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SMOKING BAN IN CARS WITH CHILDREN

It is illegal to smoke in a car (or other vehicle) with anyone under 18. The law changed on 1 October 2015, to protect children and young people from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

Both the driver and the smoker could be fined £50. The law applies to every driver in England and Wales, including those aged 17 and those with a provisional driving licence.

The law applies:

  • to any private vehicle that is enclosed wholly or partly by a roof
  • when people have the windows or sunroof open, or the air conditioning on
  • when someone sits smoking in the open doorway of a vehicle

The law does not apply to:

  • e-cigarettes (vaping)
  • a driver who is 17 years old if they are on their own in the car
  • a convertible car with the roof completely down

What I don’t understand is why smokers are up in arms about this.  There are many people who say they are not going to comply with this new law and lets be honest, the police are still not enforcing the lane hogging or tailgating fines that they brought in so the chances that people will actually get stopped is very slim.  If I was ever lucky enough to be a parent I would not smoke around my children.  Common sense tells you that you are risking their lives for no good reason other than YOU are stubborn.

Either switch to e cigarettes or buy a convertible and smoke with the top down if you really cant drive without smoking.

I myself am a smoker and although I do smoke in my car, I do not smoke when my partner or mother are in my car, but then I am not as selfish as some I guess.

I would love to hear your views on this, all relevant comments will be published.

 

Porsche reveals Carrera 4 and Targa 4 turbo models

Porsche Carrera 4 and Targa 4 turbowritten by 

Porsche’s new 3.0-litre bi-turbo engine range has now been extended to the all-wheel drive Carrera 4 and Targa 4, with prices starting from £81,398.

Producing 370hp in base guise and 420hp as the Carrera 4S and Targa 4S, the 20hp power boost over today’s 3.4-litre and 3.8-litre cars is combined with a drop in fuel consumption of up to 12%.

2016 Porsche Carrera arrives – and it’s turbocharged

That equates to combined economy of up to 36mpg.

The new engine doesn’t come for free though: the new price of the base Carrera 4 represents just under a 4% increase.

Buyers shouldn’t mind too much though – for the first time, all-wheel drive 911 Carreras now accelerate from 0-62mph more quickly than the rear-wheel drive cars.

They’re much quicker than the non-turbo cars too – the Carrera 4 with PDK and Sport Chrono is 0.4 seconds faster to 62mph and the S is 0.3 seconds faster: it does the benchmark time in just 3.8 seconds.

Porsche Carrera 4 and Targa 4 turbo

Porsche’s also given the new all-wheel drive a small extra visual identifier over the rear-drive cars: the light strip between the rear lights has a new 3D design, further enhancing the 44mm-wider rear wings.

As with other revised turbo 911s, there are headlights with four-point daytime running lights, recess-free doorhandles and new rear lights. The louvres on the rear lid are new too.

Inside, the PCM infotainment system has been improved and is standard on all, incorporating new features such as multi-touch.

Porsche says around one in three 911 buyers go all-wheel drive so the faster new 4 models will be popular in dealers: they’re available to order there now, with deliveries starting in early 2016. Perfect to still catch the worst of the wintry weather.

Volkswagen emissions scandal: what happens next?

I have been trying to avoid it but I guess we have to go there…. The VW emissions scandal affects hundreds of thousands of people in other countries as well as here.  What I don’t understand is how on earth such an iconic company can just choose to flush themselves down the toilet like this.

I would love to hear from you if this news has affected you.

Tell us your story and we will publish all!

 Which vehicles are affected?

Volkswagen Group has announced that 1.2m cars and commercial vehicles will be recalled in the UK as a result of the diesel engine emissions scandal.

This includes:

Volkswagen – 508,276

Audi – 393,450

Seat – 76,773

Škoda – 131,569

Volkswagen cars and other commercial vehicles – 79,838

Which engines are involved?

Anyone with a EA189 engine, which to most buyers means 1.2 litre, 1.6 litre and 2.0 litre diesel engines. The affected vehicles were sold between roughly 2009 and 2014. This include Golfs, Passats, Škoda Octavias and Fabias, plus a host of Audis.

What about other models?

