All posts in “New Cars”

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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Lamborghini Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster Revealed – 63 Units Only

Lamborghini used The Quail at Monterey to unveil a special edition Lamborghini Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster. The special edition model follows the coupe version unveiled at Pebble Beach last year.

The 63 edition models commemorate the company’s founding year of 1963. Just 63 examples will be built as a limited edition production run of an already limited edition production run.

The Lamborghini Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster gets a range of unique features. The SVJ 63 Roadsters will be available in eight exclusive new designs. The example at Pebble Beach gets a matt grey Grigio Acheso paintjob and orange Arancio Dac details.

Each car will get matt or shiny carbon fibre upper parts including the roof, engine cover, engine air vents, windscreen rim and wing mirrors. The rims get a new matt titanium finish and the car carries the SVJ 63 livery which debuted on the coupe, as well as a ‘1 of 63’ numbered plate.

Inside, there are three alcantara variations with extensive carbon fibre and Lamborghini’s patented lightweight CarbonSkin.

Otherwise, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster remains faithful to the formula of the standard SVJ Roadster‘s. The V12 engine receives the same tuning as the Coupe. It is the most powerful V12-engined car Lamborghini have produced. It puts out 770 hp at 8,500 rpm and 720 Nm of torque at 6,750 rpm. From standing, the SVJ accelerates to 100 km/h in 2.9 seconds and on to 200 km/h in 8.8 seconds. The top speed is said to be “more than 350 km/h” with a braking distance from 100 km/h to 0 in 31 meters.

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2020 Rezvani Tank Launches with 1000hp HEMI V8

Last week, Rezvani revealed a new version of the Tank. The US manufacturer has been producing the Rezvani Tank for a couple of years. Looking like a post-apocalyptic extreme SUV, the Tank now has the powertrain to match.

The Tank gets a new 6.2 litre Supercharged V8, lifted directly from the Dodge Demon. The output is boosted by a series of updates carried out by Rezvani that push output to 1,000 hp and 870 lb-ft of torque. Rezvani claim that it is the most powerful SUV on the market.

The Rezvani Tank is built using a steel body-on-frame design. It gets on-demand four-wheel-drive as standard for all trims. It’s biggest USP is its rugged exterior though. The company describe it as the perfect antidote to the daily driver.

“The new TANK is easily the toughest and most powerful production SUV in the world”, says CEO Ferris Rezvani. This is likely true with the option of ballistic armour including Kevlar plating, bulletproof glass, military-grade run flat tyres and underside explosive protection. Whatsmore, customers can also order electro-magnetic pulse protection and an intriguing self-sealing fuel tank.

Fox Racing suspension, Dynatrac axel sets with air lockers, an air compressor and optional Fox Racing 3.0 Internal Bypass Shocks keep the Tank planted.

Inside, Rezvani have applied a touch of luxury. Many elements of the interior are custom including seat style, stitching, and the color of the gauge clusters. There are leather surfaces, a suede headliner and a 7.9 inch infotainment screen with all of the mod-cons.

Prices start from $155,000 (we think this applies to the lesser models) with armoured versions starting at $295,000. Of course, the rest of the range is also available with an entry level 285 hp 3.6 litre V6, 500 hp 6.4 litre V8 and a 285 hp 3.0 litre diesel all available. The 1,000 hp version will be on display at Monterey Car Week this week.

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2020 Audi SQ7 TDI Next to Receive V8 Diesel

The Audi SQ7 TDI follows on from the release of the Audi SQ8 TDI last month. The facelift model for the second generation receives the same technology as its sportier brother combined with the visual updates applied to the Q7 range at the start of the year.

The previous generation 2 model of the Audi SQ7 TDI featured the same 4.0 litre V8 power plant. Audi’s system for the V8 includes twin turbochargers mounted close to the engine with a supplemental third electric compressor. The third compressor is powered from Audi’s 48-volt system and fills the gap between the turbos spooling and the arrival of that diesel power.

Power remains exactly the same as the outgoing model; 429 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. The SQ7 TDI hits the 100 km/h mark slightly quicker though with a 4.8 seconds, although the reason why is not entirely clear!

The SQ7 TDI gets all of the trappings of the Q7’s mid-life refresh. These include sharper styling, slimmer headlights and a new front grill. On top of this, the SQ7 gets S-specific details. They include a revamped grille, aluminium mirror details, quad chrome exhaust pipes and 21-inch cast aluminium wheels.

The Audi SQ7 TDI goes on sale in Germany at the end of July and will cost €94,900, with the seven-seat model starting at €96,420.

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New Audi S8 Revealed with 571 hp V8

The Audi S8 has been officially revealed. Details have been released for the performance model, confirming that the range-topping limousine uses V8 power once again. The combination of power and technology is likely to place the S8 close to the top of the pile when it comes to sports-focused limousines!

