Latest Threads

Forum Statistics
  • Forum posts:7,102
  • Forum threads:7,088
  • Members:173
  • Latest member:omane

Posted by: RSSBOT
2 minutes ago
Forum: NEWS - RSS
- No Replies

Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 30 July

99 BTBWD July 28 Golf R lead

If hunting for a hardcore hot hatchback, would you prefer a modern, fire-spitting tech-fest or a gracefully ageing modern classic? This week, we’re making a claim for the latter option

If hunting for a hardcore hot hatchback, would you prefer a modern, fire-spitting tech-fest ora gracefully ageing modern classic? This week, we’re making a claim for the latter option. Having looked at the family- friendly but ultra-rare Volkswagen Passat R36 in last week’s Used Buying Guide, it’s time to consider that car’s more popular sibling: the second-generation Golf R32. 

Packing Volkswagen’s charismatic and much-missed 3.2-litre V6 motor, the R32 one-upped the Golf GTI with an impressive 247bhp and 236lb ft. As with its modern-day Golf R descendant, top speed was capped at an autobahn-friendly 155mph, while its grippy 4Motion four-wheeldrive system helped to dispatch the 0-62mph sprint in 6.2sec or 6.5sec, depending on whether you went for the six-speed manual or dual- clutch automatic (DSG) gearbox.

A launch price close to £31,000 represented a £4000 premium over the GTI, but the performance benefits were tangible and clearly well worth the money, and the number of R32s you still see on the road is testament to their durability. The inherent practicality of the roomy three- and five-door bodies isn’t to be ignored, either. 

Click here to buy your next used car from Autocar

Many see the R32 as a bellwether for mega-powered yet uncompromising usable hot hatches, and indeed you could still drive one daily today. It sat 20mm lower than regular Mk5 Golfs, featuring the requisite stiffer dampers and springs and larger anti-roll bars. Aggressive new bumper designs accommodated revised air intakes for improved cooling, plus there was a twin-exit chrome exhaust, the R sub-brand’s now-traditional blue brake calipers, 18in wheels, a chrome front grille and bi-xenon headlights to further distinguish the car.

In a bid for further exclusivity, the R32 lost the Golf bootlid badges, while inside it gained a multifunction steering wheel (with shift paddles on DSG models) and aluminium trim inserts decorating the dashboard, centre console, door panels, pedals and instrument dials.Climate control was also fitted as standard, as was Volkswagen’s new intelligent window-wiper system. Sat-nav, parking sensors and a six- CD multichanger were all optional extras, so keep an eye out for these on any used R32s that you find.

All of this makes for a jolly exciting proposition, which is only enhanced by the relative accessibility of clean R32s these days (if you can stomach an annual road tax bill of £585). Purchase prices are tempting. You will probably only need to spend £8500 for a well-run-in example. We found a two-owner car from 2008 with 86,000 miles on the clock for £8990. Its extras include an electric sunroof, pearl-effect paint and side airbags for greater safety. You won’t be short on choice so should be able to find the perfect hot hatch to suit all your driving needs.

Seat Leon 1.4TSI 150 FR Technology Pack, £8000: This 148bhp Leon in sporty FR trim has lots of kit to match its agreeable pace: dual-zone climate control, ambient lighting and a DAB radio top the list. And if the R32’s road tax bill is still making you queasy, good news: this Leon incurs just £20 per year.

Renault Clio Williams £19,995: A classic and now very rare little hot hatch, this celebratory Clio has an immaculate interior, unmarked paintwork, a complete service history, a clean MOT, all the original keys and the rare original Williams booklet. Don’t mind if we do...

Alfa Romeo Brera 3.2V6 JTS Q4 SV £6495: This coupé certainly beats the R32 in the looks department and doesn’t lag far behind in performance terms. It has a vocal 3.2-litre V6, making it good for 0-62mph in 6.8sec, plus cruise control, 17in alloys, sports seats and a host of safety tech.

Mercedes-AMG A45 4Matic £26,495: This A45 is barely run-inat 27,000 miles, and is the fastest car here, with a 0-62mph time of 4.6sec from its 360bhp 2.0-litre turbo engine. It has four-wheel drive like the R32 but is cleaner to run and benefits from the first owner’s hunger for options.

