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Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut: Top Speed Model Aims at 500km/h Mark!

The top-speed focused Koenigsegg Jesko did materialise earlier this week. It had been widely rumoured during the lead up to the Geneva Motor Show 2020. The Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut is set to be the fastest Koenigsegg ever built and compromise downforce for a low drag coefficient.

The Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut isn’t a special edition either. What Koenigsegg has unveiled is essentially a spec option, available to all Jesko customers.

The Koenigsegg’s USP is its extremely low drag coefficient. At just 0.278 Cd, it glides through the air, using optimised aerodynamics to stabilise the experience. Downforce is reduced to 40 kg at 250 km/h up to a maximum of 150 kg. The standard Jesko has 800 kg at 250 km/h with a maximum of 1,400 kg.

The drag coefficient is achieved through the ditching the massive rear spoiler. Two fins replace it, taking inspiration from the F-15 fighter jet. The practical effect is to clm airflow over the rear bodywork, reducing total drag.

Further changes include an extended rear hood, covered rear wheels, a lowered ride height and the removal of the front wheel louvres and front hood air duct.

Koenigsegg refuses to say exactly how fast the Jesko will go. Announcing the car, Christiaan von Koenigsegg made it clear that Koenigsegg is open to the idea of testing the top speed but didn’t yet have a location to conduct such a test. The previous record run in the Koenigsegg Agera RS was carried out on a closed road in the US, it’s not entirely clear whether such a road might yield higher speeds, perhaps in excess of the 300 mph mark.

Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut Specs

The Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut uses that same twin-turbocharged 5.0 litre V8, mounted to a 180-degree crankshaft and a nine-speed Light Speed Transmission system. Power totals 1,600 bhp on E85 feel with 1,500 Nm of torque at 5,100 rpm.

Koenigsegg has made adjustments to the suspension too, the front suspension is more compact, it is softer too, which makes it a less serious drive around a race track. Koenigsegg also claims that a 1:1 power ratio is achieved with a full tank of fuel, luggage and two persons on board.

Koenigsegg’s press conference also confirmed that the Regera will finish production by the end of this year, allowing Koenigsegg to begin production of the Jesko next year alongside its other projects.

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Aston Martin V12 Speedster Officially Revealed

Aston Martin’s Speedster has been officially revealed. The British brand’s marketing department have clearly been sipping the creative juices once again. They took the ‘name it as you see it approach’, arriving at the name Aston Martin V12 Speedster.

The V12 Speedster competes with the Ferrari Monza SP2 and the McLaren Elva, two brand new Speedster models to be launched at a similar price range. It has taken 12 months to build and arrives through the ‘Q by Aston Martin’ team.

As you would expect, the V12 Speedster uses Aston Matin’s 5.2-litre, Twin-Turbo V12 engine, with peak outputs of 700 hp and 753Nm of torque. The engine is front-mounted and sends the power it generates through a ZF 8-Speed automatic transmission with a limited-slip differential driving the rear wheels.

Aston Martin quotes a 100 km/h sprint time of 3.5 seconds on the way to a limited top speed of 300 km/h. To create a unique experience, Aston Martin offers a bespoke stainless-steel exhaust system.

The chassis is a mix of bonded aluminium parts lifted from the Vantage and DBS Superleggera models. It gets independent double-wishbone front, and multi-link rear suspension, with coil springs and adaptive damping. The latter offers Sport, Sport+ and Track modes. 21-inch centre locking wheels and carbon-ceramic discs are also. The discs measure 410 mm at the front axle and 360 mm at the rear.

The majority of the bodywork is carbon fibre. The design is similar to the one-off CC100 Speedster Concept of 2013 and takes inspiration from the 1959 Le Mans-winning DBR1.

Just 88 will be made available starting at £765,000 including VAT. Deliveries are expected to take place this time next year.

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Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport Revealed with $3.35 Million Price Tag

Another special edition Bugatti Chiron arrived this afternoon. The Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport is limited to 60 examples. This is the Chiron for you if you like the idea of a massive fixed rear wing!

The Pur Sport benefits from less weight and a sharper focus on downforce, its the Chiron for those winding roads. The Pur Sport gets a close-ratio transmission, high-performance tyres with a new material mix geared towards extreme grip as well as an agile chassis and suspension setup.

Whereas the Chiron Super Sport 300+ was set up to hit top speeds, the Pur Sport is set up for optimum lap times. The front gets wide air inlets and an enlarged horseshoe panel to extract air from the radiators. The splitter is lower to the ground which helps to maximise downforce.

A new split paintwork design has been developed for the Pur Sport. The bottom is a carbon fibre panel while the top half is painted with the choice of a custom centre-line and accents.

The rear is dominated by a 1.90 metre rear spoiler. Part of the 50 kg weight loss is caused by losing the hydraulic component of the Chiron’s automatic rear spoiler. A more aggressive rear diffuser is combined with a distinctive 3D-printed titanium exhaust tip.

Inside, Alcantara surfaces help reduce weight. Patterns have been lasered into the Alcantara door trim panels. All trim and controls are made exclusively of either black, anodised aluminium or titanium.

The wheels are also unique to the Pur Sport. They are magnesium and feature an optional aero blade. The rings fitted to the rim extract air outwards from the wheel. Each of the 5 lug nuts gets a special cover that reduces turbulence. The measures applied to the wheels alone save 16 kg.

Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport Rear

The chassis modifications include 65% firmer springs at the front and 33% firmer springs at the rear, an adaptive damping control strategy geared towards performance as well as modified camber values (minus 2.5 degrees). Bugatti add carbon-fibre stabilisers at the front and rear. 19 kg of weight is lost here.

On top of the usual Chiron drive modes, the Chiron Pur Sport features a new Sport + drive mode. The main difference is that the traction control system kicks into action on dry race tracks at a significantly later point. Changes to the transmission mean that the gear ratio that has been configured 15% closer together.

The 8.0 litre W16 engine still kicks out a massive 1,500 hp and 1,600 Nm of torque. Due to the higher levels of downforce, the Pur Sport tops out at 350 km/h. Bugatti hasn’t released any performance details aside from the claim that the Chiron Pur Sport accelerates from 60 to 120 km/h almost two seconds faster than the standard Chiron.

40 units of the Bugatti Divo should arrive next year with these Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport models set to be produced in the second half. 60 will be available at three million euros excluding VAT. With the 250th Chiron already leaving the factory gates, and 30 Chiron Super Sport 300+ announced, we calculate that there are a further 120 Chirons left before Bugatti’s self-imposed 500-car quota is hit.

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Bentley Mulliner Bacalar Revealed As Mulliner Takes Charge

The Bentley Bacalar is the most exclusive and bespoke Bentley of the modern era. It was revealed today at Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe, England. It was due to be revealed in Geneva this morning, yet with the cancellation of the show, Bentley executives decided to launch the car electronically instead!

The two-seat Bacalar marks a return to bespoke coachbuilding for Bentley Mulliner, one of the oldest names in coachbuilding. It also marks a return to bespoke limited edition custom models for Bentley, a stark change from the mass-production Continental GT and the Bentayga.

The release of the new model coincides with an announcement that Bentley will utilise Bentley Mulliner through a new three-portfolio future: Classic, Collections and Coachbuilt.

