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For a very specific and likely small audience, we have some bad news: the Mitsubishi Shogun will no longer be offered for sale in the UK. Mitsubishi has announced it will no longer sell new Shoguns in Britain, ending a near four-decade production run. We’re told Mitsubishi sold 114,164 Shoguns in total… over a 37-year production run. The last car in the UK is a SWB ‘Barbarian’ finished in white, which Mitsubishi is hanging onto for itself. Though the Shogun could never compete on road with the likes of more accomplished rivals, off-road it was a bit of a monster. Not least because it took 12 overall wins at the Paris-Dakar rally, which included a win on its very first attempt way back in 1983. “The Shogun was an incredibly important car for us,” explains Mitsubishi UK boss Rob Lindley. Sad to see the big lug go, or did you forget it was still a Thing? In any case, the original Shogun had one of the cooler badges in the motoring world… [gallery td_gallery_title_input="Mitsubishi Shogun" td_select_gallery_slide="slide" ids="6384,6380,6382"]
Overview Probably the car that gave Red Ken more sleepless nights than anything, and you’ve got to love it for that. Utterly bulletproof luxo-truck. Peace of mind, Baghdad style. Driving Despite clever electronics to keep you on the road, the LC V8 remains nautical. Its unstoppable mass, slightly divorced ride quality and semaphore steering reaction make it feel more like an ocean liner. Superb comfort is assured by the supple suspension and acres of space, plus lashings of power-assisted luxury kit to bring out the lazy in you. The air-con system is desert-spec, and has no trouble keeping all seven passengers cool. Power comes from a 4.5-litre, twin-turbo diesel and despite weighing 2.6 tonnes the LC’s in-gear acceleration is hugely impressive and overtaking is despatched with fast saloon levels of ease. On the inside The interior might not have the same luxury as a Range Rover, feeling like an overgrown Avensis, but there’s a real feeling of strength and quality inside. It’ll tow a three-and-a-half tonne trailer, so how’s that for practical? The big LC also has seven seats, most of which fold, though they do eat luggage space. Owning Thanks to the diesel engine it’s not shatteringly thirsty. But it is a big and complicated 4x4 and so insurance (group 19), tax and servicing will add up. [gallery td_select_gallery_slide="slide" ids="1665,1667,1669,1671,1673"]
Introducing the new Porsche Cayman GT4. Although now with ‘718’ in its name, because when Porsche facelifted its mid-engined two-seater and dropped in a controversial four-cylinder turbo engine, it added the ‘718’ part to pay homage to a classic of the good ole days. But fear not. The turbo engine has been banished from the GT4. This thing’s packing a 4.0-litre, 8,000rpm, 414bhp flat-six. That ought to make a jolly nice noise. Compared to the previous GT4, this new one has an additional 35bhp. And we loved it. It even won our 2016 Sports Car of the Year Award. Plus, a few extra horses never hurt. Torque matches on old 3.8-litre version’s 310lb-ft. And it’s actually no quicker: the GT4 does 0-62mph in 4.4sec. Just like before. Top speed is up just a dash from 182mph to beyond 186mph. It's worth noting that the new engine is also more efficient and nicer to the environment. Not only producing more power while breathing out through a heftier exhaust filter (which adds about 12kg in weight), but it can also shut down a bank of cylinders when you’re cruising. The bigger engine also now has a wider torque band. Porsche GT boss Andreas Preuninger is confident this erases one of the only problems with the old GT4 – that the gearing was too long. The gearing is the same this time around, but the car might punch through each ratio a bit harder. Apart from upgrading to a heftier engine, Porsche has also been hard are work in the wind tunnel. Yes, yes, we know it looks the same. Of course it does. It’s a new Porsche. What were you expecting? Anyway, the headline is a 50 percent jump in overall downforce. How? Firstly, the split exhaust opens up space for a more useful – if perhaps uglier – rear diffuser, sucking the car’s backside into the road. The rear wing’s been redrawn to conjure more downforce without adding drag (so, with the extra power the top speed goes up). Now, we’re not talking about an Aston Valkyrie AMR nutter here, so the GT4 isn’t a drive-it-on-the-ceiling kinda car. Apparently, even with the tweaked front splitter and so on, the extra downforce amounts to 12kg at 125mph. Still, next time you’re pinned over Flugplatz at the Nürburgring, you’d be very glad over every extra kilo pushing you back down to Earth… On that note, the 718 Cayman GT4 is also reportedly ten seconds a lap faster around the German racetrack. But Preuninger makes it clear that the GT4 isn’t a humourless grip machine. “The tyres are not ultra-rated super track day tyres – more like an ultra-high performance all-rounder – so it can live with the horrid conditions as well,” he tells TG. “This is a car for the back roads in Wales, maybe Scotland too. You would rather dance with the car than drive it, that is how I would describe it.” Prices are said to start at £75,348.00. That’s only a dash more than the last GT4 when new. What do you think TG.com? Are you adding it to the wishlist? [gallery td_select_gallery_slide="slide" ids="1596,1597,1598,1599,1600,1601,1602,1603,1604,1605"]
