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The Porsche 911 Dakar

The Porsche 911 is one of the most iconic sports cars. It has been evolving since it was first introduced in 1964. It is one of the most refined sports cars with a wide range of engine options. Also, you can choose either a rear-wheel drive or an all-wheel drive option. Now, we have the Porsche 911 Dakar.

The Porsche 911 Dakar is designed for rough and tough terrain. The Dakar is here to get rid of your Cayenne and let you drive the real Porsche! I know the Cayenne is practical, has all-wheel drive and offers an off-road experience.

Now, the Porsche 911 Dakar can do the same, and you don’t need the Cayenne! The Porsche 911 Dakar is based on the Carrera S with a 50mm uplifting suspension kit with an option to lift it an additional 30mm via a four-corner lift system.

The Porsche 911 Dakar is powered by a 911 GTS engine, a 3.0-litre Biturbo six-cylinder engine with 480 PS (353 kW) and a maximum torque of 570 Nm. The Dakar can reach 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds and the top speed is only limited to 240 km/h due to the all-terrain tyres. The engine is coupled with an 8-speed PDK gearbox. Rear-axle steering is also available. Dakar’s off-road top speed is limited to 170 km/h, but I am sure this speed will be enough on rough terrain. And there is a new driving mode: Rally and Off-Road.

There will only be 2500 Porsche 911 Dakars produced for £173,000. If you can afford it, go buy it!

Photos // Porsche

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Cars

Ford Discontinued the Fiesta

At the end of October 2022, Ford announced its decision to discontinue the Fiesta from June 2023 onward.

The Fiesta is one of the longest-standing vehicles in the industry, having been produced for 47 years. Unfortunately, the trend and addiction to driving SUVs has forced Ford to stop manufacturing the Fiesta.

This segment of Ford will be replaced by Puma’s electric version. Honestly, the Puma looks weird, and in the early 2000s, the Puma brand used to be a car based on the Ford Ka.

The original Ford Fiesta was launched in 1976, and since then more than 18 million units have been built around the world. Recently, Ford discontinued the Mondeo, Galaxy, and S-Max models. Honestly, I never liked MPVs (Galaxy and S-Max); they can be gone for good!

Anyway, I’m hoping that one day, the Fiesta will be back again. Until that time, we will miss you, Fiesta!

Images // Ford

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Cars

The Last Bugatti Chiron, Mistral

A few days ago, Bugatti revealed its most radical design yet – a permanent open-roof hypercar.

I know that the permanent open-top style is not new to the industry. However, it is completely new to a car that produces 1,600hp and can exceed 420 km/h! Driving faster than 400 km/h in an open-top car severely challenges the driver and passenger. I can only imagine the turbulence inside the cabin created at those speeds. I’m sure it will be safe, but I doubt it will be a pleasant experience for anyone to reach speeds of 400 km/h.

Importantly, though, no one is buying the Mistral for the speed – the lucky 99 buyers will own the final W16-powered Bugatti series. The W16 engine is not feasible anymore as a gas-only engine, and the world has changed. All brands are moving towards electric, and that’s why Bugatti is under the Rimac brand in VW Group. The Bugatti Mistral is the final addition to the W16-series, and W16 will be gone forever when the 500 Chirons sell out.

Is the Mistral worth buying? Yes, absolutely. Worth driving at 400 km/h? I’m not sure about that!

Photos // Bugatti

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Cars

VW Phaeton Second Generation Revealed (kind of)

VW recently revealed the pictures of VW Phaeton’s cancelled second generation. Sadly, the Phaeton didn’t manage to see its second generation. When Phaeton was first revealed in 2003, it shocked the industry. VW was entering into the luxury F-segment and going to compete with Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

To compete in the luxury segment, Phaeton was offering groundbreaking technologies. Phaeton was designed to be driven non-stop at 50-degree at 300 km/h, with an interior temperature of 22. This was requested by Ferdinand Piech (grandson of Ferdinand Porsche). And Phaeton achieved this request. To be an invincible vehicle, Phaeton was over-engineered with many redundancy systems. Everything had a backup system designed to survive the most challenging conditions. Another game-changer feature was the windows were coated with an anti-moisture coat. So whatever you do, inside the Phaeton, you won’t have foggy windows (Tried by Jeremy Clarkson at Top Gear).

I can’t forget the mechanical arms of the boots; they were a piece of engineering. Still, you can’t find this type of engineering in any of the cars. Phaeton was a gamer changer. Also, I can’t forget the W12 engine, not a V12, a W12! This was another game-changer in automotive engineering. Air condition would never make you sick, with the torsional rigidity of 37000 nm/degree (this is high). There were also more requests from Piech but never revealed to the public.

Sadly, Phaeton had one problem, it was a VW. And it was nearly impossible to compete with Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series, Audi A8, Maserati Quattroporte, Lexus LS and Jaguar XJ (now gone). Even the Jaguar couldn’t keep up with the competition. S-Class has always been the leader of the F-segment. VW had the money but couldn’t gain traction. Sadly, Phaeton was out of production in 2016.

