Luxury Cars

"The difference between men and little boys is the price of their toys."

Fast Cars

"Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car."- E.B. White

Car Technology

"And I, I took the road less traveled by. I was using a GPS system."- Robert Brault

Green Cars

"Environmentally friendly cars will soon cease to be an option ... they will become a necessity."- Fujio Cho

Safe Cars

"Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves." - Albert Einstein

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ford Mondeo Titanium X

We all tend to have a sense that if something is complicated and difficult, it should be superior to anything simple and straightforward. More often than not though, that’s way wide of the mark, bringing us to the case of Ford Mondeo. It is a given the previous model was a indeed a masterpiece of non-extravagance motoring, speedy and beautifully handled.

Sadly, though, the old Ford Mondeo is no more. There’s a new version in town already a celebrity after staring in James Bond’s film Casino Royale. Nowadays Ford looks back in the affluent years and gets the blues as there is a whole new reality the US manufacturer faces everyday and that is being on the verge of bankruptcy. Not only they discarded more than 40,000 jobs in the US only but also sold Aston Martin to India’s TATA.
However, recent winds of change blowing on Ford aren’t limited in cutting down costs by banning cookies from board meetings. Ford managed to finance the design of an all-new car and tool up the factories to make it, a move which realistically costs a billion. And it is the manufacturer’s bad finances to be held accountable for the new Mondeo containing no new technology.
On a largely scale the parts of the new Ford Mondeo come from other models, so Ford had to just screw everything together, something they actually did outstandigly as the car feels solid as a pine tree. And big. It’s much wider than the old car and a full five inches longer, probably accounting for the extra 175kg. The upside of this plumb up, however, is that while the back feels more spacious than by living room the boot is big enough to host a rugby match. The design houses have done an excellent job as well, as I personally feel it is exceptionally good looking.

When you actually take it for a drive the new car's persona reflects the work done inside and outside, creating a totally different feeling from the old model. It may be that the fun has gone, even the 2.5 turbo won’t lure you in aggressive maneuvers but it feels refined and comfortable. Good news are the car’s price because Ford Mondeo is thousands and thousands cheaper than anything from Audi or BMW or Mercs. Ford has done an excellent job with this car – an outstanding job when you realise their finances. I am just saying, that given you have the wherewithal to buy one why not actually do so, at least you will be more original than those over-appealing German sedan owners.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ford back to profits

Ford’s Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally arrived in the US troubled car manufacturer from Boeing Co. in September 2006 with great urgency. Apparently, it didn’t take him too long to prove himself as a result-bringing leader after Ford reported a second profitable quarter, this time by $100 million.

Alan Mulally is now just a breath away from his goal to returning Ford to profitability next year after the sum of $15.3 billion consecutive losses in 2006 and 2007, proving all analysts expecting Ford to continue its downfall, fundamentally wrong. And because for many, numbers can sometimes do the talking more effectively, Ford’s first quarter net income is plus 5 cents a share compared with a loss of $282 million, or 15 cents, in last year's first quarter.

Maybe difficult to comprehend, nevertheless true, it is for the North American division why Ford plunged into losses for two years now while Ford Europe and other units have reported profits. The company has already cut 46,300 jobs in North America the past two years and in 2007 negotiated a new labor contract to reduce its U.S. labor expenses.

Anyway, the truth is that Ford is expected back on the top, a position well deserved for the world’s 3rd car manufacturer and to be honest I have already eyed upon the new Ford Mondeo Titanium X and left astonished.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Audi R8 - Too perfect to be true

As a norm Audi produces cars targeting the middle age group of males cherishing values like stability, power and control. Norms though, very much like rules, can be a lot of fun when broken, so Audi's design houses – totally disgusted of the surprisingly many serious-looking sedans they vigorously release so often – decided to go over the top, just for this once.

The spectacular vehicle in red guise is a German automobile amalgam of carbon fiber and magnesium which is set to confuse the traditional funs of super cars. Although it is a two-seater, mid-engine project, resembling what could easily be Judge Dred’s automobile, is actually an Audi.

Audi R8 comes with the well respected 4.2 V8 engine borrowed from RS4 with a few modifications. Instead of the fancy semi-automatic and the F1 type flap gearboxes motorists are used to from all the Ferraris and Porsches out there, R8 comes with a classic manual gearbox, all covered in chrome which looks as great as it feels.

