Opinion: Mazda MX-30 is an apology to the planet for the RX-8

Mazda MX-30 doors open

Calm yourself, because the use of the ‘MX’ prefix doesn’t herald the arrival of a new Mazda sports car to sit alongside the MX-5.

That may come, but in the meantime, the MX-30 is yet another SUV, albeit one with an all-electric powertrain. It’s Mazda’s way of saying sorry for the RX-8 and its lust for petrol, oil and rotor tips.

“With the MX-5 we created a sporty two seater when the roadster had been dismissed by other manufacturers,” says Mazda, as it attempts to justify the ‘MX’ prefix. That’s as maybe, but an electric SUV is hardly akin to challenging convention and going against the flow.

Mazda MX-30 opinion

Still, it is Mazda’s first electric car, so it’s breaking the boundaries of ‘Zoom Zoom’ at the very least. ‘Hush Hush’, perhaps?

Mazda hasn’t launched a bad looking car for a very long time. Its crossovers are desirable, its hatchbacks are smart, and the company has managed to achieve the unthinkable by making a compact saloon look elegant.

The jury is out on the MX-30. Far be it for me to comment on aesthetics, but it’s not the most cohesive of designs. The roof reminds me of the Mazda 121 ‘bowler hat’ (no bad thing, granted), the ‘suicide doors’ (labelled ‘freestyle’ by Mazda) are a practical nod to the RX-8, while the rear end just looks startled and surprised.

Mazda MX-30 rear

There are no such concerns on the inside, with the MX-30 featuring eco-friendly materials – no cows need to lose their jacket in the name of this Mazda. The vegan-friendly seats look superb, the cork-based centre console is excellent, and the overall effect reminds me of a new take on the BMW i3 formula. Nice job.

So far, so good. Not that you’ll be driving that far on a single charge. Mazda says the ‘right-sized battery’ provides a range of 125 miles, arguing that this exceeds the 30-mile average daily drive of the European customer.

That’s as maybe, but I believe the current crop of electric cars are hampered by what I’d call ‘Cinderella anxiety’. Just as Cinderella’s coach would be turned back into a pumpkin if she wasn’t home by midnight, many motorists believed a car would reach the end of its useful life at 100,000 miles.

Mazda MX-30 cabin

A range of 100 to 150 miles is the modern ‘Cinderella’. We’ve grown accustomed to getting 400 or so miles out of a tank of fuel – 125 miles is the kind of level you start to think about filling up. Although fuel and electricity cannot be compared, it will take a major shift for motorists to think differently.

Which is why research suggests that more buyers will be turned on by electricity when 300 miles of range is the norm. The MX-30’s range would be acceptable in a city car or supermini, but not so much in a five-seat SUV. An estimated £30,000 is too much for a car that doesn’t offer the prospect of visiting the in-laws at the weekend.

I have little doubt that the MX-30 will be great to drive – Mazda’s range of cars tend to be class-leaders in that department. Engineers have integrated the battery into the body structure to improve body stiffness and rigidity. An electric SUV that’s as good to drive as the Mazda 2 and 3? Don’t bet against it.

Mazda MX-30 seats

The thing is, most buyers care more about range than they do about dynamics, so the MX-30’s figure might be too much of an obstacle. Two years on, when the MX-30 goes on sale in the UK, 300 miles of electric range might be the norm, while a network of ultra-fast chargers should make EV ownership a more realistic proposition for more people.

The Mazda MX-30 might feel as outmoded and out of touch as the RX-8, although the prospect of a range-extender with a rotary engine is as appealing as an electric sports car. Bring it on.

Revealed: car brands with the most fake social media followers

Car manufacturers fake social media followers

The number of followers certain celebrities have on their social media accounts has recently been revealed as fake. Is it possible car manufacturers are in on the scam? It seems so…

Pilot Fish Media has done some digging using a fake follower tool and audit software. And it appears that some of the world’s most popular car brands have a misleading presence on Instagram and Twitter. 

Car manufacturers fake social media followers

The car manufacturers with the highest percentage of fake followers have been revealed. Leading are three of the big brands: 45 percent of followers for Audi, BMW and Jaguar are fake.

Next up, 44 percent of followers for Mercedes-AMG, Ferrari and Bugatti also don’t exist. Porsche and Mercedes-Benz have a 43 percent fake follower count, followed by 42 percent for Lamborghini.

Rounding off the top 10 is Maserati, with 40 percent. Some fairly astonishing results, for brands with a massive online presence.

The 10 million fake followers club

Car manufacturers fake social media followers

In terms of fake follower numbers, BMW leads by an enormous margin. That 45 percent is taken from its near-25 million follower count, meaning 11.2 million fakes.

