As we come to the end of another week we look at some of the motoring news which you may have missed starting with Bentley Motors who are preparing to unveil the most dynamic road car in its 101 year history.
Designed, engineered, developed and handcrafted in Bentley’s carbon neutral luxury automotive factory, the new third-generation Continental GT Speed is the ultimate performance-focused interpretation of the world’s benchmark luxury Grand Tourer.
With highly advanced chassis technology, and styling cues specific to Continental GT Speed, the extraordinary journey continues at 16:00 GMT, 23rd March 2021
The New Audi Sport Nogaro Editions
It has demanded attention from behind an RS badge since 1994, and thanks to a new five-strong collection of ultra-limited edition Audi Sport road cars all eyes will again be on the fittingly intense shade of blue that perfectly set the tone for the genre-defining Avant RS 2 almost three decades ago.
Nogaro Blue, named after a French race circuit with Grand Prix pedigree, has become something of a hallmark of Audi Sport. To acknowledge its place in the high performance division‘s colourful history the evocative hue forms the basis of new Audi Sport Nogaro Edition versions of the RS 4 Avant, RS 5 Coupé, RS 5 Sportback, RS 6 Avant and TT RS Coupé. Limited to just 25 UK specification examples apiece, and priced from £67,765 OTR, the very special editions feature an exclusive and exceptionally comprehensive fixed specification, and are now available in the UK for Audi devotees who are sufficiently quick off the mark.
"The Avant RS 2 established the concept of the very high performance estate that remains incredibly popular with Audi Sport customers to this day, and that vivid Nogaro Blue paint finish certainly helped the new genre make an impact,“ commented Director of Audi UK Andrew Doyle. "Here, it has the same effect on five already truly exceptional descendants of that original car, which also gain a particularly impressive specification as part of the Nogaro Edition upgrade. For a lucky few, they offer awe-inspiring Audi Sport pace in an even more desirable and exclusive package.“
In the TT RS, RS 4 Avant and RS 5 Audi Sport Nogaro Edition models the famous pearl effect paint finish is complemented by alloy wheels with a 20-inch diameter, the TT RS Coupé featuring a seven-spoke Rotor design and the RS 4 Avant and RS 5 Coupé and Sportback a five-arm flag style. Imposing 22-inch wheels with a black gloss turned finish mark out the RS 6 Avant Audi Sport Nogaro Edition. All are finished in black and combined with red brake calipers carrying the RS logo.
Also common to all Audi Sport Nogaro Edition models is a styling package that trims various elements such as the front spoiler and the side sill and rear diffuser inserts in matt aluminium, and finishes others, including the door mirrors, the Audi rings and the RS badging in gloss black. The twin oval exhaust tailpipes that are a longstanding RS trademark also appear in black in all cases, signifying the presence of the upgraded Audi Sport exhaust system that provides additional aural impact as part of the package.
Inside, Denim blue stitching edging the fine Nappa leather or Valcona leather-upholstered seats, centre console, instrument cover, steering wheel and floor mats subtly references the Nogaro theme. It also lends a more bespoke air that is heightened by additional leather trim elements covering areas such as the upper instrument panel, door shoulders and centre console, and by an Alcantara finish for the steering wheel and gear lever. The driving environment is also enhanced in every case by a Comfort and Sound pack that adds Bang & Olufsen audio, a 360-degree or rear-specific camera depending on model and the Advanced Key access and authorisation system incorporating hands-free electric tailgate opening.
The 1994 RS 2 Avant from which the new Audi Sport Nogaro Edition models draw inspiration was powered by a 2.2-litre turbocharged five-cylinder petrol engine delivering 315PS, an output which remains competitive to this day. Its DNA lives on in the 2.5-litre five-cylinder TFSI engine which endows the TT RS Coupé Audi Sport Nogaro Edition with 400PS and the potential to touch 62mph from a standing start in just 3.7 seconds.
