The Good Oil: Skoda ute + more
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Starting in 1982, the VW Group has fully embraced the Worthersee GTi-Treffen meet, with most of its brands now getting into the “weird and wonderful concept” way of things.
This year sees Skoda first off the block with its brilliantly twisted concept that was created by 23 trainees from the Skoda Auto Vocational School — a Skoda Fabia-based ute. Because ... why not?
While the students were keen to jam a 1.8-litre turbo four-cylinder engine into the tiny ute, space restrictions (ie, it wouldn’t fit) meant they had to make do with a 90kW 1.2-litre unit instead.
Still, they massively over-compensated for this by fitting a colossal 1400-Watt audio system.
Kahn reveals curious pick up
A while back we introduced you to the brilliantly mental Kahn Design Flying Huntsman 110 WB 6x6, an embiggened (lengthened and widened) 6-wheel Land Rover Discovery, because, clearly the world needed such a thing.
Now the company has added the 105 Pick Up and drops the “brilliantly” part of “brilliantly mental”, as well as two wheels and all the length off the rear. What it retains is the lengthened nose and wider body, endowing it with, erm, somewhat odd dimensions.
While it is not going to win any beauty competitions, the big nose at least allows room for the 6x6 vehicle’s V8 engine, which is why we’re mystified that it comes with a 2.2-litre diesel. Actually, the whole thing mystifies us ...
Zero one to savour
Okay, so The Good Oil has never exactly been a fan of the original Hummer H1 (or the pointless H2 and intelligence-insulting H3, for that matter), but we have to admit that the Zero South Biodiesel Electric Hummer is pretty cool.
Starting out life as a Hummer H1 ambulance, the Zero South team has converted it to its current form over the course of seven years, adding the drivetrain from an armoured H1, but dropping the 6.5-litre diesel V8 in favour of a 3.2-litre diesel V6 that runs on aviation grade biodiesel.
The V6 engine juices up the hybrid drive system that has one 150kW electric motor on each axle, making it a pretty formidable terrain crosser indeed.
Zero South’s plans are for a pair of (apparently similar) Hummers to travel to the South Pole over the course of six to 10 days and camp for two days at the pole before making the return trip to the coast of Antarctica.
Just to make things even more awesome, the team will tow a modified Airstream caravan — the Snowstream — with them, all the while recording the trek for an eight-episode TV series and feature film.
While the whole expedition sounds remarkable, the best bit is the subtle (okay, it’s not that subtle) use of what was once the poster-child for profligation, inefficiency and utterly wasting natural resources (the Hummer) to travel to the pole without using a single drop of fossil fuel. Take that you silly big Hummer.
We are the world
■ The Good Oil has yet to get to see Furious 7, but it appears China has. Well, maybe not all of them, but a lot of them — around 12 million to be (semi) precise. This means the car/punch/explosion-fest is now officially China’s most successful movie, grossing a remarkable US$325.8 million ($431.6 million) in 15 days.
■Staying with China, it seems a pair of enterprising thieves have nicked a road. Yes, you read that right, two men were spotted transporting part of the 630 tonnes of concrete they removed to sell at a quarry for 12,000 yuan ($2500). Digging up 630 tonnes of concrete for $2500 doesn’t seem a good deal to us.
Aston makes waves
Well, not for much longer, because Aston Martin has teamed up with Dutch boat builder Quintessence Yachts to produce the AM37, a speed boat that is essentially a water-born Aston that would make James Bond (a British naval officer, remember) smile.
The AM37 is imaginatively named after its length — 37 feet (11.2m) — and, while no technical details have been released yet, Quintessence says that it will feature a “high-tech composite structure allied to luxury sports car-like handling, performance and comfort.”
Apparently it will also feature voice control and a touchscreen display for the navigation and multimedia system.
The AM37 will be offered in two versions: the standard boat with a top speed of around 50 knots (93km/h) and the AM37 S that will get to 60 knots (130km/h).
The number attending first GTi Meet at Worthersee in 1982.
After the first single-day event in 1982, it now spans three days.
The official meeting was cancelled from 1993-1995.
The number who attend the meeting each year.