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Renault Twingo Trophy Rally Championship Announced

It seems that starting with next year the French automaker Renault will bring the Twingo Trophy single-make rally championship in the United Kingdom in two R1 & R2 class for those that want to do a little bit of racing on a tight budget. These UK Twingo R1 and R2 Trophies are going to be organized alongside the MSA British Rally Championship and the schedule is going to be identical, with the races held in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland as well as the Isle of Man.

These cars are going to be based on the Renaultsport Twingo models that produce 133 hp and they will be offered race-ready, available with all the necessary parts. The organizers of the championship are going to provide technical support and spares for these Renaults.

No words about the prizes of these events or the price tag of the R1 and R2 kits.

Source: Renault via Motor Ward

UK Gets BMW 1- and 3-Series London 2012 Performance Editions

BMW 1- and 3-Series London 2012 Performance Editions

The German automaker BMW is going to issue special editions of its 1- and 3-Series models in the United Kingdom to honor the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games that are going to take place in London.

The 1-Series is going to get an M aerodynamic kit, high-gloss Shadowline exterior trim, 18-inch dark chrome M alloys, dark-line rear lights and a dark-chrome exhaust tailpipe. In addition, it will also benefit from an M Sport Suspension, M Sport steering wheel & gearshifter, sports seats in Royal Blue (with white stitching) as well as floor mats that will have Royal Blue piping. Let’s not forget about the London 2012 badges that are going to be placed on the exterior.

The 3-Series will get pretty much the same package so no point in enumerating the goodies that will offer significant savings for those that opt for one of the two models.

Source: BMW via WCF

Chevrolet Reveals UK Pricing For Cruze Hatchback

Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback

Set to go on sale in July, Chevrolet has revealed the pricing information of its Cruze Hatchback, one of the main rivals for the popular Ford Focus. Clients will be able to choose from three engines: two gasolines and one diesel. The hatchback version of the Cruze can be ordered in one of the following trim levels: LS, LT and the top-spec LTZ.

The entry-level model is the 1.6 LS 122 hp that costs from 13,995 pounds. For this money you get air conditioning, electric front windows, remote locking and AUX input. For 14,895 pounds you can get the car in the LT trim with the same engine. If you want the more powerful 163 PS 2.0 VCDi engine, prepare to pay 17,195 pounds. If shifting gears is not your thing, you can opt for an automatic gearbox but you’ll have to pay another 1,000 pounds. With this LT trim, you get front & back electric windows, cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels, parking distance sensors, trip computer and a steering wheel and gearknob wrapped around in leather.

For the LTZ trim level you can opt for the 1.8-liter 139 hp gasoline engine or the aforementioned 163 PS 2.0 VCDI unit. With the first one you’ll have to pay 16,095 pounds while the latter will set you back 17,795 pounds. Aside from the goodies we’ve mentioned before, you’ll also get rain-sensing wipers, USB port, Bluetooth support, automatic headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, electro-chromatic rear view mirror as well as aluminum-effect trim on the instrument panel.

If you choose the diesel engine, Chevrolet offers the LTZ Executive Pack that costs 19,295 pounds. For this money, you get heated front seats, sat-nav and leather trim.

Source: Chevrolet via Auto Express

Hyundai i40 Tourer Gets £18,395 Price Tag In UK

Hyundai i40 Tourer

I’m not a big fan of family estate cars, but this all-new Hyundai i40 Tourer looks great. The Korean automaker announced earlier this week that its new model will have a base price of 18,395 pounds in the United Kingdom, making it a little bit more affordable in comparison to its main rivals: Ford Mondeo Estate (18,955 pounds) and the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer (19,350 pounds). The car will hit the dealerships this September and later on Hyundai will bring its sedan sibling.

It will be offered in three trim levels: Active, Style and Premium and customers will be able to choose from one of the following engines: a 1.6-liter gasoline unit (we don’t know how much power it generates), a 1.7-liter diesel that produces either 115 hp or 136 hp, along with the 2.0-liter gasoline engine that cranks out 177 hp. All of these engines will come as standard with the company’s start & stop technology.

