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Aston Martin

Aston Martin V12 Zagato Supercar

A tie up between British car maker Aston Martin and Italian design house Zagato sounds pretty tasty, doesn’t it? Having said that, it isn’t the first time that these two work together. If you have a long memory you might recall they first worked together with the DB4GT Zagato. 19 of these supercars were built, and Stirling Moss rode one to third place at Goodwood in 1961. But this is 2011 and the new model is a complete stunner which would have even Sir Stirling purring in admiration 50 years on from the first car produced by the two companies. It is called the Aston Martin V12 Zagato and is based on the V12 Vantage car. The CEO of Aston Martin is called Dr Ulrich Bez and he said that the Zagato design is a “perfect complement” to the Aston Martin expertise. […]

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Corporate Business

Land Rovers Start Rolling Out of India

Land Rovers began rolling off the assembly line Friday at the British brand’s first plant in India since it was bought by the Indian car giant Tata Motors. Parts are still being manufactured at Jaguar Land Rover’s plant in Liverpool, England, but Land Rover Freelander 2 SUV’s are now being built in the western Indian city of Pune. India offers Jaguar great opportunities to build cars for less, Carl-Peter Forster, chief executive officer and managing director of Tata Motors, told reporters. “Clearly, India can be a very attractive sourcing base, an opportunity to source increasingly high quality but lower cost components not only for India operations but for overseas operations,” he said. Forster has already indicated that Indian engineering will also play a role in the design of Jaguar Land Rover engines. Tata bought Jaguar from Ford in 2008 for […]

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Racing and Competition

Interview with Mike Gascoyne of Team Lotus

The folks over at Formula1 have an excellent interview with the Chief Technician of Team Lotus, Mike Gascoyne. Last season Team Lotus claimed the honors as the best of the new teams. This season – in their second year – they want much, much more. The extensive upgrade they brought to last weekend’s Spanish round certainly saw them take a step into the midfield on Saturday, and though they struggled somewhat in the Barcelona race, Gascoyne is certain, given time, they can fight with the likes of Force India and Williams more regularly. Speaking exclusively to Formula1, Gascoyne discusses the team’s driver line-up, the prospect of 1.6-litre engines, their Renault and Red Bull relationships and their ongoing quest for that elusive first point… read the full interview here.

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Aston Martin

Aston Martin unveils new Virage

Aston Martin has unveiled its new Virage coupé set to be launched at the Geneva Motor Show. The British luxury sports car manufacturer said that the new car, which combines performance with luxury, comfort and refinement, sits between the more basic DB9 and the sporty DBS in the line-up. The model, powered by a 6.0 litre V12 engine in 490bhp trim, features rear-wheel drive through a carbon fibre prop shaft and a six-speed Touchtronic II automatic gearbox. It offers Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes as standard, and comes equipped with features including an improved Adaptive Damping System (ADS) to provide efficient road holding in different conditions. The ADS system chooses from five different stiffness settings within normal mode, and from a further five stiffer settings within sport mode. The sport mode allows drivers to select a sharper throttle response and […]

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Classic Cars

Do You Drive to These Songs?

Guest post by Hannah Warder When you are going for a leisurely drive, or even just your daily commute, it is nice to listen to some music instead of listening to people talking and laughing on the radio. But what songs are particularly popular to listen to while driving, and why? We’ve found five songs which are played in cars all over the UK, on the motorway, driveway, and probably in the line at a fast food drive through too. The Boys are Back in Town – Thin Lizzy This song is featured on the Top Gear Seriously Cool Driving Music CD set (1), and it is easy to see why. It’s a sing-along tune known through the generations. Of course this song works particularly well if used by a group of men who are literally back in town! Don’t […]

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New Cars

Production MG 3: First Pictures

Just published are the clearest spy images yet of the MG 3, a new supermini that will go on sale in China next year and could make it to the UK in 2012. The small five-door hatch has neat, inoffensive styling – although it falls some way short of the racy Zero concept that was shown at the Beijing show. The MG 3 will offer a choice of four-cylinder petrol engines: a 1.3 producing 67bhp, and a 107bhp 1.5. The standard gearbox is a five-speed manual, although the 1.5 will be offered — in China, at least — with an automatic option. There will also be a diesel; MG owner SAIC is in discussions with a number of potential suppliers. The firm also has a turbocharged version of the 1.5 petrol; with 156bhp on tap, it could form the basis […]

