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    Following last year's concept, McLaren has revealed the finalised version of its ultra-extreme – and ultra-exclusive – P1 GTR.

    The transformation from road-going P1 to track-only P1 GTR has involved many modifications. For starters, the GTR's 3.8 litre V8 twin-turbo engine and electric motor produce a combined 986 bhp (735 kW / 1,000 PS) instead of the usual 903 bhp (673 kW / 916 PS).

    McLaren P1 GTR (2015) Front Side

    To complement that extra output, weight is down by around 50 kg (110 lbs) thanks partly to the adoption of an Inconel and titanium alloy exhaust, polycarbonate side windows and carbon fibre roof panels. Among the chassis enhancements are wider tracks, a lowered ride height and a set of centre-locking 19” alloy wheels with slick tyres.

    The aerodynamics have received plenty of attention, too. As well as a larger front splitter and side-mounted blades, there's a substantial non-retractable rear wing that still incorporates a drag reduction system.

    Anybody wanting to buy a GTR will have to have almost £2 million to spend and already own a regular P1. Included in the package is a choice of liveries and membership of the P1 GTR Driver Programme, which offers customer profiling sessions at the McLaren Technology Centre plus circuit driving events.

    McLaren P1 GTR (2015) SideMcLaren P1 GTR (2015) Rear Side

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    As facelifts go, the one that Citroën has just applied to its Berlingo is very subtle. Indeed, the styling changes are restricted to a redesigned bumper and front grille.

    Inside, a major development is the arrival of the Touchdrive Interface, which controls the vehicle's infotainment functions via a 7” screen. What's more, this feature is eventually going to be available with Mirror Screen to allow the duplication of smartphone content.

    Citroën Berlingo Panel Van (2015) Front Side

    Citroën is also intending to introduce some additional safety features. These include front parking sensors, a rear reversing camera and Active City Brake that uses radar to bring the Berlingo to a halt when an obstacle is detected ahead.

    Augmenting the 2015 model's engine line-up is a selection of BlueHDi diesel units. Built to meet the Euro 6 emissions standard, they come equipped with a particulate filter and an AdBlue-based exhaust selective catalytic reduction system.

    For any operators wanting to avoid internal combustion altogether, a pure electric Berlingo will continue to be offered. It offers a maximum range of 105 miles (170 kilometres) and a top speed of 68 mph (110 km/h).

    Citroën Berlingo Multispace (2015) DashboardCitroën Berlingo Multispace (2015) Front Side

    Citroën Berlingo Panel Van (2015) Rear SideCitroën Berlingo Panel Van (2015) Interior

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    Officially, Mercedes-Benz is describing its G 500 4x4² as a “near-series show car”. That basically means production will begin if pubic reaction is favourable enough.

    The new G-Wagen concept isn't simply a four-wheel version of the mighty G 63 AMG 6x6, even though some key components are shared. Among them are the portal axles (which increase ground clearance by dropping the wheel hubs below axle level) and permanent all-wheel drive system.

    Mercedes-Benz G 500 4x4² Concept (2015) Front Side

    22” wheels are fitted, but more extreme 18” beadlock items shod with Mud / Terrain tyres would appear on the options list. Regardless of the rims chosen the suspension set-up comprises twin spring and damper struts at each corner.

    Consequently, off-road capability should be impressive. Along with a wading depth of 1,000 mm (39.3”), approach and departure angles are 52° and 54° respectively.

    A specially-developed 4.0 litre V8 biturbo petrol engine powers the G 500 4x4². Unusually, its turbochargers nestle in between the cylinder banks to optimise packaging and response characteristics. Output is 415 bhp (310 kW / 422 PS), which is 120 bhp (90 kW / 122 PS) less than a G 63 AMG boasts.

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    Buyers of the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Work Truck can now order it in Black Out guise.

    The package consists of black paintwork, dark-tinted glass, black bowtie badges and 20” black-painted alloy wheels shod with P275/55R20 all-season tyres.

    Chevrolet Silverado 1500 WT Black Out Double Cab (2015) Front Side

    Available on regular cab and double cab models, the Black Out option costs $1,595 in the United States. That means all-in prices start from $28,895.

