Become an armchair expert with this list of last week’s biggest or most interesting news stories.
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You know you’re rich – or in an industry with, er, fast-moving cashflow – when you can torch a $400,000 Mercedes as a publicity stunt. We don’t know the full story, other than this Russian customer wasn’t entirely happy with his car. It’s real, and there’s video to prove it. We started watching it with our hands over our eyes once he started pouring petrol into and over the car.

This is could be the biggest gotcha since a top security expert in the US got busted faking a bunch of lottery wins during McDonald's Monopoly game promotions. Little-known boutique performance car maker SSC in the US boldly claimed it had broken a new speed record for a road legal vehicle (508.7kmh), however some clever sleuthing by the internet discovered the data was inconsistent with the original claims. Some observers alleged the top speed claim was way off the mark. Read the latest here.

Meanwhile, a genuine world record holder for the world’s fastest car, Bugatti, has unveiled a vehicle (pictured below) which it claims can reach 500kmh – in just 20 seconds. The catch? It’s not road legal, and has a bonkers engine and a lightweight body that wouldn’t meet crash standards. But it’s an engineering marvel nonetheless. Here’s hoping it’s not a dream.

It looks like it won’t only be Tesla, Ford and General Motors (Hummer) with an electric pick-up in the near future. US truck maker Ram says it also wants in on the action. This story also gave us an opportunity to use ‘Battery Ram’ in a headline (as opposed to battering ram, geddit?).

The second SUV to come from Hyundai’s luxury brand Genesis was unveiled this week, the Genesis GV70. It’s due in local showrooms in the first half of next year.

The new Isuzu MU-X four-wheel-drive was unveiled at a gala event in Thailand during the week. While the current model still has about 12 months left to run in Australia (and therefore no local images are available of the new model) we screenshot video footage from the Thailand unveiling. Here is what it looks like.

Demand for the first ever electric Hummer (pictured below) is reportedly off the charts. General Motors says the first batch sold out in the US just 10 minutes after the vehicle was unveiled. However GM did not clarify how many vehicles were in the first batch. Hmmmm. In upsetting news for local Hummer fans, there are still no plans to introduce the electric Hummer locally, even with GMSV’s assistance or a local conversion. So keep your fingers crossed.

Is the automotive world on the brink of another global recall crisis? Takata – the same company linked to the recall of 100 million cars globally due to potentially deadly airbags – is now under investigation for making seatbelts that were not up to standard. It is not known how many cars and which brands are potentially affected, however so far only Toyota has been linked. Takata supplied at least 18 car brands during the period in question.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Arden is about to expand her electric-car fleet, with plans to park an Audi E-Tron alongside her Hyundai Ioniq.

In potentially pleasing news to car enthusiasts who are frustrated by fake engine and exhaust sounds – and excessive gear changes – in movies and TV shows, The Fast & The Furious franchise is reportedly about to come to an end after the upcoming ninth instalment is released. The reports are unconfirmed, however.