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The Cars Portal

Cars and trucks driving on a divided highway, Highway 401 in Ontario, Canada

A car (or automobile) is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transportation. Most definitions of cars say that they run primarily on roads, seat one to eight people, have four wheels, and mainly transport people rather than goods.

Cars came into global use during the 20th century, and developed economies depend on them. The year 1886 is regarded as the birth year of the car when German inventor Karl Benz patented his Benz Patent-Motorwagen. Cars became widely available in the early 20th century. One of the first cars accessible to the masses was the 1908 Model T, an American car manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. Cars were rapidly adopted in the US, where they replaced animal-drawn carriages and carts. In Europe and other parts of the world, demand for automobiles did not increase until after World War II.

Cars have controls for driving, parking, passenger comfort, and a variety of lights. Over the decades, additional features and controls have been added to vehicles, making them progressively more complex. These include rear-reversing cameras, air conditioning, navigation systems, and in-car entertainment. Most cars in use in the early 2020s are propelled by an internal combustion engine, fueled by the combustion of fossil fuels. Electric cars, which were invented early in the history of the car, became commercially available in the 2000s and are predicted to cost less to buy than gasoline cars before 2025. The transition from fossil fuels to electric cars features prominently in most climate change mitigation scenarios, such as Project Drawdown's 100 actionable solutions for climate change. (Full article...)

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The Toyota TS030 Hybrid is a Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1) sports car built by Toyota Motorsport GmbH and used by the manufacturer in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2012 and 2013. It was Toyota's first all new prototype since the GT-One last competed in 1999, and was the first petrol-hybrid engine car to participate in the World Endurance Championship. Work on designing the car began in late 2010 when early chassis designs were presented to Toyota Motorsport. The project was stopped briefly after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, but the car's building was approved six months later. The TS030 Hybrid featured a Kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) regenerative braking device to charge a super capacitor. Its engine, a naturally aspirated petrol 3.4-litre (210 cu in) V8 power unit, was mounted at a 90-degree angle, produced 530 horsepower (400 kW; 540 PS), and was based on Toyota's Super GT project.

On 24 January 2012 the TS030 Hybrid was shown to the press for the first time at Circuit Paul Ricard and the team commenced testing at the track shortly after. Its planned debut at the 2012 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps was delayed while the car's chassis was rebuilt after a heavy testing crash. Two TS030 Hybrid cars were entered for Le Mans which saw the team fail to finish because of a sizeable accident by Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 vehicle, and an engine failure for the sister No. 7 entry. After the race, the company fielded a sole TS030 Hybrid for the rest of the season and attracted attention for an innovative rear wing extension. It was able to compete successfully against the two Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars, securing three victories with drivers Nicolas Lapierre and Alexander Wurz, ending the season second to their rivals in the World Manufacturers' Championship. (Full article...)
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A group of Le Mans Prototypes competing in the American Le Mans Series, 2007

A Le Mans Prototype (LMP) is the type of sports prototype race car used in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, FIA World Endurance Championship, WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, European Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Series. Le Mans Prototypes were created by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO). The technical requirements for an LMP include bodywork covering all mechanical elements of the car. Currently there are three classes within Le Mans Prototypes, called LMP1, LMP2 and LMP3.

While not as fast as open-wheel Formula One cars around a track, LMP1s were the fastest closed-wheel racing cars used in circuit racing, and were often faster than an F1 car in a straight line. Le Mans Prototypes are considered a class above production-based grand tourer cars, which compete alongside them in sports car racing. (Full article...)

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Michelle Christensen is a U.S. car designer. She was Acura's first female exterior designer. Since 2005 Christensen has worked for Acura and was the lead designer of the second generation Honda NSX.

Christensen grew up in San Jose, California. She learned about the mechanics of cars from her father, who was into hot rods and muscle cars. In school she developed an interest in drawing and fine art and at community college she learned about car design and went on to study at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Christensen said that car design is the ideal blend of her passions, "art, cars, and making things for people." (Full article...)

On this day December 7

BMW's Munich office tower
1971BMW begins construction of its landmark Munich office tower
1991Brampton Assembly ends Dodge Monaco and Eagle Premier production to prepare for the Chrysler LH platform models

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The Aston Martin DB9 is the car that I'd be most likely to sell my children into slavery for.

Jeremy Clarkson

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