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Alpine A110 Légende GT 2021: The GT spirit in its most intense version

Alpine has presented the A110 Légende GT 2021, a limited edition of just 300 units for Europe. In this incarnation, the A110 Légende GT 2021 takes the A110 to new heights with a hitherto unseen elegance.

After the success of the A110 Légende GT, launched in 2020, the Légende GT 2021 has been endowed with specific new design components and high-level equipment to match the expectations of a top of the range clientele. It is also enhanced by technical characteristics that underline the sporty nature of the A110, borrowing the 292hp powertrain of the A110S. 

Beyond the new design interpretation, it is the combination of engine and chassis that allows Alpine to present this unprecedented model.  

Introducing the new mat Mercury Silver finish, the A110 Légende GT 2021 is also available in the Abyss Blue, already known in the range. The pale gold Alpine monograms and 18-inch Grand Prix diamond-cut wheel rims with their vibrant gold brake callipers provide a subtle contrast to the two body colours. The translucent LED rear lights bring the final touch that differentiates the A110 Légende GT 2021 from the other A110s. 

Photos: Alpine

In the cabin, the six-way adjustable Sabelt Comfort leather seats are available in either amber or black, with matching leather door panels. The brown or grey stitching has a matching mid-point marker on the steering wheel. Among the other distinctive elements, we must mention the Dinamica headliner and glossy carbon fibre elements with a unique copper weave on the centre console, dashboard visor and air vents. The floor mat and aluminium footrest on the passenger’s side complete the welcoming atmosphere and Grand Tourisme spirit of the limited edition A110 Légende GT 2021. Below the centre console, a numbered plate emphasises the exclusivity of the model. 

The choice of Mercury Silver with a harmonious black interior for a modern, technical look or Abyss Blue matched with amber leather for an elegant, refined ambience is a matter of personal taste. The driving experience, however, is most assuredly Alpine: agility, comfort and performance. 

Along with its elegant exterior design and distinctive cabin, the A110 Légende GT 2021 is distinguished by its unprecedented chassis / engine combination. Based on the Légende version, it adopts the 292hp powertrain, Sport exhaust and high-performance brake system, hitherto available only on the A110S, to provide a balance of comfort and performances never seen before on the A110 It is built on a lightweight aluminium structure, with a centrally mounted rear engine and double wishbone suspension (front and rear). The 1.8 litre turbocharged engine delivers 292hp, for a torque of 320Nm between 2,000 and 6,400 rpm. Its lightness and dual clutch transmission allow the A110 Légende GT 2021 to go from 0 to 60mph in 4.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 155mph on the track. As well as this limited edition’s bespoke finishes, the vehicle boasts lots of equipment as standard: front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera and Focal audio system. Thus, the A110 Légende GT 2021 delivers the right balance of comfort and precise dynamic behaviour that makes it easy to drive every day.  

As an extra guarantee of exclusivity and distinction, the A110 Légende GT 2021 will be available in a numbered, limited edition of just 300 units for Europe.  

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1960s Abarth 1000 SP inspires evocative one-off

In the latter half of the 1950s, Alfa Romeo and Abarth worked in tandem to produce a sports car with a limited displacement. Entrusted to Mario Colucci – a Milan engineer and Alfa Romeo employee, the project came to fruition in 1958 with the manufacturing of an Abarth 1000-based Alfa Romeo, a compact coupé – driven by an engine based on the 4-cylinder Sprint Veloce, but with a lower displacement – and characterized by a chassis consisting of a lattice of pipes. “Dressed up” in bodywork made by Bertone to a design by Franco Scaglione, the car remains a unique piece.

At the end of this collaboration, Carlo Abarth hired Colucci as Technical Director, then in 1966 entrusted him with the ambitious project of the Abarth 1000 SP. The car’s name indicates the engine displacement – derived from that of the Fiat 600 – and the Sport Prototipo class, the type of closed-wheel cars produced specifically to take part in competitions and constructed in limited editions.

Designed to excel in both short hillclimbs and endurance races, the 1000 SP features simple, low and sleek lines. Lightweight and powerful, it won a major series of international victories – the first of which in its class at the Nürburgring 500 km in September 1966, helping to consolidate the sporting prestige of the Abarth brand. The skilled engineer Colucci thus completed his concept of a tubular chassis racing car, which had begun a few years earlier with the Alfa Romeo Abarth 1000. 

