In the dust stirred up by Dany Bahar, we managed to miss the fact that DRB-Hicom also dismissed two senior executives from Lotus for “gross misconduct.” One was the 6-year head of legal resources and the other had 17 years in as the head of human resources. These employees are now taking Lotus to an employment tribunal saying that they were dismissed unfairly, were harassed, and had to endure sexual and racial discrimination by the new Lotus parent.
From the report, the two fired executives underwent “intense interrogation sessions” after DRB-Hicom took over and started investigating the actions of Bahar. They are also claiming that the management company is more interested in “Malaysianizing” the company rather than fixing it.
One lawsuit is a random happening, but to get three lawsuits for very similar cases seems like a trend to us. Maybe Bahar isn’t all wrong in this entire thing. The man is certainly at fault for using corporate money like it was his own personal Monopoly bank, but maybe his termination was a little bit less on the “up and up” as we anticipated.
All of this is coming straight on the heels of DRB-Hicom announcing that it is in talks to bring in a foreign partner to help clean up Proton Holdings Bhd, which includes Lotus. We’ll keep an eye on this to see if it may negatively impact the talks that are going on between the Malaysian company and its potential foreign partner.
When Ferrari North Europe began their campaign to reclaim the world record for a parade of Ferrari cars back in June, they set a mark of 1,000 cars to participate in the attempt. Unfortunately, they didn’t hit their 1,000-car target. They only had 964 Ferraris. You could hear the collective heart break from across the Atlantic.
All joking aside, the new record is mighty impressive in its own right, not only because they managed to bring 964 Ferraris and assemble all of them on one track, but more so because these owners actually found some time to participate in the record-setting attempt.
Heck, even Ferrari F1 driver Felipe Massa was on hand with his 458 Italia to partake in the festivities. And if anybody’s wondering whether this record attempt was done for self-fulfilling reasons, each driver who participated in the event actually donated £5 donation to BEN, the auto industry’s charity out in England.
Congratulations to Ferrari North Europe for the new record! Here’s to hoping that record lasts longer than five minutes!
There is nothing that a parent fears in his or her life more than the possibility of their child facing death. A Subaru enthusiast in England is facing just that, as his 11-year-old son, who has beaten cancer twice, now has an inoperable tumor in his brain that leaves him with just four weeks to live.
Just before the son was diagnosed, Scott, the son’s father, had promised him that they would organize a big car meet at some time. Now that there may be only four weeks left in this child’s life, Scott has decided to post an open invitation on Scooby Net (a Subaru enthusiast board) to anyone with a custom or cool car to gather at a nearby parking lot on September 8th at 1 p.m. for a show.
So far this viral attempt has taken off, as there are 270 cars registered for the event, and several of our colleagues, including Jalopnik, Piston Heads, and M5 Boards are all spreading the word. Even Chris Harris is getting in on it. He cannot personally make it, but he is finding a way to get his Ferrari 599 to the show. There has also been a PayPal account setup that will accept donations, which will go directly to the Children’’s Cancer Fund. The address for the Paypal account is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Show is set to be hosted at Fred Lawton Ltd, Meltham Mills Industrial Estate, Meltham Huddersfield, HD9 4AY, but it might have to be moved elsewhere because of the growing number of cars registering. We will keep you updated on the exact location if it does move.
So if any of our readers across the pond have a nice ride, feel free to pop into the thread on Scooby Net and register your car. They are accepting all sorts of high-performance and custom cars. Let’s all chip in and give this young man a memorable show!
Also, for anyone looking to participate in this event, Scott asks that you DO NOT mention the terminal illness to his son. They are not telling him until the time is closer, as they want him to enjoy the final month of his life.
Hyundai UK has announced that the new Veloster Turbo SE will be available on the market starting September 24th at a starting price of £21,995 ($34,800). The model will be offered in a standard White Crysta exterior paint, but an optional Phantom Black (Pearl) and a Matte Grey finish can be ordered for £445 ($704 at the current rates) and £525 ($830 at the current rates), respectively. A tilt and slide Panoramic sunroof is also available for £950 ($1,500).
The new Veloster Turbo SE will be offered with a 1.6-liter T-GDI turbocharged engine that delivers a total of 184 HP and 195 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission, the model will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 8.4 seconds and up to a top speed of 133 mph.
On the front end, the Veloster gets a new front bumper, radiator grille, and front fog lights, while the rear adds a revised bumper, a new fog lamp design, round twin exhausts, and diffuser. The car sits on a new set of standard 18-inch alloy wheels with chrome inserts. For the interior, Hyundai is offering redesigned leather seats with grey panels, Hyundai’s 7-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system, and, of course, "Turbo" logos embossed on the driver’s and passenger’s seats.
Across the pond, in the UK, there is a slightly revised lineup for the Mercedes-BenzE-Class than we see in the U.S. In the U.S. we only get to see the E350 and E500 – not inclusive of the AMG line – but in the UK they get the E200, E220, E250, E350, and E500. The E500, being the top trim in the lineup, boasts the largest and most powerful engine, a 4,663cc V-8 engine that pumps out 300 Kw (408 horsepower) at 5,000 rpm and 600 Nm of torque (442 foot-pounds) at 1,600 to 4,750 rpm.
Those are all pretty acceptable numbers for a full-size sedan or coupe, but our UK friends are capped off there, as they do not have access to the 518-horsepower E63 AMG. Vath has come to the rescue for said owners, by releasing an all new array of upgrades that not only make the E500 look sportier, but bump its horsepower into E63 AMG territory.
Click past the jump to read all about this new upgrade kit and see how it compares to the E63 AMG offered in the U.S.
