By 2040 all cars produced in the UK and a couple of other countries around Europe will be electric. Doctors in the UK calling themselves “against diesel group” wrote to Theresa May calling for this to happen.
Exhaust fumes and toxins from diesel cars already contributing to smog have been linked to the deaths of 40 000 people a year. The main culprit seems to be nitrous oxide (laughing gas) which petrol and diesel cars use at the rate of a flat teaspoon every 170km.
It is going to be a dull day when all we hear is the sound of an electric motor instead of, at best, music from the V12’s V8’s, V6’s, straight 6’s etc.
What is funny is that nobody puts filters or catalytic converters on the top of coal fired power stations which emit plenty of powerful chemicals into the sky. Of course you can’t tax power stations.
On a brighter note the Ferrari Turbo V8 scooped the best engine of the year award. Anything over 3 litres in V8 or V12 got Ferrari more world awards.
Under 3 litres went to Porsche and their flat 6 turbos. Audi with their five cylinder turbo’s, BMW, Peugeot Citroën, Ford with the 990cc 3 cylinder turbo and Honda with their new 3 litre V6 Hybrid all took awards in their categories.
Mercedes-Benz showed off their new X Class Bakkies saying that they were “betting that upscale car buyers are ready for open–bed haulers with leather seats, oak trim and Autobahn handling. I don’t know what “Autobahn handling” means. Surely every Navaro, Hilux, Ranger and Isuzu in sight could travel on motorways and handle well. Anyway they are due out here sometime next year.
Porsche never stops developing motor cars. The latest is a new 911 GT2 RS with 700HP, rear wheel drive, a racing chassis and rear axle steering. You can’t get it much better than this. Also comes with a three-year drive plan. Prices start at R4.4m. The Porsche 911 GT3 car lapped the Nurburgring in 7 minutes 12.7 seconds. This is 4.3 seconds faster than the previous model.
One million Porsche 911’s have been built at Zuffenhausen. The last one was painted in Irish Green. 911 started production in 1963, incidentally.
For the record a Formula 1 car can go from 0-160 kmh (100 mph) and back to a standstill in just four seconds.
On the 60th anniversary of the Fiat 500 on 4th July there were more celebrations when the two millionth Fiat 500 was produced in Italy. This great little car has broken many records and reaped many awards in its history. It also helped put Italy back on its wheels after the second world war and has been embraced by four generations of motorists.
Honda has just launched a new global NSX GT3 customer racing programme which hopefully will be introduced here in South Africa sometime in the near future. Honda needs to get back to motor racing to show what they can accomplish in this country. This new NSX is going to be available globally from next year and is developed by HP Developments in North America.
Mugen (Honda’s son Hirotoshi) will be responsible for customer support in Japan and for engine support in China.
The face of long distance endurance racing is about to change as winners of this year’s Le Mans 24 Hour Classic, Porsche, after a record number of wins has withdrawn their LMP1 car from international racing as from the end of this year. They certainly don’t have to prove anything to anybody but will be increasing their support of the GT Class.
Other news from Porsche is that they will be introducing a Works Team in Formula E (electric single seaters) as from 2018. This realignment of motorsport is derived from the directions set out by the company in Porsche strategy 2025 as the world sees itself swapping over completely to electric cars.
Castrol Classic Motor Oil, not directly involved in Castrol here in South Africa, offer oils and additives for owners of older cars which still use LRP fuel. Castrol Classic has valve master lead replacement petrol additives plus octane boost for cars which will extend the life of your engine.
Older cars still need the older oils for the type of clearances and oil pumps that were used in the early days. Other products give ultimate protection for motorcycles, lawn mowers, LOP petrol powered cars and equipment and cars.
Still talking Porsche, it looks like they are heading for an all-time record year as far as sales go. In the first six months they sold 126 497 vehicles worldwide. The Macan is the highest volume seller.
The new Panamera with more models to come has seen the strongest percentage increase in the six months of this year. China was the biggest single market with a significant percentage of 18% giving them 36 000 vehicles. Europe as a whole has sold 43 000, Germany 15 500, America 33 400 and the States 58 000. Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific have sold 50 100.
Toyota South Africa still not done with the Aygo, has now introduced a new Aygo X-Cite to their model line-up to go with the standard Aygo and Aygo X-Playback. The familiar one litre VVT petrol engine is used with a manual transmission.
Have you ever heard of a Nio EP9 car? This very sexy looking sports car made in China is powered by an electric motor and has claimed a new lap record at the Nurburgring of 6 minutes 45.9 seconds. Will it ever stop? Message from this story is – don’t underestimate the Chinese.
Adolf Hitler’s nephew, William Hitler, served in the US Navy during WWII. Both Hitler and Henry Ford kept a framed picture of the other one on his desk.
Hino 500 Series working the Durban-Jo’burg route over the past five years and sometimes making two trips a day before switching to the Gauteng area only has just completed 2,3 million km and is still going strong. Regular service through Hino dealers is the secret behind this, apparently, plus good driving.
Volkswagen is passionate about their cars and the people of South Africa. Their corporate social responsibility brand “Volkswagen for good” has alone this year disbursed R3m to charities and non-profit organisations.
Toyota, which unseated Volkswagen as sales leader in the world auto industry has squeezed back into the lead over four months in 2017 with 3 441, 131 units – 11.2% share of the world market. Volkswagen is in there with 11.1% share and 3 400 776 units.
JD Powers Quality study in America has recognised KIA as the highest ranking nameplate in that part of the world for the second year in a row.
The Chinese brand GWM under the auspices of the new company named Haval, last years sold over a million SUV’s in China. That is a lot of metal. It is close to double their previous sales. China, a country that makes most of the world’s cars in its borders, is picking up a lot of technology from international manufacturers as their quality is getting better and better.
A F1 Pit crew can refuel their cars in around three seconds. It took you eight seconds to read these last few words.
Don’t forget to listen to Roger McCleery on “Motoring Today” on Radio Today, 1485AM or on your computers on www.1485.org.za or on DSTV Audio Channel 869 every Tuesday and Wednesday to get all your news on the motor industry, motorsport and everything to do with wheels and engines.