Now this one doesn’t involve supercars or driving but it probably takes the cake for most expensive. From WP:
During the early hours of 14 December 2002, while traveling from Zeebrugge to Southampton with a load of nearly 3,000 automobiles, she collided with the Kariba, a 1982 Bahamian-flagged container ship. The Kariba was able to continue on, but Tricolor sank where she was struck, some 20 miles north of the French coast in the English Channel. While no lives were lost, the ship remained lodged on her side in the mud of the 30 metres (98 ft) deep waterway.
The cargo of 2,871 new cars – mostly from premium German and Swedish manufacturers including BMW, Volvo and SAAB – was removed from the wreck and destroyed, approximately £30m (representing a retail value of £60m) worth. Most oil was removed from the ship’s tanks soon after it sank, but during the salvage there was a small 540-tonne oil spill, sparking concern.
If this needs to be communicated briefly, via Twitter or somesuch, just tell them it’s the best car in its class. Still. Because it is. If you want to go into much depth, begin with increased dimensions (93mm longer, 9mm taller etc) and go on to discuss how the new lower nose design has improved both aerodynamics (0.26Cd for the most air-cheating models) and pedestrian safety.
Of course it’s not a revolutionary leap forward. This is a mainstream car that sells in massive numbers - when it goes on sale in the UK next February it needs to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. We can’t see it alienating many. With the exception of the pointier front end the exterior is entirely fine. Nothing radical, just a good freshen up. Same indoors, too. BMW has been bolder with materials, folding them into more interesting shapes, yet the ergonomics are excellent and the quality and design is fully up to scratch.
If you’re seriously considering this car, do yourself a favor and read the rest at TopGear.com
If we’re going to talk about BMW’s M cars, we need to acknowledge that the one that’s talked about most is the M3. Its M3 is the sort of car that deluded owners imagine they can somehow improve with aftermarket bits, so the world is full of classic M3-a-likes crafted out of lowly 318s with added badges but the damnation of the feeble original single exhaust pipe. I’ve decided I’m more of an M5 kind of bloke.
The M5 is a quiet pint. For a start, the 5-Series has always been a proper, car-shaped car, with a decent boot at the back and the engine in the front. It’s not so big that it’ll end its days as an executive minicab driven by a man in a bad jacket, like the 7-Series, but it’s big enough to allow you and your passengers to lounge around a bit. The 5-Series is the perfect size for a car, and I like a saloon….
Want to know what James thinks of the rest of the car? Then read on, my friend. Read on…
If you have a portrait of Sir Alec Issigonis hanging in your shed, best look away now. The new Mini Roadster is the sixth model to join the current line-up, based on the new Coupe, and is the first ever drop-top two-seater in the brand’s history. It sits some 20mm lower to the ground than the Mini convertible and gets a manually operated soft-top roof.
It’ll come in four varieties; the 122bhp Cooper Roadster, the 184bhp Cooper S, the 143bhp Cooper SD 2.0-litre diesel, and the firecracker 211bhp petrol John Cooper Works, complete with a 147mph top speed and a 0-62mph time of 6.5 seconds.
TopGear.com has all the deets
We have to admit that we cringed a bit when we first saw this car in profile, but once you get a close up look at it (peep the gallery above), this car isn’t that bad looking. We still prefer the balanced, well tailored suit of the current 5 series — however the new 3 is leaner in back (we see a little bit of E24 in the thinner Hofmeister kink), a bit more
droopy aggressive up front, and best of all, this isn’t a straight up 7-series clone. You can see ‘tear duct’ cues from BMW’s new i-series in the headlamp treatment (by the way, a 3-series hybrid is part of the new mix) and if this means a new M3 is around the corner then welcome, new 3-series. Please stay a while. We’re sure you’ll sell well among the young executive set.
More details at topgear.com
The Stig Drives a BMW M5 F10M
Between filming the live series and a holiday special in India, The Stig and Mr. May find some time to test drive this BMW beast, according to Top Gear magazine!
Gas costs $1 more than it did a year ago. This is the perfect excuse for a staycation. And a staycation is a more than reasonable basis for a weekend of barbecue, beer, and watching close to three days of Top Gear during what we’re calling the BBC America Top Gear Labor Day Marathon Barbecue (or BBCATGLDMBBQ for short).
The BBCATGLDMBBQ includes the James vs Stig card game episode seen in the photoset above.