All posts in “Car News”

Range Rover Turns 50 in Style with “Range Rover Fifty” Special Edition

It’s been 50 years since the Range Rover badge first appeared. Land Rover has marked the milestone with a special edition Range Rover Fifty. The first model left the production line on 17 June 1970, creating the blueprint for the luxury SUV in the process.

Since 1970, the Range Rover has continued to evolve, setting the benchmark with each generation. It was the first SUV to feature a permanent 4WD system, in 1989 it became the first 4×4 to be fitted with ABS anti-lock brakes and in 1992, the first 4×4 to be fitted with electronic traction control (ETC) and automatic electronic air suspension.

The BMW M5 Gets a 2020 Facelift

BMW’s 5 Series range is in the midst of a 2020 facelift. The new BMW M5 2020 facelift completes BMW’s work. It was announced late yesterday and gets a fresh new look together with performance and interior improvements.

Starting at the front, the BMW M5 gets a new set of headlights. Thinner than the outgoing model, they use laser technology with a new L-shaped light profile. The kidney grille is larger, but BMW haven’t quite adopted the 4 Series approach.

The front bumper is redesigned with a new squarer air intake layout. There is little by way of visible change along the side of the M5. At the rear, redesigned tail lights incorporate the L-shaped light profile. The rear bumper, rear apron and rear gurney are all re-profiled.

Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70 Pulls 2G of Lateral Acceleration

The Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70 was revealed earlier today. The Dutch low volume manufacturer has been producing ultra-lightweight sportscars since 1978 out of its headquarters in Lelystad.

In recent years, the Donkervoort has grown more extreme. For example, the GTO, announced in 2013, used 2.5 litre TFSI 5-cylinder turbocharged Audi engine to produce 380 hp in a 700 kg package. The Donkervoort ethos, “No Compromise”, means these cars ship without ABS, ESP or power steering.

With this in mind, Donkervoort’s latest creation seems all the more absurd.

Liberty Walk Toyota Supra Looks Fast & Furious

Tuning firm’s don’t come any bigger than Liberty Walk. Japanese sports cars don’t get more famous than the Toyota Supra. A match made in heaven? Perhaps, if your cup of tea is overblown styling; a’la Fast & Furious.

The Liberty Walk Toyota Supra recently arrived. As you would expect, the main feature is the wide-bodykit. Liberty Walk’s trademark bolt on fenders dominate the package. Modifications are made all around.

Photos of the car were released earlier this week by the Japanese tuning giant. They show a low front splitter, bolted onto the standard looking air intakes. The bonnet receives fender vents and two deep bonnet vents.

Controversial Next-Generation BMW M4 Leaked

The release of the upcoming BMW M4 is sure to be a talking point, if this week is anything to go by at least. On Tuesday, BMW finally released images for the new 4 Series. It departs from the front-end styling of the 3 Series with BMW debuting a new kidney grille.

Less than a day after the release of the new 4 Series, the BMW M4 started to show up online. Photos were posted on reddit which show the front end of the M4, complete with a signature M performance front facial, straddling that controversial front grille.

The photos confirm the look of the M4, which had already leaked months earlier with a candid photo of a small portion of the front grille in a workshop. The photos confirm that the M4 will share the new kidney grille while retaining the sculptured air intakes from previous generations.

Rumours in recent weeks have suggested that the M4 and M3 will be rear-wheel-drive only when it officially launches, however, this will change with an xDrive offering to arrive soon after. This will be the first time that BMW has offered either model with an All Wheel Drive drivetrain.

Power is expected to arrive through a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six engine. The S58 debuted in the X3M and X4M last year. As with the SUV’s BMW will likely offer a standard and Competition model, rated at 480 hp and 510 hp respectively.

2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe Leaked Ahead of Next Week’s Debut

First of all, the grille is here to stay. Secondly, it’s everything we saw on the BMW Concept 4 which was 85% production car at the time of it’s reveal. BMW says that the new age of car buyers want something bold, especially their bigger Chinese market. Bold means bigger proportions. The recent move to larger grilles can also be seen as an evolution of the early BMW cars such as the 328 of the 1930s.

BMW 328
The BMW 328 of the 1930s

The reveal of the 2021 BMW 4 Series will take place next week on June 3rd. The corona pandemic is still a hindrance and that means the debut will take place online.

