Volkswagen Classic Mission Maximum Booklet

Explore seven decades of groundbreaking Volkswagen history with new book

Volkswagen Classic Mission Maximum BookletLaunched to coincide with the recent Techno Classica 2019 show, Volkswagen has released a special booklet detailing some of the brand’s biggest achievements.

Covering 70 years of motorsport, engineering, and production records, the Mission Maximum collection has been created by Volkswagen Classic.

Responsible for supplying parts to the countless numbers of retro Veedub fans, and celebrating the marque’s history, Volkswagen Classic made a big effort for the Techno Classica event.

Volkswagen Classic Mission Maximum BookletAcknowledged as one of the leading vintage car shows and trade fairs, attendance at Techno Classica typically comes close to 200,000 people.

Held at the Messe Essen exhibition centre, this year’s show was also host to a wealth of modern classic cars going under the hammer as part of the RM Sotheby’s ‘Youngtimer’ sale.

For 2019, Volkswagen Classic brought along six special vehicles to the event, each chronicling impressive record-breaking feats of speed or endurance.

For those who didn’t make the show, they can at least read about those six cars, and more, in the new 68-page publication.

Volkswagen Classic Mission Maximum BookletPerformance records are one of the areas explored in Mission Maximum, with the stunning Volkswagen W12 one of the vehicles to fall under the microscope.

Created to demonstrate the performance of the W12 engine, the one-off supercar featured 600hp and a potential top speed in excess of 220mph.

Between 2001 and 2002, Volkswagen used the W12 to set twelve different speed records at the Nardo Ring circuit in Italy. Most impressive was an average of 200.6mph average maintained for a full 24 hours.

Volkswagen Classic Mission Maximum BookletVolkswagen’s latest record attempts are also detailed, with attention given to the all-electric I.D. R machine, which dominated the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2018.

The company is currently testing and preparing the 680hp I.D. R for an assault on the fearsome Nürburgring-Nordschleife this summer.

Given Volkswagen’s history, it seems entirely plausible that the Mission Maximum booklet will need another new chapter by the end of 2019.

Drive It Day 2019: Six modern classics to buy now

Drive It Day

This Sunday (28 April), thousands of classic cars will take to the road for the annual Drive It Day. First introduced by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs in 2005, the date is as close as possible to the anniversary of the 1,000 Mile Trial – an event that saw vintage motor cars drive from London to Edinburgh and back.

You don’t have to drive to London or Edinburgh for Drive It Day in 2019, but a classic car would help. Which is why we’ve trawled the pages of Auto Trader to find half a dozen classics you can buy and drive home on Sunday.

There are scores of Drive It Day events up and down the country, but check with the organisers before turning up because places are limited. For example, the popular Sunday Scramble at Bicester Heritage is sold out.

Check out the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs’ Facebook page for details of more events, or simply do your own thing. Here are six classics to consider, with prices ranging from less than £500 to £50,000. To add a little flavour, we’ve avoided the usual suspects, so you won’t find any MGBs or Morris Minors here.

£500 budget: Mazda Demio

Mazda Demio

Look, you’re not exactly spoilt for choice when you’re rummaging around for roadworthy ‘classics’ in the bargain basement bucket. But while the Sunday Scramble might be off limits, this Mazda Demio is perfect for the Sunday Cup.

Fans of the Gran Turismo franchise will remember this little upstart from the original game and will have fond memories of maxing it out on the Autumn Ring and Grand Valley East.

This 2000 example is the posh spice variant: the Aegean was a special edition introduced in 1999. The mileage is on the high side and the MOT expires in June, but it looks like an honest example. And it’s only £395.

£1,000 budget: Volvo 940

Volvo 940

The Volvo 940 holds a huge amount of retro appeal – not to mention a huge amount of luggage space – not least because it’s a proper, old-school, rear-wheel-drive Volvo estate.

In fact, putting aside the V90 model name change in 1996, this is Volvo’s last rear-wheel-drive wagon. That’s got to be worth 975 notes on its own.

The vendor is selling it on behalf of his father, who has owned the car for the past 13 years. It looks in fine condition, while a fresh MOT should provide some piece of mind. Some new front tyres could be in order, mind.

