Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler invented the automobile in 1886. In so doing, they established a tradition of constant further developments and innovative new creations that continue to this day.
Mercedes-Benz's sports car and performance brand are now celebrating this 130th anniversary with the exclusive special edition Mercedes-AMG S63 4Matic Cabriolet "Edition 130" – and yes, it’s a bit of a mouthful!
Aside from the long name, the Edition 130 features expressive design of the exterior and interior, and more significantly a 585bhp, 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8- engine with 430 kW (585 HP) output and 900 Nm maximum torque.
The performance-oriented 4MATIC all-wheel drive, acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds and the high performance composite brake system leave nothing to be desired.
Limited to only 130 set for production, the Edition will celebrate its world premiere at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
With the high-gloss special colour "alubeam silver" paint finish, the Bordeaux red fabric top and the matt black 20-inch 10-spoke wheels with high-sheen rim flanges, the Mercedes-AMG S63 4Matic Cabriolet "Edition 130" presents an exclusive version of the open-top four seater.
The exclusive designo nappa leather upholstery in Bengal red/black or optionally crystal grey/black as well as the trim elements in AMG carbon/piano lacquer black also underscore the special position of this limited edition, of which there are only 130 available. A badge in the middle console and an engraving on the steering wheel bezel also highlight this fact. Brake calipers painted red and floor mats with Bengal red or crystal grey edging round off the visual impression.
Every customer receives a tailor-made AMG Indoor Car Cover with the embroidered lettering "Edition 130 - 1 of 130" to protect this valuable vehicle from dust in the garage. Furthermore, at the handover of the keys the customer receives the Welcome Package with an Edition 130 badge key ring and an aluminium box for the handing over of the vehicle's key.
"The first automobiles from Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler were open vehicles. Mercedes-AMG honours this achievement of the founding fathers with this highly exclusive cabriolet, and demonstrates the developments the automobile has undergone in the last 130 years, developments which would have been inconceivable at that time", according to Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
General Motors in the USA is facing a penalty of £577 million for fitting faulty ignition switches to cars 13 years ago.
The problem came to light after a huge recall of affected vehicles that showed the ignition switches in many of GM’s cars would ignore or delay important safety messages due to an internal fault.
Although the final sum of the penalty is yet to be decided by the US Attorney, a figure of $900 million (£577 million) has been put forward and the government’s legal department will insist the fine is paid out of the company’s third quarter earnings of 2015.
The penalty comes on top of GM paying out more than $600 million (£385 million) in compensation to those drivers with cars affected by the faulty ignition switches.
As part of the deal to settle the case, General Motors will avoid any further prosecution if it can show an “acceptance and acknowledgement of responsibility for its conduct” for three years. Effectively, GM has been put on probation and the company will have to set up an independent monitor to review its safety and recall policies.
The notoriously litigation-heavy US government has previously fined C$1.2 billion (£770 million) over its poor record of dealing with safety recalls. It remains the largest fine ever handed out to a car company.
Volkswagen CEO Professor Dr. Winterkorn resigns following emissions scandal
Volkswagen has announced 1,189,906 of its vehicles in the UK are affected by the diesel emissions scandal.
VW has admitted that 11 million of its diesel vehicles worldwide were fitted with defeat device software to deceive testers into believing their vehicles met environmental standards.
Once on the road the cars produced nitrogen oxide pollutants at up to 40 times the legal standard.
It includes diesel-powered cars with the VW brand - Audi, Seat and Skoda as well as VW commercial vehicles.
In the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal dubbed 'dieselgate', it’s CEO Professor Dr. Winterkorn has resigned issuing a statement denying any personal wrongdoing.
Prof. Dr. Winterkorn's move comes after it was admitted that millions of diesel vehicles built by the Volkswagen Group since 2009 have been fitted with the technology and sophisticated software, which switches engines to a cleaner mode when they are being tested.
In a statement Professor Dr. Winterkorn said: “I am shocked by the events of the past few days. Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group.
“As CEO I accept responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have therefore requested the Supervisory Board to agree on terminating my function as CEO of the Volkswagen Group. I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrong doing on my part.”
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin commented: "I understand VW are contacting all UK customers affected. I have made clear to the managing director this needs to happen as soon as possible.
"The Government expects VW to set out quickly the next steps it will take to correct the problem and support owners of these vehicles already purchased in the UK."
