Six-figure supercars on show in Monaco

Top Marques 2017Never-seen-before supercars, revolutionary flying cars and a Bentley Azure covered in two million gems. Yes, it’s time for another Top Marques Monaco extravaganza.

Once again, some of the world’s most glamorous supercars will line up at the Grimaldi Forum, with VIPs invited take a test drive on a closed section of the famous F1 GP circuit. You don’t get to tackle La Rascasse or Tabac at a common or garden motor show. Here are some of the highlights from day one.

Vanda DendrobiumTop Marques 2017

It’s fair to assume that no child will ever grow up wanting to own a Vanda Dendrobium, but – dodgy name aside – this electric hypercar is a technological masterpiece. According to the engineers behind the project, the Dendrobium will accelerate to 62mph in 2.6 seconds, before maxing out at 200mph.

The name, in case you’re losing sleep over it, is inspired by a species of orchid found in Singapore, the home of Vanda Electrics. The company claims the car has been on the drawing board since the 1990s and is very much a ‘halo model’, designed to generate interest in a future production version.

AeroMobilTop Marques 2017

From Bratislava with love? There’s something very James Bond about a flying car, but the Slovakian company is adamant that the AeroMobil is more than the work of fiction. Indeed, it is promising to make the first deliveries in 2020, with production limited to 500 units. The price: €1.2m to €1.5m, depending on specification.

The Aeromobil is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged ‘boxer’ engine, with 300hp delivered to the propeller through a bespoke transmission. It can transform into flight mode within three minutes and offers a cruising range of 466 miles. If you fancy your own short-haul flight machine, the company is taking orders in Monaco.

PAL-V LibertyTop Marques 2017

PAL-V is offering a different take on the ‘magnificent men in their flying machines’ concept. The Liberty takes to the air using a wind-powered rotor, enabling it to, in the words of the Dutch company, “float in the air”. If the weather conditions aren’t favourable, simply return to terra firma and continue in car mode.

According to PAL-V, the Liberty Pioneer Edition “marks the launch of the flying car era”, and an initial 90 will be sold, each one with a price tag of circa £417,000 plus taxes. A range of 310 miles is possible in the air, or an impressive 817 miles on the road.

Donkervoort D8 GTO-RSTop Marques 2017

Donkervoort hit the headlines in 2004 and 2006 when the D8 270 RS set lap records at the Nürburgring. The D8 GTO-RS is its spiritual successor and the Dutch company is hinting at more records in the future. Power is sourced from Audi’s 2.5-litre TFSI engine.

The D8 GTO-RS was announced as a limited edition of 40 units in 2016, encouraging Donkervoort to create Bare Naked Carbon and Race editions. The Bare Naked Carbon Edition will be limited to 15 units, with all the carbon fibre elements left exposed. The Race version is optimised for the track.

Calafiore C10Top Marques 2017

We won’t claim to know much about the Calafiore C10 – the firm’s website has yet to be updated – but we know that the Italian hypercar will produce something in the region of 1,000hp. It’s the result of “the combination of supersonic jets and the cars of Le Mans 24 Hours”. Interesting…

Frangivento Asfane FV-CharlotteTop Marques 2017

The FV-Charlotte is the roadster version of the Frangivento Asfane, built in Italy and dedicated to Monte Carlo. The electric supercar is the work of Italians Giorgio Pirolo and Paolo Mancini.

Asfane is taken from ‘As-fa-nen’, meaning ‘it can’t be done’ in piemontese dialect, a reference to Pirolo and Mancini’s desire to keep pushing the boundaries. The supercar of the future is dedicated to Charlotte Church. Probably.

Sin R1 550Top Marques 2017

The Sin R1 550 was unveiled at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, but is in Monaco to give people another opportunity to check out its rather dramatic styling. It’s powered by a 7.0-litre V8 engine producing 550hp, along with an option for fitting a fully-sequential racing gearbox with paddle shifters.

We’re trying desperately hard to be polite about the styling, but it’s all in the name of airflow. The cabin features non-adjustable carbon fibre seats developed at the Sin Cars factory in Daventry.

Venturi Formula-ETop Marques 2017

For Monaco-based Venturi, Top Marques is like a home from home. After four rounds of the Formula E championship, the Venturi team is propping up the table with three points.

Venturi will be hoping for more luck when the Formula E juggernaut rocks silently into Monaco for round five of the championship. The race uses a modified configuration of the iconic GP street circuit, but retains the same start/finish line.

Test Drive PitTop Marques 2017

What makes Top Marques unique is the opportunity to test drive cars on the famous GP circuit. Note the Mini Remastered by David Brown Automotive in the foreground. Monaco is the ideal location to showcase the talents of a Mini costing upwards of £50,000.

20 seriously cool family cars

20 seriously cool family carsBeing practical doesn’t necessarily mean having to give up your street cred. When the time comes to transport a growing family, there are ways and means to resist the slide into blandness. These 20 cars prove that you can achieve domestic bliss, yet still gain envious glances in the supermarket car park.

