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Racing Lines: Tom Kristensen on Bentley's historic Le Mans comeback

Still, at the traditional spring test day at Le Mans, the Bentley was around three and half seconds clear of the opposition – and at the race itself Kristensen comfortably took pole position: by 2.3sec. The Speed 8 clearly was the class of the field. But as ever at Le Mans, would it last the distance?

“Apart from the ride-height – in the early hours when Dindo was driving he had a lot of bouncing on the splitter due to that change – we had a more or less perfect race,” recalls Tom, “whereas our teammates had to change the battery.” By the flag, Kristensen, Smith and Capello were two laps clear of Mark Blundell, Johnny Herbert and David Brabham in the sister car, and five laps ahead of the closest Audi. 

Celebrations for Bentley’s sixth Le Mans win were predictably grand. A parade along the Champs-Elysee the following day in Paris had been pre-arranged – against Kristensen’s better judgement. “I remember someone from Bentley marketing at the pre-test saying they had organised it. I said ‘Stop! I can’t listen to that. Whatever you’re planning, we don’t need to be involved.’” 

But once the race was safely won, he enjoyed it – even if the car, driven by Bentley ambassador Derek Bell, didn’t. “Just starting the Speed 8, the inlet temperature goes up like a bazooka if the car is not moving: start the engine, it’s 70 degrees, look away and back and it’s 76, then boom,” says Tom. “Driving into the traffic, Derek in the hot summer of June had a big problem. But apparently the engine of that car is still in one piece – and it has never been started again.”

A celebration dinner at the Savoy Hotel in London was even more memorable. “They had arranged the daughter of Woolf Barnato, one of the original Bentley Boys, to be on my table,” says Tom. “She was 80 or 85, but we talked a lot and she was really into Le Mans. Her name was Diana, and apparently she was the first British woman to fly through the sound barrier. The winning car was in the middle of the room and we did pitstop practice in black tie. She jumped in and out!”

Kristensen, ever the pro, had done his homework, understood tradition – and that meant he took maximum pleasure from his Bentley experience. “I enjoyed being a Bentley Boy,” he says with a smile.

Objective achieved, the Speed 8 never returned to Le Mans. Kristensen and Capello went back to Audi and further Le Mans glory, while Smith enjoyed success as part of Bentley’s next project: a Continental GT3 racer. But without class representation at Le Mans, that campaign has never gained the kudos it probably deserves. 

Hypercar rules are on the horizon to kick off a whole new era at the Circuit de la Sarthe. But whether Bentley has the wherewithal or the stomach to return to the race it will forever be most associated with remains to be seen.


SPIED: Mercedes-Benz Turns Its Two Barrels To Other Large Luxury Sedans, SEE These All-new Spy Shots Of The Next-gen S-Class

Seeking a large luxury sedan and you only desire the best? If that's the case, it's pretty difficult to get past the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

While the current-gen S just received a refresh, all-new spy shots clearly show that the three-pointed star is working on an all-new replacement.

At this point it's still pretty early going, which means the vehicle is in its mule stage. The overall shape remains largely the same, however, its rear doors look distinctly longer and the rear windscreen appears to have a greater rake than before. I'd wager Mercedes is going to make sure this all-new body is more slippery through the air to help its fuel efficiency along.

Covered head-to-toe in camouflage and equipped with body armor, it's exceedingly difficult to see what's what. But, stay tuned to as we keep close tabs on the latest S-Class developments.

**For the FULL collection of spy shots, click "Read Article," below!

Prototypes of the new Mercedes S-Class saloon, which is set to launch in 2020, have been pictured undergoing development testing by our spy photographers in the Arctic Circle.

Despite Mercedes’ current S-Class saloon receiving a hefty facelift last year, these spy shots confirm that a full replacement is on the horizon and will bring a completely new look and advanced tech to the luxury segment. A new S-class coupe will also appear faced with fresh opposition in the shape of the BMW 8 Series...

Read Article


"How I started my own car firm" - the story of Rivian

Rivian is 10 years old and has never made a car, but does have its cars designed, engineered and ready to go, plus an ex-Mitsubishi factory being readied to build them in. Crucially, Rivian is also well funded through investors, who have backed the U-turns Scaringe has performed with the company’s direction. 

“With the 2+2 coupé, I raised a small amount of capital,” he says. “I had 20 people on a small team, and then after about two and a half years at the end of 2011, we got to a fork in the road. We could continue down that path, hoping something changes, unlock the capital and then scale up. Or shelve it all, and use those lessons to rethink the business. 

“I shelved it, then began the process of thinking hard about why we exist. Nothing else matters if you can’t answer that. I didn’t believe in the business – there was a gap.” 

