Malta's 1st Motoring Website

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GoTo gets to 20,000 subscribers

GoTo Malta has now reached a total of 20,000 subscribers, the eco-friendly shared mobility operator has announced.

Launched in Malta in late 2018, GoTo has revolutionised Malta’s transport network by offering sustainable, affordable and convenient travel alternatives through its exclusive fleet of shared electric cars and scooters. The multi-modal vehicle sharing provider has fast gained popularity on the island through its One-Way and Roundtrip services, all accessible via one membership and user-friendly app.

“We feel proud that we have now managed to reach 20,000 subscribers since our launch in Malta just over two years ago,” said GoTo chief marketing officer Johnny Tominaga.

“This latest achievement is testament to the GoTo team’s dedication and determination to constantly improve the service we offer our customers. It encourages us to work even harder towards our future goals.”

The new milestone is part of an overall period of growth particularly over the past year at GoTo. As well as expanding its multi-modal fleet, the vehicle sharing platform also ensured its full range of services met the ever-rising reservation figures following the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, it helped the wider community through the challenging time by supporting local businesses and the life-changing work of charities such as the Malta Red Cross and the Foodbank Lifeline Foundation with vehicles and manpower.

“Our contribution as a transportation service was also important throughout the COVID-19 crisis,” added Tominaga. “It offered Malta’s commuters a convenient travel option that gave them full control over whether they would drive alone or with other passengers. We made sure that our customers had the extra peace of mind of driving a shared vehicle that was regularly and thoroughly cleaned and followed all government protocols regarding the pandemic.

“Looking ahead, at GoTo we are keeping positive about the company’s performance in 2021 as we look towards increasing our subscriber numbers even further. We have a number of exciting projects in the pipeline,” Tominaga added.

More information about GoTo can be found at www.goto.com.mt. The GoTo app is available for download from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

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Ford Europe goes all-in on EVs

Ford has taken a significant step forward in its European transformation with a commitment to go all-in on its electric passenger vehicles and to substantially grow and electrify its leading commercial vehicle business.

Ford has committed that by mid-2026, 100 per cent of Ford’s passenger vehicle range in Europe will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, and will be completely all electric by 2030. Similarly, Ford’s entire commercial vehicle range will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, by 2024, with two-thirds of Ford’s commercial vehicle sales expected to be all electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030.

The news came after Ford reported, in the fourth quarter of 2020, a return to profit in Europe and announced it was investing at least $22 billion globally in electrification through 2025, nearly twice the company’s previous EV investment plans.

“We successfully restructured Ford of Europe and returned to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2020. Now we are charging into an all-electric future in Europe with expressive new vehicles and a world-class connected customer experience,” said Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe. 

“We expect to continue our strong momentum this year in Europe and remain on track to deliver our goal of a six per cent EBIT margin as part of Ford’s plan to turnaround our global automotive operations.”

Central to Ford’s transformation of its operations in Europe over the past two years were a $1 billion improvement in structural costs, addressing underperforming markets, the creation of a more targeted vehicle line up within three customer-focused business groups, and partnerships to drive growth and improved levels of profitability across the business.

In 2020, Ford achieved its sixth successive year as the leading commercial vehicle sales brand in Europe. Growth in Ford’s strong commercial vehicle business is key to its European profitability, supported by new products and services, working with an extensive network of commercial vehicle converter partners, with Ford’s strategic alliance with Volkswagen and its Ford Otosan joint venture providing cost-effective vehicle development and sourcing.

Driving further growth in the commercial vehicle business will be an ecosystem built around connected services co-developed with customers and designed to enhance the customer experience and help their businesses to thrive. These include, for example, connected uptime and productivity services such as FordPass Pro for fleets of up to five vehicles, and the launch of Ford Fleet Management, created by Ford and ALD Automotive last year to maximize productivity for fleet customers seeking bespoke services to keep their fleets on the road.

