RoAb #92 – The ‘It All Comes Down to the Smart Fortwo’ Episode

August 7th, 2011 at 7:38pm

Smart-ForTwo-Autoline

Coming up on Roundabout, Bugatti plans to launch a sexy new four-door sedan.  Nissan Brazil asks drivers what kind of ponies they have under their hoods, and a pair of men that rescued a woman from her burning truck a few years ago are now suing her.  Find out why, as we get to the bottom of these mysteries and many more this week on RoundAbout.

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Play RoundAbout Episode 92

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Featuring: Jeffrey Ross, Michelle Naranjo, Craig Cole and Ben Sanders

Show notes and video after the jump!

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Show Notes:

Mayor attacks car parked in bike lane
And you thought you were having a bad day . . . HA!  According to Autoblog, one Mercedes-Benz S-Class “owner” found out the hard way you don’t park in bike lanes in Vil-ni-us.  That’s the capital of Lithuania for those of you not “in the know.”  Apparently this is a serious problem in the Baltic-state’s top town.  Wealthy, high-end automobile owners are beaching their land ships in dedicated cycling lanes and the city’s mayor is fed up.  To remedy the problem — or at least put the fear of God in Ferrari and Rolls-Royce owners — he took a heavy-duty piece of military equipment and drove it right over a hapless Sonderklasse.  As awesome as the accompanying video is, something is just a little bit fishy.  The whole stunt feels a little staged.  But you be the jury, follow the hyperlink on our interwebsite for all the details.

New Porsche 929 design study
There have been many rumors swirling recently in regards to a return of the Porsche 928, but Carscoop.com posted an article about a design study for a new 2+2 Porsche, called the 929. Designed by Julliana Cho, a British art school student studying vehicle design, her 929 is a slick-looking four-passenger coupe that is apparently sized between a 911 and the Panamera. There are plenty of quirky elements to this design such as the half wheels and the extra wide rear hips, but the reverse scissor doors add a unique twist to the car’s look. After checking out Cho’s website and a short design video, it’s obvious that she really has a talent with both cars and computers.  

Nissan Brazil asks if you have “damned ponies” under your hood
É mesmo, Brazil? Pra caramba, Brasieleros malditos! Ponies are cute. It is a fact. In a recent Brazilian viral ad for the Nissan Frontier, evil “Damn Ponies” taunt a stuck-in-the-mud off roader that they don’t like to be dirty and the voiceover tells you that the Frontier has a whopping 172 horse power – not pony power. I know from direct research that ponies do like the dirt. A lot. This is just an offense to My Little Pony lovers and … me.

Sexy body building makes the ladies pregnant?
We’ve seen all sorts of window stickers for cars, whether it be a cartoon Calvin peeing on the automaker’s logo of your choosing, or some sort of decal broadcasting your bigoted beliefs, these stickers always convey a clear message. This one, however, might be a little bit lost in translation. Hooniverse has a photo of a Magna hatchback in Australia with a cartoon outline of two pregnant women standing on either side of a tall man lifting weights. Our best guess says that this is a warning that body-building will lead to mass pregnancy, so don’t worry, Craig, it looks like you’re going the safe route with that whole emaciated physique you’ve got going there.

Bugatti four-door Nnearing production
With Aston Martin and even Porsche offering sumptuous, high-end sedans these days, it seems like the segment is off-limits to no automaker.  And according to Autoholics (powered by CarDomain) Bugatti has confirmed the beautiful Galiber concept car it showed off two years ago IS IN FACT going into production.  If you remember, it’s the one with the shiny bodywork on its sides.  The fast-back four-door is rumored to be powered by a *slightly* de-tuned version of the Veyron’s W-16 engine.  Even so, I gar-on-tee this sucker will be quick.  Sticker price is expected to be roughly one-and-a-half-million bucks.  I want it!

Real-life Robocop
Dash cameras in police cars have provided footage of some impressive car chases and crashes over the years, but this latest police video is one of the most shocking ever. Officers in England, including one Dan Pascoe, were attempting to stop a suspect in a stolen BMW last month by setting up a roadblock. Pascoe had just positioned his Volvo station wagon cruiser in the line of traffic and for some reason he was getting out of the car. As seen from another police car’s dash cam, as soon as he stepped from the vehicle, the suspect rammed the police car throwing Pascoe into the air. Pascoe must be a Chumbawamba fan because immediately after being knocked down, he got up again… and chased the suspect down on foot! According to Jalopnik, Pascoe suffered only minor injuries, and the suspect, Lee Adamson, was arrested and sentenced to 23 months in prison.

