IEEE Spectrum Announces 2018's Top 10 Tech Cars
A lot of Automotive magazines have multi-page spreads on "top ten cars". The winning vehicles are sporty, luxurious, fast or all the above. IEEE Spectrum, on the other hand, is concerned with what really matters – the tech. That's why the publication's top 10 list isn't based on horsepower and leather seating, but rather on the greatest technological achievements. These are the vehicles IEEE included in its Top 10 Tech Cars for 2018.
Honda Civic Type R
Acura Type R models have long been an object of desire for Fast and Furious movie fans. Now, Honda is fulfilling the desire of teenagers everywhere (and admittingly, some adults) with the Civic Type R. But the Civic isn't just a snazzy boy racer, it's also full of advanced technology. Motivation comes from an ground-breaking 2.0L turbocharged engine, making 306 hp and 295 lb. While this power would make most front-wheel drive vehicles go sideways from torque-steer, Honda solves the problem with an innovative, dual-axis front suspension.
Tesla Model 3
It should come as no surprise that the Tesla Model 3 makes the top tech car list. Elon Musk's first attempt at an "affordable car" is powered by a 221 hp electric motor paired with a 80.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It also has a self-driving feature, which may someday be capable of full autonomy.
The 720S definitely has sex appeal. It also has a carbon fiber body weighing in at just 2,829 lbs and mid-mounted turbo V8. Hydraulically linked shock absorbers and variable drift control (yes, really) are just some of the other technological marvels.
Two seats, a composite body and two electric motors – that's the Edison's recipe for fun. Oh yeah, and it's also riding on just three wheels. Whether that qualifies it as a trike or a car doesn't really matter, because it's out-of-this-world cool.
The Nissan Leaf is the world's best-selling electric vehicle. It gets even better for 2018 with a greater range, more power and the odd, one-pedal feature drivers love. Simply take your foot off the gas and regenerative braking brings the car to a complete stop. No brake pedal required.
When it comes to autonomy, General Motors is leading the way with the Cadillac CT6. The big Caddy can be had with Super Cruise, a level-2 autonomous driving aid. One IEEE journalist notes that "On a highway north of Manhattan, I drove for more than 2 hours without once touching the wheel, gas, or brakes."
Rimac Concept One
Four oil-cooled electric motors provide the Rimac Concept One with a blistering 1,224 horsepower. One motor – along with a power inverter and gear box – is positioned at each of the car's wheels. A torque vectoring system ensures all that power gets to the ground.
Two electric motors putting out 1,000 horsepower, and a top speed of 235 mph? Tesla better watch out. Straight out of Silicon Valley, the powerful Lucid Air has what it takes to give the Musk camp a run for its money.
Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
It's hard to believe a Dodge built for straight-line racing can be high-tech, but the Challenger SRT Demon is. In addition to the monstrous, supercharged 6.2L engine, the Demon packs a list of production car firsts. Highlights include a transbrake and a supercharger bypass valve (to prefill the engine with 8 PSI of boost). There's also a Power Chiller, which diverts air from the air conditioner to the heat exchanger, to cool supercharger intake air.
Crossover and SUV hybrids aren't usually as efficient as their car-based counterparts, because of their heft and boxy design. The Kia Niro is changing all that with aerodynamic styling and an EPA estimated fuel economy of 49 mpg. It comes in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid forms, and will soon be available with all-electric propulsion.
Source: IEEE Spectrum
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