The Most Lovingly Built Exotic on Earth
Dual-clutch transmissions are the current Holy Grail when it comes to transferring horsepower from underhood to the wheels of the car. Nearly every automaker that does serious business around the world offers dual-clutchers, and the ones that don't very likely soon will.
Do your remember the hybrid system that stores braking energy not as electricity but in a rotating flywheel as kinetic energy? Well, the system is going to be mated to a special CVT transmission able to change 6-to-1 ratio within one revolution. That is, in 50 ms, the transmission can go to almost zero to full power.
For the past several years the governing body of Formula One racing has been pondering rule changes that would, among other things, make the sport more environmentally friendly. One of the proposals that has popped up several times is using hybrid drivetrains. Transmission builders Torotrak and Xtrac have agreed to a license agreement that will let Xtrac build continuously variable transmissions based on Torotraks design for Formula One hybrid drive systems.
Over in Dearborn, Michigan today, the Motorsport Engineering Conference got started. It continues through Thursday. This conference, by the US Society of Automotive Engineers, includes panel discussions on "Motorsports in the Fifties: Tragedy and Response" and "Wind Tunnel Capabilities and Research." All very well and good for those engineers. For those of use interested in green news, there's plenty of interesting panels and papers to come. How about "Partnering in Alternate Fuels" and the "Gre