Monthly Archives: March 2018

Yep, you read it right. Honda have chopped the roof off the CR-V.

No, really, that’s what they’ve done. The CR-V roadster has no roof at all. This pigeon holes the vehicle into a summer-driver, and is estimated to have reduced the structural rigidity by 100% and the roadster will be in showrooms from April 1st. Oh, it’s an April Fools joke!

Credit for designing the rough concept goes to Honda’s ‘PR team and an angle grinder’, who removed both the B and C pillars, creating a ‘sleek flow from front to rear of jagged metal’ on a vehicle that ‘is completely useless for the two-day British summer’.

Eipurirufūru of Honda, whose name translates as April Fool in Japanese, said of the project in a press release:

“This is a bold new direction for the CR-V and opens up an entirely new non-existent market.  Our sales target is somewhat conservative to start with, at zero cars, but we are confident that once the minor glitches are ironed out, such as the lack of roof and the fact it is totally structurally unsound, the car will fly out of showrooms.”

Prices would hypothetically start at half of that for a hardtop CR-V, as customers are ‘getting half the car’.

Well played Honda, well played indeed.

It was inevitable and long rumoured, but now the Jaguar F-Pace SVR is finally here. Well, in New York at least.

It takes the supercharged 5.0-litre V8 favoured by Jaguar Land Rover’s SVO department, and uses the 542bhp it produces to clock 0-60 of 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 176mph.

It shares a lot with the new Range Rover Sport SVR, as you’d expect, but the F-Pace is down on power when you put the two side by side. By 15 units in both horsepower and pounds-foot torque. Not that you’d notice though, as the top speed and acceleration are identical.

The chassis has been tuned by SVR, an electrical rear diff, uprated two-part brake discs, a lighter SVR exhaust and all of the usual SVR trimmings and badges. It retains the all-terrain 4WD system from the standard F-Pace,

Inside, quilted leather sport seats in the front match the rear bench, and the SVR steering wheel sits afore aluminium paddle shifters. The boot offers 650-litres of load space, and onboard 4G Wi-Fi accompanies the 10″ touchscreen in infotainment, whilst the driver information is displayed on a 12.3″ instrument cluster.

There isn’t a full release date yet for the F-Pace SVR, but customers can register their interest online. With prices for the Range Rover Sport SVR starting just under £100,000, you can expect the F-Pace to cost a similar amount to it’s brother in SV aRms.


The luxury SUV class has a new sporty option, as Maserati reveal the Levante Trofeo at the New York International Auto Show.

Focused around a twin-turbo V8, the Trofeo is one of the most powerful Maseratis to enter production, producing 590bhp alongside 538lbf.ft. The 3.8-litre unit’s output is lay down via an all-wheel drive system and achieves a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 187mph.

The engine boasts the highest bhp per litre figures of any Maserati ever (156bhp per litre), and to cope with the wrath of the V8 the chassis has been adapted. It won’t surprise you to read that the Levante Trofeo has a Corsa (Race) mode installed alongside launch control. Perfect for a spot of green laning.

An SUV load of additions add to the luxury of the Trofeo, including 22″ alloy wheels, carbon fibre exterior design cues, full LED headlights and sports seats wrapped in natural leather.  The sound system has 17 speakers good for 1280-watts, whilst the rest of the interior gets a new matte carbon fibre trim.

The Levante Trofeo launch edition is a ‘limited series intended for select enthusiasts‘… in North America and Canada.

Well, I didn’t want one anyway.

The new Hyundai Tucson has been debuted at the New York International Auto Show.

The facelift sees the headlights refined, whilst the bumper has been uplifted, skidplate too. The rear lights and bumper have been tweaked too, and there also also new wheel designs.

But the mid-life refresh is more than just a facelift, with updated powertrains and the addition of driver tech. The engines – two diesel and two petrol – have been fettled to reduce size and emissions, and the 186bhp, 2.0-litre diesel is the only option that comes with 4WD as standard. There’s a choice of six-speed manual transmission, or an eight-speed auto with the bigger diesel engine, whereas with the other diesel 4WD offering – the 133bhp 1.6-litre – comes with a seven speed dual clutch transmission. The 177bhp 1.6-litre petrol is available with 4WD too, with either a six-speed stick or the seven-speed dual clutch.

Driver tech has been improved with the latest Hyundai SmartSense systems. This integrates autonomous emergency braking, lane assist, speed limit indication, driver awareness warning and 360º reversing camera.

A European debut for the Tucson is impending, and will bring further information on the model specifications.

Jeep Wrangler

This year’s Camp Jeep will take place in Austria, in Spielberg Arena at the Red Bull Ring.

For members of the Jeep Owners Group, the European event will allow attendees the opportunity to traverse challenging courses in their own vehicles.

The new Wrangler will be the start of the show, and visitors will be able to test the vehicle out themselves both on and off-road. Other Jeep vehicles will be available to drive in Austria as well, including the 700bhp Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

Online registrations are live, with the camp running from 13th-15th July.

Toyota have revealed the all-new RAV4 ahead of its debut at the New York International Auto Show, sporting a more angular body with a contrasting roof.

