Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian SVP: U Got The Look

The Mitsubishi L200 Warrior was tested last year, a review that can be seen by clicking here and was a big hit up with praise being given for it’s go anywhere ability, rugged good looks and impressive specification. And then the opportunity to look at the L200 Barbarian SVP, the Warrior’s aggressively styled twin, arrived recently from Mitsubishi Motors UK which was surely too good an opportunity to turn down, especially as a closer look at the Barbarian SVP’s specifications showed some very exciting developments.

The SVP, Mitsubishi say, has been specifically built from the ground up, giving it a rugged new appearance with 17” bespoke black alloy wheels and BF Goodrich off-road tyres, aggressive oversized wheel arches, black detailing, special seat trims with embroidered Limited Edition vehicle number and a tailgate SVP badge, there’s also only 250 available from your local Mitsubishi dealer. Exclusivity sells after all.

There’s certainly no denying that this limited edition L200 looks absolutely superb. In the flesh the SVP looks even better than the accompanying photographs make out. The small yet significant detailing added by Mitsubishi gives the Barbarian a whole new look. Now let us not forget that last year’s L200 was no shrinking violet, having a presence on the road that few others can achieve, but this new edition moves things on even further and is even better because of it. Whether it’s the black 17″ alloys with their chunky and distinctive off-road tyres, the extended black wheel arches or the bespoke black grille, the overall impression is memorable and hints at the Mitsubishi’s go anywhere nature.

What you need with a pickup, any pickup is a USP, something that isn’t offered by the opposition, something unique and despite the plethora of similar vehicles appearing on the roads today and in my opinion the Mitsubishi is able to stand out from the crowd due to the sporting nature of the aforementioned grille and front styling. Black surrounds to the front fog lamps and front and rear lights offer something different and help to create a cohesive whole to the styling matching, as they do, the shark fin inspired side step design, black rear bumper step and those all important ‘SVP’ badge on the tailgate.

When it comes to equipment, the L200 is as well appointed as it is boldly styled including, as it does, a veritable who’s who of desirable options such as: HID Bi-Xenon headlamps with washers, LED daytime running lights, Super Select 4WD system, Mitsubishi Active Stability and Traction Control, 5-speed automatic transmission with paddle shift, ABS with EBD, Hill Start Assist & Trailer Stability Assist and let’s not forget the LEDs in the rear flat bed and a soft opening tailgate. Superb.

Step aboard using the striking side steps and you can’t help but be impressed by the raised position and sight lines that the cabin affords you. It really is a step up from the norm. Inside is the kind of luxury you could rightly expect from far more executive style motors, a fact brought to home almost instantly when sinking into the comfortable heated and powered front driver’s seat with it’s premium ‘six-pack stitch’ leather seat trim and suede-look ‘Alston’ inserts. Reach forward to the leather steering wheel and the Mitsubishi’s paddle shift grabs the attention as does the Keyless operation system with engine start/stop button, Satellite navigation system with HD 7” touch-screen, DAB radio/CD player with 6 speakers, Bluetooth® hands-free telephone connection with music streaming and Cruise control. Additional useful features are definitely the reversing camera, for obvious reasons, rain and dusk sensors and the excellent lane departure warning. Overall, there’s more than enough present to make the driving of this Barbarian an experience to be enjoyed rather than endured and for a vehicle of the L200’s not inconsiderable size, the feeling you get behind the wheel is one of confidence, not just in your own capabilities but of the Mitsubishi’s as well.

The sense of occasion that the engine start/stop function delivers upon starting the in-line 4-cylinder, 16-valve, DOHC, turbocharged 2442cc diesel engine is directly inverse to the size of the button itself and it’s an additional sense of theatre that you just don’t become bored of and sets the bar high in anticipation of your next drive. And when it’s all said and done, it’s the drive that is even more important in a vehicle such as this. Long gone are the days when a commercial vehicle was just that, something to use for work and work only and the L200 is perhaps the vehicle that has done the most to break this mould, arriving on these shores, as it did, way back in 1982 and having been continuously updated and improved ever since.

What’s great about the L200 has already been alluded too as it’s the very ease of driving that helps the Mitsubishi stand out from the crowd. Once used to the height and length of the pickup it drives just like any other vehicle that you might care to experience, the steering offering plenty of feedback through the wheel and suspension that, although not sporting, is more than capable of isolating you and your passengers from the worst that the roads of our green and pleasant lands have to offer.

