Wittmann claims fourth win of the season at Nürburgring

Marco Wittmann (DE) took full advantage of his pole position at the Nürburgring (DE), producing an outstanding performance over 49 laps to secure his fourth win of the current DTM season. Wittmann held onto the lead at the start, and gradually pulled away from his rivals over the following laps. After the mandatory pit stop, during which he switched from prime to option tyres, the young German re-joined the race at the head of the field in the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM. Wittmann went on to claim the 63rd DTM win for BMW Motorsport and the manufacturer’s 15th since returning to the DTM in 2012. The 24-year-old also clocked the fastest lap time of 1:23.175 minutes en route to presenting BMW Team RMG with its fifth win in the seventh race of the year – and at the team’s home race in the Eifel Mountains.

In the Drivers’ Championship, Wittmann has now pulled 64 points clear of his closest rivals with 120 points to his name. BMW Team RMG has now amassed 159 points, thanks to Wittmann’s win and seventh place for Maxime Martin (BE, SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM), and now leads the team competition by 67 points. BMW also tops the standings in the Manufacturers’ Championship with 302 points.

Marco Wittmann at Nuerburgring

As well as the two BMW Team RMG drivers, Martin Tomczyk (DE) also finished in the points in the BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM. Unlike Wittmann and Martin, the BMW Team Schnitzer driver started on option tyres and then worked his way through the field into eighth place in the second half of the race. The same tactic did not quite come off for Bruno Spengler (CA, BMW Bank M4 DTM), António Félix da Costa (PT, Red Bull BMW M4 DTM) and Joey Hand (US, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M4 DTM). They narrowly missed out on a top-ten finish, coming home 12th, 13th and 14th.

Timo Glock (DE) fell well down the field after an early collision with Gary Paffett (GB, Mercedes), leaving him no chance of a points finish in the Deutsche Post BMW M4 DTM. He eventually had to settle for 17th. Augusto Farfus (BR, Castrol Edge BMW M4 DTM) lost valuable ground through a collision with Jamie Green (GB, Audi) and ultimately retired after 36 laps.

DTM standings after 7 of 10 races

Drivers’ Championship.

1. Marco Wittmann (120 points), 2. Mattias Ekström (56), 3. Edoardo Mortara (56), 4. Mike Rockenfeller (53), 5. Bruno Spengler (42), 6. Christian Vietoris (41), 7. Maxime Martin (39), 8. Adrien Tambay (36), 9. Augusto Farfus (33), 10. Timo Glock (33), 11. Jamie Green (28), 12. Robert Wickens (27), 13. Miguel Molina (26), 14. Paul di Resta (24), 15. Martin Tomczyk (24), 16. Timo Scheider (19), 17. Pascal Wehrlein (15), 18. Daniel Juncadella (10), 19. Nico Müller (10), 20. Joey Hand (7), 21. António Félix da Costa (4), 22. Gary Paffett (4). 

Team Championship.

1. BMW Team RMG (159 points), 2. Audi Sport Team Abt (92), 3. Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline (82), 4. Audi Sport Team Phoenix (72), 5. BMW Team Schnitzer (66), 6. Original-Teile Mercedes AMG (65), 7. BMW Team RBM (40), 8. Audi Sport Team Rosberg (38), 9. BMW Team MTEK (37), 10. Euronics / Free Man’s World Mercedes AMG (31) , 11. gooix Mercedes AMG (15), 12. Petronas Mercedes AMG (10). 

Manufacturers’ Championship.

1. BMW (302 points), 2. Audi (284), 3. Mercedes-Benz (121).

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.

New: Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection

The Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection was conceived to celebrate Sir Malcolm Campbell’s act of setting a new world water-speed record in early September, 1937. The car made its North American debut at Pebble Beach, following its presentation at The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering Event.

It was on the morning of 1 September 1937 that Sir Malcolm Campbell established his legend, setting a world-record speed of 126.33mph on Italy’s Lake Maggiore in the famous Bluebird K3 boat powered by a Rolls-Royce R-engine. The following day he went one better, piloting his craft to 129.5mph, emphatically breaking the United States’ five-year stranglehold on the world water-speed record. Campbell’s momentous achievement captured the world’s attention and reaffirmed the Rolls-Royce R-engine’s record-breaking superiority after triumphs on land and in the air.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection

To celebrate this act of British heroism, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ Bespoke Department created the Waterspeed Collection, 35 specially designed Phantom Drophead Coupés. One of these cars was shown at Pebble Beach.

