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, 9 August 2013

New Kia Concept for Frankfurt

Playful but gutsy, sturdy yet impish – Kia’s dramatic new European concept to be unveiled at the IAA in Frankfurt on 10 September hints at a possible future B-segment contender ready to take on the urban environment with style and tenacity.

Accepting any challenge that the assured modern motorist may throw at it, this concept car combines a mischievous character in a clearly robust and substantial yet stylish body shape featuring a mix of contrasting materials in compact, purposeful dimensions.

Born out of Kia’s determination to seek new compact-car options for the individualistic and demanding driver for whom size is an issue, the concept features intriguing elements not always associated with smaller cars and has been created in Europe with European tastes and expectations very much in mind.

Although there are no current plans for production the vehicle’s unveiling in Frankfurt will be used to gauge potential customer response for future showroom models.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Another high performance engine added to Vauxhall range

  • New high-performance 1.6 direct-injection turbo engine with up to 300Nm torque
  • Full-size convertible with 146mph top speed
  • Order books open in October with first deliveries in January 2014

With 200PS, 300Nm torque and a top speed of 146mph, a high-performance version of the new 1.6 SIDI turbo engine is to make its world premiere in a Vauxhall Cascada at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

The engine is one of the newly-designed Vauxhall four-cylinder SIDI (Spark Ignition Direct Injection) units. It joins the existing 170PS 1.6 SIDI turbo fitted to the Cascada from its launch earlier this year.

“The completely new, even more powerful 1.6 SIDI turbo with 200PS debuting at Frankfurt makes our mid-size Cascada an extremely attractive offer to convertible buyers,” said Martin Vögler, Global Chief Engineer MGE Engines. “The new top-of-the-line petrol engine expands the Cascada powertrain portfolio with a high-output and torque champion, now putting two very powerful engines at the top of our petrol and diesel ranges – the SIDI turbo with 200PS and 300Nm torque as well as the BiTurbo CDTI with 195PS and 400Nm.”

More torque, more power

The new 200PS 1.6-litre SIDI turbo not only delivers 11 per cent more power, but also 300Nm maximum torque with overboost – 70Nm more than the comparable 1.6-litre turbo predecessor, an increase of 30 per cent. At the same time, the new engine with a power output per litre of 125PS is top-in-class in its competitive segment. With this the Cascada reaches a top speed of 146mph.

At the heart of the SIDI turbo is a new engine block that can withstand a maximum combustion pressure of up to 130 bar in the cylinder. The block is made of grey cast iron with an aluminium baseplate. In contrast to the 170PS version, a different type of piston was developed for the 200PS model and the compression ratio was reduced from 10.5 to 9.5:1. Vauxhall engineers also achieved a high power output with exceptional refinement by optimising the car’s induction and exhaust systems. As a result, drivers and passengers will appreciate quiet and smooth idling, with an appealing sound quality even at high road speeds, engine speeds and loads. The exclusive HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) front suspension further enhances these refined driving characteristics.

The new 1.6 SIDI turbo with 200PS completes the Cascada engine portfolio, with three petrol powertrains. It joins the 1.4 turbo 140PS as well as the 170PS 1.6-litre petrol direct injection unit. On the diesel side, the 2.0-litre turbo diesel with 165PS and the 195PS 2.0 BiTurbo CDTI are available.

The 200PS petrol direct injection unit is part of Vauxhall’s model and powertrain offensive. Within five years, the manufacturer will introduce 23 new models to the market.

Through 2016 Vauxhall will also introduce three completely new engine families and 13 new powertrains, renewing 80 per cent of its entire powertrain portfolio. The new 1.6 SIDI turbo downsized engines are distinguished by high power density as well as superb refinement combined with low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. At the same time, numerous ultra-modern manual and automatic transmissions are being introduced.

The Cascada 1.6 SIDI turbo with 200PS and six-speed manual transmission can be ordered from October.

Nissan's LEAF added to growing list of cars on the motability scheme

  • 100% electric UK-built LEAF joins Motability Scheme
  • Available from just £999 Advance Payment
  • Free 16Amp Home Charging Unit installation by British Gas
The new Nissan LEAF has become the first 100% electric vehicle to join the Motability Scheme, allowing the scheme’s 620,000 current users the opportunity to explore zero emission motoring.*

The new UK-built LEAF is now available from just £999 Advance Payment (AP). For £1,299 AP customers can upgrade to the Acenta model featuring Nissan’s CARWINGS telematics system as well as useful features such as auto lights and wipers, cruise control and a colour reversing camera. At the top of the range, Tekna grade adds BOSE audio, 360° Around View Monitor and leather heated seats and is available for £1,999 AP.

Whichever LEAF model customers ultimately choose, they can look forward to waving goodbye to petrol stations and saying hello to instantaneous power delivery and a peaceful driving experience. A full charge on the LEAF gives up to 124 miles range and costs from around £2 (depending upon time of day and tariff) meaning that over a distance of 10,000 miles drivers can expect to save around £1,000 that would otherwise have been spent on the forecourt.

What’s more, British Gas is currently offering a 16Amp data-enabled Home Charging Unit (HCU) which will charge LEAF from empty to full in 8 hours.

Having been designed as a purpose-built electric vehicle from the ground up, the neat packaging of its lithium-ion batteries means there is no compromise on boot space; in fact, with 370 litres on Visia and Acenta grades it has more luggage space than a Ford Focus.

Nissan cars are a popular choice on the Motability Scheme with a range well suited to a variety of mobility needs. The introduction of the new LEAF brings something fresh and innovative to the scheme’s existing customers, combining the practicality of a normal medium hatchback with running costs that are a fraction of the price of a petrol or diesel car of its size.
The Motability Scheme is directed and overseen by Motability, a national charity, and enables those people receiving the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance or War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement to lease a vehicle through the scheme.

As a Motability Premier Partner, each of Nissan’s 200 plus dealerships has a minimum of two trained Motability sales and aftersales specialists who will use their Motability Scheme experience with Juke, Micra, Note, NV200 Combi, Qashqai and Qashqai+2 to discuss options with interested customers.

Jon Pollock, Nissan GB sales director said: “We’re proud that the Nissan LEAF has delivered another first ahead of its rivals to become the first 100% electric car on the Motability Scheme. With a starting Advance Payment of just £999 and Motability Scheme specialists at each of our dealerships, getting behind the wheel of an electric vehicle and enjoying low running costs has never been easier.”

Q30 Concept signals Infiniti’s next step in its portfolio expansion

  • Q30 Concept signals Infiniti’s next step in its portfolio expansion into new premium segments

Infiniti will stage the world premiere of its Q30 Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

The Infiniti Q30 Concept signals the contemporary design vision for a compact Infiniti vehicle which will target a new generation of premium customers.

