Archive for the ‘New Models’ Category

There have been 112 shows featuring cars in New York before the one that is taking place this year. That is a lot of car shows. In fact, the NY show has been around longer than most famous car manufacturers selling their wares today. It is the biggest in the USA and the best well-attended.

So it is very important, at least for Americans, while Europe still considers Geneva and Frankfurt to be the two main catwalks for launching new models.

Does that really matter? Probably not in today’s hyper-connected world of communication because now you don’t have to leave your armchair to stay well-informed of the latest product launches. However, the NY show is important for any car maker that wants to score well in the US of A. Just ask Jaguar Land Rover. They even wheeled in Daniel Craig aka James Bond to drive the new Sport through the streets of the Big Apple.

JLR chose New York to launch the Sport version of the latest Range Rover even though they could have done the job a couple of weeks ago in Switzerland. Wise move? Well consider that from an economics point of view Europe is currently pedalling backwards while the US has found first gear and has its foot firmly on the gas.

In other words, there are more people in the States who can afford to buy and drive a Range Rover Sport than there are in Europe. It’s a no-brainer.

And it’s not just JLR who recognised this obvious fact. The (South) Koreans are rapidly making their mark on the automotive world and they were busy showing design concepts that hint at what is to come from the land of Samsung and LG. Badge snobs might sneer at anything that KIA and Hyundai produce but times are a-changing so be prepared to be impressed. It is only a matter of time.

So what else was there to see?

The home-grown newbies featured the Cadillac CTS looking lean and wearing a very sharp-suit. Will it come to Europe? It should do, us Europeans need a bit more choice over our diet of Audis, Mercs and BMW’s.

A make-over for the Chrysler 300C is much-welcomed and a bit less 1990’s old-school thinking will also help it win friends in the UK at least.

The US-led assault also included the Camaro Z28, Challenger SRT8 392, Charger SRT8 392, the new Jeep Cherokee, Dodge Durango, the mental SRT Viper TA and the even more mental Shelby 1000. Enough horsepower from that lot to make the world spin in the opposite direction.

Back to the Brits and Jaguar heralded their new XJR on steroids and the limited edition (US-only) XKR-S GT, Bentley paraded their new Flying Spur and the Wraith from Rolls Royce was flaunting itself to Yanks with deep pockets. They all felt right at home, like British rock bands from the 60’s looking to make it big in America.

The Koreans, as usual, were looking to impress with their new-found confidence in car design. OK, some concepts are a little too quirky for our sensitive Western tastes but they showed an inventiveness and bravery that seems to be missing from mainstream manufacturers in Europe at present.

Amongst the usual copious amounts of metal from Japan was the Infiniti Q50S, Scion tC, stunning Subaru WRX concept (to hopefully replace the current ugly-duckling model), Subaru SV Crosstrek Hybrid, Mitsubishi Mirage and Outlander plus the odd-ball NV200 New York Taxi by Nissan.

Finally the Europeans stepped in with the Volvo S60 R Design (they can do no wrong in the US),  the impressive-looking CLA45 AMG from Mercedes and the latest incarnation of the VW Golf which snatched the ‘World Car of The Year’ trophy from under everybody’s noses.

Check out the images from the show as follows:-

Today Land Rover launches the all-new Range Rover Sport at the New York Auto Show and the company’s official press release announces that this is ‘The fastest, most agile, most responsive Land Rover ever’ – presumably until the next model is released!

Anyway there is no denying that the first ‘Sport’ version of the venerable Range Rover has been a great sales success for the company having sold over 380,000 units since it was launched back in 2005. The car has become the de facto set of wheels for any aspiring celebrity, Premiership footballer and for a time it seemed that very builder/property developer in England was driving one!

The new model is less of a chopped-roof version of its big brother and more of an individual car in the model line-up now. There are obvious hints at the Evoque and in some respects the new car seems more closely related to that model – in fact you could properly describe the new Sport as a butch version of the Evoque.

