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New laws ban texting while driving, but little else besides

by Paul Healy on 13 May 2014

changagoidem Features | New laws ban texting while driving, but little else besides

Earlier this month Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar enacted legislation that made it illegal to send or read text messages while behind the wheel of a automobile. Technically this was already illegal anyway under the ban on holding a mobile phone while driving, but there was a loophole in that, if the phone was in a cradle, you could text away to your heart's content - in theory at least.

The penalty for texting while driving is a stiff one - do not pass go, do not collect a handful of penalty points - instead you will face a…

How do you solve a problem like Lancia?

by Paul Healy on 09 May 2014

changagoidem Features | How do you solve a problem like Lancia?

Might Volkswagen represent the saviour of once great Lancia? We explore...

So Fiat/Chrysler overlord Sergio Marchionne has laid out his five-year plan to turn the new FCA Group into a global behemoth. At its core the plan involves reversing the fortunes of Alfa Romeo and Maserati while reinventing Fiat as the 'everyman' brand it always should have been. One brand conspicuous by its absence from the FCA press conference was Lancia and that is because the grand old dame of Italian motoring does not feature in the global plans of the Group, being restricted to the Italian market only.…

Happy birthday, dear Golfie...

by Neil Briscoe on 02 Apr 2014

changagoidem Features | Happy birthday, dear Golfie...

You do tend to forget just quite how big a revolution it was. Up to 1974 Volkswagens had been primarily rear-engined, air-cooled and only fractionally removed from that iconic pre-war design, the Beetle. The Golf (officially the Mk1 Golf is the Volkswagen Typ 17) was designed to replace the most popular automobile the world had ever seen up to then - a automobile that would eventually sell 20 million units around the world before being pensioned off, 70 odd years after it was first designed. That's not tricky, not difficult; that's ruddy impossible.

Volkswagen certainly didn't seem to be…

Captain Buzzkill's April Fools' Roundup

by Neil Briscoe on 02 Apr 2014

changagoidem Features | Captain Buzzkill's April Fools' Roundup

Morning all. Captain Buzzkill here, fearlessly patrolling the highways of cyberspace to ensure that no-one is fooled or taken in by some of the sillier motoring April Fools' jokes. Can't be letting the automobile industry have any fun, now can we? Serious business, this.


First out of the blocks was Opel (or Vauxhall, depending on your country) with the Astra Copacabana edition. Quite aside from the fact that it puts Barry Manilow on repeat play in the back of your brain for the rest of the day (her name was Lola, she was a showgirl...) it's…

Sensory overload - Alfa 4C on the TT Course

by Dave Humphreys on 28 Mar 2014

changagoidem Features | Sensory overload - Alfa 4C on the TT Course

Some 130 kilometres off the Irish coastline is a small island called the Isle of Man. It gave us The Bee Gees, funny cats, professional cyclist Mark Cavendish and is of course home to what is simply the most famous motorcycle race in the world - the TT.

The first running of the TT (Tourist Trophy) was in 1907 and since then it has, rather controversially, become one of the most coveted titles in motorcycle racing. Run over a 60.7km lap of the island's roads, since its inception 240 riders have lost their lives competing there. In one…

My working week: Dave Humphreys

by Dave Humphreys on 18 Mar 2014

changagoidem Features | My working week: Dave Humphreys

Monday March 10

What better way to start off your week than by sampling an all-new small crossover from Mercedes-Benz? The GLA is the third addition to the compact A-Class family and possibly the one that will be the most popular - the initial impressions are good anyway. As for the rest of the usual Monday automobile-swapping logistics, I say hello to the Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion and Mazda3, the latter of which I'd not driven since my trans-Siberian adventure in one of the very first examples made last year.

Tuesday March 11