The New Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury

Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury 6 Now, Maybachs have never been the prettiest of cars, they sort of look like elongated Mercedes S Classes rather than the uber luxurious transport of the rich and famous. But with the new Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury they are breaking new ground in the world of ugly cars.

The Maybach Vision UL is a high riding luxury SUV with what is trying to be a swooping saloon body but on such a big car just looks stretched. To put it into perspective of how big this car is, its bigger wider and taller than the already gargantuan Bentley Bentayga. The Vision UL rides on 24 inch wheels that look more suitable on Puff Daddys Hummer than they do on a German example of luxury.

Now with such a massive car you might expect a giant engine, V10 or V12 maybe even V16 like the original Phantom concept. But believe it or not this new Maybach monstrosity is fully electric. The output of the UL’s four electric motors is 740BHP giving the big loaf a top speed of 155mph, not bad for a giant electric SUV.

Where Maybach are known for succeeding however is the interior, the new Maybach continues this trend with swathes of white leather and aluminium. Where a Rolls Royce feels like a smoking lounge inside, the Maybach feels like an up to date trendy bar. Its clearly for the UK market at there is a full tea set in the rear centre console.

I’m fine with companies making ‘ultimate luxury’ concepts but at least make them look good. The Maybach Vision UL is hideous on the outside, which really lets down a fantastic interior if Maybach were to ever bring the UL to market (which I doubt) I will forever fear driving behind one, because I may have to burn  my eyes to remove the sight from my mind.

What do you think of the Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury Concept, let us know in the comments.

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What to look forward to in 2018

BMW 8 Series 1

So as 2017 draws to a close we start to look forward at what’s to come in 2018 we’ve already seen a lot of what’s on the way thanks to the numerous motor shows and unveilings companies have had over the past 12 months so here my list of the top five cars to look forward to in 2018.

BMW Z4 2018 15. BMW Z4

BMW revealed the long awaited new Z4 convertible at this years Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance, it received a lot of praise for its departure from the previous generations folding hardtop roof design and its visual similarities to the also recently revealed BMW 8 Series. The engines haven’t been officially released but are expected to be a 2.0 litre 4 cylinder and a 3.0 litre 6 cylinder, and possibly a 3.5 litre 6 cylinder for the M-Sport version. Sadly we are unlikely to see a Z4M due to low sales of the E85 M version. This is also likely to be the reason why we never saw an M version for the E89 Z4. The new Z4 is also expected to release during the summer months with a price tag of around £35,000.

Mercedes A class4. Mercedes A-Class

Things have been looking up for Mercedes since their revamp a few years back. When they unveiled the newly reworked A-Class as a sporty little hatchback in 2012 Mercedes finally had a hot hatch that could compete with the likes of the BMW 1M and the Ford Focus RS, and Mercedes have revealed a much more radical car to take on the world in 2018. Its much more angular than its predecessor leading many to believe the new A-Class could receive an even faster upgrade than the already mental A45 AMG.

Jaguar I-Pace 73. Jaguar I-Pace

The Jaguar I-Pace was revealed at the start of the year and follows on from Jaguars previous embarks into the SUV market with the F-Pace and E-Pace. The I-Pace will be the first of the Jaguar electric cars to take to the roads in 2018. Looking to take on the Tesla Model X the I-Pace is a high riding sleek cross-over vehicle expected in mid 2018. The I-Pace will be the first car Jaguar launches that uses technology from their recent trip into the world of Formula E. Whilst its unlikely the I-Pace will use much of the motorsports tech the electric motors and systems will be very much similar.

BMW Concept 8 Series2. BMW 8 Series/ M8

Another entry on this list for BMW. BMW’s next flagship GT car the 8 Series makes a welcome return from its 90’s heyday. The new 8 Series and its sister car the M8 are two of the most eagerly awaited cars of 2018. With tough competition in the form of the new Bentley Continental GT and Porsche 911 Turbo the M8 is expected to release with a tuned version of the previously mentioned G30 M5’s 4.4 litre V8 with horsepower numbers expected to stretch past the 600BHP mark. Available in both hardtop and convertible forms the new BMW 8 Series and M8 will be available towards the end of 2018.

Land Rover DC1001. Land Rover Defender

The Long awaited replacement for the Defender has been expected to land in 2018, although its not known if that will be in concept form or a full road going model. The Defender is one of the greatest cars in history and I don’t envy the designers trying to follow up with it. We haven’t seen any concepts for the new Defender since the DC100 from 2011 but both Range Rover and Land Rovers design language has changed significantly since that concept 7 seven years ago. There have been a number of spy shots of a shortened Evoque bodied car that many suspect is a development model for the new Defender but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Oh! and Merry Christmas.

