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All posts by Stuart Thomas: Motorburn Editor

  • Mazda sketches out the CX-9 it’ll release at the LA Motor Show

    Mazda has released a sketch of the CX-9 it intends to release at the LA Motor Show and it doesn't look bad for a mid-sized SUV. At this stage, Mazda hasn't released much in the way of detail around the CX-9, except to say that the three-row car is a high-end model of its new-generation lineup and that it will incorporating the latest technologies in its SKYACTIV platform. Looks-wise the car borrows heavily from the Koeru concept unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show earlier this year.

  • Google’s taught its self-driving cars to be extra careful around kids

    Anyone who's spent more than a few minutes around small children will know that they can be, well, unpredictable. It seems Google's realised as much and recently asked a bunch of Googlers and their kids to hang around the internet giant's parked cars. The reason for doing so, it explained in a Google+ Post, was to give its sensors and software "extra practice at recognizing children in all their unique shapes and sizes". As the company notes, "Children's movements can be more unpredictable -- suddenly darting across the road or running down a sidewalk -- and they’re easily obscured behind...

  • Volvo’s Time Machine concept will drive itself to LA Motor Show

    This is interesting. Volvo's built a car, which it says is a time machine. Unfortunately that doesn't mean its figured out the secrets to Doc Brown's DeLorean from Back to the Future. Instead it seems to be a car designed to save you time. "You won’t be able to go back in time and meet the legends of history, or go into the future and meet your kids," said Anders Tylman-Mikiewicz, General Manager of the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center, “but when our planned concept is applied to a SPA based vehicle, it has the potential of giving significant...

  • The Lexus LF-FC concept adds a touch of class to Hydrogen-powered cars [Gallery]

    Toyota really wants Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to work. As well as the recently-launched Mirai, it's got a whole host of fuel-cell concepts on display at the Tokyo. Heck it's even roped Lexus, its luxury in with the LF-FC concept. According to Lexus, the LF-FC offers a "peek into the design and technology of the Japanese luxury marque's future flagship sedan". Among the technological innovations is the way the fuel-cell itself operates. As well as driving the rear wheels, it also sends power to two in-wheel motors in the front, making LF-FC all-wheel drive. Lexus reckons that doing things this way...

  • Mazda’s RX-Vision Concept is absolutely astonishing

    This year's Tokyo Motor Show has already produced plenty of wild concept cars, but when the dust settles there's little doubt that we'll remember Mazda's RX-Vision Concept as one of the most special. In part that's because it's heart-breakingly beautiful, with the kind of curves more typically found on luxury British roadsters. Add in rear-wheel drive and you have enough ingredients to put a smile on most people's faces. But the thing about the RX-Vision that's really setting car nerds' hearts aflutter is the fact that it's powered by a rotary engine. Before you get too excited though, you...

  • Here’s what you can expect from Formula E 2015/2016

    The first season of Formula E was one of the most hotly contested racing series of the year. While it'll be some time before the new format captures the kind of audiences Formula 1 has, it's clear that it very definitely has mass appeal. It's interesting then that the organisers have made a number of tweaks ahead of the new season. While not all of them will have complete fan buy-in, we're pretty sure that people will be fans of the fact that teams can now develop their own powertrains, meaning that each car will have its own unique...

  • Merc’s got another autonomous concept planned for Tokyo

    Mercedes-Benz seems determined to prove to the world that it's ahead of the pack when it comes to autonomous motoring. The German auto giant on Sunday posted a teaser image of its latest autonomous concept ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show. The car will be the second such concept from Merc, following the sensational debut of its F 015 concept at CES back in February. From the looks of things, this particular vehicle seems likely to have a larger passenger capacity than the F 015, but retains the distinctive windowless side-panels. That suggests there will once again be plenty...

  • Here’s what Toyota built for the ‘Back to the Future’ stars

    Last week we showed you a teaser video Toyota put out showing Back to the Future stars Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd reunited for a special reveal. The teaser came ahead of Wednesday, which marked the future date which Fox traveled to in Back to the Future II. From the start, it was obvious that the date would be used to mark the launch of the hydrogen fuel-cell powered Mirai, but Toyota went a little bit further than the video below: It also unveiled Back to the Future-inspired vehicles. The first re-imagined Doc Brown’s time machine as...

  • 5 harsh truths about the DeLorean DMC-12

    Unless you've just woken up, you're probably all too well aware of the fact that today is the date Marty McFly travels to in Back 2 to the Future II. But while the rest of the world is wondering where the hell their hoverboards are, we think the series has something much bigger to answer for. You see, the Back to the Future franchise is pretty much responsible for any residual goodwill the world still has for the DeLorean DMC 12. As the car driven by Doc Brown, it'll always have a certain amount of cool to kids who...

  • Student-built drifting DeLorean is the best way to celebrate ‘Back to the Future Day’

    What happens when you set a team from Stanford University's Revs Centre loose on an old DeLorean? Sheer unadulterated awesomeness, apparently. Dubbed The MARTY (Multiple Actuator Research Test bed for Yaw control), the project saw the team making massive changes to the original DeLorean including giving it the ability to drive itself. In order to so, a number of features were modernised and modified with a power-steering motor and rack among the features added. Once they'd done so, they took MARTY out on the track and proceeded to do some pretty sick doughnuts. Why's that necessary? Well,...

  • Audi reckons its A3 E-Tron brings a dose of bad-ass to green motoring

    The idea that all Toyota Prius drivers are smug, suburban armahair eco-warriors is a well-established one. Successful as the Prius was at launching the idea of hybrids into the mainstream consciousness, that image didn't exactly aid their appeal among petrolheads. That's why so many other car manufacturers have tried to position their hybrid offerings as not being like the Prius. The latest to do so is Audi in an ad which doesn't just take the mickey out of the Prius and its drivers, but actively taunts them. Check it out:

  • Marty McFly, Doc Brown reunite…for a Toyota ad

    On 21 October, middle-aged Back to the Future fans will find themselves staring into space, wondering exactly how many of the technologies the film predicted are in existence in 2015. While that's undoubtedly a pleasant exercise, they find all the information they need in a matter of minutes. All they'll need to do is watch Toyota's video reuniting Doc Brown and Marty McFly. The Japanese auto giant reunited Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in the lead up to the launch of its Mirai Fuel Cell Vehicle. “Over the years we’ve had a lot of fun predicting which Back...

  • What if car ads were based on all the words used in their reviews?

    Car makers spend serious money on adverts for their products. Even when you take out the crazy event-based stunts -- like driving a cross the Thames on a high wire -- it's a pretty expensive business. In South Africa alone, Hyundai spent R54-million between March and May 2015. But what if there was a simpler way? What if the world's biggest automakers abandoned their expensive ads for simple images accompanied by the words most frequently associated with the reviews of their vehicles? What could possibly go wrong. In a bid to find out, UK car site CarWow analysed every...

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