Displaying items by tag: Sport Cars

As Audi's version of the Porsche Taycan, the new RS e-tron GT is an exciting, Tesla-chasing ride.

The sound Audi should have used—and the one playing in my head right before hitting the accelerator—is the adrenaline-juicing click, click, click of a roller coaster on an upward climb. Flooring an e-tron GT produces the same lung-flattening rush of acceleration as a coaster in freefall.

2022 audi rs etron gt
 HIGHS: Sub-three-second runs to 60 mph, decent range, advanced chassis tech, unabashedly modern design.

The e-tron GT has a twin at the Porsche dealer—the e-tron shares its platform, 800-volt electrical architecture, front and rear electric motors, two-speed automatic transmission at the rear axle, air springs, and all-wheel steering with the Porsche Taycan. While the Taycan offers a single-motor, rear-wheel-drive setup as well as the dual-motor-driven AWD 4S, Turbo, Turbo S, and Cross Turismo, at least for now, the all-wheel-drive GT comes two ways: the 522-hp e-tron GT and the 637-hp RS e-tron GT. Accessing all of those horses requires launch control, and then you only get the power for 2.5 seconds.

 
2022 audi rs etron gt
 

The e-tron GT and RS's range figures will likely mean more to buyers. Per the EPA, the GT is good for 238 miles and the RS is rated at 232. Our testing of the RS revealed 240 miles of range, with our example averaging 71 MPGe overall and 83 MPGe on our 75-mph highway test, the latter result just beating its combined federal rating by 1 MPGe. Again, those are decent figures, but not the kind that leads to bragging among big-dollar EVs, especially if the conversation turns to Teslas.

2022 audi rs etron gt

LOWS: Performance trails comparably fast four-doors, unusually high noise levels for an EV, steep six-figure price.

On the road, the RS GT tours grandly. It hums and hauls so smoothly that the big numbers on the speedometer readout might come as a surprise. The low, hefty weight of electric cars—our RS test car tipped the scales at 5171 pounds—works in their favor when it comes to stable cornering, and 590 electric horses are more than enough to reshape your eyeballs. The GT's biggest challenges come from not having the longest range and not being the quickest or flashiest thrill ride in the park.

Audi gets points for using the steering-wheel paddles to control regenerative braking. It's just the sort of setting you might want to change on the fly, say, heading down a steep hill or coasting along in highway traffic, and being able to adjust it without having to dive into a settings menu is smart. The middle setting will feel the most familiar to gas-engine aficionados, and the max regen is almost but not quite aggressive enough to allow for one-pedal driving. The RS offers rear-wheel steering as an option. When fitted, the rear wheels also turn in phase with the fronts to improve high-speed stability; below 30 mph, the rears turn opposite to tighten maneuverability. Steering efforts are light, almost too light at slow speeds if the car is equipped with optional Power Steering Plus, which just boosts the steering assist to feathery at low speed. But once you get used to it, you'll be flipping tight U-turns just for the fun of it.

2022 audi rs etron gt
Fitted with 21-inch Goodyear Eagle Asymmetric 5 summer tires, the RS's 157-foot stop from 70 mph is in the hunt with the figures of other hot four-doors. But its 0.93 g of grip on the skidpad is rather modest for a modern sports sedan—electric or otherwise—some of which have posted well over 1.00 g of stick in our testing.

Audi tilts the GT's controls toward the driver, and everything you need is within easy reach. EVs have conditioned us to expect tech-focused or even minimalist interiors. The GT has a crisp digital display in front of the driver and a 10.1-inch touchscreen in the middle of the instrument panel, but there are—gasp—buttons for the climate control.

