Now there's a bullet-proof and blast-resistant Skoda
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• Now there's a bullet-proof Skoda. The car maker has come up with a bullet and blast-resistant version of the Superb estate, following a joint venture project between it and a UK-based converter.
After three years' work, the finished model is, Skoda says, "virtually indistinguishable" from the standard production car.
Thank you so much to so many people who offered and came up with suggestions and solutions to passengers being caught short when stuck in gridlock.
It appears there are receptacles on the market for just such an eventuality. I'm sure if you'll find them if you Google them. No harm to have one on board, considering the frequency of gridlock, especially on the M50 these days.
I get the feeling when travelling on it that we are never more than a small accident from a major tailback. It seems to be at near-full capacity most of the time and unable to cope with any extra strain.
Again, thanks for the responses.
• Toyota has retained its title as the world's most valuable car brand, according to a new study, for the sixth year in a row. Some achievement.
According to the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study, which has just been released by market researcher Kantar Millward Brown, the Japanese car-maker has hit number one in 11 of the 13 years the study has been undertaken.
The analysis also shows how Mercedes passed BMW to finish in the number two slot for the first time in the yearly rankings.
The figures show that the brand value of Toyota increased by 5pc (to nearly $30bn) due to strong demand for its SUVs in Europe and the US. Consistent reliability was also a key factor, the report says.
Meantime Tesla has increased in value to $9.42bn, putting it in eighth place.
The value league goes as follows (in billions of dollars): Toyota $29.99bn, Mercedes $25.68, BMW $25.62, Ford $12.74, Honda $12.70, Nissan $11.43, Audi $9.63, Tesla $9.42, Suzuki $6.38, Volkswagen $5.99.
• Best of luck to the Charles Hurst group, which has opened a new £8m luxury Jaguar Land Rover base in Belfast this week.
The north's largest car retailer's new showroom is part of an £8m investment designed, the group says, to create a luxury showcase destination for iconic car brands.
The development adds 20 jobs to a 100-strong team at its new location at the former Diageo HQ on Boucher Road.
The 40,000 sq ft showroom has metallic cladding and frameless glazing.
Part of Lookers plc, the Charles Hurst Group sells 20 brands across seven sites.
• Subaru is introducing a revamped 2018 2.5-litre Outback Lineartronic (pictured) for the 182-plate change. There is an upgrade in technology and trim for the rugged crossover estate.