Monday, December 26, 2011

The problem with @HeathrowAirport Terminal 5

I've passed through London's Heathrow Airport twice now over the past two weeks on my way for a summer vacation in the south, and now back to the freezing hell called Europe. Some thing is really bugging me. It appears the people running the show at T5 can't accurately inform passengers which gate they need to be at.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

WTM (What's that Mat)? WTF? #epicfail

I'm back in South Africa on a brief pre-Christmas vacation. As public transport is one of the few still backward things here, I rented a Nissan Tiida for the two weeks I'm here. (Yes, I also think the name of that white fridge with wheels is a bit odd)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New! This site now available on your Mobile

Quick note to say that KryptonZone Blog is now mobile-friendly thanks to some neat updates with Google Blogger. To view the mobile version of this site, either surf here with a compatible mobile device and it should display automatically, or click on the link above labelled "Mobile".

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

#F1 balance tilts again

A couple of big news stories broke over the past few days in the world of Formula 1 which, once again, throws the sport into uncertainty. After an epic season which only just ended over a week ago, it's a shame to see it all fall to pieces now that the winter break is upon us.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ultimate in optimism and goodness: Doraemon tie up with Toyota

I'll start today's post by apologising. I know most of what I write here will have no meaning or bearing on most of my European, or Western, readers. However, if you can put up with the slight emotion dribble, you might learn something new and read something interesting. Still, it's about cars in general, so that's where I'll start.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

#Toyota GT 86 is here! #gt86 #ft86

Finally, the RWD pocket sports car by Toyota and Subaru is finally here! The 2.0-litre flat-four boxer engine features the unique D-4S direct fuel injection system, promising to really give the car some oomph at the red line. Toyota Europe is giving figures of 200 DIN hp and 205 Nm of torque, which imaginably means a great big kick in the back side as the car roars off.

Enough talking, just watch the videos!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

@CarMagazineNews pits #Lexus LFA against Lamborghini Aventador

This blog post is going to end up being my 3,000th tweet on Twitter. And what a way to ushering in this new milestone! CAR Magazine just published their recent test featuring the almighty Lexus LFA against the Lamborghini Aventador. The verdict: LFA!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Climate-gate: Seriously, make up your mind!

I just read a troubling article on BBC News which says that the hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) used for refrigeration, although no longer harming the Ozone layer as its predecessor, chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), used to do, is now causing severe damage in terms of Global Warming.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

[VID] Journey of "Seasoning" by GAZOO Racing

A friend of mine just posted this really cool video about how GAZOO Racing - the motorsports arm of Toyota Motor Corp. headed by President Akio Toyoda - goes about honing their people and product to produce the likes of the Lexus LFA and Toyota FT-86 and an overall successful string of GAZOO Racing performances at The Ring.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Toyota Motorsport announces #LeMans drivers

The driver line-up for Toyota's return to Le Mans next year, and the inaugural FIA World Endurance Championships, was announced yesterday. By golly are they serious at Toyota Motorsport GmbH in Cologne, Germany. Of the three drivers, two have taken part in the legendary Le Mans race. Alexander Wurz, former F1 driver for Benetton, McLaren and the Toyota-powered Williams teams, took the chequered flag at the Circuit de la Sarthe twice in 1996 and 2009.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Apocalypse: The Second World War (2009)

Earlier this week, I came across yet another documentary on World War II. Watching it became one of those moments in life when you decided to take a plunge but come out on the other side thanking heavens that you actually did it. This very modern documentary, by French producers in 2009 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the most destructive war in history, is simply breathtaking.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Amazing Mr Bean reaction at #F1 in India

This is some really amazing stuff from Rowan Atkinson. I've been watching F1 for over a decade, but I've never seen such vivid reactions from any celebrity during races. They all seem so overly calm, it always seem like they have no clue what's going on and that they don't really care (which is quite likely, actually). But Mr Bean blew that away! Invite more comedians to F1! Especially if they're motorsport fans!

