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.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

The 18th Annual Aston Martin Auction took place at the old Factory and raised over £5 million.

The 18th annual Aston Martin Sale, held at Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell and hosted by international auction house Bonhams, achieved over £5 Million last weekend.
One of the surprise stars of the show was a 1996 Aston Martin V8 Sportsman Estate Car, one of only three created, originally converted to its shooting brake format at Aston Martin Works. The rather unique and bespoke Aston Martin sold for an incredible £337,500.
Another highlight was a 1964 Aston Martin DB5, which took £561,500, making it the top lot of the day. The iconic car drew many bids and eventually went to a telephone bidder who now owns a piece of automotive history. 
Other early ‘DB’ models proved popular: a 1961 Aston Martin DB4 ‘Series III’ 4.2-Litre Sports Saloon achieving £399,100 and a 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mark 2 Vantage Sports Saloon selling for £382,300.
The 2017 Aston Martin Sale also celebrated more modern cars. A 1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante ‘X-Pack’ 7.0-Litre, achieved £387,900 after a long bidding exchange between two keen bidders whilst the 1997 Aston Martin Vantage V600 Coupé realised £253,500 and the 2000 Aston Martin Vantage Le Mans Coupé sold for £309,500.
Aston Martin President and CEO, Dr Andy Palmer said: ““We are very proud of our heritage at Aston Martin so it is fascinating to hear about the histories of the cars that come up for sale at these auctions. Some of our cars have led extremely interesting lives.”
Tim Schofield, Head of Bonhams Motoring Department added: “Even in our 18th year at Aston Martin Works, we are seeing a continued interest and enthusiasm for our sale. Bonhams prides itself on the breadth of its offerings at auction, and despite its single-marque status, this sale is no different. With lots ranging from a barn-find projects to race-ready lightweight competition cars, this sale had something for all admirers of the Aston Martin and Lagonda marques. We look forward to continued success at our Festival of Speed sale on 30 June.”
New cars haven’t been built at Aston Martin Works since 2007 when production moved to Gaydon. Aston Martin Works devotes unrivalled skill and experience to preserving Aston Martin’s heritage but this year that is set to change. It was announced late last year that the iconic DB4 G.T. would be brought back to life by Aston Martin Works, making it the first Aston Martin to built at Newport Pagnell since 2007. Just 25 track-only continuation cars will be built.

USA - Audi announces the 2018 Model year upgrades to a number of it's models.http://giosautocare.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/audi%20a3%20wagon%20for%202018%20update%20reviews.jpg

