Ford Focus UK pricing announced

FocusST_23

The new Ford Focus ST prices have been revealed starting at £22,195 ahead of first deliveries in February next year. Both a petrol and a diesel engine will be available in the hatchback and estate ST guises.

The new diesel engine will be a 2.0 litre TDCi pushing out 183bhp from the front wheels and only emitting 110g/km means it may be the choice for people who want a fast Ford but not an expensive one. Don’t worry it won’t be the exactly the same as the diesel engine in the rest of the Focus range. This particular engine has been fettled with to give it a 23 percent increase in power. The purist in us will want to go with the less frugal yet more powerful 2.0 litre EcoBoost petrol engine with 247 bhp and emitting 159g/km, down 10g/km from previous model.

FocusST_16

All models come with the choice of the ST-1, ST-2 and ST-3 styling upgrades which include ‘Rock Metallic’ alloys with red callipers, illuminated scuff plates, privacy glass and SYNC 2 8-inch touch-screen in the ST-3.

This new model has a sportier and more aggressive styling pack giving it a wider and lower stance.  A new exterior paint colour is available with the ST-3 upgrade called ‘Stealth’ as well as ‘Deep impact Blue’, which is available across the whole range.

FocusST_15

Silex Power – Chreos

Car manufacturers have been battling with governments all over the world with regards to emissions, so much so that a few manufacturers have gone completely electric namely Tesla, Fisker, and the usual large car manufacturers from around the world.

Malta is not known in the motoring world for making fantastic cars or any cars whatsoever, so when I recently came across a company known as Silex Power who boldly claimed they are going to produce, ‘the most innovative and revolutionary electric vehicle designed to date,’ i was surprised to find out they are based on Malta’s sister island Gozo.

The Chreos as it is to be called, is a luxury electric car. Now this won’t be any electric car, it will be one that can cruise at 125km/h over a distance of 1000km on a single charge. The body being built solely out of carbon fibre with some of the industry’s top materials and technologies. Design wise, the car reminds me of the Bugatti Galibier with its swooping lines and long rear windscreen.  Rear suicide doors allow easy entry for the rear passengers into the cabin where they will be surrounded by conventional materials such as wood and leather.

The Chreos will be powered by four independent motors sitting at each wheel producing a combined power outage of 640bhp and torque rating of 4400NM. To put these numbers into perspective, a Bugatti Veyron has 1250NM of torque and a Pagani Zonda has 710NM of torque.

These figures are rather impressive but the party trick is yet to come.

The batteries on the Chreos are somewhat special. They will allow full charge within ten minutes of being plugged in due to the power density used in the battery. (double that of a conventional electric car battery)

As this car is still a concept, most of the features won’t make the grade for the finished product and in all honesty I am quite skeptical to whether the car will ever be produced to match the published figures. However, I do hope they prove me wrong and show the rest of the world that a tiny island like Malta can battle with the top car manufacturers.

chreos tech

First Drive: 2013 Audi A3

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Audi, BMW, Volkswagen and Mercedes have been battling it out to be the best German automaker for years and this year Audi has released their 2013 A3 setting the bar rather high for the other manufacturers to follow. The car is noticeably bigger than the previous model but you only feel it when you walk around it.

 

As soon as you sit in the semi bucket seats, not factory standard you automatically feel like you belong in the driver’s seat. It is a place, which will be comfortable for driving for hours on end. Arranging the driving position is a breeze, as steering column can be moved up and down as well as closer or further away from the driver.

Gadgets are abundant on this car from the screen that neatly pops in to the dash when not in use all the way to Audi MMI system that lets you to play with pretty much every setting on the car.

 

S-Tronic Gearbox needed a little getting used to at first, smooth up and down changes in D and if there is need to overtake downshift with the flappy paddle. When I first drove it, the auto box didn’t  hang on to gears and will up change at around 2000 revs to save fuel that annoyed me when I wanted to push the car.  Drop the gearbox in to Sport mode and this quiet car completely changes. It feels like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde made a car. The gear changes are more savage holding onto gears as long as possible pushing you to blip just below the red line. In Sport the engine noise can be heard in the cabin however is not intrusive to the driver.

After sitting idle in the car did I realize that the Audi MMI let me personalize my driving experience, determining how long I wanted the lights to stay on after I locked the car, volume of the radio at start-up and so on. As being a bit of a tech freak, I went through all the options available.

 

Driving a car like this puts you in a false sense of security that the roads are actually smooth and supple even though they are ridden with potholes, right up to the point you hit one and damage your new alloy wheels. I’m normally for the larger option wheels on most cars but I feel with this car, the ride will change for the worse if you opt for the larger option wheels. One thing I missed were the Xenon headlights which do not come as standard, and was overlooked on the options list.

 

A word of warning, if you intend on purchasing such a car, go with a budget set and with options marked out as the amount of options on the list can be time-consuming and you will soon see the price rising extensively. Other than that, it’s a great car and will surely stand the test of time.



Stats:

Power output: 105 bhp

CO2 emissions: 102 g/km

Fuel efficiency: Combined 72.4 mpg

Front wheel drive

For the love of driving gadgets

Gadgets have always made life easier, no matter what type of gadget it is. When man had a problem that he could not solve, another man created a machine that would solve it very easily.

These gadgets have found their way into our driving lives making them easier….. but after sitting down and pondering… are these gadgets making our lives easier or are they simply making us lazier?

ABS, airbags and something as simple as seat belts were all gadgets of yesteryear but now have become a standard feature in all cars.

will that happen with some of the other gadgets?