The engine fitted to the S8 should be familiar by now. It featured in the Porsche Panamera Turbo two years ago and can also be found under the bonnet of the Bentley Continental GT. A 4.0-litre TFSI unit, it uses Audi’s favoured bi-turbo setup with the turbochargers mounted inside the V, supplemented by a belt-alternator started and a lithium-ion battery. The setup allows Audi to counter turbo-lag whilst also offering strong fuel efficiency through the use of coasting and cylinder on demand.

In the S8, the power unit is rated to 571 hp and 800 Nm of torque. This is enough for a 250 km/h top speed with performance figures yet to be announced. The S8 gets iron-lined cylinder barrels and actuated flaps in the exhaust system which should mean that the sound will match to sledgehammer performance.

As with other Audi models, the A8 also runs a sophisticated suspension setup. Predictive active suspension, which features as an option on the standard A8, is now delivered as standard equipment, in combination with the adaptive air suspension. The former uses cameras to determine the road surface. The Audi drive select system differs slightly from other Audi models with five profiles, including a new “Comfort+” mode. As you would expect, the suspension parameters in this mode contribute to the smoothest possible ride with the body actively leaning into curves by as much as 3 degrees to reduce lateral forces.

All-wheel steering features on the Audi S8. A sport differential is fitted to the rear wheels which pushes power to the outside wheel under heavy cornering. Both systems are fitted as standard. The ceramic brake discs are an optional extra, measuring 420 mm at the front axle and 370 mm at the rear.

Visually, the S8 gains a set of 21-inch wheels. The front bumper is enhanced, together with the side sills. Audi’s characteristic silver mirror housings and quad tailpipes are also included as part of the package. Nine exterior colours arena option with carbon trim available inside. HD matrix LED headlights with Audi laser light and OLED rear lights are optional extras. New seats are fitted with ventilation and massage functions.

The Audi S8 will be made available in China, the US, Canada and South Korea, exclusively as a long wheelbase model. Pricing has not yet been announced.

BMW Vision M NEXT Revealed with 600hp Hybrid Engine

BMW M has this morning set out its vision for the immediate future. The BMW Vision M Next Concept previews what BMW considers to be its future, past the ageing BMW i8. The i8 has been a game changer in many respects, however, it now faces stiff competition with most manufacturers keen to muscle in on its eco-performance niche.

The BMW Vision M Next Concept uses a traditional petrol engine coupled with an electronic motor to produce power. The petrol unit is turbocharged and four-cylinders. Combined with the electric motors, it produces an impressive 600 hp. This, BMW states, is enough for a 300 km/h (186 mph) top speed and a 3 second 100 km/h sprint time. That power is not available all the time though. It is accessed through a BOOST+ mode, although it is not clear how long the boost is provided. It should do 100 km on battery power alone.

The looks are very similar to those of the existing i8. The BMW Vision M Next Concept remains a two-seater with a low slung, supercar type shape. It uses carbon fibre bodywork and a throwback exterior design. Looking closely at the concept, the rear view is heavily inspired by the BMW M1. Inside, things are very futuristic with a curved driver display and a dragster style steering wheel.

The replacement for the BMW i8 is expected debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2019 in September. The i8 is part of a wider BMW program called ‘Strategy One Next’ which aims for up to 25 electrified BMW models to be on sale by 2025. 

3rd Gen Bentley Flying Spur Revealed with 333km/h Top Speed

Bentley’s Flying Spur has today been revealed. Updated off the back of a successfully updated Continental GT platform. The mid-range sedan will get many of the same technical features alongside its new look. The Flying Spur is all-new with a new chassis, suspension, W12 engine and eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

Bentley has torn apart the old model and started from scratch. The launch engine will be the twin-turbocharged W12 engine which was recently refreshed for the Bentley Continental GT. it packs performance figures of 635 hp and 900 Nm of torque. The limo gets a top speed of 333 km/h and a 100 km/h sprint time of 3.8 seconds as a result. An entry-level V8 will be added to the range at a later date, followed by a V6 petrol-powered plug-in hybrid at some point in the future.

The engine sits within the MLB structure which also underpins the Porsche Panamera. All-wheel steering is key to the Flying Spur package, together with an active system that favours rear wheel drive until it feels that the front wheels need to get involved. Improvements have been made with the addition of Bentley’s version of the 48V electric active roll control system and a new three-chamber air springs suspension setup.

In terms of design, the Flying Spur is longer than the outgoing model with shorter overhangs. The grille is the first difference you notice. The Flying Spur does not share the matrix grille of its smaller family members. Instead, Bentley has fitted veins which shroud the matrix. The Flying B mascot has been redesigned with illuminated wings, it sits on an electronically retractable plinth. The design lines are longer and lower than before with the rear arches noticeably dominant.

