by Dr. Iain Corness
Singapore GP this weekend
Entertainment under lights
I have written before about the Singapore Grand Prix and
how the organizers seem reluctant to let the F1 circus entertain the crowd,
but have arranged to have “acts” such as Linkin Park (obviously failed their
spelling lessons), Shakira, a warbler from Colombia with her hit “Waka Waka”
(I can hardly wait), a Boy band from Korea (don’t Koreans ever grow older?),
something called “Shaggy” from Jamaica (no mention of Scooby-Doo however),
some Glee starlet called Charice from the Philippines, and others even more
I go to rock concerts to hear music. I go to race
meetings to watch motor racing. I do not need head bangers with my F1. If
the organizers really want to put on an extravaganza, then run 10 categories
of races as the lead-up to the top category F1. What a novel idea - racing
cars at an F1 venue. Put on a “Retro” race and I’ll even take the Securitas
Mk 1 Escort down.
Having had my gripe, the Singapore Grand Prix will start
at 7 p.m. Thai time on the Sunday evening. We will be watching from our
perches at Jameson’s Irish Pub (Soi AR, next to Nova Park) and even though
the racing commences at 7 p.m. join us around 6 p.m. for dinner (I do
recommend the specials), and a beer and a chat before the race begins. We
watch on the giant screen, with the BBC telecast which is of top value and
there are no adverts! What more do you need?
Jaguar C-X16 hybrid concept
Jaguar’s E-Type successor
The latest Jaguar concept, the C-X16 was released at the
Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany last week. Smaller than the XR series, its
position is reputedly to be a successor to the legendary E-Type, and I have to
say the photo does show some styling cues from the earlier Jaguar.
The new Jaguar is a two seat hybrid with a supercharged 3.0
liter V6 petrol engine that can produce 380 BHP and 450 Nm of torque with a
Formula 1 styled hybrid boost system and a steering wheel mounted “Push to Pass”
button for on-demand acceleration. The drive train features an eight-speed ZF
gearbox and a motor/generator that draws power from a 300 V, 1.6 kWh battery
pack that is charged through a KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System).
The combination of internal combustion and an electric motor
produces huge torque and the C-X16 returns acceleration figures of zero to 100
km/h in 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 300 km/h. Jaguar also claims that the
C-X16 can run at speeds up to 80 km/h just on electric power.
Jaguar say the idea behind this hybrid performance system is
to supplement the engine’s power with a “push to pass” system; reduce fuel
consumption; and allow it to perform as an electric vehicle at lower speeds.
There are a number of features that help boost its
performance. Among them is intelligent start/stop which can shut down the engine
in 300 milliseconds after the car comes to a rest. This is also linked to a
transmission motor generator. Meanwhile, the KERS used by Jaguar sees the
battery pack mainly charged through brake energy recuperation.
In that niche market of high performance coupes, the selling
point is heritage and looks. The Jaguar C-X16 has both.
Is this the world’s ugliest new car?
The Citroen Tubik may just be the ugliest motor show concept
ever designed. Now while concept cars displayed at motor shows are usually
stunning, Citroen has done what Citroen does best - produce something at the
Frankfurt show that makes the viewer go OMG!
One overseas journalist described it as being like the
misbegotten spawn of an affair between a piggy bank and a bread bin, while the
Citroen Tubik on the other hand is described by Citroen as a “high-tech, high
comfort, highly functional executive shuttle that is shared, intelligent,
connected and eco friendly.”
“More than a taxi, more flexible than a limousine and as much
fun as a trip to beach. Its flexible interiors means it can carry a group of
people or a single person and their luggage; the seats can fold down as a bed or
swing around for a meeting; entertainment units fold from the roof and privacy
Only Citroen could come up with this vehicle, which might
make a great hearse, but you probably wouldn’t want to be seen dead in it.
The “New” Fortuner
I honestly think that Toyota have scraped the barrel so deep
that their marketing people have splinters under their fingernails. A full page
advert in the Bangkok Post produced such gems as “Impression that is
above and beyond (what?)… Complete with functionalities of luxury mobility.”
(Eh? Your guess is as good as mine!)
I don’t know who they are trying to impress, but even Blind
Freddie would soon see that the “new” Fortuner is the same as the previous model
Fortuner, other than the “luxuriously designed radiator grille and front
bumper.” ‘Adspeak’ at its best. It also crows about the “large engine hood
bulge,” (which has four inlets and is so different from the previous model which
only had three). And if you want to be truly impressed with this radical “new”
Fortuner, it has a “Tailgate opener with Fortuner badge.” That’s just in
case you thought it was an Isuzu.