Honda Civic Type R billed as the race car for the road
After a five year wait, 2015 sees the arrival of the world’s most keenly anticipated hot hatch, the Honda Civic Type R. Billed as a ‘race car for the road’, the all-new Honda Civic Type R is powered by the most extreme and high-performing Type R engine ever built, and will set new standards in the high-performance front-wheel drive hatchback segment.
A world-first application of Honda’s new Vtec Turbo engine, a sensuous sporting sound, aggressive function-led styling, and pioneering new chassis technologies combine to deliver one of the most immersive and rewarding driving experiences available in any sector. Civic Type R is equally at home delivering this experience on the road as it is on the track, at the push of a button.
The new 2015 Civic Type R signals the start of a new performance era for Honda, drawing on the brand’s racing DNA to deliver the peak of the Civic line-up.
Red-lining at 7,000 rpm, the engine features an advanced new turbocharging system which incorporates Honda’s legendary Variable Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) technology to boost low-end torque while delivering sustained acceleration.
The new Civic Type R’s performance is unmatched in the front-wheel drive hot hatch segment: the 0-to-62 mph sprint takes just 5.7 seconds and top speed, where permitted, is a class-leading 167 mph. Despite this, the Civic Type R achieves low CO2 emissions of just 170 g/km, high-speed fuel consumption and compliance with Euro 6 emissions regulations.
The new engine has a high compression ratio of 9.8 and is turbocharged, both of which make thermal management particularly important. As a result, the engineering team incorporated numerous cooling technologies, such as cylinder head and piston cooling, sodium-filled exhaust valves and a high-capacity air-to-air intercooler.
The cylinder head has a two-piece water jacket, lowering exhaust gas temperature and effectively lowering the combustion chamber temperature, while each piston individually features a cooling channel to provide increased oil flow. Together, these technologies ensure the engine always delivers a high output even under high load, high speed driving conditions.
A slick-shifting, six-speed manual transmission was chosen to safeguard an intimate, rewarding connection with the driver while making the most of the engine’s high output, strong torque and high revs. Each of the six gear ratios has been optimised for performance and matches the engine’s output and torque curve. For example, the maximum speed of 167mph is achieved in sixth gear when peak power is reached at 6,500 rpm.
Final drive is through an exceptionally responsive helical limited slip differential. This type of differential aids strong cornering traction, even during hard cornering. This technology, when compared to a traditional differential, reduces the new Civic Type R’s lap time by three seconds per lap around the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
The styling changes uniquely applied give the car an aggressive, purposeful stance, yet almost all have a functional purpose. The size of the holes in the front bumper grille, which serve air to the intercooler, are specifically shaped to minimise aerodynamic losses. The sleek and aerodynamically-efficient design reflects a car developed first and foremost to perform at speed. The focus on aerodynamics has ensured a zero lift coefficient and a minimum of drag which provides a class-leading overall aerodynamic performance.
The Civic Type R’s unique aerodynamics utilise specific downforce-generating elements to create overall negative lift which is unusual in the industry and unique for this class in particular. The focus on airflow, not only around but also through the car, ensures negative lift at both axles combined with a minimum of drag. This is particularly noteworthy at the front of the car and allows high speed stability with a class-leading top speed of 167mph.
The structure of the rear wing aerofoil – its angle, height and shape as well as its vertical end plates – have been carefully engineered to optimise downforce on the rear axle without causing a significant increase in drag at higher speeds. This helps improve road-holding abilities, particularly through high-speed corners.
The new Civic Type R’s front and rear wheel arches are widened to accommodate an increase in front and rear track. The integrated arch extensions are in aluminium, providing a 42% weight saving over a conventional steel panel. The vents in the trailing edge of the front wheel arch extension also improve heat dissipation from the brakes.
The front spoilers and door spoilers wear a piano-black gloss finish to highlight the car’s wide and low appearance. At the rear of the car, a pair of dual-exhaust tailpipes emerge prominently at the flanks of the rear diffuser. Clearance between the tailpipe finishers and the piano-black gloss rear diffuser has been reduced to an absolute minimum of around 20 mm. This imbues the car’s rear-view with an extra degree of aggressive tautness.
At the front, running along the lower edge of each combination headlamp cluster is an LED daytime running light. Its sharply ‘up-ticked’ shape, produced using two LED light sources and a light guide, highlights the headlamp’s shape and is the longest lighting element produced by Honda. The rear combination lamps also feature distinctive LED light bars.