£5,000 budget: Citroen BX

Citroen BX estate

The BX was a gamechanger for Citroen in the UK, with the turbodiesel models catapulting the brand into the hearts and minds of the nation’s company car drivers. In its day, the BX was the slightly eccentric and more interesting alternative to the likes of the Ford Sierra and Vauxhall Cavalier.

We’re not going to pretend that the best part of three grand is a cheap price for a K-reg BX estate, but this car is well on the way to modern classic status. And although we’d prefer an early model with the purer Gandini styling and original dashboard, a very late example holds some appeal.

We also like the fact that this BX19 TGD doesn’t have a single MOT advisory to its name since 2009. So much for French fragility.

£10,000 budget: Daihatsu Fourtrak

Daihatsu Fourtrak

The last time you saw a Daihatsu Fourtrak it was probably axle-deep in mud or propping up a dilapidated barn on a farm. These things are the workhorses of the rural community: rarely treated with compassion, but plugging on until the floor falls to the floor.

We suspect the dealer selling this 1992 example is chancing his arm with the price, but how do you value a 4×4 with such low mileage and without precedent?

There are just 26,000 miles on the clock, it has one owner from new and the MOT history is extremely encouraging. Think of it as a retro alternative to the new Suzuki Jimny, without the waiting list.

£20,000 budget: Jaguar XJR

Jaguar XJR

Formed in 1986, JaguarSport was a joint venture between Jaguar and TWR. The aim was to produce sporting versions of Jaguar’s regular saloons, with the cars completed at TWR’s facility in Kidlington.

As it was the 1980s, bodykits were the order of the day, along with Speedline alloy wheels and wider tyres. The majority of the XJ40-based XJRs were powered by a 3.6-litre engine, before the 4.0-litre version arrived in 1989.

Which makes this 1989 example one of the last 3.6 cars. Amazingly, it has been owned by the same gentleman since new and has just 21,000 miles on the clock.

£50,000 budget: Audi RS2

Audi RS2

Richard Gooding drove an Audi RS2 for Motoring Research, saying that “it’s a modern classic and practical performance car icon”.

This 162,000-mile example has been owned by the vendor for the past 11 years and appears to be in fabulous condition. The fact that it’s largely unmodified is a bonus.

If £40k seems like a lot for a 25-year-old Audi estate, remember that the Q5 range kicks off at £41,420. We know what we’d rather be driving on Drive It Day.

Whatever you’re driving this Sunday, have fun and drive safely.

Mecum Indy 2019 Dukes of Hazzard Dodge Charger

You could buy this Dodge Charger stunt car from the Dukes of Hazzard

Mecum Indy 2019 Dukes of Hazzard Dodge Charger

Few cars from TV and film are as instantly identifiable as the orange Dodge Charger which starred in the Dukes of Hazzard.

But don’t be mistaken for thinking this is just another tribute to the General Lee. This particular car put in enough screen time that it really deserved a mention in the end credits.

Heading to next month’s Mecum Auctions Indy 2019 event, this is an opportunity to a piece of real movie history.

Mecum Indy 2019 Dukes of Hazzard Dodge ChargerAdmittedly the 2005 Dukes of Hazzard movie, based upon the classic television series, will hardly go down in the annals of silver screen history. It collected seven nominations at the 26th Golden Raspberry Awards, and was named the worst film of 2005 by one movie critic.

In fact, the film is probably best remembered for Burt Reynolds portraying Boss Hogg, and Jessica Simpson’s cover of ‘These Boots Are Made For Walkin’’.

Oh, and for the stunts performed by the General Lee – the 1969 Dodge Charger, and prize possession of Bo and Luke Duke.

Mecum Indy 2019 Dukes of Hazzard Dodge ChargerThis Charger was one of many used during production of the film, and wears the original ‘stunt car #20’ stickers inside the door and under the hood.

In fact, this particular car is said to have starred in key scenes from the movie, including the final chase scene, and the lengthy drift around Lee Circle.

Unlike the numerous General Lee replicas which are a car show constant, the buyer of this will know it played the part of being a real ‘good ‘ole boy’ on screen.

