The Good Oil: Rallying for all the family

Citroen DS3 cabrio.
Citroen DS3 cabrio.

A concept that headed up the hill last weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed was the rather improbable Citroen DS3 Cabrio Racing.

Not that the DS3 itself is all that improbable - after all, it is a brilliant little hot hatch - but the concept of celebrating Citroen's involvement in the World Rally Championship with a cabriolet is ever so slightly odd.

Still, with its matt grey paintwork, gloss black 19-inch alloy wheels and belting little 1.6-litre, 150kW engine it certainly seems the part.

But just to keep things impressively baffling, Citroen also released details of the matching rally helmets and - wait for this - child seat. Erm ... okay? Just the thing for those sunny afternoon rally stages with the family, we guess.

Car thieves develop new sense of taste - sort of

A report from the US Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) has found that the Cadillac Escalade has finally been toppled as the vehicle with the highest theft rate on US roads,
with the colossal Ford F-250 replacing it in the top spot.

The big Caddy has tumbled all the way to sixth on the list, with the HLDI saying that improved anti-theft technology has contributed to the Escalade's fall, along with its declining sales seeing less demand for ''dodgy'' parts.

Personally, The Good Oil prefers to think that car thieves have upped their standards, but given that the F-250 has stormed into the top spot, it seems they haven't.

Fit for a (very big) queen

Visitors to the Coronation Festival in the UK last week were able to get up close and personal with the Queen's personal ride; the massive Bentley State Limousine.

The unique Bentley was presented to the Queen in 2002 to mark her 50 years on the throne.

Work began on the project in 2000 and was designed to provide maximum visibility of the Queen (insert fishbowl joke here) as well as, no doubt, for her.

According to Bentley a ''model of the same height'' as the Queen was used to position the seats, and the doors open through 90 degrees, enabling her to ''almost walk out of the car''.

But we here at The Good Oil really don't care about any of that, it was the official photo that fascinated us; I mean, look at it! Either the driver is technically a jockey or that thing is truly massive.

We are the world

An Impala (the animal, not the car) in South Africa recently found an ingenious hiding place to escape from a cheetah that was pursuing it: the back of a Toyota Prado. The
fleeing Impala was caught on video making a desperate leap into a rear window on the Prado that the occupants had inexplicably rolled down when they saw the chase in action. Apparently no one was hurt, the Impala escaped and the Cheetah went hungry.

We've all been frustrated by waiting for the slow idiot in front at the drive-through, but probably not as frustrated as Jennifer Lynn Betterly, 24, of Florida. She was charged by
police with reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident after she rammed her Ford Focus into the vehicle in front of her at a KFC drive-through because she was angry that the woman in front was taking so long to place her order.

Caterham goes from sports to runabouts

It seems that the nasty rumours that surfaced last week suggesting that Caterham was going to instantly discard all that silly heritage it has built up by carrying on building the
Lotus Seven for far too long by building a small Renault-based SUV/Crossover are actually true!

Caterham chairman and F1 team boss Tony Fernandes has confirmed that the company will be expanding beyond its ''track-day special'' roots to build not just the SUV, but also a small city car.

The new offerings are destined for the Asian markets and are set for arrival in 2016.

They will be based on Renault platforms and the project looks to deepen the tie between the two companies that began when it was announced they would collaborate on a new sports car that will wear the Alpine badge.

Details about the cars are non-existent at this stage, but it has been suggested that the Range Rover Evoque has been the major inspiration for the project.

I guess if Lotus can decide to do something as silly as selling motorbikes with its name on, then Caterham just had to top that.

Project 7: more than just a fantasy

It seems Jaguar has got to the stage where it lets star designer Ian Callum do just about whatever the hell he likes. He seems to have the hang of it, so just let him go to it.

And go to it (again) he has, with the Jaguar Project 7 that made its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend.

Based on the newly launched F-Type two-seater sports car, the Project 7 is, according to Jaguar, an ''all-aluminium-bodied roadster featuring a Jaguar D-Type inspired fairing, bespoke carbon-fibre aerodynamic components, and a single-seat cockpit''.

''Project 7 is a single-seat sports car based on the F-Type, with the kind of racing-inspired form that designers dream about. It has one purpose: to be driven fast and enjoyed.

''Jaguar sports cars are known for exceptional performance and clean design. Project 7 captures that spirit in its purest form,'' said Callum about the design, which is essentially a schoolboy fantasy that he actually got paid to do.

But because Jaguar are still essentially run by mad Brits (despite the Indian ownership these days) the Project 7 is no pristine show-pony.

It is powered by a 5.0-litre, 410kW supercharged V8 and will rocket to 100km/h in 4.1 seconds and, yes, we have no doubt it would have made a glorious noise up the hill over the three days of Goodwood.

Number Crunching

238 KILOWATTS The power output of the twin-turbo 6.75-litre V8 that powers the Queen's Bentley limo

257 KILOMETRES PER HOUR The top speed of the current Popemobile, a Mercedes-Benz M-Class

29 LITRES PER 100KM The frightening fuel consumption of the US Presidential limo and it's a diesel!

6,155 MILLIMETRES The length of the Emperor of Japan's custom-built Toyota Century Royal that's as long as the massive Maybach 62. But WAY cooler.

- NZ Herald

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