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    Image © General Motors.

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    Porsche's recently-announced Cayman GT4 already has another rival. The Lotus Evora 400, which is claimed to be the brand's fastest ever road-going car, gains an upgraded engine and a mild facelift.

    In fact, Lotus says that two-thirds of the Evora 400's components are new. For instance, the composite bodywork incorporates a restyled front end, while at the rear a diffuser and a fixed wing together provide plenty of downforce.

    Lotus Evora 400 (2016) Front Side
    The Lotus Evora 400 is set to take on...

    Porsche Cayman GT4 (2015) Front Side
    ...the Porsche Cayman GT4.

    Furthermore, changes to the bonded aluminium chassis now make cockpit entry and exit easier (but thankfully torsional rigidity hasn't suffered). One particular benefit arising from all the enhancements is a weight reduction of 22 kg (48 lbs).

    A three-mode traction control system, a Torsen limited-slip differential (on manual transmission models) and forged alloy wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres are included in the Evora 400's specification.

    So how do the Lotus and Porsche compare?

    As can be seen from the stats below, the Evora 400 boasts more power than a Cayman GT4 courtesy of a modified supercharger and tweaks to the engine management system. Its torque figure is slightly lower, though.

    The upshot is a slim performance advantage for Lotus, but those benchmark measures might not tell the whole story. Only circuit lap times are going to decide which is quicker...

    Model Lotus
    Evora 400
    Porsche
    Cayman GT4
    Engine 3.5 litre V6,
    supercharged
    3.8 litre flat-six,
    normally-aspirated
    Transmission Six-speed manual
    (six-speed automatic optional)
    Six-speed manual
    Power 400 bhp
    (298 kW / 406 PS)
    379 bhp
    (283 kW / 385 PS)
    Torque 410 Nm
    (302 lb/ft)
    420 Nm
    (309 lb/ft)
    0-62 mph (100 km/h) 4.2 secs 4.4 secs
    Top speed 186 mph
    (300 km/h)
    183 mph
    (295 km/h)

    In Europe, deliveries of the Lotus Evora 400 are scheduled to begin in August. North American sales will then start a few months later. Prices have yet to be revealed.

    Lotus Evora 400 (2016) DashboardLotus Evora 400 (2016) Side

    Lotus Evora 400 (2016) Rear SideLotus Evora 400 (2016) Interior

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    If the Mercedes-Benz S 63 AMG or S 65 AMG Coupés simply aren't powerful enough, then Brabus now has a solution. Its latest creation, called the 850 6.0 Biturbo Coupé, takes an all-wheel drive S 63 AMG 4Matic and applies a comprehensive makeover.

    At the heart of the conversion is a V8 biturbo engine. Brabus replaces the crankshaft, installs bigger forged pistons, modifies the turbochargers and enlarges the capacity from 5,461 cc to 5,912 cc. Furthermore, a stainless steel exhaust and a special air intake module are fitted. The end result is 838 bhp (625 kW / 850 PS) with a staggering 1,150 Nm (848 lb/ft) of torque.

    Mercedes-Benz S 63 AMG 4Matic Coupé (Brabus 850 6.0 Biturbo) (2015) Front SideMercedes-Benz S 63 AMG 4Matic Coupé (Brabus 850 6.0 Biturbo) (2015) Dashboard

    That increased output is delivered to all four wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission. For anybody feeling particularly brave, a rear-wheel drive version will be available too.

    The 850 6.0 Biturbo Coupé can sprint from rest to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.5 seconds before hitting an electronically-limited 217 mph (350 km/h) top speed. By comparison, a stock 576 bhp (430 kW / 585 PS) S 63 AMG 4Matic Coupé posts 3.9 seconds and 155 mph (250 km/h) for those same benchmarks.

    Mercedes-Benz S 63 AMG 4Matic Coupé (Brabus 850 6.0 Biturbo) (2015) InteriorMercedes-Benz S 63 AMG 4Matic Coupé (Brabus 850 6.0 Biturbo) (2015) Rear Side

    Lowered suspension, Monoblock 21” alloy wheels, a lift-reducing front splitter, a boot lid spoiler and a rear diffuser are also part of the package. Inside, the usual upholstery is swapped for breathable Mastik leather, plus a black Alcantara headliner adds to the ambience.