1982 Peugeot 505 Familiale20 seriously cool family cars

Notable for being Peugeot’s last rear-wheel-drive production car, the 505 was produced in various forms between 1978 and 1999. With more than 1.3 million sold, it must have done something right, but the version we’re interested in is the ‘Familiale’. Introduced at the 1982 Geneva Motor Show, this estate offered seating for up to eight thanks to a folding third-row bench. Oh, and the styling was a collaboration with Pininfarina, which clearly ratchets up the cool points.

1984 Renault Espace20 seriously cool family cars

Often cited as being the first real MPV, the original Espace landed in 1984 after a lengthy and tumultuous gestation period. Designed by Chrysler UK to replace the uncool Talbot Rancho, it then ended up in the hands of PSA Peugeot Citroen. Finally, via Matra, the Espace went on sale badged as a Renault. Its fibreglass body was novel, but customers took time to warm to the radical styling. Today, if you can find one, it would make a suitably leftfield family transporter.

1986 Mercedes-Benz W124 E-Class Estate20 seriously cool family cars

Get ready to tick off the typical Mercedes-Benz list of clichés with the W124 E-Class. Yes, this estate is from the time when Mercedes models were associated with ‘vault-like’ build quality and ‘bulletproof’ reliability. Most significant was the option of seven seats, courtesy of a rear-facing third row that folded flat into the boot floor. This combination of space, plus the ability to rack up galactic mileage, means the W124 wagon still commands strong prices.

1957 Chevrolet Nomad20 seriously cool family cars

Proving that family transportation was cool more than six decades ago, the Nomad was related to the iconic Chevy Bel Air. Featuring a two-door shooting brake design with a split two-piece tailgate, the Nomad offered practicality and good looks. For 1957, it gained the option of the wondrously named ‘Super Turbo Fire V8’ with 283hp from this cutting-edge fuel-injected engine. Only sold for three years, you’ll need at least $45,000 (£35,000) to rock this retro-cool look.

1959 Ford Country Squire20 seriously cool family cars

Proving that car manufacturers were doing ‘lifestyle’ photoshoots long before the Lycra-clad 1990s, it’s the 1959 Ford Country Squire. This particular car featured push-button lifestyle accessories, with a roof-mounted boat that flipped over to reveal a tent beneath. There was even an electric fridge in the boot. The Country Squire soldiered on as part of the Ford range until 1990 when America fell out of love with the station wagon. In case you’re wondering, the woodgrain trim was fake – and had been since 1953.

1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer20 seriously cool family cars

Another car guilty of the fake veneer treatment was one that can legitimately claim to be the first premium SUV. Introduced in 1963 by the Kaiser Jeep Corporation, the Wagoneer had an upmarket interior that set it apart from other 4×4 models at the time. By 1991, and under the control of Chrysler, the last few Grand Wagoneers were even more luxurious and better equipped. Accordingly, they attract premium prices from collectors.

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk20 seriously cool family cars

Jeep hasn’t forgotten how to produce cool family machines since the Wagoneer, although the brand-new Trackhawk is desirable for slightly different reasons. Taking the 707hp 6.2-litre supercharged V8 engine from the Dodge Challenger Hellcat and mating it to a 4WD system means 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds. Top speed is an equally ridiculous 180mph.Plus, you can set the suspension and gearbox to ‘Track mode’ should you want to get impress at the race circuit. Sick bags don’t appear on the options list, but at least the leather upholstery will be wipe-clean.

1998 Toyota Land Cruiser Amazon20 seriously cool family cars

Cool doesn’t necessarily mean fast or stylish. In fact, for family transport, automotive chic can be as simple as dependability in the most extreme situations. With a lineage that stretches back to 1951, the Land Cruiser has built a reputation for reliability and trustworthiness. Just ask Land Rover what it did for their export sales in places like Australia. The J100 Amazon, introduced in 1998, could be had with a 4.7-litre V8 engine, and offers a sense of quiet confidence when tackling the school run.

2000 Volkswagen Sharan 2.8 VR620 seriously cool family cars

Much like this decade has been defined by the SUV, the 1990s were the era of the MPV. Offerings like the Sharan – and its Ford Galaxy/SEAT Alhambra sisters – were the answer to almost every family problem. Even the need to drive a seven-seater MPV, with a 2.8-litre 201hp narrow-angle V6 engine, was covered. Picking the VR6 still only meant 0-60mph in 10.6 seconds, but fuel economy dropped to a faintly ridiculous 22mpg. A small price to pay for transporting your kids with a six-cylinder soundtrack?

2001 Vauxhall Zafira GSi20 seriously cool family cars

The first-generation Zafira suffers from something of an image problem, perhaps not helped by Vauxhall’s TV adverts with Griff Rhys Jones. But in 2001, Vauxhall launched the sporty GSi version, with a 189hp turbocharged 2.0-litre engine from the Astra. A 0-60mph sprint of 7.5 seconds, combined with relatively subtle styling, make this something of a Q-car. If you can cope with the badge snobbery…

2006 SEAT Altea FR TFSI20 seriously cool family cars

Rarer and even more random than the Zafira, the Altea FR TFSI offers a fleeting chance that buying a compact MPV doesn’t mean giving up completely. Not only does it feature styling by Walter de Silva – he of Alfa Romeo 156 fame – but the FR had the option of a 197hp 2.0-litre TFSI engine. That’s the very same engine that powered the Mk5 Golf GTI, to much acclaim from journalists and enthusiasts alike. FR spec also means sports suspension, meaning this Altea handles better than you might imagine.

