Brother to the White Zombie, Black Zombie 222

 

The White Zombie is the brainchild of John Wayland, who has been working on and building electric vehicles for the purpose of drag racing for nearly 20 years. But Mitch Medford is the insane genius whose idealism has brought Wayland’s creation to the rest of us with the Black Zombie 222.

Bloodshed motors out of Austin, Texas brings the Black Zombie to the market, not merely as a lightning-fast hot-rod for drag racing, but an obtainable, street-worthy-demon of the asphalt. With dual electric motors, totaling 800+ HP, 1800 ft-lbs of torque, pushing 0-60 in < 2 seconds and a top speed of 174, little else compares.

But since you’re probably wondering about the power train?  If you know the specs of a Tesla Model S P90 D, then you know that they are similar to the Black Zombie 222 (image below).  But the power train specs on the Zombie are better and you’re getting it in a legendary sports car. The Black Zombie will run you about $125k, whereas the S P90 D will run you, base model, $118k.

Zombie 222 Vs Tesla S

Medford and crew, having hit nearly 175 MPH in the Texas Mile are shooting to break 200 mph and the record for the fastest street legal electric vehicle.  Keep up with Mitch and Bloodshed on their Facebook page.  And if you’re in the market for a classic car that’s faster than ever before, check out the Zombie222

Support BloodShed Motors, buy a T-shirt or a 1/24 scale of model

Tesla P85D Launch Reactions

Tesla P85D Launch Reactions 01

Tesla P85D Launch Reactions

Although DragTimes has been launching dozens of cars for many years, it is only when they begin to launch people in the passenger seat of the Tesla P85D when they begin to see the reactions that they have longed for.   The attached video has a collection of 6 peoples Tesla P85D launch reactions that beg the question, is this a street car or a rail-gun?

Continue reading Tesla P85D Launch Reactions

Google Self-Driving Car Beta

Google Self-Driving Car Beta

Today Google announced their Self-Driving Car Beta release.  Barely more than 6 months ago, Google released a video of several volunteers testing the alpha version of the Self-Driving Car in Google’s own private test space.  Now, it appears that they are ready to begin thinking about testing for prime-time.

Google X Labs is heavily invested in the future technologies that would solve multiple problems as well as give humans the chance to use Google services without distractions.  Driving is one of those distractions.  Wouldn’t it be so much easier to read text messages and search for stuff to buy, if we weren’t distracted by the tedious task of driving?

Google Self-Driving Car alpha

As expected with projects from Google X, the new Self-Driving car isn’t just toy, it’s the beginning of a legitimate attempt to make driving better.   More than half of all traffic accidents are caused by human error.  Although we still want humans in cars, it would be nice to take that error out of the equation.  And although it might seem a bit controversial to some people, the idea has its merits.

The average driver would prefer to be driven, especially in traffic, rather than have to spend that time thinking about driving only.  One of the primary advantages of self-driving cars is that they rarely make mistakes.  According to Google testing, they’ve never made one, even after 700,000 miles.  Another advantage is that they can also react far more quickly than humans and can communicate with other autonomous vehicles.   The combination of these features, if done right, could nearly eliminate traffic congestion.   Thereby freeing up the would-be driver, now passenger, from accidents and time-delays.

Version 1.1

This latest model has an encapsulated radar module where the prior model had exposed guts.  There have also been minor improvements made  to both the interior and exterior, to give the car a more polished look.   Google also added some manual controls, as a fail-safe and to comply with California DMV laws.

When Can you Buy one?

Matthew Inman (TheOatmeal.com) has a stark interest in things electric. He owns a Tesla Model S and had the chance to ride in this latest model of the Google Self-Driving Car.  And as he notes in his article on the subject, “It’s not done and it’s not perfect”.   It would be an optimistic prediction to say that we will have self-driving cars, electric or gas by 2020.  But the advantages seem to point to that being a good thing.  Here’s to hoping that Self-Driving Cars become a reality in our lifetime.

 

 

 

Source: Google Self-Driving Car Project (Google Plus)

Tesla to Remove Side Mirrors, maybe

Credit: Eric VFX / Tesalmotorsclub

Its no secret that the side mirrors on any vehicle can cause extra drag.  It is likely that nearly every automobile manufacturer would like if it were possible to design their vehicles without this American mandate.  Tesla Motors may be the only car company with a legitimate position on this request.

The permanent and mechanical nature of current side mirrors on a car is not merely classic, but more traditionally reliable.  However for once, in the case of Tesla, the supposition to use monitors to access the rear side view is quintessential to the core idea of electricity.  If the power on a Tesla is unavailable to use to view the rear side monitors for the spaces of the vehicle, you wouldn’t merely be unable to see behind you, but drive at all.

But Tesla along with all electric vehicle manufacturers (and really any manufacturer who desires better fuel efficiency), could reduce wind-drag and improve the coefficient of air resistance to remove the rear side mirrors.  As an example, Nissan has already found a good use for the four camera system that they have on several of their vehicles.  Although the four-camera system does not currently address rear viewing, it does give the driver an over-head view of the vehicle when maneuvering in and out of parking spaces.

There are further advantages to using video monitors for rear views.

  1. By increasing the total space viewed by use of a wide-angle lens, to potentially eliminate blind spots.
  2. By changing the view when being used to park, to better track obstacles.
  3. By enhancing vision at night through alternate light such as infrared or sonar.
  4. By video feed of the last few minutes of a collision to a black-box
  5. The displays of these cameras can be placed in front of the driver, in the dash or as heads-up-displays so that they driver does not need to turn their head away from facing forward.
For now these changes may come slowly if at all, as each new advantage must be studied and verified.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will need to approve and vet each new concept to enable all manufacturers a safe and compliant technique.

GM Cuts Price Of The Volt To Stay Competitive

At least GM isn’t cutting functionality out of the Chevy Volt, despite cutting $5,000 from its price. It’s somewhat disappointing that it took this long for GM to realize that the $40,000 price tag was a bit more costly than other electric vehicles on the road.  The Volt isn’t all-electric, despite being billed as such, it has an internal combustion engine that can be used to recharge the batteries.  But it is still possible to drive the Volt as all-electric, and some people have done just that, never using the gasoline engine.

Nissan cut $6,400 from the price of the 2013 Leaf in December 2012, knocking the price down to just under $29,000.  Although the Volt is still not sub-$30k, it might stand to reason that it be a slight bit more expensive if for nothing more than because of the on-board generator.  The Volt is a large sedan, likely capable of running on gasoline alone, but it’s still $6,300 more than the starting price of the Nissan Leaf.

Unlike the ideals of EP Tender and eBuggy that would allow a pure electric vehicle to travel longer distances, the trailer is incorporated into the Volt. It may not be merely the opinion of the automobile engineers that an external add-on trailer is not as desirable for a vehicle.   The added weight of the internal combustion engine only detracts from the potential efficiency of the electric driving mode.

For now the Chevy Volt is still a decent compromise between an EV and an internal combustion-only vehicle. And maybe still good enough at $35,000 to lure some of the skeptics and range-anxietists away from oil.