Mercedes-Benz has 11.06 million fake followers out of its 25.9 million total. And for Lamborghini, 10.1 million of its 24.2 million follower count is apparently fake. None of the companies on the top 10 list have less than four million fake followers. 

Opinion: How wrong is faking followers?

For an Instagram influencer who makes money from advertising based on their follower count, it’s really quite shady. They are effectively stealing from their advertisers.


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Car manufacturers don’t, to our knowledge, directly make money from social media. But the public’s impressions of them and their popularity are important. Indeed, that same influencer could be buying one of these cars based on how popular the brand is on social media.

Ultimately, followers are a unit of measurement, and fakers are especially looked down upon when it comes to cars. Just ask Volkswagen. Be it emissions, efficiency, acceleration or top speed – honesty is the best policy. The same should apply for followers.

The best Tokyo Motor Show debuts

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

The 2019 Tokyo Motor Show is now underway, with Japanese manufacturers taking centre stage. This year, an all-new Honda Jazz is grabbing the headlines, but what are the stars of Tokyo shows past? These are the greatest debuts from 1957 until the present day.

1957 – Prince Skyline

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

The ‘Skyline’ name first saw the light of day at Tokyo in 1957, and without a Nissan or Datsun badge. Indeed, the luxury car was made by Prince for nine years before Nissan took over.

1964 – Mazda Cosmo

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

One of the most important cars in Mazda’s history was introduced to the world in Tokyo. Three years before it saw production, showgoers got a first taste of the Mazda Cosmo – the root of Mazda’s rotary engine heritage – at the 1964 show.

1968 – Nissan Skyline GT-R

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

Long-standing Japanese institutions have a habit of debuting at Tokyo. One of the great performance icons, decades before it assumed the ‘Godzilla’ nickname, arrived here in 1968, as a four-door saloon. Konichiwa, GT-R.

1970 – Toyota Celica

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

Perhaps Toyota’s most famous sporting model, and certainly its longest-standing, is the Celica. The first generation model appeared at the 1970 Tokyo Motor Show. It would live on over seven generations until 2006, spawning the Supra along the way.

1989 – Honda NSX

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

The year 1989 was enormous for Japan’s assault on the car market, and popular car culture. The Honda NSX taught us that supercars didn’t have to be unreliable or difficult. Today, it’s an analogue hero, the car that Ayrton Senna helped develop.

1989 – Nissan S-Cargo

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

We had to include an example of exactly how quirky the Japanese can be. And they don’t come much quirkier than the Nissan S-Cargo. This retro van, named after the French word for a snail (escargot), is a design icon. Along with its fellow ‘Pike’ siblings, it was referred to by a New York Times critic as ‘the height of post-modernism’.

1989 – Subaru SVX

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

Weird, quirky and (over) complicated?. Wearing a curious Giugiaro suit, the SVX, or ‘Subaru Vehicle X’, is gloriously of its time. Power from its flat-six engine went to all four wheels, exclusively through automatic transmissions. It was, and still is, Subaru’s only foray into the luxury coupe market. We love it.

1989 – Suzuki Cappuccino

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

In the small, lightweight and simple corner is the Suzuki Cappuccino. This tiny roadster was Suzuki’s way of saying city-friendly ‘Kei’ cars could still be fun. Powered by a turbocharged three-cylinder engine and weighing just 725kg, it made the then-new Mazda MX-5 look like a Dodge Viper.

1993 – Nissan Skyline GT-R R33

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

The difficult sequel to the R32 ‘Godzilla’ Skyline GT-R was the R33, which debuted at Tokyo in 1993. More curvaceous and heavier, it broke away from the angular look of its predecessor. Although considered by many to be the low point of the GT-R’s history, the R33 still many merits. We wouldn’t say no to a Nismo 400R.

2001 – Mazda RX-8

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

Mazda’s MX-30 electric vehicle is one of the major debuts at Tokyo this year. Alhough there isn’t a piston or rotor, to be found, one legacy item it wears are rear-hinged ‘suicide’ doors. These were first seen on the RX-8, which debuted in 2001. Mazda’s top-flight rotary sports car was cheaper and more practical than the previous RX-7, but its engine still caused controversy, especially for those brave enough to buy one today.

2001 – Nissan Fairlady Z

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

Nissan’s approach to the affordable sports car was rather more traditional. The 350Z had V6 power in the front, drive to the rear and sleek styling. Refreshing, after the clever and over-ambitious 300ZX that it replaced. It has a close relation in the 370Z, which remains in production today.

