In creating the all-new high performance Ford GT, the pioneers behind the supercar designed it not only to win races but also to serve as a test bed for new technologies and ideas for future vehicles across Ford’s vehicle lineup.
“When we began work on the all-new Ford GT in 2013, the team had three goals,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president of Product Development and chief technical officer. “The first was to use it as a training ground for our engineers as we develop future engine technology and stretch our understanding of aerodynamics. Then, to push the boundaries of advanced material usage, such as lightweight carbon fiber. Finally, we set out to win the Le Mans 24 Hours, referred to by many as the ultimate test of endurance and efficiency.”
At the same time the team was developing the GT, Ford combined several of its performance teams – Ford SVT, Team RS, Ford Racing, performance vehicle parts and merchandise licencing – into a single group called Ford Performance.
“Without this kind of integrated teamwork and combined organisation, it would have been impossible to deliver the all-new Ford GT in its current form,” said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “This kind of collaboration was critical to not only bringing Ford GT back to life but for experimenting with the kind of innovations needed to create the ultimate supercar.”
GT has proven power to inspire. The 2005 Ford GT, for instance, featured a lightweight aluminium alloy body that helped reduce weight to improve performance. Lessons learned from its production led to the innovative use of high-strength aluminium alloy in today’s Ford F-Series pickup trucks and the all-new Ford Expedition full-size SUV – shedding hundreds of pounds of weight, while also improving capability, performance and fuel efficiency.
The Vantage name has long been synonymous with more extreme performance Aston Martins since the 1950s, so it’s entirely appropriate that the Vantage AMR should be the first series production derivative of Aston Martin’s new race-inspired performance range.
Launched at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, AMR amplifies and accentuates the sporting prowess of the British marque’s road cars, by taking inspiration or direct influence from Aston Martin Racing’s participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship; a series with which the marque tasted world championship success with factory drivers Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen just last season.
Limited Edition Models
The AMR brand has two distinct tiers. Series production limited edition models such as the new Vantage AMR sit at its entry point, while extreme and extensively modified AMR Pro models created by Q by Aston Martin Advanced Operations sit at the pinnacle of the range, including the exclusive Vantage AMR Pro unveiled at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.
As you would expect, the Vantage AMR stays true to Aston Martin’s passion of offering cars with sharpened looks to match their vivid performance and vibrant character. A celebration of Aston Martin’s worldwide success across GT4, GT3 and GTE categories, the Vantage AMRs are offered both with 430bhp V8 or 595bhp – up from 565bhp – V12 powertrain options.
This is the new BMW Concept 8 Series – a flagship 2+2 coupe that has been designed to take on the Mercedes S-Class Coupe.
Revealed at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy, the close-to-production design study will morph into a showroom model next year; following in its footsteps will be a broadening lineup of new 8 Series models that’s set to include an 8 Series Convertible and 8 Series Gran Coupe.
“The number 8 has always represented the pinnacle of sports performance and exclusivity at BMW,” said Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG Harald Krüger. “The forthcoming BMW 8 Series Coupe will demonstrate that razor-sharp dynamics and modern luxury can go hand-in-hand.”
The concept is a long and rakish two-door coupe, which has a whiff of Maserati about its proportions. BMW, however, says that the car shows a ‘fresh interpretation of iconic BMW styling cues’. At the front, slender laser lights sporting a similar light signature to that seen on the new 5 and 7 Series flank an over-sized kidney grille. A carbon fiber front lip beneath is also said to underline the car’s ‘sporty and high-performance’ character.
With the climax of the UEFA Champions League season on the horizon, Nissan – the official global automotive sponsor of the competition – has put football to the ultimate test, assessing whether the thrill of the game is more exciting than being a passenger in the iconic GT-R supercar.
In partnership with sports science experts at Loughborough University, Nissan fitted participants with wearable technology to monitor and gather a combined index of data. This included heart rate, breathing rate and electro-dermal activity, in order to examine the physiological effect excitement has, and ultimately determine which activity is more exciting.
Live match experiments took place during crunch UEFA Champions League fixtures and were compared to the reactions of passengers raced around by professional drivers in Nissan GT-Rs at the famous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
When comparing the findings from the two sets of experiments, Dr. Dale Esliger from Loughborough University commented: “Previously we would have subjectively judged how exciting a crunch football fixture or being a passenger in a thrilling super car, like the Nissan GT-R, would be. The research conducted as part of the Nissan Excitement Index has allowed us to use innovative sensor data to understand the participants’ physical reaction to these exciting moments and thus make suggestions on what elements might be the most exciting.
Aston Martin announced recently the start of a new long-term partnership with Tom Brady, record-breaking National Football League star and one of the most renowned and respected athletes of all time.
In collaboration with Aston Martin’s VP & Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman, the designer currently responsible for creative direction of the Aston Martin brand and model range, Brady and Reichman will explore their affinity for The Love of Beautiful via a new content series entitled Category of One, premiering later this year.
“Tom is an inspirational leader and athlete who is clearly aligned with our view of Aston Martin,” said Reichman. “His performances on the football field – not just recently but throughout his career – are an inspiration for us all. My team and I are looking forward to this creative collaboration as we continue to roll out Aston Martin’s ‘Second Century’ plan.”
