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The DriveWrite Archives

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Official Site: DriveWrite.co.uk

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2013 Article Archive

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Article Index
Article Index: The Lost Articles
A British automotive industry and motorsports commentary site founded by Geoff Maxted in 2013.

Article Index

DateArticleAgency/Author/Speaker
March 19, 2014The American Road, Part 1: IntroductionBill Crittenden
March 24, 2014The American Road, Part 2: Spring is Finally...Never MindBill Crittenden
March 31, 2014The American Road: Cruisin'Bill Crittenden
April 2014The American Road: Driving in CirclesBill Crittenden
April 4, 2014The American Road: Spring Storms and Mapping MayhemBill Crittenden
April 16, 2014The American Road: PickupsBill Crittenden
May 8, 2014American Road, The: Road WorthyBill Crittenden
August 4, 2014Peugeot 508 – The Family Cruiser.Geoff Maxted
August 5, 2014I’m Not ParanoidGeoff Maxted
October 17, 2014The American Automobile Industry that Almost WasBill Crittenden
March 9, 2015The American Road #7: End of the Roads?Bill Crittenden
March 19, 2015The American Road #8: On The Right Side of HistoryBill Crittenden
March 28, 2015Done With Jeremy ClarksonBill Crittenden
June 29, 2015The American Road #10: Goodbye General LeeBill Crittenden
September 2, 2015Pray the Potholes Away?Bill Crittenden
September 3, 2015The Pothole And The Power Of PrayerGeoff Maxted
September 7, 2015Volvo V60 Polestar – Heavens AboveGeoff Maxted
September 8, 2015Refinement, Efficiency and Technology – The New Audi A4DriveWrite Automotive
September 10, 2015Hell’s Grandparents – Age With AttitudeGeoff Maxted
September 11, 2015Little Boxes – Are Cars becoming Boring?Geoff Maxted


Article Index: The Lost Articles

The following were removed from DriveWrite.co.uk in a computer crash in 2014 and recovered from The Internet Archive and Bill Crittenden's personal e-mails.

Morgan Plus 4 Morgan: That’s Plus 1 For The Plus 4 Waiting List Please
February 14, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Thanks to my eulogising over the last few weeks you will no doubt be very aware that I have recently visited the Morgan Motor Company in Malvern. You will know that I had a tour of the factory with a knowledgeable guide. You will also be fully informed about my drives in the ferocious Plus 8 and the hugely entertaining 3 Wheeler; I might even have mentioned the excellent coffee - but I have yet to mention the added bonus.
Read "Morgan: That’s Plus 1 For The Plus 4 Waiting List Please"
Renault Twingo The New Rear-Engine Twingo
February 14, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Two decades after it launched the original Twingo into the small car segment, Renault has taken a fresh look at its version of the city car. The Company’s engineers and designers started from scratch and took their inspiration from the legacy left by the original Twingo and the good old Renault 5. Now Renault has taken the wraps off the new five-door Twingo which is, they say, a new, innovative and agile car that is great fun to drive. There’s a choice of four striking colours to choose from and, something we haven’t seen from Renault for a long time, a rear-mounted engine to promote agile handling.
Read "The New Rear-Engine Twingo"
Honda Civic Type R Concept Honda Reveals 2014 Geneva Motor Show Line-Up
February 13, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
There’s the worldwide debut of the Civic Type R Concept model, the European debut of the Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) Concept, the powertrain layout of the new NSX and the 2014 Civic World Touring Car Championship race car.
Read "Honda Reveals 2014 Geneva Motor Show Line-Up"
Ferrari California T California To A T
February 13, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
The new Ferrari California T epitomises elegance, sportiness, versatility and exclusivity: characteristics that have distinguished every California model since the 1950s. The California T boasts striking standards of innovation while retaining signature features such as the successful 2+ concept, a refined cabin and, of course, the retractable hard top (RHT) which transforms it from a chic coupé into a sleekly sophisticated spider in a mere 14 seconds.
Read "California To A T"
Citroen DS4 The Citroen DS4 - A Grown-Up Crossover
February 12, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
It’s no secret that I am a fan of Citroen cars; I own a C1 and am entirely happy with it, within the constraints of a city car. You know, Citroen are very much like Chelsea Football Club, of which I have been a supporter pretty much forever. Like Chelsea, Citroen had their glory days followed by many, many years in the doldrums of the Xantia and Xsara era. Now thanks to the sainted José, Chelsea are back where they belong and Citroen, thanks predominantly to the DS3, are back in favour too. With the imminent arrival of the on-trend Cactus, the Company may very well be on a roll. For the most part Citroen’s designers can usually be relied upon to come up with stylish goods and such is the case with the DS4.
Read "The Citroen DS4 - A Grown-Up Crossover"
Skoda Octavia Scout DYB DYB DYB This Scout’s The Master
February 12, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Here’s the latest Skoda Octavia Scout. We haven’t driven it - it’s new - but in a world of pseudo off-roader crossover types this looks to be just the ticket for pioneering families. Skoda describe it as a smart off-roader - in every way. In their words this is a scout in the best sense and offers their customers a unique package, comprising a striking off-road look, impressive all-wheel drive characteristics, plenty of space, modern safety, comfort and engine technologies.