2001 – Volkswagen W12

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

The only non-production debut we’ve included is also the only non-Japanese car. The W12 was not very Volkswagen either, being a 12-cylinder mid-engined supercar. It could have seen the light of day, but the arrival of the Bugatti Veyron effectively killed it. Still, its engine lived on in the Audi A8 and Volkswagen Phaeton, and serves to this day (in turbocharged form) in W12-powered Bentleys.

2005 – Honda FCX

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

Eco-friendly cars are familiar today, but Honda was investigating alternative powertrains back in 2005. The FCX ‘Clarity’ was a svelte-looking hydrogen fuel-cell car that made the Toyota Prius look a little last-decade. It was presented in concept form at the 2005 Tokyo show.

2007 – Nissan GT-R

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

‘Godzilla’ made its triumphant return in 2007. With a clever all-wheel-drive system, potent twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6 and oh-so-Japanese styling, it was a real return to form: a coupe that could embarrass contemporary supercars around a track. It’s become a staple for tuning companies, while even the performance of the standard car has swollen. It’s now a 600hp monster, up from around 480hp on its debut.

2007 – Mitsubishi Evo X

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

Adding to the theory that 2007 was the second-coming of Japanese performance icons, here’s the Mitsubishi Evo X. With angular styling and typically clever handling tech, it felt like the late 1990s all over again.

2009 – Lexus LFA

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

One of the all-time great Japanese supercars, the LFA took more than 10 years to develop, with the project re-started from scratch half-way through. Its incredible V10 revved faster than analogue counters could cope with, so it used a digital tacho. Its sound was tuned by Yamaha. And each car was rumoured to cost twice as much to make as Lexus sold it for.

2009 – Nissan Leaf

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

At the other end of the spectrum, 2009 was arguably the beginning of popular electric motoring. Behold, the Nissan Leaf, currently the world’s best-selling electric car. Its NEDC-certified range of 109 miles feels very antiquated now, especially given ‘real-world’ figures were much lower than that, but you’ve got to start somewhere.

2011 – Toyota GT86

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

Front-engine, rear-drive, manual gearbox – the GT86 is a sports car distilled into its basic components. Sadly, in spite of strong popularity to begin with, consumers didn’t buy into it as enthusiastically as hoped in the long-term. Nonetheless, there will be a successor. Tokyo 2021, anyone?

2013 – Honda S660

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

Back to the oddities, this is the Honda S660. Think of it as a mid-engined modern-day Cappuccino. That is, a Kei car with sporty looks and a tiny three-cylinder turbocharged engine, plus a kerb weight of just 830kg. It wouldn’t go into production until two years after its 2013 Tokyo debut.

2017 – Toyota Century

Tokyo Motor Show debuts

Our final entry? A quintessentially Japanese take on a very European beast – the full-size luxury saloon. The Toyota Century is a long-standing model – the Japanese Rolls-Royce – and it continues to plough its own furrow. Just look at the wool interior!

The most popular car brands among millennials

Millennials popular cars

A new poll by YouGov has revealed the popularity of different car manufacturers within different age groups – and the results are intriguing. Here, we reveal the car brands favoured by millennials.

15. Toyota

Millennials popular cars

In 15th place is Toyota. Not a bad position overall, out of some 63 marques. Proof that millennials know a thing or two about reliability and common sense. In case you were wondering, millennials were born between 1980 and 1994.

14. Land Rover

Millennials popular cars

With the popularity of crossovers – not to mention the image of Range Rover – we’re surprised to find Land Rover this low, even though it’s well into the most popular 25 percent.

13. Lamborghini

Millennials popular cars

The famous supercar brand comes in at 13th with millennials. Meanwhile, Lamborghini is the eighth most popular brand within Generation X circles (1960s to 1980). For baby boomers (1946 to 1964), Lambo strikes less of a chord and is down in 18th.

12. Porsche

Millennials popular cars

Climbing the millennials popularity tree ahead of Lamborghini is Porsche, in at number 12, as it is for Generation X. But Porsche is more popular with boomers (10th).

11. Bentley

Millennials popular cars

Now here’s a curious one: the traditional luxury British marque is 11th with millenials, but leads outright in first for Generation X. Who saw that coming? The boomers love a Bentley, too, taking seventh place with the older generation.

10. Ferrari

Millennials popular cars

Ah, Ferrari. The original supercar brand is tenth most-popular with millenials and eleventh most-popular overall. Boomers aren’t quite so fond of the Prancing Horse, ranking it 14th.

9. Rolls-Royce

Millennials popular cars

Rolls-Royce: arguably the most decadent car brand of all. In ninth, it’s not doing so bad with millenials, but Generation X has it in sixth. The boomers have it all the way up in second. It also places second overall in the YouGov survey.

8. Mini

Millennials popular cars

This is a curious one. Being on the younger side, the millennials ought to rate Mini quite highly. Nevertheless, here it is in eighth. Boomers love Mini, putting it in fourth, while Generation X has it in seventh.