The Bacalar is the first model to join the Coachbuilt sector. It is named after a lake called Laguna Bacalar in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. The ‘Barchetta’ design “delivers the ultimate expression of open-top, driver-focused grand touring”. Top-down motoring sits at the heart of this two-seater.

The Bentley Bacalar uses an enhanced 6.0-litre W12 TSI engine producing 659 hp and 900 Nm of torque. Bentley has incorporated a rear-biased advanced Active All-Wheel-Drive System together with an adaptive chassis which uses Bentley’s intelligent, 48-volt Dynamic Ride System.

Bentley Mulliner Bacalar

Just 12 individual Bacalar’s will be released. Each one is designed, engineered and handcrafted to individual customers’ individual tastes. If you want one, tough, they are all already allocated.

The design uses the DNA and sustainable materials debuted in the EXP 100 GT concept car, launched last summer to celebrate Bentley’s centenary. The materials include ethically-sourced materials such as rice husk ash paint and 5,000-year-old Riverwood.

The Bacalar is also the first model to be produced in the world’s first certified carbon neutral factory. Each customer will get a bespoke Schedoni luggage to fit the rear compartment.

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Range Topping Porsche 911 Turbo S Coupe and Cabriolet Debut

One of the biggest launches not to happen at Geneva this year is the Porsche 911 Turbo S. The first of the true performance 911’s, this is the one people have been waiting for. Let us tell you, it does not disappoint!

The new Porsche 911 Turbo S has been revealed, but we are yet to hear anything about the lesser Turbo. You will be pleased to hear that Porsche has not downsized, the Turbo S gets a new version of the iconic 3.8-litre boxer engine. It includes two VTG turbochargers, which deliver 650 hp, 70 hp more than its predecessor. Torque is now rated at 800 Nm and the eight-speed PDK helps translate those figures into a 2.7 second 100 km/h sprint. Top speed is unchanged at 330 km/h.

The new engine gets a redesigned charge air cooling system, new turbochargers and electrically adjustable wastegate flaps. Piezo injectors improve responsiveness, as does a new intake system. The air filters are now situated in the rear wings with four intakes overall.

The Porsche 911 Turbo S gets larger with an increase of 45 mm at the front axle and 20 mm at the rear axle. The modified track widths, developed aerodynamics and new mixed-size tyres contribute to its dynamics. The track is now 42 mm wider at the front axle and 10 mm wider at the rear axle.

The adaptive aerodynamics include controlled cooling air flaps at the front. The larger rear wing has been designed for greater downforce. It has 20-inch tyres with unique 255/35 dimensions at the front and 21-inch 315/30 tyres at the rear.

The Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) sports chassis has been lowered by 10 mm and a sports exhaust system has been fitted with adjustable flaps. The Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel-drive system is now capable of delivering up to 500 Nm of torque to the front wheels.

At the front, the standard LED matrix headlights gets dark inserts. The tailpipes at the rear are rectangular, finished in high-gloss Black, typical of the Turbo.

Inside, the standard equipment list includes a full leather interior and carbon trim in combination with Light Silver accents. Two-tone interiors will be available through Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur as an option. The 18-way adjustable sports seats feature stitching that pays homage to the first 911 Turbo and the interior has all of the comfort and tech from the rest of the 911 range.

The Porsche 911 Turbo S will be available in Germany at a price of €216,396 including country-specific equipment and 19 per cent VAT. The Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet will be priced at €229,962.

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Geneva Motor Show 2020 Preview: What to Expect

If one thing remains a constant, it is that the Geneva Motor Show remains the biggest motor show in the world. The biggest manufacturers release the largest number of cars, it has been considered neutral ground for years.

Things were showing early signs of change this year with the likes of Lamborghini, Volvo, Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, Opel, Maserati, Citreon, Peugeot, General Motors, Nissan, Mini and Mitsubishi all deciding to sit it out. Despite the surprisingly long list of no-shows, many of the biggest manufacturers remain committed to the Geneva Motor Show 2020 and the show is still expected to be the biggest of the year.

The Covid-19 virus has proved a stumbling block for car events this year too. The Beijing Motor Show 2020 is one victim. It is set to be postponed while China deals with the outbreak of the virus. Other events to have received the axe include the Mobile World Congress tech show in Barcelona and the Chinese Grand Prix.

Switzerland has no confirmed cases of the virus and organisers say that no manufacturer has pulled out. The show will, therefore, go ahead barring any last-minute changes.

Geneva Motor Show 2020 Details

A few important details:

Where: Palexpo, Route François-Peyrot 30, 1218 Le Grand-Saconnex, Geneva, Switzerland
Dates: 5-15 March 2020 (public days)
Opening Times: 10 am – 8 pm Monday – Friday, 9 am – 7 pm Saturday – Sunday
Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) website: https://www.gims.swiss/en/

Aiways

Aiways U6ion

The first car on our list (it’s alphabetical…) is also the first Chinese all-electric SUV to make its way across to Europe. The Aiways U5 is one of a number of Chinese EV’s in development. It features a 190 hp electric motor with about 230 lb-ft of torque. It is sized to compete with cars like the Audi Q5, being of similar size. It is expected to go on sale this year, selling 2,000 units with a shift upwards to 50,000 units in the second year. Priced at less than 30,000 Euros, it should be an interesting prospect.

Aiways is also expected to debut a Coupe Crossover in the form of the Aiways U6ion. The U6ion has been developed with input from Roland Gumpert and ex-Pininfarina designer Ken Okuyama. The U6 is essentially a U5 but with flashier, sportier bodywork.

Aston Martin

Aston Martin Vantage Roadster Top Up

Aston Martin only have one confirmed release at the moment. They surprised us last year with a range of concept cars including the Aston Martin AM-RB 003 (now named the Valhalla), the Aston Martin Vanquish Vision Concept and the Aston Martin Lagonda All-Terrain. Nobody expected to see too much, but it soon became clear that Aston Martin was planning a surprise.

This year could be the same, although we only know that the Aston Martin Vantage Roadster will debut for the time being. The Aston Martin DBX will be sure to get attention. Aston’s make or break SUV needs to sell well and Geneva is to perfect place to showcase it. Otherwise, Aston Martin has been toying with the idea of a V12 powered speedster announced earlier this year.

Audi

Audi A3

Geneva will be a busy show for Audi, no different from normal! The biggest debut is the Audi A3, following hot on the heels of the Volkswagen Golf. The A3 will be based on the same platform as the Golf. It will get a more premium feel. It will be available as a five-door only

An Audi S3 is also expected to debut at the same time as the run of the mill models. The S3 will get the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol from the old car. Audi will fit a new sound actuator and it should be good for 310 hp and 400 Nm of torque.

The Audi E-Tron S Sportback, the Sportback version of Audi’s popular all-electric SUV, is set to debut with more power. At the moment, it is possible to buy a 50 or 55 engine with a single motor. The E-Tron S will get two motors, one for each wheel, alongside two single-speed gearboxes. This 2.5 tonne SUV will get 500 hp.

New versions of the Audi RS5 were also revealed last year, with subtle exterior changes. Audi will surely take the opportunity to highlight the improvements.

BAC Mono

100th BAC Mono - Denmark

The BAC Mono is due to receive a second generation. Believe it or not, the BAC Mono has been around since 2011. Little information has been released so far, except that the design we see next week will enter production in mid-2021. Teasers have so far suggested a bigger cockpit and more advanced materials such as graphene.

