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, 2 January 2015

USA - Nissan announces pricing and specs for the 2015 Sentra sedan.

Nissan today announced pricing for the 2015 Sentra, which is on sale now at Nissan dealers nationwide. The highly successful seventh-generation Sentra, introduced in fall 2012, continues to be refined for the 2015 model year with a number of interior comfort and convenience enhancements – all which add value to an already outstanding array of standard and available features and equipment.

"For 2015, the Sentra lineup has been simplified and we've added value to all grades," said Derrick Hatami, vice president, Sales - U.S., Nissan North America, Inc. "The Sentra's most popular trim, the SV, now comes standard with great features such as RearView Monitor, Bluetooth, USB port that we are certain Sentra buyers will enjoy. SV also includes Nissan Intelligent Key®, which our primary competitors do not offer at this price point."

The entry-level Sentra S grade adds standard USB connection port, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, illuminated steering wheel audio controls, Smart Auto Headlights and cruise control.

The popular SV grade now includes Nissan Intelligent Key®, RearView Monitor, NissanConnectSM with Mobile Apps, 5.0-inch color display, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), sliding front armrest, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, Smart Auto Headlights and Easy-Fill Tire Alert.

The enhancements for 2015 continue with the sporty Sentra SR, which adds standard heated front seats and heated outside mirrors with LED turn-signal indicators – plus added features from the previous Driver's Package, including rear disc brakes, Nissan Intelligent Key®, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with 5.0-inch color display, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and more. The top-of-the-line Sentra SL adds standard leather-appointed seats, heated front seats and auto-dimming mirror with HomeLink® Universal Transceiver.

In addition, four new exterior colors are offered for 2015 (11 colors total): Titanium, Red Alert (SR only), Cayenne Red and Fresh Powder.

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices*** (MSRP) for the 2015 Nissan Sentra:

Sentra S 6MT$16,480 USD
Sentra S Xtronic$17,330 USD
Sentra FE+ S Xtronic$17,730 USD
Sentra SV Xtronic$18,300 USD
Sentra SR Xtronic$19,910 USD
Sentra SL Xtronic$20,670 USD

Beaulieu to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Sinclair C5.

 The 30th birthday of the Sinclair C5, one of the most unusual vehicles ever to be built in Britain, is being celebrated by the National Motor Museum.
First on display in the museum following its launch on 10th January 1985, visitors can again see this electrically-powered tricycle, which was gifted to the museum by its manufacturer.
Despite failing to catch the public’s imagination at its launch, today the C5 is regarded as an icon of 1980’s design and a pioneer of alternative-fuelled transport, as well as an endearing British failure.
The Sinclair C5, masterminded by inventor and entrepreneur Sir Clive Sinclair, was designed to be an inexpensive and nimble alternative for one person to travelling by car, bus or bicycle. Marketed as ‘a new power in personal transport,’ it had a retail price of £399 and could reputedly be driven for five miles on just one penny’s worth of electricity.

However, the C5 was poorly received by the press and public alike. Its diminutive size – standing just 2’ 7” off the ground – made it vulnerable on the road, while the claimed range of 20 miles on one battery charge was modest, due to the limitations in contemporary battery technology. Even if the ‘weather cheater’ poncho, offered as an accessory, was worn by the driver, the C5’s lack of rain protection also ensured a short production life.
Although Sinclair had expected to sell up to 100,000 units per year, only 9,000 C5s had been built by October 1985, following the end of production and the collapse of the company that Sinclair had set up to produce it.
The C5 utilised both pedal power and an electric motor for propulsion, with the driver sitting exposed to the elements in the open plastic body shell. Handlebars, located beneath the driver’s knees provided controls for steering, braking and acceleration. The design of the three-wheeled backbone chassis, constructed from steel, had been extensively developed by sports-car experts Lotus Cars.
An electric motor powered the left-hand rear wheel, helping the C5 to reach 15mph – its top speed, as restricted by law. Anyone over the age of fourteen was permitted to drive one and no driving licence was required, with only one button needing to be pressed to make it move. Built by Hoover at the firm’s factory in Merthyr, Wales – prompting incorrect rumours that it was powered by a washing machine motor – each C5 was supplied to its new owners in a cardboard box.
By the time that the C5 was launched, Sir Clive Sinclair already had an impressive list of revolutionary designs to his name. As a pioneer of miniaturisation, the reduction in the size of electronic hardware, his creations included the ZX range of affordable home computers, the digital watch, the world’s first slim-line pocket calculator and the world’s first pocket television.
Sinclair had long been fascinated by electric vehicles and experimented with much larger designs before focusing on the single-seater C5. He later claimed that the C5 was intended to fund the development of a much larger, four-seat electric vehicle, which could travel at speeds of up to 80mph. However, the C5’s commercial failure meant that this never happened.
The C5 can be seen as part of a visit to the whole Beaulieu attraction, which also includes Palace House, Beaulieu Abbey and World of Top Gear. For more details, visit www.beaulieu.co.uk.