Photos: Fiat

Rightly considered a milestone in Abarth’s competitive history, in terms of style, performance and victories, the 1000 SP continues to inspire the designers at the Centro Stile Fiat & Abarth. They have now produced a contemporary reinterpretation of the iconic 1960s Sport Prototipo: a medium-sized sports car, with an eye-catching silhouette and essential lines. This idea of a lightweight car with an excellent weight-to-power ratio became the basis of a project that became reality in 2021,fully in line with its forerunner: the points and lines of the original car’s design were respected to ensure continuity between the ’60s sports car and the concept car of the new millennium.

The Abarth 1000 SP respects three fundamental design principles already seen in the ’60s model. First and foremost, the lightness of its forms, its volumes and of course its weight.

The second principle is aerodynamics: modern design technologies have made it possible to combine the iconic lines of the 1000 SP with an aerodynamic coefficient worthy of a contemporary sports car.
Finally, ergonomics, aimed at improving the user experience, to optimise the vehicle’s control and agile driveability.

The Abarth 1000 SP echoes the lines and aesthetics characteristic of its forerunner. The sinuous body, with the soft surfaces of the fenders highlighting the position of the wheels, takes up the pattern of the spider with a central engine. The cockpit glazing features shaped side deflectors, with their profile lowered towards the roll bar, the latter strictly “in view”, to highlight our being in the presence of a “no-holds-barred” spider.

The rear geometries of the Abarth 1000 SP accentuate the ideal harmony between the lights and the exhaust pipes. The livery is strictly red and the characteristic air intakes appear all over, from the front bonnet to the cooling slots in its rear counterpart. 

The headlights also follow the minimalist scheme of the historic 1000 SP, with point lights on the nose and a single pair of round headlights to accentuate the car’s remarkable breadth when seen from behind. The Abarth 1000 SP thus maintains a very similar identity to its forerunner’s, courtesy of the meticulous work to update the historic, no-holds-barred Abarth 1000 SP.

Conversely, the tubular chassis under the “skin” of the historic Sport Prototipo gives way to a hybrid frame, with a central cell in carbon fibre and an aluminium front. The Abarth 1000 SP features a powerful turbocharged four-cylinder, 1742-cc central engine, capable of delivering up to 240 hp in output. The sophisticated mechanics of the concept boast overlapping triangle suspension in the front, with an advanced MacPherson strut in the rear.

Precisely 55 years after the debut of its forerunner, the Abarth 1000 SP – only one model of which has been produced to date – is once again ready to strut its stuff: this autumn, it will be taking part in major events focused on vintage cars.

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BMW Motorrad expands equipment range for R 18 and R 18 Classic

The existing range of optional equipment and the still growing range of Original BMW Motorrad accessories offer many possibilities for customising the R 18 and R 18 Classic. With the introduction of the Option 719 parts, BMW Motorrad is now adding features that enable highest-level bike customisation based on historical roots. After all, the internal code “719” at BMW Motorrad already stood for particularly high-quality and exclusive special equipment, unusual special requests and unique items decades ago. The new Option 719 parts will be available from September 2021.

The Option 719 Design Package AERO includes the cylinder head covers on the left and right, the front cover and the intake snorkel cover on the left and right. All parts are made of aluminium sheet with a brushed, colourless anodised surface. The cylinder head covers feature finely wrought air vents reminiscent of the “streamliners” of the 1920s and 1930s. The highlight is a badge on the front and side covers: This is made of solid copper which is chrome-plated and partially finished in white. The white paint enclosing the number sequence “719” is reminiscent of historical emblems that were typically lined with enamel during that era.

For the new R 18 and R 18 Classic, the Option 719 seat is a particularly exclusive alternative to the standard seat. In addition to the standard seat height, it offers integrated seat heating as well as a fascinating material selection and finish. For example, two black upper materials are used, which are combined with diamond-shaped quilted embossing. An embroidered BMW logo and the 719 symbol on the side round off this exclusive seat.

The colour Galaxy Dust metallic is a flip-flop finish that shimmers in a spectrum from violet to turquoise blue, depending on the incidence of light. In addition, the many large effect pigments create a unique visual effect when exposed to sunlight. This special finish is combined with a Titanium Silver 2 metallic mirror on the fuel tank. The transition between the two colour surfaces consists of a hand-applied smoke effect familiar from the legendary R 90 S. In addition, the mirror surface is surrounded by a classic white double line.