Parking sensors….. these seemingly harmless dots strategically placed on our car bumpers seem to be creeping into that standard list of gadgets. Before they were only a luxury available to large cars like the mighty Range Rover. In that car you needed all the help you could get to make sure you don’t scuff the wheels or damage the car behind you. For that reason I can agree with having parking sensors on big, hard to park cars, but come on, on a Toyota Aygo? That is just being plain lazy! when I head down to the High Street, I on occasion sit and watch people park their cars. 90% of people do not know how to park a car. (slightly exaggerated to give effect but you get my point). people are being too reliant on these sensors. There is no need to look in the mirrors, oh no that’s why we have parking sensors. But there is the flaw…. parking sensors don’t pick up bollards.

Parking Sensors
Parking Sensors

In the new Range Rover Evoque, there is a new extra which allows the driver to peek out at junctions without having to push his bonnet to far out. These cameras are a godsend. Instead of having to creep out into the main road to see if any cars are coming, just peek at the screen on the dash and make your decision accordingly. Just make sure they are clean otherwise they are clearly pointless.

Range Rover Evoque Surround Camera System
Range Rover Evoque Surround Camera System

Something else that is a great idea for the driver looking for parking in a busy area, but then ruined by going that little bit extra. BMW have an extra available on their new 1 series known as the Park Assist which will assess parking spaces for you when travelling under 20 mph. That is very cool and could come in very handy when the driver still has not gotten used to the dimensions of the car. But this is where it goes over the top. The car will then park itself, whereby the driver will only need to feather the throttle and the brake to ease it in. Doesn’t that defeat the point of learning how to parallel park?

Park Assist by BMW
Park Assist by BMW

I Love gadgets in cars, I am one of those geeks who will sit in a car before driving off testing out all the buttons and seeing what features are available, but some of them are just not needed.

 

Car Throttle

Car Throttle is a website. It’s a pretty good website.  I could just stop there really, but then you won’t get the full grasp of what the site is all about. To me Car Throttle has taken a car website, something that most tech savvy people can create and turned it into something cool. Something that is a hit with the age group that lust over cars. Mainly the ones that can’t drive or who have just started.

Something I love about their car reviews, which I only came across a few days ago is that you can automatically tweet what you think about the car directly to the guys. Another thing they have, is gauge at the end where you can rate the car on how good it looks, how much you want to drive the car and how much you want to own that particular car.

They tackle all areas that some other car sites may not. They do the usual, car reviews, test videos and interviews but they delve into gaming, and there are some features that as guys have always talked about, but never actually got to read about them in standard car mags. Making something so simple, fun and interesting for people who might not make that much of a difference to the car world as they either don’t have enough money to buy most cars or are given a hand me down. That’s what it is all about!

To me Car Throttle is the perfect mix between Max Power in its best days and can I say Pistonheads.

check it out here and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

New Audi S3 – First Look

This week in the motoring world, people have been drooling over the new releases by the british car manufacturers, McLaren and Jaguar, with the P1 and F-Type respectively.

but let’s be true to ourselves here. Not many of us will be able to afford the F-Type and I can guarantee that only a handful of people will seriously consider the hyper car.

so this brings me to the Germans and their hot hatch capabilities. I present to you the all new Audi S3 with a whopping 300bhp. what makes this car stand out for me….. its subtlety.

Seeing it on the street, most people wont look twice at it. its only aesthetic giveaways, silver door mirrors and the quad exhausts. really and truly there are more cues to pick up on, however only trained eyes and avid enthusiasts will know the difference between the S3 and a simple A3.

18 inch wheels come as standard on this S3, as do Xenons and LED daylight running lights which can be linked to the satnav for some odd reason…. something about catering for the driving environments. I thought road was the only driving environment.

interior wise, Audi never disappoint, lots of leather with S3 embroided into the seats and whilst keeping themselves true to their rally pedigree they have fitted a flat-bottomed steering wheel. The silver wing mirrors and the Quattro system have become synonymous with ‘S brand’.

to the engine…. what people are most looking forward to hearing about.

2.0L TFSI engine churning out 296BHP enabling it to hit 62mph in 5.1 secs.

sounds like a hot hatch, looks like a hot hatch, does it drink like a hot hatch?

Well as technology has been progressing, more than ever in these past five years, the S3 claims to do 40mpg which is pretty frugal for a hot hatch.

The car is a little lighter, sits a little lower than the previous model and Audi have fettled with the exhaust so you don’t sound like a hooligan driving around town at low revs.

Take a chance….

I found a post by a New york man who decided to retire and buy a plot of land in Portugal.

Not very interesting till now. This plot of land had a farmhouse and a massive warehouse with massive doors welded shut.

Luckily for this New Yorker, curiosity overtook him and he had to know what was in the barn before he destroyed it. So this guy bought some heavy-duty cutting material and cut through the welds of the doors and was met with some surprising finds.

 

He took some serious tools to open this
this is what was behind the doors!!!

There were 180 classic super cars and non super cars.

After looking at some other sites related to this, I have found that this may be considered as an urban myth. If only it was true, it can keep hope alive for some of us wanting to take a chance and get lucky!!

True story: The owner of the cars was a car dealer in the 1970s and 1980s, and decided to save the more interesting cars that came through his doors. When the barn was full, he padlocked and “soldered” the doors shut. (Perhaps welding was too permanent.)

here is a link to some more photo:

Barnfinds