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BMW 8 Series teaser BMW will resurrect its 8 Series badge for a luxurious Mercedes-Benz S-Class rival; two-door layout likely

The BMW 8 Series name will be resurrected on a new flagship model in 2018, as part of moves to provide greater competition to long-time adversary Mercedes-Benz and its S-Class coupé, as well as the Bentley Continental GT .

BMW boss Harald Krüger confirmed the 8 Series will be launched in 2018 while talking at the firm's Annual General Meeting today. A concept car will be revealed at the 2017 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy on May 26, before the production car goes on sale next year. This suggests the production car may be revealed at this year's Frankfurt motor show.

“The BMW 8 Series Coupe will build on our tradition of luxurious sports coupes and add a genuine dream car to our line-up – a slice of pure automotive fascination,” said Krüger. “The 8 Series Coupe will underpin our claim to leadership in the luxury segment. I can tell you today that this will be a true luxury sports coupe.”

BMW 8 Series - what we know

The BMW 8 Series is planned to be a technological flagship with driveline components, multi-material architecture, electrical system and connectivity solutions closely related to those used by the recently introduced sixth-generation 7 Series. It will be built at BMW’s Dingolfing factory in Germany from 2018, Autocar believes.

While shrouded in secrecy, insiders at BMW’s R&D centre in Munich suggest that two differing layouts for the 8 Series were put before BMW chairman Harald Krueger, who is personally driving plans to extend the BMW line-up to include additional luxury models.

The first adopted a four-door layout and iwa described as being “similar in concept to the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé only bigger and nobler in appearance”. An alternative layout calls for a more classic two-door coupé and cabriolet pairing. The teaser image released as Krüger spoke suggests the two-door concept is the more likley to make production.

Among the reasons behind Krueger’s push to extend BMW’s reach at the upper end of its line-up is the continued success and profitability of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and its various derivatives in key markets such as the USA and China. 

Mercedes-Benz managed to shift more than 125,000 S-class models in 2015. This compares with 36,364 sales of the BMW 7 Series.

With the introduction of the new sixth-generation model, BMW expects 7 Series sales to increase to around 70,000 in 2016, although officials acknowledge it will still trail the Mercedes-Benz S-Class for overall sales this year.

Internal studies carried out by BMW suggest Mercedes-Benz earns up to 30,000 euros on each S-Class model it sells. The difference in worldwide sales volumes means Mercedes-Benz earns up to 1 billion euros more than BMW with the S-Class compared to the 7 Series.

“With the decision to bring back the 8 Series, Krueger is looking at a potentially lucrative revenue stream with high profitability on a per unit basis,” a BMW senior manager revealed to Autocar. It was also suggested that pricing of the new car would distance it from Rolls-Royce models.

Rumours of a return for the 8 Series name stretch back to 2010, but bosses officially denied that any plans to bring back the nameplate existed in 2013, when the German firm unveiled the Pininfarina-designed Gran Lusso concept. The original BMW 8 Series was built from 1989 to 1999 as a two-door coupé.

