Overdrive Podcast Radio Program Issue 35 -2020

Hello and welcome to Overdrive, a program that pushes the parameters in discussing motoring and transport.


  1. Toyota success is clearly with hybrids (1:28)
  2. Details of the new Hilux announced (2:25)
  3. Mini Anniversary (3:24)
  4. Lunaz – Electrifying Rolls Royce Phantom V (4:26)
  5. Road Safety into the Next Decade: Greater commitment and actions in LMICs (5:30)


Rob Fraser talks about the new Land Rover Defender – no more the dinosaur from a previous era (6:36)


Comments and issues from our listeners (14:46)


Alan Zurvas gives his feelings on Toyota’s new Yaris – quality at a price (17:24)

Quirky News

And in our quirky news section Brian Smith and I talk about Tactical Urbanism (24:27)


Toyota Hybrids

2020 Toyota Yaris. Toyota Yaris ZR with optional black roof.

With the release of their new Yaris, which now has a hybrid option, Toyota presented some figures, on just how important hybrids are in today’s market.

So far this year the overall market is down 19% but Toyota is down only 7.7% the smallest decline of any in the top ten car companies.

24% of the new vehicles so far in 2020 are hybrids. That’s nearly double the number they sold in the same period last year. In July 2020 hybrids were 41% of sales.

Their Camry has their highest percentage of hybrids at 65% and not far behind the RAV 4 with 61% and the Corolla with 52%.

That nearly a quarter of their sales are hybrids is all the more revealing when they do not provide hybrids in some of their biggest selling models such as the Hilux ute.

New Hilux – So much to choose from

2020 Toyota HiLux SR.

Toyota has released the full information on their new Hilux utility range, and it is a wide range.

There are 35 variants of the vehicle. 11 are two-wheel drive and 24 are four-wheel drive models

Toyota is emphasising that this Hilux has more input from Australia than any before it

The local design team helped style the exterior while its local engineers helped develop upgrades to power, torque, suspension and steering.

Australian is well suited to this, as our road conditions cover more than 80 per cent of the different environments around the world for these vehicles.

Work was done to improve the engine performance in situations of traveling long distance driving including acceleration, overtaking and towing.

The suspension was also upgraded to not only cope with maximum loads but also to provide a more comfortable ride when the vehicle is not carrying a load – a common situation.

Mini Anniversary

August sees the anniversary of the announcement of the first Mini: 26 August 1959.

The Mini show cased developing technology such as front wheel drive allowing a compact vehicle. But it also changed the vision of a small car from being an embarrassment to being a trendy thing. Spike Milligan drove one, as did Lord Snowdon with Princes Margaret.

Motoring journalist and former marketing executive Paul Murrell felt it defined a new social perspective.

I do indeed. David, it was it was such a classless car. And if you can use that word, classes in the right things in that it transcended classes. As you say, some very, very famous people drove and who could have been driving always didn’t care they wanted. And yes, it did, did it?

It was probably the first time in many ways the car didn’t define its owner by and by by its branding

Lunaz – Electrifying Rolls Royce Phantom V

“The time is right for an electric Rolls-Royce:

This is not a quote from the Rolls Royce company but from David Lorenz, Founder, Lunaz a company that fits electric motors to restored classic cars.

They say they are answering the need to marry beautiful classic design with usability, reliability and sustainability.

They are now offering a Rolls Royce Phantom V with electric power. Phantom Vs were built between 1959 to 1968. They are 6 metres long and originally weighed nearly 3 tonnes

If electrifying the Rolls is difficult for traditionalists to cope with, they should be used to it. The most notable Phantom V was owned by John Lennon which was painted with a psychedelic colour scheme. Elton John had a pink one. Liberace had one that was over-the-top.

Lunaz will only make 30 of these vehicles and each will cost about $916,000 Australian dollars.


Road Safety Decade doesn’t make targets

April, 2020 marked the end of United Nations’ Decade of Action for Road Safety. The target for this Decade was to reduce global road fatalities by 50% of the trending figure which would result in below 900,000 deaths.

However, by the year 2016 the global road fatality toll had risen to 1.35 million which is still the current rate per year.

Road trauma rates vary considerably with the income levels of countries.

In low income countries the average rate is 27.5 deaths per 100,000 population which is more than three times higher than high-income countries with an average 8.3 deaths per 100,000.

The United Nations Road Safety Collaboration hopes that, by nations working together, low- and middle-income countries can develop while avoid the costly mistakes made in the past by high-income countries.

You can find more information at Driven Media or previous programs are available as podcasts on iTunes or Spotify. OR our Facebook site OverdriveCity

Originally broadcast 29 August 2020 across Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) and Torque Radio affiliated commercial radio channels and has a weekly audience of over 400,000.


About David Brown 604 Articles
David’s boyhood passion for motor cars did not immediately lead to a professional role in the motor industry. A qualified Civil Engineer he specialised in traffic engineering and transport planning. What followed were various positions including being seconded to a government think-tank for the planning of transport firstly in Sydney and then for the whole of NSW. After working with the NRMA and as a consultant he moved to being an independent writer and commentator on the broader areas of transport and the more specific areas of the cars we drive. His half hour motoring program “Overdrive” has been described as an “informed, humorous and irreverent look at motoring and transport from Australia and overseas”. It is heard on 22 stations across Australia. He does weekly interviews with several ABC radio stations and is also heard on commercial radio in Sydney. David has written for metropolitan and regional newspapers and has presented regular segments on metropolitan and regional television stations. David is also a contributor for AnyAuto