Set to be unveiled at Infiniti’s press conference, scheduled for 10:15 am CET on September 10 in Frankfurt, the Q30 Concept is the next step in Infiniti’s foray into new premium segments. It embodies Infiniti’s vision to deliver head-turning design, innovative materials with precise fit and finish and passionate craftsmanship.

“This Infiniti Q30 Concept is a prelude to the product portfolio expansion which underpins our aggressive global growth strategy,” said Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti Motor Company, Ltd.  “In our quest to appeal to the modern, young-minded premium customer, the Infiniti Q30 Concept has a distinctive style and reaches new levels of product quality.”

It represents the latest evolution of the Infiniti design philosophy introduced with the Infiniti Q50 which had its world premiere at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. Like the Q50, the Infiniti Q30 Concept also incorporates dramatic design cues from the visionary Infiniti concept trilogy – Essence, Etherea and Emerg-e.

Infiniti envisions provoking a radical shift in the premium compact segment. The adventurous design and graceful athleticism of Q30 Concept inspire greater expectations of what is possible beyond the designs dominant in the market today.

“Q30 Concept is slender, sleek and seductive,” said Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director. “When you see speedy big cats, like cheetahs, they have a slenderness and a lightweight stride. It’s almost like they’re floating.  That’s the muscularity we were aiming for with Q30 Concept.”

Infiniti’s forthcoming compact premium entry will be the first Infiniti model Sebastian Vettel, Infiniti’s Director of Performance, will influence from its inception.  The three-time Formula One world champion from Infiniti Red Bull Racing, who was actively involved in honing the driving dynamics of the Infiniti Q50, is engaging with Infiniti’s technical teams around the world as part of a commitment to infuse the brand with race-bred performance.

Lotus to employ more staff after major investment by parent company

Iconic British car manufacturer Lotus has announced that it is to create more than 100 new jobs, including a new intake to its revamped graduate programme.
The firm will recruit 45 specialist engineers and 40 manufacturing operatives, along with 18 graduates.
Lotus’ recruitment drive follows a £100 million investment by owners DRB-HICOM, enabling the company to strengthen its engineering, productivity, efficiency and quality.
Both the engineering specialists and graduates will work on the development of new products within Lotus Engineering, one of the most renowned automotive engineering facilities in the world.
Lotus has created the new positions in response to increased global demand for its sports cars and an anticipated rise in interest in its engineering consultancy services.  The firm is also focusing on growing into new global markets as currently around 90% of all Lotus vehicles are exported.
Lotus, which recently unveiled its latest model, the Exige S Roadster, employs more than 1,100 staff across the UK with its headquarters based in Hethel, Norfolk.
Mark Pym, Group Head of Human Resources at Lotus, said: “Lotus’ successes have always been built on our talented and dedicated workforce and as we embark on a period of strengthening, it’s crucial that we grow our workforce to support this.”
“It’s a positive sign for both the UK car industry and Lotus that we are able to recruit such a high number of both experienced specialists and graduates, who will take their first steps on an exciting and rewarding career path.”
Aslam Farikullah, Chief Operating Officer at Lotus, said: “It’s been a period of substantial change at Lotus and we are now in a strong position to expand our work on future products and to increase production in our manufacturing facilities.  We want Lotus to be at the forefront of the global automotive industry and for us to remain competitive, we will introduce more exciting products – there has never been a better time to be part of the future of Lotus.”
Lotus is accepting applications now.  For more information and to apply, please visit www.lotuscars.com.  Please note that all applications will only be accepted through the website and that Lotus will not accept speculative CVs.

Built to celebrate five million Porsche fans on Facebook

  • Built to celebrate five million Porsche fans on Facebook
  • Bespoke specification was chosen following an on-line competition
  • 911 Carrera 4S is painted in distinctive Aqua Blue with contrasting white wheels
  • Competition on Facebook offers chance to win a drive of this unique car at Silverstone
  • "5 million reasons to celebrate!" – it was this slogan that got sports car enthusiasts on the worldwide web revved up to design a unique Porsche 911.

The Stuttgart sports car manufacturer launched the special social media campaign to show its appreciation for the five million ‘Likes’ it has received from fans on-line. Porsche is now running a follow-up global competition on its Facebook page (facebook.com/porsche) until 18 August for the chance to win a drive in a special one-off 911 at the Porsche Experience Centre, Silverstone. Nine scale models of the vehicle will also be available to runners-up.

As part of the of the 50th anniversary celebrations for the Porsche 911, 54,000 social media users voted for their ideal specification of the new car. Working in conjunction with Porsche Exclusive, the custom-tailoring and personalisation department at the factory, the vehicle was painted in the unique metallic colour Aqua Blue and equipped with 20-inch Carrera S wheels with a special white finish.

The unique model also features the Aerokit Cup package, consisting of a front apron with additional front spoiler lip and a new rear engine cover with fixed spoiler. The purposeful exterior styling hints at the added performance provided by the Powerkit fitted to the 3.8-litre flat six engine. This lifts output from 400 hp to 430 hp and enables acceleration from 0 to 62 mph in 4.0 seconds. The Powerkit includes the Sport Chrono package with dynamic engine mounts and a sports exhaust system.

Graphic motifs specially developed for this 911 model with the wording ‘5M Porsche Fans’ along with custom door entry guards inscribed with ‘Personally built by 5 Million Porsche Fans’ identify this car as a genuine original. It will soon be possible for all Porsche enthusiasts to experience this 911 – which is right-hand drive – on the driving courses offered at the Porsche Experience Centre.

The runners-up in second place through to tenth place in the competition will receive a 1:43 scale model of the 911 Carrera 4S ‘5M Porsche Fans’. The competition is open to anyone with a Facebook account and a valid driver's licence. For more information about the competition and the unique model, along with the terms and conditions of participation, visit porsche.com/5million and porsche.com/exclusive.

Renault launches ‘Vive Le Summer’ promotion, including hot deals and giveaways

  • Renault launches ‘Vive Le Summer’ promotion, including hot deals and giveaways
  • Every new Renault model released or refreshed in 2013 available for new 63-plate registrations in September, including: Captur, Clio (plus GT-Line and Renaultsport 200 Turbo EDC), ZOE, Scénic range including XMOD
  • In readiness for the rush on new 63-plate registrations next month, Renault has launched its latest promotion, ‘Vive Le Summer’.

Running from this month until the 22nd September, every customer who takes a test drive in any new Renault model will win something in the giveaway. The range of designer summer-themed prizes includes everything from White Company picnic baskets, Lacoste sunglasses, to travel speakers. On certain dates, iPad minis will also be on offer to Renault purchasers.

Selected models are also available with tempting cash-saving deals and promotions, including VAT off all Méganes and Scénics, and free insurance on selected Clio versions and Twingo Dynamique.

