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News and views about cars, bikes and motorsport. Covers new cars and motorcycles, auto industry news, motoring issues and motor racing.
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    Suzuki has introduced some accessories for the GSX-R125, its recently-launched baby sports bike that combines a 14.7 bhp (11.0 kW / 15.0 PS) single-cylinder engine with a kerb weight of just 134 kg (295 lbs).

    The highlight of the range is a Sports Pack, which consists of a double-bubble screen, a fuel tank protector, heel plates and a pillion seat cover.

    Suzuki GSX-R125 With Sports Pack (2018) Front Side

    A standard GSX-R125 has an on-the-road price of £4,072. Ordering the Sports Pack will add £239 to the invoice (an amount that includes fitting). Alternatively, each part can be bought separately, but doing so would cost £72 more.

    Among the other available items are a small tank bag with fixing ring (£127), a graphics kit (£160) and a carbon-look fuel cap protector trim (£15).

    Suzuki GSX-R125 With Sports Pack (2018) Fuel Tank ProtectorSuzuki GSX-R125 With Sports Pack (2018) Pillion Seat Cover

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    California-based tuner DG-Spec has created the one-off Toyota C-HR R-Tuned, which could be the world's fastest crossover.

    To help achieve that distinction, the 2.4 litre four-cylinder engine has received reworked internals, upgraded valves and a Garrett turbocharger with around 23 psi of boost pressure. As a result, over 600 horsepower (approximately 450 kW) is delivered to the front wheels via a five-speed manual transmission and an OS Giken limited-slip differential.

    Toyota C-HR R-Tuned (2017) Front SideToyota C-HR R-Tuned (2017) Rear Side

    Various chassis modifications allow the C-HR R-Tuned to use its huge output effectively. They include a set of Toyo Proxes RR tyres for the 18” wheels, larger Brembo brakes and motorsport-specification dampers. Furthermore, up to 136 kg (300 lbs) of aerodynamic downforce is provided by a jutting front splitter and a high-mounted rear wing.

    Performance figures haven't been realised. However, as an indicator of the car's potential, Toyota says this particular C-HR can lap the Willow Springs International Raceway quicker than the McLaren 650S Spyder, Nissan GT-R Nismo and Porsche 911 GT3.

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    Mercedes-Benz has launched a trio of G-Class Limited Edition models in Germany. They might be the last special releases based on the current W463-generation Geländewagen, which is due to be replaced next year.

    The first is the G 350 d Limited Edition. It comes with Designo Mocha Black metallic paint, titanium grey five-spoke AMG alloy wheels and privacy glass. An electric sunroof plus the exterior Chrome and Stainless Steel packages are part of the specification too.

    Mercedes-Benz G 350 d Limited Edition (2017) Front SideMercedes-Benz G 350 d Limited Edition (2017) Interior

    Inside, there's Saddle Brown Designo Nappa leather, a two-tone dashboard and piano black trim pieces. A Harman Kardon Logic 7 surround-sound system, the Exclusive package, Blind Spot Assist and the Parking package are among the other standard-fit items.

    Thanks to an Off-road package, a steel front bumper, protective grilles for the front indicators and a roof rack, the G 350 d Professional Limited Edition definitely has a purposeful appearance.

    Mercedes-Benz G 350 d Professional Limited Edition (2017) InteriorMercedes-Benz G 350 d Professional Limited Edition (2017) Rear Side

    This variant also features heated front seats, an auxiliary heater with remote control, a heated windscreen and satellite navigation. China Blue paintwork and retro-inspired check fabric upholstery comprise its colour scheme.

    Finally, the G 500 Limited Edition has a Designo Platinum Magno finish, privacy glass and the Sports package.

    Mercedes-Benz G 500 Limited Edition (2017) Front SideMercedes-Benz G 500 Limited Edition (2017) Interior

    Black Designo Nappa leather with contrasting white stitching, piano black lacquer trim, the Chrome package and the Exclusive package embellish the interior. A generous equipment list includes an auxiliary heater, Active Distance Assist Distronic, Blind Spot Assist, the Parking package, a Harman Kardon Logic 7 audio system and a TV tuner.

