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  1. Porsche is taking the engine from the Cayman GT4 RS and slotting it into the drop-top Boxster. The Porsche Boxster Spyder RS promises the same 9000rpm rush as its hardtop sibling, but with the added drama of a removable roof. There are a few giveaways this is not a run-of-the-mill Boxster Spyder. Along with what look like the same wheels fitted to the Cayman GT4 RS, this Boxster has sprouted an extra set of air intakes behind the driver and passenger to feed the mid-mounted 4.0-litre engine. Peak power in the Cayman is 368kW at 8400rpm, down 7kW on the 911 GT3 because the longer new exhaust necessitated by the mid-engined layout creates more back pressure. Peak torque is 450Nm, on tap at 6750rpm. Porsche considered a manual transmission, according to the GT4 RS project leader, but the six-speed gearbox from the GT4 couldn’t handle the torque on offer in the RS, and making the 911 GT3’s transmission fit would have been prohibitively expensive. In other words, don’t expect a manual in the Boxster. Along with its uprated engine, the Boxster appears to feature a carbon-fibre engine cover. The cover itself has a dramatic double-bubble design, as is common in Porsche Spyder and Speedster models, and butts into a chopped roof with a small rear window. It’s not clear when the RS will be revealed, but it’s possible we’ll see it before the end of 2023. MORE: Everything Porsche 718 View the full article
  2. Is this the Mulsanne successor you were expecting? After countless rumours and spied prototypes, Bentley has officially revealed the stretched Bentayga Extended Wheelbase (EWB) that literally builds upon the second-generation Bentayga ultra-luxury SUV. This new model has a 180mm longer wheelbase which translates to extra rear cabin space. There are apparently 2500 new parts in the Bentayga EWB which make up changes to the underfloor, side panels, doors and roof. Bentley is marketing this stretched Bentayga as a spiritual successor to the now-defunct Mulsanne luxury sedan. It also offers luxurious features on par with the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and Mercedes-Maybach GLS. Australian orders for the Bentayga EWB now appear to be open according to Bentley’s website, with deliveries expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2022, depending on the market. We’ve reached out to Bentley Motors Australia to confirm if initial Australian deliveries are expected in this timeframe. Bentley has already confirmed the Bentayga EWB isn’t available to order in EU27, UK, Switzerland, Israel, Norway, Turkey and Vietnam. This is most likely due in large part to strict emissions regulations. At launch, the Bentayga EWB will only be available with a 4.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V8 engine producing 404kW of power and 770Nm of torque. It’s mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. This engine may sound familiar as it’s shared with its Audi RSQ8, Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne platform-mates. Bentley says the Bentayga EWB can do the 0-100km/h sprint in 4.6 seconds and has a top speed of 290km/h. There’s no official word at this stage on a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or W12-powered version of the Bentayga EWB. Just like the current-generation Flying Spur sedan, the Bentayga EWB has an electronic rear-wheel steering system that at low speeds makes the wheels turn the opposite direction to the front wheels. This system actually makes the Bentayga EWB have a 7 per cent smaller turning circle than the standard wheelbase Bentayga. At higher speeds the system also makes small adjustments to the rear wheels to increase high-speed stability. There’s also an active anti-roll control system that’s powered by a 48V electrical system which was originally introduced in the regular Bentayga. Bentley says there are “trillions” of possible specifications for the Bentayga EWB available. Inside the Bentayga EWB there are three different seating configurations available, and as standard it comes in five-seat form. This set-up offers 16 ways of adjustments for the two outboard rear seats, along with heating, ventilation and five different massage programs. Bentley markets the third rear seat as an “occasional middle seat”. There’s a four-seat set-up as well that removes the rear middle seat. Bentley says customer feedback showed a seven-seat configuration isn’t a priority as they want “space and luxury”. There’s also a new Bentley Airline Seat specification that allows the two outboard rear seats to recline to 40 degrees. The level of seat recline can be controlled through a touchscreen remote, or in the door pocket