BMW and MINI launch electric kids car range

Great gift idea: buy the kids their own electric cars With Christmas knocking on our doors next month we thought it was time to consider what the kiddies out there might want to find around the tree. iPad, no – too young, Playstation – nah, too annoying. Electric car – yeah, just the ticket for […]

MINI and BMW electric kids cars - with adult helmet to show scale

Great gift idea: buy the kids their own electric cars

With Christmas knocking on our doors next month we thought it was time to consider what the kiddies out there might want to find around the tree. iPad, no – too young, Playstation – nah, too annoying. Electric car – yeah, just the ticket for a few laps of the tree and drive!

Bring on the nice people at BMW and MINI who lent us some samples to play with. First up is a gorgeous electric MINI Cooper S convertible miniature; yours for a mere 249 Euros from www.mini.com/shop or 129 Euros in pedal car form. This deep metallic blue micro car is aimed at the 3-5 year old in your litter, comes with electric rechargeable pack and not much else. Unfortunately our particular sample got damaged en route, note to Santa: pack your sleigh a bit better pleeeeze. So ignore the crack on the rear left of the car, it certainly didn’t stop us bringing you this extreme car test.


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Istanbul, Turkey and yellow cars

Yellow Taksi in Istanbul There are very few private yellow cars in Turkey. A recent trip to Istanbul verified this. Plenty of yellow trucks, we even spotted a yellow helicopter, but no cars…That’s because Istanbul’s taxis, or “taksi” are yellow, so who in their right mind would want to be flagged down and directed to […]

FIAT taksi waits for passengers near mosque


Yellow Taksi in Istanbul

There are very few private yellow cars in Turkey. A recent trip to Istanbul verified this. Plenty of yellow trucks, we even spotted a yellow helicopter, but no cars…That’s because Istanbul’s taxis, or “taksi” are yellow, so who in their right mind would want to be flagged down and directed to the Blue Mosque when dropping off the kids at school? Unable to spare the time to drive to Turkey in the YW yellow Golf (!), we were obliged to jump aboard the odd taksi for our long weekend in the capital. Obliged, sounds forceful, but we had been warned of the super-hero standard of the cabbie’s driving there. Super-heroes, can skip traffic lights, dodge potholes, slip through traffic at the speed of light without ever endangering life or limb. And these super-schumachers don’t even need to stop at a phone booth to stick their underpants on the outside. Good thing that YouTube is banned in Turkey so they can’t watch the video of the ride, although word has it a few seconds organizing a proxy server circumnavigates this embarrassing censorship.


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Geneva Motor Show Aston Martin Cygnet

Aston Martin’s baby car the Cygnet has received mixed reactions from the press and public, so should they be dabbling in this segment of the market ? Controversial designs can grow on one, so we decided to leave this post a while to see if the Toyota IQ based Cygnet would win us over. If […]

Geneva Motor Show - Aston Martin Cygnet front 3/4

Aston Martin’s baby car the Cygnet has received mixed reactions from the press and public, so should they be dabbling in this segment of the market ?

Controversial designs can grow on one, so we decided to leave this post a while to see if the Toyota IQ based Cygnet would win us over. If you can cast the Toyota origins out of your mind, you are presented with quite a neat little city car from side and rear views. Move around to the front and there’s a styling compromise forced on the shape by imposition of the trade mark Aston Martin grill, bonnet louvers and wing top vents. There are just too many icons forced into a small space compared to the purer sides and rear.


Up front the IQ has a mean nasal disposition, but the Cygnet is not sure if it’s happy or sullen and resembles classic minis a tad too much, but with a hint of Pokemon. Inside, this show example, sported garish red leather with black honeycomb inserts. But the inserts were too shiny and the overall impression too brash. We’d like to see a tastefully trimmed version to judge better. As a practical proposition, though this car has to be encouraged – why should small cars be cheap and spartan ? BMW’s Mini, although not exactly small has demonstrated that there is a market for stylish compact cars. Smart’s FourTwo got people used to short stubby shapes. Parking an Aston Martin Rapide in town could be challenging, so why not take the Cygnet instead for those little shopping sprees? This is what Aston are banking on and why they are prioritising deliveries of the first Cygnets to Aston customers.


