BY STEVEN EWING - CNet.com
On winding Alpine pass or smooth Italian autostrada, there’s no better way to blast across Europe than in Bentley’s exquisite new Continental GT.
It's starting to drizzle as I pull through the toll booth and begin my ascent up Austria's Grossglockner High Alpine Road. Thick fog obscures the view of the mountaintops ahead, and each new mile reveals ribbons of impeccable pavement that appear to have been lovingly drizzled onto the side of this particularly picturesque portion of the Alps.
The Grossglockner's 36 turns will take me 8,200 feet above sea level and back down again, each hairpin apex offering a vista somehow more breathtaking than the last. It's the sort of road that immediately comes to mind when you close your eyes and imagine a luxurious day of European grand touring in an exquisite machine like the new Bentley Continental GT.
That this road was used for testing during the new Continental GT's development is no mere coincidence. And it's up here, high above the quaint Alpine villages, where Bentley's new GT shows its improved reflexes, a newfound sense of athleticism that's perfectly dialed into an unflappably luxurious experience.
Redesigning an icon
The Continental GT was the first Bentley to launch under Volkswagen AG ownership, and since its introduction in 2003, some 70,000 have been sold worldwide. That's a relatively small number in the grand scheme of things, but a huge amount for an ultra-premium, small-volume marque like Bentley. It is arguably the automaker's most important product to date; Bentley designers lovingly refer to the Continental as their "icon."
Indeed, even before the Continental GT's improved on-road enthusiasm or its sumptuous interior have a chance to seal the deal, it's the design that'll grab your attention. Just stop for a moment and take it all in -- the long dash-to-axle ratio, the prominent haunch over the rear wheel, the way the roofline dissolves into a fastback swoop down to the short rear deck. This coupe is stunning to behold.
I'll admit, the dead-on front and rear views are still a little odd and, dare I say, bulbous, but from every other angle, and especially the rear three-quarter, the new Continental GT is a real beaut. Incredible crystal-like detailing in the head- and taillight clusters give the coupe a real presence on the road, though the full-matrix LED headlamps sadly won't make their way Stateside (blame current legislation, not Bentley). The impressive body sculpting is the result of Bentley's "superforming" technique, where huge, solid pieces of aluminum fit together with minimal cutlines and blend both sharp creases and smooth surfaces. The result is a car that has tremendous curb appeal.
Beneath the 2019 Continental GT's longer, lower hood sits a familiar engine: Bentley's 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12, which now uses both direct and port fuel injection and boasts an impressive 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. That's an increase of 44 horsepower and 133 pound-feet over the previous Continental, and paired with a new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive, is enough to propel this 4,947-pound coupe to 60 miles per hour in just 3.6 seconds.
Not that I'm performing any sort of daft, full-throttle maneuvers on my way up the Grossglockner, mind you. The long travel of the gas pedal makes it easy to modulate the engine's thrust. It all comes on with a progressive rush, and a pronounced whistle from the turbochargers as they breathe in the mountain air. In Sport mode, that wealth of power is accompanied by a robust exhaust note, one that has me revving to the high end of each gear before letting off the throttle just so I can hear some burbling on overrun.
The 2019 Continental GT rides on Volkswagen Group's MSB architecture, found elsewhere underneath the new Porsche Panamera. So while the new Bentley is only 1.7 inches longer than its predecessor, there's a 4.1-inch increase in wheelbase. The W12 engine is positioned lower and further back in the chassis, which helps with overall weight distribution; Bentley says the Continental GT's front/rear balance improves from 58:42 in the outgoing car to 55:45 here. And speaking of weight, thanks to a greater use of aluminum throughout the body, the new Continental sheds some 170 pounds of mass in this new generation, despite its larger footprint.
While the old Continental was locked into a permanent 40:60 front/rear torque split, the new GT primarily acts as a rear-wheel drive car, only sending minor amounts of power to the front wheels when slip is detected. A maximum of 38 percent of the available torque can be moved forward at any time; in Sport mode, that number decreases to just 17 percent.
