Displaying items by tag: Sport Cars
With a lower price tag and more boot space, the all-electric Porsche Taycan 4S Cross Turismo is the perfect all rounder
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.
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|
|Battery/motor:||93.4kWh, 2x electric motors|
|Transmission:||Two-speed automatic, four-wheel drive|
|Range/charging:||277miles/270kW DC (5-80% 23mins)|
“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”
- 31-mile electric range
- Low CO2 emissions
- Good to drive
- 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
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.
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 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.
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
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
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.
Reliability & safety
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
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.
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.
The new Mazda MX-5 Sport Venture is the latest in a long line of special editions of the world’s favourite roadster
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.
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|
|Engine:||1.5-litre 4cyl petrol|
|Transmission:||Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive|
Beautifully styled coupe mixes old school charm with cutting edge tech
Is the Ferrari Roma any good?
The term ‘entry-level’ has never been a particularly easy fit when it comes to Ferrari. The cars at this end of the line-up are far from affordable, after all, and once specified with a few options can easily find themselves knocking on the door of a more senior, mid-engined model.
What cars like the California T, Portofino and now the Roma do is represent a less intimidating and more usable introduction to Ferrari ownership – not as hard-edged as an F8 Tributo or astronomically expensive as an 812 Superfast, but in possession of enough Maranello magic to ensure their drivers go on to become Ferrari owners for life. Or so the theory goes.
Trouble is, in order to make cars that are easy to use and live with, in years gone by they also felt a bit watered down – still astonishingly fast, just not quite as mind-blowingly so as something with the engine in the middle. Brilliant to drive, but with one or two modes missing from the firm's Manettino drive mode switch.
The Roma is a conscious effort to redress that balance, and it does so by harking back to a bygone era of luxury motoring inspired by 1950s and 60s Rome.
What's it like inside?
Is it all throwback styling with a retro interior? No – in fact it’s the opposite. As with the SF90 the Roma features an entirely digital cockpit made up from a large screen behind the wheel and another portrait infotainment unit in the centre.
Hardly cutting edge (Audi gave us the Virtual Cockpit years ago) but a leap forward for this Italian maker, and typically it’s done so in the most Ferrari way imaginable.
2021 Ferrari Roma cabinEnlarge0videoEnlarge40photo
So you still get a massive central rev counter right in your eyeline, and while the wheel features lots more functions and controls than it used to, they’re only lit briefly when in use, before dimming away invisibly as to not distract you from the job of driving. Also, button free wheels look much cooler.
You could be excused for thinking a greater focus on top end performance would make the Roma twitchy and uncomfortable elsewhere, but the reality is far from it.
There’s also a very usable boot, and some slightly less usable rear seats, although the latter can be folded down to expand the luggage capacity even further.
What's it like to drive?
On this front the Roma also pushes the agenda onwards – as such you get five drive modes on the rotary Manettino switch (including Race) and underbody aero to help stick the car to the tarmac without ruining its sleek exterior lines with a permanent spoiler.
Ferrari hasn’t given these things to cars at this end of the spectrum before and that should go some way to explain its intent with the Roma. It’s a supremely brilliant car to drive fast, with accessible and friendly handling that makes the driver feel front and centre, while also providing a largely invisible safety net.
This is mostly down to a variety of driver aids including the latest version of Side Slip Control. This will allow the rear end of the car to step out during exuberant cornering, but not so much that you end up facing the wrong way.
The ride is surprisingly supple and can be slackened off even in the racier modes by pressing the Manettino button to enable Bumpy Road mode.
In fact we think that it’s in one of the more relaxed settings, with the engine barely ticking over at motorway speed, where the Roma is most impressive. You could happily waft down to an Alpine pass, arrive without feeling broken, and then pick it to bits in Race mode. An impressive combination.