All petrol models, as well as V6 TDI and V8 TDI diesel engined vehicles, are unaffected.

I have got one of those cars – what happens next?

The VW Group is giving few details on how and when this will happen, except to say it is working behind the scenes on which owners need to be told. Recalls are managed by the government’s Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. VW will be contacting DVSA with a list of cars that are affected. DVSA then identifies each car’s registered keeper and will write to them. It does so on VW’s behalf because many of the affected cars will have been bought second hand, or are leased.

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When can I expect a letter?

Again, VW isn’t saying, but previously large recalls of this type have taken the DVSA six weeks to start producing letters. The agency has just managed a major recall of other cars prompted by air bag problems. In that instance, it took six weeks before the first letters were sent out. Expect the same now from VW.

Is my car safe to drive in the meantime?

Yes. VW says all the affected vehicles remain technically safe and roadworthy. It is only the car’s emissions that are affected.

What is the likely work, and how long will it take?

VW remains tight-lipped. All it would say is that it aims to “present technical solutions and measures to relevant responsible authorities” before the end of October. The Guardian understands that vehicles will most likely require a software upgrade, in which case the car will only be off the road for a matter of hours. But if more serious work is required, it would likely to be at least a day, possibly longer. Given that 1.2m cars have been recalled across the group, this is likely to take many months – well into 2016 – to resolve.

Will I get a replacement car while mine is being worked on?

The Consumer group Which? says drivers should be entitled to one. However, the huge number of recalls may make that next to impossible – but if you need one, you should demand one.

What will be the likely impact of the work?

VW will desperately be hoping that the affected cars will continue to perform as drivers expect after the upgrade work is carried out. However, if the car performance, emissions or fuel consumption deteriorates substantially, lawyers will be queuing up to bring claims against the manufacturer.

I’ve just bought a new VW Group car. Is that affected?

No. Cars with the latest Euro 6 engines – those typically bought in 2015 – are not thought to be affected.

 

 

 

Nissan invests £100m in Sunderland plant

Japanese car maker Nissan has announced it will invest £100m in its UK plant to build the new Juke model.

The investment will secure thousands of jobs at the Sunderland factory, which produces the current Juke, Qashqai, Note and electric Leaf models.

The firm said the money gave “security to our Sunderland plant beyond 2020”.

Chancellor George Osborne welcomed the “fantastic news” that was “an important sign of Britain being chosen as a global leader in car production”.

The plant made 500,000 cars last year, making it the biggest car plant in the UK, according to Nissan.

According to Prof David Bailey from Aston Business School, Nissan’s Sunderland plant makes more cars than the whole of the Italian car industry.

The new investment will secure 6,700 jobs at the plant and more than 27,000 in the supply chain.

Unite union assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: “We warmly welcome the decision of Nissan to build the new Juke model in the UK, when it could have gone to one of Nissan’s plants abroad.

“The decision demonstrates the confidence the industry has in a highly skilled and dedicated workforce across the UK automotive industry.”

Global market ‘turbulent’

Nissan Europe chairman Paul Wilcox told the BBC the plant was “probably the most productive in Europe and, I’d argue, globally”.

He added that although demand in Russia and China was slowing, the car market in western Europe was “very good and improving, and the market in the UK is very, very good”.

“We are not getting carried away as the global market is turbulent, but we are seeing slight growth in demand.”

According to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, UK car production in the first half of the year hit a seven-year high of 793,642 cars – the equivalent of three cars every minute.

This was the highest production since 2008, the year of the financial crisis that sparked a deep recession in the UK.

This is Peugeot’s Fractal concept, and it looks excellent

peugeot peugeot_fractal1 peugeot_fractal2 peugeot_fractal3 peugeot_fractal4 peugeot_fractal5 peugeot_fractal6

 

It’s fair to say Peugeot knows how to build a concept. Witness the Onyx, SR-1, EX1 and RC Prototype. Now there’s this new Fractal concept, an all-electric, compact 2+2 coupe (although the whole roof lifts off) that projects how Peugeots could look, feel and sound in the future.

