Toyota harvests solar energy to power UK engine production

  • Toyota UK switches on almost 13,000 solar panels to power the car manufacturer’s Deeside factory in North Wales.
  • The solar array, designed and installed by British Gas, can produce up to 3,475,000 kWh a year – enough electricity to build up to 22,500 engines.
  • Potential saving of more than 1,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.

A large-scale embedded solar array has been switched on at Toyota UK’s engine production centre at Deeside in North Wales.

Almost 13,000 solar panels will provide up to 10 per cent. of all the electricity required for manufacturing at the site, which makes petrol and hybrid engines for Toyota Avensis and Auris models sold throughout Europe.

Toyota Deeside array

The solar array, commissioned as a multi-million-pound project delivered by British Gas, will significantly reduce the site’s carbon emissions. It took three months to install the panels, supplied by Tata Power Solar, which cover an area that’s the equivalent of almost eight football pitches.

The Toyota plant’s carbon emissions will fall by 1,800 tonnes a year.

Established in 1992 and backed by a total investment of £700 million, the Deeside factory employs around 570 people, producing petrol and hybrid petrol engines for the British market and for export to Toyota production centres worldwide.

Toyota’s Burnaston factory in Derbyshire also uses solar power. In 2011 one of Britain’s largest solar arrays was installed there.

Volvo approaches crash-free future with opening of AstaZero proving ground

AstaZero is hailed by its proprietors as the world’s first full-scale proving ground for future traffic safety systems. Its opening has brought Volvo Car Group a step closer to realising their vision that by 2020 no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car.

An important measure towards achieving this goal will be the development of active safety systems, which will help to prevent accidents. These active safety systems will be the primary focus at the AstaZero proving ground, located near the Volvo Cars headquarters in western Sweden.

One of the facility’s greatest assets is its flexibility, with a design that permits the construction of unique, customised environments. As Pether Wallin, CEO of AstaZero, says, “You can simulate all types of real-world traffic scenarios. At most proving grounds, the options are more limited.”

AstaZero city junction

AstaZero: City environment

The centre can accommodate a wide range of test conditions, such as those found on busy city roads, highways, multi-lane motorways and crossroads. These conditions are crucial for studying the way cars interact with moving obstacles such as other cars, pedestrians, cycles, mopeds, motorcycles, trucks, buses and even animals that suddenly appear. In certain studies, for example those involving complex traffic situations and high speeds, robots will operate the test vehicles.

“Safety testing under realistic circumstances is a prerequisite for developing our active safety systems,” says Anders Axelson of Volvo Cars Safety Centre. He continues: “The facility will play several important roles: not only will it help us meet our safety vision, developing cars that don’t crash, it will also help us further develop safety functions that will address non-motorists, such as pedestrians and cyclists.”

Research and development

One of AstaZero’s main functions will be as a platform for the research and development of next-generation safety technologies. Here, in collaboration with universities and industry partners, Volvo Cars will undertake a range of initiatives, from strategic vehicle research and innovation projects to targeted research projects.

‪The work at AstaZero will also include the development and testing of autonomous driving technology, an intelligent driver support system designed to reduce accidents while improving the driving experience. Advanced systems are also under progress to further help prevent, for example, inattentiveness and driver fatigue.

Although meeting their target date of 2020 may be an ambitious goal, Volvo Cars clearly feels optimistic.

Anders Axelson, for one, is confident: “The Swedish automotive industry is at the leading edge of active safety. Thanks to AstaZero, we have great prospects for keeping our leading position. We’re the only car manufacturing company in the world to have set a goal of zero traffic fatalities for a specific date, and we’re the only country in the world whose government supports a zero traffic fatalities vision.”


About AstaZero

AstaZero AB has built a Kr500 million (£54m) state-of-the-art proving ground outside of Gothenburg, Sweden. Based upon the collaboration between academia, industry and the authorities, the AstaZero facility will serve as an open, international platform for all interested stakeholders like vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, legislators, road agents, universities, and technical institutes from around the world. AstaZero’s industry partners consist of Volvo Car Group, Volvo Group, Scania, Autoliv and Test Site Sweden. The name Asta (Active Safety Test Area) relates to the facility’s connection to a vision of zero traffic fatalities.


