Today marks the 12th anniversary of my blog. I still can’t believe how all those years have passed. Blogging changed a lot twelve years, but I kept writing, and I will be writing.
I’ve never thought to cover the Hyundai brand on my blog before. However, many things have changed at Hyundai, especially its transition from an inferior car company to a competitive EV brand.
To be fair, though, Hyundai doesn’t create dream cars that many people want to own or drive. Their products have been excellent and logical for a long time, but they’ve never been ground-breaking until now.
The Ioniq 5 is a ground-breaking, premium electric car. And interestingly, it offers better features than the VW ID family.
Hyundai’s latest EV entry is available in either a rear-wheel drive setup or all-wheel drive (AWD). I would highly recommend the AWD setup because electric motors deliver their maximum torque at any RPM. So, it’s better to get an AWD setup to benefit from the power. In addition, interior build quality and features are substantially better than the VW ID.
Suppose you’re going to order a top-spec Ioniq 5, ticking all the boxes: eco pack, tech pack, and V2L pack. Maybe even a solid colour pack? But a solid colour pack isn’t a necessity like the other packs.
Long story short, Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a premium electric car. Unlike its competitors, including VW, Audi, and even Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai didn’t cut corners with the luxury aspect in this segment.
Regarding the electric range, this is perhaps the most crucial and annoying thing! It ranges from 383 km (238 miles) to 478 km (298 miles). Two electric motors are placed on both the front and rear axles (AWD version), delivering 305 HP of power.
Also, keep in mind that compared to traditional cars, EVs offer a larger interior space and lower centre of gravity (good for handling). Ioniq 5 not only paves the way for level 5 autonomous driving but also shows how cars will become living spaces in the future. We can see a preview of this movement with the Ioniq 5.
Would I buy the Ioniq 5? Yes. I know it’s still a Hyundai, but it’s not like the other Hyundais.
Photos // Hyundai
Land Rover recently revealed its fifth-generation Range Rover. One of the most iconic SUVs in the market! We can’t ignore the fact that Range Rover created the luxury SUV segment, and other brands benefited.
Unlike the last Range Rover reveal, a picture of the new vehicle was leaked on Instagram days before the show. When even Apple can’t keep its upcoming devices secret, good luck, Land Rover!
The new Range Rover outperforms the previous generation. Land Rover’s engineers have fixed many of the old version’s problems and its lack of features. Now, the vehicle has a better infotainment system, improved interior design, and new driving assistance systems.
Despite all these efforts, the new Range Rover still lags behind the Mercedes GLE or BMW X7. Sadly, Land Rover can’t spend R&D cash like these German brands, which would otherwise allow it to top up the latest Range Rover with the latest gadgets.
For instance, the new Range Rover can’t scan the road surface and adjust the suspension firmness to eliminate the bumps. This feature is already offered by Mercedes-Benz GLE, GLS and Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
Despite the limited features, the new Range Rover didn’t remove the low range gearbox and the rear-differential lock! However, this time they are mated with 23-inch wheels. Good luck with your off-road experiences.
The most shocking part about the new Range Rover is its exterior design. It resembles the previous generation too much. And I’m not surprised by this!
The last generation’s Range Rover was a cash cow, and Land Rover clearly didn’t want to do something too different and freak out its customers. With competitors like the Bentley Bentayga and Rolls Royce Cullinan competing for ugliest SUV, Range Rover needed to play it safe, and they did it well.
A similar strategy was used in the iconic design approach of the Porsche 911. Every Porsche 911 has looked exactly the same since the first one. Land Rover could be planning to implement this design strategy for future Range Rovers. So, do you expect the upcoming Range Rover to look the same? Maybe?
I’m not a designer. However, I still want to see meaningful design improvements with every new Range Rover. Despite my negative feelings towards the Range Rover due to its lack of technology, I still love the way its off-road abilities are wrapped up in luxury.
Would I buy one? Yes – and I’ll moan about it whenever I’m not off-roading.
Photos // Land Rover
British music group Clean Bandit recently released their latest song, Drive feat. Wes Nelson.