The one-off design study, scheduled for a Frankfurt Motor Show premiere, is shorter than a 208 supermini at just 3.8m in length, but much lower and wider and with massive 19-inch wheels wrapped in skinny low rolling resistance tyres. It’s a muscular shape for something so small. The front end is an exaggeration of what we’ll see on the new 3008 SUV next year (a fact confirmed by design director Gilles Vidal), while the squat rear end is covered in laser-cut, textured matt-black panels with a spangly, full width LED strip.

On the inside things start to get complicated. The floor, side and door panels are all covered in furry, 3D-printed blocks – much like the protruding mini pyramids you might find on the walls in a recording studio. The idea is to absorb unwanted sounds and improve the clarity of the 12-speaker sound system, complete with a vibrating sub-woofer against your spine. We sampled it and if you’re a fan of being tied to a seven-foot speaker in your local nightclub, you’ll love this.

A fully-digital instrument panel (although not a holographic system like the one here) will appear in a production car “very soon”, according to Vidal – our bets are on next year’s 3008 – while the Fractal’s oval steering wheel and cripplingly-uncomfortable seats will not.

A symphony of sounds for alerting pedestrians of your impending arrival has already been designed (from 2019 all EVs will need to make noises below 30km/h by law), along with a fake ‘exhaust’ note reminiscent of the Starship Enterprise in warp drive. Warp speeds are unlikely though with just 201bhp on tap from a pair of electric motors – one at each axle – fed by a block of lithium-ion batteries forming the spine of the car.

According to Vidal the point isn’t to preview a new 208, or to hint at a new RCZ. It doesn’t pave the way for an EV sports car either. No, the Fractal’s job is to get us excited about the brand’s future. In that case, job done.

The best cars for students – used car buying guide

19 August 2015

The summer holidays are almost over, and for those students about to head off to university for the first time an affordable set of wheels could well be on their shopping lists. Buying new isn’t an option for everyone, and for those seeking a second-hand bargain, these trusty motors are well worth a look.

1 – Suzuki Swift 1.5 (2004-2010)

We’re huge fans of the Suzuki Swift. In terms of character, the Sport model is possibly the closest modern warm hatch to old-school gems such as the Citroën AX GT. But while the Sport may be out of reach for early 20-somethings, they could have the next best thing: a nippy and well-equipped 1.5-litre Swift GLX.

The 1.5 retains the Sport’s wide track and feelsome steering, making it a hoot to drive on challenging B-roads, and the 101bhp motor can average 44mpg and still push the Swift from 0-62mph in 10.0sec and on to a maximum of 115mph. We found a 2009 model with only 13,000 miles under its belt for £5k.

2 – Peugeot 106 Quiksilver (1998-2003)

Back in the late 1990s, Peugeot spotted a gap in the market for a watered down GTi model to rival Citroën’s Saxo Furio. The result was the limited edition 106 Quiksilver. It had the 106 GTi’s suspension and bodykit but was propelled by a 1.4-litre eight-valve engine instead of the GTi’s 1.6 16-valver.

The 75bhp Quiksilver is a sharp steer thanks to its 850kg kerb weight, and it feels much faster than its 11.2sec 0-62mph time suggests. Driveshaft problems and rear axle issues are common, but just under £1500 will get you a clean 2002 Quiksilver with a respectable 78,000 miles on the clock.

3 – Mini Cooper (2001-2007)

When the first-generation BMW-owned Mini hatch arrived in 2001, it came with premium pricing and a level of desirability that set it apart from other cars of its size. The Cooper model was powered by a 115bhp 1.6-litre four-pot petrol engine, which helped the car to a 0-62mph time of 9.1sec and a top speed of 124mph, and in our original road test we were gobsmacked by the impressive roadholding ability.

Early Mini Coopers have since depreciated to the extent that they’re now within the reach of younger buyers. They have reasonable group 21 insurance, too. A fiver under £4k will get you a 2007 Cooper with a full service history and 69,000 miles on the clock.

4 – Volkswagen Up (2012-present)

Young buyers seeking a desirable badge and quality interior on their sprightly hatchback should look no further than Volkswagen’s Up city car. In 74bhp 1.0-litre guise, it’s nippy enough around town and has an addictive, charismatic three-cylinder thrum that urges you to chase its 6200rpm redline. It’s an agile and predictable thing to steer, too.