Reveal Date: Tuesday June 2nd, 6pm, Central European Summer Time

AMG Boss Tobias Moers Confirmed as Next Aston Martin CEO

Coronavirus could not have arrived at a worse time for British supercar manufacturer, Aston Martin. The company had arrived at the end of the development program for its make or break Aston Martin DBX SUV, having secured further investment from turnaround expert Lawrence Stroll.

With current CEO, Andy Palmer at the helm, the company had enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance since its dark days at the beginning of the 2010’s. Since arriving in 2014, Palmer returned Aston to profitability, revamped its ranges, opened a factory in South Wales, and oversaw the company’s stock market launch.

Yet it was the later that proved his undoing. While the company shares floated at 545 p, since 2018, they have been on a consistent downwards trajectory. Late last week, the quoted price was as low as 33 p.

Clearly, urgent action was necessary to avoid bankruptcy. It was announced on Tuesday that Andy Palmer would step down, a victim to circumstances. The announcement was quickly followed by an announcement that Tobias Moers will take over from 1 August.

Aston Martin Vantage 2020Aston Martin Vantage 2020

Palmer’s immediate departure leaves Keith Stanton to fill the gap as interim chief operating officer. Three further directors, Richard Solomons, Imelda Walsh and Tensie Whelan, were also confirmed departures as part of the shake up.

The news was met with instant relief. Aston Martin’s share price soared, during the early part of this week. Indicating that the markets approved the move.

So just how dire is Aston Martin’s position? The company’s latest results show that it sold 578 vehicles during the first quarter of 2020, down from 1,057 in the same period last year. It announced a £118.9 million loss before tax, up from £17.3 million the year before. That said, with DBX and Valkyrie in the pipeline, it was clear that these losses were only temporary.

And what of Aston Martin’s new CEO? Tobias Moers is currently the CEO of Mercedes-AMG, a 5% shareholder in Aston Martin. AMG also provides engines, electronics and consulting. Moers will be stepping into a business he knows intimately.

Holding the top job at AMG for 7 years, it seems the perfect move, with Moers reportedly frustrated at the direction the Mercedes-Benz parent company wished to push its performance arm.

Mr Moers said: “I am truly excited to be joining Aston Martin Lagonda at this point of its development. I have always had a passion for performance cars and relish the chance to work for this iconic brand.”

Lamborghini Launches Huracan EVO Rear-Wheel Drive Spider

Lamborghini returned to work this week after a hiatus, caused by the coronavirus outbreak in Italy. One of its first acts was to announce the new Lamborghini Huracan EVO Rear-Wheel Drive Spider. The launch completes the facelift of the Huracan range.

The Huracan EVO Rear-Wheel Drive Spider receives near identical updates to its coupe counterpart. At the front, the bumper gets a tighter side intakes with a larger middle intake and a redesigned front spoiler lip. The side skirts and side air intakes receive additional carbon fibre garnish and the rear bumper gets a complete redesign with centrally mounted exhaust pipes and a body coloured diffuser.

Bugatti Divo Development Complete – Cleared for Delivery

Earlier this week, Bugatti confirmed that development of the Bugatti Divo had come to an end. The first customer cars are due to begin deliveries later this year. The milestone marks a return to coachbuilding for the French hypercar expert.

Bugatti first unveiled the Divo at Monterey Car Week in 2018. It was the first project developed under Stephan Winkelmann’s direction.

Even before Bugatti announced the Divo, it had already sold all 40 planned production units. A staggering feat when you consider that the asking price runs to 5 million euros, net of tax. Even more impressive is Winkelmann’s confirmation that “Every Divo customer owns a Chiron” too.

The Divo is a substantially different model from the Chiron. Focused on cornering instead of outright pace, the Divo wears completely new skin. Increased downforce, improved cooling and optimised airflow, all three elements contribute to improved handling characteristics. The Divo manages 90 km of additional downforce.

While the bodywork differs from the standard Chiron, the engineering remains broadly the same. The Bugatti Divo continues to use the 8.0-litre W16 engine with 1,500 hp and 1,600 Nm of torque. 0 to 100 km/h happens in 2.4 seconds. The improvements in aerodynamics mean that top speed is limited to 380 km/h.

The chassis modifications include a change in wheel camber on the front and rear axles, harder springs and a more front-oriented balance. Bugatti shed 35 kilograms in weight.

Others Follow Pebble Beach Concours’ Cancellation

Until yesterday, organisers of Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance were hoping that the 2020 instalment would go ahead. The recent Covid-19 outbreak has caused an entire year of cancelled automotive events, however, it was hoped that Pebble Beach might go ahead given its August timetabling.

