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About Thackeray

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  1. I second this. Although I have 17" wheels, my research before buying led me to think the 16" would be more comfortable. A lot of people say the bigger wheels give rather a firm ride - which of course may be what a lot of people want. But I decided to go with the 17" wheels as I didn't find any 16" wheel cars with leather seats. And I have to say the ride is fine, I don't find it too firm. Having said that - and I'd advise you all to be sitting down before you read the following as I know this will come as a great shock to most people - having said that, I've never really understood what the point of bigger and bigger wheels is. Not only that but I also don't really understand - (now you really do need to be sitting down as I'm really sorry but I'm probably going to upset a lot of readers) - I've never understood the point of alloy wheels. Do they make the car go faster? I know they make the wheels a lot more work to clean. Apart from it not being fashionable at the moment, what's wrong with wheels like this? A quick wipe and they're done!
  2. Don't know where you are in Kent but a quick search turned up this one for Sevenoaks District Council.
  3. I haven't taken a car to a dealer or garage for MOT for years. I always use the local council MOT testing centre. They have no interest in failing items in order to get your business as they don't do any maintenance work, except to the council's own vehicles. I feel much more confident that they're giving an honest opinion.
  4. The odometer in the picture is showing kilometres. Is it possible to change this to miles in the settings?
  5. Any chance of a picture? Do you mean that the dial has two circles of numbers - one for kph and the other for mph? If that's the case, does this mean that when the pointer is indicating 60 mph, it's also indicating 97 kph?
  6. So, what are your first impressions of the IS300h compared with the LS430? Are you regretting the change?!
  7. It sounds as if the UX behaves differently from the IS. Maybe a UX owner can confirm this. What I noticed from the video was that, for example, you don't seem to be able to get the engine above 4500 rpm until you hit 50mph. By contrast, from your experience, the UX seems to be going straight up to maybe 5,000 rpm or more from low speeds (say, 30 mph?). The newer electric motors (like on the ES and maybe on the UX) can spin faster without damage. This must mean that the engine can spin faster, too, than on the IS, thus delivering more of its power at lower road speeds. It will be interesting to hear how the ES compares with the UX. The IS transmission (L210 I think from memory) as well as being a rear-wheel-drive setup has an additional reduction gear, as compared with the Prius transmission in the video above, which allows the car to go faster without making the electric motors spin faster than their maximum design speed. I noticed that the ES transmission doesn't have this reduction gear. Perhaps in a front wheel drive configuration there's less space for extra gear wheels, so the faster spinning newer electric motors get round the problem without the need for a reduction gear. (But am I right in thinking that even so, for these reasons the maximum limited speed for the ES is a bit lower than on the IS?) So clearly your experience suggests the engine revs faster at low speeds than in the IS. It'll be interesting to hear how the ES behaves and whether it's similar to the UX.
  8. I think what's happening is that the computer is making the best judgement about how to deliver the request you've made through the accelerator. If the accelerator is pushed to the floor your message to the car is to deliver maximum power. This means get the engine to the highest revs possible, where the engine delivers maximum power, But this is limited by the fact that the electric motors can only spin so fast without damage. So the computer adjusts engine speed and gear ratios to achieve the maximum power you're asking for through the accelerator. By contrast, in a conventional car, pressing the accelerator has traditionally meant feed more fuel into the engine. Here the concept is a bit more computer controlled. This seems to mean that you can only get the engine to maximum revs if the car is going fast enough to accommodate this without damage to the electric motors. Here's a video of the IS300h that shows how the engine revs only increase as the car gathers speed. (Thanks Herbie for explaining how to embed video in the forum! Pretty simple!) So if you ease off the throttle, the rate of acceleration will slow. But depending on the circumstances the engine may not reduce revs yet. However, the good news is that the advice for good fuel consumption is to accelerate fairly hard and then coast. I suppose this is because the engine is at its most efficient at high revs. The other good news is that when cruising on the motorway (on the IS300h at least) the engine is generally turning at around 1200-1500 rpm whatever the car's speed. This makes long journeys very relaxing.
  9. That sounds interesting. Could you give some links to this evidence?
  10. That old cliché again? Tractors sound great! Modern diesel cars come nowhere close! Here's one...
  11. This is quite an old page but I haven't found anything more recent that explains the e-CVT (power-split device) more clearly. Scroll down the page to try out the slider controls to vary the speed of the different gear wheels. This simple device takes the place of the starter motor, clutch, torque convertor on an automatic, gearbox and alternator. It also provides gentle braking, which means the conventional brakes aren't used so much and don't wear out so quickly. If you're interested in what it actually looks like, here's a video explaining an early Prius e-CVT. The configuration has changed with different models but the fundamentals are the same in the Lexus hybrids.
  12. It's more like a jet plane or a power boat under hard acceleration. The engine revs hard and the plane or boat (or e-cvt car) builds up speed until the power can be cut back. I know what people mean about the lack of gearchanges but I suspect it's just because we've had 100 years of having to have conventional gearboxes on cars. People get used to the jolt as you change gear and come to expect it as part of the driving experience. On the other hand, you don't get passengers on planes saying to their friends, "When's the pilot going to change gear?" I think we just develop certain expectations in certain circumstances and instinctively are wary of things that don't seem "normal". So much so that Lexus felt they had to install pretend sound effects to make it seem that the car was changing gear - but without the conventional jolting between gears. From what i've read, most people pretty quickly turn off the sound effects when they get used to the silence from the car most of the time.
  13. On the IS300h the voice recognition for calling contacts works well for me. I expect the ES300h would use a similar system but it seems from an online manual you should be able to do more with the ES300h system than on the IS300h - selecting music tracks for example. I have no idea how effective this is but making a phone call by pressing the steering wheel voice recognition button and then saying the name (which has previously been recorded) works well. Here's the manual I was looking at for the ES300h.
  14. Many decades ago on an ancient Renault we had the problem of the starter motor not turning. Just silence. The local garage said the problem was that it was coming to rest at a kind of neutral position where the magnetic coils couldn't get it turning. Their recommendation was to hit it with a hammer. This worked every time. We carried the hammer in the car for this purpose for quite a while. (Please note: - I'm not recommending you hit your car with a hammer!)
  15. Click here for some important advice about driving in France.