Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 Tufton to weed them out http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/Tufton-to-weed-them-out_77167 Minister of Health, Dr Christopher Tufton wants the g overnment to complete the process of decriminalising ganja (marijuana) and enforce provisions regarding drinking and smoking while driving.<br /> <br /> Speaking in the current debate on the new Road Traffic bill in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, Tufton said the use of ganja by motorists &ldquo;is emerging as probably a more significant issue than alcohol&rdquo; and not even the ticketing for breaches is in place.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In fact, the Ministry of Health will be embarking on a programme to test victims who enter the accident and emergency rooms, particularly drivers, to determine the level of alcohol and/or ganja in their blood stream, as part of gathering evidence to support strengthening the policy positions to deal with this issue,&rdquo; Tufton told the House.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have taken a position where we passed a law to support the use of defined quantities of marijuana. It is a progressive move in a number of respects. But, while we have done a lot of research and a lot is going on to look at the medicinal value, frankly speaking, it has also created an impression in the society among certain segments of the population that it is a free-for-all,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> He said, however, that what is emerging, and there is supporting evidence, is that consumption of the marijuana among young people has been increasing.<br /> <br /> He said it is not only increasing, but is doing so in circumstances where, potentially, the users can pose a threat to others around them.<br /> <br /> Tufton said he was making the point in terms of the health cost to Jamaica, and not moralising or arguing the pros and cons of decriminalising the use of ganja.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am arguing that to the extent that the use contributes to accidents on our roads is the extent to which, from a health perspective, the ministry has to be concerned,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> He stated that the decriminalisation process has to be completed and enforced in a particular way, to protect the public from the effects of the misuse of drugs, such as alcohol and ganja, by drivers.<br /> <br /> Tufton said that he was also concerned about the enforcement of the provisions of the Act after it is passed.<br /> <br /> He said the Road Traffic Act, in its current state, has provisions relating to a number of the problems being highlighted under the new bill. But the enforcement of these provisions has left a lot to be desired.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;One of my recommendations would be for us to ensure that, even while we make adjustments to strengthen the law, we also make adjustments to ensure that enforcement takes place,&rdquo; he argued.<br /> <br /> He said that among his concerns was the fact that 20 per cent of his Ministry&rsquo;s budget has to be allocated to dealing with critical trauma cases.<br /> <br /> He said that he was also concerned about the behaviour of motorcyclists on the roads.<br /> <br /> He explained that a recent study done by the University of the West Indies (UWI) showed that, in the case of a typical driver who uses a motorcycle and is involved in an accident and ends up using the emergency hospital facilities, the cost to the health sector was approximately $16 million.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Sixteen million, just to treat that patient! It is very disconcerting for us,&rdquo; Tufton added. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13131258/214608_w300.jpg Local Auto Monday, October 24, 2016 2:00 AM 4 Toyota, Suzuki explore partnership http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/Toyota--Suzuki-explore-partnership_77124 TOKYO, Japan &mdash; Japan&rsquo;s Toyota Motor Corp and Suzuki Motor Corp said they plan to explore a possible partnership, citing technological challenges and the need to keep up with consolidation in the global auto industry.<br /> <br /> Toyota invests heavily in research and development (R&D) for automated driving functions and artificial intelligence for mobility purposes, while cost-conscious Suzuki, which specialises in affordable compact cars, has yet to announce major strategic plans on how to compete in new automotive technologies.<br /> <br /> Both companies said that they had just begun discussing possible cooperation, so nothing was decided about areas in which they might collaborate.<br /> <br /> However, Suzuki chairman Osamu Suzuki said his firm was struggling to keep pace with the breakneck speed of R&D, telling a news conference, &ldquo;R&D in the auto industry is changing rapidly. The future looks perilous.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> A partnership between Toyota and Suzuki would be the latest in an increasingly consolidating auto industry. Nissan Motor Co in May announced it was planning to take a controlling stake in embattled Mitsubishi Motors Corp. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13353872/234258_w300.jpg Local Auto Monday, October 24, 2016 12:00 AM 4 BMW by design http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/BMW-by-design_77042 EVER wondered how BMW comes up with their bold yet elegant designs? Well, meet Karim Habib. He&rsquo;s the man charged with the task of creating what tomorrow&rsquo;s &lsquo;ultimate driving machines&rsquo; will look like.<br /> <br /> Habib shared some of his insights with Auto at the biennial Paris Auto Show (Mondial l&rsquo;Automobile Paris) which opened to the public on October 1 and runs until October 16 in the French capital.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We try something and go back to the engineers, the engineers then give us something, then we go back... It&rsquo;s an integral part of the process. For the brand BMW, the future in design has a lot to do with technology,&rdquo; said Habib, BMW&rsquo;s head of design.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Technology will change everything. With electric [vehicles], it may not be as much as we thought as electric is just another drive train. But, of course, it represents a different architecture as we don&rsquo;t require so much space under the hood.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But autonomous driving will change everything, because if you imagine a future where all cars are autonomous, there&rsquo;d be no accidents. And, if there are no accidents, you can imagine cars made of glass. Technology will break moulds; it will change everything. And as technology changes, the way we produce cars changes, materials change, legislation changes, and all of that will influence the designs we do,&rdquo; the 46-year-old continued.<br /> <br /> The expo saw BMW rolling out some of its high-tech models, including the latest variant of the i3 with its new 94 Ah battery; i8 Protonic Dark Silver special-edition model; and the world premiere of the BMW concept X2.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The BMW Concept X2 combines the fast-moving body language and low-slung proportions of a coup&Atilde;&copy; with the robust construction of an X model. This is a sporty vehicle with a bold character, and it allows us to open up some fascinating new design possibilities for the BMW brand,&rdquo; Habib told reporters at the X2&rsquo;s reveal.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We take our inspiration from all things. There&rsquo;s lots of muscular surface imagery from the animal world, but we&rsquo;re also inspired by architechure, products, furniture designs and art... Everything is really part of the BMW design,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Our design philosphy, we call it precision and poetry. Precision because BMW is a very precise brand; you can control them in incredible ways...they&rsquo;re really driving machines. And it&rsquo;s incredible that, [with] such a big machine, you can control to the millimetre how you drive [it]. And that needs to be shown in the design. It needs to look precise, but at the same time it&rsquo;s an emotional product.