Audi TTS Coupe 2018 review

Pretty good, in that fuss-free, fault-free, drama-free fast Audi way. Test location for the TTS drive was the Isle of Man, including a memorable drive on the Mountain section closed to other traffic; this played to the car’s strengths extremely well.

For travelling very fast on an unknown, very challenging bit of road without intimidating the driver, it’s hard to think of anything much better than a 300hp TT. Corners with 40mph speed suggestions are tackled comfortably at twice that, second gear hairpins are dispatched without any hint of traction loss and fifth-gear direction changes are shrugged off easily. Read More

JE Motorworks converts Land Rover Defender to Ford Ecoboost power

Coventry engineering company JE Motorworks is offering a Ford 2.3 Ecoboost engine conversion for the original Land Rover Defender, promising enhanced performance with lowered emissions.

The West Midlands company, which has produced reimagined versions of the Defender such as the V8-powered Zulu2, first revealed to Autocar that it was working on an Ecoboost conversion in June last year. The firm has now completed a shakedown with a development car and is taking orders from customers. Read More

Mazda 6 2.5 GT Sport Nav+ 2018 UK review

Inside it’s surprisingly plush. The 2.5 is available only in a new trim level known as GT Sport Nav+, which adds a 7in TFT screen to the instrument binnacle, Nappa leather for the seats and wood trim apparently ‘modelled on the pillars of ancient Japanese temples’. Mazda has also tried to exaggerate the width of the cabin, not least by extending the air vents into the door trim and making the ventilation panel wider and slimmer. No longer does it feel as though you’re stepping into a lowered CX-5. Read More

2019 Audi RS Q8: new pictures of 670bhp hybrid V8 SUV

The most powerful series-production Audi yet will take the form of a large SUV when it is launched next year as the RS Q8.

Caught on camera during development testing at the Nürburgring, Audi Sport’s future Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 rival, which is clearly influenced in design by the RS Q8 concept of 2017, will inherit the twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine and accompanying electric motor of the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid from Volkswagen Group stablemate Porsche. Read More

How to break the Nurburgring lap record

With one minute to go, there was silence around the timing screen. Cameras were primed but voices were hushed. Andreas Seidl, head of Porsche’s racing department, just stood watching with a nervous smile.

And then we heard it, long before it came into sight. This was no multi-cylindered symphony of some automotive work of art, but the flat blast of a rather small four-cylinder engine working in unholy alliance with all manner of hybrid electric trickery. But, my goodness, it was fit for purpose. Read More

2018 Audi TT facelift leaks online

Leaked images of the updated Audi TT have surfaced online, showing the mild design changes to expect on the facelifted two-door.

Pictures posted on Instagram show that the TTS will get more aggressive styling with an enlarged front splitter and diffuser. Prior to the leak, TT development cars had been seen at the Nürburgring (see gallery) showed that lower variants are also due similar enhancements. Read More

James Ruppert: how to avoid odometer fraud

Clocking: that’s what it used to be called in the old days.

I suppose the term implied that it was being carried out by a loveable Arthur Daley character, when in fact it should have more accurately been describe as mileage fraud.

Whatever we call it these days, there is evidence that the practise is as prevalent as ever, despite our cars containing more advanced technology. According to Carly Connected Car, which deals in mobile car electronics, at least 18% of all vehicles in London are displaying an incorrect mileage. That’s 3% above the national average and equates to almost five million vehicles in total. The capital, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds are the top four UK regions for mileage fraud. Read More

2018 Mazda 6 on sale this month from £23,195

The first examples of the latest Mazda 6 saloon and Tourer models will arrive in Britain from 20 July, with prices for the refreshed pair starting at £23,195 and £24,095 respectively.

Those prices are for cars equipped with Mazda’s 143bhp 2.0-litre naturally aspirated Skyactiv-G petrol unit. The unit is also availalbe in 163bhp guise from £25,995 for the saloon, while a top-of-the-range 2.5-litre Skyactiv-G petrol, offered in Britain for the first time, provides 191bhp and costs from £30,795. The range-topping engine is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox as standard (manual is standard with the other engines) and features cylinder deactivation technology. Read More

Porsche Taycan: orders for brand's first EV already building

Customers have begun ordering the Porsche Taycan, the firm’s first all-electric vehicle, despite the production version of the car not even being revealed yet, UK managing director Alexander Pollich has said.

Order books opened earlier this month, with Pollich confirming that customers were keen to reserve early cars despite the car only being revealed as a concept – called Mission E. He did not confirm order numbers, however. The production car is expected to be revealed for the first time in 2019, ahead of hitting roads in 2020. Read More

V8 Ares Land Rover Defender deliveries commence

Deliveries of bespoke Land Rover Defenders created by a Modena-based Ares Design have commenced, leading the company’s CEO Dany Bahar to declare that the “ultimate Defender” is now here.

