I Have Not One Idea On How To Say Jaguar FfffppphhhPace

‘Well’, says James. 

‘We need a name that doesn’t lug the product with the wieght of say, a Land Rover, or say, an Excursion’.

‘It needs..’ Robert cuts in, ‘It needs to say something of its lifestyle enhancement qualities, of the way it invokes both our product lineage..’

He points to the large graphic of an F-Type, pictured rushing through what looks to be the Yorkshire Moors, weather terrible, car shining, sure footed, business like.

‘…and our commitment a sporty, athletic image’…

‘I’ve got it!’…



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I’ve Bought A Xedos 6 And It Was About Tree Fiddy

By Tim Smith


Today’s alphanumeric communication is brought to you by That Sense Of The New That The New Year Brings, or TSOTNTTNYB, for short.

About a month ago, I bought, with some cash (not all of it mine), a Mazda Xedos 6. I’m still unsure as to whether it was a complete mistake, but more on that later, first, the news:

For a bit of the year, about a three month bit, I was driving around a BMW Z4. Now, if I type Z4, but keep my finger on the shift key it spells Z$. My goodness pop-pickers, it was just all of that. Badger me, and I may just do a post about it.

That concludes the news, now back to the program.

‘So?’ say, you, ‘what about this Xedos?’ And also, ‘when are you gonna give me that 20 quid?’

Well, I’m not sure about that last bit, probably next week, as for the car, it’s got some miles on the clock, which, I have to say, I think are probably irrelevant, it’s a loverly dark blue (at least some of it is), and it has what should be a creamy smooth V6 connected to what should be an equally silky 5-speed manual ‘box.


Looks good from afar…


Upon start up, it taps a little bit in a ‘I’m a hideously complicated non-interference engine, so this clicking could be something deep inside of me and probably expens… oh, it’s okay, I’ve stopped now’ way.

Also, it idles somewhere around the 300rpm range, unless the heater is on.


But, I’m afraid, it’s far from nice.


But, all of the electrics work, it has a sunroof, and it has a sunroof.

Did I mention it has a sunroof?


There’s also this.


Cosmetically it is, well, bad. Like beaten with walls and bollards bad. Here’s the thing, though, it cost me £350. And the sunroof works! And it’s electric! The sunroof, that is.


And this, among the rest…


Clearly, there is a big list of bits and pieces to be done, which, if you come find me next week, I’ll let you know all about.

Until then, I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year.








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Google Autonomous Car Round-Up

Google, those scamps that know everything about you, have, over the last couple of days gone all press crazy with the release of various bits of PR relating to its new baby autonomous car. Or e-car. I think. This post will be a short round up of what the various news sources have been saying, along with some videos by Google themselves.

First up, the Conservative party’s megaphone, the Daily Telegraph, and a piece that is not only pro, but, in a slightly back-handed way, questions the validity of the HS-2 rail project.

‘It changes, too, even the biggest infrastructure projects: HS2 may go very fast, but so can cars and these ones will pick you up from where you are and take you where you need to be, slashing total travelling time.’

Fair point.


The BBC, with a fairly bland piece, explain the in’s and out’s…


This is google themselves, taking the safety angle. Really this is the most obvious thing to talk about, because no matter how many people-caused traffic deaths we experience, something involving a machine is always going to seem that bit more difficult to articulate.


The Guardian, have done a bare bones report, but through the New York Times, address why there are no controls.


The indefatigable Jalopnik have not only covered the news, but posed a QOTD. Interesting angle, really. Getting to the centre of what people think about something is often about fear or happiness.


Car don’t seem to be interested. Autocar, on the other hand, straight from the typing fingers of Lewis Kingston have written what is probably the most simple and informative piece of them all.


But then something funny happened. Looking for a laugh I rolled up to the that supplier of fear and hate, the Daily Mail. And do you know what? Actually, it is them who have done the best job. Comments section still makes for entertaining reading, though…

Seen anything else that’s grabbed you? Comment below.

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The Machines Are Coming For The Young Turks

By Tim Smith

Autonomous cars are coming. That much (pending some kind of disaster, which may or may not be perpetrated by The Machines themselves) now seems certain.

Interestingly, the main hurdles between you and sleeping off a huge hang-over on the way back from the Big Smoke would seem to both ethical and legal in nature.

The Young Turks (no, not the early 20th century nationalist, monarchist movement based in Turkey) have attempted to touch on this.

It is clearly a very large subject, and this video acts as the very tip of the West Indies to what is going to happen over the coming years.

Oh, and they get carried away with rise of The Machines japes. Because of course they do.


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New Passat Gets More Diesel Power To Bully You With On The M1.

