Parks R. McCants
For those of you that follow my everything automotive obsession, it comes as no surprise that I’ve fired up yet another outlet for the sharing of my passion. looking to the ever evolving world of automotive design, greater ease of driver to car connectivity, active accident avoidance features, and the greatest advancement in fuel efficiency since the advent of the production car, I’m dedicating a bit of cyber space to the unprecedented, tech-driven, new Golden Age of the automobile.
And believe me, the movement is industry wide, and not necessarily limited to auto manufacturers. Sitting at the forefront of the auto-evolution, is the Tech sector. Today, automotive development and subsequent market launch is reduced from an average 5-year time line, to under 3 years, for many established makers and start ups, thanks to cutting edge computer driven virtual engineering, testing and design programming.
Add to the auto maker’s tool chest the up and coming manufacturing practice of large scale 3-D printing, not only has development time been nearly halved, but automotive manufacturing’s environmental footprint is greatly reduced, along with manufacturing bi-product and waste. It’s all damned exciting for this gear head.
On the propulsion side of The Advanced Car, internal combustion engines grow much more fuel efficient with the advent of supper low friction internal running components, advanced engine cylinder management, intake, fuel combustion, and exhaust gas re-burn technology. Today, the small displacement high compression 4-cylinder engine is king of the road — producing horsepower and torque rivaling high output V8 engines of yesterday – while consuming 50% less fuel per mile.
Turbo charging and supercharging force feed air through light alloy intakes and throttle bodies, maximizing direct inject fuel efficiency unimaginable a few short years ago – resulting in near zero emissions.
But for me, and others studying The Advanced Car, electrification is the most logical direct route to zero emissions, while having a measurable impact on reducing our car-produced carbon footprint. Consumers call for it, and auto manufacturers respond to that call, by producing cars, light trucks, and SUVs, now rolling off the assembly line in gasoline/electric hybrid, plug-in electric hybrid, stand alone battery electric, and hydrogen electric fuel cell variants.
While writing this post, I reflect on a very recent drive and ride experience in Honda’s 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle. For me, Clarity is a life changer as to entertaining the real possibility of a fun to drive, comfortable and safe, no compromise, off-the-cord electric car future. Read my initial drive impression of 2017 Honda Clarity FCV here. Our first entry in The Advanced Car journal.