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Of all the Top Gear cast members, there’s no denying that the most mysterious of them is the man in the white helmet and jumpsuit. The man people affectionately call the Stig .

Unlike Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond, the Stig is a man shrouded in mystery, opting to have Clarkson introduce him with the phrase "Some say..." So the question has been around for years. What’s the deal with The Stig? Who is he? Where does he come from? Why does he love Ricky Martin?

Tons of questions and few answers. That is, until now.

See, the Stig now has a book. Well, actually it is a book about him called "The Stig. The Untold Story." Apparently, he wasn’t a big fan of the project by publisher Ebury and, as the promo video shows, has gone to great lengths to ensure that the public doesn’t even sniff the pages of the book.

Some say he doesn’t like to have his private life cast into the public spotlight while others say he’s just doing it to further promote the book. As a man whose actions (probably) reflect his words, The Stig’s actions at a local Tesco market gives you a hint that there might be something about this book that he doesn’t want us to read.

Enjoy the video, and the hot Lambo at the end.

Lotus Esprit

Last month, we reported that Lotus future was safe and that we may see a new Esprit on the roads. Today, British magazine, AutoCar, is offering a few more details on the rumored British supercar, including some insight on its powertrain.

AutoCar is reporting that the Esprit’s production is effectively complete, but there are still some lingering problems. Those problems are that Lotus is camshaft-deep in legal battles and unpaid bills, and lacks consistent management.

Rumor has it that if — and we stress if — the Esprit hits production, it will feature a 5.0-liter gasoline engine that works in unison with an F1-style KERS system. So what’s so great about that? Well, that will be good for a whopping 650 ponies beneath the Esprit’s sexy hood — 20 horsepower more than the initial rumors.

These 650 ponies are all well and good, but if it’s priced like the 918 Spyder , only a select few may actually be able to afford one. Lotus has your back there too, as Autocar is also putting out there that the Esprit will be closer to the price of a top-line 911, which is roughly £100,000 — around $160,000 at the current exchange rates.

Not only are we anxious to hear that Lotus still has some fight left in it, but we are also ecstatic to hear that the Esprit may return in impressive form and at a relative bargain. Stay tuned!

Source: AutoCar

No true automotive junky can channel surf past Top Gear without at least stopping for a few minutes. Even if you can’t stand the show; the cars are bad ass, the driving is borderline insane, and Jeremy Clarkson’s snarly, sarcastic and brash attempts at humor are downright unsettling. That’s pretty much exactly what we love about the show.

Well, this extremely popular show – now watched in 212 territories around the world – has officially been named the “Most Watched Factual TV Program” by Guinness World Record. As expected, Jeremy Clarkson was front and center to accept the award with the rather bland “I am very proud to be associated with such a factual program” statement. Oh Jeremy, you are man of so many words…

Regardless of the “Eh, whatever” response, we tip our hats to the empire the Clarkson and his cohorts have built since 1977.

We tried finding out who owned the record before Top Gear, but the record seems to not exist in the 2012 edition of the book… Hm, interesting… We did, however, find out that you can submit your own world record. We wonder if there is a weird publicity stunt behind all of this. Nah, they would never…

Plus, Clarkson just looks oh so happy holding that plaque in the press image.

This probably isn’t what Ken Block had in mind when he released his now world-famous Gymkhana video series.

Brought to us by Leaking Duck Productions - the name says it all - this Gymkhana parody stars Etienne Guerra reprising the role of Block and a Ford Fiesta Ghia playing the part of Block’s trusty Fiesta HMHV.

Suffice to say, hilarity ensues.

To be fair to Guerra, he did pull off some pretty sweet drifts given the steed he was driving. But it certainly wasn’t Ken Block and it didn’t have all the kind of theatrics and insane stunts that is normally reserved for Block and his own series of Gymkhana videos.

Nevertheless, it makes for great entertainment. And as if to close it out with a guest appearance, a Travis Pastrana copycat was also present at the end of the video. We’re not sure who it is, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it was Guerra too.

Source: You Tube

We are anxiously awaiting the release of the 2013 VW Beetle Convertible and those at Vee-Dub-Ya are being really stingy with the images and information. Well our friends over at Jalopnik managed to get a hold of some images of the new VW convertible rocking a killer disguise [dripping with sarcasm].

