The new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé is a car that delivers on so many fronts, combining sporting elegance with driving pleasure and, with five full-size seats, a roomy cabin and a versatile luggage area, it also represents modern functionality that is hard to emulate.
BMW has raised the bar even higher with the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé, building on the success of its predecessor. The latest version offers even sharper looks, improved driving dynamics, a superior engine line-up and even more interior space.
Like its recently updated BMW 4 Series siblings, the third body variant in the range adopts the brand’s new design language, along with a refined premium ambience in the cabin and a wide array of innovations in the areas of control/operation and connectivity.
Four doors, five full-size seats, a large wide-opening boot and a versatile luggage compartment also ensures the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé retains its characteristic strengths in both everyday driving and on longer trips.
The new edition of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé will be built at BMW Group Plant Munich together with the all-electric BMW i4. Assembly of both at the company’s home plant will be almost entirely integrated into the manufacturing process developed for the BMW 3 Series Saloon and BMW 3 Series Touring models.
The UK market launch of the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé will get underway in November 2021. The new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé is available to order now and is priced from £40,465 OTR***.
Electric-powered classic Mini conversion that is light on the wallet and kind to the environment launched in UK
Proving that electric vehicle (EV) conversions don’t have to cost the earth, London Electric Cars (LEC) has launched its own affordable electric-powered classic Mini, with prices starting from £25,000 (excluding local taxes, shipping and donor). Not only are LEC’s conversions some of the most cost-effective in the marketplace, they are also some of the most sustainable in terms of their end-to-end vehicle lifecycle impact.
Based in the heart of London, LEC is the only electric car conversion specialist within the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) as well as being the only EV converter based in one of the world’s largest cities. London Electric Cars is aiming to transform the face of electric vehicle ownership and electric-powered conversions of classic cars from petrol power. Founded in 2017, the company is on a mission to create sustainably-converted classic cars using electric power, with real-life EV mileage predictions based on real-world city driving and in-car usage, such as stereo and heater.
The base 20 kWh LEC classic Mini conversion, costing from £25,000 (excluding local taxes, shipping and donor), has a projected range of 60 - 70 miles, with owners having the ability to install a higher kWh motor and upgraded batteries to provide more range at an additional cost. Drivers can use any Type 1 or Type 2 public charger available country-wide, rapid charging on demand, as well as use their private home wall-box systems and also charge from a domestic 13A socket should they wish.
Focusing on the full lifecycle impact of the conversion, and not just the powerplant itself, the team has conducted extensive research, development and independent analysis to prove that by using a pre-owned Nissan Leaf infrastructure (motor and battery cells) it is a more sustainable solution than mining and creating materials for an LEC-only powertrain. The company also has plans to reuse and renew computer hardware and batteries inside traction packs and uses additive manufacturing technologies to assist with the production and engineering of the LEC classic Mini conversions, all conducted from its London-based workshop.
Handcrafted Bentley interior inspires bespoke luxury yacht design
Bentley Motors has collaborated on the creation of a truly unique yacht interior to match the exquisite cabin design of a customer’s Continental GT V8 coupe.
The bespoke nautical trim was created by craftspeople at Bentley Design Services, which specialises in creating customised solutions for the brand’s clients, working side-by-side with premium Dutch yacht builder, Contest Yachts.
The luxurious cabin of the yacht owner’s Continental GT V8 coupe already incorporated Hotspur red leather, combined with contrasting Linen beige hide – styling which Bentley was then able to help recreate inside the new 18-metre, Contest 59 CS yacht.
The interior panelling in the ocean-going yacht also showcases Bentley’s signature diamond-in-diamond stitching. This unique quilting requires exactly 712 stitches per diamond and a high level of skill to produce on a specially-commissioned machine, exclusive to Bentley Motors. Outside, the deep blue hull of the Contest yacht perfectly complements the Light Sapphire finish of the owner’s Continental GT V8 Coupe.
Brett Boydell, Head of Bentley Design Collaborations at Bentley Motors, said:
“This project was an opportunity for Bentley Design Services to showcase some of their many skills in a truly unique collaboration. Bentley cars embrace qualities of craftsmanship and styling that are only achieved at the highest level of nautical design.”
