I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Jaguar Land Rover signs up to the Amsterdam Declaration, to abide by EU rules on Autonomous Driving.

  • Jaguar Land Rover demonstrates autonomous vehicle research technologies to EU Transport Ministers
  • Ministers experience Jaguar Land Rover ‘hands free’ driving
  • EU Transport Ministers meet at a conference to accelerate standardisation and harmonisation of autonomous vehicles
Jaguar Land Rover has supported the EU’s plan for the standardisation and harmonisation of autonomous vehicle technology. It demonstrated a range of highly-autonomous vehicles, including ‘hands free’ driving, to EU Transport Ministers on the streets of Amsterdam.

The 28 EU Member States met at the EU Council of Ministers meeting to discuss the importance of legal and technical standardisation and harmonisation relating to the legality of testing, selling and liability associated with autonomous vehicles.
Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We are all working on exciting autonomous driving technologies. To successfully deliver these technologies industry needs a common approach between carmakers, mobile telecom providers and providers of roadside infrastructure systems. 

“This will allow standardisation and harmonisation, enabling cars to communicate with each other and the roadside infrastructure around them efficiently and effectively. It allows Jaguar Land Rover to deliver technologies that are relevant, accessible and affordable to customers.”

With April ushering in the great British springtime, ŠKODA is showering customers with some incredible offers.

  • Low rate finance and deposit contributions of up to £2,000
  • Offers available to customers using SKODA’s Solutions Personal Contract Plan
  • Three years’ European Roadside Assistance and two free services included
  • Offers available on Fabia, Yeti and Octavia ranges
With April ushering in the great British springtime, ŠKODA is showering customers with some incredible offers on some of its most popular models.
For example, the multi-award-winning Yeti is currently available with a £1,750 deposit contribution from ŠKODA and low rate finance of just 2.9% APR Representative when purchased on Solutions Personal Contract Plan* (PCP). 

In addition, buyers also get complete peace of mind in the form of three years’ European Roadside Assistance and the first two services for free. The offer is available across the Yeti range (except SE Business) and includes the recently launched Yeti Monte Carlo. Prices for the Yeti range start at £17,210.
Octavia buyers can also pick up a great deal with a similarly generous package available across the range (except SE Business models). Buyers financing their new car with Solutions PCP receive a £2,000 deposit contribution from ŠKODA, along with low interest rate of 2.9% APR Representative**. 
Buyers also receive their first two services free and benefit from three years’ European Roadside Assistance. Prices for the hatch start from £16,515, while the ultra-practical estate starts from just £17,735.
Customers demanding the Octavia’s acclaimed quality and comfort in a smaller package can take advantage of a similar offer on the Fabia range. It too comes with two free services and European Roadside Assistance for three years for customers financing with a Solutions PCP. 
As with the Yeti and Octavia deals, customers get a low interest rate of just 2.9% APR Representative with ŠKODA making a £1,500 contribution to the deposit. The Fabia range is priced from £10,750 and is available in hatch and estate forms.
All three offers run until 30.06.16 and further highlight ŠKODA’s passion for delivering great value for money. 

WORLDWIDE SALES - Volkswagen Commercial sees growth in the third month of the year.

  • Worldwide delivery increase of 4.3 per cent
  • Bram Schot, Board Member for Sales and Marketing: “The renewal of the model range is taking effect”
  • Positive development of the brand also expected for coming quarters
In the first three months of the year Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles delivered 113,100 vehicles to customers worldwide – growth of 4.3 per cent. With 46,100 vehicles, the brand's deliveries in March also exceeded those of the previous year (+0.8 per cent).

On the German domestic market the brand delivered 28,000 units, 3.7 per cent more vehicles in the first quarter than in the same period last year (27,100 vehicles). Growth was particularly high in core European markets of Italy (+40.2 per cent to 2,900 vehicles), Spain (+27.7 per cent to 3,100 vehicles) and France (+17.6 per cent to 4,600 vehicles).
Deliveries to Eastern Europe (+2.6 per cent to 8,000 vehicles) and South America (+4.1 per cent to 9,600 vehicles) also developed positively in the first three months of the year. Markets in Africa (-29.7 per cent to 3,000 vehicles), Asia-Pacific (-9.1 per cent to 5,000 vehicles) and the Middle East (-0.5 per cent to 7,900 vehicles) recorded a fall.
Bram Schot, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles responsible for Sales and Marketing said: "The renewal of the model range with Caddy and T-series in 2015 is taking effect. It will be continued this year and next year with the Amarok and Crafter." Deliveries in Western Europe have seen a pleasing development. He added: “The markets in Southern and Western Europe are also recovering again.” He is expecting “continued positive development of the brand for the whole of 2016”. However, Schot goes on to say that the situation in the regions without such strong national economies remains challenging.
An overview of deliveries of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles by models:
  • 46,800 vehicles of the T-model series (43,500; +7.6 per cent)
  • 36,700 vehicles of the Caddy model series (35,000; +4.9 per cent)
  • 18,800 vehicles of the Amarok model series (18,500; +1.7 per cent)
  • 10,900 vehicles of the Crafter model series (11,600; -5.9 per cent)

Renault signs up with European Union’s 28 Transport Ministers supporting a legislation for autonomous vehicles.