By Tim Smith

The new generation Volkswagen Passat, due in early 2015, will tick all of the relevant tech boxes, being both lighter and more powerful than the current generation.

Passat 8_01

Did you know the Passat name is 41 years old? The next generation will be the mk.8. The last big shift was the B5/5.5. That was the generation that shook (along with the Golf mk.4) the whole motoring industry up with its rather brilliantly put together cabin, clean, handsome looks and an excellent diesel range. It was the first car I had regular access to, and although it never really excited me, it was a very nice place to be for long and not so long journeys.

The next one (although, as usual, the concept sketches don’t really tell us much) will be ‘up to 85kg lighter’, using a mix of ‘high-strength, hot-formed steel and aluminium’.

Passat 8_02

Headline power-units (it’s what F1 says these days, so yes, that’s a thing) are a 2.0 litre bi-turbo diesel with a claimed 240ps (236bhp) and a rather large 500nm (368ft.lb) and a plug-in hybrid model capable of a claimed 31 miles on battery power alone.

The former will contain all of that twist within VW’s familiar 4Motion  Haldex based four-wheel-drive system.

Expect the usual elastic trickery on the equipment side with TFT display’s, Park Assist, LED lights, and an intriguing piece of software called ‘Trailer Assist’ that will reportedly help you, the driver, to reverse a, erm, trailer.

There is also a new suite of safety systems.

All in all, this could be another big shift for the currently capable but also-ran Passat.

Passat 8_03

Full Press release below:

Volkswagen has revealed the first technical details of the all-new Passat Saloon and Estate, ahead of the cars’ unveiling in July and their public premiere at the Paris Motor Show in October.

The eighth-generation Passat will bring with it a range of new technologies and features, to ensure that even after 41 years and over 23 million sales worldwide, it remains as competitive as ever.

Thanks to the use of advanced materials – including high-strength, hot-formed steel and aluminium in certain areas – the new Passat is up to 85 kg lighter than its predecessor, helping it to claim expected fuel-efficiency improvements of up to 20 per cent. 

Despite exterior dimensions that are actually marginally smaller than those of the previous Passat, interior space is improved, with more leg- and head-room, as well as increased luggage space.

A highlight of the Passat’s new range of engines is a high-performance, four-cylinder, 2.0-litre, bi-turbo diesel delivering 240 PS and an extraordinary 500 Nm from 1,750 rpm.  This engine will be available only with a new seven-speed DSG gearbox and 4MOTION all-wheel drive. A plug-in hybrid model will also be offered, with potential to travel 31 miles on battery power alone, and with a potential maximum range of around 600 miles.

Other new technology to be offered on the new Passat includes the Active Info Display, which replaces the instrument cluster with a fully configurable interactive 12.3-inch TFT display; a heads-up display; the latest Modular Infotainment System, including the Car-Net remote app; a further-developed 360-degree Area View function; and the latest generation of Park Assist. This newly developed Park Assist includes the option for the car to park itself forwards into perpendicular spaces – useful, for example at supermarket car parks, where access to the boot is important. It also includes a world-first Trailer Assist, which provides assistance when reversing a vehicle with a trailer attached – without the need for any modification or adaptation of the trailer.

Other safety technology includes Side Assist with Rear Traffic Alert; Traffic Jam Assist which makes stop-and-go driving more comfortable; Emergency Assist, which can potentially halt a vehicle when the driver is incapacitated; and the latest Front Assist system with City Emergency Braking, which optionally combines both radar and camera sensors to add pedestrian detection.

All new Passats will feature LED tail lights, while headlights will be halogen or LED.  In conjunction with Dynamic Light Assist, one of the two LED headlight options automatically adjusts the beam for maximum illumination of the road without dazzling other traffic.

Further details and first pictures of the Passat will be available in early July, ahead of the car’s public unveiling at the Paris Motor Show in October. UK sales will start before the end of the year, with first deliveries expected in early 2015.




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Steve Sutcliffe Loves The New Cayman GTS. Yes. He. Does.

By Tim Smith

I love driving. You love driving. It’s why you’re here.

I think I love driving more than almost anything else. Except the obvious, of course. That’s like like comparing, well, the obvious with driving. They’re just different, but I love them both very much.

Steven ‘Steve’ Stutcliffe likes the Cayman GTS very much, thank you very much. I think he likes it more than anything else. And you know what? I’m just well jel.

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Here’s All Of Friday’s Crash Taken Care Of

By Tim Smith

‘All of the car crashes in this video are non-fatal’ notes the description. Good thing too, because almost all of them are caused by just a tiny slice of missed concentration.

Drive safe this weekend.

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