Following the success and enthusiast fanfare of past generations, the A6 allroad makes its U.S. return in 2020 with a specially tuned adaptive air suspension and quattro with ultra technology….
Tag: John Grafman
BMW and M GmbH are proud to announce the newest edition to the M8 family, the BMW M8 Gran Coupe and M8 Gran Coupe Competition. The Gran Coupe rides on…
BMW and M GmbH are proud to announce the newest edition to the M8 family, the BMW M8 Gran Coupe and M8 Gran Coupe Competition. The Gran Coupe rides on a chassis and body which is 9.1-inches longer, 1.4- inches wider, 2.3-inches taller and with an increased 7.9-inch wheelbase over the M8 Coupe, adding extra stability, comfort and rear interior space without affecting the car’s track-capable agility.
In addition to a typical Concours awards ceremony that includes ‘Best of Show’ and individual ‘Class’ awards, a series of special honors will highlight the 2019 Atlanta Concours d’Elegance (October…
In addition to a typical Concours awards ceremony that includes ‘Best of Show’ and individual ‘Class’ awards, a series of special honors will highlight the 2019 Atlanta Concours d’Elegance (October 19-20th) at Tyler Perry Studios, with special recognition for the ‘Cars of Iconic Black American’s’ to be presented by multi-talented entertainer Vanessa Williams during the noon ceremony on Sunday, October 20th.
holoride, the company advancing the future of in-vehicle entertainment, today announced it is partnering with Ford Motor Company and Universal Pictures to create a complimentary in-car virtual reality experience that…
holoride, the company advancing the future of in-vehicle entertainment, today announced it is partnering with Ford Motor Company and Universal Pictures to create a complimentary in-car virtual reality experience that will be offered to guests for a limited time beginning October 14 through select dates until November 9. Powered by technology from holoride, and set inside new 2020 Ford Explorer vehicles, with advanced connectivity specific for this experience, riders are transported to the mysterious world of the Bride of Frankenstein.
Toyota teased today what will become the most powerful RAV4 yet – the 2021 RAV4 plug-in. Bringing with it a new color, Supersonic Red, the teaser image of the RAV4…
Toyota teased today what will become the most powerful RAV4 yet – the 2021 RAV4 plug-in. Bringing with it a new color, Supersonic Red, the teaser image of the RAV4 plug-in highlights the new PHV’s surprising performance capabilities.
Almost every sporty vehicle has them – wheels made of aluminium. However, only very few people know that around 95 years ago French vehicle producer Ettore Bugatti used them for…
Almost every sporty vehicle has them – wheels made of aluminium. However, only very few people know that around 95 years ago French vehicle producer Ettore Bugatti used them for the very first time on a Type 35.
Ettore Bugatti developed wheels made of aluminium for the first time over 95 years ago
Independently from each other, inventor Charles Martin Hall and chemist Paul Héroult were the first to develop an electrolysis process to produce aluminium in 1886. Racing car designer Harry A. Miller had the idea of producing aluminium wheels in 1920. He had the concept patented, but didn’t produce any wheels.
Only company founder Ettore Bugatti succeeded shortly afterwards in casting aluminium wheels, spokes and brake drums at the company’s own foundry in Molsheim using moulds he had designed himself. The ingenious inventor and tinkerer developed the aluminium wheel further and also registered several new ideas for wheels amongst his over 500 patents. In May 1924, he registered a patent for “Improvements relating to vehicle wheels with cooling discs” and in 1933 the patent for an “Elastic wheel with radially and axially sprung rim with respect to the wheel centre”.
Bugatti Type 35 racing car uses aluminium wheels for the first time
Rather than using wheels with thin spokes, from 1924 onwards Bugatti used wheels made of cast aluminium featuring eight flat and wide spokes, a removable wheel rim and an integrated brake drum for the legendary Type 35 racing car. The simple design almost resembles a sculpture – a prime example of Ettore Bugatti’s aesthetic aspirations. However, the result was disappointing when the new wheels were first used at the Grand Prix in Lyon on 3 August 1924: several racing cars failed to finish as a result of technical issues. However, the reasons were not the wheels, but the supplied tyres. Incorrect vulcanisation caused the tread to separate from several tyres.