Arjen Conijn, CEO and Co-Owner of Contest Yachts, said: "Our family has been building premium class sailing and motor yachts for more than 60 years. We are well-known for our thorough approach to customisation, which allows us to fulfill the expectations and preferences of every customer. This project is the ultimate example of this approach - working with Bentley to turn a customer’s dream into reality."
The Bentley Continental GT V8 is the world’s finest Grand Tourer, combining unparalleled levels of luxury with cutting-edge technology and performance. Designed, engineered and built in Great Britain.
Automobili Lamborghini builds dream cars, also with LEGO® Technic™ elements
Automobili Lamborghini in collaboration with the LEGO Group has built a life-size replica of the Lamborghini Sián FKP 37, using over 400,000 LEGO® Technic™ elements. Following the launch of the 1:8 scale LEGO® Technic™ Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 last year, this life-size model replicates the limited-edition Italian super sportscar on a much grander scale. Using 154 different types of LEGO elements, including 20 moulded specifically for this project, the 2,200 kg model embodies the unmistakeable design of the Lamborghini Sián down to the most minute details, perfectly mirroring the car’s dimensions to the millimetre.
“Lamborghini is a dream for people around the world, and LEGO products provide creative inspiration for millions,” said Stephan Winkelmann President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. “We’re delighted to have collaborated on this unique edition of the Lamborghini Sián, that will catch the imagination of Lamborghini and LEGO fans alike.”
The collaboration between the two companies’ designers, engineers and technicians, took a team of 15 people 8,660 hours of development work and painstaking construction. The proportion-perfect chassis is identical to the real-life Sián at 4,980 mm long, 2,101 mm wide and 1,133 mm high. The body panels are comprised of an intricate fabric of bespoke interconnecting hexagonal LEGO Technic elements, paying homage to the six-sided shape that is integral to Lamborghini’s design language. The Sián’s name, meaning ‘flash’ or ‘lightning’ in Bolognese dialect, is honored by the LEGO Group’s experts who have ensured that the lights, built entirely from Technic elements, and the sleek lightning bolt that flashes along the body, reflect how the real Sián’s epsilon headlights and hexagonal taillights power up and down. Inside the cockpit the detail continues with a brick-built steering wheel featuring the Lamborghini emblem and Italian flag, LEGO built dashboard controls and racing seats.
This is the first large-scale model from the LEGO Group to have a paintbrush-effect UV colour coating. The colour, which is a perfect match to the 1:8 scale LEGO Technic model, was applied by Automobili Lamborghini’s paint shop.
Lena Dixen, Senior Vice President of Product and Marketing at the LEGO Group said: “Our designers love a challenge, so you can imagine their delight when we tasked them to think slightly larger than normal with this model. They jumped at the chance of teaming up with our amazing designers and engineers who build these impressive life-sized models at our Kladno factory’s model production workshop in the Czech Republic, and really pushing the boundaries of what can be done with LEGO Technic. The creativity that the system allows meant it was possible to really do justice to the exceptional design of the Lamborghini Sián FKP 37.”
In a first-of-its-kind virtual unveiling from the LEGO Group, the model has been rebuilt in a virtual LEGO workshop to give Lamborghini enthusiasts and LEGO lovers the chance to get up close and personal with the full-scale version. Viewers can make their dreams come true by getting behind the wheel of the 1:8 scale edition before being ‘transformed’ along with the model into the full-scale replica revealed today. They can sit virtually in the driver’s seat and hear from the Automobili Lamborghini and LEGO Group designers who made this model a reality.
Once-in-a-lifetime collection of Aston Martin DB5 Vantages comes to market
With just over 1,000 examples of the iconic Aston Martin DB5 built, to see one – let alone have the chance to buy one – is a moment to be cherished. But even among DB5s, connoisseurs look for those rarer still: the performance-enhanced Vantage versions, with less than 70 ever built. Now, Aston Martin specialist Nicholas Mee & Co, is offering for sale a once-in-a-lifetime trio of these DB5 Vantage icons, uniquely in Coupé, Convertible and one-of-one Shooting Brake variations.