It’s on the inside that the differences need to be felt though. Bentley has not disappointed. Bentley has fitted a new set of seats finished in 15 hide colours. The traditional round ‘bullseye’ vents have been moved from the centre of the dashboard to a slightly lower location and re-shaped to sit either side of the Bentley clock. There is plenty of diamond quilted leather, a new Crown Cut Walnut veneer and a range of 7 other alternatives.

The dash has been redesigned using the centrepiece of the rotating display. The main display is a 12.3in touchscreen with the option of a single display or 2:1 split showing the functions of the car. Three audio systems are on offer, a standard 650-watt system featuring 10 speakers, a Bang & Olufsen 1,500-watt system with 16-speakers and illuminated grilles. The top of the range option, unique to Bentley, is a Naim, 2,200-watt, 19 speaker system.

The Bentley Flying Spur is available to order, except in EU28 countries, Israel, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine where it will launch later this year. Pricing has yet to be announced.

2020 BMW M8 Competition Revealed in Coupe and Convertible Shapes

BMW’s M8 has been a long time in gestation. We have been hearing about it for quite some time. Leaked images were also discovered late last year. Yet the official release has only just taken place.

The BMW M8 Competition Coupe and Convertible versions have been released at the same time. Both models get some additional styling. The front bumper is completely new with larger air intakes and carbon fibre surrounds. The kidney grilles have been replaced with a new black piece.

At the rear, the BMW M8 gets a new rear diffuser, larger rear wheel vents and a boot lid spoiler. The tailpipe surrounds will please those that prefer the conventional look, four large traditional style exhausts.

The BMW M8 gets the 4.4-litre V8 engine tuned to 600 hp in the BMW M8 Coupe and BMW M8 Convertible, 625 hp in the Competition models. The power is routed through an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic, and an M-specific xDrive all-wheel-drive system. The xDrive system is the latest with configurable 4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD.

The M8 sprints to 100 km/h in 3.3 seconds, the M8 Competition Coupe hits the same benchmark in 3.2 seconds, the convertible is 0.1 seconds slower.

The chassis gets new performance optimised damper and suspension settings together with new bracing elements. The engine mounts are stiffer and there is increased camber at the front. The braking system features two selectable settings, Sport and Comfort.

Inside, BMW offers the latest M-Sport steering wheel, stainless steel pedals, M-Sport seats, a unique M-Sport digital instrument display, M-specific graphics for the infotainment system and a new M-sport gear lever to replace the crystal version in the standard M850i.

Costs are yet to be announced, however, expect this to be the most expensive M car yet!

10 Amazing New Cars We Wish We Could Buy in America

The car market in the United States isn’t quite like anywhere else. Automakers must meet a separate set of emissions standards; roads in suburban and rural areas tend to be broader and straighter than their counterparts elsewhere; gasoline is much cheaper. And, of course, American buyers have a particular taste for giant SUVs and full-sized pickups that people in other countries lack. 

All those distinctions mean Americans tend to get different cars from other markets — which, among other things, means many finely-tuned driver’s cars made for Europe and elsewhere never float over to the United States while they’re in production. Here, then, are 10 of the best examples of the “forbidden fruit” new cars American buyers can’t have…at least, not for another 25 years or so, when they can import them one by one

Alpine A110

The Alpine A110 is a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive coupe from Renault, a modern reimagining of the original Alpine A110. The specs don’t leap out at you — it uses a 1.8-liter inline four producing 249 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque — but look closer, and you’ll see the appeal. At just 2,432 pounds, the A110 is insanely light — 30 pounds lighter than an Alfa Romeo 4C. It hits 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph. And yet it’s not a gutted track car; it’s built to be comfortable, too.

Why Americans Don’t Get It: Renault left the U.S. market nigh-on 30 years ago. And even if they were coming back, a limited-edition sports coupe meant to rival the Toyota Supra would not be the ideal vehicle to re-launch the brand here.

Audi RS 4 Avant

The RS 4 is Audi’s all-wheel-drive retort to the BMW M3. The European RS 4 pulls 450 hp and 44 lb-ft of torque from its twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V-6. It’s an absolute rocket, accelerating from 0-60 mph in just 4.1 seconds with a top speed that can reach 174 mph. America has the equivalently-powerful RS 5 coupe, but the sedan range tops out at the less-potent S4 — and the only wagon we get here is the 248-hp A4 Allroad.

Why Americans Don’t Get It: Americans tend to be anti-wagon, though Audi fans less so. Audi has teased that RS Avant models might come back; given how successful AMG and M cars have been for Mercedes-Benz and BMW here, bulking up the RS portfolio just seems like good sense. But for now, we go without.

