x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

UK council creates 43cm-long no parking zone

Donkervoort unveils car, Loeb in historic rally feat, Colombian police hit drug lord where it hurts, and Jay-Z and Beyonce opt for armoured car.

A developer is said to have paid for the 43cm double yellow line. Albanpix / Rex
A developer is said to have paid for the 43cm double yellow line. Albanpix / Rex

Donkervoort unveils car

Dutch sports car maker Donkervoort has revealed its new offering after two and a half years of development.

In collaboration with Audi Quattro GmbH, the maker that, until now, has used no electronic aids in its cars has presented the Donkervoort GTO.

It has an output of 340 to 400hp and torque of 450Nm at 1,600rpm coming from a five-cylinder 2.5L TFSI Audi engine. With it weighing just 700kg, it's certain to be one of the fastest sports cars around.

The car is also 35cm longer and 15cm wider than its predecessor, the D8 270, and is practically a brand-new car as it only shares five per cent of the parts with the 270 and about 30 per cent with the more recent D8 GT.

"The weight savings are obtained by redesigning several accessory parts of the motor together with the Audi technicians," says company founder Joop Donkervoort. "Another novelty is that the GTO is the first car from Lelystad [where the vehicles are made] that has traction control - only for when it is raining, of course."

About half of the first 25 GTOs have already been sold at prices of between €100,000 (Dh479,940) and €150,000.


Council creates shortest no car parking zone in UK - at just 43cm

A council in Norwich has painted what is thought to be the shortest double yellow lines in Britain.

The lines - used to identify no parking zones in the UK - are just 43cm long and are in use between a new permit parking area in the waiting zone in Stafford Street.

Residents of the street have complained that the lines are pointless and are a waste of money.

"You would have to park a toy car on there to get a ticket," one local told Britain's Metro newspaper.

Bert Bremner, a city councillor in Norwich, admits that the lines are unnecessary but says a property developer paid for them and so no public money was used to put them in place.

"They were put down to make things clearer for permit holders, but in hindsight perhaps they weren't needed," said Bremner.

"Local people said it was not obvious where the dividing line was so a decision was made to put in a small section of double yellow lines. I wish they weren't there.

"As a councillor you are expected to do many things for residents but getting into the Guinness Book of Records for the shortest double yellow lines isn't one I anticipated."


Loeb in historic sporting feat

World rally champion Sebastian Loeb has been confirmed as the most successful motorsport winner of all time.

The French driver won an eighth consecutive FIA World Rally Drivers' title, moving him one ahead of seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher, of Germany, and also seven-time MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi, of Italy.

Loeb, 37, carried an eight-point lead into the season-ending Wales Rally GB and when nearest title rival Mikko Hirvonen crashed out, the Frenchman's eighth crown was secured.

Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena helped Citroen win a fourth successive manufacturers' title as he and team-mate Sebastian Ogier both won five races out of 13 this year.

"What an incredible season," said Loeb at an FIA prizegiving gala in India recently, where he was honoured alongside Formula One winner Sebastian Vettel, of Germany.

"The battle with the other drivers has been intense from the beginning to the end.

"After a great start to the season we really had to battle hard again at the end of the year.

"We lost a lot of our advantage and it was like starting from zero all over again going into the final two rounds."


Colombian police rebrand drug lord's 1991 Ferrari 348 as cop car

Police in Colombia have hit a drug kingpin where it hurts - by repurposing his 1991 Ferrari 348 as a police vehicle.

The 300hp V8 classic was seized along with an estimated Dh341 million of assets, including homes, artworks and farms, from Luis Hernando Gomez after a police sting in 2005 saw the gangster jailed in the US for trafficking more than 500,000kg of cocaine.

Police intended to sell the car but couldn't find a buyer as people were too scared to be seen driving in it. So Policia Nacional de Colombia decided to deck it out in police livery and use its impressive speed for good.

The red 348 reaches 100kph from standstill in just 5.1 seconds and has a top speed of 275kph.

The 53-year-old drug baron, known as Scratch, had kept the car in perfect condition, with only about 2,900km on the clock.

Colombian police now use the vehicle on the streets and as propaganda tool to prove that crime doesn't pay.


Jay-Z to protect his family in armoured car

Rap star Jay-Z is planning to protect his unborn baby while they're on the move by splashing out on an armoured vehicle.

His wife Beyonce Knowles is pregnant with the couple's first child and Jay-Z is so determined to keep the little one safe, he has asked Hollywood star Tom Cruise for advice on the safest mode of transport for the family.

"Jay is looking at action-movie style vehicles like Tom's and wants to make sure they are bulletproof and 100 per cent safe, " a source said. "He won't be taking any risks that's for sure."

It's also been reported that Jay-Z, 42, wants to buy a new family home for his family in Florida and has told Beyonce that money is no object.

"They went house-hunting last week," a source told Britain's OK! magazine. "All Jay will care about is that it's secluded and protected. Other than that, so long as Bey loves it, he will too. He said to her that even if it costs him US$18.7 million [Dh68.6m], he'll buy it."