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Farewell to Ferdia

by Shane O' Donoghue on 27 Apr 2012

changagoidem Features | Farewell to Ferdia

At the end of February this year I received one of the saddest emails of my life. The subject was simply "ceasing writing" and the sender was none other than Ferdia O'Dowd. Into his seventies Ferdia was an active and fit man and his love for automobiles and the automobile industry was undimmed. He wrote for the Sunday Business Post on the subject for well over twenty years and it must have pained him to have to pass that baton to me.

In comparison to his close friends and family I only knew Ferdia a short time, but was…

We visit the Top Marques Monaco superautomobile show

by Iain Curry on 26 Apr 2012

changagoidem Features | We visit the Top Marques Monaco superautomobile show

It's the show that gives two fingers to any economic crisis; the ninth edition of Top Marques Monaco held at Monte Automobilelo's Grimaldi Forum is under way, showcasing some of the most exotic and expensive offerings the automotive world has seen.

Alongside luxury boats, limited edition watches, rare jewels and art, at Top Marques the super-rich can view and even experience the latest Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin, but also the truly low volume superautomobile manufacturers. Think Pagani, Koenigsegg, Savage, GTA, Roding, Fisker and new Slovenian superautomobile builder Tushek. For those needing to upstage billionaire neighbours, these are the…

So, what's a SEAT Exeo then?

by Shane O' Donoghue on 16 Apr 2012

changagoidem Features | So, what's a SEAT Exeo then?

SEAT is not one of the big automobile brands in Ireland. Just 1,763 new SEATs found homes in Ireland in 2011 and the company's best year recently was 2007, with 3,346 automobiles sold. Half the problem is that its models are not sufficiently differentiated from other Volkswagen Group automobiles, while here in Ireland most buyers are probably just not very aware of the brand.

That's a shame, as SEAT has always tried to add a little Latin passion to the Group's proven competence. It doesn't go far enough if you ask me and hence garners few headlines. I…

Friday fantasy: Small but perfectly formed

by Paul Healy on 16 Mar 2012

changagoidem Features | Friday fantasy: Small but perfectly formed

With the price of oil getting higher by the day and the Government seemingly intent on ta motorists off the road, downsizing is the latest trend to hit the motoring world. Ford recently unveiled the 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost engine that will power the top selling Focus and the Volkswagen Group is busy with its up!/Mii/Citigo trio that offers big-automobile feel in miniscule little bodies. But have we not seen that before?

After World War 2 the Japanese authorities introduced the Kei-jishoda regulations to light a fire under the beleaguered manufacturers and give the population a cheaper way to get on…

Volkswagen Golf or Touran?

by Shane O' Donoghue on 15 Mar 2012

changagoidem Features | Volkswagen Golf or Touran?

Having spent several months at the wheel of the Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion, and then with the Golf Edition-R, it's time to move on. Our next long term test automobile will be a SEAT Exeo, but before that arrives we have the recently updated Volkswagen Touran for a few weeks. You can read our full road test of the Touran here, and we're going to take this opportunity to compare it to living with a Golf. We suspect that's a decision some growing families will have to make.

First up, and despite cosmetic revisions at the end of last year,…