Auction watch

FORD RS200Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned homologation hero? The Ford RS200 is one of the best known and most exciting, having been conceived as essentially a Group B World Rally Championship car that you could drive to the shops. This 1988 car has done just 5500 miles; its 2.0-litre, Cosworth-developed engine was fully rebuilt last year, having been fully recommissioned and uprated to produce more than 400bhp; and there’s zero bodywork damage. It also features a replacement turbocharger with an updated ECU and better wastegate. Get an eyeful while you can: it sold for a mouth-watering £233,500, so we reckon it’s likely to spend the rest of its life as part of a private collection.

Future Classic 

Fiat Panda 100hp, £2750: Can you imagine a more cheerful and approachable hot hatch than this? Less than £10,000 in 2008 would have nabbed you the hopped-up 100hp version of Fiat’s reborn Panda, which remains to this day one of the best examples of accessible performance. Alongside the hike in power, it was lowered by 25mm over the standard supermini on stiffer springs and dampers. It also gained rear disc brakes from the Panda 4x4 and a tantalising ‘sport’ button. It’s getting rare already, but you can still find one for a sensible price. Our find looks extra purposeful in its clean shade of blue, sounds sensibly cared for at 77,000 miles and is up for just £2750.

Clash of the classifieds

Brief: I have £5000 to spend on an endangered V8 brute.

Audi A8 4.2 TDI Quattro, £3999

Toyota Soarer 4.0 V8 GT, £4695

FELIX PAGE: What’s going out of fashion faster, the V8 engine or diesel? Neither ranks highly on today’s lists of what’s hot, which is a shame because it means we will never see a mainstream car offered with an oil-burning eight-pot motor again. Take this old Audi ’bahnstormer, for example: it weighs two tonnes yet can do 0-62mph in 5.9sec and crack 30mpg. Wonderful.

JACK WARRICK: Nothing says ‘brute’ like a chunky sports coupé from the late 1990s. And the Soarer is endangered in this country, at least, because it was never sold here under the Toyota name. But you won’t be thinking about that when you get an earful of that glorious naturally aspirated 4.0-litre V8. A 0-62mph time of 5.8sec, too.

FP: In a rare bout of humility, I will concede that your Toyota looks the part. But I don’t like the sound of its aftermarket LPG conversion: why would the owner want so badly to make their ’90s V8 coupé cheap to run?

JW: Well, the money they saved must have gone into caring for the rest of the car, because there’s not a single scratch on it. Besides, I can’t accept that complaint from somebody who has opted for a diesel. You’ve harked on about your wonderful MPG, but it has 195,000 miles under its wheels, so I don’t think James would be getting peak performance from it...

FP: It’s an Audi, so I’m sure that it feels absolutely factory-fresh (I say, knocking on every wooden surface I can find).

JW: At the end of the day, a V8 Sunday driver shouldn’t look like a private hire car. Game, set and match. 

Verdict: My V8 cruiser has to look the part, so that Toyota is a sure bet. 


Will it drift? 2021 Volkswagen Golf R video review

New 2021 Volkswagen Golf R Estate arrives with 316bhp

Volkswagen reveals 'New Auto' business strategy

Print this item

Posted by: RSSBOT
4 hours ago
Forum: NEWS - RSS
- No Replies

Opinion: the expectations of 2022's new-look F1

2022 F1 Car Silverstone Grid

New rules could lead to more exciting races but will be no silver bullet

It was overshadowed by the subsequent events of the weekend, but in the build-up to the British Grand Prix, Formula 1 bosses staged a grand unveiling of the 2022 car. Well, sort of.

It was actually a full-size model built to the new rules and probably won’t look much like the actual cars the teams are currently creating. Still, it did showcase the design changes, most notably the new 18in tyres and reworked wings.

What a model can’t reveal, of course, is the vital question: will the new cars improve the racing? The 2022 rules were the result of years of work to produce a package that would lower costs and improve the racing, in a bid to make F1 more appealing to teams, manufacturers and the public.

Key to improving the racing is a shift in emphasis from aerodynamic to mechanical downforce, to allow the cars to follow each other more closely. Certainly, more technical types than me believe the rules should help – with the caveat that overtaking is never going to be easy in an F1 car and that the primary concern of teams will be making fast cars, not ones that can be overtaken.