Mecum Indy 2019 Dukes of Hazzard Dodge ChargerStunt car #20 still wears the battle scars from filming, and is supplied in what Mecum describe as ‘screen-used’ condition.

It means the orange paintwork, General Lee lettering, and Confederate flag on the roof are complete with genuine movie dirt and dents. Clearly this was not the car washed by Jessica Simpson in her music video.

If anything, it only adds to the authenticity, as does the signature from actor James Best, who played Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in the original TV series.

Mecum Indy 2019 Dukes of Hazzard Dodge ChargerPower comes from a 383-cubic inch (6.3-l) Magnum V-8 engine. Although there is no mention of performance upgrades, judging by the film there is more than enough torque to spin the rear wheels.

This car is noted as being one of the few used in the film which featured a four-speed manual transmission, with a Hurst T-Handle shifter attached.

There is also the small matter of the uprated handbrake fitted especially to lock the back wheels, allowing for more lurid fish tail action on camera.

Mecum Indy 2019 Dukes of Hazzard Dodge ChargerOther movie upgrades include an aluminum radiator, a large racing-style tachometer for the interior, and a full roll cage which includes the engine bay.

It means the tan interior is slightly less accommodating than normal, but means you can go leaping ponds and broken bridges with carefree abandon.

And, just for reassurance, there is a ‘Dixie’ horn fitted, along with a front push bar, for full General Lee effect.

Mecum Indy 2019 Dukes of Hazzard Dodge ChargerThe General Lee is one of nine cars heading to Mecum’s Indy 2019 auction from the Joe McMurrey Collection.

McMurrey has become a prolific collector of classic cars, with a real penchant for Shelby Mustangs. That affection began as a school student, and has led to McMurrey owning a string of GT350s and other classic Shelby vehicles.

However, as shown by this Charger, he keeps an open mind to his collection, and admits that when selling cars he is “sad to see them go, but you’re opening up a new chapter in your life”.

Mecum Indy 2019 Dukes of Hazzard Dodge ChargerLot F113 will cross the Mecum auction block on Friday May 17th, with an estimated sale price of $50,000 to $70,000 (£39,000 to £54,000).

Mecum’s Indy 2019 sale will see some 2,000 vehicles go across the block during the incredible six-day event, held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Although Indy 2019 will be packed with collector cars, not many will have had the on-screen prowess to rival the General Lee.

Meet Volkswagen’s new riot-ready police van

Police riot Van Volkswagen Crafter

If you encounter this new Volkswagen, you’re probably on the wrong side of the law. Meet the Crafter riot response vehicle.

How do you transform a humble Crafter into a police van, then? Well, Volkswagen’s blue-light conversion partner, Coleman Milne, does most of the work – starting with an ‘unbreakable’ windscreen and prison cell in the back.

Police riot Van Volkswagen Crafter

There’s also seating for seven, plus storage for riot shields, helmets and more crowd suppression gear. New side windows on the exterior complement the new windscreen, which is made of such strong reinforced plastic that an external metal cage is no longer required.

Along with that, there’s the generic police gear: communications equipment up-front and so on.

Police riot Van Volkswagen Crafter

“We’re delighted to reveal our latest blue-light conversion – a riot van based on the long wheelbase Volkswagen Crafter,” said Steven Cowell of Volkswagen fleet services.

“Following its much anticipated debut at the CV Show 2019, the PSU will be put into service across the country, supporting police forces in their vital roles.”

Police riot Van Volkswagen Crafter

Under the bonnet is an unmodified 2.0-litre 177hp diesel engine: reasonable power, even for the over-five-tonne Crafter. Besides, a lot of a riot van’s best work is done at either very low speeds, or at a standstill.

The new, riot-ready Crafter will be on display at the 2019 CV Show at the NEC in Birmingham, which runs from April 30 to May 2 2019.

Jaguar I-Pace electric car charging at Gaydon

Revealed: the real barriers to drivers going electric

Jaguar I-Pace electric car charging at Gaydon

New research reveals what British motorists’ real concerns are about electric cars, and why many are hesitant to make the switch

The survey by Jardine Motors Group covers 2,000 car owners and throws up some interesting stumbling blocks…

Electric cars are too expensive

Electric car sales USA America Trump

Around three quarters of respondents said electric cars need to be cheaper before they’d seriously consider buying one.

