15 percent of the new Porsche 911 isn’t new

Porsche 911 isn't new

As much as 15 percent of the new 992 Porsche 911 is carried over from the outgoing 991-generation car that first debuted in 2011.

Spoiler alert, you might be thinking (sarcastically). Indeed, the 992 feels like a facelift and then some, rather than a completely all-new car.

That’s not such a bad thing, is it? The 991 evolved into an excellent car in the end, after a rather shaky start. Indeed, the 997 of 2004 was something of a refinement of the all-new generation of 911 that came in with the 996 in 1997.

Porsche 911 isn't new

“The entire car is itself an innovation, with plenty of details which true Porsche enthusiasts will appreciate”, Member of the executive board for procurement, Uwe-Karsten Städter reassures us.

“The car follows firmly in the tradition of our previous rear-engine sports cars, though the familiar contours of the shell belie the cutting-edge technology underneath: more than 85 percent of all parts are new.”

So what does the 992 actually borrow from the 991? Well, though similar looks may deceive, almost nothing carries over body wise. Even the door handles are new flush items. The track is wider, the body is all aluminium and the cabin has been completely overhauled.

Porsche 911 isn't new

Underneath is where we start to see familiarity. The engines, in particular, are a development of the turbocharged units seen in the outgoing second-generation 991. You can expect some smaller, more insignificant, marque-wide components to be carryovers, too. Nothing to write home about, if you will.

Indeed, none of this takes away from the fact that the 992 got rave reactions from the outset. Something the then all-new 991 sorely missed when it introduced direct fuel injection, a controversial seven-speed manual transmission and electric steering back in 2011.

Future Volvos will be limited to 112mph from next year

Volvo speed limit 2020

Volvo’s position on the market as a leader in automotive safety is being further cemented, as the marque takes a stance against speeding with a range-wide speed limit of 112mph.

It aims to “send a strong signal about the dangers of speeding” by limiting the speed on all of its cars to 180kph, or 112mph. When, you ask? It will begin from 2020, as a part of Volvo’s Vision 2020 initiative. This aims to see that no one is killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo after 2020.

Plugging the ‘gaps’ in automotive safety

Volvo speed limit 2020

Volvo concludes from its research that there are three ‘gaps’ that need plugging on the way to ending serious injuries and deaths in its cars. Speed is considered one of the most prominent, alongside intoxication and distraction.

“Volvo is a leader in safety: we always have been and we always will be,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.

“Because of our research, we know where the problem areas are when it comes to ending serious injuries and fatalities in our cars. And while a speed limitation is not a cure-all, it’s worth doing if we can even save one life.”

It’s not just top speed that Volvo is investigating, either. Geofencing with automatic speed limits coming into effect in appropriate areas such as near schools is a serious avenue of investigation for the marque.

Volvo aims to address the latter ‘gaps’, presenting ideas at a safety event in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Do carmakers have a right to limit speeds?

Volvo speed limit 2020

That is an interesting question and one that Volvo is aware needs answering. Nevertheless, it’s happy to play devil’s advocate and open up the conversation.

“We want to start a conversation about whether car makers have the right or maybe even an obligation to install technology in cars that changes their driver’s behaviour, to tackle things such as speeding, intoxication or distraction,” said Mr Samuelsson.

“We don’t have a firm answer to this question, but believe we should take leadership in the discussion and be a pioneer.”

Volvo speed limit 2020

What is for sure is that while this seems a touch shocking, speed limiters are nothing new. Just look at the German ‘gentleman’s agreement’ 155mph limit, which was for environmental reasons at the time. Limits for safety are nothing new, either. The Bugatti Chiron is limited to 261mph, for instance…

Another more down to earth example is the country-wide limits on cars in Japan, to 111.8mph. That limit initially came with a horsepower limit on production cars too, to 280hp. Let’s see where this conversation goes. We’re sure Volvo is the right brand to open it up.