2022 audi rs etron gt
The GT does play into another electric-car expectation, however, that of the environmentally conscious and possibly vegan buyer. Leather-free interiors and recycled materials come standard, but if you want to sit on cow hides you can order up a less vegan-friendly version. Whether your seats were once alive or never alive, the GT supposedly seats five; just be sure to call shotgun. No one will enjoy the middle seat in the back. Legroom for the outboard rear seats is excellent thanks to cutouts in the battery, which mean deeper pockets for your tootsies. Headroom isn't as generous, as you pay for the stylish sweep of the roof with tiny back windows and an encroaching C-pillar. Somewhat surprisingly, the 71 decibels of sound in the RS at 70 mph are several decibels greater than we've experienced in comparable EVs, and it's even a touch louder than we've measured in a fire-breathing RS7.
2022 audi rs etron gt
Audi's brave new EVs start at $103,445 for the e-tron GT, a price that lines up with the Taycan 4S, which needs 3.4 seconds to eclipse 60 mph. Bring a $100,690 check to the Tesla store and you'll drive away in the quicker Model S. The RS version, with its carbon-fiber roof and extra power, starts at $143,445. That money would put you into an 1100-hp Model S Plaid+ AWD, which is likely to be the quickest EV we'll have tested once we get our hands on one. Complete with the comprehensive $20,350 Year One package, our RS GT carried a hefty $164,390 as-tested price.

Sizewise, the e-tron is about same length as an A7, but it's dramatically lower and wider. The wide rear end and taillights look particularly great, but in front, the wide crossbar through the grille visually weighs down the front end. Overall, the e-tron GT reads elegant and muscular. It's not a game changer coming after the Taycan or even the still-powerful grandfather of the segment, the Model S, but it's quite a ride.

(https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a35834678/2022-audi-rs-e-tron-gt-us-drive/)

Published in Audi
Wednesday, 10 November 2021 07:47

New Ferrari 812 Competizione 2021 review

We hit the track with the Ferrari 812 Competizione, the extreme version of the 812 Superfast

 
 

Verdict

The 812 Competizione is a force of nature. The engine is an event simply in itself, but it’s combined here with exploitable handling that makes this ultimate Ferrari immensely enjoyable to drive and surprisingly forgiving too, given the performance on offer. As Ferrari’s special series cars go, the Competizione is a wonderful way to celebrate its superb V12.

Even Ferrari isn’t immune to the onset of electrification, announcing it will build its first full EV in 2025. But until all of the iconic brand’s cars have to go electric, we’ll receive some special models as homages to the internal combustion engine that distil Ferrari’s knowledge when it comes to building pure-petrol-powered sports cars.

The 812 Competizione is exactly that, a limited-run, tuned and honed version of the already-ballistic 812 Superfast. It’s also available as an Aperta convertible and costs an eyewatering £446,970 before options. But even if you can afford one, you’re too late. They’re all already sold.

And you will want one, because the spec is mouthwatering. Ferrari’s 6.5-litre V12 has been uprated to 819bhp and features new titanium con rods, new pistons, a redesigned crankshaft and a new intake manifold.

The dual-clutch gearbox has been recalibrated for five per cent faster shifts and the independent rear-wheel steering has necessitated a new version of Ferrari’s masterful Side Slip Control set-up. The car is 38kg lighter than the standard 812 and its reworked body produces more downforce.

The Competizione is a physically imposing thing, too. Standing next to it is intimidating due to its sheer size, and the knowledge of that extraordinary power under that long bonnet. Once inside, it’ll be familiar to anyone who has driven the 812 Superfast, with its multifunction screens and large rev counter, although the gear selector is new. Alcantara seems to cover almost every surface, and where it doesn’t, carbon fibre enhances that hardcore vibe.

The engine erupts into life, dominating your thoughts. It’s responsive right from the off and pulls with urgency even at low revs, but hold your foot down and the acceleration becomes savage.

Even so, the big V12 has more to give, the note by now a high-pitched scream, and the speed building incredibly rapidly until it feels as though it simply has to burst. But it doesn’t, and only when the gearshift lights start blinking away on the top of the steering wheel, as the 9,500rpm rev limiter cuts in, do you grab the right-hand paddle and select the next gear.

Keep going like this and the Ferrari will hit 62mph in just 2.9 seconds; really letting the Competizione have its head is not something to be undertaken lightly.