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> A Canadian of Lebanese descent, Habib was educated at McGill University and Art Centre College for Design in Switzerland. He got his first break in BMW in 1998 working in the designing of exterior of the BMW 7 series. He left to work for Mercedes-Benz in 2009 and returned to BMW in 2011 as an exterior designer. He succeded Adrian van Hooydonk as chief designer in 2012.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;You don&rsquo;t buy a BMW because you want a car, but because you want that feeling, that experience,&rdquo; he added. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13353866/234153_w300.jpg Local Auto Monday, October 24, 2016 2:00 AM 4 Parents, guardians urged to introduce children to road safety http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/Parents--guardians-urged-to-introduce-children-to-road-safety_78044 THE Road Safety Unit is appealing to parents and guardians to introduce their children to road safety training as early as possible.<br /> <br /> The unit also wants parents and guardians to invest in the necessary protective devices such as helmets, knee pads and elbow pads for children before allowing them to ride a bicycle. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Parents and guardians also need to ensure that their children wear seatbelts when travelling in vehicles; small children should be fitted in a child/infant carrier and a booster seat should be used for those who are too old for infant carriers,&rdquo; the unit said.<br /> <br /> The unit, in a release yesterday, said it is particularly important for adults to accompany children, especially those in the age group five to nine years, when they have to venture into the traffic environment since those in that age group do not have a developed appreciation for proper road safety etiquette.<br /> <br /> It highlighted the case of a seven-year-old boy who died from injuries he sustained after he was hit by a car in Ocho Rios, St Ann, on Monday evening. <br /> <br /> Twenty-one children have been killed in traffic crashes since the start of the year, a 91 per cent increase when compared to the 11 recorded for the similar period in 2015.<br /> <br /> The 21 children who have been killed since the start of the year represents a 17 per cent increase, when compared with the 18 children who were killed for the similar period in 2014. The release said 48 per cent of the children killed on the road this year were passengers of private motor vehicles and 24 per cent were pedestrians.<br /> <br /> Three hundred and five persons have been killed in 253 fatal crashes this year, a two per cent decrease in fatalities and a 12 per cent drop in fatal crashes, when compared with 2015. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13374624/235937_62978_repro_w300.jpg Local News Saturday, October 22, 2016 2:00 AM Y http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13374626/235937_SLD.jpg 3 Let&rsquo;s go electronic http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/Let-s-go-electronic_77887 OPPOSITION Member of Parliament Dr Morais Guy said there is need for a system of electronic monitoring of road traffic.<br /> <br /> Dr Guy &mdash; who was former minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing &mdash; made the call in Gordon House on Tuesday.<br /> <br /> He explained that this would use traffic enforcement cameras, speeding cameras, and intersection cameras, as well as legislation to allow for ticketing via that method.<br /> <br /> Guy, who played a key role in bringing the new Road Traffic Bill to Parliament last year, explained it was an area that current Minister of Transport and Mining, Mike Henry, may need to look at after the passage of the new Bill.<br /> <br /> He pointed out that the National Works Agency (NWA) has been beefing up its fibre-optic capacity around Kingston, and the infrastructure which will be mounted would be already in place by then.<br /> <br /> Dr Guy also reflected on the road traffic problems being created by drivers of both motorcycles and taxis.<br /> <br /> He said some of the most serious challenges to road users are being created by taxi drivers involved in speeding, as well as improper overtaking and use of lanes and careless driving.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;One only needs to travel from Half-Way-Tree to Papine and see clear evidence of this behaviour. At any signalised intersection where there is a right turn lane, we see hurrying taxis enter the right lane and then swing across at the top of the traffic going straight ahead and waiting on the light to go green,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This happens at the Waterloo Road intersection and the King&rsquo;s House Gate intersection. When a police presence is there this is almost non-existent, but we don&rsquo;t have that luxury at all times,&rdquo; he stated.<br /> <br /> He noted that Clause 24 of the new Bill is slated to correct deficiencies in the current law pertaining to the use of learner&rsquo;s licences.<br /> <br /> He noted that a learner&rsquo;s permit granted under Section 23 (of the new Bill) shall be subject to the following terms and conditions: (a) the holder of the learner&rsquo;s permit shall be accompanied at all times while driving by a person who is the holder of a driver&rsquo;s licence for not less than 3 years.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This puts a spoke in the wheels (pardon the pun) of the many bikers who currently, as obtains in some parts of the island such as Westmoreland, just buy a learner&rsquo;s permit, buy a bike and ride, creating serious harm to the motoring public,&rdquo; he stated. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The reality is that under the new provisions, he can only drive a motor bike with a learner&rsquo;s if he is accompanied by a licensed driver. So therefore, with this new legislation, the only persons who should be seen driving a motor bike alone would have to be a licensed driver and, for that to happen, he will have had to have the permit for at least six months before he could apply for a class A driver&rsquo;s licence,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> Dr Guy said he hopes that this will reduce the number of deaths that have occurred as a consequence of bike crashes.<br /> <br /> He said he was happy that the new Bill has not been sent to a Joint Select Committee of parliament, again, as any delay spells further danger. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Bill has enjoyed bipartisan support, in fact it has enjoyed national support, and all stakeholders have been waiting with baited breath to see the enactment of this important piece of legislation,&rdquo; he stated.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Too much is happening on the roads now. Too much is happening which is cause for concern for both civilians and law enforcement officers. Too many of our road users have died and many of the deaths are due to infractions of the law which the new Bill speaks to and hopes to correct,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> The debate on the Bill will continue in the House of Representatives next Tuesday. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12520408/177145__w300.jpg Local Auto Friday, October 21, 2016 2:00 AM 06 1 McConnell is champ, again http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/McConnell-is-champ--again_77848 Heroes of Speed could not have been a more appropriate title for the final race meet of the Jamaica Race Drivers Club&rsquo;s (JRDC) 2016 season, which was held last Sunday at Dover Raceway, St Ann, as changeable weather and tight competition saw driving of such proportions.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The races at our event on Monday were over-the-top exhilarating. Competitors and spectators that weren&rsquo;t able to make the race meet have been expressing their disappointment for missing this big meet,&rdquo; Monique Gibbs, JRDC president, told Auto.<br /> <br /> The big news out the event was the back-to-back titles for Fraser McConnell. The 2015 champion swept his rivals with a hat-trick of class victories that secured him the 2016 Dover Circuit Racing Championship. Gibbs was amongst the first to congratulate McConnell.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The &lsquo;Young Guns&rsquo; of Fraser McConnell, Nicholas Barnes and William Myers put on an excellent show. Congratulations to all the 2016 series champions and special congrats to Fraser McConnell for taking home the 2016 Series Driver Championship the second year in a row,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> McConnell grabbed maximum points with three Bracket 29 race wins and a pole position on the day, all while being hounded by Sebastien Rae.