Mr. Toyota, send the entire department to the assembly line
(to attach the “luxuriously designed radiator grilles”), and hire some real
copywriters instead. Or just be honest and call it a “minor change’ model.
Want improved performance and improved economy?
AVO Turboworld at Sattahip has designed and begun manufacture
of a product to improve both performance and fuel economy of Common Rail Diesel
engines, called the AVO DFC Fuel Controller.
This unit can be installed in 5-10 minutes using minimal
tools. At the factory setting you can expect 10-12 percent peak torque and
horsepower improvement and further gains are available with a simple adjustment
if you have further modifications such as improved intercooler or exhaust. It
also improves throttle response and as an addition to the performance increase,
an improvement of up to 8 percent in fuel economy can also be achieved with
normal driving. All performance improvement figures are validated on the AVO
in-house Dyno as well as road tests and 0-100 kph time improvement figures.
The AVO Fuel Controller can be made to fit most Common Rail
Diesel engines on sale in Thailand but there are a few exceptions. AVO
Turboworld have also ensured me that there can be no damage to the engine as the
ECU still has control and will not exceed its own parameters. Another handy
feature is that it can be easily removed if the vehicle has to go in for
Servicing and the ECU has no record of it being fitted and thereby protecting
The unit retails for less than 6,000 THB and comes with a 12
month warranty. For further information on your Common Rail vehicle, ring Terry
Wilson at AVO on 084 945 5167 or email email@example.com.
Now, if you have pots of money…
The new Royale?
Bugatti has done it again. After the stunning failure of the
Bugatti Royale, you can now spend a fortune on the Bugatti Veyron L’or Blanc.
The Veyron Grand Sport L’or Blanc uses carefully crafted
porcelain on its striped finish, which has been designed to look like the
pattern of a studio light reflecting on a shiny surface.
“At first, it seems to be an unusual idea to use porcelain in
a car, especially in the world’s fastest convertible,” said Dr. Stefan Brungs,
Bugatti sales and marketing director. “But this is what Bugatti stands for: the
realization of exceptional ideas whilst striving for the utmost in quality and
aesthetics. This allows us to continue Ettore Bugatti’s heritage, who himself
loved to experiment with new materials.” (And while he was at it, bankrupted the
company with the over the top, ill-timed Royale, a vehicle that no Royal family
In true Royale fashion, there is a caviar dish that sits on
the central rear console (Beluga, I hope). I would imagine that you can have
titanium nose hair pluckers as a special order as well.
Of course, you still get the 8.0 liter, four turbo, W-16
cylinder engine with its 1001 horsepower and 1250 Nm of torque with (porcelain)
shattering acceleration times of zero to 100 km/h in 2.7 seconds and a top speed
of 407 km/h.
It is not all that economical with a claimed consumption of
41.9 L/100 km; but the average claimed fuel use is only 24.9 L/100 km.
However, if you can afford the $2.2 million, who cares about
Fall off the step-through and bounce
British impact protection specialists Knox have developed a
new wave of impact protectors that are not only flexible but also have great
One of an increasing number of products created as part of
the Knox ST3 program of continuous innovation and development, Knox Flexiform+
protectors have an Intelligent Cell Structure created by the combination of high
density polyurethane foam with added elastomers. This combination allows the
protector, whether fitted at the elbow, shoulder, knee or hip, to move freely
with the wearer and to mould to their body shape. Flexiform+ protectors
‘memorize’ their new shape making them instantly comfortable the next time the
garment is worn.
The high density material is efficient at absorbing energy
from an impact, exceeding the European CE standard EN1621 for motorcycle armor
by a margin in the region of 35 percent. Furthermore, its dense structure
delivers excellent repeat performance.
Temperature stable, Flexiform+ protectors have a low profile
with tapered edging, so the entire range can be fitted into close fitting
leather and textile kit and used in extreme cold or hot weather conditions
without any change in comfort or performance. Flexiform+ is available for
clothing manufacturers to fit as original equipment but may also be purchased by
riders wishing to upgrade existing garments; shoulder, elbow, back, knee/shin,
hip, and thigh versions are produced, with prices starting at ฃ19.99 per pair.
For further information visit www.knox-lab.com/hand-armour.
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