Sunday, 23 October 2011

Fading Light, Ropey Camera - Action

As promised, here's a bit of a special edition Tyre Roar post. Some of you may remember my lucky snoop around a BMW 1 Series M Coupe in this post a few weeks ago, courtesy of Ben Barry of Car Magazine. Well, recently I was at it again, dashing round the corner on a reliable tip off from my father : "that writer chap's got some new 911 Porsche parked up."

Cheers, Dad. Turns out the weekend wheels for Mr Barry were a Carrera White Porsche Cayman R, the very one you can see featured in my impromptu videos below.

Here's my disclaimer. Having again been allowed free reign to delve into a special car, I thought it a decent opportunity to record some thought on video for the blog. I'm well aware the end results are not of Top Gear sheen or Chris Harris quality, and that turfing a lad who owns a 14 year old Ford into a contender for one of the cars of 2011 does lead to much tongue-twisting and finding oneself getting carried away. This particular example incidentally, via intensive research on the Porsche configurator, works out somewhere in the region of £57k, from what I could spot.

Anyway, check them out, enjoy, and comment back.

And if you want to see this very car in action, alongside the very same 1M also featured in Tyre Roar (in a far more professional video, it must be said) then do check out this official Car Magazine clip presented by Mr Generous himself, Car's road test editor Ben Barry, right this way...

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Ten Thousand Thank You's

A quick scroll down to the bottom of the page will show you that Tyre Roar recently soared past 10,000 worldwide hits.

This is nothing more than a quick post to say cheers to everyone who has dropped by, and thanks to those who keep coming back to sift through my inane motoring ramblings. Tyre Roar has reached every populated continent on the planet, which is rather humbling, and very impressive. The internet truly is what you make of it.

There's a rather special edition post to celebrate 10k coming in the next couple of days, and there's a little clue of the star of the show, as it were, on the right for you.

Please leave your comments or hit me up on Twitter if you'd like to take me to task on anything about the site, I'd love to hear from any readers. I know you're out there, the site counts you for me, (he said, going all George Orwell.) Do get in touch!

Here's to the next ten thousand, and after that, fifty, and a this space.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Red Bull: Gives You Wins

Ironically, Sebastian Vettel managed to not win the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend. That honour went to McLaren's Jenson Button, the only man who stood a chance of foiling Vettel's title hopes in the latter stages of this year.
Win F1 title. Receive free trainers. That's the life.

Button may have gallantly done everything he needed to do, playing his part in getting the win, and getting one over Vettel for the contentious barge he received off the line, but it was a hollow victory, a case of winning the Suzuka battle, but losing the championship war.

So how do we analyse Seb's record back-to-back world titles, aged just 24? Taking nothing away from the chap himself, who has proved vastly more mature and consistent than last year, the season has been rendered something of an anticlimax.

To Vettel's side of the Red Bull garage, that matters not one iota. Their best-case scenario is to put the championship to bed as soon as possible. Having seen off the pesky McLaren, Red Bull can pour resources into next year's car, allowing aero deity Adrian Newey to knuckle down way in advance of the winter break, and set about manipulating air to do his bidding in a way that no other team seems to have a hope of replicating. The smart money must be on Red Bull to make it a hat trick next year. Mine is.

But has the season been an anti-climax for fans? In part yes, as it's been wrapped up with 4 rounds still to go, just like in the bad old days when Schumacher was a dot on the horizon and television audiences were leaving in their droves. And in truth, the result hasn't really been in doubt since late spring, such has been the dominance of the young German, able in 2011 to convert scintillating qualifying pace into race wins, an absent trait which was very nearly his downfall in 2010.

We've been spoiled in recent years with photo finishes for the driver's title. Hamilton taking it from a celebratory Massa on the penultimate corner, of the final lap, of the final race, of 2008. Button doing just enough to get Brawn past the post, also at Interlagos, in 2009. And then Vettel coolly taken his maiden world title under the lights of Abu Dhabi less than 12 months ago.
Lewis imagines facing Felipe in a boxing ring...
So, (he said bitterly) we've been robbed of a Hollywood conclusion to what has been a fine season, but therein lies the real point.

...and that's the most overtaking a HRT has done this year.
Despite one German leading the rest of the field on a merry chase like the Pied Piper, this has still been a great spectator's season for the viewer. Hamilton's shares in bodywork repair, ill-advised Sasha Baron Cohen quotes in interviews, Massa and Maldonado's pantomime dislike of the aforementioned, some spectacular accidents, KERS, and DRS; every race, with the possible exception of the European GP at the god-awful Valencia circuit, has had intrigue, controversy, and entertainment. For that, Formula One should be proud.

(It should also bloody well stay on BBC, but that's another can of energy drink entirely...)

Therefore, let's not begrudge Vettel his one fingered salute to being the best of the best. I may have preferred one of the chaps in the silver Woking machines to swipe it from under his nose, just as Button did so brilliantly in Canada, but Sebastian Vettel is undeniably a fabulous driving talent, a sporting gentleman, a mature young man, a credit to the sport, and a bright (and rather terrifying) prospect for the future. Well done Mr Vettel.

Give 'Kinky Kylie' a kiss from Tyre Roar.

There'll be a full F1 in 2011 review, with the best funnies from year, up on Tyre Roar once the season is over, so stay tuned for that...


Thursday, 6 October 2011

The Only Way Is up!

A predictable title for a hopefully unpredictable post. You see, my 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show star, the car I craved most coverage of, and have found myself wanting to own most, was not the Ferrari 458 Spider, or Lamborghini Gallardo Super Duper Ultimate Trofeo. Good cars undoubtedly, but neither they, nor the Ford Fiesta ST or facelifted Twingo RenaultSport were the exhibits which caught my attention. That rather minor honour goes to the Volkswagen up!, and the GT up! in particular.

(NB: I'll play along with VW's poor grammar game of lower-case 'u' and mid sentence exclamation mark for now, but it really isn't big or clever. Also take note, Kia pro_C'eed, and the other punctuation misusers.)

So, why does the up! fascinate me, and more importantly, make me want to own one? Simply, it's the first ever car I can see myself buying, brand new. Not when it first arrives early next year in the UK, but in a few years time, with a bit of luck.

The production car may have lost the concept's rear engine and RWD layout (how ironic if it had kept it while the new Beetle stays front engined/front drive) but it retains the crucial character and philosophy, which was nail-on-head from the word go.

It's very small, but still spacious enough to not fall into the flawed trapdoor the Toyota iQ languishes in, pretending to be a four seater. It weighs less than 1000kg, and retains all the benefits of lightweight with 'big-car' safety features.

Naturally, the up! I like the most is the sporty GT concept, which looks like the natural successor to the rare and rather desirable Lupo GTi of a few years back. Rumours are that a sporty up! to sit as an entry level baby in the GTi range could get a 1.0l triple cylinder petrol engine with 98bhp. Given that a 3 pot Citroen C1 or Toyota Aygo can actually sound a bit rorty when revved, a nicely sorted VW lump would be, well, the business. And with only 999cc's powering 900kg, it should be feasibly cheap to run, for a mini warm hatch.

In short, it looks right, has a great image, great badge, spot-on design thinking, and is easily aspired to by young 'uns like me who wish hot hatches, and small cars in general, hadn't gotten so big, heavy and overcomplicated.

Volkswagen, please make the GT up! Keep it simple, realistic to insure, well priced, and you'll have a fabulous new People's Car on your hands. I'll be at the front of the queue. (or will settle for a press demonstrater...)

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