If you’ve watched the music video, you may have spotted a white lorry driving through space toward the Sun. Interestingly, in this scene, the driver isn’t wearing a seatbelt.
Rightly so, you might be asking, “What’s a truck doing in Clean Bandit’s Drive?”
Here’s my answer: the lorry in Clean Bandit’s latest music video is a MAN TGM 18.290. This is a commercial vehicle designed for short- and long-haul journeys. It is capable of carrying up to 18-tonne and powered by a 6.9-lt six-cylinder inline turbo diesel generates 290-hp (euro 6). Probably the tonnage and the euro 6 emission level will not make any sense in space!
Sadly, the MAN TGM isn’t designed to withstand the pressures of traveling to the Sun, and its engine won’t run in space. As we all know, there is no air in Space, and diesel engines need air to run.
MAN was founded in 1758 in Germany. Now, the company is called MAN Truck & Bus. It’s a subsidiary of VW Group. Notably, MAN invented the diesel engine along with Rudolf Diesel, but that’s another long story!
I’m not sure why Clean Bandit chose to feature a MAN TGM in their music video. Also, the journey to the Sun is likely to be a tough one. Most importantly, I would strongly recommend that the driver wear a seatbelt! As is common knowledge, there is no friction in space, and when you stop, you stop quickly.
Also, when the MAN TGM approaches the Sun too closely, the entire lorry will start to melt and spin around the orbit of the Sun. In all likelihood, it will be a scorching journey!
Anyway, Drive is another great song from Clean Bandit. I’m looking forward to seeing what vehicle they decide to use for their next music video.
By the way, if the MAN truck featured in the video isn’t a TGL, please let me know. Unfortunately, in the video, it’s hard to make out the model badge on the vehicle.
Watch Clean Bandit Drive feat. Wes Nelson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrB8wB49z7c
Copyright // MAN Truck & Bus SE, Clean Bandit Drive Videoclip
Over the last three years, we have witnessed a considerable increase in the number of electric cars in the market. Starting with Tesla, many other manufacturers introduced electric vehicles in their range of models, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi.
This trend is not something new, and it was ignited by Tesla. Early in 2013, BMW introduced the i3 and i8 models. At this point, there were only a few electric cars. Now, Mercedes literally offers every ICE car in an electric version. BMW and Audi are going in that direction as well. I am sure VW Group will implement this strategy in the rest of their brands.
All of this is good news for the consumer, and it’s nice to see a shift from ICE to electric cars. The rise of electric vehicles in the market will increase competition, quality, and the range of choices.
There is one thing unique to electric cars, and many people haven’t realised it yet. They realised it as a benefit! Servicing! Electric vehicles have literally no moving parts. The Porsche Taycan is the only electric car with an automatic gearbox.
Electric motors don’t need servicing. This is because there is no engine oil, air filter, spark plugs, clutches, or catalysers. As a result, servicing your electric car will be cheap. Probably, brake pads and brake fluid will need to be replaced from time to time. You may also need to check the condition of the electric motor, and maybe few other bits.
This is good for consumers but bad for car companies. These companies make lots of profit from servicing. Manufacturing a car is an expensive process, but servicing it is really easy! So, the profit margin for servicing a vehicle is high.
Given the limited servicing frame for electric vehicles, then, how will car companies compensate for the lost profit? One option is to increase the price, but this may backfire.
Now let’s have a look at Apple’s business model. You buy an iPad and keep it for a long time; Apple can’t sell you an additional iPad that easily. So, how does Apple make a profit from you? The answer is, again, services! These include Apple Music, Apple TV+, and all the other apps you’ve subscribed to. Your iPad is nothing without those services.
I believe the car industry may go in a similar direction. That’s to say, after you buy your electric car, you may be required to pay a subscription fee if you wish to use services.
Mercedes-Benz is already doing something similar with its EQS. You have to pay for it if you want to have extended angle rear-wheel steering, and Mercedes-Benz will enable it over-the-air. This model is similar to how Apple’s AppStore used to work. If you pay once, the model doesn’t work; everything needs to be on subscription.
Over the next ten years, we will probably see car manufacturers rolling out many subscription services to compensate for the financial loss of vehicle servicing.
