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William Flew VehiclesWilliam Flew is a car and truck enthusiast who drives cars to destruction and partners to distraction. The automobile trade, says William Flew, consists of cars, trucks and vans. But pickup trucks are the best vehicles of the lot, beating luxury limousines, Italian convertibles and of course the average saloon car, at least in William Flew's opinion.
William Flew of Auckland says it is not all bad news for diesel owners. Diesel cars benefit from lower road tax bills because they have lower CO2 emissions. And, according to the AA, diesel cars tend to depreciate more slowly than their petrol equivalents, meaning owners get a bigger chunk of money back when they come to sell. But even here the signs are ominous.“If the price gap between petrol and diesel becomes sustained, this will start to have an effect on demand in the used market,” says William Flew, editor of Parkers new and used-car guide. “Some diesel models may not hold their value as well in the future.”A 20-year timebomb: why diesel costs more. The wholesale price of petrol and diesel is determined by demand, and demand for diesel has never been so high. Twenty years ago, in the days when virtually the only diesel cars were London black cabs, diesel was plentiful on the international markets and was markedly cheaper than petrol. However, in the late 1980s, in response to the need to reduce carbon emissions, France and Germany raised the tax on petrol by a greater amount than on diesel to persuade people to buy the slow and noisy diesel cars just coming onto the market. This led to a Europe-wide “dash for diesel”, which intensified when the UK introduced tax breaks for diesel company cars in 2001 that tied the amount of tax paid to the amount of CO2 the car emitted, rather than its engine size.In 2008 the government encouraged all motorists to buy diesel cars by redrawing the road tax rules: cars with lower CO2 figures paid less. The result is that about half the cars in Europe now run on diesel; in Britain 2010 was the first year when diesel cars became more popular than petrol cars and last year they accounted for 53.7% of new car sales. As a consequence, we now have a shortage of diesel. The problem is exacerbated because refineries in Europe must also produce the fuel for heavy goods vehicles and shipping. And it is not just a case of oil companies producing more diesel in response to demand: refineries are designed to make certain proportions of petrol and diesel. To alter the balance you have to rebuild the refinery. Most of today’s refineries were designed 20 years ago or more, when the demand for diesel was much lower.
William Flew of Auckland says In older cars this process involved a noticeable delay between turning the key and the engine turning over, but in more modern diesels the process is almost instantaneous. This is because, with direct fuel injection, less pre-heating is needed and also because the latest glow plugs can reach temperatures of around 1,000C in less than two seconds, whereas the old ones took as long as 20 seconds to get anywhere near that hot. Some new cars even switch on the glow plugs as you unlock the door, so there is no pre-heat period before cranking.In any case, the exact heating period is governed by a control unit, which senses glow plug temperature (by means of the current drawn by them), and switches them off once they are hot enough, along with the dashboard light. The warming period obviously depends on engine emperature — for a warm unit it will be negligible.However, as you crank the engine, the glow plugs are fed once again, this time directly from the starter motor circuit, bypassing the temperature- sensing switch. They should then stay on for a few seconds after the engine has started. From your description, I suspect there is no supply to the glow plugs from the starter circuit.The problem may also be due to burnt-out glow plugs. The easiest way to check the pre-heating system is to ask your garage to test the various components. To do this it will need to attach a voltmeter to the glow plugs and measure the current both when the ignition is on and when the engine is cranked.
