Ford GT: Review

I seem to have gone back in time, to the olden days of my writing when I left everything to the night before. Because, at lunchtime yesterday, I realised it was Monday, and I had absolutely nothing at all planned for today. So I’ve whacked this up, rather quickly…

The fast and furious Ford GT is a car like no other. Armed to the teeth with a twin turbo V6, which produces 647 brake horsepower. It’s not exactly Ferarri or Lamborghini standard, but then again, this isn’t a Ferrari or Lamborghini. In fact, it’s a totally different animal.

Around a track, a Ferrari or Lamborghini would simply prance around the corners. The GT will demolish them. On a track day, the Ford GT is designed to be soo much better than anything, that was made in Europe- which is, simply because it’s just much more of an exciting driving experience.

There are more driving modes on this car, than what there is on the Apollo space shuttles. My favourite, however, is track mode. Simply because, when you tell the car to do this, it violently lowers the suspension; which snaps your spine in two, it engages the anti-lag system, raises the rear wing as if a fighter jet preparing for take-off, and stiffens the suspension by 100 percent.

Another, of my favourite modes this car holds, is its vicious V-Max mode. This stiffens, absolutely every mechanical thing, right down to the grip of the tyres, on the surface. It also means that this car achieves speeds of up to 216MPH, and flatten a 0-60MPH time of 2.8 seconds.

The first GT was absolutely and astonishingly amazing and brilliant in every way. Other than, if you parked it and somebody walked within four yards of it, an air rade siren would be set off. It would also go off when you didn’t want it too, like when your children are debuting in the school play, or being baptised, the list goes on. Other problems with the old car were that it was too big, both width and lengthwise and when you parked it, it felt like you needed a bus, not a car license. The fuel tank was the size of a watering can, and it was impossible to see out of the front windscreen. The old car was designed to set lap records, as should any Ford GT. This one, however, somehow just isn’t.

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Flipping fast Ford GT Pic: YouTube

This car is the best and most expensive car Ford has ever made. It was all actually made under the microscope and radar of Ford’s management, by a team of very small people… when I say “small people”, I don’t mean Umpa Lumpa’s, I mean a small group of people.

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Bottoms up! Pic: MotorTrend

The problems with the new GT just get bigger and better. I mean, this one is even longer, and wider than the old one, the windscreen is the size of a hairpin, and amazingly, the fuel tank is even smaller. The steering wheel is too big, ugly and difficult to use.

The main two problems I find with this car though, are firstly, the idea that when you sit in it, the seat, is in a fixed position, so it doesn’t move. What you have to do to move closer to the best comfortable position is, adjust the steering wheel, which moves it closer to you, and you do that by pulling on a sort of ratchet strap thing. My problem with this is that you get no indication from the car that it is fixed, so when braking, how do you know if you are actually braking, or just pushing the whole panel further away? Problem, number two is the heart of the beast. The idea that a £420,000 supercar has only been fitted with a V6… For that price, you should be getting a V8- at least!

I do actually know why Ford has done this- to save weight. This GT is one of the lightest cars Ford has ever made. It is very light, this comes mostly, from its carbon fibre tub. The only real downforce it gets is from the air passing over the body, and from its own clever aerodynamic system.

The GT’s brakes and steering are absolutely awesome, it’s not a gentle car at all, it’s absolutely mad.

That’s what makes this car an epic grand tourer.



The English Language Is Endangered – Let’s Save It

Language is in decline. We’re all doomed. Or so the likes of John Humphrys; the grumpy old broadcaster from the BBC would have us believe. The way that they can tell that the English Language, (you know, that sacred lexicon of untouchable grammatical rules?) is under threat is all down to the fact of the matter is that the Polish people in our country can’t speak a word of English. We should give up all hope. Humphrys made his point though, we are under threat as a language. This is why you are all spitting out your cornflakes this morning as you read this because you think that I’m about to be extremely uncouth and a moron.

The statement I made before, about Polish people not being able to speak a word of English are not my own words, but the choice of John Humphrys. This is a man, that in the journalism world, I have always admired because as a writer, he is far from afraid to skate on an ice rink, full of thin ice. His choice of language has always been so nail-biting, you feel he will be locked up afterwards. He was always someone that as a young writer, I could look up to. That was obviously all before he put his career in jeopardy, as he came under fire in the national papers as a sex pest.

Anyways, Humphrys made his point. We are all doomed. I mean, the use of the coordinating conjunction “and” at the beginning of a sentence, would send Humphrys bananas. Not to mention the far right grammatical Police that is the Green Ink Brigade. These blokes must love just picking at faults with grammar for fun. What imbeciles. If you are unsure what they do or are, then briefly, they are the grammar Nazis that ensure all political correctness to be, “on point”, I think is the word they would use.

I mean, sod all the use of hyperbole or use of exclamatives, these lot think that it’s the end of the world because the Queen of writing; J.K.Rowling, can’t put an apostrophe in the right place- WHO CARES?!?!?