Even with subsidies, electric cars are, generally speaking, more expensive than their internal-combustion counterparts. Save perhaps for the forthcoming Tesla Model 3, which ought to match or beat similar executive cars on price.

The fear of running out of charge

It’s a combination of a charging network that’s perceived as inadequate, plus cars that don’t go far enough and don’t charge quick enough.

Seven in 10 said they were worried about battery life. And eight in 10 of those who are debating the move said they were apprehensive about running out of charge.

Generally speaking, a minimum range of 260 miles was considered desirable before electric cars would be viable. Two-thirds also worry that many electric cars take too long to charge.

Charging an electric car is too complicatedCarwow ULEZ hybrid electric car

Seven in 10 respondents said all new-build homes should have charging points built in, while six in 10 said that it should be made law for employers to install electric car charging facilities.

The general feeling is that charging your car isn’t as easy as filling up with fuel, and that significantly reduces appeal. 

Just 15 percent plan to switch

In total, 300 respondents (15 percent) said they were looking to switch to an EV in the coming year.

Cars like the Kia E-Niro and Hyundai Kona Electric are closing in on a 300-mile range, and more like them are to come. Range is a problem that’s getting solved, gradually.

However, manufacturers still need to bring prices and charge-times down – and a cohesive, easy-to-use charging infrastructure needs to ramp up.

Turin proud: a tour of Fiat’s amazing classic collection

FCA Heritage Hub

Welcome to Italian car heaven – and there isn’t a Ferrari or Lamborghini in sight. Housed inside Fiat’s former Mirafiori factory in Turin, the new FCA Heritage Hub contains more than 250 classics from Fiat, Lancia and Abarth. Concepts, prototypes, coachbuilt one-offs, iconic race-winners… they’re all here. Pitched as ‘not so much a traditional museum space as a three-dimensional archive in constant growth’, it opens to the public soon, but we had a privileged first look. Join us for a guided tour.

Fiat S61 Corsa

FCA Heritage Hub

One of the oldest cars in the collection, this 1908 Fiat S61 Corsa finished third in the first Indianapolis 500-mile race in 1911, then won the US Grand Prix in 1912. Its 10.1-litre (!) four-cylinder engine develops 125hp – good for a heady 99mph. Slowing down was clearly less of a priority: there are no front brakes. The car recently emerged from a 10-year restoration by FCA craftsmen, with many parts fabricated from scratch.

Fiat 500

FCA Heritage Hub

Leapfrog to the present day, and the 500 is the cornerstone of the Fiat range. This is 500 number 001 – the first off the production line in 2007. Its cute styling is a homage to the 1957 Cinquecento, but the 500 was forward-thinking in other ways: the first city car with seven airbags and the option of electronic stability control (ESC). A modern icon, it shows no sign of losing its appeal.

Fiat 500 Coupe Zagato

FCA Heritage Hub

This slightly sleeker 500 is the work of legendary Italian coachbuilder, Zagato. Debuting at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, it was the first car to use Fiat’s two-cylinder Twinair petrol engine. Other highlights include Zagato’s trademark ‘double bubble’ roof, lowered suspension, 17-inch alloys and custom ‘Pop Yellow’ paint. A special edition 500 with more than simply stripes and stickers, then.

Fiat Uno and Panda

FCA Heritage Hub

Fiat’s small-car heritage extends well beyond the 500, of course. Pictured are the Uno – first launched in 1983 – and 1980 Panda. The Uno was Italy’s answer to the Ford Fiesta and notched up nearly nine million sales by the time production finally ceased in 2013. Penned by Giugiaro, it anticipated the trend for taller, MPV-style hatchbacks. The Panda was more radical still, with completely flat glass and hammock-style seats. Its no-nonsense functionality still inspires car designers today.

Fiat Panda Elettra

FCA Heritage Hub

Proof that electric cars are nothing new, the Panda Elettra was manufactured by Austrian company Steyr-Puch from 1990 to 1998. Its 9.2kW motor relies on heavy lead-acid cells and top speed is just 43mph, with a fully-charged range of 62 miles. Those batteries also fill the back of the car, so there are only two seats. The recent Fiat Centoventi concept – which previews the next Panda – does rather better, with a predicted 300-mile range.

