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We’ve been hearing a lot of news from the world of Top Gear recently and arguably the biggest news of all is about to be laid out to all of you. Yes, dear folks, the 17th season – has it been that many? – of Top Gear is headed back to the tubes beginning on June 12, 2011.

The news was first reported by FinalGear.com - as good a source as any Top Gear-related website out there – which bared Top Gear’s return after it was first divulged in the May issue of the Dutch edition of Top Gear magazine. Us here in America will get a double dose of the fun too as the first season of Top Gear USA will start to be sold in DVD form on July 19 .

As far as what’s in store for us with season 17 of Top Gear, well, your guess is good as ours. But we’ve seen Clarkson and May push a Nissan Leaf and there have been reports that the McLaren MP4-12C posted the fastest lap on the Top Gear track . Yep, its looking like just a regular season of Top Gear; one full of laughs, surprises, and controversies.

Source: Final Gear

In the high-octane, torque-twisting world of the drag strip, a paradigm shift is slowly taking shape with the most unlikely of cars leading the way. Unassuming look aside, the “Black Current” Volkswagen Beetle EV by Oliver Young is an electric vehicle that has done some serious damage on the drag strip becoming the first street-bodied EV to post a nine-second, quarter-mile time. That time looks more impressive when you take into account the fact that this little Beetle once destroyed a Tesla Roadster on a drag strip.

While it’s not the fastest quarter-mile time ever posted by an EV – that title belongs to the Current Eliminator, which covered the same distance in seven seconds at 160 mph – the Black Current does hold the record for being the fastest ‘street-bodied’ EV in the world - at least until proven otherwise.

For now, though, Oliver Young can stake claim to this tremendous achievement and on a grander scale, he and his ‘Black Current’ Beetle EV are giving EVs the proper exposure in the world of drag racing, something that was unheard of as late as a decade ago.

More details on the Volkswagen Beetle EV “Black Current” after the jump

Source: NEDRA

Project Kahn is one of those tuning companies that never runs out of tuning projects. A few weeks after it released the Maybach 57 Wedding Commemorative Edition , the British tuning firm headed by Afzal Kahn has another one in the oven. This time, it’s an upgraded Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe that comes with plenty of aesthetic modifications.

Adding on to what is already a high-brow look, Project Kahn gave the Phantom a shadow-line finish to go with clear side lights, head light surrounds, window surrounds, rear light surrounds, and under floor lighting. On top of that, the British tuner added a bullet resistant glass to fit into their high-security profile. And to round out the aesthetic goodness, Project Kahn fitted the Phantom with a new set of diamond-polished 22” Kahn Silver Mist Rolls Royce wheels.

Meanwhile, the interior of the Phantom, at least according to Project Kahn, can be tailor-made depending on the customer’s tastes and whims. In a statement, the company said: “Inside is a complete bespoke interior design service available to suit individual tastes. By buying a Project Kahn vehicle, you are given the opportunity to really make it your own.”

For those that can afford this car and all the upgrades Project Kahn offers, feel free to knock yourselves out. For the rest of us lemmings, these photos are about as good as it gets.

This latest special edition from Ford doesn’t exactly serve as a worthy alternative for a Nissan GT-R , but the company has graced it with the GTR name nonetheless. The special edition Ford Fiesta GTR was created by Ford dealer Steve Chamber and will be limited to only 250 units. If you are a UK resident, the car can be yours for £249 per month.

The new Fiesta GTR will be distinguished by a sportier look featuring an impressive White paintwork and a gloss black roof, a new set of 17" Rimstock black alloys, a lower front bumper, side sills, and a roof spoiler. On the interior, there will be a sticker on the dash and door sills that will indicate the number of your car.

Despite its aggressive look, the Fiesta GTR is based on the entry level version of the Fiesta , meaning customers will only be receiving a model powered by a 1.25-liter petrol engine that delivers a total of 59 HP. This is enough power to sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in 16.9 seconds, while delivering 51.4mpg. A far cry from the 3.8L V6 engine producing 485 hp and 434 pound-feet of torque found in the Nissan GTR.

What’s the deal with all these automakers each coming out with their own set of new bicycles? In the last two months, we’ve seen something new from Audi , McLaren , Range Rover , and Maserati , none of which can be described as anything close to being a four-wheeled vehicle. Bicycles. That’s been the ‘in’ thing these days, and lo and behold, another brand has decided to jump on the bandwagon with the launch of their new – and collapsible – bicycle.

The irony of the bicycle’s uninspiring name given by a brand that’s usually the most creative of the lot isn’t lost on us. But nonetheless, here it is: the MINI Folding Bike. The bicycle is built around a lightweight aluminum frame that can be folded in mere seconds to be stowed inside the car’s trunk – preferably a MINI, we suppose. In addition to the frame, the bicycle’s crossbar, handlebars, and pedals also fold up while the gel seat retracts to save up even more space for when the bicycle is ready to be stored in the trunk. To add to the convenience of it all, the bike only weighs around 11 kilos, which is somewhere around 24 lbs, making it extremely lightweight even relative to the other new bikes we’ve seen in recent months. And to top it off, the MINI Folding Bike also comes with eight gears, a pair of 20-inch wheels with mud guards, an under-seat pouch, and a Teflon-coated chain.