Back to Humphrys, the one thing that really takes the mick is when he complains about the misuse of the transitive, (not intransitive) verb; “Enjoy”. Very Green Ink Brigade(ey). Can you tell I did that just to annoy them? Then, much to my annoyance, he proceeds to continue to be rude by using the rhetorical question “whatever do they teach you in Polish schools these days?!?” He says this to insinuate that all waitresses come from Poland, as a waitress is clearly not considered to be a high class or well-paid job.

This weeks title links to this, as what I’m trying to say this that, obviously Humphrys has a problem with foreigners coming over to this country to live and work. He’s saying that so many foreign people live here and nobody can speak a word of English, it’s at risk of being as extinct as a T-Rex. I suppose that if we continue to all behave and abuse the English Language the way that Humphrys does, he’s very very right. We are all doomed. Or words to that effect.


*The views expressed to a far point of view in this article are for the comical effect of Thomas’ writing. In his writing, he his referring to a chapter from the book written by journalist, writer and broadcaster John Humphrys.*

Bugatti Chiron: Review

I’m going to begin as a very unprofessional, unpredictable and non-petrol-head like car journalist.

I think that one of the worst looking cars ever made was, the Bugatti Veyron. I hated the styling of the front, it was almost like it had been sat on by a heard of elephants. The shame of this, however, was that when it was first released, it was considered the milestone and Concorde moment in the book of motoring. It was also mind-bogglingly fast. It still didn’t change the fact that I thought it should be rolled down the side of a cliff. Now though, it’s had a baby, and my God it is good.

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Bugatti Chiron Pic: Autocar

It’s called the Chiron. An all-new, all fast, all re-worked version of its predecessor and I can tell you now, it looks absolutely fantastic. And, it has completely top-trumped its ancestors. By MILES!

I can’t put this anymore bluntly than, this is the fastest car in the world.


It’s like a space-hopper, literally.

The Bugatti boffins do actually advise that, when you get to drive this, you wear more than one layer of pants, just so that you don’t follow through and shit yourself to death. I made that bit up.

In all seriousness though, this car was designed and made to set lightning speed records around tracks, but also to set bedroom wallpapers, and to take photos of while driving around slowly in St Tropez. Simply because this car looks epically dramatic. And it should too, because the price tag of which it comes with is just as equally dramatic, at £2.5 million. In words, that may not sound like much, so let’s pop that into numbered form. This car costs £2,500,000. Does that stand out a little better now?

This thing is the maddest mid-engined supercar that I’ve ever reviewed, ever. It has two V8’s slammed together to make a 1479BHP, eight-litre quad-turbo beast W16 engine. It has 16 cylinders. The Chiron will smash doing 0-62MPH in just under 2.9 seconds. It will then blast on to do 0-186MPH, faster than it takes an everyday hatchback to do 0-60. The Bugatti has been electronically LIMITED a top speed of 261MPH. The key word; “limited” in that sentence is very important because that means that, the designers of this car could have made it a hell of a lot faster, but they didn’t want to have all 500 owners of their customers killed.

That’s what also brilliantly, juxtaposes this car. If you were doing 17MPH around the Italian backstreets, or the ports of St Tropez, the ride in the Chiron would simply feel like the UP! GTi.

The Bugatti Chiron has been judged exactly to perfection, it rides exquisitely. It should too, as each tyre that the Chiron is balanced on, costs twice as more than a Toyota Aygo, at £13,000 each. The pocket burning hole in your trousers does, however, mean that on the foothills of the Alps you can make a mile, feel like centimetres.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that under the microscope, the Chiron does have some issues, but I won’t be writing about them today, because, for the moment, I’m not really in the position to take a point off a car, which I can’t afford.

The monstrous W16 sucks in 15,850 gallons of air every minute. All of that is to cool the huge engine, assisted by the 10 radiators it’s been equipped with. It’s got a bigger heating and cooling system, than my house! These radiators pump 200 gallons of water around the engine, every minute. That’s enough to brim a bath in 12 seconds, and put out a small house fire afterwards.

This is one hell of an expensive machine. Not just to design, but to make. I mean the grill badges are made of sterling silver, the speakers are fitted with 3K diamonds, and all of that doesn’t matter to the Russian man who owns one. I’m finding that as I review the Chiron, the numbers just get bigger and bigger and bigger, for example, the petrol bill for this also won’t be cheap since if the Chiron is going flat out, it will drain its tank in nine minutes. If you are a teenager and want to understand that a little bit better, then it’s the exact same as drinking seven shot glasses, full of petrol, every second.

All of these numbers, really shouldn’t matter to the businessman who buys one of the 500 Bugatti Chiron for sale, since a recent survey found that the average Bugatti owner already has 42 cars, a jet, three helicopters, a hotel with their own private pool, and a villa in somewhere like the South of France or Barbados.

If you are one of those people and are reading this, then it might be nice to know that, if you are thinking of buying a Chiron, it’s available in 23 exterior colours, alternatively, any object that you take to Bugatti, they will scan the colour and paint a car to match it. It could be your bedsheets, your watch or bangle colour or even skin colour; they will match whatever you come to them with. It also comes with, 31 main interior colour options, 18 shades of carpet, and 11 colours of seatbelt- there are more colours on offer than what there is in the rainbow!

This car is a technological masterpiece. Bugatti has just made it a very pleasant, spacious and nice place to sit, while the car gets on with the job of absolutely smashing continents.