Even more importantly, the Mitsubishi’s remarkably easy to use Super Select 4WD system offers you the security that 4WD offers in wet and slippery conditions whilst giving you the capability, Mitsubishi say, of climbing seemingly impossible angles with ease and that despite boasting one of the best approach angles in its class, the pick-up has an extended front overhang which prevents water from splashing up and impairing visibility, even when traversing water at relatively high speeds. Now you or indeed I, may never need to find out how well the Barbarian goes off road but if your work takes you off the beaten track then you’re going to want something that is more than capable of getting you back again and the Mitsubishi is certainly that vehicle.

Things that haven’t been mentioned yet?

A beauty of an engine that delivers 180 bhp @ 3500rpm, torque of 317 Ib/ft @ 2500rpm and a potential combined mpg of up to 39.8. The cabin carries the driver and up to four passengers in complete comfort, the stereo is impressive in it’s quality and unlike many these days, it also includes a hidden CD player behind the screen, the sill scuff plates look so cool with the Barbarian nomenclature lit up in blue as does the interior with it’s matching ambient blue lighting and let’s not forget the feeling of solidity and weight behind all of the buttons and controls.

Overall then, the Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian SVP takes all of the good points present in the Series 5 L200 and injects a serious amount of cool into the proceedings, it really is all things to all men/women offering style and attitude aplenty and managing to do so without forgetting that this pick up needs to potentially be both a works vehicle Monday to Friday and a family car at all times in between. The price? The L200 starts at £19,305 with the L200 Barbarian SVP now arriving at just £30,135. Excellent.

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News: A LOOK BACK INTO THE FUTURE: THE CLASSIC MINI ELECTRIC

MINI have informed MotorMartin recently that with the world premiere of an extraordinary car at the New York International Auto Show (March 30 to April 8, 2018), MINI will once again demonstrate its appetite for purely electric driving with a new take on an icon.

The classic Mini Electric, they say, combines the historic look of the world’s favorite small car with groundbreaking drive technology for tomorrow’s urban mobility. With this unique vehicle, MINI sends out a clear signal demonstrating its commitment to retaining the brand’s unmistakable character whilst embracing innovative zero local emission technology.

The classic Mini Electric is the result of an imaginary journey through time, where the story of classic model is extended by a consecutive chapter. The original from the second half of the 20th century becomes a sympathetic ambassador for environmental awareness and a form of sustainable mobility whose future has just begun.

The urban electro mobility landscape will soon benefit from the arrival of a brand new model, packed with charisma, individual style and driving fun. The MINI Electric Concept was announced at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, and paves the way for the brand’s first all-electric vehicle which will be unveiled in 2019 – just in time for the 60th anniversary of the classic Mini. The fully electric production vehicle is currently in development, based on the MINI 3-Door Hatch, and will be produced for the first time at MINI Plant Oxford next year.

MINI have explained to MotorMartin that they are once again assuming a pioneering role for sustainable mobility within the BMW Group. In 2008, the brand presented the MINI E – based on the predecessor model of the current MINI 3 Door, about 600 examples were produced and used in a field trial under everyday conditions. This trial played a central role in paving the way for the development of the BMW i3, which has enjoyed worldwide success since 2013 (combined power consumption: 13.6 – 13.1 kWh / 100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 0 g / km).

On the way to a new era in electro mobility, MINI has already taken another step forward. In the MINI Countryman Plug-In Hybrid model (fuel consumption combined: 2.3 – 2.1 l / 100 km, combined power consumption: 14.0 – 13.2 kWh / 100 km combined with CO2 emissions from fuel: 52 – 49 g / km), the combination of an internal combustion engine with an electric drive provides a system output of 165 kW / 224 hp and an intelligent hybrid-specific all-wheel drive system. The capable five-door model in the premium compact segment guarantees driving pleasure on any terrain. The vehicles draws its power from both engines for powerful acceleration, whilst retaining the ability to drive at up to 125 km / h in purely electric mode. With these qualities, the MINI Countryman Plug-In Hyrbid makes a significant contribution to the global market success of the BMW Group’s electrified vehicle fleet.

By contrast, the classic Mini Electric presented in New York will remain unique. A late and carefully restored example of the classic Mini Cooper serves as the basis for this special vehicle. The exterior red paint is complemented by a contrast white roof and characteristic bonnet strip, with the yellow MINI Electric logo in the brand emblem and on the wheel hubs. The electric classic remains true to the brand, both in terms of its visual appearance and driving characteristics. The spontaneous power of its electric motor provides a new dimension to the unmistakable go-kart feeling that helped propel the British small car in its original form to worldwide popularity.

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News: RECORD 17 RACE-WINNERS CONFIRMED IN CAPACITY BTCC LINE-UP

The following news item landed on the #MotorMartinRacing desk just the other day and has been reproduced below in full for the benefit of MotorMartin’s readership. Enjoy:

Series organiser, TOCA, has announced a capacity 32-car entry for the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at its annual Season Launch event at Donington Park yesterday (27 March).