A six-cylinder engine sits at the heart of the RS 4 and RS 5 Audi Sport Nogaro Edition models. The 2.9-litre V6 TFSI is good for 450PS and a 4.1-second 0-62mph sprint time in the RS 4 Avant and enables the RS 5 Coupé and Sportback to complete the sprint in 3.9 seconds. Last, but emphatically never least, comes the RS 6 Avant Audi Sport Nogaro Edition with its twin-turbo V8 TFSI and crushing 600PS output – this eight-cylinder titan is appropriately the most explosive off the line, reaching 62mph in just 3.6 seconds.
PEUGEOT launches the new 308
Continuing PEUGEOT’S incredible success in the compact family car segment, the new 308 sets new standards for the class. Proudly wearing the brand’s new logo, the latest design of the new PEUGEOT 308 showcases its dynamism and distinct identity, whilst setting the tone for future PEUGEOT models.
In terms of technology, the new PEUGEOT 308 is equipped with the latest-generation driving aids and the PEUGEOT i-Cockpit® with 3D technology, plus i-Connect® Advanced, an infotainment system that is intuitive to use and always keeps you connected. The interior of the new 308 offers greater space and comfort, while carefully chosen materials emphasize the high-quality finish. Efficiency and performance are also enhanced with new aerodynamic details.
The new 308 is available with two plug-in hybrid powertrains as well as efficient petrol and diesel engines, giving buyers the power of choice to choose the powertrain that best meets their needs. By 2025 PEUGEOT will offer an electrified variant across its entire model line-up.
Julie David, Managing Director of Peugeot UK, said: “The compact family car class remains one of the most important and competitive segments - and one in which PEUGEOT has a proud record of success. It is therefore very exciting to be launching the new 308, which is one of the most efficient, practical and technologically advanced offerings in the market. With the addition of plug-in hybrid powertrains for the first time, the new 308 represents another significant step in our commitment to have an electrified variant of every new PEUGEOT model by 2025.”
Volkswagen unveils new Transporter T6.1 Sportline
The Sportline, which is available to order from late March ahead of deliveries from July, is available in short or long wheelbase versions, and as either a Kombi or panel van. It features a range of unique sporty styling additions and technology upgrades, ensuring the perfect combination of sport and comfort.
The Transporter 6.1 Sportline comes with a host of sporty exterior and interior styling details. The front features a red contrast grille strip and a new bumper, while at the rear there is an eye-catching new spoiler, all of which are exclusive to the Sportline range. The suspension has also been lowered by 30mm, and illuminated side bars added.
The sporty design extends to the choice of wheels, with 18” alloys available in a gloss black. The Sportline also debuts a range of new stand out metallic colours for the vehicle in Indium Grey, Fortana Red, Ravenna Blue and Copper Bronze giving the vehicles a distinct premium edge.
The interior of the new T6.1 Sportline matches its premium yet sporty exterior, featuring a luxury Nappa leather and suede trim with honeycomb stitching branded with the Sportline logo.
A Sportline Black Edition will also be available, priced from £45,140*, offering an exclusive alloy wheel colour, matt black side bars, Eibach coilover suspension, ‘Black Edition’ decals, 90% rear window tint on Kombi models, and a Sportline gift box.
The Transporter’s range-topping 2.0-litre TDI 204 PS engine with 7-speed DSG gearbox is standard across all T6.1 Sportline models. This is capable of 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds with a top speed of 126mph.
The Watt Electric Vehicle Company Coupe: Redefining the sports EV
Watt Electric Vehicle Company (WEVC) is set to redefine premium electric sports cars with its first model: the classic-inspired Coupe.
Carving out an entirely new niche, the two-seater, rear-wheel drive, mid-motor-mounted WEVC Coupe combines retro looks with the very latest in lightweight, sophisticated EV architecture, creating an engaging, real-world sports car, yet one that conforms to modern safety standards.
