News, Sports Car

Zenos plans more powerful E10 'R'

Zenos Cars has confirmed a new E10 model will be its fastest, most focused model to date.

Called the E10R, the British company has released teaser images and details of its super-high-performance brief. The latest addition to the E10 range gets a large increase in power, representing a logical progression for the model says Zenos.

Featuring a carbon and aluminium chassis, carbon fibre bucket seats and running on 12-spoke OZ Racing alloys, the E10R sits at the pinnacle of the range and 'will stay true to the Zenos philosophy of low-cost ownership, offering maximum performance and affordability'.

Mark Edwards, Founder and Managing Director, asks of the new model: "Is it indulgent? Maybe. Is it insane? Very possibly. Is it astonishing? Absolutely!"

The company's first car, the mid-engined E10 is built around a rigid tub and backbone, bonded together to form an 'immensely strong' platform. With the use of recycled carbon fibre, the tub offers 70 per cent of the mechanical performance of new carbon fibre at around 10 per cent of the cost.

Production of the E10 began in January 2015 with the range expanding quickly, producing the E10S, offering 250 bhp from Ford's turbocharged 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine. Zenos Cars was established in 2012 to design and produce high-performance, ultra-lightweight yet affordable sports cars that deliver maximum driving thrills. The company is 100 per cent British-owned, and the cars it produces are 100 per cents British-designed, British-supplied and British-built.

News, Supercars, Hypercar

Lewis Hamilton wins third F1 World Championship

Lewis Hamilton has won his third Formula One World Championship.

Taking victory in a dramatic United States Grand Prix, team-mate Nico Rosberg finished second and Sebastian Vettel third in a race weekend that featured extreme rain, a curtailed qualifying and plenty of safety cars.

Hamilton took his 10th win of the season, the 43rd of his Formula One career en route to becoming only the second British driver after Sir Jackie Stewart to be a triple World Champion and is now also the only Briton to successfully defend his crown.

With just 10 laps to go and running in second place behind his team-mate, Hamilton had fresher tyres - having just pitted under yet another safety car, and was able to pressure Rosberg in to making a mistake. It was the lifeline the British driver needed and he was able to capitalise, taking the lead on lap 48 of 56. Hamilton saw the car home, winning the race and sealing the Championship with it.

Hamilton said: "It's an overwhelming moment. The race today was really amazing and anything could have happened. The last 10 - 15 laps were extraordinary - it was just a crazy, crazy race. I was in the lead, then I was fourth and the conditions were really tricky. Nico was driving really well, too. All the way through, I was thinking; "The Championship is there somewhere.. how can I get it?" It was so close I could smell it and there was never a moment I didn't believe I could do it."

The British driver paid tribute to his hero Ayrton Senna: "It's just incredible to equal Ayrton, too. My target was always three titles as he was the one who inspired me. There is no one I want to equal now - I just want to carry on as far and long as I can."

Mexico is the next race for Hamilton and co, returning to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit after a 23 year absence.

Convertible, News

New MINI Cooper Convertible revealed

MINI has unveiled its all-new Cooper Convertible.

With major refinements over its predecessor, the car features a new design and 'significant enhancements' and is officially on sale in the UK from March 2016. The three-car line-up from launch comprises of the MINI Cooper Convertible, MINI Cooper D Convertible, MINI Cooper S Convertible.

Brand new features include a fully electric roof that is quieter and smoother than the previous model, a fully integrated rollover protection system and more rear space than ever before. The new exterior and interior design ensures showcases a 'blend of sporting flair and elegant dynamism'.

The all-new Cooper Convertible and Cooper D Convertible are 3,821 mm long, with the Cooper S Convertible 3,850 mm long. All models are 1,727 mm wide, 1,415 mm high and have a wheelbase of 2,495 mm. These dimensions have increased compared with the outgoing model which has enhanced comfort levels and allowed for more room in all four seats. Luggage volume has expanded by around 25 per cent to 215 litres with the roof closed and 160 litres with it folded down.

The latest generation of EU6-compliant engines are installed under the bonnet. The petrol engines inside Cooper Convertible and Cooper S Convertible - 1.5-litre three-cylinder and 2.0-litre four-cylinder respectively - feature turbocharging, direct fuel injection with centrally positioned injectors, variable camshaft control on the intake and exhaust side (double VANOS) and fully variable VALVETRONIC valve control technology. On the 1.5-litre diesel three-cylinder engine in the MINI Cooper D Convertible, there is turbocharging with variable intake geometry and common rail direct injection. A six-speed manual transmission is standard while a six-speed Steptronic transmission is available as an option.