An unprecedented 17 race-winners headlines one of the strongest line-ups in the series’ illustrious 60-year history, as the best tin-top drivers in the country battle it out for the most coveted crown in UK motor sport.

Four manufacturer-backed teams are joined by a host of independent entries, with the strength-in-depth again proving testament to the quality and appeal of the BTCC.

BMW will look to retain its Manufacturers’ crown, with Honda, Subaru and Vauxhall taking on the Bavarian marque. Team BMW also clinched the Teams’ title in 2017 and will this year have to take on a field consisting of 11 marques and a total of 12 models of car.

The race for the 2017 Drivers’ title proved to be another classic as a new champion was crowned in the shape of Adrian Flux Subaru Racing star Ashley Sutton. The 24-year-old tops an ever-growing number of young emerging stars in the BTCC, with its stellar cast of driving talent set to wow the crowds again this year.

Tom Ingram and Speedworks Motorsport will bid to defend their Independents’ laurels, whilst 13 drivers will challenge for the Jack Sears Trophy – with new rules further spicing up that particular contest.

Long-term television partner ITV will again broadcast the action live, free-to-air and in high-definition on ITV4, as well as producing additional extensive highlights programmes.

The BTCC prides itself on strong and close relationships with its long-term partners, with title sponsor and official tyre supplier Dunlop epitomising that ethos.

Dunlop’s sponsorship, which began in 2005, and the official tyre supplier partnership, which began in 2003, will soon head into a third decade – making it one of the most enduring major sponsorships in top-level motor racing.

This year’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will again comprise 30 races across ten events at nine venues around the UK, with the season commencing at Brands Hatch on 7/8 April and concluding on the legendary Grand Prix circuit at the same venue on 29/30 September.

A host of diamond jubilee celebrations are also planned throughout the year, with the BTCC’s event at Snetterton set to be a particular highlight (see later in release).

A new BTCC 60th anniversary logo has also been produced to celebrate this memorable year, incorporating a wreath as per previous celebratory BTCC seasons, plus a 60th diamond detail. Furthermore, specially TOCA-commissioned artwork by Guy Allen has been released, which takes in a number of the iconic cars and stars from the first 60 years of the BTCC.

Under starter’s orders

More than half of the drivers in the 32-strong 2018 field are BTCC race-winners, with the remaining 15 runners and riders looking to add their names to that particular roll of honour.

Ashley Sutton was crowned the new Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Champion in 2017 and the talented young gun will look to defend his title in the #1 Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Levorg GT. Sutton will be joined in the Subaru squad by BTCC legend Jason Plato – the series’ most successful driver of all time – and the returning Josh Price.

Colin Turkington will spearhead BMW’s challenge, having just missed out on a third BTCC title last season, whilst Rob Collard and Andrew Jordan complete the impressive WSR-run team.

Matt Neal is joined by BTCC debutant Dan Cammish at Halfords Yuasa Racing, with the Japanese marque looking to bounce back from a challenging campaign last time out. The multiple champion Team Dynamics outfit has a new arsenal at its disposal, however, with the latest Honda Civic Type R its weapon of choice for 2018.

The manufacturer-backed Vauxhall Astras enter their sophomore season having scored some impressive results last year, which also saw Senna Proctor scoop the Jack Sears Trophy. Proctor remains with the squad for 2018, and is joined by Josh Cook, making for a young talented pairing at Power Maxed TAG Racing.

Tom Ingram has enjoyed impressive results in recent seasons – culminating in his first Independents’ Drivers title last year – and the Speedworks star is now chasing the main prize in 2018.

Arguably the surprise package of 2017 was Eurotech Racing, as Jack Goff stormed to the runners-up spot in the Independents’ standings, with Brett Smith also making his mark after entering midway through the campaign. Both drivers return for the team in 2018 as Eurotech also-welcomes WIX as title sponsor.

Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher also boasts a potential title-chasing line-up with Tom Chilton and James Cole behind the wheel of its Ford Focus RS models, whilst Sam Tordoff returns to the BTCC as part of the Motorbase Performance stable – the Yorkshireman will run under the Team GardX Racing with Motorbase banner.

One of the most hotly-anticipated cars on the grid this season is the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, as the much-loved Italian marque returns to the BTCC. Fans’ favourite Rob Austin will pilot the striking-looking car for DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing.

A trio of Mercedes’ will be entered with race-winning duo Aiden Moffat and Adam Moffat staying with Laser Tools Racing and Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport respectively, with debutant Tom Oliphant also joining the latter mentioned squad.