During our test drives of the Ferrari GTC4Lusso T with the 3.9l turbocharged V8, I'm joined by MrJWW and BenzeneBen in a Fuel For Thought to discuss the way engines are generally getting smaller. The big question, do we know where this is going with...
Porsche 911 GTS
This is the ultimate 'normal' 911 GTS below the Motorsport range
The ultimate non-Motorsport 911 is now available in the UK with a manual gearbox. Does it offer pure driving pleasure? In theory, this is the ultimate ‘normal’ 911 for those focused on the provision of pure driving pleasure, before the range takes a big step up in both price and concept into the uncompromised realm of the Porsche Motorsport-developed GT series of 911s.The GTS range mirrors that of all ‘lesser’ 911s and is therefore available with coupé, cabriolet or Targa bodywork, rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive and manual or paddle-shift gears. But given that less has almost always meant more in the land of the 911, our focus here falls on the simplest: the basic rear-drive, three-pedal coupé, which has finally landed in the UK.In practice and when viewed with the most objective of eyes, this car is a parts bin special - the 911 Porsche would build were it ticking the options boxes for you. Yes, it’s the first rear-drive 911 to be available with the wider bodywork usually reserved for four-wheel-drive models, but the 30bhp hike in engine output to 444bhp is the same as you’d enjoy if you ordered the power upgrade kit for your Carrera S. Also, the PASM suspension management and lowered sports suspension that are options on cheaper 911s are here in standard form. The centre-lock wheels are taken from the Turbo model.If you want adaptive dampers, rear-wheel steering or carbon-ceramic brakes, you’re still going to have to put your hand in your pocket.Visually, there’s a fractional aero enhancement to the front spoiler, balanced by an additional lip on the rear wing and the usual GTS treatment of black wheels, blackened sports exhausts, smoked headlamp glass and, inside, a smattering of badges and a swathe of Alcantara upholstery.
2017 BMW 4 Series facelift Updates for the BMW 4 Series bring subtle styling changes, chassis updates and new engines; first deliveries expected in April

The facelifted first-generation BMW 4 Series, first revealed at the Geneva motor show earlier this year, is set for UK deliveries in April with prices starting at £32,580 - £735 more than the old model.

It means the updated BMW's starting price is higher than those of its closest rivals, with the Audi A5 starting at £30,700 and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class range opening at £28,295.

The new 4 Series line-up, which encompasses the two-door coupé and Convertible, which starts from £37,630, and the four-door Gran Coupé, also priced from £32,580, receives a mildly altered front end, with lightly restyled air ducts in the lower bumper featuring on both the standard Luxury and higher-spec M-Sport variants.

BMW's also tweaked the handling of the 4 Series range, through widening their track - 14mm at the front and 20mm at the rear - stiffening the suspension and fettling the traction control. It claims that the cars now have a lower centre of gravity, by 40mm on the coupé, 30mm on the Gran Coupé and 20mm on the convertible,

Further changes have been made to the headlights, which retain the same shape as before but receive a new internal graphic similar to that seen on the 2012 Concept 4 Series, with LEDs for both low and high beam together with an optional adaptive LED function.

At the rear, the model also adopts styling tweaks to the lights and bumper, mimicking the changes to the front end. 

The new BMW also receives revised 18in and 19in alloy wheels and two new exterior colours: Snapper Rocks Blue and Sunset Orange.

The changes inside are every bit as subtle as those made to the exterior. Included are a newly designed steering wheel and electroplated aluminium and chrome trim elements as well as high-gloss black panels and the choice of a number of different dashboard trim finishes, all mirroring the chances already brought to the 3 Series in 2016.

BMW has also updated the navigation system for the 4 Series, with the top-of-the-line Professional unit receiving a new interface with six tile-like icons, as seen on the latest 5 Series.

Having already received updated petrol and diesel engines as part of a running change last year, the 4 Series continues into the latter half of its planned seven-year model cycle without any significant drivetrain revisions.

Included in the new line-up is a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit delivering 181bhp in the 420i and 248bhp in the 430i. It is accompanied by a turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine, which produces 321bhp in the 440i.

There is also a choice of three diesel engines: a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder offering 187bhp in the 420d and 221bhp in the 425d, as well as a turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder with 254bhp in the 430d and 309bhp in the four-wheel-drive 435d xDrive.

The 4-Series Gran Coupé can also be ordered with the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine developing 148bhp in the 418d.

The most economical of the line-up is the 420d, which returns a claimed 70.6mpg combined, with average CO2 emissions of 106g/km.

Depending on the engine, the 4 Series can be specified with the choice of either a six-speed manual or eight-speed torque converter-equipped automatic gearbox. Selected models can also be ordered with xDrive four-wheel drive in place of standard rear-wheel drive.

