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    Audi R8 V10 plus: Review
    Original Article:http://www.pistonheads.com/news/general-pistonheads/audi-r8-v10-plus-review/32517
    The all-new Audi R8 then. Looks rather like the old one doesn't it! Audi admits as much, describing it as a "subtle but emphatic" evolution from the original.
    The same but (a little bit) different? Kind of... If at first glance the looks seem familiar you'd be forgiven for thinking the same examining the spec sheet. Yes, it's still got a normally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 engine and the dual-clutch S Tronic gearbox powering a four-wheel drive chassis. This in a world where everyone else is going downsized and turbocharged. Not so much Vorsprung apparent in the Technik there then.
    But under the skin there are quite a lot of changes. As you'll probably already know there isn't a V8 any more, or a manual. Both of those things might be considered a pity. Instead there are two V10 options, a 540hp standard one starting at £119,500 and a £134,500 610hp Plus version. If that latter figure sounds familiar it's the same as the Lamborghini Huracan with which the new R8 shares much of its fundamental architecture and powertrain. This includes the new 'hybrid' carbon enhanced MSS aluminium spaceframe, optional Dynamic Steering system (more on this shortly...) and dual direct and port fuel injection system. Referred to as Iniezione Diretta Stratificata in Lambo land in Audispeak this gets Germanised into the rather less emotive sounding Saugrohreinspritzung/direkteinspritzung but gains cylinder deactivation, shutting down a whole bank of cylinders when not required.
    Obviously we went straight for the 610hp Plus...
    But since when did fuel saving tech come before performance when reviewing a 610hp supercar? Apologies! To business...
    Reverting to type
    When the first R8 came out it was something of a shock, looking and feeling like an Audi but most definitely not driving like one. From the rear-biased four-wheel drive chassis to the lush damping and lovely steering feel it was a huge departure from the typically fast but numb uber-Audi RS saloons and Avants. Once the crude R Tronic robotised manual was dropped in favour of the S Tronic dual clutch and the V10 unleashed the true potentialin the car it was clear Audi had nailed the usable supercar thing first time out and given the Porsche 911 its first real scare in decades. This new car is a whole lot more 'Audi' in look and feel and those migrating from other products in the range will be in for less of a culture shock than before. Plus it has stiffer competition than ever in the face of its own Lamborghini blood brother, newly turbocharged Ferraris, ever more potent Porsches and new arrivals in the sector like the 'entry level' McLaren 570S. It needs to be bloody good.
    Fixed carbon wing and blades standard on Plus
    Fixed carbon wing and blades standard on Plus That engine is a massive and unexpected selling point too. With a 'modern' 4.0-litre inside-out turbo V8 in the product line up it was easy to assume Audi would seize this opportunity to give the R8 a significantly different character from the Huracan. But it hasn't, at least with a superficial glance at the spec sheets. If your relationship with the V10 is less intimate than it is in the Lamborghini - you're more isolated from the sniffs of induction and more mechanical interactions of the gearbox - the normally aspirated character is still at the heart of the R8 experience. And from a muted hum at cruising speeds to a thunderous 8,000rpm-plus howl at maximum attack it remains a truly epic powerplant. And one that will instantly score if you're back to back test-driving the competition, uncertain of where to put your £140K. Sure, you need to wind on more revs than the turbocharged rivals but when the reward is noise like this who's to complain...
    As are ceramics - £7,700 option on standard V10
    As are ceramics - £7,700 option on standard V10Blades of glory
    Evolutionary or not, the R8 still looks superb too. It's a pity the original's more distinctive visual feature - those sideblades - have been toned down but overall it's been subtly sharpened and made more aggressive looking, not least from the rear where the diffuser and visible mechanical components behind mesh venting have more than a hint of race car.

    Which is appropriate given the R8 LMS was developed in parallel and shares as much as 50 per cent of its architecture. An N24 win just 10 weeks after unveiling and shortly before the debut of the road car gives this new car some instant credibility too, the fact it beat far more established and developed rivals first time out something of a coup. It's a bit like the annoying class swot acing their exams without breaking a sweat. But respect where it's due...
    Silver blades and pop-up wing for standard car Powertrain and chassis changes for this second-generation car include a new electro-hydraulic clutch managing drive torque front to rear by as much as 100 per cent either way. OK, given the mechanical layout and lack of GT-R style twin propshafts you'd need a line lock to achieve this but it sounds good in the press pack. But in collaboration with the optional Dynamic Steering and magnetic dampers, the gearbox, ECU and stability control systems this gives the engineers a huge amount to play with in terms of configurability and, sure enough, there are modes aplenty to fiddle with from the button-laden steering wheel.
    A la mode
    The familiar Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual settings are available from Audi Drive Select but a new Performance Mode selector (optional on the V10, standard on V10 Plus) on the wheel gives you three further modes over and above these. Self explanatory Snow, Wet and Dry options override the Drive Select, which is handy because the latter partially disables the stability control and thereby gets around the fact Audi - in typical style - disables the ESP off button on its launch cars in an attempt to curb hacks' desire for skidfoolery on the circuit. Like Jurassic Park's dinosaurs nature always finds a way and there's enough latitude in this setting to put a smile on your face/get you into trouble according to talent and enthusiasm.
    Cabin is beautifully designed and put together A further advantage of this setting is that it locks out the Dynamic Steering to a fixed rate of 13:1, preventing that gloopy inconsistency you get in the other modes as it wanders between 10.3:1 and 17.5:1 according to what the black boxes think you want. It's still nothing like as feelsome or predictable as the old hydraulic system but it's a lot faster and more direct than the fixed 15.7:1 ratio you get with the passive standard set-up. None of the launch cars had this but, on the face of it, this solution would silence the arguments against having the Dynamic Steering. If you like the sound of it you can bundle into a £3,500 Sports Plus pack with the optional magneto-rheological dampers and sports exhaust.
    As stock the V10 Plus comes with a passive Sports suspension set-up, which even on seriously bumpy Portuguese back roads proves itself lithe, compliant and composed without a trace of harshness. The increased stiffness - a 40 per cent improvement is claimed - and 50kg weight saving gained from the carbon/aluminium spaceframe no doubt helps, the reduction in undamped body flex meaning the suspension can really work to its best ability. It's not actually as light as it feels though, the headline sub-1,500kg weight climbing to 1,630kg with fluids and not especially powerfully built 75kg driver.
    Proportions familiar, detailing much sharper Passive aggressive
    The magnetic dampers are pretty damned good too and another gadget to play with if you really feel the need. But, frankly, the standard chassis is so good we'd save the money and invest it in some fancy carbon garnish in a rare instance of style being preferable to substance.
    One of the more astonishing things about the R8 is its sheer breadth of character. The Huracan has a comparatively easier job, simply needing to be noisy and exciting even when mooching about at urban speeds. But the R8 has to deliver that kind of drama at one extreme while being as refined and user friendly as a TT on the daily commute. So hushed and composed is it in Comfort mode on the motorway there would be no qualms at all about using it this way but when you demand more it delivers in abundance. We've been guilty before of scepticism about this modern age of multitudinous modes and configurability but, in this instance, the technology is truly an enabler.
    Proper USP compared with turbo rivals And when you really let rip with the full 610hp the R8 suddenly gets a whole lot more serious. It's still very 'safe' though, to the extent it can feel a little too accomplished and inert at speeds that really should be getting your palms a bit sweaty. With the steering in its dynamic mode the front end feels fast and pointy but there's very little sense of what's going on at tarmac level and it does all feel a bit games console like at times. Grip levels are so high that if you're starting to nudge against the chassis' limits on the road you probably have bigger concerns looming, be they the laws of physics or the local constabulary.
