Articles on this Page
- 05/05/17--12:06: _MG ZS renamed XS fo...
- 05/08/17--13:13: _Smart pricing dips ...
- 05/09/17--13:01: _The Insignia Sports...
- 05/10/17--12:41: _Range Rover Evoque ...
- 05/11/17--11:32: _Porsche builds the ...
- 05/12/17--14:19: _BMW at RETTmobil 2017
- 05/14/17--11:49: _Autohome’s new Mini...
- 05/15/17--12:02: _Jeep Wrangler Night...
- 05/16/17--14:55: _Toyota introduces t...
- 05/17/17--09:49: _2018 KTM 250 and 30...
- 05/18/17--11:52: _BMW begins to slowl...
- 05/19/17--15:13: _At last, Volkswagen...
- 05/21/17--08:51: _A Bentley Bentayga ...
- 05/22/17--09:25: _A third engine opti...
- 05/23/17--15:44: _Fiat has given the ...
- 05/24/17--11:48: _Bentley Continental...
- 05/25/17--11:27: _BMW Motorsport is a...
- 06/03/17--11:46: _Lotus has updated t...
- 06/04/17--09:49: _BMW Motorrad Concep...
- 06/04/17--15:00: _Ford introduces a F...
- 05/05/17--12:06: MG ZS renamed XS for the UK
- 05/08/17--13:13: Smart pricing dips below £10k
- 05/09/17--13:01: The Insignia Sports Tourer’s RETTmobil debut
- 05/10/17--12:41: Range Rover Evoque Landmark launched
- 05/11/17--11:32: Porsche builds the 1,000,000th 911
- 05/12/17--14:19: BMW at RETTmobil 2017
- 05/14/17--11:49: Autohome’s new Mini Countryman roof tent
- 05/15/17--12:02: Jeep Wrangler Night Eagle coming to the UK
- 05/16/17--14:55: Toyota introduces the GT86 Orange Edition
- 05/17/17--09:49: 2018 KTM 250 and 300 EXC TPI unveiled
- 05/18/17--11:52: BMW begins to slowly reveal the 2018 M5
- 05/19/17--15:13: At last, Volkswagen has created the Up! GTI
- 05/21/17--08:51: A Bentley Bentayga for falconry fans
- 05/22/17--09:25: A third engine option for the Nissan Micra
- 05/23/17--15:44: Fiat has given the 500L a facelift
- 05/24/17--11:48: Bentley Continental 24 special edition revealed
- 05/25/17--11:27: BMW Motorsport is accepting M4 GT4 orders
- 06/03/17--11:46: Lotus has updated the Elise Cup 250 for 2017
- 06/04/17--09:49: BMW Motorrad Concept Link scooter unveiled
- 06/04/17--15:00: Ford introduces a Focus RS Option Pack
MG now has a second SUV in its range. The compact XS, which is known as the ZS in China, will arrive at UK dealers towards the end of this year.
Final specifications haven’t been revealed, but MG is promising “state-of-the-art driver technology” and “highly-affordable” pricing.
Buyers of the front-wheel drive XS are set to have a choice of two petrol engines that can be combined with either manual or automatic transmissions.
Likewise, full powertrain details have yet to be confirmed. However, if the Chinese-specification ZS is a good indication, then the line-up should comprise four-cylinder, 1.5 litre and three-cylinder, 1.0 litre units. The former produces 118 bhp (88 kW / 120 PS), while a turbocharger means the latter boasts 123 bhp (92 kW / 125 PS).
MG creates the E-motion concept
European-specification MG GS unveiled
Thanks to the introduction of a 'pure' version, prices for Smart's diminutive fortwo coupé now start at £9,995. This new entry-level trim grade is also being offered in five-door forfour guise for £10,490 – a modest £495 premium that buys a much more practical car.
A choice of two standard and seven cost-option paint colours is complemented by a black finish for the tridion safety cell and front grille. 15” steel wheels betray the pure's bargain status, while black fabric upholstery creates a rather austere interior ambiance.
As might be expected, equipment levels aren't especially high. Nevertheless, the Comfort Package (comprising height adjustment for the steering wheel and driver's seat, as well as heated and power-adjustable door mirrors), electric front windows, LED daytime running lights, remote-control central locking and the Smart Audio-System are all included.
Power comes from a normally-aspirated 999 cc three-cylinder petrol engine. It delivers 70 bhp (52 kW / 71 PS) to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox.
Deliveries of the fortwo pure and forfour pure are scheduled to begin in July.
