Fiat Tipo 1.6 MultiJet 120 hp Lounge Edition: Fallin For You Again

The following is a re-edit of a piece posted by MotorMartin on DriveTribe under The Junk Yard banner run by Tony Yates, perhaps better known as @Xinterceptor.

The Fiat Tipo is not a stranger to this green and pleasant land of ours, arriving originally way back in June 1988 as a base 1.4 or DGT, a 1.6-litre DGT and SX and 1.9-litre TDs. The 1.7TD arrived a few months later and became the SX in January 1992 and yet the base models disappeared in April 1990 before eventually being replaced by the Bravo and Brava models in 1995. The end of an era you might think. 

And then, news arrived of an all new Tipo, fresh faced and fancy free and including up to date styling and technology that would allow the Fiat to compete on an even playing field with the best that the rest could offer. The Fiat looks good, of that there can be no doubt, arriving in hatchback form rather than the Station Wagon that is also available, it offers the consumer a thoroughly modern hatchback, especially when in the metallic pearl sand paintwork on test. Proportionally correct, the Tipo displays an upmarket look that sets it apart from the many Focus’ and Astras out there, it’s smart grill and Chrome surround complement the additional Chrome around the front fogs and windows, standing out particularly though are the beautiful chrome door handles which help to create a link between yourself and the car right from the off. Refreshingly restrained and yet still distinctive amongst the competition. 

Step inside the cabin and it’s clear that Fiat have spent a considerable amount of time considering how best to serve the driver and their passengers in the all new Tipo. Rather impressively, Fiat’s designers and engineers have managed to include a whole host of well thought out, space saving solutions to the problem of in car storage with handy chubby holes and holders offering a total capacity of 12 litres, allowing you to store everything you need when you’re on the move.

The Lounge Edition on test displays excellent value for money including, as it does, what Fiat describe as their innovative infotainment options, including the Uconnect 5” touchscreen DAB Radio with Bluetooth®, audio streaming, voice recognition, SMS reader, USB and AUX ports and TomTom Live* navigation system. The touchscreen also allows you to check your fuel savings, eco-performance and service status which is essential to get the most from this motor as you can adapt your own driving to maximise fuel efficiency.

And that’s not even mentioning the adaptive cruise control, climate control, Visibility Pack (Rain and dusk sensors and electrochromic dipping rear-view mirror), Chrome Pack (chrome window, gear lever, fog lights and grill surrounds), Rear view camera, Driver’s seat electric lumbar support and 17” alloy wheels. Let’s not forget that this is a car that starts at just £13,485. 

Dynamically, the Tipo delivers it’s superior ride quality due to McPherson independent suspension in the front and lateral dynamic control at the rear, providing the driver with excitement and comfort in equal measures. Fiat have cleverly introduced additional elements of technology within the general levels of engineering excellence to enhance safety and the overall driving experience. Fiat’s Slip Regulation system (ASR) uses the brakes and engine control to optimise the traction of the hatchback, particularly on slippery roads whilst the Tipo’s Hill Holder, a feature more usually found on the current crop of SUV, helps with hill-starts by keeping the brake applied for around 2 seconds, allowing you to pull away on a gradient with no trouble.

With a mix of petrol and Diesel present, ranging in size from 1.3 to 1.6L, Fiat are clearly looking to satisfy fans of both engine types with the Tipo. The 1.6 MultiJet 120 hp Diesel is an impressive power plant delivering it’s full complement of horses at just 3750 rpm and 236 ft/lb of torque at a lowly 1750 rpm, all of which which gives you a superb response the moment you press the throttle. With peak torque available from the off, the Fiat allows you the luxury of virtually instant gratification as the power is right where you want it on the road. Overtaking is a pleasure as you’re not having to worry about selecting the correct gear and rev combination to safely pass the car in front as this 1.6 MultiJet engine flatters you with the wide spread of power available.

In the Tipo you don’t get the feeling that the engine is overpowering the rest of the chassis rather the Fiat combines the two to great effect. The Fiat may (only) arrive with 120 bhp but the manner of the delivery is paramount as it allows the Tipo to be equally satisfying on the motorways and A roads as it is on smaller country roads. And let’s not forget, this is all whilst delivering up to a claimed 76.3 mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 98 g/km.  

