My thoughts on all things motoring, press releases, reviews & techie stuff, from around the world.
Please note that the pictures of vehicles within this blog are used as examples of the specific press releases, on occasions, due to the lack of available official pictures, examples are re-produced.
ANY AND ALL PROFANITIES WILL BE REMOVED AND THE PERSON/S RESPONSIBLE WILL BE BANNED, NO EXCEPTIONS.
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.
UK dynamic debut for motorsport-inspired Vantage GT12
World-first public showing of Lagonda Taraf super saloon in action
Other iconic Aston Martin sports cars in action include CC100
Aston Martin arrives at the 22nd Goodwood Festival of Speed next week with a superb line-up of exclusive and exciting sports cars and super saloons which, together, represent its biggest presence yet at the world-renowned celebration of motoring and motorsport.
The luxury British sports car maker will treat the Goodwood patrons to a feast of ‘firsts’, including the UK debut of the motorsport-inspired, and now sold-out, Vantage GT12 and the global dynamic debut of the strictly-limited luxurious new Lagonda Taraf super saloon.
Aside from the raw, track-derived appeal of the Vantage GT12, Aston Martin will also be running examples of its V12 Vantage S Roadster and luxurious Rapide S four-door, four-seat sports car.
There will also be the rare opportunity to see the CC100 – Aston Martin’s centenary celebration concept car from 2013 – in action on the hill.
Meanwhile the sumptuously elegant Lagonda Taraf will make its global public debut in action at the Festival of Speed. Previously unveiled on static display only, Aston Martin has chosen the Goodwood event to reveal the sight, and sound, of its latest V12-engined super saloon in motion.
Aston Martin Racing will be represented via the presence of the 2015 Le Mans 24-hour Vantage GTE #97 Art Car, which will also be making regular trips up the famous Goodwood Hill over the course of the Festival.
Sharing driving duties for the event will be Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer along with recently-appointed Chief Engineer Matt Becker – the man charged by Dr Palmer with setting the product attributes of the brand’s next generation of models.
Dr Palmer said: “I’m very much looking forward to seeing the reaction to our 2015 Festival of Speed presence from the knowledgeable and enthusiastic Goodwood crowds.
“I believe we’ve put together a hugely compelling line-up including some surprises that should keep fans of our brand, and of luxury sports cars in general, entertained and engaged throughout the event.”
He added: “Driving the Vantage GT12 up the famous hill climb at Goodwood will be a personal highlight for me.”
Vantage GT12 runs on home soil
The Vantage GT12 was launched to worldwide acclaim in March this year at the Geneva Motorshow, with all 100 examples sold prior to the reveal.
Taking its inspiration directly from Aston Martin Racing’s V12 Vantage GT3, the Vantage GT12 is equipped with a new iteration of the brand’s 6.0-litre V12 engine which is capable of generating up to 600 PS.
Thus, the Vantage GT12 is not only more powerful but also even lighter than a standard V12 Vantage S. Weighing in at a full 120 kg less, which results in an appreciable boost in the car’s already formidable power-to-weight ratio.
Comprehensively re-engineered, as well as significantly restyled, the GT12 is lower and wider than any of its siblings in the Vantage family.
The GT12 has been designed and engineered exclusively at Aston Martin’s Gaydon HQ in Warwickshire, England, to be the most overt expression of everything that defines the Vantage: an extreme sports model offering adrenaline-fuelled fun on road, and on track.
Lagonda Taraf - The finest of fast cars in action
Also making a crowd-pleasing global debut at Goodwood this year is the new Lagonda Taraf – the latest in a long line of Aston Martin Lagonda models termed ‘the finest of fast cars’.
Based on the brand’s almost infinitely flexible VH architecture, the new saloon draws inspiration from the highly sought-after William Towns-designed Lagonda of 1976 and features many of the same cutting edge engineering techniques seen in modern Aston Martin sports cars such as the use of carbon fibre body panels.
