Mid Week Motoring,
FIVE BEST BATMOBILES
Zach Snyder’s Batman v Superman movie isn’t attracting the best reviews, though Ben Affleck’s Batman does have a relatively cool Batmobile.
Batman’s first ride dates from his initial appearance in Detective Comics (#27 May 1939). Though not referred to as the Batmobile until the February 1941 issue, the red coupe with a bat emblem on its bonnet and a supercharged engine, is thought to be a modified Cord 812 or Graham 97 ‘Sharknose’. Later it evolved into a convertible.
The 1966-68 TV Batmobile (pictured) was based on a 1954 Lincoln Futura show car the designer bought for $1. Given a new nose, canopy, the now-iconic black and red paint-job and introducng the James Bond gadgets, the car driven by Adam West and Burt Ward recently sold for $NZ5 million.
The massive ‘Bat-tank’ came along in Frank Miller’s 1986 comic book mini-series The Dark Knight Returns, and the concept resurfaced for Christopher Nolan’s 2008 ‘Tumbler’ and for Batman vs Superman.
Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns featured the sleek tail-finned heavily armoured and over-the-top gadget-laden jetengine-on-wheels, built on two Chevy Impala chassis.
It provided inspiration, minus the phallic nose, for the V-8 powered jetengine assist, heavily gizmoed Batmobile of the 1992 – 95 TV animated series.
Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt is a choice facing American PEV buyers.
Not so much a plug-in but a fashion accessory, the ‘‘stunning and sexy’’ Tesla is a car that apparently should be worn like clothing or jewellery, rather than driven. So the Model 3 is more a personal and fashion statement than a mode of transport.
Cue the utilitarian Chevy Bolt. The roomy hatchback does 100kmh about two seconds slower than the Model 3, but is probably a more useful PEV at a better price. Not sexy or cool, feature for feature, the Chevy Bolt is a technological wonder designed from the ground up as a PEV by a team of seasoned automotive designers.
As 2017 shapes up to be a major PEV transition year, what will it be? Both require serious consideration.
Teufel! Great German sports cars by Porsche, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen have been left in the dust as a brash newcomer hits the autobahn.
According to March sales figures, the new Ford Mustang overtook previous market leaders the Audi TT and the Porsche 911 for the first time.
Advertised as ‘‘fast, fun and affordable’’, price as well as the Mustang mystique may have plenty to do with the sales surge. A Porsche 911 starts at NZ$160,400. The ‘Tang sells for a far more modest NZ$56,400.
SAFER CARS FOR KIWIS
Kiwi car-buyers can now expect many of the same life-saving technologies in lower priced vehicles.
Big or small, luxury or standard the latest 5 star ANCAP safety ratings show plenty of consumer choice for buying a safe vehicle.
The 2016 Holden Spark, Skoda Superb, Jaguar XF and Kia QL Sportage all achieved the highest ANCAP safety rating, and all boast a suite of advanced crash avoidance technologies as standard – including Electronic Stability Control (ESC), which helps the driver stay in control of the vehicle in the event of a slide or swerve, and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) which helps to prevent nose to tail crashes.
The full list of ANCAP’s vehicle safety ratings are available online at aa.co.nz or rightcar.govt.nz.