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New Nissan Fairlady Z (400Z) - rendering

Nissan has already teased us with the upcoming Fairlady Z (400Z) and this rendering may be very close to the real deal. The rear lights seems influenced by 300ZX Z32 and it will be very nice if that's true!


New Lexus IS coming June 10

Lexus announced today that on June 10, the new IS will be revealed. Following recent news from Japanese publications, the new IS is expected to be based on the existing platform, instead of a newly developed one, but we will have to wait just a few days in order to find out more. Although the current model looks modern and still very nice in terms of exterior styling, the interior looks outdated and introducing a fresh styling is thus much needed.


Thoughts about EVs and options under £30k

At first, my reaction towards the new automotive era was no thanks, just give me a V8, or even better a V12. However, no-one can deny that electric cars is the future. And the future is not just a change in powertrain technology, it's also about sustainability and solving transportation problems, thus car sharing, autonomous driving and energy management are the things to follow.

EVs have additionally a benefit in terms of reliability, as electric motors are not just much more efficient, but also simpler and thus more reliable. However, battery technology is not up to speed at the moment. The analysis results of existing electric cars in use are encouraging in terms of battery durability and some manufacturers dare to offer even 10 years/1,000,000km warranty! I was recently reading an article about Nissan Leaf patrol cars in UK that are in service since 2016, and the only maintenance they have required so far was just replacing once the front brake pads. 

It is true also that EVs bring benefits to manufacturers at the moment as well, as by dropping the CO2 emission levels in their line up, they have to pay less money to the EU. On the other hand, manufacturers still make most of money from each vehicle when that is equipped with an internal combustion engine.

Main constraints at the moment include battery cost (will need to drop below $100/kWh), weight, and of course fast charging. Another issue is the way to charge, as in many cases, especially if you live in an apartment with off street parking, charging your car when home is not really feasible... Even charging connectors are not standardised so far and thus there are over 5 different types.

Software is another aspect of modern vehicles that must be right and it's becoming even more important with EVs. As more and more functionality is being added, and the more autonomous kind of assistance is being introduced, good software is vital. Even basic things like correct battery charge management depends on software, thus having an impact not only on the experience, but also on the reliability of the vehicle.

And now perhaps the most critical issue. Driving range. If we consider that 18-20kWh are required to cover 100km, and the battery weight is around 0.15kWh/kg, you can easily understand that for covering 500km, the batteries will need to weight around 700kg! On the other hand, if we want to drive an EV, not just for the low cost and maintenance, but also as it is a solution for sustainability, using a huge powerpack is not the solution, as the bigger the batteries, the more CO2 emissions produced during production. For the future, fuel cell vehicles will likely be the solution for covering long distances, but having the appropriate infrastructure is more challenging than pure EVs.

Another drawback at the moment is the price tag for purchasing an EV. Most of the available models are over £40k (e.g. Tesla Model 3 with 254 mile range) and offerings from Audi, Jaguar etc start from over £60k. I did some basic calculations for my family, as soon we will need to buy a second car and we were considering a used car around £2,500. If though we buy an EV and use it as the main car for my daily commute, and the existing one as the second one, in six years time, an EV would break even if the tag price is £30k.

A 35-50kWh powerpack seems to be therefore the sweet spot based on the current battery technology, weight and vehicle price. Three cars have caught my attention as a result, Lexus UX300e, Honda e and Mazda MX-30. The first one will undoubtedly cost over £30k, but for sure it's going to have better build quality and a warranty to beat. So, in my case, this means that most suitable will be either the Honda, or the Mazda.

The Honda e looks amazing, combining retro looks, reminding me the N360, high tech inside, along with some really nice touches like the wood like trim. I am not sure if all those screens will be easy on the eyes, especially during night driving, but this car definitely gives you the feeling that this is the future. I am so glad that Honda decided to produce it, as it is a company that is innovative and it was about time to bring something out of the ordinary in the market. On the plus side is also that the rear wheels are driven and both axles are pushed towards the ends ensuring that it is going to be a fun little car.

