Wednesday, 30 September 2015


Remember back in the optimistic days of Spring 2014 when Tesco started hinting at its forthcoming Fuelsave promotion?

Well today is the last day that you can spend all of those Fuelsave savings.

No, it didn't have a big impact on my life either.

Anyway, to make up for it, Sainsbury's kick off their new fuel/moneysaving promotion.

The Telegraph report it thusly:   Sainsbury's launches '5p a litre discount'

The deal is that Sainsburys give you 10 Nectar Points for every litre of fuel you buy off them.

But they already give you one point per litre anyway. And Nectar Points, being mostly rubbish, are only worth a halfpenny anyway.  And, given that this only lasts for October, and they've stopped giving points for re-using carrier bags and they've stopped selling two packs of crumpets for £1 - well, I'll not be retiring this month.

Still, here's a nice picture of an old bus in a Sainsburys filling station:
I'm presuming it was an open-top BEFORE it went under the canopy.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

What has the VW XL1 Got in Common With the Beastie Boys?

Two things actually.

I dislike both and they both wear a VW badge.
My main argument with the XL1 is how ugly it is. But I covered that back in 2012.  It does, however, have something in its favour in that it gets exceptional economy and ultra-low emissions per mile out of its little diesel engine.

Or so Volkswagen claimed anyway.

But can you trust them?

Even the non-motoring press has exploded this week about the VW emissions scandal.  Here's a pretty good, albeit brief, summary from BBC News. Today it was announced, as was suspected all along, that it wasn't just US cars affected.

Their boss, Martin Winterkorn, has Winter-gone.
They could lose their Economy World Record too.  The test car was economical - but it was outputting silly, maybe illegal, amounts of NOx while it was doing it.

Well, to help redress the balance, here's some free advertising for them from me:
After all, they're not really a bad company are they?

I mean, it's not like they were set up by Hitler or anything is it?

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Houston, We Have A Problem

It's nearer Dallas actually, but it's the Houston Chronicle that I'm linking to here for the story behind this idiot and this very patient Police Officer.

The guy did not have a valid licence so maybe that's why he was so obstructive but he must have thought he would get away with it given that it is his own footage that has gone viral here.  All of his arguments were proved wrong.

The Chronicle story is here.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Electric Avenue

There are four Consecutive Electric Car stories in Autoguide at the moment:

1.Thunder Power EV from Taiwan has Impossible 373-Mile Range

The headline sums it up really.  This teaser photo (I hate teaser photos by the way) makes it look a bit TVR Sagaris-ish with 1990s Peugeot back lights.  But surely it has the wrong name?  Thunder is the noisy bit of thunder & lightning, not the electric bit.

2. BMW i3 Undergoes Evaluation with LA Police Department

BMW have loaned the LAPD an i3.  I think it looks like a cow.

3.Announcement on Return of Volkswagen Microbus Coming in 2016

This will be an electric vehicle related to the electric Bulli concept from last year.  There will also be conventionally powered versions.

4.2016 Dodge Charger Pursuit Adds Innovative New Technologies

Another Police car story.  And this one looks tasty - nothing like a cow.  Although I suppose cows are tasty once converted into beef.  But surely this isn't an electric car?

Well, no it isn't.

But all these electric cars will need a charger.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Fake Photos

I've seen this picture several times on various car news sites.
It irritates me.

It shouldn't - it's just Cadillac revealing their new XT5 cross-over that they excitedly declare is their "first-ever Cadillac XT5".  First-ever?  Well yes, as soon as you rename a car it becomes the first-ever unless you reuse an old name - I'm not sure where they're going with that.  But never mind, it's the picture that annoys me - it's all too perfect - no litter - a little graffiti but nothing offensive - a couple of beautiful passers-by (both ignoring the car however) and the strangely positioned car itself - about a foot out from the wrong side of the road.  It sort of reminds me of the selfies that young girls like to post on Facebook of themselves looking up and pouting awaiting comments of adoration.  Incidentally, the beautiful woman in this picture is carrying a couple of rolls of material which I guess is meant to indicate that she is a trendy young fashion designer crossing the road.  But they've overdone the pose so it looks like she is desperately trying to find a toilet.

Now here is a much better fake picture of a Fiat 500 in front of Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster:
It is from this BBC item.  It is about photographer Kim Leuenberger who is covering the Goodwood Revival, which starts this Friday but who also likes to photograph toy cars in various locations around the World in a series she calls "Traveling Cars Adventures".  She is Swiss but chooses to spell "travelling" the American way.

Anyway, enough fake pictures, here a photo I recently took of a horrific accident involving a Toyota Supra and a Porsche 928:

Thursday, 3 September 2015


I read this Car+Driver article with incredulity today.

The author of the piece, Robert Sorokanich is described as "the New York-based news reporter for both and" so you would hope he wouldn't make any silly errors.

It claims that a software hack will allow BMW i3 drivers in the US to get an extra half-gallon out of the fuel tank in the range-extender version of the car to bring it in line with the European version.
Apparently the US cars have a 1.9 gallon capacity whereas European ones hold 2.4 gallons.


About two-dozen readers have commented on this.  One suggests "tanks on all models hold 2.4 gallons. Sensors tell the ECU what the fuel level in the tank is. In the US, when the ecu detects there is 0.5 gallons left, shuts down the engine and won't restart it until the tank gets filled and the level detected is above 0.5 gallons"

That would mean all US i3s would have an odd half-gallon of petrol (sorry, of gas) swishing about in the bottom of their tanks all the time!


Here's a clue as to what I think is going on...

These are Imperial Stormtroopers:
 These are US Desert Storm Troops:
 Notice that they are different.

According to this old 2013 Auto Express review of the i3 Range-Extender, the tank is 9 litres.

This is approx 1.9 Imperial Gallons
or 2.4 US Gallons.