Scaringe believes he has now truly found a niche, and something different and lasting. Rivian plans to make what it calls electric adventure vehicles, like a cross between Tesla and Land Rover. It will keep its vehicles premium, and production numbers in the thousands rather than the millions. 

Scaringe calls it “brand sharpness”, keeping the product portfolio small but all closely related and with clear family ties; Rivian won’t be making everything from superminis to supercars, like some premium brands do. Everything will be an off-roader. 

“Nothing will change in the next 10, 100 or 1000 years – humans will want to explore and I have thousands of years of evidence to explore that,” Scaringe says. “In a world of pods, you’ll still need things to take you on adventures. If you want to go skiing in 2035 or 2040, you take a Rivian.” 

Scaringe axed his initial coupé, and he’s already on the third version of the architecture and vehicles that became the R1T and R1S. 


BaT Auction: 1973 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000

This 1973 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000 is powered by a rebuilt 2.0-liter twin-cam four that reportedly features high-compression pistons and is paired with a 5-speed manual transmission rebuilt in 2017. The car has been repainted in Rosso Alfa, and further modifications include dual Weber carburetors, Marelli Plex electronic ignition, Alfaholics 15” wheels, “flying buttress” seats, a roll cage, a 1969 grille, and more. The seller brought the car to California after purchasing it in 2017, and included receipts cover additional maintenance and modifications during his ownership. This GTV is offered with a clean Montana title in the name of the seller’s company.

1973 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000

The exterior was reportedly repainted in Rosso Alfa following installation of an early-style rear valance approximately six years ago. The bumpers have been removed, and a front grille and center “heart” from a 1969 GTV have been added. Finish flaws captured in the gallery include clear coat peeling aft of both rear wheels as well as chips around the body.

A Petrolicious video featuring the car is viewable above. New US-market tail lights, door handles, rear quarter side windows, and Classic Alfa badges were installed by the seller, and a pair of Euro-spec amber tail lights is included in the sale.  Alfaholics 7″x15” wheels are wrapped in Dunlop Direzza tires. An alignment was performed in May 2018.

1973 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000

Black vinyl “flying buttress” seats are equipped with Alcantara inserts and red Simpson Racing lap belts. Alcantara also trims the door panels and rear seat delete, and a half roll cage has been fitted. The front seat sliders have been lowered to accommodate taller drivers according to the seller. New Dynamat sound deadening was added along with a replacement leather shift knob, switches, and sun visors.

1973 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000

A replacement dash was installed by the seller, and the factory dash trim pieces have been wrapped in matte grey 3M vinyl. A MOMO Prototipo steering wheel is mounted on an Alfaholics column extender with a Nardi hub adapter. Factory Jaeger gauges include a 140 mph speedometer with a 5-digit odometer that shows 12k miles, approximately 1,500 of which were added by the seller. Total mileage is unknown.

1973 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000

The 2.0L twin-cam inline-four was reportedly rebuilt under previous ownership by Santo’s Italian Car Service of Northridge, California. Features are said to include a cross-drilled head and block, Borgo 10.4:1 pistons and L8 camshafts. Classic Alfa high performance stainless steel headers have also been added along with an aluminum radiator, a Marelli Plex electronic distributor, Magnecor plug wires, an aluminum radiator, and dual Weber 45 DCOE carburetors equipped with 45mm trumpet intakes and Pipercross air filters. The 5-speed manual gearbox is said to have been rebuilt approximately 3k miles ago by Auto Veloce of Miami, Florida in 2017, while the carburetors were adjusted in September 2017.

 Posted in General

Rare Rides: A Suzuki SC100, Delightfully Tiny

Rear-engine, rear-drive cars are few and far between, limited mostly to excellent things like the Porsche 911, and terrible things like the VW Karmann Ghia and Chevrolet Corvair. But there’s another car with an “RR” configuration that’s a bit more obscure. Presenting the Suzuki SC100.


 Posted in General

Mando erhält Testlizenz für Kalifornien

Der südkoreanische Zulieferer Mando bekommt eine Testlizenz für das Autonome Fahren in Kalifornien.

Bereits vorletzte Woche hat sich das Unternehmen Mando eine Lizenz zum Testen Autonomer Fahrzeuge für Kalifornien gesichert. Mando kooperiert auch mit dem südkoreanischen Startup Naver, das sich ebenfalls für das Autonome Fahren interessiert.

