CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Thursday, September 12, 2013

HOUSE AND CARS THEN AND NOW

 

HOUSE AND CARS THEN & NOW

Then and now: COUNTRY ESTATES

Sprawling £7m estate thought to be last resting place of Robin Hood up for sale for first time in 450 years

He is amongst the ultimate figures of folklore, and Robin Hood is well known for having robbed from the rich to give generously to the poor.

But only the very wealthiest will be able to afford the sprawling estate where the legendary outlaw is thought to have been buried.

Kirklees Estate, on the border of the West Yorkshire village of Hartshead, has been valued by London-based agents Strutt and Parker for £7m.

Kirklees Estate in West Yorkshire, where the remains of fabled outlaw Robin Hood are thought to be buried, is up for sale for the first time in centuries

Kirklees Estate in West Yorkshire, where the remains of fabled outlaw Robin Hood are thought to be buried, is up for sale for the first time in centuries

The huge asking price for the estate - which has gone on sale for the first time in 450 years - entitles the buyer to 750 acres of land, as well as the main house itself.

The sale also includes an annexe, two farmhouses and accompanying buildings, as well as a farm manager’s house and expansive woodland and gardens.

Formerly a Roman encampment called Kirkless Priory, the site is also, according to folklore, the final resting place of the scourge of the Sheriff of Nottingham himself, who it is believed died there and is buried in a tomb on the site.

As well as the famous burial site, the Kirklees Estate also spans 750 acres of land

As well as the famous burial site, the Kirklees Estate also spans 750 acres of land

The estate, owned by the Armytage family since the 16th century, is on the market for the first time in centuries

The estate, owned by the Armytage family since the 16th century, is on the market for the first time in centuries

Unsurprisingly for a figure whose life has inspired countless re-tellings and myths, the manner of his death is also shrouded in mystery.

Legend has it that Robin Hood, weakened by old age and illness and confined to his bed Hood, managed to pick up his bow and fire an arrow out of the window requesting to be buried where it landed.

To the northwest of his grave and also on the historical site, a Grade II listed monument displays the site of the original Norman encampment.

Scourge of the Sheriff of Nottingham, Robin Hood, is believed to be buried on the huge site

Scourge of the Sheriff of Nottingham, Robin Hood, is believed to be buried on the huge site

The Priory was constructed in 1135 by Lord of the Manor, Reyner le Flemyng, and remained occupied until Henry VIII the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century.

Estate agent Claire Whitfield, of Strutt and Parker, said: 'It is a unique opportunity to bring a property like this in both its scale and location.

'The estate represents a unique opportunity to create a very special country estate and despite being on the market for just a few days there has been lots of interest.'

Birthplace of former prime minister Sir Anthony Eden

The 25-acre grounds contain stables and staff quarters. Boasts 19th-century clocktower, billiard room, library and original fireplaces

It was used as a POW camp during World War II

Set in 25 acres of lush parkland and boasting a clocktower, stables and servants' quarters, this stately home was birthplace of former Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden in 1897.

So it was no surprise when the 19th-century Windlestone Hall was valued at almost £2million shortly after Durham County Council put it on the market six years ago.

Now, however, with the Grade II* listed magnificent country pile falling into disrespair, it has been sold off at a bargain £241,000.

Piece of history: Windlestone Hall is thought to have been valued at nearly £2million just a few years ago

Piece of history: Windlestone Hall is thought to have been valued at nearly £2million just a few years ago

Sign of distinction: The 19th-century clocktower would have been in place when former Prime Minister Anthony Eden was born here

Sign of distinction: The 19th-century clocktower would have been in place when former Prime Minister Anthony Eden was born here

Hall hall colour

Deserted for years: The house has not been used since 2003, when a local authority school moved out because it needed major repairs

Elegant decor: One of several ornate ceilings within the beautiful building

Elegant decor: One of several ornate ceilings within the beautiful building

Interior Windlestone Hall

In 2010, English Heritage refused the proposals by a developer who wanted to build luxury homes on the site 

Is property in France and Spain really that 'cheap' after the euro's dive?

Interest in European property on UK search portals is rocketing.

But is it really a good time to buy in the eurozone following the euro's sell-off?

Property is certainly cheaper for those buying in pounds - a €100,000 Normandy cottage now costs around £80,000 compared to £92,000 last summer.

Living the dream: This luxury pad in Costa de La Luz was sold to rugby international Matt Dawson for £1.13m at the top of the market in 2007. It's likely to be worth a fraction of that today

Living the dream: This luxury pad in Costa de La Luz was sold to rugby international Matt Dawson for £1.13m at the top of the market in 2007. It's likely to be worth a fraction of that today

Some claim to offer repossessed flats in Spain at a huge discount with ‘100 per cent mortgages’.

We advise extreme caution about such claims and about diving in full stop.

Spain’s uncertain economic future is one reason to be cautious, but there’s many more, as Dan Hyde and Lauren Thompson explain here.

House prices in Spain and France remain dangerously over-priced, based on their historical average versus rents.

This is a good measure to start with.

It gauges fair value for properties in the same way that a price-to-earnings ratio does for a share on the stock market. In short, you divide the price by the annual earnings of a property then compare this against the average for the past 20 years.

Taking the plunge: A fully furnished three-bedroom villa Mazarrón on the Costa Blanca was up for £191,115 last year - but prices are falling fast

Taking the plunge: A fully furnished three-bedroom villa Mazarrón on the Costa Blanca was up for £191,115 last year - but prices are falling fast

It gives an indication of how far out of kilter the market is today versus its historic norm.

Helpfully, The Economist magazine evaluates all major property markets every three months based on this measure and it combines it with another credible gauge - house prices vs wages.

Its latest study in April concluded that house prices in Spain, which were down nearly 7 per cent on a year earlier, were 27 per cent overvalued.

It was far worse for France. The Economist estimated that a 4 per cent annual rise in prices there had left the market a whopping 47 per cent overvalued.

Britain, in contrast, was judged to be 22 per cent too expensive.

Cheap markets include the U.S. and Germany, both are 19 per cent undervalued, and Japan, which is  a bargain 35 per cent below fair value.

If you want to get even more technical, economists at the forecasting group, Vox, have taken this measure further to calculate overvaluation. The chart of Spain gives food for thought.

The rents measure is not perfect, or the prices vs wages measure, but they are probably the best we have for valuing property markets.

'FRENCH PROPERTY TO RISE - AND THEN FALL UP TO 20%'

Analysis by Danske bank last month painted a gloomy picture for French house prices.

Analyst Frank Olnad Hansen wrote in a broker note: 'We see signs of a bubble in the French housing market and would not be surprised to see French house prices declining 10-20 per cent in coming years.'

Danke said French house prices saw only a minor fall during the financial crisis, rose in 2009 and reached all-time highs in the autumn of 2011 - up 121 per cent since 2000.

It says prices were flat towards the end of last year in Paris and fell slightly in the rest of France, in cities with a population of more than 10,000.

Hansen added: 'The big question is whether this is the beginning of a larger correction in the French housing market. There are several indications that it might be.'

He pointed to signs of a slowdown - fewer mortgages being taken and permits to build new homes - and lenders making provisions for bad debts. He's also concerned about a tightening of the credit purse strings.

'There is little doubt in our minds that the French housing market at the current juncture is vulnerable to a sharp rise in interest rates,' he wrote, although with the current financial woes, the European Central Bank is unlikely to order a hike in the foreseeable future.

Hansen does not believe that the ECB will raise interest rates before 2014 and thinks that French house prices might be able 'to rise strongly on an unsustainable path' for a couple of years making the eventual 'pop' much larger.

Some prefer to latch on to the 'affordability' of property markets (prices vs mortgage repayments) - although it's quite often vested interests keen to talk up the market who do so. Because interest rates are so low, mortgage repayments are low, making markets look cheap.

Other concerns are that the euro, at best, faces more volatility and, at worst, could break up.

Britain's financial future is uncertain but the fortunes of France could be considerably worse if the euro implodes. Spain's economy is already in tatters with unemployment at 25 per cent. And as for Greece, exit from the euro would see property investments crash overnight in sterling terms.

As the Mail on Sunday pointed out this week: 'No one knows how much chaos would result from an exit, if it happened – but the prospect has caused the price of properties in Greece and elsewhere to fall [read the full report].'

Buying Greek property is a huge gamble on the country's future. The odds are slightly better with Spain, but it's still a big roll of the dice.

You should also consider that even if a property market does reach its historic 'fair value', prices could still fall further.

Consider America, which on The Economist's measure, has swung from being wildly overpriced to being 19 per cent too cheap.

But Robert Shiller, the man behind the country's S&P-Case Shiller house price index and a highly regarded economist, says the market has further to fall because of the over-supply of homes: too many were built and remain empty.

Shiller told Bloomberg TV earlier today: 'I'm looking for another 20 per cent decline and that is what it would take to bring them back to the long-term averages.'

It should be noted that Spain has a similar problem with a huge over-supply of houses - and the vast majority of its construction boom was centred on the Costas.

The Economist concludes: 'European house prices came under downward pressure [late in 2011]. The pace of depreciation quickened around the periphery of the eurozone. Appreciation slowed in Germany and France. The euro area’s downturn probably continued into the first quarter of 2012 and may persist beyond that. Unemployment is rising across the continent and banks are under pressure to shore up balance-sheets.

'Prices will struggle to rise in such conditions, in over- and undervalued markets alike.'

C'est la vie: The future price for homes like this four-bedroom villa for sale in Avignon, France, for ¿895,000 is uncertain

C'est la vie: The future price for homes like this four-bedroom villa for sale in Avignon, France, for ¿895,000 is uncertain

How European property markets have fared

Despite the crisis engulfing the eurozone, house prices in France have done surprisingly well, rising more than 7 per cent in 2010 and at only a slightly slower pace last year.

Real prices, with inflation factored in, are down 27 per cent since the peak in Spain but down just 7.6 per cent in France. The fall was more than 30 per cent in the UK.

In like-for-like terms, France's homes seem far cheaper than comparatives.  A four-bedroom house in Somerset will cost more than double the cost of an equivalent in Normandy, for example. This is largely because France is a sparsely populated country with 295 people per square mile compared with Britain (660 /sq mile) or Germany (593 /sq mile).

So density has a bearing on house prices. But as events have shown in recent years, the state of the economy - and the amount of lending from banks - has the most dynamic impact.

The chart below, from a report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, shows the markets falling fastest have been Ireland and Spain.

Both countries built far too many homes, encouraged by profligate lending from banks: read our full report.

RICS European house prices league table:

RICS European house prices league table: The countries with the weakest economies have suffered huge dips

 


Opulent fashion: Classical mouldings shaped like swirling leaves and baskets of flowers decorate walls and ceilings throughout the mansion

Generations of happy families: Hall as viewed from the former pleasure gardens with the clocktower in the background

 

Affluent past: Staff quarters and a stable are situated in the extensive grounds

Affluent past: Staff quarters and a stable are situated in the extensive grounds

Born at the hall: Anthony Eden was born at Windlestone in 1897, before going on to become Conservative Prime Minister in the fifties

Born at the hall: Anthony Eden was born at Windlestone in 1897, before going on to become Conservative Prime Minister in the fifties

County Councillor John Shuttleworth said: 'The council might say they have got good value for it, but I wonder.

'My worry is that at a time when the authority needs all the money it can get this is another example of cash being frittered away.'

The council’s bill for securing the hall, £81,000 a year, is thought to be another reason for the sale.

Windlestone was first marketed by the authority in 2006, when it found a buyer who intended converting it and demolishing unlisted parts for luxury flats - but lengthy planning wrangles meant the deal was never concluded.

The new owners do not want their identity to be revealed.

They said: 'It is a private home which is going to be renovated back to its original splendour.'

Michael Gilbey, Durham County Council’s area estate manager, said: 'The council began marketing the property in 2006 and an offer was accepted at that time, but was subject to planning consent.

'The developer spent a number of years negotiating with English Heritage over the scheme, but in 2010 English Heritage refused the proposals.

'We were looking at alternative options when we received an expression of interest, which culminated in the sale of the property.

'We are obliged to obtain the best value for a property.

'In order to meet this requirement, we had to provide 24-hour security for the property while it was vacant, in order to protect it from vandals and metal thieves.'

Gorgeous setting: Windlestone lies within 25 acres of lush parkland

Gorgeous setting: Windlestone lies within 25 acres of lush parkland

Grand interior: The hall boasts a library with dummy bookshelf, many original staircases and fireplaces - but needs major repairs

Grand interior: The hall boasts a library with dummy bookshelf, many original staircases and fireplaces - but needs major repairs

Upstairs downstairs: The northern elevation of the former staff accommodation

Upstairs downstairs: The northern elevation of the former staff accommodation

 

The house that time forgot: Hundreds of antiques discovered in country mansion where little has changed in 100 years

  • Auctioneers discovered a treasure trove of antiques inside The Hermitage
  • They discovered wine from 1914 and Champagne from 1919
  • Also discovered family photographs spanning almost 100 years
  • Contents of the house will be auctioned in 1,500 lots

Thousands of people have driven past this mansion over the years and looked at its impressive exterior. But few could have imagined the secrets which the 18th Century building holds inside. The mansion, called The Hermitage, in Northumberland, has been described as the house 'that time forgot'.

Antiques: Items untouched for almost 100 years were discovered amongst the 28 rooms in 18th Century mansion The Hermitage in Hexham, Northumberland

Antiques: Items untouched for almost 100 years were discovered amongst the 28 rooms in 18th Century mansion The Hermitage in Hexham, Northumberland

Secrets: The cellars of the house included unopened Champagne bottles from 1919, some in their original tissue paper, and wine from 1914

Secrets: The cellars of the house included unopened Champagne bottles from 1919, some in their original tissue paper, and wine from 1914

Impressive: Thousands of people would have driven past this stunning house over the years, but few could have guessed about its treasures inside

Impressive: Thousands of people would have driven past this stunning house over the years, but few could have guessed about its treasures inside. When auctioneers entered the home recently they discovered a treasure trove of antiques dating back 100 years. Wine from 1914 was discovered along with Champagne from 1919. They also discovered a copy of a 1938  magazine as well as family photographs spanning almost 100 years. Andrew McCoull, managing director of Newcastle based auction house Anderson & Garland, said: 'Time had stood still and the house took on the qualities of a museum. It was a once-in-a-career experience. 'The Hermitage must be one of Hexham's most important and certainly the most hidden home. Thousands will have driven past its entrance, totally oblivious of this fine mansion house. 'The children's toys in the nursery had been left intact. There were christening gowns and rattles sent from London, and charts kept by the children's nanny.

'In the cellars were unopened Champagne bottles from 1919, some in their original tissue paper and packing cases, and 1914 wine. 'Cosmetics and pharmaceutical items, from the 1920s and 1940s, crowded the medicine cupboard. There were diaries and household accounts giving insights into a bygone age of servants, while fishing and hunting records spoke of house parties.

For sale: The contents of the house on the edge of Hexham, described as a 'treasure trove' will be auctioned in 1,500 lots in Newcastle

For sale: The contents of the house on the edge of Hexham, described as a 'treasure trove' will be auctioned in 1,500 lots in Newcastle

Ancient: Pharmaceutical items from the 1920s crowded this medicine cupboard

Ancient: Pharmaceutical items from the 1920s crowded this medicine cupboard. 'Clothes, including military uniforms, were hanging up as if they had just been taken off. 'In the library there was a copy of a 1938 edition of The Field magazine in the rack and there were family photographs spanning almost 100 years. 'In the main bedroom there were wash bowl sets and rooms had wallpaper from the 1920s and 1930s.' The house had been let by owners the Allgood family in 1922 to Brigadier General Hubert Horatio Morant, who had married Isabella Helen Coppin Straker in 1914. Their three children, Doreen Shirley, who died earlier this year, Alice Bettine, who died in 2008, and Major John Locke Straker, who passed away in 1971, all remained unmarried. The contents of the house on the edge of Hexham, described by Mr McCoull as a 'treasure trove', will be auctioned in 1,500 lots at Anderson & Garland's Newcastle base from June 18-21.

Hidden: This now empty 18th Century building had become a time capsule. This image shows the inside of one of the rooms

Hidden: This now empty 18th Century building had become a time capsule. This image shows the inside of one of the rooms

Stored away were also Brigadier General Morant's diaries and letters to his wife from the First World War.

