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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 tires, 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 modern 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, but took much longer to be accepted in Western Europe and other parts of the world.
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, but also more reliable and easier to operate. These include rear reversing cameras, air conditioning, navigation systems, and in-car entertainment. Most cars in use in the 2010s 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.
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The Maserati MC12 (Tipo M144S) is a limited production two-seater sports car produced by Italian car maker Maserati to allow a racing variant to compete in the FIA GT Championship. The car entered production in 2004, with 25 cars produced. A further 25 were produced in 2005, making a total of 50 cars available for customers. With the addition of 12 cars produced for racing, only a total of 62 of these cars were ever produced.
Maserati designed and built the car on the chassis
of the Enzo Ferrari
, but the final car is much larger and has a lower drag coefficient. The MC12 is longer, wider and taller and has a sharper nose and smoother curves than the Enzo Ferrari, which has faster acceleration, better braking performance (shorter braking distance
) and a higher top speed. The top speed of the Maserati MC12 is 330 kilometres per hour (205 mph) whereas the top speed of the Enzo Ferrari is 350 kilometres per hour (217.5 mph). Read more...
Selected article -
) is an Italian luxury vehicle
manufacturer. Established on 1 December 1914, in Bologna
, Italy, the company's headquarters are now in Modena
, and its emblem is a trident
. The company has been owned by FIAT Chrysler Automobiles
(FCA) and FCA's Italian predecessor FIAT S.p.A.
since 1993. Maserati was initially associated with Ferrari
. In May 2014, due to ambitious plans and product launches, Maserati sold a record of over 3,000 cars in one month. This caused them to increase production of the Quattroporte
models. In addition to the Ghibli
, Maserati offers the Maserati GranTurismo
, the GranTurismo Convertible, the Maserati Levante
(the first ever Maserati SUV). Maserati has placed a production output cap at 75,000 vehicles globally. Read more...
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Selected biography -
Selected quote of the day
I think cars today are almost the exact equivalent of the great Gothic cathedrals. I mean the supreme creation of an era, conceived with passion by unknown artists, and consumed in image if not in usage by a whole population which appropriates them as a purely magical object.
—Roland Barthes' The New Citroën (1957)
Did you know...
- ...that the racing version of the Dauer 962 Le Mans, winner of 1994 24 Hours of Le Mans, is a roadcar converted from a Porsche 962 racecar, which dominated Le Mans, Group C and IMSA during the 1980s.
- ...that the 25 Millionth VW Golf rolled off the production line in Wolfsburg in March 2007. The first Golf started production in 1974, 33 years later the 1.4 litre TSI version became the 25 Millionth car.
- ...that the nearly identical Ford Model T engines were produced for exactly 12,000 days
- ...that the first production turbocharged cars were General Motors' A-body 1962 Chevrolet Corvair and Oldsmobile F-85?
- ...that Jeep introduced the 1993 Grand Cherokee and 2007 Wrangler in the same way — by driving them through a plate glass window?
- ...that a small number of Renault 20s, badged as Dacia 2000, were made in the 1980s by Dacia in Romania for Romanian communist dignitaries of that time?
- ...that the Autobianchi Primula was the Fiat's first automobile with the front-wheel drive, transverse engine setup and rack and pinion steering?
- ...that the Plymouth Sundance is a liftback, even though the outside appearance might suggest that it is a sedan?
The following are images from various car-related articles on Wikipedia.
Vehicles in use per country from 2001 to 2007. It shows the significant growth in BRIC.
A car being assembled in a factory
German Flocken Elektrowagen of 1888, perhaps the first electric car of the world
The second Marcus car of 1888 at the Technical Museum in Vienna
1946 GAZ-M20 Pobeda one of the first mass-produced cars with ponton design
Gustave Trouvé's tricycle, the first ever electric automobile to be shown in public
In the Ford Model T the left-side hand lever sets the rear wheel parking brakes and puts the transmission in neutral. The lever to the right controls the throttle. The lever on the left of the steering column is for ignition timing. The left foot pedal changes the two forward gears while the centre pedal controls reverse. The right pedal is the brake.
The Smart Fortwo car from 1998–2002, weighing 730 kg (1,610 lb)
The Vélib' in Paris, France is the largest bikesharing system outside China
A replica of Richard Trevithick's 1801 road locomotive 'Puffing Devil'
Mass production at a Toyota plant in the 1950s
Result of a serious car collision
A Stanley Steamer racecar in 1903. In 1906, a similar Stanley Rocket set the world land speed record at 127.7 miles per hour (205.5 km/h) at Daytona Beach Road Course
Fiat 4 HP, the first car model produced by Italian manufacturer Fiat (present-day FCA) in 1899
Cugnot's steam wagon, the second (1771) version
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