It only takes a few sharp turns up the Grossglockner to notice this improved balance. The front end is lighter, eager to dive into a turn and much more willing to rotate around tight bends. Bentley's engineers say it's possible to drift the Continental GT, but I'm not detecting even the faintest whiff of rear-end slip as I blast along the soaking wet asphalt. The fat contact patches of the GT's 275/35-series front and 315/30-series Z-rated Pirelli tires deserve a nod here, too.
A big boon for handling comes via Bentley's 48-volt active antiroll bars -- first seen on the Bentayga SUV -- that adapt body motions based on road conditions and the selected driving mode. Appropriate amounts of waft accompany the ride in Comfort mode on smooth surfaces, but along technical Alpine roads with the diamond-knurled drive mode dial set to Sport, nary a hint of unwanted roll hinders the Conti's reflexes. On top of that, brake-based torque vectoring can restrict power delivery to individual wheels to help with mid-corner precision.
Speaking of brakes, Bentley fits the Continental GT with its largest iron stoppers ever, with massive, 16.5-inch rotors up front with 10-piston calipers, and 15-inch rotors out back, with four-piston calipers. The GT can hit a top speed of 207 mph, so you'll appreciate those huge, powerful brakes when it's time to slow this two-and-a-half-ton coupe with a quickness. And considering how effortless this Bentley is as a high-speed cruiser, you'll have no trouble digging deeper and deeper into the huge reserve of power as the countryside along your local autobahn becomes a vivid blur.
Incredible luxury, familiar tech
Every inch of the Continental GT's cockpit is shod in the finest materials. Each part is fitted together by hand, every stitch lovingly sewn by the talented ladies and gentlemen at Bentley's factory in Crewe, England. The overall interior design has a more contemporary appearance than before, yet the richness of the wood veneers and leather hides speaks to Bentley's century-old tradition of providing truly coachbuilt products.
Of particular interest here is the new double-diamond door stitch pattern, which Bentley's craftspeople spent over a year developing. (And should you ever pull that leather back from the panel, you'll see the signatures of the folks who stitched it.) The aforementioned diamond knurling on the dials and steering column stalks is a beautiful bit of detailed brightwork, as is the optional Côtes de Genève textured metal finishing on the center console, a bit of design brought over from watchmaking. The flat, angled surface of the console is reminiscent of the Porsche Panamera, though instead of flush-mounted controls with haptic feedback, there are cut-out buttons that have a decidedly unsatisfying click to their action. It's an un-Bentley-like experience in an otherwise phenomenal cabin.
The centerpiece of the new Continental GT's interior is the $6,270 Bentley Rotating Display. Front and center in the dash, the mechanism is powered by two electric motors and has 40 moving parts. When the car is off, its flat surface matches the design of the rest of the dash, for a continuous, flush-mounted appearance. Turn the car on, and the whole piece silently rotates to reveal a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display. Press the Screen button on the left of the fixed row of shortcut controls below, and it rotates a third time, revealing a trio of stylized analog dials that show ambient temperature, a compass and chronometer.
If that 12.3-inch infotainment display looks familiar, it's because it's a Bentley-skinned version of what Porsche uses in the Panamera, with high-resolution graphics and quick response to inputs. Of course, that also means Android Auto isn't part of the equation, though Apple CarPlay comes standard.
More borrowed tech is found in front of the driver, where the Continental's standard digital instrument panel is pretty much a Bentley-fied version of Audi's Virtual Cockpit. Again, not a bad thing -- the large speedometer and tachometer displays have Bentley-appropriate fonts and design detail, and the central display can show navigation, audio, communication or vehicle data.
Elsewhere, Bentley brings the Continental GT into the 21st century with a host of driver assistance tech, including a full-color head-up display, night vision, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition.
On the entertainment front, a choice of three sound systems can pump out the jams, with Bentley's highest-end Naim option featuring 18 speakers and 2,200 watts of power. Not that you'll need to crank your tunes, considering how quiet the cabin is. With new laminated glass that reduces exterior noise by 9 decibels, the Continental GT is library quiet at all times.
