Speed and Splendor: 30 Fascinating Facts About Cars

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1Volkswagen

Volkswagen

Volkswagen owns Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, Škoda, Ducati, MAN, and Scania.


2. 3/4 of the cars that Rolls Royce has ever produced are still on the road.


3. Toyota Mirai is one of the first fuel cell vehicles being sold commercially that uses hydrogen to run while emitting water vapor.


4. Electric vehicles predate the Model T, and in the year 1900, comprised 38% of cars on the road.


5. Car tires are black because one manufacturer wanted "more distinguished looking" tires and had carbon black added to the white rubber. The resulting tires lasted 4-5 times longer.


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6Porsche interior

Porsche interior

Five cow skins are needed for a Porsche interior. Their production amounts to roughly 165,000 cars a year (2013 report). 452 cars per day, 2260 cows a day.


7. "Project sound" is a car suspension system by Bose. It was over-engineered to the point of being deemed unviable commercially, but it outperformed everything on the market.


8. Bugatti Veyron tires cost $42,000 for a set. At top speed, they only last 15 minutes. The wheels have to be replaced every other tire change to ensure the integrity of the bead seal at high speed. Those are $69,000 a set.


9. Rolls Royce didn't start selling cars with bodywork until 1946. Up until then, they only sold the chassis and motor with a recommendation to use Barker & Co Ltd to build a customized body and coach. One of their designs is the world's most expensive car at $57,000,000.


10. The Dubai police fleet includes a Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Bentley. This is to allow them to catch speeders who can outrun other cars.


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11Classic cars

Classic cars

The only American cars that can be purchased for private use in Cuba are those that were previously registered and acquired before the revolution. This is the reason there are so many classic 1950's American cars in Cuba.


12. Cars have become so quiet, automakers have resorted to playing fake engine noises from the speakers.


13. Ferrari engines are musically engineered to sound perfect by utilizing 3rd and 6th harmonics on the air intake, like a flute or organ.


14. The Honda Prelude was the first mass-produced car that featured a mechanical 4-wheel steering system. In its debut year, it beat every car in the slalom test, including Porsche and Ferrari.


15. In 2008, Lamborghini gave the Italian state police the world’s fastest police car, a Gallardo LP560-4, which was equipped with a video surveillance camera, gun racks, GPS, organ transplant cooler (in the luggage compartment) and defibrillator. It was crashed the following year.


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16Rolls Royce Silver Shadow

Rolls Royce Silver Shadow

Rolls Royce never disclosed the horsepower for their Silver Shadow and advertised it as "adequate."


17. The pinstripe on a Rolls Royce is handpainted, with no margin for error as the paint has special properties that instantly bond it to the underlying car paint.


18. The Honda City Turbo is a car that included a little motorized folding scooter designed to fit in the trunk.


19. In 2004, Volvo introduced a concept car (Volvo YCC) that was built for women without a hood and dent-resistant bumpers.


20. The world record for most miles driven by a car is held by a Volvo P-1800S at 2,850,000 miles or about 114 times around the planet.


21Center Steer

Center Steer

Land Rover's first design had the steering wheel in the middle so it could be used in left or right side driving counties without modifications.


22. The aerodynamics of the McLaren P1 create more downforce than the weight of the car itself. The rear wing also retracts past 150mph to prevent the downforce from breaking the suspension.


23. Ford once created a vehicle made out of plant materials. "Ford's 1941 biological car that was made of soybean, wheat, hemp, flax and ramie fibers in a soy-based phenolic resin weighed 1,000 pounds less than a steel car".


24. The last car to have a cassette deck as a standard equipment was the Lexus SC430, in 2010.


25. Rolls Royce offers a course called "White Glove Experience" to teach chauffeur's how to, among other things, minimize fingerprints on door handles and brake the car without kickback.

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