Just over a month after it set our hearts ablaze by unveiling the 186mph B3 Touring, Alpina has done it again with the saloon version. And the good news doesn’t stop there, because although the saloon might not have the dog-able boot of the estate version, it gets a top speed boost of 2mph – every little helps. That doesn’t come from any mechanical changes, although you’ll hear no complaints about that from us. The saloon gets the same 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six as the touring, but with slightly less weight to carry around it also manages to shave a tenth off the 0-62mph time, which now takes just 3.8 seconds. In the BMW X3M and – most likely – in the next M3, that engine can make up to 503bhp, but Alpina reckons 455bhp is about right. Plus, it also generates a rather large 516lb ft of torque from 3,000rpm, which is then distributed between all four wheels. Thankfully you can get both sets of Alpina’s classic wheels on the saloon, too. Drooool. And there’s a new stainless-steel exhaust system for improved acoustics. Alpina still wants the B3 to be more understated than an M3, though. It describes the B3’s looks as “distinctive and powerful, yet unobtrusive.” Lovely. There’s no manual gearbox on offer (although M Division boss Markus Flasch has already confirmed that the next M3 will get one) and Alpina has tuned BMW’s eight-speed ZF auto to make the B3 into a proper mile crusher. On the inside you get some new badges, lovely soft leather and new screen graphics, but again it’s all very understated. You could drive a B3 safe in the knowledge that only yourself and a select few other road users would know how special it is. Very special indeed is the answer… [gallery td_gallery_title_input="Alpina B3 Saloon" td_select_gallery_slide="slide" ids="14722,14724,14726,14728,14730,14732,14734,14736,14738,14740,14742,14744,14746,14748,14750,14752,14754"]
Say a big hello to W Series, an all-new single-seater race series exclusively for women. Whether the W stands for ‘women’ or ‘woke’ we’re not quite sure, but it’s designed to lead us to a point where there’s a far greater gender balance in motorsport. “At the heart of W Series’s DNA is the firm belief that women can compete equally with men in motorsport,” says the official bumf. “However, an all-female series is essential in order to force greater female participation.” It is important to not that there is also the argument that a separate series has the potential to segregate women away from mainstream motorsport even further. The idea is that W Series trains its 18 to 20 racers up to a level that allows them to complete in other existing, top-flight race series. It’s free to enter, and its score of competitors will be selected via lots of on-track auditions, simulator tests and fitness appraisals. On top of that, they then go through a “thorough training programme”, with big names like Adrian Newey and David Coulthard tutoring them along the way. “At the moment, women racing drivers tend to reach a ‘glass ceiling’ at around the GP3/Formula 3 level on their learning curve, often as a result of a lack of funding rather than a lack of talent,” says Coulthard.
“That’s why an all-new all-female single-seater motor racing series is required to establish a competitive and constructive motorsport habitat, in which our drivers will be able to equip themselves with the necessary skill-set eventually to move on up to existing high-level mainstream racing series and compete with the best male drivers on equal terms.” Note that, the first W Series car is a Formula 3 car. The first season will begin in spring 2019 and will visit “some of the best and most famous circuits in Europe, most of which have staged Formula 1 races for many decades,” although these are still yet to be named. Future seasons will spread out to America and Asia. The prize fund for the first season is $1.5 million (just over £1m). Your thoughts, then. Is this a long-overdue move to make Formula 1, WEC and rallying more inclusive? Or does a separate, women-only series only serve to reinforce the current male dominance of motorsport more? We’d love to know what you think.