Naturally, Rolls-Royce is quick to boast of the workmanship and technology that went into their Coupé. Echoing the cutting-edge technology employed in the construction of Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Bluebird K3 craft, only the finest contemporary materials furnish the Waterspeed Collection. Well, naturally.

Brushed steel is used to set off the ‘Maggiore Blue’ color scheme, whilst Abachi wood inlays are intended to evoke the sense of a boat effortlessly gliding through water at speed. The exterior coachline and laser etchings inside the car bring Campbell’s ‘Bluebird’ motif back to life.

The Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection

The Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection features a number of exclusive bespoke design and engineering features, intended to create a contemporary tribute to Campbell’s famous craft.

A specially created ‘Maggiore Blue’ colour scheme is used outside and in. Nine layers of paint are applied before an exhaustive process of hand-sanding and the application of a powdered lacquer provides the final finish. For the first time in Rolls-Royce history, the exterior finish extends to the engine, creating a visually striking homage to the power behind Campbell’s records. The finish also adorns the car’s specially developed, fully-polished eleven-spoke wheels. The exterior is completed with a hand-painted coachline that culminates in a Bluebird motif with the design taking Rolls-Royce’s master coachline painter four hours to apply by hand.

Phantom Drophead Coupé’s traditional teak decking to the rear makes way for brushed steel, with each piece of material individually beaten by hand for 70 hours and then hand-brushed for a further 10.

The car’s exterior finish is subtly echoed by way of accents on the dashboard that complement the ‘Windchill Grey’ interior leather scheme. The marque’s hallmark attention-to-detail extends to the application of laser-engraved door armrest tunnel caps featuring a new interpretation of Campbell’s famous Bluebird motif.

Abachi wood also makes its Rolls-Royce debut in Waterspeed. By nature, the material is cool to the touch with a satin-like tactility, and is book-matched at an angle to echo the wake left by a boat moving at speed.

Further reference to Campbell’s craft is made by way of a new interpretation of the famous ‘power reserve’ dial. As the driver presses the accelerator pedal, the dial moves backwards towards a yellow and blue zone, echoing Campbell’s original K3 boat’s ‘going into the blue’ at maximum engine revolutions. A bespoke clock adorned with Bluebird’s infinity symbol and dials hewn from a billet of aluminium further evoke the K3.

Direct tribute to the records is paid in the glove compartment, with a debossed panel expressing the records Campbell achieved on Lake Maggiore and on Coniston Water. Finally, the steering wheel is presented in two-tone for the very first time, with ‘Magiorre Blue accents among the black leather.

The Lexus RC F is coming

  • High-performance RC F V8 coupé readied for UK launch
  • Standard performance and handling features include Brembo brakes, Sachs monotube dampers, Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management, Lexus Drive Mode Select controlling the car’s setup, an active rear spoiler and 19-inch forged alloy wheels
  • RC F Carbon model further benefits from a torque-vectoring differential – a world first for a front engine/rear-wheel drive car – and, using composite technology pioneered in the Lexus LFA,  a lightweight carbon roof, bonnet and rear spoiler
  • Standard equipment features on RC F include LED headlights with automatic high beam; 10-speaker audio system with DAB radio and Lexus Premium navigation; dual-zone climate control; electrically adjustable, heated and ventilated front seats; high-grade leather upholstery
  • RCF Carbon adds Alcantara heated seats and Mark Levinson audio system
  • Order books open now for deliveries from January 2015
  • On-the-road prices £59,995 for the RC F, £67,995 for the RC F Carbon

UK model range

RC F will be launched in the UK in two versions: RC F and the RC F Carbon. Both are equipped with the same V8 engine, a new 5.0-litre, four-valve V8 that is the most powerful Lexus has yet built for a production car. Developed specifically for the RC F and matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission, it’s set to deliver more than 450PS and 520Nm.

The RC F’s credentials as an authentic high-performance machine lie in the standard fitment of Brembo brakes and Sachs monotube dampers. You also get an active rear wing, Lexus’s Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system and 19-inch forged alloy wheels.

Lexus RC F

The RC F Carbon benefits from additional performance features in the form of a torque-vectoring differential and a CFRP (carbon fibre-reinforced plastic) roof, bonnet and rear spoiler. It marks a world-first in the use of a torque-vectoring differential in a front engine/rear-wheel drive car, giving the driver the choice of three operating modes to optimise traction and vehicle control in different situations, from everyday driving to track performance.

The use of CFRP for major elements of the RC F Carbon’s bodywork is not a cosmetic exercise, but strategic use of a strong but lightweight composite material Lexus originally developed for its LFA supercar.

Performance aside, the RC F benefits from the array of comfort, safety and advanced technology features that we would expect in a Lexus.

