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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Ford announce the ’67 Heritage edition GT

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Do you remember when everyone joked that Porsche had the laziest designers ever who just released the same 911 every year for 50 years, and then Mitsubishi out did them with the Evo 9 looking exactly the same as the Evo 8. Well Ford seem to be looking to bring back the idea with their new special edition GT. The Ford GT ’67 Heritage edition is built to celebrate 50 years since Fords victory at Le Mans in 1967. Sound familiar yet, well let me remind you that last year before the first GT had even been built Ford announced the 66’ Heritage edition, built to celebrate 50 years since their victory at Le Mans in 1966. The ’66 Heritage edition came with a new paintjob to resemble the 1966 winning car along with special interior parts and badges, no more power or less weight, just a paint job.

The new ’67 Heritage edition is more of the same, no power upgrades just a new paint job and some badges. Ford say: “The Ford GT ’67 Heritage edition features a gloss-finish Race Red exterior with white stripes and exposed carbon package. The car sports Frozen White No. 1 hood and door graphics, and 20-inch one-piece forged aluminium wheels in silver satin clearcoat with black lug nuts. Red calipers and silver rearview mirror caps complete the look.”

The interior see shockingly similar upgrades to the ’66 Heritage edition as well with new leather trim for the carbon fibre seats with red stitching to match the exterior, the seatbelt webbing is now red as well. Other changes include, “Paddle shifters that are anodized grey, and satin dark stainless appliques are used on the instrument panel, door register bezels and X-brace.”

Almost identical upgrades to the ’66 Heritage edition besides the colour. I’m now predicting we will see a ’68 Heritage edition and ’69 Heritage edition as well in the coming years to celebrate Fords victories at Le Mans. But I hope Ford learn their lesson and give the car more than just a shiny new paintjob and interior because all this looks like is a quick cash grab for a pseudo special edition, that had no additional features or specialties.

What do you think of the ’67 Heritage edition, quick cash grab or a great celebration of Fords victory, let me know in the comments.

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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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Ford GT ’66 Heritage edition announced

 

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The New Ford GT isn’t even available yet and already Ford have announced the GT ’66 Heritage edition which pays homage to the 1966 Le Mans of Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon, the same race that gave Ford a 1,2,3 finish. Although no performance upgrades have been announced the GT ’66 Heritage does have a special interior and exterior paint job.

The already impressive looking GT gains a Shadow Black exterior with silver stripes and is available in either matt or gloss finishes. The GT ’66 Heritage comes with exclusive 20 inch aluminium wheels finished in gold, with black nuts. The exterior is complete with the Frozen white #2 on both the doors and bonnet to mirror the race winning car of 1966.

The interior of the limited edition model wraps the Ford GT carbon-fiber seats in Ebony leather, with pillowed inserts and the seats’ head restraints and the steering wheel are debossed with the Ford GT logo. The instrument panel, pillars and headliner also features an Ebony-leather wrap. Like the 1966 race car, the steering wheel is leather wrapped, with seat belts featuring a unique blue webbing. Rounding out the modifications to the GT ’66 Heritage Edition are a unique serialized identification plate.

Garen Nicoghosian, exterior design manager for the car, says the team set out to highlight where it all started with the Ford GT. “While the looks are distinctly based on the GT40 Mark II race car,” he says, “we’ve accentuated new styling cues to provide a modern interpretation.”

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Vauxhall GT Coupe to make production, I doubt it

Vauxhall GT Coupe 2

The stunning Vauxhall GT Coupe revealed at the Geneva Motor show could make production, Vauxhall however say they lack the design platform to create the a rear drive sports car such as the GT Coupe. To solve this Vauxhall have decided to have their engineers try to squeeze the 4 wheel drive system from the Mokka SUV into the tiny sports car, rather than design a bespoke rear drive layout that Vauxhall could carry over into their new cars. this sounds like Vauxhall pinching pennies to create the GT Coupe rather than putting full faith in the car which is disappointing.

Vauxhall GT Coupe 1

The GT Coupe isn’t likely to be seen on the roads until at least the end of 2017 by which time the competitors will likely have moved on from the GT86/BRZ and the Fiat 124 Spyder. This makes Vauxhall quite behind the times in terms of sports cars, especially as they haven’t really been in the game since the outlandish Calibra Turbo of the 90’s. without the full support of the Vauxhall leadership it is unlikely we will ever see the GT Coupe on the roads, and far more likely we will see it quietly killed off towards the end of the year.

Forza and Need For Speed are Coming Back

Car fans are a thriving breed, and many car fans have been around since they were young. Generally that car passion is brought in through either their parent or sometimes even motorsport/ TV. But there is a third way, a third way that is getting more and more common as technology improves, Video Games.

There are two schools of think in this genre, the hardcore track simulator and the more arcady street racing style. Well the kings in these genres have always been Forza Motorsport and Need For Speed respectively. And yesterday the new breed of these games was shown off at E3 Forza during the Microsoft press conference and NFS during the EA conference. Now I am a fan of both these games and the new incarnations of the franchises are looking fantastic.

First of all Need For Speed, EA have been saying that the new game will be going back to the franchises roots. Those roots being NFS Underground, this means that modifying is finally back, in the trailer shown brands like Rocket Bunny were shown off on a Subaru BRZ and that will only be the start of it. I was such a fan of the early NFS games and seeing them going back to their roots is great news. All I need now is a great story something similar to the original Most Wanted were you build yourself up from the streets to take over the city. Need for Speed will release on November 3rd 2015.