Mando Testfahrzeug

Mando Testfahrzeug. Quelle:

Mando ist nunmehr das 58. Unternehmen mit einer solchen Testlizenz für den US-Bundesstaat Kalifornien. Dazu gehört auch, dass man alljährlich einen Bericht bezüglich der Unfälle und Ausfälle der Fahrzeuge erstellen muss. Kalifornien gehört zu den US-Bundesstaaten mit den härtesten Bedingungen. Derart startet Waymo seinen Dienst auch im Nachbarstaat Arizona. Uber hat seine Lizenz in Kalifornien wegen des tödlichen Unfalls verfallen lassen und verfügt auch in Arizona nicht mehr über Testlizenz für das Autonome Fahren.

Mando verfügt über einen eigenen Wagen mit Automatisierung, der Hockey genannt wird. Dabei setzt man bei der Weiterentwicklung auch auf Kooperationen, vor allem mit Startups.

Von der Testlizenz in Kalifornien erhofft sich Mando nicht nur mehr Testkilometer, sondern auch eine beschleunigte Entwicklung. Denn man arbeitet seit letztem Jahr auch die Etablierung des Mando Innovations Silicon Valley (MISV) –

Honda Grazia sales cross 2-lakh units

25th Oct 2018 2:58 pm

The premium 125cc scooter from Honda achieved this sales landmark within 11 months of its launch.

Sales growth in the 125cc scooter segment has been on a steady rise over the past few years and is expected to cross the 1-million mark this fiscal year. Riding on this positive growth, Honda announced that sales for the Grazia have crossed the 2-lakh mark, with the 125cc scooter achieving this milestone in just 11 months of its launch in India.

Speaking on the achievement, Yadvinder Singh Guleria - senior vice president, sales and marketing, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd., said, “A perfect blend of youthful innovation with advanced features, Grazia offers a powerful performance with modern style and advanced attributes. Launched with industry-first features like the first scooter in India with all digital instrumentation, three step eco speed indicator and bright LED headlamp, the Sales progress of Grazia reaffirms that customers are upgrading to Honda’s latest technology and innovation.”

The Honda Grazia has received a warm reception in our market and crossed 50,000-unit sales within three months of its launch. It also entered the top 10 highest-selling scooters list. One of the main reasons for the success of the Grazia is its sharp styling and list of features such as LED headlight, an all-digital instrument cluster with eco speed indicator, multi-functional key slot and a cubby hole below the handlebar. Powering the scooter is a 124.9cc engine producing 8.5hp at 6,500rpm and 10.54Nm of torque at 5,000rpm.

Prices for the Honda Grazia start at Rs 59,222, with the top-spec disc-brake variant retailing for Rs 64,293 (all prices, ex-showroom, Delhi). The high asking price has affected sales in the recent past and it has been outperformed by the TVS Ntorq 125 on the sales chart.

Also see:

Honda Grazia vs Suzuki Access 125 comparison

2018 Hero Destini 125 review, test ride


Manheim Texas Hobby Completes $6 Million Improvement Project

September 05, 2018

A TrueGrid permeable paving system is one of three projects in a recently completed two-year improvement initiative at Houston’s Manheim Texas Hobby auction. Photo courtesy Manheim

A TrueGrid permeable paving system is one of three projects in a recently completed two-year improvement initiative at Houston’s Manheim Texas Hobby auction. Photo courtesy Manheim

HOUSTON — Completing a two-year, more than $6 million investment in sustainability and security enhancements, Manheim Texas Hobby clients and team members and the Houston community will benefit from improved conditions, reduced risks and peace of mind, directors announced.

Three key initiatives — a permeable paving system, water reclamation center, and site security upgrades — were backed by Manheim, the massive U.S. network of physical and digital wholesale vehicle auctions. Manheim Texas Hobby operates a 165-acre site located at 8215 Kopman Road, just minutes from the Houston airport and 40 miles from the coast. It counts 18 sale lanes and registration of more than 3,300 vehicles per week.

“Our innovative and creative solutions are as good for our clients and the environment as they are for our business,” said Darren Slack, general manager at Manheim Texas Hobby. “We’ve made sound investments that set us apart by bringing more value to our dealers and community.”

A $4.2 million TrueGrid permeable paving system and a recently added 15.25-acre lot expands capacity and provides a “cost-efficient and eco-friendly” alternative to concrete or asphalt. Made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled HDPE (high density polyethylene), it remains cooler than traditional surfaces and dramatically reduces the urban heat island effect. Most important in flood-prone Houston, the new paving system is completely permeable, so stormwater drains instantly, leaves no runoff and filters naturally to remove harmful hydrocarbons and pollutants which protects local aquifers.