It is hand-built by the skilled craftsmen and women at Aston Martin’s manufacturing facilities in a dedicated building previously the home of the One-77 hypercar.
The super saloon is being offered for sale by invitation only with precise pricing details remaining confidential. As a consequence, it will remain a rare and distinguished sight on UK roads – making its presence at Goodwood all the more special for festival patrons.
Aside from the high speed dynamic attractions at the 22nd Festival of Speed, Aston Martin will also have a strong presence at the event’s Moving Motor Show.
Staged every summer since 1993, the Goodwood Festival of Speed is the world’s largest automotive garden party, set against the spectacular backdrop of Goodwood House in West Sussex.
Range Rover revealed to world media in 1970, reaches 45 year milestone on 17 June 2015
Lightweight all-aluminium body construction, Terrain response™ 2 and All-Terrain Progress Control are the latest in a history of Range Rover innovations
Now in its fourth generation: original Classic (1970), second-generation P38a (1994), third-generation L322 (2001) and current model (2012)
Range Rover is the original luxury all-terrain vehicle and a genuine design icon
Land Rover brings together four generations of Range Rover to show the evolution of the vehicle over 45 years
The iconic Range Rover celebrates its 45th birthday today. Reaching the important milestone is the latest in a series of 2015 highlights for the world’s most desirable luxury SUV.
At the New York International Auto Show in March, Land Rover revealed a new Range Rover flagship in the form of the exclusive SVAutobiography and the landmark six millionth Land Rover was a Range Rover Vogue SE, which rolled off the Solihull production line in April.
Over the last 45 years Range Rover has delivered a series of industry firsts as it has evolved into the peerless SUV we know today.
As well as introducing a host of advanced technologies, many of which have since become industry standards, the original Classic model was cited as an ‘exemplary work of industrial design’ when it became the first vehicle to be displayed at the world famous Louvre museum in Paris.
Now in its fourth generation, the Range Rover sits at the pinnacle of the Land Rover brand and matches class-leading off-road capability with a range of state-of-the-art petrol, diesel and Hybrid powertrains to deliver an unrivalled blend of refinement, comfort and capability.
Nick Rogers, Jaguar Land Rover Director Global Engineering Operations, said: “Range Rover was the first luxury SUV in the world in 1970 and 45 years on it continues to lead the way.
The latest model is the most desirable and sophisticated Land Rover ever, mixing peerless comfort with cutting edge technology to provide the ultimate luxury SUV experience.”
The original 1970 Range Rover combined excellent refinement and on-road handling with uncompromised all-terrain capability for the first time, and subsequent generations have maintained its status as the most capable and desirable SUV in the world.
The current fourth generation model was launched in 2012 and was the first SUV in the world to feature a lightweight all-aluminium body, which brought enhanced efficiency to the range.
The SVAutobiography brings a new level of design sophistication to the line-up and is produced by Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division.
It is the most luxurious and powerful series production Range Rover in the vehicle’s 45-year history and is available with distinctive Duo-tone paintwork and a 550PS V8 petrol engine. This year also marks the 21st anniversary of the introduction of the exclusive Autobiography designation.
Last year, Range Rover became the first vehicle to feature Land Rover’s innovative All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) system – a world first technology designed to enhance off-road capability by automatically maintaining an ultra-low crawl speed over obstacles, allowing the driver to concentrate on steering the vehicle.
Range Rover through previous generations
The Range Rover story began in the Sixties as Land Rover looked to revolutionise the growing 4x4 leisure market. Production of the first prototype began in 1966 and the finished car was launched to critical acclaim in Cornwall, in 1970.
In a special photoshoot, Land Rover has brought together four generations of the Range Rover to show the evolution of the vehicle.
First Generation – Classic (1970 – 1994)
The first generation model, known as the Classic and originally only available as a two-door, went on sale in 1970 featuring a lightweight aluminium V8 engine, full-time four-wheel drive and all-round disc brakes.
Numerous variants and upgrades were introduced during its 25-year lifespan including the addition of a four-door model in 1981 and an automatic gearbox in 1982.
