Wal-Mart shows off Futuristic Carbon Fiber Truck Concept [VIDEO]

Wal-Mart ships and moves lot of stuff being the world's biggest retailer.  The corporate Goliath still always looks for ways to cut costs and it seems it's trucking fleet is no exception.  The company recently showed off a Futuristic Carbon Fiber Truck Concept on it's corporate Youtube channel.

The concept truck's design is meant to be more aerodynamic and efficient compared to today's current big rigs.  The cabin is shaped to cut through the wind more with sliding doors and a sloped and circular shape and design.  In addition there is a unique cockpit where the driver sits in the middle for a better range of visibility along with screens instead of a dashboard to customize the driver's preferred displayed information.  There is full sized comfortable sleeper and quarters for the drivers too.

What's most most interesting about Wal-Mart's concept truck is the trailer.  Wal-Mart claims it is the first time a truck trailer was made completely of carbon fiber, a material you usually only see used on supercars and race-cars due to it's high cost to manufacture.   In addition they built two 53 foot sheets of carbon fiber for each side of the trailer.  Wal-Mart claims this is the first time carbon fiber panels this large have been built and this likely accurate, as I assume the cost to build the panels was more than building a supercar or race-car.  In addition the front of the trailer is convex helping increase the aerodynamics.  Unsure of why they don't build convex trailers now as that would make a lot of sense.

Introducing the Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience concept truck

While Wal-Mart might be the disdain of many people hopefully they are serious about innovating tractor-trailer trucks to improve efficiency.

Lexus joins Forces with Artists to create SEMA Lexus IS designs

Lexus decided to join forces with artists to create a line of Lexus IS designs that would really stand out from the crowd for this year's SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show.  The opened up a design challenge to deviantART, the largest online social community for artists, to come up with a slick interpretation of the the Lexus IS sedan.  There were hundreds of crazy, wacky, and fun ideas that were submitted but the best ones are being displayed at SEMA in Las Vegas which starts today.

One cool example includes Philip Chase with a Lexus IS 340.  He took the powerful and brutal six-cylinder turbo engine, a unit that produces more than 700bhp, from the 1990s Supra and dropped it into the Lexus IS 340. The engine’s sound can be heard through a custom four-inch exhaust system, and its power is expressed in the car’s styling, with a front lip kit by Modellista and carbon fiber hood vents.

Lexus’s limited edition carbon fiber bicycle takes price of place on the roof of Gordon Ting’s Lexus IS AWD, that comes with customer exhaust and air intakes by TEIN USA, Street Flex dampers and Brembo high-performance brakes.

Paul Tolson and Gabriel Escobedo may have created the widest, lowest Lexus IS 250 F Sport.  The F Sport is close to the ground with an Air Runner Systems air ride, something usually only seen on Lowriders. The paintwork is equally fun since it comes in shades named Orange Mercury and Root Beer.

Seibon Carbon has worked its magic on the Lexus IS 350 F Sport.  It built a series of specialty body panels and aerodynamic parts made of carbon fiber, including the hood, hoodlid, spoilers and skirts. A set of Volk Racing 20-inch wheels, A’PEXi SPL suspension and exhaust and a custom intake further ramp up the sports performance.  There will be no missing Vossen Wheels’ Lexus IS 350 F Sport, finished in LFA Pearl Yellow paint, rolling on 20-inch CVT Directional rims and sitting ultra-low thanks to RS-R Black-I Series coilover shocks.

It’s not just the current Lexus IS that’s in the spotlight at SEMA though.  Lexus is also turning back the clock to show two new interpretations of the first and second generation models. Maricar Cortez has produced a cool version of the 2004 Lexus IS 300, adorned with three-piece HRE 19-inch wheels and Rod Millen Motorsport side skirts. Under the hood the six-cylinder engine gains a ProLex supercharger. Enthusiast Andrew Atigehchi contributes his work on a 2007 Lexus IS 250, fettled with 20-inch rims and performance exhaust, suspension and brakes.