Category: news

Reveal: The All-new BMW 8 Series Coupe The presentation of the…

Reveal: The All-new BMW 8 Series Coupe 

The presentation of the all-new BMW 8 Series Coupe adds a new chapter to the Bavarian carmaker’s long history of sensational sports cars – and gets its current model offensive in the luxury segment off to a particularly dynamic start.

As the embodiment of both supreme and sporty power delivery, the new V8 power unit also contributes towards the performance characteristics of the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe. Whist having the same weight as the predecessor engine, the new power unit mobilizes an output that has been increased by 50 kW/68 hp to 390 kW/530 hp. Maximum torque has increased by 100 Nm to 750 Nm and is available at 1,800 rpm. The eight-cylinder engine delivers its power to an extensively further developed 8-speed Steptronic sport transmission characterized by expanded spread and further shortened shift times.

Ferrari’s Turbo-charged V8 Wins Engine of the Year…

Ferrari’s Turbo-charged V8 Wins Engine of the Year Award

The latest iteration of Ferrari’s turbo-charged V8 that equips, in various forms, all Ferrari’s V8-engined cars, has been nominated the best engine in the world for the third year running in the 2018 International Engine of the Year Awards.

In this, the award’s 20th anniversary edition, Ferrari took no fewer than six awards, the highest number for any manufacturer in any one year, bringing the their total trophies up to 27, a record number of wins for any sports car company.

Along with the overall Engine of the Year honor, the 720-cv 3.9-liter V8 that powers the new 488 Pista also took the 3-liter to 4-liter class, the Performance Engine category and the special nomination for the ‘Best of the Best’, with the 68 international judges asked to vote for the top engine from among all the winners over the last 20 years.

Crowning Ferrari’s record-breaking year, the naturally-aspirated 800-cv 6.5-liter V12 powering the 812 Superfast also won two awards: the Above 4-liter class and, due to it being comprehensively re-engineered from the 6.3-liter unit that equipped the F12berlinetta with 75% new components, the Best New Engine.

First Look: The Aston Martin Rapide AMRAs Aston Martin returns…

First Look: The Aston Martin Rapide AMR

As Aston Martin returns to Le Mans to defend its 2017 victory at the iconic 24-hour race, so the latest car in the exciting new AMR stable has been unveiled. Following hot on the heels of the DB11 AMR, Aston Martin has revealed the limited edition Rapide AMR. This production version of the concept shown at Geneva last year is limited to just 210 cars.

AMR stands for Aston Martin Racing and the brand draws a direct engineering and aesthetic link between the company’s successful race team and its road cars. As such the Rapide AMR is a sports car capable of comfortably transporting a team of race drivers to a circuit on the other side of a continent and then tackling the track when they get there.

The design of the new 205mph Rapide AMR has changed little from the concept that was shown at the Geneva motorshow in 2017, with a large and aggressive front grille that is reminiscent of the extreme track-only Vantage AMR Pro. Meanwhile the circular daytime running lights recall the recent Zagato models.

The Rapide AMR’s aerodynamics have been tuned to reduce lift while retaining a neutral balance and the extra aerodynamic bodywork such as the splitter, sills, rear diffuser and boot lid lip spoiler are all carbon fiber. The new bonnet with large ventilation inserts is also made from carbon fiber to minimize weight.

At the heart of the Rapide AMR is a naturally aspirated drivetrain that draws much of its technology and character from the potent Aston Martin Vantage GT12. Larger inlet manifolds with tuned length dual inlet runners enhance the airflow into the 6.0-liter V12 engine and, combined with new engine and gearbox calibration, this results in an increase in power. The legendary V12 now puts out 603PS and 630NM of torque, while a new quad exhaust ensures a raucous sound befitting of the AMR badge.

To help harness all of this power and to launch from 0-60mph in just 4.2 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds), the Rapide AMR has 21-inch wheels – a first for any Aston Martin – paired with ultra-high performance Michelin Super Sport tyres. The large, forged wheels have a multi spoke design that is not only very stiff but also aids brake cooling. To further aid thermal management of the brakes, the Rapide AMR utilizes an evolution of the cooling system on the Vanquish S, with modified brake ducts and dust shields.

As standard, the Rapide AMR comes fitted with carbon ceramic brakes. Measuring 400mm at the front with six piston calipers and 360mm at the rear with four piston calipers, this is the first time that a Rapide has been fitted with such stopping power. The carbon ceramic discs are also part of AMR’s ethos to use lightweight components whilst reducing unsprung mass they have a noticeably beneficial effect on the driving experience.

