Around the Tracks: Man creates detailed clay model cars – then crushes them

Plus, BMW brings back its infamous Art Car in the form of “The 8 X Jeff Koons”.

When we’re not creating it ourselves, the Drive team spends a lot of time finding and consuming motoring content from around the world.

Here’s a handful of the photos, articles, videos, and social media posts that caught our eye last week.


DIY crash-testing a Mazda RX-7 made out of plasticine

A Russian man has taken the crash-testing of vehicles into his own hands, flinging a plasticine Mazda RX-7 into solid objects with the same meticulous precision as the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

After painstakingly recreating the details of the real thing in plasticine form – as is the basis of the content on his Handmade YouTube channel – the man puts the faithful recreation through frontal, side impact, and frontal-offset crash tests to test its durability.

Though the plasticine fares about as well as you’d expect after being forced into an immovable object, it certainly makes for entertaining viewing.

The wreck is then sent to the graveyard of other plasticine car models which were previously crash-tested. He hasn’t given the cars a crash-test score, but we’d expect the lack of active safety technologies to negatively impact a potential five-star rating.


BMW teams up again with artist Jeff Koons for limited-edition 8 Series

BMW has a long history of Art Cars, which usually involve eye-catching liveries painted on its motorsport cars.

It’s been a while since the German marque has fielded an artistic entry into international motorsport, but a new collaboration between artist Jeff Koons and BMW will see a specially-painted 8 Series Gran Coupe road car sold to customers in limited numbers.

Based on the M850i xDrive Gran Coupe, these models are painted in a cartoon-style livery which incorporates a yellow front bumper, stripe-laden blue/grey body, and comic book-style “POP!” touches on the door. The interior has been altered too, with a Spider-Man-esque colour scheme adopted for the leather seats.

Koons previously worked on the 2010 BMW M3 GT2 race car which featured in that year’s 24 Hour of Le Mans endurance event.

Just 99 examples of “The 8 X Jeff Koons” will be made available to US customers at a cost of $US350,995 (AU$490,000).


The Quick-load Droprack is an ingenious cantilevered roof-carrying design

A Norwegian company has created a unique roof-loading system which saves your back and makes it exceedingly easy to get outdoors and transport large items on top of your car.

The patented design allows users to load items onto a chest-height rack in a horizontal position, before twisting a handle to send the entire rack up onto the roof without the assembly touching the car. More than lifestyle applications, the system is already in use with a number of trades.

It’s a quick, easy, and safe way to load items onto your roof. The clever solution isn’t distributed in Australia yet, though the company encourages interested customers to enquire about the product anyhow.


Unique Ferrari V12-powered Veloqx Fangio debuts at Dubai’s Yas Marina race track

UK-based motorsport team Veloqx has unveiled its latest motorsport-destined creation, the Veloqx Fangio.

The wild track-only machine made its formal debut at Dubai’s Yas Marina raceway this week, sporting unconventional styling and a Ferrari-derived naturally-aspirated V12 engine.

A large front splitter and angular bonnet make an impression up front, while a gargantuan rear wing and high-mount exhaust outlets are found at the rear. The car is said to be based on the Ferrari F12tdf supercar, though no confirmation has been given and the British race team has not issued a press release.

The name is a tribute to Juan Manuel Fangio, a five-time Formula One championship winner and legendary Argentinian driver who competed in a myriad of racing categories across a storied career.

The car itself is expected to go racing in 2025 and is said to be able to run on a variety of fuels, including biofuel. A low-volume road car is also in the works, according to information out of the launch event.


Ford joins Tesla in adding a Pet Mode function to keep furry friends wagging their tails

Ford has filed a patent for a feature called Pet Mode, which would see car owners presented with a number of pet-friendly in-car functions at the press of a button.

First filed in 2018 and published in February 2022, the patent describes technology including simple features including a key fob button that lowers the cabin temperature by opening windows and the sunroof. It can then turn on the air conditioning if the open car doesn’t let in enough cool air.

The pet mode is said to be able to disable in-car buttons so your pet can’t wind down the car’s windows and escape.

Other quirks of the feature include the ability to play pet-friendly music or fold down the seats so your pet has more space to relax. The patent mentions a “hydration system”, though no further explanation is given in the filings.

Tesla offers a similar system called Dog Mode.

Ford hasn’t commented further on the feature, nor has it decided to make it available to the public, so the published patent is the extent of the information available.

The post Around the Tracks: Man creates detailed clay model cars – then crushes them appeared first on Drive.

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