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Ten Things We Learned This Week

  1. Ford hearts drag racers

    Ford has announced a new standard fit performance feature on the Mustang GT: line-lock.

    You see, if you’re a drag-racer, you have to do a little burnout to warm up the tyres before you launch down the strip. Which means pressing the brake and accelerator at the same time.

    With line-lock enabled, the driver can release the brake pedal but the system keeps hydraulic pressure on the front, while releasing the rears, allowing said driver to do massive smokey burnouts and warm up the tyres.

    When up to temp, just hit launch control, and floor the accelerator. And then hope you don’t burst into flames…

    Ford, Top Gear salutes you.

    Watch the video here

  2. The Seat Ibiza is 30 years old

    On 27 April 2014, it will be exactly 30 years since the very first Ibiza was built at Seat’s Zona Franca factory. Since that time, more than five million Ibizas have been sold.

    Though we’re told it was the very first Seat designed and developed completely by the company from start to finish, Seat does admit some help: from Giorgio Giugiaro from Italdesign, Karmann for the bodywork, and even Porsche for some technology.

    Just imagine that collaboration today: a new Ibiza with Porsche’s new 2.0-litre four-pot engine. Hmmm…

  3. The first ever Rolls Royce Corniche is up for sale

    Yep, Rolls Royce’s first ever Corniche - we’re talking chassis number 001 - is coming up for auction at Silverstone.

    And, fact fans, it will cross the auction block on 24 May, which makes it 110 years since the unveiling of the first Rolls Royce, the 10HP, in 1904.

    Built in 2001, it’s also one of the final Rollers to have been built before BMW took over the company in 2003. Fancy it? Expect to pay around £100k for Corniche 001…

  4. Nissan has built a self-cleaning car

    Nobody likes washing their cars - well, almost nobody - so Nissan has cooked up what must be the world’s greatest invention, the true pinnacle of civilisation: a SELF CLEANING CAR.

    The company has fitted a Note with a specially engineered ‘super-hydrophobic and oleophobic’ paint that repels water and oils. The tech is called ‘Ultra-Ever Dry’, and creates a protective layer of air between the paint and the atmosphere - stopping standing water and road spray from making your car filthy.

    “Whilst there are currently no plans for the tech to be applied to the model as standard,” says Nissan, “we will continue to consider the coating tech as a future aftermarket option.”

    The applicability of this aftermarket paint on humans has not been tested, nor recommended. Top Gear lives in hope.

  5. A Hongqi L5 saloon costs more than a Rolls-Royce Phantom

    An extended wheelbase RR Phantom clocks in at a whisker under £358k. This Chinese-built, V12-engined ‘Red Flag’ L5 saloon - which was displayed at the recent Beijing Motor Show - has just sold for over five million Yuan. That’s around £480k.

    This is an expensive car. It’s also rather heavy, clocking in at over three tonnes. There is, however, that 6.0-litre engine on-board, pushing out 402bhp to all four wheels. But… still. £480k.

  6. The Mustang from Need for Speed has sold for £178k

    The 900bhp modified flying Mustang from Need for Speed that defies gravity, physics and just about everything else has just sold at auction for a whopping $300,000.

    Not much, you might think, considering it’s a movie car, but still - over £178,000 for a souped-up Mustang is still top dollar. Mr Dave Flynn of Columbiana, Ohio, has the pleasure of owning the actual car Friend Of TG Aaron Paul actually sat in. And drifted.

    Behind the scenes on Need for Speed

  7. Ken Block hates footballers

    Ken Block has been at it again, using the occasion of the upcoming world series of footballising in Brazil to take on some footballists in a competition.

    We’re not entirely sure the rules are set in stone here, nor ratified by FIFA, but watching Mr Block smoke his way around Neymar Jr and friends in his latest video ‘Footkhana’ is surely worth a watch.

    Top Gear’s Guide to Gymkhana

  8. It's Asimo vs Obama

    Honda’s adorable humanoid robot has waved a cheery - and eerie - hello to the current President of the United States, Barack Obama.

    In a promotional stunt to showcase Honda’s continued investment in robotics research, the lil’ fella even took part in a spot of football - or soccerball - with El Presidente, along with his other signature moves of running and jumping and being a bit creepy.

    One signature move was conspicuously absent, mind. Falling down some stairs. Even so, we can’t be mean to wee Asimo, not least after his efforts to coax the Stig into something approaching a hello

    Watch the video here

  9. The Fisker Karma is coming back!

    Earlier this year, Chinese company Wanxiang took over bankrupt Fisker Automotive, and announced an Ambitious New Plan. Now, interim chief Roger Brown has revealed part of this ANP involves relaunching the Karma, the rather beautiful eco-hybrid so beloved of Mr May.

    As well as the new Karma - expected to arrive mid-2015 - we’re promised a Karma wagon and a smaller saloon by 2017 too.

    First though, there are some Issues. Namely, a new HQ, a new CEO, and some 200 engineers. So quite a bit to get cracking on with, then.

  10. China really, really hearts SUVs

    At this year’s Beijing Motor Show, we saw the debut of the Mercedes Coupe Concept SUV, the Audi TT crossover SUV, the Citroen DS6 WR SUV and even the Lexus NX. That’s a lot of niche-blending, über-motoring happening in the Far East.

    But we’ve long-since known China’s appetite for such cars, and it looks in no way to be abating. The dawn of the moon buggy cometh.

    All the news from the Beijing and New York motor shows

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