Yesterday, organisers confirmed that the event will not go ahead this year. While the event is effectively cancelled, organisers have confirmed that 2021’s event will run the schedule planned for 2020. This is because the car selection process for this year’s 70th Pebble Beach Concours was complete earlier this month. Acceptance letters have already been sent and invitations sent for the 70th-anniversary event. Because of this, we now know what to expect for 2021.

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2019Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2019

The 2021 event will feature a display of past Best of Show winners along the edge of Stillwater Cove, and special classes honouring Pininfarina coachwork, the Porsche 917, the Talbot-Lago Grand Sport, Miller racing, Iso, Early Electrics and the Carrera Panamericana.

After the Pebble Beach announcement, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering announced that it would cancel too. It too has taken the approach of postponing its planned event until 2021.

Bonhams has confirmed that it will push ahead with its auction plans, likely holding an event somewhere in the state of California. Gooding and Company has chosen to postpone its Pebble Beach auction to next year alongside the Concours. The RM Sotheby’s auction has been cancelled, as has the Mecum and Russo & Steele events.

The only Monterey Car Week events that remain in the calenders are the Monterey Pre-Reunion and Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca.

Unlimited Money: The GTspirit 5 Car Dream Garage

It’s a question that has crossed every car lover’s mind, and we recently asked our team members to name 5 cars they would have in the garages if money was unlimited. Feel free to give us your own dream garages in the comments below.

As you can see, we have many Pagani fanatics here, Zonda lovers to be specific. Have a look at the list and see if you find some of your favorites in there too.

Des: Chief Editor & Founder

BMW-328BMW-328

BMW 328
Ferrari 488 Pista
McLaren F1
Mercedes-AMG G63
Pagani Zonda Cinque

Rico

Bugatti-ChironBugatti-Chiron

Bugatti Chiron
Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series
Ferrari 488 Pista
KTM XBOW RR
Mercedes-AMG G63

Tobi

Pagani ZondaPagani Zonda

Pagani Zonda
Ferrari 250 SWB
Porsche Carrera GT
Ferrari Monza SP1
McLaren P1

Mitch

Porsche-911-GT2-RSPorsche-911-GT2-RS

Porsche 911 GT2 RS
Ferrari F40
Pagani Huayra
Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
Lamborghini Huracan Performante

Tobi #2

Pagani-Zonda-F-Clubsport-RoadsterPagani-Zonda-F-Clubsport-Roadster

Pagani Zonda F Clubsport Roadster (Tobias 2m edition)
Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring
Audi R8 V10 Spyder
Alpina B5 Touring (daily)

Steven V.

Aventador-SVAventador-SV

Lamborghini Aventador SV
Koenigsegg Agera R
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
Audi RS6 Avant
Mercedes-AMG G63

Norbert

BMW-E46-M3-CSLBMW-E46-M3-CSL

BMW E46 M3 CSL
Porsche 996 GT2
Pagani Zonda Roadster
Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Porsche 911 F Model

Thom

Cinque-RoadsterCinque-Roadster

Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster
Ferrari F12 TDF
Ferrari Laferrari
Porsche 991 GT3 RS
Audi RS6 Avant C8

Martin

Ferrari 488 Pista SpiderFerrari 488 Pista Spider

Ferrari 488 Pista Spider
Porsche 991 GT3 RS
Mercedes-AMG G63
Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta
Porsche Carrera GT

Brad

Porsche-991.2-GT3-ManualPorsche-991.2-GT3-Manual

Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster
Porsche 991.2 GT3 – manual
Audi RS6 Avant C8
Porsche Carrera GT
Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR

Philipp Lucke

Ferrari LaFerrariFerrari LaFerrari

Pagani Zonda 760RS
Ferrari LaFerrari
Bugatti Chiron Sport
Porsche 991 GT3 RS Weissach
Bentley Continental GT Speed

Keno

Porsche-Carrera-GTPorsche-Carrera-GT

Porsche Carrera GT
Pagani Zonda (F, Cinque or 760 doesn‘t matter, but it must be a manual)
Porsche GT3 RS Weissach
Ferrari 250 SWB
2020 Audi RS6 as a daily

Earl

Suzuki JimnySuzuki Jimny

ODT: Porsche 911 GT3 RS 991.1
Mercedes-AMG C63 AMG S Sedan
Suzuki Jimny
Lamborghini Aventador SVJ
Ferrari LaFerrari

