Sports Car, Saloon, News

Jaguar XE gets AWD and new engine option

The 2016 Jaguar XE will be available with all-wheel drive (AWD) and with a new 2.0-litre 180 PS diesel engine.

Shown at the LA Auto Show, the latest XE has been upgraded with InControl Touch Pro - Jaguar's next-generation infotainment system, as well as torque on-demand all-wheel drive, F-Type-derived Configurable Dynamics and a wider range of advanced driver assistance systems.

Available exclusively with the 180PS Ingenium, the all-wheel drive enhances vehicle dynamics and provides greater traction. Torque is only transferred to the front wheels when needed, maintaining the XE's inherent agility and rear-wheel drive character. Adaptive Surface Response (AdSR) makes the AWD system even better by changing the mapping of the powertrain and Dynamic Stability Control system according to the conditions.

Together with 'class-leading' chassis design, the combination of AWD, AdSR and the All Surface Progress Control system gives the driver greater confidence in adverse conditions.

InControl Touch Pro is designed around a tablet-style 10.2-inch touchscreen featuring highly responsive, high quality graphics. With intelligent navigation that can tell others if you're running late and a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices, the XE ensures connectivity.

Configurable Dynamics, first developed for the F-Type sports car, is now offered in the XE and enables the driver to tailor the car's character by selecting individual settings for the throttle response, transmission shifts and the Adaptive Dynamics continuously-variable damping system.

The XE also benefits from an enhanced range of assistance systems including Lane Keep Assist and Driver Condition Monitor - a feature which can detect and warn against driver fatigue. The Jag also offers the Adaptive Speed Limiter: an intelligent technology which can support the driver by increasing or decreasing vehicle speed when speed limits change.

The new Jaguar XE range will consist of XE SE, XE Prestige, XE R-Sport, XE Portfolio, XE S with prices starting at £26,990 OTR.

SUV, News

608 Bentley Bentayga 'First Editions' revealed

Bentley has debuted its Bentayga First Edition SUVs to a select group of VIP customers in LA.

The exclusive limited edition SUV is restricted to just 608 cars globally, the number marking the Bentayga's metric power output of 608 PS (600 bhp / 447kW) and 900 Nm (663 lb. ft).

The luxurious specification features exclusive detailing and unique components including Union Jack badging, illuminated treadplates and 22" black painted and polished wheels. Only ten exterior colours are offered, 'highlighting the exclusivity of the model' says Bentley.

Inside there's 'Diamond within Diamond' quilting, bespoke ambient lighting, Union Jack fascia badging, unique contrast stitching and embroidered seats.

Built in Crewe, an all-new twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre W12 engine is at the heart of the SUV. The 12-cylinder unit delivers a 0-60 mph time of 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 187 mph, making the Bentayga the world's most powerful and fastest SUV, according to Bentley.

Kevin Rose, Board Member for Sales and Marketing, Aftersales, said: "With the First Edition we have created the ultimate expression of the Bentayga's spirit. It is equipped with an array of striking features that celebrate both the pioneering nature of the Bentayga and its unique abilities."

Each of the First Edition customers will receive a unique Breitling watch to complement their new, luxury SUV. In tribute to the launch of the new Bentley, Breitling created three special-edition chronographs: the Emergency, which features an integrated dual frequency personal locator beacon; Cockpit B50 - with its electronic multifunction calibre; and the automatic Chronomat 38, which is designed for women.

These three Bentley Bentayga Edition models share several signature features: an officially chronometer-certified Breitling movement; an original design with an all-black case; a black mother-of-pearl dial; 'bronzetoned' hands matching the livery of the first Bentayga presented to the public, and a rubber strap matching certain key interior elements.

These chronographs will be available later as optional equipment for Bentayga customers.

Hybrid, News

Volkswagen Beetle Dune set for world debut in LA

Volkswagen is set to give its new Beetle Dune a World premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The crossover model, which is reminiscent of the Baja California dune buggies, features many off-road accents (although it isn't designed for off-roading), including large 18-inch wheels and a higher ride height, raised 10 millimetres.

The completely redesigned model is making its debut as both a coupe and convertible and features a large central air inlet - with a silver frame - and a black honeycomb screen. In side profile, the black wheel-well and body add-on extensions contrast with the lighter body colours. In addition, black side trim strips - or Beetle running boards - are joined by "DUNE" badging.

A large rear spoiler finished in glossy black/body colour and newly designed bumper with diffuser in "Reflex Silver" are joined by new LED rear lights. A total of nine body colours are available, including a new "Sandstorm Yellow Metallic" and "Dark Bronze Metallic." In addition, the Coupe can be ordered with the roof painted black.

All Cabriolet versions come with a black soft top while on the inside, the 'Dash Pad' (styling panel on the dashboard) is painted in body colour as is the contrasting stitching on the sport seats, leather-trimmed steering wheel and parking brake grip. In contrast, areas of the seat system, door trim panels, roof pillars and headlining are finished in black.

The Beetle Dune features the latest generation of Volkswagen infotainment systems. Voice control can be used to operate the radio, phone and access to connected media and - in the "Discover Media" system - the navigation functionality as well. Volkswagen is also offering an optional high-end sound system by guitar manufacturer Fender. The key component of this sound system is a 10 channel amplifier with Class A/B output amplifiers and 400watts of output power (as well as woofers, tweeters, subwoofer).

In Europe, the new Beetle Dune is available with three turbocharged petrol engines and two turbodiesels. The petrol engines produce 77 kW / 105 PS1, 110 kW /150 PS2 and 162 kW / 220 PS3; the diesel engines develop 81 kW / 110 PS4 and 110 kW / 150 PS5.

