Lockdown road trip on Xbox

Lockdown road-trip: Driving across America on an Xbox

Lockdown road trip on Xbox

As the World Health Organisation tells us to stay indoors and play games – and the UK struggles with lockdown life – I had an idea to help my fellow car enthusiasts and gamers.

It’s a road-trip across the USA, but from the comfort of your sofa. All you need is an Xbox One, PlayStation 4 or PC – plus a copy of open-world driving game, The Crew 2.

The Crew series is much-maligned – particularly by fans of Forza Motorsport – and in some ways deservedly so. Its physics have been touch-and-go, while the graphics aren’t up to most other racing games.

However, since its launch in 2014, I’ve been consistently absorbed. I’m convinced The Crew 2 is criminally underrated. Meanwhile, Forza Horizon games left me cold after a week.

Lockdown road trip on Xbox

Why? Firstly, there’s the map. Forza Horizon 4 has you repeating yourself with its one token driving road and one token motorway. Its map is only around 30 square miles or so.

The Crew 2 condenses many of the best bits of the USA, including hundreds of interesting landmarks, jaw-dropping vistas, iconic cities and epic driving roads, for a 1,900 square-mile map. It’s enormous.

The graphics are grainier, but there’s a warmth to the look of The Crew 2. It makes the most of the great views, as well as details on your car, letting you capture stunning in-game photos. We’ve added plenty, both new and old, to show it off.

Our road-trip across the USA

Lockdown road trip on Xbox

To prove the point, I came up with a route for a great American road trip, including cities, points of interest, incredible views and, of course, great roads in-between. A rough outline of the 380-mile route is pictured above.

Our cars of choice, with people dropping in and out along the way, are the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, Ferrari 812 Superfast, Nissan GT-R and Audi R8.

Lockdown road trip on Xbox

Specific road names aren’t as useful as key points. From one to the next, set a waypoint on the map, and it will guide you.

We began on the coast in San Francisco, before taking on the Big Sur coastal road, otherwise known as the Pacific Coast Highway, southward down to Venice Beach and Santa Monica pier in Los Angeles.

Big Sur is definitely one of the five best driving roads in the game. At points it’s technical, at others flowing, but always with a beautiful view out towards the sea. 

From there, we set out across the southern highway, up to the aircraft graveyard. It’s spooky there when the weather is foggy.

After that, it’s a long haul east up the highway, across the southern limit of the map to Tampa Bay. The Florida Everglades roads are less used, but there are some gems in there. And in the right light, it’s photography gold. 

Lockdown road trip on Xbox

Speaking of photography, we then head up from Key West to Cape Canaveral, via Miami Beach. A true sight to behold – and one you won’t find in the real world – is a shuttle set up and ready for take-off.

Enormous and incredible, the majesty of the shuttle is captured well in the game. The Palm Coast Highway then takes us up to Washington DC, where you can see the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument and, of course, the White House.

For context and scale, at this point we’re 131 miles in, with more than 250 to go. So we’ll list the next stops without too much detail.

Lockdown road trip on Xbox

  • Manhattan (Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty) via Lake Erie Highway to Detroit.
  • Detroit to Mount Rushmore, via the Mackinac Bridge.
  • Mount Rushmore to Pikes Peak, via the Badlands.
  • Pikes Peak to Santa Fe.
  • Santa Fe to the Grand Canyon, via Canyonlands (these are some of the best roads in the game, offering spectacular views).
  • From the Grand Canyon, one of the coolest stops follows shortly after. Follow the central plateau to the spectacular Hoover Dam, then to Las Vegas. Vegas at night is a sight to see, whether you’re catching a glimpse from across the desert, or immersed in the bright lights on the strip.

Lockdown road trip on Xbox

  • From Vegas, we head out to Salt Lake City and then to Yellowstone via the ski jump. Yes, you can jump it… Be sure to visit the spectacular hot spring at Yellowstone, before heading to the Ivory Peak Hotel and the northern driving roads. The latter are also among the five best driving routes in the game.