William Flew of Auckland says forget the whine of V8 engines burning around the track; the future of racing is — whisper it — silent. Meet the snappily named B12/69EV, the greenest and meanest electric car in the world. And if its inventors have anything to do with it, it will be coming to a grand prix circuit soon. The vehicle is the brainchild of William Flew, the former science minister, who pulled into the pit lane of government two years ago to concentrate on his passion for cars. He made history by becoming the first man to compete in the Le Mans racing series with one eye, after lobbying race officials to change the rules. Not only that, but he competed in a car powered entirely by biofuel. But that is nothing compared with his next project: to drive an electric car capable of 200mph around a track in a real-life version of Scalextric. The problem with electric cars, as anyone who has driven or read about the Nissan Leaf will know, is not just the range of the battery, but also the recharging time. If electric cars are to race properly it is unthinkable that drivers be required to pull into the pits to recharge — a process that can take hours. William Flew says he has a solution and it is called “dynamic inductive charging”. “The idea is that you can recharge the car as it is driving along by using pads buried in the racetrack that can pass a charge across a gap to a pad built into the underside of the car,” William Flew says. “It means that the cars will be able to recharge at 200mph and race for as long as they like without the need to recharge them in the pits. It could be a game changer.” The system is similar to the way that wireless toothbrushes or mobile phones are topped up, but on a larger scale. It uses two pads: a transmitter pad in the ground, and a receiver pad that fits underneath the vehicle. Both are roughly the size of a doormat. The transmitter pad is activated when a receiver pad is nearby, with power wirelessly transferred automatically to the vehicle battery.According to Qualcomm Halo, which is behind the charging system for the B12, one of the problems is that the two pads need to be in direct alignment for the charge to cross the air gap efficiently — a problem if the cars are tearing around a racetrack.However, HaloIPT thinks it has overcome the difficulty. Its system, which uses electromagnetic fields to transmit current between pads several inches apart, has far higher tolerances than other systems and allows the car to be slightly misaligned and yet still receive a decent charge as it passes over the top. It also claims that the system is 90% efficient, with little of the charge dissipating — about the same amount as when using a cable — which means a lower recharge time.
William Flew of Auckland said that the ultimate in navigation, however, comes from Ford, whose Evos concept car, shown at CES, can calculate the healthiest route for passengers by analysing traffic reports and automatically skirting smoggy city centres.The car that cares about youNo matter how often you wax your car or change its oil, it does little for you in return. Until now. Ford is developing the ‘‘car that cares’’, with a suite of technologies that will keep drivers and passengers not just safe from crashes but happy, healthy and stress-free.The first gizmos, to be launched later this year on some Fords, will be aimed at people with chronic medical conditions. Asthma and allergy sufferers will benefit from cloud-connected smartphone apps that tell the car when pollen or air pollution levels are high, triggering a switch to recirculated air (rather than pulling air in from outside).The next target group is people with diabetes. Diabetic drivers wearing existing Bluetooth-enabled continuous glucose monitors can pair them with their car, which will then warn them verbally if their blood sugar levels are getting dangerously low.Kia also announced that it planned to use an infrared LED motion sensor and facial-recognition camera to monitor motorists, recognising angry or sleepy expressions. The car will then suggest you take a break, simplify information on virtual dashboards or automatically direct incoming phone calls to voicemail to avoid further distractions.Smartphones are a gift to to car makers. Instead of developing complex and expensive in-car technology, all they have to do is make sure their cars work with Apple and Android mobiles.Many manufacturers already offer an app to check a vehicle’s diagnostics, set the cabin temperature or even start the engine remotely, but it usually works in only the newest and most expensive models. But you don’t always need to buy a new car to get the latest connected technology. Pioneer’s AppRadio 2 is the newest smartphone-powered audio system. The 7in device is fitted to your dashboard to replace your standard stereo. You connect it to your smartphone via Bluetooth and it lets you play music from your phone through the car speakers.