    That engine remains your last emotional link with the speed the R8 is all too capable of, the Plus getting seven 'proper' ratios compared with the standard car's six-plus-overdrive set-up and feeling even more urgent than the additional 70hp suggests it should be. Gearchanges don't punch through like a Huracan in Corsa mode but rattling up and down the 'box and savouring the sounds this unleashes is a USP turbocharged rivals simply can't match.
    More than a hint of LMS racer in rear view Circuits and bumps
    So to Portimao circuit and a chance to explore what lies beyond the R8's exemplary road pace... Really let off the leash the V10 reveals a hint of the savage side seen in the Huracan, launching out of the pit lane in a blaze of noise and rapid-fire upshifts. Portimao's first turn is a fast and committed blind right and if the steering doesn't give you a whole lot of weight or information the R8 immediately feels more positive at the front end than its Lamborghini brother, eagerly pushing through initial understeer and into a subtle rotation under power.
    Front-end push is more obvious on the tighter right that follows and the blind crest after that unweights the tyres just when you want maximum turning force. Hold your nerve and the R8 hauls itself straight and shows brilliant stability in the brutal downhill stop from 120mph and into a tight hairpin left. A lift tucks the nose into the apex and from there if you've timed it right and managed to keep it in the sweet spot of the torque delivery it erupts out of the turn with just a hint of oversteer as the power shuffles to the rear.Power seats on standard, fixed-back for PlusBarely a few corners in and your faith in the R8's predictability and balance means you're happy keeping it pinned through the blind fast left and again into the next blind crest, taken with just a hint of corrective lock. This is clever stuff. Confidence inspiring and fun without being at all dumbed down the R8 feels thrillingly fast yet satisfying for drivers of all experience levels. It's a little on the conservative side of a 911 Turbo and with experience of the 12C and 650S you'd expect the new McLaren 570S to be a bit pointier and hardcore in extremis. But it's considerably more adjustable, lively and enjoyable than the Huracan on the track, making you wonder why Lamborghini played it so safe.
    By the last corner - a long, fast right-hander - the R8 is so biddable a nip, tuck and bootful of throttle to provoke a lovely four-wheel drift seems an entirely natural thing to be doing.
    Standard LED lights upgradeable to laser versionsThat the R8 can do this while boasting all the Audi stuff you'd expect of a lovely interior, mature styling that won't frighten the neighbours and inherent sense of quality sets a very high bar. In the final few per cent of the performance envelope a 911 Turbo would probably remain the benchmark in this particular sphere but the R8 at least equals it in all-weather usability while boasting a useful character feature in that fabulous engine. That might well tip the balance for many, the fact the premium for the Plus is a relatively modest £15,000 making that seemingly the obvious pick of the range. It's not the hardcore choice. But it is a pretty formidable all-round package.
    AUDI R8 5.2 V10
    Engine: 5,201cc V10
    Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch, four-wheel drive
    Power (hp): 540@7,800rpm
    Torque (lb ft): 398@6,500rpm
    0-62mph: 3.5sec
    Top speed: 199mph
    Weight: 1,670kg (EU, including 75kg driver)
    MPG: 24.8mpg
    CO2: 272g/km
    Price: £118,500
    AUDI R8 5.2 V10 PLUS
    Engine: 5,201cc V10
    Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch, four-wheel drive
    Power (hp): 610@8,250rpm
    Torque (lb ft): 413@6,500rpm*
    0-62mph: 3.2sec
    Top speed: 205mph
    Weight: 1,630kg (EU, including 75kg driver)
    MPG: 23mpg
    CO2: 287g/km*
    Price: £134,500

    The all-new Audi R8 then. Looks rather like the old one doesn't it! Audi admits as much, describing it as a "subtle but emphatic" evolution from the original.
    The same but (a little bit) different? Kind of...
    The same but (a little bit) different? Kind of... If at first glance the looks seem familiar you'd be forgiven for thinking the same examining the spec sheet. Yes, it's still got a normally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 engine and the dual-clutch S Tronic gearbox powering a four-wheel drive chassis. This in a world where everyone else is going downsized and turbocharged. Not so much Vorsprung apparent in the Technik there then.
    But under the skin there are quite a lot of changes. As you'll probably already know there isn't a V8 any more, or a manual. Both of those things might be considered a pity. Instead there are two V10 options, a 540hp standard one starting at £119,500 and a £134,500 610hp Plus version. If that latter figure sounds familiar it's the same as the Lamborghini Huracan with which the new R8 shares much of its fundamental architecture and powertrain. This includes the new 'hybrid' carbon enhanced MSS aluminium spaceframe, optional Dynamic Steering system (more on this shortly...) and dual direct and port fuel injection system. Referred to as Iniezione Diretta Stratificata in Lambo land in Audispeak this gets Germanised into the rather less emotive sounding Saugrohreinspritzung/direkteinspritzung but gains cylinder deactivation, shutting down a whole bank of cylinders when not required.
    Obviously we went straight for the 610hp Plus...
    But since when did fuel saving tech come before performance when reviewing a 610hp supercar? Apologies! To business...
    Reverting to type
    When the first R8 came out it was something of a shock, looking and feeling like an Audi but most definitely not driving like one. From the rear-biased four-wheel drive chassis to the lush damping and lovely steering feel it was a huge departure from the typically fast but numb uber-Audi RS saloons and Avants. Once the crude R Tronic robotised manual was dropped in favour of the S Tronic dual clutch and the V10 unleashed the true potentialin the car it was clear Audi had nailed the usable supercar thing first time out and given the Porsche 911 its first real scare in decades. This new car is a whole lot more 'Audi' in look and feel and those migrating from other products in the range will be in for less of a culture shock than before. Plus it has stiffer competition than ever in the face of its own Lamborghini blood brother, newly turbocharged Ferraris, ever more potent Porsches and new arrivals in the sector like the 'entry level' McLaren 570S. It needs to be bloody good.
    Fixed carbon wing and blades standard on Plus
    Fixed carbon wing and blades standard on Plus That engine is a massive and unexpected selling point too. With a 'modern' 4.0-litre inside-out turbo V8 in the product line up it was easy to assume Audi would seize this opportunity to give the R8 a significantly different character from the Huracan. But it hasn't, at least with a superficial glance at the spec sheets. If your relationship with the V10 is less intimate than it is in the Lamborghini - you're more isolated from the sniffs of induction and more mechanical interactions of the gearbox - the normally aspirated character is still at the heart of the R8 experience. And from a muted hum at cruising speeds to a thunderous 8,000rpm-plus howl at maximum attack it remains a truly epic powerplant. And one that will instantly score if you're back to back test-driving the competition, uncertain of where to put your £140K. Sure, you need to wind on more revs than the turbocharged rivals but when the reward is noise like this who's to complain...
    As are ceramics - £7,700 option on standard V10Blades of glory
    Evolutionary or not, the R8 still looks superb too. It's a pity the original's more distinctive visual feature - those sideblades - have been toned down but overall it's been subtly sharpened and made more aggressive looking, not least from the rear where the diffuser and visible mechanical components behind mesh venting have more than a hint of race car.

