Tag: Car News

New 503bhp twin-turbo V8 Aston Martin DB11 Volante and Vantage put to the test

IT’S always exciting to see an Aston Martin launch invite email arriving into your inbox. But when you read on and discover, it’s not just one car you’re being allowed to drive, but two then kids’ birthdays, anniversaries, hospital appointments can wait. TWIN PEAKS: The Aston Martin DB11 Volante and VantageDean SmithNothing is going to…



UK Car Industry News – Range Rover

Lexus IS350 News for Australia

Lexus IS350: Can it Compete with a 3 Series or C Class?
by gaycarboys

Yes Yes Yes oh YES: sexy looks, comfy seats, classy cabin

Oh dear me no: old engine, Bluetooth/usb issues, moody cursor controller

Gorgeous isn’t it? Some hate the lines swooping and dipping from front to back but I think they are stunning. To get the full picture you might consider other offering like BMW’s 3 series and Audi’s A3 (and A4 and A4 and A6 and A7) that are just a touch on the bland side. Although Mercedes Benz has released the delicious new C Class, I’m still leaning towards the Lexus. Let’s just say it is too close to call.

On a serious note: The wheelbase is 70mm longer, there are more airbags, the body is 10kg’s lighter and there is a new electric power steering system. These and other changes are meant to add a touch of value and luxury to the Lexus experience. You see, Lexus is meant to have a sense of occasion. They want you to feel that you’ve arrived. You never ever want to hear the phrase “so, why didn’t you buy a Merc?” or “gosh, and you didn’t want a BMW?” because that is the market shamelessly targeted, and why not. One important thing to note is that what the Germans make you pay extra for, comes as standard in Lexus.

Our 350 F Sport had oodles of extra stuff like: Keyless smart entry/start, radar cruise control, bi-xenon headlights, LED day lights, lane departure warning, proximity warning etc. The IS has an extra 85mm of legroom over the old model and feels more spacious in the rear than any of the Germans. And, any old auto maker can stick in a pair of heated front seats in the front, but Lexus has the chutzpah to pump cool air through them at the flick of a button.

The classy cabin has a club-like atmosphere. The leather is softer than a baby’s bum and is wrapped around anything that doesn’t move. I suspect Lexus has pulled a fastie by using Pleather on some surfaces. Still, if you can’t tell, it doesn’t matter. The perforations which allow wafts of arctic air make the seats look even more luxurious.

The best part about buying a Japanese car is that it needs no conversion to be driven here.

Think about it: Every car made in Europe or the USA has the steering wheel on the left-hand side. That means all controls are in the wrong place. Most importantly the turn indicator is on the right-hand side, so you won’t be hurtling down the highway with wipers waving like demented Rabbitohs fans. For an extra 3 grand you can have your IS as a hybrid hybrid. There take THAT Germany!

Every IS has Satnav controlled by a Touch pad on the console. It is a massive jump from the fiddly toggle joy-stick it had previously but is still a bit of a faff, making easy tasks difficult. Because there are no pre-select radio station buttons, selecting a specific station can be a bit of a kafuffle because it’s is under a menu somewhere. If you get really desperate, there is the tuning knob. Unlike some of the Germans, you’re able to give the knob a good twist to get to a station. The other way is to select either Favourites or Full Station List from the menu, then use the steering wheel or console buttons to scroll. It is very chi chi and takes a bit of getting used to. I love the centre analogue clock which posh auto makers appear to be falling in love with all over again.

Sometimes doing something just because you can seems a frivolity too far. Such is the case with the instrument panel. The LCD screen displays whatever info the driver desires but the centre dial is a physical ring which moves when a button on the steering wheel is pressed. Why? It would be easier just to have one large LCD divided at the whim of the driver. Instead, pressing a button marked with little squares causes the ring to slide to one side allowing a larger single area of screen for various statistics. Personally, I think there is far too much info at a driver’s fingertips.

I like the cabin very much. It is classy and feels expensive.

The Drive:

The first few days was spent trying to make the USB/Bluetooth streaming play nice. To my chagrin I discovered that the IPhone 5 confuses the audio system no end, so the driver has to choose either USB or Bluetooth. He then has to disconnect which ever option he didn’t choose. This is a dreadful oversight considering the number of IPhone owners who might want a Lexus. If you don’t disconnect, which ever option you chose will eventually stop working.

We decided to take the Lexus to a family wedding. Gay boys and weddings can be hit and miss, and this one was quite remarkable, in one way or another. Jervis Bay is pretty enough, but country locations lack the convenience most of us are used to. A single pub and only one Coles and both close early. Mental note: If you’ve been to a wedding where you chose not to eat, have a few nibbles in the fridge for later, or drink incontinently.

