Created with IMS Web Dwarf from Virtual Mechanics Inc.
Issue 29
13 - 26 September 2002
On the scrounge again, every fortnight
BMW is to launch a revolutionary new option for the 7-series which it claims will take on-board driver aids to an entirely new level. The new system, dubbed Monkeytronic, is based around a live chimpanzee that lives in a special hole in the centre console and crawls out on demand to help with everyday tasks like setting the climate control and turning on the headlights. Thanks to an intensive training programme, the chimp also makes a major contribution to active safety. If it senses that the car is about to slide it will grab the steering wheel and apply the necessary amount of opposite lock. BMW also claims that Monkeytronic can perform subtle steering corrections to offset the effects of a strong crosswind and, if so desired, will be able to activate the cruise control and then hold onto the wheel, allowing the driver to do other things such as make a phone call or eat a big sandwich. Monkeytronic will be available only on the range topping 7-series for the moment but the same technology is expected to filter down to lesser models as the price of specially trained and shaved monkeys falls. Not to be outdone, arch rival Mercedes is said to be planning a similar system for the next generation S-class, tipped to be called PuertoRicanOrphanmatic.

The Volkswagen Golf will have over 4000bhp by 2010, according to calculations carried out by an automotive maths expert. Professor Ken Freeply of Nigel Havers College, Kettering claims to have reached this stunning conclusion after studying the increasing power outputs of successive Golf models launched since the original GTi model of 1976. 'If we look at the way the output of the most powerful Golf increases over time it is possible to extrapolate future power ratings for the future,' Prof Freeply explained. 'Please stop sniggering. Extrapolate isn't a rude word,' he added, narkily.
'So, where the original Golf GTi had just 110bhp,' the unamused brainiac continued after Sniff Petrol had apologised for laughing at him, 'The MkII GTi 16 valve offered 139bhp which is 126% of that original output. Then the MkIII VR6 put out 174bhp, 158% more, and a percentage point increase of 32. But when we get to the new MkIV R32 we find 240bhp, meaning a 218% increase, which is 60 percentage points more than the previous power peak increase. Thus we see that the percentage point increase pretty much doubles with successive generations which means we can look forward to a 120% increase for the MkV Golf, from which I have calculated 338% of 240bhp, or a stunning 811bhp. But, the real shock comes with the MkVI model which will enjoy a 240% increase, or 578% in total, and that means a staggering power output of 4688bhp for the top of the range variant.'
Professor Freeply later denied that his maths was 'rubbish'.

Far left: Some of the calculations which led to the alarming Golf-related power discovery.
Left: An horse yesterday
A TVR owner is becoming increasingly and distressing like his car, according to friends and colleagues. Robin Panthamster, a Bedford-based IT consultant, took delivery of a new Tamora in April and began to assimilate the characteristics of his new sportscar soon afterwards. 'Robin used to be the sort of bloke you could depend on to turn up on time, remember appointments and so on,' claims best friend Mark Blarse. 'Ever since he got that TVR he's become extremely unreliable.' Panthamster's workmates report a similar story; 'When he first bought the car we were all impressed with the sudden massive increase in Mark's performance,' notes fellow wretched software monkey Paul Twatt. 'But it's so inconsistent. Sometimes he'll just stop working for no apparent reason, and last week, for example, he was working fine for a bit, but he soon began to work intermittently, then he packed up altogether and his head fell off. When he finally started working again we thought everything was okay, then he just inexplicably burst into flames.'
'This is slightly interesting,' commented Dr Andther Medics of University Challenge, Lichfield. 'By some sort of osmosis this man has become like his car. I hope this will serve as a warning to other people about the dangers of getting a penis extension.'

A group of TVR owners flock to their cars' natural habitat
Above left: Monkeytronic in autopilot mode.
Above right: additional fuel filler is only outward sign of new technology

Fears are growing for a number of minor league car journalists after reports that a technical briefing at a car launch has now gone on for over three days. Emergency crews are said to be standing by in the lobby of the expensive hotel in the nice foreign resort where the conference is taking place as local authorities and executives from the unnamed car company who organised the launch decide what action to take. It is believed that the technical briefing was scheduled to last only two hours and, though that may have felt like almost half a week, for it to be approaching literally its 70th hour is cause for alarm.
'We can't even begin to imagine what the guys in there are going through,' said experienced emergency logistics planner Sparky Mansellhammer. 'I'd guess that they thought everything was going well at first. But when someone looked at their watch and realised they'd been in there for seven or eight hours and then noted that they weren't even a third of the way through the conference schedule and that there was still a lengthy section on windscreen wiper performance to come, panic would have set in.'
Seasoned car launch attendees have expressed their sympathy for those stuck inside the unstoppable conference. 'I wonder if they've got to the bit with meaningless graphs and charts on the Powerpoint screen yet,' pondered one journalist. 'God, that always goes on a bit. If they haven't started displaying baffling bar charts that are meant to show why the new car has more rear knee room than its rivals then I fear the worst is yet to come. I can only pray that someone takes action or those poor bastards will run out of time to sod the pretence of driving a new car and bugger off to play on a yacht for the rest of the day.'

Some bored people at a conference, similar to the ones in this story
For weeks F1 observers have been puzzled by Michael Schumacher's new cap with its distinctive five stars on the front. Now the German driver has revealed the reason for his unusual headgear - the World Champion has taken a job at McDonald's. 'To be honest, with the championship sewn up I didn't need to train so hard and I found myself at a loose end in the evenings,' the pointy chinned champ explained. 'This seemed like a good way to fill that time, and earn a bit of extra pocket money.' Motor racing fans suspicions were first aroused during Martin Brundle's traditional televised 'pit walk' before the British Grand Prix in July when Schumacher responded to the driver-turned-commentator's opening gambit 'Michael, can I get a few words with you?' with the instinctive reply 'Sure. Would you like fries with that?' Rumours about the efficient race ace's new sideline grew when in Hungary he was clearly seen to be suddenly more acne wracked and incomprehensibly mumbly. It now emerges that it is just such benchmark fast food restaurant employee behaviour that has been instrumental in Schumacher's rapid receipt of five stars for excellent service which are now proudly sported on his cap. 'Once again Michael leads the way,' noted lightly seasoned F1 journalist Maurice Ital. 'I predict that others will soon follow. I mean, what the hell else is Alex Yoong going to do at the end of the season?'

Schumacher prepares to ask someone if they'd like to 'go large'
� 2002. Sniff Petrol every fortnight. Next issue 27 September
Written by Sniff Petrol, with thanks to Tony Webb, Angela Brown, MD and Poo