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Range Rover Velar review: the 375bhp ‘First Edition’

I really want one of these Velars. 

So do a lot of people, it seems. Few cars that don’t have big wings or silly doors attract as much attention as the Range Rover Velar.

People point at it and talk to you about it. They ask you if it’s any good, because their hairdresser’s wife’s sister’s husband’s best friend is thinking about putting his name down and can’t decide whether or not he wants the contrast roof. It gets a bit annoying. 

It figures.

Well, there’s no denying Land Rover’s made a hugely desirable car. It’s supposed to plug the gap between the Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque (and feels closer to the former than the latter), which in practical terms means it’s bigger than a BMW X4, but not as big as an X6.

Its underpinnings are shared with the Jaguar F-Pace, but the Velar is longer, narrower and, because it’s a Land Rover, better off-road. Which is great, even though we bet it’s just a tiny fraction of potential owners who’ll give a damn. 

How about on the road? 

This is our first time trying a Velar in the UK, and indeed our first time in the range-topping ‘First Edition’, with its 3.0-litre supercharged V6 making 380bhp. And it drives, well… like a Range Rover. 

Don’t think the fact it shares a platform with one of the best-driving small SUVs means it’s especially engaging – because it isn’t. You still need the F-Pace, or better yet, a Porsche Macan, if you want to have any real fun driving your crossover. 


Not really. The Velar’s still pretty good. It’s a Range Rover, and they’re not for going fast (though we’ve no doubt there’ll be an SVR before long). Even with the F-Type’s big 375bhp V6 on board, you never feel compelled to drive it especially quickly. It doesn’t fall to pieces if you do, but the Velar is best enjoyed a long way south of maximum commitment. 

The steering is well-weighted and precise enough to make placing its near two-metre girth straightforward and stress-free, the eight-speed automatic gearbox is smooth and unobtrusive and the air-sprung ride of our test car coped pretty well with most everything Britain could throw at it – even on those chintzy 22in wheels. It’s a refined and relaxing drive rather than an engaging or thrilling one, and that’s just fine. 

As for the engine – we’d stick with the diesel. The petrol is faster outright (5.3sec to 62mph and 155mph top speed), but it doesn’t half drink (30.1mpg claimed, expect mid 20s) and in this application isn’t particularly rewarding. A lusty, un-stressed six-cylinder diesel is more at home here. That tops 44mpg and is a couple of grand cheaper in First Edition spec than this petrol.

That interior is something else…

Isn’t it? And it actually works too. I mean, I’d still rather have actual buttons for my climate controls and radio presets, but Land Rover’s implementation of the Velar’s two touchscreens – one where you’d normally find it, the other lower down, where the climate controls normally sit – is pretty good. I was a doubter, but I didn’t have nearly as many accidents as I thought I would trying to change radio stations or switch drive modes. It’s still not quite as intuitive or a slick in its responses as it could be, but Land Rover is certainly making progress. For a full run-down of the interior tech, head over to our full review. 

Because our test car was a ‘First Edition’ it had every conceivable bell and whistle. Its RRP was £86,175 – and that’s an outrageous sum for a car of this size and type. Ten minutes spent on Land Rover’s online configurator reveals you can get a sensibly specified ‘proper’ Range Rover for that. 

But a proper Rangie is nowhere near as stylish. 

Exactly. Something is worth what people are prepared to pay for it, and we’ve no doubt Land Rover will have no trouble whatsoever finding people willing to spend circa-£90k on its ‘mid-range’ model.

But if you’re buying on substance as well as style, our money would go on the V6 diesel. The supercharged V6 petrol will sell well overseas but a more torquey, lower-revving diesel better suits the Velar’s character. As for money, we’d dodge the First Edition – you can get a V6 diesel with all the kit you want/need (the twin-screen infotainment is standard, so are the pop-out door handles) for a price that begins with a six.

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Project CARS 2

Project CARS 2 is really the best kind of racing game sequel: one that’s improved so meaningfully it’s hard to go back to the previous instalment. The handling is utterly remarkable on a wheel or a pad, the expanded track selection is unmatched and boasts dynamic time and weather on every one, the much-improved car selection hits a whole host of fan-favourite beats, and the sound is seriously stunning. For solo players there’s an absolute ocean of content, and the multiplayer suite seems well-poised to pick up where the original Project CARS left off – while adding a pile of esports-friendly set-up options and broadcast-style flourishes to boot.