Ford Focus ST Wagon

Ford recently unveiled the wagon version of the Focus ST hatchback. The longroof is sporty and swell to look at, with the gasoline version using Ford’s 2.3-liter inline-four to generate 276 hp and 310 lb-ft. Want that knife twisted a bit more? You can get Ford’s hot wagon with a six-speed manual. Enjoy your Edge ST, American bros.

Why Americans Don’t Get It: Ford needs profits for Wall Street. Cars need to sell in volume to be profitable. Trucks and SUVs are profitable. Americans don’t buy wagons in volume, so they’re not.

Mercedes-AMG A45 Hatchback

Yes, Mercedes makes a hot hatchback. In fact, Mercedes makes the hottest of hot hatchbacks: The new Mercedes-AMG A45, incredibly, will squeeze 420 hp from a 2.0-liter engine. That’s more power per liter than just about anything else on the road. It will also have a drift mode, which Mercedes has been hyping in YouTube videos.

Why Americans Don’t Get It: Americans don’t think hatchbacks are luxury vehicles, so one north of $50,000 would be a tough sell. Raise it a little, add some body cladding and call it a GLA45, though, and Americans will love it.

Renault Megane RS

The RS (Renault Sport) is the hottest version of Renault’s Megane hatchback, and is the carmaker’s answer to the Golf R. The 300 Trophy trim tunes the inline-four to 292 hp and 310 lb-ft, delivering a 0-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds. It’s front-wheel drive, has four-wheel steering, and can still be ordered with a six-speed manual. It also has a fancy new turbocharger the company claims was “taken directly from Formula 1,” which was probably a better selling point before the 2019 season.

Why Americans Don’t Get It: Renault doesn’t sell anything here.

Subaru Levorg STI Sport

A Subaru enthusiast’s dream car might merge the Outback’s wagon body with the WRX’s manic persona. The not-for-America Levorg wagon isn’t that exactly, but it’s the closest Subaru comes to that idea today. The 2.0-liter boxer engine produces 264 hp and 258 lb-ft. The top-of-the-line STI Sport adds some sport tuning and appearance features. It only comes with a CVT, sadly.

Why Americans Don’t Get It: Subaru has been too successful here, almost selling more cars in the US than they can produce. Why add to the workload?

Suzuki Jimny

Suzuki just released its updated version of the Jimny, which was named a 2019 World Car of the Year. It’s a small, boxy and bulletproof SUV that resembles the child of a Land Rover Defender and a G-Wagen. It’s also a rugged, supremely capable off-roader. It can go pretty much anywhere a Land Rover can go — and some places a Land Rover can’t, since it’s smaller and narrower.

Why American Don’t Get It: Suzuki left the US market in 2012. The Jimny may have a niche, but being useless for families and ill-suited to American highway driving (it only makes 100 horses) would make it hard to find mainstream appeal.

Toyota Century

The Century is Toyota’s super-lux flagship, a Japanese market-only four-door sedan. Production is limited and units available by invitation only, reserved for royalty and VIPs. It’s kept its classic aesthetic intact over the years — in part because it has been relaunched just twice since it debuted in 1967, and in part because it caters to such a small audience. Toyota’s GRMN racing division did make a special edition one that may be produced, though.

Why Americans Don’t Get It: Some things should be kept special. Also, Americans don’t view Toyota as a luxury brand — hence the existence of Lexus. And even a $200,000 Lexus sedan would be a tough sell.

TVR Griffith

The TVR nameplate has been revived in the form of what may be the perfect driver’s car. The new Griffith will be a two-door coupe designed by Gordon Murray, the man who designed the McLaren F1. As is TVR tradition, it will have a huge engine — a Ford Cosworth 5.0-liter V-8 — and a super-light, all carbon fiber chassis, paired with a six-speed manual gearbox and rear-wheel-drive. It will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about four seconds, and reached a top speed north of 200 mph. It will also have ABS, power steering, and traction control, because they aren’t sadists.

Why The U.S. Isn’t Getting It: It’s not worth building a US-spec Griffith for a 500-vehicle limited production run, considering how difficult the development process has been for TVR in general.

Volkswagen up! GTI

The oddly-named up! is Volkswagen’s pint-sized hatchback, which also comes in GTI version. The 1.0-liter three-cylinder is horsepower-light, but torque-heavy, making 113 hp and 170 lb-ft. Its size, power, and handling capability place it quite close to the original GTI. It also costs less than $20,000. There may not be a better city car on sale on any continent.

Why The U.S. Doesn’t Get It: Americans consider the Golf a small car, and sales have plummeted in recent years. Volkswagen has countered by going hard into crossovers with the Tiguan and Atlas, which doesn’t leave much room for introducing a tiny city car. And highway-centric American driving would minimize the up! GTI’s strengths and fully display its weaknesses.