My worry is that not everyone has the same expectations of the new rules. The current formula has given us some brilliant races but also some soporifically dull processions and everything in between. I expect the same thing to happen from 2022.

Overtaking should be a little easier, which will lead to a bit more passing in races, but it doesn’t mean we’re going to get an epic Monza slipstreamer every weekend. There will still be dull races. And when there are, people will still be hitting out at F1 for being boring.

In fact, the outcry might be even bigger, because the hype over the new rules represents a promise to fans that new-look F1 is going to be more exciting.

For arguably the first time in its 71-year history, F1 has introduced a technical rules package driven not by safety or practicality but entertainment. So what if it doesn’t work?

There are cautionary tales elsewhere. Nascar introduced the Car of Tomorrow rules in 2007 to greatly increase safety and improve the racing, but fans never really warmed to the ungainly looks and opinion was split on whether the action was better. Throughout the lives of that package and the subsequent Gen-6 cars, Nascar has perpetually tinkered with the rules to try to spice up the racing, yet it has never found a set-up everyone is happy with.

That makes sense, though, because opinions vary on what constitutes entertaining racing. And my concern is that every dull race will spark knee-jerk calls for change that could lead to F1 chasing its tail, rather than doing what it does best.

Don’t get me wrong: F1’s new rules do excite me. They seem to get a lot of things right, and anything that might mix up the order is welcome. But we must keep our expectations in check.

How it works: Penalty decisions in Formula 1

The Red Bull and Mercedes-AMG team leaders haranguing F1 race director Michael Masi over the radio at Silverstone to penalise or let off Sir Lewis Hamilton was not only unseemly but also pointless.

The stewards make that call, not Masi – and they have four punishments to choose from: in order of least severity, a 5sec penalty that can be taken at the driver’s next pit stop; a 10sec penalty applied in the same circumstances; a drive-through penalty during which they can’t stop for fresh tyres or for repairs; or a 10sec stop-and-go penalty.

In the case of the latter two, “the relevant driver may cross the line no more than twice before entering the pit lane” after the team has been notified of the decision by the stewards.

Hamilton’s 10sec penalty, served during his only pit stop of the race, was deemed mild by Red Bull after he was judged to have triggered Max Verstappen’s 51g crash. It certainly didn’t match their expectations as they lobbied Masi.

Motorsport greats: Graham Hill

Copse Corner has claimed many potential grand prix winners over the years. Damon Hill crashed there when a wheel nut problem spun him off in 1996, echoing his father Graham, who ditched his BRM there while leading in the closing stages in 1960.

Unlike Damon, who triumphed at Silverstone in 1994, Graham never did win the British Grand Prix – but he did win just about everything else, including the Monaco GP five times, the F1 title twice, the Indianapolis 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Somehow, the ebullient Londoner is still often under-rated, despite his unique status as the only driver to have claimed motorsport’s unofficial triple crown. He deserves recognition as one of the great all-rounders.


British GP: Why Hamilton and Verstappen clash was a racing incident

Opinion: Formula 1 Sprint qualifying is still questionable

Print this item

Posted by: RSSBOT
6 hours ago
Forum: NEWS - RSS
- No Replies

Matt Prior: How will supercars stay special in the EV era?

Roma DB11 ContinentalGTV8 2021 OLG 69

New rules won’t hit smallest makers, which could shake things up at the very high end of the car world

Last week, the European Commission outlined a set of proposals that will bring new car sales rules across its 27 member states broadly into line with the UK’s targets. That means drastically reducing average emissions by 2030, with certain plug-in hybrids allowed to stay on sale until 2035, after which everything sold must be electric.

Almost everything, anyway. What, though, of the niche manufacturer? Those that make only a few sports cars, are beholden to bigger firms for their technology and don’t have enough cash to make the shift early?

Such companies often make cars for which lightness and engagement and effort are key to the appeal – instant classics whose character doesn’t suit current battery-electric technology. The UK, as SMMT boss Mike Hawes noted last week, is “blessed” with them.

Earlier EU proposals said small-volume car makers (meaning those selling 1000 to 10,000 cars per year across the bloc) could apply for an exemption. Under these proposals, they won’t be able to do so as of 2030.

