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49Ferrari 458 Italia fans the flames in the City of Lights

Ferraris have been known to have the fire inside, and sometimes the coupes like to give their owners a baptism by fire. Literally. The gent in the photo was cruising through Paris in his new 458 Italia when he noticed that the rear fender was on fire. While he bolted from the driver's seat and left the car burning in the middle of the street, a passerby happened to have a fire extinguisher and put the flames to rest before the 458 got an even blacker paint job.

4VIDEO: So that's what it looks like! -- Slo-Mo combustion closeup

We all learn the theory of what happens inside an internal combustion engine; a mixture of fuel and air is ignited by a short electric spark. Some people describe the ensuing event as an explosion, but the ideal is a controlled burn, but it's still so fast that it could be confused for an uncontrolled explosion. An engine is a practical application of thermodynamics, when it comes right down to it. The piston moves by the pressure exerted by the burning fuel mixture, and as the piston moves down

AddPlasma ignition may hit market soon

The topic of plasma combustion has peeked above the clouds a few times in recent memory but still not much is known about its future in real-world automotive engines. Now a team at Los Alamos National Laboratory says the technology is poised to enter the marketplace.

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