BBC Autos

Week in pictures: Viper losing its charm?

  • Chrysler: Snake-bitten?

    With dealer inventory mounting, Chrysler’s SRT brand has slowed production of the Viper. The 640-horsepower supercar re-entered production amid much fanfare after a nearly three-year hiatus in 2012, and despite garnering positive reviews, the big rear-wheel-drive snake has struggled to find traction among buyers. According to Automotive News, there were 565 unsold models in dealers’ stocks. SRT had originally expected to sell as many as 2,000 Vipers annually in the US. (Photo: Chrysler Group)

  • Tesla experiences battery fire

    A Model S sedan caught fire in Washington State on 1 October, reviving concerns about the safety of the batteries utilised by most EV manufacturers. According to a Tesla spokeswoman, the fire was caused when the driver ran over metal debris on a highway, which breached a battery-pack module. The fire expanded from that module and eventually engulfed the sedan’s entire front end, though the car’s driver was unharmed. Tesla’s stock price dropped more than 6% as news of the fire spread. EV batteries have been objects of scrutiny over the past two years following highly publicised conflagrations involving the Chevrolet Volt and Fisker Karma plug-in hybrids. (Photo: Tesla Motors)

  • Talbot-Lago may fetch $10m at auction

    A rare 1936 Talbot-Lago T150C Figoni et Falaschi Cabriolet has been consigned for Ontario-based RM Auctions’ 21 November sale in New York, carrying a pre-auction estimate of $8m to $10m. The example is the prototype car for the defunct French automaker’s Cabriolet body style. Mid-1930s examples of French road cars are perennial auction stars, regularly commanding multimillion-dollar bids. (Photo: Michael Furman/RM Auctions)

  • Aston Cygnet falls to earth

    Based on the Toyota iQ – marketed in the US as the Scion iQ – the Aston Martin Cygnet has been discontinued. According to, production of the leather-lined supermini had already ceased, with sales having come in well below Aston’s expectations. The Toyota-Aston match was made to help lower the British supercar manufacturer’s fleet-wide carbon footprint. Automakers that exceed carbon-emissions standards may face fines by national and European regulatory bodies. (Photo: Newspress)

  • Ford turbocharges bespoke racer

    Set to debut on 9 October in Daytona Beach, Florida, the Riley Technologies Daytona Prototype features familiar cues – including an engine – from team sponsor Ford. Powering the prototype is a 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 engine based on a unit widely used throughout the Ford product range. The racecar will attempt to break the single-lap average speed record at Daytona International Speedway, 210.36mph (338.5kph), which has stood since 1987. (Photo: Ford Racing)