Nissan GT-R MY17

570hp Nissan GT-R 17MY at the 2016 New York Auto Show

Nissan GT-R MY17Nissan has revealed a facelifted 2017 model year GT-R 17MY at the 2016 New York Auto Show. At first glance, it looks like a simple facelift, but there’s more at work here than first meets the eye – and we don’t just mean that striking new bright metallic orange colour…

Why has Nissan introduced the GT-R 17MY?

The current-shape GT-R is not the freshest car around: it was launched almost a decade ago, and Nissan hasn’t really evolved it much since. Because it’s looking unlikely we’ll get an all-new version much before 2020, the Japanese firm has thus taken the knife to the current car, to both make it look more modern and address customer demands for a bit more performance but a lot more comfort.

The 17MY Godzilla is still extreme, but it’s a bit more plush and cosseting along with it…

Nissan GT-R 17MY: in the metal at New York

The 17MY GT-R looks… familiar. That’s because it is – this is a facelift of a car that’s been around since 2007, remember. But saying that, there is enough in the metal to interest the performance car enthusiasts this car attracts so strongly, not least the introduction of Nissan’s new ‘V-motion’ matt-finish design signature grille. It’s bigger to provide more engine cooling, while an all-new bonnet boasts extra reinforcement to improve high-speed handling. Downforce-inducing front spoiler lip and bumper finish add yet more aggression to Godzilla.

There’s a lot more going on at the rear too. New bodywork improves airflow and there are now side air vents next to the quad exhausts. Nissan says this cleverly creates less drag without affecting downforce generation. Also check the greater use of matt black in the lower body, making the car look wider and more modern. Fancy new Y-spoke 20-inch alloys complete the facelift.

Inside the Nissan GT-R 17MY in New York

Nissan GT-R 17MY

In images, the Nissan GT-R 17MY doesn’t look like it’s been transformed, but believe us, it has. The dashboard and instrument panel are all-new (despite looking similar to the old one) and are now covered in in TAKUMI precision-stitched leather. The new fascia is driver-orientated and, interestingly, has a ‘horizontal flow’ to its shape that Nissan says gives a sense of increased stability for front-seat passengers.

Infotainment is all-new, paddleshifters are now mounted to the steering wheel and the number of buttons has been seriously reduced – from 27 in the old car to 11 in the 17MY variant. Oh, and both paddleshifters and ventilation control ‘sound’ better when used.

Even better infotainment

The gadget-packed infotainment screen of the old GT-R, with its multitude of functions, gauges and displays, was always a highlight. Nissan’s kept this feature-packed excitement but fitted a better, bigger eight-incou touchscreen that now has large icons on the display screen so it’s easier to operate.

There’s a new display command control on the carbon fibre centre console that further helps ease of operation.

Katsura Orange multi-layer paint option

Nissan GT-R 17MY

Nissan has introduced a new paint option for the 17MY GT-R: Katsura Orange, which can be seen on the NYIAS show car. A multi-layer paint finish, it gives a particularly rich and deep look that, with the GT-R’s enhanced front end and crisp black lower body sections, ensures it really stands out despite its familiar profile.

There are more colours inside as well: a new tan option joins red, ivory and black.

Engines: 570-horsepower for the TAKUMI-built 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6

Nissan has retained the familiar GT-R 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 that’s hand-built by a single TAKUMI master technician. Despite expectations, it hasn’t been power-boosted to the round 600-horsepower of the GT-R Nismo, but to a lesser (but still potent) 570-horsepower.

Nissan’s not released performance figures yet but says the boost will be felt most at mid- to high-range engine speeds, although the enhanced sound from a new titanium exhaust should be delivered all the time. The six-speed dual-clutch transmission is also now smoother and less noisy.

Tech: handling honed, ride smoothed

Nissan says suspension has been further honed and the bodyshell has been stiffened, which means the GT-R 17MY will be able to corner at higher speeds and be more stable through switchback transitions. It’s done this while improving comfort at the same time: ride quality is much smoother, reckons Nissan, whole new sound absorption materials mean the cabin is quieter at higher speeds.

It’s “the most comfortable model to date, with a new sense of elegance and civility that one would rarely find in such a high-performance supercar,” says GT-R chief product specialist Hiroshi Tamura. It is, he feels, “the ultimate GT that possesses amazing performance, newfound civility and a rich racing history”.

When does the Nissan GT-R 17MY arrive in showrooms?

