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The car racing games to look forward to in 2022

It’s set to be a bumper year for fans of racing games, with a new Gran Turismo just one highlight.

The video game industry is huge, having overtaken the movie industry during the coronavirus pandemic as people were forced to stay home and keep themselves occupied.

It was already on track to take the top spot before the pandemic, and while genres such as first person shooters tend to get the biggest headlines, car racing games are quietly one of the most important sectors.

Many games, in particular the online-focused iRacing, saw their popularity boom during lockdown as frustrated racing drivers took to the virtual circuit to get their competitive fix.

For racing game fans, 2022 could be one of the most exciting in recent memory. Here are the new releases to look forward to.

Gran Turismo 7 – March 4

The Gran Turismo franchise is responsible for nurturing a huge number of car enthusiasts since the first game was released on the original PlayStation. Since then it has grown to be one of the biggest franchises in gaming, and has even helped gamers become real life racers.

The next instalment attempts to take the game back to its roots, with players starting at the bottom of the racing rung and working to the top.

There’s also an online mode so you can go head-to-head with drivers from around the world, while a hugely detailed climate system should bring realistic weather.

Need for Speed 2022 – TBC

Speaking of massive racing game franchises, we’re getting a new Need for Speed game this year. While GT made its name as a circuit racer, NFS sees heavily modified road cars used on city streets.

Pretty much nothing is known about the game, aside from a vague ‘late 2022’ release date. However, it’s being made by Criterion, who made some NFS games before, including 2010’s much-loved Hot Pursuit.

Unless there’s a massive departure from previous games in the series, we can expect lots of highly tuned cars, beautiful real world locations and regular face offs with the police.

Forza Motorsport – TBC

The only downside to Gran Turismo is that it’s a PlayStation exclusive, meaning PC and Xbox players can’t give it a spin. That’s where Forza Motorsport comes in. Essentially acting as the Xbox alternative to the GT series, over the years it has also developed the open world arcade-style Forza Horizon.

This year, though, we’re getting a new Forza Motorsport, which focuses on circuit racing and building up from the game’s slower cars up the fastest in the world.

Aside from a gorgeous trailer released in 2020, we know next to nothing about this instalment, but expect it to be feature-packed to make the most of the next-generation console hardware.

Grid Legends – February 25

Grid Legends has just gone on sale and provides a curious alternative to the typical racing game genres. While most arcade-style games have some kind of story mode, Grid uses a combination of computer graphics and real-world actors to tell the story of your drivers journey up the racing ranks.

Tracks are typically in city centres locations such as London and Moscow, with a festival vibe to the surroundings. You can also create your own races to challenge others, with disciplines such as drifting and elimination-based setups.

F1 2022 – TBC

Much like football has FIFA, racing games have the F1 series. Each year, Codemasters releases the latest iteration in the series, which is based around that season’s Formula 1 championship.

This year’s iteration will be more hotly anticipated than usual, though, as a new set of car regulations has brought a heightened level of intrigue to the championship. Fans will be eager to get behind the wheel.

Expect the usual career mode as well as the popular My Team, which sees players create a team at the bottom of the championship and develop the car to become a world beater.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown – September 22

The Test Drive franchise goes back an incredibly long way, but it has not seen regular releases like some of those above. However, the Test Drive name returns after publisher Nacon bought the rights to the name.

The new game’s name hints at a follow up to the groundbreaking open-world Test Drive Unlimited, released on the Xbox 360 in 2006. That game was set in a faithful recreation of Oahu, Hawaii, while the new game is set to feature a complete recreation of Hong Kong. It should be pretty spectacular.

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Ducati launches custom motorcycle creation service

Ducati has launched a new service that allows its customers to create unique motorcycle specifications.

Called Ducati Unica, it allows buyers to join the firm’s design teams at the Ducati Centro Stile and explain what they want from their new product, collaborating directly with the designers and technicians.

Through periodical visits throughout the build process, these one-of-a-kind creations can be followed in-person to experience ‘first-hand the level of dedication and attention to detail that Ducati reserves for each customisation project’.

