Road cars

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Current page

173

Current page

174

Current page

175

Current page

176

Current page

177

Current page

178

Current page

179

Current page

180

Current page

181

Current page

182

Current page

183

Current page

184

Current page

185

Current page

186

Current page

187

Current page

188

Audi tops Detroit exhibits

New design language revealed at a shrinking show 

Those filing out of the Cobo Hall on the evening of the Detroit motor show’s first press day could be forgiven for failing to realise they’d just attended an iconic event on the automotive calendar. For decades The Big Three welcomed the world to Motor City each January and proceeded to launch cars in huge numbers and with unrivalled chutzpah. No longer: despite long overdue signs of recovery in the city,
its motor show was a small and timid shadow of its former self.

Ford, General Motors and what we must now call Fiat Chrysler Automobiles had an incredibly quiet show by their once riotous former standards, the point being that if the big domestics cannot be bothered to support their home show, one wonders how long everyone will continue to commit to it.

Of course many simply didn’t show up at all. None of the blue-blood sports and supercar manufacturers made it, nor did Jaguar, Land Rover or even Porsche. So it was left to the mainstream German premium brands to prop up a badly listing show.

Mercedes-Benz brought the most, including an attractive coupé version of its new E-class and yet another hot AMG GT, this time badged GT C, to add to its ever-expanding range of junior supercars. We even learned a little more of its forthcoming hypercar with its Formula 1-derived powertrain. Unlike F1 cars, it will have an electrically driven front axle capable of a range of 25km on electric power alone. Its power output will be ‘at least’ 1000bhp and a screen grab of a rear-on silhouette revealed the car to be a low-slung mid-engined coupé with a large roof scoop, not that you couldn’t have easily guessed that already.

But of at least equal interest was the Audi Q8, revealed in ‘concept’ form but, I am reliably informed by someone who should know, all but identical in all ways that matter to the production car that will follow later this year. You might not consider the appearance of a sleeker version of the extant Q7 exactly headline news, but the real significance is its shape. This is the car that previews the new design language Audi has been evolving for years and which should bring to the end the days of Russian doll design, during which Audi’s development has slowed to a glacial pace and its saloons and SUVs have seemed simply to be different sizes of the same car. We’ll see more on this theme with the release of an all-new Audi A8 this summer, followed next year by the A7 and all-important A6.

But of all the cars on show, just two were genuinely new production models heading for sale in the UK: one was the luxurious and distinctive Lexus LS, the other a very attractive alternative to the likes of the BMW 3-series from Kia, called the Stinger. If it’s as good as it looks, in theory it should sell well in the UK. Sadly, however, we are a nation of badge snobs and in reality it could be the greatest car ever made and I’d expect Kia still to struggle to persuade people to abandon their Audis, BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes in its favour.

Carbon captured

McLaren Automotive had a stunning 2016, not only launching the 570S ‘Sports Series’ to universal acclaim, but also nearly doubling sales from 1654 cars in 2015 to 3286. The growth was driven almost entirely by the 570S and its more touring-orientated 570GT sister, which together accounted for two-thirds of all custom.

But the company has no plans to slow down and will within the month unveil the successor to the current 650S at the Geneva Motor Show. It’s a significant car because it will be the core model in the middle of McLaren’s ranges – with the ‘Sports Series’ cars below and ‘Ultimate Series’ like the now-defunct P1 above. More significantly the car, known now only by its ‘P14’ code name, also represents the first time McLaren has completely replaced a model since its rebirth as a car constructor with the MP4 12C (from which the 650S was derived) in 2011.

So far McLaren has only released a single image of the car’s carbon-fibre monocoque, but even that reveals a car that, while similar in concept, may well be drastically different in execution. The most telling thing about the picture is the presence of a structural roof element in the monocoque, something the missing from all other current generation McLarens save the P1. It is likely that the extra rigidity that comes from having a structural element in the roof has allowed McLaren to cut carbon elsewhere, particularly in the sills and door apertures, saving weight and allowing the car to be significantly easier to access and exit with no penalty in overall strength. Indeed the P14 is said to be both lighter and stiffer than the 650S it replaces. One potential drawback of the design is that it would require more work to turn into a convertible because the roof section will need to be removed and weight added elsewhere to maintain strength.

Its powertrain will still be based around the twin-turbo V8 used by all McLarens, though with its power raised from the 641bhp seen in the 650S, probably to about 680bhp to ensure statistical clear air between it and its nearest rival, the 660bhp Ferrari 488 GTB. A derivative of this engine already develops 727bhp (before electrical assistance) in the P1. The car is likely to retain its seven-speed paddle-shift gearbox and continue to drive the rear wheels alone.

McLaren has given no public indications about the car’s appearance, but informally it is said to be a far more dramatic design than the 650S and, some say, even more extrovert than the P1. Deliveries are likely to begin this autumn.

Say it with power

How do you bid farewell to a car that has lived 14 years, saved your company and transformed your business? For Bentley, nothing says it better than 700bhp.

That’s the power output of its new Continental GT Supersports model, the fastest, most powerful car in the company’s 98-year history. With a top speed of 209mph, Bentley is also claiming it to be the fastest four-seat car in the world, eclipsing as it does the top speed of Ferrari’s GTC4 Lusso by a single mile per hour.

The Supersports is available with both open and closed bodywork and, unlike the 2009 Supersports, will not be sold as a stripped-out two-seater, a move that came to be regarded as a step too far for the Crewe-based brand. Indeed press blurb referring to ‘luxurious ride quality for passengers wishing to cover long distances in supreme comfort’ suggests a softer, more broadly focused car than the old uncompromising Supersports. And while it’s 40kg lighter than the 12-cylinder Continental GT upon which it is based, an all-up kerb weight of 2280kg still ranks it among the more hefty 200mph machines you can buy. So it’s impressive that all that mass can still be coaxed from rest to 60mph in just 3.5sec, matching the time claimed for Aston Martin’s current flagship, the Vanquish S.

 At £212,500 (£233,800 for the convertible), the new car costs £43,000 more than the hitherto range-topping 633bhp Continental GT Speed.

Range extender

Porsche has completed the line-up of the current 911 generation with the unveiling of a new GTS to sit above the standard and ‘S’, but below the Turbo and Turbo S. It will be available in all body styles – Coupé, Cabriolet and Targa – with both two- and four-wheel drive and with manual or automatic transmission. Larger turbochargers produce 30bhp more
than found in the S, bring its total
up to 444bhp.

The GTS is visually distinguished from other 911s in the now familiar way with black wheels, smoked rear lights and front air intakes, with a (black) sports exhaust as standard, a downforce-enhancing new front spoiler and rear wing plus the usual smattering of GTS badging.

Comparison with the previous generation 911 Turbo that went off sale only a year ago is instructive. The Turbo was substantially more powerful than this new GTS but if you equip the latter with the PDK gearbox and four-wheel drive the Turbo had as standard, the new GTS will pull a 3.6sec 0-62mph run, just two tenths shy of the not-so-old Turbo. The same car’s 192mph top speed is a mere 3mph down too, yet it is 12.5 per cent more fuel efficient. And at £102,120 with PDK, it’s nearly £19,000 cheaper than the Turbo, too.

A full review of the new GTS will be published next month.

You may also like

Related products