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Paul Walton Paul Walton 2000 Rolls-Royce Corniche V 16 days ago

Corniche reinvention

The process of replacing any automotive design that’s achieved ‘legend in its own lifetime’ status during a lengthy career is fraught with danger. When the car in question is as upmarket and prestigious as a Rolls-Royce, however, the stakes are even higher. How will fans of the long-running original react to its successor? In the case of the 2000-model Corniche, the risk was reduced by the fact that five years had passed since the previous generation had met its demise. Time is a healer, as the saying goes, and the gap between the old and new Corniche was an advantage. What made the Corniche V (as it’s now generally referred to) particularly interesting, however, was its role as the last new Rolls-Royce from the marque’s historic Crewe headquarters. That it was also the only Rolls-Royce launched during Volkswagen’s brief custodianship of the marque adds a further touch of historical significance. The Corniche V was, of course, short-lived. And with fewer than 400 examples built in total, it was a rare sight even when new. But it can still be deemed a success, bringing a classic name back to life for one final fling. In this issue of Rolls-Royce & Bentley Driver, we get to experience what is surely one of today’s finest survivors, so check out the full story that starts on page 10. Meanwhile, don’t forget we’re offering some great subscription deals right now, not only saving you money but also guaranteeing direct delivery of every issue of your favourite magazine. Wherever you live in the world, all you need to do is visit shop.kelsey.co.uk/RRB to see the latest offers in your particular region. Oh, and if you’ve missed any copies over the last year or two, you can use the same link to order back issues – again available worldwide, with free postage for anyone in the UK. Enjoy!

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James Elliott James Elliott Porsche Boxster 986 - 25 years of bargain roadster 17 days ago

Fancy a bit of internet window shopping?

It will come as no surprise that, being obsessed with cars, the Octane team spends plenty of time discussing the motors we would like to snap up while we still can, preferably when they are right at the bottom of their ‘depreciation curve’. Of course, all too often such discussions end with an internet search and the realisation that prices have bounced and we have already missed the boat. Possibly even more often, furious activity is followed by a cooling-off period and then it all turns out to have been a flight of fancy anyway.

We are all guilty of this, though associate editor Glen Waddington is in a different league — it is a very good thing he isn’t so fickle in real life — and I’ll bet plenty of you are, too. One day we might be salivating over Lada Nivas and Fiat X1/9s, the next strangled bad-taste Corvettes and Renault Twingos. Obviously, even the Octane old ’uns still like a bit of power beneath their feet, so cars with a bit of pep tend to come to the fore, whether the tepid hatches that seem unwittingly to have become my speciality (Alfa 145 Cloverleaf and Ford Focus ST170) or the JDM specials that Matthew Hayward is always ogling. Oh, and the hot Renaults. All of them. Always. For everyone.

Either way, these listings lustings usually tend towards the modern classics, perhaps simply because there are so many still to bottom out in a less mature market, maybe because we all mentally categorise them as a cheap daily driver to enjoy while we are still permitted to, or it might just be that there is such a glut of brilliant millennial drivers’ cars out there that can be picked up for a relative song today.

There are advocates for every one, of course, but all of us (even Glen) keep coming back to the Porsche Boxster, a mere 25 years old but already the saviour of the company and a sports car watershed, This is a car that would be no less impressive if launched today, yet can be bought for the price of the cheapest new car on sale.

Sure, plenty would prefer a Cayman S, but the extra spend is as hard to justify as for a Rover P5B coupe over a saloon, The Boxster ticks all the boxes for us and we reckon now is its moment, so that is why we celebrate it this month. If it doesn’t tick all your boxes, don’t worry: we have some alternative suggestions that might.

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Votren De Este Votren De Este Lotus’s EV era Sports cars, four-door coupé, SUVs 19 days ago

The replacement for the Lotus Elise being an EV was always going to upset some, but Lotus boss Matt Windle is confident that the Type 135 will deserve the hallowed emblem. He said: “I know some people won’t like it, but we’ve always been innovative and looked for the best solutions. There’s a lot of references to what Colin Chapman would have made of it. He was pretty agnostic to powertrains; he just wanted the one that gave the best performance, and that’s what we will do. These cars will be fun to drive and will be a premium product which moves Lotus into a different era.”