Once you’ve grown at least a little used to the level of performance that’s on offer here, other aspects of the Competizione begin to come to the fore.

The steering is light, and very fast, but it doesn’t seem to make the car at all nervous, and the huge amount of grip available is soon obvious. The nose darts for the inside of a corner, but the rear of the car doesn’t feel like it wants to break free – at least, that is, until you put the power down a bit early, and then those previously sticky Michelin tyres are soon sliding. 

Doing this isn’t as frightening as it sounds, at least at more sensible speeds, because the Competizione communicates so clearly to the driver what is happening, and much of this surprising friendliness must be due to that independent rear-wheel steering, plus the superb electronics.

The brakes also clearly have the power to contain the car, no matter how powerful it is. However, after the abuse they received on track there was some suggestion that they were beginning to struggle.

Model: Ferrari 812 Competizione
Price: £446,970
Engine: 6.5-litre V12
Power/torque: 819bhp/692Nm
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch auto, rear-wheel drive 
0-62mph: 2.9 seconds
Top speed: 211mph+
Economy: TBC
CO2: TBC
On sale: Sold out

(https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/ferrari/812-superfast/356509/new-ferrari-812-competizione-2021-review)

Published in Ferari
Wednesday, 27 October 2021 05:20

2022 Audi RS3 Is Music to Our Ears

Audi's redesigned five-cylinder RS3 sports sedan is as vocal as it is potent.

With 401 horsepower available—one pony more than before—the RS3's boosted five-pot pulls hard to its 7000-rpm redline with fervent glee. To say that it has character is an understatement—delightfully vocal and charismatic, this is an engine that can seem uncannily human across its rev range. Which makes sense, as its odd-cylinder warble is a sound that any human could impersonate. A new active exhaust delivers even more of that aural drama through the tailpipes. Normally we eschew engine-sound augmentation through stereo speakers, but it only adds to the excitement in the RS3. Windows up or down, this Audi will have you searching out tunnels on your daily commute.

2022 audi rs3 sedan
 
2022 audi rs3 sedan
 

For even greater control, it's easy to change the gearbox's demeanor through the various drive modes, which also alter the engine's responsiveness, the weight and feel of the steering, and the firmness of the adaptive dampers. We bypassed the Efficiency and Comfort settings, finding Auto to be nicely adept at adjusting the parameters based on our driving habits. Dynamic mode heightens all the car's senses and holds gears at redline in manual mode. Most intriguing was the customizable RS Performance mode, which for the first time in the RS3 allows the amount of torque sent to the rear wheels to be adjusted. Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system is almost too effective in most cases, wrangling the engine's might in a deliberate, almost clinical fashion. But the RS3's all-wheel-drive system is designed to be a frisky complement to its engine's sonorous antics. The system employs two independent clutch packs that can route 100 percent of the torque sent to the rear axle to either rear wheel, helping the car rotate around corners.

There's even a dedicated RS Torque Rear mode in the car's Drive Select menu, which is a drift mode in all but name. In practice, however, this setting only lets you wag the RS3's tail so much. Despite the implied benefits of the rear-torque bias, this remains a predominantly front-wheel-drive-based setup. Similar to how the previous RS3 could be outfitted, the new car rolls on tires that are wider in front than in back, 265/30R-19s to the rear 245/35R-19s. And since only 50 percent of the engine's torque can be routed rearward, the RS3 can't break its back end loose with the same impulsivity of, say, a BMW M2. It takes deliberate effort and a heavy right foot to overcome the chassis's natural inclination towards understeer, and once you cross that limit of adhesion it requires persistence to keep it dancing on that edge.

2022 audi rs3 sedan
 

Making the most of RS Torque Rear on the track also requires diligence, plus a bit of trust on the driver's part. Our drive included laps on Greece's Athens Circuit, a tight 1.3-mile track featuring a short straight and 10 corners. Taking the conservative all-wheel-drive line into turns yielded no help from the RS3's torque-vectoring rear axle. It's best to be more aggressive on corner entry and ignore your instincts to back off the throttle. Just before the front end begins to plow wide, mat the throttle to shuffle the torque to the rear axle and let the all-wheel-drive system's programming sort it out. That's not to say the RS3 isn't potent when pushed hard. Audi test driver Frank Stippler recently posted a 7:40.8 lap around the Nürburgring, beating the time set by, among other all-wheel-drive rockets, the original Bugatti Veyron.

