Aston Martin full electric RapidE concept
Aston Martin

Aston Martin Unveils Rapide S Electric Concept

Aston Martin is today showcasing a fully electric concept of its Rapide S four-door sports saloon outside Lancaster House in London – the venue for a meeting between Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, Duke of Cambridge; Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and President of The People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping. The new RapidE concept has been developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering at its facility in Grove, Oxfordshire. It is on display today in support of a creative summit organised by the British government’s successful GREAT campaign to showcase the best of what the UK has to offer and encourage people to visit, do business, invest and study in this country. Aston Martin CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, said: “We see luxury electric vehicles as an intrinsic part of our future product portfolio and welcome ChinaEquity into the next phase […]

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Aston Martin

Aston Martin Luxury 4×4

James Bond is set to go electric as luxury British sports car maker Aston Martin took the wraps off a new hybrid beefed-up coupe. Codenamed DBX, the two-door 4×4 grand tourer aimed at wealthy families was a surprise unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show, where the world’s car bosses are meeting. Although the car unveiled is an all-electric 4×4 with four separate motors at each wheel, Aston Martin’s final production version is set to be a four-door hybrid petrol-electric hatchback crossover. This is aimed more at Mr and Mrs Bond and their children than the suave superspy alone. It is set to hit showrooms within three years priced at around £160,000 with the aim of widening the brand’s appeal to a much wider audience. It comes as a specially created DB10 car appears in the new 007 movie SPECTRE now […]

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Highlights

Coming Jaguar – Land Rover Electric SUV

Jaguar–Land Rover is reportedly planning to jump on the EV bandwagon before the end of the decade. Company executives have not yet decided whether the upcoming EV will be introduced as a Jaguar or as a Land Rover. German magazine Auto, Motor Und Sport says that the former is likely for marketing reasons, fueling speculation that the EV will be based on Jaguar’s upcoming F-Pace. Company executives have not yet decided whether the upcoming EV will be introduced as a Jaguar or as a Land Rover. German magazine Auto, Motor Und Sport says that the former is likely for marketing reasons, fueling speculation that the EV will be based on Jaguar’s upcoming F-Pace.Regardless of which emblem it ends up wearing, the EV will take the form of a relatively large SUV or crossover because those body styles offer more space […]

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Highlights

Trident to Launch Fast and Efficient Sports Cars

British sports car brand Trident is set to launch two new variants of its Iceni sports car–billed as the world’s fastest and most fuel-efficient diesel sports cars. The convertible, the fixed-roof Iceni Magna and the Iceni Venturer wagon use a 6.6-liter turbodiesel V-8 engine to deliver huge performance. Despite this, Trident says the Iceni offers “outstanding fuel efficiency”. At £96,000–just over $161,000, at current exchange rates–it isn’t cheap. It is similarly priced to the new BMW i8 plug-in sports car however, with similar performance and potentially, better economy at a cruise. And both cars are considerably thriftier than similarly-priced rivals. Are we entering a new age of low-consumption, low-emission sports cars? For further on this story, check out the full article at Green Car Reports.  

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Highlights

MG Dynamo – Electric Concept Car

The MG Dynamo, a new and all-electric city car concept, was unveiled today. The MG Dynamo is based on parent company SAIC’s Roewe E50 city car sold in China. The car was on display at an exhibit of current and future tech at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The display has been timed to coincide with the Beijing motor show where the marque is celebrating its 90th anniversary. The Dynamo concept is said to encompass “the latest in design and engineering technology”. The car has been developed to assess demand for a small, electric MG in Europe. The concept was created by SAIC’s (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation) design and technical centre at Longbridge. MG Motor UK hasn’t revealed any details about the drivetrain, but conjecture is that it is likely to be similar to Rowe E50’s. Launched in China in January 2013, this […]

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New Cars

Ban on Conventional Cars Proposed

Plans to ban most conventional cars from the roads within the next 30 years could feature in the Liberal Democrats’ offering to voters at the next general election.  But the proposal from Nick Clegg’s party to only allow ultra-low carbon vehicles on British roads by 2040, other than for freight purposes, will first have to be approved at next month’s Lib Dem conference. If the conference votes in favour of the plan it will become party policy and may feature in the party’s manifesto for the 2015 General Election, a Lib Dem spokesman said. The proposal was unveiled as Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders figures showed that car sales, a key indicator of the health of the British economy, had risen 12.7% on last year. The spokesman said: “The way that our party policy is decided is that conference has […]