I enjoyed the first Project CARS, and I liked the way the touring and GT cars felt in particular, but not everyone agreed. A lot of that is due to the fact that the grip admittedly dropped off a cliff the second you broke traction, and it required a fair amount of finessing to hone the handling to a gamepad. Plenty of people rapidly retreated from the original Project CARS for precisely this reason.

Regardless of what camp your tent is pitched in – whether you dug it or you didn’t – my message is simple: come back.

Project CARS 2’s new handling model is a tour de force.

Project CARS 2’s new handling model is a tour de force. On a wheel it’s brilliant, from the feeling of being able to step the rear end out – and still save your car from what previously would’ve been a certain, uncontrolled slide – to the feel of the steering sharpening as your tyres come up to temperature, allowing you to really cut into corners and gobble up apexes. The sensation of grip is terrific but so is the feel of it going away, which is way, way more linear and realistic.

On a gamepad, though? It’s simply a different game to the first altogether. It’s just so much better. I haven’t even touched any settings; straight out of the box Project CARS 2 feels manageable and planted. It’s a fraction more numb on turn-in compared to the 1:1 directness you get on a wheel but the twitchiness of the first game is just gone. You don’t need a wheel to enjoy this deep, nuanced handling model; there’s a satisfying, challenging, and most of all manageable racing experience to be had here, regardless of your control method.

There are plenty of settings you can massage if you wish, though (and what they do to your controller’s response and feel is way more clearly explained than it ever was in the more obtuse series of settings available in the first Project CARS). It seems like part of a wider, more accessible philosophy everywhere, from the less frantic menu layout, to the calm and informative VO from handling consultant and former Top Gear Stig Ben Collins eloquently explaining each and every aspect of the game as you encounter it. Project CARS 2 is a tremendously deep destination for racing diehards but it doesn’t want to outright intimidate people. There’s even a built-in race engineer that will suggest tuning changes based on the feedback you give it. It doesn’t replace the ability to set your car up manually but it is handy for Cole Trickle-types who need a Harry Hogge to do their car whispering for them.

The massive career mode is similar to the first game, with a few positive tweaks. It offers more freedom to choose the exact teams you want to race for in each motorsport series (and more of them in general) and there’s a new “Manufacturer Drives” event list, which allows us to score gigs as regular factory drivers for many of the included carmakers. You’ll be locked into any career series you sign up for but I found the Manufacturer Drives and other invitational events break things up quite nicely. While career mode still allows you to start in any discipline, skipping anything you’re not interested in, the most prestigious series are locked until you earn a seat in them, injecting a better sense of purpose to the game’s solo offering. You can’t just go straight to the GT3 Pirelli World Challenge, or directly into a rallycross supercar – you need to prove you’ve got the minerals in a lower category first.

[Project CARS 2 is] part motorsport magic lamp, part Al Gore’s personal climate change nightmare.

Of course, if you prefer you can forgo this in favour of the online mode, which now supports and tracks fully-fledged online championships and has dedicated broadcaster and director functionality built into it for budding esports types. If you’re like me, though, you may opt instead to lose whole days fooling around endlessly with custom offline single-player races. The top tier cars and event types are unlocked for custom events, even if you haven’t reached them in your solo career. It’s a powerful system, allowing you to toggle all of the various series’ rules baked into the game, save your favourite race types, and quickly switch between umbrella settings for the game’s nine represented race disciplines.

It’s easy to lose giant chunks of time in custom races because they’re instant fun. Here you’re basically a cross between the world’s richest automotive aficionado and some kind of weather genie. Ali Baba had them forty thieves, but did he ever have to race in the Dubai desert during a blizzard? This is Project CARS 2 at its wildest and wackiest – part motorsport magic lamp, part Al Gore’s personal climate change nightmare.

Jokes aside, the weather options are the cat’s pyjamas. The original has dynamic weather and time of day effects, but not like this. In Project Cars 2 puddles pool in real time as the rain hammers down and shrink when the sun comes out, dissipated by speeding tyres and dried up by high-temp race cars and the warming asphalt. Nothing about Project CARS 2’s tracks feel static; at times they feel like evolving little worlds, especially over long races. F1 2017 absolutely manages this too, but Project CARS 2 achieves it with many more types of racing.