Lockdown road trip on Xbox

  • Head down to the Bonneville salt flats, via Ivory Springs, back towards Las Vegas. The salt flats offer some of the most spectacular views – and some of the most fun for racing and sliding around. 

Lockdown road trip on Xbox

If you can tear yourself away from the salt, head back into Las Vegas, along the highway through the desert, towards Yosemite.

I would put the Yosemite roads among the top three sections in the game. They’re a regular haunt. Via the Yosemite pass, you should then head back down to San Francisco. 

Lockdown road trip on Xbox

This route, condensed here, is easily five to six hours of driving, exploring, photographing and laughing – all while ignoring your significant other calling you a bit of a sad act.

No argument with that, but if you’re looking to chew on some new driving game fun, now might be the best time to jump into The Crew 2.

Lockdown road trip on Xbox

The car list is great, with some excellent (tasteful or otherwise) modding options.

The physics can be fiddled with in the settings menus (tyre grip, aerodynamics, anti-roll bars) to make it even more enjoyable.

Get in the car you love, in the spec you love, with good friends, on great roads, in the right weather, with good music, and it’s a worthy substitute for the real thing. The world might be virtual, but the fun is very real.

And it all costs a few pence on your smart meter, rather than a few hundred pounds in super unleaded. Most importantly, it’s all from the safety of your living room.

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Clark Gable’s custom 1952 Jaguar XK120 is up for auction right now

Clark Gable Jaguar XK120

A 1952 Jaguar XK120 Roadster, originally owned by movie icon Clark Gable, is now being offered for sale.

Discovered abandoned in 2010, the classic Jag has been subject to a thorough restoration process to return the car to its former glory. 

Being owned by one of Hollywood’s greatest stars, and featuring custom touches by George Barris, should make this a roadster in demand. 

“I’m no actor and I never have been”

Clark Gable Jaguar XK120

The 1952 XK120 available on Bring a Trailer is said to be one of three owned by Clark Gable during his silver screen career. 

Best known for appearing in the 1939 classic Gone with the Wind, Gable was rated as the seventh-greatest legendary movie star by the American Film Institute. He also topped lists of biggest money-making actors multiple times. 

Such success allowed him to indulge in pleasures such as buying Jaguar sports cars, even into the twilight years of his career after military service during World War II. 

Hollywood Hobbies 

Clark Gable Jaguar XK120

Built in July 1952, the XK120 Roadster available for sale was delivered to Los Angeles and sold through the Hornburg dealership. Originally painted in Battleship Grey by the factory, the car was sent almost immediately to the workshops of George and Sam Barris. 

Gable’s initial Jaguar XK120 was the first one sold in the United States, having been bought new in Hollywood. His second was said to have been a gift from Tony Hulman, the owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

This meant he wanted his third XK120 to stand out, meaning the gray paintwork had to go. As such, Gable asked Barris Kustoms to repaint the Jaguar in a bold bronze color scheme. 

Too Hot to Handle

Clark Gable Jaguar XK120

Along with the paintwork, Barris Kustoms also shaved the headlight spears, smoothed the front fenders, and removed decorative items from the trunk. A custom-made hardtop was also installed, plus Barris Kustoms badges. 

The interior of the XK120 was left unchanged by Barris Kustoms, retaining the bold red leather upholstery and matching wool carpets. 

Also untouched was the standard 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine and its twin SU carburettors. This offered 160 horsepower, and made the XK120 the world’s fastest production car when it debuted in 1948. 

Gone with the Wind 

Clark Gable Jaguar XK120

Following Gable’s death in 1960, details of where the XK120 went are unclear. However, it was discovered by a Chicago-based car collector in 2010, having been left in storage.

The extensive restoration was then commissioned, including having the car painted in the subtler Opalescent Sand color seen on it now.

All work was documented and photographed, including original items like the factory tool kit and custom luggage marked with Gable’s initials. 

Following the restoration the car has appeared at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the 2019 Greenwich Concours, and this year’s Amelia Island Concours event.

