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  1. 2 points
    Great article....great car and surely worth being considered as a future classic.
  2. 2 points
    The new Edge is available in Zetec, Titanium and Sport variations, with all models offering Ford intelligent all-wheel drive, Active Noise Control, Pedestrian Detection, Ford DAB Audio with SYNC 2 connectivity system, privacy glass and 19in alloy wheels as standard. Optional extras available across the range include: Lux Pack, Sony DAB Navigation system with 12 Speakers, Perforated Dinamica Seats, Variable Climate Control Front Seats, Heated Rear Seats, 10-way Power Driver & Passenger Seats, Opening Panoramic Roof and Power Door Mirrors, 20inch Alloy Wheels (standard on Sport) ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN The performance from Ford’s 210PS bi-turbo 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine is more than adequate to propel the Edge to the required speed in a very satisfactory time. Other engine options include the 180PS 2.0 litre TDCi diesel engine. Both engines are rated to deliver 48.7mpg fuel efficiency and 149g/km CO2 supported by Auto-Start-Stop technology. The Bi-Turbo engine features two turbochargers and offers enhanced performance and efficiency. The primary turbo works at lower speeds, giving you an extra boost when you need it – such as when turning from a junction into moving traffic. Meanwhile, the secondary turbo works at higher speeds, like when you need to overtake a slow-moving vehicle A choice of 6 speed manual gearbox and the 6 speed PowerShift automatic gearbox (with twin clutch) are offered to mate with either of the engines. The choice for a more sedate journey is made by selecting ‘D’ in the automatic transmission, as opposed to selecting ‘S’ for ‘Sport’ which results in a much livelier journey with increased response from the engine and transmission. The automatic transmission has the ‘Paddle Shift’ feature which gives some control of gear selection to the driver if desired. Overall, the 6 speed PowerShift automatic transmission is very responsive being quick to change, both up and down in either conventional Drive or the Sport mode. EXTERIOR The all-new Ford Edge exterior is carefully sculpted with a muscular and yet compact bonnet. To improve aerodynamic efficiency, unique air curtains are positioned on the lower part of the fascia to guide air from the front of the vehicle, out through the front wheel wells and down the vehicle side. The Headlamps feature Xenon lamps with automatic sensing for high/low beam (Anti-Glare), cornering and load variation. Mirrors feature auto-fold and also a Blind Spot indicator. The exterior is equipped with a rear spoiler, with optional roof rails and detailing in chrome to further enhance the styling. The Sport features front, rear and side Sports body styling with dark exterior detailing. Other options include front and rear Park Sensors along with front and rear Cameras to avoid colliding with any obstacles. A full length Panoramic Roof with sliding and tilt function allow more natural light and fresh air to enter the interior with very little wind noise. INTERIOR The interior has been designed with high-quality materials throughout, including soft-touch trims on the dashboard and centre console, high-gloss piano black surrounds on the switch bezels and a satin silver metal finish for the door handles, air vent bezels, glovebox trim and steering wheel detailing. The spacious Edge is also offered with heated and cooled front seats and heated rear seats from the Titanium series. The interior offers a vast array of controls and in particular, the steering wheel is embellished with a selection of switches and buttons allowing the driver to select and alter various functions. Voice control function is available for the comfort, entertainment, navigation and telephony systems. Interior refinement is enhanced with acoustic windscreen glass and laminated glass for both front door windows, minimising the intrusion of wind noise. Underbody panels and wheel-arch liners further minimise road and wind noise. All Edge models are also equipped with Ford’s Active Noise Control technology that detects unwanted engine noise in the cabin and cancels it out with opposing sound waves fed through the integrated sound system. There is an option for a Power Tailgate control with hands-free and key-free function to allow access to the capacious loading area. The seats fold to allow an increased load area with the flexibility of 60/40 split which does not impede on the passenger area too much. Seats are generally quite comfortable but rather firm which can lead to slight discomfort over long distances with limited rest breaks. TECHNOLOGY The Edge offers a variety of Ford technologies, including Adaptive Steering, which automatically optimises the steering response according to vehicle speed, making it easy to manoeuvre at low speeds, while remaining precise and intuitive at higher speeds; and Front Wide View Camera, which makes restricted visibility junctions or parking spaces easier to negotiate. Edge debuts segment-first Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection; a camera- and radar-based system that can operate at speeds from 5mph to 110mph to detect vehicles and people in the road ahead. The system can automatically apply the brakes if a potential collision is detected and the driver does not respond to warnings. The Edge features Ford’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (AWD) technology as standard, delivering a seamless transition between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive performance to provide a more secure footing on the road especially in slippery conditions. Measuring how the car’s wheels are gripping the road surface every 16 milliseconds – 20 times quicker than it takes to blink – the system can send up to 100 per cent of engine torque to the front or rear wheels. ROAD TEST SUMMARY The Ford Edge is a superb car to drive either around town, motorways and also mild off-road conditions. The combination of safety and Driver assistance functionality result in a car that you can feel secure in the knowledge that you are driving something that get you to your destination safely and still feeling relaxed after a long distance. Ford’s Adaptive Cruise Control with Pre-Collision Assist is definitely a safety enhancement that is essential for safe driving at any speed. Ford has utilised the on-board technology to enhance the system to be an incredibly reliable and useful safety aid. Once used, it becomes difficult to switch off and solely rely on your own reactions. The system also features Traffic Sign recognition to allow the driver to set the speed limiting to stay legal at all times. Keyless entry is a feature of the Edge, and as with some other manufacturers, you have quite a ‘chunky’ key which you have to carry around to then leave somewhere within the car, but where? There doesn’t seem to be a specific area to place it so it could end up in a multitude of places and then it’s a case of finding it when you leave the car. Given that the Edge has Active Noise Cancellation, the noise levels within the car are incredibly low. However, the fuel tank leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to vehicle design. There doesn’t appear to be any baffles within the tank, as when you accelerate and decelerate, you can hear (and feel) the fuel ‘sloshing’ backwards and forwards which is quite off-putting, especially on a vehicle of otherwise good build quality. The full length opening panoramic glass roof is superb for allowing in natural light but stopping the harmful UV rays from swamping the interior. With the addition of the pop-up windbreak at the front reducing wind noise, it all seems to work very well. Overall, the Edge is a car loaded with useable technology and features usually reserved for much more expensive and up-market brands but delivers a similar ‘feel good factor’ from the driving experience with a smaller price tag. TECHNICAL INFORMATION Engine - Trans - Power PS (Kw) - Torque (Nm) - CO2 Emissions(g/km) - Mpg(Urban) - Mpg(Extra Urban) - Mpg(Combined) - Max Speed - 0-62 Mph (secs) 2.0 TDC - iM6 Manual - 180 (132) - 400 - 149 /Sport 152 - 44.1 - 52.3 - 48.7 - 124 - 9.9 2.0 TDC - iMPS6Auto - 210(154) - 450 - 149 /Sport 152 - 44.1 - 52.3 - 48.7 - 131 - 9.4 Above information based on Edge with 19inch Wheels COST (effective from January 2016) Zetec – from £29,995 Titanium – from £32,245 Sport – from £34,495 All prices are based on Dealer ‘On the Road’ price, including 20% VAT click here to see Ford Edges for sale ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Special thanks to Evans Halshaw, Bedford for the loan of the Ford Edge used for road test For more information about the Ford Edge visit: http://www.evanshalshaw.com/dealers/ford-bedford/ Follow Evans Halshaw on Twitter: @evanshalshawuk
  3. 2 points
    As of the 31st March 2017 France has introduced 'clean air' windscreen stickers, as a legal requirement in some of its major cities such as Paris, Lyon and Grenoble. The sticker is designed to allow the authorities to know the emission levels of the vehicle displaying the sticker based on the euro Emissions Standards. As you can imagine the initiative is designed to low the pollution levels within French major cities. It should also be noted that cars registered before 1997 are already banned from Paris on Weekdays as of 2020 cars registered on or before 2011 will also be banned. The stickers cost as little as £3.20 and vehicles travelling into the above cities without a sticker can be fined up to £117! When ordering your sticker you have to upload a copy of your V5 (log book) document to the database. This must be uploaded in JPEG, PNG or PDF format and the file size must be under 400KB. PLEASE NOTE that on ordering your sticker it can take up to 6 weeks to arrive! Further Info https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/news/motoring-news/law-change-for-uk-drivers-in-french-cities/ Official Crit air sticker (certificate) website https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/en (Be careful of independent companies charging up to 4x the amount for the sticker!) Vehicle Emissions Standards Emissions standard Applied to new passenger car approvals from Applied to all new registrations from Euro 1 1 July 1992 31 December 1992 Euro 2 1 January 1996 1 January 1997 Euro 3 1 January 2000 1 January 2001 Euro 4 1 January 2005 1 January 2006 Euro 5 1 September 2009 1 January 2011 Euro 6 1 September 2014 1 September 2015 Euro 1 (EC93) Implementation date (new approvals): 1 July 1992 Implementation date (all new registrations): 31 December 1992 The first Europe-wide euro emissions standards were introduced in July 1992 and the regulations weren’t anywhere near as stringent as they are today. That said, the fitment of catalytic converters became compulsory on all new cars, and Euro 1 required the switch to unleaded petrol. Back then, only hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide were tested, along with particulate matter in the case of diesel engines. Over the years, the regulations have become stricter and the limits lowered. Euro 1 emissions standards (petrol) CO: 2.72g/km HC + NOx: 0.97g/km Euro 1 emissions standards (diesel) CO: 2.72/gkm HC + NOx: 0.97g/km PM: 0.14g/km Euro 2 (EC96) Implementation date (new approvals): 1 January 1996 Implementation date (all new registrations): 1 January 1997 Euro 2 reduced the limits for carbon monoxide and the combined limit for unburned hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide, as well as introducing different levels for petrol and diesel engines. Euro 2 emissions standards (petrol) CO: 2.2g/km HC + NOx: 0.5g/km Euro 2 emissions standards (diesel) CO: 1.0g/km HC + NOx: 0.7g/km PM: 0.08g/km Euro 3 (EC2000) Implementation date (new approvals): 1 January 2000 Implementation date (all new registrations): 1 January 2001 Euro 3 split the hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide limits for petrol and diesel engines, as well as adding a separate nitrogen oxide limit for diesel vehicles. The warm-up period was removed from the test procedure. Euro 3 emissions standards (petrol) CO: 2.3g/km HC: 0.20g/km NOx: 0.15g/km Euro 3 emissions standards (diesel) CO: 0.64g/km HC + NOx: 0.56g/km NOx: 0.50g/km PM: 0.05g/km Euro 4 (EC2005) Implementation date (new approvals): 1 January 2005 Implementation date (all new registrations): 1 January 2006 Euro 4 emissions standards (petrol) CO: 1.0g/km HC: 0.10g/km NOx: 0.08g/km Euro 4 emissions standards (diesel) CO: 0.50g/km HC + NOx: 0.30g/km NOx: 0.25g/km PM: 0.025g/km Euro 5 Implementation date (new approvals): 1 September 2009 Implementation date (all new registrations): 1 January 2011 The big news for Euro 5 was the introduction of particulate filters (DPFs) for diesel vehicles, along with lower limits across the board. For type approvals from September 2011 and new cars from January 2013, diesel vehicles were subject to a new limit on particulate numbers. DPFs capture 99% of all particulate matter and are fitted to every new diesel car. Cars meeting Euro 5 standards emit the equivalent of one grain of sand per kilometre driven. Euro 5 emissions standards (petrol) CO: 1.0g/km HC: 0.10g/km NOx: 0.06g/km PM: 0.005g/km (direct injection only) Euro 5 emissions standards (diesel) CO: 0.50g/km HC + NOx: 0.23g/km NOx: 0.18g/km PM: 0.005g/km PM: 6.0x10 ^11/km Euro 6 Implementation date (new approvals): 1 September 2014 Implementation date (all new registrations): 1 September 2015 The sixth and current incarnation of the Euro emissions standard was introduced on all new registrations in September 2015. For diesels, the permitted level of NOx has been slashed from 0.18g/km in Euro 5 to 0.08g/km. A focus on diesel NOx was the direct result of studies connecting these emissions with respiratory problems. To meet the new targets, some carmakers have introduced Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), in which a liquid-reductant agent is injected through a catalyst into the exhaust of a diesel vehicle. A chemical reaction converts the nitrogen oxide into harmless water and nitrogen, which are expelled through the exhaust pipe. The alternative method of meeting Euro 6 standards is Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR). A portion of the exhaust gas is mixed with intake air to lower the burning temperature. The vehicle’s ECU controls the EGR in accordance with the engine load or speed. Euro 6 emissions standards (petrol) CO: 1.0g/km HC: 0.10g/km NOx: 0.06g/km PM: 0.005g/km (direct injection only) PM: 6.0x10 ^11/km (direct injection only) Euro 6 emissions standards (diesel) CO: 0.50g/km HC + NOx: 0.17g/km NOx: 0.08g/km PM: 0.005g/km PM: 6.0x10 ^11/km https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/know-how/euro-emissions-standards/ I do hope this is all useful and thanks for reading. Regards Steve
  4. 1 point
    So, what is a Faraday Cage? In simple terms, it shields electronic components from static electric fields by using a metal screen that conducts electricity, much like a force-field Historical & Scientific Background Michael Faraday, a 19th Century Scientist, who discovered that if you distribute a charge or radiation around the exterior of a cage, it will cancel out electric charges or radiation within the cage interior. A Faraday cage is a hollow conductor, in which the charge remains on the external surface of the cage. Some are as simple as chain-link fences and others use a fine metallic mesh. Regardless of their exact appearance, all Faraday cages take electrostatic charges, or even certain types of electromagnetic radiation, and distribute them around the exterior of the cage. Electromagnetic radiation is all around us. But sometimes, this radiation is undesirable and downright disruptive. That's where Faraday cages come in. Michael Faraday made the observation that namely, he realised that an electrical conductor (such as a metal cage) when charged, exhibited that charge only on its surface. It had no effect on the interior of the conductor. Typical applications and uses of a Faraday Cage Microwave Ovens to keep the radiation inside. You can see the cage in the glass door Shielded Rooms and Building, typically Military or Computer Server buildings to avoid interference or surveillance MRI Scanner and other Medical Imaging machines to prevent interference to the images of the patient Power utility workmen have suits that are a Faraday Cage to reduce the risk of electrocution Aircraft fuselage which prevents lightning strikes causing damage to onboard electronic systems and electrocution of the passengers Car bodies and panels act as a Faraday Cage to prevent electronic interference to the onboard electronics So how do I prevent my car from being stolen? Car thieves have been using many methods over time to steal cars, anything from a brick through the window and brute force to overcome the steering lock and hotwiring the ignition. Nowadays though, the thief is far more technically advanced and tend to use electronics to steal cars with no damage being caused to the vehicle. One such method is the known as the ‘Relay Hack’ which works on vehicles equipped with Keyless Entry systems. They accomplish this by boosting the signal between the car and the key over a distance. Using a booster to amplify the signal, the car assumes the key is within close proximity and therefore unlocks the vehicle and allows the thief to start it up and drive away…it’s as simple as that! To combat this modern-day method of stealing a car, you would have to place the key place the key in a Faraday Cage, Microwave or even a fridge to stop it from being scanned by radio signals. Any Cage would need to have small diameter holes, such as a mesh. Ideally, the Cage could include a lining such as Aluminium to further improve the protection. What products are available to protect my car from thieves? There are many different products available to give you added protection from the thieves that aren’t too expensive. Don’t forget to protect your spare keys as well. The Cage is always useful to store Credit Cards, especially those that are contactless and also double up for storage of your mobile phone to avoid radiation being emitted into the body (especially important for Pregnant Women). To test that any Cage works efficiently, approach the car (and if the wallet is completely closed) then the car should not be able to be opened. Walk up to the car and try the door handle with the key in the wallet, if it doesn’t open then it the Cage is working correctly. BUY YOUR FARADAY POUCH HERE - £5.95 each or £9.95 for two (Free Post & Packing to UK) Additional Reading In the UK 85,000 cars have been stolen in 2017 and 70 per cent of the owners of these vehicles still had the key on them Read more here CAR thieves managed to break into a brand-new £50,000 BMW in less than a minute using a special device bought online https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/866987/car-theft-hack-keyless-entry-video-BMW-stolen Relay Attacks on Passive Keyless Entry and Start Systems in Modern Cars Read more here
  5. 1 point
    For sale 2006 Mazda 3 sport saloon with the 2.0 petrol engine and 6 speed manual gearbox which has covered 71,000. The car comes with one key, handbook, full service history and a MOT until 29th February 2020 (as it’s a leap year). Being a Sport model the car benefits from Bose sound system, air conditioning, electric windows, 17” alloy wheels. The Sport also gained an appearance pack which includes a rear spoiler, side skirts and front fog lights. The Mazda 3 also benefits from having the optional extra black leather seats and Mazda 3 embossed floor mats. As per the pictures the car comes with good tread on all four tyres. Sold as seen. No warranty or return. price: £950 please message me or comment on.here for viewings or for further information. Cash on collection only.