By working with the Ducati Unica team, customers can define details such as precious materials, dedicated finishes, special colours and Ducati Performance accessories, which are fitted on top of a base bike from the Ducati line-up.

The Italian firm will document the whole process, from early sketches to the delivery ceremony.

Andrea Ferraresi, Centro Stile Ducati Director: “Design is a distinctive element of our creations. We wanted to give Ducatisti the chance to identify themselves even more with their own bike, making it a direct expression of each person’s individual style.

Photos: PA Media

“Therefore, we created Ducati Unica, an exclusive programme that testifies to the excellence of Made in Italy of which Ducati is a representative in the world. An exciting and unforgettable experience of customisation to be experienced directly within our Centro Stile.

“The moment in which Ducatisti finally see their bike is very exciting for us at the Centro Stile and a source of great pride.”

Each Ducati Unica creation will be delivered with a certificate of authenticity to its uniqueness, which also guarantees that it will not be replicated.

To gain access to the service, prospective customers must contact their local Ducati dealer. It is available worldwide, but the company says it can only accept ‘an extremely limited number of requests each year’.

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Big bad Jenny

The Jensen Interceptor was a highly successful integration of Italian design, American muscle and British engineering, says JULES CHRISTIAN.

When you hear the word ‘Interceptor’ you are likely to have visions of jet fighter aircraft streaking across the sky or a young Luke Skywalker piloting against impossible odds and saving the universe from the evil of the Dark Side of The Force. On the other hand if you are into mo­toring legend, you may well know the name was associ­ated with the Jensen Motor Company as far back as 1950 and culminated in one of the most notable sporting GT models of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The Jensen Interceptor was big and bad and was a highly successful integration of Italian design, American muscle and British engineering. The body styling was by Carrozzeria Touring, with its legendary curvaceous back window, and with the first body shells being pro­duced by the famous Vignale factory when the Intercep­tor made its public debut on 1966. As the 6500+ Interceptors made were to be all hand-built by Jensen, they soon were pro­ducing the body-shells them­selves at their Kelvin Way Factory near Birmingham.

The top league sportscar com­petition at the time was fer­ocious, with brands such as Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborg­hini, Maserati and Porsche all vying for a chunk of the market. Jensen did not have an engine anything like competitive enough for this league and adopted American brute force to power the Interceptor. This came in the form of, initially the massive Chrysler 383 cu in (6.3ltr), and later the even more powerful 440 cu in (7.2ltr) V8s, the latter of which in its most potent (and collectable) six-pack setup, punched out mightily healthy 330bhp!

Jensen Interceptor coupe

All bar 22 manual cars (very collectable), they were all auto transmission with a limited slip diff (which only did its best to cope with the power), with later models all fully equipped with power steering, air con, electric windows and beautifully appointed leather interiors.

As to driving, on a dry day on the open road, they were a joy, with endless power, predictable handling and a wonderful V8 exhaust rumble with the characteristic In­terceptor ‘whistle’ from the rear chrome baffles. But with a heavy front end and all that power I remember they could be quite a handful in the wet. And mechan­ically they were prone to overheating problems, which were resolved by the addition of twin Kenlow electric radiator fans.

There were some variants to the model.

The (very, very collectable) 1974 convertible, of which only 267 were made and the even rarer 1975 Coupe (only 60 made), which was basically the convertible with a hard top and did not have the much-loved distinctive glass rear window of the original Interceptor.

Jensen Interceptor FF

Probably the most interesting variant was the FF (Fer­guson Formula), distinctive with a slightly longer body shell and double vents on the wings behind the front wheels and was, in 1967, was one of the very first four-wheel-drive production cars. Unlike, for example, the much later Audi Quattro, which was delightfully flexible on the road, the FF was positively brutal, with traction control get­ting the mighty horses straight on to the road, giving the FF the nickname of “the Dragster Trac­tor”, referring to the (Massey) Ferguson tractor connection.

