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.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Volvo, from 2019, will end cars that have only an internal combustion engine.

Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has announced that every Volvo it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor, marking the historic end of cars that have only an internal combustion engine (ICE) and placing electrification at the core of its future business. 
The announcement represents one of the most significant moves by any car maker to embrace electrification, and highlights how, over a century after the invention of the internal combustion engine, electrification is paving the way for a new chapter in automotive history. 
“This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive of Volvo Cars. “People increasingly demand electrified cars, and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.” 
Volvo Cars will introduce a portfolio of electrified cars across its model range, embracing fully electric cars, plug-in hybrid cars and mild-hybrid cars. 
It will launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021, three of which will be Volvo models and two of which will be high-performance electrified cars from Polestar, Volvo Cars’ performance car arm. Full details of these models will be announced at a later date.
These five cars will be supplemented by a range of petrol and diesel plug-in hybrid and mild-hybrid 48-volt options on all models, representing one of the broadest electrified car offerings of any car maker. 
This means that there will in future be no Volvo cars without an electric motor, as pure ICE cars are gradually phased out and replaced by ICE cars that are enhanced with electrified options. 
“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” said Mr Samuelsson. “Volvo Cars has stated that it plans to have sold a total of 1m electrified cars by 2025. When we said it we meant it. This is how we are going to do it.” 
The announcement underlines Volvo Cars’ commitment to minimising its environmental impact and making the cities of the future cleaner. Volvo Cars is focused on reducing the carbon emissions of both its products as well as its operations. It aims to have climate-neutral manufacturing operations by 2025. 
The decision also follows this month’s announcement that Volvo Cars will turn Polestar into a new separately branded electrified global high-performance car company. Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Cars, will lead Polestar as Chief Executive Officer. 

A selection of cars gain the five stars, with one each for 3 and 4 in the latest Euro NCAP tests.

  • Retest of Ford Mustang shows safety improvement, secures Three Star Euro NCAP rating 
  • “This underlines the power of the Euro NCAP consumer testing programme,” says Thatcham Research 
  • SEAT Ibiza the standout of other vehicles tested, raises the bar in Supermini safety 
  • A further four vehicles tested – Five Star ratings for the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, VW Arteon and Hyundai i30, Four Stars for the Honda Civic
Following an unfavourable safety rating earlier this year, Ford has resubmitted its flagship Mustang sports car for testing, on this occasion earning a Three Star Euro NCAP rating. This follows the addition of standard-fit Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and a Lane Keeping Aid, while rapidly addressing a ‘bottoming-out[1]’ issue with the driver’s airbag.

“In just a few months, Ford has responded to improve on the initial low safety rating given to the Mustang,” comments Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research. “Our advice to buyers is to always opt for a Euro NCAP Five Star car, so a Three Star Euro NCAP rating is never a cause for celebration. 
However, Ford’s rapid addition of a suite of standard-fit safety tech and its prompt updates to improve the performance of the airbags and restraints is to be applauded and underlines the power of the Euro NCAP consumer testing programme as a force for positive action. We will continue to apply pressure on carmakers to ensure UK drivers have the safest possible cars.”
Take a SEAT
July’s standout vehicle was the SEAT Ibiza, which at £13,000 is a relatively affordable and well-reviewed Supermini. Avery comments, “SEAT has set a new benchmark in safety for the Supermini price point category. The Ibiza not only comes with standard-fit AEB but also Pedestrian AEB – which is proven to reduce vulnerable road user deaths.
“The new VW Polo will be built on the same platform as the Ibiza which bodes well and with major new Supermini launches expected later in 2017, the safety game is now on for carmakers in this category.”
Four other vehicles were tested by Euro NCAP this month, with all but one achieving a Five Star rating. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio, VW Arteon and Hyundai i30 all received the maximum Five Stars. The Honda Civic was awarded a Four Star Euro NCAP rating, despite having standard-fit AEB. This was in part due to the head of the rear passenger dummy representing a 10 year old recording a hard impact through the curtain airbag

Heveningham Hall Concours d' Elegance to be bigger and better than previous years.

