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5 of the biggest land vehicles in the world from Contributed Post

carbuyertom ..\Documents\5 of the biggest land vehicles in the world.htmThis week’s blog has been penned by the fabulous people at www that you enjoy! As usual, comments on Twitter are welcome @carbuyertom @simonscarspots

5 of the biggest land vehicles in the world
If someone asked you to name some huge land vehicles that come to mind, many of you would probably mention bulldozers, tractors and cranes.
Whilst those vehicles are admittedly all massive, there are a set of land vehicles out there that truly dwarf any crane or bulldozer that you (or anyone you know) has seen.
We’re talking about land vehicles that make Range Rovers look like ants. Seriously.
Now I bet your dying to know what these land vehicles are and why you’ve never heard of them before – read on to find out!

5. Herrenknecht EPB Shield S-300
What it is: The Herrenknecht EPB Shield S-300 is the world’s biggest tunnel boring machine. It has been used to bore an over 3.5km mega tunnel for the M30 motorway in Madrid, Spain.
How big it is: It’s 374 feet long and has a shield diameter of 50 feet. Weight 4,364 tonnes!

3. Big Muskie
What it is: It’s the largest single bucket digging machine ever built. It can eat it’s way through 295 tonnes in one go. It’s owned by the Central Ohio Coal Company and operated in Ohio from the years 1969 to 1991. Oh, and it’s all got a really cool name.
How big it is: Width 151 feet, Height 222 feet, length 478 feet. Weight 13,500 tonnes!

2. F60 Overburden Conveyor Bridge
What it is: It’s one of the largest movable technical industrial machines in the world. There are four of them in operation today; they are primarily used in used in brown coal opencast mining in Germany.
How big it is: Width 787 feet. Height 262 feet. Length 1,647 feet. Weight 13,600 tonnes!

1. Bagger 293
What it is: It’s a gigantic bucket wheel excavator made by the German company TAKRAF and can move an astonishing 240,000 cubic metres of earth daily. The 293 is one in a long line in monster land machines (others include the Bagger 281, Bagger 285 and Bagger 287). According to the video below its “more than two professional football fields in length and as tall as a 30 story building”!
How big it is: Height 315 feet. Length 638 feet. Weight 14,200 tonnes!

I hope you enjoyed our breakdown of some of the world largest land vehicles, These machine monsters really are in a league of their own and are bigger than anything you’ve seen in any city or town.
Don’t forget to visit CarBuyerTom for more great content

A Genuinely Interesting Thought! from Simon Ford @sf4d74

Hi Folks,

It’s been a while since I last wrote anything!

But ‘I’ve had a genuinely interesting Thought’ that I’d like to share.

Now we all know from looking outside our windows that the snows here, but after that we’re left with snow and ice (or Snice) as I like to call it, and we all know that In Snice season if you drive a rear wheel drive car as soon as you touch that accelerator it’s back end slides out like a puppy on lino!

And this got Me thinking ‘Whats the best type of car to drive on Snice!

There’s no forgone conclusion to My Genuinely interesting Thought but it goes like this,

If we take four cars one a petrol front wheel drive manual, a petrol automatic, one E.V (which is usually auto) and a Hybrid which would be the best for driving these conditions?

Now if we start with the petrol Manual we all know from experience that we are in full control of the vehicle at all times, we control the clutch and throttle so we can be in full control at all times!

Now the next Car to test would be the Petrol automatic, which to an extent we only control the throttle, touch it to hard or slip and the wheels start spinning thus loosing control and ending up like the Rear wheel drive car on the side of the road! also from experience the ABS cuts in a lot earlier than a manual car

The Third car which is the test is the E.V! as I mentioned earlier most are automatic with instantaneous power delivery with one speed, meaning theoretically  (in my mind anyway) all the power and being an auto you’d inevitably end up spinning due to the instantaneous delivery of that power! – plus you’d have to unplug it so another minus.

The last car but not the least would be a Manual Hybrid it’s got the battery’s of the E.V to power all four wheels (the 2016 prius will be AWD – Probably)  and the manual gearbox to control how it’s delivered making it sound pretty usable in Snice.

Like I said at the start there’s no conclusion or outcome to what I’ve written so My ‘GENUINELY INTERESTING THOUGHT’ is Why hasn’t anyone done a test to see what’s best!

Classics, Plastics, and the Fantastics: Simon’s SMMT 2014 Report Part 2

Simon Ford founder of

Hi everyone,

Hope you’ve all had a good week and the sun is still shining! Following on from my blog last week, it’s time to have a look at what else I managed to take a good look at on my SMMT 2014 day out!