They were not cheap to run and notably evil in their use of tyres and petrol, as with hard driving a set of four tyres could last as little as 10,000 kilometres and around town you would only get three kilometres per litre.

Jensen Interceptor

By 1975 the Interceptor’s days were numbered, as the Jensen company foundered into receivership under the weight of the problems with their disastrous Jenson Healey model. On top of this, increasing fuel costs and a worldwide recession radically reducing the demand for expensive gas guzzlers.

However that was not quite the end of the story, as in the early 1990s there was an attempt to reintroduce the Interceptor with modern specifications, which failed after the production of just 36 cars. The saga may still be continued as a new com­pany, headed by Car Warehouse magnate Charles Dun­stone, is involved with a similar undertaking aimed at reviving the Interceptor luxury sports saloon legend. May the Force be with them!

The interior of the Jensen Interceptor convertible

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The UK has one of the highest densities of luxury cars in the world

Luxembourg had the highest density by far

Luxembourg has the highest density of luxury vehicles in the world, with the United Kingdom also making it into the top 10.

The UK came seventh in the list, which calculated luxury car sales over the past four years and measured that against a nation’s population to find out how many people there were for every luxury car.

Luxembourg came out on top because although it had the lowest new luxury car sales in the top 20 at 48,584, it also had the smallest population by a long way at 625,978. This means there are 13 people for every luxury car.

The data has come from research by price comparison site Confused.com., which found that Belgium came second with 31 people per luxury car, followed by Germany with 32.

Again there was a big difference in the physical numbers, with Belgium selling about 370,000 luxury cars compared with Germany’s 2.6 million. However, the latter’s population is much bigger, with 83.8m compared with 11.6m.

Photos: PA Media

The United Kingdom’s seventh place came with 40 people per luxury car, with over 1.7m sales and a population of almost 67.9m.

This put it behind Switzerland in fourth (34 people per luxury car), Norway in fifth (36) and Australia in sixth (37). The rest of the top 10 was Austria (47), Sweden (48) and Canada (53).

The list was dominated by European countries, which made up 13 of the top 20. The US was surprisingly low in 12th place, with a score of 64 largely driven by its huge population of over 331m.

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Five times retro cars were reimagined with modern makeovers

With Hyundai revealing an electric concept of one of its classic models, we look back at other similar examples.

Brands love to trade on their heritage. Highlighting classic models that potential buyers could have an emotional connection to from when they were younger is a great way to build brand appeal.

Sometimes, though, it’s just a really cool way to showcase new technology. Hyundai is the latest brand to give one of its old models the electric treatment with the Grandeur.

The firm’s flagship saloon from the 1980s has been given LED headlights, a modern sound system, and a new electric motor and battery.

Here, we take a look at five other examples of car makers taking classic models and giving them the ‘restomod’ treatment.

Photos: PA Media

Nissan IDx

In 2013, Nissan brought a funky concept car to the Tokyo Motor Show. Called the IDx, its styling was inspired by one of the firm’s prettiest old models, the Datsun 510.

The two-door, rear-drive layouts were a response to the increasing popularity of more affordable sports cars, but it sadly never made it to production.

The high-performance Nismo version was said to use the 1.6-litre engine from the Juke Nismo, which made in excess of 200bhp.

BMW 2002 Hommage

Much like the Datsun 510, the original BMW 2002 has the simple, elegant design that you just don’t get with modern cars thanks to the extensive safety equipment that’s required.

When BMW wanted to reinvent this model, though, it took it in a wild direction, with flared arches and massive air intakes.

Built to celebrate 50 years of the 2002, it uses the 3.0-litre turbocharged engine from the M2 with some upgraded components from the M3.

Opel Manta GSe ElektroMod

Much like Hyundai, Opel (badged Vauxhall in the UK) wanted to connect its modern electric powertrains with much-loved classics from its past. A small group of designers set about building a concept to achieve this, and the Opel Manta GSe ElktroMod was born.

