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, 30 May 2014

Jaguar Land Rover does it again - MASSIVE profits, income and huge increase in sales.

  • Retails 434,311, up 16%  
  • Revenues £19.4bn
  • Profit before tax £2,501m
Today, Tata Motors Limited reported the 2013/14 fiscal year results for Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc.
Commenting on the results, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ralf Speth said: "2013/14 has proven to be a solid year for Jaguar Land Rover, based on the demand around the world for our engaging products including the Range Rover Sport and F-TYPE Coupe.
"Together, these activities have driven a solid financial performance for the Company which continues to deliver on its strategic growth plans. These plans will see us invest in 50 new product actions over the next five years supported by our nurturing parent Tata Motors".

VW reveals 503PS Worthersee GTi Concept roadster.

Volkswagen is turning the virtual world into reality this weekend, as it presents the GTI Roadster concept at the famous Woerthersee GTI meeting in Austria. 
The GTI Roadster was originally created as a purely electronic car, to feature in the Sony PlayStation® 3 classic, Gran Turismo 6 (GT6).  The result of cooperation between Volkswagen and Sony Computer Entertainment, the GTI Roadster is the work of three young Volkswagen designers, winners of an in-house competition to design a vehicle to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Gran Turismo game.
Unconstrained by the constraints of production models – for example feasibility and price – designers Malte Hammerbeck, Domen Rucigaj and Guillermo Mignot came up with a winning design that was selected by Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design for the Volkswagen Brand, and Kazunori Yamauchi of Sony Computer Entertainment, the creator of the Gran Turismo series.

The virtual car was unveiled on 26 May, and just days later, Volkswagen is presenting it made real, at the annual gathering of GTI fans on the shores of Woerthersee, which runs from 18-31 May.
The GTI Roadster draws on last year’s Woerthersee car, the Design Vision GTI, but with an even more extreme design.  Its 2,494 mm wheelbase is 137 mm shorter than that of the production Golf GTI, and also shorter than the wheelbase of the Design Vision GTI.  The GTI Roadster’s minimal height (1,090 mm) and extreme width (1,894 mm) versus its overall length (4,158 mm) help create jaw-dropping proportions.
Power for the two-seat GTI Roadster comes from a 3.0-litre V6 biturbo TSI engine that produces 503 PS, and maximum torque of 560 Nm between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm.  Some 500 Nm of torque is available from just 2,000 rpm.  Power is delivered via a seven-speed DSG gearbox and 4MOTION four-wheel drive, helping to propel the 1,420 kg GTI Roadster from zero to 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds, and on to a top speed of 190 mph.  Stopping power is suitably prodigious, thanks to ceramic brakes that nestle behind 8.5 J x 20-inch wheels with 235/35 tyres at the front and 9.5 J x 20-inch wheels with 275/30 tyres at the rear.
The exterior of the car is painted a new colour, called Gran Turismo Red, which is designed to make the GTI Roadster look fast, even when it is standing still.  The interior features black- and anthracite-coloured sections, contrasted by classic GTI red on the stitching and also on the five-point safety harnesses.
While there are no plans for production, players of GT6 will be able to download the virtual GTI Roadster from mid-June.

Amarok concept débuts at Worthersee, but don't expect to see one, on the high street !

  • One-off Amarok Power features 5,000-watt sound system
  • Ultimate portable DJ station developed by Volkswagen for Wörthersee festival
  • Unique finishes and materials inside and out
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is set to be one of the loudest attractions at the Wörthersee GTI festival after unveiling a unique Amarok Power concept. The one-off model incorporates a power-packed 5,000-watt sound system that’s guaranteed to get visitors to the annual tuning festival rocking.
The Amarok Power showcases the pick-up’s remarkable practicality, integrating not only the sound system, but also deck space for the DJ. The kit has been designed to be fully portable, and can be set up and packed away by a single person.

