I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Consumer magazine Which? places Porsche top in customer satisfaction and reliability

  • Appeal of the Stuttgart marque also recognised in Auto Express Awards; Boxster Best Roadster, Cayman Best Coupe
  • Influential J.D. Power and Associates ‘APEAL’ Study in America votes Porsche top in ‘Initial Quality’
  • New Panamera, and plug-in E-Hybrid model in particular, has captured public imagination
  • Porsche appeal will broaden with introduction of new Macan – new factory nears completion ahead of first production in December

Every year, the annual Which? Car Survey asks the question: ”who makes the best cars?” And for the second year in a row, the influential publication has rated Porsche the ‘Best Car Brand’ in the UK.

The consumer magazine combined its own test data with opinions from readers to create a picture of the overall reliability and satisfaction of each marque. In the 2013 result, Porsche achieved a Brand score of 87% and a customer score of 94% -- both rankings significantly ahead of its closest rivals.

Based on the assessment of more than 57,000 vehicles up to eight years old, the writers concluded: “Topping the standings for the second year in a row, the addition of the new 911 to the ratings has done the Stuttgart-based manufacturer no harm. Reliability for cars over three years old is decent, and owners who can afford to buy one are fanatical about their worth, giving the brand a 94% customer score. Upcoming test scores for the latest Boxster and Cayman are expected to further bolster this strong showing.”

In terms of which individual cars are judged the most satisfying to own, the ‘Type 986’ Boxster (1996 – 2004) and the ‘Type 987’ Boxster (2004 – 2012) each achieved a customer score of over 90%. Reader comments summed up the appeal of the two-seater roadster thus: “Great looks, electrifying performance, superb build quality, decent economy and marvellous steering. And as for the sound of the flat-six engine….”

The Porsche Cayenne also put in a strong performance in the Which? Car Survey, with a ranking of 82% and a ‘Best Buy’ verdict. The judges praised the Cayenne for being “one of the sharpest 4x4s to drive” with “tremendous performance from excellent engine range”, a “comfortable ride and very well made.”

Double success for Boxster and Cayman in Auto Express Awards

The new Boxster (‘Type 981’) was quick to impress writers when it was first launched in 2012, and it has built on this with victory as Best Roadster in the annual Auto Express Awards. The judges commented: “Porsche engineers have come up trumps and produced the most desirable, capable and enjoyable roadster that money can buy.”

As befits its focused, sporting character, the new Cayman has been even quicker to claim its first accolade; clinching the Best Coupe prize at the Auto Express Awards less than six months since arriving in Porsche Centres. Always fans of the mid-engined two-seater coupe, the Auto Express writers said: “we’ve come to expect scintillating performance, race-bred handling and exquisite build quality, but its appeal has now been boosted further by seductive styling and surprisingly low running costs. Porsche engineers know how to mix the essential coupe ingredients in the right quantities; you get incredible pace, a distinctive engine note, a well-crafted cabin and head-turning design. And don’t forget the precise steering, engaging chassis and huge grip.”

US customers place Porsche first for attractiveness and quality

Across the Atlantic, Porsche customers in America have placed the Stuttgart marque first in the latest ‘Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL)’ study by the Californian market research institute J.D. Power and Associates.

Based on information from more than 83,000 new car buyers spanning a total of 230 different models registered between November 2012 – February 2013, Porsche drivers in the US voted the marque winner in the ‘Initial Quality Study’ for the ninth time in a row.

And in the APEAL evaluation, the Cayenne took first place in the ‘Mid-size Premium CUV’ segment for the third time. The attractiveness of the Boxster was strong also, with the roadster winning the ‘Highest Ranked APEAL’ award in the ‘Compact Premium Sporty’ category.

Strong sales around the world underpin Porsche success

In the first six months of the year, global Porsche sales have increased by 18 % year on year driven by the new Boxster, Cayman and 911 sports cars and the continuing appeal of the Cayenne. The new second generation Panamera Gran Turismo has also been well-received ahead of its arrival in Porsche Centres this month.

Porsche Macan factory in Leipzig nears completion

Last week, construction work of the new Porsche paint shop at the new Macan factory in Leipzig, eastern Germany, was completed. The work was accompanied by a spectacular helicopter operation in which nine air vents were placed and installed on the roof of the building from a height of 40 metres.

"This will complete the next major step in the preparatory stage of production of the Porsche Macan,” explained Siegfried Bülow, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche Leipzig GmbH. “The paint shop facilities have already been installed and the first car bodies will be painted in a test-operation as early as August. We are on schedule and are very keen to see the first car roll off the production-line in December.”

Porsche is investing about 500 million euros in the expansion of the Leipzig factory for production of its new Macan – the company’s new sports car in the SUV segment. Porsche is extending the factory in the biggest construction project in its history with a new body shop and paint shop. This is a major milestone for the entire Porsche company, the plant in Saxony and the Leipzig economic region, as production of the Macan will create some 1,400 new jobs in the area.

Porsche celebrates huge increases in first six months

Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG can look back on a very successful first half of the ongoing 2013 fiscal year. Sales of the sports car manufacturer rose by 4 percent to 7.03 billion euro from January to the end of June. With 1.29 billion euro, the operating result stood at 3 percent above the value of the previous year. Deliveries increased by 18 percent to 81,565 vehicles.

Given the clouded economic environment in Europe, Lutz Meschke, Chief Financial Officer of Porsche AG, was very satisfied with the mid-year result. Mr. Meschke underscored the earning power of the company reflected in the high return on sales of 18 percent. “Through growth and cost discipline, we compensate our substantial expenditures for the development of new models such as the super sports car 918 Spyder and the sports SUV Macan,” Meschke explained. For both the Macan and the 918 Spyder, production will start still this year. The high expenditures, though, have not yet been offset by corresponding vehicle sales in the ongoing fiscal year. These sales will only be realized as of 2014 when our new models are sold.” Nonetheless, according to Meschke, Porsche AG aims for a result in the 2013 fiscal year that matches the very high level of the prior year.

Matthias Müller, President and CEO of Porsche AG, attributes the growth primarily to the attractive model range: “Our new vehicles are highly praised by customers, the trade press as well as the renowned American market research institute J.D. Power.” Thus Porsche placed first in two recent surveys conducted by J.D. Power: one on the quality (“Initial Quality Study”) and one on the attractiveness (“Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study”) of new vehicles.

The Porsche President and CEO remains optimistic for the course of the second half of 2013. “With the new 911 GT3, the new 911 Turbo and Turbo S as well as the '50 Years 911' exclusive special model, we have more exciting vehicles hitting the road.” Moreover, Porsche is currently launching the new generation of the Panamera, which now includes the Panamera S E-Hybrid. “With this first plug-in hybrid vehicle in the premium segment, we are able to prove our innovative power and the top position the Porsche brand holds in terms of technology,” Matthias Müller emphasized. Looking at the individual markets, the Porsche President and CEO is convinced that the sports car manufacturer will continue to grow on its most important sales markets in the United States and China.