I have had it with this mother f—in’ snake on this mother f—in’ car!
In another RoAbians-Love-Animals installment – will someone please tell me why these people did not stop the car and kindly remove the frightened rat snake from the windshield of their moving car? In this video featured on Autoholics, a snake slithers its way across the owners’ windshield and over to the sideview mirror — all while the vehicle is driving at highway speed! Someone should call PETA on these people! Have you ever gotten in your car and discovered an ant in your moving car? Well, I have and for the record, I immediately stopped the car on the 405 and let it crawl out at its own pace. Do I think that my friend who swerved her Windstar so hard to avoid missing a raccoon that she rolled 3 times and totalled it was smart? Absolutely! Raccoons are cute and Windstars are not.

Think you’re a good driver? Think again!
Everyone thinks they’re a good driver, but in reality, that isn’t exactly the case. According to Fox Business, a study conducted by Allstate showed that 64 percent of Americans rated themselves as “excellent” or “very good” drivers, rating their fellow drivers much lower in the process. However, these supposedly “excellent” drivers admit to some pretty bad habits. 89 percent say they’re prone to speeding, with 40 percent admitting to exceeding posted speed limits by more than 20 miles per hour. Almost half of the test group admitted to driving while exhausted, 15 percent have driven while intoxicated, and over one third say they’ve engaged in text messaging while behind the wheel. Not so excellent, huh?

Men save woman from burning car and sue her
Jalopnik reports a duet of Ohio men . . . NO, they’re not together . . . rescued a woman from her burning Hummer back in 2003.  She’d driven the truck off the road and down an embankment where it apparently burst into flames.  Now you’d think a hero’s glory would be enough of a reward for these upstanding gentlemen . . . but you’d be wrong.  The two are now suing the woman in question for damages and injuries incurred from the rescue!  One of them, a 39-year-old truck driver, claims he’s “not the same man he was before” the accident and that the smoke from the fire badly damaged his lungs.  Both men are asking for $25,000 apiece in a Buckeye court.  Doesn’t this whole situation sound Jerry Springer-ridiculous?  But it gets better.  Apparently rescuers CAN sue victims in situations where they’ve been reckless or negligent.

No more left turns!
For anyone who has watched a motorist get stumped while attempting to drive through a roundabout, you haven’t seen anything yet. Instead of making a loop to eliminate a dangerous left-hand turn, one highway intersection near St. Louis, Missouri has switched to what is called a diverging diamond interchange. According to an article posted on Slate.com, this intersection design reduces conflict points in half by having vehicles turning left diverge into oncoming lanes to avoid directly crossing paths. If that sounds confusing, head over to Roundaboutshow.com and take a look a a picture of the intersection for yourself. Who would have thought that driving on the wrong side of the road is actually safer?

2012 Faresi concept car on eBay
If you love the Pontiac Solstice and wish that you could have seen it taken just one a notch higher, you don’t have to go further than eBay Motors. It appears that a Faresi Concept car is up on the block and the 4-cylinder features a James Bond alarm system. Alarming. It might be worth millions, according to the “designer” and seller. But the same has been said about my horse barn and both the Faresi and my barn were built at home. In a backyard with DIY parts.

Law of the land: strange rulings about cars in foreign countries
Here in the United States, there are tons of ancient, wacky state laws that we like to dig up from time to time, and around the world, automobiles are subject to some pretty wonky rules, as well. For example, Craig, did you know that in Denmark, it’s illegal to start your car with someone underneath it? Or, Jeff, did you know that in Switzerland, it’s mandatory to display a sticker showing that you own snow tires? Let’s take things a step further – in Canada, it’s apparently mandatory to color-coordinate your garage to city requirements, and in Austraila, bar owners must provide accommodation for horses when requested. Hear that, Michelle? Even Joy gets to come along!

 

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Blind Spot

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever driven?

 

Stupid Bike Trick

Ridiculous motorcycle cop

Go fork yourself!

 

Versus

Michelle – Judge

Craig – Pro

Jeff – Judge

Steven – Con

 

Pick #1

Pick #2

Pick #3

 

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