BREAKING NEWS

Friday, September 8, 2017

An American Puta in Punta Cana

 

An American Puta in Punta Cana

by Evan Paul

-Dominican Republic
Hopping off the 737 into the sticky heat of the Dominican sun, the unfamiliar landscape captured me for a few moments. But inevitably, my eyes drifted to my vehicular surroundings just as the gaze of a forty-something middle-classman drifts to the chest of the young waitress at a sports bar. An oddly shaped Leyland with half the cab cut away was the first to catch my gaze. Chuckling to myself, I snapped a picture and moved along with a distant hope that the automotive landscape would arouse my interests.

Departure from customs led into a lobby where dozens of employees tried to sham us into paying for a ride in their poorly maintained vans. Stopping us every two or three steps, these shysters were incredibly desperate to pocket a few pesos. I wasn’t having any of that shit. We muscled our way through the sweaty crowds and hopped into our private Hyundai H-1, which sported a stick shift much to my delight.

Screaming onto the highway with as many revs as the little diesel could muster, we merged into a sea of Hiluxes, HiAces, and many people who drove like they were high. I tried in vain to score a few photos through the strange mesh sun-screen that was peeling off the side glass. The hustle and bustle of the luggage area prevented me from grabbing a snapshot of the humble Hyundai as we gathered our belongings, but I was determined to get a few good shots during our stay.

I held up the whole gang as I stopped to scan the surrounding parking lots, grinding to a halt without notice in order to capture a few tidbits of automotive obscurity. I spent a couple days unhealthily eyeing a “customized” HiAce at the resort entrance before gathering the balls to walk over and take a picture. Despite the locals’ strange glares and my first hangover kicking in at 9am, I walked back to the air conditioned lobby with a smile on my face and my phone in hand.

The few times we left the resort, the automotive wilderness left my retinas in sorry shape. One car rental company in particular shamelessly plugged Shelby Super Snakes on their billboard while directly below lay a singular Mustang GT with a full on AutoZone chrome treatment. Stick on trim was a recurring theme, as well as tape stripes and “custom” badging.

Since our parasailing got cancelled due to weather and I got to keep my lunch, we signed up for an off road excursion instead. I had no idea what I was in for, but the prospect of whipping some sort buggy got my heart racing. The chance to make my friend scream in fear from the passenger seat put a stupid grin on my face.

The 4Runner shuttle hurried us through the city streets and stopped on the edge of a highway, where we boarded on a tired flatbed cabover that had some glorified park benches and scaffolding loosely attached to the rear. A near hour long voyage to the middle of nowhere left me confused and excited, ready to drive whatever poorly maintained contraption my fifty dollar payment allowed me to get my hands on.

I took the hot seat for the first leg of the trip, explaining the controls to my less car savvy copilot. The group leaders started the buggy by jumping a couple wires together, and after affixing our seatbelts (read: ropes) we were on our way. Giving myself a good forty feet of space between myself and the next buggy in line, I gave it the beans right from the start much to my friend’s discontent. Mud puddles were met with full throttle, soiling my glasses and my copilot’s shorts.

Due to the inebriated state of several buggy drivers, the whole group was ground to a halt every forty five seconds or so during the rough patches of terrain. Instead of waiting patiently and quietly, my eighteen-year old self thought it would be wise to repeatedly slam the gas pedal to the floor, showering the poor sap behind us with the smell of burning oil and excitement. This poor sap turned out to be my friend’s dad and his six year old sister, but that did not put a damper on my self-titled position as “Rev-It-Up Randy” for the day.

Neutral drops did not escape my mind, but the N-R-D shift pattern protested my hooligan driving tactics. A loud clicking sound accompanied by a jolt forward was the less than stellar result of my transmission torture, but the sorry thing soldiered on without a hitch.

On the way back from the gorgeous beach that marked the turnaround point, my friend and I switched roles. Hesitant to lay into it at first, he gave into to peer pressure and drove just as hard as I did during my stint at the wheel. My back was taking a beating from the hard plastic seats and sagging suspension, but that was a "tomorrow problem" in my mind.

Halfway back to the starting point, the lead buggy ran out of gas. Our buggy happened to be the closest one to them, so they decided to siphon a bit from ours. A perfectly reasonable idea, but the execution not so much. Filling up a used water bottle to the brim, roughly a third of our fuel survived the perilous three steps between our tank and theirs. They didn’t stop with just one bottle; over a liter and a half later they decided to call it quits.

Shockingly, our buggy sputtered and stopped not ninety seconds up the path, and the non-English speaking tour guide frustratingly tried to start our engine to no avail. Perhaps the concept of an empty fuel tank escaped his mind, but his frustration transferred over to my friend who took the helm of a spare buggy that was luckily a few paces from where our original buggy gave up the ghost. This spare buggy had chunks of the tire flapping in the breeze with belts clearly visible, and the steering wheel took more turns lock-to-lock that I can count on my fingers.