  6. 1 point
    Steve takes a look at a little red International Harvester tractor which is helping improve the lives of individuals with learning disabilities Nestled within the idyllic East Midlands countryside sits a farm with a special purpose in the quaint village of Seagrave. Set up in 2011 the farm in question is called WHM Work Connections which provides person-centred support in the way of life skills and work skills for individuals with learning disabilities with activities such as car washing, animal Care, horticulture, catering skills as well as vehicle mechanics. These skills help the individuals gain Independence and confidence when managing areas for daily living that you or I might take for granted. These skills then help the individuals to pursue work opportunities. Enabling individuals to have choice and control over their own lives. So why are we discussing this on AutoEvoke I hear you ask. Well as you will have just read one key aspect of the business is providing vehicle mechanic skills to these individuals and we felt it was right to feature their recently completed project, an International Harvester B275 tractor. When the tractor arrived at the farm it required a serious mechanical overhaul which has meant a full rebuild of the engine and other key components including the tractors electrics. Thankfully the bodywork was in good condition and has not needed any welding or respraying, therefore allowing the International Harvester to perform mechanically well yet keeping its character through its patina. The restoration has taken just over a year to complete and just like most projects the individuals were working to a deadline and are very happy with the end result. The tractor had to be ready for an up and coming wedding in May where the tractor takes pride of place as the bride’s mode of transport! During the rebuild the tractor has gained some additional features which I’m sure will make it unique, the first of which is a traditional ahooga horn which certainly gets this tractor noticed. The second modification has increased the tractors usability by being fitted with wireless technology. This will sound like an unusual feature on a 1960s tractor but the answer is logical. Having the tractor being controlled remotely allows the individuals with learning disabilities to drive the tractor in a safe and controlled environment on the large pastures at the farm. The tractor can be stopped remotely at a touch of a button if the individual driving it were to get into difficulty. Let’s not forget that allowing the individuals to drive the tractor ties in nicely with the company’s ethos by allowing these individuals to increase independence and develop valuable life skills. To find out more about WHM Work Connections please click on the link below: https://www.workconnections.co.uk/ A history of the International Harvester McCormick B275 Launched in 1958 the B275 model was designed to be an uprated machine to the B250 which had preceded it. Built in the former Jowett car factory in Bradford which International had bought out some years previously, the B275 was fitted with a 35hp 2.3 litre four cylinder petrol engine or a 38hp 2.3 litre four cylinder indirect injected diesel engine. The B275 diesel engine gained five more horse power over the B250 along with a different gearbox which gave this tractor eight forward gears comprising of four in low range and four in high range plus two reverse gears. This gave the tractor a top speed of 14mph and 95lbs-ft of torque. As was common at the time the tractor was in 2WD configuration without power steering and had a 6 volt electrical system. Furthermore the B275 was one of the more advanced tractors of the era as it was fitted with a manual locking differential, live duel category hydraulics, live power take off, glow plug cold starting, engine mounted pump and discs brakes as found on the B250. The final British built B275 was built in 1968 but they were also built under licence by Mahindra in India. In total 52,432 B275 tractors were built over the ten year production run when it was finally replaced by the B276. The B275 was proven to be a very durable tractor thanks to good build quality, ease of maintenance as well as a very good parts supply chain. However it is not without its flaws, the two main ones being weak brakes and sloppy steering. The former can often be sorted with a brake rebuild whereas the later often requires the steering box to be replaced. Also, despite having glow plug cold starting the B275 is renowned for not being the best cold starting tractors and improper use of the glow plug system can cause additional wear to the engine.
  7. 1 point
    For those of you living in and around leicester or Loughborough in the East Midlands, there is a fantastic car wash called Shiners based at WHM Work connections at 60 Green Lane Seagrave LE12 7LU. WHM Work Connections provides life skills as well as work skills for individuals with learning disabilities with activities such as car washing, vehicle mechanics, animal Care and catering skills on offer. Furthermore, these skills help the individuals gain Independence and confidence when managing areas for daily living that you or I might take for granted. As per the poster, I'm sure you' ll agree that £8 is a bargain for the level of detail involved. Needless to say it's not just any car wash! To put it into perspective, comparible operators are charging upto four times more for the same service locally. I would strongly recommend you give them a call to get your car booked in to treat it to a well deserved wash and wax. But it is advised to call in advance as they do get busy. Despite only being open one and a half days a week, phone calls will be answered Monday-Friday 9-4. To find out more about WHM Work Connections please click on the link below: https://www.workconnections.co.uk/ (Please note we cannot share images of the car washing in action due to the individuals confidentiality)
  8. 1 point
    Steve tests the most recent Mercedes E Class coupe and to see whether it can live up to its predecessors reputations. The current Mercedes E Class was debuted at the North American auto Show in 2016 and came on sale shortly after. Designated by Mercedes as the W213 the current E class is available in saloon, estate and coupe body styles just like its predecessor. With regards to this fifth generation E Class Mercedes have unified the design to tie the E Class in with both the current S Class and smaller C Class. As such, this has meant the current E Class Coupe is curvier than its predecessor whilst giving it a sportier persona. However I feel in some ways the E Classes’ individuality has been lost with this new model. But I cannot deny that the E Class Coupes design is elegantly proportioned thanks to its smooth flowing roof line which allows the car to have real road presence and should please even the most picky image conscious buyer. The exterior design is also helped by LED rear lights, Xenon headlights and 19” alloy wheels which are fitted as standard. Mercedes have also paid close attention to detail for the interior to make it feel a premium product. This is helped by the materials used as well as the level of standard equipment on offer such as a digital radio, Bluetooth, cruise control, rain sensing wipers, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, lumbar support, multi-function steering wheel, automatic climate control, parking sensors, heated seats, keyless go. On top of this, the E Class Coupe is available with a number of options available which include features such as panoramic sunroofs, Burmester sound systems and wireless charging to name but a few. The current E Class also benefits from being fitted with the safety technology to that of its big brother the S Class and includes autonomous driving features which allows the car to drive itself up to speeds of 130mph. This is on top of the basic safety features offered as standard on the E Class which include; Antilock Braking System, brake pad wear sensor, all round airbags, Electronic Stability Program, Parktronic with reversing camera, child seat recognition sensor, fatigue alert for long journeys, collision prevention assist, blind spot assist, and brake assist for emergency braking combined with hold function as standard. As I’m sure you’ll agree the amount of safety features is second to none. Pedestrians aren’t neglected either, as the E Class is fitted with an active bonnet which raises the bonnet if it senses a person coming into contact with it. The E Class Coupe range is available with two common rail diesel engines and four direct injection petrol engines which are all mated to a 9 speed G-Tronic automatic gearbox. The engine options are as follows: Diesel E220d – a 2.0 litre 4 cylinder turbo unit producing 194hp/400Nm torque, available in 2wd or with Mercedes 4Matic all-wheel drive system. E400d – a 3.0 litre 6 cylinder turbo engine producing 340hp/700Nm torque and only available with the 4Matic system. Petrol E300 – a 2.0 litre 4 cylinder turbo engine producing 245hp/370Nm torque E350 – a 2.0 litre 4 cylinder turbo unit producing 299hp/400Nm torque E450 - a 3.0 litre 6 cylinder twin turbo engine producing 367hp/500Nm torque and only available with the 4Matic all-wheel drive system. E53 – is the AMG derived 3.0 litre 6 cylinder twin turbo engine producing 435hp/520Nm torque and only available with the 4Matic system. Plus it should average 30mpg as an added bonus. Driving the E Class Coupe The car is have on test is a 2018 E220d AMG Line which is fitted with the four cylinder 2.0 turbo diesel engine which produces 194bhp and linked to the 9 speed G-Tronic automatic gearbox. To top it off this engine boasts MPG figures of 56.5mph combined. Sliding into the combined alcantara and leather driving seat I found it to be very supportive, with very good side bolsters as well as being electrically controlled and fitted with lumbar support. Furthermore, I found there is plenty of space for front seat passengers but it might prove a struggle for rear passengers on longer journeys. But I must admit that the space for rear passengers is certainly improved over the previous E Class Coupe especially where height is concerned. As one would expect from a Mercedes the cabin has a quality feel with leather covering not only the seats but also the door cards and dash top. In addition, the infotainment screen is much larger at 12.3 inches than the previous E Class which further improves its usability. Pressing the engine start button the diesel engine bursts into life to a quiet idle. Selecting drive on the column shifter the E Class pulls away effortlessly thanks to the automatic gearbox which has both smooth and quick gear changes, combined with a good kick down. I found the 220d engine had more than enough power and torque for good acceleration and momentum in all driving environments, but was slightly unrefined compared to some of its competitors. However, I must admit that this is a small negative in an otherwise good drivetrain which can get to 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds. I was further impressed by the handling of the E Class which ironed out the bumps well despite being quite hard, and surprisingly this still allows the handling to be composed yet comfortable. To further improve the comfort from the E Class, air suspension is available at extra cost. I have to admit that the suspension on the current E Class coupe helps reduce roll better than its predecessor which is partly due to the wider track. Furthermore the steering is nicely weighted, allowing it to be light but precise, which is in part to Mercedes Direct steer system which is also speed sensitive. One key foible I found whilst driving the E Class was the road noise, which could not be muted by the cabins sound deadening. However, I’ll admit this could be down to the Michelin run flat tyres fitted to this vehicle and maybe improved with a different brand of tyre. The handling package is finished off with large drilled brake discs front and rear which stop the E class effortlessly. The Motorists Guide View Overall I found the current Mercedes E class Coupe a nice car to drive combined with an impressive level of standard equipment compared to some of the rivals. Furthermore the build quality is on par with other Mercedes products, with nice materials and a quality fit and finish that consumers have come to expect from Mercedes. However, despite being larger/roomier than its predecessor I felt that the previous model was slightly better all round. None the less the current E Class is certainly a comfortable and relaxing place to be for both sitting in and driving, which most owners will happily drive for long distances. Therefore, we’re confident that you’d be pleased with purchasing an E Class Coupe if you’re in the market for one andits not one you should not discount when considering a premium coupe. Dimensions Length: 4,923 mm Width: 1,852 mm Height: 1,468 Curb weight: 1,605–2,048 kg
  9. 1 point
    Our first driving experience in the USA was when I was in my fifties and we thought that Florida would give us a very interesting experience in a warm climate late in the year. We gad a rented car in the package we took, a small Mazda, with a very small engine, but good air conditioning. The holiday was not just staying in Orlando, but taking a road trip from there to Key West. With a speed limit in force in most of Florida, the small car did a reasonable job, although we decided that the next time we came it would be a larger car. Alligator Alley was interesting, as was Key Largo, and the drive along the Seven Mile Bridge was quite an experience which we repeated two years later with a much longer road trip, and with a 2 litre Chrysler that was much too our liking. We went in January, with a gentle drive down to Key West where we stayed for 5 days, before we went up the coast through Miami to Daytona Beach where we experience a little frost on the windscreen. Wile I was scraping the windscreen a local man asked me what it was -- he had never seen frost before! We had a very interesting time which gave us a taste for driving in the USA. We took many photographs, had great experiences in Mallory Square in Key West, Key Largo, the Kennedy Space Centre, and driving along Daytona Beach. We said at the time than another road trip was on the cards and there was some few years later, which i will post later. Some photos from our two first trips in Florida. Peter.
  10. 1 point
    322 miles in one day. Steve travelled to Las Vegas to take a 2018 Ford Mustang convertible on a short road trip through too glorious states. Las Vegas – a city synonymous for gambling, partying and generally a play ground for the rich and famous. However, what if you want a change from the hustle and bustle of the city and see more of what the silver state has to offer? The answer is to hire a car and I have devised a perfect road trip which allows you enjoy some of the amazing scenery, ghost towns, mining towns and route 66 which all helped make the states of Nevada and Arizona both famous and rich. Below is a picture of the planned route. Tips for driving in Nevada & Arizona · You can turn right onto a road even if your traffic light sequence is on red if it is safe to do so. · We would recommend obeying the speed limits as he had been warned we would see lots of Police cars. We only saw four marked Police vehicles but there were probably plenty of unmarked cars we didn’t see! · Plan your route as phone signal can be limited in certain remote locations. · Fuel stations can be limited when you’re out in the desert and as such we would recommend not letting the fuel tank fall below the ¼ tank mark. · Always where your seatbelt whilst driving · Never pass a school bus with the stop sign out. · Never use your mobile phone whilst driving except through a hands free device. · Children 6 years or younger are required to have a child restraint system. · Do not drink and drive. Speed limits 15mph - School Zones 25mph - residential areas 45mph - Areas going into towns 65mph - Urban freeways, rural highways 70mph - Rural interstate freeways Our recommendations · Don’t stop at fort Mohave unless you require a break · Do visit the Hoover Dam · Consider visiting Chloride ghost town (off route 93) · Take plenty of pictures Have fun! Starting location Most of the car rental companies are situated near to the McCarran Airport, which are a short taxi ride from most of the hotels situated near to the strip and cost approximately $20 for a ride there or back. To get the best deals on hire cars my advice is to book as early as possible and pay in full at the time of booking. Besides getting a cheaper price this also allows you to splash out on a nicer vehicle is desired. For example a similar Ford Mustang to the one I have on test would cost you £111 from Alamo if booked months in advance, whereas on the day it would have cost you more than double the price. The rental charge is for a full 24 hours from the time of booking and we’d recommend collecting your car at around 7am. This sounds early, but believe me the trip is worth it. Rental car location address: McCarran Airport Rental Car Return, 7231 Gilespie St, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA Red Rock Canyon The first point of interest on our road trip is Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area and features a 12 mile drive around beautiful scenery. Leaving the rental car lot its approximately a 30 minute drive to Red Rock Canyon along Route 215 & 159. Arriving at red Rock there is a toll booth where you pay the $15 vehicle fee to drive around the site. You will not be disappointed in spending the $15 as the views are breath taking and the following pictures do not do the area justice. Red Rock address: Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center, 1000 Scenic Loop Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89161, USA Nelson ghost town After leaving red rock Canyon you have to back track yourself along route 215 and subsequently join the freeway, which becomes route 95 that takes you directly out of Las Vegas and into the wonderful Nevada desert. You need to keep an eye out though for the left turn for route 165 which takes you directly to Nelson. However there are two parts of Nelson, the first part that will come into view is the more modern buildings. Don’t stop here, instead carry on around the corner and you’ll be met by the rustic mining town. Once you’ve parked the car, head over to the visitor centre to check in and be given relevant safety information but to be fair your main danger is rattle snakes. The owners of the ghost town are lovely and they kindly ask if you’re going to take lots of pictures to pay a measly $10. The visitor centre does have cold drinks for sale in the freezer, but be warned you might get a surprise, as the carcases of the rattle snake caught in that year are kept in there! Nelson is lovingly preserved and you cannot be impressed by the town’s charm. From Red Rock Canyon, Nelson is an hour’s drive and approximately 60miles . Nelson address: Nelson, NV 89046, USA Colorado River As you leave Nelson turn right out of the carpark to head through the Eldorado Canyon and drive the 5 miles approx to the majestic Colorado River. You’ll find the road is a dead end but offers great views of the surrounding area. Oatman Arizona Leaving the Colorado River you head back along the 165 and re-join the 95 to head towards Arizona. On our trip we stopped at the town Fort Mohave which was 1 hour 35 minutes from Nelson but other than getting a bite to eat we didn’t find anything else of note at the town. Therefore we’d recommend driving straight through the town to another famous ghost town – Oatman. To get to Oatman you have to come off route 95 and take route 163 through the Mesquite creek to reach the town. On the way you’ll go through, yet more stunning scenery in the Mojave Desert. As you get nearer to Oatman you’ll discover that you have come onto the world famous Route 66 which not only passes through Oatman but will take you to our next destination as well. Oatman is another well preserved ghost town with plenty of shops, bar and hotel. There’s also a small mine you can enter as well as a jail and museum which were both closed on our visit. It’s worth noting that if you intend to visit the town on a weekend, they often do wild west style shoot outs on the main road. Another curiosity for the town are the semi wild Burros that roam the streets. These donkey like creatures were once domesticated in the twos boom years but as they escaped from their owners throughout the decades the breed became more wild. But it has to be said they love to be fed and fussed over! Kingman Arizona Leaving Oatman, you continue along the historic Route 66 for just under an hour to arrive at the town of Kingman. However before I discuss Kingman I want to talk about the fantastic drive to the town via the world’s most famous highway. The drive between Oatman and Kingman is breath-taking but can alos be dangerous if you chose to drive irresponsibly. The stretch of 66 we were on had shear drops, uneven surfaces at the edge of the highway and tight turns. It is truly an amazing experience but as already mentioned it would not suffer fools. On arriving at Kingman there is a fantastic traditional diner where food and drink is served with enthusiasm. The staff were friendly and genuinely interested in talking to us both about our trip but also about the UK. Next to the diner was a second-hand car lot which sold muscle cars and hotrods which stood out. I definitely wanted one or two! Unfortunately because we had arrived at Kingman at 9pm not a lot of places were open and couldn’t get a full flavour of what the town had to offer. After we were finished at the diner we picked up route 93 and headed back towards Las Vegas with a plan to visit the Hoover Dam before it closed at 9pm. unfortunately we arrived 15 minutes late and thus couldn’t visit the Dam. After this setback we decided to return the car to the rental company and which concluded our road trip. The Motorists Guide View: Thanks for reading our Nevada & Arizona road trip, we hope we have inspired you to complete a US road trip of your own and we can assure you that you won't be disappointed! Have you done a road trip that you think we should consider doing? Then don’t hesitate to contact us!
