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Ten things we learned this week: 18 August 2017 edition

Moonroofs, Metros and movie-inspired i8s: another odd week in cars

  1. Luxembourg police have a Tesla Model S

    Cool police car news, as Luxembourg’s police force has bought a Tesla Model S. As a car for rounding up hoodlums, there’s lots to like: many seats (you can even have a pair in the boot), silent operation (for sneaking up on unsuspecting crims) and the quickest turn of pace of any saloon car (0-60mph in as little as 2.4secs).

    Of course, get involved in a long enough car chase and the Tesla will likely run out of charge before you run your tank dry. But with Luxembourg measuring roughly the size of Northamptonshire, we reckon you’ll have to do several laps of the country to have a hope of pulling that one off…

  2. Forget sunroofs, it’s all about moonroofs

    The new Volvo XC60 can be had with a moonroof. It’s all in aid of the solar eclipse that hits the US next week. If you have an XC60 with a panoramic roof, you can effectively filter the glass to safely watch the eclipse take place.

    Of course, you could get eclipse glasses. For a sum of money presumably less than an XC60 with a glass roof specced. But where’s the fun in that? Where’s the fun in not having a MOONROOF?

    Next big thing, we’re telling you…

  3. Mitsubishi’s Eclipse will have something to do with the actual eclipse

    More eclipse news, now. And in an attempt to divert people away from a sports car’s name badge being used on an SUV thing (perhaps), Mitsubishi is jumping on the free PR that nature has handed it on a plate: the new Eclipse is doing something during the eclipse.

    “As part of our marketing launch effort around the all-new Eclipse Cross, we felt it was important to position our cars and our cameras in one of the first places Americans could view the total solar eclipse,” said Mitsubishi marketing bod Francine Harsini. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to photograph Mitsubishi’s Eclipse Cross during the total solar eclipse.”

    Yes, you read that right. Mitsubishi is delighted to have the chance to photograph its new car when the sun – you know, the world’s source of light – is covered up.

    Make your own jokes about the Eclipse’s styling. It’s too easy.

  4. Porsche has had to give sunglasses to some of its customers

    Odd lawsuit news, now. It transpires buyers of Porsches with beige interiors are eligible for up to $175, as it turns out some such owners were disgruntled at the amount of glare the material caused them. So they’ve charged Porsche for the sunglasses they bought to counter it. Eh?

    Yep. If you’re nodding along in disgruntled rage rather than shaking your head in surprise, though, you can head to dashboardglareclassaction.com to claim your money. Yes, this is really a thing.

    You need a Porsche sold in North America between 2007 and 2016, and it must have a beige dashboard. Ten Things would like to argue that you’ve made an incorrect decision if beige was your number one interior choice, and that the glare is some kind of configurator karma. But then we are wearing green shoes.

  5. This is what a BMW Z4 coupe could look like

    Will BMW make a coupe version of the new Z4? We flipping hope so, particularly if it looks even half as good as this render by X-Tomi Design.

    The new BMW Z4 has been announced this week. Sharing its platform with a new Toyota Supra (we think the internet likes Supras), it could be a return to form for small BMW sports cars.

    But wouldn’t that be an even greater return to form if there was a Z4 coupe, too? A Z4 M coupe, at that? Go on, BMW…

  6. The last Dodge Viper has been made

    Tissues as the ready, we have sad news. Sad news if you like monstrously powered sports cars, that is. And you’re reading TopGear.com, so we assume you must do.

    The Dodge Viper is no more. We’ve known this moment has been coming for a while, but a curt Instagram post this week confirmed the final Viper has slithered off the end of the production line.

    Ralph Gilles, Fiat Chrysler’s head of design and the poster of the images, said: “The Gen5 Viper has had a five-year run, and the Viper platform which has not changed that much over the years had a great 25-year run!”

    Yup, the Viper has been with us a quarter of a century. How many other supercars – ones which have changed so little in looks and ethos – can claim the same?

  7. Your child might get a McLaren before you

    Disheartening news if you’re fastidiously saving to buy yourself a carbon-tubbed, butterfly-doored supercar. You kid’s probably going to get one first.

    This is the McLaren 570S push car, and rather than costing the £150,000 or so a proper 570S sells for, this one is around £60. About the same as filling the tank on a 570S, to promptly empty it within an hour.

    And the mini-me McLaren doesn’t want for equipment, with a variety of storage solutions for rogue toys and snacks. Ten Things is priming a Willy Wonka-esque shrinking machine so we can deliver the first drive verdict soon.

  8. There’s a Suicide Squad inspired BMW i8

    Some members of the TG office have described it as “one of the worst films ever,” but clearly some people out there enjoyed Suicide Squad. Enough to get the spray paints out and daub their BMW i8 in tribute to it. Yikes.

    It’s the work of Rene Turrek and it’s impressively in-depth. On top of the artistic paintjob is LED lighting that brings the car to life at night.

    He’s a talented man, and he’s inspired us to get our own paints out down in the TG car park, though perhaps for a cuddlier, friendlier film than Turrek’s choice. Who’s for a Jungle Book supercar?

  9. Learner drivers are going to be allowed on motorways

    From next January, the UK’s learner drivers will be allowed on motorways. It’s either a victory for common sense or a disaster in the making, depending on who you speak to. And it has excited and annoyed the UK’s road safety and advanced driving agencies all at once, Brake criticising the idea, while the IAM loves it.

    Let us know your thoughts below, but surely it makes sense for learners to get a grasp of multilane roads with a helper at their side, rather than having their first taste months or years after passing their test, while on their own?

    It comes, surely, on the brink of a reform for how we learn to drive, with the introduction of autonomous and alternative fuel cars likely to warrant a new learning process. Will that come soon?

  10. Footballers are now driving Metros

    Yep. Forget big G-Wagens with weird paint and Bentley Continental GTs with questionable wheels: the footballer’s chariot of choice is now a Metro. With weird paint and questionable wheel trims.

    “Oxford United have acquired this car and will ask the first team player who was “worst in training” each week to drive it for seven days,” reads the BBC Oxford Sport tweet. Don’t tell us you haven’t seen it already.

    This trick is nothing new, but it’s normally applied by larger, more successful football teams. There’s every chance Oxford’s players – plying their trade in English football’s third tier – won’t see the Metro as too much of a downgrade…

What do you think?

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