Interestingly, the highest demand came from China and South Korea. Although this demand didn’t manage the keep the production alive. The Phaeton was also used for first-generation Bentley FlyingSpur and did really well.

So, what are these second-generation pictures of Phaeton? VW just wanted us to show what the second generation Phaeton could have looked like. As I am not an industrial designer, one thing I can say, the first-generation Phaeton has cleaner lines and looks better. I hope Frank Stephenson will cover the second-generation Phaeton in his future videos.

The second generation Phaeton was going to have a plug-in hybrid system, the same V6, V8, and W12 engines. Also, electrochromic side windows was on the plan. At the touch of a button, the user can switch from opaque to transparent glass.

Lastly, Phaeton was a great car. If you find a clean one with a W12 engine, go for it! If you live in China, Phaeton is kind of alive as Phideon. It is a smaller version based on a smaller platform.

Photos // VW

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Cars

The world’s most expensive car sold: Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR

When you hear the sentence, ‘the world’s most expensive car’, you might be thinking about Bugatti Chiron’s special edition. They cost more than €3 million, and that’s very expensive.

However, a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SLR broke that record: €135 million by Sotheby’s on the 19th of May, 2022! I know classic cars are always more expensive than modern cars. But €135 million was not something commonly seen! So how can a car cost this much?

There were only two Mercedes-Benz 300SLR cars ever produced. They are both owned by Mercedes-Benz (MB) AG Germany. MB was never willing to sell the 300SLRs. The uniqueness of the 300SLR is not in the design: it is in the technology.

It was one of the first direct petrol injection engine cars, developing 310 PS from an 8-cylinder 3-lt engine with a top speed of 283 kph (176 mph) and only 7.4 seconds to reach 100 kph (62 mph). I know these numbers are not so exciting for 2022, but for 1955 it was groundbreaking. Also, the 300SLR was based on space frame chassis and only weighed 1.1-tonnes! Another interesting fact: the front brakes were on axles, unlike inside the wheels on a regular car, so, they can save weight with the wheels, and the car’s centre of gravity is improved. Additionally, brakes on axles will not lock the wheel easily (ancient ABS).

So, who was driving this car?
It was Rudolf Uhlenhaut. The designer of the car. 300SLR was his company car, and he drove it every day. However, the 300SLR runs very loud and it caused Rudolf Uhlenhaut to have permanent hearing loss. It is good to note too that despite having the 300SLR as the company car, it only had 6045 km.

So, who bought the 300SLR?
Someone wealthy and well connected. I don’t think the owner of the 300SLR is a lottery winner because Mercedes-Benz didn’t wish to sell this car for decades. Simon Kidston urged the Mercedes-Benz board to sell for 18 months…it was one of the toughest sales! I have no idea on the insurance premium for this car.

What happened to the €135 million?
Mercedes-Benz donated it to a foundation.

Is this car worth the money?
Yes! It was before its time and designed with the highest levels of engineering. Their performance figures can still challenge today’s sports cars!

Photos // Mercedes-Benz

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Cars

Salon Privé Chelsea, London 2022

I have tried to attend Salon Privé for a long time, but I’ve never managed it! I always thought Salon Privé was a small car show, and that’s all. However, I was wrong.

I realized this when I attended the event at Royal Chelsea Hospital in London this year. Since I started blogging, I think this is the first car show where I didn’t ask for a press pass.

Salon Privé London has something unique to offer! It is small, but it has everything! From Prodrive’s Paris Dacar off-roader BRX Hunter to Bugatti Chirons (multiple Chirons were present). I’m not even taking into account the number of Lamborghinis that were present.

Another great part of Salon Privé was Anna-Louise Felstead (Instagram @alfelstead). She is a fantastic artist whose paintings I love. This is especially true for the ones that convey the reality of luxury cars. They are amazing!

Also, there were two helicopters at Salon Privé. I can’t ignore them in this write-up. From this year, I will be attending a future Salone Privé event, and I highly recommend it!

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Cars

The Best Car for London: Honda e

London is well known for its congestion, narrow streets, and extensive underground network, known as the tube. However, despite the ease of getting around on the London Underground, if you still wish to drive in the City, this article is for you.

A good starting point is the streets of London, which are very narrow. After the Great Fire of London of 1666, everything was consumed. That was the moment to extend the existing road width; the timing was perfect, the city would be built from scratch, and there was no better time to extend the street widths. However, things didn’t go as planned. Land owners were reluctant to sacrifice their lands for wider streets, and they wanted to keep the existing London road network. And the story ends here.

If you’ve ever been to London, you’ll have noticed that the city is like an open-air museum. Everything is old and preserved. Therefore, at this point, there is no opportunity to extend the street widths any further.

Why am I talking about street widths in relation to London? The main reason is that they are narrow. As a matter of fact, they are exceedingly narrow, and I don’t know how people drive Range Rovers or American SUVs on these streets. Nothing fits into the lanes apart from small cars, such as the Honda e!