Ferrari Roma practicality and boot space
This being a more daily-driver capable Ferrari means there needs to be more than a small nod towards practicality. Things like single-piece carbon bucket seats with race harnesses and a stripped-out cockpit with nowhere to store a bag of sweets are unlikely to win a buyer’s heart here.
How much space is there?
In the back there is a pair of seats suitable for very small children, or more realistically, additional luggage for a weekend away. They’re no smaller than you get in a Porsche 911 though, and they fold down to unlock a large rear storage compartment.
Boot space and storage
The boot itself is pretty good, ranging between 272-345 litres with the seats up or down – which is good enough for two big suitcases or three squashy bags (or ideally some exquisitely tailored luggage), with a usable size and shape to the aperture when the lid itself is open.
Elsewhere, you get a few spots to store things up front, including a single cup holder, plus some slim door pockets and a second cubby in the centre console. There’s an underarm storage bin too with a USB socket and 12v charger.
The styling of the Roma’s interior divides the driver and passenger into two different pods – the latter even gets their own screen showing options like the speed and revs, audio, and car settings. Plus the trademark chequerplate in the footwell to brace themselves on.
While there are a few key references to previous Ferrari cabins, this new layout is quite a divergence from what has come before, but in a welcome way.
Infotainment and tech
The new infotainment suite (first seen in the SF90) includes a 16-inch curved driver’s display with three views – a minimalist one for sporty driving, a full map view for long trips, or a mixture of both with a characteristic big centre tacho. To the left of this is an 8.4-inch portrait touchscreen not entirely unlike the one in a McLaren.
Ferrari has always been good at giving the driver just the right amount of information and functions so you can concentrate entirely on the job of driving, but as time and technology has moved on, the button count has naturally increased.
As a car designer you can either strip this all away to leave a more focussed dashboard, or go wild with switches and dials to make it simple to use. The Roma attempts to do both.
That means loads of touch sensitive controls that are lit up when being used but invisible when not, to give you plenty of control over the car’s various functions without looking like an explosion in a button factory.
In fact the only physical cockpit controls are for the windows, gearbox, and launch control. Then on the wheel you get proper buttons for the lights, cruise control, wipers, and indicators. The gearbox is arranged to look a bit like an open-gated manual shift, which is a nice touch.
Even the engine start is a touch sensitive pad, as are those which you use to control the functions on the driver’s screen.
2021 Ferrari Roma gear engine start buttonEnlarge0videoEnlarge40photo
As such this leaves the wheel itself looking clean without sacrificing functionality. The only downside to this was a small amount of lag and lack of sensitivity in the touch controls, meaning they’re not as intuitive as we’d like.
The shift paddles are still massive and epic, though, so zero complaints there.
In an area where the Roma obviously needs to perform well, the comfort levels of this corner-carving Ferrari sportscar are surprisingly high, all things considered.
Taller drivers on the Parkers team found the headroom a bit restricted, so that’s worth taking into account, plus the pedals have been offset slightly in the swap to right-hand drive. Neither of these add up to a particularly uncomfortable driving position, but can induce a bit of back or leg pain on a long drive. Those of a shorter stature found no problems at all.
The seats are quite hard but with adjustable bolsters you can get them into the right shape, and their firmness offers a good amount of support that means you don’t end up slouching.
In one of the more laid-back modes it’s easy to imagine taking the Roma on a long and taxing drive. The engine noise never really goes away but it’s muted enough on the motorway, and there’s less tyre and wind rush than expected, too. This isn't ever going to be a Bentley Continental GT, but you won't necessarily wince at the prospect of covering a longer journey in it.
Best of all the ride is comfy enough for all but the lumpiest of UK roads, and when you turn the Manettino dial up to the sportier modes, you’ve got the option of instantly slackening the suspension off by pressing it and activating Bumpy Road mode.
Ferrari Roma running costs and mpg
Let’s keep this brief because nobody is buying a Ferrari under the pretext that it’s going to be cheap to run. This is a car that needs looking after properly rather than cutting corners on consumables.