AstaZero’s total surface area amounts to about 2,000,000 square metres (200ha) with a paved surface of 250,000 square metres (25ha). The facility is encircled by a 5.7km highway connected to a city environment with four blocks, 40m by 25m. AstaZero also features a high-speed area consisting of a circle, 240m in diameter, with “drop add-ons” joined to a 700m long multi-lane road.

Test environments

Rural Road

The rural road contains ten different points, both open and concealed, where objects will appear in front of the vehicles. The area is specially designed for different tests of driver behaviour and is well-suited for the use of hidden or suddenly appearing obstacles. At the road, there will be two T-junctions and a crossroad with signage in the specified language and changeable to suit customer requirements. The Rural Road will also have bus stops/lay-bys at two locations.

AstaZero: rural road

AstaZero: Rural road (with elk)

City Area

The City Area will primarily be used to test the vehicle’s capacity to interact with the surrounding environment to avoid hitting buses, cyclists, pedestrians or other road users. The area therefore covers a number of different sub-areas, such as a town centre with varying street widths and lanes, bus stops, pavements, bike lanes, street lighting and building backdrops. The City Area also has a road system with different kinds of test environments such as roundabouts, T-junction, return-loop and lab-area.

Multi-lane Road

The Multi-lane road consists of four lanes. These are connected to the High-Speed Area, with an acceleration road that is approximately 300m long, 7m wide and with a turning loop for long vehicles. Several different scenarios can be tested on the multi-lane road, such as lane changes, different collision scenarios and crossing scenarios.

High-Speed Area

Located in the centre of the facility, the High-Speed Area consists of two acceleration roads. Acceleration road one is approximately 1km long. In addition to the two acceleration roads, it is also possible to use the Multi-lane Road for acceleration, which means vehicles can enter the High-Speed Area from three different directions. In this area, focus will primarily be on vehicle dynamics like avoidance manoeuvres at very high speeds.

New: Long-wheelbase Infiniti Q50L for China

Infiniti has announced the world premiere of the Q50L, the new long-wheelbase variant of its Q50 saloon. With 48mm added to the wheelbase over the standard Q50, the Q50L provides more legroom for rear passengers.

With this introduction, Infiniti is delivering on its strategy to accommodate the Chinese market, where long-wheelbase derivatives of executive saloons are common. Of further note, the Q50L is in keeping with the soon-to-launch (in the US and Canada) updated Q70L long wheelbase saloon, a model which originated in the Chinese market in 2012. The Q50L is dedicated to the mainland Chinese market and will be offered exclusively there.

Infiniti Q50L

The Q50L debuts at the end of August at the Chengdu Motor Show in Sichuan province. It is offered in Comfort, Elegant, Sports, Luxury and Luxury Sports trims, providing a wide range of personalised choices for aspiring premium customers. Deliveries start in the beginning of November.

Significantly, the Q50L is the first domestically-produced Infiniti model for the important Chinese market. Production will take place at the Xiangyang factory in Hubei province, which becomes the fourth assembly plant for Infiniti vehicles globally. China is a rapidly growing market which is now considered very significant for the Infiniti brand. Sales growth year-on-year for the first six months of 2014 reached 130 per cent., with total deliveries of just over 14,000 vehicles.

Infiniti intends that China should be the Company’s second ‘volume hub’ globally. At the core of the plan is a mix of global as well as dedicated regional models.

The Infiniti Q50L has an overall length of 4852mm and wheelbase stretched to 2898mm. It is powered by a 2.0-litre in-line four-cylinder petrol engine that is turbocharged to offer 211hp and 350Nm of torque, driving through a seven-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode.

Noteworthy among its standard equipment, the Q50L has the world’s first steer-by-wire system – Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS). The intuitive double touch-screen  Infiniti InTouch HCI system, Active Lane Control (ALC), new Bose 14-speaker Studio on Wheels audio system, plus other onboard extras like the in-car mood light system, rear window sunshade, electronic anti-glare side mirrors, all ensure the Infiniti Q50L can meet or exceed the needs of demanding Chinese customers.

While the globally successful standard-wheelbase Q50 will continue being imported to the Chinese mainland market from the Tochigi factory in Japan, the fully Chinese-assembled Q50L is a direct answer to growing demand for Infiniti products in the region.