I said earlier, that it was as comfortable as a VW UP! GTi and that is partly down to the seven-speed DSG gear transmission which helps to seamlessly drift through the gears. It also has four-piston brake callipers that house eight individual brake pads, for when you are aiming to set lap records. As you are leaning off of the edge of cliff faces on delicate, mountain roads, you are able to appreciate the actual discipline put in by each of the eight brake pads, which are possible to put the driver up to forces as strong as 2G; which means that you will definitely lose your face.

On a mountain road though, the Chiron feels heavy and weighted, not like pushing an elephant off a cliff, but it feels like it’s own force of gravity is exerting itself on the ground. And, it does that all so finely, that I’m actually struggling to find the right words for it. This car does something, which I’ve never experienced before while writing about them. Which is leave you lost for words.

Why do we want to bring driverless cars in with such a rush? Such brilliant cars are still being made, and I think, they’ve only just begun.

Hidden Talent Production

I’ve decided to write this because, in exactly two weeks time, I’ll be doing a little fundraiser at school to help towards my Tanzania expedition next summer.

I’m writing this so that I can tell you how I’ve found the whole experience of organising a show from the drawing table, to auditions, then to the first performance. But it’s mainly because, there was a space in the programme, which I took as great advertising space and promo material for the blog, however, I was told that I would actually have to write about the event if I wanted to plug it in the programme. And here we are.

The original plan was actually changed a few weeks ago, as I was due to be hosting the show, but had to pull out due to just being unbelievably busy with other things. Then, just to add to my busy schedule, besides writing an article on my experiences, the hosts who were put in my place thought that being on a stage, on their own was too frightening. So, I have been chucked back into the frame again and, told to sod the script and go in freelance. Which was interesting.

In saying that, I don’t actually go on for two weeks, but as I’m writing this column a few weeks in advance, I’m not too sure of what could crop up in the meantime. It could honestly be anything!

My main issue with the whole thing has been the ridiculous prospect of the modern day ‘Health and Safety’ system. It’s an absolute farce. I’ve actually given a man a job, just on this matter. And he actually likes it too. Hand on heart here, the first health and safety meeting I was dragged into a couple of weeks ago was absolutely hilarious- mind you, I was actually the only one that found it even the slightest bit comical, as everybody else was very serious, and I got a stern stare from everybody else in the room as I began to mock the ideas of noting down touching a tea or coffee urn. I’ve since made a mental note, that the next meeting I go into, if there is a selection of biscuits on the table, but they are never touched, it’s not the place to muck about.

Hidden Talent Logo. Artist: Poppy Hodgson

After the initial meeting, I had to pitch the idea to the powers that be, it became clear that I couldn’t do this all by my own, and that I would have to give out a few jobs to people beforehand. The first job was given to me as director, which was given to me, by me. I thought that to get the ideas that I wanted on stage it would be best to take the helm of the whole ship, and hope that I didn’t steer it into an iceberg. The next couple of roles were actually relatively easy to delegate, I gave my mate the job of being Stage Manager as I knew that a.) he’d do the job properly and that b.) he’d also enjoy shouting at people.

Later roles such as sound and lighting boffins came in later, and I believe that I have the best people on the job, so that everything is done professionally. A stage and tech club run in school, so I knew that those guys would love the backstage element to it all. And the overall organiser was given to my old English teacher, as we both had the idea for the show in the first place, I wanted a grounded mind overseeing the whole process, even though I knew how brilliant the idea and I both were, I’m human and I expected to make the odd mistake.

I should say that the above logo image was designed, and drawn by hand by, year 12 art student Poppy Hodgson. I originally sat down with Poppy and explained what I wanted, and from the word “go” she has been brilliant, every idea we discussed was included in some way, shape or form and then scaled up to be improved 100%. Thank you very much, Poppy, we have a fab logo to front what should be a fab show.

Auditions quickly came around, and for me it was a nice change to be on the audition panel, look scary and watch some amazing talent. Once I knew that I had enough to run a show, I had to have another meeting with biscuits that I wasn’t allowed to eat and came out of that with the impression that I had so many acts, we would need not one, but two Backstage Managers. This was again, a rather easy decision to make. My mate Amber; who is joining me in Tanzania next summer, and another close mate of mine; Maya, who is fantastic in every way. (I was told to say that). But, in all seriousness, they have both been absolutely brilliant, down to earth professionals, who I know I’ve been able to rely on if I needed anything done. It was important to me that they came to the cast meetings so that they were aware of the number of people they were taking on backstage. If I must say so myself, they have been amazing and suggested things even I wouldn’t have thought of, which will be a huge help when we come to do technical and dress rehearsals in a few days time.

So, since the blog is featuring in the programme, this is the actual”important” bit I have to include at the end. If you would like to come and see the show, obviously you have to be a student, parent or an important person at Keswick School and buy your tickets from ‘ParentMail’. All proceeds go towards my Tanzania expedition in the summer of next year, which I am splitting with a mate of mine as she’s also helped a lot with the organisation of the whole show- in a word, she’s been brilliant! And Changing Faces, a charity which deals with facial disfigurements such as acid attack victims, or people who may have been unfortunate to have been born with a disfigurement to the face. I thought it was such a nice charity to sponsor. It’s been an absolute pleasure.