Hyundai i40 Tourer

Some of the standard goodies that you will get with the i40 Tourer include the 16-inch alloy rims, leather steering wheel that has audio controls, Bluetooth support, electric parking brake, front & rear electric windows, along with electric heated door mirrors that have LED indicators.

If you opt for the Style trim, you’ll also get cruise control, touchscreen sat-nav system (with rear view camera), dual zone climate control and front & rear parking sensors.

Hyundai i40 Tourer

The top-spec Premium trim level adds keyless entry, leather upholstery, panoramic sunroof, heated leather steering wheel, ventilated front seats, Lane Departure Warning system with Smart Parking Assist, along with the proprietary supervision instrument cluster that sports an LCD color display.

Source: Hyundai via Carscoop

VW Transporter Sportline Arrives In UK

VW Transporter Sportline

The German automaker Volkswagen has launched at the beginning of this week a special edition of the Transporter, dubbed “Sportline”. Available only in the United Kingdom, this special T5 is available in both the panel van and kombi variants and also with a SWB or a LWB version. The car is powered by a 2.0-liter BiTDI diesel engine that produces 178 hp (180 PS / 132 kW), mated to either the standard 6-speed manual gearbox or the optional 7-speed DSG transmission.

The Transporter Sportline is offered with a gloss black grille that features chrome trimming, along with an updated design of the headlights and an all-new front bumper that comes with integrated fog lights and has the same color as the rest of the body. The model has also been fitted with a rear roof spoiler, smoked taillights and polished stainless steel bars. In addition, the car rides on 5-spoke 18-inch Sportline rims.

Customers can choose from one of the three exterior colors available: Reflex Silver, Deep Black pearlescent or a Candy White that comes with an optional black-painted gloss roof.

Inside, we find the bespoke 2-tone leather upholstery, Bluetooth and a generous 7-inch touchscreen with GPS.

The Volkswagen Transporter Sportline costs from 28,220 pounds (excluding VAT) for the panel version and 30,100 pounds (excluding VAT) for the kombi model.

Source: Volkswagen via WCF

Jaguar XF get police car treatment in the UK

Turning one of your models into a police car is quickly becoming one of the greatest ways to advertise that specific model, if you’re a carmaker.

Joining other novel ideas like Abu Dhabi’s Fiat 500 or the Nissan GT-R, or the Scottish police’s Audi Q7, the Central Motorway Police Group, which patrols the motorways across the Midlands of the UK, has just announced that it will deploy seven police-spec Jaguar XF models.

These new police cars started life as Diesel S models, powered by a 3.0-liter engine capable of 275 HP and 443 lb-ft of torque. Their impressive fuel average, 42 mpg (UK) and pretty low emissions, 179 g/km of CO2, made them suitable for police duty.

As such, the ‘rozzers’ added a new roof-mounted light bar, side alley lights, blue and white LED lamps in the front grille plus other such things in the rear light clusters. For added efficiency, improved electronics and new systems were added on the inside of the police Jag.


Aston Martin DB9 named UK’s favorite car, followed by Golf and Mini

DirectLine Insurance group,a company based in the UK, recently celebrated 25 years of existence, so it decided to conduct a poll to find out what is the UK’s favorite car from the last quarter decade.

The result might surprise quite a few people, as it’s not a cult classic like the Audi Quattro or the DeLorean, but the recent Aston Martin DB9. It seems the British model captured the hearts of nearly 10% of voters, who believed it is “synonymous with James Bond,” even though the famous fictional spy never drove one.

Runner up was the Volkswagen Golf GTI, proving that hot hatches still rank up with the best of them, followed by the BMW-era Mini, who impressed Britons by keeping a retro feel while offering a great car for today’s market.

Another interesting statistic that was shown by the survey was that, in the 1980s, nearly 29% of British families owned a Ford model, with Vauxhall coming in second with 14%.

Agree with this survey? Share your thoughts below.



