Ferrari resists all-electric performance push

Mark Schneider | 2/12/2016 8:47:11 AM

Sales of electric cars may still be a trickle but that trickle may yet become a flood if Toyota’s reported plans to mass-produce long range electric cars by 2020 come to fruition. Toyota’s decision coincides with Renault-Nissan’s recently announced plans to introduce an US$8,000 electric car to the Chinese market. One manufacturer that won’t be joining in the electric revolution anytime soon however is Ferrari. While the exotic Italian intends to give all its new c...

The great Aussie ute has evolved

Mark Schneider | 22/11/2016 8:21:46 AM

The impending demise of Australia’s domestic vehicle manufacturing has also heralded the end of an original Australian contribution to the motoring world – the traditional Aussie utility or ute. But the great Aussie ute isn’t dead, it’s simply evolved into something a little different and even more practical. The genesis of the Aussie ute dates back to a letter written to Ford by a farmer’s wife in 1933. Sadly her name’s been lost to motoring history, b...

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Categories: Ford, Australia

Hate Speed Cameras? You'll Really Hate This One!

Mark Schneider | 15/11/2016 9:29:23 AM

Some people just hate speed cameras, those sneaky invisible roadside enforcers that relentlessly snap away, dispensing speeding fines with silent aggravating efficiency. In fact some people hate them with such a passion they’ve been known to hit them with hammers and other heavy things, park in front of them and even run over them with four wheel drives. Tut-tut. Naughty! Well they’d better not try it with the latest law enforcer from Germany. The Vitronic Enforcement Trai...

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Categories: Safety, Europe

Researchers expose VW security flaw

Mark Schneider | 11/11/2016 8:17:31 AM

Concerns about the vulnerability of modern cars to hacking attacks have been heightened by the news that four researchers from the University of Birmingham have replicated the master keys for millions of VWs built since 1995. The computer security research team used $40 worth of freely available electronic equipment to reverse engineer VW’s encrypted master keys, allowing them to unlock the cars. And it’s not just VWs, it’s others from the VW group as well, including Sea...

How to get 10 cents off per litre of fuel

Natalie Mankowski | 8/11/2016 8:31:51 AM

With Australia being the sixth largest country in the world geographically - spanning over 810,000km of road, us Australians rely heavily on our cars to get us around on a daily basis. With fuel prices likely to only increase and a heavy reliance on our vehicles, Australians need to be savvy when it comes to saving on fuel. Fortunately - there are several ways to save significantly, even up to 10 cents off every litre. Know your city’s discounting cycle Knowing your city’s...

Ford Falcon has come a long, long way

Mark Schneider | 4/11/2016 9:12:33 AM

The last Ford Falcon to roll off the production line at the Broadmeadows plant put an end to 91 years of manufacturing history for Ford in Australia. It also ended the remarkable 56 year run of the Ford Falcon, which began with the American designed XK in 1960 and ended 3,578,689 Falcons later with the FG X Falcon XR6. Falcon sedans and wagons were family favourites for generations of Australians, selling in huge numbers and locked in a battle with Holden for market dominance. For many of...

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Categories: Ford, Australia

Victoria is Australia’s car theft capital

Mark Schneider | 26/10/2016 10:01:44 AM

Australians tend to be a little parochial when it comes to their home state, proudly proclaiming the superiority of NSW, Victoria, Queensland, WA, or wherever else they call home. We even have a history of putting state slogans on our number plates. But here’s one you’re unlikely to see adorning Victorian number plates: “Australia’s car theft capital”. Yes, Victoria has earned that unwanted title after an extraordinary 33% rise in car thefts in the year to Ju...

Never ignore drowsy driving

Mark Schneider | 17/10/2016 11:57:46 AM

You’ve been driving for several hours with several more to go and you’re starting to yawn. Next the blinking starts and you’re having trouble keeping your head up. Your thoughts are wandering and suddenly you’ve nodded off for a second, drifted out of the lane or off the road and jerked your head up with a sudden shock. That was scary! If that sounds familiar it could be that you’ve been working too hard and not getting enough sleep and it’s definitely ...

Transport is more expensive than you think

Mark Schneider | 5/10/2016 2:41:23 PM

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) certainly raised a few eyebrows recently with its revelations about just how much it’s costing Australians to get around in their wide brown land, or at least around their suburbs. The AAA’s Transport Affordability Index showed the average Australian family is spending up to $22,000/year on transport. It’s a remarkable figure but what’s also surprising is the difference in costs between our most expensive ci...

Marketers’ dream or another high-tech distraction?

Mark Schneider | 28/09/2016 3:58:46 PM

As if texting in cars wasn’t bad enough, drivers may soon be faced with another distraction when they’re behind the wheel – in-car marketing. According to a report in on-line magazine Marketing Land, cars are about to become the next mobile target for marketing, and it promises to distract us in a number of ways. Targeted billboards For starters there are digital billboards which are going interactive. Ads that are synchronised to changing traffic speeds are just...

Formula E is electrifying motor racing

Mark Schneider | 27/09/2016 12:07:54 PM

The cars may look familiar and the action is fast, furious and close. The commentators hyperventilate with excitement and even the drivers’ names are steeped in motor racing royalty. There’s a Prost and a Senna and a Piquet on the grid alongside former Formula 1 drivers Jarno Trulli, Sebastien Buemi and Nick Heidfeld. But when the rubber hits the road at any race of the Formula E series there’s something distinctly different about it. It’s the sound – there&r...

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Categories: Electric

Autonomous Cars Take a Giant Leap Forward

Mark Schneider | 2/08/2016 10:18:37 AM

Autonomous cars have just taken another big step into the future with the release of a new computer that collects data and enables autonomous navigation. NXP’s BlueBox computer collects information from radar, Lidar, cameras and other sensors and processes them in real time to build a model of the vehicle’s surroundings. The system can process an astonishing 90 million instructions per second and uses less than 40 watts in the process. It’s already had the s...

Chinese start-up poaches BMW’s electric experts

Mark Schneider | 19/07/2016 1:01:59 PM

In a sure sign that China is getting very serious indeed about the future of electric cars, Chinese electric vehicle startup Future Mobility has recruited the brains behind BMW’s electric i8 sports car. The Chinese company may be an unknown in the vehicle world, but it’s backed by some very big money - the curiously named Tencent Holdings and Foxconn. Tencent Holdings is an electronics, social media and online gaming giant worth over US$200 billion, while Foxconn, which manufa...

Ford's Australian Influence is Here to Stay

Mark Schneider | 15/07/2016 9:33:44 AM

The end of Ford Australia’s car production may be just months away but Ford Australia’s Research and Development and Product Development team will be playing a major role in developing new products world-wide. In doing so, the company will become Australia’s biggest automotive sector employer from next year, according to Ford. After its last cars have left the production line Ford’s Broadmeadows, Victoria plant will be transformed into its Asia-Pacific Product Deve...

When comprehensive insurance just isn't enough

Mark Schneider | 5/07/2016 10:02:49 AM

Sometimes life’s harshest lessons come at the worst possible time. I learnt a harsh lesson about insurance recently when I was involved in a car crash. Happily I was quite OK but my car was a write-off. The other driver was entirely at fault, his insurance paid out on my claim and I didn’t even have to pay the excess. But here’s the harsh bit – my car won’t be replaced, I won’t get any money for another one and I’m now looking at a bill for nearly...

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