Rolls Royce takes aim at Bentley

Rolls Royce Phantom 9You may be pleased to hear that this week I’m not going to talk about electric cars, emissions or even the electric revolution. What I am going to talk about is the shots Rolls Royce CEO took at Bentley this week. Age old rivals Rolls and Bentley have been battling it out for the king of luxury for decades. But it’s a war that for the past ten years Rolls have been winning and Rolls Royce CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes puts it down to the fact that Rolls Royce aren’t taking the base for its cars from lesser manufacturers.

Bentley BentaygaIt’s true the Bentley of today has taken the Audi Q7 and put a new set of clothes on it to call it the Bentayga, but this is the first major shot heard from Rolls in a long while. Most car companies will remain polite about their competition saying things like, “we enjoy the competition and wish them every success” meanwhile behind the scenes they are plotting every way to put them out of business.

Rolls Royce Phantom 23Mueller-Oetvoes made these comments at the European launch of the new Rolls Royce Phantom VIII, saying: “We are not using mass-manufactured body shells. That limits what you can do on the design side, and it undermines exclusivity massively. You don’t want a camouflaged Q7 in that segment. You want to have a true Rolls-Royce.” What this means is that all new Rolls Royces will have their own bespoke underpinning rather than sharing them with the likes of the BMW 7 series which was the basis for the original Ghost.

Rolls Royce Phantom 21

Rolls are calling this new idea the ‘Architecture of Luxury’ and can be seen in the Phantom VIII, new SUV the Cullinan and future generations of the Ghost, Dawn and Wraith. In a press release about the new Phantom VIII whilst not mentioning them by name Rolls went as far to say, “No future Rolls-Royce will be of monocoque construction as used by mass-manufacturers and some mass-luxury brands.”

Bentley Continental GTRolls are determined to be the only Luxury car brand there is even if it means tearing down their competition with hurtful words. Bentley are transitioning away from the Audi platform over to the Porsche platform but seems to refuse to make a fully bespoke luxury car of their early years, Bentleys market has changed, the Continental GT is proof their aim is footballers not Lords and Ladies.

What do you think of the luxury battle between Bentley and Rolls Royce, let us know in the comments.

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The Big names join together for Electric cars

electric-chargine

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.

Audi Reveal the New TT RS

 

Audi TT RS Roadster, Audi TT RS Coupé

Audi have revealed both the coupe and convertible versions of every airhostess’s favourite car. Except that the new model looks significantly more masculine with an aggressive new front bumper and a large ficed rear spoiler teamed with twon exhausts , the new TT RS oozes aggression and is looking to take on the likes of the BMW Z4 and the Porsche Cayman.

Audi TT RS CoupéThe RS features an impressive 400 BHP from a 2.5 litre 5-cylinder engine teamed with Audi’s signature Quattro 4 wheel drive system and a 7-speed S-Tronic gearbox. Those bring the TT RS a supercar rivalling 0-62 time of 3.7 seconds (3.9 in convertible form) and on to a top speed limited to 155 MPH.

Audi TT RS Roadster

Dr Stefan Knirsch, Audi Board Member for Technical Development says: “The new aluminum five-cylinder engine delivers 400 hp, which is 60 hp more than its predecessor. Together with the Quattro drive, it ensures sporty driving pleasure with maximum traction.”

Audi TT RS Roadster

“Controls and display in the new TT RS are focused completely on the driver. All information is displayed as standard on the fully digital Audi virtual cockpit with 12.3 inch screen. The driver can choose from three views, including a special RS screen that highlights the rev counter and provides information on tire pressure, torque, and g‑force, among other things.”

Audi TT RS Coupé

The TT RS is looking to launch in late 2016 with a price tag of just over £50,000 similar in price to a comparable Cayman and Z4 although a new Z4 may be in the Pipeline over at BMW which could scupper Audi plans.

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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 911 rivalling McLaren 540C

540C

McLaren have decided to take on the 911 with their new car the 540C, only one company in recent memory has managed to challenge the 911 for its crown as most usable daily supercar and that was Audi with the R8. However the level of innovation over the R8’s lifespan has a lacking rivalling the 911 itself. This has led to the R8 becoming just as boring a choice as the 911. However with McLaren showing an increased productivity level that we haven’t seen from them ever with them announcing the 650S, 650 GT3, 675LT, 570S and even the P1 followed by this 540C I don’t think their new car will become as stale as the R8 and is more likely to be replaced by a new car before its due.

540C R

Revealed at the Shanghai auto show the 540C will come with the same 3.8 litre V8 that has become standard across the whole of the McLaren platform it’ll produce 533BHP and 398lb-ft of torque with a 0-62 time of 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 199MPH prices start at £126,000. Many have been saying that this is just a detuned 650S and their may be some truth in that but is that so wrong. The 650S is a fantastic car but now you can afford one that is just a tiny bit slower than the latter, just like the 911. Can’t afford a Turbo but want a 911 get a Carrera its simple. I can’t see the McLaren being as successful as the 911 but I think it will give the option to someone who doesn’t want the now boring R8 or wants to be imaginative and not buy a 911.

