Home » Motoring (page 5)

Motoring

Ford's GT will have a limited production run. It's powered by a twin turbo 3.5 litre V6 producing more than 600 bhp.

High performance rules at Geneva

After the years of doom and gloom, it was wonderful to see the Geneva Show back to its sparkling self, with a plethora of new sports cars launched. Ranging from faster versions of more ordinary cars to real dream machines, there was something for everyone, demonstrating that the motor industry at last seems to have got its Mojo back. We first saw the Pininfarina Sergio as a concept at Geneva two years ago and there was no indication it would ever go into production yet it made a return this year as a full production car albeit with a run of only six cars. Based on the Ferrari 458 Spider, it’s official name is now the Pininfarina Ferrari Sergio. Also in the concept realm was the Quantino, a quite breathlessly gorgeous creation although in this case, there was even more going on under the skin. Powered by Nano electricity, essentially two tanks of ionic liquids, one with a positive charge, …

Read More »
European Car of the Year 2015 - Volkswagen Passat.

Volkswagen Passat takes Euro COTY title

On the eve of the press opening of the Geneva Motor Show, the Volkswagen Passat has been awarded the title of European Car of the Year 2015. It won out by some margin over its nearest rival. “We are extremely proud of this accolade,” said Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen, at the prize-giving ceremony in Geneva. “In the new Passat we have again succeeded in developing a car that sets the standards for its class in terms of technology and quality. This honour is a tremendous confirmation for the work of our engineers, designers and the entire team. The new Passat shows that the Volkswagen brand has the right answers to the challenges of our time.” One of the oldest and most well-known awards in Europe, Car of the Year has been honouring the best new releases in the car industry every year since 1964. The jury, consisting of 58 European motoring journalists from 22 countries, had nominated seven candidates …

Read More »
The SEAT Leon X-Perience in the early morning frost at Brook Lodge in Wicklow.

Are you X-Perienced?

To lightly paraphrase the words of the late Jimi Hendrix – Are you X-Perienced? Well I am, as I’ve driven the Leon X-Perience, the first 4×4 ever produced by Spanish firm, SEAT. The Leon is now their best selling model, so it makes sense to start from here, although we’re told that this particular model is only the first of a number of four wheel drive cars which will come onto the market over the next few years. The X-Perience is based on the ST or estate model and for this particular application, the looks have been suitably machoed up with more rugged bumpers, black roof rails and crucially for off-road ability, a ride height raised by 30mm. To take advantage of the extra ground clearance, grip is enhanced by a fifth generation Haldex four wheel drive system, which normally sends all power to the front pair of wheels. As conditions dictate, though, up to 90% of torque can instantly …

Read More »

Weather alert: Frost, sleet and snow

We can prepare for frost, sleet and snow is over the next few days, according to Met Éireann. Showery rain will develop near western coasts during this afternoon (Monday) with some sleet or wet snow this evening inland in western counties. Highest afternoon temperatures of 3 or 4 degrees C. in most areas, about 6 or 7 degrees C. on parts of the west coast. Tonight will be very cold and frosty and icy. Showery rain will occur on western and northern coasts overnight, with snow showers expected inland, these mostly affecting parts of Ulster, Connacht and west Munster. Minimum temperatures 0 to minus 5 Celsius with the risk of some freezing fog patches in some eastern areas Tomorrow, Tuesday will be cold and wintry in places in the morning with widespread frost and ice. A mix of hail, sleet and snow showers in places, but these will become confined to western and northern coastal areas in the afternoon and …

Read More »
Williams and ex-Ferrari Formula One driver, Felipe Massa, at Shannon this week. Photo John Galvin.

Felipe Massa’s pit stop at Genworth

WILLIAMS RACING Formula One driver, Felipe Massa took a pit stop on his pre-season schedule to visit Genworth’s International Business Centre in Shannon on Thursday afternoon. Following a tour of the new state-of-the-art workplace located in Westpark Business Campus, Genworth staff based in Shannon and those travelling over from Europe, Latin America and China had the opportunity to attend a question and answer session with Felipe Massa before the driver showed off his skills on a Formula One simulator. “Felipe Massa’s visit has been a resounding success thanks to his passion, and the enthusiasm of Genworth’s staff. Felipe is a proven race winner, with 11 wins and 36 podiums to his name, and for a driver as passionate about his work as Felipe, team spirit, excellence and integrity are as much a part of his professional ethos as they are for Genworth,” said Bob Brannock, president, international protection, Genworth. “Our new Shannon-based International Business Centre supports the needs of over …

Read More »

Felipe Massa visits Shannon

Formula One driver, Felipe Massa will create lots of excitement when he visits Genworth Financial’s International Business Centre in Shannon on this Thursday afternoon. The Williams Martini team star will take time out of his hectic pre-season schedule to visit over 400 staff at Genworth’s Shannon site. Following a tour of the new state-of-the-art workplace, located in Westpark business campus, members of the media along with Genworth staff will have the opportunity to attend a question and answer session with Felipe Massa before the driver shows off his skills on a FORMULA 1 simulato

Read More »
Škoda's Octavia is now available with four wheel drive in both estate and hatchback versions.

Octavia hatchback 4×4 launched

In a very well-timed move, given our recent weather, Škoda have announced that their Octavia is now available with four wheel drive in hatchback form. Previously, this drivetrain was only available as an estate. The new hatchback cuts the entry-point price by €1,100. The market for 4WD models in Ireland is heavily weather dependent. During the cold snap in 2012, Škoda 4×4 sales increased fivefold as a direct consequence of the severe weather the previous winter. With the last few mild winters, interest in 4WD has decreased, but it only takes a bit of snow and ice for the market to sit up and take notice again. Like the existing estate, the Octavia 4×4 uses a Haldex electronic clutch to provide permanent all wheel drive. During normal driving, power is sent to the front wheels only to save fuel. If conditions dictate, power can instantly be sent to the back axle also avoiding the risk of a skid. The system …

Read More »
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

The production version of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider has been unveiled in Detroit at the North American Auto Show. Still featuring a carbon fibre body, three times stronger and seven times lighter than steel, the windscreen frame is also made from the same material. Very little structural work needed to be done to strengthen the chassis to compensate for the loss of the roof. In the US version, the difference in weight between open and closed versions is just 10 kg. New for the open top version is an optional titanium exhaust system with switchable modes to give more or less noise as required, depending on your mood. Standard and racing exhaust systems are also on offer. US versions also get the option of a premium audio system from Alpine, but quite frankly, it’s superfluous in the 4C. Forget the radio and just listen to the engine. A new exterior colour (yellow) is available which should complement the shape …

Read More »