What are you waiting for in 2018, let us know in the comments.

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Frankfurt Motor show 2017 round up

The Frankfurt motor show is going on right now in Germany, with the great and the good from around the car world coming together to give us a look at what the showrooms will look like in 2018 and beyond. There are far too many cars to go through to list them all so I thought I would list my highlights from Germany’s premier motor show.

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  1. Kia Proceed

Not to sound like a school report but Kia have improved greatly over the last decade, their growth has been impressive and turned them into one of the companies to look out for in the future along with Hyundai and Skoda. The Proceed is yet another amazingly designed concept car that follows the likes of the Stinger and Novo cars from previous years. The striking sweeping rear end follows the likes of the Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake in its aggressive approach to an estate car.

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  1. Honda Urban EV

Whilst the Honda Urban EV is clearly a concept at the moment its inclusion on this list is purely because of the attention it drew at the show. The Honda Urban EV is a future electric car expected in 2019, whilst no specs have been revealed people are amazed by the way it looks both modern and retro at the same time. The looks have been compared to everything from a VW Golf MK1, to a Peugeot 205 and I even see a little Nissan Cube creeping in at the front there.

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  1. BMW X7

This thing is big, like really big. The X7 is an upcoming luxury SUV for BMW expected in 2018. The BMW X5 is a big car already but the X7 is even bigger at 5 metres long. BMW are trying to take on the giants in America from Lincoln Cadillac and Ford. But on European roads the X7 will dwarf just about anything.

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  1. Borgward Isabella

Back in 2015 Borgward returned with the BX7 an SUV designed to take on the Mercedes M class and BMW X5, and they pretty much faded away after that. But now they have returned again to Frankfurt to unveil the concept for their prestigious Isabella. Named after their car from back in the 50’s the Isabella is a 4 door electric car, and whilst no new specs have been revealed Borgward did say they wanted it to be one of their flagship models. Its unlikely this new Borgward adventure will succeed as they are fairly forgettable and have a silly name, but prove me wrong Borgward.

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  1. Mercedes AMG Project One

The star of the show that drew all the eyes and stares from all around the arena was the Project One. The Formula 1 powered hybrid monster is set to take to the roads in early 2019. This new Mercedes monster looks like a combination of the McLaren F1 and Mercedes CLK GTR (and even looks a bit like a Spyker from above). The Project One is going to be up against tough competition in the Aston Martin Valkyrie in the hyper car battle to end all battles. This 1000BHP monster hybrid uses the engine from Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 car to take it to a top speed of more than 218MPH and from 0-124MPH in 6.0 seconds, certainly an amazing machine set to take the world by storm.

What were your highlights from the 2017 Frankfurt motor show, let us know in the comments.

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Jim on Cars 2016 Car of the year

So its that time of year again, the time where I wrack my brains for everything that came out in 2016 and narrow it down to 4 fantastic cars and one amazing one, that’s right its car of the year time.

Mercedes-AMG GT R ( C 190), 2016

  1. Mercedes AMG GTR

Last year it was a toss up between the standard AMG GT and the Mazda MX5, the MX5 just beat out the Merc thanks to its giant killing nature and world-beating amount of fun for such a small cheap car. This year however Mercedes has upped their game, the AMG GTR retains all of the amazing features of the standard car but now with a 585BHP twin turbo V8 under the bonnet and suspension tuned at the Nurburgring the AMG GTR earns its place on this list. And with a paint job called AMG Green Hell Magno how could it not make it.

porsche-911r

  1. Porsche 911R

I have been very critical of the 911 for a while now, even naming it the most overrated car in history (Click Here) I never liked the way it hadn’t changed in over 50 years and Porsche stubbornly kept it rear engined (although its moving forward at a frightening pace). Its quite clearly holding Porsche back as the brilliant Cayman GT4 showed last year, if Porsche gave the engineers the opportunity to push themselves they could create the greatest drivers car the world has ever seen, but no we just get the 911 year after year. But the 911R could be a sign of change from the Germans, doing away with the flashy rear wings of the GT3 GT2 and Turbo models in favour of a much more subtle design, favouring mechanincal grip over downforce. The 911R is a mechanical marvel taking the driver back to the old days, where it was a drivers skill that kept him on the road rather than the electronic aids. The 911R is the best 911 ever and will hopefully show the way Porsche are going rather than being a reminder of the good ole days.