Infiniti Qx70 S

Now, Infiniti have been for sale in the UK for a few years now and have been an under-the radar-leftfield choice for those who want a premium SUV but don’t want to be seen in a Porsche Cayenne or Range Rover Sport.

Are they any Good?

Style wise, the QX70 S looks lower than the Porsche and the Range Rover – thanks to some great Lines and curves by the Infiniti Designers – yet it rides on 21″ wheels.

Interior wise, everything is laid out in a logical, easy to use way and despite being full of dark colours, it is not at all oppressive. The seats are very supportive and comfortable; they are also adjustable in every way possible (in fact, I’d even say it was the 2nd best interior of cars I drove that day…the winner being the Rolls Royce Wraith but we’ll see that later).

The Engine is a 3.0 v6, developing 550nm of torque and 238ps; it is mated to a 7 speed gearbox. This model reaches 0-62 in 8.6 seconds (which is quick for a big 3.0 diesel) but the driving experience feels a bit quicker due to its Excellent Rear Active Steer. This means that the rear wheels turn to assist handling,which if I’m honest is brilliant – it made the Infiniti QX70-s very fun and it was my joint 2nd most fun car of the day. Even the view from the drivers seat was excellent (even though it was a bit Porsche-esque due to it’s bonnet humps).

Overall, the Infiniti QX70-S is a fantastic alternative to The Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover Sport and at just over £40,000, it is Reasonably priced too.

SimonsCarSpots Rating 8.7 / 10

Maserati Ghibli Diesel

Appearing at SMMT for the first time was the iconic brand Maserati who have always been one of my boyhood heros with the Bora, the Shamal and the Original Ghibli to name but a few of the cars in their portfolio. The New Ghibli Diesel was the one that I was looking forward to driving the most on the day.

The design of the Ghibli is – dare I say it – a little restrained (sorry!) but still stands out as a GT car, especially from the front with that Iconic ‘M’ on the grille. However, the rest of the Ghibli is a bit “marmite” – you’ll either love it or hate it depending on which angle you look at it from.

It is also a shame that the theme continues on the inside as well; long gone were the days of wood, leather and the amazing oval Breitling Clock that adorned the dash. In their place are now dark colours and a rather subdued design; even though there was no doubting the Ghibli’s use of quality materials, it just felt like something was slightly missing.

There were two good bits I really liked about the new Ghibli diesel and number one was the Fantastic 3.0 v6 diesel engine. Built and designed in house by Maserati and Manufactured by Ferrari for the use in Maserati only, it develops 275hp, has a massive 600Nm of torques and can do up to a claimed 47mpg.

But that’s not the best bit: the best bit for me is the Maserati Active Sound System that is built so Maserati fans can tell which Maserati you’re driving by it’s engine note. This means in practice that it doesn’t sound like a diesel AT ALL and is the only diesel in the world that I’ve ever driven that actually sounds like a petrol. Praise where praise is due to Maserati and Ferrari for that one.

The other thing I liked about the Ghibli was the Chassis – while it can be tail happy, fun, excellent and put a smile on your face, it is a proper driver’s car and if you’re not careful it will kill you if you’re not on top of your game.

Overall, a mixed bag from the Maserati Ghibli Diesel. It’s a good alternative to a Jaguar, Mercedes or a Bmw and costs £48,835,00, it has the most amazing diesel engine you’re ever likely to encounter and the chassis to to let you know your driving a true drivers car. Then, you are let down by the restricted styling and the so-so interior

SimonsCarSpots Rating engine alone 10/10 overall though 7.3

Dacia Sandero Stepway Ambiance

Does anyone remember when Renault built a decent car that everyone brought and liked? I do – it was the 2002 Renault Scenic. You know the one the one without the rubbish keycard start and the good looks?

Well, this Sandero is the modern equivalent, offering a fantastic package, a willing engine and an excellent price for a 5 seat car that offers true economical motoring. What else can I say?

SimonsCarSpots Rating 6.9 / 10

Rolls Royce Wraith

In part one of my SMMT Test day, I drove the Rolls Royce Phantom and stated it was a car to be driven in and not a car to Drive. Now, the Wraith if the newest model from Rolls Royce that’s designed to be driven and not to be driven in and I have to say that the Wraith has achieved this very, very well.

