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Latest car news from Park Lane

21-Jun-2017: Jaguar E-Pace baby SUV confirmed

Jaguar will kickstart its biggest assault on the global car market yet when it reveals the hotly anticipated E-Pace, its second SUV, on 13 July.

The E-Pace is arriving at a time when Jaguar is enjoying a significant upswing in sales. In April the company reported an 83% increase in global sales for the year 2016/17, with the introduction of the F-Pace providing a huge boost.

The E-Pace, which is set to be priced at less than £30,000, sits on the same lR-MS steel platform as the land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque. As such, it'll be offered with either front or four-wheel drive and a choice of either a six-speed manual or eight-speed auto gearbox.

Power comes from 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol and diesel Ingenium engines, including 161bhp and 178bhp diesels.

Higher up the range will be a 237bhp 2.0-litre diesel and a 247bhp 2.0-litre petrol. The E-Pace could also be the first model to receive Jaguar's new hybrid powertrain.

Jaguar promises the E-Pace will be imbued with the company's trademark handling traits, suggesting it'll follow the lead of the F-Pace and be positioned as the driver's choice in its market segment.

Jaguar's director of design, Ian Callum, said: "The combination of sports car looks with Jaguar performance will ensure that the E-Pace stands out. Every Jaguar is designed to excite the senses, and we think E-Pace will do just that."

20-Jun-2017: Audi R8 Spyder V10 Plus added to range

Audi has revealed the R8 Spyder V10 Plus as the final addition to its R8 supercar range.

The Plus has 69bhp and 15lb ft more than the standard R8 Spyder V10, giving it a total of 602bhp and 413b ft.

It's also 25kg lighter, thanks to the use of carbonfibre-reinforced plastic on its interior and exterior. The means the Plus weighs 1587kg, which is 167kg more than the lamborghini Huracan Spyder and 83kg less than the Porsche 911 Turbo.

The Plus's increased power and decreased weight equate to a 0.3sec improvement 0-62mph time and 6mph increase in top speed over the regular V10 Spyder, at 3.3sec and 206mph.

The Plus is marked out by carbonfibre trim across the exterior in place of the standard car's gloss black trim. Its trapezoidal exhausts are also split into four separate pipes, in place of two larger, undivided pipes. The Plus also gets standard bucket seats and ceramic brakes.

Audi confirmed that no further variants on the R8 will be added to the range after the R8 Spyder V10 Plus.

The R8 V10 Spyder Plus is priced from £147,470, a £15,000 premium over the regular R8 V10 Spyder.

20-Jun-2017: Mclaren 570S Spider officially revealed

Mclaren has fitted a folding hard-top to its mid-engined 570S supercar to create the new 570S Spider.

The Spider uses an electrically operated, two-part folding roof mechanism that's similar to the one fitted to the 650S and 675lT Spiders. The lid takes 15sec to open or close and can be operated when the car is moving at up to 25mph.

Built around the Woking car maker's ubiquitous Monocell II carbonfibre tub, the third Sports Series model adds 46kg to the 570S's 1452kg kerb weight. Mclaren claims it retains the same structural rigidity as the coupe.

The roof folds beneath a tonneau cover, which features the car's most significant design change compared with the coupe version: a pair of buttresses that also support a retractable wind deflector.

The car also has a rear spoiler that sits 12mm higher than the coupe's to counter the lift generated by the Spider's different roof design. As such, Mclaren claims the Spider has identical aerodynamic performance to the coupe.

Using the same M838TE 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 and seven-speed transmission as the coupe, the 570S Spider produces 562bhp at 7400rpm and 443lb ft between 5000rpm and 6500rpm. The car has a power-to-weight ratio of 375bhp per tonne.

It also has configurable electronic chassis and drivetrain control systems, including the Active Dynamics Panel, which offers three drive modes: Normal, Sport and Track. Drivers can also adjust the level of the car's stability controls, with a Dynamic mode reducing the amount of intervention. It can also be switched off altogether.

The 570S Spider's cabin is identical to the coupe's, so it has Mclaren's centre console-mounted 7.0in touchscreen, which houses the infotainment system and can control features such as cabin climate settings and the audio system.