We’ve seen some nicer looking bicycles, particularly the Audi Duo. But in terms of overall style, performance, and ease-of-use, this MINI Folding Bike is one that’s definitely right up our alley.

Anytime we have an excuse to get a scantily-clad babe on our pages, we make sure that everybody gets to share in our blessings. Even more awesome is when you pair said hottie to a little drift action, courtesy, in this case, of Mr. Gymkhana himself, Ken Block .

In this video, a model from Zoo Magazine gets a chance to pose with Ken Block and his Gymkhana 3 Ford Fiesta. After the introductions were done, the hot model rides shotgun alongside Block for a little drift action on an improvised Gymkhana course at the Battersea Power Station on the River Thames in Battersea, London.

It’s a pity that we don’t get a clear view of the model’s reaction as Block takes her for the ride of her life. But judging by her reaction when the course run was finished and the dust had settled, it sure looks like she had a blast.

High-level drifting and smoking hot babe aside, the video was actually part of a promotional event for the DIRT 3 video game, which incidentally coincides with the debut of the Gymkhana in the video game.

We don’t know if there are going to be hot models in bikinis in the game, but for the sake of everything we hold sacred, we’d love to see it.

Source: You Tube

Seat will be offering its British customers a new, high-value trim level for both the Ibiza and Leon models. The new models are called Copa ( the Spanish word for "cup") and will go on sale at a starting price of £11,995 for the Ibiza model and £16,180 for the Leon. The new trim level will be offered in all three Ibiza body styles – sporty 3dr SC, practical 5dr, and capacious ST estate, and only as a five-door version for the Leon.

For the Ibiza model, the new Copa trim adds 16" Fabula alloy wheels, climate control (including refrigerated glovebox), rain and light sensors for automatic wipers and lights, dark tinted rear windows, leather steering wheel and gearknob, auto-dimming rear view mirror, and bespoke Copa upholstery.

For the Leon models, the new versions will add dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity, front seat height and lumbar adjustment, cruise control, and bespoke Copa upholstery.

The new Copa model can be ordered with 1.4 16V petrol or 1.2 TDI CR turbodiesel engines for the Ibiza and 1.2-liter TSI 105 PS turbocharged petrol or 1.6-liter TDI common rail 105 PS turbodiesel for the Leon model.

British manufacturer, Radical Sports Cars , will be celebrating the SR3’s 10th anniversary with the launch of a special edition SR3 RS Limited. Only 25 units of this special edition will be produced, each carrying a price tag of £49,850, or about $81,000 at the current exchange rates. The car is now available for order.

The SR3 RS Limited is a trackday-focused edition and is available in three summer color options: Spice Yellow, Tangerine, and Rosso Red combined with a unique matte vinyl graphics pack.

Under the hood, the SR3 RS Limited gets a 1340cc RPE-Suzuki engine that delivers a total of 210 HP at 10,500rpm. This engine is mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox and gear drive system. It also features a Quaife ATB differential, 260x25mm 30-vane ventilated discs front and rear, high-downforce rear diffuser, passenger seat belts, trackday silencing kit, a unique identification numbered plate (1 to 25), and spares ‘starter pack’ including spare wheels/wet-weather tires, filters, and accessories.

If you thought that women couldn’t hack it as test drivers for high-performance cars, you obviously haven’t met Vickie Butler-Henderson. One of the hosts of Fifth Gear is highly accomplished sitting behind the wheel of a sports car, having gotten her feet wet racing karts as a young damsel before moving on as an instructor at Silverstone and occupying her current gig as one of the foremost automotive journalists on the planet.

Suffice to say, her standards are very high and it takes a really good sports car to get her stamp of approval. Fortunately, the 2011 BMW M3 GTS is just that kind of car.

In this video, Ms. Butler-Henderson takes the M3 GTS for a spin around a wet race track. Putting her unquestioned talents to good use, the host of Fifth Gear shakes down the M3 GTS the only way she knows how.

At the end of all the hooning and spraying water, Ms. Butler-Henderson only had good praise for the car, describing it as one "amazing car".

If you get two thumbs up from an esteemed auto journalist like Vickie Butler-Henderson, then you must have done something really, really good.

Source: Fifth Gear

If you’ve ever heard of Ginetta Cars and they’re flagship supercar, the F400, then you need to pat yourself on the back for actually knowing the story behind this British supercar.

The name ’F400’ actually wasn’t the car’s first name. Matter of fact, Ginetta actually didn’t build the car, either. That distinction belongs to Farboud , which conceived, designed, and developed the car back in 2002 as the GTS . But for one reason or another, the Farboud GTS project never got off the ground and in March of 2010, the rights to the brand and the car were officially sold to Ginetta.

With a new supercar in tow, all Ginetta had to do was re-badge the GTS to the F400 and thus, their newest supercar was born.

For all of its backstory, the F400 still remains a largely unnoticed supercar. But in the year that has passed since Ginetta acquired Farboud and the GTS, the only way for the F400 to go is up.

Details on the Ginetta F400 after the jump.


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