    Every Limited Edition additionally gets an embossed motif on the central armrest that depicts a G-Class test scene. A “Schöckl proved since 1979” inscription alludes to both the vehicle's longevity and the mountain location in Austria where so many of its abilities have been honed.

    Mercedes-Benz G 500 Limited Edition (2017) Centre Armrest

    Fittingly, 463 examples of each variant are being offered. VAT-inclusive prices in Germany are:
    • G 350 d Limited Edition – €122,918.67
    • G 350 d Professional Limited Edition – €103,940.55
    • G 500 Limited Edition – €140,164.15
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    A mid-size scooter is joining BMW Motorrad's line-up. Called C 400 X, the new arrival slots in beneath the existing C 650 GT and C 650 Sport maxi scooters.

    That name's actually rather misleading, because the C 400 X is powered by a 350 cc, single-cylinder, fuel-injected engine. It produces 34 bhp (25 kW / 34 PS) and 35 Nm (25 lb/ft) of torque, which is delivered via a continuously-variable transmission.

    BMW C 400 X (2018) Front Side

    Beneath the fairly minimal bodywork, things are very conventional. A tubular steel frame supports a telescopic fork at the front, two spring struts at the rear and a swing-arm with a vibration-reducing bearing.

    Standard equipment includes Automatic Stability Control, anti-lock brakes, LED lights and Flexcase under-seat storage. Among the notable options is a 6.5” TFT instrument display screen that can incorporate satellite navigation and support smartphone integration.

    C 400 X customers will have a choice of either Zenith Blue metallic or Alpine White non-metallic paint finishes. Prices and market launch dates have yet to be announced, though.

    BMW C 400 X (2018) InstrumentsBMW C 400 X (2018) Rear Side

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    Following the launch of its next-generation Continental GT at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, Bentley has announced the arrival of a racing version.

    The Continental GT3, which has been developed in collaboration with M-Sport, is powered by an updated 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 that boasts dry-sump lubrication and Cosworth engine management. An output of approximately 550 bhp (410 kW / 557 PS) is delivered to the rear wheels via a Ricardo six-speed sequential transmission.

    Bentley Continental GT3 2018 Front SideBentley Continental GT3 2018 Side

    A bespoke suspension set-up comprises double wishbones front and rear, plus four-way adjustable dampers. Braking is taken care of by Alcon ventilated iron discs, six-piston front calipers, four-piston rear calipers and a Bosch anti-lock system.

    Perhaps the most surprising statistic concerns mass. Despite measuring 4,860 mm (15’ 11”) long and 2,045 mm (6’ 9”) wide, this physically large car weighs only 1,300 kg (2,866 lbs). Aluminium construction, carbon fibre body panels and, of course, a stripped-out interior are primarily responsible.

    Bentley Continental GT3 2018 Rear SideBentley Continental GT3 2018 Front

    Having won the 2017 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup teams' championship, Bentley Motorsport will defend its title in 2018. A return to the four-round Intercontinental GT Challenge is planned, too.

    However, privateers are going to have to wait a little longer, because the latest Continental GT3 won't be offered to them until June 2018.

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    Two years after its introduction, Honda has updated the CRF1000L Africa Twin and added an Adventure Sports version to the range.

    Both models are powered by a 998 cc parallel-twin engine that still produces 94 bhp (70 kW / 95 PS) with 99 Nm (73 lb/ft) of torque. As before, customers can specify either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

    Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin (2018) Front Side

    There have been some significant changes, though.

    Chief among them is the adoption of throttle-by-wire technology which offers a choice of Tour, Urban, Gravel and User riding modes. Furthermore, a revised Honda Selectable Torque Control system now has eight settings (including 'off').

    Better mid-range response is promised by a redesigned intake airbox, a modified exhaust and a lighter balancer shaft. Switching to a lithium-ion battery has saved 2.3kg (5.1 lbs).

    The new Adventure Sports is intended for more serious rough terrain use. Accordingly, longer travel Showa suspension is fitted and ground clearance increases from 250 mm (9.8”) to 270 mm (10.6”).

    Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Adventure Sports (2018) Front Side

    In order to extend the bike's range to around 310 miles (500 kilometres), fuel tank capacity has been expanded from the usual 18.8 litres (4.1 gallons) to 24.2 litres (5.3 gallons).