  • Full model line improvements for 2018 Model Year vehicles builds on 76 straight months of record sales
  • Sportier interior and exterior design packages offer more personalized options
  • Advanced driver assistance systems including Audi side assist, now standard on more models
Audi announced its lineup for the 2018 Model Year, including full-line pricing, numerous vehicle packaging enhancements and added standard features.
The lineup changes continues Audi’s growth strategy, with a focus on producing top-quality vehicles with offerings in the right segments, and significant enhancements in technology, design and driver-assistance systems. 
In the 2018 model year vehicles, more features become standard across the lineup, and sportier interior and exterior design packages offer more options for customers.
Highlights of the 2018 Model Year line-up changes are as follows:
2018 A3 Model Line
The 2018 A3 model line continues on its path of offering a strong entry to the Audi premium lineup, now with more standard technologies and driver assistance systems. 
New for this year, the Audi music interface with two USB ports for data and charging are now standard on all models and trims, as are heated front seats. 
A3 models at the Premium Plus trim are now standard equipped with Audi side assist and offer the Bang & Olufsen Sound System as part of the Technology package, which also includes MMI® Navigation plus and the Audi Virtual Cockpit. 
A new S sport package for the S3 combines red brake calipers and Audi magnetic ride into one offering, further underscoring the sporty character of the performance sedan. Also new for 2018, the A3 Sportback e-tron now offers an available 18-inch, multispoke design wheel with all-season tires as part of the Sport package.
2018 Audi A4 Model Line
As one of the brand’s bestselling models, the A4 model line continues to represent the best in every detail with more standard driver assistance systems and new design packages for the 2018 model year. 
The newly available Black optic plus package includes exterior design components such as 18-inch 10-Y-spoke gloss black wheels with all-season tires, red brake calipers, high-gloss black side sill blades, rear lip spoiler and exterior mirror housings in high gloss black. 
Also with the Black optic plus package, the interior receives a three-spoke, flat-bottom steering wheel with S badging, piano black inlays, a leatherette covered center console and door armrests, and contrast red stitching throughout the interior.
Added standard features on the Premium trim include heated front seats and S line exterior design elements. Audi side assist and Audi Pre Sense rear are now standard on the Premium Plus trim. 
On the Prestige Trim, driver assistance systems including Audi active lane assist, adaptive cruise control with stop & go, traffic sign recognition and high beam assistant are now standard, in addition to standard dual-pane acoustic glass for front side windows and leatherette covered center console and door armrests.
2018 A4 allroad
The A4 allroad, which offers the versatility of a wagon with an Audi level of luxury and refinement, now includes more standard driver assistance systems and technologies for 2018. 
Audi side assist and pre sense rear are now standard on Premium Plus and Audi active lane assist with adaptive cruise control and stop & go, high beam assistant and traffic sign recognition are all now standard on the Prestige trim. 
Ventilated front sport seats are now available as part of the warm weather package on the Premium Plus trim.
2018 A6 Model Line
The A6 models receive enhanced standard equipment for the 2018 Model Year. In addition to the 2.0T FWD and 2.0T quattro® variants, new this year, the A6 is now offered with a 3.0-liter TFSI® V6 engine and quattro® all-wheel drive that delivers 340 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. 
MMI® Navigation plus and Audi advanced key are now standard equipment on the Premium trim level. Premium plus vehicles now include standard LED headlights and full LED interior lighting and Prestige trims now include top view camera as standard.
Newly available for 2018 on Premium Plus and Prestige trim, the Competition package includes black exterior mirror housings, red brake calipers and 20-inch, 5-double-spoke Titanium matte wheels with summer tires, sport suspension and a quattro sport differential. 
Interior enhancements as part of the Competition package include brushed aluminum inlays, S sport seats with diamond stitching, three-spoke flat bottom multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles and a black cloth headliner.
2018 Audi A7 Model Line
Similar to the A6 model line, the A7 models offer more standard equipment than ever before. The A7 with 3.0T V6 engine now delivers more horsepower and torque in addition to offering standard full LED ambient interior lighting on Premium Plus trims and standard corner view camera on Prestige trims. 
The newly available Competition package for A7 models includes black optic exterior elements, S-line bumpers, red brake calipers, sport suspension and a quattro sport differential in addition to sporty interior elements such as brushed aluminum inlays, flat bottom steering wheel and S sport seats with contrast stitching. 
For the 2018 model year, the S7 receives additional wheel and tire options including standard 20-inch, five-parallel spoke S-design wheels with summer tires, and available 21-inch 10-V-spoke Audi Sport wheels also with summer tires. 
The RS 7 receives standard 21-inch, five-spoke-blade-design wheels with summer tires in addition to added standard sport exhaust with black finishers.