Unintelligible instructions and rickety controls drove my friend insane, so he finally gave in and let me make up time on the final leg of the journey. A full throttle sprint in this death trap had me laughing like a madman, wafting and bouncing dangerously close to a full blown crash. Sweating and smiling upon our return to the starting point, my distraught passenger did not share my laughter at the blatant disregard for routine vehicular maintenance. Several days later waiting to board the flight home, my body was still screaming for mercy while my heart remained set on hauling ass in an open wheeled monstrosity at any chance I could get.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Do Robot Drivers Dream of Electric E-Types?


JAGUAR E-TYPE ZERO:
“THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ELECTRIC CAR IN THE WORLD”
  • Jaguar Land Rover Classic electrifies the past with an inventive Jaguar E-type sports car featuring fully electric powertrain
  • Acclaimed by Enzo Ferrari as “the most beautiful car in the world”, the Jaguar E-type now combines breathtaking beauty with zero emissions for the first time
  • E-type Zero is based on 1968 Series 1.5 Jaguar E-type Roadster, and features a cutting-edge electric powertrain enabling 0-62mph in just 5.5 seconds
  • Engineered by Jaguar Land Rover Classic at company’s new ‘Classic Works’ in Warwickshire, UK
  • E-type Zero makes world debut during Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. The event begins with a media preview on 7 September and is open to public visitors from 8-10 September 
  • E-Type Zero will sit alongside the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE, which goes on sale in 2018

Ryton-on-Dunsmore, 7 September 2017 – Jaguar Land Rover Classic is presenting an electric-powered Jaguar E-type at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest, which opens to the public on 8 September in London. The car, known as E-type Zero, has been restored and converted at Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works in Coventry, not far from where the E-type was born. 

“E-type Zero combines the renowned E-type dynamic experience with enhanced performance through electrification. This unique combination creates a breathtaking driving sensation." -Tim Hannig, Director, Jaguar Land Rover Classic

“Our aim with E-type Zero is to future-proof classic car ownership. We’re looking forward to the reaction of our clients as we investigate bringing this concept to market.”

The Jaguar E-type Zero not only drives and looks like an E-type, it also offers outstanding performance. It’s quicker than an original E-type: 0-100km/h (62mph) takes only 5.5sec, about one second quicker than a Series 1 E-type. 

“In order to seamlessly combine the new electric powertrain of E-type Zero with the dynamic set-up of the original E-type specification, we have limited the vehicle’s power output. We believe this provides the optimum driving experience.”


The E-type Zero vehicle, displayed at Tech Fest, is a restored Series 1.5 Roadster. It’s totally original in specification, apart from its 21st century state-of-the-art powertrain and modified instrumentation and facia – although these are also inspired by the original E-type. LED headlights are also used to achieve energy efficiency. Again, they adopt the styling theme of the original Series 1 E-type.

Bespoke electric powertrain
An electric powertrain developing 220kW has been specially designed for the E-type Zero. Its lithium-ion battery pack has the same dimensions, and similar weight, to the XK six-cylinder engine used in the original E-type. The experts responsible for developing the electric powertrain have ensured it will be placed in precisely the same location as the XK engine. The electric motor (and reduction gear) lies just behind the battery pack, in the same location as the E-type’s gearbox. A new propshaft sends power to a carry-over differential and final drive. Total weight is 46kg lower than the original E-type.

Using an electric powertrain with similar weight and dimensions to the outgoing petrol engine and transmission means the car’s structure, including suspension and brakes, has not changed, simplifying the conversion and homologation. It drives, handles, rides and brakes like an original E-type. Front-rear weight distribution is unchanged.

“We have integrated the new electric powertrain into the existing E-type structure, which means a conventional engine could be reinstalled at any point. We think this is essential as it ensures a period Jaguar remains authentic to its DNA.” 

The XK six-cylinder engine was made from 1949 until 1992, and was fitted to nearly all iconic Jaguar models of that period, including the E-type, XK120, Mk2 and XJ6. The new electric powertrain could be used in any of these vehicles. 

“We could use this technology to transform any classic XK-engine Jaguar.” 

‘The most beautiful car ever made’
The E-type, launched in 1961, has regularly been voted the best-looking car of all time. Even Enzo Ferrari called it "the most beautiful car ever made”.

E-type Zero’s unique electric powertrain was developed by an electric powertrain specialist in conjunction with Jaguar Land Rover engineers and to a specific brief from Jaguar Land Rover Classic. It uses some technology and components borrowed from the upcoming I-PACE, Jaguar Land Rover’s first production all-electric vehicle.

The E-type Zero has a ‘real world’ range of 270km (about 170 miles), helped by the low weight and good aerodynamics. It uses a 40kWh battery, which can be recharged from home overnight (typically in six to seven hours, depending on power source).

The Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest, where the electric Jaguar E-type is unveiled, is being held at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. The media day is 7 September and it is open to the public from 8-10 September.




 
Back To Top
Distributed By Blogger Templates | Designed By OddThemes