  11. 1 point
    Steve gets behind the wheel of a 3rd generation E class to see whether it is a used car gem. The Mercedes W211 E class was launched in 2002 to replace the notoriously rust prone W210 model. There was a lot riding on this new E class and most importantly Mercedes reputation, due to build quality issues affecting various models of Mercedes both in the late 1990s and into the start of the 21st century. This new model E Class was only available in two body styles, either saloon or estate and three spec levels were offered on release which were; Classic, Elegance and Advantgarde. Even the entry level Classic spec was well equipped and benefited from climate air conditioning, cruise control, alloy wheels, heated washer jets and rain sensing wipers. The Elegence trim added interior touches such as wood trim, leather trimmed steering wheel/gear knob and the top spec Advantgade benefited from part leather trim, Xenon headlights, LED rear lights and specific five spoke alloy wheels. Various engine options were available including a good array of diesel engines which reflected the market at the time, as diesels were in favour with buyers and the government. The options were; 220CDI, 270CDI (prefaclift only), 280CDI and 320CDI in diesel form. On the other hand petrol buyers weren’t forgotten about as the E Class was available as a 200, 320 (V6) or a 500 (V8) which was fitted to the AMG and later replaced by the E63 at the end of production. The key to a long engine life for any Mercedes is regular maintenance and this should help reduce some issues. One key issue on CDI engines are injector seal failure and this can be sotted by a rough running engine and a fuel smell in the cabin. As you would expect it is not cheap to repair and you’ll be looking roughly up to £500. Also bearings for the super chargers pulley can fail especially on cars that have covered more than 100,000 miles. Due to the age of most W211 cars, most will have covered more than 100k so it’s worth checking the service history for this work being carried out. Unfortunately the early cars weren’t without faults, but compared to the previous rusty W210 the W211 suffered from electrical and mechanical gremlins. The most important electrical issue to watch out for on early cars, those built up to 2005 are faults with the Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC) system. The SBC system was designed to be a form of anti-skid control and was able to make adjustments to brake pressure to help keep the car more stable under braking. However the system has been known to fail and even Mercedes replaced the SBC units when the cars were within warranty. Due to the amount of customer complaints/system issues Mercedes reverted to a hydraulic system for the facelift model. In addition, one key issue with early E class models is with the radiator which has been known to leak into the gearbox oil cooler. This ultimately jams the torque converter and can result in an expensive bill but only affects models built up to 2003 and fitted with a Valeo radiator. Mercedes facelifted the E class for the 2006 model year and thankfully this rectified a lot of the early faults and around 2000 improvements were made, including to the performance and handling. The facelift was graced with new headlights, grill and bumper which helped improve the styling. For the facelift a sport spec was also added which was fitted with 18” wheels, cornering lights, stiffer suspension, gear shift paddles and cost £1,470 as an optional extra on the estate and a whopping £3,570 on the saloon. As you would expect safety wasn’t neglected either and the facelifted E Class was fitted with a tyre pressure monitoring system as well as adaptive braking system which flash the brake lights to warn cars behind of sudden braking. If the car behind still fails to stop the E Class is fitted with PRE SAFE occupant protection and neck pro head restraints which both prepare the occupants and vehicle for an imminent impact. Driving the W211 Mercedes E Class The car I have on test is a facelift 2006 280CDI estate model with the optional extra sport trim which has covered 133,000 miles. Sliding into the comfy leather seat it is clear to see that this model of E Class differs greatly from its boxy predecessors. The cabin is light and airy as well as having a dash that curves and gives the E Class a modern, yet sophisticated look and is very well laid out. The front seats are easily adjusted thanks to the electric adjustment and memory feature as well as being heated which is ideal for the up and coming winter. This is also supported with the reach and rake adjusted from the leather steering wheel. Turning the key and the V6 diesel engine fires and quickly settles to a smooth idle. Engaging drive and pulling away it is clear that the V6 diesel has brisk acceleration which is further helped from the 7 speed GTRONIC gearbox, both of which present no drama. The W211 E Class was highly praised for its handling characteristics, with great body control/neutral handling and this particular car is no exception. The ride is very compliant and absorbs bumps well, which is impressive as the sport model has the stiffer suspension but is supported with self-levelling Airmatic air suspension on the rear. Furthermore the steering is precise and gives the driver confidence to push the car into the corners. As you’d expect the braking system is more than adequate to stop this autobahn stormer, and can bring the car to a stop in half the distance of the Highway Codes distances which is impressive for a car of this size and weight. On examining the cabin it is clear that the interior is built well and very electrical item was working and the interior was showing no real signs of wear, other than on the driver seat bolster. There is a generous amount of leg and head room for rear passengers as well as having a carnivorous boot which can also be fitted with optional extra rear facing seats. The Motorists Guide View The W211 E Class was a very expensive car when new but now they can be obtained for as little as £1500 and are exceptional value for money. But be warned there will be a lot of cheap E class cars out there which are suffering from mechanical or electrical issues, and as such a comprehensive service history is a must. Cars that are in good, cared for condition will provide fantastic family transport as well as providing good levels of comfort, equipment and safety and it is a car I would strongly recommend. Dimensions Saloon Length: 4,818mm (15ft 10in) Width: 1,822mm (6ft 0in) Height: 1,452mm (4ft 9in) Luggage capacity: 540 litres (rear seats up) Estate Length: 4,850mm (16’ 0”) Width: 1,822mm (6’ 0”) Height: 1,495mm (4’ 11”) Luggage capacity: (rear seats up): 690 litres. Luggage capacity: (rear seats down): 1,950 litres. Kerb weight: 1,785kg – 1,885kg
  12. 1 point
    In the last week both motoring fans and Hollywood have been mourning the loss of a true filming icon, Burt Reynolds who sadly passed away from a heart attack at the age of 82 in Florida. As a fitting tribute Steve looks through some of the cars that starred alongside him during some his most memorable films. Pontiac Firebird Trans Am – Smokey and the bandit One of Burt Reynolds defining films was Smokey and the Bandit which was released in 1977 and featured a 1976/1977 Tans Am which was used as a diversion to keep cops off the trail of the illegal cargo in the back of the truck. After the film sales for the Trans Am rocketed and Reynolds was also also gifted one of the Trans Am promo cars. 1979 Dodge Sportsman Ambulance – Cannonball Run The 1981 film Cannonball run involved a road race and was loosely based on the real 1979 Running the Cannonball race, but not only that the ambulance was used both the actual race and then starred in the film. This was No coincidence as the director for the Cannonball Run had raced the ambulance. 1971 International Scout – Deliverance In this 1974 film Reynolds drives a 1971 International Scout. This 800B model was one of the last of the Mk1 Couts before it was replaced by the Mk2 version. 1968 Chevrolet Camero – Cop and a half Cop and a half was a 1993 comedy which featured Reynolds as a cop who teams up with an 8 year old boy to solve a murder investigation. The film Reynolds drives a 1968 Chevrolet Camero which is fitted with a SS badge. However it is unknown if this car was a real SS as it did not have the SS bonnet. 1974 Citroen SM – Longest Yard This Citroen SM featured in the 1974 film the longest Yard but is only seen in the first few scenes. In the film Reynolds takes the car from his angry girlfriend when intoxicated. She reports the car stolen and a police chase ensues, which ends with the Citroen sinking in water after being pushed off a dock. 1975 Porsche 935 replica – Cannonball Run Compared to the Dodge ambulance mentioned previously this Porsche 935 replica only stars briefly in the film and is based on a 1969 Porsche 911. However those vital scenes gave us too important parts of the film, the first was captain Chaos but also the line “anti radar paint, turbo charged. JJ, nothing can stop us now! Nothing!” As can be suspected this did not go well and the car crashes after encountering a Police roadblock. 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am – Hooper This 1978 film is about an aging stuntman who wants to prove he’s still got the skills to do this risky line of work. Hooper was realised after Smokey and the Bandit which could partially explain why a Trans Am was used in Reynolds next film. The Pontiac in question was used in the second half of the film and is used for the films climatic ending where its jumps a 323ft gorge. 1978 GMC k10 stepside – Hooper Another noticeable cars used in the film Hooper is this GMC k10. In the first part of the film Reynolds drives this modified GMC pickup and it is featured in one of the films best scenes when he is pulled over by the police doing 55mph in reverse. 1971 Ford 500 – White Lightening White Lightening was released in 1973 and would be Burt Reynolds first car movie. In the film Reynolds, an ex-convict is employed by the Police to catch a corrupt sheriff who killed his brother and runs a moonshining ring. In the film Reynolds used a modified Ford 500 which was fitted with 429cu V8.
  13. 1 point
    Sunstrips can both be aesthetically pleasing and yet very useful. The concept actually originates to the 1970s, where certain cars would be fitted with a green tint across the top of the windscreen. Then in the 1980s and 1990s it was quite common to see racing cars being fitted with sunstrips to not only block out the sun, but also provide extra sponsorship space on the vehicle. This craze then later filtered onto both the modified car scene for a racey look, and the commercial vehicle sector to provide a space for company sign writing. If you would like to fit a sunstrip either for vehicle modification, company advertising or just to block out the sun on winter days then here’s our fitting guide: Step 1 Wash the windscreen. This might seem obvious but if you don’t then the sunstrip might not stick properly to the windscreen. Step 2 Place the strip on the car (unstuck!) to measure your desired width of the sunstrip, and then mark the point with tape (we used blutak). You may need an assistant to help with this and also remember the sunstrip can NOT be in the wipers sweep or cover more than 25% of the window area. Alternately some sunstrips come pre measured for your car to make them easier to fit. Step 3 Trim to the sunstrip to the desired size. Step 4 Spray the windscreen with a water/washing up liquid mixture to help get the sunstrip in the right place. Step 5 Peel off the backing of the sunstrip and attach the strip to the windscreen to the mark line (we used blutak for the marker). Step 6 Now the sunstrip is fitted, you now need to use the water/washing up liquid mixture with a squeegee to get the air bubbles out. A pin might also come in handy to help with this. Once this is done, you can admire your hard work. Please note we used more than one type of sunstrip for the making of this guide.
  14. 1 point
    VW has confirmed that only half of its models have gained type approval ahead of 1 September deadline Volkswagen says just half of its existing models have gained type approval under the latest emission regulations, following delays in a new certification process. From 1 September all new cars sold within the European Union are obliged to fulfil tough new regulations as part of the so-called Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) developed to provide a more realistic measure of fuel consumption and emissions. However, Volkswagen’s head of sales and marketing in Germany, Thomas Zahn, has confirmed the company has only achieved type approval for seven of the 14 model lines sold in Europe. “The new tests are more cumbersome and take two to three times longer than in the past. Even limited edition models need to be tested separately,” Zahn said in a conference call with journalists this week, adding, “The coming months will be challenging for us.” Significantly, Volkswagen’s best selling model, the Golf, is among the models yet to have gained clearance. The volume-selling variants are expected to be certified in the next two weeks, with the brand's test bench running 24hrs a day to clear the certification. The delay has left Volkswagen with growing customer unrest as delivery times on popular models are forced to be extended, in some cases by as much as six months, according to German dealer sources, who described the situation as “disastrous”. Zahn said he expects the full Golf range to gain certification clearance by the end of September. Even so, some customers are already being quoted delivery times into 2019. In anticipation of the delay in deliveries due to the WLTP certification, Volkswagen has begun stockpiling new cars produced at factories around Europe. 80% of those cars are already sold, however. The German car maker recently revealed it had rented ground space at Berlin’s new international airport, which has yet to open, to accommodate thousands of newly produced cars with the intent to begin delivery as soon as they have been granted type approval by authorities. Autocar is awaiting comment from other Volkswagen Group manufacturers, such as SEAT, Skoda and Audi, regarding whether or not deliveries are being affected. Read more VW Golf review WLTP explained Diesel deaths - complete list of 2018's axed models View the full article
  15. 1 point
    The company’s tech secrets are coveted by other van makers Whitby Morrison is a world leader in ice cream van manufacturing and another Brit automotive success story. We pay a visit British, bespoke and hand built in Crewe – it can only be one thing: a Whitby Morrison ice cream van. With its familiar cheery chimes and vivid, shouty graphics, it’s a British institution. Now is peak season. Around 4000 ice cream vans are out there making hay (well, ice cream) while the sun has shone like never before – or at least like it did in the summer of 1976. Whitby Morrison is busy, but not half as busy as it will be in autumn when the country’s soft-scoop barons return from the nation’s streets, beaches, fields and festivals to splash out on a shiny new £70,000 Mondial Lusso (the company’s top-selling van available, in short or medium- wheelbase forms) or Amalfi, or have their existing vehicle refurbished or a panel van converted. The company produces 100 vans each year, comprising 60 new, 30 conversions and 10 vintage van conversions (Mini pick-ups, Volkswagen Type 2s, old Bedfords, that kind of thing). It’s the UK’s biggest ice cream van manufacturer, easily dwarfing rivals who, even combined, produce no more than 10 vehicles annually. Not that Ed Whitby, operations director, is complacent. Rather, as the third generation of the Whitby family to be involved with the business, he’s passionate about building and converting ice cream vans, and ensuring the nation’s love for soft scoop never wanes. “At any point in time there’s someone, somewhere in the world smiling because they’re buying an ice cream from a Whitby Morrison ice cream van,” he says. It’s no idle boast. The company’s vehicles are in 60 countries and it exports around 10 vans each year. Eastern Europe, Ukraine, Kazakhstan... they love their Whitby Morrisons. In 2014 the company sold 20 ice cream vans to Azerbaijan. When I turn up there’s a Mondial Lusso adorned with Arabic script destined for Libya, its sound system poised to blare La Cucaracha over what remains of the country. It’s the 13th van the customer has ordered since Gaddafi was toppled. “He takes them over the Med via Sicily, passing migrant boats coming the other way,” says Whitby. The owner will get much of his initial outlay back when he replaces them. After three years, the length of time most operators keep their new Whitby Morrison vans, a Mondial or Amalfi is still worth around 80% of its new price. The company was founded in 1962 by Ed’s grandfather, Bryan Whitby. A talented refrigeration engineer and coachbuilder, his first van featured the proud boast, ‘Diploma quality ice cream’. bryan’s son Stuart, a former Rolls-Royce apprentice and the recipient of the rarely given WO Bentley award, shared his father’s passion and together they developed a succession of top-selling ice cream vans, starting with the Bedford CD-based Whitby Black Roof of 1983. A variation based on the Mercedes T1 followed a year later. The relationship with Mercedes continues to this day, with Whitby Morrison favouring Sprinter chassis cabs for its new vans. Future plans include a pure-electric ice cream van (expect it late next year). The company already does an electric conversion that allows the operator to power the soft ice cream maker from a remote electric power point rather than the diesel engine. I take a tour around the factory where craftsmen and women (the firm employs 43 people) cut, mould, weld, drill, wire and paint. There are a few cranes and hoists dotted around but in the main it’s skilled, manual work, making it a place which, if they ignored the vans’ jaunty glassfibre ice cream cones and garish colour schemes, veterans of the old Rolls-Royce and Bentley works nearby would recognise. My tour starts in the glassfibre-reinforced plastic (GRP) shop, where each van’s body, freezer, water tank and sundry door moulds are produced. In the metal workshop the Sprinter chassis are prepared, and fridges, tanks and support structures fabricated. We pause by a huge American ice cream van that’s been shipped over from the US for essential work. “We’re constructing a drive system for it so it can power the soft ice cream machine,” says Ed. “Believe it or not, a country the size of the US doesn’t have that expertise.” In the refrigeration shop they’re installing a Carpigiani ice cream machine, attaching the drive system to a van’s engine. Ed is coy about the details of Whitby Morrison’s unique direct drive system, and with good reason. Only a few years ago the company found itself the victim of an ice cream war when a rogue operator bought one of its vans and reverse-engineered fakes bearing Whitby Morrison’s logo. “We were tipped off by people in the industry telling us the customer had bought the new van with the intention of producing copies,” says Ed. “The next thing, ads for the vans were appearing on social media.” The company hired an intellectual property lawyer. He discovered where the vans were being made and gathered evidence proving they were being faked. The lengths the fakers had gone to astonished Ed. “They sold 30 fake vans, worth around £2 million,” he says. It was a huge loss to Whitby Morrison but there were concerns, too, about how unsafe the vans might be. The company sued the fakers and won and has since agreed with the vans’ duped owners to upgrade their vehicles to its standards. “No one should be buying ice cream from a fake ice cream van,” says Ed. “We Brits are sentimental about our ice cream vans. Along with our two-week summers [this year’s is an exception] they’re an institution and eating an ice cream is a comforting experience. No one should be allowed to spoil that.” As I tuck into a ‘test’ ice cream fresh from a brand-new Carpigiani, I can only mumble in agreement. John Evans Read more Bentley could revisit coachbuilding heritage with bespoke car division Italian coachbuilders: why it's not the end of the road Pininfarina and Touring Superleggera coachbuilders seek more collaboration View the full article
  16. 1 point
    Car security has come a long way in the last twenty years thanks to improved locks and immobilisers, however with the introduction of keyless entry and keyless ignitions car theft is sadly on the increase. To help boost security you could look at fitting a battery master switch which acts as a type of immobiliser by cutting off the negative earth electrical supply but allows the alarm, radio and clock to function when the master switch is fitted with a fuse holder. If this sounds like a good idea to you, then my first piece of advice would be to assess where you are going to fit the switch. You’ll probably need to do measuring so in order you can buy/make brackets to hold the switch. To fit a battery master switch you’ll need: 1. Battery master switch, with key and fuse holder Examples from eBay 2. Four gauge wire from an auto accessories/ICE shop 3. Four Ring terminals 4. Suitable brackets 5. Nuts and bolts. This will depend on the size of brackets you’ve bought/made and where you have placed them. Step 1 Disconnect the battery. This might seem obvious but if you forget you run the risk of running the cars electrical system through you! Step 2 Assuming you have decided on where you’ll fit the switch, the next job is to attach your brackets through the holes in the switch base. Step 3 Attach the ring terminals to the four gauge wire. Step 4 Break into the battery negative lead and attach the four gauge wire with ring terminals. It might be worth crimping it to hold it in place as well. Step 5 Connect the negative battery lead to one of the master switch connectors and use a ring terminal to connect the fuse holder. Step 6 Connect the other end of the fuse holder to the switch and then re-join the four gauge wiring to the battery. Step 7 If you haven’t done already, attach the switch and its brackets to your chosen part of the vehicle. Step 8 Then fit the fuse into the fuse holder. Your fuse and fuse holder may differ from the one shown in the picture. Step 9 Test your handy work by fitting the red key and starting the ignition. If all is well then take the red key out and job done. Just don’t lose red the key! Picture below showing an example of the finished article. Please note that the items shown in the pictures may differ from the one available in your country, however the fitting process will be the same.
  17. 1 point
    Steve looks through five Volkswagens that lasted longer in production than you might think! VW Beetle The last Volkswagen Beetle rolled off the assembly line in Wolfsburg-German in 1978 for the hard top and 1980 for the Karman cabriolet; however that wasn’t the end of the story. Production continued in South America where there was still high demand for cheap, simple transportation at assembly plants both in Mexico and Brazil. Despite the introduction of the Golf, Beetles were still being officially imported from Mexico by Volkswagen Germany well into the1980s. Personal imports continued in small numbers, until two professional car import companies started importing larger quantities of Mexican Beetles from 1996 right up to the end of production in 2003. The Mexican Beetles were based on the late 70s body and chassis, similar to that of the 1200 but fitted with a 1600cc fuel injected engine producing 90bhp and catalytic converter. The Mexican Beetles also benefited from an electric washer bottle as opposed the vacuum system as found on the 1970s versions, as well as front disc brakes as standard. Besides these alterations the Beetle remained relatively unchanged, keeping the same suspension setup and four speed manual gearbox as found on the older versions. UK importers were generous with options lists which included right hand drive conversions, folding sunroofs, CD players and even heated windscreens. Even with the novelty factor the Mexican Beetle remains a rare sight on UK roads. Ultima Edicion Beetle VW Transporter bay window Just like the Beetle, South America was in high demand of the bay window transporter due to its versatility where both van and minibus versions were produced in Volkswagens Brazilian plant. The name was changed to kombi but the same 1970s design soldiered on with an air-cooled engine, until 2006 when new emissions rules were brought into force in Brazil. To prolong the life of the Kombi Volkswagen Brazil fitted it with a 1200cc water cooled engine which could also be found in the Fox, this not only reduced emissions but it meant the old designed gained a front radiator grill. Professional importers started bringing the kombi into the UK at the start of the Millennium, where buyers could select from a variety of interior and colour options, but more importantly allowed them to have the retro looks but within a brand new vehicle. Unfortunately progress left the Kombi behind, thanks to safety legislation production ceased in 2013. Last Edition Kombi VW golf Mk1 The first generation Golf was launched in 1974 as a direct replacement to the much loved Volkswagen Beetle. For buyers the golf was a vast improvement over the beetle, as it was available as a five door hatchback or two door cabriolet as well as having more powerful water cooled engines. Just like the Beetle the Golf developed a loyal following, and the model built on Volkswagens reputation for providing reliable family transport. The sporty Golf GTI was launched in 1975 which marked the introduction of the “hot hatch” and became a benchmark for other manufactures to follow due to its practicality and fun driving characteristics. The Mk1 Golf ceased production in Europe in 1983 for the hard top, but the cabriolet remained in production for another decade and final bowed out in 1993. However that was not the end of the story, because as we’ve seen previously in this article certain countries still required cheap and economical transportation. The Golf Mk1 continued to be produced in Africa until 2009 but was renamed Citi Golf so as to differentiate itself from the later model Golfs. The Citi Golf was available with either a 1.4, or 1.6 fuel injected engine and was available in four trim levels; CitiRox, CitiSport, TenaCiti and CitiStorm. 2003 Citi Golf VW Jetta Mk2 The Mk2 Jetta was noticeably longer, wider and taller than the previous model and was available in three and five door saloon. The second generation Jetta was released in 1984 and immediately became a sales success in America, where it outsold the Golf and even achieved bestselling European car of the year in America in 1991. In the same year the Jetta was introduced into the Chinese market in complete knock down (CKD) form, but this later changed in 1995 when China started their own production using locally sourced components. The Jetta was the first Volkswagen to be released in China but due to Volkswagens strong reputation the Jetta has become a popular choice for taxi drivers in China even despite the Mk2 Jetta production ending in 2013. VW Golf Mk4 The fourth generation Golf was introduced to the UK in mid-1998 to replace the aging mk3 model and was available in 3 or 5 door hatchback, estate or cabriolet even though the latter was just a facelifted Mk3 Golf convertible which naturally confused buyers. The Mk4 Golf brought with it various improvements over the outgoing model as it was both longer and wider than the previous model as well as being taller which all improved the cabin space. In early 2004 the Golf Mk4 was replaced by the fifth generation in continental Europe, but it continued to be sold as the Golf City in Canada and in South America until 2010. The Golf City was facelifted in 2007 and was available with either a 2.0 115hp petrol engine or a TDI engine, and sold well due to being competitively priced at $15,300 Canadian dollars. In south America the Golf City was available in either a 1.6, 1.8 or 2.0 petrol engine and was available in two trim levels.
