Luxury Auto Trashed

Wrecked XKR - Click to EnlargeThe skankworks.net is proud to announce that our webmaster has wrecked a $200,000 luxury sports car. The prick was driving it at the time, but as the car is made from aluminum and the webmaster is a man made from steel, he walked away from the wreck without a scratch on him. Which is more than can be said for the car, which pretty much disintegrated on impact.

Being a prick, our webmaster forgot to torch the damn thing before the cops showed up and will now be shafted by the cops, the insurance, and the company he leased it from. He got the train home. It was a journey of an hour and half with a break in Zürich, Switzerland. Having just walked away from a spectacular accident he stopped for a beer and got a later train only to find that the train tickets now expire after two hours for which he was fined $120.

Are they taking the piss? I just smashed up me auto and they fine me $120 for breaking my train journey on the way home to calm my nerves with a beer.” – webmaster, 1/06/2013

Still, our webmaster informs that not many people will ever get the chance to ride in, let alone drive, a luxury sports car, and even fewer of us will get to enjoy the unique near-life experience of destroying one at high-speed while at the wheel. It was also lucky that the car was trashed on the webmasters’ out-bound journey. What the cops might have found in the wreck had it been on the return journey would, without going into the details, have precluded this post.

Insane Stunt

It was a 2008 Jaguar XKR, this morning. It used to look nice. It is now scrap metal. There a few things that need to be said about this model. The aerodynamics in flight are superb. Upon impact the car launched at least two meters in the air, cleared the barrier, made a graceful 120 degree turn, and landed on it’s wheels at the side of the road facing the on-coming traffic. It came to rest perfectly parallel to the road, with the wheels aligned ten cms from the roadside as if it had been parked there. The flight path, coordination, and the perfect centre-line landing earned our webmaster a Double Insane Stunt Bonus.

All the safety systems failed. the stability control did not correct the loss of traction, the ABS failed, and even the god-damn airbags refused to deploy. Tell me, what’s the point of fitting thirty grands worth of safety equipment into a car if it’s going to fail to deploy on the one time you actually have a crash? Oh yeah, profit. Thanks TATA. Your cars are like your software – beautiful plumage on the outside but liable to crash without warning.

How did it happen

The cops have their own ideas and, naturally, assume that speed was involved. The telemetry in the car will correct them on that. Assuming the damn thing actually works it will show that at the time of the accident the car had the speed limiter set to 124kph and was being driven around 10% below that in a 120kph zone. The speedometer on this model actually reads about 5-7% over and the true ground speed was probably more like 100kph. The worn tires speak for themselves and cannot be argued with. (ed: why oh why didn’t I think to torch ’em?). The road was straight and level but it was raining. However, the sequence began on top of a hill where the water had run off. The effect was like a front-left blow-out, the front of the car swung to the left without warning.

The driver steered into the skid and straightened the car, but then it went again to the left immediately and this time self-induced a follow-up spin in the back wheels that reversed the anti-clockwise spin. Now totally out of control the car pointed itself towards the right-hand side and slid at a forty-five degree angle rightwards to the road. On a perfectly straight road this would have been fine, and the car could have been left to bleed off it’s momentum, but this road was coming to a slight curvature and the trajectory was taking the car more or less sideways into the ditch. The driver applied full steering lock to the left, keeping the front wheels pointing in the direction he wanted to travel, but the momentum vector would not change. The car was going to impact and no driver inputs could prevent it. He removed the steering lock, and with all the wheels parallel applied maximum braking force. Without any way to change the car’s trajectory impact was inevitable so at the last moment the driver applied opposite lock, increasing the spin in order to bring the impact as head-on as possible to take advantage of the ton of metal in front of him that was, at that time, still a super-charged eight-cylinder engine. At the very last moment he released the steering wheel and lifted his feet from the pedals to avoid injury in the impact.

Boom

The car broke apart. Metal and plastic parts flew in all directions and the cockpit lifted into the air and flew through the debris cloud. The spin continued airborne in a leisurely perhaps even graceful pirouette, landing on it’s wheels and facing backwards. It landed in deep mud which absorbed any remaining momentum and our webmaster reports that he did not even feel the impact. Having come to a halt in a safe position, without panic, and with presence of mind, he secured the vehicle, ensured there were no hazards to passers by, retrieved his umbrella from the boot, and walked to the nearest SOS point to call the recovery services: “Allo. Ich habe unfall. Alles leute ok, aber auto kaput“.

Unfazed

Our webmaster remained calm throughout and fought against the car to bring it to halt as safely as possible under the circumstances. The cause of the accident is as yet unknown but the tires are clearly a factor. Pirelli P-Zeros – don’t buy them. They are shit. The webmaster had taken account of the conditions and instead of driving at his usual break-neck speed of 150-180kph he took it easy and stuck to the slow lane. This was a factor, since the slow lane, as can be seen in the picture above, has a very poor surface with the wheel marks forming water-filled trenches. Perhaps it would have been better to ignore the crap that the cops tell you and simply tank it through. Had he done so the accident may not have happened. This is what you get for pedantic obedience of the law.

The webmaster, as the driver, accepts full responsibility for the accident. The only thing injured was his pride – and he doesn’t give a hoot about that. He reported no surge of adrenalin and no increased heart rate. It was just another day, full of bullshit like so many others.

He is now at home – potless in every sense of the word – but drinking celebratory champagne. It is not every day you get to destroy something that fills so many with so much pointless envy. It was just metal and there was never any emotional attachment. It was driven 50,000 miles around the spectacular Alps, and it met it’s end on a picturesque autobahn overlooking Lake Zürich. A fitting end for what, if truth be told, was an over-priced pile of junk. Fun while it lasted though.

Do you own a luxury auto? Would you like to know how it performs in a crisis? Let skankworks.net know and we will trash it amid eye-candy scenery and provide a full report on how much money you wasted on it.

Recommended Listening / Luxury Auto Trashed playlist
Songs open in a new window

Statler Brothers – Bed of Roses
Statler Brothers – Counting Flowers on the Wall
Johnny Cash – Sunday Morning Coming Down

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