Welcome to the world of Bugatti restoration, Bugatti’s personalized “La Maison Pur Sang” program.
If you’re reading this article, you might have wondered about whether it’s ever right to treat your Bugatti like an everyday VW Golf. At the end of the day, the two cars are from the same company – Volkswagen – and they can be driven for anything.
Even though an average Bugatti costs ten times the amount of an average family car, both cars are still practical for everyday tasks.
Bugatti recently revealed a bespoke restoration service known as the “La Maison Pur Sang” program. The first Bugatti to be restored was the original Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport, the prototype for which was featured at Pebble Beach in 2008. An interesting fact is that due to its status as a prototype Bugatti, I don’t think it was sold to a customer. A prototype means that something may fall apart without giving any notice.
According to Bugatti, they reacquired the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport for restoration (from whom they reacquired is the question). The process of restoring a Bugatti involves the following:
Are you planning to buy a used Bugatti, or do you want to refresh your worn-out Bugatti? If so, there’s a service designed for your needs.
One final note, though: to enter Bugatti’s “La Maison Pur Sang” program, and also benefit from a restoration process for your Bugatti, this will set you back around the price of a brand new Audi A4!
Ferrari recently revealed a new model, the 296 GTB. The other Ferraris’ 296 GTB features a turbo V6 engine coupled with an electric motor (PHEV aka plug-in hybrid). I know many Ferrari fans and owners won’t like this composition. However, I liked it!
Over the last two decades, Ferrari has focused on creating louder and louder cars. Different from the Ferraris of the 1990s, today’s Ferraris are very loud. They can even make residents uncomfortable when driven in urban areas.
Ferrari fans may not agree with me. In fact, they might tell me about how important a Ferrari’s exhaust noise is while playing with their smartphone to order food from Amazon!
Recently, the world has changed significantly. We now order food using smartphones and do banking without ever seeing any real money. So, what’s wrong with a Ferrari with a hybrid drivetrain? I believe that nostalgia and the male ego make things sound louder for no reason. Ferrari made this very well for a long time.
Now we know the importance of creating quieter cars, it’s worth noting Ferrari’s achievements in this area. Ferrari’s 296 GTB, powered by a 3-liter V6 turbo engine, produces 663 PS; the electric motor produces 167 PS and 350 nm of torque. In combination, the 296 GTB generates 830 PS and 740 nm of torque. The engine is coupled with an 8-speed DCT automatic gearbox and an e-diff.
Thanks to its electric motor, the Ferrari 296 GTB can travel on pure electricity up to 25 km! That’s amazing. You can travel in pure silence across town without annoying anyone, which makes this Ferrari an excellent car for people like me. The vehicle’s top speed is over 330 km/h and it only needs 2.9 seconds to reach 100 km/h!
For nearly half a century, Ferrari never had an offering with a V6 engine; and now they back to V6 and did a great job. The engine’s architecture is state-of-art, featuring 120-degree V angle to accommodate turbos for quicker response. There is also 350-bar fuel injector pressure and brake-by-wire technology for better braking. Notably, brake-by-wire technology is dangerous territory; Mercedes-Benz failed it with SBC in 2002!
Even the iconic Manettino switch has changed. Frank Stephenson designed the first Manettino for the Ferrari F430 in 2006. The new Manettino is called the eManettino and has four settings.
To wrap up, the Ferrari 296 GTB closes the gap between the SF90 Stradale and the F8 Tributo. It’s the perfect car for a new era of Ferrari. While I know that the 296 GTB wasn’t Ferrari’s first plug-in hybrid (the SF90 Stradale holds that title), it’s the first V6 plug-hybrid. In my personal opinion, the 296 GTB is a fantastic car. It doesn’t shout like other Ferraris and it offers something unique. Despite being a plug-in hybrid, it is still a rear-wheel drive, unlike the SF90 Stradale. I think the 296 GTB would be an excellent car for newcomers to Ferrari!
Porsche recently revealed the iconic 911 GT3 Touring, an ‘incognito mode’ take on the 911 GT3. The car shows no signs of its sheer power and abilities.