I have to give it to the Germans though; I can't figure out how they managed to make R8 so spacious and comfortable although a typical two-seater with the engine roaring behind your back. Well, the engine is not roaring exactly; it rather sounds like a discrete persian cat purr and that is where many adversaries found ground for judgment. R8 may not sound like a hungry lion in the middle of the night like traditional super cars but it pays back with grip. And I mean loads and loads of grip. You see the 4-wheel drive, complemented by an excellent ESP and other stability control gizmos, form an unparallel combination for extraordinary handling. While many rival super cars feel when cornered like carrying a grand piano through a pub staircase, R8 is so manageable and discrete you won’t even realize you are doing 150 miles per hour.

On a price of £77,000 you can buy two instead of its step sister, the Audi-made Lamborghini Gallardo, while its definitely sexier than Porsche’s top Carrera 2S. Personally, I would go for a white and a red, what do you think?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

VW Eos Sport - The new convertible

Many say that choosing which new car to buy is definitely more fun than actually buying it. On that basis the most fun automobile market sector currently are the small and agile convertibles. This market is dominated by European manufacturers and they are doing so well their Asian rivals choose to stay out of the competition. Renault or Peugeot, Ford, Vauxhall or maybe the new Volkswagen Eos?

VW’s new persona in the manufacturer’s arena led me to lay my eyes on VW Passat CC. VW is firing on all cylinders for the new market trend and since they have bundles of experience in producing very commercial small convertibles got their design houses busy again. Inevitably, the new car would borrow some of the Golf’s characteristics. In essence, Eos is a convertible Golf GTI, but I see no harms in that as Golf GTI is probably the best of its 4 older Golf brothers and its 3.2 V6 engine will be lended to its summer-feeling Eos as well.

The conversion from Golf to cabrio Eos went according to plan, mainly because of the ingenious hard roof which folds into five sections rather than the usual two, reducing the space it occupies when stored in the boot. That results finally into adequate space for your personal belongings and fantastic legroom for back-seat passengers blowing away competition.

And then just after you sit comfortably you start getting a feeling of mild annoyance. You see, when relaxation comes in you start noticing the poor interior, for some reason they managed to make it look cheap.

Demanding drivers would judge it as sloppy and maybe confusing when you push Eos a bit more and that is true to an extend, it isn't the most fun car to drive. But still its fresh and looks like spring, it gives you a selection of engines and I already have a favourite.

Maybe it won't go well, maybe it will be success...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

VW Passat CC - Surprising style and comfort

Winds of change seem to finally blow through VW designing studios. Although, VW is a very successful manufacturer, from a financial point of, view it seemed constricted into producing well-rounded and purposeful but completely lifeless cars. I saw the fist glimpse of light last year with the new and crisp 5th VW Golf GTi. But VW’ s designers seem to be on fire; 2 months ago I laid my eyes on their new frisky creation VW Sciroco, which definitely started shaping up a fresher character for the German manufacturer, and they are not willing to pace themselves.

Today the design house put a smile on my face again. It was about time to look after the heavy retired-looking Passat. They thought straight and related Passat CC – Comfortable coupe - to the lean and sporty look which runs lately in the family.

The interior does reflect and complements the whole concept but only to a certain extend. You see, although it isn’t brand new, like the dashboard which feels quite familiar, is definitely upgraded. There are new seats back and front and several handy gadgets to show off. In terms of space it would be unfair for Passat CC to even compete in the sedan category. It’s actually a slick four-door car in a coupe body with smooth lines completing its rear part. Thus, reflecting its new toned-up shape, four spacious seats are definitely adequate.

Since, the head and legroom is really good and got right the surprisingly improved interior as well, VW threw in the manufacturing equation the final and standard factor; their reputed German quality, so consider the looks' box ticked.

The designer guys worked hard, straining their eyes over complicated sketches and calculations but delivered their job well and then called the engineers. The engineers loved the idea and started working on how to finally solve the equation producing a brilliant result. The Passat CC is a big car indeed, so first task to tone-up the engine. The 2.0 turbo diesel is the standard edition and although producing a quite moderate 140bhp there's plenty of torque to accelerate willingly. It only feels willing though, because of the good tuning, but Passat CC is actually more willing to joge rather than sprint, hence the 9.8 seconds for 0-62 mph is not an impressive performance at all. The good news is that a 170bhp version is expected soon and will improve things a lot. Beyond that, the range is complete with the very serious options of a 197bhp 2.0 TSI or an all-wheel drive 3.6-litre V6 petrol unit delivering 296bhp which will definitely shake things up in the category.