Forza was shown off in the Microsoft’s conference and they even wheeled out the new Ford GT with Henry Ford the third to go with it. Forza has been top of the tree for a while now after it overtook Gran Turismo and now they are streaking ahead (especially as we haven’t even seen Gran Turismo 7 yet). The new trailer showed much of the same that we’ve come to expect from Forza and is to be released on 15th September 2015.

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The Geneva Motorshow

Apologies for the lateness of this post this is due to the Geneva Motor show last week and I didn’t want to miss anything so I will give you an extra long post now.

Geneva 1

First of all I want to talk about Aston Martin, lately I’ve felt that Aston has been trundling along just fine, the trouble is a lot of their cars are the same they all have the same 6.0 litre V12 although giving slightly different power each time, and their cars look roughly similar to the DB9. Vantage, mini DB9, Vanquish, expensive DB9, One 77, expensive DB9 and of course the DBS is a DB9 sport and with their new car shown of at Geneve we finally have a track day DB9, its called the Vulcan and isn’t road legal. Think of it in the same light as the Ferrari FXX or the Pagani Zonda R.

Geneva 3

Secondly we have the new Koenigsegg Regera a car with monstrous power (1782BHP to be exact) from a hybrid V8 with three electric motors attached. I think we have come to the point when I have to say is that really necessary almost 1800BHP and it only goes 0-62 in 3.2 seconds and up to 250MPH in 20 seconds, the Veyron has already done that and shocked the world when it did, it doesn’t need doing again. Also apparently according to Andreas Petre, Koenigsegg’s director of sales in Asia, Middle East, Africa and Oceana, it wouldn’t be difficult to drive on the road: “It has very sophisticated ESP, traction control, active chassis and aerodynamics. It’s like a very fast Tesla with a beautiful sound.” I doubt that very much so.

Geneva 4

McLaren showed off an update to the 650S already, they call it the 675LT(LT referring to F1 long tail of the past) and its supposed to be a harder faster version of the 650S. It’s said to go 0-62 in 2.9 seconds (see Koenigsegg you’ve already been beaten) with a devil enticing 666BHP from a twin turbo V8. The 675LT is also lighter than the 650S, with a dry weight of 1280KG it weighs 100KG less. Only 500 are set to be sold worldwide for a easily affordable £259,500. (Right where’s my checkbook)

Geneva 2

Porsche showed off the old 911 GT3, sorry the new GT3 (so hard to tell the difference these days) with a 4.0 litre 6 cylinder engine it produces 493BHP. After that its essentially the same old story, fast version of fast car that goes fast blah blah blah.

Geneva 5

Anyway Bentley have brought a nice new Aston Martin shaped car to Geneva in the EXP 10 Speed 6 and I have to say I really don’t like the front end of this car, it looks like that hideous Japanese Mitsuoka Arochi that nobody cared about. The Speed 6 is to go one sale within the next 3 years alongside the Continental GT for £120,000. Bentley says it will be a hybrid, however it is more likely to use the same 4.0 litre V8 used in other Bentleys.

Geneva 6

In other news Morgan revealed another car from their past in the Aero 8, they say its all new however it looks suspiciously like the old Aero 8 right down to the cross eyes. It also uses the same engine a BMW sourced V8 that other Morgan’s used. So it looks as if they have brought a car back from the past, who would’ve expected that from Morgan.

Photos courtesy of Autocar

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Ford have revealed the new King of the Hot Hatches

New Focus RS

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you may have realised that I’m quite a large fan of Fords.(which is why I haven’t mentioned the new Ferrari 458 replacement the 488 GTB more on that soon) I just love the way they have two different styles for different markets, the big brutish V8 cars of the US and the small nippy cars of the European market.

One of the best cars from the European market is the Focus RS, the front wheel drive daddy of the hot hatch market is phenomenal and carries the Rally heritage of the old school Fords.

New Focus RS rear

Ford have just revealed the new RS and frankly it’s much better than Ford’s showing at Detroit a few weeks back (only one V8 come on Ford) the new four wheel drive RS shares its engine with the new Euro Mustang a 2.3 turbo-charged Ecoboost engine pushing out 318BHP.

The New RS is almost certainly going to be the top hot hatch of the year and with a sub £30K price tag is affordable as well. Of course as always the RS’s biggest strength is that underneath all the big brash body kits and spoilers it’s still a Focus arguably the best hatchback on sale today. This also means that the new RS will be comfortable enough and easy enough to drive everyday whilst also being able to set your hair on fire on the track.

Frankly I feel that Ford have made up for the mistakes on the new V6 in the GT with this surely fantastic hot hatch.

Ordered a Civic type R, kept the receipt did you

Ford What have you done

Ford GT

So Ford have had a awesome day however I must admit I’m disappointed in them. Ford used to be a giant in the motoring world that stuck two fingers up at the idea of enviromentally friendlyism, but two of my favourite cars EVER have been ruined with V6’s rather than V8’s. the Ford GT is a legendary car it will go down in the analls of history as a true great. However part of that greatness is the engine. A nice gigantic V8. The GT40 had one and the 2005 GT had one but now for the 2016 GT it has a twin turbocharged V6 putting out 600BHP.

Whoopdy doo

Ford Raptor

Ford you have taken away the GT’s signiture item its greatest part is gone. And then we have the new Ford Raptor. This may not be manys favourite car but it is mine I loved the orginal Raptor it had go anywhere ability but with outright speed aswell. Any you’ve give that a V6 as well. The only V8 Ford revealled was a Mustang GT350 R. that’s great and all but Ford used to be about V8’s they reveloutionised the Muscle car and the supercar. This new GT isnt gonna stick it to Ferrari yes all your cars look good but please Ford Bring back your signiture I beg you.