“We successfully restructured Ford of Europe and returned to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2020. Now we are charging into an all-electric future in Europe with expressive new vehicles and a world-class connected customer experience”

Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe

Ford and Google also announced recently the establishment of a new collaborative group, Team Upshift, to drive disruptive, data-driven opportunities. This first-of-its-kind partnership in combination with Ford’s in-house capabilities will be the basis of transformed ownership experiences and services for both the company’s commercial and passenger vehicle customers.

Spearheading Ford’s advance into an all-electric future is a new $1 billion investment to modernise its vehicle assembly facility in Cologne, Germany, one of its largest manufacturing centres in Europe and the home of Ford of Europe. The investment will transform the existing vehicle assembly operations into the Ford Cologne Electrification Centre for the manufacture of electric vehicles, Ford’s first such facility in Europe.

Ford also confirmed that its first European-built, volume all-electric passenger vehicle for European customers will be produced at the facility from 2023, with the potential for a second all-electric vehicle built there under consideration.

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Race-winning Lotus driven by Jim Clark up for auction

A beautiful and storied Lotus is one of a collection of rare race cars set to go under the hammer next month.

The 1960 Lotus 19 Monte Carlo won a race at the hands of legendary Scottish racing driver Jim Clark, and was the last car driven by Sir Stirling Moss before he retired.

A creation of famed car designer Colin Chapman, it has a fibreglass body and is presented for sale with a new engine and fresh competition preparation by classic car expert Andrew Tart.

Another car going up for sale at the Race Retro Live Auction is a 1959 Studebaker Silver Hawk Racer in a Cameo Beige paint job. It has adjustable suspension, an incredible advancement for the era, and raced from the front row at the 2019 Goodwood Revival.

Gary Dunne, sales controller for Silverstone Auctions, which is hosting the online sale, said: “This is our tenth Race Retro auction and we have both modern and historic competition cars confirmed for the sale. Including the 1960 FIA Lotus 19 Monte Carlo, which is a privilege and real honour to offer a car with such provenance!”

Two of the other highlights from the sale are much more modern, including a 2004 Palmer Jaguar JP1 TS, complete with a bespoke trailer. The two-seat track-day car has a 3.0-litre Jaguar Racing Cosworth engine that can propel it to 198mph and go from 0-60mph in 7.4 seconds.

Finally, a 2017 Mordan AR V6 will also turn heads. It’s the most powerful car ever sold by Morgan, and is one of just six examples, gaining extra provenance by winning the Morgan Challenge series at the hands of 19-year-old Elliot Patterson.

Silverstone Auctions has moved the Race Retro Live Online Auction to Saturday, March 27.

Photos: PA Media

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80,000 individual examples of the Continental GT

The Home of Bentley in Crewe, UK has produced the 80,000th individual, made-to-order example of the Continental GT – the world’s definitive luxury grand tourer. The 80,000th car – a right-hand drive Continental GT V8 in Orange Flame – was handcrafted in the world’s first carbon neutral factory for luxury car production.

In 1952, the Bentley R-Type Continental made its debut – a Mulliner-bodied coupe with a top speed of just less than 120 mph. It was the fastest four-seater car in the world and very quickly earned a reputation as the ultimate in high-speed luxury.

In 2003, the Continental GT was launched – the first car of the modern Bentley era. Inspired by the R-Type, the first Continental GT established an entirely new market segment – the modern luxury Grand Tourer. Ever since, it has been the unchallenged benchmark for the sector that it founded, with an average of nearly 5,000 examples a year being delivered to customers around the world.

Today, 18 years later, Bentley’s skilled craftspeople – many of whom will have worked on the very first example of the Continental GT (still owned by Bentley) – have handcrafted the 80,000th car. Over this period the style, technology and engineering beneath the car has evolved significantly, seeing an increase of up to 27 per cent in peak power, whilst models within the range have also achieved a reduction over the original Continental GT of 48 per cent in CO2 emissions.

Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Adrian Hallmark, said: “At its launch in 2003, Bentley redefined the modern grand tourer with the revolutionary Continental GT. Now in 2021, the GT continues to be the ultimate luxury grand tourer, encompassing the latest technology, performance and style. This success is a testament to the skills of our designers, engineers and craftspeople here in Crewe.

“I had the pleasure of launching the original GT in 2003 in my first stint at Bentley, and being here for the launch of the latest generation – and the iterations that have followed – has been a source of great pride for me personally. It will continue to be the iconic backbone of the Bentley business for years to come, even as we transition to the world’s leading provider of sustainable luxury mobility.”

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Inspiring greatness: Charlie Siem

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars presents the latest in its series of Inspiring Greatness films

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has presented the latest in its series of Inspiring Greatness films, in which classical violinist Charlie Siem discusses the physical and mental challenges of performing some of the most famous, technically demanding and emotionally powerful music ever written.

Born in London to a Norwegian father and British mother, Siem began learning the violin aged just three, after hearing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto played by the great Yehudi Menuhin. Having been awarded a degree in music from the University of Cambridge, he then studied violin under Itzhak Rashkovsky at the Royal College of Music. A highly sought-after soloist, teacher and recording artist, Siem has performed with leading orchestras and chamber ensembles all over the world.

The film explores how Siem seeks to connect with and personify music, transcending the physical act of playing his instrument to express the music directly. Naturally, he speaks reverently of his violin – the 1735 Guarneri del Gesù known as the ‘D’Egville’ – which he refers to as ‘an extension of his body’. Though perhaps less immediately well-known than their contemporaries made by Antonio Stradivari, Guarneri violins are equal in greatness, even favoured by some performers, including Siem’s inspiration Yehudi Menuhin.

Later in the film, Siem encounters the excellence of Rolls-Royce, relishing the opportunity to experience what he calls the ‘majesty’ of Wraith on a drive through the British countryside. “It’s incredibly impressive and indulgent to be sitting in this luxurious cabin, hearing almost nothing, with all this power right in front of you,” he enthuses.

Inspiring Greatness is an exploratory series from Rolls-Royce sharing a collection of aspirational stories from those who rewrite the boundaries of greatness. Previous episodes include Michelin-starred chef Tom Sellers, photographer and explorer Cory Richards and media artist Refik Anadol. Most recently the series featured British writer, photographer and explorer Levison Wood.

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SEAT and Volkswagen Group restore ecosystem of Ebro Delta Nature Park

SEAT and the Volkswagen Group are firmly committed to the environment and caring for the planet. As part of this mission, they have launched a project to restore and preserve the biodiversity of the Ebro Delta. The aim is to alleviate the effects caused by the storm Gloria at the beginning of 2020 and restore the most heavily affected areas of the most important wetland in the western Mediterranean. The initiative, which is being carried out in collaboration with the NGO SEO/BirdLife, has an investment of €1 million, and will last for two years.

One year ago, in January 2020, the storm Gloria devastated the Ebro Delta with extreme intensity, causing a significant environmental impact. The sea covered nearly 3,000 hectares of rice paddies and flooded entire beaches, endangering the 360 species of birds that make the Ebro Delta one of the most diverse nature reserves in Europe. The SEAT and the Volkswagen Group restoration project will help to improve the conservation status of the natural coastal habitats and activate prevention projects to secure the areas and prepare them for future extreme weather events. The rehabilitation of the area will also help to create green jobs and safeguard local economies in the area.

Edgar Costa, head of sustainability at SEAT, highlighted: “The storm Gloria has shown that the effects of climate change are a reality, so is the time to act. At SEAT we have already reduced our environmental impact from production by 43 per cent and we aim to achieve a zero footprint by 2050.

“Protecting biodiversity and recovering the ecosystem of the Ebro Delta is an additional step in our commitment to the environment, but also a sign of our responsibility to society and the environment in which we operate” he added.