The revised Nissan GT-R 17MY will be available in the autumn, says Nissan. Prices are to be announced but shouldn’t be too far removed from today’s levels – it’s not an all-new car after all…

Mazda MX-5 RF 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 RF ‘targa-top’ wows New York

Mazda MX-5 RFMazda has revealed an alluring targa-top new MX-5 RF ‘Retractible Fastback’ hard-top variant on the eve of the 2016 New York Auto Show, wowing onlookers with its unexpected take on a second-generation folding hard-top MX-5.

Replacing the previous MX-5 RC, a model that in the UK accounted for the vast majority of sales, the new MX-5 RF is a much more unique proposition than its similar-to-the-roadster predecessor.

Mazda MX-5 RF 2016

Its key feature is a new fastback-style rear end, with voluminous flying buttresses and a fixed glass rear window. The hard-top roof sits above the occupants and, because the rear deck is retractible, can be electronically stowed above the load bay – with no loss of luggage space.

Mazda MX-5 RF 2016

The whole operation is swift and can be conducted at speeds of up to jogging pace: ideal for when the traffic lights turn green.

Mazda’s pitching the MX-5 as a more mature alternative to the racy roadster: as such, the likely-more-refined interior will be boosted by premium trims and upmarket spec levels. Mazda will, unlike the soft-top, also offer the RF with a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Both 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre petrol engines will be available.

Mazda MX-5 RF 2016

Mazda’s even developed some expensive-looking new colours for the MX-5 RF, including a three-coat Machine Grey finish that uses the same advanced paint techniques as the Soul Red colour.

The firm revealed the MX-5 RF at an event ahead of first press day for NYIAS 2016: Mazda’s press event is actually on the second day (24 March): Motoring Research will be there and bring you more news on the wonderful-looking new fastback MX-5.

Mazda MX-5 RF 2016

In the meantime, share your thoughts with us – and let us know what you’d like us to find out when the car’s revealed in New York.

Mazda MX-5 RF 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 RF 'targa-top' wows New York

Mazda MX-5 RFMazda has revealed an alluring targa-top new MX-5 RF ‘Retractible Fastback’ hard-top variant on the eve of the 2016 New York Auto Show, wowing onlookers with its unexpected take on a second-generation folding hard-top MX-5.

Replacing the previous MX-5 RC, a model that in the UK accounted for the vast majority of sales, the new MX-5 RF is a much more unique proposition than its similar-to-the-roadster predecessor.

Mazda MX-5 RF 2016

Its key feature is a new fastback-style rear end, with voluminous flying buttresses and a fixed glass rear window. The hard-top roof sits above the occupants and, because the rear deck is retractible, can be electronically stowed above the load bay – with no loss of luggage space.

Mazda MX-5 RF 2016

The whole operation is swift and can be conducted at speeds of up to jogging pace: ideal for when the traffic lights turn green.

Mazda’s pitching the MX-5 as a more mature alternative to the racy roadster: as such, the likely-more-refined interior will be boosted by premium trims and upmarket spec levels. Mazda will, unlike the soft-top, also offer the RF with a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Both 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre petrol engines will be available.

Mazda MX-5 RF 2016

Mazda’s even developed some expensive-looking new colours for the MX-5 RF, including a three-coat Machine Grey finish that uses the same advanced paint techniques as the Soul Red colour.

The firm revealed the MX-5 RF at an event ahead of first press day for NYIAS 2016: Mazda’s press event is actually on the second day (24 March): Motoring Research will be there and bring you more news on the wonderful-looking new fastback MX-5.

Mazda MX-5 RF 2016

In the meantime, share your thoughts with us – and let us know what you’d like us to find out when the car’s revealed in New York.

Jaguar XKSS

Jaguar to build 9 new XKSS 1957 supercars – for £1 million each

Jaguar XKSSJaguar will once again start producing the ‘world’s first supercar’ with nine brand-new XKSS set to be built to exactly the same specification as the original 1957 models list in the Browns Lane factory fire.

Jaguar Classic will hand-build the nine new cars using the original designs and specifications: a hand-picked group of collectors and customers will be offered a chance to buy one of the new models – each costing more than £1 million.

Jaguar XKSS

The XKSS was based on the Le Mans-winning Jaguar D-type, which scooped the 24-hour prize in 1955, 1956 and 1957. It was Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons’ decision to convert 25 remaining D-type into road-going cars.

Experts now commonly agree this made the XKSS the world’s first supercar.

16 were built but the remaining nine cars – destined for the U.S. – were lost in the devastating 1957 Browns Lane fire.

