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The Good Oil: BMW's i3 to the rescue
i3 to the rescue!
With all the hot models BMW makes, you could be forgiven for thinking the tiny electric i3 would be well down the list of vehicles that emergency services would choose, but you would be very wrong indeed!
It seems that the i3 is, in fact, proving rather popular with police, fire, ambulance and other emergency services around the globe, and BMW are making the most of this interest too.
But it does make sense, after all the i3 isn’t actually THAT little - it has massive interior space, is impressively brisk, produces little to no emissions (depending on whether it is a pure EV or a range extender) and, surprisingly, looks quite awesome liveried up as a police car!
Such is the response from emergency services to the i3 that BMW not only offers a full range of accessories (roof lights, PA systems, the lot!) and will even custom livery the cars from the factory, it has also developed a “ConnectedRescue” system based on the company’s ConnectedDrive system that offers the ability to transmit from the control centre to the vehicle all the necessary information as well as directly put the address into the navigation system's route guidance, meaning that manual input of the navigation destination is no longer required.
But, really, just look how it looks as a police car! Cute as a button, although that is generally NOT what police forces go for in their cars...
Holy Bank Account Batman!
Got a lazy $8 million lying around doing nothing? Well then, could The Good Oil have a loan? Because the original 1966 TV Batmobile is up for sale again!
Covered comprehensively by the Good Oil, thanks to a minor obsession with Batmobiles, the 1966 TV car’ story is no doubt well known to regular readers, but that ain’t gonna stop us reminding you.
Beginning life as the Lincoln Futura show car built by Ford in 1955, the hand-built concept also appeared in the movie “It Started With a Kiss” starring Debbie Reynolds. Although it cost a then-remarkable US$250,000 to build, Ford sold the Futura to Hollywood custom car builder George Barris for one dollar.
In 1965, when Barris was asked if he could build a Batmobile for the upcoming television show in just three weeks, he commissioned Bill Cushenberry to modify the Futura, slapped a now-iconic paint job on it, and a legend was born!
The car featured prominently through the show’s three year run and, while he would build three more replicas, Barris retained ownership of the original until 2013 when it was sold at auction for US$4.6 million (NZ$7.0 million).
The Batmobile is currently on display and for sale at the Barret-Jackson showroom in Scottsdale, Arizona with an asking price of US$5 million (NZ$7.68 million).
An absolute bargain when you consider it comes with a nose-mounted cable cutter, Bat-Ray Projector, Batcomputer, Detect-a-Scope, smoke screen, oil squirter, nail spreader, battering ram and, of course, there are the dual parachutes—activated by the Bat-Turn Lever—when immediate 180-degree direction changes are required. At least, it did on the TV series...
Fiat heads to the dark side
You may have heard that there is a new Star Wars movie coming out soon, so that means only one thing - car manufacturers desperately trying to buy into the massive hype generated by a science fiction movie that features absolutely no cars buy producing themed cars.
This time around it is Fiat that is getting in on the long time ago, in a galaxy far away action as it unveils a 500e painted up as a Stormtrooper. Which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense, after all, the 500 and a Stormtrooper’s helmet are almost EXACTLY the same shape!
Anyway, the 500e Stormtrooper is, understandably, entirely black and white (including those rather awesome white-wall tyres) with the windscreen and side windows wrapped to bring out the immediately recognisable visor and helmet of the First Order Stormtrooper. Inside, everything is in black and white as well, with custom front and rear seats upholstered in leather and Alcantara. The dashboard is painted white and features the “Star Wars” logo on it. All the details are painted in white/black lacquer, and a First Order insignia can be found on the two-tone leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Utterly impractical, probably almost impossibly to see properly out of and we love it!
The ultimate eco-car
Local Motors are best known for their brilliantly mental Rally Fighter off-road sports car, but they also made waves recently by producing the first 3D-printed car.
The company is now preparing to sell the 3D-printed car top the public, but it has also come up with an unusual and potentially awesome concept that would allow owners to upgrade their car over the course of their ownership, by melting it down and re-printing it! Or, at least parts of it.
“We're working on that process as we speak, and it's possible because that material is recyclable,” Justin Fishkin, chief strategy officer at Local Motors, told US website Autoblog in a recent interview. “People might actually want to keep their car longer, or they'll say ‘I want to bring it back’ and we'll have a better car by the end of the day.”
So, the same car that looks different, or just a new bonnet and doors? The possibilities are almost endless and could well change they way we think about owning a car!
We are the world
* Two car thieves in the USA recently accidentally kidnapped an 8-year-old boy when they stole the car he was sitting in the back of. But instead of abandoning the car, or making the kid get out, they dropped him at school instead! The boy told police that two men jumped in the car (that his mother had left running while she went into the post office) and upon noticing him, told him they were there to take him to school. The boy told the men where his school was and they dropped him there before abandoning the car about 5km away.
* A brand new bus lane in the UK caused so much traffic chaos when it was open that it is being removed after just 21 days in operation! The Cornwall Council has agreed to scrap the new bus lane after instead of alleviating congestion on the road, actually managed to triple journey times for most drivers. The embarrassing and expensive about-face by the council comes after it ignored feedback from residents who claimed it would disrupt their commute.
The number of Star Wars movies there have been so far.
4.4 billion US dollars
The amount of money all Star Wars movies have grossed at the box office.
10 Academy Awards
The six films have been nominated for 25 Academy Awards in total, winning 10.