Mid Week Mo­tor­ing,

The Tribune (NZ) - - CARS - com­piled by Richard Mays

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.

CHEVY BOLTER

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.

MUS­TANG SALLY

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.

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