Read "DYB DYB DYB This Scout’s The Master"
Subaru XV Subaru XV Primed For An Upgrade
February 11, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
We tested the Subaru XV compact crossover here and found it good, especially with the Lineartronic gearbox. Now it has received a number of upgrades for 2014 that bring improvements to refinement, ride, handling, safety and cabin quality. The 2014 Subaru XV goes on sale nationwide from this month.
Read "Subaru XV Primed For An Upgrade"
David Brown Automotive Coming Soon - The New David Brown Sports Car
February 11, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
All-new, British luxury automotive brand, David Brown Automotive, has announced the outline specifications of its first car that we first reported on here. Underneath its bespoke exterior design, is the acclaimed chassis and powertrain of the Jaguar XKR, optimised specifically for the car by Envisage group engineers.
Read "Coming Soon - The New David Brown Sports Car"
Rallycross Volkswagen Beetle VW Enter The Rallycross Arena - With A Beetle!
February 11, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
The resurgence of Rallycross continues apace, especially in the USA. At least two manufacturers have signed up to sponsor teams in the inaugural FIA World Championships this year. Now, it seems the Volkswagen will enter this exciting branch of motorsport in America this Summer with a Rallycross Beetle featuring all-wheel-drive and a TSI engine that delivers more than 560hp. It was presented last week at the Chicago Motor Show.
Read "VW Enter The Rallycross Arena - With A Beetle!"
Nissan GT-R Nismo Nismo Breathe On The GT-R
February 10, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
There is a guy who lives near to me who owns a Nissan GT-R. He resolutely refuses to let me drive it despite my journalistic credentials. When I pressed him he responded that he would not let me drive his car because of my journalistic credentials. “I know you motoring types”, he muttered darkly.
Read "Nismo Breathe On The GT-R"
Mobile Mechanic That Disappearing Breed
February 10, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Many years ago I used to frequent the folk clubs of England on a fairly regular basis. I went not to listen to earnest, bearded young men nasally singing about being a Wild Rover so much as being on a campaign to meet girls. The assumption was that folk club chicks would be, how can I put it, a little more liberally outgoing. Outcomes were mixed.
Read "That Disappearing Breed"
Hyundai i10 The New i10 Catches The Eye
February 9, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
The previous model i10 was a decent car but wasn’t terribly exciting, even for a city car. Nevertheless, it was extremely popular with the buying public as a good value drive. The old car has now been superseded by the New Generation Hyundai i10 and is available with prices starting from £8,345 OTR. The new i10 certainly looks the part with a refreshed and modern design and has been widely praised for its exemplary levels of refinement, driving characteristics, safety and value.
Read "The New i10 Catches The Eye"
Land Rover The Artful Bodger 9 - Disco Fever!
February 9, 2014
By Stan Potter
Sometimes the cars we buy are not necessarily the one we would choose for ourselves. I have two daughters both of whom are mad about horses. In fact the youngest studied Equine Management at College. Her car at the time was a Citroen Saxo VTR with all the usual modifications (body kit, lowered, LOUD stereo and Lexus style tail lights). The main problem with this was that most stables and other venues associated with horse riding are usually at the end of unmade roads or in the middle of fields. This does not go well with a low slung exhaust, and I found I was spending a lot of Sunday afternoons reattaching a silencer. We decided a 4x4 would be a good idea.
Read "The Artful Bodger 9 - Disco Fever!"
Renault Autonomy - Next Step - Next Two
February 7, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Loss of time, tiredness, stress, wasted fuel...such is the lot of the modern-day motorist, on roads that are becoming increasingly congested. In these conditions - say Renault - why not allow yourself to just settle back and become a mere passenger?
Read "Autonomy - Next Step - Next Two"
Fabrizio Giovanardi Oh No, It’s Fabrizio!
February 6, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
He’s back! After a four year absence Fabrizio Giovanardi is back in a BTCC car. Airwaves Racing has ignited its most ambitious Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship programme to date by revealing that the multiple touring car champion and BTCC legend has signed for the Motorbase Performance-run squad’s for the 2014 season.
Read "Oh No, It’s Fabrizio!"
Citroën C4 Cactus Cactus Spikes Our Interest
February 6, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Right now I’m running a Citroen DS4 Sport and there will be more on that next week. Citroen though, are looking to the future and see that customer expectations are evolving at an increasingly rapid rate, which means ever greater demands on today’s products and services. With the New C4 Cactus, Citroën has acknowledged these new customer requirements, offering a real alternative to the traditional compact hatchback. Boasting a striking design, the New Citroën C4 Cactus stands out from its rivals in the competitive C segment, offering a unique style that is both functional and attractive. In doing so, Citroën meets a specific challenge – bringing customers more of what really counts.
Read "Cactus Spikes Our Interest"
Jeep Cherokee European Debut For The New Jeep Cherokee
February 5, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Right now I’m running a Citroen DS4 Sport and there will be more on that next week. Citroen though, are looking to the future and see that customer expectations are evolving at an increasingly rapid rate, which means ever greater demands on today’s products and services. With the New C4 Cactus, Citroën has acknowledged these new customer requirements, offering a real alternative to the traditional compact hatchback. Boasting a striking design, the New Citroën C4 Cactus stands out from its rivals in the competitive C segment, offering a unique style that is both functional and attractive. In doing so, Citroën meets a specific challenge – bringing customers more of what really counts.
