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, 13 January 2017

The new fully updated Subaru BRZ gets it's UK debut at the motorsport show at the NEC.

Europe’s largest motorsport show opens its doors 12th - 15th January 2017 at the NEC and BMR Racing and Subaru can be found at stand 6000 in Hall 6.

The 2017 BRZ has been updated from top to bottom; exterior, interior, powertrain, suspension and safety, refining the driving experience whilst enhancing sports car appeal.
The Coupe shape remains, but is enhanced with a wider, lower stance at the front end. The BRZ’s face is finished off with full-LED headlights, a Subaru first. 
New design rear lamps and aerodynamic pedestal spoiler top off the rear of the car, and the wheels are now a 10 spoke aluminium design.
Inside, a 4.2-inch colour LCD multi-information display has been added into the instrument panel. The steering wheel has also been redesigned into a smaller package with different leather to increase the driver’s grip for a more engaging experience, whilst higher quality materials have been used throughout the cabin.
BRZ was built to deliver a linear driving feel, ensuring that the car responds exactly as the driver intended. Keeping this concept in mind, the BRZ’s suspension, engine and drivetrain have been further refined to enhance its poised handling and driving experience.
For sporty drivers, the new TRACK mode enhances the stability of the car and allows for more refined accelerator inputs when driving on race circuits. For urban drivers, there is a new type of Hill Start Assist (HSA) to help with uphill starts or downhill reversing.
The 2017 BRZ will be available in SE Lux trim only with either a manual or automatic transmission from Spring.

All-New Renault Scénic and Grand Scénic awarded ‘Best MPV’ at UK Car of the Year Awards 2017.

  • All-New Renault Scénic and Grand Scénic awarded ‘Best MPV’ at UK Car of the Year Awards 2017
  • Judged by some of the UK’s most influential motoring writers
  • Latest fourth generation Scénic described as stylish, confident and practical
  • UK COTY provides authoritative, independent advice to buyers
The distinctive fourth generation All-New Renault Scénic and Grand Scénic have been awarded the title of ‘Best MPV’ at the UK Car of the Year Awards 2017 today, just over a month after going on sale.
The stylish five-seat Scénic and seven-seat Grand Scénic, with unprecedented 20-inch wheels as standard and available with an abundance of innovative high-end safety and convenience features, were voted into first place thanks to its design, practicality and a sense of fun. 
The UK Car of the Year (UK COTY) Awards judging panel is made up of 27 independent, influential motoring journalists who assess more than 100 new cars to produce winners in 12 categories, from which one overall champion is chosen.

John Challen, Managing Director of the UK COTY Awards and Editor of ukcoty.co.uk, said of the All-New Scénic and Grand Scénic: “For situations where space is a must – especially for a large family, the Renaults get it spot on. Practicality taken to a whole new level in a pleasant environment.”
Indeed, other judges impressions of the cars included:  “The best cure for parental depression”; “The Scénic gets so much right for families, it just has to be the winner in this sector”; “A car that proves there’s life in the MPV format yet” and “Style with substance. Demonstrates Renault’s new-found confidence”.
Paul Flanagan, Managing Director, Groupe Renault UK, commented: “Renault invented the compact MPV and now with the latest fourth generation, the All-New Scénic has brought distinctive design, innovative technologies and unprecendented safety to its category. 
To win ‘Best MPV’ so soon after launching in the UK from such a respected group of motoring experts really is a fantastic accomplishment and one that everyone at Renault UK is very proud of.”
As well as being the only vehicles in class to provide Active Emergency Braking System (AEBS) with Pedestrian Detection as standard across the range – gaining a five-star Euro NCAP rating – the All-New Scénic and Grand Scénic are also available with a range of active and passive safety features such as Lane Keeping Assist, Fatigue Alert, Blind Spot Warning, Safe Distance Warning and Traffic Sign Recognition.
High-end technologies from the segment above such as an 8.7-inch portrait touchscreen and the Multi-Sense driving mode selector are available on a compact MPV for the first time. Other technologies such as Hands Free parking, 360-degree parking sensors, full LED headlights and BOSE® seven-speaker sound system.
The All-New Scénic and Grand Scénic are each offered in four trim levels – Expression+, Dynamique Nav, Dynamique S Nav and Signature Nav and each version provides a comprehensive standard specification. They remain as impressively practical as ever thanks to its modularity and class-leading storage and boot space. 
The five-seat All-New Scénic has a best-in-class boot volume of 572-litres with all seats in the upright position and All-New Grand Scenic provides a maximum boot capacity of 1,737-litres with all seats folded. 
A feature carried over from the new Espace, the One Touch Folding rear seats can be folded effortlessly to achieve a flat floor. The model is the only vehicle in its class in which this function can be activated from two different places: from inside the boot or by using the R-LINK 2 multimedia system in the dashboard. 
Other ingenious storage solutions, including four underfloor compartments, extend total cabin storage capacity to 57-litres, placing the All-New Scénic at the top of its class by offering up to twice as much space as its competitors. 
The All-New Renault Scénic is priced from £21,445 OTR and the Grand Scénic from £23,375 OTR.
The arrival of the fourth generation Scénic signals the complete renewal of Renault’s all-new family car line-up – alongside Kadjar and the All-New Mégane and Mégane Sport Tourer – and the French manufacturer now has the youngest model range on sale in Europe.

