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Boycotting Tamoil August 28, 2009

Posted by Sacha in /dev/null, Cars, English, Regional.
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In case you haven’t followed Kadhafi’s latest story, it is uterly shocking. Having our Swiss president officially apologies over Kadhafi son’s arrest is hard to swallow. Let’s call it an example of “realpolitik”.

Consequently, I decided to boycott the Tamoil oil station network, owned by the Kadhafi family. My action will obviously have no material impact but it is a matter of principle, pour la forme.


Renault to sell an electric car in 2 years May 26, 2009

Posted by Sacha in Cars.

Pélata, #2 of the Renault Group (owner of brands such as Nissan), tells Le Journal des Finances that in 2011 they will mass-produce and sell a fully electrical car (not just an hybrid):

Enfin, dans un monde de plus en plus tourné vers l’écologie, Renault va innover avec la commercialisation de masse d’un véhicule 100 % électrique que nous lancerons à partir de 2011


Bullish, huh?

I’ve tested for you: Do sport cars attract women? December 16, 2008

Posted by Sacha in /dev/null, Cars.

porsche911turboI can be considered as a reasonable car-lover (actually, I can be considered “reasonable” for anything – I am Swiss). So a few months back, I decided to satisfy an old dream and buy a Porsche 911 Turbo (a used one – I am “reasonable”). It was the perfect model, the perfect color, the perfect price and, more than anything, the perfect age: at 33, you cannot be accused of going through your mid-life crisis. Bottom line: the perfect Swiss-situation, flying under the radar.

As soon as I got my car (it was sometimes this summer), most of my friends asked me “So, does it work with women? I mean… you know…” Great question, and yes, I know what you mean.

For complete disclosure, I am the perfectly happy husband of a wonderful wife who i) thinks cars are cans with wheels, ii) vote on the left of the left and iii) elegantly hides her face with her hair when there is no choice but to use my capitalistic car to go some place. Hence, if my wife had to be the first women to go through my test, it would have been a total failure.

Now, after a few months of somehow scientific testing, I am ready to report two essential findings:

  • Sport cars do NOT attract women;
  • Sport cars DO attract 8 years old boys.

And this is not based on mixed-results: sport cars (Porsche at least) had no impact whatsoever on women (so inexistant that I don’t even need to define what “impact” means – nada, zero). On the other hand, 8 years old boys are totally CRAZY about them. They know everything about them and could easily trade “2 months without watching TV” against “a bumpy ride”. A friend of mine even had his son organize a ride with one of his buddies the day they had a school-organized event at a theater. Obviously, I was asked to stop the car “just in front of the theather” so they could be well visible 🙂

My wife must be right, I am like an 8 years old sometimes…



P.S.: for sake of completeness, I must add that my daughter Eva – she is two years old – loves my car and the noise it makes. She could even recognize the Porsche logo on a piece of paper and associate it with “la voiture de papa” when she was 18 months.  Based on that, I’ll try to determine when females starts totally ignoring sport cars.

Lamborghini Estoque October 2, 2008

Posted by Sacha in Cars.

Perfect unless you start looking at the price tag

Lamborghini just released their Estoque model, a 4-doors sedan. While I always admired the Lamborghini engines, there was something I quite never liked: their harsh (almost vulgar) style. While the Estoque conserve the pretty angular style of the “traditional” Lamborghini, the result is much better.

What’s more, the idea to release a 4-doors sedan is pretty smart: I am convinced they did it based on the success of the Audi RS6, which leverages the same V10 engine as the Gallardo (remember: Lamborghini is a subsidiary of Audi).

Last but not least, the Lamborghini Estoque only consumes 6L/100km. Nah… just kidding 🙂



Audi RS6: Info Start Leaking September 5, 2007

Posted by Sacha in Cars.

