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, 15 August 2014

SEAT Launches new Sub8 performance pack for LEON CUPRA 280

  • SEAT launches new ‘Sub8 Performance Pack’ for Leon CUPRA 280 at £2,025
  • Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres available too for £460 - £540 less than rival Renault charges for the same option
  • Also new and available to order on CUPRA 280: two coloured exterior packs - Black-Line and White-Line for £500, plus CUPRA bucket seats at £1,250
Fresh from its UK debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, SEAT has confirmed the price of the ‘Sub8 Performance Pack’ for its Leon CUPRA 280 flagship.
Fitted to the storming Leon CUPRA 280 which became the first front-wheel-drive car to dip under the elusive eight-minute Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time, the optional pack includes even more substantial brakes, specially-designed 19-inch alloy wheels in either black or orange and body-coloured side skirts for £2,025 including VAT.

Providing stopping power in keeping with the car’s potency, the brake discs, at 370mm, are 30mm larger than on the standard car and include Brembo four piston callipers.
The CUPRA 280’s VAQ electronically-controlled limited slip differential, already delivers impressive levels of grip. But, for those discerning owners seeking the ultimate, especially on track, semi-slick Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, which also featured on SEAT’s fastest production car to date, are available for £460. Notably, £540 less than those available on hot hatch rival Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy.
Striking, with a high-quality interior and impressive levels of equipment, the Leon CUPRA 280 is effectively two cars in one. One minute, it’s a docile, easy to live with coupé (SC), or practical five-door family car, capable of up to 44.1 mpg. The next, in CUPRA mode, it becomes a force to be reckoned with, hitting 62 mph from rest in just 5.7 seconds (DSG version).
Launch of CUPRA Black-Line and White-Line
As well as the eagerly-awaited Sub8 Performance Pack, SEAT also debuted its new CUPRA colour exterior packs at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Designed to add an extra dose of Latin flair to the already eye-catching lines of its Leon flagship, two shades will be available initially, labelled Black-Line and White-Line.
Costing £500 including VAT, the embellishments are available to order now, and include CUPRA 19-inch alloy wheels, door mirrors, CUPRA tailgate lettering and front grille surround all picked out in either hue, according to the chosen pack. Black rear side spoilers also feature, regardless of the pack colour. A further pack, Orange-Line, launches in SEAT dealers in December.
CUPRA bucket seats
Rounding off the array of option additions for the Leon CUPRA 280, is the arrival of figure-hugging CUPRA bucket seats. Sought-after by trackday aficionados in particular, the new front seats, priced at £1,250, feature a one-piece head restraint and come clad in black Alcantara with simil leather bolsters and white accents, with embossed CUPRA logo. The price also includes Winter Pack (heated front seats and headlight washer system with heated front washer nozzles).

Latest Volkswagen Touareg pricing and specs announced

Prices and specifications have been announced for the revised Volkswagen Touareg luxury SUV, which opens for orders on 27 August, ahead of first deliveries in November. 
Prices for the new Touareg start at £43,000 (RRP OTR), rising to £47,500.  Two engine choices are available – a 3.0-litre V6 TDI with 204 PS and a 3.0-litre V6 TDI with 262 PS (previously 245 PS).  Thanks to the introduction of a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system using AdBlue, low-rolling resistance tyres and a coasting function on the standard eight-speed automatic gearbox, both engines are complaint with Euro 6 emissions legislation.  The 204 PS engine now emits just 173 g/km of CO2, 11 g/km less than before, putting it in a lower VED band than before, and also making for a two per cent benefit in kind taxation reduction for company car drivers. 
On the outside, the new Touareg features revised bumpers and grilles, new alloy wheel designs, new colours and bi-xenon headlights as standard.  Inside, the front seats now come with standard lumbar support, and there are two new optional wood trims – ‘Sapelli Mahogany’ and ‘Engineered Ebony’, while the optional Nappa leather upholstery in the R-Line model is now available in two-tone Flint Grey and Titan Black.  An automatic post-collision braking system also becomes standard across the range.

