Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Peugeot 5008

Let's face it, if your concerned about your image, an MPV isn't for you. Peugeot have managed to take sharp line, swept back light clusters and imaginative styling and fitted them to the most boring car in the world. And it's still the most boring car in the world, just now it has a few design features.

It's dull. Even the 4007 was a little bit less dull, but this is supposed to be 1001 better. At least, if my assumptions about numbering and Spinal Tap are correct.

It's not. It's 1001 worse. It should be called the 3006. Or 2005.

Saturday, 10 October 2009


Something funny is going on with BMW just now. A year or so ago, you couldn't buy a BMW without being thought of as an utter tosser. It used to be customary for X5 drivers to sit 7 inches from your jacksy and M3 drivers to cut you up whilst overtaking on a blind corner.

Now, all the idiots have disappeared from the Beemers and taken Audis as their hostages. And what BMW have been left with is refined customer base of people who love driving, but don't drive like knob jockeys.

So, the new Z4 has now been released. It's certainly better than the last one. The old Z4 had a huge bonnet, which was obviously intended as a phallic symbol*, and the seats so far back that you could smell the X5 driver behind you. But now, the bonnet has been smoothed down, the front is a little more aggressive and the seats aren't quite as far back. The main competitor for this would probably be the Mercedes SLK, and I think BMW have really hit the nail on the head with this one, giving men a convertible roadster that the can confidently open the roof of without looking like they are going for a manicure and foot massage. This is a manly car, and it is driven by manly men. You can finally sell the TVR, someone else has finally recognised the niche.

*Oddly enough, the old Z4 seems mostly to be driven by women. It was, in effect, the world's biggest strap-on.

Car style guide

Firstly, let me tell you a little about myself. I am obsessed with cars, even though I am not especially highly paid. Like a lot of people, I just love cars. They are the ultimate expression of engineering and evocative consumerism. I have no particular interest in art, architecture, clothing or any other form of aestheticism, but like a lot of men (and some women), I simply adore cars.

I want to make it absolutely clear that I am not someone who loves thrashing country roads. I drive reasonably slowly, but not a crawler either. I have no idea what most of the cars are like to drive, but I know that Ferraris are beautiful machines, old-style Subaru Imprezas are vulgar and TVRs are for men with hairy chests. That's not to say that I wouldn't love to drive all of them at some point, alas my competence behind the wheel would probably mean that I would crash at the first corner.

This fascination with the appearance of cars has led to car makers exploiting it to try to wrestle a quick sale, with women draping themselves over the bonnet of every car imaginable in order to help the maker. Even Postman Pat's van isn't immune from this.

If you're still reading this, either I have a stalker or you're as "in to" cars as I am. I had best crack on and get writing.