DAY NINE - AUDI celebrates the Twelve days of Christmas.

Audi reveals a series of stunning light-painted images of its range – one for each of the twelve days of Christmas
Audi is marking the 12 days of Christmas with a collection of images which show its range in an entirely different light.
Day nine – The Audi RS 7 Sportback
Happy New Year from the Audi UK Press team!

DAY EIGHT - AUDI celebrates the Twelve days of Christmas.

Audi reveals a series of stunning light-painted images of its range – one for each of the twelve days of Christmas
Audi is marking the 12 days of Christmas with a collection of images which show its range in an entirely different light.
Day eight – The Audi A8 L
Happy New Year from the Audi UK Press team!

Mitsubishi upgrades its successful L200 range, with more kit and a great price.

Mitsubishi Motors in the UK is pleased to announce the new L200 Challenger - the best value for money pick-up ever from Mitsubishi Motors in the UK.
The Mitsubishi L200 pioneered the pick-up segment with its refined engine and high levels of safety, comfort and equipment. The company continues to innovate in the pick-up market by adding the L200 Challenger to its already robust, versatile and appealing range.

The L200 range comes with the longest warranty of any pick-up truck in the UK – five years or 125,000 miles. It is also available with a three-year fixed price service plan at £600 and a range of finance options, including Contract Hire.
Mitsubishi Motors in the UK has sold over 130,000 L200 pick-up’s since the launch in 1987 and continue to be a strong contender accounting for 20% of the overall pick up market.
The new addition priced from £16,499 is fully loaded with value adding specification. L200 Challenger goes on sale from 1st January 2015.
  • 175 bhp engine
  • Super Select 4WD system
  • M-ASTC
  • 17” alloy wheels
  • Cruise control
  • Climate control air conditioning
  • Automatic rain & dusk sensors
  • Privacy glass
  • Bluetooth
  • Leather steering wheel & gear shift knob
  • Optional leather seats
  • Long load bed
  • Available in all colours in the existing range;
The new L200 Challenger comes with renowned Mitsubishi reliability as standard. But for even greater piece of mind all it comes with the Mitsubishi Assistance Package (MAP) which includes 24/7 UK home and roadside breakdown assistance, and European roadside assistance in over 30 European countries.

Two new Special Editions from Mazda to celebrate the final old edtion Mazda2.

  • Black Edition and White Edition on sale January 1st 2015, priced at £12,145 on-the-road
  • Bespoke exterior detailing including diffuser-style rear bumper trim, privacy glass, 15-inch Dark Grey alloys and no-cost option bonnet and roof stripe graphics
  • Unique interior trim featuring body-coloured accents and black upholstery with red piping
  • High levels of standard equipment specification including air-conditioning, CD player, USB connectivity and no-cost option steering wheel-integrated Bluetooth® hands-free system
Seeing in the New Year in style, two new special edition 5-door Mazda2 models, the Black Edition and White Edition, go on sale on January 1st 2015 priced at £12,145 on-the-road.

Since its launch in 2007, the current Mazda2 has won over the Supermini segment with its styling flair, engaging driving dynamics and generous equipment specification levels. Embodying the model's energy and spirit, the Black Edition and White Edition bring more than a dash of extra urban chic to the Mazda2 line-up with sporting styling cues and a host of unique specification features.

“The Mazda2 Black Edition and White Edition represent a last chance for our customers to get their hands on a unique version of the current 5-door Mazda2,” said Mazda UK Sales Director, Peter Allibon. “As with every Mazda special edition model, they combine bespoke exterior and interior styling with a lavish standard equipment specification, offering customers stand-out individuality and outstanding value for money.”

