Friday, 25 February 2011

Irish Times Motor Show

The Irish Times Motor Show takes place from today through till Sunday 27th at the RDS in Ballsbridge. A motor show backed by the Irish Times provides some reassurance that this event will be more than a primped up car sales yard, in fact they can be commended for breathing fresh life into a show that has been on hiatus for far too long. Previous experience of a similar event held at the RDS a few years back would leave one to believe that despite having some very pretty cars on display the experience is less about a car show in the well known sense and more about flogging cars and car paraphernalia to the casual punter. To be fair it’s best to see this event in the perspective of what we would know to be an international car show. This weekend’s show will not be the Geneva Motor Show’s Irish cousin; it won’t even be in the same family. Ireland as an economy is frankly fairly irrelevant to global manufacturers and if some stalwart like Audi have some major car launch to perform it won’t be doing it in Dublin when New York, Paris and Frankfurt are alternatives. What this weekend’s show will provide though is an indulgent opportunity to pick and prod through the cars that you & I should be aspiring to purchasing; whether it be a novel supermini or four door off-roader. And for this purpose alone anyone considering a car purchase, even a second hand purchase, would benefit from knowing where today’s standards are in what is a very competitive market for car dealers nationwide. And for those of a more enthusiast nature the promise of a handful of exotica will not unnoticed go.

Tickets: €12
For further information

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Ferrari FF

You could be forgiven for thinking that the picture above was a brand new Toyota coupe. This is, believe it or not, the latest Ferrari. And its not a concept or a "design language" demonstration, its actually going in to production. New Ferrari's are something very much worth getting excited about. After all such creations are penned by the same designers of legendary motors such as the 250 GTO, the F40 and the F355. However; this is the new Ferrari FF and frankly it looks Japanese. Whether a car looking Japanese is a bad thing or not is for another day's discussion. Suffice to say that a Ferrari being mentioned in the same breath as Japanese car design is a bit eerie. Somethings wrong. Maybe Ferrari's freakish theme park in Abu Dhabi is to blame for such hollow design. I'm sure this thing looks better in the flesh as most Ferrari's do but still... c'mon its a Ferrari! It should be sent back to the drawing board. Actually maybe its better not to bearing in mind that's where it's hideous predecessor the 612 Scaglietti came from. Oh; forgot to mention that its designed to accommodate 4 adults in comfort and has 4 wheel drive which sounds like the design brief of an Audi estate. Maybe it'll make sense when it hits our roads but thus far the new FF has made an underwhelming entry.

Friday, 14 January 2011

The Last Supper - What would you drive?

Motoring "experts" are forever debating cars in an attempt to answer the eternal question "what is the best car in the world?" The real question is how do we meaure the best?

If you're sensible you'll buy a Porsche or a hot Audi or maybe a Nissan GT-R.

If you're stylish you'll go for a classic such as a Citroen SM or a Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe.
But if you're walking the green mile in the morning and you have only one set of keys to take for one final zenith of a drive what's it going to be? This helps to filter out those options that you think are sensible and wise but are really actually a distraction from the core of driving. You don't need a good dealer network whilst feathering a throttle through the apexes of a chicane. But a good dealer network wouldn't make the car worse would it? No but when we purchase a car its these "add-ons", usually manufactured in the sales office, that lead us to believe that any deficiencies in the driving experience are far outweighed by the other benefits. And this process can continue until we're convinced that any quality driving experience is a mere bonus to the core car values of reliability, value and status. In reality it should be the other way around: driving experience comes first.

So you have one hour, an empty road and your choice of car. What's it gonna be?

(Clue: think Italian)