Starting with the interior of the Wraith, as ever with Rolls Royce, it’s very opulent and you and your passengers want for nothing. It even has the most inviting interior of any modern car on sale today; from the gorgeous graining and patterning on the doors to the chrome ashtrays, Rolls Royce have hit a winner on the Wraith.

The styling of the Wraith from the front – three quarters look amazing in the flesh with so much road presence and awe inspiring looks from anyone that sees it. The rear end is reminiscent slightly of the Bentley GT.

On the road, the Wraith belies its size; yes, it’s still a big car but it’s chuck-able round most corners and eats miles up for breakfast with ease. It is powered by a 6.6 litre BMW sourced engine that produces 624bhp – you’d think it would be a complete Tyre Shredder, but that’s not what the Wraith is about.

Granted it is a Drivers Roller, but Rolls Royce don’t want their customers to kill themselves or have too much fun encouraging raucous do-nutting, elevenses, or white knuckle driving, so everything is done calmly and smoothly whilst you are still in the utmost comfort.

Overall, this is Rolls Royce’s best ever driving car and of course, it’s fantastic.

SimonsCarSpots rating 9.1 / 10

I do hope that you have enjoyed my summary of my antics on the 2014 SMMT day – watch this space for more fun blogs every Sunday and join in the chat on Twitter with myself and Motor Mistress daily!

Classics, Plastics and the Fantastics: Simon’s SMMT 2014 Report – Part 1

Simon Ford founder of

Well it’s 22nd May 2014 and it’s time for the Annual SMMT Test Day at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire.

As always, it’s the Greatest honour that a Journalist or Blogger can receive on their yearly calender to be invited to attend.

I arrived – every year as I do -at 7.30 am meet up with a few people whilst we wait for the bus to take us to the Concept Centre for an 8am opening where bacon rolls and coffee/orange juice await us. We then go in for an industry briefing by SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes and a Safety Briefing from Keith Lewis, which is always great fun (especially when someone mutters ‘I’ve been driving for years – why do I need a safety briefing?’ and of course, every year someone always Stacks a Car at SMMT).

Believe Me – if you get invited to attend, then please do pay attention to everything.

Anyway I digress; it’s 9am and it’s time to collect our passes to go and drive the days’ delights (but what usually happens is that at this time, everyone piles out the doors, snatch their passes and head straight to Mclaren and This Year Alfa Romeo because of the 4C).

I, on the other hand, had different ideas for the day – 1st stop NewsPress Stand.

On display was probably the best line-up in my opinion: a Corvette Stingray, Seat Ibiza mkI, Jaguar E-Type and my personal favourite and boyhood pin-up car, a Maserati Ghibli.

The owner of the Ghibli was in attendance and very enthusiastic; he was a Member of the Maserati Owners club and owned 4 Maserati’s including the Maserati Ghibli Cup from the 90’s.

I never got to Drive this Ghibli as I was the guinea pig test run and the driver hadn’t been round the course yet but I didn’t mind – like I said, it was a boyhood dream car and I was more than happy to be a Passenger and I stuck to the old saying of ‘never drive your heroes’. I was, however, very impressed with the way it moved, sounded, stopped and handled as the owner certainly wasn’t shy in giving it the Beans.

And yes, that old car smell of Leather, Oil, and Fags: just can’t be beaten.

Next stop was Ssangyong to Sample the New Rexton


The Rexton was for the off-road course only, which was great, but unfortunately I don’t do much off-roading, so luckily Roger was on-hand to give excellent turn-by-turn instructions that any monkey could follow.

The last time I wrote about Ssangyong was at the Korando Launch where I drove the entire Ssangyong range and I wasn’t particularly kind to the Last Generation Rexton (click here to view).

This New Rexton from Ssangyong really is nothing like the old Model: gone is the old tractor-sounding 2.7 engine and in comes the new euro5 compliant 2.0 Diesel with 360Nm of torque.

The interior has been vastly improved and mostly which is the all important part, so has the way it drives. In the old Rexton you felt very high off the ground and very narrow – like you’d topple if you went too fast round the corner. The new Rexton genuinely feels like a very capable off-roader that’s also at home on the road.

Well done Ssangyong for bringing a credible (and better in my opinion) alternative to a Kia Sportage; with prices from £21,995, it’s Cheaper too.

SimonsCarSpots Rating 6.1/10



What Costs £153,000, Has Brutal Acceleration, weighs 2.5 Tonnes, and is absolutely brilliant….? Yep, that’s right – it’s the Bentley Continental Gtc W12,

Now, this is a car that’s well and truly hard to define by any standards. It weighs 2.5 tons and is capable of acheiving a top speed of 195 mph. It also does 0-60 in 4.4 seconds yet it feels and drives like nothing you’ve ever driven before.

