Coming up with new and interesting names for colours must be a drag for car manufacturers. Imagine how many times a year Audi must have to find a new word for “slightly different shade of silver”?
Aside from writing this drivel, The Good Oil is actually an honest-to-goodness motoring journalist and one day, when doing some real work (writing a road test on a Land Rover Discovery Sport) we came across something interesting in the colour palette.
Amid glamorously named finishes such as Firenze Red (after an Italian city), Loire Blue (after a French river), Santorini Black (after a Greek island) and Aintree Green (after ... um ... a dull British village) sit Kaikoura Stone and Waitomo Grey.
A place you go to see whales and get rained on and a place you look at worms with glowing bottoms are now also the names of metallic paint on a Land Rover. Why not? There are any number of New Zealand places that would make good colour names. Gore Pink? Coromandel Green? Tauranga Beige?
Brabus does awful things to a Mercedes. Again.
The Good Oil is eternally grateful for three things in life — beer, twist ties and the fact that Brabus makes utterly mental, completely pointless versions of otherwise perfectly good Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
They have outdone themselves with a version of the Mercedes-Benz G500 4X4-2 that is a slightly less insane four-wheel version of their terrifying G63 6X6.
Clearly the paltry 310kW and 610Nm of the standard 4-litre twin-turbo Mercedes V8 would never be enough for Brabus. They have jacked that up to 368kW and 710Nm, enough to propel the 4WD monster to 100km/h from a standing start in a frankly silly 6.9sec. They then drop the it-would-be-funny-if-it-wasn’t-so-utterly-terrifying fact that “due to the all-out off-road tires, the top speed is limited electronically to 210 km/h”. Brabus also add a stainless steel sports exhaust with active butterfly valves that allow the noise to be switched between “shake the birds from the trees” loud and slightly less so.
Brabus calls this lesser mode “Coming Home”, humorously implying that someone who would buy a Brabus would give a toss about annoying their neighbours. Lots of carbon fibre and many horrendous scoops, bulges and other additions are slathered on the outside, and quilted leather and red highlights dominate the inside — in other words, the usual Brabus stuff.
We are the world
■It would seem that for one Florida gun-nut/road-rage enthusiast karma is not only a bitch, she is also very swift. A terrified woman reported to police that after she tooted at a car in front of her when it was driving erratically, the driver started waving a handgun at her. The unnamed driver then followed the woman brandishing an assault rifle at her. She managed to lose him and report the driver to the police. But they had already heard about him as it seems he had recently been admitted to hospital after being found next to his car in the middle of a busy intersection, hopping around, screaming and bleeding profusely. It seems he had managed to shoot himself in the leg.
■Sam Stephens recently raised £2000 (NZ$4800) for a UK cancer charity by running the Brighton Marathon dressed as Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear. But to raise the money and raise awareness for the charity, Sam also legally changed his name to Buzz Lightyear — until bureaucracy stepped in. The British driver and vehicle licensing agency refused to renew his driver’s licence because it would “bring the agency into disrepute”. This is despite the new name not being flagged by the deed poll, which the DVLA had previously said would be the only thing stopping them from issuing him a new licence. He is resigned to changing back to Sam, saying “I suppose if the extra publicity of changing my name back gives more support to the charity. It won’t be all bad.”
Not so mellow
If you are the sort of person who thought “That is just awful, fancy doing something like that to a majestic Mercedes” when you looked at the Brabus G500 4X4, don’t feel too smug. Because Mercedes has just proven it can do awful, tasteless things to other people’s vehicles.
Well, AMG has, with the release of the MV Agusta F3 800 Solar Beam edition at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
AMG, which owns a 25 per cent stake in the Italian bike manufacturer, took the F3 800 and did exactly nothing to it apart from painting it the same shade of searing yellow that is the hero colour for the AMG GT and adding some “subtle” AMG logos to the side.
Pretty much for AMG owners who want people to know they have an AMG even when they aren’t driving it, the Solar Beam F3 800 is so garish, tasteless and unnecessary that The Good Oil utterly loves it. Even though two wheels are wrong.
MV Agusta riders won the MotoGP 500cc champs 18 times, 1956-74
17 of those — from 1958-74 — were consecutive
MV Agusta also won 16 constructors’ championships
Then there 10 350cc, four 250cc and six 125cc wins in the same period