Jaguar XE: Notes on connectivity

  • All-new InControl ‘infotainment’ system with eight-inch touchscreen
  • InControl Remote enables smartphone control of functions such as door unlocking or engine start – from anywhere in the world
  • InControl Apps allows users to access Apple and Android smartphone apps through the vehicle’s touchscreen
  • Wi-Fi connectivity for multiple devices
  • Laser head-up display combines sharper images with compact, weight-saving design

A smooth, supple ride, exceptionally sharp steering, quiet, luxurious cabin and seamless connectivity – the new Jaguar XE promises a lot if the company’s predictably purple prose is to be believed. But the cars must be well-made, fault-free and reliable if the dream is to come true. The competition from Germany is hardly weak.

There is no doubt though that the XE is equipped with an impressive range of state-of-the art technologies. The XE’s InControl infotainment system is designed around an 8-inch touchscreen. A clear, intuitive user interface gives quick, easy access to all features and functions, and voice control using plain speech means that drivers can keep their eyes on the road at all times. This is very important. No-one should be scrolling through lists of phone contacts while ostensibly driving a car.

Jaguar XE

Smartphones are changing the way people interact with the world around them – the new XE is setting out to make sure that drivers stay connected. Jaguar InControl Remote allows users of iOS and Android smartphones to connect to the car from wherever they are and control a range of vehicle functions. These include seven-day timed pre-setting of the XE’s climate control system, locking or unlocking the doors, or even starting the engine.

Jaguar InControl Apps allows users to access smartphone apps through the vehicle’s touchscreen, making it easy to do everything from make a conference call, find a parking space or book a hotel room. The XE also functions as a Wi-Fi hotspot, enabling multiple devices to connect to the internet – the vehicle antenna provides the signal.

The sophistication of the infotainment system is matched by the array of driver assistance systems available in the new XE. The laser head-up display (HUD) is an industry-first. Projecting sharp, high-contrast colour images onto the windscreen, the technology provides the driver with information such as speed and navigation instructions with maximum clarity and minimum distraction. As well as better image quality, the laser HUD is smaller and almost a third lighter than existing systems.

Designed and engineered in the UK, the aluminium-intensive XE will be the first Jaguar manufactured at a new purpose-built production facility at the company’s Solihull plant in the West Midlands.

The world premiere of the new Jaguar XE will be held in London on September 8th.

Testing of all-new right-hand-drive Mustang begins

  • This is the first time in the 50-year history of the Ford Mustang that the car will be available in a factory-built right-hand-drive configuration
  • More than 25 new right-hand-drive markets will be able to purchase the new Mustang, including the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa
  • Ford’s new Mustang goes on sale this autumn in the US and globally in more than 120 countries next year

For the first time ever, a right-hand-drive Ford Mustang will roll off a Ford assembly line when global production of the new model begins.

Mustang engineers recently finished construction of the very first right-hand-drive sixth-generation Mustang. The prototype Mustang will be used to conduct various development tests in preparation for the car’s entry into the global market in the coming months.

Ford Mustang RHD prototype

The first right-hand drive Ford Mustang

While the United States is the largest market for Mustang with more than 9.2 million sales since the car’s debut in 1964, more than 161,000 Mustangs have been sold outside of North America in that time. In 2012 alone, more than 4,000 Mustangs were sold in 35 territories outside of North America, from the United Arab Emirates to Chile to the Philippines.

50 years of Mustang

Ford claims that the Mustang is the newest member of a very exclusive club – vehicles in continuous production for 50 years – though of course there have been five completely unique incarnations of the car before this one. The Mustang has a worldwide fan-base, including more than 7.6 million on Facebook – the most of any vehicle nameplate. From the beginning, Mustang’s unique combination of style, performance and affordability established an entirely new class of sporty cars, and it has led the segment ever since.

The sixth-generation Mustang will eventually be available in more than 110 countries worldwide.

New: Renault Twingo

  • All-new third-generation model
  • Rear-engined, rear wheel drive and five doors – all Twingo firsts
  • More compact, more spacious
  • Three trim levels with a huge range of personalisation
  • New R & GO smartphone connectivity system
  • Four-year warranty, roadside cover and servicing – Renault 4+
  • Available to order now.  Customer deliveries from late September.

