arm yourself with some car facts to impress your friends

70 million cars are produced every year. A new car is produced every second… Need more astonishing facts? Read on…

The rate of growth of the motor industry over the last century is so astounding, some of the facts and figures will make your jaw hit the floor...

There are 1 billion cars in use around the world right now — OK, when you consider that there are over 7 billion people on the planet, then this stat may not be as crazy as when you first hear it. But, take into account that around 2.5 billion of us are too young to drive, then it becomes a little more impressive.

Over 70 million cars are produced every year — since 1999 the number of cars produced annually has almost doubled and for the first time in 2016 that number grew to over 70 million. Break that down a little and it works out as 80 per minute – more than one car every second. Mind. Blown.

The average car has 30,000 components — when you drive a car off the forecourt, the amount of work (and parts) that have gone into making it rarely crosses anyone's mind. But from the smallest of springs to the sizeable engine, all of these parts have been painstakingly put together by man and machine to ensure you end up with a new purchase that's both exciting and safe.

The inventor of cruise control was blind — Ralph Teetor (1890-1982) became blind after an accident when he was just 5 years old. His other senses became much stronger and the idea for cruise control came to him while he was in the car with his lawyer. He noticed that the lawyer would slow down while talking to him and speed up when listening. This rocking motion annoyed Teetor so much he set to work on a speed control device, now known as cruise control.

The fastest production car was recorded at 278mph — quite why anyone would want to travel at 4 times the UK speed limit is a mystery to us, but the Koenigsegg Agera RS did just that to become the fastest production car (that's a mass-produced model) in the world. Since then, the Hennessey Venom F5 has topped 300mph but this has not been officially classified by Guinness World Records. The Agera RS can go from 0 to 249 to 0 mph in under 30 seconds if that's your sort of thing (and you have a spare £1.6 million in the bank!)

Many new cars emit fake engine noise — Advances in technology have meant that engines don't really need to make the kinds of noise that they used to. So many of them just use a fake noise through speakers; great for those of you who love the revs of an engine, but important from a safety aspect so you can hear it coming!

Only 18% of Americans can drive a manual — despite the number of automatic transmission cars growing in the UK, it's going to be a long time until we catch up with our American cousins. Show 82% of them a gearbox and they'll be left scratching their heads.

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