New lightweight, high rigidity 19-inch alloy wheels, unique to the new Civic Type R, complement the visual changes. They fill the enlarged wheel arches with 235/35 R19 tyres that were developed specially for the Type R in conjunction with Continental.
The new Civic Type R is available in five distinctive colours that give the purposeful new styling added impact. As well as Championship White – shared with successive generations of iconic Type R vehicles – buyers can choose from Crystal Black (pearlescent), Polished Metal (metallic), Brilliant Sporty Blue (metallic) and Milano Red.
600PS Audi TT concept can propel from 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds!
The atmosphere will be especially highly charged at this year’s Wörthersee Tour festival because it will play host to an Audi TT clubsport turbo concept delivering a colossal 600PS and 650Nm with the help of an innovative electrically driven biturbo compressor that is close to being production ready.
With its stripped-out interior, wider stance and distinctive rear wing the most extreme TT to date is intentionally reminiscent of the thoroughbred Audi 90 IMSA GTO race car of the late 1980s, so it is guaranteed to make an impact at Austria’s annual meeting for Volkswagen Group enthusiasts.
“The electric biturbo signifies a new dimension in driving enjoyment; it boosts sprinting ability and torque and enables high peak power,” explains Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi Board Member for Technical Development. “In our TDI engines, we are close to production readiness with this technology. We are now presenting it in a TFSI – here too, we are the first automaker in the world to do this. For our fans at Wörthersee, we have packaged the electric biturbo in a very sporty show car.”
The Audi TT clubsport turbo has a power-boosted 2.5 TFSI engine with very impressive performance data. From 2,480 cc of displacement, the five-cylinder engine produces 600PS of power and 650Nm (479.4 lb-ft) of torque, the latter from 3,000 to 7,000 rpm. This means that it produces 240PS and 260Nm (191.8 lb-ft) per litre of displacement. Power is transferred via a manual six-speed transmission.
Thanks to systematic lightweight design, the TT clubsport turbo show car has an unladen weight of just 1,396 kg. The car completes the standard sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 3.6 seconds, with a top speed of 192 mph. The TT clubsport turbo plays out its big advantage over the first few metres of a sprint. Its electrically driven compressor lets it cover up to 16 metres within the first 2.5 seconds – which is six metres further than a comparable car without this innovation. That is a difference of around one and one-half car lengths.
An electrically powered compressor offers significant advantages: It revs up to maximum rpm rapidly and without any perceptible delay, and it continues to boost charge pressure when too little drive energy is left in the exhaust gas for the conventional turbocharger. This operating principle makes it possible to design the conventional turbocharger more specifically for high charge pressures and consequently for high engine power – the e-turbo assures spontaneous response and powerful sprints from low engine speeds at all times.
The effect is impressive. The 2.5 TFSI engine builds up its tremendous power without any perceptible delay. This power is available in any situation – whenever the accelerator pedal is pressed. In an acceleration duel, the TT clubsport turbo effortlessly pulls away from a counterpart with an identically powered engine but no electric biturbo.
However, it is not just the power of the five-cylinder engine that is fascinating – so is its unmistakable throaty sound. The exhaust system is designed for minimal back-pressure; a side pipe to the ambient air is located immediately after the racing-type muffler. The 2.5 TFSI engine is cooled by a racing-type radiator. In the lower engine speed range, the electrically driven compressor boosts torque by up to 200Nm (147.5 lb-ft).
A dedicated 48-volt electrical sub-system – another key future technology from Audi – supplies electrical energy to the turbocharger. A compact lithium-ion battery in the luggage compartment stores the energy that is generated by recuperation when coasting. A DC/DC converter provides the connection to the 12-volt electrical system.
The power of the Audi TT clubsport turbo reaches the road impressively via a quattro permanent all-wheel drive system whose multi-plate clutch is mounted on the rear axle for better weight distribution. A coilover suspension system enables highly precise adjustment of the body’s ride height and the compression and rebound of the shock absorbers. An electric lifting function protects the equipment from damage by street kerbs. Electronic stabilisation control (ESC) and torque vectoring round out the dynamic qualities of the suspension ideally.
The show car’s wheels are size 9.5 J x 20. Their six twin-spoke design is finished in a bi-colour look – both gloss turn finished and matt black – and the tyres are size 275/30. Carbon-fibre ceramic brake discs are mounted behind all four wheels; they are very lightweight and wear-resistant. The front brake discs measure 370 mm in diameter.
