Jeep unveil 7 ‘New’ concepts ahead of the Moab Easter Safari

JeepJeeps have never been massively popular in the UK, the UK has always preferred to go with a Land Rover or Toyota Land Cruiser for their off road pursuits. Maybe it’s out of national pride for the UK car industry in the case of Land Rover, or maybe its because of the Land Cruisers reliable go anywhere ability but Jeeps have never really set the market on fire over here. In the US however the Jeep pride is alive and well. The Jeep is the American Land Rover, and it is completely the reverse situation of the UK the Jeep is king where the Land Rover has never really succeeded across the pond.

This is probably why Jeep goes all out for the Jeep enthusiasts who congregated at Moab for the 52nd annual Jeep safari. Jeep have unveiled no less than 7 new concepts for the fans of the classic machine which is still recognisable as the original Willys Jeep from back in WW2. “Pushing the limit is something the Jeep brand is no stranger to and these seven new, exciting and capable concept vehicles are the latest example of that,” said Mike Manley, head of Jeep brand, FCA “Every year, we look forward to introducing new concept vehicles to our enthusiasts. The Moab Easter Jeep Safari presents a unique and perfect opportunity to collect valuable insight from our most loyal customers.”

Jeep 4SpeedThe first of the seven concepts is the Jeep 4Speed, the 4Speed is a lightened and simplified version of the standard Wrangler, featuring the first introduction of an all new 2.0 litre turbocharged 4 cylinder engine the 4Speed uses a number of carbon fibre parts to reduce weight this means the 4Speed rides two inches higher than the standard Wrangler. Despite its name the 4Speed teams it’s 4 cylinder engine with an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The 4Speed has been shortened by 55cm whilst retaining the same wheelbase, which means greatly improved approach and departure angles, essential for off road motoring.

Jeep SandstormThe Jeep Sandstorm Concept is a Baja inspired truck which Jeep say is “all about blitzing long sandy straightaways whilst still being capable of handling the daily driving duties”. To do this the Sandstorm uses high tech and ‘extremely heavy duty’ suspension and a high-powered 6.4-litre V8 engine the Sandstorm uses a much longer wheelbase than the standard Wrangler to improve its high-speed capabilities and stability.

Jeep B-UteThe Jeep B-Ute is a car that most Britains may recognise as it’s based on the Renegade. The standard Renegade isn’t the most off road capable of cars so Jeep have given it a buff makeover with aggressive wheels and tyres, higher ground clearance and a roof rack, transforming a previously baby Jeep into a off road machine.

Jeep Wagoneer RoadtripThe next vehicle is something that is becoming more and more common lately, it’s a remake of the original Jeep Wagoneer, called the Roadtrip. The Wagoneer Roadtrip is a hark back to the early days of Jeep where they finally strayed away from the Wrangler platform and built something that would eventually become the Grand Cherokee in the UK. To try and keep the nostalgia intact Jeep have used a 5.7 Litre V8 teamed with a comparably small 4 speed gearbox, underneath however the Wagoneer Roadtrip is an all new Jeep with modern suspension and wheels and tyres.

Jeep Nacho JeepThe Nacho Jeep is probably the least interesting of the new concepts because its basically just a Jeep Wrangler with all the options added on, Jeep have even called it a ‘rolling catalogue’ the only other major upgrade is the striking Nacho yellow paintjob making the Nacho Jeep really standout amongst the black and grey cars on the road today.

Jeep JeepsterLike the Wagoneer Roadtrip the Jeep Jeepster is essentially a celebration of Jeeps past, using a clour palette from the 1966 concept the Jeepster is really trying to evoke the past with modern styling, the windscreen is raked back by 2.5 degrees to create a compact design along with the shortened roof. Very little of the Jeepster is any different from the standard Wrangler Rubicon and is just trying to reminisce about the early days of Jeeps success, like many other retro remakes.