Obviously, the organisation of this whole process couldn’t have been done without the brilliant work of a few special and equally brilliant people. And just to be old fashioned, I’m gonna name them off, they all know what for. Huge thanks to my right-hand man; Natty, we did it mate, but let’s not hold our breaths too soon! Miss Stephen, Mrs Jones, Amber, Maya; both for just being epic, Charlie, Ashia, Poppy, Keswick School Stage and Tech Club and Mr Jackson. The list goes on and on and on, those are just a few, but a huge thank you to every single one of you! Because without you, (the acts as well I suppose), we wouldn’t have a show. From an idea which was conceived just a few months ago, is very very nearly a reality. It’s been amazing.

Thank you for taking time to read, all the best and take care,


Alfa Romeo Unpronounceable: Review

To be a petrol-head, it has been defined by law that you have to have owned or love Alfa Romeo’s. The problem is though after the Alfa GTV-6 there never really has been an Alfa that any petrol-head would want to buy. There is now though.

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Alfa Romeo GTV6 Pic:

Firstly, there was the car that originally made me fall in love with Alfa’s in the first place, which was the amazing 4C, a car, which still to this day is a car I love, and that I want. They then made the equally brilliant 4C Spyder, a convertible version of the 4C… Alfa was on a roll, and we all presumed it couldn’t get much better from there. Now, however, we all realise how wrong we were.

The Amazing Alfa 4C

Italian cars have always been beautiful to look at, Ferraris, Lamborghini’s and now Alfa Romeo’s can be added to the list, especially with the 4C. It was a car that I just fell in love with as soon as I’d seen it. It looks amazing, and it drives just as good too.

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Now though, there is a new kid on the block. And this is it. It’s called the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, which is a typically Italian sounding name which is impossible to pronounce. To be honest, I’m not 100% certain I’ve spelt it correctly, but that’ll have to do.

In one word, this car is impossible to describe, so I thought I’d write about it now, and try and find the words for it later.

Firstly, it’s components, are all completely brand new from the ground up. Well, I say that as it has actually been made and designed by the same person who made and designed the Ferrari 458, and the 458 Speciale. This means that they have equipped it with, a carbon fibre prop shaft, carbon fibre roof, and a carbon fibre bonnet. All this means then, that this car should be incredibly light, the key words there were “should be”, which obviously means that it isn’t, as it weighs in at just over 1000 kilograms. Compared to the 4C, this car is a fatty. The party pieces don’t stop there, it also comes with a clever differential and a clever gearbox, and telepathic steering. This car then is a masterpiece.

It comes with a turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 engine which produces 503 brake horsepower, this is actually 60 more than what you would get in a BMW M3.  Then there is it’s raucous speeds, as it can smash doing 0-62MPH in 3.9 seconds, and go on to achieve its top speed of 191MPH. Ferrari; who are the same company as Alfa, says that the engine is completely different to the one that they fitted to the California, with just two cylinders removed. And that they have had nothing at all to do with any of the process of building the Alfa at all. So there you go then, they haven’t.

The noise this thing makes, can’t be ignored because it makes an absolute ace sound even at low speeds. This is all because of the twin-scroll turbo, which has been mounted at the heart of the V in the engine. Which leads me on to say that, the 2.9 litre V6 in this is an absolute gem.

Like any other little Italian sports car, the Quadrifoglio comes with race mode, and even though you couldn’t really use that on the road, I suppose it’s just nice to know that when it is engaged, it stiffens and tightens everything up, just like the response of the throttle, the steering and the gearbox. And, best of all, it makes sure that the safety net of the traction control- is turned off! This means that, if you want to slide around a racetrack or closed airfield in a cloud of your own tyre smoke, then you are left with a smile which will refuse to leave your face for the rest of your life. It is staggeringly good.

The Giulia is also very practical, I mean it comes with four doors, there is enough room in the back for a fully grown man, the boot is able to fit half a dozen bodies in and the leg room is plausible. It comes as standard with a six-speed gearbox which reminds you when you need to change up or down, to save fuel.

The best thing is, that you get all of this for £60,000. Which actually, is very reasonable.

As much as I love this car, for it to be an Alfa, there has got to be some problems, and oh boy…

The first one is that, if you are a human and want to drive this car, then that’s great. Getting out of it, however, will prove a little tricky. Firstly, I can’t see why you would want to get out of it, because if you are in it, that means you don’t have to look at it. What I’m trying to say is that the styling of this car doesn’t look particularly brilliant. But getting out of it in general, has proven a bit of a problem. This is because the gap between the pillar of the back doors and the steering wheel are so close together, that you need a shoe horn to remove yourself from it. The wheels look too small, and I can’t get out of my head that the front of it looks like a woman’s lady parts. But the biggest problem I find with this is that the engine has been put in place with what almost seems like dental floss. This is shown if you were to have the bonnet open, and close the passenger or driver side door because you will notice that as you do, the engine wobbles.