The campaign will be heavily promoted using a TV ad for the new Captur crossover, as well as a nod to the latest two others to join the French marque’s trio of fresh-faced small cars, Clio and ZOE. A heavyweight Press and digital campaign will naturally support the initiative over the same timeframe.

Superstitious motorists who might have swerved the previous 13-registration plate will be spoilt for choice at the range of new Renault models on offer. Ranging from the cheeky Twingo, right up to spacious family favourites such as Mégane and Scénic, to the power-packed Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo EDC and the four-strong range of electric vehicles, it has a model to suit most budgets and requirements.

Renault’s best-selling model, Clio, is likely to be a huge draw. Inspired by the stunning DeZir concept supercar, its svelte and curvy exterior lines blend with a high-tech and upmarket interior. The high-selling supermini is also available with plenty of innovative touches.

R-Link multimedia system, climate control and heated front seats. Customers can also customise their car with a range of interior and exterior Touch Packs and stylish roof decals.

Powering each model is a range of impressive downsized engines, ranging from the punchy but frugal petrol 1.2 16V 75, 0.9-litre TCe 90 and 1.2 TCe 120 with EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) transmission, to the refined diesel 1.5-litre dCi 90.
In addition to the standard range itself, two sportier models are also set to appeal to showroom visitors – the exciting new GT-Line and Renaultsport 200 Turbo EDC versions of Clio. Like its bigger brother, the former boasts turbocharged power, and a hefty amount of road presence, as well as an upmarket interior. The hotly-tipped Clio GT-Line is the first Renault to feature the all-new direct-injection turbocharged 1.2 TCe 120 engine, and is competitively priced at £17,395 on-the-road.

Its more potent sibling, 200 Turbo EDC, hardly needs any introduction.  Recently launched in the UK, the latest version of the iconic hot hatch sports a chic, five-door body with a six-speed Efficient Dual Clutch (EDC) gearbox. In true F1-style, gear changes can even be made using the aluminium gearshift paddles on the steering column, and the driving experience altered courtesy of its three driving modes: Normal, Sport and Race. Reassuring any potential doubters that the latest version of the iconic Clio Renaultsport might be any less focused on road or track than before, it can still be specified with a Cup Chassis. It’s also got two mouth-watering functions up its sleeve – Launch Control and the world’s first sub-supercar multi-change down function. Versatile, yes, but still every inch a Renaultsport. Prices start at £18,995.

Newcomer Captur also hit the showroom just one month ago boasting the expressive style and driving position of a SUV, with the practicality of an MPV and the handling and driving pleasure of a hatchback. Personalisation is at the core of its appeal, with three Collections, Arizona, Manhattan and Miami. Each of them matches the adventurous spirit and personality of its official UK ambassador Steve Backshall, the well-known children’s author and explorer. Prices start from only £12,495 on-the-road.

Renault also continues to lead the way with its four-strong, 100 per cent electric vehicle line-up. The range flagship, ZOE, is a stylish, affordable and incredibly versatile supermini – it is priced the same as a diesel-engined alternative, from under £14,000, and expertly designed from the ground up as a plug-in car. It even includes a free 7kW domestic wallbox, giving full battery charge in three to four hours, supplied and installed by British Gas. Alternatively, unlike several other electric cars, it can be fast charged in one hour (22kW), or rapid charged to 80% charge in only 30 minutes (43kW).

The facelifted Scénic range, including the seven-seater Grand Scénic, now comes with the company’s new design identity, as seen on each of Renault’s latest arrivals: Twingo, Clio, Captur and ZOE. The new crossover-inspired version, XMOD, is a more rugged variant of the French brand’s iconic MPV, yet retains its trademark practicality and ease-of-use. With unique wheels and striking front and rear bumpers, and black roof bars, it certainly stands out – especially when priced the same as the equivalent standard Scénic, in spite of its enhanced looks and higher equipment level, including Grip Xtend Control, from £17,955.

On top of the sizzling deals, all cars qualify for Renault’s 4+ included package, worth £1,000, giving free four years/100,000 miles warranty, routine servicing and roadside assistance. See www.renault.co.uk/summer for more information.

Dacia is getting ready for the '63' plate with frivolity less models

  • Dacia’s full UK ‘smart-buy’ range available to order now on new 63-plate
  • Introduction of UK’s “most affordable” estate, Logan MCV, brings “shockingly affordable” range up to four models

Europe’s fastest-growing car brand, Dacia, has attracted hordes of savvy car buyers in the UK with more than 11,000 orders already. And that’s mostly for the first two models in its line-up, the Duster SUV and Sandero supermini. The third car, Sandero Stepway, is gaining fast too, so the arrival of the all-new Logan MCV five-seat estate just in time for the new 63-plate on 1st September is the icing on the proverbial cake.

As its catchy TV ad says, Dacia doesn’t do frivolity. With every model being the most affordable in its class, combined with a high level of quality and unrivalled space, the cars almost sell themselves.

Prices in the Dacia range start at just £5,995 for the surprisingly spacious Sandero supermini, which was recently hailed the UK’s least depreciating new car by leading residual value provider, CAP.

Next up is the newly launched crossover, Sandero Stepway, which combines SUV style and increased ground clearance for when the going gets a little tougher, with supermini prices, starting at £7,995.

The five-seat Logan MCV (Maximum Capacity Vehicle), priced from an eye-catching £6,995, is the most affordable new estate in the country by £4,000. Although it’s based on the Sandero supermini, it offers unrivalled bootspace for the cash. In fact, it’s so capacious, with 573 litres with the rear seats in place (or 1,518 with them folded), it offers comparable room to that in well-known antique dealer favourite, the Volvo V70. There’s also ample interior space for five adults and a range of state-of-the-art petrol and diesel engines. Those looking to splash out, can even add leather upholstery or the intuitive seven-inch MediaNav touchscreen multimedia system.

Completing the range is the “shockingly affordable” flagship Duster which has already made a big name for itself after cleaning-up at the carbuyer.co.uk, Top Gear, FHM, Towcar and Scottish Car of the Year awards ceremonies.

Every model in the UK’s “most affordable SUV” range offers impressive value-for-money, with prices starting from only £8,995. The four-wheel-drive versions cost only £2,100 more for all-weather, go-anywhere ability. As Top Gear said, “no car in the world offers more freedom for your quid than the Dacia Duster”.

Dacia, the “smart buy” offshoot of Renault, has made an enemy of the unnecessary and makes a simple range of cleverly designed, high quality vehicles. Its jaw-dropping prices are clear and straightforward,

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Jaguar Land Rover aims to sell 100,000 units in China this year !

Jaguar Land Rover, a unit of India's biggest truck and bus maker Tata Motors , aims to sell 100,000 cars in China this year, its Chief Executive Ralf Speth told reporters on Wednesday.

Earlier on Wednesday, Tata Motors posted a 23 percent fall in quarterly profit as higher sales of its luxury Jaguar Land Rover vehicles failed to offset sagging sales at home.

