Lotus sprout another special Exige: we say why not?!

Lotus anounced another variant of their pocket rocket Exige today: the S Type 72. Its raison d’être is to recall the 1972 all conquering Formula 1 car, presumably as a reminder of Lotus’ heritage before their return to F1 in 2010. It follows the black with gold piping colour scheme that was John Player Special’s […]

Lotus Exige S Type 72

Lotus Exige S Type 72

Lotus anounced another variant of their pocket rocket Exige today: the S Type 72. Its raison d’être is to recall the 1972 all conquering Formula 1 car, presumably as a reminder of Lotus’ heritage before their return to F1 in 2010. It follows the black with gold piping colour scheme that was John Player Special’s trademark rather than the earlier Gold Leaf red, white and gold, but then Lotus have already used that scheme for another Elise special. Still, we don’t care how many specials Lotus wheels out, because they are all fabulous cars, deserving every spare column inch available. Fortunately they haven’t overdone the gold piping thus saving it from the narrow boat naff look! And guess what, it’s not pandering to the now ubiquitous matt black of tuner specials, but wears it’s gloss with pride.

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Build a Nissan 370Z over Christmas?

It’s cold and dark outside, the garage not much warmer, so what better to do than break open Tamiya’s 1/24th scale Nissan 370Z kit in front of the fire and paint/assemble whilst juggling festive cake and sipping mulled wine? Just don’t get the your mince pie crumbs in the paint! Our friends over at Scale […]

It’s cold and dark outside, the garage not much warmer, so what better to do than break open Tamiya’s 1/24th scale Nissan 370Z kit in front of the fire and paint/assemble whilst juggling festive cake and sipping mulled wine? Just don’t get the your mince pie crumbs in the paint! Our friends over at Scale Model News kindly let us run this report by guest writer Mat Irvine.

Tamiya Nissan 370Z

Tamiya Nissan 370Z


We’re looking for new wheels at SMN (ScaleModelNews) Towers, and were at the local Nissan dealer yesterday, kicking the tyres of a Note, Qashqai, and an X-Trail. Of course, the one we’d really like would be a late-used 350Z. It’s a handsome brute, but with no room for bikes, cameras, tripods and computers aboard, it can’t be on the IWOOT list, sad to say. We also had a look at the 350Z’s replacement, the 370Z, which is a somewhat dumpy-looking retro version of the original 240Z of 1969, so Mat’s report is a timely one. Now read on…

Tamiya 1/24 scale Nissan 370Z chassis and suspension

Tamiya 1/24 scale Nissan 370Z chassis and suspension

Report by Mat Irvine
The latest incarnation of Nissan’s Z-car, and the latest 1:24 scale kit from Tamiya, is the 370Z, in Japan known as the Fairlady Z. This is a ‘curbside’ kit, a term derived from US model makers to describe a model car without a separate engine, therefore destined to sit forever by the curb! But even as a curbside, this 370Z (the sixth-generation ‘Z’, released in December 2008) is full of the sort of detail one expects from Japan’s best-known name in modeling.
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MINI E gets real at home while COP15 woos EVs

As Copenhagen week(s) is still in full swing, car manufacturers are sprinkling a whole load of electric PR across the press. Inevitably some of it rubs off on us. Having just published our electric car timeline feature, we thought we’d hoover up this one as electric Minis sound like a tempting prospect. Of course you […]

Mini E at 10 Downing Street with Gordon Brown

MINI E at 10 Downing Street with Gordon Brown and Lord Mandelson


As Copenhagen week(s) is still in full swing, car manufacturers are sprinkling a whole load of electric PR across the press. Inevitably some of it rubs off on us. Having just published our electric car timeline feature, we thought we’d hoover up this one as electric Minis sound like a tempting prospect. Of course you need more than a cute car and a few batteries to get some headlines, so how about this: Gordon Brown gets one on his ministerial fleet. Strangely, this gets announced on the same day as our Boris (Mayor of London, Boris Johnson) chooses Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV to swan around the COP15 environmental summit in Copenhagen. Cast the net wider and you’ll find a whole host of car companies claiming to be THE green vehicle supplier of choice across in Denmark.
Denmark’s Crown Prince HRH Frederik and Fisker Karma

