BMW made its name in 1916 as BFW – producing and developing aircraft engines for WW1. This fact may seem insignificant to some but if you scratch beneath the surface, you will notice that it is a fact that has made BMW what it is today.
The technology and innovation that slaps you in the face when you have your first ride in a BMW is one that will stay with you forever. It is a number of combined qualities, developed from aircraft engineering, that make BMW so unique.
Since then, the 70’s was the decade for music and movies. The 80’s was the decade for fashion and cars. The BMW M5 offered us thrill seeking humans just what we had been looking for and still to this day, they never fail to satisfy.
Now, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG creates some of the most responsive cars in the industry. It is not even like you need to drive one to discover how special they are. You can see it. One drives past you on the street and you notice.
When you get in a BMW car, you can feel the quality. There is a perfect balance between handling, power, convenience, luxury, comfort and amenities that, combined, is unseen in other cars.
You are connected to the road in a way that raises your heartbeat with every twist and turn. The BMW provides the driver with just the right amount of feedback so you will know what the car is doing at all times.
In June 2012, Forbes Magazine listed BMW as the No.1 most reputable company in the world. The rankings were based on people’s willingness to buy, to recommend, to work for and to invest in. That fact speaks for itself.
Let’s not pretend high intensity power doesn’t matter. You want safety and reliability that is fierce right down to its very core. BMW is the automaker for you.
The company’s focus on engineering excellence alongside leading-edge design has lead it to the forefront of technology in an attempt to enhance the driving experience. Through a constant influx of consumer aided innovations, BMW has moved ahead of its peers. It plans to stay there.
BMW – the ultimate driving machine – isn’t just a car. It is every synonym and antonym under the sun. Emotional, yet powerful. Fiery, yet cool. Intense, yet calming.
So, when does your driving pleasure start?
Dubai Lamborghinis and Vatican Golf Buggies: Cop Cars of the World
In an innovative and ever-so-slightly bizarre move, the Dubai police force have taken extreme steps to dissuade boy racers from thinking that speeding through the streets of the emirate would be a good idea. While sports cars can outrun most police cars, the latest addition to the Dubai police force can more than hold its own.
The Ferrari FF, branded with the force’s trademark white and green colour scheme was unveiled by Dubai Police Leutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim outside the Burj al-Khalifa. The introduction ceremony took place in the shadow of the tallest building on the planet, and the scope and audacity of bringing a $300,000 sports vehicle into the police force felt suitably outlandish. The Ferrari is not the first unusual addition to the Dubai police force, with the $360,000 Lamborghini Aventador unveiled earlier in April 2013. Although the authorities claim that it is a necessary measure, it is easy to see why utilising such expensive and flash cars as a means of crime prevention can be seen merely as a means of demonstrating the massive wealth the emirate possesses.
It is not, however, the first extreme and unusual police car to grab the headlines. A Texas-based Sherriff requested GeigerCars build a custom Hummer for his daily activities. The controversial gas-guzzler was decked out in the iconic American black and white paint job, complete with the Texas county crest on the front doors.
You can always turn to the Italians for the original touch of flair and fashion, with two Lamborghini Gallardos being donated to the force. The Lamborghinis came decked out in the Italian blue with a flash of white stripes down the side and the famous ‘POLIZIA’ branding. Sorry Dubai, but the Italians got there first.
Staying close by, in Vatican City, a very different type of police vehicle has often made its presence known. While typical police cars would obviously be out of place in between the nuns, priests and religious tourists, the Polizia instead use a vehicle much smaller and less intrusive to make their way through the sacred grounds. The Vatican Polizia vehicle looks to have more in common with a golf buggy than the flash Lamorghini Gallardos – suitably minimalistic for quickly covering ground in The Vatican.
The Czech Republic decided to meet the Italians somewhere in the middle, between Lamborghinis and golf buggies, choosing to use Smart Cars to patrol Prague. The Mestska Policie Smart Fortwo provided nifty travel through the winding Prague streets, although maybe the Emiratis have a point about not being able to catch speedsters. Maybe Ferraris are the way forward after all….