A sense of occasion
All of this grandeur is befitting of a car that will cost $214,600 when it arrives Stateside in spring 2019. And while you can certainly argue that an Aston Martin DB11 or Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe check the same boxes for the same price, neither can match the Continental GT's sense of occasion, the aura of privilege and exclusivity that surrounds a beautiful car with a Flying B on its prow.
Even in six-figure territory, you can't put a price on that.
Cars are more than just a means to get from point A to point B. They can be works of rolling automotive art. Legendary car designers such as Marcello Gandini, Giorgetto Giugiaro, and, more recently, Ian Callum are artistic geniuses as much as they're "car guys."
While beauty is without a doubt purely in the eye of the beholder, there are certain cars whose sleek lines, luscious curves, or sheer aggression make them universally loved. Well, at least universally loved here at Business Insider.
These cars cover a broad spectrum— ranging from sports cars to SUVs, and from fire-breathing supercars to hybrid grand tourers.
Two years ago, we assembled a list that contained what we consider to be the ultimate collection of automotive elegance available at dealerships or from the manufacturer at the time.
For 2018, we've updated our list to reflect the latest and greatest from the world's automakers:
10. Mazda MX-5: Over the past quarter century, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has become the best-selling sports car of all time.
9. Range Rover Velar: For decades, Land Rover and its posher Range Rover sub-brand have been the vehicles of choice for the landed gentry. The Range has always been interesting and attractive, but never really beautiful — until now. The new Velar is truly stunning.
8. Jaguar F-PACE: For the first time, not one, but two of the most beautiful cars in the world are SUVs! And they are corporate cousins from Jaguar Land Rover.
7. Lexus LC 500: Over the past few years, Lexus and its spindle grille have polarized the automotive community. However, the luxury brand's new LC 500 coupe is a whole different story. I think we can all agree it's simply gorgeous.
6. Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta: For many, Ferraris are worth idolizing for their beauty simply because they are Ferraris. But the reality is that, over the past 15 years, the company has had its fair share of misses. Fortunately for Ferrari, its flagship LaFerrari Aperta isn't one of them.
5. Lamborghini Huracán: Critics of Lamborghini's entry-level model say its design is just too plain. I disagree. Instead, I think the Huracán is tastefully restrained for a Lamborghini and strikes a contrast to the Aventador's stealth-fighter looks.
4. Aston Martin DB11: In past Aston Martins, the words "Power, Beauty, and Soul" would appear on the dashboard when you went to start the car. While these words no longer appear in the DB11, they offer a perfect summation of everything this car stands for.
3. Pagani Huayra: The 230-mph Huayra is the second all-new model to emerge from the Italian workshop of Horacio Pagani. It serves as the successor to the widely praised Zonda.
2. Ford GT: Ladies and gentleman, the ultimate American supercar. Few cars on the road today are as pleasing to the eye as the Ford GT.
1. Jaguar F-Type: Sir Ian Callum once told me a Jaguar design must possess beauty, simplicity, and a sense of visual prowess.
Like any good Hollywood blockbuster, Jaguar’s F-Pace was made with sequels in mind. So it’s no surprise that now, two years after the company started delivering its first SUV to customers, Jaguar has rolled out the F-Pace SVR, an extra-fancy, extra-powerful version of a vehicle that was pretty fancy and powerful to begin with.
“When we were creating the core F-Pace vehicle, we always had in the back of our minds what changes we would want to make to deliver an SVR version,” says Wayne Burgess, who leads the team that designs all of Jaguar’s production vehicles.
The big change with this car—unveiled this week at the New York International Auto Show—is under the hood, where Jag swapped in a supercharged, 5-liter V8 with 550 horsepower. That’s enough to hit a top speed of 176 mph and go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. It’s a significant upgrade from the original, which produces 247 horsepower from a four-cylinder engine, or 340 hp from a V6. But ask the man who designed the thing, and he'll point you to all sorts of other changes.
