Category Archives: Cars

Makes me want a PS3… and a budget for track days

Gran Tourismo, Playstation’s ultimate driving simulation game (some argue it’s the best on any platform), has announced a feature that bridges the gap between video games and track days.

Back in the good old days, when Mike and I used to have “racing budget”, we practiced driving Laguna Seca on the PS2 with Gran Tourismo, then went and drove the track for real. If we did it now, however, we could take it one step farther by bringing the results of our track day back home and reviewing them on the new version of Gran Tourismo.

Here’s how it works: while at your track day you record your lap times and lines using GPS and “CAN”. When you return home you put the data on a USB stick and plug it into your PS3. You can replay the data by watching your run around the track or use the data as a ghost and race against yourself to improve your lines or see how you would fare against, say, an F1 car (spoiler alert: not very well).

What type of data logger hardware you need isn’t terribly clear in the press release, it just says you need log CAN data. As for tracks, I think it’s a safe assumption that the feature will be limited to the tracks already part of the software.

The new CTS-V — not sure what I think yet

I really liked the last Cadillac CTS-V and probably would have bought one if the interior didn’t feel so cheep.  I also like the tweaks they’ve made to the styling of the new CTS.  I’m not sure, however, that I like the new CTS-V.

Sure, it’s got all kinds of sexy under the hood and the interior looks much improved… but the outside looks like they made it a bit too bumpy/bulgy.  I’m sure they wanted to make it seem extra-tough… but it’s looking like they may have gone past the look of a sleek athlete and ended up with something a little more cartoon superhero.

  

I’ll reserve final judgement until I see it in person, but with 550HP & lbs/ft I suspect I’d never want to be looking at it from the outside.

via: autoblog

This morning’s entertainment

Leaving the house this AM I saw a smoking truck parked across the street, but the smoke wasn’t what drew my attention, it was the sound.  The small delivery van was idling fast and didn’t sound the least bit healthy.  The van had smoking coming out the tailpipe, but not much worse than you’d expect from a diesel.  It didn’t, however, look or sound like it was going to make it very far at all. 

Here’s what made stand and stare: The driver got out, walked around back and looked at the smoking tailpipe.  Satisfied it was okay he left van running, locked it and walked off.  Here’s the thing… it sounded like the accelerator was stuck half-way down (at least), it was smoking badly and the guy just locks the van and goes (presumably) to find help… with the van still running!  It wasn’t the brightest move.  The van continued to run at high idle… smoking more and more.  It got to the point that it looked like a James Bond smokescreen and cars had to stop for fear of driving through the dense cloud and hitting something. 

Smoking van

The driver was gone for several minutes before there was a bang and smoke started coming out from under the hood as well as from the tailpipe.  When he came hurrying back with someone in tow and the driver decided it would now be a good time to turn off the truck.  Genius.

Smoking van

Pop quiz hot shot: turn off the van or leave it running and walk away?

Top Gear’s Hammond badly injured in jet-car crash | Reuters.co.uk

Rchard Hammond


Fans of the BBC show “Top Gear” will be concerned.  Everyone else will say “who’s that?”


I’m part of the first group.   


Hammond, the handsome, genial counter-point to Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear crashed while trying to break the UK land speed record for the TV show.  Teased for his lack of stature, white teeth and teen-girl magazine pin-up looks, Hammond is a key part of the show staff balancing out Clarkson’s searing tongue and May’s posh leanings.  I hope he fully recovers… not just because I’m human but because it could be the source of no end of hilarity on the show (plus, the other option sucks).



Top Gear’s Hammond badly injured in jet-car crash


LONDON (Reuters) – Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond was seriously ill in hospital on Thursday after being badly injured after a high-speed crash in a jet-powered car while filming for the programme.


(more…)


For the full story see: Top Gear’s Hammond badly injured in jet-car crash | Reuters.co.uk

Yay! Someone has agreed to buy my Corvette!

And they’re going to make it really easy on me too!  I’m so excited I could just spit:



Greetings, Everything sounds well and I must commend that the ( 2001 Corvette Convertible, very low mileage, Mag Red, Six Speed ) in excellent condition and am okay with the prize i will like to know it  f. i was locate in PA Reading city . For convenient and easy transaction, I have a liable shipping agent who’d be responsible for the shipping as soon as you get the money to ur account  for the ( 2001 Corvette Convertible, very low mileage, Mag Red, Six Speed ).I will therefore need the following information of yours to forward wire the money to u. your BAnk Name……..  Bank ADDRESSL.. ACCOUNT NUMBER ……  ROUNTING NUMBER..  CELL/OFFICE/HOME PHONE NUMBER. I await your soonest reply.


The mail came from a Canadian Yahoo account, I guess that explains the typos and lack of command on the English language.

I’m an idiot

True to form, I was in a hurry today for no particular reason, as a result fate smacked me in the back of the head.


I took the day off today to go with Paula up to Sausalito to get some tile for our bathroom.  On the way up there we were driving along highway 1 through San Francisco when the light in front of us turns yellow.  The truck next to us wasn’t slowing down so I thought, “what the heck, I’ll keep going too”.


There were two lights along the route with red light traffic cameras.  That was one of them.  There were two pretty flashes, one for the semi, one for me.  Great.


I guess the SF PD will be sending me a nice portrait via US Postal Service… I just hope my portrait turns out as nice as Steve’s (see bottom of page).

California carpool lanes are starting to get more crowded

I’ve started noticing some interlopers into the carpool lane on the way to work… Toyota Priuses with only one passenger.  What the hell?


The rules for the carpool lane as I understood them used to be:
   – The specified number of passengers (2 or 3, depending on the segment of road)
Or
   - Fewer than four wheels (2 or 3-wheeled vehicles allowed)
Or
   – Zero emissions (electric, natural gas, hydrogen, etc.)


Now, with a new bill signed into law last year, ultra-low emissions vehicles (ULEVs) are allowed into the carpool lane.  To be an ULEV the cars need to meet emissions requirements and get more than 45 miles to the gallon.  The means that now, in addition to Electric and Clean fuel vehicles, some hybrid vehicles are now allowed to use the carpool lane if they display the correct stickers. 


If you want to be able to use your green vehicle in the carpool lane in California first check to see if your car is on the approved vehicle list then complete the REG 1000 form to apply for your clean air vehicle stickers.


I have just one request… drive faster or get out of my way, it is after all my lane.