Under the skin is WEVC’s in-house developed EV platform, called PACES. Made from bonded aluminium, it features an integrated battery enclosure built into the primary chassis as opposed to a separate battery case, allowing the entire platform to be lightweight and very structurally efficient – while the whole powertrain and chassis combination meets ISO regulations and European Small Series Type Approval crash requirements.
With near 50:50 weight distribution, a kerbweight of less than 1,000kg and double wishbone suspension, the WEVC Coupe puts the driver first, majoring on carefully-honed ride, handling and steering characteristics. Power comes from a 40kWh lithium-ion battery, while the mid-mounted electric motor in Launch Edition vehicles will provide 120kW (160bhp).
Over the last 10 months, WEVC has carried out extensive prototype testing and further refinements will continue to be made over the coming year. WEVC simulation models, validated during testing and development, predicts production specification cars will have a WLTP range of approximately 230 miles, with the 120kW Launch Edition Coupes able to accelerate from 0-62mph in just over five seconds.
The Coupe’s all-new composite body is inspired by the legendary 1955 Porsche 356a. However, all exterior surfaces are subtly different to optimise aerodynamic efficiency and house the state-of-the-art bonded aluminium chassis and bespoke suspension. Inside, the entirely new cabin majors on beautifully executed simplicity, using premium-grade lightweight materials while also providing the range of creature comforts expected in a modern vehicle such as air-conditioning and mobile connectivity.
The WEVC Coupe’s advanced development phase will continue over the coming months ahead of a full production car reveal in late summer. Manufacturing will begin at WEVC’s home in Cornwall in November with first deliveries in early 2022. Each WEVC Coupe can be individually tailored to a customer’s tastes, with the 21 120kW Launch Edition Coupes starting at £81,250.
Sharp new livery revealed for Team BMW
Team BMW’s trio of 330i M Sport race cars will sport a new livery for the 2021 British Touring Cars Championship, all of them bearing the iconic ‘M’ colours as they compete for more silverware.
Inspired by the classic BMW Motorsport liveries of the 1970s, the instantly recognisable M stripes, resplendent in Bavarian blue, dark blue and red, adorn the cars’ sides on a menacing matt-black base, creating a sharp and modern look.
The BMW 3 Series has enjoyed a stellar life in the BTCC since it was debuted in April 2019. A win on its maiden weekend was the start of an incredible season that delivered a one-two finish in the Drivers’ Championship and a record-equalling fourth title for Turkington.
The Manufacturers’ title capped off a magnificent double; and there were two more championships secured in 2020, as BMW equalled the BTCC record of five consecutive Manufacturers’ successes and Team BMW scored a fifth Teams’ title in seven years.
As in 2020, all three entries will proudly carry the BMW FIRST logo throughout the season to promote the brand’s aftercare subscription service that offers customers exclusive access to a range of benefits and products to enhance the BMW ownership experience.
The cars will also promote My BMW, the all-new app designed to offer a full connected-car experience for BMW drivers, with features ranging from remote locking and unlocking of doors, vehicle locator, remote status, remote charging for electrified vehicles and trip-planning capabilities. BMW M Performance Parts and BMW Original Motor Oil also feature prominently as part of the livery.
The new livery will make its track debut as two days of pre-season testing get underway at Brands Hatch on Wednesday 23 March.
All three cars will attend the BTCC season official launch event at Silverstone on April 22 and the first race at BMW UK’s local circuit, Thruxton, on May 8-9.
Track-ready Ford Mustang Mach 1 lands in UK this summer
The Mustang Mach 1, the most track-capable member of the Mustang line-up to ever grace UK shores, arrives in early summer.
On sale now, the best-handling Mustang offered yet boasts 460PS and a suite of performance enhancements for track-ready capability and on-road driving pleasure.
The Mach 1 is also the first production Mustang in Europe available with a high-performance TREMEC six-speed manual transmission, featuring rev-matching technology for seamless down-shifts and an upgraded oil-cooler system for high-demand performance driving.