On the open road, the RS3 feels much more in its environment. With its adaptive dampers in their comfort setting, this diminutive sedan evokes the composure and stability of its larger Audi brethren. Up front, the strut suspension features model-specific pivot bearings that add nearly a degree of negative camber compared to the regular A3. A multilink setup sits in back, along with a hollow anti-roll bar and a half-degree of additional negative camber. Overall, the RS3 rides 1.0 inch lower than the A3 and 0.4 inch lower than the S3. Top speed is governed to 155 mph, although opting for the RS Dynamic package ups that to 180 mph.

2022 audi rs3 sedan
Look beyond its performance and the RS3 receives the same updates found in the new A3 and S3. The interior features a far more premium look, thanks in large part to the 10.1-inch touchscreen that's now integrated into the dash. The 12.3-inch configurable digital instrument cluster is flanked by vents that resemble motorcycle grips. An RS design package adds either red or green accents to those vents, plus color-keyed seatbelts and contrast stitching on the seats, though we're less enamored by the dinky-looking shift toggle on the center console. Also somewhat out of place are the acres of gloss black plastic adorning the car's front end, which look a bit unfinished and appear at odds with the rest of the tastefully aggressive sheetmetal.

Gaping face notwithstanding, the RS3 is a superb evolution of Audi's original brand-defining formula. If this sounds like a fitting way to celebrate the sonic joy of its odd yet charming powertrain, you'll have to wait early next year to buy one in the United States. Pricing has yet to be announced, but we expect it to start just under $60,000. Endearingly eccentric and capable as the RS3 may be, it's hard to predict how long Audi will continue to support this niche segment with a near-bespoke engine. Although we're down for whatever the future brings, we hope the brand leans on its EV engineers to create soundtracks that are as glorious as the RS3's.

(https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a38059622/2022-audi-rs3-sedan-drive/

Published in Audi
Tagged under
Thursday, 16 September 2021 06:56

New Porsche Taycan 4S Cross Turismo 2021 review

With a lower price tag and more boot space, the all-electric Porsche Taycan 4S Cross Turismo is the perfect all rounder 

Verdict

There are very few chinks in the armour of this more affordable Porsche Taycan 4S Cross Turismo. It’s still more than fast enough, handles beautifully, balances this with plenty of comfort and refinement, and offers plenty of tech. It’s still a pricey machine in isolation, but the quality of the driving experience, the interior and the technology live up to expectations – and in a more practical estate body style with even more comfort, the Taycan has never been so appealing.

We’ve sampled Porsche’s more practical, slightly more rugged Taycan Cross Turismo electric car in high-performance (and pricey) Turbo form, but as is the way with the German brand, more affordable models always follow close behind – and so it is that we’re driving this less powerful ‘4S’ version of the Taycan Cross Turismo.

More affordable is a relative term given it costs from £88,270, and with the test car we tried coming in at £102,961 with options. But nonetheless, at £117,960 for the Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo, and £140,360 for the Turbo S, this 4S certainly lowers the barrier to Taycan CT ownership.

For that price you still get the 93.4kWh Performance Battery Plus, which offers a maximum claimed range of 277 miles. With up to 270kW DC charging capability, if you can find a point fast enough, a five to 80 per cent charge will take less than 23 minutes thanks to the Taycan’s 800v electric architecture. You can also opt for a 22kW AC on-board charger for an extra £1,179, but given an 11kW charger is standard, we wouldn’t bother.

The mid-speed punch is still incredibly rapid and is controlled by a chassis that is sublime. It proves electric cars needn’t all be the same to drive; the Taycan in all its forms reinforces that EVs can have character and be enjoyable, and in the Cross Turismo it’s even better. This stems from the slightly raised ride height, by 20mm compared with the standard Taycan saloon, or 30mm on our test car that was equipped with the £1,161 Off-road Design Package.