MINI says it has gone to great lengths to further improve the quality of the fully electric roof. Suitable for year-round use and optimised for the very best heat and acoustic insulation, the new roof is also quieter than before, when opened it folds neatly behind the rear seats. The front roof section can also be retracted by up to 40 cm, and this can be carried out at any speed.

For a quick reaction to sudden changes in the (British) weather, the soft-top can be opened and closed at speeds of up to 18 mph. The two operations are activated by means of a toggle switch on the front roof frame. When the vehicle is stationary, it can also be operated using a button on the remote key. Both operations take 18 seconds. A button located in the driver's door trim allows for simultaneous opening and closing of all four side windows.

As an alternative to the standard version of the soft-top in black, a MINI Yours version is available for the first time with an integrated woven graphics such as the Union Jack motif, finished in a black and grey herringbone pattern.

Safety is a critical consideration in open-topped cars and the new MINI Convertible includes new integrated rollover protection which extends automatically when required. Also improved is the optional wind deflector which can be locked into position behind the driver and front passenger seats so to provide protection from unwanted air turbulence during open-topped driving. After use it can be removed and stowed in the luggage compartment.

MINI says a high level of standard equipment across the range includes the Visual Boost Radio with a 6.5-inch screen, MINI Connected, Bluetooth connectivity with USB audio, Rear Parking Distance Control and a Reversing Camera.

On-the-road pricing starts at £18,475 for the Cooper Convertible, £20,225 for the Cooper D Convertible and £22,430 for the Cooper S Convertible to £24,055 for the S Convertible automatic.

Vintage Car, News, Coupe, Sports Car

Businessman leaves £10m Ferraris to RNLI

Businessman Richard Colton has left a rare Ferrari 275 GTB/4 and Ferrari 250 GT SWB to be auctioned, with the proceeds going to the RNLI.

Initial estimates place the combined value of the two Ferraris as potentially topping Ten million pounds. Richard Colton was a Northamptonshire-based businessman, who for 40 years collected and actively campaigned sensational classic cars. Described by close friends as a shy and private man, he was known to be 'somewhat nervous of the sea', which may have added to his great respect for the men and women who risk their lives daily around Britain's coast.

Colton was keen that his legacy be sold by a British classic car specialist auction house - hence H&H was chosen by his executors. Working closely with the auction house, Jim Kearns Senior Partner at Wilson Browne Solicitors was tasked, as joint executor, with ensuring that Colton's estate was executed in line with his wishes, that all proceeds be bequeathed to the RNLI.

Jim Kearns commented; "It is a remarkable and generous legacy. All of us at Wilson Browne Solicitors are proud to be part of such an exciting and wonderful bequest and it's testament to the faith Richard had in us as experts in the field that he not only relied on us for his Will but asked us to ensure that we got the best possible price (as joint executors) so the money could be put to work for the RNLI."

Kearns added; "The exquisite cars really were the impossible gift. To leave them to an individual would have incurred 40 per cent inheritance tax meaning that the cars would most likely have to be sold to pay for it. Leaving them to a charitable cause as noble as the RNLI means that they get the maximum value."

Money raised from the sale will be used to build a new lifeboat called Richard and Caroline Colton, named after Richard and his late wife.

Guy Rose, Legacy Manager at the RNLI, said: "We are deeply grateful and humbled by Mr Colton's generous gift and his decision to benefit the RNLI in this way. Six out of every 10 lifeboat launches are only made possible because of gifts left to us in Wills, so they are vital to saving lives at sea. Mr Colton's generosity will be felt most by our volunteer crews and the people whose lives they save."

The auction takes place on 14 October 2015 at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, Cambridge.

Supercars, News

Aston Martin Vulcan meets Avro Vulcan

As the last remaining airworthy Avro Vulcan prepares for its final flight, the iconic 50s bomber meet its modern namesake, the Aston Martin Vulcan.

The Avro Vulcan XH558 is currently the only flying example in the world yet is retiring from 'active service' later this month as the age of the plane's airframe and engines mean the support companies which keep the bomber aloft have decided they have to end their support in October.

Aston Martin's Vulcan is the a new track-only supercar. Described as the British luxury car maker's 'most intense and exhilarating creation to date', the supercar is born out of 'extensive motorsport experience' as the 800-plus bhp, all-carbon fibre Aston Martin Vulcan delivers truly extreme performance. Limited to just 24 examples worldwide - owners have the opportunity to precisely tailor their track day experience through a graduating scale of detailed power and dynamic performance adjustments.

CEO Dr Andy Palmer said: "Clearly the Avro Vulcan provided the inspiration for the naming of our most extreme sports car, and I'm delighted that we have been able to unite the 'two Vulcans' and deliver our own tribute to this world-renowned aeronautical phenomenon."

