x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Chinese farmer invents wacky 140kph wind-powered car

Rusty old Mini to fetch Dh90,000; 35,000 people apply for just 1,000 Jaguar-Land Rover jobs; Audi buys Ducati; 300kph YouTube motorcyclist has bike seized.

Is this really the car of the future? Quirky China News / Rex Features
Is this really the car of the future? Quirky China News / Rex Features

Rusty Mini to fetch Dh90,000

It's hard to believe that an old, beat-up Mini that needs thousands of dirhams worth of repairs could be selling at auction for around Dh90,000, but that's exactly what is due to happen in England this week.

The rust-infested car has been left in a barn in Chichester, West Sussex, since 1986 but the reason for its value is that this Mini is actually just the eighth to be built when the now-famous car started rolling off the production line in 1959, making it the oldest unrestored Mini in the world.

The vehicle was bought by David Gallimore in 1986 and he kept it in his barn until last year.

It has an 800cc engine and remarkably has just under 30,000 miles (48,280km) on its clock. The Mini was built at the British Motor Corporation factory in Longbridge in July 1959.

"Collectors love the fact it has had very little done to it since it was built. It was the eight to be produced and is the fourth oldest that survives," John Polson, of Bonhams, told the UK's Daily Mail.

The auction takes place at the Royal Airforce Museum in London on Monday.

Chinese farmer creates wacky 140kph wind-powered vehicle

A Chinese farmer has apparently devised a small wind-powered vehicle that he claims can travel at speeds of up to 140kph.

Tang Zhengping, from Beijing, spent three months building the feeble-looking one metre by three metre car that runs on two batteries and two generators.

He says a large spinning fan on the front and two solar energy "wings" help charge the batteries, which operate in turns; one is working while one is charging.

The fan and the wings provide extra electricity when the car is in motion, and the batteries need a recharge every two or three days, Britain's Metro reported last week.

"It goes at a maximum speed of 140kph and lasts longer than a normal electric car, which doesn't usually have generators," Tang explains.

An explosion in the use of electric vehicles is under way in China, particularly in rural areas where tiny, cheap electric cars are becoming an alternative to the bicycle.

Wind power is also experiencing a boom as China was the largest installer of wind power in the world last year. We still think Tang's idea is a load of hot air, though.

35,000 apply for 1,000 jobs

Jaguar-Land Rover has been on a high of late and there seems to be no let-up as the company announces that more than 35,000 candidates applied for the 1,000 jobs at its Halewood manufacturing plant near Liverpool, UK.

More than 6,000 registrations were received in less than 24 hours when the jobs announcement was made in March and that number had doubled to 20,000 online registrations within a week.

The new positions will take the workforce at Halewood to 4,500 staff as the company moves to three shifts and 24-hour car production.

The new recruits will be assembling the Range Rover Evoque, which has proved to be an immensely popular crossover, and the Land Rover Freelander 2.

"JLR has a clear ambition for continued growth and we are delighted that so many people want to join us on that journey," says Jaguar-Land Rover's HR director Des Thurlby.

"We are very pleased with the quality of candidates applying for these new roles and more than 100 applicants have already started with us. The scale of the response to our recruitment campaign reflects JLR's growing reputation as an employer of choice in the north west [of England]."

Audi buys Ducati motorcycles in deal reportedly worth Dh4.1bn

Audi AG has agreed to buy Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati in a deal reportedly costing the German marque Dh4.1 billion as well as taking responsibility for liabilities amounting to Dh884 million.

Audi is part of Europe's biggest car maker, Volkswagen Group, and its 20-member supervisory board agreed to add a 12th brand to its portfolio.

Ducati employs around 1,100 people and sold 42,000 motorcycles last year.

The deal means that Audi's rivalry with BMW now extends to motorcycles, as BMW has been producing bikes since 1923 and now sells them under its BMW Motorrad brand.

"Ducati is known worldwide as a premium brand and has a long tradition of building sporty motorcycles," says Audi chairman Rupert Stadler. "It has great expertise in high-performance engines and lightweight construction, and is very profitable. That makes Ducati an excellent fit for Audi."

300kph YouTube motorcyclist has bike seized after tip-off

When will these YouTube show-offs ever learn? Yes, we know that you are a very capable motorcyclist and you're able to get your Yamaha to speeds of 300kph but, no, it's not a good idea to do this on a public highway and it's definitely not a good idea to film it and put it on the internet.

Not surprisingly, the latest incident, in Victoria, Canada, has resulted in the suspected motorcycle being seized by authorities this week.

Police are now questioning the owner and her son about the video that's amassed about half a million hits on YouTube.

The woman owner has already been fined but police believe it was her 25-year-old son who was riding the bike in the video, The Globe and Mail reports.

The son is said to have more than 20 tickets for speeding and has been caught driving without a licence. His mother also has tickets for speeding, driving without due care and without insurance.

Hefty fines undoubtedly await.

Watch the video by clicking here.