Jaguar I-Pace is European Car of the Year 2019

Jaguar I-Pace Car of the Year 2019The Jaguar I-Pace has been revealed as 2019 European Car of the Year in a ceremony on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show.

Remarkably, it was an unprecedented tie vote, with both the Alpine A110 and Jaguar I-Pace scoring 250 points. This dramatically caused confusion during the ceremony as there can only be one winner.

The rules state a count-back should ensue, taking the top votes from each country for the two cars. In this thrilling ‘shoot-out duel’, the Jaguar emerged as the winner, with 18 points to 16.

It is the first time this has happened in the history of Car of the Year. 

Car of the Year 2019 logo

This year’s Car of the Year winner was, admitted the judging panel in a statement, “impossible to predict… the cars are very different in terms of market segments and positioning”. You can say that again.

Watch: how Car of the Year 2019 unfolded

Jaguar design director Ian Callum accepted the award. “Wow!,” he said. “Was that exciting or what?” It is the first time Jaguar has ever won Car of the Year, he added. “Everyone back at home will be exceedingly proud of this result.

Surprisingly, there was only one other traditional SUV, the Citroen C5 Aircross, alongside the winning Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV. Three family hatchbacks made the final running – the Kia Ceed, Ford Focus and Mercedes-Benz A-Class – along with the Peugeot 508 executive saloon and Alpine A110 sports car.

Car of the Year: how it works

Geneva COTY 2019

The Car of the Year prize first ran in 1964 and, this year, 60 models were part of the initial selection. Months of testing whittled this down 38, and then, to the final seven, which were tested by jurors at a research centre in Paris last month. There, final votes were made.

Each of the 60 jurors has 25 points to award, and they must give points to at least five cars. The jury comprises experts from 23 countries across Europe – and all votes are transparent; see them soon on the organisation’s website.

The Car of the Year organisers are also making efforts to increase female representation on the jury panel. Today, there are four; a fifth is about to be recruited and by Car of the Year 2020, six female jurors are expected to serve.

Car of the Year 2019: the results

1 – Jaguar I-Pace: 250 points

Jaguar I-Pace

2 – Alpine A110: 250 points

Alpine A110

3 – Kia Ceed: 247 points

Kia Ceed

4 – Ford Focus: 235 points

Ford Focus

5 – Citroen C5 Aircross: 210 points

Citroen C5 Aircross

6 – Peugeot 508: 192 points

Peugeot 508

7 – Mercedes-Benz A-Class: 116 points

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Car CO2 emissions at new five-year high

JATO CO2 emissions

CO2 emissions are at a new five-year high as the popularity of carbon-heavy petrols over diesels increased in the wake of NOx emissions scandals, according to JATO Dynamics.

JATO recorded a rise in 20 of the 23 markets analysed across Europe, observing an average of 120g/km of CO2. For reference, 2015 and 2016 saw drops down from 2014’s 123g/km figure to 119g/km and 117g/km respectively. Once the market shift away from diesel took effect, the change is obvious. A rise to 118g/km in 2017 was followed by a jump to 120.5g/km last year.

Of the 23 markets analysed, only three show an improvement in their CO2 figures in 2018 compared with 2017. Congratulations Norway, the Netherlands and Finland… Norway’s dropped an incredible 11.4g/km, from an already low 83.7g/km to 72.4g/km. The large-scale adoption of electric and other alternative fuel vehicles has had a considerable effect in these regions.

“The introduction of WLTP in September 2018 has been a challenge for the market, as a large number of available vehicles had not been homologated yet,” said Felipe Munoz, JATO’s global analyst.

“The increase in CO2 is certainly worrying and bad news for governments and most carmakers. Instead of moving forwards, the industry is regressing at a time when emissions targets are getting tougher”.

The demonisation of diesel to blame

JATO CO2 emissions

Demand for diesel is recorded as being down by 18 percent in 2018, following the scrutiny of the fuel after scandals such as dieselgate and a focus on nitrogen oxide emissions.