Vulcan XH558 is flown by Martin Withers DFC, Chief Pilot and Operations Director. He said: "Being at the controls for this unique fly-past was a memorable occasion. Personally, it is great to know that the Vulcan name will live on not only in the history books, and at the new educational centre in Yorkshire, but via Aston Martin's incredible new sports car."

Following retirement the plane will form the centrepiece of the educational Vulcan Aviation Academy and Heritage Centre at her home base, Robin Hood Airport near Doncaster.

First deliveries of the track-only Aston Martin Vulcan to customers worldwide will take place before the end of 2015.

Hatchback, News

Fiat 500 to perform with Ella Eyre on stage

British singer-songwriter Ella Eyre is set to be joined on stage by the new Fiat 500.

Specially-invited guests and members of the media will see the new Fiat 500 on stage with Ella Eyre this September, as 'they' perform a specially re-mastered version of the No. 1 track "Best of My Love" by The Emotions - marking the arrival of 2015 Fiat 500 in UK showrooms. Details of just how the Fiat 500 will make its contribution to the track, and where the London location for this special event will take place, are both still under wraps.

First launched in 2007, the latest generation Fiat 500 retains the same 'look and charm' of its predecessor but with 1,800 modifications for 2015. Fiat says, like the classic pop song Ella Eyre will cover, the 500 has also been re-mastered for a new generation, with advanced technologies, refreshed interior and exterior style, better economy and efficiency and even more customisation options.

Commenting on the collaboration with the New Fiat 500, Ella Eyre said: "It's great to be working with Fiat, I loved working on the track - which I am really pleased with - and I'm looking forward to debuting it live in such a unique way."

Sebastiano Fedrigo, Head of Brand for Fiat UK said, "You don't replace an icon - you embrace it and evolve it and that's what we've done with the New Fiat 500. It has been truly re-mastered and reloaded and we wanted to mark the launch with a spectacular and memorable event and what better way than to use the car to re-master an iconic track with a sensational up-and-coming artist like Ella Eyre? We are very excited to be working with such a talented performer and to see the New Fiat 500 and Ella Eyre perform together on 2 September."

The new Fiat 500 will be in showrooms from 2 September with prices starting at £10,890 OTR.

Electric, News

Petrol stations could become extinct

British motorists could no longer have to rely on the conventional petrol station, with more than 90 per cent of electric vehicles being charged at home.

That's according to new analysis from plug-in vehicle campaign 'Go Ultra Low' who also claim that total charging volumes have almost tripled since 2014 - a 163 per cent increase - according to new usage data from infrastructure provider Chargemaster.

Coupled with bumper uptake of plug-in vehicles - more than 14,500 were registered in the first half of 2015 - the new findings point to the potential for motorists to lessen their reliance on petrol stations by opting for hassle-free electric-car ownership.

Hetal Shah, Head of Go Ultra Low suggests that motorists should consider updating their approach to car ownership: "The reasoning is simple - why should motorists have to go out of their way, regularly spending time at petrol stations, when it is easy to 'refuel' from the comfort of their own home, simply by plugging in an electric car? EV-sceptics sometimes question the usability of the UK's roadside charging infrastructure, but this new data indicates that it is an important, but not critical, facility for most electric vehicle owners."

Government subsidies of up to £700 are available for the installation of fast, efficient home-chargepoints with EV drivers also able to cut tax and fuel costs by around £800 per year versus the average car on the road, with driving costing from around 2p a mile compared to around 10-12p per mile for a typical petrol or diesel car. The savings continue to stack up as plug-in vehicles also need less maintenance and can be parked for free in many places.

Go Ultra Low also says, with the average commute in the UK less than 10 miles, the majority of plug-in car and van drivers are able to charge entirely at home or work, only occasionally using public chargepoints as a back-up or additional top-up for longer journeys.

As well as only commuting short distances, more than a third of UK motorists never travel more than 80 miles in a single trip, comfortably within the 100-mile range of most pure electric vehicles. For those who regularly need to travel further or don't have a driveway for home-charging, some plug-in hybrids can travel around 700 miles without needing to refuel.

Motorists driving beyond their car's range can make use of more than 7,500 public chargepoints in 3,000 locations nationwide. This back-up infrastructure is set to grow further with government planning to complete the installation of 500 rapid chargers in key locations, such as motorway service stations, by the end of 2015. In total, £32 million of infrastructure support is due to be implemented between now and 2020, while £8 million has been set aside for public chargepoints. Crucially, this funding also makes allowance for motorists' primary charging locations, with £15 million available for the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme.

Go Ultra Low is a campaign to help motorists understand the benefits, cost savings and capabilities of the variety of new ultra low emission vehicles on the market. The collaborative campaign is the first of its kind, bringing together a consortium of leading car manufacturers: Audi, BMW, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, Toyota, and Volkswagen alongside the Government and Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.