The Aston Martin DB5 itself is perhaps the most iconic British car of all time, best known as car of choice for James Bond himself, appearing first in the ‘60s but also making a reappearance in the very latest from the 007 franchise – its appeal is enduring.
Developed from the DB4 Series V, the DB5 came fitted with a number of styling and driveability upgrades. The engine was enlarged from 3.7 litres to 4 litres, with power in standard models increased to 282hp, but Vantage-specification cars like those in this trio gained an extra 40hp. Even by today’s standards the 0-60mph time of 6.5 seconds that the DB5 Vantage is capable of is mightily fast.
Although each example in this collection is rare, none can quite match the DB5 Shooting Brake Vantage; the only such example to have been produced. Reputedly first built to accommodate former Aston Martin Chairman David Brown’s gundog and polo equipment, this more practical estate version DB5 proved so popular that 11 customers requested the new design. This unique example was commissioned by dealers Cyril Williams of Wolverhampton and is the only Vantage example to have left the factory. With a hand-built aluminium body built by London based coachbuilders Harold Radford & Sons, this shooting brake was delivered to its first owner in 1966 and is finished in California Sage over Red hides.
Alongside the Shooting Brake sits a DB5 Vantage Convertible, an icon of the swinging sixties which has found favour with Ralph Lauren, Peter Sellers and Elle Macpherson. In total, only 123 were built and only five such examples were completed to Vantage specification, including the car offered here. Finished in the period colour combination of Caribbean Pearl Blue with White Gold hide interior and matching hood, it’s a perfect reflection of the best of the Swinging Sixties.
Lastly and perhaps the most iconic, is the DB5 Vantage Coupe. Seen regularly on the Silver Screen whilst being driven to great effect, by action hero James Bond, it has become a verified cultural icon. The DB5 Coupe has for over 50 years been synonymous with the 007 character on screen and a universal symbol of the Aston Martin brand. The Silver Birch coloured dream car in the collection has a Black hide interior, the same colour combination as Bond’s beloved car.
Collected over a 12-year period, never before have these three most coveted examples been offered as a collection. Every one of them has been fully restored to the very highest standards by leading Aston Martin restoration specialists, allowing them to be enjoyed in as-new condition.
Each car has a detailed history file populated with original build details, BMIHT certificates, maintenance records, ownership documentation and restoration particulars, detailing the stories of each individual car from their build dates, to today.
Being offered by renowned dealers Nicholas Mee & Co, the trio of DB5 Vantages will be offered collectively, with a price tag of £4,000,000. The collection of three, will be shown for the first time in public, at the annual London Concours event being held in the hallowed grounds, of the Honourable Artillery Company’s HQ in the City of London, over three days starting on Tuesday 8th June 2021.
All-new power upgrade kits take Puma and Fiesta ST performance to the next level
Fans of the blue oval can now get even more out of their Puma ST with two new performance upgrade kits – m235 and m260. Fans of the Mk8 Fiesta ST can also take advantage of the m260 performance upgrade, taking both vehicles to the next level of power and performance whilst retaining expert levels of drivability.
A first for the Puma ST is the m235 upgrade kit, applying mountune’s engineering expertise to the much-loved model to boost both power and performance. Easily installed using mountune’s highly-acclaimed Bluetooth OBD dongle and SMARTflash app running on any smartphone or tablet, the m235 upgrade delivers increases in both power and torque by 35 PS and 30 Nm respectively, now boasting a peak power output of 235PS and 350Nm of torque.
For those looking to extract even more performance from their Puma ST, mountune has also developed the m260 upgrade, comprised of the 260PS performance calibration and the recommended induction kit, charge pipe kit, and intercooler. Power is increased to between 250-260PS and 365Nm, significantly enhancing the 1.5L 3-cylinder engine. To give ultimate flexibility whilst using the mTune SMARTflash app, the calibration can be easily reverted to the m235 power upgrade, or standard power level, should it be needed.