VW thought it could fool everyone by taking stickers, in the same shape as the previous generation VW Beetle convertible, and slapping them over the revised taillights on the 2013 Beetle convertible mule. Anyone that has ever frequented a “Gentleman’s Club” in a conservative city, county, or state knows, sticking pasties over the goodies does not really eliminate your ability to imagine what’s under them.

This is doubly true when you make the stickers so thin that the goodies show through – a trick often undertaken at said gentleman’s clubs and obviously at VW too. Someone behind this new Beetle caught it just as the taillights came on and snapped a shot of the new lights shining through in all of their glory.

What makes matters worse is in order to mimic the old New Beetle convertible’s backside a little more, Vee-Dub added in some extra tasteful stickers on the bottom of the rear fascia. One happens to have a gigantic air bubble in it and the other one is pretty crooked. By the way, VW, the last-gen Beetle convertible didn’t have dual exhaust.

Are we sure these are the same people that duped the German government out of its tax money and discreetly slid Ducati under Lamborghini’s ownership? Not too slick there, fellas.

Thanks for the “LOLs” VW, we needed that one.

Source: Jalopnik

We are slightly obsessed with Paganis and we make no attempts to hide it. We love them in all shapes, paint jobs, and forms. Well, that was until now.

Enter in a fantastically awesome orange Pagani Zonda F with its 650-horsepower AMG V-12 pumping in the background. As you approach it from the rear, you see all of the familiar Zonda F signatures: quad tailpipes, triple-stacked taillights, low-laying spoiler, an ass end that is so awkwardly long that its sexy, and its bubble-top cabin.

As you walk around the front you see... Airbrush ugliness thrown on the front end. Look, I am a huge Batman fan and have seen all of the movies and watched the Adam West series (re-runs) to completion. That’s right, the dude that owns this automotive awesomeness ruined it (in our opinion) by having Batman airbrushed on the front.

To make matters worse, he went the classic route and placed the sound effects in thought bubbles, yet he left the "m" off of "Boom." Apparently, he is trying to play off the Pagani’s stylish headlights as the "m," but it doesn’t line up with the "Boo" and it’s outside of the thought bubble.. Ugh, talk about failing in every sense of the word.

Regardless, the car can still be salvaged, given a driver that does not rock pink shades while he cruises in a Batman-liveried supercar decides to save it from its unholy path.

Then again, if you have $700,000 to drop on a supercar, you can pretty much do as you please with it. At least it’s not a poorly built knock-off that barely escapes the bounds of the average highway speed limit.

Fisker Karma

A life lesson that most auto buffs learned from their parents is never buy a first-release vehicle, especially if it is bearing new technology. It is bound to have tons of bugs that will drive you insane. Well, when you dump $100K on a new car, you kind of expect it to be about as bug-free as possible. In the last year, we have seen two new cars come out bearing very new technologies, the Fisker Karma and Tesla Model S .

The Model S has moved along relatively unscathed with only minor complaints here and there. The Karma, on the other hand, has had a slew of issues and complaints. Oh, and this nasty little habit of spontaneously combusting when it’s parked.

Some of these bugs are being addressed in a very lukewarm sort of way, via a Fisker -created document called the “Customer Town Hall FAQ.” Some of the highlights include Fisker admitting that its navigation system pretty much stinks and they will “investigate ways to improve system performance” and Fisker realizing that they forgot to include a mute feature for the oft-error-filled navigation system. So, not only do you have a navi system that’s incorrect, but one that constantly blurts out “Left turn ahead” in the wrong places without the ability to mute it... Hmmm.

An odd one is a complaint that the engine still comes on when the car is in “Stealth” mode — a mode where it’s supposed to be noiseless. Fisker answered this by basically saying “the engine needs lubed,” “the emissions system runs with the fuel door open,” and “the high-voltage battery may ask for a charge when it really doesn’t need one.”

The biggest FAQ is when asked about software upgrades becoming free, Fisker simply says only warranty items will be free; anything that improves the functionality of existing will always carry a fee. Nearly every other car manufacturer performs these types of upgrades free of charge, what makes Fisker think they don’t need to? If GM will update my sister’s 160,000-mile Saturn’s computer for free (done a few weeks ago), why won’t Fisker update its year-old Karma’s unsatisfactory systems?

We guess Fisker needs a few more investors before they can afford that.