This extra suspension travel for the adaptive air system means that, even on 20-inch alloy wheels, the Porsche rides beautifully over torn country roads and at low to medium speed in built up areas, where the near-silent powertrain also means refinement is excellent. In fact, even on the motorway the Taycan is superbly quiet – doubly impressive given the Cross Turismo has a big hatchback compared with the standard saloon. 

Sometimes at higher speed over sharp crests in the road the suspension’s fluidity breaks down, causing a noticeable thump, but this is rare – and even when it does the Cross Turismo controls its weight relatively well. You’re always aware of its mass, but the chassis contains it and delivers reassuring handling; only when you really start to push does the car struggle to cope. And the Cross Turismo does invite you to push, because the steering is the best of any electric car. All Taycans offer a wonderful weight, beautifully direct response and even a hint of feedback.

 There is one drawback to its dynamic ability though. While the power delivery is mostly smooth, if you ask for maximum acceleration coming out of a slow corner you can feel the rear-mounted two-speed transmission drop down into its lower ratio before the Cross Turismo thrusts forward. It’s far from frustrating, but in a machine whose engineering is otherwise incredibly highly polished, it’s an odd anomaly.

This feeling of polish extends to the cabin, as like the Taycan saloon, the three-screen set-up is crisp, quick to respond and looks great. It marries this easy-on-the-eye appearance with strong functionality, too.

Unlike the Taycan saloon the Cross Turismo is more of a shooting brake estate, with a hatchback that reveals a 446-litre boot, making it a more practical option. There’s an 84-litre storage compartment in the front for charging cables, too. Space in the rear is great despite the low roofline; there’s a chunky sill to climb over, but once you’re sitting back there, head and legroom are fine.

Combined with efficiency of more than four miles/kWh over a mixed test route that explored the Taycan’s performance frequently, it’s even efficient, so at least the running costs should be easy to bear – and you can’t say that about many £90,000 estate cars with this level of performance.

Model: Porsche Taycan 4S Cross Turismo
Price:  £88,270
Battery/motor:  93.4kWh, 2x electric motors
Power/torque:  563bhp/650Nm
Transmission:  Two-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
0-62mph:  4.1 seconds
Top speed:  149mph
Range/charging:  277miles/270kW DC (5-80% 23mins)
On sale:  Now

(autoexpress.co.uk)

Published in Porsche
Monday, 30 August 2021 07:59

Range Rover Sport PHEV SUV review

“The Range Rover Sport PHEV could prove to be far cheaper to run than other models in the range, and it’s more luxurious, too”

 
 

Pros

  • 31-mile electric range
  • Low CO2 emissions
  • Good to drive

Cons

  • Reduced practicality
  • Thirsty once batteries run out
  • Less suited to high-mileage drivers

The Range Rover Sport P400e plug-in hybrid arrived as part of a range update, and brought with it an option in the luxury SUV’s range that will be of great interest to company car drivers. Tax rates and running costs will be significantly lower than for other versions of this big, heavy car, yet it offers an impressive level of comfort and luxury.

There are plenty of alternatives, including the Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine, Audi Q7 e-tron, BMW X5 xDrive40e and Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid. The Range Rover Sport has only around 26 miles of all-electric range, so it falls behind some of these rivals when it comes to commuting on battery power alone.

The Sport features a 297bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and a 114bhp electric motor, so it can go from 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds. It’s not just about the power, though, because the electric motor means low-speed driving is as quiet as it gets. Of course, this being a Range Rover the electric motor’s instant torque means it’s a superb off-roader as well – although most owners never go near so much as a muddy field.

The interior is as luxurious as you would expect given the brand’s credentials. Materials are high quality and there’s plenty of tech, including a dual-screen infotainment system with all the modern features you need. One area the PHEV model does lose out is with boot space, because of the space taken up by the hybrid batteries. There’s no seven-seat option here, either, and the plug-in model’s maximum towing weight is lower than for other versions.

