Dr. Ulrich Bez, the man largely responsible for the modern range of Aston Martin vehicles, is expected to step down from his post as CEO, Autocar UK reports.
Bez’s departure as CEO will leave a huge hole in the Aston Martin’s management, ending a 13-year run that began when he assumed the job as chief executive and chairman back in July 2000.
As soon as he vacates his CEO seat, Bez is expected to remain with the company and serve more of an ambassadorial role in the company. That’s a good thing for Aston Martin because Bez’s imprint in the British automaker is unmistakable.
In addition to being the driving force behind the recent range of Aston Martin models, Bez also led the company’s move to build a world-class manufacturing facility in Gaydon, among his many accomplishments.
Aston Martin has yet to confirm Bez’s departure, but according to Autocar, a new CEO will be named later this year.
We’ll keep you updated on any new information surrounding this development.
Click past the jump to see a few cars Aston Martin built under Dr. Ulrich Bez’s watch Full story
The British market has received a new special-edition smart fortwo. It is called Edition21 and can be financed for as little as £79 ($120.25 at the current exchange rates) per month for clients aged over 21. The model is priced at £9,575 ($14,400 at the current exchange rates) for the coupe and £11,075 ($16,700) for the convertible. It will be built in limited numbers.
This special edition will be distinguished by a black tridion safety cell (white as an option), black mirror caps and a set of sharp 15-inch three-double-spoke alloy wheels. In order to further identify it, the model will also get special "Edition 21" logo on the mirror triangles and a choice of black or white body panels.
For the interior, the Edition 21 adds black fabric or leatherette upholstery and a three-spoke leather sports steering wheel with shift paddles.
This special edition will make use of smart’s 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 71 horsepower. Full story
Over in the UK market, British automaker Vauxhall has pulled the covers off of the new VRX8 Tourer, a full-sized tourer that carries quite a punch under its hood.
There weren’t a whole lot of sweeping changes done to the tourer compared to its previous iterations, but the VRX8 Tourer nevertheless carries a character that exudes quiet confidence mixed in with class-leading cargo space and impressive performance credentials.
Since it’s classified as a tourer/wagon, the initial reaction surrounding the VRX8 Tourer might be that it belongs in market that puts less importance on its looks and its power. However, this model has the looks and the power that can make it a worthy candidate to be somebody’s next full-sized wagon.
It may not have the brand recognition of a Mercedes or a BMW, but Vauxhall is serious about bringing the fight to the German brands. And it has the VRX8 Tourer as a worthy soldier to do the battling for it.
Find out more about the Vauxhall VRX8 Tourer after the jump Full story
French automaker Renault has got a whole shindig planned for the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed this coming July.
In attendance will be a host of its current models, including the Clio Renaultsport 200, the Captur crossover, and the ZOE, as well as some of its historical race cars and famous racers like Alain Prost, Susie Wolff, and Jean Ragnotti.
While that list is no doubt impressive, what really piqued our interests was the announcement of two "performance-oriented" vehicles that will make their debuts at Goodwood.
Renault has given no details on what these concepts will look like, but it did say that one of the models will be powered by pure electric, whereas the other will feature a gas engine.
That’s the most in the way of details the French automaker has given us. Lack of information notwithstanding, we expect a pair of notable concepts from Renault this coming July at Goodwood.
Read Renault’s press release after the jump
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is a unique auto show that highlights more than today’s cars, but also pays homage to some past classics that paved the way for the current model’s to be as esteemed as they are.
For German automaker, Porsche, the 2013 Festival of Speed is an opportunity to showcase one such classic as part of its 50th anniversary: the 1965 Porsche 911 Project 50.
The model is actually a 1965 Porsche 911 that came powered by a 2.0-liter flat-six engine that produced 130 horsepower, a huge number back in the 60’s. The owner, who actually paid just £3,438 ($5,211) in today’s exchange, was an Italian who eventually sold it and soon thereafter, the car changed owners multiple times. It included a stop in the U.S. where it was soon imported to the UK sometime in the late 90’s where it morphed into a fully restored, FIA-Approved race car by what Porsche says was an "established historic Porsche motor sport preparation company."
In its current guise, the 911 Project 50 looks like it’s still got some legs to challenge in an auto race. At the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed, the car will make its public debut before embarking on a competition schedule that will include stops at a number of “Masters Series” events to go with appearances at larger festivals, such as the Nürburgring OldTimer and Silverstone Classic.
