CAR Interactive: letters, tweets and comments, CAR+ June 2016

Published: 01 May 2016

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Morgan’s talented bonnet snipper > via email

The bloke in the Morgan factory on page 91 of the May issue ought to have been a surgeon. His hand is so steady and his eye so true that he can cut a bonnet by hand using a pair of tin snippers, while balancing it precariously on his knee. Priceless! Eat your heart out, Nissan Sunderland!

Allan McCall

We like it dirty! > via email

The April issue’s Car Top 10, featuring ‘most epic polluters’, seems a case of ‘quick to barb, slow to judge.’ Your 10 epic slams have a collective average GBU score of 4.3 stars. Who’s (thankfully) turning a blind eye?

Tim Davis

On the Mitsubishi scandal > via Facebook

They lied about my Evo. It was more economical than official figures!

Alistair Taylor


488’s actually a bargain > via email

It was great to read Ben Barry’s enthusiasm for the Ferrari 488 GTB taking the top step of the podium in your ‘Clash of Clans’ Giant Test (CAR, May). However, I can imagine your readers may have been disheartened to read that the monthly cost of the 488 GTB is 3x that of the Audi R8 and 4x that of the McLaren 570S.

In fact, the figures quoted completely misrepresent the true cost of owning a 488 GTB. Through our official network, Ferrari Financial Services could offer a monthly payment of £2667/month on the 488 GTB with the quoted £24,083 deposit, not the £4014 as stated. With deposits comparable to the figures quoted for the Audi and McLaren, the monthly payment on the 488 GTB would drop to £2491/month or £2181/month respectively.

It is also worth bearing in mind that our clients prefer to own a Ferrari rather than hire one and that Ferrari Financial Services, which is fully regulated by the FCA, can offer a range of very attractive funding solutions to suit any client’s individual needs.

When Ferrari’s four-year warranty and seven-year genuine maintenance are taken into consideration, the servicing costs of a 488 GTB for the three years would be £0, a saving of approximately £1000 per year vs our competitors.

Jason Harris, PR manager, Ferrari North Europe

On the Porsche 960 > via Facebook

Porsche seems to be finally admitting defeat in trying to pitch the 911 against most of McLaren’s range and the recent 458 and 488. If it looks nothing like the 911 then it should be great.

Ian Miles

On self-parking cars > via CAR online

What worries me is the inevitable transition once these cars are introduced. For decades to come they will be occupying car parks alongside older cars (with highly skilled drivers able to park themselves!) but will presumably be able to park very close to other cars as there’s no need to open the door to get out and in. How is the driver of the older car in the next space supposed to get back into it when one of these hasn’t left enough room? I’m sure this will be further fuelled by the basic selfishness of human nature.

BikeSausage

Not so fast, future boys > via email

The future of autonomous mobility that Gavin Green sets out so elegantly (CAR, May) is hardly new. I remember reading a similar article in the Eagle 50 years ago. The difference was that it asserted confidently that by the year 2000 cars would be nuclear powered and airborne.

So what happened to all that? The reality is that I used hydrocarbons, a steering wheel and my brain to complete my last car journey, just as my father and my grandfather did before me, all of us in cars that have changed remarkably little in concept over three generations. I don’t see the pace of change suddenly accelerating at the rate needed to fulfil the car bosses’ vision any time soon, especially as I know no one who looks upon such a future with any desire.

Nick Dawson


Wider seats? In America? > via email

Excellent March issue, up to your usual high standard. One small but significant error: seating capacity at Daytona International Speedway was actually reduced (as opposed to increased) as part of the Daytona Rising project. DIS featured over 150,000 seats until a couple of years ago when the grandstands on the back ‘super stretch’ were removed. Daytona Rising then increased the width of the remaining seats to provide additional comfort. As a whole, NASCAR is experiencing declining attendance and television ratings, and Daytona is not the only track that has reduced its seating capacity. Keep up the good work.