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New Cars

Lotus Elise Road Test

Lotus hadn’t planned on making many Elises. About 2,500 cars should do it, Lotus thought, taking the Elise from its 1996 launch to, maybe, the millennial cusp. After all, not many people would want a basic, pure, minimalist sports car costing a far from minimalist £19,000. Surely. Well, the Elise has just entered its third generation (from £27,450). About 35,000 have left Lotus’s Hethel factory to date. The idea has proved more widely seductive than the original creators dared to hope and, as I turn and go back up the twisting road by Goodwood racecourse to savour the bends yet again, I am once more completely under its spell. There is nothing quite like an Elise. Other cars have had the individual elements – light weight, simplicity, a mid-mounted engine, a British badge – but currently the Lotus is a […]

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Corporate Business

Jaguar XJ and XF models could also turn hybrid by 2013-14

Close on the heels of Tata Motors-owned Land Rover announcing its plans to develop hybrid cars, the Indian automaker’s another British subsidiary has now decided to toe the line. Jaguar Cars, is now reportedly looking to introduce hybrid versions of its XJ and XF models in 2013-’14, using hardware developed with sister brand Land Rover, as reported by Britain’s Car magazine. The magazine has also stated that the first Jaguar hybrids could be launched soon after the planned 2013 introduction of the first Land Rover hybrid. It was reported very recently that by the end of 2010 Land Rover will be testing the first diesel hybrid prototype called the ‘range_e’ which is being developed using a Range Rover Sport platform. Tests of this vehicle will use the existing 3.0 litre TDV6 diesel engine featuring a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission. The […]

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Aston Martin

Aston Martin Rapide

The new Aston Martin Rapide is a lovely car, to be sure, and driving one around town creates precisely the same effect on the populace as would a young Paul McCartney striding through Waterloo Station in 1964. Never mind the panties. Investment bankers throw their tighty-whiteys at this car. But what does it prove? It proves that if you care absolutely nothing about outward visibility—the Rapide has the sightlines of a Normandy pillbox—and that you don’t care that the front roof pillars (the A pillars) are thicker than a Clydesdale’s fetlock; and that in order to get in the car rear passengers will be obliged to remove their heads and feet; and that once there they will have their noses grinding against the entertainment system’s headrest-mounted screens; and that the car’s sun visors are three fingers wide and virtually useless; […]

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Corporate Business

British Car Production Rose 44 Percent

British car output rose an annual 44 per cent in April with a total of 98,290 new cars produced in Britain last month on higher demand for new vehicles, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. In the year to date, car production was 64.9 percent higher than the same period a year ago. “Output in April is up across the car, commercial vehicle and engine sectors compared to the same time last year, reflecting a good start to the second quarter of 2010,” said SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt. “The home market saw a significant increase in the month, a positive indication of a strengthening economy and an improvement in consumer confidence,” he added. – Reuters

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Auctions & Sales

Last factory MGB rally car up for sale

The last genuine MG works rally car is up for auction, 35 years after it was retired from action competitive farewell, and is expected to fetch £90,000-£130,000 (R1-1.5-million) – more than 100 times the price of the road-going MGB in 1964. BRX 854B was one of two MGB rally cars built by BMC’s competition department in 1964, when the road car was priced at £850 (the equivalent of R1700 at the time). It made its racing debut in the Spa-Sofia-Liege rally in August 1964 and went on to compete a further five times as a works entry, in the Tulip, Acropolis, Geneva, Danube and RAC rallies, all in 1965. It was retired in 1975 and has since then had a meticulous restoration, overseen by MG historian John Baggott and legendary MG racer Barry Sidery-Smith with meticulous attention to detail. Existing […]

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Aston Martin

Best of Britain Exhibition at Simeone Museum

Over thirty rare, unusual and beautiful sports and racing cars manufactured in England will be on display at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Pennsylvania from February 20th through March 14th, 2010. Titled the “Best of Britain,” the show is comprised of cars from individual collectors in the mid-Atlantic states and is intended to illustrate why the adjective “British” is inseparable from the term “sports car.” Cars in the show include a 1935 Triumph Gloria Southern Cross that was once part of the Henry Ford Museum, a 1960 MGA Twin Cam Coupe that raced at Sebring, and a 1966 Aston Martin DB6, one of the most potent sports cars of its era. The poster car, a 1933 Squire is the first of only seven ever built, and is considered by many to be among the most beautiful British sports cars […]

