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After a few years of delays due to the global pandemic, the eagerly anticipated—and, to some, controversial—new regulations around Formula One car design and specifications have finally come to the forefront. As many racing fans know, F1 cars are at the very bleeding edge of what you can do with aerodynamics, hybrid engines, high-performance tires, and the like.

It was only in 2009 that the Kinetic Energy Recovery System, or KERS, was introduced into F1, and just a few short years later, the Holy Trinity of Hypercars, namely the Ferrari LaFerrari, the McLaren P1, and the Porsche 918 Spyder were all released. In the Ferrari and McLaren, KERS was introduced to use the electric motors to assist with braking (known as regenerative braking), and that technology has even trickled down into the latest generation of hybrids and fully electric commuter cars.

It is because of this that many were left scratching their heads as to why the FIA, the governing body of Formula One, mandated that instead of using over-body aerodynamics to generate the downforce these land missiles require to compete, under-body aerodynamics were to be used. To understand, we need to wind back the clock to 1977.

The Ground Effect Era (Est. 1977)

When the FIA Formula One World Championship of Drivers (to use its full and official name), was formed in 1950, F1 cars of the day were little more than four wheels sticking out from a hammered aluminum body, with a thundering great V-12 or Straight-8 engine upfront, often supercharged. The cars were based mostly on the shape of bullets—as that was, at the time, thought to be the best shape to pierce the air and go fast.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, these cars evolved to be lower, wider, shorter, with much wider tires and the engine behind the driver instead of in front. It was during the 1970s, however, that engineers and designers started to appreciate that if they took the same concept that made fighter jets fly—namely, wings—inverted them, and stuck them on the cars, they would help push the cars down into the road.

One of the key designers of this period was Gordon Murray, a brilliant engineer and designer who worked for the Brabham Formula One team. Other key individuals were Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus Cars and the Lotus F1 team, as well as Shawn Buckley, a researcher at the University of California in Berkeley, who was sponsored by Chapman to study underbody aerodynamics.

After a few experiments here and there, such as the Brabham BT44s in 1974 from Murray that used air dams to prevent air from going under the car, and the Lotus 77 from Buckley that used huge wings to slice into the air and generate downforce while not worrying too much about the undercarriage, it occurred to the design team at Lotus that a physics principle from the 1700s was the answer to all their concerns.

Thus, the Lotus 78, one of the most legendary Formula One cars of all time, arrived in 1977—with the evolution, the Lotus 79, following in 1978.

The legendary 1977 Lotus 78 Formula One car

The legendary 1977 Lotus 78 Formula One car
The legendary 1977 Lotus 78 Formula One car. Note the long side pod and the skirting along the lower edge, and the shockingly low rear wing. Via Wikimedia Commons.

What made the Lotus 78 a subject of instant fame and scrutiny was that it had moving skirts along the lower edges of its sidepods, between the front and rear wheels. It also had a very pronounced and high exit from its underbody, and the rear wing was low and long, instead of up in the air. There were also strange vents and a prolonged air intake behind the front suspension.

This was the first car to use ground effects—and throughout 1977, in the hands of drivers Gunnar Nilsson and Mario Andretti, the Lotus 78 won 5 races, making the podium on two other occasions. This made other teams want to know why the cars were so fast, and able to corner so hard.

In a bit of brilliant deception, Chapman would come up with all sorts of crazy-but-viable explanations that obfuscated the real reason that the car was so fast: Bernoulli’s Principle and the Venturi Effect.

Ground Effect: Bernouilli & Venturi In Layman’s Terms

Let us be clear: there are some incredibly complex physics and math that go into fully picking apart how ground effects work. There are different

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By: Simon Bertram
Title: Why The 2022 Formula One Cars Are Using A 40-Year-Old Aerodynamic Concept
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/why-2022-f1-cars-are-using-a-40-year-old-aerodynamic-concept/
Published Date: Sat, 16 Apr 2022 17:41:13 +0000

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Motor

Here comes trouble: A Triumph TR6 with a Matchless frame

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custom triumph tr6 matchless frame 625x417 1

Kids are impressionable, especially when motorcycles are involved. That magical combination of sound, smell and danger has a way of imprinting itself on young minds. But Kyle Harvey didn’t just dream of bikes as a child—he practically grew up with them.

Kyle’s trade is tool and die making, but his passion is building bikes. His father, Garth Harvey, got Kyle and his brother into bikes at a young age; as soon as they could start their old man’s vintage motorcycles, they were riding them. Living in Edenvale in South Africa’s Gauteng province, the boys also had direct access to the local Classic Motorcycle Club.