area. The Bentley Airline Seat specification also includes a seat automatic climate system that uses contact temperature and surface humidity sensors to modulate the seat heating and ventilation automatically. It also brings new thigh and shoulder pockets, cushion and backrest bolster adjustment, cushion extension, electric headrest adjustment, a deployable footrest, plus additional lumbar massage pockets that continuously change the shape of the seat to ease pressure points around the body. Bentley says the seats can provide 177 adjustments every three hours to “ensure that seat comfort is never compromised”. There are also heated rear door and centre armrests too, which are new features to the Bentayga EWB. Other new available features to the Bentayga EWB include special Bentley Diamond Illumination interior ambient lighting in the door panels, metal overlay in the veneer, and power closing doors. On the outside there are 22-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels as standard, along with a grille with chrome vertical vanes. There’s also a repositioned panoramic sunroof, due to the longer wheelbase, which moves the focus to the rear occupants. It can be adjusted through the touch screen remote or through the front cabin console. Two “enhanced” versions of the Bentayga EWB will be available at launch – the Bentayga EWB Azure V8 and Bentayga EWB First Edition V8. The Azure brings unique 22-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, bright lower bumper grilles, Azure embroidery and badging, unique quilted upholstery, ambient mood lighting, heated steering wheel, and more driver’s assistance aids as standard. The First Edition adds standard Bentley Diamond Illumination, metal overlays in the veneer, Naim premium sound system, LED welcome lamps, unique embroidery and badging. At this stage there’s no word on pricing for the Bentley Bentayga EWB, but it definitely won’t be cheap. The regular Bentayga V8 starts at just under $380,000 before on-road costs and options. Expect a price tag near the half a million mark. Click an image to view the full gallery. MORE: Everything Bentley Bentayga View the full article
  3. Mercedes-Benz Cars remains Australia’s luxury car leader four months into 2022, despite posting a sharp sales decline of 19.6 per cent relative to the same period in 2021. The Stuttgart marque’s local division has sold 8265 cars and SUVs this year, placing it ahead of arch nemesis BMW on 7032 sales, down 15.5 per cent. This suggests that Mercedes’ transition to a new ‘agency’ business model whereby it owns inventory and sets pricing nationally has not necessarily been the existential threat some billed it to be. Usual third-place premium brand Audi has been usurped by Tesla, which has sold 4469 cars to the end of April – miles and miles ahead of any other electric car player. Whether Tesla counts as a luxury brand largely depends on perception, but we’ll include it here on account of pricing. Audi by contrast has sold 3749 cars, down 34 per cent on the back of supply shortfalls – something affecting all brands, but some more so than others. Nipping at Audi’s heels is Volvo, on 3477 sales, meaning growth of 1.9 per cent. The Swedish-Chinese brand has put Lexus (2640 sales, down 21.7 per cent) in its rear-view mirror. Jaguar Land Rover has sold 2059 cars, down 23.7 per cent, putting it only two units ahead of Porsche: 2057 sales, up 19.5 per cent and bucking the trend. Some of the stragglers include Mini (878 sales, down 20.5 per cent), Genesis (258, up 101.6 per cent), Polestar (208 sales, new to market), Alfa Romeo (193 sales, up 4.9 per cent), and Maserati (188, up 6.8 per cent). BrandJan-April salesChange %Top modelMercedes-Benz8265-19.6GLCBMW7032-15.5X3Tesla4469NAModel 3Audi3746-34.0Q5Volvo34771.9XC40Lexus2640-21.7NXJaguar Land Rover2059-23.7DefenderPorsche205719.5MacanMini878-20.5HatchGenesis258101.6GV70Polestar208NA2Alfa Romeo1934.9StelvioMaserati1886.8Levante Passenger cars Industry sales database VFACTS classifies passenger cars as hatches, sedans, coupes, convertibles, wagons, and people-movers. Tesla rules the roost in this space, with the Model 3 (4469) one of the most popular passenger cars overall, putting it ahead of Mercedes-Benz (2958), BMW (2782), and Audi (936). SUVs Mercedes-Benz is the SUV leader with 5307 sales YTD, ahead of BMW (4250), Volvo (3304), Audi (2813), and Lexus (2245). SUV specialist Land Rover sold 1788 over the period. Top selling models Just two of the top 10 luxury models are sedans, including the top-selling Tesla Model 3 and the ninth-placed BMW 3 Series. The rest are all small or mid-sized SUVs. ModelSalesChange %Tesla Model 34469NAVolvo XC40165616.3BMW X315337.3Mercedes-Benz GLC140920.3Volvo XC6014001.9Lexus NX12309.8Audi Q51173-3.1Porsche Macan108821.3BMW 3 Series1000-16.9Audi Q3975-54.5 Top model per premium segment Light cars: Mini hatch (429)Small cars: Mercedes-Benz A-Class (972)Medium cars: Tesla Model 3 (4469)Large cars: Porsche Taycan (218)Upper large cars: Mercedes-Benz S-Class (74)People movers: Mercedes-Benz V-Class (161)Sports: BMW 4 Series (265)Super sports: Porsche 911 (157) Small SUV: Volvo XC40 (1656)Medium SUV: BMW X3 (1533)Large SUV: BMW X5 (913)Upper large SUV: Mercedes-Benz GLS (208) View the full article
