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BBC Autos

Week in pictures: When Van Damme met Volvo

  • Volvo’s ‘Epic Split’ goes viral

    With able assistance from martial-arts film star Jean-Claude Van Damme, Volvo Trucks demonstrated its Volvo Dynamic Steering assist feature in a most unconventional – and effective – short film. Van Damme placed his feet on the side mirrors of two Volvo FM Series trucks, which travelled in reverse at identical speeds and drifted slightly apart, gradually drawing the actor’s legs into a perfect split. Volvo called the stunt a “world first”. At publish time, the video had garnered more than 8m views on YouTube since its release on 14 November.

    Watch the film here. (Photo: Volvo Trucks)

  • Honda’s next-gen… unicycle?

    Ahead of its official debut at the 2013 Tokyo motor show, Honda has previewed the evolution of its Uni-Cub personal mobility device. Heavily dependent on gyroscope technologies, the unicycle-like contraption can be set in motion merely by the rider shifting his or her body weight in the desired direction of travel. Since its introduction in May 2012, the Uni-Cub has lost weight and improved its battery life and top speed (6kph, or 3.7mph), Honda claims. There are, however, no production plans. (Photo: American Honda)

  • All 375 McLaren P1s are spoken for

    The most hyper of the new breed of hypercars has gone off the market before deliveries have even commenced. Every 903-horsepower gasoline-electric P1 has been either sold or reserved, TopGear.com reports. Priced from $1.15m in the US, the P1 received its first official media test by Jeremy Clarkson, the report of which can be read in the latest issue of Top Gear magazine. (Photo: McLaren Automotive)

  • Three-time Indy 500 champion to retire

    Having suffered a concussion and back injury in a late-season crash, four-time IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti announced that on his physician’s urging, he would retire from racing. At the Grand Prix of Houston on 6 October, Franchitti’s car made contact with that of Takuma Sato, causing Franchitti’s racer to go airborne into a catch fence. The Scotsman, who won the Indianapolis 500 three times over his career, sustained broken vertebrae, a broken ankle and a concussion in the crash. Honda, Franchitti’s main sponsor, said in a statement: “When you take a moment to realize that Dario Franchitti won more races for Honda than any driver in the history of American open-wheel racing … you begin to come to some small understanding of what he has meant to American Honda and its racing program.” (Photo: Nick Laham/Getty)

  • Volkswagen to recall 2.6m vehicles worldwide

    Citing flaws among certain vehicles’ fuel lines, lights and engine oil formulations, Volkswagen announced it would recall 2.6m of some of its most popular models – among them 800,000 Tiguan compact utility vehicles, one of the brand’s strongest sellers in 2013. The safety action ranks among the largest in the history of the company, though the flaws themselves are relatively minor, BBC News reports. (Photo: Volkswagen Group)

  • Motorist club makes bid for Nürburgring

    German news organisation Die Welt reports that the Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club (ADAC), Germany’s largest automotive club, has made a bid for the famed Nürburgring circuit. The race complex has been mired in financial limbo, with the regional government keeping the debt-riddled facility afloat while simultaneously searching for a buyer. Die Welt said the club was suspected of offering 100m euros for the facility, though representatives for ADAC would not comment. (Photo: Newspress)