Fiat ESV 1500

FCA Heritage Hub

Impact bumpers have come a long way. The 1971 Fiat ESV 1500 (‘Experimental Safety Vehicle’) was the first prototype ‘safety car’ built in Europe. It’s based – believe it or not – on the contemporary 500, although borrows many parts from the 126 city car. Those huge bumpers and side rubbing strips are made from solid foam, while the gawky bodywork conceals a passenger safety cell and reinforced roof.

Fiat ESV 2000

FCA Heritage Hub

This larger ESV 2000 is also on display at the Heritage Hub. A Fiat 127 underneath, the ‘2000’ figure refers to its weight in pounds. For the metrically-minded, that translates to 1,165 kg – around 360 kg more than standard, and certainly enough to give its 1.3-litre engine a good workout. Fiat built 47 ESV prototypes in total.

Fiat 500 ‘Topolino’

FCA Heritage Hub

The 1936 ‘Topolino’ (‘little mouse’ in English), musters a mighty 13hp from a 569cc four-cylinder engine. It helped get Italy mobile again after World War Two, with 520,000 eventually made. In theory, this original 500 is a two-seater, but whole families would often squeeze inside the tiny, 3.2-metre-long car.

Fiat Coupe and Barchetta

FCA Heritage Hub

Fiat doesn’t only do small and sensible. The radical-looking 1993 Coupe was designed by Chris Bangle, who went on to reshape a generation of BMWs. In flagship 2.0-litre 20v Turbo Plus form, it could hit 62mph in 6.3 seconds and 155mph flat-out. The Barchetta (‘little boat’) roadster was launched in 1995, taking on the Mazda MX-5 with a 131hp 1.7-litre engine and a chassis derived from the Mk1 Punto. Only sold in left-hand drive, it was a rare sight in the UK.

Fiat 124 Sport Spider

FCA Heritage Hub

The Fiat 124 Spider recently made a comeback, but this is the 1966-1985 original. Styled by Tom Tjaarda and built by Pininfarina, it was particularly popular in America, where a three-speed automatic transmission was offered from 1979. Power comes from a variety of engines, including a rare Volumex supercharged version. The hard-top Abarth 124 Spider was a successful rally car, winning events in Germany, Greece and Poland.

Fiat Ecobasic

FCA Heritage Hub

Back to the sensible stuff, here’s the 1999 Fiat Ecobasic concept. Its aerodynamic body (Cd 0.28) devotes 88 percent of its volume to passengers and luggage, while all panels are made from recycled plastic. Maintenance access for the 1.2-litre diesel engine is via a flip-up panel between the headlights, and fuel economy is a thrifty 81mpg. Inside, the Ecobasic has plastic flooring and seats that fold sideways, transforming it into a small van.

Fiat X1/23

FCA Heritage Hub

Presented at Turin’s own motor show in 1972, the dinky X1/23 concept was later fitted with batteries and an electric motor. Its roofline arcs sharply over occupants’ heads, while the unusual front bumper frames the headlights. An equally minimalist interior features a single-spoke steering wheel, seats upholstered in synthetic cloth (very 1970s) and large shelf beneath the windscreen.

Fiat Campagnola AR 51

FCA Heritage Hub

We love the perfect patina on this Campagnola AR 51. In 1952, the proto-SUV drove the length of Africa, from Cape Town to Algiers, in a record 11 days. The Campagnola was originally designed for the Italian army, but soon found favour with farmers and off-road adventurers. Its 53hp 1.9-litre engine has a four-speed gearbox with low-range transfer case. Independent front suspension was innovative for the time, while the rear employs conventional leaf springs.

Fiat 124S

FCA Heritage Hub

You might know the Fiat 124 better as the Lada Riva. The small saloon, first launched in 1966, gained a second lease of life in Russia, where it lived on – incredibly – until 2012. This particular 124S is another car from the ‘Epic Journeys’ section of the Heritage Hub, and also started out in Cape Town, travelling to Norway’s North Cape in 50 days in 1970. Epic indeed, especially with no air conditioning or creature comforts.

