Breakthrough

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Breakthrough: The MacPherson strut

Compact, cheap and effective, the MacPherson strut sparked a suspension revolution. But that may be all about to change, says David Twohig

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Breakthrough: The slick tyre

Why did it take the racing world until the late 1960s to embrace the slick tyre? As David Twohig explains, until then its advantages were not in the least bit clear

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Breakthrough: Fuel injection

Try telling most people these days you’re thinking about tuning your carbs and you might inadvertently get a referral to Weight Watchers or advice on the latest fad diet...

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Breakthrough: The turbocharger

Automotive progress is not always led by engineers and designers. Sometimes it’s made by grocers. In 1860 a travelling grocery salesman called Nikolaus Otto...

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Breakthrough: The disc brake

Ideas are funny things, aren’t they? Where do they come from? Do they just pop into the mind from nowhere, or are they some kind of inspired thought-association...

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Breakthrough: The spark plug

When it comes to traditional internal combustion engines, the recipe is surprisingly simple: a little spritz of fuel, a good gulp of air, some sort of ignition and you...

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Breakthrough: The starter motor

In 1901 the best-selling car in the United States was the electric Columbia Runabout. Not the best-selling electric car in the US that year – it was the best-selling car, full stop...