Bentley

Bentley Bacalar

Bentley has promised something quite special for the Geneva Motor Show 2020. The Bentley Bacalar was announced a few weeks ago, in the form of a teaser image. The full design is set to debut next week. We know already that it will be a bespoke project built by Mulliner and destined for a handful of collectors. Its inspiration will derive from the EXP 100 GT revealed last year as part of its centenary celebrations.

Bentley should also have an example of the Continental GT Mulliner Convertible special edition on display. The Mulliner fettled Convertible includes a Double Diamond front grille, a new Mulliner 22″ wheel design, new technical finishes and a bespoke Mulliner interior crafted entirely by hand, including 400,000 stitches.

BMW

Red BMW Concept 4

BMW’s 4 Series will be its biggest release of the Geneva Motor Show 2020. It will sport a controversial grille design, making it a make or break product for the Bavarian giant.

A BMW 330e PHEV and BMW X2 xDrive 25e will also debut, these entry-level, plug-in hybrid engines are sure to prove a sales success. BMW will have plenty on display.

Bugatti

Black Bugatti Chiron

Bugatti has confirmed that its 250th Chiron will be on display. The Bugatti Chiron Sport “Edition Noire Sportive” is one of 20 Chiron Noire’s planned for production as a limited edition run.

The Edition Noire Sportive features a satin black carbon fibre body which extends into the interior, coupled with black leather. Chrome work has been blacked out and a Noire signature applied to the door jambs and under the rear spoiler.

Bugatti might also have a surprise in order, should we believe recent rumours. A Bugatti Chiron R might arrive to sit between the Chiron Sport and the Super Sport 300+. Bugatti might fit such a car with a more powerful engine and with improved aerodynamics. We will have to wait and see!

Czinger

Czinger’s new car, the Czinger 21C, will receive its world debut in Geneva. The Los Angeles based supercar debuts components that are 3D printed using a proprietary production process. A mid-mounted 2.8-litre V8 engine which works alongside two electric motors which power the front wheels.

In total, the Czinger 21C produces 1,250 hp, enough for an 8.1-second quarter mile, 100 km/h in 1.9 seconds, 300 km/h in 15 seconds and 400 km/h in 29 seconds. Czinger uses a seven-speed sequential transaxle gearbox. The 21C weighs just 1,183 kg (dry) with a track specification reducing it down to 1,151 kg.

Ferrari

Ferrari Roma

It’s not entirely clear what Ferrari will present at Geneva this year. The Roma is yet to receive a debut at an international motor show, it seems likely that it will feature prominently upon Ferrari’s stand.

Fisker

The reborn Fisker Ocean has been in development for some time. It has eco-credentials, being made from recycled, abandoned fishing nets and plastics from the ocean. It also uses an electronic drivetrain, with an 80 kWh capacity battery and a range of up to 300 miles. Power is rated at 300 hp. Due to the drip-feed nature of information about this car, we don’t yet know everything. Hopefully Geneva will shed some light.

Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne

Maguari HS1 GTC by Hispano Suiza

The reborn Hispano Suiza brand is said to launch its Carmen Boulogne special edition at Geneva this year. The company are yet to produce a production vehicle, yet the special edition will honour Hispano-Suiza racers who battled the streets of Boulogne-sur-Mer, on the north coast of France.

Koenigsegg

Koenigsegg Jesko

Koenigsegg is expected to unveil a special edition of the Jesko. This model will be kitted out with some choice upgrades to allow it to hit 500 km/h. The Koenigsegg is expected to be called the Mission 500 concept and will go head to head with the Chiron Super Sport 300+ which was clocked at 304.77 mph (490.48 km/h). It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what Koenigsegg aims for with the special edition model.

Although still a rumour, the Koenigsegg Jesko Mission 500 looks fairly certain. Koenigsegg has a bigger stand this year. This lead to rumours that a new model might arrive. Those rumours crystalised last week with talk of a Koenigsegg KG12 2+2 model.

The Koenigsegg KG12 hypercar is said to feature a 2+2 layout with larger doors to accommodate easier access. KG12 is likely to get a hybrid setup comprising a 2.0-litre, three-cylinder gasoline engine. Rumours have suggested it will use Koenigsegg’s FreeValve camless technology, and an electric motor. Combined, this setup could produce around 1,500 hp.

Lexus

Lexus LC Convertible

Lexus has been quite open about what it plans to bring to the Geneva Motor Show 2020. The Lexus LF-30 Electrified concept is expected to make a European debut alongside the Japanese brand’s first EV; the UX 300e. Petrolheads will be pleased to see the LC 500 Convertible.

McLaren

McLaren Elva Front

The official website for the Geneva Motor Show 2020 shows only the 720S Spider and the 600 LT as debuts for McLaren. In truth, nobody knows what McLaren might produce for the show. We’re hoping to see the McLaren Elva live and in the flesh. It is possible that McLaren might also display an example of the new Speedtail (deliveries begin soon!).

Rumours were circulating last year that McLaren planned to expand the Ultimate Series even further at Geneva, with the introduction of a plug-in hybrid model. There is talk of a McLaren 750LT too. It would be around the right time for the hardcore model.

Mercedes-Benz

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe Price

More big things from Mercedes-Benz, despite the recent demise of the S Class Coupe and the Mercedes-Benz X-Class. We are expecting Mercedes-Benz to complete the revamp of its entry-level models with a brand new GLA Class. Revealed in December 2019, Geneva is likely to set the stage for the GLA 35 and 45 models. An E Class facelift is also expected.

Of interest to us is the anticipated launch of the Mercedes-AMG GT 73. The four-door GT is expected to debut a new powertrain for AMG. A direct answer to the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid. The AMG 4.0 litre V8 is set to be coupled to a rear-mounted electric motor and a lightweight battery. Power should be around 800 hp through all four wheels.

Elsewhere, the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Coupe was recently announced. It is powered by a 4.0 litre V8 together with an integrated EQ Boost starter-alternator, together they form a mild hybrid. Two versions are on offer, a standard 571 hp version and a 612 hp ‘S’ version.

Pagani

Pagani’s contribution to the Geneva Motor Show 2020 is the Pagani Imola. Dropping the Huayra name, the Imola is Pagani’s most extreme version of the Huayra chassis yet.

Pininfarina

Geneva Motor Show 2019

Pininfarina has already announced that its display at the Geneva Motor Show 2020 will focus on the company’s 90th-anniversary celebrations. It will show a special version of the Battista, the Pininfarina Battista Anniversario.

The Anniversario will be limited to five examples. The Battista, upon which it is based, is in the late stages of development. It features four electric motors at each wheel. Combined, these produce 1,900 hp. 100 km/h will take less than 2 minutes, 300 km/h in under 12 seconds and top speed should be around 350 km/h.

Porsche

It has been known for quite some time that Porsche plans the release of a brand new Porsche 992 Turbo at this year’s Geneva show. The iconic Turbo model returns for the latest generation. It should herald in a new era of performance 911’s, expect a GT3 to follow soon after.

The Turbo and Turbo S models are both expected to debut, retaining the outgoing model’s 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six. Power for the most potent 992 Turbo’s should be around 640 hp through an all-wheel-drive system. The Porsche 718 Boxster GTS and 718 Cayman GTS models should make the display too.

