Badge engineering at its worst

asus_lam_1Badge engineering is a phrase used in the motor industry…it describes attempts to make a duff car more attractive by sticking a racier badge on it. OK, so in some cases it’s more than aesthetic and some genuine engineering is involved (think McLaren Mercedes) but not in all (think MG Metro).

The Asus Lamborghini is, to my mind, a pretty cynical attempt to sex up the dull PC. The flimsiness of the proposition is reflected in the guff on the Micro Anvika website. Check this out:

“With poetic precision and atelier craftsmanship, the ASUS-LAMBORGHINI VX5 is a fitting tribute to the LAMBORGHINI Reventón. It is the superlative of avant garde design, one that triggers the primeval senses for exhilaration and power.”


Thing is, I’m sure it’s a very good PC, so why try and dress it up with a Lamborghini badge?

Funnily enough, having bought a MacBook a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been holding forth on the whole PC vs. Mac debate over on the Edelman Tech blog. Another case of the PC world trying its hardest to be cool and in doing so looking like the geek in Prada shades?

Adios Alonso

hamiltonalonso1806_468x330.jpgTo misquote The Italian Job, one of my favourite films, “It’s a long way back to Spain.  And it’s that way.”

So, Fernando Alonso has left McLaren.  They must be delighted.  He’s a top driver, no doubt, but demonstrated this season that he’s got the temperament of a three year old.  Sure, as a two time world champion turning up at one of the best teams he’d have expected to be quick – and he was.  But because his rookie team mate turned up and blew him away over the early part of the season he threw his toys right out of his very fast pram.

“The team aren’t giving us equal treatment,” he bleated.  Did he expect sympathy?  Sorry son.  You’re paid millions of pounds and you’re driving one of the fastest cars on the grid.  Just get on with the job.  But he couldn’t stop moaning and has talked his way into an almost certainly inferior bit of kit for next season.  Pillock.

Everyone’s talking about where Alonso will turn up next.  I’m more interested in who’s going to get the second McLaren seat.  Ron Dennis has always said that he’ll have two top drivers in his team, rather than a number one and number two.  But is that the right thing to do?  After all, this season Alonso and Hamilton scored 218 points between them – the Ferrari drivers only 204.  But it was Raikkonen who walked off with the title.  McLaren hasn’t won a drivers’ title since ’99.  Perhaps it’s time for a clear team leader? I think so. 

Ron, in case you’re reading.  I’ll happily play second fiddle to Hamilton in 2008.  I absolutely promise not to outshine him.

James Bond’s motor

img12.jpgNot the Ford Mondeo so comically ‘placed’ in Casino Royale…the other one.  The Aston Martin with the defibrillator in the glove compartment (so much handier than the Werther’s Originals in mine…).  The one he crashed.  Aston Martin decided to launch the same car (minus any Q-branch gadgets, obviously) and it’s called the DBS.

I’ve just been reading the first report of the production version on the rather wonderful (if you’re a bit of a car lover like me) Classic Driver website.  If you do like your cars – particularly old ones – then I urge you to register for the weekly Classic Inside newsletter.  It always arrives on a Friday and is brilliant daydream material.

I’d been a bit worried about the DBS since the first shots of it were released.  To me it just looked like a DB9 that had been pimped…all bodykit, special alloys and air vents.  Sadly, the Classic Driver report and pictures hasn’t allayed my fears – it still looks too much like a DB9 with bits.  The DB9 is a beautiful car.  The DBS looks more aggressive, sure, but if I want an aggressive looking Aston (I’d take any, to be fair) then I’ll have a Vanquish (with a manual gearbox, ta).