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SilversurferNSX 2022 Ferrari Roma vs. 2021 Bentley Continental GT V8, 2021 Lexus LC 500, 2022 Aston Martin DB11 AMR 22 days ago

The Lexus LC 500 is less than half the price of the others......with this in mind..bang for your buck in feel good factor should be a winner here!

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Dan Bevis Dan Bevis RUF BTR takes centre stage at Historics Ascot Auction 29 days ago

Just before we went to print with this issue of Classic Porsche, Historics Auctioneers contacted us with details of a star-studded line-up of classic Porsches due to go under the hammer at the firm’s Ascot Racecourse auction on Saturday 25th September. There’s a 1986 Carrera 3.2 Supersport (lower estimate £85k), two 1989 928 S4 (one offered without reserve, the other with a lower estimate of £25k), a 1996 993 Cabriolet (£45k) and a 2001 986 Boxster S loaded with Tiptronic transmission (another lot without reserve), but the Porsche bound to generate most interest at the sale is the classic 911 Turbo (930) upgraded to RUF BTR specification using original RUF parts.

Those that know Porsche, know RUF. Headed by Alois Ruf Jr, the company takes the blueprints for already formidable driving machines and turns them into psychotic hooligans, usually using blank ‘bodies in white’ Porsche chassis to create its own cars (RUF is recognised as a standalone manufacturer in Germany). Historically, the Pfaffenhausen concern has offered conversion kits to owners of factory Porsches, and though the company was founded as a general service garage by Alois’ father in 1939, vehicle production began in earnest in 1983 with the first car to bear a RUF chassis number: a 3.4-litre 911 Turbo-based model pushing out 369bhp through a RUF developed five-speed manual gearbox. It wasn’t just about raw power, though. Twin-spark ignition, bespoke harnesses, seats and steering wheel formed part of the package, cloaked in bespoke RUF BTR (the nameplate standing for Group B Turbo RUF) bodywork.

The early left-hand drive RUF BTR pictured here is powered by the RUF 3.4-litre flat-six (with single-plug ignition) and is believed to be one of between seventy and eighty BTRs bearing an original Porsche chassis number. First registered in 1979 as a standard 930, the car was significantly upgraded to BTR specification by the then authorised RUF importer to Japan, Ishida Engineering, in 1985.

To confirm as much, Alois Ruf Jr’s team has supplied official RUF correspondence confirming the originality of all RUF parts and modifications used to transform the car into what you see here. Finished in Grand Prix White, it makes use of a RUF five-speed gearbox, staggered Speedline seventeen-inch forged five-spokes (with painted red centres), a RUF quad-tailpipe exhaust, a RUF manually adjustable boost controller, a full RUF body kit (front bumper with integrated oil cooler, a vented rear bumper, deeper side skirts and bespoke engine lid), 935-style door mirrors, a RUF embossed steering wheel and matching gear lever, a RUF-badged instrument cluster, RUF lightweight floor carpets, RUF-specified twin-tone Recaro bucket seats, custom safety harnesses and an Ishida Engineering build plaque attached to the glovebox.

A Certificate of Authenticity from Porsche outlines the car’s original specification, with further documentation from Alois Ruf Jr’s team highlighting all modifications. Registered for road use in the UK, recently serviced and with a full twelve-month MoT, this purposeful RUF is excellent as is, or as a starting point to further develop into a 911 capable of embarrassing much newer sports cars. The lower estimate is £85k. Visit the Historics Auctioneers website at historics.co.uk.

In recent years, RUF owners have been discovering one another like never before, helped by the efforts of RUF Automobile UK in bringing like-minded fans of the brand together at popular Porsche shows. Want to register your interest? Hit rufautomobile.co.uk and make contact.

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Dan Bevis Dan Bevis 1964 Pontiac Parisienne 1 month ago

Nice colour

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Craig Cheetham Craig Cheetham E10 additive aims to cut corrosion fears 1 month ago

Reasons to be cheerful...