Three trim levels are available.  The range starts with the SE, which features a comprehensive specification including 19-inch ‘Salvador’ alloy wheels; RNS 850 satellite navigation with eight-inch touchscreen, DAB digital radio and Bluetooth; 2Zone climate control; ‘Cricket’ leather upholstery’; bi-xenon headlights; front fog lights; parking sensors and chrome roof rails.
The Escape model features an advanced 4XMOTION off-road four-wheel drive system, with 50:50 torque split and centre and rear axle mechanical differential locks; higher off-road suspension; 18-inch ‘Karakum’ alloy wheels; 100-litre fuel tank (85 litres is standard on SE); underbody protection; black roof rails and a headlight cleaning system.
The top-of-the-range Touareg R-Line features an R-Line body kit with bespoke bumpers front and rear, sill extensions and wheel arch extensions; 20-inch ‘Tarragona’ alloy wheels; lowered sports suspension; LED daytime running lights and a panoramic glass sunroof.  Inside is a black roof lining; bespoke R-Line seats and aluminium-look pedals, while enhanced equipment includes a heated steering wheel; electrically operated tailgate and keyless entry and start.
TrimEngine/transmissionCombined mpgCO2 (g/km)Price (£), RRP OTR
SE3.0-litre 204 PS TDI 8-speed automatic42.817343,000
SE3.0-litre 262 PS TDI 8-speed automatic42.817444,500
Escape3.0-litre 262 PS TDI 8-speed automatic40.918044,700
R-Line3.0-litre 204 PS TDI 8-speed automatic42.817346,000
R-Line3.0-litre 262 PS TDI 8-speed automatic42.817447,500

Upgraded AUDI A7 Sportback improves on already impressive figures, shame it is still too expensive.

Upgraded specification and new V6 TDI ultra models add to the already obvious attractions of the executive class five-door Sportback
  • New A7 Sportback range now available to order in the UK priced from £45,875 OTR – first customer deliveries in late 2014
  • Simplified specification levels from SE Executive to S line and Black Edition
  • Enhanced S7 and RS 7 models also available priced at £63,375 OTR and £84,480 OTR
  • Styling revisions and LED headlights across the range, Matrix LED lights and indicators with sweeping function for S line and Black Edition, interior decor and infotainment improvements
  • Latest EU6-compliant engine range includes 3.0 TDI ultra capable of returning up to 60.1mpg with CO2output from 122g/km
  • New S tronic twin-clutch transmission replaces multitronic CVT in front-wheel-drive variants
  • S7 Sportback features power upgrade to 450PS and 4% CO2 reduction
A new range of Audi A7 Sportback models, including a 60mpg V6 TDI ultra, becomes available in the UK this week, further enriching the blend of grand tourer elegance and executive car versatility already offered by the acclaimed ‘five-door coupe’. Priced from £45,875 OTR, the latest, simplified A7 Sportback line-up combines enhanced EU6-compliant engines with styling revisions, new LED headlights and tail lights including ‘sweeping’ indicators, further improved interior decor and upgraded infotainment. The first examples are set to arrive with UK customers in the last quarter of 2014. 
First in line in the new order for the latest A7 Sportback is SE Executive specification, which replaces the Standard and SE options in the outgoing range. Highlights which elevate this comprehensive new trim level above its predecessors include all-weather LED headlights, sweeping rear indicators, 19-inch alloy wheels and deluxe four-zone automatic air conditioning. It also includes comforts such as heated and Milano leather-upholstered seats with electric adjustment, MMI navigation, Audi Music Interface, front and rear acoustic parking sensors and a powered tailgate, to name but a small proportion of the features.
S line specification is next in line, and is enhanced in the latest range by larger 20-inch alloy wheels (up from 19 inches), sweeping function indicators at the front and rear and Matrix LED headlights. Each of these advanced units features 25 separate LED bulbs which are individually dimmed when sensors detect oncoming or following traffic to automatically divert light around obstacles without the need to deactivate the high beam setting.