Image source: SKY UK, Formula One Championships Limited

First ever #F1 Indian GP: Missed opportunities

So once again, Sebastian Vettel won this weekend. He's took pole, led every lap and pushed to get fastest lap in the first ever Indian Grand Prix. As I write this, the BBC also seemed to have failed the broadcast at just the right moment - it's gone silent. Still, I excepted red flags because of stray dogs and broken video feed all the way through, after seeing what was happening from Thursday on.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Early first drive reports of #Toyota FT-86 coming in

Today is a rather momentous occassion for car lovers everywhere. It seems that the early first drive reviews of Toyota's up and coming RWD sports car, still codenamed FT-86, started flooding onto the net. From what I can gather after scanning the early reports from CAR and Autocar magazines in the UK, they all seem to have loved it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

#F1 goes to India, and it's not going well

So, this weekend, the Formula 1 circus moves camp to the Buddh International Circuit nearly Delhi, India. However, as this morning progressed, and the media pundits familiarise themselves with the circuit and its facilities, they seem to all be encountering niggles here and there.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dutch richest, French in the middle according to Apple

Well, this is weird. I just went through the Apple iBookstore to check out how much they plan to charge for the Steve Jobs biography because I probably can't find time to go buy it from the English bookshop which is in town. Each language version available came out differently. Does this mean the Dutch are deemed to have more money than us English speakers, while the French sit in the middle? Weird!

European Union: a bunch of guys who can't get it up!

Artist rendering of what "peace on earth" may look like!
Seriously, I've had it. I was rudely awaken this morning - yes, it's a freaking Sunday - by a cacophony of sirens ringing in my ears. When I did wake up, I thought: "Hmm... Maybe the European Commission has been bombed or attacked, finally." Alas, no. It turned out to be a bunch of useless Eurocrats and their heads of states deciding to meet in Brussels to talk about the failing Euro.

I don't give a damn even if the EU did blow up! I'll explain...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Siri battles Japanese

This is too funny. I think I choked on my sandwich when watching this at lunch. So, be warned! BEst part is when Siri actually got a bit mad and swore at the poor bloke at 1:01. He was so patient, and even started giggling at the end. Brilliant!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Another day at The Green Hell

Masked FT-86 getting ready to go
I went to cover the VLN9 race yesterday at the Nürburgring. Before I headed out from Brussels, I was told that the temperature at The Ring was a tad frozen. When the teams rocked up at 07:00, they had to spend quite a long time scraping frost off the cars, even though they were mostly wrapped and stored in the team's work tents in the paddocks.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Toyota Returns to Le Mans!

Here's some great news just before the weekend: Toyota is returning to Le Mans next year with a contender designed by Toyota Motorsport GmbH in Cologne, Germany (former F1 team base) and driven by a hybrid powertrain. The car looks stunning (if I may say so) and I just can't wait to see it in competition next year!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thank you, Mr Jobs

I just woke up in the middle of sleeping, and as a normal reaction I turned on my iPad. The news that greeted me was "Steve Jobs has died, according to Apple". This was a notification from CNN. I could hardly believe it. I read it twice, and even made sure this wasn't some sick joke message someone posted on my Facebook wall. But it wasn't, it's true. Mr Steve Jobs died peacefully earlier today surrounded by his family.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Jezza's live action Forza 4 trailer

Jalopnik called it "Jeremy Clarkson’s epic Forza Motorsport 4 live-action trailer" and how right they were. It's really quite spectacularly beautiful and really rather epic. The ad, featuring a frustrated petrolhead stuck in any city you can imagine, in congestion, and general greyness and misery, finding an outlet through an Aston Martin.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

"Credit Rating Agencies are all frauds" says SEC

Two years ago, the world was plunged into a dark hole called the recession and massive financial collapse. Two years later, even bigger public funding and drains on taxpayers managed to stifle the deterioration of the fundamentals of capitalism (which turns out to be "speculation"). But, stifling was not enough, and the world is once again facing a return to the 30s when everything collapsed.

Friday, September 23, 2011

2011 #IAA Frankfurt Motor Show

This motor show post is a bit late, I know. But I contracted an acute, yet popular, form of what some of my colleagues called the "Messe flu". What is that, I hear you ask. Well it's the flu or cold symptoms and discomfort one seems to experience shortly after returning from the motor show at the Frankfurt Messe (exhibition centre).

My abiding memory of the motor show this time around was that it was exceedingly hot. No, it's not just because the cars on show were funky and interesting. No, it's because that exhibition hall doesn't seem to have quite gotten the air conditioning thing quite right. It was blisteringly hot on the stands (I heard some talk that the VW stand was even worse than Hall 8). Imagine standing in sauna-like conditions with a suit and tie from 07:00 until 20:00 for three days...