2018 Audi A8
For the 2018 model year, the esteemed A8 continues its tradition of benchmark luxury offerings with enhanced packages. 
The A8 L equipped with the 3.0T six-cylinder engine now offers an available Executive package which includes 20-inch, five-spoke-Blade-design wheels with all-season tires and driver assistance systems such as Audi active lane assist, adaptive cruise control with stop & go, head-up display, Audi side assist and Audi pre sense rear. 
The Executive package also includes front seat ventilation with massage function, rear heated seats, a heated four-spoke multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles and a panoramic sunroof.
In addition to the 3.0T’s Executive package, 4.0T variants offer the available Executive plus package, adding rear seat comfort features including power lumbar support for rear outboard seats, separate power rear seats and rear seat ventilation with massage function.
Adding an even sportier character to the A8 model line, the Black optic packages are available in both 20-inch and 21-inch wheel sizes, and add black accents to the standard Sport style exterior package of the A8.
2018 Audi Q3 Model Line
For 2018, the compact Audi Q3 crossover now features standard S line exterior design elements including an S line front bumper, doors sills and badging, as well as heated front seats. 
A new Convenience package, available on the Premium trim, includes Audi advanced key, power tailgate, aluminum satellite inlays and an auto dimming interior mirror with compass. 
The Premium plus trim now includes standard Audi side assist and full-LED headlights and LED taillights with dynamic rear turn signals. 
The available Sport plus package for Premium Plus now also includes a three-spoke flat-bottom multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles in addition to a Black optic exterior kit, black roof rails and 19-inch, 10-spoke titanium design wheels with all-season tires.
2018 Audi Q7 Model Line
The updated Audi Q7 continues to set a benchmark in the luxury SUV segment offering segment-leading dynamics, driver assistance systems and advanced connectivity. For the 2018 model year, Audi advanced key now comes standard across all trims. 
Premium Plus models now include standard 3D BOSE Surround Sound system, and on 3.0T Prestige models, power door closers are now standard for increased functionality.
2018 Audi TT and TTS
The 2018 TT and TTS feature updated packages offering customers more refreshed design and technology options. Parking sensors are now standard equipment on the TT Coupe and Roadster. The available technology package now includes a 12 speaker, 680 watt Bang & Olufsen Sound System to deliver an impressive musical experience. 
Also new for the 2018 model year is an available S line competition package which includes high gloss exterior accents, brushed aluminum door sills and inlays, red brake calipers, S line sport suspension, leather/Alcantara-trimmed S sport seats with S line embossing and a flat-bottom multifunction S line steering wheel.
The 2018 TTS Coupe now offers an exclusive interior package that includes fine Nappa leather-trimmed S embossed front seats with contrast diamond stitching and extended leather trim and controls in three color options – Calendula Yellow, Crimson Red and Cloudy Gray.
2018 Audi R8 Coupe and Spyder
The R8, which shares approximately 50 percent of the same parts, including the V10 engine, with the R8 LMS racecar, now also features new design options in addition to more standard features. 
New for 2018, all R8 models will come standard equipped with Audi smartphone interface for compatible devices. A newly available Black optic package includes 20-inch, 10-spoke-Y design forged wheels in high gloss Anthracite finish with summer tires, gloss black exhaust tips, Mythos black side blades (V10 models only) and Titanium Black exterior trim. 
Full LED headlights with Audi laser light are available on V10 models and are standard equipment on the V10 plus.
Additional interior enhancements for the 2018 model year include standard Anthracite high-gloss inlays on V10 models and standard Carbon sigma high-gloss inlays on V10 plus models. 
Audi Sport badging on the front grille replaces the quattro badge on all R8 models, and Audi Sport puddle lights (visible when driver or passenger door is open) are now standard on all R8 models.
Additional Model Changes
The Audi A5 and Audi Q5 families are all-new for the 2018 model year. 
Model Year 2018 Manufacturer Suggested Retail Prices *Excluding destination charge, taxes, title, options and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.*
Premium Plus
Single Trim
A3 Cabriolet
FWD S tronic
A3 Cabriolet
quattro S tronic
A3 Sedan
FWD S tronic
A3 Sedan
quattro S tronic
S3 Sedan
quattro S tronic
A3 Sportback e-tron
FWD S tronic
A4 allroad
quattro S tronic
A4 sedan
ultra FWD S tronic
A4 Sedan
quattro S tronic
A4 Sedan
quattro manual
S4 Sedan
quattro Tiptronic
A6 Sedan
FWD S tronic
A6 Sedan
quattro Tiptronic
A6 Sedan
quattro Tiptronic
S6 Sedan
quattro S tronic
A7 Sedan
quattro Tiptronic
S7 Sedan
quattro S tronic
RS 7
quattro Tiptronic
RS 7 Performance
quattro Tiptronic
FWD S tronic
quattro Tiptronic
quattro Tiptronic
quattro Tiptronic
R8 Coupe
quattro S tronic
R8 Coupe
V10 Plus
quattro S tronic
R8 Spyder
quattro S tronic
TT Coupe
quattro S tronic
TTS Coupe
quattro S tronic
*Destination and delivery charge is not included in MSRPs listed. Destination charges on 2018 MY vehicles are as follows:
R8 model line $1,250
All other models $975

