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, 1 February 2013

Suzuki launches special edition with no VAT, and extra kit.

  • Special Edition SZ-L model based on mid-grade SZ3.
  • On sale 1st February, available on the VAT free promotion until 31st March 2013 and priced at £10,599 for the three door model and £11,016 for five door model.

Following its debut at Autosport International earlier this month, the Special Edition Swift SZ-L will go on sale on the 1st February.

The SZ-L is based on the 1.2-litre SZ3, but with additional equipment and features designed to enhance the sporty and fun to drive character of Swift.

All Swift SZ3 models already come well equipped with seven airbags, ESP, air conditioning, USB port and Bluetooth as standard. Outside, the SZ-L adds a rear upper spoiler, rear privacy glass, unique 16-inch alloy wheels and free metallic paint in a choice of four colours. Moving inside, red accent stitching is added to the steering wheel and gearshift surround as seen on Swift Sport, as well as cruise control.

Crucially, the Swift SZ-L offers value for money in terms of running costs and purchase price; the 1.2-litre Dual VVT 94PS engine is one of the most powerful in its class, but offers low emissions of just 116g/km CO2 costing £30 in annual VED after the first year and returns a frugal 56.5mpg on the combined cycle.

Insurance should prove to be affordable too; SZ-L is in a low insurance group making it the ideal purchase for younger Swift fans who want to own a more striking, design-led car at a price that isn’t going to break the bank.

Swift SZ-L is available on the recently extended VAT free promotion until the 31st March at £10,599 for three door models and £11,016 for five door models. Additionally, Suzuki Financial Services has included it in its popular PCP Driveplan campaign. The SZ-L requires a deposit of just £749 followed by 47 monthly payments of £179 and an optional final balloon payment to keep the car.

New concept, new IS Hybrid both to show at the Geneva Motor Show.

  • European debut for new full hybrid IS 300h
  • Award-winning LF-CC concept car, presented in Opal Blue
  • Extended Lexus F Sport range
  • European premier for new IS 300h

The Geneva motor show will mark the European debut of the new, full hybrid Lexus IS 300h. The new model displays all-new styling that gives the sport saloon a stronger, more distinctive road presence than ever before, expressing Lexus’s reinforced focus on dynamic performance.

When it goes on sale in Europe later this year, the IS 300h will be available with an F Sport package, with exclusive sports-themed exterior and interior design features and sportier driving dynamics.

Opal Blue LF-LC
The award-winning Lexus LF-LC 2+2 hybrid sports coupe concept will be at Geneva, presented in a new Opal Blue finish. The concept showcases Lexus’s more sporting new image, with a fully driver-focused interior. It also delivers a strong interpretation of Lexus’s new design language, witnessed in the large spindle grille arrangement and rear architecture, which fuse distinctive style with engineering functionality.

Expanded F Sport range
Lexus’s full range of F Sport full hybrid models, including the new IS 300h F Sport, will be on show at Geneva, taking their place on an all-new motor show stand that’s being used for the first time in Europe.

C63 AMG gets more dynamic with this V8 powered exclusive Edition 507

The C 63 AMG models are becoming even more dynamic: the AMG high-performance cars are being fitted with an AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine with increased output as exclusive "Edition 507" models. The increase of 50 hp now brings output to 507 hp with a maximum torque of 610 Nm, and is a result of a technology transfer from the SLS AMG: the eight-cylinder naturally aspirated engine from the super sports car features forged pistons, connecting rods and a lightweight crankshaft. An AMG high-performance composite braking system with red brake callipers is fitted as standard. The C 63 AMG "Edition 507" is designed to appeal to ambitious drivers who take pleasure in top-class technology, as well as exclusive design and appointment details.

The C 63 AMG "Edition 507" produces 507 hp, and accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 4.2 seconds in the guise of the Saloon and Coupé, and in 4.3 seconds as the Estate. As such it outperforms the 457 hp standard model by two tenths of a second, and the variants with the AMG Performance Package which produce 487 hp by one tenth of a second each. The top speed of all variants is 174 mph (electronically limited): this is because as standard the "Edition 507" models are fitted with the AMG Driver’s package. In addition to an increase in the restriction imposed on the top speed, the package also includes a voucher for attendance of a driver training session at the AMG Driving Academy.

According to Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: "The C 63 AMG with the classic AMG 6.3-litre high-revving V8 naturally aspirated engine is one of the most popular AMG high-performance cars in the world. With the new C 63 AMG "Edition 507", we are offering our loyal customers an attractive model variant which boasts even higher performance and at the same time is visually exciting."

The following is an overview of the models:

C 63 AMG "Edition 507" featuring technology transfer from the SLS AMG

The increase in power output to 507 hp at 6,800 rpm comes courtesy of the modified inner workings of the AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine: the forged pistons adopted from the SLS AMG, together with new connecting rods and a lightweight crankshaft, translate into a weight saving of three kilogrammes.

The reduced mass inertia benefits the agility of the eight-cylinder M 156 naturally aspirated engine, which now features even higher levels of flexibility.

The maximum torque has also increased by 10 Nm, jumping from 600 to 610 Nm at 5,200 rpm. The titanium grey-painted variable intake manifold is a characteristic feature of the uprated V8 engine. A new engine control system rounds off the series of implemented powertrain measures.

