Another small car around the
The new Mitsubishi Colt will enter production in March 2012
at a new factory in Thailand. This new ‘Global Small’ model is expected to be
priced from about 400,000 baht.
This new Colt will be built at a new plant, Mitsubishi’s
third in Thailand, representing a total investment of 16 million baht and will
have an initial annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles, which the
company says could be expanded to 200,000.
The Colt replacement, which will be based on a “completely
new” platform currently under development by MMC, will be powered by fuel-efficient
1.0 and 1.2 liter engines, with an all-electric variant coming in 2013.
Mitsubishi’s compact and affordable new entry-level model
will conform to the Thai government’s Eco-car Project requirements, and follows
the Toyota Etios, Ford Figo, Nissan March and Honda Brio.
MMC said the Global Small car was a globally strategic
vehicle in response to both the market needs of emerging countries and the trend
towards smaller vehicles in established markets, where the economic outlook has
been fairly depressed.
The new Colt will join a growing list of light cars built in
Thailand, where Eco-car tax incentives and a population of 67 million are
attracting a growing number of car-makers.
They include the recently facelifted Ford Fiesta and Mazda2 sedan/hatch,
Nissan’s all-new March hatch (which will be followed by a sedan version in 12
months), the Honda Brio, Toyota’s Prius and Etios and Honda’s City sedan and
Jazz hatch, which are all exported to Australia and other destinations.
Which racing driver hit a dog in practice and crashed into
the river and drowned? Hint: pre-war. Good luck!
Autotrivia: I asked which racing driver hit a dog in
practice and crashed into the river and drowned? Hint: pre-war. It was Pietro
Bordino, rated as one of the best drivers of the 1920’s. He had just taken
delivery of a Bugatti in 1928 and was practicing for the Alessandria race when
he hit a large dog at full speed, crashed into the River Tanaro and was drowned!
Tiger Rally for Thailand
Received information from David Hardcastle up in Chiang Mai
that the month-long Tiger Rally 2011, organized by the very experienced UK-based
John Brigden, is accepting starters in Bangkok as well as London.
David suggests that before you do anything else, please look
From February 17 to March 17, a rich variety of vintage and
classic cars (all with loaned GPS on board to ensure accurate navigation) will
cover smooth-and-interesting roads in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, from
Bangkok to Hanoi.
The Tiger Rally is open to any vehicle made before 1978,
though some later models may be accepted at the discretion of the organisers.
Entrants will enjoy carefully chosen hotels in such
fascinating locations as Kanchanaburi (‘Bridge on the River Kwai’), historic
Sukothai, the northern Thai capital Chiang Mai, Siem Reap (Angkor Wat), Saigon,
the World Heritage town of Luang Prabang and superb Halong Bay.
Third party insurance is included, and the event has its own
doctor (not me, even though I hope to be competing), mechanical back-up and
luggage van covering the whole route.
Entry fees are as follows:
London Start and Finish (including all shipping): 18,000 pounds.
Bangkok Start and Hanoi Finish: 11,500 pounds.
Thailand-only Route: 500 pounds.
Please see the website http://tiger.wwccr.com/ for map,
itinerary and FAQs. Other inquiries should be addressed via the site to John
Brigden, while David Hardcastle ([email protected]) is your local contact
Formula 1 going ‘green’
The FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, also
known as “those prats”) has come up with new regulations for 2013, and quoting
official sources, “The FIA have confirmed their intention for a greener Formula
One with the introduction of radical new engine regulations from 2013.
At the final meeting of the year of the World Motor Sport
Council, held in Monaco, the body has rubberstamped plans that will ensure the
sport becomes far more environmentally friendly.
Following dialogue with the four engine manufacturers -
Ferrari, Renault, Mercedes and Cosworth - the powerplants will be 1.6 liter,
four-cylinder units (V4) with high-pressure fuel injection, and with a maximum
The engine manufacturers now have 27 months to deliver the
new power plants that will replace the current 2.4 liter V8s.
It is also claimed that VW/Audi may also now come into the
reckoning as an engine supplier in light of the FIA’s forward-thinking plans.
According to the FIA the new engines will deliver a 35
percent reduction in fuel consumption and will feature extensive energy
management and recovery systems, yet maintaining current levels of performance.
From next year F1 is already due to see the re-introduction
of KERS (kinetic energy recovery system), a device that stores energy from
braking and converts it into power used to boost acceleration.
According to motor sport’s world governing body, their
announcement “underlines the FIA’s commitment to improving sustainability and
addressing the needs of the automotive industry.”
In a further move to cut engine costs, from 2013 drivers will
only be allowed to use five per season - the limit is currently eight - with
that figure cut to four from 2014.
This is really a whole lot of nonsense. Save the planet? Save
me from idiocy, please. Does the FIA really believe that a 35 percent reduction
in fuel usage by 24 F1 cars for around seven hours every second weekend actually
means anything in total world fuel consumption? Far more than 24 cars pass by my
village every hour for at least 12 hours per day for 365 days a year.
Martin Whitmarsh of McLaren Mercedes has also leaped into the
fray with ‘feel-good’ comments such as, “The good news is that, in conjunction
with the FIA’s and FOTA’s (Formula One Teams Association) recent successful
efforts to improve efficiencies and restrict resources applied to Formula 1, it
has already been possible to reduce Formula 1’s total carbon emissions.
Moreover, building on what we have already achieved, and extrapolating what is
now being planned, we anticipate that by 2012 Formula 1 will have reduced its
total carbon emissions by 12.4 percent compared with 2009.” I remain totally
Sandy Stuvik sets more
Fifteen year old Sandy Stuvik is now officially the 2010
Asian Formula Renault Champion even though he could not be beaten to the title
last month with one race to go.
(L to R)
Thomas Raldorf, Jean Todt and Sandy Stuvik
Sandy went to Zhuhai in China to finish of the season in
style and use the two races and test sessions as additional practice for the
Sandy took the lead early in race 2, and controlled the race
from start to finish crossing the line 4.4 seconds ahead of the 2nd placed
driver Tin Srithai, also from Thailand. Sandy also set the fastest lap of the
race, proving that he was the man to beat in 2010.
The record books in the Asian Formula Renault 2.0
Championship have been rewritten by this young driver. He is:
The first Thai Driver to win the Championship.
The Youngest driver (15 years) to win the Championship.
The first driver to finish on the podium for all races in the season.
The largest number of points lead over the second placed
driver in the history of the Championship.
And finally, helping his team (ART) to win their first Team
Championship in the Series.
Sandy is now on the move, having been to Catalunya to test
the new 2011 Formula Renault car he will be driving in the Formula Renault
Eurocup Championship in 2011. Sandy tested there for two days before returning
home to Thailand, and working on projects to try and raise the necessary
sponsorship for a full season in Europe.
Undoubtedly, this young lad has the talent to go far, and is
still at the right age to be able to end up in Formula 1, and not be too old.
Look at Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, both picked up by F1 teams when
they were still young teenagers. Sandy Stuvik has the speed, he just needs the