It’s not explicit, but I think this does exempt makers selling fewer than 1000 cars per year. The UK government’s green paper on upcoming vehicle CO2 regulations, also released last week, certainly does exempt “micro manufacturers”.

Cars that go through the UK’s Small Series Type Approval or Individual Vehicle Approval are “out of scope of the regulation” (as are many special-purpose vehicles).

Zero tailpipe emissions is a tech shift, then, that a niche manufacturer can decide to take on – Ariel says “the thought of an e-Ariel doesn’t frighten us at all” – but won’t be forced to. (Although I imagine that most will, at their own pace, once the tech is light enough and engines are scarcer.)

What, though, of manufacturers bigger than niche but falling into that no-longer-exempt 1000-10,000 range? Plenty of them have a unique selling point that’s, well, an engine. What makes a Ferrari different to a Lamborghini or an Aston Martin?

The old gag was you bought a Ferrari engine and got the rest of the car free. That’s not true any more, and nor is Ferrari’s niche size. Of the 10,000 cars it typically sells each year, 1000 go to Germany and 1000 to the UK.

These companies could limit the number of cars that they sell in each global regulatory area – and probably charge more for them. But more likely, and ultimately rather more sensible, is that they find a way to make a no-emissions car as attractive and appealing to drive for the sports car enthusiast as one with an engine.

Because even if you can sell a certain number of cars that emit CO2, any given city could decide that it doesn’t want you to enter if your car has a tailpipe. And no supercar maker will want to find itself in that situation.

So the car has to be exciting somehow and different to everyone else’s. Maybe it will still have an engine but with hydrogen fuelling it, or maybe engine sound will be faked, or maybe it will have a gearbox that’s far less efficient than not having one but which gives idiots like me something to do.

It will have to do something more than just go very fast with the same electric motor used by everyone else because otherwise, as Syndrome noted in The Incredibles: “When everyone is super… no one will be.”


Average CO2 emissions fall by 12% in Europe in 2020

Analysis: New rules could make ICE engines unviable by 2026

Road to 2030: Are the UK's clean air targets realistic and achievable?

Print this item

Posted by: RSSBOT
9 hours ago
Forum: NEWS - RSS
- No Replies

Prodrive reveals new Hunter T1+ to compete at Dakar 2022

ProdriveHunterT1+ 96

Racer will now run on 37in tyres, with upgraded dampers, larger brakes and modified driveshafts

Prodrive has upgraded its Hunter rally-raid car to tackle the 2022 Dakar Rally in line with new regulations to balance the performance of four- and two-wheel-drive cars.

Updates mean the UK-built Hunter T1+, which will run again with the Bahrain Raid Extreme (BRX) team, will now run on larger, 37in tyres with 17in rims, replacing its previously used 32in items. The T1 now also has uprated suspension, raised from 280mm to 350mm, and a wider, 2.3m body. 

In addition, the T1+ has gained longer wishbones and dampers, larger brakes and modified driveshafts, propshaft and differentials. BRX says almost half of the vehicle’s bodywork has been redesigned to suit the new regulations. 

“We are very pleased the organisers have addressed the disparity in regulations between the buggies and the four-wheel-drive T1 cars, where larger tyres had an advantage over rough terrain,” said Gus Beteli, BRX team principal. 

“We’ve learnt a huge amount on our debut this year and have put all this learning into improving the car and believe our new Hunter T1+ is a significant step forward. We are looking forward to returning to Saudi in January, where we will be looking to challenge for victory.”

The previous-generation T1 competed for the final time last week at the Baja Aragon, where it set the fastest time on eight out of 11 of the rally’s sectors. 

The T1+ is manufactured at Prodrive’s headquarters in Banbury, Oxfordshire and will run for the first time in September. 


Prodrive to make road-legal version of its Dakar racer

New Audi RS Q E-tron is 671bhp range-extender Dakar weapon

Sand of opportunity: Prodrive on its Dakar rally racer

Print this item

Posted by: RSSBOT
9 hours ago
Forum: NEWS - RSS
- No Replies

VW Golf GTI Clubsport 45 vs Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition video review

type r vs cs45

Wolfsburg's special edition GTI faces off against Tokyo's finest. Which will come out on top?