Alongside the new tires, brakes and aerodynamics, the Rapide’s suspension has also received considerable attention. The new Rapide AMR rides 10mm lower than a Rapide S and although the three stage adaptive dampers remain, they have been thoroughly re-engineered to create a car that is more focused, agile and dynamic. Much of this development work has been completed at the newly opened AMR Performance Centre at the Nürburgring.

The Rapide AMR will be available in three different design schemes. The Standard and Silhouette schemes offer four colors – Mariana Blue, Scintilla Silver, Lightning Silver and Onyx Black – with the Standard scheme adding AMR Lime accents to the splitter, sills and rear diffuser. The Silhouette scheme eschews the Lime accents and instead adds a full-length contrasting stripe in China Grey or Clubsport White.

The Signature scheme matches Stirling Green paint with Lime accents and a Lime stripe for the definitive AMR look. This draws the closest visual link to the Aston Martin Racing team and the liveries of its race cars.

The interior of each Rapide AMR reflects the design scheme chosen for the exterior, with either AMR Lime or Galena Silver welting and stitching. There is a full-length carbon fiber center console and the seats are trimmed in Alcantara – both firsts for a Rapide. Also available for the first time as an option is a One-77 style steering wheel. Every car has discrete AMR logos stitched into the seats in Galena Silver and each car will come with a limited-edition AMR inspection plaque as well as AMR branding on the carbon sill plaques.

In addition to the three design schemes, customers will also be able make use of Q by Aston Martin to further personalize their car.

The Aston Martin Rapide AMR will be available globally with the exception of China and Russia and is available from £194,950 in the UK, $240,000 in the US and €229,950 in Germany, with first customer deliveries in Q4 2018.

First Look: The Porsche 911 Speedster ConceptPorsche unveiled a…

First Look: The Porsche 911 Speedster Concept

Porsche unveiled a thrilling concept as part of the 70th anniversary of its sports cars: the 911 Speedster Concept is a drivable vision of a particularly exciting open-top sports car. It links the very first Porsche 356 “No. 1” Roadster, which received its operating permit on June 8, 1948, with today’s Porsche cars. The purist concept and historically accurate execution of the 911 Speedster Concept clearly reflect the essence of the Stuttgart-based sports car manufacturer. All elements of the car emphasize a pure driving experience. The powertrain under the two-tone painted body of the concept is derived from current GT models. It was developed at the Porsche Motorsport Center in Weissach, which is the birthplace of the 911 GT3, the 911 GT2 RS and, most recently, the 911 GT3 RS. The 911 Speedster Concept celebrated its premiere as part of the “70 years of Porsche Sports Cars” anniversary celebration in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen.

The characteristics of the 911 Speedster Concept include a shorter windshield frame with a greater windscreen angle and shorter side windows. These features give the concept an even more pronounced stance with a very low fly line, which is reminiscent of its predecessors, for example the Porsche 356 Speedster. A special rear decklid made of carbon fiber connects behind the front seats, covering supplemental safety bars and featuring two “streamliners”, a traditional element of this sports car design since the first 911 Speedster was introduced in 1988. Two contrasting black slats between the “streamliners” add an aerodynamic touch, and a transparent Plexiglas wind deflector features an etched ‘70 years of Porsche’ logo.

Like the historic original, the 911 Speedster Concept also features a lightweight tonneau cover in place of a convertible top. This cover protects the interior from rain when parked and is attached using eight Tenax fasteners. The Speedster philosophy also defines the interior, where the navigation, radio and air conditioning systems have all been removed to reduce weight. The Full Bucket Seats are made of carbon fiber, and light brown natural leather in Cognac picks up on features from the car’s classic predecessors.

The body of the concept car was adopted from the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet. The fenders, front trunk lid and the rear decklid cover of the concept are made of light-weight carbon fiber reinforced polymer composite material. Traditional GT Silver Metallic and White paintwork harks back to Porsche’s early race cars – as do many of the other carefully crafted details, such as the 50s-style central fuel tank cap positioned in the front trunk lid, the classic Talbot shape of the exterior mirrors or the unique design of the headlights. Transparent and opaque surfaces on the headlight covers resemble the shape of an “X” and are a nod to a practice prevalent in Porsche’s early years in motorsport. At the time, the headlights were taped up before races to protect them against stone chipping and to prevent the glass from shattering. The wide B-pillars and the rear fascia are decorated with milled, gold-plated Speedster lettering.

