The Hot List: Volume 3
By Winding Road Staff
August 19, 2011
Every week we sift through a truly amazing amount of “stuff” in the dozen or so hours we spend online—you know, the time spent not driving sweet cars. A lot of the cool stuff we find has to do specifically with new cars, naturally, but there’s also a huge amount of awesomeness that doesn’t completely fit in the normal Winding Road world. To date, we’ve been in the habit of simply reading, watching, or talking amongst ourselves about this web detritus, but recently we thought it might be a good idea to start sharing it with you all. Thus, The Hot List.
We’ll aim to bring you a list of the most interesting bits of information we run across. Ten worth-knowing-about things that may or may not be related directly to the world of cars, but all of which we think our typical enthusiast readers will be able to really dig into. We won’t know, from week to week, what will show up on this list, which is part of the fun for us and for you.
Read, enjoy, and comment. If you happen to know of something that you think would make for a good inclusion on next week’s list, drop us a line at Editor@windingroad.com
This stunning motorcycle concept, designed by Min Seong Kim is almost an extension of the rider’s body. It doesn’t steer by way of handlebars; instead, the pilot steers with his or her body. The bike’s structure is made of flexible materials, inspired by human muscles, which expand and contract as needed to steer it. The structure relaxes for corners, and tightens for straight-line rigidity.
It’s a clever concept, regardless of how practical it actually is. We like it mostly for the stunning looks and unique shape of the motorcycle.
Ken Block is back with a fourth epic stunt- and smoke-filled Gymkhana video. In this one, he tears up some familiar Hollywood scenes in his Ford Fiesta rally car, which he’s calling his “Hybrid FunctionHoon Vehicle.” Robotic Sharks, Gorillas on Segways, Bollywood dancers, and, of course, incredible driving make this video his most unforgettable yet.
Photographer Andrew Bush set up a camera mounted to the passenger side of his vehicle, and snapped pictures alongside other motorists. He has collected his candid drive-by portraits into a coffee table book called Drive. The photographs are interesting, with “regular” people commuting, often in older vehicles, with comments about location and speed of travel for each image. It’s kind of weird and voyeuristic, and we like it.
Pope Paul VI’s 1964 Lincoln Continental Limousine is going under the hammer. With a 160-inch wheelbase and overall length of almost 21 feet, it features a removable roof and public address system. After its papal duties, it served as a parade car for astronauts of the Apollo 8, 11 (including Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin), 13, and 15 missions. This motive piece of history is expected to fetch between $250,000 and $350,000 at the auction.
We love gadgets, and have come to rely on our smartphones for communication and entertainment. Needless to say, our geek radar blipped when we saw this remote control helicopter that you can control with your iPhone or iPad. $50 ain’t terrible, especially when we think of all the ways we could use it to raise havoc around the office.
Have you ever wondered how many Ciminillos would fit in the trunk of your car? You’re not the only one. Jill Ciminillo, seen here in the trunk of a 2012 Rolls-Royce Ghost, crams herself into the trunks of various cars, gets a picture, and estimates how many Ciminillos would fit. Yes, she uses her name as a unit of measurement. Yes, Girl In The Trunk is funny, but it’s also surprisingly helpful, especially since trunk comfort often doesn’t garner a lot of attention in the standard drive review.
Formula 1 is on the cutting edge of racing technology, and has been using the flywheel-based KERS for extra speed and efficiency for some time. Now, Maxwell von Stein has applied this same technology to a pedal-powered two-wheeler. When braking, the bike transfers the energy to a flywheel, which spins faster. Then, that kinetic energy can be transferred back to the rear wheel, giving an added boost. Pretty clever.
Another goodie for two-wheeled travelers, particularly those who want to rough it for a while, is the Topeak Bikamber. This lightweight, one-person tent with waterproof rain fly attaches directly to your bicycle for easy camping. The tent is three-season rated, weighs just 3.6 pounds, and packs to the size of a regular travel pillow.
This one’s just sort of creepy. Researchers at the University of Michigan have created a bipedal robot that can run like a human, and do it faster than any other bipedal robot with knees. Mabel has a heavy torso and light, springed legs to resemble a human, and can run up to 6.8 miles per hour. At that speed, “she” is in the air for 40 percent of each stride, also like a human. We’re not sure how her balance is, as Mabel appears to be supported by a horizontal bar in the video.
Eterniti Motors is a new, London-based luxury brand that will be premiering on September 13 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Eterniti's website teases us with a single sketch, as well as the beautiful siren song of an engine revving through its range. It’s got our attention.
The Hot List: Volume 2
The Hot List: Volume 1