2006 Ford S-Max 2.5 Titanium20 seriously cool family cars

However, the title of ultimate performance MPV must go to the original Ford S-Max. Using the 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine from the Focus ST, its 216hp output means 0-60mph in 7.4 seconds and top speed of 143mph. Add a five-cylinder warble, seven seats and impressive handling, and the S-Max becomes quite a desirable package. It also proved popular with numerous police forces, adding an extra layer of coolness.

1995 Volvo 850 T-5R

20 seriously cool family cars

Also beloved of the constabulary, the 850 T-5R was a worrying presence in the rear-view mirror of many motorway drivers. Created as Volvo went through a period of reinvention, the T-5R was a limited edition that used a 245hp 2.3-litre turbocharged engine. Although offered in estate and saloon body styles, the wagon was infinitely cooler – not least because of the 850 estate campaigned in the British Touring Car Championship.

2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX Wagon20 seriously cool family cars

Not officially sold outside of Japan, and created in limited numbers, the Evo IX Wagon is an opportunity to transport your family in a unique machine. Only 2,500 were built, melding the Evo IX saloon chassis to bodywork from the regular Lancer estate, with extensive additional welding and strengthening. Power was unchanged at 276hp, as was the full-time 4WD system with active centre differential. Tracking down an import might not be easy, but will be worth it.

2006 Audi B7 RS4 Avant20 seriously cool family cars

Flared wheelarches, Audi build quality and a 4.2-litre V8 engine that also saw service in the original R8 supercar. Not a bad place to start for a five-door estate, and such qualities made the RS4 a genuine challenger to the BMW M3. A rear-biased Quattro drivetrain offered slip and security in equal measure, while 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds is more than fast enough for a family wagon.

2007 BMW E60 M5 Touring20 seriously cool family cars

In the early 2000s, BMW established a reputation for building the most powerful V10 engines in Formula 1. Although they never took a World Championship against a dominant Ferrari team, BMW still won plaudits for its 10-cylinder powerplant. Seeking to capitalise on this, it equipped the E60 M5 with a 5.0-litre V10 producing 500hp. A semi-automatic gearbox allowed drivers to live out their inner Juan Pablo Montoya fantasies, with launch control offering lightning-fast getaways from a standing start. Today it looks almost subtle but, to those in the know, this is an achingly cool machine.

2017 SEAT Leon ST Cupra 30020 seriously cool family cars

Despite the love for crossovers and SUVs, compact estate cars have seen a renaissance in recent years. The SEAT Leon ST has proven to be very popular, not least because of striking good looks, strong equipment levels and decent value. Top of the tree is the Cupra 300, which makes, as the name suggests, 300hp from its 2.0-litre turbo engine. Consider the Cupra 300 a cut-price version of the Golf R Estate and it makes a surprising amount of sense, with even the option of 4WD on the cards.

2004 Subaru Forester STi20 seriously cool family cars

If 4WD really is a necessity for your family needs, how about another import-only Japanese creation? With the 2.5-litre flat-four boxer engine from the Impreza WRX STi, this second-generation Forester made 265hp. That’s good enough for 0-62mph in around 5.0 seconds, with Brembo brakes and tuned suspension to keep everything in check. Fuel economy might not be family-friendly, at 25mpg or less, but just remind yourself that you’re buying a practical estate with rally pedigree.

2016 Audi RS Q3 Performance20 seriously cool family cars

Should you want retro-rally ancestry in your family car, the RS Q3 could be the choice for you. The five-cylinder turbocharged engine sounds like those used in the wild Group B Quattro rally cars of the 1980s, even if the RS Q3 has to make to do with only 362hp. Performance specification brings cool-looking titanium alloy wheels and blue Alcantara seats. But ultimately you’re buying it for the noise made by the giant oval tailpipe.

2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI five-door20 seriously cool family cars

If a hot hatch is meant to be all things to all people, the Golf GTI is surely the ultimate expression of that. It’s classless yet classy, desirable but affordable, and as practical as a regular Golf hatchback. Does family motoring get cooler than this? The latest GTI is an absolute corker, with 230hp on tap from its 2.0-litre turbo motor. Make sure you keep it five-door and you’ll have a car that’s as usable as any normal family hatchback, but with a badge that truly means something.

Porsche tops list of Europe’s most popular classics

Porsche tops list of Europe's most popular classicsClassic Trader, Europe’s largest classic car trading website, has announced that the total value of vehicles currently on sale on the site has eclipsed €1 billion for the first time. To mark the occasion, the website has revealed the most popular makes and models, ranked by the number of listings that currently appear on the site.

Porsche dominates the list, with four different 911s appearing in the top ten. Here, we rank the cars in reverse order.

10. Jaguar E-type Series 1Porsche tops list of Europe's most popular classics

Average asking price: £139,100

With an average asking price of £139,100, the Jaguar E-type S1 – or XKE in the US – is the most valuable car in the top 10 and arguably the most beautiful. “If a new car ever created greater excitement around our office than the new Jaguar XKE, we can’t remember it”, said Road & Track in September 1961.