Externally, the C 63 AMG "Edition 507" is characterised by a host of exclusive design features: most notable among these is the bonnet – it originates from the C 63 AMG Coupé Black Series. Two openings in the distinctive aluminium bonnet help with expelling engine heat. New AMG light-alloy cross-spoke wheels with tyres in sizes 235/35 R 19 (front) and 255/30 R 19 (rear) are another exclusive feature of the "Edition 507". The AMG light-alloy wheels are produced using particularly lightweight forging technology and are available in two variants: painted in titanium grey with a high-sheen finish, or matt black with high-sheen rim flanges. AMG sports stripes in matt graphite grey above the side sill panels are yet another new feature of the exterior.

The spoiler lip on the boot lid (Saloon and Coupé only), the exterior mirror housings, as well as the surrounds on the radiator grille and daytime driving lights are all finished in high-gloss black. Darkened headlamps also add a distinctively sporty touch. Available as an optional extra exclusively for the C 63 AMG "Edition 507" is the designo Magno Platinum paint finish.

AMG high-performance braking system featuring composite technology

As standard, the C 63 AMG "Edition 507" comes with an even more powerful AMG high-performance braking system featuring composite technology. The front axle makes use of composite brake discs measuring 360 x 36 mm. The advantages of the composite design include higher fatigue strength and lower warping characteristics. In addition, composite discs also tip the scales at a lighter weight: the reduced unsprung masses improve the response of the spring/damping elements.

With composite technology, the brake discs are connected to an aluminium bowl via eight cast bracket arms. This results in homogenous elongation of the friction ring under heavy loads. The brake discs are ventilated and perforated all round and are decelerated by means of six-piston aluminium fixed callipers on the front axle and four-piston fixed callipers on the rear axle. The brake callipers are painted red all round.

"Edition 507" interior: even more dynamic and exclusive

The decidedly sporty yet functional interior of the C 63 AMG is even more dynamic and exclusive in the case of the "Edition 507". Three different equipment and appointment variants are available to choose from: Porcelain designo leather/DINAMICA, Black designo leather/DINAMICA and Black designo leather. In the case of the designo leather/DINAMICA upholstery, light-coloured contrasting topstitching makes for an attractive highlight. The AMG Performance steering wheel in Alcantara® with light-coloured contrasting stitching has a 12-o'clock marking. The selector lever of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission is finished in DINAMICA and features an AMG badge. The steering wheel and selector lever gaiter also have light-coloured contrasting stitching.

In the AMG instrument cluster, red applications serve to visually differentiate this variant from the other C 63 AMG models. The trim in high-gloss Black Piano Lacquer look and the "Edition 507" badge on the trim on the front passenger side round off the high-quality, exclusive interior.

Optional extras available from the AMG Performance Studio include:

  • AMG door sill panels, illuminated in white featuring LED technology
  • AMG floor mats
  • AMG rear axle locking differential
  • AMG five-spoke light-alloy wheels, painted in titanium grey and with a high-sheen finish, with tyres in sizes 235/40 R 18 (front) and 255/35 R 18 (rear)
  • AMG Performance suspension
  • AMG Performance Media
  • AMG carbon-fibre/high gloss Black Piano Lacquer-look trim

extended appointments in designo Black leather comprising: upper part of dashboard, beltlines in the doors finished in designo Black leather
The C 63 AMG "Edition 507" will be celebrating its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, which will be opening its doors from 5 March 2013.

UK pricing and specification are still to be confirmed.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

JLR wins Chinese rising star award

Jaguar Land Rover China (JLR) has been named the winner of the Rising Star category at the prestigious Cathay Pacific China Business Awards 2012, which took place at London’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Friday, 18 January 2013. The Rising Star Award recognises dynamic and innovative businesses which have opened operations in China within the last five years and demonstrate entrepreneurial flair.
“We are honoured by the recognition from both the organiser and the judging panel. The award is a great encouragement for Jaguar Land Rover China and is highly valued by us,” said Bob Grace, President of Jaguar Land Rover China. “We have developed rapidly following the establishment of the National Sales Company in China in 2010, and since then have tripled our yearly sales performance by 2012, a result of successful investments and sales network expansion, product launches, enhanced after-sales service, etc. We will enter 2013 armed with a long-term development strategy to further deepen our roots in China.”

