Sniff Petrol issue 57
The dropped needles of motoring, every month
COMING UP IN 2005
One of the biggest arrivals of 2005 promises to be the Bugatti Veyron. Rumours abound that the 47 squillion horsepower hypercar has suffered repeated delays thanks to development problems, mostly involved crashing and explosions, but sources say VW Group boss Bernard Pissstrider has now given the Bugatti his personal approval. "It is true that we have had difficulties," admitted one engineer close to the project. "But we are confident we can turn those to our advantage. For example, one of the main reasons people buy an ultimate supercar is to grab attention, and nothing grabs the attention like a car that is on fire".
RANGE ROVER SPORT
Another exciting arrival next year will be the Range Rover Sport, although that too has not been without setbacks. Sources near Land Rover's factory in Solihull say that, such is the new vehicle's weight, with the start of pilot production alongside the equally hefty new Discovery, the entire West Midlands is around six inches lower than it was last year. Meanwhile, to celebrate the successful application of the word "Sport" to a large 4x4 that weighs more than a supertanker full of moons, Land Rover is poised to launch a range of equally "sporty" accessories, including "Sport" pies, "Sport" reclining armchairs, and "Sport" lying on the sofa watching darts on the telly whilst stuffing your face full of crisps and chocolate �clairs.
VOLKSWAGEN GOLF PLUS
One of VW's big arrivals for 2005 will be the unusual Golf Plus, a car specifically designed for people who like the normal Golf but wish it was it was very, very slightly bigger. "That's right," agreed a man who appeared to be from Volkswagen. "But of course that's not the only market for the Golf Plus. We also believe it will appeal to another group of people - those who like the Touran but wish it was very, very slightly smaller. As a result, we believe the number of people who will like the Golf Plus is literally several. And some of them don't work for Volkswagen. Probably".
CITROEN C1 / PEUGEOT 107 / TOYOTA AYGO
The small car market will be slightly swollen with three new cars in 2005, the result of a joint venture between PSA and Toyota. Citroen's version, the C1, is aimed at people who are put off by the sheer size of the existing C2 model which, let's face it, is really massive. Meanwhile, its Peugeot sister, the 107, will be perfect for those who think the firm's new 1007 city car is a bit too interesting. Finally, Toyota's new baby is called the Aygo and will probably be like a less spacious, ever so slightly cheaper Yaris. A Toyotist was quick to point out that during the joint project the Japanese had much to learn from their French partners; "This has been an education for us," he confessed. "Previously during the design process of a new model we might concentrate on getting everything finished. Our colleagues in Paris have shown us that actually we should take time each day to bugger off for a three hour lunch and maybe a nap. We have also learned much about an entirely new interior concept for us. It is something called 'rattles'".
TVR SAGARIS & TUSCAN 2
After the first customer cars were delayed to allow more development testing, 2005 should see the start of full production for TVR's Sagaris and the revised Tuscan 2. The Blackpool company is said to be keen to get these models into showrooms as soon as possible, allowing TVR to achieve its aim of having the most pointlessly confusing model range in the world. "At the moment the TVR range is pretty inexplicable," said a man who, on reflection, probably wasn't from TVR. "But buyers of cars like these expect high performance in everything and that's why the company needs to have some high performance confusion by offering a range of cars that are all broadly the same size and performance for no apparent reason at all". Sources say that in particular the new Tuscan 2, which will offer a convertible version even though most people thought the Tuscan was kind of a convertible anyway, will build on the confusion created by the some of the other cars sold by TVR, including something called the T440 which even people at TVR can't remember the point of. Sniff Petrol tried to contact TVR owner Nick Smellyski, but he was out playing in his treehouse.
Christmas is coming and you're probably looking for the perfect present to delight the car enthuiasmist in your life. So here are a few suggestions:
- Top website arrrghmylegs.co.uk is offering reasonably priced gift vouchers which can be redeemed against a range of activities including Getting Run Over By A Rally Car, Pointlessly Flying A Hot Air Balloon Into A Tree and Having A Live Hyena Released Into Your Back Seat.
- For the historic rallying fan, why not try the Arrange To Have Tony Mason Follow You Round All The Time, available exclusively from annoyingthingsformen.com.
- Many car enthusiasts dream of being a world class rally driver, and now they can live that dream thanks to Pretend To Be Pentti Airikkala from docoolshit.org. which allows you to spend a whole day living the actual life of the acclaimed Finnish rally sensation. Unfortunately, on the day in question Pentti is not doing any driving and instead you must paint his skirting boards, fill in a tax form and help his friend Hjalmar to fix a noisy central heating boiler. If you want to know where a top rally driver keeps his drain unblocker, this is an offer not to be missed.
DVDs are always a good source of car-related gift ideas and there's certainly plenty of choice this year. Last month saw the DVD re-issue of forgotten Beetle-based classic Herbie Goes Batshit in which the loveable Volkswagen inexplicably goes off his tits and ploughs through a crowded shopping centre before smashing repeatedly into a Peugeot 504 which he erroneously believes was staring at a Karmann Ghia. Another film of historic note is the original 1958 version of The Fast And The Furious in which a young rebel buys a larger air filter for his Ford Anglia before driving at up to 44mph through the centre of Kettering. Meanwhile, F1 fans may be interested in Mark Blundell's What He Done There Is in which the bloke they get when Martin Brundle is busy goes through some classic Formula 1 moments and states the rather obvious about what has just happened. Finally, this Christmas sees the first UK release for legendary French TV show C'est Alain Prost! in which the former world champion plays pranks on an unsuspecting public with his famous catchphrase "Vous ressemblez � un vrai Mansell!" ("You look like a right Mansell!"). Includes the infamous hour-long special in which Prost buys the Ligier team "for a joke".
Of course, Christmas wouldn't be complete without some products endorsed by well known racing drivers. Our personal favourites include the Tiff Needell Ironing Board Cover and a new Quebec-only range of women's sanitary products endorsed by annoying French-Canadian driver Jacques Villeneuve. Or, why not scare the shit out of your kids with Bernie The Robot, a terrifying toy based on F1 supremo Bernard Ecclestone and, at 9" high, exactly the same size too! Bernie The Robot comes with several exciting features including money grabbing hands, anti-Silverstone missiles and refillable evil.
Finally, if you're a fan of David Coulthard, what could be a better Christmas gift than David Coulthard. Let's face it, he's going to need something to do next year.
� 2004. Sniff Petrol every month. Sniff Petrol will return on 14 January
Written by Sniff Petrol, with thanks to everyone who has supported this site in the past year and especially Poo