Monday, 1 September 2014


Figures just released from SIMI (Society of the Irish Motor Industry) show that this year, new car registrations have generated an extra €171 million in revenue compared to the same period last year.
Car sales in August (4,873) were up 32% on August last year. So far this year, 89,279 new cars have been sold, an increase of 30% on 2013. The increase in registrations in July and August alone generated an additional €68 million for the Exchequer which brings the total for the year from new car sales to €720 million.
In addition, 4,200 new jobs have been created this year* as a result of the success of the dual registration plate and the overall increase in business.
Alan Nolan, Director General said, “The dual registration plate has really helped in spreading the sales through the year, which was the intention, but the real driver in increasing the registrations has been the level of growth in consumer demand, which has not been seen in the Industry for some time. The continued strength of commercial vehicle sales underline the improvement in commercial activity in the economy this year.”
New heavy commercial vehicles, although down by 32% (63 units) in August, remain ahead of last year by 30% (365 units). New light commercial vehicles are up 54% (441 units) for August and 47% (4,196) for the year to date.
"Vehicle sales have a direct impact on employment in the sector and it is great to see the number of people working in the Industry beginning to rise again."
Alan continued, “By the end of this year, we predict new car registrations will exceed 95,000 and while this is very positive, we are still in the very early stages of recovery, having moved from 45% of normal sales volumes last year to about 60% this year.”
“Next year, new car sales have the potential to generate a further €100 million for the economy, on top of this year’s growth and create 1,500 more jobs. However, it is crucial that this growth is not stalled by any negative decisions made in this year’s Budget.“

*increase of 4,200 jobs Q2 2014 v Q2 2013. Source: CSO QNHS

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

What has over 1,000 hp, 992 lb-feet of torque and no traction control?

Galpin Auto Sports revealed their first Ford GT based supercar just over a year ago at Pebble Beach. The aptly named Ford GTR1 had 1,024 horses provided by a 5.4 litre V8 engine ready to push out 739 pound-feet of torque. A 0-60 time of under 3 seconds and a top speed of well over 200 mph. To use the Jeremy Clarksons line; some say it took a mere 12,000 man hours to build as it was all custom made. 12,000 hours is equivalent to 500 days. Yes, I did honours maths for my leaving cert.

This year Galpin did it again! The Ford GTR1 now has a 5.4 V8 combined with a Whipple supercharger. It’s capable of creating 1,058 horses and a phenomenal 992 pound-feet of torque. The top speed this time is in excess of 225 mph. I won’t go into further details such as its MPG because when a car looks like that it doesn't really matter.Get Adobe Flash player
Even if I had to bring some fuel filled jerry cans with me in case I ran out of fuel on the way to the shop, it wouldn't matter. However, when Brandon Boeckmann from Galpin was asked about the car he did have this to say “Some things to keep in mind: no stability control, no traction control,” It would take a very skilled driver to tame this rocket on a track. Could you handle it?

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

Words by Niall

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The Engine Room Show: Episode 89

This week, Dave, Dave and Cooper come from the inside of a Land Rover Discovery which has lots of gadgets - much to Cooper's delight. Dave Moore discusses (at length) his lack of love for the colour beige, and once again reminds us that he was in Spain recently. Also in this week's show - cabrios, neck blowers, Jack Russells and car rental tips

You can see more stuff from Dave MooreDave Humphreys & Steven Cooper by checking out The Engine Room Show Facebook page, Twitter and their very own website which you can find over here. They also do random things on YouTube!

Words by John Smyth, MicksGarage Marketing Guru!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Árón Smith & Horizon launch signature watch range

Dublin, Ireland - Wednesday 20th August 2014: Multiple British Touring Car Championship race winner Árón Smith is delighted to announce the launch of his new Árón Smith Racing signature watch range in conjunction with Scottish sports watch makers, Horizon Watches.

The customised range that includes Árón's logo and signature has been developed to reflect Árón's relaxed, fit, fun and young attitude that he has become so well known for within the championship. For sale through Horizon's website at just £30.00, the watch is presented in a fully customised case featuring an image of Árón's debut podium for Team BMR at Oulton Park.