With trade opportunities between the West and China continuing to build on an annual basis, Cathay Pacific’s eighth annual China Business Awards acknowledge and celebrate UK and Irish business dynamism and success in China and Hong Kong. The achievements of the winning organisations were recognised at the awards ceremony by HSBC’s Global Head of Trade & Receivables Finance at HSBC, James Emmett and Cathay Pacific’s General Manager Europe, Angus Barclay, in front of a room of leading dignitaries from the UK, China and Hong Kong; including Lord Wilson of the House of Lords and Lord Wei of the House of Parliament. 
A panel of judges made up of senior representatives from Cathay Pacific, The China-Britain Business Council, HSBC and The Daily Telegraph reviewed numerous entries before choosing JLR as the winner of the Rising Star Award. 
JLR vehicles were first introduced to the market in 2003. In response to the fast development of the China market, JLR established a National Sales Company in China in July 2010. In April 2011, the company opened a regional office in Beijing. It is currently preparing to build a new regional office in Guangzhou. Currently, the company employs over 250 people in China, with more than 85 per cent of the workforce being Chinese. It attaches great importance to China, JLR’s fastest growing and largest market worldwide.
The judges all agreed that as a new entry in China, JLR became extremely successful from the moment it opened operations in the region. They were impressed by how JLR efficiently managed its business with a global view, whilst maintaining its British legacy, with financial results that spoke for themselves: JLR China sales reached over 73,000 vehicles in 2012, a growth of more than 70percent. In November JLR performed a ground breaking ceremony at a one billion pound production centre at Changshu near Shanghai – a joint venture with the Chery Automobile Company.
Angus Barclay, General Manager Europe, Cathay Pacific, said: “These awards celebrate and reward talent, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit for which the UK and Republic of Ireland are renowned. The standard of entries has been consistently high in recent years with stiff competition and we hope that the business awards will encourage other businesses and provide them with the opportunity to receive the recognition they deserve.”

Volvo experts predicts crash proof cars by 2010 - yeah right !

  • Volvo continues its Vision 2020 mission that nobody will be killed or seriously injured in or by a new Volvo by 2020
  • Volvo leading the way with City Safety, Volvo's autonomous emergency braking technology that helps prevent low speed accidents, standard on the all-new V40
  • Specially commissioned Volvo survey to mark the anniversary gives motorists their say on vehicle safety

Thirty years to the day since the introduction of the mandatory seatbelt law, and over 50 years since Volvo first developed the three-point seatbelt, the Swedish carmaker continues to lead the way with innovative safety technology working towards its Vision 2020 that nobody will be killed or seriously injured in or by a new Volvo by 2020.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary the mandatory use of seatbelts for drivers and front seat passengers, Volvo Car UK commissioned a survey into the British public's views on vehicle safety which revealed that despite major steps in road safety technology, most - 60% - do not believe safety innovations can wipe out road traffic accidents in the near future.

The law came into force on the 31st January 1983 and it has been estimated this legislation has saved over 60,000 lives* over that period.

The poll of 1,184 drivers also found:-

  • Many would welcome a range of safety innovations on vehicles with over a quarter saying they would like a car that drives itself
  • More than half would be happy to be driven by autopilot
  • 45% would like to see pedestrian protection technology on all cars
  • Over half want all round cameras fitted to vehicles
  • Interestingly, only a third of drivers believe speed limits on motorways should be increased because of these improved safety features

Volvo continues its market-leading approach to passive and active safety technology being the first manufacturer to introduce its auto-braking City Safety system as standard across all cars in the all-new V40 range.

City Safety, a low-speed collision avoidance system operates at speeds of up to 31 mph on the V40, keeps an eye on traffic in front and automatically brakes if the driver fails to react in time when the vehicle in front slows down or stops - or if the car is approaching a stationary vehicle too fast.

Features such as pedestrian detection where cars automatically brake when sensing pedestrians ahead, the world's first pedestrian airbag and even autopilot convoy driving where cars link together to drive themselves in special motorway ‘road trains' are already being used or tested by Volvo and the manufacturer hopes to start rolling out this technology in the next few years.

Volvo Car UK's Managing Director Nick Connor commented: "Volvo has a fantastic safety heritage at the forefront of innovative technology having clocked up several world firsts including the debut of the pedestrian airbag on the all-new V40 launched last year.

"As a nation of sceptics, it is perhaps not surprising the majority of British motorists think the introduction of vehicles which make accidents virtually a thing of the past is not possible but I have every faith in Volvo to prove them wrong!"

Volvo first introduced the two point cross-chest belt as an accessory in 1956 followed by the 3-point belt in the front as standard equipment in 1959.

Three decades of research and development means predictions of auto-piloted, self-driving, crash-proof cars on our roads by 2020 may not be all that farfetched despite the doubts of the majority of motorists surveyed.

Volvo invests heavily in safety research with its unique safety centre in Gothenburg carrying out hundreds of simulated crash scenarios each year and a dedicated safety team that visit the site of any road incident involving a Volvo within 50km to collect real world data.

MG announces new driver for BTCC

Britain’s brightest young racing driver has joined the MG KX Momentum Racing team −and has already achieved one of his lifelong ambitions.

Sam Tordoff, aged 23 has been racing since he was 10 years old and is acclaimed as Britain’s brightest racing talent. Last year he was officially recognised as the British Racing Drivers’ Club ‘Rising Star.’

He joins Jason Plato, the most successful driver in BTCC history, to contest the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

They will both be driving racing versions of the award-winning MG6 GT prepared by Triple 888 Race Engineering, one of the most respected constructors in touring car racing.

Last year Plato was third in the championship in what was supposed to be the team’s ‘learning year’ as MG returned to the track.

Tordoff, who hails from Leeds, began racing karts as a boy and worked his way up the motorsport ladder via the Renault Clio Cup and the Porsche Carrera Cup with many wins and podiums under his belt. He also competed in one round of BTCC racing in 2010 on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

Last year Tordoff, who has a B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering and works as a trainee accountant with the JCT600 motor group, won a place at the KX Akademy for the 2013 season. The bursary programme was set up by KX Energy Drink where Jason Plato is the scheme’s mentor.