    A bigger fairing, a windscreen that's taller by 80 mm (3.1”) and a flatter saddle should provide greater comfort over longer distances. However, compared to the regular Africa Twin, seat height has risen by 50 mm (2.0”) to either 900 mm (35.4”) or 920 mm (36.2”).

    Heated grips and a charging socket are standard equipment on the Adventure Sports, but a centre stand, a sump guard and panniers are among the numerous cost options.

    UK prices for the 2018 Africa Twin and Africa Twin Adventure Sports have yet to be revealed.

    Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin (2018) Rear SideHonda CRF1000L Africa Twin (2018) Side

    Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Adventure Sports (2018) TopHonda CRF1000L Africa Twin Adventure Sports (2018) Rear Side

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    It's a replacement for the Exige Cup 380 (a limited edition) that uses the supercharged 3.5 litre V6 engine from the Evora GT430 (another limited edition). However, Lotus says the Exige Cup 430 is a proper series-production model.

    This new member of the range – which lays claim to the title of most extreme Exige ever – boasts 430 bhp (320 kW / 436 PS) with 440 Nm (325 lb/ft) of peak torque. Combined with a kerb weight of 1,093 kg (2,410 lbs), the result is a 0-62 mph sprint time of just 3.3 seconds. The car's 180 mph (290 km/h) top speed is similarly impressive.

    Lotus Exige Cup 430 (2018) Front Side

    To cope with such performance potential, the suspension set-up consists of adjustable Eibach front and rear anti-roll bars, Nitron springs and Nitron three-way adjustable dampers. Drivers have a choice of four ESP modes, plus the traction control has six settings.

    The Cup 430's aerodynamics have received attention, too. A bespoke lightweight rear clam panel supports a large high-mounted wing, while the redesigned front clam gains wider intakes, a modified splitter and extra ducts. Consequently, up to 220 kg (485 lbs) of downforce is generated.

    As might be expected, there's a dearth of equipment. Nevertheless, ten-spoke alloy wheels (17” at the front / 18” at the rear), Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, a tyre pressure monitoring device, rear parking sensors and carbon fibre seats upholstered in Alcantara and perforated leather are all fitted as standard.

    Cost options include carpets, sound insulation, air conditioning and a two-speaker audio system. For dedicated track-day fanatics, an FIA-compliant roll cage, fire extinguisher controls and a non-airbag steering wheel are also available.

    Lotus dealers are accepting Exige Cup 430 orders now. UK prices start from £99,800.

    Lotus Exige Cup 430 (2018) InteriorLotus Exige Cup 430 (2018) Rear Side

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    As its name suggests, the new K 1600 Grand America should appeal mainly to riders in North America. This full-dress tourer, which is based on the existing K 1600 B, has been designed to cover long distances in relaxed comfort.

    In fact, there are only a few significant differences between the two bikes. Specifically, the Grand America version has a taller windscreen, the pillion seat has been lowered by 70 mm (2.8”) and a topbox is fitted that incorporates a backrest and an additional LED brake light.

    BMW K 1600 Grand America (2018) Side

    The regular paint colour is Blackstorm metallic. Alternatively, customers can choose the Style Package, which comprises a Blackstorm and Austin Yellow two-tone finish plus some extra chrome.

    Standard equipment includes cruise control, heated saddles and handlebar grips, electric Reverse Assist, a xenon headlight, Dynamic Traction Control and Dynamic ESA suspension with Road and Cruise damper settings. Shift Assistant Pro clutchless gear changing, Hill Start Control and Keyless Ride are among the available cost options.

    As per the K 1600 B, power comes from a 1,649 cc, six-cylinder engine that produces 157 bhp (118 kW / 160 PS) at 7,750 rpm and 175 Nm (129 lb/ft) of torque at 5,250 rpm. Interestingly, top speed is limited to 101 mph (162 km/h) to maintain stability.

    Pricing for the K 1600 Grand America has yet to be confirmed.

    BMW K 1600 Grand America (2018) Front SideBMW K 1600 Grand America (2018) Rear Side

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    Thanks to typical Vespa styling and a zero-emissions powertrain, the new Elettrica is a perfect blend of tradition and innovation.