Sometimes it can feel a little overwhelming, the number of challenges facing American vehicle owners in this country, from the introduction of E10 petrol (petrol with 10% ethanol content, designed to lower carbon emissions) to the rollout of smart motorways.

Of course, in truth, there’s often more brouhaha and drama around these things than is probably necessary. For those afraid of the arrival of E10 fuel there are additives and the availability (for now) of petrol with no ethanol in it (Esso Synergy Supreme) or only 5% (many of the premium/non-regular fuels). Long term it’s possible to convert engines that are currently not suitable for E10 with new hoses and so on.

Smart motorways? That’s slightly more problematic, although I have noticed that I prefer to travel on these at times I know will be quieter – just as well most American car shows are on a Sunday morning, small blessings and all that! I think the long and short of it is, as American vehicle owners, we haven’t, by the nature of our cars or trucks, chosen the easiest vehicles and as such we’re used to having to go the extra mile in the pursuit of that ownership. But boy, is it worth it when you get behind that wheel, turn that key, hear that rumble and drop the lever into ‘D’ and hit the road!

This month we’ve got our usual smorgasbord of vehicles; some may raise a few eyebrows, like the 1950 Ford whose owner thinks it may have a little too much patina, or the six-pot full-size Pontiac that epitomises the ‘same, but different’ ethos of Canadian cars. Everyone raves about the late-Sixties/early-Seventies Mopars, but what happened afterwards? We rediscover the forgotten Mopars of the mid-Seventies/early- Eighties and find out if they really were as bad as common folklore makes out (no!).

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Matt Robinson Matt Robinson Volkswagen T-Cross gains sporty sister all new Taigo 1 month ago

Volkswagen’s fifth T-badged SUV/crossover, the soon-to-arrive Taigo, is a coupé-styled T-Cross

THE FIFTH T

The Volkswagen Taigo, slated to arrive on the South African market in 2022, is the fifth T-badged variant in Volkswagen South Africa’s already extensive SUV/crossover line-up. Based on the Nivus – a product that has experienced great success in the South American market – the Taigo is, in essence, a coupé-styled T-Cross.

Seen here in range-topping R-Line specification level, the Taigo’s front grille incorporates a pair of LED headlamps, replete with daytime-running lights, and front bumper-integrated foglamps. At the rear, an LED light-bar spans the brake-lamp arrays. Adding some sportiness to the R-Line derivative, the Taigo features chrome-finished exhaust pipe housings and a set of 18-inch alloy wheels.

The Taigo R-Line’s cabin features a centrally mounted 9,2-inch touchscreen infotainment system, featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto screen mirroring, Bluetooth connectivity and a virtual driver’s display. For the climate control system, the Taigo ditches the analogue switchgear found in the T-Cross for touch-enabled buttons.

The Taigo will be sold exclusively in front-wheel drive and offered with the choice of two petrol powertrains, available with a choice of five- or six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions. The 1,0-litre turbo-triple is available in two states of tune, 70 kW and 84 kW, while the 1,5-litre turbocharged four-pot produces 110 kW.

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Matt Robinson Matt Robinson 2022 Renault Arkana R.S. Line E-Tech Hybrid 145 Automatic 1 month ago

Drive an original Beetle and you know all about it. It’s an engrossing, engaging experience that will live with you forever. It looked different and it felt different. For the reboot, VW ironed out everything that made it memorable and ended up with a less practical Golf with a vase in it.

The Arkana – like all manner of coupe-ish hump-backed contemporaries, from the Toyota CH-R and Fiat 500X to the considerably more expensive BMW X6 – looks more different than it feels. Priced from £25,300, it’s a standalone model, made in Korea, with styling inspired by a Russian-market Renault but fresh underpinnings, shared with the smaller Clio and Captur. We get two powertrains (this E-Tech 145 hybrid, or a mild hybrid) and three trim levels.

Renault’s E-Tech hybrid system claims to use energy-recovery know-how from the Renault (now Alpine) F1 team. The aim is seamless transitions between electric, hybrid and petrol power. A battery sits under the rear seats and powers an electric motor attached to the 1.6-litre petrol engine up front, supplemented by a starter-generator.