Historic: Jackie Eltringham tries on a Durham Light Infantry helmet - one of the items discovered in the Hermitage

Historic: Jackie Eltringham tries on a Durham Light Infantry helmet - one of the items discovered in the Hermitage. 'What was striking was the enormity of it all, the sheer quantity of memorabilia and ephemera which would normally have been thrown out and which told how a family in the inter-war years lived, and what they did,' said Mr McCoull. 'The Hermitage is a rare survival of a house on a grand scale where the Morant family lived for 90 years and threw little away. 'Items no longer required were neatly wrapped in newspaper, tied with string and stored in the extensive attics. The contents offer us a rare glimpse of life in the inter-war period. 'Only once in a career are you fortunate enough to see a home such as this which has been inhabited but - highly unusually - also left alone to this extent. 'With the sheer scale of the property, the family's possessions could be stored in different cupboards, rooms, lofts and buildings and little was ever disposed of. 'As such, stepping into The Hermitage has been like stepping back in time. The sisters were characters and involved in the community.' Simon Morant, a cousin of the family, said: 'Following the death of Brigadier General Morant and his wife, their son and two daughters stayed at the property until they also died. 'I knew the two Miss Morants, Doreen and Bettine, and had the opportunity to go around the property. That said, even I was not aware to what extent their goods and belongings had accumulated. 'We have taken some of the more poignant things from the estate, including letters from 1840 between my family and theirs, but we very much hope that the remainder of the belongings go somewhere where they will be appreciated.'

 

 

 

 

Opulent fashion: Classical mouldings shaped like swirling leaves and baskets of flowers decorate walls and ceilings throughout the mansion

The rock-bottom selling price of the beautiful building is particularly bizarre in view of its grand history and beautiful features.

The U-shaped home, near Rushyford, County Durham, has a billiard room, a library with a dummy bookcase leading to its gallery, stables, separate staff quarters and many original marble fireplaces.

Elegant Doric columns and triglyph friezes adorn the house alongside Tudor and Jacobean finishings and classical mouldings shaped like swirling leaves, baskets of flowers and thick trails of plants.

Although in need of urgent repair work, its final selling price has prompted anger from one councillor, who claims owners Durham County Council could have made up to £2million on the sale.

Windlestone Hall staircase Window

The charming house features grand staircases, Doric order columns and 12 bay windows at the front. Generations of happy families: Hall as viewed from the former pleasure gardens with the clocktower in the background

v Hallway

The Hall has a billiard room, a library with a dummy bookcase leading to its gallery and a drawing roomIn 1835, the fifth Baronet, Robert Johnson Eden, replaced his 16th century manor house with Windlestone Hall - a new mansion designed by architect Ignatius Bonomi.

Enlarge

 Enduring designs: Map showing the listed buildings in and around the 19th-century home

Enduring designs: Map showing the listed buildings in and around the 19th-century home. 'As the hall is a grade II* listed building, we were obliged by law to protect and maintain it while it was under our ownership. The house had a 12-bay balustraded frontage to the east and a balustaded Doric order colonnade across nine bays of the ground floor.
On the death of the fifth Baronet in 1844, the estate and Baronetcy passed to his cousin, Sir William Eden, the fourth Eden of Maryland Baronet and High Sheriff of Durham in 1848.

Anthony Eden was born there in 1897 and later served as a cabinet minister before becoming prime minister from 1955 to 1957.

The estate was then used as a prisoner of war camp for female German prisoners during the Second World War, and afterwards adapted by the council to serve as a school for youngsters with emotional and behavioral difficulties for nearly 50 years.

Glorious countryside: An earlier prospective buyer wanted to build luxury flats on the site - but the new owners intend to restore the home to its former splendourGlorious countryside: An earlier prospective buyer wanted to build luxury flats on the site - but the new owners intend to restore the home to its former splendor.

 

One of Britain's most expensive country homes has gone on the market - and it really is fit for a Queen. The Grade I listed Mynde Park, set in a 1,180-acre estate, has a right royal price tag - a princely £15m. But the estate agents handling the sale say there is no shortage of potential buyers wanting to view the property.

Home fit for royalty: The Queen held a picnic at the property in rural Herefordshire for 3,000 guests

Home fit for royalty: Mynde Park is Grade I listed and was completely renovated over a three year project by the current owners. The Queen held a picnic here in rural Herefordshire for 3,000 guests in 2003

Expensive taste: One of Britain's most expensive country homes has gone on the market for £15million

It is one of Britain's most expensive country homes and has gone on the market for £15million. Craig Hamilton, the renowned architect, oversaw the restoration including the kitchen and study extension with private walled garden

Mynde Park estate

‘The King’s Hall was described by Nikolaus Pevsner (architectural historian) as 'the finest room in Herefordshire', and has vast ceiling heights and remarkable plaster work. It takes up a large proportion of the house.

Listed: The house has 12 bedrooms, 10 of them ensuites, a drawing room, library, study and morning room

Listed: The house has 12 bedrooms, 10 of them ensuites, a drawing room, library, study and morning room. The spacious master bedroom has two dressing rooms, bathroom and shower

Stately: The estate agents handling the sale say there is no shortage of potential buyers

Stately: The estate agents handling the sale say there is no shortage of potential buyer. The extended kitchen is a wonderful family space with dining and sitting area with door out to the garden

And the guided tour can take up to four hours because there's so much to see. The Queen held a picnic at the property in rural Herefordshire for 3,000 guests. Clive Hopkins, head of Farms and Estates for Knight Frank estate agents, said: 'It is a unique property, one of the finest anywhere in the country. 'We are getting interest from international clients, from Eastern Europe and other parts of the world.'

Most of the ground floor of the Manor House is taken up by a dining room known as the King's Hall

The dining room retains its original panelling, has a fireplace at either end and would comfortably seat at least 24 people

The guided tour of the house can take up to four hours because there's so much to see

The guided tour of the house can take up to four hours because there's so much to see. The drawing room, off the great hall, is one of the many entertaining spaces in the house

Local historians said Mynde Park dates back to 1350 and was once the home of Walter Pye, attorney-general to Charles I

Mynde Park dates back to 1350 and was once the home of Walter Pye, attorney-general to Charles I. The library room enjoys views over the surrounding countryside. But the house also has 12 bedrooms, 10 of them ensuites, a drawing room, library, study, morning room, billiard room, games room, two kitchens and various cellars. The London office of Knight Frank describe the house near the village of Much Dewchurch as 'deceptively compact' inside. A separate five-bedroomed house - the Little Mynde - stands in the grounds, along with six cottages and an entrance lodge. The manor is approached along a mile-long private 'carriage drive' with views of the swimming pool, gardens, lake and the surrounding Herefordshire countryside. Local historians said Mynde Park dates back to 1350 and was once the home of Walter Pye, attorney-general to Charles I.

The Grade I listed Mynde Park house is set in a 1,180-acre estate in Herefordshire

Mynde Park house is set in 1,180-acres of prime arable land with stunning undulating countryside

Picturesque: The Mynde Park estate has a royal price tag of £15million

Mynde Park has views looking out over its own lake

The house was later acquired by the Duke of Chandos who, in 1709, added the King's Hall with its Buggatti and Attari plasterwork. It is currently owned by Caroline and Audley Twiston-Davies, whose daughter Antonia was a God-daughter of Princess Diana.

The Twiston-Davies family spent four years and millions of pounds restoring the manor house to its former glory 10 years ago. The estate hosted the Queen, Prince Philip and 3,000 guests at a picnic in the grounds in 2003. Mr Hopkins said: 'The joy of the manor house is it stands in the middle of its own land at the end of a mile-long drive. 'It will appeal to someone who wishes to be the master of all they survey. 'It is a rare property because this isn't about the location - it could be anywhere in Britain. 'It's all about the property, its grounds and its history,. That's what makes it unique. 'It's only been on the market for two weeks but it is attracting a lot of people and we've shown a few around.'

The great outdoors: The house has been on the market for two weeks but is already attracting a lot of interest

The great outdoors: The house has been on the market for two weeks but is already attracting a lot of interest

The estate hosted the Queen, Prince Philip and 3,000 guests at a picnic in the grounds in 2003

The estate hosted the Queen, Prince Philip and 3,000 guests at a picnic in the grounds in 2003

Regal: The agents handling the sale say there is no shortage of potential buyers wanting to view the house

Regal: The agents handling the sale say there is no shortage of potential buyers wanting to view the house

 

 

A £1m street (lighthouse not included): Five cottages in Britain's most isolated street.... and some of our best sea views are thrown in for free

Yours for less than £1million, an entire row of cottages ... with one very large street light.

Perched on the top of a cliff, the five properties boast south-facing gardens and sea views.

But there is one snag – you will probably need extra-thick curtains because there’s a fully-operational lighthouse and helipad on your doorstep.

Awesome view: Four of the five cottages date back to 1938 with the last built around 1970

Awesome view: Four of the five cottages date back to 1938 with the last built around 1970

Clifftop: The five properties can be seen, right, next to a helicopter launch pad and a lighthouse which is now unoccupied

Clifftop: The five properties can be seen, right, next to a helicopter launch pad and a lighthouse which is now unoccupied

The cottages situated on St Ann’s Head on the south west tip of Pembrokeshire in Wales used to be used as accommodation for lighthouse keepers.

But they have been empty for over a decade since the lighthouse became automated.

Consisting of four three-bedroom houses and one with two bedrooms, the whole row is on the market for £950,000. They are currently owned by Trinity House Corporation, which maintains all of the functioning lighthouses in England and Wales.

Amy Thomas, of Cardiff-based chartered surveyors Cooke and Arkwright, said: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity to purchase a property in a unique and idyllic coastal location.

They offer a perfect opportunity for someone looking for a renovation project.’

It would be the perfect hideaway for anyone who has sung along to the song: 'I want to marry a lighthouse keeper...'

The terrace of cottages has been lying empty for a decade and they are being sold by Trinity House who run all the lighthouses in England and Wales. They have been given a list price of £950,000.

The two lighthouses on the section of coastline have been electrified since 1998.

Estate agent Amy Thomas said: 'It is a fantastic opportunity to purchase a property in a unique and idyllic coastal location.

'The cottages were previously used to house the lighthouse keepers and their families, looking after various lights along the Pembrokeshire coastline.

Lighthouse keeper's properties with a sea view: The five clifftop properties at St Ann's Head in Pembrokeshire, three miles from the nearest town. The lighthouse is not for sale

Lighthouse keeper's properties with a sea view: The five clifftop properties at St Ann's Head in Pembrokeshire, three miles from the nearest town. The lighthouse is not for sale

'The cottages have been vacant for approximately 10 years - and are in need refurbishment.

'However, they offer a perfect opportunity for someone looking for a renovation project.'

The idyllic cottages are part of a complex of properties at the remote spot.

Also on the site but not for sale are two lighthouses, a helipad, a helicopter transit lounge and a former fog horn house.

The money from the sale will go to the Trinity House Corporation which has maintained lighthouses and safety for mariners since they were granted a Royal Charter in 1514.

Four of the five cottages date back to 1938 with the last built around 1970.

A lighthouse has been on the site since 1712 to warn seafarers of the dangerous jagged rocks jutting in the Irish Sea.

Miss Thomas, of Cardiff-based agents Cooke and Arkwright, said: 'Two lighthouses were were fuelled by coal fires.

Amazing sea view: The row of cottages which are also available for sale individually. They are all in a poor state of repair

Amazing sea view: The row of cottages which are also available for sale individually. They are all in a poor state of repair

Stunning: The five properties, available for less than £1m together, have some of the best coastal views in Britain but all require modernisation as they have been empty for a decade

Stunning: The five properties, available for less than £1m together, have some of the best coastal views in Britain but all require modernisation as they have been empty for a decade

'The existing lighthouse tower was constructed in 1844. The lighthouse was electrified in 1958 and automated in 1998.'

The lighthouse will carry on blinking away on the headland as a warning to shipping lighting up the night sky outside.

The nearest village of Dale is three miles away - but the real beauty is the panoramic views of the islands of Skomer and Skokholm with puffins, manx shearwaters and guillemots.

Four of the five homes have three bedrooms while the last one has two bedrooms. Each boasts nine-inch thick walls to withstand the battering of the sea and winds.

But Miss Thomas warned: 'The cottages have been vacant for some time and require total refurbishment. But it could be a bargain for the right person.'

Remote hideaway: The five terraced homes at St Anne's Head, are at one of the most westerly points in Wales

Remote hideaway: The five terraced homes at St Anne's Head, are at one of the most westerly points in Wales

Run down: The properties were occupied by lighthouse keepers but the lighthouses were electrified in 1998 so they are no longer needed

Run down: The properties were occupied by lighthouse keepers but the lighthouses were electrified in 1998 so they are no longer needed

Green: The cottages have stunning views and there is a helicopter pad nearby. It is thought that a developer may purchase them to renovate

Green: The cottages have stunning views and there is a helicopter pad nearby. It is thought that a developer may purchase them to renovate

Spectacular: The row of five terraced properties virtually stand alone on the remote, but beautiful, stretch of coastline

Spectacular: The row of five terraced properties virtually stand alone on the remote, but beautiful, stretch of coastline

Coastal paradise: Four of the five homes have three bedrooms while the last one has two bedrooms. Each boasts nine-inch thick walls to withstand the battering of the sea and winds

Coastal paradise: Four of the five homes have three bedrooms while the last one has two bedrooms. Each boasts nine-inch thick walls to withstand the battering of the sea and winds

Remote: Remarkable aerial image of the coastline shows just how isolated the five properties are

On paper the sprawling multi-million pound castle looks perfect, but is that tenth bedroom a little on the small side? Super wealthy prospective house buyers are being provided with a novel try-before-you-buy scheme to entice them to part with vast sums of money for a deluxe new home. Property company Clarenco has made the unusual offer after deciding to sell six properties in its portfolio, including stately homes and a castle.

Eight bedroom Happisburgh Manor in Norfolk comes with a heated pool and is on the market for £800,000

With it's unusual frontage and thatched roof eight bedroom Happisburgh Manor in Norfolk looks like an idyllic country home. It also comes with a heated pool and is on the market for £800,000

White meets beige in a bedroom at Happisburgh Manor in Norfolk and the wide windows ensure that plenty of light can enter the room

White meets beige in a bedroom at Happisburgh Manor in Norfolk and the wide windows ensure plenty of light gets in

Wooden paneling and beams give the dining room at Happisburgh Manor an airy light feel, while the giant rug adds decadence

Wooden paneling and beams give the dining room at Happisburgh Manor an airy light feel, while the giant rug adds an air of decadence

The modern-looking gym at Happisburgh Manor features a rowing machine and a bike. It also has a massage bed in the adjacent room

The modern-looking gym at Happisburgh Manor is complete with a rowing machine and a bike. It also has a massage bed in the adjacent room

The drawing room at Happisburgh Manor features a fire and a coat of arms. There is also a huge mirror and plenty of comfortable chairs

The drawing room at Happisburgh Manor features a fire and a coat of arms. There is also a huge mirror and plenty of comfortable chairs

Potential purchasers are being given the chance to rent out country piles for a weekend to get a true feel of what it would be like to live there. If they go on to buy the property the rental cost will be taken off the sale price.

The stunning homes which went on the market in August were all bought and restored by Clarenco in 2010 and include Happisburgh Manor in Norfolk - with a price tag of £800,000 and Tempsford Mill in Bedfordshire, on sale for £2.8million.

the properties are currently being used as holiday lets, while a sixth, Bath Lodge Castle, is a hotel. However, all are now being sold as individual residencies.

Despite each boasting between eight and ten bedrooms, the properties are actually the smallest in Clarenco's portfolio which also features an abbey and a Napoleonic sea port.

The stunning Tempsford Mill in Bedfordshire which overlooks the River Ivel and includes 6.5 acres of land. It also includes a renovated old mill, a newer extension and outbuildings

The stunning Tempsford Mill in Bedfordshire overlooks the River Ivel and includes 6.5 acres of land. It also comes with a renovated old mill, a newer extension and outbuildings - it is on the market for £2.8million

Tempsford Mill bedroom

The main bedroom at Tempsford Mill has a crisp but simple finish and features a striking purple-backed double bed

Although it has a modern finish the kitchen at Tempsford Mill still has original features from its former days as a mill

Although it has a modern finish the kitchen at Tempsford Mill still has original features from its former days as a mill

There is plenty of room to entertain guests in the main lounge at Tempsford Mill on the white sofas complete with plack and gold cushions

There is plenty of room to entertain guests in the main lounge at Tempsford Mill on the white sofas complete with plack and gold cushions

The dining room at Tempsford Mill oozes with elegance and features a large window and bookshelf

The dining room at Tempsford Mill oozes with elegance and features a large window and bookshelf

Clarenco was established by Dream beds founder Mike Clare, and estate's director David Lobb said he hoped the decision to market the properties in such an unusual way would prove to be a successful one.

He said: 'Given the unique nature of the properties and difficult market conditions, we are looking for a different approach to selling the properties.