Widened by 14 cm: spectacular add-on parts
The compact sports car takes a full stance on the road with track widths of 1,736 mm in front and 1,729 mm at the rear. The car is 4.33 metres long and 1.97 metres wide, including the side mirrors – 14 cm wider than the technical platform upon which it was based. Its angular wings contribute a separate additive shape to the car body. They take the characteristic design motif of the Audi TT to an extreme and emphasise the quattro drive.
The wings of the show car – painted in the exterior colour Ferro Titanium – are open at the front and rear. Air from the car’s slipstream flows through them to cool the brakes. The Singleframe grille and large air inlets – whose vertical fins form a continuation to the light signature of the Matrix LED headlights – are also optimised for maximum air throughput.
The manually adjustable rear wing is an advanced development of the Audi Sport TT Cup with which the brand very recently launched a dedicated race series. It is now 20 cm wider, and the side flaps, which feature the four rings, were given a new geometry. The wing consists of carbon-fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) as do all other add-on parts: the air inlets and the large splitter at the front, the side panels and side sill trims as well as the voluminous diffuser at the rear whose lateral segments reference the motif of the air inlets.
A protective “cage” of ultra-high-strength titanium tubes makes the rear zone of the interior even more rigid and safe. In front, there are lightweight race car bucket seats with four-point harnesses. The display and operating concept with the digital Audi virtual cockpit focuses on the driver, who can control all key driving parameters via four satellite buttons on the multifunction steering wheel.
CFRP and black Alcantara define the interior of the Audi TT clubsport turbo. The race seats are upholstered in coral orange Alcantara and feature contrasting stitching and piping. In the doors and on the centre console, CFRP parts with their large surfaces create sporty accents, and the doors are closed by pulling on a tube-shaped grip with an Alcantara inlay. The air vents and gear shifter also have coral orange accents – the aluminium gear shift lever travels in an open shift gate.
The S-Class remains the number one luxury car in the UK
The Award was judged by a panel of well-respected writers who tested more than 200 new vehicles over the past 12 months – voting on each one across ten different categories.
In announcing the Award, Ian Robertson, Editor and Publisher of Diesel Car Magazine, commented: “In this class of car, its attributes are often judged from the back seat, but in doing so, you’ll be missing out enormously, as it’s a fine car to pilot yourself, as well as being chauffeured around in.
“You’ll not find a more luxurious cabin, with exemplary attention to detail, beautiful design and a superb choice of the finest quality materials. If you’re the kind of person that has to have everything, look no further – luxurious saloons really don’t get any better than this.”
Four-, six-, eight- and 12-cylinder engines complete the line-up, three of which are Hybrids – available in two trim choices (SE Line and AMG Line) – as well as two mighty AMG models that combine comfort with immense performance. The range has also recently expanded to include the new Mercedes-Maybach and Mercedes-Maybach Pullman – bringing new levels of driver and passenger comfort to the market.
The car can be personalised through 13 different paint options and seven different trim options. A host of interior options are also available – including the Rear Seat Reclining package Package (£1,500) enabling the rear seat to recline up to 43.5 degrees, and the Rear Seat Comfort package (£3,500) which adds rear active multi-contour seats with massage function, a Burmester surround sound system and a rear seat entertainment system.
The S-Class – priced from £66,910 OTR – returns up to 100.9 mpg with CO2 emissions from 65 g/km. In the UK, the S-Class remains the number one luxury car in its market segment with over 2,700 vehicles registered in 2014 and over 1,050 vehicles registered so far this year.
The Toyota GT86 isn’t a car for standing still, so it’s no surprise that it’s raced ahead with a refreshed line-up and style detail changes.
At heart it remains every inch the best driver’s car to be had for the money – and now for even less cash, thanks to a price reduction.
New wheels and new colours lead the features list, with the range-topping Aero model running on gloss black 18-inch rims and available with a hot GT86 Orange paint finish. In line with customer preference, Aero is now exclusively available with six-speed manual transmission. The larger alloys are also newly available as an option on the core GT86 model.
The Primo model, entry point to the range, moves on to 16-inch alloys and comes with a £300 lower price tag. An on-going customer offer is available, adding a further £505 saving to deliver an on-the-road price of £22,195. Pricing for other models in the range is unchanged.