Subaru’s mighty Impreza WRX STI has wowed people from all over the world, thanks to the surprising amount of power it packs under its hood. Fans of the car in the UK will undoubtedly be pleased to know that a special edition model of the WRX STI will be coming to their shores in the form of the Subaru WRX STI 340R.
The sole focus of this unique piece is to give the sports car more power than the standard model. That should be a plus considering that the base trim of the all-wheel-drive rubber burner already packs a punch in the form of 305 horsepower and 290 lb/ft of torque.
With the WRX STI 340R though, Subaru performed a menu of modifications, including an ECU remap and the addition of new intake and exhaust systems. The result is a car that packs an output of 340 PS - hence the name, 340R - that then translates to 335 horsepower. On top of that, the car’s torque number was also improved to 361 lb/ft, which means even more hoontastic exploits for its drivers.
All that being said, the WRX STI 340R won’t come cheap because it’s set to be sold in the UK for £28,594, which is around $45,000 based on current exchange rates. Quite a princely sum, isn’t it?
You know an automaker is having fun with the success of a model when they can’t seem to have too many special edition models in its fold. This is exactly the case of Fiat and the lovable 500 hatchback.
The Italian automaker has a new special edition version of the 500 called the "Street." It will be available in the UK and comes with a choice of five different colors, including Bossanova White, Pasodoble Red, Crossover Black, Electroclash Grey, and Matte Black. In addition, the 500 Street also has satin chrome finished moldings, handles, and door mirrors, as well as dark tinted windows and alloy wheels.
Fiat will be making the 500 Street available in three different powertrain trims, including a 0.9-liter TwinAir engine, the 1.2-liter petrol engine, and the 1.3-liter MultiJet 2 diesel engine. We’re not too impressed with the car’s performance credibility, but with plenty of aesthetic additions, there’s still a measure of fresh and sporty appeal attached to the 500 Street.
Added options can also be had, including air conditioning, sports seats, a new set of 16" alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel with radio controls, and a Blue&Me infotainment system.
Interested in the Fiat 500 Street? Well, be prepared to shell out £11,360, or about $18,000 based on current exchange rates.
Criminals are all too often not the brightest bulbs in the pack and this usually results in them using something like a 1989 Dodge Shadow as their getaway car. Well, not to compliment a robber, but this UK thief took planning to a whole new level and stole himself a real getaway ride, a 450-horsepower Audi RS5.
After his 16th robbery of a UK business, he took off in the RS5 and the police could hardly keep up – seeing the cars they drive, it is no surprise. The dude even outran a helicopter. It wasn’t until he decided to make a stopover at a local apartment complex that he was tracked down and busted.
The police estimated that he was doing upwards of 180 mph during the chase and by the looks of the helicopter camera, his tires gave way at some point and he was shooting sparks from the rims – a tribute to that wonderful Quattro AWD system, if I may add.
RS5 as seen by the police chopper infrared camera - shooting heat from exhaust and wheels
In all, this 65-mile run from the cops in a stolen Audi beast – and the multiple robberies – landed this thief in jail for nine years. A rather light sentence for all of those crimes and an extremely fast police chase. We guess they do things a little differently in the UK.
Anyways, check out the above video to see all of the craziness. You’ll notice that the cameras are pretty choppy in the beginning, but the chase section is nice and smooth.
Anyone who has Internetted before is likely well aware of how YouTube works. Legally, YouTube is a place where people go to upload their own random videos for people to see. In the real world, YouTube is a place where people steal other people’s videos and post them online, pawning them off as their own until YouTube shuts them down. Then the user just changes his user name, reposts the video, then repeat...
Sometimes, companies do actually use YouTube to promote their TV shows and movies, and the BBC is one of the biggest to do so. It is not uncommon to see 9 or so, minutes of “TopGear” and “Nigella Lawson” on YouTube for “promotional purposes.” In the UK, the Authority for Television on Demand (ATVOD) regulates on-demand videos and forces all companies to sign up and pay fees for TV-like programs on places like YouTube.
Well, the ATVOD is now calling these 9-minute pieces TV-like programs and are requiring the BBC to pony up ₤2,900 ($4,601 at the current exchange rates) per channel on YouTube for said programming.
The BBC is now appealing to the governing sector of its government, the Office of Communications (Ofcom) to have this matter resolved. The BBC actually operates its own On-Demand TV service and pays the fees related to it, as required by law, but it feels the YouTube videos are “short form” and are not typically watched at home.
We’ll keep an eye on this story, but we are pretty certain that the BBC will come out of this still paying a little money due to this odd law.
The auto industry is full of automakers that have been revived after going kaput in years past. Over in the UK, the name Trident might ring a bell for some people, especially those that enjoyed their sports cars back in the 60’s.
But now, a new Trident is around, and they’re bringing a new sports car with them to the Salon Prive this year. The car is called the Iceni Grand Tourer and true to its brand name, it’s got serious power matched with some classic aesthetic looks.
The open-top, two-seater roadster certainly looks the part of a car that’s built more for its performance than its profile. But what it lacks in exterior attractiveness, it certainly more than makes up for in its performance credibility. The Iceni Grand Tourer is powered by a mid-front mounted 6.6-liter turbo diesel engine that produces 430 horsepower and an absolutely insane 950 lb/ft of torque. These numbers allow the car to hit 0-62 mph in just 3.7 seconds with a top speed of 200 mph. Pretty insane, huh?
Not when you find out that Trident has an optional power boost that can bump the car’s output further into the neighborhood of 660 horsepower and 1,050 lb/ft of torque.
For the pleasure of being one of the few people in the world that can claim to own the new Iceni Grand Tourer, you’re going to need to shell out £75,000 ($120,000) for the base model.