“The Defender is a motoring icon,” said Bahar, a former Formula 1 senior manager and Lotus boss. “Icons can be reimagined, though, and our Defender is the ultimate incarnation of the bespoke 4×4, delivering incredible performance, captivating looks and opulent touches more akin to a luxury SUV.” Read More

Suzuki Swift Sport long-term review

Why we’re running it: To find out if the new, turbocharged Swift Sport still offers good, simple hot hatch fun that can compete with the best in class

Month 2 – Month 1 – Specs

Life with a Suzuki Swift Sport: Month 2

Not quite range anxiety, but the Swift lacks fuel capacity – 13th June 2018

As with standard versions, the Swift Sport has a 37-litre fuel tank – but it seems smaller. The regular Swift’s mild-hybrid-boosted engines give you a decent fuel range, but the bigger, 1.4-litre turbo in the Swift Sport requires frequent fill-ups. Thankfully, though, the 300 or so miles of driving you get between stops are proving very enjoyable. Read More

Maserati Levante gains 345bhp petrol V6 engine

Maserati has introduced a 345bhp version of its V6 engine to the Levante range to produce a new entry-level petrol model, which slots in beneath the Levante S and starts from £61,425.

Output of the new 3.0-litre six-pot, which has also been introduced to the Quattroporte variant, is 79bhp less than the V6 in the Levante S. But it offers better fuel economy, with a claimed 24.4mpg versus the 23.9mpg in the more powerful model, while CO2 output is rated at 268-270g/km. Read More

What it's like to drive an Alfa Romeo GTAm at Goodwood

The vinyl-wrapped bucket seat hugs your hips but stops at your shoulders. The veneer dashboard ahead has retained its original chrome buttons, but the rev counter has been rotated 90deg clockwise. There’s a roll cage that encircles the interior, but there’s also an ashtray to your right with evidence of recent use on the central tunnel. Yes, this is a proper vintage Italian racer. Read More

Interview: Romain Dumas on Pikes Peak and Goodwood

The Volkswagen ID R Pikes Peak was designed to showcase the capabilities of electric technology and prove that it could match combustion-engined machines — and the anticipation that greeted its appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed suggests it has done just that.

After Romain Dumas blitzed the outright record on the 12.42-mile Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with the 671bhp electric challenger, there was speculation that he could eclipse Nick Heidfeld’s 19-year-old Goodwood hill record of 41.6sec.  Read More

Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer long-term review

Why we’re running it: To discover if Vauxhall’s flagship offers an unbeatable mix of practicality, value and executive comfort in estate form

Month 5 – Month 4 – Month 3 – Month 2 – Month 1 – Specs

Life with the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer: Month 5

I know where I’d rather be – 13th June 2018

You won’t believe me, but for the 177 miles from Shrewsbury to home, I wished I was in our Insignia Sports Tourer instead of the Lamborghini Huracán Performante Spyder. True, the previous leg from Snowdonia to Greggs in Bayston Hill was one of the best drives of my life. But there’s a lot to be said for the Vauxhall’s lumbar support versus a carbonfibre bucket in Friday night’s M40 chaos. Read More

Transport experts call for tougher rules to slow petrol and diesel sales

Stricter action to slow the sale of new combustion-engined cars will be needed if the government is to hit its target for zero-emissions transport by 2040, a conference was told last week.

“Consumers do not have responsibility for this problem; we can’t expect them to have the solution,” said Jillian Anable, professor of transport and energy at the University of Leeds, at the annual LowCVP conference in London. “It is only policy that has led to [OEM] product policy. Why should the consumer be expected to lead the change?” Read More

Ford Fiesta ST 2018 UK review

There’s no point stringing this out: on British roads, this car is sensationally good fun with just a couple of small caveats.

It starts with the basics. The pedals are well positioned not only for general comfort but also for heel-and-toe shifts. The standard Recaro bucket seats — and it seems amazing to even say this, given Ford’s track record with ergonomics — are positioned adequately low and offer generous support not only for the hips and waist but also the shoulders. You’re left in no doubt that this car is intended to be flung down B-roads, and although they’re trimmed with leather in top-spec ST-3 cars, you might actually prefer the pared-back cloth of the entry-level ST-1 model. The shape is the same either way. Read More

Aston Martin Volante Vision Concept previews 2020 autonomous flying craft

Aston Martin is seeking to enter the private flying vehicle race with an autonomous electrified aircraft — previewed by the Volante Vision Concept — that could take to skies in 2020.

Produced in collaboration with Cranfield Universtiy, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions and Rolls-Royce, the luxury three-seat craft can take off vertically thanks to a set of rotor blades that can alter their angle. Read More

Volkswagen ID R goes fastest in Goodwood Timed Shootout

Fresh from its victory at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the Volkswagen ID R electric racer took the overall win at the Goodwood Festival of Speed Timed Shootout on Sunday afternoon.

