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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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The Ten Most Advanced Cars Of All Time

Get out your nerd glasses because Jalopnik readers have put together a list of the ten most advanced cars mankind has ever built. We've come a long way since we invented the horseless carriage over a century ago.

10.) Nissan GT-R

Suggested By: Gamecat235

Why it's a marvel: It would have been easy for Nissan to make the GT-R very simple, and likely just as fast as it is now. All they would need are bigger tires and a bigger engine. Instead, they chose a technical route, with a twin-turbocharged V6 built to such exact specifications that it is constructed in a clean room, an extremely sensitive four-wheel-drive system, and perhaps the most advanced computer management system in any production car. For something so heavy, it is ungodly fast.

9.) Lunar Rover

Suggested By: Kiwi_Commander

Why it's a marvel: The lunar rover is not the most complicated machine. It was built in the 70s, and it's not much more than a very light electric buggy with wire-mesh wheels and a radio uplink. Advanced technology, however, doesn't have to be incomprehensively complex. There is brilliance in simplicity. After all, it drove on the freaking moon.

8.) Bugatti Veyron

Suggested By: Viperfan1

Why it's a marvel: Just because the Veyron can't drive on the surface of the moon doesn't mean it's not a more advanced car. The surface of earth poses a number of problems itself, especially at 253 miles an hour.

The one statistic that explains this car and the number of systems required to allow it to drive calmly and smoothly around town as well as blast up past 400kp/h, is that it has ten radiators. Think of the colossal forces involved for a car to need more cooling radiators than your house.
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7.) Chevy Volt

Suggested By: wellthatsdumb

Why it's a marvel: Up until the Volt, the only cars to have an electric drivetrain supported by a fuel-burning engine were hack jobs built in hippies' garages outside of Berkeley, California. It took GM years to design something even remotely close to mass market and every industry insider doubted that they'd ever pull off what is called a "series hybrid."

6.) Honda FCX Clarity

Suggested By: that other honda guy

Why it's a marvel: Car companies have been building hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for decades now, but only Honda's FCX doesn't look like some hacked-together prototype. It's one thing to make a car that draws electricity off of pure hydrogen; it's another to make it production-ready.

5.) Williams FW14-B

Suggested By: jbcustom

Why it's a marvel: Today's Formula One cars are absurdly advanced. Just a few weekends ago, one team was banned from using an electronic engine map that both served as a rudimentary traction control and blew hot exhaust around its rear wing to improve its aerodynamics.

No current F1 car, however, is quite advanced as the 1992 Williams FW14-B with its semi-automatic gearbox, traction control and active suspension. It was so ahead of its contemporaries that it won 10 out of 16 races that season and its technology was banned. We're just catching up with it today.

4.) "Stanley"

Suggested By: driedsponge

Why it's a marvel: Stanley was the first car to definitively prove that it could drive itself. It was Stanford's entry into the 2005 DARPA challenge that had cars driving across the desert with no human intervention. Stanley was the first car to win. It was programmed to adapt to its surroundings, rather than just address obstacles using a set of pre-programmed responses.

This was an absolute breakthrough in adaptive driverless technology, and it's the main reason why we have anything like the Google Car today.
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3.) Audi R18 e-tron Quattro

Suggested By: Gamecat235

Why it's a marvel: It's hard to think of any car that could go as fast for as long as the winner of this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. It's a diesel hybrid, but it uses a flywheel instead of batteries. It is packed with the most advanced race car technology available, from the suspension, the aerodynamics, to the four-wheel-drive system.

2.) The Space Exploration Vehicle

Suggested By: HammerheadFistPunch

Why it's a marvel: Behold, the world's most advanced pickup truck. It's NASA's prototype for a future lunar rover called the Space Exploration Vehicle, or SEV for short.

For one thing it can drive on the moon for thousands of miles without any need for maintenance, but it's also a couple steps forward from the first Lunar Rover from the ‘70s. There are twelve wheels that spin 360 degree to allow for sideways "crabbing," a brace of scientific equipment, and a pressurized cabin in which astronauts can live for 14 days. It's as close to a space ship as a car has come.

1.) Curiosity

Suggested By: Brian, The Life Of, $kaycog

Why it's a marvel: Some might argue that Curiosity is not a car. No one will ever sit in it and grab the controls. It largely drives itself, though it gets assistance from an entire space program. None of that stops it from being a wheeled machine that drives around, so it's a car.

There's certainly no doubt that it is the most advanced car we've ever built. It's a mobile lab, a robot scientist, a photographer, an off-road driver, and a Mars explorer all at once. It's even nuclear powered! What more do you want?
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