Breaking News – Germans on schedule!!!!!

2015 Porsche 918 Spyder _5_

Of course, that’s not really breaking news, but the main point of this post is to document the sad day that is the end of production for the Porsche 918 Spyder. Although some people didn’t think they’d sell them all (see pic below) they did manage it pretty easily, and if you left it too late, you’re out of luck now (which pretty much guarantees the second hand market for these in the current environment will be pretty warm to say the least).

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One:1 – it’s FAAAASSSSSTTTTT!!!!!

Koenigsegg released the 0-300-0 video of it’s latest creation – the One:1. Needless to say, it wasn’t slow…..

BMW M3 vs Mercedes C63 S AMG

The battle you’ve all been waiting for is finally here – the new M3 vs the new C63 S, courtesy of the fine folks at Evo

2016 Jaguar XJ – Details Announced

Jag XJ 2016 Portfolio Edition

Even though English cars typically don’t work too well (personal experience as the Range Rover Sport is currently receiving a brand new engine after 3 years and less than 35k miles of work), I’m still a fan. Jaguar has typically always verged on the driver side of the handling equation, even with it’s big models, and having had the opportunity to briefly drive one of the previous models, I’d have to say the weight reduction program and suspension tuning where definitely what I’d be interested in if I was buying a big car.

So today, Jag announces the 2016 model – a mild refresh of the exterior (along with some optional packages to spice things up a little), a thankfully new entertainment system (the old one was the same as the one in our RR and to say it’s a little slow is something of an understatement). Lots of details below if you’re interested.

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Featuring a new, more progressive look, the exterior of the 2016 XJ incorporates an updated front fascia that includes a larger, more upright grille with a new mesh pattern, a subtly redesigned front bumper and newly sculpted chrome blades in the lower air intakes.  Underscoring its dynamic on-road performance, XJR models are distinguished with a black trim package that includes the addition of a black front grille, black lower air intake surrounds and black window surrounds.

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Inside, standard wheelbase XJ models feature soft grain perforated leather seats with contrast stitching, contrast piping and an embossed leaper on the headrests. XJ R-Sport models retain the previous model year’s 8×8-way power front seats plus 4-way lumbar adjustments, while XJ Supercharged models are fitted with 14×14-way power seats that include 4-way lumbar support, allowing drivers to tailor the seating position and comfort to their own liking. 14×14-way seats will also be available on XJ R-Sport models as part of the Comfort Pack that bundles the increased adjustment features with front seat massagers, passenger memory, 4-zone A/C and an electric rear sunblind.

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The new XJ offers the familiar Jaguar range of all-aluminum V6 and V8 engines. Each featuring direct injection, variable valve timing, forced induction and intelligent stop-start systems which deliver high performance with enhanced efficiency. The 3.0-liter supercharged V6 develops 340hp and 332 lb-ft of toque and is available with rear- or all-wheel drive. Characterized by its linear power delivery and free-revving nature, this engine also delivers a unique soundtrack thanks to meticulously-tuned intake and exhaust systems. The 5.0-liter supercharged V8 continues to be offered in 470hp and 550hp variants, delivering all of the performance promised by the dramatic styling of the XJ. All powertrains feature a specifically-optimized eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF®.

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For 2016, the XJ is equipped with InControl Touch Pro™, an all-new infotainment system designed to be simple and intuitive. Conceived in-house and built around a quad-core Intel processor, 60GB solid-state drive and a next-generation Ethernet network, InControl Touch Pro can handle large amounts of data and is exceptionally powerful and responsive. The centerpiece of the system is its eight-inch capacitive touch-screen that works more like a modern smartphone, than an automotive infotainment system. The home screen can be customized selecting one of several available wallpaper images, widgets offer shortcuts to favorite features and functions, and additional home pages can be added, if desired. The touch-screen responds to common ‘pinch to zoom’ and ‘swipe’ gestures allowing drivers to scroll between home screens. Using this technology, the simple, intuitive user interface of the InControl Touch Pro system is designed to minimize driver distraction. Jaguar has also incorporated a secondary full-screen navigational display in the vehicle’s updated instrument cluster, improving line of sight driving and reducing the amount of time a driver needs to take his eyes off the road.