What has not changed is the fundamentally brilliant GT86 dynamic package: its proven combination of a normally aspirated 2.0-litre boxer engine, low centre of gravity, rear-wheel drive and a beautifully balanced chassis continues to deliver the exhilarating and rewarding driving experience that earned it Top Gearmagazine’s Car of the Year title. The engine now complies with Euro 6 emissions standards, with no change to its fuel economy and CO2 performance.
This is not the end of the GT86 story for 2015: a new special edition model will be joining the range this summer, details to be announced soon.
The 2016 GT86 is available to order now with first deliveries to customers in mid-July.
McLaren has announced that the first model to be launched in its Sports Series family will be called the 570S Coupé.
This V8 powered, carbon fibre structured two-seater will show its beautiful yet aerodynamically optimised form for the first time in less than a week when it debuts at the 115th New York International Auto Show.
With the launch of the first Sports Series derivative, the 570S Coupe, McLaren will be displaying its three-tier model strategy together in New York for the first time globally.
Every Sports Series model will share its DNA with the Super Series and Ultimate Series that sit above it in the McLaren hierarchy.
A pure McLaren, offering class-leading levels of performance, coupled with optimised handling characteristics and driving dynamics, the 570S Coupé marks the first time McLaren has offered its pioneering and race-derived technologies in the sports car segment.
In line with the naming convention begun with the 650S, the number 570 gives away the power output of this first McLaren Sports Series model: 570PS, which equates to 562 in hp.
The lighter, more efficient and dynamic new Jaguar XF
The all-new Jaguar XF has been revealed during a dramatic ‘high-wire’ water crossing in the heart of London’s business district.
Expert British stunt man Jim Dowdall, veteran of Hollywood movies including Bond, Bourne and Indiana Jones, drove the all-new Jaguar XF 240 metres across a high-wire to demonstrate the new XF’s lightweight aluminium-intensive construction.
The new XF is 80kgs lighter than its closest competitor, resulting in best-in-class efficiency (over 70mpg) and CO2 (104g/km).
It brings an impressive blend of refinement, fuel economy, dynamics and design to the business car segment. It will make its global motor show debut in New York on 1st April.
With segment-leading figures for interior space, the all-new XF’s dynamic, coupé-like design is formed around Jaguar’s aluminium-intensive architecture and combines the outstanding proportions, elegant surfaces and pure lines which define all Jaguar cars, with exceptionally low aerodynamic drag.
The cabin utilises a seamless blend of contemporary luxury materials and finishes, traditional Jaguar craftsmanship and state-of-the art technology. With features such as the new InControl Touch Pro premium infotainment system and 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster.
The original XF’s sleek exterior and luxurious interior made it a desirable, aspirational vehicle. Combined with benchmark driving dynamics, the XF was like nothing else in the segment and has gone on to become Jaguar’s most-awarded car.
The car retains its predecessor’s core attributes but uses Jaguar’s advanced aluminium-intensive architecture to elevate them to a completely new level. Featuring 75 per cent aluminium, the architecture enables weight savings of up to 190kg over the outgoing model and an increase in torsional stiffness of up to 28 per cent.
The architecture also delivers dramatic improvements in packaging and the proportions so essential to Jaguar design. Though 7mm shorter and 3mm lower than the car it replaces, the all-new XF’s 2,960mm wheelbase is 51mm longer, enabling class-leading rear seat space with more legroom, knee-room and headroom.
The efficiency gains inherent in the lightweight aluminium construction are complemented by the all-new XF’s refined, powerful engine range. The 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel engines are available in 163PS/380Nm and 180PS/430Nm ratings and are offered with specially-optimised six-speed manual- and eight-speed automatic transmissions.
In 163PS manual form, the all-new XF delivers 104g/km CO2 and is the lightest, most efficient non-hybrid diesel model in the segment – 80kg lighter than its closest competitor.
All other engines are matched exclusively to eight-speed automatic transmissions.
The 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo diesel benefits from a host of advanced technologies which boost efficiency and refinement still further, and raise output to 300PS and a remarkable 700Nm of torque. Also available is the renowned 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol engine with 380PS/450Nm torque.
The light, stiff bodystructure is also fundamental to the all-new XF’s superb vehicle dynamics. The sophisticated double wishbone and Integral Link suspension – combined with near-50:50 weight distribution – delivers the ideal balance between agility, comfort and refinement.
Incorporating all of the learning from F-TYPE and XE, the meticulously-tuned Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) maintains the XF’s benchmark steering feel and response – and contributes to the all-new XF’s outstanding fuel economy.