It's the battle of the long names, as the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45, a new 2021 limited edition Golf GTI, takes on our favourite big hot hatchback of recent years, the 2020 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition.

The Golf 45 edition celebrates, as the name suggests, the GTI's 45th anniversary. As such, this special model gets a power boost over the regular Golf GTI to 296bhp, which is good for 0-62mph in 5.6sec, and a top speed of some 166mph. The special Golf costs £39,380 in the UK.

That puts in on a par with the very rare 2020 Civic Type R Limited Edition, just 20 of which came to the UK, shorn of air conditioning and a stereo to make them lighter. It cost £39,995 and has a little more power than the Golf, at 316bhp, which gave it a 5.7sec 0-62mph time and a top speed of 169mph.

Which, though, is the nicer car to drive? Limited Golf, or Limited Civic? Our testers Richard Lane and Matt Prior take to the roads to find out.


Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 on sale from £39,980

Hardcore Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition sells out in four weeks

Top 10 best hot hatchbacks 2021

Print this item

Posted by: RSSBOT
9 hours ago
Forum: NEWS - RSS
- No Replies

New 2021 Peugeot 308 SW open to orders at £25,200


Longer version of redesigned 308 offers 608-litre boot and a PHEV with 37 miles of EV range

Peugeot has revealed UK pricing and specification details for the upcoming Peugeot 308 SW, the estate version of its reinvented family hatchback and the second model to wear the brand's new logo. 

The 308 SW is open for reservation now and commands a slight premium over its hatchback equivalent, starting from £25,200 for the basic Active Premium specification, rising to £40,000 at the top end for the plug-in hybrid variant in GT Premium trim. 

A leather multifunction steering wheel, 10in digital cockpit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, parking sensors, cruise control and several other assist systems are available on all models as standard, while Active Premium models, from £25,200, are equipped with 16in alloy wheels, black rear trim and automatic LED lights, with automatic windscreen wipers.

The Allure spec gains 17in wheels, leather interior materials with mint green stitching, ambient lighting, sat nav, a reversing camera and automatic emergency braking from £27,050. Allure Premium gains further assist systems, wireless smartphone charging and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for an additional £900. 

Higher-spec GT models come in at £31,250, receiving 18in wheels, a dark chrome grille and a more aggressive exterior design with extended body sills, in addition to dual-tone roof rails. Matrix LED headlights are available at this level too, as is a 3D head-up display, a heated steering wheel and Peugeot’s pollution-reducing clean cabin technology. 

Top-rung GT Premium models start from £31,450 and add an upgraded drivers seat with massage functions and Peugeot’s Drive Assist Pack Plus, with semi-autonomous lane assist and 360-degree camera technology with semi-automatic parking assistance. Foot sensors have also been added to the tailgate. 

The new plug-in hybrid version of the 308 SW is available from Allure trim upwards, starting from £34,200. 

The estate is visually identical to the hatch version - which we've driven in prototype form - ahead of the B-pillars but set apart, both from its sibling and predecessor, by a bespoke rear-end design that aims to “draw the eye to the extra space” offered by its larger body. 

The rear LED light bar, for example, loses the hatchback’s black dividing strip to “increase the amount of perceived bodywork”, while the window line falls more sharply than the roofline towards the rear, which is said to give a dynamic silhouette.

The 308 SW’s wheelbase has been extended by 55mm over the hatchback's, to 2732mm, which means rear-seat passengers get 129mm of leg room, while the rear overhang is 210mm longer than that of the smaller car, boosting maximum boot space from 412 litres to 608 litres - some 33 litres more than the Ford Focus Estate

The interior, too, is familiar from the standard 308, ushering in the latest iteration of Peugeot’s i-Cockpit dashboard design with a multi-function steering wheel, a 10.0in infotainment touchscreen and a fully digital instrument display. 

The 308 SW is available with a choice of either a 1.2-litre petrol or 1.5-litre diesel engine, both with 128bhp, or a pair of plug-in hybrids with either 178bhp or 222bhp and a claimed EV range of  up to 37 miles from a 12.4kWh battery. 