Fiat 130 Familiare

FCA Heritage Hub

Giovanni Agnelli founded the company that became Fiat in 1899, and his family still holds a controlling interest. This one-of-four 130 Familiare estate was made for Dr Umberto Agnelli by a coachbuilder called Introzzi on Lake Como. Powered by a 165hp 3.2-litre Lampredi V6 mated to a three-speed auto ’box, it’s about the most stylish family car we can imagine.

Fiat City Taxi

FCA Heritage Hub

Revealed at the Turin Motor Show in 1968, the City Taxi was Fiat’s vision of a fare-paying future. Its asymmetrical body has a conventional door for the driver on one side, and a sliding door for passengers on the other. Other clever ideas include a padded dashboard with built-in radio-telephone and taxi meter, a semi-automatic gearbox and straps to attach luggage to the roof.

Fiat Punto

FCA Heritage Hub

We’d forgotten how crisp the original 1993 Punto looks. Once again, it’s designed by Giugiaro – the maestro behind the Panda, Uno, Volkswagen Golf Mk1, Lotus Esprit, BMW M1 and many more. Produced as a hatchback and (somewhat less stylish) convertible, the Punto would later become Europe’s best-selling car. Bizarrely, the third-generation model was phased out in 2018 with no direct replacement.

Lancia Stratos

FCA Heritage Hub

We’ve focused on Fiat here, but this sublime Alitalia-liveried Lancia Stratos is a reminder that other brands built in Turin also share the FCA Heritage Hub. The wedge-shaped Stratos borrowed its mid-mounted engine from the Ferrari Dino and weighs less than 1,000kg. It was a formidable rally car, winning three consecutive World Rally Championships from 1974 to 1976. This particular car took victory in the 1976 Rally of Portugal.

In pictures:

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The modified Ferrari that has outraged enthusiasts: more photos revealed

Evoluto Ferrari 348 cabin

Not long ago, we broke the story of the Evoluto Ferrari 348. Essentially, it’s the ultimate mid-engined Ferrari Berlinetta, born from a 348 after a Singer-style makeover.

Now, concepts for the car’s cabin design have been revealed.

Ferrari 348 by Evoluto

By ‘Singer-style’ we mean the Evoluto 348 cherry-picks and exaggerates the very best bits of Ferrari V8s over the years. That’s why it looks like a modernised 355, arguably the prettiest modern Ferrari.

That’s also why it’ll rock a 500hp 360 Modena engine – arguably the best compromise for sound, reliability and indeed power. Oh, and an H-pattern gated manual ‘box. That’s just a given.

Inside the Evoluto Ferrari 348

Evoluto Ferrari 348 cabin

Now, the cabin designs are out of the bag and as you can imagine, it’s not a 348 with a new coat of leather.

The dashboard is available in either full carbon or leather, while it sports a ski-slope centre console somewhere between an Enzo and a Ferrari Challenge racer. The air conditioning and radio controls are subtle and stylish and don’t take away from the motorsport feel.

Evoluto Ferrari 348 cabin

The ventilation appears to be inspired by newer Ferraris. The steering wheel, of course, is of a classic no-airbag design, while the seats are carbon-backed buckets inspired by the units found in the 348 Serie Speciale. Whether they’re comfortable remains to be seen.

The instrument binnacle, interestingly, appears to be borrowed from newer Ferraris. Is there a bit of F430 in there? There appear to be digital readouts from that generation of Ferrari.

‘Taking inspiration from the F40 and F50’

Evoluto Ferrari 348 cabin

The red render is more hardcore and it’s not a huge leap to say it’s heavily F40- and F50-inspired. Just look at those four-point harnesses.

More than 100 components will be upgraded to bring the 348’s cabin up to this spec. Customisation will, naturally, be almost infinite.

A full options list for the Evoluto 348 be published next week. We’ll have another update for you soon.

The ULEZ has got Londoners looking for hybrid cars

Carwow ULEZ hybrid electric car

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone has only been up and running for less than three weeks, but it’s already having an effect on car buyers’ searches.

Figures from Carwow show a 25 percent increase in searches for plug-in hybrids since the start of the month. Not only that, demand for hybrids has leapt by 118 percent versus March 2018.

