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Showing posts from June, 2011

New! Mini Tongue-Twister With Less For More!

Can you say Mini Cooper Coupe ten times fast? You'd better get practising if you want a slice of Mini's newest additional to its ever-expanding line-up. Or if you want one with a longer name, you could go for the Mini John Cooper Works Coupe pictured here. Expected in Australia later this year, the Coupe chops two rear seats and a bit of rear roof from the standard Mini to turn it into a three-box sports coupe. I can't quite decide whether I like the design of the roof or not, but it certainly fits the brand's quirky young image. Expect to see the Coupe in Cooper, Cooper S and John Cooper Works guises, as well as possibly the diesel version on Australian shores, with engines just slightly updated versions of those found in other Mini variants.

Car Lust: Used Volvo V70 (?!)

Exam study can at times cause bursts of insanity. In my case, this seems to be manifesting itself as a strange compulsive desire to acquire a Volvo. And not just any Volvo, and not even the sporty, driver-focussed kind of Volvo that you might almost expect me to lust after. No, instead I am pining for a V70 wagon, preferably built early in the new millenium.

When Is A Diesel Not A Diesel? When It's A Fiat...

Like most small cars, the Fiat 500 is sold with an optional diesel engine in Europe. To date Australia has only had the choice of petrol-engined Fiat 500s, so when I heard that Fiat had announced the Fiat 500 Diesel for sale in Australia I was excited at the prospect of a new version of the funky Italian hatchback offering spectacular fuel efficiency while burning those long-chained hydrocarbons once reserved for trucks and tractors. Unfortunately, my hopes were soon dashed like a diesel-powered boat caught on a rocky coastline. Instead of being a diesel powered version of the miniature Italian, the Fiat 500 Diesel is a special edition of the regular petrol-powered 500 with trimmings designed by an Italian fashion house. 'Which Italian fashion house?' I hear you ask. That's right, you guessed it: Diesel.

Car Lust: Audi R8 GT Spyder

I'm not usually a fan of convertibles. Beyond their good looks they are the epitome of style over function. However, I think in the case of the Audi R8 GT Spyder I may have to make an exception. I have always admired the R8 coupe's styling, and I was recently reminded of its beauty when I saw one in the flesh driving in the Melbourne CBD a couple of weeks ago, and then re-reminded when a silver R8 made a brief appearance on a movie I was watching on TV last night (which shall remain nameless on the grounds that it may incriminate, or worse, embarrass me).

Motor Show Or Motor No-Show?

I love a good motor show. Since a young age, the journey to the Melbourne Motor Show has been an annual ritual. Until last year that is. For the first time in my lifetime, there was no motor show in Melbourne for 2010. Thanks to a new agreement between the organisers of the respective shows in Melbourne and Sydney, a show would occur in each city in alternating years. This came after industry pressure for a single show shared between the two cities, and struggles experienced by organisers of shows in lesser Australian cities. But was this enough to save the motor show from the jaws of the internet generation? Or are high-cost events that seem to cater to an increasingly niche audience headed for extinction?