“The positive effect of diesel cars on emissions has faded away as their demand has dropped dramatically during the last year,” follows Munoz.

“If this trend continues and the adoption of alternative fuelled vehicles doesn’t accelerate, the industry will need to take more drastic measures in order to meet the short-term targets.”

SUV popularity not helping

It’s not all to do with the drop in diesel sales, though. JATO is suggesting that the rise in popularity of SUVs has contributed to the jump in CO2 figures. As many as 16 new models debuted in the SUV segment, while SUV CO2 numbers worsened by 1.4g/km on average.

Remember that when you consider that the SUV segment was the only to register an overall positive change last year. SUVs accounted for 35 percent of passenger car sales, as city cars and subcompacts reduced in sales by 1.5 percent.

The Sentinel is SVO’s new bullet-proof Range Rover

Range Rover armoured

Persons of importance with a penchant for stately British transport, listen up: this could be your new ultra-safe vehicle of choice. Coming courtesy of Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, is the Range Rover Sentinel.

Because is your armoured car really armoured if it isn’t named after the mutant-slaying robots from the X-Men comics?

Readying a Range Rover for battle

Range Rover Sentinel

So what does it take to turn a Surrey Mum’s school run express into one of the safest moving vehicles on the planet? Let’s run through the Range Rover Sentinel’s extensive list of upgrades.

Range Rover Sentinel

Most obviously, a tonne of armour, literally… The reinforced glass, bodywork, roof blast-protection and everything else adds more or less a tonne to the Rangie’s already hefty curb weight. Needless to say, suspension components, chassis and braking systems have been necessarily upgraded to carry it.

Range Rover Sentinel

The protection cell is certified ballistic and blast resistant, with the exterior armour designed to keep occupants safe from ‘unconventional forms of attack’ like improvised explosive devices. Run-flat tyres can go for up to 30 miles at 50mph if damaged.

Range Rover Sentinel

There is the option to add a droppable window, to 150mm, for ‘document delivery’, as well as a ‘public address system’, for if you wanted to chat with potential assailants and attackers. Optional too are sirens and emergency lighting.

Range Rover Sentinel

Under the bonnet is the ubiquitous 5.0-litre supercharged V8, as seen across the top of the JLR range, making all three tonnes (plus!) of the Sentinel good for 62mph in 10.4 seconds. It’ll also get it up to a 120mph limited top speed.

Range Rover Sentinel

It wouldn’t be a Range Rover if it wasn’t one of the nicest places in which to find yourself. As such, in spite of its battlefield readiness, the cabin remains as luxurious as ever. Legroom, headroom and seating are improved and the latest 10-inch Touch Pro Duo equipped infotainment systems come as standard.

Range Rover Sentinel

The car will debut at the Home Office Security and Policing show this week (5-7 March 2019). If you want one, you’d best get in line behind the Queen, the Prime Minister and various other high-value targets.

London’s Direct Vision Standard for HGVs to tackle truck visibility ‘crisis’

DVS Direct Vision Standard London HGV

London’s Direct Vision Standard (DVS) for HGVs will be rolling out this autumn, with the goal of improving road safety for everyone. How? Getting blind spot-riddled HGVs up to a base standard for operation on urban streets, or banning them altogether.

If successful, the scheme will be rolled out country-wide, and even across the world.

How dangerous are HGVs on urban streets?

What’s the big deal, though? Well, alarming statistics have inspired this move. Despite making up just four percent of miles driven in London, HGVs are responsive for 63 percent of fatal collisions with cyclists, and as many as 25 percent of pedestrian deaths.

Based on those numbers, poor visibility for truck drivers in the capital is little short of a crisis.

How does DVS work?

The vehicles will be judged with a rating of between zero and five, for how much the operator can see directly out of the vehicle without relying on mirrors and cameras. Permits will need to be awarded to vehicles with an insufficient rating in order for them to be allowed in London.