This is a practical family car with a good size 440L boot, excellent economy, stylish looks and a spacious interior in which to spend your time and all whilst not compromising the driving experience available. The final word should be left to Fiat who state that: It used to be that if you wanted to get more in a car, you had to pay more. But now that’s all about to change. The new Tipo range is turning things upside down, by offering you a better class of car without asking for a penny more. How’s that possible? Simple: Tipo offers you more. For less.

Where will you go?

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Ducati Desmodromic Valves: Wasn’t Born To Follow

The following is a re-edit of a piece posted by MotorMartin on DriveTribe under the I Love Motorbikes banner run by Tony Yates, perhaps better known as @Xinterceptor.

Dedicated to Nicky Hayden 1981-2017 

There are certain manufacturers worldwide that the non-motorcycling members of the general public are aware of due to how the brands have cleverly made themselves more visible than most. Triumph springs to mind as does the might that is Honda, but there’s another. A firm that used to be a byword for financial oblivion but is now a much sought after firm, so much so that only a few years ago Audi rocked up to a bright red, noisy party with a wallet full of cash and promises of world domination.  

So what first attracted one of the Volkswagen groups’ favourite children to bid and buy a classic Italian motorcycle firm? A firm which, and let’s be honest here, is never going to rival the big four Japanese manufacturers when it comes to production volume or amount of sales.  

The answer has got to be the engine and its history. Ducati have always experimented with different engine configurations over the years but are perhaps better known for their twin cylinder V-twin (L-twin) engine, both air and water cooled over and above all of the others. The thing is though, is that Ducati have something that nobody else does. 

The Ducati bevel-gear twin-cylinder with a 90° V configuration (the L-twin) was created at the back end of 1970 when, everybody’s favourite Ducati engineer, Fabio Taglioni drew the design that would send the firm along their first steps away from the single-cylinder Desmodromic engine that had historically provided their heartbeat to the L-twin Desmodromic configuration leading on to a sporting legacy that continues apace even today. 

And it’s that Desmodromic system that is perhaps the most impressive and different aspect of the engine, both single and twin, an aspect that makes Ducati unique upon the world stage. Indeed, In 1956, Fabio Taglioni, a Ducati engineer, developed a Desmodromic valve system for the Ducati 125 Grand Prix, creating the Ducati 125 Desmo, saying at the time: The specific purpose of the Desmodromic system is to force the valves to comply with the timing diagram as consistently as possible. In this way, any lost energy is negligible, the performance curves are more uniform and dependability is better.  

In short then, as in a valve-spring engine, a cam lobe operates a pivoted finger follower that presses against the end of the valve stem to open the valve. A second, complementary cam lobe on the same camshaft operates an L-shaped closing lever whose clevis-shaped other end pulls the valve closed, acting against the underside of a collar fixed to the valve stem. 

Therefore Desmo eliminates the usual problems with springs, while the absence of conventional spring load saves some frictional loss at low to mid-rpm. In short, the benefit of Desmodromic valves lies in the ability of the engine to allow higher valve acceleration and deceleration without the risks of a collision between valves and pistons occuring. 

Ultimately though, Ducati still uses Desmodromic valve technology because that’s kind of what they’ve always done and now it’s become part of their tradition. Ask anyone about Ducati and after Carl Fogarty, they’ll mention the Desmo system (Probably).  

With Ducati forging their enviable reputation through their racing exploits it’s inevitable that the Desmodromic technology, for which they are so well known, is continually improved through the highly stressful racing environments of Moto GP, World Superbikes and the various Superbike Championships taking place around the World. The link between Ducati’s traditional valve technology and their race machines is made abundantly clear when you notice the name given to the 2017 MotoGP racer, the Desmosedici, a Liquid-cooled, 90° V4, four-stroke, evo desmodromic DOHC, four valves per cylinder beast putting out a guesstimate of around 250+bhp, so the technology does work quite well enough.  