Tata Motors, part of the $100 billion Tata group, said consolidated net profit for the quarter ended in June was 17.26 billion rupees ($281 million), compared with 22.45 billion rupees a year ago.


Can they do it, well, yes I think that they will be able to achieve that, in 2012 Jaguar sold a total of 7451 for the year in the China region, so far this year for the first six months of the year they have already beaten that figure by over 500 sales, so a figure of between 18,000 to 20,000 cars is achievable with the latest engines and upgrades and the new F-Type will add significant numbers to this.

On the other hand Land Rover sold a total of 65,896 for the full year in 2012, and thus far 34,222 have been sold, and again they have the new Range Rover, the new Sport, as well as the Discovery 4, Freelander 2 and the super successful Evoque or Aurora as it is known in China, so sales for the SUV brand will no doubt be in the 80,000 range, so yes, it is totally feasible for Jaguar Land Rover to achieve the landmark 100,000 sales, and with the building of the factory to build cars for local sale the 100k mark is definitely achievable, and I would not be surprised to see this figure beaten, significantly!

2012 China Region full calendar year retails:
Jaguar: 7451
Land Rover: 65,896

2013 China Region calendar year to June retails:

Jaguar: 7932
Land Rover: 34222

Jaguar Land Rover announces great first quarter results

  • Strong First Quarter Performance
  • Retails 94,719, up 10%  
  • Revenues £4,097m, up 13%
  • Profit before tax £415m, up 25%
  • Strong demand for the Jaguar and Land Rover range, including the new F-TYPE and all-new Range Rover
Jaguar Land Rover Automotive plc has today reported revenues of £4,097m for the first quarter of the 2013/2014 fiscal year, up 13% on the same period last year. (£3,638m in Q1 2012/2013).
Retail sales increased 10% year on year to 94,719 vehicles, reflecting strong demand for all Jaguar and Land Rover product offerings. The company generated positive sales growth in all regions: Asia Pacific up 37%, the UK up 13%, China up 11%, North America up 10%, Europe up 3%, and other overseas markets up 11%.
Profit before tax increased year on year by 25% to £415m for the quarter (£333m last year).
Commenting on the results, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ralf Speth said: "The result for the first quarter demonstrates that our full range of new and upgraded products is exciting our customers.

“Our focus is to put our customers at the very heart of everything we do. With our appealing British led design and innovative engineering, we remain committed to exceeding customer experiences in all areas of our business”.

At long last Vauxhall is starting to update it's aging engine range

  • New 115PS 1.0-litre turbo raises bar for three-cylinder refinement
  • First in new family of small-displacement direct injection petrol engines
  • Higher torque than 1.6-litre engine
  • Cylinder head-integrated exhaust manifold
  • Teamed with new six-speed gearbox
  • 30 per cent lighter than predecessor

Vauxhall unveils an all-new high-tech 1.0-litre three–cylinder petrol engine at next month’s Frankfurt International Motor Show, ahead of its debut in the ADAM city car next year.

The 1.0-litre turbo petrol, known as SGE (small gasoline engine), represents a new benchmark for refinement in three-cylinder engines, with noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics superior to many four cylinder units.

Developing 115PS, the pocket powerhouse delivers generous low-end torque of 166Nm all the way from 1,800 to 4,700rpm, belying its small size.

The 1.0-litre spark ignition direct injection (SIDI) turbo generates more torque throughout its operating range than equally powerful, higher displacement engines, while fuel efficiency is improved by 20 per cent compared with the current 1.6-litre naturally aspirated unit that powers the Astra.

Set to appear first in the stylish ADAM next year with an all-new six-speed gearbox, the 12-valve, 1.0-litre turbo is the first in a new, modular family of three and four-cylinder Vauxhall petrol engines up to 1.6-litres.

State-of-the-art technologies such as direct injection, continuously variable valve timing, and a lightweight aluminium cylinder-block, are key to the engine’s efficiency. Vauxhall expects the new engine family to deliver impressive fuel economy and CO2 emissions significantly lower than 100g/km.

“In developing this small engine, we not only set out minimise fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. We also wanted to demonstrate that three cylinders can be just as refined as four or more,” said Dr. Matthias Alt, Chief Engineer, Small Gasoline Engines. “We tackled at source the balance, noise and vibration issues typical of conventional three-cylinder engines, and we’re confident customers will be pleasantly surprised by the results. This is a very lively and refined three-cylinder engine which doesn’t compromise driving fun.”

Engineered for class-leading acoustics

Vauxhall engineers started with a clean sheet of paper, which enabled a series of measures to eliminate the typical, ‘off-beat’ running characteristics which have traditionally accompanied three-cylinder engines.

The die-cast aluminium cylinder block is designed to reduce radiated and structure-borne engine noise, as well as reduce weight. The high-pressure fuel rail and injectors are also isolated from the cylinder head to minimise the transmission of pulsing, while the fuel pump and fuel line are acoustically treated.

Another major contributor to refinement is the installation of a balancer shaft in the oil sump. Driven by a chain with inverted teeth for quiet running, the counter-rotating shaft spins at crankshaft speed and is carefully mass-optimized to offset the inherent vibrations from a three cylinder operation.

Other noise attenuation measures include: acoustically-optimized covers for the top and front of the engine, the intake manifold and camshaft housings; crankshaft isolation with iron main bearing inserts; inverted teeth for camshaft drive chains; a low-hiss turbo compressor; and a lower oil pan in steel.

As a result of these engineering features, the new 1.0 SIDI Turbo is not only more refined than other three-cylinder engines, but also quieter than many four-cylinder units. For example, in bench testing at full throttle, it emits lower noise levels across all engine speeds than similarly powerful gasoline turbos up to 1.6-litres displacement.  Its inherent refinement is so good, that the need for additional in-car sound insulation, or complex engine mountings and sub-frames, is significantly reduced.

Strong power and torque

The 1.0 SIDI Turbo also packs a punch, generating more torque than Vauxhall’s current 1.6-litre, naturally-aspirated engine, as well as the same 115PS maximum power output.

Jewel-like precision engineering is used in the integration of the exhaust manifold inside the aluminium cylinder head, which is bolted directly to the low-inertia, water-cooled turbocharger. This compact installation contributes to the delivery of a fast boost charge for strong, low-end power. Maximum torque of 166Nm from just 1,800 rpm is almost 30 per cent higher than the 1.6-litre engine generates at the same rpm.

The six-hole fuel injectors are centrally located above each piston to provide efficient combustion, and dual cam-phasing enables variable valve timing for optimum engine breathing. A twin displacement oil pump and a switchable water pump, which is disengaged when the engine coolant is cold in order to accelerate warm-up, also contribute to low fuel consumption.