Brady to Share Visualizations of Where He Sees Beauty
Brady will seek to share visualizations of where he sees beauty in his sporting moments, what he sees as beautiful in life, and what continues to compel him to pursue greatness after five Super Bowl wins and four MVP Awards.
The 18th annual Aston Martin Sale, held at Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell and hosted by international auction house Bonhams, achieved over £5 Million last weekend.
Star of the Show
One of the surprise stars of the show was a 1996 Aston Martin V8 Sportsman Estate Car, one of only three created, originally converted to its shooting brake format at Aston Martin Works. The rather unique and bespoke Aston Martin sold for an incredible £337,500.
The Top Lot of the Day
Another highlight was a 1964 Aston Martin DB5, which took £561,500, making it the top lot of the day. The iconic car drew many bids and eventually went to a telephone bidder who now owns a piece of automotive history. Other early ‘DB’ models proved popular: a 1961 Aston Martin DB4 ‘Series III’ 4.2-Liter Sports Saloon achieving £399,100 and a 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mark 2 Vantage Sports Saloon selling for £382,300.
The all-new PEUGEOT 3008 SUV was lately unveiled during a regional launch event at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai. The high-profile event was attended by Jean-Philippe Imparato, Chief Executive Officer of Peugeot brand, Jean-Christophe Quemard, Executive Vice-President Africa-Middle East of PSA Group, Cedric Zayoun, Managing Director of the GCC region at PSA Group and UAE’s celebrated rally driver Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi, in addition to over 100 key figures from the industry and prominent media outlets from the UAE and the region.
Under the theme “Stop imagining the future; Drive it”, the event featured futuristic multi-sensorial stations, where the attendees got the chance to discover the vehicle with a unique and immersive virtual reality experience. Making its debut through a remarkable show, the European Car of The Year 2017 features a spectacular, advanced dashboard. This coherent and highly technological ensemble is the latest generation PEUGEOT i-Cockpit®, a novel concept that has rewritten the book on the car cockpit. The large 8” touch-screen resembles a tablet installed in the center of the dashboard and is equipped with capacitive technology for greater reactivity and practicality. It is accompanied by six elegant piano-key “toggle switches” – giving direct and permanent access to the main control functions: radio, climate control, navigation, vehicle parameters, telephone and mobile applications.
For Bentley Mulsanne Speed and Bentley Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase owners, life will be a quest to make their mark on the world – to use new vision and ideas to create meaningful change. For the Bentley Mulsanne is a mobile environment for the visionary at work. Front or rear, it’s a place to unleash your thinking.
The majestic new Bentley Mulsanne range was revealed at the 87thGeneva Motor Show. And, as this spectacular film clearly shows, the pinnacle of the Bentley range has undergone a remarkable redesign for 17MY, reinforcing its position as the ultimate handmade luxury car – a truly extraordinary limousine. Vertical stainless steel vanes have been re-introduced to the striking front grille, which is flanked by new all-LED headlamps with adaptive technology. The result: even greater road presence.
The INFINITI Q60 is a premium sports coupe that combines a completely all-new design with exhilarating performance and dynamics. The taut, muscular lines of the exterior underline the Q60’s considerable performance potential – reinforced by an advanced all-new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine.
The high performance 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine from the new and exclusive ‘VR’ powertrain family is born out of the brand’s extensive in-house experience in six-cylinder powertrain development. The new engine available with 400hp in the Q60 Red Sport 400 – has been designed to offer increased power and torque while maintaining high levels of efficiency.
A four-cylinder 2.0-liter engine, turbocharged to produce 208 hp, is also available. As standard, power is channeled through the Q60’s rear wheels for immediate dynamic responses.
The Q60 is characterized by flowing sculptural lines and strong, muscular proportions. Its sinewy athleticism confidently projects a sense of motion and power, coupled with an effortless, almost weightless stance.
Unifying features such as the double-arch grille and the crescent-cut C-pillars – which arc forward and emphasize the car’s dynamic quality – ensure that the sports coupe is instantly recognizable as an INFINITI. LED headlights, employing ‘light guide technology’ to spread light evenly on the road ahead, are designed to emulate the shape of the human eye, providing an alluring ‘face’ to the car.
Just another weekend, just another hot car test, eh? Arf. The new Mercedes-Benz SL 400, as you will notice, isn’t your typical hot convertible. Sportscar? GT? Saloon? The new Mercedes-Benz SL 400 remains hard to categorize. H.Soukar finds out how the range-topping supercar stacks against all its competitors.
The new Mercedes-Benz SL 400 looks completely different from the standard car, not least with its extraordinary exterior lines reminiscent of an SLR. The newMercedes-Benz SL400 picks up minor styling changes, updated technology and a nine-speed automatic gearbox. The colossal front end sweeps through to the passenger cabin and wide rear. It features signature chrome hood elements, gills on the sides.
A three-part roof, with sections consisting of steel, rubber, and plastic, folds away at the touch of a button in a mere of less than 17 seconds.
More about this in the following video:
I spent time driving with the roof on and off and found that the new Mercedes-Benz SL 400 doesn’t scuttle shake anywhere near as badly as it once did.