The newly designed fifth-generation SUV is on Toyota’s latest TNGA platform, giving it a wider stance and more ground clearance than the predecessor.  Overall length is slightly up on the current model, meaning a longer wheelbase, too. Front and rear overhang has been reduced, giving the new RAV4 better approach and departure angles.

Two new powertrains will be available in the new RAV4, with a 2.5-litre hybrid system and a 2.0-litre petrol unit with both manual and automatic transmissions. A new electric all-wheel drive system has been developed for the electrified power unit, using one of two electric motors on the rear axle to offer extra torque and also aid fuel efficiency. The mechanical system for the petrol unit has been improved, featuring twin couplings and rear disconnect with the automatic transmission.

There’s no news yet on pricing or specifications, but these are expected after the reveal in New York with the new RAV4 expected in the UK early in 2019.

It wasn’t long after Merc revealed the new G-Class that their pals at AMG had their way with it.

The G-63 has a 4-litre V8 under the bonnet, kicking out 585bhp and 626lbf.ft. This means that the Goliath wagon has a new top speed of 137mph – or 149mph with the optional AMG Driver’s package. It also means an incredibly impressive 4.5 seconds to sixty for a truck that weighs around 2.5 tonnes.

The iconic design of the G-Class was tweaked for the new model, and a host of new tech has been utilised to retain its off-road prowess in this latest form. It comes with a nine-speed automatic box, three locking diffs, a nine-speed automatic transmission and AMG have added ride control suspension, a sports exhaust and performance brakes.

As expected, the prices for an AMG fettled G are higher than the £90k for a boggo one. The G-63 starts at £143,305, with a special Edition 1 available for £164,495.

The Edition 1 comes with matte black alloys with red rims, exclusive upholstery and Edition 1 badging.

UK pricing for the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio has been announced. The hot Stelvio is the fastest SUV around the Nurburgring  comes with a twin turbo 2.9-litre V6 that makes 510bhp and 442lbf.ft.

Standard spec includes 20-inch alloys, alcantara seats, a leather dash and steering wheel with carbon fibre trim plus stainless-steel pedals. The 8.8-inch infotainments system is standard, too, and has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Safety tech includes autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, integrated braking system, and a reversing camera as standard.

There’s also electronic chassis control, active torque vectoring and an active suspension system, plus a Race Mode, that helped the SUV tame the infamous German track.

Prices for the Stelvio Quadrifoglio will start at £69,500 in the UK.

You may have noticed that China has gone car crazy. The country is frequently appearing as the biggest market for many manufacturers, and they’re also producing an ever-increasing number of start-up brands themselves.

The latest SUV financed from China is the Karlmann King, and like the others it doesn’t pose clean, electric transportation and innovative ride sharing, or anything like it. It’s being dubbed the worlds most expensive SUV, which is justified given the fact that the rumoured price is well over £1million.

Underneath the unique bodywork, believe it or not you’d find the frame of a Ford F550, and a slightly fettled version of it’s 6.8-litre engine – but it still only has 398bhp. That isn’t a horrific figure, until you read that it’s top speed is 87mph because it weighs 6 tonnes in bulletproofed guise. It’s only four and a half without, but it was still brave to shoot the promo on sand at that weight.

But, outright speed isn’t what this exclusive SUV is all about. The party starts inside (not just because you don’t have to look at it any more). Diamond encrusted clocks, champagne fridges and, if you watch the touchscreen in the video below, there appears to be a coffee function, and that’s just half of it. The interior looks like something out of a video game or a movie, and is littered with touchscreens and tech. Laptops are integrated into the cabin that also houses a 40″ TV and a PlayStation. It’s essentially a vehicle for the oil-rich martians among us.

The production run will barely reach double figures, with only a dozen being made. That means only 12 people will be splashing out £1.52million on Karlmann Kings.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

This morning saw the launch of the third-generation Volkswagen Touareg, at a global reveal held in China.

It’s the first model from the German marque  to feature the new Innovision cockpit – the latest generation of infotainment that consists of 12″and 15″ digital screens. The footer is a digital cockpit behind the steering wheel, combining sat-nav and driving data, whilst the bigger screen sits centrally on the dash and on the whole removes the necessity of buttons. The touchscreen controls everything from on-board entertainment to the comfort settings and makes personalisation easy.

With a wide breadth of driver assistance and safety features, the new Touareg pushes the boat out. One of the new additions is a night vision system that detects people, animals and obstacles in the dark using thermal imaging. More conventional inclusions are lane assist, front cross traffic assist and four-wheel steering. Electronically manned anti-roll bars add stability to the ride, whilst it has VW’s signature windscreen head-up display and also gets automatic LED headlights. All of these features can be controlled via the central touchscreen.

The new Touareg is bigger than its predecessor – in both width and length – affording for more interior space – rear storage capacity is increased by 113-litres when the rear seats are upright. But despite it’s bigger size the new SUV is lighter thanks to construction consisting of 48% aluminium.

V6 engines accompany the new Touareg from launch – diesels with 231bhp or 286bhp. In certain markets these will be followed by a petrol version (340bhp) and a powerful diesel V8 good for 421bhp. A plug-in hybrid will be released in China, with a European launch date for the green option still undecided.

The Touareg was launched alongside a trio of SUVs exclusive to China – VW’s biggest global market – and as yet there are no specifics on pricing or general release.