Six-way adjustable sports seats are standard, but eight-way electric seats with a memory function are available as an option. The seats can be upholstered in optional nappa leather or Alcantara. Buyers wanting the lightest specification car can opt for Mclaren's carbonfibreshelled sports seats, which are the same as those fitted to the P1 hypercar.

The 570S Spider sits on all-new 10-spoke forged alloy wheels, 19in at the front and 20in at the rear.

Three new body colours are being added to the list of choices for the Spider, with Curacao Blur, Vega Blue and Sicilian Yellow taking the total colours offered to 20. Cars can be finished with a dark grey contrast finish on the roof, A-pillars and buttresses.

The 570S Spider is on sale now, priced from £164,750 - a £19,445 premium over the coupe.

14-Jun-2017: 2017 Jaguar XF Sportbrake revealed as new BMW 5 Series Touring rival

Jaguar is pitching its new XF Sportbrake directly at the BMW 5 Series Touring, the current best driver's car in the class.

The new estate is powered by a choice of three engines, all of which are shared with the XF saloon. The car is offered with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission, and in either rear or four-wheel-drive form.

At the base of the engine range is a turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel that produces 161bhp and returns claimed combined fuel economy of 62.8mpg. It drives the XF Sportbrake's rear wheels and is only available with the manual gearbox. This model is the cheapest to tax - it emits a claimed 118g/km of CO2 - and the most affordable on offer at a starting price of £34,910. However, the variant above it, a 178bhp version of the same 2.0 unit, is predicted to be the biggest seller in the range. It is offered with either rear or all-wheel drive.

Completing the four-cylinder range are a 237bhp 2.0-litre diesel and a 247bhp 2.0-litre petrol. The line-up is topped by a 3.0-litre V6 diesel that can sprint from 0-60mph in 6.1sec time but also returns combined fuel economy of 49.6mpg. It comes only with all-wheel drive and the eight-speed automatic transmission. This is expected to be a strong seller in the UK due to its towing ability, partly thanks to its 516lb ft.

Other markets will also offer Jaguar's 375bhp turbocharged V6 petrol engine as a rangetopper, but this variant isn't planned for launch in the UK.

The new estate comes with Jaguar's Configurable Dynamics package as an option on automatic cars. This enables drivers to adjust the steering weight, throttle mapping and gearshift modes. Ride quality can also be altered on cars with adaptive damping.

Among the list of driver assist features is adaptive cruise control, blindspot monitoring and reverse traffic detection technology, as well as park assist. There's also a driver monitoring system that can trigger alerts if the car wanders across lanes, or if the driver shows signs of fatigue.

The XF Sportbrake has an estate shape that, unlike the first-generation Sportbrake, was part of the design plan from the new XF's very beginning.

The car's rear does away with the curvaceous design of its predecessor for a more aggressive look. It features Jaguar's most recent style of slim tail-lights, ensuring the XF Sportbrake is in line with the F-Type sports car and the F-Pace SUV. Above the rear lights, the rear window line is heavily raked like the first generation Sportbrake's, but it finishes more abruptly at a continuous line that runs around from the side of the car and extends all the way to the front wheel arches.

The front of the car is familiar from the XF saloon, as is the cabin, but the Sportbrake introduces a panoramic roof to the XF range. It also has a gesture control feature for the tailgate, which can be opened when a foot is waved under the rear of the car and the car's key is within close range.

The XF Sportbrake features Jaguar's InControl infotainment system, which is operated via a centre consolemounted 10in touchscreen. The set-up features dual-view technology so passengers can see a different display from the driver.

Jaguar has given its estate's new cabin air purification technology that prevents pollution and outside odours from penetrating the cabin. It also features e-ion air purification that can remove bacteria from the air.

Order books for the new XF Sportbrake are open now and prices start from £34,910. That's £2610 more than the base XF saloon, but undercuts the 5 Series Touring by £3475. Jaguar will launch the XF Sportbrake into the US market for the first time. It will be the last new variant of the current XF, with no coupé or other bodystyles planned.

13-Jun-2017: BMW 6 Series GT leaks ahead of official debut

Official pictures of the BMW 6 Series GT have leaked, showing the car's full styling ahead of its global debut.