Renault has revealed details of the all-new, third generation Twingo, which was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March and goes on sale from late September. Prices start at less than £9,500 for the entry-level Expression SCe 70, while the Play SCe 70 – which is expected to be one of the most popular models – comes in at less than £10,000.

There are three versions of new Twingo – Expression, Play and Dynamique, powered by either of two engines – the new 1.0-litre 70PS SCe three-cylinder atmospheric engine and a Dynamique TCe 90 with a 0.9-litre 90PS three-cylinder turbocharged unit. Dynamique models have Renault’s Stop & Start system, which cuts the engine when the car is stationary in traffic to reduce emissions and improve economy.

Renault Twingo

Connectivity comes as standard through the new smartphone-operated R & GO system. Thanks to the radio, a universal cradle and a free-to-download app, owners have intuitive access to a variety of navigation, telephone, multimedia and trip computer functions, as well as internet radio and a host of other features.  Dynamique models offer the option of the R-Link multimedia system with a seven-inch touch-screen, voice control, TomTom navigation and 3D sound by Arkamys. DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and USB sockets are standard on every version.

All versions of All-New Twingo come with body-coloured bumpers, door handles and exterior door mirror shells, a rear spoiler and LED daytime running lights.  Comfort and convenience features include electric power steering, electric front windows, remote central locking, a speed limiter, a height-adjustable steering wheel, a trip computer and gearchange indicator, a lane-change function for the indicators and the automatic activation of the rear screen wiper when reverse gear is selected.

One unusual feature is the folding front passenger seat. A split-folding two-seat rear bench is standard, as are numerous cabin storage areas, three cup-holders and a boot light.  The safety equipment includes Electronic Stability Control, Hill Start Assist, Emergency Brake Assist and four airbags as well as front and rear headrests and a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System.

The Play version adds to that core equipment with air conditioning, a height-adjustable driver’s seat and steering wheel, and 15-inch black two-tone wheel trims in place of the grey ones on the Expression.

Dynamique versions add 15-inch alloy wheels, pinstripe shoulder-line decals, front fog-lamps, electric heated door mirrors, cruise control, a lane departure warning system, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshift knob, white instrument backlighting, a folding key and storage pockets in the rear doors.

Dynamique versions also benefit from a stop & start system that cuts emissions and improves fuel economy.  The Dynamique TCe 90 is fitted with Variable Gear Ratio power-assisted steering, making the vehicle more agile and reactive at lower speeds. 


An extensive range of personalisation options will allow customers to create a bespoke Twingo.  These include an interior style pack (a choice of colours for the interior upholstery, doorcards and cabin storage), interior touch pack (a choice of colours for the instrument and air vent surrounds and steering wheel inserts), exterior touch pack (alternative colours for the grille strips, side protection strips and door mirror shells) and a choice of different alloy wheels and side decals.

The Sport Pack is available to order on the Dynamique TCe 90 version and adds on 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, part-leather red and black upholstery, side decals, aluminium pedals, the red interior touch pack – which adds further colour to the steering wheel, centre console and air-vents – and the exterior touch pack, which adds colour to the front grille insert, door mirrors and side door protectors.

Key options, depending on model, are an electric panoramic fabric sunroof, rear parking sensors, a choice of premium sound systems and the ‘Seats’, ‘Techno’, and’ Convenience’ packs, which offer themed collections of extra equipment at lower prices than if they are bought individually.

The Seats Pack adds heated front seats and an ISOFIX three-point mounting on the front passenger’s side.  The Techno Pack consists of the R-Link connectivity, infotainment and navigation system and a rear parking camera. The Convenience Pack brings automatic lights and wipers, and climate control.

Smaller but roomier – and easier to manoeuvre

All-New Twingo is a clean-sheet-of-paper car. For the first time its engine is mounted at the rear to drive the rear wheels, and there are five doors instead of three. The rear-engined layout permits significant improvements in packaging – the new Twingo is 10 cm shorter than its predecessor at 3.59 metres, but has a 12 cm longer wheelbase (2.49 metres) and 22 cm more cabin room.