The GTC W12 belies its size by feeling agile,nimble, light as a feather and sure footed with a noise so snarly, throaty, and brutal (and I do mean so hyperwarp that it kicks-you-in-the -kidneys-brutal) when driven hard. It’s so much fun but then – on the other end of the scale – when it’s driven serenely and gently, it’s the most refined drive you’ll have ever had in your life. Either way, driven slow or fast, the Bentley GTC W12 is a car you’ll want to be noticed in.

SimonsCarSpots Rating  9.3/10



Their is no way of saying it but it must be said… the most expensive Car on the SMMT day that I drove was the Rolls Royce Phantom, which starts at £336,000 (plus whatever bespoke options you’d like to add on, of course).

And, as most Phantoms are all different due to the options specified, the true price is the old age adage of  ‘if you have to ask you can’t afford it’. Luckily, Rolls Royce and their modern owners aren’t as secretive as they once were due to new money coming through the ranks.

But Whats The Phantom like as a Drivers car when Rolls Royce themselves use the words ‘waftability’ and ‘sublime Ride’ and describe the comfort of being THE DRIVEN, rather than the Comfort of THE DRIVING?

In all honestly, if you are The Driven, then Rolls Royce really have created the perfect car to be Driven In. However, if you are the Driver then it’s a different story. Although your every whim is catered for with goose down filled sumptuous leather seats and every conceivable luxury item as standard, the Phantom really isn’t much fun as a drivers car.

The steering wheel is perfect though – very thin and just the right size – but then it gets a bit confusing; the switch gear is spaced out all over the place the gears (although using the waftomatic as standard from the steering column) didn’t feel that engaging when selecting drive. In reverse, the indicators (although silent in their operation) feel too low down as their are buttons everywhere – all hand crafted with the love and care that only Rolls Royce can provide – but they just feel scattered rather than positioned to help the driver.

The Phantom’s V12 engine is quiet and the 8 speed automatic is seamless in its actions. When pushed hard, it performs briskly and adequately, rather than feeling like it’s capable of its limited 155mph. Another downside is from the drivers seat you are about 7 feet away from the end of the bonnet (or should I say 7 feet away from the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’) which acts as a target cross hair for all other cars and riding on standard 22″ wheels as standard most 4×4’s also.

So – all in all, a very well appointed – as expected – car but this one’s certainly not a drivers car in my view

SimonsCarSpot Rating Quality 10/10 Drivers Rating 7.4/10


MG .. been around for donkeys years in the UK,  then gone, then Back again, Hopefully this time MG are back for good.

In the past MG got a good and well deserved reputation for small nimble cars that could handle everything the British roads had to throw at them, and come out the other end better than it’s counterparts could hope for, even the old Rover 25’s were transformed when MG breathed new life into them..This time however MG has come back as a standalone brand again Making Good Honest Cars built and assembled in the Uk.

This MG3 3Form Sport is the top of the range version costing a whopping £10,136.00 including optional upgraded Alloy wheels, and the piano black interior,

Now many People know or don’t know that I drive Rover Streetwise 1.4 which is becoming or may become a future cool car. Size wise the MG3 is around the same size internally and externally where it’s bigger than say a Toyota Aygo but not quite as big as Toyota Yaris so Spacewise the Mg3 is Snug and comfortable rather than Class leading but depending on whether you think of it as Aygo or Yaris Class/Price Everything is very well screwed together and hard wearing ..and an improvement over the street wise, but a little less characterful.

The Mg3  3Form Sports 1.5 litre engine is absolutely brilliant, it’s lively, buzzy, with a little raspy engine note, which if you drive a small car you’ll know about working the engine and holding/keeping the revs up to the sweet spot (around 3300rpm) and having the power at your disposal, ok ok I know 105bhp isn’t class leading and it doesn’t have a turbo like the Fiat Abarth, but when it’s matched to a great Chassis like the MG has, then it’s Smiles per mile aplenty in a 10k car..I liked it a lot and drove the Alpine track twice The MG 3 deserves to do well over here, My only criticism is Please get that I-pod adapter moved from the console  it looks horrible.

SimonsCarSpot Rating 8.7/10 and the joint honest car award

Join me next week for part two featuring


Sunday Night Interactive Blog Topic – It’s Back!