The E-Type went on sale in 1961 with a bargain price tag, including taxes, of £2,097 for the convertible and £2,196 for the coupe. It was replaced in 1968 by the less desirable, and therefore less valuable, Series 2.

9. Mercedes-Benz SL R129Porsche tops list of Europe's most popular classics

Average asking price: £19,100

Few cars have aged as well as the Mercedes-Benz SL R129. Unveiled at the 1989 Geneva Motor Show, the response was so positive, anyone who placed an order was forced to accept a delivery period of several years. Production continued until 2001, by which time more than 200,000 units had rolled off the Bremen production line.

The last truly beautiful Mercedes (discuss…) was the first car to feature an automatic roll-over bar, along with a soft-top that could be opened or closed within 30 seconds. The most common model is the 5.0-litre V8, with some 79,827 units built, while the entry-level SL 280 V6 is the rarest.

8. Porsche 993Porsche tops list of Europe's most popular classics

Average asking price: £81,900

If Mercedes-Benz struggled to keep up with demand for the R129, Porsche had a similar ‘problem’ with the 993. Launched in 1994, the 993 was able to boast a series of technical and visual changes, with only the doors and front bonnet carried over from the 964.

As the last air-cooled Porsche, the 993 is one of the most sought-after 911s on the classic car market, hence the average asking price. In the Ultimate History of Porsche, current editor of Evo magazine, Stuart Gallagher, wrote: “The fact that Porsche arrived at this beautifully honed vehicle when it did is fitting, because as the sun set on 1997 the air-cooled 911 had come to the end of its long and illustrious life.”

7. Alfa Romeo GiuliaPorsche tops list of Europe's most popular classics

Average asking price: £30,700

The Alfa Romeo Giulia was introduced in 1962 and wouldn’t bow out until 1977. In that time it evolved and spawned many variants, establishing the Alfa Romeo brand as we know it today. Regardless of the body shape, the Giulia was a true drivers’ car.

According to Classic Trader, the cars featured in the top 10 represent almost 12% of the total trading volume on the website, resulting in sales of €118 million. Other cars, such as the Citroen LNA, Saab 90 and Toyota Tercel weren’t able to contribute quite as much.

6. Mercedes-Benz SL W113Porsche tops list of Europe's most popular classics

Average asking price: £83,600

The fact that three generations of Mercedes-Benz SL appear in the top 10 suggests that the car is in strong demand. The W113 had the unenviable task of following the first generation SL, something it managed with startling ease. It’s all about the oh-so-pretty styling, with its hardtop earning it the nickname of ‘Pagoda’.

In truth, the second coming of the SL was more boulevard cruiser than it was precision instrument, but it remained a thing of beauty. This was the first sports car to feature crumple zones and a rigid passenger cell.

5. Fiat 500Porsche tops list of Europe's most popular classics

Average asking price: £9,800

The smallest car in the top 10 has a fittingly small price tag. The Fiat Nuova 500 was unveiled in 1957 and helped mobilise an entire nation. It measured just 9-feet long and was one of the very first city cars ever built. Perfect for navigating the congested streets of Turin, Rome and Milan.

The early cars featured suicide doors, but these were phased out in 1965 amid safety fears. Nearly 3.5 million units were built before production ceased in 1975 and the 500 was replaced by the 126.

4. Porsche 964Porsche tops list of Europe's most popular classics

Average asking price: £62,300

To the untrained eye, the Porsche 964 looked like an evolution of the outgoing 911, but it was in fact 85% new. The Carrera 4 was the first 911 to feature an all-wheel drive system, sending 31% of the torque to the front and 69% to the rear.

Power was sourced from a 3.6-litre flat-six engine, itself a development of the 3.2-litre unit found in the outgoing 3.2 Carrera. The all-wheel drive 964 may have upset the purists, but it appealed to a broader and affluent audience, with strong sales helping to secure Porsche’s future. Besides, a rear-wheel-drive variant arrived in 1990.

3. Mercedes-Benz SL R107Porsche tops list of Europe's most popular classics

Average asking price: £24,700

The SL R107 enjoyed a near two-decade production run, making it the second longest single series Mercedes-Benz after the G-Class. Just like its predecessors, the R107 – introduced in 1971 – was a huge hit on the tree-lined boulevards of America.

At the time of preparing this feature, there are 626 Mercedes-Benz SL models for sale on Classic Trader. Prices range from £3,995 for a 1982 380 SL to £1.6 million for a 1956 300 SL ‘Gullwing’.

2. Porsche 911 pre-impact bumperPorsche tops list of Europe's most popular classics

Average asking price: £98,100

In 1974, Porsche was forced into redesigning the 911 to satisfy new US safety regulations. The result was the so-called ‘impact bumper’, designed to keep their shape in the event of a 5mph accident. Many would argue that the new bumper only served to dilute the purity of the original 911.

The Porsche 901 – renamed the 911 as of model year 1965 – was unveiled at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show as a successor to the 356. Right now, there are more than 1,000 Porsche of all types for sale on Classic Trader, with prices ranging from £15,215 to £1.4 million.