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The functionality of the navigation system is just as impressive. Maps stored on the 60GB solid-state drive of the InControl Touch Pro system can be accessed quicker than with conventional hard drives. Dead-reckoning functionality accurately determines the vehicle’s position even when GPS signals cannot be received. InControl Touch Pro enables door-to-door route planning and guidance, including public transportation options. A companion app allows drivers to plan their route offline and load it into the system at the start of the journey. Once the driver exits the car and the phone is disconnected from the vehicle, the app will continue to provide navigational directions, if need be, on the driver’s phone. A new Commute Mode has also been developed which learns the driver’s daily commute to and from the home or office and can automatically offer alternative routes to avoid congestion using historical and real-time traffic information. Approach Mode displays a 360-degree interactive view of the driver’s surroundings on the infotainment screen as they get to within 656ft (200m) of their destination, and can even direct the driver to the nearest available parking space.

Ferrari 488 GTB – Reviews are coming in

ferrari 488

A few reviews are in tonight for the new Ferrari – interesting because (it’s a new Ferrari obviously) it’s the first one in a while with a turbo engine. From a quick scan it’s all pretty exceptionally good, so take a look

Evo Review

Goodwood Road and Racing 

Chris Harris on Cars Video Review 

 

TVR is Alive – New Car Coming 2017 (Probably, Maybe, Hoping)

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I’ve got myself all excited about TVR revivals in the past – this car was a staple of my childhood, and I lusted after one consistently through my teenage years and beyond. Real drivers cars, little in the way of electronic assistance and pretty incredible designs meant I could forgive them for their British nature of breaking down lots and being generally unreliable compared to their German counterparts. But hear one start up, or see one fly past on the street, and it was enough to convert anyone.

Ok, enough of the reminiscing, here’s the full press release so I don’t miss any of the important bits.

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The iconic British car brand, TVR, has today announced that it will return to the market with an all-new British designed and built sports car. The company, which boasts an outstanding new management team, has developed the new car in collaboration with Gordon Murray Design and Cosworth, each providing much of the core design and engineering capability for the all-new TVR. This incredible project is already well advanced with over a year of development completed so far.

TVR will issue more specification details and early images later in 2015, but the car will continue the tradition of a classic British two-seat sports car with a composite ground effect aero chassis and body package using Gordon Murray Design’s innovative iStream® technology. Enthusiasts will also be delighted to know that the car will feature the traditional TVR DNA of a front engine with rear wheel drive and a manual transmission, powered by a normally aspirated, dry-sumped, V8 engine, developed and engineered by Cosworth.

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Les Edgar, Chairman of TVR said: “We know that a new TVR has to be better than just good – it has to be outstanding. From the outset we only wanted to work with the best partners in the business, and both Gordon Murray’s and Cosworth’s track records within motor sport and high performance car design and engineering speaks for themselves. Gordon Murray Design and Cosworth are the perfect partners for TVR and together, we will deliver a truly exceptional new car.”

Production of the car will begin in 2017, and will be offered to the market at a competitive price point within its segment and consistent with TVR’s positioning in the past. TVR has prioritised the company’s position as an all-British institution, and the cars will be completely produced in new UK factory premises.

Gordon Murray, Chairman of Gordon Murray Design comments: “TVR is an iconic brand which has been an important part of British sports car manufacturing for many decades. Its return to manufacturing is an exciting development and the car deserves the best chassis and powertrain that can possibly be delivered. To that end, I am delighted that our company is involved with the project, and that TVR are using our iStream® technology.”

Bruce Wood, Cosworth Technical Director, said: “We are proud to see Cosworth’s industry-leading engineering at the heart of the revived TVR brand. Our team has been working closely with TVR and Gordon Murray Design to develop a powertrain solution that perfectly complements the exceptional performance characteristics of the new car. It’s an exciting project and one which well suits Cosworth’s engineering expertise.”

Edgar continues: “We are a well-funded, well-supported organisation and boast a vastly experienced management team. We are here to stay and we have a fully evolved ten year plan for product and business development, and are committed to deliver on all the targets we have set ourselves  – as we have done to date.