  4. Porsche looks to be giving its next-generation Panamera an interior inspired by the all-electric Taycan. Our spy photographers have captured the large liftback once again, and we’ve gotten a first look at the Panamera’s interior ahead of its expected reveal late in 2023. Ahead of the driver appears to be fully digital instrument cluster that’s slightly curved like that of the Taycan. The current Panamera has a partial digital cluster with an analogue rev counter in the middle. In between this digital instrument cluster and the central infotainment screen is a small gear selector toggle, also resembling that of the Taycan. Design features that appear to have carried over from the current-generation Panamera to this next-gen prototype are the climate control knobs and touch-sensitive buttons on the central tunnel, although they aren’t flanking the gear lever. A starter button can also be seen where the electronic park brake is on the current-generation model. Seeing the dashboard on this spied prototype is so similar to Taycan, the next-generation Panamera could also offer a front passenger screen as an option. The rest of the interior on this spied prototype is covered in black sheets, typical with development prototype vehicles. It’s unclear what Porsche will do with the engine line-up of this new Panamera. Currently, the base engine is a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 producing 243kW of power and 450Nm of torque. There’s also a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of this powertrain that adds an electric motor and a 17.9kWh lithium battery pack, good for a combined power output of 340kW or 412kW, depending on the variant. A 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine is also available, producing 353kW and 620Nm in the GTS and 463kW and 820Nm in the Turbo S. Sitting atop the range is the Turbo S E-Hybrid, using a PHEV version of the V8 powertrain with total outputs of 514kW and 870Nm. This new-generation model appears to be receiving an exterior design that’s more of an evolution than revolution. Setting this Panamera prototype apart from the current model at the front are new headlights with a different lighting signature, an updated front fascia with a larger main air intake and more pronounced side air intakes. This prototype appears to retain a similar double daytime running light/indicator signature to the current-generation Panamera GTS, Turbo S and Turbo S E-Hybrid models. Around the side there are different, squarer rear door lines that have been cleverly covered up with black camouflage and painted where the chrome door trim usually is. There’s also a round fuel filler cap, instead of the squarer one fitted to the current Panamera. Around the back the rear hatch has a very different design and seems to be more squared-off. There also appears to be a retractable, active spoiler that’ll carry over to this new model. The Panamera is a considerably lower volume vehicle for Porsche Australia than even the brand’s sports cars. Porsche has sold a total of 21 Panamera to the end of April 2022, against 157 examples of its 911, 64 examples of its 718, and 218 of its similarly-sized electric Taycan. MORE: Everything Porsche Panamera View the full article
  5. The Volkswagen Group is getting into Formula 1 in a big way. Group CEO Herbert Diess overnight confirmed both Audi and Porsche will join the grid in some form for the 2026 season. Mr Diess pointed to the new regulations coming into force in 2026 as a driver, along with the category’s bigger push into synthetic fuels. The growth of F1 in markets such as the USA and China is also a factor. Porsche in particular has positioned itself as a leader in the eFuel space, so running a Formula 1 program using the technology is a natural fit. It supplied TAG-branded engines to McLaren in the 1980s, although its F1 history pales alongside its endurance racing pedigree. “If you do motorsport, you should do Formula 1 as that’s where the impact is greatest,” Mr Diess said, as reported by Motorsport. “What’s more, you can’t enter Formula 1 unless a technology window opens up which means, in order to get in