Deliveries in China rose by 20 percent to 18,323 vehicles in the first half of 2013; in the United States, by 30 percent to 21,309 units. Deliveries to customers in Europe rose only slightly by 2 percent to 26,199 vehicles in this difficult economic environment.

With regard to the model range, the new Boxster series, which includes the new Cayman, showed the highest growth with a jump of 186 percent to 12,886 vehicles in the period from January to June 2013. The model series most in demand was again the Cayenne with 42,354 deliveries (plus 22 percent), followed by the 911 range, of which 15,834 vehicles were delivered (plus 10 percent). Due to the new model generation, the Panamera recorded a fall in deliveries by 33 percent to 10,491 vehicles in the first half of 2013. Sales of the new Panamera models began in July.

The growth strategy of Porsche is also reflected in the continually growing number of employees. It exceeded the threshold of 18,000 employees for the first time in June 2013. Exactly 18,148 persons were on board at Porsche as at the end of June 2013. This is equivalent to a growth of 4 percent in comparison to the end of the year in 2012. Of the over 18,000 employees, around 5,000 have been added in the last 3 years.

MMMMMMM, Mercedes AMG F1 new engine for 2014

The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team has given Formula One fans around the globe a unique insight into the future today on its official commercial YouTube channel.

To mark the team’s new status as a YouTube partner for the creation and broadcast of exclusive video content about the Silver Arrows team, MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS has offered fans the first taste of how the new 2014 Power Units will sound out on track.

The audio recording of the turbocharged V6 unit was conducted using a development engine at Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) in Brixworth, UK.

This simulated lap of the Monza circuit – the definitive test of any Formula One powerplant – was then synced to a lap of the circuit at the team’s Driver-in-the-Loop simulator at team HQ in Brackley, UK.

The result is the most accurate impression so far of how the new Power Units will sound in 2014, with a maximum rev limit of 15,000 rpm and a single turbocharger spinning at speeds of up to 125,000 rpm.

This unique video can be found on the YouTube channel www.youtube.com/MERCEDESAMGPETRONAS

The team’s official YouTube channel will continue to provide exclusive content throughout the Formula One season and off-season, from the awesome Nordschleife to deepest Northamptonshire, offering a unique insight into life behind-the-scenes of a top Formula One team.

More advanced LED lighting and TDi tech improves latest Audi A3

More powerful version of 2.0-litre TDI engine with lowest-in-class CO2 and optional quattro drive arrives in A3 alongside advanced LED lighting

  • New 2.0 TDI 184PS engine now available in addition to original 150PS version in A3 and A3 Sportback models - Saloon to follow later
  • Available in front-wheel-drive and quattro all-wheel-drive formats, and exclusively in conjunction with Sport or S line specification
  • OTR prices from £24,375 to £30,055 – available to order now ahead of first deliveries in September
  • A3 2.0 TDI 184PS six-speed manual – 0-62mph in 7.3 secs, top speed 145mph,combined MPG 68.9, CO2 108g/km

Even more effective and efficient LED headlights and black styling package now available at extra cost
Audi is widely regarded as an industry luminary where both lighting and TDI technologies are concerned, and the latest developments for the all-new A3 underscore this fact. The acclaimed compact now offers the option of advanced Light Emitting Diode (LED) headlights achieving daylight-like levels of illumination, and can also now be equipped with a new 2.0-litre TDI engine variant which is the most powerful ever to be offered by the Vorsprung durch Technik brand.

Renowned for using LED technology to spearhead the transformation of the once unassuming daytime running light into an elaborate design hallmark – a move which has since been mirrored by countless manufacturers – Audi is again leading the way by being the first to bring the benefits of LED headlamps to the premium compact class. The distinctive and highly efficient new alternatives to the more familiar xenon gas discharge headlamps, which will continue to be offered, are available for every A3 and S3 variant.

In SE and Sport models, they can be specified as part of a new LED lights package costing £2,000, which also includes LED rear lights, light and rain sensors and LED ambient interior lighting. In S line and S3 models they are available as a stand-alone option costing £795.

Nine high-performance LED chips in two free-form reflectors generate the low-beam light in the new headlights for the A3, while the high beam uses ten high-performance LEDs to emit light through an aluminium aperture. Static turning and all-weather lights are housed in a separate module, while the daytime running and parking lights and the indicators are formed by a light guide that wraps around the upper and inner headlights.

Multi-function lights

The static turning lights further expand the breadth of illumination when cornering and direct additional light to exactly where it is needed, while the all-weather light eliminates the need for conventional fog lights and reduces glare in poor visibility. Motorway lights which elongate the field of illumination at speeds of over 68mph, and junction lights which widen the beam at intersections to improve safety are also integrated, as is a travel mode which, when a navigation system is installed, uses GPS data to automatically adjust the headlamp beams for right-hand-drive countries to avoid blinding oncoming drivers.

With a colour temperature of around 5,500 Kelvin, the LED light resembles daylight, helping to reduce eye fatigue. The light-emitting diodes are maintenance-free, designed to last the life of the vehicle, and are exceptionally efficient. The low-beam light, for example, only consumes around 40 watts, which is five per cent less than xenon plus units.
Like many of the assets in the Audi technology portfolio, LED headlights have evolved with the help of endurance racing and its unique and extreme challenges. They made their debut in the R 15 TDI Le Mans sports prototype in 2010, and in 2011, further developed full-LED headlights were installed for the first time in the R18 TDI. With their combined lighting power of over 200 watts, the LEDs generate a light pattern with a range of over 0.6 miles. Their equivalent luminous intensity of over 1,000 lux is five to seven times greater than headlights in production cars.

The sophistication of Audi TDI technology has also been accelerated by its key role in Le Mans, and the benefits in terms of power, response and efficiency can now be enjoyed in a new upscale version of the 2.0-litre TDI that also joins the range to coincide with the new lighting option. Initially available for three-door A3 and five-door A3 Sportback models, but also due in the all-new A3 Saloon during 2014, the new unit delivers 184PS and a 380Nm torque peak between 1,750 and 3,250rpm, and supplements the 150PS version which has been available since launch. It is also notable as the first diesel unit in the UK line-up to be offered in conjunction with either front-wheel-drive or quattro all-wheel-drive.

Front-wheel-drive versions are equipped as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, and quattro variants with the six-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission.

Compliant with 2014 EU6 emissions standards

The six-speed manual A3 2.0 TDI 184PS can complete the 0-62mph sprint in 7.3 seconds and continue to a 145mph top speed, while at the same time returning up to 68.9mpg in the combined cycle test, and emitting 108g/km of CO2, less than all comparable premium sector competitors. The fact that this advanced unit already complies with more stringent EU6 emissions regulations applicable from 2014 bears testament to its exemplary efficiency.

In quattro versions, a newly developed multi-plate clutch directs proceedings. The hydraulically actuated and electronically controlled component can send power from the front to the rear axle in just a few milliseconds and weighs significantly less than the previous unit.