He said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Jason, Ian and the rest of the team and I’m determined to do well – even if it means beating Jason!”

Jason said: “Sam’s a great young talent and brings a lot to our team. He’s a fast learner and it will be great to see him alongside me on the podium – but I’m planning to be on the top step.”

Ian Harrison has the task of managing the MG KX Momentum team. He added: “We’ve got a great team for the 2013 season in Jason and Sam.

“Jason’s obviously got the experience, including a fabulous year with the MG6 GT last year, and Sam’s out to prove himself now he’s won a seat in a top team. It’s going to be a great year of racing.”

MG’s Sales & marketing Director, Guy Jones, said: “It was brilliant for us to get MG back on the track last year and the cars were seen by millions of fans. Motor sport is in the DNA of the MG brand and we can’t wait for the 2013 BTCC to get under way.”

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Ford gains award for its commitment to low carbon transport

Ford’s long-term commitment to lowering carbon emissions has been recognised by an award from the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) commending Ford for outstanding achievement in low carbon transport over the last 10 years.

The LowCVP aims to accelerate a sustainable shift to low carbon vehicles and fuels in the UK and thereby stimulate opportunities for UK businesses, and the annual awards are designed to identify and promote examples of outstanding and innovative practice in this field.

The special award recognising Ford’s achievement was presented to Simon Palmer, Ford Chief Engineer, at the 2012 awards at an event celebrating the LowCVP's 10th Anniversary at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London.

Simon Palmer said: “This award recognises the scale of Ford’s investment in powertrain engineering and manufacturing in the UK and the significant contribution Ford has been able to make in lowering carbon emissions.” 

Andy Eastlake, the Low CVP Managing Director and judge said:  “As the UK market leader in passenger cars, Ford has arguably had the biggest impact on cutting overall emissions of carbon from road transport. The continuous improvement in combustion engines in the volume market is achieved through long term commitment and hard graft.  The carbon credentials and success of the latest Ford cars show just what can be achieved.”

Final edition A3 Cabriolet, now available to order from £23k

  • A3 Cabriolet Sport and S line Final Edition models replace existing Sport and S line versions
  • Vienna leather upholstery, BOSE sound system, DVD navigation and Audi Music Interface (AMI) among key additional features
  • Sport Final Edition carries premium of £2,340 over Standard A3 Cabriolet, S line Final Edition adds £2,435 over Sport Final Edition
  • A3 Cabriolet Sport Final Edition priced from £23,775 OTR to £28,180 OTR
  • A3 Cabriolet S line Final Edition from £26,210 OTR to £30,615 OTR
  • Engine range includes 1.2 TFSI (105PS), 1.8 TFSI (160PS), 2.0 TFSI (200PS), 1.6 TDI (105PS), 2.0 TDI (140PS)

As the worst of the snow recedes from much of the UK, the current Audi A3 Cabriolet is also withdrawing gracefully with the help of new Final Edition models which make the prospect of spring soft-top motoring even more attractive. Based on the familiar Sport and S line specification levels, the new Final Edition variants include numerous enhancements which maximise comfort, convenience and driving pleasure. Available now, they range in price from £23,775 OTR to £30,615 OTR.

The A3 Cabriolet Sport Final Edition takes the already comprehensively equipped Sport model and replaces its cloth upholstery with supple Vienna leather. It also adds front seat heating, rear parking sensors, automatic headlight and wiper activation, cruise control and a Bluetooth mobile phone interface. These comfort and convenience features are in addition to existing Sport trimmings such as 17-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension, dual-zone climate control, a Concert CD audio system with auxiliary iPod/MP3 socket and a fast-acting fully automatic acoustic hood.

S line Final Edition models offer even more luxury to complement their even more sporting stance. They replace the original 18-inch S line alloy wheel with a new five-segment spoke design, add full Vienna leather upholstery in place of the original fabric and leather combination and boost the list of S line safety and entertainment features to include xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lamps, DVD-based satellite-navigation, Audi Music Interface iPod connection and a BOSE sound system.  

The premium for the new A3 Cabriolet Sport Final Edition model is £2,340 over the standard A3 Cabriolet, which also continues in this final production run. Compared with the cost of specifying its additional equipment individually, this premium represents a saving of £1,605. The step up to the S line Final Edition from the Sport Final Edition costs an additional £2,435, effectively saving £3,640 compared with choosing its additional equipment separately.

Power options for standard Cabriolet models, and both Final Edition variants, include three responsive and frugal turbo charged and directly injected petrol units – the 1.2 TFSI with 105PS, the 1.8 TFSI with 160PS and the 2.0 TFSI with 200PS – or two turbo charged direct injection diesels – the 1.6 TDI with 105PS and the 2.0 TDI with 140PS.   Depending on the engine chosen, these offer economy potential of up to 65.7mpg with CO2 output of as little as 114g/km.

Prices for the final Cabriolet range start from £21,435 OTR for the 1.2 TFSI standard model. Sport Final Edition versions start from £23,775 OTR, and S line Final Editions from £26,210 OTR.