Initially the Sport will be offered with two engine options: the glorious 5.0 Supercharged 510ps V8 and a 3.0 SDV6 292ps diesel lump. In early 2014 there will be a 3.0 258ps SDV6 (presumably for an-entry level version) and a 4.4 339ps SDV8 added to the choice of powerplants. There is talk of a hybrid making an appearance in 2014 too.

The fastest model will do the sprint to 60 mph in around 5 seconds and according to the company fuel consumption is improved across the range by up to 24%. CO2 emissions are kept low too.

Oh yes, and because of the revised suspension the car can now travel off-road at speeds up 50 mph so you can now hone your rally driving skills for the next Dakar run.

Mum’s looking for a new school-run bus can add a cheer too because the new Sport comes with 5+2 seating. In other words there is room for two little one’s in the boot.

The new Sport is due to arrive in UK showrooms in the last quarter of this year but official pricing is yet to be confirmed. Of course it will be more expensive than the out-going model but cheaper than the bigger Rangie. We expect list price to start at around £60k. We also expect long waiting lists for the Sport since the new model is likely to ride on the back of the success of its big brother.

If you are interested in placing an order for the new Range Rover Sport give The Car Spy a call on 01732 760699 or email sales@thecarspy.net

 

The 83rd Geneva Motor Show opened on the 7th March to the general public and as is usual for this particular auto show in the calendar many manufacturers chose to use this event as the launch pad for their new models and design concepts.

This year was no exception and these for us were the cars (in alphabetical order) that stole the limelight or made a damn good attempt to impress The Car Spy:-

Alfa Romeo 4C – A prettyish looking two-seater that almost looks like a Lotus Evora from certain angles (which is not a bad thing). Unlike the beautiful 8C, Alfa are making noises about producing a lot more 4C’s after the first 400 ‘launch models’ sell through. Pricing is around £52000 in the UK which seems a little steep for a four-cylinder 1750cc powered sports car but it is an Alfa after all and we can’t wait to drive one.

Aston Martin Rapide S – AM seem determined to keep a four-door saloon in their product line-up and so some minor tweaks to the current model have resulted in the ‘S’ moniker being added. Whether you are a fan of the ‘family’ Aston or not it is still arguably one of the best-looking super-saloons you can buy today.

Bentley Flying Spur – The outgoing Flying Spur was often criticised for looking too bland and nondescript for a Bentley and so a re-design has been on the cards for some time. The more pronounced ‘coke-bottle’ design and Conti GT front-end lends the model some serious road presence now so that should help convert some new customers for the company especially as there will be a V8 option in the near future too. Just not too keen on those ellipsoid-shaped LED brake lights – they look at odds with the squarish treatment of the rear-end.

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Roadster – There will probably never be another Stingray to compare with the original model from the 50’s and 60’s but at least today’s models are raw, loud and best of all handle well enough to compete with the best from Europe. When the latest ‘Vette coupe was announced the jury was out on the overall design of the car but only after a few weeks it is starting to look a bit tasty. The convertible version has actually managed to tone-down the looks of the coupe but can you imagine the glorious soundtrack as you go looking for tunnels?

Ferrari LaFerrari – The so-called Enzo replacement was always going to be epic in every sense but these days Ferrari has a lot more able competition that can do the business around a track. At this level manufacturers can only trade blows with numbers so until this car can be pitched against the P1, Huayra, Veyron, Gumpert, Koenigsegg etc etc it is anyone’s guess as to actually how good the car is from an engineering point of view. However, in the looks department it may have one first prize. Ferrari could have got this car horribly wrong but they did the opposite and got it dead right. What they may have got wrong though is the name – LaFerrari – really? Literally translated it means The Ferrari as in ‘the definitive Ferrari’. Just wished they had stuck with F150 or F70. Anyway they have sold the whole production run now so the name hasn’t put anybody off.

Honda NSX – This NSX replacement concept has been shown so many times over the last few years it is in danger of becoming an old model even before it has been launched. Come on Honda what are you waiting for? The looks great and you have finally got an interior for it. Stick it on sale for around £50k and you have a winner on your hands!