    Brabus is due to exhibit the 850 6.0 Biturbo Coupé at next month's Geneva Motor Show.

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    Compact MPVs aren't the most exciting things, but plenty of families value their versatility. Consequently the arrival of an all-new Volkswagen Touran is a significant event for a sizeable contingent of real-world car buyers.

    The latest Touran is based on the MQB modular front-wheel drive platform that underpins an ever-increasing number of Volkswagen Group products. In this particular application, its use has resulted in a longer wheelbase, more interior space and a 62 kg (136 lbs) weight reduction.

    Volkswagen Touran R Line (2016) Front Side

    As previously, both five- and seven-seat versions will be available. A fold-flat system means the cabin can be easily configured to carry passengers, cargo or both. Indeed, even with the second row of seats upright, load space is a useful 1,040 litres.

    Numerous safety features have been developed to appeal to the Touran's target market. Among them are automatic post-collision braking, city emergency braking, rear traffic alert and pre-crash proactive occupant protection. Adaptive cruise control, an automatic tailgate opening function, LED headlights and R Line appearance packages are also going to be offered.

    The engine line-up comprises three petrols and three diesels, and they're reckoned to be up to 19% more economical versus the old model:
    • 108 bhp (81 kW / 110 PS) 1.2 litre TSI petrol
    • 147 bhp (110 kW / 150 PS) 1.4 litre TSI petrol
    • 177 bhp (132 kW / 180 PS) 1.8 litre TSI petrol
    • 108 bhp (81 kW / 110 PS) 1.6 litre TDI diesel
    • 147 bhp (110 kW / 150 PS) 2.0 litre TDI diesel
    • 187 bhp (140 kW / 190 PS) 2.0 litre TDI diesel
    Following a début at next month's Geneva Motor Show, UK deliveries of the 2016 Touran are due to begin towards the end of this year.

    Volkswagen Touran (2016) SideVolkswagen Touran (2016) Interior

    Volkswagen Touran R Line (2016) Rear SideVolkswagen Touran (2016) Front Side

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    A van-based MPV with enhanced all-terrain ability might seem very niche, but that's exactly what the new Fiat Doblò Trekking is.

    Its main distinguishing feature is the Traction+ traction control system. This – along with an under-engine guard and a 10 mm (0.4”) ride-height increase – allows the Doblò to tackle moderate off-road conditions without resorting to a heavy and expensive all-wheel drive transmission.

    Fiat Doblò Trekking (2015) Front SideFiat Doblò Trekking (2015) Rear Side

    Also fitted are redesigned bumpers, unique side mouldings and 16” alloy wheels shod with all-season tyres. The specification includes 'eco-leather' and cloth upholstery, rear privacy glass and manual climate control too.

    Market launches for the Doblò Trekking are due to start soon after an appearance at next month's Geneva Motor Show.

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    Just 24 examples of the Aston Martin Vulcan hypercar are going to be produced. Intended for circuit use only, the exclusive ownership experience is set to involve driver training and special events.

    The Vulcan is built around a carbon fibre monocoque and a normally-aspirated 7.0 litre V12 engine developing over 800 horsepower (approximately 600 kW).

    Aston Martin Vulcan (2016 Rendering) Front Side

    That output is delivered to the rear wheels via a rear-mounted Xtrac six-speed sequential transmission, but performance figures have yet to be published.

    Complementing the powertrain is a suspension set-up which incorporates anti-dive geometry and adjustable dampers. Braking is taken care of by carbon ceramic discs, Brembo racing calipers and an anti-lock system.

    Despite a price tag of £1.8M (around US$2.8M or €2.5M at current exchange rates), Aston Martin probably won't have any difficulty in finding customers for the Vulcan.

    Aston Martin Vulcan (2016 Rendering) InteriorAston Martin Vulcan (2016 Rendering) Rear Side

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    Many Lancia fans must be dismayed with the way in which the brand is being allowed to wither away. Nevertheless, it struggles on and this year marks 30 years since the first Y10 appeared.

    To celebrate that birthday, a special version of the current Ypsilon supermini has been created.