  • Renault in initiative with European Union’s 28 Transport Ministers supporting a legislative framework for the promotion of autonomous vehicles
  • Renault reveals its Espace-based demonstration vehicle – the Renault Espace Autonomous Drive demonstrator
Renault today participated in a unique opportunity to showcase emerging autonomous drive technologies to a select group of European policy makers. The European Union’s 28 Transport Ministers gathered in Amsterdam to sign the Amsterdam Declaration in favour of autonomous vehicles.

As part of its leading role in the New Face of Industry in France programme, and in association with its partners, legislative bodies and other manufacturers, Renault is playing an active part in helping to shape existing road traffic legislation in order to promote the safe use of autonomous vehicles, as well as the competitiveness of European vehicle makers in this new technology area.
Rémi Bastien, Head of Prospective Autonomous Driving, Renault-Nissan Alliance said: “Today marks a new chapter in the potential for autonomous driving vehicles on the road. Renault is pleased to be working closely with industry partners, competitors and legislators to help ensure a safe and stressless future on the road.”
Renault Reveals Autonomous Drive Demonstrators
Renault revealed three ‘Renault Espace Autonomous Drive demonstrators’ which have already been trialled for several hundred hours in ordinary traffic across Europe. These new examples of what’s possible help illustrate Renault’s vision, which was showcased on the Next Two prototype in 2014.
Autonomous driving for all
Renault is committed to introducing autonomous driving vehicles by 2020, with the ambition to become the first to offer ‘eyes-off/hands-off’ technology on mainstream vehicles at an affordable price. This technology has a goal of making the road safer, more enjoyable and maximising time for drivers while driving. 
For more than 50 years, Renault has worked actively to improve road safety. More than 90 percent of accidents can be explained by human error and Renault’s Advanced Drivers Assistance systems aim to reduce the number of accidents by assisting motorists. The progress made by Renault in this field has seen the number of serious or fatal accidents involving its cars in France come down by 80 percent over a period of 15 years. Autonomous driving is an extension of this ongoing commitment to continue to extend efforts on safety.
By delegating driving during the most tedious phases of journeys, such as when traveling on motorways or in congested traffic, autonomous systems make motoring less stressful and more enjoyable without detracting from the pleasure of driving, while giving drivers the ultimate choice.
Beyond 2020, drivers will gradually be able optimise their time in order to take advantage of in-car connectivity in total safety when conditions permit and in total compliance with legislation.

Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible receives bold pop art design by illustrious British artist, Sir Peter Blake.

  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible receives bold pop art design
  • Conceived by illustrious British artist, Sir Peter Blake
  • Bentley’s skilled artisans realise unique features
  • Bonhams to auction car at Goodwood Festival of Speed
  • All funds raised to be donated to Care2Save Charitable Trust
Bentley Motors has teamed up with the godfather of British pop art, Sir Peter Blake, to create a one-of-a-kind Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible. This unique car will be auctioned for charity by Bonhams at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on 24 June.
Bentley commissioned Sir Peter to deliver the world’s first pop art Bentley, drawing on inspiration from the acclaimed artist’s celebrated career at the forefront of the famous British pop art movement. Bentley has donated the car to the Care2Save Charitable Trust, which provides palliative and hospice care around the world.

Commenting on this individual commission and the Charitable Trust, Kevin Rose, Bentley’s Member of the Board for Sales, Marketing and Aftersales, says:

“Sir Peter has designed a strikingly colourful car, encapsulating exactly why he is thought of as one of Britain’s leading artists. It was a fascinating project to be part of, particularly for the skilled artisans in our bespoke Mulliner division, who worked closely with Sir Peter to bring this design to life. We have proudly supported the Care2Save Charitable Trust and the hospice movement for more than 25 years and so take great delight from donating this inimitable car for such a worthwhile cause.”

Sir Peter Blake, perhaps best known for designing the sleeve for The Beatles iconic SgtPepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, comments:
“I am proud to have been involved with transforming this beautiful car, and have enormous admiration for the people at Bentley who brought my design into being, to produce this one-off lovely car.”
Possibly the most striking feature of Sir Peter’s bold vision - instantly recognisable as a Sir Peter trademark - is a St James Red heart motif hand painted onto a Continental Yellow bonnet, a symbol in-keeping with the compassionate work of hospices.