Underneath the skin, the 911 Speedster Concept features state-of-the-art components. The chassis is essentially derived from the 911 GT3. Imposing 21-inch Fuchs-design rims with contrasting high gloss polished petals details are unique to the 911 Speedster Concept. It is the first time that Fuchs-design wheels have been fitted with center locks. The GT development department also supplies the exhaust system with titanium tailpipes and the powertrain, which includes a six-speed manual transmission. The naturally aspirated flat-six engine in this minimalist concept study delivers over 500 horsepower and revs up to 9,000 rpm.

Reveal: The MSO Gulf Racing Livery McLaren 675LTAny McLaren…

Reveal: The MSO Gulf Racing Livery McLaren 675LT

Any McLaren 675LT is a very special car that already stands out from the crowd, although if a customer desires something even more dramatic – and even more exclusive – McLaren Special Operations (MSO) is on hand to ensure that bespoke requirements are met, no matter how complex.

Challenged to produce a road-going homage to the McLaren F1 GTRs that performed so strongly in endurance racing in the 1990s, winning the 1996 BPR Global Endurance Series and the GT1 Class at the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1997, MSO has created a McLaren 675LT that combines a famous racing livery with personalized & bespoke features to the customer’s brief. The project, which was undertaken with agreement from Gulf Oil International that its famous racing livery colors could be used, took over 1,000 hours of MSO time. The paintwork – including airbrushing – accounted for 800 hours of that total.

The light blue, black and red hues of the exterior paint – and of course the trademark orange center stripe – are an unmistakable recreation of the Gulf Racing colors that adorn the 1997 McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ race car, one of the cars that inspired McLaren to produce the 675LT. The 20-spoke wheels, finished in Dayglo Orange, continue the theme.  The same orange color is used for sill badges that bear the customer’s initials.  The car is fitted with louvered front wings, roof scoop upgrade and carbon fiber airbrake from the MSO range of options for the McLaren 675LT, all featuring body color paint.

The interior of the car was designed and executed to complement both the exterior theme and the personalization. MSO Bespoke racing seats finished in Carbon Black Alcantara feature orange and blue contrast stitching, with the initials of the owner again featuring, this time embroidered in blue on the headrest.  The seat belts are from the MSO Defined range and are orange in color.

The handling and powertrain bezels on the Active Dynamics Panel are finished in Gulf Blue, while the vent bezel surrounds and surround to the stop/start button are in Gulf Orange.

Now with extraordinary visual impact courtesy of MSO, this 675LT has the appearance to truly match its dramatic performance; with a twin-turbocharged McLaren V8 engine producing up to 675PS (666bhp) and 700Nm (516lb ft) of torque, the 675LT can accelerate to 100km/h (62mph) from standstill in just 2.9 seconds and has a maximum speed of 330km/h (205mph).

Reveal: The MSO Gulf Racing Livery McLaren 675LTAny McLaren…

Reveal: The MSO Gulf Racing Livery McLaren 675LT

Any McLaren 675LT is a very special car that already stands out from the crowd, although if a customer desires something even more dramatic – and even more exclusive – McLaren Special Operations (MSO) is on hand to ensure that bespoke requirements are met, no matter how complex.

Challenged to produce a road-going homage to the McLaren F1 GTRs that performed so strongly in endurance racing in the 1990s, winning the 1996 BPR Global Endurance Series and the GT1 Class at the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1997, MSO has created a McLaren 675LT that combines a famous racing livery with personalized & bespoke features to the customer’s brief. The project, which was undertaken with agreement from Gulf Oil International that its famous racing livery colors could be used, took over 1,000 hours of MSO time. The paintwork – including airbrushing – accounted for 800 hours of that total.

The light blue, black and red hues of the exterior paint – and of course the trademark orange center stripe – are an unmistakable recreation of the Gulf Racing colors that adorn the 1997 McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ race car, one of the cars that inspired McLaren to produce the 675LT. The 20-spoke wheels, finished in Dayglo Orange, continue the theme.  The same orange color is used for sill badges that bear the customer’s initials.  The car is fitted with louvered front wings, roof scoop upgrade and carbon fiber airbrake from the MSO range of options for the McLaren 675LT, all featuring body color paint.

