Last week I asked what is the name of the Chevrolet Spark
“clone” sold in Thailand? The answer was the Chery QQ, with the Spark being
built in the same factory as the QQ (I believe). Always remember the Chinese
copyright rule - “It is our right to copy!”
So to this week. Two Japanese sports cars had pop-up
headlights when they were released. However, in 1994 and then again in 1998,
they both reverted to exposed headlights. What were these cars?
For the Automania FREE beer this week, be the first correct
answer to email [email protected]
London to Brighton - or
Brighton to London?
The Royal Automobile Club has launched the Brighton to London
Future Car Challenge (BLFCC), a new motoring contest for electric, hybrid and
low-emission internal combustion engine passenger cars to use the lowest energy
on a 60 mile route from Madeira Drive, Brighton to Pall Mall and Regent Street,
London. The BLFCC will be held on Saturday, November 6, the day before the
Club’s world famous London to Brighton Veteran Car Run (LBVCR).
Starting at Madeira Drive this unique live event will use the
traditional, but in reverse, 60 mile veteran car run route for a formal finish
in Pall Mall and onto a special ceremonial finish and presentation in Regent
Street, joining the assembled display of 125 pre 1905 motor cars in the
traditional LBVCR International Concours in front of an estimated 250,000
The event is not a race but a challenge to demonstrate
overall new-energy performance with the participating cars being judged on their
minimum energy impact during the run.
The BLFCC is open to road-legal, concept, development, pre-production
and production four-wheel passenger cars that feature and promote new/alternative
energy in the following three category types:
1. Electric (EV)
2. Hybrid (HEV)
3. Internal Combustion Engine up to 110g/km CO2 emission
fuelled by any legal means (ICE).
Up to 100 entries are expected for this inaugural event from
manufacturers, institutions, individual motoring pioneers and private owners.
The event will be staged, promoted and judged in the above three categories.
Within each category, entries will be measured in various modes for their energy
used during the event route from Madeira Drive to Pall Mall. The challenge will
be to complete the event with the least energy impact.
Each category winner will receive an engraved Royal
Automobile Club trophy and the overall winner will receive the coveted Royal
Automobile Club Gold Medal. There will also be an award for the best private
entry and each classified finisher will receive a Club medal and certificate.
The BLFCC will be judged by the events Technical Panel
consisting of: Ben Cussons, chairman (the Royal Automobile Club Motoring
Committee); Richard Parry-Jones (Industry); John Wood (Institution of Mechanical
Engineers); Dr Ricardo Martinez-Botas (Imperial College London); Steve Cropley (Autocar)
and John Hilton (Flybrid Systems).
Sir David Prosser, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club said,
“The Brighton to London Future Car Challenge will actively promote and challenge
new cleaner energy technology and reflect on the pioneering start of motoring in
1896 - the very first London to Brighton motoring event. Just as the pioneering
Emancipation Run of November 1896 demonstrated the capabilities of the then new
found horseless carriage, this new event provides the platform to promote and
demonstrate the first radical change of the power of the motor car since that
Le Mans Classic 2010
For some people, F1 is not the epitome of motorsport, but the
24 hours of Le Mans is. It has an impeccable history, and that history is still
being acted out today. There are drivers from 30 countries competing in the Le
Mans Classic for older vehicles, with 230 drivers from the UK alone.
The cars which will be running include such classics as a
1971 Porsche 917, 1968 Ford GT40 (more than one of them), 1956 Lotus XI, 1953 C
Type Jaguar, 1934 MG K3, 1959 Aston Martin DBR1, 1955 Austin Healey 100S, 1964
Ferrari 250 LM, 1964 AC Cobra, 1929 Blower Bentley, 1931 Invicta S, Morgans,
Jowetts and so the list goes on. Incredible to think that there is still that
level of commitment for the historic classics. I just wish I could be there. The
dates are July 9, 10 and 11.
Citroen returns to the DS
Citroen has confirmed that the DS badge is back. Now on sale
in Europe, the premium three-door French hatchback called the DS3 has a choice
of diesel or three petrol engines, three transmissions and a selection of
Expected to compete directly with Mini’s entry-level Cooper
hatch with a starting price of about A$32,000 is the base DS3 1.4i, powered by a
70 kW 1.4 liter four cylinder petrol engine that will be available exclusively
with a five-speed manual transmission.
Next up will be the midrange DS3 1.6i 88, which comes with a
- you guessed it - 1.6-litre petrol engine from the Mini, delivering the same 88
kW of peak power. It will be offered only with a conventional five-speed
Topping the DS3 range, for now, is a 115 kW version of the
128 kW turbocharged 1.6 liter petrol four that powers the Mini Cooper S, this
time matched exclusively with a six-speed manual in the top-shelf DS3 1.6i 115.
Diesel versions of the DS3 are on offer in Europe, while a
hotter turbo-petrol derivative - aimed directly at Mini’s 155 kW John Cooper
Works models - is also on the cards, previewed by the 147 kW DS3 Racing
hot-hatch concept at the Geneva motor show in March.
While all DS3s measure 3948 mm long and 1737 mm wide, the
auto-only naturally aspirated 1.6 has 134mm of ground clearance, reducing to
130mm for the entry-level 1.4 manual and 126mm for the 1.6 turbo flagship.
Apart from stiffer suspension with 15 mm lower ride height,
Citroen’s DS3 Racing-based JCW rival should score new front and rear shock
absorbers, 30 mm-wider wheel tracks, 18 inch alloy wheels with 205/40-section
tyres, retuned steering, and electronic stability control systems.
When it joins the range next year, the range-topping DS3,
final assembly of which will take place in a special workshop dedicated to the
first performance DS model, will also wear a specific bodykit comprising lower
front and side skirts and special chequered graphics on the roof, bootlid and
fuel flap, with other changes extending to chromed door-handles and exhaust
Inside, the DS3 Racing concept gained carbon-fiber trim on
its dashboard, centre console, steering wheel and door moldings, a numbered
plate in its roof lining and the Citroen Racing logo on the backs of its unique
sports seats, while its bright orange exterior paint color scheme theme was
echoed on the dash and gearknob.
All three initial examples of the five-seater DS3 will come
with a braked towing capacity of 1150 kg (570 kg unbraked), with naturally
aspirated versions riding on 16x6.0 inch alloy wheels with 195/55 tyres. The
1.6i 115 will come with 17x7.0 inch alloys with 205/45 R17 tyres.
Standard equipment for all models will include twin front,
front-side and curtain airbags, electronic stability control, ABS brakes,
front/rear fog lights, air-conditioning, power windows/mirrors and remote
In line with the premium positioning of Citroen’s all-new DS
model line, which takes its name from the iconic French model sold between 1955
and 1975, the DS3 will come with a range of customization.
While the DS3 will be followed by the new C3, both
light-sized French hatches will be followed in 2011 by three all-new Citroens.
They will include the redesigned version of Citroen’s C4
small five-door hatch, the more luxurious DS4 crossover to rival Mini’s
forthcoming Countryman (previewed by the DS High Rider concept) and the
yet-to-appear DS5 flagship, which will be based on Citroen’s latest C5 sedan.