Make Chiangmai Mail | your Homepage | Bookmark

Chiangmai 's First English Language Newspaper

Pattaya Blatt | Pattaya Mail | Pattaya Mail TV

 
Vol. XIII No.17 - Sunday August 24, 2014 - Saturday September 6, 2014


Home
News
Arts - Entertainment
Classical Connections
Life at 33 1/3
Ask Emma
AutoMania
Book Review
Bridge in Paradise
Business - Travel - Tourism
finance & Investing
Cartoons
Animal Welfare
Care for Dogs
Community Happenings
Doctor's Consultation
Dining Out & Recipes
Education
Features
Gardening
Life in Chiang Mai
Mail Bag
Mail Opinion
Money Matters
On the Grapevine
Photography
Quirky Pics
Social Scene
Sports
Daily Horoscope
About Us
Subscribe
Advertising Rates
Current Movies in
Chiangmai's Cinemas
Classifieds
Back Issues
Find out your Romantic Horoscope Now - Click Here!
Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
Automania by Dr. Iain Corness
 

Spa this weekend

Spa GP

After the mid-year break, the F1 circus starts again, with this weekend’s race at Spa in Belgium. F1 returns to one of the best tracks on the calendar - Spa Francorchamps, a circuit that everyone enjoys (are you listening, Bernie).
Now we get a real race circuit, with Eau Rouge being the corner for those with big hearts (and large cojones). Remember Webber’s pass on Alonso around the outside of Eau Rouge a couple of years ago! Will Mercedes be dominant again? Will Hamilton keep his hot blood in check? Will Rosberg smooth his way to the top, as there is plenty of chances for rain. We will know by Sunday night.
The race will start at 7 p.m. our time - let’s hope for some real racing again.


BMW goes FWD

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer.

After being a staunch RWD manufacturer, BMW has swapped ends, with the new 2 Series being the first of over 20 vehicles featuring Front Wheel Drive (FWD). These will include 10 “MINI’s” and 12 BMW’s.
Last month, BMW launched the 2 Series Active Tourer, its first front-drive car, based on its modular UKL architecture. The platform promises neat interior packaging, fuel efficiency and economies of scale.
Front-drive BMW and MINI vehicles (BMW likes MINI in capitals to differentiate from the true Mini’s designed by Sir Alec Issigonis) it is hoped will account for 800,000 of the 2 million annual sales the BMW Group plans to achieve by 2020. Kai Lichte, the company’s spokesman for 1 and 2 Series models, says any vehicle smaller than a 3 Series will use the FWD platform, which also accommodates all-wheel-drive (AWD).
The Series 1 and X1 SUV are also tipped to go FWD at the next model change.
The X4 and X6 are to be joined by an X2, which is also tipped to be FWD.
The only junior model not yet confirmed for FWD is the 2 Series coupe, launched late last year, which has been well accepted in the market-place. “Reaction to the 2 Series was overwhelmingly positive and we just introduced those cars so we have time to make a decision,” Lichte says.
Forward planning by the German marque is to have only two platforms for all models: UKL for vehicles less than 4.5 meters long and a common rear-wheel-drive architecture for the rest - ranging in size from the 3 Series compacts to the 7 Series limousines.


Toyota joins the Hydrogen club

Toyota FCV

The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) has come to the surface, with Toyota saying that their FCV will be on sale during 2015.
The Toyota FCV Concept is a pioneer in the development of hydrogen-powered vehicles. The concept boasts a driving range of at least 500 km and refueling times as low as three minutes, roughly the same time as a gasoline vehicle.
With Toyota’s proprietary small, light-weight FC Stack and two 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen tanks placed beneath the specially designed body, the Toyota FCV Concept can accommodate up to four passengers.
The Toyota FC Stack boasts power output density of 3 kW/l, more than twice that of the current “Toyota FCHV-adv” FC Stack. In addition, the FC system is equipped with Toyota’s high-efficiency boost converter. Increasing the voltage made it possible to reduce the size of the motor and the number of FC cells, leading to a smaller FC system with enhanced performance at reduced cost.
The new FCV will launch in Japan before April 2015, and preparations are underway for launches in the U.S. and European markets in the summer of 2015.
In Japan, the fuel cell sedan will go on sale at Toyota and Toyopet dealerships, priced at approximately 7 million yen (MSRP; excludes consumption tax). Initially, sales will be limited to regions where hydrogen refueling infrastructure is being developed. U.S. and Europe prices have not yet been decided. Likewise, more detailed information, such as specifications, exact prices and sales targets, will be announced later.
Toyota’s commitment to environment-friendly vehicles is based on three basic principles: embracing diverse energy sources; developing efficient, low-emission vehicles; and driving real and positive environmental change by popularizing these vehicles.
Hydrogen is a particularly promising alternative fuel since it can be produced using a wide variety of primary energy sources, including solar and wind power. When compressed, it has a higher energy density than batteries and is easier to store and transport. In addition to its potential as a fuel for home and automotive use, hydrogen could be used in a wide range of applications, including large-scale power generation.
Toyota has been developing fuel cell vehicles in-house for more than 20 years. Toyota’s fuel cell system includes a proprietary FC Stack, which generates electricity from the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, and high-pressure hydrogen tanks. In 2002, Toyota began leasing the “Toyota FCHV”, a fuel cell SUV, on a limited basis in Japan and the U.S.
Significant improvements have been made to the FC system since 2002. The fuel cell sedan Toyota just revealed, for example, features performance similar to a gasoline engine vehicle, with a cruising range of approximately 700 km (according to Toyota measurements taken under the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s JC08 test cycle) and a refueling time of roughly three minutes. When driven, it emits only the water vapor produced by the reaction between hydrogen and oxygen.
Fuel cell vehicles contribute to the diversification of automobile fuels, emit no CO2 or environmentally harmful substances during operation, and offer the convenience of gasoline-powered cars. Toyota believes they have a great deal of potential, and are ideal environment-friendly vehicles for promoting a sustainable mobility society.
Toyota Group companies are also engaging in other hydrogen-related initiatives, such as developing and testing fuel cells for use in homes, and developing fuel cell forklifts and fuel cell buses.