  18. 1 point
    In the sleepy Leicestershire village of Barkby there is an unusual sight, parked in the carpark of the Church View Nursey garden centre sits an old double decker bus. This in itself doesn’t sound unusual but what sets this bus apart from many other classic buses is the fact that this one has been converted into a wonderful cafe. The Mash Tun opened in July 2017 by Joe and Laura and who already have a loyal customer base. The bus cannot be missed by passers-by as it sits near the roadside and on arrival there is plenty of parking, which is ideal when the café and garden centre gets busy. Walking over to the bus I found the staff to be very friendly and welcoming, as they talk to you from a hatch in the side of the bus which was once a window. The hatch is where you’ll find the vast menu of both hot and cold food, as well as doubling up for placing your order and on this occasion I ordered a bacon and egg roll with a pot of tea. At this point you also pay for your order either with cash or card payment. Once your order has been placed, you head upstairs and take a pew on one of the up-cycled or handcrafted seating areas which cannot be denied is certainly unique. After a short wait the staff will bring your drinks up to you, followed shortly by your food order. Both of which I found were always delivered with a smile. Tucking into my bacon and egg roll I found both the bacon and egg to be fresh and superb, whilst finding the tea plentiful thanks to a large vintage style pot and presented with a cup, saucer and a biscuit on the side. The food served is either homemade, locally sourced or Fairtrade which further reinforces the quality of the food and drink on offer. The atmosphere of the café was warm with other customers seeming happy and enjoying their orders too. I would highly recommend the Mash Tun Café both for the great food and prompt service and it certainly would make a nice stop for anyone who is taking their classic car out for a run in the idyllic Leicestershire countryside. Details: Church View Nursery/Mash Tun Cafe Queniborough Road, Barkby, Leicester LE7 3QJ http://themashtuncafe.co.uk/ Opening Times: Monday: CLOSED Tuesday: 9:30am-5pm Wednesday: 9:30am-3pm Thursday: 9:30am-5pm Friday: 9:30am-5pm Saturday: 9:30am-5pm Sunday: 10am-4pm The Owners: Joe and Laura with their daughter Flo
  19. 1 point
    Set off the main through fair in Syston Town centre sits a quintessentially British tea room called Occasions which oozes with charm thanks to its quirky vintage setting and lovely staff. Occasions was set up by Emma five years ago to bring something a little different to Syston by offering light lunches with sandwiches, toasties, cream teas which are combined with delicious homemade cakes in a friendly and unique setting. Walking through the door, a classic doorbell rings which is then followed by a warm welcome from Emma and her staff. You then take a seat either in the main café or in the parlour room which would not look out of place in Great Gatsby, and given time to peruse the menu before the staff come over to take your order. On this occasion (no pun intended!) I ordered the cream tea which came with a fruit scone, cream, jam and a pot of tea. After my order had been taken I only had to wait a short time before my order arrived, but I will be clear this wasn’t because I had ordered something simple as other patrons who ordered salads or sandwiches also received their food quickly and always with a smile. All food is freshly prepared and there is a great attention to detail for presentation for all orders that I could see, as well as being exquisite in taste. The food and tea was served on vintage china which only adds to the ambiance of the Tea Room. I cheekily topped off my cream tea with a piece of mouth-watering chocolate cake, which as previously mentioned is homemade and is certainly as great as it looked! I would strongly recommend this fantastic Tea Room to anyone, which is certainly ideal if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of a hectic life but also makes a lovely stop for those who fancy a vintage stop in their vintage car. Details: Occasions Tea Room 8A High St Syston Leicester LE7 1GP 0116 3191819 Opening Times: Monday: CLOSED (Except Bank Holidays & the Monday before Christmas) Tuesday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Thursday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  20. 1 point
    Aggressively priced supermini steps up interior game, but lacks performance of major rivals Examine the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders' sales figures for July compared with last year and you’ll discover MG’s rate of growth has been spectacular.No less than 167%, in fact, at a time when most marques are experiencing a slight sales slump — not least value-proposition opposition Dacia.MG, it seems, is flying, but that Bentley recorded 103% growth gives some indication of the underlying reasons for such a statistical surge. The truth is that it’s taken four long years for the Chinese-manufactured MG 3 to amass 10,000 sales in an out-and-out volume segment, and so the only way truly is up. Ford, for reference, sells the British public around 5000 examples of the Fiesta every month.But if the 3 is some way off the pace in sales, the lightly revised version tested here also remains some way off the price. Even in top-spec Exclusive trim, it comes in at only £12,795; and if that’s not thrifty enough, consider that in entry-level Explore guise this car costs a mere £9495 — almost a match for the basic Volkswagen Up, which is a full segment below the 3.You’ll need mid-ranking Excite trim if you’re to enjoy 16in diamond-cut alloy wheels instead of 14in steelies, reverse parking sensors and a sharp new 8.0in touchscreen (without navigation, but with Apple CarPlay and a DAB radio), and only Exclusive comes with part-leather sports seats.The infotainment display is sleekly integrated into the dashboard (although it still sits awkwardly below your eye line) and, in fact, the entire interior is more credible than you might expect both in terms of materials and fit. Along with exterior design tweaks, chief among them the adoption of a larger, chromed-rimmed grille, the 3 cuts an attractive figure.View the full article
  21. 1 point
    On the 9th August 2015 I had the fortune of visiting the historic MG factory at Longbridge in Birmingham, and on arrival we waited for our guide in the MG Showroom which gave me a chance to have a look over the MG3 and MG6. Our guide then met us and took us across to the main buildings where we were shown into a room and learnt the history of the MG brand and SAIC future plans for the marque. After the presentation the real fun began and we were shown a faithful reconstruction of Morris office and then moved onto the Technical Centre. As no surprise we were not allowed to take any pictures, but we were show an MG3 turbo prototype as well as the CAD/CAM machines as well as the engine test facilities. The test facilities at Longbridge design and develop the engines and suspension for European MG3s and as such they differ from their Chinese siblings. We then moved onto the heart of the site where we saw the build process for the MG3 but I must confess the conveyor belts and production lines were silent on the day of our visit as production only occurred two days a week. We were also informed that the cars arrive from China to the UK as Complete Knock Down (CKD) kits and reassembled at Longbridge. The silence was eerie but I was just pleased to see the factories still being used for their orginal purpose instead of just idling. The final part of the tour was to be shown MG’s private collection of prototypes and historic vehicles which included some limited edition models and key successes such as the Mini, TF and Austin Healey. Overall the factory tour was a great day out and a real insight into the current operations of MG.
  22. 1 point
    The 12th August marked the 10th anniversary of Audis In The Park and which could be the last. Just like last year the event was held at Deenes Park in Corby, but compared to last year the weather was overcast and rained in short bursts but this did not stop dedicated Audi fans from attending this fantastic show. One major improvement over last years show, was the entry system into the show which ran on a coloured ticket system depending on the location you had been placed in the show ground and this worked really well and it prevented the huge jam as seen last year. Furthermore the show had grown in size from last year and clubs from around the country were in attendance, a key one being the DKW Club which brought with them some exceptional cars, one of which achieved best in show. The TT owners club and RS3 owners club had large displays but besides the clubs there was also a small selection of trade stands and food outlets as well as the main stage which was pumping out a variety of tunes. Overall, Audis In The Park 10 was once again a great show despite the weather and which definitely didn't dampen anyone's spirits. We do hope that this isn't the last ever Audis In The Park event as it truly is a great show. we'll just have to watch this space!
  23. 1 point
    I love the new jimny, Suzuki have really pulled out all the stops on this new model and I do hope they make a convertible and 5 door version.
  24. 1 point
    Suzuki’s new compact 4x4 is already attracting the attention of customisers, who have created retro-inspired versions The Suzuki Jimny has only been on sale in Japan for five weeks, but already a specialist garage has created custom versions drawing upon the car’s retro look. Jimny Center Niigata, based in Niigata, in the north of Japan’s main island, Honshu, has customised the Jimny’s grille to bear an old-style Suzuki logo, as well as fitting retro-style wheels to the Jimny, shod in whitewall tyres. The garage charges around £168 for a custom grille for older JA12-generation Jimnys, which were made until 1996, and £228 for a wood roof lining replacement, although no prices for new Jimny parts have yet been made public. The throwbacks recall previous generations of Jimny, the first of which entered production in 1970. The garage also customises older Jimnys, with both interior and exterior modifications including bespoke paint jobs, interior cladding and upholstery. Jimny Center Niigata has already attracted a backlog of interest in Japan, with double-digit orders pending, although the garage hasn’t disclosed how long customers will have to wait for each order to be completed. The new Jimny goes on sale in the UK in early 2019, months after its Japanese sales debut. A price of around £14,000 is expected for the 101bhp 1.5-litre micro-SUV. Read more: 2019 Suzuki Jimny engine and gearbox options revealed Retro Citroen Type H-bodied Relay van on sale next week Infiniti Prototype 9 concept revealed as race-inspired retro concept View the full article
  25. 1 point
    The discovery of Nissan and Subaru’s improper testing last year led to the Japanese government ordering checks, which have now implicated Mazda, Suzuki and Yamaha Several manufacturers in Japan have been found to have improperly tested cars for emissions and fuel economy in an investigation ordered by the Japanese government after the discovery of Nissan and Subaru's emissions testing impropriety last year. Suzuki, Mazda and Yamaha are implicated, although with different levels of severity. Mazda released a statement explaining that “Test data containing speed trace errors was found in 72 cases out of 1472 vehicles tested under the JC08 mode.” The company’s emissions testing system “was not set up to automatically invalidate results when a speed trace error occurred,” it explained, while the level of deviation permitted under the test was at the discretion of each individual inspector. As a result, there is no false data in any of Mazda’s test data from either test mode. The company has dealt with the findings by updating its testing system to invalidate test results if a speed trace error is detected, as well as increasing the number of workers checking the data. Suzuki UK is awaiting a statement from the company's headquarters in Japan, but Reuters reports that Suzuki admitted to around 6400 cars being improperly inspected, stretching back as far as June 2012. “I deeply apologise and will lead efforts to prevent recurrence,” said Suzuki boss Toshihiro Suzuki. No recalls are planned, however, as Suzuki says that no significant problems were found. Yamaha is also implicated, but only 2% of inspections on the brand's motorbikes were carried out improperly. Autocar is awaiting further comment from Suzuki and Yamaha. Read more: Nissan admits misconduct in emissions testing procedure Yamaha sports car revealed at Tokyo motor show London and Paris announce real-world emissions testing for cars New WLTP emissions test: when it's in force and how it could affect your car View the full article
  26. 1 point
    Fancy a Vauxhall Lotus Carlton in your life? These are the top bargain buys we've spotted for sale The used car market is brimming with tasty deals, but sometimes it can be hard to tell the wise buys from the potential money pits. Fear not: our used car experts have compiled their picks from the classifieds. See anything you like? Best to move fast and buy them before we do... Vauxhall Lotus Carlton £75,000 You might already know the story of this legendary car: developed by Lotus (which probably needed the money the contract brought in at the time), blasted in the national press for its 176mph top speed, loved by the car mags because of its startling abilities, and then, sadly, driven to its demise in the early 1990s by the recession and skyrocketing insurance premiums. For years, the price of the Lotus Carlton languished in the £15,000 to £25,000 region, but a look on the internet at the few that are available today shows that prices have gone up dramatically. There’s one that has covered only 4500 miles that’s up for £125,000, and another for £150,000. Find a Vauxhall Lotus Carlton for sale on PistonHeads That is crazy money compared with what they were worth 10 years ago. So this original car with reasonably low mileage and plenty of history seems something of a steal at ‘only’ £75,000, which is the asking price on Pistonheads.com. It’s good to see that this car has at least been used because that’s what its maker intended. Why on earth would Vauxhall have gone to the trouble of equipping the Lotus Carlton with sumptuous leather seats, air conditioning and a self- levelling rear suspension system that counteracts heavy loads in the back to maintain handling balance, if they didn’t want people to be able to use it all the time? Lotus tweaked the suspension, specified meaty brakes and fitted a limited-slip differential to help get all that power to the ground. The car also got a six-speed gearbox from ZF that had seen service in the Corvette ZR-1. In fact, it was such a good car that Autocar ran one for a year and did 20,000 enjoyable miles in it. Chrysler 300C £6990 Big, square and imposing, the Chrysler 300C has a hint of villainy about it. A monstrous 5.7-litre Hemi V8 lies at the heart of its appeal, but bear in mind that it also does very bad things to the environment, emitting 287g/km of CO2. This 30,000-mile example is a spring chicken and surprisingly cheap at just £6990. Mercedes-Benz E300d limousine £2000 Here’s a seven-seater that isn’t a ubiquitous SUV or dull MPV. Mercedes used to offer stretched versions of the W124-series E-Class by special request. This 1995 example, which is a 3.0 diesel, has racked up just 84,000 miles and has been used as a wedding car for the past eight years. Jaguar XKR £8195 Often regarded as a ‘junior Aston Martin’, the XK is a pretty car and the R version is the fastest of the breed. The 4.0 V8 was treated to an Eaton supercharger to boost power and torque to 370bhp and 388lb ft respectively. This 1999 example has 64,000 miles on the clock and comes with a full service history. Kia Picanto £4375 It might not be the most exciting car on the market, but the Kia Picanto is an economical and spacious small car that’s well equipped. This one, a 2012 car with 82,000 miles, has the slightly more powerful 1.25-litre petrol engine. It is in ‘2’ specification, which means it comes with air-con, alloy wheels, electric windows and Bluetooth connectivity. Auction watch: TRIUMPH TR7 - The wedge was the butt of many jokes and has spent several decades in the bargain section of the classified ads. Reviews at the time were not flattering since the TR7 had a live rear axle, a simple four-cylinder engine and no soft-top roof (a convertible came later). Attitudes towards the TR7 are mellowing. This 1981 example with plenty of history to back up a careful ownership record recently sold for £3080 at auction. The metallic green bodywork was described as being free of rust. If you can find a solid one, you’ll have an interesting talking point at any car show. Get it while you can: Hyundai Santa Fe Price new £36,545. Price now £22,500 - Although it might not be the best car in the class to drive, you can’t argue against the old- shape Santa Fe being a useful tool to have if you need space for seven. This example, for sale on Pistonheads.com, comes in Premium specification, which means plenty of luxuries, including sat-nav, climate control, parking sensors and heated seats to name just a few. Now that it has one year under its belt and has covered 15,000 miles, the price has dropped to £22,500 — a useful saving over the cost of a brand new car. Clash of the classifieds: Brief: Your challenge this week is to find the best grand tourer for £20,000. It can be old or young — anything you like. Jaguar XKR £18,995 Feast your eyes on this lovely old Jag. Go on; I’ll take a moment. Hard to believe all that car can now be had for less than 20 grand, isn’t it? As you’ll have spotted, this one’s a supercharged XKR, capable of wafting across a continent at storming pace while maintaining its occupants in perfect comfort. It’s done just 52,000 miles, backed up by a full history, comes with a tonne of options and looks the part in black over cream. And it’ll set you back just £18,995 . Quite simply, there’s no better grand tourer for the money. Is there, Mark? ALEX ROBBINS Mercedes-Benz CL600 £18,650 I think this is not only the best car on this page, but it might also possibly be the best car in this whole magazine. I could end my support for this marvellous grand tourer there, but instead I’ll go on to mention the wafty 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12, the astoundingly comfortable red leather seats, the utter calm that pervades the sybaritic interior, the stunning and effortless performance, the drop-dead gorgeous looks and the extraordinarily low price. This 2008 car has done just 35k miles. It’s barely used. It’s amazing. I rest my case. MARK PEARSON I do like a Jaguar, but the Mercedes is cheaper, has fewer miles and is a V12. It’s the best wafty barge for £20k. MAX ADAMS Read more Jaguar XJ review Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe review James Ruppert: why 'one previous owner' is worth the premium View the full article
  27. 1 point
