New BMW 3 Series

The new BMW  3 series , set to be launched at the Paris Motor Show, has been leaked and will be in direct competition with Audi A4 and Mercedes C Class , the range will include both petrol , diesel and a plug in hybrid.

The main emphasis in the range is the 320d and 330d 2.0 and 3.0 litre diesels, providing good performance with fuel economy , the xDrive , four wheel drive system will be offered on most models.

Taking a look inside the digital dashboard , will offer customisation akin with Audi’s virtual cockpit , together with BMW iDrive infotainment system , which will offer touch and gesture controls , with a rotary dial for ease of use.

The overall look of the car is not changing all that much but it is bigger giving a larger back seat and boot capacity , they are saying there will be a price increase but this will balance off with the normal discount incentives .

Singing Roads

Instead of putting rumble strips on a road in a small Dutch village to warn drivers who veered onto the hard shoulder officials installed musical strips.

Workers painted the stretch of road near the village, Jelsum, to “play” music from the regional anthem when tyres rumbled along the raised strips, but within days the local residence were begging the authorities to remove them

​Sietske Poepjes, vice-governor of Friesland province, said they picked Jelsum for the experiment partly because it was in the provincial capital, Leeuwarden – which has been named as a 2018 European Capital of Culture – and partly because the road, the N357, is long, straight and has a new surface.

“This was not a novelty thing,” Poepjes, says. “This was a necessity for the maintenance of the road. Sometimes people are distracted on the road, and we know people go on the shoulder. We wanted to see how the paint was keeping up.”

In addition, she says, “Since we’re the cultural capital, we said, ‘Let’s make a cultural event of it.’”

Poepjes says music from “a popular part” of the regional anthem, “De Alde Frieze” or “The Old Frisians”, from the 19th century, had been painted on. The project cost €80,000 (£70,000).

The coastal province of Friesland, while part of the Netherlands, has its own language. “We don’t speak Dutch; we speak Friezen,” or Frisian, Poepjes says. “So that’s why we gained the title of cultural capital in 2018, and we wanted to highlight that.”

Signs told drivers, “You are approaching a singing road.” When drivers hit 60km per hour (37mph), the regional anthem rang loud and clear.

“If you go too slow, it’s the same thing like if you play a normal record: brr-brr-brr,” Poepjes says, imitating a slowed-down record.

And if a driver drove on the shoulder backward?

“You’d get the same thing if you play a Madonna record backward,” she says, laughing.

“It’s basically vinyl on the road,” Poepjes explains. “It’s like grooves on the record, but with literally grooves on the road. It’s a very basic concept.”

But soon, villagers began complaining that they could not sleep.

“The Frisian national anthem is fine, but not 24 hours a day,” Sijtze Jansma, who lives about 600 feet from the road, told the news website RTL. “I’m going nuts. You can’t sit outside and you can’t sleep at night.”

Yet another, Margriet de Ruiter, told the newspaper that the noise from the road was “psychological torture”.

Poepjes says she visited the village to hear complaints because officials wanted to be in sync with villagers on the project. What she heard, she says, was that “it’s working – but, please, not here”.

Basically, she says, “They hated it.”

Poepjes says residents complained that a lot of drivers were deliberately veering onto the shoulder to start the anthem. “Enthusiastic young people were driving way too fast,” she says.

Referring to the complaints from residents, she adds: “I can completely relate. They could hear the anthem over and over when they were sitting in their garden; it has been wonderful weather.”

So, less than two days after the strips were laid down, province officials had them scraped off overnight.

Ducks and Trucks

A policeman pulls over an old man in a pickup truck because the bed of his truck is full of ducks. The officer says, “Sir, it is unacceptable to have this flock of ducks in the back of the truck  take them to the Zoo this instant!”

The old man confirms that he will and drives off. The next day the officer sees the same man in the same truck still full of ducks. Only this time all the ducks are wearing sunglasses. The officer pulls him over again and yells, “I told you to take these ducks to the Zoo!”

The old man replies, “I did! But now the little buggers want to go to the beach!”

Top Sellers in Europe 2018

So what is selling best in 2018 top of the pack is the VW Golf being the top seller in Austria, Belgium, Germany , Latvia , Luxemburg and the Netherlands. Next up we have the Skoda Octavia in Croatia Czechia, Poland Switzerland and the Fabia in Slovakia.

Renault Clio top sales in France, Portugal and Slovenia , whilst Italy goes for the Fiat Panda and Lithuania the Fiat 500 .

Then we go solo makes in  models with Denmark voting for the Peugeot 208, Estonia Toyota Avensis , Finland Nissan’s Qashqai Range , Greece Toyota Yaris , Hungary Suzuki Vitoria , Norway the Nissan Leaf , Romania Dacia Logan , Spain Seat Leo and Sweden of course the Volvo and preferring S90/V90.