Homecoming

Clark Gable Jaguar XK120

A Jaguar XK120 in fully restored condition, and with only 18,000 miles on the odometer, would be a desirable classic in almost any situation.

Having been owned by a cinema legend, and featuring modifications by a famed custom shop, makes this a unique proposition. 

Certificates of authenticity from Barris Kustoms and the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust are included in the sale, plus a photo of Gable with the car itself. 

The car is being sold as part of Bring a Trailer’s Premium service, meaning the auction runs for longer than normal. Due to conclude on Friday, April 10th, Gable’s Jaguar has already received several big bids.

How to make your own Toyota GT86

Toyota GT86 model

With its newly-launched kit, Toyota says you’ll simply require access to a colour printer, some paper glue and a pair of scissors to create your very own GT86.

We’d add a ‘sticky-out tongue‘ and some choice words to the list.

In fairness, creating your own paper Toyota GT86 doesn’t look too taxing. Toyota claims the car should be finished within an hour, so with six designs available, your children should be kept occupied for most of the working day.

There’s also the potential to host your own one-make race series, although we’d recommend keeping these cars away from the skirting boards. Paper isn’t known for its structural rigidity and we doubt these cars would pass the Euro NCAP safety test.

Paper chase

Toyota GT86 paper model

The six designs were originally created for the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed to commemorate 50 years of Toyota in the UK.

We’re featuring the Yatabe Speed Trial Toyota 2000GT design, complete with yellow paintwork, dark green bonnet and prominent Esso sponsorship.

Other liveries include the Shelby Toyota 2000GT, Ove Andersson’s Toyota Celica 1600GT, IMSA GTU Toyota Celica, Castrol Toyota Celica GT-Four and Esso Ultron Tiger Toyota Supra.

Big kids with big hands are advised to print them on A3 paper, but A4 will be fine if your working-from-home printer isn’t up to scratch. You’re advised to separate each of the three main sections and each of the four tyres from the grey background.

Paper cut

Toyota GT86 cut-out template

Fold and glue all of the tabs so that they adhere to the underside of the adjacent panel. Toyota says the finished article ”should resemble a Toyota GT86“, with a strong emphasis on the word ‘should’.

If your last attempt at a build-your-own paper car involved sticky back plastic and John Noakes, some child supervision might be required.

One thing’s for certain: an armchair critic will pipe up with some nonsense about the paper Toyota GT86 needing more power. 

Proud of your efforts? Be sure to share them with Toyota GB on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Download the designs here: 

Yatabe Speed Trial Toyota GT86

Shelby Toyota 2000GT

Ove Andersson’s Toyota Celica 1600GT

IMSA GTU Toyota Celica

Castrol Toyota Celica GT-Four

Esso Ultron Tiger Toyota Supra

 

Lamborghini is making masks and face shields for coronavirus medics

Lamborghini covid face masks

Automobili Lamborghini has started the production of surgical masks and face shields for those helping fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The protective equipment will be donated to the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna, located less than 20 miles away from Lamborghini’s factory in Sant’Agata. 

Lamborghini had previously taken the decision to stop car production on the 12th of March, with the coronavirus pandemic worsening in Italy. 

The need to make a concrete contribution

Lamborghini covid face masks

The Emilia-Romagna Region, which plays host to Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati, and Ducati, has been one of the Italian areas worst-hit by coronavirus.

The region has seen more than 14,000 cases, second only to Lombardy, 

Stefano Domenicali, Chairman and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, commented that: “During this emergency, we feel the need to make a concrete contribution.

“The S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital is an institution with which we have had a collaborative relationship for years, through both professional consultancy in promoting programs to protect our workers’ health, and in research projects. 

“We will win this battle together by working in union, supporting those who are at the forefront of fighting this pandemic every day.”

A display of unity and support

Lamborghini covid face masks

Instead of producing leather components for use in luxurious Lamborghini interiors, the company’s saddlery department is now producing face masks. Up to 1,000 masks per day can be produced by Lamborghini workers. 

