This is both awesome and scary.
As a car owner, seeing your ride get towed away is one of the worst things you can experience. It’s your fault for parking in the wrong place, but still. Anyway, here’s a tow truck that’s so fast you won’t actually see your car being towed in the first place.
It was filmed outside an airport in Turkey, taking away an illegally parked Renault Clio. The Iveco Eurocargo carrier pulls up next to the Clio and two pillar lifts descend down to the road. The forks slide out and clamp the wheels, then raise the car above the truck’s chassis. Finally, the lifts slide across to the other side the chassis and the truck is ready to drive off.
The whole process takes precisely 60 seconds. Which isn’t even enough time to realize it’s your car’s alarm you can hear wailing. Instead, the owner will have emerged to find their car isn’t where they left it. Which is actually worse than seeing it being taken away. But again, it’s their fault for leaving it in the wrong place.
It’s an awesome piece of engineering – I haven’t been able to ascertain the manufacturer – but quite scary, too. Partly just because it’s so effective, but also because there’s not much you could do to stop criminals using it to boost cars.
I’m not aware of these being used anywhere other than Turkey; have you seen one in operation?
Volkswagen’s Dieselgate settlement with American owners of its cheaty diesel cars will cost the company more than $15 billion, or five billion dollars more than was originally reported, according to Bloomberg. More than $10 billion of that is slated just to go to Volkswagen owners.
The reported settlement also leaves less than $3 billion left over in Volkswagen’s initial Dieselgate fund for pending legal actions and investigations in the rest of the entire world.
Here are the financial details of how it will work:
Car owners will get a total of $10.03 billion, which covers both the value of their vehicles before the scandal became public last September and compensation payments of as much as $10,000 apiece, two people familiar with the negotiations said. Those figures could rise if VW misses certain repair deadlines.
The compensation figure jumped over the past few days, these people said, as the parties changed their estimates on what it would take to get some 85 percent of owners to trade in their vehicles under the settlement.
The rest of the settlement includes $2.7 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, and an additional $2 billion for research into clean-emissions technology, Bloomberg reported.
There’s a further settlement with individual states as well, possibly to the tune of another $400 million. There’s also no exact timetable yet for when any of this will come to fruition, or how VW owners will be able to make a claim for their cars.
But as we said earlier today, this is definitely not the end. There are still multiple lawsuits pending in many different countries, along with pissed off shareholders and regulators. Not to mention any lingering depression in sales that can be attributed to the scandal.
You didn’t think you’d heard the last from Ford about its stunning victory at Le Mans, did you? We’re not even talking about the 2016 running of the 24-hour endurance race. No, Ford throws it all the way back to 1966 for its new 2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition. The black-and-silver livery recalls the GT40 Mark II driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon back in 1966. That year, the No. 2 car came in first place, followed by the No. 1 GT40 of Ken Miles and Denis Hulme and the No. 5 GT40 driven by Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson.
Each ’66 Heritage Edition will wear Shadow Black exterior paint – either matte or gloss finish – with silver stripes and Frozen White No. 2 graphics on the hood and doors. The 20-inch forged aluminum wheels are done up in a gold satin finish. Ebony leather covers the carbon fiber seats inside, with gold accents on the instrument panel, seat X-brace, and shift paddles. Blue seatbelts round out the homage to the 1966 racecar.
Ford says the ’66 Heritage Edition will be sold in 2017 only, which makes sense. We wouldn’t bet against similar special-edition offerings in 2018, ’19, and ’20 – 1966 kicked off four straight victories for Ford at Le Mans – but if you like this specific livery, you’d better get in line now. See for yourself in our high-res image gallery up top, and feel free to read more in the press release below.
All-New 2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition Pays Homage toHistoric Livery on 1966 Le Mans Winner
– All-new Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition with unique black and silver-stripe livery celebrates 1966 Le Mans-winning GT40 Mark II race car driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon
– Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition honoring historic No. 2 race car limited to 2017 model year only
– Limited-edition Ford GT features exclusive race-number graphics, and unique interior colors, materials and appointments
DEARBORN, Mich., June 27, 2016 – The all-new 2017 Ford GT will be available in a limited-edition Heritage theme honoring the GT40 Mark II driven to victory by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon at Le Mans in 1966 – part of the historic 1-2-3 Ford GT sweep. The car will feature unique interior and exterior color themes, and an exclusive wheel finish.
“Celebrating the anniversary of Ford’s historic victories at Le Mans has always been a part of the return of the Ford GT,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, product development, and chief technical officer. “The 2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition is a stunning tribute to the car that kicked off Ford’s string of Le Mans victories in 1966.”
The Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition features a Shadow Black exterior in either gloss or matte finish with silver stripes and exposed carbon fiber package. The car sports Frozen White #2 hood and door graphics, and 20-inch one-piece forged aluminum wheels in a gold satin clearcoat with black lug nuts.
The interior of the limited edition model wraps the Ford GT carbon-fiber seats in Ebony leather, with pillowed inserts and plow-through stitching, and the seats’ head restraints and the steering wheel are debossed with the Ford GT logo. The instrument panel, pillars and headliner also features an Ebony-leather wrap, with gold appliqués on the instrument panel, the seat’s X-brace and shift paddles. Like the 1966 race car, the steering wheel is leather wrapped, with seat belts featuring a unique blue webbing.
Rounding out the modifications to the Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition are a unique serialized identification plate, the #2 interior door graphic, and exposed matte carbon fiber door sills, air register pods and center console.
Garen Nicoghosian, exterior design manager for the car, says the team set out to highlight where it all started with the Ford GT. “While the looks are distinctly based on the GT40 Mark II race car,” he says, “we’ve accentuated new styling cues to provide a modern interpretation.”
The Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition can be viewed at FordGT.com using the configuration tool.
Limited quantities will be available for the 2017 model year only.
If you’re thinking about doing some towing, and you also think that all the concern over weight distribution on the trailer is a load of crap perpetrated by the weight-distribution lobby, then I really suggest you watch this little video. Because what’s funny with toys is terrifying in reality.
This demonstration, which seems to come from the Ontario Police Commercial Vehicle Committee, is so wonderfully simple and effective. The little Mustang (the tow vehicle of choice for most discriminating towers) is pulling a trailer with two sets of weights: one at the front, one at the rear.
When more of the weight is at the front, things remain quite stable. Even a shove at the rear of the trailer by a massive Hand of God can’t really do all that much to discombobulate the trailer.
But once more weight is placed at the rear, that little lateral shove starts all kinds of pendulum-like swinging and trouble; it’s amazing how rapidly the system gets uncontrollable.
This is even likely less bad than a full-scale, real-world situation would be, because that conveyer belt is going at a steady, constant speed, and the car’s front wheels remain rigidly straight. In reality, once the swinging starts, the Mustang driver would likely be alternating cranking the wheel in a panic while jamming on the brakes, taking some time between these two acts to lavishly soil their pants.
So, take it from some toys on a conveyer belt: be careful how you distribute the weight of what you tow!
Also, it’s probably good there weren’t a bunch of Lego minifigs on the side of that conveyer belt, or that toy Mustang would have tried to plow them down.