Jeep J-WagonThe J-Wagon is appears to be just another Jeep with all the options selected, based on the long wheel based Wrangler Sahara the J-Wagon is a sea of black and leather, basically a premium Wrangler, Jeeps attempt at combating the incoming sea of Range Rovers whilst the J-Wagon will almost certainly be more capable off road that the little Evoque and maybe even the new Velar its unlikely to stand up in the luxury stakes.

When I first got the release on these 7 new Jeeps I was excited, finally a company going all out for the enthusiasts but on close inspection it seems that Jeep have merely gone through their catalogue and built a number of cars in interesting colours, the most interesting appears to be the Wagoneer Roadtrip as it’s a celebration of Jeeps past and is something actually new.

What do you think of Jeeps new wave of concepts, let us know in the comments.

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Lamborghini Terzo Mellennio revealed Coming soon?

Lamborghini Terzo Mellenio 18The first of the big names has revealed their vision for a fully electric super car. Lamborghini unveiled the Terzo Mellenio, a fully electric super car built to look at the future of what the super car can be. The Terzo Mellenio is just a concept and not built for production any time soon, but Lamborghini say the Terzo Mellenio is built to investigate the technologies that they may use in the future including energy storage systems, innovative materials, propulsion system, visionary design, and emotion. So whilst the future Lambo super cars wont look like this it may feature some of the tech we see on it.

So whats so special about the Terzo Mellenio, well the Terzo Mellenio features a unique power storage system. Rather than the conventional batteries we see in the likes of Teslas the Terzo Mellenio is designed to use super capacitors a new innovation in the car world, Lamborghini first started developing super capacitors on the Aventador. The Terzo Mellenio also saw the announcement of a partnership between Lamborghini and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) to develop future power sources and materials needed to further the super car world.

Lamborghini are also working on a way to create a carbon fibre body capable of storing energy, essentially turning the whole car into an energy storage device. Lamborghini’s work with MIT is their attempt to protect their future, they are trying to innovate further into the future than anyone else, they are going beyond batteries to develop an electric car capable of beating the world, but also capable of changing the world.

The Lamborghini Terzo Mellenio is nothing but a concept, we will never see anything like it approach production for a long time, while it looks awesome and the technology behind it is incredible it is merely an idea of what Lamborghini are headed towards. The Terzo Mellenio is similar to the BMW concepts released showing their new 100 years plan, Lamborghini could be planning something much further away though, especially as Terzo Mellenio translates to third millennium.

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The McLaren Ultimate vision to appear in Gran Turismo Sport

 

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Gran Turismo is one of the best selling and most loved racing games ever, its continued innovation and development of the genre has seen many manufactures join its roster of cars (This year Porsche join the crew). Some special car makers have also seen revolutionary concepts made exclusively for the game, companies such as Bugatti, Volkswagen, Red Bull, Lexus and even Alpine have all seen amazing video game based racing concepts, some are even recreated in the real world. The next in line for the Vision Gran Turismo treatment is McLaren, who will see their ultimate vision of a racing car come to fruition in the upcoming Gran Turismo Sport.

 

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Whilst the McLaren Ultimate Vision will sadly remain on a TV screen it is said to be a look at what McLaren could produce beyond 2030. The virtual McLaren concept features a unique driving position more similar to a bike than that of a car, it sees you leaning forwards as close to the front wheels as possible. Of course in the virtual world anything is possible so McLaren’s Ultimate Vision comes with over 1100BHP and 1275Nm of torque all from a 4.0 litre V8 teamed with an electric motor, and it weighs a mere 1000KG. The McLaren Ultimate Vision is also all wheel drive.

 

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“More than anything though, the McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo is a stunning looking car. The design form communicates exactly what the car’s mission is and what its intentions are: it’s the ultimate expression of the McLaren design pillars and principles we have already established.” – McLaren Design director Rob Melville

Gran Turismo Sport is to launch on October 17th and I will be doing a full on head to head between it and Forza Motorsport 7.

What do you think of the McLarens Virtual Ultimate Vision concept car, let us know in the comments.