MG machinery changed hands over the winter months, with the Essex-based AmD now running the popular models – the capable pairing of Rory Butcher and Tom Boardman will be carrying out driving duties in the MG6s. AmD will also continue to run its two Audi S3 Saloons, with Ollie Jackson and debutant Sam Smelt behind the wheel.

The fledgling BTC Norlin Racing squad continues its progression in Britain’s toughest motor racing championship, and will do so with the proven Honda Civic Type R package. The team performed well in its maiden BTCC campaign, with series returnee James Nash and Chris Smiley carrying its hopes for 2018.

Impressively, Team HARD will run four Volkswagen CCs in this year’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, with Jake Hill, Mike Bushell, Michael Caine and Bobby Thompson driving for the Kent-based operation.

The Simpson Racing Honda Civic Type R will be run by Eurotech in 2018, having switched from Team Dynamics, with Matt Simpson looking to build on the progress he has made in his first two BTCC seasons.

These are exciting times at Team Parker Racing too, with two-time race-winner Stephen Jelley getting his hands on the hugely successful BMW 125i M Sport, as the Leicestershire-based outfit look to move further up the BTCC order.

In total, there will be a full grid of 32 drivers with Alfa Romeo (DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing), Audi (AmD with Cobra Exhausts), BMW (Team BMW, BMW Pirtek Racing), Ford (Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher, Team GardX Racing with Motorbase), Honda (Halfords Yuasa Racing, WIX Racing with Eurotech, BTC Norlin Racing, Simpson Racing), Mercedes (Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport, Laser Tools Racing), MG (AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing), Subaru (Adrian Flux Subaru Racing, Autoglym Academy Racing), Toyota (Speedworks Motorsport), Vauxhall (Power Maxed Racing) and Volkswagen (Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars, Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing) all represented.

Diamond Double

A special ‘Diamond Double’ race at Snetterton (28/29 July) will headline the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship’s 60th anniversary diamond jubilee celebrations in 2018.

The third race at Snetterton will be an extended 60-mile contest, with all cars competing without any success ballast and with double championship points on offer.

Furthermore, there will be a separate qualifying session for this showpiece race, with all cars qualifying at their base weights.

Snetterton – also well-known for the BTCC Night Race in the 1990s and 2000s – has long been a staple of the summer calendar for race fans and this exciting addition is set to add yet further fever to the festival atmosphere.

Further special celebrations at the Silverstone Classic, Goodwood Festival of Speed and other events around the country are set to mark this memorable milestone for the UK’s most popular motor sport series.

Rules are rules

A number of rule changes have already been ratified by TOCA that will take effect from the opening round of the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

An Increase in driving standards penalties were announced last December, whilst the race three partial reverse-grid draw will now extend to 12… i.e. the reverse-grid draw will be from positions 6-12 (rather than 6-10).

Eligible drivers for the Jack Sears Trophy will be those that have never scored an outright podium position, and teams are now permitted a maximum of two driver changes per season (previously one).

A number of other minor changes took place, which can all be found in the 2018 Sporting and Technical Regulations.

BTCC Series Director, Alan Gow, said: “Our capacity line-up for the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, with a remarkable record 17 race-winners, yet again underlines the championship’s strength and depth.

“Last year saw the incredible rise-and-rise of eventual champion Ash Sutton, and he is just one of an ever-growing number of emerging talents in the BTCC. The mix of young guns taking on the established stars has been one of the fascinating stories in recent years, and that looks set to continue in 2018.

“Once again, we expect to see battles throughout the field with the Manufacturers’, Independents’ and Jack Sears Trophy providing as much entertainment as the fight for the overall Drivers’ title.

“Whilst firmly focussing on the future we are also immensely proud of the BTCC’s illustrious 60-year history, which we will be celebrating throughout 2018. We are delighted to have confirmed the ‘Diamond Double’ race at Snetterton as part of these diamond jubilee celebrations, and look forward to a number of other 60th anniversary activities during the year.

“This is a truly phenomenal period for the BTCC. The continued and unrivalled support from Dunlop, ITV, IHG and our host of loyal partners remains the envy of comparable motor sport series’ around the world. Add to this our incredible fanbase, the media interest that you see here today and of course the unparalleled excitement provided on-track… the BTCC remains the greatest show in British motorsport.”

Please click here for the full 2018 entry list.

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News: RANGE ROVER VELAR NAMED MOST BEAUTIFUL CAR IN THE WORLD

Rather unsurprisingly, the Range Rover Velar has been judged the most beautifully designed vehicle on the planet, winning the World Car Design of the Year title at the 2018 World Car Awards.