Read "European Debut For The New Jeep Cherokee"
Mercedes C-Class Smart New Mercedes C-Class On Its Way
February 5, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
The new C-Class takes a step closer to its arrival in the UK today as prices and specifications are announced. Available with a choice of two engines and three comprehensively specified model lines, prices for the new C-Class introductory range start from £26,855 OTR through to around £34,000, depending. The first examples of the new C-Class are set to be delivered to customers in June.
Read "Smart New Mercedes C-Class On Its Way"
Rallycross Manufacturers Turn To Rallycross
February 4, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Rallycross - a form of sprint motor racing held on a closed mixed-surface circuits - has been a mainstay of grass-roots motorsport but has always been seen by the media as a poor relation. Once, we were able to see it regularly on terrestrial TV but these days you have to search the satellite channels for coverage.
Read "Manufacturers Turn To Rallycross"
Peugeot 208 GTI Peugeot 208 GTI - French Fancy
February 3, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Aesthetic taste is a funny thing as any designer will tell you. Essentially you can’t please all of the people all of the time. In this case the usual roles were reversed. Mrs Drive Write - whose word is law - insists that Peugeot have got the 208 GTI trim spot-on, right down to the now obligatory red brake callipers on the up-rated discs. She especially liked the ‘chequered flag’ grill but I wasn’t so sure. The sporting red detail low in the grill looks to me like a cheeky kid sticking its tongue out. Mrs D says I’m wrong. Maybe this petrolhead business is rubbing off at long last. Overall, we agreed that the 208 GTI is an understated, good looking car.
Read "Peugeot 208 GTI - French Fancy"
Citroen’s Rally Sweden Preview Citroen’s Rally Sweden Preview
February 2, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Between 1950 and 2003, only Swedish and Finnish drivers won on the snow-covered roads of Rally Sweden. In 2004, Citroën, Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena wrote one of the first great chapters in their incredible story in the WRC.
Read "Citroen’s Rally Sweden Preview"
Bedford Van The Blue And White Van Man 11 - Holidays In Pre-EC Europe
February 2, 2014
By Stan Potter
Three friends and I decided to go to Spain. The parents of one of us had a Bedford Dormobile motor caravan. This was based on a Bedford van of the 1960’s. It had a 1600cc engine from a Vauxhall Victor and a four speed gearbox with a steering column gear change. The accommodation consisted of four seats that folded flat into two beds and two bunks in the elevating roof. There was also a two burner stove with a grill.
Read "The Blue And White Van Man 11 - Holidays In Pre-EC Europe"
Disc Brakes How To Renew Rear Brake Discs And Pads
February 1, 2014
By EuroCarParts
Brake pads consist of a backing plate and friction material. It is the friction material that comes into contact with the brake disc. Over time the friction material wears down and your brakes become less effective at stopping your vehicle. The manufacturer of your vehicle will specify a minimum thickness of the friction material before the brake pads need to be replaced.
Read "How To Renew Rear Brake Discs And Pads"
Mercedes-Benz V-Class Mercedes-Benz redefines the MPV
February 1, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
As the youngest and largest member of the passenger car family from Stuttgart, it sets new benchmarks in its segment with its design and a host of innovations. The new V-Class, which comes to the UK in early 2015, combines room for up to eight people and exemplary functionality with the high-class appeal, comfort, efficient driving pleasure and safety that distinguish the cars bearing the three-pointed star. Mercedes say that among MPVs the V-Class is the perfect vehicle for everyone who appreciates great spaciousness but does not want to sacrifice style and comfort. Whether shopping in a group or travelling with the whole family, heading out for a mountain bike holiday or even driving guests to a special event - the new V-Class provides optimum flexibility when it comes to use of the interior and cuts an elegant figure at the same time.
Read "Mercedes-Benz redefines the MPV"
Jeep Renegade A New Baby For Jeep
January 31, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
The first heavily disguised prototype of Jeep's upcoming subcompact SUV was spotted undergoing road tests in Italy last week. The still unnamed model will be the brand's first vehicle built only outside of the United States. The "baby" Jeep will be produced at Fiat's plant in Melfi, central Italy, alongside Fiat brand's sibling model, the 500X.
Read "A New Baby For Jeep"
Morgan 3 Wheeler Seat Of Your Pants - Driving The Morgan 3 Wheeler
January 29, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Chocks away (as they no doubt say in the Cadbury’s dispatch office) and take to the road in the Morgan 3 Wheeler. In a jaded motoring world where the emphasis is on lifestyle and connectivity it’s nice to get the opportunity to do a bit of proper driving for once. This is why, during a visit to the Morgan Motor Company a few days ago, I allowed myself to be coaxed into the 2014 Morgan 3 Wheeler.