Innovations continued at a pace. The first diesel Range Rover arrived in 1986 and in 1989 it became the world’s first 4x4 to feature anti-lock brakes. Then in 1992 it celebrated another SUV first with the introduction of Electronic Traction Control and automatic electronic air suspension.
The Range Rover’s reputation for unrivalled all-terrain capability was cemented by a number of high-profile endurance tests.
In 1972 it became the first vehicle to complete an 18,000-mile Trans-America expedition, staged by the British Army, which included the perilous crossing of the Darien Gap in South America.
This was followed in 1974 by the successful completion of an epic 7,500-mile trek across the Sahara Desert in 100 days.
This reputation was enhanced with victory in the 4x4 class of the 18,750-mile London-Sydney marathon in 1977 and by winning the inaugural Paris-Dakar rally in 1979. Then, in 1985, the diesel-powered Range Rover ‘Bullet’ broke 27 speed records.
Second Generation – P38a (1994 – 2001)
The second-generation Range Rover or P38a – so named because it was developed in building 38A in the Solihull factory – arrived in 1994 delivering an even more luxurious interior, greater on-road ability and off-road capability. Key design features made it instantly recognisable as a Range Rover and the iconic silhouette, floating roof, clamshell bonnet, practical split tailgate and continuous waistline endure to this day.
Technological highlights included the addition of height adjustable suspension and an enhanced engine line-up, with a 2.5-litre diesel and 3.9 and 4.6-litre versions of the V8 petrol providing greater performance than ever before.
In 1999 Land Rover created the most luxurious Range Rover yet with the Linley special edition. Inspired by furniture designer Lord Linley, only 10 examples of the £100,000 model were produced.
All featured black paintwork with matching black leather upholstery, deep-pile carpets and piano black interior trim. It was one of the first luxury cars to feature satellite navigation and even included a television.
Third Generation – L322 (2001-2012)
The arrival of the third generation Range Rover delivered significant improvements over its predecessor in every department. Bigger and more spacious than the P38a, the interior was inspired by high-end yacht designs, fine furniture and first-class airline seating. The result was the most luxurious vehicle interior in the world.
Technological highlights included the addition, in 2010, of ‘virtual’ instruments. It also became the first vehicle to provide a ‘dual-view’ infotainment display, allowing the driver to keep tabs on the sat nav instructions while the passenger watched a DVD.
As engine technology advanced, the third generation Range Rover line-up expanded. First came the 4.2 V8 Supercharged petrol engine in 2005, the TDV8 diesel engine in 2006, followed by all-new 5.0-litre V8 petrol engines three years later.
Timeline – A Brief History
1966 Work began on the first Range Rover prototype, known as the '100-inch station wagon'
1970 The original two-door Range Rover – known as the Classic – goes on sale
1971 Range Rover receives the RAC Dewar award for outstanding technical achievement
1972 The Range Rover is the first vehicle to cross the Darien Gap on a British Army Trans America expedition
1974 Range Rover completes west to east Sahara desert expedition – 7,500 miles in 100 days
1977 A modified Range Rover wins the 4x4 class in the London-Sydney Marathon, a gruelling 30,000 km (18,750 miles) event and the longest ever speed-based car rally
1979 A specially modified Range Rover wins the first Paris-Dakar rally (a Range Rover wins again in 1981)
1981 First production four-door Range Rover appears along with the first factory produced limited-edition Range Rover – the 'In Vogue'
1982 Automatic transmission becomes available on Range Rover
1983 Range Rover 5-speed manual gearbox is introduced
1985 The diesel-powered Range Rover 'Bullet' breaks 27 speed records, including a diesel record for averaging more than 100mph for 24 hours
1987 Range Rover launched in North America
1989 Range Rover is the world's first 4x4 to be fitted with ABS anti-lock brakes
1990 Limited Edition CSK – named after founder Charles Spencer King – is launched as a sportier Range Rover
1992 Range Rover Classic is the world's first 4x4 to be fitted with Electronic Traction Control
1992 Long-wheelbase LSE (known as County LWB in the US) launched
1992 Automatic electronic air suspension introduced, a world first for a 4x4