Bringing glamour, modernity and elegance to the Range Rover family, Velar offers a unique combination of design excellence and engineering integrity.

Prof. Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover CEO, shared with MotorMartin that: “The Range Rover Velar is an outstanding, superior SUV. Compelling modernity, eye-catching design, innovative Touch Pro Duo infotainment technology and a clear focus on sustainability ­– what a combination. This product speaks for itself.”

F-TYPE, Evoque, F-PACE and now the Range Rover Velar wins the World Car of the Year design award. This means a lot to us. I feel very honoured and I want to thank all jury members for their trust and support in encouraging the Land Rover team to continue on their unique path.”

“I also want to thank our Velar team for their passion and commitment, for going the extra mile to move boundaries for extraordinary solutions.”

Jaguar Land Rover have shared with MotorMartin that the distinctive design of the Range Rover Velar features perfectly optimised proportions and a stunning silhouette. Its super-slim Matrix Laser-LED headlights, flush deployable door handles and sleek Touch Pro Duo infotainment are all hallmarks of Range Rover’s reductionist design philosophy.

Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover, commented to MotorMartin: “The continued evolution of our design philosophy is driven by a relentless focus on creating highly desirable vehicles our customers will love for life. The Range Rover Velar brings a new dimension of modernity to the Range Rover family with an abundance of innovative technologies, all making this vehicle a joy to drive and be driven in.”

“We’re honoured that the jury recognised the tireless endeavours of our designers and engineers in delivering a vehicle with compelling design, tailored technology and relevant innovation which come together to create a vehicle of instant desirability.”

The luxury SUV overcame the Volvo XC60 and the Lexus LC 500 to take the World Car Design of the Year award, as voted for by the World Car Awards jury, comprising 82 influential motoring journalists from 24 countries.

Velar’s success follows the 2017 double win for the Jaguar F-PACE. Launched last year and named after the codename for the original concept Range Rovers of the late 1960s, the Velar fills the space between the Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport.

It is available with a choice of six powertrains, ranging from the clean and responsive 180PS 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel to the potent 380PS supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine.

Designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK, the Velar delivers the practicality, connectivity and capability expected from the Range Rover family. With the latest technology and the inclusion of more sustainable materials, this luxury SUV is designed to go Above and Beyond.

The Range Rover Velar, priced from £44,830 in the UK, is available to order now at Land Rover retailers.

You can configure your preferred specification at: www.landrover.co.uk

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News: ROLLS-ROYCE TAKES BESPOKE TO NEW HEIGHTS WITH ‘WRAITH LUMINARY COLLECTION’

With MotorMartin’s love of all things Roll-Royce, it seems only fair to allow them to speak for themselves with regards to their new Wraith Luminary Collection so here goes. Just take in the details and imagine:

Oxford English Dictionary definition Luminary: 1) A person who inspires or influences others, especially one prominent in a particular sphere. 2) A natural light-giving body, especially the sun or moon.

In a bold expression of dynamic luxury, Rolls-Royce unveils the Wraith Luminary Collection. Inspired by those who lead where others follow, the Wraith Luminary Collection will light the way for the luxury trailblazer.

In response to an ongoing global demand for Rolls-Royce Collection Cars, the marque has created a Limited Collection of just 55 of these spectacular Wraiths. These motor cars join the highly exclusive ranks of collectible Bespoke masterpieces, envisioned by the Rolls-Royce Bespoke design team and collected by Patrons of true luxury all over the world.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, commented, “Wraith Luminary is a stunning Collection Car. It speaks directly of our contemporary Rolls-Royce brand – progressive and trailblazing; the pinnacle in hand-crafted luxury. This is a motor car that celebrates visionaries who achieve eminence in their respective fields. Indeed, this collection is for the world’s luminaries.”

The heady shade of the golden hour’s sunrays inspire this newly developed exterior paint, Sunburst Grey. One is met by a flat grey that enlivens when awoken by the sun, rich copper tones, emitting a deep emotive warmth. Further intrigue is added by a hand-painted Sunburst Motif coachline, hand-painted Wake Channel Lines on Wraith’s bonnet and pinstripes applied to the wheel centres, each in Saddlery Tan, bearing reference to the colourway of the interior leather.

Energy courses through this highly charged edition of Wraith. On opening the coach doors, one is met by a statement of modern luxury, as light flows from the front into the rear passenger compartment. The Collection’s defining feature, Tudor Oak wood, sourced from the forests of the Czech Republic, selected for its depth of colour and the density of the grain structure, is for the first time, illuminated. The light of 176 LEDs permeates through an intricately perforated design in the unique Tudor Oak veneer, allowing a mesmerizing pattern, reminiscent of the trailing light of a shooting star, to luminesce at the touch of a button. Linked to the controls of the starlight headliner, the cabin’s veneer surrounds Wraith’s occupants in an ambient glow of light.