A new departure for the soft-top A3 – The Audi A3 Cabriolet is now available with a Final Edition specification, offering high levels of standard equipment. Prices start from £23,775 OTR.
A3 Cabriolet Sport Final Edition Pricing 
1.2 TFSI Sport Final Edition£23,775 OTR
1.8 TFSI Sport Final Edition £26,685 OTR
2.0 TFSI Sport Final Edition £28,180 OTR
1.6 TDI Sport Final Edition £25,225 OTR
2.0 TDI Sport Final Edition £27,030 OTR
A3 Cabriolet S line Final Edition Pricing 
1.2 TFSI S line Final Edition£26,210 OTR
1.8 TFSI S line Final Edition£29,120 OTR
2.0 TFSI S line Final Edition £30,615 OTR
1.6 TDI S line Final Edition£27,660 OTR
2.0 TDI S line Final Edition £29,465 OTR
A3 Cabriolet Sport Final Edition – additional equipment over A3 Cabriolet Sport
Vienna leather upholstery
Front seat heating
Acoustic rear parking sensors
Light and rain sensors
Cruise control
Bluetooth mobile phone interface
A3 Cabriolet S line Final Edition – additional equipment over A3 Cabriolet Sport Final Edition
18-inch 5-segment-spoke alloy wheels
(new design replacing original 18-inch S line equivalent)
Xenon plus headlamps with LED daytime running lights
DVD-based satellite navigation
Audi Music Interface
BOSE sound system

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

New MG watch, yours for £1,405 inc VAT

With assistance from BMH and MGCC, MeisterSinger has produced a superb limited edition watch in celebration of the MG marque
The foresight and determination of an ardent German MG enthusiast, Ernst Graaf, have resulted in a unique trio of quality timepieces, the design of which echoes the distinctive shape and structure of a 1950s MG TD radiator grille. The watches have been superbly crafted by MeisterSinger and are available online from www.motoringclassics.co.uk for £1405, including VAT.

Graaf’s love affair with the MG marque began with an Olde English White 1964 MGB he ran as a student, and was later cemented by an inexpensive quartz watch modelled on the grille of an MG TD. When attempts to replace the worn timepiece with a newer, MG-branded one came to nought, he set about creating his own. The MG Car Club assisted the cause, as did British Motor Heritage, which was sufficiently impressed with the project to license the use of the MG logo.
The watches feature top quality Swiss movements housed in stainless steel cases that are water resistant to a depth of 5 bar. The dials are protected by hardened mineral glass and the Cordovan straps are crafted from smooth horse leather. There is a choice of three different face/strap combinations appropriately named: ‘Abingdon’, ‘Cecil Kimber’ and ‘Cream Cracker’, in celebration of the MG factory, the company’s founder, and the most famous of the Works MGs respectively. To ensure a suitable degree of exclusivity, production will be limited to around 100 watches per annum.
Said British Motor Heritage’s Managing Director John Yea: “We are delighted to be able offer these superb new timepieces for sale and to have played a small part in their development.”
Full details of the watches can be found at www.motoringclassics.co.uk and www.mg-watch.com.  

£2.16 million inc £130,000 watch leather, gold and diamonds.

Over on "AUTOCAR", The UK motoring magazine, it is reported by Mark Tisshaw, of a new Hypercar, based in Beirut with only 7, yes 7 will be made.
A £2.16million supercar has been revealed at the Qatar motor show. Just seven examples of the W Motors Lykan Hypersport will be made.
Beirut-based W Motors has equipped the radically styled Lykan Hypersport with a mid-rear mounted, twin-turbocharged flat-six engine producing 740bhp and 737lb ft of torque. The engine is understood to have been supplied by German-based specialist Porsche tuner RUF.

This helps propel the car from 0-62mph in a claimed 2.8sec and onto a top speed of 245mph. That top speed is just 22mph shy of the speed achieved by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport in setting the fastest-ever speed achieved by a production road car.
The car is the work of company chairman Ralph R Debbas, who studied on the Automotive Design course at the Coventry University School of Art and Design.
W Motors describes itself as the maker of the “most exclusive, luxurious and technologically advanced high-performance sports cars “.
To back the luxurious side of this claim up, features of the Lykan Hypersport include diamond-coated LED headlights and gold stitching for the lather seats. Buyers will also get a special Cyrus Klepcys watch with their purchase, which is worth more than £130,000.
There’s no word on where the car will be built, but it’s previously been indicated by W Motors that Austrian automotive specialist Magna Steyr is involved in the project.
A 'Supersport' version of the car is also understood to be in the works.

BMW connectdrive upgraded

  • A new era for BMW ConnectedDrive
  • Four times a charm for BMW at the Business Car 2013 Awards
  • BMW 3 Series Touring named TopGear Magazine ‘Family Car of the Year’
  • Regus and BMW help fleet drivers work smarter

As a continuing commitment to technological innovation, BMW has redefined its ConnectedDrive offering.  It now gives customers a choice of additional functionality and the ability to future-proof their BMW, enabling its connectivity to be upgraded throughout the car’s lifetime.

The current BMW Business and Professional Media packages will be replaced by a new three-tier offering; Business, Business Plus and Professional Media packages.   All three packages offer a BMW Navigation system, enhanced multimedia and progressive levels of BMW ConnectedDrive Services.

Offering a new entry point at £990, the new Business Media package includes; Business Navigation, BMW Emergency Call (eCall) and BMW Teleservices.  This new structure means that both BMW eCall and Teleservices are active for the life of the vehicle, not just benefiting new customers, but also future generations of BMW owners.

