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This could be a very sweet ride

One of my personal passions is automotive design and long time readers will remember that I have been rather critical of the current design paradigm of heavy machines made of iron and steel because two things are the enemy of efficiency, one is mass and the other is aerodynamic drag. Find below a couple pictures and a quote form an article from Gizmag about a new design that is both light weight and has a really low drag coefficient   number.



The new VLC also sports improved driver visibility, a roomier interior with easier entry and egress, a chassis made from aluminium sheet metal (as opposed to tubular steel) and larger wheels that result in more travel for the in-wheel suspension set-up.This in-wheel suspension, which is clearly visible in the VLC rolling chassis now on display at The Henry Ford, is one of the key components of the design. As well as improving aerodynamics, it improves handling, reduces mass and the complexity of the vehicle as a whole.

“We believe we can replace the twist beam suspension, even in existing cars … but it will take time,” says Edison2’s Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Kuttner.

No specific time frame has been given for the roll-out of the VLC consumer model, but the company believes its architecture “has a promising future in domestic and international markets” that includes “applications in suspension and vehicle segments far beyond Edison2’s current designs.”

“This car opens up the possibility for a whole new type of car…in a much more responsible, sustainable way to the future,” adds Kuttner.

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OK this prototype is electric 🙄 but imagine this car with a good performance engine from  motorcycle, something like the Hayabusa power plant.  It would be the perfect combination of  light weight and good power, now that would be an eco-car that I could love, so too could other people who don’t see cars in an utterly utilitarian light.

Cheers Comrades


The spare tyre, a weighty necessity or something you can do without?

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Once you get beyond the question of Toyota changing the specification of this car between when buyers have signed the contract and when the car is to be delivered which is bad form in my opinion we come to a question of just how necessary a spare tyre is these days anyway. Tyres certainly do seem to be a lot more reliable than they used to be, heck with my sports car I have never had a spare and even when I have had a flat tyre I found that because of its light weight that I could still safely drive the car far enough to get it fixed. Anyway how many drivers out there have really needed their spare and how many would be happy with an “inflation kit” (spare in a can) as an alternative?
Cheers Comrades

Tesla Roadster, failed court action, a fat bloke, a test track, and the folly of a carbon tax pork barrel

I am among those who are totally under-whelmed by the plug in electric car entirely for one simple reason their range and recharge times because until they can be re charged as quickly and effortlessly as an ordinary car can be refuelled there is no way at all that they can be a viable form of transport for anyone except the most obsessive Global warming tragic or Eco-wanker. With this in mind I am delighted to see that Top Gear have once again won the case brought by Tesla about the less than flattering test of their roadster that saw it grind to a halt after a paltry 55 miles around the track.

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This case is , to me a great example of a victory of truth (even the massaged truth of a tongue in cheek television program)over a manufacturers’ attempts to spin the irrefutable facts about their product, heck any one would think that the management of Tesla motors were the same mob who have been working for the Greens and the ALP trying to convince the Australian people about the efficacy of the Carbon tax…
Because like the Tesla Roadster Labor’s  Carbon Tax promises a great deal but its performance is going to disappoint, it will prove to be a market failure. The irony that Gillard and co are claiming passing the enabling legislation is one of her government’s successes should go down as a supreme example of delusional thinking. Like the way that the Labor crew think that their compensation package for said Carbon Tax is going to buy them votes. While many will cheer as they get their chance to dip into the pork barrel of compensation I very much doubt that a significant number of those recipients of government Largess are going to decide to vote for Labor as a result.


I did try to write a post this morning that was not about the vices of our current government but sadly I have failed and I just hope that our dear readers will forgive the  weakness of my resolve here..

Cheers and sincere apologies once again Comrades


Have a Stiggy day folks!

Cars, Oh how we can love them and how they can vex us at the same time, I’m happy to report that a new set of wheels now sits in the garage here at Chez Hall and since the transmission was fixed it is an entirely different and far nicer one to drive than it was on Monday when, Augusto first delivered it. I must say that I am so very pleased that Peter Roberts Honda from Toowoomba have been so efficient at sorting out the problem with the car. As I said to Gus in response to his copious and sincere apologies about the problem, its not there being no problems that matters when you buy a car (although that is most desirable) but the way that any problems are addressed once they become  evident that really matters .  Top marks to Peter Roberts Honda on this 😉

While we are on the subject of cars I could not fail to notice that a Judge in the UK has thrown out the major part of the case that Tesla motors is running against Top Gear:

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I have already poisoned the minds of my children so that they sneer and jeer when ever they see a Prius but I will be balancing that by explaining that our new chariot weighs in at just a little over 1100kg and uses around 7.8 litres of petrol for each 100km of travel which is pretty good in by any measure, it is a good example of what I have been saying here at the Sandpit for ages , namely that light weight and good aerodynamics, coupled with optimum use of interior space can make a petrol or diesel car  a far better proposition than an overweight hybrid or battery electric machine and with a 55 litre  tank you can bet that we will be travelling somewhat  further than 55 miles between fills.

Cheers indeed Comrades


Not so Green after all

Jaguar electric car goes on show at a preview event for the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

The study was commissioned by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, which is jointly funded by the British government and the car industry. It found that a mid-size electric car would produce 23.1 tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime, compared with 24 tonnes for a similar petrol car. Emissions from manufacturing electric cars are at least 50 per cent higher because batteries are made from materials such as lithium, copper and refined silicon, which require much energy to be processed.

Many electric cars are expected to need a replacement battery after a few years. Once the emissions from producing the second battery are added in, the total CO2 from producing an electric car rises to 12.6 tonnes, compared with 5.6 tonnes for a petrol car. Disposal also produces double the emissions because of the energy consumed in recovering and recycling metals in the battery. The study also took into account carbon emitted to generate the grid electricity consumed.

Greg Archer, director of Low CVP, said the industry should state the full lifecycle emissions of cars rather than just tailpipe emissions, to avoid misleading consumers. He said that drivers wanting to minimise emissions could be better off buying a small, efficient petrol or diesel car. “People have to match the technology to their particular needs,” he said.


Some food for thought for those who think that the way to a low emission future is to have more electric cars…

Cheers Comrades

At Chez Hall we love modern tech

C-X75 a hybrid Jag, for rich eco-wankerswarriors

Its no secret that I think that Hybrids are crap, over complicated over priced over weight ant definitely over hyped. But this one is in fact rather pretty and it tickles that soft spot that I have for  sporting Jags:

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Its still a hybrid though, sigh, and no matter how pretty you make it you just can’t get past the fact that most people who buy that sort of car are pretentious wankers who care more about the  appearance of  caring  about the planet than actually doing anything that will make a difference…
Cheers Comrades

What do ya think of the Twizy?

This looks interesting on a number of levels it still lacks a range that would would work for many people in this country but it is good to see a major car maker thinking outside the box and producing an electric  machine at a more reasonable price than the alternatives offered so far.

Cheers Comrades

Half a million page views at the Sandpit

I know that statistical miles stones are really meaningless but that does not stop you feeling pretty good when you reach them. Well if you keep an eye on the hit counter at the bottom of the page some time today I expect that you will see the counter tick over t0 the magical “500,000” mark . That is pretty good for a modest blog written as a bit of fun .

Thanks very much to all of those who take the time to read what I and my friends put up  here and a special thanks to all of those who take the time to comment and argue with what is on this web-page. Commentary and argument is the life blood of blogging and long may it keep pumping at the Sandpit.

Cheers Comrades

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