Rimac

Rimac C-Two

Electric hypercar specialists, Rimac, will display a production-ready version of the Rimac C Two. The company’s second hypercar will be built in higher numbers than its previous model, marking a significant ramp-up in production for the Croatian company.

The Rimac C Two’s statistics were staggering. The company claimed 1,914 horsepower from four independent, permanent-magnet electric motors fed by a 120-kWh battery pack. The statistics allow for a 1.85 second 60 mph sprint with a 413 km/h top speed. What’s more impressive still, is the claimed 550 km range!

Vega

Vega Geneva 2020

The Vega EVX hails from Sri Lanka. Not the first place you might think to find an all-electric supercar. Yet the Vega EVX makes for interesting reading. 804 hp and 760 Nm of torque in a package that weighs 2,090 kg allows for a 3.1 second 100 km/h sprint.

The 55-kWh lithium-ion battery provides a range of up to 300 km. From 2021, a more substantial 130-kWh battery will bump the range up to 750 km. Will it survive past the Geneva Motor Show 2020?

Volkswagen

Volkswagen Golf GTI Teaser

Volkswagen recently released a new Volkswagen Golf. Anticipation has grown for a GTI version which is expected to debut at the Geneva Motor Show 2020. A GTD version should also debut at the same time.

The GTI will see mild updates to the 2.0-litre petrol engine, pushing it to 240 hp. The GTD is also set to retain its 2.0-litre diesel engine with a mild power boost to 200 hp. Both are likely to get mild hybrid assistance, in-line with the rest of the Golf range. As with the rest of the range, it is the interior tech which really counts though.

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Genesis GV80: Luxury SUV Revealed to Rival the Germans

Launching to synthetic sounds and a futuristic light show at the Kintex Center west of the Korean capital Seoul, the Genesis GV80 is the first SUV model from Hyundai’s upscale subsidiary Genesis. It is due to celebrate its European debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March – and it comes across as a success at first glance.

After all, it has all the ingredients required in the premium SUV category: a sophisticated vehicle architecture that is based on a rear-wheel drive concept; a luxurious interior – and a body that offers room for up to seven passengers (even if few customers will ever use the third row).

The typical rear-wheel drive proportions were already visible on the first sketches that were sent out two weeks ago; they are highlighted with a light signature with narrow, double light strips up front and in the rear. “These two lines will always shape the design of Genesis,” said the Hyundai Group’s chief designer Luc Donckerwolke at the presentation.

The wheel sizes up to 22 inches underscore the sophisticated appearance of the GV80; there is an unusual range of colors and materials both outside and inside, ranging from classic to modern – and certainly outshining the competition.

Hyundai’s head of research and development, Albert Biermann of M GmbH fame, made sure the GV80 meets the elevated demands of sporty drivers. Under the hood, the GV80 sports a 278-hp 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel engine, and there will be a 370-hp 3.3-liter V6 petrol engine as well. Entry-level models are likely to get a four-cylinder turbo. The GV80 comes with rear and all-wheel drive, an automatic transmission is standard. The relatively light body is largely made from thermoformed high-strength steels, doors and hoods are executed in aluminium.

The interior is characterized by a futuristic two-spoke steering wheel, a classic instrumentation, an ultra-wide 14.5-inch central screen and a touch-sensitive surface that can recognize handwriting, making it easy to enter commands and destinations.

Augmented reality functions help finding your lane, and a new generation of counter-sound technology will cut unwanted noise sharply. The driver’s seat – another world first – is equipped with seven air cushions. A camera system scans the road surface and informs the electronic chassis, which prepares accordingly.

Other technology highlights include a cruise control system that analyzes the owner’s driving style and can emulate it when driving autonomously. It is another world first that documents that the Hyundai Group no longer sees itself as a follower but as a pioneer of new developments.

The Group’s more entry-level brands, Hyundai and Kia, have begun to set themselves apart from other international mass producers. With Genesis, it’s an even more ambitious game. And the Genesis GV80 emphasizes that Korea is clearly aiming at the German premium brands – and on track to reach beyond them.

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Sony Unveils Vision S Full Electric Car in Surprise Move to EVs

Sony surprised the automotive industry earlier today with the debut of its Sony Vision S. It happened at the Consumer Electronics Show 2020 (CES) which began today in Las Vegas. The release is less about the fact that is a remarkably production-close car, more about the technology that is packaged within.

What really interests us is the car elements though. So we’re going to talk about those first! With the Vision S, Sony has been helped by Magna Steyr, Bosch, Nvidia and others. Magna Steyr, in case you weren’t aware, is the company that produces Mercedes-Benz’s G Class, the BMW 5 Series and the Toyota Supra.

Sony Vision-S Rear Seats

Sony says it is powered by a pair of 272 hp electric motors. These give it enough power to hit 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds, with a top speed of 240 km/h.

The Sony Vision S prototype incorporates the latest in Sony’s imaging and sensing technologies. It’s packed with sensors to start with, 33 sensors to be exact, including CMOS image sensors and ToF sensors. The sensors detect and recognise people and objects inside and outside the car.

Sony Vision-S Seats

On the audio side of things, “360 Reality Audio” provides a unique audio experience through speakers built into each seat. The front dash also features a massive panoramic screen that extends the entire length of the dashboard. It underlines Sony’s intentions in creating the ultimate mobile entertainment space.

Other than the above details, little is known about the Sony Vision S, least of all whether Sony has the intention to put it into mass production.

Sony Vision-S Front

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2020 Porsche Taycan 4S Review

The Porsche Taycan has landed and made not just a splash, but tsunamis in the automotive world. The model was unveiled and released in Turbo and Turbo S forms at first, models that boasted tremendous power and stats aimed at dethroning Tesla as the king of AC/DC power. The Turbo models are astonishing and fulfil the brief of being high performance vehicles that sit as flagships of the range; as a result the pricing was a breathtaking as the acceleration. 750 bhp does not come cheap.

To broaden the appeal of the Taycan Porsche unveiled this, the 4S and I was shipped over to the -19 degree icebox that is Kittilä, Finland to experience the 2020 Porsche Taycan 4S. The 4S is, of course, down on power compared to the Turbo and Turbo S. As standard 523bhp is available on overboost with a range of 405 kilometres. One option that I suspect will be ordered by all customers is the Performance Battery Plus that increases power to 563bhp and the range to 462 kilometres for around €5,000. 0-100 with either battery is done in 4.0 seconds.

At this point I would love to share my driving impressions with you. I will, but it must be noted that it was horrifically cold, this really was a winter wonderland and there is no tarmac in sight, just icy surfaces and standard winter tires to connect with it. There were no spikes in sight. As a result, any feedback in muted and power statistics are almost irrelevant as traction management is far more important.

That being said, I have driven a handful of cars in similar conditions so am somewhat familiar with how cars typically handle when dancing on ice. The first part of the program was a 90-minute road drive in the darkness of the Finnish winter. First impressions are all about traction and the mighty impressive Goodyear winter tires. Although absent of spikes, traction under gentle braking and acceleration. The Taycan 4S felt balanced and incredibly quick, even on the slippery ice. The 992 steering rack that feature in the Taycan still felt well weighted, of course, there was very little feedback on the ice. Braking was still reasonable although the weight became evident when braking harder and the ABS cutting in.