A choice of bold, Jet Black Mica or Crystal White Pearlescent exterior colours is complemented by bespoke, diffuser-style rear bumper trim, a Jet Black rear spoiler and power-operated, heated folding door mirrors, rear privacy glass, 15-inch Dark Grey alloy wheels, unique Black Edition and White Edition badging, and the no-cost option of striking, colour-coded bonnet and roof stripe graphics.

On board, that sporting flair is reinforced by body-coloured accents to the door trim and air vents, black cloth upholstery with red piping, glossy Dark Grey audio panel and steering wheel inserts.

A lavish, special edition equipment specification includes manual air-conditioning, a CD player with two speakers, USB and AUX connectivity and a no-cost option steering wheel-integrated Bluetooth® hands-free system.

The new Black Edition and White Edition are powered by Mazda's lively 1.3-litre 75ps petrol engine mated to a slick 5-speed manual transmission. And both urban and open-road safety standards are enhanced by the addition of Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and a Traction Control System (TCS).

The appeal of the current Mazda2 model range has been further enhanced through an improved finance offer. All models are now available with Zero deposit, 0% APR* Representative on Mazda Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) and a Deposit Contribution which has been increased from £500 to £750, over a maximum term of 42 months.

The line-up is also available with 0% APR* Conditional Sale with a minimum deposit of 30%, with a maximum term of three years, or 5.9% APR* Conditional Sale with no minimum deposit and a maximum term of five years. Both financial offers are available until March 31st 2015.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Living legend former Jaguar test driver and works racer Norman Dewis receives an OBE.

  • Living legend former Jaguar test driver and works racer Norman Dewis receives an OBE in Her Majesty’s New Year Honours List
  • Norman Dewis OBE enjoyed a 33-year career at Jaguar and is widely regarded as Britain’s greatest test driver
  • Dewis developed many of Jaguar’s most famous models, including the Le Mans-winning D-type and influential E-type
  • Dewis also set a land speed record for Jaguar and competed in many races for the marque during the 1950s
  • At 94 years old, Dewis still retains a close relationship with Jaguar, acting as a global ambassador and a familiar face at many key motoring events around the world today
In a career spanning 33 years of testing and developing many seminal and celebrated Jaguar cars, the exceptional achievements of legendary 94-year-old former test driver Norman Dewis have been recognised and rewarded in Her Majesty’s New Year Honours List, with Norman receiving the award of an Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Norman Dewis OBE developed no less than 25 significant Jaguar cars and is widely regarded as Britain’s greatest test driver. His automotive CV is remarkable: he developed the multiple Le Mans-winning C-type and D-type racing cars, the pioneering XK 140 and 150 sports cars, the classic 2.4/3.4 and Mk II saloons, plus the Mk VII and Mk VIIM models, the legendary E-type (including the Lightweight E-type), the XJ13 mid-engined prototype, the world-class XJ saloons, the XJ-S and the ‘XJ40’ models.

Dewis was also co-driver to the British racing hero Sir Stirling Moss in a C-type in the 1952 Mille Miglia and, in 1953, set a 172.412 mph production car speed record in a modified Jaguar XK 120 on a closed section of the Jabbeke highway, Belgium. He also drove a 190 mph works D-type in the dramatic 1955 Le Mans 24hr race and competed in the famous Goodwood Nine Hours in the 1950s.
At 94 years old, Dewis is one of the last living links to the golden era of the British motor Industry; those post-World War II years when Jaguar rebuilt itself into a champion sports car maker. 
During his 33 year career, Dewis completed more than a million test miles at an average speed of 100 mph-plus and survived high-speed crashes in the days before seatbelts, without ever breaking a single bone. He also played a vital role in developing the revolutionary Dunlop disc brake.
During 2014, Dewis spearheaded Jaguar’s 60th anniversary celebrations for the race-winning D-type. Wherever Jaguar was during the year, Norman was present too, chatting with fans and friends, wearing his distinctive bootlace tie and cowboy boots. At the 2014 Goodwood Revival, Dewis drove one of the D-types, his speed illustrating that he hadn’t lost his touch behind the wheel. 
Of all the cars he worked on, Dewis considers the D-type to be the best. “I got that car up to 192 mph on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans,” he says. “Well, I had to pass [Karl] Kling in the Mercedes.” Jaguar’s star driver at the time, Mike Hawthorn, had such faith in Dewis that when he was asked to attend a test session and saw that Dewis was already there, asked the team manager: “Why am I here? If Norman’s satisfied with it, I’m satisfied.”
Dewis is working with Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations’ newly established Jaguar Heritage Business organisation to help showcase its capabilities and vision.  He is supporting the opening of the new Heritage workshop at Browns Lane, the extensive classic Jaguar parts offering, the launch of the new Jaguar Heritage Driving Experience in Warwickshire, and the brand-new Lightweight E-type, which he helped develop originally in the early 1960s.
John Edwards, Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations, and Chairman of the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, said: “Jaguar owes a huge debt to Norman Dewis. His incredible skills have resulted in some of the finest cars this company has ever made – whether they were designed for the road or the racing circuit. The Norman Dewis of today is the same quietly confident and modest man of the 1950s – he remains a world-class Jaguar ambassador. It is fantastic to see his contribution to Jaguar, and to British engineering, recognised in Her Majesty’s New Year Honours List, with the award of an OBE.”  