“New front bumper, new bonnet vents, new front fenders, new rockers, new wheels, new brakes, new rear bumper, new exhaust system, and a new rear spoiler,” Burgess says.
Changes like vents in the hood and bigger, 22-inch tires make for a sportier looking car, but Burgess says most are there for a practical reason: When you give a car the ability to get near 200 mph, you want to make sure it stays stable. More rubber on the road helps with that. The tire change also accounts for the wider wheel arch claddings, sticking out a bit from the side of the car to properly cover the wheels, as the regulators require.
The vents come from a lesson the company learned while designing the SVR version of Jaguar’s F-Type coupe. “The amount of air being rammed into the engine bay at 150 plus was creating under-bonnet pressure,” Burgess says. Closer to 200 mph, it was enough to lift the front end of the car—bad news for stability and aerodynamics. “You’ve got to manage the airflow out of the engine bay.”
Other features that seemed helpful in Jaguar’s computer simulations for the F-Pace SVR didn’t quite work as expected: As Jaguar played with prototypes of the SVR, engineers discovered the air ducts near the front wheels and at the rear of the car were actually disrupting airflow, so those got filled up (the ones in the back now house extra brake lights). But hey, they still look cool.
Inside, the biggest change from the original F-Pace fits into the driver’s right hand (or left, on Jag's side of the pond). Burgess’ team dumped the standard rotary shifter, the half-inch tall disc that you twist to move between drive, park, reverse, and so on. The SVR gets a “trigger” shifter, which drivers move backward and forward, so they can easily shift gears when they don’t feel like letting the automatic transmission do its thing. (Paddle shifters cater to those who prefer keeping both hands on the wheel.)
And, like so many sequels that are bigger, brasher, and louder than the original, the F-Pace SVR costs more money than the first F-Pace, which started at $42,065. If you’re looking to enjoy this picture, get ready to drop $79,990 at the box office.
A plug-in hybrid system might add complexity, but it doesn't change the overall character of Land Rover's flagship offering.
The Range Rover is one of the best SUVs on the market. Land Rover could fill the air vents with expired yogurt and it'd still be near the top of everyone's must-have list. You didn't think that adding a big battery and an electric motor would muck it up, did you? Luckily for well-heeled buyers everywhere, Land Rover did exactly that (the battery, not the yogurt) and I'm happy to report it doesn't mess with the Range Rover's character one bit.
The interior has a few quality-of-life upgrades, like seat controls that have been moved to the door panels for easier usability and glass that's 20 percent thicker for better noise insulation. The infotainment gets an upgrade to the same system that the new Velar uses, with a pair of 10-inch touchscreens that cover every iota of infotainment and vehicle settings, with a clear delineation of responsibility between each screen.
Plug in to the good life
What brings me to the English countryside, though, is the introduction of a new plug-in hybrid variant. With a 13.1-kWh battery shoved in the back and an electric motor integrated into the gearbox, this powertrain puts out a net 398 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque. With 31 miles of all-electric range on offer, the Range Rover P400e will go for quite a while before its 2.0-liter gas engine needs to kick in.
When it's sneaking around, a front-mounted speaker makes a noise like a quiet vacuum cleaner to prevent the blind from ending up inside the grille, which is where the plug is located, by the by. The P400e can operate in EV-only mode at speeds up to 85 mph, at which point the gas engine kicks in because it's the more efficient way to move down the road. There's a mode for holding the battery's charge level until you need to use it, or you can just let the computers do their thing. The only caveat is you can't use EV-only mode in conjunction with the Range Rover's low range during off-roading.
Hitting the dirt
The Range Rover PHEV lives up to every other Land Rover's nigh-legendary off-road capability. Multiple off-road modes are available, adjusting how and when the differentials lock as you traverse mud, water and whatever else you can throw at it.
My time in the dirt also includes testing the PHEV's damned impressive 35.4-inch wading depth (a success, and I didn't electrocute any fish) and its ability to handle deep, rain-soaked ruts (with aplomb). I don't think Land Rover would have released a PHEV Range without it being able to handle stuff like this, even if a majority of its drivers may never once touch half these settings.