Jervis Bay is a large inlet containing many smaller picturesque bays. It resembles the Greek Islands with pristine blue waters and blinding white beaches. Getting there via the Princes Highway (please note it is princes not Princess highway) can be a truly hairy experience. The trip out of Sydney is usually a slow one. The federal treasurer is quite wrong, poor people do drive, and they drive quite some distance. You wind you way through dreary suburb after dreary suburb, dreary traffic after dreary light. Once out of town, the trip turns from bumper-to-bumper, to post-card pretty. We relied on the Satnav once past the Gong, but she can be moody, especially if you fail to notice the “other” route options.

We were on the clock because we couldn’t leave Sydney until after an early morning commitment. Instead of taking the prettier Royal National Park route, we stuck to the dull-as-dish-water highway. We were mildly concerned at a truck sitting about a metre off the back bumper for 10 kilometres at 100KPH. Neither of us thought to video the incident but it highlights the offhand way truck drivers treat the roads and other drivers. Before you say it, yes we were overtaking slower drivers, and we were at the speed limit. We were perfectly entitled to be where we were but the truck driver obviously felt otherwise. We pulled into the left lane once past the caravans and P platers and watched the truck disappear into the distance at very much more than the legal limit. Perhaps he had somewhere to be.

The aging engine is very capable but not terrible economical. Rather than update the engine, Lexus added an 8 speed auto. As good as the auto is, Lexus should look at a smaller turbo’d unit because under the botnet feels a bit low-tech. The auto is superb but in normal mode wants to get to 8th as quickly as possible. It is annoying beyond belief but in sports mode your economy takes a nose-dive. You chose.

Once past the Gong, the lady in the dash board became insistent we turn off the aforementioned highway. Pretty though it was, the scenic route was much longer but gave the IS a decent workout.

The corners were a joy with the new power steering having much more feel than electric units previously. The adjustable settings make the throttle, transmission and suspension adjust to a more spirited trip. Again, anything other than normal makes the fuel use climb alarmingly.

We arrived in plenty of time. We got out of the car feeling fresh after a 2.5 hour trip. We parked at the kerbside angled parking spot and stood bereft at the sight of out 60’s motel staring back at us. What a depressing sight it was. For those who know Husskinson as the charming bayside town, there is a certain allure of beach and bay. However, that does not extend to the motel untouched since the Whitlam administration, and its sad exterior. Anyone hoping for more from the interior would have been even more depressed. It’s a note to always check ratings and reviews before booking. Doors slammed and feet thumped overhead making sleeping nothing more than a distant hope.

I awoke next morning to take a walk on the beach. As I walked along the cracked cement path I longer to get into the Lexus and drive off. Then I remember hubby still asleep. I got to the front of the motel and stood gaping at what looked like a crime scene. The car had been taped off during in the night. Barriers had been erected as if the graves of a serial murderer had been found in the park near the beach. We were trapped in the middle of a surf event we hadn’t known about. After an interesting wedding the night before, I had had enough. I marched inside and roused hubby. Fifteen minutes later we had backed through the tape, negotiated the barriers and were heading away from that awful nightmare.

We discovered the gorgeous villages in and around Berry and stopped for a Maccers brekky but were both so tired, all we wanted was our own bed. Many of the roads were closed for a charity bike ride between Sydney and The Gong. It seemed much of New South Wales wanted to be active, and all we wanted was sleep.

The Lexus performed beautifully but we did not. The trip marred a brilliant drive


I like the IS 350 very much. It handles like the sporty Euros whose sales it aims to take. The package is a good one with a long list of standard inclusions. The cabin is on a par with the Germans and the exterior is stunning. The question is would I buy one over a new C Class or 3 series. I could only answer by driving one after the other, then looking at the standard gear. For me, the badge is irrelevant because I love the IS 350 very much.

Would I buy one? Please see above.

Price IS 350 range $72,286 – $92,656

Engine econ fuel 3.5 V6, 233kw, 278Nm, 9.7l/100k, std unleaded

Trans 8 speed auto driving rear wheels

0-100 6.6secs (unofficial)
For more on the Lexus IS350 see:
Lexus IS350: Can it Compete with a 3 Series or C Class?










The Lexus IS350 page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”

Global Car News about higher safety standards!

Consumers to benefit from higher safety standards
by gaycarboys

From 1 January 2015, the criteria against which new cars will be assessed will again rise for all star rating levels meaning even safer cars for consumers.

Increasing ANCAP standards and a comprehensive development and expansion path in partnership with Euro NCAP will see even higher levels of safety in cars from 2015.

ANCAP’s Rating Road Map has introduced annual increases to each star rating since its implementation in 2011.