DAY SEVEN - AUDI celebrates the Twelve days of Christmas.

Audi reveals a series of stunning light-painted images of its range – one for each of the twelve days of Christmas
Audi is marking the 12 days of Christmas with a collection of images which show its range in an entirely different light.
Day seven – The Audi RS 4 Avant

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

CHINA - SAIC launches new MG GTS SUV, UK sales need to be sooner than 2016 though.

China’s MG has released the first official images of the new MG GTS SUV, formerly known as the MG CS SUV. The orange car on the official images stands on super large tires nicely filling the wheel arches. The real thing however won’t look so good. The MG GTS will be launched on the Chinese car market in the first half of 2015. Price will start around 120.000 yuan and end around 160.000 yuan.

The MG GTS SUV is based on the third generation (2010) SsangYong Korando. The Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), owner of the MG brand, owned a controlling stake in SsangYong Motor from late 2004 until 2009. Interestingly, new reports have surfaced saying the rear suspension of the MG GTS is based on the suspension of the Volkswagen Tiguan SUV, which is manufactured in Shanghai at the Shanghai-Volkswagen joint venture.  MG calls the platform ‘SSA’.

Exhaust pipes are tiny but otherwise a fine ass. Very usable roof rails and a subtle roof wing.
At launch, the MG GTS will be available with only one engine: a turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder petrol with 220hp and 350nm, mated to a six-speed DCT. Later on a 1.5 turbo four with 167hp and 250nm will joint the line-up, mated to a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
Black roof on orange body very smooth, with chromed roof rails at the border.

AUDI to invest more than 24 billion Euro's over the next four years

Audi expands its investment program: €24 billion from 2015 through 2019 

  • Audi CEO Rupert Stadler: “We are strengthening our innovative areas and expanding the global production network”
  • Axel Strotbek, CFO: “70 percent of all investments flow into new models and innovative technologies”
  • Audi Chief Technical Officer Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg: “Focus on digitalization and alternative drive systems”

Audi is further expanding the biggest investment program in its history. From 2015 through 2019, the Ingolstadt-based company plans to invest €24 billion, which is €2 billion more than in the previous planning period. 70 percent of the investment will flow into the development of new models and technologies. Audi aims to meet stringent CO2 limits worldwide with a new generation of extremely economical combustion engines and alternative efficiency technologies. Furthermore, new features in the areas of connectivity and driver assistance are designed to extend the “Vorsprung durch Technik” of the brand with the four rings. At the same time, the company is expanding its worldwide production network. More than half of the planned investment will take place at the German sites in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm.

Audi plans to develop new cutting-edge technologies and to create additional production capacities worldwide in the next five years through large-scale investment. “We place top priority on sustainable growth. That’s why we are making large investments in the innovative areas of electric mobility, connectivity and lightweight construction,” stated Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management (CEO) of AUDI AG. The company is also pushing ahead with the expansion of its global production network.
The total investment volume of €24 billion comprises approximately

€17 billion of investment in property, plant and equipment and €7 billion of capitalized development costs. “70 percent of all our investment in the next five years will flow into new models and innovative technologies,” explained Board of Management Member for Finance (CFO) Axel Strotbek.