First drive: 2021 Peugeot 308 Hybrid 225 prototype

New 2021 Peugeot 308 gains major overhaul and PHEV options

Print this item

Posted by: RSSBOT
Yesterday, 03:30 PM
Forum: NEWS - RSS
- No Replies

British fuel cell firm says UK can lead hydrogen vehicle ramp-up

apricale 2021 02 23 601

MIRA-based Viritech believes now is the time to invest in development of hydrogen fuel cell powertrains

A UK-based clean technology firm has issued a call to action to significant industry figures to move forward with the development of fuel cell technology for next-generation transportation. 

Viritech, a firm based at Warwickshire's MIRA technology park, raised the importance of the UK implementing clean hydrogen technology in road, air and marine transport vehicles to “reclaim a global engineering leadership position”.

The firm believes that 75,000 jobs can be created along with £18 billion in gross value added for the sector by 2035 and says hydrogen could be the next step for transport such as heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), reducing lithium use and vehicle weight. The company added that hydrogen technology plays to the UK’s strengths in automotive design and could address several of the industry’s unsolved issues.

Speaking exclusively to Autocar, Viritech co-founder Matt Faulks said: “The UK is in the unique position that we are doing really well on our green grid. We have a lot of investment into green technology apart from fuel cell technology and the balance of plans around the fuel cell and the elements you need to make one work such as storage systems.

“The problem is we’re rubbish at commercialising it from this point on because we don’t have the infrastructure around it in terms of the governmental support to really drive this forwards. We’re in quite grave danger of losing our position again like we did with lithium batteries.”

Faulks also highlighted the concern that the UK could fall behind in the global market for hydrogen, citing a shortage of government funding in the most vital areas for hydrogen development.

“You’ve only got to look at the government funding that’s been put in place for hydrogen and it’s minuscule. Almost none of it is for transport. We really are missing out compared to what other European countries are doing. We’re massively on the back foot and it should be a government target,” Faulks said. 

Viritech has several detailed hydrogen-fuelled concepts, including the Tellaro SUV, the Jovian HGV and the SkyWolf helicopter, alongside the Apricale, a 1100bhp hypercar set to go into limited production in 2023. 

The firm believes combining battery and hydrogen power is the solution to future clean energies, rather than a complete hydrogen takeover. 

“It’s about what we can do to bring the best of both technologies together, and that when you combine them properly and engineer those solutions around them, the sum of their parts is greater than the single," said Faulks.  

The firm is currently testing its hydrogen-powered Apricale hypercar, which aims to showcase how fuel cell technology can be used to save weight and maximise performance efficiency.

“One of the things we’re really pushing on is the research process around designs and what can be achieved with this technology. Apricale is there to bring the technology readiness level up to a sensible, low-volume manufacturing readiness level that then can be built on by tier ones [top-ranking suppliers] and OEMs to go into volume production,” Faulks said. 

The Hydrogen Council has forecast that by 2050 hydrogen will power more than 400 million passenger cars, 20m trucks and 5m buses worldwide, providing 18% of the world's total energy needs along with creating 30m jobs globally.

There are currently only two hydrogen cars on sale in the UK: the Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Nexo. 


Under the skin: will hydrogen combustion engines become viable?

Hydrogen cars explained: the technology targeting a fuel cell future

Analysis: is there a place for hydrogen in motoring?

Print this item

Posted by: RSSBOT
Yesterday, 08:54 AM
Forum: NEWS - RSS
- No Replies

Bentley kick-starts sustainability push with special Flying Spur PHEV

99 Bentley Flying Spur Odyssean Edition official front

Limited-run version of luxury saloon borrows eco-friendly materials from EXP 100 GT concept

Bentley will launch the new Flying Spur Hybrid with a limited-edition model that features a number of special features developed from the EXP 100 concept car designed to showcase the brand’s commitment to new sustainable materials.

The recently revealed version of the four-door grand tourer follows the Bentayga Hybrid as the firm’s second plug-in model, and is a key step on the Crewe firm’s path to becoming an EV-only brand by 2030 as part of its Beyond 100 strategy.

The new Flying Spur Hybrid Odyssean Edition will be limited to around 300 units, and will effectively serve as the launch version of the new model. It will feature the standard powertrain from the new hybrid, with a 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V6 mated to a 134bhp electric motor for an output of 536bhp and 553lb ft, a 0-62mph time of 4.1sec, a top speed of 177mph and an EV-only range of around 25 miles.