Throughout the exterior of the car, the use of collage - another characteristic of his work - demonstrates bright but clearly defined colour. A St Luke’s Blue - a bespoke colour introduced by Sir Peter, named in homage to Bentley’s local St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice - dominates the cars iconic rear haunches, doors and boot lid, with a British Racing Green lower body, and a Fuchsia pink-coloured radiator shell. 

The bright paint colours compliment the black exterior brightware and a black hood, incorporating a darker sub-tone while allowing the bright exterior colours to flourish.   

The cabin is also an expression of individuality, with each seat trimmed in a different hide colour; Cumbrian Green, Imperial Blue, Newmarket Tan and Hotspur, reflecting more tonal shades of the exterior surfaces.     
The same colours are echoed on the sports steering wheel, featuring a Hotspur outer rim, Newmarket Tan inner rim and Cumbrian Green centre, with Imperial Blue stitching. The vivid pink leather gear lever stands out against the centre console, dashboard and interior door panels, all veneered by Bentley’s craftspeople in Piano Black.
Sir Peter’s signature is incorporated onto the fascia panel and embroidered on all four seat headrests. To finish, unique storage cases feature a Piano Black veneer outer but with Continental Yellow and St James Red internal linings to reflect the bonnet colour theme. 

A distinctive treadplate, signifying that this is a Sir Peter Blake design, labelling ‘No. 1 of 1’ finishes the car. These unique features have been delivered through Bentley’s specialist bespoke division, Mulliner.           
The Sir Peter Blake design, which also includes a personalised playlist from the artist’s favourite music, is the second Bentley Continental GT Bentley is donating to the Care2Save Charitable Trust.            

The Bentley By Me campaign launched earlier this year, allowing people the opportunity to donate any amount from £1 to help transform hospice and palliative care around the world, with the opportunity to win a Bentley.

Reinforcing the importance of such initiatives to palliative and hospice care support, Andrea Ladeira, CEO of Care2Save, says:       

“Bentley has supported its local hospice every year since it opened 28 years ago. In turn, the hospice has given love, support and comfort to hundreds of people and their loved ones who are connected to Bentley. It is this excellent care which needs much-needed funds on a wider scale, seeing hospice and palliative care across the UK and globally benefit. 

The end of someone’s life should bring dignity, love and comfort both to the person who is dying and all those who care about them. We hope that this amazing car will deliver a lasting legacy of care. Without the dedication of Bentley colleagues, none of this would be possible.”  

Using the money raised from the Bentley by Me and Bentley By Blake campaigns, The Care2Save Charitable Trust will work with organisations and charities in other countries to educate and empower them to build their own sustainable and affordable hospice and palliative care models.  

Malcolm Barber, Bonhams Co-Chairman, said: “This collaboration with luxury marque Bentley, world-renowned British artist, Sir Peter Blake, and Bonhams, auctioneers of fine art and motor cars, is the perfect partnership.

“We have a long established relationship with Bentley, as the world record holders for the most valuable Bentley sold at auction, and are delighted to have been selected as the auctioneers of choice for the sale of this truly special motor car, with proceeds to benefit such a wonderful charity. The Festival of Speed is the perfect platform for selling such a rare motor car, so we look forward to some spirited bidding.”

Jeep celebrates it's 75th anniversary in style with a host of limited edition models with special paint and badging.

A new limited edition range of Jeep vehicles is being launched in the UK today (14 April) to celebrate the legendary brand’s 75th Anniversary.
The special versions feature exclusive branding, a high level of standard equipment, special styling details, unique green paint finishes (among other colour choices) and unique ‘75th Anniversary’ badging.
Just 8,000 of the limited edition cars will be built for the entire EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region. Celebratory editions of Jeep’s popular Renegade and iconic Cherokee will be the first models to arrive in the UK, with the most awarded SUV ever, the Grand Cherokee, and the ‘go anywhere, do anything’ Wrangler following later in the year.