Even the lesser (sic) World Superbike Racer, Ducati Panigale R Superbike, has a liquid-cooled, 90° V2, four-stroke, desmodromic DOHC, four valves per cylinder putting out around 215+bhp. The Desmodromic system may have been started with the intention of solving an engineering dilemma in a new and innovative way, but then it became something more.  

Ducati’s traditional engineering solution to the ever increasing revs and valve spring technology limits that progress brings about is such a big part of what Ducati means today. Without the Desmodromic technology Ducati would perhaps be just another manufacturer but today, to the designers, engineers, racers and customers, Ducati means so much more than it’s motorcycle range. It is a truly legendary company. 

Where will you go?

News: CITY CONCOURS CELEBRATES THE WORLD OF ‘MODERN BESPOKE’ CARS

Now if there’s one thing that gets MotorMartin Towers rocking it is the impending news of a classic car auction, beautiful cars, stunning styling and perhaps something purer than vehicles today. It was extremely pleasing therefore when the news feed up on the top floor began highlighting the following news. 

The all-new City Concours, kicking off in London from 8-9 June, will be showcasing a display of ultra-exclusive ‘Modern Bespoke’ vehicles. Hand-built and exactly tailored to owners’ specifications, this collection of cars rewrites the definition of rarity and will showcase those vehicles that combine the very best of classic style with thoroughly modern engineering.

It’s been shared with MotorMartin that already confirmed to grace the lawns of London’s Honourable Artillery Company for the City Concours is a Porsche 911 Reimagined by Singer. Each vehicle from the California-based outfit is restored as a bespoke collaboration with the customer; this particular vehicle has its full carbon-fibre body finished in Singer Racing White with black lettering and looks simply stunning.

The car has a 3.8L Cosworth-developed flat-six, six-speed transmission and features the external oil and central fuel fillers. Each commission demonstrates the company’s ethos that ‘Everything is Important’. The result of Singer’s work is, as the company describes it, “a love letter to a golden air-cooled era” of the Porsche 911.

Another impeccable reimagining of a classic model is Eagle’s E-Type Low Drag Coupé. Taking around 7,000 man hours to complete it uses an E-Type as its base but almost everything is new or upgraded. The body is now aluminium rather than steel, there’s an extra two inches in the wheelbase, a lower floor pan, a new five-speed gearbox and plenty more in between. It is the ultimate modern reinterpretation of the E-Type.

Zagato is one of the world’s most famous names in bespoke coachbuilding, and the City Concours will this year feature one of Zagato’s bespoke Ferrari models – the 550 GTZ Barchetta.

Only thee Barchetta variants were produced, making it one of the rarest modern Ferraris in existence. Underneath the bonnet is the Ferrari 550’s 5.5-litre V8 but the bodywork has been the subject of a five-month makeover in true Zagato style.

Also on display is the one-of-seven Touring Superleggera Disco Volante Spyder. Using an Alfa Romeo 8C as its base, this handcrafted model is finished with a dramatic and retro-inspired body that took 10,000 hours to complete. Those familiar with the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante Spyder won’t fail to spot the similarities between it and its modern namesake.

Andrew Evans, City Concours Director, explained to MotorMartin that: “What will really set the City Concours apart from any other car event is the calibre of the cars we’re displaying. Our ‘Modern Bespoke’ category is just one example of the kind of unique and rarely seen models that we’ll have on display. The chances of seeing one of these cars on the road are extremely low, but we’ll have all of them plus around a hundred more all gathered in the oasis of green that is London’s Honourable Artillery Company.” 

The collection of cars on display isn’t the event’s only attraction, with a number of luxury brands showcasing their goods and a host of quality food and drink options. There will be stands from dealers Stratstone, Romans and Clayton Classics, alongside a display from reborn British sports car maker, Atalanta, and the Official Outfitter to the City Concours, Mason & Sons.

The City Concours will be held from 8-9 June at the Honourable Artillery Company grounds, near to the Barbican and Bank.
Tickets to the City Concours are available now from www.cityconcours.co.uk. Hospitality, including breakfast and lunch packages, are available from Rachel Roullier (Rachel@thoroughevents.co.uk/ 07826 907 121). 

What a fantastic day out, I wish MotorMartin could be there.

Where will you go?