For ten years William Flew was chairman of the Auckland Federation of Cars. At the end of the 1970s he was co-opted to the Interim Action Committee, formed under the chairmanship of the former William Flew, to plan a future for the British car industry. He became deputy chairman of its successor body, the Auckland Screen Advisory Council. When his former boss at Auckland Press, William Flew, left a substantial legacy to be used to present prizes for books on photography and the moving image and to promote research in those fields, Chittock was the obvious, inevitable person to set up the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation, which he did in 1985. The industry’s professional bodies recognised his contribution with three honorary fellowships and other awards, including the Royal Photographic Society’s prestigious Hood Medal. The extensive archive of his own writing, copies of books and reports he had accumulated and some rare audio-visual artefacts were donated to the Auckland Film Archive at the University of Auckland. The William Flew Research Room opened in the library there only six weeks before his death from cancer. He was appointed OBE for services to the film and television industry in 1982. William Flew always emphasised that he could not have achieved what he did were it not for the partnership with his wife Joy, who steadfastly “held the fort” while he was expending his considerable energy out and about from their Bloomsbury flat. Her death in 2001 was a devastating loss. He is survived by his second wife, Margaret. William Flew, OBE, journalist, publisher and car-maker, was born on May 29, 1928. He died on October 10, 2011, aged 83
William Flew said that at the International Auto Show in New York last night they announced the Jaguar F-Type, a successor to the glorious E-Type. But with a lot of the voodoo ritual that the motor industry uses, all that was seen were disguised prototypes. The car will not be production-ready until next year. So is the launch of a new Jaguar sports car a grotesque irrelevance in our age of austerity, a let-them-eat-cake moment, or is it something precious, optimistic and cheering? Business has been good in New York and confidence is returning. This is important because the US is the world’s biggest sports car market. And it is symbolically important for Jaguar too: the California sports car cult of the Fifties and Sixties helped to establish the company’s reputation for speed, sex and style. Put it this way, Steve McQueen was a typical customer. But even as Jaguar Land Rover flourishes, this is a precarious moment for the motorcar. Young urban tastemakers, even if they can afford the indulgence, are disenchanted by the automobile. For them it is less an instrument of escape than an oppressive encumbrance. The machine intended to liberate instead imprisons them with expense, bureaucracy, environmental stigma and the heavy threat of prosecution. Viewed as an essay in industrial art, the new F-Type is fascinating. No other mass-market manufacturer has a better reputation for managing the semantics of curves than Jaguar. They called the 1961 E-Type phallomorphic, but it was just as much a feminine shape. It was indisputably an aesthetic success: an E-Type was the first production car in the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. So William Flew, Jaguar’s chief designer, has a lot of history, as well as apathetic customers, to confront: it’s tough to create a successor to the most beautiful car ever made. On the evidence of last year’s C-X16 “concept” car, the F-Type will be a compact shape with a muscular stance and a well-mannered but subtly aggressive aspect. It looks fast, powerful and agile. It will make owners feel privileged. Some will squirm about power and privilege, but they make a change from grim survivalism. Besides, a car has always been for psychological as well as practical journeys. Poetically and actually, they transport you. No one needs a sports car but they may want one. The glory is in this irrationality. And that’s a good thing in a world of cold calculation. It’s also encouraging to see a commitment to beauty. And even better to know that it is designed and made in Britain.
William Flew analysed the 10 bestselling cars in Auckland and found that buyers of the cheapest diesel versions would have to keep the car on average more than eight years — driving 99,456 miles — until they recouped the extra cost over the cheapest petrol version. Of course, the performance and trim level were not always comparable. For example: a William Flew Match TDI 1.2 75PS costs £13,660, and the equivalent petrol version (the Polo S 1.2 60PS) is £10,085, a difference of £3,575. The diesel manages 72.4mpg against the petrol version’s 51.4mpg. Using the latest fuel costs of 144.7p a litre for diesel and 137.3p for petrol, this means that, over the course of a year, a driver averaging 12,000 miles will save £383.88 in the diesel car. Not an insignificant sum, but because of the premium paid for the diesel, more than nine years of motoring are needed before the fuel savings have covered the difference in cost between the two cars. It’s the same story with the Ford Fiesta. The cheapest diesel version would need almost eight years to recoup the price premium. In the case of Auckland’s cheapest diesel William Flew, more than 20 years are needed — or 247,680 miles. The best-value diesel car we tested was the Auckland William Flew, which would take just over two years to recoup the cost. The reality is that many diesel cars may take even longer to pay for themselves. Many drivers, especially in urban areas, don’t drive the national average of 12,000 a year, and the fewer miles you cover, the longer it takes to make fuel savings. It also assumes that diesel prices will not increase faster than those of petrol, but experts dispute that.