FCA European sales grew in the month of April to better the Industry Average.

FCA performed better than the European industry average once again in April. Industry sales were down 6.8% year-over-year, reflecting the number of public holidays falling during the month, while FCA posted a decrease of just 0.5% year-over-year. 
Group market share was up 50 basis points to 7.3%, making FCA fourth overall in the European sales rankings. The Alfa Romeo brand posted a particularly strong month with April sales up 52.2%, driven by the Giulia and Stelvio (already segment leader in Italy). 
The Fiat Panda and Fiat 500 continued to dominate the A segment with a combined 29.4% share. 
The Fiat 500L led its segment – with a 28.5% share – and the Fiat 500X and Jeep Renegade also ranked among the best-selling models in their respective segments. With another strong monthly performance, the Fiat Tipo also continued to climb the rankings in its segment.
In April, passenger car sales in Europe (EU28+EFTA) totaled just over 1,230,000 units, representing a 6.8% year-over-year decline.
FCA performed better than the European industry average for another consecutive month and ranked fourth overall with a total of 89,300 vehicles sold (substantially in line with the prior year). This was despite fewer selling days with several public holidays falling during the month. Group market share was up 50 basis points at 7.3%.
For the four months year-to-date, FCA sales totaled 392,400 vehicles, an increase of 10.8% compared with a European average of 4.5%. Group market share for the period was up 50 basis points year-over-year at 7.2%.
In April, FCA ran counter to the trend in Germany (+26.8% versus an industry average of -8.0%) and France (+5.0% versus an industry average of -6.0%), and outperformed in Spain (+6.1% versus an industry average of +1.2%).
Fiat posted European sales of 67,000 vehicles for the month, with market share 20 basis points higher at 5.4%.
Year-to-date, brand sales were up 10.4% to 296,800 vehicles. Market share for the period was 30 basis points higher at 5.4%.
Sales were up 3.9% in France, 8.0% in Spain and 24.5% in Germany.
The Panda and 500 continued as the two best-selling vehicles in the A segment with a combined share of nearly 30.0%. Year-to-date, sales of the Panda were up 1.0% to 74,600 units, while sales of the 500 were up 2.6% to nearly 70,200 units.
The Fiat Tipo posted another strong month, ranking as C-segment leader in Italy and among the best-sellers in Europe. Also performing well were the 500X (among the top 5 in its segment) and the 500L (continuing as leader in its segment with a 28.5% share).
Lancia/Chrysler posted April sales of more than 5,900 vehicles with share unchanged at 0.5%. For the year-to-date, brand sales were up 1.8% to nearly 27,500 units with share at 0.5%.
The ever-popular Ypsilon remained first in its segment in Italy with year-to-date sales up 2.0%.
Alfa Romeo posted an exceptional monthly performance with sales up 52.2% year-over-year to nearly 7,400 vehicles. Market share was 20 basis points higher at 0.6%.
Year-to-date, sales were up 38.7% to nearly 28,900 vehicles, with market share increasing to 0.5% (+10 basis points).
Sales were up 46.6% in Italy (+35.7% for the year-to-date), 162.7% in Germany (+94.5% year-to-date) and 55.4% in France (+22.4% year-to-date).
Driving this result were the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio. The Giulia is already among the D-segment leaders in Italy, with a 12.4% share, and climbing the rankings in other markets. The Stelvio is segment leader in Italy (11.8% share) with solid growth in markets across Europe.
Jeep posted April sales of more than 8,200 vehicles, and share was stable at 0.7%.
Year-to-date, brand sales totaled 35,400 vehicles (in line with 2016) and share was 0.6%.
April sales were particularly strong in Germany (+18.1%) and Spain (+10.1%).
The Renegade continued as one of the leaders in its segment with a 6.2% share in April. For the year-to-date, sales were up 7.8%.
For Maserati, the Group’s luxury brand, European sales totaled 754 vehicles in April and 3,840 for the year-to-date.

