Category Archives: Recycled PR

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 ( 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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This Is Something That Is Happening In The World.

By Tim Smith

Meet ‘Milky’. It’s a V8 engined milk-float.

‘Compared to my 600+bhp Nissan competition car, this was still more of a pig than a cow to drift,” says the former British Drift Champion Matt Carter. “With no seat belts or doors, it was a case of hanging on rather than hanging the tail out!’


Oh, and Falken now do a lovely range in unusually sized tyres. Yes they do.


That’s am old Buick/Rover V8 poking its nose out there.













Nice. Tracksuit.


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BMW Do Some Gran Turismo, May Have Revealed The M4 DTM Car

By Tim Smith

Karin Habib, Director of BMW design, states at the beginning of this little ditty of marketing and gaming that;

‘The first time I heard about the idea for us to design a car for GT6 I actually didn’t quite believe it, but at the same time I thought it was a pretty amazing opportunity for us.’

Wait, you didn’t quite believe it? Really? Really, really? Really, really, really?

A surprised man.

A surprised man.

Anyway, given the chance to do this type of project you could be forgiven for thinking that the designers might go a bit crazy; a nuclear power plant, or hubless wheels or some crazy glue sniffing aero package.


What we get is better and worse, all at the same time.

Hullo, there. Are you the M4 DTM?

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This Rolls-Royce Has Quite Nice Paint.

By Tim Smith

Rolls-Royce have made another special edition with some extra bits and some quite nice paint. Oh, and the promotion video has some inspirational music.

RR Waterspeed Hero H34_V9_16x9crop

When I was a boy of nine, or there about’s, my Mum and Dad had a Citroen BX. Now, aside from the all of the pneumatic trickery (which, when you’re about nine, is possibly the most excellent thing a car can have. Well, apart from five turbo’s or something) it was a ‘Leader’ special edition. It had all stickers on the side saying ‘Leader’, in case you were phoning your insurance company and you forgot what type of car it is. At least I assume that’s why people put there car’s model name in big letters down the doors or wings or bonnet.

RR Waterspeed_Door Etching_16x9crop

I guess it must have had some special electric windows or some dealer fit carpets or something, because this car was clearly built to lead. Not like those Cavaliers that were good at nothing at all apart from having the cool badge designation of CD or, even better, CDX.

RR Waterspeed hero Side_V9_16x9crop

Never, though, did the BX try to evoke a great or powerful achievement of a man or woman from the past. Those who put it together knew it was just a mass market car, and although they did a fine job of making it distinctive and interesting, when the marketing men and women got hold of it they didn’t think,

‘I know, let’s call it the BX Bonaparte, or Descartes or Hugo or Satre or something. Anything, to make us look like we’re doing something that means more than just a car. I mean merde, these people are paying MONEY for this stuff. We’d better make them think they’re taking part in an event’. 

Or maybe they did. But then the eighties were quite… cokey… if you know what I mean.

All of this brings us to the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drop-Head Coupe Waterspeed Collection. Which is a thing.

RR Waterspeed_Interior-Dash_16x9crop

A cool looking thing, that is a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drop-Head Coupe, which is a good thing,  but it’s still essentially Rolls-Royce Phantom Drop-Head Coupe, only this time, with some makeup on.  Some blue makeup.

Remember those anodised valve caps you could get for motorbikes? Yeah, them.

Remember those anodised valve caps you could get for motorbikes? Yeah, them.


Here’s an overblown video for your eyeholes:



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Lord Drayson Is Your New Master, Bow Down On To The Electrified Ground Beneath His Feet.

By Tim Smith

Lord Drayson (of much EV racing car and Electric Land Speed Record fame), has announced, together with Imperial Innovations plc, the formation of a new company, Drayson Wireless.

You may remember Drayson from him leaving a high placed government defence procurement position to go and take part in Le Mans. You may also remember him from this Chris Harris video. If none of these ring a bell, then maybe, in the coming years you’ll remember him because his name might just be stickered over everything that carries and moves in London.

