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Seyth Miersma

Aussie policeman victim of explosive poo trap

Posted Sep 19th 2014 9:00AM

A generic

My cousins lived next to a big cow pasture in Platteville, WI, when we were all kids. Those boys knew how to have a good time in the country, and when my brother and I came to visit one year, they divulged the fun that could be had by rigging cow patties (that's a pile of poo, for you city slickers) with little firecrackers. Push one in, up to the fuse, light it, and run as fast as you can.

Of course, eventually everyone ended up with at least a little poop on himself, which is why we played the game in the first place. Good times, but a bad example it seems...

Things weren't so jolly, familial or pastoral for an Austrian traffic officer recently, I imagine, when he was showered with doo-doo of indiscriminate origin in the course of duty.

Constable Gunther Maier "triggered" a fishing line found on the side of a Moeltal state highway, which was connected to a bucket filled with explosives and manure. The constable was about six and a half feet away from the brownie bomb when it detonated, and was lucky to escape the incident without injury, though he did end up "covered with manure."

A spokesman for the Austrian police said the bomber was most likely targeting police intentionally; with the bucket of BM found in an area know to be a speed trap. And, what's more, police aren't laughing off the matter, either – the individual responsible could potentially face criminal charges for his or her actions.

I doubt that my cousins were in Austria at the time of the incident, but I wouldn't be surprised if the culprit grew up on a farm...

News Source: UPI

Image Credit: Maurice Savage / Alamy

Lotus to layoff a quarter of its workforce

Posted Sep 18th 2014 4:30PM

Group Lotus HQ

Lotus has issued a press release to day, wherein it indicates that a "need to both reshape its organisation and to reduce costs" may result in the loss of "up to 325" jobs. That's a fairly significant number of layoffs for any company, but considering that Lotus currently employs 1,215 people (per the company's bio in the same release), it could mean a full 25-per cent of the automaker's workers could soon be sharpening their resumes.

CEO Jean-Marc Gales says in the statement that Lotus has "worked very hard to avoid the need to make this proposal," but admits that it is now "essential" to the future of the company. The chief indicates that post-restructuring, he expects Lotus to be a "leaner" and "more competitive" organization, one which – and we can all see a little silver lining here – is focused on "producing class-leading sports cars and innovative engineering."

The 325-job number appears to be soft at this point, with the statement indicating that some negotiation about which and how many posts will be cut is yet to come. Further, the company may "redeploy" some employees, and may even recruit new blood for "key roles," all with an eye toward running the strongest possible team going forward. Though, we imagine that the recruitment bit won't fly well for those employees getting the sack.

Continue on below for the full press release from Lotus.

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Image Credit: Ian Hampton / Flickr CC 2.0

Complete set of Batmobile images snapped on streets of Detroit

Posted Sep 17th 2014 2:00PM



Detroiters have been spotting the newest Batmobile from the upcoming film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, for a few weeks now. The leaks were steady enough that director Zack Snyder even tweeted out a glossy (yet cropped) image of how the vehicle will actually appear in the movie.

Still, we were as happy as kids when we saw this new set of Batmobile spy shots come through today, as there's nothing like seeing this movie-star-car in a real-life setting to emphasize just how wild it really is.

As we discussed before, heavy doses of the outgoing Tumbler Batmobile can be seen in the XXL proportions and glancing armor plating of this new car, though the sleek domed cockpit harkens back to Tim Burton's vision for the thing. Take a look at some of the snaps with the Batmobile next to cars on the street, and you'll get an idea of just how long and wide it really is.

It's notable, too, that this version of The Dark Knight's wheels is, perhaps, the most overtly offensive from an armaments perspective. The twinned guns on the nose of the car are far less subtle than hidden weapons on other Batmobiles – a topic discussed in some length after the Snyder shot was released. Perhaps having some extra shells in the air will be helpful when going up against The Man of Steel?

Image Credit: Brian Williams / KGP Photography

Is it illegal to use the Apple Watch while driving?

Posted Sep 17th 2014 12:00PM

Apple Inc. Reveals Bigger-Screen iPhones Alongside Wearables

In conjunction with the typical Internet feeding frenzy that goes hand in hand with the announcement of each new iPhone, Apple has been cited in countless headlines this week after its debut of its new Apple Watch on September 9. The so-called "smartwatch" is far from an industry first – Samsung, Motorola and Pebble all have models on the market, and who can forget 2003's Fossil Wrist PDA? – but as per usual, Apple's entry is garnering more than its fair share of media attention.

The Apple Watch ("iWatch" to many) has also raised interest of a more ominous sort from certain regulatory bodies. Last week, multiple automotive outlets in the United Kingdom ran stories quoting officials from that country's Department for Transport as saying that use of an iWatch while driving would carry the same penalty as use of a mobile phone. For the Brits, then, getting nabbed checking an alert on one's wrist might mean the same 100-pound fine (about $175) that was instated last August. Could the use of an Apple Watch become illegal while driving under our similar distracted driving laws in Canada? We decided to find out... READ MORE

Should it be illegal to use the Apple Watch while driving?