    Aston is adept at helping customers with colour choices This week, Matt Prior discusses the issue of having too many options when buying your new car Imagine having all the choice in the world, and not knowing what to do with it: a car park with only empty spaces, a menu with a million items. Or, perhaps, a car you can have in any colour. This prospect, apparently, gives some supercar/hypercar/luxury car owners problems. I know. Dry your eyes. This ‘having millions of quid to spank on cars and no imagination to do it with’ is behind the ‘themes’ you might or might not have seen some expensive car makers produce. Aston Martin is particularly adept at creating them, with its race-inspired ones. It utilises various main colours with contrasting highlights, like the green with a bright yellow bit, the same as its endurance racers. I always thought this was because said manufacturers just wanted to show off a bit. Y’know: we won some races, with these sponsors, and thought we’d like to shout about it. But, after a conversation the other day with a creator of some of these themes, it turns out that it’s not entirely for manufacturer benefit, after all. Some people just don’t have a clue what to do when they arrive to spec their cars. The theme guides them down a path towards actually making a decision, or one that isn’t criminally distasteful. Who knew? So, nice idea, but not for me. When my ship comes in, I’ll want a dark blue one. And while it’s being painted, I’ll be driving another car around, terminally uncertain where to park. I remember the Audi A2, the aluminium-structured small car of 2000? What a cool car, compact and agile, and incredibly light, which gave it exceptional fuel economy. And, sure, it had a few foibles, such as an overly hard ride and pillars so wide that you couldn’t see out of the darned thing, but those issues don’t seem to matter so much now. Such was the price of great economy and using advanced materials, right? I suppose ‘ahead of its time’ is the accepted cliché to describe a car like the A2. Audi didn’t sell very many of them, because when a car is small and clever, it seems it’s hard to make much money out of them. See also: the first Mercedes-Benz A-Class and the Smart CityCoupé. So it was sad but not a tremendous surprise when Audi opted not to replace it but go about its business making consistently predictable swish hatchbacks and saloons instead. Aggressive headlight designs, posh-feeling interiors. All very desirable, in a Bicester Village kinda way. Still, I always get a little buzz when I see an A2 today, because in a world of cars with widening waistlines, and as car makers battle to keep the kilograms off of small cars, A2s mooch around looking more fit for purpose than ever. With a little tweak here and there, it looks like it could have been launched last week. What a shame, then, I thought, as I watched one drive past a window the other day, that it never got a proper successor. Then, by chance, a BMW i3 trickled past. And I realised, for the first time, that it did. Read more Driven: The Aston Martin you've never heard of New Aston Martin Lagonda saloon to lead firm's electric charge in 2021 Meeting the man who owns 24 Aston Martins View the full article
  28. 1 point
    New diesel engine and gearbox makes big-selling C-Class as good as any of its rivals objectively, though it’s still a luxurious, laid-back sort. The Mercedes-Benz C220d is the biggest-selling version of Britain’s biggest-selling compact executive saloon, tested here in recently facelifted form, out to show its mettle on British roads. Better pay attention in the office canteen, in which case.The C-Class’ recent facelift brought with it a number of new engines, all hooked up to nine-speed automatic transmissions – and we’ve already sampled the very newest: a 1.5-litre 48-volt turbo petrol which powers the new C200. But it’s the upper-middle-range diesel, 192bhp C220d, that Mercedes expects to continue to dominate the sales mix.The car’s also now got optional digital instruments, some new active safety systems, new ‘multibeam’ LED headlights and redesigned bumpers front and rear: the usual mid-cycle update fayre. For now at least, prices on the wider C-Class range start from just north of £33,000 with CO2 emissions from 117g/km.View the full article
  29. 1 point
    The Mk2 Kuga was released in 2013 as a replacement for the very successful Mk1 version and has been vastly improved both in size and build quality compared to its predecessor. The current Kuga has been designed primarily in Europe under the One Ford policy whereby Ford has one vehicle for each market sector globally. This is also carried through to the assembly process whereby engines are made in the UK and the interiors are made in Detroit for example. The Mk2 Kuga has a sharper looking front end compared to the Mk1 version which has improved the aerodynamics of the Kuga whilst giving it a smarter appearance. The kuga also has good ride height which gives the Kuga great presence on the road and also off it. Like most vehicles in the SUV class the kuga is more of a softroader rather than an offroader but this won’t affect most buyers who I suspect will be buying the Kuga as a family car and thus keeping the Kuga on the tarmac. On the other hand, I feel the most offroad action the Kuga will see is around the campsite where it should perform effortlessly. There are five specification levels to choose from for the pre-facelifted Kuga which give buyers plenty of choice and means there should be a Kuga to fit all budgets. The specifications are: Zetec is the entry level model but is far from basic and comes with 17” alloys, heated front windscreen, SYNC 1 DAB radio, cruise control, electric windows front and rear, manual air conditioning, leather trimmed steering wheel with reach and rake adjustment. The Zetec is available with a 1.5 eco boost petrol engine with either 120ps or 150ps in 2WD form or 182ps in all wheel drive. But also a 2.0 litre TDCI diesel engine with 150ps in either 2WD or all-wheel drive. Titanium has all the features of the Zetec plus automatic headlights and wipers, duel zone climate control, SYNC 2 DAB in replacement of SYNC 1 on Zetec models, stainless steel scuff plates, centre armrest, leather gear knob and lumbar support for the front seats. Engines are the same as the Zetec excluding the 120ps petrol which is not offered and there is an uprated TDCI engine producing 182ps as well as the 150ps version. Titanium Sport has the same features as the Zetec and Titanium but also benefits from a bodykit, boot spoiler, 18” alloys, parking sensors front and rear, part leather seats and active park assist. Engine options are the same as per the Titanium. Titanium X has all the features and engine options as Titanium but gains 182 wheels, Xenon headlights, LED taillights, LED day time running lights, panoramic sunroof with built in sunblind, power folding mirrors and leather seats which are heated. Titanium X Sport is the top spec model and is fitted with the features from both Titanium X and Titanium Sport but has additional 19” alloys, rear view camera, rear privacy glass and aluminium roof rails. All models are offered with either a six speed manual gearbox or powershift automatic transmission. Ford haven’t skimped on safety either as all Kugas come with a 5* NCAP safety rating and are equipped with front, side, curtain and knee airbags as well as a collapsible steering column and pedal assembly. Driving the Ford Kuga The Kuga I have on test is a Titanium Sport model fitted with the 2.0TDCI 150ps engine and manual gearbox which is also fitted with the appearance pack which consists of aluminium roof rails and tinted windows as well as having power folding mirrors and sat Nav fitted. Climbing into the Kuga I found the seats very supportive, as well as very good adjustment with the reach and rake steering wheel both of which made it easy for me to find the ideal seating position. Moving onto the rear of the cabin, passengers are treated to a generous amount of leg space as well as being able to adjust the back of the seat into a reclined position. Ford have also been generous with the storage space, as the Kuga comes with deep door pockets both front and rear as well as having a sunglasses holder and good armrest storage and a glovebox. Now don’t think that with all the cabin space on offer that the boot has been compromised because this is far from the case and comes with 406 litres of boot space and the added benefit of a flat boot floor, meaning loading big items is a doddle. Furthermore, the cabin is very well thought out with all switches in easy reach and the infotainment screen which is both clear and well positioned so as to not distract the driver. I found the Sat Nav easy to use and gave clear instructions in plenty of time before the change of direction but did have live traffic updates which could be hit and miss at times and would tell me of an issue whilst being stuck in it. The air conditioning system is also very good and there is an array of vents to distribute the air evenly about the cabin. The Bluetooth connectivity is another standard feature and again, is easy to operate for making phone calls and receiving texts messages which can be both read on the screen or played through the speakers. Driving the Kuga is a pleasant affair and I found the diesel engine both smooth and quiet for general driving, but engine noise would become apparent if the Kuga was pushed hard and naturally a car like this is more comfortable being driven more sedately. This was also clear in the MPG figures as when the Kuga was pushed hard the MPG would tumble but when driven sensibly I was getting between 41.8-43.0mpg with a mixture of town, country and motorway driving. I must admit that despite the Kuga's size it handled very well and found the suspension setup very compliant and had good rebound but I would suspect the ride to be slightly firmer on the 19” wheels fitted on higher spec’d models. One drawback I found with the Kuga's driving characteristics was the level of tyre/road noise entering the cabin but this could be partly down to the Continental tyres fitted to this particular car. The steering too was very good, being light but with plenty of feel and made me feel like I was driving a family hatchback rather than an SUV. The only other drawback I found with the Kuga was the amount of wind noise experienced but again this is partly down to the Kuga’s size and is a small price to pay for its many advantages. The Motorists Guide View: The second generation Ford Kuga had big shoes to fill when compared to the outgoing model but I feel it has lived up to its predecessor’s reputation of being a practical and well-designed SUV, but more importantly a great family car. With the wide range of specifications and engine options on offer, there is sure to be a Kuga to accommodate all tastes. Also, I feel that good build quality combined with all-round versatility makes the Kuga a serious contender in the SUV market and one well worth considering when you are looking to change your current car. https://fave.co/2wPiV6Z Dimensions Length: 4524mm Width with mirrors: 2077mm Height: 1689mm Curb Weight: 1580Kg
  30. 1 point
    The Mazda 2 is now into its third generation here in the UK and marks a step forward for Mazda, as it is the first small car in over 20 years that Mazda has designed and built without using Ford Fiesta underpinnings. The current model, released in 2015 has also moved away from the curvy lines and bubble shape of the previous model and has adopted a sharper front end partly in thanks to a raked bonnet angle. There is a great range of specifications for buyers to choose from and one to suit all budgets which are listed below and are correct as of 2018: SE+ which is only available with the 75ps 1.5 litre engine and 5 speed manual gearbox. RRP: £13,295 and is fitted with 15” alloy wheels, electric folding mirrors, dual airbags, curtain airbags and hill hold assist. SE-L+ is available with the same mechanical configuration with RRP: £14,095 and is fitted with SE+ features as well as automatic headlights, LED front foglights, electric windows front and rear, climate air conditioning, Bluetooth and cruise control. SE-L Nav + has the option of a 90ps 1.5 litre engine with either a 5 speed manual or 6 speed automatic gearbox. £14,895 RRP manual or £16,195RRP automatic and has all the SE-L plus features as well as a 7” touch screen with sat nav and a DAB digital radio. Sport Nav+ has the same engine and gearbox options as the SE-L Nav + with the manual set at £15,695 RRP and £16,995 RRP for the automatic. The Sport Nav has all the features of the SE-L Nav+ but with added sporting flair. As such this spec comes with 16” wheels, rear spoiler, chrome exhaust trim, tinted windows but also comes with the convenience of parking sensors, keyless entry and rain sensing wipers. Sport black+ is available with the 90ps 1.5 litre engine and 5 speed manual gearbox and is priced at £15,995 RRP. This spec is fitted with all the features of the Sport Nav+ but with an added bodykit and certain body parts painted in black. GT Sport Nav+ is available with the 90ps 1.5 litre engine or the 115ps 1.5 litre engine. The latter is the most powerful engine on offer. This spec is available with either the 5 speed manual or a 6 speed manual. £16,495 RRP for the 5 speed manual or £17,095 RRP for the 6 speed. This is the top spec Mazda 2 and is fitted with all the Sport Nav + features as well as having leather/suede seats where the front seats are heated, leather steering wheel, reverses camera, and lane departure warning. Driving the Mazda 2 The model I have on test is a 2016 Se-L Nav model, fitted with the mid-range 1.5 petrol engine producing 89BHP and mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox. Mazda describes the Mazda 2 as a sporty supermini which can be felt through firm but compliant suspension and the snappy gear changes. However, I found I needed some time to adjust to the Mazda 2 steering characteristics, as the steering was far too light and found it does not help build confidence to push the car hard into the bends. The 1.5 petrol engine is both economical and quiet in town and on the motorway, but found a vibration through the pedals when the engine was pushed into the higher rev range. Moving into the cabin it is clear that the interior is well put together but seems slightly bland in my opinion and a little tight on the right hand side for the driver. The dashboard is nicely curved and all the controls are where you expect them to be, the exception is the dial to controlling the infotainment system which is set too far back and thus making it harder to reach. Furthermore, certain design features appeared borrowed from other manufacturers, a good example are the air vents which appear to be borrowed from the current Audi A3 as well as the hazard switch which seemed to remind me of one found in the Vauxhall Nova. The cabin isn’t all bad though, there’s plenty of space for rear passengers and more than you get in the Ford Fiesta. The boot is a good size too, with 280 litres of space but there is a lip which will make lifting heavy or big items slightly cumbersome. The Mazda 2 also has plenty of storage space in other areas, including front door pockets that can hold water bottles and space for mobile phones. This particular Mazda 2 is well spec’d, being equipped with Bluetooth, Satnav, cruise control and a novelty nowadays – a CD player. This last feature is great for those like me who haven’t embraced the 21st Century yet. I found the Sat Nav easy to use and I liked that you could search over the map and look at the surrounding areas, perfect if you get lost as I did when taking a detour. My only complaint with the Sat Nav was that at one point it froze and the only way to resolve the issue was to turn off the ignition and restart the engine but I admit this may be a fault with this particular Mazda 2. The radio is of good quality too and as you would expect it’s a DAB digital radio which like the Sat Nav was easy to use. I did find that whilst driving at higher speeds there was a lot of road and wind noise which meant the radio had to be turned up but even at high volumes the radio performed well. On the other hand, when the radio was turned off and had the wipers on I could hear the rear wiper motor whirring which did get irritating after a while but I guess that’s what the radio is for! The Motorist Guide Opinion: In my opinion the Mazda 2 is a midrange supermini, it’s not the worst in class but it’s not the best either. A definitive plus point is the 1.5 litre engine as it is more economical than the 1.5 litre engine you’ll find in the MG3 and as previously mentioned the rear legroom is better than what you’ll find on a Ford Fiesta. But I felt the steering let the car down due to it being too light for my taste as well as the interior being slightly bland, although well-built and well spec’d. However, I do think the current Mazda 2 will be a good seller, partly due to being keenly priced in line with the competition but also its an improvement on the previous model.
  31. 1 point
    Thanks Trevor I do find abandoned cars interesting as you've finely put it cars are loved and then suddenly discarded. For me seeing this Volvo was like a flash back as my last memories of my granddads Volvo 760 was it languishing in a field on the family farm. A sad end to an awesome car.
  32. 1 point
    Brightest performance halogen without compromising on life Driving at night is challenging. There is a reduction in a driver’s overall vision, objects are unclear and road signs are less obvious from further away. To improve visibility, Ring has once again set the standards in vehicle lighting with the launch of the new Xenon150 performance halogen bulb. Xenon150 puts up to 150% more light on the road compared to a standard bulb without compromising the operating life, making it the longest lasting +150% bulb on the market. Xenon150 uses the latest advancements in filament technology. The filament has been engineered to be shorter, with a tighter wound coil to produce a brighter, whiter light output. When combined with 100% xenon gas in the glass envelope, the result is up to 150% more light on the road. Xenon150 also produces an 80m longer beam pattern, allowing other road users to be seen more clearly and give you more time to react to potential hazards when you need to. At 3700K, the light output is closer to daylight, providing better reflections from road markings and signs. Vehicle Lighting Product Manager, Matthew Flaherty comments: “Development of the Xenon150 has been complex and is something that all those involved in the process at Ring are proud of. We have engineered a brighter light that complies with all the legal regulations for light output, without compromising on the operating life when compared to our other performance halogens.” Xenon150 bulbs are available in popular H4 and H7 references, which are street legal and are a simple upgrade from standard bulbs, requiring no changes to vehicle wiring. Xenon150 is the ideal option for motorists who want more light for a brighter, more enjoyable night time driving experience. Follow this link to see which Bulbs will fit your car Fitting Notes: Something to note when fitting Halogen bulbs is to avoid touching the glass prior to fitting as the oily residue from skin can create a hotspot on the bulb which can lead to it failing prematurely. If you do inadvertently touch the glass, then you can clean it before fitting by using a lint-free cloth and if available some alcohol-based cleaning solution to remove the marks. It is always best to use Latex gloves to fit the bulbs and avoid touching the glass directly.
