Portal:Cars

The Cars Portal

Cars and trucks driving on 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 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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MC12. (5234528513).jpg

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...
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Maserati Modène 0002.JPG
Maserati (Italian: [mazeˈraːti]) 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 and Ghibli models. In addition to the Ghibli and Quattroporte, 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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The head and shoulders of a young man, shown in semi-profile. He wears a peaked cap and a military uniform with an Iron Cross displayed at the front of his shirt collar.
Nordmann as a Luftwaffe officer in 1943

Karl-Gottfried "Karlfried" Nordmann (22 November 1915 – 22 July 1982) was a German Luftwaffe pilot during World War II and, after the war, a president of Mercedes-Benz in North America. As a fighter ace he was credited with 78 enemy aircraft shot down in over 800 combat missions. He claimed the majority of his victories over the Eastern Front, with one during the Invasion of Poland and eight during the Battle of France and Britain.

Born in Giessen, Nordmann volunteered for military service in the Luftwaffe of the Third Reich in 1936. Following flight training, he was posted to Jagdgeschwader 132 (JG 132—132nd Fighter Wing) in October 1938. After a series of redesignations his unit was subordinated to Jagdgeschwader 51 (JG 51—51st Fighter Wing). He fought in the aerial battles over Poland, France and Britain, claiming nine victories. Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa, he was appointed Gruppenkommandeur (group commander) of the IV. Gruppe (4th Group) of JG 51. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 1 August 1941 following his 31st aerial victory and received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves on 16 September 1941 after 59 victories. The Oak Leaves grades to the Knight's Cross was Germany's highest military decoration at the time of its presentation to Nordmann. Read more...

On this day July 6

1955 — The U. S. Federal Air Pollution Control Act takes effect

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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)

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