Gloria by Alfa Romeo – Apart from the truly daft name (at least to a Brit’s ears) the car looks a beauty. The leather fake bonnet straps are the only blot on an otherwise very attractive proposition for a new Alfa saloon. Here’s a prediction – they won’t make it – sadly.

KIA Provo – The South Korean manufacturers are making serious headway in the European market with their bread-and-butter cars but this design concept shows that they also have the potential to cut the mustard with a radical attitude to car design. Make this car KIA and you might just start tempting a few of the badge snobs out there.

Lamborghini Veneno – First of all you can’t have one because they have sold all three especially made for people with truly deep pockets. Secondly, why would you want one anyway? Lambo has gone so totally over the top with this car they have ruined it. The car is a hotchpotch of curves, angles, wings, air dams, air scoops and spoilers that it is impossible to see the car underneath! Please don’t make another guys – the Aventador and Sesto Elemento are your best efforts to date and they look seriously cool – sorry, the Veneno is not.

McLaren P1 – All of the pre-launch hype surrounding the P1 unfortunately turned the official public launch of the car into a bit of an anti-climax. That does not mean the P1 is a bad car of course but you can blame McLaren’s over-enthusiastic PR and marketing bods for turning the launch into a bit of a damp squib at the end. Again the P1 is about to rub shoulders with a bunch of cars for which it all about the numbers. McLaren claim it is not about straight-line speed but how you deal with the curvy bits of road and track. We shall certainly find out over the coming weeks and months – looking forward to that very much.

Nissan Resonance – Nissan are determined to make their mark on the automotive world with models like the lairy GTR, Juke and Nismo variants and now the Resonance (which is tipped to be the new Murano) shows that the in-house designers are ready to let their hair down and push some boundaries to make us all sit up and take notice. Just don’t change the concept too much guys!

Pininfarina Sergio – Pininfarina, the company, wanted to celebrate the life of their most-famous designer with a car that would provide a fitting tribute and called it – The Sergio. The car they came up with is bold, daring, svelte and mental all at the same time. Sergio must be smiling in heaven right now.

Rolls Royce Wraith – With the Wraith Rolls Royce has created its most powerful car to date. It might look like a Ghost Coupé but the company has sprinkled a little bit of technology star dust to make their new car a tad special. Any car that can obey a command like ‘get me home’ or ‘take me to the casino in Monaco’ and then automatically set itself up for the journey has to be cool.

Spyker B6 Venator – Spyker is a survivor. The company has risen from the grave more times than a vampire. Bullish leadership and extra cash in the bank means that we can expect even more zany designs from a company that dares to be different. We wish them the best of luck – they deserve it!

Toyota i-Road – This is not a car it is a Personal Mobility Vehicle – they definitely got that bit right. Whether you would be seen driving one is another matter but you cannot help but admire the way Toyota has gone about creating what looks like a bike with four wheels. It looks like it would fall over when it is parked up but it won’t. All credit to a company that is looking for imaginative ways to get us mobile.

Volkswagen XL1 – This is possibly another car that you might not want to be seen piloting but it is very brave of VW to try to tempt us to rethink the way we look at getting around on four wheels. It might turn out to be a lemon for the company not because the XL1 has little appeal but it looks like it will cost over £100k – ouch!

Other credit-worthy mentions are the Giugiaro Parcour, Toyota FT-86 and the Touring Disco Volante. In the meantime, take a look at our gallery of show images below.

Rolls Royce presented the Wraith at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and finally put some numbers and detail to the most powerful motor vehicle the company has ever made.

For starters it is powered by a V12 that produces 624 bhp and a thumping 800 Nm of torque that will shove the car to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and on to a limited 155 mph. The price (if you have to ask) will be around £215,000 including vat.

So what do you get for your money with the Wraith?

Well, to describe the car as a Ghost Coupé is perhaps over-simplifying matters and although there are obvious design similarities between the two-door and the four-door versions of Rolls Royce’s ‘baby’ motor car there are some distinct differences.

The car in profile is most definitely a proper ‘coupé’ with its roofline gracefully sloping into a pert fastback shape and the two-tone paint of the car only helps to emphasise the point of the design. Is it pretty or beautiful? Not really but it would be fair to call it elegant and most definitely imposing.