MPG and CO2
Happily though, thanks to a combination of a slippery profile and less weight, the Roma is more fuel efficient than the Portofino, with 21mpg and 255g/km of CO2 output on offer.
As you’d imagine it also uses less fuel than an F8 Tributo, so while overall it’s still quite thirsty, within the context of the Ferrari range it’s actually pretty good.
While the mechanicals under the skin of the Roma have been used elsewhere in the range for several years, the new tech inside the cockpit is less proven.
2021 Ferrari Roma key fobEnlarge0videoEnlarge40photo
That said, with fewer moving parts than older, button-filled Ferraris there is technically less to go wrong, individually, so you shouldn’t have much cause for concern in this department. The Roma also comes with a four year warranty.
Servicing and maintenance
There’s also a seven-year Genuine Maintenance programme offered by Ferrari, which includes regular servicing (intervals of 12,000 miles or one year) which promises ‘meticulous checks’ of the entire car.
In essence, there's not much to worry about.
Ferrari Roma engines and performance
Sure, Ferrari has more powerful models in its line-up but once you’ve gone past the 500hp mark there are few occasions on the road where performance feels lacking. Typically there was no point during our time with the Roma that it lacked the answer to a question asked by our right foot. The Roma's reserves feel bottomless, as befits its sports touring nature.
A 3.8-litre V8 and two turbos means 620hp and 760Nm of torque, and 0-62mph ticked off in 3.4 seconds. While a top-end rush has been deliberately engineered in, it's easy enough to keep the rev needle in the mid-range and find more than adequate power. There's no need to drop loads of gears or wait for the boost for the turbos to arrive, it’s just ruthlessly fast, all the time.
It’s not one dimensional though - the different driving modes accessed by the Manettino switch on the steering wheel all offer very distinctive power deliveries, ranging from soft and progressive in Wet and Comfort through to the sharper and more responsive Sport and Race – here the accelerator barely needs to be brushed in order to deliver a surge of forward momentum, but in its more moderate modes, the long travel throttle pedal needs a good push to get going.
Race mode might sound intimidating but it’s the one tuned for the most amount of fun on the road, rather than setting new personal best lap times at Fiorano. This fastest setting gives the Roma breath-taking pace and delivers the full 760Nm, although you’ll need to be in 7th or 8th gear to get it, because the torque on offer increases as you climb the gears.
Compared to the old Portofino (there’s a new M variant with a new gearbox) the Roma has an extra ratio in its eight-speed dual-clutch ‘box, and the lower gears have been made shorter. That means punchier acceleration and lazy cruising – the car is barely ticking over at motorway speeds.
As with the Jekyll and Hyde power delivery, the gearbox also displays impressive duality - able to blur its ratios seamlessly or deliver pin sharp shifts that punctuate heavy braking moments with a loud flare of revs.
Left to its own devices and driven at anything less than flat out, it did seem keen to get into the highest possible gear, but turn up the heat a little and shifts are completed with Ferrari’s trademark telepathy. There’s still enough reward on offer in using the brilliantly clacky and large column-mounted shift paddles, though, to convince you into manual mode every now and again.
The engine can be quite restrained in volume especially when cruising in top gear where its song is barely present. Although this is never the case on start-up where it is consistently flamboyant. With more enthusiastic driving comes a satisfying soundtrack - if not quite as soaring as older V8 Ferrari models - that is full of bass and gravel at low rpm and a higher pitched howl closer to the redline.
All-in-all this makes the Roma a versatile car - equally happy wafting about as it is picking your favourite B-road to bits. But more on that in the next section.
As a bit of a two-things-in-one-car the Roma runs the risk of feeling compromised, particularly in the often-opposing areas of comfort and handling. To an extent it does, but only within the framework of Ferrari's more focussed models - it's not as sharp to drive as an F8 or as cossetting as a GTC, but bear in mind that those are high benchmarks.
