McLaren-Ford MP4/8 Ayrton Senna

Ayrton Senna’s historic McLaren-Ford heads to auction

McLaren-Ford MP4/8 Ayrton Senna

Nearly 25 years ago, Ayrton Senna won his sixth and final Monaco Grand Prix, setting a record for victories that remains unsurpassed, even today.

His car in 1993 – a McLaren-Ford MP4/8 – is arguably the star lot at the forthcoming Bonhams Monaco sale, where it’s likely to fetch more than the $1m fee Senna was reportedly paid – per race – in his final season with McLaren.

For McLaren, the decision to use Ford power for the 1993 season was not without risk – and by the company’s own admission, it was a bit of gamble. But Honda’s departure from F1 and a failed attempt to secure Renault engines meant the British company was forced into a corner.

Design work on the MP4/8 started without a clear idea of which engine would be used, with the new engine supplier not announced until November 1992. Relying on a proprietary unit cast a shadow over a team accustomed to using bespoke engines from the likes of TAG Porsche and Honda. Senna was far from convinced.

V8 good, V10 better

At times it seemed uncertain that Senna would line up on the grid alongside Michael Andretti. The Brazilian knew that Williams-Renault was the dominant force and that a compact Ford V8 engine would be unable to compete with a Renault V10.

But the MP4/8 was advanced in other areas, most notably its electronic engine management software, chassis control, data acquisition and telemetry systems. The 1993 car could also boast an electronic control panel in the cockpit, plus upgraded active suspension and traction control.

Ron Dennis managed to negotiate a race-by-race contract for Senna, which resulted in five victories and second place finishes in the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships. But ultimately, it merely delayed the inevitable, and Senna departed for Williams, a move which resulted in tragedy the following year.

As for McLaren, having tested a Lamborghini V12 engine, the company would link up with Peugeot in 1994, with the 3.5-litre V10 MP4/9 of Mika Häkkinen and Martin Brundle finishing fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.

McLaren-Ford at 1993 Monaco GP

The Master of Monaco

Senna’s old MP4/8 – chassis number six – is described by Bonhams as being “startingly well-preserved” and in running order, with Mark Osborn, the auction house’s global head of motorsport, saying: “Ayrton Senna was the most charismatic Grand Prix car driver of the modern era, and the MP4/8A was the car with which his team, McLaren, surpassed Ferrari as the most successful team in Formula 1 World Championship history.

“This particular chassis, number six, cemented Senna’s legend as The Master of Monaco. We at Bonhams are both honoured and thrilled to be presenting one of the most significant Grand Prix cars of all time. It is his Monaco winner, it is a runner, and now it could be yours.”

Including his famous victory at Monte Carlo, Senna drove chassis number six in no fewer than eight of the 1993 season’s F1 races. It then completed the year as a spare car in Japan and Australia.

The car will be on display at Les Grandes Marques du Monde sale at the Grand Palais, Paris, on 6, 7 and 8 February, before going under the hammer at the Bonhams Monaco sale on 11 May.

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2018 Honda Civic i-DTEC diesel

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Lamborghini Urus

2018 Lamborghini Urus super-SUV arrives in London

The SUV from a supercar maker makes its UK debut

Lamborghini Urus

Video: Lamborghini Urus SUV debuts in London

Lamborghini Urus

Meet the most controversial car of 2018. The Lamborghini Urus certainly isn’t a sports car – and it sure ain’t pretty – but this 650hp SUV promises to double Lambo sales.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new Urus – including our video tour from the exclusive London launch.

Video: Lamborghini Urus UK debut

Lamborghini has form with 4x4s. The original ‘Rambo Lambo’ was the LM002 of 1986, a road-legal military vehicle powered by a Countach-sourced V12.

The Urus is more Daniel Craig than Sly Stallone: a sporty crossover coupe, not a mud-n-guts off-roader. Its rivals include the Range Rover, Bentley Bentayga and Porsche Cayenne Turbo – plus the forthcoming Ferrari SUV, due in 2020.

Right-hand-drive deliveries start in late summer, with prices from around £165,000.