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Bentley unveil the new Continental GT

Bentley Continental GT 10The Bentley Continental GT has always been a bit of a problem car for me, whilst the first generation was fast (it had a top speed of 197MPH) it always looked too large to be a believable performance car. Its large frame and boring at best/ ugly at worst styling put a lot of people off, apart from the footballers of the world who flocked to the Bentley dealerships just begging to spend their money. The second generation although improved still had quite lazy styling and a bit of a weight problem weighing in at over 2.3 tonnes.

Bentley Continental GT 13Now however Bentley may be on to a winner, the new Continental GT finally looks good, taking some of its styling cues from the EXP 10 Speed 6 we saw at the Geneva Motor show the new Continental GT is a much lower sportier looking car, similar to an Aston Martin Vanquish or the Mercedes SLS AMG. Bentley have managed to retain some of the ideas of the original GT but brought in new ideas to modernise the car to compete with modern standards.

Bentley Continental GT 20During the second generation of Continental GT Bentley slowly began moving to a more environmentally friendly engine in the 4.0 litre twin turbo V8 rather than the 6.0 twin turbo W12 we had seen in the first generation (although the W12 was still available as an option. In the new version of the Continental GT we see a return for the big W12. The heavily revised version of the W12 produces 626BHP and 664lb-ft of torque, the power goes through a duel clutch eight speed gearbox to a new version of Bentley’s all wheel drive system. Whilst the Continental GT will launch with the W12 a new version of the 4.0 litre V8 is likely to be available down the line.

Bentley Continental GT 19The Continental has certainly gained my interest now, more so than in previous years. Bentley says they are going after customers who would normally buy a Porsche, which should tell you that the new Continental GT won’t be that bad in the corners. The new GT boasts better weight distribution than its predecessors being 53:47 rather than the last ones 56:44 the GT’s handling will also be improved by its weight reduction, weighing in at 2.25 tonnes rather than the last ones 2.32 tonnes.

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The Continental GT is looking to take over the Grand Touring world, do you think it can manage it, let us know in the comments.

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The Rolls Royce Phantom just got a bit more special

 

Rolls Royce Phantom Zenith 2

So the Rolls Royce Phantom will finally cease production at the end of the year and will end the run of a car that has been going since 2004. The Phantom was one of the last truly luxurious cars, now a luxury car is just full of leather and technology. The Phantom was one of the old breed that was just simple wood and leather, built to an unbelievably high standard, the Phantom will remain an icon. To celebrate the end of production Rolls Royce have sold 50 special edition Phantoms, known as the Zeniths.

Rolls Royce Phantom Zenith 1

So how do you make an uber luxury car even more luxurious, well Rolls have added a larger fridge capable of taking two bottles of Champagne, a glass shelf for the rear tailgate, and to put a cherry on top a bespoke version of the Rolls Royce picnic hamper. Badges have also been added to signify each cars build number, and another set of badges giving the exact location it was built in the Goodwood Factory. Each Zenith is available in either coupe of drophead form and whilst prices haven’t been revealed it will be more than the £338,616 of a standard Phantom coupe. Sadly all 50 of the Zeniths have been sold thus signifying the end of the Phantom, but it is certainly a special send off for a very special car.

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BMW are bringing back the 8 Series

BMW Gran Coupe

BMW are set to bring back the 8 Series by 2020 but don’t expect to big sporting brute we saw in the 90’s the new 8 Series has put on a bit of weight in its retirement and is aiming to take on the likes of the Mercedes S-Class coupe and the Bentley Continental GT and not to mention the Rolls Royce Wraith. The 8 Series has been put forward to BMW bosses as a two door but also a four door similar to the BMW M6 Gran Coupe.

BMW 8-Series E31

Whilst many would love to see BMW return to the old days of creating super cars like the M1 and the 8 Series, its unlikely to happen any time soon, the only super car we’ll get anything close to is the BMW i8 and the new 8 Series is looking bigger uglier and most of all slower than the previous model. The sleek styling is hiding a luxury coupe rather than the svelte light weight sports car we all really want.

