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BBC Autos

Week in pictures: Dawn Down Under

  • Dutch students beat the sun

    For the fifth time, a team fielded by the Netherlands’ Delft University of Technology has won the World Solar Challenge. The competition, in which students design and build solar racecars to run roughly 3,000km (1,865 miles) between Darwin and Adelaide, Australia, has seen entries in recent years that mimic the shape of passenger cars (such as eVe, from the University of New South Wales), but the winning Dutch design adhered to a more traditional solar-racer shape that maximised photovoltaic surface area. Called Nuna7, the winning car averaged 90.7kph (56.4mph) over the competition. (Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

  • Vettel inches closer to F1 title

    Sebastian Vettel, the defending Formula 1 champion and Red Bull pilot, consolidated his lead in the driver’s championship with a first-place finish at the Korean Grand Prix. He can secure his fourth consecutive F1 title at the Japanese Grand Prix on 13 October, provided he wins and his closest rival, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, finishes lower than eighth. Mark Webber, Vettel’s teammate, is leaving Red Bull at the end of the 2013 season, but his replacement has not been announced. (Photo: Newspress)

  • Brazil’s novel public art project

    A grass-roots effort by residents of Sao Paulo, Brazil, to rehabilitate derelict cars left on city streets has resulted in a massive public art project. The initiative, called Ocupe Carrinho (“Occupy Little Car”), echoes similar artistic interventions in cities such as Detroit, Michigan, which draw attention to urban blight in eye-catching, provocative ways. (Photo: Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty)

  • Ogier takes first WRC crown

    Having played second fiddle to nine-time rally champion Sébastien Loeb at Citroën, Sébastien Ogier – now racing for Volkswagen – etched his mark in the record books with a win in the Rally France, securing the 2013 World Rally Championship for himself and co-driver Julien Ingrassia. In the final rally of his career, Loeb, who raced an abbreviated season for Citroën, crashed out of competition when his DS3 slid wide and rolled onto its roof. Loeb was not hurt in the crash. (Photo: Newspress)

  • Hyundai offers payment relief to furloughed

    Amid the US governmental shutdown, Hyundai Motor America has offered to give furloughed federal employees a reprieve on loan and lease payments for their new Hyundai vehicles. The initiative falls under the Korean automaker’s Hyundai Assurance programme – launched in 2009 amid the global economic crisis, whereby new owners who lost their jobs would receive a reprieve from payments. Hyundai said its current programme would stay in place for the duration of the shutdown. (Photo: Hyundai Motor America)

  • A humble, homegrown Fangio for sale

    Mere months after a Mercedes-Benz grand prix car driven by Argentine Formula 1 legend Juan Manuel Fangio sold for a record £19.6m ($29.7m), a Fangio car of decidedly less rarified provenance will soon cross the block. The 1970 Torino 380S, built in Argentina by the defunct IKA brand, was allegedly presented to Fangio as a gift. Silverstone Auctions, which did not disclose a pre-auction estimate, will bring the Torino to its 15 November sale in Birmingham, England. (Photo: Newspress)

  • Merry Christmas, from Aston Martin

    The Aston Martin Vanquish Volante has been chosen as the automotive “fantasy gift” in the 2013 Neiman Marcus Christmas Book. The US retailer will offer 10 of the carbon-fibre Astons, at $344,500 apiece, painted Seychelles Blue – a shade exclusive to the run of 10. With a 565-horsepower 6-litre V12 engine, the Vanquish Volante is the fastest convertible offered in the history of the British marque. In recent years, Neiman Marcus has offered the Ferrari FF, Jaguar XJL, McLaren 12C Spider and Chevrolet Camaro convertible among its automotive fantasy gifts. (Photo: Neiman Marcus)