News: HERE THEY COME! FULL RANGE OF ALL-NEW FIESTA MODELS TO SUCCEED UK’S TOP-SELLING CAR ROLL OFF ASSEMBLY LINE

Only the other day, on a staff day out to that Jewell on the North East Coast that is Scarborough, it was as if the Gods were shining down as we were greeted by a display of late eighties and early nineties classic cars lined up on the promenade. Pick of the bunch was debated long into the night but we eventually settled on the pair of immaculate XR2s squeezed in between an RS Escort and a 2.8i Capri. A tough, tough choice then and one that highlights just how much a classic Ford means to us over here at MotorMartin Towers as we are all fans of that iconic blue oval. 

News then that production of right-hand drive Fiestas – the UK’s best-selling car – has begun in Cologne, Germany has therefore caused quite a stir up on the top floor as we all hold our breath to test how good this latest Fiesta will be. 

“We have taken this iconic small car’s lovable, fun and sporty-to-drive character to the next level, with a greater choice of models than ever and with advanced technologies and features that small-car customers could only have dreamed of just a few years ago,” shared Jim Farley, executive vice president and president, Europe Middle East and Africa, Ford Motor Company with MotorMartin recently. 

The all-new Fiesta, Ford say, highlights Ford’s derivative strategy, with sporty ST-Line version, and sophisticated Vignale and Titanium variants available in the UK in the next few months – plus the Fiesta Active crossover and Fiesta ST coming next year. 

And Ford have explained to MotorMartin that they are investing around €293 million in new production processes at their Cologne facility to build the car – already recognised as one of the world’s most efficient vehicle production plants – and where a new Fiesta will roll off the line every 68 seconds. Impressive.

The all-new Fiesta will be in dealerships in the UK in July and MotorMartin certainly can’t wait.

Where will you go?

News: ALL-NEW PICANTO CUSTOMERS TO RECEIVE ONE-YEAR FREE INSURANCE

Kia Motors (UK) Ltd have informed MotorMartin that they are pleased to announce yet another reason to take ownership of an all-new Picanto, following its launch and highly positive reception on 1 May. As part of the brand’s second-quarter offers, the new city car now benefits from free motor insurance for up to one year. A bargain.

It’s been passed on to the top floor of the Towers that this offer is open to customers aged between 21 and 79. The offer has been made available across all grades of the new car, however those who choose ‘2’ grade and above can also benefit from 4.9 per cent APR finance with a £500 PCP Deposit Contribution.

These offers, Kia say, are available to private customers excluding, Personal Contract Hire, who order their all-new Picanto between 1 May and 30 June 2017, in the United Kingdom.

It’s been widely recognised by those in the know that this is the most technologically advanced, most stylish, most refined and sportiest small car that Kia has ever produced, especially as it went on sale in the UK priced from only £9,450. There are nine versions on offer, based on two engines, two transmissions and five trim lines – badged ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’, ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’. ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ bring an unprecedented level of sportiness to the Picanto range, with bespoke exterior and interior styling and exclusive trim features. In common with all Kias, the all-new Picanto comes with a class-leading ­­seven-year/100,000-mile warranty.

To check your eligibility for this offer, MotorMartin certainly recommends that you contact your local dealer who can be found at http://www.kia.com/uk

Where will you go?

News: MG GEARS UP FOR FURTHER EXPANSION IN NORTHERN IRELAND WITH DEALER APPOINTMENT

This year has seen continued expansion for MG Motor UK in their quest to present something new and innovative for the UK buyer. News then that MG Motor UK has made another significant step forward in its national dealer development strategy, with the appointment of Greg Mitchell MG, can be seen as further proof of this strategy.

MG have explained to MotorMartin that, established in 2006, the Strabane-based dealership provides vehicle servicing, MOT provision, body repair and computerised diagnostics for motorists nationwide. Renowned for delivering excellent customer service and aftersales, the dealership boasts a highly-loyal customer base. 

MotorMartin has been informed that joining the MG network will see Greg Mitchell MG further expand its site at Victoria Bridge, opening a brand-new dealership and forecourt dedicated to the sale of MG’s latest model range. From the stylish MG3 Supermini (OTR from just £8,695) to the family-friendly SUV, the MG GS (starting from £15,095), there’s a perfect model for every driver. 

