22 August 2017

Colin McRae Charity Run

The Colin McRae Charity Run is heading back to Belfast on 16 September organised by a group of local Subaru enthusiast owners, and supported by Subaru NI and Subaru Ireland. Now in its third year the event is a tribute to the late great Colin McRae - on the tenth anniversary of Colin’s tragic loss the event plans to celebrate his many motorsport achievements and keep his name and legacy very much alive.

The event starts from Eastwood Motors Subaru in Lisburn, and ends at Nearys Subaru in Lusk, Co Dublin. Registration is from 10am with family activities such as a Superhero kids meet and greet area, BBQ, bouncy castle, prize raffle, and refreshments as well as a Subaru heritage display and a hyperformance Subaru BRZ V8 conversion by local engineering specialists Momentum Tuning.
An estimated 150 Subarus from across the UK and Ireland are expected, with spectators welcomed at the start/finishes. The run departs from Lisburn at 13:00 taking a scenic route through Northern Ireland with a planned rest stop before finishing in Lusk Co Dublin at 18:00 with more family fun, prizes and refreshments. All proceeds are in aid of Angel Wishes, a local registered charity that aims to make desperately ill childrens’ dreams come true.
There will be lots of prize giveaways - Subaru NI have donated mens & ladies jackets and Subaru goody bags with assorted branded bits and bobs. Subaru Ireland have donated an autographed Dublin GAA team shirt, Mike Ross signed IRFU rugby ball, and Subaru Ireland branded paddock jackets. All participants receive a goody bag at the start, with a coveted Concours D’Elegance Trophy going to the “Best Subaru” entrant on the day.

Drivers can pre-register at “Just Giving – NI Subaru Run” or e.mail the Organiser Joanne Derby-Murray direct at nisubaru555@gmail.com.

Apprentices offer from Nissan Ireland

Nissan Ireland is offering up to 40 places for Leaving Cert students as an alternative to the CAO, writes Trish Whelan.

Interested students should apply to the Nissan Apprentice Academy where up to 40 places are now available to anyone interested in training to become a qualified automotive technician.

James McCarthy
“This is no ordinary apprenticeship as it offers a unique opportunity to work with the innovative intelligent mobility technologies that are shaping the future of the motor industry and driving the demand for Nissan cars,” said James McCarthy, CEO of Nissan Ireland.

“We created the Academy to develop the technicians of tomorrow and to help future-proof our business so that we can service the demand for connected, autonomous and electric cars like the zero emissions Nissan LEAF and new Nissan Qashqai,” he added.

Applicants can now apply online and successful candidates will be employed by local Nissan dealers across the country before the end of the year and mentored and trained over four years to become qualified automotive technicians.

Apprentices will complete their normal block release apprenticeship with SOLAS. They will also receive Nissan product training throughout their apprenticeship relevant to their experience and ability. 

On successful completion of the standard SOLAS apprenticeship programme, the top scoring graduates will be given the opportunity to further their career within the Nissan dealer network. The highest performing graduate will be offered a scholarship into D.I.T. Automotive third-level degree courses and advancement within the Nissan Apprentice Academy where they will receive Nissan Master Technician Training including entry into NISTEC, Nissan’s world-wide skills competition. 

“This is an exciting time to be working in the motor industry. Nissan is leading the way with Intelligent Mobility and changing the way cars are powered, driven and integrated into society. Now is the time to be part of this evolution,” said Mr McCarthy. 

Nissan is currently testing advanced autonomous driving on public roads and the technology that will equip a car to pick you up, navigate heavy traffic and find parking all on its own, and that is happy to give you back control of the wheel, is within reach,” he added.

Nissan is also especially interested in receiving applications from first and second year engineering students who may be reconsidering their college choice, or from students who have recently completed a FETAC course.

Applications can be made online at www.nissan.ie/experience-nissan/apprentice-academy. The closing date for applications is Saturday, 30th September 2017.

New RS 5 price revealed

Audi's latest power car, the RS 5 Coupe, will be available to order in September at a starting price of €110,750, writes Brian Byrne.

With a brand-new 2.9 bi-turbo engine, offering 450hp, it claims a 3.9s sprint to 100km/h.

Audi's quattro AWD is standard.

The new car is lighter than its predecessor.

Latest M5 revealed

BMW has revealed its sixth-generation M5, which goes on sale in first markets in February of next year, writes Brian Byrne.

The 4.4 V8 engine has been further enhanced, offering 600hp and a blistering 3.4 seconds sprint to 100 km/h.

The car comes with a special M version of the brand’s xDrive AWD system, and an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The first M5 was launched in 1984, with a 286hp 6-cylinder engine.

21 August 2017

Toyota to show off automated driving at Tokyo 2020

Toyota Concept 1
The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will be used by Toyota to showcase its automated driving technology, writes Brian Byrne.

A number of its prototype self-driving cars will be operating in a specific area of the city, which will be fully mapped for the technology.

Toyota says it isn't emphasising fully autonomous cars, but vehicles in which there is still a 'partnership between human and machine' under what it calls its 'Mobility Teammate Concept'.

Mercedes-Maybach superlux cabrio at Pebble Beach

There's big luxury, and then there's bigger, writes Brian Byrne.

And that's the case with the 6-metres long Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet that Daimler made for the annual Pebble Beach auto extravaganza in Florida.