The Business Plus Media package is priced at £1,400 and builds on the entry level package.  In addition, it gains BMW Online Services, information Plus and Remote Services to provide extra levels of connectivity.

The fully equipped Professional Media package is priced at £1,990 and sees an upgrade to the latest generation of BMW Professional Navigation.  This is combined with a full suite of ConnectedDrive Services including Real Time Traffic Information and the BMW Apps Interface which supports the integration of popular iPhone applications into the car, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Central to this new offering, each package includes an integrated SIM card.  This provides the hardware and connectivity platform upon which all additional software based services can be added.

Later in the year, BMW will introduce an innovative web store that will provide customers with the flexibility to tailor the car’s connected capabilities to their individual requirements.  BMW owners will have the option to log into the BMW ConnectedDrive Store via a website or directly from the car itself.  This revolutionary approach to in-car connectivity will make downloading additional features as easy as installing an ‘app’ on a smart phone.

These new BMW ConnectedDrive packages will be rolled out across the model line-up during 2013, starting in March with the BMW Z4, BMW X1, BMW 3 Series Saloon and Touring, BMW X3 and all of the BMW 6 Series range.

Four times a charm for BMW at the Business Car 2013 Awards.

BMW UK has scooped four awards from one of the country’s leading fleet publications.  BusinessCar magazine has honoured BMW with the headline accolade of ‘Manufacturer of the Year’, for the fifth year in a row, in recognition of BMW’s continuous improvements to its product portfolio, offering breadth, quality, efficiency and performance to Business Car drivers.

The highly covetable title of ‘Business Car of the Year’ has been awarded to the new BMW 3 Series Saloon in honour of its ability to blend driving pleasure with low emissions.  Not content with one award, the BMW 3 Series Saloon also takes the title of ‘Upper Medium Car of the Year’ for the fourth year in a row.  Its wide appealing model range and enviable emissions have ensured that the BMW 3 Series Saloon remains the most aspirational choice of car for Business Car drivers.

For the fourth year in a row the BMW X5 held on to its title, having once again been named ‘Large 4x4 of the Year’, thanks to its class leading emissions and car-like handling.

The BusinessCar Awards have particular gravitas as they are the only awards voted for solely by the title’s readers, reflecting the opinions of the people who really matter in the fleet industry.

BMW 3 Series Touring named TopGear Magazine ‘Family Car of the Year’

TopGear Magazine has bestowed the prestigious title of ‘Family Car of the Year’ on the BMW 320d Touring.  Credited for capturing the imagination of the buying public since its inception in 1987, the BMW 3 Series Touring combines the practicality of its 495 litre boot, with an exceptional drive – 184hp taking the car from zero to 62mph is just 7.6 seconds - and award winning EfficientDynamics technology, resulting in 123g/km CO2 and 60.1mpg, to take home this impressive honour.

TopGear Magazine Editor-in- Chief, Charlie Turner, said:  “Forget mini-MPV’s or small SUVs or any of the other random initialisms designed to tempt you into new ways of thinking about the same problems.  All you need for 99 per cent of the time is a BMW 320d Touring. Job done.”

Regus and BMW help fleet drivers work smarter

A new partnership between Regus and BMW UK will see Businessworld Gold Cards offered to BMW and MINI fleet drivers. As a result, thousands of drivers will enjoy on-demand access to over 1,200 Regus business lounges across the world.

This venture will enable UK business drivers to leverage the benefits of flexible and mobile working. Those who already work on the move can trade in noisy coffee shops and working from their backseat for professional workspaces across the world, complete with Wi-Fi, meeting space and free tea and coffee.

The dual-branded Businessworld Gold Cards will also help office-based fleet drivers switch to more flexible ways of working. They’ll be able to use Regus business lounges a short drive from home, minimising the traditional daily commute to a distant office.

According to Steve Purdy, UK Managing Director at Regus: “This Regus-BMW partnership offers a more productive way to work, letting people perform better, use their time better, and cut the stress associated with commuting and working on the move.”

Adam Harley, Corporate Dealer Operations Manager, at BMW UK, adds: “This partnership with Regus is a great fit with our customers’ lifestyles and requirements. Regus’s excellence in flexible working, and its understanding of new ways of working, will help our customers perform more efficiently, wherever they are.”


The long-awaited new Top Gear series is now airing on the BBC and that can mean only one thing – new challenge cars arriving at Beaulieu’s World of Top Gear! And visitors will not be disappointed – the latest arrival is none other than Jeremy Clarkson’s weird and wonderful P45.

For the first instalment of the 19th series, Jeremy returned to our screens in possibly the strangest mode of motoring transport viewers have yet seen. Following the mass popularity of his video demonstrating the many benefits of the world’s smallest car, the Peel P50, the big man was set a new challenge. His mission? To create and drive a car even smaller than the Peel P50. The result? The brilliant yet bonkers P45 micro car.

A team of talented students from Coventry University’s Automotive Design course were commissioned to work on styling, whilst the aluminium bodywork was hand crafted by the people who make the fabulous Petersen Bentley. Showing extraordinary attention to detail, the P45 was painted with blue twin stripes, paying homage to legendary AC Cobra creator, Carroll Shelby. Fortunately for Shelby, that was where the similarities between the two cars ended.

