Move over Ikea, Bentley has come to town

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For wives and children and holidaymakers across the world, a gift bearing the prancing Ferrari horse or Lamborghini’s fighting bull can be a great last-minute present. Unfortunately, most of these gifts tend to be in the form of keyrings, which are undoubtedly useful, though not if you have ten.

Because why not?
Because why not?

Crewe-based car manufacturer Bentley has recognised this niche, and has come up with a solution, launching its own line of products bearing the iconic winged emblem. The difference between it and Ferrari – which tends to be involved with products such as shoes and watches – is that the new product line is a luxury furniture range, designed alongside Luxury Living Group, leading Italian-based furniture makers.

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Google maps Top Gear’s legendary track

Undoubtedly a very large amount of petrolheads would give their gear-changing hand for a spin around the famous Top Gear test track, though not necessarily in a reasonably-priced car.

And, for those of you who always wanted to do so, good news! Well, sort of.

You see, one of Google’s street view cars has recently taken a spin around the hallowed tarmac. A modified Opel Astra teamed up with the Stig in a Mercedes SLS AMG Black, to allow the tame racing driver to keep up with the powerful Astra, albeit for much of the time in a position that could only really be described as sideways.

Yes, we know, it doesn’t exactly get you in a car on the tarmacadam. But, let’s face it. Scrolling around the track on Google Maps is probably as close as most of us are going to get.

Driven – the Audi A8

IMG_7995The new and improved Audi A8 has been officially launched this week at the suitable location of Carton House in Maynooth, Co. Kildare. Car Craic tagged along to see if all the fuss is deserved.

In short – it is.

Like the Mercedes S-Class, Audi’s flagship A8 is undoubtedly a big car. But it’s the little things that make it. Though at first glance you mightn’t notice too much difference from the previous model, as the proportions haven’t actually changed, extra lines down the bonnet add a sleeker, sportier look, as do new rear lights and a more sculpted boot. New chrome lines through the rear lights and above the redesigned twin rhomboid exhaust pipes add to the new, more sporty A8 design.

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They’re watching you…speed

In an age of Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and the revelation of just exactly how much the NSA knows about your cereal preferences, there’s little more that irks a great many people than the idea of somebody watching their every move.

Even if you never do anything interesting.
Even if you never do anything interesting. Disturbing, if anything.

For car enthusiasts, this can ring very true. Yes, there are many who love cars and drive them very carefully as a result. On the other hand, there are just as many who love their four-wheeled friends, and prove it by getting from A to B very quickly. For this particular branch, the comments of Jim Farley, Ford’s head of marketing and sales, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas recently, won’t have gone down too well.

“We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you’re doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you’re doing,” he said, presumably while sitting down and arching an eyebrow, stroking a cat of some description.

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Bentley’s SUV – Beast turned Beauty?

Good news for everyone with well over €150,000 to spend on a luxury SUV in 2016 (read: very few) – the Bentley SUV has been given the green light and, more importantly, it won’t look anything like the slightly baffled-looking beast which made its début in Geneva in 2012, the imaginatively-named EXP 9 F Concept.

This news has been quite widely welcomed, considering that instead of completely redesigning a new SUV, all Bentley had appeared to do with the concept was shorten previous models, and make the product a little taller. The result, according to quite a lot of people, wasn’t great, something Bentley Chairman and CEO Wolfgang Schreiber has taken into account.

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Here Comes the Sun

C-MAXSolarEnergi_03_HRWe here at Car Craic are avid fans of motoring technology, particularly those inventions which are undoubtedly cool (such as the force field system destined to render the windscreen wiper a thing of the past).

Ford’s new concept car – the C-Max Solar Energi – fits a little awkwardly into this genre, despite being an electric car. It is, however, an electric car with a bit of a twist. Ford has announced to the world its intent to develop an electric car which uses solar panels to harness the power of the almighty sun, which does pique the interest a little. Working with Georgia Institute of Technology and a firm from California called SunPower they’ve used a special lens, like a magnifying glass, which directs the sun’s rays onto the panels. This clever little device can also track the movements of the sun at all times, much like the NSA and your browsing history, so that the car can be charged at any time of day there is sunlight, instead of plugging it into a socket.

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