Photos: BMW

The two Option 719 wheel sets AERO and ICON in the basic colours matt silver and matt black, respectively, provide a particularly refined and technically sophisticated look. The cast alloy wheels feature a six-spoke design. The milled filigree ribs of the spokes are a real eye-catcher. The milled areas give the aluminium a fascinating contrast with the paint colour of the wheels – hence the name Contrast Cut.

BMW Motorrad entered the cruiser segment with the market launch of the R 18 in September 2020, followed in February 2021 by the R 18 Classic, the second member of the new model series. The R 18 Classic embodies the nostalgic tourer, echoing the beginnings of the big cruisers suitable for touring. Compared to the very purist R 18, the R 18 Classic is characterised above all by the large windshield, the pillion seat, the saddlebags, the LED auxiliary headlights and the 16-inch front wheel.

Both R 18 models are rooted in the tradition of historic BMW motorcycles. Both technically and visually, they borrow from renowned models such as the BMW R 5 and focus back on the essentials of the motorcycle: purist, straight-up technology and the boxer engine as the epicentre of riding pleasure, combined with “good vibrations”.

The very successful market launch of the BMW R 18 and the R 18 Classic was carried out with the First Edition models. Production of these exclusive, limited-edition models will already cease at the end of July 2021, after more than 13,000 units have been manufactured to date.

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David vs Goliath: the Ford Puma ST races replica model

It’s David versus Goliath… but not as you know it. The all-new Puma ST – the first Ford Performance SUV in Europe – takes centre stage in an epic clash against a small but mighty version of itself in a thrilling new film released by Ford.

Puma ST vs. Puma RC pits the 200 PS Puma ST high performance compact SUV – driven by rally star Louise Cook – against a 1/10 scale radio-controlled (RC) replica – driven by professional RC racer Lee Martin – in a dramatic race against the clock.

Shot on location at the iconic Brands Hatch motor racing circuit in the UK, the unique face-off is the ultimate test of Puma ST agility. Using cornering abilities sharpened by sophisticated Sports Technologies, the full-size Puma ST can lap the 1.9-kilometre Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in a target time of around 60 seconds.

Meanwhile, the 1/10 scale Puma ST RC model must complete three laps of the 220-metre Brands Hatch kart track; a precise replica of the full-size Indy Circuit that mirrors its six challenging corners. With a target lap time of around 20 seconds for the scaled-down Puma ST, the contest demanded all-out performance from both cars and drivers – setting up a nail-biting finish.

Introducing acclaimed Ford Performance driving dynamics to the innovative Ford Puma SUV, the Puma ST is powered by a 200 PS 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine and accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 6.7 seconds.

Sports Technologies including a unique-in-segment limited-slip differential option, patented force vectoring springs and unique suspension and steering specifications combine for exceptional cornering responses. Selectable Drive Modes include Track mode that tunes vehicle dynamics features for the fastest possible lap times and the purest driving experience.

Giving the Puma ST the best possible chance of victory, British rally driver Louise Cook is a winner of the FIA Production Car Cup for 2WD as well as the British Rally Championship Ladies’ title.

A one-off, custom-built 1/10 scale model developed by UK-based Designworks specially for the race, the Puma ST RC car is based on an ARC R12FF platform and uses a 402 W electric motor to reach speeds of 80 km/h.

Carefully designed to mirror the full-size vehicle as accurately as possible, the Puma ST RC car is front-wheel drive just like the real thing. Its lightweight bodyshell was made from high impact polystyrene (HIPS) using digital engineering data taken from the real car and a computer-controlled milling machine.

Details including the replica wheels, door mirrors and windscreen wipers were 3D-printed in meticulous detail. Even the Mean Green exterior is identical to the production SUV, using the same acrylic water-based paint.

At the controls, Lee Martin is a professional RC racer with six European and 13 British championship titles to his name.

“This was no ordinary race, but the Puma ST is designed to offer performance and agility in a compact and practical package, whatever the conditions. Even when it is up against a purpose-built racing car and a champion driver, it has the ability to deliver,” said Stefan Muenzinger, manager Ford Performance, Europe.

