The Future of Motoring

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As we all know, the futuristic vision of motoring normally shows adventurous, spontaneous and all out happy people driving the electric equivalent of a Lada Niva, i.e. a Nissan Leaf, that silly little Peugeot thing and the G-Wizz . I personally think that is not the future for motoring enthusiasts. Well, if it were, then all motoring enthusiasts would say, “Bugger this!”, jump off a cliff and scream “YOLO!!!”

I think the company which has the correct idea for the future car is Fisker, especially with the Karma. They haven’t got it 100% right, but they’re onto something. The idea of having an electric motor as the main propulsion component is excellent. The way the Fisker works (if I got this right and I think I do) is with an electric motor at the rear axle, a bunch of batteries in the middle and a 2.0L turbo at the front. You plug it in your wall socket and it charges just like a phone. Easy. Or, you don’t even have to plug it in. You can just put petrol in it, but the engine doesn’t power the wheels. Instead, the engine charges the batteries, which in turn power the wheels. It is a brilliant system (apart from all the trouble Fisker has with the suppliers, fires and technical difficulties).

There is only one problem. When, not if, all the oil runs out, you’ll be stuck with this heavy lump of unused metal under the bonnet formerly called an ‘engine’. Then one day you can tell your grandchildren about this thing that used to power your car that also made this (sometimes) beautiful, intoxicating sound – not what granny drives now that makes this digital noise to keep her from falling asleep. I’ve gone completely off topic now…

Ummmm… oh yes, the ‘engine’. If you replace the ‘engine’ in the Fisker to, let’s say, a hydrogen fuel cell in the Honda FCX Clarity, then it can work as normal. People will go to a ‘HydroStation’ instead of a ‘Petrol Station’ and the world can continue as if nothing ever happened (well not really, but you get my point). I mean, hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. When we run out of hydrogen, then someone else can just copy and paste this blog and correct the vehicles and technologies of their time. Off topic again…

The best things about electric cars are the specs. All the power and all the torque are there from the second you ‘start’ the electric motor until the second you ‘turn it off’. It is awesome! I can only imagine driving something like the Mercedes-Benz SLS ElectricDrive around the Nürburgring. Or even a hyper-hybrid (just thought that word up) like the Porsche 918 Spyder, or the Ferrari with the stupid name, or the McLaren P1 (a company which should really revise their naming strategy).

Then you get to the bad things. The worst thing about them is that they will wipe out the manual gearbox. I can’t imagine a world without the manual car. I see it as a horrible, miserable place where gearshift hands and left legs are the most bored body parts the universe will ever see. Another thing is the range. And the sound. And the looks (Nissan Leaf). And the irritating fact that you bought an electric car!!!

 

Michael De Kock is (obviously) a car enthusiast, avid reader and movie lover who have the goal to know (at least) a little bit about (almost) everything.

What is a Car Without Passion?

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By Michael De Kock

 

BMW’s M Division cars always had and still have a certain passion that you don’t find anywhere else. They look different, feel different and have their own personality. Before I go on, here is a little history…

BMW M GmbH (previously: BMW Motorsport GmbH) is a subsidiary German car manufacturer – BMW AG.

BMW M, also known as M-Technik or just ‘M’ (for Motorsport) was initially created for BMW’s racing program, which was very successful in the 60s and 70s. As time passed, BMW M began to supplement the firm’s vehicles portfolio with specially modified higher trim models, for which they are now most known by the general public. These M-badged cars traditionally include modified engines, transmissions, suspensions, interior trims, aerodynamics, and exterior modifications to set them apart from their counterparts. All M models are tested and tuned at BMW’s private facility at the Nürburgring racing circuit in Germany.

Now, there are other car manufacturers that also have passion and grace, among other stuff, but none has the same combination as BMW M. The other car companies are Ferrari, who is extremely expensive, but probably has the most passion of any car manufacturer. Then there is Lamborghini, who is just loony and there is Maserati, who makes brilliant cars but unfortunately have too many flaws. Then of course we get Fiat. Fiat owns Ferrari, but Fiat has no passion whatsoever. There are American cars like Ford, Chevrolet, Chrysler (who is Italian now), Dodge, Callaway, Tesla, etc. but they are primarily for drag racing and I don’t think the Americans know too much about corners. The only American car manufacturers who can even think of getting close to the passion-o-meter that the M Division owns, are Shelby and Duesenberg.

Other European car companies include Jaguar which is top in the ‘passion department’ of British manufacturers. The rest don’t really come close. Scandinavia has, or should I say had, Saab (which will forever remain one of my favourite car manufacturers).  The Chinese I’m not even going to talk about. The Japanese are okay, but too much like Audi – too… cold and clinical. Australia is too much like America with their cars, although they did bring South Africa the new Ford Ranger, which is brilliant, but one doesn’t necessarily crave it.

That’s the reason BMW M is so good. You yearn for them when they drive by, you want to feel their acceleration, you want to park them in your friend’s driveway and ask him if he wants a spin, just so you can have an excuse to drive it again.

BMW ‘s M Division is one of the two reasons why I want to become a motoring journalist, so that I can feel that perfect balance between power, precision and most important of all – passion.

Well, that and so that I can drive any car like a complete and utter berk…