41 years after the debut of the Golf GTI, Volkswagen has revealed a compact, sporty car in the spirit of the original hot hatch. The special ‘up! GTI’ concept was previewed ahead of its public unveiling at the annual Lake Wörthersee GTI Meet for VW fans, boasting similar performance figures to the 1976 Golf with 0-62mph taking 8.8 seconds and a top speed of 122mph. Finished with GTI badging and trim, the turbocharged up! runs on 17-inch alloys and sits 15mm lower than the standard car. The Lake Wörthersee meet takes place from the 24 to 27 May.
More than 60 years after the original Lister Knobbly first raced, a dedicated road-going version has been unveiled. Just 10 of the special Knobblys will be made, with notable changes for the road including roll over protection, indicators, the addition of number plates and a sunken fuel filler cap. Beneath its hand-beaten aluminium body is a Jaguar 3.8-litre engine almost identical to that in the D-Type. Despite the ‘old school’ technology the engine is still capable of 330bhp – for a top speed of 181mph and a 0-60 time of 4.3 seconds. Prices start at £225,000 OTR.
A development version of the all-new Honda Civic Type R has set a new lap record for front-wheel drive cars at the Nürburgring. The 2017 model, which is 16kg lighter than its predecessor, set the new benchmark of 7 minutes 43.8 seconds on its final phase of testing. New lower gear ratios boost acceleration from the 320 PS, 2-litre turbo engine, while optimised aerodynamics and wider tyres help the hot-hatch achieve higher cornering speeds. Production of the new Civic Type R will begin this summer.
Aston Martin’s bespoke ‘Q’ department has built 10 examples of a new Red Arrows inspired Vanquish S. Finished in the same colour as the famous Hawk jets, each car has a white 'smoke trail' feature on the side, titanium exhaust pipes and onboard aviation-inspired instrumentation and switchgear. An exposed carbon fibre roof panel features a ‘charge' pattern mimicking the canopy design of the iconic fighter jet. Strictly limited to just nine examples, the 10th car is being gifted to the RAF’s own Benevolent fund.
Jaguar Classic has revealed the first ‘Reborn’ E-type to leave its new purpose-built facility in Coventry. Each restoration starts with a base vehicle sourced by Jaguar before being completely stripped and rebuilt, with unique access to original build records and drawings. The donor vehicle here was originally exported to California in1965, where it amassed 78,000 miles before going into storage in 1983. As much of the original vehicle is retained or refurbished using authentic parts where needed. Prices for a Jaguar E-type Reborn start at £285k.
McLaren has confirmed pricing for its new 720S will start at just over £208k OTR. The latest model from the Super Series was official unveiled in Geneva, and is lighter and faster than its 650S predecessor. A new twin-turbocharged V8 pumps out 720PS - hence the model’s name - for a 0-62mph time of under 3 seconds, taking just 5 seconds to hit 124mph on its way to a maximum speed of 212mph. Available in three trim grades, the new McLaren 720S is on sale now.
The new Lamborghini Huracán Performante has broken the Nürburgring’s lap record for a production car, with a time of 6:52.01. New lightweight technologies reduce the Performante’s weight by 40kg while active aerodynamics combine with a revised chassis set-up and a further improved, 640 bhp powertrain for a 0-62mph time of 2.9 seconds and a top speed of over 200mph. The most powerful V10 Lamborghini to date will cost just over £173k when it goes on sale in the Summer.
Porsche has reveals its new 911 GT3 in Geneva. The German brand says the road car’s 500 horse power, 4-litre engine is virtually identical to the one in the 911 GT3 Cup race car and - with the six-speed sports manual gearbox - it sprints to 62mph in 3.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 198 mph. The new two-seater sits 25 mm lower than the 911 Carrera S while improved aerodynamics such as the large carbon fibre rear wing ensure it stays on the black stuff. The new Porsche 911 GT3 is on sale now priced at just under £112K in the road.
Hyundai’s first high-performance model - the i30 'N' - is being put through extreme winter testing in Sweden. World Rally Championship driver Thierry Neuville got behind the wheel, powersliding through snow and ice over a frozen lake to get a feel for the new car’s performance and handling. Reporting back to the engineers, the aim is to fine tune the Electronic Stability Control, Limited Slip Differential, steering, suspension and tyres. The Hyundai i30 N is set to hit showrooms later this year.
The Geneva Motor Show has seen the covers come off the most powerful production Ferrari ever - the aptly-named 812 Superfast. Power comes from a 6.5-litre V12 engine, pumping out a hefty 800 PS - 60 more than the F12berlinetta - for a sub 3-second 0-62mph time and a top speed of 211mph. The 812 Superfast is described as having near-perfect aerodynamics and is also the first Ferrari to feature Electric Power Steering. The asking price is expected to be in the region of a quarter of a million pounds.