2016 Smart fortwo cabrio first view
2015 Smart fortwo and forfour revealed
Beyond a high-visibility livery, blue LED warning lights and a two-way radio, the modifications are actually fairly limited. The luggage compartment does gain a bespoke carrier for fire-fighting gear, though.
Power is provided by a turbocharged 2.0 litre petrol engine that sends 256 bhp (191 kW / 260 PS) to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Consequently, this particular Kommandowagen Feuerwehr should easily fulfil one of its primary roles, which is to reach incidents quickly whatever the conditions.
2018 Insignia Country Tourer first view
Latest Astra Sports Tourer at RETTmobil 2016
Images © General Motors.
Land Rover has now built 600,000 examples of its Range Rover Evoque at Halewood so, to celebrate that achievement, the Landmark special edition has been introduced.
Available to order now, customers get a choice of Moraine Blue, Corris Grey or Yulong White paintwork. All come with a contrasting Carpathian Grey roof which incorporates a fixed panoramic glazed panel.
Completing the Landmark's look are 19” Gloss Dark Grey alloy wheels and a Graphite Atlas finish for the grille, bonnet louvres, fog light bezels and model lettering. Keyless entry allows access to the interior, where the seats are covered in Ebony leather.
With a TD4 diesel engine and a manual gearbox, prices start from £39,000. Opting for an automatic transmission instead adds £1,840 to the invoice.
Range Rover Evoque Convertible revealed
Fifty-four years after 911 production began, the 1,000,000th example has rolled out of Porsche's Zuffenhausen factory.
Porsche Exclusive, the brand's in-house bespoke modifications service, was heavily involved in specifying the milestone car.
Taking the current Carrera S as a starting point, it's painted in a shade called Irish Green that was first introduced in 1965. Five-spoke 20” wheels and aluminium window surrounds further add to the retro-modern look, while the door mirror caps, door handles and air intake slats are finished in Galvano Silver.
Inside, the leather-covered seats have 'pepita' pattern inserts in tribute to the first 911's upholstery. Another nod to the past is mahogany wood, which adorns the steering wheel and dashboard.
A performance package is also fitted. As this includes a sports exhaust, the Sport Chrono upgrade and larger turbochargers, output from the 3.0 litre engine is up from 414 bhp (309 kW / 420 PS) to 443 bhp (331 kW / 450 PS). In conjunction with a seven-speed manual transmission, the 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time and top speed are 4.1 seconds and 193 mph (312 km/h) respectively.
The one-off 1,000,000th 911 is destined to reside in the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. A customer with enough inclination could doubtless configure a very close replica, though.
2016 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 announced
Porsche's 2016 911 Carrera is turbocharged
BMW has exhibited three diverse notarzt (emergency doctor) vehicles at this year's RETTmobil rescue equipment show.
The most striking is based on the 440i xDrive Gran Coupé. Although it's described as a “show car” that's not expected to enter service, this five-door would certainly make rapid responses easier.
Thanks to a 321 bhp (240 kW / 326 PS) 3.0 litre petrol engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, the 0-62 mph (100 km/h) sprint takes just 5.0 seconds. Top speed meanwhile is 155 mph (250 km/h), perfect for when a quick dash along the autobahn is required.
More prosaic (but also more practical) is the 220d xDrive Gran Tourer. As well as a Hänsch roof-mounted light bar and a Sepura SRG3900 TETRA two-way radio, extra kit includes a slide-out load tray and a 230 volt supply for running electrical devices externally.
A 2.0 litre turbocharged diesel engine sends 187 bhp (140 kW / 190 PS) to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Wisely, M Sport suspension has been fitted to enhance the handing.
Completing the 'notarzteinsatzfahrzeug' trio is an X5 xDrive30d. With 650 litres of boot capacity plenty of medical gear can be carried, plus a steel grid divider means nothing is going to fly forwards into the passenger space.
To help ensure prompt arrival at an incident scene, Professional satellite navigation, Real Time Traffic Information and the Driving Assistant Plus package all form part of the specification. A head-up display and a rear-view camera are among the other driver aids.
Notarzt BMW R 1200 RT at RETTmobil 2016
Mini has collaborated with Italian firm Autohome to create a two-berth roof tent for the recently-launched Countryman.
Designed to attach to the car's standard roof rails, it features a fibreglass shell with an insulated floor. An approximate weight of 58 kg (128 lbs) and dimensions of 210 cm by 130 cm (82.7” by 51.2”) mean installation is probably going to be a two-person job at least.
Four gas springs make raising the tent a quick and easy operation, though. Breathable yet weatherproof Airtex fabric is used for the walls, which incorporate two doors and two windows with built-in mosquito nets.