1. Porsche 911 impact bumperPorsche tops list of Europe's most popular classics

Average asking price: £55,500

Regardless of what you think about the impact bumpers, the G-Series remains one of the most iconic 911s of all-time. It was, after all, the sports car so beloved of the ‘Yuppie’ generation, all red braces, shoulder pads and mobile phones the size of bricks.

The design of the impact bumpers differed according to the market. In the US, the bumpers were connected to the body using hydraulic impact absorbers, while non-US cars used more cost-effective impact pipes. In 1989, the G-Series was replaced by the 964.

The 10 hottest new SUVs at the New York Auto Show

New York Auto ShowUnless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you’ll know that SUVs are hotter than hot cakes right now. New car buyers simply cannot get enough of the high-ridin’ heroes of the high street.

The 2017 New York Auto Show offers everything from a supercar-taming Jeep to a crazy concept from Toyota. We check out 10 of the best SUVs on display.

Jeep Grand Cherokee TrackhawkNew York Auto Show

Jeep’s claim that the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is the “quickest SUV ever” might ruffle a few feathers at Tesla, but there’s no doubting its performance credentials. The supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine delivers 707hp and 645lb ft, enough to keep that new Dodge Demon thingy on its toes.

The top speed is 180mph, while the 0-60mph time is polished off in 3.5 seconds. For reference, the Tesla Model X will sprint to 60mph in a claimed 2.9 seconds. But if the Tesla represents the future of the SUV, the Trackhawk is thoroughly old-school. A jackhammer to Tesla’s silent assassin.

Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S CoupeNew York Auto Show

Nearly 50 years of AMG history has led us here: to the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S Coupe. The 4.0-litre V8 biturbo produces 503hp and 516lb ft of torque, helping to propel the aesthetically-challenged SUV to 60mph in 3.7 seconds.

The Coupe shares many of its styling cues with the standard and more practical GL63 SUV, which means a bold AMG Panamericana grille at the front and an aggressive rear bumper featuring an integrated diffuser. The key difference is the sloping roofline, which gives it the look of a classic coupe. That’s if you squint. Like, really hard. No, harder than that.

Chevrolet Tahoe RSTNew York Auto Show

Keen not be left chasing shadows – or rather the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk – Chevrolet has released a Rally Sport Truck (RST) package for the Suburban and Tahoe. The RST delivers the obligatory styling upgrades and larger wheels, but it’s the Tahoe that has piqued our interest.

Tick the box marked ‘Performance’ and the Tahoe RST is treated to the 6.2-litre V8 engine lifted straight out of the Silverado. While 420hp and 460lb ft of torque might not seem like a big deal in a world where the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk exists, it certainly makes for an interesting SUV. The 0-60mph time of 5.7 seconds is more hot hatch than supercar, mind.

Lincoln NavigatorNew York Auto Show

Nobody does supersize SUVs quite like the Americans, and the new Lincoln Navigator has the potential to be the best of the breed. Lincoln claims that it will elevate “family travel to first class” and it’s certainly large enough to rival an airliner, with enough comfort and convenience features to challenge a first class departure lounge.

It’s lighter, too, with a new aluminium-alloy helping the new Navigator to tip the scales some 200 pounds lighter than before. That said, it’ll still weigh the equivalent of an out-of-town supermarket. Power is sourced from a twin-turbocharged V6 engine producing 450hp.

Volvo XC60New York Auto Show

If the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade are prime examples of all-American SUVs, the Volvo XC60 offers a more European flavour. Introduced at the 2007 North American International Auto Show, the XC60 muscled in on the US market, quickly establishing itself as Volvo’s best-selling vehicle.

More than a million XC60s have been sold, which represents 30% of Volvo’s global sales, so there’s a lot of pressure resting on the shoulders of this good looking SUV. If it’s as good as the XC90 – which we suspect it will be – it stands every chance of picking up where the old model left off.

Buick EnclaveNew York Auto Show

The Enclave is as important to Buick as the XC60 is to Volvo. Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick and GMC, called the original model a “game-changer”: a reference to the fact that it arrived at a time when GM was in need of a hero. The outgoing model has been on sale for close to a decade: a testament to its success and popularity.

The new Enclave is bigger than before, but remains powered by a 3.6-litre V6 engine, with power increased to 302hp. Buick has used the new Enclave to launch the new Avenir sub-brand. Think along the lines of Ford’s Vignale, with plusher materials, improved tech and a higher price.

Subaru AscentNew York Auto Show

If Subaru wants to mix it with the big boys, it needs an authentic SUV. Something larger than the Outback, tougher than the XV and less niche than the Forester. The Ascent concept previews a future three-row SUV that will be called the, er, Subaru Ascent.

The good news is that the interior looks superb, complete with middle-row captain’s chairs and three seats in the third row. You also know that it will be formidable off-road. The bad news is that the Ascent will be sold exclusively in North America.

Infiniti QX80 MonographNew York Auto Show

To say that the Infiniti QX80 Monograph is slightly less ugly than the current QX80 would be like saying Freddy Krueger is slightly less scary than Michael Myers. While it might be true, it’s still going to give you nightmares. But don’t worry, it’s just a design study, so there’s still time for Infiniti to have a rethink.