All-new, weight-saving six-speed gearbox

The 1.0 SIDI Turbo is mated to an all-new, six-speed manual gearbox specially designed for medium torque applications. With a dry weight of only 37kg, it is about 30 per cent lighter than its current counterpart. It is also extremely compact, measuring just 375mm along its axis.

Featuring superior shift quality, with a short lever travel and low shifting effort, the new transmission incorporates many of the refinements recently introduced on Vauxhall’s next-generation gearboxes. These include gears with wide, asymmetrically-cut dog teeth, and triple-cone synchronizers for first/second gear, with double cones for third/fourth. Reverse gear is also synchronized.

The new gearbox will be used in a broad range of small and sub-compact Vauxhall vehicles with engines rated at up to 220Nm torque. For optimum powertrain efficiency in each application, the matrix of gearing choices comprises 12 sets of gear ratios and seven final drives.

Next step in Vauxhall’s powertrain renewal program

The launch of the 1.0-litre SIDI Turbo and its new six-speed gearbox is the latest step in the renewal of Vauxhall’s powertrain portfolio, which will see three new engine families and 13 new engines introduced between 2012 and 2016, plus a host of new transmissions.

The program began with the launch of the first engines in new mid-size petrol and diesel families. These 1.6-litre turbo units are now joined by the 1.0-litre turbo, as the first example of new, small displacement engine family. All will be built at GM’s new Szentgotthard plant in Hungary, where petrol and diesel engines are produced on a shared assembly line.

New generation Vauxhall power plants are focused on meeting a growing customer demand for ‘downsized’ engines which are able to deliver reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, in combination with the power and refinement typical of larger displacement engines.

Chevy at Frankfurt, one special edition and loads of safety additions

  • Spark Bubble special edition available in select markets
  • Safety enhancements include radar-assisted Blind Zone Alert, Advanced parking Aid
  • Chevrolet expands its offer of MyLink connected radios

Chevrolet will be showcasing a host of new convenience and safety enhancements to its line-up at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Among the design highlights is the new Spark Bubble edition, which will induce even more customers to become fans of Chevrolet’s most popular model in Europe.

"We constantly strive to give our customers great value for their money," said Dr. Thomas Sedran, President and Managing Director, Chevrolet Europe. "This year, we are adding the new Chevrolet MyLink connected radios, more safety and comfort features as well as new engines with lower emissions, such as the 1.7L diesel with 99 g of CO2 per 100 km in the Chevrolet Cruze saloon," Sedran added. ** Approval required **

Spark Bubble edition delivers more convenience and great looks

In select European markets, customers can order the new Spark Bubble, a special edition of the popular city car. It carries a sporty bumper, side rocker moldings, 15-inch white painted alloy wheels as well as frisky white or pink-colored Bubble decals on the front fenders. The center console and inserts have been styled to match the cheerful color pattern on the exterior. The seats are made of leatherette.

Moreover, Chevrolet's most successful European model will provide improved safety, thanks to standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC), and meet Euro5+ emission criteria.

Inside, the instrument cluster and trims have been restyled. A new radio with Bluetooth connectivity is standard on most trim levels. The interior also features a CD player as well as USB and aux-in jacks. For audio streaming and hands-free calling, steering wheel controls can be used.

Chevrolet Aveo receives rearview camera

Customers who intend to buy an Aveo with the Chevrolet MyLink connected radio can look forward to using a standard rearview camera. The device is connected to the radio's seven-inch high resolution touch screen and makes maneuvering in and out of tight parking spaces safer and more comfortable.

The LTZ trim of the Chevrolet Aveo will have stylish LED turn signals mounted in the outside mirrors.

Cruze gets more powertrain options and new safety feature

Starting this autumn, a choice of four petrol engines will be available on all body styles of the Cruze –  a naturally aspirated 1.4L (100 hp/75 kW), a 1.4L turbo (140 hp/103 kW), a 1.6L (124 hp/91 kW) and a 1.8L (141 hp/104 kW) engine. The diesel line-up, currently consisting of a 1.7L (130 hp/ 96kW) and a 2.0L (163 hp/120 kW) unit, will be complemented by a 110 hp (81 kW) variant of the1.7L diesel. The latter has the smallest carbon footprint – just 99 g of CO2 per 100 km – of all engines offered on the Cruze.

On the LTZ trim of the Cruze family, Chevrolet is introducing Side Bind Zone Alert, a safety feature spots approaching vehicles in the side blind zone by means of radar. In potentially hazardous situations, the driver is alerted through an amber display that lights up in the left or right side mirror. The display will flash if the driver attempts to activate a turn signal while an object is present in the side blind zone. The outside rearview mirrors will sport integrated LED turn signals.

Chevrolet Orlando boasts Advanced Parking Aid

With the new model year, Orlando will be available with Side Blind Spot Alert. The system has ultrasonic sensors that detect approaching vehicles in the blind spot and warns the driver through an illuminated icon in the outside rearview mirrors.

In addition, the Orlando will make parking in cities more convenient, thanks to the Advanced Parking Aid functionality offered on higher trim levels. The driving aid identifies suitable parallel parking slots at low speeds and gives the driver instructions on how to steer the vehicle.

Seamless smartphone integration will be possible with the new, icon-based Chevrolet MyLink connected radio with its seven-inch high-resolution full-color touch screen. The new radio will be standard, and depending on the trim level, the package may include a rearview camera and an integrated navigation system.

Passengers in the rear seats, meanwhile, will appreciate the second row seat heating that is available on select trim levels.

Changes to the exterior include LED turn signals in the outside rearview mirrors as well as new 16-inch wheel covers and 17 and 18-inch alloy wheels. Under the hood, the Orlando is now available with a proven 1.4L turbocharged petrol engine which can be matched with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Trax now available with FWD variant of 1.4L Turbo engine

The turbocharged petrol variant (1.4L) of Chevrolet's small SUV, the Trax, will become available with a front-wheel-drive layout as of this autumn. When matched to a six-speed manual transmission, this variant of the Trax is capable of zero to 62 mph in 9.5 seconds. Fuel consumption on a combined cycle is 47.1mpg with Stop/Start, which translates into 139 g of CO2 per km.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is the world's fourth largest car brand with annual sales of almost 5 million cars and trucks in more than 140 countries. Chevrolet provides customers with vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, high quality and Chevrolet MyLink intelligent connectivity. The UK Chevrolet line-up includes the Spark, Aveo, Cruze Saloon, Hatchback and Station Wagon, Orlando, Captiva, the legendary Camaro and Corvette sports cars and the extended-range Volt electric car. In 2013, Chevrolet is launching the all-new Trax small SUV and the all-new Corvette Stingray.

Honda set to wow the Frankfurt crowds with exciting display

Honda’s new British built Civic Tourer will be making its first public appearance at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show alongside the refreshed Civic hatchback. In addition to these two debuts, Honda will showcase a selection of modern and historic racing machines alongside its ultimate sportscar, the NSX Concept, highlighting Honda’s racing DNA and sporty heritage.