Click past the jump to read the entire “Customer Town Hall FAQ.”

Source: Fisker Buzz
Tesla CEO Elon Musk: Batteries Aren't the Future

It was just a matter of time before Tesla and Fisker had to duke it out for a second time – the first coming in a Fisker-won court battle . This time around, it was Tesla CEO, Elon Musk , that decided to drop the gloves and poke Fisker for a fight. In an interview with Automobile Magazine, Musk said “It’s a mediocre product at a high price,” when talking about the Karma . He also said that “[Fisker] thinks the most important thing in the world — or the only important thing in the world — is design, so he outsourced the engineering and manufacturing.”

Musk did, however, pay a much-deserved complement to the Karma, stating that “It looks good” and “Particularly from the side it looks good." That’s definitely a comment that we can all agree with. Even ousted Fisker CEO, Henrik Fisker, stated that he’s “delighted that Elon thinks the Karma is a good-looking car.” Fisker went on to assure us that Tesla and Fisker are not competitors and that they use two different technologies and are going after completely different customers.

We beg to differ with that statement. Yes, you are using different technologies – Tesla’s is far more advanced – but you are competing for the same customers. Any hybrid customer or extended-range EV buyer would be silly not to look into the technology that Tesla Tesla has created and anyone that thinks that they are not in competition with one another is a little bit disillusioned.

We think that Musk was a little brash with his statements and would be better off to keep his opinions out of the corporate spotlight, regardless of how true they may be. Then again, the comments are damn funny, regardless of how inappropriate they may have been. Guess we have to give Musk some credit for speaking his mind.

Banning traffic cameras may be a growing trend

Cops in Maryland are quickly cutting down on their time spent running license plates by using what are called automatic license plate readers (ALPR). These nifty devices scan your plates automatically and check for insurance, validity, and other key safety issues. This is all well and good, according to civil liberties watchdog, the ACLU, but what they do with said information has the ACLU up in arms.

The ACLU has growing concerns with how long the information is retained in these ALPRs and worries that this ever-rowing data may eventually allow the government to precisely predict every move you make. So for all of you conspiracy theorists that think the gummament is watchin’ ya, this is just another nugget to keep in your head.

In a released statement, the ACLU says:

“If license plate scans, which are typically stamped with a location, time, and date, were used just for these purposes and deleted shortly thereafter, privacy concerns would be minimal to non-existent. After all, police can run license plates against these databases themselves. ALPR technology simply cuts down on the time and manpower required to perform these functions on a large scale. 

The privacy issues arise with the retention of the information. A police officer will not forever remember the exact location and time of an innocent motorist’s travels. With ALPR technology, those details can be stored indefinitely, creating an ever-growing historical record of the daily comings and goings of every Marylander. As ALPRs become more ubiquitous and that record becomes longer and more detailed, it will become possible for the government to determine a person’s exact movements during any given time period.”

However, the police taking records of our license plate activity is one of the more primitive tracking devices that the government has access to in order to track us. There are many more active and precise devices that we all use on a daily basis that allows the government to keep tabs on us.

To see what other devices the government can use to track us, simply click past the jump.

Ewe no, their are thymes when a spellchecker is in order and advertismenting sumthing is Juan of them thymes. Their’s not much worser then misspelling the nayme of the pro-duct you are saling. Welp, it looks like Porsche has decided against spell checking its ads.

Okay, we’ll stop now... but seriously. Every single Porsche Boxster billboard ad in the great city of London has a glaring error in it. It’s missing an “S,” so the sports car is now known as the "Boxter." Granted, the pronunciation is exactly the same, but the spelling is simply horrendous.

Really, how in the world does a professional advertising company, which we only assume Porsche uses, misspell a key word, like the product’s freaking name, on a slew of billboards? To boot, how exactly does Porsche not catch this before having the billboards installed? Yeah, accidents happen, but that’s fine on a single small ad somewhere, not on billboards all across London.

An ad campaign of this magnitude has to cost a load of money and if the ads are up, it means that Porsche apparently approved the final proofs. So the question is how did Porsche approve botched proofs or did the ad company misprint them when they made the billboards?

We tried coming up with a department to call in Porsche’s operation to find out whose error it was, but we came up empty. We are sure that within a matter of days these ads will be fixed up. It’s still worth a good laugh.

Source: Jalopnik

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