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The Roundabout Blog

Week in Pictures: An off-roader with air support

  • Renault's Kwid concept packs a flying drone

    It was inevitable, really, that car and flying drone would meet. And at this week’s Auto Expo India, they did. Renault’s Kwid concept off-roader broke cover in Delhi, and amid the usual show-car flourishes, including an amusing 1+2+2 seating arrangement, it showed off something entirely new: a built-in quadcopter drone. Called the Flying Companion, the drone operates either autonomously, following a pre-programmed flight sequence, or in manual mode, controlled via a tablet computer inside the car. According to Renault’s press materials, “The Flying Companion can be used for a variety of purposes, including scouting traffic, taking landscape pictures and detecting obstacles on the road ahead.” Renault states that the diminutive Kwid could be production-ready within two years – which, from the company that built such oddities as the Avantime and Twizy, are words to take seriously. (Photo: Renault)

  • The lights fall dim in Paris

    Some of the most hotly watched cars consigned for the auctions that concluded on 6 February at Le Grand Palais in Paris failed to meet their sellers’ minimum. Among the disappointments were a 1940 Horch Sportcabriolet (high bid: 575,000 euro), a 1973 Porsche 917 Can-Am Spider racing car (pictured; high bid: 2m euro) and a 1953 Gordini Type 24 S (high bid: 2.5m euro). The results reflected a growing softness in the hobby among blue-chip cars, just months removed from blockbuster results at auctions in London and California. (Photo: RM Auctions)

  • Audi celebrates 20 years of RS

    Audi is a company known for its forward-thinking ways, but that doesn’t mean the German automaker is above celebrating its heroes now and then. And few Audi heroes are as universally revered as the fearsome RS 2 Avant, a 315-horsepower, Porsche-fied brawler from 1994. It was the car that founded Audi’s RS high-performance family, and Audi built only 2,908 examples of the car during less than two years. Set for an official debut at March’s Geneva motor show, the RS 4 Avant Nogaro riffs on the style of its forefather – the name refers to its pearlescent Nogaro blue paint. The limited-edition model makes use of a normally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 engine producing 450hp. Matched to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and Quattro all-wheel-drive, the car will sprint from zero to 60mph in 4.6 seconds. It is set to reach dealerships in Europe this spring, priced at a cool 87,300 euros (about $119,000). (Photo: Audi)

  • Aston's arm trouble

    Citing sub-standard plastics used by a supplier based in China, Aston Martin announced it would recall more than 17,000 vehicles, roughly 75% of all built by the ultra-luxury sports car company since 2007. The recall concerns a faulty part in the accelerator pedal arm, which Aston said could prove defective and cause the arm to snap – although there were no known cases. Aston said it would bring manufacture of the part back to Britain. (Photo: Aston Martin, via Newspress)

  • One ticked Beetle

    Volkswagen announced the creation of a highly modified Beetle that will compete on the 2014 Global Rallycross circuit. The GRC Beetle will be campaigned by former Global Rallycross champion (and current Top Gear America co-host) Tanner Foust and former Nascar driver Scott Speed, beginning in June in Austin, Texas. The Beetle features a turbocharged 560-horsepower four-cylinder engine and, like all cars in Rallycross, all-wheel drive. Rallycross is held on a closed course featuring jumps, hairpin turns and variable road surfaces. (Photo: Volkswagen of America)