Now, Jaguar’s going to restore order with the ‘modern classic’ XKSS series, with production set to begin soon at the new Jaguar ‘Experimental Shop’ in Warwick. Expertise from the continuation Lightweight E-type project will be called upon and first deliveries are due to begin in early 2017.

Jaguar XKSS

Tim Hannig, director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, said: “The XKSS occupies a unique place in Jaguar’s history and is a car coveted by collectors the world over for its exclusivity and unmistakable design.

“Jaguar Classic’s highly skilled team of engineers and technicians will draw on decades of knowledge to ensure each of the nine cars is completely authentic and crafted to the highest quality.

“Our continuation XKSS reaffirms our commitment to nurture the passion and enthusiasm for Jaguar’s illustrious past by offering exceptional cars, services, parts and experiences.”

 

Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe 2016

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe revealed in New York

Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe New YorkMercedes-Benz has launched a brand new model line on the eve of the 2016 New York Auto Show – an SUV-coupe rival to the BMW X4, the GLC Coupe.

Derived from the regular GLC, a mid-size SUV currently making waves in dealer showrooms globally (and in the running for the 2016 World Car of the Year overall prize), the sporty-look, squat-stance GLC aims to cash in on the global SUV boom by offering traditional two-door mid-size coupe buyers an on-trend new alternative that has the head-turning looks they’re used to but the extra functionality they’re increasingly seeking.

Bringing to production the GLC Coupe Concept seen at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, we took a closer look at the new GLC Coupe in New York.

Why has Mercedes-Benz introduced the GLC Coupe?

Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe 2016

SUV sales are skyrocketing; two-door coupe sales are flatlining. In years gone by, Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan drivers trading sideways into something a bit different may have looked at coupes. Much less so today: SUVs are where it’s at.

C-Class drivers are stepping into the GLC instead and so, for those who want something with a bit more sporting status (and are prepared to pay a bit more for the privilege), the firm’s now offering the GLC Coupe. It’s the coupe for those who want a coupe, but don’t want a Coupe. A cool-looking coupe on stilts, if you will.

Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe: in the metal at New York

The GLC is already a pretty, stylish SUV. Unlike the BMW X4, which has a few too many hints of X6 about it, the GLC Coupe works well, looks good, stands out. It’s more bespoke-looking than its bigger GLE Coupe sibling, and the lower, more muscular stance works well.

Inside the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe at New York

Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe 2016

Unsurprisingly, the GLC Coupe is structurally almost identical to the regular GLC. Same (very impressive) fascia, same infotainment systems, same rich detailing and array of trim choices.

The highlight is a superb pair of bucket seats, mounted lower than the regular car: an unexpectedly racy touch that makes it feel more like a coupe than you’d think. These are part of the AMG Line trim whose colour and trim choices are convincingly AMGesque.

It’s more than just a regular GLC with a swoopy rear

Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe 2016

Mercedes-Benz hasn’t cut corners with the GLC Coupe – the entire upper structure is new, not just the rear. 80mm longer than the regular GLC, it’s 40mm lower, with a stretched roofline enhanced by new and less steeply-raked A-pillars.

The windowline is thus shallower, emphasising the high-beltline, broad-shoulder side panels, while other bespoke details include a single-louvre diamond radiator grille and, at the rear, narrow split tail lights with central Mercedes-Benz star and sharp spoiler lip to mimic the brand’s coupe ID seen first on the S-Class Coupe. Even the licence plate has been relocated down into the rear bumper.

It’s practical (and the rear window repels rain, needs no wiper)

Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe 2016

As it’s a coupe with rear doors, it has to be practical. Otherwise, people will just stick with the GLC. The rear cabin is thus roomy enough for adults, even if they will have to duck a little to get in and out.

The trunk has a segment-best 491 litres’ capacity with the seats up, and 1,205 litres with them down. Oh, and there’s no rear wiper – because it’s unnecessary, says Mercedes-Benz. The shape keeps airflow unbroken until beyond the rear spoiler, so rainwater is both unable to hit the rear window, and soon blasted away once a standing vehicle gets moving.

Engines: four petrol, four diesel, plug-in hybrid and a hot AMG

Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe 2016

There are four petrol and four diesel engines, but things aren’t quite that simple (and not all are on offer from launch). The volume engines will be the 170hp GLC 220d Coupe and 204hp GLC 250d 4MATIC Coupe, alongside the 211hp gas-powered GLC 250 4MATIC Coupe.