In the interest of better axle load distribution, the clutch is located at the end of the prop shaft, in front of the rear differential. Inside it is a package of plates which rotate in an oil bath. During normal driving, the clutch sends most of the engine’s power to the front wheels, but if they start to break traction it can transfer torque in varying degrees to the rear axle almost instantaneously by pressing the sets of plates together under control.

Whether in Sport or S line guise, the new 184PS TDI models, like all A3 variants, are available with either comfort-oriented standard suspension, or sports suspension lowered by 15mm over standard and with a tauter, more handling-focused bias. S line models can also be equipped with S line sports suspension, the most overtly sporting set-up with a ride height lowered by 25mm over standard. All options are available at no cost.

Continuing on the options theme, a new black styling package also becomes available this week for all Sport and S line versions of the A3, and for all S3 variants, priced at £395. It brings a high gloss black treatment for the radiator grille surround and its struts, a matt black finish for the grille itself, for the side air intake grilles and for the number plate holder and a platinum grey look for the diffuser.

FIAT throws lifeline to ageing Punto range, and misses.

Fiat’s popular and stylish Punto supermini range has recently been enhanced with the addition of a new Sporting trim level and specification upgrades across the line-up, providing customers with outstanding value for money.

Available with either three or five doors and with a choice of five low emission Euro 5 engines, Fiat’s  Punto now comes with a revised line-up of four main trim levels, Pop, Easy, GBT and the new Sporting.

The previous Lounge and TwinAir trim levels have been deleted from the range with the award-winning TwinAir engine now available as an engine choice on both Easy and GBT trim levels.

The engine line up comprises: 1.2 8-valve petrol (69hp), 1.4 8-valve petrol (77hp), 1.4 8-valve petrol (77hp) Dualogic, 1.4 16-valve MultiAir petrol (105hp), TwinAir 0.9-litre petrol (85hp) and 1.3 16-valve MultiJet diesel (85hp).

Standard equipment in the entry-level Pop model includes remote central locking, electric front windows, driver and passenger airbags, window airbags, radio/CD/MP3 player, Dualdrive electric power steering and a height-adjustable driver’s seat.

This specification has been further enhanced with a new dashboard with diamond embossing which is now aligned to the rest of the range, colour-coded door handles and door mirrors and the addition of a driver’s knee airbag as standard.

Both Easy and GBT trim levels have also been enhanced with upgraded, sculpted, black Castiglio fabric seats, the addition of front fog lights with cornering function, dashboard and door ambient lighting and side airbags as standard.

The GBT trim level now also sports 16” 7- spoke 2-tone Sportline alloy wheels, replacing the previous 15” Sportline alloy wheels.

The new exciting Sporting trim level joins the Punto range, building on the success of the GBT, while reinforcing Punto’s sporty credentials.

The new Sporting has a dramatic appearance and features a number of stylish enhancements both to the interior and exterior which make it instantly recognisable and likely to appeal to a younger audience.

Standard equipment on the Sporting trim level includes body coloured rear spoiler and side skirts, gloss black painted roof, sports suspension, gloss black electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, ‘Tarmac finish’ dashboard, black interior roof lining, sports leather steering wheel, leather gear knob and handbrake lever, specific ‘Sporting’ dark headlamps, front fog lights with cornering function, dark tinted privacy glass, chrome exhaust tailpipe and 16” 7- spoke 2-tone black Sportline alloy wheels.

The Sporting trim level is available with the 1.4 8-valve petrol (77hp) and 1.4 16-valve MultiAir petrol (105hp) engines and available with either three or five doors.

 “Fiat’s Punto has always been a popular choice in the supermini segment,” says Elena Bernardelli, marketing director, Fiat UK.

“This popularity is set to continue as the revised Punto range offers customers a stylish, safe, fun to drive package with enhanced levels of specification, wider choice and outstanding value-for-money.”

F-TYPE #1 to Jaguar Heritage

  • Jaguar, Jaguar Heritage and Coventry Transport Museum celebrate official opening of the all-new Jaguar Gallery
  • First production F-TYPE presented to Jaguar Heritage
  • Unique line-up of Jaguar heritage sports cars dating from 1930s displayed outside Coventry Transport Museum following historic procession through the city

Jaguar celebrated a historic event in Coventry today with Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ralf Speth presenting F-TYPE #1 to Jaguar Heritage at the official opening of the new Jaguar Gallery at Coventry Transport Museum.

Special guests at the opening of the new Jaguar Gallery also included Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum, Jaguar Brand Director Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar Heritage Chairman Mike O’Driscoll, Coventry Transport Museum Chairman Joe Elliott and senior representatives from the city of Coventry and the UK motor industry.

In advance of the special ceremony, a unique collection of Jaguar heritage sports cars was driven in spectacular procession into Coventry.
Ian Callum, Jaguar Design Director and Jaguar Heritage Trustee, said: “The new Jaguar Gallery is a fitting celebration of eight decades of design and technical innovation in our spiritual home of Coventry, and today’s presentation of the new F-TYPE offers a glimpse into Jaguar’s future too.

“We're investing £2.75 billion across Jaguar Land Rover in product development annually, and our Whitley headquarters, employs thousands of engineers and designers. All are fully focused on creating the next generation of Jaguar cars.”

Mike O’Driscoll, Jaguar Heritage Chairman, said:“The Jaguar Gallery shows Jaguar’s development and progress through the years – from the SS products of the 1920s to the present day with the stunning new F-TYPE.  We now have two public galleries, celebrating our rich heritage in making world-beating automobiles – the Jaguar Gallery here in our home city of Coventry and the Heritage Motor Centre at Jaguar Land Rover’s facility in Gaydon.
“These galleries represent fully active collections, and as Jaguar’s intention when manufacturing the cars, they continue to be used at iconic race circuits and Concours events all over the world.”

Joe Elliott, Coventry Transport Museum Chairman, said: “Coventry Transport Museum is proud to have this fitting new tribute to the City’s most famous export in the shape of the marvellous new Jaguar Gallery.  Our thanks to Jaguar and Jaguar Heritage for making it all possible, and now the Gallery is officially open we look forward to it being a great success as a new attraction at the museum.  It has opened in time for the long summer holiday and will serve to inspire a new generation in our great city.”

Led by the new F-TYPE, the historic procession into Coventry saw some of the rarest and most iconic Jaguar sports cars in a unique convoy through the city’s streets.  From a 1938 SS100 to a 2013 F-TYPE, with a further 14 models in between, the procession included record breakers, race winners, a number of ‘firsts’ and the sports car once voted ‘The Most Beautiful Car in the World’ (E-type), denoting a clear bloodline from Jaguar’s history to the present day – continuing a long tradition of innovation in design and engineering.

The new Jaguar Gallery at Coventry Transport Museum is titled ‘The Jaguar Story – A History of Design and Technical Innovation’ and is split into five sections covering: ‘The Early Years’ (1920s to 1940s), ‘The Post War Boom and Glamorous 50s’, ‘The Swinging 60s’, ‘Growth and Consolidation’ (70s to 00s), and ‘Jaguar Present and Future’ (2005 and on..).