Honda e is a tiny, rear-wheel drive, and amazingly good looking vehicle. It offers a luxurious interior within a high-tech car. It is not based on an existing petrol car; rather, the Honda E is designed from scratch to be an electric car. The Honda E’s design looks more expensive than its price tag! I saw it in Mayfair in front of luxurious residences next to Bentleys. Probably no one realised the car was a Honda.

Honda e is one of the cutest and most beautiful electric cars on the market. Even legendary car designer Frank Stephenson has supported this statement (or, in reality, I’ve supported his!). Frank gave the Honda e 10/10 in terms of design, and he made the right call. After all, Honda e is like an Apple device turned into a car.

Regarding the Honda e’s technical specifications, it has level-two semi-autonomous driving, blind spot assist, cross traffic monitor, heated steering wheel, and 360-camera. Honda E has two engine outputs, 136PS and 154PS (315 nm of torque). My advice is to ignore the 136PS and go for the powerful one. 154PS means you will choose the Honda e Advance version. Top speed? 145 km/h (90 mph). 0 to 100 km/h? 8.3-sec!

The battery capacity of the Honda e is 35.5 kWh. Battery capacity determines how much energy the vehicle’s battery can hold. EV operation efficiency, which is similar to fuel consumption, is 17.2 kWh per 100 km. Also, the maximum range of the vehicle is 218 km (136 miles).

Honda e may be a challenging car for longer journeys, but for London, it is the best car available right now. The luxury and technology you will find in the Honda e will surprise you.

So, the perfect London car – for me – is the Honda e.

Photo Credits // Honda

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Cars

New Range Rover vs. Old Range Rover

After a long break, Land Rover recently revealed its new-generation Range Rover. I previously covered the new Range Rover on my blog. The new model is better than the earlier generation, in terms of technologies, engines, and drive trains.

In terms of design, however, things are more complicated. You might already have spotted similarities between the new and old versions, especially at the front-end. As for me, I’ve been trying to notice any design differences between the two, and it’s challenging.

Both generations look exactly the same. Nevertheless, there are minor differences in the latest generation compared to the previous one.

From the side view, the new generation is not too different from its predecessor. The main difference is the door handles. The new generation has useless pop-out door handles, which tend to break down in harsh or cold weather conditions. However, it also has cleaner lines. This is an important reason why I prefer the new generation.

In terms of the rear-end, the two vehicles are entirely different. I’m still trying to get used to the look of the new generation’s rear-end, but it’s growing on me. Ultimately, it’s unique and creates an impression of a sculptured look.

I’m not an industrial designer or a car designer, and my views are just those of an enthusiastic car blogger. I hope Frank Stephenson will soon provide his review of the new Range Rover’s design.

Photos // Land Rover

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Cars

Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ Grand Finale for The Internal Combustion Engine

The world’s fastest mass-production car, the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+, and Bugatti’s London dealer, HR Owen, has delivered three of them! Sadly, I can’t share my photos as the HR Owen Bugatti dealer is not open to the public. You can’t go into the dealer and take pictures. Once I had the chance, I guess that was all.

The Bugatti Chiron is the predecessor of the Veyron, and they share many features. Such as the engine! The W16 Bugatti engine is an engineering masterpiece from a different perspective. When the Bugatti’s W16 engine was announced at the beginning of the 2000s, the world was a different place. Massive engine displacement was somewhat part of Bugatti’s success and reaching 1001-HP was a fantastic benchmark. During those times, there was some rumour, that the W16 engine was based on two Audi V8 engines stuck together. This has never been confirmed or rejected. I guess that’s one of the automotive secrets.

Chiron Super Sport 300+ promises one thing, reaching 309 miles per hour or 498 km per hour. That is 500 km/h! This is thanks to aerodynamic revisions, an extra 100-HP and many other upgrades. Every single piece of the SuperSport 300+ is revised or redesigned to withstand this speed. The engine produces 1600-HP and 1600nm of torque. The fuel consumption is insane. I am not talking about servicing this Chiron.

For me, Chiron Super Sport 300+ is a great car and show how much we can push the limits of physics. Is it a logical car? Of course not. Does it make sense? Absolutely not. But it is an excellent piece of engineering to see how far we can push the limits of an internal combustion engine. This is probably the last fastest Bugatti with an internal combustion engine.

There are, or there were, only 30 cars available, and they are gone. Will this car pollute the world? Yes, but most of the owners will not drive it that much. You also can’t reach the top speed that easily. This is a piece of engineering; that’s how I see it, and that’s why I wish I had one. Honestly, this is the only Bugatti I wish to own. Because we won’t be able to see these figures again. I guess Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ is the grand finale for the internal combustion engine.

Pictures // Krishan Parmer

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Cars

12th Year

Today marks the 12th anniversary of my blog. I still can’t believe how all those years have passed. Blogging changed a lot twelve years, but I kept writing, and I will be writing.