Articles on this Page
- 02/27/13--15:17: _2013 Euro-spec Niss...
- 02/28/13--10:37: _2013 SRT Viper Trac...
- 02/28/13--11:49: _2013 GranTurismo MC...
- 03/01/13--04:49: _Toyota FT-86 Open c...
- 03/01/13--14:26: _2013 Triumph Bonnev...
- 03/02/13--14:12: _Countryman Dakar Wi...
- 03/02/13--15:20: _2013 Triumph Speed ...
- 03/03/13--06:55: _Fortwo BoConcept si...
- 03/04/13--09:29: _2013 Euro COTY winner
- 03/05/13--11:02: _2014 Corvette Sting...
- 03/05/13--15:30: _2014 Rolls-Royce Wr...
- 03/06/13--05:28: _£1,570 Yamaha Neo’s...
- 03/06/13--11:02: _Honda Civic Tourer ...
- 03/06/13--14:59: _2013 Porsche 911 GT3
- 03/07/13--12:32: _Alfa Romeo 4C Launc...
- 03/07/13--15:02: _2013 Audi RS 5 DTM ...
- 03/08/13--08:52: _2013 World Car Awar...
- 03/08/13--11:16: _Duster Adventure li...
- 03/09/13--12:25: _2013 Harley-Davidso...
- 03/10/13--12:23: _2014 Formula E draf...
- 02/27/13--15:17: 2013 Euro-spec Nissan Leaf
- 02/28/13--10:37: 2013 SRT Viper Track Pack
- 02/28/13--11:49: 2013 GranTurismo MC Stradale
- 03/01/13--04:49: Toyota FT-86 Open concept
- 03/01/13--14:26: 2013 Triumph Bonneville SE
- 03/02/13--14:12: Countryman Dakar Winner
- 03/02/13--15:20: 2013 Triumph Speed Triple SE
- 03/03/13--06:55: Fortwo BoConcept signature style
- 03/04/13--09:29: 2013 Euro COTY winner
- 03/05/13--11:02: 2014 Corvette Stingray convertible
- 03/05/13--15:30: 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith unveiled
- 03/06/13--05:28: £1,570 Yamaha Neo’s Easy
- 03/06/13--11:02: Honda Civic Tourer Concept
- 03/06/13--14:59: 2013 Porsche 911 GT3
- 03/07/13--12:32: Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition
- 03/07/13--15:02: 2013 Audi RS 5 DTM unveiled
- 03/08/13--08:52: 2013 World Car Awards top finalists
- Mercedes-Benz A-Class
- Porsche Boxster / Cayman
- Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ / Toyota GT86 / Toyota 86
- Volkswagen Golf
- Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
- Porsche Boxster / Cayman
- Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ / Toyota GT86 / Toyota 86
- Renault Zoe
- Tesla Model S
- Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid Diesel
- Aston Martin Vanquish
- Jaguar F-Type
- Mazda 6
- 03/08/13--11:16: Duster Adventure limited edition
- 03/09/13--12:25: 2013 Harley-Davidson Breakout
- 03/10/13--12:23: 2014 Formula E draft calendar
- London (UK)
- Rome (Italy)
- Los Angeles (USA)
- Miami (USA)
- Beijing (China)
- Putrajaya (Malaysia)
- Buenos Aires (Argentina)
- Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
Of all the changes announced for the 2013 Nissan Leaf electric car, an increase in range from 109 to 124 miles (175 to 200 kilometres) is undoubtedly the most significant.
That improvement has been made possible by the use of a new integrated powertrain, a less energy-hungry heating and ventilation system and a more aerodynamic front grille. Whether it’ll be enough to lure people away from their petrol or diesel engines remains to be seen, though.
|2013 European-specification Nissan Leaf. Scroll down for more images.|
Of course, there are a few other factors that might mean buyers are reluctant to switch to electric, but at least Nissan is attempting to address them.