A Cool Car We Can Have

Popping the top changes the experience dramatically, and suddenly, we’re debating whether the ideal GT is the one that doesn’t get in between you and road trip wonderment. Read the Story

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Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Revealed

Aston Martin’s DBS Superleggera went topless today! Official details have been announced for the much-awaited Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante. Drop-top Aston Martin’s always look better. The DBS Superleggera Volante is no different!

The soft-top shape suits the powerful rear bodywork perfectly, emphasising the width of the rear haunches. Aston Martin has placed a high level of focus on aerodynamics. The front splitter and the air dam work together to generate downforce alongside the Aeroblade II system at the rear. It is such a successful combination that the Volante loses just 3 kg of downforce post-chop.

The top is constructed from an eight-layer material. Colours include Bordeaux Red, Atlantic Blue and Titan Grey, eight in total. The mechanism takes just 14 seconds to open and 16 seconds to close at the touch of a button, either from the inside or on the outside. Aston Martin has also ensured that the stack height is kept to a minimum, increasing the amount of space taken in the boot.

Underneath, the DBS Superleggera Volante uses familiar drivetrain technology. A twin-turbocharged 5.2-litre V12 engine is the centrepiece. It produces 715 bhp and 900 Nm of torque, enough for a 340 km/h top speed and a 100 km/h sprint time of just 3.6 seconds. The 8-speed ZF gearbox is rear mounted. Electronics allow a GT, Sport or Sport Plus mode. A further quiet start mode also allows you to leave the driveway discreetly, useful for maintaining your relationship with a volatile neighbour!

The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera will cost £247,500 in the UK, €295,500 in Germany and $329,100 in the US. Deliveries are set to begin during the third quarter of 2019.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS: 2nd Gen Flagship SUV Revealed

Full-size SUV’s sell well in the US. This is why Mercedes-Benz have chosen the New York Auto Show 2019 as the stage to debut the second generation Mercedes-Benz GLS. The US is likely to be the biggest market for this particular SUV. Indeed, the first generation GLS sold very well stateside.

The updates applied to the Mercedes-Benz GLS could be predicted. The silhouette remains recognisable with small changes to increase comfort and space. The interior gets the latest infotainment system, MBUX, and the range debuts with new engine options.

The Mercedes-Benz GLS grows in size with a 60 mm longer wheelbase. Those dimensions translate to a 77 mm longer body and an additional 22 mm in width. Space inside has grown for second row occupants while the three-row layout offers either seven or six seat layouts. The boot space, with the third row collapsed into the ground, is now in excess of 2,400 litres.

Being the “S-Class of SUV’s”, the Mercedes-Benz GLS comes kitted out with the latest technology. The chassis, for example, uses E-Active Body Control which is hooked up to the 48-volt system to control body handling characteristics. Coupled to this is the gratuitous Carwash function which moves the suspension to its highest system, reducing tack width, fold the exterior mirrors, supresses various sensors and closes the side windows and sunroof.

A new model has also debuted, the GLS 580 4MATIC comes equipped with a ## V8 engine featuring Mercedes-Benz’ EQ Boost, 48-volt system. It puts out 489 hp and 700 Nm of torque with a further 250 Nm of torque and 22 hp available through the short-term EQ Boost system. An integrated starter-generator is responsible for the hybrid drive and for energy recuperation. The GLS is also offered as a GLS 450 4MATIC with the same EQ Boost technology applied to a six-cylinder inline engine (367 hp and 500 Nm of torque).

In Europe, Mercedes-Benz will offer a familiar six-cylinder in-line diesel engine in the form of the GLS 350 d 4 MATIC (286 hp and 600 Nm of torque) and GLS 400 d 4MATIC (330 hp and 700 Nm of torque). Both engines are Euro 6d- standard compliant.

That MBUX system sits pride of place in both the front and second row. The rear comfort package extends the infotainment system to the rear through a 7-inch Android tablet which gets its own dedicated docking station in the second row centre arm rest. From here, the user gets maximum control of the rear seat entertainment, radio, TV, media and web browsing. The MBUX system fitted to the front is the most advanced yet with two 12.3 inch screens.

We are currently hearing more about the new Mercedes-Benz GLS. Feel free to check out our social media pages and check back to our front page for more from the official unveil in New York!

Official: 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster

The Porsche 992 generation was unveiled last year, the media have driven the S and 4S and the first customer cars are delivered – lucky people. What is a little strange is that the 991.2 generation GTS, GT3, GT3 RS and GT2 RS models are still rolling off the production lines. The bottle still is not empty – for the 70th anniversary the brand, we saw of iterations or what Porsche called the 911 Speedster Concept, the latter appearing to be very close to production ready.

The wait is finally over and the 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster celebrates its world premiere in New York at the New York International Auto Show – to celebrate 70 years, 1948 units will be produced. The Speedster, shown and detailed in US specification, bears a remarkable resemblance to the concept cars we were weak at the knees for.