Hitting the road
While concessions aren't readily apparent in the dirt, you can find a few of 'em during the course of standard driving. It's not enough to detract from the experience, but they're worth mentioning.
Driving most Range Rover models is like floating over the asphalt on a leather-lined cloud. Perhaps due to its extra sprung mass, though, the P400e feels slightly stiffer than your average Range Rover, which lends to a bumpier ride than you'd expect. That mass is also quite obvious in tight turns. It feels a little more ponderous than your average Range Rover, so caveat emptor if your primary reason for scooping one up is its softness.
The immediate torque from the electric motor is nice no matter the ground beneath the car, and when the 2.0-liter Ingenium I4 kicks in, it usually does so with minimal fanfare. The gas engine does get a bit buzzy at higher revs, which again detracts from the typical Range Rover experience a smidge, but Mother Earth likely prefers the noise over the increased tailpipe emissions of non-hybrid models.
Otherwise, the experience is 100-percent Range Rover. The interior is lined with soft leather, the seats are adjustable and always comfortable and the view is as commanding as ever. It's a Range Rover -- you're paying for luxury, and you definitely get your money's worth here. Adding a complex plug-in hybrid system doesn't change the overall formula, so the future is definitely compatible with the present.
If you want to properly understand the million-dollar McLaren Senna supercar, you've got to make the pilgrimage to Woking, just southeast of London. There, you'll find McLaren’s UK Technology Center headquarters. What looks like a science fiction movie prop dropped into the English countryside is in fact home to the factory hand-building road cars—and McLaren's Formula 1 team. The kidney-shaped structure wraps floor-to-ceiling glass around a pool of tranquil water, which is used for cooling the mechanics when a huge onsite wind tunnel is running.
It is, that is to say, exactly the sort of place that would produce a car like the Senna, which promises to be one of the world's most radical road machines. The 4.0-liter V-8 engine, sitting behind the two carbon fiber seats, produces 789 brake horsepower, a whole lot in a car that weighs just 2,461 pounds. It's also the sort of place where your tour guide confirms that yes, that's Fernando Alonso who just walked by. He's there doing interviews before the F1 season kicks up, but you wonder if McLaren keeps him around to remind visitors that it's been in the sport for 50 years.
Inside, a wave of a hand over a hidden sensor causes a section of wall to glide open, revealing new curved corridors. Another hidden, swooshing door reveals the back of the house, where a brand-new McLaren Senna sits on a turntable.
“For us, it’s a real treat to be able to spend some quality time with a real vehicle, a production car,” says Mark Roberts, McLaren’s design manager, explaining that he’s happy to take time out of his day to show me around the car. Normally, he sees a vehicle as a clay model in the studio, perfects it, then moves on to the next project. There's not much time built in for looking back.
With the Senna, the million-dollar base price buys you less, not more. It’s stripped back, bereft of everything that adds weight. All that's left is a passenger cell, shrink-wrapped in carbon fiber, with an enormous wing on the back. “It’s like the car’s been working out in the gym; it’s showing the structure and the skeleton underneath that,” Roberts says.
This machine is all about performance and sits at the “ultimate” end of the spectrum of road cars that McLaren has produced for just 25 years, dating back to the revolutionary three-seater F1, then the P1 in 2012. The company also builds the slightly more reasonable “sports” series with the 570S, and the “super” series with the 720S.
The Senna unashamedly prizes function over form. The resulting extreme looks are polarizing but look more cohesive in the flesh than in photos. Waving his hands over the car, design engineering director Dan Parry-Williams shows how air gets sucked around the squared-off front splitter and through the wheel arch. The cutaway design of the door accelerates the airflow, steering it down the side of the car. “We pushed the door in as far as possible, right into the structure,” Parry-Williams says.
It's one of many techniques his team used to generate a phenomenal 1,763 pounds of downforce, the thing that keeps the car glued to the road in the corners—key to performance. “The car grips in every situation; it’s pretty much like an F1 car,” Roberts says. More help comes from that giant surfboard-like wing on the back—a full 4 feet off the ground—and the car has active, steerable, aerodynamic elements to deflect air and shrug off some of that downforce when it’s not needed, like when pelting down a straight when it would just be drag.