For example, the prospect of having to replace the lithium-ion battery pack is an unwelcome and expensive one, so that element of the warranty has been enhanced. As well as offering a safeguard against defective materials and workmanship for five years or 100,000 kilometres, coverage now extends to unexpected capacity losses thanks to a ‘State of Health’ clause.
And then there’s the battery recharge time, which usually takes eight hours. That might be acceptable for overnight, but it’s inconvenient for top-ups during the day. To get around the problem, an optional 6.6 kW onboard charger that does the job in a relatively quick four hours is being offered for the first time.
As a means of transport, the new Leaf is a more practical proposition, too. Shifting the charger from the rear to under the bonnet has created an extra 40 litres of luggage space, while redesigned seats mean more rear legroom.
The introduction of the 2013 model coincides with the start of Leaf production at Nissan’s Sunderland factory. The UK plant will supply all European markets, thereby ending imports from Japan.
It’s a move that has given Nissan engineers an opportunity to tweak the Leaf’s dynamics to better suit European tastes. Retuned dampers, extra weight in the steering and more progressive brakes should all combine to give a more satisfying driving experience.
Available with a choice of Visia, Acenta or Tekna trim grades, the updated Leaf is due to reach European showrooms this summer.
Nissan Leaf price cut
Leaf enters police service
World Car Awards winners
Nissan Leaf Nismo RC
As the name implies, SRT is targeting track day enthusiasts with its new Track Pack for the 2013 Viper.
But rather than providing more horsepower, the $3,500 option focuses on improving braking performance and reducing the car’s unsprung weight.
Included in the package are lightweight brake discs that feature curved vanes for enhanced cooling, multi-spoke ‘Sidewinder II’ wheels and Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres. Combined, those components can cut the Viper’s mass by up to 28 kg (62 lbs).
Viper GTS Launch Edition
2013 Viper GTS-R on track
A couple of years after it was first launched, Maserati has updated the performance-orientated GranTurismo MC Stradale.
Compared to the original version, the most obvious difference is the appearance of a pair of rear seats. Clearly a sign that Maserati’s clientele is prepared to put up with a little extra weight in order to accommodate four people, then.
But that’s not the only change. Also fitted to the 2013 model are redesigned 20” forged alloy wheels, Brembo carbon-ceramic brake discs and a new carbon fibre bonnet.
Power comes from a 4.7 litre, normally-aspirated V8 engine that now develops 453 bhp (338 kW / 460 PS) with 520 Nm (383 lb/ft) of peak torque.
Given those outputs, performance is predictably brisk. The zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) sprint takes just 4.5 seconds, while the top speed is 188 mph (303 km/h).
The 2013 Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale makes its public debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. Pricing has yet to be announced.
2013 Maserati Quattroporte
Maserati GranCabrio MC
GranTurismo S Sport Pack
Following various rumours and spy shots, Toyota has officially revealed a convertible version of its GT86 coupé. Called the FT-86 Open, for now at least it’s just a concept.
Everything is pretty much identical to the GT86, apart from the multi-layered fabric roof that incorporates a glass rear screen. Even the 2+2 seating arrangement is retained, although it looks like luggage capacity might suffer a bit when the hood’s retracted.
A production version is very easy to envisage, but Toyota has admitted that further work needs to be done on the bodyshell. While maximising rigidity remains a key focus, the firm’s engineers are also keen to replicate the weight and balance of the GT86 as closely as possible.
The FT-86 Open makes its public debut at this month’s Geneva Motor Show, wearing a special white and navy blue colour scheme created by Toyota Boshoku Milan Design.
Toyota GT86 TRD in the UK
Toyota GT86 GT4 race car
Toyota GT86 UK specs
Triumph has launched a Special Edition version of its retro Bonneville.
Mechanically everything is unchanged, but the new arrival does sport a very striking colour scheme. Combining a red frame with a Cranberry Red and Matt Black paintjob, it’s a look that works well.