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am so thankful for the support; for great support from my family, my sponsors Tru-Juice and KIG, and most importantly the Moodies-NG Racing. They are the best in the league. I couldn&rsquo;t be here without them,&rdquo; McConnell explained. <br /> <br /> The second champion of the day was rider Kyle Reynolds. Reynolds had dominated the Motorcycle class A and ended 2016 with his third grasp on the champion rider title.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It feels good to be able to retain the championship for another year. Next year will be tough as the guys are coming for me,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> The big battle of the day was the Thundersport 2 (TS2) class where Jamaica&rsquo;s big two, Doug Gore and David Summerbell Jr, have been trying to stave off young interloper Kyle Gregg, who joined the category this year with a new sponsor and car. On aggregate, it was Gore who won two of the three races after some very close racing. Gregg was the only person within striking distance of Gore, but the Audi driver had already collected enough points to secure the TS2 title.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Having three and sometimes four cars battling for the lead has made this year one of the most competitive yet, so to come out on top had been great,&rdquo; he told Auto.<br /> <br /> Gore will now focus his efforts on the final round of the Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC) in Guyana later this year. Joslyn Crawford took home the 2016 Thundersport Class 1 title.<br /> <br /> Motorcycle Class B went to Mario Woon. Bracket 45N was won by Cory Walters, while Patrick Patterson took Bracket 45T. Bracket 39, Bracket 35 and Improved Production were won by Cecil Munroe, Brian Shor, and Gary Barrett respectively. While Modified Production continues to be the realm of fresh talent with Nicholas Barnes and William Myers taking Modified Production Class 1 and Modified Production Class 2, respectively.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13371560/235681_w300.jpg Local Auto Friday, October 21, 2016 2:00 AM Y http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13371564/235681_SLD.jpg 06 2 TOP 1 Oil backs Lue http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/TOP-1-Oil-backs-Lue_77057 TOP 1 Oil is endorsing high-flying, nine-year-old karter Ryan Lue.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Ryan is possibly one of the most passionate kids about motorsport that we have come across. He is not only passionate, but also extremely knowledgeable about anything to do with motorcars and racing. His talent is undeniable,&rdquo; said Kevin Ryan, marketing manager, TOP 1 Oil International. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Since Ryan began racing, TOP 1 Oil saw it fit to partner with this young champion and support a dream. We are confident and believe Ryan will one day do very big and special things at a much higher level. We are happy to play a role and support him in his efforts. At the end of the day, if we can help one child&rsquo;s dream become closer to a reality, we will play our part and support Ryan and the Lueboyz Racing Team.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Ryan was pleased with the move.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I train around three times a week. Training is really spending lots of time at the track, my dad and I practising and figuring out what works best for my style of driving,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I want to say thank you to TOP 1 Oil for supporting me and thanks to my Uncle Guy and dad for helping, supporting and believing in me. They have made racing so much fun,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> Last year&rsquo;s go-kart champion, Lue is currently leading the standings with 264.5 points. <br /> <br /> TOP 1 Oil is known around the world as the preferred lubricant for automobiles, heavy-duty trucks and motorcycles worldwide. TOP 1 Oil Jamaica Limited is an independent lubricant company with an extensive range of products. Their synthetic lubricants and automotive fluids are well recognised by consumers and racing communities around the world. <br /> <br /> It is distributed locally by Island Lubes Distributors Ltd located in The Trade Centre, Red Hills Road in St Andrew. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13371566/235670__w300.jpg Local Auto Friday, October 21, 2016 2:00 AM 3 Audi A4 sales up in September http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/Audi-A4-sales-up-in-September_77877 AUDI AG closed the first three quarters with growth despite the difficult market environment: In September, the brand increased its deliveries by 1.7 per cent to around 173,850 units compared with the strong prior-year month. Demand especially in Europe (+6.3%) and North America (+4.1%) played its part in the positive sales balance. Within the product portfolio, the compact Audi models in particular were very popular. Combined sales of the Audi A3 and Q3 increased by 16 per cent in the month. Since January, the manufacturer delivered around 1,408,800 automobiles across all models to customers, an increase of 4.5 per cent.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Over the coming months we will further strengthen and considerably rejuvenate our product portfolio,&rdquo; says Dietmar Voggenreiter, board member for sales and marketing at AUDI AG.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;With the Audi Q2, we aim to open up important new customer groups and with the new Audi A5 we are once again going to demonstrate our brand&rsquo;s sportiness and charisma.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Both models, the Audi Q2 and the Audi A5, will arrive at European dealers in November. They will be joined in early 2017 by the new generation of the Audi Q5, which was unveiled to the public for the first time a few days ago at the Paris Motor Show. To date, the company has sold around 1.6 million units of the first generation of the mid-size SUV worldwide. In North America, the Q5 is the most successful Audi model, with almost one in four Audi customers opting for this SUV. In September, deliveries of the Q models rose 5.5 per cent in North America, with an increase of 4.1 per cent across all the brand&rsquo;s models. In the US market, Audi expanded its sales by 1.6 per cent, driven by the new A4, which grew almost 40 percent in the United States over the past month. Since the start of the year, Audi deliveries in the North America region rose by 5.1 per cent across the entire product portfolio to around 186,850 automobiles.<br /> <br /> In Europe, the new Audi A4 reclaimed its position as the number 1 premium model in its segment. Over the past month, around 17,300 customers in Europe decided to buy the mid-size model, 21.6 per cent more than in September 2015. In addition to the Audi A4, the revised A3 (+26.4% to around 21,500 units) strengthened total sales in the region. Both models played a significant role in increasing deliveries in Europe by 6.3 per cent to around 84,650 automobiles in September. The manufacturer reported cumulative total sales in Europe of around 657,100 automobiles since January, an increase of 7.3 per cent. Audi achieved double-digit growth in the past month in France, delivering 5,660 automobiles, 16.2 per cent more than in the prior-year month. The United Kingdom also saw strong growth of 8.5 per cent to 31,214 units in the traditionally strong sales month of September. The positive trend for Audi was reaffirmed in the past month in Italy (+6.7% to 5,353 cars) and Spain (+5.5% to 3,400 cars). In Russia (-38.6% to 1,600 units) and Turkey (-16.4% to 1,341 units). however, the sustained challenging market environment was also reflected in Audi&rsquo;s sales performance in September. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13371482/235642_w300.jpg Local Auto Friday, October 21, 2016 2:00 AM 3 Bringing your car back to new http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/Bringing-your-car-back-to-new_77897 Today, we publish the first in our series of stories on companies within Jamaica&rsquo;s automotive sector.<br /> <br /> FINDING the right team to repair your vehicle after an accident can be stressful. However, Nelson Auto Repairs and Service located on 15 Montgomery Avenue, Kingston 10, will take the hassle out of the process.