Having the engine at the rear allows the front and rear overhangs to be kept short, which helps to endow the All-New Twingo with a turning circle of only 8.59 metres. This agility makes the All-New Twingo much easier than the majority of cars to manoeuvre into kerbside parking spaces or end-on parking bays.

Packaging the engine so as not to intrude into the luggage area and to offer maximum protection in a rear-end collision was a significant challenge. Renault has overcome it by tilting the engine by 49 degrees and re-engineering 50 per cent of the parts. This ensures that the engine is pushed beneath the passenger cell if the car is hit from behind, and that it takes up 15 cm less space than if it had been mounted vertically. But why not mount the engine horizontally, with dry-sump lubrication?

The new Twingo is the only 5-door car in its segment with a folding front passenger seat as standard, which makes it long enough to take what Renault describes as ‘a flat-pack Swedish book case’ or a double bass thanks to its load length of 2.31 metres.  Luggage capacity is 219 litres (a Ford Ka offers 224l) and can be extended to 980 litres by folding the 50:50 split rear seats. There is also 52 litres of personal storage space within the cabin, including a removable 2.6-litre compartment at the bottom of the centre console, 29 litres of space beneath the front seats – with nets available to hold items in place – and a 6.4-litre glovebox.

Up to 14 miles further from every gallon

The three-cylinder four-valve engines offer up to 14mpg greater fuel economy with as much as 35g/km lower CO2 emissions than the power units in the previous Twingo. On the rolling road, the Twingo can return up to 67.3mpg and just 95g/km for the Dynamique SCe 70 with Start & Stop. All versions exceed 60 mpg in mixed use and 50 mpg on the urban cycle.

Made at Novo Mesto, Slovenia

Rear-engined cars are far costlier to produce than conventional front-engined, front-drive models. Renault has overcome this obstacle by collaborating with Daimler during the development of the All-New Twingo. Daimler’s next-generation Smart models will be built off the same platform, bringing cost savings for both groups. Renault will build the new Twingo and Daimler’s Smart Forfour at its Novo Mesto plant in Slovenia, where more than £350 million has been spent on upgrading the facilities.

Recapturing the spirit of the first Twingo

The new Twingo is intended to recapture the spirit of the original model of 1993 and the Renault 5 of the 1970s and 1980s. It also incorporates aspects of the 2013 Twin’Run and Twin’Z concept cars.

Peace of mind for four years: Renault 4+

As with all new Renaults, the new Twingo is covered by a four-year warranty which offers unlimited-mileage cover in the first two years and then two further years of protection up to 100,000 miles.  Four years roadside assistance cover is provided.  And, when bought on Renault Selections Finance, four years (or 48,000 miles) servicing is also included.  Alternatively, a four year servicing package can be purchased for £299.

Servicing is required once a year or every 12,500 miles.  The timing chain is maintenance-free which helps to reduce servicing costs.




(PS @ rpm)


(Nm @ rpm)

0-62mph (sec)

Top speed (mph)

Expression SCe 70

70 @ 6,000

91 @ 2,850



Play SCe 70

70 @ 6,000

91 @ 2,850



Dynamique SCe 70 S&S

70 @ 6,000

91 @ 2,850



Dynamique ENERGY TCe 90 S&S

90 @ 5,500

135 @ 2,500







CO2 (g/km)

BIK (band %)

VED (band)

Insurance group

Expression SCe 70






Play SCe 70






Dynamique SCe 70 S&S






Dynamique ENERGY TCe 90 S&S






McLaren unveils P1 GTR design concept

  • Design concept previews the dramatic look of the ultra-exclusive track-focused racer
  • One clear goal: to be the best driver’s car in the world on track
  • Increased power to 1,000PS (986bhp) from the motorsport-optimised 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine and lightweight electric motor
  • Built, maintained and run by McLaren Special Operations
  • Further details of bespoke McLaren P1 GTR driver training programme confirmed

Twenty years ago, the then soon-to-be-launched McLaren F1 GTR began testing ahead of an assault on the 1995 GT season. The track derivative, as the road-going version had done, rewrote the rule book and claimed victories and titles across the globe in the years that followed, securing a place in motorsport folklore. Two decades on, and the covers have been pulled off the dramatic and purposeful McLaren P1 GTR design concept during a private event at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance event in California. The aggressive racing concept is a preview of the final model which, with a little under a year until production commences, has now entered the next phase as the development team works to hone and further optimise the ultimate track-focused racer.

