BMW and MINI electric kids car race

Last week we took you to the dog-eat-dog world of radio controlled car racing, with on-board footage and video race report, as organised by The Racing Bug. All fine and fun, but wouldn’t you rather actually be in the car, racing your opponents wheel to wheel for real? Yes, we thought so too, so we […]

YW electric Grand Prix gets underway

Last week we took you to the dog-eat-dog world of radio controlled car racing, with on-board footage and video race report, as organised by The Racing Bug. All fine and fun, but wouldn’t you rather actually be in the car, racing your opponents wheel to wheel for real? Yes, we thought so too, so we took the electric BMW and MINI cars we had on loan out for a thrashing, to see which came out on top. We had to enlist our youngest ever road testers due to the diminutive interiors. So which car was fastest, which one handled better, which one triumphed in the desirability stakes? There was only one way to find out: standby for the first ever YW Electric Grand Prix !



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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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Paris Motor Show – Exagon Furtive eGT electric sportscar

France suprises with launch of new electric sportscar by Exagon Motors Most major motor shows throw up the odd surprise new car manufacturer. Often, resurrections of past iconic brands, Geneva delivered with the re-emergence of the Hispano-Suiza badge. Paris on the other hand, revealed a totally new name in Exagon Motors. Based in Magny-Cours, France, […]

Paris Motor Show - Exagon Motors Furtive eGT

France suprises with launch of new electric sportscar by Exagon Motors

Most major motor shows throw up the odd surprise new car manufacturer. Often, resurrections of past iconic brands, Geneva delivered with the re-emergence of the Hispano-Suiza badge. Paris on the other hand, revealed a totally new name in Exagon Motors. Based in Magny-Cours, France, this new manufacturer emerges from the embryonic electric motor racing circus. Appropriately, they launched an electric sportscar, the Exagon Furtive eGT, with ambitious range and performance claims. Unusually, they offer pure electric drive, or an additional range-extender combustion engine in their 2+2 seater. They claim considerable technical support from their suppliers Siemens (motors) and Saft (Li-ion cells) and advanced technology.

Paris Motor Show 2010 - Exagon Furtive eGT

When you’ve never heard of a brand and come across it in a show, your first instinct is to judge it on looks alone. On this score, we found the profile view we first glimpsed rather alluring and competent, if not exactly visually challenging. The car rotated on its turntable to reveal its rump. Again elegant, exciting but unassuming, immediately digestible. But when the nose, from front ¾ swivelled into view, we found the design lost it’s integrity. Character in a car is welcome and distinguishes one from another, but we don’t think they have pulled it off with the snout.

Go back only a couple of years and a startup like this would be offering you a mouthwatering performance from a highly tuned mid-mounted V6, with fuel consumption to match. Now if it isn’t hybrid or pure-electric you’ll be wondering what planet they lived on. How times have changed…


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Paris Motor Show – Jaguar C-X75 gas turbine hybrid electric supercar

Jaguar wow press and public with a daring hybrid supercar concept built to celebrate their 75th year. Running gas turbines in road cars is not a new idea. Think back to the 50’s-60’s when Chrysler ran a fleet of turbine cars, and BRM fielded a Le Mans racer. These were short lived experimental projects that […]

Paris Motor Show 2010 - Jaguar C-X75


Jaguar wow press and public with a daring hybrid supercar concept built to celebrate their 75th year.

Running gas turbines in road cars is not a new idea. Think back to the 50’s-60’s when Chrysler ran a fleet of turbine cars, and BRM fielded a Le Mans racer. These were short lived experimental projects that followed the motor show dream concepts of the time. Interesting ideas but flawed in many ways and connected mechanically to the drivetrain. Using gas turbines to generate electricity for electric drive motors solves the immediate problem of reducing the phenomenal RPM and throttling of a turbine down to the low rotation needed for your wheels and tyres. It also allows the turbine to run at optimum speed for the efficiency that eluded earlier iterations. If Jaguar have solved the remaining problems of heat and emissions, then we have the recipe for an interesting vehicle. 4 wheel drive, infinitely controllable for traction and yaw, electric drive supplemented by turbine generators, bring it on Jaguar. Lets hope this is not just pie in the sky and points the way to a new and exciting future for supercars.

Enough of the mechanics, this is a concept and concepts need to impress as well as show the way forward. Raiding the past to guarantee the pedigree of the brand is normal and acceptable, copying elements blindly to make life easy is plain tacky. Fortunately this concept walks the tightrope adeptly between cool and kitsch, looking forward whilst recalling past icons. Deliberate evocations of the glorious XJ13 present in the classic-yacht boat tail work well. It’s not all plain sailing though, as the nose needs to incorporate latest Jag styling cues. Forcing an upright squarish mouth onto an otherwise sleek flowing shape seems brutish and doesn’t integrate as well as the beautiful tapering tail.

Rather than verbally perambulate endlessly on design matters we encourage you to peruse the pics and judge for yourselves as this is inevitably a question of personal taste. On balance though we’ll give it an enthusiastic thumbs up!


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