Blogs: Herne Bay joggers and their death wish

I just moved to Herne Bay. I like it. Most of all I like that it’s less than 3 minutes’ drive to work. But there’s one thing that makes the journey fraught with danger: Herne Bay joggers. I’ve lived all over Auckland and I’ve never known so many people just randomly jog out into the road or an intersection without even looking. That would never happen in West Auckland for fear of becoming the newest hood ornament on a Valiant.

Herne Bay is a relatively wealthy suburb, so I’ve come up with several theories for why this should happen:

1) Herne Bay joggers assume they’ll be hit by Herne Bay residents who mostly are insured and own cars with fairly good pedestrian crash ratings (perhaps except for some of the larger SUVs)

2) Herne Bay joggers are mostly women (my observation) and while it’s well-known that women are smarter than men and better in almost every way, it’s proven that spatial awareness isn’t one of them

3) Herne Bay joggers just don’t care – they have life insurance, they’re financially secure – what does a case of paralysis matter?

3a) The opposite to 3 – Herne Bay joggers are mortgaged to the hilt in hugely expensive houses, have excessive consumer debt from enormous flat-screen TVs and tacky jewellery, and have a secret death wish.

4) Herne Bay joggers think they’re better than everyone else, and motorists should stop to let them past – after all, the road is the same colour as the pavement, so it’s just an ‘extension’ of the ‘pavement territory’, right?

5) Herne Bay is fashionable, and therefore people must keep up with the Joneses, therefore the continuation of jogging is more important than the interruption of stopping, lest they don’t quite burn enough calories.

Perhaps all of these are wrong. Perhaps all of these are right. Really, I just want people to be more careful because I don’t want to be scraping the residue of expensive trainers and shattered iPods out of my grille.

News: Kia ora! Mazda Kiyora concept


Mazda Kiyora (and we’re assuming it’s said like kia ora), is a lightweight, next generation, urban compact concept car, will be revealed at the 2008 Paris International Motor Show in October.

Mazda Kiyora (meaning “clean and pure” in Japanese) represents the harmony between driving pleasure and environmental and safety features aspired to in Mazda’s long-term technology development vision, “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom.”

The concept of Kiyora (which we’re assuming helped the designers to imagine a city car cutting cleanly through an urban landscape, with water as the design theme. Kiyora’s aerodynamic Nagare design and next-generation four-cylinder direct-injection engine contribute to excellent fuel economy and low CO2 emissions.

The new Mazda Kiyora concept car is based on an all-new platform designed to minimise weight and maximise safety and driving pleasure. According to Mazda it also features an interior design and new functions that support a youthful lifestyle – slouching and listening to an iPod (another assumption on our part).

oining the Mazda Kiyora concept car on Mazda’s stand at the Paris show, the Mazda MX-5 facelift will make its world debut together with the Mazda6 equipped with Mazda’s newly developed MZR-CD 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine, and the Mazda2 powered by a MZ-CD 1.6-litre diesel.

News: Prius fighter: Honda shows its new Insight


Honda will reveal a concept version of its new small hybrid vehicle, to be named Insight, at the 2008 Paris International Auto Show, October 2. The new Insight Concept shares styling cues with the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle and will provide an early look at the highly-anticipated five-passenger hybrid vehicle.

We don’t have a release date for New Zealand, but it will be on sale in the U.S. next spring most probably significantly below the price of current hybrids like the Toyota Prius.

The Insight Concept defines a new stage in the evolution of hybrid technology by utilising a more cost-efficient version of Honda’s Integrated Motor Assistâ„¢ (IMAâ„¢) hybrid technology. Evoking the innovative styling cues first seen in the FCX Clarity, the Insight Concept is designed with a low centre of gravity and a generous five-passenger cabin. Aerodynamic design assists its fuel efficiency, and by all accounts it should be reasonably roomy and practical with five doors, a hatchback and a folding rear seat.

Numerous technologies, including a function to assist customers in achieving more fuel efficient driving habits, will be applied to achieve a further improvement in real world fuel efficiency. Along with the Civic Hybrid, the new vehicle will be produced at an expanded hybrid vehicle production line at the Suzuka factory in Japan.

The Insight is expected to have annual global sales of 200,000 units per year – approximately 100,000 in North America. Following the launch of the new Insight, Honda also plans to introduce another unique sporty hybrid vehicle based on the CR-Z, first shown at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show. All together, Honda’s global sales of hybrids should increase to approximately 500,000 units a year, or more than 10 percent of its total worldwide annual automobile sales.

The original Honda Insight was introduced in December 1999 as America’s first gas-electric hybrid car. The first vehicle to break the 70-mpg (3.36l/100km) fuel economy barrier, Insight was designed from the ground up to demonstrate the ultimate potential for fuel-economy in a two-seater subcompact automobile.

A leader in the development of cleaner, more fuel-efficient mobility products, Honda introduced the first low-emission gasoline vehicles; America’s first gas-electric hybrid car and the world’s first EPA-certified hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, the FCX. In 2007, Honda was named “greenest automaker” by the Union of Concerned Scientists for the fourth straight time.

News: Citroen Hypnos – quirky!


Citroen is well-known for pushing the design envelope, and this Hypnos concept render is a hybrid utility vehicle that would sit in the same marketplace as coupe crossovers such as the BMW X6.