(This is one place to avoid at all costs) The Heveningham Hall Concours d’Elegance, hosted in the stunning Capability Brown-designed parkland of Suffolk’s finest Georgian mansion, will fly even higher in its second year, as it coincides with the annual Heveningham Hall Country Fair on 8th and 9th July. 
Sponsored by renowned British watch company Bremont and award-winning English wine producer Gusbourne, The Heveningham Hall Concours d’Elegance will exhibit 50 of the most iconic cars ever produced in the parkland of Suffolk’s finest Georgian mansion. 
Ranging from 1903 to 2017, the concours has revealed its line-up of the world’s most iconic motor cars and aircrafts ever produced which will be presented on the dramatic grass terraces designed by renowned landscape architect Kim Wilkie within the 5,000 acre estate.
Australian racing car driver Mark Webber’s former Mercedes-Benz CLK LM – 1998 - having raced at the world’s oldest active sports car race, Le Mans, will be on display alongside a 2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster. With only 150 in the world, the Heveningham Hall Concours d’Elegance will showcase the new Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta – 2017 - alongside its 2014 LaFerrari sibling. 
Also being exhibited are two of the greatest Lamborghini’s of all time, the Lamborghini Miura SV – 1971 - alongside an ultra-rare Miura SV Jota. With a total of 989 hybrid horse power, the McLaren P1 GTR – 2016 will also be previewed on Heveningham Hall’s landscaped gardens alongside a 1995 McLaren F1 GTR.
Vintage cars in attendance will include no less than four of the world’s finest pre-war Alfa Romeos plus two rare Aston Martin Ulsters and a Ferrari 250 MM, Ferrari 212 Barchetta, Bugatti 35B and many, many more.
On top of 50 of the most iconic cars that the automotive industry has ever produced, Heveningham Hall will play host to an array of vintage aircraft for the first time, in an aviation concours that also runs over the weekend. Celebrating exquisite engineering and detailing in all its forms, aircrafts will include the de Havilland DH Fox Moth ZK-AGM – 1932 and Boeing Stearman PT-17 Kaydet – 1941.
Not only that, but another innovation is the Suffolk Border Tour for owners which will take place on Friday 7th July, before the Concours opens to the public (8th & 9th July). This event will allow owners to drive their cars on a 50-mile route through the Suffolk countryside, stopping over the county border for a clay-pigeon shoot and picnic before returning to Heveningham Hall in the afternoon: ready for the Concours over the weekend.
1. Berliet 4L - 1903
26. Ferrari 250 Cabriolet – 1960
2. Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Alpine Eagle - 1914
27. Ferrari 250 SWB Competizione – 1961
3. Gwynne Sports – 1923
28. Aston Martin DB4 GT – 1961
4. Hispano Suiza H6C – 1923
29. Porsche Carerra Abarth – 1962
5. Bentley 6.5L Short Chassis Tourer - 1926
30. Aston Martin DB5 Convertible – 1964
6. Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Zagato – 1930
31. Shelby Cobra - 1964
7. Bugatti 35B – 1930
32. Ford GT40 – 1965
8. Bentley 4.5L Sports Tourer Supercharged – 1931
33. Lola T70 Mk2 Spyder – 1965
9. Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Touring Spyder - 1931
34. Lola T70 Mk3B – 1969
10. Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Zagato Spyder – 1932
35. Porsche 917 - 1969
11. Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3 – 1934
36. Lamborghini Miura SV – 1971
12. Aston Martin Ulster LM17 – 1934
37. Lamborghini Miura SV Jota – 1972
13. Aston Martin Ulster LM18 – 1935
38. Ferrari 288 GTO – 1983
14. Frazer Nash Single Seater – 1935
39. Lancia Delta S4 Corse – 1985
15. Frazer Nash TT Replica - 1935
40. Porsche 959 – 1988
16. Bugatti 57C Ventoux - 1937
41. Bugatti EB110 GT – 1991
17. Ferrari 212 Barchetta – 1951
42. Bugatti EB110 SS - 1994
18. Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon – 1952
43. McLaren F1 GTR – 1995
19. Ferrari 250 MM - 1953
44. Mercedes-Benz CLK LM – 1998
20. HWM Jaguar Sports – 1953
45. Audi R8 Le Mans – 2000
21. Jaguar D-Type - 1954
46. Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster - 2002
22. Aston Martin DB2/4 - 1955
47. Jaguar C-X75 - 2010
23. Cooper Jaguar T38 Barchetta – 1955
48. Ferrari LaFerrari – 2014
24. Jaguar XK150 OTS - 1958
49. McLaren P1 GTR – 2016
25. AC Aceca Bristol – 1958
50. Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta – 2017