BMW 8 series 2

Mercedes has seen a lot of success with the new S-Class coupe. A car for those of us who want the luxury of an S-Class but also love to drive, and drive fast. Whilst BMW 7 Series sales have plummeted with BMW only shifting 36,364 compared to 125,000 S-Class models. BMW hope that the 8 series will be a new beginning for BMW, however if the 8 series is indeed launched in 2020 it will likely be going up against a new S-Class, it all feels too little too late for BMW.

Alpine are Back!

Alpine Vision 2

Alpine the long dead sports car manufacturer are back with a brand new car set for release in 2017. The Vision concept is set for a full reveal at next months Geneva Motor show. Now whilst most sports cars are known for monstering the track, Alpine are better known for their rally pedigree, even winning the World Rally Championship in 1967 with an A110 with Bernard Tramont behind the wheel.

Alpine Vision

Now the new Alpine is looking to take on the likes of the Porsche Cayman and the Alfa Romeo 4C, with a price tag of around £40,000 they are certainly heading in the right direction. The looks of the new Alpine that are clearly reminiscent of the A110, they are clearly trying to retain some brand recognition for the classic 60’s racer.

Alpine Vision Rear

Renault bought out Alpine in 1997, and are behind the new relaunch that has been rumoured since 2008. A 50 50 deal was made with Caterham to relaunch the brand in 2012 but Renault bought out Caterham in 2014 after financial problems for the British manufacturer. Originally the aimed curb weight for the Alpine was 1000kg but this would have required expensive lightweight body panels made out of carbon fibre.

Alpine Vision side

Renault has planned production to take place at their Dieppe plant, which was actually the original Alpine plant that Renault bought out in 97. The plant currently produces most Renault sport models. Renault have boasted that the new Alpine will have a sub 4.5 second 0-62 time. The engine is understood to be a 1.8 litre turbo charged unit developed from the Clio RS’ 1.6. power is expected to be between 250 and 300BHP. There has been no word on whether the Alpine will return to the WRC.

Images courtesy of Autocar

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Matt LeBlanc signs on to the Sinking Ship

New Top Gear

So Friends star Matt LeBlanc has joined the new version of Top Gear. Now on the face of it he seems quite a good choice, he has a passion for cars, he’s a well-known name, and he has the fastest time around the old Top Gear Test track in the Kia Cee’d. But I guarantee it will not be easy for him, first of all we have no proof that he can talk intelligently while driving, a similar problem suffered by Chris Evans. Whilst he likes cars, we have no proof that he actually knows anything about them. And thirdly being a huge American star he may take power from Chris Evans, who whilst well known in the UK, is pretty much unheard of around the rest of the world, a problem for such an international show.

New Top gear Chris Harris

The new version of Top Gear looks to be struggling quite a bit, as Evans has been seen throwing up out of a car on the track, he crashed a new Jaguar on his first time on the track, and lastly he can’t talk whilst driving, surely an essential skill for a Top Gear presenter. The problem with new Top Gear is I feel the BBC didn’t realise what talents they had in Clarkson, Hammond and May, all three had a background in motoring journalism, prior to Top Gear, so far the only one with experience is motoring journalist Chris Harris, who is still yet to be confirmed as a presenter (also another unknown presenter in the wider world)

Amazon Top Gear

Whilst I agree the BBC had no other choice but to not renew Clarkson’s contract, I feel they should have let the show die there rather than drag the shows name through the mud with three years of crap. But the BBC need the money, I guarantee the show will never get the record breaking viewing figures of the Clarkson Hammond and May era, which isn’t what I think the BBC is expecting. They seem to be expecting everything to be the same just with fewer complaints and more control over the product, its not gonna happen BBC just let it go.

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BMW answer back to Mercedes and Audi

 

BMW M2 2002

BMW have finally developed a car to take on the fantastic Mercedes A45 AMG 4Matic. Its been rumoured for a long time but finally at the Detroit Motor Show this week we got to see the M2. BMW are trying to hark back to their past comparing the M2 to the classic 2002 turbo.