7. BMW

Millennials popular cars

Just above Mini in the minds of millenials is parent company BMW. The Bavarian executive brand carries less favour with Generation X or the boomers. It doesn’t even feature in their top 10.

6. Audi

Millennials popular cars

Fellow German executive marque Audi is up in sixth. This one’s popular with the youngsters, placing it in fifth for Generation X. The boomers don’t even count Audi in their top 10.

5. Mercedes-Benz

Millennials popular cars

Cementing the Germans in the minds of millenials is Mercedes-Benz, in fifth. It does similarly well with the boomers in fifth, too, with Generation X placing it third.

4. Volkswagen

Millennials popular cars

The ‘people’s car’ beats a long line of exotics and expensive execs in fourth. However, it’s down in eighth with the boomers and not even in the top 10 with Generation X.

3. Jaguar

Millennials popular cars

The ‘Big Cat’ has shed its fusty image in favour of something far cooler. It places third for millenials and second for Generation X. That said, it still takes the top spot with the older generation. With that, it takes the win as most popular brand overall, too.

2. Ford

Millennials popular cars

Ford’s second-place is a big popularity win with the millenials. With Generation X, not so much, in tenth. The boomers rate it lower, too, in ninth.

1. Aston Martin

Millennials popular cars

Finally, the winner in the eyes of millenials, is Aston Martin. It ranks well with the boomers, too, in third, while Generation X place it in fourth. Everyone loves a Bond car, right?

Honda e

Honda brings FORWARD electrification deadline to 2022

Honda e

Every mainstream new Honda sold in Europe by 2022 will be electrified, the firm has announced at a headline ‘Electric Vision’ event in Amsterdam. 

This new deadline is three years ahead of its previously-stated 2025 goal.

The firm will also launch an additional all-new battery electric model and an electrified SUV by the end of 2022, as well as the next-generation Civic and HR-V. 

Honda is not giving any further information about the new cars at this stage, however. 

Honda Hybrid

The commitment means every volume Honda model sold will use either hybrid, plug-in hybrid or fully electric drive. 

All mainstream non-electrified petrol and diesel cars will cease production for Europe by the end of 2022. 

“This shift to electrification will change the face of our model line-up considerably,” said Tom Gardner, Honda Motor Europe senior vice president.

The firm has new branding for its new approach, Honda e:Technology. 

Honda drive green

The commitment will be achieved by the accelerated launch of six new electrified models over the next 36 months. This includes the next-generation Honda Jazz, revealed at the Amsterdam event. 

On sale from spring 2020, the new Jazz will be fully-electrified for the UK, with a clever e:HEV two-motor hybrid powertrain. 

What about Type R?

Honda is not saying anything about Type R at this stage, other than admitting the storied brand is a key part of its range. 

There are two options – either an electrified Type R version of the next-generation Civic… or a traditional turbo petrol hot hatch. 

Honda has ruled out petrol power only for its mainstream models: specialist low-volume cars such as Type R could still use regular drive. 

It seems almost certain there will be a next-generation Honda Civic Type R. What powers it, however, is another matter…


Fast Ford legends: four classic Escorts up for auction

Fast Ford Escort sale NEC Classic

If your thing is classic Ford Escorts, the Silverstone Auctions sale at next month’s NEC Classic Motor Show includes a Mk1 RS1600, two RS2000s and an RS1600i. 

The most valuable car is the 1972 Mk1 RS1600. In light blue, it’s one of just 1,137 built. Its original BDA engine is effectively a de-tuned Formula 3 single-seat racer unit. It’s had just four owners from new and covered just under 8,000 miles. Just restored, it’s estimated to sell for between £58,000 and £68,000.

Heroes of the 1980s

Fast Ford Escort sale NEC Classic

Then there are two 1980 cars. Both are RS2000 Customs with ‘droop snoots’. One comes in a very 1980s colour: Cordoba Beige. It’s covered a total of 34,000 miles, of which just 1,500 occurred during the past 27 years.

Described as a ‘timewarp car’, coming from storage, it’s expected to pull in between £34,000 and £45,000.

Fast Ford sale NEC Classic

The second 1980 car is in more desirable Venetian Red. This car is an award winner, having taken first place at the RS Owners’ Club Lakes Tour in 2017. With a fresh restoration, it’s expected to achieve between £38,000 and £44,000.

The last car marks the crossover point for the Escort – from rear- to front-wheel-drive. This 1983 Sunburst Red RS1600i comes from a well-known RS collection. It’s no understatement to say this is one of the best examples in existence. Having driven just 700 miles in the last 16 years, it has covered 34,700 miles in total. With lots of history, it’s estimated at between £30,000 and £40,000.