Dave

Impreza-P1Impreza-P1

Mercedes-AMG G63
BMW 2002 Turbo
Audi RS6 Avant
Pagani Zonda F
Subaru Impreza P1

Nicholas

Lamborghini-LP640-RoadsterLamborghini-LP640-Roadster

Pagani Zonda 760RS
Lamborghini LP640 Roadster
BMW M3 CSL
Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB
McLaren F1

Ron

McLaren-F1-MSOMcLaren-F1-MSO

McLaren F1
Ferrari Testarossa
Lamborghini Diablo Sv
Porsche 959
Pagani Zonda Cinque

LOZ

Maserati-A6GCS53-BerlinettaMaserati-A6GCS53-Berlinetta

Pagani Zonda F
McLaren F1 LM
Maserati A6GCS/53 Berlinetta
Lancia Aurelia B24 S Spider
Volkswagen Golf GTI for the daily

Jens Meiners

Bugatti Type 50TBugatti Type 50T

Bugatti Type 50T
Aston Martin Lagonda Series II
Isdera imperator 108i
Lamborghini Sesto Elemento
Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4 squared

Our Top 3 Brands

1. Porsche
2. Pagani
3. Ferrari

Our Top 3 Cars

1. Pagani Zonda F
2. Porsche Carrera GT
3. Porsche 991 GT3/RS

McLaren Senna Gets 102 hp Power Boost by Novitec

We thought Mansory would be the first to turn its hands to the McLaren Senna. Clearly we were wrong! Novitec has presented a subtle set of updates for the track-focused McLaren. They range from a new wheelset to a substantial boost in performance.

Novitec’s package centres around a 102 hp power boost applied to the McLaren Senna’s 4.0-litre V8 engine. It now produces 902 hp and 888 Nm of torque. The power boost is achieved through a three-stage plug-and-play engine control unit which modifies the mapping for fuel injection, ignition and boosts pressure control.

The Senna now arrives at 100 km/h in just 2.7 seconds, reaching 200 km/h in just 6.5 seconds. Top speed is 335 km/h. This makes it 0.1 seconds quicker to 100 km/h and 0.3 seconds quicker to 200 km/h.

Other additions include a new superlight high-performance inconel exhaust system. If you choose this option, Novitec can finish the tips in matt black. A replacement catalyst pipe is also available. The forged wheels measure 20 inches at the front and 21 inches at the rear.

Novitec also offers customised interiors for all vehicles. Novitec chose to keep the bodywork as it was, making changes only to the wheels and engine. Still, if you want extra spice for your 1 of 500 McLaren Senna, there is no other option!

Special Report: Grand Touring in The McLaren GT

‘I’m sorry, I know it’s a Saturday, but I’ve been called into work. I’ll see you tonight if I can escape. If you can, please could you pick up cheese bread and chocolate. Everything will be closed before I’m back. I know we had plans today but I’ll make it up to you! Xx’

This really is how my weekend began. Empty bed, thwarted plans and no chocolate to drown my sorrows with. There was, however, a silver lining to be exploited – I had the keys to a McLaren GT, rather than crawling through Mayfair traffic before posing aimlessly outside Novikov, I could cancel my, now redundant, lunch reservation and do what the McLaren GT was designed to do – pick up bread, cheese and chocolate. The local Daylesford Farm Store and Wholefoods were too close to justify driving and did not present a tantalising driving experience. My partner’s insatiable workaholism was only matched by her equally unhealthy appetite for chocolate and all things sweet. It was still early, what if…

90 minutes later I’m approaching the warmly familiar check in booths at the Folkestone end of the now ironically named Eurotunnel. Why? Well, why settle for anything less than the best of chocolates when I could stretch the legs of the McLaren and bag the best chocolates anywhere in world to sweeten the mood of my horrendously overworked and under appreciated lady friend – as win win scenarios go, I can think of few better.

The Eurotunnel Terminal presents well known surroundings, this feeling continues as I recite my algebraic coffee order to the tired, eye bag plagued Starbucks barista that soullessly wishes me a safe journey. I respond to her well-wishes with ‘I’m only popping over to get some chocolate’. I imagine she feels that she is dreaming and/or delirious. I nonchalantly head back out to duck under the GT’s dihedral door before sinking into the leather and alcantara cocoon. The only smell better than warm caffeine may well be the surroundings in which I am drinking it in.