Civic Tourer & Refreshed Civic hatchback
Developed and designed in Europe, the new Civic Tourer features a sleek and sophisticated exterior combined with class leading interior space. This new model will be built at Honda’s UK manufacturing factory in Swindon alongside the Civic hatchback variant, Jazz and CR-V and is set to be launched in early 2014.

Alongside this new addition to the Civic family, Honda is further strengthening the Civic range with a refreshed hatchback model. The Civic will feature exterior and interior design refinements and will also be displayed for the first time at Frankfurt Motor Show.

Honda NSX Concept II
This concept, first shown in Europe at the Geneva Motor Show earlier in the year, suggests a potential direction for the next-generation NSX’s interior design. The NSX will act as the halo of the Earth Dreams Technology series, embodying Honda’s philosophy of balancing dynamic performance with environmental efficiency.

McLaren Honda MP4/4 Heritage F1 Car
Powered by a 1500cc V6 twin-turbo engine, this iconic machine dominated the 1988 F1 series, winning 15 of 16 GPs. It set the record for the number of GP wins in a season and won both the Constructor's and Driver's championships. Honda will return to F1 in 2015 under a joint project with McLaren.

Honda WTCC Car
Honda is competing in the 2013 FIA World Touring Car Championship with drivers Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro and Honda will be displaying the 2013 car at Frankfurt 2013. The Civic WTCC car utilises the HR412E engine, a completely bespoke 1.6 litre 4 cylinder direct injection turbo-charged petrol engine, fully conforming to FIA regulations for the WTCC.

Honda will also display the RC213V Race Motorcycle that is currently running in the Moto GP for the Repsol Honda team, further demonstrating Honda’s passion and pedigree in the world of Motorsport.

3rd Generation MINI to be launched on Issigonis' 107th Birthday

A new era of driving excitement, in-car-infotainment and premium quality in the small car segment is drawing ever closer. The new MINI will be unveiled on 18 November 2013, 107 years to the day since the birth of the man who started an automobile revolution, Sir Alec Issigonis. MINI Plant Oxford will host the world premiere, with a party in London that same evening.

The new MINI will also have its exhibition premiere in front of international audiences that same week, with an almost simultaneous unveiling in Los Angeles and Tokyo. On 20 November 2013, the limelight will shine on the new star of the premium small car segment, first at the Tokyo Motor Show, Japan, followed just hours later by the Los Angeles Motor Show in California, USA. The new MINI will go on sale in the first quarter of 2014.

Born in Great Britain, built in the best tradition.

Just like its predecessor, the new MINI will be produced in Oxford. The start of production and the world premiere will mark additional highlights in a jubilee year for the MINI Plant, where automobiles have been built for more than 100 years at the historic Oxford location.

The world premiere will pay tribute to MINI’s origins and the creator of the original icon. With the introduction of the Mini in 1959, Alec Issigonis revolutionised the automobile industry. A transversely mounted engine, front wheel drive, wheels set in all four corners and an advanced undercarriage not only delivered unparalleled cabin space for passengers and luggage on a small footprint, but also exceptional driving agility.

The concepts Issigonis introduced in the Mini became the foundation for many generations of small and compact cars. In their most modern form, those principals will continue to live on in the new MINI. Completely new engines and chassis technologies, MINI Connected innovations and refined premium quality will make it the new benchmark for driving enjoyment in its class.

2nd Generation Hyundai i10 to give better levels of comfort and style

  • Comfort and safety equipment from segment above with best-in-class space
  • Dynamic exterior and interior styling matched to refined driving experience
  • Designed, developed and built in Europe, for European consumers

Hyundai Motor Europe has released the first picture of New Generation i10, the company’s completely-new European A-segment car.  Appearing five years after its predecessor went on sale, New Generation i10 demonstrates significant progress for Hyundai in the segment, possessing abilities and features typically only found in higher segments.  Generous levels of equipment, space and functionality, coupled with sophisticated design, refined ride qualities and a quiet cabin, set new levels of ‘true value’ for Hyundai.

Buyers of New Generation i10 will be offered the highest levels of comfort and safety equipment, with many features more common to segments above.  Available equipment such as automatic climate control, heated leather steering wheel and cruise control with speed limiter provide bigger-car comfort, while safety features include standard-fitment stability control and front curtain airbags.

Longer (+80mm), wider (+65mm) and lower (-50mm) than its predecessor, New Generation i10 provides best-in-class legroom and cargo capacity.  Front and rear passengers benefit from combined legroom of 1,890mm, while boot capacity has been boosted by more than 10% to 252 litres with all seats in place.

New Generation i10 is based on an all-new platform featuring a 5mm-longer wheelbase and relocated rear dampers that deliver more precise wheel control over all types of road surface.  To take full advantage of its enhanced dimensions, New Generation i10 has also been carefully tuned to deliver refined driving dynamics and low noise levels, for an experience close to the standard of B-segment cars.

The European Hyundai design team, led by Chief Designer Thomas Bürkle, has created a dynamic shape using fluidic sculpture, Hyundai Motor Company’s design philosophy, to emphasise the new car’s athletic proportions and generous external dimensions. The refined exterior is mirrored by a stylish interior that features high-quality materials on key surfaces.

Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe, commented: “New Generation i10 is another significant step forward for Hyundai Motor.  Every aspect of the car has been designed and rigorously developed to meet the demands and needs of European consumers.  New Generation i10 fully embodies Hyundai’s ‘true value’ proposition, bringing higher levels of features and functionality than many buyers would expect to find in a vehicle of this segment.”

As with 95% of Hyundai cars sold in Europe, New Generation i10 has been designed and developed at the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre in Rüsselsheim, Germany.  New Generation i10 will become the first A-segment Hyundai to also be built in the region.
Set to enter production in September, New Generation i10 will be made at Hyundai’s factory in Ízmit, Turkey.  The annual capacity of the plant, which already produces the B-segment New i20 model, is rising to 200,000 cars, following a multi-million Euro investment in infrastructure in the region.  Once New Generation i10 goes on sale across Europe, 90% of Hyundai cars sold in Europe will be built in the region.

More information will be released ahead of New Generation i10’s debut at the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) in Frankfurt in September.

