Weekend Reading – Alfa 4C, Sad Corvette, Lotus Bike, Epic Art, Bond Cars For Sale

Porsche Problems

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]omething must be really wrong with the Porsche 911 GT3 because Porsche have told owners to stop driving them.

As owners of early Boxsters and 996’s with cratered engines will tell you, Porsche aren’t always up-front about their problems.

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Alfa Romeo 4C at Goodwood

On a brighter note, here’s the new Alfa Romeo 4C dominating the hill at Goodwood. Early reviews of this car weren’t always completely complimentary but it seems that time is winning people over as the little Alfa bares more of its soul.

I definitely have one of these on my long-term “must own” list. I just hope someone comes up with a kit to fix those awful headlamps.

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VW Golf GTE

First there was the GTI. More recently, the GTD. And now there’s the new Volkswagen Golf GTE and I’ll be very interested to see how it’s received in the marketplace.

VW Golf GTEThe GTE, by virtue of the GT precursor, is apparently going to be a somewhat sporty Golf with a plugin hybrid powertrain.

The Volkswagen Golf GTE pairs a turbocharged 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 75kW/330Nm electric motor, which combine to produce 150kW of power and 350Nm – leaving it just 12kW shy of the regular petrol-powered GTI, but matching it for torque, while conversely it’s 15kW up but 30Nm down on the diesel GTD.

The chassis details haven’t been released but give this it the GTE, the handling’s not really the drawcard. If the handling’s decent, that’ll be a bonus.

The headline is a 940km driving range, a 50km all-electric range and fuel consumption of just 1.5l per 100km. That’s 156 mpg in the US scale. Like I said, if the handling’s any good, then it’ll be a bonus.

Given the Golf’s already-stellar popularity around the world, I reckon this could be a notable hit – if the packaging and the price is right.

A big if.

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Bond Cars for Sale

59 vehicles that have featured in James Bond movies over the years are about to go up for sale – but there’s a catch.

The vehicles are nearly all the real deal as used in the films, although there are a few replicas as well (e.g. Pussy Galore’s jet). There are no less than six (6) Aston Martins in the OddJobRollercollection, as well as the Lotus submarine, a tank, the remote controlled BMW from Tomorrow Never Dies and even a Toyota 2000GT.

Right: Yes, Oddjob’s Roller is part of the collection.

Normally you’d expect a collection like this to have been built up over decades by an enthusiast who just happened to be a successful businessman/woman as well. Not so, in this case. The seller, Michael Dezer, started the collection with a Land Rover from Skyfall in 2011.

So there’s not so much romance here, but there is a genuine Bond collection for sale and it’s not so often you see so much stuff from one source, in one place.

The catch? If you’re cashed up and you want to pick up your favourite Bond car, you might be out of luck. The seller prefers to sell the collection as one complete lot. The asking price is said to be close to $40 million, so you’ll have to be really cashed up.

Click here to see the full list of vehicles for sale.

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Corvette Cash-in

Speaking of not-much-romance………

I guess the age-old rules of economics apply here, but I just can’t see why a low-mileage ’67 Corvette with vinyl seats is worth around $750,000.

CorvetteC2That’s the price expected when a sub-3000-mile Corvette goes under the hammer at Mecum’s Houston auctions in April.

The story, in brief: Donnie McNamara was a US soldier who got lucky and won $5,000 in Vegas. He went straight to a Chevy dealer and bought the Corvette of his dreams. Donnie was a little less lucky in life, however, and couldn’t afford to register and insure the car. It sat in his garage – save for a few runs under cover of the night – until his death in 2011.

Donnie had no family, so he left the car to a neighbour he’d befriended. The neighbour sold the car a few years ago to a doctor and now the doctor’s looking to cash in at auction.

Like I said, not much romance here.

You can read the full sad story over at Hemmings.

And if you’ve got any good reasons as to why an old Corvette’s worth up to $800,000 then please leave them in comments. Yeah, it’s a big block C2, but still……

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Lotus Motorcycles

I’m not a motorcycle kind of guy, but purely based on their looks, one of these new Lotus motorcycles could get me interested.

lotus-motorcycle-c-01-03-1

Not likely, though. I’d kill myself on a little pee-wee 50, let alone one of these beasts.

But damn, that’s one sexy piece of machinery.

It’s not really a Lotus, by the way. A German firm has merely gained permission to use the name (by greasing Lotus’ palm with plenty of $$$$). I presume they only got a hearing because the bike promises to be damn good, though.

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Amazing Car Art

And finally, check out some amazing car art, by a guy named Miha Furlan, from Slovenia. Quality A3-size prints are available for just €33, which is pretty good value.

MihaFurlanPrint-1

MihaFurlanPrint2

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SWE vs CAN

Hope you’ve all had a great weekend.

I’m staying up late to watch the hockey final. It’s Canada vs Sweden so I’m really torn on this one. I guess you could say I’ll be a winner regardless of who wins. But then I’ll be a loser in the same way.

I hope your team wins.

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10 Comments

  1. I offer no reason for ANY $800.000 Corvette, let alone one with that kind of provenance.

    Google tells me that Kodewa, the German company building the Lotus bikes, has a fairly lengthy racing relationship with Lotus making the badging seem more legitimate.

    1. ah, Kodewa? yeah that makes sense, Kodewa is the company that co-designed, co-develloped and, as a team, ran the 2 “Lotus” T128 LMP2 cars in the WEC.

  2. The Golf GTE uses the same powertrain as the North America-only Jetta hybrid, along with a bigger battery pack.
    By many accounts, that’s the best-driving powertrain for that platform. It combines a revvy small displacement turbo with the low-down torque of an electric motor.

  3. Different strokes for different folks I guess. Those Alfa 4C headlights are the only great looking headlights on the market to my eye. Can’t think of another brand I like except Bentley.

    1. Different strokes alright, Ted. I’m pretty sure the concept didn’t have them and it looked more conventional, but much less distracting. I can’t enjoy the beautiful body on this car as much because I’m put off by those insect eyes.

  4. In related news, Fiat Chrysler has announced that the Alfa 4C will definitely be available in the US this summer. They will start distribution through Maserati dealerships, and extend that to select Fiat locations later.

    1. My, that 4C sounds nice in the video! And it sounds like it handles quite well too. Not that it would make sense for me to buy one, but I may have to stop by the local Maserati dealership this summer and have a look up close.

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