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Ten Things We Learned This Week

  1. Finnish herders have sprayed reindeer antlers with fluorescent dye to stop them being killed

    Reindeer herders in Lapland, northern Finland, have resorted to extreme measures to protect their livestock, as it transpires they have coated the reindeer antlers in FLUORESCENT DYE.

    This is not to make them look entirely excellent and scary (though it’s a happy side-effect), but so that they glow in the dark, and thus avoid being run over and killed by cars.

    Reindeers suffer hundreds of car accidents every year in Finland, and earlier attempts at attaching reflective tape on the horns didn’t work.

    Why stop at reindeer, though? Why not rabbits, or foxes, or - actually, scratch all of that, why not GLOW IN THE DARK DOGS?

    Picture credit: AFP/Anne Ollila

  2. 'Lotus' has made a motorbike and it looks bloody amazing

    This is the C-01, and it’s been built by a company called Kodewa, and it is brilliant. It’s not a Lotus in the same way a Lotus Exige is a Lotus, but in the same way a Lotus F1 car is a Lotus. If you see what we mean.

    It’s built under license, penned by futurist genius Daniel Simon, and made using bits from the Holzer Group.

    Underneath there’s a 200bhp V-twin engine, it weighs 181kg and it comes in excellent gold and black livery. Just 100 will be made. You want one.

    Read the full story here

  3. Ferrari is more powerful than Apple, Google and Coca-Cola

    According to research by London-based Brand Finance, Ferrari is the World’s Most Powerful Brand. Yes, this tiny-volume carmaker from Northern Italy beat the likes of Google and Apple to the number one spot, recording a ‘AAA+’ score that takes account many things Top Gear does not understand.

    Ferrari also took the opportunity to announce it had also sold fewer cars in 2013 than in 2012. And made more money.

    Read the full story here

  4. Jenson Button has got engaged!

    A hearty congratulations to Friend of Top Gear and all-round excellent man Jenson Button, who has just got engaged to long-term girlfriend Jessica Michibata.

    The happy announcement follows an extremely painful time in Jenson’s life following the unfortunate passing of his father, John Button. We are extremely happy for Jenson, and wish him the very best of luck with his new partner. And Jessica.

  5. The McLaren 650S is here. It's not the ';baby' McLaren, but it's still fast

    McLaren has revealed the new 650S, a car that slots in above the 12C but below the epic P1 in its range. It’s basically a more powerful, harder and faster version of the 12C.

    The 3.8-litre twin-turbo gets more power (641bhp), torque rises by 10 per cent, 0-62mph takes 3.0 seconds, top speed sits at 207mph, there’s a new front end and it produces 24 per cent more downforce at 150mph. It’ll cost £20,000 more than the 12C.

    Read the full story here

  6. James Blunt can actually drive in the rain

    On a day for Hovervans rather than Astras, Captain Blunt’s time of 1m 49.4s is actually rather impressive for what turned out to be one of the wettest wet laps in the history of wet laps we’ve ever recorded.

    Yes folks, singer-songwriter, twitter-maestro and tank-driving former soldier James Blunt attacked our track with gusto, while the heavens attacked it with ALL THE RAIN FROM EVERYWHERE.

    Watch the behind-the-scenes video here

  7. The Subaru WRX STI is back and it's great

    Yes, the car formerly known as the Impreza WRX STI has returned - following a little bit of moaning from us here in the UK - and, having finally driven it, we can confirm it’s business as usual. Which is to say, the STI is great. 300bhp and 290lb ft of torque from a four-pot turbocharged boxer engine, four-wheel-drive, a six-speed manual gearbox and a banzai attitude to life. There’s nothing else quite like it.

    Read the full story here

  8. A young man who played games on the PlayStation is now one step closer to Formula One

    TG has tracked the career of Jann Mardenborough with interest. This former PS3 gamer with no prior racing experience (barring the odd track day) won Nissan and Sony’s GT Academy in 2011, and has since raced in sports cars and at Le Mans.

    This week, he’s been announced as a GP3 driver racing for Arden Motorsport, and put on the Red Bull driver development programme. GP3 is a feeder into both GP2 and Formula One. Arden is run by Red Bull F1 team boss Christian Horner. Are you connecting the dots yet?

    Read the full story here

  9. Bugatti's 900bhp sports plane is ready to fly for the first time, and we want a go

    Ettore Bugatti had this great idea for a racing plane back in the 1930s. He decided it should have two 4.9-litre straight-eight engines producing 900bhp in total. It would fly at 500mph. It would be excellent.

    Unfortunately WW2 got in the way, so the plane - named the 100P - got shelved and never reached the sky. But in 2009, a pair of Californians began working on a replica plane, and it’s now finally ready for its maiden voyage, on 25 March.

    Read the full story here

  10. The police spent £18 million on unmarked cars last year

    Turns out the British police spent quite a lot of money last year on unmarked cars, with the West Midlands force racking up a whopping £4.5m, Lancashire cops splurging just over £2m, while Greater Manchester’s bobbies spent just under £2m. Cars included BMW 330 saloons, Audi A6s, BMW X5s, Jaguar XFs and Merc E-Classes.

    Which begs the question - should they have got something a little more…outside the box? How about an old Jaguar XJ-S with nitrous? Or an old Fiat with a tyre-shredder? Or an old Lexus? Or…

    Classic clip: the boys build police cars

    These are the world’s best police cars

What do you think?

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