    Its electric motor has continuous and peak outputs of 2 kW (2.6 bhp / 2.7 PS) and 4 kW (5.3 bhp / 5.4 PS) respectively. Combined with 200 Nm (147 lb/ft) of torque, Vespa reckons the result is better performance than a conventional 50 cc petrol-engined scooter.

    Vespa Elettrica (2018) Front Side

    A lithium-ion battery pack, which sits beneath the helmet storage compartment, takes four hours to fully recharge. Helping to attain the maximum range figure of 62 miles (100 kilometres) is a Kinetic Energy Recovery System that's activated when decelerating.

    The distances achievable by the Elettrica should be sufficient for most riders' daily needs. However, if anxiety sets in, switching the Riding Mode from Power to Eco limits speed to 18 mph (30 km/h) and subdues acceleration to eke out the remaining electricity.

    Anybody who regularly covers seriously high mileages might prefer the Elettrica X, though.

    This version is differentiated by an onboard petrol generator that's supplied by a 3.0-litre (0.7-gallon) fuel tank. Consequently, range doubles to 124 miles (200 kilometres), but there's a major drawback too: a smaller battery means the Elettrica X can travel for only 31 miles (50 kilometres) as a pure EV.

    Both models feature the Vespa Multimedia Platform to integrate smartphones via a dedicated Elettrica App and a 4.3” TFT screen. An LED headlight, alloy wheels, a USB socket and metallic chrome grey paintwork also come as standard.

    The Elettrica and Elettrica X will be available to order from spring 2018.

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    Infiniti has given its QX80 full-size SUV another facelift. The most obvious changes are at the front, where a raised headlight position, a larger grille and a flatter bonnet profile form a more imposing presence.

    Infiniti QX80 (2018) Front Side

    Inside, the focus has been on improving the luxury ambiance. Extra sound insulation and thicker carpets are now fitted, plus the padding on the doors and armrests is denser.

    Perforated and quilted leather or semi-aniline leather upholsteries are available, which come in an enhanced colour palette with contrasting piping, double stitching and a selection of ash wood veneers. The cabin can be specified with either seven or eight seats across three rows.

    Infiniti QX80 (2018) InteriorInfiniti QX80 (2018) Side

    For the 2018 model, Infiniti has introduced a broader range of driver-assistance technologies. Included are Lane Departure Warning and Prevention, Blind Spot Warning and Intervention, Intelligent Cruise Control, Distance Control Assist, Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Forward Emergency Braking and Backup Collision Intervention.

    A Smart Rear View Mirror is another addition to the equipment list. If vision through the back window is obscured, then pressing a button instantly converts the conventional mirror into a display for a rearwards-facing camera.

    Infiniti QX80 (2018) Rear SideInfiniti QX80 (2018) Dashboard

    As before, the QX80 features a naturally-aspirated 5.6 litre V8 petrol engine that has direct injection and variable valve timing. 400 bhp (298 kW / 405 PS) and 560 Nm (413 lb/ft) of torque are delivered via a seven-speed automatic transmission, resulting in a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 7.5 seconds and a 130 mph (210 km/h) top speed. Customers still have a choice of either rear- or all-wheel drive.

    Given such a powertrain, Infiniti's policy of not offering the QX80 in Europe is understandable. Conversely, markets across Asia, North America and the Middle East are due to receive the latest version later this year.

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    Fiat has added the stylish S-Design trim grade to its 500X range. This new special edition, which has been on display at the Dubai Motor Show, has a “young, metropolitan public” target market.

    Fiat 500X S-Design (2017) Front Side

    On the outside, a dark finish called Myron appears on the alloy wheels, door mirror caps, side mouldings, handles and rear light bezels. Xenon headlights and rear privacy glass are also part of the standard specification.

    Fiat 500X S-Design (2017) DashboardFiat 500X S-Design (2017) Rear Side

    The theme continues inside, where unique Castiglio chevron-pattern fabric upholstery is complemented by a textured matte black dashboard panel and a copper-coloured '500' logo.

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    Kymco is hoping that its latest offering will appeal to customers who want a scooter for both leisure use and daily commuting. Accordingly, the new Xciting S 400 is claimed to have decent high-speed stability and manoeuvrability, thanks to features such as a more rigid double-braced front fork and a stronger rear hanger axle.