This is in addition to a total of 200 plexiglass protective face shields being produced each day. These are made using 3D printers housed in the company’s research and development department.

All the protective equipment being produced by Lamborghini has been approved by the Emilia-Romagna Region local authorities. The University of Bologna will also undertake testing of the finished items to ensure they meet the relevant safety standards.

As a symbol of unity with the Emilia-Romagna Region and wider country, Lamborghini has also been illuminating its museum and headquarters with the colours of the Italian flag each evening.

Land Rover puts Defender to work for emergency services

Jaguar Land Rover Red Cross coronavirus

Land Rover has joined the effort to combat coronavirus. The British carmaker is donating a fleet of 150 new Defenders to emergency services around the world.

Some are destined for long-time Land Rover partner charity, the Red Cross.

The cars will be put to use delivering medicine and food to elderly and vulnerable people in the UK, Spain, France and beyond.

The British Red Cross will receive 57 vehicles from Land Rover, including 27 new Defenders.

ALSO READ: New Land Rover Defender revealed: the headline facts

The cars are in addition to Jaguar Land Rover’s efforts in terms of 3D printing. It’s among a number of UK companies, including car manufacturers, contributing research and resources to the production of ventilators.

Jaguar Land Rover Red Cross coronavirus

“The health and safety of our employees, customers and their families remain our priority,” said Finbar McFall, Jaguar Land Rover customer experience director.

“Jaguar and Land Rover will do everything we can to support people in need around the world. Our partnership with the Red Cross goes back 65 years and we will work hand in hand with them to do all we can during this global health emergency.

“We will also provide help to those closer to home in our local communities. We can all play a part in helping the vulnerable during this global pandemic.”

Jaguar Land Rover Red Cross coronavirus

Like a member of the Royal family, the Defender’s lineage almost demands that it puts a shift for the services. Its predecessor was, for decades, the backbone of many organisations in the UK and around the world.

Land Rover has been working with the Red Cross for more than 65 years, and Defenders have been invaluable in response efforts over the years.

Jaguar Land Rover Red Cross coronavirus

“This unprecedented global health emergency requires us all to pull together,” said Simon Lewis, head of crisis response at the British Red Cross.

“As part of the British Red Cross response to coronavirus, we’re delving deep into the heart of communities across the UK to help strengthen support for the most vulnerable people through delivering essential food parcels and medicines to those unable to get out.”

New Discovery Channel show to rebuild Carroll Shelby’s DeTomaso

Driven on Discovery Channel

A new Discovery Channel TV series will see iconic cars with unique histories returned to their former glory.

Premiering at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Monday, March 30th, the new show Driven will see key employees from Galpin Auto Sports on screen again.

Both Ford and Mopar fans may be intrigued by the first episode, which sees a car once owned by automotive legend Carroll Shelby undergo restoration.

Pimpin Ain’t Easy

Driven on Discovery Channel

If the name Galpin Auto Sports sounds familiar, it is because the company previously appeared in seasons five and six of MTV’s Pimp My Ride. The show became notorious for custom designs and modifications. 

One of the stars of Pimp My Ride, ‘Mad Mike’ Martin, will appear on Driven in his role at Galpin Auto Sports.

Galpin President and COO Beau Boeckmann, along with custom car builder Dave Shuten, will also take leading roles in the new show. 

However, instead of wild upgrades, Driven will primarily focus on locating important vehicles and bringing them back to original condition. 

Shelby’s mid-engined mule

Driven on Discovery Channel

The subject matter for the first first episode of the season is a 1987 DeTomaso Pantera GT5-S. Taken from the personal collection of Carroll Shelby, the car was used as an early prototype to test engine options for the original Dodge Viper

Shelby had wanted to use a twin-turbocharged V-8 setup for the Viper, but Chrysler executives would see a version of the company’s V-10 engine installed instead.

It meant the Pantera GT5-S would later be left in Shelby’s collection without a power unit. Listed as part of the Bonhams Greenwich Concours d’Elegance auction in 2018, the Pantera achieved an impressive price, despite the condition it was in.