From the outside, you might not think you are even looking at an electrified car. The only clues lie in the charging port on the front – and even this is hidden away most of the time – and the badges.

The Range Rover plug-in makes the most sense for those who don’t tend to do a lot of long trips but can’t quite make the jump to a fully electric car just yet. Yet the Range Rover Sport P400e is possibly the most luxurious model in the range to drive, because of the near-silent low-speed running when the engine is off. We’d still stick with a diesel model if you do a lot of motorway trips, though.

MPG, running costs & CO2

 If you regularly cover short distances, the Range Rover Sport P400e makes a lot of sense

The Range Rover Sport P400e might have a relatively thirsty 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, but combining this with an electric motor and battery pack means running costs can be significantly reduced. As with all plug-in hybrids, this benefit diminishes the further you drive – and if you don’t have access to a charging point – so the P400e is best suited to motorists with a fairly short commute who can top up the batteries frequently.

Thanks to the 13.1kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the Range Rover Sport can travel for up to 26 miles on electricity alone, boosting its official fuel economy figure to 88mpg – a huge improvement over the 27.4mpg of the equivalent petrol-only model. While this figure will obviously depend on how you drive the P400e, its 72g/km CO2 emissions figure is fixed, which means this is by far the cheapest Range Rover Sport for company car drivers. Its 18 per cent Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) band compares with 37 per cent for the standard Si4 petrol.

 Compared with its closest rivals, the P400e betters the 25-mile range and 75g/km CO2 emissions of the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, while the Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine manages just 59g/km of CO2 and 134.5mpg, and has a slightly lower, 25-mile range on battery power.

Road tax for the P400e costs the discounted VED (road tax) rate each year. However, there’s also the additional surcharge in years two to six owing to the fact the hybrid costs more than £40,000 to buy.

Charging the P400e at home takes around 7.5 hours using the standard 10-amp cable, but this can be sped up to under three hours using rapid charging with a dedicated wall box and 32-amp cable. The charging port is located in the front grille, making it easier to park facing public charging posts.

Engines, drive & performance

 The P400e is no slouch, but it’s less fun to drive when the batteries are depleted

The Range Rover Sport’s P400e badge signifies its power level, because its turbocharged 297bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine and electric motor combined produce up to 399bhp. This PHEV certainly isn’t short of power, then, sprinting from 0-62mph in just 6.3 seconds, before hitting a maximum speed of 137mph. This is only four-tenths faster than the petrol model, but the P400e feels very different to drive, especially in town. Here, electric power allows the Sport to accelerate briskly from a standstill with little fuss or noise – attributes that suit its character. It's just a shame the P400e can hesitate when asked to accelerate from a rolling start at a junction or roundabout – a frustrating sensation.

 
Back on the road, it’s when the battery pack is depleted that the Sport P400e makes least sense. With a small engine and more weight to lug around, it needs working fairly hard and emits a vocal whine that’s at odds with the Range Rover’s luxurious character.

Tackle a winding road and the P400e does a better job of disguising its weight, serving up impressive agility and grip for a big SUV. It’s sharper than the XC90 that majors on comfort, while being slightly less driver focused than the Cayenne.

Interior & comfort

 The Sport is just as luxurious as ever, but now has more up-to-date technology

Inside, the Range Rover Sport is just as luxurious as ever, with swathes of leather covering virtually every surface and metal trim that’s cool to the touch. The PHEV features the brand’s Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, with two 10-inch displays stacked on top of each other. These are crystal clear and look great, with the top display taking care of sat-nav and media, while the bottom screen is used for vehicle settings. It largely works well, but smartphone integration still lags behind rivals such as the Audi Q7 – and it's a bit of a fingerprint magnet.

There are plenty of places to charge your smart devices, with up to 12 power points dotted around the interior, as well as two traditional power sockets to charge laptops and other devices that need more juice than a USB port can provide. You can essentially turn the Sport into an office away from home – or family entertainment centre – at the drop of a hat. The introduction of the Activity Key from the Jaguar F-Pace means you can also take a waterproof wristband on your outdoor adventures instead of the key and use it to unlock the car when you get back.