    Lancia Ypsilon 30th Anniversary (2015) Front Side

    Distinguishing features include Ultramarine Blue paintwork, two-tone 15” alloy wheels and unique door-pillar badges. What's more, an all-black tailgate can be ordered as a homage to the original 1985 model.

    Inside, there's a choice of beige or black fabric upholstery and buyers will get to pick from the usual selection of engines.

    Lancia Ypsilon 30th Anniversary (2015) Rear Side

    The Ypsilon 30th Anniversary edition is due to arrive at Lancia dealers this month.

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  • 02/28/15--17:00: 2015 BMW M4 DTM revealed
  • Although the 2015 M4 DTM looks virtually identical to last season's car, that's understandable because the homologation regulations didn't permit any major changes. Nevertheless, BMW Motorsport has continued with detailed development work in order to improve its racer.

    Reigning drivers' champion Marco Wittmann is back to defend his title in an Ice Watch-backed entry. 2014's Rookie of the Year, Maxime Martin, joins him at BMW Team RMG.

    BMW M4 DTM 2015 #1 (Wittmann) Front SideBMW M4 DTM 2015 #36 (Martin) Front Side

    A sponsorship deal with Shell means that the M4 DTM of Augusto Farfus gets a striking new red and white paintjob. Also competing for BMW Team RBM is current FIA European Formula 3 Championship runner-up Tom Blomqvist.

    BMW M4 DTM 2015 #18 (Farfus) Front

    At BMW Team Schnitzer, Martin Tomczyk has support from BMW M Performance Parts while António Félix da Costa runs in Red Bull colours.

    BMW M4 DTM 2015 #77 (Tomczyk) Rear Side

    Bruno Spengler and Timo Glock are representing BMW Team MTEK, and their cars wear the familiar BMW Bank and Deutsche Post liveries respectively.

    BMW M4 DTM 2015 #7 (Spengler) Front SideBMW M4 DTM 2015 #16 (Glock) Side

    This year's nine-event DTM begins at Hockenheim on the 2nd of May.

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  • 02/28/15--17:30: Mercedes-AMG GT3 confirmed
  • As anticipated, a racing version of the Mercedes-AMG GT is set to be unveiled at this month's Geneva Motor Show. Given that the new car has been built to comply with FIA GT3 regulations, it's simply known as the Mercedes-AMG GT3.

    There are plenty of differences compared to the road-going model. For example, the usual 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 engine has been ditched in favour of a normally-aspirated 6.3 litre V8 unit which was previously used in the SLS AMG GT3. Its output is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential transaxle transmission.

    Mercedes-AMG GT3 2016 (Rendering) Front

    As well as various aerodynamic appendages, the bodywork features larger air intakes and dramatically widened wheel arches. Furthermore, to keep weight down to a minimum, most of the panels are made from carbon fibre.

    Deliveries of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 to customer teams are scheduled to begin at the end of this year. A price has yet to be announced.

    Mercedes-AMG GT3 2016 (Rendering) InteriorMercedes-AMG GT3 2016 (Rendering) Front Side

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    Launched towards the end of last year, the Lagonda Taraf was originally intended only for Middle Eastern markets. That's no longer the case, because Aston Martin has just announced a significant strategy change.

    Its performance saloon will now be available in other territories and – more importantly – a right-hand drive version is being built.

    Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf (2015) Front Side

    Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf (2015) Rear Side

    As a result, customers in Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and the UK can order a Lagonda Taraf with the steering wheel on the 'correct' side. It's also going to be sold in Norway, Russia, Ukraine and most European Union member states.

    There is one major caveat, though: production of the V12-powered Lagonda remains limited to 200 examples.

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    Never heard of Ron Arad? Well apparently he's a London-based artist, architect and industrial designer. One of his latest projects has been to co-create a Fiat 500 special edition.

    The result is certainly eye-catching. Finished in metallic black paintwork, its most conspicuous feature is a white outline graphic of the 1957 Fiat 500 which is displayed along each flank.

    Fiat 500 Ron Arad Edition (2015) Side

    Fiat 500 Ron Arad Edition (2015) Rear Side

    Also part of the standard specification are a glass sunroof, 16” alloy wheels and a 68 bhp (51 kW / 69 PS) 1.2 litre petrol engine. The interior meanwhile boasts black Poltrona Frau leather upholstery, ivory trim and automatic climate control.