With a winning time of 43.86 seconds up the Goodwood estate’s 1.1 mile course it took a new electric car record too. Romain Dumas, the multiple Le Mans 24h winner who was in the car when it recently broke the Pikes Peak course record was at the wheel of the 671bhp machine. Read More

Porsche 911 Speedster set for 2019 launch

The Porsche 911 Speedster concept car is expected to receive the green-light for production within weeks. The car is on display at the Goodwood motor show, the central theme of which is Porsche’s 70th anniversary. 

Although the Stuttgart company has stopped short of confirming the 911 Speedster will be built, it describes the concept as a “potential series-production version”. Prototypes have already been spotted testing in Germany. Read More

Hyundai Nexo 2019 review

So the Nexo is a purpose-built fuel cell car. Hyundai quotes a 414-mile range (on the more stringent WLTP cycle) and says those tanks can be fully replenished in five minutes, little longer than it takes to refuel a conventional car.

The point of all of this, of course, is that you have the range and flexibility of a petrol or diesel car, but nothing more harmful than water comes out of the tailpipe. Read More

Eadon Green Zeclat shown at Goodwood with 454bhp

Yorkshire car company Eadon Green has shown its Zeclat sports model at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The car is powered by a LT1 6.2-litre V8 engine, sourced from Chevrolet, and offers 454bhp with 465lb ft of torque. The claimed 0-60mph time is 3.6sec.

The Zeclat’s curvaceous exterior takes influence from the Art Deco design of the 1930s. The body panels are made of carbonfibre and sit on a chassis made of panelled carbon-nano composite (a new alternative to carbonfibre). Read More

Eadon Green Zeclat shown at Goodwood

Yorkshire car company Eadon Green has shown its Zeclat sports model at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The car is powered by a LT1 6.2-litre V8 engine, sourced from Chevrolet, and offers 454bhp with 465lb ft of torque. The claimed 0-60mph time is 3.6sec.

The Zeclat’s curvaceous exterior takes influence from the Art Deco design of the 1930s. The body panels are made of carbonfibre and sit on a chassis made of panelled carbon-nano composite (a new alternative to carbonfibre). Read More

630bhp Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door Coupe makes UK debut

Mercedes-AMG’s new GT 4-door Coupé has made its UK debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it has demonstrated its 630bhp performance on the famous hillclimb.

The car will go on sale in Britain from September, at which time a launch variant called Edition 1 will be offered for 12 months only. This short-lived top model will use the same 630bhp twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine as the top-of-the-line GT63 S 4Matic+. It is capable of propelling the car to 62mph from rest in just 3.2sec and on to a top speed of 196mph. Read More

Nio EP9 electric supercar demonstrated at Goodwood

The NextEV Nio EP9 electric supercar has taken to the Goodwood Festival of Speed hillclimb to demonstrate what its 1360bhp powertrain can do.

Despite coming from a Chinese company, the model has many ties to Britain, with British engineering expertise being instrumental in putting the car into limited production. NextEV’s team of engineers are located in Begbroke, Oxfordshire, where the two-seater was designed and built using knowledge and some components from NextEv’s Formula E racer. Read More

Goodwood 2018: Bentley Bentayga Pikes Peak record run car shown

The Bentley Bentayga which completed the Pikes Peak hillclimb in 10min 49.9sec with two-time Pikes Peak champion Rhys Millen behind the wheel, has been shown in action in another hillclimb event – taking to the far less challenging Goodwood hillclimb at this year’s Festival of Speed.

Bentley also announced that it will offer W12 versions of its luxury SUV with bespoke features inspired by the almost standard, record-breaking car. 10 special-edition versions of the Bentayga will be produced, to celebrate its record time for a production SUV at the weekend’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Read More

Limited-run Aston Martin V12 Vantage V600 tackles Goodwood hillclimb

Aston Martin is creating a run of 14 V12 Vantage V600s that are influenced by the original 1999 V600 Le Mans, which was the world’s most powerful car in production at the time. The brand has showcased the car in action at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Produced in seven coupé and seven convertible examples by Aston’s Q commission department, the new cars are based on the previous-generation VH-based Vantage and use a 592bhp version of Aston’s naturally aspirated 5.9-litre V12. The first car was commissioned by a single buyer, who then agreed to let Aston build a small run for the model. Read More

Hardcore Aston Martin Rapide AMR climbs Goodwood hill with 595bhp V12

The hardcore Aston Martin Rapide AMR, which has taken to the Goodwood hillclimb, will be the last hurrah for the four-door saloon before it goes off sale in 2020.

It is the second model this year from Aston’s burgeoning AMR performance sub-brand; the DB11 AMR was unveiled last month.

