FORD have launched an amazing TV advert for the equally amazing new Fiesta ST. It was filmed 1,200ft underground in one of Europe’s largest salt mines. How do I know? Because I was one of only two motoring journalists who were chosen to watch the advert being made. And I was lucky enough to get to drive the Fiesta ST around the mine, and take it for a blast in its usual habitat — on the open road. Ford chose the secret salt mine, that was located, let’s just say, somewhere in Europe, as the perfect location for new TV advert that’s called Undertrack. It would allow them to demonstrate how capable the new Fiesta ST is by putting it through its paces within the mine’s 40mile network of tunnels. To get underground you have to hitch a lift in one of the companies fleet of Land Rover Defenders and travel down a long dark tunnel that’s like you’re staring deep into the abyss. STARING INTO THE ABYSS:This is the entrance into one of the largest … [Read more...] about First exclusive drive in the all-new Ford Fiesta ST on the set of their TV advert
GODDAMMIT, I love Goodwood – and 2018’s has been an extra-special event. Celebrating 25 years of the Festival of Speed, organisers and manufacturers pulled out all the stops. Today is the last day to get along. So jump in the car and make your way to Goodwood House near Chichester, West Sussex, if you want a really great day out. But don’t worry if you can’t make it. I have selected some of the most precious metal making an appearance this weekend. Aston Martin DBS Superleggera THE coolest Aston Martin yet? Quite possibly. Just look at how aggressive the styling is. But the DBS Superleggera is far more than just a pretty face. This is the fastest and most powerful production Aston Martin ever made, boasting a downright ridiculous 715bhp, coming from a 5.2-litre twin turbo V12. All that power adds up to some impressive figures. Not only will it do 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds, it will keep pulling until 211mph. A replacement for the old Vanquish S, many see the … [Read more...] about Among the many Goodwood gems, Aston Martin shows it is precious metal
WELCOME to Britain, Mr President. We hope you enjoy your VVIP tour. Tonight you’ll dine at Blenheim Palace — Winston Churchill’s birthplace — and tomorrow we have sorted tea with the Queen at Windsor. Trust me, that’s a special treat for a special friend. Saturday is free time for golf at your place at Turnberry. But if there’s anything else you’d like me to do, like puncturing a Trump baby blimp perhaps, or entertaining the lovely Melania, please just ask. I’ve even drawn up a trade deal to ease your workload with the PM. It goes like this: YOU keep shipping us your finest all-American Ford Mustangs, Jeep Wranglers and the odd Teslas and WE will send you Minis, Range Rovers, Bentleys, Astons and Wayne Rooney. No silly tariffs. Agreed? Good. Happy to help. I’ve got to say, the 2018 Wrangler, the descendant of the original US Army Jeep, is the absolute dog’s dangly bits. Hard, capable and cool. Whip off the roof and doors and … [Read more...] about Let’s talk about a proper Trump trade deal — we take your awesome Jeep Wrangler and you keep Wayne Rooney
The XC40 might be Volvo’s smallest SUV, but it still packs everything required to worry its premium rivals. The number of car makers jumping into the small luxury SUV segment has been steadily increasing. Existing players like the BMW X1/X2 are about to be joined by the Cadillac XT4 and the Lexus UX, as well as the Mercedes GLA that’ll get overhauled next year, but the XC40 is already here and first impressions are more than positive. The US-spec version of the sub-compact Volvo SUV is offered with two powertrain options: a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 187hp and front-wheel drive in the T4, and the same engine with 248hp sending power to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox in the T5 that’s tested here. Volvo reckons the XC40 T5 is capable of a 0-60mph in 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 140mph (225 km/h, which sounds more than enough performance for a small SUV. Hybrid and all-electric versions are also on the way. The Swedish automaker … [Read more...] about KBB Finds 2019 Volvo XC40 T5 A Luxury SUV Condensed The Right Way
ALTHOUGH still waiting for its growth spurt, Aygo is officially now a teenager. And to celebrate its 13th birthday, Toyota has gifted it a facelift. Gone is the two-dimensional X motif once splayed across its face in favour of a much more subtle interpretation. The result? Classier - but in a cutesy way, blending back in with the rest of Toyota's small car range. Neat LED daytime running lights and black plastic trim under the lamps conjure some aesthetic magic that successfully hints at all-new but without the prohibitive production costs. Toyota's design team must have rewarded themselves some time off when it came to the rear. Key facts: TOYOTA AYGO X-CLUSIVE Price: £31,895 Engine: 1-litre petrol 0-62mph: 13.8 secs Top speed: 99mph Economy: 68.9mpg CO2: 92g/km Out: Now So subtly simplified it's as good as untouched to the untrained eye. The rorty 1-litre three-cylinder petrol engine gets a weeny 2bhp boost, pushing it to 71bhp. But the real gains are in its efficiency, now … [Read more...] about Toyota Aygo X-Clusive review: A combination of classy and cute… but is the 13th birthday model all that different?