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Fiat reveals 500C Pink edition for the UK

After revealing a Pink limited edition of the its popular 500 model for France, Fiat has just announced that it will also be launching a Pink edition of the 500C model for the UK. Clearly this is because the UK gets *so* much more sunshine than France.

Sarcasm aside though, only 300 units of the Fiat 500C Pink will be up for sale, all based on the 1.2-liter Pop trim line. As you can imagine, all of the models will sport a Pink paint job, but will also include things like 16-inch alloy wheels, chrome trim on various accessories, and body-colored door mirrors.

For the inside, the 500C Pink will be getting leather on the steering wheel and gear knob, as well as special carpet mats and the Blue&Me infotainment system, which, for those of you not familiar, allows Bluetooth connectivity.

The special edition is already available in dealerships, and prices will start from £13,500.


Dacia confirms 2012 UK launch, showcases Duster’s off-road abilities in two new videos

Renault’s low-cost Romanian brand Dacia is nothing short of a sales phenomenon, both in its native country and in more developed territories like Germany or France, where the Logan sedan or the Sandero hatchback are making a killing.

But while mainland Europe has been enjoying the low-cost models, the UK has been deprived of them, partly because of the weak pound sterling-euro exchange rate and the right-hand drive conundrum. That’s going to change though, as a Renault executive confirmed that Dacia will begin selling models in the UK around 2012, with the new Duster crossover leading the charge, set to be followed by the Sandero and even the Logan.

Perhaps Dacia could offer the first RHD Sandero to Top Gear presenter James May as he is one of the biggest supporters of the low-cost brand and that specific model. Who could forget the first episode of Top Gear’s season 14?

During this week, at the Geneva Motor Show, Renault and Dacia have heavily promoted the Duster crossover, which they hope will boost sales even higher. In order to get the off-roader’s message across, the company also released two new videos, showcasing the abilities of the Romanian crossover. Hit the jump to see what it can do in mud, water or snow.

British newspaper believed Top Gear was real, “exposes” fake airship police chase

In case you saw last week’s Top Gear episode, or read our review for that matter, you know that James May tried piloting an airship with a caravan stuck to its belly as new way of caravaning through England. During his adventures, he supposedly breached the restricted air space of an airport, and a police helicopter chased him through the area.

Although it was clear that it was a scripted event, as breaching the airspace of an airport is a serious crime, the UK’s second largest newspaper, the Daily Mail, ran a full investigation, and was shocked to find out that the whole event was staged.

“The whole event was set up,” revealed the man who provided the fake police helicopter. “It was completely scripted, there was no real emergency – we were hired to play along.” The newspaper also said that while James May, which has a pilot’s license for small aircrafts, was in the airship, a professional pilot handled the trickier maneuvers.

Seeing as how thing were getting serious, a representative of the BBC come forward and said that: “As an entertainment program, Top Gear prides itself on making silly films that don’t pretend to represent real life. Any suggestion it deliberately misled viewers is patently ludicrous.”

Frankly, I think the joke’s on the reporters who actually believed the things shown in Top Gear. Sure, most of the car-related things are real, but the show is also an entertainment one, which focuses on making people laugh.


Castrol implements new campaign to reveal the right oil for your car in the UK

While most drivers believe that the most important fluid in their car is the fuel, they tend to neglect the fact that oil plays an even bigger part in the “health” of their precious automobile. But sadly most of the drivers don’t really know what type of oil to put in their car and just go with what friends or shopkeepers tell them, sometimes ending with some horrific results or a damaged engine.

That is why reputed oil manufacturer Castrol has devised a new type of campaign for its products, which not only promotes them, but also helps drivers know the right type of oil for their car. The video below shows UK talk show presenter and driving authority Quentin Willson, which appeared on Top Gear or Fifth Gear, revealing the new oil camera from Castrol.

This new device will act as a speed camera, for example, but will record the license plate of your car, and in a few seconds will reveal, on a video billboard ahead of the road, the right Castrol oil for your car. The new system has already been implemented as a test around London yesterday. What do you think about the initiative? Don’t be afraid to leave a comment below the article.