Ever the professional, Jeremy embarked on an extensive road test of the vehicle, which saw him driving at top speeds of around 30mph on the A3, taking the vehicle onboard a coach to London... to demonstrate how easy it is to get onboard a train, and then driving it through Westfield Shopping Centre and the British Library. Despite its many, many shortcomings, including a microscopic fuel tank, high risk of nose-smashing and inability to get through a car wash without jamming the machinery and soaking the driver’s suit, Jeremy then entered the Dragon’s Den, seeking investment from the dragons for mass production – their verdict was a unanimous and resounding “I’m out”.

Throughout the test drive, Jeremy was singing its praises, describing the car simply as “completely excellent”. Richard and James, however, were a little less enthusiastic, preferring to call it “utterly ridiculous” and “a complete death trap”. The P45 is now on display at Beaulieu’s World of Top Gear exhibition, where visitors can make a thorough inspection of the car and decide for themselves whether it is ingenious... or just plain insane.

The unique motor joins a whole host of cars at Beaulieu created by the Top Gear presenters for some of their most ambitious challenges. Another recent addition is the budget Bond Lotus Excel submarine car from the 50 Years of Bond Cars special and the collection is awaiting the arrival of another new creation from Series 19, due to be unveiled shortly.

The ‘Enormodrome’ recreates the feel of the Top Gear studio with regular features from the programme, including the Cool Wall and the Celebrity ‘Lap Times’ board, kept up to date in line with the show. Visitors can also watch behind-the-scenes footage of the Top Gear production zone and clips of some of the best Top Gear moments.

World of Top Gear can be seen as part of a visit to the whole Beaulieu attraction which also includes the National Motor Museum, BOND IN MOTION, Palace House and Beaulieu Abbey.

Beaulieu is open every day, except Christmas Day, from 10am. For more information telephone 01590 612345 or visit www.beaulieu.co.uk

Monday, 28 January 2013

Just for Fun - A few car adverts from around the world

Just for fun, and to see how things have changed over the years, a few TV adverts, this time I have chosen AUDI, if you want me to do some on another brand reply to this post and I will do some more at a later date.

In the mean time, ENJOY........

AUDI customer teams take a stunning one-two victory at Daytona

  • Britain's Oliver Jarvis achieves GT class win on US race debut
  • Alex Job Racing and APR Motorsport complete one-two success for the Audi R8 GRAND-AM
  • All three race teams in contention for victory until the end
At the Daytona 24 Hours, the Audi R8 GRAND-AM produced its best showing to date when Britain's Oliver Jarvis along with co-drivers Filipe Albuquerque, Edoardo Mortara and Dion von Moltke, won the GT category in a dramatic finale.
The runners-up Ian Baas/Marc Basseng/René Rast/Frank Stippler. trailed the winners by just 1.4 seconds to earn the Audi R8 GRAND-AM a magnificent 1-2.

Despite 65 percent of each lap having been driven at full throttle, the R8 GRAND-AM that is powered by a production-derived 5.2-litre, V10 FSI engine, ran flawlessly on the notorious oval track for an entire day and night.
With the class victory at Daytona Audi, under factory commitments or in cooperation with its customers, has now won the world’s most important 24-hour races.
The latest evolution of the Audi R8 GRAND-AM experienced a successful baptism of fire in the toughest GRAND-AM race of the year. All four of the updated customer sport race cars for the United States ran with technical perfection to the finish.
Each of the three race teams held the lead at least once and had a chance of clinching victory until the very end.

"We achieved this dream result in what was only our second attempt at Daytona," enthused Romolo Liebchen, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. "With that, the R8 GRAND-AM in the United States is continuing the string of successes of its GT3 sister model that has clinched a total of five overall victories at European 24-hour races in the past two years."
Alex Job Racing in the end was the best Audi team. Right in the first quarter of the race, the squad provided the first Audi driver - Edoardo Mortara (F/I) - to take the lead in the GT class. Afterwards, Dion von Moltke (USA), Filipe Albuquerque (P) and Jarvis, from Burwell near Cambridge, in the white R8 GRAND-AM set the pace. But spins and time penalties then caused car number "24" to drop back several times.
Particularly controversial was a 30-second penalty that was imposed after Mortara had spun and a competitor was allegedly obstructed in the incident.
Albuquerque then stood up to the pressure exerted by his brand colleagues in the dramatic final phase. For him, as for Mortara and “factory” Audi Sport driver Jarvis, this meant victory on their Daytona debuts.
Jarvis commented: “It's been an incredible experience and a great way to kick start my race season. The whole race was such a roller coaster of emotions as so much happened. With just two hours to go, it looked like we were out of contention for the race win despite running strongly for 22 hours as we were given what we felt was a very harsh 60 second ‘stop and go’ penalty. However, due to a late Safety Car period, we were able to get back on the lead lap which was key to our race victory.
“I've never previously experienced so much drama and action in a single race. The last half hour was almost unbearable to watch as we knew it was going to be a close finish but Filipe did a fantastic job of handling the pressure.