Tackle tracks in the blazing summer sun, or with the landscape blanketed in snow.

Tracks don’t just take on new identities and dimensions based on what time of day it is, or the weather, but also what time of year it is. Tackle tracks in the blazing summer sun, or with the landscape blanketed in snow. The one-size-fits-all approach makes some minor missteps here (for instance, Bathurst shouldn’t be nearly as brown as Project CARS 2 depicts during autumn because nearly all eucalyptus trees are evergreen) but the variety the system injects into the overall atmosphere is worth a few small errors. It helps, of course, that its track roster is simply the best on the market. It’s a mix of all the typical high-profile suspects with hidden gems like Scotland’s Knockhill, or New Zealand’s Ruapuna Park (with a few long-gone classic configurations – like old-school Monza and Spa – sprinkled in for good measure). For the sake of comparison, we’re talking over three times the venues coming in GT Sport, and over four times the layouts. That’s just not a trivial disparity.

Combined with the fantastic car selection there’s just so much game here for a single transaction, especially compared to its closest peers in the PC space. Stuff like iRacing and RaceRoom Racing Experience may be equally admired and accomplished simulations, but there’s no denying the difference in delivery. Project CARS 2 comes with 180+ cars, nine motorsport disciplines, 29 motorsport series, 60 venues, and 130+ living track layouts, straight of the gate. No monthly subscription fees and no need to purchase a bunch of individually-priced, a la carte cars and tracks to get the content you want. I can’t help but see the elegance in that.

The GT3 class is phenomenal, with almost all today’s cars represented, but there’s plenty of retro love, too.

With the addition of Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Nissan, many of the car classes that were a bit too sparsely populated in the original Project CARS have been bolstered, decreasing repetition of the same models padding out large grids. The GT3 class is phenomenal, with almost all today’s cars represented, but there’s plenty of retro love, too. There are still some holes that could do with filling (there’s a distinct lack of muscle, the vintage Lotus Formula cars still lack any relevant opposition, and the fondly-recalled ’90s Group A class relies a bit too heavily on pre-order incentives and day one DLC and would benefit hugely by having the likes of Volvo, Renault, and Holden sign on) but it’s a great cross section of recognisable race cars from a wide range of eras – not just current day. There’s a sizeable smorgasbord of road cars, too, but they’re outshined by the racing models and I’ve only found myself drawn to a few key faves.

Developer Slightly Mad Studios has done pretty well with the AI for all these disparate vehicle types and you can dial both their speed and aggression up and down to find the perfect setting to suit your racing skill. I certainly found myself being unloaded from behind on occasion (but typically only if I braked a fraction too early) and some classes I tested were really struggling taking first corners cleanly on certain tracks. Still, for the most part they’re convincing opponents and will give you room if you force the issue. My biggest criticism in this instance is that Project CARS 2 is a bit heavy-handed with penalties when passing clumps of cars struggling around crowded opening corners, demanding you hand back positions for sometimes unclear reasons (although this too can be toggled off if you’d rather police yourself in these instances).

Like its predecessor Project CARS 2 is still a great-looking game overall – markedly so on a hefty PC though still quite handsome on console. There have been subtle improvements across the board, including the rain (which is far more authentic this time around, slithering up your windscreen at speed like an army of tiny, transparent worms). There are some hitches, however – on console I’ve had the occasional instance where the game will hiccup and drop an isolated slab of frames, and there are a few loose ends with the VR support on PC, with the default helmet cam triggering a fever dream of barf-inducing double vision. Thankfully this doesn’t happen with the conventional cockpit view, and the VR experience is otherwise terrific (albeit sphincter-scorchingly expensive) once you switch to it.

As nice as this game looks, though, it honestly sounds even better.

It’s not just all the whines, squeals, clunks, and violence of the cabin of a real race car; it’s a ton of small, almost imperceptible details. The squeak of a wiper blade’s first few swipes across a dry windscreen, compared to when the glass becomes slick with rain. The chatter of loose debris being flung from a hot tyre after dropping a wheel off track. The thump of a loose bit of aero slapping against the car, reverberating through the cockpit over the bellowing engine.