The press conference confirmed the rumours that a GT3 engine would be used in contrast to previous Speedsters that utilised standard Carrera engines and not the GT engine we see here. In the standard GT3 there is 500 horsepower, the Speedster achieves 502 horsepower and 346 pound feet. The modest bump comes courtesy of the race-bred powerplant which has been enhanced with individual throttle bodies that make the throttle response even sharper, just like in the 911 GT3 R race car.

The 2019 911 Speedster shares a chassis derived from the 911 GT3 models with a specifically-calibrated rear axle steering system and dynamic engine mounts to deliver a maximum amount of stability and precision. Unlike the GT3, the Speedster will only be offered with a six speed manual gearbox. The 4.0 litre flat-six engines still has a redline up at 9,000 rpm and will hit 60 miles per hour in 3.8 seconds. Porsche are keen to highlight that this is the first time a Speedster has been developed by the Porsche Motor Sport department, but that it is also instantly recognisable as a Speedster. The iconic low-cut front windshield and side windows as well as the manually operated lightweight fabric top are characteristic for a Speedster model and make the car stand out immediately. The two streamliners atop the rear decklid made from carbon fibre are another design highlight rooted in the model’s history.

In the cabin there are lightweight door panels with storage nets and a black leather interior as standard. The interior can optionally be trimmed with red stitching for the dashboard and the “Speedster” designation in the headrests. With this option, the door pulls are also fitted in red, and the GT Sport steering wheel is decorated with a red 12 o’clock centre marker. Air conditioning is omitted as standard in the interest of weight savings, but can be added as a no-cost option.

Back on the outside, the motorsport and GT car traits are clear – the front luggage compartment lid, front fenders and rear decklid are all made from carbon fibre composite material, while the front and rear fasciae consist of lightweight polyurethane. Standard Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) save around 50 percent from the system weight with grey cast iron rotors. The roof mechanism continues the lightweight focus with no automated mechanism other than the latches to lock into place. These weight saving measures, including the 9 pounds saved with the manual transmission result in the 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster weighing just 3,230 pounds.

The 2019 911 Speedster is planned to be available for order on May 7, 2019 and is expected to reach U.S. dealers in late 2019. The MSRP is $274,500, not including a $1,250 delivery, processing and handling fee.

Ferrari P80/C: One-Off Racecar Took 4 Years to Complete

A new Ferrari Special Project was recently released. The Ferrari P80/C uses the Ferrari 488 GT3 as its base. Built exclusively for the track, the P80/C is a one-off, built by Ferrari for a special client.

Being a race car, don’t expect to see this special edition lapping Knightsbridge anytime soon! Ferrari say that the design has been inspired by iconic models from Ferrari’s history: the 330 P3/P4 and the 1966 Dino 206 S particularly. Ferrari have been working on the design aspects since 2015.

Unlike other special projects, this race car needed some special consideration. Changing the setup of the 488 GT3 so dramatically meant that aerodynamics needed a complete revision. The result is a 5% improvement in efficiency. The large buttresses encase a greenhouse. The effect is that of visor with the glass spread horizontally across the middle.

Due in part to the GT3’s 50 mm longer wheelbase, the P80/C looks more can-forward than anything Ferrari has produced to date. The rest is a modern take on the wedge design, not dissimilar to the look of the new Ford GT. Interestingly, the front is wider than the rear.

No details have been released about the engine. The 488 GT3 uses a 3.9-litre turbocharged V8. We suspect that Ferrari have fitted this version with a de-restricted version of that engine!

Bentley Continental GT and GTC V8 Models Revealed

Bentley has officially revealed the Bentley Continental GT V8 and GTC V8 models, weeks after the GTC debuted at the Geneva Motor Show 2019. Arguably, the V8 version of the Bentley Continental GT has been the pick of the range. This was true of the previous generation and we wonder if the same is true of the latest generation.

The third generation GT V8 Coupe and Convertible use the same running gear as the Porsche Panamera Turbo. The 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine develops 550 hp and 770 Nm of torque. Different gearing means that the Continental GT V8 hits 100 km/h 0.4 seconds slower, in 4.0 seconds. Top speed higher by 12 km/h at 318 km/h. Cylinder deactivation and stop-start are both standard.

To tell the V8 versions apart, Bentley has added quad-tailpipes and V8 badging. Each model will get 20-inch, 10-spoke painted alloy wheels and the option to choose from nine other designs measuring up to 22-inches.

Convertible versions of the V8 will get heated and vented Comfort Seats incorporating a neck warmer. The drop-top can be deployed or stowed in just 19 seconds, with the car travelling at speeds of up to 30 mph (50 km/h). Inside, five colour splits are available. Crown Cut Walnut is the standard wood option with plenty of other choices available. V8 models also feature a 10-speaker Bentley Audio system which can be coupled with the optional Bentley Rotating Display.

