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BBC Autos

Week in pictures: A Renault fit for a pope

  • A humble ride for his holiness

    Motivated by a papal plea, a priest from northern Italy has given Pope Francis I his 1984 Renault 4L. The pontiff will drive the compact wagon, which has 300,000km (186,000 miles) on its odometer, around the Vatican, a spokesman said. Pope Francis has called on clergy to shun ostentation and live humbly, a directive that resonated with the priest, 70-year-old Renzo Zocca (second from right), who had driven the car for decades. It is not the first Renault to be presented to a pope. Benedict XVI, Pope Francis’ predecessor, took delivery of two electric Renault vans in 2012 for use within the Vatican and at his summer residence southeast of Rome, at Castel Gandolfo. (Photo: AFP/Getty)

  • Raikkonen back at Ferrari

    Kimi Raikkonen, the No 1 driver at Team Lotus, will return to the Ferrari Formula 1 team for the 2014 season. Raikkonen won the driver’s championship with Ferrari in 2007, but was later displaced by Fernando Alonso, Ferrari’s current No 1 (above, in background). Raikkonen, who has raced in rally and Nascar formats as well, will replace Felipe Massa at Ferrari, who has performed below the team’s expectations. Lotus has yet to name a replacement driver. (Photo: Clive Mason/Getty)

  • Wet Nellie finds a buyer

    The submersible Lotus Esprit used in filming the 1976 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me sold at auction on 9 September in London for £616,000 ($976,000). According to consigners RM Auctions, the winning bid was placed by an anonymous buyer by telephone. The Esprit, which earned the nickname Wet Nellie on the production set, was said to be fully operational. (Photo: Tim Scott/RM Auctions)

  • Formula E stakes out turf in Frankfurt

    The budding open-wheel electric race series showed a new prototype during press previews at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show. The series, which plans to put purely electric racecars on street courses around the world next year, has endorsements from many prominent individuals within motorsport and politics, but has sceptics as well, including outspoken Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone. (Photo: Daniel Roland/AFP/Getty)

  • Hybrid Porsche sets mark at Nürburgring

    The Porsche 918 Spyder, a hybrid supercar that was formally introduced at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show, set an unofficial lap record for a street-legal car around Germany’s infamous Nürburgring, with a final time of 6 minutes 57 seconds at an average speed of 112mph. (There is no official timing association at the circuit, but the time was verified by independent observers on site.) The 918 is motivated by a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain yielding 887 total system horsepower. In the US, 918 Spyders are priced from $845,000. (Photo: Porsche Cars North America)