Honda UNI-CUB Personal Mobility Device: Here We Go Again…

May 15, 2012

The human race seems to be increasingly obsessed with making these pesky legs of ours largely redundant over time… if Honda has their way, that is.

Really now…?

Check out this ridiculous, living-in-a-bubble-world video where people straddle, well… electric saddles. One question though – stairs and curbs/edges more than 2″ tall… ? ? Hmm… methinks this is a ‘leave ’em where you found ’em’ sort of PMD – ie: rental/borrowing priveleges at say, the airport, for example…

For those further interested, the UNI-CUB has a 3.7 mile range and a top speed of (insert marketing fluff agenda) 3.7 mph…! Oh you nifty buggers, you… Yet, (as with the ill-fated Segway) this unit further continues the bold trend of emphasizing what an embarrassingly lazy (and smug) bag of bones you’ll look like… and become.

No thanks, Honda… I press the big, loud, red ‘X’ button on your ‘evolutional’ creation.

-Blake J.

Turbos in F1: Documentary Highlights Its Birth

March 26, 2012

A fascinating 2-part period-era documentary here from the 1980s focusing on the emerging computerized presence in F1. As the narrator aptly puts it – “Gone are the oily rags and the flat-capped amateurs… Here, computers, rubber, metalogy, synthetics, electronics and aerodynamics consume fortunes…”

Many have sustained that it was this exact movement/moment in F1 when the heavy focus on decimal-obsessed, precisional accuracy replaced the ‘fun’ aspect of racing… Few would argue that it definitely signalled the end of an era and the beginning of a new one that resides to this day though.

At nearly 2 hours in length (in 2 parts), it’s a bit of a long-haul, but I cannot stress how interesting this documentary is in exposing the newfound troubles, clashes and endless headaches that permeated throughout the sport in the ’80s when these technologies were new and fresh yet bewilderingly complicated for their creators…

Jean-Pierre Jabouille in the Renault of 1977 - the first-ever (yet highly problematic) Turbo F1 car


-Blake J.

2012 Super Bowl Car Commercials: A Collection of…

February 6, 2012

So the Big American Game happened yesterday and to be honest, I couldn’t be bothered to watch this mega-hyped sports-event where ultra-testosteroned, overly-padded/helmeted men rough one another up over the snarling possession of an inflated pig-skin… Said game occuring somewhere amidst the deluge of non-stop adverts reminding us of ‘who brought this to you’, a silly lip-synching girl flashing a middle-finger (oh good heavens) and a washed-up, embarrasingly-painful-to-watch pop-Diva strutting-up her idea of ‘the greatest show I’ve ever done for the greatest show on earth’ … Dear Lord.

Madonna - scary and unfathomable

Not forgetting the idiotic/annoying orgy of streaming banners and flashy camera angles for this ‘show of all shows’ either – Needless to say, for this scribe it’s all, well… a bit much.

Yet, as is the tradition that always outweighs and ultimately gathers more of our collective attention than the actual Game itself, the extended-length TV-spot adverts were what nearly everyone ever talks about in this TV-obsessed western world of ours. Most viewers simply tune-in to the Super Bowl broadcast just so they can catch the expensive Game-Day adverts…. Really..! Car-adverts included, of course.

Clint doing his best to inject a gritty, serious and weepingly patriotic tone to describe America's upcoming '2nd Half'

Here then, is a selection… some of them are even the extended versions!

Volkswagen – The Dog Strikes Back

KIA Optima – A Dream Car. For Real Life (really…? A wrinkly Motley Crue, in your dream…?)

 Acura NSX – Transactions

Honda CR-V – Matthew’s Day Off (not quite sure if a rather bland/boring CR-V would be the vehicle of choice here…)

Chevrolet Sonic – doing human ‘extreme’ things

Chrysler and Clint Eastwood – It’s Halftime America (bit of an anthemic heart-tugger here)

 Fiat 500 Abarth – Seduction

Lexus GS – The Beast (Lexus’ first-ever SuperBowl advert… not bad, not great)

Toyota Camry – It’s Reinvented 

 Chevy Silverado Trucks – End Of The World (quite possibly, the stupidest car-commercial I’ve ever seen – complete with an out-of-place ending stolen straight from the movie ‘Magnolia’)

Audi S7 – Vampires (riiiight…)


-Blake J.

