Thursday, September 8, 2016

Ohm My God! The Tesla Model S

Pure electric: that’s the metaphorical and literal experience of driving the Tesla Model S. From the reassuring heavy door clunk on entering the space-age cabin, with its’ ample storage areas-no bulky engine to clog up rear boot or under bonnet space- to the massive display monitor positioned on the dash and plush comfy driving seat, the Model S screams luxury with a futuristic edge.
The aluminium bodywork is reputed to last ‘a million miles’ with only the battery requiring replacement over its lifetime. The solid aluminium frame affords the car a 5 star NCAP safety rating. A fully charged battery in the Model S can last anything from 260-290 miles, depending on driving style and the cost of recharging the battery, from home in the UK, is estimated at approximately 4.5p per mile. If charging from a Tesla Supercharger station it’s free and Tesla has guaranteed this for the lifetime of the car. A Supercharge can give your battery a half charge during a 20 minute session.
To drive a Tesla it’s necessary to completely reconfigure your driving etiquette: there is no ignition (nothing to ignite!)...the car automatically starts up when you’re sitting in the driving seat. Place the car in drive (or reverse, depending on your position) and it glides majestically and silently into motion.  Acceleration (and it’s explosive) is really all that’s necessary. By taking your foot off the accelerator the car automatically brakes, rather than slows down, which is a little disconcerting at first.  A real bonus is that there is no need for a manual handbrake. This intelligent car senses the need to brake on hills, whilst stationary, after depressing the foot brake (hill-hold function).
Cruising at 60 on a dual carriageway (and, btw, you can get to 60mph in 5.2 seconds) my passenger encouraged me to try ‘auto-pilot’ mode, the autonomous driving system best known in Google self-driving cars. With several large lorries creeping up my rear end, it was somehow anti-intuitive to employ this feature. But I did, with my hands hovering over the steering wheel. Locked into ‘auto-pilot’ the car senses surrounding vehicles and brakes, changes lanes or accelerates accordingly: a surreal feeling as a ‘driver/passenger’ (especially if you’re a bit of a control freak) but an invaluable feature as respite from a long haul motorway journey. (Just don’t give up completely and watch a Harry Potter movie, as one unfortunate guy did in Florida quite recently, culminating in a fatal crash).
I test drove the Model S as I was interested in the forthcoming Model 3 (a smaller, more economical version with a denser more efficient battery pack) hopefully due for release in the UK in 2018. Tesla are taking £1000 (fully refundable) deposits for the 3 (with an estimated price of around £32,000 minus a government electric car contribution of £4,500). 400,000 of the 500,000 Model 3’s available for release globally, have already been reserved in this way.

Tesla Model 3
Elon Musk: CEO of Tesla Motors: The New Raider of the Lost Quark

Visit for interior design ideas for your car

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Girls Best Friend Is Her Car (And Her Girls)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The JCW Mini 2015: a Pocketful of Rocket Tickets?