And those exhaust notes? Just listen to that F-Type Jag above – and this is one of the road cars. You’re allowed to drive it past schools and hospitals. The sound of this thing should only be available in opaque plastic bags from under the counter because it is pornographic.

Project CARS 2 plays like a pumped-up version of the classic TOCA Race Driver 3 from 2006, redressing many of the complaints levelled at the original. The handling has been tuned to a T, the content is excellently curated, and the amount of variety and racing available in it is delightfully daunting. Even if you don’t care about the developer’s esports aspirations there’s still a mammoth solo racer here that’s always ready to roll whenever you are. Now and then I’ll encounter a display quirk or a bug that may botch a race start, and the AI desperately needs a lesson in first corners, but when I’m out on track wringing ten-tenths out of my car against just the right AI level – one eye on the car ahead and the other on the clouds above – this is about as good as real racing gets right now.

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2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Spices up Frankfurt With 550 HP

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When Porsche dropped details on its third-generation Cayenne SUV a few weeks ago, it neglected to mention one model: The high-performance Turbo variant. Now, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the automaker gives us all we need to know about the 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo, including specs that would make some sports cars sweat.

The new Cayenne Turbo is powered by Porsche’s new twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, which makes the same 550 hp and 567 lb-ft of torque it does in the Panamera Turbo. That marks an improvement of 30 hp and 14 lb-ft over the previous model, which packed a twin-turbo 4.8-liter V-8. The engine comes mated to an eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission, which routes power to all four wheels via the Porsche Traction Management all-wheel-drive system. This setup is good for 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds in standard trim, or 3.7 seconds with the Sport Chrono package that also raises top speed to 177 mph.

The Cayenne Turbo gets a unique exterior treatment that includes wider air inlets in the front fascia, a quad-tipped exhaust, and special 21-inch alloy wheels in a staggered fitment wrapped in 285/40 front and 315/35 rear tires. The Turbo also receives LED headlights with projector lamps arranged in groups of four, a design theme found on only the highest-performance Porsche models. Like the standard Cayenne, the Turbo’s interior offers Porsche Advanced Cockpit 12.3-inch instrument cluster screen. The Turbo also gets 18-way adjustable seats with integrated headrests, a heated steering wheel, and heated seats all around as standard.

A new three-chamber air suspension with active shock absorbers increases handling ability and comfort. The system has six selectable height levels and five driving modes configured for on- and off-road performance. Further adding to its handling prowess are rear steering, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control roll stabilization, and Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus systems. A new Porsche Surface Coated Brake process covers the Cayenne Turbo’s cast-iron brake rotors with a layer of tungsten carbide to increase performance and resistance to wear, all while reducing brake dust. For more stopping power, carbon ceramic brakes are available.

The 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo arrives next fall and will be available to order in the U.S. this year. Better bring your piggy bank to the Porsche dealership, though, as the model will start at $125,650 with destination.

Source: Porsche


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First Laps: 2018 Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series

WILLOWS, California — Wealthy folk sometimes make it seem as though having cartoonish piles of money is such a bore. When you can afford anything you want, it’s apparently not worth buying if Alistair down at the equestrian club has the same, even in a different color. High-end automakers thrive on this vehicular one-upmanship, releasing limited batches of cars to appease picky, complex-ridden collectors. Stuttgart’s latest and greatest smugmobile, the 2018 Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series, is a 607-horsepower, all-options-checked monster that’s as limited as it sounds. Last month, ahead of the 2017 Monterey Car Week, the company rolled out an Exclusive Series for us to drive at Thunderhill Raceway—and discover how it feels to be the one percent of the one percent.

From a brand standpoint, the Exclusive Series makes a worryingly large amount of sense. Compared to hard-nosed adrenaline junkies who snap up offerings like the 911 R, GT3, and forthcoming GT2 RS, Turbo buyers tend to focus more on how the world perceives them rather than knocking fractions of a second off of their lap time. Ever since the 930 911 became the darling of Wall Street back in the 1980s, the Turbo badge has carried weight a GT3 just isn’t able to match.

The Exclusive Series (ES) plays to this social strength. And while Porsche GT products infamously command more for less, with no back seats, radios, or air conditioning, the Exclusive Series follows a radically different formula: pay more, get more.