there, a rule change: so that everyone starts again from the same place.” It’s not clear whether the German giants will each field a factory-backed team, or whether they’ll be engine suppliers, development partners, or merely naming sponsors for an existing outfit. Porsche has previously been linked with Red Bull Racing, which has bought engines from Renault and Honda in the past. Mr Diess confirmed Audi is still looking for a partner, but recent media reports have tied it to the McLaren Group. Along with the Formula 1 operation, the reports have linked Audi with the McLaren road car operation. It’s also been tied to Williams, which was recently bought from the Williams family by investment firm Dorilton Capital, and the currently Alfa Romeo-backed team Sauber. Porsche is heavily involved in motorsport, with everything from the 911 to its bespoke Formula E car. Audi has withdrawn from Le Mans, but remains active in TCR, sports car, and (until the end of the current season) Formula E motorsport. View the full article
  6. Bentley is gearing up to officially reveal the fifth model in its luxurious line-up on May 10. In the lead-up to the reveal, Bentley has revealed a shadowy teaser image of what appears to be either a front dash or a door card. It’s backed by ambient lighting which illuminates the photo partially. Regardless of what the photo actually depicts, what’s more intriguing is the “Long-Awaited” moniker bestowed upon the teaser. It’s unclear exactly what Bentley is planning to reveal, but one vehicle it could be launching on May 10 is the long-wheelbase (LWB) version of the Bentayga luxury SUV. Rumours and countless camouflaged prototypes of the so-called Bentayga LWB have been circulating since the start of 2021, but there hasn’t been any official word on a reveal until now. This idea the vehicle could be the Bentayga LWB is only strengthened when you take into consideration what Bentley wrote in its press release. “With an extra dimension of on-board wellness, the new model will sit in sumptuous comfort at the pinnacle of its range and deliver a breadth of capabilities beyond anything previously offered,” it said. This “extra dimension” could refer to the stretched rear third of the Bentayga LWB, which would allow for considerably more legroom for rear passengers. Bentayga LWB spied prototype Even though Bentley refers to this upcoming vehicle as a “fifth model”, the upcoming car could be a long-wheelbase version of the Bentayga as the brand says it sits at the “pinnacle of its range”. The “breadth of capabilities” the car can provide as well could be referring to the Bentayga LWB’s off-road characteristics, too. If the Bentayga LWB is the vehicle that Bentley is revealing, it’ll mainly rival the long-wheelbase versions of the redesigned Range Rover. Expect the Bentayga LWB to also feature largely the same powertrain line-up as its short-wheelbase sibling. Currently, the entry-level Bentayga is available with a 4.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V8 producing 404kW of power and 770Nm of torque. This engine may sound familiar as it’s shared with its Audi RSQ8, Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne platform-mates. There’s also a variant called the Bentayga Speed that’s powered by a 6.0-litre twin-turbo petrol W12 that produces 467kW and 900Nm. More recently, a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the Bentayga has been revealed and is confirmed for Australia. It’s powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 mated to a 94kW/350Nm electric motor. Total system outputs are 330kW and 700Nm. The electric motor is hooked up to a 17.3kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and is said to be good for a range of 51km under the more lenient NEDC standard. Instead of long-wheelbase Bentayga, Bentley could potentially be revealing a prototype electric vehicle (EV) ahead of the launch of its production EV in 2025. Mulsanne Speed There’s nothing to directly indicate the upcoming car is electric or electrified, but Bentley has previously announced it’s going all-electric by 2030. This potential EV prototype could be an electric successor to the Mulsanne, as the flagship luxury sedan hasn’t been produced since 2020. It’d most likely compete against the Rolls Royce Spectre electric grand tourer which is due for first deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2023. MORE: 2022 Bentley Bentayga LWB spied MORE: Bentley to go fully electric by 2030 View the full article