The Road Map will see further increases to each star rating up to and including 2017. In parallel, ANCAP will enter a transition phase from 2015 as its moves to more closely align its tests, protocols and calculation method with those of its sister organisation, Euro NCAP.

For 15 years ANCAP has been able to produce half its ratings from test data sourced from Euro NCAP. This has been invaluable to consumers and over time this value will grow.

“Improvements in vehicle safety design and development in the past few years have been swift and substantial – particularly in the realm of advanced safety assist collision avoidance technologies – and test programs the world over are adjusting their plans to match pace,” said ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, Mr Nicholas Clarke.

“The ANCAP Rating Road Map already takes some of these changes and advancements into account however given the rapid pace at which vehicle safety is moving, and the need for new car assessment programs (NCAPs) to acknowledge these advancements, ANCAP has revised and expanded its forward plan,” said Mr Clarke.

Throughout the transition period (2015-2017), ANCAP will use both its own and Euro NCAP policies and protocols with two assessment pathways in use to determine ANCAP safety ratings. This will ensure that consumers get access to the latest safety assist technology (SAT) without delay. Performance testing of SATs covering autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane support systems (LSS), speed assistance systems (SAS) and electronic stability control (ESC) will be introduced and the range of physical crash tests will broaden. By 2018 ANCAP and Euro NCAP policies and protocols will be largely aligned.

“This is an important step in the evolution of ANCAP and NCAPs worldwide as we work together to share knowledge, data and expertise; and encourage manufacturers to develop cars for a global market,” Mr Clarke concluded.

ANCAP is supported by all Australian and New Zealand motoring clubs, the Australian Government, the New Zealand Government, Australian state and territory governments, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, NRMA Insurance and the FIA Foundation.

Further information on ANCAP’s future direction can be found at ancap.com.au/future-requirements.

For more on this article or Global car news:

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Global Car News regarding Volkswagen Car Sales


Volkswagen Group deliveries for period to October grow five per cent to 8.24 million vehicles*

New record: Deliveries in ten-month period top eight million for first time
842,700 vehicles delivered in October / +2.9 per cent*
Group Board Member for Sales Christian Klingler: “Outpaced the overall market. Growth in Western Europe and Asia-Pacific”
Wolfsburg: The Volkswagen Group handed over 8.24 (January- October 2013: 7.85; +5.0 per cent)* million vehicles to customers from January to October, thus reporting a new record and delivering more than eight million vehicles for the first time in this ten-month period. The brands also reported a rise in deliveries in October, handing over 842,700 (October 2013: 818,900; +2.9 per cent)* during that month. “So far this year the Volkswagen Group has outpaced the overall market. That is a pleasing development in light of the market situation in some regions which is at times still challenging. Our brands recorded further growth in Western Europe and Asia-Pacific in particular,” Group Board Member for Sales Christian Klingler said in Wolfsburg today.
Group brands delivered a total of 3.24 (3.05; +6.2 per cent) million vehicles to customers on the overall European market from January to October, of which 1.68 (1.56; +8.0 per cent) million units were handed over in Western Europe (excluding Germany). 1.02 (0.96;+5.8 per cent) million customers took possession of a new vehicle in the home market of Germany. Europe’s largest automaker delivered 535,200 (526,100; +1.7 per cent) vehicles in Central and Eastern Europe. 217,600 (250,700; -13.2 per cent) models were handed over to customers in Russia during the same period.
The Group delivered 728,700 (734,200; -0.7 per cent) vehicles in the North America region in the period to October, of which 489,100 (508,300; -3.8 per cent) were handed over to customers in the United States. The Volkswagen Group delivered 604,100 (757,700; -20.3 per cent) vehicles to customer in the South America region during the same period, of which 470,700 (561,900; -16.2 per cent) were handed over to customers in Brazil.
The Group continued to record encouraging figures in the Asia-Pacific region, where 3.33 (2.95; +12.8 per cent) million vehicles were handed over to customers in the period to October, of which 3.03 (2.65; +14.1 per cent) million units were delivered in China (including Hong Kong), the Group’s largest single market.
Outline of developments at Group brands
The Volkswagen Passenger Vehicles brand delivered 5.08 (4.95; +2.6 per cent) million vehicles to customers worldwide from January to October. The brand developed particularly well in the Asia-Pacific region, handing over 2.47 (2.20; +12.4 per cent) million units there. Volkswagen Passenger Vehicles delivered 1.40 (1.37; +2.7 per cent) million vehicles to customers on the overall European market, with deliveries increasing by 5.5 per cent to 719,500 (682,200) units in Western Europe (excluding Germany).
Audi delivered 1.44 (1.31; +10.1 per cent) million vehicles worldwide in the period to October. The premium brand from Ingolstadt developed well in the Asia-Pacific region, handing over 547,300 (470,700; +16.3 per cent) models to customers there. Audi delivered 177,000 (154,200) vehicles in the North America region during the same period, an increase of 14.8 per cent.
The sports car manufacturer Porsche delivered a total of 151,500 (133,100; +13.8 per cent) vehicles in the ten-month period. Demand for models from the Stuttgart-based carmaker was particularly high in the Asia-Pacific region, where 48,200 (40,300; +19.7 per cent) vehicles were delivered, and in Western Europe (excluding Germany), where 22,900 (18,600;+22.7 per cent) models were handed over to customers.
ŠKODA delivered a total of 865,100 (768,700; +12.5 per cent) vehicles worldwide from January to October. The Czech automaker was particularly successful on European markets, delivering 225,400 (191,900; +17.4 per cent) units in Western Europe (excluding Germany) and 227,100 (204,400; +11.1 per cent) vehicles in Central and Eastern Europe. The brand grew deliveries in Germany by 12.1 per cent to 126,000 (112,400) units.
SEAT delivered 326,000 (295,100; +10.5 per cent) vehicles worldwide in the period to October. The Spanish brand performed particularly well in Central and Eastern Europe, where deliveries increased by 50.5 per cent to 20,400 (13,600) units, and in Western Europe (excluding Germany), where the company handed over 183,500 (164,000; +11.9 per cent) vehicles to customers. In Germany, SEAT delivered 71,300 (64,100; +11.1 per cent) units.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles delivered 363,900 (378.700; -3.9 per cent) vehicles to customers from January to October, of which 142,000 (133,200; +6.6 per cent) were handed over in Western Europe (excluding Germany). Deliveries in Germany during the same period ran at 97,400 (91,200; +6.7 per cent).

