Friday, July 22, 2005

Gibbs Aquada

Puntiki: This (HSA) high speed anphibian vehicle is being produced in Europe by NZ's own Alan Gibbs, and is quickly demanding attention the world over. It is a vehicle that can be driven on the public roads at speeds up to 160kph, and used on the water at speeds of up to 50 kph. Imagine taking the harbour to work rather than the jam packed motorway?
It looks a little like the Mazda MX-5, and if it was purely a road car it wouldn't be all that special. But since you can go fishing with it and even tow a wake boarder it is quite amazing.

Sir Richard Branson who is the Virgin Airlines Boss and adventurer extrodanaire recently crossed the English Channel in a Aquada in 1 hour 40 minutes and six seconds. The time blitzing the previous anphibious record of about 6 hours.
The Gibbs Humdinga is the next vehicle being made. It looks a bit like a Lamborghini LM2002, and will be powered by a 350hp engine.

I expect to see some of these fun vehicles in Pauanui sometime soon.

Pablo: Clever Nyalan. The Aquada is an impressive technological achievement. It is super-cool, and clearly has integrity as both a car and a boat. But the real money maker for Nyalan Gibbs will be the licensing of the hybrid technology for other vehicle applications, such as for the military. Gibbs Technologies may be responsible for the future vast improvement of amphibious vehicles in Western armies.

But to illustrate how cool the Aquada is, I'll finish with a quote from Mr Gibbs himself. “With this you can have a really good car on the road, and an exciting toy that can tow a water skier, that you can commute to work with, that you can go to St. Tropez with and take two girlfriends.”

Fast People Mover

Puntiki: The Renault Espace F1 was a PR exercise, and it was manufactured by Renault, Williams and Matra. It has a 3500 cc 40-Valve V10 engine, which produces a massive 800 BHP/ 597 kW. That is a impressive 228.6 BHP per liter. The Espace F1 weighs 1300 kg, it is 443 cm long and 205 cm wide. This prototype has a maximum speed of 310 kph/ 194 mph and sprints from 0 -100 Kph in 2.8 seconds. This was always a choice of mine when playing Grand Tourismo on the Playstation. It would be a real eye opener if you viewed it driving over the Auckland Harbour bridge, especially if Pablo was driving it at speed.

Pablo: Nice as a concept car I guess, but certainly not for production. It was basically a way for Williams to capitalise on the relationship with Renault. Such a shame the Williams/BMW partnership is ending - as a BMW M5 Williams Edition could have been something to covet.

Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG

Puntiki: This car rocks. It is faster than the Bentley GT, it is convertible, and it looks brilliant. Handling is not as good as the Bentley or BMW M5, but who cares when you have 604HP? Yes 604 HP. The mighty McLaren F1 has 627 HP, and although this car is a lot heavier, it is impressive none the less. I'd have one of these over the F360 any day.

Pablo: Yup. this is an outstanding car. I would love to take this for a blat around a race track, and I think I would rather own one of these than the SLR McLaren of a year or so back. Clearly a step above anything BMW or Bentley currently make.

Engine AMG-built twin-turbocharged 6.0L SOHC 36-valve V-12
Net Power604 hp @ 4,800 - 5,100 rpm
Net Torque738 lb-ft @ 2,000 - 4,000 rpm

0-100kph in 4.2 seconds
1/4 mile in 12.1 seconds

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Mazda RX3 Coupe

Puntiki: I adore these cool little cars, especially when they are done up nicely with a high powered rotary engine like the car above. The RX3 was originally produced in 1972 with a 10A Wankel engine. It came in a coupe version, a 4 door, and even a station wagon. The engine was then upgraded to the 12A Wankel engine in 1974 and the front nose cone was changed with a few other modifications at the same time to update the vehicle.

They appear to be popular all over the world with prices rapidly rising. I can remember when the going price for a good one was $NZ 5,000, now you'd need to hand over $15,000 NZ to even get a reasonable one. Be sure to check the chassis # and make sure it is not a converted Mazda 808. The 808 was the piston powered alternative to the RX-3, and is not as valuable even if someone has transplanted a rotary engine into it.

You either like rotary engined vehicles or you don't, but they (engines) are a technological masterpiece and capable of very high hp with a few mods from knowledgable mechanical engineers like Brian Connell at Mazsport Services in Glenfield. It is common now to find highly modified turbo and ported RX3's that will blitz your average Ferrari over the 1/4 mile.