The RC F comes equipped with LED headlights (high and low beam) with automatic high beam function; a 10-speaker multimedia system including DAB, DVD player, a new Remote Touch touchpad control and Lexus Premium Navigation; dual-zone climate control; and Drive Mode Select.

The safety provisions take in eight airbags, a reversing camera, Hill Assist Control, Lane Departure and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, a blind spot monitor and VDIM, which co-ordinates performance of the ABS, brake assist, traction control, vehicle stability control and electronic brake force distribution.

The specification further runs to front and rear parking sensors; electric, auto-dimming, folding and heated door mirrors; cruise control; an auto-dimming rear-view mirror; electric steering column adjustment; and keyless Smart Entry.

The cabin features high-grade leather upholstery and electrically adjustable front seats with heating and ventilation functions. Throughout the interior there are Lexus ‘F’-themed details, including the steering wheel, pedals, trim and seat design.

Key options for the RC F include Adaptive Cruise Control with a Pre-Crash Safety system and a Mark Levinson Surround Sound system. The torque-vectoring differential featured on the RC F Carbon can also be specified.

The RC F Carbon is distinguished by a dedicated 19-inch forged alloy wheel design and Alcantara upholstery. It also comes with the Mark Levinson Surround Sound system as standard. Again, the Adaptive Cruise Control / Pre-Crash Safety system is available as an option.

RC F principal equipment features

RC F (£59,995) RC F Carbon (£67,995) adds
LED headlights with auto high-beam Torque-vectoring differential
19-inch forged alloy wheels CFRP roof, bonnet and rear spoiler
Lexus Drive Mode Select Dedicated-design 19-inch forged alloy wheels
Brembo brakes Alcantara upholstery
Sachs monotube shock absorbers Heated front seats
Active/retractable rear spoiler Mark Levinson Surround Sound system
High-grade leather upholstery Key options
Heated/ventilated front seats with power adjustment (eight-way) Adaptive Cruise Control and Pre-Crash Safety system
Power steering column adjustment Metallic paint
Heated/auto-dimming/folding door mirrors
Card key
Auto-dimming rear-view mirrors
Reversing camera
Front and rear parking sensors
10-speaker multimedia system with Lexus Premium Navigation and Remote Touch touchpad control
Dual-zone climate control
Cruise control
Lane Departure Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and blind spot monitor
Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management
Electronic parking brake
Keyless Smart Entry
Key options
Metallic paint
Torque-vectoring differential
Sunroof
Adaptive Cruise Control and Pre-Crash Safety system
Mark Levinson Surround Sound system

 

Seat unveils ‘Sub8 Performance Pack’ for Leon Cupra

  • SEAT launches new ‘Sub8 Performance Pack’ for Leon Cupra 280 at £2,025
  • Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres available for £460 – £540 less than rival Renault charges for the same option
  • Also new and available to order on Cupra 280: two coloured exterior packs: Black-Line and White-Line for £500, plus Cupra bucket seats at £1,250

Fresh from its UK debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Seat has confirmed the price of the ‘Sub8 Performance Pack’ for its Leon Cupra 280 flagship.

Fitted to the very rapid Leon Cupra 280, which became the first front-wheel-drive car to dip under the elusive eight-minute Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time, the optional pack includes even more substantial brakes, specially-designed 19-inch alloy wheels in either black or orange, and body-coloured side skirts for £2,025 including VAT.

Seat Leon Cupra

The optional brake discs, at 370mm, are 30mm larger than on the standard car and include Brembo four piston callipers.

The Cupra 280’s VAQ electronically-controlled limited slip differential helps transmit the car’s substantial torque to the road. But drivers who want the superior grip of semi-slick Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, which also featured on Seat’s fastest production car to date, they are available for £460. This is £540 less than the same tyres will cost as an extra on hot hatch rival Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy.

Seat is keen to sell the Cupra 280 as two cars in one. They boast of its high-quality interior — once a weakness with Seats — and impressive levels of equipment. One minute, it’s a docile, easy to live with coupé (SC), or practical five-door family car, capable of up to 44.1 mpg. The next, in Cupra mode, it becomes a force to be reckoned with, hitting 62mph from rest in 5.7 seconds (DSG version).

Launch of CUPRA Black-Line and White-Line

As well as the Sub8 Performance Pack, SEAT also debuted its new Cupra colour exterior packs at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Two shades will be available initially, labelled Black-Line and White-Line.