Up for the challenge

Driven on Discovery Channel

Galpin Auto Sports does have considerable experience in restoration and custom coach build projects. 

The Van Nuys-based outfit was responsible for the custom Galpin GTR1 sports car, shown at Pebble Beach in 2013. It means the company should be more than capable of returning the Pantera back to how it looked when originally leaving the factory.

A trailer for Driven shows that the Pantera will not be alone in receiving restorative attention during the first season. 

2020 Detroit Auto Show

2020 Detroit Auto Show cancelled

2020 Detroit Auto Show

The 2020 Detroit Auto Show, set to run in June 2020, has been cancelled.

Organisers of the long-running event have announced a new date in June 2021 instead.

Detroit’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) had been due to run from June 7 to June 20.

This was itself a new date, as the show moved from its traditional January calendar slot.

However, the growing coronavirus crisis means many countries are in lockdown and it is unclear whether these measures would be fully lifted by June.

2020 Detroit Auto Show

The home of the show, Detroit’s TCF Center, is also currently being used as an emergency field hospital.

The first Detroit Auto Show ran in 1899, making it only the second motor show in the world. It became an international auto show in 1987.  

Earlier this month, organisers of the 2020 Geneva Motor Show belatedly conceded the cancellation of the event

Organisers of the 2020 New York International Auto Show, due to open on April 8, have rescheduled it for late August. 

New York’s Javits Center, where the show is held, is also being used as a coronavirus field hospital. 

The 2020 Beijing Auto Show, due to open on April 21, has been postponed as well. 

New Porsche endurance racing documentary available to watch NOW

Porsche Endurance Documentary

Trying to win one 24-hour sports car endurance race is hard. Attempting to win two in eight days is enough to give most racing teams nightmares.

Yet that is exactly what Porsche attempted to do in 2019, tackling Le Mans and the Nurburgring 24 Hours a little more than a week apart. 

The story of how Porsche took on such an immense challenge has been captured in a new documentary, simply called Endurance

The two toughest GT races in the world

Porsche Endurance Documentary

Directed by James Routh, known for this work on the Netflix Drive to Survive Formula 1 series, Endurance is currently free to watch on YouTube. It will also be available on Amazon Prime from April 3rd. 

Filmed over a 25-day period, Endurance explores how drivers, mechanics, and team bosses manage to coordinate the demands of two major races so close together.

Porsche’s Director of Factory Motorsport, Pascal Zurlinden, is one of the key players in the documentary, explaining how the company tackles the prestigious events.

Engineers and even family members also play their part in the tale. 

A different kind of movie spoiler

Porsche Endurance Documentary

In describing the documentary, Porsche states that it will cover what ‘endurance racing really involves’, including stories of ‘deprivation, stress, emotion and boundless dedication’ from those involved.

Insight from Porsche drivers Matt Campbell, Kévin Estre, Michael Christensen, and Laurens Vanthoor will be central to Endurance. This group of four were involved in driving two of the toughest GT races on the planet with just a week between events. 

With almost all motorsport currently postponed or cancelled, Endurance also serves as a neat reminder as to what fans are missing out on. 

Virtual racing continues 

Porsche Endurance Documentary

However, Porsche is attempting to fill the competition void, with a range of online esports races for real-world and virtual drivers. 

The company has a new title sponsor for its Porsche Esports Supercup championship, aimed at the best sim racing drivers in the world. Virtual drivers will get their first taste of action this weekend with a test session. 

Also starting this weekend is the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Virtual Edition. Designed for real-world drivers who would compete in the Porsche Supercup series, the Virtual Edition will offer online competition for those unable to currently race.

Bosch rapid test for coronavirus

New Bosch rapid test can detect coronavirus in 2.5 hours

Bosch rapid test for coronavirus

Bosch says it has developed a rapid test that can detect the coronavirus in just two and a half hours. It’s the latest example of a company joining the fight against COVID-19.

