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Mike Hanlon

The Zoomer X California Style is designed by Honda's R&D in Thailand to 'combine the Calif...

The importance of local culture in shaping a marketplace was never more conspicuous to this Western mind than at the Bangkok Motor Show when Honda showed two concept bikes that are so far from the normality of Western markets that they will challenge your thinking as they did mine. The highlights of Honda Thailand's massive exhibition were a Chopper-styled scooter and a Grand Prix Racer-styled mini-bike meant for the road.  Read More

TADRI was established in 2009 by the Chinese Government to create a center of automotive e...

In the new world automotive order dominated by China, there are many new names we'll soon become familiar with and Shanghai's Tongji Automotive Design Research Institute (TADRI) is one such name destined for global recognition. Think of TADRI as the automotive equivalent to MIT – the type of institution that gives a country a competitive edge. We look at three fascinating vehicles touched by TADRI shown at Auto Shanghai, and explain why there are many more to come.  Read More

The shape that offers the best balanced and best handling stunt machine of the Seabreacher...

Though it fails to fit into any traditional man-made watercraft category, the Seabreacher X is remarkably comfortable in the water, turning quicker than anything made by man and happily skipping across the tops of the waves at 50 mph. This is not surprising given that it's based on a shape refined over 420 million years at the top of the ocean food chain – the shark. Give it more horsepower than Valentino Rossi's MotoGP bike, make it so light that it has the power-to-weight ratio of a Bugatti Veyron and you get the Seabreacher X. Its semi-pressurized hull enables it to tickle your adrenalin glands both above and below the waves, and it rates as the most outrageous boy's toy I have ever sampled.  Read More

The world's biggest water fight - the Songkran Festival Thailand.

Last year we covered the world's biggest water fight, the Songkran Festival in Thailand, and although our story was viewed 100,000 times, and everyone marveled at the delightfully eccentric contrast to public events elsewhere in the world, I acknowledged that I couldn't supply images which truly reflected how crazy things really get, mainly for fear of damaging my Canon camera system. This year, armed with a waterproof housing and a Canon 5D MkIII, I was able to venture from the outskirts of the water fight into the center of the water riot with impunity. Millions of water pistols, shotguns and cannons are sold each year in Songkran week and here's how to have a ridiculously good time on a $5 budget.  Read More

Audi roadster Motorrad concept

French automotive designers Thibault and Marc Devauze and modeller Clement Couvreur have created this Audi roadster motorcycle concept based on a Ducati 848 engine but with elements of Ducati's Hypermotard and Monster, all wrapped in Audi Design Language. The purchase of Ducati by Audi means such a motorcycle is not all that improbable, and Audi's carbon fiber knowhow and Direct Shift Gearbox might also help. Audi-owned DKW was once the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world - wouldn't it be nice to see a real one of these surface.  Read More

The range of Yikebikes now ranges from US$2000 to US$4000

With big changes likely in the global transport infrastructure, the race is on to create the missing link – the smallest, lightest man-packable form of motorized transport yet known. Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, BMW and Nissan have all shown vehicles in this area, but none have yet hit the market. The best-of-breed is currently the Yikebike and it announced today that it has further extended its lead, lightening its US$4,000 Carbon model from 11.5 kg to 11.2 kg and extending its range to 15 km (9.3 miles). There's also now a choice of Yikebikes with two cheaper versions at 12.7 kg ($3,000) and 14 kg ($2000).  Read More

The show's influence can't be measured solely in visitors, exhibitors and floor space – th...

The presence of the head of Ford Motor Company at the Bangkok Auto Show was no accident – the New York Motor Show was on at the same time. The Detroit of the East produced 2.45 million cars last year (up 68% on 2011), sold 1.43 million locally (up 80%), and became a global top 10 auto producer. It was already the world's second largest producer of trucks, behind only the United States. With just 18 vehicles per 100 population (America has 76), the Thai domestic market offers promise. The world's auto makers are focusing their quest for growth on Asia and Bangkok is now key to the Asian automotive market.  Read More

Mitsubishi's distinctive GR-HEV diesel-hybrid pick-up concept

Mitsubishi's Concept GR-HEV combination a sedan interior and comfort levels with a diesel-hybrid pickup truck based on what is quite possibly the exterior of the next generation Triton. The hybrid drivetrain is billed as a next generation drive system that combines the company's Super Select 4WD (SS4) and S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) systems, a 2.5L diesel engine and an electric motor of unspecified power to achieve CO2 emissions of 149 g/km.  Read More

Toyota's i-ROAD is a fully-enclosed, two-seater, three-wheeled, fully-electric, Personal M...

Toyota rocked the automotive world a few hours ago with full details of a new form of transport it will exhibit at the Geneva Motor Show which begins tomorrow. Toyota's i-ROAD is a fully-enclosed, two-seater, three-wheeled, fully-electric, Personal Mobility Vehicle (PMV) which looks to be more a competitor for the motorcycle than anything we have seen before from the world's largest automotive manufacturer.  Read More

The KTM X-Bow GT – one of the most spartan automobiles sold for use on public roads is goi...

Fans of the hardcore enthusiast KTM X-Bow roadster are bound to be on the increase with news that the GT version to be shown for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show next week will have doors and a windscreen ... and maybe the same 2.5 liter, 250 kW five-cylinder from the Audi TT-RS.  Read More

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