I think I am a believer now. Like its German rival and teacher Mercedes, VW has developed the Passat CC into a superb car, offering a great combination of looks, status and performance in almost half the price of its competition. The pictures above are only a few days old, so be honest now, how do you fancy it?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The new Hummer H3

HUMMER H3 is the youngest member of the HUMMER family. The new model is the smaller version of the monster we are all familiar with, yet the most agile design so far. It offers top off-road performance, respecting its big brother H1, though in a more civilised version. H3 manages to create a balance between looks and function. This time the designers managed to create a vehicle with both wild look and a personality to match.

The challenging feat of the H3 was to prove itself off road, in accordance to the family tradition, but also to demonstrate improved skills on city roads. And at last, the outcome is the desired one; an iconic vehicle with a purpose, roadworthy and geared up for extreme off-road adventures. It is available in three versions - SE, Adventure and Luxury, each one offering that little bit extra. While the SE is the standard version, the Adventure targets those willing to take their HUMMER on a further challenge while the Luxury increases the H3's class element, with feature chrome wheels and side steps.

The H3 is a sure-footed vehicle with many purposes. Its strength and power obviously comes from the full-time four-wheel drive while features like the two-ratio gearbox, traction control and HUMMER's StabiliTrak Stability Enhancement System increase its stamina. When it comes down to everyday use, the H3's clever street disguise and noticeable smaller size makes it more manoeuvrable for turning and parking.

Great news for dedicated off-roaders as the new design managed to tackle past, everlasting problems with regards to city use and driver friendliness. It is still a magnificent car, with wild, head-turning looks and unmatchable off-road capabilities while on the same time gives to the average motorist a buying excuse with its agility and city performance.

But honestly guys, if you had the funds, would you actually buy the most ostentatious 4x4 car in the market?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Elder Citizens Given Free Bus Pass

As of April 2008 the new action allowing over-60s in England get a free travel pass to travel on all local bus networks is set into gear. The scheme is already in effect in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, so it was about time the National Pensioners' Convention (NPC) to apply it cross the borders within the UK.

A few mature daredevils out there have already hurried to take full advantage of the opportunity, as they can’t utilize their driving skills any longer, and gave very flattering comments for the service overall. The bus services are really great but what I find really interesting and sometimes who forget it, is that England will always be a picturesque country with fairytale-like locations. Until now older people were over-reliant on their cars and frustrated getting from point a to b, when no longer able to drive. On top of being free though, traveling on local buses will provide a lovely insight into England's rural areas because of the nature of local bus services, wandering off the main roads to gorgeous villages.

Travelers already exchange vital tips for well-organized road adventures. Important and basic to have handy, are timetables, and you can access them very easily nowadays even from Internet sites. On the other hand, bus operators have already addressed the possibility of increased numbers of enthusiastic older travelers and taking measures to avoid frustration. So, are we to expect huge waves of over-60s flooding the English countryside? Oh, how jolly!!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Police Pursuit Ipswich UK on YouTube

It is “all talk and wrong action” for the policeman who few days ago had a glimpse of genius so he tapped and uploaded on YouTube the high-speed pursue clip he was part of.

The three-minute clip on YouTube illustrates a patrol car speeding up on the A14 near Ipswich, Suffolk. The local Police department expressed their deep disappointment and admitted they aware of the clip. Throughout the whole clip, sirens can be clearly heard and at one point the camera switches focus from road traffic to the car's speedometer.

Consequently, Police Home Office has been accused of glamorising fast driving on public roads even if the clip’s title - "Police Emergency Outskirts Ipswich UK" - was so modest and humble, simply informative and not trying to provoke.

A Suffolk police spokesman said: "Suffolk Constabulary is aware of this video and it has been referred to our professional standards department. "
"An investigation is under way and clearly we are extremely disappointed that an officer has chosen to post this footage on the Internet. "
"The officer filming is a passenger in the car and there appears to be no road traffic offences committed. "However, this action sends out the wrong message and is at odds with the road safety advice we issue to the public."

Practise what you preach guys, isn’t that right?


Twitter Facebook Stumbleupon Favorites More