'Every year hundreds of people take a luxury break in our fully refurbished country retreats and comment on how beautiful and unusual each of them are. This offer gives potential buyers a chance to experience their beauty and tranquillity before they decide if they want to own one of them.'

Managing director, Suzanne Taylor added: 'The sale of the properties is to fund the expansion of the Clarenco portfolio of unusual and luxury venues in the UK, which are used for weddings, exclusive use, corporate hire and luxury breaks.'

Set in 3.5 acres the historic Bath Lodge Castle near bath features ten bedrooms as well as a huge garden and woodland. Starting price is £1.75million

Set in 3.5 acres the historic Bath Lodge Castle near bath features ten bedrooms as well as a huge garden and woodland. Starting price is £1.75million

With purple curtains and a period piece wardrobe in the corner the main bedroom at Bath Lodge Castle looks fit for royalty

With purple curtains and a period piece wardrobe in the corner the main bedroom at Bath Lodge Castle looks fit for royalty

A chandelier hangs over the fruit bowl on the rustic wooden table in the breakfast room of Bath Lodge Castle

The chandelier hangs over the beautiful rustic wooden table in the dining room area at Bath Lodge Castle

Candles hang from the ceiling and light up the table to give a sense of medieval times at the long dining table in Bath Lodge Castle

Candles in the ceiling light up the table to give a sense of medieval times at the long dining table in Bath Lodge Castle

Stone walls and a striking fireplace stand out as the feature pieces in the drawing room at Bath Lodge Castle

Stone walls and a striking fireplace stand out as the feature pieces in the drawing room at Bath Lodge Castle

The large reception area is furnished with large leather chairs a stag light stand and a antique wooden chair

The large reception area at Bath Lodge Castle is furnished with large leather chairs a stag light stand and a antique wooden chair

The properties are available for rent at between £550 and £1,500 a night.

Two of the properties for sale are being marketed by Savills: Beau Castle in Worcestershire (£2.3million) and Bath Lodge Castle in Somerset (£1.75million). Plas Cilybebyll, a beautiful nine-bedroom home in Neath (£1.5million) is being sold by Savills and Fine & Country.

Happisburgh Manor (£800,000) and Old Morley Hall in Norfolk (£2.5million) are being sold by Savills and Strutt & Parker; Tempsford Mill (£2.8million) in Bedrforshire is being sold by Fine & Country.

The interestingly-shaped Beau Castle in Worcestershire is located on a hill overlooking Wyre Forest and includes nine bedrooms. Offers start at £2.8million

The interestingly-shaped Beau Castle in Worcestershire is located on a hill overlooking Wyre Forest and includes nine bedrooms. Offers start at £2.8million

Even the toilet looks special at Beau Castle with steps leading up to it. The bathroom also features a huge mirror and plenty of cupboard space

Even the toilet looks special at Beau Castle with steps leading up to it. The bathroom also features a huge mirror and plenty of cupboard space

Remote: Remarkable aerial image of the coastline shows just how isolated the five properties are

California isn't what it used to be, back in the days of swimming pools and movie stars. The state grew at a slower clip the past decade than during any other in its 160-year history, according to the census. Demographers question whether the boom-time growth will ever return. Click on a photo to compare a historical image — when the area was up-and-coming — to a present-day image.

THENNOW

What do Scottsdale, Arizona, Syracuse in upstate New York and the San Juan Islands off Washington have in common? They are all home to some of the most architecturally inspiring addresses in the United States.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has handed out the 2012 Housing Awards to projects at the pinnacle of design, creativity and sustainability.

The jury recognized projects in four categories - custom-built homes for one family, large structures which sleep many individuals in their own apartments and specialized buildings such as community centers.

The ten homes selected were: The Nakahouse, a space-age home in the Hollywood Hills; Relic Rock, a luxury home in Scottsdale, Arizona; The Pierre, a strange stone inspired home in the San Juan Islands off Washington state; The Camelview Village, a futuristic condo complex in Scottsdale, Arizona; Hampden Lane House in Bethesda, Maryland; The Live Work Home in Syracuse, New York; the luxury Carmel residence in Carmel-by-Sea, California; a new Jesuit Community centre in Fairfield, Connecticut; new low-budget homes in San Francisco and new college halls of residence in Houston, Texas.

Otherwordly homestead: Optima Camelview Village is a 700-unit condominium development comprised of eleven buildings linked by bridges in Scottsdale, Arizona

Otherwordly homestead: Optima Camelview Village is a 700-unit condominium development comprised of eleven buildings linked by bridges in Scottsdale, Arizona

Spiritual setting: The Arizona complex draws inspiration from the surrounding mountains and Native American desert communities

Spiritual setting: The Arizona complex draws inspiration from the surrounding mountains and Native American desert communities

Sit back and relax in your surroundings: A lounge area in the Optima Camelview Village in Scottsdale

Sit back and relax in your surroundings: A lounge area in the Optima Camelview Village in Scottsdale

The American Institute of Architects was established 150 years ago and has more then 79,000 members.

The One and Two Family Custom Residences award focus on remodelling of homes for individual clients. The Carmel Residence in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California was completed by Dirk Denison Architects. The owners wanted to marry a space that worked with the beauty of the natural surroundings and the nearby Pacific Ocean.

All rooms flow from a central courtyard with nooks for the kitchen and office spaces. Areas are separated by screens of solid mahogany and steel which move to allow air and light to circulate throughout the home.

The Hampden Lane House in Bethesda, Maryland by architect Robert M. Gurney is a simple cube where all spaces are utilized. It stands out from others in the neighbor for its style - but nevertheless is an environmentally conscious project.

Nakahouse in Los Angeles, by XTEN Architecture, is an abstract remodel of a 1960s hillside house with fluid indoor - outdoor spaces. Its cantilevered terraces and stark monochrome interior - white steel, plaster and concrete along with deep black plaster walls - give it a futuristic look despite its glamorous location under the Hollywood sign.

Inspired by its surroundings: Located in Carmel Bay, California, the Carmel Residence was conceived around one central room

Inspired by its surroundings: Located in Carmel Bay, California, the Carmel Residence was conceived around one central room

California dream: The home by the coast has niche spaces that hide the kitchen and bedrooms around a central area paneled in solid mahogany and glass sliding doors

California dream: The home by the coast has niche spaces that hide the kitchen and bedrooms around a central area paneled in solid mahogany and glass sliding doors

The art of zen: The open plan nature of the Carmel property allows air and natural light to flow through the entire home

The art of zen: The open plan nature of the Carmel property allows air and natural light to flow through the entire home

The Pierre on the San Juan Islands, Washington was created by Olson Kundig Architects. The owner's desire to use stone throughout the home led to its name (pierre is stone in French). It was conceived as a bunker and is almost camouflaged by the nature which surrounds it.

Rock extrudes into the home, sitting at odds with more luxurious furnishings and fabrics used. Interior and exterior hearths are carved out of existing stone and  the master bathroom sink and the powder room are fully carved out of the rock.

Relic Rock, another property in Scottsdale, Arizona was designed by DCHGlobal Inc. It is almost entirely sustainable - with the structure made of 99 per cent recycled steel. 'Floating' floor plans mean that the rocks around and under the property have been untouched.

Cook + Fox Architects designed the Live Work Home in Syracuse, New York. The home was created as a small, modern loft - an ecologically sound space in response to America's future housing needs that appeal directly to the environment in which they are built.

As Syracuse often has long, dark winters, the home is filled with skylight tubes and perforated screens that allow light to bounce.

Tranquil: Optima Camelview Village in Scottdale, Arizona uses greenery and water features to combat the desert heat

Tranquil: Optima Camelview Village in Scottdale, Arizona uses greenery and water features to combat the desert heat

Room with a view: Nakahouse in Los Angeles is an abstract remodel of a 1960s hillside house

Room with a view: Nakahouse in Los Angeles is an abstract remodel of a 1960s hillside house

Spaceage: Nakahouse is an abstract remodel of a 1960's hillside house

Spaceage: Nakahouse is an abstract remodel of a 1960's hillside house

Go with the flow: The LA home is made from white steel, plaster and concrete with contrasting black plaster walls

Go with the flow: The LA home is made from white steel, plaster and concrete with contrasting black plaster walls

'Multifamily housing' recognizes apartment and condominium design - for both public and private clients that include open and recreational space.

David Baker + Partners designed the Drs. Julian and Raye Richardson Apartments in San Francisco - 120 permanent, supportive studio apartments for low-income formerly homeless residents, many with mental and physical disabilities.

The site of the project is a demolished freeway that has been transformed with plenty of green space and local shops. The eclectic style also gives the homes a sense of common identity and place in the neighborhood.

Drawing inspiration from the surrounding mountains and Native American desert communities, Optima Camelview Village in Scottsdale, Arizona (by David Hovey & Associates Architect, Inc.) is made up of 700 separate condominiums linked by planted-draped bridges designed to fend off the harsh climate. It is easy to walk around with plenty of courtyards and jutting landscaped terraces creating serene shelter.

The special housing award by AIA is for the design of housing that fits a specific purpose - homes for the disabled, rehabilitation centers or domestic violence shelters.

Rice University in Houston, Texas enlisted Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company with Hopkins Architects to build McMurtry & Duncan Colleges.

The two buildings are home to 650 students and faculty, weaving squares and tree-lined paths with innovative design that blends with the more traditional buildings on campus.

Also outstanding in this category was the Jesuit Community Center in Fairfield, Connecticut by Gray Organschi Architecture. Encompassing administrative offices, a chapel, community dining room, great room, and library, the Jesuit community wanted a building that would reflect their goal of acting as 'good stewards of the Earth'.

 Star quality: The home, which sits right below the Hollywood sign, has several cantilevered terraces

Star quality: The home, which sits right below the Hollywood sign, has several cantilevered terraces

Visionary: The Jesuit community center in Fairfield, Connecticut uses innovative technologies to reduce both short and long term impact on the environment

Visionary: The Jesuit community center in Fairfield, Connecticut uses innovative technologies to reduce both short and long term impact on the environment

Building blocks: The Jesuit priests wanted their building to exemplify their goal as acting as good stewards of the earth

Building blocks: The Jesuit priests wanted their building to exemplify their goal as acting as good stewards of the earth

Good things in small packages: The LEED Platinum Live Work Home is an efficient, highly adaptable space designed as an urban infill prototype for shrinking cities in Syracuse, New York

Good things in small packages: The LEED Platinum Live Work Home is an efficient, highly adaptable space designed as an urban infill prototype for shrinking cities in Syracuse, New York

The garage of the Syracuse home

The garage of the Syracuse home

Tres belle: Conceived as a bunker nestled into the rock, the Pierre - meaning French for stone - celebrates the materiality of the site

Tres belle: Conceived as a bunker nestled into the rock, the Pierre - meaning French for stone - celebrates the materiality of the site

The Pierre, French for stone, celebrates the owner's affection for a stone outcropping on her property

The Pierre, French for stone, celebrates the owner's affection for a stone outcropping on her property

The Pierre's interior and exterior hearths are carved out of existing stone and left raw

The Pierre's interior and exterior hearths are carved out of existing stone and left raw

Arizona: Relic Rock is the prototype for a sustainable building system that is based on a three dimensional structural grid comprised of 99% recycled steel

Arizona: Relic Rock is the prototype for a sustainable building system that is based on a three dimensional structural grid comprised of 99% recycled steel

The floor planes leave native boulder formations and natural topography untouched

The floor planes leave native boulder formations and natural topography untouched

The interior of the Red Rock home in Arizona

The interior of the Red Rock home in Arizona

San Francisco: Richardson Apartments provides 120 permanent, supportive studio apartments for very-low-income formerly homeless residents, many with mental and physical disabilities

San Francisco: Richardson Apartments provides 120 permanent, supportive studio apartments for very-low-income formerly homeless residents, many with mental and physical disabilities

Green living: The San Francisco homes have on-site social services, generous outdoor and common spaces, neighborhood-serving retail

Green living: The San Francisco homes have on-site social services, generous outdoor and common spaces, neighborhood-serving retail

Bethesda: Hampden Lane House is designed as a cube and is approximately 2200 square feet

Bethesda: Hampden Lane House is designed as a cube and is approximately 2200 square feet

Sleek: The flat roof provides an additional 1100 square feet of outdoor living space with views of treetops and the downtown Bethesda skyline

Sleek: The flat roof provides an additional 1100 square feet of outdoor living space with views of treetops and the downtown Bethesda skyline

The house is intended to be more site sensitive, environmentally conscious, and to provide comfortable, efficient living spaces

The house is intended to be more site sensitive, environmentally conscious, and to provide comfortable, efficient living spaces

No place like home; The exterior of the Bethesda home

No place like home; The exterior of the Bethesda home

Design for life: wo new residential colleges at Houston's Rice University have also been nominated

In a sign that the housing market is improving, more lavish mansions are entering the market with jaw-dropping asking prices. First there was the $190 million estate in Connecticut, and now the West Coast is adding their own record-breaking listing to the housing market. Coldwell Banker recently listed the house at 2585 Riviera Drive in Laguna Beach, California for $65million dollars. According to the Orange County Register, it is the fourth most expensive residence to appear in their listing service in their records that go back more than a decade. Currently it is the second most expensive home in the entire state of California, according to Zillow. It is also estimated to be the largest oceanfront home in the area.

Live like the Romans do: The neoclassical design of the recently listed $65million dollar mansion in Laguna Beach, California looks like something straight out of an Italian dream

Live like the Romans do: The neoclassical design of the recently listed $65million dollar mansion in Laguna Beach, California looks like something straight out of an Italian dream. The home's huge size and unique details explain the hefty price tag. First there's the massive 17,000 square feet of living space and 6,000 square feet of outdoor living space. There are five bedrooms with eight bathrooms and a six-car garage for the vintage collector.

Massive: The house has 6,000 feet of outdoor living space perfect for warm-weather entertaining, in addition to the 17,000 feet of indoor living space

Massive: The house has 6,000 feet of outdoor living space perfect for warm-weather entertaining, in addition to the 17,000 feet of indoor living space

Perfect for kids: The house was built with children in mind with the outdoor pool and hot tub, and a billiards/ping-pong room

Perfect for kids: The house was built with children in mind with the outdoor pool and hot tub, and a billiards/ping-pong room. The master bedroom has his-and-hers closets and bathrooms - with extra space for the women's closet accessed by an elevator down to the basement. The house looks like it was moved straight off a seaside cliff in Italy and moved to the Pacific coast. It was built in the neoclassical style with details such as towering glass doors and terrazzo floors that ooze wealth.

Seaside living: The home has spectacular views of the ocean, and is estimated to be the largest oceanfront home in the area

Seaside living: The home has spectacular views of the ocean, and is estimated to be the largest oceanfront home in the area

Palatial: The house is currently the second highest listing in California according to Zillow

Palatial: The house is currently the second highest listing in California according to Zillow

Palatial: The house's hallways probably provide enough space for a good walk

Extra space: The master bedroom includes his-and-hers bathrooms and closets. One of the closets has extra space in the basement accessed via elevator

Extra space: The master bedroom includes his-and-hers bathrooms and closets. One of the closets has extra space in the basement accessed via elevator

Airy: The house's doors utilize glass to let as much light in as possible

Airy: The house's doors utilize glass to let as much light in as possible

A place to relax: Just one of the house's 10 bathrooms

A place to relax: Just one of the house's 10 bathrooms

Giada DiLaurentis would be right at home in the commercial-caliber kitchen space with it's expansive Italian Carrera marble counter tops and Bonnet range suite. There's room for banquet dining and even chef's quarters for those who would rather be cooked for, than do the cooking. Other amenities include a wine cellar with a tasting room, outdoor pool and hot tub, a billiards/ping-pong room and a full gym with massage room. If friends are drunk from drinking in the wine room, you can offer to have them stay over in the detached guest house modeled after the Philip Glass House in Connecticut. 

Room for everyone: The estate includes a detached guest house modeled after the Philip Glass House in Connecticut

Room for everyone: The estate includes a detached guest house modeled after the Philip Glass House in Connecticut

Perfect for entertaining: The house comes with it's own wine cellar and tasting room - great for adult get-togethers

Perfect for entertaining: The house comes with it's own wine cellar and tasting room - great for adult get-togethers

Perfect for entertaining: The house comes with it's own wine cellar and tasting room - great for adult get-togethers

Built in 2010, the home was originally owned by the Irvine family until 2002. The current owner is Ronald K. Loder, according to county records.

 

   

Design for life: wo new residential colleges at Houston's Rice University have also been nominated

For years, the Citroen 2CV was the laughing stock of British roads.

The upturned pram or tin snail was slow and old fashioned. Conceived before the war, to carry a farmer’s eggs across a rough field, nearly 5million ‘ugly ducks’ were sold.