The interior of the car was designed and executed to complement both the exterior theme and the personalization. MSO Bespoke racing seats finished in Carbon Black Alcantara feature orange and blue contrast stitching, with the initials of the owner again featuring, this time embroidered in blue on the headrest.  The seat belts are from the MSO Defined range and are orange in color.

The handling and powertrain bezels on the Active Dynamics Panel are finished in Gulf Blue, while the vent bezel surrounds and surround to the stop/start button are in Gulf Orange.

Now with extraordinary visual impact courtesy of MSO, this 675LT has the appearance to truly match its dramatic performance; with a twin-turbocharged McLaren V8 engine producing up to 675PS (666bhp) and 700Nm (516lb ft) of torque, the 675LT can accelerate to 100km/h (62mph) from standstill in just 2.9 seconds and has a maximum speed of 330km/h (205mph).

First Look: The One-off Ferrari SP38The Ferrari SP38, the latest…

First Look: The One-off Ferrari SP38

The Ferrari SP38, the latest offspring from Ferrari’s One-Off programme, has been unveiled at Fiorano where, after the ceremonial handover to one of Ferrari’s most dedicated customers, the car was immediately put through its paces in a series of hot laps.

Designed by the Ferrari Design Centre on the chassis and running gear of the 488 GTB, this unique car reflects the specific vision of a client with a deep passion for racing. The result is a model that can be driven both on road and on track, while at the same time expressing all the beauty and innovation inherent in Ferrari’s road cars.

The all-new bodywork, in a newly conceived metallic red, marks a radical departure from the language aesthetic of the donor car. The twin-turbo, twin-intercooler set-up of the award-winning 488 GTB inspired the team to reference the mighty F40 as an icon from which to instruct the project’s general direction.

Compared to the 488 chassis, the visual mass of SP38 appears concentrated over the rear wheels as the wedge design sharply stretches towards the front. In plan view, the strongly tapered nose expands towards muscular wheelarches, giving the car potency and agility. Specific inset headlights were designed to be as thin as possible, with the mandatory DRL (daytime running lights) units relocated to add character and functionality to a slim bumper lip reminiscent of the 308 GTB. On the side, the defining air scoop of the 488 GTB is completely concealed where the sheet metal folds in on itself from the low beltline on the door and into the rear wheel arch and three-quarter light.

The effect is dramatic, as it reinforces the importance of the rear volume while, at the same time, maintaining the air flow to the intercoolers at the base of the side window. The dynamic styling continues over the engine cover, which sheds its rear glass and is treated as a flip-up assembly in carbon fiber with shutlines slashing the flanks in a gesture directly reminiscent of the F40’s. Three transversal slats slash across the engine cover to evacuate engine heat, and the smooth integration of a substantial rear spoiler is a hint at the famous rear wing of the F40. The trailing edge of the spoiler links seamlessly with the wing and with the aerodynamic diffuser at the bottom, to create a suggestive frame surrounding the tail volume.

A full Tailor Made cabin trim puts the finished touches on this truly special Ferrari, which will be on public display for the first time at the upcoming Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on Saturday 26th May 2018.

Mercedes-Benz Reveals C-Class Coupé Nightfall…

Mercedes-Benz Reveals C-Class Coupé Nightfall Editions

Mercedes-Benz has added to the C-Class range with the new C-Class Nightfall Edition for all body styles with prices starting at £32,565 for the C 200 Saloon.

The Nightfall Edition enhances the style of the C-Class with powder coated matte black wheels, matching black wing mirrors, graphics, carbon rear spoiler (on Coupé and Cabriolet), and a choice of Iridium Silver, Selenite Grey, or Obsidian Black metallic paint.

All Nightfall editions come as standard as AMG Line including black ash wood trim, AMG steering wheel with flat bottom, AMG body styling; 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels (or optional 19-inch multispoke alloy wheels) in powder-coated matte black, sports suspension; and a diamond grille with chrome pins (only on the Coupé and Cabriolet).

The Premium equipment line is optional on the Saloon, Estate and Coupé for an additional £1,695 including Ambient lighting; Keyless-Go Comfort package; Memory package and Panoramic glass sunroof. Premium Plus equipment line adds Burmester surround sound system and COMAND Online for £2,995.

C-Class Cabriolet comes with Ambient lighting; Keyless-Go Comfort package; and Memory package as standard. The optimal Premium Plus equipment line adds Burmester surround sound system and COMAND Online for £1,300.