Inside, one of the few design flourishes comes into view. As Roberts reaches up to close the flip-up door, I can see straight through to the floor outside, thanks a glass panel in the lower part of the body. But even this Roberts paints as a functional touch. “You are effectively a component in this car, and even at low speed you see the track or road whizzing past you, and it gives you that sense of heightened excitement."
Because this is a car designed to be raced as well as driven on public roads, the interior was made with a helmeted driver in mind. The center screen, with controls for radio and heating, is high up, to remain visible even through a visor. The Park, Reverse, and Neutral buttons are attached to the bottom of the driver’s seat, so they slide when it does, and always fall directly under hand.
In a nod to practicality, there’s space for two helmets and race suits to be stowed behind the seats, but that’s about it. This is not a car for your weekly shopping trip. “For me, it’s a race car with a number plate,” Roberts says. So it will fit in well nicely when it heads to the Geneva Motor Show for its official debut this week, where even the fanciest of attendees will be able to look, but not buy: All 500 planned production models are already spoken for.
Bombardier has unveiled its £55 million Global 7000, the largest ever private jet complete with a master suite, dining area, and shower room
Canada's Bombardier has completed its fourth maiden flight test of its next generation Global 7000, the largest ever dedicated private jet.
The $72.8 million (£55 million) plane took its fourth test flight on September 28 — and it's certainly fancy.
Inside there are four luxury living areas, with capacity for up to 19 passengers, as well as a crew rest area.
The aircraft has a maximum range of over 8,500 miles, meaning it can fly direct from London to Singapore or New York to Dubai.
The Global 7000 FTV Bombardier Business Aircraft is currently on show at the National Business Aviation Association's industry trade show in Las Vegas until October 12. The first examples of the aircraft were assembled at Bombardier's factory near Toronto, Canada.
Step aboard the 111 ft. Global 7000 aircraft, the largest dedicated private jet in the world.
According to The Telegraph, Bombardier said the Global 7000 aircraft is already sold out until 2021.
Courtesy of Business Insider
The v-class VIP Limousine from KLASSEN is the ultimate stretch limo. It's built around the V-class Mercedes-Benz van. It comes complete with mini-bar, big screen tv, and even a safe for your cash. Everything can be controlled with an app. Who said vans aren't cool?
By Wayne Cunningham - Roadshow by CNET
Fast thrills and sublime comfort in Jaguar's powerful roadster
There should be few experiences more enjoyable than racing down a mountain highway in the 2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR Convertible with the top down on a warm summer day. Except for a pickup truck in front of me, spewing soot out of the tailpipe whenever it accelerates.
I keep my distance until a straightaway comes up, then cross over the dashed line and unleash the 575-horsepower fury of the F-Type SVR's supercharged V8, sport exhaust turned on for maximum effect.
The pickup truck tries to accelerate, but it appears to be standing still as I blast by, emerging from its final cloud of exhaust like Superman rescuing Lois Lane from a burning building. I give a moment's thought to Jaguar's engine tuning and technology, which gives the F-Type SVR such tremendous power while also earning an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) rating from the California Air Resources Board.
And then I'm back to enjoying this gorgeous and powerful convertible, testing its suspension and all-wheel drive through a set of hard turns and very happy I left that pickup truck far behind.
Jaguar's F-Type may be the ultimate gentleman's sports car, and gentlewoman if you want to update the lingo, showing off classic roadster proportions, luxury cabin appointments and a comfortable ride that doesn't interfere with excellent handling.
For the F-Type SVR, Jaguar cranks the performance up to 11, wringing just about every iota out of engine, transmission and suspension. Personally, I like the lines of the F-Type SVR Coupe a little better, but Jaguar loaned us the Convertible version for a week, and I'm not one to complain. The F-Type SVR Convertible sacrifices a little cargo space compared with the Coupe, but both versions only seat two.