    Which is appropriate given the R8 LMS was developed in parallel and shares as much as 50 per cent of its architecture. An N24 win just 10 weeks after unveiling and shortly before the debut of the road car gives this new car some instant credibility too, the fact it beat far more established and developed rivals first time out something of a coup. It's a bit like the annoying class swot acing their exams without breaking a sweat. But respect where it's due...
    Silver blades and pop-up wing for standard car Powertrain and chassis changes for this second-generation car include a new electro-hydraulic clutch managing drive torque front to rear by as much as 100 per cent either way. OK, given the mechanical layout and lack of GT-R style twin propshafts you'd need a line lock to achieve this but it sounds good in the press pack. But in collaboration with the optional Dynamic Steering and magnetic dampers, the gearbox, ECU and stability control systems this gives the engineers a huge amount to play with in terms of configurability and, sure enough, there are modes aplenty to fiddle with from the button-laden steering wheel.
    A la mode
    The familiar Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual settings are available from Audi Drive Select but a new Performance Mode selector (optional on the V10, standard on V10 Plus) on the wheel gives you three further modes over and above these. Self explanatory Snow, Wet and Dry options override the Drive Select, which is handy because the latter partially disables the stability control and thereby gets around the fact Audi - in typical style - disables the ESP off button on its launch cars in an attempt to curb hacks' desire for skidfoolery on the circuit. Like Jurassic Park's dinosaurs nature always finds a way and there's enough latitude in this setting to put a smile on your face/get you into trouble according to talent and enthusiasm.
    Cabin is beautifully designed and put together A further advantage of this setting is that it locks out the Dynamic Steering to a fixed rate of 13:1, preventing that gloopy inconsistency you get in the other modes as it wanders between 10.3:1 and 17.5:1 according to what the black boxes think you want. It's still nothing like as feelsome or predictable as the old hydraulic system but it's a lot faster and more direct than the fixed 15.7:1 ratio you get with the passive standard set-up. None of the launch cars had this but, on the face of it, this solution would silence the arguments against having the Dynamic Steering. If you like the sound of it you can bundle into a £3,500 Sports Plus pack with the optional magneto-rheological dampers and sports exhaust.
    As stock the V10 Plus comes with a passive Sports suspension set-up, which even on seriously bumpy Portuguese back roads proves itself lithe, compliant and composed without a trace of harshness. The increased stiffness - a 40 per cent improvement is claimed - and 50kg weight saving gained from the carbon/aluminium spaceframe no doubt helps, the reduction in undamped body flex meaning the suspension can really work to its best ability. It's not actually as light as it feels though, the headline sub-1,500kg weight climbing to 1,630kg with fluids and not especially powerfully built 75kg driver.
    Proportions familiar, detailing much sharper Passive aggressive
    The magnetic dampers are pretty damned good too and another gadget to play with if you really feel the need. But, frankly, the standard chassis is so good we'd save the money and invest it in some fancy carbon garnish in a rare instance of style being preferable to substance.
    One of the more astonishing things about the R8 is its sheer breadth of character. The Huracan has a comparatively easier job, simply needing to be noisy and exciting even when mooching about at urban speeds. But the R8 has to deliver that kind of drama at one extreme while being as refined and user friendly as a TT on the daily commute. So hushed and composed is it in Comfort mode on the motorway there would be no qualms at all about using it this way but when you demand more it delivers in abundance. We've been guilty before of scepticism about this modern age of multitudinous modes and configurability but, in this instance, the technology is truly an enabler.
    Proper USP compared with turbo rivals And when you really let rip with the full 610hp the R8 suddenly gets a whole lot more serious. It's still very 'safe' though, to the extent it can feel a little too accomplished and inert at speeds that really should be getting your palms a bit sweaty. With the steering in its dynamic mode the front end feels fast and pointy but there's very little sense of what's going on at tarmac level and it does all feel a bit games console like at times. Grip levels are so high that if you're starting to nudge against the chassis' limits on the road you probably have bigger concerns looming, be they the laws of physics or the local constabulary.
    That engine remains your last emotional link with the speed the R8 is all too capable of, the Plus getting seven 'proper' ratios compared with the standard car's six-plus-overdrive set-up and feeling even more urgent than the additional 70hp suggests it should be. Gearchanges don't punch through like a Huracan in Corsa mode but rattling up and down the 'box and savouring the sounds this unleashes is a USP turbocharged rivals simply can't match.
    More than a hint of LMS racer in rear view Circuits and bumps
    So to Portimao circuit and a chance to explore what lies beyond the R8's exemplary road pace... Really let off the leash the V10 reveals a hint of the savage side seen in the Huracan, launching out of the pit lane in a blaze of noise and rapid-fire upshifts. Portimao's first turn is a fast and committed blind right and if the steering doesn't give you a whole lot of weight or information the R8 immediately feels more positive at the front end than its Lamborghini brother, eagerly pushing through initial understeer and into a subtle rotation under power.
    Front-end push is more obvious on the tighter right that follows and the blind crest after that unweights the tyres just when you want maximum turning force. Hold your nerve and the R8 hauls itself straight and shows brilliant stability in the brutal downhill stop from 120mph and into a tight hairpin left. A lift tucks the nose into the apex and from there if you've timed it right and managed to keep it in the sweet spot of the torque delivery it erupts out of the turn with just a hint of oversteer as the power shuffles to the rear.Power seats on standard, fixed-back for PlusBarely a few corners in and your faith in the R8's predictability and balance means you're happy keeping it pinned through the blind fast left and again into the next blind crest, taken with just a hint of corrective lock. This is clever stuff. Confidence inspiring and fun without being at all dumbed down the R8 feels thrillingly fast yet satisfying for drivers of all experience levels. It's a little on the conservative side of a 911 Turbo and with experience of the 12C and 650S you'd expect the new McLaren 570S to be a bit pointier and hardcore in extremis. But it's considerably more adjustable, lively and enjoyable than the Huracan on the track, making you wonder why Lamborghini played it so safe.
    By the last corner - a long, fast right-hander - the R8 is so biddable a nip, tuck and bootful of throttle to provoke a lovely four-wheel drift seems an entirely natural thing to be doing.
    Standard LED lights upgradeable to laser versionsThat the R8 can do this while boasting all the Audi stuff you'd expect of a lovely interior, mature styling that won't frighten the neighbours and inherent sense of quality sets a very high bar. In the final few per cent of the performance envelope a 911 Turbo would probably remain the benchmark in this particular sphere but the R8 at least equals it in all-weather usability while boasting a useful character feature in that fabulous engine. That might well tip the balance for many, the fact the premium for the Plus is a relatively modest £15,000 making that seemingly the obvious pick of the range. It's not the hardcore choice. But it is a pretty formidable all-round package.
    AUDI R8 5.2 V10
    Engine: 5,201cc V10
    Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch, four-wheel drive
    Power (hp): 540@7,800rpm
    Torque (lb ft): 398@6,500rpm
    0-62mph: 3.5sec
    Top speed: 199mph
    Weight: 1,670kg (EU, including 75kg driver)
    MPG: 24.8mpg
    CO2: 272g/km
    Price: £118,500
    AUDI R8 5.2 V10 PLUS
    Engine: 5,201cc V10
    Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch, four-wheel drive
    Power (hp): 610@8,250rpm
    Torque (lb ft): 413@6,500rpm*
    0-62mph: 3.2sec
    Top speed: 205mph
    Weight: 1,630kg (EU, including 75kg driver)
    MPG: 23mpg
    CO2: 287g/km*
    Price: £134,500

    The all-new Audi R8 then. Looks rather like the old one doesn't it! Audi admits as much, describing it as a "subtle but emphatic" evolution from the original.