In addition to the stunning collection of cars covering ten decades of Jaguar and the role of the company in Coventry history, the Gallery also references the many technology and design innovations behind these great vehicles.  Contemporary storyboards, film and spectacular imagery complement the sequential journey through the gallery, with historic artifacts to further illustrate Jaguar’s rich heritage.  

Among the guests at the reception to mark the opening of the Jaguar Gallery was the company’s legendary test driver, Norman Dewis, who celebrated his 93rd birthday this week.  Norman tested and developed over 25 Jaguar cars in his career, from the C and D-type through to XJ13, E-type, XJ-S, XJ40 and many more.  He was presented with a birthday cake at the event, which featured the XK120 that in 1953 broke the production car speed record in Jabbeke; achieving a phenomenal top speed of 172.4mph.

Skoda downplays poor first six months

  • ŠKODA sells 464,600 cars worldwide Jan-June
  • Sales revenue in the first half of 2013 of nearly €5 billion
  • Operating profit reaches €243 million
  • Investments increase by 22.1% to €265 million
  • Record first six months for ŠKODA UK with more than 32,000 registrations

ŠKODA dedicated the first half of the year to the model offensive, including launching the new ŠKODA Octavia and ŠKODA Superb facelift. Despite the new start of production and correspondingly low production volumes, ŠKODA achieved a sales revenue of almost five billion Euros in the first six months of the current fiscal year. Operating profit stood at 243 million Euros as of 30th June. 464,600 vehicles were sold, 5.8% down on the first half of 2012. Additionally, the weak development in some European automotive markets affected the company’s sales and financial figures.
“The ŠKODA growth offensive moves into the next stage with the new ŠKODA Octavia and the facelifted Superb,” explains ŠKODA CEO Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland. He continues, “With a total of eight new or facelifted models this year, we are on the right track. On the year as a whole, we are expecting once again to surpass the previous year’s sales figures.” The sales figures in June were slightly higher than in the same month in 2012, making June 2013 the best sales June in the company’s history. “We do however still expect some further market uncertainty,” says Vahland.

The Czech car manufacturer’s sales revenue in the first half of 2013 stood at 4.97 billion Euros, 13.1% down on the same six months of 2012 (5.72 billion Euros). The operating profit reached 243 million Euros in the same period, 45.9% down compared to Jan-June of last year (449 million Euros). As a part of the current ŠKODA model offensive, investments rose by 22.1% on the same period last year to 265 million Euros (first half of 2012: 217 million Euros).

“ŠKODA has achieved solid results in the first half of 2013, especially in the challenging European environment,” says ŠKODA CFO Winfried Krause. He continues, “In the second half of the year, we plan to expand through the new models. We have also initiated stringent cost control measures in all areas.”

In the UK, ŠKODA enjoyed the most successful six months in its history with more than 32,000 registrations. ŠKODA UK Brand Director, Alasdair Stewart, comments on the record, “These figures show how strong ŠKODA is in the UK. It is a testament to the engineering excellence of our products and the recognised customer service from our retailer network. We’re delighted with these figures and we aim to continue the feat in the second half of 2013. The ŠKODA range keeps on growing, we have some very exciting product launches coming soon and we can’t wait to show them to our customers.”

Renault welcomes extra funding for Charging points in the UK

Renault UK welcomes the additional government funding for electric vehicle charge points with the announcement of the winning bids for additional points to be installed by dozens of local authorities, NHS Trusts and train operators.

Renault’s latest electric vehicle, the ZOE supermini, has just gone on sale in the UK with its owners already enjoying the benefit of a free domestic charge point, supplied and installed by British Gas.

Purchasers also save up to £5,000 on the price of their electric car from the government’s Plug-In Grant.  ZOE answers the comment that EVs can be expensive with a starting price from just £13,995, after the grant, equivalent to the price of a diesel supermini, and becomes yet another incentive to make the switch to electric and ‘Drive the change’.

Whilst Renault believes that around 90% of charging will take place at home, Renault’s electric vehicle customers will also benefit from the additional peace of mind that the improved public infrastructure provides.

Commenting on its latest initiative, Renault UK’s Ben Fletcher, Electric Vehicle Product Manager, said, “The two most common preconceptions of electric vehicles are an expensive purchase price and lack of public opportunity to charge.  ZOE’s pricing puts the first point to rest, and this latest announcement, on top of the established highly developed network of public charging points, answers the second and allows customers to buy EV with complete confidence“

Renault is the only manufacturer today with a range of four electric vehicles on sale and, together with its Alliance partner Nissan, has already sold 100,000 EVs across the globe. ZOE, spearheads Renault’s four-strong Z.E. range of 100 per cent electric vehicles and is stylish, affordable and practical – perfect for households whether they’re commuting, doing supermarket and school runs, or even doing moderate distances. ZOE’s official NEDC range is 130 miles, the longest of any EV, with a real-world range of around 90 miles in temperate conditions or 60 in cold weather.

Dynamo v's David Coulthard, part 2 - amazing, just amazing !!! FULL VIDEO

Last night renowned magician, Dynamo, stunned Formula One™ legend David Coulthard by completing a blindfolded, fire-laden run in a Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG… impressive in itself, but it proved to be a prelude to a much bigger mindreading feat.

The specially created circuit was first driven by David Coulthard, who set the lap pace of 38.57 seconds. Dynamo then attempted to beat the time whilst blindfolded, with parts of the track set on fire, and with David in the passenger seat.

Getting around the track unscathed was impressive enough to David, but the real awe came when Dynamo revealed the true outcome in the never-seen-before challenge – Dynamo had correctly predicted and spelt out David’s guess of his lap time, 1:25, in flames, across the track.

Andrew Mallery, Marketing Director at Mercedes-Benz UK, said: “As the latest instalment in a series of challenges which sees Mercedes-Benz UK put David Coulthard to the test, this is by far the most daring yet. The SL 63 AMG is a hugely impressive car, so it really is the perfect fit to have as the starring role as part of such an astonishing feat.”

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Dynamo v's David Coulthard


Subaru excels at Auto Express Driver Power survey

  • Subaru dealer network ranked second out of 31 for overall customer satisfaction
  • Focus on customer service results in a six-place improvement
  • Subaru dealers ranked highly for helpfulness, quality of work and technical knowledge

Subaru UK’s dealer network has again scored highly in the 2013 Auto Express Driver Power survey, further improving its ranking in the influential annual survey of 46,000 UK motorists’ satisfaction in their cars and dealerships.

The results were published in the July 31 issue of the popular weekly motoring magazine.

The 50-strong Subaru dealer network rose from an already creditable eighth place in 2012, up to second in 2013, beating all of its nearest rivals for motorists’ trust in their dealers, and only losing out on the top-spot to luxury car brand Lexus.

Motorists taking part in the survey rated Subaru dealers in particular for ‘helpfulness and attitude’, ‘standard of workmanship’, ‘value for money’ and ‘technical knowledge’.

