foot down

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 November, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 November, 2004, 12:00am

AutoFrance Hong Kong (tel: 3118 1828) yesterday launched the long-awaited Peugeot 407 (right, $280,000). Powered by a 160 brake-horsepower 2.2-litre engine, the saloon has a four-speed Tiptronic automatic system and a host of luxury features such as power sunroof, leather seats, electric-adjustable front seats, Xenon headlamps with automatic lighting and levelling functions, and dual zone air-conditioning with rear ventilation, says the dealer's spokesman, Calvin Lam.

'The top-of-the class handling and cornering of [the] 407, which is contributed by the front double wishbone and rear multi-arm suspension, has been highly praised by the overseas media.' Quite so. The 407 has been named Scotland's Car of the Year. 'We position this car against the BMW 3 series, Audi A4, Volvo S60, Jaguar X-type, not as high as 5-Series but not as low as Accord,' says Lam. We are intrigued, because the BMW 5301's a dream on the motorway, the 525i's just right for Hong Kong's swish (but watch the rising euro on future stocks), and the 2.4-litre Honda Accord's fine value at $214,800.

You can see the two new smart forfours and the marque's full range of cars at the smart Show at the main concourse of Ocean Terminal, from 10am to 8pm this weekend. Pre-promoted by mime dancers and a touring truck (far right) last week, the 1.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol-engined forfours consist of the basic pulse ($164,000) and the passion ($172,000). Zung Fu's Emily Tse says those who buy smart fortwo, roadster or roadster-coupes at the show can receive a 'complimentary set of Brabus monoblock wheels with tyres valued at $14,310 [for a smart fortwo] and $18,470 [for a roadster or roadster-coupe]'.

'Or, customers can deduct the original retail price by this value as a discount, which leads to a maximum saving of up to $19,319 and $29,717 on the original retail price for a smart fortwo [coupe from $138,00; cabrio from $168,000] and roadster [from $218,000] and roadster-coupe [from $228,800].'

Reports of Hong Kong cricketer Hussain Butt's record-breaking innings make us wonder about the safety of pedestrians and vehicles beyond the boundaries of local grounds. So, we invite lawyers to identify who would be liable for, say, the damage to passers-by caused by a flying cricket ball: the batsman, the bowler, the teams, or the Hong Kong Cricket Association. And, insurers, would all parties be covered in the event of a ball's 'hit'? Meanwhile, we hope the Hong Kong Cricket Club raises its safety nets along Wong Nei Chong Gap Road, the arterial route for Hong Kong's rich, and that Transport officials consider the placing of Foot Down's 'Flying Cricket Ball' sign on the following potential danger spots: Wong Nei Chong Gap, Tin Kwong, Austin and Cox's roads, Jordan Path and the junction of Leighton and Morrison Hill roads.

Finally, we wish you an enjoyable, safe Macau Grand Prix. We'd like to see a celebrity race for little smart cars on the circuit next year.