Monday, September 19, 2011

History of #Ferrari Prancing Horse [Video]

I just came across this fascinating video explaining the history behind the iconic Prancing Horse logo which adorns some of the world's fastest and most prestige cars and race cars. My knowledge of Ferrari only got me to about 50% of what was explained in this video. Have a look!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Perfect storm

I'm sitting in Sardinia staring out into the distance at the vast Mediterranean. Way out in the distance, a fierce thunderstorm is blasting away. It's a fascinating experience. I don't recall ever having seen a storm from far away. In general, I'm always in the middle of one.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

#SteveJobs resigns as CEO of #Apple

I was never a massive fan of Apple until about 5 or 6 years ago when I bought into the iPod rage, already going for quite a while before then. I purchased my first iPod, the 2nd generation Nano, that long thin thing, at the recommendation of one of my best friends and a massive Apple fan. I haven't turned back since then.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ford-Toyota partnership announced

Mr Uchiyamada (right)
This just in: Ford and Toyota have just announced a joint collaboration to develop a new hybrid system for light trucks and SUVs as well as future telematics standards. The joint venture is expected to produce results towards the end of the decade. The rear-wheel-drive hybrid system to be developed will be based on an all-new architecture.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Toyota plans to smash Nürburgring EV lap record!

Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) released some more details today on its plans to smash the Nüburgring lap record for electric vehicles (EVs). The record is currently held by Peugeot's EX1 with a time of 9 min 1.338 secs.

Toyota's contender is a specially prepared EV based on a trackday favourite from Radical Sportscars. Its 100% electric powertrain can push the car up to some 260 km/h with a 0-100 km/h time of just 3.9 seconds.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Schumi confirms racing ambitions for 2012 #F1

Speaking at a Mercedes-Benz event in Stuttgart recently, seven-times F1 World Champ, Michael Schumacher, once again stated his intention to remain in the sport through next season. This comes after fresh calls by the likes of three-times Champ, Niki Lauda, for Schumi to "be honest with himself" and quit the sport for a second time.

Monday, August 15, 2011

New car pics

I've just put up some more car pics under the Cars page. This time, the beauties come from the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Main features are the Ferrari F50 (my all-time favourite), Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, McLaren F1 GTR (owned by Adrian Newey). Go ahead and have a look and enjoy!

Read more »

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Belgium could share #F1 with France today reported that the F1 Belgium Grand Prix organisers are discussing with Bernie Ecclestone to host alternate F1 races together with France. Organisers in France has been trying to get Paul Ricard back onto the F1 calendar as the French Grand Prix.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Thor (2011)

I can't believe I just sat through two hours of complete boredom. When I first watched the trailer for "Thor" (2011), I actually thought this would be a good movie to watch. You can't blame me for thinking that since the last few big screen adaptations of Marvel Comics have been quite good, like Iron Man.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Electric motoring taking a blast

Bernie Ecclestone has just come out strongly against a recent Formula 1 Technical Regulations stating that F1 cars in the future will be powered by electric engines while in the pitlane. In the article (from The Express), he reacted by saying: "it's like ballet dancers with sneakers" and "people could be killed because they won't hear the cars coming."

Rowan Atkinson crashes McLaren F1

Late last night, reports emerged that Rowan Atkinson, of Mr Bean and Blackadder fame, was involved in a crash. Even more worrying, the car he was in was his prized McLaren F1.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

60 Glorious Years of the Toyota Land Cruiser

The legendary Toyota Land Cruiser celebrated its 60th birthday on Monday. Here's a video history of the vehicle which conquered the sand dunes of the deserts, the ice caps of the Arctics, and every improbable scenario imaginable. Bottoms up!

Friday, July 29, 2011

F1 in the gutters again

Well, what a great bit of news to arrive at on a Friday morning. The venerable BBC has stuck a deal with SKY Sports in the UK to share the broadcasting of all F1 races from next year until 2018. Coming out of the deal, the BBC gets all Practice and Qualifying sessions, and I quote: "half of the races live." So that means, opposing to Bernie Ecclestone's stance, from next year onwards, Formula 1 will no longer be broadcast free-to-air, albeit half of it will... Sort of...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Inspirational stuff

Sorry I've been a bit silent for a while. I've come down with a horrible flu/cold in the midlde of July in Brussels, where it's been hovering around the 12°C mark for some time now. I've just discovered an Italian artist who's been around for a while, and he's really produced some amazing pieces of music.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Madiba!