The last of the quirky little French cars left British showrooms in 1990 costing £4,552 on the road.

But the 2CV has now, most definitely, had the last laugh.

Prices for the 600cc deux chevaux are now rocketing, with refurbished cars selling for £11,000.

The incredible origami house that can change its shape to face the Sun

  • D*Haus concept can 'metamorphosize' into eight different configurations
  • It responds to seasonal, meteorological and even astronomical conditions
  • Incredible design based on the work of mathematician Henry Dudeney

There are houses for cold climates, which are designed to keep in the precious warmth; there are houses for hot climates where architecture allows for air to sweep through and keep inhabitants cool. However, until now, the two were difficult to combine. But this new incredible folding house is able to, in the words of its creators, 'metamorphosize' into eight different configurations to adapt to seasonal, meteorological and even astronomical conditions.

 

Autobots, transform! This computer generated graphic shows the incredible concept for a house that can 'metamorphosize' into eight different configurations depending on the weather

Autobots, transform! This computer generated graphic shows the incredible concept for a house that can 'metamorphosize' into eight different configurations depending on the weather

For example, in the summer plan, bedroom one faces east and watches the sun rise as its inhabitants wakes up. It can then rotate so that the user is constantly in sunlight, while the house generates energy through its solar panels. The revolutionary home is based on the work of an early 20th Century mathematician who discovered a way to dissect a square and rearrange its parts into an equilateral triangle. The flexibility of the house allows adaptation from winter to summer and day to night by literally moving inside itself. Thick heavy external walls unfold into internal walls allowing glass internal walls to become facades; doors can become windows, and vice versa. The layout consists of two bedrooms, an open-plan living room and a bathroom, but it too can be adapted to suit the needs of different living situations.

Design: The revolutionary home is based on the work of an early 20th Century mathematician who discovered a way to dissect a square and rearrange its parts into an equilateral triangle

Design: The revolutionary home is based on the work of an early 20th Century mathematician who discovered a way to dissect a square and rearrange its parts into an equilateral triangle

Adaptable: Thick heavy external walls unfold into internal walls allowing glass internal walls to become facades; doors can become windows, and vice versa

Adaptable: Thick heavy external walls unfold into internal walls allowing glass internal walls to become facades; doors can become windows, and vice versa

Living space: The layout consists of two bedrooms, an open-plan living room and a bathroom, but it too can be adapted to suit the needs of different living situations

Living space: The layout consists of two bedrooms, an open-plan living room and a bathroom, but it too can be adapted to suit the needs of different living situations. The incredible house is the brainchild of British architects David Grunberg and Daniel Woolfson, who launched the D*Haus company to develop the concept. The shape-shifting home was first conceived as part of Mr Grunberg's graduation project, for which he designed a house that could withstand the extreme sub-Arctic temperatures in Lap Land, a region infamous for its harsh weather. The pair's design, which they call D*Dynamic, is based on the work of English author and mathematician Henry Dudeney, a leading puzzle creator. In 1903 Dudeney invented a way to cut an equilateral triangle into four pieces that could be rearranged into a square, a conundrum he dubbed the 'Haberdasher's Puzzle'. The D*Dynamic house realises this mathematical curiousity as a solution to living in extreme climates. Sections would fold out on rails so interior partitions could become exterior walls in warm weather. The whole building could even rotate to follow the direction of the Sun throughout the day.

Now watch the D*Dynamic house transform. In a release, D*Haus describe their house, which is yet to be built, as 'a product of an applied mathematical realisation'. 'The D*Haus Company is set to cause a revolution in architecture and design by transforming Dudeney’s idea from the conceptual, to the physical,' the release adds. 'Inspired by Dudeney’s logic puzzle, each D*Haus dwelling is capable of adapting to changing patterns of living in the future. 'D*Haus is continuing the journey that Dudeney began by breathing new life into a century-old concept; not only to define a space, but a lifestyle.'

INSPIRED BY THE WORK OF A BRILLIANT AMATEUR MATHEMATICIAN

Henry Ernest Dudeney (April 10, 1857 – April 23, 1930) was an English author and mathematician who specialised in logic puzzles and mathematical games. He is known as one of the country's foremost creators of puzzles.

Mathematical basis: Henry Dudeney's Haberdasher's Puzzle inspired the design of the house. Although Dudeney spent his career in the Civil Service, he continued to devise various problems and puzzles. Dudeney's first puzzle contributions were submissions to newspapers and magazines, often under the pseudonym of "Sphinx." Dudeney later contributed puzzles under his real name to publications such as The Weekly Dispatch, The Queen, Blighty, and Cassell's Magazine. For twenty years, he had a successful column, "Perplexities", in The Strand Magazine. One of Dudeney's most famous innovations was his 1903 success at solving the Haberdasher's Puzzle, which involved cutting an equilateral triangle into four pieces that can be rearranged to make a square. A remarkable feature of Dudeney's solution is that the each of the pieces can be hinged at one vertex, forming a chain that can be folded into the square or the original triangle. Two of the hinges bisect sides of the triangle, while the third hinge and the corner of the large piece on the base cut the base in the approximate ratio 0.982: 2: 1.018. Dudeney showed just such a model of the solution, made of polished mahogany with brass hinges, at a meeting of the Royal Society on May 17, 1905.

Celebrating 50 years of the world's best-loved sports car: The Porsche 911

A new book celebrates the history of the Porsche 911, from its humble beginnings in post-war Germany to global cult status

1963: The very first Porsche 911 set the tone for the next 50 years, with its sloping back, distinctive circular headlights and slanted windscreen

1963: The very first Porsche 911 set the tone for the next 50 years, with its sloping back, distinctive circular headlights and slanted windscreen

SPEC:

Engine 2.0 litre
Power 130hp
Weight 1,080kg
0-60 9.1 seconds
Top speed 130 mph
Price £4,095 (about £68,000 in today's money)

Beloved of celebrities the world over, and, like a Rolex watch or a tailored suit, one of the most enduring ‘I’ve made it in the world’ purchases, the Porsche 911 has surprisingly humble origins. In fact, the world’s most popular sports car is arguably descended from the Volkswagen Beetle. Porsche’s emergence as a carmaker in post-war Germany was inextricably linked to that of Volkswagen (it’s now part of the Volkswagen Group).

Before the war, its founder, Ferdinand Porsche, had designed the Beetle, and in the late Forties the firm found success with the Beetle-derived 356. By the late Fifties, Porsche was in need of a successor to satisfy demand. After several years of intensive work – during which a larger four-seat option was considered – Porsche’s engineers had a prototype to reveal to the world. At the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show, they unveiled the car that would go on to sell over 800,000 units (and be driven into a truck by Lindsay Lohan): the 911. In fact, the car that Porsche displayed in Frankfurt was called the 901. The ‘911’ name arose because Peugeot claimed the rights to all three-digit model numbers with a 0 in the middle. So Porsche simply changed the 0 to a 1.

On the inside, while there have obviously been technical advances, one basic element remains key to the car's identity: a counter-intuitive set-up that sees the engine placed right over the rear axle, driving the rear wheels

On the inside, while there have obviously been technical advances, one basic element remains key to the car's identity: a counter-intuitive set-up that sees the engine placed right over the rear axle, driving the rear wheels. Famously, the 911’s design has barely changed in five decades. Line up any two models and you’re immediately looking at the same shape. The wheelbase might have been lengthened over time, the windscreen tilted back a few degrees, bumpers and spoilers added and taken away, but that silhouette remains. No other car looks so close to how it did in the Sixties. And on the inside, while there have obviously been technical advances, one basic element remains key to the car’s identity: a counter-intuitive set-up that sees the flat-six engine placed right over the rear axle, driving the rear wheels. For many years this made the 911 a challenging drive, as in overconfident hands or poor conditions it was liable to spin at a moment’s notice. Famous 911 drivers include U.S. chat-show host and motoring obsessive Jay Leno, David Beckham, Arnold Schwarzenegger and – in a recent departure from his lifelong love of Ferraris – Jay Kay. The most devoted celebrity fan, though, is surely comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who owns over 50 Porsches, including many 911s.

The wheelbase has been lengthened over time, the windscreen tilted back a few degrees, bumpers and spoilers added and taken away, but the classic shape remains

The wheelbase has been lengthened over time, the windscreen tilted back a few degrees, bumpers and spoilers added and taken away, but the classic shape remains

The Porsche is a 'wormhole of detail and specificity' says fan Jerry Seinfeld

The Porsche is a 'wormhole of detail and specificity' says fan Jerry Seinfeld

Says Seinfeld of his collection, ‘Oh, I know it’s insane. They’re an obsession.

'Top Gear wanted to have me on, so I had dinner with Jeremy Clarkson, but it turned out he didn’t like Porsches, so we had nothing in common.

'What do I like about them? For me to take you down that corridor would bore you to tears. It’s a wormhole of detail and specificity. 'I’ve driven a lot of other cars, but that’s only reinforced my impression that the Porsche is the only properly designed automobile. ‘My favourite is the 959 from the mid-Eighties, at the time the fastest production car in the world. There’s nothing like it. 'They cost about a million dollars each to produce and they sold at $250,000, so they were losing $750,000 a car. But it has a feeling of quality about it that’s unique.’

1973 Graphic

1986 Graphic

1993 Graphic

2013 Graphic

A legend in motorsport

You can't make sports cars for over 60 years without acquiring a little racing experience: This 911-derived 935 won at Le Mans in 1978

You can't make sports cars for over 60 years without acquiring a little racing experience: This 911-derived 935 won at Le Mans in 1978

Steve McQueen in Le Mans

Steve McQueen in Le Mans

You can’t make sports cars for over 60 years without acquiring a little racing experience. Since the launch of the 356 in 1948, Porsche has clocked up a world record 28,000 race victories – not all in 911s, it must be said – including 16 wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The endurance-race heroics of the 1970 Porsche team were immortalised by Steve McQueen in the 1971 film Le Mans – in which he raced Porsche 917s, which can trace their origins back to the father of the 911, the Porsche 356. In 1978 the 911-derived 935 won at Le Mans. Nicknamed ‘Moby Dick’ after its whale-like elongated bonnet and tail, the 1978 model 935 is one of the most iconic cars to come out of Porsche’s motorsport division – and with a top speed of 235mph, one of the most ferocious.

 

 

World's fastest electric car revealed: 155mph two-seater will go 190 miles on a single charge - and cost £90,000 (allegedly)

  • Set to take on Paypal billionaire Elon Musk's Telsa Roadster in the lucrative electric sports car market
  • Only 999 of the cars, which can reach 0-62mph (0-100 km/h) in 3.7 seconds, will be built

It can reach a top speed of 155mph, and drive for 190 miles on a single charge.

The Detroit Electric SP:01 is the world's fastest electric car, and is set to take on Paypal billionaire Elon Musk's Telsa Roadster is the lucrative electric sports car market.

Only 999 of the cars will be built, and the plans have been masterminded by a team of executives from Lotus, who set up the firm five years ago to revive the century old brand.

Detroit Electric's two-seat all electric sports car SP:01, which can reach speeds of 155mph

Detroit Electric's two-seat all electric sports car SP:01, which can reach speeds of 155mph

Boasting 155 mph (249 km/h) top speed and covering the 0-62mph (0-100 km/h) in 3.7 seconds, the SP:01 has a range of almost 190 miles between recharges which takes 4.3 hours according to the auto maker

Boasting 155 mph (249 km/h) top speed and covering the 0-62mph (0-100 km/h) in 3.7 seconds, the SP:01 has a range of almost 190 miles between recharges which takes 4.3 hours according to the auto maker

SP:01 SPECS

Price: £90,00, $135,000

Only 999 will be made

155 mph (249 km/h) top speed

0-62mph (0-100 km/h) in 3.7 seconds

Range of almost 190 miles

Charging time 4.3 hours

Detroit Electric, a startup electric-car maker reviving a brand that dates back more than a century, unveiled its first

With a projected top speed of 155 mph, the Detroit Electric SP:01 is 'the world's fastest pure-electric sports car' the company says, adding the two-seater has a range of 'just under 190 miles' between charges.

The $135,000, battery-powered sports car is to go into limited production in August.

Founded more than five years ago, Detroit Electric enters a still-nascent market that is struggling to find buyers.

One of its would-be rivals, Fisker Automotive, a hybrid-electric sports-car company that hasn't built a car since last summer, has hired a law firm to advise on a possible bankruptcy filing.

The car will be built in the Detroit area at a dedicated plant with an annual capacity of 2,500, the company said Wednesday at a reception at its new headquarters in Detroit's historic Fisher Building. Detroit Electric plans to build only 999 SP:01's, which it says will be followed by 'a new family of all-electric production cars, including two other high-performance models that will enter production by the end of 2014.'

The SP:01 appears to borrow heavily from the British-built Lotus Elise - no surprise considering a number of Detroit Electric executives previously worked for various affiliates of Lotus Cars.

Versions of the Elise have been used by other low-volume carmakers, notably Tesla Motors, which based its $100,000-plus Roadster electric car on the Lotus chassis.

The SP:01 will also see the revival of the century-old Detroit electric brand

The SP:01 will also see the revival of the century-old Detroit electric brand

The SP:01 has a range of almost 190 miles between recharges which takes 4.3 hours according to the auto maker

The SP:01 has a range of almost 190 miles between recharges which takes 4.3 hours according to the auto maker

The SP:01 will also compete with the Telsa roadster, which previously held the record with a top speed of 125 mph (201 km/h).

Detroit Electric said the SP:01 was being introduced 'following a five-year development and road-test program.'

The Detroit Electric brand had been dormant since 1939.

Previously, it was used on a series of electric cars built in Detroit from 1907.

The brand was revived in 2007 as a joint venture between China's Youngman Automotive Group - which tried unsuccessfully to acquire bankrupt Swedish automaker Saab in 2012 - and a small California-based electric-car company called Zap.

The venture hired Lotus Engineering in 2007 to provide contract design and technical services. In late 2007, Albert Lam, the chief executive of Lotus Engineering, joined the venture as chairman and was named CEO of Detroit Electric in 2008.

The Fisker Karma car, the other major rival in the the electric car stakes

The Fisker Karma car, the other major rival in the the electric car stakes

The new car will compete withe the Telsa roadster, pictured, but outpaces its top speed of 125mph with 155mph

The new car will compete withe the Telsa roadster, pictured, but outpaces its top speed of 125mph with 155mph

 

A company based near Bradford has set up a production line, turning old 2CV wrecks back into new cars, and is also making new chassis... and sending them to France to keep the French cars alive

A company based near Bradford has set up a production line, turning old 2CV wrecks back into new cars, and is also making new chassis... and sending them to France to keep the French cars alive

Prices for the 600cc deux chevaux are now rocketing with refurbished cars selling for £11,000

Prices for the 600cc deux chevaux are now rocketing with refurbished cars selling for £11,000

British company 2CV City pays around £300 for scrap cars from all around Britain

British company 2CV City pays around £300 for the scrap cars from all around Britain

In a true ‘coals to Newcastle’ story, one company based near Bradford, West Yorkshire, has set up a production line, turning old wrecks back into new cars, and is also making new chassis... and sending them to France to keep the French cars alive.

Tony Shields, 58, who owns 2CV City said: 'We sell nearly 300 chassis a year to the French - and a few of our refurbished cars too.

'French restoration leaves a lot to be desired. Over there, the MOT isn’t as stringent - they just seem to keep the cars in one piece by riveting new bits of metal to them.

'Twenty years ago, there were enough good ones around that they didn’t need refurbishing - good second-hand cars were retailing for up to £700.

'But now we’re paying £300 for scrap cars. We buy them from all over the country – and some from France too.

Tony Shields, 58, who owns 2CV City said: 'We sell nearly 300 chassis a year to the French - and a few of our refurbished cars too.'

Tony Shields, 58, who owns 2CV City said: 'We sell nearly 300 chassis a year to the French - and a few of our refurbished cars too'

Above, a 1988 2CV Dolly, Plums and Custard. Fully restored and on sale for £10,995

Mr Shields: 'French restoration leaves a lot to be desired. Over there, the MOT isn't as stringent - they just seem to keep the cars in one piece by riveting new bits of metal to them.' Above, a 1988 2CV Dolly, Plums and Custard. Fully restored and on sale for £10,995

Owner of 2CV City, Tony Shields, is seen with another classic French car

Owner of 2CV City, Tony Shields, is seen with another classic French car

'Part of the attraction is their simplicity. Their electrical components are simple and people can work on them themselves.'We have about six cars in production at any one time. There are two levels of restoration on our cars. 'They cost between about £5,000 and £11,000 for a fully rebuilt car. 'We can’t get hold of old cars quick enough. We recently sold one to one of The Hairy Bikers!'Our fully restored cars are made with new body panels and many new or reconditioned parts. 'They come with a 12-month warranty and, if well looked after, could last for another 15 years.

