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Ten Things We Learned This Week 

  1. Dogs love Porsche Caymans too

    After last week’s startling revelation that a dog allegedly drove its intoxicated owner to a store in Oconee County, Georgia, more captivating in-car dog footage has emerged. 

    This week it’s a floppy-eared Fred Basset look-alike exhibiting extreme joy in a Porsche Cayman. Which, to be fair, is our general reaction to driving arguably Porsche’s best car on sale right now. 

  2. James May has bought a BMW i3

    Sad news for fans of the Fiat Panda and Dacia Sandero - it would appear that a new urban runabout has captured Mr James May’ s automotive heart. 

    Captain Slow appeared on BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours this week to rhapsodise about his new electric-hybrid BMW i3, which you can hear here (fast forward to 17:23 for the full segment). If the fighting over the keys for Top Gear mag’s long-term i3 is anything to go by, BMW is going to sell a lot of these… 

  3. F1 cars should be rolling on dubs

    Earlier this week, during a test at Silverstone, Pirelli rolled out a prototype low-profile,18-inch Formula One tyre. Now, you’ve probably noticed that most road cars have been running on tyres this big for years. But, in the high-tech world of F1, they’re still running around on 13-inch casters – which seems a bit backwards.

    But that could all change in 2017 as the FIA is considering bigger wheels. Which got us thinking, why not run 22-inch dubs? Cos, they’re like waaaaay more bling. Luckily automotive renderer Jon Sibal was tuned into our brainwaves and sketched up our “go big or go home” theory. 

  4. ANOTHER valet crashes ANOTHER Lambo

    A few weeks ago we brought you distressing (but somewhat amusing) footage of a Monaco-based valet smacking an owner’s Lambo Aventador into an SUV, a story which went on to melt our internet. 

    In retrospect, it was a mere scrape. Because this week at Le Meridien hotel in Delhi, another valet is said to have driven a Gallardo at high speed into another wall via several other cars, reportedly causing £200,000 of damage. He was taken to hospital for treatment and released the same day. More than can be said for the Lambo, which doesn’t look likely to recover any time soon. 

    Source: The Mirror 

  5. Manchester United's players will continue to have to look happy with a Chevrolet Captiva

    Nike announced this week that they are going to stop making Manchester United’s kits after this latest version. Unhappily for the United players, however, it looks like the Chevrolet partnership is continuing. So it’s still Sparks, Captivas and Aveos all-round for Wayne “300K a week” Rooney and his well-compensated team-mates. Look out for more “fixed-grin” publicity shots in the coming days…  

  6. Is there anything a Subaru WRX STI can't do?

    The most popular video on TopGear.com last week was - deservedly - this jaw-dropping footage of Mark Higgins decimating the Isle of Man TT course in his Subaru WRX STI (and if you haven’t seen it yet, drop everything and watch it NOW). 

    This week, we received a more prosaic reminder of why the WRX is one of the all-time great all-rounders, as it demonstrated its ability to drive out of the world’s gloopiest puddle here. Keep making them, Subaru. 

  7. You are all buying more cars than at any time in the last nine years

    It’s not just James May that has been buying himself a new car. According to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, British consumers are splashing out on new cars at the fastest rate since 2005. in the first half of 2014, you all bought 1.29 million cars, up 10.6%. The unstoppable Ford Fiesta topped the charts, with the Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Focus also in the top three. 

    Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Improving economic conditions have helped propel the UK new car market to a strong first half-year performance. The overall market has risen faster than we were expecting but … growth is showing signs of stabilising around our forecast level.”

    What financial crisis? 

    Source: The Guardian 

  8. Is Adrian Newey going to design the world's greatest supercar?

    We reported exclusively this week that Adrian Newey, Formula One’s most successful boffin, could well be in the running to work with Infiniti on a new supercar. 

    Andy Palmer, Nissan’s British executive vice president, was one of the architects of the Infiniti-Red Bull F1 deal, and he’s clearly up for a deepening of the relationship between the two firms.

    “Adrian is itching to do something new,” he told TopGear.com, “and we are actively exploring the technology cross-over with Red Bull, although these things can take a long time in the incubator.  Watch this space.”

    A Newey Infiniti supercar. How on earth would such a monster look? And what on earth would power it? Some deranged variant on the GT-R’s 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6? Or something else entirely?

  9. Bertone has reportedly gone bankrupt

    Devastating news for those who remember bold car design. According to industry magazine Wards Auto, this week Bertone were officially declared bankrupt. That’s Bertone, the house behind the Lamborghini Miura, the Countach, the Aston Martin DB2/4 and the Lancia Stratos. 

    Have a look at our tour of the Bertone heritage centre from earlier this year to reacquaint yourself with the pinnacle of car design. And then hope that Bertone can still find a buyer. 

    Source: Wards Auto 

  10. The Circuit de la Sarthe is a scary place when it's dark and wet

    Last weekend we popped down to France to bless your eyes with a mega gallery of flame-spitting vintage car loveliness from the Le Mans Classic. However, in between two night races, we managed to sneak a quick ride round the circuit in Jaguar’s new, £135,000 limited edition Project 7 (above).

    And boy, we’ve got respect for the helmsmiths who’ve got to wield pre-war cars down the oil-slathered track during the dead of night. Heading out at night is a completely different and slightly spooky experience. The Bugatti Circuit is reasonably manageable as it’s pretty well lit. But as soon as you hook right out of Tertre Rouge and onto the monstrous Mulsanne Straight it all changes. It becomes eerily quiet, devilishly dark and fearsomely fast.

    Unfortunately, because it’s so new, the Project 7 was restricted to only 150mph as it’s yet to have its aero signed-off. That meant we couldn’t see if the claimed 186mph was legitimate. But, thanks to the lack of roof, we did get to hear the 567bhp, 5.0-litre V8 bark, crackle and pop it’s way through Indianapolis and down to the Porsche Curves. That, we can confirm, does sound good.

    But now we’re just pleading with them to get behind the wheel. And when we do we’ll bring you the report first here on TG.com. As you’ve got a while to wait you may as well check out all our coverage from the Classic here. Trust us, it’s better than twiddling your thumbs.

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