The E-Tech’s complicated automatic transmission system doesn’t have a manual shift option, but nor is it a CVT, in case you were worried. It just gets on with delivering power to the front wheels without drawing attention to itself or requiring any driver input. The Arkana corners willingly and, while rough roads can upset its firm ride, the seats are comfortable.

On all but entry-level models you get driving modes play with, but since Pure’s a little sluggish and Sport a bit sudden, you’re best off sticking with Hybrid, which is nicely responsive. 

The shape isn’t just about the looks. Renault reckons it’s more efficient than a trad SUV, helping with economy and refinement, but also claiming the Arkana’s a family car inside. It is. The curve of the roof hasn’t resulted in tiny windows for the rear passengers, unlike the C-HR, which can feel gloomy in the back. 

The Arkana looks and feels like a good value-for-money package. The performance isn’t going to get anyone excited, but if your priorities are style, practicality and a smattering of convenience and comfort features, welcome.

First verdict

An agreeable alternative to a Toyota CH-R, or a step up from a Fiat 500X. Rear legroom the priority, not blowing the driver’s socks off.

PLUS + Decent-value family motoring with a modern look

MINUS — Light on driving thrills; cabin is on the plain side

Looks like an BMW X4, for better and for worse

THE FIRST HOUR

1 minute Oh hang on, it’s quite big. Like the Hyundai Ioniq 5, it looks smaller in pictures than it is

2 minutes Mmm. Compared to the current Clio and Captur, this isn’t the most modern or imaginative of interiors

5 minutes That ‘multi-mode’ transmission isn’t, it turns out, a CVT hiding behind a different name

12 minutes Ride is firm but handling pretty good as a result. Not that the powertrain demands much

42 minutes Nice and roomy in the back, and not gloomy like a CH-R 

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Matt Robinson Matt Robinson 1985 Audi Quattro S1 E2 1 month ago

Need a man who can drive a Group B car properly, be funny, and know why the Quattro matters? Call Chris Chilton.

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Chris Chilton Chris Chilton 2022 Lotus Emira 1 month ago

Emira: off with its roof I was thrilled to read about the superbly styled Lotus Emira (cover story), a seemingly perfect, modern replacement for the legendary Elise. I could be very tempted to buy one as a change from my beloved Honda S2000 – 12 years old and only 26,000 miles. However, there is a huge impediment. Why is it not a convertible sports car? It’s crying out for an MX-5-style simple pull-over hood, or a pieced carbon roof, which could stow. We should pester Lotus to work on a convertible. Surely there is so little competition that the international market would welcome it.

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Chris Chilton Chris Chilton 1965 Porsche 911 ‘545’ Sports Purpose 1 month ago

Is it serial standart colour of body for this Porshe 911 model year? Very cool body colour — but not correct back in the day!

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Matt Woods Matt Woods Graham Robson RIP 1 month ago

We are sad to report that Graham Robson died unexpectedly on 5th August. He suffered a bad fall back in May that fractured his hip, but he had appeared to be recovering well, if slowly. Indeed, in a telephone conversation just a few days before his passing, Graham sounded fed up with not being able to get out and about, but as feisty as ever. 

Born in Skipton in Yorkshire on 18th January 1936, Graham attended the local Ermysteds Grammar School before going on to read engineering at Lincoln College, Oxford. When Jaguar set up a graduate training scheme in 1957, Graham – along with his friend and fellow student Jim Woodcock – became the first members, starting in September of that year. After a spell learning all manner of skills on the factory floor, in 1961 Graham moved to the Engineering Drawing Office, which he described as a very exciting place to be. In 1965 he became Competition Secretary at Standard-Triumph, later joining the staff of Autocar and also working for the Rootes Group. From 1972 he worked as an independent author, writing over 160 books and innumerable magazine articles. Motorsport was always close to his heart and Graham also had a very successful rally career, starting with local navigational and driving skills rallies in the family Ford Consul in the mid-1950s. He went on to join the Sunbeam Works team in 1961 and co-drove very successfully with them and others, one high point being victory on the Welsh International Rally in a Lotus-Cortina with Roger Clark in 1965. He was also involved later in running many different rally championships for Ford Motorsport. In more recent years Graham was in high demand as a presenter, commentator, public speaker and event organiser. His interests spanned many marques, but I always associated him first and foremost with Triumph, and as Lesley Phillips, President of the Stag Owners Club, reminded us: 'Almost 25 years ago Graham was one of the founders of the Standard Triumph Forum, bringing together the Standard and Triumph clubs in the UK. He was instrumental in the various anniversary celebrations, starting with the 75th anniversary of Triumph in 1998, and more recently was keen for the clubs to come together to celebrate the 2023 Centennial Anniversary of Triumph. He was busy planning the after-dinner interviews for this event, making good use of his wide range of contacts in the motoring world.' I knew Graham personally from the Standard-Triumph Forum, and through the many columns that he wrote for MG Enthusiast, Triumph World and Classics Monthly magazines. I found him to be a man of strong opinions (and never shy of voicing them!), direct, passionate about all things automotive and with an encyclopaedic knowledge which he was always willing to share most generously. Graham is succeeded by two sons, Hamish and Jonathan, to whom we send our condolences.


