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The 127-year-old steam-powered car sold for Dh17m. Courtesy of RM Auctions
The 127-year-old steam-powered car sold for Dh17m. Courtesy of RM Auctions

Crashed motorcyclist clocked while sliding on road gets speeding ticket

Plus the oldest working car in the world sells for Dh17m, Lamborghini win green approval, a coffee-powered car beats organic vehicle speed record and Renault is set to increase production at its Brazil plant.

A motorbiker could be prosecuted for speeding in Switzerland - after being caught sliding along the ground without his bike.

The 38-year-old man was spotted travelling at 106kph along the road after coming off his motorcycle.

Swiss traffic police say he would have been going much faster than that when he came off the bike so intend to prosecute him.

In a photograph released by police, the biker can be seen sliding across the road as sparks fly from his ride.

The accident happened between the towns of Cibourg and La Chaux-de-Fonds, close to Bern and the French border, on October 2.

A police spokesman said: "It appears he suddenly saw the traffic control measure ahead and lost control as he tried to slow down."

Police say the biker, who was wearing protective leathers, was unhurt apart from minor cuts and bruises.

He confirmed that the man was still facing a fine and the withdrawal of his driving licence for up to three months.

The officer said 18 motorists had been caught speeding on the same stretch of mountain road on the same morning.

 

Oldest operational car in world is sold at auction for Dh17 million

The oldest-running car in the world has fetched almost Dh17 million at auction in the United States.

Built in 1884 by De Dion, Bouton and Trepardoux, La Marquise sold for US$4.62m at an RM Auctions event in Hershey, Pennsylvania, reaching far beyond the $500,000 starting bid.

The figure for the 127-year-old vehicle was double estimates and set a new auction record for a car from its era, beating the previous $3.52m amount set by the sale of another La Marquise in 2007.

The steam-powered machine was named after French entrepreneur Count of Dion's mother and is said to have taken part in the world's first automobile race, though it was the only car to have turned up for the event in 1887.

Count of Dion drove the car the 20km from Paris to Versaille, averaging 27kph and reaching a top speed of 60kph.

Fuelled by coal, wood and scraps of paper, the car takes up to 40 minutes to build up enough steam to drive.

The new owner joins five classic car collectors who also claim to own La Marquise.

 

Lamborghini ISO approved

Lamborghini is the first Italian car company to attain a new environmental ISO standard.

The supercar firm attained the ISO 50001 certification last week as recognition of its commitment to improving energy performance in all areas, from design, development and production to assembly and finishing of its new Aventador model.

ISO - International Standardisation Organisation - is the body made up of various national organisations that develops worldwide standards across many industries, including the automotive industry.

Lamborghini, which already has ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management), says the new ISO standard was the most appropriate tool for achieving its goals of improved environmental conditions and energy efficiency.

"We are proud of this certification and we are also actively working on measures that will result in the plant becoming neutral in terms of CO2 emissions by 2015," says Stephan Winkelmann, president and CEO of the company.

"This commitment goes hand in hand with product development, for which we reiterate our goal to cut emissions by 35 per cent by 2015."

 

Coffee-powered Rover beats speed record for organic cars

A car powered entirely by coffee has broken the world speed record for cars using organic waste.

British engineers modified an old Rover SD1, kitting it out with a "gasifier" and filters which turn coffee granules into power.

The car reached 107kph, beating the previous record of 75.6kph set by a team from the US who used wood pellets to power a car.

Martin Bacon, of the Teesdale Conservation Volunteers of Durham, says the design was based on that of a coffee-powered Volkswagen Sirocco that was developed for a BBC programme.

The SD1 has also broken the record for distance driven by an organic waste car when it was driven from London to Manchester last year.

The coffee is heated, then the combustion gases - usually carbon dioxide and water vapour - are reduced to carbon monoxide and hydrogen. These gases enter the cylinders and the explosion drives the engine.

 

Renault to increase production in Brazil to 380,000 cars by 2013

Renault has announced it will increase production at its Brazilian plant by 100,000 units in 2013.

Chief executive Carlos Ghosn revealed the plan while visiting the plant in Curitiba last week.

The move will mean the creation of 1,000 new jobs and will increase production at the plant to more than 380,000 units per year.

"In 2011, Brazil is set to become Renault's second-largest market," Mr Ghosn says. "Brazil is one of the cornerstones of our international growth strategy: more than one-quarter of the growth in volume will come from Brazil.

"If we are to reach this target, then we must increase our manufacturing capacity, and we have chosen our Curitiba plant to achieve this."

The French car maker aims to claim a market share in Brazil of eight per cent by 2016, three per cent higher than its existing share.

The South American country, along with India and Brazil, make up Renault's priority markets.

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