No details accompanied the images, which appeared on BMW Blog, but what is clear to see is the car's more conventionally resolved styling, which draws from the 5 Series more directly than its divisive predecessors.

The images also confirm that the 6 Series GT will have xDrive as a variant, as well as a 630d model. The 620d will likely kick off the range, given the car's similarity to the 5 Series.

No word on pricing has yet been given, but given the 6 Series GT's move up in the BMW range, it's expected to be more expensive than its 5 Series GT predecessor, in order to distance it from the 5 Series saloon and Touring models. The 6 Series GT is based on the 7 Series' OKl platform, like its predecessor, but will be significantly lighter than that car.

A plug-in hybrid model is expected to appear higher in the range and further down the line. At launch, the 6 Series GT is expected to cost from more than £40,000.

13-Jun-2017: 2017 Fisker Emotion revealed with 400-mile-plus range

The Fisker Emotion will launch on 17 August with a 400-mile-plus range from its electric powertrain, company founder Henrik Fisker has confirmed.

As well as the class-leading range, the Emotion will be able to charge in nine minutes, and will have what Fisker describes as 'state of the art' battery chemistry with the world's highest energy density, as well as a level of autonomy and connection to its environment; necessary puzzle pieces for full driverless capability.

A lidar sensor is hidden in the car's front central darkened area - there's no grill as the Emotion is electric - although Fisker hasn't clarified which of the levels of autonomy the Emotion will be capable of.

Previous images showed its butterfly doors from the front. Earlier images showed the car's other angles and rear doors, which open in the same way.

The electric model, which makes use of innovative graphene battery technology, has been designed by Henrik Fisker, the man behind the original Fisker brand and designer of models including the Aston Martin DB9 and BMW Z8.

Powering the new model will be batteries developed by Fisker Nanotech, Fisker Inc's sister company and battery division. The finished car will be launched as the first model from Fisker Inc. It will be an expensive low-volume model with a carbonfibre and aluminium structure and batteries stored low in its floor.

The car will be built by VlF - a manufacturer Fisker partly owns - and will have the necessary hardware for autonomous driving modes. The software for this will be developed and supplied by external companies, in a move that Fisker believes will help to streamline costs and maximise efficiency.

With more models planned for the future, Fisker Inc could become a rival to the likes of Tesla and electric brands from mainstream car makers, including Mercedes' new EQ sub-brand.

13-Jun-2017: Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series opens new customisation division

Porsche has launched its most powerful 911 Turbo S model yet, the Exclusive Series, to mark the opening of a new division called Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur.

like Mclaren's Special Operations division, the in-house workshop will specialise in producing customised products. Its first car, the Exclusive Series, will be produced in just 500 units worldwide.

The car's twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre flat six engine has been boosted with a power kit to deliver 599bhp and 553lb ft of torque. That's 17bhp more than standard, with the same maximum torque, helping to trim the car's 0-124mph time to 9.6sec, three-tenths faster than the regular model. The car's claimed 0-60mph time and top speed remain unchanged at 2.8sec and 205mph respectively.

As standard, the Exclusive Series gets black, centre-locking 20in wheels with Golden Yellow Metallic highlights. The calipers of the carbon-ceramic brakes also come in black with gold Porsche logos.

The model sits on Porsche's active sports chassis with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), and it gets the Sport Chrono package as standard. These work with rear-axle steering and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), both of which are standard on all 911 Turbo S models.

Buyers can choose from an extended palette of exterior colours that includes a bespoke Golden Yellow Metallic and carbonfibre trim finish. The car gets the Turbo S's Turbo Aerokit as standard, adding a large spoiler at the back.

Inside, passengers sit on 18-way adjustable sports seats that are wrapped in perforated leather wearing two stripes in Golden Yellow. Seams and Turbo S lettering are also stitched into the headrests, while an Alcantara rooflining gets a Golden Yellow double stripe.

Each car is numbered with a plate fitted on the passenger's side. In addition, the car's carbonfibre door sills get illuminated Exclusive Series lettering.

Porsche Design has released a customised chronograph watch to go with the new model, echoing the colour scheme and design of the Exclusive Series. It comes as one of several matching accessories buyers can add to their purchase.

