Auto briefs: Cannonball Run, high octane fuel, SUV speed

A Connecticut reunion of the cross-country drivers who competed in the famous Cannonball Run, preparations for higher octane fuel at the pump, and a land speed record for SUVs were among the items promoted by automotive organizations and automakers recently.

  • On five occasions between 1971 and 1979, drivers took part in the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash – more familiarly known as the Cannonball Run. The final running of this outlaw race across the United States started in Darien, and on June 2 several residents will reunite for a retrospective at the Greenwich Library. The event, held in conjunction with the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance, will feature vehicle displays, panel discussions, video footage from the race, and more. All proceeds will benefit the New England Auto Museum.
  • Automakers are looking to fuel modification as the most cost-effective way of improving vehicle efficiency, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press. By increasing the octane rating of available gasoline, engines can run at higher compression ratios and get more energy from the fuel. However, higher octane fuels are also more expensive; while they can be used in older vehicles, they will not have the same effect of increasing performance and efficiency. The report says no timetable has been set for the introduction of higher octane fuels, but that automakers and oil companies are showing more interest in this option due to higher fuel standards and emissions limits set to begin in 2021.
  • Toyota has claimed the title of "World's Fastest SUV" after pushing a Land Speed Cruiser to 230.02 miles per hour at the automaker's Arizona Proving Ground. The modified SUV included twin turbochargers, sturdier rods and pistons in the V8 engine, and lower ground clearance to reduce turbulence. The run beat the previous SUV speed record by just over 19 miles per hour.

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