YW reflects on the luxury of silence that hybrids and electric cars promise

Lexus CT200h and why we like hybrids Hybrids, and particularly the Toyota Prius have had some vocal opponents in the media. Most have singled out it’s lack of dynamic abilities and questionable cradle to grave eco credentials. But have you ever stopped to consider the luxury of silence that a quiet car confers? Here are […]

Hybrids contribute to the luxury of silence

Lexus CT200h and why we like hybrids

Hybrids, and particularly the Toyota Prius have had some vocal opponents in the media. Most have singled out it’s lack of dynamic abilities and questionable cradle to grave eco credentials. But have you ever stopped to consider the luxury of silence that a quiet car confers? Here are a few observations from the launch of Lexus’s latest hybrid, the CT200h, which would equally apply to electric cars.

Hybrids await at Lexus CT200h press launch near Paris

Picture the scene: a sumptuous hotel set in forested hills, pleasantly removed from the city bustle of Paris. A serene calmness accompanies this hilltop location belying it’s proximity to both Charles De Gaulle airport and the main autoroute to Lille. A semicircular arrangement of gleaming cars awaits journalists eager to sample Lexus’s latest mini-limousines. Above the twitter of birds you can hear the pleasant banter of scribes and their hosts exchanging technobabble worthy of a sub-atomic particle convention. But wait; there’s something missing. Where’s the coughing of combustion engines waking from their slumber? Where’s the thrum of jockeys blipping their mount’s throttles ready for the off? Where’s the distant scream of engines being let loose once released from the gaze of the PR’s and speed bumps of the hotel drive? Answer: these CT200h’s are hybrids, with electric motors to manoeuvre and assist departure and with them comes an intoxicating calm.


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Tomtom Satellite navigation for iPhone – Western Europe review

Tomtom satnav app for iPhone – a practical test of Western European version (version 1.0 on iPhone 3G running OS 3.0) Yellowwheels’s car for the long journey to the Frankfurt Motor Show, via Spa, Nurburgring, and back via Zurich and the Swiss Alps, didn’t have a satnav fitted. The Mercedes E-220 proved to be an […]

Tomtom, iPhone, Merc in Zurich

Tomtom, iPhone, Merc in Zurich

Tomtom satnav app for iPhone – a practical test of Western European version
(version 1.0 on iPhone 3G running OS 3.0)
Yellowwheels’s car for the long journey to the Frankfurt Motor Show, via Spa, Nurburgring, and back via Zurich and the Swiss Alps, didn’t have a satnav fitted. The Mercedes E-220 proved to be an ideal car for the trip, but also a good chance to test the practicality of using a phone based satellite system rather than an OEM built-in or dedicated, stand-alone unit.

The journey:
Our journey started well, with a smooth trip down to Eurotunnel for the short train shuttle to France. The Tomtom had already suggested that the fastest route to Frankfurt was via the motorways of southern Belgium. We followed it’s route feeling confident but, as reported in our initial test of the UK edition of the Tomtom app, the lack of satellite accuracy built into the iPhone can be a problem (now addressed by the availability of the Tomtom car kit).

Tomtom satnav for iPhone – Western Europe test from yellowwheels on Vimeo.

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