The main event was the Porsche Experience set on a frozen lake, the ideal place to exploit instant torque from the 800volt batteries powering all four wheels. First up was a tight twisty circuit. The aim if the game was to understand the torque split front to rear and swing the car into delicious drift angles. It is harder than you would imagine, opposite lock doesn’t help and you have to be gentle with the power or the car does what it is meant to do and drags itself into a straight line.

Next on the list of activities is a slalom where the weight and its distribution would be tested. The 4S weighs in at 2,215 kilograms and often had me questioning just how thick the ice on this frozen lake was. It is still some 200 kilograms lighter than the Turbo S model but it is still a substantial mass for anything that is considered ‘sporty’. The slalom test highlights the impressive agility that comes courtesy of the antiroll and stability systems.

The third and final test was the drift circle. Again, this is a test of balance and the torque split and where feedback and feel are key. This is a Porsche and at times the Taycan really did feel comparable to a 911, it is spooky, but there is just a level of disconnect that you would never find in a conventional petrol burning 911. The instant torque is spectacular, the acceleration, even on ice, takes you by surprise despite this being the 4S and not a Turbo or Turbo S. The Taycan in 4S is an extremely capable car. If the greater power is not of paramount importance to potential customers, I would strongly argue that the 4S is the pick of the bunch.

The case for the 4S is further heightened by the significant saving over the Turbo models. In the United Kingdom, the 4S starts at under £90,000, a considerable £50,000 less than a base Turbo S. The 4S is the electric car that offers significant steps forward in the industry at a realistic price point with stats and prestige that make it capable and desirable in equal measure. Let’s hope Porsche can build them quickly enough.

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Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo Unveiled in Monaco

At an event in Monaco yesterday, Lamborghini announced its contribution to the Gran Turismo Sport world! Gamers will be able to get the Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo in game, very soon!

The single seater concept was produced by Lamborghini Centro Stile in Sant’Agata Bolognese. While the design work is out of this world, the drivetrain is firmly based in reality, lifted from the recently-announced Lamborghini Sián FKP 37.

The Sian uses Lamborghini’s preferred engine, the V12, and couples it to a hybrid drivetrain. The V12 is said to produce 785 hp with the addition of titanium intake valves. The electric element is run from a 48 volt system and uses a “supercapacitor” to store power from an e-motor. The e-motor produces an additional 34 hp for an overall total of 819 hp.

In terms of design, everything runs to a point at the front, as with all Lamborghini’s. A large wing housing a significant Y-taillight dominates the rear. The main body is disconnected from the fenders, and the hexagon-inspired theme in the side windows is inspired by the Lamborghini Marzal from 1968.

The Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo weighs just 819 kg, 1 horsepower for every kilogram of weight. The fighter jet inspired monoposto styling clearly helps with this! Inside, a holographic display is on offer.

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Exclusive: V12 Will Return in Next Generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class in 2021

Good news for fans of the V12 engine. During an exclusive interview with GTspirit, today at the Guangzhou Auto Show 2019, Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius confirmed that the V12 engine will return in the next generation 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Doubts about the return of the V12 engine were raised when Mercedes-Benz released the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 earlier this week. 600 modes normally receive the iconic V12 power plant, yet the GLS features a V8 unit instead. It has now been confirmed that, in the S Class at least, the V12 will live on.

Official details for the V12 version of the Mercedes-Benz flagship limousine will be announced next year. It is likely that Mercedes-Benz will develop the current V12 engine, found in the S 600 and Mercedes-Maybach S 600, will be updated to comply with strict upcoming emission standards.

During our interview, we also spoke with We also spoke with Kallenius about the brand new Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 luxury SUV:

GTspirit: Exclusively available in China, the six-cylinder Mercedes-Maybach S 400 is the top selling Maybach model. Is there any chance we can expect a Maybach GLS with a six-cylinder any time soon?

Kallenius: “We launched the new Maybach GLS 600 with a V8 engine first but it is possible there will be a six-cylinder version of the GLS Maybach in due time. The AMG developed 4.0 liter V8 fits the GLS Maybach very well and was the obvious choice for launch of our first Maybach SUV.”

Asked about a possible Mercedes-Maybach GLS V12, the Daimler CEO is short and clear: “We have no plans for a Maybach GLS V12.”

Read more about the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600

Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600

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New Tesla Cybertruck Reinvents the Pickup Truck

At an event, away from the ongoing Los Angeles Auto Show 2019, Tesla unveiled its highly anticipated Cybertruck. The next stage in building a model range, the Cybertruck is Tesla’s most controversial design yet.

In true Silicon Valley style, Elon Musk took to the stage on Thursday to unveil his latest model. Things didn’t go entirely to plan though. During a part where Musk intended to demonstrate the “armour glass”, he invited Tesla’s head of design, Franz von Holzhausen, on stage to throw a metal ball at the side windows. The idea was that it would just bounce off, causing no damage. The Cybertruck is supposed to protect occupants against bullets and sledgehammers The armour wasn’t as strong as it perhaps should have been as the window cracked on impact.

Of course, the biggest story is the pickup truck itself. Tesla rips up the rule book, as you would expect. The design features lots of straight lines, seemingly inspired by Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works or the classic DeLorean than by any conventional pickup truck. It has proved controversial.

The exterior bodywork is milled from Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel using Tesla armour glass for the windows. This is said to make it extremely strong. The glass, which we suspect will be redesigned before the market launch, gets a polymer-layered composite skin for its strength.

The interior features 6 seats. 3 in the first row and 3 in the rear together with a 17 inch display. The passenger cell is separated from the rear bed. From the side, you wouldn’t guess that it was a pickup truck. The rear bed is hidden by a gently sloped rear panel. It’s 1.98 metre rear bed has a payload capacity of 1,580 kg and 2,830 litres of space.

Under the chassis sits Tesla’s battery system. In its highest specification, it should hit 60 mph in a blistering 2.9 seconds with 500 miles of range. Tesla will in fact offer the Cybertruck in three options. The single motor, rear wheel drive option will manage a 250 mile range with a 6.5 second 60 mph sprint. The dual motor, all wheel drive model cuts the sprint time to 4.5 seconds and increases range to 300 miles. It is the triple-Motor, all whee drive model that gets the blistering pace and huge range.

Tesla Cybertruck Interior

At all four corners, the Cybertruck uses air suspension. This allows Tesla to program some convenience features, including a program which drops the ride height for entry and exit.

The Cybertruck is available to order immediately with a $100 deposit. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2021 with tri-Motor versions to follow on 2022. A full self driving mode costs extra. Pricing of the range starts from $39,900 for the entry level, rising to $49,900 for the mid range and $69,900 for the top of the range model.

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2020 Ford Mustang Mach-E: All Electric SUV Coupe Revealed

The onslaught of electric cars continues with the release of Ford’s first all-electric model. A little late to the game, Ford has finally revealed its first EV, an SUV which uses the famous Mustang badging. The Ford Mustang Mach-E!

The Mustang Mach-E is Ford’s first departure from the two-door, rear-wheel-drive setup which made the name famous. Without a big V8, the Mustang’s links to the Coupe are tied only to its blistering performance!

Design

2020 Ford Mustang Mach E Side

The Mustang Mach-E is distinctive. It uses a long, powerful hood, much like the Coupe. The rear arches are suitably bulging and the side panels, finished in black, narrow the body panels to create the illusion that the body is smaller than it is.