Designed as an electric car, the one-off ultra-luxury open top has 750hp available and its underfloor battery provides a claimed range of over 500km.

The styling is a modern interpretation of art deco, and an extremely long bonnet emphasises the flowing lines of the cabrio.

VW decides to put electric microbus into production

Volkswagen is to make an electric version of its Microbus, to be called the ID Buzz, sometime after 2022, writes Brian Byrne.

The vehicle will be the second in a series of specific electric cars under the ID brand. The first, a 4-door compact called the ID, is scheduled for 2022.

Announced at the Pebble Beach annual car event in Florida, the ID Buzz will also have a cargo carrying variant.

VW has said it plans to have more than 30 all-electric models by 2025.

Keith Cronin conquers Ulster

West Cork rally ace Keith Cronin and his Kerry co-driver Mikie Galvin dominated the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally at the weekend, writes Richard Burke, leading after all but one of the fourteen stages in the Sperrin Mountains to beat Swede Fredrik Ahlin by 55 seconds despite easing off on the final stage.

Cronin, already three times the British Rally Champion, still has an outside chance of overhauling Ahlin for a fourth UK title in the final two rounds on the Isle of Man next month, but the Swede holds a clear lead, with the Ballylickey driver losing out badly in the early part of the season with a succession of problems.

A trio of Northern Ireland drivers took the next three positions, headed by Jonny Greer in third place, but sixth for Monaghan's Sam Moffett virtually clinches the Clonakilty Blackpudding Tarmac series for him, to add to the Triton Showers National title that he has already won this year.

Moffett's main rival for the Tarmac Championship, Alastair Fisher, was one of the first retirements with an overheated engine on the second stage, leaving the Monaghanman in the uncomfortable position of driving cautiously for the rest of the weekend to ensure that he safely reached the finish in Derry city.

Twice Irish Hillclimb champion Joe Courtney scored another weekend double at Mondello, winning both days of the MEC Sprints, to increase his lead in the Naylor Engineering National Hillclimb and Sprint Championship. Former champions Sylvie Mullins and Michael Roche were the two runners-up.

Iceland warms to Sprinters

Supermarket chain Iceland has taken delivery of four additional new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans that have entered their fleet alongside their original purchase of five units last year.

All four 314/36 medium wheelbase vans have been converted by Paneltex and are fitted with Alex Original fridges. Other features include high roof, automatic gearbox, reverse camera and Parktronic parking and manoeuvring aid.

These latest units will be used for Home Deliveries and will be deployed to new Iceland stores opening up across the country at Gorey, Shannon, Limerick (Watch House Cross) and Cork (Ballincollig). These new store openings will bring to 20 the total number of stores Iceland operates across Ireland.

Skoda Karoq for Ireland in December

Skoda's compact SUV the Karoq will arrive in Ireland in December, following its debut at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show, writes Brian Byrne.

Prices and specifications for the Irish market will be announced in mid-October.

Just two grades will be offered, following a decision by Skoda Ireland not to import the base Active model. This is the result of experience with sales of the larger Kodiaq model, where only 2pc of customers went for the basic car.

Two further Karoq grades will be offered in 2019, both upper level.

Irish Ferries happy with Spraoi sponsorship

Irish Ferries passenger sales manager, Marie McCarty has labelled their high-profile patronage at Waterford’s recent Spraoi Festival a ‘resounding success’.

Over the August Bank Holiday Weekend spectators in their tens of thousands flocked to Ireland’s oldest city for a three-day carnival of performing arts, street theatre entertainment and countless live music acts.

As the official travel partner for the event, which was celebrating its twenty-fifth year, Irish Ferries assisted organisers in attracting participants from overseas by providing transport to all of the acts travelling to Ireland from Britain, France and further afield.

Pictured are Irish Ferries’ Marie McCarty and Caitriona Butler pictured with a performer at Waterford’s 2017 Spraoi Festival.

18 August 2017

City break offers from Travelfox

New York
Travelfox are offering city breaks to destinations such as Edinburgh, Malaga, Krakow or to the bright lights of New York or Las Vegas, writes Trish Whelan.

Prices are based on flights from Shannon. Alternative airports may be available.

All offers are subject to availability, early booking is essential and prices are based on two people sharing.

Edinburgh - You can spend Valentine's Day in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Fly on 13 February 2018 and stay in the 4* Novotel Edinburgh Hotel for two nights, B&B. Prices from €239pp.

Krakow, Poland - Fly from Shannon to Krakow and spend four nights B&B in the 4* Galaxy Hotel. Prices from €279pp departing 4 December 2017.

Malaga, Spain - Fancy a city break to Malaga? Why not spend three nights in the 4* Silken Puerta Malaga, B&B in October. Prices from €349pp departing 21 October 2017.

Las Vegas Nevada - Spend 4 nights in the 3* Circus Circus, room only. A great place to visit this November. This is not a direct flight. Prices from €599pp departing 3 November 2017.

New York - Head off on a shopping trip to the Big Apple this November and spend three nights in the 4* Hudson New York. Prices from €749pp departing 23 November 2017 (for three nights, room only).

Boston - How about a shopping time in Boston? Spend three nights in the 4* Boston Park Plaza, room only. Prices from €599pp departing 23 November, room only.

You can contact Travelfox at Tel 021 4976293 or email them at res@travelfox.ie. They're also on Facebook.