Costing £500 including VAT, the embellishments are available to order now, and include Cupra 19-inch alloy wheels, door mirrors, Cupra tailgate lettering and front grille surround all picked out in either hue, according to the chosen pack. Black rear side spoilers also feature, regardless of the pack colour. A further pack, Orange-Line, launches in SEAT dealers in December.

Cupra bucket seats

Rounding off the array of option additions for the Leon Cupra 280, is the arrival of figure-hugging Cupra bucket seats. The new front seats, priced at £1,250, feature a one-piece head restraint and come clad in black Alcantara with leatherette bolsters and white accents, with embossed Cupra logo. The price also includes the Winter Pack (heated front seats and headlight washer system with heated front washer nozzles).

Volkswagen announces revised Touareg

Specifications and prices have been announced for the 2015 Touareg range, which opens for orders on 27 August, ahead of first deliveries in November.

Prices for the new Touareg start at £43,000 (RRP OTR), rising to £47,500.  Two engine choices are available, both three-litre V6 TDIs – one with 204PS and one with 262PS. The more powerful engine had previously offered 245 PS.  Thanks to the introduction of a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system using AdBlue, low-rolling resistance tyres and a coasting function on the standard ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox, both engines are complaint with Euro 6 emissions legislation.  The 204 PS engine now emits 173g/km of CO2, 11g/km less than before. This puts it in a lower VED band than before, and also makes for a two per cent benefit in kind taxation reduction for company car drivers. Overall fuel consumption on the rolling road is 42.8mpg.

Volkswagen Touareg R-line

With the exception of the four-wheel drive Escape model, the 262PS power unit emits only one gramme more of CO2 over the NEDC test cycle at 174g/km. The Escape produces 180g/km, equivalent to 40.9mpg.

Trim Engine/transmission Combined mpg CO2 (g/km) Price (£), RRP OTR
SE 3.0-litre 204 PS TDI 8-speed automatic 42.8 173 43,000
SE 3.0-litre 262 PS TDI 8-speed automatic 42.8 174 44,500
Escape 3.0-litre 262 PS TDI 8-speed automatic 40.9 180 44,700
R-Line 3.0-litre 204 PS TDI 8-speed automatic 42.8 173 46,000
R-Line 3.0-litre 262 PS TDI 8-speed automatic 42.8 174 47,500

New: Audi A7 Sportback

Upgraded specification and new V6 TDI ultra models feature in the five-door executive range.

  • New A7 Sportback range now available to order in the UK priced from £45,875 OTR – first customer deliveries in late 2014
  • Simplified specification levels from SE Executive to S-line and Black Edition
  • Enhanced S7 and RS 7 models also available priced at £63,375 OTR and £84,480 OTR
  • Styling revisions and LED headlights across the range, Matrix LED lights and indicators with sweeping function for S-line and Black Edition, interior decor and infotainment improvements
  • Latest EU6-compliant engine range includes 3.0 TDI ultra capable of returning up to 60.1mpg with CO2 output from 122g/km
  • New S-tronic twin-clutch transmission replaces multitronic CVT in front-wheel-drive variants
  • S7 Sportback features power upgrade to 450PS and 4% CO2 reduction

A new range of Audi A7 Sportback models, including a 60mpg V6 TDI ultra, becomes available in the UK this week. Priced from £45,875 OTR, the latest, simplified A7 Sportback line-up combines enhanced EU6-compliant engines with styling revisions, new LED headlights and tail lights including ‘sweeping’ indicators, further improved interior decor and upgraded infotainment. The first examples are set to arrive with UK customers in the last quarter of 2014.

First in line in the new order for the latest A7 Sportback is SE Executive specification, which replaces the Standard and SE options in the outgoing range. Highlights which elevate this comprehensive new trim level above its predecessors include all-weather LED headlights, sweeping rear indicators, 19-inch alloy wheels and deluxe four-zone automatic air conditioning. It also includes comforts such as heated and Milano leather-upholstered seats with electric adjustment, MMI navigation, Audi Music Interface, front and rear acoustic parking sensors and a powered tailgate.

S-line specification is enhanced in the latest range by larger 20-inch alloy wheels (up from 19 inches), sweeping function indicators at the front and rear and Matrix LED headlights. Each of these advanced units features 25 separate LED bulbs which are individually dimmed when sensors detect oncoming or following traffic to automatically divert light around obstacles without the need to deactivate the high beam setting.

More S-line options

In a new departure for the A7 Sportback range, the sports suspension that is included as part of the S-line specification can be ‘deselected’ in favour of standard suspension at no extra cost if required, and for an even greater focus on comfort the wheel size in this version can be dropped down to 19-inch, also at no cost. Inside, in another break with tradition, the normally black S line colour scheme can also now be replaced by a new Lunar silver colour option.