The engine will be a 200hp+ hybrid. The front doors are very long (try opening those in one of the city’s cramped parking spaces), and the rear doors extend into the rear wheel arch. The headlights are smeared backwards to the centre of the front wheel arch.

The real vehicle will make an appearance at the Paris Motor Show in October.

News: Holden gives away free diesel

Holden New Zealand said today that it is offering all customers who buy a new Holden Diesel, before 30 September 2008, two years worth of diesel including Road User Charges.

The offer is similar to one that has recently launched in the Australian market where fuel is capped at AUD .99 cents for two years or 20,000 kilometres, whichever comes first. However, the New Zealand offer goes beyond a capped fuel price providing two years worth of diesel and Road User Charges without any investment in fuel required by customers.

Holden New Zealand Managing Director, Simon Carr said the two years worth of diesel offer will ease the pain consumers are feeling at the pump and reflects the growing demand for diesel vehicles in the New Zealand market.

The Holden Diesel range includes the Captiva, Astra Hatch, Astra Wagon, Epica and Colorado ranges.

In addition to the two years worth of diesel offer, Holden New Zealand is also providing a range of other special deals including a $2,000 buy now bonus on the Commodore Sedan and Ute range. A 2008 Limited Edition Captiva Active with 7″ display screen with front DVD, automatic dimming mirror, specialised exterior styling, rear view camera, black bezel headlamps, unique tail lamps and unique 18″ alloy wheels is also available for just $500 more than the Captiva LX.

Blogs: Jerry Reed (The Snowman) dies

Along with Star Wars and Cannonball Run, Smokey and the Bandit was a defining movie for my youth. It made me want to be a truck driver (though I soon lost that urge when music took over and I started looking at the personal hygiene of some of the truck drivers I’d met).
Reed’s slightly gawky character, The Snowman, was a perfect match for the suave Bandit played by Burt Reynolds. Smokey and the Bandit is never going to be nominated as one of the greatest films of all time – it’s dripping with cheese in places – but it’s a movie that captures the essence of the highway. It’s cheeky, naughty and funny – perhaps one of the all-time best trucker/cowboy movies. In a way, I’m loathed to watch it again in case I don’t like it, because the memory of how it made me feel as a kid is still strong. But, then I’m of half a mind to get all three of them out and have a Snowman memorial day this weekend.
That’s a big 10-4, over and out.

News: HKS Hyundai Genesis coming to SEMA

HKS Hyundai Genesis

HKS USA, Inc. will create a high-performance Genesis Coupe for the 2008 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show. The all-new, rear-wheel drive Hyundai model will make its SEMA debut at the Las Vegas Convention Center Nov. 4 — Nov. 7, 2008. HKS is the second company to join Hyundai for this year’s SEMA show.

“Genesis Coupe has the basic DNA that HKS looks for — an excellent chassis, rear-wheel drive, aggressive styling and a new generation turbo-charged engine. These attributes provide the opportunity for HKS to maximize the Genesis Coupe driving performance capabilities for the serious driving enthusiast,” said Rick Lafferty, president, HKS USA, Inc. HKS will create a range of performance parts for  the Genesis Coupe.

The HKS plan for the Genesis Coupe includes a HKS GT Turbo upgrade to maximize horsepower and torque, HKS engine internals, HKS limited-edition turbo exhaust system, HKS Super Mega Flow Intake System, HKS Engine Management and HKS Hipermax III fully-adjustable suspension.

“We’ve designed Genesis Coupe from the start to be tuner-friendly,” said John Krafcik, vice president, Product Development and Strategic Planning, Hyundai Motor America.

The HKS Genesis Coupe will also showcase functional ground effects designed by Ken Style, HKS Time-Attack cars’ aerodynamic partner. The interior will emphasize driver comfort and control with HKS electronics including CAMP2 that monitors up to 24 data signals from the Genesis OBD2 and programmable calculations for fuel costs, average fuel consumption and fuel efficiency in real time.

¢ Hyundai’s first rear-wheel drive sports car
¢ 306 horsepower (est.) from enhanced 3.8-liter V6 from Genesis sedan
¢ Standard 212 horsepower (est.) turbocharged, intercooled inline four cylinder
¢ Genesis Coupe arrives in the spring of 2009 as a 2010 model

News: Land Rover G4 Challenge entries called


Do you have the mental and physical strength to enter the ultimate global race? If so, there is still time to apply for the free-to-enter Land Rover G4 Challenge – the adventure of a lifetime that combines off-road driving with kayaking, mountain biking, abseiling, climbing and orienteering across some of the most remote and extreme terrains in the world.

International Selections take place early next year, but you’ll need to have your entry in before the end of September. Successful two-strong teams (made up of the best male and best female competitors) who make it through will then battle against teams from 17 other countries over the gruelling three-week Challenge Finals in one of the most sparsely populated countries on the planet — Mongolia. A blend of terrain offering arid steppes, mountains and the extreme climate of one of the world’s largest deserts, the Gobi, makes Mongolia the ultimate test.

The 2008/09 Land Rover G4 Challenge programme is run in support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.  This partnership aims to generate in excess of NZ$3m over the course of the next two challenges. The winning team will receive a Land Rover to donate to their National Society.

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