Read "Seat Of Your Pants - Driving The Morgan 3 Wheeler"
Peugeot 208 GTI Peugeot 208 GTI - A First Look
January 28, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
It only arrived yesterday but already we have had the chance to give the Peugeot 208 GTI a bit of a work-out. The image above is patently not the car delivered. Apart from anything else the landscape seen is delightfully dry, arid and not a bit like these rain-soaked lands. DriveWrite’s shots will have to wait for a better day.
Read "Peugeot 208 GTI - A First Look"
2014 Land Rover Discovery 2014 Discovery - King Of The Road
January 27, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
There is no getting away from it - the Land Rover Discovery HSE is big. When it arrived I had a walk around it and had to stop for a rest. In the supermarket car park, surrounded by a gaggle of small hatchbacks, it put me in mind of a mighty ocean liner being nudged into port by tugs. It is a handsome Hagrid amongst Hogwart’s first year intake. It is, as Benny Hill once said - BIG.
Read "2014 Discovery - King Of The Road"
Kia VR7 Range The New Kia VR7 Range
January 27, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Kia has confirmed the arrival in UK dealerships of the new ‘VR7' special edition range on its Picanto, Rio and cee'd models. Offering a high level of standard specification across all models, the ‘VR7' range is also available with discounts of up to £1,000, low rate 4.9% APR finance deals and the option of a Care-3 all-inclusive servicing package for just £99. The ‘VR7' range is available in four colours, white, black, silver and red.
Read "The New Kia VR7 Range"
Triumph Herald The Artful Bodger 8 - Triumphs Again
January 26, 2014
By Stan Potter
Over the years I have owned several Triumph Heralds. Back in the 1960’s they were a popular family car. The Herald, Spitfire, Vitesse and GT6 were all based on the same basic chassis, and were one of the last small cars to have a separate chassis. At that time they were unusual in that they had all-round independent suspension. The independent rear suspension had a nasty trick up its sleeve; under hard cornering the inside wheel could tuck under causing a catastrophic loss of stability.
Read "The Artful Bodger 8 - Triumphs Again"
Morgan Plus 8 Morgan Plus 8 - Practice Makes Perfect
January 25, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Last Tuesday we had a great day out courtesy of the hospitable folk at the Morgan Motor Company in Malvern, Worcestershire. A fascinating tour of the factory - much more of which to come in a few days - was swiftly followed by the opportunity to test drive no less than three different cars. First up, the mighty Morgan Plus 8.
Read "Morgan Plus 8 - Practice Makes Perfect"
Drunk Driving Every Statistic Tells A Story
January 24, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
There are very many automotive surveys these days but they can often reveal how we feel about our fellow motorists. Unsurprisingly the news is mixed. For example, it is interesting to see how a vehicle’s colour can affect our perception of the driver. Silver, it seems is the most trustworthy hue. It’s hard to say why this should be but twenty six percent of us favour silver. This is possibly the most popular colour with new cars buyers so it might be that silver’s ubiquity could have an effect, as may also be the case with the runner-up, blue. Red, needless to say, is the least favoured. It obviously points to the red-blooded nature of the driver.
Read "Every Statistic Tells A Story"
Subaru Eyesight Subaru Get Better Eyesight
January 24, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
We first reported on Subaru's safety system here, now Subaru of America has announced the debut of a new and improved version of its popular EyeSight™ driver assistance system. The new system now features colour stereo cameras that deliver an approximately forty percent longer and wider detection range, brake light detection and can now fully function when the speed differential between the Eyesight equipped car and another vehicle is up to 30mph, up from 19mph. The current generation Eyesight system earned the highest rating given by the American Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), 'superior', when the IIHS conducted it first test of accident avoidance technology last year.
Read "Subaru Get Better Eyesight"
Caterham Seven Have Your Cake And Eat It - The New Caterham 160
January 23, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Caterham Cars have, for a long time, been the go-to company when real sports car thrills are needed. Now, as the British firm prepares to kick off production of the Seven 160, the sports car maker has announced ultra-frugal performance figures for the entry level version of the iconic Seven. This makes it not only the most economical Seven in the company’s history but also the most cost-effective two-seater conventionally powered sports car on the market.
Read "Have Your Cake And Eat It - The New Caterham 160"
Renault Master Blue And White Van Man 10 - It's Time For Change
January 23, 2014
By Stan Potter
This could be the end of an era. I am giving serious consideration to selling my trusty Blue & White Renault Master. I have owned this vehicle for six years and in that time it has taken us to and from our house in France over 20 times, covering over 1200 miles each time. It has been 100% reliable. Yes, I have had to do various repairs over that time but it has never failed to get us where we were going.
Read "Blue And White Van Man 10 - It's Time For Change"
Jaguar XK The Jaguar XK - Refreshed With New Models.
January 22, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
The first Jaguar car to be created under the leadership of Design Director Ian Callum, the dramatic and purposeful XK, is receiving a number of additions for the 2015 model year that add to its palette of impressive performance technologies and luxury features. Two special edition models will be available in exclusive Signature and Dynamic R specifications. The 2015 Model Year XK line-up now comprises
Read "The Jaguar XK - Refreshed With New Models."