In keeping with the hard rock image, the Amarok Power features a host of special finishes and materials, including special Dynamic Grey metallic paint, complete with micro glass flakes that help intensify the shine.  Wing mirror covers and mighty 22-inch alloys are painted in Gunmetal, while orange-painted brake calipers and decals further enhance the Amarok Power’s unique appearance. Additional exterior styling highlights include bi-xenon headlights with chrome inserts and chrome-plated twin tail pipes.
Inside, the Amarok Power continues the exclusive feel, with black and orange Nappa leather, a black Alcantara steering wheel, bucket seats and door trim and special carbon leather trim on other panels. Completing the interior makeover are special laser-etched seat fabric graphics.
The load bed of the Amarok houses one of the loudest portable sound systems ever built. The centrepiece of the DJ equipment is an Allen & Heath Xone:92, with
Pioneer CDJ900NXS units used as input devices. Sound output comes via two VOID ACOUSTICS Impulse 3t speakers – designed specifically for Volkswagen’s acclaimed pick-up. A similarly adapted VOID ACOUSTICS Stasys Xair subwoofer ensures that the Amarok Power can accurately reproduce exceptionally high frequencies with no distortion.
The VOID ACOUSTICS mycro 6-loudspeakers used as monitors have been integrated into dedicated functional sound boxes while the VOID ACOUSTICS loudspeakers are driven by amplifiers from MC². All of the individual components have been designed in such a way that when assembled they perfectly fill the cargo bed of the Amarok.
The Wörthersee festival takes place on the banks of Lake Wörthersee in Austria, and runs from 30-31 May 2014.

Jaguar retains, for third year, JD Power/What Car Best Automotive Brand 2014.

  • Jaguar named Best Brand in What Car? / J.D. Power survey for a third year in a row
  • Jaguar XF placed in top 10 models to own in UK car market 
  • Luxurious interiors, styling and powerful engines in Jaguar cars all rated highly by customers  
Jaguar is the number one automotive brand in the UK, according to the 2014 What Car? / J.D. Power survey*.  The result means Jaguar has now retained the title of Best Brand in this influential survey for a remarkable three years in a row.
The survey considered the opinions of over 15,000 UK car owners, who rated 109 car models from 27 brands. Jim Holder, What Car? Editor-in-Chief, said: “It is great to see Jaguar rated so highly by customers in the company’s home market. The XF is Jaguar’s best-selling model and it is easy to see why - customers gave excellent ratings across styling, comfort and reliability”. 

Jaguar’s Best Brand accolade was attained due to the marque’s high ratings for styling, comfort, reliability, insurance costs and dealer facilities. The Jaguar XF finished 10th in the survey, and was one of the most highly rated cars in the executive class. The XF has won numerous international awards since its launch, with sales increasing each year with the introduction of new body styles, powertrains and trim levels.
Jeremy Hicks, Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director, said: "I am extremely proud of the design, engineering and manufacturing teams at Jaguar, for producing a range of cars that our customers adore. And I am delighted that the Jaguar UK dealer network consistently delivers a service to our customers that means owning a Jaguar is as enjoyable as it is to drive one.
“For Jaguar to be placed at the top of the What Car? / J.D. Power survey results for the third year in a row is a huge honour. With a number of exciting new product launches in our plans, we look forward to bringing the Jaguar ownership experience to a whole range of new customers."

BTCC introduces UK first mandatory breath testing on each day of race weekend.

In a UK first the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship has introduced mandatory breath-testing, on every day at every BTCC event, to ensure that all competing drivers and senior championship officials are free from the effects of any alcohol in their system.
Whilst BTCC drivers and officials are highly unlikely to risk their safety and those around them by consuming alcohol immediately prior to or during a race weekend, even moderate drinking the night before an event may leave some residual alcohol in a person’s system, impairing both their safety and performance.
As any amount of alcohol in the blood stream can affect a person’s ability to drive and make decisions, a strict ‘zero tolerance’ limit will now be imposed by organisers TOCA to ensure the maximum levels of safety are maintained at all times. Any drivers or officials who fail the zero tolerance test will not be allowed to participate until such time as they pass the test.