Another petrol option, the 320hp GLC 350 4MATIC Coupe, is a plug-in hybrid that can do up to 22 miles in full EV mode, accelerate 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds yet emit from 59g/km on the NEDC test cycle. Topping the range from launch is the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 4MATIC Coupe, with 367hp and 0-62mph in less than five seconds. All but the GLC 350e 4MATIC have a nine-speed automatic; the hybrid has an eco-optimised seven-speed unit.

Tech: sports suspension – you choose how sporty

Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe 2016

All GLC Coupe have firmed-up sports suspension as standard. There are two optional systems above the standard passive setup: Dynamic Body Control has steel springs but adaptive dampers, and allows the driver to select the character of the vehicle via the Dynamic Select button (all GLC Coupe have this button but it only alters things like steering weight and gas pedal sensitivity in standard models).

A more expensive Air Body Control system (called ABC in M-B circles) will add continuously adjustable air damping for an even broader range of differentiation from comfort to sport. With this system, in sport mode, the body actually lowers 15mm over other modes.

When does the GLC Coupe arrive in showrooms?

Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe 2016

The GLC Coupe will be here soon: ordering opens in the summer and deliveries are scheduled to begin in the autumn. Not all engine variants will be available from launch, although the full rollout is expected to be complete by the end of 2016.

Some markets, but not the UK, will get a bold-looking EDITION1 launch variant, with AMG Line exterior, 20-inch AMG wheels and a choice of designo paint finishes.

 

Gallery: Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe

Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth

Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth sprints into New York

Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione AbarthFiat is showcasing a new 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth model at the 2016 New York Auto Show: with its Stateside 160-horsepower, it may not have any more grunt, but it does have a whole lot more attitude.

And a great name.

Intentionally aggressive, the new Elaborazione Abarth variant (also seen in EU-spec Abarth 124 Spider guise at Geneva earlier this month) gets unique front and rear bumpers, 17-inch gunmetal alloys and complementary exterior detailing, plus an optional hand-painted bonnet stripe in the trad matt black that marks out classic Abarth.

It also encouragingly has sports suspension with Bilstein monotube dampers, mechanical limited-slip differential and a sports-tuned exhaust with, wait for it, quad tips.

Brembo brakes and Recaro seats sit on the options list just for good measure.

U.S. buyers can also choose from just five colours: red, black, grey, white and posher pearl white.

“Our new Fiat 124 Spider is an iconic roadster that combines classic Italian styling with modern performance and technology,” said Olivier Francois, head of Fiat brand, FCA Global.

“The addition of our new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth further enhances the driving experience and offers yet another head-turning, fun-to-drive vehicle to our customers.”

The first Fiat 124 Spider arrive in North American Fiat dealers this summer: presumably, the elaborate new Elaborazione Abarth will follow soon after.

Come back to Motoring Research’s coverage of the 2016 New York Auto Show soon for more images and views of the tasty-looking new U.S.-flavoured 124 Abarth.

 

Lamborghini Centenario

Lamborghini Centenario is cover car of next Forza Motorsport

Lamborghini CentenarioThe Lamborghini Centenario will be the cover supercar of the next Forza racing game – and, when it’s revealed in June 2016, gamers will actually beat Lamborghini owners in getting behind the (virtual) wheel.

Available to millions of racing fans ‘first in Forza’, the Centenario news is the latest move in a successful relationship between Microsoft and Lamborghini.

It’s all the more significant as the limited-to-40, £1.7 million, already-sold-out Centenario is Lamborghini’s prized special edition to celebrate 100 years of founder Ferruccio Lamborghini’s birth.

Lamborghini Forza

“We’re excited to continue our long history of working with Lamborghini and to be part of their 100-year anniversary by celebrating the Centenario as the featured cover car of the next Forza game,” said Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox.

But the figures speak for themselves in explaining why it’s honouring Ferruccio on its latest headline video game, added the tech giant: Lamborghini is the most popular brand in the Forza stable and more than five million gamers have now spent nearly 60 million hours racing them.

That’s why the 770hp Centenario is debuting in Forza rather than on the road: in doing so, it joins 14 other Lamborghinis featured to date in the Xbox One Forza franchise.

As for the game itself, developed by Microsoft partner Turn 10 Studios, the figures are again clear: it’s the best-selling racing franchise of today’s video games console generation, boasting a staggering 10 million unique fans.

And if but a handful of them go on to buy a Lamborghini when they can afford one, well…

Korando Sports DMZ camo

SsangYong is serious: ‘camo’ special edition Korando pickup now on sale

Korando Sports DMZ camoSsangYong has launched the most unlikely special edition we’ve seen in years – a one-tonne Korando Sports pickup called DMZ that sports full camouflage paintwork (although you’ll do anything but fade into the background if you buy one).