However, Bugatti kept faith with his innovation. In addition to the design, he also had technical reasons to develop these new wheels 95 years ago. Wheel arches are responsible for around a quarter of a vehicle’s aerodynamic drag. The more sophisticated the wheel design, the better the air flow and the lower the turbulences. These properties are combined with improved heat dissipation. In sporty vehicles where the brakes are subject to high loads, the heat generated by the brakes must dissipate quickly and to a sufficient extent. More open surfaces mean improved cooling and thus better braking efficiency. The open design featuring flat spokes helps to quickly direct the hot air generated by the brakes away without any build-up of heat.
Aluminium wheels offer many benefits
Bugatti wheels with cast-on generously ribbed brake drum offer additional benefits. The ring mounted on the outside edge of the wheel, initially with 32 then later with 24 bolts, prevented the tyre from jumping off even during fast cornering – drivers could now achieve faster cornering speeds. Thanks to central mounting, the wheels could be changed quickly in the pit lane.
These features were paired with low weight and thus lower unsprung masses compared with steel wheels. The lower the unsprung masses, the lower the moment of inertia and the better the handling. Consequently, the Type 35 was easier and more precise to steer, it braked better and the suspension was more comfortable than comparable racing cars of the time. During these early races, which often lasted several hours or even days, drivers were thus able to drive for longer, reach higher speeds and be more concentrated at the wheel. A reason why Bugatti drivers dominated the world’s race tracks between 1925 and 1930. Even today, the Type 35 does not ask too much of its drivers.
Bugatti produced seven different types of aluminium wheels over the next few years. For the Type 35, Type 39 and Type 51 racing cars, the French company produced three different versions: a 20-inch variant featuring small brakes, a 19-inch design with large brakes and 19-inch drop centre rims featuring large brakes. The cast wheels with eight wide aluminium spokes became Bugatti’s signature feature in addition to the horseshoe-shaped radiator grille. The design was also used for Bugatti’s first hyper sports car of modern times, the Veyron as the Veyron Fbg par Hermès special model.
Development of lighter wheels continues
Even if most cars rely on aluminium wheels today, development continues at Bugatti. The current hyper sports cars Chiron1and Divo2 use very lightweight and sturdy wheels made of a specially forged aluminium alloy. This is because wheels and tyres are subject to extreme loads and g-forces at speeds beyond 400 km/h. Just like almost 95 years ago, unsprung masses are crucial to the handling. For this purpose, both sides of the wheel and cavities are finely milled as part of a unique process to produce wheels with minimum weight for maximum stability and rigidity – naturally also in line with an aesthetic design. The wheels are subsequently powder-coated and burnished. Depending on customer requests, the wheel set can be painted in different colours.
Instead of eight spokes, engineers currently use a five-spoke Y layout that ideally transfers forces to the five wheel bolts and guarantees sufficient stability and safety. The lightweight wheels therefore withstand even the most extreme pressures and forces.
After all, the tyres rotate over fifty times per second at top speed. The treads are subject to forces here corresponding to around 4,000 times the acceleration due to gravity (g = 9.81 m/s2). The weight of the valve thus increases from 18.3 grams to around 55 kilograms when the vehicle is travelling at full throttle. The high speed test is carried out on test beds for racing and aircraft tyres as well as on a NASA test bed that was developed specifically for Space Shuttle tyres. As part of these complex test bed tests, wheels and tyres are subjected to very high forces and repeatedly checked with X-ray and MRT procedures.
With an eye on the future, Bugatti continues to research and develop new materials and sophisticated designs to make wheels and thus the entire vehicle lighter, more agile and aerodynamic. Just like around 95 years ago when Ettore Bugatti created an icon with the new eight-spoke wheel.