“Driving the Puma ST for the first time was awesome. I don’t know what I expected but it did not feel like an SUV, it felt like a sporty hatchback and I had so much fun driving it around the Brands Hatch circuit. I am used to rallying Ford rally cars, so it was nice to feel that familiar fast and forgiving feeling in the Puma ST chassis,” added Louise Cook, WRC rally driver.

“This was a great opportunity to see how an RC car went up against a real car. The model was made to look as close to the real car as possible; it was front-wheel drive, it had an SUV body – and like the real thing, it handled really well. The race was brilliant fun. Maybe next time Louise and I can switch cars,” concluded Lee Martin, RC racer.

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Continental Cars Open Week

Continental Cars have launched an open week at their Ta’ Xbiex showroom.

Running from May 3 till May 8, this Open Week is an opportunity for anyone looking to buy a new car, to enjoy unbeatable offers and great financing on VW, Audi, Porsche, SEAT vehicles in stock and the newly launched Cupra. Moreover, 0% deposit and part-exchange are available.

Open all day between 9am and 6pm at Continental Cars, Ta’ Xbiex.

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Lotus Evija honoured in BBC Top Gear Electric Awards

The Lotus Evija has been named as ‘The One to Watch’ in Top Gear’s second ever Electric Awards. The all-electric hypercar was recently tested by Top Gear magazine editor Jack Rix on the test track at Lotus HQ in Hethel, Norfolk, and his article is published over eight pages in the May issue.

Rix calls the Evija not just a halo car for Lotus – “a signpost for the future of the company” – but labels it “a flagbearer for really fast electric vehicles as a whole”.

The Evija, which will go into production later this year, is the world’s most powerful car. It has an output of more than 2,000 PS from its all-electric, all-wheel drive powertrain. Rix notes it can accelerate from 124mph to 186mph (200 km/h to 300 km/h) in just three seconds, half the time it takes a Bugatti Chiron to do the same.

Rix was driving an Evija prototype restricted to 1,600 PS. “It’s light on its feet, playful with the instant mash of acceleration even a naturally aspirated engine could only fantasise about.”

He was also full of praise for the work of the project development team, saying the core Lotus DNA is obvious right from the first corner.

“The steering is superb, light and darty around the dead-ahead, then loading up according to wheel angle and speed.” He concluded that “Lotus is on the brink of something special.”

Matt Windle, managing director, Lotus Cars, said: “Of all the EVs in development around the world, it’s an honour to be recognised by the Top Gear team as ‘The One to Watch’. Validation work on the car continues apace, and we resumed our world tour with the car last month. We look forward to showing it to more people in the physical world in the coming weeks.”

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Lambo museum reopens its doors with new exhibition

The MUDETEC, Automobili Lamborghini’s museum in Sant’Agata Bolognese, will reopen its doors to the public on May 3. Following the forced closure of the last months due to the pandemic, one of Lamborghini’s most iconic places comes back to life with the new exhibition “Future is our legacy”.

The title of the exhibition recalls the philosophy of Automobili Lamborghini: a company that constantly looks to the future, staying ahead of the times, without ever forgetting or celebrating its past. The exhibition coincides with two important events: the 20th anniversary of the MUDETEC and the 50th anniversary of the Countach.

In Lamborghini tradition, the exhibition – divided over two floors – perfectly synthesizes innovation and tradition: the two souls of the House of Sant’Agata. A tunnel at the entrance ignites visitors’ emotions with the unmistakable sound of the V12 engine, along with a video that celebrates the iconic V12 models. On the ground floor, the path is laid out so that visitors can discover the models produced from the ‘60s to the ‘90s, from the Miura to the Diablo, and then take a leap into the futuristic design of two recent visionary models: the Essenza SCV12 and the Vision GT.

Photos: Lamborghini

The undisputed protagonist of the second floor is the Countach, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary: a model that, in addition to being a bedroom poster for an entire generation and used in dozens of international films, helped make Lamborghini a legend. Placed on a platform, the Countach seems to look over the models produced since 2000, which inevitably took inspiration from it in terms of both design and technological solutions. The tour continues among limited edition models, such as the Reventón, Sesto Elemento, Veneno, Centenario, and the first Lamborghini with hybrid technology, the Sián.