Closer to home in Ireland it is the Hyundai Tucson and here in the UK  the Ford Fiesta.

Extra large at McDonalds

Extra large at McDonalds and that is not upgrading your fries and drink but rather paying for the large extra bill of hitting your car off a bollard , while going through the drive through and that could add up to over £500.00

The golden arches  is not the only place where this happens figures have been gathered from Starbucks , Costa, KFL , and Greggs but the common denominator is the drive through. , with drivers misjudging tight corners to the gap between the car and the service windows.

Young drivers most likely to have a drive through accident , not a surprise  with over a third at the 30-40 age group.  Another surprise was that a large number of people were unaware that it actually illegal to use your phone through a drive through and could result in a fine of £1000 ,but only if your engine is running.

Range Rover Velar

The Range Rover Velar , is the mid sized SUV snuggly fitting in between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport.

This is a stylish car  and not too eye watering price at £45000 , with its sloping roof and slight point gives it a real head turning look.

The entry level 2.0 litre diesel in 180bhp and 240bhp and there are also two petrol versions at 250 bhp and 300 bhp. The car will do 60 mph from standing between 5.7 and 9 seconds,  offering the same power as the diesel V6 or there is the large petrol supercharged engine , which provides 380bhp , run through an eight speed gear box.

All models come with the very natty door handles that retract when the car reaches 5 miles per hour, while inside all models above the S level get three screens a standard with a 12.3 inch display in front of the driver, together with the touch pro duo infotainment system housed in two high definition 10 inch touch screen sitting one on top of the other gives it a wow factor to the consul, added to this is the secret until lit surfaces which spring into life once to engine is turned on and controls on the steering wheel appear under glass to scroll through the various functions

Advertising is pitching this car to both town and country as well as promoting the green aspect of the interior being made from recycled plastic bottles and promoted as a premium alternative to leather.

Passenger comfort is very well taken car of which large front seats not forgetting the 20 way massaging heating and cooling options to ultimate tender loving care. The rear does not disappoint either comfortably seating 3 adults.

Overall the velar ticks all the boxes for the luxury SUV market .

Solving Pot Holes

This winter I got caught by a pot hole for the first time with a busted tyre , living in countryside they are everywhere and this pesky one was large and full of water disguising  itself and puddle.

What is the cause of that cause so many motorist so much misery and expenses , they start as microscopic cracks in the surface then weather , drainage , traffic all cause the loosening of the surface and  there it is the hole.

The bill to us all is huge with one estimate stating that the road repair bill in England and Wales could soon reach £14b , rather outstripping the £4.4b budget so are there any solution.

One idea from Brunel University , is using infrared heat to make repairs, it would be cheaper and they claim could last longer. So how does it work , traditionally potholes are repaired with boiling asphalt , but if the road is cold the lower temperature can create a weakened bond thus not very long-lasting .  The new system would use an infrared heating machine, basically warming the road up before the repair , thus making the bond much better and the repair lasting longer.

Meanwhile Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre they are developing self-healing road , asphalt roads are made up on mineral aggregates that provides the structural stability and bitumen , a viscous liquid which is the binder, so when the cracks appear the bitumen drains into and fills them up , trouble is because of it is very viscous at normal temperatures the process can take weeks so to speed this process up they are developing tiny capsules that contain asphalt rejuvenator  such as sunflower oil , so when the cracks start the capsules breaks and the oils acts to soften the asphalt , thus aiding it to stick back together quicker again this should reduce the number of pot holes .

Any solution is going to be most welcome to reduce the cost and the inconvenience.

Happy Birthday Yaris – Y20

To celebrate their 20th birthday of the Yaris, Toyota has revealed a limited-run version of the Yaris supermini all to be revealed next month.

This anniversary model Y20, has just 1998 commissioned to commemorate the launch date, it comes with dual tone body , 16 inch 10 spoke alloy wheels , grey front grille, a contrasting roof and side mouldings.

The Y20 will go into full production in 2019 and will be fitted with tinted rear windows, a dark grey interior theme with chequered upholstery and contrasting exterior paint choices.

Facts

1. The world’s first speeding ticket was issued in 1902
How fast was the offending motorist travelling? A whole 45 miles per hour

2. 1 in 4 cars on the UK’s road were made in China
Which is a lot, given that there are around 35 million cars in the UK.

3. 1 billion cars are currently in use around the world
Compared to the world’s population, that’s around one car for every seven people on Earth.

10 Weeks On

It takes just 10 weeks for bad habits to take up their place after a new driver passes their test , from not checking mirrors , to forgetting the 10 to 2 position on the steering wheel.

A recent survey have found that just after four months of driving , some drivers admitted to bad habits such as hogging the middle lane to not wearing a seat belt , but worse still rooting around in handbag whilst driving and even going through a red light.

It is no wonder that car insurance premium are high for new inexperienced drivers , but even so none of us should be practicing these bad habits.