Fast Ford sale NEC Classic

“These Fast Fords are very popular and when exceptional cars come to market there always tends to be a frenzy around them,” said Joe Watts of Silverstone Auctions.

“We are very lucky to have these cars in the auction at the same time. It gives you a great idea on how the cars developed over the 10 years in which they span.

“All of them are just in fabulous condition and come with their own personal history.”

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Citroen keeps old cars going for charity

Citroen keeps old cars going for charity

Citroen is doing its bit for charity by keeping some of its older models on the road.

To celebrate its centenary, Citroen has been offering free repairs, servicing and MOTs to charities that rely on its cars to deliver a service. This isn’t about supplying new cars – this is about maintaining Citroens of old.

For example, the Wisbech-based charity 50 Backpacks relies on a trusty Citroen C3 Desire to deliver 30 to 40 meals to the homeless community every week. Local dealer Desira Citroen in Bury St. Edmunds has serviced and repaired the 03-registered car for free.

Sarah Thomas, co-founder of 50 Backpacks, said: “We are so grateful for the work carried out by Citroen. Without our C3 Desire we would never be able to transport all the supplies and food to the cafe and back.

50 Backpacks Citroen C3

“Our car is really part of the team and now it’s back to full health we can continue to provide help to the homeless of Wisbech.”

Meanwhile, Robins & Day of Redditch has been helping to keep an ageing Citroen Berlingo Multispace on the road. Indigo Arts uses the vehicle to transport equipment in their quest to make art accessible to everyone, regardless of their background.

Cathy Moss, Indigo Arts co-founder, said: “I’ve always been a fan of Citroen and we really love our Berlingo Multispace, so when Citroen offered us all these repairs for free we jumped at the chance.

”The work we do at Indigo Arts wouldn’t be possible without our trusty vehicle to transport the sound and lighting equipment to all the various events and performances, so thank you!”

Charity Citroen Berlingo Multispace

Souad Wrixen, Citroen UK’s marketing director, added: “It’s such a pleasure to give something back to these great charities that do so much in their communities.

”Citroen has been inspired by the lives of its customers for 100 years and it’s great to see the positive impact the dependability of our vehicles can have on these inspirational organisations, even after so many years.”

Citroen has arranged a number of activities to celebrate its centenary, including the launch of Origins special edition vehicles. The cars come with bespoke cosmetic upgrades, including special Origins badges.

Stunning 190 SL takes centre-stage at free Mercedes-Benz museum

Classic Mercedes SL on display at Mercedes-Benz World

An immaculate example of one of the most beautiful cars Mercedes has ever made, the 190 SL, is on display in the main reception area at Mercedes-Benz World – the brand’s free-to-visit showcase at Brooklands in Surrey.

It’s a 1957 model, and right-hand drive, in Anthracite Grey with a red interior. With an estimated value of £365,000, it arrives fresh from a 4,000-hour restoration.

Hemmels, the company that undertook the work on the car, is a classic Mercedes-Benz SL specialist. 

Classic Mercedes SL on display at Mercedes-Benz World

Both this 1957 190 SL and a similarly-restored 280 SL Pagoda will be on display into early 2020, following an exclusive preview evening on November 15 2019.

Hemmels will also display a selection of its cars at the upcoming NEC Classic Car Show, taking place on the weekend of November 8 2019.

A ‘brand new’ classic SL

Each Hemmels restoration involves a bare-metal respray and rebuild, over the course of 52 weeks. A 12-month parts-and-labour warranty is offered on all cars. 

SL stands for Super Leicht, or Sport Leicht. It remains one of the most iconic and long-standing names in motoring. These are the cars that fortified the legend, and they join SLs of all ages at Mercedes-Benz World.

Classic Mercedes SL on display at Mercedes-Benz World

“Mercedes-Benz World is an exceptional venue and reveals how the quality of the brand goes beyond automotive engineering to the ethos of the entire company and their overall commitment to excellence.” said Joseph Sullivan, CEO of Hemmels.

“We’re excited to once again have a Hemmels restoration selected for display at this stunning location.”

2020 new Honda Jazz

New 2020 Honda Jazz revealed – with hybrid as standard

2020 new Honda Jazz

The all-new 2020 Honda Jazz has been revealed – and it’s going to come as an advanced e:HEV hybrid as standard.

Using a high-tech two-motor hybrid system, Britain’s favourite new Honda will form a key part of Honda’s commitment to electrify all its models by 2022.

Honda will begin sales of the new Jazz in summer 2020.

2020 new Honda Jazz

The firm says class-leading space has been retained, comfort is “significantly improved” over today’s car and it also gets a full suite of Honda Sensing safety tech.