Infiniti has issued many words to promote the Monobrow – 1,224, to be precise – but doesn’t give too much away. The alloy wheels, in case you’re wondering, are 24-inch in diameter and overlap the tyres to present the appearance of 26-inch rims. An SUV for the Middle East, perhaps, but not one for Middle England.

Range Rover VelarNew York Auto Show

The Range Rover Velar is old news. Fresh from its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, Ellie Goulding was invited to take a tour of New York in the SUV that will sit between the Evoque and Sport in the Range Rover range.

Three engine options will be offered in the US, including a 247hp 2.0-litre petrol, 180hp 2.0-litre diesel and 380hp supercharged V6 petrol. “I have always been a big Range Rover fan”, said a starry-eyed Ellie Goulding.

Toyota FT-4XNew York Auto Show

Half-Blade Runner escapee, half-lifestyle accessory, the Toyota FT-4X concept is based on the same platform as the new CH-R. That makes it a potential rival for the Jeep Renegade – if Toyota builds it.

Inside, there’s an instrument cluster that looks like a smartphone, a removable radio and door handles that double as water bottles. There’s also a GoPro camera mounted in the door mirror. Young, outdoorsy types will love it. If only they could afford to buy new cars…

The 10 fastest new cars at the New York Auto Show

The 10 fastest new cars at the New York Auto Show

Petrolheads: worried that motor shows are all getting a little too… green? If eco-cars and autonomous tech don’t float your boat, New York is the show for you. From bonkers Dodge Challengers to hardcore Lamborghinis, the 2017 New York Auto Show has it covered.

A few of the new SUVs unveiled in New York could pummel their way into this gallery, but as we’ve covered these separately, you won’t find them here.

Bugatti Chiron

Bugatti Chiron

It has to be the Bugatti Chiron, right? With 1,500hp from its 8.0-litre W16 engine, victory was never in doubt. The ultimate hypercar hits 62mph in 2.5 seconds. Top speed? That hasn’t been confirmed yet, but expect something north of 270mph.

It may be fast, but the Chiron has never been much of a looker. Especially in US-spec, as seen here, with blocky rear bumpers designed to meet low-speed impact requirements. Reverse-park with caution, people.

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

The much-teased Dodge Challenger SRT Demon has been anything but fast arriving, but it’s finally here. It packs an incredible 840hp and can hit 60mph in just 2.3 seconds. Drag racers will be keen to hear it can cover the quarter-mile in 9.65 seconds, with a terminal speed of 140mph.

That power comes from a 6.2-litre Hemi V8 producing a, er, considerable 770lb ft of torque. Oh, and a massive 2.7-litre supercharger also lends a hand. It’s got clever drag car technology to help put that power down, too.

Audi RS5

Audi RS5

The Audi RS5 made its European debut at last month’s Geneva Motor Show, but arrives in the US for the first time. We’ll take any opportunity for another look at the RS5, which features the compulsory RS honeycomb grille along with an optional carbon fibre roof and 20-inch alloys.

Of course, what we really care about is what’s under the bonnet. There’s a 2.9-litre twin-turbo petrol engine, as used in the Porsche Panamera S, which replaces the 4.2-litre naturally-aspirated V8 of its predecessor. It boasts 444hp, hits 62mph in 3.9 seconds and is good for a top speed of 174mph.

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate

The GLC63 may have been attracting all the attention on the Mercedes stand, but in the corner is this: the Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate. The car makes its US debut after a European reveal at Geneva. Like the saloon, it’s powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 producing a not-too-shabby 603hp.

More than 600hp means this family estate will hit 62mph in 3.4 seconds, while four-wheel drive helps in the bends. To give its eco credentials a helping hand, it also features cylinder-deactivation tech as standard.

Nissan GT-R Track Edition

Nissan GT-R Track Edition

Yes, it’s yet another Nissan GT-R. This one is the Track Edition, which slots in between the regular model and the hot Nismo. It makes do with the same 565hp 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 as the standard GT-R, along with four-wheel drive and a dual-clutch gearbox.

So what’s different? The Track Edition boasts a titanium exhaust, while Nismo has fiddled with the suspension to help shave 8.1kg off the overall weight. There are cosmetic tweaks inside and out, while Nismo’s 20-inch forged alloy wheels complete the look.

Porsche 911 GT3

Porsche 911 GT3

Another Geneva debut has made its way across the Atlantic. This time it’s the hardcore Porsche fan’s choice: the 911 GT3. For 2017, power from its naturally-aspirated 4.0-litre flat-six has been boosted to 500hp. Yes, 500hp.

As a result, the track-focused 911 will hit 62mph in 3.2 seconds and is good for a top speed of 197mph. As standard, it’ll come with a seven-speed PDK auto gearbox (boo!), but buyers can opt for a six-speed manual (hurrah!). Cosmetic tweaks are minimal, but it does feature a larger diffuser, along with a carbon fibre wing.

Audi TT RS

Audi TT RS

The Audi TT was always considered a bit of a soft option – a car for those who cut hair for a living. Not so the 400hp TT RS, which boasts genuine supercar-baiting performance: 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 174mph.