END OF YEAR UK - ROLLS ROYCE - The luxury brand has the 2nd best year in it's 113 year history.

  • Second highest sales in the marque’s 113-year history.
  • 4,011 motor cars delivered to customers in 2016, an increase of 6% on 2015.
  • Record performances in all global regions, with exception of Middle East.
  • The Americas retains top region.
  • Record results in several individual markets, including USA, Japan, UK and Germany.
  • Successful new product launches: Dawn, Wraith Black Badge and Ghost Black Badge.
  • Record results for Bespoke personalisation division.
  • Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Dubai highest selling dealership globally.
  • 100 new jobs created at the Home of Rolls-Royce.
  • Apprenticeship Programme celebrates 10th anniversary with record intake.
  • Significant expansion of Technology and Logistics Centre announced.
  • Major investment in Goodwood manufacturing plant in readiness for new models.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has today announced its second highest ever annual sales result in the marque’s 113-year history, up 6% on its 2015 results. 
A total of 4,011 cars were delivered to customers in more than 50 countries, affirming the brand’s strength and resilience in a year of challenging market conditions for luxury goods worldwide.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO, said, “This remarkable result emphatically affirms the global appeal of the very finest British luxury goods to the world’s most discerning patrons. Rolls-Royce is a true Great British manufacturing success story, one driven by the hard work and ingenuity of the men and women employed at our Centre of Luxury Excellence in Goodwood, West Sussex. 

We are deeply committed to a long term, sustainable, successful growth strategy and this result, amidst a backdrop of global uncertainty, affirms this approach. 
2016 has proven the perfect year to sign off the successful first chapter of the renaissance of Rolls-Royce. Success for Rolls-Royce is success for Great Britain and we reaffirm our commitment to maintaining the Home of Rolls-Royce in the UK.”
The company recorded its highest-ever sales in key global markets including the Americas (up 12%), Europe (up 28%) and Asia Pacific (up 5%). A number of individual markets also exceeded previous records, notably Japan (up 51%), Germany (up 30%), the UK – the marque’s home market – (up 26%), China (up 23%) and the USA (up 10%).
The only major region where conditions remained difficult was the Middle East where consumer demand for all luxury goods was dampened by economic and political uncertainty. 
However, despite these challenging market conditions, the Middle East ended the year as the third largest market in 2016, while Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Dubai earned the accolade of the highest selling dealership globally.
As part of its commitment to long-term sustainable growth, Rolls-Royce announced six new dealerships during 2016, bringing the global dealership network to 136. New launches included the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Studio in South Korea and an innovative boutique-style concept in Dubai.
Sustained global demand for Rolls-Royce’s fine products was driven by the continued success of the Wraith and Ghost families, which were further enhanced in 2016 with the introduction of their new Black Badge variants. 

Another major contributor was Dawn drophead which entered full production with the strongest pre-order book ever achieved by a new Rolls-Royce model.

2016 was also the final year of production for the seventh-generation Phantom, with its successor due in late 2018. Phantom retained its status as both the company’s pinnacle flagship product and the “best car in the world”, with customers eager to secure final Bespoke commissions to complete their collections, and own a landmark piece of Rolls-Royce history.
A highlight of the year was the successful completion of the largest single commission ever undertaken by Rolls-Royce: a fleet of 30 Extended Wheelbase Phantoms exclusively designed and handcrafted for THE 13 hotel in Macau.

The first car was handed over to luxury entrepreneur Stephen Hung, Joint Chairman of THE 13 Holdings Limited, at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show. Commissions like this reaffirm Rolls-Royce’s status as the only truly Bespoke house in the automotive world.