A unique suspension setup further enhances road performance and track-readiness. Specially-calibrated MagneRide® 2 dampers and bespoke springs, anti-roll bars and bush specifications deliver improved control and response under high cornering loads. Retuned electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) software enables the Mach 1 to offer the most precise steering of any Mustang in Europe.
The result is the fastest production Mustang around a track ever offered to customers in Europe.
Pricing – available to order now, deliveries from June
Fastback 5.0 V8 Petrol 6 Speed Manual £55,185.00
Fastback 5.0 V8 Petrol 10 Speed Automatic £57,185.00
Jaguar Classic reveals E-type 60 Collection: 60th anniversary tribute to the iconic sports car
Jaguar Classic has unveiled its first matched pair of E-type 60 Collection cars, and revealed full specification details for the 12 expertly restored and sympathetically uprated 3.8-litre E-types built to celebrate 60 years of the iconic sports car.
The E-type made its world debut in Geneva, Switzerland on 15 March 1961. The public reaction to the lone coupé available for test drives was so strong that Jaguar rushed a second E-type, a roadster, from Coventry to Geneva overnight.
Six decades later, the E-type 60 Collection pays tribute to these two legendary cars: the Opalescent Gunmetal Grey coupé ‘9600 HP’, driven ‘flat out’ by Bob Berry to make the launch itself, and the British Racing Green roadster ’77 RW’, driven by Norman Dewis who was told to ‘drop everything’ to get to Geneva the next day.
The E-type 60 Collection cars, which are sold as a pair (one E-type 60 Edition coupé, one E-type 60 Edition roadster) are finished in exclusive Flat Out Grey and Drop Everything Green paint colours respectively. These colour formulations are inspired by the original 1961 colours and won’t be used on any other Jaguar.
The cars also feature a range of unique E-type 60 design elements developed in conjunction with Julian Thomson, Jaguar Design Director; subtle enhancements for improved usability and driveability including a five-speed manual gearbox and enhanced cooling; plus the Jaguar Classic Infotainment System with built-in satellite navigation and Bluetooth connectivity.
The most distinctive visual highlight for each of the specially produced cars is an engraving by artist and designer King Nerd on the centre console of each car, recalling the drive routes from Coventry to Geneva of those original cars. Each piece of art takes more than 100 hours to create by hand, in consultation with the owner.
Nissan announces plans for major expansion of renewable energy at Sunderland Plant
Nissan have announced plans for a major expansion to renewable energy generation at its record-breaking plant in Sunderland, UK.
If approved, the 37,000-panel extension would result in 20% of the plant’s energy coming from all onsite renewables, enough to build every single zero-emission Nissan LEAF sold in Europe.
The plans are to be shared with the local community this week, ahead of a formal planning application being submitted.
Alan Johnson, Vice President Manufacturing at Nissan Sunderland, said: “Renewables have already made a big difference to our business and we continue to look for ways to make the manufacturing process more sustainable.
“As our products made in Sunderland become increasingly electrified, our manufacturing operations are an important part of the ecosystem that will take us to carbon neutrality.”
Nissan began integrating renewable energy sources in Sunderland in 2005 when the company installed its first wind turbines on site. These 10 turbines contribute 6.6MW power, with the existing 4.75MW solar farm installed in 2016. The proposed 20MW solar farm extension would take the total output of renewables to 32MW at the plant.
The solar farm is being developed and installed by partner company Engenera. The first step in the process is a community consultation which starts this week, with a full planning application expected to follow later this year.
Nissan has set itself the goal to achieve carbon neutrality across the company’s operations and the life cycle of its products by 2050. As part of this effort, by the early 2030s every all-new Nissan vehicle offering in key markets will be electrified, as well as introducing innovations in electrification and manufacturing technology.
Nissan launched LEAF, the world's first mass-market all-electric vehicle, more than ten years ago. Today it is driven by more than 180,000 EV enthusiasts across Europe.
During that time LEAF owners have prevented a massive 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere every year, while covering enough kilometres to drive around the earth 400,000 times.