The RX-3 was and still is prone to rust, thrashings, wheel spinning, donuts and unfortunately theft. Make sure if you own one you lock it up or it will go, some pillock will steal it in a heart beat. I want one, especially the car above, but I am prepared to take possession of it legally if the owner will sell for a reasonable price.

Pablo: Puntiki said : "You either like rotary engined vehicles or you don't". I don't, and I don't like this car either. I'm sure its a cult classic, but you only have to look at the sort of people who join cults to see why this is a bad car.

Cadillac CTS-V

Puntiki: Powered by the GM 5.7L LS6 V8 engine, this Caddy will do 0-60 MPH in 4.6 seconds which is faster than the 4.8 seconds it took the previous generation BMW M5 to get there. It has a Tremec 6 speed manual transmission, and I forgot to say 400HP.

I think that Cadillac has really upped the ante in the last few years. Not only does this car compete with the Europeans in performance, handling and quality, but it is priced just north of $50,000 in the USA which is a bargain. The advertisements on the television over here use Led Zeppelin for the music, conjuring up memories of the muscle car days, and they ( Cadillac ) have really created a niche in the market.

It looks a bit different, and it takes a bit of getting used too, but I like it and knowing GM there will be a 450-500hp version out soon. I would like to get in one of these cars, turn the traction control off, and do donuts in front of the Lexus store.

Pablo: I always thought Cadillacs were a bit OTT. But this car deserves to be a bit OTT. Clearly it is a much more agressive yet smarter muscle car - an assassin in a Hugo Boss suit, if you will. We will never see these cars in NZ, which is a shame because I think that Cadillac is clearly a brand that America ought to be proud of. I don't know much about this car, but I do like the shape and lines - it's unapologetically different from Japanese and European designs, and in some ways is as daring as the Audi A6 (previous shape). Some people hated it initially, but I grew to like the shape so much I ended up getting one.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Austin Maxi ( a classic )

Now what do you think about this land crab?

Launched in 1969 the new Maxi promised to be a comfortable family car with a unique and practical body design, unfortunately the Maxi suffered from the usual Leyland build and image problems. The Maxi came with a choice of two different four cylinder, overhead cam engines a 1500cc and a 1750cc , both of which offered good levels of performance.

The Maxi body was similar in style to the old 1800 models but now included the useful addition of an opening rear hatch, the first of a whole new generation of medium sized family cars. The engine was transversely mounted and carried over the land-crab front wheel drive layout first used in the 1800 range.

The Maxi sold in steady numbers throughout its life, early 1500 versions suffered with poor gear change linkages and were dropped from the range after 1979. Production of the 1750 ended in 1981, by then 412,000 Maxi 1500/1750 models had been built.

Top Speed 0-60 Engine Pwr
86mph 16.6s 74bhp @5500

Puntiki: This car is a corpus vile of crap.... Makes the Volvo 340 below look like a Rolls Royce. I spent many a after school journey in Fat Bomb Ferons mustard Maxi, and although I was grateful for the ride, I just can't stand these horrible beasts. Only thing going for it is that it had a 5 speed manual transmission when everything else was 4 speed. That is it. I would like to apologise for posting this :-)

Pablo: Austin. A car company that is deserved resting in peace. Not only were the cars of dubious engineering (being British) but Leyland forgot to include a profit margin. Pleased to have never been in one.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Bentley GT

552 BHP (560PS)
198 mph (318 km/h)
0-60 in 4.7 seconds (0-100 km/h 4.8)
W 12 cylinder Twin turbocharged
6 Speed Auto
Four wheel drive

Puntiki: This car is as FAST as a wacked cat, handles well, is refined, and has the same DNA and quality as the VW Phaeton / Audi A8 and even the Lamborghini Gallardo. It looks really good, and you could even take it skiing to Tahoe if you kept the stock wheels and got some chains ( unlike Paris Hilton who has big chromes ).
For 2006 Bentley is bringing out a 4 door version of this car, and a convertible is on the horizon. Every rap stars dream is to have one of these, and in Los Angeles most of them do, except they put on big wheels, gucci interiors and lots of chrome.... If I could rap I'd have one too.

Pablo: Sorry for the delay in blogging. Work committments, defamatory comments on my other blog, a piddling terrier - Tempus Fugit and all that. Anyways, the Bentley Continental GT is a hot hot car. It is the first good looking Bentley I have seen, with apologies to my friend Mr Banks who drives a Bentley Continental four door. The performance of Bentleys are extremely impressive, especially considering the weight in the things. It is the perfect car for landed gentry or those who have reasons not for liking German cars. Hence the reason why this car seems to be the choice of every rich Jewish male in Sydney.