Similar to the regular, hum-drum 911 Turbo S, the ES arrives wearing nearly every single accoutrement offered in the long catalogue, plus additional details from the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur department, a faction specializing in giving extremely wealthy customers customization options limited only by their imagination and checkbook. Scrolling through endless order books can be so dull, so the ES offers rarity right off the peg.

Everything is massaged, touched, stitched, and wrapped by the Exclusive department. Visually, the ES wears the optional Turbo aerokit as standard, now with great chunks of carbon fiber hanging off of the rear bumper, plus a decklid wing, and rear intake ducts. See those distinctive hood stripes? Those are strategically masked-off portions of the all-carbon bonnet where the bare weave shines through gloss. Black brake calipers and a black exhaust outlet round out the design.

We drove a white ES, but the car might be best ordered in the debut Golden Yellow Metallic, similar to the hue featured in the wheel accents. Inside, things get a little crazy. This is where Porsche Exclusive adds color-matched stitching and extended leather to everything. Check the air vent slats—yep, leather. Underneath the steering column? Stitched leather. There’s the requisite carbon-fiber trim kit as well, but look closer. Porsche wove copper thread into the carbon strands, creating a luminous new design that is sure to make your tennis partner, Hudson, feel inadequate about his off-the-shelf black-on-black Carrera 4.

These surface-level touches are fun, but the package starts to gain momentum under the rear decklid. The 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six is fitted with a model-specific powerkit, boosting output to a stunning 607 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. This is 27 extra ponies over the regular Turbo S, and while that torque figure is unchanged, the ES has 553 lb-ft on tap at all times—the pedestrian Turbo S only sees that peak briefly with the standard overboost function.

More carbon fiber, more power, more speed. Advertised 0-60 time is unchanged at 2.8 seconds, but the 0-124 mph time is cut by 0.3 second, down to a skin-rippling 9.6 seconds. Of course, Porsche is famous for providing conservative performance numbers, and from behind the wheel, its cars usually feel much, much faster. This definitely applies to the ES. Our friends at Motor Trend tested a regular, 580-hp Turbo S at 2.5 seconds to 60 mph, so we’ll settle for a 2.4 second sprint in the ES.

There will only be 500 of these worldwide, so imagine my surprise when this white example sat among the three 911 GT3s on hand at the Thunderhill. While the GT3s were real stars of the show at the time, now featuring a killer 4.0-liter, 500-hp naturally aspirated flat-six and the six-speed gearbox out of the 911 R, the Exclusive Series was a perfect companion piece to the track toys.

After running the sweltering, off-camber, decreasing radius Thunderhill gauntlet in the raw GT3, I fell out of the car a sweaty, sore lump. When I finished guzzling two or three water bottles, Porsche handlers dragged me over to the ES, turned on the cooled seats, and sent me on my way down the first straight, behind Le Mans legend Hurley Haywood and his regular 991.2 Turbo S, which served as the pace car.

Warp drive? This is teleportation. Leave it to Porsche to make 607 hp feel like a billion, especially when facing down a 140-mph straight. One second, you’re staring down the tarmac dragway. Mat the throttle and you hear a whoosh; then, suddenly, the first turn looms ahead. It’s that simple—point-to-point takes on a new meaning.

When you do haul the ES down from speed with the standard carbon-ceramic brakes, the plan of attack is not too far off the same method I discovered in the 991.2 Turbo I drove a few months back. It’s true, all Turbo models are heavier and cushier than their sinewy GT siblings, but don’t listen to anyone who says the Turbo’s not for turning. The trick lies in leaning heavily on the incredibly effective all-wheel-drive system, accelerating through the turn rather than maintaining or sloughing speed. If you give it too much of the 553 lb-ft, Porsche’s excellent torque vectoring and stability management (PTV, PSAM) is there to pick up where you left off.

If there’s a weak spot to be found, it’s in the standard Pirelli P Zero tires, which weren’t ideal for continuous track abuse, returning far more understeer than I would have liked when they became too hot. Granted, this relatively long-lasting rubber is ideal for the target customer, who is sure to keep his or her Exclusive Series far, far away from anything remotely resembling a road course. For those who enjoy risking such an asset, Porsche informed me it will offer buyers an optional set of P Zero Corsas, which wear out quicker and are less usable in inclement weather, but far more suited for trackwork.