Also part of the package are black rear-view mirrors, headlight and front indicator mounts borrowed from the Thruxton, a unique seat design and a black pillion grab rail.
UK sales of the Bonneville SE begin this month. The price tag is £6,599, which is just £200 more than the regular model.
110th Anniversary Bonnie
Steve McQueen Bonneville
Apart from a couple of second places, the Mini Countryman hasn’t had much success in the World Rally Championship so far. However, the opposite is true for the Dakar Rally, as the French crew of Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret has recently won the gruelling event for a second year in succession with their Mini All4 Racing.
To celebrate that feat, a very limited edition road-going model has been created. Just eleven examples of the lengthily-named Mini John Cooper Works Countryman All4 Dakar Winner 2013 are going to be produced, and they’ll only be available in France.
|The road-going Mini John Cooper Works|
|Countryman All4 Dakar Winner 2013...|
|...and the Dakar-winning Mini All4 Racing.|
Distinguishing it from the regular John Cooper Works Countryman is a matt black paintjob with contrasting bright green graphics. The theme continues on the inside, where various green details abound including embroidered winner’s logos on the headrests.
Completing the package are unique side indicator surrounds, 19” ‘Crusher’ cross-spoke alloy wheels, extra spotlights, black leather upholstery and a dashboard serial number badge.
John Cooper Works Paceman
2013 Mini Countryman
Mini JCW Countryman
Mini WRC Team launched
Triumph’s new Speed Triple Special Edition features a unique colour scheme and plenty of cosmetic accessories.
The most striking aspect is undoubtedly the blue frame, which is complemented by blue wheel pinstripes and a choice of crystal white or matt graphite paintwork. To add some contrast, a black finish has been used for the handlebars, yokes, silencer heat shields and mirrors.
Included as standard on the SE are a belly pan, fly screen and seat cowl, while the inner radiator panels, side pods, tank cover panel and front mudguard are all made from carbon fibre. Finishing touches are provided by a clear rear light, a rubber tank pad and restyled clutch, sprocket and alternator covers.
With a UK price of £9,999, the 2013 Speed Triple Special Edition costs £1,000 more than the standard version. Sales begin this month.
2013 Triumph Bonneville SE
Triumph Speed Triple R Dark
Smart has teamed up with Danish interior design retailers BoConcept to create a special edition cabriolet and a range of furniture and home accessories.
Based on the existing 101 bhp (75 kW / 102 PS) Brabus model, the car is called the fortwo BoConcept signature style.
On the outside, it features a brown soft-top roof, matt white body panels and a matt brown metallic finish for the tridion cell, door mirror caps and alloy wheels. The result is an unusual colour scheme that looks much better than it sounds.
Given BoConcept’s business, it comes as no surprise to find that the cabin has received a makeover too. Tobacco brown leather and grey felt cover the seats and door trims, while contrast is provided by the lemon yellow hue used for the stitching and dash-top instrument pods. Completing the effect are unique floor mats and a gear knob that’s made from real oak.
The other part of the collaboration is the smartville collection, which will be available from BoConcept shops globally from the 5th of March. Using colours and materials inspired by the limited edition fortwo, the range of furniture and accessories has been designed to be both functional and space-efficient.
Smart fortwo cityflame
Jeremy Scott Smart fortwo
Smart Brabus tenth birthday
The seventh-generation Golf has been named the 2013 European Car of the Year.
In the end it was an emphatic victory, but somewhat inevitable too. The jury, made up of motoring journalists from around Europe, awarded the Volkswagen 29 percent of the available points.
|The 2013 Volkswagen Golf.|
The Subaru BRZ / Toyota GT86 joint entry took the runner-up slot, a well-deserved result. It was by far the most interesting member of an otherwise fairly dull shortlist.
|2013 European Car of the Year - Results|
|2||Subaru BRZ / Toyota GT86||202|
2013 Euro COTY nominees
2012 Euro COTY winner
The highlight of Chevrolet’s stand at the Geneva Motor Show is the striking new Corvette Stingray convertible.
