GranTurismo videos

Back in May I blogged about the XFR vs M5 & XKR vs GranTurismo S as well as videos of the Jaguar XF, I hadn't done similar for the GranTurismo.

Well here they are!

Whilst we haven't heard more news about the rumoured GT Spyder based on the GranTurismo, the GranTurismo itself has had a few upgrades - particularly to it's engine and gearbox - which have really produced a wonderful car! I have to confess eyeing a dark blue one off in the car showroom on my way to work.

Fifth Gear - Maserati GranTurismo Tested

Fifth Gear - New Maserati GranTurismo

Top Gear Australia - Maserati GranTurismo S GTS

Top Gear - Maserati GranTurismo [Clarkson's Thriller]


posted by Lee Gale @ 3:43 AM, ,

10-20-30 Rule of PowerPoint

Guy Kawasaki offers up his golden rules of Powerpoint on his blog How to Change the World: The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint.

It’s quite simple: a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points.

Guy's article is a good reminder to some of the basic principles I blogged about in
Nine steps to PowerPoint magic (and Seth's Best of 2008) back in Jan '09.

Having just spent a week at Open Text's sales kick-off for FY10, the reminder about font size is timely. Whilst it seems people are improving with their presentations, you still get the occasional 'eye chart' that nobody can read and therefore defeats the purpose of the slide!

Image by Brybs


posted by Lee Gale @ 1:38 AM, ,

For Crying Out Loud!

I confess: this book was a last minute airport pickup as I was worried I didn't have enough reading material for the flights from Sydney to Toronto.

I grabbed it as the last Clarkson book I read, I know you got Soul, was so entertaining. Sadly, this book doesn't quite hit the same mark.

Basically, Jeremy carries on (rather amusingly) about issues he encounters.

Don't get me wrong, it's funny and worth reading... if you are offered a cheap/free copy. :-)


posted by Lee Gale @ 1:06 AM, ,

Porsche Spyder

I'd have thought Porsche were done having stretched their brand to include the Cayenne and the Panamera, but according to Auto Express and WorldCarFans, they are still going - this time with plans to slot in a baby Boxster called the Spyder.

Maybe I'm completely off base when I suggest that having stretched the brand already, going further down-market is really going to test the capacity of 911 owners to buy into the brand.

It would likely be built on the VW platform that underpins the Bluesport and the rumoured Audi R2, so it's more than likely this car will get produced. But the renderings of the Porsche don't look as sexy as the VW or Audi. Hmmm.

On the plus side, an MX-5 competitor with a Porsche badge would be great for those without the money to go for a 911 or Boxster.


posted by Lee Gale @ 1:19 AM, ,

Along came a Spyder

Last year when I blogged about the Audi R8 Coupe & Spyder, the coupe was on the streets and looking hot, but the Spyder (aka Audi R8 Cabrio) was still a heavily camouflaged test mule.

And in March when I blogged about the Audi R8 V10, there were still no more pictures of what the Spyder would look like.

Well, Auto Express reckons it will look like this:The good news is it's apparently still scheduled for production.

But I don't think I like the look of it that much and I think I know why: the sideblades that made the coupe interesting are missing.

Let's hope Audi finds a way to give the Spyder these sexy additions. I'm pretty sure they will.

There are more pictures at Auto Express of the camouflaged test car.


posted by Lee Gale @ 1:14 AM, ,

10 Cultural Faux Pas You Should Never Make in India

CIO has a great article titled 10 Cultural Faux Pas You Should Never Make in India.

Considering that all of us operate in a global business environment, whether we're aware of it or not, these tips are a good reminder that awareness of culture is important and valuable - moreover, it can give you a competitive advantage!

Image by Zsolt Zátrok Dr.

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posted by Lee Gale @ 9:27 PM, ,

Galston Gorge

In my last blog's about driving roads around Sydney, I covered the Old Pacific Hwy north of Sydney and then the extend trip to Wiseman's Ferry.

If you have even MORE time on your hands, I'd recommend on the return trip from Wiseman's Ferry back to Sydney, you deviate at Middle Dural down through Galston Gorge, and back up to the Pacific Hwy.

View Larger Map

Sadly, I was stuck behind two cars on my last run through the hairpins so couldn't fully enjoy the drive. It was also raining, which coupled with a heavy V8 up front, makes for a less fun and more stress.

Comparing that experience with my previous experience, I'd have to say that a sunny day with no traffic and a '99 Mazda MX-5, beats it hands down.

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posted by Lee Gale @ 2:02 AM, ,

The Art of Profitability

I first read The Art of Profitability by Adrian Slywotzky almost 6 years ago, but I've picked it up recently to re-read again.

The book takes the form of a relationship between a wise mentor, David Zhao, and an eager student, Steve Gardner, to take the reader through the process of understanding the different models. In essence, the reader becomes Steve in his quest to understand the profit models.

The book is aimed at describing and giving insight into each model; it is not an in depth analysis of profitability. Having said that, this book definitely is to understanding profit models as what: Blink is to thinking, Tipping Point is to social change, Crossing the Chasm is to technology adoption, First, Break all the Rules is to people management, and Winning is to business management.

The author cautions readers to "please read only one chapter per week... Think about it. Let it stew." His advice, centered around the mantra that the path to profitability lies in fully understanding the customer, is valuable i.e. watch out for cracks in a business's foundation because they can quickly lead to a collapse.

A must read.

Checkout the book excerpt at Business Know How and an interview with Adrian at Harbus .

I've also uploaded my notes on the 23 profit models here.


posted by Lee Gale @ 2:28 AM, ,

Audi R2

Back in May, I was a bit harsh on the Audi TT and expressed hope that they might produce a corker with the Audi TT RS.