'They leave here as they would have left the factory – although we can fit a CD player and speakers if customers want them.'

Mr Shields employs six full-time staff and restores a variety of 2CV-based vehicles including vans and vehicles dating back to the 1950s.

They make chassis and have a huge selection of new and used parts.

He also sells a selection of other classic French vehicles.

Last week, he bought a black 60-year-old Peugeot van from France.

'It was a used by a funeral company – it was so ugly – I just had to buy it', he said.

Mr Shields employs six full-time staff and restores a variety of 2CV-based vehicles including vans and vehicles dating back to the 1950s

Mr Shields employs six full-time staff and restores a variety of 2CV-based vehicles including vans and vehicles dating back to the 1950s

BIRTH OF THE 'TWO STEAM HORSES': A SHORT HISTORY OF THE 2CV

The French Citroen 2CV Dolly, from 1985

The French Citroen 2CV Dolly, from 1985

The prototype for the Citroen 2CV - 'an umbrella on four wheels' - dates back to the 1930s' design by engineer Pierre-Jules Boulanger.

Officially unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in 1948, the name is an abbreviation of 'deux chevaux vapeur' -  which translates as 'two steam horses'.

Regarded as a simple, reliable vehicle, the economy car was produced by the French manufacturer up until 1990.

It was famously heralded as being able to be driven across a ploughed field without breaking the eggs it was carrying.

Over its 42-year production run, the car was a great commercial success - around 5million units were sold, including just over a million vans.

In 1981, a yellow 2CV was driven by James Bond in the film For Your Eyes Only, including a chase sequence through a Spanish olive farm.

From 1988 onwards, production took place in Portugal rather than France. This continued for two years until 2CV production halted.

Citroen 2CV owners and their cars arrive for the 16th World Meeting of 2CV Friends in the Scottish border town of Kelso in 2005 A 2CV in Paris, capital of its original birthplace

Citroen 2CV owners and their cars arrive for the 16th World Meeting of 2CV Friends in the Scottish border town of Kelso in 2005; right, a patriotic 2CV in Paris, capital of

 

MOTORING NOW AND THEN

The financial crisis and our ageing population has brought about an army of older workers who are turning to taxi driving, property development and cleaning to make ends meet. Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today showed that the number of workers above the official retirement age has doubled since 1993, from 753,000 to 1.4million last year, with most of that rise coming since 2000.

While some of the increase is down to the high number of baby-boomers reaching retirement, the figures also showed that the proportion of workers above retirement age was rising faster than the population generally - indicating that a higher proportion of this age group is staying in work than previously. Face of things to come: More of those above the retirement age are working - with taxi driving proving a popular choice among male pensioners. Some 7.6 per cent of those aged above the state retirement age were in work in 1993, compared to 12.0 per cent last year.

DO OLDER WORKERS STEAL JOBS FROM YOUNGER WORKERS?

It's a popular claim - surely if older people are staying in work longer it takes jobs from younger people, writes Andrew Oxlade. And how can this be in any way sensible or fair when youth unemployment has risen sharply during the financial crisis. But the overwhelming view from economists say is that this simply isn't true. In fact, they have a technical term for it: 'the lump of labour fallacy'. This, they say, is the belief that there is a fixed number of jobs in the economy. In reality, the economy expands, broadly, with the size of the workforce – one of the reasons for political acceptance of immigration. Analysis by the ONS showed that 39 per cent of workers above the retirement age are men and 61 per cent are women. This may reflect the lower levels of pension provision for women arising because of periods out of work to raise children, as well as generally lower employment benefits than their male counterparts.

Around two-thirds of male workers in this group are in jobs classed as higher skilled, while almost two thirds of women are in lower skilled roles. There are higher proportions of part-time work and self-employment among older workers, reflecting efforts by older people to reduce their workload in a more gradual way, rather than switching directly from full-time work to retirement. The ONS report also suggested that improved standard of health were allowing people to work longer, but that lower incomes in retirement were also playing a part. The property boom and rise of private buy-to-let landlords - often older people who have seen their property wealth balloon - is reflected in the figures. 'Property manager' is included as one of the more popular roles being carried out by older men. The most popular jobs undertaken by men after the retirement age were farming and taxi driving, while there were signs that executive level workers were choosing to work longer with high numbers of marketing and sales directors, production managers and chief executives among older male workers. A woman's lot is harder, the ONS figures suggest, with common roles among older female workers including cleaning, administration assistance, care working and retail. Rise of the grey army: More people are working past the retirement age. People in, or close to, retirement have been faced with the prospect of a substantially reduced income thanks to the financial crisis. Pension funds have been reduced as stock markets have been battered by recession conditions in the world's developed economies. Additionally, the return on annuities - bought at retirement to provide an income for life - are at record low levels because yields on the assets that fund them, gilts, have been pushed lower by the policies adopted to combat slower growth in the economy. 

However, while much of the motivation to stay in work is financial, campaigners for older people said that many were choosing to stay in the labour market for other reasons too.

How older people work: There is a higher proportion of self-employed and part-time workers among older workers.

How older people work: There is a higher proportion of self-employed and part-time workers among older workers. Dr Ros Altmann, Director-General of Saga, said: 'Many  older  people  are  increasingly  choosing  to  stay  at work, often part-time  so that they ease more gently into retirement.  If they feel fit and healthy and want more money, and are able to work, they are choosing to do so. 'Saga’s research shows that many of our over 50s already want to work past 65. 71 per cent  would like to work part time rather than retiring and in fact 7 per cent are  already  working  past  the age of 70. This isn’t just for the money - work  satisfaction,  feeling  useful  and  the social benefits we gain from working were key reasons that people wanted to continue.' The trend for older workers will continue, according to Tom McPhail, head of pensions research at Hargreaves Lansdown. 'This is an inevitable consequence of more and more people arriving in their 60s with inadequate retirement savings', he said. 'This trend will accelerate over the next few years; it presents a significant challenge to individuals and employers who will need to find ways to accommodate more flexible working patterns and later retirement ages.’ The state retirement age had remained steady - 60 for women and 65 for men - for many decades until increased life expectancy forced plans to raise it. The last Labour government drew up plans to equalise retirement ages between the sexes and then raise them for all over the coming decades. The Coalition government accelerated plans so that the retirement age will rise to 66 for both men and women by 2020. A further rise to 67 will commence in stages from 2026.

Darren Philp, policy director for the National Association of Pension Funds, said: 'Our rapidly changing demographic is hitting home. Having more older people in the workforce will increasingly become the norm.

'The problem comes when people want to retire but end up stuck at work because they cannot afford to leave. With half the workforce not saving into a pension, this is going to become a painful reality for millions. It is vital that we get more people planning and saving for their old age, and that they start as early as possible.'

Geographically, employment rates for older people in the regions was consistent with rates for the working population generally, with the South boasting the highest employment rates.

However, the one exception was London. For the younger population, London only ranks eighth of 12 in terms of the employment rate, but for older people it has the 2nd highest percentage in employment, behind the South East. This may reflect the higher cost of living and the greater variety of jobs in London which might provide an incentive for older workers to remain in the labour market. ONS stidy shows a higher proportion of older workers in the affluent South East.

When General Motors engineers and designers started work on the next-generation Corvette, they drew up the usual requirements for the star of American muscle cars. Killer looks. Big engine. Handles like a race car. But topping the list back was something at odds with the roar of the car's big V-8: Gas mileage.

Corvette

Green machine: The all-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has all the styling and power of the classic car with greatly improved gas mileage

Corvette

On the way: The new Corvette will arrive in showrooms this fall. The new Corvette could not be a gas guzzler. Stricter government rules were forcing a leap in fuel economy. If the car burned too much gas, it would trigger fines from regulators and never get built. 'There won't be a Corvette if we don't care about fuel economy,' said Tadge Juechter, the car's chief engineer. But the 2014 Corvette is here, the first all-new version in nine years. The king of American sports cars, driven by astronauts and celebrated in a Prince song, rolled out Sunday night in Detroit. It will arrive in showrooms this fall. To many fans, the new Corvette symbolizes the rebirth of America's auto industry after its near death in 2009, showing the world that it again can lead in technology, styling and performance — at a lower cost that European competitors. Getting there was tough for the 1,000-member Corvette team, which gave the car the code name 'C7.' GM's bankruptcy slowed development twice.

Corvette

Curves: The car's beautifully styled body should be the envy of any sports car enthusiast

Corvette

Rebirth: To many, the new Corvette symbolizes the return of America's auto industry after its near death in 2009. With each delay, new safety and gas mileage regulations forced changes. The Corvette team overhauled the car: aluminum replaced steel, super-light rivets held parts together, and the V-8 engine kicked down to four cylinders at highway speeds, saving fuel. All the changes helped it overcome nine years of government crash safety requirements that could have bloated the car. But even with the lighter materials, the regulations have pushed its weight to a little more than the current base model's 3,200 pounds.

s still being done on the car's fuel economy, but

Always in style: The new car's fuel economy should be much better than the current base model's 16 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway . Still, it's an engineering achievement. The Corvette is so new that it only shares two parts with the current model. GM said testing is still being done on the car's fuel economy, but it'll be better than the current base model's 16 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway. Juechter said the window sticker highway mileage won't reach 30 mpg, but he wouldn't be surprised to see some drivers get that or more.

Corvette

Body work: The hood slopes low to slice through the wind, while all the vents and scoops have functional purposes like cooling the brakes or transmission. The car's usual buyers — men in their mid-50s — will also notice dramatic changes on the outside of the two-seat car. The hood slopes low to slice through the wind. All the vents and scoops have functional purposes like cooling the brakes or transmission. On the back, designers took cues from the1963 Corvette, with a sloping roof that tapers toward the bottom. The car has a small Stingray badge on each side, complete with gills. And there's a more modern rendition of the Corvette's crossed-flag logo. A 6.2-liter small-block V-8 with 450 horsepower takes the car from zero to 60 mph in under four seconds. That's at least a few tenths of a second faster than the current base model. Engineers also redesigned the somewhat-chintzy interior, giving it a jet cockpit look with leather, carbon fiber and soft plastics. GM hopes the styling, performance and updated dashboard electronics will expand the car's appeal to younger buyers. The Corvette's been a favorite of adrenaline junkies for 60 years. Mercury astronaut Alan Shapard owned one from the first year — 1953. The company won't quote a price on the 2014 model. But Juechter said someone who bought the current version can afford the new one. The Corvette starts at $49,600.

Corvette

Sticker shock: The new Corvette starts at $49,600, roughly $30,000 less than its competitor, the Porsche. That is more than $30,000 below what GM considers its chief competitor, the Porsche 911. The car makes a decent profit for GM despite relatively low sales, Juechter said. GM wouldn't give sales targets for the new car. Last year it sold only 14,000 of the aging Corvettes, down from over 30,000 the first few years after the current version was rolled out. Porsche sold about 8,500 911s last year. The prospect of a new 'Vette has fans waiting anxiously, browsing the Internet for unauthorized photos or drawings. Thousands of aficionados live in the U.S., and even Europe and the Middle East. John Browning, 70, president of the Renegard Corvette Club of Hollywood, Fla., one of 600 such clubs in the U.S, said some Corvette lovers can't contain themselves. 'I've got one member, he just sold his '13 in anticipation, to wait for the '14,' said Browning. 'I think the Corvette is the icon. As far as I'm concerned you can't get a better deal.'

54 Olds could have “killed” the Corvette

Thanks to John Stokes

This is the car that in 1954 could have ‘killed’ the Corvette.
So, Chevrolet, being GM’s big sales and profit division, campaigned to GM to ‘kill’ this car.
When Chevy was coming out with its 6-cylinder sports car with its 2-speed ‘powerglide’ transmission and side curtains, there was a sports car from Olds with a big old V-8 engine with power windows.


So, GM said, ‘no’ to Oldsmobile on building this car.


1954 Concept Old’s Rocket F88 – the only one in existence.


John S. Hendricks (Discovery Communications founder), paid in excess of $3 million to acquire this 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 Convertible Concept Car.


After spending decades as a collection of parts stuffed into wooden crates, the F-88 was reassembled.


In 1954, the F-88 was a Motorama Dream Car, and was one of only two (or an unconfirmed possible three), ever created.


The F-88 seen here is literally the only car left of its kind and was sold to John and Maureen Hendricks at the prestigious Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona , for an unbelievable $3,240,000.


This acquisition made automotive history and is in the cornerstone of the Gateway Colorado Automobile Museum , in its own special room in a rotating display, worthy of the F-88!

Vintage 1929 Bentley becomes the most expensive British-made car ever sold after going for £5million at auction

A vintage Bentley has sold for a record-breaking £5million making it the most expensive British-made car ever sold at auction.

The legendary 1929 Bentley was sold for a staggering £5,042,000 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed today smashing the previous British-car record of £3.5 million paid in 2007 for a 1904 Rolls-Royce.

Auction house Bonhams would not confirm the identity of the buyer, who was bidding for the Bentley over the phone.

Record-breaker: A vintage Bentley has become the most expensive British-made car ever sold after it fetched a staggering £5million at auction

Record-breaker: A vintage Bentley has become the most expensive British-made car ever sold after it fetched a staggering £5million at auction

Heyday: Sir Henry 'Tiger Tim' Birkin set a lap record in the red Bentley at Brooklands Outer Circuit in 1931 when it hit 137mph

Heyday: Sir Henry 'Tiger Tim' Birkin set a lap record in the red Bentley at Brooklands Outer Circuit in 1931 when it hit 137mph

The bright red Bentley was once owned and raced by Sir Henry 'Tiger Tim' Birkin who set a lap record in the car at the iconic Brooklands Outer Circuit in 1931 when it hit a staggering 137mph. Birkin was one of the most famous of the Bentley Boys - a group of wealthy men who raced the British sports cars in the 1920s and 30s.

His life was tragically cut short in 1933 in a freak accident after he burned himself on an exhaust pipe during a race. The burn became infected and he died from septicaemia at the age of 36. His iconic Bentley was later bought by the groundbreaking horologist George Daniels, who owned it until his death last year.

Impractical: The 1929 vintage Bentley has just one seat and no storage room making it inconvenient for lengthy journeys

Impractical: The 1929 vintage Bentley has just one seat and no storage room making it inconvenient for lengthy journeys

Powerful: The Bentley Blower is one of only 50 made and boasts a 4.5 litre engine

Powerful: The Bentley Blower is one of only 50 made and boasts a 4.5 litre engine

The Bentley - which has just one seat and no storage space - is part of the incredible George Daniels car collection being auctioned off at Goodwood in Sussex.

Watchmaker George Daniels bought the Bentley and described it as the 'most exhilarating' car to drive

Watchmaker George Daniels bought the Bentley and described it as the 'most exhilarating' car to drive

The car, known as a Bentley Blower, was fitted with a 4.5-litre supercharged engine which developed 240bhp. Just 54 were built, with the sports cars capable of accelerating from 0-60mph in just 8 seconds.

Classic car enthusiast Daniels loved the Bentley, once writing that 'for all its inconvenience it is a most exhilarating car to drive both on the road and track'.

Malcolm Barber, Bonhams chief executive officer and auctioneer at the Daniels sale, said: 'The prices achieved for George Daniels’s cars today are a fitting tribute to one of the truly great artist engineers of the 20th Century.

'George was not only a fantastic craftsman who hand-made some of the world’s most desirable watches, he was also a car connoisseur held in immense respect throughout the vintage motoring world.'

Doug Nye, a car historian, added: 'It is wonderful to see this iconic car’s true value recognised by the world market.

'The Birkin single-seater Bentley was, in effect, the Concorde of its time, the fastest car around the high Brooklands bankings.

'It was driven by a great British hero in Sir Henry Birkin and was the most glamorous racing car of the era.'

Sleek: Mr Daniels, who died last year aged 85, also owned a Jaguar E Type V12 worth around £30,000

Sleek: Mr Daniels, who died last year aged 85, also owned a Jaguar E Type V12 worth around £30,000

Smooth: A 1954 Bentley R Type Continental, worth an estimated £450,000, also went under the hammer

Smooth: A 1954 Bentley R Type Continental, worth an estimated £450,000, also went under the hammer

Racer: A 1908 Itala Grand Prix Car was also expected to be a big sale at the auction

Racer: A 1908 Itala Grand Prix Car was also expected to be a big sale at the auction

Historic: The Maharajah of Bhavnagar's 1929 Bentley - worth an incredible £500,000

Historic: The Maharajah of Bhavnagar's 1929 Bentley - worth an incredible £500,000

Vintage: A 1907 Daimler Type 45 also went on sale at the Bonhams auction

Vintage: A 1907 Daimler Type 45 also went on sale at the Bonhams auction

  • The new McLaren P1 is to be fastest car ever built in Britain
  • The car can hit 124mph in under seven seconds
  • Also promises to be as environmentally-clean as family saloon

he fastest car ever built in Britain with a top speed of 217mph is officially unveiled today. The McLaren P1 can rocket from zero to 62mph in under three seconds, hit 124mph in under seven seconds and 190mph in under 17. Believe it or not, it also promises to be as environmentally clean as a family saloon thanks to its ‘green’ petrol-electric plug-in hybrid technology.