At the upper end of the range, Black Edition, S7 Sportback and RS 7 Sportback models also of course benefit from all the relevant styling and equipment enhancements.

From launch, these improved specification levels will be available in combination with a choice of six powerful and highly efficient engines offering enhanced power outputs ranging from 218PS to 450PS, and complying with stringent EU6 emissions legislation.

Audi A7

A particular highlight in the new line-up will undoubtedly be the A7 Sportback ultra, the first in this new range of overtly efficiency focused models to combine frugality worthy of the ultra badge with six cylinder power. The heavily modified single-turbo 3.0-litre V6 is capable of returning an outstanding 60.1mpg, corresponding to CO2 emissions of 122 grams per kilometre, and a seven-speed S-tronic twin-clutch transmission newly developed specifically for front-wheel-drive applications helps to maximise its 400Nm peak torque output and delivers keener response than the multitronic CVT transmission used by its predecessor. In the TDI ultra the 0-62mph sprint takes just 7.3 seconds on the way to a top speed of 149mph.

The 218PS V6 TDI engine is also available in the new range in conjunction with quattro permanent all-wheel-drive and seven-speed S-tronic transmission, a configuration that is shared by the 272PS single-turbo V6 which slots in above it in the range. In the top TDI tier, the mighty 320PS twin turbo BiTDI channels its 650Nm via the eight-speed tiptronic automatic. As an alternative to diesel power, a supercharged six-cylinder petrol unit delivering 333PS and linked to the seven-speed S-tronic transmission and quattro all-wheel-drive is also available.

30PS more for S7 Sportback

V8 twin-turbo petrol power is reserved for the new S7 Sportback and RS 7 Sportback models, the latter set to open for order next month ready for first deliveries in the first quarter of 2015. The S7 Sportback now benefits from a 30PS power upgrade to 450PS while the RS 7 Sportback uses its 560PS output to deliver a remarkable sub-four-second 0-62mph sprint time. The S7 Sportback uses the seven-speed S-tronic twin-clutch and the RS 7 Sportback the eight-speed ZF tiptronic, and the power units in both cars employ Cylinder-on-Demand technology to make the most of every tank of fuel. The new S7 Sportback shows a slight improvement in economy despite its power boost, returning up to 30.4mpg according to the official combined cycle test, and benefits from a 4% or 10g/km reduction in CO2 output to 215g/km. In the RS 7 Sportback, engine revisions have also brought slight improvements to CO2 output and economy, which now stand at 221g/km and 29.7mpg (according to the combined cycle test).

All versions of the new A7 Sportback are available with the added cushioning comfort of four-mode adaptive air suspension, and quattro versions can also be equipped with the sport differential for precise torque distribution between the rear wheels for even greater control and adjustability. The standard adaptive air suspension set-up in the S7 Sportback features S specific tuning, while RS 7 Sportback models feature RS adaptive air suspension, but can be equipped at extra cost with conventionally sprung RS sports suspension plus incorporating the Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) damping system. Both versions naturally benefit from quattro all-wheel-drive, and both also feature the sport differential as standard.

Audi A7

At surface level, the most striking changes aside from the new light units are to the single frame grille, which adopts the latest hexagonal design, to the bumpers, which have been subtly resculpted, and to the tailpipes, which now have wider, trapezoidal apertures.

In the stylishly finished and characteristically high quality interior,  the ambiance is further enhanced in the latest range by new interior materials, new inlays and new colour options for the trim elements and seat coverings. In S-line versions, which were previously finished exclusively in black, the Lunar silver colour scheme which is newly available in conjunction with this specification also extends to the upholstery.

The MMI radio plus operating system with DAB digital radio is standard and can be supplemented as an option with a head-up display that projects all important information onto the windscreen. It now works with the latest generation of the Audi modular infotainment system built around the Multi Media Interface.  The top system uses a new graphics processor from Nvidia and includes MMI touch, enabling the driver to scroll and zoom in lists and maps via a touchpad.

LTE high-speed data transmission

The highest specification MMI Navigation plus system with its hard disc-based mapping can be supplemented by Audi connect, which in the new A7 Sportback now links the car with the Internet via the latest LTE high-speed data transmission standard for 4G click-through and download functionality. The Audi phone box option is also now available – it enables occupants to connect their mobile phones to the car’s antenna for improved reception simply by placing them in the phone box compartment. The top of the hi-fi line is the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System.

As before, numerous assistance systems are also available to make driving safer and easier. Further improvements have been made to the night vision and active lane assist systems in particular, the latter now featuring new active lane centring technology.