That Old Weight Vs HorsePower Question

That Old Weight Vs HorsePower Question A guest post by Neill Watson, photographer-writer-blogger Yellowwheels editor Timtim posed me a really intriguing question today over a quick email chat – which is best, a lightweight car with minimal horsepower or a car with a bit more weight but a lot more power? A very good question [...]

Lotus Elise - a light weight contender

That Old Weight Vs HorsePower Question

A guest post by Neill Watson, photographer-writer-blogger

Yellowwheels editor Timtim posed me a really intriguing question today over a quick email chat – which is best, a lightweight car with minimal horsepower or a car with a bit more weight but a lot more power? A very good question and one that I believe I’ve answered to my own personal satisfaction this year. However, as the Americans are fond of saying, “your mileage may vary”

BMW M3

To put this into perspective, let me explain one of my day jobs. In addition to being a car photo-journalist, I’m also a track instructor. I spend a significant slice of my waking hours sitting in a variety of cars, from a 640BHP Lamborghini LP640 to a 120 BHP Lotus Elise and pretty much everything in between, either driving or imparting my limited knowledge. From BMW E46 M3 (a personal favourite) to Ferrari 458 Italia, I have a fair bit of seat time in them all. So, which is best? A 640 Bhp projectile or a 120 BHP mountain goat?


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Lexus add special Nürburgring Package to LFA Supercar

Limited edition Lexus LFA unveiled before 2011 Geneva Show A $375,000 supercar, of which only 500 will be built, not exclusive enough for you? Good news: the petrolheads over at the Lexus skunkworks have honed a special lightweight, track day version of their already awesome LFA for you. Only 50 will be made and christened [...]

Limited edition Lexus LFA unveiled before 2011 Geneva Show

A $375,000 supercar, of which only 500 will be built, not exclusive enough for you? Good news: the petrolheads over at the Lexus skunkworks have honed a special lightweight, track day version of their already awesome LFA for you. Only 50 will be made and christened “Nürburgring Package”. These special, limited edition cars are tuned to deliver exceptionally fast track times and sport large aeordynamic aids to keep downforce and consequently cornering speed high. To compensate there’s an extra 10bhp to push that huge wing through the air, supplemented by a 100kg weight reduction that sees acceleration maintained and, no doubt, braking distance reduced. To keep the connection with the Nürburgring going, buyers will be given free tuition and a years pass for the Nordschleife – this car is, after all, built to celebrate class victories there.

That massive carbon wing is fixed in position, unlike the standard car’s retractable one. There’s a huge front dam/tray that reduces effective ground clearance beyond the 10mm ride height lowering. Subtle chin winglets help channel air where it’s wanted, whilst at the rear, just over the tail-lights, Lexus have added small flaps. Inside, a liberal dose of carbon fibre and Alcantara replaces the standard leather. The Geneva Motor Show will be the car’s first public appearance on 3rd March.


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Vauxhall’s VXR8 hits UK dealers in March

Order your VRX8 Supersaloon now Thinking of beatling down to the land of OZ to sample GM’s latest fire-breathing V8 monster? No need, as Vauxhall have sailed their yellow submarine across the sea to these hallowed shores. Sporting gills of gargantuan proportions and LED crested slats up front, Vauxhall call the black grille a “Shockwave”. [...]

Vauxhall VRX8 - yellow and horny!

Order your VRX8 Supersaloon now

Thinking of beatling down to the land of OZ to sample GM’s latest fire-breathing V8 monster? No need, as Vauxhall have sailed their yellow submarine across the sea to these hallowed shores. Sporting gills of gargantuan proportions and LED crested slats up front, Vauxhall call the black grille a “Shockwave”. We’re not sure what the rear black paneling below the “Superflow” spoiler is called, surf-wave? Once you’ve wrenched your eyes off the Hot Wheels rims you might want to peek inside for some visual relief.

Step down the conning tower into the sub’s command centre, where there’s plenty of space to have all your friends on board, and it’s all military black and grey with sonar dash display, and hang on – a trio of supplementary analogue instruments – depth gauge, oxygen mix and dive angle no doubt. Better hand you over to Vauxhall’s spec sheet before this submariner’s analogy sinks…Full speed ahead Mr Parker.


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JCB launch digger with coffee built in

How about a digger that makes the tea? JCB do one! When we featured a JCB loader to ferry a crazy guy around Trafalgar Square last year, we thought to ourselves “what’s really missing is some in flight coffee.” Well, not really…But, lo and behold, JCB must have been listening and have spawned the world’s [...]

coffee on the go in yer JCB

How about a digger that makes the tea? JCB do one!

