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March 2014
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The UK’s largest independent car club, City Car Club, is working with innovative start-up LipraLoof Technologies Ltd, to trial smart power technology, which could one day see cars powered by AA-style batteries. Who’d have thought it?

James Finlayson, Managing Director of the hourly rental car club said: “When LipraLoof approached us we instantly realised how exciting this technology was – it has the potential to revolutionise the way we drive. However, like with any new technology, rigorous real-world testing is a must and with a 700+ fleet of cars which are used mainly for short journeys, we are in the perfect position to help.”




LipraLoof’s batteries contain complex mix of four metal hydrates which creates a quad, or 4A battery, which produces far more power than a standard battery. When these batteries are combined with technology that harnesses, stores and reuses the energy usually wasted when driving, it creates a system capable of powering a car up to 88mph over a significant distances.


LipraLoof’s founder and managing director Dr Ed Heaverben, explains: “We’ve combined our quad batteries with virtually 100% regenerative breaking which harnesses the energy normally lost when we brake. Another significant area where we’ve conserved energy is with the tyres – we’ve developed a specially designed tread that ‘grabs’ energy which normally escapes onto the road as heat. This saved energy is then stored in a French-Luxemburg engineered Flux Capacitor, ready for use when needed.”


It’s expected the trial and development phase will last around two years, and hopefully the commercial version of the complex system will be ready for market in 2016-17, and we at Auto Lah can’t wait to test it!

Car clubs are all about providing a realistic, flexible alternative to car ownership that benefits individuals, the wider community and are environmentally sustainable.
For further information visit www.lipraloof.co.uk.


Happy April Fools day

According to Subaru, the new VIZIV 2 crossover concept is "introducing the future of All-Wheel Drive vehicles."

VIZIV stands for Vision for Innovation and Subaru is using it to showcase how advanced hybrid technology can be used with "Subarus All-Wheel Drive (AWD) while also indicating at a future design direction for Subarus production vehicles."

The powertrain uses a new 1.6-litre turbo-diesel DIT (Direct-Injection Turbo) Boxer engine and three electric motors, one to power the front wheels and one on each of the rear wheels which operate independently.

We are looking at a possible future generation of hybrid technology powered Subaru AWD vehicles.

Latvia

A jolly song about a Cake to bake. OK. Cool and cheerful song that will have some panel members tapping their feet and maybe voting enough to get them in the Top 10 this year.


Estonia

Tanja has a go at Loreen's style with the solid electro beat and a convenient male dancer. She shows a lot more flesh than her Swedish predecessor and moves around a bit quicker. It's a decent track but I don't see it being that popular or unpopular.



Sweden

So we know they'll be making a good effort. Almost all their entries stand as potential chart acts in their own right. This is no exception. More serious ballad, building as ballads usually do in Eurovision to a drum-assisted crescendo but not too annoyingly so. The echo is quite important but I am not sure she'll get that on the night. Neverthess this will appeal across the board and see Sweden into the Top 10, and, I reckon, quite high there too.



Iceland

A bit crazy - all good stuff about not having prejudice, a bit too politically correct for me and too obviously put together for Eurovision. Not something I want to play again and doubt whether many others will but it's a safe vote for countries so expect it to get enough points to keep away from the bottom.



Albania

They always seem to make the main competition and have some pretty individual entries that you either love or hate. This one has the ballad and bloke with a guitar doing rock stuff. The girl looks angry most of the time and it's an Evanescence type of track. Strong but it lacks any hook or, to be honest, much appeal - that singer isn't particularly watchable.



Azerbaijan

They'd love to win again and do keep making strong efforts. Here they come again this year with a potential #2. Pretty girl with gentle song that sounds like it ought to tell a story.




Nice enough but at digging out burning bullets from his chest I began to wonder what it was all bout. Ah, of course, it's all about trying to win this thing and that's not a bad effort at all.

Ukraine

Well, you have to worry with the title Tick Tock. The country will be getting some sympathy votes I suspect this year. I hope the singer doesn't come from Crimea or they'll be all kinds of problems. Assuming she isn't and that Ukraine hasn't been wiped off the map in its entirety then this is a jolly number but a bit desperate and tries a bit too hard. As always the girl is lovely and we'll be guaranteed some pleasant viewing. Sure, left hand side of the board but not a great deal more this year.



Belgium

It really is time Belgium did better. here we have someone who looks like he won a Belgium's Got talent contest and is still wearing the same suit. Big chap, good voice, near opera style. Singing about mother, he is guaranteed to get some votes - no-one would want a song about mother to get nul points now would they. The Balkans will like this so there's a few votes guaranteed - and Italy and Malta too. Serbia won with something like this a few years ago. We should watch out for this as it is one of those that might just sneak up on the night if he sings really well.



Moldova

No, I don't want to listen to this again. This is one of those annoying tracks that is oh so serious but never really gets anywhere.



San Marino

Maybe is the title and maybe this will be the year when little San Marino gets into the main competition and scores a few points. I can't see this getting many and it is a bit forgettable but, like Andorra, it's time we heard more from the little places.




Portugal

This started encouragingly enough - something we can dance along to perhaps in Latin style - but then it all goes a bit wrong. In fact it just goes on and that girl looks so angry. I would not want to meet her on a dark night in a Lisbon ally. Expect to see plenty of legs on show on the night and she may be able to hold that last note and not frighten us too much.



The Netherlands

Something modern and interesting from Holland this year. They had a good entry last year and are really making quite an effort these days. This is folksy but with an insistent back beat and it grows with nice harmonies and it will appeal to Country fans too. I can imagine Mumford & Sons doing this and it would be #1. Now I think of it, we should have had them doing the UK entry.

I like this a lot. I would like to see it do well and feel it really should.




Montenegro

With so many entries being in English it was a pleasant change to have this in Montenegran or whatever they speak over there. This is all good classic Balkan fare. Violin, strong drum beat, good solid singer from a bloke of indeterminate age. Nice as far as it goes.



Hungary

This is the last that is available at the time of writing. A plaintive number to start. Then it starts and is much more commercial with a Bruno Mars feel. That's no bad thing and this could be quite successful. No-one bothers much about Hungary these days and they seem nicely placed between the Balkans, the East and the West so they may be a good political choice this year. Nasty subject matter. This is not cheery Eurovision pop, though. It's one of the tracks that could make the charts over here if released.







No-one other than those who live in her street and some people at the BBC knows anything about Molly. After digging out some very old people for the last couple of attempts we're now going with someone a little younger (but still not that young).

It's a song that has the right sort of words in it apart from the beginning where Molly wants to drown some problems by drinking which may well not do her any harm in Eastern Europe but may upset the sober people of Belgium. The first few lines are decidedly weak and there will be a huge amount of pressure to get that to come across well but once she's past that it's pretty solid stuff and will get a good number of votes.

Molly's got a chance. That's a change.



Roomy and sporty Coupés from BMW. Four frameless doors and a large boot.

A great example is the BMW 435i, which is powered 6-cylinder TwinPower Turbo petrol 225 kW (306 hp) engine and accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 5.5 seconds.
Average fuel consumption is quite modest at 28.3 to 29.0 mpg (Steptronic transmission: 30.9 to 31.4 mpg), accompanied by CO2 emissions of just 193 to 189 g/km (Steptronic transmission: 178 to 174 g/km).

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