More S line options
In a new departure for the A7 Sportback range, the sports suspension that is included as part of the S line specification can be ‘deselected’ in favour of standard suspension at no extra cost if required, and for an even greater focus on comfort the wheel size in this version can be dropped down to 19-inch, also at no cost. Inside, in another break with tradition, the normally black S line colour scheme can also now be replaced by a new Lunar silver colour option.
At the upper end of the range, Black Edition, S7 Sportback and RS 7 Sportback models also of course benefit from all the relevant styling and equipment enhancements.
From launch, these improved specification levels will be available in combination with a choice of six powerful and highly efficient engines offering enhanced power outputs ranging from 218PS to 450PS, and complying with stringent EU6 emissions legislation.
A particular highlight in the new line-up will undoubtedly be the A7 Sportback ultra, the first in this new range of overtly efficiency focused models to combine frugality worthy of the ultra badge with six cylinder power. The heavily modified single-turbo 3.0-litre V6 is capable of returning an outstanding 60.1mpg, corresponding to CO2 emissions of 122 grams per kilometre, and a seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission newly developed specifically for front-wheel-drive applications helps to maximise its 400Nm peak torque output and delivers keener response than the multitronic CVT transmission used by its closest predecessor. In the TDI ultra the 0-62mph sprint takes just 7.3 seconds on the way to a top speed of 149mph.
The 218PS V6 TDI engine is also available in the new range in conjunction with quattro permanent all-wheel-drive and seven-speed S tronic transmission, a configuration that is shared by the 272PS single-turbo V6 which slots in above it in the range. In the top TDI tier, the mighty 320PS twin turbo BiTDI channels its 650Nm via the eight-speed tiptronic automatic. As an alternative to diesel power, a supercharged six-cylinder petrol unit delivering 333PS and linked to the seven-speed S tronic transmission and quattro all-wheel-drive is also available.
30PS more for S7 Sportback
V8 twin-turbo petrol power is reserved for the new S7 Sportback and RS 7 Sportback models, the latter set to open for order next month ready for first deliveries in the first quarter of 2015. The S7 Sportback now benefits from a 30PS power upgrade to 450PS while the RS 7 Sportback uses its 560PS output to deliver a remarkable sub-four-second 0-62mph sprint time. The S7 Sportback uses the seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch and the RS 7 Sportback the eight-speed tiptronic, and the units in both cars employ Cylinder-on-Demand technology to make the most of every tank of fuel. The new S7 Sportback shows a slight improvement in economy despite its power boost, returning up to 30.4mpg according to the official combined cycle test, and benefits from a 4% or 10g/km reduction in CO2 output to 215g/km. In the RS 7 Sportback, engine revisions have also brought slight improvements to CO2 output and economy, which now stand at 221g/km and 29.7mpg (according to the combined cycle test).
All versions of the new A7 Sportback are available with the added cushioning comfort of four-mode adaptive air suspension, and quattro versions can also be equipped with the sport differential for precise torque distribution between the rear wheels for even greater control and adjustability. The standard adaptive air suspension set-up in the S7 Sportback features S specific tuning, while RS 7 Sportback models feature RS adaptive air suspension, but can be equipped at extra cost with conventionally sprung RS sports suspension plus incorporating the Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) damping system. Both versions naturally benefit from quattro all-wheel-drive, and both also feature the sport differential as standard.
At surface level, the most striking changes aside from the new light units are to the single frame grille, which adopts the latest hexagonal design, to the bumpers, which have been subtly resculpted, and to the tailpipes, which now have wider, trapezoidal apertures.
In the stylishly finished and characteristically high quality interior,  the ambiance is further enhanced in the latest range by new interior materials, new inlays and new colour options for the trim elements and seat coverings. In S line versions, which were previously finished exclusively in black, the Lunar silver colour scheme which is newly available in conjunction with this specification also extends to the upholstery.
The MMI radio plus operating system with DAB digital radio is standard and can be supplemented as an option with a head-up display that projects all important information onto the windscreen. It now works with the latest generation of the Audi modular infotainment system built around the Multi Media Interface.  The top system uses a powerful new graphics processor from Nvidia and includes MMI touch, enabling the driver to scroll and zoom in lists and maps via a touchpad.
LTE high-speed data transmission
The highest specification MMI Navigation plus system with its powerful hard disc-based mapping can be supplemented by Audi connect, which in the new A7 Sportback now links the five-door coupe with the Internet via the latest LTE high-speed data transmission standard for ultra-fast 4G click-through and download functionality. The Audi phone box option is also now available – it enables occupants to connect their mobile phones to the car’s antenna for improved reception simply by placing them in the phone box compartment. The top of the hi-fi line is the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System.
As before, numerous state-of-the-art assistance systems are also available to make driving safer and easier. Further improvements have been made to the night vision and active lane assist systems in particular, the latter now featuring new active lane centring technology.
Audi A7 Sportback is inbound – UK pricing has just been confirmed for the new Audi A7 Sportback range, featuring styling enhancements, new lighting technology, new engines and transmissions and upgraded infotainment systems. 
The new Audi A7 Sportback UK OTR pricing
SE Executive
3.0 TDI ultra218PS7 speed S tronic£45,875.00
3.0 TDI quattro218PS7 speed S tronic£47,630.00
3.0 TDI quattro272PS7 speed S tronic£50,215.00
S line
3.0 TFSI quattro333PS7 speed S tronic£53,000.00
3.0 TDI ultra218PS7 speed S tronic£48,665.00
3.0 TDI quattro218PS7 speed S tronic£50,425.00
3.0 TDI quattro272PS7 speed S tronic£53,005.00
3.0 BiTDI quattro320PS8 speed tiptronic£56,575.00
Black Edition
3.0 TFSI quattro333PS7 speed S tronic£55,350.00
3.0 TDI quattro218PS7 speed S tronic£52,775.00
3.0 TDI quattro272PS7 speed S tronic£55,355.00
3.0 BiTDI quattro320PS8 speed tiptronic£58,925.00
S7 Sportback
4.0 TFSI quattro450PS7 speed S tronic£63,375.00
RS 7 Sportback
4.0 TFSI quattro333PS8 speed tiptronic£84,480.00