 

Stunning: The McLaren P1, the fastest car ever built in Britain, has been unveiled today

Stunning: The McLaren P1, the fastest car ever built in Britain, has been unveiled today

Fast: The car has a top speed of 217mph and can go from 0 to 62mph in under three seconds

Fast: The car has a top speed of 217mph and can go from 0 to 62mph in under three seconds

Rapid: The new McLaren can hit 124mph in under seven seconds

Rapid: The new McLaren can hit 124mph in under seven seconds. The red-hot two-seater, designed for use both on the road and race-track, will cost £866,000. And that’s without a carpet, which will be an optional extra on this purist sports car built at the firm’s state-of-the-art factory in Woking, Surrey. McLaren has already increased its workforce by 100, to 1,000, to build the car. A spokesman for the company said: ‘It is the most technologically advanced and fastest series production car ever to come from the UK.’

Modern: The McLaren P1 is said to be the 'spiritual successor' to the three-seater McLaren F1

Modern: The McLaren P1 is said to be the 'spiritual successor' to the three-seater McLaren F1

Environmentally-friendly: The car's 'green' petrol-electric plug-in hybrid technology also promises to make it as environmentally clean as a family saloon

Environmentally-friendly: The car's 'green' petrol-electric plug-in hybrid technology also promises to make it as environmentally clean as a family saloon

Interior: The car will set you back £866,000, with carpets as an optional extra

Interior: The car will set you back £866,000, with carpets as an optional extra

Will it fit into my garage?

To maintain exclusivity, only 375 will be built. Half of those have been sold already, with some customers buying two. It is the ‘spiritual successor’ to the three-seater McLaren F1, launched in 1993 with a price tag of £600,000 but which now fetches up to £4million at auction.

Exclusive: Only 375 of the cars are to be built and half of those have been sold already

Exclusive: Only 375 of the cars are to be built and half of those have been sold already. Car-mad comedy actor Rowan Atkinson is expected to be at the head of the queue for the machine, having recently secured a £910,000 insurance pay-out to restore his McLaren F1 after he crashed it.The P1 is powered by a mid-mounted 3.8litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine developing 727 brake horse-power, which sits behind  the driver and passenger. It is connected to a lightweight 176bhp electric motor, and the company claims that the two work ‘seamlessly’ to keep down emissions. The total combined power of 903 brake horse-power – linked to a dual clutch seven-speed F1-style racing gearbox – is equivalent to nine Ford Fiestas. The engine set-up promises ‘instantaneous throttle response’, says McLaren. Lightweight batteries behind the driver store charge generated by the petrol engine but a plug-in charger can also be used to boost energy levels from empty to full in two hours. As a result the car produces zero emissions when running on electric power only and has a range of 12.5miles at an average city speed of 30mph. ‘That’s more than enough for an owner to enter, for example, a city-centre zero emissions zone, have dinner and return home,’ says McLaren. Overall, the McLaren P1 emits an average of 200g/km of CO2 – about the same as a Honda Accord 2.4litre family saloon. The rival Bugatti Veyron emits 559g/km of carbon dioxide while the Ferrari 458 averages 307g/km.

Car-mad: Comedy actor Rowan Atkinson is expected to be at the head of the queue for the machine

Car-mad: Comedy actor Rowan Atkinson is expected to be at the head of the queue for the machine

Dashboard: The car is to be launched officially at the Geneva Motor Show on March 5

Dashboard: The car is to be launched officially at the Geneva Motor Show on March 5

Technology: McLaren says the P1 features Formula 1-derived race technology which increases speed and acceleration

Technology: McLaren says the P1 features Formula 1-derived race technology which increases speed and acceleration

Power: The car's 'instant power assist system' propels the car from rest to 190mph in under 17 seconds

Power: The car's 'instant power assist system' propels the car from rest to 190mph in under 17 seconds

Special date: The first deliveries of the car are planned for September 2 to coincide with McLaren's 50th anniversary

Special date: The first deliveries of the car are planned for September 2 to coincide with McLaren's 50th anniversary. The P1 features Formula 1-derived race technology which the company says increases speed and acceleration. It has an ‘instant power assist system’ that propels the car, rocket-like, from rest to 190mph in under 17 seconds – more than 35 per cent faster than even the F1. The car will be launched officially at the Geneva Motor Show on March 5, with the first deliveries planned for September 2 to coincide with McLaren’s 50th anniversary. A company spokesman said: ‘Our goal is to create the best driver’s car in the world on both road and track. A maximum speed which is electronically limited to 217mph should be sufficient for most.’

McLaren's stunning new supercar, the P1 will have a staggering 903bhp

McLaren's stunning new supercar, the P1 will have a staggering 903bhp

The P1 has a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged engine which develops 727bhp. But it also benefits from an electric motor which adds a further 176bhp to the car's total output

The P1 has a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged engine which develops 727bhp. But it also benefits from an electric motor which adds a further 176bhp to the car's total output

A spokesman for McLaren has called the P1 the 'most technologically advanced production car ever to come from the UK'

A spokesman for McLaren has called the P1 the 'most technologically advanced production car ever to come from the UK' 

 

These models, including the American Tesla Roadster, feature the latest technologies, such as electric, hybrid, hydrogen and low-emission petrol and diesel power units.

Green: American Tesla Roadster

Green: American Tesla Roadster

More traditionally, the London-to-Brighton veteran car run takes place tomorrow and celebrates the ‘Emancipation Run’ held on November 14, 1896.

That marked the scrapping of the Red Flag Act, which limited the speed of cars to walking pace and required a man to walk in front of vehicles with a red flag.

The first car leaves Hyde Park at official sunrise — 7.04am — and the event has attracted 572 entries from around the world, including the first Skoda car produced, a 104-year-old Voiturette dating from 1906.

The oldest vehicle on display will be an 1894 Benz from GGermany.

Other stars are likely to be the 1904 Darracq and yker from The Louwman Collection — better known as the cars that starred in the 1953 film Genevieve, as driven by John Gregson, Kay Kendall and Kenneth More.

The 21st-century cars taking part in the inaugural RAC Brighton-to-London Future Car Challenge today will include the latest electric, hybrid and low-emission cars and light commercial vehicles.

Among these are the Volkswagen Golf-e-motion prototype electric vehicle and the Nissan Leaf electric car, as well as Honda’s hydrogen-powered electric fuel cell vehicle, the Clarity.

There will also be hydrogen fuel cell hybrids from Toyota and Mercedes-Benz. Vauxhall has entered its Ampera electric hybird car, while the UK-based Ecotricity has its 134mph Nemesis supercar.

Starting at Brighton’s Madeira Drive, from 8am today, this event will use the traditional

60-mile veteran car run route, but in reverse. See futurecarchallenge.com and lbvcr.com for details.

Small, perky and easy on the eye, the pocket and the environment, Fiat has just launched the TwinAir version of its best-selling 500 super-mini.

The low-consumption 875cc two-cylinder petrol engine develops just 85 horse-power.

Yet its top speed is still over a ton — 108 mph to be exact — and it will accelerate from rest to 62mph in 11 seconds.

Fiat has just launched the TwinAir version of its best-selling 500 super-mini

Fiat has just launched the TwinAir version of its best-selling 500 super-mini

The car comes as London Mayor Boris Johnson removes the city’s Congestion Charge for sub-100g/km CO2 cars.

A Fiat spokesman said: ‘The ruling means the 500 TwinAir, which emits just 95g/km CO2, will be one of the few petrol cars entitled to travel across the capital without incurring a charge.’

The new 100 per cent discount scheme for greener vehicles comes into force from January 4, 2011. Owners have to register their car for an annual payment of £10.

The low emissions mean there’s no annual road tax (vehicle excise duty or VED) to pay and it averages 68.9 miles to the gallon, managing 57.6mpg around town and 76.3mpg when cruising.

The Fiat 500 TwinAir starts at £10,665 for the TwinAir Pop and rises to £16,065 for the convertible 500C TwinAir by Diesel.

UK holiday discount drive sees 20% wiped off cost of a 'staycation'

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A new campaign offering 20.12 per cent slashed off bills at participating venues will be unveiled by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Wednesday to boost 'staycations'.

The scheme includes hotel accommodation, meals, guided tours and entry to attractions, with discounts funded by the industry.

Staycation: The London Eye is one of the many attractions in the UK taking part in the 20.12 discount scheme

Staycation: The London Eye is one of the many attractions in the UK taking part in the 20.12 discount scheme

Government officials said more than three million hotel rooms were already lined up under the project, which is being backed by a range of companies, including Butlins.

Attractions, such as the London Eye and Alton Towers, are also taking part.

Reduced prices will also be offered on stays on the Royal yacht Britannia, now moored in Leith, Edinburgh, and visits to Chatsworth, the historic house in Derbyshire.

Tourists will be able to take advantage of the discount by using a dedicated website before the end of the Paralympics on September 9 to make bookings for this year and 2013.

Mr Hunt said: 'With the Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympic Games, this year is the perfect opportunity for more of us to holiday in the UK.

'With so much going on, and this fantastic new 20.12% discount scheme, it's a great opportunity to see what Britain has to offer.'

Mr Hunt has travelled the UK, urging companies to take part in the scheme, telling them: 'It's now or never for London tourism.

'We will never have a year like 2012 to show the world that this is, quite simply, the most exciting, vibrant, cosmopolitan city on the planet.

'The inevitable moans and groans in the run up to an Olympics must not cloud the scale of the opportunity - including our biggest ever tourism marketing campaign to make sure we get a lasting benefit from being in the global spotlight.'

The scheme will be promoted by a £3 million television advertising campaign – the first of its kind in the UK.

The government hopes the 'holidays at home are great' campaign – launched by VisitEngland – will create 12,000 jobs, create 5.3million extra short overnight breaks, and generate £480million in extra spending over three years.

VisitEngland’s Chief Executive, James Berresford added: '2012 offers the tourism industry an unprecedented opportunity to grow domestic tourism by inspiring Britons to take a holiday at home.

'Spear-heading the promotion will be a high profile TV campaign and specially devised website offering discounted offers of 20.12% off or better.'

 

This rare 1928 Mercedes, unearthed after 60 years sitting in a garage without seeing the light of day, is expected to sell for a staggering £1.5million at auction.

Described as the supercar of its generation, the 'S' Type model was one of the world's fastest vehicles when it rolled off the production line in 1928, easily reaching speeds in excess of 100mph.

And it’s Ferdinand Porsche designed engine and hand crafted chassis made it one of the earliest luxury sports cars ever mass produced. Incredibly despite having been locked away since the 1950s, it still runs perfectly.

Rare find: The unrestored 1928 Mercedes S Type was unearthed after 60 years sitting in a garage

Rare find: The unrestored 1928 Mercedes S Type was unearthed after 60 years sitting in a garage

Nippy: The S-Type model was one of the world's fastest cars when it rolled off the production line in 1928 easily reaching speeds of 100mph

Nippy: The S-Type model was one of the world's fastest cars when it rolled off the production line in 1928 easily reaching speeds of 100mph

It has been owned by the same family from new and experts have hailed the discovery one of the most considerable automotive finds, with unrestored cars of its type extremely rare.

The cobweb clad car - first registered on the roads in May 1928 - is set to go under the hammer at Bonhams’ Goodwood Revival sale on September 15.

Automotive expert, Rupert Banner, said: 'At a time when motor cars in original condition and with impeccable provenance are appreciated more than ever, this one-owner car offers an unrepeatable opportunity for collectors.

Upholstery: The car's untouched interior. It is now going under the hammer at Bonhams' Goodwood Revival sale on September 15

Upholstery: The car's untouched interior. It is now going under the hammer at Bonhams' Goodwood Revival sale on September 15

Find: Experts have hailed the discovery one of the most considerable automotive finds with unrestored cars of this type extremely rare

Find: Experts have hailed the discovery one of the most considerable automotive finds with unrestored cars of this type extremely rare

'It has literally been off the radar. No one knew such an untouched and archaic this old existed. It is an incredible find.'

The unidentified owners grandfather - a pioneering British motorist - was one of the earliest buyers of the Mercedes ‘S’ Type, which sparked mass production due to its popularity.

And according to the cars unworn handbook, it was sold under the order number 38130 and bought from The British Mercedes Ltd in London.

Detail: The unidentified owners grandfather - a pioneering British motorist - was one of the earliest buyers of the Mercedes 'S' Type, which sparked mass production due to its popularity

Detail: The unidentified owners grandfather - a pioneering British motorist - was one of the earliest buyers of the Mercedes 'S' Type, which sparked mass production due to its popularity

The motors dark battleship grey bodywork was crafted by London-based coachbuilders Cadogan Motors.

Described as a time warp, the convertibles original blue upholstery is still intact.

The car re-established Mercedes’ reputation for building fast, luxurious and high quality motorcars.

Serial number: According to the cars unworn handbook, it was sold under the order number 38130 and bought from The British Mercedes Ltd in London

Serial number: According to the cars unworn handbook, it was sold under the order number 38130 and bought from The British Mercedes Ltd in London

Built to last: Incredibly despite havign sat in a garagefor 60 years the Mercedes still runs perfectly

Built to last: Incredibly despite having sat in a garage for 60 years the Mercedes still runs perfectly

A spokesman for Bonhams said: 'This newly discovered 1928 Mercedes-Benz 'S' Type Sports Tourer is almost without precedent.

'Motor cars of this type and age have rarely been in the same family ownership from new.

'It is expected to sell for more than £1.5m. In for the long haul? The electric car with a 500-mile range could finally match petrol power for distance

  • QBEAK concept vehicle uses bio-methanol to boost its battery life
  • Novel chassis contains six modules instead of one fixed battery
  • Innovative in-wheel electric motors can deliver top speed of 75mph

Green, they may be. But electric cars have struggled to overcome one of the main shortfalls that put buyers off - an inferior range to their petrol-powered rivals.  That may be about to change after a new electric car was unveiled that promises to go 500 miles (800km) before the battery needs recharging. This would be far more than one of the current leaders in the field, the battery/ gasoline Chevrolet Volt, which can do around 375 miles (600km) on one charge-up.

Going the distance: The QBEAK electric car which promises to go 500 miles before the battery needs recharging

Going the distance: The QBEAK electric car which promises to go 500 miles before the battery needs recharging

On the horizon: A battery/fuel cell demonstration model of the QBEAK is expected to arrive sometime in 2013

On the horizon: A battery/fuel cell demonstration model of the QBEAK is expected to arrive sometime in 2013. The Modular Energy Carrier concept (MECc), created by three Danish companies, uses bio-methanol to bolster its battery life. Mogens Lokke, CEO of ECOmove, designers of the innovative 'QBEAK' car said bio-methanol was far better than diesel or gasoline because it produces substantially less carbon dioxide. 'In combination with the way we built the car, which is really lightweight (425 kilograms), we can get the 500-mile range,' he told CNN. A bio-methanol/ water is converted by the fuel cell to create electricity, while waste heat from the process powers the car's heating and cooling system.

One right royal potential owner: Prince Charles has a look inside one of ECOmove's electric concept cars during a visit to Denmark earlier this year

One right royal potential owner: Prince Charles has a look inside one of ECOmove's electric concept cars during a visit to Denmark earlier this year

Keen interest: Prince Charles and Camilla were both given the low-down on the new designs when they visited Vitus Bering Innovation Park in May

Keen interest: Prince Charles and Camilla were both given the low-down on the new designs when they visited Vitus Bering Innovation Park in May. It also benefits from a innovative chassis design which has really pushed the technology forward. 'Instead of putting in a fixed battery, we have built in (six) modules that can be fitted inside the chassis. We can use battery power in the modules or any other kind of energy source,' Lokke said. The award-winning QBEAK also uses patented in-wheel electric motors to deliver a top speed of 75mph (120kph). The car caught the attention of royalty earlier this year when Prince Charles and Camilla paid a visit to Denmark.

