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Ten things we learned this week

  1. It's the Lego Hachi-Roku

    You can thank the fantastically named Just Brick League for this Lego version of the famous JDM drift machine, Toyota’s AE86 (more affectionately known as Hachi-Roku). And doesn’t it look mega?

    The Just Brick League is a design studio that trains and connects together Lego geniuses to create awesome pieces and sets of anything and everything. They can recreate famous racetracks, cars and buildings out of Lego for you. It all comes at a ‘custom’ price, but it is extremely cool.

    If you think you can do better, let us know in the comments below. Could the similarly skiddy GT86 be replicated in bricks?

  2. The hoverboard is here!

    That’s right, Internet, it is finally real. Find yourself a Delorean, stick on some fluorescent sneakers and act out your favourite scenes from ‘Back to the Future’, for the hoverboard is a real thing.

    It works using incredibly sophisticated magnets that none of us in the TG office could possibly explain, but all you need to know is that you need a metal floor to use it. We aren’t quite sure where you can find that. Maybe just take it to the dodgems.

    The Hendo Hover Board isn’t on sale just yet. The company is still raising money on Kickstarter, but if this is the invention you’ve been holding out for, you can support Hendo with a full range of pledges to help speed things up.

  3. Ford's Ecoboosted a hot rod

    It’s won multiple awards and, in its Fiesta and Focus applications, sells by the bucketload. But Ford’s dinky little 1-litre turbocharged ‘Ecoboost’ triple has always shown great potential outside of the road car realm, its big torque from tiny proportions teeing it up for some rather innovative uses elsewhere.

    First there was the Ecoboosted Formula Ford racer, and now this, the Hot Wheels Rip Rod. It’s a hot rod-esque buggy and, with around 200bhp apparently being pumped to its rear wheels, it looks particularly slidey. If you watch the video and don’t want a go, you probably ought to check you still have a pulse.

  4. Road racing is coming to Coventry!

    Coventry is a city that doesn’t lack motoring heritage. And, rather excellently, the Midlands city will pioneer British road racing from next year when its ring road is closed for time trials.

    A two-day event, run during 2015’s Coventry Motofest, will see all manner of racing cars timed on public roads, with BTCC touring cars and Formula 3 racers among the highlights. It could even pave the way for a full round of BTCC action further down the line.

    It’s all come about thanks to new UK government legislation which allows road closures for motorsport on British mainland. Politicians give us plenty of things to groan about, but this certainly isn’t one of them…

  5. Caterham F1 is in a spot of bother

    The Caterham Formula 1 team hasn’t had a good week. There’s been financial strife and squabbles between current owner Engavest and former owner Tony Fernandes, while Caterham Sports Limited, which builds the team’s F1 cars, has gone into administration.

    And the team has admitted that if a resolution doesn’t come soon, it will struggle to make it to the US for next week’s Austin Grand Prix. We’ve got our fingers crossed everything smooths out…

  6. Daimler's made a killing from its stake in Tesla

    Daimler has sold off its financial stake in Tesla this week, netting itself nearly £500million offloading its four per cent share. Not a bad piece of business, we’d surmise, especially given the two companies will continue to work together. Tesla is responsible for the Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive’s powertrain, and will continue to supply this.

    Rumours as to the reasons for Daimler’s exit are rife, with its loss of a seat on Tesla’s board and Elon Musk’s generous approach to rivals using his company’s patents among them. We’d like to think it just wants to pile a bit more cash into making AMGs ballistically powerful and oversteery…

  7. Michael Schumacher is making progress

    It’s nearly ten months since the awful accident that nearly cost Michael Schumacher his life, but some positive news has emerged this week from his doctor. Jean-Francois Payen has claimed that F1’s winningest star is making “some progress”. Payen said that the typical convalescence period for an injury of this severity is one to three years. We won’t be seeing Schuey any time soon, but we wish him all the best in his recovery.

  8. The telly boys have been spotted in Australia

    Our Top Gear telly boys are racking up the stamps in their passports at the moment. Though we’re of course forbidden to confirm rumours, The Internet reckons the trio have been spotted with a trio of big-power coupes - including a Nissan GT-R - in Australia’s Northern Territory, as filming of Series 22 continues.

    Covering an area of more than 500,000 square miles and with stunning scenery - most notably Uluru (better known as Ayers Rock) - it ought to make for a quite epic road trip episode. If indeed they’re actually there.

  9. TG has been woven into a blanket

    Err, yes. This is a thing that happened this week. British artist Grayson Perry has been in the news after creating a massive ‘comfort blanket’ to illustrate the social fabric of the UK.

    And we’re happy to report that Top Gear is featured on the blanket as an important part of British culture. Albeit placed next to the white van and Morris dancing. We’re claiming a victory anyway.

  10. The saloon car is in ill health

    It appears the endless stream of new SUVs and crossovers is finally putting paid to the good old three-box saloon. Nissan told TG this week that there won’t be a new Primera to follow the Pulsar’s comeback, while reports suggest the Honda Accord will soon bow out of Europe.

    Ford’s just launched its new Mondeo, but not without big delays caused by a weak car market. And BMW goes to an awful lot of effort to sell you 3-Series variants that escape the four-door formula. Is the good ol’ repmobile dying? With crackers like the Accord Type-R in its history, we rather hope not.

What do you think?

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