Quotes for electric cars have also increased 14 percent this month, while searches for conventional hybrids have gone up six percent. Compared with March of last year, searches for electric vehicles have increased 56 percent.

It shows the ULEZ is changing the way London drivers want their cars to be powered.

You don’t need a hybrid to beat the ULEZ

Carwow ULEZ hybrid electric car

Many cars are, in fact, compliant with the Ultra Low Emissions Zone. Any petrol car up to Euro 4 emissions standard or more (all models registered from 2005 onwards) is allowed in free.

Diesels need to be a bit newer, with only Euro 6 (2015 onwards) vehicles meeting the criteria. Of course, being ULEZ-compliant doesn’t mean your car is Congestion Charge exempt…

Drivers in London whose cars aren’t ULEZ-compliant could face an annual fee of up to £4,562. At the very least, that warrants getting the calculator out and doing a few searches online.

A list of top-five searches from Carwow reveals Toyota in first and second place with hybrid versions of its C-HR and RAV4. The Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen e-Golf electric cars are third and fourth, while the Toyota Yaris Hybrid is fifth.

In pictures: 350 supercars gather at secret meet

Supercar Driver secret meet

The Secret Meet at Donington Park, organised by Supercar Driver, saw more than 350 supercars and hypercars in attendance, as well as a number of historic racers. All of them could take to the track, too. Bugattis, Koenigseggs, Paganis – that’s the standard of cars here. And yes, those are plurals…

Bugatti anniversary

Supercar Driver secret meet

Eight Bugattis were chosen for a celebration of the marque’s 110th anniversary. Chirons, EB110s, Veyrons… It’s a cheeseboard of modern-day Bugatti brilliance, with sometime speed record-holder and Le Mans-winner Andy Wallace accompanying a Chiron for good measure.

One-77, P1 GTR and XJ220 S

Supercar Driver secret meet

There are certain supercar unicorns you simply don’t see unless you’re at an event like this. Where else could you take a shot where an Aston Martin One-77 and McLaren P1 GTR share frame space? It’s like the Avengers, but for cars.

Almost every hypercar

Supercar Driver secret meet

The Secret Meet is a celebration of the supercar and hypercar genre. If you simply want the latest and greatest, get down to the Geneva Motor Show. If you wanted a hoard of XJ220s sharing track-time with Bugatti Chirons, however, nothing else will do. The history of the hypercar lines the pit lane.

King of the hypercars

Supercar Driver secret meet

You can sum up the significance of an event by the attendance (or lack thereof) of a single car. That is the McLaren F1, a red example of which can be seen here at Donington with a Ferrari 812 Superfast tailing. The uppermost hypercar royalty.

The latest and greatest

Supercar Driver secret meet

That’s not to say this is a relic-fest. The prominent supercar, hypercar and racing car collectors making up the 1,000-member Supercar Driver collective own plenty of newer metal, too. Witness a McLaren Senna leading a Pagani Huayra Roadster and a Porsche Carrera GT on track.

A rare Dutch gem

SCD secret meet

The supercar world is home to the weird, wonderful and lesser-spotted. For every 1,000 Lamborghini Huracans there are in the world, there’s a Spyker C8. Spot one here casually parked amongst some Ferraris and Lambo, which are, by comparison, mass-produced.

Eight cars and over 8,000hp

SCD secret meet

The cars got out on-track for some laps, including the aforementioned hoard of Bugattis. Just count the horsepower: Chiron, EB110, Veyron, Veyron, Veyron Supersports, Chiron, Veyron, EB110…  That’s well over 8,000hp in one shot, right?

Smokin’ P1 GTR

SCD secret meet

It’s not all parade laps either. A P1 GTR might be a multi-million-pound piece of track-only McLaren royalty, but would that really stop you ripping a few donuts at Donny?

The great and the good

SCD secret meet

There’s no particular narrative context to adding this picture here. Then again, need we justify a shot that has an Aston Martin One-77, Porsche Carrera GT and Pagani Huayra Roadster sat side-by-side?

Welcome to the candy shop

SCD secret meet

There isn’t a dud among this line-up: Koenigsegg, Ferrari F50, multiple XJ220s, P1 GTR, Murcielago SV, Porsche Carrera GT… The more you look, the more you spot!

