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The Good Oil: Crashtor’s dream ride + more
Pastor Maldonado is fast developing something of a reputation in Formula One for being somewhat hard on cars. Okay, let’s be honest here, he goes through cars faster than Paul Henry goes through TV shows.
So it is probably about time the Lotus F1 Team built him something a little more robust than a standard F1 car, and on first appearances, the Lotus F1 Team Mad Max Hybrid would appear to be the perfect solution.
The heavily armoured F1 car is fitted with chunky off-road tyres and features a significantly raised ride height - perfect for Pastor’s frequent excursions into the gravel traps - while the flame throwers and heavy spikes would make sure that those pesky walls that keep getting in his way would rethink their actions.
Sadly though, the car won’t be seen in action on the track any time soon, as it is merely show car for the promotion of the new film Mad Max: Fury Road that is currently being promoted on the side of the actual Lotus F1 cars.
It certainly would have made for an interesting F1 race if “Crashtor” Maldonado was unleashed in something like this. Although we bet Jenson Button is relieved he won’t be...
FASHIONABLE WORKING CONDITIONS
It seems that working conditions in the Rolls-Royce factory are considerably different to most other car factories, if the latest pictures released by the Goodwood-based outfit are to be believed - the assembly line appears to consist of nothing but tall, glamorous supermodels in flowing white dresses.
Now, The Good Oil is no expert in these things, but we have been on a tour through a Peugeot plant in France and can honestly say that, while it was very high-tech, the workforce still largely consisted of huge, terrifying robots and surly, rumpled Frenchmen who clearly still resented not being able to smoke while they worked.
We do have to admit that, because Rolls-Royce press releases are about as extensive as a BMW options list and more pretentious than a Hipster’s beard, The Good Oil usually only gets through the first few paragraphs before wondering if there is something more interesting in the fridge, so we possibly didn’t read it properly... But the gist of its is something to do with promoting the two-door Wraith. Although to be honest, we had pretty much entirely tuned out around the time they tried to claim that “Andalucian White” and “Arctic White” was a two-tone colour scheme...
ELECTRIFYING TURBO TT
While last week we brought you the so-cute-it-could-be-a-kitten-meme-on-the-internet Skoda Fabia ute that was appearing at the VW Golf GTi nutter-fest at Wothersee, this week we bring you something far, far angrier from Audi that will also be appearing (and scaring children) there.
Where Skoda went for “cute” and “frugal” with their concept, Audi went for “POWER!” and “FAST!” with theirs - a 447kW/650Nm Audi TT quattro with electric turbos and a manual transmission!
Called rather long-windedly the Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Technology Concept Car, it gets it immense power from the five-cylinder petrol engine that does duty in a number of Audi’s RS cars, but with a pair of electric turbochargers attached.
Actually closer to a supercharger in operation, the electric turbos use electric motors and a dedicated battery system to spool up the compressor, meaning less lag and more efficiency. In theory. Audi says that the electric turbo system isn’t ready for production just yet, but you can bet it wont be too long before it appears.
The Clubsport Concept (no, we are not going to type out the entire name again...) is said to be good for a 0 to 60mph (96.5km/h) sprint in just 3.6 seconds, with a top speed of 310km/h.
Let’s say you are a car company. Go on, we know it’s physically impossible, but just go with us here.
Let’s say you are a car company and you want to do a bit of low-level rallying. You already have a full-blown WRC car in development, based on your little B-segment car, but you still have plenty of other possibilities in your line up.
Now let’s pretend you just go “to hell with it” and decide to use a FWD version of your mid-size SUV.
Which is exactly what Toyota have done in the USA. Although, we aren’t 100 percent on that “to hell with it” thing. That is just the nearest we can figure.
You see, Toyota has decided enter a RAV4 into the Rally Americas series. And before you start getting excited about the idea of a monster modified FWD RAV4 rally car, don’t; it is a showroom standard RAV4 with the exact same 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine you could walk off the street and buy.
The RAV4 has been lightened by an impressive 227kg and fitted with a roll cage, along with some chunky BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres and upgraded TEIN suspension, but that is all.
The RAV4 will be driven in the series by Ryan Millen - that’s right son of our very own Rod Millen and brother of drift king Rhys. Given Ryan comes from a fairly high-octane family and last year won the Baja 1000 off-road race in a Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, we can’t help but wonder if he mightn’t find driving the RAV4 a bit like dropping the kids at school...
WE ARE THE WORLD
* The well-off city of Paradise Valley in Phoenix, Arizona, has recently started using number plate readers at a number of locations. Now, usually when a city uses these devices, they treat them like speed cameras and mount them on poles, but not Paradise Valley! They have mounted theirs in fake cacti! But don’t worry; it’s not all creepy and Big Brother-y at all; the town manager insists it merely an aesthetic decision. Apparently it is because there are no street lights in the areas to mount that readers on. That sounds legit...
* A anonymous man in the UK has gotten so sick of the potholes in his suburb in Manchester that he has come up with a “unique” way to draw attention to them and get people to complain to the local council about them - he spray paints large penises around them. He is reporting some success, even though the council isn’t exactly happy with him; he notes that in some cases year-old potholes have been repaired within 48 hours of him applying his “signature”.
The number of time Pastor Maldonado has crashed, spun or received a penalty during a race weekend since his F1 debut in 2011.
38 GRID PLACES
The total grid demotions Maldonado received in 2012 due to penalties. Nearly two entire grid’s worth!
The number of websites dedicated to whether or not he has crashed in any given day. There is also a Twitter account and a Tumblr blog.
45 MILLION BRITISH POUNDS
The (estimated) money Maldonado brings to the Lotus team with his sponsorships. There had to be a reason he is still around...