The m260 upgrade kit is not restricted to the Puma ST, adding to the success of the Mk8 Fiesta’s m225 and m235 upgrades to bring hot-hatch aficionados an all-new performance kit. Comprising of a mTune SMARTflash software upgrade, the recommended induction kit, charge pipe kit, and intercooler, the m260 kit once again further develops the much-loved model. Peak power output is increased up to a maximum of 260PS with the torque raised to 365Nm, a further increase of up to 25PS and 15Nm over the m235 upgrade and all whilst retaining the factory-equipped GPF and catalyst assemblies. An easy-upgrade path is also available to existing mountune m225 and m235 customers wanting to upgrade to the m260 calibration for just £99 inc. VAT.
Both upgrades have undergone a rigorous testing and development process to once again deliver packages that put the driver firmly in control whilst retaining an OEM+ feel and include as standard a host of additional functionality, like enhanced exhaust output noise, more aggressive launch control, optimised no-lift shift and an anti-theft mode too.
“We are delighted to offer our customers, not one, but two new performance upgrades for both the Puma ST and Mk8 Fiesta ST. The Puma ST has been well received since it launched and we have worked hard to improve the already impressive vehicle, taking its performance to the next level. The two kits launched for this car increase both power and performance whilst retaining an OEM+ feel.”
“The Fiesta ST is a platform that we already know well from our m225 and m235 power upgrades, but m260 really improves this already impressive vehicle even further. Fiesta ST owners are a dedicated bunch who love getting as much performance as they can out of their cars, and we can’t wait to start delivering our latest power upgrade to them.” Explains mountune founder, David Mountain.
As with previous releases, customers can take advantage of mountune’s innovative mTune SMARTflash app, allowing them to install the latest calibration from the comfort of their driveway. Using nothing else but the mTune SMARTflash app on their smartphone and the supplied Bluetooth OBD interface, Fiesta ST owners can completely transform their vehicle.
The intuitive SMARTflash system has been designed to make a selection between different calibrations simple and fast, giving users the freedom to change the vehicle to suit their needs or available fuel quality. The new app also enables mountune customers to effortlessly update their vehicle with the latest calibrations directly from mountune and includes a convenient VIN and calibration ID reader.
PUMA ST owners wishing to install the m235, should purchase the m235 mTune SMARTflash upgrade, complete with Bluetooth OBD interface, and it is recommended that the mountune induction kit is also fitted to extract the maximum performance from the upgrade kit.
Those wishing to purchase the m260 upgrade kit for both the Puma ST and Fiesta ST should purchase the m260 upgrade, mountune induction kit, mountune charge pipe kit, and mountune intercooler.
To achieve the quoted power figures and to maintain engine reliability the recommended hardware should be used and in the case of the m260 power upgrades for both Puma ST and Fiesta ST, mountune recommends that owners should only run the vehicle using super unleaded fuel – 97RON+.
Jaguar I-PACE completes Everesting Challenge on a single charge with Olympic cycling ace at the wheel.
he Jaguar I-PACE shrugged off the steep inclines, twisting tarmac and near freezing temperatures of the UK’s highest paved road to successfully ‘Everest’ at Great Dun Fell, in Cumbria, on a single charge of its 90kWh battery.
The concept of Everesting is simple, yet extreme: complete a series of runs up an incline until achieving an elevation gain of 8,848m – equal to an ascent of Mount Everest – and the popularity of this endurance challenge boomed among cyclists during the pandemic*.
Known by cyclists as ‘Britain’s Mont Ventoux’ – a reference to the daunting Alpine mountain stage in the Tour de France – Great Dun Fell is home to the highest surfaced road in the UK. The narrow ribbon of asphalt is defined by a series of sweeping bends and gradients of up to 20 per cent as it climbs 547m from the start point used for the challenge to a peak of 848m. Elinor completed 16.2 repeats of the 3.6-mile/5.8km climb (a 7.2-mile/11.6km loop in total) using the I-PACE’s regenerative braking technology to generate approximately 60 per cent*** of additional available energy over the total 16 descents.