    Kymco Xciting S 400 (2018) Side

    A manually-adjustable windscreen and a larger backrest should provide good comfort levels, plus the under-seat storage compartment has a unique two-stage opening mechanism to enhance practicality. However, a 810 mm (31.9”) saddle height is combined with a dry weight of 189 kg (416 lbs), so some smaller riders might be rather daunted.

    The standard specification includes daytime running lights, LED headlights, an LED rear light cluster, alloy wheels, disc brakes and a Bosch 9.1 anti-lock system. Noodoe Navigation will also be available.

    Kymco Xciting S 400 (2018) Front and Rear

    Power comes from a single-cylinder, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, 400 cc engine. This fuel-injected unit produces 35.3 bhp (26.5 kW / 36.0 PS) at 7,500 rpm, while peak torque of 37.7 Nm (27.8 lb/ft) arrives at 6,000 rpm.

    Kymco has yet to announce UK pricing and an on-sale date for the Xciting S 400.

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    With a growing number of cities threatening to penalise or even ban combustion-engine vehicles, more urban deliveries will have to be completed using zero-emissions alternatives.

    In response to that situation, Mercedes-Benz has announced the electrification of its van range. The new eVito, which should arrive during the second half of 2018, can be ordered now in Germany. An eSprinter (based on the next-generation model) is promised for 2019, then the eCitan is due to complete the line-up.

    Mercedes-Benz eVito Panel Van (2018) Front Side

    Prices for the eVito start from €39,990 (excluding VAT). Clearly a regular diesel Vito is cheaper in terms of initial outlay, but an eVito will incur less spend on maintenance and fuel. Indeed, Mercedes-Benz reckons that overall running costs are likely to be broadly similar, especially after tax savings are taken into account.

    Customers can choose either long-wheelbase or extra-long-wheelbase versions. A maximum gross vehicle weight of 3,200 kg (7,054 lbs) permits a payload of up to 1,073 kg (2,365 lbs), while the usable load volume is unaffected by the conversion to electric power.

    Mercedes-Benz eVito Panel Van (2018) Rear Side

    However, the battery pack has a fairly modest 41.4 kWh capacity. Consequently, range is expected to be around 93 miles (150 kilometres) in normal running, or just 62 miles (100 kilometres) under adverse conditions such as very cold weather. Recharge time is approximately six hours – another figure that might limit the eVito's appeal.

    An electric motor delivers 112 bhp (84 kW / 114 PS) with 300 Nm (221 lb/ft) of torque, so at least performance won't be lacking. Incidentally, top speed can be set to either 50 mph (80 km/h) or 75 mph (120 km/h), depending on how important conserving energy is.

    UK availability has yet to be confirmed.

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    From 2012 to 2015, Mini was victorious in the car category of every Dakar Rally. Then, ignoring the received wisdom that asserted all-wheel drive would be necessary for success, Peugeot won in 2016 and 2017 using the rear-wheel drive 2008 DKR and 3008 DKR.

    Acknowledging the French brand's accomplishments, Mini and its partner X-raid have drastically changed tack for the 2018 event.

    Their revised strategy involves the new rear-wheel drive Mini John Cooper Works Buggy. Three entries are planned, driven by Mikko Hirvonen, Bryce Menzies and Yazeed Al-Rajhi.

    Mini John Cooper Works Buggy 2018 Front SideMini John Cooper Works Buggy 2018 Rear Side

    Built around a tubular steel frame, this outlandish vehicle features carbon fibre reinforced plastic and Kevlar body panels. Power comes from a 3.0 litre, six-cylinder diesel engine which produces 335 bhp (250 kW / 340 PS) with up to 800 Nm (590 lb/ft) of torque.

    The all-wheel drive Mini John Cooper Works Rally hasn't been abandoned though, because four examples are once again due to compete. Boris Garafulic, Jakub Przygonski, Joan “Nani” Roma and Orlando Terranova will do the driving.

    Mini John Cooper Works Rally 2018 SideMini John Cooper Works Rally 2018 Front Side

    The 2018 Dakar Rally begins in Lima, Peru on the 6th of January.