Yes guys, worry no more – you can get your fix this Sunday with our Interactive Blog on At around 9.30pm, during our Guest Spot hour, we will be putting out the results of the Twitter conversations held from 2.30pm, Thursday 8th May until 5pm!

This week’s topic is:

What are your sexiest and un-sexiest cars?

Yes, I know the latter isn’t really a word but there you go, it’s a blog – not a test.

We want to know what cars really ring your ding-a-ling and what cars you seriously find unattractive.

In true Simon’s Car Spots style there are no “rules” – cars can be new, classic, or just plain individual choices. Pictures are always good if you have them and of course, all contributors will get a mention (see examples of our other Interactive Blogs for details).

Looking forward to 2.30pm! Speak you soon from @MotorMistress!

Debbie Mountford AKA Motor Mistress

New York Motor Show Definitive Line-Up

The New York Motor Show has been followed closely by car enthusiasts all over the world. This week, our friends over at Windmill Leasing give us the model lowdown, including concepts and pictures.

Take it away, guys!

New York Motor Show Definitive Line-Up

Special Feature: New York Motor Show Line-Up

The 2014 New York International Auto Show – that opened on April 16th and will run through to April 27th – featured many concept cars and model launches.

Here’s an “in-brief” round up of all the vehicles featured at the show, just for you!


BMW X4 New York Motor Show

The smaller variant of the X6 boasts excellent performance figures and sporting lines; this one’s a must for anyone seeking a sportier SUV (in fact, BMW call it a Sporting Activity Vehicle, making this one an “SAV”.

Nissan Murano

Nissan Murano SUV at New York Motor Show

The eagerly anticipated Nissan Murano was unveiled and the UK will be getting a hybrid. It looks good and the figures work, too – it should be a great addition to the range.

Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept

Land Rover Discover Vision Concept at New York Motor Show

Land Rover announced their future plans for the single-name branded Discovery 5 and announced that there will be other models in the same family. It was announced that one will be the Discovery Sport (which is a Freelander replacement) and more will follow.

Mazda MX-5 chassis

This one wasn’t a car as such, just a glimpse of the new engine and SKYACTIV chassis that will sit behind the new MX-5, due out in 2015.

Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe

New Mercedes S63 AMG at the New York Motor Show

A very exciting replacement for the CL63 AMG was unveiled by Mercedes-Benz in the form of the S63 AMG Coupe. This Supercar will go on sale at the end of 2014 and is expected to cost in the region of £110,000 OTR. In fact, it will be the most expensive vehicle in the model line-up.

BMW M4 Convertible

The new BMW M4 Convertible at the New York Motor Show

The M4 Convertible with its three-piece folding metal roof was unveiled, too. This beauty will get to 62 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds (seven speed automatic version) and will cost from £60,730 OTR. The M4 Convertible will go on sale in September this year.

Mercedes AMG GT

AMG GT Line Drawing at New York Motor Show 2014

Some lucky automotive peeps got invited to a private event where official images of the interior of the new AMG GT Supercar were revealed. Tobias Moers showed a vague line interpretation of the car’s exterior design and told the audience that the engine was expected to be a twin turbo, 500bhp 4.0 litre V8 powerhouse.

What we do have to show you as well is this stunning image of the interior – if the exterior is anything like this, we are sure it will be stunning! What a tease, Mercedes.

Mercedes AMG GT preview New York Motor Show

Kia Sedona

2015 Kia Sedona at the 2014 New York Motor Show

The new Sedona was featured, but it won’t be coming to Europe, let alone the UK. No idea why, being as the SUV market is so buoyant at present but we are sure that the European manufacturer has its reasons.

MINI Countryman (Facelift)

MINI Countryman Facelift at the 2014 New York Motor Show

MINI have refreshed the Countryman with a brave new exterior; they also confirmed that there will be engine tweaks resulting in lower emissions throughout the range and on certain models, performance will improve.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II

Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II at the New York Motor Show 2014

We always love a Roller at a Motor Show and this one is no exception. The refreshed Rolls-Royce Ghost saloon Series II model showed mild exterior styling differences and a revised interior. Apparently, Rolls-Royce have improved driving dynamics, too.

Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT

Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT New York Motor Show 2014

Once again, this is a manufacturer we always like to see at a Motor Show. Aston Martin launched their V8 Vantage GT, which is based on the N430. Sadly, this car will only go on sale in America with a price tag of around $100k.

Editor’s Note:

This piece was written by automotive expert Alexander Fergusson-Cooper as Account Content Manager for Windmill Leasing (content provision by Motor Mistress Limited). Contact Windmill Leasing on Twitter @windmillleasing for any leasing, contract hire or general car chat!