The VW also has the lowest running costs here, plus it’s the cheapest to insure. Standard kit is generous and in five-door form it can carry three passengers with ease. For £8500, you can have a two-year-old flagship High Up five-door, with only 15,000 miles.

5 – Ford Puma 1.7 (1997-2002)

The Puma coupé may not be blessed with the most masculine design, but what it lacks in stylistic virility it more than makes up for with an engaging and involving chassis. And despite being powered by a 125bhp 1.7-litre Yamahadeveloped engine, it has relatively low group 23 insurance.

The 0-60mph sprint is cracked in 9.2sec and the Puma can romp on to 121mph, so it’s got the poke to back up its sweet handling. There are plenty of Puma 1.7s in the classifieds for under a grand. We found a tidy 2001 example, with only 74,000 miles on the clock, selling for £900.

Amazon executive dodges Top Gear controversy question at TV press event

Amazon executive dodges Top Gear controversy question at TV press event

James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond

So how will the new ‘Top Gear’ look and sound on Amazon – well one of the the company’s top executives doesn’t want to talk about it yet.

At a summer press tour in LA, Amazon Studios director Roy Price said they were optimistic their new motoring show would be a hit.

When asked if there were any ground rules set for Jeremy Clarkson in terms of language and slurs, it seems that Mr Price prefers not to “not think a lot about it.”

“I can’t comment on all the details of our discussions or contracts… but we’re bullish on the show and think it will tour out well,” he said.

Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond’s new show on Amazon’s streaming video service, Amazon Prime, was revealed last week.

As we know Top Gear was pretty well known for all those Clarkson controversies.

They included protests in Argentina over a number plate that appeared to refer to the Falklands War, calling an Asian man a “slope“, saying a toilet in a car boot was “perfect for India because everyone who comes here gets the trots” and calling Mexicans “lazy” and “feckless”.

In the end Clarkson’s BBC contract wasn’t renewed after he hit a producer.

Top Gear number plate

His co-hosts May and Hammond also left the show as did series producer Andy Wilman after the “unprovoked physical attack” on producer Oisin Tymon.

In June, Clarkson said he was “so sad and sorry it’s ended like this” after the final episode of Top Gear hosted by the current presenting team was screened.

James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond

Now, Clarkson, Hammond and May will front three series on Amazon Prime, with the first season available worldwide in 2016.

In a statement from Amazon, Clarkson said: “I feel like I’ve climbed out of a biplane and into a spaceship.”

Hammond said: “Amazon? Oh yes. I have already been there. I got bitten by a bullet ant.” And May added: “We have become part of the new age of smart TV. Ironic, isn’t it?”

Top Gear is continuing on the BBC with new host Chris Evans.

Lisa Clark, who worked with Evans on The Big Breakfast, is the show’s new producer and two more co-hosts are due to be announced soon.

Frankfurt motor show 2015 preview New cars from Alfa Romeo, BMW, Ferrari, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz and many more will be seen at the September show

The 2015 Frankfurt motor show opens its doors on 17 September and most of the major car manufactures will be there to bring you the very latest news, pictures and analysis from one of the most important motor shows of the year.

With new model launches expected from the likes of Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Jaguar, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, the Frankfurt show is already shaping up to be full of exciting new metal. Take a look at the key cars coming to Frankfurt in our guide below.

Frankfurt motor show 2015 – the key cars

Alfa Romeo Giulia – Alfa’s crucial BMW 3 Series rival was unveiled in Milan last month. It is powered by a Ferrari-developed V6 engine in its sportiest form.

Audi A4 – The fifth-generation A4 goes on sale in the UK this November, with new engines and evolutionary styling.

Bentley Bentayga – After months of spy shots, Bentley is likely to finally pull the wraps off its £130,000 luxury SUV in Frankfurt.

BMW 7 Series – BMW’s range-topper will go on sale in October and features a heavily reworked and lightweight chassis. A plug-in hybrid variant is scheduled for 2016.

BMW X1 – Second-generation compact SUV will be offered in both front and four-wheel drive forms for the first time. It goes on sale in the UK this autumn.