Just as importantly, TOCA believes that the testing of drivers and officials will also raise public awareness of the dangers of ‘morning after drink driving’, which is often committed unintentionally after an evening of moderate drinking. In the last ten years the occurrence of ‘morning after drink driving’ road accidents has risen from 13% to 21% of all drink drive accidents. 
Commencing at the next BTCC event at Oulton Park on the 7/8 June, mandatory testing of all drivers and championship officials will be performed using specialised and calibrated AlcoSense breathalysers. This will take place on the Saturday and Sunday mornings of every event.
BTCC Series Director Alan Gow said: “As the UK’s premier motor racing series the BTCC should continue to set benchmarks and this is another important step we can take. Whilst random breath-testing does happen on occasion at various motor sport events, the BTCC is the first championship to mandate the zero-tolerance limit and back this up with compulsory testing each day at each event. All our drivers and officials have endorsed this zero-limit initiative as it delivers such an important road-safety message to the public in a high-profile way.
“This was a bit of a personal crusade for me, as I have long thought that the sport does not carry out enough alcohol testing. When I happened to mention this to Hunter Abbott of AlcoSense he immediately agreed to provide TOCA with the specialist equipment and training for us to make it happen – so I appreciate the commitment by AlcoSense to become the BTCC’s Official Alcohol Testing Partner.
“It’s difficult to calculate when alcohol has cleared your system as everyone is different - but in the last ten years the occurrence of ‘morning after drink driving’ road accidents has risen from 13% to 21%. Education is key and by pioneering this mandatory testing we believe the BTCC will raise more awareness of the dangers and help keep its drivers, officials and fans, safe - not only at the circuit but on the road.”

MG continues to try to temp British buyers, NOW with price cuts and 5 year packages.

  • 5 years complete peace of mind with MG’s Spring 2014 MG6 tactical campaign; ‘High 5’
  • 5 years free servicing, 5 years free warranty, 5 year AA cover, 5 year fuel subsidy and 5 year 5% APR finance offer
  • Revised pricing on all MG6 specifications; now available from just £15,455 to £19,995
  • Affordable product range with MG3 available for under £10,000 and MG6 available for under £20,000
  • 0% APR now available on MG3
MG has announced a five-part after sales campaign offering complete customer peace of mind, as well as a pricing restructure for MG6 models, which sees the multiple award winning saloon become even more affordable, as all specifications are now available for under £20,000.

Voted by customers as the winner of Best Handling and sixth overall Best Car to Own in the 2014 Auto Express Driver Power Awards, the MG6 is already a favourite with MG owners for its drivability, affordability and exceptionally high levels of equipment included as standard. Now the MG6 is even more appealing as all specifications are available from just £15,455 to £19,995, and with the current ‘High 5’ offer, MG6 customers can buy and drive away with complete peace of mind:
1.      Five years free servicing up to 75,000 miles

2.      Five years free warranty
3.      Five years breakdown cover with the AA
4.      Five years fuel subsidy in the form of £500 worth of fuel vouchers
5.      Five year low finance of just five per cent APR

The current roadgoing MG6 bridges the gap between sports performance and every day practicality. McPherson strut suspension, sports chassis, crosshatch grille, sporty alloy wheels and enhanced traction control are included as standard, as is class-leading interior space, a huge 498 litre boot and a What Car? award winning drive away locking system, Thatcham category one alarm with immobiliser and perimeter detection. The MG6 also benefits from the lowest insurance group in its class, ranging from just 13E to 15E, depending on variant.
Furthering the commitment to great value, without compromise, all MG6 variants feature outstanding levels of equipment as standard; the MG6 S trim line features sports seats, 17” alloy wheels, electronic air conditioning (petrol variants) or dual zone climate control (diesel variants), front and rear electric windows, hill hold control, eight-speaker stereo CD+AM/FM tuner with MP3 compatibility and USB port. The SE trim level adds cruise control, 6.5” satellite navigation with 27 nation coverage and lifetime TMC traffic avoidance and tyre pressure monitoring. The recently reduced, top of the range TSE also features leather seats, an upgrade to 18” ‘straight’ design alloy wheels, auto dipping review mirror, automatic headlights, automatic rain sensing wipers, Bluetooth, brake disc wiping, front parking sensors, rear parking sensors and rear parking camera.