BMW M2

The old BMW 1M was a brilliant little car but the name didn’t really work. BMW have now just updated it and then handed it back to the M division to beef it up a little bit. The M2 has a 3.0 litre turbocharged straight six with 370BHP and 343 lb-ft of torque. The M2 also has an overboost function powering up the engine with an extra 26lb-ft of torque for a brief time. This gives the M2 a 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds and a top speed limited to 155MPH, remove the limiter and its go up to 168MPH.

BMW M2 Rear

The M2 runs a price tag of £44,000, which is £4,000 more expensive than its rivals the Audi RS3 and the Mercedes A45 AMG 4Matic. But with both of them being 4 wheel drive you can expect much more tail out fun from the BMW all of these care will be great to live with so its just a matter of personal preference, I for one would go for the M2 due to its sleek coupe styling. But there are only 2000 coming to the UK so I better get a move on.

 

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The Jim on Cars car of the Year 2015

Porsche Cayman GT4

  1. Porsche Cayman GT4

Now whilst the Cayman has always been the baby of the Porsche range, the GT4 was a fantastic example of what Porsche could do if they didn’t stick with the 911. Whilst the 911 is a very good car I cant help but think the 911 would be better if it had the engine in the middle rather than the rear. Porsche have struggled past the problems with weight distribution and created a great rear engined car, but it took 50 years. The Cayman GT4 however is a fantastic car that Porsche built using a traditional format, and if they continue to support the Cayman I would expect to see great improvement in the coming years.

Ford Mustang GT350

  1. Ford Mustang GT 350R

I’m sure regular readers would have expected a Ford on this list so here it is the Mustang GT350R. Many would expect the GT350R to just be another muscle car, all power but no handling, but they’d be wrong. The Mustang has moved past the likes of the Chevrolet Camaro and the Dodge Challenger and I would now consider (particularly the GT350R) to be a rival for the likes of the BMW M4 and Audi RS5. The Mustang has always looked great and had good power, but now the car finally handles like a dream, and that engine sound, wow that’s worth the £42,000 price tag alone.

VW Golf R

  1. Volkswagen Golf R

Many will probably be surprised that the Honda Civic Type R hasn’t made this list, and that’s for two simple reasons, 1. It looks like it crashed through a branch of Halfords with a magnet and 2. It’s a horrible car to live with everyday. The Golf R however is fun to drive, quick, safe and most of all doesn’t have a stupid rear wing that blocks your rear window. Volkswagen may have had a lot of trouble with their diesels recently, and that has slightly overshadowed the new Golf R, but I urge you to look into it because underneath all the news stories is a great car, that is fantastic to live with everyday, and that exactly what a hot hatch need to be, quick but also practical.

amg gt

  1. Mercedes AMG GT

Mercedes have been doing great recently ever since the new A class was released they’ve been on a roll and the AMG GT continues that. I was very disappointed when Mercedes announced they would be dropping the SLS (I’d say prematurely) as I thought the SLS was a flagship supercar the company could be proud to put the three pointed star on. However the AMG GT is an amazing piece of engineering, whilst the SLS was quite a large GT car, the AMG GT is much more of a driver’s car, a sports car. The AMG GT is fantastic on track and then even better on the road because whilst it will still set your hair on fire its still great when you just want to cruise home after a long stressful day at work.

Mazda MX5

  1. Mazda MX5

I have been struggling with this for a while, whilst the AMG GT is a fantastic car, its kind of what you expect from Mercedes, meanwhile the little MX5 is a giant killer, the new MX5 is same weight as the original from way back in the 90’s, and that’s still with all the modern safety equipment and luxuries of a modern car. As time has gone on the MX5 had become fatter and slower, but the new car changes that and brings it back to its routes of being a modern, ‘classic British sports car’. A riot to drive and up to date aggressive looks mean there was only ever one choice for my car of the year and that is the Mazda MX5.

Congratulations to Mazda,

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