Saturday, 23 April 2016

Shell-Shock

I find it very difficult to criticise anything Gordon Murray has done.

After all, he designed the McLaren F1.
He also designed the very clever T25, which doesn't look awful in black:
Although really doesn't suit turquoise:
Don't know why, but it reminds me of one of these:
And if you want to know more about those, read this article.

But both Autoguide & Fox have the story I am posting about today.  The Fox one is littered with the usual anti-Democrat bile in the comments section that they love there so much so I'll link to the Autoguide version.  The story is how Shell, Gordon Murray and Geo Technology (No, never heard of them either) have teamed up to produce a concept car - an actual working, extremely fuel-efficient, extremely lifetime energy efficient concept car.

I suspect that Shell put up most of the money because it is painted in their colours and I'm not convinced that BP or Texaco or any other fuel company couldn't have come up with equally slippery lubricants.

Now I know that last week, I slated the looks of the Mahindra e2o.

And a while back I commented on how covered in wheels are ugly.

But this is taking things to extremes:

Friday, 15 April 2016

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This is another one of those "Oh God No" moments.  Like the thankfully short-lived Aston Cygnet and the unfortunately not so short-lived Renault Twizy before it, the Mahindra e2o is about to start polluting British roads.

Although, like the Twizy, it will only be polluting our roads with its looks - for it is electric.
This picture shows the posh version - with leather seats and alloy wheels.

The story is covered by Autocar today.  They say it will only be available online and they will sell for £12,995 (or £15,995 if you want the posh version).  They also say it will seat four but doesn't specify the size or species of those four.  That isn't a distorted photo - it really is that thin and tall.

Looking at that number plate, the 2 is subscripted so it is meant to read like H2O - if they had just called it that, then they could have said it was hydro-electric.

But they didn't.

Looking for positives, I suppose it could work as a metropolitan delivery vehicle.  The only other positive I can see is that it replaces the G-Wiz.  That horrible little thing mixed serious ugliness with serious lack of safety.

The question is, how safe is the e2o?  Apparently, the Wiz didn't have Euro NCAP rating because it counted as a quadracycle - this e2o is apparently an M1 Certified vehicle.  The e2o apparently doesn't have an Euro NCAP rating because they only test "high volume cars". 

Hmmm - that's not really an answer then is it?  All that the M1 certification means is that it is "designed and constructed for the carriage of passengers and comprising no more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat".

Don't think I'd be happy travelling in one.

The article quotes Mahindra's electric boss, Arvind Mathew, a lot.  Does that mean you have to plug him in?  Anyway, he said the car, which is built in Bangalore, could be produced in the UK if demand exceeds expectations. "If the volume goes through the roof, I'd be happy to assemble the car in the UK," he confirmed.

By which time, Euro NCAP would have got interested.

And we would know if they rated it any higher than I do - one star for not being a G-Wiz.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

(White) Household Name?

Spitting Image used to joke that Ronald Reagan had a very poor memory.
They implied that he renamed his staff according to their jobs to make it easier for him.

This had a lot to do with the fact that his Press Secretary who gave announcements to the press...

...was called Larry Speakes.

Obviously just a silly joke.

Today's car story is from Fox News and concerns this man who is selling this Oldsmobile Cutlass that used to belong to Hillary Clinton.
He worked as a gardener in the White House for nearly 30 years.  His name is Mike Lawn. He bought the car for his daughter at a White House auction.  But she wasn't that keen on it because she thought it was an "old lady's car."

I suppose the clue is in the name - Oldsmobile.

Although here is Kristen Stewart in one - in a movie named "Cutlass":
And I haven't a clue who this lady is with a Cutlass but she doesn't look very old either:
 

Friday, 8 April 2016

Trailer Trash?

About this time last week, The Top Gear Team published this trailer on YouTube:

Today, I found this one from Hammond, May & Clarkson:

The first one got absolutely slammed by the commenters.  And, much as it pains me to say it - I can see where they are coming from.  It looks like Evans & Co. are trying too hard to be like Clarkson & Co.  The second clip shows why Clarkson & Co. just don't need to try at all - it's just over a minute of light comedy plugging the new Amazon Prime show.  The only cars in it are a set of parked Reliant Robins - older incarnations of the Rialtos modified by Evans & Co for new Top Gear.  I think these are their new "Company Cars" - reinforcing the doddery old men image that James May in particular is happy to promote - did you see that white beard he had in James May: The Reassembler?

Trouble is, he is only four years older than me.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

April Fuel

Found myself reading this Car+Driver article today about this man:
His name is Nygârd Lünd.He is a giant, Norwegian-born, billionaire who grows apricots and orchids and wants to re-invent the car.

Or would be if he existed.

It is a brilliantly written article, definitely worth a click.  I didn't initially think it was an April Fool joke because, well - it isn't April yet.

But the clues are there.

Like, "From the April 2016 issue" and, when discussing the neighbourhood where all the research goes on, “It doesn’t even show up on Google Maps.”

And the fact that as you read on, it becomes less and less plausible.

This guy is supposed to have developed a fuel derived from using apricots in elctrolysis to generate power.
An "Apricot Fuel" as it were.