Overall, 89.28 per cent of Subaru owners were satisfied in their dealer, with one reader explaining that their local dealer was “very courteous, always helpful and keenly priced.”  In Driver Power survey results published earlier in the year, Auto Express listed both the Subaru Legacy and Subaru Forester  in the top 100 most satisfying cars to own according to British motorists.

Steve Fowler, Editor-in-chief of Auto Express commented:  “When it comes to keeping customers satisfied, Subaru dealers certainly know what’s important. They may not have the flashy premises of some rivals, but it’s relationships that matter and Subaru customers really value theirs with their dealers.”

Paul Tunnicliffe, Managing Director of Subaru UK, said of the result: “This result – our highest ever in the Driver Power survey – is testament to the considerable time we've invested on assessing the performance of dealers in after sales care.  We survey every service customer in real time, and so are able to jump on problems before they become an issue.  This result proves the effectiveness of this programme.

“In addition we don’t focus on having expensive, fancy premises to enhance the customer experience; for us its about good technical knowledge and developing relationships with our customers.  A second-place ranking puts our dealers well ahead of many of the prestige car makers and all of the mainstream ones and is proof that the brand holds customer satisfaction close to its heart.”

Every Subaru model is sold with a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty and a 12-year manufacturer anti-corrosion warranty as standard, while all vehicles come equipped with a choice of efficient petrol and diesel Boxer engines and benefit from Subaru’s enviable record for build quality and durability.

Mitsubishi to give away a Mirage at every dealer (for one year only though)

Mitsubishi Motors in the UK has launched a competition today that will see every one of its dealerships give away a brand new Mitsubishi Mirage to a lucky customer for a whole year.

The UK’s fastest growing car brand is running the competition throughout the summer to celebrate the success of the fantastic new super-mini.
Sales of the Mirage, which are already at 1,300 since its launch earlier this year, have given the company a great start to 2013.

And interest in the all-new Mirage, which combines great styling, excellent fuel economy and real-life practicality, is set to continue with the launch of this exciting competition.

Anyone who takes the Mirage for a test drive between 1st July and 30th November this year can enter into a prize draw for a chance to win[1].

Lance Bradley, Managing Director of Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, said:

“The new Mirage is the perfect car for its time and thanks to this competition people all over the country will be driving away from a Mitsubishi dealership with a vehicle that will be theirs for a whole year.

“The Mirage is a compact family car which delivers comfort, performance, excellent environmental credentials and superb fuel economy.

“The response to the car has already been fantastic and we’re sure this competition will prove popular.”

The light and nimble Mirage is Mitsubishi’s latest model and it has been engineered from the wheels up to offer a winning blend of chic styling, exceptional comfort and low running costs. It boasts exceptional fuel economy across the range of between 65.7 and 68.9mpg (combined). And with CO2 emission levels across the whole line-up equal to or lower than 100g/km, no Vehicle Excise Duty is payable.

MG makes amazing announcement on new MG3 pricing and insurance, WOW

MG today made the surprise announcement that prices for the eagerly anticipated MG3 supermini will not start at £9,999, but will finish at this price, with the whole model range available for £9,999. And this is not the only surprise announcement about the affordability of the stylish new small MG.

Possibly even bigger news, especially for young drivers, is that you will be able to enjoy driving an MG3 with its sporty 106PS engine and chassis dynamics for a class leading predicted insurance group rating of just 4E*. This is less than half the rating of equivalent competitor products!

And MG3 prices have not been achieved at the expense of specification, practicality or safety. All models benefit from signature front LED lights, electronic hill hold as standard, with all but the entry model featuring a high quality DAB audio system. The sporty exterior style conceals an interior that offers one of the largest and most spacious cabins in the supermini class. With six airbags, electronic stability control, corner brake control and traction control, there is the full suite of the latest technology safety equipment standard on all MG3s.

However, the key attraction for many people will be how much fun you can have creating your own MG3, with its huge range of colours, exterior graphics, interior colour packs and leather upholstery created by the UK design team and inspired by the British fashion industry.

There are four models of MG3 to choose from and a full range of options and accessories priced as keenly as the car itself, to ensure that specifying and buying an MG3 is as much fun as owning and driving it.

At the top of the range is the MG3 3STYLE with premium 16” “Diamond” alloy wheel and a sports body styling pack that includes the rear boot spoiler and side sill extensions.  Standard high-tech convenience features include cruise control, automatic lights and windscreen wipers and reverse parking sensors, all for only £9,999.

The mid-range MG3 3FORM available for £9,299 includes air conditioning, DAB radio,  Bluetooth and audio streaming,  leather MG-design steering wheel with red stitching and steering wheel audio controls all as standard, above the entry model specification.

For those customers who want top of the range looks but find the high level of equipment in a 3FORM is enough, then there is the MG3 3FORM SPORT.  This includes all the features of the mid-range 3FORM with the sports body styling pack and 16” “Carousel” alloy wheels at £9,549.

The entry model MG3 3TIME costs £8,399 and features a CD player with MP3 compatibility and Aux-in facility in addition to all the standard features on all MG3s.

All models are powered by a sporty 106PS petrol engine with a five speed manual gearbox and have the same great MG chassis designed to make driving the MG3 a bit more fun than your average small car.

Sales & Marketing Director Guy Jones said; “The MG3 gives the market something really new; a stylish, highly practical, small car with many options for personalisation that is fun to drive, fun to buy and fun to own. With all models in the range priced below £10,000 and insurance expected to be just 4E, we can offer this type of product at a price position that no competitor can match.

“MG became world famous for building distinctive, British, small, fun cars at a remarkably affordable price that owners then personalised to their own individual style.  The MG3 is the new small, modern MG that allows a new generation of people to have fun with their MG”

Available in dealerships from September 2013, the MG3 is already generating huge levels of interest.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Land Rover supports Great Britain yacht entry

  • Land Rover is supporting the GREAT Britain entry in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race as an official Team Partner and becomes part of an innovative global campaign partnership between the race organisers, Clipper Ventures, the UK Government and British brands
  • The spirit of adventure, strength and mental fortitude required by each Clipper Race team member is a natural fit for Land Rover’s ethos of going above and beyond
  • Land Rover’s support of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race further strengthens its ties with global competitive sailing

Land Rover is supporting the GREAT Britain entry in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race as an official Team Partner.  GREAT Britain, a 70-foot, monohull, state-of-the-art ocean racing yacht, was unveiled to large crowds in London’s Trafalgar Square on 31 July.

Land Rover’s support of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race further strengthens its ties with global competitive sailing, which dates back to 1988 when the brand first sponsored Cowes Week.  In May this year, the manufacturer announced a three-year sponsorship of the Extreme Sailing Series of global challenges.

Land Rover is one of several Team Partners from across the UK’s private sector supporting the UK Government’s GREAT campaign under the pillar of Adventure.  The project brings together a cross-section of partners from the private sector to sponsor the GREAT Britain yacht over the next 16 months and participates in an international campaign that will link up with UK trade and tourism marketing initiatives.