    The same but (a little bit) different? Kind of...
    The same but (a little bit) different? Kind of... If at first glance the looks seem familiar you'd be forgiven for thinking the same examining the spec sheet. Yes, it's still got a normally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 engine and the dual-clutch S Tronic gearbox powering a four-wheel drive chassis. This in a world where everyone else is going downsized and turbocharged. Not so much Vorsprung apparent in the Technik there then.
    But under the skin there are quite a lot of changes. As you'll probably already know there isn't a V8 any more, or a manual. Both of those things might be considered a pity. Instead there are two V10 options, a 540hp standard one starting at £119,500 and a £134,500 610hp Plus version. If that latter figure sounds familiar it's the same as the Lamborghini Huracan with which the new R8 shares much of its fundamental architecture and powertrain. This includes the new 'hybrid' carbon enhanced MSS aluminium spaceframe, optional Dynamic Steering system (more on this shortly...) and dual direct and port fuel injection system. Referred to as Iniezione Diretta Stratificata in Lambo land in Audispeak this gets Germanised into the rather less emotive sounding Saugrohreinspritzung/direkteinspritzung but gains cylinder deactivation, shutting down a whole bank of cylinders when not required.
    Obviously we went straight for the 610hp Plus...
    But since when did fuel saving tech come before performance when reviewing a 610hp supercar? Apologies! To business...
    Reverting to type
    When the first R8 came out it was something of a shock, looking and feeling like an Audi but most definitely not driving like one. From the rear-biased four-wheel drive chassis to the lush damping and lovely steering feel it was a huge departure from the typically fast but numb uber-Audi RS saloons and Avants. Once the crude R Tronic robotised manual was dropped in favour of the S Tronic dual clutch and the V10 unleashed the true potentialin the car it was clear Audi had nailed the usable supercar thing first time out and given the Porsche 911 its first real scare in decades. This new car is a whole lot more 'Audi' in look and feel and those migrating from other products in the range will be in for less of a culture shock than before. Plus it has stiffer competition than ever in the face of its own Lamborghini blood brother, newly turbocharged Ferraris, ever more potent Porsches and new arrivals in the sector like the 'entry level' McLaren 570S. It needs to be bloody good.
    Fixed carbon wing and blades standard on Plus
    Fixed carbon wing and blades standard on Plus That engine is a massive and unexpected selling point too. With a 'modern' 4.0-litre inside-out turbo V8 in the product line up it was easy to assume Audi would seize this opportunity to give the R8 a significantly different character from the Huracan. But it hasn't, at least with a superficial glance at the spec sheets. If your relationship with the V10 is less intimate than it is in the Lamborghini - you're more isolated from the sniffs of induction and more mechanical interactions of the gearbox - the normally aspirated character is still at the heart of the R8 experience. And from a muted hum at cruising speeds to a thunderous 8,000rpm-plus howl at maximum attack it remains a truly epic powerplant. And one that will instantly score if you're back to back test-driving the competition, uncertain of where to put your £140K. Sure, you need to wind on more revs than the turbocharged rivals but when the reward is noise like this who's to complain...
    As are ceramics - £7,700 option on standard V10
    As are ceramics - £7,700 option on standard V10Blades of glory
    Evolutionary or not, the R8 still looks superb too. It's a pity the original's more distinctive visual feature - those sideblades - have been toned down but overall it's been subtly sharpened and made more aggressive looking, not least from the rear where the diffuser and visible mechanical components behind mesh venting have more than a hint of race car.

    Which is appropriate given the R8 LMS was developed in parallel and shares as much as 50 per cent of its architecture. An N24 win just 10 weeks after unveiling and shortly before the debut of the road car gives this new car some instant credibility too, the fact it beat far more established and developed rivals first time out something of a coup. It's a bit like the annoying class swot acing their exams without breaking a sweat. But respect where it's due...
    Silver blades and pop-up wing for standard car Powertrain and chassis changes for this second-generation car include a new electro-hydraulic clutch managing drive torque front to rear by as much as 100 per cent either way. OK, given the mechanical layout and lack of GT-R style twin propshafts you'd need a line lock to achieve this but it sounds good in the press pack. But in collaboration with the optional Dynamic Steering and magnetic dampers, the gearbox, ECU and stability control systems this gives the engineers a huge amount to play with in terms of configurability and, sure enough, there are modes aplenty to fiddle with from the button-laden steering wheel.
    A la mode
    The familiar Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual settings are available from Audi Drive Select but a new Performance Mode selector (optional on the V10, standard on V10 Plus) on the wheel gives you three further modes over and above these. Self explanatory Snow, Wet and Dry options override the Drive Select, which is handy because the latter partially disables the stability control and thereby gets around the fact Audi - in typical style - disables the ESP off button on its launch cars in an attempt to curb hacks' desire for skidfoolery on the circuit. Like Jurassic Park's dinosaurs nature always finds a way and there's enough latitude in this setting to put a smile on your face/get you into trouble according to talent and enthusiasm.
    Cabin is beautifully designed and put together A further advantage of this setting is that it locks out the Dynamic Steering to a fixed rate of 13:1, preventing that gloopy inconsistency you get in the other modes as it wanders between 10.3:1 and 17.5:1 according to what the black boxes think you want. It's still nothing like as feelsome or predictable as the old hydraulic system but it's a lot faster and more direct than the fixed 15.7:1 ratio you get with the passive standard set-up. None of the launch cars had this but, on the face of it, this solution would silence the arguments against having the Dynamic Steering. If you like the sound of it you can bundle into a £3,500 Sports Plus pack with the optional magneto-rheological dampers and sports exhaust.
    As stock the V10 Plus comes with a passive Sports suspension set-up, which even on seriously bumpy Portuguese back roads proves itself lithe, compliant and composed without a trace of harshness. The increased stiffness - a 40 per cent improvement is claimed - and 50kg weight saving gained from the carbon/aluminium spaceframe no doubt helps, the reduction in undamped body flex meaning the suspension can really work to its best ability. It's not actually as light as it feels though, the headline sub-1,500kg weight climbing to 1,630kg with fluids and not especially powerfully built 75kg driver.
    Proportions familiar, detailing much sharper Passive aggressive
    The magnetic dampers are pretty damned good too and another gadget to play with if you really feel the need. But, frankly, the standard chassis is so good we'd save the money and invest it in some fancy carbon garnish in a rare instance of style being preferable to substance.
    One of the more astonishing things about the R8 is its sheer breadth of character. The Huracan has a comparatively easier job, simply needing to be noisy and exciting even when mooching about at urban speeds. But the R8 has to deliver that kind of drama at one extreme while being as refined and user friendly as a TT on the daily commute. So hushed and composed is it in Comfort mode on the motorway there would be no qualms at all about using it this way but when you demand more it delivers in abundance. We've been guilty before of scepticism about this modern age of multitudinous modes and configurability but, in this instance, the technology is truly an enabler.
    Proper USP compared with turbo rivals And when you really let rip with the full 610hp the R8 suddenly gets a whole lot more serious. It's still very 'safe' though, to the extent it can feel a little too accomplished and inert at speeds that really should be getting your palms a bit sweaty. With the steering in its dynamic mode the front end feels fast and pointy but there's very little sense of what's going on at tarmac level and it does all feel a bit games console like at times. Grip levels are so high that if you're starting to nudge against the chassis' limits on the road you probably have bigger concerns looming, be they the laws of physics or the local constabulary.
