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Ten Things We Learned This Week

  1. The grille on an Aston Martin Vantage N430 looks like an HDMI socket

    There are things that once seen, cannot be unseen. Like the fact that the rear of a BMW i8 looks like it is excreting a Porsche 911.

    This week Top Gear Facebook commenter Stevie Ears pointed out that the famous grille on the latest Aston N430 looks like a HDMI socket. Thanks Stevie. Decades of British design excellence ruined forever. 

  2. You can shred something other than tyres in the latest Alfa Romeo

    While the world waits for them to start making proper mass-market cars again, Alfa Romeo is busy on other projects. Like guitars. 

    The UK’s Harrison Custom Works is building 11 of them to mark each decade of Alfa’s history, and they will cost £4,000 a pop. Or the same price as a well-used Mito.

    According to Harrison: “the three Strat voiced pick ups are housed within brushed aluminium elipses and are hand wound by renowned UK pick up maker Aaron Armstrong, we use the superb locking tune o matic bridge by Tone Pros and beautiful open machine heads from Hipshot”

    Sorry, we don’t actually know what any of this means, and James “Music Degree” May isn’t in today. But we’re sure it’s very good. Watch them in action here.  

  3. Instant mashed potato can bring Yorkshire to a standstill

    The A64 in Crambeck, north Yorkshire was closed by the police this week after a major spillage of… mashed potato.

    Early on Saturday morning the local constabulary tweeted: “Mashed Potatoe covering #A64 and #Crambeck. This is after majority ploughed away. Remaining residue frozen.”

    Despite their Dan Quayle-esque spelling, the police have already put together a crack investigation team, and are apparently questioning the couple above in connection with the incident.

  4. Ernie is no longer the Fastest Milkman In The West

    Proving that nothing is sacred in the world of motoring, not even appalling novelty songs from the 1970s, this week another long-established speed landmark fell.

    A custom-built milkfloat featuring a V8, AC Cobra-style side exhaust and, erm, flamethrower, reached 84.5 mph at Bruntingthorpe, which bagged it a Guinness World Record.

    (Still not as fast as our 130mph lawnmower, mind)  

  5. The new Ford Focus ST faces a naming issue

    So, we all heard today that the new facelifted Ford Focus ST will feature a diesel engine in its lineup. Which, by strict car-naming convention, should really be called the Ford Focus STD.

    It isn’t, by the way. But it should be. 

  6. That Corvette sinkhole is now a tourist attraction

    Remember the terrifying hole in the ground that opened up to swallow eight Corvettes at the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky?

    Business Insider are reporting that so many people are visiting to see the hole, they’re now planning to preserve a section to keep the curious tourists flooding in.

    “This gives us one more asset … to be able to attract those folks that maybe just having Corvettes on display would not get them to come here,” said museum Executive Director Wendell Strode. “We think it will continue for some time to be of great interest.”

    So there you go. The people have spoken. A massive hole in the ground is more interesting than a Corvette.

  7. You really should be at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend

    Yes, it’s time of year again when many people in stridently-coloured trousers invade Lord March’s front lawn for what is now one of the greatest motor shows on earth.

    There’s plenty going on as usual, including the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 fighting for the fastest time up the hill, new cars from BMW, McLaren, Ford and Lexus among others, and the small matter of a man called Sebastien Loeb attempting to beat the course record held by Nick Heidfeld since 1999.

    Still, he’s bringing this. We think he might do it. Click here for all our coverage of the Festival, and see you there. 

  8. Gran Turismo 6 is the new Geneva Motor Show

    With Aston Martin releasing its latest design study on Gran Turismo 6 this week – the DP-100 racer – it joined Mercedes, Nissan, BMW and Volkswagen in using the game to preview wild new designs that may or may not happen.

    This was usually the preserve of motor shows in efficient European cities, but we approve of this brave new digital concept world. For one, you get to drive them. And it’s a lot easier admiring cars from your sofa than battling through bored, pretty girls and mid-ranking motoring executives with tiny suitcases on wheels.

  9. England are hopeless at sport, but getting better at motorbikes

    Let’s ignore the shambolic week in football (that’s “football”, not handegg, American readers). And let’s also ignore the cricket (would take too long to explain, American readers).

    Instead, let’s be happy about a renaissance in small British motorbike manufacturers. First, Hesketh announced its rather splendid 24, built in tribute to James Hunt’s victorious F1 car in the 1975 Grand Prix.

    And this week face-ruining Somerset mentalists Ariel revealed their new bike: the Ace. Let’s hope it doesn’t bite.

  10. Sometimes James May is right

    May’s Honda Clarity film from series 12 hailed hydrogen as the future, and this week Toyota released details of an honest-to-goodness production car fuelled by hydrogen (and batteries).

    Are there any other times he’s been right?  

What do you think?

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