    The 500 Ron Arad Edition is available now but only 200 units have been allocated to the UK. Here its on the road price is £16,000 and, as a little bonus, each customer will get a 1:18 scale replica of their car.

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    The sixth-generation Volkswagen Passat has been declared the 2015 European Car of the Year.

    Its victory demonstrates once again that this award can easily favour models which sit firmly within the 'worthy but dull' category.

    Volkswagen Passat Estate (2015 European Spec) Front Side
    Volkswagen Passat: 2015 European Car of the Year.

    Encouragingly, the innovative Citroën C4 Cactus secured the runner-up spot, but a 92-point gap meant the French contender actually ended up a distant second.

    Here's how the jury members allocated their votes to the seven nominees:

    1. Volkswagen Passat 340 points
    2. Citroën C4 Cactus 248 points
    3. Mercedes-Benz C-Class 221 points
    4. Ford Mondeo 203 points
    5. Nissan Qashqai 160 points
    6. BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 154 points
    7. Renault Twingo 124 points

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    Porsche has drawn on its extensive motorsport experience to create the extreme 911 GT3 RS. Built around a 911 Turbo bodyshell, the new model is immediately identified by a huge rear wing, prominent vents above the front wheels and an internal roll cage.

    Less obvious – but instrumental to achieving an unladen weight of only 1,420 kg (3,130 lbs) – are the carbon fibre engine and luggage compartment covers, a titanium exhaust silencer and a uniquely-shaped magnesium roof panel.

    Porsche 911 GT3 RS (2016) Front Side

    Other racing-influenced standard features include a pit lane speed limiter, centre-locking forged alloy wheels and a pair of carbon fibre reinforced plastic bucket seats. Ceramic brake discs remain on the options list, though.

    Powering the 911 GT3 RS is a 4.0 litre, six-cylinder, normally-aspirated engine with direct injection and dry-sump lubrication. Boasting 493 bhp (368 kW / 500 PS) and 460 Nm (339 lb/ft) of peak torque, that output is delivered to the rear axle via a specially-revised PDK dual-clutch transmission.

    Unsurprisingly, performance is impressive. As well as a 193 mph (310 km/h) top speed, acceleration times for the 0-62 mph (100 km/h) and 0-124 mph (200 km/h) sprints are just 3.3 and 10.9 seconds respectively. A combined cycle fuel economy figure of 22.2 mpg (12.7 l/100km) is pretty much as expected.

    In the UK the 911 GT3 RS costs £131,296, while in Germany its price tag is €181,690. Deliveries are due to begin in May 2015.

    Porsche 911 GT3 RS (2016) DashboardPorsche 911 GT3 RS (2016) Rear Side

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    Sending 305 bhp (228 kW / 310 PS) to the front wheels of a compact hatchback is ambitious, but that's exactly what Honda is doing with its long-awaited Civic Type R.

    Responsible for such prodigious output is a turbocharged 2.0 litre VTEC engine which is mated to a traditional six-speed manual gearbox. There's no fancy dual-clutch transmission here...

    Honda Civic Type R (2015) Front

    The Civic Type R is undoubtedly a quick car, as demonstrated by 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 5.7 seconds and a 167 mph (270 km/h) top speed.

    By comparison one of its main front-wheel drive rivals, the 271 bhp (201 kW / 275 PS) Renault Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy-R, records 5.8 seconds and 158 mph (255 km/h) for those two key benchmarks.

    Honda Civic Type R (2015) InteriorHonda Civic Type R (2015) Rear Side

    To complement the Civic's pace, Honda has also paid a lot of attention to the chassis. 400 Nm (295 lb/ft) seems like an obvious recipe for torque-steer, so to help keep things under control a bespoke dual axis strut front suspension set-up is fitted.

    Other upgrades include a more rigid rear torsion beam, continuously-variable adaptive dampers and stronger Brembo brakes. Furthermore, drivers can select the +R mode, which sharpens the handling and improves throttle response.