A $250,000 Water Reclamation Center was designed to use 70% of the water generated by the detail shop. The reverse-osmosis system is expected to save the site 1.9 million gallons of water and $19,000 per year.

Finally, a $1.75 million security upgrade — with what has been touted as the most advanced camera system available, plus added steel plate gates and barriers around the property — enhances protection of client inventory. Upgrading and expanding coverage of the camera system installed in 2016, the new low-light, high-resolution wireless cameras operate on their own network, enabling real-time monitoring from anywhere of suspicious activity or potential storm damage.

“Leveraging innovations and technology, Manheim Texas Hobby is doing even more to support our clients and their inventory, metro Houston’s environment and this facility’s 260 team members,” Slack said.


Bergé Gefco JV in Spain gets the go-ahead

Jaime Gorbeña (left), president of Spain’s Bergé y Compañía, with Luc Nadal (right), CEO of French company GefcoLogistics providers Bergé and Gefco have gained regulatory approval for the merger of their finished vehicle operations in Spain into a 50:50 joint venture called Bergé Gefco, based in Madrid.

Creation of the new company, which will handle new and second-hand vehicles, took place days after the European Commission approved the move.

Bergé Gefco will be able to coordinate and transport 1.4m cars a year, with 340 hectares of space to store up to 120,000 vehicles at a time, a fleet of more than 700 trucks and 100 railcar wagons, and 40,000 sq.m of workshop space. More than 3m new vehicles are produced annually in Spain.

It will run logistics centres in 10 locations: Ciempozuelos, Pinto and Villa Verde (Madrid); Barcelona and Tarragona (Catalonia); Sagunto (Valenzia); Vigo and Porrioro (Pontevedra); and Santander and Zaragoza.

“We are very satisfied to have received a green light to start our operations and sign this alliance with Gefco,” said Jaime Gorbeña (pictured above, left), president of Spain’s Bergé y Compañía. “We are convinced that it will not only reinforce our leadership in the Spanish finished vehicle logistics market but also stimulate growth in the sector with innovative services based on the shared expertise of both companies.”

Luc Nadal (pictured above, right), CEO of French company Gefco, commented: “This joint venture will reinforce our leadership in the automotive logistics market. The new company will be well positioned to anticipate market needs in a highly dynamic context and develop innovative solutions tailored to the needs of our customers, partners and employees.”

The two founding companies, which first announced the joint venture plan in mid-2018, said Bergé Gefco would enable customers to better manage seasonal peaks in activity and benefit from dedicated resources.

The new company has pledged to place a strong focus on innovation to develop solutions closely matched to operational needs, and has suggested that in terms of second-hand vehicles, it will be the only provider capable of managing all logistics and commercial services with its own resources.

Its services for vehicle manufacturers, leasing companies and resellers include transport, warehousing, technical services, inspe

9 October 2018: Confirmed Launch Date of the New 2018 Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V was been in the Indian market since quite some time. It may have lost its popularity because of Honda offering no diesel engine for the Indian models, yet it survived and has been in the market for some generations. The new fifth generation CR-V was rumoured to get a new diesel engine option at the auto show this year, where it was unveiled for the first time. The rumour turns out to be true and Honda shall launch the new CR-V on 9 October 2018, with both diesel and petrol engines. This was a much needed step to bring the CR-V back to the mind of Indian buyers, who have been dismissing it for the lack of a diesel power-plant.

Honda CRV008

The 1.6 litre diesel unit makes 120 bhp and 300 Nm of torque which is on par with Mahindra Marazzo’s new diesel unit. It may feel a bit under powered compared to the bigger SUV’s the CR-V is aimed to go against. The engine will be paired to a 9 speed automatic transmission, which comes with gear selector buttons instead of a standard gear lever. The petrol engine is a 2 litre unit which churns out 154 hp and 189 Nm of torque. The petrol unit is mated to a CVT gearbox unit. The fifth generation civic will miss out on manual transmission due to less demand of the same in this segment.

Honda CRV007

Also Read: Buying a New Honda Car Could Get You an All Expense Paid Trip to London and Paris

Design wise, the new CR-V gets an updated look with a new front grille, new headlights with DRLs and bigger dimensions. The CR-V also gets a bit more practicality in form of an additional row of seats, yes the new CR-V is now a 7 seater. The SUV also stands a bit taller with new precision cut 18 inch alloy wheels. Expected to priced from about INR 30 L Ex-Showroom. Once launched the CR-V will go against the likes of Hyundai Tucson, Mitsubishi Outlander and the Volkswagen Tiguan. Keep looking at this space for more updates on the upcoming CR-V along with a detailed review in the future. Below are some images of the new CR-V taken at the auto expo this year.


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