Mark Cameron, Land Rover’s Global Brand Experience Director, said: “The sport of sailing and the philosophy of Land Rover go hand in hand, with our shared values of adventure, inner strength and a competitive spirit. The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is a fantastic initiative and, with the entry of the GREAT Britain yacht, provides a perfect platform to deepen Land Rover’s involvement in sailing as well as support the Government’s efforts to celebrate what is great about Britain overseas. As a major British brand we are thrilled to be involved.”

Unveiling  GREAT Britain in Trafalgar Square were Sports and Tourism Minister, the Rt Hon Hugh Robertson MP, and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Clipper Race chairman, founder and the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the world.

Sir Robin Said: “This is a unique project and I am very proud that the Clipper Race can provide a powerful platform to promote Great British trade and tourism to a global audience.  We look forward to working with Land Rover and the other GREAT Britain brand partners, along with the UK Government, through the Prime Minister’s office, to deliver a highly effective international marketing campaign.”

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is being staged for the ninth time.  The fleet of 12 matched Clipper 70 ocean racing yachts will depart from London’s iconic Tower Bridge on 1 September 2013.  The teams of 20-strong crew members will tackle the 40,000-mile challenge over 11 months and eight legs, visiting 15 ports on six continents.

Each crew member has gone through a pioneering training programme, which transforms novices and relatively inexperienced sailors into highly skilled racing yacht crew.  The opportunity to enter this race is open to any individual aged 18 or over, with or without sailing experience.  Every yacht is skippered by a professional sailor who is charged with the task of guiding the crew of amateur sailors in the world’s longest ocean race.

Lexus retains top honours in Auto Express Driver power awards.

  • Lexus follows up its best manufacturer success by retaining its “Best Car Dealer” status in the Auto Express Driver Power survey
  • Auto Express readers and website visitors voted Lexus top in six of the survey’s seven categories

Britain’s motorists not only believe Lexus makes the finest cars, they also think their dealerships are the best in the business. That’s the emphatic view expressed in the latest results from Auto Express’s Driver Power survey, which canvassed the opinions of more than 46,000 of the magazine’s readers and website visitors.

The results show Lexus taking the top spot in six out of the survey’s seven categories to retain the market-leading position it gained last year. Its sister brand, Toyota, also performed strongly, ranking third.

People’s genuine, all-round satisfaction with Lexus was further demonstrated earlier this year in the manufacturer regaining its number one place in the survey as the nation’s most respected car maker.

Steve Fowler, Auto Express Editor-in-Chief, said: “Lexus proves once again that it’s the best at keeping customers happy with a Driver Power double this year. According to our readers, Lexus makes the best cars and has the best dealers. It clearly sets the standards that other car makers have to reach.

Richard Balshaw, Lexus Division Director, said: “This is a tremendous result for us, not least in the fact it represents the opinions of real customers. We are proud to be bringing some of the most advanced and desirable cars to the market, and to be supporting them with the best sales and aftersales service you can find.

“We are proud also to have consistently raised the benchmark for customer satisfaction, ever since we first brought Lexus to the UK. Supported by our hard-working, dedicated dealership teams around the country, we will strive to deliver an even better customer experience.”

New F-TYPE and prototype C-X75 to be presented at exciting supercar event

  • New F-TYPE and prototype C-X75 to be presented at exciting supercar event
  • Privately-owned XJ220 and XJR-15 to complete Jaguar display at Wilton House

The award-winning Jaguar F-TYPE convertible will feature in a unique presentation of past, present and prototype Jaguar sports cars at the Wilton Classic Supercar** event on Sunday 04 August. The F-TYPE will be positioned prominently on site, alongside a prototype version of the innovative C-X75 hybrid sports car.

Experts from Jaguar and C-X75 programme partner Williams F1 will be on hand to provide information relating to F-TYPE and C-X75. Jaguar will also celebrate its sports car heritage with the presentation of privately owned examples of the rare XJ220 and XJR-15 sports cars.

Lord Pembroke, owner of Wilton House and founder of the Wilton Classic and Supercar event, said: “We will be celebrating the finest sports car ever built at this year’s event, and to have Jaguar present with this collection is very exciting. Jaguar has a rich history in producing sports cars that exude beautiful design, technical innovation and outstanding performance and I look forward to welcoming this great British brand to Wilton House.”
Although the decision was taken in 2012 that as a result of the global economic climate the C-X75 would not enter full production, it was clear that it was a powerful showcase for Jaguar's world-leading expertise in lightweight vehicle construction and the ideal test-bed for the company's innovative research into high-performance, low-emission powertrains.

The great achievements in the development of C-X75 prototypes - including cutting-edge hybrid technologies, carbon composite materials and advanced design solutions pioneered in association with Williams Advanced Engineering - will be utilised in other areas of research and development, innovative future products and next-generation engineering for the Jaguar and Land Rover brands.

Women love to be satisfied by a Jaguar first and men third,

  • Women name Jaguar best automotive brand in extensive customer satisfaction survey
  • Men place Jaguar third in survey results

Data from female respondents to the 2013 Auto Express Driver Survey reveals that Jaguar is the favourite car brand of women in the UK. The comprehensive survey also saw men vote Jaguar as the third most satisfying brand in the UK car market.

Driver Power is the UK’s most comprehensive car survey. The survey results include analysis of responses from 46,640 participants. Feedback from car owners covered every aspect of vehicle ownership – from performance and handling to running costs.

The positive results for Jaguar follow an outstanding achievement for the brand in the recent J.D. Power and Associates/What Car? 2013 UK Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study, in which Jaguar was named the number one automotive brand in the UK.

Steve Fowler, Auto Express Editor-in-Chief said: “Jaguar has always scored well in our Driver Power survey and came third overall this year. But delving deeper into the stats shows the brand doing especially well with female car buyers – they voted Jaguar the most satisfying brand to own. Women clearly love Jaguar’s cars, from the styling to the technology and the way the cars drive, while the dealers get special praise for customer service from women, too.”

VW announces downturn in profits for first six months

  • Operating profit of €5.8 billion (€6.5 billion) in difficult market environment
  • High net liquidity in Automotive Division at €11.3 billion
  • Winterkorn: “We made considerable progress following a subdued start to the year.”

The Volkswagen Group maintained its trajectory in the first six months of fiscal year 2013, despite the challenging economic situation – particularly in Europe – and intense competition. Including China, deliveries increased by 5.4 per cent to 4.8 million vehicles worldwide. The Group’s share of the passenger car market rose year-on-year to 12.7 per cent (12.4 per cent). “We made considerable progress following a subdued start to the year, and can report a solid result in what was a difficult market environment,” said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, in Wolfsburg on Wednesday. The Volkswagen Group also confirmed its outlook for full-year 2013.

Sales revenue in the first six months was up on the prior-year figure, at €98.7 billion (€95.4 billion). Operating profit amounted to €5.8 billion (€6.5 billion). Consolidated operating profit does not include the €2.4 billion (€1.8 billion) share of the operating profit of the Chinese joint ventures. These companies are included using the equity method and are therefore reflected in the financial result. Profit before tax was €6.6 billion (€10.1 billion). The prior-year figure had been positively influenced by the remeasurement of the Porsche options (€2.6 billion). Profit after tax was €4.8 billion (€8.8 billion).