All 75th Anniversary models are distinguished by a new livery, a 75th Anniversary badge, low gloss bronze wheels, bronze and orange exterior inserts and exclusive interiors with seats sporting the 75th Anniversary logo in relief (with the exception of Renegade) .
The Renegade 75th Anniversary sports a unique Jungle Green livery and comes equipped with either a 1.4-litre turbo MultiAir II 170 hp engine with a nine-speed automatic transmission. 
Or a 2.0-litre MultiJet II 140 hp engine with a choice of either a six-speed manual or a nine-speed automatic transmission and class exclusive Active Drive and Active Drive Low 4x4 systems. 
Standard equipment includes 18-inch wheels, the exclusive MySky sunroof with removable panels, bronze-coloured fog lamp bezels, roof rails, and new, specific fabric seats in either Black or Black and Sandstorm cloth with Tangerine stitching.
Jeep’s Cherokee 75th Anniversary comes in Recon Green and is powered by the new MultiJet II 2.2-litre 200 hp turbo diesel engine with either Jeep Active Drive I 4x4 system or Active Drive II with two-speed power transmission units and low mode. Nappa leather seats with dual tone Tangerine/Pearl stitching, 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen radio, bi-xenon headlamps, heated steering wheel and dual pane panoramic sunroof, are among the standard equipment.
The iconic Jeep Wrangler has received similar treatment. The 75th Anniversary edition for this model boasts a Sarge Green body and comes equipped with either a 2.8-litre 200 hp turbo diesel or a 3.6-litre 284 hp petrol engine. Standard equipment includes body-colour grille, low gloss bronze headlamp surrounds and grille throats, Power Dome hood with functional air vents, navigation with premium sound system, Ombre Mesh leather seats and body-colour dual top.
The line-up is completed by the Jeep Grand Cherokee 75th Anniversary also featuring Recon Green paint finish. Powered by the 3.0-litre V-6 MultiJet 250 hp engine, it is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Equipment is comprehensive and includes 20-inch light alloy wheels, navigation system, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and Quadra-Lift air suspension that adjusts ground clearance to five different levels for improved driving dynamics on and off-road. A Nappa leather interior will be available in Morocco Black.
At launch the new Jeep Renegade 75th Anniversary edition will cost from £26,795 OTR, while the new Cherokee 75th Anniversary edition will cost from £38,945 OTR. Prices for the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee versions will be announced later in the year.
“It’s a Jeep tradition to celebrate key anniversaries, and 2016 is no exception,” says Damien Dally, head of brand, Jeep UK. “Born in 1941, the Jeep brand has a rich heritage which this new line-up of special cars brilliantly acknowledges.
“One of the special features of these 75th Anniversary cars will be the unique green colours, but the choice does not stop there. There are several other paints to choose from, along with a range of options which will help owners to make their special cars even more distinctive.”

The Top gear Star In A Reasonably Priced Car, Vauxhall Astra is on eBay to raise money for the BEN Charity.

  • BBC Top Gear’s Reasonably Priced Vauxhall Astra back up for auction to raise money for BEN
  • 2013 Astra driven by Will Smith and Benedict Cumberbatch
  • New eBay auction opening today: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/-/231913252015
The Vauxhall Astra used in the last series of BBC’s Top Gear as their Reasonably Priced Car is up back for sale to raise money for the automotive support network BEN.
The 2013 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 was driven by a host of celebrities including Tom Hiddleston, Jack Whitehall and Steven Tyler. The car, donated by Vauxhall Motors, was initially offered for auction late last year, but with the original sale now fallen through, the way is clear for one lucky Top Gear fan to bid for the vehicle on eBay as well as contribute to a worthy cause.

BEN is committed to making positive differences to the lives of people within the automotive industry and their dependents. The organisation offers a wide range of free and confidential information, advice and Support Services, along with the provision of residential, nursing and specialist care services at multiple care centres around the UK.
David Main, Chief Executive at BEN said: “It is a shame the original sale fell through, but this of course does mean another chance for a Top Gear fan to get their hands on a piece of the show’s history, after all this was the last car to be used in the show’s previous format.”
He added: “Who knows, perhaps Chris Evans or Matt Le Blanc may fancy bidding on it themselves?!”
With an estimated 350 million views in 170 different countries per week, the 2013 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 was initiated with a star-studded barbeque, featuring celebrities including comedians Jimmy Carr and Warwick Davis, and singers Brian Johnson and Joss Stone. Celebrities such as Olly Murs, who topped the leader board, Margot Robbie, Ron Howard and James Blunt all thrashed it around the Top Gear Test Track at Dunsfold Park, Surrey.
The five-door Power Red 1.6-litre 115bhp Vauxhall Astra Tech Line will be auction on eBay, from today for 2 weeks until 28th April, with a reserve of £10,000 - all proceeds from the sale will be donated to BEN.
The spec:
  • Mileage – 2,908
  • 17-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels
  • Sat-nav system with seven-inch colour monitor
  • Three-spoke leather-covered sports steering wheel
  • Multi-function trip computer
  • USB connection with iPod control
  • Mobile phone system with Bluetooth
  • Digital radio with six premium speakers
  • Chrome-effect exterior side window surround
  • Front Corbeau Sprint Racing seats with 5 point safety belt harness and full roll-cage
IMPORTANT NOTE: Bidders should be aware that the airbags have all been disabled making room for the roll-cage.  To re-instate the airbags would involve removing the roll-cage and seating.  So, in its current state, the car is not type-approved and should not be driven on the road.  The Vauxhall Technical Team will work with the successful bidder at handover to fully explain how the vehicle has been adapted. Please be aware converting the vehicle back into use on the public highway would incur significant cost.