Heading the new 4cSeries line-up is a reworked M4, which is sold in both coupé and Convertible bodystyles. Mirroring the changes brought to standard 4 Series models, it receives freshened LED headlights and tail-lights together with a number of subtle interior upgrades.

Power for the M4 coupé and Convertible continues to hail from BMW M division’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine, developing 425bhp in standard guise and 444bhp in combination with an optional Competition Package.

Prices for the M4 coupé start at £57,817, rising to £61,910 for the M4 Convertible. The Competition Pack versions of those models are priced from £60,815 and £64,110 respectively.

Since its introduction to the BMW line-up in 2013, the three-model-strong 4 Series has garnered more than 400,000 sales worldwide as a successor to the earlier 3-Series Coupe and Convertible.

Read all the news from Geneva motor show

MG E-Motion
The E-Motion concept could make it to production by 2020
MG’s E-Motion concept showed plenty of promise, but the brand is yet to mount a charge on non-Asian markets

The Chinese city of Shanghai is a vibrant, energetic place. Rapid population growth and speedy urban development have transformed it from a land awash with flat green farms to a global powerhouse in less than three decades.

Conveniently, this quick transition almost perfectly mirrors that of one of its newest inhabitants, MG. The once iconic British brand has been under the ownership of China’s SAIC Motors since 2007, and in the decade that’s followed has progressed under the guidance of its new state-owned parent company from being a financial state to eyeing half a million sales by the end of this year.

But this domestic success is starkly contrasted by sluggish sales in other markets, like here in Britain, where it’s as if the brand has barely returned to life, having delivered just 4200 cars in 2016. Admittedly, that’s 1000 up on the year before, but still represents just 0.159% of what is a 2.69 million market.

Matthew Cheyne, MG’s UK sales and marketing boss isn’t concerned, because he predicts things to turn around with the launch of the XS – a new Nissan Juke rival – this November. He told Autocar “We had to find our feet and get some products out there. Now we’ve got the GS and [XS] coming, I think output could almost double. We’re looking at reaching 8000 annual sales in Britain”.

MG’s Chinese bosses aren’t concerned either, with SAIC executives proclaiming that their brand will take on the rest of Europe and even has ambitions to expand into US. To cap it off, MG wants to put its E-Motion concept, a striking electric coupé that was revealed last month, into production within three years. It really is aiming for the sky.

Yet I remain concerned that MG is biting off more than it can chew by making promises it can’t keep. A good example came shortly after the E-Motion’s reveal, when five SAIC executives were unable to explain what type of electric powertrain enabled the concept to achieve its sub 4sec 0-62mph time and 310-mile range.

“We haven’t decided yet,” said one. “That’s something you’ll have to ask the engineers,” said another. We had, and they didn’t know either.

This immediately threw the brand’s claims for production and the car’s performance figures into question – how can they have any performance figures for a car without a drivetrain? It suggests that, despite being labelled as not far from being in a production state, the E-Motion is still in the earliest stages of design. Which means MG has over promised what it has achieved with the car, leading people to question whether it has done the same with the rest of its claims.

This is bad. For MG to become a star on the global stage, it can’t make inflated promises or claims it can't back up. For the brand to be taken seriously, it has to address all of the details, especially those relating to what powers a car it has produced performance figures for. Imagine if Volkswagen had produced a concept with performance statistics but was unable to say what it was powered by…

I want the reborn MG to succeed. But I also know the brand is yet to genuinely convince much of the western world it is worthy of success. Let’s hope the arrival of the XS helps to put an end to that, because if it does, it could ensure the a curvaceous sports coupé makes it to production as an MG halo product. And who knows, maybe it’ll even have a drivetrain by then.

Tom Wiltshire
11 May 2017

The BMW 8-series is coming back! The nameplate has remained unused since 1999, but the German brand has confirmed a successor to the iconic wedge-shaped coupe will be previewed by a concept design study at this year’s Villa d’Este Concours later this month. The new coupe wil rival the likes of the Mercedes S-class Coupe and new Lexus LC when it arrives in production form sometime in 2018.