1. de Havilland DH Fox Moth ZK-AGM – 1932
2. de Havilland DH 82a Tiger Moth G-ACDA - 1933
3. de Havilland Leopard Moth G-ACMA - 1934
4. de Havilland DH 85 Leopard Moth G-ACUS - 1934
5. de Havilland Hornet Moth DH87B G-AELO (ex AW118) – 1936
6. Tipsey Belfair G-APIE – 1938
7. Ryan Aeronautical ST-A NC14986 - 1936
8. Porterfield CP-50 Collegiate G-AFZL – 1939
9. de Havilland Tiger Moth G-ANEM - 1940
10. Boing Stearman PT-17 Kaydet – 1941
11. Sopwith Snipe F2367 - 1918

As usual, there will be three categories of motorsport winners: pre-war, post-war and best supercar, plus a new aviation award – the Hanna Aviation Trophy - winners will all receive a specially-commissioned bronze trophy from renowned Suffolk sculptor Laurence Edwards.

The traditional background to the Concours, now in its second year, is the Heveningham Hall Country Fair, which recently celebrated its 20th birthday. 
As a result, this is truly a family day out for everybody, incorporating dancing horses, livestock, flypasts, aerobatic displays, powerboating and off-roading plus, much, much more. All profits raised go to charity and more than £600,000 has been raised over the years.
Max Hunt, chairman of the judging panel (and successful Dakar bike rider) said: “What’s amazing about the weekend is that it’s so different to any other sort of Concours: there really is something for everybody, including planes now as well. 
You might even find a few bikes in there too! Our plan was to keep the best bits of last year while adding some exciting new elements for year two. The line-up of cars we have is simply awesome: I can’t wait to see them all together. And a massive thanks to Bremont: we’ve found the perfect partner.”
A key charitable partnership with the Royal College of Art has also been announced. 
The Heveningham Hall Concours RCA Automotive Design Scholarship will see a British student awarded a scholarship to cover fees and living expenses to cover the 15-month MA Automotive Design course in London under the auspices of Professor J Mays, who will also judge the Concours in July. 
The scholarship will be announced at the RCA’s Automotive Design Degree Show on 27th June at the RCA.
Media accreditation and downloads are also available through the all-new website via a dedicated media area: www.heveninghamconcours.com

UK SALES JUNE - FORD - The market leader again takes all the main titles as they have for decades.

