Me & My Car: Hybrid technology is like magic
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Mick Peck is a full time professional magician and member of The Magic Circle of London. He has been named New Zealand Variety Entertainer of the Year by the Variety Artists Club and has just taken on the role of President of the Brotherhood of Auckland Magicians.
What exactly are you driving?
It’s a 2021 Toyota C-HR Limited FWD Hybrid.
Why did you buy this particular vehicle?
The Limited C-HR ticks a lot of boxes that more expensive brands have like the keyless entry, heated leather seats, steering lane assist and 360 camera. Plus the hybrid engine, which some brands haven't even rolled out in NZ yet.
Is this your everyday drive?
Absolutely. The C-HR has all the benefits of an SUV without being massive, it really surprised me. It's only marginally longer than a Corolla, so it's great for zipping around and fits into Auckland parking spaces.
You’ve got the personalised plate. What part does the C-HR play in your work?
I've always thought personalised plates were slightly wanky, but I guess if you're a performer you might as well embrace it. I get so many comments about the blue plate which matches the paintwork. I also don't have to show ID when I arrive to park at a private event any more, it's funny.
Modern cars have some clever technology. What’s the best trick your C-HR does?
I absolutely love the 360-degree camera, it's like watching a video feed from a drone above you. The road sign assist reads speed signs and notifies you if you're going over the limit.
The other thing I get comments about are the “hidden” rear door handles; I had a guy at a gas station who was convinced it was a two door model. So maybe that counts as a trick.
The one thing I would have liked Toyota to carry over to the NZ model is the branded puddle light that's on the US version. It's a Toyota logo like the batsignal that shines on the ground so you don't step into a puddle in the dark. How over the top is that?
What do you always have in your car?
Straws. The drive-thru always forgets to give you straws.
I have backups of anything in my show that might break or run out, and I keep a little emergency case under the seat that I could do a 45 minute standup magic show out of if necessary. I think all performers have an occasional dream of showing up to a gig and forgetting your equipment. So I don't have to worry about it.
Your Toyota is a petrol-electric hybrid. But what do you think of pure-electric cars?
I think they're brilliant, in theory. But the infrastructure isn't there yet, you'll have to give it another five years. At the moment hybrid is the way to go.
What do you think of driverless cars?
I'm a magician, not Jesus.