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The Top 5 Greatest Innovations in the Car Industry of All Time!

If you thought the golden age of cars has come and gone, think again. Most of the industry watchers are getting more and more excited about the next decade calling it the beginning of the golden age of car innovation. This should prove to bring some exciting changes to the power, option and efficiency of the next generations of cars that we will all benefit from. Before we get distracted by the new, it’s time to look back and review the top 5 greatest innovations in the car industry of all time, to see just how far we have come.

#1 - Direct Injection and Turbochargers

The massive size of the old muscle engines wasn’t really about their being able to deliver more horsepower, today’s smaller size engines deliver much more in horsepower, it had to do with trying to control heat loss and power loss in the engines efficiency. Direct injection and turbocharger innovations increased the efficiency of the engine by reduced the loss of energy from heat and dissipation.

#2 - Cylinder Deactivation

When you have all cylinders firing you are using your car’s fuel source to its maximum energy. However, if you don’t need all of them going, it will just waste gas. Cylinder deactivation technology is in most cars and allows the car’s onboard computer to shut off cylinders in pairs if they are not needed to maintain the speed and efficiency of the car.

#3 - Variable Valve Timing

Timing and valve adjustments are the bugaboo of the muscle car owner. Get it right and your engine flies along, get it wrong and it sounds like a team of hamsters is throwing rocks in your engine. The problem with a one-size-fits-all timing for valves is it creates a massive waste of fuel and energy equal to that of all of the cylinders going when they aren’t needed. The innovation in variable valve timing allows the computer to control the fuel efficiency of the vehicle at different speeds and under different stresses.

#4 - Low rolling resistance tires

While little has changed about the essence of tires since the Model T a lot has changed in how they are made, what they are made of, and the layering of their construction. This allowed car designers to create a low rolling resistance tire. This has improved handling, safety and fuel economy on the road by reducing the natural resistance the tire would begin acquiring due to heat and speed.

#5 - Onboard computer technology

Hands down the most influential innovation in cars has been the addition of the onboard computer. These computers allow the car to monitor, maintain, adjust and respond to different driving conditions on the fly. It has allowed for cars to increase their useful lifespans and hold greater value because onboard computers have also helped to standardize maintenance by being able to let drivers and mechanics know what is wrong, and what needs to be serviced more efficiently.
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