Tag Archives: performance

Lotus Elise

There’s a good word that sums up the Elise, and that word is ‘connected’. In a world where cars are more and more divorced from both driver and road, the lightweight Elise is a sportscar that still delivers the best seat-of-the-pants feel this side of a Caterham.

Better than before, in that it now won’t actually cripple and deafen you in the first 30 miles. Just getting into the thing is a hilarious business, and once inside the ergonomics are terrible – the Elise is very focussed, so heaters and radios are added in later. Much easier entry and egress with the roof off, but it’s a pain to replace quickly if there’s a snap rain shower.

The Elise isn’t actually that shattering when it comes to out-and-out shove – it’s more to do with the purity of the driving experience. That said, it’s not slow; nowadays the Elise is powered by a Toyota 1.8 with variable valve timing that produces 134bhp in basic 1.8 S form, 189bhp as a 1.8R and 217bhp in the supercharged variant. That gives 0-62mph times that drop in a similar order; 5.8, 5.2 and 4.4, with top speeds that rise accordingly; 127mph, 147mph and 150mph.

The Elise manages to walk the fine tightrope between enthusiast’s machine and look-at-me poseur mobile, with probably a little more of the former. So it’s cool, but not as cool as an Exige.

Modern Elises feel like they could be taken to a track and abused without falling to bits, but then there’s not that much inside to break. Don’t be worried if the aluminium tub creaks and rattles a bit – there’s little sound deadening and most of the interior is bare metal. The pop-in-pop-out roof bars sometimes have dodgy seals too – but that’s not a big worry.

The Elise makes even a trip to the shops an adventure, with steering so feelsome it’s like running the palm of your hand down the tarmac itself. You can feel road cambers that you won’t have a clue about from the helm of any sports saloon, and when the car starts to reach the limits of its considerable grip, your bum will telegraph the situation to you well in advance.

If there was a sliding scale of practicality with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best, the Elise would be somewhere around -2 with the Lamborghini Diablo SV and the TukTuk motor tricycle. There is a boot behind the engine, but it tends to cook whatever is stored there. Squashy bags are OK, but space everywhere else is at a premium. And don’t expect to arrive and be able to emerge gracefully – unless you’re 5ft tall, the Elise will strip your ego bare.

Running costs
Not a bad choice if you want a tidy driving experience and you still want to be able to use your face and heart afterwards. The engines are clean and that means 27-percent company car tax – fancy that – though insurance is high at group 20 all round. Economy is also pretty reasonable given the Elise’s performance potential – the 1.8R will get 32.1mpg and the 1.8 an even better 34mpg.

Kevin Bacon

Kevin Bacon

I was flipping through channels last night and I came upon this HBO movie, Taking Chance, which starred Kevin Bacon.  I learn later on that he won a Golden Globe for this performance, and deservedly so.  It’s the most subtle yet moving performance from an actor that I’ve seen in years!  Kevin just did the role with so much dignity and respect for everyone involved in it, especially that as the movie unrolled, we learn that Chance is actually the name of the soldier Kevin’s character was taking home.

On one side, the story is tragic since behind its premise, the life of a promising young man who as yet, has still more to offer the world, has been snuffed out.  On the other hand, I am amazed, even shocked, by the outpouring and support Kevin’s character gets from everyone around him, when they know what he is doing. It is actually very moving.  It’s all there in those little scenes with all these ordinary people paying respects.  And you know this scene is multiplied many times since there have been many casualties of war for THAT war.

Nothing in the movie is trivialized that’s why it works.  The patriotism can sometimes get to me knowing how very patriotic Americans are but I can’t blame them.  A fallen son is hard to fathom as it is, but to die for the country is an even greater sacrifice.


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Ryan Reynolds Performance in ‘Buried’

Ryan Reynolds Performance in ‘Buried’

In one of the more interesting movies this year, Ryan Reynolds, a certified hunk, (no, the shirtless pictures here don’t appear in the movie), does a one-act tour de force performance in the movie ‘Buried’.  This movie is not for the claustrophobe, as everything happens in one place, well, you guessed it – in a wooden coffin.  Several interesting things happen in there, as well as a lot of cruel people doing this to him.  I don’t know if this movie is an attack at the previous Bush administration, but it’s a damn good one!  And Ryan provides the acting chops to carry everything – as in everything, in this movie!

If you still haven’t seen the movie, and still want to see it, don’t proceed.

Should You Pay 170 pesos to watch this? – The idea of oneself being in a coffin and buried alive, is in itself, pretty scary!  Steel yourself when you watch this.  There is no happy ending.  And it makes you mad because there’s a lot of bad people too – although you never see them -you only hear them.

What Impresses Me In this Movie –  I didn’t know Iraq had a great telecommunications infrastructure.  Also, my brother says the phone Ryan uses in the whole movie is hi-tech!  These aren’t poor insurgents.  They’re loaded!!



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