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All the current talk about alternative fuels seems to centre around hybrid technology, electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells. Yet one of the most prevalent and easily accessible alternatives is often ignored. I’m talking about Liquid Propane Gas, or LPG, which is marketed by Calor under the name of Autogas in the UK.
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It was Jeremy Clarkson who said: “If I can liken the whole global car industry to the human body, Toyota is the brain, Aston Martin is the face, Cadillac is the stomach and Alfa Romeo is the heart and soul.”
I’m not sure I’d actually agree with him on the first three, especially as his nomination for the brain seems to be suffering some form of dementia at the moment as regards its quality control, but as for the heart and soul, I think he’s spot on.
Car manufacturers go to great lengths to publicise their products. They emphasise the new technology they have embraced, the environmentally-friendly nature of their latest creations, how low their CO2 emissions are and how economic they are to drive, or else they promote the sporty nature of the beast, how fast it will go and how quickly it will accelerate. But not Maserati. No, Maserati has chosen to extol the virtues of a six-year-old car that has apparently won awards. I can’t help but feel that this is basking in past glories rather than taking a forward-looking approach.
The public’s general perception of electric cars is that they are slow, unattractive and of limited range. Now a new project intends to prove that wrong by taking a 118mph electric sportscar the length of the longest road on the planet - the 16,000 mile Pan-American Highway.
A Porsche 911 GT3 R with an innovative hybrid drive will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March and compete in a series of long-distance races, including a 24-hour endurance event around the 14-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany.
Porsche says that the focus of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid is not on winning the race but rather serving as a spearhead for the technology and a ‘racing laboratory’ that will provide invaluable knowledge and insight on the subsequent use of hybrid technology in road-going Porsche sports cars.