As a follow-up to my previous post, iInformation about the new RS6 starts leaking, with the audi.com web site showing some basic information and a German web site leaking some pictures of the Avant model. We might still have to wait until the 11th to get complete information such as whether a saloon version will be released (and when? Geneva 2008?), whether it features the new Torque Vectoring Quattro, etc.

In any case, what seems to be official at this point is:

  • 5.0L FSI bi-turbo
  • Dynamic Ride Control
  • 13.9L/100km, 331g/km CO2
  • 4.6s for 0-100km/h (0-62), 14.9s for 0-200km/h

So let’s wait and see…

Audi RS6: 11 days to go… September 2, 2007

Posted by Sacha in Cars.

In the last 12 months, I’ve been closely tracking any bit of news I could find about the yet-to-be-released Audi RS6. My congratulations to Audi for doing such a great job at preserving the mystery: almost no info leaked. For example, originally thought to be released at the Geneva 2007 car show…it didn’t. However, chances to see it released in a few days, at the Frankfurt IAA, are close to certain.

So how much do we think we know about the yet-to-be-released RS6? Well, not much:

  • Engine: this one seems a pretty safe bet. The engine will be a modified version of the S6 (as well as V10 Lamborghini Gallardo): a 5.0L V10 bi-turbo (not a 5.2L like the S6).
  • Power: Audi went as far as officially registering two IDs for the RS6 (AUDI AG 4F 7967 AAJ 21 N31 N30 579 426 5002 for the saloon version and AUDI AG 4F 7967 AAK 21 N31 N30 579 426 5002 for the Avant), which translates into 579 PS/571 HP/426 kW). However, it wouldn’t be the first time a vendor registers fake IDs to play with the competition. Two new rumors have recently surfaced: i) to reduce CO2 emission and remain politically correct, the final number would be slightly lower (560Hp) and ii) real number would be above 600 HP. The first rumor seems more believable.
  • Suspension: it seems it is going to be a next generation of the DRC. DRC III is deemed to be fully adjustable in height and stiffness and quicker than the RS4’s version.
  • Transmission: Quattro, obviously. The big question is whether the RS6 will be the first model to host Torque Vectoring. Split between the front and back wheels is said to have changed to 40/60.
  • Chassis: it seems to be a reworked version of the S6’s chassis.
  • Lights: lights and indicators are supposed to all be LED-based. Mirror wings will feature LED-indicators.

Last but not least, while everybody was expecting to see the saloon version released prior to the Avant, it might change: some say that only the Avant is dubbed to be shown at the Frankfurt IAA: the saloon would only be released in Geneva in 2008, if ever. Also, it isn’t clear yet whether the RS6 will be available in the USA.Well, we won’t have much to wait to see how much of these rumors were true. While the IAA opens on the 13th of September, the Audi press conference is on the 11th of September. I’ll then report here which info was good.



P.S.: you can see some pictures and movies here and there.

P.S. 2: my main source of information is the great RS6.com forum.

Prefer the copy or the original? August 27, 2007

Posted by Sacha in Cars.
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Had a discussion with Marc on whether it is possible these days to have a performant & nice looking car that’s also eco-friendly or if we necessarily have to drive an ugly car to compensate the irresponsible attitude of some.

So Marc brought to my attention the newest Lexus hybrid models. But for whatever reason, I didn’t feel anything special when I looked at it (yes, sometimes I do). But I couldn’t really explain it… Then I found this article from Jeremy Clarkson and I think there is no need to add anything else.

Move on.

Car Tuning August 27, 2007

Posted by Sacha in Cars.

I love cars. I mean, I love nice cars, not just tin boxes.

One thing that has always amused me (and sometimes horrified) is the hobby of “Car Tuning”. Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about companies that tune cars as a real engineering matter (ABT, Sportec, Oettinger and others), no, I am speaking about the drag queens of tuning.

Anyway, I knew car tuning could be ridiculous, but I also thought being ridiculous didn’t kill. Well, It seems I was wrong.