This is what I was saying though, all Alfa’s have faults, the biggest problem with them used to be that you couldn’t move three yards without it breaking down. But all Alfa’s have their faults, they are exactly like humans. It’s like my best mate, yes he’s annoying and he doesn’t stop talking, but he still is my best mate. That’s what Alfa’s are like too. That’s what gives them a soul. That’s what makes them human. That’s why I love them.

It’s a bit like an Italian tomato- bright, colourful and bursting with flavour which explodes when you put your foot on it.


Lamborghini Huracan Performante: Review

I’m back to my speciality again this week.

I think it’s time to review a car which we all dream of, yet, can’t possibly afford; the supercar. The new Lamborghini in fact, which is actually very new indeed, as it was only released earlier this year. It is the newest sibling to the older, Lamborghini Huracan, which when it was first released, was a car I didn’t like very much. I know that being a petrol-head and saying you hate a car, specifically a supercar is the same as Sir David Attenborough saying “I HATE THE ENVIRONMENT!” It doesn’t sound right at all. Hear me out on this, I have always admired Lamborghini’s, they are the kind of car that every nine-year-old boy dreams of, and wants the bedroom poster up on his wall. This was the exact case with the Lamborghini Aventador, it’s a few years old now (2012/13), but it is still, and I think always will be for me, the car I have always wanted. And the car which is the most jaw-dropping to look at, which is why as a nine-year-old boy, I had the bedroom wall poster of the Lambo Aventador.

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Lamborghini Aventador Pic: Lamborghini

There was just always something about this car that looked angry, and that if you tried to stroke it, you always got the feeling that it would bite your arm off. And that’s what Lamborghini’s should always be, an experience that makes you finish with your trousers not being the original colour they were when you started.

If I were to be a Lamborghini designer, I would simply do as they do, and not give a toss as to what goes where. Since I’ve been in a few Lamborghini’s before, you do get the sense that the ludicrous Italians that design these simply say; “ah yes, give the wheels ah fire blades, and ah, lasers for windscreen wipers, ah! Molto Bene!”  That’s how all Lamborghini’s should be designed.

This was not the case, however, for the Huracan. I was never really sure what it was about that car, but, after Lamborghini made the Aventador it seemed like the sky was the limit. When the Huracan rolled off the production line, there was just something missing that I couldn’t really put my finger on. Compared to the Aventador, the Huracan didn’t have the same drop-jaw look that the Aventador owned. You wouldn’t imagine the Huracan being the amazingly framed bedroom wall poster that it’s big brother got.

The Huracan on the streets of London

I got to go in this very car in fact, which is why the caption doesn’t have any photo credits because I took this picture myself on my iPhone, after my scary stint around London’s streets.

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Lamborghini Huracan Performante Pic: Car and Driver

A standard Lamborghini Huracan will cost £155,000, and the all-new Performante is a whopping £55,000 more expensive, at £208,000. So, what do you get for your money? Well, it seems that on paper, not much.

Compared to the standard car, the Performante has been given 29 more horsepower, which takes it from 602 to 631BHP. It’s also got 30 more torques and, all of this means then, is that both cars have the same top speed of 202MPH. It’s also only had its 0-60 speed taken down by two-ninths of a second, 3.1 seconds has been shaved down to 2.9- which isn’t really much difference, at all. So, what is all the extra £55,000 fuss all about?

It has been fitted with a 5.2 litre V10, with a brand spanking new exhaust. You very nearly got this, in the standard car. The difference is though, that when you plant your foot down in a straight line, it’s exactly like having 1000 grizzly bears in the back, along with, Krakatoa, a nuclear bomb, a squadron of hawks, a pack of lions, a war and a dog. The engine noise is just explosive.

The next thing is just how fabulous this car looks… It’s soo much more dramatic than the standard car, it feels like the “please take a photo of me” look, is screaming from the bonnet because the jaw-dropping look is 100% back with this Lambo. The materials used to make this car are also typically Italian. For example, the epic rear wing has been made from carbon fibre bonded in a resin. This look has been repeated on several instruments inside the car, and all of this makes it very light- actually 40kg lighter than the standard Huracan.

Italian designers of the Performante have been brilliantly clever because, they have fitted the car with a system called ALA, which is a boffin aerodynamic system which moves a set of flaps in the front spoiler, flows air through the underside of the car, and controls air ducts in front of the rear wing, this controls the airflow over the back of the car. Yes, you are right, ALA does stand for something, but it’s Italian and I can’t be bothered to type it.

In a straight line, the Huracan Performante will leave a Ferrari 458 Speciale for dead, it will absolutely cream it, and still be wanting more by the time it’s finished it’s drag sprint. The aero system doesn’t stop there either, it’s clever. It gives you the confidence, to corner at absolute tremendous speeds and gives you the confidence that you’ll come out relatively okay on the other side. It also dials up the grip through corners by, distributing power to each specific wheel as and when it requires it. It’s like Usain Bolt. I’ve fallen head over heels in love with it. It’s a masterpiece. A genuine new chapter, in the history of motoring. It’s just brilliant.

What surprised me, most the test drivers, and will probably surprise you is that this car went around the Nürburgring five seconds quicker than any of the multi-million-pound hypercars. It went around in six minutes and 52 seconds. A Porsche 918 did the same lap in six minutes 57 seconds. This is a bloody quick machine.

