Big car tech comes to the Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa IntelliLink

Could this be the development that gives the Vauxhall Corsa the edge over its supermini rivals? Vauxhall has announced that its latest generation IntelliLink infotainment system – which made its debut on the new Astra, earlier this year – is now available on the Corsa.

IntelliLink – which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – is available as standard on all models except Sting and Sting R. We’ve experienced it in the new Astra and can vouch for its ease of use and clarity of maps, including Apple Maps and Google Maps.

R4.0 IntelliLink system

The R4.0 IntelliLink system offers drivers a USB and Bluetooth interface for audio streaming and viewing photographs, videos and films, as well as the ability to make hands-free calls. As soon as an iPhone or Android smartphone is connected, the user is able to interact with the 7-inch touchscreen, as well as charging the device.

[bctt tweet=”Could this be the development that gives the Vauxhall Corsa the edge over its supermini rivals?”]

A key advantage of using smartphone apps – especially maps – is that they are always updated. Furthermore, the smartphone maps provide realtime traffic information and points of interest. Based on our experience with this and other systems, pre-installed navigation maps could be a thing of the past.

OnStar for the Corsa

But that’s not all, because Vauxhall OnStar is now standard on SE, Limited, Black Edition, Red Edition and Corsa VXR models, giving drivers access to a service assistant and integrated 4G/LTE architecture. In short, OnStar turns the Corsa into a wi-fi hotspot, providing a stable internet connection for up to seven devices.

We tested the OnStar service during a recent drive of the new Vauxhall Astra and were impressed with the ease of use, speed of connection and quality of service. Our call was answered promptly and the sat nav was re-routed to our chosen destination. OnStar goes much further, providing around-the-clock automatic crash response, stolen vehicle alert and roadside assistance.

Vauxhall is offering OnStar and wi-fi free for the first year, with a second year of OnStar, excluding wi-fi, available for £79. This, in itself, gives the Corsa a USP in a competitive sector. The combination of OnStar and the new IntelliLink system means the infotainment system in the best-selling Ford Fiesta is looking a bit outdated.

Read more:

Vauxhall Corsa (2015) first drive review

Vauxhall Corsa 1.0T 115 (2015) long-term review

Vauxhall Astra review: 2015 first drive

Simon Oldfield, Vauxhall’s sales and marketing director, said: “We do not just offer drivers of larger cars the opportunity of enjoying the latest connectivity and infotainment technology. We are making it available across our entire product portfolio with very attractive offerings.

“The new R4.0 IntelliLink system with smartphone integration available for the Corsa is the perfect example. This system along with OnStar enables fast, stable and extensive internet access for every Corsa occupant.”

2016 Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S

New Porsche 911 Turbo: turbocharging the Turbo

2016 Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S

New 2016 Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S range; Turbo S breaks 200mph barrier for the first time

In 2015, Porsche added turbochargers to the 911 Carrera range for the first time, in an effective but slightly controversial update. But for three decades, it’s had another turbocharged 911 – the original ‘Ur Turbo’. Which, up until now in 2015, has been overlooked…

Now the ‘real’ Turbo has restored its position at the head of the Porsche range, with a power boost for both the Turbo and Turbo S. Debuting at the North American International Auto Show in January 2016, the new Porsche 911 Turbo turbos are more powerful than ever.

Read more:

2016 Porsche 911 Carrera range gains turbos

911 Turbo-rivalling McLaren 570S driven

Porsche reveals Carrera 4 and Targa 4 turbos

Both share an updated version of the existing 3.8-litre twin-turbo engine, with higher fuel pressure, new injectors and modified inlet ports. This pushes power up to 540hp in the Turbo and a whopping 580hp in the Turbo S.

2016 Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S

Performance is truly eye-watering. The Turbo S Coupe is now capable of hitting 205mph – breaking the 200mph barrier for the first time – and accelerates from 0-62mph in just 2.9 seconds.

Even the regular Turbo Coupe can do 0-62mph in 3.0 seconds – yet both it and the Turbo S Coupe can also average 31mpg. That’s 2mpg better than before and means the 911 Turbo breaks the 30mpg mark for the first time, too.