Ford maintains its sales leadership through the month of June, and for the first half of the year, heading total vehicle, car and commercial vehicle (CV) sales in the UK.
Highlights of the June sales figures issued today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) include:
  • Ford leads total UK car sales (Fiesta 2nd and Focus 3rd)
  • Transit Custom tops the UK CV sales
  • Transit CV range is second in UK total vehicle sales
  • Ford has four models in the UK Top 20 – Fiesta (1st), Focus (3rd), Transit Custom (8th) and Kuga (14th)
  • Seven Ford models lead their respective segments; Ford Fiesta, Fiesta Van, Transit Courier, Transit Custom, Tourneo Custom, Transit and the Ford Ranger
As the all-new Fiesta arrives in UK showrooms, sales of the outgoing model have now exceeded 1,000,000 since it first went on sale in 2008. The one millionth Fiesta was registered in June to a customer in Birmingham, the UK hot spot for Fiesta sales.
Andy Barratt, Ford of Britain chairman and managing director, said: “It’s an exciting time as we transition into the launch of the all-new Fiesta. Every successive Fiesta model has improved on the one before, and this new Fiesta is our most technologically advanced model yet, with so many features you would only expect to find on a much larger car.  It will also be our most comprehensive Fiesta range, with a line-up that will include the luxurious Fiesta Vignale and Fiesta Active, our first ever Fiesta crossover model.”
The official figures released by the SMMT today show that industry car sales in June were down 4.8 per cent to 243,454 units, compared with June 2016. Ford car sales were 27,095, 4,456 registrations ahead of its nearest rival.  For the year to date (end June) total UK car sales were 140,1811, down 1.3 per cent compared with the same period in 2016.  Ford car sales for this period were 168,316, down 1.7 per cent, 60,289 registrations ahead of its nearest rival.
Ford is also the clear leader in retail car sales, which most accurately reflect the preferences of private buyers.  For June, Ford’s retail car sales share was 11.1 per cent, 2.8 percentage points ahead of its nearest rival, and for the year to date, Ford’s retail car sales share was 12.0 per cent, a lead of 4.4 percentage points.
The Ford Fiesta is the UK’s second best-seller in June, recording 8,601 registrations, 207 sales and less than 0.1 percentage points of share behind of its nearest rival.  With total registrations of 59,380 for the year to date, the Ford Fiesta is the UK best seller by a significant margin – 22,677 sales and 1.7 percentage points of market share ahead of its nearest competitor.
UK light commercial vehicle (LCV) sales in June were up 1.8 per cent at 37,349 compared with June 2016.  Ford LCV sales were up 2.1 per cent at 12,465 registrations, up from 11,186 in the same month in 2016.
For the year to date total UK LCV sales were down 0.2 per cent at 197,411, compared with the same period in 2016.  Total sales of Ford CVs for the year to date were up 3.3 per cent at 62,811 compared with 2016.
Demand for pick-up vehicles grew 14.2 per cent and the Ford Ranger, with segment leadership, recorded sales of 1,175 and 24.6 per cent market share, 104 registrations and 2.2 per cent ahead of its nearest rival.

UK SALES JUNE - MG - The Longbridge based brand bucks the trend showing a growth of 5%

While the UK’s new car market is beginning to feel the effects of a challenging political and economic climate, Longbridge-based MG Motor UK is seeing a five per cent increase in year-to-date sales figures, according to the latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) released today, 5 July 2017. 
The SMMT figures highlight that new car sales in the first half of 2017 declined by over one per cent over the past six months. However, MG continues to show strong year-to-date growth, thanks largely to the roll-out of MG3 and MG GS models and the expansion of its dealer network.
With more than 77 dealers now retailing under the MG brand, represented by large and small groups as well as quality independents, the brand is one of the fastest growing in the UK. MG is committed to growing the network even more throughout the rest of 2017 by attracting progressive dealers that are passionate about driving the MG brand value of honestly priced vehicles. With engaged dealers delivering great service, MG Motor UK expects to have close to 90 dealers in place by the end of 2017.
Matthew Cheyne, Head of Sales and Marketing at MG Motor UK, comments: “Our straightforward approach to franchising and low cost of set-up appeals to forward-thinking dealers that want to be part of a dynamic and successful organisation.
“Thanks to the commitment and passion of our dealers, we continue to buck the trend on new car registrations. Well-equipped, well-designed and well-priced, our models are proving an attractive proposition for dealers and customers alike.
“We increased our figures by almost 33% from 2015 to 2016 and are already tracking 5.12% up again this year. We are aiming to push figures even higher this year, thanks to continued penetration of the MG3 and MG GS and the launch of the much-anticipated MG XS.”

The next Phantom is announced for the exhibition of 8 Phantoms, ready for the launch of the new model.