“Despite very deliberately maintaining a low profile since completing the acquisition of TVR two years ago, we have had an enormous amount of unsolicited interest from businesses, individuals and investors internationally. Such is the strength of the brand and the passion of its followers. It is a real privilege to be a part of the revival of a great British marque – one that will succeed through our single-minded desire to produce exceptional sports cars.”

BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage

CSL 3.0 Hommage and Original

One of my favorite old cars from yesteryear is the “Batmobile” 3.0 CSL from BMW. So I was a little nervous when the rumors of a re-imagined version was due to show it’s face this year. But I needn’t have worried too much – BMW did a great job in building something that pays hommage to the old, but looks like it’s from the future.

BMW 3.0 CLS Hommage

Karim Habib, Head of BMW Design, explains the thinking behind the design of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage: “For BMW designers like us, the BMW 3.0 CSL is a style icon. Its combination of racing genes and elegance generates an engaging aesthetic that continues to win hearts even today.  The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage celebrates many of those characteristic features, but without copying them. Indeed, some of the parallels are not immediately obvious. We wanted people to sense the family resemblance rather than see it straight off.”

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The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage is a vision of pure athleticism: the elongated body is set off by distinctive air deflectors, powerful wheel arches and prominent spoilers to the roof and tail. Despite its size, the aerodynamic elements are key in enabling air to flow optimally along the sides of the vehicle. The front air deflector serves to vent the engine compartment, while wings over the rear wheels ensure optimum airflow around the vehicle. Small rear-view cameras serve to further reduce aerodynamic drag. The large rear spoiler increases downforce on the driven rear axle and in so doing improves power transmission. The Air Curtain and Air Breather systems guarantee optimum ventilation of the wheel housings. And the sheer self-confidence and sporting prowess of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage are perfectly summed up in the original colour of its spiritual predecessor – Golf Yellow.

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Nissan Free Charging

Nissan Leaf White

For your car, not your iPhone (although technically if a charging station can ramp up a car charge to 80% in 30 minutes, that should get you back to full power on your phone in about 30 seconds, right? I’ll let someone else try and plug it in to see).

But anyway, if you fancy a Nissan Leaf in the Mile High City (Denver, my home if you didn’t realize), they’ll give you lots of free power to try and entice you.

Nissan is launching its “No Charge to Charge” promotion for Denver area car buyers today. The program offers new Nissan LEAF buyers two years complimentary public charging with the purchase of the all-electric car from LEAF-certified dealers in the Denver market.

“Nissan LEAF is an attractive option for Denver car buyers because it is fun to drive and offers significantly lower operating costs when compared to a gas-powered car,” said Andrew Speaker, director, Electric Vehicle (EV) Sales & Marketing, Nissan. “EV charging infrastructure continues to grow in Denver, and access to free public charging for new LEAF buyers helps make owning an all-electric vehicle even more cost-effective and convenient.”

“No Charge to Charge” launches at Nissan LEAF dealers in the Denver market on June 2, 2015. The promotion includes access to fast chargers that can charge a LEAF battery pack from empty to 80 percent in about 30 minutes, as well as level 2 (240V) chargers spread throughout the Denver area.

Ford GT350R – it doesn’t sound bad

Check it out for yourself, preferably with the volume cranked way up

Lancia Stratos Family Bustup

Lancia Stratos Collection

You’d hope it wouldn’t come to this, but I guess if it’s going to be any specific car, it might as well be one of my favorites of all time, the Lancia Stratos.

A High Court dispute between Ernst Hrabalek and his son Chris, over the ownership of a collection of four Lancia Stratos cars, went to trial in London in February this year and the decision has been handed down by the High Court today (21 May). Ernst Hrabalek claimed that he had merely allowed his son repeatedly to borrow the cars over a 15-year period, whereas Chris Hrabalek believed that his father had gifted the cars to him in 2000, when Chris had completed his first degree.  The Court accepted that Ernst Hrabalek had led people to believe that he had made a gift of the cars to Chris, but felt that Ernst had misled those people.  The Court then went on to find in favour of Ernst Hrabalek that in fact no gift of the cars had been made to Chris.

Kinda rough, but I’m guessing with the increasing values of historic cars these days, it’s going to get a lot more common to see family fights end up in the law courts. Guessing there won’t be too many friendly toasts at Christmas at their house this year…