What can be done to fix them?

And you can only get one of those permits by improving your vehicles safety rating. By Transport for London’s reckoning, as many as 35,000 of the 188,000 HGVs operating in the London will be banned by October 2020. That’s when zero-rated trucks’ time is up.

By 2024, only three-star vehicles or above will be allowed to drive in the city, at which point it’s expected up to 94,000 vehicles will be banned.

Getting a safety permit

DVS Direct Vision Standard London

The above safety permit can be earned via a variety of measures to improve driver visibility and therefore, pedestrian safety. More comprehensive mirrors, a battery of cameras with screens and warning chimes for pedestrians are on a list of utilities that can be retrofitted in order to improve a HGV’s safety rating.

Aztec Barchetta: You could own the weirdest supercar in the world

Aztec Barchetta weirdest supercar in the world

Do you fancy an Aztec Barchetta? No, we don’t know what this oddball supercar is either, but we do fancy it. And as luck would have it, there’s one for sale with Auto Zitzmann in Nuremberg. As luck wouldn’t have it, it’s listed for over £860,000. Drat…

But exactly what is an Aztec Barchetta? It’s an Italdesign-penned sports car, of which it is believed around 20 were made (although Wikipedia says ‘between 18 and 50’). At present, this is the only one available.

Aztec Barchetta weirdest supercar in the world

As you can see, it’s a true speedster with a fully open top. Its covered rear wheels ape the Group C racing machinery of the era. Aero-tastic!

It’s probably definable as a supercar in looks alone, too. The numbers aren’t that impressive. Weighing around 1,500 kg (3,300 pounds), it’s only got around 250 horsepower from a turbocharged five-cylinder Audi engine to ferry it along. It’ll do 0-60 mph in around 7.5 seconds, with power going to all four wheels via a five-speed transmission.

Aztec Barchetta weirdest supercar in the world

This car is ‘Argento Silver’ with a grey cabin, and has 4,349 miles on the odometer. Speaking of that cabin, we’re not sure where to begin… It’s got to be one of the most quirky car interiors we’ve ever clapped eyes on. Driver and passenger are actually separated by a divider, so in-car communications devices are required to keep in touch.

It does have what appears to be a retro-fit in-car screen and sat-nav, which is nice.

Aztec Barchetta weirdest supercar in the world

In short, if you’re feeling brave, and if an Elise is just a bit too mainstream (and too affordable) for you, maybe the Aztec Barchetta is for you? Do let us know if snap it up, won’t you…

1967 Volkswagen Beetle

Snap up these 8 classics before it’s too late

1967 Volkswagen BeetleIn the classic car market, timing is everything.

In spring of 2015, it seemed like prices would go up forever. Prices had been appreciating since the end of the Great Recession and buyers were betting the farm this was a permanent state of affairs.

Just a short time later, two years of declining prices promoted pundits to decree the bubble burst and the market melting down. In retrospect, those headlines might have been a bit sensational.

Prices for some models have indeed flatlined, but savvy buyers have started shopping outside of the status quo. Red-hot, investment-quality cars are changing shape as younger buyers enter the market.

Pundits we trust, like Eric Wiener at Hagerty Classic Car Insurers, are constantly crunching the numbers to identify vehicles that are primed to go up in value. Using data from based on auction sale results and insurance quoting activity, these are the cars to buy now, while they’re still affordable.

Prices are for vehicles in #3 (Good) condition.

More classic cars from Motoring Research:

1949–67 Beetle

1967 Volkswagen Beetle

Median value: $14,900

It’s hard to imagine a more affable car than the VW Beetle. They’re relatively affordable, simple to maintain or even work on, and genuinely fun to own and drive. There is no city on earth where a classic Bug doesn’t inspire smiles from passerby.

The entry-level classics have attracted the attention of Gen X and Millennials, keeping values strong and expected to waft upward. Interest in show- and concours-quality Beetles is growing; values on the top end of the market should start rising as well.  

