Finally Lexus has delivered a true rival to the BMW M3!
The new Lexus IS-F uses a 5.0-litre V8 powerplant to deliver 417bhp at 6600rpm! However, it is one thing chasing the M3, and another to actually catch it. To do this the Lexus will have to deliver superb handling far removed from that of the manufacturers luxury badges and SUV’s.
The IS-F is available with an automatic gearbox only, an eight-speed unit based on the LS460′s transmission. It has ‘manual’ functionality via steering wheel paddles. Although previous Lexuses have not been known for steering feel, the IS-F is by far the company’s best effort to date.
First journalist reports are that the IS-F delivers the goods on the race track. Whether the new Lexus can match the M3 and Audi RS4 on UK roads is another question. The IS-F arrives in the showrooms next spring (2008).
The 2007 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run takes place this Sunday 4th November. The event this year is sponsored by Daily Mail and Tindle Newspapers.
On the first Sunday in each November, around 500 motor cars built before 1905 traditionally re-enact the Emancipation Run of 1896, which in turn celebrated the abolition of the law that required motorists to be preceded by a man on foot carrying a Red Flag.
With the proud owners driving their Veteran Cars on much of the original route from central London to Brighton, the opportunity to view these machines in all their glory is not to be missed. Spectating is completely free of charge at any point on the route.
Saturday 3 November
International Concours, Regent Street, London. From 11am to 3pm, FREE to view. See 100 selected veteran cars from the Sunday Run with drivers and passengers in period costume plus demonstration runs.
Sunday 4 November
111th Anniversary Run. Cars leave Hyde Park at sunrise (7.01am).
Every week, starting this week we will be publishing and sharing with our readers a comprehensive, alphabetical run-down on all the different terms used in the wonderful world of insurance and what they mean.
For our first week, we have chosen - ABI.
ABI: Acronym for the Association of British Insurers, a regulatory body for the UK insurance industry. The ABI (Association of British Insurers) represents the collective interests of the UK’s insurance industry.
The Association speaks out on issues of common interest; helps to inform and participate in debates on public policy issues; and also acts as an advocate for high standards of customer service in the insurance industry.
The Association has around 400 companies in membership. Between them, they provide 94% of domestic insurance services sold in the UK. ABI member companies account for almost 20 per cent of investments in the London stock market.
The original concept for the achingly beautiful Alfa Romeo 8C was launched four years ago at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Only 500 will be built, and unfortunately all are now sold!
The name honours the 8C designed by Vittorio Jano, one of the greatest of all car designers. The 8C was the most exotic car of its time and almost enbeatable on long distance events such as Le Mans and Mille Miglia.
If anything the new Alfa 8C is more beautiful than its predecessors. Every curve is a drama, every intersection a point of interest. The 8C is a strange hybrid of old and new, comprising a steel chassis and self-supporting carbon-fibre body.
The 450bhp 4.7-litre 90-degree V8 engine is based on a Maserati design, derived from a Ferrari design. The gearbox is a robotised, six-speed manual with automatic and manual modes controlled via padles on the steering column.
Performance: Top speed is 181mph, 0-62 mph in 4.2sec, EU combined fuel consumption 17.9mpg, CO2 emissions 377g/km.
Classic car enthusiasts will be looking forward to the following two events planned for late 2007 and 2008.
First up is the Essen Motor Show. A must for every automobile collector and enthusiast who want to see or buy the jewels of the international classic and vintage car world. With approximately 300 historical exhibits it attracts enthusiasts and buyers. Highly prized Vintage and Classic Cars are sold and good purchases can be made from dealers in spare parts and literature, The ´Concours d´Elégance´ is a well-known annual attraction.
Friday, 30th Novemebr 2007 – Trade visitor and press day
Saturday 1st December – Sunday 9th December, 2007.
Techno Classica, Essen. Press reports from the 2007 show estimated 154,300 enthused automotive fans and automobile collectors from all over the world attended a spectacular event. Last year the “Techno-Classica” again set international standards as a No. 1 in the classic car scene.