“When he crossed the finishing line, the team ‘erupted’ in celebration. I think I was definitely more nervous in the final few minutes as a spectator than if I was actually driving.
“Daytona is a race I've always wanted to contest and to win on my debut is something very special. This definitely rates as one of my best and most enjoyable wins. 
“A big thanks must go to Alex Job Racing who were superb all weekend and got the strategy absolutely spot on! Also to Audi for giving me the opportunity to be part of such a great event while of course the R8 GRAND-AM was just sensational.”
Audi’s first 24-hour victory in the United States completes an impressive track record. After eleven victories at Le Mans plus the successes of the R8 LMS at Spa, Zolder and the Nürburgring, Audi - thanks to its customer teams at Daytona - has clinched another classic 24-hour race in its favour.

Kia #3 - Now this is one Kia that's sure to be successful, looks and figures that are good, lets hope the price is as good when it is launched later in the year

  • Kia pro_cee’d GT and cee’d GT to debut at 2013 Geneva Motor Show
  • Most performance-focused Kia models yet
  • 204 PS and 265 Nm from turbocharged 1.6-litre engine
  • Designed and to be manufactured in Europe
The new Kia pro_cee’d GT and cee’d GT – the brand’s most performance-focused production cars ever – will enjoy their world premieres at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show on 5 March.

Designed in Europe under the direction of President and Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, the two debutants feature bold athletic styling, distinctive LED daytime running lights, dual-exhaust pipes, Recaro seating, 18-inch alloy wheels and eye-catching red brake calipers.

The new turbocharged 1.6-litre GDI petrol engine will produce 204 PS (201 bhp) and 265 Nm (195lb/ft), powering the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission and allowing the Kia pro_cee’d GT and cee’d GT to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h (62mph) in 7.9 seconds.

Production of the newest members of the latest generation cee’d family is scheduled to start at Kia’s Žilina plant in Slovakia in mid-May.  The pro_cee’d GT is anticipated to go sale in the UK from the middle of the year and be joined by its cee’d GT counterpart towards the end of 2013.
Prices and specifications will be confirmed closer to the on-sale dates.

Kia #2 - Pink, um, not for me but the Picanto white looks good

  • ‘Fuschia Blush’ colour added to the Picanto line-up
  • New 3-door Picanto ‘White’ edition available
  • Uniquely available in Clear White with white interior touches
  • High level of standard specification
  • Sporting exterior styling cues
  • Picanto ‘White’ priced from £11,475
Pretty in pink – a new colour for Picanto
The pocket-sized Picanto is now available in pink! Adding a splash of girly colour to the Picanto line up ‘Fuchsia Blush’ is now available to order on the 5-door model on grades ‘2’ and ‘3’ priced at the standard metallic paint price of £445.

A new version – Picanto ‘White’
If pink isn’t your colour then there is also an all-new version of Kia’s city car – the Picanto ‘White’.  Uniquely available with Clear White paintwork, and in three-door guise, this highly-specified model sits at the top of the Picanto line-up.
Picanto ‘White’ comes with a host of high-end specification items including automatic air conditioning, Bluetooth with voice recognition, iPod connectivity, a six-speaker stereo system and reversing sensors.  Electrically folding and heated door mirrors with integrated LED indicators, ‘welcome’ and ‘follow-me-home’ lighting, steering wheel mounted controls, a trip computer and a smart key entry system with Start/Stop button are also all part of the comprehensive equipment list.
On the outside, Picanto ‘White’ has a decidedly sporting appearance thanks to a set of anthracite five-spoke 15-inch alloy wheels, colour-coded side sill mouldings, a black ‘tiger nose’ grille with quirky red surround, LED daytime running lights, as well as distinctive LED rear combination lamps and a dual chrome-tipped exhaust.
The white theme continues on the inside with bright gloss white trim on the steering wheel, dashboard fascia and gear lever.  A black cloth upholstery, with part-leather inserts, leather steering wheel and gear lever and alloy pedals complete the look.

Picanto ‘White’ is powered by a 1.25-litre petrol engine with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.  Developing 84bhp at 6,000rpm and 89 lb/ft torque at 4,000 rpm the ‘White’ has a top-speed, in manual guise, of 106mph and completes the 0-60mph dash in 11 seconds.  The automatic version has a top speed of 101mph and does 0-60mph in 12.9 seconds.
The Intelligent Stop & Go (ISG) system fitted to the manual version helps it to achieve 62.8mpg on the official combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 106g/km that place it in VED band ‘B’ – meaning Road Fund Licence is free in year one and costs £20 per annum thereafter.  The automatic version has an official combined economy figure of 50.4mpg and has CO2 emissions of 130g/km.
The Picanto ‘White’ is available to order now priced at £11,745 for the 1.25-litre manual version and £12,435 for the 1.25-litre automatic version.  Both models are in insurance category 11 and have 10,000 mile or 12-month servicing intervals. 
Like all Picantos, and many other Kia models, the ‘White’ is available with ‘Care-3’ – Kia’s all-inclusive servicing package.  Just £269 will provide peace-of-mind and inflation-proof servicing for the first three services of the car’s life.  ‘Care-3 Plus’ provides cover for the first five services for £499.
As with every new Kia, the Picanto comes with our industry-leading and fully- transferable seven year warranty.  For more information on the Kia range, please visit www.kia.co.uk.