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Ford EcoBoost-Powered Racer Sets Daytona Speed Record

by on Oct.10, 2013

The Ford EcoBoost Daytona Prototype crossing the finish line at the Florida speedway.

Ford has done an admirable job of establishing the EcoBoost name in the market as shorthand for the maker’s latest fuel-saving powertrain technology. So, some folks might be excused for getting confused by the news that a Ford EcoBoost-powered racer has just set a new speed record at Florida’s legendary Daytona speedway.

A prototype race car using a specially modified 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 turned in a single lap speed record of 222.971 miles per hour on the big Daytona oval, besting a 26-year-old record set by NASCAR champ Bill Elliott while qualifying for the 1987 Daytona 500 – coincidentally in a Ford Thunderbird.

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Ford recently announced plans to develop an EcoBoost-powered racer to demonstrate that the technology isn’t solely meant to deliver good mileage but can also be fun to drive.

And Ford isn’t alone. Mazda dominated the Grand Am GX series – after addressing some early problems – with a race car powered by a SkyActiv-D diesel, an engine the Japanese maker claims is only a modestly modified version of the “oil burner” that will appear in the Mazda6 sedan early next year.


New Car Could Let The Blind Drive

Using advanced sensors to “see” the road, modified Ford to lead into Rolex 24 race next January.

by on Jul.02, 2010

Blind driver Brian Buhrow tries out DriveGrip.

While there have been plenty of advances when it comes to enabling the blind to participate in daily life, they’re still at a severe disadvantage in a society so heavily dependent on personal transportation.

But even that obstacle soon could be overcome, suggests the National Federation of the Blind, which is developing a high-tech version of the Ford Escape designed to allow the blind to drive.

Developed in cooperation with Virginia Tech, the vehicle will make its running debut on January 29, 2011 during the “Blind Driver Challenge,” an on-track event that will lead into the annual Rolex 24 endurance race at Florida’s Daytona International Speedway.

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“I’m not prepared to say when a vehicle like this will be in a dealership where you could walk in and buy one, but with a little imagination, I’m convinced that day will come,” says Federation board member Tarnell Diggs.