The Good Oil: Sporting chance for smaller Z

The undeniably sporty 370Z may be shrunk to take on vehicles like the Toyota GT86 and Subaru's BR-Z. Photo / Supplied
The undeniably sporty 370Z may be shrunk to take on vehicles like the Toyota GT86 and Subaru's BR-Z. Photo / Supplied

Nissan is looking at a smaller variant of its 370Z sports car, perhaps wearing a nameplate like 200SX and aimed at the Toyota GT 86 and Subaru BRZ.

The carmaker's chief creative officer, Shiro Nakamura, has said he prefers a smaller sports car. "It is time to look at that. With 370Z, we still don't know whether the next generation will have a larger or smaller engine.''

It isn't clear if Nissan would field two separate Z models or replace the current 370Z with a smaller, less costly model.

Nakamura said that even if the 3.7-litre V6 engine in the 370Z comes down in size, Nissan will still have the young but already legendary GT-R.

Asked if Nissan would be willing to support three sports cars, Nakamura said: "If there is a market, we will do it."

Dart in line for cordless charging

Chrysler claims it will be the first carmaker to offer wireless charging in next year's American-market Dodge Dart. It says the system will work with MP3 players and iPhone, Blackberry and Android mobile phones, provided the devices are fitted with a special case.

The wireless hardware is a dealer-installed accessory costing the car buyer an extra US$199.99 ($244.75). Wireless charging has been offered as a third-party solution for some time, but Chrysler is the first carmaker to officially offer it through its dealer network.

Lego: The wheel deal since 1962

The tyre-making landscape is thick with companies over 100 years old, except for the biggest - Lego.

Yep, the Danish toymaker has been making rolling rubber since 1962. It makes around 380 million wheels each year, in sizes ranging from roughly 1cm to 10cm in diameter. Lego had been producing kits for more than a decade before the 1962 debut of set
No400, which contained the first version of the now-familiar Lego tyre.

Lego comes from the Danish phrase "leg godt" - "play well".

Got a hangover? Hit the road

Meet Hangover Heaven, a Las Vegas bus service offering vitamin-enriched injections that can bring party animals back to health in 45 minutes, or so it claims.

The rolling cure-all will pick you up from casinos/hotels and ease the pain of a big night out. Too crook to make the trek from your room to the ground floor? No sweat - Hangover.

Heaven will send someone to you, IV in hand, with services starting at US$150 ($184).

Hangover Heaven says the medication and equipment it uses is approved by America's Federal Drug Administration.

Its motto: "Our buses can work magic, but they cannot bring you back from the dead."

Fans break code as Ferrari produces secret one-off for guitar hero Clapton

Guitar great Eric Clapton reportedly got the reddest of red carpet treatments at Ferrari when he popped in to order a custom-made model. The one-off example was codenamed the SP12 EPC and kept under wraps during its development. Now it appears it has surfaced on the internet. Amateur video shows what is said to be Clapton's bespoke car leaving a Ferrari dealership in Britain. How did they identify it? From a batch of alleged patent renderings that also appeared on the internet.

Meanwhile, a survey in the US found that the car most likely to be owned by American women was the Volvo S40. A similar study of Yankee Doodle Dandies found that the Ferrari 458 Italia was almost exclusively a male-only model - only four out of every 100 Italia 458s were owned by women. The next largely Mr Man model was the BMW 1 Series M Coupe, followed by the Audi R8, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and Ferrari California. The Porsche 911 came in at No 6 and the Nissan GT-R and its 87.9
per cent ratio was No 7. The last three places were filled by all-American muscle: the GMC Sierra pick-up, Ford F150 pick-up, and the Chevrolet Corvette.

Millen sticks with Hyundai for drift series

Kiwi Rhys Millen will use a 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe for the upcoming Formula Drift series in the United States.

The turbocharged 2-litre engine in the specially prepared two-door boasts around 450kW - more than twice the output of the standard coupe. It is the fourth straight year that Hyundai and Rhys Millen Racing have teamed up for the series.

Speedy motor making slow entrance

Honda told show-goers at Detroit in January that its next-generation go-fast NSX would debut within three years. Until then it is doing its best to keep the all-wheel-drive car at the front of punters' minds.

A soft-top variant will make its first appearance in the upcoming movie The Avengers.

Spy pictures of the soft-top were taken on the set of the movie late last year.

- NZ Herald

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