The Huracan Performante isn’t just a track-bred car either, yes it gives you one hell of a driving experience, but it also comes as standard with Apple connectivity and air conditioning, it really is just as much an everyday car as is is track record breaker.

I started this test with some faults, and I just want to end it with some too, the only huge pain with this car, is that it bongs every time you do so much as move when you’re driving, as it’s stupid system thinks that the driver could have fallen asleep at the wheel. Cars these days bong when you open the door, bong when you sit down, bong when you don’t put your seatbelt on, bong if you don’t release the handbrake, bong if you don’t depress the clutch before you set off, bong if your shopping is placed on the passenger seat, bong if your lights are off, or bong if a postbox is approaching five miles away from your location. This car wins the bonging contest hands down, I’ve never sat in a car which bongs as much as this did. It was a bloody nightmare. It will tell you it’s TSU is malfunctioning- now I have no idea what its TSU is, and I’m sure that the person who buys one, won’t have a clue either. Furthermore, it may say that it’s MMI has been disabled. Let me tell you, that for acronyms, this is ten times worse than the British Army.

Every car has faults and problems. As do humans. That’s what makes them special, that’s what gives a car a proper meaning and a human-like beating heart. That’s the difference between, a good car and a great one.

I would actually say, that the Huracan Performante is currently, my favourite car of the moment.


Jargon. Do We Still Need It?


Welcome back! You’ll be pleased to know that over the next 10 weeks of writing I’ve got booked in, six of those are car reviews. Last week went down brilliantly, so I’ve decided to write some more. This week, however, I’ve parked that all to one side, and come up with something a little bit different…

I’ve got a little hard one for you this week, I do really hope that you have your concentration caps on. Because today really will make your head hurt reading, just as much as it did with me, writing.

I want to start today with something I was asked just the other day in fact, about the term “jargon”, so for example, if I were to talk to you about the straight six in your Aston Martin, or the flooded air filter or carburettors under your bonnet; unless you are a car mechanic, you simply won’t have a clue what I’m droning on about, this is an example of jargon. If you still don’t have a clue what I’m rambling on about then I’ve done my job in explaining that to you. It’s basically, complicated lexis that we don’t understand… (that means words).

To boil this all down a little bit more, if we go back to the tricky stuff about cars and if you didn’t understand what I was talking about, then we could call it an example of jargon in use, it’s like specialist terminology that only “experts in the field” would be able to understand.

Digging even deeper into this never-ending burrow of a topic, the question I was asked was by my mate the other day was that, he thought that the world would be a less efficient place without jargon, but would it also be more honest too. As soon as he asked me this, I thought and thought and thought, and the first thing in fact that went through my head was that I had sorted what I was going to talk about today, it did, however, leave me slightly stumped on how to answer it.

I mean, I’ll be perfectly honest, I love to say long and fancy words when I’m having a conversation with someone, just so that the person who I’m talking to, about the topic can say “good God, he’s clever”. But if we were to put a slight spin on it and say when somebody clever comes over to me and begins to talk about something extremely dreary, like the history of Switzerland, or even worse Maths, I don’t have a clue what they are on about. Then you’re the one that looks like a complete and utter pillock, and you just have to nod and agree, pretend you know what they are talking about, and when you get the opportunity to do so, try your utmost to move the conversation on to something you can talk about. We’ve all been there, in both situations, in fact, it is the best feeling when you get to shine your knowledge onto somebody who doesn’t have the foggiest, but when the tables turn, however, we all know we are up shit creek without a paddle.

Once you’ve taken this turn, I’m afraid you enter unknown territory, because I normally just find a way to wangle myself out of the conversation, or think of something else to talk about- which is very much easier said than done, because in my case the topic just came back up in conversation. In this sort of situation, like I said before, the only advice I have is to nod and say yes, to absolutely everything you are asked, and that way, you may just have a chance of escaping. Mind you, you also have the chance of looking a moron, or even worse admitting you’re a member of a secret cult or something.

It does, however, mean that you have lied to the person your speaking to, and therefore have answered my mate’s question, the world would be less trustworthy with the use of jargon. So, what I’m trying to say is, that by using jargon in our day to day sentences, we do sound very intelligent, and to take that away, you are just a numpty speaking a load of nonsense.

To sum up, then, I do think that to have big and elaborate words is a good thing because that’s just part of the English Language. Being able to use jargon in a best man’s wedding speech, for example, sounds much more official to use fancy words, rather than just speaking gibberish. Alternatively, when the tide’s turn and you have no idea what’s going on, the only advice I can offer is to run or not reply.

It’s like when I was asked if I knew the rules of racket ball the other day

UP! GTi: Review

I’m back this week with another review, it may seem like a few weeks ago, I said all that “new year, new me malarky”, but hear me out on this, because for once, I’m going to talk some reason and common sense…

This is also a little bit different for me, because my speciality in writing is actually in cars, I could talk about them all day, however, I have to write about opinions and events because most of the views my site gets aren’t usually petrol-heads, today, and for the next few weeks, in fact, I’ve said sod it to what they want and I’m going to write about cars anyway.