Practicality & boot space

 The battery pack reduces load space and towing ability slightly, but they’re still beyond what most families will need

It has a lower roofline and sleeker shape than the standard Range Rover, or a Volvo XC90 for that matter, but the Range Rover Sport is still a large SUV. It can carry five adults in comfort, with well shaped leather seats providing plenty of support.

 
However, there have been some compromises in practicality in order to fit the battery pack and electric motor. In the standard Sport, there’s up to 780 litre of luggage space, but this is reduced by up to 79 litres in the P400e, while the boot floor is also raised up by 46mm. Perhaps more significantly for families, there’s also no longer the option of the 5+2 seating layout that makes the Sport an occasional seven-seater, because there’s no room to stow the third row in the boot.
 
Towing has been made simpler, thanks to Advanced Tow Assist, a driving aid that allows you to guide a trailer into place using the reversing camera and turning the rotary controller to steer its path. The on-board computer then automatically works out the correct steering inputs required. It’s worth noting that the P400e can tow between 500-1,000kg less than other Sports, but its maximum trailer weight of 2,500kg is still more than enough to pull a large caravan.

Reliability & safety

 Land Rover doesn’t have the best reliability record, but the Sport is loaded with safety equipment

Land Rover doesn’t have the best reputation for reliability, and in our 2021 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey it finished in 22nd place – although that’s actually an improvement over previous years.

While the Range Rover Sport hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP, safety should be less of a worry. Both the fully fledged Range Rover and the Range Rover Velar managed a five-star result, so there’s little reason to think the Sport would do worse. It shares most of those models’ safety kit after all, including features such as autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and electronics designed to help prevent rollover accidents.

Price, value for money & options

 For the right type of driver, the Sport PHEV could bring real cost benefits

Depending on its specification, the 400bhp plug-in hybrid P400e costs around £4,000 more than a Range Rover Sport fitted with a 300bhp V6 diesel engine. Some will consider this a bargain, especially company car drivers considering the potential tax savings – although we’re talking about a car costing well over £70,000 here, so it’s all relative.

However, the savings only really make sense if you plan on driving on electric power a large proportion of the time. If you often drive more than 30 miles a day, or on long trips, a diesel will probably make more sense.

(https://www.carbuyer.co.uk/)

Published in Land Rover
Tuesday, 24 August 2021 08:51

Maserati Ghibli will retire in 2023

The Italian luxury sedan is in the late part of its career.

Maserati announced that Ghibli will leave the stage in 2023 and bow to the audience. There are no plans for a new generation, nor for a direct successor. Moreover, Maserati expects that the future Grecale SUV model will be enough to cover all ambitions in the D segment.

The brand from Modena obviously has full confidence in the future Grecale. They point out that this SUV will be able to carry a large terrain on its shoulders. Moreover, journalists from the Apennine Peninsula write that Grecale could be Maserati's bestseller.

The Italian brand presented the latest addition to the Ghibli range in August last year. It is a potent Trofeo variant that uses 8 units originating from the famous Ferrari. It is a twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 powertrain. This engine delivers 580 hp and 740 Nm, which gives the Maserati sedan a top speed of as much as 326 km / h.

Thus, the sedan from Modena will have a ten-year-long career, as it debuted in 2013 at the Shanghai Motor Show. This is also the third, and some say the last, Maserati model called Ghibli. First, it was the legendary fastback from the sixties, and the label returned in the early nineties in the form of a two-door coupe.

According to unofficial data, Maserati Ghibli collected slightly less than 20,600 registrations in Europe from the beginning of his career in 2013 until 2019.

