More Car Questions

By Angela Monroe - November 24, 2021

more car questions

You ask, we answer and that means more car questions and more answers. 

Last time, we found out about;

  • New car smell
  • Engine ‘tick down’
  • Tesla income
  • Premium fuel
  • And more

So make sure to check those answers.

In this edition we find out;

  • What’s the deal with the “Apple car”?
  • How harmful is car exhaust really?
  • How much does car paint weigh?
  • Who owns the big car brands?
  • Can F1 cars drive upside down?

What’s the deal with the “Apple car”?

applecar1

If you haven’t heard, Apple (yep, the iPhone maker) has been working on a “car” since 2014. 

Details are few and far between but it is apparent that the vehicle aims to deliver full-autonomous driving, something tech companies and automakers have been racing towards for years.

If Apple can successfully deliver a fully-autonomous vehicle, it’ll be a huge feather in the tech giant’s cap and allow it to compete in the auto world. 

The Apple car is rumoured to have no steering wheel or pedals but still offers an override option meaning that it might be controlled only by a device.

Launch is pegged for 2025, although that’s not official.

How harmful is car exhaust really?

exhaust

Very. Internal combustion engine vehicles produce carbon dioxide out of their exhaust pipes.

There’s a lot of talk about the dangers of carbon dioxide emissions for the climate – which are very valid, but the gas is also harmful to humans. 

CO2 can kill humans at concentrations above about 6% – regardless of how much oxygen there is in the air.

CO (carbon monoxide) is even worse. Just 0.33% concentration will kill you in about half an hour. The problem is that it’s odorless and colourless which makes it difficult to detect.

Fortunately, cars use a catalytic converter within their exhaust systems. These “cats” as they’re often called, use a catalyst of elements to ‘convert’ harmful gasses into less harmful ones.

Note that the gasses are less harmful, NOT harmless.

How much does car paint weigh?

different coloured pencils

Did you know that the Ferrari F40 famously has thin paint to save weight? You can actually see carbon fibre weave on some surfaces.

Other high performance cars employ the same tactic.

The average passenger car can have between 4kg and 7kg of paint and primer.

Primer is a base coat that is sprayed directly onto the metal (or plastic) surface on the vehicle’s panels.

Cars typically have 3 coats of paint:

  • Primer: a grey coloured coat to ensure high quality paint and a smooth finish
  • Colour coat: the actual colour of of the vehicle
  • Clear coat: the protective coat that you actually touch

Some cars have more than one colour coat.

Who owns the big car brands?

This is an interesting one. Many car buyers think they’re getting a unique vehicle when they buy a car but often, the car shares many parts with other models and even makes.

Here’s a quick sum up of who owns what.

Owner STELLANTIS GROUPE
RENAULT 
GM  VW Group Geely
Brands Chrysler
Jeep
RAM
Dodge
Fiat
Maserati
Lancia
Alfa Romeo
Vauxhall
Opel
Peugeot
Citroen
Lada
Dacia
Alpine
Venucia
Nissan
Mitsubishi
Infiniti
Datsun
Chevrolet
Cadillac
Wuling
GMC
Holden
Baojun
Buick
Audi
Porsche
Skoda
Seat
Bugatti
Bentley
Lamborghini
Lotus
Volvo
Proton
Polestar 

If you’re wondering, Tesla owns Tesla, Elon musk owns 17%, not all of it. Toyota Motor Corp. owns Lexus and Toyota. Ford owns Ford.

It’s not uncommon to find vehicles sharing many of the same parts, for example the VW Tiguan Allspace and Skoda Kodiaq.

Designing parts, seeking safety standards approval, tooling factories, buying raw materials… it all costs big bucks and sharing parts can reduce costs.

Can F1 cars drive upside down?

The theory goes that because F1 cars generate so much downforce, they could drive upside down, perhaps in a giant tunnel.

It’s true.

Formula One cars are equipped with front and rear wings (and others) that push the car down into the road at high speeds. The advantage is more grip when cornering.

In a giant tunnel, the average F1 car of today would need to travel at around 200kph (or even just under) to generate enough force to drive upside down on a ceiling. Note that in an average race, they easily clock speeds at well over 300kph.

Would the engine work upside down?

The question is around fuel and oil. Upside down, these liquids would “hang” in the tops of the tanks and not get picked up by feeds.

Depending on the setup of the car, F1s primarily use a dry sump meaning multiple oil pickups in the sump (oil tank) all feed a large oil tank that supplies the engine under pressure. This means the engine won’t be starved of oil.

Fuel might still be an issue but if engineered to drive upside down, would be achievable. 

More car questions

Keep an eye out on this space as we aim to answer more car questions as they come in.

Hopefully, the above answered some of those questions and cleared up any confusion around the topics covered.

Angela Monroe
Angela Monroe is the Community Manager at The Positive Group, specialising in giving people the information that they need when they need it, and putting you on the path to a fair financial future. She has 8 years of experience in helping Australians find the right finance solutions, and regularly contributes articles to empower Australians with the knowledge they need to become financially healthy.

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