CFO Hans Dieter Pötsch was guardedly confident, despite the fragile economic environment: “The global economic situation means that it is all the more important for us not to ease up on our efforts to make the Volkswagen Group even more robust and flexible. At the same time, we will further strengthen our solid financial position for the long-term in order to continue our global growth path and ensure that our strategy is implemented systematically.”

High net liquidity in the Automotive Division

At €11.3 billion, net liquidity in the Automotive Division at the end of June was €0.7 billion higher than at year-end 2012. Investments in property, plant and equipment in the Automotive Division rose to €3.9 billion (€3.4 billion). The Volkswagen Group again maintained its investment discipline with a ratio of investments in property, plant and equipment (capex) to sales revenue in the Automotive Division of 4.5 per cent (4.0 per cent). Investments related primarily to production facilities and the models to be launched in 2013 and 2014, as well as the ecological focus of the model range.

Brands and Business Fields

Worldwide unit sales by the Volkswagen Group rose by 4.9 per cent year-on-year in the first half of the year to 4.9 million vehicles.

The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand sold around 2.4 million cars in the first six months, 1.7 per cent fewer than in the first half of 2012 (2.4 million). The brand’s operating profit was €1.5 billion (€2.3 billion), and was weighed down by a deterioration in volumes and mix, as well as upfront expenditures for new technologies.

Unit sales by the Audi brand rose by 2.1 per cent year-on-year to 692,000 vehicles (678,000); the FAW-Volkswagen Chinese joint venture sold a further 197,000 Audi vehicles. Audi reported an operating profit of €2.6 billion (€2.9 billion), despite higher upfront expenditures for new products, technologies and the expansion of global production structures.

ŠKODA’s sales declined by 11.1 per cent to 362,000 vehicles (408,000). Negative volume, mix and exchange rate effects as well as launch costs for the new products saw its operating profit decline as against the first half of 2012 to €243 million (€449 million).

SEAT sold 244,000 vehicles (218,000) worldwide, 12.1 per cent more than in the previous year. Demand increased for the new Leon and the new Toledo. The operating loss improved slightly to €40 million (€42 million).

Bentley delivered 4,200 vehicles (4,800). Its operating profit was on a level with the previous year at €58 million (€57 million).

Sports car manufacturer Porsche sold 78,000 vehicles and generated an impressive operating profit of €1.3 billion in the first half of the year.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles delivered 220,000 vehicles (228,000) and recorded an operating profit of €246 million (€242 million).

Scania lifted its sales to 38,000 trucks and buses (32,000). Increased pressure on margins saw its operating profit decline to €464 million (€477 million).

MAN sold 65,000 trucks and buses (68,000) and reported an operating loss of €124 million (previous year: operating profit of €355 million). Lower volumes, the declining after-sales business and the recognition of project-specific contingency reserves in the Power Engineering area were negative factors.

Volkswagen Financial Services generated an operating profit of €696 million (€663 million).

Winterkorn: “Diversity and international focus are increasingly bearing fruit.”

“The Volkswagen Group’s twelve strong brands cover almost the entire mobility chain. Our vehicles are produced at 100 plants around the world and are sold in over 150 countries. This diversity and our international focus are increasingly bearing fruit,” said Winterkorn. He is confident that the Volkswagen Group will outperform the market as a whole in a challenging environment. “As before, the Volkswagen Group is standing by its goals for the current fiscal year”, said Winterkorn. Deliveries to customers are expected to increase year-on-year. However, the Group is not completely immune to the intense competition and the impact this is having on its business. The modular toolkit system, which is being continuously expanded, will have an increasingly positive effect on the Group’s cost structure. The Volkswagen Group’s 2013 sales revenue is expected to exceed the prior-year figure. Given the ongoing uncertainty in the economic environment, the Group’s operating profit goal is to match the prior-year level in 2013.

Electric Defender goes to work at the Eden Project.

  • First Electric Defender placed at the Eden Project in Cornwall as part of Land Rover’s investigations into the electrification of all-terrain vehicles
  • Real world test: Defender used to transport Eden Project visitors around the site towing a 12 tonne road train up a 6 per cent incline

The first Electric Defender has started work at the Eden Project near St Austell in Cornwall in an inaugural real world trial of its capabilities. Unveiled at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the Land Rover Electric Defender is a pioneering research project into the electrification of an all-terrain vehicle.

The project forms part of Land Rover’s overall sustainability objectives which have included the move to aluminum platforms in the latest all-new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport as well as the forthcoming Range Rover hybrid products. The innovative 4x4 is a rolling laboratory to develop new ideas, and investigate electrification in a real-world environment. A fleet of six vehicles will be placed with organisations where their performance can be assessed.

The Defender 110 Pick Up badged ‘All terrain Electric Research Vehicle’ effortlessly tows the four-carriage 12 tonne road train carrying up to 60 passengers on a 6 per cent incline to and from the iconic hexagonal-panelled domes. The vehicle has been designed to perform its duties throughout each day before being recharged over night for the approximate cost of £2.00.
The Electric Defender has all the qualities and performance which have become associated with the Land Rover brand during the past 65 years. It has full all-terrain capability, permanent 4WD and a top speed of 70mph.

However, it has been engineered in-house by Land Rover to test out the latest sustainable technologies. The vehicle’s Hill Descent Control is linked to a regenerative braking function, and overall up to 80 per cent of the car’s kinetic energy can be recovered. During each downhill trip at the Eden Project up to 30kW will be fed back into the batteries. Land Rover’s acclaimed Terrain Response system has been adapted for electric drive, offering a 50-mile range with a reserve of a further 12.5 miles.

The result is a zero tailpipe emissions vehicle like no other; eight hours of low-speed off-road use is achievable, and it takes 10 hours for the advanced lithium-ion batteries to be fully charged. ‘Fast-charge’ technology reducing that to just fours is also possible.

Jeremy Greenwood, Principal Engineer on the Electric Defender project, said the car was ideal for the sensitive ecology of the Eden Project. In addition, the repetitive nature of the work will provide excellent data for
future electric vehicles.

“The car has been modified so it now includes a second battery,” Jeremy explained. “That will allow it to work a full day at the Eden Project, but also improves weight distribution and stability. In addition, we’ve linked the land-train’s air brakes to the foot pedal of the Land Rover, enhancing safety.”

Gus Grand, Climate Change Lead at the Eden Project, said: “We’re very pleased to be working with Land Rover on this exciting project. It will be a great talking point for our visitors and proves that electric vehicles can be every bit as tough and rugged as their fossil fuel counterparts, while being much quieter, cheaper to run and with zero emissions at the point of use.