Preview: Wednesday, 26 March 2008, 4.00 p.m. – 8.00 p.m
Thursday, 27 March 2008, 10.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m
Friday, 28 March 2008, 10.00 a.m. – 7.00 p.m
Saturday, 29 March 2008, 9.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m
Sunday, 30 March 2008, 9.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m
Driving on UK roads over the last 6-12 months I have noticed a number of attractively styled, impressive looking saloons, sports car and 4×4’s. On closer inspection these vehicles proudly display their manufacturers badges:
There can be no doubt that Asian car brands have been experiencing strong growth in the UK, at the expense of more well known, trusted? auto brands. The combination of high specification, improved quality and designs that appeal to European tastes, have made Korean vehicles more attractive to consumers.
However, these companies are not blazing a new trail. Think back to the mid-to-late 1960’s and early 1970’s to conjure names such as the Datsun automobile marque, Nissan and the first Toyota’s on UK roads.
This well trodden strategy of continuous, incremental improvement pioneered by the Japanese is now being brought to bear in the UK, EU and US by progressive, dynamic Asian motor manufacturers.
Just this week Chinese cars also took a step closer to Europe with the granting of European Type Approval to the Landwind X-Pedition. This 4×4 copy of a 20-year old Vauxhall Frontera is the first Chinese car to get full approval in Europe. It will face the New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) crash test early in November (2007), with the first right-hand-drive sales in the UK slated for next September (2008).
18-year-old Craig Ramshaw has today been cleared of killing four friends by dangerous driving days after passing his driving test.
After hearing this verdict on Radio 4 this evening I felt compelled to post about this tragic case and ask readers to leave their comments and opinions. The jury at Cardiff Crown Court found Mr Ramshaw, of Ebbw Vale, guilty of careless driving and he was given a conditional discharge.
Ramshaw was driving along a mountain road in Powys, at around 2100 GMT on 2 November 2006, when he lost control. Backseat passengers Danielle Caswell, Katie Roberts, both 15, and Louise Jones and Kayleigh Parry, 16, all died.
The Judge Nicholas Cooke QC told Ramshaw “As a result of your careless driving, four young lives have been lost and four families will never be the same again. You will have to bear responsibility for that for the rest of your life and that is a terrible burden”.
Without knowing the full facts of what happened on that fateful night, as an experienced driver myself I find it difficult to comprehend how you can kill four passengers instantly without driving dangerously? Ramshaw claims he was not driving at more than 40 miles per hour (mph), when he felt the back wheels skid, leading to the car flipping over.
If you are reading this post and have specific knowledge of the case, do leave a post.
The 2007 NEC Classic Motor Show opens it doors this year on 9th November. Many classic car clubs are set to roll out early and late examples of their marque in response to the show’s ‘Firsts and Lasts’ theme.
Visitors to the show will be able to see an array of exotica, including Ferraris, Bentleys, Maseratis and also an early Morgan Aero three-wheeler model. The Ferrari Owners’ Club is celebrating its 40th anniversary with an F40, with the Maserati display set to feature the 250F.
The show runs from November 9th/10th/11th. Opening times 10am-6pm (9th), 9.30am-5.30pm (10th-11th).
Most of us will have heard of or seen on television the top celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman, the solicitor dubbed `Mr Loophole’ for his work defending high-profile people accused of a variety of driving offences.
Over the last few years the media have reported how it is possible to successfully pursue a ’technical defense’ for a drink driving or speeding offence, exposing failings by the police and prosecution.
However, many people in the media are quick to condemn the lawyers who get drivers back behind the wheel, suggesting that this type of work is morally ambivalent. These accusations are strongly refuted by firms specialising in motoring law who argue that this line of attack could be put to any criminal practitioner.
Regardless of your stance on the morality of solicitors pursuing a ‘technical defense’ on behalf of a ‘dangerous driver’, if you found yourself in the situation of possibly losing your licence you would almost always ask yourself the question: ‘How much is my licence worth?’
The current Labour Government is determined to crack down on these loopholes to ensure offenders ‘do not escape justice’. Provisions under the Road Safety Act 2006 have now been introduced to tighten up certain loopholes in legislation.
Take a good look at the above photograph, sent to us by an inspired reader. This picture was recently snapped on the A406 North Circular in London. Notice the yellow light on the roof – No detail spared!
Is this a photo of a genuine Toyota Celica GTi motorway maintenance vehicle or some bloke having a laugh – a fake?!! We think we know which!
What do you think? Comments please.