Thursday, 10 July 2008

New Road Tax - New Stealth Tax

What do you make of the new road tax? Well apparently it's going to affect almost half of us in a negative way. Of course I mean by that you'll be paying more taxes. Not very good at all. Don't we already pay enough? Go here to read my polemic on this subject.

Monday, 23 June 2008

The Renaultsport Megane dCi 175

Whilst I was at the Knockhill Motor Show I had the pleasure of seeing the Renaultsport Megane dCi 175. I must say it's a very tasty looking thing - what makes it even better is that amount of power from a fairly economical diesel. Here's what Renault have to say about it:

"The unveiling of Mégane Renaultsport dCi 175 at the Geneva Motor Show has given car buyers a glimpse of the future. The first diesel model to feature in the Renaultsport range, the 2-litre car offers the perfect compromise between sports performance and economy.

Deliberately targeted at drivers who place greater value on the comfort of their everyday vehicle, Mégane Renaultsport dCi is less extreme than the successful petrol-engined Mégane Renaultsport 225. It also appeals to drivers who crave the driving pleasure of a Renaultsport car while keeping running costs in mind.

In addition, the latest hot-topic of the environment is considered with emissions of 172g/km. Economy figures of a combined 43.5mpg – an urban rating of 34.4mpg and extra urban at 50.4mpg – are hugely satisfying given that performance was marginally above consumption in the priorities for the M9Rb engine.

The engine is not directly taken from Laguna but modified and improved to sit perfectly with the demands of Mégane Renaultsport dCi. Changes to the inlet manifold and exhaust push the car close to the behaviour of its petrol cousin, with the Turbo specifically designed to improve engine response.

Together with specific gear ratios to improve acceleration and a reinforced clutch, the performance of Mégane Renaultsport dCi is impressive. Compared with Mégane 225, the new model accelerates quicker in sixth gear from 50mph – 75mph, due to the extra torque of the power unit.

A look at the standard equipment on Mégane Renaultsport dCi makes pleasant reading with air conditioning, ESP, 17” aluminium wheels, leather-trimmed steering wheel and cruise control all included. A choice of Ultra Blue or Ultra Red paint is available, while the interior is Carbon Grey cloth upholstery.

For drivers wanting that little bit extra, Mégane Renaultsport dCi 175 Lux offers climate control, 18” aluminium wheels, Carbon leather seats, hands-free card ignition and Mercury or Deep Black metallic paint as standard.

At a cost of just £19,005 for the three-door Mégane Renaultsport dCi 175 and £20,405 for the Lux version, with an extra £510 for a five-door model, the newest addition to the Renaultsport garage offers superb value for money. With the ideal balance of performance and environmentally friendly consumption, it is sure to take an early lead in the high-performance diesel field."

Should you buy one? Well the more I'm reading, the more I'm getting interested in the Renaultsport offerings. I'll give a bit more coverage to the range later in the week.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Top Gear Returns Tonight

Yes, you read it right. Top Gear is returning tonight, 22/06/08 at 8PM on BBC2. I know you can't wait to see the gang once again so here's some more information to whet your appetite:
  • The Stig is back in an F430 Scuderia
  • Jeremy, James and Richard give some petrol-saving tips
  • The boys look at how police cars can be made better
  • The guest slot is a bit different and you'll see Justin Lee-Collins and Alan Carr going head to head
Given that tidbit of information, I'm sure that you can't wait to see the show.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Lamborghini LP640

I personally think that cars are a bit of a work of art. None more so than Lamborghinis. They really are one of the few manufacturers on the planet that make balls to the wall, crazy sports automobiles that will happily shred their tyres to bring tears to your eyes.

Not only that of course, you'll have great fun in doing so. With that in mind, it is with pleasure that below I supply further information on the Lamborghin LP640 - it is a car and a half!

High strength tubular steel structure with carbon fibre components

In carbon fibre, except roof and door external panels (steel)

Mechanical (rack and pinion) power-assisted
Turning circle
Right-hand turning circle 12.55 m

Wheels and tyres
Tyres (front/rear)
245/35 ZR18 and 335/30 ZR 18

12 cylinders V60/6496 cc
Compression ratio
(11 +/- 0.2):1
Maximum power
640hp (471kw) at 8000rpm
Maximum torque
660 Nm @ 6000 rpm
Longitudinal central-rear
Cylinder heads and engine block
Intake system
Variable geometry with 3 operating modes
4 valves per cylinder, 4 overhead camshafts
Timing gear transmission
2 chains
Ignition system
Static type ignition system with individual coils (one for each spark plug)
Firing sequence

Fuel system/injection
Lamborghini LIE electronic engine control unit, multipoint, sequential timed, DRIVE BY WIRE
Lubrication system
dry sump
Recovery pumps
2 gear pumps
Delivery pump
1 gear pump (high pressure)
Cooling system
Liquid cooled, with pressurised circuit

Permanent all-wheel drive with Viscous Traction system

6-speed mechanical gearbox
Dry single disc
Clutch disc diameter
272 mm
Self-adjusting hydraulic control

Transmission ratios

4 self-ventilated rotors with pedal control, hydraulic transmission with dual independent circuits, one for each axle with vacuum servo. ABS antilock device + DRP function.

Front rotor
380 x 34 mm
Front calliper cylinders
N. 8 (32-28 mm/32-28 mm)
Rear rotor
355 x 32 mm
Rear calliper cylinders
N. 4 (40-44 mm)

Mechanical, acting on rear wheels
Optional ceramic rotor system
Front rotor
380 x 38 mm
Front calliper cylinders
N. 6 (32-36-38 mm)
Rear rotor
380 x 38 mm
Rear calliper cylinders
N. 6 (32-36-38 mm)

4-wheel independent articulated quadrilateral system. Hydraulic shock absorbers and coaxial coil springs. Suspension with dual front and rear struts, antiroll, antidive and antisquat bar
Performance data

Top speed
Over 200 mph
Acceleration 0-62mph
3.4 seconds

2665 mm
Total length
4610 mm
Total width
2058 mm
Total height
1135 mm

Dry weight (no fuel)
1665 kg
Front track width
1635 mm
Rear track width
1695 mm
Front overhang
1005 mm
Rear overhang
910 mm

Maximum overall width
2240 mm (with external rear-view mirrors)

Liquid capacities
Fuel tank
100 litres
Engine oil
12 litres
Gearbox oil
3.5 litres
Front differential oil
1 litre
Rear differential oil
2.5 litres
Cooling circuit
15 litres

I'm sure you'll agree that is one special sounding beast!

Buying A New Car Checklist

If you're in the market for a new car, go take a look at my post over at Car Articles. It provides a great resource on what you should and shouldn't receive when you do purchase a brand new vehicle with that 'new car' smell. Sounds lovely!

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Saving Money...

If you want to know how to make the most of your MPG, then follow the jump. I've written a new article over at Car Articles.

Thursday, 3 April 2008


If you're interested in the MINI history and brand, go and take a look at my post over at Car Articles. I think you'll quite like it.