Speaking of shooting stars, the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective, a talented group of engineers, designers and craftspeople located at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex, have brought further theatre to the cabin of Luminary in the form of brilliant shooting stars. The prized Rolls-Royce starlight headliner, a handwoven configuration of 1340 fibre optic lights which act as a glittering night sky, takes a bold new step as it incorporates shooting stars into the constellation; a playful display of light that creates wonderment and awe for the car’s passengers.

Taking nearly 20 hours to configure, eight shooting stars fire at random, predominantly over the front seats, in recognition of Wraith’s owner-driver appeal.

Wraith Luminary’s cockpit is trimmed in Saddlery Tan, though the rear seats contrast in Anthracite leather, thus highlighting the prominence of the driver’s position. Contrast piping and stitching masterfully marry the front aesthetic to the rear. Alternatively, a more dramatic contrast can be selected by specifying Seashell coloured leather in the rear, both of which will be perfectly coalesced by the inclusion of a two-tone steering wheel.

The Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective continually seeks inspiration from external trends and influences. In a progressive step, the application of hand-woven stainless steel fabric, a highly contemporary and innovative new technique in luxury craft, is appointed to the central transmission tunnel and door panniers, contrasting the Tudor Oak wood and Saddlery Tan leather.

Incorporating strands which are 0.08mm – 0.19mm in diameter, this technical fibre is woven in a pattern oriented at precisely 45 degrees, to complement the lines of the interior and provide a uniform appearance throughout the passenger compartment when viewed from either side. Taking three days to produce in a ‘clean room’ environment, the fabric is manipulated to cloak the centre console, modified from use in an industrial environment to create a finish befitting the interior of a Rolls-Royce motor car, refracting the light of the unique illuminated paneling in the doors.

As a final touch, the car’s tread plates bear the provenance of this unique collection. ‘WRAITH LUMINARY COLLECTION – ONE OF FIFTY-FIVE’ is engraved in hand-polished stainless steel.

Since its incarnation, Wraith has long attracted the patronage of visionaries – drawn to the intoxicating promise of near unlimited power and it’s hauntingly rakish fast-back design, a true gentleman’s gran tourismo fabricated par excellence. The remarkable success of Wraith in attracting a new generation of drivers to the marque is reflected in this distinctive motor car’s masterfully incorporated, innovative expressions of pure luxury.

Rolls-Royce is Bespoke.

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News: LEE JOHNSTON POSITIVE AFTER DEBUT TEST WITH HONDA RACING

Road Racing 2018

News has arrived on the desk of #MotorMartinRacing that the 2018 campaign started in earnest this week for the Honda Racing roads team as they embarked on their first pre-season test at Monteblanco in Spain, with its new rider line-up of Ian Hutchinson and Lee Johnston. Although not riding at the test, as he still continues his recovery, ‘Hutchy’ was present for all three days and worked with the team as Johnston got to grips with the Fireblade SP2.

Unfortunately, plagued with intermittent weather over the three days, track time was limited and it wasn’t until the final day (Wednesday 7 March) that the team and Johnston were able to get their teeth stuck into the testing programme. With Hutchy not able to ride his machine, Honda have Explained to MotorMartin that it was over to ‘The General’ who tested both his and Hutchy’s Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2s back-to-back, as well as Johnston aboard the Honda Superstock machine. Although not riding, Hutchy was able to work with the team with feedback from Johnston on the set-up of his right-hand gear shifter.

Johnston has history already with the SP2, as in 2017 he was a reserve 24 Heures Motos rider for the Honda Endurance Racing team, but with three riders to cater for the machine set up is very different to his Fireblade for the road racing season. Working on the set-up of the bike and making it feel like his own, the team and Johnston finished the test positive with over 100 laps of the 2.76-mile circuit completed. With lap times a second quicker than previous tests at the circuit, the team are ready to continue its testing programme later this month back on UK soil at Castle Combe.

For all real-time news and information on the team #MotorMartinRacing recommends you follow @HondaRacingCBR on Twitter.

Lee Johnston 13

The test at Monteblanco has been really positive; it was our first official test as a team and although a little unlucky with the weather we’re coming away in a really good place. The first two days we didn’t really get through much, but the last day was really productive and we managed to cram everything in. It’s been a little busy riding my Fireblade and Hutchy’s, as well as the Superstock bike, but I’m feeling really good. Of course with any new bike and team it takes a while to get settled and get your own feeling, but I think we’re pretty much there and once we get to our next test at Castle Combe, I think we’ll be ready to hit the ground running and really get stuck in from the direction of this week. The team are all working together really well and it was great to have Ian there this week and I can’t wait to see him aboard the machine when he’s ready, and we can work together more with the set-up and feeling. We have a few weeks now before our next test and I already can’t wait to get there and get going again.

