September 24, 2015Technologies in Your Car Influenced by Motorsports
There are various technologies which may feature in your car that are more heavily influenced by motorsports than you may realise. Indeed with the ever-growing automobile industry, there are constant updates and new technologies gracing our vehicles.
Here, we list some of the everyday features in modern cars that you may be accustomed to which have their origins in motorsport vehicles.
High horsepower from small engines
Since 1987, the average Formula 1 car’s engine capacity has shifted massively, decreasing from 3.5 litres to a mere 1.6 litres, thus meaning that a powerful engine such as one used in a formula one vehicle is the same size as your average road car’s engine. This downsizing, along with the possibility to affix turbochargers and similar technologies to engines, the size of said engines is continually decreasing, while their power remains the same and is even being made greater.
For many years, there were simply automatic and manual gearboxes, and though this is still a common conception of driving and modern vehicles, there is now the possibility for the installation of semi-automatic gearboxes in a range of road vehicles. Adapted from Ferrari’s John Barnard’s creation in 1989 of simply selecting to move up or down a gear, leaving the vehicle to decide to which gear it should shift, a technology now exists in everyday cars for this type of function.
Offering improved safety through better tyre grip on road surfaces in a number of conditions, traction control is something which was originally introduced in the 1980s within Formula 1. Though the racing drivers may not have approved of it, due to its slowing of their cornering and the lessening of their opportunity for overdriving their cars into corners, it now provides an invaluable addition to a number of modern vehicles.
High-tech steering wheels
Formula 1 steering wheels hold a variety of functions relating to many aspects of the car, such as its electrics, engine and even gears. Though this is not uncommon on a Formula 1 race track, the complex, high-tech steering wheel is now something featuring in everyday road cars, such as the Ford KA which has no less than eight buttons on its steering wheel.
In fact, many of these innovative racing technologies that are most commonly expected on race tracks past and present are now featuring in many modern vehicles being designed and manufactured today. This begs the question: what technologies will our cars be fitted with in the future, and how will this benefit us?
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