Passport checked, ‘random’ drugs test completed (they really just wanted to nose around the GT), I held my breath as the wheels of the McLaren rhythmically trundled over the metal carriage breaks just centimetres away from a gut wrenching scrape against the train’s metal curbs. My perfected imitation of a dog with its head out of the window ensures the safety of the very smart diamond cut wheels. Coffee emptied and MPH swapped to KM/H, it was time to see how good a cruiser the GT really was.

The French darkness shrouded the autoroutes and invited the GT to stretch its legs. This is a car that presents credentials that are unusual in a McLaren, but one which maintains a crucial McLaren: being ferociously fast. Ignore the 0-100km/h time of 3.2 seconds, that might seem quick, but the acceleration when you’re up and running is what really boggles the mind. In second or third gear, anything about 4,000rpm is as fast as you would expect any McLaren to be. In my mind, the performance is not where this car needs to make a point, it is every other measurable GT element that needs to shine.

This journey is not my first in the GT, I drove the car on the press launch that was set on the French Riviera. It is all too easy to get caught up in the romance of the scenario, the weather and the fabulous roads. This drive to Bruges would emulate something far more realistic, less fabricated and very varied. I had already crawled through London, felt the ride on harsh concrete British motorways leading to the English Channel and was now floating over the billiard table smooth Autoroute. France comes to end in a snoozy blink, Belgium is up next and the surface worsens. With the ‘Active’ panel engaged and handling and powertrain modes both is comfort, the ride is supple and the engine quiet, murmuring at 1,200 rpm. On a 130km/h cruise this 327km/h McLaren sips just 8l/100km (30mpg), that being said, the 72 litre fuel tank means stops are more frequent than you would hope for continent swallowing GT car. Then again, getting out to look at the car every couple of hours is no bad thing.

The reception from fellow road users, petrol station attendants and generally, anyone you pass in the car, is exceptional. Perhaps it is that it does not scream, ‘LOOK AT ME’ like an 720S or carbon clad 600LT, until you open the doors at least, but comments of the elegance and maturity of the design are plenty.

Creeping into Bruges minutes before sunrise presents the perfect opportunity to enjoy the iconic sights of the Markt Square void of the teams of tourists that are attracted by the medieval architecture and the charm of the waterways that snake in-between. Finished in Black Ingot, this is the most subdued McLaren I have piloted. The paint appears to be a rather boring black, but park it in any light, sunlight or artificial street light, and the car glistens as if coated in glitter. McLaren are unrivalled in their creativity and sparkle offered in their paint options. As the sun peeks between the turrets and spires, the complexity of the shapes that forms the body panels of the GT are highlighted. It is dramatic, but in a different way.

Enough of the architecture, I was here for a purpose. As the sun rose, the quaint shop shutters did too, the smell of fresh bread lingered in the crisp morning air. Bruges is awash with chocolatiers, all of which boast they are the best in Belgium, and therefore the world. Chocolates bagged, cheese soon followed – mission accomplished, with time to spare. A chocolate and banana waffle, two coffees and a nap in the McLaren later, it was time to crawl out of the perilously narrow car park and back to the Eurotunnel. By mid-morning all but one of the roads in the UNESCO World Heritage Site remains open to traffic to allow cars in and out of this car park. The pedestrian is king in the daylight, my cue to leave.

Upon arrival to Bruges, I felt fine with no backache or considerable fatigue. The beauty of a true GT is the absence of tiredness on a long journey, such as this. En route to Calais I begin to feel a little tired, my body was beginning to feel uncomfortable in the ‘Comfort Seats’. The noise of the V8 started to intrude and I felt the need to pull into the services to take a break. It must be said, this feeling of weariness came after 10 hours into my adventure and chances are I would have felt agitated driving a Rolls-Royce at this point, but the McLaren was taking more of a toll on my body than a Bentley Continental GT would have. A massage seat wouldn’t have gone amiss either. It is creature comforts where the McLaren lacks. It is, indeed, a McLaren and the purpose of it is to be very fast, something it does fantastically. With that in mind, the absence of massage seats, Apple Car Play and self parking capabilities are not as crucial as they would be in other cars.

It is when you write a list of missing options that it becomes clear that many GT car buyers, that are not so hellbent on going supercar fast, may start to look elsewhere. Yes, I can live without active cruise control, lane keeping assist and blind spot assist – but it is nice to know that you do have them helping you out on a long drive. You can relax and be a little fresher when you arrive at your favourite mountain pass or coastal road.