  33. 1 point
    THE ‘ALL-NEW FIESTA HAS MATURED INTO A VERY PLEASANT SMALL CAR, WITH A BIG CAR FEEL ! OVERVIEW The all-new Fiesta is available in Style, Zetec (B + O Play and Navigation versions), Titanium (B + O Play and X versions), Vignale, ST-Line and ST-Line X. An all-new ‘Active’ Fiesta is due out in 2018, the first Fiesta ever to feature SUV styling. Engines available in both Petrol and Diesel – 1.0 EcoBoost, 1.1 Ti-VCT, 1.5 TDCi Duratorq and variety of power output applies across the engine range. Body styles are 3 doors and 5 doors with 6-speed Manual or Automatic Transmission options. ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN The 1.0 litre EcoBoost Petrol engine (as road tested) has an output of 100PS and with Auto-Start-Stop technology to comply with emissions standards for many years ahead. With power output from the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine being comparable to a 1.6-litre engine with performance enhanced by turbocharging, delivering both economy and driveability without compromise. The 1.5 litre TDCi Diesel engine output of 85 PS and economy figures quoted of 88.3 mpg (combined) with CO2 emissions of just 82-84 g/km. A 120 PS engine gives you 88.3 mpg (combined) and CO2emissions of 89 g/km. EXTERIOR The all-new Ford Fiesta exterior is still easily identifiable by its unique styling as Britain’s most popular but with a more up-to-date image. The Fiesta now comes with the option of a two-part, glass panoramic roof that either tilts or slides back over the rear roof section to create a light and airy interior. Whilst the roof allows natural light to flood in, solar reflective glass keeps you cool and protects you from UV rays. An electrically operated roof blind also enables you to cover or reveal the roof at the press of a button Halogen projector headlights with daytime running lights. A useful night-driving aid, Auto High Beam temporarily dips the headlights when it detects oncoming traffic or a vehicle ahead, stopping you dazzling other drivers. It then automatically reverts back to high beam, giving you maximum visibility. Body coloured electrically-operated and heated door mirrors with side indicators incorporate a Blind Spot Information System uses RADAR sensors to scan the blind spots on either side of the car. If they detect a vehicle you can’t see, an orange light that’s clearly displayed in the corresponding side door mirror illuminates to warn you. If you’re reversing out of a space, and have limited visibility of the traffic situation, Cross Traffic Alert can detect oncoming vehicles and sound a warning. The technology also illuminates a light in the wing mirror: left or right depending on the direction of oncoming traffic. Body coloured bumpers with mesh grille and body colour spoiler, door and liftgate handles further enhance the look of the All-New Fiesta. INTERIOR The Style version was used for the road test, however, there are many other features available for other variants within the range, either as standard or as an option, such as an Openable panorama roof and leather heated seats & steering wheel To further enhance the interior space, the Fiesta gives you more front and rear legroom than ever before by redesigning the rear seats to have sculpted, slim backs, therefore, the passengers can sit further back. Ford SYNC 3 is a state-of-the-art system that enables you to stay connected and control your phone, music and navigation system with intuitive voice commands, or an 8” colour touchscreen. It connects to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto too, and with Applink, you can access smartphone apps, including Spotify. Live Traffic can also help avoid the jams. The Fiesta now sports Emergency Lights so that if you have to brake hard for an emergency, the hazard warning lights come on automatically to alert other drivers. The brake lights flash too, providing following vehicles with some advance warning of a potentially dangerous situation. In addition to the driver and passenger front airbags, side airbags provide thorax protection and are designed to direct the occupant away from the impact area. They’re also able to raise the arm of the occupant providing better space between them and the intruding structure. Curtain airbags provide maximum coverage and headrests offer protection from whiplash. With front and rear seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters, plus seatbelt minders. TECHNOLOGY The Lane-Keeping System – including Lane-Keeping Alert and Lane-Keeping Aid works incredibly well but did have a tendency to seem violent in its approach to taking back control which can be a little disconcerting but overall, the accuracy of the system is not lacking in the slightest and is a very useful safety feature. Some of the following features are available as an option across the range: LED Night Signature to rear lights Traffic Sign Recognition and Driver Alert Auto High Beam Rain sensing wipers Traffic Sign Recognition and Driver Alert Power-foldable door mirrors with puddle lights Rear privacy glass Partial leather sports style front seats Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (EATC) Cruise Control Ford SYNC 3 Navigation with 8″ Touchscreen Centre console with armrest, openable stowage and 12 V power point Auto-dimming rear-view mirror ROAD TEST SUMMARY First thoughts when driving it were how the 1.0 EcoBoost engine responded much akin to the performance from a 1.6 litre and also how the interior cabin area gives the impression of a seemingly much larger car. Accessing the interior was generally quite uneventful, considering it was the three-door version and where it seems that most modern cars appear to work on the principle of design over function, no heads were bashed on door pillars on entry and the dashboard did not claim any knees either! Accessing the interior was generally quite uneventful, considering it was the three-door version and where it seems that most modern cars appear to work on the principle of design over function, no heads were bashed on door pillars on entry and the dashboard did not claim any knees either! The Fiesta is relatively easy to navigate through all the myriad of controls and electronic wizardry such as the Bluetooth connectivity, which was incredibly easy to sync and control through the cars’ audio system. Engine starting is via the push-button and incorporates ‘stop-start’ technology, although no keyless entry. Hill Start Assist was useful when manoeuvring on a slope on the odd occasion. Safety and driver assistance technology contribute to leaving you with the belief that you are driving something that will get you to your destination safely and allow to feel quite relaxed even after a long distance. The relief of the car being able to facilitate your driving, and in some cases making better judgements in situations such as distance control and lane guidance, all of which can result in draining the drivers’ energy after some time at the wheel. Ford’s Adaptive Cruise Control with Pre-Collision Assist is definitely a safety enhancement that is essential for safe driving at any speed. Ford has utilised the onboard technology to enhance the system to be an incredibly reliable and useful safety aid. Once used, it becomes difficult to switch off and solely rely on your own reactions. The system also features Traffic Sign recognition to allow the driver to set the speed limiting to stay legal at all times. Fuel economy was good but given the roads used, traffic conditions and speed travelled, we obtained between 49 – 53 mpg overall. For the size of the engine and the superb drivability experience, it is really quite hard to complain at those figures. The full-length opening panoramic glass roof is superb for allowing in natural light but stopping the harmful UV rays from swamping the interior. With the addition of the pop-up windbreak at the front reducing wind noise, it all seems to work very well. Overall, the all-new Fiesta is a car loaded with useable technology and features usually reserved for much more expensive and up-market brands but delivers a similar ‘feel good factor’ from the driving experience with a smaller price tag. Click here to see Ford Fiesta Mk8 models for sale TECHNICAL INFORMATION Engine 1.0 EcoBoost (998cc DOHC Turbocharged Direct Injection) Transmission 6 speed Manual (front wheel drive) Power (bhp / kW) 100 (74) Torque (Nm) 170 Mpg (Combined) 65.7 (extra-urban) 78.5 (urban) 52.3 Max Speed (mph) – 124 0-62 Mph (secs) 10.5 Insurance Group 10E Emissions Euro 6 CO2 (g/km) 97 Dimensions Length: 4040 mm, Width: 1735 mm, Width (with mirrors): 1941 mm, Height: 1476 mm Above information based on Fiesta Zetec 1.0 EcoBoost COST (effective from September 2017) Style – from £11,995 Zetec B+O Play – from £13,995 Zetec Navigation – from £14,515 1.0 EcoBoost Zetec – from £14.795 (model road tested) All prices are based on Dealer ‘On the Road’ price, including 20% VAT ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Original article written for the Ford Owners Club www.fordownersclub.com Special thanks to Evans Halshaw, Bedford for the loan of the Ford Fiesta used for road test For more information about the Ford Fiesta visit: www.evanshalshaw.com/dealers/ford-bedford/
  34. 1 point
    Tom Barnard, a local author, racing driver, engineer, boat builder, track designer, car designer along with a string of other accomplishments. His book 'I gathered no moss', an autobiography detailing his fascinating life story His book starts with the advent of WW1 when his father returned from the war and purchased Bluepool at Furzebrooke. He then set about landscaping the grounds with rare plants and trees. Soon enough, tourists started flocking to this wonderful place of tranquillity. WW2 then disrupted proceedings and Tom writes about the Army taking over the land and buildings, overhead dogfights and near misses from exploding bombs. After the war, he schooled at Eton and entered into a social life in London. Around this time, he got interested in Engineering but also in Motor Racing. This was the golden era for racing and he was fortunate enough to compete in races with the likes of Mike Hawthorn, Stirling Moss and driving cars for Colin Chapman at Lotus. A few years later on, he decided to adapt his engineering business to small-scale racing cars that children (or an adult) could race on any track, The Barnard Formula Six. The car could be adapted so that it was safe for any youngster to drive at a very early age and the controls were within reach of a supervising adult. His early childhood, first in South Africa and then in South Dorset was suddenly interrupted by World War Two. The Barnards were evicted from their house, which became a military hospital, and bombs soon became part of daily life. After schooling near Swanage, and then at Eton, Tom was called up for National Service in the Army. He then spent sixteen years in his chosen profession of engineering but managed, during this time, to fit in seven years as a racing driver, mostly with Lotus. His invention of the Barnard Formula Six miniature racing car earned him enormous publicity in the UK and abroad with over four hundred models sold. This was followed by boat building, classic car restoration and then four years helping to develop Silverstone Circuit. His success with race track designing led to projects in a dozen countries spread over a further twelve years. Finally, with a quiet life in mind, he began a study of his family history and the writing of his book. The fourteen chapters confirm that the title is fully justified. He has been throughout his life, a true rolling stone. Buy this Book here
  35. 1 point
    Steve reviews an Audi A6 which has covered over 329,000 miles and asks the question, should we really be afraid of high mileage cars? This Audi A6 was ordered as a new vehicle in 2002, in SE trim by the owner’s father who specified it with the 2.5TDI engine and 6 speed manual gearbox. In addition the A6 was fitted with the optional sport seats, sports suspension and rare 7 seat boot conversion. The latter being required for a growing family and owner’s father not wanting to drive a people carrier! The Audi was registered on Wednesday 13th March 2002 at the Reg Vardy Audi Dealership in Leicester, significant as it was the same day as the owner’s grandmother’s birthday. His Father has driven the Audi consistently up to 2013 and it has been maintained regardless of cost with a full service history. The A6 was put into semi-retirement when the owner’s father acquired a company car and at which point his son took over, using the car as my daily driver. Mechanically the A6 has been generally reliable only requiring serviceable items, including new suspension, engine mounts and an alternator throughout the last 14 years. The one key exception was a turbo which was replaced at 3 and half years old and its replacement has been fitted since 2005 and has covered approximately 230,000 out of the 329,000 miles! Furthermore, and without tempting fate neither the engine nor gearbox have ever been rebuilt. The A6 was serviced by Audi for the first 4 years and then at a local garage AC Motors ever since. The local garage has been brilliant and has carried out any work required to the highest standard. I prefer to use Bridgestone tyres on the A6 as I feel it improves the handling characteristics. Cosmetically the A6 has aged well and has only required two new front wings due to the originals rusting at the top of the arches. This appears to be a common fault with VAG cars from the late 90s to early the noughties and affects the Audi A6 C5, Audi A4, Volkswagen Golf mk4 and Volkswagen Passat to name but a few. On the other hand the interior is now showing its age and has a worn driver’s seat bolster, wear on the 3 spoke sport steering wheel, as well as having the soft paint peeling off the air conditioning control unit. These issues have been well documented on various cars and I have chosen not to repair them as they add character and patina to the vehicle. The only exception was the Audi symphony radio which has been replaced under warranty. The Audi A6 has been on various family adventures including trips to France, Belgium, Norfolk, Essex, Royal Ascot in 2002 as well as the annual trip to Northern Ireland which it has done since it was new. Furthermore it has been used to tow race trailers as the owner’s brother has done both Kart racing and Saloon Car racing all across the country. Finally, the A6 has been a fantastic family car and has provided valiant service throughout the last 14 years. I work within the motor trade and find that despite its age and mileage the A6 drives better than some of the newer cars and cars with far less mileage currently on the market. It is a pleasure to drive and has the added benefit of being both comfortable and practical. In the near future he would like to take the A6 back to its birthplace Neckarsulm-Stuttgart, Germany and around the Nurburgring for the ultimate road trip. There is no chance of him getting rid of this great car any time soon. It has become a treasured family possession, and one which he has grown up with and ultimately have come to own. The A6 has now achieved in excess of 300,000 miles and he is looking forward to the next 300,000 miles! The Motorists Guide view: For me this Audi A6 is testament to the owner and shows the true potential of a well maintained car, bearing in mind the mileage covered by the A6 is further than going to the moon and theoretically this A6 is on its way back! What I have learnt from driving this Audi A6 and hearing its story, I feel the key to buying a high mileage car is down to how well it has been maintained and cared for. After driving this A6 I would happily own a high mileage Audi A6 C5 which will eventually become a classic. Have you got a high mileage car? If so, we’d love to hear from you and share your high miler car story. Regards Steve
  36. 1 point
    A quick guide on how to reattach numberplates with the adhesive pads. Usually once you remove number plates the previous adhesive pads are still stuck to the bumper or what's left of them. 1. Use a hair dryer or heat gun to warm up the pad on the bumper 2. Then use your finger nail or credit card to scrape off the residue of the pads. 3. To further help to remove the residue you can use WD40 or white spirit which will help lift the glue off the bumper. 4. Then repeat stage 2 to remove more residue. Followed by stage 1 and 3 if it is being tough to remove. Hint: you could also buy specific cleaning products to remove glue and tar which unfortunately I did not have to hand. 5. Once the number plate area is clean you can attach the new adhesive pads. 6. Now align the numberplate and make sure it's straight. Job done!
  37. 1 point
    It cannot be denied that the Ford Escort has become a British motoring icon, and most people in the UK have encountered one. Either by your parents owning one, your mate’s dad owning one or having a ride in one to be dropped off into town. Since the launch of the Ford Escort in 1967 more than 4.1 million were built but now the Escort is becoming more of a rarity on our roads, but this should come as no surprise as the last one rolled off the production line in 2001 in the UK. The MK5 Escort was first launched in 1991 to replace the aging Mk4 variant and despite having a whole new body the mechanicals were transferred over from the Mk4 which meant buyers still made do with the HCS or CVH engines. As can be expected neither the motoring press nor consumers were fooled and as such the Mk5 got some negative press, excluding the RS2000. Ford set to rectify this in the later part of 1992 when the Mk5b escort was launched, which boasted the brand new 16 valve Zetec engines as well as slight cosmetic tweaks and a stiffer body. This meant the Mk5b ended up with a similar front to the Mk5 but a rear that resembled the Mk6. In 1995 the Escort received its final facelift which became known as the Mk6 which included newly designed bumpers, bonnet and headlights. The alterations weren’t just cosmetic as the Escort gained a new interior including, dashboard and seats but equally as important improved handling. Throughout the Escorts production run both manual and automatic gearboxes were available, and in manual form the Escorts with the 105bhp Zetec or less had the IB5 gearbox which was taken directly from the Mk1 Fiesta. The 130bhp Zetec and RS2000 were fitted with the MTX75 gearbox which is believed to be tougher. Over the Escorts 10 year production run there were various models and special editions produced, a brief summary includes: L – entry level with wind up windows and no power steering on early cars LX – gained electric windows and power steering Finesse – gained air conditioning instead of the sunroof as well as alloy wheels. Mexico – only available on the Mk6 and unfortunately was just a special edition with special interior trim and white dials. Ghia – plusher seats, rear headrests, air con, electric mirrors, electric windows and electric sunroof Ghia SI - only available on the Mk5b and was designed to be a sporty 5 door, with RS2000 wheels, wooden inserts on the dash and door cards. Ghia X – Only available on the Mk6 and boasted leather seats and wood dash inserts on top of the usual Ghia trim. XR3i – only available on the Mk5/Mk5b and fitted with a 1.8 Zetec engine which either came with 105bhp or 130bhp and sporty interior. GTI – only available on the Mk6 and replaced the XR3i trim and gained half leather interior, sideskirts and rear bumper spats as well as Cosworth look alike alloy wheels. RS2000 – available in Mk5, Mk5b and Mk6 forms and in 4x4. They were all fitted with a 2.0 litre engine, upgraded gearbox and suspension on top of having disc brakes fitted front and rear. Driving the Escort Now I appreciate that the Escort will drive differently depending on the model and engine but on test I have a 1993 Mk5b LX 5 door model, which is fitted with the 1.6 Zetec 90bhp engine and IB5 5 speed gearbox. I have to admit this particular Escort is in very good condition for a 25 year old car, and with no visible signs of rust which is surprising as the Escort was notorious for rusting on the rear arches and sills. On unlocking the car manually by placing the key in the door I slide into the brightly coloured driver’s seat. On getting into this car it is amazing how our tastes have changed as beside the black dash the seats are a vibrant colour, but I appreciate not all Escorts were like that. It also amazed me how airy this car is, thanks to thin pillars and large windows which helped greatly with all round visibility. The dashboard is simple but well laid out, and you can see where switchgear has been taken from Fords from the 1980s. After putting in the immobiliser key I turn the ignition and the Zetec engine bursts into life, that for me is testament to the Zetec engines build quality. I wonder how many older Ford engines start on the first turn of the key? And to make it clear the engine on this Escort has never been apart and has covered 112,000 miles. On the open road you have to drive the Escort as there are no electronic aids to help you, not even Anti-Lock Brakes unless selected from the options list. The benefit of this is that it gives you a greater feel of what the car is doing but it can become slightly fidgety if you hit bumps in the road too hard at speed, as the suspension doesn’t absorb the bumps as well as a modern car. This may have well been improved on the Mk6 model but some care is required as the steering can be slightly vague, but this is almost to be expected as the car is a quarter of a century old. The 1.6 Zetec naturally aspirated engine being revolutionary in its day isn’t going to win any drag races against modern cars as I found it accelerated the same as a modern 1.2 Fiat 500. None the less it made a refreshing change compared to the small turbocharged engines you find in modern day hatchbacks and it had no problem travelling at motorway speeds. However, at higher speeds wind noise becomes prevalent which requires the radio to be turned up. But then again, I am not surprised due to the age of the window rubbers. The gearbox was smooth, but it could have benefited from a 6th gear to help quieten the engine at motorway speeds. Overall, I enjoyed driving the Escort as I felt more involved with the driving experience compared with modern cars as I found it bare bones motoring. To buy one as an appreciating classic will depend on the spec and condition, but I would expect prices to rise in the next few years once the Mk4 Escort prices rise the same way as the models before it. But until that time I feel the Mk5 and Mk6 Escort are still considered as disposable but in light of that, now might be the perfect time to buy one. Click here to see Ford Escorts for sale : The Escort models that I consider will become desirable and classic are: RS2000 4x4 RS2000 2WD XR3I GTI – both 3 and 5 door but more so the former. Ghia SI Early mk5 models – early production run Final production run cars Most cabriolet models Potentially classics: Mexico Ghia Ghia X Please note I have deliberately excluded the Escort Cosworth from this article as it is a guaranteed future classic.
  38. 1 point
    Exactly! It is amazing the difference paint can make and if people don't fancy red then they could paint their brake calipers and drums black to smarten tired looking brakes.
  39. 1 point
    Thanks! We sure did do alot. You're welcome, let's hope it does encourage others to do road trips around Europe or even further afield.