The significant differences of the Odyssean Edition are found inside the car, with extensive use of new, sustainable materials, many of which were first seen on the EXP 100 GT that was produced in 2019 for the brand’s 100th anniversary. That concept was designed to showcase Bentley’s future as an electric and sustainable brand, and the use of materials from it in the Odyssean Edition is designed to showcase the early steps to realise that goal. That is echoed in the name, which refers to the Odyssey and is designed to mark the model as the first step on a long journey.

The materials include upholstery featuring tweed made from British wool, which has been switched into a bespoke yarn for Bentley. It is the first production use of the fabric in a vehicle, and showcases efforts the firm is making to use sustainable wool more widely, including development on a fabric made from a mix of wool and recycled polyester.

The dashboard is finished with an open pore Koa wood veneer, which in order to improve sustainability is finished with just three layers of lacquer, using 90% less lacquer than traditional high-gloss veneers. That also means the natural wood surface can be felt. Koa wood is sourced from sustainably managed forests in Hawaii, and Bentley says it plants three trees for every one it fells.

The interior will be offered in a special new hide called Autumn, with a choice of five designs. While some car firms are removing leather from their vehicles, Bentley will continue to offer it - and claims its use in the Odyssean Edition is part of the firm’s efforts to prove it can be sustainable and ethically sourced.

Bentley has joined the Leather Working Group, a trade body that sets standards for the ethical use of the material. It sources its leather from a single supplier in Italy, and uses advanced software and laser cutting tools to maximise the utilisation of each hide, with any leftover scraps sent for use elsewhere. The firm claims the long durability of leather helps make its use sustainable.

The seats also feature a new embroidery style featuring multiple colours threaded together to highlight the diamond stitching pattern in the seats.

The exterior features details including the 21in wheels, bumpers, light surrounds and side chrome elements finished in a new Pale Brodgar colour, with a recommended set of six colours to choose from - although buyers will be able to pick from any other paint the firm offers.

The Odyssean Edition also features Bentley’s Touring Specification driver assistance systems as standard, along with the retractable illuminated 'Flying B' bonnet mascot, LED puddle lights and Bentley’s rotating console display.

Pricing for the Flying Spur Hybrid Odyssean Edition has yet to be released, although it is anticipated to be slightly more than the expected £145,000 price of entry-level versions of the regular model.

A plug-in version of the Continental GT is set to follow the Flying Spur Hybrid at some stage to complete the electrification of the firm’s current range. Bentley is also working on its first bespoke EV, which is due around 2025.


Bentley to switch to electric vehicle-only range in 2030

Under the skin: The Octopus that's helping Bentley's sustainability

Creature comforts: How Bentley is going green with bat boxes

Print this item

Posted by: RSSBOT
Yesterday, 04:04 AM
Forum: NEWS - RSS
- No Replies

Porsche Boxster 25 Years 2021 UK review

1 Porsche Boxster 25 years edition 2021 uk fd hero front

Does anniversary special make five-star sports car even better and more desirable?

Porsche never knowingly lets a chance for a special edition pass it by, although this latest 25th-anniversary version of the Boxster carries with it plenty of extra special significance.Its inspiration is taken from the original Boxster concept car of 1993 – a car credited with beginning the turnaround of the company that has become the dominant sports car (and SUV maker) of today.The Boxster production car then went on sale in 1996, in case you thought Porsche had misplaced its abacus and was three years late getting this special out to mark the quarter-century of its baby mid-engined roadster.This is a special edition based on the five-star 718 Boxster GTS 4.0, which is a fine place to start. So fine in fact that the changes to this model, limited to 1250 units globally, are solely cosmetic - not that that does anything to dent the appeal of what is a really nicely specified model.Those changes include the gorgeous 20in alloy wheels finished in that same Neodyme copper colour as the original '93 concept – a trim colour that's also used for the side intakes, badges and front apron.The three colour choices are a similar shade of silver to that show car (the one seen here, and what we would pick), black or white. The roof is either red (go for this for the full 1993 authenticity, too) or black and embossed with the Boxster 25 logo. There’s no 718 tag anywhere on the car, either.Inside, more inspiration from the '93 show car comes in the form of red leather if you’ve gone for the full authenticity of a red roof, otherwise it's black....