One of my favourite type of car ever has always been the hot hatchback, I think they are absolutely fantastic pieces of technology, and more importantly; great fun to drive.

My favourite hot hatch of them all for a while now has been the brilliant VW UP! I adore it, and always said that my first car would be an either light blue or red UP! they are just awesome. I will just say, I don’t really know, or see the point in the exclamative at the end of the car’s title. It’s a good car, but not so surprisingly good, that needs an exclamation mark…

This car is the smallest that VW actually make at the moment, so you can clearly see, it’s aimed for a 17-year-old to pass his test in.

It is a VW, so, they are about as well equipped as a pair of monks underpants, and a little expensive, but, I still think they look cool. I have also been waiting for about two years now since VW said they would make a GT version of this car. The wait is now over.

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UP! GTi Pic: Auto Express

Before I go on, however, I would just like to add a little bit of context, with a history lesson. And, I’m going through history, to just very recently, with the VW Golf GTi, which actually has more power than a 1980’s Ferrari 308 GTB, I suppose this is understandable because it’s absolutely enormous. A hot hatch has not always been like this.

To try and explain what I’m on about (which is where the history lesson comes in), I want to talk about the original Golf GTi MK1, because this car is completely different.

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Back to basics with the original MK1 GTi Pic: Motorgiga

This is because, when the Germans at VW sat down to design this car, they didn’t care about a huge body, or leg room, or seat position. It was all about leaping about in a digestive biscuit tin body style of a car.

VW has now decided to make a homage to this exact MK1, with the all-new UP! GTi. If you look at the stats too, it’s not actually that much different they are in fact, very similar. The original MK1 produced 108bhp with the UP! GTi producing 113, meaning that both cars have a 0-60MPH time of around nine seconds, (it’s actually 8.8 seconds if you want to be picky about it), see where I’m going? This new car is also relatively basic on the inside too, I mean it’s got a key which you turn, to start the ignition, and a classic six-speed gearbox with a gearstick, which you use with an old-fashioned clutch pedal. I never got chance to look in the boot when I got a go at one of these, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there was a copy of ‘Mein Kampf’ in the back too.

The similarities carry on through a few features in this car, except the weight. The old MK1 was as light as a feather, so light in fact, if you farted within a few inches of it, it would have probably blown over. The GTi, on the other hand, is a whole 200kg heavier, so it’s fair to say that in the 42 year age difference, the new kid is a little bit fatter.

VW have fully equipped this car with a three-cylinder, one-litre turbocharged engine, and all that is paying under the bonnet, with a great growl you get as you accelerate. I mean, I say it’s paying under the bonnet, the GTi has been a little bit like Pinocchio and lied because, what actually is under the bonnet is a “sound actuator”, (sounds posh doesn’t it?)- not when you hear what it does. This technical device punches some artificial electronic trickery barks and bangs into the cabin, to make it seem like you’re sitting in the afterburners of an F-15 jet engine. All this power, however, means that it is a nippy little creature around the corners, which is fantastic fun.

I know I went on about the 80’s retro look of the interior before, but make no mistake, this is not a blast from the past, it’s still very modern. It comes with climate control, heated seats, Bluetooth and a reversing camera. Also, for when 17-year-old newbies join the road, traction control, which cannot be disengaged.

You can get all of this for just £14,000 which actually is half the price you would pay for a brand new Golf GTi, and as other reviewers have said, twice as fun.

I did actually love the old UP!, but I always thought there was a problem that you could never put your finger on, other than, I would have also recommended it for my granda, along with half the people at the nearest old-folks home. This has been rectified with the GTi, and I would now recommend it to a 21-year-old who has just got out of prison.


‘Star Wars’: Episode 8 Review

I would never call myself a “trekky” fan in the way that someone would who watched ‘Star Trek’, neither would I call myself “blind”, a, because I’m not, and b, because I’m not currently following ‘Peaky Blinders’. You get the gist.

I am, however, a huge fan of the Bond franchise, as well as ‘Star Wars’, and as you’ve guessed from the title, I’m going to do a review this week about the most recent ‘Star Wars’ films ‘The Last Jedi’. In an ideal world, I would have actually written about this as soon as I’d actually seen it, but, I already had planned what was coming in the weeks leading up to my short break, so, I put it off until week two of my return. Believe it or not, an actual few months of planning does go into these write-ups, not just something I think of on the spot.

I personally thought that the last film; ‘The Force Awakens’, was an epic new chapter in the ‘Star Wars’ franchise. It was almost like, the makers of the film had appreciated that time actually does move on, so they got a more or less, entirely new cast, along with some old faces too. This worked an absolute treat. Audiences are ready for a change now, and by appreciating the fact that we are ready for a new venture shows that the next few films are going to be properly epic.

Old storylines still made an appearance, to understand what was going on in TFA, you obviously must have seen the original three. I suppose the main storyline was all about Darth Vader’s burned helmet… By that, I mean the one he wore on his head, not his… Anyways…

So, I’m actually supposed to be reviewing the newest film; ‘The Last Jedi’, but I just felt that I had some clearing up to do first, having never reviewed any Star Wars film on this writing platform before.