Developed alongside the recently-unveiled coupé, it shares its basic aluminium structure and 6.2 litre (376 cu. in.) V8 engine with the hardtop model. Interestingly, Chevrolet is saying that the convertible hasn’t needed any additional structural reinforcement, so the power-to-weight ratio is virtually unchanged.
The three-layer fabric roof is fully electric, and it can be operated at speeds of up to 30 mph (50 km/h). Alternatively, poseurs will appreciate the ability to retract it remotely using the key fob.
Sales of the 2014 Corvette Stingray are due to begin late this year. As well as North America, Chevrolet has confirmed that both the coupé and cabriolet will be available in Europe (including the UK), Japan, Russia and the Middle East. However, there are no plans to produce a right-hand drive version.
2014 Chevrolet SS revealed
2014 Corvette Stingray
Camaro Hot Wheels Edition
Images © General Motors.
It’s unlikely that the new Rolls-Royce Wraith is going to be mistaken for anything else on the road.
Just launched at the Geneva Motor Show, its dramatic fastback bodywork, low roof height and deeply-recessed grille characterise the brand’s most daring design since BMW took control.
|2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith. Scroll down for more images.|
In profile the styling works well and the back end looks fine, but the rear three-quarter view is arguably less successful. And that’s with a two-tone paint finish, which undoubtedly helps to break up the visual mass of those thick rear pillars. Interestingly, reports suggest that Rolls-Royce is encouraging prospective Wraith owners to not specify their cars with just a single colour.
No less striking is the cabin. Created to transport four people in extreme comfort, it features leather upholstery and swathes of wooden ‘Canadel Panelling’ throughout.
The Wraith is the most powerful Rolls-Royce ever built. With 624 bhp (465 kW / 632 PS) and 800 Nm (590 lb/ft) of torque available from its V12 engine, the 0-62 mph (100 km/h) benchmark sprint is completed in an astonishingly quick 4.6 seconds.
That doesn’t make it a sports car though. Indeed, despite having more steering feel and less body roll than the Ghost saloon, Rolls-Royce is still keen to describe the Wraith as a luxurious and refined grand tourer.
Wraith customer deliveries are due to commence in the fourth quarter of 2013. In Europe it’s expected to be priced at around €245,000, which equates to £211,000 or US$320,000 at today’s exchange rates.
Final Wraith teaser image
Phantom Coupé Aviator
Yamaha is attempting to broaden its appeal to UK buyers by launching a new entry-level scooter called the Neo’s Easy. It’s essentially a more basic version of the 50 cc two-stroke Neo’s, a model that’s not currently offered in this country.
While a price tag of just £1,570 (including first registration fee and vehicle tax) might appear attractive, don’t expect any luxuries. The brakes are drums, not discs; the wheels are steel, not alloy; it only has a kick-starter and the one colour available is black.
Nevertheless, running a Neo’s Easy could work out cheaper than taking the bus. But is the Yamaha good value compared to other scooters?
Well, the answer to that is not really.
For those on a tight budget, there are several less expensive alternatives. The two-stroke Piaggio Zip 50 and the four-stroke Kymco Agility 50 cost £1,370 and £1,170 respectively, for example. What’s more, they both feature a front disc brake and an electric starter.
And then there are more sophisticated (and slightly dearer) options such as the Honda Vision 50, which is £1,650 on the road. The extra outlay would seem to be worthwhile though, as its standard specification includes a fuel-injected four-stroke engine, an electric starter, cast alloy wheels and a choice of five colours.
If anyone’s still interested, UK sales of the Yamaha Neo’s Easy are due to begin next month.
Yamaha Xenter launched
New Yamaha Aerox SP55
Unveiled in concept form at the Geneva Motor Show, its dramatic styling makes rivals such as the Ford Focus estate, Peugeot 308 SW and latest Volkswagen Golf estate seem dull by comparison.