Denmark’s Crown Prince HRH Frederik and Fisker Karma

Clearly Fisker think a Prime minister is a bit lowly, and enlisted Crown Prince HRH Frederik of Denmark to fly the flag. Norwegian manufacturer THINK claims to have the largest EV fleet there. 60 Citroen EVs piled in from the UK. But maybe this is all a smokescreen to hide the disappointment that there’s only room for two in a MINI E ?! The back seat area, normally reserved for your offspring, is primed with 5088 lithium-ion cells to fuel you for a theoretical 150 miles. But whatever the advantages, when an Electric Smart can squeeze motive power into its diminutive body, you have to wonder what’s up?
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Electric cars & digital cameras: do they share a similar development timeline

Electric cars roadmap: where are we with electric cars and what have they got to do with digital cameras? YW explores the explosion in camera development over the last ten years, and wonders if electric cars will follow the same pattern. Think back a bit to the emergence of digital cameras. The date is 1999, […]

Electric cars roadmap: where are we with electric cars and what have they got to do with digital cameras? YW explores the explosion in camera development over the last ten years, and wonders if electric cars will follow the same pattern.

Digital camera and electric car timeline

Digital camera and electric car timeline

Think back a bit to the emergence of digital cameras. The date is 1999, Nikon cameras launches the first mainstream professional digital camera, the D1. That’s not to say that there weren’t digital cameras before. Most notably, Kodak had a range of pro digital SLRs (Single Lens Reflex), Canon too, but they were never truly mainstream and cost a fortune. At that time, if you asked most photographers whether they were “going digital”, they’d say the cameras weren’t good enough, and maybe never would be. After all, how could you match the amazing image quality of a 5×4 inch studio camera?

Move on ten years to 2009, and it’s hard to find a photographer not using digital cameras. AND they trump film in just about every respect. So are we in “1999” with electric cars? Will they be the norm rather than the eccentric? The mundane instead of the unusual ? Come 2019 will the infrastructure have changed sufficiently to accommodate the potential explosion in electric car use?

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Honda P-NUT city concept

Honda P-NUT Concept car: This is just a styling concept but grabbed our attention because of it’s original shape and city car potential. Strong, purist shapes that make it through to production are rare, and most get watered down through the engineering, marketing and ergonomics depts. Cars that make it through are often the ones […]

Honda P-NUT Concept car

Honda P-NUT Concept car


Honda P-NUT Concept car: This is just a styling concept but grabbed our attention because of it’s original shape and city car potential. Strong, purist shapes that make it through to production are rare, and most get watered down through the engineering, marketing and ergonomics depts. Cars that make it through are often the ones that turn heads or become icons. Think of the original Audi TT, second generation VW Beetle, Bentley Continental, even the Vauxhall/Opel Calibra as a few examples plucked out of the ether. So we hope Honda push this through as it is a compelling, exciting shape.

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Motormouse: drive a Porsche on your desktop

Treat your PC to a Porsche this Christmas ! The weather’s foul, the roads icy; what better time to stay indoors and surf the internet. To keep you company on the journey through the web, why not splash out on your very own PC Porsche? Not only will it remain under your control, but steer […]

Motormouse Porsche shaped wireless computer mouse

Motormouse Porsche shaped wireless computer mouse


Treat your PC to a Porsche this Christmas ! The weather’s foul, the roads icy; what better time to stay indoors and surf the internet. To keep you company on the journey through the web, why not splash out on your very own PC Porsche? Not only will it remain under your control, but steer you through cyberspace with style and aplomb. This season’s must-have gadget comes to you from Motormouse, a startup company that sealed it’s success by wooing investor James Caan on BBC’s Dragon’s Den TV programme.

Our silver sample came complete with a signed card by James Caan, but this is not standard, available or included in the price, but a special surprise as we picked up our motormouse from the sellers’ stand at the Earls Court MPH Show.

The packaging quality and style convinced us immediately that this was a pukka product. opening the box confirmed this was more than skin deep. Reaching in and grabbing the car, you instinctively want to push it along your desk to see how well it glides, and turn it over to inspect the pull-back motor. Hang on, this is a mouse, not scale model ! Inserting the 2 AAA alkalines provided, adds to the expectancy of self-propulsion, but a USB wireless dongle, which you store in a recess in the boot breaks the spell, and brings you back to reality…or virtual reality?!

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