Print this item

Posted by: RSSBOT
08-02-2021, 07:11 PM
Forum: NEWS - RSS
- No Replies

Nearly new buying guide: Volkswagen Touareg

99 Volkswagen Touareg NNBG 2021 hero front

This Mk3 luxury SUV is creeping towards half its original price

Slipping discreetly under the brash-o-meter on the luxury SUV radar, this is actually the third-generation Volkswagen Touareg, a technofest on wheels that combines sharp but subtle looks and a lush interior with real on-road ability.

Underneath, it shares much with everything from the imperious Audi Q7 to the manic Lamborghini Urus. There’s aluminium here and more of the stuff over there, and if it’s not exactly lightweight, it at least tosses a caber in that general direction.

You can choose from a variety of turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder engines. The 228bhp and 282bhp diesels are a touch gruff at idle but smooth on the move and have plenty of power. The 335bhp 3.0-litre petrol arrived late in 2019 and is quieter and even faster, but that comes at the price of higher fuel bills, which is where the 456bhp plug-in hybrid system of the Touareg R comes in, with a claimed 28 miles of electric-only driving.

Click here to buy your next used Touareg from Autocar

Entry-level SE trim will suit most buyers, with 19in alloy wheels, leather trim, heated front seats, dual- zone climate control, LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, sat nav, lane-keeping assistance and a 9.2in infotainment touchscreen. SEL has adjustable lumbar support for the front seats, while R-Line models have 20in wheels and sports suspension. Tech editions of SEL and R-Line get you the upgraded 15.0in infotainment system and 12.0in digital information display. Black Edition adds 21in wheels, a panoramic glass roof, adaptive headlights and a 360deg camera. The R operates as the highest-rung model with 22in wheels and model- specific exterior and interior styling.

All Touaregs have four-wheel drive. Grip levels are high and agility is impressive, particularly when the car is equipped with the more advanced air suspension and four-wheel steering set-up. R-Line and R-Line Tech models are fitted a with sports suspension that’s too firm, thumping over potholes in an undignified manner and jostling you from side to side on country roads. Wind noise is well suppressed, but road roar is a touch louder than in rivals when the Touareg is fitted with bigger wheels. All the engines come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox that shifts without fuss but can be a little hesitant at low speeds. Things look quite flash inside, but the fit and finish isn’t as good as some premium rivals. There’s plenty of padding for your elbows, mind, and there’s lots of space for the driver and both front and rear passengers. You can also slide and recline the rear bench for greater comfort or fold it down in a 40/20/40 split. The boot is big and the loading lip shallow.

Need to know

Prices start at around £28,000 for an early 3.0 TDI. Pay between £30,000 and £40,000 for 2019 and 2020 models. A petrol Touareg will set you back around £40,000.

To keep a lid on running costs, consider the 3.0-litre diesel, which achieves 34.4mpg compared with the 3.0 petrol’s 26.6mpg. None matches the claimed 95.2mpg of the plug-in hybrid R, of course. An issue has been found with the front shock absorbers fitted to some early Touaregs. A problem with the right rear seatbelt buckle could compromise the safety of cars made between August and October 2018. And a connection within the steering system could work loose on cars built between April 2018 and January 2019.

Our pick

3.0 TDI V6 230: The lower-powered (228bhp) 3.0-litre diesel engine makes the most sense, thanks to its combination of decent performance and far greater fuel economy. The petrol is best for urban dwellers and those who make mainly short journeys.

Wild card

3.0 TSI V6 PHEV R: Big thrills are in order as the expensive R pumps 456bhp through its petrol-electric veins (0-62mph in 5.1sec) and yet has the ability to be the most economical version in the range. So long as you plug it in...


2018 VW Touareg 3.0 TDI V6 230 SE, 30,000 miles, £28,500

2019 VW Touareg 3.0 TDI V6 285 R-Line, 10,000 miles, £38,150

2021 VW Touareg 3.0 TSI V6 PHEV R, 2000 miles, £67,000


Volkswagen reveals 'New Auto' business strategy

Volkswagen Arteon R Shooting Brake 2021 UK review

Print this item