Access is via an aluminium ladder. Once inside, there's a high-density mattress to sleep on, as well as four foldaway pockets and an LED light powered by a 12 volt battery.
Available in a choice of black or white colour schemes, prices for the Autohome Countryman roof tent start from a very steep €2,837 (including VAT). That's roughly £2,405 at current exchange rates.
Mini announces its first plug-in hybrid model
Following its debut at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, Jeep has decided to offer 66 examples of the Wrangler Night Eagle to customers in the UK.
Available with Solid Black, Xtreme Purple or Alpine White paintwork, the specification includes a body-colour hard top, black mid-gloss 18” alloy wheels, a spare wheel cover and unique decals.
Also appearing on the standard equipment list are all-weather floor mats, Piano Black cabin trim pieces, a nine-speaker Alpine Premium audio system and Uconnect touchscreen-controlled satellite navigation. Furthermore, the seats gain black leather upholstery with mesh fabric inserts.
Power is provided by a 197 bhp (147 kW / 200 PS) 2.8 litre diesel engine that's mated to a five-speed automatic gearbox. Command-Trac part-time four-wheel drive completes the drivetrain.
On-the-road prices for the 2017 Wrangler Night Eagle start from £39,810.
Jeep Renegade Tough Mudder sales begin
Jeep launches the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
Over the coming months, Toyota will be launching a collection of GT86 special editions under the 'Club Series' banner. The first, named Orange Edition after its striking Solar Orange paintwork, is available now.
Some visual contrast is provided by an Anthracite finish for the 17” ten-spoke alloy wheels, plus the door mirror caps and rear spoiler are black instead of being body-coloured.
Apart from the addition of orange stitching, the interior specification replicates that of the existing Pro trim grade. Therefore, the seats boast black leather and Alcantara upholstery, while the door cards and dashboard panel are covered in black suede. Front-seat heating, cruise control and the Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system are also fitted as standard.
Despite a lack of extra equipment, the Orange Edition costs £795 more than the Pro version. Such a high premium for a different colour scheme is hard to fathom.
|Toyota GT86 - UK OTR Prices (May 2017)|
|GT86 Pro (manual)||£28,005|
|GT86 Pro (automatic)||£29,475|
|GT86 Orange Edition (manual)||£28,800|
|GT86 Orange Edition (automatic)||£30,270|
Toyota GT86 Shooting Brake concept revealed
New entry-level Toyota GT86 announced
That KTM's new 250 EXC TPI and 300 EXC TPI enduro bikes feature fuel injection wouldn't ordinarily be considered a unique selling point. However, because they're both powered by two-stroke engines, it most certainly is.
This unique innovation is called Transfer Port Injection. As well as reducing fuel consumption, the patented twin-injector system avoids the need to pre-mix fuel, thanks to a separate oil tank that supplies lubricant via an electric pump.
Apart from having different displacements, the 250 and 300 models are pretty much identical. Their specifications include a lateral balancer shaft to reduce engine vibrations, a WP nickel-plated exhaust pipe, a six-speed gearbox, a hydraulic clutch and an E-starter.
They're built around a chrome-molybdenum steel frame, which supports a cast aluminium swing-arm. The suspension set-up comprises a WP Xplor 48 upside-down fork with split-leg damping at the front, plus a WP Xplor PDS shock absorber at the rear. Braking is taken care of by wavy discs and Brembo calipers.
Deliveries are due to begin next month. In the UK, the 250 EXC TPI has a starting price of £7,349, while the 300 EXC TPI costs from £7,599.
Could TPI technology ever appear on a two-stroke street-legal motorcycle? Perhaps unlikely given ever-stricter emissions regulations, but maybe there's a possibility.
Unlike its rear-wheel drive predecessors, the sixth-generation BMW M5 possesses M xDrive all-wheel drive.
This new rear-biased system is designed to transmit torque to the front axle when required. So, traction should be great whatever the conditions, but another layer of complexity has been added to the set-up procedure.
That's an often-repeated criticism of recent M cars. You can't simply get in and go; various parameters have to be fiddled about with in order to get what the driver thinks (or, more likely guesses) is the optimal arrangement.
For the 2018 M5, there's a choice of M xDrive modes (2WD, 4WD, 4WD Sport), Dynamic Stability Control modes (off, on, M Dynamic Mode) and M Steptronic transmission modes (three automatic, plus one manual).
Also adjustable are the dampers, the Servotronic steering and the rear axle's Active M Differential. Furthermore, the engine mapping can be altered (power still comes from a 4.4 litre turbocharged V8, but output and performance figures have yet to be disclosed).
