I love reading interesting facts about pretty much anything. Just the little unique tidbits of info that make you scratch your head and think, “Woah, that’s pretty awesome!” Some of these you might already know but some of them you may not.
1) Titanium Connecting Rods
The Acura NSX was the first production engine to use titanium connecting rods. Titainium is absurdly strong and actually has a stronger tensile strength (pound for pound) than high tensile steel. So for a reciprocating mass such as connecting rods it was a great choice. Cheap? Not a chance. But certainly a unique feature included in one of Acura’s most revered cars. The lower reciprocating mass helped the engine make reliablepower VERY high up in the RPM band.
2) With the Whale Tail…Downforce
Yes, it’s true that the original intention of spoilers was to provide downforce at high speeds. That being said, most of the time we look at spoilers on stock cars as a neat way to spice up the rear end and have no clue if they work or not. Truth be told, the Toyota Supra had one of the most recognizable spoilers around but most people don’t know that it’s functional. The spoiler provides 66lbs of downforce at 90mph.
3) First Front Engine, Rear Transaxle….AWD
I realize that’s a little cryptic so I’ll explain myself. We’re talking about the first car that had an engine under the hood, a transmission between the rear wheels, and power going to all four patches of rubber. There is only one car that meets this criteria (to my knowledge) in this day and age. It’s also a car that defies the very laws of physics. It’s the Nissan GTR. That’s right, the GTR employs a twin turbo VR38DETT engine at the front and a dual clutch transaxle in the rear. The difference between a transaxle and a transmission is that in a transaxle the axles enter the transmission directly. Once more, aside from the dual clutch magic and pixies the GTR has something very unique. It has two drive shafts. One connecting the engine to the transaxle that sends power to the rear of the car. Then there’s a second drive shaft that leaves the transaxle and sends power to the front wheels.
4) Wooden Cars
Sounds like a terrible idea. Make something incredibly fast that houses thousands of explosions a minute…out of wood. In any event, Morgan has been doing it since 1910. Morgan is a car company that can trace it’s lineage back to Harry Frederick Stanley Morgan; the founder of the company. The company is three generations old. Upon the death of HPS the company was passed down to Peter Morgan. Just before his death, Peter passed the torch to his son, Charles, who still runs it to this day. The engines have changed and so has just about everything else except the use of wood in their designs.
5) Most Aerodynamic
Aerodynamics play a HUGE role in vehicles. Once we figured out how to go fast enough we realized that the more we pushed into the air; the more the air pushed back. At some point a very smart individual recognized that we needed to change the shape of the car to minimize parasitic drag on the car’s frame. The most aerodynamic car built today is the Tesla Model S. That doesn’t sound so far fetched considering the price of the vehicle and it’s sporty nature. Second place goes to the Toyota Prius. Probably not what you would expect from a cheap economy car but it makes sense when you consider it was done for the MPG’s.
The Hummer H2 is built like a house; corners and all. It’s even properly sized. So it’s coefficient of drag is a whopping 0.57 for maximum gas wasting efficiency. But would you believe me if I said the Lotus 7, one of the most revered roadsters of all time was worse? Not just worse, but cataclysmically worse. The Lotus 7 (depending on the config) ranged with coefficients ranging from 0.65 to 0.75
7) Longest Running Car Model
The Chevy Suburban has been built since 1935. Nothing witty to say here….damn that’s a long time.
8) Biggest Land Yacht
The Maybach 62 is what I’m calling the “biggest” car ever. It’s the longest (242.7 inches) and also the heaviest weighing in at a portly 6,294lbs. It’s certainly worthy of the land yacht title.
9) Best Seller….EVER
The Toyota Corolla is the best selling vehicle of all time with more than 37.5 million units sold worldwide. They’re set to eclipse the 38 million mark by year’s end.
No it’s not sporty….deal with it
10) One and Only
The Phantom Corsair was produced in 1938….let me rephrase that. THE Phantom Corsair was produced in 1938 and just the one. Rust Heinz had big plans for his company but was killed in a car accident in July 1939.