The Volkswagen Tiguan is very popular. In fact, it’s so appreciated that the car firm came up with a slightly longer version that adds two more seats for a total of seven. It’s called the VW Tiguan Allspace and it’s 210mm (8.3in) longer than the regular model. Its wheelbase has also been increased by 110mm (4.3in), and with the third-row folded down, you get 700lt (24.7cu-ft) of cargo space. Users can also fold the second-row, and get a whopping 1,775lt (62.7cu-ft) to haul all sorts of stuff, but with all the seats up, the boot space drops to 115lt (4.1cu-ft). But that’s still pretty good compared to other similar models, as South Africa’s Cars point out in their review. Also Read: VW USA Bringing Back Old Tiguan For $21,995 Now, the only reason anyone would buy a Tiguan Allspace is the increased practicality and extra seats. But the latter might not exactly be the right choice for everyone, as even the company admits that the third-row is more suitable … [Read more...] about Is The VW Tiguan Allspace The 7-Seat Compact SUV To Go For?
Nowadays, if you’re in the market for a punchy compact estate, then there are several to choose from, such as the Ford Focus ST, the Skoda Octavia vRS and, of course, the Seat Leon ST Cupra. We’ll just focus on the latter for now, as it was subjected to an interesting review by CarBuyer. Straight away, the reviewer compares it to the slightly more powerful and more expensive Volkswagen Golf R, on which is based, and goes on to talk about the exterior, which doesn’t exactly say that much about its muscled-up engine. The cabin is almost identical to the usual Leon estate, and that may be an issue for those who pay more for the performance model. But if you can live with it, then it’s worth noting that the cabin feels well built, with good materials, and the controls are easy to use and intuitive. Boot space may not be on the same level with other similar products offered within the Volkswagen Group, but it will still eat plenty of suitcases, and that’s all … [Read more...] about Seat Leon ST Cupra Offers Performance, Handling And Lots Of Space
The new Seat Arona is the latest SUV of Group VW’s Spanish brand that aims at grabbing a slice of rapidly growing crossover market in Europe. You can think of it as a Seat Ibiza on stilts, and you wouldn’t be far from the truth as both models are built on the same architecture, though the Arona offers a more practical cabin with enough space for families. Sitting underthe Ateca in Seat’s range, the new Arona enters one of the busiest segments in the European market, with rivals such as the Renault Kaptur, Nissan Juke and the closely-related VW T-Roc. The engine range includes the turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder TSI unit offered with 95PS and 115PS, the latter combined with a six-speed manual or an optional dual-clutch transmission. Those looking for a bit more oomph can go for the range-topping 1.5-liter TSI Evo engine that offers 150PS and features a cylinder deactivation system. Diesel options are limited to a pair of 1.6-liter TDI units with 95PS and 115PS. … [Read more...] about New Seat Arona Is A Good Subcompact SUV That Needs More Sparkle
TWO fast Fords. Both £40k. Both very orange. But the question is: Which one is better? American muscle or European hot hatch? Let’s find out. On the left, we have the Mustang GT packing a naturally aspirated 5-litre V8. Crude and cool, rear-drive, 450hp, loud, drag-strip mode, line lock for big, smokey burnouts. (Quick fact: Mustang outsold the Porsche 911 last year.) On the right, we have the Focus RS powered by a turbocharged 2.3-litre EcoBoost. Clever tech, all-wheel-drive, 375hp, legendary pops and bangs, drift mode for donuts. Clearly, none of this mischief can ever happen on a public road or you’ll end up playing mummies and daddies with Big Vin at HMP Lincoln. So we headed to Santa Pod, Britain’s drag-racing Mecca in Northants, for a quarter-mile face-off. Actually, we gatecrashed official practice for the FIA European Drag Racing Championship, had a quick duel then drove home again. Key factsFord Mustang GT Price: £43,165 Engine: 5-litre V8 0-62mph: … [Read more...] about Mustang and RS go head to head in fast Ford drag race – but which is best?
Volkswagen has really went back to the drawing board with the new generation Touareg – which is a welcome departure from the German automaker’s usually conservative practice. Not only is it a totally new design, but it also rides on the MLB Evo platform, the same as the latest Audi Q7, Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus. As a result, one might think that the new Touareg would be fun to drive, but, according to AutoExpress, that is not the case. It appears that the brand’s engineers were ordered to differentiate it from the aforementioned SUVs, and while it is extremely safe and predictable, the driver doesn’t get a lot of feedback. Volkswagen’s flagship SUV is currently being offered with a 3.0-liter TDI diesel with either 228 or 282 HP. Later on, a 4.0-liter V8 will be added, along with a six-cylinder petrol engine. A PHEV was confirmed for China, but the automaker hasn’t said anything about a launch date in Europe. If the MLB Evo architecture … [Read more...] about 2019 Touareg Is A Big Step Forward For Volkswagen