It’s still clearly Jazz-shaped, but Honda says the new design is cleaner and more seamless: it has “function and beauty first seen in the Honda e”.

2020 new Honda Jazz

There’s also a new crossover-style Honda Jazz Crosstar version (pictured above), with tougher body styling and a raised ride height. It features integrated roof rails and water-resistant upholstery.

The only powertrain will be the e:HEV two-motor hybrid. Unlike other hybrids, the petrol engine is only used to charge the batteries – the new Jazz is driven entirely by an electric motor.

The system was first seen in the latest Honda CR-V Hybrid.

2020 new Honda Jazz

Inside, “hallmark” space is better than ever. The fuel tank is still positioned below the front seats, which means the ‘Magic Seats’ flip-up rear pews are retained.

Hybrid tech has also carefully been centralised in the engine bay, freeing up further space.

A new touchscreen infotainment system has smartphone-style ‘swipe’ functionality and integrated Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. For the first time, this is wireless.

There’s also a wifi hotspot.

2020 new Honda Jazz

Addressing criticisms of the current car, the new Jazz has had a huge lift in interior quality. The design has been influenced by the Honda e, with a simple two-spoke steering wheel and clean layout.

Those who grumbled about uncomfortable seats in the current Jazz, rest easy: the new model has an all-new design that’s much better for long trips – and the rear seat is thicker and comfier too.

It’s easier to see out of, with less obstructive front A-pillars. And an all-new high-definition Honda Sensing camera is much better at monitoring the road ahead.

2020 new Honda Jazz

It can detect, and auto-brake, for pedestrians and cyclists even at night, where there are no street lights, and will cut in the brakes when a car turns across the path of the new Jazz. Adaptive cruise control gives semi-autonomous traffic-following convenience at low speed.

Motoring Research is seeing the new Honda Jazz in the metal later today. Come back then for more details on the latest version of Honda’s best-selling British car

Classic muscle cars and trucks set for auction in the Windy City

Fall may truly be upon us, but that is not slowing down the pace in the collector car auction world.

From Thursday, October 24th through Saturday, October 26th, a huge variety of cars, trucks and SUVs will cross the Mecum auction block in Chicago. Motorcycles, automobilia, and even engines will also feature in the extravaganza.

The event takes place at the Schaumburg Convention Center, and we have picked out a selection of 21 cars and trucks which should capture attention in Illinois.

More from Motoring Research:

Lot S108.1 1957 Chevrolet Corvette SRIII

One of the leading attractions at the Mecum sale is a modified C1 Corvette created by Chicago-area native, Ken Hanna. Accepted as the first car to be built by SRIII Motorsports, this ‘57 Corvette uses a tubular frame chassis and suspension components from later ‘Vettes.

Beneath the hood is a 5.7-liter LT5 V-8 from a 1991 C4 Corvette, fitted with upgraded Lingenfelter headers and a 2.5-inch exhaust system. A ZF six-speed transmission sends power to a Positraction differential, whilst suspension from a C4 Corvette has also been added front and rear.

Numerous magazine appearances, and a ‘Chip’s Choice’ award at the invitation-only Corvettes at Carlisle show, demonstrate just how significant this C1 is.

Lot S151 1969 Ford Torino Talladega

Another Aero Warrior on the Chicago docket is this 1969 Ford Torino Talladega. An extended nose, flush-mounted front grille, and reformed rear bumper helped make the Torino more aerodynamic on high-speed NASCAR circuits.

As one of just 750 examples, this Torino Talladega is certainly rare. Power comes from a 428-cubic inch Cobra Jet V-8 engine, producing 335 horsepower and connected to an automatic transmission. Said to be in original condition, and with original Royal Maroon paintwork, this car has covered just 25,000 miles. It certainly makes an intriguing alternative to Mopar winged machines.

Lot F152 1970 Dodge Challenger Hemi Convertible

This Challenger is one of 23 vehicles from the Frank Karabetsos collection going under the hammer in Chicago, and said to be in outstanding condition. An important point to note is that this is not an original Hemi-powered 1970 Challenger Convertible. Whilst this may be a tribute to the nine factory built cars, it certainly will not disappoint.

A rotisserie restoration added a period correct 426-cubic inch Hemi V-8 engine, along with an automatic transmission and Dana rear axle. The Plum Crazy paintwork is matched with a white leather interior, and a white convertible top. A Shaker hood, rear spoiler, power steering, and power disc brakes have also been added to complete the makeover.

Lot S102 1966 Dodge Hemi Coronet 500 Convertible

Production numbers matter in the Mopar world. This Coronet 500 is said to be one of just twelve convertible versions made in 1966 with the 426-cubic inch Hemi V-8 and four-speed manual transmission. The 425 horsepower engine is legendary, and made the Coronet 500 something to be seriously feared on the street.