Invention of the Automobile The "Invention" of the Automobile
January 22, 2014
By Bill Crittenden
Where to begin?  Perhaps with some semantics.  Auto, meaning self, and mobile, meaning moving.  Self-propelled.  I've found from newspaper searches that the word "automobile" had been applied to naval torpedoes before it became applied to what we know today as the "automobile."
Read "The Invention of the Automobile"
Jaguar Cycling Sky's The Limit For Jaguar
January 20, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
We are approaching that time of year when lean men on high-end bikes will begin to turn up the training schedules in readiness for the new season of world cycling events. At the forefront of the sport will be our two champions, Chris Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins. Crucial to their success will be their support team and they are going to need reliable transport.
Read "Sky's The Limit For Jaguar"
Jaguar XJ Sorry James, I’m Doing The Driving - It’s The 2014 Jaguar XJ
January 20, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Love is a fickle thing. Last year I swore to be true to the Jaguar XFR-S (here) but my head was slightly turned by the XFR (here); a performance car that can truly be used every day. That’s how things have continued until one day last week when this 2014 Jaguar XJ Premium Luxury SWB turned up.
Read "Sorry James, I’m Doing The Driving - It’s The 2014 Jaguar XJ"
Nissan IDx Nissan - Will They Or Won't They?
January 19, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
The word is that Nissan will produce at least one of the IDx cars shown at the Detroit Motor Show (pictured). DriveWrite mentioned the pair of them at the start of the year, here. Nissan Vice-President Andy Palmer disingenuously said at the show, “Don't say that we won't do both, but we will definitely do one of them.”
Read "Nissan - Will They Or Won't They?"
Daewoo Matiz The Artful Bodger 7 - Matiz Malady
January 19, 2014
By Stan Potter
Stan Potter writes: My poor little Matiz is not very well. It suffered from a total loss of drive just before Christmas. I was driving along and suddenly, nothing - no drive in forward or reverse, engine running fine, no strange noises, just total cessation of motive power. Brushing off the dust I got out my trusty AA card to summon assistance. No mobile phone. Luckily enough I had rolled to a stop about 50 yards from one of the only phone boxes in the area that was still working and made the call.
Read "The Artful Bodger 7 - Matiz Malady"
Dacia Dacia Understand VFM
January 18, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Time flies. It doesn’t seem that long ago we were welcoming Dacia to our shores with a cheery wave and now, suddenly, they’ve been here for a year already.
Read "Dacia Understand VFM"
50th Anniversary Shelby Cobra CSX7000 50th Anniversary Shelby Cobra
January 18, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
In 1964 Shelby American, today a wholly owned subsidiary of Carroll Shelby International Inc. (CSBI:PK) introduced the FIA version of the small block Cobra, which competed in the 1964 World Manufacturers Championship series against marques like Aston Martin, Jaguar and Corvette.
Read "50th Anniversary Shelby Cobra"
David Brown Automotive A New Motoring Milestone (And It’s British)
January 17, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
An all-new, British luxury automotive brand is to be launched in April 2014, promising to refresh the classic British sports car, for the 21st Century. Successful British businessman and car enthusiast, David Brown, has created a brand in his own name – David Brown Automotive – to deliver his vision for a new take on the British sports car.
Read "A New Motoring Milestone (And It’s British)"
Holden Bootleg Bandits
January 17, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
The days of illicit booze transportation and rum-running bandits are long gone alas, alas. The Cornish Wreckers have to get by on their myths and legends alone, regaling tourists of how things used to be in the good old days on the storm-tossed beaches of the Far West; after all, we’ve got supermarkets now and they have undercut alcohol prices so much that bootlegging simply doesn‘t pay any more.
Read "Bootleg Bandits"
Hyundai i40 Touring Hyundai Build On Success
January 17, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Over the last few years Hyundai Motor has gone from strength to strength. They now offer a full range of very well received cars ranging in price from well under £10,000 for the New Generation i10 up to almost £20k and beyond for the superb i40. Throw into the mix the vivacious Veloster, the on-trend ix35 and the massive i800 people carrier and there is, as they say, something for everyone.
Read "Hyundai Build On Success"
Motorparks.co.uk Motorparks Named Top Franchised Dealer Website
January 14, 2014
By Motorparks.co.uk
Motorparks.co.uk has been praised as having the top franchised dealer website by one of the UK’s top networking organisations for senior executives and managers working in the auto retail industry.
Read "Motorparks Named Top Franchised Dealer Website"
Lamborghini Urus There Are SUV’s And Then There Are SUV’s
January 16, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
As has been previously rumoured, Lamborghini plans to start building the dramatic Urus SUV in three years time; the brand's first model in the segment since the LM002 or ‘Rambo Lambo’ of the 1990s.
Read "There Are SUV’s And Then There Are SUV’s"
Kia Rio Blue and White Van Man 9 - She Who Must Be Obeyed etc.
January 16, 2014
By Stan Potter
Our regular contributor Stan Potter writes: This trip to our house in rural France is a bit different. Instead of using our faithful Renault Master we are travelling in the comparative luxury of a saloon car. Some may say that a Kia Rio is not luxury but compared to a 14 year old Renault Master it is a distinct improvement. Reclining adjustable seats, Climate control, lower noise levels in fact all mod cons. We jointly (?) decided on the car as I already have sufficient tools and materials to keep me occupied for some considerable time and the car is faster and lighter on fuel which is a major cost on our commutes.
