Last week I wrote to try and beat the Googlers - which
automaker made this car? Clue - it wasn’t Mazda. It was Daihatsu! The model was
called the X 021.
So to this week. What car when shown for the first time
generated 22,000 orders on the first day of the show?
For the Automania FREE beer this week, be the first correct
answer to email [email protected]
Who made this
Top shelf Bentley - a very
The new top shelf Bentley Mulsanne sedan (owned by VW,
remember) was revealed in Australia in May, but a queue of 15 potential Aussie
buyers has already formed for the eight to ten cars expected to arrive here in
the next 12 months, and its official drive-away price is A$ 695,000 (19 million
baht at current exchange rate, but does not include duty and excise, which would
bring it to around 50-60 million at a rough guess).
The A$ 695,000 price tag is significantly up on that of its
predecessor, the Arnage, as well as the Mulsanne’s most direct rival, Rolls-Royce’s
upcoming Ghost, on-road pricing for which was originally also announced at A$
695,000 before being trimmed to A$ 645,000 in January this year. Now that’s what
you really call a discount.
This new Mulsanne will also cost almost twice as much as
Bentley’s entry-level four-door, the Flying Spur sedan, which opens the
Continental range at A$ 368,134 (around 12 million baht at exchange rates).
The list of Mulsanne options - or their prices - have not
been announced but is expected to be extensive and expensive, with each vehicle
said to take 450 hours to build - including more than 170 hours on the interior
alone - resulting in a six month wait from order to Australian delivery.
“If anything, it is a more labor-intensive process to produce
the Mulsanne than it was the Arnage,” said regional manager for Southeast Asia,
“Everything that looks like metal on the car is metal, where
safety permits,” he said of the Mulsanne, for which Bentley has concentrated on
the quality of trims such as softer leather and thicker wood veneer as well as
the careful assembly of each car.
The hides of no fewer than 17 cows (half a herd) go into each
Mulsanne and the example on display had optional carbon-ceramic disc brakes and
21inch (instead of 20 inch) wheels.
The 2585 kg Mulsanne, measuring 5575 mm long and 1926 mm
wide, is the first stand-alone large Bentley sedan since the company was
absorbed by Rolls-Royce in 1931.
Its twin-turbocharged 6.75 liter pushrod V8, which develops
377 kW at 4200 rpm and 1020 Nm of torque at 1750 rpm, is said to return 15
percent lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions than the Arnage by employing
new technologies such as cylinder deactivation, which allows it to run on four
cylinders in light-load conditions.
Still, although the Mulsanne will be sportscar-quick with 100
km/h arriving in a claimed 5.1 seconds from rest, the R-R Ghost is quicker at
4.9 seconds while also being more efficient. Its BMW-developed twin-turbo 6.6
liter V12 returns a claimed 13.6 L/100 km - versus 16.9 L/100 km for the
Bentley. However, when you are paying multi-millions for your car, do you worry
about fuel consumption? The only ‘green’ thing these people know are American
The Mulsanne is equipped with an eight-speed ZF transmission
with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters to drive its rear wheels, plus
all-independent adjustable air suspension and a monocoque chassis that Bentley
says is unique.
The world’s fastest road car - 267 mph (426 km/h) after one mile
There is another form of motor sport, which has arisen in the
US. In some ways similar to drag racing, this classification is known as One
Mile Racing. The performance is measured as the speed through the traps at the
end of a measured mile, from a standing start. Remember that drag racing is only
over quarter of a mile.
World’s Fastest Road Car
If you thought that this title would be a shoe-in for the
Bugatti Veyron, think again. The Bugatti Veyron finished the standing mile at
just over 200 mph (320 km/h).
The first record fell (and remember this is by a street legal,
road-going, car) when a Lamborghini Gallardo TT ran 255 mph (408 km/h). This
record was then smashed by a heavily modified Ford GT which ran 266.9 mph (426
km/h). The car was built by Heffner Performance, and was both driven and owned
by Ray Hofman, the President and CEO of Peak Completions from Midland, Texas.
The yellow Ford GT is equipped with a standard 6-speed manual
transmission, runs a stock engine block and heads, retains its air-conditioning,
power windows and power door-locks, and it also has an original, completely
stock body with no aerodynamic modifications other than removing the rear view
The Texas mile has been held each March and October at the
Goliad airstrip since 2003 and it has now attracted a national following and a
global reputation for beckoning the man on the street to “Drive in Your World,
Race in Ours!”
In essence, anyone can enter and it is an opportunity to run
your street registered motorcycle or car down the measured mile without the fear
of speeding tickets and jail time and the aim of the exercise is to see what
speed your vehicle is doing at the end of the mile.
Geely promises its IG will
be cheaper than Nano
Chinese car maker Geely claims it will produce the ‘world’s
cheapest car’, offering the production version of its IG concept in India from
2012 - or earlier - at a price that undercuts the $2500 Tata Nano.
The Chinese manufacturer, which recently bought Volvo, is
reportedly preparing to make a major assault on the Indian market with an IG-based
model against Tata’s Nano.
Cheap IG from Geely
Shown at the recent Beijing motor show in 2+2 configuration
the IG had gullwing doors and, significantly, a production-oriented 88 kW
electric motor. (IG stands for ‘Intelligent Geely’.)
While Geely has plans to put the full-electric powertrain
into mass production inside three years, the company said in its official
literature at the show that the vehicle also had “the availability of a
1.0-litre three-cylinder gasoline engine powertrain with CVVT, providing
outstanding fuel economy while maintaining dynamics”.
Unlike the SLS Mercedes, the gullwing doors are not expected
to appear on the production version, but Geely said the model complies with its
‘Safety First R&D theory’ and, with a strong body and the fitment of
‘multi-functioned’ airbags, was designed to achieve a four-star crash-test
rating under Chinese NCAP.
Tata’s Nano also seats four but uses a smaller (rear-mounted)
24kW 624cc two-cylinder engine paired with a four-speed manual gearbox. Average
fuel economy is 5 L/100 km.