<br /> <br /> Principal Ralston Nelson views motor vehicle repairs as a very precise science and several necessary procedures must be followed in order to restore your vehicle to showroom finish.<br /> <br /> He explained that there are various reasons why a car would need body work; if a scratch cannot be erased by applying compound, or if a dent leaves a hump &mdash; body work is inevitable.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Some scratches and dents can come out easily without body work. It all depends on how badly the panel is damaged. If the panel can be repaired without using a lot of filler, then repair it,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;However, if it&rsquo;s badly damaged and can&rsquo;t be repaired, then it will have to be removed and replaced,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> He said many customers opt to repair instead of replacing because of affordability issues. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Some customers cannot afford a brand new panel so they choose to have it repaired,&rdquo; Nelson explained. <br /> <br /> Another type of body work involves mangled metal as seen in some motor vehicle accidents. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;In this case, when the chassis is bent, it has to be stretched so the panel can be replaced and joined at the same spot where the original panel was lodged,&rdquo; said Nelson. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not difficult, once you know what you&rsquo;re doing. It will be as good as new when we are finished with it,&rdquo; assured Nelson.<br /> <br /> Once you get through the rigours of body work, repainting of the panel is the next thing to do. Every car comes with a colour code and once this is matched with the colour being used to repaint the repaired panel, the painting can begin. <br /> <br /> A problem Nelson highlighted is that some colours are difficult to match. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;If it is hard to find the exact colour to repaint the new panel, it is possible to spray the two closest panels to the one that was repaired, so the slightly different shade is not evident&rdquo; said Nelson.<br /> <br /> The finishing touch is given with buffing the panel. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Buffing is required after the paint job. It is important to pick up and eliminate any minor dust or run. Your vehicle looks as good as new when we are finished with it,&rdquo; Nelson added.<br /> <br /> * Nelson Auto Repair and Services can contacted at 399-5711, 926-4632 or e-mail: nelsonautorepairs@yahoo.com. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13371490/235688_w300.jpg Local Auto Friday, October 21, 2016 2:00 AM 4 Marcus Garvey Drive delays http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/Marcus-Garvey-Drive-delays_77882 Motorists travelling to Portmore, St Catherine, along Marcus Garvey Drive are to expect delays for the next two days. This delay stems from road work currently being carried out on the road, specifically the west-bound carriageway heading to Portmore Toll.<br /> <br /> According to a press release from the National Works Agency (NWA), the section of the roadway that will be impacted is between East Avenue and the Total Gas Station in the vicinity of the Shoemaker Gully.<br /> <br /> Manager, communication and customer Services at the NWA, Stephen Shaw said that the closure, is necessary to facilitate the lifting of that section of road. Some sections of thoroughfare will be lifted to as much as three feet high.<br /> <br /> Throughout this period of the closure, westbound traffic will be diverted to the east-bound lane, which will be shared by motor vehicles heading in both directions.<br /> <br /> NWA is, therefore, advising motorists to obey the posted warning signs and instructions of the flagmen during the period of the closure.<br /> <br /> Earlier this month, the NWA was forced to close Marcus Garvey Drive in an effort to mitigate the likelihood of flooding during the passage of Hurricane Matthew.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Simone Morgan-Lindo http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12571984/180577_w300.jpg Local Auto Friday, October 21, 2016 2:00 AM 5 Photo Finish: Pulsating The Audi Q5 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/Pulsating-The-Audi-Q5_74811 Picturesque Villa Ronai in St Andrew was the perfect backdrop for the new Audi Q5. <br /> <br /> Need to go on that weekend retreat? Well, only the Audi Q5 can provide that comfortable, stylish and elegant &lsquo;getaway&rsquo; vehicle that&rsquo;s ideal for your discerning taste, as Pulse&rsquo;s top-shelf models Corrine Lindo, Alicia Burke and Davina Bennett will show us.<br /> <br /> Models are wearing designs by Moncrieffe, Leeann Designz, and Zaid. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13371472/230050_w300.jpg Local Auto Friday, October 21, 2016 2:00 AM 5 Release findings of bad gas probe, JGRA urges Gov&rsquo;t http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/Release-findings-of-bad-gas-probe--JGRA-urges-Gov-t-_77368 The Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association (JGRA) is calling on the Government to release the findings and recommendations of the Petroleum Trade Reform Committee to the public.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Petroleum Trade Reform Committee was commissioned in early 2016 to investigate the bad gas saga. This committee has submitted its findings and recommendations to the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology but these have not yet been made public,&rdquo; JGRA President Phillip Chong stated on the weekend.<br /> <br /> The reform committee was set up by the former Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell in the wake of the bad gas saga which rocked the country between late last year and early 2016. Scores of motorists claimed damage to their vehicles after having bought petrol from various gas stations across the island. <br /> <br /> The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) was directed to conduct widespread testing of samples from pumps, as well as stocks supplied by petroleum marketing companies. Contamination was found at the retail and supply end, prompting the authorities to set up a committee to look into the operations of the trade, find the source of the bad fuel, and make recommendations to prevent any recurrence. <br /> <br /> Bad gas stories have come to the fore again in recent weeks, with a service station in St Thomas accused of selling the contaminated fuel. The association says reports are that 30 vehicles were affected. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;This brings back not-so-good memories of the bad gas saga that affected motorists islandwide exactly one year ago &mdash; damage that, to date, have left the motoring public holding the bucket,&rdquo; Chong stated.<br /> <br /> He argued that: &ldquo;notwithstanding the past, the Ministry of Science Energy and Technology, who has the responsibility to govern and protect the petroleum trade, has reacted to the recent St Thomas episode by instructing the Jamaica Bureau of Standards to act. This sounds familiar, as said action was taken one year ago&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> He questioned whether the BSJ is adequately equipped for these situations.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The petroleum trade in Jamaica is very sensitive, so the control and handling of the importation, distribution and delivery to the consumers need to have strict guidelines to guarantee the delivery of good quality gasolene to the consumers,&rdquo; Chong stated.<br /> <br /> The stability of the trade at the present time is precarious as petroleum dealers also remain unhappy with the lack of proper contractual agreements with marketing companies. This has led to a long-standing impasse between Rubis Energy Jamaica Limited and its dealers who are being represented by the JGRA. <br /> <br /> Chong argued that the deregulation of the trade in the 1990s led to competition for the multinational suppliers and as a result, in order to gain more profits, these companies have introduced &ldquo;oppressive systems that are guaranteed to reduce the dealers&rsquo; margins, whilst their margins increase&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Many dealers have gone bankrupt and are forced to leave the trade after many years of operating their businesses, as a result of lower margins. The continuous increases of the franchisers&rsquo; margins and fees change one of the fundamental properties of franchise agreement between franchisers and franchisees,&rdquo; he claimed.