I didn’t get a chance to drive the ES on public roads, but rest assured, it is as cosseting and easy to drive as the regular Turbo. It’s viciously fast when you need it to be, calm when you don’t, and fills the gaps everywhere in-between.

If this sounds fine and dandy, get ready to shell out an eye-watering $258,550 for one of the 500 examples. While this isn’t too far off the price tag of a fully loaded regular Turbo S, the ES offers a handful of high-dollar options that’s sure to push it right up to the $300,000 mark. Chief among them are the optional carbon-fiber wheels, setting buyers back $15,000, and the limited edition Porsche Design chronograph wristwatch, allowing you to show off even when you have left your car with the valet.

The 2018 Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series is a rolling manifestation of one-upmanship, and that’s fine. If you’re shaking your head in disgust, or still trying to fathom why someone would want this over a regular Turbo, that’s also okay, as you’re clearly not the target audience.

Thanks for the laughs and spinal compression, Turbo S Exclusive Series. I’ll see you on the Monaco Riviera.

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Get to the mall super-fast in the 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Meet the drop-resistant Moto Z2 Force

The Moto Z2 Force is really thin, with a fast processor and great battery life. It can survive drops without shattering.

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VW’s Ruling Porsche-Piech Clan Against Asset Sales

FRANKFURT — Volkswagen’s controlling Porsche and Piech families are against selling any of the company’s assets, the clan’s most senior member said on Tuesday.

Analysts and bankers have been expecting Europe’s largest carmaker to sell assets to make it more nimble and help fund a strategic shift following dieselgate, as well as to meet the cost of the scandal, which has already reached $25 billion.

Volkswagen (VW) asked banks earlier this year to examine options for its motorcycle brand Ducati and transmissions maker Renk, including selling the two divisions, sources have said, as it reviews its portfolio of assets after announcing a major push into electric cars and new mobility services last year.

But after VW’s powerful labor unions have repeatedly opposed any such deal, the carmaker’s controlling Porsche and Piech clan on Tuesday also withheld its backing for divestments.


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“Of course the management board has the right to make such strategic considerations,” Wolfgang Porsche, chairman of Porsche SE, the holding firm through which the two family tribes control 52 percent of VW’s voting shares, told Reuters during the Frankfurt auto show.

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“But (asset) sales are currently not on the agenda. These questions have to date not been discussed on the supervisory board,” Porsche, also the clan’s spokesman, said.

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IAA 2017 Day Two: All the news and photos from Frankfurt Motor Show

Day two of the IAA 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show is here, and we’re receiving car news by the truckload. Here you’ll find all the details, including IAA 2017 news, dates, schedule – and cars, of course.

The Internationale Automobil-Austellung – commonly known as the Frankfurt Motor Show – is officially underway, and we’re expecting major news from some of the world’s biggest car brands, including BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz.

Read on for all the details.

IAA 2017 News: The latest news, announcements and cars from the Frankfurt Motor Show

Audi at IAA 2017

Audi used the IAA 2017 to show off a brand new version of the Audi R8 sports cars, duly dubbed the Audi R8 V10 RWS.

As the name suggests, it’s got a powerful V10 engine and operates on a rear-wheel drive system – unique to this model alone. It’s 50kg lighter than its predecessor, starts at £110,000, and will only be available to 999 customers globally.

Credit: Audi

The German carmaker also showed off its vision for the future of driving in the form of the Audi Aicon. A somewhat wacky concept car, the Aicon has no pedals or steering wheel, instead carting round passengers in fully autonomous fashion.

Audi hopes that one day, rich people will sit in the back of the Aicon and enjoy luxury comforts, like hi-res movies and chairs that can move around the back of your car. Fancy, eh?

Bentley at IAA 2017

Bentley used the IAA 2017 motor show to finally debut its all-new Bentley Continental GT. The third-generation grand tourer replaces the old model, which ran/runs from 2011 to 2018.

We’ve not got pricing yet, but we’re expecting the new car to arrive on driveways in the UK in the first quarter of 2018.

In a statement, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer described the car as a “defining moment” for Bentley Motors. It’s easy to see why; the meaty tourer can output an impressive 626bhp, and promises a 0-60mph time of 3.6 seconds, as well as a top speed of 207mph.