You don’t need us to tell you that the new Toyota Supra has massively split opinion in the motoring world. Many are thankful that we’ve got a new straight-six sports car from Toyota to carry on the lineage. Others can’t come to terms with the fact that it’s a BMW at heart. One thing that could please the naysayers, though, is a manual gearbox to replace the current eight-speed automatic. Whilst it doesn’t look like one is in the pipeline from Toyota itself, Texan tuner European Auto Group (EAG) will soon have the answer. You may remember EAG from its decision to fit a dozen or so Ferrari 458 Italias with a six-speed manual, and now they’re answering the calls of the Internet once again. The Supra will also receive the same treatment, apparently for a cost of around $12,000 (£9,900) once you’ve supplied EAG with the donor car. And, whisper it, the parts for the ‘box will all come from BMW, too. Despite that, it should please the purists who want a bit more involvement to match their standard 335bhp and 369lb ft of torque – whether it’s Japanese or not. Plus, a manual gearbox will mean the removal of the BMW gear selector, among the most obvious of the German parts in the Mk5 Supra’s cabin. So, is it something you’d go for? Let us know in the comments below. [gallery td_gallery_title_input="Toyota Supra 2020" td_select_gallery_slide="slide" ids="7187,7191,7189"]
Every year as part of their program, Skoda tasks apprentices at its Mladá Boleslav HQ with designing, developing and even building a one-off concept based on one of the company’s existing models. You can imagine there have been some interesting ones, to say the least. This year, though, the team took things to the next level with this – the Kodiaq-based ‘Mountiaq’. Yes thats right, the apprentices’ sixth concept is effectively a Kodiaq pick-up. And a bright orange one at that. The Mountiaq took the 35 student team a total of 2,000 hours to finish. Work began last autumn, but production only started in January, ahead of a May deadline. After reinforcing the body, the students removed the Kodiaq’s roof, fitted a new rear panel and bed and shortened/widened the doors. Following that, they fitted running boards, the opening tailgate that was supposedly their “biggest challenge” and finally modified bumpers. It’s 4,999 millimeters long, 2,005 millimetres wide and 1,710 milliliters tall, thus making the Mountiaq bigger in every respect than the Kodiaq on which it was based. It is also heavier as well, weighing in at nearly 2.5 tons. Under the bonnet is a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 190bhp. The increase in weight was primarily due to adding off-road tires and wheels. They also equipped it with a snorkel, winch, bull-bar and light-bar. And, because these are youths we’re talking about, a whopping great stereo. Do you reckon Skoda’s students have got it right this time? [gallery td_select_gallery_slide="slide" ids="1535,1536,1537,1538,1539,1540,1541,1542,1543,1544,1545,1546,1547,1548"]
Aston Martin's brand-new St. Athan factory in south Wales has now started building its very first cars. And what might these cars be? Pre-production versions of the DBX with a slightly-less camouflage paint job than we’ve seen before. What do you think of Aston’s first ever SUV? Obviously that front grille means you won’t be able to mistake it for any other brand. But is it sacrilege or just smart business sense? The DBX will debut at the end of 2019 and the St. Athan factory is set to begin full production in early 2020. This means that Aston is bringing 750 new jobs for the surrounding Vale of Glamorgan area – bravo Aston.
Interestingly enough, the factory itself was originally RAF hangars at one point, which Aston converted. The entire property is about 90-acres. Although the DBX is not the only model that will roll off its production lines – it’ll be Aston’s ‘Home of Electrification’, meaning all future Lagonda models will pass through its doors. Remember when the factory floor was slightly emptier and Aston’s works drivers took it upon themselves to christen it with a few powerslides?[gallery td_select_gallery_slide="slide" ids="1552,1553,1554,1555,1556,1557"]
Good news! BMW’s M Division is working on a standalone model. Potentially less good news! It won’t be a full-strength hypercar halo like Mercedes-AMG’s One, and it might even be electric. “Standalone M cars are obviously something that my team likes to work on,” says M boss Markus Flasch. “It wouldn’t be the first time; we did it with the M1 many years ago. We have some very concrete plans for something new.” We naturally wager it has two seats and a mid-mounted engine, just like that glorious old M1. “Not necessarily,” says Flasch. “That’s an option. But it’s not the only option.” Likewise there’s a host of powertrain options available, especially as Flasch has been so open that M Division will eventually produce fully electric cars, with a hybrid stepping stone in the middle. “We are working on electrified combustion and we are working on fully electric cars, but we will only bring those options to customers when they offer an advantage in terms of character, in terms of performance. We won’t do it just to be first on the market with a particular type of powertrain. That’s not what our customers are after.” “It’s too early to talk about propulsion,” he says when we wager that halo car might be electric-powered, “but a brand new model without a predecessor is more suitable than a model with a predecessor.” Hints get no more teasing, but apparently we haven’t long to wait to see the fruits of his team’s labour, and there have been previous suggestions the wild Vision M Next might make production. Which makes it more interesting to learn that M Division didn’t once dabble with the soon-to-die i8 hybrid sports car. “We have never worked on the i8,” says Flasch, “but the i and M divisions are in constant interaction, we meet a minimum of once a week and there are no dogmas or taboos between us. We share thinking.” So why not a full-bore rival to the AMG One? “It’s a fascinating idea as we have a lot of competitive engineers, so a halo car is always a thrilling idea. But M is so strong – 2019 will be our best year of sales ever – the brand doesn’t need a halo car. Business- and image-wise I’m a little bit mixed about if this is necessary. I like the idea, but it needs to do a job.” Ideas time, Internet. What form would you like M’s standalone car to take?
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