Also celebrating 50 years since the original’s launch, this Manta has a similar silhouette to the old model but wears the firm’s modern front end design. It uses a single electric motor that makes 145bhp, while the 31kWh battery pack should offer 124 miles of range.

Peugeot e-Legend

Peugeot has been on a design roll over the past decade, transforming its cars from the mundane to the stylish models we know today.

Back in 2018 it showed what it could do with a bit more design freedom, showing off the e-Legend concept.

This stunning coupe echoed design touches from the classic 504 Coupe, but with a modern EV powertrain. Twin electric motors provide 456bhp, while the 100kWh battery pack is said to offer up to 370 miles between charges.

Renault 5

One of the funkiest concept cars in recent years is the Renault 5 Electric. Sporting a modern take on the hugely popular French hatchback, the Electric version is said to be able to travel up to 250 miles on a full battery and have fast-charging capabilities.

The best part? Renault has confirmed that this concept previews a production model that will likely come out in 2024. Quite how much of this retro-inspired styling will be carried over remains to be seen.

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Incredibly rare Renault Clio V6 set to go under the hammer

Mid-engined hot hatch has just 980 miles on the clock.

Hot hatch fans have been alerted to an incredibly rare opportunity to own a low-mileage Renault Clio V6.

An example in the UK is going up for sale on the Collecting Cars auction site and is expected to break records for the mid-engined model.

It is expected to go for more than £70,000 (€82,700), eclipsing the previous record of £62,540. However, it could accelerate well beyond estimates as there are a few desirable aspects that could set off a bidding war.

The first is that it has just 980 miles on the clock, with Collecting Cars saying it is delivered in ‘time warp condition’. It is said to have no exterior blemishes and a pristine interior. Furthermore, it’s one of just 18 Liquid Yellow models sold in the UK.

The Clio V6 is considered highly desirable because it’s an incredible feat of engineering. Renault engineers relocated the engine to the middle of the car, a layout that’s usually reserved for serious sports cars because it provides excellent weight distribution.

Photos: PA Media

It utilises a 3.0-litre V6 Renaultsport engine making 251bhp, routed through a six-speed manual gearbox. Again, its sporting credentials are clear, with the Clio’s standard front-wheel-drive layout ditched in favour of rear-wheel-drive.

Being a Phase 2 model, it has 25bhp more than the earlier car, as well as a longer wheelbase and wider track to improve handling.

That pristine interior is trimmed in half black leather and synthetic suede, with a leather-trimmed steering wheel. The air conditioning, electric windows and cruise control are all in full working order.

Edward Lovett, founder of Collecting Cars, said: “We are delighted to host the sale of what is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable examples of a Renault Clio V6 in the world, with exceptionally low mileage and originality.

“Prospective owners of any collector car are often told to buy the best example they can afford and this particular Clio V6 is among the very best of them all.”

The Renault Clio V6 auction is running now and ends on October 27 at 7.20pm.

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The performance cars you need to check out today

The enthusiasm for driving sure isn’t dead – and these are some of the best cars to enjoy the open road in.

There’s still plenty of enthusiasm for driving these days. Take one look at the new car market and you’ll see a variety of models which trade on their ability to induce a grin on a twisty road. In fact, there are plenty of performance cars out there that have been engineered specifically to make the most of every drive.

So let’s dive in and see some of the best options on the market today.

Photos: PA Media

BMW M5 CS

BMW’s M5 has always been one of the poster stars of the fast saloon segment, but the CS version takes things one step further. Though it’s still a useable and practical car, it’s lighter and more focused than even the standard M5.

Plus, it’s got some unique touches such as the retro-style yellow daytime running lights and the oversized carbon bucket seats.

Caterham Seven

If you want the purest driving experience around then look no further than the Caterham Seven. Still handbuilt in the UK, the Seven is incredible lightweight and this makes it ideal for darting around country lanes.

Ranging in power outputs – from the Suzuki-engined 170 to the supercharged 620R – there’s a Seven for all tastes.