I would love to take a Bentley for a spin from Auckland to Napier or for another similarly impressive long haul. It is after all a Gran Turismo, and not meant for parking around Parnell but instead whooshing through the provinces from vineyard to boutique hotel. And yet, for all its speed, for all its presence, something about the car doesn't make me want to own one. I think its the lack of contemporary race heritage. I know that Bentley have re-entered Le Mans et al, but it's not a Ferrari or a Porsche, and those are cars that make my heart flutter. But then, those who have had such cars may well be looking for something a little more exotic or even a little less common than a Ferrari 575.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Toyota Prius ( hybrid )

Gasoline Engine

Displacement 1.5 liters (1497 cc)
Power output 76 hp @ 5000 rpm (57 kW @ 5000 rpm)
Torque 82 lb.-ft. @ 4200 rpm (111 Nm @ 4200 rpm)
Emission ratings Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (AT-PZEV)

Electric Motor
Motor type Permanent magnet AC synchronous motor
Power output 67 hp @ 1200-1540 rpm (50 kW @ 1200-1540 rpm)
Torque 295 lb.-ft. @ 0-1200 rpm (400 Nm @ 0-1200 rpm)
Voltage 500V maximum
Traction Battery
Type Sealed Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) [2]
Power output 28 hp (21 kW)

Hybrid System Net Power 110 hp (82 kW)

Puntiki: Now I guess that Pablo does not like all the engine info about these cars, but this is a special one, and anyone who wears a bucket on his head doesn't deserve to be listened too anyway :-)

The Toyota Prius is a hybrid vehicle which produces nearly zero emmissions from the petrol / electric engine.

Now originally when these odd looking vehicles were released, I thought that they would be for the left wing tree hugging greenies only. But surprisingly enough, other than being popular with those large bearded no deoderant wearing creatures, they are popular with celebs, business people, familys, and even the City of West Hollywood.

These little beasts are commanding a sales price over the MSRP and people are lining up to get them.

They grow on you and I though I'd never say this about a slow weird hybrid vehicle, I actually quite like them. In Los Angeles at least with all the smog and pollution in the air, the Toyota Prius is a compliment to anyones garage.

Pablo: Here is a car that intrigues me. I think the Prius represents a significant leap ahead in environmentally friendly design, and is a car that is also commercially viable. I have only seen a few around Auckland, one belonging to the ARC (proudly advertising its ultra-low emissions record), and I have to admit, the car is fairly easy on the eyes too.

Its a shame they are a little too expensive still, as I would like to see city councils be able to adopt these as fleet cars, plus other large organisations like health boards and the like.

The Prius is not for everyone. It is a small car, which rules out families, and the lack of power means that its not really a long-haul vehicle either. But bravo on Toyota for leading the field in environmentally sensitive production cars. It's about time that nearly-zero emission cars stopped being concepts and became available to those who want to find the right balance between a town car and making an environmentally friendly statement.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Lamborghini Gallardo

Zero 60 mph 4.1
100 mph 9.2
Street start, 5–60 mph 4.6
Top-gear acceleration, 30–50 mph 4.0
Standing 1/4-mile 12.4 sec @ 118 mph
Top speed (drag limited) 191 mph

Type V-10, aluminum block and heads
Power (SAE net) 493 bhp @ 7800 rpm
Torque (SAE net) 376 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
Redline 8100 rpm

Puntiki: A 493 HP V10, 4 wheel drive, Audi quality and engineering, 0-60MPH in 4.1 seconds, a 191MPH top speed, and over $100,000US less than the big brother Murcielago...... Why not buy one now? ( apologies to Cathy Odgers who doesn't like yellow cars ) The ass end of this car is a bit average, but being in the drivers seat you are not going to see it anyway unless you wrap it around a pole. The car is nearly as fast as the Murcielago, and is capable of getting your licence suspended within seconds.... I'd prefer the BMW M5 with 507 Hp and seating for at least 4 comfortably, but for a weekend blast, the Gallardo would be adequate for me.