When we featured a JCB loader to ferry a crazy guy around Trafalgar Square last year, we thought to ourselves “what’s really missing is some in flight coffee.” Well, not really…But, lo and behold, JCB must have been listening and have spawned the world’s first digger with an on board coffee maker. Spooky timing, as we’ve just kitted out the YW office with a Nespresso machine. We’re not up to speed with how JCB’s machine works, but it produces hot water and presumably sports some kind of filter arrangement for the coffee brewing. If your tipple is tea then just use the hot water and a good old bag of burnt leaves.
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The Racing Bug real minature racing

YW gets the Racing Bug at MPH Show Heading out to the MPH show in Birmingham this month ? YW says search out the Racing Bug stand for a little bit of racing fun ( Stand MP46A ). Remember your Scalextric set ? Fun, but with only two lanes and a fixed track, there’s only [...]

The Racing Bug circuit ready for the race start

YW gets the Racing Bug at MPH Show

Heading out to the MPH show in Birmingham this month ? YW says search out the Racing Bug stand for a little bit of racing fun ( Stand MP46A ). Remember your Scalextric set ? Fun, but with only two lanes and a fixed track, there’s only so much skill involved: sort your throttle action and the rest is easy. Remember your first radio controlled car ? You could go in any direction, only you never had the discipline to stick to a predefined course. The Racing Bug has the best features of both combined with straight-forward controls. A fixed, very clear track, steering wheel and pedals to control your car, and the excitement of racing eleven other hopefuls leads to a sensational experience. With a little practice you can transport your mind to the miniature Ferrari that bears your number and experience the adrenaline of racing with zero risk to life and limb.



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Lexus CT200h – We drive this latest hybrid only model

Lexus launch the CT200h as a hybrid only model You are surfing the net for your next car: you need something small and efficient, environmentally proficient, yet sporty and luxurious to boot. Lexus claim to have filled this spot with their CT200h. Launched as a hybrid only, this mid-sized 5 door hatch wants to be [...]

Lexus CT200h - We drive this latest hybrid

Lexus launch the CT200h as a hybrid only model

You are surfing the net for your next car: you need something small and efficient, environmentally proficient, yet sporty and luxurious to boot. Lexus claim to have filled this spot with their CT200h. Launched as a hybrid only, this mid-sized 5 door hatch wants to be a sports car too. Warm-hatch would be a more accurate description, but with many positive qualities. Our top tester Timtim left the virtual world to taste the little Lexus for us.



I’m in Chantilly, near Paris; capital of the horse according to the local tourist flyer I’ve stumbled on in my hotel room. Outside the Mont Royal Hotel a cluster of new Lexus’s await testers from around the globe. Without a moment’s hesitation I pick a golden yellow sample. Hey, don’t want to disappoint the YW office, although to be honest it looks most exciting in white! All the engine options are identical so there’s no squabble with my scribbling brethren for the horniest lump in the beast. In fact by the sound of it none of them come with engines at all! As journo’s hit the engine start button and saunter off on an exploratory loop there’s a barrage of, err nothing, discreetly interrupted by tyre on tarmac and a few tweeting birds (the real kind). Rather than contemplating the deafening silence (what a stupid, though familiar expression) I’m watching the instruments. I’ve hit the start button and am only convinced that I’m up and running by the “Lexus Hybrid Drive” welcome screen as the instruments light up. I grab the chrome faced, switch sized gear lever. There’s only R, N, D and the more mysterious B to choose from. D will do, B is for user selected regenerative braking, and release the anachronistic foot brake. Shouldn’t the “P” switch below gear lever just double up as an electric foot/handbrake?


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Paris Motor Show 2010 – Round up of what’s yellow!

Photo Gallery of yellow cars at the Paris Show There’s no reason for this gallery of photos other than the cars are yellow. They are a mixed bunch from electric experimental postal delivery vans to a classic De Tomaso Guara show car from the 90′s


Photo Gallery of yellow cars at the Paris Show

There’s no reason for this gallery of photos other than the cars are yellow. They are a mixed bunch from electric experimental postal delivery vans to a classic De Tomaso Guara show car from the 90′s


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Paris Motor Show – Ford Focus ST

Ford spices up Focus range with tarmac ripping ST No-one knows better than Ford how to turn a cooking mainstream econobox into a rip-roaring tearaway. Some will find the bulging muscles and aggressive stance a tad too hot. Tattoo us if we don’t join the overwhelming majority of car crazy cousins to fall into love [...]