Indeed, almost as significant as the sales figures themselves is the continued growth and strength of Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke offering. One of the marque’s founding beliefs is that true luxury is deeply personal, and accordingly Rolls-Royce continues to invest heavily in its Bespoke capabilities and craftsmanship.
Virtually every Phantom, Ghost, Wraith and Dawn produced in 2016 contained specially-commissioned and unique Bespoke design elements, reaffirming Rolls-Royce as the world’s only truly handcrafted luxury motor car. 
This position was further reinforced through its latest Bespoke Collections, which in 2016 included the Phantom Zenith Collection and ‘Dawn – Inspired by Fashion’, as well as unique creations such as Ghost Eternal Love, Nautical Dawn, ‘Dusk to Dawn’ and Phantom Wisdom. 
The Bespoke Wraith Luggage Collection and Picnic Hamper for the Phantom Zenith Collection also garnered critical acclaim and strong commissions worldwide.
Future Growth
The new Rolls-Royce Technology and Logistics Centre (TLC) at Bognor Regis opened, on schedule, in January 2016. 
This purpose-built 30,000m2 facility, close to the manufacturing plant at Goodwood, was built from the outset with the potential for future expansion and the buildings will be extended in 2017 by almost 10,000m2 to meet growing demand and in readiness for future models. 

The expansion will give the TLC the same overall footprint as the Home of Rolls-Royce, more than doubling the scale of the company’s facilities since its launch in 2003.

Throughout 2016, significant building and expansion work also continued at the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood. The company invested heavily in a new single-line manufacturing system that is central to its long-term production strategy. 
Testing of an all-new proprietary aluminium space-frame architecture, which will underpin every new Rolls-Royce model built on the new single line from early 2018, is now approaching completion.
The growth in production facilities was matched by the creation of over 100 new jobs at the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood in 2016. The company now employs over 1,700 people, representing a remarkable increase approaching 500% on the original team of 350 who worked to create the first Phantom in 2003.
Rolls-Royce also demonstrated its long-term commitment to supporting future talent with a record intake on its industry-leading Apprenticeship Programme, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016. 
More than 50 young people are currently learning skilled trades at the Home of Rolls-Royce, with similar recruitment levels planned for 2017. Record numbers of graduates and interns also joined the company during 2016.
The success of Rolls-Royce is based upon an intimate understanding of luxury customers’ requirements. 
This was echoed in the success of the marque’s Provenance (pre-owned) and Financial Services programmes which both enjoyed exceptional results in 2016. These tailored solutions reflect the way in which many of today’s patrons of luxury seek to invest in fine objects.
In closing, Müller-Ötvös said, “We are deeply proud of the achievements of our historic brand over the past years. Rolls-Royce continues to surge forward in a confident and sustainable manner. 
Our business model, which is rooted in our unique and detailed understanding of the multifaceted world of luxury, is producing growth at just the right pace for a truly rare and exclusive brand. This is what our customers demand of us and this is what we will continue to deliver.”

END OF YEAR UK - MERCEDES VANS - The commercial arm celebrates 7 years of growth.

  • Seventh Consecutive Year Of Growth, 13 Industry Awards And 36,952 New Registrations: 2016 Adds Up To A Record Success For Mercedes-Benz Vans
Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Ltd has continued to keep Britain’s businesses moving in 2016 with the brand reporting some seriously enviable numbers including a record 36,952 registrations, marking the seventh consecutive year of growth.
Increases can be seen across the board, from an impressive 13 industry award haul in 2016 including Fleet Van of the Year at the Motor Transport Awards and Van Manufacturer of the Year at the Commercial Fleet Awards, to a 30% rise in Citan registrations.
Mercedes-Benz Vans also celebrated record sales in March (+18% year-on-year), November (+26%), the first quarter of 2016 (+11%), the second quarter (+1%) and the last quarter (+3%), as well as best ever retail sales (+8%), leading to an increase of 7% in the number of new customers choosing Mercedes-Benz Vans.