The headlights are long and thin, similar in style to the Coupe. The rear lights use a tri-bar setup which has become synonymous with the Mustang in recent years.

Overall, the silhouette is more Coupe than a full-size SUV. The shape is not boxy! One interesting element is the lack of conventional door handles. The Mach-E dispenses with convention, using buttons and small holds protruding from the front doors. For the fully digital experience, owners can use their smartphones as keys.

Drivetrain

The Ford Mustang Mach-E is powered by a completely new drivetrain. It is available in two versions, the standard-range with a 75.7 kWh lithium-ion battery, and the extended-range with a 98.8 kWh battery. It should achieve a respectable range of at least 300 miles in rear-wheel-drive configuration.

The standard model uses a single motor driving the rear wheels. It produces 255 hp or 282 hp in the extended-range version. The twin-motor model produces 255 hp in its lowest spec, 332 hp in its highest. The rear-wheel-drive models should hit 100 km/h in under 8 seconds while Ford are targetting a sub-7 second 100 km/h time in the twin-motor versions.

The batteries are fitted on the floor between the two axles, secured inside a waterproof battery case and surrounded by crash-absorption protection. It is slightly larger than the I-Pace, with weight stated to be between 1,993 kg to more than 2,218 kg.

The platform is all-new. Called Global Electrified 2, Ford has reworked the latest Focus and Kuga architecture.

Interior

2020 Ford Mustang Mach E Interior

Inside, Ford has gone high-tech. The Ford Mustang Mach-E seats five adults comfortably. It offers 820 litres of luggage space, 1,680 with the rear seats folded.

Ford will offer a Bang & Olufsen sound system. A panoramic fixed-glass roof is an option, with a special glass coating for enhanced infrared protection.

The Mustang Mach-E uses the latest version of Ford’s SYNC system. It operates through a massive 15.5-inch touchscreen which rivals Tesla for size. The dashboard is largely free of buttons with a narrow 10.2-inch digital cluster for the driver.

Competition

If you know the market, the competition should be obvious by now! At the moment, Ford has Jaguar’s I-Pace, Audi’s E-Tron and the Mercedes EQC to compete with. Pretty soon though, electric SUV customers will be spoilt for choice.

We expect Tesla to launch a Model Y soon which will compete directly with the Mach-E. There is the unknown quantity of the Byton M-Byte too. Infiniti, Porsche and Rivian are also known to be interested in the segment.

As far as what’s available at the moment, the Jaguar I-Pace appears to be the closest competition.

Gallery

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Ferrari Roma: New V8 Coupe Revealed with 620hp

The covers have been lifted from the latest Ferrari Coupe. The Ferrari Roma packs a V8 under the front bonnet with a 2+2 setup. Designed with a simplistic, 50’s style, the Roma was revealed this evening at a Ferrari client event in Rome!

The release is not quite complete. Ferrari is teasing us with details of the powertrain and photos of the exterior. There is little else by way of detail though. A message on the company website suggests that this will be revealed at 13:30 CET tomorrow. The photos appear to be CGI renders.

Design

Ferrari Roma Side

Despite its classic design cues, the Ferrari Roma is a modern front-engined GT car. The engine is mounted as far back as possible such that Ferrari describes it as “mid-front-engined”. It has a shorter front bonnet as a result, with short overhangs.

In contrast to some of Ferrari’s more fussy, aerodynamic designs, the Ferrari Roma gets a more minimalist design. The front features a sharp front nose with a futuristic front air intake and a prominent lip spoiler. The headlights are split by a daytime running light. The nose is extremely low, probably made possible by mounting the engine so far back.

Moving along the side. The Ferrari Roma features a side shape similar to that of the classic Ferrari 612. The resemblance is accentuated by a small circular side reflector mounted behind the front wheel. The doors get recessed door handles, similar in style to the Jaguar F-Type.

Towards the rear, a styling line crosses the entire length with narrow quad taillights. The bumper gets a set of quad tailpipes and a deep rear diffuser. All in, the design is classic and unpretentious.

Power

Ferrari Roma Rear

The detail we do have include the powertrain. It uses Ferrari’s 3.9-litre V8 power plant. Fitted with twin-turbochargers, it produces 620 hp and 760 Nm of torque. It’s enough for a 3.4 second 100 km/h sprint, a 9.3 second 200 km/h sprint and a 320 km/h top speed.

Tipping the scales at 1,472 kg, it weighs slightly more than the Aston Martin Vantage but less than cars like the Mercedes-AMG GT and Jaguar F-Type SVR. The power is coupled to a new 8-speed DCT gearbox which will also be used in the Ferrari SF 90 Stradale.

Ultimately, the Roma is a re-worked version of the Portifino, fitted with a fixed roof and updated styling.

Interior

Ferrari Roma

There is only one photo of the interior which shows a tightly packaged interior with a high centre console. A display handles most of the inputs for the air conditioning and comfort settings with a number of conventional switches retained below.

The passenger seat gets a display incorporated into the dashboard. On the driver’s side, the steering wheel includes the trademark Ferrari manettino dial. The dashboard is an up to date digital display.

Competition

Aston Martin Vantage AMR

Without an idea on pricing, it looks as though the Roma is designed to compete at the lower end of the market with cars like the Aston Martin Vantage, Porsche 911 Turbo and Mercedes-AMG GT R.

We know that Bentley is working on something which might also give the Ferrari a run for its money. Maserati is known to have something in the pipeline, perhaps taking inspiration from the Roma.

Gallery

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Official: Sterckenn Reveals Carbon Parts for BMW 8 Series

Tuning company, Streckenn, has revealed a new set of carbon fibre parts for the BMW 8 Series. Applied across a 50:50, satin:gloss black demonstrator model, the parts add a subtle, but sinister twist to the latest BMW. The 8 Series has never looked so good!

Steckenn’s take on the BMW 8 Series was revealed at the Automobilia Auto Salon in Connecticut, USA. The changes include a carbon fibre front lip spoiler. The high-quality carbon fibre part is easily installed as a bolt-on component to improve the looks of the 8 Series.

The demonstrator model also gets a number of special touches. The most obvious is the wheels. On the right side, this 8 Series wears Vossen S21-01 21 inch monoblock wheels finished in gold. On the left, a set of ANRKY An38 21 inch wheels get a matte black finish with rose gold inners. Both sides make use of a custom airbag suspension setup that incorporates an Accuair Endo CVT air management system.

Sterckenn’s demonstrator is an M850i which means it has a 4.4 litre V8 producing 530 hp and 750 Nm of torque. It hits 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds. The looks are matched by the performance!

The 8 Series parts are available at Sterckenn’s dealership network worldwide, including in Europe, the US, Japan, Korea and Australia. As well as the 8 Series, Sterckenn also offers components for the M2, M3, M4, M5 and 5 Series models.

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2019 BMW M8 Competition Coupe and Convertible Review

The BMW M8 Competition is a difficult car to place. The replacement of the M6 is tagged by BMW as being a luxury GT car, but one that packs 625 horsepower and 750Nm of torque. Those aren’t numbers that are used to waft from the country estate to the golf course, something I learnt when I went to The Algarve to put the most powerful series production M car in BMW’s history to the test.

