Richard Hammond is fine everyone.

Richard HammondSo as a lot of you have probably already heard Richard Hammond of The Grand Tour and Top Gear fame crashed another car quite badly in Switzerland during filming for the next series of The Grand Tour. Thankfully Richard is fine and only came out with a broken knee in what could have been a much more serious accident. Richard was driving the new Rimac Concept One electric super car at the time one of only eight (now seven) ever made.

Richard has since sat down with Rimac owner Mate Rimac and journalist Alistair Weaver to go over the incident and in some ways reassure his fans that he is in fact fine. In the video the trio discuss the crash itself obviously but also go into the Concept One itself along with what they were actually doing there in Switzerland in the first place, it’s a very interesting watch and I encourage you all to watch it here.

Rimac Concept one.pngRichard did say that despite the crash the next series of The Grand Tour is still on schedule for its October release. The show itself will likely still feature the crash due to the massive publicity from it, but also after Hammonds previous crash in a jet car the trio went over the crash in detail on Top Gear after Hammonds return.

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Porsche reveal the new GT2 RS at E3

Porsche took an unusual step to reveal the new 911 GT2 RS, rather than unveil the car at one of the larger shows such as Detroit or Geneva, Porsche decided to reveal the GT2 RS at the Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3 for short. E3 is a video game event where the great and the good of the industry reveal their new projects. During an onstage press conference the Porsche 911 GT2 RS was revealed as the new cover car for racing game Forza Motorsport 7 as part of a new deal between Porsche and Microsoft.

911 gt2 rs 2Dan Greenawalt, Creative director for Forza 7 unveiled the car, calling it the most powerful 911 Porsche have ever built. The GT2 RS uses a turbocharged flat 6 engine producing close to 700BHP. The GT2 RS, which is due a full reveal by Porsche themselves later in the year has a 0-62 time of just over 2.5 seconds and on to a top speed in excess of 205MPH. The 911 GT2 RS is a big step for the partnership between Porsche and Microsoft, as the deal was only announced earlier this year. (See more on the deal here)

911 GT2 RSPrevious cover cars for the Forza Series include a Subaru Impreza, Nissan 350Z, Ferrari 458 Italia, Audi R8, Mclaren P1 and the new Ford GT, so the 911 GT2 RS is certainly in welcome company. The game is to be released on October 3rd and we are expected to see more of the GT2 RS later in the year, with it going on sale in 2018.

What do you think of the new 911 GT2 RS? Sound off in the comments

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The Rolls Royce Sweptail graces us with its presence

Rolls-Royce Torpedo Photo: James Lipman / jameslipman.comRolls Royce unveiled a new one off car commissioned by one of their ‘special customers’. The Sweptail was unveiled at this years Concorso D’Eleganza Ville D’Este. The Sweptail was commissioned by an anonymous customer looking for a one off coach built car designed to look reminiscent of Rolls Royces from the 1920’s. The new cars main feature is the long stretching rear tail from which it gets its name. The two seater coupe uses a selection of materials to maintain its luxurious feel, the hat shelf in the back of the car is constructed of only the finest wood which is continued into the boot itself which holds a bespoke set of Rolls Royce designed luggage.

Rolls-Royce Torpedo Photo: James Lipman / jameslipman.comThe centre console has a special mechanism meaning that at the touch of a button the car will deploy a bottle of the clients favourite champagne from the year of his birth. “Generous quantities of polished Macassar Ebony and open-pore Paldao adorn the interior, creating visual and tactile contrasts for the owner, both classical and contemporary.” The classic front grill is the largest of any modern Rolls Royce and has been milled from solid aluminium and polished to a mirror finish. The grill is teamed with a pair of round headlights, which look rather similar to those on the Bentley Mulsanne, (But don’t tell Rolls that).

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The Sweptail is a one off car built for a one off client. Rolls have said they are willing to build more Coach built cars for their high profile ‘special customers’, but don’t expect the Sweptail to make full production. The Sweptail is a gorgeously exquisite piece of machinery, its sweeping lines are like nothing else being built today, and the response at the Concorse D’Elegance was fantastic, expect to see the waiting list for a new Rolls Royce double in size after the Sweptail. Rolls Royce have always been good at luxury but I think they just outdid themselves.

What do you think of the new Rolls Royce Sweptail, sound off in the comments.

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The VW Up GTI: a return of the true GTIs?