  40. 1 point
    Steve takes a 300,000+ mile Audi A6 to Europe. Will he make it? Read on to find out! This topic is about my road trip to Belgium including the pre planning. Research is key when driving in Europe as rules and regulations change from country to country. Things you'll need before you go: 1. European breakdown cover - I have found there are too types of cover available. 1. Covers you for recovery like your normal cover. This cost approx £37 for my 5 day trip. 2. Cover that will cover the cost of your repair bills. This cover cost £54 for my 5 day trip. The prices are from the AA of which I am a member. Just be mindful that with the break down cover they only cover you up to the cost of the vehicle. So if you have an old Audi like me you could be at risk of having to fork out extra. 2. Inform your insurance company - I had to pay £17 extra to cover my car for the trip. Again there are 2 options available and are charable regardless of what UK cover you have. 1. 3rd party cover. 2. Fully comprehensive. 3. European kit - for driving in France it is compulsory to have a breatherlizer, warning triangle, GB sticker, a high vid jacket for every occupant, headlight converter stickers. 4. Check French toll roads - 76% of the roads are tolled in France and for which you will need a transponder which you have to pay for from the toll road company managing the roads your travelling on. You also set up an account with them. However the main road to Belgium the a16 is not tolled. 5. Check to see if the EU country you are visiting has any Low Emissions Zones. France requires you to have a sticker when traveling in Paris for example. Belgium hasn't brought any emissions rules into effect yet but will do as of 2018. 6. Don't forget to pay for the Dartford crossing. The crossing consists of a suspension bridge heading towards Dover and a tunnel coming away from Dover. If you have never used the crossing before you can pay before or up to 24 hours after you have made the crossing. Now onto the trip Day one: Leicester-Dover Calais-Brussels The run from Leicester to Dover was straightforward with no hiccups or traffic delays. But we did leave in plenty of time to avoid most of the bank holiday traffic. We arrived in plenty of time for our P&O ferry and it was a good job we did as it took over an hour to get through boarder control & check in. However I think this was down to Volume of bank holiday traffic. The port has a reasonable terminal with facilities consisting of a Burger King, WH Smith's, Costa and toilets. If you have forgotten any key European items you can get them in the Smiths Newsagents. We boarded the ferry which was straightforward and made our way on to the passenger areas. We had decided to go with a premium ticket which proved well worth the extra money. We got free drinks and snacks (fruit, biscuits, crisps, tea, coffee, soft drinks etc) as well as a free glass of champagne on arrival. Papers are also free. The key benefit of premium however is the extra space (far less people) and plenty of seating including private outside space. I would strongly recommend the premium to anyone. It was superb and had a waiter service! Disembarkation was again quick and road signs were easy to follow. We picked up the 16 for Brussels and set into a comfortable cruise. In France the speed limits can change quite often on the motorway so keep an eye out. Oh and obviously they are in kph! We also stopped for fuel in France which thankfully is similar to the U.K. The difference being is that a pre payment system is used. For this you can either put your card in the machine at the start or ask the cashier how much fuel you would like. We encountered heavy traffic near to Ghent and Bruges due to the lanes merging from 3 to 2. But after we got through, we had a clear run to Brussels. Driving in Brussels is entertaining to say the least. Partly as there are hardly any road signs (this is not an exaggeration!). Brussels has its m25 equivalent which is a tunnel system that runs under the city and only pops to the surface for exits. We got lost at this point and came off to find somewhere to park to recalculate our route. The traffic in Brussels is like London. There's a lot of it!! For example a 5 mile drive in Brussels took us 25 minutes. But there are the added risks of trams. Traffic lights only change from red to green and there are hardly any speed limit signs. We finally reached our destination at 6:30pm Belgium time after travelling 12 hours. Total miles covered (including being lost) was 335 miles. Day 2 So until 2:30pm we were trapped at our accommodation due to a marathon taking place in Brussels. The marathon was the Belgium equivalent to the London marathon and as such thousands of people took part! The morning wasn't wasted as we decided to have a BBQ for lunch as the weather is gorgeous here. It's reaching mid to high 30s (degrees) each day! We finally left at 2:30 and decided to travel the 1:40 minutes to Yepre. Yepre saw a lot of the fighting during WW1 and was completely rebuilt to its 14th century design after the war. This has allowed the town to keep a true Belgium feel with cobbled streets and Gothic architecture. As well as the traditional chocolate shops and bars. We also visited the Menin Gate, a war memorial built to show the names of the missing servicemen and women from WW1. We then also visited Yepres war cemetery which was a somber experience. Yepre is a town well worth visiting and not far from the French border. Parking was straightforward and thankfully we did not need to pay. Stay tuned for day 3. However, I must warn you as there won't be any driving involved as my siblings and I are going to Disney land Paris by Eurostar. We are big kids really. My sister and I are in our 20s and my brother is in his teens! There are still plenty of adult rides i.e. Rollercoasters there! Oh and by the way, the A6 has just clocked over 322,000 miles!! Day 3 Today was more unusual as we spared the car and took the train to Disney Land Paris for the day. I appreciate this isn't everyone's cup of tea so stay tuned for day 4 as we're planning to go to Spa race circuit. This meant a very early start as It took us 3 hours travelling on 3 trains and a taxi each way but was so worth it. Just like the UK the train system in France and Belgium is very busy and in parts of France they use double decker trains to cater for the volume of people. Despite the train network being busy all the trains were on time. Disney Land Paris is a great theme park and isn't just geared towards children. Some of the rollercoasters and other rides would be unsuitable for little ones. But just like most theme parks the queues are long but luckily fast passes are available on the more popular rides. If you are limited for time in the park, then the rides I'd strongly recommend are: Main park: hyperspace mountain rollercoaster, star tours (Star Wars), buzz lightyear lazer blast, phantom manor, big thunder mountain rollercoaster, pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana jones temple of peril rollercoaster, Studio park: Rock and roller rollercoaster, vehicle stunt show, the twilight zone tower of terror (massive drop tower), studio tram tour. After we had finished the rides we got dinner at planet Hollywood before heading back on the train system home. Day 4 Today we visited Circuit De Spa Francorchamps, Belgiums F1 racing circuit which was an amazing experience. From Brussels it took us 1 hour 40 mins each way but that was partly due to roadworks. Due to the traffic issues we weren't able to drive into Germany as planned. However, we have decided that we will do a road trip of Germany on its own in the future. Luckily the circuit was being used for a track day and as such there were various race cars, super cars and road cars on track. Including multiple Audis such as an a1, x2 TT, rs4, r8 and even an a8! And the best bit was that we got in for free. The track day also allowed us to park in the paddock and walk around the pit garages and along the pit wall. Spa also has fantastic viewing spots for spectators despite its size and the obstruction of the forest. Just to add to the excitement the track day got red flagged as a Volkswagen golf mk2 had run into the back of a BMW 1 series coupe which spilled fluids and glass right near the pit entrance. On top of this we were able to drive around the outside of the track as there are roads running round the outside and inside of the circuit, these roads are also at varying gradients and are a mixture of tarmac, concrete and even dirt. After leaving the circuit we visited the local museum in the town to view their collection of race cars and motorbikes. There are a mixed bag of vehicles from Ferrari f40 and Daytona right through to f1 cars. The museum cost 9.50 euros each but the cars were great. The museum also has 3 other floors but unfortunately we were pressed for time. There is limited parking at the museum but luckily we just parked on the street outside. On arriving back to Brussels we caught a train into the centre to take in some of the local sites and grab a bite to eat for dinner. Now obviously Belgium chips and chocolate were on order, but not together mind you! After a bit of souvenir hunting we headed home so we can chill out for the drive home. Day 5 - the journey home So, all good things must come to an end and today we made our way back to the U.K. However before we left Brussels we helped my sister move into her new accommodation just 10 minutes down the road. The car was packed to the rafters but the move went smoothly. We left Brussels at 12noon and headed for the euro shuttle (channel tunnel). We chose to come back via the tunnel for the experience and this inadvertently proved to be a great move. As we passed the junction for the Calais docks and ferry port the queue of cars were backed up on the skip road and in the slow lane of the A16 motorway! This compared to the tunnel significantly as we piled off at junction 42 for the tunnel and arrived at the check in gates in 5 minutes. As you pull up the gate automatically recognises the vehicle so you just have to select which train time you want. As we had made good time we were able to catch the 15:20 instead of the 16:16! Once your through you will arrive at French boarder control and security and then UK boarder control. After clearing border control you follow the road round to what looks like a motorway services and at which point the wait begins. Luckily we had only 8 minutes to wait till we were called to board our train. The boards are similar to what you would find in an airport, accept they are outside in the car park. Once you get called for your train, you end up queuing in two lines similar to if you were waiting to board a ferry. At this point our train was delayed due to an oil spill but I wasn't overally bothered as we were on an earlier train. Boarding the train is a straightforward affair and is similar to boarding a ferry. It is a tight squeeze to get into the carriage but it's nice and large once your inside. When on the train you have to leave your Windows down which is nice as the carriages are fully airconditioned. The journey is fairly smooth and only took half an hour to get through the tunnel. Oh and don't forget to put your clock back! Once you've cleared the tunnel it's a straightforward exit and onto the motorway for your journey home. Unfortunately for us we were using the dartford crossing which has chocker! Total miles covered: 1056.7 in 5 days car mileage: 322,573 And no issues presented during the trip! thanks for reading! Steve
  41. 1 point
    Steve reviews Roadside Relics American's abandoned automobiles With over 250 large colour pictures Roadside Relics America's abandoned automobiles highlights some of America's lost or forgotten vehicles in breath taking locations, which the author has found on his many travels around the United States. The book has 208 pages which the author has used to cover most American vehicle manufacturers from AMC through to Willy's, and gives an insight into the manufacturer or vehicle model in question. About the author: Will Shiers is a motoring journalist who has written regular features for Classic American magazine and is currently the editor for Commercial Motor magazine. He has travelled the United States for over a decade collecting pictures for this book and the results speak for themselves. The Motorists Guide view: Needless to say I couldn't put the book down and thoroughly enjoyed reading every page. So whether you love classic cars, American cars or abandoned cars or locations then this is a must have for you. Bibliographic information: Publisher: Motorbooks Publication: 2010 RRP: 14.99 ISBN: 978-0-7603-3984-8 Binding: paperback Extent: 208 Illustrations: 250+ Also available on Kindle
  42. 1 point
    Thanks for the report Steve and what a difference it makes to the car for the cost of a pot of paint !
  43. 1 point
    Great Road Trip Steve....have done the same trip myself but didn't seem to pack in as much as you guys did ! Thanks for posting it up....hopefully it will inspire anyone who is thinking of driving this route as it is so pleasurable, especially with the empty roads (well, all except Brussels)
  44. 1 point
    Well-rounded Compass variant is easy to live with but far from the best in the soft-roader segment The Jeep brand is synonymous with proper off-roaders, so it seems fitting that the Compass should be engineered to be more capable than its rivals on the rough stuff. But that very trait has also proved to be the car’s biggest hindrance to mounting a charge on its best-selling class rivals.This is a car that comes with Chapman strut rear suspension with high-strength steel links and an isolated subframe to enhance its ability on the rough stuff, but it faces rivals that are often nicknamed soft-roaders for their unashamed road bias. Truth is, the vast majority of buyers in this segment don’t ascend rocky inclines as often as they fill the boot with a weekly shop.The Compass Limited may appeal to a wider audience, however. It gains road-friendly additions such as a premium leather interior, an 8.4in touchscreen with Apple Carplay/Android Auto and a whole host of driver assist features that make driving a chunky SUV like this on the school run easy work.There’s also dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and heated seats with electric adjustment, and our car featured standout options such as 19in alloy wheels (£700), a panoramic sunroof (£1200) and HID headlights (part of the £600 visibility pack).View the full article
  45. 1 point
    V8 sounds great. Change the belt every three years If you want a Ferrari, the F355 could be an ideal partner: thrilling V8, elegant looks and true Prancing Horse precision (and bills) Engage brain and put your heart away is a good tip when considering a Ferrari F355. After all, there’s lots to make a grown punter throw good sense to the wind. Good things like the sound from that mid-mounted 3.5-litre 40-valve V8 producing 370bhp, and those looks – prettier than its predecessor, the 348, and certainly the 360 that followed it. See Ferrari F355 for sale on PistonHeads The trouble is, the bad things are just around the corner, and if you buy an F355 on a whim, there, ready to surprise you. Five years ago, when prices started at around £35,000, you could perhaps afford to drop a clanger. Not any more. Today, unless it’s a left-hooker, starting prices are at least double that. The model was launched in Berlinetta coupé and GTS Targa-style forms (the roof can be stored behind the seats) in 1995. The Spider convertible followed a year later. The F355 was an evolution of the 348, with a larger, more powerful V8 engine, power steering, switchable suspension (Sport and Comfort modes) and, in those post-Honda NSX days, decent drivability in most conditions. Little wonder, then, that it became the first Ferrari to break the 10,000 sales barrier. A six-speed manual gearbox was standard but in 1997 Ferrari revealed an optional Formula 1-style automated manual that allowed the driver to change gear via paddle shifts, a first for a production car. Compared with today’s quick- shifting dual-clutch ’boxes, it feels a little sluggish, but back then it was the bee’s knees. Naturally, with a £6000 premium over manual models, this F1 version is relatively rare. The same year, the Motronic 2.7 engine management system was upgraded to the 5.2. Experts reckon the 2.7-equipped cars feel faster and the 5.2s smoother. Whatever the truth, there’s no premium on a 5.2 over a 2.7. More important, these later 5.2 cars got steel valve guides in place of the earlier bronze type that wore easily, allowing oil to leak past and burn off. Early cars may have since been retrofitted with steel guides. The three-year belt change interval is the world’s favourite hair-raising fact about the F355. That, a sticky dashboard and the possibility of cracked exhaust manifolds. However, with the youngest cars nearing their 20th birthday, rust is the thing to fear most, especially where it affects the engine cradle (see ‘Also worth knowing'). Broken suspension springs come a close second. The F355 eats clutches too. You can prolong their life by double-clutching when the engine is cold and never leaving the car in gear at the lights but changing to neutral. The clutch cable follows such a tortuous path that putting it under tension for any length of time causes it to stretch and, ultimately, break. Having shot up from £35,000, prices of good F355s have recently softened a touch, so with memories of winter still fresh, now may be a good time to strike before the summer sun pushes them up once more. How to get one in your garage: An expert’s view, James Boxburgh, F355 owner: “I bought my 1997-reg F355 Berlinetta five years ago for £34,000. I’d considered a 360 but didn’t like the looks and the 348, I was told, would be hell to live with. Not that the 355 has been a bed of roses. I’ve justspent £6500 on it. That bought a service but I also had new suspension bushes fitted, some rust treated, the magnesium alloys refurbished and new rear P Zeros (£328 each). I also had the sticky facia trim peeled off and the dashboard cleaned up and sprayed black. It looks like new. I consider the outlay to have been a good investment. Now I’m bracing myself for the three-yearly belt change (around £1500).” Buyer beware: ENGINE - Check for oil smoke on early cars caused by soft valve guides. Listen for a rattly exhaust bypass valve. Check for worn catalytic converters and cracked exhaust manifolds. Examine the condition of the engine hoses, the two radiators and the vacuum canister for the exhaust bypass. GEARBOX - The clutch is prone to premature failure so check its operation. If the manual shift rattles, it may need a new bush. Examine the condition of the pump for the F1-style auto ’box and the condition of the clutch slave housing on manual cars. Ensure the grease for dual-mass flywheel isn’t leaking from the bell housing. SUSPENSION AND BRAKES - Check for two-stage damper warning lights on the dashboard. Inspect the road springs, which are prone to breaking. Test the handbrake because cables seize frequently. CHASSIS AND BODY - The rear engine cradle is a rust trap. Battery earth points can corrode, leading to earthing problems around the car, which causes electrolysis and then rampant corrosion. A bad earth can lead to problems with the 5.2 ECU, which issues a faulty ‘slow down’ warning in response. Check for cracking and rust at the base of the rear buttress on the Berlinetta and rusty sill plates. On the GTS, look for water leaks between the roof panel and the top of the windscreen. INTERIOR - The dashboard goes sticky with time. Check the heater and air-con work. Also worth knowing: The timing belts have to be replaced every three years. It’s generally an engine-out job but, by removing the fuel tank, it can be done in situ. Some specialists recommend this method since the rear cradle supporting the engine rusts and disturbing it can be catastrophic. On the other hand, removal provides a chance to clean, repair and rustproof it. How much to spend: £60,000-£74,995 - Range of Berlinetta manuals, with pre-1997 cars at the lower end, rising to lowish-mileage 1997-1998 cars. £75,000-£84,499 - Mix of 1997-1999 manual Spiders and low-mileage Berlinettas. £85,500-£99,949 - More low-mileage, late-plate Berlinetta manuals. Also F1 autos for about £89k. £99,950-£120,000 - Late ’n’ low Spider manuals, GTS and GTS F1s, plus, at the top end, still some mint early GTS and Spider cars. One we found: FERRARI F355 BERLINETTA, 1998 R, 47K MILES, £74,950 This dealer-sale F355 has full Ferrari service history (just serviced and belts only recently changed). It’s in Rosso Corsa with matching carpets and hasa cream leather interior. Mileage is on the high side, though, making it one for high days and holidays only. John Evans Read more Ferrari 488 GTB review Ferrari 812 Superfast review Ferrari GTC4 review View the full article
  46. 1 point
    Hi Steve and welcome to The Motorists Guide Good to have you onboard and look forward to your contributions.