    That engine remains your last emotional link with the speed the R8 is all too capable of, the Plus getting seven 'proper' ratios compared with the standard car's six-plus-overdrive set-up and feeling even more urgent than the additional 70hp suggests it should be. Gearchanges don't punch through like a Huracan in Corsa mode but rattling up and down the 'box and savouring the sounds this unleashes is a USP turbocharged rivals simply can't match.
    More than a hint of LMS racer in rear view Circuits and bumps
    So to Portimao circuit and a chance to explore what lies beyond the R8's exemplary road pace... Really let off the leash the V10 reveals a hint of the savage side seen in the Huracan, launching out of the pit lane in a blaze of noise and rapid-fire upshifts. Portimao's first turn is a fast and committed blind right and if the steering doesn't give you a whole lot of weight or information the R8 immediately feels more positive at the front end than its Lamborghini brother, eagerly pushing through initial understeer and into a subtle rotation under power.
    Front-end push is more obvious on the tighter right that follows and the blind crest after that unweights the tyres just when you want maximum turning force. Hold your nerve and the R8 hauls itself straight and shows brilliant stability in the brutal downhill stop from 120mph and into a tight hairpin left. A lift tucks the nose into the apex and from there if you've timed it right and managed to keep it in the sweet spot of the torque delivery it erupts out of the turn with just a hint of oversteer as the power shuffles to the rear.Power seats on standard, fixed-back for PlusBarely a few corners in and your faith in the R8's predictability and balance means you're happy keeping it pinned through the blind fast left and again into the next blind crest, taken with just a hint of corrective lock. This is clever stuff. Confidence inspiring and fun without being at all dumbed down the R8 feels thrillingly fast yet satisfying for drivers of all experience levels. It's a little on the conservative side of a 911 Turbo and with experience of the 12C and 650S you'd expect the new McLaren 570S to be a bit pointier and hardcore in extremis. But it's considerably more adjustable, lively and enjoyable than the Huracan on the track, making you wonder why Lamborghini played it so safe.
    By the last corner - a long, fast right-hander - the R8 is so biddable a nip, tuck and bootful of throttle to provoke a lovely four-wheel drift seems an entirely natural thing to be doing.
    Standard LED lights upgradeable to laser versionsThat the R8 can do this while boasting all the Audi stuff you'd expect of a lovely interior, mature styling that won't frighten the neighbours and inherent sense of quality sets a very high bar. In the final few per cent of the performance envelope a 911 Turbo would probably remain the benchmark in this particular sphere but the R8 at least equals it in all-weather usability while boasting a useful character feature in that fabulous engine. That might well tip the balance for many, the fact the premium for the Plus is a relatively modest £15,000 making that seemingly the obvious pick of the range. It's not the hardcore choice. But it is a pretty formidable all-round package.
    AUDI R8 5.2 V10
    Engine: 5,201cc V10
    Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch, four-wheel drive
    Power (hp): 540@7,800rpm
    Torque (lb ft): 398@6,500rpm
    0-62mph: 3.5sec
    Top speed: 199mph
    Weight: 1,670kg (EU, including 75kg driver)
    MPG: 24.8mpg
    CO2: 272g/km
    Price: £118,500
    AUDI R8 5.2 V10 PLUS
    Engine: 5,201cc V10
    Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch, four-wheel drive
    Power (hp): 610@8,250rpm
    Torque (lb ft): 413@6,500rpm*
    0-62mph: 3.2sec
    Top speed: 205mph
    Weight: 1,630kg (EU, including 75kg driver)
    MPG: 23mpg
    CO2: 287g/km*
    Price: £134,500

    The all-new Audi R8 then. Looks rather like the old one doesn't it! Audi admits as much, describing it as a "subtle but emphatic" evolution from the original.
    The same but (a little bit) different? Kind of...
    The same but (a little bit) different? Kind of... If at first glance the looks seem familiar you'd be forgiven for thinking the same examining the spec sheet. Yes, it's still got a normally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 engine and the dual-clutch S Tronic gearbox powering a four-wheel drive chassis. This in a world where everyone else is going downsized and turbocharged. Not so much Vorsprung apparent in the Technik there then.
    But under the skin there are quite a lot of changes. As you'll probably already know there isn't a V8 any more, or a manual. Both of those things might be considered a pity. Instead there are two V10 options, a 540hp standard one starting at £119,500 and a £134,500 610hp Plus version. If that latter figure sounds familiar it's the same as the Lamborghini Huracan with which the new R8 shares much of its fundamental architecture and powertrain. This includes the new 'hybrid' carbon enhanced MSS aluminium spaceframe, optional Dynamic Steering system (more on this shortly...) and dual direct and port fuel injection system. Referred to as Iniezione Diretta Stratificata in Lambo land in Audispeak this gets Germanised into the rather less emotive sounding Saugrohreinspritzung/direkteinspritzung but gains cylinder deactivation, shutting down a whole bank of cylinders when not required.
    Obviously we went straight for the 610hp Plus...
    But since when did fuel saving tech come before performance when reviewing a 610hp supercar? Apologies! To business...
    Reverting to type
    When the first R8 came out it was something of a shock, looking and feeling like an Audi but most definitely not driving like one. From the rear-biased four-wheel drive chassis to the lush damping and lovely steering feel it was a huge departure from the typically fast but numb uber-Audi RS saloons and Avants. Once the crude R Tronic robotised manual was dropped in favour of the S Tronic dual clutch and the V10 unleashed the true potentialin the car it was clear Audi had nailed the usable supercar thing first time out and given the Porsche 911 its first real scare in decades. This new car is a whole lot more 'Audi' in look and feel and those migrating from other products in the range will be in for less of a culture shock than before. Plus it has stiffer competition than ever in the face of its own Lamborghini blood brother, newly turbocharged Ferraris, ever more potent Porsches and new arrivals in the sector like the 'entry level' McLaren 570S. It needs to be bloody good.
    Fixed carbon wing and blades standard on Plus
    Fixed carbon wing and blades standard on Plus That engine is a massive and unexpected selling point too. With a 'modern' 4.0-litre inside-out turbo V8 in the product line up it was easy to assume Audi would seize this opportunity to give the R8 a significantly different character from the Huracan. But it hasn't, at least with a superficial glance at the spec sheets. If your relationship with the V10 is less intimate than it is in the Lamborghini - you're more isolated from the sniffs of induction and more mechanical interactions of the gearbox - the normally aspirated character is still at the heart of the R8 experience. And from a muted hum at cruising speeds to a thunderous 8,000rpm-plus howl at maximum attack it remains a truly epic powerplant. And one that will instantly score if you're back to back test-driving the competition, uncertain of where to put your £140K. Sure, you need to wind on more revs than the turbocharged rivals but when the reward is noise like this who's to complain...
    As are ceramics - £7,700 option on standard V10
    As are ceramics - £7,700 option on standard V10Blades of glory
    Evolutionary or not, the R8 still looks superb too. It's a pity the original's more distinctive visual feature - those sideblades - have been toned down but overall it's been subtly sharpened and made more aggressive looking, not least from the rear where the diffuser and visible mechanical components behind mesh venting have more than a hint of race car.