John Oreovicz

Georg the giant > via email

As a regular reader of your lofty publication since the late ’70s maybe it is easier to gain perspective. Good and bad cars (and manufacturers) may come and go with the times but the common theme is that CAR has expressed its view. The independent verdict is not always populist but it is argued and illustrated by the very best in the business and almost always has stood the test of time.

I am reminded of the Guinness advert where people stand on each other’s shoulders to form a pyramid in order for one to see what is on the other side of the wall. The highest of standards needs giants such as the foundations of Pomeroy, Fraser, Bishop, built on by Setright, Green and others too numerous to mention and now by the current crew. The perspective given by you to us the reader is second to none. However it is only with hindsight that we can see the distillation of the finest spread of qualities of driver, analysis, language and industry insight and longevity that makes the totem pole Georg Kacher such a literal giant among giants.

Stuart Aspin


The Church of Elon > via email

I can’t decide whether Tesla’s Elon Musk (CAR, May) is a genius or a mischief-maker, but either way it’s amusing to see how he’s got the big carmakers fretting over the possibility he may be about to make them all look daft. The worry is that if someone with enough conviction convinces enough people that a certain way forward is the right way then they can create a wave which drags everyone along in that (potentially wrong) direction. Look at Toyota. They turned the hybrid into a virtual church of eco virtuousness, millions fell into line and rival carmakers had to follow, good idea or not.

Sam Craddock

Tesla vs refinement > via email

I am fascinated by Tesla’s advance. My only hesitation is that I took a Tesla taxi in Amsterdam a few weeks ago, and while it was very impressive until we got onto the motorway, at 120kph plus the car was transformed from smooth and quiet into a very noisy experience, because of wind noise. It did make me wonder whether this Californian car needs some refinement for speeds outside California.

Philip Warland

Tesla vs the grid > via email

I’m not optimistic that the Tesla Model 3 launches the UK electric automotive age. The grid is in a bad way. There is a paper written by the National Grid looking at the prospect of 3.5m EVs by 2035. The writer is alarmed at the prospect because power stations are coming off line and it takes forever to build new ones, especially nuclear. Renewable energy is a waste of space unless storage is possible.

So on a purely practical and engineering level, mass market EVs are a no-go here unless we get real about our grid and there is little chance because the greenies are in charge. Ironic really. To carry the sheer quantity of mega-watt hours, our whole grid and the sub structure would have to be rehashed.

My company Trend Tracker did some calculations for our EV report in 2011, and we reckoned it would cost £1 trillion – never mind digging up loads of cables and sticking three-phase transformers almost on every corner. So, no way we’ll all be driving EVs in 20 years. It ain’t happening.

Chris Oakham


On lightweight Lotuses > via car online

The only manufacturer still committed to old-school values. They deserve to succeed. Both the Evora 400 and the new Exige sport are the best cars money can buy right now.

Ofir

Great to see Lotus committed to its principles. Given current technological trends is it time Lotus developed its own carbon tub?

Fastharri


A load of old Boxster

So, the Focus RS sees off not just a BMW M-car, but a Porsche! What a revealing comparison (CAR, May). Your judgement of the 718 Boxster and its left-of-field competitors was fascinating and challenging. Setting an example to the rest of us petrolheads, you showed how we must all be prepared to embrace the new order of things, the changing priorities driven by concerns about (perceived) efficiency, fuel consumption and emissions.

However. Even if I could afford to part-exchange my three-year-old 981 for a new 718 Boxster, I reckon I’d be in my grave before the ‘on-paper parsimony’ of the new car cancelled out the emissions created in its manufacture. It’s a guess, I admit. It would be so interesting to see a calculation by someone who understands the fine detail of these things.

More to the point, I don’t give a monkey’s if an old-school Boxster can’t keep pace with the 718 (or indeed the amazingly talented Focus RS): just listen to one! Do I really want to exchange the exquisite song of the nightingale for the harsh croak of the rook? I think not. I intend to keep my 981 until I’m too skint to run it, or too decrepit to climb in and out of it, whichever comes the sooner.

Chris Waite

Read more from the June 2016 issue of CAR magazine

By CAR's road test team

Our reviewers: fresh perspectives for inquisitive minds

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