The “Goodwood Revival” at the Bira Circuit

Prince Bira’s ERA

The Goodwood Revival began in 1998 and has become a huge event in the UK, with all types of older vehicles on display, with many also competing. Spectators wear clothes of the era if they wish, and it is a wonderful three day motoring ‘escape’.
Having seen the numbers of older cars entered in some of the fun runs around the Kingdom, it would be marvelous to get them all together at one venue, and I am proposing that the Bira Circuit outside Pattaya would be ideal. This would be like a combined Revival and the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The concept I am working on would not be a “race meeting”, but a picnic event suitable for families as well as enthusiasts. A Shine and Show style Concourse d’Elegance, a ‘Horizontal Hill Climb’ with cars timed through the esses, for example; areas for car clubs to display member’s cars, such as MG, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Mercedes and the rest. Most cars to conform to the “Retro” classification of being manufactured pre-1985, so the BMW E30’s are in, the Ford Escorts Mk1 and Mk2, Toyota Levin (AE 86), Toyota DX, early VW’s, and that’s just off the top of my head. There will be lots more. In fact, it should not be impossible to get Prince Bira’s ERA for display as well - this would be the one that was shown at the Bangkok International Motor Show a couple of years ago.
I believe that we could attract at least 200 classic cars to the first Bira Revival, and make it an event that could grow each year.
What do you think, readers of Automania? I am looking for ideas, expressions of interest and suggestions. Please contact me through the Mail, email [email protected]


World’s Fastest Indian - again!

If you haven’t watched the movie “The World’s Fastest Indian”, go and get a copy, available on DVD. It is the story of the singleness of purpose shown by New Zealander Burt Munro with his 1920 Indian motorcycle and his attack on the World Land Speed Record in 1967.
To the amazement of the organizers, Burt set the AMA Land Speed Record in Class S.A. 1000, at 184.087 miles per hour, aboard his custom 953 cc 1920 Indian streamliner motorcycle. If you were to look at last year’s list of records, you’d also see Burt Munro, except that the speed listed would say 183.586 mph.
The explanation boils down to the use of a calculator. It seems the AMA made an error when it originally calculated the average speed of Munro’s two timed runs. John Munro, Burt’s son, noticed the discrepancy, pointed it out to the AMA and they admitted the error and corrected it in the record books, adding another interesting chapter in Burt Munro’s amazing feat almost 50 years ago.


2014 F1 driver salaries (pity I left my run a little late!)

1. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull): $31.7 million
2. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari): $31.7m
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari): $31.7m
4. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): $28.8m
5. Jenson Button (McLaren): $23.1m
6. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes): $17.3m
7. Felipe Massa (Williams): $5.8m
8. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India): $5.8m
9. Romain Grosjean (Lotus): $4.3m
10. Pastor Maldonado (Lotus): $4.3m
11. Sergio Perez (Force India): $4.3m
12. Adrian Sutil (Sauber): $2.9m
13. Kevin Magnussen (McLaren): $1.44m
14. Valtteri Bottas (Williams): $1.44m
15. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull): $1.1m
16. Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso): $1.1m
17. Jules Bianchi (Marussia): $720,000
18. Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber): $577,000
19. Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso): $360,000
20. Max Chilton (Marussia): $290,000
21. Kamui Kobayashi (Caterham): $216,000
22. Marcus Ericsson (Caterham): $216,000


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Spa this weekend

BMW goes FWD

Toyota joins the Hydrogen club

The “Goodwood Revival” at the Bira Circuit

World’s Fastest Indian - again!

2014 F1 driver salaries (pity I left my run a little late!)

Advertisement

 



Chiangmai Mail Publishing Co. Ltd.
209/5 Moo 6, T.Faham,
A.Muang, Chiang Mai 50000
Tel. 053 852 557, 081-302 0126 Fax. 053 260 738
e-mail: [email protected]
www.chiangmai-mail.com
Administration: [email protected]
Advertising: [email protected]
[email protected]
Subscription: [email protected]

Copyright © 2004 Chiangmai Mail. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.