After an evening of being inundated with stats and filled with the finest prawns I’ve ever eaten, it was time to see how the figures felt in the real world. Exploiting 625 horsepower on the street isn’t exactly easy, the infamous Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, colloquially referred to as Portimao, had been booked out for us to put the M8 Competition through its paces (the base M8 was not on offer to test on this occasion). Boy, oh boy there was pace. BMW claims 0-100km/h in 3.3 and it feels every bit as fast. 3.3 isn’t a number typically attributable to a wafty GT car, and neither is the way the M8 Competition handles itself around what is one of the most testing tracks in Europe. Stability and control were a focus for the M division and can be directly linked to three innovations that have been created with sharp handling characteristics in mind: M xDrive, Active M Differential and M-specific Adaptive suspension. They each do what they say on the tin and each element takes the poise of the M850i and turns it up a notch to far more serious, track usable levels.

Yes, the car still feels all of two tonnes when you really start to hustle it into bends and quick direction changes, but you’ve got to be forcing it into such a scenario. I suspect 98%, if not more, of owners will never venture onto a track with their M8, but it’s spectacular to know how capable the car can be. The xDrive system deserves a special mention as it allows you to apply power extremely early after an apex, you feel it dragging the car out with terrific grip and speed. That’s not to say that there isn’t fun to be had, with the traction and stability systems in MDM, the rear end comes in to play and is easily adjustable on the throttle.

The 4.4-litre V8 revs to 7,200 but peak power is done at 6,000. The 750Nms come courtesy of two turbochargers that are nestled between the two cylinder banks for a sharper response and less lag. This unit teams up with an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission which is as good as any dual clutch setup on sale today, you are never left helplessly tugging at paddles for downshifts multiple times before they are delivered.

Braking performance is often a point of criticism on BMW M cars, even the carbon ceramic setups of the past have been known to find themselves in a spot of smokey bother after a couple of intense laps on track, not in the M8. Thanks to cutting-edge technology, the brake activation, brake booster and braking control functions are brought together within a compact module. The brake pressure required is triggered by an electric actuator, which means it can be generated more dynamically, pedal feel is optimised and the interventions from the stability control system are significantly faster and more precise. The driver can choose between two pedal feel settings: one more comfort-oriented and the other a particularly direct, instantaneous setting. I can report that the feel remains remarkably consistent even after a pounding on the track.

As I said, I can never imagine myself seeing an M8 on track except for in special circumstances such as a motoGP safety car. The road is where M8s will be used and that’s where the real world consumer testing needs to be done.

Weighing in at 2.1 tonnes, the convertible M8 Competition is around 100 kilograms more than the Coupe and is the variant assigned for the road testing element of the test. It is 0.1 seconds slower to 100 (3.4 seconds) but with the roof retracted the sensation of speed is heightened.

With every new car review I write, I seem to drone on and on about the crippling OPF that has restrained the exhaust noises that enthusiasts so crave. The story is the same here and the soundtrack is not what you would traditionally associate with a 4.4 V8. That being said, M have worked hard to give the M8 some serious bass. It’s not great, it’s acceptable.

On the billiard table smooth tarmac of the track the steering felt numb, there is more weight in the sportier modes, but the feel is absent. The same can be said for the steering on the road. So not very good then? Hold your horses, the M8 really surprised me on the deserted, tight and twisty roads away from the circuit. The coupe was great on track, the convertible continued to exceed expectations on the street. The xDrive system means you can use the power and mammoth torque without fearing for your life, the systems mentioned before, particularly the suspension and diff shine and come together to make the M8 not only savagely fast, but also very easy to drive at speed.

Then you slow down to admire the scenery and stick everything into comfort and the character of the car completely changes – it demonstrates an impressive breadth of ability. The cabin is comfortable, the seats could be a little more supportive but are well suited to long drives. The back seats are usable for adults too, perhaps not for longer journeys but certainly suitable for children. The infotainment system remains one of the best in the business and there are new M displays to separate this from the rest of the 8 family. Gone is the questionable crystal gear selector from lesser 8 series models.

This brings me back to my opening statement: the M8 is a difficult car to place. Is it a 911 competitor? I feel it’s not sporty enough and lacks feel in comparison to the Porsche. Maybe the Bentley Continental GT or DB11? I feel the M8 is not premium enough. The Aston Martin Vantage or AMG GT could be in the sights of the M8, but neither of those can demonstrate the soft, supple cruising abilities of the M8 Competition. Regardless, the M8 Competition stands tall and proud as the current head of the BMW M table with the ability to cruise quietly or attack a road with seemingly endless torque and power. A mighty fine M car.

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2020 BMW X5 M Competition: Ultimate BMW SUV Revealed

BMW have announced a refreshed versions of the BMW X5M today. The super-SUV’s are refreshed for the latest generation, both have been fitted with a powerful V8 engine and the latest in BMW technology.

Now in its third generation, the X5M is available in standard and Competition specification for the first time. BMW have carried out testing at Miramas and Arjeplog as well as at the Nurburgring. A world away from these harsh locations, the X5M will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2019 next month.

Both versions use the 4.4 litre V8 engine. Power outputs increase by 25 hp and 50 hp respectively over the outgoing model. The standard models now put out 600 hp while the Competition versions generate 625 hp and 750 Nm of torque. New engine mounts, cooling and oil supply systems and a sports exhaust release the additional power.

That power is transferred to the M xDrive system via an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission. Both cars feature an Active M Differential to optimise traction. The standard M-cars take 3.9 seconds to hit 100 km while the Competition models hit the same speed in 3.8 seconds. This makes it 0.4 seconds faster than the outgoing model.

The suspension has been re-inforced to cope with the additional power. The X5M receives electronically controlled dampers, active roll stabilisation, M Servotronic steering and Dynamic Stability Control. Competition models get 21 inch rims at the front and 22 inch rims at the back. Large M-specific brakes are essential.

To look at, you would not mistake the M models from the rest of the range. BMW designers have included large air intakes at the front, a new kidney grille with double bars, M gills at the side fenders, a new roof spoiler, rear apron and a new diffuser. The exhaust system is also all-new with a set of twin tailpipes.

Inside, a head up display is fitted as standard. An M-specific display is also included together with a leather steering wheel. The seats are multifunction with integrated head restraints. Merino leather is available throughout to enhance the luxurious feel. BMW Live Cockpit Professional is included as standard together with BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, and the Parking Assistant.

Both cars will be available from April 2020.

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2020 Audi RS4 Avant Updated with a Fresh Look

The Audi RS4 Avant has fallen out of favour in recent years. There was a time when the RS4 was the darling child of the Audi Sport range. In recent years, it is the Audi RS6 Avant which has driven the fortunes. Audi will be hoping that its latest update to the baby Avant will push sales back to where they belong.

The Audi RS4 Avant gets updates that mirror those applied to the Audi A4 range earlier this year. The front has been completely redesigned. It gets a wider and flatter single-frame grille, similar in style to the version found on the recently released Audi RS6 Avant. It is fitted with black gloss, three-dimensional honeycomb, typical of RS models.

The LED headlights also receive a refresh. Optional matrix LED units get darkened bezels. They complement the gloss black, matt aluminium and carbon fibre styling packages which add sill inlays, exterior mirror housings and elements to the front and rear bumper.

The side profile remains unchanged. The wheel arches are 30 mm wider at the front and the back compared to the A4 Avant. At the rear, a new twilight design should make it clear to the rest of the world that you are driving the latest and greatest. New air vents next to the tailpipes are also evident. Otherwise, everything else appears untouched.