It’s not a joke: the limited edition model, based on the range-topping EZ auto, costs £19,195 plus VAT, and is available for order now.

And why’s it done it? Dealer demand: retailers saw it, liked it, and are now (perhaps surprisingly) clamouring for more.

“The DMZ is a bit of fun,” said SsangYong Motor UK CEO Paul Williams. “We ordered a short run initially but they were instantly snapped-up by our dealers, so we think it could prove particularly popular with owner drivers.”

And if that’s a bit too much for your eyes or public profile to bear, prices for less standout Korando Sports now start at £14,495 plus VAT. That buys a 2.0-litre turbodiesel workhorse producing 155hp, averaging 37.7mpg, boasting on-demand four-wheel drive and capable of towing up to 2.7 tonnes.

Owners can get a Euro pallet in the 2.04 metre-square load deck, carry a full one-tonne payload and there’s even a live rear axle with multi-link rear suspension to give more on-road comfort than many rivals’ leaf springs.

A five-year unlimited-mileage warranty is also standard. But camo paintwork? Luckily, optional…

Volkswagen Golf SportWagon Alltrack

Volkswagen Golf SportWagon Alltrack to grip NYIAS 2016

Volkswagen Golf SportWagon Alltrack

Volkswagen will reveal an all-wheel drive Golf SportWagon Alltrack at the 2016 New York Auto Show, in response to customer demand that they want a more gripping Golf.

Dealers and customers demanded the brand add 4MOTION all-terrain capability to its Golf SportWagon, said Volkswagen of America vice president of product marketing and strategy Joerg Sommer; it’s responded.

“We are excited to introduce the Golf Alltrack to met the active lifestyle needs of our customers.”

Review: Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

Powered by a 170hp 1.8-litre TSI petrol engine (no diesel is available!), Volkswagen will launch it in DSG guise; a stick-shift manual will follow later.

Already on sale in Europe, including the UK, Volkswagen of America reminds us of the differences between the Alltrack and a regular Golf estate (which is called SportWagon in the U.S.): body cladding, raised ride height, sparkling alloy wheels and, of course, the latest Haldex-5 all-wheel drive system.

There’s even an off-road mode that adds hill descent control and maximises traction, for those keen to take their estate car (with cargo space on a par with compact SUVs) green-laning.

On sale in the autumn as a 2017 model, the Golf SportWagon Alltrack is a North American debut for the New York Auto Show; it’s perhaps not the most exciting new car the brand’s ever brought to market, but it’s very customer-friendly and, in the current times of emissions scandal fallout, that may be just what’s required…

TVR render

TVR to build new sports cars in South Wales

TVR renderThe reborn TVR brand has confirmed it is building a brand new car plant in the Ebbw Vale Enterprise Zone in South Wales as part of a five-year, £30 million investment plan.

Both TVR’s backers and the Welsh Government will invest in the new manufacturing facility, the location of which will be confirmed in the next few weeks.

In deciding to choose Wales, TVR chairman Lee Edgar said it was a “fantastic opportunity both for TVR and the Welsh Government.

“South Wales is becoming a major hub for automotive and motorsport technology and development and the area is a serious opportunity for business development and job creation.”

The decision will be officially announced this morning by the First Minister of Wales, the Rt. Hon Carwyn Jones, after the contract was signed on 18 March. He said it was “yet another fantastic high profile investment for Wales and a great boost for our automotive sector.

“TVR is another iconic and much loved, world-class brand that still commands a strong and loyal international following. I am delighted the next generation of TVRs will proudly bear the label Made in Wales.”

The TVR news follows Aston Martin’s decision to locate its new crossover SUV factory at St. Athan in South Wales, 15 miles west of Cardiff.

The first Minister said it “sends out a strong, clear message that Wales is the location of choice for advanced manufacturing.

“It also illustrates that our pro-business approach is delivering results, attracting significant investment and creating high quality jobs and it is another huge boost for Wales, for our automotive sector and for our skilled workforce.”

The new TVR project was announced in early 2015 and more than 350 orders have since been taken: demand is so high (the order book is full to the end of 2018), the firm had to open its waiting list for the new car ahead of time, despite buyers having to place £5,000 deposits to secure a place.

The chassis and body is being designed by Gordon Murray and it will be the first production car to use his new iStream assembly process. Power will be ample: Cosworth is tuning a V8 engine specifically for TVR.

What will it be called? That’s still to be confirmed; currently, it has the codename T37.