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Mike Hanlon

The lines of the Chrysler 700C are highly distinctive

Chrysler showed an interesting concept without much fanfare at Detroit's NAIAS this week. The 700C is being evaluated by Chrysler as the design direction for the next generation minivan. It's a bold effort to give some style to the boxy people mover market and public opinion will now decide if the angled B-pillar and huge wheels will see production.  Read More

The 2013 Dodge Dart

Though claims by Dodge that its new Dart is a "revolutionary" car fall somewhere between delusional gibberish and being purposefully misleading, the Dart is almost certain to be a sales success in the American compact sedan marketplace. The replacement for the Dodge Caliber is basically a reworked Alfa Romeo Giulietta and has been created specifically as an American-made Chrysler based on a Fiat platform returning better than 40 mpg. At US$16,000, the Dart is economical, sporty and very price-competitive.  Read More

Honda's new NSX

Honda made its first attempt at a production supercar, the NSX, 21 years ago, and we've been waiting for the follow-up ever since. At Detroit today, we saw the genesis of the next NSX supercar, slated for showrooms within three years. No power or weight figures were mentioned but like the prior NSX, its primary engine will be a mid-mounted V-6. Honda claims the NSX's Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® (Super Handling All Wheel Drive™) hybrid system will deliver handling performance unmatched by previous AWD systems.  Read More

The Cloud is design at its cleverest

There's a bit of controversy surrounding MVRDV's design for a luxury residential environment in South Korea. Some people are concerned about the resemblance of MVRD's “Cloud” to the 9/11 twin towers explosions. Whether it is a 9-11 lookalike is immaterial because it's meant to be a cloud, and it's an ingenious reinvention of the skyscraper using glass and sky and light and sun to create a unique and compelling environment, with many material advantages to the community.  Read More

The Price Check by Amazon App is creating a storm in the retail industry

Online retailing leader Amazon is to make a compelling offer this coming Saturday – use their smartphone app to compare prices, and they'll effectively pay you $5 to walk out of the store. It is an historic move in the evolution of retail sales. As smart phone penetration heads for ubiquity, the price comparison app might go mainstream quite quickly from here. For the customer, it means getting accurate comparison information before a purchase. For the shopping app provider it means an opportunity to make a bid on a customer's patronage at the time- and point-of-sale, inside a competitor's bricks and mortar, at the same time as creating a marketing intelligence tool par excellence. A bold move indeed.  Read More

Despite the illusion of democracy which the world's Governments present, the 2011 report s...

“Corruption” is defined by Transparency International (TI) as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.” Each year TI publishes a “Corruption Perceptions Index” which scores the world's nations out of ten for their public sector honesty and the just-released 2011 report paints a bleak picture. Only six countries scored 9.0 or better, and just 49 of the 186 countries assessed in the report scored better than 5.0. Analysis shows more than 80% of human beings on Planet Earth exist under regimes which score 4.0 or less. December 9 is World Anti-Corruption Day. Corruption hurts everyone - the following article shows what's wrong and where, and what you can do to help make the world a fairer place.  Read More

In yet another example of internet mass media hysteria (reporters not checking facts and racing to get the story out quickly in the unholy pursuit of the holy dollar), a pile-up of 14 cars in Japan on Sunday morning has been universally labelled as the the world's most expensive automobile accident. Among the wreckage were eight Ferraris (including two F430s, two F355s, two 360 Modenas and an F512), a Lamborghini Diablo, a Nissan GT-R and a Mercedes CL600, and while there will certainly be a few very expensive repair bills, the crash doesn't even come close to being the world's most costly.  Read More

Honda's RCE

One of the disappointments of the Tokyo Motor Show which opened today was the lack of information on many of the concepts on show, and in particular, Honda's much awaited first real electric motorcycle. Up close, it looks like the real deal, but not one scrap of information was available on even the specifications. Honda wasn't the only culprit but with its extraordinary technology, we were expecting more. We have lots of pics, but no info whatsoever.  Read More

The Yamaha Y125 concept

Yamaha's press conference at the Tokyo Motor Show today was a genuine sign of the times. Four brand new world premiers were shown. The largest internal combustion engine amongst them was a 250cc model with fat tires designed to go anywhere – the SUV of motorcycles was the claim. There was also a three-wheeled electric commuter, a fold-up electric pedal-assist bicycle and, wait for it, an 80 km/l (226 mpg Imperial or 188 U.S. miles/gallon) retro 125cc commuter that's somewhere between a bicycle and motorcycle – it weighs just 80 kg and it is beautiful.  Read More

Aprilia's SRV850

The scooter and motorcycle are morphing into a new class of two-wheeled machine, with the power, acceleration, braking and roadholding of the motorcycle, and carrying capacity, weather protection, comfort, safety and ease-of-use of the scooter. The SRV 850 is Aprilia's performance version of the Gilera GP800, which was already the world's fastest and most powerful scooter. It is now a red-blooded Italian V-twin sports bike with a CVT (no gears) and the acceleration to smoke a Bugatti Veyron at legal speeds. With Honda's Integra due to be unveiled in Tokyo, and new entries from BMW, the superscooter class is burgeoning in response to the need for this new class of super commuter.  Read More

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