    Which is appropriate given the R8 LMS was developed in parallel and shares as much as 50 per cent of its architecture. An N24 win just 10 weeks after unveiling and shortly before the debut of the road car gives this new car some instant credibility too, the fact it beat far more established and developed rivals first time out something of a coup. It's a bit like the annoying class swot acing their exams without breaking a sweat. But respect where it's due...
    Silver blades and pop-up wing for standard car Powertrain and chassis changes for this second-generation car include a new electro-hydraulic clutch managing drive torque front to rear by as much as 100 per cent either way. OK, given the mechanical layout and lack of GT-R style twin propshafts you'd need a line lock to achieve this but it sounds good in the press pack. But in collaboration with the optional Dynamic Steering and magnetic dampers, the gearbox, ECU and stability control systems this gives the engineers a huge amount to play with in terms of configurability and, sure enough, there are modes aplenty to fiddle with from the button-laden steering wheel.
    A la mode
    The familiar Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual settings are available from Audi Drive Select but a new Performance Mode selector (optional on the V10, standard on V10 Plus) on the wheel gives you three further modes over and above these. Self explanatory Snow, Wet and Dry options override the Drive Select, which is handy because the latter partially disables the stability control and thereby gets around the fact Audi - in typical style - disables the ESP off button on its launch cars in an attempt to curb hacks' desire for skidfoolery on the circuit. Like Jurassic Park's dinosaurs nature always finds a way and there's enough latitude in this setting to put a smile on your face/get you into trouble according to talent and enthusiasm.
    Cabin is beautifully designed and put together A further advantage of this setting is that it locks out the Dynamic Steering to a fixed rate of 13:1, preventing that gloopy inconsistency you get in the other modes as it wanders between 10.3:1 and 17.5:1 according to what the black boxes think you want. It's still nothing like as feelsome or predictable as the old hydraulic system but it's a lot faster and more direct than the fixed 15.7:1 ratio you get with the passive standard set-up. None of the launch cars had this but, on the face of it, this solution would silence the arguments against having the Dynamic Steering. If you like the sound of it you can bundle into a £3,500 Sports Plus pack with the optional magneto-rheological dampers and sports exhaust.
    As stock the V10 Plus comes with a passive Sports suspension set-up, which even on seriously bumpy Portuguese back roads proves itself lithe, compliant and composed without a trace of harshness. The increased stiffness - a 40 per cent improvement is claimed - and 50kg weight saving gained from the carbon/aluminium spaceframe no doubt helps, the reduction in undamped body flex meaning the suspension can really work to its best ability. It's not actually as light as it feels though, the headline sub-1,500kg weight climbing to 1,630kg with fluids and not especially powerfully built 75kg driver.
    Proportions familiar, detailing much sharper Passive aggressive
    The magnetic dampers are pretty damned good too and another gadget to play with if you really feel the need. But, frankly, the standard chassis is so good we'd save the money and invest it in some fancy carbon garnish in a rare instance of style being preferable to substance.
    One of the more astonishing things about the R8 is its sheer breadth of character. The Huracan has a comparatively easier job, simply needing to be noisy and exciting even when mooching about at urban speeds. But the R8 has to deliver that kind of drama at one extreme while being as refined and user friendly as a TT on the daily commute. So hushed and composed is it in Comfort mode on the motorway there would be no qualms at all about using it this way but when you demand more it delivers in abundance. We've been guilty before of scepticism about this modern age of multitudinous modes and configurability but, in this instance, the technology is truly an enabler.
    Proper USP compared with turbo rivals And when you really let rip with the full 610hp the R8 suddenly gets a whole lot more serious. It's still very 'safe' though, to the extent it can feel a little too accomplished and inert at speeds that really should be getting your palms a bit sweaty. With the steering in its dynamic mode the front end feels fast and pointy but there's very little sense of what's going on at tarmac level and it does all feel a bit games console like at times. Grip levels are so high that if you're starting to nudge against the chassis' limits on the road you probably have bigger concerns looming, be they the laws of physics or the local constabulary.
    That engine remains your last emotional link with the speed the R8 is all too capable of, the Plus getting seven 'proper' ratios compared with the standard car's six-plus-overdrive set-up and feeling even more urgent than the additional 70hp suggests it should be. Gearchanges don't punch through like a Huracan in Corsa mode but rattling up and down the 'box and savouring the sounds this unleashes is a USP turbocharged rivals simply can't match.
    More than a hint of LMS racer in rear view Circuits and bumps
    So to Portimao circuit and a chance to explore what lies beyond the R8's exemplary road pace... Really let off the leash the V10 reveals a hint of the savage side seen in the Huracan, launching out of the pit lane in a blaze of noise and rapid-fire upshifts. Portimao's first turn is a fast and committed blind right and if the steering doesn't give you a whole lot of weight or information the R8 immediately feels more positive at the front end than its Lamborghini brother, eagerly pushing through initial understeer and into a subtle rotation under power.
    Front-end push is more obvious on the tighter right that follows and the blind crest after that unweights the tyres just when you want maximum turning force. Hold your nerve and the R8 hauls itself straight and shows brilliant stability in the brutal downhill stop from 120mph and into a tight hairpin left. A lift tucks the nose into the apex and from there if you've timed it right and managed to keep it in the sweet spot of the torque delivery it erupts out of the turn with just a hint of oversteer as the power shuffles to the rear.Power seats on standard, fixed-back for PlusBarely a few corners in and your faith in the R8's predictability and balance means you're happy keeping it pinned through the blind fast left and again into the next blind crest, taken with just a hint of corrective lock. This is clever stuff. Confidence inspiring and fun without being at all dumbed down the R8 feels thrillingly fast yet satisfying for drivers of all experience levels. It's a little on the conservative side of a 911 Turbo and with experience of the 12C and 650S you'd expect the new McLaren 570S to be a bit pointier and hardcore in extremis. But it's considerably more adjustable, lively and enjoyable than the Huracan on the track, making you wonder why Lamborghini played it so safe.
    By the last corner - a long, fast right-hander - the R8 is so biddable a nip, tuck and bootful of throttle to provoke a lovely four-wheel drift seems an entirely natural thing to be doing.
    Standard LED lights upgradeable to laser versionsThat the R8 can do this while boasting all the Audi stuff you'd expect of a lovely interior, mature styling that won't frighten the neighbours and inherent sense of quality sets a very high bar. In the final few per cent of the performance envelope a 911 Turbo would probably remain the benchmark in this particular sphere but the R8 at least equals it in all-weather usability while boasting a useful character feature in that fabulous engine. That might well tip the balance for many, the fact the premium for the Plus is a relatively modest £15,000 making that seemingly the obvious pick of the range. It's not the hardcore choice. But it is a pretty formidable all-round package.
    AUDI R8 5.2 V10
    Engine: 5,201cc V10
    Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch, four-wheel drive
    Power (hp): 540@7,800rpm
    Torque (lb ft): 398@6,500rpm
    0-62mph: 3.5sec
    Top speed: 199mph
    Weight: 1,670kg (EU, including 75kg driver)
    MPG: 24.8mpg
    CO2: 272g/km
    Price: £118,500
    AUDI R8 5.2 V10 PLUS
    Engine: 5,201cc V10
    Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch, four-wheel drive
    Power (hp): 610@8,250rpm
    Torque (lb ft): 413@6,500rpm*
    0-62mph: 3.2sec
    Top speed: 205mph
    Weight: 1,630kg (EU, including 75kg driver)
    MPG: 23mpg
    CO2: 287g/km*
    Price: £134,500
      • 1
      Ted Boulton Great article, great detail. I like this car but I'm still gob smacked at how expensive it is!!!!