At 575 horsepower from its supercharged 5.0-liter direct-injection V8, the F-Type SVR rates 25 more than the next up in the lineup, the F-Type R. Both come standard with all-wheel drive, while Jaguar says it tuned the SVR's eight-speed automatic transmission for quicker shifts. If you prefer three-pedal driving, you will have to step down to the F-Type S, which can be had with a manual transmission.
What most impresses me about the F-Type SVR is how it can feel stiff and comfortable at the same time. It manages to mute vibration even on rough back roads, letting me enjoy the beautiful diamond upholstery on seats and door panels, along with the excellent audio quality from the Meridian-branded 12 speaker 770-watt audio system.
That stiff suspension contributes hugely to handling, so that I don't even feel the corner braking system, which slightly brakes the inside wheel during a turn. Likewise, the F-Type SVR's all-wheel drive splits torque 63 percent to the rear and 37 percent to the front, which is difficult to feel on a dry road. However, the car's obvious competence in hard cornering makes driving a twisty road into a sublime experience.
The carbon fiber wing on the F-Type SVR can be had in this fixed configuration, or in a retractable version that adds a little weight.
Switching between Auto and Dynamic modes makes for a palpable difference in power, as the transmission keeps the revs running above 3,000. The Auto mode, however, tries to gauge what I want out of the car, so also makes the transmission maintain power when I'm frequently digging into the throttle and braking hard.
Ostensibly an automatic transmission, the F-Type SVR changes gears as quickly and precisely as a dual-clutch transmission.
Roadshow editor Jon Wong drove the F-Type SVR on the Motorland Aragon Circuit in Teruel, Spain, during a Jaguar-sponsored event. He says,
The 2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR's supercharged V8 isn't too thirsty for such a powerful engine. Stupendous cornering grip and a stiff chassis don't compromise everyday comfort.
The F-Type SVR's infotainment system doesn't support Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, and seems a little outdated in general.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Any of the 2017 Jaguar F-Type line will satisfy for aesthetics, but the F-Type SVR rises above them all when it comes to power output and handling expertise. Just don't expect the most modern in cabin electronics.
by Tim Stevens CNET
With the Project One, Mercedes-AMG is ushering in a new era of hypercars. It's been a few years since the world had a proper, new, all-conquering machine on the market. The last trio -- the McLaren P1, Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 -- all having ended their production runs. And, while the phenomenal Bugatti Chiron is still just getting up to production speed, that's a velvet rocket, not so much a trackday dominator, the sort of thing we've been missing. Now, we have our first look at the next one.
With over 1,000 horsepower in a low, lightweight package, Mercedes-AMG promises that the Project One will offer performance on par with a Formula One car in a package that is not only road legal, but that anyone can buy. Anyone who is phenomenally wealthy, anyhow.
This is a proper road car, a machine that seats two in relative comfort -- relative that is compared to an average hypercar, which is typically stripped bare to offer the best trackday performance. We haven't seen much of the interior, but it looks far more accommodating than an F1 car, while stealing a few of its tricks. Most notably? A steering wheel that has most of the important stuff right on it. Valuable, this, given the driver will be lying practically on his or her back when driving this car.
Yes, that's less horsepower than the phenomenal Bugatti Chiron, but in a package that is surely substantially lighter. Mercedes says that this car will accelerate not to 60, but to 125 mph in less than 6 seconds. It will hit a top speed in excess of 217 mph and can do that despite having a V6 engine that's just 1.6 liters in displacement. That's smaller than what you'll find under the hood of a Ford Focus!
Of course, what's here is augmented by electric turbocharging and not one but four electric motors. Two of those are situated on the front axle, much like an Acura NSX. Mercedes-AMG expects this will allow the car to regenerate up to 80 percent of its braking force to recharge the onboard batteries.
But, it won't just be fast. Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche said the car offers a thermal efficiency of 40 percent, meaning it will get far more energy from burned gasoline than your average car, and beyond that will be able to drive 25 km (about 16 miles) using just electric power if you want to get somewhere quietly.