Advanced passive damper technology delivers exceptional ride comfort as standard, but for even better control the Adaptive Dynamics system determines the optimum damper settings for the driving conditions.
Jaguar Configurable Dynamics, first developed for F-TYPE, provides the ultimate in control and enables the driver to individually tailor settings of the dampers, steering, engine and eight-speed automatic transmission.
As with XE, rear-wheel drive ability is enhanced too. All-Surface Progress Control, developed for low-speed driving in adverse conditions, automatically manages the brakes and the throttle to deliver the best possible traction, enabling the car to pull away smoothly and without drama: the driver only has to steer.
Infotainment and connectivity is the most advanced Jaguar has ever offered. The all-new InControl Touch Pro system features a 10.2-inch touchscreen and Dual View technology which simultaneously allows the driver to see information such as navigation, while the front seat passenger watches TV or a DVD.
To handle the enormous amounts of data, InControl Touch Pro features a solid-state drive and a quad-core processor, and runs on state-of-the-art, ultra-fast Ethernet – a next-generation network offering exceptional data transfer rates. Combined, they deliver incredible graphics, fast response times and truly exceptional performance.
Complementing InControl Touch Pro is a reconfigurable 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster. Jaguar Land Rover pioneered this technology with the XJ and Range Rover and is now bringing it to the business car segment.
To make every journey safer and even more relaxing, the all-new XF offers a wide range of advanced driver assistance systems, and is also the first Jaguar to offer full-LED headlights.
The all-new aluminium-intensive Jaguar XF will be manufactured at Jaguar Land Rover’s Castle Bromwich Plant alongside the all-aluminium F-TYPE and XJ.
Ian Callum, Director of Design at Jaguar says: “In creating the all-new XF, as a design team we have been driven by discipline, the discipline of simplicity. Every exterior line on the XF has a clear purpose – nothing is superfluous. Achieving that simplicity takes time and requires great determination; it’s all too easy to add lines to a car, but much harder to add character by leaving lines out.
“Inside too, we have been driven by the desire to ensure the XF’s cabin is as comforting as it is comfortable. New technology, including our new 10.2-inch touchscreen, is combined carefully with materials that cosset and reassure. The all-new XF has a clear sense of calm and strength, both outside and inside – and I’m proud of my team for delivering that,” he adds.
The all-new Focus RS features the innovative Ford Performance All-Wheel-Drive system and a specially engineered 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine
Ford’s all-new high-performance hatchback, the Focus RS, will make its first appearance in America, revealing exclusive new signature colour Nitrous Blue at the New York International Auto Show.
This is the first ever Ford RS vehicle to be sold in the U.S. and will be offered in markets all over the world. Ford confirmed deliveries to customers in Europe will start early 2016.
“Customers have begged for the Focus RS to come to the United States for years,” said Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development, Ford Motor Company.
“And now we can say that they are getting one of the most innovative, powerful and best-looking RS cars ever. That is special.
“The RS line has a proud history of technical breakthroughs. It’s a great example of our passion for innovation through performance, and creating vehicles that make people’s hearts pound,” he adds.
One of 12 new performance vehicles Ford will bring to customers globally by 2020 in a new era of Ford performance, the all-new Focus RS features the innovative Ford Performance All-Wheel-Drive system and a specially engineered 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine.
Ford Performance All-Wheel-Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring delivers a new level of handling capability and driver enjoyment, combining outstanding traction and grip with unmatched agility and cornering speed.
The high-performance hatchback’s EcoBoost engine shares its fundamental structure with the all-aluminium four-cylinder engine in the all-new Mustang. This engine has, however, been significantly upgraded through a comprehensive package of design changes to deliver a projected output well in excess of 320PS.
The all-new Focus RS also introduces advanced performance technologies, and is the first Ford RS equipped with selectable Drive Modes – including an industry-first Drift Mode that allows controlled oversteer drifts – and Launch Control.
The exterior design of the all-new Focus RS is both dramatic and functional, with a more powerful and muscular character. It will be offered in a choice of four-coat metallic finish Nitrous Blue and further striking exterior colours including Shadow Black, Magnetic Grey and Frozen White.
“This is the ultimate Focus – stunning to look at and entirely fit for purpose,” said Joel Piaskowski, director, Design, Ford of Europe. “RS models have always been striking, high-performance cars where function is paramount. This new Focus RS is true to that heritage.”