Boarding the train back to the UK gives me another chance to reflect and relish another quick nap. This is a GT car, it can do journeys like the one I was about to complete, but it will do it in its own McLaren style. It will get you to your favourite road with a boot full of luggage, then challenge you and blow your mind when you unleash its turbocharged fury. Buyers of a McLaren GT will treasure that high adrenaline, intense offering that no other GT car can offer. They will also know that there are more comfortable GTs on the market. This is the drivers GT and the tradeoff is obvious, it is unashamedly McLaren and for that I cannot help but admire it.

GTSPIRIT NEWSLETTER

TopCar Reveals McLaren 720S Spider Fury

If ever there was a car which didn’t need improvement, it is the McLaren 720S Spider. Jaw-dropping looks, outrageous performance and class-leading handling; the McLaren 720S Spider has it all. Russian tuning firm, TopCar, seem to disagree though. The new TopCar McLaren 720S Spider Fury highlights where they think that improvements can be made.

TopCar has become known for its work on the Porsche 911 and the Porsche Panamera. In recent years, TopCar branched out with packages for Mercedes-AMG models. More recently, a package emerged for the Lamborghini Urus. The expansion continues with the McLaren 720S Spider.

TopCar’s modifications are quite extensive. Whereas their 911 packages tend to be understated, their 720S Spider package is extreme. There is plenty of carbon fibre on display. TopCar adds more than 50 parts, combined with a deep green finish.

The changes include a new front facia with a front skirt insert, a multi-piece spoiler lip and a new front panel. The bonnet is new with deeper air intakes. At the side, extensive carbon fibre panels have been added, giving the 720S Spider a completely new look.

At the rear, the changes are meant to reflect the shark on the TopCar logo. The modifications include a new rear diffuser, trims for the engine plus a rear wing with two fins. The wheels are TopCar Fury style measuring 9×20 inches at the front and 11.5×21 inches at the rear.

The interior receives a full leather and Alcantara refit with new elements in black and dark green. The carbon fibre additions to the door sills show the name “Fury” and the TopCar logo when the door is open.

The price for the carbon fibre version of the kit is an eye-watering €83,262. Installation costs a further €6,000. This example is available now for €387,000!

GTSPIRIT NEWSLETTER

The Coronavirus and the Lockdown of the Car Industry

The rapid spread of the coronavirus is taking large parts of the world by storm. The car industry is hard hit and also at GTspirit we feel the effects of the coronavirus. Our GTspirit Tour 2020 is postponed and due to the many travel restrictions, closed borders and recommendation to stay home most car launches and other car related events have been cancelled. We wish all of our readers the best and recommend you to stay home and take care of loved ones and high-risk groups.

It is clear the coronavirus will have a large impact on car manufacturers, car buyers and car journalists alike. Many car manufacturers already shutdown their operations or are planning to do so in the very near future. Here is a short overview of the situation on Wednesday 18th of March 2020.

Lamborghini and Ferrari closed their factories

Lamborghini idled its plant in Sant’Agata Bolognese last week, and Ferrari followed suit at facilities in Maranello and Modena over the weekend. Both are located in the particularly hard hit areas in Northern Italy.

Bugatti launches Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport online, factory closure nearing

Bugatti planned to launch the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport in Geneva but with the Geneva Motor Show and all other major motor shows in the near future cancelled they have decided to launch the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport online. Recent reports also suggest the Bugatti factory in Molsheim, in the hard-hit North-Eastern part of France, will be closed soon.

The most recent Bugatti statement:

“The COVID-19 pandemic and measures to contain the outbreak are having an unprecedented impact on public life. The current situation affects our team and our work no less than the rest of France, Europe and the world.

We are constantly monitoring the situation and adapting our response daily to the development of the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with the recommendations of the French government and the World Health Organization (WHO).

We recommend that you follow the instructions given by the authorities in your place of residence and the WHO to protect yourself and others from the virus. Priority number one: please stay healthy.’

Aston Martin closes facilities to visitors

Andy Palmer, Group President and CEO of Aston Martin Lagonda, just sent out a statement regarding the coronavirus:

Our primary concern continues to be the health and safety of colleagues and their families, customers, our business partners and the local communities. All Public Health measures advised by governments are being followed in support of efforts to contain the spread of the virus, our UK sites, regional offices and global dealer network are complying with local advice in order to safeguard the health of staff, customers and the wider community.