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    Privateer motorsport teams might already be tempted by the McLaren 720S GT3, but they're in for rather a long wait. That's because deliveries aren't due to begin until 2019.

    This latest addition to the range – which is a successor to the successful 650S GT3– will be assembled in a new dedicated facility in Woking. Indeed, McLaren Automotive is ramping up its customer racing activities by appointing a small number of specialist track-car dealers and launching a Driver Development Programme.

    McLaren 720S GT3 2019 (Rendering) Front Side

    McLaren 720S GT3 2019 (Rendering) Rear

    Like the road-going 720S, the GT3 version is built around a MonoCage II carbon fibre monocoque chassis. Bespoke carbon fibre and composite body panels are fitted, along with an aerodynamics package that includes a front splitter, a revised floor and a substantial rear wing.

    The powertrain consists of a modified 4.0 litre, twin-turbo V8 engine and a six-speed sequential transmission. McLaren has yet to release any output or target performance figures, though.

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    A first vote by sixty European Car of the Year jurors has determined the seven models that could win the 2018 title. Clearly some rather peculiar thought processes were followed, because a few seemingly strong contenders haven’t made the cut.

    The Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo aren’t on the nominees list, for instance. Neither are the Land Rover Discovery, Škoda Karoq or Vauxhall / Opel Insignia.

    Ford Fiesta Active 5-Door (2017) Front Side
    While it's likely to become a big seller, the new Ford
    Fiesta won't be named 2018 European Car of the Year.

    Here – in alphabetical order – is the septet of cars that were deemed good enough to be finalists:
    • Alfa Romeo Stelvio
    • Audi A8
    • BMW 5 Series
    • Citroën C3 Aircross
    • Kia Stinger
    • Seat Ibiza
    • Volvo XC40
    As is often the case with this type of award, it’s a varied collection. The Stelvio, Stinger and XC40 are arguably the most interesting, but they’ll need to demonstrate numerous other qualities in order to achieve success.

    Next, there’s going to be a second ballot to elect the overall victor. The result is due to be announced just before the Geneva Motor Show in March 2018.

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  • 11/30/17--16:10: 2018 NACTOY finalists
  • It seems that the jurors who get to vote for the North American Car of the Year, Truck of the Year and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards aren’t currently enamoured with American brands.

    Indeed, the finalist lists for two of the 2018 prizes contain only Asian and European marques.

    2018 North American Car of the Year

    The Alfa Romeo Giulia and BMW 5 Series were among the notable semi-finalist casualties. Of the three remaining models, the Stinger represents the greatest departure for its manufacturer – an attribute deserving of recognition.

    • Honda Accord
    • Kia Stinger
    • Toyota Camry
    Kia Stinger (2018) Side
    2018 Kia Stinger

    2018 North American Truck of the Year

    As there were only ever three nominees and three semi-finalists, the trio of finalists was entirely predictable. Uniquely, this category is an all-American affair.
    • Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
    • Ford Expedition
    • Lincoln Navigator
    Lincoln Navigator (2018) Front Side
    2018 Lincoln Navigator

    2018 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year

    Having fifteen semi-finalists must have made achieving an electoral consensus almost impossible. Nevertheless these are the three vehicles that are progressing to the next stage, while arguably more worthy candidates such as the Audi Q5 / S5, BMW X3 and Land Rover Discovery are no longer in the competition.
    • Alfa Romeo Stelvio
    • Honda Odyssey
    • Volvo XC60
    Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio (2018) Front Side
    2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

    All three winners are due to be named at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next January.

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    Short overhangs, a generous ground clearance, substantial skid plates, large 20” wheels and all-terrain tyres signal that the Future Toyota Adventure Concept is aimed at intrepid drivers.

    The FT-AC also boasts all-wheel drive with torque vectoring and various terrain-response settings. Furthermore, its extensive equipment list includes LED headlights, removable front fog lights, a versatile safari-style roof rack system and an integrated bike rack.

    Toyota FT-AC (2017) Front Side

    Connectivity and social media exposure might be important to some people within the FT-AC’s target demographic. To satisfy them, the door mirrors incorporate removable infra-red cameras. Footage can be stored directly to the cloud or streamed live thanks to a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. In addition, a geolocation function is able to guide the vehicle to a specific point on a map.

