x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Scrapped classic Mercedes is rebuilt - using scrap metal

Heinz squeezes out old packets for car-friendly model, Jaguar Land Rover to build new engine plant, why UK motorists are driving more slowly and Aston Martin finally wins a race.

It took three men seven months to build the SLR from scrap. Courtesy of SWNS
It took three men seven months to build the SLR from scrap. Courtesy of SWNS

Marques build new UK plant

Indian-owned Jaguar Land Rover is to build a new engine plant in England.

Expected to take two years to complete, the plant will employ 750 people in Wolverhampton, West Midlands.

The luxury car maker, which is owned by Tata Group, is investing £355m (Dh2 billion) to build low-emission engines.

The i54 business park in Wolverhampton is believed to have been selected as the location ahead of sites in south Wales and India.

Ford currently supplies engines to Jaguar Land Rover.

The news increases the luxury car manufacturer's presence in the West Midlands.

The group's headquarters is in Gaydon, Warwickshire, with Land Rovers produced in Solihull and Halewood, Merseyside, and Jaguar models produced at Castle Bromwich, near Birmingham.

Last year, the firm reversed a decision to close one of its two West Midlands factories.

Jaguar Land Rover unveiled three new concept cars in Frankfurt, buoyed by strong sales in the Chinese and Indian markets.

The firm is spending Dh43bn on new models, engines and technology over the next five years.


Classic Mercedes recreated - using 10,000 bits of scrap metal

A Mercedes-Benz that was scrapped before it went into mainstream production has been redeveloped - using scrap metal.

The car is a group of enthusiasts' take on the Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe, which was deemed the fastest car in the 1950s, with a top speed of 290kph.

Only two prototypes still exist after Mercedes' plan to withdraw from competitive motorsport meant the car programme was scrapped.

But three German enthusiasts took seven months to put together a steel version of the car made out of 10,000 pieces of scrap metal. Armin Ciesielski, Peter Brakel and Walter Willer, who work for Giganten aus Stahl, which means Giants of Steel, decided a tribute to the Uhlenhaut Coupe was needed and set about making a replica.

"The car was a very difficult model to make because of all the intricate details and we made the engine look identical to the original. It weighs nearly 1,000kg," Ciesielski told the Daily Mail.

The 310hp SLR hit a top speed of 290kph during testing in 1955, making it the fastest road-legal car at that time.


Heinz squeezesout old packets

Ketchup and cars - it's a combination that we're all aware spells disaster, but perhaps not for much longer.

Heinz has developed a new, car-friendly "Dip and Squeeze" packet that is to replace the old rectangular ketchup packets that cause so many problems in a confined car cabin.

The firm has spent three years developing the new packet and part of the testing involved staff sat behind one-way mirrored glass watching focus groups pour their ketchup on fast food in fake minivan interiors.

Even Mike Okoroafor, Heinz's vice president of global packaging innovation and execution, got in on the act when he bought a used minivan and took it to a fast-food drive-thru to order fries and apply ketchup in it.

The Dip and Squeeze packets can be squeezed out through one end or the lid can be peeled back for dipping and the red, bottle-shaped packets hold three times as much ketchup as traditional packets.

Heinz believes old packets are so annoying they stop people from ordering fries. "Fry inclusion orders" at drive-thrus "have been going down for years," John Bennett, vice president of food-service ketchup, condiments and sauces for Heinz, told The Wall Street Journal.


UK motorists are driving more slowly to save on fuel costs

More than half of motorists in the UK are driving more slowly as a direct result of the recession, a survey has found.

And nearly 60 per cent of motorists say that continuing economic uncertainty is affecting the way they use their car compared with 38 per cent in October 2010, according to a study conducted by One Poll for Manheim Auctions.

The survey of 3,000 people found that more than 50 per cent drove cars more slowly to save on fuel consumption and 26 per cent of people are shopping more online to avoid having to drive to shops. A total of 17 per cent of respondents are using public transport to go to and from work now and 10 per cent are opting to work from home.

"There is no doubt that motorists are now thinking twice before using their cars. And it seems that more are also considering a second-hand car as demand for smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles increases," says Craig Mailey, of Manheim Auctions.


Aston Martin win Laguna Seca after miserable ALMS season

Aston Martin won the annual Laguna Seca American Le Mans Series race last week.

After a frustrating season, the team ran faultlessly for six hours to take top spot on the podium in a race dominated by yellow flags.

Drivers Adrian Fernandez, from Mexico, Stefan Mücke, from Germany, and Harold Primat, from Switzerland, drove the Aston Martin DBR1-2 consistently in the top three and, in the final hour, remained dominant in first position.

The Aston Martin Racing Team principal, George Howard Chappell, said: "I am delighted for the team, which has achieved this result on our return to the States after a difficult year - they've all worked hard for this, so it is a just reward." Mücke, who brought the Aston Martin DBR1-2 across the finish line, said: "It's a great result for us all. Nobody made a mistake and she [the car] was fast today."

The team returns for the final round, Petit Le Mans, in two weeks.