Jaguar to sell track-prepared, road ready XKR-S GT to UK customers

  • Jaguar to sell track-prepared, road ready XKR-S GT to UK customers
  • Ten XKR-S GTs will be sold in UK, priced at £135,000.00 OTR
  • Extreme performance XKR-S GT completes Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in 7m40s − a new record for a road legal Jaguar car

Jaguar today confirms it plans to sell 10 examples of the extreme performance XKR-S GT sports car to customers in the UK. Interest in the XKR-S GT has been intense since it was launched by Jaguar at the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS), then with sales limited to 30 units in the United States and Canada. Priced at £135,000 on-the-road, first deliveries to UK customers are planned for October 2013.

Since its debut presentation in New York, a prototype version of the Jaguar XKR-S GT has been undertaking rigorous test programmes on road and track in the UK and Germany. Supported by a team from Jaguar’s Engineered To Order (ETO) division, the XKR-S GT recently completed a lap of the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in a remarkable 7 minutes and 40 seconds. This supercar-rivalling achievement makes the new XKR-S GT the fastest ever road-legal Jaguar at the Nordschleife track.

The XKR-S GT more recently made its public dynamic debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed. With six-time Olympic Champion Sir Chris Hoy behind the wheel, and flanked by the show-stopping Project 7 design study, XFR-S super saloon and XJR flagship Jaguar model, the XKR-S GT made a big impact on sports car fans at the UK’s most high-profile annual automotive event.
Jaguar XKR-S GT: Technical and performance highlights

Powered by Jaguar’s proven 550PS, 680Nm supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine – driving through a six-speed transmission and active electronic differential – the XKR-S GT reaches 60mph in 3.9 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 186mph.

Evolved from the successful XKR-S coupe, the XKR-S GT features bespoke aerodynamic components and suspension developments to increase downforce and optimise high-speed cornering ability. Through the addition of aerodynamic aids including a carbon-fibre front splitter, dive planes, extended wheelarch spats, an elevated rear wing, rear diffuser and an aluminium valance, the XKR-S GT achieves maximum downforce of 145kg.

Its carbon ceramic brake system – a first for a production Jaguar – features 398mm and 380mm discs front/rear gripped respectively by six- and four-piston monoblock calipers. The XKR-S GT uses a new development of front and rear suspension that includes a wider front track, increased camber, revised bushings, a new steering system and faster steering ratio, all developed upon learning gained from Jaguar’s new F-TYPE two-seater sports car.

Height-adjustable and bespoke adaptive dampers feature a race-derived twin spring system and increased rates of 68% at the front and 25% at the rear.

Subaru agrees to bring more BRZ models to the uk to meet demand

  • Subaru UK negotiates larger annual allocation of rear-wheel drive sports car
  • Buyers can take delivery of new models in two to six weeks
  • Approved BRZ performance and styling upgrades to be announced soon

Subaru UK has secured an increased supply of the Subaru BRZ for the British market, enabling it to better meet the strong demand for the rear-wheel drive sports car.  The news coincides with confirmation that a number of Subaru UK-approved BRZ performance, handling and styling modifications, courtesy of Pro-R, will soon be unveiled for the UK market.  The new parts will be available in the coming months through Subaru’s UK dealer network.

The BRZ was launched in spring 2012, though limited initial supply meant that high levels of demand from British buyers couldn't be met.  The continued popularity of the model has enabled Subaru UK to secure a larger annual allocation of the BRZ from the brand’s Gunma factory in Ota-city, Japan.

With a greater number of cars being brought into the country, in most cases buyers will be able to take delivery of a new BRZ within two to six weeks of placing an order, depending on final spec and colour choice.

Paul Tunnicliffe, Managing Director of Subaru UK, commented: “The BRZ has been a sales success for us, but we've always struggled to match demand with supply.  We're hoping that our larger allocation will address this, and we're confident that a greater number of car-loving buyers will now be able to appreciate the BRZ’s blend of light weight, usable power and fine handling characteristics.”

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Morgan launches two very limited edition specials

Morgan has introduced Brooklands racing circuit-inspired V6 Roadster and a 3 Wheeler, each limited to a production run of 50 cars. The new special editions celebrate the ancestry of British racing cars and their styling and come in a number of special colour combinations and satin finishes.

brooklands-edition-morgans-001Roadster is available in Jaguar Brooklands Green, and is contrasted by a Speed Silver Satin hood and radiator grille with silver window frames. A black stitched leather interior will be set off by a special Brooklands steering wheel, light silver gauge bezels, a sculpted box cover and more space for the pedals. The Roadster costs £40,000.
The 3 Wheeler also comes in Jaguar Brooklands Green, but a polished body with extra rivets will also be offered as a cost option. Each car includes a limited edition numbered dash plaque, an array of cost options, a Brooklands centenary book, and an annual membership to the Brooklands trust.
Roadster Standard Specification (from £40,000+VAT ex-factory)
  • Jaguar ‘Brooklands’ green Body
  • Speed Silver Satin Bonnet and Cowl
  • Standard side screens A posts and cowl (silver) (see options list for NEW black)
  • Muirhead black leather (Matching stitch ) with perforated centresBrooklands steering wheel
  • Silver light pod surrounds
  • Black Alloy Wheels
  • Aero Racing Green front splitter
  • Enamelled Union Jack badge on bonnet
  • Black stonegaurd
  • Louvred back panel (+8 style)
  • Black hood
  • Black Bonnet Strap
  • New Performance Sports seats
  • Body colour (green) dash board
  • Black Rubber floor matts
  • ‘Brooklands racing circuit’ vinyl limited edition graphic on back
  • Limited edition numbered plaque on dashboard
  • NEW sculpted gearbox cover
  • NEW more pedal space
  • NEW gear lever position
  • Twin anti tramp bars
  • Adjustable gas dampers all round
  • Round mirrors
  • Brooklands centenary Book
  • Annual membership to the Brooklands trust
Optional Cost Extras (Prices + VAT)
  • Polished aluminium bonnets and cowl £950.00
  • ‘Black pack’ (glass house trims and head light surrounds) £120.00
  • 4x Alloys with silver accents £1200.00
  • 4x Stainless wires £1900.00
  • As above, including spare wheel £2475.00
  • 4x black ‘Sport’ wires £1500.00
  • As above, including spare wheel £1975.00
  • Sports exhaust (Aftermarket) £1116.15
3 Wheeler Standard Specification (Price £TBC. Sept 2013 Launch)
  • Jaguar ‘Brooklands’ green Body
  • Polished cowl
  • Brooklands steering wheel
  • NEW Brooklands exhaust (after market) in polished finish
  • Black bonnet strap
  • Enamelled Union Jack badge on bonnet
  • Black Tonneau cover
  • Black pleated leather
  • Polished engine
  • Black Roll hoops, lamps, and details etc)
  • Black leather
  • Black Rubber floor matts
  • ‘Brooklands racing circuit’ vinyl limited edition graphic
  • ‘Brooklands racing circuit’ embossed graphic on dashboard leather
  • Brooklands centenary Book
  • Annual membership to the Brooklands trust
Optional Cost Extras (Price £TBC. Sept 2013 Launch)
  • NEW fully Polished body with extra rivets
  • Intercom system
  • Heated seats
  • TOAD immobiliser
  • Leather storage pockets