Porsche is yet to decide how many examples of the Exclusive Series will come to the UK and what starting prices will be. But the car maker has suggested that global prices will start at around $257,500, which equates to £202,266 at current exchange rates. That's a £54,726 premium on the regular Turbo S.

07-Jun-2017: Aston Martin Valkyrie - Ricardo to supply gearboxes for 900bhp hyperca

The Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar will mate a Ricardo gearbox to its naturally aspirated 900bhp Cosworth 6.5-litre V12, following a new deal with the British engineering company.

The forthcoming hypercar, which has been co-developed by Red Bull Advanced Technologies, will use a seven-speed automatic gearbox that's designed and built by Ricardo. The British firm has experience that spans from motorsport to building engines for Mclaren road cars.

The confirmation of the supply deal between Aston Martin and Ricardo is another piece of the puzzle in the production of 150 road-going and 25 track-only Valkyries commencing next year.

No pricing has been revealed, but a figure of £2-3 million is likely. First deliveries are due in 2019.

Previously referred to by its internal codename AM-RB 001, the V12 model will be built upon a carbonfibre Monocell that is provided by longstanding Aston Martin partner Multimatic. The car's kerbweight is therefore expected to be less than one tonne, and Aston Martin backs this up with claims for a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio.

The car will use an F1-inspired energy recovery system (ERS) to harvest kinetic energy from braking, with Croatian electric car maker Rimac supplying lightweight hybrid batteries.

The Valkyrie name stems from Norse mythology and translates to 'chooser of the slain'. Aston Martin chose the name of to signify the car's role as being its most potent product yet.

Chief creative officer Marek Reichman said: "The Valkyrie is an incredibly special car that demands an equally remarkable name; an uncompromising car that leaves nothing in reserve. The connotations of power and honour, of being chosen by the Gods, are so evocative and so pertinent to a car that only a fortunate few will ever experience."

06-Jun-2017: 800bhp Tomahawk electric hypercar could make production next year

A new all-electric hypercar called the Tomahawk is being developed in Canada. Its maker claims the car can reach 60mph in just 2.0sec, potentially making it the quickest-accelerating car in production.

The 2+2 model is a creation of Quebec-based clean technology company Dubuc Motors and has four electric motors - one to power each wheel. Combined, the system is claimed to produce 800bhp and 1000lb ft of torque.

Power comes from a 100kWh lithium ion battery that is said to enable a 370-mile range. It's housed within the car's carbonfibre chassis and body.

Inside, there's space for four, an onboard computer and a screen that enables 360deg vision. The tight packaging of the car's powertrain allows for two luggage storage sections, one in the back and one in the front.

Dubuc Motors says the Tomahawk is capable of generating 1.2g of lateral force.

The firm has produced prototype versions of the model for development, but a spokesman told Autocar that the headline figures are based on simulations, rather than physical tests.

To help boost funding, Dubuc Motors has started an equity crowd funding process, inviting investors to buy shares in the company before it has been listed. It hopes to bring the Tomahawk to market in 2018.

06-Jun-2017: Rolls-Royce Phantom confirmed for July reveal

The Rolls-Royce Phantom will be revealed at the end of July, but in the meantime the brand has revealed images of the car, previewing its interior and exterior design.

From the murky images, it's clear to see that the car will have Rolls-Royce's signature dominant grille, and although not a design revolution a step-change in the car's aesthetic is also visible. The headlight areas are where the most notable changes will take place.

The full design will be unveiled on 27 July, at an event celebrating the Phantom's history.

The only other detail revealed of the car is an interior trim panel, finished with an incut pattern on dark wood, with what appears to be an analogue clock in the centre of the panel.

We already know that the next Phantom - the model's eighth generation - is likely to share aluminium architecture with its Cullinan-codenamed SUV sibling, and it's likely that either an evolved version of the brand's 6.75-litre V12 engine or the Dawn's 6.6-litre V12 will feature, but no other details of the Phantom have been given.

We know that the Cullinan will be the brand's first all-wheel drive model, meaning that if the Phantom adopts four-wheel drive, it'll be after the launch of the Cullinan, but it's likely that Rolls will keep this exclusive to its 'all-terrain, high-sided vehicle' sibling.