We have taken the decision to close our facilities to all visitors, so if you were planning a factory tour at Gaydon for example, please contact your Aston Martin Dealer who will confirm when we have re-opened the factory for visitors. We have also postponed or cancelled our upcoming F1™ experiences and Art of Living events, if you were planning to join us our team will be in touch in the coming days to confirm next steps.

Porsche stops production due to the coronavirus

As from the coming week (23rd of March), Porsche will suspend production for an initial period of two weeks. By taking this step, the sports car manufacturer is responding to the significant acceleration in the rate of infection caused by the coronavirus and the resultant measures implemented by the relevant authorities. In addition to the primary protection of the workforce, bottlenecks in global supply chains no longer allow orderly production. At the same time, Porsche is preparing for a decline in demand and securing its financial strength with these decisions. The parent plant in Zuffenhausen and the production location in Leipzig will be closed from Saturday (21 March 2020). These steps have been taken as part of an orderly process and in close cooperation with the works council.

BMW halts production in Europe and South-Africa

Due to the rapid expansion of the coronavirus BMW is reducing its production and prepares for a significant drop in revenue and profit for 2020. The measures include the stop of production in Europe and at the Rosslyn factory in South-Africa from today until at least the 19th of April. In other factories part-time working could be implemented to adjust the production capacity to the current situation.

Daimler suspends most of the production in Europe

On Tuesday 17th of March Daimler announced:

Due to the worsening situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Daimler Group has decided today to suspend the majority of its production in Europe, as well as work in selected administrative departments, for an initial period of two weeks. By taking this action, the company is following the recommendations of international, national and local authorities. The suspension applies to Daimler’s car, van and commercial vehicle plants in Europe and will start this week. Connected to this is an assessment of global supply chains, which currently cannot be maintained to their full extent. An extension of this measure will depend on further developments. Wherever operations need to be continued, the company will take appropriate precautions to prevent the infection of its employees.

Audi stops production until end of the week

Audi announced they are closing all their factories until end of the week. The spread of the coronavirus also affects the parts delivery making regular production soon impossible.

Volkswagen suspends European production

Latest statement by Volkswagen:

The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand is gradually suspending production at its European plants. This will also affect Volkswagen Group Components plants. This is the brand’s response to the impending rapid decline in demand on the automotive markets. Risks in connection with suppliers’ supply chains are also increasing. This is due to the significantly accelerated rate of infection by coronavirus and the resulting measures taken by the authorities. Initially, the factories are therefore expected to remain closed for two weeks. For the affected German sites, the measures are to apply from the end of the late shift on Thursday.

Fiat Chrylser Automobiles

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced on Monday it will close most of its factories in Europe including production facilities for Alfa Romeo and Maserati. This includes factories in Italy, Serbia and Poland.

For more information about the coronavirus and how to protect yourself and your family visit the coronavirus report.

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Mansory Cabrera: Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Gets New Looks

Mansory recently got hold of a Lamborghini Aventador SVJ. The result is the Mansory Cabrera. Mansory is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and the Cabrera is the first several special edition models.

Limited to just 3 copies, the Mansory Cabrera is built on the platform of the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ. The name derives from the Spanish Fighting Bull breed, the Cabrera. The name seems fitting, with the Mansory body kit creating a wild and aggressive new look!

The basis of the Mansory conversion is a complete replacement of the body kit with new carbon fibre panels. At the front, the deep front air intakes remain, the front splitter design now features air outlets at the side with smaller dive planes.

New LED daytime running lights are fitted below a set of redesigned headlights. The bonnet is redesigned with quick release clips. Fender vents finish it off. Towards the side, the door panels are redesigned and the side skirts get a more aggressive look.

The rear changes are the most extreme. The rear spoiler is bigger, featuring a central aerodynamic panel. The exhausts have been re-routed to exit higher up with two additional tailpipes. The rear diffuser is deeper and the rear mesh is replaced with stealth-look mesh.

The new body kit adds 4 cm of width to the Aventador. The 6.5-litre V12 engine also receives a re-design. It now generates 810 hp and 780 Nm of torque. As a result, the Mansory Cabrera hits 100 km/h in 2.6 seconds with a top speed of 355 km/h.

