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Ten Things We Learned This Week

  1. This giant African traffic robot shall (a) reduce congestion and (b) rule us all

    Inventor Isaie Therese has cooked up an eight-foot tall ‘traffic control robot’ in an attempt to ease congestion in Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A robot, it appears, that don’t stand for no shizzle.

    “The robot corresponds to international standards,” says Therese. “If a driver says he is not going to respect the robot, because it is just a machine… there will be a ticket for him.”

    The robot is solar powered, and equipped with ‘camera eyes’ to record any wrong-doing on the road. So it has an infinite energy source, knows what you’re up to, and will ‘issue tickets’ to offenders? Seriously, science, do you hate humanity?

    Dead or alive, you’re coming with me…

  2. Germany does not appear to be very good at 'satire'

    German ‘satirical magazine’ Titanic prints a photo of Niki Lauda on its front cover, accompanied by the headline: “Exclusive - First Photo After The Accident - This Is How Badly It Affected Schumacher.” Ahahaha-oh no, that’s not funny at all, is it?

    Oh, but there’s more. The issue also featured a ‘fun and games’ section to help parents explain Schu’s accident to their kids. Our sides, they’re splitting.

    Lauda, unsurprisingly, is unimpressed. “I ask myself: ‘Who would print such a load of rubbish?’,” the Austrian told the Daily Express.

    Top Gear would like to say two things. One: keep fighting, Big Schu. We’re rooting for you. Two: Titanic, you’re a massive bunch of camshafts. Sort it out.

  3. If you love (a) Mustangs and (b) pinball, this was a good week

    Chicago-based pinball machine manufacturer (now there’s a phrase we didn’t think we’d get the chance to use on this week revealed the ‘Mustang Pro’, a game honouring Ford’s muscle-car icon in tiny-shiny-ball form.

    We’re told Mustang Pro boasts eight different ‘racing scenarios’, including, drag racing, road races, rallies, police pursuits… and drifting. Physicists, help us out here: is it even possible for a low-friction, spherical object to ‘drift’?

    It’s even, we’re told, ‘hosted’ by Top Gear USA’s Tanner Foust. A digital recreation of Tanner, we must assume. Otherwise he’s going to be very squashed in there.

    Buy one here

  4. Just because you're a firefighter responding to a car crash doesn't mean you won't get arrested for bad parking

    Hardcore emergency-service-on-emergency-service action! A firefighter in Chula Vista, California, who stopped his firetruck to deal with a ‘rollover car accident’ was surprised to find himself arrested by a local policeman for parking in the wrong place.

    According to local news site CBS8: “The officer told firefighters to move three fire engines from the fast lane. Two complied, but one firefighter refused that request and continued giving aid to the crash victims.” Jeez, what a douche.

    All this story really needs is a doctor to rock up in an ambulance, and start giving unwanted defibrillation to the policeman. Emergency service rock-paper-scissors. Let’s make it happen.

  5. If you like (a) planets and (b) rallycross, 2014 shall be a good year

    This year sees the inaugural running of the FIA’s World Rallycross Championship, a championship that will include some iteration of Peugeot’s mental 208 T16 Pikes Peak car.

    However, the World Rallycross Championship must in no way be confused with the GLOBAL Rallycross Championship, a series which will see VW enter a 560bhp, four-wheel drive Beetle. Driven by that man Tanner Foust, who seems to get everywhere.

    Top Gear is right now devising the 2014 Intraterrestrial Rallycross Championship, just to add a bit of confusion to this otherwise utterly unconfusing situation.

  6. A humble Mitsubishi Colt will do 195mph, but only with the addition of (a) a very large turbo and (b) much fear

    German tuners strap medicine-ball-sized turbo to 2.0-litre Mitsubishi Colt, stand well back. The result? 978bhp, 0-62mph in 3.0 seconds and a top speed of 195mph. Oh, and vast, vast amounts of wheelspin and terror, everywhere, all the time. And, for some inexplicable reason, a sizeable dose of nightclub house music.

    Watch it here

  7. The Renault Kwid concept's drone shall soon rule us all

    Yeah, Renault, because the prospect of a self-driving car wasn’t scary enough, was it? Presumably that’s why you went and totally scuppered any chance we humans had of a self-determined future… by releasing a concept car with a ROOF-MOUNTED DRONE.

    Oh yes, a tiny, self-piloting helicopter that can identify ‘non-believers’ and ‘educate them accordingly’ (we paraphrase the actual press release, but that was the basic gist). There’s no way that’s going to end badly, is there?

  8. Stig is apparently a fan of mid-table northern Premiership football teams

    Some say… he heard this week’s Star In A Reasonably was Hull City midfielder Tom Huddlestone, and is now very disappointed.

    Episode Two of the new series of Top Gear airs Sunday February 9 at 8pm on BBC Two. Includes Tom Hiddleston FANGIRL SCREAM!

  9. If you wish every driver on the road to know you have issues with entering adulthood, there's now a car for you

    Know the adorable ‘Little Tikes’ kids’ buggy, the one that sells nearly 150,000 units every year in the UK, thus making it our country’s best-selling ‘car’?

    Well, now brothers John and Geoff Bitmead have created a full-sized, road-legal version. For grown-ups. Based on a Daewoo Matiz, it’ll do 0-60mph in 17 seconds and cruise happily at 70mph on the motorway, which possibly represents a performance improvement over the original Matiz.

    “Since making it, we’ve taken it out on a few trips and people can’t believe their eyes,” chuckles John Bitmead. The brothers estimate the project cost around £35,000 in parts and man-hours. Which means they could have had a new Porsche Cayman instead. Discuss.

  10. James May's debut novel promises to be a saucy affair reader Phil Turner has helpfully designed the cover for Captain Slow’s upcoming erotic masterpiece.

    “Slap it,” she groaned, breathlessly. “Slap it harder. Give it everything you’ve got! You know the bonnet catches on the 964-generation 911s won’t latch properly without a decent whack…”

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