The deal is further evidence of MG’s emergence as a serious player in the competitive volume car market, a claim supported by impressive recent sales volumes and the company’s best quarter ever for new vehicle registrations.* Recent statistics from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) name MG as one of the UK’s fastest-growing automotive brands, a title gained through the ongoing development of an affordable model range and dedicated dealer network. 

Greg Mitchell, Owner of Greg Mitchell MG, commented to MotorMartin recently that: “Joining the MG dealer network is a big step forward for our business. As a household name, we’re confident that drivers across Northern Ireland will be impressed with the latest MG model range.”

“Affordable, practical and family-friendly, modern MGs blend style and performance to deliver an impressive drive. Each model is fitted with the latest driving technology and infotainment equipment, yet remains surprisingly affordable.” 

Matthew Cheyne, Head of Sales and Marketing at MG Motor UK, shared with MotorMartin: “With an excellent local reputation for friendly service and expert advice, we’re pleased to welcome Greg Mitchell MG to the MG dealer network.”

“The partnership will provide motorists across Northern Ireland with even greater access to our latest model range, helping to deliver further business growth for both parties.” 

So there we have it, Greg Mitchell MG has officially opened its MG dealership last Friday, the 26th May, alongside exclusively unveiling MG’s new compact SUV – the MG XS – which was revealed at the London Motor Show earlier this month. Rory Best, the Ireland rugby captain, will also attend the launch. For more information about the MG range, or to book a test drive, MotorMartin certainly recommends that you take the time to visit www.mg.co.uk

Where will you go?

News: GO FURTHER THIS SUMMER WITH SUZUKI V-STROM 650 LUGGAGE OFFER

All of us here at MotorMartin Towers are certainly glad that the sun has finally got it’s hat on as the opportunities are now here to take one of the MotorMartin motorcycle fleet out for a spin, and thank goodness for that. And now Suzuki have let MotorMartin know that they are making it even easier to pack-up for a weekend holiday or continental tour this summer, by offering a free genuine Suzuki top box and tank bag with every new V-Strom 650 and V-Strom 650XT registered before the end of June.

Suzuki have shared that this limited-time-offer represents a saving of over £800 for the cost of the individual items from Suzuki’s accessories range, meaning owners will have plenty of storage space for this year’s getaway.

Suzuki GB national sales manager, Jonathan Martin, commented to MotorMartin that, “With the new V-Strom 650 already a great value proposition in the middleweight adventure sector, we’re making it an even more exciting and affordable choice, giving customers great value accessories that will mean their V-Strom is immediately ready for their summer bike trip. And if they haven’t got one planned, this will hopefully give them a reason to get one booked and get out there and ride.” Absolutely.


The new V-Strom 650 can be ridden away from Suzuki’s Flexible Finance Scheme for just £67.40 per month over 37 months, with a deposit or trade-in worth £2,750 and optional final repayment of £3,320.00 and a 5,000 mile per annum allowance.

The offer is available now, and runs until June 30. For more information MotorMartin recommends that you click here.

Where will you go?

News: ROLLS-ROYCE MOTOR CARS LONDON WELCOMES UNIQUE 1 OF 1 DAWN MAYFAIR EDITION TO ICONIC BERKELEY SQUARE SHOWROOM

Every now and again a car comes along that takes the collective breath away from those of us stationed here at MotorMartin Towers, it needs to be something truly special though, display engineering and design excellence in abundance, perhaps even being unique if the office is to sit up and take notice. So when news that leading luxury dealer group H.R. Owen has commissioned one of the most exclusive Rolls-Royce models ever made, the Dawn Mayfair Edition, the Towers were awash with excitement.

It’s been explained to MotorMartin that the completely unique drophead coupe is a 1 of 1 car that celebrates H.R. Owen’s 85 years of expertise in creating uniquely desirable motor cars, featuring a number of one-off touches only available on this Rolls-Royce to add to its exclusivity.

Among the bespoke features is the world’s first copper dashboard on a Dawn, as well as embroidered treadplates that read: “Special Commission – Mayfair Edition One of One”, wonderful.