BMW at IAA 2017

BMW managed to secure plenty of hype around its new concept car, the BMW i Vision Dynamics.

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Formally debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the BMW i Vision Dynamics is an all-electric vehicle that sits between the existing BMW i3 and BMW i8.

Credit: BMW

It boasts a range of 600km (373 miles), manages a nippy top speed of over 200kmh (120mph), and can accelerate from zero to 100kmh (62mph) in just four seconds. Unfortunately, there’s no word on when (or even if) this car will become a production model, so exercise patience for now.

Bugatti at IAA 2017

The Bugatti stand was drawing plenty of attention at the Frankfurt Motor Show, largely on account of the Bugatti Chiron stationed there.

If you missed the hype, here’s the deal: this vehicle set the production car record for accelerating from zero right up to 249mph (400kmh) and then back to zero again. It managed that impressive feat in just 42 seconds, which is probably quicker than the time it took me to write these two paragraphs.

Porsche 911 GT3 Touring Package aims for subtlety

It’s hard out there for a person who wants a performance car but doesn’t want the aesthetics that come with it. Thankfully, Porsche recognizes this group, and it’s built an options package for the 2018 911 GT3 to suit their subtlety.

The Porsche 911 GT3 Touring Package maintains a low profile without losing any of the GT3′s capability. Since the standard GT3 features a rather large rear wing, the Touring Package does away with that, replacing it with an automatically extending rear spoiler similar to other 911 variants.

porsche-911-gt3-touring-1Enlarge Image

Not everyone wants a car as flashy as its performance specs belie.


Purists will enjoy the fact that the Touring Package is only available with the six-speed manual transmission. Think of it as a 911 R, but without the stripes or the additional weight-loss regimen. As a matter of fact, as if by magic, the GT3 with the Touring Package is exactly the same curb weight as the manual GT3 without the package.

At 3,116 pounds, the 911 R is about 95 pounds lighter than the GT3 Touring Package, but that doesn’t affect straight-line performance all that much. You’ll still arrive at 60 mph in 3.8 seconds — same as the standard 6MT GT3 — although with a top speed of 196 mph, you’re down by 1-2 mph compared to the big-winged GT3 variants. The engine remains a 4.0-liter flat-6 putting out 500 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque.

If you think that’s the end of it, it’s not. The interior gets a little fancier, too, thanks to a standard leather-finish GT Sport steering wheel, with that leather extending to the shift lever, armrests, center console and interior door handles. Four-way power sport seats with an embossed Porsche crest are standard, but you can upgrade to 18-way adaptive seats or proper buckets if you want to drop additional coin.

Speaking of coin, Porsche traditionally loves to charge buyers for the privilege of removing items from vehicles, or making the interior fancier, but the 911 GT3 Touring Package is different. It’s actually the exact same price as the standard GT3 — $143,600, before destination and taxes and all that good stuff. If you want to tear it up on the track without all eyes on your big ol’ wing, and feel a little fancier in the process, the GT3′s Touring Package is a hell of a deal.

porsche-911-gt3-touring-3Enlarge Image

Porsche’s leather interiors are some of the best in the industry.


2018 Porsche 911 GT3, at home at the track

The GT3 badge has come to the 991.2 generation of Porsche 911 and it is glorious.

by Alex Goy

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2018 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Review: The Smart Choice in Plug-in Porsches

Luckily, this sedan’s purpose in life isn’t to turn hot laps—it’s to help well-to-do people feel like they’re saving the world every time they drive to Urth Caffe, without sacrificing the fun implied by the Porsche name.  

To that end, every Panamera 4 E-Hybrid equipped with the Sport Chrono pack—like our test cars had—benefits from a quartet of driving modes designed to help the car’s pilot extract the most from the vehicle. Like every Porsche equipped with Sport Chrono, Sport and Sport Plus modes are there for those times when you want to drive this responsible family car like the 911 your id wishes you’d bought instead. It’s the other modes, available with a click of the small control dial mounted at the steering wheel’s 5 o’clock position, that set the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid apart from most Porsches. 

