Tired of walking? Future Movers is our roundup of the week’s biggest news in powered transport. Whether it’s a car, a bike, a plane or something in between, you’ll find the Aussie angle on it right here.
The latest update to the Toyota Prius is the biggest one in the 10-year history of the iconic hybrid. With a completely new platform and smarter, more economical drivetrain and in-car comfort, the new Prius is 13 per cent more efficient than its predecessors — Toyota says it’ll sip just 3.4 litres of fuel per 100km of driving.
The new Prius is the first car in Australia to benefit from Toyota’s New Global Architecture, a flexible modular platform that also underpins the new C-HR concept. In the Prius, it’s used in a front-wheel drive configuration and promises a lower centre of gravity, more room inside and a stiffer frame for better handling. The 2016 Prius actually has an extremely low drag coefficient of just 0.24, putting it far ahead of some of its hybrid competitors.
Beep. Beep. Beep. Nick – Petersham – 5 minutes. “Yeah, ahhhh, how close are you mate?” asked my next passenger for the night, Nick, politely but also with a touch of urgency in his voice. Before I had a chance to reply, Nick’s friend Shane commandeered his phone and said, in a voice reminiscent of Liam Neeson from the Taken films:
“Mr. Uber Driver. This is Shane. You don’t know me, but what I am about to tell you is of the utmost importance.” Shane paused momentarily to tell his friends, who were laughing uncontrollably in the background, to shut the f**k up or he would punch them all up the arse.
The tech underneath Lexus’ new LC 500h is impressive, but it’s also very complex. Two separate but interconnected gearboxes — a dnyamically adjustable CVT and a four-speed automatic — are the most straightforward parts of this extremely high-tech sportscar’s engine and transmission setup.
The LC500h, launched at the Geneva Motor Show, pairs a 220kW 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with a 44kW electric motor and lithium ion battery pack, all simultaneously delivering drive to the car’s rear wheels. Doing that through two extremely different methods of power creation — a linear electric motor that delivers instant torque from zero RPM and that tails off at higher rotational speeds, and a comparatively peaky V6 petrol motor — takes a lot of engineering. Here’s how it works.
Formula 1 is a complicated sport. Team radio can tell drivers almost everything they need to know, but the multitude of different gadgets and gizmos on each car have to be controlled by the guy in the cockpit — and that’s where the steering wheel comes in. Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has more influence than most drivers in the way his steering wheel looks and feels, and it’s an extremely complex piece of technology.
Hamilton says he’s actually had a very large part in designing the steering wheel and saving weight in its construction — maybe as much as 250 grams — through a few tweaks like slicing off the base of the handgrips where they meet the centre puck, unnecessary due to the way he holds the wheel while racing.
Put them in charge of a couple of tons of metal, plastic and petrol, and people do some stupid things. Dash Cam Owners Australia has put together another compilation of Australians being morons on our roads — and this month, cover your childrens’ delicate ears, because there is some strong language directed at some particularly bad drivers.