The MG6’s high levels of equipment, value for money and recent pricing restructure now mirrors that of its smaller stablemate, the MG3, which is available for under £10,000 (from £8,399 to £9,999). The MG3 boasts an ultra low insurance group of 4E and strong residuals of up to 61 per cent, as well as class leading levels of equipment, interior and boot space as standard. There are over one million personalisation options available, which can all be viewed on the online configurator www.mg.co.uk/mg3/configurator.

The recently introduced variable rate PCP finance packages for MG3 start from zero per cent APR, and complement the existing money saving offers, which include from just £99 a month or with zero per cent deposit deals on all specifications.
MG6 Finance Offer
As part of the High5 offer, MG6 is supported by 60 month conditional purchase finance at 5% APR. Representative examples are shown. This offer allows any MG6 (except BTCC Edition) to be offered with a comprehensive five year care package, at a fixed cost per month.
picFive years of 5% APR available on all MG6 specifications until 30th June 2014
New pricing structure for MG6
MG6 GT TCi-TECH Petrol S£15,445
MG6 GT TCi-TECH Petrol SE£16,955
MG6 GT TCi-TECH Petrol TSE£18,955
MG6 Magnette TCi-TECH Petrol TSE£18,955(previously £19,995)
MG6 DTi- TECH Diesel S£16,955
MG6 DTi- TECH Diesel SE£18,195
MG6 DTi- TECH Diesel TSE£19,995(previously £20,195)
MG6 Magnette DTi-TECH Diesel TSE£19,995(previously £21,195)
MG6 BTCC Edition£16,995
MG6 for business users
MG6 GT and MG6 MAGNETTE are now available from just £199* (excl. VAT) for business customers- currently available under the scheme, along with used MG6 VAT qualifying cars up to a year old and with a maximum of 10,000 recorded miles. These rates are supported by ALD Automotive, Europe’s second largest contract hire provider, which manages more than 900,000 vehicles worldwide.
MG6 in the British Touring Car Champioship (BTCC)
Designed, engineered and finally assembled at MG’s historic home in Longbridge, Birmingham, the award winning MG6 continues MG’s prestigious racing heritage. MG has always been synonymous with sporting drive and style, something that continues to this day, as this season, a third MG6 will join the BTCC circuit, driven by Marc Hynes for the British Government owned ‘Make Britain Great’ team. In 2013, the MG KX MOMENTUM team came third in the 2013 British Touring Car Championship, with more pole positions than any other team and achieved front row lock outs in 50 per cent of races last season. MG driver, Jason Plato received a total of 380 points, a mere 10 points less than Gordon Sheddon (Honda) who came second, and only 17 points less than Andrew Jordon (Pirtek) who came first. Jason's team mate, Sam Tordoff, came sixth overall with 286 points, which is an excellent result for his first year in the championship. 
MG3 3TIME- AVAILBLE with 0% APR PCP over 36 months
MG3 3FORM- AVAILABLE with 2.9% APR PCP over 36 months
MG3 3Form
- AVAILABLE with 6.9% APR PCP over 36 months
MG3 3STYLE- AVAILABLE with 6.9% APR PCP over 36 months
MG3 3STLE LUX- AVAILABLE with 6.9% APR PCP over 36 months
e.g. 3TIME 0%APR

