So this facelifted Z4 then. It now comes with a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four-pot that sits on the entry point of Z4 ownership, and one that heeds BMW’s labelling strategy by not being a ‘20i’, but a ‘sDrive18i’. Power sits at 156bhp and 177lb ft of torque, available between 1,250rpm and 4,400rpm. That’s good for a 0-62mph time of 7.9 seconds with the standard six-speed manual, which is a full second off the next model up, 184bhp sDrive20i. Spec the eight speed sports auto ‘box and the time rises to 8.1 secs, while top speed is 137mph.
Outside, the revisions are minor, but you’ll notice the LED lights have gone all Avatar thanks to their “strikingly three-dimensional design”, while there’s a newly designed tapered surround for the side indicators. There are three new colour options - grey, silver and orange - together with a new equipment pack named ‘Design Pure Traction’. Spec it, and you’ll be privy to an orange and black interior that looks nothing like a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, Alcantara on the door trim, and a metal weave strip. There are new 17in and 18in wheel designs in a ‘V’ spoke design, too.
Deets at TopGear.com
So, what do we know? Honda’s miniscule two-paragraph press release tells us that it’s a global concept model that combines a sporty and dynamic SUV profile with a spacious interior utilising Honda’s centre-tank layout. Oh, and that it’ll be introduced at the Detroit motor show on January 14.
From the sketchiest of sketches, we can make out that the scribblers have used the CR-V’s kinked glasshouse shape but the rear light clusters are positioned where you’d normally find them on the boot, not the D-pillars. But, erm, that’s about it.
It is with great regret that we have to inform you of the death of the Jaguar C-X75. The British hybrid supercar, first seen at the Paris Motorshow in 2010, and which you can listen to here, was due to enter production next year, the firm intending to build 250 cars each costing close to £1 million.
That now won’t happen, and economic reasons are to blame, principally the fact that Jaguar no longer believes it can make an “adequate return on investment”.
Linked to that, inevitably, is the current global economic situation. “By the time we got to market with this, we expected normality to have returned”, said brand director Adrian Hallmark, “and even though we could carry on and could fund it, it’s not a major part of our investment. When we look at the global environment and the austerity and the difficulties being faced out there, to bring to market an £800,000-£1 million supercar just feels wrong”.
The good news, however, is that development of the powertrain — including the insane turbines — will continue. For more deets, visit TopGear.com
We’ve got form creating boat/car combinations, though we weren’t successful in the traditional sense of the word. This chap, though, could teach us a thing or two…
He’s converted his RV to feature an integral boat-thing, tying the two together with a violently seventies paint scheme.
But the question is, is it awesome? Or as, erm, divisive as our effort? Tell us in the handy box below…
(Skip to 1:20 for the good stuff)
“My Car of the Year is not going to revolutionise personal transport, reinvent motorsport or solve the looming energy crisis. It is a machine so unlikely ever to be a real, material presence in most of our lives that it may as well be a unicorn. And there it is: the Pagani Huayra. Perhaps unicorn is the best way to describe it…
Well, someone had to nominate the Huayra. And Richard – being someone who embraces guilt-free boyish excitement – fell in love with the most outrageous car of 2012. A car that not only represents the cutting edge of car technology, but the poster-possible styling that comes from the beautiful mind of Horacio Pagani. In this month’s Top Gear magazine, Richard finally gets a chance to play with the Huayra around our deserted Dunsfold track, and it’s fair to say he comes away impressed. And the scent of tortured tyres attracts a certain white-suited individual…
Watch video of Hammond in the Hurhaugharah at TopGear.com
James May is a fan of good design and an even bigger exponent of excellence in engineering: two things he found in abundance in the new McLaren 12C Spider – a convertible that neatly beheads the usual arguments against convertible cars by being as perfectly dynamic as the coupe version. Except with a mighty sunroof. Driving the car exclusively for TG mag along the highest paved road in Europe, James discovered that the 12C Spider was:
“Perhaps the most benign supercar I’ve ever tried. Some would want to be admired for their courage in mastering a Ferrari GTO or that demanding Lamborghini Aventador, but I say cobblers to that. I can challenge myself by learning to play the violin. This is a good-time car and I want a good time. I get it.”
Let’s talk power and torque. Power in the new car is up 40bhp over the XFR, and torque 41ft lbs, bringing the grand total to 550bhp and 501ft lbs from the 5.0-litre supercharged V8. Amazingly, this boost in power hasn’t had an impact on the fuel consumption and emissions as they’re still 24.4mpg and 270 g/km.
But numbers like this put it toe-to-toe with Stig’s favourite sideways saloon, the BMW M5. The Jag will hit 62mph in just 4.4 seconds (just 0.1 seconds slower than the M5), and it will go a lot faster: the XFR-S is limited to 186mph, where the M5 has its reins pulled in at 155mph.
The Jags eight-speed transmission comes packaged with tech developed for the impending F-Type called ‘Quickshift’. Quickshift aims to get you the quickest and crispest shifts when you want them by anlaysing road conditions, throttle and steering input. If you’re being a bit lairy, it’ll throw cogs at you like Donkey Kong throwing barrels, but if you’re being a bit more relaxed and gentle with the throttle it will change the shift to something a bit smoother and lower down the rev band.
Frankly, if it’s anything like the last car to get the R-S treatment from Jaguar Land Rover’s specialist ETO division, the XKR-S, you’ll be shifting hard. The fast XK is rightly lauded for its glorious noise, and in the XFR-S they’ve replaced the silencer from the standard car with an X-piece and near straight-through rear pipes. Expect that characteristic crackle on the overrun.
More at TopGear.com