The film was much much much better than what I had already expected, and I’ve got to be honest, my expectations were set pretty high. The use of special effects throughout the film was absolutely amazing. I have actually heard that the most expensive bit of special effects used, was a black screen with absolute silence, and so I hear, for that to be how the filmmakers wanted it to be, they had to record specialist sound waves and all that other complicated stuff, that we don’t really need to know about. But, it cost a very lot.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi Pic: Daily Express

A major thing for me was, the epic ending we got at the end of ‘The Force Awakens’. The final scene, we got to see more or less what we had been waiting for the whole two and a half hours of the film; the character of Rey returning the lightsaber to the Jedi master; Luke Skywalker. People went nuts seeing Mark Hamill in the final scene of the film after his character, had alleged to have gone into hiding.

The disappointing thing for me came when half of this new film; ‘The Last Jedi’, was that it seemed to take Rey forever, to convince Skywalker to come home and help out, with what appeared to be a losing battle, against the First Order. I found that this bit of the film dragged on a bit, and towards the end, felt a little bit old and weary.

The very sad news came last Christmas time of the passing of the acting legend, Carrie Fisher, this obviously meant that the character of General Leia Organa, would have to be killed off. In a film reviewer kind of way, I was very excited to see how this was done, because obviously, nobody knew that Carrie was going to die, so to write such a vital character from such a well-known film series, I knew wouldn’t be easy, and a decision that would be taken lightly. Much to my surprise, I didn’t know that Carrie had actually filmed the whole thing before she actually passed away. I was over the moon with this, because it felt like the right thing to do, to respect her final on-screen appearance as the character we love. I also found out after I’d seen the film, that before Carrie passed away, she spoke to the makers of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise and said that since episode seven was all about Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and then the eighth instalment seemed to be all around finding the character Luke Skywalker, she asked if the next film would be all about the Princess Leia backstory…

After much persuading, they all gave in and began to write the script for episode nine… To which, then had to be re-written due to unforeseen circumstances. A fitting final goodbye message featured at the end of episode eight, which I thought was a great and final touch towards one of my favourite childhood actresses.

LucasFilm; the makers of the ‘Star Wars’ series have thankfully said that Carrie’s character won’t be re-created using CGI, this is a good thing as I feel that it would completely obliterate the tone that the previous film has ended with. They are, however, going to deal with the circumstances, write a whole new story, and send out the character of Leia Organa with “an enormous load of respect”.

I am very much looking forward to seeing how the filmmakers, will take the opportunity to open a whole new world to the new characters, that have been introduced and take the story of ‘Star Wars’ to a whole new galaxy far far away…


I would like to dedicate this week’s blog to the Queen of acting; Carrie Fisher.


Er… Hi…

Starting with my first ever blog title felt very very necessary since I’ve had a short break to re-cooperate myself, and also this is my first official blog of 2018!


I hope that you are all well and haven’t missed me too much in the time I have been away, but I’ll tell you I have missed my small corner of the internet a very lot! It’s surprising how natural all of this now comes to me from how it used to, but to take a few weeks off from that suddenly feels weird. Like when your in Year 11 at school, and you sit in a room, staring at a textbook pretending that you are revising and when you finished your GCSE’s and you don’t have to do that for 10 weeks, does feel a bit odd, well that’s how I’ve felt recently, but in other words, I’ve missed doing this.

I will just clarify, I don’t miss revising for my GCSE’S, that’s far from what I’m saying…

Anyways, it’s been a busy few weeks actually for me while I’ve been gone, since I’m off to Tanzania next Summer, all my fundraising has begun in earnest, meaning I have loads of ideas to put into place, it’s just actually doing them! For example, I’m organising a showcase at my school to help fundraise for the trip, but also thought of an even better idea; do it for TWO charities! So, part will help towards my expeditions funds, and the other half will go to a charity called ‘Changing Faces’, this, I feel is an important charity who deal with facial disfigurements. Now, I’ve been in show business all my life, I thought that it would be easy to put a small show together, I couldn’t have been any more wrong…

Do you have any idea how much paperwork you have to go through just so that we can sell cakes in the interval?!? The pile of bloody paper is actually bigger than my house!!! I then had to have a meeting for an hour on Health and Safety, and “the risks and the outcomes”… Then they give you another whole load of paperwork called a “risk assessment”, which I’m going to read… as soon as I get round to it.

There is a lot to cover, and originally, I’ll admit, I did think it was all a bit silly, but when you are organising a show, I’ve found that the easiest thing to do is just say yes to everybody that tries to cause a fuss, and refrain from punching them in the mouth.

In my time away, I’ve actually had the chance to write a fair few pieces for the upcoming weeks, and all I can say is that I’m super excited, and can’t wait for you to read them. I’ve taken 2018 as a little bit of a gamble from an audience perspective because the upcoming articles will either half or double my audience, or if I’m lucky, it might also stay the same. For those of you wondering, although I’m an independent writer, so I technically don’t have to publish viewing figures, but, I can safely say that, I’m currently getting between 3,500 to 6,000 views per week, which for a small writer like me, is f… sorry… bloody impressive.

I’ll leave it there for this week,