See for yourself what sets Bugatti cars apart from the rest.
posted by: John Grafman
Today, Chevrolet debuts a new look for its Colorado midsize truck franchise. The 2021 Chevrolet Colorado will make its first public appearance at the 2019 Method Race Wheels Laughlin Desert…
Today, Chevrolet debuts a new look for its Colorado midsize truck franchise. The 2021 Chevrolet Colorado will make its first public appearance at the 2019 Method Race Wheels Laughlin Desert Classic on Oct.10, driven by Hall Racing. The 2021 Colorado ZR2 will then debut at the SEMA show in Las Vegas.
The Colorado lineup will now feature greater differentiation from trim to trim and the addition of the new “Sand Dune Metallic” exterior paint color option available on the Z71 and ZR2 models. All Colorado variants will also include revised front Chevy “bowtie” emblems and embossed “Chevrolet” tailgates in place of the traditional Chevy bowtie on the rear end of the vehicles.
520,000 Colorado pickups in five years through a relentless, foot-on-the-gas approach
“We’ve sold 520,000 Colorado pickups in five years through a relentless, foot-on-the-gas approach to product and feature updates,” said Bob Krapes, director of marketing, Chevrolet Trucks. “With its new-look front end and tailgate, Colorado will now have a more aggressive appearance to match its award-winning capability.”
The WT, LT and Z71 Colorado trim levels will all receive updated center bars, lower fascias and front skid plates for 2021. WT and LT will feature all-new gold Chevy bowtie logos, while Z71 receives a black bowtie logo.
ZR2’s new front end provides drivers with improved visibility and looks even more aggressive
The ZR2 off-road performance variant will receive a new appearance to match its standout capability. ZR2 will be the only Colorado model to feature the all-new, lettered, flow-through “Chevrolet” front fascia. ZR2’s new front end provides drivers with improved visibility and looks even more aggressive, which adds to its dynamic, “segment of one” appearance.
ZR2, with its revolutionary, segment-exclusive Multimatic DSSVTM position-sensitive dampers, standard front and rear electronic locking differentials, 2-inch suspension lift, 3.5-inch wider track, off-road rocker protection, cast iron control arms, Autotrac transfer case, and multiple skid plates, will now come equipped with standard red tow hooks as well.
The 2021 Chevrolet Colorado goes on sale next year. Pricing will be announced closer to production. All 2021 Colorado models will be built at General Motors’ Wentzville Assembly Center in Wentzville, Missouri.
And, sometimes a bigger Chevy truck is better!
post by: John Grafman
Unveiled at ‘The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering’, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars debuted the spectacularly colorful commission, ‘Cullinan in Fux Orange,’ marking the tenth time the brand has developed and reserved a…
Unveiled at ‘The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering’, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars debuted the spectacularly colorful commission, ‘Cullinan in Fux Orange,’ marking the tenth time the brand has developed and reserved a color carrying the name of the prolific patron of Bespoke. Unveiled by Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, the commission by Michael Fux was the highlight of the Rolls-Royce celebration at The Quail and Monterey Car Week, one of the hallmark annual gatherings for global luxury collectors worldwide.
Providing IS F SPORT customers with a stylish new package that stands out from the crowd, Lexus is taking the Blackline Special Edition and expanding upon it for 2020. Limited…
Providing IS F SPORT customers with a stylish new package that stands out from the crowd, Lexus is taking the Blackline Special Edition and expanding upon it for 2020. Limited to 900 total units, the 2020 IS F SPORT Blackline Special Edition will now be available in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive IS 350 F SPORT models, in addition to the IS 300 F SPORT RWD and AWD models.
Draped in a subtly refreshed livery with retro roots, Volkswagen’s ID. BUZZ CARGO concept vehicle is going coast to coast with Nike to serve runners across the country. Making its…