Blogs: Top Ten Car nicknames

Back when I was a little fella, my Grandmother used to own a 1953 Austin A30 (see picture below for minter condition example). At weekends and school holidays myself and my sister would be ferried around to different places in the comfort of the trusty old A30. I was never that impressed by the vehicle and felt that with a decent tail wind my BMX was probably capable of brisker straight-line acceleration. However I did love riding shotgun, so much so that it was often worth having my nose bloodied in a scrap with my bruiser older sister for the prime position. Not because there were no seatbelts in the back and I was worried about personal safety, but because the Austin A30 had an indicator switch that was mounted in the middle of the dashboard. This meant that as the shotgun passenger I was permitted to turn the indicator switch at the correct time in the correct direction, a responsibility I always took seriously. I only think back to that old Austin because it was the first car I knew to have real character and also to have a nickname ‘Emily’. Not exactly an original or very clever nickname, but it made the A30 a part of the family and a little more than just metal, rubber and an under-powered motor.

A UK survey has recently revealed a few hard facts about car nicknames. British vehicle check company HPI has issued a new study, which notes that 50% of its customers give their cars a nickname, with 40% female names, 27% male names and 33% everything else. In the survey conducted this year, the very tame nickname Bessey came out on top.

There are plenty of semi-predictable names on the list like Speedie, Beauty and the Love Machine, but there were a couple of oddball finalists, as well. Whoever called their vehicle ‘Boomzilla’ deserves a bit of creed because it’s kind of funny. But for enough English lads to use the same name so it appears on a ‘Top 10 List’ is a poor reflection on society.

Top Ten Car Nicknames

1. Bessey
2. Casper
3. Lucky
4. Love Machine
5. Beauty
6. Muscles
7. Buster
8. Speedie
9. Moocher
10. Boomzilla

Austin A30

Back when I was a little fella, my Grandmother used to own a 1953 Aust ...

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News: First view of Lamborghini Murcielago LP 650-4 Roadster

Lamborghini Murcielago fq

Lamborghini has just released the first set of official images showing its latest limited run special, the Murcielago LP 650-4 Roadster, which follows the LP 670-4 SuperVeloce that debuted at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month. The LP 650-4 Roadster is definitely not for those who are worried about hair loss. With a top speed of 330 kph, anything not firmly connected to the scalp will be blown loose.

The Lamborghini crew have put some extra rage into this bull — the 6.5-litre V12 now produces 650 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque through all four wheels. That’s enough to leave 100 kph behind after just 3.4 seconds. Lamborghini is only planning to put out 50 of these exclusive roadsters at an as yet undisclosed price. But expect it to be ridiculous.

Lamborghini has just released the first set of official images sho ...

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News: Citroen set to launch green sub-brand

According to insider rumours Citroen is considering launching a separate brand just for eco-friendly vehicles. Earlier this year, the French automaker announced a new high-end brand that would bring premium features to its existing vehicle platforms. The first production vehicle under the green brand would borrow greatly from the C-Cactus concept which appeared at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2007 but be built atop the automaker’s C4 platform.

Expect some innovative uses of materials, as previewed on the C-Cactus project, along with a fuel-saving powertrain of some sort. Options include going fully electric, using a hybrid system or using a small three-cylinder diesel engine that would put out less than 100 g/km of carbon emissions. It all sounds positive, but let’s just hope Citroen puts a happier face on the new vehicle than what appeared on the C-Cactus concept.

According to insider rumours Citroen is considering launching a separa ...

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News: Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SuperVeloce promo video

Lamborghini Murcielago vid

Sam Hubinette has an enviable job, he is a drift-car specialist in an 800-horsepower Dodge Viper for his day work and does occasional stunt driving in his off time.

Last year Lamborghini hired him to drift the Gallardo LP560-4 in the streets of Los Angeles for a commercial, and they must have liked it so much that they hired him again to burn rubber in the brand, brand new Murcielago LP670-4 SuperVeloce in Germany. This video is the first we has seen of the car outside the show floor of the Geneva Motor Show, and although short it provides a rousing soundtrack for the upgraded V12 that’s now producing 670 horsepower.