Read "Blue and White Van Man 9 - She Who Must Be Obeyed etc."
Five Ways To Secure A Bad Credit Car Loan Five Ways To Secure A Bad Credit Car Loan
January 13, 2014
By John Cadogan
Car finance is the same the whole world over. This article is by Australia’s leading motoring journalist, John Cadogan: Getting a bad credit car loan is not as hard as you think. These six tips will help.
Read "Five Ways To Secure A Bad Credit Car Loan"
Audi S3 Saloon The Audi S3 Saloon In Europe This Spring
January 15, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
With the 300bhp S3 sports variant, Audi delivers a flagship for its range of A3 saloons. The car maker believes the very smart saloon range will become the A3's best-selling body style, accounting for more than fifty percent of total volume because of strongly anticipated demand in markets where this body style is popular. It will be launched in Europe around February and then progressively worldwide.
Read "The Audi S3 Saloon In Europe This Spring"
Subaru Impreza WRX Rejoice All Ye Petrolheads - The Subaru WRX Is Back
January 15, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
It seems like only yesterday when the last WRX STI was sold in the UK amid an outcry of sentiment on the sad loss of this iconic model. Less than one year on, Subaru UK confirms the new WRX STI is coming to these shores in the Summer.
Read "Rejoice All Ye Petrolheads - The Subaru WRX Is Back"
Toyota FT-1 Presenting Your Dream Toyota
January 14, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
I mean, seriously, is this not the business? The car in the images is the daring new Toyota coupe concept which breaks cover at the Detroit motor show this week. The new FT-1 concept is the result of Toyota’s Calty Design Studio’s mission to create the ultimate sports car. The California-based team, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, has produced a car that is strikingly modern, yet which makes reference to Toyota’s rich sports car history, going back to the 2000GT of the mid-1960s.
Read "Presenting Your Dream Toyota"
Kris Meeke 2014 WRC Wales On Live TV! (But It’s BT).
January 14, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
No sooner do I get it off my chest last Sunday when what I dreaded has come to pass. The organisers of Wales Rally GB have welcomed news that UK television viewers will enjoy extended coverage – including live action of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) – following confirmation that BT Sport has been announced as the exclusive pay-TV broadcaster for 2014.
Read "2014 WRC Wales On Live TV! (But It’s BT)."
British Motorway Puncture At Your Peril
January 13, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
This will probably come as no surprise to most drivers who have been dismayed to find that their new car no longer has a spare wheel. Manufacturers have chosen, wrongly in my opinion, to abandon the full size spare and replace it with a space saver wheel (not so bad) or a can of foam (which is). Whether this is for design reasons, reasons of lightness or just a case of them cutting costly corners will depend on who it is you speak to. Now there’s another problem.
Read "Puncture At Your Peril"
WRC Rally The BBC …And All Who Sail In Her
January 12, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Some readers will already know that a couple of years ago I kicked BT unceremoniously out of the house, vowing that they would never return. That company also know that any employee who knowing approaches my front door will be frazzled by death rays.
Read "The BBC …And All Who Sail In Her"
2014 Audi allroad shooting brake concept Audi Design For The E-Future
January 12, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Audi has pooled the genes of its rugged allroad models and its forthcoming e-tron hybrids to create a striking and fittingly futuristic new crossover concept bound for this month‘s 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Read "Audi Design For The E-Future"
Renault Zoe Euro NCAP Favour The Zoe
January 11, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
The annual ‘best in class cars’ tables just published by the independent body Euro NCAP lists Renault Zoe as the best supermini (electric and internal combustion-engined cars combined) of all those it evaluated last year in terms of safety performance. This accolade, which comes on top of the maximum five-star rating achieved by the model in March 2013, stands out as further reassurance for Zoe’s customers and an eloquent reward for Renault’s safety engineering experts.
Read "Euro NCAP Favour The Zoe"
Cell Phone Driving The Error Of Their Ways
January 11, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
The other day I had occasion to drive out locally both in the morning and the afternoon. The truth is I was required to chauffeur Mrs DriveWrite on various ‘essential’ errands. Essential errands, BTW, are the ones that always seem to cost me money. As it turned out though, this was handy because she was witness, as I was, to no less than seven examples of atrocious and/or selfish driving.
Read "The Error Of Their Ways"
Skoda Skoda Plan New Models
January 11, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
It’s incredible to think that just a few years ago the name of Skoda was a byword for automotive awfulness. Things change quickly in the car industry and now the brand is flying high. Not a company to rest on its laurels, Skoda plans to offer a new or revised model every six months on average until 2016 to contribute to its parent company Volkswagen Group's target of dominating global auto-industry sales.
Read "Skoda Plan New Models"
Volkswagen Rally Car VW Keep Up The WRC Pressure For 2014
January 10, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
The championship-winning car is now even better: the Polo R WRC for the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) is primed and ready for the challenges ahead. Ahead of the new season, which opens with a true classic in the form of the hugely challenging Rally Monte Carlo from 14th to 19th January, Volkswagen has made detailed improvements to its World Champion car.