 

The folks at the CMC made quite an impression on young Kyle—and taught him everything he knows about vintage bikes. After helping numerous friends work on their bikes, he went on to open his own shop, named simply ‘The Workshop.’ Kyle has been building and restoring classic motorcycles for over a decade now.

This cheeky bobber is his latest build, and it’s immensely fascinating. The engine’s from a Triumph TR6 Trophy, the frame is from a Matchless, and the quirky handmade details on it are endless.

Custom Triumph TR6 with Matchless frame

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By: Ben Pilatti
Title: Here comes trouble: A Triumph TR6 with a Matchless frame
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/custom-triumph-tr6-matchless-frame
Published Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2022 17:01:12 +0000

 

 

 

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The Swan Song of the V12

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The V12 engine holds a special place in the heart of many automotive and motorsports fans. For some, it’s the sound of Formula 1 through the years, especially during the 1990s. For others, it’s engines like the 6.1 L BMW S70/2 from the McLaren F1 or the 3.9L Lamborghini V12 that powered all their cars from the Miura through to the Diablo. No matter where it lies in your heart, it is the “proper” configuration for many: 6 cylinders per bank, put into a V, and firing in an odd sequence to give it that special roar under power.

Yet, as concerns over fuel efficiency, qualms about environmental impact, and high-powered turbocharged V8 or V6 engines are the norm now, the V12 is slowly, but surely, being put to rest. In fact, the only place that V12s are still hanging on by the last threads of their engine mounting bolts are in supercars, hypercars, and a few ultra-luxury cars. Even then, many exotic brands have announced that their next cars will either be V10s or turbo V8s and V6s.

Since it appears that the swan song of the V12 is reaching a crescendo, we thought it only appropriate to celebrate the few remaining cars out there that carry them. It may be the last time we see some of these brands, many of which are known for their V12s.

The Amazing Last V12 Production Versions from the Big Brands

Ferrari 812 Superfast

Ferrari 812 Superfast

Ferrari 812 Superfast. Image via Supercars.

The writing is on the wall for the prancing horse, as the new Ferrari 296 GTB is showing the direction that Maranello is headed. Yet, unless you were invited to snag one of the limited-edition Monza SP1 or SP2 cars, there is still one car you can buy from the legendary marque that has all 12 cylinders fully intact.

The 6.5L F140 GA V12

The 6.5L F140 GA V12
The 6.5L F140 GA V12. Image Via: Wikimedia Commons.

The 6.5L F140 GA 65-degree V12 in the front of the 812 is the last road-going version of the V12 that debuted in the Ferrari Enzo. Producing a monstrous 789 HP and 530 lbs-ft of torque, it is no slouch either, as when the 812 Superfast debuted, it was the most powerful naturally aspirated production car engine ever made.

It has the typical low-rev Ferrari roar that rises into a howl as the car revs up to nearly 9,000 RPM, and will catapult the 3,845 (1,744 kg) car to 60 MPH in 2.9 seconds. As far as a curtain call is concerned, that’s a great way to bow out and focus on hybrids and turbocharged engines.

Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC

2022 Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC

2022 Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC
cedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC. Image via Supercars.

Mercedes-Benz used to be at the very top of the V12 pecking order when it came to luxury performance cars. Such classics as the S 65 AMG from the mid-2000s and the 500 TE AMG W123 Touring from the very end of the 1970s came with big V12s that sound astounding, but the biggest and baddest of the Mercedes V12s left on in a production car is the M279 E60 LA that hauled the S65 AMGs of 2014.

M279 E60 LA Twin Turbo V12

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By: Simon Bertram
Title: The Swan Song of the V12
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/v12-swan-song/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 10:49:26 +0000

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Road Tested: Gear from Shoei, Akin Moto and Rev’It!

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In our continuing quest to source motorcycle gear that combines safety and style, we bring you our thoughts on Shoei’s new ECE 22.06-approved NXR2 helmet. Plus a stealthy riding parka from Akin Moto, and the perfect pair of urban riding gloves from Rev’It!.

Shoei NXR2 helmet It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Shoei’s helmets. Every Shoei I’ve owned has fit and felt right from the first wear, with no major deviations in their sizing or shape from model to model. So when I was looking for a do-it-all street helmet to replace my well-used Shoei RYD, the new NXR2 was a no-brainer… and it hasn’t disappointed.

I loved the RYD for its combination of neutral styling, comfort and ventilation. The NXR2 basically feels like a premium version of the RYD; it has the same clean aesthetic, but ramps up the performance. And it’s one of the few helmets that meet with Europe’s new, and more stringent, ECE 22.06 standard.

Shoei NXR2 helmet reviewRead More

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Road Tested: Gear from Shoei, Akin Moto and Rev’It!
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/shoei-akin-moto-revit-review-44
Published Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2022 17:01:31 +0000

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