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BBC Autos

Week in pictures: The £16,500 Aston

  • A toy, it is not

    From West London-based Aston Martin dealer Nicholas Mee & Co comes the DB Junior, a fully functioning, gasoline-powered miniature roadster, sized for fortunate tikes 10 years and older. Inspired by Aston’s swinging DB models of the 1960s, the single-seat Junior boasts a wooden steering wheel, leather seats, working lights and horn, a coil-over suspension and Brembo disc brakes. Under the hood is an electric-start 110cc four-stroke engine matched to a semi-automatic three-speed transmission, sufficient to enable a top speed of 46mph. Pricing for the DB Junior starts at a breezy £16,500 (about $27,000 – or a good $2,500 more than the new Caterham Seven 160). Watch a brief video of the DB Junior in action here. (Photo: Nicholas Mee & Co)

  • Nissan’s suitcase-size speed machine

    In June at the Le Mans 24 Hours, a 400-horsepower three-cylinder engine developed by Nissan will make its competitive debut in the DeltaWing-derived ZEOD RC hybrid racing car (above). The 1.5-litre engine, which weighs all of 40kg (88lbs), is engineered to kick in after the ZEOD RC’s battery – powering an on-board electric motor – is depleted. Though Ford Motor has earned international accolades with its passenger-car 1-litre three-cylinder engine, Nissan did not disclose any production intent for the unit. (Photo: Nissan North America)

  • The Sunbeam also rises

    For the first time in more than 50 years, a relic of the 1920s land-speed era turned its engine over in public. The Sunbeam 350hp – renamed by its second owner, motoring icon Sir Richard Campbell, as the Blue Bird – was fêted with a ceremony outside the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire, England, where the car had received a mechanical restoration. Campbell set three land-speed records in the Blue Bird in the ‘20s, his fastest mark of 150.76mph being recorded in South Wales in 1925. (Photo: National Motor Museum, via Newspress)

  • Fiat and Chrysler, unified

    To mark Fiat Group’s full takeover of Chrysler – the US automaker that the Italian conglomerate partially purchased in 2010 – both brands revealed a new corporate logo. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, incorporated in the Netherlands, will operate under the logo “FCA”. The transatlantic union is the second in a decade for Chrysler, which was previously joined with Germany’s Daimler, parent of Mercedes-Benz. (Photo: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles)

  • Spain welcomes 2014 F1 cars

    With most displaying some form of new, aerodynamic, downforce-increasing snout, Formula 1 racing cars underwent pre-season testing in Jerez, Spain, over the past week. Favourites Red Bull have not faired well, with mechanical problems forcing early retirements from defending four-time champion Sebastian Vettel and new No 2 Daniel Ricciardo, who replaced Mark Webber for the 2014 season. All F1 cars have switched over from 2.8-litre V8 engines to turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 units for 2014, part of the series’ efforts to curb its cars’ emissions and boost efficiency. (Photo: Caterham)

  • For early Cadillac ELR buyers, a free charger

    In an effort to sweeten the appeal of its $75,000 ELR plug-in hybrid, Cadillac announced this week that it will include a complimentary Bosch 240v home charging station for the rakish coupe’s first 1,000 buyers in the US. The high-voltage setup cuts charging time from as much as 18 hours using a standard (110v) household outlet to just 5 hours. Cadillac is also footing the bill for installation of the charging station, to a limit of $3,000. (Photo: General Motors)