Pablo: Can we please put our comments at the end sir, and maybe edit out all that guff about 30-60mph? I mean, who bloody cares? A Lambo is what you get after Ferraris seem boring to you. Puntiki is right in mentioning the Audi engineering - German technology in an Italian designed car is a powerful combination - especially considering the disgraceful build quality of previous Lamborghinis. This car looks like stealth fighter - perhaps the most aggressive looking sports car on the market today. All those cut edges at the front and back....

Would I want one though? No. I think I would prefer a 911 Turbo or a Ferrari 430. The Lambo just lacks the grace of the Ferrari, and the Porsche would be far easier to live with and drive everyday. Mercedes SL55AMG would be the ticket too. If I wanted something exotic, I would probably think about an Aston Martin.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

This from

Its curb weight of 3451 lb. is just 154 lb. more than the 4S Coupe's, an increase Porsche claims should only pad the Cabrio's 0-100-km/h (0-62-mph) time by a couple of tenths, from 5.1 seconds to 5.3. This car will do 176 MPH.

An e-mail recieved from Cathy Odgers today......

I love cars. Flash ones.

I have this rule. I promise myself I will never drive any
car that I could not afford to buy. It is going to spoil
the fun when I buy a kick a** m**her f**king dream machine.
This is not so much a car review, as a review of what
happens when you own a certain sort of car, from a female

In 2003 two friends of mine bought Porsche Carrera 4S
Cabriolets. Puntiki can find the photos and the boring
specs.(Above) One owner is an elder gentlemen, who is fiancee of a
girlfriend of mine and one a reasonably youthful and very
adventurous female. Both had purchased these beasts because
they love Porsche's and they could afford to. One bought
black, the other, dark grey. They go to Porsche racing
schools and genuinely enthuse Porsche.

I lived a few weeks with my female friend who has the 4S.
Our day would start like this:

8.30am Get up, get changed, call taxi
9am Pick 4S up from Hilton Hotel Carpark, go to breakfast
in Ponsonby Rd
9.10am Hit number 1 for the day, "Is that your car, it is a
beauty, by the way you have nice tits". Man leave business
card and offer for drink later
9.20am Breakfast arrives, people drool over car parked
9.30am Bus pulls up, 4S is parked in the bus stop, no one
10.30am Finish breakfast, girlfriend does some
stuff, probably goes to the gyn, I don't know
12.30pm I am picked up in 4S. Girlfriend
straightens the list of cards she has received. Girlfriend
has special pile of cards, I enquire what they are for - "oh
they are ones left on the car". Okay - so the 4S has its
own cards!
1pm Park car at Simunovich Fisheries. Its okay to park
there, no one will tow it. Hot guys approach girlfriend.
Speak about 4S. Have lunch with us and talk business, and
the 4S.
2.30pm Do some business while leaving 4S at Metropolis.
Valet parked out front.
5pm Return to 4S, more cards left on it. Valet guys have a
6pm Park 4S at Hilton Hotel Carpark, again in valet parking
left out front. Giggle to girlfriend that it will have to
stay the night as we will not be in a fit state to drive it
8pm Given up thinking about driving home, relax and enjoy
night out, collect more cards
3am Taxi home.

We were at a salon having stuff done one day and girlfriend
says to me - "Cathy you will have to drive, my nails are
still wet". No freaking way was my answer. I could just
see me parallel parking the 4S in Parnell Rd only to look
like a retard as it has little beeps when you get near
things or to dent it and another equally as expensive piece
of designer excellence. Driving someones car to me is as
personal as wearing their underwear. There was no way I
could fit hers!


1. Owning a 4S means you never have to pay for parking.
2. The 4S in itself averages 15 business cards left a week.
Most male, but some female. Most of the males are very hot
looking 40+ men who either have a high performance car, or
wish they would when they ditch the W and 2K.
3. Owning a 4S is not the best thing if you wish to keep a
low profile. Everyone seems to track my girlfriend by the
4. It is extremely sexy, not that practical and has a sound
system that most DJ's would die over.
5. Really fat people could not fit in the standard form
front seat. Therefore it does discriminate.
6. It is a fast car, but a safe one. You could break on a
10 cent coin so it feels safe.
7. The convertible feature is a compulsion I think, when the
hood is down it feels a bit claustrophobic. You can get 2
people in the back at a squeeze with the hood off.
8. Men dig it. They know it is a cool car. Women are not
that sure of it.
9. A lot of people will love you just for the car. Think of
it this way, it is great because you can be a bastard in
other ways and they will forgive you.
10. It’s definitely the kind of car that I would like to