Monthly Archives: February 2014

Light, slide and steerThe team at Border Motorsport has been busy this month and announced a selection of new products for the Defender. The new light bar is a smart option, which includes four sport lamps and is powder coated and available in gloss black or bright green. Stainless steel fittings are a sensible option and the whole unit is available at £95.99 (inc VAT, but not the spot lights). The heavy-duty rock sliders look impressive, good for serious off-roading or even surviving the Tesco car park! Zinc and black powder coated, the sliders are £169 (inc VAT). The new Defender steering guard is laser cut from 6mm steel, comes with counter sunk fitting points and all the necessary fittings. You can have this in bare metal at £99, gold zinc plated (£125) or powder-coated black or green for £135 (all prices include VAT). Check out the website for more details.

Website: www.bordermotorsport.co.uk  


Visitors to Tractor World Show could win a tractor for just £1. An International B-275 has been restored by the team responsible for this year’s National Vintage Tractor Road Run and they will be raising money for charity, selling tickets to win the vehicle; must be worth a flutter. The Tractor World Show is at Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcestershire, on March 1 and 2.

There will be big displays from Ford and Massey Ferguson clubs to mark the opening of Ford’s factory at Basildon and the launch of MF’s 100 Series, as well as displays from the likes of Leyland and Allis-Chalmers enthusiasts. Horticultural entries are already the highest ever and stationary engine entries are pouring in.

Three Counties Showground is not far off the M5 in Worcestershire. Advance ticket prices are £10 per day for adults (£12 on the gate). Under 15s go free and there’s a great value weekend camping pass for two adults for the advanced price of just £50 (£60 on the day). For more information go to www.tractorworldshow.co.uk or tel: 01697 451882

Porsche at Harrods

As befits the exclusive Knightsbridge store, which once claimed was the place where you could buy just about anything, Porsche recently took over the main front window display to unveil the new Macan SUV. The display showed the new compact performance SUV some two months before it would appear in Porches Centres. When it arrives, there will be three models available in the UK, the Macan S Diesel and Macan S are priced from £43,300, and the top-of-the-range Macan Turbo will be priced from £59,300. All models include Porsche Traction Management (PTM), seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) double-clutch transmission, alloy wheels, digital radio, front and rear ParkAssist, floor mats, multi-function steering wheel with gearshift paddles, electronic tailgate release, USB port connection and a three-year warranty. The model will also be included to the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone for customers to get the full performance experience.

Hilux mounting kitA new mounting kit has been developed by the ARB engineers to fit the new Zeon winch to the Toyota Hilux (2005 onwards); this will fit the 8 and 10 Zeon winches. The reason for the new mounting kit is that without it the clearance on the mount is not enough and can interfere with the vehicle’s airbag activation. As with all ARB and Warn equipment, it’s sensible to contact the Arbil 4×4 dealership. Full details on Arbil’s website.

Website: www.arbil4x4.co.uk 

Recent tests carried out by international charity Global NCAP, shockingly revealed that some of India’s most important and best-selling cars are unable to meet the UN’s minimum safety requirements.

The most popular Indian cars, which included the Suzuki-Maruti Alto 800, the Tata Nano, Ford Figo, Hyundai i10 and Volkswagen Polo all showed increased risk of injury during a collision, and were deemed unsafe by the charity, which stated: ‘Poor structural integrity and the absence of airbags are putting the lives of Indian consumers at risk.’

But how have these findings impacted on the Indian car industry?

In response to the report, many carmakers in India have dismissed the findings as unfair, claiming that the study didn’t take Indian environments or requirements into account. The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) argued that Indian cars meet the minimum required standards in the markets for which they are made, and that the conditions of the assessments did not take into account Indian driving conditions.


As with all statistics, it’s all relative and it was only a few years ago when we all wondered whether the Jeep brand would even continue. On that basis, the company – effectively a new concern since its association with Fiat – has grown from a pretty poor base, but 2013 sales figures still make good reading. Global Jeep sales totalled 731,565 in 2013, which is four per cent up on the previous year. The new Jeep Cherokee (due in the UK later this spring) was strong with 25,000 sold in the first two months of it being available. This model will be expected to push Jeep sales to even higher figures throughout 2014. Exciting times for Jeep.

10-piece socket setThe Britool Expert’s socket range has been expanded to include a new rail-mounted 10-piece half-inch hex socket set. The new E034837 socket set is manufactured in chrome vanadium steel to the sort of standard that you would expect from a Britool product, which should offer maximum durability. The mounting rail keeps the sockets safe and organised – if you remember to put them back on the rail and not just lob the sockets back into the tool box… come on, we’ve all done that! The RRP is £27.05 (plus VAT) and available through motor factors.
To find out more, check out the website.

Website: www.britool-expert.co.uk 

Mitsubishi Plug-in Grant

The new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has become eligible for the Government’s Plug in Car Grant (PiCG), which is apparently awarded by The Office for Low Emission Vehicles. This is a Government initiative that came in back in January 2011 whereby motorists (both private consumers and businesses) purchasing a qualifying ultra-low emission car have been able to receive a grant of 25 per cent towards the cost of the vehicle, up to a maximum of £5000. According to Mitsubishi, the Outlander PHEV qualifies for the PiCG, while most other hybrids in the market do not, and this is due to Mitsubishi’s hybridsystem. Unlike many hybrids, the Outlander PHEV can be driven at speeds over 70mph, using just its electric motors. Interestingly, over the UK’s average daily commute, which is 32.5 miles, so people driving the Outlander PHEV can get to work and not use any fuel at all. This also means the vehicle only emits 44g/km CO2 (based on EU drive cycle figures), which means a Vehicle Excise Duty of £0. So you can commute using no fuel, and paying no car tax… Mitsubishi’s claim that the company’s hybrid/electric vehicle philosophy heralds a new era of automotive ownership starts to make sense.



MIKE AND SUSAN Jones produced a gritty performance in their Rally Raid UK to reach the finish of the Dakar in 51st overall, writes Neil Perkins. Eight years after tackling the event and retiring after 11 stages in 2006, the founder and co-owner of Rally Raid UK was determined to reach the finish.

“I used to race enduro bikes internationally when I was younger,” said Jones. “In 1982, I was meant to do the Dakar, but I missed the opportunity. That’s when I really discovered the rally. It took me almost 20 years to get back but I moved to cars after injury. I first competed in the Dakar in 1999 with Paul Round. Since then, I’ve taken 350 team customers to the event. That’s also why, for business reasons as well, we absolutely had to get to the finish!”

Chinese Whispers

Now, it’s highly unusual for a manufacturer to launch a new model onto the market, with all the associated fanfare, only to withdraw it immediately – before any models have hit the streets – and declare that production will be delayed by three months while a number of ‘key issues’ are sorted! That appears to be the case with Great Wall’s newest SUV, the H8, according to a report in the respected China Motor News. And the news raised more than just eyebrows when announced, as shares in the company fell by a reported 10 per cent; Great Wall is a particularly large company, so a 10 per cent drop is a lot of Yuan.

The H8 is the bigger brother model to the particularly successful selling H6 (which we still believe may available in the UK later this year). The H8 is claimed to be a competitor to the Honda CR-V and Ford Kuga, so this is a mainstream model, not a niche product.