New JLR Special Vehicle Operationstechnicle centre to open in Ryton.

  • Special Vehicle Operations Technical Centre to be located in Ryton
  • 100 new highly-skilled jobs to be filled
  • Will create high luxury bespoke commissions and high performance vehicles
  • Complements existing research and development activities
Jaguar Land Rover announces that it has chosen Prologis Park, Ryton, near Coventry for the company’s investment in its Special Vehicle Operations Technical Centre.  The facility will be Jaguar Land Rover’s global centre of excellence for the creation of high-end luxury bespoke commissions and extreme performance vehicles.  With operations set to begin towards the end of the year, a team of 150 Jaguar Land Rover specialists will be based at Ryton.  Some 100 of those highly-skilled engineering and technician jobs will be new.  £20 million will be invested in installing specialist equipment and a customer commissioning suite.

The Technical Centre will be part of the company’s Special Operations, created in June under the leadership of John Edwards to focus on meeting the increasing expectations of today's most discerning and enthusiastic Jaguar and Land Rover customers.  Its unique facilities will feature a VIP customer commissioning suite for bespoke services and premium vehicle personalisation, as well as Formula 1-inspired flexible workshops and a specialist paint studio.
Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations, John Edwards, commented“We are excited by the capability and potential that this new facility will give us.  We will be creating truly iconic vehicles that reinforce the global reputation of both Jaguar and Land Rover brands as we expand our product portfolio and fulfil our ambitious plans.”  
A Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations team of 150 specialists will be based at Oxford Road, creating high luxury, individually-tailored “halo” vehicles.  Of these jobs, some 100 will be newly-created engineering and other highly-skilled operational jobs.  The location will complement Jaguar Land Rover’s engineering, design and testing facilities at Whitley and Gaydon, as well as the new Jaguar Heritage workshop at Browns Lane, Coventry and the company’s advanced manufacturing facilities.   
The first vehicle to roll out of the new SVO workshop will be the Jaguar F-TYPE Project 7, the most powerful and fastest production Jaguar to date.  This is an exclusive product, with just 250 models being made available worldwide.  Each F-TYPE Project 7 will start life at the company’s plant in Castle Bromwich, before transferring to the Special Operations Technical Centre to complete the build by hand.
Jaguar Land Rover continues to deliver on its strategic growth plans, which will see the company investing in 50 new product actions over the next five years.  This includes £1.5 billion to introduce an all-new, technically-advanced aluminium vehicle architecture in forthcoming models, beginning with the new Jaguar XE premium sedan to be manufactured from 2015 at the company's Solihull facility.  The new Land Rover Discovery Sport, which will go on sale in 2015, will be the most versatile and capable vehicle in the compact SUV segment.  It is the first member of an all-new family of Discovery vehicles, inspired by the Discovery Vision Concept which was showcased at the New York International Auto Show in April 2014.