Baby Jag spied at the Nurburgring

Less than a month before its expected world debut at the Frankfurt motor show, Jaguar's new entry-level sedan has been caught on video during testing at the Nurburgring - which is not surprising, as Jaguar Land Rover maintains a test and development workshop at the infamous 20km circuit in Germany's Eiffel mountains.
Based on JLR's mostly-aluminium Premium Lightweight Architecture and badged either as XS or XE (depending on who you talk to at Jaguar), the 3-Series and C-Class challenger is due in dealerships in the second half of 2015.
Expect to see two-litre turbodiesel versions of 120 and 147kW, a 176kW two-litre turbopetrol four, a 177kW three-litre V6 turbodiesel and, just maybe, a 250kW supercharged three-litre V6.
Yes please.
For the anoraks, the development mule in the video is wearing a much chopped-about XF body - which gives you some idea of the relative size of the new four-door Jag.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Daimler plans to build a new plant in Brazil

Daimler plans to build a new plant in Brazil as rising taxes on foreign vehicles make it more difficult to sell imported cars in the country, a magazine reported.

Daimler's Mercedes-Benz will begin assembling C-class cars in Brazil by 2015, with a starting capacity of about 20,000 vehicles a year, German weekly Der Spiegel reported, without saying where it got the information.

A Daimler spokesman said the company was considering such a move but had made no decision yet. "We are looking at Brazil, just like various other locations," he said.

Luxury carmakers are flocking to Brazil in an attempt to exploit growing demand. Brazil's government complicated their plans, though, with a drive to protect local jobs by increasing a tax on foreign-made cars last year.

BMW announced plans for a new assembly plant in Brazil last October and Audi will decide next year whether to start building cars in Brazil.

Setting up a new plant in Brazil would not be Daimler's first foray into the world's fourth-biggest auto market.

From 1999 until December 2010, Daimler built the Mercedes A class in its Juiz de Fora plant, making it the first luxury carmaker to produce vehicles in Brazil.

The automaker ceased car production at the plant in 2010 and refitted the site to make commercial trucks.

Der Spiegel said on Sunday that Daimler would decide in the coming months where in Brazil to build the new plant.

Read more: REPORT HERE

Renault wants to return to the key Iranian market

Renault wants to return to the key Iranian market as soon as the political situation eases but has little visibility when that will happen.
Renault was forced to halt shipments of knockdown kits to Iran on July 1 when the U.S. government extended economic sanctions over the country's nuclear program to the automobile sector.
Renault was one of the last large European companies still active in Iran and its withdrawal from the country is a blow for the automaker.

With a volume of 100,783 vehicles sold in the country last year, Iran was Renault's eighth-biggest global market by sales, above No.9 Italy where Renault sold 96,144 units and Spain where it sold 83,366 cars. The automaker had a 10 percent market share in Iran in 2012.
Renault builds the Logan and Megane in Iran with Tehran-based partners Iran Khodro and Paris Khodro.
A Renault spokesperson told Automotive News Europe that the automaker is waiting for the sanctions to be lifted or the political situation to change before it begins shipping CKDs to Iran again, but said the company has little visibility when that will be.
Production of Renault vehicles in Iran will wind down when the kits already shipped to the country run out in the coming weeks. The production infrastructure in Iran used to build Renault cars will remain in place indefinitely, the spokesperson said.
Renault was forced to write off the entire value of its Iran operations leading to a 512-million-euro ($680-million) charge against its second quarter earnings.
Renault's shipments of kits to Iran fell 48 percent to 28,082 units during the first half.

Read more: REPORT HERE

GM to sell PSA made commercial vehicles in the USA ?

General Motors may sell PSA Peugeot Citroen commercial vans in the United States under plans being discussed to expand the carmakers' operational alliance, a French newspaper reported.

GM, which is already developing small cars and minivans with Peugeot, would sell the Peugeot delivery vans under one of its own brands, the French online business newspaper La Tribune said today.
A spokesman for the Paris-based carmaker declined to comment on the report, which cited an unnamed Peugeot executive.
Peugeot and 7 percent shareholder GM have said they are exploring areas of further cooperation including possible development or production deals in Latin America and Russia.

Read more: REPORT HERE

Mitsubishi Motors in the UK has reduced the price of Shogun by up to £5,000

Mitsubishi Motors in the UK has reduced the price of Shogun by up to £5,000 making it an even more attractive proposition for those who need a practical and powerful off-roader that can tow 3.5 tonnes. The Shogun has built up a reputation for being tough, reliable, perfect for towing with a go-anywhere off-road capability; and has won countless awards too.

The permanent price change is attributed to MMUK’s determination to further increase sales volume during 2013 and beyond. So far this year Mitsubishi sales are up over 41% establishing MMUK as the fastest growing car brand of 2013.

Shogun is a highly capable on or off road vehicle. The LWB version has 7 seats making it a highly practical vehicle. It can also tow 3.5 tonnes.

Beneath Shogun’s bold, square-jawed styling sits a built-in frame, monocoque chassis, optimised All-Wheel Control system, and wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension which gives the Shogun its rounded, rugged ability.

Appealing to drivers who demand a vehicle that can tackle the toughest and most inhospitable of terrains yet deliver a thoroughly composed road drive, Shogun buyers can be sure that on top of being great off-road, the vehicle can meet the needs of families and business buyers. The Shogun is offered in either three-door five-seat or five-door seven seat guises in three comprehensively specified trim levels.

Mitsubishi also sell a commercial vehicle version of Shogun. This has become one of the most popular commercial off-roaders on the market. Available in a wide range of specifications and with a huge accessory range the Shogun Commercial can be perfectly tailored to suit both business and family life. Prices of this version have also been reduced.

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

“Shogun has always had a loyal following among customers wanting a rugged, well-equipped, sensibly priced full-sized 4x4 model and now with our announcement on pricing, Shogun is even more affordable. Shogun remains an extremely competitive and capable vehicle for those demanding its extraordinary capabilities.

Pricing now starts at just £26,199 for the short-wheelbase 3.2 DI-DC SG2 variant, with the top of the range long-wheelbase 3.2 DI-DC SG4 auto available at just £36,799.

TMW - Its that time of the month - July UK sales figures


JULY 2012 892 sales - JULY 2013 1155 sales +29.48%
YTD 2012 7999 sales - YTD 2013 9813 sales +22.68%


JULY 2012 3436 sales - JULY 2013 3459 sales +0.67%
YTD 2012 29511 sales - YTD 2013 33579 sales +13.78%



JULY 2012 7302 sales - JULY 2013 8390 sales +14.90%
YTD 2012 71816 sales - YTD 2013 73604 sales +2.49%


JULY 2012 6615 sales - JULY 2013 7673 sales +15.99%
YTD 2012 54405 sales - YTD 2013 62310 sales +14.53%


JULY 2012 578 sales - JULY 2013 692 sales +19.72%
YTD 2012 5329 sales - YTD 2013 4806 sales -9.81%


JULY 2012 9094 sales - JULY 2013 10761 sales +18.33%
YTD 2012 75099 sales - YTD 2013 84528 sales +12.56%


ABARTH +19.38%
CITROEN +13.69%
DACIA +100.00%
FIAT +16.56%
FORD +11.89%
HONDA +7.93%
HYUNDAI +9.25%
KIA +10.58%
LOTUS +23.23%
MAZDA +5.81%
MINI +3.41% 
NISSAN +13.75%
PEUGEOT +6.72%
RENAULT +1.05%
SEAT +19.04%
SKODA +15.45% 
SMART +8.23% 
SUZUKI +33.13%
TOYOTA +5.81%
VAUXHALL +12.60%


ALFA ROMEO -32.04%
BENTLEY -6.91%
CHRYSLER -23.52%
INFINITI -19.59%
JEEP -16.59%
MG -71.79%
PERODUA -39.34%
PORSCHE -0.19%
PROTON -91.38%
SAAB -98.50%
SUBARU -12.98%
VOLVO -1.34%

With a 13 point increase on the month (10 point on the year) the UK car sales are still bucking the Euro trend, and with nearly all car makers showing increases on the monthly sales (July) it was a great month, Ford had a huge increase in July with a near 40 point increase, the new Fiesta ST has had a big impact in the UK.