Angular and aggressive

Lamborghini Urus

The Urus is based on the Volkswagen Group’s MLB Evo platform, which underpins everything from the Audi A4 to the Bentley Bentayga.

Its styling owes much to Lamborghini’s Huracan and Aventador supercars. Angular and aggressive, it’s a riot of sharp creases, muscular bulges and gaping air intakes, riding on huge 23-inch alloys with bespoke Pirelli rubber.

A tapering roofline augments the visual drama, although the Urus still has five doors: note the awkward placement of the rear door handle atop the wheelarch.

The first turbocharged Lamborghini

Lamborghini Urus

Sadly, the Urus doesn’t use the Huracan’s screaming, naturally-aspirated V10 – or indeed the Aventador’s majestic V12. But don’t worry, there isn’t a diesel version… yet.

Instead, this is Lamborghini’s first turbocharged production car. Its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive.

Outputs are 650hp at 6,000rpm and 627lb ft of torque at 2,250rpm. In a car weighing a not-inconsiderable 2,200kg, that translates to 0-62mph in 3.6sec and a 189mph top speed. Fortunately, huge carbon-ceramic brakes are standard.

As for fuel economy and CO2 emissions, those figures haven’t been released yet. Reckon on 20mpg and 300g/km and you shouldn’t be disappointed.

Six drive modes, from racetrack to snow

Lamborghini Urus

The Urus accommodates four, with a split/fold rear seat and 616 litres of luggage space. We’re not convinced the boot’s suede lining is entirely practical, though.

Drivers are offered a choice of six modes, from Corsa (track) to Neve (snow) and Sabbia (sand). Air suspension boosts ground clearance by up to 90mm in the off-road settings – perfect for those lofty Kensington kerbs.

The 4WD system has a sporty, rearward bias in normal conditions, with a Torsen differential to shuffle traction around when needed. Electromechanical anti-roll bars and rear-wheel steering should also help it handle like a Lamborghini.

Backwards step or brave new world? Look out for our first drive of the Lamborghini Urus later this spring.

In pictures: 2018 Lamborghini Urus

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Warranty company reveals the largest bills paid in 2017

Car warranty company reveals the largest bills paid in 2017

Warranty company reveals the largest bills paid in 2017Buy a new car and it’s likely to come with a three-year warranty, but many manufacturers will offer extended warranties for an additional premium. Alternatively, some new cars will be covered for five or even seven years, providing peace of mind until as late as 2025. But what do you do when the warranty expires?

You’re faced with three choices: sell the car, chance your arm, or opt for an aftermarket warranty. Typically, you’ll pay anything from £100 to £500 a year, but in return you’ll be covered in the event of the failure of mechanical or electrical parts. Warrantywise has just released details of the top 10 car repair bills it paid in 2017, and the costs will send shockwaves through your wallet. All photos used are for illustrative purposes only.

10: Audi TT engine (£5,084)

Warranty company reveals the largest bills paid in 2017

It’s worth pointing out that not all aftermarket car warranties are created equal. There are a number of different options out there, offering various levels of protection. Many will cover the major mechanical and electrical parts, but others might include protection against MOT failure and multimedia malfunction. In 2017, Warrantywise paid just over £5,000 when an engine failed on an Audi TT.

9: Mercedes-Benz C-Class sensors (£5,134)

Warranty company reveals the largest bills paid in 2017

A similar figure was paid out for failure of the sensors on a Mercedes-Benz C-Class. We took a look on the Warrantywise website, where we were quoted £2,000 for a three-year warranty on a 2014 Mercedes-Benz C220. This includes a garage labour rate of up to £35 an hour and a single repair limit of £5,000. Increase these rates, and add the likes of multimedia, MOT and emissions cover to the package, and the cost will increase.

8: Porsche Cayenne oil leak (£5,494.38)

Warranty company reveals the largest bills paid in 2017

Even something that appears to be a relatively minor issue can cost an arm and a leg to repair, like the £5,500 it cost to repair the oil leak on a Porsche Cayenne. If this doesn’t encourage you to investigate the cause of that puddle on your driveway, nothing will.

