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Auto blogWed, 12 Jun 2013 17:45:00 EST
We're not even sure they've got a blade of Kentucky Bluegrass to cut, but the folks at Top Gear have gone ahead and started building what will become, if they're successful, the world's fastest lawn mower. Actually, it appears Top Gear is not doing much of the design and assembly work at all, instead having solicited help from experts at Honda and Team Dynamics, which oversees the automaker's touring car efforts.
What the three are working on is a riding lawnmower with a 110-hp engine that can reach 60 miles per hour in four seconds and trim turf at speeds up to 130 mph. If they succeed, such a maximum velocity would put them well ahead of the current record for the world's fastest lawnmower, which is 96.529 mph set by Bobby Cleveland and his Snapper race mower at the Bonneville Salt Flats in September of 2010. Top Gear hasn't said whether or not it will officially go after Cleveland's record, but the build will be featured in an upcoming issue of the Top Gear magazine and is scheduled to be completed by June 17, so we may learn what this maniacal mower's true purpose is then.
According to TG's report on how the build is going, as well as the video of it being fired up (literally) for the first time below, there aren't many actual mower parts left on this machine. What started out as a Honda HF2620 mower now sports wheels and tires from a racing quad, a back axle from a go-kart, a steering rack from a Morris Minor and a 1000cc engine from a Honda VTR1000F sport bike. All that remains from the original mower are the pedals and body panels; even the steel cutting deck has been replaced with a lighter fiberglass version. And blades? This mower will be bladeless, instead using two electric motors to spin lengths of brake cable like a weed whacker.
Ward's Auto has released its annual 10 Best Engines award winners. The 2013 list covers the full width and breadth of the internal combustion spectrum, from a spate of efficient four-cylinders to the most powerful production V8 on the planet. As always, the entries must be available in a production vehicle in the first quarter of 2013 with an MSRP of less than $55,000. The supercharged 3.0-liter V6 from the Audi S5 held on for the fourth consecutive year, and BMW earned two spots on the list with its turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder and turbo 3.0-liter inline-six.
Ford pulled in two awards for its 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder and and the supercharged 5.8-liter V8 from the Shelby GT500. Honda matched BMW and Ford with two wins of its own. Wards awarded the 2.4-liter four-cylinder from the Honda Accord Sport as well as the 3.5-liter V6 from the Honda Accord. Chrysler, General Motors and Subaru each garnered a spot on the list as well for the 3.6-liter V6 in the Ram 1500, the turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder in the Cadillac ATS and the 2.0-liter four-cylinder the Subaru BRZ, respectively. You can read the full press release below for more information.
America's midsize sedan segment is one of the most crowded and fiercely competitive in the business. The Toyota Camry has long been our nation's best seller, while the Honda Accord has dutifully come in second place, like some sort of codependent Cal Naughton Jr. riding Ricky Bobby's back bumper.
There was that one year, 2001, when the Accord briefly broke the Camry's streak, marring what would today have been a 17-year-long run of best-selling car titles. The Accord pulled the opposite move in 2011, letting sales slip far enough to let not only the Toyota by, but the Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion, as well. Aside from those anomalies, the Camry and Accord have been first and second in this segment since before many of you readers could even drive.
It's 2014, and these frenemies have never before faced a threat to their world order as strong as today's class of family sedans. The aforementioned Altima and Fusion are perhaps the most capable challengers, but the Chevrolet Malibu, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Volkswagen Passat and Mazda6 are all capable of convincing new buyers to walk their way.