Ferrari 488 GTS Spider – Rumours are circulating that Ferrari will unveil its open-topped variant of the 660bhp 488 GTB at September’s show.

Infiniti Q30 – Infiniti’s Volkswagen Golf rival was first revealed in concept form in Frankfurt in 2013. It will go on sale at the end of this year.

Jaguar F-Pace – We’ve caught glimpses of Jaguar’s SUV in its role as Team Sky’s support car, but Frankfurt will mark its official public debut.

Kia Cee’d facelift – Set to go on sale in the UK this October, Kia’s facelifted hatchback features a more economical range of engines.

Kia Sportage – Next-generation Sportage is moving upmarket in a bid to take on Nissan’s Qashqai. It features styling inspired by the KX3 concept car.

Lamborghini Huracán Spider – With an open-topped version of the Huracán due to arrive this year, Frankfurt would mark a likely debut for the Huracán Spider.

Lotus 3-Eleven – Lotus’s 450bhp sports car was unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and costs from £82,000.

Maserati Levante – Maserati’s first SUV model is due to go on sale at the end of this year, with right-hand-drive versions arriving early next year.

Mini Clubman – Mini’s family-size model has grown again. It goes on sale later this year for a starting price of £19,995.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé – Mercedes has already confirmed that its three-door variant of the latest C-Class will make its debut in Frankfurt before going on sale at the end of the year.

Mercedes-Benz GLC – The successor to the GLK SUV, Mercedes’ GLC will do battle with the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 when it goes on sale this autumn.

Peugeot 308 R Hybrid – With PSA boss Carlos Tavares spotted testing the 493bhp hybrid, it’s likely that a production variant of the 308 R Hybrid concept is coming.

Porsche 911 facelift – A minor facelift is planned for Porsche’s 911 range, including styling changes and a new four-cylinder engine range.

Renault Mégane – Renault’s crucial mass-market hatchback has been spotted testing, revealing that the third-generation Mégane will take on a sportier stance.

Smart Fortwo Cabriolet – Due to launch in the third quarter of this year, Smart’s new open-top Fortwo comes with a folding fabric roof.

Vauxhall Astra – Vauxhall’s new Astra will go on sale soon after its Frankfurt debut, with prices starting from £15,295.

Volkswagen Tiguan concept – VW’s second-generation Tiguan SUV will be previewed by a thinly disguised concept car in Frankfurt.

Police In Dubai Found Around 3,000 Abandoned Luxury Cars

Police have been finding hundreds of cars over the last five plus years abandoned at airports, streets and other areas near by the airport in Dubai. So why are people leaving their luxury cars at the airports in Dubai?

Suzuki introduces entry-level Celerio SZ2

Suzuki Celerio SZ2

Suzuki’s dinky Celerio city car can now be yours for less than £7k thanks to new SZ2 model

Suzuki has added to its compact city car range with the newCelerio SZ2, an entry-level model priced from £6,999 – or £1,000 below the previously cheapest SZ3.

Six airbags (driver, passenger, side and curtain), electric front windows and DAB radio come as standard, along with central locking and ESP to form a value-for-money package at the base of the Suzuki range.

With the largest boot (254 litres) in its class, the Celerio replaced the Alto and Splash models in Suzuki’s small car range at the beginning of 2015.

The SZ2 is now available with the Dualjet petrol engine, boasting improved fuel economy and emissions over the standard three-cylinder 1.0-Litre powertrain. It’ll do 78.4 mpg and emit 84g/km of CO2, superseding the standard car’s 65.7 mpg and 99g/km. These figures are competitive when compared with some of the Celerio’s European rivals with the Citroen C1 struggling to reach 70 mpg with a similar 1.0-Litre engine.

The SZ2 will produce 67 bhp and 93 Nm of torque and despite no performance figures being released as of yet, expect the cut-price city car to hit 62mph in around 13 seconds and top out at just under 100mph.

Starting at £6,999, the SZ2 undercuts the rest of the Celerio range to become Suzuki’s cheapest car on sale. The Dacia Sandero is £1,000 cheaper still, meaning the SZ2 sits between the Dacia and the PSA trio (Peugeot 108, Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo) in the city car market.