Tony Stevens is an aspiring screenwriter with an interest in concept cars and art.
Since the first recognisable modern car was built in the early 1900s, manufacturers have been trying to give consumers affordable, functional and desirable automobiles. As we will see, many companies have missed the mark altogether instead producing a collection of cars that critics love to hate. Whilst there are many things that help to define a car as truly awful, taking into consideration factors like performance, reliability, style, safety and design this list will take us on a journey through the worst that the automotive world has to offer. For those who still think the Fiat Panda is bad, this top ten offers a sharp reality check, taking us through the very worst that car manufacturers have to offer.
1. The Robin Reliant
Made famous across the globe as the mode of transport favoured by Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses, this is a car that really deserves its own canned laughter soundtrack. With just three wheels, this car isn’t only asymmetrical it is dangerously unstable, tilting around corners and wobbling as it approaches speeds as daring as 50mph. The only upside to owning a monstrosity like this is that you can drive it on a motorcycle license.
2. Nissan Serena
Perhaps the name isn’t that familiar, but doubtless many will have ridden in one as they remain a very popular choice amongst taxi firms. A square box on wheels, not only is this car ungainly, it is impossible to get it to go anywhere near 60mph without the danger that it will fall to pieces.
Another boxy delight, the Trabant is famous for being both noisy and toxic. With a two-stroke engine distracting bystanders with its raucous din, it is almost possible to overlook the fact that this car pumps out carbon monoxide quantifiable only in metric tonnes.
4. Skoda Estelle
Confusingly for more recent generations, the Czech manufactured Skoda has a bad reputation it still struggles to shake. The laughing stock of the industry this Skoda has driven many to distraction. As a vehicle that not only looks terrible but has a loud and temperamental gearbox, handles dreadfully and continually breaks down, it is a testament to Skoda’s PR department that the car has managed to achieve a loyal following.
5. Ford Pinto
Light, inexpensive and practical the Ford Pinto has unfortunately gone down in history as one of the worst cars of all time due to its tendency to burst into flames when it was rear-ended. No matter how much money went into the design, no passenger enjoys a car that doubles as a barbeque.
Maybe unfairly, the words ‘Serbian-made’ probably don’t fill many with confidence yet the existence of the Yugo only serves to prove doubters correct. A remake of the Fiat which boasts performance every bit as bad as its build, its low price doesn’t detract from the fact that drivers often find the car crumbling around them as they drive.
7. Sensonic Saab 900
The product of a Swedish aerospace and defence company, the Saab suffers from some major design flaws. Possessed of a gearbox that is part manual and part automatic yet requires no input from a clutch pedal, parallel parking is more complicated than learning to fly a plane. However the excitement of a semi automatic gearbox made it a popular choice in the business car hire market.
8. 1972 Rolls Royce Corniche
Beautiful, elegant and majestic few would expect a Rolls to appear on a worst cars of all time list but this model – featuring a 6.75L V8 engine – was a huge lumbering albatross of a vehicle. With the brakes, steering and rear suspension controlled by a hydraulic system even the smallest technical problem would stop nearly 5000 lbs of metal dead in its tracks. A thrill ride for those who enjoy staring death in the eye.
9. 1991 Porsche Carrera RS
Designed as a limited edition model supposed to channel all the best aspects of a lightweight sports car, its handling characteristics are so dire it isn’t only a difficult drive, it is a dangerous one. A far cry from more recent incarnations of this model.
10. Lexus SC 430
Built by Toyota and sold by Lexus, even appearing in The Terminator does nothing to earn this car any credit. With terrible handling and front wheels that seem to be altogether independent of the vehicle, this car remains one of the worst of all time.
We now live in an age where climate change and global warming is on the tip of everyone’s tongues. It is a global problem that needs to be tackled and there is plenty you can do to help. One of the main ways that you can help is through how you use your car – and not just through the exact vehicle you own but also through how you drive it.