“Despite the growth in total investment, we will keep a watchful eye on the upcoming challenges and exercise the required cost discipline,” stated the CFO. Top priority is being placed on progressing as efficiently as possible. The expansion of international manufacturing structure and higher advance expenditure for new models and technologies, in particular to meet stricter CO2 limits worldwide, require enormous efforts from the entire workforce.
In order to fulfill the ambitious CO2 limits, the company is working not only on the next generation of fuel-efficient gasoline and diesel engines, but also on plug‑in hybrids such as the Audi A3 Sportback e‑tron*, which became available in the first markets at the end the year. “We are constantly further developing alternative drive systems and focusing above all on connecting the car with its digital environment,” explained Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi’s Board of Management Member for Technical Development. “The car will communicate with the driver, the Internet, the infrastructure and other vehicles, while moving in an environmentally friendly manner.” The new Audi TT* is a pacemaker in terms of seamless connectivity. Its integrated Audi virtual cockpit, which merges a combination of instruments and an MMI screen into a central digital unit, sets new standards.
A few weeks ago, Audi presented the A7 Sportback h‑tron quattro concept car at the Los Angeles Motor Show, demonstrating that the premium manufacturer has also mastered fuel‑cell technology. “We can move into the series-production stage as soon as justified by the market and infrastructure,” stated Hackenberg. By the end of the year 2020, the Ingolstadt-based company intends to expand its model portfolio from 50 to 60 models. A main focus will be on new models in the C and D segments. Audi also intends to expand the successful Q family*. As of 2016, for example, the new Audi Q1 will be produced in Ingolstadt.
Another important element of the biggest investment program in the company’s history is the expansion of manufacturing structures in Germany and abroad: “The sites in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm are the basis for our international success. We therefore plan to make more than half of the total investment in Germany,” emphasized Strotbek. The production plant in Ingolstadt is already being prepared for new models. Extensive rebuilding work will start also in Neckarsulm in 2015, in order to prepare the plant for the next generation of the Audi A8 luxury sedan.
The workforce will also grow in the context of the investment in the main plants in Germany. In the past twelve months, Audi has recruited approximately 3,000 new employees in Germany alone. “We will continue to recruit in 2015, thus underpinning our course of sustainable growth,” said Audi’s Board of Management Member for Human Resources, Thomas Sigi. In addition, Audi will promote its own young talent and will once again provide specialist training to 700 young people. “We want to strengthen our core competencies, especially in key technologies, with a strong team in the domestic plants,” continued Sigi.
Worldwide, the Audi Group’s workforce has now grown to the record size of 80,000 employees. In Mexico and Brazil, the company is investing in new plants so that it can fully utilize the growth potential of the American continent. In this way, the premium producer from Ingolstadt will make sure it is even more independent of exchange‑rate fluctuations in the future.
Audi opened a training center to provide qualifications to new employees in San José Chiapa in October. As well as the 1,200 people who have already been recruited, the company plans to take on board another 850 employees in Mexico alone next year. As of 2016, the Audi Q5* will drive off the assembly lines there.
The ongoing high investment in the development of new models and technologies will become tangible for customers already next year in the form of numerous products. In addition to the new generation of the A6 family * in the large‑car segment, deliveries of which started in the fall of 2014, the new Audi Q3* and Audi RS Q3* will go into production with many innovative technologies in the New Year. And the new Audi A1* and A1 Sportback* will be launched in 2015, also with innovative three‑cylinder engines.
Audi will reach the mark of 1.7 million cars delivered in 2014. By 2020, the company aims to be the premium brand number one on a sustainable basis.
*Fuel consumption of the models named above:
Audi A1:

Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7,2 – 3,4;
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 166 – 89

Audi A1 Sportback:

Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7,3 – 3,4; 
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 168 – 91

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron: 

Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 1,7 – 1,5;
Combined electric power consumption in Wh/km: 124 – 114; 
Combined CO2 emission in g/km: 39 – 35

Audi A6 family:

Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 9,6 – 4,2;
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 224 – 109

Audi Q3:

Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 8,6 – 4,4;
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 203 – 114

Audi RS Q3:

Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 8,6 – 4,4;
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 203 – 198

Audi Q5:

Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 8,5 – 4,9; 
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 199 – 129

Audi Q7: 

Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 8,3 – 5,7; 
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 193 – 149

Audi TT:

Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7,5 – 4,2; 
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 174 – 110