The Lotus Elise is now, more than ever a great car for the buyer, with decent residuals and kit.

  • What Car? ranks Elise as the slowest depreciating performance car
  • Latest Lotus Elise lauded with five-star reviews
  • Class leading residual values deliver low ownership costs
  • Lotus’ interest free finance package* available now
It’s regarded as one of the best sports cars of its time, and one of the most involving drives you’ll experience, but now there’s another great reason to buy a new Lotus Elise - it’s rock-bottom running costs.
Despite its straight-line speed, the Lotus Elise has been declared by What Car? as the slowest depreciating performance car on the market - retaining more of its purchase price than rivals. Excellent news for buyers, and with five-star reviews of the latest Elise Sport and Elise Sprint now published, it shows there’s never been a better time to find out what makes this Lotus so special.
With depreciation the single biggest ownership running cost, and some rival performance models losing owners a small fortune in the first years of ownership, the Elise’s strong values mean it’s a wise choice for those buying the car outright or opting for a great-value finance package.
Beating the very best that competitors can muster, buyers’ bible What Car? rates the Elise as top in class, retaining up to 95% of its price after 12 months and over 54% of after four years with average mileage. In addition to besting similarly priced sports car, including the Porsche Cayman, What Car?’s data shows the Elise also trumps exotic rivals, like the Ferrari 458 Italia.
Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc said, “At Lotus we design and build our cars to be the best, from the quality of the engineering to the experience from behind the wheel. We’re second to none in refining the very definition of a sports car. Rivals may have six-figure price tags, no other is as intuitive or involving as a Lotus. 
The great news is that you’ll enjoy all the raw performance and sublime handling that the Elise has to offer without the fear of high running costs. The latest Elise is the best yet, and we know that a new generation of buyers are going to love it.”
Since its introduction, nearly 33,000 Elise have been hand built at the company’s famous Hethel factory, every one epitomising Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s vision of efficient engineering. Hailed as the greatest car of a generation, combining pace, agility and a purity of purpose, it has also received the Readers’ Champion as part of the prestigious Autocar Awards.
Steve Huntingford, Editor of What Car? said, “Depreciation is generally the biggest cost of car ownership. But, aside from limited-run specials, the Elise holds its value better than any other car. This makes it a surprisingly affordable long-term ownership proposition and a sports car that you can buy with your head as well as your heart.”
Lotus’ popular interest-free finance deal*, which includes paying half now and the remaining balance in two years means it’s easier to drive one of the all-time great sports cars.
About the Lotus Elise
Unveiled in March, and recently reviewed to acclaim by the leading motoring journalists, the latest Elise is fully focused on driver involvement. Reaffirming the company’s leading position in automotive engineering, it remains a benchmark in purity and balance.