Developed by a small team of Ford Performance engineers in Europe and U.S., the new Focus RS is the third generation of Focus RS cars, following models launched in 2002 and 2009. The 30th car to wear the legendary RS badge, the Focus RS will be built in Saarlouis, Germany, from late this year.
It’s just been announced that new entry-level engines, a further four-wheel-drive model and additional equipment options will increase the diversity of features available for the BMW 2 Series Coupé.
With the market launch of the new BMW 218i Coupé, a three-cylinder petrol engine from the BMW Group’s latest engine family will be featured for the first time in the brand’s sporty and elegant compact model.
State-of-the-art BMW TwinPower Turbo technology is featured on the new power unit provides a maximum power output of 130hp and a maximum torque of 220Nm. The new BMW 218i Coupé accelerates from zero to 62mph in 8.8 seconds. Prices start from £22,355.
Furthermore, xDrive, BMW’s intelligent four-wheel drive system, will also be available for the BMW 220d Coupé.
In the new BMW 220d xDrive Coupé the advanced system ensures not only optimised traction and vehicle stability in all road and weather conditions, but also increased dynamics when taking bends at higher speeds and optimal acceleration.
The 2 Series Coupé is also now available in luxury guise for an even more premium feel.
Luxury specification is recognisable by the Chrome Line exterior trim and the outer air intake surrounds in the same detail. Also included are 18-inch light alloy wheels. Inside, fine-line stream high-grade wood interior trims including an Oxide Silver accent strip, leather-wrapped sports steering wheel and Dakota leather trim in a range of colours all feature.
POWERFUL: The all-new R8 comes in 540PS V10 and 610PS V10 plus versions and are equipped with the latest Audi innovations, including the stunning virtual cockpit display and Audi connect
Fastest and most powerful series production Audi in history
Second generation of the acclaimed supercar debuted in Geneva
Available to order in the UK from May 2015 priced from £119,500 OTR, 610PS V10 Plus from £137,500 OTR
R8 V10 plus - 0-62 mph in 3.2 seconds, 0-124mph in 9.9 seconds, top speed 205mph, combined MPG 23.9
Multimaterial Audi Space Frame construction helps to reduce weight by up to 50kg – 40% increase in body rigidity
New development of quattro all-wheel-drive system with variable torque control
New equipment additions include virtual cockpit, Audi drive select, Audi connect and front/rear park assist
Just days after the global premiere of the all-new Audi R8 at the Geneva Motor Show, potential customers can delve a little deeper into the detail behind the epic supercar now that pricing and specification have been confirmed by Audi UK.
Power for the second generation line-up will be provided exclusively by a ten-cylinder FSI engine delivering 540PS in the ‘standard’ version and a mighty 610PS in the ‘Plus’ model – notable as the fastest and most powerful series production Audi in history. When they become available to order in May the R8 V10 will be priced at £119,500 OTR and the R8 V10 Plus at £137,500 OTR.
As befits the dynamic spearhead of the Audi range the latest R8 will feature a host of exceptional features includig all-LED headlamps and tail lamps incorporating dynamic rear indicators with a scrolling function in the intended turn direction.
In the V10 plus version, the headlights are further enhanced by front dynamic indicators and laser spots for the high beams as standard, giving an extended field of vision and increased brightness, and by a high beam assist function for automatic alternation between low and high beam settings.
Both versions will be fitted with 19-inch wheels in exclusive designs as standard, and in the V10 Plus these are combined as standard with ceramic brake discs offering even more assured stopping power.
For the first time R8 V10 plus customers will also have the option to upgrade to a 20-inch wheel. Naturally, each model is fitted with the latest-generation quattro all-wheel drive, which utilises an electrohydraulic multi-plate clutch capable of sending up to 100 percent of torque to the front or rear axle depending on driving conditions.
Inside, Fine Nappa Leather-upholstered sports seats with electric adjustment for V10 models and sculpted bucket seats for the V10 plus will position the driver perfectly in relation to the new multi-function plus steering wheel and the Audi virtual cockpit, both of which make their R8 debut here.
In the R8 V10 the new flat-bottomed steering wheel facilitates control of all the information and entertainment functions offered by the virtual cockpit, and also houses two ‘satellites’ incorporating the control buttons for the Audi drive select system and engine start-stop function, both of which are also new to the R8.