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Autosport / PistonHeads show: photo gallery

Here’s a photo gallery of yellow cars at the Autosport Racing Car & PistonHeads Show. Hey, we need to keep the yellow car content going . Although the Mini pictured above, of Mr Bean fame, is hardly a racing car, (and only just qualifies as yellow), it was driven round the track at the Goodwood […]


Here’s a photo gallery of yellow cars at the Autosport Racing Car & PistonHeads Show. Hey, we need to keep the yellow car content going ;-) . Although the Mini pictured above, of Mr Bean fame, is hardly a racing car, (and only just qualifies as yellow), it was driven round the track at the Goodwood Revival race meeting to honour the 50th birthday of the Mini. Come back over the next few days for some more great news and features from the show!


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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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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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Smart Hillclimb Special

It takes a bit of commitment and determination to create what no-one has done before. Usually it means that either it’s a dumb idea, or it’s really tricky. So when Jim Gazey decided he’d turn his Smart ForTwo (or ForOne if you like) into a hillclimb car, he had to do some very careful plotting […]

Jim Gazey in his Smart ForOne hillclimb car

Jim Gazey in his Smart ForOne hillclimb car

Smart ForOne hillclimb car

Smart ForOne hillclimb car

It takes a bit of commitment and determination to create what no-one has done before. Usually it means that either it’s a dumb idea, or it’s really tricky. So when Jim Gazey decided he’d turn his Smart ForTwo (or ForOne if you like) into a hillclimb car, he had to do some very careful plotting and measuring. to squeeze an ex-Toyota MR2 engine into the nano-space where a humble 3-pot normally resides takes some doing. Gut the interior and fit a roll cage, and it doesn’t look, on the face of it, there’ll be much room to squeeze in Jim’s not insubstantial frame. Makes you wonder what happens to the centre of gravity of it all…Reportedly, some heavy right foot at the start line raises the nose dragster-like a full 12 inches off the black stuff. Brave indeed.

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Click Continue to listen to Jim talk about his hillclimb rocket
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Portsmouth to Brooklands – a Smart convoy

How do you get from Portsmouth to Brooklands in 40 seconds ? Answer you can’t but you can watch it. Firstly you need 100 Smarts, a time-lapse camera, and some video editing software (in this case Final Cut Express) Portsmouth to Brooklands Smartly in 40 seconds from yellowwheels on Vimeo. We met for bacon butties […]

How do you get from Portsmouth to Brooklands in 40 seconds ? Answer you can’t but you can watch it. Firstly you need 100 Smarts, a time-lapse camera, and some video editing software (in this case Final Cut Express)

Portsmouth to Brooklands Smartly in 40 seconds from yellowwheels on Vimeo.

Smart Crossblade leads the convoy

Smart Crossblade leads the convoy

We met for bacon butties at some un-godly hour down at Smart of Portsmouth. After a drivers briefing, which was basically “head north on the A3, keep to speed limits, and no balloons hanging out of cars”, we arranged to fix a camera on the roll bar of a demonstrator driven by Emma. Photo gear sorted and the queue for butties was dwindling, but already it was time to mount our chariots. No matter, we rush breakfast-less for some starting grid pix and hop aboard for the convoy to Mercedes World, where the 2009 Smart Festival is underway. 10-4 rubber ducky.

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Smart ForTwo Highstyle

It must be Smart week, as no sooner had we published the Brabus Tailor Made story, they released news of a plush high-end model, deliciously flavoured in chocolate brown metallic paint. The Highstyle edition is limited to a run of 215 cars for the UK, with top of the range features and engine. Check out […]

It

Smart ForTwo Highlife

Smart ForTwo Highstyle

must be Smart week, as no sooner had we published the Brabus Tailor Made story, they released news of a plush high-end model, deliciously flavoured in chocolate brown metallic paint. The Highstyle edition is limited to a run of 215 cars for the UK, with top of the range features and engine. Check out the interior: the seats are covered in metallic leather (!) with appropriate bands of chocolate (eclair?). Chocoholics well catered for then, but better have a large latte to wash all that down. Just don’t leave it the sun: is that why there’s no convertible version ?!

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