A new McLaren Super Series model has been teased in heavily camouflaged guise. Set to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, the second-generation car is said to offer ‘phenomenal stopping performance’ thanks to its standard-fit carbon-ceramic discs and bespoke Pirelli tyres. The new supercar can sprint to 124mph in 7.8 seconds - then brake to a standstill in just 4.6 seconds and 117 metres - second only at McLaren to the the P1.
Celebrating Aston Martin’s recent partnership with Red Bull Racing, the British brand has revealed special edition V8 and V12 Vantage S models. Finished in the F1 team’s Mariana Blue, and inspired by the race car’s livery, carbon fibre detailing includes a front splitter and rear diffuser. On the inside, embroidered headrests and a 12 o’clock steering-wheel stripe add to the sporty interior. The special edition models are finished with a signature from F1 drivers Daniel Ricciardo or Max Verstappen on a commemorative sill plaque.
The Audi RS 3 is being reintroduced in five-door, Sportback guise. Powered by a 400PS TFSI engine, 0-62mph takes 4.1-seconds and - with the optional dynamic package plus - the de-restricted top speed is 174mph. The RS 3 is 25mm lower than a regular A3, and has flared front arches to accommodate a wider front track and the standard fit 19-inch alloys. At the rear there’s an elongated RS roof spoiler, a rear diffuser and an RS exhaust system with large oval tailpipes.
A new range-topping BMW M Performance 7 Series has been revealed. The flagship M760Li xDrive is powered by a 6.6-litre engine, pumping out 610 bhp for a 0-62mph time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 189mph, with the optional M Driver’s Package. The standard-fit eight-speed Sport transmission has been specially adapted for sportier gear changes, while an M aerodynamic package with larger air intakes at the front is joined by exclusive 20-inch light-alloy wheels and M sports exhaust system with flap control, for a ‘rich V12 soundtrack’.
Mercedes-AMG has unleashed the fastest estate car in its segment - the E 63 S 4MATIC+. Powered by a 612 bhp 4.0‑litre V8, the all-wheel drive sports wagon sprints from 0-62mph in just 3.5 seconds, yet at the same time the engine is now more efficient thanks to a cylinder deactivation system fitted as standard. New design details include a sporty front end with a coupé-like bonnet, wider arches and large AMG alloys. The new Mercedes-AMG E 63 S will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
Lamborghini’s latest Aventador S has made its dynamic debut in Valencia. A select group of International journalists took the new Lambo around the Ricardo Tormo circuit, as well as on the surrounding roads. Powered by a V12, 6.5-litre engine - with an extra 40 bhp over its predecessor for a total of 740 brake horse power, the Aventador S will accelerate from 0-62 in just 2.9 seconds on to a top speed of 217mph.
The current Ford Mustang achieved a lowly two-star rating for overall safety in a series of recent crash tests carried out by Euro NCAP. There are concerns about its crash protection for adult and child occupants with a ‘worrying lack’ of safety equipment commonly available on the European market. Euro NCAP says the driver and passenger airbags inflated insufficiently and noted that the European Mustang does not have the US-spec Forward Collision Warning system. Ford has confirmed its forthcoming facelifted Mustang will feature upgraded safety kit as standard.
Following on from its World debut in Detroit, Kia’s new high-performance sports saloon – the Stinger - has been revealed in European spec. The fastest production Kia to date features a long bonnet, short overhangs and a fastback roofline. The rear-wheel-drive five-seater is powered by a choice of two petrol engines or a diesel - all turbocharged - mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Kia says it’s targeting a 0-62 mph time of 5.1 seconds and a top speed of 167 mph. The new Stinger is set to arrive in Europe later this year.
Ford has facelifted its Mustang for 2017. A lower, re-modeled bonnet and grille deliver a leaner look and refined aerodynamics, while LED lighting has been added front and rear. Under the skin new suspension brings increased lateral stiffness with sharper response and handling, while a new 10-speed automatic transmission is also available. The 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine has been recalibrate while the 5.0-litre V8 has been thoroughly reworked, says Ford, and is more powerful than ever. The facelifted Ford Mustang isn't expected in the UK until 2018.
Jaguar has revamped its F-Type for 2017, with more driver-focused technology, new front bumpers and full LED headlights. An exclusive 400 SPORT launch edition is available for one model year only, powered by a new 400PS version of the 3.0-litre supercharged V6 engine. The special edition features an uprated chassis and braking system, 20-inch alloys and a unique Dark Satin Grey finish. The new Jaguar F-Type starts from £51,450 OTR while the 400 SPORT launch edition is priced at just over £70k.