Aussie team builds World’s Fastest Couch (+video)

October 11th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Most sofas never get to experience any serious pace. On occasion they might reach a speed of around 1 km/h when burly furniture movers carry them into a house but they spend most of their tough lives doing all of 0 km/h. But not the world’s fastest couch, it can travel more than the NZ speed limit and then go even faster.

An Australian-based couch has just broken the world record for the fastest couch on the plant (yes, there really is a record). A team from Sydney have turned a rather ordinary brown two-seater into a machine capable of traveling in excess of 150 km/h. In fact, it recorded a top speed of 163.12 km/h to smash the previous record of 146 km/h set by an English man back in 2008.

The couch wasn’t alone in its triumph either, it shared the glory with a coffee table and a bowl of fruit. The couch was specially built for the world record attempt by Evolution Motorsport, a racing firm from Sydney.

The speedy sofa is powered by a Suzuki GSX 1400 motorbike engine and according to the project leader, Paul McKinnon the biggest challenge was battling the aerodynamic obstacles of pushing along a chunky piece of furniture. We aren’t aerodynamic masters but we’d guess that the coffee table isn’t just ornamental and doubles up as some sort of air splitter. Sneaky Aussies.

Bet your couch is looking pretty lame right now. To check out the record setting run, view the video below. Continue reading “Aussie team builds World’s Fastest Couch (+video)” »

Mazda CX-7 GSX 2010 Review

August 27th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

It’s a fact that not all crossover vehicles are created equal, not just in terms of quality and appeal but also in their focus and job description. It’s a broad market segment with some crossover’s spinning all four wheels almost equally well on tarmac as on dirt tracks. Others are far more directed at suburban duties relying on looks and ride comfort to build a loyal fan base. Then there’s Mazda’s CX-7 which has been an enigma since its release back in 2007. With curvaceous styling and a focus on performance and dynamics the CX-7 blazed its own trail and built its own niche. Now for 2010, the CX-7 has received a mid-life facelift and is rediscovering its slot in the competitive crossover market. Car and SUV got into the driver’s seat of the reworked CX-7 to find out exactly what makes it tick.

Aesthetically, the CX-7 defies any SUV squareness, instead opting for full-figured curves and swooping lines. The 2010 refresh uses some minor styling changes to bring the CX-7 into line with the rest of Mazda’s current lineup. The most obvious change is the redesigned front end that boasts a larger five-point grille and new fog-light housing. On our lower-spec tested GSX model there were some classy touches like silver trim framing the windows and indicator repeaters in the side mirrors. The GSX has 17-inch alloys that are an attractive design but struggle to fill the arches. The top model CX-7 Limited comes fitted with 19-inch wheels which are better matched to the pumped up sheet metal.

Inside the CX-7 there’s a new high-grade dark cloth trim lining the supportive and well positioned front seats. The instrumentation has also been reworked to include Mazda’s latest display screen that shows fuel usage, audio information and doubles up as a monitor for the onboard reversing camera. All switchgear is sensibly laid out and the orange/blue nighttime illumination is a real feature. Stereo and cruise control buttons are neatly housed in the leather-wrapped steering wheel which will prove handy for shorter drivers who will have to stretch to access the centre control stack. Everything feels well screwed together and while interior quality has improved, the contrasting silver trim may not have the same long-term durability as the main surfaces. In terms of occupant space there is plenty of shoulder and leg room for front passengers, the back seat provides ample head room and leg room is adequate but not class leading. Standard equipment for the CX-7 in GSX trim includes a tilt and rake adjustable steering wheel, remote central locking, climate air-con, one-touch power windows and a 6-disk CD player with aux input. A Bluetooth hands free phone kit is available as a dealer-fitted accessory.

Continue reading “Mazda CX-7 GSX 2010 Review” »