7. Ferrari 599 gearbox (£5,745.22)

Warranty company reveals the largest bills paid in 2017

You wouldn’t buy a Ferrari 599 expecting to see running costs on a par with a Ford Fiesta, but finding £5,745 at the drop of a hat would be a stretch for most people. The Warrantywise website features a handy tool which provides an insight into the items most likely to go wrong on each car. The Ferrari dropdown menu includes everything from a 575M F1 gearbox (£6,161.21) to a 430 sensor (£2,171.09).

6. Lamborghini Aventador clutch (£5,954.02)

Warranty company reveals the largest bills paid in 2017

But it’s important to stress that big bills aren’t the preserve of exotic supercars. Warrantywise paid an eye-watering £453.29 for a brake caliper for a Daewoo Kalos and £431.10 on a heater matrix for a Daewoo Tacuma. A latch on a Proton GEN-2 cost £320.03, while a new engine on a Kia Sorento weighed in at £2,950. Not quite Aventador clutch money, but in relative terms it’s quite a chunk.

5. Maybach 62S brakes (£6,110.94)

Warranty company reveals the largest bills paid in 2017

The Maybach 62S is a lumbering beast of car, so you need to ensure the brakes are up to scratch. Spending £6,110 on the braking system should ensure the anchors are fit for purpose. Speaking of luxury motors, we took at look at Rolls-Royce, and discovered that Warrantywise has paid out for repair bills of up to £3,619.74 on the Phantom.

4. Dodge Journey gearbox (£6,262.54)

Warranty company reveals the largest bills paid in 2017

Yes, somebody in the UK actually bought a Dodge Journey, and when the gearbox went, they probably wish they hadn’t. Fortunately for them, Warrantywise covered the cost, which came in at a staggering £6,262. There are many faults listed under the heading of ‘Dodge’, so a warranty is likely to be a good move.

3. Nissan GT-R gearbox (£6,271.38)

Warranty company reveals the largest bills paid in 2017

On this evidence, the Nissan GT-R is a supercar-tamer with supercar-rivalling costs, should things go wrong. In addition to the £6,271 paid out in 2017, Warrantywise has previously forked out £9,500 and £6,187 for two separate gearboxes, and £4,890 for various engine faults.

2. Land Rover Discovery 4 engine (£8,527.80)

Warranty company reveals the largest bills paid in 2017

The Warrantywise website makes for grim reading for anyone who has recently purchased a used Land Rover. The Range Rover Sport looks particularly troublesome, with the table filled with bills upwards of £2,200. But each one is dwarfed by the £8,527.80 claim for a new Discovery 4 engine in 2017. Ouch.

1. McLaren MP4-12C gearbox (£10,000)

Warranty company reveals the largest bills paid in 2017

Imagine being faced with the prospect of a new gearbox on a McLaren MP4-12C. We suspect that the round figure is based on the upper limit of the warranty cover, which would suggest that the final bill was even higher. MP4-12C owners might want to wrap their seven-speed dual clutch gearbox in cotton wool.

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BMW 8 Series

BMW 8 Series teased ahead of Paris Motor Show debut

BMW 8 Series

It’s easy to be cynical about the new BMW 8 Series. An indirect replacement for the 6 Series, the new model will lack the pop-up headlights and pillarless doors of the original. Despite that, BMW’s working hard to get us excited about its new flagship coupe ahead of its official debut later this year.

The latest tease is these spy pics, as well as a video and some blurb about it undergoing testing in Aprilia, Italy.

By badging the new coupe as an 8 Series rather than a 6 Series, BMW’s expecting to bump up prices and make it a rival to the likes of the Bentley Continental GT. Essentially a two-door version of the 7 Series, the new 8 Series is likely to share engines with the saloon. That means buyers will get a choice of six-cylinder diesels and petrols, a V8 petrol and even a plug-in hybrid. A V12 is expected to follow in the future, appeasing performance fans.

Initially being launched as a coupe, spy snappers have already seen a convertible version being tested its reveal mooted for the LA show in November.

