Video: Hot Wheels builds world’s highest wall track

Filed under: Etc., Videos, Toys/Games

world's highest hot wheels wall track

Any self-proclaimed Hot Wheels fanatic has surely built some sort of wall track in their house, but, like the ones from our childhoods, we’re guessing it never involved repelling down the side of a seven-story building. Back in May, Hot Wheels built an epic wall track on the side of an apartment building, and now the toy maker has released a video of the track, which it claims is the world’s highest.

Constructed for the BCN Fan Fest during the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, the repeating sections of track were assembled on the ground and then raised into place where they were connected to each other. Oddly, no official height was given for the track, but you can scroll down to watch a video of it being built and, of course, used. The video is in Spanish, but the thrill of rolling tiny cars down a huge track is universal.

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Hot Wheels builds world’s highest wall track originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Aug 2013 12:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Toyota builds world’s first ‘outdoor website’ for RAV4 promo

Filed under: Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Toyota

toyota rav-4 outdoor website with bike rider

This whole thing started with the premise that Toyota’s target RAV4 buyers are people who spend their time cycling, hiking, and generally not in front of computer screens. These people are therefore not able to benefit from the full website experience that Toyota has built for the RAV4. We should clarify that the video below is for Toyota South Africa, and maybe RAV4 buyers there really are the disgustingly outdoorsy ideal that us bacon-eaters are not living up to.

Toyota’s agency partner, Hello Computer, set up a 1.8-kilometer track at a cycle park that replicated sections of the automaker’s website with real physical displays and interactive feedback. Riders were asked to leave their mouses and hit the trail on a mountain bike to experience the RAV4 Outdoor Website and learn about the vehicle.

That seems like a lot of effort for something that’s available on the smartphones of these hyper-active people who aren’t in front of computers, but hooray for creatively conquering a problem that didn’t exist. Hey, let’s not be complete wet blankets – maybe some of the cyclists that ran the Toyota gauntlet got a RAV4 for their to- and fro-ing after the experience. Check out the video of the outdoor website below.

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Toyota builds world’s first ‘outdoor website’ for RAV4 promo originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 08 Aug 2013 15:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Ford engineer builds haptic shift knob with 3D printer, Xbox controller

Filed under: Etc., Technology, Videos

Ford's haptic vibrating manual gearshift knob

Vehicles with manual transmissions have been equipped with shift indicators (illuminated or audible) for decades. While some are used to improve performance, most are designed to encourage more fuel-efficient driving. Regardless of the original objective, nearly all drivers become desensitized or learn to ignore the illuminated lights and arrows after just a few short hours behind the wheel.

Enter Zachary Nelson, a recent MIT graduate and an engineer with Ford. Working at the automaker’s Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn, Michigan, Nelson devised a haptic shift knob that vibrates when it’s time to select another gear. “I wanted to create something that expands the car’s capabilities and improves the experience for the driver,” said Nelson. “I decided to use OpenXC to provide a new kind of feedback for the driver through the shift knob.”

The process, greatly simplified, has the vehicle transmitting data wirelessly from its on-board diagnostics (OBD) port using a Bluetooth OpenXC adapter. The knob uses the innards of a Microsoft Xbox 360 controller for vibration. “I decided to have a little fun with it and installed an LED display on top that shows the gear position and colored lights that glow from inside at night similar to the ambient lighting in Mustang,” adds Nelson.

Overall, it’s a rather fascinating idea that you can check out in the video below. The software-driven haptic shift knob allows the driver to keep their eyes on the road, while the vibration can be set to alert one of many different parameters, including optimal fuel efficiency, quickest acceleration, maximum torque, redline shifting and so on, giving it many different uses.

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Ford engineer builds haptic shift knob with 3D printer, Xbox controller originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Audi builds 3-millionth A3

Filed under: Car Buying, Hatchback, Audi, Luxury

About a month after Volkswagen celebrated building its 30-millionth example of the Golf, Audi has announced that it has produced three million versions of its small hatchback, the closely related Audi A3. Probably more surprising than the fact that the A3 has moved in such big numbers since its global debut in 1996 is the fact that it has done so with relatively little support in the US, seeing marginal sales in the States since 2005.