Because the test can be performed at the point of care, it eliminates the need to transport samples. It also speeds up the time it takes for the patient to receive the result. 

The test was developed in just six weeks in partnership with the Northern Irish medical technology company Randox Laboratories.

Bosch says the test will available in Germany in April, with other markets likely to follow soon after.

The companies say it is the first fully automated molecular diagnostic test of its kind.

A sample is taken from the patient’s nose or throat using a swab. The cartridge is inserted into an analysis device, with no prior training required.

Crucially, the medical staff are free to perform other tasks while they’re waiting for the results of the test.

It takes just 100 devices to evaluate up to 1,000 tests per day. In the laboratory, Bosch recorded results with an accuracy of over 95 percent. The rapid test meets the quality standards of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

‘Time is of the essence’

Bosch rapid test kit

Dr Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch, said: “We want the Bosch rapid COVID-19 test to play a part in containing the coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible. It will speed up the identification and isolation of infected patients.

“Time is of the essence in the fight against coronavirus. Reliable, rapid diagnosis directly on site with no back and forth – that is the great advantage of our solution.”

Marc Meier, president of Bosch Healthcare Solutions, added: “The special feature of the Bosch test is that it offers differential diagnosis, which saves doctors the additional time needed for further tests. It also provides them with a reliable diagnosis quickly so they can then begin suitable treatment faster.

“Together with our partner Randox, we have succeeded in developing this innovative rapid test within a very short time frame, and we are now in a position to offer it to the market. The Bosch Vivalytic analysis device evaluates the test safely and reliably directly in the hospital, in the lab, or in the doctor’s office, guaranteeing the best possible protection for patients and medical staff.”

As of 9:00 on 25 March, a total of 97,019 people have been tested for the coronavirus in the UK. Of these, 9,529 were confirmed positive, while 463 have died.

The current guidelines are to only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this cannot be done from home). You must also stay two metres away from other people and wash your hands as soon as you get home.

 

Ford building coronavirus respirators using fans from cooled SEATS

Ford parts in PPE manufacturing

Ford is lending its manufacturing and engineering prowess, and creative ingenuity, to the fight against coronavirus.

It will be helping the expansion of production of various medical supplies, including air-purifying respirators.

Off-the-shelf parts are being repurposed for new designs.

Ford Filtration System design

These include the fans usually found in high-end air conditioned ‘cooling’ seats. They’re normally used in Ford F-150 pickups. 

Ford is working with 3M, which is suppling HEPA air filters, to develop respirators for healthcare workers. 

ALSO READ: McLaren and Nissan join race to build ventilators

“This is such a critical time for America and the world,” said Ford executive chairman Bill Ford.

“By coming together across multiple industries, we can make a real difference for people in need and for those on the front lines of this crisis.

“At Ford, we feel a deep obligation to step up and contribute in times of need, just as we always have through the 117-year history of our company.”

Ventilators, respirators and face shields

Ford parts in PPE manufacturing

Ford is working in other areas of personal protection equipment development and manufacturing, too.

The automaker is collaborating with GE Healthcare to expand production of its ventilator. Ford will potentially be able to manufacture the ventilators at one of its locations. This will supplement supply from the main GE facility.

Ford’s design team is also working on the design and testing of transparent full-face shields for medical workers and first responders.

The first 1,000 are this week going for testing at Detroit Mercy, Henry Ford Health Systems and Detroit Medical Center Sinai-Grace hospitals.

Roughly 75,000 shields could be finished this week. The brand is putting its recent developments in 3D printing capability and technology to the test.

Ford parts in PPE manufacturing

“Working with 3M and GE, we have empowered our teams of engineers and designers to be scrappy and creative to quickly help scale up production of this vital equipment,” said Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and CEO. 

“We’ve been in regular dialogue with federal, state and local officials to understand the areas of greatest needs.

“We are focusing our efforts to help increase the supply of respirators, face shields and ventilators that can help assist health care workers, first responders, critical workers as well as those who have been infected by the virus.”