– Honda Racing

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News: FROM THE QUEEN TO WAYNE ROONEY: AUTO TRADER REVEALS HOW HAVING A FAMOUS OWNER CAN INCREASE THE PRICE BY UP TO 241%

Even though most people lack the stratospheric salaries of top footballers and entertainers, it’s still possible to get a taste of their luxury lifestyles, with many celebs choosing to list their cars for sale online. But how much does the kudos of having a celebrity owner add to the asking price? Auto Trader, the UK’s largest digital automotive marketplace for new and used cars, reveals ten of the most popular celebrity cars listed through its site and how much they were listed for, compared to their non-famous equivalents of the same make, model and year.

Results show that a car that has been owned by a celebrity can be listed for up to 241% more. A special edition Bentley made to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee that was used to transport the Queen to her first cabinet meeting with David Cameron, was listed on Auto Trader for £200,000, compared to £87,000 for another of the same models from that year.

A Lamborghini Diablo that featured in Jamiroquai’s Cosmic Girl video and was owned by lead singer Jay Kay went on sale for £550,000. That particular car was one of only 16 in the world but the model that succeeded it starts at almost half that amount. The biggest mark-up for a celebrity car, however, was Katie Price’s 2011 Range Rover SE Vogue, famous for its hot pink hue and Swarovski-embellished clock, that went on sale at a massive 241% mark-up. This is followed by another Range Rover gifted to Prince William, which he used to pick-up the newborn Prince George from hospital. Despite similar models going for £46,000, his was initially listed at £150,000.

Conversely, a Rolls Royce Corniche III, owned by the late film director Michael Winner, which he famously purchased to celebrate accumulating £6 million worth of debt, was listed for the relatively bargain price of £69,950. Whoever purchased it made a savvy investment, as a 1992 model now sells through Auto Trader for a cool £132,950.

Erin Baker, Auto Trader Editorial Director, shared with MotorMartin recently that: “Whether you’re a popstar, a premier league footballer, or even Her Majesty The Queen, Auto Trader continues to be the number one destination for selling your car. But we’ve also made it even easier to buy your next car too, with our new search by monthly price tool.”

“Car finance deals have made car ownership a realistic prospect for many drivers, but it’s also increased choice across both new and used cars, surprising buyers with cars they may have first thought unaffordable; including the cars previously owned by the rich and famous.”

With Auto Trader’s car finance calculator, drivers can check which celebrity car they can afford through its unique search by monthly price feature.

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News: COS YOU’RE WORTH IT – FAST FORD HEAVEN AT CCA SALE

The #MotorMartinClassics desk has been all of a fluster recently with the news that the next Classic Car Auctions (CCA) sale at the NEC will see twenty-one Fast Fords, ranging from Escorts to Capris to Fiestas to Sierras, go under the hammer.

Highlights at the CCA Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show Sale include a pair of highly collectible and exemplary 1987 Sierra RS Cosworths. A completely original 3-door example reading just 26,000 miles and a freshly restored ‘Concours condition’ are among the finest examples ever consigned by the auction house, estimated at £45,000 to £50,000 and £45,000 to £55,000 respectively.

Rather incredibly, four other Sierras in the sale include a restored 1988 Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth reading just 36,000 miles and estimated at £25,000 to £30,000, and a 1991 Sierra Sapphire Cosworth fresh from a five year restoration, guided at £15,000 to £18,000.

Capri fans, of which MotorMartin is one, won’t be disappointed either with five stunning models on offer. Two 1987 280 Brooklands are available, one being a carefully maintained example estimated at £16,000 to £20,000, and the other a Turbo Technics to be offered at £22,000 to £26,000. Three Injection Specials complete the Capri line-up.

Meanwhile, Escort lovers will have six examples to choose from spanning ten years in age, ranging from a seriously quick and extensively restored 1979 Escort RS2000 Custom estimated at £24,000 to £28,000, through to a 1989 RS Turbo II that has covered just over 4,000 miles in 11 years, estimated at £16,000 to £18,000.

Another prime example is a rare and desirable, matching-numbers 1980 MK2 RS2000 Custom, estimated at £22,000 to £26,000, presented in iconic Cordoba Beige and supplied with original handbooks and service book showing six stamps.