One of the main ways to go green is with an eco-friendly car. Hybrids are very green and come in a range of styles and models. There are even hybrid transit van models available, which can have lower than average insurance premiums, visit here for a van insurance quote. Hybrid cars have much better mileage, than most conventional cars and cleaner emissions as well. This means that you will be saving money on petrol, whilst being a lot greener and more environmentally friendly.
Another good way to become greener whilst driving is to change your driving style. Stopping and starting suddenly wastes a lot of fuel, so always adhere to the speed limit, but try and maintain a constant speed rather than stopping and starting. Think before you make journeys too; try combining tasks, making one trip rather than lots of smaller excursions. Making lots of small journeys is only going to waste more fuel and increase your environmental footprint.
Maintenance is also an important factor in being green. It is always a good idea to keep your car well maintained and in a good condition. Get your car checked over by a mechanic on a regular basis and have your air filter changed, as these things can help you become that little bit greener.
Make sure that your tyres are properly inflated too; tyres that are not at the correct pressure can mean that you end up wasting a lot of fuel. Having correctly pumped up tyres can save you a lot of money and it isn’t a difficult task.
An alternative option that you may or may not have thought about is carpooling or lift-sharing. If you share lifts with a colleague to and from work for example, you will lower the price of your monthly fuel bill and do your bit to protect the environment.
You could also replace short car journeys with a brisk walk or hop on your bicycle for a more eco-friendly form of travel.
Thinking of turbo boosting your vehicle’s engine? Speed is the number one reason to install a turbocharger but as with most things, there are advantages and disadvantages to revving up your engine making it turbo-charged. Let’s look at the pros and cons of the turbo engine.
You Can Go Faster and Use Less Fuel
Surprisingly installing a turbocharger means less fuel consumption—about 20 percent less. This is due to the power behind the turbo engine. Once installed, on say a four cylinder vehicle, the turbo engine acts as powerful as an engine with six cylinders. An engine void of the turbo, if you wanted the same power and speed results, would have to have a larger engine such as a V6. And, with a smaller engine your vehicle weighs less.
Increased Performance in High Altitudes
A turbocharged engine fares better in high altitudes simply because they adapt to the lower air pressure. Engines powered with turbochargers such as the vehicle sold at Big Motoring World West Malling are popular due to increased power levels. Because engines need air pressure for optimal power, in higher altitudes, a normal engine has no added extra to help burn fuel and keep going. Simply put, an engine equipped with a turbocharger will increase air density so power isn’t lost.
This advantage to installing a turbocharger is an environmentally-friendly one. As stated above, with turbo engines, it means smaller engines can still crank up the speed. With less cylinder operation you gain a quieter ride and lower noise pollution; who wouldn’t love this feature?
As far as emissions go, because the turbo charged engine operates more efficiently, the amount of released carbon dioxide is reduced.
Pesky Turbo Lag
Along with the advantage of installing a turbocharger comes some disadvantages. Turbo lag is just one of them. When an engine is operating at low RPMs it’s difficult for them to produce the right amount of exhaust gas to boost power and speed. The result is called turbo lag which results in a delay in low RPMs. One good thing is today’s turbochargers are available in both low and high end models which often helps alleviate this problem as depending on the model, they adapt to RPMs easily and prevent dreaded turbo lag.
Turbo Engines Need Added Extras
Image via Flickr muammerokumus
Another con to turbocharged engines is once the turbo is installed, you may need enhanced extras in the braking and transmission areas. Further, with more enhancements to any vehicle comes the expense of regular inspections and maintenance by a qualified mechanic. If you skip adding enhancements to work in conjunction with your turbocharged engine, you may not be able to achieve the speed or power you desire—and a strict maintenance schedule means more money out of your pocket.
There are pros can cons to turbocharged engines, but all in all the pros outweigh the cons so if you’re feeling the need for speed, consider installing a turbo engine or buying a vehicle already equipped with one and rev up and go faster.