Published in Blog/News
Friday, 09 July 2021 15:50

New Mazda MX-5 Sport Venture 2021 review

 

The new Mazda MX-5 Sport Venture is the latest in a long line of special editions of the world’s favourite roadster 

Verdict

Like the standard roadster, the limited-edition MX-5 Sport Venture is a fantastic car to drive, thanks to its direct handling and buzzy naturally aspirated 1.5-litre engine. But the extra equipment Mazda has added to this limited-run car has pushed its price a little too close to its more powerful (and similarly equipped) siblings, which makes it hard to recommend unless you’re an avid MX-5 collector. You can find similar plushness and kit in the existing Sport Tech model.

Since the fourth generation of the MX-5 was launched in 2015, Mazda has released a steady stream of special-edition versions, following the pattern established by the three previous models. There was the Z-Sport in 2017, then a model that marked the roadster’s 30th anniversary in 2019, followed by a variant to celebrate Mazda’s 100th anniversary last year.

Now the company has launched the MX-5 Sport Venture, and it carries a little bit of heritage with it, because the limited-edition nameplate returns from the previous-generation car. The formula remains pretty much the same, too. Sold only in limited numbers, this one comes painted in a new Deep Crystal Mica Blue shade and with a grey fabric hood, which combine to give it a unique appearance among the MX-5 line-up. Stone-coloured Nappa leather upholstery gives it a premium edge over the Sport trim-level car it’s based on.

However, the £27,615 price-tag doesn’t look like much of a bargain when you consider that prices for the equally fun and much more practical Ford Fiesta ST start from £21,955. The MX-5’s price has crept up considerably since launch, but it remains a rare offering in today’s market.

The new MX-5 Sport Venture is only available with the entry-level 130bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. If you would prefer an MX-5 with the stronger 181bhp 2.0-litre engine, prices for that version start at £28,670, £1,055 more than this special-edition model.

What’s the point of the MX-5 Sport Venture, then? Exclusivity for one, because just 160 examples will be sold in the UK. It also helps that it comes with a whole host of features that you can’t specify (even as options) on the cheapest 1.5-litre car, including the roof colour, the leather interior, and silver mirror caps.

It also comes with standard adaptive LED headlamps (borrowed from the high-spec Sport Tech model), which swivel as you turn the wheel to light up dark spots on the road ahead in tight bends. They’re a welcome addition at night on the sort of narrow B-roads the MX-5 suits so well.

As in the Sport model, buyers also get a Bose audio system, which will please audiophiles and tech geeks alike. It’s a bit more bassy than the standard stereo in the SE-L car, and has speakers built into both headrests, which help to defy the wind noise when driving with the roof down.

 

When you’re listening to music, the speakers play mid-range frequencies and, if you get a phone call, they pipe your contact’s voice directly into your ears. It’s certainly a handy feature but, again, it’s a benefit more than a necessity.

Mazda hasn’t made any mechanical changes to the MX-5 Sport Venture, which means it drives exactly the same as the standard roadster. So, the power steering is a little over-assisted for such a light car, but the rack gives you enough feedback to know where the front wheels are pointing.

 
 
The manual gearshifter is also one of the best in the business and, because you’ve only got 130bhp to play with, you’ll be constantly rowing through the ratios to try and keep the engine in its sweet spot.

Despite all of its many charms, though, the MX-5 Sport Venture still ends up feeling just a bit too expensive for what it is, which is mostly due to the level of tech Mazda has added, and the premium the firm thinks such exclusivity is worth. This special edition costs the same sort of money that used to secure a solidly equipped 2.0-litre version of Mazda’s iconic sports car.

The biggest selling points for the special edition are its styling and its rarity, which makes it hard to recommend unless you’re an MX-5 aficionado. If it were our money, we’d either opt for the £26,335 MX-5 Sport and pocket the difference, or splash the extra cash and go for the bigger, more powerful engine in the MX-5 Sport Tech.

Model: Mazda MX-5 1.5 132PS Sport Venture
Price: £27,615
Engine: 1.5-litre 4cyl petrol
Power/torque: 130bhp/152Nm
Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
0-62mph: 8.3 seconds
Top speed: 127mph
Economy: 44.8mpg
CO2: 142g/km
On sale: Now
 
Published in Mazda
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