ETC: Russian motorcycle gets wood-power conversion

Filed under: Etc., Technology, Motorcycle, Humor, Russia

Ural Motorcycle on wood gas

Occasionally, we come across a technology that has just kind of been forgotten about. Take this Ural motorcycle. It runs on a substance called wood gas, which is the byproduct of incomplete combustion of carbon products like wood, hence it’s name. The fuel goes through a process called gasification in a wood-gas generator to produce combustible hydrogen and carbon monoxide. So basically, you’re burning wood to produce fuel.

This Ural has had a rudimentary wood-gas generator fitted, while an a number of other low-tech, scrounged items make up the rest of the side-car-mounted system. According to The Knee Slider, the top speed of the bike is a mere 80 kilometers per hour (about 50 miles per hour), while the fuel it runs on is quite bulky. Still, if you run low, just pack an axe and hope you run out of gas somewhere that’s wooded.

Wood-gas-powered vehicles might be uncommon today, but they were a normal means of transport in the past. Vehicles in Germany, Sweden, France, Denmark, Switzerland and Finland were converted to run on wood gas during World War II due to fuel rationing, while wood-gas is still used in rural parts of the world today. Take a look at the wood-gas Ural in the gallery provided by English Russia.

Russian motorcycle gets wood-power conversion originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 24 Aug 2013 16:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Russian windshield wiper fix strings us up

Filed under: Budget, Etc., Videos, Humor, Russia

Russians drive Lada in rainy weather with pull-string windshield wipers.

Speaking to the effectiveness of ingenuity and improvisation, the string-pull windshield wipers in this Russian Lada work surprisingly well in the snow and the rainy weather. We wouldn’t recommend practicing this MacGyver-like move unless it’s absolutely necessary, but then again, there can’t be too many Ladas in the US.

So what’s all the jesting about? We’re told the car’s occupants are joking about hand-wiper jobs, and the driver is cautioning the passenger not to rip the rope. That leads us to the tip of the day: remember to keep the wiping motion nice and slow to preserve the string. Watch the video below to see the strung-up wipers in action.

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Russian windshield wiper fix strings us up originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 09 Aug 2013 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Adorable Russian toddler knows her cars

Filed under: Etc., Videos, Humor, Russia

Russian toddler names car brands - video screencap

This Russian two year old is sharp as a tack when it comes to knowing her car brands. Over the course of this video, she names nearly every brand she passes; impressive when there are plenty of adults who don’t know an Audi from a Nissan. Another thing that’s clear from the video, Mazda, BMW (all in a row!) and Hyundai are pretty popular brands in this little automotive whiz-kid’s neighborhood.

Check out the video below for nearly three and a half minutes of full-on “awwwwww” – it’s a welcome dose of cute from the land whose car culture is too often associated with wacky and/or ghastly dashcam videos.

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Adorable Russian toddler knows her cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 12:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Saab to celebrate Chinese and Russian partnerships with global tour

Filed under: Saab, Earnings/Financials

Saab emblem

So far in 2011, Saab has been riding a ragged roller-coaster filled with major ups and downs. Just recently, however, things have been trending more positively. Saab inked a deal with Chinese automaker Hawtai that will pump in millions of dollars, and open up major inroads to the vastly expanding auto industry in China. The Swedish automaker is understandably excited by this new deal, and has decided to embark on a global tour to highlight its new partnerships.

Besides discussing its new manufacturing teammate Hawtai, Saab will also bring Russian investor Vladimir Antonov along for the ride, once his deals have gone through. Victor Muller, Saab Chairman, wants the world to meet Saab’s newest partners. All involved parties will be hitting the road to reach out to the world-wide media, once all respective deals have been finalized and approved.

Saab to celebrate Chinese and Russian partnerships with global tour originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 May 2011 15:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Saab closing in on deal with Russian, Chinese investors

Filed under: Saab, Earnings/Financials, Spyker

Saab

Around the same time that Ake Jonsson stepped down as chief executive of Saab, the Swedish automaker announced its expansion into the Russian and Chinese markets – a vital move if Saab is to increase its global market share. But it’s not just the cars that Saab and its parent company Spyker are interested in selling in these two giant markets. It’s also looking to offload shares in an effort to raise much-needed capital.