Honda hasn’t confirmed any specifications, but it has announced that the Civic Tourer will be assembled alongside the hatchback model in Swindon.
Honda CR-Z Mugen RZ
Honda names WTCC drivers
2012 Civic NGTC livery
Porsche has unveiled the new fifth-generation 911 GT3 at the Geneva Motor Show. This latest incarnation, which is based on the 991-series coupé, promises more power and performance than its predecessor.
As before, the rear-wheel drive GT3 features a normally-aspirated 3.8 litre boxer engine, but now the output has been increased to 468 bhp (350 kW / 475 PS) with 440 Nm (325 lb/ft) of torque. Fans of manual gearboxes are going to be disappointed though, because the only transmission available is an updated version of Porsche’s sequential seven-speed dual-clutch item.
Nevertheless, the drivetrain delivers impressive performance. Acceleration from rest to 62 mph (100 km/h) takes just 3.5 seconds, while the GT3’s top speed is 196 mph (315 km/h).
To help make the most of that pace, the rear axle is wider compared to regular 911 variants and, for the first time, it incorporates active rear-wheel steering. The system is designed to turn the rear wheels in either the same or the opposite direction as the front wheels, depending on how quickly the car is travelling.
Also part of the specification are dynamic engine mounts that stiffen under hard driving conditions, as well as an all-aluminium suspension set up that’s adjustable for toe angle, camber and ride height. Downforce meanwhile is provided by a front spoiler and a large fixed rear wing.
For the German market, the 2013 Porsche 911 GT3 will cost €137,303 (including VAT) and deliveries are due to begin this August.
The UK price has been set at £100,540, but the first right-hand drive cars won’t be available until November.
2013 Porsche Cayman
Cayenne Turbo S unveiled
2013 911 Carrera 4 and 4S
911 Carrera S Powerkit
The success of Alfa Romeo’s impending return to North America is going to be critical for the brand’s future.
One of the vehicles that’ll be at the forefront of that mission is the new 4C two-seat sports car, so it makes perfect sense that half of the 1,000 special Launch Edition models being built are destined for the United States and Canada. Europe meanwhile will be getting 400 examples, with the remainder allocated to other territories.
Just unveiled in production form at the Geneva Motor Show, the 4C features a 236 bhp (176 kW / 240 PS) four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine which comes connected to the TCT twin-clutch automatic transmission.
Thanks to composite bodywork and an aluminium and carbon fibre chassis, the 4C’s dry weight is only 895 kg (1,973 lbs). Consequently, acceleration from standstill to 62 mph (100 km/h) takes just 4.5 seconds. A top speed figure hasn’t been quoted yet, but Alfa Romeo says it’ll be in excess of 155 mph (250 km/h).
The Launch Editions are distinguished by their part-leather upholstery, extra carbon fibre trim and either Carrara White or Alfa Red paintwork.
Also included in the specification are Bi-LED headlights, a racing exhaust system, a recalibrated suspension set-up, an aluminium rear diffuser and a burnished finish for the alloy wheels. Customers get the opportunity to attend a driving event in Italy too.
The package won’t be cheap though. In most Eurozone markets the price is €60,000 including VAT, while UK buyers will have to part with £52,000.
Alfa Romeo 4C revealed
Top 10: New cars due in 2013
Alfa Romeo 4C turns silver
Alfa Romeo 4C Concept
Audi Motorsport has revealed its contender for the 2013 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM).
Because this season’s technical regulations are unchanged, the car is pretty much identical to last year’s and alterations have been limited to a series of minor tweaks. But that hasn’t stopped the marketing people from coming up with a new name. Instead of A5 DTM, it’s now known as the RS 5 DTM.