Driver: A novel chassis design means it will contain six electric modules rather then a single fixed battery

Driver: A novel chassis design means it will contain six electric modules rather then a single fixed battery

Imminent: The QBEAK project hopes to launch a battery-powered model with a range of 186 miles this year

Imminent: The QBEAK project hopes to launch a battery-powered model with a range of 186 miles this year. They both climbed into the QBEAK car when they arrived at Vitus Bering Innovation Park in May. Mr Løkke, introduced the e-car and its many features, while the royal couple listened attentively. Prince Charles promised to follow ECOmove in the future and said that he finds the QEAK-concept very interesting. 'This is indeed a fantastic opportunity for us to spread the message about ECOmove and our e-car QBEAK to a wider audience', he said. According to Mads Friis Jensen from Serenergy, the designers of the fuel cell, bio-methanol is a cheap and abundant fuel with a short carbon chain.

Challenging petrol: The award-winning QBEAK also uses patented in-wheel electric motors to deliver a top speed of 75mph (120kph)

Challenging petrol: The award-winning QBEAK also uses patented in-wheel electric motors to deliver a top speed of 75mph (120kph)

Green machine: The car's fuel cell converts a bio-ethanol/ water mix into electricity to power the battery

Green machine: The car's fuel cell converts a bio-ethanol/ water mix into electricity to power the battery. Compared to gasoline, bio-methanol production can cut CO2 emissions by more than 70 per cent. The U.S. Department for Energy (DOE) says direct methanol fuel cells are not hampered by the storage problems that affect other green fuels like hydrogen because as a liquid it's easier to transport and supply through current infrastructure. The QBEAK project hopes to launch a battery-powered model with a range of 186 miles (300 kilometers) later this year.

The battery/fuel cell version is expected to arrive sometime in 2013.

Wrapped around a tree, nose down in a ditch and dangling precariously over water.

Fascinating photos from the 1920s and 30s show the dramatic and tragic side effect of the golden age of American motoring.

The pictures were taken in and around Boston, Massachusetts by Leslie Jones, who was staff photographer at the Boston-Herald Traveler newspaper from 1917 to 1956.

Mr Jones captured everything that happened in the city for five decades and when he died in 1967, his family donated a vast collection of 34,000 prints to the Boston Public Library.

They included these fascinating photos of vintage car wrecks from the great motoring boom.

Motor cars became affordable to the masses for the first time in the 1920s. By the end of the decade a Model T Ford cost $298, just a fraction of the $1,200 it cost in 1909.

The introduction of hire purchase also made it much easier for members of the public to buy cars, and by 1929, 20 per cent of Americans were on the road.

Ford, Chrysler and General Motors were all competing for the boom in business and by the time the depression hit in 1929, Ford was producing more than one car every minute.

Technology meant these early cars were capable of achieving speeds of up to 50 miles per hour - but safety measures were nowhere near as advanced as they are today.

Add in the fact drivers didn't need to pass a test before they got behind the wheel, and it's easy to see why accidents were frequent and often spectacular.

A rusty 103-year-old electric car rendered obsolete by the invention of the automobile is tipped to sell for £50,000 as it has turned out to be way ahead of its time. While electric cars are being hailed by many as the future of transportation today, a rudimentary version was being manufactured in the early 20th century. Looking like a cross between something from the Wacky Races and a golf buggy, the car had a top speed of just 25mph.

Dodo, a 103-year-old Detroit Electric Model D that was thought for a century to be an evolutionary dead end has emerged for auction - and has now turned out to be way ahead of its time

Dodo, a 103-year-old Detroit Electric Model D that was thought for a century to be an evolutionary dead end has emerged for auction - and has now turned out to be way ahead of its time

The six foot tall recharging station for the Detroit Electric Model D, which gave the car a range of 100 miles on a full charge

The six foot tall recharging station for the Detroit Electric Model D, which gave the car a range of 100 miles on a full charge. It had a range of 100 miles but had to be plugged into a giant 6ft tall charger before every journey. Manufacturing came to an end in the 1920s when the mass production of the petrol car left it trailing in its wake. The 1910 Detroit Electric Model D that has now emerged for sale would have cost £1,500 at the time, the equivalent of £85,000 today. Modern-day electric cars such as the Nissan LEAF are now priced at around £25,000. In the early 20th century, the electric car was preferred over the early petrol versions as it was simple to operate and was a lot quieter. Henry Ford, founder of The Ford Motor Company, bought two Detroit electric cars for his wife Clara for this reason. Rupert Banner, a car specialist at auctioneers Bonhams, said: 'Electric cars are all the rage now but Detroit Electric was doing very well with them 100 years ago. 'The company became the most successful manufacturer of electric cars and this is a very early version of what they produced. 'They were very popular into the 1920s. 'This one still has the same interior it had back then and has been well preserved. 'It's like stepping back in time. 'It has been in a museum for a number of years now.

Experts at Bonhams say the car is relatively easy to restore, and could soon be in full working order

Experts at Bonhams say the car is relatively easy to restore, and could soon be in full working order. 'It's a very interesting car and it still has its original transforming unit with it, which is extremely rare. 'It looks like something you could power an entire grid with these days, it is so big. 'Once the petrol car came in the days of the Detroit Electric Model were always going to be numbered. 'People could go longer distances and there were now no limitations, which especially in a country as big as America, made all of the difference. 'Detroit were unquestionably the most successful at the electric cars though, that is without question.'

The 103-year-old Detroit Electric Model D that was thought for a century to be an evolutionary dead end but has now turned out to be way ahead of its time

The 103-year-old Detroit Electric Model D that was thought for a century to be an evolutionary dead end but has now turned out to be way ahead of its time. The car comes with its original charger and experts believe it will provide a straight forward restoration project for the new owner. Detroit Electric was an American automobile brand produced by the Anderson Electric Car Company in Detroit, Michigan. It went defunct in 1939. In recent years Detroit Electric has been in negotiations with companies in China and Malaysia about reviving the brand. The car will be sold at auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, US, on January 17.

The 1910 Detroit Electric Model D was a popular vehicle for thousands of motorists in the early years of the 20th century before the widespread production of petrol cars rendered it obsolete.

The 1910 Detroit Electric Model D was a popular vehicle for thousands of motorists in the early years of the 20th century before the widespread production of petrol cars rendered it obsolete.

The car, which has been in a museum for the past decade, is expected to fetch £50,000 when auctioned by Bonhams this week

The car, which has been in a museum for the past decade, is expected to fetch £50,000 when auctioned by Bonhams this week.

It really is hands free! Self-driving Mercedes-Benz is unveiled - and it should be available within seven years

  • Car will be able to hand control back to the driver in difficult situations
  • Group recently demonstrated autonomous driving on a 100km road
  • Volvo,General Motors, and Volkswagen are working on similar technology

Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz and Smart cars, has announced that it will start selling a self-driving car by 2020.

It is thought the car will be able to drive on its own in most situations but will still hand control back to the driver during difficult situations such as dealing with traffic lights.

The move could help Daimler regain its position as the leading luxury car market from its rival BMW.

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It is thought the car, which will be able to drive on its own in most situations, will still hand control back to the driver during difficult situations such as dealing with traffic lights

It is thought the car, which will be able to drive on its own in most situations, will still hand control back to the driver during difficult situations such as dealing with traffic lights. ‘We want to be the first to launch autonomous functions in production vehicles. You can be sure: we will accomplish that in this decade,’ said Daimler head of development Thomas Weber. The technology featured at this week's Frankfurt car show but won’t come to market for another 10 years. The German car maker has been working on improving its driverless technology over the past few years and recently became the world’s first car manufacturer to demonstrate autonomous driving in rural and urban traffic. Last month, a Mercedes Benz S 500 Intelligent Drive research vehicle, drove autonomously through a 100-kilometre-long route from Mannheim to Pforzheim in Germany.

Daimler

Last month, a Mercedes Benz S 500 Intelligent Drive research vehicle drove autonomously through a 100-kilometre-long route from Mannheim to Pforzheim in Germany

Daimler

The driverless S-Class was able to deal with some difficult situations involving traffic lights, roundabouts, pedestrians, cyclists and trams particular challenge for autonomous vehicles is the way in which they communicate and interact with other cars. Coming to an agreement with an oncoming vehicle on who should proceed first around an obstruction is something that requires a very great deal of situational analysis. 'Where a human driver might boldly move forward into a gap, our autonomous vehicle tends to adopt a more cautious approach,' said  Prof Ralf Herrtwich, head of driver assistance and suspension systems at Daimler. 'This sometimes results in comical situations, such as when, having stopped at a zebra crossing, the vehicle gets waved through by the pedestrian – yet our car stoically continues to wait, because we failed to anticipate such politeness when we programmed the system.' The research vehicle was equipped with production-based sensors for the project. Developers taught the technology platform to know where it is, what it sees and how to react autonomously. With the aid of its highly automated 'Route Pilot', the vehicle was able to negotiate its own way through dense urban and rural traffic. The driverless S-Class was also able to deal with some difficult situations involving traffic lights, roundabouts, pedestrians, cyclists and trams. Existing technology already partly automates driving to assist during, for instance, traffic jams, by maintaining a safe distance with the car in front.

In July, the UK government said it will allow driverless cars on public roads for the first time during trials to take place this year. During the ground-breaking road tests, an expert will have to remain in the driving seat. Scientists at Oxford University are working with Nissan in Sunderland to create ‘robotcars’ that can drive themselves independently using details of the road they are driving on stored in on-board software. The Nissan self-drive Leaf electric car is controlled by an iPad, and the Oxford team behind it claim the technology could be installed in mainstream cars as a £60 option. Mercedes unveils S500 Intelligent Drive

The future: Most big car-makers are already developing self-drive technology and incorporating elements of it into cars already on the road

The future: Most big car-makers are already developing self-drive technology and incorporating elements of it into cars already on the road Cameras and lasers built into its chassis map a 3D model of its surroundings when it is driven manually, which is fed into a computer stored in the boot. The car can then ‘remember’ routes. It prompts the driver via an iPad on the dashboard to engage the autopilot and, at a touch of the screen, the car assumes control. A laser at the front scans 164ft ahead 13 times per second for obstacles, such as pedestrians, cyclists, or other cars in an 85-degree field of view. If it senses an obstacle, it slows and comes to a controlled stop. The driver can tap the brake pedal to regain control of the vehicle from the computer. Sweden’s Volvo, Vauxhall’s U.S. parent General Motors, and Germany’s Volkswagen are also working on the technology.

 

Stunning vintage car was later owned by Warner Brothers

It appeared in films such as Inside Daisy Clover and The F.B.I. Story

Will go under the hammer at Blenheim Palace this Saturday

A car which belonged to one of the biggest names in the history of Hollywood cowboy films is set to fetch more than £130,000 when it goes under the hammer in a UK auction.

With its impressive Hollywood history and a whopping a 7.7L engine, the incredible Rolls Royce Phantom I Playboy Roadster is expected to cause a stampede of interest from film buffs around the world.

Auctioneers estimate the hammer will fall in excess of £120,000 for the 1927 model once owned by Tom Mix, one of Hollywood’s finest stars during the 1920’s.

Star car: This stunning Rolls Royce Phantom I Playboy Roadster, which belonged to silent movie cowboy Tom Mix, is expected to sell for £130,000 at auction

Star car: This stunning Rolls Royce Phantom I Playboy Roadster, which belonged to silent movie cowboy Tom Mix, is expected to sell for £130,000 at auction

Cowboy Tom was the biggest names of the Hollywood silent film generation, appearing in a staggering 291 films between Between 1909 and 1935.

He bought the car in 1933 and  spruced it up with the latest features to ensure that it was special enough to be driven by a star such as himself.

Former owner: Actor Tom Mix appeared in a staggering 291 film between Between 1909 and 1935

Former owner: Actor Tom Mix appeared in a staggering 291 films between Between 1909 and 1935

The headlights were lowered, the wings underwent a radical updating, a fog light was added and an ultra-modern radio was built into the dash.

Despite being 85 years old, the beautiful motor still has a top speed of 90mph enough to send any bidder sailing happily into the sunset.

The lot is due to go under the hammer at Coys specialist motor auction this Saturday at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, and has been drawing lots of attention from film fans with enough cash to splash.

Potential bidders have also been impressed by the chance to own a car with such a dazzling Hollywood history outside of the US.

Tom was fatally injured in a car crash with his other classic car, a Cord L29 in 1940 but this was not the end of the Rolls’ big screen roles.

Warner Brothers snapped up the car after Tom’s death and it spent the next three decades making appearances in some of their classic films.

The Hollywood great Robert Redford got behind the wheel of the Rolls Royce in the 1965 film Daisy Clover.

Since then two collectors have carefully maintained the Phantom to the pristine condition that it’s now being sold in.

Coys’ auctioneer, Chris Routledge said: 'The valuation on this car is about what we’d expect but because of the brilliant history that comes with it, the sky really is the limit for how much this car will sell for.

Stampede: With its impressive Hollywood history and a 7.7L engine the vintage motor is drumming up a lot of attention from film buffs around the world

Stampede: With its impressive Hollywood history and a 7.7L engine the vintage motor is drumming up a lot of attention from film buffs around the world

The beautiful car will go under the hammer at Coys specialist motor auction this Saturday at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire

The beautiful car will go under the hammer at Coys specialist motor auction this Saturday at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire

Horsepower: The Roller's massive 7.7L engine is in pristine condition

Horsepower: The Roller's massive 7.7L engine is in pristine condition

At the wheel: The car was driven by Robert Redford in the 1965 film Daisy Clover

At the wheel: The car was driven by Robert Redford in the 1965 film Daisy Clover

Custom: Film star Mix personalised the car by lowering the headlights and updating the wings. A fog light was added and an ultra-modern radio was built into the dash

Custom job: Film star Mix personalised the car by lowering the headlights and updating the wings. A fog light was added and an ultra-modern radio was built into the dash

Warner Brothers snapped up the car after Tom's death and since then two collectors have carefully maintained the Phantom

Film producers Warner Brothers snapped up the car after Tom's death and since then two collectors have carefully maintained the Phantom

'It’s the only car of this type in the world so we’ve had a lot of interest from Japan and America.

'The only reason that we have this car is because it’s coming from a deceased estate, otherwise it’s unlikely that anything of this sort would ever come up for sale.

'It’s always fascinating in this line of work when a car like this comes up for sale.

'It’s very exciting especially because of it’s California and Hollywood links.'

THE TRAGIC DEATH OF HOLLYWOOD'S FIRST WESTERN MEGASTAR

Thomas Edwin 'Tom' Mix  was Hollywood's first western megastar appearing in an incredible 291 films between 1909 and 1935.

A real-life cowboy, he worked as a ranch hand and was an excellent shot and and expert with a lasso.

His first film The Cowboy Millionaire, was released on October 21, 1909 after which his popularity exploded. As his fame grew he was able to command hefty sums for his appearances.

Screen cowboy: Tom Mix riding his horse in 1925 after he had become Hollywood's first western megastar

Screen cowboy: Tom Mix riding his horse in 1925 after he had become Hollywood's first western megastar

Married five times, his style would go on to define the Hollywood western genre and influence future screen cowboy's such as Ronald Reagan and John Wayne.

It was on the afternoon of October 12, 1940, that the 60-year-old Mix, was driving another of his cars, a 1937 Cord 812 Phaeton,on Arizona State Route 79 near Florence.

He had been visiting Pima County Sheriff Ed Nichols in Tucson but had stopped at a gambling and drinking den the Oracle Junction Inn,

He was reportedly driving at around 80mph when he rolled the car into a gulley.

On the package shelf behind him was an aluminum suitcase containing  a large amount of cash as well as traveller's cheques and jewels.

It reportedly slammed into back of the head, shattering his skull and breaking his neck. He was killed instantly.

There is a small memorial stone marking the site of his death and the nearby gully is named 'Tom Mix Wash'.

Mix famously appears on the cover of the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band designed by Peter Blake.

The Beatles album, 'Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band'

Tom Mix on the cover of the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band designed by Peter Blake

  • New Jaguar soft top roadster on sale from next Spring from £55,000
  • Porsche rival is 14ft 8in in length and does 0-60mph in four seconds
  • F-Type being seen as 'spiritual successor' to E-Type of the Sixties

Jaguar today unveiled its sexy new two-seater F-Type roadster – the spiritual successor to the legendary E-Type sports car of the 1960s.

The uncompromising convertible designed to take on the might and performance of Germany’s Porsche is to have its official unveiling at next week’s Paris Motor Show, some fifty years after the car which inspired it.

Jaguar Land Rover bosses say their British challenger will  go into direct competition with the likes of  Germany’s Porsche 911 – causing some to dub it the ‘Porsche-buster.’