Read "VW Keep Up The WRC Pressure For 2014"
Lexus RC F Startling New Reveal From Lexus
January 9, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Lexus will reveal the new RC F at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on 14th January. It’s a sports thoroughbred model based on the RC coupe which made its debut in Tokyo in November. The RC F is equipped with a new 5.0-litre V8 engine with a maximum output set to be well above 450bhp.
Read "Startling New Reveal From Lexus"
Audi TT A Fabulous New Interior For The Audi TT
January 9, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Well, that’s a feather in DriveWrite’s cap. No sooner do I remark in my recent Audi TT RS Plus review that the interior was, although excellent, starting to look a bit dated when Audi pull out all the stops to update it. I suppose if I’m totally honest it might just be a coincidence…
Read "A Fabulous New Interior For The Audi TT"
Peugeot 5008 Peugeot Revamp The 5008
January 9, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
It would be fair to say that Peugeot has had its ups and downs in recent years but, working in conjunction with Citroen they are now starting to sort themselves out. A case in point is the Peugeot 5008 MPV. It’s the latest model to benefit from a comprehensive makeover, bringing it into line with the rest of the range of recent models that includes the 208, 2008, New 308 and 3008 Crossover. The mid-life, re-styled update features significant external changes to enhance the visual appeal of the practical seven-seater. It includes external and internal upgrades, a higher specification, new equipment and revised pricing.
Read "Peugeot Revamp The 5008"
Formula E Let’s Hear It For Electric Motorsport
January 8, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Throw away those lug-plugs and discard the comedy ear muffs because Formula E's new fully-electric race car, the Spark-Renault SRT-01E, has made its first ever public demonstration yesterday. Former Formula One driver Lucas di Grassi entertained the crowds with a high-speed display around the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
Read "Let’s Hear It For Electric Motorsport"
Classic Car Spanner! The Art Of Car Maintenance And Saving Money
January 8, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
As you know, when you open the bonnet of a modern vehicle, it all looks a bit complicated. It wasn’t always so. If you get the chance, open the lid of an original Mini and you will see just how comparatively straightforward engines used to be. Once, most drivers knew how to attend to basic maintenance or servicing issues and would even attempt more complex jobs - usually successfully.
Read "Spanner! The Art Of Car Maintenance And Saving Money"
1958 Ford The Power Of The Message
January 8, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
In the 1950’s and 60’s - from what I’ve gleaned from Mad Men - smoking was not only harmless, it was good for you. Smoking made men smooth and urbane and women alluring and kinda sexy. This, we all now know, was a pack of lies and the truth is somewhat different. Such is the power of advertising and the public opinion generated from it.
Read "The Power Of The Message"
Bad Drivers How Is This Possible?
January 7, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Driving badly or illegally will eventually catch up with the miscreants responsible. Most of us are slightly worried by the thought of picking up three penalty points and a fine for a bit of injudicious speeding; not so much for the punishment as the effect it could have on our insurance premiums. If they can, our insurers will hold it against us long after the points are expunged from our licences.
Read "How Is This Possible?"
London Road Signs Unfair Tax On London’s Hauliers
January 7, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
And yes, it affects car owners too. DriveWrite doesn’t cover the freight and commercial vehicle industry but this news affects everyone who drives into London and, to a lesser extent, those who live there. Transport for London, the organisation responsible for the Congestion Charge, is planning to raise the amount that motorists will have to pay from £10 to £11.50. This is a rise of 15% (so not in line with inflation then) for long-suffering ordinary motorists but the situation could be worse for our commercial operators. The freight industry, which for the most part mainly use the ‘fleet scheme', the increase would equate to a well-over-inflationary 17%.
Read "Unfair Tax On London’s Hauliers"
Pothole It’s Official - Our Terrible Roads
January 6, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
It has been reported that a parliamentary committee plans to ‘question’ government officials about the state of our roads. As Michael Caine might say, “about bloody time”. It seems we have reached the stage where our roads are now comparable to those of Namibia.
Read "It’s Official - Our Terrible Roads"
Woman and Car Keeping Them Peeled - Your Driving Vision
January 6, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
When I was a lad in the Army cadets I got to shoot actual real guns which, as you can imagine, was thrilling for one so young. I proved to be a terrible shot. I became adept at nicking the edges of really massive targets. In short, I couldn’t hit a barn door. Ultimately, it was decided that the only suitable weapon for me was some form of wide angle blunderbuss. It was clear I needed spectacles.
Read "Keeping Them Peeled - Your Driving Vision"
Multicolor McLaren All The Colours Of The Rainbow
January 6, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Since the dawn of time and down through the ages, colour has played an important and essential part of life. Joseph had his Technicolor Coat, Robin Hood his hose - a form of trousering, incidentally, and not something you wash the car with - of Lincoln Green and so on. OK, I know these aren’t actual proven facts but this is a car article not a history lesson and they make the point. Colour is rife in nature; red, for example, means danger: green means go.
Read "All The Colours Of The Rainbow"
Jaguar XF Hello Dolly, Fancy A Spin In My Jag?