40 Years of the VW Golf – Special Report: Part 2 by @alexanderfc

Alexander Fergusson-Cooper


We say Happy Birthday to the iconic hatchback and take a look at the models IV – VII

If you missed part 1, check it out here.

Volkswagen Golf MK IV

The fourth generation saw a complete renovation in the iconic VW Golf design, which came from head designer, Hartmut Warkuß, of the Volkswagen Group.

The totally new look that came to the market in 1998 continued the safety improvements that were started on the previous generation model and now included Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

In the same year, Golf 4MOTION was unveiled combined with their AWD variant and the following year ESC became standard on all models.

In 2002 came the first direct-injection engine (FSI) and the introduction of window airbags as standard. In that year, Volkswagen also revealed their R32 engine, which came with a top speed of 155mph; this top of the range model was also the first to debut the dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) in 2003.

Volkswagen Golf MK V

This 2003 model really upped the game; performance, comfort, safety and security were all much improved and now well established.

The model came with a total of six airbags as standard – front, side-front and window. The Golf MK V was commended for its innovative four-link rear suspension, bi-xenon headlights, seven-speed DSG and panoramic sunroof (where chosen).

2006 saw the world’s first twincharger with the TSI, which combined both a supercharger and turbo. The same year also premiered the Golf Plus and in 2007 the CrossGolf joined the party.

Volkswagen Golf MK VI

By the end of July 2012, Volkswagen had produced a further 2.85 million Golfs in just four years. Since it was launched in 2008, the sixth generation safety spec had improved and the Golf had scored the highest 5 star Euro NCAP safety rating.

This generation included the second Golf BlueMotion which could also return 74.3 mpg (combined), and boasted CO2 emissions just 99 g/km.

Volkswagen Golf MK VII

The seventh generation of the Golf landed on 4th September 2012.

This new model was lighter by 100kg, which helped it gain a 23 per cent increase in fuel economy from its predecessor; the New Golf TDI BlueMotion could do 88.3 mpg on combined cycle.

2014 saw the release of the e-Golf electric vehicle; this EV has a maximum range of roughly 190 km and available to buy now. This year, the new Golf plug-in hybrid GTE is set to be launched in autumn.


The Golf is Volkswagen’s most popular model and by summer last year, 30 million models had been produced.

We aren’t surprised and have really enjoyed writing about the generations and seeing how the iconic model has transformed and improved over the years (it’s even one of @MotorMistress favourite all time cars!).

Get involved with the conversation and tweet any of us for car chat @Simonscarspots@MotorMistress & of course, @AlexanderFC.

40 Years of the VW Golf – Special Report: Part 1 by @alexanderfc

Alexander Fergusson-Cooper


We say Happy Birthday to the iconic hatchback and take a look at the early models I – III

Since its humble beginnings, over 30 million Volkswagen Golfs have been sold, making it the all-time best selling European car. It has been a pioneer for in-car technology from the first generation in 1974 right up to the latest seventh generation, launched in­­­ 2012.

Volkswagen Golf MK I

On 29th March, 1974 the first generation of the Golf came rolling off the assembly line in Wolfsburg. Contrary to the dominant models at the time, the Golf had a front-mounted engine and front wheel drive, unlike other vehicles like the Beetle. In just two years, one-million VW Golfs had been produced.

The Golf GTI was released in 1976 along with a diesel engine variant (the “Golf D”) followed by the turbo diesel in 1982. The Golf D and GTD were both forerunners for diesel-engined vehicles in the compact sector. 1979 saw the release of the Golf Cabriolet – this vehicle has often been the best-selling cabriolet in the world.


Volkswagen Golf MK II

The second generation that was released in 1983 gave buyers better cabin space and a few more technology firsts. The first catalytic converter was introduced in 1984 and anti-locking braking system (ABS) and power steering was introduced in 1986; previously, features like this were only usually seen on premium marque vehicles. In the same year, VW entered the 4WD market with the debut of the Syncro – this technology soon followed through with the addition of the AWD Golf.

Volkswagen Golf MK III

In the August of 1991 came the third generation of the Golf and with it came an upgrade in safety; by 1992 this model came with front airbags. Volkswagen gave the Golf’s body construction an overhaul to drastically improve crash safety. This generation also saw an abundance of new technology, with the most notable being a six cylinder engine (VR6) and cruise control. In 1993, the first TDI engines and 1996 saw ABS come as standard on all models. A new convertible and estate Golf came along in 1993.


