Top Ten Motoring News This Week From Corsas To Teslas1st February 2015
After complaints were made about an ‘ugly yellow car’, a local resident’s Vauxhall Corsa, ruining photographs of a Cotswolds’ village, Vauxhall have come up with an optional camouflage net for the car. Available in Flaming Yellow, Flame Red, Lime Green and Chilli Orange, they claim the bizarre accessory ‘has been designed specifically for use near National Trust premises and chocolate box Cotswold villages’. I think Vauxhall may be taking the p*ss somewhat.
Here’s one for the gamers out there. The next two Vision Gran Turismo cars have been revealed, this time from Alpine & Lexus. Cleverly looking futuristic whilst referencing Alpines past, the open 2 seater is said to handle in a way that previews aspects of their new road car just with more performance. Lexus’ effort is based heavily on the LF-LC concept car with aspects of the new RC-F GT3 racing car grafted on. Both should be available to download free around March.
Toyota Motorsport GmbH have confirmed final specs for the GT86 CS-R3 rally car (ABOVE). Costing well over twice as much as a standard car, it is packed with proper motorsport componentry. Power is up a modest 30 bhp thanks to a new exhaust and manifold while you also get 3 way adjustable shocks, a sequential ‘box and plenty of other goodies. If you are tempted, one word of warning, the car only comes as a kit you have to put together yourself. With this and the rise of the RGT class, rear wheel drive seems to be back in rallying with a bang. Excellent.
Missed out on buying a brand new Lancia Delta HF (BELOW) Integrale back in the day? Got a spare £100k lying around? Well you’re in luck! Silverstone Auctions will be auctioning this as new example with a mere 31 miles under its tyres at their Race Retro Sale in Warwickshire on 21st and 22nd February. Built in 1992, it’s one of 400 Martini special editions built to commemorate Lancia’s 5th manufacturer’s championship in the WRC. Being an ‘Evoluzione’ model, it has 210 bhp and is wider than the earlier model to improve handling. I think I’d rather have one I wasn’t afraid of driving.
Expanding the range of performance estates at Volkswagen is a load lugging version of the GTD (BELOW). Like the hatchback version, it offers a taste of the GTI experience but with much lower running costs. While it may have 184 hp with 0-60 taking 7.9 seconds, it’s also good for nearly 65 mpg. Compared to a normal Golf Estate, the GTD gains 15mm lower suspension, tasty alloy wheels, new bumpers and a sprinkling of other sporty trim. VW are suggesting this would make an excellent long distance cruiser so if you’re after excitement, go for the R Estate or stick to the regular GTI.
More details of the McLaren 675LT (Longtail) have been announced, the name referencing the ultimate development of the Le Mans winning McLaren F1 GTR. The latest picture shows a new directional alloy wheel while the release gives us more info on the new car’s specs. Power is 675 PS (666 bhp) with weight reduced and downforce increased. Unlike the 650S which is available as an open Spider, the new car will be coupe only. If it can be anywhere near as good as the 458 Speciale it will be pretty, well, special.
Jeep have added a new version of their Cherokee (ABOVE) to the UK range with an eye for those whose idea of going off road is more than parking on a curb. Named the Trailhawk, it gains a 1 inch suspension lift, skid plates underneath along with new bumpers front and rear to give better approach and departure angles. You also get a locking rear diff for particularly muddy car parks. The big downside is that you can only have the 3.2 litre V6 and although fuel is cheap, tax won’t be.
Owners of the current Focus ST (ABOVE) who fancy an RS but don’t have the money will be interested to hear Graham Goode Racing are offering significant power gains from their GGR ST300 upgrade, For a reasonable £1500 you get a new high flow catalytic converter, cold air induction system and ECU remap fitted. All this increases power by 46 bhp to 296 and torque by a whopping 90 Ib. ft to 365. Unfortunately it does invalidate the car’s warranty, not that it matters if yours is over 3 years old…
Tesla have opened their 20th ‘Supercharger’ in the UK allowing owners to replenish up to 50% of their battery life in as little as 20 minutes for free. Sainsbury’s in Winchester, Exeter and Bristol are the latest sites with Tesla aiming for full UK coverage by the end of 2015. If you are fortunate enough to be able to afford one, the reasons to choose a Model S over a Porsche Panamera or Mercedes CLS are increasing almost weekly. If Tesla want to lend me one (preferably a P85D), then I’d be happy to explain why.
Toyota have been busy this week, confirming what rally fans have known for most of last year, that they would be entering a Yaris into the WRC. Seeing as they’ve been out of the game since 1999, Toyota Motorsport GmbH are targeting a 2017 comeback, using the next couple of years to test and be ready for some expected rule changes. Only time will tell if the successes of the Celica GT-4 through the late 80s and 90s can be replicated. They’ll certainly have their work cut out if they want to beat the dominant VW Polo WRCs.