What it is though is a very usable balance of both - at no point could you describe the suspension as luxuriously soft, but it's fine for daily use, only getting a bit out of shape on really bumpy roads – while the way it handles can easily blow sports cars from other manufacturers into the weeds.
None of this should be a surprise of course, as Ferrari has left nothing to chance by throwing a load of tech at its new coupe. As such you get five modes on the Manettino plus underbody aero (and a pop-up spoiler) to enhance downforce without ruining those sleek exterior lines. Both of these are a first in the Italian manufacturer’s (comparatively) less focussed GT models, and that should give you a sense of its intentions.
As with the engine response, the Manettino gives you a variety of different handling responses from soft to sharp. Somewhat oddly our favourite combination was Comfort mode with the gearbox in manual. This gives you a very relaxed (but still bonkers fast) set up that suits the car's suave and unflustered appearance.
Still, Sport and Race do increase the response from the throttle and steering to very satisfying levels, while firming up the suspension to improve body control. You can dial this back by pressing the Manettino to utilise Bumpy Road mode, which offers a nice balance on UK roads, while still hugging the ground.
When it comes to driving quickly the Roma again offers a breadth of attitudes – if you enter a corner tentatively and feed the power in it'll hook up nicely and fire you out the other side in a neat, grippy manner. However, go in with more confidence and give the gas a big push and the rear end of the car will swing out to a point controlled by lots of clever electronics.
Chiefly this is down to the Roma’s Side Slip Control, which ties together the traction control, electronic differential and something called ‘Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer’ to interpret your inputs and let the rear of the car move around accordingly. It’s essentially a traction control system that lets the rear of the car have a little slide without wiping out, and is capable of making you look absolutely heroic while providing something of a safety net. Even so, this is best explored in a controlled environment.
The steering is quick and linear but not as fast as the F8, making it seem more relaxed and less twitchy on faster roads. The brakes need a good push to get going but when you do there’s plenty of power and feel, although they were a bit grabby and hard to modulate in our test car.
Even so, it took a bit longer to get under the Roma's skin than in current or former mid-engined Ferraris, which usually feel just-right from the off. But those are a very different proposition, and once you get used to the Roma's feel it becomes a very rewarding thing to drive indeed.
Ferrari Roma verdict
Should you buy one?
By the time you’re talking about this sort of pricetag there’s not a lot of point having an argument about whether the Roma is good enough as a motorway cruiser and mountain road slayer or whether you’d be better off buying two Porsche 911s instead. Customers won’t be buying only this car, so this won’t be bought with the same all-rounder considerations as, say, a VW Golf.
That said, it is mightily impressive how convincing the Roma is as a one-Ferrari-to-rule-them-all – sure the rear seats won’t suffice if you regularly need to transport more than two people, but for anyone else this is a suitably useful daily driver that just so happens to be razor sharp when the moment takes you.
In fact, we think it approaches that balance better than the Portofino or California T that came before it and is the ideal starting point for Ferrari ownership. No, the roof doesn’t come down, so it won’t suit those looking to be seen while driving, but as a trade-off the elegant exterior lines and styling more than make up for it.
It gives you just enough of the Ferrari-fizz to leave you wanting more from a model higher up the range, but not so little that in isolation it feels half-cocked.
More impressive is the car’s ability to celebrate an older era of luxury while moving the game on in terms of interior tech and usability. All that without being an exercise in chintzy, throwback styling - it feels distinctly old school but under the skin the Roma is anything but.
Best of all though is the simple stuff – this is a front engined, V8 powered, 2+2 coupe, with no hybridisation or self-driving modes in sight. Enjoy it while you can. If you can.
Meet the many-hatted Peugeot 508 Sport Engineered – in one package a stylish fastback, business-class motorway cruiser, zero-tailpipe-emissions planet-pleaser and now, apparently, a powerful sports car.