1994–99 Ferrari F355

1999 Ferrari F355

Median value: $51,000

The F355 has appeared in dozens of the video games loved by Gen X and Millennials, but remained unpopular with the usual Ferrari collectors. It’s hard to predict exactly when prices will bottom out, but interest is starting to grow with younger buyers.

And why not? The F355 is chance to experience Ferrari ownership for the price of a Ford F-150 (and not a particularly well-equipped one, at that). Younger buyers attach no stigma the “lowly” V8, the same engine that makes investors wary and has kept prices flat.

Interest in 1990s cars is growing. Childhood nostalgia—even if it’s electronic—combined with relatively affordable pricing should pique interest in the F355 in the coming years.

(shown: 1999 Ferrari F355)

1968–71 Mercury Cyclone

1968 Mercury Cyclone

Median value: $16,200

The Mercury Cyclone became a slick, Ford Torino-based fastback in 1968, leaving behind the Fairlane-based coupe body from the year before. NASCAR wins and an optional Cobra Jet engine created a spicy, high-performance image for the mid-level luxury car.

Today, the Cyclone is often overlooked, with Ford muscle fans gravitating to the Mustang or Torino. It remained one of the cheapest Cobra Jet cars on the market, however, and buyers are beginning to notice. Interest across the model range is climbing, with insurance quotes up 85 percent over the previous year and insured value up a third.

(shown: 1968 Mercury Cyclone GT)

1991–95 Alfa Romeo Spider S4

1992 Alfa Romeo Spider

Median value: $14,900

Alfa left the U.S. market in 1995 and few Millennials or Gen Xers have any real connection to the brand. Prices for the lithe and pretty Spider have remained fairly steady over the last decade, while values of clean, low-mile vintage Miatas have started shooting up.

That seems to be changing, however. Insurance activity has increased significantly over the last year, and auction prices have climbed nearly 20 percent. Alfa’s renewed presence on our shores may be reminding older buyers how much they once loved the storied brand. With their kids are off raising families of their own, perhaps now seems to be the perfect time to buy a Pininfarina-designed Italian roadster, albeit one with a modern electronic fuel system.

(shown: 1992 Alfa Romeo Spider)

1983–92 VW Golf MKII

1985 Volkswagen Golf GTI 16V

Median value: $4,900

The Golf Mk II was launched in 1983 and was seven inches longer and two inches wider than its Giugiaro-penned predecessor. The new model built on the hot hatch reputation of the Mk I and was a runaway success: 6.3 million copies were sold by 1992.

Near-ubiquity then has led to desirability now. Nearly every member of two generations has a fond memory of tearing around in the sporty hatch. Their affordability translates to broad interest for younger buyers: 56 percent of insurance quotes are to Millennials, and activity has jumped 22 percent in the last three months alone. Buyers are trying to get in early, before prices jump.

(shown: 1985 Volkswagen Golf GTI 16V)

1968–72 Oldsmobile Cutlass

1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible

Median value: $12,850

Like the Mercury Cyclone, the Oldsmobile Cutlass is a slower-selling upscale version of a popular model, in this case the Chevrolet Chevelle. Median prices generally lag about 10 percent behind the Chevy.

Because it is priced more attractively, however, buyers might be reconsidering the Cutlass. Collectors can get ample investable muscle without the premium associated with the more desirable Chevelle, creating far less downside risk. Auction appearances are up 33 percent year over year, and sale prices up 22 percent.

(shown: 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible)

2005–08 Dodge Magnum

2005 Dodge Magnum RT

Median value: $11,000

The Dodge Magnum reeks with modern muscle car cred. Up to 425 horsepower was available in the rear-wheel drive family truckster, giving it a sleeper status that just adds to its reputation.