The teaser image shows only the side profile and general shape of the car. Get that wishful thinking out of your head right now, though – by the looks of things, the new 8-series will not have pop-up headlights.

> BMW Gran Lusso concept

There’s plenty to delight, however, with a long and low silhouette giving the 8-series a seriously sporty aesthetic. That’s confirmed in the accompanying release, where BMW promises ‘contemporary luxury’ mixed with ‘uncompromising dynamics’.

At the front, we see an evolution of BMW’s headlight design, moving back over a lengthy bonnet. The window line is low, too, and includes BMW’s signature Hofmeister kink, while the rear of the car is characterised by prounounced wheelarches and a ducktail spoiler on the boot lid.

> BMW M6 review

Further confirmation comes courtesy of a brief glance at intellectual property regulators. BMW has applied to trademark a series of 8-series related numbers, including 825, 830, 835, 850, 845 and 860. The company has also applied to register M850 and, most excitingly, M8.

A BMW insider told Auto Express that the renewed M8 will kick-start a reworking of the company’s GT line-up. The 6-series will be rebranded into a more agile two-seater sports car to rival the likes of the Mercedes-AMG GT and crucially, the Porsche 911. That move will create room for the new 8-series to top the range as a comfortable GT.

Jordan Katsianis
11 May 2017

Porsche has celebrated quite a milestone recently as the 1 millionth 911 rolled off the Zuffenhausen production line. The face and heart of the Porsche brand, the iconic rear-engined sports car has been in production since 1963. Porsche maintain that the 911 is the most strategically important model in the range, and has made a big contribution to Porsche’s current position as the world's most profitable car manufacturer. 

To commemorate the achievement, Porsche has built a Carrera S with numerous exclusive features paying homage to that first 911. Painted in an original Irish Green hue, Porsche has also adorned the car with satin aluminium finished wing mirrors and window surrounds, a sports exhaust system, 20-inch Carrera Sport wheels and gold badging.

>Click here to read our drive of the 911 Carrera S

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Inside there are yet more links to the original including a timber finished steering wheel, houndstooth seating upholstery, extra metal detailing around the instrument cluster and retro green backlighting.

The 911 represents the excellence of engineering that has become a Porsche trademark, a sentiment proven by the fact 70% of all 911s ever built are still on the road. Last year alone Porsche delivered over 32,000 911s to customers, proving that despite being on sale for over 50 years, demand is not slowing for the immortal sport car. 

Porsche plans on touring the special 911 around the globe, featuring on drives in the Scottish highlands, the USA and China before returning the car for permanent display at the Porsche Museum.

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Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG003S
Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus claims to be on course for a Nürburgring production car lap record with the SCG003S road car, as well as one of the fastest laps of all time.
Marque founder targets Nurburgring production car lap record with SCG003C after race-honed example shows pace in recent six-hour race

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus founder Jim Glickenhaus reckons that the firm's new SCG003S road car is on course to set a Nürburgring production car lap record.

SCG has entered two race-spec SCG003C cars in the upcoming 24 Hours of Nürburgring with its Chris Ruud Lightspeed Racing team, and the race version of the brand’s road car has already set a lap time of 6min 40sec; one of the fastest times ever recorded at the track. The car also set the fastest lap in a recent six-hour race at the circuit, and was leading the event in the closing stages before late brake troubles.

Glickenhaus released a video of the SCG003C’s lap alongside those of the Porsche 918 Spyder and Lamborghini Huracan Performante; current second and fourth ‘Ring record holders for production cars. The Radical SR8 and SR8LM’s records – third and first respectively – were overlooked, but the SCG003S's time already beats the SR8LM's record time of 6min 48sec by eight seconds.