The 'Porsche buster': Jaguar's new two- seater F-Type roadster, the spiritual successor to it's iconic E-Type sports car, has been released 50 years after the original went on sale

The 'Porsche buster': Jaguar's new two- seater F-Type roadster, the spiritual successor to it's iconic E-Type sports car, has been released 50 years after the original went on sale

Shrouded in secrecy: The new F-type as disguised prototype at Goodwood. The official reveal in Paris next week is heralded as a 'truly significant day' by the motoring giant

Shrouded in secrecy: The new F-type as disguised prototype at Goodwood. The official reveal in Paris next week is heralded as a 'truly significant day' by the motoring giant

The scintillating  sports car with contemporary styling and a particularly cute rear will offer drivers a  choice of two 3-litre V6 or an even more powerful 5-litre V8 engine fitted to an eight-speed gearbox offering blistering performance and superb handling.

New Jaguar F-Type

Price: From £55,000

On sale:
Soft top roadster from next Spring
Hard-topped coupe from 2014
Built: Castle Bromwich, Birmingham
Length: 14ft 8 inches
Width: 6ft 4 inches
Height: 4ft 3 inches
Weight: 1.6 tonnes
Seats: 2
Engines: 3 options
Supercharged 5.0 litre   V8 (495PS)
Two supercharged 3.0 litre V6 (340PS and 380PS)
Top Speed: around 190mph
0-60: Just over 4 seconds.
MPG:  circa 30mpg
C02: from around 200g/km

The F-Type is being seen as the ‘spiritual successor’ to the E-Type of the 1960s, but is pitched as a truly 21st century car in terms of design, technology and performance.

It will sit in size below the  larger XK grand-tourer sports car but is expected to give a massive ‘halo’ effect to the whole Jaguar brand.

The higher performance F-Type  models  will accelerating from 0-62mph in less than five seconds and have top speeds well  in excess of 155mph and in some cases nudging 190mph. The open-topped roadster  will cost  from  around £55,000 when they goes on sale in Spring. A hard-topped coupe version  is expected to follow in late summer 2014.

Jaguar released some early official photographs after some of the images and details leaked out.

Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar global brand director, said the F-Type's launch in France will be a ‘truly significant day’ as the firm returns to the sports car market.

He said: 'As its sporting forebears did in their era, the F-Type will break new ground by delivering stunning sports car performance while vividly demonstrating Jaguar's cutting-edge engineering technologies and world-class design excellence.

Ian Callum, director of design who created the car and has promised to buy one for his heirs out of his own money , added: ‘A true sports car needs to be pure in both its purpose and its form; to have the opportunity to produce such a car for Jaguar has been a privilege both for myself and for my team.’

Iconic: The original Jaguar E-Type was manufactured by the car giant between 1961 and 1974

Iconic: The original Jaguar E-Type was manufactured by the car giant between 1961 and 1974

A 'proper' sports car: The original Jaguar E-Type was 'pure in both its purpose and its form'

A 'proper' sports car: The original Jaguar E-Type was 'pure in both its purpose and its form' 

 

Lean, green, speedy machines: Porsche and BMW unveil hybrid supercars that are built for racing - but are MORE efficient than a Toyota Prius

  • The Porsche 918 Spyder can reach 60mph in less than 2.8 seconds, while the BMW i8 takes 4.4 seconds to reach the same speed
  • BMW's hybrid supercar can do 113 miles per gallon and Porsche's can travel 72 miles on the same fuel
  • Porsche said its car is the fastest street-legal car to complete the 12.8 mile Nurburgring track but it is over five times as expensive as the BMW

Supercars are not usually known for their fuel efficiency, but both Porsche and BMW have debuted hybrid vehicles that are less thirsty at a petrol pump than a Toyota Prius. Unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor show, the Porsche 918 Spyder can reach 60mph in less than 2.8 seconds, while BMW's futuristic i8 takes less than 4.4 seconds to reach the same speed. But the sleek sports cars are designed to be fuel efficient as well as fast. Porsche's Spyder can also do 72 miles per gallon and is almost a third more fuel efficient than the Toyota's Prius, while the BMW i8 is even less thirsty as it can manage 113 miles per gallon.

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Unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor show, the Porsche 918 Spyder can reach 60mph in less than 2.8 seconds proving its racing credentials

Unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor show, the Porsche 918 Spyder can reach 60mph in less than 2.8 seconds proving its racing credentials. But the sleek sports car can also do 72 miles per gallon and is almost a third more fuel efficient than the Toyota's popular hybrid model - the Prius

BMW has finally taken the wraps off its much-teased hybrid supercar

BMW has finally taken the wraps off its much-teased hybrid supercar, which has a top speed of 155mph and is capable of doing 113 miles per gallon. The futuristic i8 is the car manufacturer's 'most advanced' sports car

PORSCHE 918 SPYDER SPEC

Top speed: 211 mph but 93mph when purely electric

Acceleration: 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds

Body: The two-seater car is made of carbon fibre

Drivetrain: The model is a parallel full hybrid comprising a 4.6 litre engine and hybrid module with electric motor

Engine: The V8 provides 608 horsepower and together with the electric capability has 887 horsepower

Energy supply: Lithium-ion battery and mains-compatible plug-in charger

Range: 18 miles when purely electric

AC charging times: Less than 7 hours using a household socket and 2 hours on an industrial socket

Price: £537,000

Porsche's £537,000 offering is a carbon fibre supercar with a plug-in hybrid drive, making it the latest racing car manufacturer to try and make more eco-friendly cars sexy.

The company said: 'Never before has a supercar designed for everyday use offered such an impressive dynamic performance combined with the fuel consumption of a compact car.'The car was designed from scratch to be a high-performance hybrid and is 'virtually silent' like most electric vehicles.

It combines a combustion engine with an electric motor system to boost its performance.

The Spyder has a top speed of 211 miles per hour - 93mph when solely using the electric motor  - and has a V8 engine, which combined with its electric capability, provides 887 horsepower.

Wolfgang Hatz, member of the Porsche AG Board of Management in charge of research and development, said: 'We promised a great deal with the 918 Spyder, namely to redefine performance, efficiency and driving pleasure. We have kept our word.'

Porsche 918 Spyder unveiled at Frankfurt Motor Show

The Porsche 918 Spyder is displayed at the 65th Frankfurt Auto Show in Frankfurt, Germany

The Porsche 918 Spyder is displayed at the 65th Frankfurt Auto Show in Frankfurt, Germany. The car has a plug-in hybrid drive, making Porsche the latest sports car manufacturer to try and make more eco-friendly cars sexy

e promised a great deal with the 918 Spyder, namely to redefine performance, efficiency and driving pleasure

Wolfgang Hatz, member of the Porsche AG Board of Management in charge of research and development, (not pictured) said: 'We promised a great deal with the 918 Spyder, namely to redefine performance, efficiency and driving pleasure. We have kept our word'

When let loose around the famous racing circuit, Porsche said that the 918 Spyder completed the 12.8 mile track in just six minutes and 57 seconds.

The hybrid car shaved 14 seconds off the previous Nurburgring record for a street-legal car, making it the fastest super car built for normal roads to race the course.

Dr Frank Walliser, head of the 918 Spyder project, said: 'The radical hybridisation of the 918 Spyder from the very outset is what made this record possible.

'The Nordschleife is and remains the toughest measure of a super sports car. Posting a time of 6:57 minutes, we have achieved a result of which the development team and everybody at Porsche can be rightly proud.'

Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller, left, and former rally driver Walter Roehrl show off the 918 hybrid sports car at the motor show

Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller, left, and former rally driver Walter Roehrl show off the 918 hybrid sports car at the motor show. When let loose around the Nurburgring, Porsche said that the 918 Spyder completed the 12.8 mile track in just six minutes and 57 seconds

Chairman of the board of Porsche AG, Matthias Mueller is pictured in the car

The 918 Spyder hybrid car shaved 14 seconds off the previous Nurburgring record for a street-legal car, making it the fastest supercar built for normal roads to race the course. Chairman of the board of Porsche AG, Matthias Mueller is pictured in the car

HOW DO THE CARS COMPARE?
  • The Porsche goes from 0-60mph in 2.8 seconds, while the BMW takes 4.4 seconds
  • The BMW is more fuel efficient travelling 113mpg, while the Porsche can do 72mpg
  • With a top speed of 211mph, the 918 Spyder is faster than the i8, which is limited to 155mph
  • The largest difference is the price. Porsche's 918 Spyder costs £537,000, while BMW's i8 costs £99,845

BMW has finally taken the wraps off its much-teased hybrid supercar, which has a top speed of 155mph and is capable of doing 113 miles per gallon.

The futuristic i8 is the car manufacturer's 'most advanced' sports car ever and is powered by a relatively small 1.5 litre turbocharged engine which, combined with an electric motor, generates 362 brake horsepower.

This gives the plug-in hybrid a 0 to 62mph time of just 4.4 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.

While it is fast, the i8 also claims to be 'green' and emits just 59g/km of carbon dioxide as well as being fuel-efficient for a sports car.

Power from the petrol engine goes to the rear wheels while the electric motor goes through the front.

The car is capable of being driven in electric mode for 22 miles at a top speed of 75mph and BMW claims the i8 can have its battery charged from zero to 80 per cent in less than two hours.

The i8 is powered by a small 1.5 litre turbocharged engine

The i8 is powered by a small 1.5 litre turbocharged engine which, combined with an electric motor, generates 362bhp. This gives the plug-in hybrid a 0-62mph time of just 4.4 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155mph

When fully charged and with a full tank of fuel, the four-seat i8 can be driven for around 310 miles before needing to be topped up.

BMW has been teasing the arrival of its more eco-friendly supercar for a long time with drawings of concept cars, but has now confirmed the car will go on sale in July next year and will cost £99,845.

Making its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the distinctive car looks like a new member of the BMW family but has upwards-opening scissor doors and daring details like its 'iBlue' neon trim on the grille, 'side skirts' and back bumper.

While it is fast, the i8 also claims to be 'green'

While it is fast, the i8 also claims to be 'green' and emits just 59g/km of carbon dioxide as well as being fuel-efficient for a sports car. When fully charged and with a full tank of fuel, the four-seat i8 can be driven for around 310 miles before needing to be topped up

Talking about the design, the company said: 'The structure of overlapping and interlocking surfaces contributes to the unmistakable appearance of the BMW i8. This layering principle allows aerodynamic forms to be wrapped up in a progressively styled package.'

The body is made of carbon and aluminum and the mixture of colours apparently show off the way the air flows over the car, while its shape means there is no need for a spoiler.

The company said: 'The new BMW i8 combines the performance of a sports car with the fuel consumption of a small compact car, boasting impressive efficiency and sustainability without forfeiting driving dynamics.

The structure of overlapping and interlocking surfaces contributes to the unmistakable appearance of the BMW i8

Talking about the design, the company said: 'The structure of overlapping and interlocking surfaces contributes to the unmistakable appearance of the BMW i8. This layering principle allows aerodynamic forms to be wrapped up in a progressively styled package'

'No compromises, but rather the optimal combination of driving pleasure and responsibility.

'The BMW i8 is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that brings together the advantages of electro-mobility and innovative engine technology.

'The result is an extraordinarily dynamic driving experience - with extremely low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.'

The i8 began its life as a pure concept car six years ago and there were no plans for production, according to Top Gear.

The interior is as edgy as the exterior of the new car

The interior is as edgy as the exterior of the new car. The i8 has 'glass cockpit all-screen instruments' and lightweight seats as well as the distinctive neon blue trim seen on the outside of the car

 

Officers examine a car that has wrapped itself around a tree, spilling its interiors onto the street in Boston in 1933

Officers examine a car that has wrapped itself around a tree, spilling its interiors onto the street in Boston in 1933

Passersby try to figure out how this car ended up nose-down in a trench in Boston's West End. A glance at the rough, dirt-covered road provides a clue

Passersby try to figure out how this car ended up nose-down in a trench in Boston's West End. A glance at the rough, dirt-covered road provides a clue

The scene of an accident in 1935. Information with the photo reveals a car stolen by joyriding children crashed into a lawyer's car, killing him

The scene of an accident in 1935. Information with the photo reveals a car stolen by joyriding children crashed into a lawyer's car, killing him

Giving a rare glimpse of the day's fashion, a group of men look over a crumpled car that sits by the side of a residential Boston street

Giving a rare glimpse of the day's fashion, a group of men look over a crumpled car that sits by the side of a residential Boston street

Crowds pose for photographer Leslie Jones alongside a mangled and burnt out wreck in Boston in 1933

Crowds pose for photographer Leslie Jones alongside a mangled and burnt out wreck in Boston in 1933

A police officer poses next to a car that flipped over manoevring around corner in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1935.

A police officer poses next to a car that flipped over manoevring around corner in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1935.

This truck stood no chance when it came into contact with a tree on a rural Mass. road, disintegrating on impact - leaving just the steering wheel intact.

This truck stood no chance when it came into contact with a tree on a rural Mass. road, disintegrating on impact - leaving just the steering wheel intact.

A fireboat struggles to haul a car out of the Fore River in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1933. They succeeded, but couldn't save the three passengers, who drowned

A fireboat struggles to haul a car out of the Fore River in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1933. They succeeded, but couldn't save the three passengers, who drowned

This car came out loser in a battle of wills with a trolley bus on Boston's South End in 1932

This car came out loser in a battle of wills with a trolley bus on Boston's South End in 1932

Children peer out of the undergrowth as photographer Leslie Jones captures a nasty wreck smoulding by the side of the road in Hingham

Children peer out of the undergrowth as photographer Leslie Jones captures a nasty wreck smoulding by the side of the road in Hingham

Crowds watch in awe as a car is winched out of the Charles River in Cambridge, Mass. close to the Harvard University campus

Crowds watch in awe as a car is winched out of the Charles River in Cambridge, Mass in 1933. close to the Harvard University campus

Taken in 1934, this photograph shows a truck balancing on a bridge in Dorchester by just one wheel. Workers from the Walter Baker & Co chocolate factory rushed out of the building in the background to watch

Taken in 1934, this photograph shows a truck balancing on a bridge in Dorchester by just one wheel. Workers from the Walter Baker & Co chocolate factory rushed out of the building in the background to watch

Another angle from the same accident shows how close the truck is from toppling into the water

Another angle from the same accident shows how close the truck is from toppling into the water

This car remarkably survived a collision with a utility pole in Cambridge, Mass - with just a mangled bumper to show for the crash

This car remarkably survived a collision with a utility pole in Cambridge, Mass - with just a mangled bumper to show for the crash

The driver of this car was unlikely to have survived this collision. The wreck is wrapped entirely around a tree, which sits in the driver's position

The driver of this car was unlikely to have survived this collision. The wreck is wrapped entirely around a tree, which sits in the driver's position

The shell of a truck is pulled from the Charles River after it careered off the Harvard Bridge

The shell of a truck is pulled from the Charles River after it careered off the Harvard Bridge

Photographer Leslie Jones had to part crowds of onlookers to capture this accident in downtown Boston. An out of control car collided with a shopfront, smashing windows and ending up on its side

Photographer Leslie Jones had to part crowds of onlookers to capture this accident in downtown Boston. An out of control car collided with a shopfront, smashing windows and ending up on its side

Local businessman Byron Harwood and Byron Grover were hurt when their car collided with a bus in Waltham, Mass. in 1921. They were lucky to survive this nasty looking wreck. Their car certainly didn't

Local businessman Byron Harwood and Byron Grover were hurt when their car collided with a bus in Waltham, Mass. in 1921. They were lucky to survive this nasty looking wreck. Their car certainly didn't

Taken in 1934, this photo shows a car that skidded out of control on ice-covered roads and wrapped around a tree in Auburndale, Mass.

Taken in 1934, this photo shows a car that skidded out of control on ice-covered roads and wrapped around a tree in Auburndale, Mass.

A bus hit a truck and flipped over in south Boston, stopping just before it smashed into a cafeteria storefront

A truck collideded with a bus and flipped over in south Boston, stopping just before it smashed into a cafeteria storefront

Another view of the same accident shows eager children posing with the upturned truck. it also demonstrates how close the vehicles came to nearby buildings

Another view of the same accident shows eager children posing with the upturned truck. it also demonstrates how close the vehicles came to nearby buildings

A Cudahy Packing Co. truck is hauled out of Fort Point Channel, which separates South Boston and downtown Boston

A Cudahy Packing Co. truck is hauled out of Fort Point Channel, which separates South Boston and downtown Boston

Even public servants weren't immune to accidents. An early mail truck came out loser in this battle with a tree on the tree-lined Commercial Avenue, Boston

Even public servants weren't immune to accidents. An early mail truck came out loser in this battle with a tree on the tree-lined Commercial Avenue, Boston

Sitting in a Boston wrecking yard, this cross section of a wreck shows how basic car interiors were in the early days of motoring.

Sitting in a Boston wrecking yard, this cross section of a wreck shows how basic car interiors were in the early days of motoring.

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