better with the silica in tires. A 10-percent increase in tread life is thought possible, too. But take care of the tires you have now because the soybean Goodyears won’t be available until 2015, assuming they work out at all.
Coming Clean: Researchers in the Netherlands have developed a surface coating that cleans itself and even self-repairs small scratches. Special “stalks” tipped with the chemicals needed for self-repair are mixed throughout the coating, and because dirt doesn’t bond to the coating, rain simply washes it off.
Rise Of The Machines: Human researchers at General Motors are diligently paving the way for the takeover by our future robot overlords by developing a wireless system capable of detecting pedestrians and bicyclists on congested streets before the driver notices them. Artificial-intelligence experts predict that cars will soon take us wherever we want to go while we text and talk on the phone and the vehicle makes all the important decisions regarding speed, routing, following distances, accident avoidance, and how much Soylent Green we can be rendered down to.
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