UK pricing for the Porsche Panamera

The Porsche Panamera was officially announced last November and instantly there was a lot of controversy that surrounded the German four-doors coupe. While some loved it, the general opinion is that Porsche kinda screwed this one and the car looks terrible (opinion which we tend to share). However, let’s remember that the Cayenne ain’t exactly the most beautiful SUV around and it was the car that basically marked the rebirth of Porsche.

Anyway, today the German car maker announced the Panamera’s pricing in the UK. Available in three versions, Panamera S, 4S and Turbo, the car will be priced starting with £72,266 (around $99,500), £77,269 ($106,500) and £95,298 ($131,000). The rear-wheel drive S and 4S models will be powered by a 400 hp 4.8 liter V8, while the top of the range Panamera Turbo will have four-wheel drive and will be powered by a 500 hp twin-turbocharged 4.8 liter V8. Porsche has also announced that two more powertrains will follow in 2010, a 300 hp entry level V6 and a V6 Hybrid version.

The Panamera will come with standard features like full leather interior, PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management), Bi-Xenon headlights, rear Park Assist, Porsche Communication Management with touchscreen navigation and audio controls, plus a ‘Sport’ button for enthusiasts, which, once pushed, it increases the throttle’s responsiveness and puts the suspension into Sport mode. Porsche will also offer the Panamera with a seven-speed Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) double-clutch transmission which is available as standard for the 4S and Turbo and as an option for £2,289 for the S model.

So, considering high performance sedans like the BMW M5 and the Audi RS6 are available at much lower prices, what do you think, is Panamera going to be a failure?

Photo Gallery: Porsche Panamera


Seven-seat Citroen Berlingo Multispace available in the UK

Citroen has announced today that the Berlingo Multispace range just got extended with a new seven-seat version. The new “Family Pack” option will be priced at £800 and will be available for the VTR models powered by the 110hp 1.6i and the 90 hp 1.6HDi engines. The package offers 3 individual, foldable and removable middle row seats and two additional back row seats, completing its seven seat capacity. The new seven-seat Multispace features lateral airbags for the protection of rear passengers as well as a luggage cover, for when the boot is in use, and a handy 12V socket. Might not be the coolest car ever, but for a family car, this sounds very interesting.

Photo Gallery: Seven-seat Berlingo Multispace


Limited edition Skoda Octavia vRS launched in the UK

With the facelifted Skoda Octavia presented last year in Paris, the new 2010 Octavia vRS is also almost out too. But, in order to give the old one a big exit, Skoda UK announced a special edition of the vRS, which will be built in only 500 units and will offer around £2,000 worth of equipment for only £750. Available either with the 200 hp 2.0 liter turbocharged petrol engine or the 170 hp 2.0 liter turbodiesel, the Octavia vRS Limited Edition will feature bespoke Italian leather seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, new touchscreen Bolero radio, new interior dash trim, three-spoke leather steering wheel plsu red and black special badging. The car is available now and prices start at £16,294 (including VAT).

More photos after the jump. (more…)

Production ready Ford Focus RS unveiled

We saw the new Ford Focus RS concept live at the Paris Motor Show and yesterday Ford has unveiled the production ready version, which was already available for orders in the UK, with the first deliveries expected in March. Priced under £25,000, the new RS will be powered by an upgraded version of the 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged engine from the Focus ST, which will develop 296 hp and take the car from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and up to an electronically limited speed of 155 mph (over 160 without the limiter).

The RS will be fitted with an Automatic Torque Biasing limited-slip differential, developed by British engineering specialist Quaife and with Ford’s new RevoKnuckle suspension. Other performance upgrades include a new stability control, lowered ride height and bigger brakes, while a very aggressive bodykit (available in Performance Blue, Frozen White and the awesome Ultimate Green paint finish) completes the package.

Photo Gallery: The new Ford Focus RS


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