Honda Civic Type R

The Honda Civic Type R is often seen as the benchmark for hot hatches. The most recent version is arguably one of the best to date, with impressively sharp handling being matched by a useable and practical bodystyle.

Though its looks might not be for everyone, the Civic Type R is still one of the best-driving cars on sale today.

Toyota GR Yaris

When Toyota announced that it would be making a rally-inspired version of its Yaris, there were some reservations about whether or not the final product would be any good. How wrong people were. The end result – the GR Yaris – is a brilliant example of what a hot hatch can be.

With a clever four-wheel-drive system incredibly dialled-in handling, the GR Yaris feels as though it was designed for the open road.

Porsche Cayman

Porsche’s Cayman is often guilty of stealing some of the attention from its larger stablemate, the 911. With its relatively compact proportions but expertly judged steering, the Cayman is a really useable daily sports car that just happens to be one of the best-handling ones around.

It’s surprisingly practical, too, with more boot space than you might expect from a car of this size.

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Genesis GV60 crossover revealed as premium brand’s first electric car

Genesis has revealed the GV60, its first bespoke electric vehicle, in a detailed gallery of images.

With the production car not due to hit forecourts until early next year, details are currently fairly thin on the ground.

However, what we do know is that it uses Hyundai’s E-GMP electric vehicle platform, with Genesis being the South Korean firm’s luxury division, meaning it can benefit from its technology.

That means it will have the same underpinnings as the highly praised Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the forthcoming Kia EV6, but where those cars have quite dramatic futuristic styling, the GV60 looks a little more restrained – if you ignore the lime green paint colour used for the launch photos, of course.

As such, it should have rapid charging capabilities of up to 350kW and a range of up to 300 miles.

Photos: PA Media

Genesis says the GV60 is the next step in evolving its naming structure, where lower numbers will be more ‘athletic’ and higher numbers focus on a more premium, relaxing experience. This model will therefore sit below the GV70 and GV80 in the line-up as the most driver-focused car from the firm yet.

The GV60 takes design elements from the firm’s existing cars but adapts them for an electric vehicle. The huge grille that typically dominates Genesis front ends has been widened and placed lower in the front grille because electric vehicles don’t have the same cooling requirements as internal combustion engines.

The quad lamp design remains, while the bonnet has a ‘clamshell’ design that includes the front fenders. From the side profile there is a clear coupe-like swoop to the rear of the roof with a sporty spoiler.

Jump inside and there’s a pair of ‘floating’ displays that stretch from behind the wheel to the centre of the dashboard, which include the digital instrument binnacle and infotainment screen. Small displays in the doors show the digital wing mirrors, and between the passengers sits a drive gear selector called a ‘Crystal Sphere’, which hides away when not needed.

The Genesis GV60 is one of three electric vehicles to come from the firm in Europe over the next year. Pricing and specification details have not yet been announced, but it is expected to go on sale in early 2022.

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Bono’s Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL set to go under the hammer at auction

A 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL formerly owned by U2 frontman Bono is set to be auctioned off this week with an estimate of €17.5k.

The classic model incorporates a variety of modifications introduced by the singer, who bought the vehicle to celebrate the success of U2’s first album, Boy.

It has an interior that has been entirely retrimmed in a cowhide pattern, with the eye-catching material used on all areas including the parcel shelf and door cards. However, one of the standout features is the Alpine sound system, which was fitted by Bono at a cost of €14k– around €80k today.

Photos: PA Media

Consisting of several amps and a variety of speakers, it was so powerful that Bono kept a fire extinguisher in the car at all times in case it set on fire.

The exterior of the car is finished in grey paint, while the wheels benefit from new tyres. Recently serviced and given a new starter motor and battery, the Mercedes has covered 163,000 miles since new. It does, however, require a few areas of attention with some corrosion appearing on the underside of the car and a handful of rust spots on the edge of the bonnet.

Bono auctioned the car off in 2000 when it was purchased by Pepsi as a way of raising money for Ethiopian aid projects.

The Mercedes is being sold online by Car & Classic.

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