Paris Motor Show - Ford Focus ST

Ford spices up Focus range with tarmac ripping ST

No-one knows better than Ford how to turn a cooking mainstream econobox into a rip-roaring tearaway. Some will find the bulging muscles and aggressive stance a tad too hot. Tattoo us if we don’t join the overwhelming majority of car crazy cousins to fall into love at first reveal. Paris haute-couture it ain’t but underneath the “tangerine scream” overalls lurks the mouth of an Aston, the gills of a Mclaren, the tailpipes of a Lambo and the wing blisters of a…Hyundai?! This is Ford’s first true “global” hot hatch, so it might seem appropriate to find world-wide influences. Is that a Korean look to the “stingray” rear light clusters? A Peugeot-like gaping jaw of a bottom feeder up front? Whatever. Our yellow monster rides on mesmerising 19inch rims and loses the body colour grill fins of the lesser Focuses. You might wonder why it’s not a 3 door, until we explain that there’s no plan to produce 3 door Focuses for the US market; so to keep the parts bin global, this ST plays to the family friendly format of 5 doors.
You’ll only get 4 cylinders in this 250PS powered range topper. Dropping a pot, but trumpeting independent variable valve timing, low-inertia turbo and high-pressure direct injection, is planned to compensate, or in fact, increase torque levels whilst reducing emissions by a claimed 20%. As for driving performance, you’ll have to wait ’till 2012 to sample the ST, as the cooking Focus doesn’t hit the showrooms until early next year at an undisclosed price.


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MINI Scooter E Concept revealed

Mini goes halves by showing electric scooter concept Mini’s have a strong personality and following – the envy of most manufacturers. Now they are tempting the two wheeled brigade to come over to the brand by dishing out some radical wheels in scooter form. These are billed as “Concepts”, served up in various flavours, looking [...]

MINI Scooter E Concept


Mini goes halves by showing electric scooter concept

Mini’s have a strong personality and following – the envy of most manufacturers. Now they are tempting the two wheeled brigade to come over to the brand by dishing out some radical wheels in scooter form. These are billed as “Concepts”, served up in various flavours, looking like ice cream tubbed up in chrome bowls sunk into a glitzy counter. Lemon and lime, pistachio and mint, vanilla with raspberry twist anyone? Scooters don’t come any fancier than this, but you’ll need a smattering of AC power to keep these slush puppies on the road.

MINI Scooter E Concept + iPhone dock

Electric scooters have been around for yonks; remember the “All Electric Winnie” from the ’70s? but the arrival of Li-ion battery technology changes the weight/performance balance. Talking of balance, there’s no word of how many greenbacks you’ll have to throw BMW’s way yet, as this scooter is pitched as a concept only. Adrian van Hooydonk, Mini’s design director, has made sure the Mini’s derivation is clear by borrowing instrument binnacle, headlight and wing mirror shapes. Not so Mini yet is the ignition key. It lacks one altogether and harnesses the processing power of your favourite mobile phone, or as we all know them: iPhone, to check ownership and double up as a social-media tool. Find friendly (or not) co-owners by being steered towards them by GPS technology! It makes perfect sense, so come on Mini, let’s hear you say production is imminent…


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Popemobile cranked up to speed

YW kits out the Pope with some speedy transport Trundling around at walking pace in an 8 year old 4×4 – that’s no way for a modern Pope to show his credentials, spread the word and cover some ground. We thought we’d equip him with some serious wheels for his UK visit. I mean, Edinburgh [...]

Radical Popemobile hits the streets

YW kits out the Pope with some speedy transport

Trundling around at walking pace in an 8 year old 4×4 – that’s no way for a modern Pope to show his credentials, spread the word and cover some ground. We thought we’d equip him with some serious wheels for his UK visit. I mean, Edinburgh to London at 4mph? Nah, we can get him down from the dizzy heights of Scotland to the low life of London in a gnat’s whisker with our seat-of-your-pope-mobile. Think supercar meets garden shed and you have some idea of the direction we’re taking. Construction was well underway last year, but some awkward homologation issues delayed deployment. The Vatican has very precise requirements for their numero uno. The result is concocted from existing machinery to minimise scrutineering hiccups, and combines the sci-fi dynamics of 200mph+ projectiles with the class of retro supercars. Batman: eat your heart out, Robin donate your cape.

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