    • 4
    The mini scamp kit car ‘the king of kit cars’
    The Mini Scamp is a "kit car" first built in 1969. Shortly after BMC Mini Moke production stopped in Longbridge.
    The first Mark 1 kits which were styled similarly to the Mini Moke were produced by Robert Mandry in Reading, Berkshire.They used the mechanical parts of a Mini and body made from a steel box section frame fitted with aluminium panels. Options included a van, estate or pick-up body and four or six wheel chassis. In 1974 the company moved to Woking in Surrey.
    The Mark 2 version of 1978 had a squarer body and stronger chassis, not using the mini rear subframe.
    In 1987 moved again to East Grinstead, Sussex, when ownership changed to Andrew MacLean.
    The Mark 3 version started production in 1989.
    This was followed by a version built on either a Suzuki SJ chassis or the Daihatsu F50/F55.
    I would highly recommend buying one of these! I own 2 and they are fantastic bits of kit, built like tanks, insanely fun to drive, very quick and are very easy to maintain due to their custom body work that almost gives you access to all areas of the engine back to front.
    By David Whittle
      • 1
      V6FEG Do they all look the same or is there a high level of modification options?
    • 4
    New GoPro HERO4 Session Drops Some Features to Get Small
    GoPro has announced a brand-new camera for its lineup of capture-anything-and-everything video devices. It's called the HERO4 Session, and it's smaller and lighter than the standard Hero 4 Black or Silver models already offered.
    Not just a little bit smaller either, mind you. The Session is 50 percent smaller and drops 40 percent of the weight over the other cameras.
    The more compact model won't offer up the same level of features as the top-flight larger models, but it will capture images and video in full HD glory. While the Black model can handle 4K video work, the Session will record in either 720, 1080, or 1440 resolutions. At 1080, you can grab 60 frames per second. Dropping to 720 will give you 100 frames per second, and the 1440 mode is capped at 30 frames per second.
    This new model has an updated audio recording system as well. It better be a good one, because there's no way to capture audio with an external device plugged into the Session. While the audio capture capability for non-motorized sports is typically alright, it's a bit tough when it comes to automotive applications. In a car, you're probably going to be okay, but if you want to capture exterior shots you better have a solution for the sound you're going to get. (Or do like we do, and dedicate one GoPro to an external-mic setup.)
    Regardless of the noise though, this new GoPro should be a useful tool for filmmakers who are ready to shell out the $399.99 it takes to buy one. Its even more compact size means it should be able to stand getting shoved into ever more queasy angles while capturing even more interesting shots.
    If you're itching to get in on the smaller action, the GoPro HERO4 Session will hit stores on July 12th. We'll keep our money in check until we see some footage and get a taste of the audio that's being capture
      • 1
      V6FEG I guess this will be easier to fix onto a helmet or stick on the side of the car then? Here's hoping! My friends camera fell off the back of my car in a flooded field once. We found it eventually but we weren't confident about putting it back on again.
      I like most improvements in go-pro cameras but I don't get the name !?! Session? Sounds like something for music not video footage.
      • 1
      (deleted) That is very small
    • 4
    The 250k Custom Peterbuilt Built For Show 'Never Done a Days Work In its li...
    Whilst browsing the 'big yanks' or American big rigs as there formally known as at truckfest commercial vehicle show at Malvern 3 county show ground I came across this show stopper. The truck in question is a 1995 Peterbuilt 379 , it produces 500bhp from its 16 litre 6 cylinder turbo charged CATERPILLAR engine along with a 13 speed fuller gearbox with a twin plate clutch and it cruises at 55mph = 1400rpm. The sad thing about this particular truck is that it has never done a day’s work in its lifetime this means that the vehicle lacks character. The most likely reason why it has never even pulled a load commercially is that the laws in the UK compared to the laws in the USA on how long you can drive for and how you record and prove that you have kept within your driving time, in the UK we record it using a tachograph and this come standard in every European truck. A tachograph measures your driving time and speed electronically, American trucks with these fitted are often more expensive than ones without them. American trucks have still what Europe had a couple of decades ago where you enter your driving times into a booklet which is then kept too prove you have been driving within your legal limits, this system however is easy to either lie on or just to not fill it in, therefore this is not a legal procedure in the UK and trucks without a tachograph fitted are not legal for commercial work in the UK. You may look at the title of this article that's a lot of money for what is essential just a lorry that you can’t use to actually do what lorry's are built to do , move things from place to place ,however the standard price for a European truck is anywhere between £85,000 to £375,000 depending on brand and purpose the truck will serve so this is actually quite a mid-range price for a truck these days but what do you think is this a waste of money on something that cannot fill any purpose? Let us know in the comments!
      • 1
      (deleted) I think this is a beautiful piece of art, and no different to any other custom vehicle - but much bigger! Isn't it similar to monster trucks that never go off-road, over powered hot hatches that can never (legally) exceed 70 mph?
    • 4
    Goodwood Festival of Speed 2015 - Ford Mustang GT350R
    Ben Collins (ex Stig) takes a pre-production GT350R up the hill at Goodwood.
    • 4
    2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe First Drive
    2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe First Drive
    By Bengt Halvorson
    In all likelihood, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe is one for which lines will be drawn; it's a baffling beast to some, a sexy one to others. Take the 'coupe' badging and tall-fastback form factor in context, and try not to bring too much of your gaze upon this model's cladding and rugged cues...and then just maybe it makes a little more sense.Let’s face it, the term ‘coupe’ has been diluted to the point of ambiguity. Some purists are surely going to cry foul at luxury automakers’ persistent use of the term to describe a slightly swoopier version of sedans (like the Mercedes-Benz CLS), traditional two-door touring coupes like the E-Class Coupe, or now, here, a more rakish, flamboyantly styled counterpoint to the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE (which was until recently called the M-Class, in case you haven’t been keeping up with all of this luxury brand’s nomenclature changes).The GLE Coupe—including its high-performance Mercedes-AMG GLE63 Coupe variant—seems to live in this blissful muddled state. Just like the BMW X6, next to which it seems a sort of boilerplate tribute, it's far from subtle in its design details; and it definitely comes on strong at first glance. It perplexes by wearing the body cladding of a tough, trail-capable vehicle—and it actually steps up more cladding in the higher-performance models like the GLE 63 AMG we drove part of the time. Elsewhere in the body, there’s an overly chromed look that’s at its best in the fine grille detailing yet at its worst in the garish chrome bar that’s strapped across the back.It’s all saved by the profile, though—a profile that, as we see it, looks even better than that of the new X6. Huge 22-inch wheels bring an almost concept-car look to the Coupe, and they really help make the profile ‘pop’ from the side.The Coupe models do seem to wear that clashing cladding with a bit of irony. There’s no Off-Road Package available here as there is for the rest of the GLE lineup; it doesn’t even have a true diff-lock mode, so its 4Matic all-wheel-drive setup is strictly for performance-oriented traction, snowy driveways, and—possibly but unlikely—the occasional muddy path.Awesome acceleration, (near) coupe-like handling.Stick to the pavement, and the GLE does everything right. It's the first model in the Mercedes-Benz SUV lineup to combine the use of an air suspension with an adjustable damper system, and on theroad, we found the combination to work flawlessly. Individual, Comfort, Slippery, Sport, and Sport+ modes allow different settings for the powertrain response, steering, and suspension.With its 5.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 making either 550 horsepower and 516 pound-feet in the GLE63 or 577 hp and 561 lb-ft in the GLE63 S, these models offer great drivability yet near-supercar-level performance—with 0-60 times of 4.3 and 4.2 seconds to 60 mph, respectively, and transient response that’s astonishingly quick for a vehicle with a curb weight that exceeds 5,000 pounds.There’s no way around it: These models feel portly, but no more, truthfully, than the X5 and X6. After spending a few hours with the GLE Coupe models on some narrow roads with choppy surfaces at times, we found ourselves liking the Sport setting better for the steering—it actually felt more settled and comfortable—so we think we’d use that at all times through Individual settings while varying the other settings to suit the conditions.