We love the iconic Golf and can’t wait to bring you Part 2 of our special 40th Anniversary feature – our next blog will be posted next week! As usual, we love you to get involved in the conversation; let us know what you think @Simonscarspots @MotorMistress and of course, @AlexanderFC (after all, I wrote it!)

Special Feature: Supercars for the Super Rich at Geneva Motor Show 2014

Check out this fantastic blog from our friends at All Vehicle Contracts – Get the run-down of the Supercars from this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

Featured are the likes of the Lamborghini Huracan, Ferrari California T, McLaren 650S, Bugatti Veyron Rembrandt, Jaguar Land Rover Evoque, Koenigsegg One:1 and Zenvo ST1 complete with images to make you green with envy!

Click Here to read their blog…

Check out AVC on twitter at @AVC_Leasing



Which British Towns Have the Best Drivers?

Even though the term Sunday driver is used as a derogatory statement to describe someone who is driving too slowly or over cautiously, it actually derives from a historic appreciation of driving.

Originating in the 1920s, a Sunday driver was someone who would recreationally take their car out on a Sunday in order to drive for pleasure rather than purpose.

Britain still maintains that culture, and is home to a number of impressive scenic drives including the A82 towards Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands, the A4069 Black Mountain Road in Powys, and the A57 Snake Pass in the Peak District that runs between Manchester and Sheffield.

If you have ever wondered which British cities have the best drivers, recent research from Contract Hire A Car has revealed exactly that.

Contract Hire A Car looked at the towns / cities with more than 100,000 registered drivers, and then identified the safest 10 based on those with the lowest rates of driver disqualification:

City Registered Drivers Disqualifications Percentage Disqualified
Chelmsford 124610 206 0.1653%
Colchester 144063 242 0.1680%
Cheltenham 106570 184 0.1727%
Solihull 106379 196 0.1842%
York 181663 362 0.1993%
Wirral 116112 237 0.2041%
Cambridge 162285 341 0.2101%
Gloucester 113124 248 0.2192%
Brighton 113492 251 0.2212%
Swindon 156190 347 0.2222%

Taking the top spot is Chelmsford, with a mere 206 disqualifications in 2012, from a total of 124,610 registered drivers. This picturesque city in the East of England features an array of notable sights such as Hylands House and the River Can in the city centre. Many people choose to relocate to Chelmsford from nearby Essex and London.

Coming in a close second is Colchester with 242 disqualifications. Colchester has a rich history that includes Celtic and Roman influences. There are a number of Victorian landmarks here to enjoy including a Jumbo Water Tower and Colchester Town Hall.

This is closely followed by Cheltenham in Gloucestershire with 184 disqualifications, and Solihull in the West Midlands with 196 disqualifications. Cheltenham is a hub for festivals, such as the Literature, Jazz, Music and Food and Drink Festivals, and the television series The House of Eliott and Vanity Fair were partly filmed here. Solihull is located next to a number of scenic parks and nature reserves.

Completing the top five British cities with the best drivers is York in North Yorkshire with 362 disqualifications. This walled city encases a whole host of impressive historical points of interest. All throughout the city you can take in Medieval and Tudor architecture including the Minster, York Castle and Grand Opera House, as well as the magnificent River Ouse.

If you enjoy the experience of driving, as well as the history and culture of Britain’s historic towns and cities, take note of the locations mentioned above. In these cities you can feel safe in the knowledge that you will be amongst other good drivers. It is time to reclaim the Sunday drive!


Editor’s Note: This article was brought to you by the experts in contract hire – for the latest news and of course, some great personal and business deals, follow them on Twitter @carleaseuk

New Honda Civic Tourer from @vantageMotorGrp #GuestBlog #Honda

New Honda Civic Tourer Hits The Showrooms and Our Television Screens This Month

The new Honda Civic Tourer is now available at a number of showrooms throughout the country, providing an all-new, stylish estate car to the market.

The car has a sporty profile, with its sloping front bonnet and additional ¾ rear window, creating a floating roof effect, which, in turn, improves rear visibility.

The star of the show is the class-leading 624 litres of boot space. The fuel tank has been cleverly moved to underneath the front seats in order to allow for more boot space than most other estate cars. This can then be dramatically increased by folding Honda’s cleverly-designed ‘Magic Seats’ down, creating an impressive 1668 litres of space for luggage.