    At the moment, a straightforward petrol engine is fitted to this concept. However, Toyota says that any future production version could easily be offered with a hybrid powertrain instead.

    Toyota FT-AC (2017) Rear SideToyota FT-AC (2017) Side

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    A set of Mattracks 150 Series tracks is a pretty obvious indicator that the All Mountain concept isn’t a normal pick-up. Its primary purpose is to traverse snow-covered rough ground in all weather conditions, hence the lack of ordinary wheels.

    GMC Sierra 2500HD All Mountain Concept Crew Cab 4x4 (2017) Front Side 1

    The starting point was a four-wheel drive GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali. As well as the special undercarriage, additions include a Rigid E-Series light bar, an Advantage soft roll-up tonneau cover and Thule snowboard racks. Under-body LED lights and some suitably alpine graphics complete the conversion.

    GMC Sierra 2500HD All Mountain Concept Crew Cab 4x4 (2017) Rear Side

    Power is provided by a 6.6 litre Duramax turbocharged diesel V8 engine. An impressive 445 bhp (331 kW / 451 PS) and 1,233 Nm (910 lb/ft) of torque gets delivered via an Allison six-speed automatic transmission.

    GMC Sierra 2500HD All Mountain Concept Crew Cab 4x4 (2017) Front Side 2

    The Sierra All Mountain concept will spend this winter on display in Vail, as part of a joint promotion between the resort and GMC.

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    Volkswagen Motorsport has unveiled a slightly revised Golf GTI TCR. The only significant change is at the front, where a redesigned nose is intended to provide a closer visual link between the race car and its road-going equivalent.

    There haven’t been any mechanical alterations, so power still comes from a 2.0 litre turbocharged engine that produces 345 bhp (257 kW / 350 PS).

    Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR 2018 Front

    Deliveries are due to begin in January. As next season will see the inaugural TCR UK championship, customers might include some British teams for the first time.

    The 2018 Golf GTI TCR is currently being displayed at the Essen Motor Show.

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    Ahead of an official unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show next March, Morgan has released some details about the new Aero GT.

    This motorsport-inspired creation – which is being touted as the company’s “most extreme road-going model to date” – commemorates the end of Aero 8 production. Just eight examples are going to be built, but they’ve all been allocated to existing Morgan customers already.

    Morgan Aero GT (2018) Front Wing Detail

    Morgan Aero GT (2018) Side Detail

    The Aero GT is distinguished by its extensively reworked body panels. Additions such as a large rear diffuser and louvres on the wing tops are intended to reduce drag while generating extra downforce.

    Like the regular Aero 8, power comes from a BMW 4.8 litre V8 that delivers 362 bhp (270 kW / 367 PS) and 490 Nm (361 lb/ft) of torque via a six-speed manual transmission. In fact, the engine’s obsolescence is the cause of the Aero’s imminent demise, although exactly why a current unit can’t be fitted instead is unknown.

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    Provided that the homologation process goes to plan, customer rally teams should be able to take delivery of the new Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 from next summer.

    Development work started at the beginning of this year. According to Volkswagen Motorsport’s Technical Director, François-Xavier Demaison, “The Polo GTI R5 came through the initial tests without any problems. The feedback from the test drivers was very positive.

    “It is obviously beneficial to be able to call upon an experienced team of engineers and mechanics, who helped to develop the Polo that won the world championship. And it goes without saying that, as we have in the past, we are also taking advantage of the close and excellent cooperation with the colleagues in the technical development department in Wolfsburg, as well as our Škoda colleagues, who have been offering their customers an R5 car since 2015.”

    Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 2018 Front Side

    As per the FIA’s R5 regulations, power comes from a 1.6 litre turbocharged petrol engine that’s mated to a five-speed sequential transmission and a permanent four-wheel drive system. Maximum output and torque figures are 268 bhp (200 kW / 272 PS) and 400 Nm (295 lb/ft) respectively.

    They’re combined with a weight of only 1,230 kilograms. Consequently, impressive performance is promised – the 0-62 mph (100 km/h) sprint takes just 4.1 seconds, for example.

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    Next year's FIA Formula One World Championship schedule has been ratified by the World Motor Sport Council.

