Saturday, 30 April 2011


This story from Car&Driver today with the picture above, leads with the words "More than five years after its introduction, the Ford Fusion remains one of the Blue Oval’s most popular models..."

No it isn't, they hardly sold any. Mind you, that disguised version in the photo doesn't look remotely like the current model. I know the disguises are supposed to hide the look of the car but either that is doing a brilliant job or something is very awry here.

Actually, something is very awry here.

To my, European car-recognising brain, a Ford Fusion looks like this...A Fiesta based old-person carrier.

However, to the average American reader, a Ford Fusion looks like this...A Mazda based, Mondeo-sized car.

I had the same problem only reversed, some years ago, when Ford announced the new Galaxy. I was half-expecting something like this...(I had a die-cast one as a kid and I hadn't noticed the slightly different spelling)

But instead, we got the people-carrier we've grown to know and love tolerate...
The new US Fusion will be called a Mondeo. I think this is all part of Ford's plans to have "World Cars" - built the same around the world and named the same around the world. There is a danger that this will make them more boring. I commented in the past about the new Focus.

I'm not a fan.

But I suppose it'll reduce some confusion.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Jordan Had A Good Day at the Office

No, not you, you dozy bint. You're enough of a reason to avoid ITV2 on your own. Go away!

No, not Eddie either. The Chinese Grand Prix was good, with a particularly impressive drive by Mark Webber to get on the podium from 18th on the grid and a nice win for Lewis too.No, not the country of Jordan. Apparently Sebastien Ogier won but I had to go onto the WRC Website to find out.
No, I'm talking about this innocuous looking chap here - Andrew Jordan. He won one race and came second in another of the three at the Donington Round of the BTCC. The meeting will be mostly remembered for the carnage though. In race two, Jason Plato had a very spectacular crash...and race three saw considerably more carnage albeit not as spectacular as that one. Those interested (in the UK at least) can watch the races here.

I can thoroughly recommend them.

Monday, 18 April 2011

New New Beetle

Although they are dropping the "New" tag so now it's just a Beetle. This is being shown at the Shanghai Motor Show and various sites have picked up on it including Car&Driver, Autocar and What Car?

At first glance, the daytime running lights are quite distinctive.

At second glance, I've posted the wrong picture, here's the real one...Similar, isn't it?

At third glance, it looks just like the old one - that is to say the New Beetle as opposed to the old Beetle and the New New Beetle.

At fourth glance, it is a bit wider and lower and does look a bit less girly. The interior is less inferior - they've done away with the stupid flower vase and generally improved the look of the equipment.They have added more body-colour painted surfaces though which I don't like - it always makes me think of low-spec cars from the 1960s and '70s - I always thought the 1990s Fiat Coupe dashboard looked wrong and I don't care for the Nissan Juke for the same reason.

The question is, are these any better than the original, old Beetles?

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Everyone's Ignoring Jordan

God, I wish that were true. She's an extremely irritating freak. I can't be the only person who genuinely doesn't give a toss what Katie does next.

But, as ever in my Blog, she isn't what this post is about.

No way baby. I'm referring to the fourth round of the World Rally Championship which hits the country of Jordan on Thursday. Did everyone follow the first three rounds?

Of course not. Even The Dave Channel has given up on it this year. That may or may not have to do with a deal with ESPN but what, for all I know, may be a very exciting championship is getting zero mainstream coverage in the UK. And this is the year that was supposed to be more exciting with new rules, regulations and cars and even a third manufacturer team. This team has provided the only mention I've heard this year, when they press-launched the new car:(it's the one on right)

I complained last November and things have not improved - if anything they are worse - the sport has lost a golden opportunity to gain some popularity here in the UK - ESPN money is probably false economy and if people are not that interested, ESPN will also then lose interest.

Anyway, it's about time I did a motorsport review given that we've already had two Grand Prix and one round of the BTCC.

The first Grand Prix, in Australia, was the usual dull opener - mostly processional but, like last year, the second race was much better. The highlights were off-track though, with Vitaly Petrov getting his Lotus-Renault-Lada-JPS-Racing airborne:and Eddie Jordan wearing an even worse shirt than this one from last year:

At least there is one Jordan I don't change channel to avoid.

The use of the new flaps helped and there was some skillful overtaking but still not as much as in...

...the BTCC. The end of the first day of 2011 BTCC saw a similar situation to F1 with the reigning champion comfortably ahead but all evidence is that the BTCC will be as tight as ever and it is still my favourite competition.

Even if one of the cars does look like the sort of thing Jordan would drive.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Size isn't Everything - Although 18" Sounds Quite Good

Metro (no relation - and I've been using the name longer anyway) published this story today.

This means restricted parking for something much shorter than a Peel P50 in the Tower Hamlets area of London. There should also be a post next to it with a little yellow plate detailing exactly what those restrictions actually are.

I suspect there isn't.

The Mirror also had the story and they got the Council to comment that the line "highlighted the gap between resident and business parking bays."

No it doesn't.

Nobody's going to look down there to see where one area you can't park is separated from another area you can't park.

Anyway - it could have been worse.

This is also from The Mirror...and involves a dead hedgehog.

BBC News had this one...whereby a road was resurfaced and yellow lines were painted around a parked car.

Those examples and a few other entertaining ones can be found by searching Google Images for "yellow lines" where you will also see the excellent work of Banksy:

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The Sweeney - Really!!?

Shut it, you Slaaaaaag!!!!Today, The BBC are reporting on the casting of the new Sweeney movie. Apparently, they've cast some rapper called "Plan B" to play the Dennis Waterman role. What's wrong with using an actor? What's the fascination with rappers? (mind, I will admit Snoop Dog did a good job in Hitch-Hikers)

And, what's with remaking '70s TV shows anyway? Leave them alone, they were classic. The Dukes of Hazzard film wasn't brilliant; the Charlie's Angels movies were OK; and the Starsky & Hutch was OK too - but the best bit was at the end when Paul-Michael Glasier and David Soul appeared with a replacement Torino. Incidentally, They could have got a better Torino for the latest Moneysupermarket ad...That one looks just wrong.

But it's not the casting of the stars that concerns me, this is a car blog after all - it's the casting of the cars.

The story describes the new film as a "contemporary update". Does that mean contemporary to the original series or contemporary to now - I'll assume the latter.

That's a shame, because apart from various problems with modern-day policing rules and political correctness that Regan and Carter never had to bother about, I'd love to see the old cars back in action.

Truth is, that's already been done by "Life on Mars" which was fantastic - maybe they'll make a film of that in thirty years time.
So modern-day means modern equivalents of the brilliant Ford Granadas used by The Sweeney cops and modern equivalents of the Jag S-Types and Ford Transits used by The Sweeney baddies.

These days, we still have Ford Transits and Jag S-Types but the biggest Ford would be a Mondeo. This would possibly be comparable in size but there is no way Jack Regan would be, or indeed should be, a "Mondeo Man".

The metallic-brown Granada in the '70s was the sort of stylish, prestigious, fast saloon that would be driven by a middle-to-senior manager in a medium-sized engineering company.

Unfortunately, the equivalent car, today, and therefore the car for Jack Regan would be...


Right, the article also says that they are also going to make a film version of "The Professionals". So any thoughts on a modern-day Ford Capri?