The three-millionth A3 was a Sportback TDI model, but the lineup has grown this year to include a new sedan and S3 model, and the hybrid A3 E-tron is on the way. With these new models – especially the sedan in the US – we expect the A3 to continue to be a popular entrant in the premium small segment. Scroll down for Audi’s official press release.

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Audi builds 3-millionth A3 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 21 Jul 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Kia builds one millionth vehicle in the US

Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing, Crossover, Kia

Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG), the plant that produces the Kia Sorento crossover and Optima sedan, celebrated today as a Snow White Pearl 2014 Sorento SXL rolled off the assembly line at the 2,259-acre site, marking the one-millionth Kia to be produced on US soil.

Located in West Point, Georgia, KMMG was Kia Motors America’s first manufacturing plant in the US and represented an initial investment of $1 billion. The plant started producing the 2011 Sorento on November 16, 2009 and is responsible for the creation of 11,000 jobs in West Point and the surrounding region. Production of the Optima sedan, Kia’s best-selling car in the US for the past 18 months, started at the factory in 2011, and, in 2012, the completion of a $100 million expansion upped annual vehicle production capacity to 360,000.

“Building one million vehicles in less than four years is a tremendous achievement and one that each one of our more than 3,000 team members can take great pride in,” said Byung Mo Ahn, Group President and CEO for Kia Motors America and KMMG.

The one-millionth vehicle to roll out of KMMG, the white 2014 Sorento pictured above, will be sold in one of Kia’s 765-plus US dealerships. Check out the press release below.

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Kia builds one millionth vehicle in the US originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 14 Jul 2013 13:12:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Volkswagen builds 30-millionth Golf

Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing, Hatchback, Volkswagen

Volkswagen Golf Generations

Volkswagen has officially built 30 million Golf units since the first hatch rolled off the assembly line in early 1974. The company says the accomplishment has cemented the compact’s place as the most successful European car ever built, though we imagine the original Beetle might have something to say about that. Even so, Volkswagen says that statistically speaking, the company has sold 2,000 Golf units for every day of production. Chew on that notion for a moment. The Golf has remained relevant over the past four decades thanks to a steady stream of generational updates, and last year, the Volkswagen Golf took the honor of being named the World Car of the Year.

A Golf TDI was the 30 millionth unit produced, and Volkswagen says the machine will be on display at the automaker’s Wolfsburg facility. You can read the full press release below for more information, including a generational breakdown of each Golf model.

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Volkswagen builds 30-millionth Golf originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Jun 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Parker Brothers Choppers builds World’s Largest Bigwheel

Filed under: Etc., Motorcycle

Parker Brothers Choppers builds world's biggest bigwheel

Parker Brothers Green Machine – Click above for image gallery

At the age of five, this writer received the gift of gifts: a police-issue Bigwheel with a megaphone and a working siren. After a week or two of patrolling the sidewalk for a week like I owned the block, my best friend busted out of the garage with the one thing that could trump my three-wheeled interceptor; the Green Machine. Sure, my Bigwheel may have been faster in a straight line, but he could drift, spin out and even parallel park at five miles per hour.

Oh, the jealousy.

I’m guessing I’m not the only one who has been green with Green Machine envy, and luckily we can get even as adults.

The geniuses at Parker Brothers Choppers decided to make a Green Machine for really big kids, complete with an 80-cubic inch Harley Davidson Evo engine. What, you wouldn’t expect us to actually pedal a Bigwheel with a 45-inch front wheel, would you? Even better, it’s still steered by a pair of levers that control the rear wheels, so all the tricks your evil nemesis friend did as a kid can now be done by you at 30 miles per hour. Heck, Jeff Halverson at Parker Brothers claims to have done 50 mph on the beast, so someone without a lot of fear can really do some damage on this thing.