I do fear the underlying chassis will ultimately let it down... but this might not be cause to drop Audi from your
shopping list if you are in the market for a two-seater sports car for under A$200k.

Especially if early rumors of the R2 are to be believed - which according to Auto Express, they are.

These rumors indicate all the usual stuff you'd expect from Audi: 4-wheel drive, 2.0L naturally aspirated and 2.5L turbo engines (both from the Audi TT and TT RS) with a
choice between six-speed manual and seven-ratio R tronic semi-automatic gearboxes.

All pretty standard really. So what sets it apart from the Audi TT and TT RS ?

Well that would be it's mid-engine layout à la big brother Audi R8.
This in turn explains the gaping side vents shown in the illustration below.

Let hope the R2 does get launched in 2012 but I suspect it'll have a higher asking price than what Auto Express suggest. A starting price of around £30k puts it in Audi TT 3.2 V6 territory and well short of the TT RS'
£42k price. Given the R8 is around £75k, I'd suggest the R2 would lob in around £45k (about A$105k before our draconian luxury car taxes are applied) to keep it above the TT RS and near to the Porsche Boxster S. In fact, it's entirely possible that this is a 2012-2014 replacement for the TT as it would otherwise create an overly broad product lineup.


posted by Lee Gale @ 2:59 AM, ,

Government Motors

In an overdue blog on the state of the American auto industry (I've not blogged about things since Carmageddon '09), and in the long running saga that is the auto industry's GFC related woes, GM finally went into bankruptcy as long predicted.

Their bankruptcy, as ranked by total assets, is the fourth-largest in U.S. history, following Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Washington Mutual and WorldCom Inc.

They are quickly selling off Saab and Hummer as part of the Chapter 11 process, but as you'd expect from an attempt for a rapid Chapter 11 process, there is already concern over flaunting long-standing rules & regulations. Furthermore, American taxpayers should be concerned that in financing the new GM, they may not have saved American jobs as hoped for if plant closures continue in the US whilst investment in China increases.

Recently, GM named Edward Whitacre Jr, a former chairman of the board and chief executive officer of AT&T, as chairman. He is scheduled to take the position when the automaker emerges from bankruptcy proceedings.

Interestingly, Whitacre isn't a "car guy" as Bloomberg reported. To quote:
I don’t know anything about cars,” Whitacre, 67, said yesterday in an interview after his appointment. “A business is a business, and I think I can learn about cars. I’m not that old, and I think the business principles are the same.

I sincerely hope that the news that the Holden built Pontiac G8 might survive as Buick, is true. Holden produce a great car and have done some smart things around their business locally as I blogged in Where all think alike, no one thinks very much, so having this car continue in the US would be great for Australian jobs.

Again, I'll leave Jon Stewart to provide you a laugh:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
BiG Mess
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran

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posted by Lee Gale @ 2:07 AM, ,

How not to run a business

Back in June, I blogged about Where to leave your car at Sydney Domestic terminals for those of you that are frequent day-trippers via Sydney airport.

For trips longer than same-day, leaving the car there gets a bit expensive, so in order to keep the accountants happy I recommend finding another way.

I'm not a big fan of the standard taxi for a couple of reasons. The first is the inconvenience of having to wait for them as opposed to having them waiting for you. When you do enough travel, that time adds up and is unproductive. The second reason is probably more reflective of my own phobias, but Sydney cabs don't have a reputation for being clean and Sydney cab drivers don't have a reputation for being hygienic or familiar with the streets.

As such, I've always attempted to use a Silver Service, Prestige Cab or other hire car where it can be booked and they are waiting, the car is clean and the driver is professional.

However, I would like to share with you a recommendation of who not to use as well as an example of how not to run a business... at least if you want to stay around for long.

I tried elimousine & ecotaxi recently as a friend who manages a hotel recommended them a while back.

The concept seems cool but the execution was anything but. Out of four pickups I arranged with them, they only picked me up once - the first time.

On the second instance, I was left hanging at Sydney T3 as 'the driver had the wrong information about my flight's landing time because his blackberry had a javascript problem with Qantas' website and would take 20 minutes to get to me'. It took only 15 minutes to wait for a regular cab. The manager of the business was 'kind enough' not to charge me for the missed pickup - really! Like he had any grounds to charge me!

On the third instance, I was offloaded to Silver Service, which wasn't really a bad thing.

In the final instance, I was just left at Sydney International with no indication as to why they weren't there or anyone answering the phone to make alternative arrangements. Upon email the manager of the business, I was told he was "very surprised to hear that" and that he "will address tomorrow morning"... which he never did.

Clearly, I won't recommend using them to anyone but at least they serve as a good example to the rest of us how you shouldn't run a business.

Checkout these Demotivational Posters at

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posted by Lee Gale @ 2:00 AM, ,

Evora vs Cayman S

I've blogged about the Lotus Evora previously and the Porsche Cayman ad-nuaesea in
2009 Nissan 370Z vs 2008 Porsche Cayman S, Porsche Cayman vs Audi TT S vs BMW 335i M Sport and Facelifted Boxster & Cayman.

Now Auto Express has put them head-to-head.

The verdict is predictable. The Cayman is such a great car (if you excuse the driving position for tall drivers, the stupid PDK ergonomics and the criminal options list) that it wins the fight... unless you want to stand out from the crowd and get something more original.

I did try and do the right thing by the BBC, but couldn't find the official Top Gear video of their review of the Cayman S. Instead, checkout this 'less official' one:

Also worth checking is Fifth Gear's drive of the Cayman S:


posted by Lee Gale @ 2:01 AM, ,