    As originally announced in June, twenty-one rounds are going to be squeezed into an eight-month season. China and Bahrain have subsequently swapped places but, apart from that change, the draft timetable remains unaltered.

    Formula 1 Logo

    The WMSC meeting also agreed a revised power unit penalty system. If a driver incurs a penalty exceeding fifteen grid places in 2018, then he’ll have to start the race from the back of the grid. Should more than one driver be in such a situation, then they’ll be arranged in the order in which their offences were committed.

    2018 FIA Formula One World Championship – Calendar
    Round Date Grand Prix
    1 25 March Melbourne, Australia
    2 08 April Sakhir, Bahrain
    3 15 April Shanghai, China
    4 29 April Baku, Azerbaijan
    5 13 May Barcelona, Spain
    6 27 May Monte Carlo, Monaco
    7 10 June Montreal, Canada
    8 24 June Le Castellet, France
    9 01 July Spielberg, Austria
    10 08 July Silverstone, Great Britain
    11 22 July Hockenheim, Germany
    12 29 July Budapest, Hungary
    13 26 August Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
    14 02 September Monza, Italy
    15 16 September Marina Bay, Singapore
    16 30 September Sochi, Russia
    17 07 October Suzuka, Japan
    18 21 October Austin, USA*
    19 28 October Mexico City, Mexico
    20 11 November São Paulo, Brazil
    21 25 November Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi
    * Subject to ASN approval.

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    A series of cosmetic changes and some chassis upgrades mark out the 2018 Colorado SportsCat and SportsCat+. Developed by HSV, these new pick-up variants are intended to offer a better on-road driving experience while maintaining their off-road abilities.

    Accordingly, a revised suspension set-up includes stiffer front springs and recalibrated dampers. Also fitted are 18” forged alloy wheels shod with Cooper Zeon LTZ Pro sports all-terrain tyres. As a result, ride height has been raised by 45 mm (1.8”) at the front and 20 mm (0.8”) at the rear.

    Holden Colorado SportsCat+ by HSV 4x4 Crew Cab (2018) Front Side

    The SportsCat+ additionally gains a rear decoupling anti-roll bar, as well as four-piston AP Racing brake calipers and larger brake discs for the front axle. Buyers of this model will be able to further improve the handling by opting for a SupaShock package.

    Both versions feature a redesigned front bumper, LED fog lights, a special grille, wheel arch extensions, a hard tonneau cover and a unique tailgate treatment. Inside, they boast heated sports seats covered in leather and suede.

    A bonnet bulge appears on the SportsCat+ too. However, like the regular SportsCat, power comes from an unmodified 2.8 litre Duramax turbo diesel engine. Its 197 bhp (147 kW / 200 PS) output is delivered via either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic transmission with Active Select.

    Holden has yet to announce prices.

    Holden Colorado SportsCat+ by HSV 4x4 Crew Cab (2018) Rear SideHolden Colorado SportsCat by HSV 4x4 Crew Cab (2018) Dashboard

    Holden Colorado SportsCat+ by HSV 4x4 Crew Cab (2018) InteriorHolden Colorado SportsCat by HSV 4x4 Crew Cab (2018) Front Side

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    Images © General Motors.

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    Although deliveries won’t begin until March next year, Mazda has already revealed details about the MX-5 Z-Sport. This new arrival – which is based on the existing 2.0 litre Sport Nav model – is going to be offered exclusively in the UK.

    Mazda MX-5 Z-Sport (2018) Side

    On the outside, Machine Grey metallic paintwork is complemented by a dark cherry fabric roof and black 17” BBS multi-spoke alloy wheels.

    Mazda MX-5 Z-Sport (2018) InteriorMazda MX-5 Z-Sport (2018) Front Side

    Sand leather upholstery brings another shade to the colour palette. Arguably, the standard black cowhide would’ve looked better, especially as it features contrast red stitching. Bespoke floor mats, a numbered dashboard plaque and some special scuff plates complete the enhanced specification.

    Mazda MX-5 Z-Sport (2018) Rear Side

    300 examples of the 2018 MX-5 Z-Sport will be available, priced at £25,595 each. By comparison, a regular MX-5 Sport Nav with optional metallic paint and Sand leather currently costs £24,945.

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