McLaren P1 GTR

With no need to meet the legislations for road legality, the McLaren P1 GTR will be the most track-tailored and most powerful model produced by McLaren Special Operations to date, with a clear target even more focused than its road-going sibling: to be the best driver’s car in the world on track. With even greater emphasis on aerodynamic performance through the dramatic (frankly ugly) bodywork, the McLaren P1 GTR will also feature slick tyres, a fixed ride height, enhanced power delivery from the IPAS powertrain and Formula 1-derived DRS from the large, fixed rear wing and an ERS-style push-to-pass system, all combining to offer the ultimate track experience.

Aerodynamically optimised to offer more extreme performance

Based on the McLaren P1 road car, the track-focused McLaren P1 GTR design concept further optimises the aerodynamically efficient ‘shrink-wrapped’ body shape in order to offer maximum performance, superior handling characteristics and optimised driver engagement on track. A host of changes have been made, and the car has been thoroughly re-engineered from the ground up to ensure the McLaren P1 GTR achieves its target of being the ultimate drivers’ car on track.

The front track of the McLaren P1 GTR design concept has been increased by 80mm and is coupled with a more aggressive GT-style front splitter. Reprofiled low temperature radiator ducts flow into the leading edge of the aggressively flared front wheelarches, while the active aerodynamic flaps are retained from the McLaren P1 in the floor ahead of the front wheels.

The bodywork is ‘shrink-wrapped’ around the carbon fibre monocage chassis behind the front wheels, and is designed to channel the air from around the wheel well. An additional aerodynamic blade is located behind the wheelarch to clean the air from the front tyres. This aero device flows along the bottom edge of the dihedral doors, along the flank of the carbon fibre bodywork, to an additional side panel at the rear which ducts additional air into the high temperature radiator and improves the aerodynamic performance of the rear floor.

McLaren P1 GTRThe profile of the McLaren P1 GTR design concept remains as dramatic as ever, hunkered down on to the race-prepared suspension with a fixed ride height, lower than the standard car. The snorkel air intake, inspired by the design of the original McLaren F1, is still present within the roof structure of the carbon fibre monocage chassis. The wing mirrors have been repositioned to the A pillars, to put them closer to the eye line of the driver and reduce aerodynamic drag, while the trailing edge of the door-mounted radiator channels has been extended to draw more air down through the cavity within the door, and into the engine to aid cooling.

A set of lightweight 19-inch motorsport alloy wheels are fitted – 10.5-inches wide at the front, 13-inches at the rear – and are secured into place with quick-release centre locking nuts. Tyre changes are made easier through an onboard air jacking system, similar to that seen on the McLaren 650S GT3 racer.

At the rear, a large, twin-element wing is mounted on carbon fibre pylons which extend around the rear of the bodywork. This fixed height wing is fitted with a hydraulically operated Drag Reduction System (DRS) to boost acceleration performance, and has been designed to provide increased levels of downforce compared to the road car, working with the active aerodynamic flaps located ahead of the front wheels. The active aerodynamic devices optimise aerodynamic balance through all phases of cornering. The bodywork of the car has been reprofiled to improve aerodynamic efficiency below the large rear wing, and incorporates a quick-release system without affecting the rear wing. The road legal McLaren P1 stows the rear wing within the bodywork, but with the fixed height wing, and therefore no pistons or moving mechanical parts, the bodywork of the McLaren P1 GTR design concept behind the engine bay is now a smooth, flowing surface, feeding clean air below the wing and over the back of the car.

Below the rear wing sits the exposed, centrally mounted exhaust, which is an all new design, developed exclusively for the McLaren P1 GTR. Made from inconel and titanium alloy, the system is designed to sound the part. We would have thought that a machine like this wouldn’t need a tuned exhaust, but obviously it does. The design of the exhaust has also changed, with a straight cut twin pipe setup now used in place of the single exit exhaust.