1994 Second-generation (P38a) Range Rover launched
1996 Range Rover Classic bows out after total production of 317,615 units
1999 Limited Edition Range Rover Linley appears at London Motor Show
2001 Third-generation (L322) Range Rover launched
2002 Half-millionth Range Rover produced at the Solihull plant
2005 Second model line – the Range Rover Sport – launched
2006 Terrain Response and TDV8 diesel introduced
2009 Range Rover features all-new 5.0-litre V8 and 5.0-litre supercharged petrol engines
2010 Range Rover celebrates its 40th anniversary,
2011 Third model line – the Range Rover Evoque – goes on sale
2012 Fourth-generation (L405) Range Rover launched - the world’s first all-aluminium SUV
2013 Long-wheelbase Autobiography Black Edition unveiled at the Los Angeles Motor Show
2014 Long-wheelbase Range Rover Hybrid makes its world debut in China
2015 Range Rover SV Autobiography launched at New York International Auto Show. 6,000,000th Land Rover produced is a Range Rover LWB SE Vogue destined for China. Autobiography designation used to identify flagship models celebrates 21st anniversary
Largest boot in its class – 660- to 1950-litre volume
More practical than ever: 11 Simply Clever solutions in the boot
Launch: Superb Estate arrives in first markets in September
Combining form and function, the new ŠKODA Superb Estate will be setting new standards in its segment from September. Its successful interplay between design and practicality is especially obvious at the back: the rear is not only more stylish than ever.
But behind the large, wide-opening fifth door, you’ll find the largest, most practical boot in its class.
The new ŠKODA Superb Estate has the largest boot in the automotive mid-class. Although the new Superb Estate is only 23mm longer than its predecessor, the boot holds 27 litres more than before with the rear seats up.
By putting the seats down in the back the load capacity will increase to almost two cubic metres: a 1950-litre load capacity is by far the best in its class, and 85 litres larger than that of the second-generation model.
Even carrying long objects is possible; the front passenger seat can easily be folded down when required. This allows objects of up to 3.10 metres in length to be transported in the new Superb Estate.
The new ŠKODA Superb not only triumphs in terms of space, but also in its practical solutions. Up to 31 Simply Clever features are on offer for the new model – 11 of which are in the boot alone.
Just as with the saloon version, the new ŠKODA Superb Estate is also optionally available with a virtual pedal, which enables you to open the electric tailgate hands-free with a simple foot movement around the bottom of the rear bumper.
The function works in combination with the keyless lock and start system KESSY.
Another new addition making its debut on the new ŠKODA Superb Estate is the practical tip-to-close function that initiates the electric boot closing mechanism with a simple pull. When combining the electric bootlid with KESSY, the boot can also be closed by remote control.
Folding down the rear backrests can be done at the touch of a button in the boot of the new Superb Estate.
The variably adjustable false boot floor offers the highest practical benefits in the new ŠKODA Superb Estate. This intermediate moveable floor can divide the boot in various ways making it more flexible. The system also creates practical storage space: the boot’s coat shelf and the retractable cover can be stored under the double floor.
The roller cover has been designed as a manual retractable load cover. By applying gentle pressure, it automatically rolls back and the boot is free for loading. The roller cover also has an automatic unlocking roller blind. This means the cover will automatically move one notch back when the boot door opens.
Another practical feature is the new coat shelf, which can be found under the roller cover. This can hold flat items, such as a jacket.
Four folding hooks in the boot can help to securely transport items that might otherwise move around, for example shopping bags. The net programme is also useful here; one horizontal and two vertical nets can secure items when required.
Finally, in the boot you will also find a removable LED torch, which can be used outside the vehicle. The flashlight is charged automatically in its holder as you drive, and is also magnetic.
The new ŠKODA Superb Estate goes on sale in the UK in July, ahead of first deliveries from September.