Volkswagen Studie up! GTIVolkswagen recently announced the new Up GTi will be going on sale in 2018 for £15,000. The Up has remained on of the great city cars since its launch in 2011 with its tight nippy handling and refined understated interior. The Up was followed by its VW group colleagues the Seat Mii and the Skoda Citigo. Rumours surrounding the Up GTI have been circling for years and VW have finally confirmed it. The Up GTI will be unveiled at the Volkswagen fan festival at Lake Woerthersee, Austria.

Volkswagen Studie up! GTIThe Up GTIs stats do give an interesting look at what the car could be though, the Up GTI is powered be a 1 litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 113BHP and 147lb-ft of torque. The low weight of the new Up GTI, a tiny 997kg gives the little car a power to weight ratio of 113.3BHP per tonne, which is funny because the original MK1 Golf GTI had a power to weight ratio of 113.3BHP per tonne. Could Volkswagen be looking for a return of their heyday?

Volkswagen Studie up! GTIThe Up GTI comes with a close ratio 6 speed gearbox, giving the car a 0-62 time of 8.8 seconds and the little Up will go on to a top speed of 122MPH. Both those stats are quicker than the MK1 Golf GTI. The suspension of the Up has been fettled with over the standard version with a 15mm lower height and unique spring and damper rates. The Up GTI is looking to take on the likes of the Vauxhall Adam S and the Abarth 500 and while its down on power VW are looking to dominate in the handling department.

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The new Up GTI is looking to rekindle the VW glory days with a light weight and great handling. The Up GTI certainly looks the part with its more aggressive styling and a machine gunning of GTI badges and VW have always been great at the small light weight hot hatch but only time will tell if the VW Up GTI can bring back the old GTI magic so many of us have been craving over the years.

What do you think of the new VW Up GTI sound off in the comments.

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The London Motor Show

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I attended the London Motor Show this week end and whilst its not exactly first on the list of priority motor shows (it may not have even made the list) that doesn’t mean it wasn’t great. Whilst it doesn’t have unveiling of new concepts or stunning live show its small size makes it a lot less tiring to get around. As time has gone on the London Motor Show has shrunk a lot in size and admittedly in quality. This years event took place at Battersea park and the small venue certainly hurt the event, a few years ago I attended the show at the Excel centre, a much larger arena and it also had a live show going on at the same time. This years show was less than half the size of that event and I feel the London Motor Shows days may be numbered.

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The cars though didn’t disappoint, a strong showing from Aston Martin led the show with the Vantage, Rapide, Vanquish, DB11 and the new concept the Valkyrie all in attendance. Aston was one of the few major manufacturers to make the trip but Porsche also attended, with a Cayenne, Panamera, 718 Boxter and 911 Turbo S. the star of the show however and the car that drew the most eyes was from the little company called David Brown Automotive, with their newly unveiled Mini Remastered. The little car was swarmed with people through out the event with a neighbouring Rolls Royce Ghost and Lamborghini Aventador being left in the corner to sit and sulk.

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The show also saw the new Alpine A110 on show, another popular choice among the attendees the stunning white example drew eyes all over. The Abarth 124 Spyder looked great in an impressive shade of blue. Outside the building the Chelsea Cars showroom put out a selection of gorgeous classic to look at including a Mercedes 190SL convertible, and Aston Martin DB6 and a Jaguar XK140.

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Whilst I doubt this event will be the last, I do suspect it may be one of the last, the show struggles to gain the attention of the major manufacturers and is barely scraping the number of attendees it needs to succeed. The show is basically forgotten internationally, being overtaken by the likes of Detroit and Tokyo auto shows even the Paris Motor show.

What did you think of the London Motor Show, Sound off in the comments

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The Range Rover Velar: Filling the gap in the market

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Range Rovers are awesome, it’s just a fact. They are as brilliant on road as they are off road, they are the car to buy for the rich and famous. So it would make sense for Range Rover to flood the market with as many versions as they can think of, and they have. Whilst the Evoque isn’t to everyones taste it can certainly handle a lot more than any other small SUV on the market, and its lineage gives its buyers the confidence that it’s all the car they will ever need. Now its time to supersize it and we get the Range Rover Sport a much larger and faster off roader that took the market by storm in 2006, every footballer and their wife had to have one. And finally we get to the big daddy, the Range Rover, second to none in the off road market the Range Rover is the king of luxury and class everyone from Tom Cruise to the Queen has to have one.

