Crash en­counter

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page -

WIT­NESSED a car crash in Syd­ney this week that could have had fa­tal con­se­quences.

I’M A CAR­BON EMIS­SIONS LOSER

THE pur­pose of my visit to Syd­ney was the launch of the third gen­er­a­tion Prius, a ve­hi­cle which is highly prized by Black and White Taxi owner-op­er­a­tors in Cairns.

As you’ll read on P14-15, it is Aus­tralia’s clean­est and green­est car with av­er­age fuel econ­omy of 3.9L/100km (which we achieved on the drive pro­gram) and car­bon emis­sions of just 89 grams per 100km.

As part of the launch the 20 jour­nal­ists were is­sued a CO2 chal­lenge at Cam­den air­port about 60km from Syd­ney.

The aim was to com­plete a lap of the 1.2km course in the Prius, set­ting a time, while pro­duc­ing the low­est CO2 emis­sions.

Racing driver Neil Cromp­ton es­tab­lished a bench­mark which was 81.8s and 88gm/km for a com­bined to­tal of 7256.

The course in­cluded three sharp left turns, a se­ries of slaloms and a bus stop ma­noeu­vre.

The the­ory was to ac­cel­er­ate hard at the start and then main­tain mo­men­tum, achieve a rea­son­ably fast time but be very pru­dent with the use of the ac­cel­er­a­tor.

Too heavy on the throt­tle and the re­sult was more car­bon emis­sions. We were al­lowed two prac­tice laps be­fore the test. Driv­ers were also warned if they were too slow or were 20 per cent be­yond the banch­mark time they would be dis­qual­i­fied.

The win­ner was web­site Go Auto’s Mar­ton Pet­tendy who achieved 96s and 43.8gm/km for a to­tal of 4205.

I’m ashamed to say I achieved the high­est score of 83.4s and 113.2gm/km for a to­tal of 9441, more than dou­ble that of Pet­tendy’s.

Two jour­nal­ists were black flagged for be­ing too slow around the track. Paul Gover of the Her­ald Sun and The Sun­day Mail’s Stu­art Scott were dis­qual­i­fied.

SNEAK PREVIEW OF LEXUS COUPE

WHILE in Syd­ney, I was given a sneak preview of the next Lexus to ar­rive in the show­rooms.

It was the el­e­gant Lexus IS 250C coupe-con­vert­ible which is shown to dealers next week be­fore the me­dia launch on July 27.

There were sev­eral IS 250Cs hid­den around the back of the Toy­ota Aus­tralia sales and mar­ket­ing head of­fice near Cronulla.

It looked quite stun­ning in a metal­lic red hue called ver­mil­ion and a light leather in­te­rior (pic­tured above).

In a se­cure area there was a black ver­sion with a black leather in­te­rior. The three-piece alu­minium fold­ing top went up or down in 21 sec­onds.

The IS 250C’s rear over­hang has been in­creased by 50mm over the sedan. It com­bines with the com­pact roof to gen­er­ate a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in lug­gage space, al­low­ing stowage of a nine-inch golf bag even with the roof down.

Spec­i­fi­ca­tions and prices won’t be re­leased for two weeks but ex­pect prices to be more than $80,000.

IS 250C will be pow­ered by the 153kW 2.5-litre V6 power plant mated to a six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion from the sedan.

The ex­te­rior will be dis­tin­guished by new body pan­els from the A-pil­lar back, unique LED tail lights, a high-mounted stop light, re­vised front bumper styling and unique al­loy wheels.

On board, the driver’s in­stru­ment bin­na­cle has been ex­ten­sively re­vised to in­crease open-topped motoring vis­i­bil­ity. The in­stru­ment panel and sur­round­ing com­po­nents, as well as the steer­ing wheel, are shared with the IS sedan range.

Aus­tralian en­gi­neers also tested the ve­hi­cle lo­cally for the im­pact of tem­per­a­ture, vi­bra­tion and wind on the ve­hi­cle, along with the ef­fec­tive­ness of ven­ti­la­tion dust and wa­ter seal­ing de­signs.

In par­tic­u­lar its air­con­di­tion­ing sys­tem was given a rig­or­ous work­out in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory.

UKELELE, OOPS, UTE SALE

CAR dealer Westco Motors is tak­ing a tongue in cheek view to its lat­est used car ad­ver­tis­ing. The deal­er­ship is hav­ing a uke, err, ute sale. Hav­ing a dig at Mayor Val Schier’s plans for a sig­na­ture ukulele fes­ti­val, the car yard de­cided to string along with the theme too.

They are giv­ing away a free ukulele with ev­ery used car sold this week­end as well as giv­ing free ‘val­u­a­tions’.

It’s all part of a move to shift some used cars with a bit of lo­cal hu­mour.

We’re not sure if Westco’s car sales­men must woo buy­ers with a ren­di­tion of Tiny Tim’s Tip­toe Through The Tulips num­ber.

Per­haps that’s not a good idea ei­ther. They want to sell cars not put buy­ers off.

Maybe Westco should hire a pro­fes­sional ukelele player to en­ter into the spirit of the sale.

We won­der if Val will be putting in a cameo ap­pear­ance, to give more cred­itabil­ity to the ukelele fes­ti­val.

Val won’t be buy­ing a car though. She drives a new hy­brid, the Toy­ota Prius.

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