Bentley will focus on the US market with these models with deliveries expected during Q3 for US customers and other regions in Q1 of 2020.

2019 Porsche 992 911 Carrera Cabriolet Review

It is March in London, the pathetic fallacy of Brexit is reflected in the rainy scenes I can see from my equally dreary office desk. I’ve spent so much time indoors hiding from precipitation, I’ve started to lack vitamin D (insert lack of D joke). The doctor has prescribed sunshine and less stress. Before I have time to scurry over to the Pharmacy, Porsche call with a cure of their own – the 992 Cabriolet and a flight to Greece. Just what the doctor ordered…

A couple of days later I find myself in Attica, a short drive south of the history festooned city of Athens with the keys to a 992 Cabriolet. My expectations are high, fuelled by the logic that the Cabriolet will be just as good as the Coupe that I drove in January. Porsche engineers have a habit of sprinkling magic and witchcraft on everything they touch as of late, the 992 Coupe was a prime example of this – the Carrera S & 4S represent the bulk of sales and as a result, they’ve made them both so bloody good that it’s difficult to imagine just how magnificent the GTS and other future models are going to be.

Back to the present and the Cabriolet – the car I’m filling with my bags, and bananas, is a 4S – I saw this car yesterday evening and laughed at it’s gold wheels and the idea that there was a German with a sense of humour in the PR department that specced this Indian Red 911 with wheels that would look more at home on a Ferrari or classic Lotus. The very jester that configured the car reciprocated my jibe by making sure it was the car I would be driving for the rest of the trip…touché.

Enough clowning around, what is this 4S packing? Well, as you would imagine, this is essentially the same as the coupe just with the roof lobbed off. That means in S & 4S guises, the only currently available, there is a 3.0-litre twin-turbo flat six pushing out 444bhp and 391lb ft. 444bhp doesn’t sound huge, but the numbers are eye opening.

0-100 is abolished in 3.7, or 3.6 if you check the Sport Chrono box (this takes off a tenth and adds the essential driver mode rotary dial on the steering wheel and the iconic stopwatch/clock). Three point six. That is supercar quick.

Traction in this 4S is mind bending and altered my driving style. You can enter corners with speed that is frankly ridiculous and there isn’t any understeer. You have to be an utter Neanderthal and completely misjudge a slow speed corner to make the front axle push away from the apex. Like I said, magic. The handling is spot on, as is the driving position, steering and brakes.

One criticism is the PDK gearbox – yes, it is lightning fast and handles multiple shifts with ease, but when it is in sport mode and auto, you merely brush the throttle pedal it fires in a couple of downshifts with a spike in the revs. It’s is a little nervous and makes you weary. Drive it in manual and you start to fathom why it has been calibrated with such a nervous disposition – turbo lag. Yes, this really is knit picking, but when you choose which gear you want and you pick one that leaves the analogue rev counter below 2,500 rpm, you start to feel the lag. Again, this is me trying to find fault and the gearbox will almost instantly fire the revs above this laggy layer when left in auto or if you drive it as it should be driven in manual.

Would I have the Cabriolet or the Coupe? This is a tough call and one I suspect will come down to personal preferences. Where the Pista Spider, Huracan Performante Spyder and new AMG GT R Roadster are topless track hardened supercars that make no sense to me given structural rigidity loss and added weight (take a bow McLaren with your carbon tubs), having a Carrera Cabriolet is far more understandable. Carreras are not cars for setting lap times in. The appeal of cruising and enjoying the drive is infinitely more alluring. The added wright in strengthening is far less relevant.

The interior is sublime as it is in the coupe, my gripes with the infotainment and lack of buttons and reliance on the touch screen still stand firm. It still feels alien and difficult to navigate a touchscreen whilst driving. Whether this will be alleviated over time and experience with the system is yet to be seen.

With the roof down the cabin is still comfortable and well shielded from the elements. The innovative wind deflector puts cars like the Bentley Continental GTC to shame as there is no manual labour required, just the touch of a button. The roof can be lowered or raised on the move up to 50 km/h in just 12 seconds. You can also enjoy the turbocharged whooshes and whistles far more clearly.

If I was in the market for a convertible sports car that had large luggage space and rear seats, tiny ones at that, there is only one car for the job – the 992 Porsche Carrera Cabriolet.

Aston Martin Lagonda All-Terrain Concept Officially Revealed

Aston Martin’s Lagonda revival starts in earnest with an all-electric SUV. We know this much from the release that sits centre stage on Aston Martin’s stand at the Geneva Motor Show 2019. The Lagonda All-Terrain Concept carries on the development of this production model, first announced with last year’s Vision Concept.