Ralf Pfitzner, head of sustainability at the Volkswagen Group, added: “The Volkswagen Group wants to promote biodiversity, save CO2 and protect our natural resources. For this reason, we support ecological projects all over Europe. The project in the Ebro Delta is particularly impressive. First because of the breathtaking beauty of this unique European landscape. Secondly, because of the high level of expertise and passion with which SEO/BirdLife works on site.”

SEO/BirdLife executive director Asunción Ruiz said: “Climate change and the loss of biodiversity are an existential threat to humanity. Our health, our economy and the future of the next generations are at stake. Restoring the Ebro Delta’s sound ecological status, the most important wetland in the western Mediterranean, will contribute to the recovery of the ecosystem services of the Natura 2000 Network, valued at €200-300 billion per year. In the case of the Delta, these services represent a large source of food resources (rice, fish and bivalves), protection against storms by preventing marine encroachment and flooding, mitigation of climate change – as an important carbon sink – and an important tourist resource, among others. Restoring this wetland of international importance, with one of the largest private investments ever made in the Ebro Delta, will not only reduce potential future losses in the food, insurance, and tourism sectors, but will also generate high-quality green jobs for the inhabitants of the area and greater stability in their local economies after the storm Gloria.”

Protecting biodiversity and recovering the ecosystem of the Ebro Delta is an additional step in our commitment to the environment, but also a sign of our responsibility to society and the environment in which we operate

Edgar Costa, head of sustainability at SEAT

Specifically, the restoration project will focus on repairing the Riet Vell Bird Reserve, as well as some coastal areas threatened by rising sea levels. In these areas several measures will be activated to recover ecological functions and services, especially those related to curbing the effects of rising sea levels and recovering habitats that favour the channelling of water to the subsoil. In addition, the rehabilitation of the SEO Birdlife Volunteers’ Home in the Ebro Delta will also be carried out, as well as conservation campaigns and training programmes for all the volunteers who will work on the project, which will include the participation of SEAT employees. 

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Car muscles in Brussels

From debuts to dream cars and new mobility, the 2020 Brussels Motor Show packs a punch

The 2020 Brussels Motor Show, which runs till January 19, promises the ultimate mobility experience.

At 100,000 square metres, the 98th car, motorcycle and mobility expo is the biggest showroom in the country, showcasing debuts and new features of just about every car make on the European market.

There are a host of premières to check out at the expo, along with prototypes and the latest models of cars and motorcycles. However, that’s barely the tip of the iceberg. Motorcycle accessories and clothing are just a few things that spring to mind.

The 2020 Brussels Motor Show also explores new mobility, an exploration platform for new kinds of mobility, including mobility sharing systems, microbility, new mobility apps and technologies.

Visitors also have the opportunity to fall in love with dream cars – gorgeous cars that take visitors away on a flight of fancy.

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Red-letter days

The performance festival for all car fans

It’s all about cars here: from November 30 to December 8, the Essen Motor Show, the performance festival for all car fans, will open at Messe Essen.

More than 500 exhibitors and over 300,000 expected visitors will create great emotions throughout the exhibition grounds. As Europe’s leading event for sporty vehicles, the Essen Motor Show will offer sports cars, tuning and lifestyle, motorsports and classic cars.

Entertainment will also be provided by the Motorsports Arena and exciting special shows. New this year is a separate exhibition with well-known cars from the history of racing.

Fans of sporty production vehicles will not be able to avoid the Essen Motor Show. Well-known manufacturers and suppliers will present themselves in Hall 3. In addition to ADAC as the ideal sponsor of the performance festival, the public can expect, among other exhibitors, the Mercedes Fan World as well as appearances by KW, the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, Skoda, Volkswagen and ZF. The special show called Power of Motorsports encompassing different series will give its premiere with 16 racing cars and its highlights will include a Ford GT40.

Crazy cars and design cars will also move between artistically valuable and trend-setting in the immediate vicinity, including a car in a James Bond look and an electric study inspired by Leonardo da Vinci.

