Weekly round-up: What’s the weirdest car-related thing you saw this week?
What’s the weirdest car-related thing you saw this week? While news has been relatively light in the wind-down for Christmas, the bizarre quota for car-related news seemed to go through the roof.
Maybe you saw the Pope drive past in a white-with-gold-trim Lamborghini? No, you didn’t dream it, and no, the Popemobile hasn’t had a sexy upgrade.
Instead the personalised papal Lamborghini Huracan, which was presented to him by the manufacturer, will be auctioned off for charity.
Blessed and autographed by his holiness, the Italian supercar is expected to far exceed its £180k asking price. We doubt divine grace can get you out of an inevitable speeding ticket though.
Maybe that’s not the weirdest car-related thing you saw this week though. Maybe you were taking a tour of Jaguar Land Rover headquarters and thought you saw Jose Mourinho buffing the grill of a Jaguar F-Pace.
Ya missed a bit…
No, you weren’t seeing things as the Man Utd manager became the 100,000th F-Pace customer and joined employees to oversee the production of his car and help the team as it moved along the production line.
The F-Pace is the fastest selling Jaguar vehicle ever and is currently the fastest Jaguar vehicle to reach the 100K sales mark. Needless to say, Jose’s Jag is a very special one.
Or maybe you thought you saw our very own Howard Ritchie out and about in a BMW 5 Series. You didn’t dream that either, in fact it was the 530d M Sport xDrive – a car which is clearing up car of the year awards all over the world and by all accounts is a dream to drive.
We specifically explored the connected drive and BMW’s new 3D remote along with the new title system BMW have integrated to allow the driver to spend more time with their eyes on the road. Needless to say Howard has some, erm, special requests…
As bizarre as these things are, they are of course PR stunts. So when it comes to unintentionally weird things we doubt you can top the New Zealand police officers who stopped a driver after they observed him playing the bagpipes. The driver denied the allegations, telling officers he was “only playing the air bagpipes”. Unable to prove the existence of the instrument, police were forced to let the man go.
Elsewhere it’s a been a more sedate affair with a distinct lack of the bizarre. Well, we say sedate, there’s nothing sedate about a car that can go 0-60mph in 1.9 seconds with a top speed of over 250mph and that’s exactly what Tesla claim their new Roadster can do.
“And for my next trick…”
All of these stats feel like a neat little distraction to get people to ignore/forget the Model 3 debacle and the fact that sales target for this practical and mainstream EV has been missed by 83% by showing us something red and shiny that can go really fast really quick, tapping into our base instincts. Say this about Musk, he knows how to pull the puppet string of his audience.
When you get to drive one of these fantastic cars when it rolls off the production line in 20whoknowswhen, we’ll no doubt have to update our list of our top five power-for-pound performance cars.
I’ll have the red one
An article for those lessees looking for thrills, we’ve collected some cars we think are ideal for those fans of all things fast and who also like getting their money's worth. Find out what made the list here.
Speaking of fast, and readily available, the Kia Stinger GT made its debut in the UK this week and is available to lease.
Kia's first grand tourer and first rear-wheel-drive car in the UK, it will be available with three turbocharged engines to choose from across three distinct trim lines in a five-model range, all with an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Sting in its tail
The range-topping model is powered by a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 engine capable of 0-60mph in 4.7 seconds – faster than any previous Kia.
None of these impressive speeding stats amount to anything when you’re stuck in traffic though which is why Highways England are trialling a new way to deal with it.
A £7m trial involving M6 and M62 aims to find out if traffic lights are the key to cutting motorway congestion.
The innovative project at Croft Interchange – where junction 21a of the M6 meets junction 10 of the M62 – is to give drivers smoother and more reliable journeys along the eastbound M62, one of the busiest commuter congestion hotspots in the region, and will be monitored over a year.
If successful, it could be used on other motorway-to-motorway slip roads across the country.
And on that note, it’s time for me to go and get stuck in traffic...