The production version of the Lagonda SUV will begin production at the new St Athan facility in Wales in 2022. Drivetrain and performance details have not been announced, however, we do know that the Lagonda uses a system similar to the Tesla Model X. A flat ‘skateboard’ style battery pack sits close to the ground and acts as a structural part of the chassis. This gives maximum internal space.

The Concept uses suicide doors in the vein of Rolls-Royce models. To further aid entry and exit into the rear seats, the Lagonda uses a lifting roof section.

The design carries a very distinctive profile. A shorter front bonnet is possible as the Lagonda has nothing to carry in the traditional engine compartment. As a result, the cabin sits further forward than normal. The rear also gets a rakish overhang. In short, it is like nothing we have seen before. It features plenty of gimmicks too. For example, the key is said to float between the front seats “thanks to the wonder of electromagnets”.

Aston Martin AM-RB 003 Hypercar Unveiled!

The Aston Martin Project 003 announcement today at the Geneva Motor Show 2019 confirmed that the British brand will collaborate with Red Bull Racing once again. The project becomes known as the Aston Martin AM-RB 003 for now with the official name to be unveiled at a later date.

The AM-RB 003 makes greater concessions to practicality and road use than the Valkyrie, the model upon which it is based. The idea is to create a car that is less extreme but shares the same basic ethos. It gets a pronounced front keel and large rear diffuser, with the underfloor generating the bulk of the downforce.

Aston Martin has also confirmed next-generation aircraft morphing technology, to create a variable airfoil across the entirety of the rear wing. The application of FlexFoil is a first for production cars. The design allows downforce to be changed without changing the physical angle of the entire element.

The new lamp shapes at the front and rear give the Aston Martin AM-RB 003 a look of its own. The shape is different but the internals are taken directly from the Aston Martin Valkyrie.

AM-RB 003’s design brief includes greater cockpit space. It uses LMP1-style doors to achieve this. They open forwards taking a section of roof with them. The centre console has been widened, while luggage space is provided via a terrace behind the seats.

The cockpit prescribes to something Aston Martin call ‘Apex Ergonomics’. To start with, the centreline of the driver’s back, steering wheel and pedals are all perfectly aligned. A display screen mounted on the steering column allows for the best possible view through the steering wheel and infotainment is delivered through a smartphone. The setup is extremely minimalist.

Under the rear hatch will sit Aston Martin’s new hybrid turbo V6 engine. It is the first Aston Martin engine designed in-house for the modern era. The AM-RB 003 will be strictly limited to 500 coupes worldwide. It should compete with the McLaren P1, LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder category of hypercars.

Koenigsegg Jesko: Agera Successor Revealed at Geneva

Koenigsegg have officially announced the replacement for the Agera! The Koenigsegg Jesko has been unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show 2019 and will be available in two version, a road car and a track car. The car itself has been named after Christian’s father, Jesko von Koenigsegg, who was unaware of the tribute until it was announced at the show earlier today.

The Jesko is built around a re-designed twin-turbocharged V8 engine. It gets a new 180 degree flat-plane crankshaft, intake and larger turbochargers. Flat-plane crankshafts normally suffer from increased vibration which Koenigsegg have addressed with active engine mounts lifted from the Agera. An innovative air-injection system pre-spools the turbocharger for instant response.

The V8 produces 1,280 hp running on regular fuel with the flexfuel E85 option allowing 1,600 hp in some markets. Torque reaches 1,500 Nm at 5,100 rpm. The transmission is another unique design. It is a 9-speed multi-clutch unit that dispenses with traditional synch rings yet allows lightning fast changes between any gear. It weighs just 90 kg in total, lighter than a comparable dual clutch unit.

The Koenigsegg Jesko sits on a carbon fibre monocoque, 40 mm longer and 22 mm taller than the Agera allowing additional head and leg room. The triplex damper returns at the rear wheels and an additional version has been added to the front. Koenigsegg have incorporated rear wheel steering too. Carbon fibre wheels are an option and are larger than those found on the Agera RS.

The Koenigsegg Jesko is a master in aerodynamics too. The rear wing is active, similar to the later Agera models. The front splitter is also deeper than ever before with active under body flaps working to maximise downforce. Even the wing mirrors are optimised to produce 20 kg of downforce each! At 275 km/h, the Jesko produces 1,000 kg of downforce.

The bodywork gets a new Koenisgeg technology called Autoskin. It uses electrics and miniaturised hydraulics to operate the doors and hood. This means that the Koenisegg remote key can be used to open most parts of the car. The roof lifts out of the Jesko, as with most Koenigsegg models.

Inside, a new TFT touchscreen is included, inductive phone charging, Bluetooth connectivity and USB inputs. The infotainment system uses a 5 inch racing display mounted to the steering wheel and a 9 inch central display. Two touchscreens on the steering wheel control other aspects of the car.

Pricing and market launch are yet to be revealed with Koenigsegg hoping to sell the Jesko to customers in the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East!