Acura NSX: The Return

January 10, 2012

Honda/Acura has unveiled a successor to the original (and rather excellent) NSX at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show in the form of an unsurprisingly tech-heavy concept from the new-school, lightweight pages of Supercars.

Power will be derived from a mid-mounted VTEC direct-injection V6 (like the original), albeit one that will be labeled as a Hybrid, seeing as how there will also be an electric motor onboard to assist with the propulsion of it all.

Dispersing that power to all 4 wheels (electric power goes to the front) will be served up by Honda’s over-lengthily titled ‘Sport Hybrid Super Handling All Wheel Drive’ or just simply Sport Hybrid SH-AWD… or just SH-SHAWD.

Along with a ‘bilateral torque adjustable control system’, Honda is also keen to point out that their system utilises ‘reverse torque’ during high-speed cornering moments – a feature not wholly unlike that of the brake-steer system that McLaren uses for its MP4-12C.

No official power-figures from Honda have been given yet but bet on it being a 400-450bhp figure, with 100+ of that power coming from the electric motor. Now, that doesn’t exactly sound anything even remotely close to modern Supercar output figures, but Honda reckons that their ultra-lightweight construction techniques (and therefore, an increased power-to-weight ratio) will enable the next NSX to perform up-to-par with the other supercar Big Guns.

As Honda themselves say, “While most supercars opt for brute force delivered from a large engine, the NSX Concept champions the true racing philosophy of an extremely favourable power-to-weight ratio”

The NSX you see on this page is still being described as a ‘concept’ but, as usual, things will eventually be softened down and ‘melted’ over a bit come production time – of which has been touted as being anytime within the next 3 years… So, no set launch-date as of yet. At any rate, expect the next NSX to either move the Supercar game on or provide an even wider gap between new school and old school thoughts of what a Supercar itself is all about…

-Blake J.

Video: A Christmas Car Taken Too Far

December 23, 2011

Every Christmas season we all bare witness to extravagent light arrangements on suburban homes that (sometimes) impress and usually fill the young ones with glee. And every once in a while you’ll spot the staple red-nosed SUV adorned with the requisite fuzzy antlers jutting from the window edges. All very cheery and such… ’tis the seaon… yes indeed… Oh tannenbaum.

But then there are those that decide to take things to a level that almost borders on the, well, ridiculous…. with a slammed (and wrapped) Honda Civic. Or is it…? Maybe I’m just being a grumpy Grinch…? ? If I was 9 again, I’d probably dig this…

Happy Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone…!

-Blake J.

Comeback: Honda/Acura NSX

December 12, 2011

The 2012 Detroit Auto Show in January will play host to the usual assortment of tasty new metal and burgeoning technologies but one of the most heavily-anticipated debuts will undoubtedly be the concept for what will become the replacement for the mid-engined NSX.

The original NSX

When the new sportscar hits showrooms in 2013 it will most-likely carry (again, mid-engined) V6 Hybrid power and Honda’s new Electric Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive setup that sees the bulk of the power being sent to the rear wheels while twin electric motors will work their occassionally-called-upon wizardry for the front wheels.

The old lightweight Type-R version - expect a similar 'hot' NSX

Honda is also keen to advertise that this new NSX replacement will receive a 7-speed twin-clutch gearbox. No word on a manual variant, but it would be a shame if one wasn’t offered.

Robert Downey Jr drove a swoopy Acura in Iron Man 2 - It will be interesting to see what (if any) styling cues translate over to the next NSX

The original NSX was in production for 15 years (1990-2005) and its sleek ‘n sexy styling (with pop-up headlamps, no less… well, until the facelift ) was an instant eye-grabber that openly proclaimed Ferrari-baiting breathe upon its introduction. It was also an engineering masterpiece, utilising some of the finest tech of the times.

Expect no less from the next NSX…

-Blake J.

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