A young Graham Robson pictured with the family's Consul (their first ever car) at a local rally, some time around 1954.

A young Graham Robson pictured with the family's Consul (their first ever car) at a local rally, some time around 1954.

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Elliott Roberts Elliott Roberts Are car dealers guilty of causing the diesel decline? 1 month ago

Hope you enjoyed the barbecue. You have my sympathies, as I know what it’s like to be the resident ‘car man’ at a social event. I tend to give deliberately vague responses when friends or family ask me to recommend a new car. It’s like leaning against an open door – you can’t win! Anyway, I’m not sure if I can put your mind at rest, but I’ll give it a go. I read the Autocar interview with Rachel MacLean, the minister responsible for transport and decarbonisation. I think your Polestar chum is referring to a comment made about classic cars, rather than petrol and diesel cars in general. Specifically, this quote: ‘It’s important to be clear that while we’re phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles, at this stage we don’t have any plans to actually ask people to remove existing or classic or older cars from the road.’ The vague part is ‘at this stage’. This suggests that changes could be in the offing. MacLean continued: ‘The existing policy is that obviously we won’t be allowing any new [petrol or diesel] vehicles to be sold [beyond 2030], but those existing vehicles can continue. It’s quite important, so hopefully I can say this and reassure people.’ Phrases like ‘existing policy’ and words like ‘hopefully’ do not inspire confidence. The chances are we’ll have a different government and a new set of ministers long before the 2030 ban, so a lot can, and probably will, change. In truth, the existing government is still looking at the legislation and infrastructure. The current charging network is nowhere near adequate for current needs, let alone the expected demand in 2030. Electric cars are too expensive, but only the bravest politician would price petrol and diesel cars out of the market without hefty incentives for electric adoption. Then there’s the millions of pounds and jobs generated by the classic and used car industry – this cannot and will not disappear overnight. I don’t doubt that diesel and petrol car drivers will face tougher penalties before 2030. I’d also expect more cities to ban anything other than zero emission cars from their centres to improve air quality. And don’t think for one minute that electric car drivers will have things their own way. You can expect existing purchase and tax incentives to be removed or reduced once we reach a certain tipping point. Personally, I wouldn’t rush into the purchase of an electric vehicle just yet. The Polestar 2 is a very good electric car, but it costs £40,000. EVs remain hideously expensive for the private motorist. Meanwhile, petrol and diesel cars have never been safer, more economical, or as well-equipped as they are in 2021. Have I reassured you, Dave? Maybe not, but I’d encourage you to avoid making any rash decisions. Just stick another sausage on the barbecue and chill out! Best regards.

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Chris Rees Chris Rees Are car dealers guilty of causing the diesel decline? 1 month ago

Door open for death of diesel? Hope you’re keeping well in the extreme heat. I’ve managed to cope by buying an extra desk fan for the shed. I was at a barbecue over the weekend. One of the chaps at the gathering took great pleasure in telling me that the internal combustion engine is doomed and that I should buy an electric vehicle before my diesel car is run off the road by legislation, taxation and social pressure. He has bought a Polestar electric car, which he was keen to show to me. It looks good, but I’m more concerned about his comments about the death of the internal combustion engine. He said he had read a report in Autocar which suggests the government is being vague, leaving the door open for tighter restrictions. I know you don’t have a crystal ball, but I’d like some reassurances. Do I need to buy an electric car sooner rather than later? Yours concerned.