<br /> <br /> The association has also recently raised concern that its recommendations regarding contractual arrangements for dealers may not have been included in the committee&rsquo;s recommendations. <br /> <br /> Chong wants the Government to quickly start moving towards the implementation stage of the recommedations as well as to establish franchise laws in Jamaica that will guide contracts, franchise fees and accountability for franchisers and franchisees. <br /> <br /> In addition to the committee&rsquo;s report, Chong pointed out, inputs made by the Fair Trading Commission could enhance the integrity in the trade of the supply and distribution of petroleum products. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13358904/gas_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 17, 2016 12:00 AM Y http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13358452/gas-SLD.jpg 02 2 Heroes of Speed to light up Dover Raceway http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/Heroes-of-Speed-to-light-up-Dover-Raceway_77270 The upcoming Heroes of Speed Race Meet, which will be held at Dover Raceway tomorrow, will see several drivers and riders battling for top honours in their race categories.<br /> <br /> After three gruelling race meets at Dover and Jamwest, Monday&rsquo;s meet will put all battles to rest as all drivers and riders plan to end the year on a winning note.<br /> <br /> The biggest battle will see three former drivers of the year going up against each other &mdash; Doug Gore, David Summerbell and Kyle Gregg. <br /> <br /> They will not have an easy task as Peter Rae and other drivers will be there to stake their claim on the races.<br /> <br /> Driver of the year Fraser McConnell will be out to defend his championship as well.<br /> <br /> Other drivers, who are also seeking to end the year on a winning note, are William Myers, Nicholas Barnes, Charles Chen and Peter Jaggon, among others.<br /> <br /> The paint swapping riders will be on hand to burn up the track in four races. The leaders include Robert McDonald, Kyle Reynolds, Kai Watson and Mario Woon, who are expected to ignite the large crowd that is expected to grace the venue in St Ann. <br /> <br /> According to JRDC president Monique Gibbs, everything is in place for an exciting race day tomorrow. She also disclosed that the latest schedule has 14 races to be contested. Qualifying will start at 9:15 am, while the competition is scheduled to start at 10:30 am. The various car race categories are entry-level Bracket 45, Improved Production, Modified Production, Thundersport One and Two.<br /> <br /> For motorcycles the categories are MCA and MCB. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12127811/Kyle-Gregg_w300.jpg Local Auto Sunday, October 16, 2016 12:00 AM 4 Dover's final showdown http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/Dover-s-final-showdown THE 2016 circuit racing season will come to an exciting close on Monday, October 17, at Dover Raceway in St Ann, with the Jamaica Race Drivers Club's (JRDC) Heroes of Speed.<br /> <br /> "The last of the series is always our biggest meet and this year several of the championships are the closest they've ever been in a long while," Monique Gibbs, JRDC president, told Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Gibbs said that fans can expect racing all day, as 14 races are scheduled.<br /> <br /> "The final race of the day and the season will be held in honour of late Gleaner motorsports reporter Glenroy Sinclair," said Gibbs.<br /> <br /> Currently, the overall championship is a battle between Brian Shor and 2015 champion Fraser McConnell. In Modified Production class one, Nicholas Barnes will be trying to stay ahead of Ian Wright. In Modified Production class two, Ackeel Shorter is within striking distance of class leader William Myers. That situation is duplicated in Thundersport with Kyle Gregg and Douglas Gore. In the bikes, it's Kyle Reynolds verses Robert McDonald while Mario Woon leads Linton Martin in the motorcycle class B.<br /> <br /> Ultimately, it's Thundersport where all the major action is expected to take place as the three big names Gregg, Gore and David Summerbell Jr are trying to break the victory stalemate that has engulfed them. For class leader Gore, an all-out fight has to be tempered since he's leading in the Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC) too. Any damage occurred in Jamaica could potentially affect his regional aspirations.<br /> <br /> "I'm aiming at both the local and CMRC championships, but I can't be too cautious here given the level of competition," Gore said.<br /> <br /> To ensure he's at the front of the pack, Gore has sought help out of Europe and developed a new suspension set-up that he feels will suit Dover's track.<br /> <br /> Gregg and Summerbell Jr have no such issues and have making their final preparations to challenge each other. Both have been testing to ensure their vehicles are in tip-top shape for the final showdown of the season.<br /> <br /> "We have a new set-up, and been analysing data to maximise my driving style. For me, I want to win the Thundersport championship in my first year in the class,&rdquo; Gregg said.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13358291/dover-2_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, October 16, 2016 1:37 PM 5 Remote-controlled action heats up http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/Remote-controlled-action-heats-up_77126 The second round of the Island Electric Series, hosted by the Jamrock Remote Control Car Club (JRRCCC), was completed at Sovereign Centre on the Boulevard, Washington Boulevard in St Andrew, last Sunday.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The meet was rather an interesting one, as it was the first electric class race since our Caribbean International event that happened in August,&rdquo; Denise Burton-Clarke, JRRCCC president, told Auto.<br /> <br /> According to Clarke, several racers incorporated knowledge from their experience with international competitors into their own set-ups, which resulted in faster lap times for them. In the 1/10 scale Electric GT class, Gary Sailsman led Andre Blaine and Izette McCalla. Howard Maitland fought a close race with Denise Clarke for the 1/10 scale Mini FWD class win, leaving Izette McCalla in third. Mike Clarke won the final group 1/10 scale Electric Touring.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The meet has proven once again to be a success as the club gears up for the upcoming Jamrock Nationals in January 2017,&rdquo; Clarke said.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Rory Daley http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13354024/234259_w300.jpg Local Auto Friday, October 14, 2016 2:00 AM 4 MINI&rsquo;s big moment http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/MINI-s-big-moment_77021 BIG things come in small packages, and this is particularly true for the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman, which had its debut at the Paris Auto Show (Modial l&rsquo;Automobile Paris) currently on the French capital.<br /> <br /> The biennial expo, which started on October 1, is slated to end on October 16.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The MINI is an iconic brand... it&rsquo;s important you keep the familiarity and family feel,&rdquo; Sebastian Mackenson, senior vice-president of MINI at the BMW Group, told Auto.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a car that goes for a special, unique connoisseur that&rsquo;s looking for performance and exclusiveness,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> According to a BMW Group release, the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman is the biggest top athlete in the history of the British brand to date. The bonus, in terms of roominess, everyday practicality and long-distance suitability, offers a new range of opportunities to enjoy racing passion. The fact that the extremely sporty temperament typical of the John Cooper Works models reaches a whole new dimension in this model is due to the fact that the most powerful engine ever fitted in a MINI is combined with the latest version of the all-wheel drive system, ALL4, for the first time. In the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman (combined fuel consumption: 7.4 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 168 g/km), the drive torque generated from a peak output of 170 kW/231 hp and a maximum torque of 350 Newton metres is distributed as needed between the front and rear wheels in every situation on the road.