The release of the new Honda Civic Tourer has been accompanied by a brand new advertising campaign; with Honda’s new ‘Inner Beauty’ TV advert. The advert features a journey through a series of objects, including a golf ball, a suitcase and a number of other objects, to represent the ‘inner beauty’ of objects and not focussing solely on their exterior.

Head of Marketing at Honda (UK), Olivia Dunn, commented on the advert, “This campaign takes the viewer beyond that first appearance to emphasise the balance between style and performance…”

The advert finishes with a slow-motion shot through the Civic Tourer, revealing the ample space and innovative design inside the cabin, before showing a sweeping shot of the exterior of the car.

There are two engine types available in the Civic Tourer, the 1.6 i-DTEC Diesel and the 1.8 i-VTEC Petrol. The 1.6 Diesel engine achieves up to 74.3mpg, and the petrol engine achieves up to 45.6mpg.

With a number of innovative and stylish features included in this car, it is not hard to see why this new tourer has hit the ground running. Some of the features include automatic rain sensing wipers, auto dim rear view mirror, automatic headlights, smart keyless entry and start system, Bluetooth and heated front seats.


All in all, the Civic Tourer is an extremely versatile compact family estate car, combining comfort with the utmost practicality and space.

Vantage Honda Barnsley New Honda Civic Tourer Test Drive Deals

The new Honda Civic Tourer is now available from dealerships up and down the country, including Honda Barnsley, at which you can also take this great new tourer for a test drive. This car is available from £20,265 for the entry-level S specification. Contact Honda Barnsley on 0844 846 3814 or click here.


Happy 25th Birthday to the Mazda MX-5 Part 2

Feature contributed by Sam Bisby, who is a member of the team at the Stoneacre Motor Group – specialists in 13 of the world’s top manufacturers, including, of course, Mazda.

Growing up

Revealed at the 1997 Tokyo motor show, the second-generation Mazda MX-5 was handed a more modern body and gone were the pop-up headlamps which were now deemed unsafe. The 1.6 and 1.8-litre options remained, but power output was upped to 140bhp for the most potent version and anti-lock brakes were now offered. Meanwhile, the car gained a bit of weight, too, tipping the scales at 1000kg.


A 10th Anniversary model followed in 1999 which bolstered the standard MX-5 with features such as a six-speed manual gearbox and Blistein shock absorbers, along with two-toned black leather and blue alcantara seats. A facelift two years later saw the MX-5 take on a slightly more aggressive look and acquired a limited slip differential among other additions.


Time for an overhaul

The second-generation Mazda MX-5 had not fared as well as its predecessor in terms of sales and something had to be done to rectify this. As a result, the Mk3 was a revolution for the MX-5 on all accounts.

Besides side-panel turning lights, not a single component was brought over from the previous model, and underneath, the MX-5 had changed drastically. A modern suspension set-up was introduced, while technology such as traction control and stability control were also brought in to make the car more driveable for all motorists.

Another massive step was the removal of the 1.6 as an engine option, with the 1.8 becoming the car’s smallest displacement. A new 2.0-litre powertrain entered the frame with an output of 158bhp, the 1.8 now producing 126bhp.


In 2006, the convertible fabric roof was joined by a second option in the form of a very clever metal folding hard-top. The UK lapped up the chance to buy a car with sleek coupe looks that also allowed for the open-top experience and healthy sales in Britain are the reason we will be getting a hard-top option with next year’s fourth generation MX-5.

A further facelift in 2008 is the version of the MX-5 we know today and is a car that now offers 167bhp from its 2.0-litre engine; the 1.8 remains at 126bhp.


Looking to the future

Sales for the Mazda MX-5 broke the world record for the best-selling two-seater sports car back in 2000 with 531,890 having left the factory and figures to date have so far surpassed 900,000 units sold.

*Hopefully This*

The next MX-5 is being developed in tandem with Alfa Romeo, but not much has been revealed from a technical standpoint, most of the talk has been surrounding the car’s exterior design, although Mazda’s new SkyActiv technology will no doubt enter the fray.

We will all expect the next MX-5 to carry the torch of being the UK’s favourite two-seater into its fourth generation. There’s little worry of it failing to do so, with the company enjoying renewed momentum thanks to the new Mazda6 and Mazda3 models showing us that the manufacturer is very much on form in this current day.

So, here’s to another 25 years!


Editor’s Notes: Check out Part One: Happy 25th Birthday to the Mazda MX-5 here if you missed it on

For a great deal on your next car,  call 08433 083 758. You can also follow them on Twitter @StoneacreMotors or interact with Sam himself at @S_J_Bizzle


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