That's a lot of plates to spin. So it won't surprise you to hear Peugeot's turned to a flexible plug-in hybrid powertrain to achieve it, promising more power than a regular petrol or diesel with the option to run emissions-free for a claimed 26 miles too.
Thing is, the 508 is mostly bought by company-car drivers, who usually only require a posh badge to impress clients, an M Sport bodykit to impress colleagues, and a small diesel engine to impress the fleet manager. Does the PSE model over-complicate things?
Who cares? It's a fast Peugeot!
Well yes, there is that, but consider the £50,000 price tag – for retail customers that puts the 508 PSE in the crosshairs of the BMW M340i and Audi S5 Sportback.
That's not an inherently difficult circle to square, because this is not only a fast Peugeot, but a very fast, very good Peugeot.
508 pse side pan
It's actually the most powerful roadgoing car the French maker has ever sold, in fact, with as much power in its electric motors as the 405 T16 we all so desperately want it to be.
Why doesn't it have a GTi badge?
Peugeot says that's a question only British journalists ask, such is our love of the marque's heritage hot hatchbacks. But the 508 is something entirely different, offering a broader spread of talents than an out-and-out sports saloon.
The Sport Engineered name means it's a 508 first and foremost, with the benefit of being breathed on by Peugeot's go-faster division. It's WandaVision to The Avengers or The Mandalorian to Star Wars.
What's it like to drive?
Fast! But that shouldn't be a surprise, considering the 335bhp and 384lb ft of torque on offer from a 1.6-litre petrol engine and two electric motors, and an all-wheel drive system to help deliver it all cleanly to the tarmac.
It's not as fast as a pure-petrol M340i or S5 with those numbers, because it's heavier than a pure-petrol car. But it's not as heavy as you might imagine – the 1850kg kerbweight is actually pretty good for a PHEV.
The gearbox likes to shuffle up the cogs to save fuel (as is the way these days), but in Sport mode it seems to hang onto them for too long. The best solution is to use the column-mounted manual shift paddles, but these are too short and set too high – more suited to a ten-to-two driver than a quarter-to-three. Plus the left paddle is sandwiched between the left indicator stalk and cruise controls, and this is annoying.
Things are better in the handling department where the 508 PSE is quite neutral in a corner and can be persuaded into a bit of lift-off oversteer as you'd expect in a car fettled by Peugeot Sport. This car is lower and wider than the standard model, and has its own springs, dampers and anti-roll bars.
The suspension is adaptive and offers a broad spread of settings, from comfy to firm, although there's always an edge to the ride that reminds you you're in the sportiest version. Otherwise it's typical Peugeot Sport – more hot hatch than a saloon, with light controls, a little bit of bodyroll, and agility and compliance to the ride, which adds huge fun on UK roads.
Only one thing stands out (and being a plug-in hybrid this won't surprise you): the brake pedal is spongy and hard to get dialled into. The 508 PSE is equipped with Alcon calipers and bi-material discs, which offer plenty of stopping power, but without mechanical pedal feel it can be hard to meter out.
How long does it take to charge?
The 11.5kWh battery takes about three to four hours to fill at the standard 3.7kW rate – a 7.4kW charger is an option, dropping the time to one hour and 45 minutes. Either way you only get a Type 2 cable, with no three-pin unless you pay for it.
You need a full battery to get all 355hp, although with no charge the 508 will run as a sort-of hybrid in town, and on the whole it's pretty smooth and unobtrusive.
Pick up the pace, though, and you'll be greeted by the slightly reedy and over-synthesised tone of the petrol engine, which is alright when you want to cruise around in peace, but not very soul-stirring when you crack on. Still, that's another good reason to keep it charged.
Is it any different inside and out?
It's a pretty subtle change in exterior styling – from a distance – but as you get closer you'll notice all sorts of enhancements.
The most stand-out are the Kryptonite green additions, including the new claw logo, and the aggressive diffuser and aero ducting on the front bumper. Small vertical blades stick up on the edges of both and are probably more useful for tucking the cable into while the car's on charge than actually channelling air, but they're quite cool nonetheless.