Ducati announces the brand new Monster 821

  • Brand new Monster 821 powered by 112hp water-cooled 821cc Testastretta 11°
  • Available also in Dark version, Monster 821 ready for delivery July 2014
  • First images of the iconic new naked model underline Ducati’s Bologna roots
Ducati announces the brand new Monster 821, a mid-size entry for the third generation of the iconic naked model and the latest chapter in the Bologna-built motorcycle’s famous story. Underlining Ducati’s strong association to the Bologna region, the company has chosen to release the first images of the new model portrayed in typical Bolognese ambience.
Following the successful unveiling of the new generation Monster 1200 at the Milan International Motorcycle show in November, Ducati now introduces the Monster 821, a mid-size version of the exciting new model and the latest entry to the world of Monster.
Having delivered over 290,000 Monsters since the original concept more than 20 years ago, the essential new model maintains its stylish character using the new chassis and muscular styling of the Monster 1200, designed with premium components fully integrated with Ducati’s latest technologies.
Powered by the latest edition of Ducati’s highly successful 821 Testastretta 11° engine, the highly accessible new Monster combines 112hp and 65.9ft-lb of torque with an impressively lightweight 179.5kg – 395.7lb (dry weight) overall package. This stylish mix of minimalism and performance paves the way back to the original essence of the Monster concept, where less-is-more and made-in-Italy combine to create a motorcycle lifestyle.
High-spec brakes, excellent suspension and stylish componentry merge with Ducati’s best-yet ergonomics to offer the Italian manufacturer’s most attractive mid-range Monster ever. Super comfortable and with an innovative adjustable seat height, the model also combines 8-level traction control, 3-level ABS and 3-level Ride-by-Wire into Ducati’s user-friendly, press-button Riding Modes.
The Monster 821 uses next generation technologies to create an enhanced rider/motorcycle relationship, delivering a high-adrenaline experience while constantly reassuring with the feeling of complete control and ergonomic integration.
Available in UK Ducati Dealerships from July 2014 onwards, the Monster 821 Dark is presented in dark stealth with black frame and black wheels with an SRP of £8,795, while the Monster 821 is dressed in Ducati red with red frame and black wheels or star white silk with red frame and matte red wheels with an SRP of £8995. Both red and white liveries are equipped with colour-matched single-seat covers. The brand new model is also made available to restricted license holders with the specially regulated power versions of 25kw for Switzerland and 35kw for other participating countries.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Chrysler relaunches Ypsilon - and how underwhelmed are we at that.

Details and pricing for the revised Chrysler Ypsilon range have just been announced by Fiat Group Automobiles UK.
The range features new entry and premium versions, additional equipment on the mid-range car, fresh colour choices, and new names that bring the UK series in line with the rest of Europe.
Powered by a choice of three economical, low emission engines – 1.2-litre 69 hp petrol, 1.3-litre MultiJet 95 hp diesel, and 0.9-litre 85 hp petrol – the range now comes in three trim levels, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
And with a starting price of just £9,895 OTR for the 1.2 Silver, the new Ypsilon, which is available in the UK from today (23 May), represents outstanding value for money.

Ypsilon Silver, which replaces the S version, is comparably equipped but includes internal and external styling changes, new seat design and detail finishes. The exterior is further enhanced by a refreshed colour range which includes three new colours: Marble Grey, Khaki Grey, and Sapphire Blue.
Linked to the paint colour is a choice of internal and external finishes to items such as front grille, door mirror covers, hub cap centres and dashboard panel – all of which are available in either gloss black or matt dark grey. Added to this, the final accent colour is also selectable between Coconut, Watermelon or Lime, dependant on the body-colour.
The new Ypsilon Gold version is a direct replacement for the outgoing SE, and is identical in both equipment (including 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, leather-wrapped steering wheel and power door mirrors) and look – with the addition of Blue&Me as standard equipment. This allows the driver to connect an external music device and stay legal and safe with built-in Bluetooth technology for telephone calls on the move.
At the top of the range, the new Platinum version takes Ypsilon back to its origins as a luxury small car.  Packed with unprecedented standard equipment, the Platinum’s features include 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, rear power windows, cruise control, part leather seats and Magic Parking, which helps the driver park in tight spaces.
“Ypsilon has always been, and will remain, an important car in the Chrysler line-up,” says Damien Dally, head of brand, Chrysler UK. “We know it is up against some tough competition and that is why we have refreshed the range to make it even more competitive. We are confident that we are offering an attractive package, with excellent technology and equipment, at exceptional value-for-money prices.”
Pricing (OTR) for the new Chrysler Ypsilon is as follows:
1.2 Silver           £9,895.00
1.2 Gold            £10,995.00
0.9 TwinAir Gold  £12,195.00
1.3 M-Jet Gold   £13,195.00
0.9 TwinAir Auto Gold   £13,395.00
1.2 Platinum £12,495.00
0.9 TwinAir Platinum£13,695.00
1.3 M-Jet Platinum   £14,695.00
0.9 TwinAir Auto Platinum£14,895.00