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Popular Science magazine’s Best Of What’s New 2012 all ate up with cars





Popular Science has named the winners in its Best of What’s New awards, the victors coming in the categories of aerospace, automotive, engineering, entertainment, gadgets, green, hardware, health, home, recreation, security and software. The automotive category did not go wanting for lauded advancements:

  • Tesla Model S: the Grand Award winner for being “the standard by which all future electric vehicles will be measured.”
  • BMW 328i: it’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gets called out for being more powerful and frugal than the six-cylinder it replaces.
  • Ferrari F12 Berlinetta: towering power, towering top speed, 30 percent more fuel efficient than the 599 Fiorano it replaces.
  • Toyota RAV4 EV: the all-electric SUV accelerates better than many conventional SUVs, goes 100 mph and actually beats EPA mileage estimates.
  • Porsche Cayenne Diesel: 406 pound-feet of torque, 33 highway mpg, up to 800 miles from a single tank and Cayenne style, give ‘em a trophy.
  • 2013 Ford Fusion: its three flavors – standard, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid – “are the most efficient models in their classes,” that latter one expected to outdo the Chevrolet Volt’s EPA mileage rating.
  • The DeltaWing: gets kudos for being “the most efficient racecar in history.”
  • Mercedes-Benz Magic Vision Control: a holistic solution to keeping your windshield clean and clear year-round.
  • General Motors’ MyLink: takes the in-car computer out of the car, puts it in the driver’s smartphone.
  • Infiniti Back-Up Collision Intervention: rear-mounted radar and sonar keep track of what’s behind you and brake automatically if an obstacle is detected so you don’t hit things when you back that Infiniti up.

The automotive category tied with categories like aerospace and health for the number of awards. Congratulations to all the winners, head on over to PopSci for the full details on each of them.

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By Jonathon Ramsey

Wheelies: The Gamer Edition

DeltaWing, undergoing a wet test in April.Nissan North AmericaDeltaWing, undergoing a wet test in April.

In which we bring you motoring news from around the Web:

Lucas Ordoñez.Nissan North AmericaLucas Ordoñez.

• Lucas Ordoñez, the winner of the 2008 Sony PlayStation GT Academy and current driver for the Greaves Motorsport team in the LMP2 class, was named to the test squad for the DeltaWing, the racecar prototype that had its debut in March. The vehicle, which is getting readied for its race debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, is partially financed by Nissan. Ordoñez entered the automaker’s driver development program after his gaming victory in 2008 and has reached podiums on multiple occasions. (Nissan)

• As an incentive to spur sales of its iQ supermini, Scion announced it would offer a Sony PlayStation Vita portable gaming system with every sale. Jack Hollis, vice president of Scion, said in a media release that the car and console were complimentary products, offering high technological content in small packages. Through April, the Toyota subsidiary had sold 3,485 iQs in 2012. (Scion)

• On Monday at the Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles, Toyota announced details of its RAV4 EV, a purely electric version of its compact crossover. With a powertrain co-developed by Tesla Motors, the RAV4 EV is expected to cost $49,800 before tax incentives and undisclosed delivery charges. Toyota estimates the vehicle, with a 115-kilowatt motor, roughly the equivalent of 154 horsepower, can travel up to 100 miles on a charge and recharge from a fully depleted state in six hours at a 240-volt station. Sales initially will be limited this summer to four metropolitan areas in California. (Toyota)

• Jaguar Land Rover is expected to invest £200 million, or $324 million, at its plant in Castle Bromwich, England, to accommodate production of the F-Type sports car, which was teased at the New York auto show in April. The plant was threatened with closure in 2009 amid depressed sales. Under the Indian conglomerate Tata Group, Jaguar Land Rover has recovered sales volume and increased its market valuation. (The Daily Telegraph)

By THE NEW YORK TIMES