Luckily, 'M1' and 'M2' buttons on the steering wheel allow two configurations to be saved and then activated on demand.
Deliveries of the 2018 BMW M5 are due to start later this year.
2016 BMW M5 Competition Edition launched
It's a mystery why Volkswagen didn't build an Up! GTI before now. After all, almost six years have passed since the city car was first launched.
However, as the vehicle that'll be unveiled at the Wörthersee GTI Treffen later this month is still officially a concept, eager customers must wait a little longer. The final production version won't be available until early next year.
Volkswagen is – quite unashamedly – touting the Up! GTI as a spiritual successor to the first-generation Golf GTI. Actually, the comparison has some validity, because the two models are roughly the same length, they both weigh less than a tonne and their power outputs are almost identical.
The Up! GTI features a 1.0 litre, three-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine that produces 114 bhp (85 kW / 115 PS) with 230 Nm (169 lb/ft) of peak torque. That's sufficient for a top speed of 122 mph (197 km/h) and a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 8.8 seconds.
Sporty accoutrements include a lowered suspension set-up, 17” alloy wheels and a larger rear spoiler. Black body-side decals, a red stripe across the front grille and tartan upholstery meanwhile provide clear visual links to the original Golf GTI.
Cross Up! introduced by Volkswagen
The Volkswagen e-Up! gets a facelift
Falconry is a popular pastime for wealthy people in the Middle East. Bentley wants to sell more cars to wealthy people in the Middle East. So, as a marketing exercise, the bespoke Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner makes a lot of sense.
The modifications are centred around a master flight station and a refreshment case. Covered with a natural cork 'fabric' (which is actually made from thin wooden sheets), they sit in the luggage compartment on a slide-out tray.
In the main cabin, Mulliner has added a tether and a removable perch to the central armrest. As a show of craftsmanship, the dashboard's passenger side gains an intricate marquetry panel that depicts a saker falcon against a desert scene.
Cost isn't being mentioned, but it's unlikely to concern Bentley's target audience.
The unique Bentayga Fly Fishing by Mulliner
Since its launch earlier this year, the Micra has been offered with either 0.9 litre turbo-petrol or 1.5 litre turbo-diesel engines. Now there's another alternative for Nissan's all-new hatchback.
This third member of the line-up is a 1.0 litre, three-cylinder, normally-aspirated petrol unit that's mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Power and torque figures are 70 bhp (52 kW / 71 PS) and 95 Nm (70 lb/ft) respectively.
Curiously, a stop-start system isn't fitted, which will adversely affect efficiency. Nevertheless, with 16” or 17” wheels, official combined economy is rated at 61.4 mpg (4.6 l/100km) while CO2 emissions are 103 g/km.
Don't expect spirited performance, though. Indeed, a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) acceleration time of over sixteen seconds suggests a woeful lack of pace.
Available with the Visia, Visia+ and Acenta trim grades, Nissan expects the 1.0 litre petrol engine to account for 15% of Micra sales in the UK. On-the-road prices start from £11,995.
Top 10: New cars due in 2017
A starring role in the recent BBC sitcom Peter Kay's Car Share is reckoned to have secured some extra Fiat 500L sales. A mild update for the compact MPV could now generate a few more.
Despite looking very similar to its predecessor, Fiat says that 40% of the 2018 500L's components are new. Among the most obvious are the redesigned bumpers and lights.
Inside, there's a revised dashboard which gains a 3.5” colour display between the two main instruments. The storage compartments have been made larger, while a higher-placed gear lever is intended to improve the ergonomics.
Customers will have a choice of Urban, Cross and Wagon versions.
Urban is the entry-level model. Pop Star and Lounge trim grades are being offered, with both featuring Bluetooth, cruise control, 16” alloy wheels and six airbags as standard.
For anyone wanting to take their 500L over rough terrain, Cross has Normal, Traction+ and Gravity Control driving modes. A skid plate, 17” alloys and unique bumpers are also fitted, plus the ride height is raised by 2.5 cm (1.0”).
Wagon becomes the name for the seven-seat variant. Available in either Pop Star or Lounge guises, it's 4.38 metres (14’ 4”) long. That's an increase of 14.0 cm (5.5”) compared to the 500L Urban.
UK deliveries are due to commence in September. On-the-road prices start from £16,195.
Fiat's Fullback Cross is for 'lifestyle' customers
Fiat celebrates the Nuova 500's 60th birthday
This weekend's Nürburgring 24 Hours will once again see a team from Bentley Motorsport involved in the race. To commemorate the marque's continued participation, the road-going Continental 24 has been created.
Based on the recently-launched 700-horsepower Continental Supersports coupé, the differences compared to the regular version are mainly cosmetic.
