There is an interesting article in this week's Bangkok Post Motoring section that raises the issue of needless oil and tire changes, under the advice of those supplying these products.
Check it out. You could save yourself a few baht.
Sometimes you hear that there are people powering cars on water, and sometimes you hear that there are folks working on flying cars, and indeed there are some of those around.
But what about a flying car that is powered by water? Russian technology has made this a reality.
You'll see some strange accidents if you spend some time in Bangkok, but this one is about as strange as it gets. How did this happen?
Just wanted to share this short video in which Steve Coogan does a wonderful job of reminding us that there can be nasty consequences to driving fast!
It's from a British show so the speeds he is talking about are MPH.
Life was so much easier when I was a kid. I think most of you will be able to relate to this, as I am pretty sure life was easier when you were kids too. One area that life was easier was regarding the environment. Back then environmental concerns didn't go much further than making your bed in the morning and not littering.
Ignorance allowed me to dream of growing up and driving fast cars without feeling like I was a bad guy. Now we are aware of the pollution that is coming out of our cars exhaust and it serves to curb our enthusiasm for driving to some extent. Doesn't it?
I'm trying to follow the Eco-Car issue as closely as possible, and since I'm quite opinionated regarding it, I've chosen to put this sort of stuff on my blog rather than clutter up the main news area with my ranting.
If you've been reading my recent posts regarding it you might have learned that automakers in Thailand would seem to be less than receptive to the idea. At least that is what the Bangkok Post has been reporting. I found it hard to understand the reasons for the lack of enthusiasm for the idea. After all, the potential is there to sell more cars in a new segment, without overly impacting on the current model lines.
This weeks Bangkok Post Motoring section contains a trimmed version of my letter. I can't really complain much considering that they did contact me first and offered me the option to edit it down a bit myself. Still I feel that they missed out on a few points.
Here is the version of my email that they published:
The Bangkok Post runs a motoring section each week. I look through it for items that may be of interest but each week I am disappointed. Why? Because I find the writers focus on vehicles that are outside the scope of most of us, I mean if we want to drool over pictures of flash expensive cars that we'll never be able to afford to own, we can search Google images for them, or buy a glossy mag with colour images throughout.
What got me going today however, were the articles about the EcoCar project, one of which suggested that the EcoCar was not realistic.
Here are those articles, followed by my email to the Post. I welcome feedback, so if you think I've been too harsh, or if you have other thoughts on the EcoCar project and can shed some light on this, please do get in touch, or post a comment.
I'm a Honda S2000!
You live on the edge, and you live for the adrenaline rush. You don't need luxuries, snob appeal, or superfluous gadgets. You put your top down, get your motor revving, and take all the curves that life throws at you at full speed. So what if you spin out occasionally?
Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.
The Toyota Fortuner is a bit of a monster. It's success in Thailand has been remarkable, dominating the SUV market, which also pinching sales from the luxury passenger car segment. On paper the Fortuner seems hard to beat for around 1 million baht. And for those looking for a big "impressive" machine need look no further.
When I first saw one on the road in Bangkok last year I was impressed by it's size but now I would ask a question: Why is it good to own a big car?
Why is the Fortuner so popular?
Some of the reasons given in answer to this question are valid. Some will argue that they need the space the Fortuner provides to transport their family and friends. Some say that they require the 4WD abilities for when they want to go off-road.
The most obvious answer has little to do with practical reasoning however. Many choose the Fortuner because it is the biggest lump of metal for the money. And this is also entirely valid. Thailand's vehicle tax system is stacked in favour of pickup trucks. The Fortuner sits on a pickup chassis and enjoys the same favourable 3% tax rate. This allows the Fortuner to undercut CR-V, Escape and other SUVs while providing more. Honda's CR-V comes with a 2 liter engine for around the same money as the 3 liter Fortuner, and the CR-V has only 2 rows of seats. Not surprising then that the CR-V sales figures are dire since the launch of the Toyota giant.
So there are a few good reasons for the Fortuner's popularity.
So, what's the problem?
This is not a review of the Fortuner, but if it was I would not be recommending the machine. My reasoning is based on something simple: Parking!
Just to remind you that registered users on bkkAutos can also have blogs on this site. You are welcome to join (free) and begin posting your own experiences of motoring in Thailand. You can include pictures, funny stories, anything you might think interesting.
Naturally we don't want to see anything illegal, or that is generally considered offensive. We don't want to put up a heap of rules at this stage, but please be aware that we will do so if we need to, and we can remove posts (and accounts) if there is any abuse of the service.
Blogging might not be that exciting, but sometimes it can be useful. We hope that the blogs on this site will prove useful or entertaining, or even both!
As you may know there was a lot of rainfall in Bangkok in the last 48 hours, although it appears like a nice dry day today which is good. Good for the traffic for one thing! Yesterday was a nightmare on the roads.
Yesterday evening I got a craving for some Japanese food. Sashimi dipped generously in wasabi diluted in soya sauce was crying out my name from our local Zen. My wife shared my enthusiasm when I suggested a Japanese evening. We ignored the news of traffic chaos, and decided to set off as soon as things looked reasonably quiet on the main road running past our apartment. At around 8 o'clock we ventured out of our home to make the 20-minute journey to Central Bang Na.
I'm going to blog here about my experiences driving in Thailand. The purpose is to give the reader an idea of what it's like to drive here. I'm also going to post up information about the cars that I drive, not really reviews, but comments and observations.
Eventually it would be my hope that bkkAutos.com would build up to have many interesting blogs that would collectively provide a useful resource to other motorists in Thailand, Asia, and beyond. At this point bkkAutos.com is a shell, and doesn't have very much content. Obviously there is a lot to do. Blogging is only one area of the site, which will eventually include many sections, including news, forums, reviews, and other features.