Police in Dubai are putting British panda cars – and Gene Hunt’s Ford Cortina – in the shade by adding a $350,000 Lamborghini to their fleet.
The sports car capable of speeds up to 217mph is being introduced in the oil-rich emirate as part of an extravagant overhaul of police vehicles.
The Lamborghini Aventador, decorated in the Dubai force’s green and white colours, is thought to be the most expensive police car in the world.
But they are unlikely to risk using it in car chases, instead using it mainly for show in popular tourist areas.
Deputy police director Gen Khamis Matter al-Muzaina boasted the Italian-built Lamborghini would illustrate ‘how classy Dubai is’.
The latest Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster marque was launched earlier this year to mark Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary.
Today, Ford Focus is the most successful car in the world, which got us thinking…
Polk data announced this week that Ford Focus is the best-selling car in the world for the second year in a row, with sales topping 1,020,410 globally. And that got us thinking: What were the worst-selling cars of all time? Behold:
5. Cadillac Catera: 2001
Cars sold: 9,764
It’s hard to say if the Cadillac Catera, created to open the stogy old brand to a younger demographic, suffered more from its numerous recalls or its puzzling marketing campaign. Utilizing the line “the Caddy that zigs,” the Catera’s commercial featured Cindy Crawford (already an old-school model) talking to a cartoon wizard duck. Really.
4. Pontiac Aztek: 2005
Cars sold: 5,020
Created for younger drivers with an “outdoorsy” lifestyle, the Pontiac Aztek was quickly lampooned as one of the ugliest cars ever made. A writer from TIME, who was in the audience at the Detroit auto show when GM unveiled the Aztek, says he’ll never forget the gasp he heard from the crowd. “This car could not have been more instantly hated if it had a Swastika tattoo on its forehead,” he said. AndBloomberg reported that one GM official went on record as saying: “We’d fire the guy who greenlighted the Aztek if we could find anyone willing to admit it.”
3. The Yugo GV 1991
Cars sold: 4,000
If you haven’t heard of the Yugo GV, we’re sorry to be the ones forcing you to make its acquaintance. The vehicle made its U.S. debut at the 1984 Los Angeles Auto Show, and has since made more “worst car” round-ups than any other vehicle on this list. NPR’s Car Talk called it “the worst car of the millennium” and Popular Mechanics included it (along with the Cadillac Catera and the Pontiac Aztek) on its list of “Cars That Deserved to Fail.”
The car’s main problem can be summed up in one highly publicized story: In 1989, on a windy day in Michigan, a driver pulled her Yugo over on the Mackinac Bridge just in time for a 55 mile-an-hour gust of wind to blow the car over the edge. The driver was killed, and two years later, so was the Yugo.
2. Ford Edsel: 1960
Cars sold: 2,848
In its attempt to compete with GM’s line of mid-sized autos, Ford created one of the biggest flops in automobile history: a car that was over-stylized, over-priced, and over-hyped. The advertising campaign, which coyly presented the car through a blurred lens or wrapped under a tarp, was such a flop that an “edsel” is now colloquially used to describe a product that seems perfect in theory, but fails in “real life.”
5. Studebaker Wagenaire 1963-1966
Cars sold: 940
The Studebaker Wagenaire was a station wagon convertible (already a lot to swallow) — with the wrong part of the car converted. The roof slid forward, not back, creating a breezy feeling of freedom and luxury that could only be enjoyed by your luggage.
Most drivers don’t know when to stop for pedestrians and schoolchildren, results of a new quiz from CarInsurance.com show.
The average score was 75 percent.
Forty-four percent of the 500 drivers who answered 20 questions that are typically on a driver’s license test scored less than 80 percent, the passing grade in most states.
“The rules of the road are meant to reduce uncertainty and risk,” said CarInsurance.com managing editor Des Toups. “All you have to do is meet another car at a four-way stop to know that most of us leave a lot of that knowledge behind at the DMV.”
The most missed questions — all of which were pulled from state department of motor vehicles practice tests — involved pedestrians and school buses.
Fifty-eight percent missed this question:
Give the right of way to any pedestrian who is:
- In a marked crosswalk.
- In any crosswalk or intersection.
- Crossing any street.
(The correct answer is No. 3.)
Sixty-eight percent missed this question:
You are approaching a school bus that has stopped on the other side of a divided highway.
- Stop and wait for it to load or unload children.
- Stop, check for children, then proceed.
- Stop and wait until the flashing red lights go off.
- Watch for children and be ready to stop.
(The correct answer is No. 4.)
On the flip side, 93 percent of drivers got this question correct:
When should you use a horn?
- For warning purposes, such as to alert other drivers to an impending collision.
- To alert other drivers that they are doing something wrong.
- Whenever you feel like it.
- If a driver or bicyclist is going too slow.
(The correct answer is No. 1.)
“We may have great horn skills,” Toups noted, “but we’ve got some work to do otherwise. Not knowing the rules means you spend your time behind the wheel offended or unsure, and neither of those is very safe or productive.”
Women scored somewhat higher than men did, averaging 78 percent compared with 71 percent. Older drivers performed much better than younger drivers did, with those under age 40 scoring an average 67 percent compared with 79 percent for drivers over 40.
Three drivers out of 500 scored 100 percent: a woman, age 30, a woman, age 51, and a man, age 64.
Russian police have discovered companies on the Internet offering rides in “ambulance-taxis” through notoriously bad Moscow traffic. For roughly 6,000 rubles per hour – about $193 US, which doesn’t sound like much for a wealthy Russian – the ‘customer’ will get to cut through gridlock in an ambulance with flashing lights and the proper paint scheme outside but a refitted, leather-lined interior.
Police say they’ve already stopped one ambulance with a “strange” driver that was found to have a bunch of people in civilian clothing in the back. The National Post reports that police have been told to keep an eye on the emergency-looking vehicles and to make sure they’re actually being used for emergencies, which would appear to mean they’re going to be tailing and perhaps stopping ambulances that are actually in the middle of emergency services, and that can’t be good for anyone.
“Once they pre-qualify, we want them to give us the same amount of gas that they left with,” said Alex Mehmood, vice-president of Sacramento Auto Sales Center.Requirements and restrictions in the land of the free? That doesn’t sound good. It’s the gas prices, stupid! “We have to pay for all the gas,’ explained Mehmood. ‘And you know, when you have 70 – 80 different cars it gets really expensive.” Cry me a gas station! This is going on in California, but the trend could spread all across the board.
“That’s actually ridiculous,’ observed Arnie Talisman, owner of Don Jacobson Automobiles in Houston. ‘Because how else would a customer know if they want to purchase that car without test driving it? So, it would be very unreasonable for a car dealer to ask a customer to reimburse them for gas on a test drive”.
Charging for this, charging for that. Next thing you know they’re gonna charge you for trying on new clothes or even for clapping when a movie is over. The good old days when companies offered you incentives to buy are long gone. Now they expect you to open your wallet even before you dare ask for a fair price.