  • #GreatPhantoms
Today, Rolls-Royce has announced the Mayfair location for ‘The Great Eight Phantoms’ - A Rolls-Royce Exhibition. The exhibition will take place at Bonhams on Bond Street, London, the heart of the luxury world. Rolls-Royce also announced that the third Great Phantom to join the exhibition will be Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Phantom II Continental.
Need for speed: Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Phantom II
At the height of his pursuit of a new land speed record in the 1930’s, Sir Malcolm Campbell began a relationship with Rolls-Royce that would take him to glory and help him celebrate it.
At the end of 1932 Campbell had won prestigious Grand Prix races, broken the land speed world record not once but six times, and had been knighted by King George V. He had nothing left to prove. 
He was the fastest man on land and yet, as restless as ever, he wanted to take a crack at the 300mph barrier, the automotive equivalent of the four-minute mile. 
He believed that the only engine that could power his Blue Bird to this speed was a 36.5L Rolls-Royce R aero engine, which generated a staggering 2,300 horsepower.
On 22 February 1933, Blue Bird's first run with the Rolls-Royce engine set a new world land speed record of 272 miles per hour (438 km/h) at Daytona Beach, Florida. A month later, Campbell celebrated by taking personal delivery of a new Phantom II Continental, registration AGO 1.
The short-wheelbase Continental had been introduced in 1930 as a ‘sportier’ version of the Phantom II, which had debuted a year earlier. The Continental, with its improved balance and springing, was capable of 95mph – modest by Campbell's standards, but positively head-spinning for a car weighing almost two and a half tons.  
The Motor magazine commented that the Phantom II Continental was 'Powerful, docile, delightfully easy to control and a thoroughbred, it behaves in a manner which is difficult to convey without seeming to over-praise.”
Although AGO 1 was bodied by coachbuilders Barker as a 'standardised touring saloon', there were some Bespoke modifications ordered by Campbell. These included a wireless set, fire extinguisher, spotlight, an exhaust pipe specified as nine-inches longer than the norm (probably to create an exhaust note closer to the Blue Bird's roar), a klaxon horn, a Bosch horn and a siren. Clearly this king of speed wanted people to know he was coming through! Even on public roads, Campbell’s fondness for going fast was well known.
And the colour? Pale blue, of course, with darker blue leather trim and a black roof. The pearlescent glow of the bodywork was apparently achieved by Rolls-Royce's use of ground herring scales in the paint. Campbell must have been pleased, for he penned a promotional brochure for the Phantom II entitled ‘The best Rolls-Royce yet produced,’
Bonhams and the Rolls-Royce marque have long been entwined, with some of the most historically significant and luxurious models crossing the block at the international auction house’s sales over the years. Indeed, Bonhams hold the world-auction record for the marque with the sale of ‘The Corgi’ 1912 Silver Ghost at £4,705,000 in 2012.
The Silver Ghost was in production until 1925 and replaced by another legendary model, the New Phantom. In December 2016, Bonhams sold one of the most famous Rolls-Royce Phantoms ever built - the 1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom I, nicknamed ‘The Phantom of Love,’ which sold for £561,500 at the Bond Street Sale. 
Commissioned by Clarence Warren Gasque for his wife Maude, a Woolworth heiress, money was no object. Gasque demanded that the style be French and that the car surpass the luxury of any previous Rolls-Royce sold. 
He certainly had his way, as the car’s painted ceiling, elegant polished satinwood, drinks cabinet, ormolu clock and self-styled coat of arms affixed to the doors combined to create a vehicle more akin to the throne room of Versailles than a motor car. It is, without doubt, one of the very finest examples of art and craftsmanship applied to an automobile, and encapsulates the elegance and style that has come to embody Rolls-Royce.
James Knight, Group Motoring Chairman of Bonhams, commented, ‘‘We are delighted to be the venue for this singular celebration of the Rolls-Royce Phantom, as Bonhams has had a long history with Rolls-Royce. Bonhams has sold some of the most astounding Rolls-Royce motor cars ever created, including ‘The Phantom of Love’ sold in London earlier this year, The ex-Marlene Dietrich Phantom I ‘ and the ex-Jack L. Warner Phantom I Transformal Phaeton.”
‘The Great Eight Phantoms’, a Rolls-Royce Exhibition, will take place at Bonhams international flagship saleroom and galleries in New Bond Street, London from 29 July till 2 August.