    For more details go to : http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1098813_2016-mercedes-benz-gle-coupe-first-drive
    • 3
    Fill up & drive away!
    Driver spotted taking the petrol station equipment with him!!
    • 3
    Mustang Pulls Ahead Of Camaro In The Sales Race For First Time In Six Years
    The all-new, sixth-generation Ford Mustang has been out for a bit now, and it's selling well. So well, in fact, that it recently overtook its arch rival the Chevrolet Camaro in the sales war for the first time since 2009, when the fift-gen Camaro landed. Through the first five months of 2015, the Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] has sold 56,571 Mustangs while Chevy has moved just 33,982 Camaros. Dodge is sitting back in third with a to-date sales volume of 30,166, The Detroit News points out.
    Now before you Blue Oval fanboys get too excited, remember that the Camaro crew is waiting for the all-new 2016 model to hit dealerships, which it will do later this year. Once that happens the sales battle will heat right back up.
    Either way, this is a battle we're happy to watch as it means each company is pushing the other make its pony car that much better. Ford is firing on all cylinders with its new Mustang and it's going to be a hard road for the new Camaro. Still, General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] engineers focused on dropping weight, increasing efficiency and also on giving the top-tier Camaro cars some of the tech found in vehicles like the new Corvette and various high-performance Cadillac models.
    Both will have a turbocharged four-cylinder version once the Camaro hits dealer lots. Both will still offer up their potent V-8 variants, and both will find sun-loving folks eager to opt for the drop-top versions as well, especially in Southern California where the new Mustang is already selling rather well.
    The 2016 Camaro goes on sale later in 2015. So pay attention to the first few months after that happens, and on in to 2016, to see how this battle of the American pony cars plays out.
    READ MORE AT: http://thecarmagonline.onsocialengine.com/latestnews
      • 1
      V6FEG MOCGB - Mustang Owners Club of Great Britain has a good website at :http://www.mocgb.net/
    • 3
    'The Mother Of All Rally Fails' WRC - LOTOS 72nd Rally Poland 2015: CR...
    Kris Meeke was taking the first corner of a WRC stage during Rally Poland shakedown when his Citroën DS3 was tipped into a surprise barrel-roll after only seven seconds! Both Meeke and his co-driver were okay, and the Irishman - who won Rally Argentina - will start this weekend’s Rally Poland on schedule.
    • 2
    Buying a car from USA
    Buying /Importing an American Car
    A few years ago, I wanted to buy my dream car. I’d had already been fortunate enough to have a 1973 Ford Mustang convertible which, considering it’s age, had an amazing power roof mechanism. I’d also had a 1994 Mustang Coupe as my daily driver but I always missed not being able to take the roof off.
    I spent ages trying to find a supplier who could help me buy my dream car. I had lots of dealers try to sell me something they already had but no listened to when I asked for help in buying my perfect spec brand new. That was, until I found Wayne at Europa SVT. He listened to me and helped me to get a brand new car made to my spec. He gave me lots of invaluable advice about cost options, special features and the whole import process.
    I ordered my 2006 Mustang Convertible and had lots of updates on e-mail form Wayne about exactly where my car was in the build process; then testing process; then shipping. Communication with the US dealer was passed on to me and I felt as though I always knew what was happening in the birth and early life of my new dream car.
    Wayne picked the Mustang up from the sea container in Southampton with a trailer and took it to his shop /workshop in Buxton where his mechanic modified the lights etc. and put it through the SVA tests. When I picked it up it, all paperwork was done and it was ready for me to drive. With just 6 miles on the clock it was everything I could have wished for. Wayne had dealt with all the import costs including shipping and import taxes. He kept me informed all the time and I really benefited from his extensive knowledge and USA contacts. He’s so calm and organised.
    The car is still a head turner. Every time I drive it, I hear people commenting on how beautiful it is. It was less than £30k all in and yet it gets the attention of a Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini worth 3 times the price.
    I’d definitely recommend contacting Wayne if you want a car, advice about getting a car, parts, supplies etc. https://www.europasvt.com/
    • 2
    Crazy Car Illusions
    http://www.moillusions.com/wp-content/uploads/i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb234/vurdlak8/illusions/CrazyCar.jpg
    • 2
    Mustang 2006 corrosion!
    I imported my 06 Mustang from Ford in Detroit. I chose all the options I wanted and the factory were excellent. I got exactly what I wanted, shipped to UK in perfect condition. It's been brilliant for all these years but is now showing signs of . The wheels and the bonnet are going to need attention fairly soon.
    I don't know if I should repair or replace.
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      V8BDK I spoke to someone at Bill Shepherd Mustang and they showed me a bonnet/hood that they just had refinished. It looked perfect. Apparently it's such a common problem (caused by the aluminium not being properly prepared or sealed) that they have a fixed price from their body shop for the job. Definitely cheaper and easier than replacement.
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    2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider First Drive
    Right off, we'll tell you that choosing between 4C coupe and Spider is mostly personal preference. There's no difference in driving dynamics. Construction is identical, with no modifications needed to stiffen the Spider.
    The 4C takes styling cues from the fabulous 1967 Tipo 33 Stradale, as well as philosophical cues: state of the art technology, incredible performance, Italian design and style.
    More important are the aesthetics: The 4C coupe has the purer shape, with its fastback profile and see-through engine cover. The Spider offers open-top motoring, with a little fabric top that can be pried loose in a few minutes and stowed in the trunk. I'd spring for the optional removable hardtop for appearance and security.
    Spec series
    In case you've forgotten, the 4C is fabricated around a 236-pound carbon fibre tub, which is three times stronger and seven times lighter than steel, with aluminium sub frames affixed front and rear. Sheet-moulded compound composite body panels in a choice of 17 colours surround the mid-engine sports car. Among production cars, only the LaFerrari, Aventador, McLaren 650S, and Porsche 918 Spyder are built like that, and their MSRPs are just a bit farther north.
    The displacement of the 4C's all-aluminium 1,750 cc engine recalls the fantastic 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Super Sport, today worth seven figures, if you can get one. On the Alfa Romeo 4C, the 1.8-liter four-cylinder is blown at 21.75 psi by an intercooled turbocharger to develop 237 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque at 4,250 rpm. That's enough to propel the 2,500-pound 4C from zero to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds with a top speed of 160 mph, according to Alfa Romeo.
    Braking from 60-0 mph takes less than 100 feet, aided by big Brembos up front, and I detected no brake fade at Laguna Seca. A 4C can pull 1.1 g around corners, once again according to Alfa Romeo’s own stats. For a more indepth review go to: http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1098739_2015-alfa-romeo-4c-spider-first-drive