<br /> <br /> The standard all-wheel-drive system forms part of a precisely assembled overall package, comprising not just the powerful four-cylinder turbo engine; the sports suspension complete with 18-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels, the Brembo sports brake system and distinctive body features for optimised aerodynamic properties and cooling air intake, but also a model-specific cockpit with John Cooper Works sports seats. This guarantees enthralling performance when accelerating from zero to 100 km/h, for instance, which takes 6.3 seconds with both the standard six-speed manual transmission and the optional eight-speed Steptronic sports transmission, accompanied by the powerfully emotional sound of the sports exhaust system. Power transmission to all four wheels increases agility on spontaneous sprint manoeuvres as well as when taking bends in dynamic style, ensuring supreme forward thrust, even beyond the asphalt.<br /> <br /> Drawing on motor racing expertise, the suspension technology has also been harmonised with both the car&rsquo;s vehicle concept and its outstanding engine performance. The latest variant once again combines a single-joint spring strut axle at the front with a multi-link rear axle in a version that is adapted to the specific model in terms of rigidity, kinematics and weight optimisation. Designed in collaboration with the specialist manufacturer Brembo, the four-piston fixed caliper disc brakes guarantee consistently high deceleration performance, even when exposed to intensive stress on the racetrack.<br /> <br /> The new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman goes on sale next year.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Brian Bonitto http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13354077/234112_61229_repro_w300.jpg Local Auto Friday, October 14, 2016 2:00 AM 5 Road reopens, other plans ahead http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/Road-reopens--other-plans-ahead_77153 Discussions are under way by the National Works Agency (NWA) to rebuild sections of Constant Spring Road in the Corporate Area. This is according to NWA&rsquo;s m anager of c ommunications and c ustomer s ervices Stephen Shaw.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There is a discussion taking place as it pertains to the Constant Spring Road area. The rebuilding process is expected to take place along West Kings House Road to Manor Park,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Shaw was speaking to the Jamaica Observer&rsquo;s Auto yesterday about the emergency work that had been completed on the roadway earlier this week, due to a collapsing sewer line under the major thoroughfare. The road had been closed since last Thursday and caused massive traffic jams throughout the Corporate Area as motorists sought alternative routes.<br /> <br /> The communications and customer services manager confirmed that that section of the roadway has been repaired and is fully reopened to vehicular traffic.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was a difficult task, but the work team did a fabulous job in completing it within the deadline. They were working on a system that was live. The sewage was about three-and-a-half feet deep,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Shaw added that there were times that some of the workers had to be lowered 20 feet into the ground to get the work completed.<br /> <br /> The Constant Spring roadway is the second most heavily used traffic corridor in Jamaica, next to the Mandela Highway in St Catherine, which sees up to 45,000 vehicles daily. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13353982/234300_w300.jpg Local Auto Friday, October 14, 2016 2:00 AM 5 Constant Spring south-bound lanes reopen http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/Constant-Spring-south-bound-lanes-reopen_76725 MOTORISTS heading from Dunrobin to Half-Way-Tree should be able to use the south-bound lane of the roadway that was closed for repairs Thursday after a National Water Commission (NWC) sewage pipe burst in the area causing parts of the roadway to collapse.<br /> <br /> However, it will be a few more days before full use of the roadway is regained, as there is still more work to be done.<br /> <br /> Despite efforts by the National Works Agency (NWA) and the NWC, the work crews were unable to effect full repairs in time for the estimated full opening today.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We believe that we&rsquo;ll be out of the south-bound lane, that is the lane in front of Globe Furniture, and we can hand that back to the NWA. It will be their call to see if and when traffic will return to it, but we are prepared to hand it back to them before Monday morning,&rdquo; senior project manager at the NWC Gary Walters told the Jamaica Observer when we visited the site last evening.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The north-bound lane, we cannot make the Monday deadline because of the unforeseen underground obstructions. I anticipate that best-case scenario Tuesday, and worst-case scenario, by Wednesday,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> When contacted, communication and customer service manager at the NWA Stephen Shaw said the NWA was working to compact and fill the south-bound carriageway, which has three lanes, so that it would be ready in time for Monday morning.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are working right now to allow access to the southbound traffic lane heading from Dunrobin Avenue to Half- Way-Tree. The north-bound lanes heading from Half-Way-Tree, those will remain closed as the contractor continues to do work to have sewer line replaced,&rdquo; Shaw said.<br /> <br /> He stressed that, while access is being given to motorists, the road is not finished as there is still work to be done as it relates to the final road surface, and as such, it is still an active worksite.<br /> <br /> Shaw explained that they are doing their best to get it done not only quickly, but also as professionally as possible, and so they have teams from the NWA testing materials on site to ensure that they are suitable for reaching the level of compaction required for the road.<br /> <br /> Both Shaw and Walters highlighted that there have been unexpected challenges with other lines underground that hampered the rate at which the repair is being done. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;So because we encountered these [challenges], the work rate had to be slowed, because you have to meticulously work around it, because it&rsquo;s not our intention to damage anyone&rsquo;s infrastructure,&rdquo; Shaw said.<br /> <br /> Last week Thursday a sewer line collapsed, compromising two sections of the Constant Spring roadway, which resulted in the closure of the lanes on both the north-bound and south-bound carriageways and resulting in extensive traffic congestion over much of the city. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13344508/233635_60726_repro_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 10, 2016 12:00 AM Y http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13344509/233635_SLD.jpg 02 2 TRAILER MISHAP! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/TRAILER-MISHAP_76582 A trailer heading towards Spanish Town overturned along the busy Mandela Highway on Friday, temporarily bringing traffic to a crawl, caused primarily by curious motorists wanting to know what had happened. It was unclear at the time what caused the crash and how badly the driver of the vehicle had been hurt. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13342445/233433_60532_repro_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, October 09, 2016 2:00 AM 4 Indian billionaire says Formula E &lsquo;spaceships&rsquo; are the future http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/Indian-billionaire-says-Formula-E--spaceships--are-the-future_76496 MUMBAI, India (AFP) &mdash; Indian billionaire Anand Mahindra says Formula E&rsquo;s futuristic, high-pitched &ldquo;spaceships&rdquo; are the future of motor racing as he sees the sport evolving away from F1 &ldquo;dinosaurs&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Ten teams, including India&rsquo;s Mahindra Racing, will line up on the Formula E grid when the third season of the environmentally friendly championship gets under way in Hong Kong today.