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MG

MG6 To Go On Sale In The UK

The MG6 hatchback will be the first all-new MG model to go on sale in the UK since the 2001 MG ZS and ZT, according to sources at Chinese car maker SAIC, which owns the MG Roewe and Ssangyong brands. Both the hatchback MG6 and its saloon sister car (which is currently being sold in China under the Roewe 550 badge) will be launched in the UK and Ireland. Both versions will use the MG badge say sources, and the most popular engine is expected to be the N-series 1.8-litre turbocharged engine, an updated version of Rover’s K-series engine. The cars are expected in the showrooms by early 2011. Stringent EU crash test standards have proved to be the downfall of previous Chinese-made cars, but the MG6 is actually based on a re-engineered version of the robust Rover 75 platform. […]

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Classic Cars

Lister Jaguar to be featured at Race Retro

A delectable line-up of Lister Jaguars – the Cambridge-built sports cars that took the big manufacturers on at their own game and won – will be showcased at this year’s Race Retro, held at Stoneleigh Park, Coventry from 12-14 March. Examples of the earliest models – including founder Brian Lister’s first car, through the classic Lister ‘knobbly’ and Costin-bodied models and onto the 1990s Storm, which saw the name’s revival, will be reunited with the man behind the marque. Their appearance coincides with a book written by highly-regarded Jaguar enthusiast Paul Skilleter, which chronicles the company’s sports cars, their founder Brian Lister and their successes during the late-1950s. Closely associated with driver Archie Scott-Brown, Listers originally used MG and Bristol engines, but the switch to Jaguar engines and the shape of the car, dubbed ‘knobbly’, brought the company unparalleled success […]

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Aston Martin

Aston Martin Entering Le Mans and Sebring

Aston Martin will enter its factory LMP1 team in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours and next month’s Sebring 12 Hours. The British manufacturer had been expected to sit out the 2010 season while developing a new car for 2011, but will now take two LMP1 cars to Le Mans and one car to the American Le Mans Series opener at Sebring, the next round at Long Beach and the LMS season opener at Paul Ricard in April. Autosport Magazine revealed last week that Mexican driver Adrian Fernandez was working on a deal to race an Aston in the ALMS, and the former Champ Car racer and reigning ALMS LMP2 champion will join the team’s line-up for the program. Stefan Mucke, Darren Turner, Harold Primat and Chris Buncombe have all been retained, with Aston Martin Racing due to announce a […]

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People

Passing of Tony Barnhill

I just got this message and thought it appropriate to post it. Dear BCF Member, Most of you who frequent the British Car Forum know our MG forum moderator, Tony Barnhill. Some of you already know this, but for those who don’t it is with great sadness that I much inform the members of BCF that Tony was killed in a head-on collision near his home in Gurley, Alabama on Monday, 25 Jan 2010. His wife was seriously injured as well and remains in ICU. The accident occurred Monday morning, 25 Jan 2010. Tony had been a dear friend and one of my Moderators for over nine years. In that time he helped countless enthusiasts from around the world solve their MG and other British car problems. Many of you knew him personally; some only knew him from the internet. […]

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New Cars

2011 Mini Countryman – Road & Track

Road and Track Magazine has published a first look at the new MINI Countryman. Yes, this is the first 4-door vehicle to leave the Mini manufacturing plant in Oxford, England. Not sure what to make of it, so would love to hear what you think. You can read R&T’s full article on their site, here .

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Corporate Business

MG TF RAVE disc now available to MG TF owners

A detailed electronic service and repair manual known as the MG TF RAVE disc is now available to MG TF owners from all XPart AutoService centres and wholesalers. MG TF owners can now access valuable service and maintenance information for their cars with an electronic workshop manual, available from all XPart AutoServices centres and wholesalers. The first disc of its kind to go on sale to motorists, it offers extensive technical advice for owners of MG TFs manufactured by MG Rover between 2002 and 2005. It contains a greater depth of technical detail than can be found in paper manuals, together with comprehensive search and cross-referencing functions, and the option to enlarge diagrams and print pages of interest. “Modern cars have a great deal more complex mechanical and electronic features than cars built even ten years ago,” explains Barry Smith, […]

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New Cars

MG6 Launched by SAIC in China

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC), China’s number-one automaker, has just launched its MG6 in China. The new model faces off against the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Sagitar in the highly competitive mid-class auto segment in China. The MG6 hatchback, equipped with a 1.8-liter turbo engine, will be produced by SAIC Co at its Lingang plant. SAIC will also start production of the MG6 in a plant in the United Kingdom next year as it tries to revive the 85-year history of the British icon globally. The company said the MG6, which was unveiled at the 2009 Shanghai Auto Show last April, is specifically designed for Asian and European markets. In China, “There will be market potential for the MG6 if SAIC prices the car competitively,” said Ye Sheng, an auto analyst at automotive consulting firm B. Thinking Management […]