The New Honda NSX

New NSX

So the new Honda/ Acura NSX another car revealed at the recent Detroit Motor show, and Honda fans are going crazy about it. However I don’t think there’s much to shout about. 600 BHP from a Hybrid engine and AWD as well what super car isn’t pushing out those numbers. Its less than the P1 and 918 but more than the Audi R8. However Audi are announcing a new R8 very soon so I think Honda should be worried. Also I don’t think the styling is that impressive either dare I say it boring, its almost looks like a combination of the old McLaren MP4-12C and the current R8 two not that exciting cars to look at.

old nsx

I also don’t think that the new NSX will carry the same prestige of the old one, the old NSX had a chassis tuned by the late great Ayrton Senna something the new car knows nothing about. I don’t think there is a way that the new car could feel the same as the old one, the old NSX was fantastic to drive, you could put it where you want it both on the road and on the track. And that was another great thing about the NSX it was one of the few cars that you could drive everyday nowadays the only cars that manage that are the R8 and the 911 both stiff competition for the new boy.

Huracan

Will it succeed maybe but I don’t think the new Honda NSX will achieve the same successes that the old car did. There is just too much competition in the current car climate. The new NSX has to beat out the 458 the R8 the 911 the new McLaren 650S and the fantastic Lamborghini Huracan. Why would you look over all those prestigious names and say yes I’m going to buy a Honda.

The Paris Autoshow

So the Paris Autoshow is going on right now an occasion where all auto makers show off there new stuff there everything from a new Mazda MX5 to a new Lamborghini I’ll attempt to show you everything interesting but I may miss something let me know in the comment if I do.

Asterion exterior Asterion interior

So first of all the New Lamborghini Asterion (concept) is it just me or are car makers trying to make all their new cars impossible to say it all started with the Huayra and now Lamborghini’s got the bug. Lambo’s new car has got on the hybrid band wagon as well with a 5.2 litre V10 from the Huracan and two electric motors giving this incredible car 907BHP, are you listening Ferrari and with the Asterion you get an incredible looking interior as well.

VW XL

Then there is the new VW XL Sport this great looking car has a 197BHP V twin form a Ducati of all places. Now the car is based on the super efficient VW XL1, which means it weighs a micro 870KG and gets from 0-62 in 5.7 seconds topping out at 168MPH. this car was built to celebrate VWs 200 Millionth car (now that’s a lot of Golfs) and that is quite frankly terrifying.

image

Another car I completely forgot to write about at launch was the Mercedes AMG GT now this is Mercedes attempt to take on Porsche’s 911 and the Jaguar F-Type but sadly it replaces the SLS AMG one of my favourite cars of all time. The Top AMG GTS has a 4 litre twin turbo V8 giving you just over 500BHP and a top speed electronically limited say Mercedes to 193MPH.

Civic Type R

Now I have to say I’m not a massive fan of the Civic Type R I think there are much nicer cars for the same price. The Type R always struck me as a yobos car screeching round an empty car park at 3 in the morning. And I’ll be honest the new one seems no different with a 2 litre engine giving us 276BHP. (not as much as the now ancient Focus RS)prices will be announced early in 2015 when it goes on sale.

tt convertable

The final car I’m going to talk about is the Audi TT now we saw the standard version a few months ago but now they’ve shown off the headless version (convertible) and it looks much more California cruiser than balls out sports car which ill be honest does disappoint me. Of course the standard engines are carried over from the hard top and all that usual crap. Prices start at £31,000

Now I know there were many more cars than just these 5 like our old friend the MX5 and the Jag XE and even the new Ford Mondeo but I didn’t have time to cover them all sorry.

The New Jaguar XE

jag xe

Now I’m not going to speak about the horribly awkward launch show for the new Jaguar XE (it looked like a bad version of 80’s Dr Who) I’m just going to speak about the car itself. The XE S gets the engine from the F-Type S a lovely 3.0 litre supercharged V6 which I think is the one to go for obviously there will be the lower spec 2.0 petrol and diesel engines. But with the 3.0 litre you get a 0-60 time of 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 155 MPH which is easily enough to match any of its German competitors.

 Jag Xe 3

In the coming years it’s quite likely that we’ll get an XE R version with a bigger engine (probably the larger V8 from the F-Type R) and we’ll probably get an estate version soon enough. Now I must admit where I live I’m quite close to the Jaguar Land Rover plant and quite often I’ll see camo’d up versions of cars coming in the future. The XE I saw early last year along with the F-Type coupe.

 jag xe 2

The car weighs in at just under 1500kg and rumours state the diesel will manage 75MPG and you can get your hands on a Jaguar XE for £27,000 so overall the XE is going straight after your BMW 3 series and Mercedes C class along with the Audi S4.

Second Cars

People often compare their first cars saying which are good and which are bad.  But nobody seems to talk about their second cars, this is generally because people have boring cars after the unusual excitement of their first cars (unusual as generally it’s a 1- litre Vauxhall Corsa or Fiat Seicento) so after looking through loads of cars for my own second car I compiled this list.

  1. Ford Fiesta Zetec S

ImageThis is my personal favourite as you can pick them up dirt-cheap and they are fun as hell handle excellently but still have great fuel economy. People often can’t afford the 1.6-engined Fiesta’s insurance but generally it’s a lot cheaper for your second car.

2. Honda Civic Type R

ImageA lot more expensive than the Ford to buy, insure and run the Type R is also quicker, and for those of us who like to modify our cars there are thousands of parts out their for the Civics.

3. BMW 318i

ImageThis is also a favourite of mine for the money you’ll have you will probably have to get an original model. But don’t worry this is the best one it’s the best looking and most fun to drive due to the lightweight body and decent power from the 1.8 engine

4. Audi A4

ImageMuch more understated than the BMW and probably the most expensive car on my list for everything but you can’t beat the Audi for outright performance and reliability the Germans certainly know how to make a Car.