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News: Dodge Challenger beats Ford Mustang for sales

Over in the states the iconic Ford Mustang has been a driving force in the sales department for a long time. That changed last month when Ford’s iconic pony car has been outsold by the Dodge Challenger by 293 units in February, as the Dodge coupe racked up 3,283 sales during the month. The Challenger’s February victory could be a sign of things to come for the Mustang, as the Blue Oval’s most recognisable vehicle is set to get bombarded with more competition coming from the 2010 Camaro. The Camaro, which goes into regular production on March 16, already has over 10,000 pre-orders waiting.

Don’t rule out the Mustang yet, as the pony car is getting a major makeover shortly. In fact, one reason the Challenger defeated the Mustang in February might be that many potential buyers are waiting for the 2010 model. Automakers also slow production before retooling for a new model, meaning there are fewer 2009 Mustangs from which to choose. The pony car wars are set to continue.

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News: UK offers Land Rover £27 million to build LRX

Land Rover LRX fq

When Land Rover released the LRX concept at the Detroit Auto Show in 2008, it said the CUV was “Conceived as a 2.0-litre, turbodiesel hybrid, with potential CO2 emissions of 120 g/km.” That appealed to the UK government, which has confirmed it has extended a grant offer of up to £27 million to Land Rover to produce an all-new vehcile based on the LRX.

Land Rover says it will make a decision on the project, which could cost up to £400 million, later this year. If the car is a go, it would be the smallest, lightest and most efficient Land Rover ever. It’s all not as crazy as it sounds, considering Land Rover’s lineup, but is it the right direction to go?

Land Rover called the LRX the company’s second concept vehicle in 60 years, and it was a hit, winning the “Concept Truck of the Year” award in the North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards and generating plenty of praise. Is it enough to spend £400m (minus £27m)? Looks like we will find out shortly.

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News: Audi R4 remains a mystery

Audi R4 fq

Speculation that Audi will debut a new mid-engine model called the R4 has been rampant for at least the past two years. Audi made it clear one year ago that the R4 was not in their product plans but the talk continues. In addition to the rumors, we now have some rendered speculation on what the R4 might look like thanks to freelancer and Audi enthusiast Jan Kamenistiak.

It’s not exactly known where the mid-engine R4 would fit in Audi’s model lineup, with some placing it above the TT and others below. Others think it would share a platform with a possible production version of the Volkswagen BlueSport Concept that debuted at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. Known for their skill at dressing a car eight different ways and convince the public that they’re buying something totally unique, Audi would likely help themselves to the VW/Audi parts bin for the R4’s power- and drivetrain bits, as there are plenty of worthy four-cylinder engines — both gas and diesel — and dual clutch transmissions to choose from.

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News: Volkswagen GTI-R with AWD ready to roll

VW Golf GTI-R fq

The much rumored Volkswagen Scirocco R20T never made it to the Geneva Motor Show, but according to a car magazine, VW has something else up its sleeve for this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. Reports are coming in about the imminent arrival of the Volkswagen Golf GTI-R, a hotter version of VW’s iconic hatch with a more powerful variant of the turbocharged 2.0-litre turning all four wheels.

The turbo’d four-pot is related to the Audi S3’s powerplant, so power is expected to be up and over 260 hp. According to these reports, a major element of the GTI-R is weight reduction, so VW has opted to use the 2.0-litre turbo over its 3.2-litre V6. The supposed weight-loss regime might come in the form of lighter structural and body components, along with a more spartan interior that won’t infringe on the premium confines of the R32 and Scirocco. Then again, with the additional weight of the AWD system — versus the Focus RS and Renaultsport Megane 250, which both use a smart trick front differential to limit torque steer — the overall weight could still be more than the standard GTI. The GTI-R should debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year, with sales beginning in early 2010.

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