Generations of Lamborghini Super Veloce

SCD secret meet

Has anyone seen an Aventador LP750 SV with a new Aventador SVJ yet? Well, if not, you have now. This red example showed up at The Secret Meet, and is pictured along with a matte older-generation SV.

Veyron vs. Chiron – which wins?

SCD secret meet

This is a perfect shot for comparing the early generations of Bugatti’s two post-millennium hypercars. A black early Veyron follows a black Chiron. While the Chiron was a beautiful piece of sculpture from the off, the Veyron has taken a few years to mature. A subtle spec such as this helps it a lot.

Historic racers: McLaren M8F Can Am

SCD secret meet

While today we know McLaren for its Formula 1 exploits, Bruce McLaren was equally as passionate about Can Am sports car racing in-period. In fact, it was while testing a Can Am car that Bruce passed away, during an accident at Goodwood. There’s nothing quite like the roar of a Chevy big-banger, trumpets sprouting asunder from an orange wedge of historic McLaren racer.

Historic racers: Jaguar XJR12D

SCD secret meet

This derivative of Jaguar’s Le Mans-winning monster has claimed victory up the Goodwood Festival of Speed Hill a few times in the shootout. The Bud Light livery is simple but beautiful, and that V12 wail never gets old.

Historic racers: single-seater on-track

SCD secret meet

As you’ll probably have noted by now, it doesn’t matter how special your cars are, there’s no controlling the weather. The Secret Meet was evidently a greasy one. It takes a braver helmsman than us to get behind the wheel of a powerful fat-tyred single-seater for some laps at Donnington.

Slumbering F40

SCD secret meet

Back to the supercars and we start off quiet, with a slumbering F40 under dim pit garage lighting. This legend looks resplendent in yellow paint.

Bizzarrini chases McLaren P1 GTR

SCD secret meet

A good shot for variety at this event. The Bizzarrini is a historic sports racer, the P1 GTR a modern-day track toy. No prizes for guessing which would be quicker.

Stare into the eyes of the Bug

SCD secret meet

A nice close-up shot of a Chiron, with a dousing of rain. We needn’t justify that.

Huayra leads the pack

SCD secret meet

More Huayra and CGT loveliess, with a couple of Lamborghini raging bulls bringing up the rear.

The Ferox Azaris is an off-roader designed for life on Mars

Ferox Azaris

“There’s nothing else like Azaris in the world,” proclaims the Ferox website. You could argue that it’s ‘out of this world’, not least because it packs a rocker-style suspension similar to the one used on the Mars Rover.

Keeping its six wheels firmly on the ground, the first fully operating Ferox Azaris will make its debut at Top Marques Monaco at the end of May, with the company promising to “liberate the wheel”.

Ferox is an Australian company specialising in advanced vehicles that are designed to go further than traditional ATVs and off-roaders. The Azaris isn’t a production vehicle as such, rather a vision of the future.

In Ferox’s world, ATVs are “strong, flexible, primal and extremely swift”. This is a vision we can get behind.

The Azaris features four rear in-wheel motors with a volumetric efficiency of up to 98 percent, with power sourced from a combustion engine or an electric motor linked to a fluid pump. Ferox says the fluid transmission system is well matched to receive the power from an electric motor as it can efficiently transfer the torque characteristics of an electric motor to the wheels.

Ferox Azaris ATV

Meanwhile, the rear wheels are fitted with a rocker suspension that provides “the potential to navigate extreme terrain with greater skill”. If it’s good enough for Mars…

The suspension is held by DNA arms inspired by flowing water, which is both strong and agile.

Earlier reports suggested that the Azaris was powered by a BMW R1200 GS motorcycle engine producing 100hp, so it will be interesting to see if this version is unveiled in Monaco. Troy Wheeler, CEO of Ferox Advanced Vehicles, said the use of a bike engine is “very much an interim solution”.

For Ferox, this is a chance to see what could be achieved if you remove the restrictions on how and where driven wheels can be placed on future vehicles.

For us, it’s likely to be one of the coolest vehicles at Top Marques Monaco. We’ll bring you an in-depth report on the Azaris following its debut on 30 May.


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