Two figures are missing, though. The first is how many Mercedes-AMG will build, and Dr. Z already indicated that some people are bound to be "disappointed" as there won't be many. Just 275 of the cars will be produced, at a cost of 2.275 million euros each. That's about $2.72 million by today's exchange rate, just slightly cheaper than that Chiron. A bargain, then.
For the full article and Specs see the original article HERE
Stuart Milne - www.carbuyer.co.uk
Part 1 - Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW ...
Next year promises some outstanding new cars, with an emphasis on electric, hybrid and SUV models
If you think the rate of new car launches is impressive this year, you’ll be amazed at what 2018 has in store for the new car buyer.
From hatchbacks to hypercars, there’ll be something for everyone, but you won’t be able to get away from the dozens of new SUVs that’ll hit the streets. Pretty much every manufacturer is getting in on the act – including the likes of Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini.
While cars seem to be getting taller, running costs should shrink, because electric and hybrid are the two words on every car maker’s lips.
So read on to find out the new cars that are really worth waiting for in 2018.
Alfa Romeo executive saloon
Spurred on by the launch of the Alfa Romeo Giulia, the Italian firm will launch a large saloon designed to rival the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class. It’ll share its underpinnings with the Giulia and will feature a range of engines that’ll include a plug-in hybrid and Alfa’s first-ever six-cylinder diesel. The 503bhp V6 engine from the Giulia Quadrifoglio could feature, making a real rival for the BMW M5.
Alfa Romeo large SUV
Alfa Romeo’s take on the Maserati Levante is expected to go on sale in 2018, taking Alfa’s SUV range from zero to two in as many years. Last year, Alfa’s boss said he recognised “where consumer preference is going” and the profitability that SUVs deliver. Should such a car be based on the Levante, expect that model’s 3.0-litre V6 engine to feature.
Aston Martin DBX
The most significant launch from Aston Martin will be its first-ever SUV. The Aston Martin DBX marks a new direction for the brand, not least because there’ll be the choice of an electric version. The DBX will be hand-built at a new factory in south Wales and compete with some new and ultra-exclusive models, such as the Lamborghini Urus, Bentley Bentayga and Maserati Levante.
Aston Martin Valkyrie
The Valkyrie, formerly known as the Aston Martin AM RB 001, will be the brand’s most extreme road car to date. In partnership with the Red Bull Racing F1 team, 150 will be made for the road, plus a further 25 for the track. A Cosworth-built 6.5-litre V12 engine will power the car, expected to produce some 900bhp. An F1-style KERS hybrid system will boost performance further. Unsurprisingly, all Valkyries have been sold, despite an estimated £2m asking price.
Aston Martin Vanquish
The next-generation Aston Martin Vanquish could pack more than 700bhp – but not because it needs it, rather that as the flagship coupe, it has to be the pinnacle of Aston’s range. It’ll have a version of the Aston Martin DB11’s V12 engine, which could, in time, gain electric assistance in an attempt to increase performance while driving down emissions.
Aston Martin Vantage
Development of the next generation of the Porsche 911- rivalling Aston Martin Vantage is well underway in what’s a busy period for the firm. Being based on a new chassis, it’ll be lighter than ever, and will pack a 4.0-litre V8 engine and styling inspired by the Aston Martin DB11. The engine is significant, as it’ll be the first fruit of an engine supply deal with Mercedes.
The second-generation Audi A1 is in line for a 2018 launch, with subtly tweaked styling, an improved interior and a wider range of technology expected. It’ll be new under the metal and will have a longer wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels), so there’ll be more space in the rear seats and boot. The engine range will include a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol and 1.5-litre petrols and diesels.
It might not look like it, but the new Audi A6 will be all-new under the metal. It’ll be based on a new chassis and is likely to offer plug-in hybrid power for those who don’t want straightforward petrol or diesel. It’ll have the latest self-driving technology, too, plus the best of Audi’s in-car tech, including its Virtual Cockpit infotainment screen and MMI controller. There’ll be an A6 Avant estate to follow as well.