  47. 1 point
    A diesel – yes, diesel – Chrysler 300C can be a mighty fine used buy: well equipped, square jawed, reliable, roomy, 35mpg and priced from £2500. We report Given how buyers are fleeing diesels, it might seem perverse to be championing an old EU4-emissions oil-burner worth thousands of pounds in scrappage allowance. Of course, most of the buyers doing the fleeing are of the new car variety. Their poorer (or more sensible) used car cousins are less squeamish. To them, a Chrysler 300C CRD, a sort of Vauxhall Senator for the noughties, makes total sense. Yes, it costs £305 to tax but it has a 215bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel producing a stump-pulling 376lb ft under the bonnet, driving the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic gearbox. It does 35mpg on a good day too. All this and prices start from just £2500. The 300C was one of Daimler-Chrysler’s few success stories. Based to a large extent on quality Mercedes mechanicals, it was comfortable and surprisingly good to drive and boasted real presence – and that’s without a Bentley grille. It arrived in saloon form in late 2005 powered by a choice of petrol engines: a fairly unremarkable 3.0 V6 and a more charismatic 5.7 V8 Hemi. The V6’s starting price of just £25,750 registered more than a ripple in the executive pond dominated by BMW and Mercedes, but what made a splash, a few months later in January 2006, was the more rounded CRD diesel, also costing £25,750. It was followed in the summer by the range-topping SRT-8, powered by a 6.1-litre V8 Hemi and dressed to impress with Brembo brake calipers and sharpened suspension. By rights, it’s the one we should be talking about, but it’s rare. The CRD diesel is much more plentiful and at a range of prices peaking at a ludicrous £12,000 for a mint, last-of-the-line 2010-reg CRD SRT-Design. The CRD is no pushover, either, with 0-62mph possible in 7.4sec. In any case, the SRT-8 was eclipsed by the arrival, also in summer 2006, of the 300C estate. It’s called the Touring and, thanks to its long, low roof, it looks even meaner and certainly sportier than the saloon. Sensibly, the mid-life facelift in 2008 left the 300C’s imposing nose unchanged. (It took the gen-2 version of 2012 to bland it out.) Instead, the rear lights were tweaked but, more important, the interior got a mild makeover and better leather. The CRD SRT-Design, inspired by the SRT-8 but without the power and handling tweaks, arrived too. Standard equipment from launch was good and included a sat-nav, a premium music system, heated leather seats and even an adjustable pedal set. But today, reliability and rust will be the no-cost extras buyers will be concerned about. Amazingly, for all the 300C’s solidly steel construction, corrosion doesn’t appear to be an issue. The diesel engine is a solid old thing too. Instead, it’s electrical gremlins that plague some cars. For these you need a clued-up specialist. Find one, find a good 300C CRD – and laugh in the face of scrappage. HOW TO GET ONE IN YOUR GARAGE: An expert’s view - ROGER BUDDEN, ROGER BUDDEN AUTOMOBILES: “Great value, comfortable and reliable: that’s how I’d describe the 300C. The diesel estate is the best version. It’s popular with sole traders, who’d rather have one than a van, and caravanners, who like its 2000kg braked towing capacity. Dog lovers like it, too, because of the removable load floor cover. It’s a tri-fold thing and, if you lift it away, there’s a useful additional space in which you can stand a large dog. Check it has the removable waterproof liner. Even with the low roof, load space is 1602 litres, more than the equivalent Audi A6 Avant and Saab 9-5 estate.” Buyer beware... ENGINE - Early diesels can suffer swirl port motor problems, resulting in a loss of power. Custom300cshop.co.uk has a patent £50 fix that sorts it. Check the starter motor turns because oil can leak past the gearbox seal onto it. Stalling after starting could be a sticky fuel control valve in the tank intended to prevent overfilling. Check surplus oil isn’t escaping from the filler neck onto the alternator because that’ll wreck it. GEARBOX - Check the underside of the gearbox for oil coming from a failed O-ring where electrical wiring passes through. Low-speed rumbling on a steady throttle could be the torque converter. Listen for a noisy diff. SUSPENSION AND BRAKES - It’s very heavy on front suspension. Lower front arm bushes let go at around 40k miles, so listen for clonking over bumps. Check the rear handbrake isn’t seized. ELECTRICS - The multi-plug for the tyre pressure monitoring system is located under the front nearside bumper. It can get wet from the road and from steam washing, and short circuits, upsetting the electrical system. Remove it and dry it. Check the wiring harness under the bonnet on the nearside inner wing hasn’t been burned by air-con pipes. Inspect the condition of the two WCM fuse boxes (engine bay and dashboard). INTERIOR - On pre-2008 cars, the leather on the driver’s seat bolster is prone to cracking. Trim plastics are easily scratched. Check the power seats work. The heating and ventilation system is prone to electrical gremlins. Also worth knowing: “Find a good specialist garage and cherish it,” says Paul Gizzi of custom300cshop.co.uk. He recommends 300cforums.com as a good source of technical information and advice. Try chryslerbreakers.co.uk for spares. It can supply body panels in most colours. How much to spend: £2500-£3749 - Early (2005-2007) CRD saloons and estates with around 110k miles. £3750-£4995 - Tidier 2006-2008 saloons and estates with sub-100k miles and good histories. £5000-£7495- High-mileage 2009 saloons and estates. Lower-mileage 2007-2008 cars. £7500-£9990 - Mid-mileage 2010 and low-mileage 2008-2009 cars, plus a rare 2006 SRT-8 with 65k miles for £9250. £9995-£11,995 - Low-mileage 2010 and first gen-2 cars. One we found: CHRYSLER 300C 3.0 CRD ESTATE 2008/08, 70K MILES, £5695: This private-sale car has full service history, a fresh MOT and two former keepers. It also has refurbished alloy wheels with almost new tyres. “Everything works as it should,” claims the seller. “Has to go because I’ve found a gorgeous new Jag.” John Evans View the full article
  48. 1 point
    The Lexus SC430 long-haul comfort and its build quality is impervious to high mileage - here's how to get one for as little as £2750 Marmite comes in many forms, including this, the Lexus SC430 of 2001 to 2009. To most folk, it’s an ugly thing strangled at birth by clumsy handling and a lumpy ride, made brittle by run-flat tyres. Changes to the suspension in 2002 and 2004 improved things but mud sticks and it stuck especially well to this wannabe alternative to the Mercedes-Benz SL. Click here to see used Lexus SC for sale on PistonHeads Today, the SC is still no looker but it is different from the herd and on paper it has the kind of specification we’ll soon be drooling over in motor museums: a naturally aspirated 282bhp 4.3-litre V8 driving the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic gearbox, double-wishbone suspension and a folding aluminium roof. (No, it’s not broken. It really does take 25sec to do its thing.) The 2+2 cabin is a gadget-lover’s paradise and, this being a Lexus, you won’t have to worry about any of it not working. The climate control system can sense whether the roof is open or closed, as well as the speed the car is travelling at and the ambient temperature, and automatically direct chilled or warm air as necessary. There’s a knockout Mark Levinson sound system, powered and heated seats, electrically adjustable steering column and a touchscreen sat-nav. Obviously, the touchscreen system is seriously dated but cartronics.co.uk can swap in a state-of-the-art one that’ll talk to the Mark Levinson music centre for £2200. Pay a little more and they’ll wire in a reversing camera. It all fits snugly into the original space. The cabin is trimmed in leather and those door and fascia cappings are real wood, shaped and lacquered with the help of musical instrument makers Yamaha. Everything is finished and screwed together beautifully, qualities that serve today’s used SCs very well. Prices start at around £3000 for a 2002 car with 110,000 miles. If it’s a late 2002 model, there’s a chance it has the tweaked suspension that brought improvements to the ride, handling and refinement. Still not satisfied, Lexus added new dampers and tuned the chassis in late 2004. The result was a more absorbent ride, allied to sharper handling. These mid-life cars start at around £7500. In 2005, the SC was mildly facelifted with revised bumpers and redesigned 18in alloy wheels. SC owners are loyal and fastidious so you’ll find a lot of cherished cars with just one or two former keepers, full Lexus histories and reasonably low mileages. Even the youngest cars are now nine years old, so expect some wear-and-tear-related issues. However, the first are as old as 17. On these, check for underbody rust, clonky suspension, evidence of timing belt and water pump replacement, healthy fluid levels and a smooth gearbox. At all ages, oxygen sensors and the tyre pressure monitoring system are weak points. Still want one? Good – Marmite’s quite nice, once you get used to it. Click here to see used Lexus SC for sale on PistonHeads An expert’s view Lee Massey, owner: “I’m a former Lexus technician and have owned two SC430s, including my current car, a 2004/04 with 80,000 miles. I remember the SC430 from my Lexus days as being reliable and well built and my used ones haven’t given me any trouble. If you like wafting about in something powerful and different that isn’t going to give you sleepless nights worrying about repair bills, it’s hard to beat.” Buyer beware… ENGINE - Some head gasket failures have been recorded due to very low coolant levels. Check the condition of the lower radiator, which can leak into the gearbox oil cooler. Likewise, fluid from the gearbox can leak into the coolant. The oxygen sensor in the exhaust system can fail. Check the starter motor works okay since it’s located inconveniently beneath the inlet manifold, which has to be removed to replace it. The vapour canister is there, too, and these can fail, expensively. Timing belt change is every 100,000 miles. Water pump should be changed at the same time since it’s a weak spot, as is the centre belt tensioner. GEARBOX - It should be very smooth. If juddery, suspect coolant contamination. Transmission fluid should be changed every 45,000 miles. WHEELS, BRAKES AND SUSPENSION - Check for worn top suspension arms at the rear and worn front wheel bearings. If the ride on early cars is rough, suspect the front control arm bushes. Listen for clunks from here too. Steel parts in the aluminium suspension can rot. Check the brake pipes’ condition. Ensure the tyre pressure monitoring system works. Some owners disable it as the valves fail but it’s an MOT issue. Steering wheel noise when turning could be the spiral cable (an expensive repair). BODY - Check for underbody corrosion, especially at the rear around the back axle and subframe. FOLDING HARD-TOP - Position sensors can fail with lack of use. Check for leaks caused by perished seals and for roof corrosion. INTERIOR - Ensure the music system is fault-free: subwoofer and door speakers can fail. Also worth knowing Amazingly, you can still buy an approved used SC430 from Lexus. At time of writing, there were seven, ranging from £10,990 to £16,995. How much to spend £2750-£3500 - A cluster of high-mileage (120k) 2002- reg cars with partial service histories. £4995-£6995 - Mix of 2002-2003 cars with 100k miles in good condition, most with full service histories and few previous owners. £7000-£8995 - Mainly 2004-2005 cars with around 75k miles. £9000-£10,995 Mostly 2005-2007 cars, circa 70k miles. £11,000-£13,995 - More 2007 cars with around 50k miles. £14,000-£16,995 The best late-plate cars. One we found - Lexus SC430, 2004/54, 70K MILES, £7995 This SC has full Lexus service history, including recent timing belt replacement. It’s a mid-2004 model with the revised suspension set-up designed to cure the model’s questionable ride and handling. Autocar judged the changes to be successful. Click here to see used Lexus SC for sale on PistonHeads John Evans Read more View the full article
  49. 1 point
    The complete history of one of the most famous 4x4s of all time The Land Cruiser is Toyota’s longest continually produced model. From its start as a utility vehicle built during a period of economic gloom and uncertainty after the Second World War, it is now a well-equipped, luxurious and highly capable prestige SUV. This book covers all the changes that have taken place over the years to provide a complete history of the Land Cruiser’s extraordinary heritage. The coverage includes the Land Cruiser’s outstanding success in some of the toughest environments of the world, and what it takes to modify it to meet the toughest of conditions. The author follows the extensive range history of the Land Cruiser from its earliest models, through the utility models, right up to the prestigious versions that exist today. The author draws on his considerable experience of both on-road and off-road testing to provide his informed professional judgement on this extraordinary vehicle. The first chapter deals with the origins of the Land Cruiser and how Military and Economic circumstances lead to the birth of a legend. The second chapter looks at the Land Cruiser range and how it varied over the years to accommodate the commercial and private markets. The third chapter looks at a specific model, the FJ40 and how it has evolved over the years to become one of the best 4WD vehicles ever built. The final chapter deals with modifying the Land Cruiser for expeditions, safari holidays and world speed record events! All in, this book is a fascinating read for any Land Cruiser enthusiasts and comprehensively covers the models from 1951 to present day. Numerous diagrams, data charts, photos (colour and mono) are used throughout to break up the written content making it easier the reader to pick up and put down as required and digest as much or as little information as desired. A very informative and attractively laid out book at a reasonable price! BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION Publisher: Amberley Publishing Publication: 15th December 2017 RRP: £14.99 ISBN: 978-1-4456-7173-4 Size: 234 x 165mm Binding: Paperback Extent: 96 pages Illustrations: 150 illustrations Rights: World, all languages Also available in Kindle, Kobo and iBook formats THE AUTHOR Nigel Fryatt is editor of the UK’s only multi-marque four-wheel drive publication, 4x4 Magazine. He has been a motoring journalist for over thirty years, having edited Sporting Cars, Cars and Car Conversions, and was also launch editor of MiniWorld, The Golf and Land Rover World. He has contributed to numerous international motoring publications. Nigel has been Publisher of IPC’s Specialist motoring titles and also Publisher at CH Publications and he is now a freelance editor and author. Besides editing 4x4 Magazine, he is currently a columnist and regular contributor to Classic Car Buyer. You can buy the book here Buy the Book
  50. 1 point
    The LC500 is available as a 5.0 litre V8 which is bred from the race-track or if you are after something a little less aggressive and eco-friendly then look no further than the LC500h which is powered by a 3.5 litre V6 and hybrid motors. Available in standard trim, Sport or Sport+ versions are offered with very little difference in price between them. The LC500 that we road tested was the 5.0 litre V8 with Sport+ Pack. ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN The 5.0-litre V8 engine that Lexus has chosen to power the LC500 is a great choice to provide the flexibility for a smooth GT cruiser and also to propel the car to immense speeds in very little time. Combined with an excellent transmission, there is very little to complain about on the performance front. Utilising a 10-speed transmission which is controlled by Magnesium Paddle Shift and incorporates a manual ‘M’ mode for driver control and selection of the gears. Additionally, there is also the Drive Mode Select function which switches between Eco, Comfort, Normal, Custom, Sports S and Sports S+ modes to further enhance the drivers’ experience. Moving onto the chassis, an adaptive variable suspension featuring multi-link design engineered from scratch to provide excellent vehicle response and super-sharp handling but maintaining a superior ride comfort and stability. Adaptive Variable Suspension is used to control the damping forces on all shock-absorbers with the ability to manage 650 different variations of suspension settings. EXTERIOR The most definitive aspect of the LC500 has to be the exterior styling with its distinctive coupe body and futuristic lighting. Combine this with the fact that the body is not just stylish but also lightweight and extremely strong. Ultra-high tensile strength steel, lightweight aluminium and Carbon-Fibre Reinforced Plastic are used throughout the car ensuring high-rigidity throughout. The roof is available as either a glass panoramic or Carbon-Fibre infill (depending on model specification). Both roof panels are made to complement the styling of the LC500 and even incorporate the lines of a traditional Japanese sword on the rear edges of the chrome plating. There is a retractable rear spoiler and this extends automatically at speeds above 50 mph to provide extra downforce and stability at high-speed. The Sport+ Pack version has side aero intakes to reduce turbulence around the rear wheels to further improve handling. LED Headlights are an ultra-compact style fitted with triple-projector LED units which allow for a short front overhang which is crucial for high-speed handling. The rear lamps are also LED which are inspired by the afterburners of a Jet Fighter aircraft and have a holographic effect which also incorporates a sculptured metal frame that follows the Lexus ‘L’ motif throughout. SAFETY FEATURES The Lexus LC500 is designed with high-speed performance in mind, but safety features, both passive and active, are also a major design element of the car. A pop-up bonnet, activated by sensors mounted in the front bumper ensure that in the event of a collision with a pedestrian, the impact raises the bonnet and by allowing more space between the hard components of the engine compartment and the pedestrian, the level of injury is reduced. To protect the vehicle occupants, eight airbags are fitted, driver, passenger, head, knee and curtain shields running the full length of both cabin sides. INTERIOR The interior of the LC500 is no less spectacular than the exterior styling. Lexus has directed their design on an interior specifically focused on the driver. The steering wheel is crafted by a Takumi master and when grasped seems to instantly instil a feeling of confidence within the driver. Already, the overall feeling of the cars’ demeanour is coming through when seated in the comfortable and supportive sports seats, and this is even when it is parked with the engine off. All of the controls and driver interfaces are positioned to hand and are designed to be easy to operate when driving. The instruments are positioned to allow the driver to view them at all times and are in line with the natural view of the road ahead with very little distraction. The interior temperature is carefully monitored and adjusted to provide the occupants with the optimum environment for comfort and wellbeing. The Climate Concierge system features pioneering Nanoe® technology to release negatively charged particles into the cabin area to purify the air and deodorise the seats. The overall effect is to moisturise the skin and hair whilst leaving the occupants relaxed and fresh throughout the journey. Entertainment is provided by the usually high standards from Mark Levinson® Premium Surround system with GreenEdge™ technology and incorporates 13 speakers throughout the car. Designed specifically for the LC range, the system delivers a digital home-theatre experience and is further enhanced as an optional extra by Clari-Fi™ which rebuilds sound lost in MP3 digital compression. Boot space is sufficient for two weekend bags and other small items but you would be restricted to carrying a great deal more. The vehicle Battery is beneath the cover within the boot floor. TECHNOLOGY A Lexus wouldn’t be a Lexus if it wasn’t for the quality of build and the technology that is utilised to enhance the driving experience. The LC500 is no exception and the list of standard equipment is quite extensive. The driving data is very clearly displayed through a multi-function display panel and also through an optional, extra-wide (174mm x 48mm) ‘Head-Up Display’ on the windscreen. Information such as safety warnings, navigational guidance and engine readings are clearly displayed for the driver to review without compromising the view of the road ahead. The Premium Navigation system is built-in to the dashboard and features a split-screen 10.3” display with the input being made through either voice command or through a TouchPad with Remote Touch Interface. Driver warning systems such as tyre pressures monitoring, parking proximity and traffic sign recognition are clearly displayed within the vehicle using visual and audio to highlight the alert. Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert feature within the LC500. Radar devices mounted in the rear bumper detect vehicles in adjacent lanes that are not visible in the door mirrors. If the driver is indicating to change lanes and should another vehicle enter into the blind spot, a warning signal appears in the mirror along with a buzzer to warn the driver. The Rear Cross Traffic Alert functions by alerting the driver to another vehicle manoeuvring behind. ROAD TEST SUMMARY The Lexus Owners Club have been very fortunate to be offered the opportunity to road test the LC500 and this is our unbiased opinion of what we consider to be one of the best performance cars to roll off the Lexus production line. The version used for road test was the Sport+ Pack with the V8 engine. First thoughts when entering the car is that it is an easy to get in and out of which sometimes is not the case with other GT coupes. Once settled in the comfortable and supportive sports seat, the engine is started via push start button and foot applied to the brake pedal. Engage ‘D - Drive’ or ‘M - Manual’ through the selector and whichever mode suits your style of driving. The default mode is ‘Comfort’ with Eco, Sport and Sport+ on offer in the model we had. Pulling away and driving in built-up traffic conditions presented no issues to the car which drove sedately as any other Lexus, but when approaching a Motorway and entering the slip-road, well that’s a completely different kettle of fish. The engine and transmission are swift to deliver the power with absolutely no delay encountered. However, in Sport or Sport+ mode, the response time is even less. Power delivery is incredibly smooth and with gear changes made automatically or through the paddles, there was no bucking experienced as is the case with some other performance cars. As the soundtrack from the LC500 V8 engine via the tuned exhausts, well there is not much that can overshadow it. Something that was noticeable during the drive was that the cabin was incredibly quiet, even with the windows down, there was not any noticeable wind noise or draught, apart from the noise of the V8 when unleashed. The economy is not one of the main reasons for the decision to buy the V8 LC500, but on road test with varying styles of driving and traffic conditions, the LC delivered between 21.6 and 27.6 mpg. Carefully driven with very little traffic to hinder your journey you could probably achieve around 24.6 on average. Handling comparisons have been made with a Porsche 911 and the LC500 was deemed to be ‘not as responsive’. This is probably the case but the wheel certainly felt positive and grounded during application into bends. The suspension delivered a very smooth ride over a variety of road conditions and never faltered with delivery into corners. The transition between driving modes was noticeable with the dampers tightening considerably more so when placed in Sport or Sport+. Interior space is designed as a 2+2 seater but as is the same with all performance GT Coupe’s the rear seating, although adequate for younger children would be less suited to adults unless the seats were positioned further forwards. Driver controls are perfectly positioned for operation in normal driving circumstances. The Lexus touch panel is conveniently placed to control various functions is intuitive and easy to use, and the car also features a voice control to facilitate the operation of some features. The steering wheel also housed quite a few function buttons for Cruise Control, Audio, Lane Control, Telephone and Voice Control as is standard layout on many Lexus models. Above the instrument panel and housed in the binnacle are two rotary controls which operate the Driving Modes on the left-hand side (Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport+) and on the right-hand side, there is Traction Control which has the option of ‘Off’ or ‘Snow’. But one of the best features available to the driver is the colour Head-Up Display displayed on the lower part of the windscreen. Providing useful information about speed and navigation along with other selectable data to the driver, this is definitely a very useful feature. Would we buy one? Most definitely, yes! However, which version would we choose? For the number of extras that you can acquire that would seriously enhance the drive and also the resale, the Sport+ Pack is the way forward. Considering the marginal cost between the options, the Sport+ pack is not much further to stretch and in our opinion would give so much more back in return. There is, however, a tough decision that has to be made and that is do you go for the V8 or the Hybrid? That would have to be a personal choice but with only 0.3 seconds on the 0-60 mph time between them, it’s definitely going to be a tough choice. TECHNICAL INFORMATION Engine 5.0 litre V8 petrol Transmission 10-speed Automatic (Rear Wheel Drive) Engine Power (bhp / kW) @rpm 477 / 351 @7100 Mpg (Combined) 24.6 0-62 Mph (secs) 4.4 CO2 Combined (g/km) 263 Above information based on LC500 with 21” wheels COST (effective as of September 2017) LC500h – from £76,595 LC500h Sport Pack – from £80,595 LC500h Sport+ Pack – from £85,895 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Special thanks to Snows Lexus, Hedge End for the loan of the Lexus LC500 used for road test For more information about the LC500 visit: http://www.snowsgroup.co.uk/lexus/ http://www.lexusownersclub.co.uk/forum/lexus-owners-club.html/lexus-reviews/lexus-lc500-review-r2/


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