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

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Peugeot Onyx - Supercar?

When thinking of Peugeot, your mind may wander from the bicycles they began manufacturing, to the reliable yet not so flashy cars we see on our streets today. But with the Peugeot Onyx, comes some serious supercar competition.

It’s exterior, made up of a sleek smooth shell of carbon fiber covered in a matte black finish and sheets of gleaming copper give the Onyx it’s empowering presence. Peugeot also claim that the copper panels on the outside will develop a patina over time, which makes this car ever changing. The French automakers stunned all at the 2012 Paris Motor Show with this desirable alternative power-train concept car. Weighing in at 1,100kgs, and fitted with a lithium-ion battery powered electric system, this car’s 3.7-liter V8 powers out a seemingly effortless 600 horsepower. And as you thought it simply could not get any better, you take a peek inside to discover a cabin fit for a king, equip with wool, felt and more glorious copper. 

Stepping inside, you find a floor to ceiling coverage of French’s finest, which is just as outrageous yet mouthwatering as the exterior. To sum up the inside, Onyx’s interior stylist, Julien Cueff stated, “I was inspired by an everday object, the egg box”. But rest assured, this is no egg box. 

There is no better word to describe this breathtaking concept car but the ‘future’.  So for all those with money to spare, speed and luxury on their minds, the Peugeot Onyx is a head turner, and for the rest of us, we best start saving up.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Two-Tier Vehicle Tax System Considered

It has come to light that one of the Treasury’s think tanks has had the wonderful idea of introducing a two-tiered form of vehicle excise duty (VED) and the reform plans have sent many economists and the general public up in arms.

The plan is to charge a higher rate of road tax for those drivers wanting to use ‘high-traffic roads’ including the UK’s main motorways. Another standard tax rate would see the lower tier of drivers consigned to local and B-roads.

Currently the VED brings in £6 billion a year for the Treasury, but even with year-on-year increases as more people take to the roads it is still not enough to mitigate the budget cuts that have to be made. On top of this, while more people are heading onto the roads, larger families are buying cars that incur less road tax due to being hybrid or environmentally-friendly cars.

This is only a natural thing, in fact the policies that they benefit from were introduced to try and reduce the UK’s carbon footprint and getting more people using green vehicles. It has had an impact on the VED income though and the Treasury have been trying to figure out how to make back the shortfall.

This two-tier system was one of their plans, and would see a staggered road tax system for green cars, like before, but it will also have a higher-tax band for those wishing to use motorways. Some left-wing commentators have pointed out the issues of having the richer motorists commuting on faster routes, leaving those with lower salaries struggling to get to work as quickly because of using B-roads and increased congestion along those routes.

Thos travelling on motorways without the proper road tax could be caught out by traffic cameras and licence-plate readers and levied with considerable fines.

Another alternative from the Treasury is creating more toll roads, privatising large amounts of the UK’s motorways and road system. They feel that they could generate almost £150 billion from the sale of such roads and save money as private companies become responsible for the upkeep of high-traffic areas. It would also fall to local communities to take care and maintain their local roads (as is the case in Sweden).
Again, this idea has been met with fierce resistance as the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), who proposed these ideas,  is a free-market think tank that would expect these companies to remain unregulated and hindered by government intervention. We could see a huge expansion in our road systems, but as America has seen with its highway system, more lanes does not mean less congestion. In fact, it can cause quite the opposite.

Either way, times are worrying for prospective drivers who already have to face soaring petrol prices and insurance premiums (even with comparison sites being more popular than ever) and it seems there’s no easy way out of this.

If the two-tier VED does become implemented, we are sure to see a huge physical backlash and resistance of the ideas.


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