In terms of used vehicles, the brand has seen a 9% year-on-year growth for used van sales from the Dealer Network, who have themselves, grown massively in 2016. One Mercedes-Benz Vans Dealer sold more than 4,000 vehicles last year – for context, that is more than the Mercedes-Benz Vans sales across Ireland, Hungary, Greece and Luxembourg combined.
In addition, 2016 has seen some significant Dealer investment across the 116 site nationwide Network, with two dedicated Van Centres opened last year – Euro Commercials in Cardiff and Roanza in Liverpool. Rygor Commercials also launched a new, purpose-built Van and Truck site in Gloucester, and there were site redevelopments from Mertrux Nottingham, Orwell Truck & Van Ipswich and Northside Truck & Van Sheffield.
Over 15,500 Service Plans were activated last year, representing more than a 250% increase since 2012, with 109,000 vans going through the Mercedes-Benz authorised repairer network last year.
MobiloVan, Mercedes-Benz Vans’ free UK and Europe-wide roadside assistance, continues to keep customers moving, with an attendance time of still less than an hour and a roadside fix rate of almost 80%.
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services (MBFS) also had another record-breaking year, funding £298m vans in 2016. More new and used vans have been funded than ever before with over 1,000 more vans financed last year than in the previous record year. MBFS continues to fund one in three Mercedes-Benz Vans in the UK.
Steve Bridge, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Ltd, said: “Our focus to keep our customers’ businesses moving has been unrelenting this year, and it is a focus that we are very proud of; I don’t want us to be seen as another vehicle manufacturer – we are a commercial partner, working hard to support Britain’s businesses.
“Offering the best products is nothing without the service of the best team, and that is something that we have both at Head Office and across our nationwide Dealer Network. I am genuinely humbled to have received the awards and accolades that we have had this year to reflect this, with many judged by van buyers, users and operators. It makes me exceptionally proud to be considered Van Manufacturer of the Year by Commercial Fleet and as I have said before, this is an award that belongs to each individual that works for and on behalf of Mercedes-Benz Vans.
“The motivation for us remains our customers, and I thank them all for their business in 2016, from the one van purchase through to the large fleet deals and the existing van operators that continue to choose our Dealer Network for their maintenance.”

Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) is celebrating a ground-breaking 2016, well deserved it is too.

  • Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) is celebrating a hugely prosperous 2016, with its Mono supercar reaping endless success around the globe
  • From breaking new ground across five continents to seeing off the fastest cars in the world on track, the Mono has enjoyed a fantastic year
  • BAC now exports its One-of-a-Kind supercar to 30 different territories, including the likes of Canada, Myanmar, UAE and Nigeria, plus new dealers have opened across the USA and Asia, most recently in Taiwan
  • The Mono hit headlines when it became the fastest car ever tested by evo Magazine at the Anglesey Coastal Circuit, while it scooped coveted awards from TopGear Magazine and the Northern Automotive Alliance
Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) is celebrating a ground-breaking 2016, as the Liverpool-based manufacturer has enjoyed an incredibly fruitful year on all four corners of the globe.
BAC is the company behind the One-of-a-Kind Mono supercar, which has risen from strength to strength since it launched in 2011. And over the past 12 months, it’s truly taken off with a series of world firsts.
Back in the summer at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, BAC debuted an innovative new product for its Mono: hybrid carbon-composite wheels. These wheels typified the company’s approach to new technology, as did the reveal of its use of graphene just two months later.

BAC was the first manufacturer in the world to develop a car featuring panels incorporating graphene – an innovative and lightweight material – on the rear wheelarches.
This world-first earned BAC an audience with Their Royal Highnesses Prince William and Kate Middleton. At the University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute (NGI), the Duke of Cambridge sampled the Mono in all its glory and even took to the cockpit before labelling the car “amazing”.
The Mono is forever tweaked to be as light as possible, and its diminutive 580kg mass allows for a staggering power-to-weight ratio of 525bhp per tonne. Thanks to such immense power, the bespoke British supercar has been able to topple some of the fastest cars in the business on the track in 2016.
At the back end of the year, evo Magazine took the Mono to the Anglesey Coastal Circuit to pitch it against the likes of McLaren’s P1 and 675LT, the Ferrari 458 Speciale and Porsche’s 918 Spyder and 911 GT3 RS in its Leaderboard video series.
But the Mono saw off all of the above and even got the better of the race-specific, slick-shod McLaren P1 GTR, which had set the bar at 1:08.70 shortly before the Mono took to the track.
BAC’s supercar outgunned its fellow Brit by a whole second and on road-legal tyres to become a world record holder and a pace icon.
And as the P1 GTR costs a whopping £2 million, BAC’s achievement was a raw demonstration of getting the ultimate value for money from a supercar.
Such brilliance didn’t go unnoticed, either, as the Mono’s feat hit headlines all around the world. The media was stunned by the margin of the Mono’s triumph, which owed much to the team’s continuous strive for excellence.
Said team enjoyed its fair share of glory in 2016, too, achieving industry recognition at the annual Northern Automotive Alliance (NAA) Awards. BAC got the better of high-profile competition to scoop the Logistics Excellence and International Trade awards at the event in Manchester.
The International Trade award recognised just how much BAC has done for British export, having shipped the Mono to as many as 30 countries since its launch. The company added several all-new territories to its list in 2016, including the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Belgium, Germany and Poland.
Plus, BAC opened further franchised dealerships outside of the UK, including three in the United States of America and another in Taiwan. BAC Hong Kong already distributes to Hong Kong, China and Taiwan, and BAC renewed the dealer’s contract for a further two years.
As well as the NAA double, BAC also took home the Best for Selfish Sundays award in TopGear Magazine’s Best Cars in the World issue – an award that goes to a car that is all about the driver and is thoroughly enjoyable out on the open road.
BAC Co-Founder and Director of Product Development, Neill Briggs, said: “It has been a monumental year for BAC and everyone associated with the brand. The Mono has become a truly global product and we’re forever breaching new territories and discovering new fans.
“Winning awards both for our technical excellence and innovation as well as the Mono’s brilliance on the road shows just how amazing our staff and supply chain are. We’re also incredibly thankful for our partners and, of course, our clients – who are the very heartbeat of BAC and are so passionate about the Mono.
“Next year is looking like being just as exciting for us all. There’ll be new track records to beat, new territories to enter and, hopefully, even more awards to win.