It looks like a normal Porsche 911, probably an entry-level model with no rear seats. However, under the bonnet, a high-revving 4-lt six-cylinder boxer engine can deliver 510 PS of power through a 6-speed manual or, for the first time, 7-speed PDK automatic transmission.
Go for the automatic option. Manual gearboxes are neither as quick nor efficient as PDK automatic gearboxes. For me, the manual gearbox is something unnecessary in today’s car world.
The 911 GT3 Touring is not for people who want to show off; it’s for people who would love to experience the raw Porsche 911 experience without any fixed-wing or aero kits. One of the best aspects of the GT3 Touring is its retractable rear wing – it appears when it should appear.
You won’t have so many toys with the GT3 Touring, and you’ll have less comfort compared to the original 911, but the GT3 Touring has a purpose! I’m not sure how many grand touring experiences you can have with this car, but it will still be a great car to drive on long journeys.
Is it worth buying? Yes, and as you expected, it’s more expensive with fewer features!
Photos // Porsche
Bugatti released a video a few days ago. If you are reading this article in 2050, the thing to note is that humankind raced fighter jets with passenger vehicles. So, Bugatti decided to show how fast its Chiron Sport is against a fighter jet, as you might be expecting. What better fit for this race than a Dassault Rafale?
Before I criticize the video, let’s note that the Bugatti Chiron Sport is powered by an 8-liter quad-turbo W16 engine (designed in the late 1990s). This generates 1,500 PS and 1,600 nm of torque. The engine is coupled with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox delivering power to an all-wheel drive system, enabling the Chiron Sport to reach 420 km/h. It is a fast car, and you would never be able to experience its full potential.
The unique characteristics of the Chiron Sport are the ‘Les Légendes du Ciel’ exclusive edition, which is limited to twenty vehicles. All of these are probably gone now.
Bugatti pays homage to the unique and fruitful relationship between its founder and France’s legendary pilots and race car drivers, including Louis Blériot, Roland Garros, Robert Benoist, Bartolomeo Costantini, and Albert Divo.
Honestly, this is an excellent project from Bugatti, honoring its aviation heritage, and I liked it.
However, using a Dassault Rafale Marine fighter jet with 5,727 PS to show that the Chiron Sport is faster on the ground is a bit too much of a throwback to the 2000s. The Tesla Model S would also probably outpace a Dassault Rafale, as well as many other vehicles, because airplanes don’t move their vehicles for propulsion; they use compressed air instead. Therefore, planes can’t accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h as quickly as a car.
Videos like this used to be impressive ten or fifteen years ago, back when Nokia was the best phone manufacturer. The world has changed since then; sadly, you can’t impress people with these PR exercises. There are more creative ways to present an exclusive edition compared to this.
I didn’t write this article to moan about video production. Bugatti is a great brand that develops unique vehicles, and I would like to see them go forward in every direction.
Images // Bugatti
HR Owen Rolls-Royce has a new home in Mayfair, which opened its doors a few weeks ago. If you’ve ever visited Berkeley Square, Mayfair, you surely wouldn’t have missed the HR Owen Rolls-Royce showroom. As a part of Mayfair, it’s been there for decades.
However, Rolls-Royce is not the old Rolls-Royce. The automobile maker now offers five different models: Phantom, Ghost, Cullinan, Dawn, and Wraith. When you add the extended wheelbases and the Black Badge version, there are seven other models.
Unfortunately, the Berkeley Square showroom isn’t suitable for showing all these cars at the same time. So, they had to find a new home, and they did it! The new showroom in Mayfair is only a 2-minute walk from the previous showroom on foot (wearing trainers), an 8-minute walk in high heels, a 30-second drive, and a 1-nanosecond trip by Star Trek Enterprise. That’s to say, the Mayfair showroom is very close!
Rolls-Royce’s new showroom in Mayfair is impressive; there are also lots of hidden gems. The best part is that you can see the whole Rolls-Royce range under the same roof. You name it, they have it!
The new showroom’s address is 50 Berkeley Street, W1J 8HD, London, United Kingdom.