Position the Wraith up against any other flash car in the car park and it will dominate the area. Although the new car does not have the size and bulk of a Phantom or of its brother the Ghost saloon, the Wraith has something that all Rollers have today that no other manufacturer can currently match – Presence by the bucket-load.

Mercedes tried to compete with Rolls Royce via their Maybach brand and ultimately failed. They just couldn’t replicate the presence of a Rolls Royce and if you have lots of money you want a car that makes that kind of statement. The fact that Rolls Royce seems to do it without being crass or vulgar is an achievement in itself.

Let’s look at the Wraith in detail again. There are two huge ‘coach’ doors similar to those you find on the Phantom Drophead Coupe that open in such a cavernous way that they would allow a White Rhino to step into the car without touching the sides.

Once inside the Wraith our friendly rhino would be swallowed whole by a field full of high-grade cow leather whilst being cocooned in Canadel wood panelling. Should the rhino feel inclined to kick back and relax he (or she) might marvel at the Starlight Headliner feature which has 1340 hand-woven fibre-optic lamps installed that might just simulate a star-filled night sky back in Africa.

But it’s not all about the usual Rolls Royce wood and leather-clad interior with the Wraith because some modern-day technology has also been added to the specification.

For starters the Wraith has Satellite Aided Transmission. This means that its 8-speed auto transmission will take instructions from the SatNav that will tell the gearbox which gear to select based on the way the car is being driven and what lies ahead of it. In theory this means that the driver will enjoy optimum performance without thinking about what hazards and obstacles might present themselves further down the road. Cool.

However should the driver ever decide to use the use the SatNav himself then he will have no need for any touch screen menus or button pushing. The voice activation acts as an in-car personal valet and a simple worded instruction such as “Navigate to Monaco” will suffice. Also very cool (if it works).

Other techno-frippery includes a head-up-display function, adaptive headlights and a touch-pad that allows one to draw a character rather than type or select from a virtual keyboard. Of course, why not?

First deliveries of the new Wraith are not specific apart from the company stating they will start during the last quarter of 2013.

In the meantime, the Wraith now has a configurator set up for anybody who wants to play around with the colours and options as follows:-

http://www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com/wraith/

For the further information regarding the new Wraith or any other Rolls Royce model give The Car Spy a call on 01732 760699 or email sales@thecarspy.net

Photos copyright 2013 Drew Phillips / AOL

The New Alfa Romeo 4C

Posted: February 12, 2013 by The Car Spy in Alfa Romeo, New Cars, New Models
Tags: , , , ,

Alfa Romeo is getting ready to launch its new mid-engined sports car the 4C at the forthcoming Geneva Show and information from the company’s Press Release today highlights the following features of the new car:-

  • The engine will be a new all-aluminium petrol 4 cylinder 1750 Turbo – power as yet undisclosed
  • Two seats, rear-wheel-drive
  • Chassis constructed in carbon fibre to allow a power to weight ration of less than 4 kgs per horsepower
  • Compact body design less than 4 metres in length
  • Alfa TCT automatic twin dry clutch transmission
  • New Alfa DNA selector with four settings – Dynamic, Natural, All Weather and Race

Pricing is still to be confirmed by the company as are the anticipated delivery lead times although we would expect the car to be in the showrooms well before the end of 2013.

Rumours are that the company will only be producing 400 of the new 4C which would be a shame because just like the 8C before it the new car may well be consigned to the history books as a on-off limited edition from Alfa Romeo. Word is that the car will cost no more than £50,000 which will pitch it right at the Cayman, Boxster, Elise and Evora segment of the market.

Typically the design cues are all Alfa Romeo and there will be no mistaking this car’s place of birth although we can’t help noticing a hint of the Lotus Evora from the A-pillar of the similarly raked windscreen to the air-intakes to the rear of the doors. Maybe it has something to do with the mid-engined layout. Anyway it sure is a pretty car and we cant wait to get our hands on one.

To be kept informed of the new Alfa Romeo 4C give The Car Spy a call on 01732 760699 or email sales@thecarspy.net