  7. Porsche has taken its newest 911 back to the future, revealing the first Sport Classic model since 2009. Just 1250 examples will be built worldwide, some of which are coming to Australia priced from $599,100 before on-road costs. Power comes from a 3.7-litre turbocharged flat-six engine pumping out 405kW, sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed manual transmission. It’s the most powerful manual car Porsche makes today, and blends a version of the 911 Turbo engine with a more traditional manual and rear-wheel drive 911 layout. Under the skin there’s an active suspension setup which borrows from both the GTS and Turbo, and the car rides 10mm lower than standard 911 models. Like the last Sport Classic, the 992-generation 911 model draws its inspiration from the first 911, and the 1972 911 Carrera RS 2.7 model. Built on the same wide body base as the 911 Turbo, the Sport Classic features a classic ducktail rear spoiler and a double bubble roof to link it to the 1973 source material. The body is finished in Sport Grey Metallic, a colour inspired by the Porsche 356 and its Fashion Grey paint, offset by twin grey stripes along the bonnet, roof, and deck lid. Black, Agate Grey Metallic, Gentian Blue Metallic, or Paint to Sample colours are also available. Inside, the seat centres and door panels are finished in a Pepita pattern, offset by Black and Classic Cognac leather trim. The Sport Classic is the second in a series of four collectable 911s commemorating the classics. It follows the 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition, which took its inspiration from the 1950s and ’60s. MORE: Everything Porsche 911 View the full article
  8. Porsche has joined the growing list of brands allowing buyers to experience, configure, and order a car away from the traditional dealership environment. The new Porsche Studio Brisbane, located in the Automall West precinct at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, includes a cafe for customers, a merchandise shop, and a “Fitting Lounge” where buyers can configure and order their car. A range of cars will be on show, and test drive bookings will be on offer. The Studio is part of a partnership between Porsche Centre Brisbane and dealer group Eagers Automotive. It’s the first of its kind in Australia, but part of a 20-strong global network of similar retail setups from Porsche. “Our retail formats are evolving for the future, so it is exciting to see the first Porsche Studio in Australia now open,” said Daniel Schmollinger, managing director and CEO of Porsche Cars Australia. The German sports car specialist is far from alone in looking at new ways to sell cars and reach customers in Australia. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a push from the likes of Volkswagen into online sales, and new brands such as Cupra and Genesis – along with established players Honda and Mercedes-Benz – are selling cars under a fixed-price model Down Under. A number of brands have also moved to managing the rollout of low-volume, high-demand cars centrally rather than on a dealer-by-dealer basis. CarExpert has its own Experience Centre concept, which is coming to Melbourne during 2022. Along with its first steps into non-traditional automotive retail, Porsche has recently launched a rental service in Australia. Renters can access a car for a day, a weekend, or a week. The first rentals will be handed over next week, and the trial will last six months. Initially, the Drive Rental program will be managed through Porsche Centre Melbourne in Collingwood. Anyone keen to get behind the wheel can book online. Potential renters need to be at least 27 years old, and need to have held a driver’s licence for at least five years. View the full article
  9. The Raging Bull has put on its party hat. It’s been eight years since Lamborghini started production of its V10-powered Huracán sports car and it’s now celebrating the 20,000th example rolling off the production line. The 20,000th Huracán model is a high-performance STO model that’s finished in Grigio Acheso Matt, which is a matte grey colour, and is headed to its owner who lives in (surprise, surprise) Monaco. The Huracán STO – or Super Trofeo Omologata – is known as the pinnacle of the road-going range and is powered by a 5.2-litre naturally-aspirated V10 producing 470kW of power and 565Nm of torque. Lamborghini claims the Huracán STO can do the 0-100km/h sprint in three seconds and has a top speed of 310km/h. It’s worth noting that drive is also sent to the rear wheels only. During its time of sale thus far, Lamborghini has offered 12 road-going and three different racing versions of the Huracán. Since 2014, 71 per cent of customers have chosen coupe variants of the Huracán with the other 29 per cent choosing open-air derivatives. Huracán STO More than 60 per cent of Huracáns delivered have also been customised using Lamborghini’s Ad Personam program which expands interior trim and exterior paint choices. The U.S. has so far been the top market for Huracán sales, where more than 32 per cent of all Huracáns have been delivered in the last eight years. 