• Bentley kicks off first Bentayga deliveries

    March 22, 2016

    Bentley is celebrating its first customer deliveries for the new Bentayga, claimed to be the fastest and most powerful SUV in the world.

    Buyers of the first production batch have been treated to an exclusive handover event at Bentley’s Crewe, England, headquarters. They have been invited to tour the factory, witnessing segments of the 130-hour assembly process for each unit.

    Currently employing around 4,000 workers, the factory also produces the Continental GT, Flying Spur and Mulsanne.

    The new SUV borrows VW Group’s latest 6.0-liter W12 engine, boasting 600 horsepower and 663 lb-ft of torque. Drivers can expect to launch from zero to 60 mph in just four seconds flat, eventually topping out at 187 mph.

    The First Edition models feature several upgrades, along with unique interior and exterior styling details. It is unclear if they fetched a premium over the Bentayga’s $229,100 base price.

    The W12 edition will eventually be joined by a diesel package, while a more powerful range topper has been mentioned in unconfirmed rumors.

    Live images by Ronan Glon.

  • Jeep to ramp up Wrangler production, overlapped with next generation

    March 22, 2016

    Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is reportedly preparing to ramp up Jeep Wrangler production ahead of the next-generation model‘s arrival.

    The company’s Toledo assembly plant is expected to increase output by approximately 50 percent, building around 350,000 units annually, according to internal documents reviewed by Automotive News.

    Notably, the factory reconfiguration is expected to allow FCA to continue building the current JK-chassis Wrangler into 2018 — six months after the next-gen off-roader begins rolling off the Cherokee’s current assembly line. The Cherokee, meanwhile, will be headed to an assembly plant in Illinois.

    Jeep brand sales are up by 19 percent for the first two months of the year, maintaining years of growth momentum. The Wrangler is the only model in the red for the year, with deliveries down by a modest two percent so far, however the iconic nameplate achieved a 16-percent gain for 2015 overall.

    The company appears to anticipate ongoing demand for the current Wrangler, which is expected to be sold as the ‘Wrangler Classic’ through early 2018.

    The new Wrangler will be offered in several different configurations, including a hybrid variant and a pickup body style. A diesel powertrain will also join the family at a later date.

  • TVR to build new factory, begin production in 2018

    March 22, 2016

    British automaker TVR has reportedly finalized plans to build a factory in Wales to assemble its new V8 sports car.

    The company has established a formal agreement with government officials to establish a plant in a technology park adjacent to the new Circuit of Wales racing circuit, according to Autocar.

    Defunct for approximately a decade, the marque has transitioned between several different owners in recent years. Led by British computer game developer Les Edgar, the current owners have teamed with Gordon Murray and Cosworth Engineering to help bring a new car to market, promising to stay “true to TVR’s DNA and heritage.”

    The company recently released a teaser image (pictured) showing one potential design, though the exact details have not yet been finalized. The sketch suggests the car will pay homage to TVR’s historic design language, tweaked with a few modern touches.

    More than 350 buyers have reportedly placed £5,000 (~$7,142) deposits to secure a spot in line, representing the full production run for nearly 18 months.

  • Ford, Shelby, and Hertz introduce 2016 GT-H

    March 22, 2016

    Shelbly American is paying homage to the popular Rent-a-Racer program of the 1960s with a limited-edition model based on the Ford Mustang GT.

    Called GT-H, the special Mustang is immediately recognizable thanks to a distinctive black and gold paint job that pays homage to the original Ford Shelby GT350-H. It also gains Hertz Edition emblems on the front fenders, and a Shelby-designed body kit that includes a carbon fiber front splitter, side skirts, and a trunk-mounted spoiler. Finally, the GT-H rides on 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped by Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tires.

    Inside, renters will find special sill plates, GT-H-specific floor mats, and a numbered plaque on the dashboard.

    Power is provided by a stock, Mustang GT-sourced 5.0-liter V8 engine that makes 435 horsepower and 390 lb-ft. of torque. Transmission options remain unconfirmed, but Shelby has added a new exhaust and a sportier suspension that allows enthusiasts to make the most of the eight-cylinder’s output.

    Just 140 examples of the Shelby GT-H will be built by Shelby in Las Vegas, Nevada, and available to rent through the Hertz Adrenaline Collection beginning Memorial Day weekend. The car will only be available at select Hertz airport locations scattered across the continental United States.

  • Facelifted 2017 Subaru BRZ spied

    March 22, 2016

    Amateur spy shots briefly posted on Facebook have given us a decent look at the facelifted 2017 Subaru BRZ.

    Relatively minor, the updates include new headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights, a sharper-looking front bumper, and a revised grille. Out back, the BRZ receives new tail lamps, and it might get a re-styled trunk lid.

    The cabin benefits from a new instrument cluster that trades an analog gauge for a high-resolution screen that can be configured to show vital information about the car and its surroundings. The BRZ seemingly receives a new infotainment system, too, though we can’t say whether or not we’ll get it on our shores because could be looking at a model designed for overseas markets.

    It’s reasonable to assume the 2017 BRZ will get the same mechanical upgrades as the newly-renamed Toyota 86. That means power will be provided by a 2.0-liter flat-four engine rated at 205 horsepower and 156 lb-ft. of torque, increases of five ponies and five lb-ft. of twist over the outgoing model. A six-speed manual transmission with revised gear ratios will come standard, and buyers who want to go clutch-less will be able to order a six-speed automatic at an extra cost.

    Subaru is keeping tight-lipped about the 2017 BRZ. We don’t know precisely when it will be shown to the public, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see it in the metal tomorrow alongside the all-new 2017 Impreza at the New York Auto Show. Regardless, it will go on sale in the coming months.