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Racing and Competition

British Car Breaks Electric Land Speed Record

A ‘hypercar’ built by a British company has broken the electric land speed record that has stood for nearly four decades. Drayson Racing’s car reached a top speed of 204.2mph on the 1.86-mile runway at RAF Elvington, Yorkshire. Driven by entrepreneur and former UK science minister Lord Drayson, it beat the previous record by around 40mph. “This is the future,” he told Sky News after climbing out of the cockpit. The car, known as the Drayson B12 69/EV, is based on the Lola LMP1 which competes at Le Mans in the famous 24-hour race. Its V10 Judd engines have been removed and replaced with two huge A123 battery units connected to electric motors.

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New Cars

A Green Electric Morgan

While other models were sleek and streamlined, the Morgan looked and sounded like sports cars were supposed to. But its throaty roar could be a thing of the past, at least on one model, with the 101-year-old company developing an electric low-carbon version of the iconic vehicle. The electric car will be made of aluminium and be powered buy a plug-in battery. Morgan is co-operating with two other British companies, Zytek and Radshape, to produce a concept car which could be seen for the first time at the Geneva motor show next year. In fact two cars are being produced. One will be held back for further engineering research, while the other will be on public view as Morgan decides whether to develop a version which could be put on sale. The project is being backed by a £100,000 grant from the […]

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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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Classic Cars

Engineering Students Turn Vintage MGB Into Electric Car

The year was 1984. Roger Dougal, a newly minted Ph.D. in electrical engineering, was beginning his career in the University of South Carolina’s College of Engineering. He was the new owner of a 1972 MGB – a red convertible, perfect for life in the Palmetto State, where he could zip along the highways and city streets with the car’s top down practically year-round. Lightweight with easy handling, the MGB was a snazzy roadster for a young professor on the go. But that was, shall we say, soooo last century. Fast forward about two dozen years. Now internationally recognized for his research on power sources and systems, Dougal still loves cars and has added a passion for sailboats. The MGB was collecting dust – and a few leaves – in his garage. But the professor’s ongoing curiosity about all things auto […]

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Corporate Business

British Japanese cars are head of reliability league

Five of the top six reliable cars are Japanese… but the good news is that three of them are made in Britain. Honda, which has a plant in Swindon, Wilts, is first in the list of smooth-runners. Third is Derby-based Toyota and Nissan, with a factory in Sunderland, is sixth, says new research. Honda-buyers can drive smugly knowing there is only a 10% chance of a breakdown when the car is between three and six years old. Other Far Eastern companies Mazda, Subaru and Mitsubishi are also high in the Manufacturer Reliability Index top ten. At the wrong end of the table is Land Rover, with a 47% chance of a breakdown, with Renault and Saab queuing up just behind on the hard shoulder. The index, compiled by insurers Warranty Direct, gauges the most dependable used cars among 250 popular […]

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New Cars

Electric cars to be mass introduced to the UK

According to PM Gordon Brown, electric cars are to be introduce en masse across Britain in plans for an environmentally friendly budget. The Prime Minister hopes to make Britain “a world leader” in producing and exporting electric cars and hybrid petrol-electric vehicles. Trials for electric cars in two or three cities could be up and running as soon as next year, he said. As part of the plan, the Government will also open talks with power companies to ensure vehicles can have their batteries recharged at power points at the roadside. Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, is also planning to create 400,000 jobs in the green sector over the next five years. Other measures will include the Government relaxing planning rules to allow the building of more wind farms to ensure Britain hits its target to generate 15 per cent of […]