Inside, you still get Peugeot's divisive i-Cockpit layout with its tiny steering wheel set below the dials, but with more carbonfibre effect material. Overall it's a nice interior, very futuristic-looking, but the hard plastic used for the door bins and under the armrest stick out on a £50,000 car.
Peugeot 508 Sport Engineered: verdict
The 508 has been twice compromised in becoming this Peugeot Sport Engineered model – firstly by adding batteries and electric motors, and then again by giving it a performance focus.
What makes this car stand out against rival performance PHEVs is the fact it gives away very little in terms of outright practicality. The boot capacity is the same as a non-plug-in Pug at 487 litres, and despite being way more fun and accomplished to drive than the standard 508, it's barely any less comfortable day-to-day.
Yes, an old-school straight-six would be a more evocative powerplant, but the ability to drive emissions-free and the overall improvement in fuel economy in this 508 goes a long way to addressing that balance. It's an odd niche, but one that deserves plugging.
BMW has introduced its next i8 M concept, this new BMW’s luxury sedan will come out for the 2024 model year. The 2024 i8 M available in two trims models: Coupe and Roadster. So with this article, we will find out more details about the 2024 i8 M, how good its performance, and how much it costs to get one. Let Check it out:
2024 BMW i8 M Preview
So What’s New for 2024? The 2024 version of i8 M or whatever BMW makes a decision to call its next-generation crossbreed cars– will be brand new for the 2024 version year. We anticipate learning much more as we obtain closer to the automobile’s on-sale day, which is anticipated to be at some point in 2023 as a 2024 version.
Little is understood about the i8 M’s cabin thus far, yet we are really hoping BMW addresses the i8’s hard access and also egress by furnishing the brand-new vehicle with front-hinged doors as well as a reduced side sill to make the inside much more quickly available. Like the present car, the i8 M will be BMW’s playground for future designing as well as need to include one-of-a-kind products, innovative functions, and also eye-popping styles. Storage space as well as freight capability will likely continue to be limited, yet a front trunk (or “frunk”) might take a look to give extra baggage room.
2024 BMW i8 M New Exterior Design
Navigation & Infotainment
A whole lot can transform on the planet of the in-car infomercial in three-plus years, so information regarding what may be used in the i8 M is any individual’s hunch. In the Vision M Following principle, BMW displayed an advanced take on an infomercial that the firm calls the Increase Shuck; it includes numerous glass displays as well as a head-up screen to give the chauffeur accessibility to car-related info and also on-board amusement functions.
How Powerful The 2024 i8 M?
The i8 M’s plug-in hybrid powertrain is prepared to comply with the very same standard configuration as the present i8, which indicates an electric motor driving the front wheels and also a mid-mounted fuel engine, and also an electric motor for the back wheels. Instead of the i8’s turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder gas engine, BMW has claimed the brand-new automobile will use a turbocharged four-cylinder; the firm likewise asserts an overall system outcome– gas and also electric power integrated– of 591 horsepower, which is much more than the i8’s 369-hp outcome. This up-rated powertrain will aid the i8 M to take on competitors such as the Acura NSX, Lexus LC500h, as well as Polestar 1.
2024 BMW i8 M Powered by New Engine System
In terms of Gas/Fuel Economic Situation and also Real-World MPG, The EPA has actually not evaluated the i8 M or launched quotes for its gas intake– which is not unexpected considering that the auto does not exist yet. Along with enhancing electric driving variety, we’re anticipating the i8 M to provide somewhat far better gas economic situation rankings than the existing i8, regardless of an awaited renovation in velocity and also driving efficiency.
Speaking about the price, honestly, the company doesn’t provide its official price information yet. But According to Caranddriver, and other autos website, the price for the 2024 BMW i8 M Coupe is $160,000 while
Roadster version is $180,000