Vauxhall ends the year with some significant improvements and a massive police market share.

  • Astra best-seller in its segment for last three months of 2016
  • Vauxhall number one in Scotland, with Corsa best-selling car
Rounding off last year in style, Vauxhall’s multi award-winning Astra has celebrated a sales hat-trick by being number one in its segment in each of the last three months of 2016.
According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the Astra cruised to victory with 15,948 sold in the fourth quarter and a total of 32,313 sold between July and December 2016, making it the best-selling car in its segment in the second half of the year, too.

This sales momentum capped a superb year for Vauxhall’s family hatchback, having built up an impressive list of accolades including 2016 European Car of Year, a game-changer award from Autocar and category wins at the Auto Express, What Car? and Fleet News awards.
In Scotland, Vauxhall was the largest selling manufacturer, according to figures released by the Scottish Motor Trade Association. Vauxhall has been number one in the region for the last nine years.
With over 10,000 sold last year, the Corsa was Scotland’s best-selling car. The top-selling Corsa has been Scotland’s best-selling car for seven out of the last eight years. Two other Vauxhall models featured in Scotland’s top ten best-sellers, including the Astra in fifth place with 5,260 sold and the Mokka in tenth place with 3,843 sold.
And if that wasn’t enough, Vauxhall is the number one supplier to Police fleets with a 70 per cent market share of competitive segments. A position it hopes to strengthen after opening the largest Police car factory in Europe at its manufacturing plant in Luton, Bedfordshire last year.
“The Astra is the best family car on the market,” said Rory Harvey, Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director. “After winning a host of top awards, 2016 was the new Astra’s first full year on the market and I am very pleased to see it top its segment in the fourth quarter and the second half of the year. Now we focus on 2017, with our best-ever product portfolio and five new models in the pipeline.”
Vauxhall is set for a ground-breaking 2017, with a total of five major product launches that will add further variety to its range, already one of the largest in the UK, while at the same time entering new market segments. The five new models are the Insignia Grand Sport, Sports Tourer and Country Tourer, Crossland X and Grandland X.

END OF YEAR UK - JEEP - The US Brand breaks records to post a 30.5% growth in the year.

Jeep's continued and growing popularity in the UK is illustrated in yesterday's new car registrations figures, which show the best year in the UK for the legendary 4x4 manufacturer since it started trading here.
Jeep capped a hugely successful 2016, with strong December sales taking the total number for the year to a record-breaking 14,090 – up 30.5 per cent on last year’s 10,794.
Jeep market share for the year increased to 0.52 per cent compared with 0.41 per cent in 2015, according to figures supplied by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Jeep's 813 cars registered in December compared favourably with the 759 for the same month in 2015. Market share was 0.46 per cent for the month, compared with 0.42 per cent in December last year.
Leading the way in terms of 2016 sales was the popular Jeep Renegade B-segment SUV, which accounted for 11,099 sales alone, and there were strong performances from Cherokee (1565), Grand Cherokee (1104), and Wrangler (322).
"The year 2016 was a great one for Jeep in the UK, in terms of brand recognition and sales. It was Jeep’s 75thAnniversary – a fantastic milestone to reach – and that helped us to end the year on a high point," says Damien Dally, head of brand, Jeep UK.
"People continue to look to Jeep for their next car and, with exciting new products such as Jeep Compass on the way, I am confident we can continue to build on Jeep’s success for many years to come.”