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So comes the newest addition to the Range Rover collection, the Velar, named after the very first concept for the original Range Rover from 1969 the Velar sits between the Range Rover Sport and the Evoque, acting as a stepping stone between the two, not as large or powerful as the Sport but bigger and more luxurious than the Evoque. Gerry McGovern Land Rover Chief design officer says: “We call the Velar the avant garde Range Rover. It brings a new dimension of glamour, modernity and elegance to the brand. The Range Rover Velar changes everything.” Whilst he may be overstating it a bit the Velar certainly is a new beginning for the Range Rover brand, which has been lost in a sea of Q7s, Cayennes and X5s for a while now. The Velar sees a change in the game for Range Rover and the larger Land Rover brand itself, they appear to be focusing on building great cars again rather than mimicking other companies ideas. Whilst the Velar may not be the top of the totem pole, its certainly a sign of things to come.

What do you think of the new Range Rover Velar, sound off in the comments.

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Who would be the best fit to replace Rosberg at Mercedes?

 

In a massive surprise to everyone Nico Rosberg has retired from Formula One just five days after winning his first World Championship, now as he rides off into the sunset and the dust settles in the Mercedes garage we ask who will replace him next season. There are many fine candidates in the F1 paddock at the moment, many of which will jump at the chance to take the championship-winning seat.

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  1. Valteri Bottas

Valteri Bottas has been at Williams for a while now, and whilst his skills and performance have been impressive in the past the sad fact of the matter is he hasn’t had the car under him to get him to a race challenging position. The Fin has been racing with Williams since 2013 and has been a rising star on the track taking many of the spoils from the Mercedes drivers in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Whilst his star has faded slightly in the 2016 season by an underperforming car his skill are undoubtedly great and would certainly be a great fit for the Mercedes car.

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  1. Max Verstappen

Max certainly has an outside chance of making it to Mercedes next season, his frankly astonishing performance last season is truly impressive getting on the podium seven times and winning his debut race with the Red Bull team after moving up from Toro Rosso after China. Whilst it is unlikely Red Bull would let such a talented driver go his stock is certainly rising and we will almost certainly see him on the podium next season be it in silver or blue.

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  1. Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi has been around a long time in F1 and as time has past he has lost pace and confidence in his team, Ferrari have not given Raikkonen a car that compete with the Mercedes. Despite his huge talent he has failed on numerous occasions to compete at the highest level. Despite this though I feel Raikkonen still has the skill and ability to compete with the best, given the right car and a team he has confidence in could lead to magic and a second world title for the Finnish superstar.

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  1. Daniel Ricciardo

The ever smiling ozzy, the honey badger whatever you want to call him Ricciardo is a great driver and able to compete with the best from Mercedes and Ferrari given the chance. His confidence in Red Bull has certainly wavered particularly this season, but in a Mercedes Riccardo could be the one to knock Hamilton off his perch as top driver in the championship. Ricciardo is one of the fastest drivers on the track and a rising star and almost certainly a future world champion.

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  1. Fernando Alonso

Arguably the best driver since Schumacher Alonso has been going through a torrid time at the moment, the McLaren team have failed him at every turn, resulting in a driver that cannot perform when he wants to and someone who just doesn’t care. Mercedes are certainly intrigued by Alonso and is the current front-runner to take over the seat. If Alonso stays at McLaren this will almost certainly be his last season in Formula One, but if Alonso were at Mercedes they could relight that fire that won Alonso two world championships and encourage him to stay around for the next few years.

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The Big names join together for Electric cars

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The car industry has reached a major milestone this week, by coming together to share knowledge and capabilities to further the evolution of electric cars. the BMW group, Daimler, Ford and the VW group including Audi and Porsche have come together to provide an ultra fast high power charging network across Europe. The plan is to evolve the charging process to the point that it is as quick and convenient as filling up a conventional car.

BMW: “This high-power charging network provides motorists with another strong argument to move towards electric mobility”, says Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.“The BMW Group has initiated numerous public charging infrastructure projects over the last years. The joint project is another major milestone clearly demonstrating that competitors are combining forces to ramp-up e-mobility.”

Daimler: “The breakthrough of e-mobility requires two things: convincing vehicles and a comprehensive charging infrastructure. With our new brand EQ, we are launching our electric product offensive: by 2025, our portfolio will include more than ten fully electric passenger cars. Together with our partners, we are now installing the highest-powered charging infrastructure in Europe”, says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “The availability of high-power stations allows long-distance e-mobility for the first time and will convince more and more customers to opt for an electric vehicle.”

Ford: A reliable, ultra-fast charging infrastructure is important for mass consumer adoption and has the potential to transform the possibilities for electric driving”, says Mark Fields, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company. “Ford is committed to developing vehicles and technologies that make people’s lives better, and this charging network will make it easier and more practical for customers across Europe to own electrified vehicles.”

