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Ten things we learned this week

  1. Lamborghini's designer is very good at drawing Lamborghinis

    After Top Gear had a quick chat with Lamborghini’s CEO and President earlier this week, we managed to grab the man who penned the Aventador and Huracan, Mr Filippo Perini.

    Feeling a little bit like Tony Hart, we gave him an challenge straight from 1970s children’s TV: how quickly could he sketch a Huracan? The answer, it turns out, is in about 90 seconds. You can see the result above.

    And Filippo revealed that designing the Son of Gallardo was no easy task. “There’s a lot of pressure to design a new Lamborghini,” Filippo said. “When you consider the company has iconic cars like the Miura, Diablo, Aventador etc. you can understand my stress as I don’t just have to produce a beautiful car, but an iconic car.”

    After recently seeing some of the, erm, intriguing tuner cars at the Geneva show and the mad Japanese take on Lambos, we wondered what the Huracan’s father thought of people getting their modifying mitts on his new baby?

    “I’m very happy to see tuners working around the car,” Perini said, remarkably politely. “It makes me feel comfortable as it’s evidence that we’ve done a good job.”

  2. Vauxhall has made a bonkers 297bhp hatchback look slow

    Remember the utterly, utterly insane Astra VXR Extreme we saw at Geneva? The one that’s the most powerful front-drive Vauxhall in history? With the all-aluminium 2.0-litre 297bhp turbo engine? That’s 100kg lighter than the regular, and already quite mad, VXR? You want to see it in action, right?

    Well, this is the video Vauxhall’s European sister brand, Opel, has made to promote it. But instead of tyre smoke, or ragged-edge track driving, or massive great big skids, GM set its camera to ‘Instagram’, filmed what looks like a very hung over lap, then overlaid some day-spa trip hop.

    Watch it here

  3. International motorcycle thieves get instant karma

    Last week a Ducati 899 Panigale was stolen in London, then promptly recovered more than a 1,000 miles away in Lithuania.

    The £12,000 superbike had been fitted with a Bike Trac tracker, and the company was able to follow its movements across mainland Europe before it stopped in Vilnius, Lithuania, just two days later.

    Staff phoned the rozzers, they recovered the bike, and it’s currently on its way back to Blighty.

    Crime doesn’t pay, kids.

  4. James has beaten Jeremy to waxwork fame

    Earlier this week, we received this email to editor@topgear.com, which confirms that James has beaten Jeremy to wax-based immortality.

    Dear Top Gear,

    I noted that Clarkson boasted about having his own waxwork in Madame Tussauds on the show. Well, my favourite presenter is James May and I was delighted when I saw him during a family trip to Warwick Castle.

    Regards,

    Mark Nisbet

  5. If you parked every car Audi sold last year bumper to bumper, they'd stretch from Ingolstadt to Beijing

    This week Audi released its annual report. To save you reading the 600 page document, here are some York Notes.

    It contained lots of BIG numbers. For instance, they sold a total of 1.575 million cars last year and made a profit of just over £4.2 billion.

    But £4.2 billion is actually less profit than they made in the previous year. That’s because the financiers behind the four rings have been investing a lot in building new plants in Mexico and China, as well as perfecting fancy new tech like the TT’s Virtual Cockpit, the R18 e-Tron’s laser beam headlights and spooky self-driving cars.

    Going all in on technology, Audi is committed to spending £18.4 billion on new innovations between now and 2020. By then, Audi’s board of directors hope to have a range of 60 models in its portfolio - one of which will be an electric supercar, the Audi R8 e-Tron, otherwise known as Iron Man’s car.

    Ulrich Hackenberg, board member for technical development, said that the ‘leccy R8 will be available upon customer request when the new R8 lands sometime next year. Hackenberg stated that it’s become more viable as they’ve improved the model’s range from 134 miles to 279 miles thanks to new battery technology and some clever packaging.

  6. The new Formula One cars need to turn it up to 11

    The 2014 F1 season has kicked off, and not with a bang, but with a whimper. Those new V6 turbos are remarkably quiet: subdued enough at times to actually hear the tyres moving on the road. There is a noise there, an interesting cocktail of bass growl and science, and it sounds quite good on the overrun, but whither the V8 scream of old? We suspect the perennial plucky entrepreneurs flogging ear-plugs outside Silverstone are going to need a new line of work this year…

  7. If you have too many energy drinks, you start doing bad things in Minis

    Guerlain Chicherit is a professional skier that likes making Dakar-spec Mini Countrymans do odd things. Like backflips.

    For his next trick, him and his Monster Energy-sponsored off-road racer will attempt a world record for the longest ramp jump in a car. An accolade that belongs to TG USA’s very own Tanner Foust, who leapt 332 feet. Chicherit’s going for 360.

    May we humbly suggest he switches to water?

  8. You're good at dreaming up presidential limos

    A few days ago, we discovered that the Department of Homeland Security was inviting pitches for a brand new presidential limousine. And while this suggestion from Richard Bridges has ignored the stipulation that the contract’s limited to major domestic American carmakers with a primary HQ in the USA, we still quite like it.

    Remember to send your suggestions to editor@topgear.com. We’ll get the best one rendered.

    HINT here’s how not to do it

  9. Rally drivers have absolutely no sense of fear

    Racing cars requires many things - skill, money, focus, dedication. But mostly it requires huge vegetables. Evidence that supports this statement can be found by clicking on these blue words.

    It’s a first-person video of Simon Pagenaud driving a Peugeot 207 rally car at improbable speeds through the countryside. Set buttocks to clench.

  10. The Alfa Romeo 4C is well safe, mate

    One of Richard’s cars of RIGHT NOW, the Alfa 4C, has been appointed as the official safety car for the new World Touring Car Championships. And it looks a bit brilliant.

    It’s finished in red and wears its own dedicated livery, but the driver has to make do with the standard 237bhp four-pot engine, which gets it from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds. Well safe.

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