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Ten Things We Learned This Week

  1. Corinthians players paid the world's best Ayrton Senna tribute

    Thursday 1 May marked 20 years since the tragic death of Ayrton Senna at the San Marino GP. Sportsmen and women worldwide joined in commemoration of the great man, with Brazilian football club Corinthians’ tribute standing out as the very best.

    The entire team walked onto the pitch, lined up and donned replica versions of Senna’s trademark yellow-and-green racing helmet. Senna was a fan of Sao Paulo-based Corinthians, and the team appeared to summon his win-at-all-costs spirit in the ensuing, thrashing Nacional 3-0 in the Copa do Brasil.

    Well done, chaps.

  2. Trident has built the fastest diesel sports car in the world. Apparently

    The flagship ‘Iceni’ boasts a top speed in excess of over 190mph, the ability to run for 2000 miles on a single tank of mineral or bio-diesel fuel, and has capacity for at least TWO SUITCASES!

    Using something called ‘torque multiplication technology’, Trident says has managed to improve performance and economy. Trident doesn’t explain what torque multiplication technology actually is, or how it works. We suspect it may be a ‘gearbox’.

    Trident also boasts the Iceni - which will start at a competitive £96,000 - features ‘over 39 bespoke components’. What’s the rest of the car made of?

  3. The British government will spend £500 MILLION in electric cars and infrastructure

    This week, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced the British government will invest £500m on electric cars between 2015 and 2020. These investments will include extending the £5k grant towards the cost of buying an electric car, more clean buses and taxis, and installing rapid charge-points at every motorway service station that, says, Clegg, ‘can charge a car in as little as 20 minutes’.

    An admirable aim, but we’re not entirely sure Clegg’s maths adds up. The Leaf - one of the most popular electric cars in the UK - will, according to Nissan, charge from 0 to 80 per cent in 30 minutes on a fast charger. The Leaf’s official range is around 120 miles, though motorway driving will mean barely half that. So that’s about fifty miles on a half-hour charge, or thirty-something miles on Mr Clegg’s 20-minute charge. Or, at 70 mph, a 20-minute stop every half an hour to recharge. Electric cars, in other words, still have some way to go.

  4. Top Gear's 130mph lawnmower really likes Eau Rouge

    Honda strapped in WTCC driver Tiago Monteiro onto TG’s 109bhp lawnmower and sent him up a hill. Only this hill was in Belgium; specifically a small, unknown one called ‘Eau Rouge’ in a place called Spa.

    Yep, that famous sphincter-tightening corner was the chance for Tiago to adopt the same donkey-kong pose patented by TG’s Piers Ward and try out the lawnmower for himself. Some donuts also occurred.

    Watch TG’s lawnmower land speed record here

  5. The BMW i8 is quite brilliant

    “It’s wonderful. There’s barely any roll, the steering is terrific, and there’s a wonderful agility - it’ll take left-right-left flicks like a lizard. In longer bends you can come on and off the throttle and tuck the nose in a little, or edge the tail out very slightly under power. It feels consistent and confident. Lovely.”

    You want to read Paul Horrell’s full verdict on the i8 here, because it’s a proper shift in the sports car landscape.

  6. The LaFerrari is really quite brilliant

    “Within just a couple of laps, it’s clear LaFerrari has a depth of ability you would never grow tired of discovering, encouraging you to push ever faster and exploit its genius to the very limit…”

    Yup, it’s the big one, the final piece in the hypercar hyper-puzzle. And you can read Top Gear’s verdict by clicking here. Do it now.

    And then just imagine how fast an even-faster version could be…

  7. The LaFerrari XX promises to be bloody brilliant, and it'll probably get a V6 turbo

    You read it here first, Internet: TG can confirm that the upcoming ‘XX’ version of the LaFerrari - the hardcore, track-based variant - is being prepared for next year.

    And the big news is that the XX will likely come with an F1-derived V6 turbo, meaning the trickle down of technology from Grand Prix grid to production car just took a massive leap forward.

  8. Mother Nature HATES CARS

    Not content with totalling the Corvette museum a while back - and exacting vengeance on some dash cams - it seems Mother Nature has also had enough of Baltimore’s cars. Earlier this week many innocent cars lost their lives as a landslide laid waste to a street.


    Watch the video here

  9. Renault has fitted a Megane RS with a really big Akrapovic exhaust system

    Why? Because Seat has lapped the Nürburgring in under eight minutes, and Renault wants its crown back as the king of the front-drive hot hatches. Well, we imagine that’s why.

    Teasing us with the ‘#Under8’ logo, Renault is preparing a Nürburgring monster to counter both the Seat Leon’s time, and the mounting threat of the new Civic Type-R that Honda reckons will do a sub-8m lap time too.

    The hot hatch fight for the ‘Ring just got very, very exciting.

    Watch the video here

  10. The BMW M4 Coupe will be a DTM safety car

    Not content with fielding EIGHT BMW M4 DTMs in the 2014 season, BMW has decided one more is needed: meet the 2014 DTM safety car.

    “The safety car must demonstrate ultimate sportiness,” BMW says. The M4 then, gets a turbocharged inline six-pot engine of 3.0-litres producing 431bhp and a quite massive 406lb ft of torque.

    BMW M employees also ripped out the rear bench, installed a roll cage, Recaro racing seats, LED lights on the front apron and roof, a new comms system and a new livery. On top of this is a suite of BMW M Performance Parts: things like the exhaust system, front splitter, black front grille, mirror caps, rocker panel and rear spoiler, too.

    The whole thing took two months to build, and you’ll agree, it has become the M4 you want. Behind an actual DTM M4, that is…

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