Photo: Klaus Stadler

Tuning enthusiasts from all over Europe will travel to Essen to experience new trends. That’s why the Essen Motor Show will dedicate no fewer than five halls to the theme of tuning & lifestyle. The exhibitors’ offerings will range, among other items, from wheels and tires via chassis and car hi-fi to care products and accessories. Anyone flirting with a refined new car or wanting to have their car modified by a professional will have a look at one of the many tuners in Halls 5, 6, 7 and 8. Many exhibitors will supply the right clothing at the same time: Shirts, hoodies and caps will transport the tuning lifestyle to the clubs and onto the road.

Motorsports will have their home in Halls 4 and 5 where the German Sports Drivers Circle (DSK), the Hockenheimring, the Mustang Owners Club, the Nürburgring and the VLN, among others, will present themselves. In the Motorsports Arena in Hall 4, exhibitors will show new vehicles and racing athletes their skills. Those who want to step on the gas themselves can make the right contacts in Essen: Many sports car manufacturers will lure their buyers with their own racing cars in which the hobby drivers can compete in one-make cups. The track days from suppliers such as DSK are cheaper: at these driving training sessions, car owners can take their vehicles onto a racetrack and improve their skills there. Sports cars have been inspiring their fans since the early 20th century. And they take their drivers and viewers back to a time believed to be long forgotten, when not everything was better but, in the eyes of many classic car enthusiasts, driving a car was still genuine and unadulterated. This fascination will become noticeable in the Classic and Prestige Salon organised by S.I.H.A. under the roof of the Essen Motor Show. More than 250 classic automobiles will be for sale in Halls 1 and 2 and will exude the scent of the past.

Photo: Otto Photography

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Re-riding history

History takes the driving seat at the Auto e Moto D’Epoca

Many surprises await visitors who this year will flock to the Auto e Moto D’Epoca event in Padua, which is now in its 36th edition: there’s the new spaces for traders, the exclusive auctions by Finarte and the new arts and crafts experience to explore craftsmanship, art, high-quality clothing and design connected to the world of cars.

Thanks to 5,000 historic models to choose from, the great Mauto and Nicolis museums and the participation of historic clubs and historical registers, Auto e Moto d’Epoca promises a unique and unrepeatable experience for everyone who loves cars and their history.

Held from October 24-27, Auto e Moto d’Epoca is the ultimate exhibition where you can really find all kinds of cars: from 1920s Rolls Royces and Bentleys to epic cars from the 1950s and 60s, such as the Mercedes 300 SL and Ferrari Daytona, and the small but elaborate utility cars which have dictated the history of driving.

Visitors can discover a world of accessories and historic documents, sports memorabilia and works of art”

This is the exhibition where everyone can find the vintage car that excites them and bring back the most wonderful memories; it is a place where choice is varied in terms of brands, models, eras and price ranges. This year, the traders’ section grows to 2,000 square meters in Pavilion 15. The 2019 edition will also include the participation of the prestigious Finarte auction house, specialised in collectors’ items since 1959. Finarte will exhibit its most precious items and cars for the duration of the show and put them under the hammer. Among the exclusive vehicles, there’s the 1961 Maserati 3500 GT Touring used by Juan Manuel Fangio during his stays in Italy; one of the seven surviving Fiat 1100 S Berlinetta, and a 1939 MG TB.

It’s also worth exploring the great national automobilia exhibition at the fair: visitors can discover a world of accessories and historic documents, sports memorabilia and works of art – essential collector’s items to complete one’s vintage experience. In the pavilions, visitors find a large number of designer objects and high-quality clothing and accessories: from the legendary vintage Louis Vuitton chests to a rare selection of silk headscarves made in the 1950s upon request of automobile manufacturers to prestigious stylists and fashion houses such as Giugiaro, Hermes and Ferragamo.

Auto e Moto d’Epoca isn’t just a place where you can buy cars and beautiful objects. It is also a place where you can experience passion for driving thanks to an incredible selection of exceptional collections and models exhibited for visitors who rarely have the opportunity to see so many prestigious pieces in just one place, including those from important museums such as the Nicolis from Verona and the Mauto from Turin.

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