2021 was also a sales record for the Huracán with a total of 2586 units sold globally. For context, Lamborghini sold a total of 194 coupe and convertible models during 2021 in Australia. This figure isn’t just Huracán sales but also includes the V12-powered Aventador. Huracán Tecnica The latest Huracán variant to be revealed was the Tecnica, which bridges the gap between the Evo RWD and the STO. Designed to serve dual duty as a road and track car, the Tecnica is fitted with unique front and rear bumpers that make it 61mm longer than the Evo. It’s powered by the same 5.2-litre naturally-aspirated V10 as the STO which produces 470kW and 565Nm, with drive being sent to the rear wheels only. According to Lamborghini, the Tecnica is capable of completing the 0-100km/h sprint in 3.2 seconds, and has a top speed of 325hm/h. This is 0.2 seconds slower to 100km/h than the STO, but it has a higher top speed. Looking to the future, Lamborghini has previously said its planning to reveal its first all-electric vehicle in the second half of the decade. There have been rumours previously circulating that the first all-electric Lamborghini could be a 2+2 grand tourer model, similar to the Estoque concept from 2008. Sián Roadster This roadmap to electrification began with the low-volume Sián which mated a 6.5-litre V12 and an electric motor built into the transmission for a total of 602kW. While most other road-going hybrid systems feature a nickel-metal hydride or lithium-ion battery pack, the Sián used a smaller, more energy dense, supercapacitor set-up. Lamborghini claimed the Sián is capable of completing the 0-100km/h dash in 2.8 seconds, or 2.9 seconds in the Roadster variant. Click an image to view the full gallery. MORE: Everything Lamborghini Huracan View the full article
  10. The new Lamborghini Huracan Tecnica is pitched in the small space between the Evo RWD and the track-focused rear-wheel drive STO. Designed to serve dual duty as a road and track car, the Tecnica is fitted with unique front and rear bumpers that make it 61mm longer than the Evo. At the pointy end the fascia is dominated by a wide Y-shaped opening that directs air through the wheels to improve cooling and downforce. A carbon-fibre bonnet helps to keep the car’s dry weight to 1379kg. Down back there’s a large diffuser that’s available either in body colour or black. There’s also a new fixed rear wing that increases downforce by 35 per cent while also reducing drag by 20 per cent. Behind the passenger compartment, and under a carbon-fibre hood lives a naturally-aspirated dry-sump 5.2-litre V10 borrowed from the Huracan STO, which makes 470kW at 8000rpm, and 565Nm at 6500rpm. It’s hooked up to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and comes with rear-wheel steering as standard. According to Lamborghini, the Tecnica is capable of completing the 0-100km/h run in 3.2 seconds, hitting 200km/h in 9.1 seconds, and reaching a top speed of 325km/h. For those cross-shopping rear-wheel drive Huracans, the Tecnica has an extra 21kW and 5Nm under its belt, and is 0.3 seconds quicker to 100km/h than the Evo RWD. While it shares its engine with the wider, wilder STO, the range-topper is 0.2s quicker to 100km/h and 0.1s brisker to 200km/h. The Tecnica rides on 20-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels with 245/30 Bridgestone Potenza Sport tyres at the front, and fat 305/30 rubber at the rear. Fitted with a carbon ceramic braking package with 380mm discs up front, and 356mm discs at the rear, the Tecnica can come to a complete stop from 100km/h in 31.5 metres. A new track-inspired brake cooling system has deflectors and caliper ducts that direct cold air to the discs to improve heat dissipation and extend brake pad life. Lamborghini says it has specifically tuned the Tecnica’s three driving modes — Strada, Sport and Corsa — to match its more powerful engine, rear-wheel drive setup and rear-wheel steering system. Inside the cabin there are height-adjustable sport seats, and tweaked graphics for the instrumentation display, including a new arc motif and reduced colours, to improve readability. Factory options include a black roof, lightweight doors, track-ready harness seat belts, a selection of interior trim choices, and eight exterior colours. The company’s Ad Personam program significantly expands the interior trim options, and allows the Tecnica to be finished in around 200 different exterior paint choices. MORE: Everything Lamborghini Huracan View the full article