Fitted to this car are all the luxury features of the Coronet 500, including a power convertible roof, push-button radio, front bucket seats, and tinted glass. This rare open-top Hemi is offered as part of the BRP Collection, which includes an array of muscle from the 1960s.

Lot S109 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda

Bruce Springsteen sang about Hemi-powered drones screaming down the boulevard, and this beautiful 1970 Plymouth Cuda is ready to hit the road. Following a two-year restoration, as one of just 284 Hemi Cudas fitted with a four-speed manual transmission, this is a prime collectible car.

Once featured as the ‘Christmas Centerfold’ in a 1994 edition of Summit Magazine, this Cuda has covered just 1,032 miles since the restoration. It has also been stored in a climate-controlled garage, and now looks ready to thunder down the highway.

Lot S128 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Black Panther

The Black Panther was an early special edition, created by the Toronto-based Gorries Chevrolet/Oldsmobile dealership to add some extra motorsport muscle to the then-new Camaro. Only 50 are estimated to have been created, and this is one of just three surviving examples maintaining its original bodywork and engine.

Black exterior paint was complemented by gold stripes, plus a deluxe interior also finished in gold. This car, possibly one of the first produced, features a James Bond-inspired ‘007’ hidden switch panel in the center console. Power comes from a 327-cubic inch V-8 engine, with an automatic transmission. The car was subject to a thorough restoration in 2002.

Lot S156 1970 Ford Boss 429 Mustang Fastback

One of the most iconic muscle cars ever created, the Boss 429 Mustang was also responsible for sparking the passion of one particular car collector. This Boss kickstarted the Garlin Collection, which will see 15 vehicles sold in Chicago. One of 499 examples made in 1970, this Boss 429 features 14 factory options, including competition suspension and a Drag Pack.

Only 26,000 miles have been covered by the 429-cubic inch V-8 engine, with the three previous owners resisting the temptations of the 375 horsepower performance. Fitted with a four-speed manual transmission, expect large bids for this deeply collectible Mustang.

Lot T18 1966 Ford Mustang Limousine

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. This truly is a limousine created from two first-generation Ford Mustangs spliced together. Unfortunately Mecum does not have too much information on how (or why), but it could certainly make a talking point at any car meet.

Rear passengers can enjoy topless motoring thanks to the convertible rear end, whilst a small-block V-8 engine can be found under the hood of the front Mustang. As part of the Petrozzini Estate, this car has been in long-term storage, but has been shown to start in the past 30 days.

Lot F162 1962 Oldsmobile Starfire Convertible

Introduced as a distinct model in 1961, the Oldsmobile Starfire saw its most successful year twelve months later in 1962. More than 7,100 examples of the convertible were sold, but this is said to be one of 15 finished in distinctive Chariot Red, along with a red and white leather interior.

A 394-cubic inch Rocket V-8 produces a healthy 330 horsepower, with a four-speed automatic transmission part of the deal. Another car from the Frank Karabetsos Collection, this one features a high standard specification including air conditioning, Wonderbar radio, rear speakers, and Deluxe wheel covers.

Lot F183 1960 Ford Galaxie Starliner

Much like the Aero Warriors featured at the start of this gallery, the Galaxie Starliner found fame from use in NASCAR. Thin roof pillars and a swooping fastback design made it perfect for high-speed use in motorsport competition. Sold for only two years, the Starliner is a rare find and one for keen Ford collectors.

Making this one even more special is the fact it comes fitted with the optional 352-cubic inch V-8 engine. The paintwork for this car is said to be mostly original, whilst the interior is also as it left the factory. Only 49,400 miles are said to have been covered, with the Galaxie also supplied with the window sticker from its original sale.

Lot T108 1977 Ford Thunderbird

The seventh-generation of the Ford Thunderbird may have been smaller than its predecessors, but it was still a sizeable personal luxury car by most standards. More than 955,000 found homes in three years of production, with this one remaining as a shining example of fashion from the late 1970s.

Beneath the lengthy hood is a 400-cubic inch Cleveland V-8 with an automatic transmission. This car benefits from new paint, a new exhaust system, new wheels, new air conditioning components, and also new brakes. Total mileage is listed as just 29,000, leaving lots of luxury motoring left in this land yacht.

Lot F136.1 1979 Dodge Macho Power Wagon Pickup

In the late 1970s, Dodge wanted to appeal to male buyers with a version of the D series pickup made as masculine as possible. Enter the Macho Power Wagon, with bold body decals and a range of contrasting color options. This one appears to have lost the standard-fit roll bar, but has retained the painted Wagon wheels.

