Auto Research

Kawasaki patent application describes a three-wheel vehicle that leans

Kawasaki is working on a unique open-air three-wheeler with a rolling body that can lean into turns, according to a patent application published by the European Patent Office and discovered by Motorcycle.com

Like the three-wheeled Polaris Slingshot — which just got an update including a more powerful engine — it seats two people in a side-by-side layout, but it has some key differences. Most notable is the ability to tilt inward into the turning direction, which the applicant says makes it “possible to realize a favorable driving feeling similar to that of a motorcycle or the like.” And that’s the whole point: to counteract the centrifugal forces that normally push the driver away from the cornering side.

As described in the patent, the vehicle includes two front wheels that turn and remain vertical, plus a stationary rear wheel, which

2009 Toyota TF109 Formula One car crossing the auction block

Collectors who find limited-edition hypercars with a multi-million-dollar price tag a little bit too stodgy will soon have a rare opportunity to add a real Formula One car to their fleet. Toyota donated the first example of the last car it built to compete in the series to a charity auction whose proceeds will go towards COVID-19 relief.

Wearing chassis number 01, this TF109 participated in a battery of tests leading up to the 2009 Formula One season. It was driven by several professional pilots, including Henkie Waldschmidt, Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock, but it never lined up on the starting grid of a race. Instead of stuffing it in a dimly-lit museum, Toyota passed the TF109 to Pirelli who used it as a high-speed test mule for tires. It was stripped of its red and white livery and put

Uber launches $50-per-hour booking option in some U.S. cities

Uber will offer rides by the hour in some U.S. cities, a feature aimed at helping Americans with essential trips during the coronavirus pandemic. The option, which is already available in a handful of cities in Australia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, will cost $50 per hour. Fares for regular Uber rides are generally based on the level of demand and the trip distance.

Uber said it decided to expand the hourly feature to the U.S. after riders requested an option for extended trips during the pandemic to avoid exposure to different drivers and vehicles when taking multiple trips in a confined time period. The company said it expected the option to be used for trips to grocery stores, pharmacies and doctors appointments, but would monitor use going forward.

Hourly bookings will be available in Atlanta, Chicago,

Renault staying in Formula One despite massive restructuring

PARIS — Renault will stay in Formula One, interim Chief Executive Coltilde Delbos said on Friday after announcing the carmaker’s restructuring measures including plans to cut 15,000 jobs worldwide.

“We confirm that we intend to stay in Formula One,” she told a conference call.

“The new regulations, new cap in term of investments, because we had less investment than some of our competitors who are spending a lot of money, so F1, we are here, and we stay in Formula One.”

Renault’s F1 future had been uncertain given the financial pressures on the French car giant and a slump in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It had said nothing would be “taboo” as it reviewed its business, with the sport’s commercial ‘Concorde Agreement’ expiring at the end of the year. Renault finished fifth overall last season.

Formula One

An Uber/Lyft driver’s craziest experiences

Driving for Uber and Lyft is usually pretty mundane. You don’t get crazy passengers all that often — thankfully — because crazy passengers come with a lot of baggage. Sure, they give you good stories to tell and re-tell for years to come, but I’m not sure that makes up for the damage they do or pain they might inflict.

In fact, some “crazy” passengers can put a driver’s job at risk or his health and every now and then his life. Very rarely does a driver escape a brush with a wild and crazy passenger with just a good laugh and some funny stories. These experiences usually come with some degree of pain and suffering for the driver.

Here, let me share a few driving stories and see if you get the idea.

The crazy

During a ride

Want to buy an F1 team? Williams is considering selling

LONDON — Williams said on Friday it was considering selling its once-dominant but now struggling Formula One team as part of a strategic review.

Williams Grand Prix Holdings (WGPH) published results for 2019 showing Formula One revenue slid to 95.4 million pounds ($117.6 million) in 2019, down from 130.7 million pounds the previous year.

“The WGPH board is undertaking a review of all the various strategic options available to the company,” it said.

“Options being considered include, but are not limited to, raising new capital for the business, a divestment of a minority stake in WGPH or a divestment of a majority stake in WGPH including a potential sale of the whole company.”

The board has appointed Allen&Co and Lazard as joint financial advisers to assist with the strategic review and formal sale process.

“The Company is not in receipt