Next is the Mazda MX-30. It makes more sense if you have a family, looks very good too and promises to drive well. Inside it looks more analogue and closer to what we have been used to. One disappointing thing is that the infotainment is using an 8.8" screen and it has a rotary selector for operating it, which seems a bit odd. For sure in terms of ergonomics, when driving, it is more convenient, but I would expect a touchscreen. When starting your journey and want to enter an address, having a keyboard is way more practical and honestly I cannot understand why they didn't include a touchscreen as well. Oh, Soul Crystal Red is another positive, as this colour looks simply fantastic. However, I have come across with complaints regarding excessive chipping and it's really a shame. I tried to find if there is any mention that Mazda has managed to resolve the issue (it has been reported mainly for 2017 and 2018 models), but haven't managed to find anything.

As soon as the lockdown is over and a test drive is available, I will take both of them for a spin and share my initial impressions :-)


New Toyota Yaris Cross - live photos & thoughts

First of all, it has really been a long time since I posted on this blog and that was a combination of many changes that came to my life, plus relocating also to the UK. Changes were all for a good reason and I just thought it would be nice to share some thoughts again.

The last few years, there is a plethora of new models on sale, up to the point where I have lost my interest and passion. Major European manufacturers have nearly lost count what they are producing, suffering also in terms of reliability and spare part availability. It is just pointless to have so many models doing almost the same, while at the same time, core values seem to have disappeared. Japanese manufacturers seem to hold better, with Lexus not following this path and still making the best quality cars out there. I was really surprised when I visited my local Lexus dealer and had an ES for a test drive. Brilliant family car with nice design and amazingly reasonable price tag!

Lexus has been very successful having a distinctive design language and I feel that they have done an excellent job. This however is still not the case for Toyota, as cars like the C-HR and the new Corolla are not bold examples of good design. Especially the C-HR makes me wonder on the decisions been made. The design is full of lines and cuts, with no balance... Anyway, on the new Yaris then. The new generation is a very big improvement and although I may find the new Jazz's front end better, it is nice to look at, and finally with a design that says I am a Toyota. The Mirai, as well as the new Supra  have started having a common design language, and it is good that they have continued with the new Yaris. The big surprise though is the new Yaris Cross. Without having the drama of the new Yaris, with simpler lines and with a very well balanced design make it a very nice looking car! Also, having it raised and by offering 4WD as an option, is a very smart idea as the SUV title can been rightfully claimed, unlike other manufacturers that think that by adding some bits of unpainted plastic to look more rugged can do the trick.

The gold paint used for presenting it was also a very good decision, as it definitely catches the eye, but made me wonder how it will look in the basic version and in a less striking colour, such as white. So, I managed to get along with some photos and although it doesn't look the part as in gold and with big wheels, it is still a nice looking car.

Source: Creative Trend


Mitsubishi Colt Galant GTO (A57) by ignition model

The Mitsubishi Colt Galant GTO 2000GSR (A57) is the latest addition to my collection and it is an impressive model indeed!

The level of detail is very high, including 14" Hayashi Street wheels, pulling tire & lowdown specification, front lip, front and rear fenders, genuine side stripes, dual muffler and Recaro seats.


Mazda Savanna (S124A) by ignition model

It has been really a long time since the last ignition model arrived from Japan, so it is very exciting to have this 1/43 Mazda Savanna (S124A) model in red added to my collection. The model has lowered suspension, Watanabe 14" wheels (bronze), front lip & rear spoiler!


New Lexus LS officially revealed!!!



The all-new Lexus LS (previous post) was officially revealed in NAIAS and you can read the press release here. Although there is no point in reproducing what has been already released, it is definitely a beautiful car!!! The design is simply amazing, and along with the new Lexus LC, they are by far the best looking cars for sale on the planet! 


Mazda Savanna RX-7 (FC3S) by ignition model

Last model received for the year is this amazing Mazda Savanna RX-7 (FC3S) by ignition model in yellow colour!!! The model has lowered suspension, 16" wheels, aero mirrors, large-diameter mufflers and Recaro seats, and it does look the part when sitting next to my RX-7 (FD3S) ignition model!