The experience is also enriched by activities with extensive digital and innovative content, a trademark of Automobili Lamborghini. Engaging with Lamborghini fans to offer an exciting and interactive experience, a driving simulator includes a new feature: the “Social pass-by card”. By being positioned in front of the screens, visitors can take a photo next to a favorite Lamborghini, share it on social media, and take home the memory of a special day in a unique place. 

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The spark of electrification lights up the Maserati Levante Hybrid

They say that lightning never strikes the same spot twice, but that’s just a legend: the incandescent flash that electrified the Maserati Ghibli Hybrid last year continues its path and prepares to ignite all future Maserati models.

Maserati Levante Hybrid marks a bold step forwards into the future of Maserati. This new step combines the two-litre 4-cylinder thermal engine with a 48-volt Hybrid system that allows to the driver to recover energy during deceleration and braking. Technology meets exclusivity; power combines with a respect for the environment. Accepting less than the best is not an option.

This latest evolution in the SUV is lighter than its corresponding petrol version: faster, greener and even more iconic. Incredible performance with minimal impact on the environment. With a maximum speed of 240 km/h, and 0 to 100 km/h in just 6 seconds, the Maserati Levante Hybrid reaches 330 hp of maximum power and 450 Nm of torque at 2,250 rpm. But do not worry, despite the hybridization, the Brand’s unmistakable trademark – the distinctive Maserati sound – still remains.

Photos: Maserati

New icons in the Brand’s voyage towards electrification, bold blue cobalt illuminates details throughout the Maserati Levante Hybrid: from the three signature side air intakes, to the brake callipers; from the logo on the rear pillar, to the embroidered stitch work on the interiors. The futuristic lightning bolt takes shape in the metallic tri-layer colour “Azzurro Astro”, chosen for the launch of Maserati Levante Hybrid. Iridescent and magic at the same time: a perfect balance that shifts between blue, when touched bathed in light and grey when in the shadows. Blue like the sky above Modena and like the oceanic home of ​​the God Neptune, who lent his Trident to the Maserati brothers.

Maserati Levante Hybrid is a SUV built of contrasts: balancing performance with reduced consumption, similarly, its global launch will be both virtual, on houseof.maserati.com, and physically at the Shanghai Auto Show.

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Continental GT Speed convertible breaks cover for spring

Bentley Motors has introduced a new flagship version of the ultimate, open-top Grand Tourer – the Continental GT Speed Convertible. The performance-orientated Speed model is the most powerful, driver-focused interpretation of the benchmark convertible Grand Tourer.

The third generation Continental GT Speed Convertible features an enhanced version of Bentley’s renowned 6.0-litre W12 TSI engine, delivering an outstanding and increased 659 PS (650 bhp), 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds) and a top speed of 208 mph (335 km/h). The new open-air Grand Tourer joins its coupe sibling – the Continental GT Speed, unveiled last month – at the pinnacle of the Continental family

Designed, handcrafted and engineered in Bentley’s carbon neutral luxury automotive factory, the new GT Speed Convertible offers enhanced chassis technology, including All-Wheel Steering, an electronic rear differential and the option of carbon ceramic brakes. This helps deliver superior vehicle agility and confidence without impacting on the Continental GT Convertible’s acclaimed ride comfort.

Photos: Bentley

The Continental GT Speed Convertible is fitted with a tailored, ‘Z-fold’ roof that can be deployed or stowed in just 19 seconds, transforming it from a luxurious coupe to an open-top Grand Tourer at the touch of a button.

Distinguishing this Grand Tourer as a pinnacle performance model, the Continental GT Speed Convertible offers unique exterior and interior detailing, including Speed sport sills, dark tint grilles and Speed badging. Customers can also choose from three finishes to the unique 22” forged Speed wheels.

Inside a luxuriously-appointed cabin, the new Continental GT Convertible model includes Speed badging on the passenger fascia, an Alcantara steering wheel and a unique colour split trim in hide and Alcantara. 

Chris Craft, member of the board for sales and marketing at Bentley Motors, said: “The new Speed is the most driver-focused Continental GT Convertible available and unique in its ability to offer extremely refined, all-season open-top Grand Touring with the added edge of astonishing performance and dynamism.

“Combined with exquisite, handcrafted interior details, the Continental GT Speed Convertible exemplifies all Bentley knows about creating the world’s most stylish and elegant cars for roof-down motoring.”

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