Tim Pitt of Motoring Research got a bit carried away on the TT RS launch. He said: “On sinuous switchbacks that snake through rock-strewn valleys, the uber-TT feels in its element. Magnetic Ride adaptive dampers (another option, naturally) hunker it down deliciously, before another huge slug of turbocharged torque blasts us between the bends. It’s deft and controlled, yet utterly explosive.”

Lotus Evora Sport 400

Lotus Evora Sport 400

With 400 horses from its mid-mounted supercharged V6, the Evora Sport 400 does the benchmark 0-62mph sprint in 4.1 seconds and 186mph flat-out. But it’s the way this car goes around corners that makes it really special.

Lotus is expecting big things in the US for its Evora 400, so it’ll be pleased about the attention it’s getting out here in New York. How many of these admirers will be tempted one over the obvious Porsche, we wonder.

Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid

Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid

Think hybrids are only for Uber drivers and right-on Hollywood celebs? Think again. Porsche’s second Panamera hybrid has a V8 (as opposed to a V6) petrol engine, plus an electric motor. The combined result is a mighty 680hp, plus a (faintly ridiculous) official fuel economy figure of 97mpg.

That prodigious power output means the Turbo S E-Hybrid will blast to 62mph in 3.2 seconds and reach 192mph. Not bad for a luxury four-seater with a large boot. The ‘family’ 918 Spyder?

Audi RS3 Saloon

Audi RS3 Saloon

With 400hp, the Audi RS3 is officially the world’s hottest hatch. Except there’s also a saloon version for that authentic ‘junior RS4’ look. Quattro four-wheel-drive helps the RS3 to 62mph in 3.9 seconds, plus a top speed of 174mph.

Peter Burgess of Motoring Research was one the first journalists to drive the 2017 Audi RS3. He said: “While it’s hard not to like the BMW M2, or the more aggressive attitude of the Mercedes-AMG A 45, the RS3 is simply the better all-rounder. Easier to drive fast, and more pleasant when all you need is a regular hatchback (or saloon) that’s nice to live with. You make fewer compromises with the RS3, and to us that makes it a winner.”

The cars most likely to be written off

The cars most likely to be written offThe percentage of vehicles checked with at least one serious warning against them increased from 25.6% in 2015 to 28.5% in 2016. That’s the warning from used vehicle checker, which has released write-off, finance and stolen risk data for its 10 most searched-for makes.

The most common serious risk, write-off, increased from 29% of all warnings in 2015 to 33.6% last year. It pays to approach with caution when buying a used car as doing a little pre-purchase research will reduce the risk of buying a pup. The question is: what cars are most likely to be written off?

10. BMW: 17.88The cars most likely to be written off

There are four write-off categories, ranked in order of serious. In summary, these are: Category A – scrap only; Category B – car to be crushed, but parts can be salvaged; Category C – vehicle repairable but costs exceed market value; Category D – vehicle repairable, but repair costs are significant.

Taking this into consideration, a car declared a Category C or D write-off needn’t be a risky purchase, you simply need to do your homework.

9. MINI: 18.28%The cars most likely to be written off

It’s also worth bearing in mind that a Category C or D car will be worth less on the used car market. This should play a part in your negotiations.

MINI finished 9th with 18.28% of vehicles checked returning a write-off warning.

8. Renault: 18.59%The cars most likely to be written off

In June 2001, the Renault Laguna became the first car to be awarded a five-star Euro NCAP rating for occupant protection.

According to, 18.59% of all Renault vehicles checked returned a write-off warning.

7. Nissan: 18.61%The cars most likely to be written off

If you want to keep a car declared as a Category C or D write-off, the insurance company will provide a payout and then sell the vehicle back to you. You must send the complete log book back to your insurance company before applying for a duplicate log book using a V62 form.

Around 18.6% of Nissan vehicles checked returned a write-off warning, according to the figures.

6. SEAT: 18.69%The cars most likely to be written off

Meanwhile, SEAT finished 6th with 18.69% of vehicles checked returning a write-off warning.

5. Peugeot: 18.81%The cars most likely to be written off

In September 2016, the Peugeot 208 Active was revealed to be the most written-off car in the UK, based on data collected between January and June 2016.

Nearly half of all 208 Active models checked were previously written off. Across the entire year, Peugeot finished fifth.

4. Suzuki: 19.09%The cars most likely to be written off

Roger Powell said: “Any previously written off vehicle must be viewed with caution, especially when inspecting the quality of repairs.

“The implications of being involved in a further accident in a car which has not been properly repaired don’t bear thinking about.”

3. Ford: 19.21%The cars most likely to be written off

Powell continued: “In a survey a couple of years ago, 79% of customers said they wouldn’t buy one.

“The flipside is that some buyers are happy to look at Category C or D write-offs and use the data to push for a price reduction.”

2. Vauxhall: 19.99%The cars most likely to be written off

In a previous survey, three of the vehicles in the top 10 had a Vauxhall badge. More specifically, the Corsa Limited Edition, Corsa SRi and Corsa SXi.

Vauxhall finished second in the table of the most searched-for makes.

1. Honda: 21.65%The cars most likely to be written off

For the second year running, Honda was the worst for written-off cars, with 21.65% of all vehicles checked returning a warning.