Under the hood is a 318-cubic inch V-8 engine and, like all Macho Power Wagons, a four-wheel drive transmission. Air conditioning and a blue interior are also present, with this truck likely to find appeal amongst dedicated collectors.

Lot F164 1968 Ford F100 Ranger Pickup

The fifth-generation F-Series truck range was intended to offer greater comfort and performance. Also part of the Frank Karabetsos Collection, this F100 Ranger has been subject to a frame-off restoration, with the Styleside short bed body fully repainted in deep metallic blue.

An aftermarket exhaust and new air cleaner have been fitted to the 390-cubic inch V-8 engine. Also fitted is an automatic transmission and a Dana rear differential, whilst the interior bench seat has been covered in gray fabric.

Lot F81 1935 International C1 Pickup

Created by International Harvester to find sales in the wake of the Great Depression, an appeal to the light-duty market resulted in the C-1 pickup. It proved to be a hit, swallowing up almost a third of all light truck sales by 1936, and proving a useful source of income for International Harvester.

This 1935 truck has been awarded AACA National Senior status in the past, which is a testament to its impressive condition. A 213-cubic inch six-cylinder can be found under the hood, with gears shifted by a three-speed manual transmission. It could make a useful new addition for any vintage truck collection.

Lot S170 1986 Chevrolet C10 Pickup

Late versions of the ‘box body’ third-generation of Chevrolet pickup trucks are becoming highly collectible. This 1986 C10 Silverado appears to be in superb condition, being presented as part of the Dennis Barton Collection at the Mecum Chicago sale.

Driving this truck is a 327-cubic inch V-8 engine, which has been bored to give extra displacement. Total output is rated as 350 horsepower, which should make this a rather rapid C10, with an automatic transmission responsible for swapping the cogs. Inside is a bright red interior, matching the lustrous exterior paintwork.

Lot S175 1985 Toyota FJ45 Land Cruiser Pickup

Built for almost 25 years, the FJ45 series of Toyota Land Cruiser models has an almost legendary reputation for dependability. If you want a reliable classic pickup, this 1985 model could be just what you need.

Further enhancing the usability is that this particular truck has been subject to a complete frame-off restoration. This has included period-correct beige exterior paintwork, whilst the interior has benefitted from new brown leather upholstery. Power steering, a four-speed transmission, four-wheel drive, and a 130-cubic inch six-cylinder engine are also present and correct.

Lot F115.1 1965 Ford Falcon Club Wagon

It is easy to forget that the Ford Falcon car range also gave its name to a version of the first-generation Ford Econoline van. Unlike the Falcon sedan, the Club Wagon used a mid-engined layout, with this particular model powered by a 240-cubic inch six-cylinder engine nestled between the front seats.

Noted to originally have come from New Mexico, this Club Wagon underwent a bare metal restoration. Numerous new-old-stock parts were said to have been used in restoring this van, which features a blue exterior to contrast with the white paintwork.

Lot T54 1949 Desoto Deluxe Woody Wagon

Desoto is reported to have made woody station wagons for just one model year, with only 850 examples produced in that time frame. Previously used by a drapery shop, this particular car can be described as a genuine barn find.

As part of the Petrozzini Estate, this wagon is clearly going to be need of some attention to get it back on the road. Mecum advises interested buyers to consider attending the auction in person to view these vehicles before bidding. Restoring this Desoto, powered by a 237-cubic inch six-cylinder engine, would result in a rare example of a woody wagon.

Lot F70 1966 Ford Country Squire Custom Wagon

Another woody station wagon, but one featuring vinyl wood grain instead. The sixth-generation of Ford Country Squire offered even more options for passengers, with this particular example offering space for nine thanks to the front bench seat and folding third row.

Rare options include the 390-cubic inch V-8 engine with 4 barrel carburettor, offering up 315 horsepower. A dual exhaust has been fitted, along with Wilwood power brakes and a set of aftermarket American Racing wheels. The luggage rack on the roof is an original item, and comes complete with fitted Samsonite luggage.

Lot F231 1983 Honda Civic Custom B18 Wagon

Built and owned by TV presenter Rutledge Wood, this second-generation Honda Civic Wagon has undergone extensive customization. The biggest news is under the hood, where a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine from a 1995 Acura Integra LS has been added, along with a five-speed manual transmission.

Inside are Recaro sports seats from a Volkswagen GTI, along with the steering wheel from a Jetta GLI. Lowered suspension gives an aggressive stance on the 15-inch Enkei alloy wheels, with a front splitter also taken from a VW GTI. The distinctive exterior paint is an original Nissan ‘Tank Green’ hue, with the interior finished in matching green plaid.