Autosport International is back in 2023, three years after its last appearance at NEC, Birmingham. I am excited to see the show this year and the return of cars and models.
I have been attending Autosport since 2012, and the last three years were a significant break.
As expected, the show was amazing. There were new companies, models, and exciting new motorsport technologies, particularly electric vehicle racing cars. I anticipate seeing more electric vehicles in future Autosport shows.
By the way, I don’t know the story behind that Lamborghini Huracan.
This article is written by an artificial intelligence tool called ChatGPT (http://chat.openai.com). I knew this day will come, and machines will write articles, but I wasn’t expecting this quickly. After 13 years of blogging here, I am proud to present the first article on my blog written by a machine.
The Bugatti Chiron is a mid-engined sports car developed and manufactured by Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. It is the successor to the Bugatti Veyron and was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2016. The Chiron is named after Louis Chiron, a racing driver who won the Monaco Grand Prix three times in the 1920s and 1930s.
The Chiron is powered by an 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W16 engine that produces 1,500 horsepower and 1,180 lb-ft of torque. It has a top speed of 261 mph, making it one of the fastest production cars in the world. The Chiron also has a 0-60 mph acceleration time of just 2.4 seconds, thanks to its all-wheel drive system and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
In terms of design, the Chiron is a blend of traditional Bugatti styling cues and modern design elements. It has a long, low profile with a wide grille and a sweeping roofline. The Chiron also has distinctive LED lights and large air intakes to help cool the engine. Inside, the Chiron is luxurious and well-equipped, with comfortable leather seats and a high-tech dashboard.
The Bugatti Chiron is not just a high-performance machine, but also a work of art. Each Chiron is hand-built by a team of skilled craftsmen at Bugatti’s headquarters in Molsheim, France. The Chiron is limited to just 500 units, making it a rare and exclusive car that is highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts.
Overall, the Bugatti Chiron is a stunning achievement in automotive engineering and design. It is a true masterpiece that pushes the boundaries of what is possible in a production car.
This year marks the 13th year of my blog. I never thought I would be blogging for such a long time, but here I am, still doing it. During these 13 years, blogging and many other things have changed a lot.
Soon, I will have a surprise for you on this blog. Stay tuned!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.