The car, itself, will be housed out of the company’s UK headquarters in Reading, Berkshire, and maintained by the in-house Porsche Cars GB Motorsport team. We’ll bring you more details as they become available.
Suzuki UK just added a new model to its Swift lineup. Called the Swift Sport SZ-R, this new special edition has been specially designed for those customers who want to combine a very distinctive look with a fun-to-drive experience.
The new Swift Sport SZ-R is painted Cosmic Black combined with a contrasting Ablaze Red roof and door mirrors. When compared to a standard Sport model, the new SZ-R version also adds a new rear spoiler painted red. Each unit receives special SZ-R badges on the side, and on the inside it has uniquely numbered door-sill guards. Also for the interior, you will notice the same combination of black with contrasting red on the gear shift knob and carpet mats.
The SZ-R model uses a VVT engine that delivers a total of 136 horsepower and sprints the car from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 8.7 seconds and up to a top speed of 121 mph.
The new Suzuki Swift Sport SZ-R will be limited to only 100 units. It will be put on sale at a starting price of £14,249 (about $22,500 at the current exchange rates).
Mazda UK is adding four new special editions to its lineup, one of them being a MX-5 Venture Edition. The new special edition is on sale now with prices starting £18,895 (about $28,800 at the current exchange rates) for the 126-horsepower, 1.8-liter-powered Venture Edition soft-top version and up to £22,295 (about $34,000 at the current exchange rates) for the 160-horsepower, 2.0-liter-powered Venture Edition Roadster Coupe with powered folding roof.
The new MX-5 Venture Edition will be distinguished by a new set of 17-inch Bright Finish alloy wheels on the outside. On the inside, Mazda is offering heated tan leather sports seats and tan leather door inserts.
The new Venture Edition will be offered in four exterior colors: Brilliant Black, Copper Red Mica, Meteor Grey Mica and Stormy Blue Mica. Each color will be combined with a set of “Venture Edition" badges, while the soft-top models will be offered with a tan fabric roof.
Mercedes will soon release the new-generation S-Class onto the market, but Mercedes UK has unveiled a new special-edition based on the current model. The new AMG Sport Edition is based on the most successful S-Class model on the UK market: the S 350 BlueTEC and is priced from £69,995 (around $108,000 at the current exchange rates) on the road.
The new S-Class AMG Sport Edition will be distinguished by AMG front and rear aprons with subtle sill extensions and will be offered with an elegant set of 20-inch AMG alloy wheels in a five-twin-spoke design combined with brake calipers with Mercedes-Benz lettering. The model will also be equipped with a panoramic glass sunroof and illuminated door sills.
The interior will be updated with a Black Ash Wood trim, a wood- and leather-trimmed steering wheel, studded sports pedals finished in stainless steel and AMG-branded floor mats. Standard features will include technologies like a reversing camera and Keyless Go, Harmon/Kardon Front Seat Entertainment and a Comand multimedia system featuring 14 high-performance speakers and additional amplifiers, a set of headphones and remote control, and DAB digital radio.
There are a handful of cars that cost over $1 million. However, for repairs for a car to hit seven figures, well, that’s unheard of…
Not anymore, apparently.
Rowan Atkinson’s McLaren F1, which was destroyed during an accident that occurred back in August 2011, is now up and running again. Now, repairing a totally mangled supercar of the stature of the McLaren F1 takes a pretty long time, as McLaren engineers will attest after spending more than a year restoring the car to run again. With that much time spent on just putting the car back together, costs for the repair eventually ran up to the tune of £910,000 ($1.44 million).
That figure is even more remarkable considering that it’s three times as expensive as any other repair claim that has been documented in the UK. Just a hunch: Mr. Atkinson’s insurance company will no doubt raise his insurance rates after this deal – whether they paid for it or not.
Granted, it’s a McLaren F1. But still, $1 million for repairing a car is just absurd.
Note: Photo above is not Rowan Atkinson’s restored McLaren F1
Ingolstadt-based automaker, Audi, is already working on a new-generation TT, but this doesn’t mean customers can’t still enjoy the current generation. On the British market, for example, Audi unveiled a cool TT Black Edition that can be combined with a new Amplified Black specification package priced at only £700 (about $1,100 at the current exchange rates).
The new Black Edition will be based on the top S line trim level and adds a black trim for the radiator grille surround, tinted rear privacy glass, and xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights. The optional Amplified Black package also adds numerous black elements like the front lip spoiler, the fixed rear spoiler, rear diffuser and the exhaust pipes. The same black treatment continues on the interior.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Audi TT Coupe and Roadster Black Edition. Full story