BMW revealed the 8 Series in concept form at last year’s Villa d’Este concours in Italy. The low-slung concept coupe featured a driver-focused cabin, while an iDrive controller made from Swarovski glass hinted at the production car’s high-end aspirations.

As you’d expect for a German premium brand’s range-topper, the 8 Series will be packed with autonomous driving kit, while the interior will no doubt be pretty special. We expect to find out at the Paris Motor Show in September, unless BMW continues to drip-feed teaser shots.

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BMW 8 Series Coupe in testing

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We’ll see the final production version very soon – in the meantime, BMW’s keeping us keen…

Woodworth, Hagerty Garage Find

Ferrari, Cobra worth $4 million found in condemned NC garage

Woodworth, Hagerty Garage FindA North Carolina garage was opened for the first in decades, unveiling some of the rarest sports cars in the world with a preliminary estimated value of $4 million.

Among the finds was an 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB, one of only a handful built with an alloy body. Amazingly, the svelte silver coupe only has 13,000 miles on the clock. Under the hood is a two-cam V12 designed by Gioacchino Colombo, sporting three twin-throat Weber carburetors.

Woodworth, Hagerty Ferrari

Similar cars in have sold in the $5-8 million range, though those examples were in pristine condition, had six twin-barrel downdraft carbs and historic pedigrees. This one is a little less than pristine. 

Sitting next to the Ferrari was another once in a lifetime find: a completely unmolested 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 with only 19,001 miles showing on the odometer. The chassis number identifies the roadster as one of approximately 100 built equipped with a 428-cubic-inch engine rather than a 427.

Woodworth, Hagerty Cobra

According to legend, the substitution was either a cost-saving measure by the car’s builder, Carrol Shelby, or due to Ford’s inability to supply enough of the more powerful, race-proven 427s.

The owner of the cars drove them into the garage following the motorcycle death of his trusted mechanic and personal friend. Another suitable mechanic was not found, and the years rolled by.

Though in an upscale neighborhood, the garage in which the vehicles were stored was recently condemned by the city, giving the cars’ owner mere weeks to find a new home after 26 years of storage.

Woodworth, Hagerty Ferrari

Also inside the building is a 1976 Triumph TR6 with only 9,000 miles, a propane-powered 1978 Morgan Plus 8 with only 3,000 miles, and a mid-1980s BMW 325ix.

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Revealed: the genuinely clever way you could save money on car insurance

Revealed: the clever way you could save money on car insurance

Revealed: the genuinely clever way you could save money on car insurance

Car insurance premiums are on the upagain – and many of us are searching for ways to save cash on our renewal. Of course, there are the usual answers: using comparison sites, adding named drivers and even buying a lower-risk car; but one firm claims that its motor excess insurance could be a further way to save cash.

Essentially, motor excess insurance is an extra policy on top of your standard car insurance policy. While you’d usually have to pay a hefty insurance excess if involved in a crash deemed your fault, motor excess insurance will pay out in such a scenario to cover your excess, leaving you nothing more to pay (except, perhaps, increased premiums next year).

So how will paying more for an extra policy save you cash at renewal time? Ramping up your optional insurance excess will reduce your premium and, according to Questor Insurance, using its motor excess insurance cover could work out cheaper than simply reducing your excess.

It provides some examples, based on a policy for a 2016 Fiat Punto insured on a fully-comprehensive policy.

Example one is a 17-year-old driver with a £250 excess quoted at £2,005.85. If the excess amount is increased to £1,000, the insurance premium reduces to £1,742.92, equating to a 13 percent saving (£262.93). Insurance excess cover costs just £45.21, and will reduce that £1,000 premium to nothing.

Another example, involving a 60-year-old driver, saves more than £250. Seems pretty good on the face of it, doesn’t it?

The best way of deciding whether this ‘trick’ works for you is to get a few quotes and varying your excess. We can’t vouch for Questor Insurance, nor its motor excess insurance cover, so do your research and read the small print.

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Mercedes-AMG GLA 45

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