Cash ain’t always king

A lot of new technology is about making life much simpler, but also has the side effect of making us lazier. We can video chat with friends without getting out of bed, print our photographs without leaving the house, while smartphone access to a world of information from our pockets removes the need to think for ourselves or retain too much information.

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Return of the ST

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Good news for fans of ordinary cars with a sporty twist – Ford Ireland has launched a new ST-Line range of models. Four versions have been launched as of today, offering boosted versions of the Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo and Kuga in dealerships across the country.

Alongside sports suspensions, better styling, ambient lighting, new alloys, sports seats, steering wheel and pedals, the ST range comes with a range of more powerful and efficient engines, ranging from the zippy 125hp 1.0L EcoBoost in the Fiesta ST to the 178hp 2.0TDCi available in the Kuga ST.

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Love is in the air

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Being with the love of your life can have an intense physical and mental effect on your body – your heart races, your knees quiver and you feel an all-round sense of well-being. But it seems that a fantastic car can produce the same reaction, at least according to Infiniti.

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Meet the Renault Twizy…ambulance

Hopefully you’ll never require the services of an ambulance but, if you do, there may come a time in the distant future when the vehicle that arrives at the scene of an accident could fit through the front door of your house.

That’s because one of the latest concept ambulances takes the form of a modified Renault Twizy Cargo, itself a commercial version of the two-seater, battery-powered electric vehicle manufactured exclusively in Spain.

As such, a number of life-saving additions have been added to the mix. The Cargo version already ditches the second rear seat in favour of cargo space, and includes a lockable 180L boot than can open to 90 degrees, perfect for storing expensive medicines or equipment you wouldn’t want to go missing. Decked out in traditional ambulance livery, you’ll also discover blue lights and a siren onboard, although you’ll forgive 4×4 drivers if they can’t locate where the sound is coming from.

We know what you’re thinking – how could a tiny little car with room for one person and the potential to be blown away by a sufficiently powerful gust of wind ever prove itself useful as an ambulance?

When you look a little closer, however, it does begin to make a little sense. For starters, it’s great for the congested roads and lanes of major urban areas: measuring less than 2.4m long and 1.19m wide, the Twizy will squeeze through gaps that prove too much for regular-size Mercedes or Ford-based ambulances. The 17hp electric motor, which offers a range of 99km, is faster than on-foot response and carries a lot more than a bicycle. And all for exactly zero CO2 emissions. According to Renault, its main use will be to drive “up and down a busy coastal town’s beach front ensuring nobody has to wait to receive life-saving treatment,” presumably while the ordinary-sized version is pushing through traffic.

It might even provoke patients into a remarkable recovery once they see what’s buzzing towards them.

Aston Martin – the next generation

VuI_01-newsheroSeemingly taking its name from the Star Trek universe, but more suitably from the Roman god of volcano fire, meet the Aston Marin Vulcan, undoubtedly the next supercar to feature on the walls of children (young and old) the world over.

While there are hints of the current Aston Martin stable, it’s very much a more forward-looking design (possible contender for understatement of the year) with its carbon fibre body, sleek lines and sharp edges, massive spoiler and rear diffuser, not to mention those spiky rear lights (we really love those lights).

Sitting below that sculpted bonnet and the massive air vents is an 800bhp 7.0L V12 engine developed by Aston Martin Racing. Take a moment to let that sink in. And, drawing on the car manufacturer’s racing heritage, the Vulcan will also feature Brembo racing callipers working with carbon ceramic racing disk brakes, Michelin race tyres, a six-speed sequential gearbox and, of course, a rear wheel drivetrain.

Due to make its début next month during the 85th annual Geneva International Motor Show, it has been described by CEO Dr Andy Palmer as “a true sports car for true sports car lovers,” and one which “sets a whole new standard in the ultra-high luxury supercar class,” not hyping the Vulcan up by any means.

Unfortunately, as some of its specifications may have already hinted, you’ll never get the chance to see this particular model on a road near you; Aston Martin have dashed some dreams with the announcement that the Vulcan will be a track-only supercar. Prospective owners will be first invited to build their experience on a number of high performance Aston Martins, including the V12 Vantage S and One-77 road cars.

Considering only 24 Vulcans will be built, you can’t really blame Aston Martin for this – evidently simply sitting into the Vulcan and driving off for a lap of the track will end sooner than expected, probably in a ditch, or a wall. On a more positive note, however, the company did mention “a design language hinting at the next generation of Aston Martin sports cars,” so we may see a distant cousin hurtling around the roads some day.

The £1.5m price tag may prove to be something of a hurdle, but we can’t wait. For the moment, a look at the new DB10 would suffice.

Teaser video at the link.

Mansory Madness

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There are two types of car people, we think. Those who look at a beautiful, powerful machine and think, ‘I’d like that.’ And those who look at the same car and think ‘I can make this even better.’

Tuning company Mansory definitely belong to the latter group. We’ve got something of a soft spot for them – they’re a bit like Brabus, specialising in taking nice, high-powered cars and applying their madness until a monster emerges. They’re not really known for holding back.

Their take on the Mercedes S63 AMG is no different. On the outside, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is only a sportier version of the original model. The exterior hasn’t been changed too much – Mansory have only added roof and rear lips, adapted daytime running lights and a new bonnet cover, widened front wings and new side skirts.

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