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Racing and Competition

British engineer pilots wind-powered vehicle to speed record

After 10 years of trying, a British engineer has broken the land-speed record for a wind-powered vehicle. Pushed by 30-mph winds over two miles, Richard Jenkins reached 126.1 mph yesterday in his Ecotricity Greenbird car on the dry lakebed of Ivanpah Lake, south of Las Vegas. That’s 10 mph faster than the previous record, set in 1999 by American Bob Schumacher. As the Daily Mail put it, that makes Jenkins the fastest naturally powered human on the planet. “It’s great. It’s one of those things that you spend so long trying to do and when it actually happens, it’s almost too easy,” Jenkins told the BBC. The Greenbird is made of carbon fiber composite and powered only by the wind. The only metal is in the wing bearings and the wheel units. For photos, video and audio of the car, […]

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Racing and Competition

British Steam Car Hits 80 MPH

The British Steam Car team has rebounded from last week’s aborted test with two successful runs, the last shakedowns before the 25-foot car is shipped to the United States for its attempt to break a land speed record set 103 years ago. Team Steam hopes to achieve 170 mph when it challenges the land speed record for a steam-powered vehicle and says everything is on track. The car fired up like a Russell Hobbs teasmade and proved the water-filtration issue that stymied last week’s test have been solved. The car hit 60 mph on Wednesday, before test driver Don Wales pulled the chute to end the first run. The second test went even better: Wales achieved 80 mph. “The car is just so powerful, you can get to feel the immense force and power of it,” Wales said in a […]

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Racing and Competition

British Steam Car Attempts Record

A bunch of U.K. enthusiasts are attempting to break the 102-year-old land speed record with a steam-powered car. The three-ton vehicle, described as a giant kettle on top of a camping stove, has almost two miles of tubes inside its carbon-fiber-composite/aluminum frame. The team is expecting the 25-foot-long car to reach 200 mph during its record attempt at Bonneville Speed Week in September. The car — can we call it that? — takes eight minutes to get going, but has only enough fuel, air and water for a three-minute run. The water boils at 482°F due to the fact that there’s 40 bar water pressure inside the boilers. It’s then super-heated to 750°F, or "dry" steam, which passes through heavily lagged pipes and two industrial steam valves before ending up in a two-stage turbine. Outsize Goodyear tires and brake pads […]

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Corporate Business

British Bailout Buys a Land Rover LRX

In an attempt to turn Land Rover an environmentally friendly shade of British Racing Green, the U.K. government is giving the SUV-maker £27 million ($38 million) to defray the cost of developing a compact SUV based on their LRX concept. Land Rover says the new two-door (which they call a “cross coupe”) will be the “smallest, lightest, and most efficient” the company has ever produced. With the exception of the County Classic, we think it might be the most attractive as well. Whatever superlatives it claims, it could very well show up as a 2011 model after it gets an official go-ahead from management. “We welcome the Government’s support for this project, which would form a key part of our future product plans and which we very much want to put into production,” Land Rover Managing Director Phil Popham said […]

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Corporate Business

Delay In Carbon Emissions Cut

British car manufacturers have won a four-year delay to the introduction of European rules designed to force them to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from new cars. Jaguar Land Rover was granted a special deal after Britain joined ranks with other car-producing EU states to water down fuel efficiency targets proposed last year. The highest levels of fines for failing to comply with the targets will not come into force until 2019, not in 2015 as previously proposed. The deal means manufacturers will be able to delay investing in expensive carbon-reduction technology for several more years. MEPs and the 27 EU member states have agreed to abandon plans to force the industry to reduce average CO emissions from around 158g/km last year to 130g/km by 2012.

Morgan Goes Back to the Future with Hydrogen Car
Corporate Business

Morgan Goes Back to the Future with Hydrogen Car

Morgan Motor Co., the tiny British automaker so old-fashioned it still uses wood frames, is stepping well into the future with LifeCar, a hydrogen fuel cell hybrid it says will prove “a zero-emission vehicle can be fun to drive.” Morgan will unveil the hand-built aluminum-bodied coupe next month at the Geneva Auto Show, and although there’s no word on whether LifeCar will ever be more than a one-off concept, the company hopes to show hydrogen is a viable – if distant – alternative to fossil fuels. Morgan has spent more than two years working with a British defense firm, two universities and a hydrogen supplier to develop a car it promises will “minimize the fuel cell cost and provide the fuel economy for a 200 mile range.” As impressive as the LifeCar is, what makes it truly remarkable is a […]