Global Car News regarding Volkswagen Car Sales page written “By Mike Armstrong”.

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The “residential Car Lease Options for the Jaguar Xe from @PrestigeWales for prices from just £299 using Code Twit11” page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”


Lease the Stunning New Jaguar Xe from @PrestigeWales for prices from just £299 using Code Twit11



You can now lease the stunning Jaguar Xe from just £299+ vat.

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The “Lease the Stunning New Jaguar Xe from @PrestigeWales for prices from just £299 using Code Twit11” page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”


The exclusive F60 America Ferrari – Car News

New post on Gay carboys blog!

The F60 America an exclusive car to mark Ferrari’s 60th year in North America
by gaycarboys

To celebrate Ferrari’s 60th year in North America, Maranello has returned to its 1950s and 60s tradition of producing strictly limited edition, built-to-order cars. The result is the F60America, of which just 10 will be produced. The new car combines our American clients’ two great passions – the V12 engine and open-top driving – and has been unveiled at an anniversary celebration gala dinner at Beverly Hills City Hall.

The decision to produce such a strictly limited edition pays homage to another great tradition. Just 10 F60Americas will be built as was the case, for example, with the 1967 275 GTS4 NART Spider, the open version of the 275 GTB4 that the importer, Luigi Chinetti, specifically requested from Enzo Ferrari for his US clients.

The F60America is powered by Ferrari’s award-winning mid-front-mounted V12 which enables the car to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.1 seconds.

Powerfully muscular, the car is clothed in beautifully sculpted and exceptionally balanced volumes, honed, as ever, strictly to aerodynamic requirements in line with the marque’s DNA.

The F60America’s personality is instantly clear from its flanks which are characterised by an innovative diapason design theme. The front of the car is dominated by the classic Ferrari single front grille with chrome finish and integrated air intakes for the brakes.

Two leather-trimmed roll-hoops are backed by carbon-fibre-trimmed flying buttresses which stretch from behind the cockpit to the rear, imbuing the elegant harmonious forms of the tail with a sense of movement.

The F60America can be closed with a light fabric top usable at speeds of up to 120 km/h.

The cabin’s asymmetrical design highlights the driver’s area with sporty red trim, while the passenger side is black, inspired by the historic Ferrari competition cars. The cabin trim is exclusive with the dash, tunnel and door panels on the driver’s side all swathed in composite materials. The racing seats also feature a stylised American flag motif on the centre of each seat and backrest.
The F60America’s bodywork adopts the classic North American Racing Team livery, and the special Ferrari 60th anniversary Prancing Horse badge on the wheelarches also appears on the tunnel in the cabin.

The wonderfully elegant and unique F60America has entranced US collectors and all 10 examples are already spoken for.

For more on this article or other International Car News see:

Car News page posted “By Mike Armstrong”

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