Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Some Say... ...He's Joined The BTCC

News today that Ben Collins who recently outed himself as The Stig is to take part in the final race-meeting of this year's BTCC. This has got to be a very good move publicity-wise for him, his book and his adopted team, Airwaves BMW - it got a mention in my Blog after all. Having three cars should also help consolidate their current third position in the BTCC Teams Championship.

ITV will be pleased with the extra publicity too - I wouldn't be surprised if, instead of "Collins" on the back windows of the BMW, it said "Stig" - but that would just be rubbing the noses of the BBC and Top Gear in it.

As long as he doesn't crash badly - or come last - it will probably enhance his reputation which, in my opinion, needs a bit of enhancement at the moment. I, and I suspect a lot of Top Gear fans, have been pretty annoyed at the way he has cashed in on his Stigness. Although beforehand, a lot of people believed that Ben Collins was indeed The Stig, you could never be 100% sure until the story broke about his book-deal and series producer Andy Wilmin commented thus.

I certainly won't be buying the book.

It's a shame and I hope Top Gear get another tame racing driver as a direct replacement - I'm sure Jeremy will come up with a suitably amusing explanation and I look forward with much anticipation as to how they handle it.

Finally, here's a picture of The Stig in happier times, test driving a vehicle that both my sons have driven. It carries a Fiat badge but I think that's a case of re-badging someone else's product.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Fashion Victim

Citroën have released pictures of this freaky little Beach-Buggy-ish vehicle - a concept car in conjunction with Lacoste. Lacoste are obviously a fashion house/clothing company who presumably know very little about cars while Citroën presumably know bugger all about fashion and the resulting product would, I guess, appeal more to those wanting to make a fashion statement than those wanting to find a practical road transport. I think I used to have a Lacoste jumper in the late '80s when jumpers were fashionable (not that I ever was myself) and someone told me that the Lacoste crocodile logo used to change colour every year.

Mine never did.

Fashion and motoring have combined in special editions many times over the years. Off the top of my head I can recall a Mary Quant Mini (car not skirt) and Jeff Banks decorating a Kia for Matalan last year some time.

I was (briefly) surprised recently that Land-Rover brought in Victoria Beckham as a design consultant on the new Evoque model. I'm not a fan of the woman - she can barely sing, she tried to sue a football club for using the nickname "Posh" when they'd had it since formation 76 years ago and she does that funny walk that models do. Martine McCutcheon has started doing that walk too in her adverts for yoghurt-that-makes-women-poo-regularly. But, after thinking about it, Vicky B and women who aspire to be Vicky B are just the sort of women who are prospective buyers of an Evoque so there is some logic there. It's definitely labelling the Evoque as "a woman's car" though. Like the modern Beetle with its dashboard flower vase.

I don't know how much Jaguar/Land-Rover are paying her for her services but they have announced this week that they will be creating 1000 new jobs here on Merseyside as a direct result of the Evoque - I wonder if they need a Blogger?

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Mercedes C-Class Coupé

Autocar today published spy-shots (link here) of the new C-Class Coupé due for sale early next year.All the main car sites love publishing spy shots - I just don't get it myself - to me they are like the Magic Eye Pictures from the '90s - I never successfully visualised one of those no matter how much I squinted at them.

I actually can get the gist of the shape of the new C-Class Coupé though. And I have to say it is a massive improvement on its predecessors:
This original shape, I thought, looked just awful. It was reminiscent of the original BMW 3-Series Coupé that looked like someone had taken the saloon, backed it into a wall at high speed and stuck some ugly tail-lights on the resultant mess.

The Mark 2 Version was marginally less ugly:- albeit still truncated but the motoring media really hated it because all that Mercedes actually did to produce it was to take the original Coupé and stick on bodywork and lights to make it look like the next generation of C-Class when it most definitely wasn't.

The new one has the semi-boot effect that a proper coupé should have and is also acting as a replacement for the CLK which has always been an eye-pleasing car so I'll approve.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Lotus Global Small Car

Auto Express have this story today. Due for unveiling at the Paris Motor Show, this is a hybrid electric/1.2 petrol capable of 100mpg but there's no indication of mph. It will be available as a five-door Proton in Malaysia and a three-door sporty Lotus elsewhere.

I think I like the look of it but it also reminds me strongly of the Mitsubishi Colt...

Can't help thinking it'll need a better name though.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Drink-Driving Caused This...

If the 23 year-old owner of this Mitsubishi Evo (for that is what this yellow car iswas) had known what was going to happen - I'm sure he'd have stuck to the lemonade (assuming he actually is guilty - he's only "suspected" at the moment)

The only problem is - it wasn't him who did this - it was the police officers who arrested him. In such cases, they are supposed to organise a recovery vehicle to come and remove the vehicle of an alleged offender. In this case, they decided to take it for a spin themselves - literally. Oops.

The full story is on BBC News here. Greater Manchester Police have said they will pay for the damage caused to the properties but what about the car? It wouldn't be insured because it was being driven unlawfully and without permission. Will anyone be able to sue anyone? Will that bloke who played a dodgy copper in The Bill and now claims to be an injury lawyer get involved?