News Source: IAM.org.uk, Distraction.gov, Auto Express

Image Credit: Bloomberg / Getty Images

Mercedes-AMG GT attacks Circuit of the Americas

Posted Sep 15th 2014 1:00PM



Mercedes-Benz is having a banner year with its Formula One team. Through 2014, the constructor has 454 championship points; ahead of its nearest competitor (Red Bull-Renault) by a margin of 182 tally marks. We're sure they can almost taste the champagne.

It's fitting then, and a little big cocky in a good way, that Mercedes has released a video of its newest sports car at an F1 venue. In this case, the car is the lovely Mercedes-AMG GT S, and the racetrack is Austin's Circuit of the Americas.

Having seen the official photo set and scratched the surface of the technical specifications earlier this week, we're excited to finally hear the thing run. As you might guess, the deployment of 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque from the twin-turbo V8 is a motivating experience. Crank up your volume, and hit that play button. (Oh, and Mercedes shot the thing in 4K, too, so those of you with expensive televisions/monitors should take heed to the settings.)

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News Source: Mercedes-AMG via YouTube

Leno samples steam cars, supercars, the Corvette Z06 and the wonders of Pebble Beach

Posted Sep 12th 2014 7:00PM



While Jay Leno's Garage was conceived to highlight the wonders of The Big Chin's eponymous storage facility, Leno does occasionally get out and into the larger world. A great excuse for a road trip was Pebble Beach and the festivities around Monterey, where Leno seemingly had a pretty full dance card.

In an episode aptly dubbed The Ultimate Car Week, our host takes us through a pretty representative selection of great things to see in and around Pebble. Starting with a ride-along in a steam car, Jay manages to check in on McLaren's newest supercar and drive the Alfa Romeo 4C along the way. Oh, and he swipes a look at the all-new Corvette Z06 (next to the original Z06), before hitting the Concourse d'Elegance, too.

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News Source: Jay Leno's Garage via YouTube

Donkervoort D8 GTO is the meanest Lotus 7 knock-off you've ever heard

Posted Sep 12th 2014 2:59PM



Dutch company Donkervoort may have launched its nutty D8 GTO a few years ago already, but that doesn't mean we find the car any less insane today. With 380 turbocharged horsepower produced by its Audi-sourced 2.5-litre engine, and just about 680 kilograms (1,500 pounds) to move around (plus driver), the Lotus 7-inspired two-seater is about as maniacal as it gets.

Only, of course, we North Americans don't get it.

Thankfully, the lucky ducks at British pub Xcar are allowed to play with this Dutch wonder, and have seen fit to film their last go in the carbon-fiber rocketship, too. In fact, the car they get to drive is the D8 GTO prototype, which is pretty rad. Check out one of the weirdest, wildest and most desirable pieces of forbidden fruit Europe has to tease us with, below.

News Source: Xcar via AOL ON

Autoblog remembers its favourite Ferrari models of the Montezemolo Era

Posted Sep 12th 2014 12:00PM

The Editors Make Hard Choices, Alliances Are Formed, Feelings Get Hurt

Germany Frankfurt Auto Show

Italian cars have a reputation for drawing out the fiery, emotional and passionate sides of car enthusiasts – something that becomes abundantly clear when you ask a group of Autoblog editors to rank a list of their favourites.

With the departure of Luca di Montezemolo from Ferrari being fresh on our collective minds today, your friendly team of editors started pleasantly discussing which of the cars launched during his era was our favourite. The conversation was rousing, so we thought it would be entertaining to put the choices to a quick ranked vote, and bring you a sort of Editors' Choice list for road-going Ferraris from the 1990s through today.

Then, of course, all hell broke loose.

A schism between defenders of the LaFerrari and the Enzo essentially nullified each others' votes (with five points awarded for a first place selection, down through one for a fifth). Meanwhile, the F12 consortium was aghast at the gall of the 599 supporters. And, though none of us are speaking to each other anymore, we did find collective love for a model you might not guess on first glance (it received only one first place vote). But you'll have to scroll down to read for yourselves how it all went down. God help us.

Image Credit: Frank Rumpenhorst / AP, Ferrari, Jfhweb / Flickr CC 2.0, Drew Phillips / AOL

Koenigsegg Agera R-based mule crashes during Nürburgring testing, two injured

Posted Sep 9th 2014 4:00PM



Ill news from our spy shooters at Germany's Nürburgring today, as we're saddened to report that the test of a Koenigsegg Agera R-based mule has gone very wrong.

As you can see from the sobering photos above, the Swedish supercar crashed while testing at the track, with both driver and passenger taken by ambulance to the hospital. Reports from our man on the ground are sketchy at best, but he does indicate that the driver was the more badly injured of the two in what is described as a "heavy crash into the barriers."

The Koenigsegg test session had included both the Agera R mule and a One:1 prototype. The gallery images of the car at speed were taken just a minute before the calamitous wreck.

The crash serves as yet another reminder of just how dangerous testing cars on the German road course can be. Just a month ago we reported on the fire of an Acura NSX test car – similarly dire in terms of imagery.

Our thoughts and best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery go out to the test driver and passenger.

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Image Credit: CarPix

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