Riding with Lackhart's Lancers
approach appears to have benefits. Lackhart’s crew are highly visible,
and as a passenger in the fleet as it cruises through an outlying town,
the effect is remarkable. Windows are flung open to get a better view,
children cheer and passers-by stop to stare. Lackhart lowers his armoured
window and raises a gloved fist into the air. There is no doubt that he
is enjoying the spectacle, but it makes him visible, and a target.
“Yeah, we get fortune hunters all the time. Glory hounds, looking for their fifteen minutes. The Informer would have a field day: ‘Car tycoon’s son killed; own designs fail.’ But they’re just hoping. It will never happen.”
Lackhart has designed all of the vehicles himself. “I knew what I wanted, and I knew I could get them made. Sure, the fact that Dad runs a major car manufacturer has made life easier, but, in my book, you’ve got to take every advantage you can. I need fast, manoeuvrable cars, and they all handle like a dream. I need heavy fire power, and every one of them is laser-armed. I need endurance, so each of them has a dedicated power supply for the weapons. We can travel ten, maybe fifteen per cent. further than our rivals on a single charge, which really gives us an edge.”
The N-series of vehicles are currently being prepared for commercial release. Lackhart will be leading the publicity drive. “I convinced Dad of the merits of having a genuine professional driver as the star of the marketing campaing. These vehicles are not gimmicks. I entrust my life to them every day, That level of personal involvement is rare.”
The Lackhart Motors N-series is a new departure for the British manufacturer. They have always used laser weaponry, but generally without pushing into the super-premium price bracket. Not this time. The cheapest stock model in the N-series is the Encaser, a cargo-carrying estate that costs a little over $26,000. There is a premium courier, the Enricher, which mounts a turreted laser with and ice/paint defensive combination at $30,000. The top-of-the range is the blockade-running Energizer, with a heavy ramplate and twin lasers to the front at a hefty $38,500. The product offering is rounded out by another novelty for Lackhart, a dirt-bike with a light laser, called the Engager. At over $13,000, it is squarely in the premium category.
Lackhart Motors spokesman Trevor Dilago is resolutely upbeat about the launch. “We’re very excited about this range. Rich’s experience was invaluable to us in designing a good-looking yet practical fleet, and initial feedback is very positive. The formal launch next week will be a milestone event in the company’s history.”
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