ford-focus-rs

  1. Ford Focus RS

Weirdly the difficult decision this year was not choosing what the top car would be but rather the podium finishers. It was a choice of either my heart or my head, but I feel I’ve made the right choice in putting the RS in third. I am a massive Ford fan and the Focus RS is a fantastic car, it’s the rally bred monster we’ve been wanting for years. Its 2.3 litre turbocharged ecoboost engine along with All wheel drive make it a true hot hatch rivalling that of the Mercedes A45 AMG and the Golf R. And its got Drift mode! The Focus RS is one of my favourite cars this year, its handling and power combined make it a true world beater and all this starting at just over £30,000.

bmw-m2

  1. BMW M2

Just beating out the Focus RS is the BMW M2 and as you may have guessed this was my heads choice rather than my hearts. The M2’s predecessor the 1M Coupe was a really impressive car both on the track and on the road but somehow the M2 is even better its 370BHP engine powers the car to 62 in 4.3 seconds and on to the electronically limited top speed of 155MPH. the M2 is reminiscent of so many great cars, the 2002 Turbo, the original M3 even out side the Bavarian Motor Works in the MK2 VW Golf. The M2’s strength comes from its past, it carries the characteristics of some fantastic car and combines them into a greatest hits album for the ages.

alfa-romeo-giulia-quadrifoglio

  1. Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

Yes the car with the most Italian name in history has come out on top. When Alfa announced they were making a sports car to rival the M3 many laughed, they thought it would be a Chrysler 300C in drag and would fall far below the par set by the BMW, but those people were wrong. The Giulia is a bespoke Alfa Romeo with style and performance combined into sheer magnificence. The 2.9 litre biturbo V6 is operatic in comparison to the M3’s rather drab straight 6. The 510 horse power of the Alfa are some of the most boisterous rampant horses seen in recent times. Whereas the BMW M2 wins your head and the Focus RS wins your heart the Alfa wins both, its one of the most interesting and exciting cars on the road today and is truly deserving of my car of the year award

Congratulations Alfa Romeo

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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.

valteri-bottas

  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.

max-verstappen

  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.

kimi-raikonen

  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.

daniel-ricciardo

  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.

fernando-alonso

  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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Ford Focus RS500 to get 400BHP

New Focus RS

How do you take an amazing car and make it better, just ask Ford. The base model Focus is one of the best hatchbacks on the roads today, and Ford made it so much better by adding 350BHP, 4 wheel-drive and of course drift mode. But how do you then improve on that. Making an amazing car just leaves you with nowhere to go, but of course Ford are going to find a way. The Focus RS500 hasn’t yet been fully green lit but if rumours are true the RS500 could see more than 400BHP along with a whole host of other upgrades.

Focus RS500 spy shot

If spy shots of the RS500 at the Nurburgring are anything to go by we could see slight body modifications as well. These include a larger boot spoiler and a vented bonnet, this looks to be teamed with a much bigger hardcore brake setup. The 500 RS500s to be built are expected to go on sale for around the £45,000 mark, and looks to go up against the likes of the Mercedes A45 AMG and the BMW M2. According to AutoCar we could expect to see performance increases of more than 0.5 second taking the 0-62 time from 4.7 to 4.2 and take the top speed up to 167MPH. the Focus RS500 is expected to be green lit by the end of the year with sales starting mid 2017.

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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.

The Emissions Scandal Rolls On

 

Renault Clio RS.jpg

Last year when VW were found to be using a cheat device in the emissions system for there diesel cars it was shocking and is going to cost VW a lot of money not just in recalls but in compensation as well and possibly lawsuits. So it would be incredible if any other company would be found to be cheating their emissions. VW has set the example in how not to do it, so surely nobody else would do it. Well no Renault recently had their factories raided by police in relation to the emissions scandal. It is believed that several computers owned by company directors have been seized following the raid.

Renault Megane.jpg

Despite the raids on the company Renault are confident their cars will pass the tests set up in the investigation with flying colours. Despite this the damage may have already been done as company shares dropped by 20% following the raid. Renault were supposedly meant to be one of the companies calling for stricter regulations after the initial scandal.

Vauxhall Zafira

The car industry is under close scrutiny after VW, and Ford and Mercedes are also said to be under investigation. Vauxhall were quick to deny a defeat device after BBC Panorama ran an investigation on the Vauxhall Zafira and found that it was cheating on emissions as well.

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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