The power unit is what really matters with the RS4 Avant though. The 2.9 litre V6 receives some work. It now produces 450 hp and 600 Nm of torque, sprinting from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.1 seconds. Audi engineers the twin turbochargers to act on each individual side of the cylinder bank, mounted within the V.

Power is routed through the quattro system via an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox. A torque vectoring system is on offer too, assisting with handling on difficult surfaces. An optional quattro sport differential provides an even better response.

Inside, the latest 10.1 inch MMI touch display welcomes the driver with the option of the Audi Virtual Cockpit with unique RS displays showing information on tire pressure, torque, power output and other performance-oriented details.

The Audi RS 4 Avant will make its debut at the DTM finale at the Hockenheimring on 4 to 6 October 2019. Sales in Germany and other European countries will start in October 2019. Prices for the RS4 Avant should start at 81,400 euros.

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2020 Audi RS7 Sportback Review

There forever has been and, hopefully, will always be an inexplicable level of cool associated with a fast German saloon car. Perhaps it is that they are based cars on which are typically a little beige, boring and, more often than not, diesel barges that trundle down the autobahn minding their own business. Then the skunkworks departments at the likes of M, AMG and RS get to work and the results are snarling hulks that both look and feel like swollen hulks of the timid cars they once were.

Since the turn of the millennium, there have been a couple of personal highlights: the E60 BMW M5 saloon and estate which both featured derivatives of the Williams F1 V10 that howled like nothing else, and the Audi RS6 Avant that also featured a mighty large V10 taken from the Lamborghini Gallardo. The recently replaced Audi RS6 is also up there nestled amongst the best. The pressure is on for the new one to deliver, but the opportunity to drive the RS6 is a few months away. To whet the appetite, Audi asked if I would like to drive the RS7, a car that seems to have been somewhat overshadowed by the mass hankering the market had for the RS6, despite both cars sharing the same mechanicals underpinnings. Could the latest iteration steal the hearts of many as the RS6s of the past had? To find out, I flew to Frankfurt.

Let’s get the numbers bit out of the way: at the heart of the package sits a 4.0-litre V8 engine producing 600 hp and 800 Nm of torque. 100 km/h is dispatched in just 3.6 seconds with a 250 km/h top speed. The Dynamic package removes the limiter, pushing this up to 305 km/h.

A 48-volt system runs a belt alternator starter with car recover 12 kW of power for use between 55 and 160 km/h. The system is meant to provide instantaneous power to the drive while offering the ability to coast on electrical energy with the engine switched off. The cylinder on demand technology further aids fuel consumption. Power is fed to a Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system through an eight-speed tiptronic transmission. The RS7 gets a launch control function with torque control provided through a sport differential, part of the optional Dynamic and Dynamic plus packages.

That’s that, what does this all feel like off the paper and on the tarmac? Well, that depends on one decision that owners will have to make, it makes a rather considerable difference: suspension. The RS7 can be optioned with either the standard, more comfortable, RS adaptive air suspension or an optional sport suspension with Dynamic Ride Control, that is the one you want. Why? The optional DRC set up is harder and, yes, it is touch harsher on the road. Make no mistake, it is still comfortable when you’re cruising, but when you get a hustle on, the body control and the limit before understeer and tyre squeal become a factor, is far higher.

I am no track day magician, but I was finding the handling limits of the car in the air suspension fitted cars remarkably easily. The conventionally sprung car felt far more up for a good time, and as a result, I feel it is worth the comfort trade-off. All cars tested rode on massive 22 inch wheels all around.

What about the performance? My first thoughts on the autobahn were ‘oh, it’s not THAT quick’, I then looked down and noticed I had hit the top speed. In gear acceleration in first, second and third in particular, is astonishing. It feels every bit 592bhp quick. At speed, the sensation of power is somewhat stymied by the lack of a certain characteristic: sound. There is a huge 4.0-litre V8 under the hood, but you would have no idea judging by the sound in the cabin. It is a little depressing, but it is a sign of the times in a world muzzled by the legislative necessity for the awful OPF. Audi combated my comment stating that they wanted to keep the noise authentic and refused to pipe fake sounds into the cabin…if you listen carefully you can hear BMW M retreating into the bushes.

Back to the bends, there is a lack of something here too, steering weight and feedback. This is a gripe that I’ve had with Audis for years, the chances of this being remedied in the RS7 were slim, it is a little difficult to understand what the front tires are doing and where the limits of adhesion are when there is such an absence of palpable communication coming through the wheel. That being said, there is good news too. The car is savagely fast out of bends and the 48 volt antiroll system masks the weight as well as you could ask from a car that weighs in at 2,500 kilos. As previously mentioned, the DRC suspension is where the car is at its best. It must also be noted that the gearbox is fine on the way up, but hesitates on downshift – third to second, in particular, seems to take an age.

Inside there are a few niggles, but on the whole, the interior is a very pleasant place to be. There are lashings of leather, alcantara and plenty of room in the front and rear. There are also walls of screen. The dash is impressive and there and a multitude of configuration options to display as much data as I’ve seen in a machine this side of an F16. For me, the two stacked central touch screens are a little fiddly on the move and require more concentration than I would like to give them when pushing on or trying to focus on a twisty stretch of tarmac. This, I guess, is personal preference and others may love them as much as I loathe them. On the whole, I feel there could be more going on in the interior to set the RS apart from the series A7 to reflect the changes to the exterior. It lacks a special touch.

On the whole, the RS7 is a mighty fine piece of kit. If you’re in the market for an M5 to E63, the RS7 really is a viable alternative. It is a little softer and quieter than the aforementioned cars, but is by no means slower. It features all the tech you could ever need, is spacious and in plenty fast. Audi claim 0-100 in 3.6, I saw 3.2 time and time again with the deeply effective launch control activated. To answer my opening question, yes, I really think this car deserves adoring fans as there is plenty to love in this new RS7 as there has been in every RS6 to date. Now we need to see just how impressive the new RS6 is.

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450hp Manual: Details Leaked on 2020 BMW M2 CS

Details on the BMW M2 CS are beginning to emerge. Alleged leaks apparently confirm key aspects of the hardcore 2 Series model. The details allegedly arrive through attendees of a private event in Belgium last week.

The Bimmerpost insider confirmed that BMW’s 3.0 litre straight six engine will get a boost up to 450 hp. The power will be fed to the rear wheels through a manual gearbox with the automatic DKG gearbox an option.

BMW will also fit active suspension And updated sports brakes with red calipers. Carbon ceramic brakes will be optional. The M2 CS will be offered with 763 M wheels in gold or black, with regular or sport cup tires.

Plenty of carbon fibre components will complement the looks. A new hood, roof, outside mirror covers, trunk lip spoiler, front spoiler lip, rear diffuser, central console and door handle will all feature carbon fibre elements. The M2 CS badge is apparently finished in chrome and Alcantara also features heavily in the door and seat design.

The seats are lifted straight from the M4 Competition seats and feature red stitching. The back seats are now fixed so cannot be folded. BMW are expected to offer just 4 colours for the M2 CS; Alpine White, Misano Blue, Hockenheim Silver and Saphire Black.

We are expecting to see the BMW M2 CS very soon with production of the 2,200 models to begin in April.

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