E-Power mode, which the car defaults to upon startup, locks the car into electric-only propulsion, using the battery’s charge to push the car around at speeds of up to 86 mph. Drive like a stoned grandma, and you’ll be able to extract 31 miles of range from the 14 kWh lithium-ion pack. Odds are good you’ll probably see less distance in your daily drive, but it should still be enough to scoot you to the office—or across London’s congestion pricing zone, where the E-Hybrid is efficient enough to score an exemption from the approximately $15 daily tax.

But hybrid mode is where drivers will likely spend most of their time—and where they ought to, too. That mode lets the car lean on its 14-kWh battery pack as much as possible during the boring parts of the drive, cutting the engine early and often under light load and using the electric motor to ease the V-6’s burden as much as it can. But it still puts all the car’s power right at hand for those highway on-ramps and sudden passing maneuvers. Plus, you can use it to boost up the battery’s charge for times when you might need to drive silently.  

Besides, there’s always the Sport Response button if you really need to haul ass on short notice. It’s Porsche’s version of the “Go Baby Go” button in Nicholas Cage’s Eleanor, a virtual NoS setup with a cheat code for infinite use. Tap the round button in the center of the drive mode selector and the car goes to maximum attack for up to 20 seconds; to get there, the transmission kicks down to the most responsive gear, the turbos spool for max power, and the EV system floods the drivetrain with battery power. It makes passing on a whim as easy as saying “Too soon, Junior.

No matter the mode, the hybrid powertrain is effectively seamless. You’ll see the tach needle drop to zero far more than in an internal combustion-engine car, but the driving experience is otherwise damn similar. Credit the electric motor’s placement: it’s upstream of the transmission, mounted between the gearbox and the V-6, which means even in EV mode the car still shuffles up and down through the gears. It’s a bit of a surreal feeling; without the vibration of all those controlled explosions rumbling through the car, you can feel the transmission shift in a way you’ve never felt before.

And unlike most cars saddled with a joint gas/electric powertrain, the E-Hybrid sounds damn good. The 2.9-liter six-pot is related to the one found in the Audi RS5, and while it may have been detuned, it still packs some of the acoustic fire you’d expect from an engine found in the spiritual successor to the Audi Quattro—especially if the E-Hybrid’s been equipped with the sport exhaust option. 

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TVR is back to take on Porsche and Aston Martin with the 500bhp Griffith

Iconic car maker TVR is back with its first vehicle in over ten years, the Griffith, a sports car with the likes of the Porsche 911, Audi R8 and even Aston Martin in its sights. 

Revealed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the TVR Griffith has a design that harks back to the likes of TVR’s noughties Tuscan, Tamora and Sagaris cars, yet with an updated 2017 feel. The body is full of swooping lines and sharp angles, not dissimilar to curvier Jaguar F-Type.

But this body is looking for function as well as form, with liberal use of carbon fibre to keep it lightweight yet stiff for sharp handling. Dry weight sits at a rather svelte 1,250kg.

The lightweight body is paired with a fettered version of Ford’s 5.0-litre V8 Mustang engine cranked up by engine specialists Cosworth to deliver 500bhp. The structure and the motor means the Griffith can make the 0-62mph sprint in under four seconds. With the pedal left to the metal, the Griffith is said to reach a top speed of over 200mph.

Seemingly built with keen petrolheads in mind who are more interested in driving dynamics than pure lap times, the Griffith has an old school six-speed manual gearbox and its engine bucks the trend for downsizing and turbocharging and instead favours classic normal aspiration.

TVR hasn’t revealed much about the interior tech, but from an image of the cabin we can see it sports a digital dash and what looks like a vertical mounted infotainment unit. It also has a dollop of proper sports car luxury with an Alcantara fabric slathered on the steering wheel and dash.

The Griffith is set to start at a £90,000; while not cheap that’s about on par with a decent Porsche 911 and Audi R8, only TVR throws a distinct flavour of design and heritage into the mix as well. This would mean the Griffith arguably locks horns more with the Aston Martin Vantage V8, which starts around the same price mark and has a badge steeped in heritage and Bond credentials.

TVR will initially make 500 Griffith cars reserved for members of the TVR 500 club, but it has plans to boost production up to 1,000 cars per year once the Griffith fully launches in 2019. Over the past decade the road for TVR has been bumpy and uncertain, but it looks like the venerable car maker could finally be back with a bang.

Related: Tesla cars get a quiet autonomous driving boost 

What do you think of the TVR Griffith? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

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