Skip to content

Avoid gravel roads with this Lambo

A biweekly roundup of automotive news, good, bad and just plain weird: Highlights from the Geneva Auto Show: Aventador goes topless If you've been sharp-eyed these past few weeks, you may have been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Lamborghini's new

A biweekly roundup of automotive news, good, bad and just plain weird:

Highlights from the Geneva Auto Show: Aventador goes topless

If you've been sharp-eyed these past few weeks, you may have been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Lamborghini's newest V-12 supercar skulking around town. Just released, the successor to the mighty Murcielago has been snapped up by a few lucky folks locally and at least the bright orange one can be seen out and about in inclement weather.

Now, the thing about supercars is that no matter how many loonies you drop on the latest and greatest, it will be approximately 48 seconds before a special edition happens along that makes the bleedingedge hypercar you just bought look like the budget-minded entry-level model. And so it is for Lamborghini.

Lambo took the wraps off its Aventador J roadster at last week's Geneva Auto Show to muffled gasps of awe. Not only is it a thing of breathtaking beauty, but also the crazed vision of a complete madman: here we have a 700 horsepower, 300 kilometres per hour, V-12 heavy hitter . . . with no roof and no windscreen.

No windshield! I think my head might come off. Not to worry though, as the rarity of the Aventador J means that regular old super-rich folks won't be able to order theirs. Lamborghini is only building one, and it's 2.1 million euros. GM creates cyborg workforce

You know how Audi gets all the best product placement in Hollywood's Iron Man franchise? Well, perhaps General Motors would be a little more appropriate.

After all, it's the General who's been working with NASA to develop android projects like the Robonaut 2, a C-3P0 lookalike in a Jersey Shore-approved white T-shirt who lives aboard the International Space Station full-time. Now, GM has found an earthbound application for their research.

Dubbed the "robo-glove" (or the much more humdrum Human Grasp Assist), the selfcontained apparatus resembles a mechanic's Velcro-backed work glove along with an attendant gauntlet filled with battery packs. The science is complicated, the glove simple.

Strapping on the roboglove allows the wearer to exert less than half the effort normally needed to grab heavy objects. There's no extra lifting power - yet - but it does mean that assembly-line workers could avoid stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome from doing repetitive tasks.

Nissan's DeltaWing racer heads for LeMans

In the 1950s, '60s and '70s, fans of racing were privileged to see the actual cars make huge evolutionary leaps forward. And, along the way, there would occasionally be wild and wacky prototypes like the six-wheeled Tyrell P34, or the vacuum-fan equipped Brabham BT46B.

For a long time though, the racing circuits have been full of the same old racing cars that any child could draw: stick-insect F1 racers, swoopy LeMans cars, rounded-off NASCAR tube-frame racers. Until now.

There's no other word for it: Nissan has built the Batmobile and they're taking it racing.

Now, don't worry about cheating by using the machine guns or the escape-pod to jet across the finish line; Nissan is providing the DeltaWing with a 300 h.p. version of the Juke's 1.6-litre turbocharged plant. Nothing special.

What's not conventional is the way the DeltaWing looks with its ultra-long pointy nose and jet-fighter flared rear arches. It really does look like all the pit crew will have to be called Alfred.

Technically speaking, the DeltaWing won't be allowed to win any trophies, even if it does beat out some of the competition. It's just too experimental. Because it's the racecar Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now.

However, come raceday, you just know Carlos Ghosn is going to be sitting somewhere, glued to the TV, muttering under his breath, "Na-na na-na na-na na-na na-na na-na na-na na-na NIS-SAN!" Consumer Reports breaks Fisker Karma

For those of you who don't know how Consumer Reports manages their testing, part of the process is to purchase the car, just as any other consumer would. That way, they can dodge the possibility of being given a specially prepared press ringer - don't scoff, it's happened recently with a VW Passat.

So, the good folks at CR bought themselves a Fisker Karma, the all-new, all-electric supercoupe that looks like an Aston-Martin and saves fuel like a Nissan Leaf. Then, in less than 300 kilometers, it broke down.

This is not ideal PR for Fisker, especially as the Consumer Reports quotes include such gems as, "this is the first time in memory that we have had a car that is undriveable before it has finished our check-in process." Oops.

Mind you, it's not like the competition is getting any breaks either, what with the well-publicized Tesla "bricking" incidents. Looks like electric cars can be tricky things to own for early adopters - just like similarly complicated internal-combustion engine equipped cars are.

Follow Brendan on Twitter: @ brendan_mcaleer, or submit your own auto oddities to mcaleeronwheels@gmail.com.