The £194,950 Rapide AMR — costing £45,450 more than the standard Rapide S — closely echoes the concept shown at the Geneva motor show in 2017, with a front grille reminiscent of the track-only Vantage AMR Pro and circular daytime running lights similar to recent Zagato models. Read More

Tesla Model 3 makes European debut at Goodwood

The Tesla Model 3 has made its European debut at next week’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, which is taking place close to exactly one year before production of right-hand-drive versions is due to start.

The car displayed on the Duke of Richmond’s front lawn is of US specification and will remain a static display, meaning it won’t be driven up the famous hillclimb. But it will provide people in the UK and Europe with their first chance to get up close to the new electric car. Read More

Goodwood 2018: Alpine A110 Pure and Legende take to the hill climb

Alpine has shown the lightest version of its A110 sports car, the Pure, and the higher-spec Légende at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, following their debuts at the Geneva motor show.

The Pure is priced from £46,905, while the Légende is priced from £50,805, meaning both sit in the price gap between the 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre versions of the Porsche 718 Cayman, which top out at £45,467 and start at £52,738 respectively.  Read More

Alpine A110: GT4 and Cup cars shown at Goodwood

Alpine has shown its two racing versions of its A110 sports car, including a GT4 variant eligible to compete in the British GT Championship, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The Alpine A110 GT4 (pictured, top) can race in any series that allows cars conforming to the FIA GT4 rulebook, the lowest level of the GT classes. That means it can race in British GT, but not at the Le Mans 24 Hours. The GT4 variant joins the previously revealed A110 Cup, which will be used for a one-make Alpine Europa Cup. Read More

Volkswagen Arteon Elegance 1.5 EVO 2018 UK review

Largely on a par with the entry-level diesel Arteon, which is similarly turbocharged and produces the same amount of power from its 2.0 TDI engine. That power is delivered much more smoothly here, though, and with less noise than the diesel.

Things aren’t whisper quiet, with some slight chatter at idle and a small but noticeable drone once you reach cruising speed on a motorway. Even so, it’s definitely more refined than the oil-burning alternative. Wind and road noise haven’t ever been major concerns for the Arteon, so you can comfortably eat up long distances without needing earplugs. Read More

Honda CR-V 2018 review

There’s nothing particularly remarkable or exciting about the way the CR-V goes down the road, but don’t mistake that as it being incompetent.

It’s ride, for instance, is comfortable and generally compliant, ironing out what few lumps and bumps there were on our Austrian test route with apparent ease. This doesn’t come at the expense of lateral or vertical body control, either; through sharper bends the Honda remains relatively flat, while undulations don’t bring about nausea-inducing bouncing either. The steering, meanwhile, is by no means communicative, but is nicely weighted and lets you direct the CR-V’s front end with confidence. Read More

Jaguar XE 300 Sport 2018 UK review

What is it?

At first sight the new 2019-model-year Jaguar XE 300 Sport, the model’s new performance flagship, looks a lot like the XEs we’ve been seeing on UK roads these past three and a bit years, only quite a bit cooler.

The sleek, compact outline is familiar but there are attractive new side-sills in a tasteful semi-matt grey also used for the grille surround, the side vents, the exterior mirror caps and the rear valance, giving the car an unshowy but very businesslike appearance. The wheels are grey, too: 19-inchers as standard but optional 20s on our test car. Get closer and you’ll spot bright new ‘300 Sport’ badges on grille and bootlid. Read More

BMW i8 coupe 2018 UK review

Don’t let the combination of three-cylinder engine and electric motor fool you into thinking the i8 Coupé is a slouch off the line. Working together, they’ll see the £112,730 sports car hit 62mph from a standstill in just 4.4sec — plenty quick enough to give a Porsche 911 Carrera S something to think about. The instant availability of the electric motor’s torque lends the i8 impressive urgency under throttle, too, making up for any tardiness potentially experienced on the petrol engine’s behalf. This is particularly handy when overtaking or out on the motorway. Read More

Steve Cropley: celebrating 70 years of Land Rover on the Goodwood hill

Land Rover kept this year’s 70th anniversary celebrations going hot and strong with a parade of 70 vehicles, driven mostly in age order, on the Goodwood Festival of Speed hillclimb.

This was a slow one: a line of that many Landies, we now know, stretches more than half a mile.

The field was led away by long-time Land Rover enthusiast and expert Phil Bashall, the man behind the fabulous Dunsfold Collection. He drove a near-period recreation of the company’s original centre-steer prototype, an eclectic mix of Jeep, Rover car and rudimentary one-off bits. Why the central driving position? Because even back in the late 1940s the Rover car company’s owners, the Wilks brothers, had their eye on global sales, and saw this as the perfect way to avoid having to make separate left and right-hand-drive cars. Read More

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