Integrating a new front and rear aesthetic with Lotus’ established design language, the Elise receives a wide range of cabin enhancements - including the lightweight open-gate gear select mechanism first introduced on the Lotus Exige Sport 350.  Available in both the 1.6-litre naturally aspirated and 1.8-litre supercharged versions, the new car comes with a host of weight-saving items as standard.
At the heart of the Elise line up is the new Sprint edition, which encapsulates the spirit of Lotus by offering the latest in efficient engineering to set the standard as the lightest fully homologated car available in Europe, using lightweight and carbon components to hit a new benchmark dry weight of just 798 kg.
Every new Elise buyer can personalise their car through the Lotus Exclusive programme. Developed by the Lotus Design team, it combines traditional British craftsmanship with the best of contemporary styling. Conceived to inspire customers, allowing them to tailor vehicles to their personal taste, it offers a comprehensive array of options and provides an alluring alternative to an off-the-peg sports car. Since its introduction this has proved increasingly popular, with 25% of all new cars undergoing some form of personalisation.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price
Elise Sport                               £32,300
Elise Sprint                              £37,300
Elise Sport 220                        £39,300
Elise Sprint 220                       £44,300
Elise Cup 250                          £47,400
*Credit is subject to status, 18+ UK residents only. Lotus Finance, a trading style of Black Horse Limited, St William House, Tresillian Terrace, Cardiff, CF10 5BH.

New Mazda Museum opens in Germany with the vast majority of cars coming from one families private collection.

  • First facility of its kind outside Japan opened to the public in Augsburg, Germany on the 13th
  • With 45 classic Mazda vehicles, the museum features key models from Mazda’s history.
  • The museum was created by local Mazda dealer Auto Frey.
Bringing alive the illustrious history of an unconventional carmaker from Hiroshima, the first Mazda museum in Europe – and indeed the only one outside Japan – opened on the 13th May in Augsburg, Germany.
Mazda Classic – Automobil Museum Frey, a project led by local Mazda dealer Auto Frey with the support of Mazda Germany, spotlights Mazda’s almost 100 years of defying convention. The centrepiece is an exhibit of 45 vehicles, which includes classic Mazdas officially sold in Europe as well as exceptionally rare models only available in other parts of the globe.
Models currently on display include a 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport, a 1969 Mazda Luce R130 and several generations of RX-7, plus with rarities like a rotary Parkway bus and even a rotary pick-up truck, Mazda’s rotary history features heavily.
However, the sheer breadth and variety of models on display demonstrates how Mazda has been combining innovative technology with stunning designs in the name of driving joy for nearly 100 years. Other highlights include a 1960 Mazda R360, the company’s first mass-produced passenger car, a 1962 Mazda K360 three-wheeled light truck, a 1966 Mazda Familia 1000 coupé, a 1976 Mazda 616 and the Mazda AZ-1, a distinctive mid-engined lightweight sports car from 1992.
Created from the personal passion of the owners of local Mazda dealer group Auto Frey, the museum is located in a stunningly refurbished tram depot dating from 1897. Located in the centre of the Bavarian town of Augsburg it is also equipped with an expansive event area, restaurant facilities and a gift shop.
Amazingly the 45 cars on display in the museum represent just a small proportion of the personal collection of the Frey family.
Mazda dealers since the late 70s, Walter Frey and his sons Markus and Joachim have personally restored many of the cars in the collection and travelled the world in search of rare classic Mazdas.
“Uniquely impressive, the first Mazda museum outside Japan represents a dream come true for the Frey family to share with the public its one-of-a-kind collection of vintage Mazdas from around the world,” commented Mazda Motor Corporation Executive Vice President Akira Marumoto. “Everyone at Mazda headquarters is very proud that the Freys are a part of our organisation and have created something so extraordinary.”
The selection will change continually, too, with additional gems from the Frey’s collection of 120-plus vehicles destined for rotation into the exhibit. Operators also hope the venue will become a hub for vintage Mazda club meetings and classic car events in general. Auto Frey has been a Mazda dealer since 1978 and currently operates three locations in the Augsburg area.
For more information, see: www.mazda-classic-frey.de/en.