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Mansory Reveals Bentley Continental GT Cabriolet V8

Mansory have been unseasonably quiet during the period of the Geneva Motor Show 2020. We can only assume that after the show got cancelled, they decided to hold back some of their planned releases for another event. What we did get to see is a unique take on the Bentley Continental GT Cabriolet V8.

In true Mansory fashion, the Bentley has been re-clothed with a carbon fibre body. The carbon fibre has been moulded into an extreme shape. The front gets a redesigned bumper with a brand new black grille and a new hood. The side receives new design lines and an extended wheel vent. The rear wheel arch gets green pinstripes which accent the swollen look.

At the rear, Mansory offers a new fixed rear spoiler, a new rear bumper, diffuser and quad tailpipes. It’s not massively extreme by Mansory’s high standards, however, it does leave a lasting impression. The mixture of matte carbon fibre and matte black.

It’s the interior where things get interesting on the Mansory Bentley Cabriolet GT Cabriolet V8. Finished in chrome oxide green, it is distinctive. It has been crafted from scratch with the colour applied tot he steering wheel, the great lever and the centre console.

The Mansory Bentley Cabriolet GT Cabriolet V8 gets a power boost too. An ECU module boosts the twin-turbocharged V8 to 640 hp and 890 Nm of torque. It now hits 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds. The question is, would you want one?

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Audi A3 Sportback Revealed for 4th Generation

Audi’s A3 is one of the longest established premium hatchbacks on the market. The Audi A3 has been available since 1996, long before BMW and Mercedes-Benz established themselves with the 1 Series and A Class. In its fourth generation, the new Audi A3 injects more sport, technology and connectivity than ever before. and fully connected.

The changes for the new Audi A3 Sportback are all-encompassing. They include a new Singleframe grille with large air inlets at the front end. The styling is all-new, retaining the general proportions with smooth lines front to rear and a wider took to the rear arches. The digital daytime running lights and Matrix LED headlights are now available too, previously reserved for Audi’s top models.

Power comes from a choice of three engine versions – a 1.5 TFSI with 150 hp, and a 2.0 TDI that delivers 116 hp or 150 hp. All engine versions, from launch, will be combined with front-wheel drive. Customers will get a choice of either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed S tronic automatic box. More versions will follow with electrified drive systems and quattro.

The suspension of the new A3 Sportback includes a four-link rear axle for engines of 150 hp or more. As an option, customers can spec adaptive damper control which lowers the ride by 10 mm. With the sport suspension, standard with the S line exterior, the A3 is lowered by 15 mm.

The new Audi A3 gets a range of driver assistance tech too. Audi pre sense front, swerve assist and lane departure warning are standard. Lane change and exit warnings as well as the cross-traffic and park assist systems, are available as an option. Adaptive cruise assist is also available.

Inside, the new A3 Sportback offers more space It grows by just over three centimetres compared with its predecessor. It carries between 380 and 1,200 litres depending on the configuration of the rear seats.

The new interior includes a new shifter, aluminium or carbon inlays, door openers and an instrument panel with a black-panel look. The seat upholstery is made of recycled PET bottles and adorned with contrasting stitching.

As with most hot hatches these days, the Audi A3 Sportback gets a wealth of technology through the MMI screens. It comes equipped with a 10.1-inch touch display as standard, which is integrated into the centre of the instrument panel. This recognizes letters entered by hand, provides acoustic feedback and can be controlled using natural language.

The instrument cluster, which the driver operates via the multifunction steering wheel, is also digital as standard. The Audi virtual cockpit offers additional functions such as a large display of the navigation map. The plus version measures 12.3 inches and offers three different views, including graphics with a sporty look.

The operating system is powered by the new third-generation modular infotainment system. Its computing power is ten times higher than that of its predecessor controlling connectivity, telephony and the Audi connect services with LTE Advanced speed. It also has an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot.

Individual settings can be stored in up to six user profiles. These include settings for the climate control and the seat position. The DAB+ digital radio is standard and the online or hybrid radio is available as an option. Route guidance is more advanced than ever before with predictions on the development of the traffic situation, high-resolution satellite images from Google Earth and detailed 3D models of many major European cities.

Connect services also include the car-to-X service. This helps to find free parking spots on the roadside or to predict traffic lights. The A3 Sportback is also connected to your smartphone via the myAudi app, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Presales of the new Audi A3 Sportback start in Europe in March 2020 with the first deliveries in May. The 1.5 TFSI starts at 28,900 euros with a special-edition A3 Sportback edition one on offer.

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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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