The JCW MINI 2015 is the fastest most agile Mini off of the production line yet.
If you like driving you’ll love this little demon; if you like space flight you’ll enjoy it even more.
Although an anomaly in terms of aerodynamic shape, this sporty number is a boxful of rocket tickets.  The cheeky-chappie proportions of the JCW Mini belie its’ 2 litre twinpower turbo engine which packs a 0-62mph punch in 6.1 seconds (6.3 secs for the  manual) and a top-speed of 153mph.
The racing-inspired accelerator pedals respond exquisitely to the slightest touch (thanks to its specially developed turbocharger and direct fuel injection) meaning acceleration from both standing and on the move leaves many of your fellow motorists still lingering over their first gear change.
Your gear changes, by the way, in the manual edition, will be enhanced by the ‘automatic revving technology’ which matches the engine revs to the speed of the wheels when downchanging. You can also opt to use the gear change paddles on the steering wheel to save time changing up the gears.
Something that tickles the earlobes of many a petrol-head is the throaty sound of a twin exhaust; the reassuring muted guttural sounds emanating from this rear end are pure Marlene Dietrich.
As with all Minis, space is at a premium; the front cabin provides enough legroom for the average motorist, but your rear seat passengers might not thank you for an overly long journey. The sporty bucket seats give a wraparound feel and overall visibility is good. If you love red and black as evocative symbols of racing style the interior is most definitely for you. Of course, if you feel like branching out a little you can always accessorise with some Funky SeatCovers.
As for boot space...this car might be nifty but the boot is titchy. Then again, we are talking pure driving excitement: young, free, fast and single...not too many yummy mummies are going to be seen trying to cram their double buggies in to the boot. Of course, that’s a massive generalisation; I think a lot of women would love the responsiveness and alertness of this power-packed model. After all, driving cars is a great equaliser: there is no glass ceiling to power with the JCW Mini (a panoramic electric glass sunroof: optional extra).
Fuel Consumption:  
Manual gearbox: combined fuel consumption of 42.2 mpg with CO2 emissions of 155 g/km.
Automatic sports transmission: combined fuel consumption  of 49.6 mpg and 133 g/km.
On the Road Prices:
MINI John Cooper Works six-speed manual                        £23,050
MINI John Cooper Works six-speed Steptronic                  £24,380
All versions of the MINI John Cooper Works have automatic engine stop/start  
NCAP Overall Rating:  4
Electronic driver assistance features include Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Torque Steer Compensation. 
Free optional extras: Chili Red roof and mirror caps, and optional John Cooper Works bonnet stripes. The roof and mirror caps can also be finished in white or black.
 Colours: available in 11 body colours, including the new Rebel Green metallic and MINI Yours Lapis luxury Blue metallic .
Additional Extras: Driving Assistant pack. A front mounted camera monitors the road ahead adding key information in the form of: Rear end collision warning, Pedestrian recognition, High beam assistant, Traffic sign recognition and Active Cruise Control. 
Full connectivity via MINI Connected and MINI Connected XL,
Double-zone automatic air conditioning, a panoramic electric glass sunroof, heated driver’s and front passenger’s seats, rain sensors and automatic headlight activation, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system
 The Chili pack contains:
  • Floor mats   
  • Storage compartment pack  
  • MINI Excitement Pack  
  • Rain sensor and automatic headlight activation  
  • Air conditioning, dual-zone automatic Interior lights pack  
  • Dinamica/leather upholstery 
  • 18" John Cooper Works Cup Spoke, in two-tone
 Ruthie at Me-Mo

Monday, August 31, 2015

Pink Car Rally 2015


Pink Cars are being pampered and polished in preparation for the 8th annual Pink Car Rally on Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th September.  This year’s #SeasideSpecial will see pink cars from across the UK heading to Blackpool for the start of the rally, which coincides with the seaside town’s iconic ifest – Blackpool’s Illuminations Switch-on Festival Weekend.

The pink parade will travel #Coast2Coast from Blackpool to Scarborough Fair and will be calling in at Leeds Children’s Hospital, Monks Cross and Clifton Moor Shopping Centres in York, giving the public and press lots of opportunities to see the pink procession.

The rally raises awareness of, and funds for, the Little Princess Trust charity, which gives ‘real hair’ wigs to children and young adults in the UK and Ireland who lose their hair, primarily through cancer treatment. Donations can be made via

Sali Gray, creator and organiser of the Pink Car Rally is already incredibly excited, despite this being the 8th rally; “Each year I think that I can’t possibly get excited about the rally again, but I do.  Starting the rally in Blackpool, during ifest, is amazing and I’m already wondering whether we will be able to entice any ‘celebrities’ into our cars, for some pink publicity photos”   

The Mayor of Blackpool will officially start the rally at 10.30am on Saturday 5th September, with the Pinkies starting to gather from 9am in St John’s Square.  Sali said “We’re hoping that lots of people will come to see our pretty pink cars, which will be dressed-up for the occasion!! (As will we!)  Sunglasses may be required (rose-tinted of course) because our shiny cars are dazzlingly bright – rather like the illuminations themselves!”

After leaving Blackpool, the rally will stop at Leeds Children’s Hospital, enabling the young patients on the oncology ward to see the pink cars, before heading towards York where the ‘final stop’ of the day will be Monks Cross Shopping Centre.

On Sunday morning the Pinkies will start gathering at York’s Clifton Moor Shopping Park, from 9.30am, for the official start of Day 2 of the rally at 10.30am.  The pink cars will be easily spotted on the A64 as they head to Scarborough, where they will drive past the train station before turning right and heading out of town, over the Valley Bridge, taking the A165 towards Filey.  The pink procession should arrive at Scarborough Fair around 1pm and will stay for an hour or two, allowing the pink participants to enjoy all the fun of the vintage fair.   

Further information:- (high resolution photos available on request)
Creator & Organiser: Sali Gray – 07974 771746 –
Twitter: @saligray @pinkcarrally
Little Princess Trust:
How the Pink Car Rally started: (Recorded 2011) Other Pink Car Rally videos can be found on the PinkCarRally YouTube Channel