Thursday, 18 September 2014

Recoil is the New Gymkhana

Hey everyone, remember Ken Block? Y'know, that guy with the rally cars who did skids and stuff in a Subaru and then a Ford? Well, unfortunately, it turns out that you can have too many sequels, so the "Gymkhana" series of videos has ground to a halt as he practices not crashing in proper rally racing. In the meantime, Monster Energy decided to find another hot-shoe with a powerful toy and some obstacles to play with. Oh, and some utterly gratuitous "bikini babes" for anyone whose attention can't be held by an 800-horsepower Trophy Truck (the likes of which takes on the fearsome Baja 1000 desert race) doing skids and, most importantly, jumping off stuff. Mexican stuff. So kick back and crank open a can of heart disease for 7 totally rad minutes - well, 6 totally rad minutes followed by slightly weird credits - and enjoy as "Ballistic BJ Baldwin" punches gravity in the dick. Over and over again.

Oh, and if you haven't seen the first Recoil video - because admittedly, I hadn't either - then here it is. In this simpler but prettier shoot he's deep in the depths of Another Place when he jumps over a tuned GT-R and makes an E92 M3 look lame as he picks up a model for a date. Because, when you have a Trophy Truck, that's just kind of how your life is...... right???

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Formula E Review - Race 1

Turn one of... The Future
Racing cars without engines?! It'll never work! Much has been said and debated about the all-new FIA Formula E Championship, with some elements making it promising and some others perhaps leaving us a little worried. We've seen the cars, we knew that a host of ex-F1 and current sports car drivers would make up the majority of the grid, and we knew that - rather embarrassingly - the drivers would have to swap cars halfway through the roughly-45-minute race because the batteries run flat so quickly. Oh, and Twitter users can bestow extra power on three drivers of their choosing. Could it possibly work?

Today on the streets surrounding the Beijing Olympic Park, we found out.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

New Car Threesome!

Mazda MX-5 (ND), Jaguar XE, Mercedes/AMG GT
In the past week or so, three significant new cars have appeared from three major manufacturers, and all three have every right to be very, very good, given that they're entirely in their respective manufacturer's comfort zone. Up top is the internet's love thing, the Mazda MX-5. In the middle is a compact sports saloon apparently worth making a song and dance about, the Jaguar XE. Just above this text is the new AMG sports car to replace the SLS, simply called "GT." This is not a comparison, but a quick-fire report on each of them in one post. These are the latest hot properties from Planet Car.

Brand Dilution: How Far is Too Far?

A four-wheel-drive hatchback made by Ferrari, yesterday
After another bitterly disappointing showing at the Italian Grand Prix last weekend, which saw Fernando Alonso retire with an electronics failure and Kimi Räikkönen scrape a 9th place finish, Ferrari have extended their massive internal overhaul to the very top, with long-time president Luca Cordero di Montezemolo being kindly asked to resign after 23 years of generating huge growth and success for the legendary Italian company both on the roads and, for most of the 2000s, on the circuit. Taking his place will be the boss of the FIAT-Chrysler Group that owns them, Sergio Marchionne, who has already made clear that he has a very different philosophy to Montezemolo, who capped production at 7000 cars a year to preserve the brand's exclusivity and overall special-ness and calls this change "the end of an era". Under Marchionne's rule, FIAT has designed the most disgusting Italian car for a generation, the 500L (yes, worse than the 1998 Multipla). So, with him in charge of what's arguably the automotive world's Disney, what threatens to be in store for Ferrari over the next few years? As well as that, how much of what will most likely be a dilution of the brand be truly justifiable? Is there a limit, or, in this current age of mass automotive sacrilege, does anything go these days?