If in doubt, get a used car check. If you’re still in doubt, walk away and look at something else. There are plenty more cars in the classifieds.

Jaguar F-Pace wins World Car of the Year 2017

The World Car Awards this year had the honour of opening the New York Motor Show, revealing the 2017 winners at a big ceremony.

With the first all-SUV showdown for the overall World Car of the Year Award, plus intriguing big-brand battles in the other categories, it was guaranteed to be standing room only. And so, without further ado, the awards got underway…

World Car of the Year 2017: Jaguar F-PaceWorld Car of the Year Awards

Runners up: Audi Q5, Volkswagen Tiguan

The Jaguar F-Pace has triumphed in the 2017 competition, scooping the overall World Car Awards’ Car of the Year prize. In a resounding victory, Jaguar’s first-ever SUV beat the formidable pairing of the Audi Q5 and Volkswagen Tiguan.

Jaguar Land Rover CEO Dr Ralf Speth was on hand to collect the prize – and was absolutely delighted at beating the might of the Volkswagen Group. He made sure to send thanks back to the design and engineering teams back in the UK, and suggested that this success “gives me more energy to go and do more.”

The World Car Awards jury offers prizes for individual categories as well. It celebrates the finest luxury, performance and green cars in the world – plus, new for 2017, the best urban cars. A World Car Design of the Year Award is also given out. Let’s see which other brands triumphed.

World Luxury Car of the Year 2017: Mercedes-Benz E-Class

World Car of the Year AwardsRunners-up: BMW 5 Series, Volvo S90/V90

The World Luxury Car prize is always hotly-fought. This year, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class took the prize – but it didn’t come without a fight…

The all-new BMW 5 Series is brilliantly capable: a driver’s delight and a luxury car star. The trouble is, the latest Mercedes E-Class is fantastic, too. Ultimately, the prize this year went to Stuttgart, not Munich.

Volvo was proud to make the top three with its groundbreaking new S90 saloon and V90 estate. They couldn’t quite beat the BMW or Mercedes-Benz, but going head-to-head with them in the run-off is nothing to be ashamed of.

World Performance Car of the Year 2017: Porsche 718 Boxster/CaymanWorld Car of the Year Awards

Runners up: McLaren 570 GT and Audi R8 Spyder

The latest Porsche 718 Cayman and Boxster have proven controversial new additions because of their four-cylinder turbo engines. It seems the WCOTY jurors looked past the shock of the new, though, and discovered just what brilliant performance cars this well-priced duo are.

Porsche beats McLaren – yes indeed! The 570S ‘Sports Series’ is a top-notch supercar, but it’s perhaps not quite the well-rounded package Porsche offers with its 718 range.

The Audi R8 is a former winner of the World Performance Car prize, but its Spyder soft-top sibling couldn’t quite nose over the line ahead this year. A finalist place is still commendable, though.

World Urban Car of the Year 2017: BMW i3 94AhWorld Car of the Year Awards

Runners up: Citroen C3, Suzuki Ignis

This is a new category for 2017. The World Urban Car honours models that are small in size, but not in ability. The inaugural winner is the BMW i3 94Ah, with its extended EV battery finally making it the complete package in the judges’ eyes.

Citroen has rediscovered its mojo. The funky-looking C3 is a supermini that’s jumped from the bottom of the class to the top of its game. A very worthy finalist indeed.

The third World Urban Car finalist was the Suzuki Ignis, a radically-styled budget city car that’s charming and charismatic, but also well-designed and fun to drive. Throw in great-value prices and it’s easy to see why it was a top-three finalist.

World Green Car of the Year 2017: Toyota Prius PrimeWorld Car of the Year Awards

Runners up: Chevrolet Bolt, Tesla Model X

The World Green Car award celebrates forward-looking green tech. This year, it seems the plug-in hybrid capabilities of the Toyota Prius Prime – known as the Prius Plug-In in the UK – impressed the judges most. All the usability of the best-selling Prius, but with added EV-running capabilities: what’s not to like?

The surprise of the World Car Awards 2017 was the Chevrolet Bolt not scooping the Green Car award. It seems the judges liked the all-round abilities of the Toyota more than they valued the innovative design of the Chevy Bolt. A bolt from the blue for GM?

Sorry, Elon Musk, the World Green Car of the Year prize was denied you. Your Model X is fantastic, but it’s just a bit too expensive and exotic to be a genuine real-world green car contender. Maybe the Model 3 will change things?

World Car Design of the Year 2017: Jaguar F-PaceWorld Car of the Year Awards

Runners up:Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet, Toyota C-HR

There was an added surprise for Jaguar – it also won the World Car Design of the Year, again for the F-Pace. “This one’s for you, Ian Callum,” said Dr Ralf Speth when accepting the prize. A fine tribute to the man who has done so much for Jaguar design, including overseeing the creation of a double World Car Awards-winner.

The fancy, fantastic S-Class Cabriolet is a luscious-looking thing, but the expert design panel felt it wasn’t quite innovative enough to topple the Jaguar.

And the Toyota C-HR is a futuristic design, all lines, creases, angles and slashes. But perhaps it’s just too radical for the 2017 WCOTY judges?