Friday, May 27, 2011

Behold Muammar Gaddafi's ‘Libyan Rocket

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has always been internationally recognised for his vibrant fashion sense, sleeping in Bedouin tents wherever he goes, wearing huge provocative buttons, being guarded by heavily armed women, just to name a few. An epitome of Gaddafi’s eccentricity is the car he designed for himself, which Libya claims is the safest vehicle on earth. However, don’t go into any details to back up the claim.

The Saroukh el-Jamahiriya, which means Libyan rocket, is a five-seater saloon with the nose and tail of a rocket and powered by a 230bhp V6. Launched at a conference called the Organization of African Unity and organized by Colonel Gaddafi in 2009, the Libyan Rocket comes with airbags, an electronic defense system and collapsible bumpers that supposedly help out in a crash.. Wonder what is an “electronic defense system”? Apparently, no one knows what it is or how it works.

Dukhali Al-Meghareff, chairman of the Libyan Arab Domestic Investment company which produced the prototype, touted it as revolutionary in automotive history. "The leader spent so many hours of his valuable time thinking of an effective solution. It is the safest car produced anywhere," Mr Meghareff said.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Drive Out Your Confusion Over Buying A Car

Recently, I met this guy who has been unnecessarily worked up about buying a car. While talking to him in this regard, I realised that he is just one of many others who is feeling confused or anxious about buying a car. Guys, feelings such as these are a normal part of the car buying process. Take a deep breath and relax, here are some things that may help you make your choice easier.
1. Do you really need a car?
The first question you should ask yourself is why do you need a car right now. Isn't it absurd to drive to work when almost every office provides employees with transportation facilities? (The trend now is cycling to work).  Do you need a car for your regular shopping trip to a supermarket that is just two minutes away from home? When we travel long distances we mainly use buses or trains. Occasionally you can even hire a car. So why do you need a car? I'm not discouraging you, but think twice and convince yourself about the necessity for a car.
2. Should you buy a new or used car?
Now that you decided to go ahead with your plans to buy a car, another question arises: Used or a brand new car? Buying a used car is not better than nor is it worse than going for a brand new car. It's just a choice of preference. For some a car is a status symbol, while for others it is simply a means of moving around. The former would choose brand new cars whereas the latter might prefer used ones. However, the challenge of buying a used car is evaluating the condition of the car and determining whether you are getting a fair deal or overpaying. You could make use of Auto Calculators that could help you decide which is right for you.
3. The perfect car does not exist
No matter how much you research, discuss or test-drive, trust me, you are not going to find the perfect car. And that is not your goal, too. All you are trying to do is find the best vehicle for your needs, budget and happiness. And that's it. So keep it simple.
4. Re-examine your budget
Understanding your finances and getting a good price from the dealer is critical if you don't want the car buying experience to leave a bitter taste in your mouth. If you are going to pay for the car in one lump sum, there's not much to be anxious about. But most car buyers finance their purchase and make monthly installments and then the amount you spend on the car has a huge impact on your overall budget. Work out how much cash you practically have to spend after rent, bills, entertainment and other expenditure have been considered. There was a time when the average car loan was up to three years. Now five years is the standard and banks are even offering six years or more. This allows you to buy more expensive cars than you can really afford, by stretching the payments out until the car is almost fully depreciated. It's always better to buy a car that you can afford to pay off in 48 months, or even better, 36 months.
5. This is not a do-or-die situation
It's quite natural to feel restless about making a mistake, of buying the wrong car or spending too much money. However it may be that your anxiety is befogging your thinking. Remember, this is not a do-or-die situation. Nor is it a test — you are not being rated or ranked here. So I'm telling you again, relax!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Royal car at the Royal Wedding

All eyes were on Prince William as he arrived at the Westminster Abbey, resplendent in a red tunic of the Irish Guards and accompanied by Prince Harry. But certainly there were a lot of eyes that were stuck on the Bentley State Limousine that carried the groom, one of the most exclusive cars by virtue of being the only one ever made.

Designed with inputs from the Queen herself, Prince Phillip and the head chauffeur, this bespoke limo ensures it's perfect for the Royal family's exacting standards.
Understandably, details of this one-off limo are scant. Three feet longer, 10 inches taller, and six inches wider than a standard Bentley Arnage, it is powered by a twin-turbocharged, 6.75-litre V8 Engine that has been modified from Bentley's Arnage R version to produce 400 hp (300 kW) and 616 lb•ft (835 N•m) of torque. Maximum speed is 130 mph (210 km/h). It is equipped with broad coach doors that open to the rear almost 90 degrees.
The car has been given armoured bodywork and glass, a mine-resistant floor, a cabin that can be sealed against a gas attack, and kevlar enforced tires. These security and safety measures raise the car's weight to almost 4,000 kg.
The only seat in the car that's leather is the driver's because the Queen and Prince Phillip prefer  lamb's wool covering on their seats. British textile manufacturer Hield Brothers produced the Lambswool Sateen cloth used for the upholstery of the rear seats.
Only two such cars were made, making it even rarer than the Rolls-Royce Phantom IV, of which just 18 were built for royalty and heads of state. You could have all the money in the world and Bentley wouldn't be swayed to build another.