  11. Lamborghini says the company is currently at the end of an era, celebrating the last of its current flock of naturally-aspirated V12 and V10 supercars, as well as its twin-turbo V8 Urus. It plans to shift next-generation products to hybrid technologies, starting with the Aventador replacement to be unveiled this year. The first fully-electric Lamborghini is due in the second half of the decade. Speaking to CarExpert, Lamborghini’s Director of the APAC region Francesco Scardaoni said the brand’s move toward hybridisation may be coming later than its direct rivals, but it’s done so for a reason. MORE: Lamborghini nurtures combustion in EV era – CEO interview Crafted by Lean “Of course, we know that some of our competitors are already into hybrids but we never said we wanted to be the first one, just that we wanted to be the best one,” he said. “In this new field, because it’s still a new field for everyone, every day more is one day more to learn and get something newer in terms of electric technology that we can use in our cars. “We strongly believe that the new Aventador that is a V12 hybrid will be a state-of-the-art hybridisation structure, we believe that the next products will be using state-of-the-art cutting edge technology.” As for the current cars, Scardaoni said the company is using this limited time as a way for celebrating the end of an era. It is unclear if the V10 will be electrified or if the company will seek to use the same hybrid V8 across Urus and next-generation Huracan models. “We are in the combustion engine celebration [stage], step two will be hybridisation that will bring the company to 2025, in the hybridisation phase we will introduce next year with hybrid V12 then followed by [hybrid] Huracan [replacement] and Urus.” Scardaoni also confirmed that the brand will introduce a pure-electric model that will have a 2+2 seating configuration and sit alongside the upcoming three hybridised models by as early as 2025. Lovers of internal combustion engines need not lose all hope, just yet, for Lamborghini (being part of the Volkswagen group that also includes Porsche), is holding out for synthetic fuels. “When we said that we will move into the hybridisation and electrification program, we never said that we would stop the internal combustion engine, that’s the reason why we are investing a lot in to synthetic fuels, because we might see potential with synthetic fuels and if that is the case then we can keep open many opportunities and many kinds of engines,” he said. Lamborghini has a big year ahead, with new variants to the Urus SUV and its future V12 product set for unveiling in the coming months. MORE: Lamborghini nurtures combustion in EV era – CEO interview View the full article
  12. The baby Lamborghini range is about to expand. Leaked images posted on social media reveal what looks like a more aggressive Huracan to sit above the EVO, but below the race-inspired STO, is in the works. Reportedly called the Huracan Tecnica, the supercar leaked on wilcoblok will reportedly be revealed on April 12 in Europe. It wears a new nose inspired by the Sian, and according to krn_speed will feature rear-drive and a subtle rear spoiler. It’s not clear what will power the car, but it’s likely it will be a development of the naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre V10 engine from the Huracan EVO and STO. In the STO it pumps out 470kW and 565Nm, good for a three-second sprint to 100km/h. Along with the Tecnica, the Huracan range is expected to gain a high-riding Sterrato variant. Based on spy photos, it’s clear the suspension has been raised (the concept was 47mm taller than stock), and it looks like the test car here rides on different wheels to the regular Huracan EVO. The LED light bar fitted to this car might not be production-ready, but it’s possible a production Sterrato will feature some form of rally lighting given the concept was festooned with plenty of extra ways to turn night into day. The roof of this mule is home to an extra scoop feeding engine to the 5.2-litre V10 engine, and there are extra skid plates up front to protect the car’s angular snout. It’s not clear what changes Lamborghini will make to the all-wheel drive V10 powertrain in the Huracan, if any. It’s possible the car will feature a retuned all-wheel drive system to work better on gravel and snow like the concept, although how many people will take their mid-engined Italian thoroughbred off the blacktop isn’t clear. MORE: Everything Lamborghini Huracan View the full article