The Performance steering wheel in the Audi R8 V10 plus features two more satellites. One houses a button controlling the exhaust system’s sound-altering adjustable flaps, and the other the activation switch for the ‘performance mode’ which is standard for this version and optional for the V10, along with a rotary wheel enabling selection of this mode’s individual ‘dry’, ‘wet’ and ‘snow’ programs. These programs support dynamic handling on dry, wet and snow-covered surfaces, making use of the ESC stabilisation control function.
The Audi virtual cockpit is set in a free-standing housing and presents all the information on its 12.3-inch display with elaborate and pin sharp graphics. The driver can toggle between different display modes and also adjust the digital instrument cluster to suit in individual mode. In performance mode, the driver is presented with information on the driving programs, acceleration, deceleration and lateral forces as well as power and torque. The Audi virtual cockpit also displays a shift light, which illuminates when the rev limit has been reached.
The driver operates the Audi virtual cockpit using the multifunction plus steering wheel, meaning there is no need to remove a hand from the steering wheel. Alternatively, operation is also possible via the touch wheel or the buttons in the centre console.
Even more of the potential opened up by the state-of-the-art virtual cockpit can be enjoyed by going online in the new Audi R8 – the Audi connect interface is standard, and enables occupants to connect a smartphone or tablet via the system’s integrated Wi-Fi hotspot, and to make use of tailored online services from Audi connect delivered via the fast LTE (Long Term Evolution) network. MMI navigation plus is also standard, and is augmented by the MMI touch wheel with its fingertip-sensitive touch pad enabling easy ‘written’ entry of data into the system.
On the outside, the V10 is equipped with an electrically extending spoiler, while the R8 V10 plus gains a large fixed rear wing in carbon sigma, matching the finish of its heated and folding exterior mirrors, sideblades, front spoiler lip and rear diffuser.
Further standard items include the front and rear parking assist system and light and rain sensors. To add visual impact to the other more immediately evident attributes of the sonorous mid-mounted 10-cylinder engine, both 540PS and 610 PS versions also feature an interior LED lighting package, which illuminates the glass-covered engine compartment and the footwells.
The extensive list of options available for the new R8 features enhancements that further enrich the driving experience, including the sports exhaust, the magnetic ride adaptive damping system, laser spotlights for the all-LED headlights in 540PS versions (standard for the V10 plus) and bucket seats (also standard for V10 plus), as well as indulgences such as stunning 20-inch alloy wheels and a 500-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system. Numerous interior decor upgrades and colour combinations for the body and sideblades can also be added to create a uniquely personal R8.
All new R8 drivers will also receive a complimentary Audi Driving Experience at Silverstone. This full day training session will help owners to develop an intimate understanding of the car’s dynamics in the relative safety of the world famous Stowe and Grand Prix circuits.
Rolls Royce plans to launch high four-wheel drive vehicle by 2018… but don’t call it a SUV!
Luxury carmaker says that work is underway to produce an all-terrain high-bodied vehicle (don’t let them catch you saying SUV), which will cost around £200,000.
It seems that Rolls Royce is joining rivals Bentley and Jaguar in catering to demand for upmarket 4x4 models.
The 111-year-old marque, owned by German car firm BMW, said customers had asked it to add the as-yet unnamed vehicle to its existing saloon models – the Phantom, Ghost and Wraith.
But without mentioning SUV, 4x4 or other names normally used for off-road vehicles, Rolls-Royce’s bosses said in an open letter that they would “produce a high-bodied car that could cross any terrain”.
Rolls Royce chairman, Peter Schwarzenbauer and chief executive Torsten Müller-Ötvös said in a joint statement that the new car was not a radical departure for the venerable brand and that the move reflected Rolls-Royce’s rugged roots.
“Rolls-Royces conveyed pioneers and adventurers like Lawrence of Arabia across the vastness of unexplored deserts and over mountain ranges. In other parts of the world including Australia, India and the Americas, Rolls-Royces carried their owners over challenging terrain with absolute reliability and comfort. Rest assured, we are creating a motor car in the greatest traditions of our marque.”
A spokesman said: “The words sport and utility don’t feature in the Rolls-Royce lexicon and that was why it was important not to say those words and nor will we ever.”
At least three years of planning by the Rolls-Royce’s team have resulted in a design for the car, which will hit forecourts in 2017 or 2018. The company has been wary of undermining its brand but has seen competitors such as Porsche, Bentley and Jaguar go ahead with plans for their own models.
An industry analyst said that global sales of premium and luxury SUVs has risen from around 397,000 in 2000 to 1.2 million in 2014 and is forecasted to rise to more than 1.3 million by 2020.