Unfortunately, the whole steering-via-the-rear-wheels thing would make it really difficult for this trike to gain approval from the Department of Transportation, so don’t expect to put an order in for one of these any time soon. Hit the gallery below to dream a little dream.

Gallery: Parker Brothers Green Machine

Parker Brothers Green Machine

[Source: Wired | Images: Parker Brothers Choppers]

Parker Brothers Choppers builds World’s Largest Bigwheel originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Mar 2011 16:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Proton builds itself a Mitsubishi Evolution

Filed under: Concept Cars, Sedan, Mitsubishi, Misc. Auto Shows

Proton Jebat Concept
Proton Jebat Concept – Click above for image gallery

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is such a good car, it seems that Malaysian automaker Proton decided it ought to offer a version of its own. Sort of. While the company’s Jebat Concept, which was just shown off at the Kuala Lumpur Motor Show, is styled to look like the Evolution, it’s actually powered by the 237-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged mill used in the slightly less potent Ralliart model.

Nobody seems to know at the moment if the Jebat Concept has any shot at production, but its existence isn’t all that surprising considering that Proton just recently launched the Inspira, itself an almost exact copy of the standard Mitsubishi Lancer. In any case, it’s clearly differentiated from its siblings by virtue of its matte black front and rear fascias and side sills, along with a Proton-specific grille. See for yourself in the image gallery below.

Gallery: Proton Jabat Concept

Proton Jabat ConceptProton Jabat Concept

[Source: Autocar]

Proton builds itself a Mitsubishi Evolution originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 03 Dec 2010 18:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Japanese man builds $500,000 house in single parking space

Filed under: Etc., Japan, Videos, Humor

Parking Space House

A house built in the area of a parking space – Click above to watch video after the jump

As Americans, our concept of a normal-sized home has grown by leaps and bounds over the decades. In her book Living Large, author Sarah Wexler says that the average home size in the U.S. grew from 983 square feet in 1950 to 2,349 square feet in 2004, and it doesn’t look to be shrinking any time soon. It’s not like that everywhere. Just look at what ingenious architects in Japan are up to. With both space and funds at a minimum, builders and property owners alike are looking to get the most out of every square foot, even going so far as to build a two-person home on the same footprint as an average-sized parking space.

To make it happen, designers have employed a number of space-saving tricks, including a triangular spiral staircase that decreases the minimum radius needed for going up and appliances that are stashed under counters and in unique cubbies. Doesn’t sound like a bad way to go, if you ask us. Hit the jump to see a video of the house for yourself.

[Source: CNN]

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Video: Japanese man builds $500,000 house in single parking space originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 20 Nov 2010 17:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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No Pun: Smart builds cardboard ForTwo

Filed under: Concept Cars, Convertible, Budget, Europe, Paris Motor Show, Smart, Design/Style

Cardboard Smart ForTwo

Cardboard Smart ForTwo – Click above for high-res image gallery

Sometimes, the jokes write themselves. Artist Sarah Illenberger has partnered with Smart and the packing gurus at CD Cartondruck AG to build the world’s first ForTwo hemmed in high-quality reusable cardboard. Both the exterior and the interior of the car will be decorated with heaps of the recyclable material, and oddly enough, Smart says that it’s pulling the stunt to disprove the notion that its products aren’t disposable. We’re having a hard time wrapping our heads around that one. The project will also serve to highlight Smart’s infatuation with urban design.

Illenberger plans to use her experience producing art installations for the editorial departments of magazines like Style, Vanity Fair and The New York Times Magazine to create a unique look for the ForTwo. According to the press release, the car will come clad in a pixilated camouflage pattern called Eco-Flage. The creation will be on display at this year’s Paris Motor Show from September 28 to October 17. Hit the jump to see the full press release.

Gallery: Cardboard Smart ForTwo

[Source: Smart]

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No Pun: Smart builds cardboard ForTwo originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 25 Sep 2010 18:34:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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