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Graham Leigh Graham Leigh Are car dealers guilty of causing the diesel decline? 1 month ago

Thanks for your post, and I wish you and your wife happy motoring in your pair of Peugeots. You’re absolutely right, and I have been telling the car makers for some time that their salespeople are scaremongering and convincing buyers to ditch diesel. I have undertaken anonymous mystery shops and the advice to ditch diesel happens time after time. I guess the manufacturers don’t really care which form of propulsion is sold, as long as they get a sale. But in your case it has meant that a life-long Ford fan has been angered so much that they’ve bought cars from a different marque. I’m sure that this won’t be easy reading for the Managing Director of Ford UK. Best wishes

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Richard Meaden Richard Meaden Aston Martin DB5 Vantage came in three forms: we try Saloon, Convertible and ’Brake 1 month ago

All good things… If you’re a regular reader you’ll know that this is my opportunity to bid you a warm welcome to the latest issue of Vantage. When we launched this magazine back in 2013 we secretly wondered if there would come a time when we simply ran out of things to write about. Once you’ve had a chance to sit down and read it, I hope you’ll agree that this issue proves we needn’t have worried, for the unfolding story of Aston Martin remains as riveting and unpredictable as ever. Sadly it’s a story we won’t be able to share with you, for it is my sad duty to announce that this issue of Vantage will be the last. At least in its present quarterly format. None of you will need reminding how tough the last 18 months or so have been for families and businesses up and down the UK and across the world. Mercifully it would seem the darkest days are behind us, but while Vantage was able to weather the successive waves of Covid-19, the lasting effects of suppressed sales due to the ongoing pandemic have led to some very tough decisions being taken. Vantage has always enjoyed the support of a loyal band of subscribers, but the magazine’s commercial viability also relies upon newsstand sales, the majority of which come from major travel points. With air travel effectively grounded since last March and the shift to working from home reducing footfall in railway stations, trading conditions have been brutal. Needless to say, we are profoundly saddened by the decision, but much like Aston Martin’s ability to bounce back from countless near-disasters, we very much hope Vantage will channel that survival instinct and reappear in some form. Whether you’ve been a reader since the beginning or have just picked up a copy for the first time, we thank you for your support and enthusiasm for a magazine that has been our immense pleasure to produce. Likewise, I’d like to extend our gratitude to our hard-working contributors, the ever-helpful souls at Aston Martin, and the brilliant specialists and generous owners who have been so supportive in providing us with wonderful cars to drive and given us such great tales to tell. We literally couldn’t have done it without you.

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Craig Cheetham Craig Cheetham Aston Martin DB5 Vantage came in three forms: we try Saloon, Convertible and ’Brake 1 month ago

I forgot about «Thunderball» I's been a long time since I've seen an old James Bond movie.

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Chris Rees Chris Rees Aston Martin DB5 Vantage came in three forms: we try Saloon, Convertible and ’Brake 1 month ago

I am glad that Top Gear tested this on their track so that we have a lap time for this great looking James Bond car. This does bring up the point about the use of non-original tires. Obviously they didn't test it on 45 year old tires, and I am pretty certain that the O.E. model tires are no longer made. I would guess they used a similar style and size tire to the O.E. and that is fine. I don't think that it invalidates the test, and thus this does set a precident for equivalent (yet not original) tires when track testing cars that are older or no longer current models. :)

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Bob Harper Bob Harper Next 2023 BMW M2 G87 gets set to rip 1 month ago

I’m so relieved that the new 2 Series doesn’t feature those horrible grills seen on the latest 3 and 4 Series BMWs. I have an F22 220d M Sport and I’m looking to trade it in soon for another BMW, I love the 2 Series so the new version was top of my shopping list, but I was worried the styling would be too challenging. I must say that the G42 M240i looks especially fantastic – well done BMW!Beauty Contest (Part 3...)

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