Thank you for bringing freedom to our great nation. Thank you for being the spiritual guide and shining beacon of light in these dark political times in SA. Thank you for giving us hope, and still so. Thank you for being the hero that we can all look up to. And, thank you for transforming our nation from one similar to a lepers colony to one which stands tall and proud, shoulder-to-shoulder to other developed and first world nations without shame.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The new B: new gen Toyota Yaris

Today, the first specimen of our newest product offering came off the production line in France. The white 1.0-litre petrol 3-door Toyota Yaris opens a brand new chapter in our product line-up in Europe. The third generation Yaris is also expected to continue the success of the model on the old continent. I can't wait to have a go in it and to play with the all new Toyota Touch multimedia navigation system!

- Coming straight from my iPad

Monday, July 11, 2011

What a weekend!

Well, the weekend has just drawn to a close, and what a great weekend it was. We had the F1 race at Silverstone, a new episode of Top Gear, and friends at posted their write up and on-board video of our drive in the Lexus LFA Nürburgring Package up and down the Goodwood hillclimb. Best of all, I made another cameo.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Nursing a swift back to life

When I arrived home this evening, I found a bunch of really strange white and black marks on my floor. One of them was still wet, and after sticking my finger in it, I realised it was guano - bird droppings. The next five minutes saw me roaming my small apartment to find the source of this strange occurance. Then I found it, a cowering little black-grey bird next to my shoe cupboard.

Summer festival where only speed matters (part 1)

Re-blog from my post on Toyota Europe's Corporate Blog

I’m back from the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed (FoS) in the UK. After such an amazing weekend with such great weather, it might not seem like such a wonderful thing, but there is – I’m connected to the world again! The only downside of the weekend was the lack of a decent internet connection, either 3G or Wi-Fi, hence my lack of updates. But here’s what we had going on at the FoS!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tron Gear?

What is up with Top Gear in it's current series? In the first episode two weekends ago, nearly all segments were accompanied by the soundtrack to Tron: Legacy. The last episode, from last Sunday, was the same. The first segment used the Tron soundtrack throughout!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Final catch up on this weekend's N24 Race

GAZOO Racing Team
My work for the 29th Nürburgring 24 Hour Race is now over. My final blog entry has been posted on the Toyota Europe Corporate Blog. It was an amazing experience to be able to go to that legendary circuit to watch the famous 24-hour race and to report on it.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

P4/5 Competizione at night

Just listen to this...

Toyota Europe Blog: Exclusive interview with André Lotterer

Re-blog from my post on Toyota Europe's Corporate Blog coverage of the Nürburgring 24 Hour Race.

André Lotterer
Coming from your win at Le Mans just two weeks ago, what it your outlook for this year’s Nürburgring 24 Hour Race?
For me, it would be great to have a smooth race. The key to success is having no problems. It’s not as easy as it looks because the track is very demanding on both the cars and the drivers. There are also a lot of cars and the conditions can change quickly. It will definitely be a challenging task, but for the team, our target is to not have any issues.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Getting dark at the Nürburgring

It's been quite an experience at the Nürburgring this weekend. The third day is now drawing to a close. The sunlight has now all but faded. The Eifel Mountains are still ringing with the sound of race engines all the way into the night. I'll do my best to stick it through the full 24 hours, but no promises anyways!

GAZOO Racing Girls and me
GAZOO Racing Girls and me
Dr Ulrich Bez of Aston Martin
In the pit lane during Qualifying
The grid
The grid, part 2
LFA #87 and me
What on earth?
Me and the LFA

Toyota Europe Blog: Exclusive interview with Akira Iida

Re-blog from my post on Toyota Europe's Corporate Blog coverage of the Nürburgring 24 Hour Race.

Last night, after the final round of Qualifying for the Nürburgring 24 Hour Race, GAZOO Racing Team Manager and Driver of LFA #88, Akira Iida sat down with us to share his views on the team and how the race weekend has progressed so far. During the interview, he also gave us a rare insight on the team’s strategy and the outlook for the race starting this afternoon.

Friday, June 24, 2011

#N24h Day 2

The weather here has been as unpredictable as somewhere like Spa-Francorchamps. When we arrived at The Ring this morning, it was a little cloudy but the sun was beating through the light clouds.

Then it started pouring - and by that I mean buckets and buckets chucking down. Then the sun won against the clouds again... And it's kept going back and forth since.

Qualifying 2 starts in about half an hour. I'll keep posting and updating as the day progresses.