MG continues its "revival" with another month of poor sales, only 27 cars registered in the month, I wonder how many of those are dealer cars ?, it has the new MG3 from September, so hopefully from then we will see a concerted effort by MG UK to advertise the products, because without the advertising, they wont sell anything near what they should.

Out of the premium brands, Jaguar has the biggest point increases, due mainly to the new and stunning F-Type, I just hope that the recent post in this blog about the F-Type burning to nothing is just a blip and nothing to be really concerned about, because if there is some sort of issue with the car, and I am not saying that there is, the sales will just drop like a stone, and this car deserves to be a world beater.

Mitsubishi is the latest manufacturer to announce significant price cuts across the Shogun range, this along with Vauxhall and Nissan and the VAT reduction for MG and Suzuki, it is an aggressive time for dealers to tempt buyers and keep the sales flowing, and with the September plate change, there will be a lot of competition for those sales,

I have to mention once again DACIA, with 8,297 sales so far this year, and they only started in March, they have already taken 0.63% on the UK market, with the aggressive pricing and continued advertising, along with competent cars, it will continue, maybe MG should look at the corporate model for DACIA and take on board some of those techniques, because at the moment they are failing epically.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Au Revoir RenaultSport twingo 133, but not for long !

With a new Twingo being readied behind the scenes for launch next year, Renaultsport’s entry model is preparing to hang up its road and track boots. All is not lost just yet though. As, like little puppies chomping at the bit, six of the little wonders are currently in UK stock awaiting new loving homes. So, eager pocket rocket aficionados had better be quick off the line to secure one, before this country’s allocation runs out completely.

The halo model in the iconic Twingo range first launched to Brits back in July 2008, with a total of 1,203 Twingo Renaultsports having found cherished homes in the UK since.

Right from the get go, it didn’t take long to see that the Renaultsport arm’s crack performance team had worked their chassis and performance magic on the baby of the range. To stunning effect some might say, given the car’s humble city car origins.

Critically acclaimed from the outset, not just by the way it drove and handled, but also for its sporty looks and cheeky character, its departure, be it temporary or otherwise, is sure to be sorrowfully noted.

With its peppy, naturally-aspired 133hp 1.6-litre engine, revving to 6,750rpm at full tilt, and powering only 1050kg, its endeared itself to a whole host of admirers. Track or road, the Renaultsport 133 left smiles on the faces of everyone who got behind the wheel.

Its cute, but racy looks set the scene for a focused driving experience even before you got behind the chunky Renaultsport leather steering wheel. The flagship Twingo still bore a strong family resemblance, but with plenty of visual drama added into the mix. Among its bespoke touches were a unique tailpipe, plus beefed up bodywork, including extended side sills and wheel arches, and a rear spoiler. Striking 16- or 17-inch alloy wheels and an F1-inspired front blade completed the purposeful look.

Once inside, the performance theme continued with an array of sporty touches. Several of its highlights being the Renaultsport rev counter and front sports seats, plus brushed aluminium pedals. Hardcore trackdayers and gadget fans weren’t forgotten either, with the onboard telemetry system, Renaultsport Monitor, recently made available too.

Whichever version buyers opted for, be it the standard version with Sport chassis, the even more sought after Cup chassis versions, or exclusive Gordini or Silverstone GP limited editions, in any guise, it offered a bucketload of smiles. In fact, with a great foundation to work with, the road car even spawned successful rally versions, R1 and R2.
Entry into the hallowed realm of Renaultsport ownership world didn’t come too steeply either. The single run out version, simply Twingo Renaultsport 133, is priced at £13,955, excluding the optional Cup chassis, making it one of the simplest, but most effective and affordable ways to learn the delights of hot hatchery. Unsurprising then, that it was consistently hailed as the benchmark pocket hot hatch for the money, racking up multiple awards along the way, including Best Hot Hatch under £15,000 What Car? in 2010 and 2011.

Its hidden talents didn’t end there either. Belying its compact footprint, the top-of-the-range Twingo, like the standard range, was eminently practical. Top billing going to its individually sliding and folding rear seats. This meant that bootspace or rear legroom could both be juggled around at will, whether it was for a four-up trip with some mates to an adrenalin-fuelled track day at Spa, or a zen-scented romantic break with a loved one to a slightly more tranquil type of spa.

So, what’s in store for a future performance Twingo? Officially, there’s been no confirmation of a replacement sporty version of the eagerly-awaited new city car. However, speculation’s rife. Not least as Renault’s Chief Operating Officer, Carlos Tavares, only recently shook the streets of Monaco over the Grand Prix weekend in the jaw-dropping 320hp V6 mid-engined and rear-wheel-drive Twin’Run concept car. Style and powertrain-wise, its bigger brother, the Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo EDC has also recently ushered in a chic, five-door bodyshell, plus a downsized turbocharged TCe engine to deliver the same power as its preceding 2.0-litre. Whatever happens, one thing’s for sure, it will be sorely missed.

Jaguar F-Type burns to nothing - scary.

Jaguar F-Type Just Completely Melts in Belgian Fire

Jaguar did an awful lot of things very, very right with the new Jaguar F-Type. It looks fantastic, it sounds like the devil's own V8-powered…

Well, now we know what the "F" in Jaguar F-Type stands for: flambé. As if pretending to be an Italian exotic, one of Jaaaaaag's new sports cars burned spectacularly overnight in Belgium.P

Gazet Van Antwerpen reports that the fire happened last night in the city of Herentals. Details are scarce, but the newspaper says that the driver pulled off the highway when he noticed "a defect in the vehicle." When he exited the car, it caught fire and melted to the ground. It's not so pretty anymore. P

Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze, which the newspaper said "was ended without major consequences" because no one was injured. No consequences, except the loss of one of the most beautiful sports cars to come along in decades.

The exact cause of the fire was not reported. Let's hope this doesn't become a thing with F-Types, yeah?