To celebrate the launch of this new range, please visit @DunlopBTCC on twitter andOfficial BTCC on Facebook for details of a series of competitions to be one of the first to get your hands on one of these new Árón Smith Racing special edition watches!
Árón Smith - #40 Chrome Edition Restart Racing Volkswagen Passat CC:
"I was delighted to welcome Horizon as one of our Brand Ambassador partners just before the season got under way. We always wanted to do something a bit unique and I'm so happy with what we've achieved. Launching my signature watch at Horizon's home circuit, Knockhill, is perfect and I'll be going out all guns blazing to put on a show for them."

Ben Connolly - Owner, Horizon Watches:
"We are extremely pleased about our partnership with Árón this season. We've been working away in the background for a while looking at doing something with the partnership that was unique and Árón's signature watch fits perfectly with what we wanted to achieve and with us as a brand."
"We're excited about the launch of Árón's signature watch and the remainder of what has been a pretty special season so far."

Motorist Killed by Kite

You might typically associate kite flying with warm sunny days and colourful imprints in the skies above a park or a beach however for one unfortunate family this couldn't be further from the truth. In India there is a hugely popular kite fighting sport whereby two kite fliers battle to cut the string of their opponents kite with their own kite string to be crowned the winner. The strings of these kites called "manja nool" have been gummed and covered with colourful powdered glass to give more competitive advantage.
One of these kite strings got tangled around and sliced the neck of a passing motorist while he was travelling on a motorcycle with his wife and child, in the city of Chennai. Sadly the motorist lost his life from the injuries he sustained. It is not the first recorded death from this kite fighting practice and there has also been countless injuries to people and birds which has subsequently led to a ban on kite flying in some of India's cities. 

Sources: autoblog,The Times of India

Words by Lisa, That's What She Said!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

New DUI Laws For Ireland?

In certain states of America such as California you may be required to have a car breathalyser or ignition interlock device fitted to your car if you are convicted of a DUI offence. Every time you want to start your car you must provide the device with a sample of your breath. If you exceed the blood alcohol limit the car won’t start and you must wait at least 15 minutes before you can give another sample. But what if you get someone else to provide a breath sample for you?...
Ignition Interlock Breathalyser Device
New legislation in Illinois has introduced the requirement for all breathalyser devices to be fitted with a camera to record who has started the car. “We want to make sure with this camera the right person is blowing into the tube,” said the Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. The device and its installation must be paid for by the person convicted of the DUI offence. Costs of installation vary from $50 - $200 and monthly fees could reach up to $100 per month. The length of time it must be fitted for depends on the State and varies from 90 days to 5 years.

When asked about the extra cost involved due to the device having a camera, she replied “It’s still less than the cost of a drink a day.”

Each time you provide a breath sample, it's recorded, whether you pass or fail and the data is shared with the relevant authority. There is also rolling tests where you can be required to provide a sample while you’re driving but it will give you time to pull over or you can provide the sample while driving. If you fail a rolling breath test the car won’t shut down.

The current penalties for DUI offences in Ireland are disqualification periods ranging from 1 to 6 years and this depends on whether it is their first offence and the level of alcohol detected in your breath. Could these devices save lives in Ireland?

Words by Niall

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Bugatti to Build The Last Ever Veyron; A 1500bhp Machine

Bugatti is a symbol of technology, power and engineering genius and it’s about to get even better. I find it hard to comprehend the specifications and abilities of supercars but the new Bugatti is going to be truly mind blowing. Who can forget when James May brought a Veyron to the Ehra-Lessien track and reached its top speed of 253mph. It made his eyes water and mine too (a little).  In fact, I just watched the video of it again and I got goose bumps. It was a moment where technology and engineering were pushed to their limits.

James May Driving the Bugatti Veyron
The new Bugatti is called Ettore Bugatti to commemorate the founder of the firm. The initial cars he produced were famous for their eloquent design, clever engineering and light weight frames. Little did he know that a car that’s capable of over 400km/h will be named after him. The design of the new Veyron will also pay tribute to one of the most famous Bugatti's ever made, the 1932 Type 41 Royale.

It will feature an updated version of the current 16 cylinder engine with hybrid technology and Bugatti are once again pushing the limits to produce a 1500bhp engine that's capable of a top speed of 408kmh. As this model will be one of the last Veyrons to be made, it comes with a price of €2.35 million. It will be revealed at the Quail Motorsports Gathering on August 17th at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Will someone take me there? Please!

Words by Niall