The VW Dune coupe will go on sale in the first quarter of 2016, while the Dune Convertible will arrive in showrooms in the third quarter of the year. Prices start at 23,625 euros (Approx. £16,500) for the Coupe and 27,800 euros (Approx. £19,500) for the Cabriolet with UK pricing yet to be confirmed.

The LA Auto Show opens to the public November 20-29, 2015.

Coupe, Concept Car, News

Modified BMW M4 Coupe revealed at SEMA

BMW has unveiled a modified BMW M4 Coupe at SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association).

Taking place in Las Vegas, BMW revealed a selection of sports-oriented BMW M Performance Parts at the customisation and sports tuning show. The M4 Coupe's 'motor racing style appearance' has been further enhanced with the M Performance aerodynamic components. The front inserts in high-end carbon fibre (CFRP) and the M Performance front trim grille in high-gloss black give the face of the M4 Coupe an even more striking expression. The lateral M Performance side sill attachments made of polyurethane (PUR) with the new "M Performance" inscription are joined by exterior mirror caps in carbon fibre finish, side gills in high-gloss black and BMW racing stripes for a 'dynamic side view'.

At the rear there is a carbon fibre diffuser with three 'strikingly shaped' bars derived from motorsports and a newly designed BMW M Performance through-flow carbon fibre rear spoiler. The new "M Performance" inscription on the lateral end plates of the rear spoiler as well as the motorsports stripes on the spoiler constitute add further sporty touches.

All M Performance aerodynamic components are harmonised with the car's airflow response, says BMW so they ensure optimised aerodynamic performance. The adjustable M Performance coilover suspension likewise enhances sporty driving pleasure. The lowered suspension 'intensifies' the sporty look of the M4 Coupe as well as a more dynamic ride feel.

The inline 6-cylinder with M TwinPower Turbo Technology remains the same, offering an output of 425hp. Fitted with an M twin-clutch transmission, the exhibition car at SEMA accelerates to 60mph in 4.1 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 155mph. A lightweight exhaust system comprises a stainless steel exhaust duct with a rear silencer made entirely of titanium and bearing the "M Performance" inscription. Tailpipe trim elements made of carbon fibre with M logo add another visual highlight.

The SEMA show runs until November 6.

Convertible, Sports Car, News

Mazda MX-5 concepts revealed at SEMA

Mazda has pulled the covers off two MX-5 concepts at the The Specialty Equipment Market Association show (SEMA).

The two concepts, the MX-5 Spyder and MX-5 Speedster have shaved off more weight while accentuating open-air driving.

The MX-5 Spyder features a 'bikini top', Mercury Silver exterior, carbon fibre aero kit, grille intake, lightweight 17-inch Yokohama ADVAN Racing RS II wheels and a Spinneybeck PRIMA natural full-grain leather interior. The MX-5 Speedster, meanwhile, pares the roadster back to the bare essentials - it even has a deflector in place of the windscreen. With carbon fibre doors and seats as well as custom 16-inch RAYS 57 Extreme Gram Lights wheels resultsin the Speedster tipping the scales at 943kg. It is also 30mm lower than the production MX-5 thanks to an adjustable coilover suspension. Both are powered by Mazda's SKYACTIV-G 2.0 DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder with VVT.

"Both MX-5 Spyder and MX-5 Speedster are uncompromising designs that highlight the core strengths of MX-5," said Ken Saward, design manager at Mazda North American Operations. He and his colleagues at Mazda collaborated with various aftermarket parts suppliers and performance shops to create the two concepts. "With the all-new 2016 MX-5, we have a clean sheet to show how the aftermarket can go wild on our flagship sports car while staying true to its mission."

The SEMA Show in Las Vegas runs until the 6th November.

Hybrid, Sports Car, News, Electric, Concept Car

Rinspeed reveals new driverless Etos concept car

Rinspeed has revealed plans to show a new driverless Etos concept car, at the CES Consumer Electronic Show 2016 in Las Vegas 2016.

The hybrid sports car features a personal autopilot and drone on board. Frank M. Rinderknecht, the boss of Rinspeed said: "The major and especially the disruptive innovations in future automotive engineering will come from the digital realm. That is why all major manufacturers and suppliers are now present at the CES Consumer Electronic Show."

The Swiss company's approached to the topic of 'driverless cars' is largely from the point of view of drivers and passengers, and has generated a number of ideas including an 'intuitive, adaptive autopilot capable of learning'.

The new concept's interior adapts to the particular driving situation 'as if by magic' according to Rinspeed: In autonomous mode, the steering wheel folds up and retracts completely into the dashboard. The two curved widescreens individually move closer to the occupants to provide a better view.

To provide the passengers with a unique infotainment experience, the Etos uses Harman Connected Car technologies. Like a personal assistant, the system operates in a thinking, courteous and anticipatory manner. In addition, it delivers entertainment, connectivity and maximum safety.

The sporty hybrid is also fitted with its own drone that has its a landing pad on the rear end. The Swiss firm says the drone 'could fetch a bouquet of flowers the driver ordered online and even deliver it directly to the lucky recipient. It could also take a video of the wild ride on your favourite road and stream it live to friends'.

The 22nd concept vehicle designed in-house at the brands "innovation lab" also includes innovative surface finishes that are still completely alien to car designers, asking CES visitors to 'touch it, feel it - it's magic!'.

The CES Consumer Electronic Show Las Vegas runs from 6-9 January 2016.