  13. Bentley has recalled its five-seat 2020-2022 Bentayga SUV to fix a problem with the rear seat runners. “Due to improper assembly during production, the rear seat runners may not be correctly aligned/locked to the seat frame rails. As a result the seats may not lock in place and may move inadvertently,” the company says in its recall. “In the event of an accident or hard braking if the rear seats move, it could increase the risk of injury or death to vehicle occupants.” A total of 128 vehicles are included in the recall A VIN list of affected vehicles is attached here The original recall notice is attached here Bentley will contact owners of the affected vehicles and advise them to organise a free fix with their nearest dealer. MORE: Everything Bentley Bentayga View the full article
  14. It’s looking more likely that Porsche will put a high-riding 911 into production. Another prototype for the raised sports car has been spied during testing. Although the 911 Safari name has been thrown around, it’s also possible Porsche will apply the Dakar badge. This particular prototype, along with its raised ride, features what look like 911 GT3-style nostrils on the front boot. The lower air intakes have a shape in keeping with what we’ve seen from other 992.2 911 test mules, and there’s no indication the wheels fitted to this prototype are production-spec. Down back there’s a 911 Turbo-style spoiler fitted to the engine cover. It’s not quite as overt as the hoop-style spoiler fitted to the best-known high-riding Porsche, the 959 racer from the 1980s. It’s not clear what will power the Dakar, but it’s likely to be all-wheel drive given its off-road focus. While the new Safari might be the first of its kind since the 1978 911 SC Safari, Porsche has toyed with reviving the idea before. In late 2020 the automaker released a clutch of photos detailing 15 concepts it had developed but never publicly revealed before, one of which was a 911 Safari. MORE: Porsche pulls back the curtain on unreleased concepts MORE: Everything Porsche 911 View the full article
  15. More profitable vehicles, and fewer models with internal combustion engines: that’s the plan for the Volkswagen Group over the next decade. In an interview with the Financial Times, Arno Antlitz, the Volkswagen Group’s chief financial officer (CFO), said the automaker plans to reduce its European range of cars with petrol and diesel engines by 60 per cent by 2030. Across its many brands, the automaker currently offers in Europe around 70 models and body style variants with internal combustion engines (ICE). Over the last few years it has invested billions upon billions of euros in new models riding on EV-only architectures. The European Commission plans on banning the sale of new cars with petrol, diesel, hybrid and plug-in hybrid drivetrains by 2035. To speed up the transition European governments are also offering tax and other incentives to EV buyers. The CFO also said, “We are [more focused] on quality and on margins, rather than on volume and market share”. This marks a turnaround from the era under former CEO Martin Winterkorn between 2007 and 2015 when the automaker actively chased volume in pursuit of being the world’s largest automaker. Winterkorn resigned after news of the Dieselgate scandal broke in late 2015. Apparently, the current plan to put profits over volume is the result of the global semiconductor shortage, which has caused automakers of all stripes to temporarily close factories and scale back production. Mercedes-Benz, for instance, saw sales fall by over five per cent in 2021 but, because it prioritised more expensive and profitable models, the company booked a record profit before interest tax of €14 billion ($20 billion). That’s more than double the €6.8 billion ($10 billion) it made in 2020 and €6.2 billion ($9 billion) it banked in 2019. Similarly the Volkswagen Group kept Audi sales steady and grew Porsche by over 10 per cent. According to the business newspaper the German firm managed to make around €20 billion ($29 billion) in pre-tax profits despite sales falling 5.5 per cent to 8.6 million. It should be noted, Volkswagen isn’t the first mass-market automotive group to shift its attention to per-unit profit rather than overall sales volume. Groupe PSA — now part of Stellantis — turned itself around by doing this under the leadership of CEO Carlos Tavares, and Luca de Meo is hoping to do the same at the Renault Group. Antlitz noted the automaker won’t be adding extra production capacity as Volkswagen shifts its focus to electric vehicles in Europe and other developed markets. As with the Zwickau and Emden factories in Germany, Volkswagen will convert existing facilities from making ICE cars to EVs. MORE: Who won the global automotive sales race in 2021? View the full article
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