Porsche’s even made sure the monstrously powerful Turbos respond even more quickly, thanks to a ‘dynamic boost function’. This keeps turbo boost pressure up even when the accelerator is briefly released – when, say, cornering in sporty, switchback driving – to ensure boost is instantly there when it’s pressed again.

Turbocharged equipment

Standard on all Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe and Cabriolet models is the Sport Chrono Package with Mode Switch – this is a rotary ring with four stepped positions to quickly engage the various driving modes.

2016 Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S

The Mode Switch also has a Sport Response button in the centre; jab this and engine and gearbox are preconditioned for maximum response for up to 20 seconds. The steering wheel itself is  modelled on the 918 Spyder. Called the GT wheel, it’s 360mm in diameter.

Porsche has upgraded the PCM infotainment system with online navigation (and better smartphone pairing), the PASM suspension offers a greater spread between sport and comfort, plus there are new settings for the PSM Porsche Stability Management system.

Turbocharged looks

Subtly updated styling marks out the new 911 Turbo and Turbo S. The front and rear gain the revised styling of the regular 911 Carrera range, enhanced by Turbo-bespoke features. These include side-mounted airblades and narrow LED front lights with double fillets to give a wide and fittingly range-topping look. There’s also an extra fin in the front air intake.

Whopping 20-inch alloys are fitted as standard, with centre locks and seven instead of 10 spokes on the Turbo S. Both front and rear wheels on the Turbo are a full half-inch wider, for that classic ‘wide rubber’ 911 Turbo look (and making them the same size as the Turbo S).

Porsche has tweaked the exhaust openings and redesigned the twin tailpipes, while the rear engine lid grille is also new. The right and left sides have ‘longitudinal louvres’ and the centre section now has a separate cover feeding induction air to the engine.

911 Turbo prices

The new 911 Turbo and Turbo S are on sale now at Porsche dealers, for suitably range-topping prices:

  • 911 Turbo: £126,925
  • 911 Turbo Cabriolet: £135,766
  • 911 Turbo S: £145,773
  • 911 Turbo S Cabriolet: £154,614

MRAdvent 1 Dec: Minis have feelings too

Minis have feelings too

This year, Sainsbury’s might just top the tree when it comes to the nation’s favourite Christmas ad, although John Lewis, Lidl and Aldi may have something to say about that.

But back in 1986, there was no such debate, because the Rover Group delivered what was not only the best Christmas advert of the year, but one of the best ads of all time. If ‘Minis have feelings too’ doesn’t make you go all gooey and full of Christmas spirit, you have a heart of stone.

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, pour yourself a glass of mulled wine and enjoy a few seconds of nostalgia from Christmas past.

The timing was perfect, with the Mini seemingly on borrowed time. Now under the control of Rover Group plc, the Mini was facing the axe in 1987. To say the decision to give the much-loved Mini a stay of execution was entirely based on the success of the advert would be wrong, but it must have played a part.

The feelgood factor associated with the kissing Minis is so high, not even an inch of snow falling on Christmas day, Mariah Carey in a Santa outfit and a dozen chestnuts roasting on an open fire could make you feel any more festive.

The ad is superb, right down to the ‘The First Noel’ soundtrack, which puts us in mind of the music used to accompany the scenes featuring Noel Coward in The Italian Job, which – given the Mini’s starring role – is rather apt. In short, no amount of CGI nonsense or inflated marketing budgets will ever top this Mini ad.

[bctt tweet=”‘In short, no amount of CGI nonsense or inflated marketing budgets will ever top this Mini ad'”]

But without wishing to play the role of party-pooper, amid screams of ‘humbug’, we bring you news that the two lovestruck Minis are no more. At least, we don’t think they are.

According to DVLA records, D748 DAC was last taxed in January 2003, with D401 MOJ disappearing in May 1993. But all isn’t quite what it seems, because the DVLA records also show that D401 MOJ was powered by a 2257cc engine. As for D748 DAC, well that featured a 1598cc engine and weighed in at a rather portly 1700kg.

Either D748 DAC had eaten far too many mince pies, or the D-reg plates were half-inched from other cars within the Rover stable.

We bring you more bad tidings with the news that MINI – that’s the new uppercase version – decided it was time for an updated version. Only it wasn’t. There’s never a good time for an updated video. Some things are best left in the past. Bah humbug.