January 5, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Did that ever work, or was it just in old Leslie Phillips movies? Either way, any modern woman is going to run a mile at the sight of a moustachioed middle-aged man wearing a jaunty cap, string-back driving gloves and a leering lascivious smile. Such was the perceived reputation of Jaguar owners of yesteryear. Nevertheless, owning a Jaguar was something for people to aspire to. In the days when Britain made British cars it was seen amongst ordinary folk as an achievable objective, if you worked hard enough. It said you had arrived.
Read "Hello Dolly, Fancy A Spin In My Jag?"
Hypermiling How Far Will You Go?
January 5, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
There’s a problem. You encounter it every time you call in at the petrol station. Once you’ve finished hyperventilating and cursing that Osborne joker and all his antecedents and heritage, you try to convince yourself that what you really need to be doing is getting a few more miles per gallon out of your car. If you want to keep your fuel bills down then the only solution is to slow down and drive frugally - it’s called hyper-miling.
Read "How Far Will You Go?"
Older Driver Young At Heart
January 5, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
They say there are three things in life that you can’t do anything about: paying taxes, getting older and one other. Can’t quite remember what the last one is…ah! The possibility of memory loss, yes, that’s it.
Read "Young At Heart"
Solar Ford C-Max Chasing The Sun - The Solar Powered C-Max
January 4, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Here in the wetlands that are the British Isles we yearn tragically for a glimpse of that golden orb. This is why personal solar energy is such a hit and miss affair. Our weak, watery, winter sun doesn’t have enough power to distress Dracula’s pinkie let alone charge a car.
Read "Chasing The Sun - The Solar Powered C-Max"
Ford C-Max Grand Are We Nearly There Yet?
January 4, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Any experienced family man reading this will feel an immediate affinity with the subject matter; they may shudder and possibly become a little withdrawn. I am talking, of course, about the long distance family outing.
Read "Are We Nearly There Yet?"
Audi A6 Bi-Turbo Allroad Big Brother - The Audi A6 Bi-Turbo Allroad
January 3, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
The trouble with shiny black cars is that they reflect the unwary photographer in the paintwork. Obviously had I used my proper photography skills these unwanted appearances could have been avoided but when there’s so many cars and so little time, something’s got to give. So just ignore me in the images and instead concentrate your attention on the featured Audi A6 Allroad Bi-Turbo Diesel.
Read "Big Brother - The Audi A6 Bi-Turbo Allroad"
Bike Lane The Greening Of Alternative Transport.
January 3, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Have you ever had your views consulted by any Government Department? The answer to that question from virtually everybody is ‘No’. Yet according to the Department for Transport (DfT) efforts to make it easier for people to choose greener ways of travelling to and from public transport hubs are working, at least according to a new report. Wonder who they are asking? It certainly wasn’t DriveWrite. Mind you, to be totally frank, they probably shouldn't ask me.
Read "The Greening Of Alternative Transport."
Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Here Come The Concepts 2 - Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge
January 2, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Infiniti has revealed the first image of the Q50 Eau Rouge concept which will have its world premiere at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on 13th January.
Read "Here Come The Concepts 2 - Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge"
Electric Smart Car The Silent Revolution Is Silent No More
January 2, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Daimler / Mercedes-Benz usually go to great lengths to make engine noise less jarring and more auto-sexy. For their new electric models however, they’ve had to do the opposite by creating a suitable EV sound. For Daimler’s e-Smart city car, the company have invented a ‘sonorous purring’ that was pitched higher than conventional vehicles, whilst the Mercedes SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive gets huskier tones to reflect its power.
Read "The Silent Revolution Is Silent No More"
Kia GT4 Stinger Here Come The Concepts 1 - The Kia GT4 Stinger
January 2, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
The Kia GT4 Stinger concept car is set to make its debut at the North American International Auto Show on 13 January. Designed at the company’s American Design Centre in California, the GT4 Stinger sports the latest version of Kia’s signature ‘Tiger Nose’ (!) grille resting mere inches from the ground.
Read "Here Come The Concepts 1 - The Kia GT4 Stinger"
Nissan Concept Nissan Promise An Exciting Future
January 2, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
Concepts come and concepts go. Often they eventually appear as production cars in a subdued and altered form as company accountants lose their bottle when it comes to the more radical designs. Last year Nissan showed us the fantastic IDx Freeflow and IDx NISMO concepts (below) for example, which were among the most popular vehicles at the Tokyo Motor Show, apparently.
Read "Nissan Promise An Exciting Future"
Audi TT RS Plus Audi TT RS Plus - The Pursuit Of The Best
January 1, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
It is 1st January and my mouth has all the qualities of an old attic. It’s dry, dusty and full of lingering memories; not all of them good. Inside my head Ewoks work feverishly with mallets. Every year it’s the same. Why do I put myself through it? Happy New Year, by the way.
Read "Audi TT RS Plus - The Pursuit Of The Best"
Range Rover Four By Four Dinosaur?
January 1, 2014
By Geoff Maxted
When winter arrives and lays its icy fingers upon your world you wonder two things: why do I not live on the Mediterranean coast wearing shorts all year round and why don’t I drive a 4x4?
Read "Four By Four Dinosaur?"




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