    Changes to the bodywork might be functional, but they also clearly signal the Type R's performance potential. The front end gains a pronounced splitter plus larger inlets to aid engine cooling. Widened arches house 19” wheels, while a diffuser and a huge wing take care of airflow at the rear.

    Honda Civic Type R (2015) Front SideHonda Civic Type R (2015) Dashboard

    In the UK, the Civic Type R has a price tag of £29,995. Opting for the GT Pack will add another £2,300 to the invoice, taking the total outlay up to £32,295.

    Despite the extra cash involved, not specifying the GT Pack could be a mistake. That's because it comprises several useful items such as satellite navigation, automatic lights and wipers, dual-zone climate control, a better eight-speaker audio system and a complete suite of safety monitoring devices.

    Putting those amounts into context, the aforementioned Renault costs £36,430. However, a less extreme (and slightly slower) 'non-R' Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy is also available for £28,930.

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    Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the Metris, a mid-size commercial vehicle that has been engineered specifically for Canada and the United States.

    The new model, which is essentially a reworked Vito, will be offered in both panel van and people-carrying Tourer guises.

    Mercedes-Benz Metris Panel Van (2016) Rear Side

    Mercedes-Benz Metris Tourer (2016) Rear Side

    Crossing the Atlantic has resulted in one significant change. While every Vito is powered by diesel, the Metris exclusively features a 1.9 litre four-cylinder petrol engine. Thanks to a turbocharger, it develops 207 bhp (155 kW / 211 PS) with 350 Nm (258 lb/ft) of peak torque.

    Metris deliveries are scheduled to begin in September.

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    Last November the Mitsubishi Triton was launched in Thailand, the country where it's built. Now this all-new pick-up is coming to Europe, renamed L200.

    Measuring 5,285 mm (17’ 4”) long, there are plenty of visual similarities to the old model. Tauter surfacing and a prominent swage line help to distinguish the updated styling, though.

    Mitsubishi L200 Double Cab (2015) Front Side

    Mitsubishi claims that the L200 should offer car-like comfort. A key focus was reducing cabin noise and vibration levels, plus the suspension has been tuned to deliver decent ride quality.

    The engine line-up consists solely of a turbocharged 2.4 litre diesel unit with stop-start. However, customers will get to choose from a couple of versions. One produces 151 bhp (113 kW / 154 PS) and 380 Nm (280 lb/ft) of torque, while the other boasts 178 bhp (133 kW / 181 PS) and 430 Nm (317 lb/ft).

    Both can be specified with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a five-speed automatic. Furthermore, the Super Select 4WD-II part-time four-wheel drive system is available.

    UK prices for the 2015 L200 have yet to be announced.

    Mitsubishi Triton Double Cab (2015) Rear SideMitsubishi Triton Double Cab (2015) Top

    Mitsubishi Triton Double Cab (2015) Front SideMitsubishi Triton Double Cab (2015) Dashboard

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    Mercedes-AMG has unveiled the official support cars that'll be on duty at every round of the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship.

    Taking over Safety Car duties from the SLS AMG GT is the GT S. Like a stock Mercedes-AMG GT S, the version being used by Formula One is powered by a 503 bhp (375 kW / 510 PS) 4.0 litre biturbo V8 engine which is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

    Mercedes-AMG GT S Formula One Safety Car (2015) Front SideMercedes-AMG GT S Formula One Safety Car (2015) Rear Side

    Given its punishing role, a few key performance options are fitted. These include ceramic brake discs, the Dynamic Plus handling package and an upgraded exhaust. Furthermore, a modified carbon fibre roof panel accommodates the requisite lightbar.

    After seven years' service, the C 63 AMG Estate Medical Car has been retired in favour of the C 63 S Estate. As the replacement model's powertrain is shared with the GT S Safety Car, a rapid response to incidents is promised.

    Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Estate Formula One Medical Car (2015) Rear SideMercedes-AMG C 63 S Estate Formula One Medical Car (2015) Front Side

    In its transition to Medical Car, the C 63 S Estate has gained four individual bucket seats with six-point harnesses, ceramic brake discs and a recalibrated Ride Control suspension set-up.

    2015's Formula One season begins with the Australian Grand Prix on the 15th of March.

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