<br /> <br /> The fully electric motorsport debuted in 2014 and is seen as a greener alternative to Formula One, although petrolheads say lower speeds and fewer decibels mean it lacks the same excitement.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;If you&rsquo;ve ever been to one you&rsquo;ll know it&rsquo;s not as boring as people think because there are no sounds,&rdquo; Mahindra, the chairman of the Mumbai-based Mahindra Group, told AFP.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s actually like being in a Star Wars movie because there&rsquo;s a whining electric sound. You&rsquo;re essentially in a spaceship race,&rdquo; the 61-year-old added during an interview at his company&rsquo;s headquarters.<br /> <br /> Critics say maximum speeds of 150 mph (225 kph) &mdash; reaching about 80 decibel levels &mdash; are a turn-off compared to F1 cars, which regularly top 200 mph and register almost 130 decibels.<br /> <br /> But Mahindra believes the world&rsquo;s first all-electric racing series is the future and could one day be as popular as F1.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I certainly think it can. If you look at the traction it has got in its short life it&rsquo;s pretty remarkable already. It&rsquo;s gone way beyond our expectations,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Formula One, that&rsquo;s &lsquo;Jurassic Park&rsquo;. You want to move from riding a dinosaur to riding the Starship Enterprise. That&rsquo;s what the change is,&rdquo; Mahindra added, referring to the &lsquo;Star Trek&rsquo; spacecraft.<br /> <br /> The forthcoming season will see the teams, each with two drivers, racing on 12 temporary city-centre circuits. Germany&rsquo;s Nick Heidfeld and Swede Felix Rosenqvist will drive for Mahindra Racing.<br /> <br /> WANNABE F1S<br /> <br /> Other teams include defending champions Renault e.dams &mdash; co-owned by French racing legend Alain Prost &mdash; DS Virgin Racing, Jaguar, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport, China&rsquo;s Techeetah and Andretti of the USA.<br /> <br /> After Hong Kong the series goes to Marrakech in Morocco and then Buenos Aires, Argentina. It culminates in Montreal, Canada, in July next year.<br /> <br /> Mahindra Racing is part of Mahindra Group, a conglomerate worth around US$17.8 billion that is involved in everything from cars and tractors to information technology. It also manufactures electric vehicles through its company Mahindra Reva.<br /> <br /> Mahindra, whose personal net worth is US$1.36 billion according to<br /> <br /> Forbes, welcomed a design change for season three that will see Formula E cars sport a stylish new front wing, which organisers say will help differentiate its look from other motor sports.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There are new fins in front of the nose so they made them look much more exciting. They&rsquo;re beginning to look like spaceships. That&rsquo;s going to be a major visual difference in the new season,&rdquo; said the charismatic businessman.<br /> <br /> But he would like the motorsport&rsquo;s administrators to go further, insisting that Formula E cars should be given an entirely unique look of their own to help boost popular appeal.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Why are we making these cars look so much like F1? We shouldn&rsquo;t look like wannabe F1s, so there should be a design,&rdquo; he said. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13340633/233303_60255_repro_w300.jpg Local Business Sunday, October 09, 2016 2:00 AM 5 Constant Spring Road work to last until Monday http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/Constant-Spring-Road-work-to-last-until-Monday-------_76561 Commuters in Kingston will continue to experience traffic delays on Constant Spring Road in the vicinity of Marketplace for another two days, as work to repair a collapsed sewer line continues.<br /> <br /> According to the National Works Agency&rsquo;s Communication and Customer Service Manager Stephen Shaw, the work is expected to be completed by Monday.<br /> <br /> On Thursday the line collapsed, resulting in a huge hole in the road. Traffic snarls dogged the travelling public for most of the day as police deployed extra personnel to the area and to critical intersections nearby.<br /> <br /> Yesterday, traffic moved slowly along the corridor as well as on detour routes.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are trying our best to deal with it. We have persons at the [traffic] lights,&rdquo; Acting Head of the Police Traffic Division Courtney Coubre told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Yesterday, Shaw said the workmen had to dig some 20 feet below ground as they were working on a live sewer line. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are hopeful that they will be able to complete this aspect of the road not before too long, so that the road reinstatement effort can begin and we are in a position to return the corridor to normal use by Monday,&rdquo; Shaw said.<br /> <br /> At the same time, Shaw said that work is currently underway on a section of Gordon Town Road that collapsed prior to the rain associated with Hurricane Matthew that pelted sections of the island earlier this week.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Racquel Porter http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13340865/233403_60481_repro_w300.jpg Local Auto Saturday, October 08, 2016 2:00 AM Y http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13340867/233403_SLD.jpg 02 2 Seeing green http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/Seeing-green_76293 THERE were several other automakers which showcased their newest green technology vehicles at the expo.<br /> <br /> 1. VW ID Concept Volkswagen<br /> <br /> unveiled its ID Concept which will come on stream by 2020. Bearing a striking resemblance to the VW Golf and Beetle, the ID has a retractable steering wheel and a trunk that can accept package deliveries. <br /> <br /> 2. Toyota FCV Plus The Toyota FCV Plus, which made its debut at the Toyko Motor Show in 2015, is a talking point at the Paris Auto Show. Turning fuel cell vehicles from eco cars into energy cars, this 3,800-mm concept vehicle adds a new sense of purpose to the future of the automobile. <br /> <br /> 3. eX Concept Electric Crossover Also making another appearance from the Toyko Motor Show in 2015 is the Mitsubishi eX Concept. A compact SUV powered by a nextgeneration EV system, it evokes the image of a sports crossover zipping nimbly around town as it merges the elegance and stylishness of a &lsquo;shooting brake&rsquo; (a term for a coup&Atilde;&copy; with flowing styling fused with a hatchback car). <br /> <br /> 4. GT-Phev Concept Ground Tourer Mitsubishi&rsquo;s GT-PHEV boasts the auto company&rsquo;s X-shaped &lsquo;Dynamic Shield&rsquo; design language, with three large stacked LED rings incorporated into the front bumper. Its bold design at the front is carried through to the rear, while a sloping tailgate lends the GTPHEV an attractive and sporty aesthetic.<br /> <br /> 5. Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid<br /> <br /> With production slated for 2017, the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is one mean (and clean) machine.<br /> <br /> It pushes 462 hp and 516 lb ft of torque, and it will sure to get your heart racing. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13339044/233072_w300.jpg Local Auto Saturday, October 08, 2016 2:00 AM 4 BMW M2 makes Jamaican debut http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/BMW-M2-makes-Jamaican-debut_76386 After much anticipation, the new addition to the BMW M family has officially arrived in Jamaica. The first-ever BMW M2 Coup&eacute;&rsquo;s unmistakeable motorsport genes ring true to the core of BMW M GmbH. Released globally earlier this year to phenomenal reviews, the M2 combines top sporting prowess and classic rear-wheel drive with the precision and velocity of a modern M automobile. <br /> <br /> At the heart of the BMW M2 is innovative engineering. The use of intelligent lightweight materials, including carbon fibre, help reduce weight to offer optimum agility. It&rsquo;s three-litre, turbocharged six-cylinder engine delivers a mind-blowing output of 365hp and injects an explosive dose of adrenaline, even when in its default comfort mode. <br /> <br /> While exceptional performance unequivocally enhances the allure of the BMW M2, its knockout good looks are equally impressive. The M2&rsquo;s head-turning figure is emphasised through its dynamic lines in all the right places and aggressive front end. Its wide rear stance and compact coup&eacute; design sit confidently on 19&rdquo; forged aluminium M double-spoke wheels. <br /> <br /> The interior of the BMW M2 Coup&eacute; builds on its racy lineage through its Dakota leather sport seats embossed with the M logo and signature Polar Blue stitching. The operating elements are systematically orientated towards the driver, ensuring rapid and precise access to important functions. <br /> <br /> Head of business for BMW at ATL Autobahn, Matthew Stevenson, stated: &ldquo;the BMW M2 is easily the most anticipated BMW release we&rsquo;ve had this year and justifiably so. It&rsquo;s an exceptional blend of everyday practicality and stunning performance in a manageable and unintimidating size. Jamaicans are diehard M fans; they&rsquo;re incredibly passionate about the uniqueness that BMW&rsquo;s Motorsport division brings to the auto industry, so it&rsquo;s been quite the experience to witness first-hand the enthusiasm this new release has generated prior to its showroom arrival.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Stevenson summed up the appeal of the BMW M2 by affirming: &ldquo;the BMW M2 is a perfected formula of chassis balance, steering response, and power-to-weight ratio; in a nutshell it&rsquo;s a mix of all the reasons you love BMW M models, but in a more attainable automobile.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The BMW M2 is slated to make its official showroom debut at the dealership&rsquo;s 5 Orchard Road location as early as next Monday. For more information on the BMW M2 visit www.bmwjamaica.com or contact ATL Autobahn at 906-1554. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13338019/233054__w300.jpg Local Auto Friday, October 07, 2016 12:00 AM 1 Plugging into Paris http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/Plugging-into-Paris_76263 HUNDREDS of automotive journalists made the biennial pilgrimage to Mondial de l&rsquo;Automobile (Paris Auto Show) at Porte de Versailles ahead of its October 1 to 16 opening to see what the future of industry had in store.<br /> <br /> Held in the French capital, where the mayor called for banning of all diesel cars by 2020 as part of its pollution-reduction plan, electric vehicles held sway.<br /> <br /> The German luxury automaker unveiled the latest variants of its i3 and i8 at the expo.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s still a growing niche compared to our BMW volume of cars... But we&rsquo;re growing which is great,&rdquo; Heinrich Schwackhofer, product manager BMW i, told Auto.<br /> <br /> The BMW i3, with its new 94 Ah battery, boasts a range that has increased by over 50 per cent. On the standard New European Driving Cycle (NEDC cycle), it achieves a range of 300 kilometres (186 miles) instead of the previous 190 kilometres (118 miles). Its combination of long-range, low-energy consumption and typical BMW performance sees the BMW i3 (94 Ah) setting a new benchmark in its segment.<br /> <br /> It completes the 0 &ndash; 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint in 7.3 seconds, hitting 60 km/h (37 mph) in just 3.8 seconds. And on mid-range acceleration, a conventional combustion-engined vehicle would require much more power to match the i3&rsquo;s sporty 80 &ndash; 120 km/h (50 - 75 mph) time of 5.1 seconds, which makes for quick and safe overtaking.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a dynamic car with the right range for its purpose,&rdquo; said Schwackhofer.<br /> <br /> Besides this, there are extra equipment options for the BMW i3 as well as the new, more powerful BMW i Wallbox charging stations for home garages.<br /> <br /> BMW i also presented the BMW i8 Protonic Dark Silver Edition special-edition model. Set to go into production this December, the special-edition BMW i8 will come in the exclusive Protonic Dark Silver paint finish. Following the successful launch of the first limited-edition i8 model, customers will now be given another opportunity to seal their membership of a select group within the BMW i8 community, and to tailor their car entirely to their own personal vision. Production of the BMW i8 Protonic Dark Silver Edition will begin in December 2016 at BMW Plant Leipzig. The order book will stay open for a limited period only &ndash; until the start of 2017.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are very contented with the sale success of the i3. We&rsquo;re absolutely on target. We have been increasing our sales level to over 55,000 units since its launch in 2013,&rdquo; said Schwackhofer.<br /> <br /> The product manager of BMW i said Caribbean countries of Martinique and Guadeloupe could see the units as early as next year. He also shared his company&rsquo;s vision in electric vehicles.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We&rsquo;re planning a full-sized, middle-class, everyday-capability vehicle by 2021. It&rsquo;ll be called the iNext.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Schwackhofer said the five-seat iNext will boast increased range, as well as outfitted with the latest technology including autonomous driving and user interface.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We want to bring the electric movement forward,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13338029/232827_59980_repro_w300.jpg Local Auto Friday, October 07, 2016 2:00 AM 1 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13338025/232827_ld.jpg Traffic woes - Section of Constant Spring Road collapses http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/Traffic-woes_76427 CORPORATE Area traffic was brought to a virtual standstill yesterday, as commuters sought alternative routes due to yesterday&rsquo;s closure of a section of Constant Spring Road.<br /> <br /> The decision to divert traffic away from the area came about 4:00 pm yesterday, as two sections of the roadway collapsed due to problems with the sewerage infrastructure.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Closure of the affected section of the roadway is being done out of an abundance of caution as additional failures are possible, which could put lives at risk,&rdquo; said Stephen Shaw, National Works Agency (NWA) communication and customer services manager.<br /> <br /> The repair work is expected to be completed on Monday, October 10.<br /> <br /> Shaw said it was too early to say how much the repairs would cost.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We can&rsquo;t say as it is an emergency situation... it&rsquo;s a failure in the underground sewerage system. Therefore, the National Water Commission would go in first to do their repairs,&rdquo; he told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In terms of how long it will take overall, that is a function of how long the water commission takes. When they have managed to excavate it, it is at that time they will say how long it will take for repairs for it to be reopened. The pipe that is an issue is some 18 feet below the ground, so there is quite a bit of digging to get to the area,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> He said they will be working as quickly as possible as the Constant Spring roadway is the second most heavily used traffic corridor on the island, next to the Mandela Highway in St Catherine as it sees up to 45,000 vehicles per day.<br /> <br /> Shaw also said the Jamaica Urban Transit Company may have to adjust their bus schedules as the longer buses were unable to use the lanes available. He said motorists are advised to take alternative routes.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There are several routes they can take, Waterloo Road or Molynes Road and so on,&rdquo; said Shaw.<br /> <br /> When the Jamaica Observer contacted the Half-Way-Tree Police Station, they said no directives were given, so they were unable to provide an update on the traffic situation.<br /> <br /> Shaw said a report has been submitted on the damage to the island&rsquo;s road network due to the passage of Hurricane Matthew. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13337985/233015_w300.jpg Local Auto Friday, October 07, 2016 12:00 AM Y http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13338017/233015_SLD.jpg 06 2