Saturday 11 January 2014

Road - Downsizing

Just as F1 and WRC cars are downsizing, so too are road cars with 2 litre engines being dumped in favour of smaller, lighter, more efficient units but with similar power outputs.

Take Vauxhall for instance, a new Astra GTC is now available with a powerful new 1.6 litre direct injection petrol engine, priced from just £20,995 on-the-road.

First seen in the Cascada convertible, the all-new, four cylinder unit with twin balancer shafts, endows the GTC with a top speed potential of 143 mph and a 0-60mph time of 7.3 seconds.

Peak power and torque are increased by up to 30 per cent over the previous 1.6 litre turbo engine, yet fuel consumption of 51 mpg combined and emissions of 154 g/km have meant a 13 per cent improvement in efficiency.

Just one thing though, the Vauxhall NVH engineers have been tinkering with it. Sounds like there will be a distinct lack of rortiness about it. That’s down to the ever growing power and persuasion of the Noise Police.

Those rascals are killing everything these days, with race circuits under constant threat, and no doubt once they get that ‘sorted’ they’ll turn their attention to the forests.

Why don’t they do something useful, like have a go at the RSPB for allowing gulls to screech their ear-splitting, unedifying din overhead in town and city centres and beach front esplanades whilst dumping their ‘littermuck’ on unsuspecting passers by. Wouldn’t it be nice to see the bird watchers walking about with little poo-bags, like dog lovers have to, cleaning up afterthem?

Did you know the RSPB is the UK’s seventh biggest landowner – behind the Forestry Commission in First place and the National Trust in Second? Just a thought.

Oops, I’ll need to go. The bird table needs more seeds and nuts.

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