First Look: The Morgan Aero GTThe Morgan Motor Company will…

First Look: The Morgan Aero GT

The Morgan Motor Company will produce just eight of the special Aero GT variants – all vehicles individually built bespoke to customer specification. The Aero GT represents the end of Aero 8 production, guaranteeing that every Aero 8 owner will be the custodian of a very significant piece of Morgan history.

Powered by the same 367bhp BMW N62 V8 engine used in the Aero 8, the Aero GT hits 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds, & a top speed of 170mph. 

First Look: The New Flagship Aston Martin DB11 AMRAston Martin…

First Look: The New Flagship Aston Martin DB11 AMR

Aston Martin has brought a new dimension of race-inspired dynamism and performance to the DB11 family, with the introduction of the new DB11 AMR, launched at the opening of the Nürburgring-based AMR Performance Centre.

Replacing the outgoing V12-engined DB11 as the new flagship of the DB11 range, the DB11 AMR boasts greater power, increased performance, & enhanced driving dynamics, together with a suite of exterior and interior enhancements. Together they create a DB11 that offers a more vivid driving experience, yet preserves the maturity and effortless continent-crushing GT performance for which the original V12-engined DB11 is rightly renowned.

At the heart of the DB11 AMR is Aston Martin’s twin-turbocharged 5.2-litre V12. Now developing 630bhp, this gives the DB11 AMR an additional 30bhp compared with the outgoing DB11 V12, and 127bhp more than the V8-engined DB11. Torque remains unchanged at 700Nm. A 0-62mph time of 3.7sec is an improvement of 0.2sec over the outgoing model while a top speed of 208mph makes the DB11 AMR one of the world’s swiftest GT cars and the fastest model in Aston Martin’s current series production range.

Striking the perfect balance between excitement and refinement, the handling of DB11 AMR has been refined by Aston Martin’s skilled dynamics team, led by Chief Engineer Matt Becker. Their work has delivered a greater sense of connection without harming the supple ride. Similarly, a new shift calibration for the transmission and a slightly more vocal exhaust note ensures the DB11 AMR expresses its character more explicitly when Sport mode is engaged.

Aston Martin President & Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andy Palmer, said of the DB11 AMR: “Since its initial launch back in 2016 the DB11 range has matured rapidly and intelligently, selling close to 4,200 V12 examples in that period. With the exceptional V8 Coupe and Volante we felt the V12 could reveal more of its sporting potential, while remaining the consummate GT. By applying a suite of carefully considered performance and styling enhancements the DB11 AMR is both faster – 208mph! – and more precise. It’s a combination that engages and cossets in equal measure to create a dynamic and seductive new flagship for the DB11 range, while consolidating the existing V12-powered DB11s as future collectibles”.

Visually the DB11 AMR is distinguished by a coordinated palette of exposed carbon fiber and gloss black detailing that unites the exterior and interior treatment. On the outside all brightwork has been given a monochrome treatment: dark headlight surrounds and smoked tail lamps complimented by dark front grille and tailpipes; gloss black roof, roof strake plus side sills and splitter offering a subtle contrast with the exposed weave of the carbon fiber hood blades and side strakes. The dark theme continues inside, with monotone leather and alcantara upholstery and a bold contrasting central lime stripe, while DB11 AMR is treated to a leather sports steering wheel as standard.

In addition to the extensive choice of standard color and trim options, the DB11 AMR is available in three Designer Specifications, plus an exclusive AMR Signature Edition, which carries a striking Stirling Green and lime livery. With extensive carbon fiber detailing on the exterior, the inside is equally striking, with Dark Knight leather and Lime detailing, plus Satin Dark Chrome switchgear and Satin Carbon Fiber trim. Strictly limited to 100 units worldwide, the AMR Signature Edition is priced at £201,995.

Aston Martin’s accessories team have also provided a full suite of options for those looking to add further race-inspired styling to their DB11. These include a carbon-fiber engine cover, exhaust tips and a deployable spoiler that add further detail to the model’s exterior, while a new carbon-fiber sports steering wheel and paddeshifts bring that same AMR ethos within the cabin. For those heading off for weekend, expertly tailored luggage sets are available to match the car’s specification.

The Aston Martin DB11 AMR is available from £174,995 in the UK, $241,000 in the US and €218,595 in Germany, with first customer deliveries in Q2 2018.