Those looking to take their first steps towards owning an entry-level, classic Fast Ford also have plenty to choose from, including a 1984 Fiesta XR2 with an estimate of £6,000 to £8,000, and a late production 1980 Escort MKII 1600 Sport estimated at between £8,000 to £12,000, to name but a few.

In total, over 160 ‘everyman’ classics will be offered in the two-day sale near Birmingham, not least an original and unmodified 1983 Fiesta XR2 MK1 for sale from a private collection with just three former owners, estimated at between £12,000 and £16,000.

Gary Dunne, sales manager, Classic Car Auctions, shared with MotorMartin that: “I’d love to mention all of the fantastic Fast Fords on offer at our next sale but there’s simply too many!”

“Indeed, demand for Fast Fords was one of the big success stories last year and I’ve no doubt this will continue with our first sale of 2018.”

“With such a large collection on offer, I would urge fans of the classic blue oval to make a beeline to our sale on the 24th and 25th March at the NEC.”

For more information about the CCA Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show Sale and the large collection of Fast Fords on offer, MotorMartin can certainly recommend visiting https://www.classiccarauctions.co.uk/cca-practical-classics-classic-car–restoration-show-sale-2018/view_lots/pn/all. Just be ready to dream.

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News: MAZDA VISION COUPE WINS CONCEPT CAR OF THE YEAR

Unsurprisingly to all of us up on the top floor of MotorMartin Towers, the Mazda VISION COUPE has won “Concept Car of the Year” at the 11th-annual Car Design Night Geneva held on 6 March during Geneva Motor Show.

It’s been explained to MotorMartin that the panel of 18 judges who selected the VISION COUPE included several individuals currently serving as design directors at global automakers. It’s another honour for Mazda’s stunning concept, which was named “Most Beautiful Concept Car of the Year” last month in Paris at the 2018 Festival Automobile International.

“Following on the Paris award, we are delighted once again to have VISION COUPE recognised with a global design prize. It’s truly an honour to have this model, which aims to express the essence of Japanese aesthetics, applauded by some of the world’s top car designers,” commented Ikuo Maeda, Mazda’s managing executive officer in charge of design and brand style to MotorMartin. “The essence of this design concept will be evident in the next generation of Mazda cars, the first of which is due to be launched in 2019.”

Revealed in Tokyo in 2017, the VISION COUPE represents the next phase for Mazda’s KODO – Soul of Motion designs, whose expression of vitality and dynamism was evolved in pursuit of an essential Japanese aesthetic. The concept’s flowing and deceptively simple “one motion” form speaks of elegance and quality.

Hosted by Car Design News, an online and print publication targeting the international automotive design community, Car Design Night Geneva is held every year to coincide with the Geneva Motor Show.

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News: MAKING A SWIFT MOVE UP TO THE FINAL THREE

Suzuki is very pleased to announce that the Swift has made it to the top three in the world in the Urban category of the 2018 World Car of The Year.

For those that are unsure as to how it all works, to qualify for the initial judging process, vehicles had to be less than four metres long, suitable in design for everyday use in an urban environment and also on sale across two Continents by the deadline of Spring 2018. At 3.84 metres in length, the Swift qualified and was shortlisted as a finalist in January of this year.

World Car of The Year Juror, Director and Vice-Chair Mike Rutherford commented to MotorMartin: “Suzuki has again seen off many rival manufacturers from all corners of the globe to become a 2018 World Car finalist.”

“This is the second year in a row that Suzuki has won enough votes to become a Top three contender – and deservedly so.”

“As our 80-plus jurors have decided and as I have long suspected, Suzuki builds some of the finest small cars on the market – thus its official position as a finalist from the initial group of five. It’s also worth noting that they had two of their models in the top five last year. The company may yet go on to lift the 2018 World Urban Car trophy at the New York International Motor Show on March 28.”

According to Suzuki, Swift is powered by either a 90PS 1.2-litre Dualjet petrol engine or a 1.0-litre Boosterjet turbocharged petrol engine with the 1.2-litre available with optional ALLGRIP four wheel drive. It also offers optional SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki) technology that lowers CO2 emissions to 97g/km.

Standard equipment for all Swift models is comprehensive and the SZ3 model with 1.2-litre Dualjet engine and manual transmission includes six airbags, air conditioning, leather steering wheel, privacy glass, DAB radio with Bluetooth and four speakers, LED daytime running lights, 15-inch wheels, body coloured door mirrors and front electric windows.

The SZ5 model offers the latest in safety technology which includes three advanced functions: Dual Sensor Brake Support (DCBS), Lane Departure Warning, and Weaving Alert.

For MotorMartin’s review of the impressive new Swift click here.

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