The Good Oil: Range Rover ute horror and more
We can’t imagine anyone has actually asked for it, but Brabus has unveiled a Range Rover-based ute.
The German tuning company’s Startech offshoot has unleashed the full horror of it all at the Shanghai motor show.
The Startech Pickup packs the same 5-litre supercharged V8 as the donor vehicle, but tweaked to produce 387kW. It features the Startech wide body pack that adds loads of carbon fibre and “tasteful” scoops and flares to the Rangie’s body, along with 23-inch forged alloy wheels.
Converting the Range Rover to a ute requires Startech to design and manufacture more than 100 parts from steel, aluminium and carbon fibre. But despite the shortening of the roof, the panoramic sunroof remains!
The interior also gets the Startech treatment, with loads more carbon fibre, leather and Alcantara.
Startech casually drops the claim that because of the ute conversion, the Pickup will qualify as a commercial vehicle in many countries, making it cheaper to import.
But given the vast amount of money that Startech will no doubt charge to carry out this disfigurement, we doubt you would be saving much, if anything. We would happily pay more not to have our Range Rover turned into a blinged-out disaster of messy lines and awkward angles.
We are the world
■ It could be said that Scott Kemery, from Long Island in the United States, is perhaps not the brightest bulb in the light fitting.
The 44-year-old recently escaped being burned to death after he soaked the seats of a rental car in alcohol in an attempt to kill the bedbugs he believed to be infesting it.
How did that lead to fire?
Well, after finishing the job he sat in the car and lit a cigarette.
Kemery jumped clear, but the rental car and two others in the car park went up in flames.
Driven by design
The designers at Ford came up with a foosball table.
Now, if somebody asked the Good Oil what we thought the “guiding principles” behind the interior design of the new Ford GT were, we probably would have said “bugger off you poloneck sweater-wearing designer git and take your silly thick-rimmed glasses and weirdly non-specific European-sounding accent that all designers seem to have with you”.
But, if pressed on the subject, we would say, “make it look fast and worth a lot of money”.
We would have been wrong.
It seems the guiding principles behind the interior design of the Ford GT were “clarity of intent, innovation, and connection”. And to prove this Ford have unleashed their designers on the “world’s leading furniture design expo”, Salone del Mobile, and unveiled a range of items.
“We have an incredible amount of talent in our global studios,” said Moray Callum, Ford’s vice-president of design. “This is the perfect opportunity to share some of the creativity within our team while also offering our designers an opportunity to go beyond the everyday work and get exposure to new ideas that will inspire for future Ford designs.”
All part of the furniture.
So what did they come up with? An electric guitar, a foosball table, a lamp, a WiFi speaker, a clock, a side table, a couple of uncomfortable-looking chairs and a weird sailboat thing. We’re guessing the guys who came up with the guitar, boat and foosball table missed the “furniture” part of the memo.
Still, we take pleasure in knowing that underneath all the designer-speak nonsense there are still guys who will design a guitar and a foosball table when they are supposed to be designing furniture. We bet they were the kids that got busted for drawing cars at school when supposed to be doing maths.
Non-Fiction becomes a reality
The Skoda 130 RS (above) and the R200 Non-Fiction.
What do you get if you let a bunch of Skoda enthusiasts loose on an Audi R8? You get the R200 Non-Fiction.
The Good Oil does understand that those previous sentences could be interpreted as a bunch of words that make no sense, but then neither does the R200 Non-Fiction, and that’s why we love it.
Let us explain a wee bit. The R200 started life as an Audi R8 and was converted into a modern design interpretation of the classic Skoda 130 RS rally car from the 1970s, in order to celebrate its 40th birthday.
We know that doesn’t make a lot more sense, especially as the 130 RS was rear-engined and the R8 is mid-engined (so why not use a Porsche 911?), but we still love it.
The R200 is set for a super-low production run, with the cars being built by Metal Hoffmann, an outfit that works with several car manufacturers in Europe, with a price around $380,000.
Yes, it is ugly. Yes, it is ungainly. But so was the original. It is a car that makes no sense, that is a celebration of a car that it makes no sense to celebrate. And that is exactly why we love it.
The power output of the 1.1-litre engine of the Skoda 110 R that the 130 RS was based on.
The power output of the 4.2-litre V8 engine of the Audi R8 that the R200 is based on.
The weight of the Skoda 110 R.
The weight of the Audi R8 V8.