Audi:
“We intend to create a network that allows our customers on long-distance trips to use a coffee break for recharging”, says Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. “Reliable fast charging services are a key factor for drivers to choose an electric vehicle. With this cooperation we want to boost a broader market adoption of e-mobility and speed up the shift towards emission-free driving.”

Porsche: “There are two decisive aspects for us: ultra-fast charging and placing the charging stations at the right positions”, says Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. “Together, these two factors enable us to travel in an all-electrically powered car as in a conventional combustion engine vehicle. As automobile manufacturer, we actively shape our future, not only by developing all-electrically powered vehicles but by building up the necessary infrastructure as well.”

This is certainly a huge step for the electric car, a unified motor industry is almost unstoppable in terms of innovation, creativity and design and if the companies can maintain this partnership, the forward thinking nature of the group will finally bring the electric car into being a viable option for everyone on the road, not just little old ladies who only go out once a week and have an annual mileage of less than 1000 miles.

The Jaguar I-Pace: A step into the Future for Jaguar

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Jaguar have just revealed its next step into the future, the I-Pace. A five seater car that Jaguar claim can do everything, “It will be the smartest five-seater sports car; a performance car, a family car and an SUV all in one.” This ambitious project is expected to reach production by 2018. The I-Pace is looking to take on Electric car giant Tesla and their Model X, and whilst the Model X is faster the I-Pace has a higher range, a much more important factor in the real world.

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The I-Pace has a power output of roughly 400 BHP and a torque figure of 700Nm matching that of it’s F-Type SVR little brother, and with a range of 310 miles is certainly getting closer to that of a normal car. Its slow progress but progress nonetheless. Although exact figures are yet to be released the 0-62 time for the I-Pace is around 4 seconds. Slower than its Model X competition but still quick for a car in its class. The I-Pace shares its suspension system with that of the XE XF and the F-Pace, all have great handling and feel so the I-Pace definitely has the right underpinning to make it a real drivers car.

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Finally the looks, overall I think it looks good, current yet also futuristic, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some problems, the rear for one, it just looks tacked on like the designer finished for the day and they had the intern do the rear for them. Whilst the rest of the car is smooth swooping lines the back is all angles and doesn’t share the rest of the cars good looks. Also that bonnet vent, it looks like the car has a huge dent right across the front, it may actually be functional but if its just for aesthetics I’d rather it had just a flat bonnet. And finally thank you Jaguar for giving the I-Pace a grill, cars just look better with them, the Model X makes a big point of having no grill because it doesn’t need one, but it also has no face, think of Ryan Reynolds in the terrible X-Men Origins film, Tesla give your car a mouth please.

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Overall the Model X should be worried, Jaguar are a much better known brand and are on tremendous form at the moment, with the XE and F-Pace performing greatly. The I-Pace is looking to steal the Tesla’s crown as king electric and I think it has the potential to do so, thanks to creative design great looks and not over complicating things, like Telsa have been known to do in the past, Falcon doors anyone?

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BMW Bring the DTM M4 to the road

 

bmw-m4-dtm-2To celebrate Marco Wittmann winning the DTM drivers title for 2016, BMW have announced that they will be bringing the racing M4 to the road in the form of the M4 DTM Champion edition. A 500BHP monster, the M4 DTM is a barely disguised racecar, featuring a full roll cage and racing seats along with upgraded engine and suspension, the M4 DTM is the closest you’ll get to driving a touring car on the road. The M4 DTM has a very quick 0-62 time of 3.8 seconds and can go on to a top speed of 190MPH.

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The BMW, which will only be available in BMW’s signature Alpine white also features a number of aerodynamic upgrades bringing it more in line with the M4 Touring car: “These include the front splitter, the aero flicks positioned in front of the front wheel arches, exterior mirror caps, side skirt attachments, a rear diffuser as well as the large rear wing firmly mounted on the boot lid.” Although the M4 DTM is essentially a race car for the road, BMW have still kept all the comforts the modern driver expects from their car, Sat Nav, air conditioning and even parking sensors are all fitted as standard. Sadly we’ll only see 200 of these cars made making it incredibly exclusive, the price for such an impressive car rings in a £135,000.

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The M4 DTM also features full adjustable suspension giving the driver the ability to adjust it to their personal preference. The engine, a 500BHP monster also puts out an impressive 442 lb-ft of torque, meaning the car is just as much a beast on the track as the racecar itself. BMW describe the BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition as a: “high-performance coupe with a focus on racetrack deployment and an exceptional collector’s item.”

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