Airflow is managed across the whole car and channelled in the most efficient and effective ways possible. This includes the air below the car, and a large carbon fibre diffuser dominates the lower half of the rear of the car. This is designed to work in tandem with the rear wing to enhance rear downforce and grip levels. The McLaren P1 GTR design concept runs on the bespoke slick tyres designed by technical partners Pirelli in collaboration with McLaren, designed to offer a competitive level of grip, cornering agility and handling balance. Their characteristics enable much later braking into corners, higher apex speeds, and the earlier application of the throttle on the exit of corners, which lead to improved lap times.

Modern interpretation is more than just a family resemblance

The design concept unveiled at Pebble Beach wears a livery which harks back to the original McLaren to wear the GTR badge. During the rigorous testing programme for the F1 GTR, the test car, chassis #01R, originally wore a distinctive orange and silver livery. This colour scheme has been reinterpreted for the model, with the number, 01, signifying the original chassis number. That car eventually went on to take the coveted win at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The McLaren P1 GTR driver programme

Launching with the McLaren P1 GTR design concept is the bespoke McLaren P1 GTR  driver programme  – the ultra-exclusive ownership programme which will include specialist driver training, human performance and access to the McLaren racing simulator, and which is designed to prepare each driver mentally and physically to fully exploit the abilities of the McLaren P1 GTR. The programme will be completely bespoke, with each individual having a fully-tailored experience.

The McLaren P1 GTR driver programme promises to be one of the most exclusive owners’ clubs in the world and aims to offer an unrivalled ownership experience. McLaren Special Operations will maintain and run all cars, and manage the programme throughout. Together with one of the most exciting track-focused cars ever developed, the programme offers unprecedented access to the technologies, resources and people throughout the McLaren Technology Centre. Every experience will be unique and tailored specifically, providing a full immersion into McLaren, and gaining access to the experiences and resources which have helped develop and train Formula 1 champions. This will include working closely with a support team comprising authentic professionals that have operated within the rarefied world of professional motor sport. These will all be experts in their respective fields, all boasting top-level international experience from the Human Performance Programme, race engineers, designers and test drivers.

How much?

A 1962/63 Ferrari 250 GTO has been auctioned for a record-breaking US$38,115,000 at Monterey car week in California. Count the zeroes. That’s over thirty-eight million dollars.

At the Bonhams auction, records were shattered as the 1962/63 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis number “3851GT”, sold for US$38,115,000. This is the most ever paid for an automobile at auction, underscoring the unrivalled desirability for Ferrari in the collector car market and the continued dominance of the brand at auctions worldwide.

1962/63 Ferrari 250 GTO

This Ferrari 250 GTO is now, effectively, the most valuable and coveted car in the world.

This car was the 19th Ferrari GTO to be completed and was invoiced on September 11, 1962.  It was most recently owned by Italian enthusiast Fabrizio Violati and was the centerpiece of his Collezione Maranello Rosso of precious Ferraris previously on view to the general public in the Republic of San Marino.

Violati acquired this 250 GTO in 1965 for 2,500,000 Lire, then around $4,000 USD or £1,400 Sterling, equating to around £22,000/$33,500 today. It was originally finished in metallic pale grey with lengthwise red, white and blue centerline stripes when acquired by its first owner, French privateer Jo Schlesser.

No other marque is commanding attention and achieving such spectacular values so far in Monterey like Ferrari, with total Ferrari sales today at Bonhams totalling just under US$65m.  Additional notable sales at Bonhams include:

1958 Ferrari 250 GT Series 1 Cabriolet – $6,820,000

1953 Ferrari 250 Mille Miglia Berlinetta – $7,260,000

1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ Berlinetta Competizione – $935,000

1962 Ferrari 250 GT Short-Wheelbase Speciale Aerodinamica – $6,875,000

1978 Ferrari 312 T3 Formula 1 Racing Single-Seater – $2,310,000

New: Range Rover Sport SVR

The Range Rover Sport SVR has made its global debut at a kick-off party for the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey, California.  The first Land Rover vehicle to wear the new high-performance SVR badge from Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division, the Range Rover Sport SVR is the most dynamically focused vehicle Land Rover has ever produced.

Developing 550PS and 680Nm, it accelerates from 0-60 mph in just 4.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 162 mph.

Range Rover Sport SVR

The Range Rover Sport SVR goes on sale in October and first deliveries will be from early 2015.