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Bad weather is good for driving

by Maurice Malone on 04 Aug 2017

changagoidem Features | Bad weather is good for driving

Weather. The number one topic of conversation for most in Ireland. It's scorching, it's freezing, it's sunny, it's raining, often during the same day, sometimes during the same hour. On and on it goes, our tiny green island constantly suffering from the Atlantic Ocean's influence. The prolonged dry and warm stretches enjoyed by our continental neighbours are the exception, not the rule. That awful period between the end of autumn and the end of winter tends to be particularly horrid, as the nights draw in and much of the land is covered in a miserable soup of mist and fog.

Toyota flies prototype electric plane/automobile

by Neil Briscoe on 04 Aug 2017

changagoidem Features | Toyota flies prototype electric plane/automobile

With Airbus showing off concept video of its personalised flying automobile concept, the Vahana, it's tempting to think that the world has suddenly gone flying automobile mad. Could it be the proximity of a new Blade Runner film, the original of which did so much to popularise the idea of a flying and hovering automobile thanks to the future-gazing work of production designer Syd Mead?

That's unlikely to be Toyota's inspiration, but the Japanese giant is known to be at least partially keen on the flying automobile idea, having filed a US patent last year not for a fully-fledged flying…

Ferrari F40: thirty years old, still the king

by Maurice Malone on 27 Jul 2017

changagoidem Features | Ferrari F40: thirty years old, still the king

Enzo's last Ferrari was Maranello's 40th birthday to itself, and with roots in a forgotten Group B automobile, it was always going to be wild.

"No, I don't think we have anyone at McLaren who can weld that badly". So said Gordon Murray, upon fielding a question as to whether his McLaren F1 was intended to be a rival to the Ferrari F40. A disparaging remark, yes, but he had a point. Spend a few minutes in the company of an F40 and you'll understand. Panel gaps that you could fit your fist through, welds that appear to have been…

Ultimate road trip in ultimate BMW M4

by Matt Robinson on 25 Jul 2017

changagoidem Features | Ultimate road trip in ultimate BMW M4

Model tested: BMW M4 GTS
Predicted market value: €250,000-€300,000
Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged six-cylinder petrol
Transmission: seven-speed M DCT automatic, rear-wheel drive
Body style: two-door coupe
CO2 emissions: 199g/km (Band F, €1,200 per annum)
Combined economy: 33mpg (8.5 litres/100km)
Top speed: 305km/h (limited)
0-100km/h: 3.8 seconds
Power: 500hp at 6,250rpm
Torque: 600Nm at 4,000- to 6,250rpm
Boot space: 445 litres

It feels strange to be talking about a automobile as a classic when its most closely-related models are still on sale. But, even though the BMW M4 GTS was built and delivered in…

We need to turn everything off

by Maurice Malone on 24 Jul 2017

changagoidem Features | We need to turn everything off

Insurance company Aviva has commissioned a study into driving habits in 13 countries around the globe, and unfortunately the findings paint Irish drivers in a very bad light.

Over 80 per cent of Irish people surveyed admit to using electronic devices when behind the wheel, a markedly worse figure than our UK neighbours (66 per cent).

Nearly half of us make phone calls without using a hands-free kit, 26 per cent send text messages, and incredulously, 15 per cent of people check and update their social media while driving. There really is no excuse for this behaviour, and various hard-hitting…

Flat out in Peugeot's 308 Racing Cup

by Neil Briscoe on 06 Jul 2017

changagoidem Features | Flat out in Peugeot's 308 Racing Cup

"Why me?", sang Linda Martin, but I seriously doubt that the slim-hipped Linda has ever had to wedge her ample buttocks into a too-tight racing bucket seat like I have to today, pinching my right thigh in the manner of a medieval torture device every time I flex my right foot.

Sweating and panting like a badly packed Nomex ham, I finally manage to cram enough of my too-ample frame into the seat, and the five-point harness snaps shut with a breathe-in-now click.

The inside of the Peugeot 308 Racing Cup is, like most racing automobiles, basically a pile of…