The Berwick Bronze colour scheme adds a special sense of occasion, while there’s more unique copper on the audio speakers and on the Arctic White seat bullets.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars London staff designed the car – drawing inspiration from the world of high-end horology – and brought their ideas to life in the design studio at the company’s headquarters in Goodwood, West Sussex and in MotorMartin’s opinion, they’ve created a stunning one off.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars London is the brand’s flagship dealership and a mainstay of the Mayfair area in the heart of Berkeley Square; H.R. Owen’s association with Rolls-Royce dates back to 1932, yet it enjoyed its most successful ever year in 2016.

H.R. Owen have shared with MotorMartin that it’s exceptional resuls were driven by sustainable growth across all aspects of the business and Britain’s entrepreneurs continuing to turn to Rolls-Royce as the ultimate symbol of attainment.

The Dawn Mayfair Edition captures everything that’s made the H.R. Owen dealer so successful: exquisite levels of attention to detail, the finest bespoke features throughout and an unrivalled air of class.

Claus Andersen, Brand Director of Rolls-Royce, shared with MotorMartin recently that: “We are delighted to welcome this ultra-rare car to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars London, appropriately on an anniversary year for the dealership. Our clients value exclusivity very highly indeed, and this 1 of 1 Dawn Mayfair Edition has that overwhelming exclusive appeal. The success of the Berkeley Square showroom has put us in a position to be able to offer such a stunning car, and we’re excited to find its very lucky owner.”

Where will you go?

DS 5 Prestige BLUE HDi 180 S&S EAT6 auto: Wasn’t Born To Follow

The following is a re-edit of a piece posted by MotorMartin on DriveTribe under The Junk Yard banner run by Tony Yates, perhaps better known as @Xinterceptor.

Historically, DS have always looked different and interesting, a tradition upheld by the DS 5 which, it has to be said, looks like nothing else on the road today. Boldness and strength of conviction have clearly dictated the direction that DS have taken with the styling of this, their largest offering and my my, doesn’t it look fantastic. Those large Chrome Sabres running across each of the front wings are certainly devisive but when combined with the accompanying Chrome Side Rubbing Strips and deep Perla Nera Black metallic paint, the overall effect is striking in the extreme. The de rigueur black privacy glass across the rear of the car adds to the air of elegance that the DS 5 exudes and helps to create what DS say is the muscular flow and balance of the exterior. I love the look of this car, in my mind it successfully mixes the looks of a traditional estate with the more aggressive, go anywhere stance of a crossover SUV.  

Inside you’re greeted by extremely comfortable heated, Sand Beige Leather seats with driver electric lumbar adjustment, massage and memory functions which match the ambience that the DS creates perfectly. Two centre consoles that group all main controls and driver information precisely where you need them, mean that everything you need is on hand and available with the minimum of effort.  

Where the DS 5 really takes your breath away is in the design and use of the dashboard, controls and centrally realised touchscreen ,including, as it does, Sat Nav, DAB radio and music streaming controls. What impresses most however, is the fantastically extravagant analogue clock just to the left of the steering wheel, an elongated design that encompasses all of the idiosyncrasies that DS are rightfully celebrated for and I love it. With aircraft style switches above your head and throughout the central console the interior is a place that you will not tire of, a place where you interact with the years of culture and sophistication that remain behind that iconic nomenclature sat proudly on the front grill and throughout the sophisticated interior.

The BLUE HDi diesel technology under the bonnet of this DS 5 meets and exceeds the very latest Euro 6 standards yet still delivers 178bhp at 3750rpm and a hugely satisfying 295 ft/lb torque at 2000rpm, all the while delivering up to a claimed 62.8mpg and emitting CO2 of 117 g/km.  

Suspension that keeps the DS flat through the bends and quick and accurate steering allows you to point the DS exactly where you want it to go which, when combined with the excellent levels of torque available from just 2000rpm allows you to sweep through the corners with ease. The 1997cc inline 4 cylinder diesel engine pulls the DS 5 from 0-62mph in a surprising 9.2 seconds and allows for swift, yet safe, overtakes if and when the need arises.

It’s most definitely a proper DS. 

Where will you go?