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Ten Things We Learned This Week

  1. The Brabus 850 6.0 Biturbo wants to rip you a new one

    This is the Brabus 850 6.0 Biturbo saloon. That ‘850’ designation should indicate the precise amount of fear with which you should approach this car.

    It’s a saloon version of the estate we showed you at the end of last year: an E63 with its twin-turbo V8 bored out to 5.9 litres, armed with with a balanced billet crankshaft, forged billet pistons and piston rods and optimised cylinder heads.

    There are Brabus turbos replacing the AMG units, intake and charge-air pipes wrapped in gold heat reflection sheathing, and a high-performance exhaust system. This comes, of course, with a butterfly valve that changes the noise from sort-of-rather-loud to oh-god-the-world’s-coming-to-an-end.

    So, headline stats: 838bhp, 1069lb ft of torque limited to 848lb ft to save the drivetrain eating itself, 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds (3.1s if you get the E63 with four-wheel-drive) and a top speed of over 217mph. Yes, THREE POINT ONE SECONDS TO 62MPH.

    You get some subtle aero tweaks and fancy black wheels. And, presumably, a platinum loyalty card for Kwikfit.

  2. Bentley has built a limited edition Mulsanne just for the UK

    Celebrating 95 years of business in the United Kingdom, Bentley has revealed details of a brand-new Mulsanne. Well, brand-new trim, anyway.

    Just 15 Mulsannes will be available in either Britannia Blue, Empire Red or Oxford White, and Bentley has added some lovely touches to complement the ol’ girl: a dark tint to the Flying B bonnet mascot, 21-inch five-spoke wheels, wood veneer from a 400 year old walnut tree, extra leather and a ‘95’ emblem embroidered on the front and rear seats.

    Each Mulsanne is hand-built, too. Set sat navs for Buckingham Palace.

  3. BMW has made this excellent bamboo and carbon fibre car charging port

    If our review of the BMW i8 hasn’t already tempted you into purchasing the hybrid sports car immediately, this stunning carport should. It’s the work of BMW Designworks USA, and takes the concept of both BMW ‘i’ cars - i3 and i8 - and applies it into an excellent carport.

    The sides are made from carbon fibre, while bamboo is used in the struts - a sustainable material, thanks to its rapid growth. For the actual generation of electricity, high-grade glass-on-glass solar modules are used. They’ve got a 30-year guarantee and offer a ‘high energy yield’.

    All very cuddly, but most of all it looks brilliant. The new eco-era might not be so bad.

  4. The E-Type lives again!

    Better late than never. Back in 1963, Jaguar allocated 18 chassis numbers for a series of lightweight E-Types, but never built them. Now its finishing the job.

    In any other sphere, being 51 years late for your job would get you a stern disciplinary from your boss, but this is an E-Type, so some leeway is entirely permissable. They’re all being built to the original spec, too - this is no retromod - including that dry-sump 3.8-litre straight six.

    Get saving.

  5. There is a new Batmobile on the block

    Earlier this week, film director Zack Snyder tweeted out a couple of moody teasers for the new Batmobile. Snyder is in the process of putting together a mammoth Superman vs Batman film, due in 2016.

    And with a new Batman (played this time by Ben Affleck) there is a new Batmobile. It looks… well, it’s a bit difficult to tell really, but there are elements of the ‘Tumbler’ from the most recent Batman trilogy, as well as disconcerting shades of the Batmobiles from Those Films That Shall Not Be Named.

    We’ll have to wait and see the full thing before deciding where it belongs in the pantheon of Batmobiles, which we’ve handily compiled for you in one gallery. Click here to take a trip down memory lane.

  6. Porsche built a one-off 911 concept car with an Audi V8 engine

    You read that right - a Porsche 911 with a V8. Porsche has just released a little video detailing an oddity in its museum stash; a prototype ‘965’ that was built in the 1980s.

    It was a trial to see if a 911 could handle a bigger engine, and so Porsche borrowed a water-cooled V8 from Audi, clad it in 959 bodywork and tested it on the public road.

    However, museum archive chief Dieter Landenberger notes the 965 would never have become more than a concept, because the flat-six engine “is at the heart of a 911”.

    Now have a poke round Porsche’s secret stash.

  7. The Renault Megane 275 wants a fight with the Seat Leon Cupra

    Is this the car with which Renault plans its sub-eight-minute Nurburgring assault? We suspect so, as the French firm has revealed a new, updated version of its Megane RS, dubbed the ‘275 Trophy’.

    It’s part of the company’s ‘UNDER8’ hashtag promo, suggesting it wants its FWD Nürburgring record back from that pesky Seat Leon Cupra. As such, this new Megane’s 2.0-litre turbocharged engine gets ten more horsepowers (275, unsurprisingly), a titanium exhaust system, optional dampers and sticker Michelin tyres.

    No word on price - or indeed the Nürburgring attempt - but something is bubbling, and we suspect it’ll show down in June. Stay tuned…

  8. Older drivers from the Midlands are apparently the smartest generation on the road

    Using a strain of mathematical research not known to Top Gear, Shell has found that drivers aged 50-65 - who may or may not be interested in TG’s OAP-mobile above - from the Midlands display the most fuel efficient and safe driving behaviour behind the wheel.

    Drivers aged between 18-30 from Wales and the South West - a category that includes at least two TG staffers - are apparently the UK’s least smart motorists, with Shell’s stat-bots factoring into account many things including smooth driving, and wearing ‘inappropriate’ footwear behind the wheel.

    IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: “Smarter driving is not just about engineering, it’s also about the way you drive. Most people don’t realise making a few simple changes, such as smooth braking, cornering and accelerating, can go a long way in increasing fuel efficiency and becoming a safer driver.”

    TG suspects, Mr Rodger, that most people do realise this. Whether they choose to do it or not is a different matter entirely.

  9. The Cholmondeley Pageant of Power will host an England vs Italy of CARS

    It’s pronounced ‘Chumley’, and this year’s annual not-the-Goodwood-Festival-of-Speed promises an England vs Italy face-off to coincide with the England vs Italy footballing world series soccer match-up.

    So, we’re promised 11 English cars and bikes stacked up against 11 Italian cars and bikes, all going head to head in the Mersey Tunnel near Liverpool.

    No word on the cars, but the teaser above shows the Jaguar XJ220 vs the Maserati GT MC Stradale as the first pair. Should sound magnificent. It’ll kick off (a footballing pun?) on the 12 June.

    In the meantime, why not have a stroll through Top Gear’s not-at-all-spurious England automotive World Cup XI. Ahem.

  10. You will be able to buy a 1/3 scale version of James Bond's Aston Martin DB5

    Propshop, the company behind the replica Aston DB5 that gets shot to bits in Skyfall (pictured aboved), has announced a limited production run of just 100 1/3-scale Aston Martin DB5s, and you should be immediately interested.

    Prinicipally because each DB5 model gets radio control mechanical front guns, a revolving number plate and bullet shield, among other gadgets.

    They’re also highly collectible, too, and not just as manchild playthings: one of the models made for Skyfall (of three in total) was auctioned off for £50,000 at Christies recently.

    These things are amazing - they even feature proper stitching on the leather seats. If you’re truly tiny, you could probably squeeze behind the wheel. Time for that crash diet.

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