Drayson in the middle. Some famous bloke on the right.

Drayson in the middle. Some famous bloke on the right.

The new company will work on the application of wireless charging technologies over the coming years. It’s a fair bet that vehicles with predictable patterns of use such as busses, taxis and delivery vehicles will be the first to take advantage of the technology.

Indeed Qualcomm (a tech company that part of Drayson’s team have taken experience from) already have a foothold in this area.

The other half of the partnership, Imperial Innovations, is a technology company specialising in the transfer of high-end new technologies in both the bio and mechanical sectors. In 2005 they signed a deal with Imperial College London to commercialise technology derived from the research that takes place there.

Make no mistake, this is a major move on a future large scale that could see Lord Drayson secure a monopoly on an emerging and potentially enormous market.

It is nice to think, though, that parts of London may become hushed and somewhat (for London, at least) calm.



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Ford Opens The Order Book For A RHD Mustang. Oh, And Sienna Miller Has A Shower.

By Tim Smith

Ford will offer the first 500 Mustangs to be sold in Europe during a football game*. 150 of those will be offered in RHD, and for us, here on this rainy archipelago, this is a good thing.

Both fastback and convertible versions will be offered up for order with either I4 Ecoboost (2.3 litres, 309ps, 407Nm) or V8 (5.0 litres, 426ps, 529Nm) motors.

Ford says that the RHD Mustang will be made in the UK when it goes up for sale in 2015.

Steering wheel orientation not pictured.

Steering wheel orientation not pictured.

Now that’s all well and good, but mainly, I’ve liked the web page they direct you too. First (actually third but details, details…), there’s a timer. Second you notice that as you scroll down there is a neat shutter effect. Oooo, ahhhh…

Then, as if by web-based elastic trickery there’s Sienna Miller. It looks like she’s just had a shower, ’cause her hair is all slicked back, which is lucky, ’cause all she does is leave dirty great big paw prints all over the Mustang as she has a bloody good look ’round. She also kicks the Mustang. I have no idea why, but she won’t be getting in on any of those Autotrader ads that say ‘NO TYRE KICKERS’, I can tell you.

Miller McGrubbyhands

Sienna Miller McGrubbyhands in ‘I still can’t work the damn crop tool properly’ picture.


Then, she gets right inside of the Mustang, feels up the steering wheel and pretends to do some driving. Next, after feeling up more of the cabin she appears outside again and clicks her fingers. As if by magic nothing happens.

Sienna appears a little annoyed by this so she approaches the front of the Mustang and effectively mounts its bonnet in a mating position as old as time itself. To finish, she tells us she loves an American accent. Which I do too. So that’s Sienna Miller/Tim Smith: 1. World: Nil.

Sienna Miller mounting a Mustang. Yep, that’s happened,

We’re also invited to watch a behind the scenes making of video. Which I didn’t.

Keep scrolling and you get some nice pictures of the Mustang, which actually, is quite good, as it’s a handsome thing.

Keep going, though, skip the hipster-esque video (trust me, you’ve got better things to do with your time) and we finally get to my favourite bit, a good ol’ fashioned info-graphic showing the Mustang at the movies.

The last two slides are a video of the last 5o years of Mustang (cool) and some more graphicy things giving you all facts about the Mustang and stuff (which is also cool).

Overall I liked the Mustang’s European website. But, and I never thought I’d say this as a hetrosexual male, less Sienna Miller humping, please.


* I honestly cannot be bothered to explain this.


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Braking A Bloodhound Is Like Stopping A Bus From 160MPH. In The Wet.

By Tim Smith

‘Our brakes are unusual’ Brian Coombs says as he holds a carbon brake rotor from a fighter aircraft. What’s left of another brake rotor of the same type sits as broken, overheated pieces in a box to his left.

So how do you stop a 1000mph car?

This. Is. Cool.


*Pssst – turn the captions on for subtitle japes…*

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