The first address is Vladimir Antonov, a man who shares a considerable history with Spyker. The Russian banker and multimillionaire oligarch was once the company’s largest single shareholder and acted as its chairman, and is also the owner of CPP Manufacturing, to which Spyker sold its own sportscar business. After investigations alleged ties to organized crime, however, General Motors stipulated that Antonov had to leave the company before it would transfer ownership of Saab. Those allegations have apparently now been either disproven or swept under the rug as Antonov has now been cleared by both GM and the Swedish National Debt Office to invest as much as 30 million euros in Saab for a 30-percent stake in the company.

Following that revelation, Saab is also said to be closing in on a deal with a major Chinese carmaker, following a similar path that led crosstown rival Volvo to align itself with Geely following its sale by Ford. Among the manufacturers with which Spyker is reportedly undergoing discussions are the Great Wall Motor Co., China Youngman Automobile Group and Jiangsu Yueda Group, all relatively small players even in China’s domestic market. Even so, they could provide the capital Saab needs to continue operating, and if they can, Saab’s certainly in no position to pick and choose.

Saab closing in on deal with Russian, Chinese investors originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 May 2011 16:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Crazy Russian commuter’s parking job

Filed under: Videos, Russia

russian parallel parking

Crazy Russian parking job – Click above to watch the video after the jump

Parking can be the toughest part of any commute, unless of course you’ve gone to the Ken Block School of Parallel Precision. Beyond the jump is a very short clip a Russian driver who didn’t have time to turn around and park like the rest of us, so (we’re guessing) he jammed the parking brake at speed, spun 180 degrees and landed right where he needed to be.

This clip isn’t exactly new, but it’s new to us. Hit the jump to check it out. Thanks for the tip, Matt!

PS: Anyone else wonder if the driver might be related to this guy?

[Source: YouTube]

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Video: Crazy Russian commuter’s parking job originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 22 Apr 2011 19:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Russian drifters slide their way through Moscow city streets

Filed under: Videos, Russia

moscow drift

Russian drifters take on Moscow’s streets – Click above to watch video after the jump

Fans of drifting can be found all over the globe. The sport started in Japan and has quickly spread around the world, including a recent Formula Drift stop in Abu Dhabi. In fact, drifting seems to have taken hold in a land as far away as Russia. As an aside, if you search for “russian drifting” on Google, the first few links are for monitoring ice flows. But we digress…

A pair of sideways-driving enthusiasts have taken to the Moscow streets with their rubber-destroying machines to prove that drifting is alive and well in Russia. Shot in high-definition, this is no shaky Flip cam-shot clip but rather a surprisingly well done video of two drivers taking control of their cars. Check it out by clicking past the jump.

[Source: Youtube]

Continue reading Video: Russian drifters slide their way through Moscow city streets

Video: Russian drifters slide their way through Moscow city streets originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Mar 2011 19:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Russian investor Antonov believes Saab will miss 2011 sales target

Filed under: Saab, Earnings/Financials

Saab logo

Russian investor Vladimir Antonov says that Saab will miss its sales target of 80,000 vehicles this year. According to Reuters, Antonov helped Spyker buy Saab last February, and is looking at taking over Spyker’s sports car operations. Antonov also said that missing the sales goal would mean capital problems for Saab.

Victor Muller, CEO of Saab-parent Spyker Cars, dismissed Antonov’s statements as bogus. According to Reuters, Muller called Antonov’s comments “complete nonsense,” and said that Spyker was staying with its sales goals for Saab.

Spyker is in hot water, too, operating at a loss last year and looking for investors, including Antonov.

Antonov told the Swedish press that he sees Saab moving closer to 65,000 cars for 2011. Saab brass say the company is on target to make its sales goal, but are more concerned with sticking to its new business plan than meeting a specific sales target. According to Reuters, Saab moved 31,696 cars in 2010, after cutting its sales goal from 45,000 to 30,000.

[Source: Reuters | Image: Chris Paukert/AOL]

Report: Russian investor Antonov believes Saab will miss 2011 sales target originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 10 Mar 2011 14:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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