2017’s Top Ten Tech Cars: Ford Focus RS

Born for the rally race

2 min read
Photo of the Ford Focus RS.
Take a Spin: The Ford Focus RS’s engine spins up turbocharged torque that tests the tires when the car is in Drift Mode, essentially a controlled, curving skid.
Photo: Ford Motor Co.

Back in the 1980s, when Volkswagen birthed the hot hatchback with the GTI, owners like me thought 110 horsepower was a big deal. Things being what they are today, we now have the Ford Focus RS, which spins up a borderline-ridiculous 261 kilowatts (350 horsepower) and 475 newton meters (350 foot-pounds) of turbocharged torque from a dinky 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. That’s more force than you get from many V-8s.

Ford’s little beastie is designed to handle the dirt and snow of rally racing, or your best simulation—including a 447-kW (600-hp) version that superstar racer Ken Block will drive in the FIA Rallycross series.

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New Faraday Cages Can Be Switched Off and On

Built out of a novel material called MXene, these cages could block and allow signals as desired

3 min read
New Faraday Cages Can Be Switched Off and On

Radio waves interacting with a MXene film.

Chong Min Koo

Advanced new Faraday cages—the metal mesh enclosures that can block wireless signals—can also be switched on and off for reversible protection against noise, a new study finds.

In addition, these new shields can be easily fabricated through a technique akin to spray-painting, which could help them find use in electronics, researchers say.

Similarly to the way window blinds adjust how much visible light enters a room, engineers want dynamic control over the electromagnetic waves used in wireless communications. This ability would let devices receive and transmit signals when desired but also protect them against electromagnetic interference, such as static and jamming, and help them avoid being spied on.

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Bosch Powers the Automotive Sector Toward an Electrified Future

The German company has optimized three-phase inverters and their DC link capacitors with a simulation-powered design process

8 min read
Digital art showing a 3D transparent car with the electric engine connected to batteries.

The global transition toward electric cars is getting a boost from industry suppliers like Robert Bosch, which provides electrical components and systems to car manufacturers. The Bosch team optimizes three-phase inverters and their DC link capacitors with a simulation-powered design process, which enables them to identify potentially destructive "hot spots" early in the development cycle.

This sponsored article is brought to you by COMSOL.

Just as tourists in Paris are drawn to the Louvre, visitors to Stuttgart, Germany, also flock to museums displaying the great works of the city. Stuttgart may not boast of Degas or Monet, but its prominent names are perhaps even more famous than Paris’ painters: Mercedes–Benz and Porsche. Each of these iconic automakers maintains a museum in the southwestern German city they call home. Their gleaming galleries feature many historic and influential cars, almost all of them powered by petroleum-fueled internal combustion (IC) engines. Looking ahead, Stuttgart will likely continue to be the heart of the German auto industry, but how long will the IC engine remain the heart of the automobile?

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