The SCG003’s 6min 40sec lap time eclipses the 6min 52sec of the Lamborghini and 6min 57sec of the Porsche, although Glickenhaus noted the race version of his car had 200bhp and 184lb ft less than the road version, and was carrying 100kg of ballast to meet the race regulations. The 6min 37sex lap time is still 28 seconds off of the current lap record, Stefan Bellof's 6min 11sec time in 1983, while driving a Porsche 956.

Despite these, Glickenhaus claims that its racing cars will be more closely related to their road-going counterparts than other manufacturers’ GT3 cars are with their road cars. No more details on the SCG003S road car itself have been released, but Glickenhaus said that the car will soon begin road testing, adding that customers will soon be able to experience the car for themselves.

The car also ran on race tyres, but can be seen dodging other cars at the ‘Ring – Lamborghini and Porsche’s lap times were on traffic-free tracks, and founder Jim Glickenhaus is keen to point out that both had non-street-legal roll cages.

Ahead of his firm's official Nurburgring record bid, Glickenhaus been outspoken about the lack of uniformity in production car Nürburgring records, saying: “I think that part of the requirement for a road 'record' should require real road legal tyres that anyone can buy and that can drive a reasonable distance to The Ring, at a ride height that can manage real roads not lowered for 'record' attempts.” He added: “There is no legal road tyre that can stand up to five flat out laps at the 'Ring.”

Glickenhaus also suggested that a production car record attempt may not go ahead without this uniformity in place: “As an aside, race regulations for safety reasons now require a higher ride height than last year. If the organisers take up my ideas and bring rules to Road Car Nordschleife records, we shall see just how fast it is.”

There's growing competition for the production car 'Ring record accolade, though, with upcoming models like the Aston Martin Valkyrie, Mercedes-AMG Project One, Radical RXC500 and Lee Noble's Exile supercar, so once the record is broken again, the record holder may only be atop the list for a short time. 

Read more:

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG003S aims for 6:37 Nurburgring record lap

Fastest ever Nürburgring lap times - the definitive rundown

Why the Nürburgring 24 Hours is one of motorsport's best spectator events

Lamborghini Huracan Performante smashes 918 Nurburgring record

Porsche 918 Spyder sets new Nurburgring lap record

Radical RXC500 on course to smash Nurburgring record

11 May 2017

The evo team are warming up their tyres for a spot of track action at Rockingham Motor Speedway this evening and we’ll be bringing you pictures and video from the event right here on this page. You can follow the action on our Twitter feed and see the latest pictures in the gallery above. 

The Rockingham event is the first in the 2017 evo track day schedule and just like the others it's sponsored by GT Radial tyres. Guesta will get the chance to test their cars and hone their skills on the 1.94-mile International Super Sportscar circuit – as used by the BTCC and British GT Championship.

≥ Click here to book your place on the next evo track day

The circuit layout includes a section of the unique 7-degree banking that makes Rockingham Motor Speedway officially Europe’s fastest race circuit. As with all the 2017 evo track days, this is an open pit lane event andf the evo team will be in attendence to say hello and have a chat. 

evo track day live Twitter feed

Below you'll find tweets from the evo team and guests at the Rockingham track day. We're sharing images from the event live on the #evotrackdays hashtag...

Join us on the next evo track day...

Date

Times

Location

Thursday May 11 16:30 - 20:00 Rockingham Motor Speedway
Thursday June 15 16:30 - 20:00 Rockingham Motor Speedway
Friday July 7 15:30 - 20:00 Bedford Autodrome
Friday August 18 17:00 17:00 - 20:30 Rockingham Motor Speedway
Friday, September 1, 15:30 15:30 - 20:00 Bedford Autodrome

≥ Click here to book your place on the next evo track day

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Ferrari was an iconic feature at this year’s Targa Tasmania, with a large contingent of Ferraris including the limited edition LaFerrari and a recently delivered F12tdf taking part.

The post Ferrari Special Editions Descend on Tasmania For Targa Tasmania 2017 appeared first on Ferrari GT - en-EN.

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