There's a choice of either Monaco Yellow / Black Crystal or St James’ Red / Black Crystal two-tone paintwork, both of which are inspired by the competition car liveries. As standard, the unique 21” forged alloy wheels have a black finish, but yellow or red colouring can be ordered to match the bodywork instead.
Inside, the diamond-quilted central portion of each seat is made from Alcantara, while yellow or red cabin accents carry on the exterior theme.
Carbon fibre is used for numerous components including the engine cover, door mirror caps and door-sill tread-plates. A titanium exhaust and black brake calipers complete the enhanced specification.
Although the Continental 24 is available across Europe, a total of just twenty-four examples are going to be built. Each has a starting price of €250,000 and deliveries begin in July.
2017 Bentley Continental Supersports unveiled
2017 Bentley Continental GT Speed revealed
After what has been a lengthy development process, sales of the BMW M4 GT4 are now beginning. The car is intended to offer a 'ready to race' package to privateer teams.
Like the road-going M4, the GT4 version features a 3.0 litre, straight-six, turbocharged engine which is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Output is in excess of 425 bhp (317 kW / 431 PS).
One major innovation for motorsport is the use of 'power sticks'. Designed to plug into the engine management system, they deliver different characteristics as required for specific circuits or to meet Balance of Performance regulations.
To help reduce weight, plenty of components are made from carbon fibre. Among them are the bonnet (taken from the M4 GTS), roof panel, doors, rear wing, front splitter and dive planes.
A full welded rollcage, Öhlins dampers, AP Racing brake calipers, an air jack system and a mechanical differential lock also form part of the specification.
Deliveries of the M4 GT4 are scheduled to start in early 2018. The price is €169,000 (plus VAT), or roughly £146,300 at current exchange rates.
Audi R8 LMS GT4 announced
Mercedes-AMG previews its GT4 race car
2017 Ford Mustang GT4 racer revealed
When it was first launched early last year, Lotus described the Cup 250 as the fastest road-legal Elise ever. That remains the case for the latest version.
A mild facelift is evidenced by the revised front bumper and rear light clusters. More importantly, altered clam panels have helped to reduce the car's kerb weight from 931 kg (2,052 lbs) to just 917 kg (2,022 lbs).
If that's not light enough, then a further 24 kg (52 lbs) can be shed by specifying numerous cost options. As well as a titanium exhaust system, these include the Carbon Aero Pack (which comprises a front splitter, rear wing and side skirts) and a carbon fibre hard top.
Power still comes from a supercharged 1.8 litre four-cylinder engine that delivers 243 bhp (181 kW / 246 PS) via a six-speed manual gearbox. Despite the diet, the 0-62 mph (100 km/h) and top speed benchmarks are unchanged at 4.3 seconds and 154 mph (248 km/h) respectively.
Lotus dealers are already accepting orders for the 2017 Elise Cup 250.
Lightweight Lotus Elise Sprint unveiled
Lotus reveals the Elise 250 Special Edition
Lotus introduces the quickest Elise ever
For some reason, BMW has decided to give the Concept Link scooter a flat plank-like saddle which looks really uncomfortable. Beyond that, though, this design study has some really interesting features.
Intended to be a “vision of zero-emission urban mobility on two wheels”, underfloor battery packs feed a compact rear-mounted electric motor. Unusually, the specification includes a reverse gear for enhanced city-centre manoeuvrability.
There aren't any conventional instruments facing the rider. Instead, speed, energy remaining and navigation instructions are projected on to the vestigial windscreen.
A touchscreen below the handlebars displays secondary information. Such a source of distraction probably isn't ideal, plus it could be difficult to use when wearing thick winter motorcycling gloves. Fortunately, configurable buttons are provided to operate frequently-used functions.
C Evolution electric scooter upgraded for 2017
With the recent launch of Honda's latest Civic Type R and the imminent arrival of a new Mégane Renaultsport, the Focus RS is facing some serious competition.
Perhaps in response to those rivals, Ford Performance has created an Option Pack that adds a Quaife mechanical limited-slip differential to the front axle for improved traction.
There are some cosmetic upgrades, too. These include a matte black finish for the roof panel and door mirror caps, plus the interior gains Nitrous Blue leather highlights.
The 2.3 litre four-cylinder EcoBoost engine is unaltered, so it still delivers 345 bhp (257 kW / 350 PS) via an all-wheel drive system. Dynamic Torque Vectoring (on the rear axle) and Torque Vectoring Control (on the front axle) also remain key elements of the specification.
Top 10: Facts about the 2018 Ford Fiesta ST