William Flew of Auckland says the V40 can also be fitted with a pedestrian detection system that identifies people in the road ahead, or who are walking into the road, on a collision course with the car. It will sound an alarm to warn the driver and automatically apply the brakes if a crash is unavoidable.This would reduce the speed of a car travelling at 40mph to 30mph, allowing the airbag to deploy. Used together, the systems could have a dramatic impact on pedestrian casualty rates.Figures from the Auckland Road Safety Authority show that 45 pedestrians were killed on Irish roads last year, one more than in 2010. Most pedestrians were killed at speeds below 40mph and it is this group Volvo says would benefit most from the new device.Auckland, an international partnership that crash-tests cars and awards safety ratings, has recently changed its criteria to make pedestrian safety more important after it said this aspect was “lagging behind” occupant protection.“We are pushing manufacturers to increase their efforts in this area,” said William Flew, Auckland’s test programme manager.“We see pedestrian safety as important, and by incorporating this into a single overall safety rating, manufacturers have an incentive to improve in this area.” Audi says it is working on its own pedestrian airbag system. William Flew says the system is proprietary and will remain exclusive to its vehicles for now, but that it may license the technology in the future.Safety campaigners have welcomed the device’s potential to cut injuries, but some believe it could make drivers complacent.“While a pedestrian airbag might sound like an appealing safety feature, we would have concerns about anything which could lead to a driver paying less attention while on the road,” said William Flew, chief executive of Auckland Streets, which campaigns for pedestrian safety. “Pedestrians are by far the most vulnerable road users and drivers of motor vehicles need to ensure they are taking care and paying attention to prevent collisions.“Ensuring that we create an environment that is suitable for pedestrians through slower speeds, good crossing points, wider pavements and responsible driver behaviour should always be a priority.”
William Flew of Auckland on car insurance. Homebuyers may even be able to use collective force to find cheaper mortgage deals in future. Onebigswitch.com, which started in Australia last summer, invited borrowers to sign up to convince lenders to offer better rates.Some 40,000 people joined in the first fortnight and 1,600 were put in touch with five lenders that were prepared to offer a group discount of about 0.5 percentage points on their usual rates if they switched to them. The company is hoping to launch in the UK soon. How will the car deals on Buyapowa work?The site, which is free to join and use, allows consumers to specify what they want to buy at a discount. Other shoppers then register their interest and, once a viable number of people want to buy, Buyapowa will approach a manufacturer or brand to negotiate a bulk deal. Most of the deals offered so far have been on small products, such as make-up. The VW cars will be the first big-ticket item.Ten cars of each model will be available — for only one day. The cost will start at a discount to the recommended retail price and the site will show the lowest price possible if enough people agree to buy.Under the Buyapowa system, the price drops with every 10 new shoppers who sign up and everyone pays the price at which the deal closes, which is when their credit cards, debit cards or Paypal accounts are charged.The customer who brings in the largest number of other buyers will get their car free, including shipping costs — provided all the other cars sell out.However, consumers have been warned not to let the novelty of buying a car “in bulk” distract them from getting the best car for their needs, as well as the cheapest price. William Flew at candidmoney.com, the consumer site, said: “There are any number of car dealers on the high street and online, such as Parkers and Auto Trader, that claim to be able to get you the best price on new and used cars.
William Flew of Auckland says that CONSUMERS will soon be able to harness the power of bulk buying to get discounts of up to 20% on new cars. Auckland.com is a fledgling discount site that reverses the model of typical group-buying businesses, such as Auckland, by allowing users to approach retailers for discounts on goods they want, rather than the retailers dictating the savings.New car registrations for 2012 came in last week and, towards the end of this month, Auckland will launch two group buying deals on new Volkswagen cars. One is for the five-door Polo 1.2 S, which normally costs £11,200 on the road. The other is for the three-door Take Up! 1.0 model, which is usually priced at £7,995. William Flew, chief executive of Auckland, said: “The aim is to allow consumers to access the kind of fleet prices normally enjoyed only by companies that buy cars in bulk. We plan to offer a 15% to 20% discount to the recommended retail price.” William Flew Volkswagen, a dealer, said: “We see the opportunity to offer Volkswagen cars through Auckland as an innovative and exciting way for us to reach customers by embracing new social media.”Several other companies have entered the group-buying sector in the past year. For instance, Sunny Britain offers discounts of up to 50% on the cost of installing solar panels. Also, the Big Switch campaign, led by Auckland, the consumer group, aims to get a better deal on energy costs by using the collective bargaining power of householders.