As in 2012, Audi’s DTM squad will comprise eight cars run by four teams. The driver line-up has been confirmed as:
Audi Sport Abt Sportsline
· Mattias Ekström
· Jamie Green
Audi Sport Team Abt
· Timo Scheider
· Adrien Tambay
Audi Sport Team Phoenix
· Miguel Molina
· Mike Rockenfeller
Audi Sport Team Rosberg
· Filipe Albuquerque
· Edoardo Mortara
The Audi RS 5 DTM is going to make its race debut at the first round of the 2013 DTM, which takes place at the Hockenheimring, Germany on the 5th of May.
2013 DTM calendar
Audi unveils new A5 DTM
Following a second round of voting by a jury of sixty-six motoring journalists, the top contenders for the 2013 World Car Awards have been announced.
World Car of the Year
Usually at this stage of the competition it’s the top three finalists that are named. However, this year the ballot must have been very close because four models have been listed:
|2013 Volkswagen Golf|
World Performance Car
As can be seen, there’s a lot of overlap between the World Car of the Year and World Performance Car nominees:
|2013 Scion FR-S|
World Green Car
Similarly, the World Green Car candidates represent a broad spectrum of technologies:
|2012 Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid Diesel|
World Car Design of the Year
This category features the only two British models to make it this far in the contest:
|2013 Jaguar F-Type|
The winners of each award will be revealed at the New York International Auto Show on the 28th of March.
2013 Euro COTY winner
2013 World Car Awards finalists
2013 NACTOY winners
2012 World Car Awards
It looks like Dacia is attempting to appeal to more aspirational SUV buyers with its new Duster Adventure limited edition. Based on the existing Ambiance trim grade, it combines distinctive looks with some useful additional features.
On the outside, the specification includes a pair of roof-mounted spotlights, front and rear bash plates, privacy glass and a unique front grille. The effect is finished off by a choice of Pearl Black or Glacier White paintwork, some very large graphics and a set of motorsport-inspired red arrows that indicate the towing and jacking points.
They may not be the last word in luxury, but the Adventure’s rubber floor mats are at least practical for those who fancy a spot of adventuring. Also fitted is a semi-integrated Garmin satellite navigation system that can display topographic mapping for when the road runs out. The seats meanwhile come upholstered in black cloth with white stitching and prominent compass motifs on the backrests.
Powered by a 108 bhp (81 kW / 110 PS) 1.5 litre diesel engine, the Dacia Duster Adventure will be available with either front- or all-wheel drive.
Sales are due to begin next month, but it’s unlikely that this particular special edition is going to be offered in the UK.
Top 10: Cheapest new 4x4s
Renault DCross unveiled
Dacia Duster UK prices
Following its first appearance last summer in special CVO guise, Harley-Davidson has now launched a regular version of the Breakout.
The bike’s stripped-back look is inspired by the ‘Gasser’ drag bikes of the 1950s and 1960s. Long and low, it’s characterised by large wheels with alternating spoke finishes, plenty of chrome and a chopped rear fender.
Powering the Breakout is the 1,690 cc Twin Cam 103 V-twin engine that comes connected to a six-speed Cruise Drive transmission. That’s a major change compared to the CVO model, which uses a 110 cubic inch (1,803 cc) Screamin’ Eagle V-twin motor.
The ordinary Breakout is significantly cheaper than its CVO stablemate, though. With anti-lock brakes fitted as standard, the UK price is £15,645 if Vivid Black paintwork is chosen. Go for the Big Blue Pearl or Ember Red Sunglo alternatives instead and the bill rises to £15,945.
In the United States, those amounts are $17,899 and $18,299 respectively. However, ABS is only offered as part of the optional Security Package, which costs an extra $1,195.
2013 Harley CVO range
Harley’s 110th anniversary
2012 Harley Softail Slim
The spectacle won’t involve eight-hour pit stops for recharging, nor will mechanics have to struggle to change depleted battery packs. Instead, drivers will simply swap cars during two mandatory stops.
With ten two-driver teams expected to participate, Formula E is shaping up to be an entertaining (and quiet) series.
Formula E progressing