Prices bottomed out in 2017, but the average auction price has increased 50 percent since then. Yearly insurance quotes are growing rapidly, though the overall value of the quotes has decreased. While confusing on its face, the signs indicate that shoppers are looking for a bargain value, but collectors have yet to join the fray en masse and drive up prices.

(shown: 2005 Dodge Magnum RT)

1985–89 Ferrari 328 GTB and GTS

1986 Ferrari 328 GTS

Median value: $57,350

The two-seat, mid-engine Ferrari 328 is an icon of the Eighties. Both the GTB berlinetta and targa-topped GTS were equipped with a 270-horsepower 3.2-liter V8, placed amidships (where it should be) and fed by the distinctive ducts behind the doors.

328 values peaked in 2016 and have declined 31 percent since then. Quote activity increased in the last quarter of 2018, perhaps signalling that buyers priced out of the market are ready to return.

Savvy shoppers will look for cars with documented preventative maintenance and little to no rust, as repairs can be shockingly expensive. 6,000 of the GTS and 1,300 of the GTB were produced, so buyers can be selective.

(shown: 1986 Ferrari 328 GTS)

Delays on the UK’s major roads are getting longer

delays and congestion up in 2018

On average in 2018, each of us travelled 0.6 percent slower (59mph) when driving compared to 2017.

Each of us was also delayed by 9.4 seconds per vehicle, per mile, versus speed limits – a 3.9 percent increase in delay from the year before. Overall, we went slower and were delayed for longer on Britain’s major roads in 2018.

The above figures pertain to the Strategic Road Network which is Britain’s 4,300-mile network of motorways, trunk roads and the most significant A-roads, as managed by Highways England. These make up just two percent of roads in the UK, but carry a third of traffic.

What were the figures for less significant A-roads, then? Well, delays have increased on local authority-managed A-roads too, up 0.8 percent per driver per mile to 47.3 seconds compared to a free-flowing standard.

On average, we travelled at 24.9mph (on 60mph-limit roads) which is a 1.3 percent decrease in speed compared with 2017.

Why were drivers even more delayed in 2018?

delays and congestion up in 2018

You could put it down to the major beating the road network took from the cold snap around this time last year. Likewise, updates to our motorways are ongoing, with ‘smart motorway’ installations the bane of many drivers’ commutes.

The rising cost of public transport could have forced more commuters onto the road, too. All we know is we’re going slower and are more held-up than ever.

delays and congestion up in 2018

“More congestion means more wasted time and money, which is clearly bad news for drivers, but it may be a case of short-term pain for long term gain,” commented Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC.

“Much work is being carried out on our motorways to improve capacity by upgrading them to smart motorways, but this inevitably causes delays. Nonetheless, extra capacity is badly needed as Britain now has around 38m vehicles registered for use, and in the 10 years from 2007 more than four million extra vehicles came on to the road – that’s a 12% increase.”

The Toyota Supra has sold out for 2019

Toyota Supra sold out UK

If you wanted a Toyota Supra on your driveway by the end of this year, you’ best have already got your order in. If not, you’re out of luck: the Supra has sold out in the UK for 2019. In fact, it’s sold out across most of Europe, too.

As it stands, Toyota is going through the process of turning reservations into customer orders. You can still get your name down for a car, but you’re unlikely to get one until next year.

Of course, this leaves room for early adopters to capitalise and potentially sell at a profit privately. Indeed, the first production Supra recently sold for a seven-figure sum. Europe was given a 900-car allocation for the first batch of Supra deliveries.

New Toyota Supra revealed at Detroit Auto Show 2019

“I’d like to thank the first 900 customers for their reservations, securing their priority order to access to the Toyota GR Supra, ahead of its official European premiere at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show,” said Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer of the Supra.

“As chief engineer, I can’t wait for the moment when they get behind the wheel, I believe we will reignite the passion and put the fun back into driving for as many people as possible.”

As Tada San says, we’ll have the opportunity to get up close to the new Supra ahead of any deliveries taking place at the upcoming 2019 Geneva Motor Show.