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RM Sotheby’s Unveiled Jaguar D-Type Ahead of Arizona Sale Next Year

1954 Jaguar D-Type Works | Image courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s Unveiled Jaguar D-Type Ahead of Arizona Sale Next Year

RM Sotheby’s third Manhattan ICONS “A Life of Luxury” opened its doors to the public on Nov 30 at Sotheby’s York Avenue headquarters ahead of the auction held on Dec 6. A large showcase of thirty-two cars and a selection of collectibles went on public sale. The inaugural Life of Luxury Week ICONS sale is part of Sotheby’s, presenting offering clients and enthusiasts an unparalleled experience as well as the very best in jewellery, watches, wine, fashion and cars.

Honouring the cutting-edge automotive design

During the auction, RM Sotheby’s legendary stirling Moss’ Le Mans 1954 Jaguar D-Type Works (OKV 2) made an appearance for the company’s 2018 Arizona sale. The specially-curated exhibits ICONS presented 31 iconic automobiles from the world’s most admired marques, from the Classic Era through today’s most advanced hypercars. Along with other selection of automotive collectibles and art, these vintage cars made up a huge part of the auction:

  • an alloy-bodied 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione which claimed 5th overall at the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans (Est. $14/17 million);
  • the very first Jaguar C-Type
  • imported to the United States and raced to victory by Phil Hill (Est. $5.5/7 million);
  • the 1952 Chrysler d’Elegance “idea car” with Italian coachwork by Ghia, an influential landmark in transatlantic design (Est. $900k/1.1 million);
  • an unmistakable 1960 Volkswagen Deluxe ‘23-Window’ Microbus, an iconic favorite of young and old (Est. $150/225,000, without reserve);
  • a 1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta, both the final prototype and first production Daytona (Est. $1.4/1.7 million);
  • a wild 1990 Lamborghini LM002, one of 60 U.S.-delivery examples of the high performance SUV known as the “Rambo Lambo” (Est. $400/500,000);
  • a 2000 BMW Z8 originally owned by the late visionary Apple founder, Steve Jobs (Est. $300/$400,000, without reserve);
  • a 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari, a 53-mile example of the most advanced street Ferrari ever built (Est. $3.25/3.75 million); and,
  • a 2018 Bugatti Chiron (estimate $3.5/4 million), the very first example ordered for the U.S. market (Est. $3.5/4 million).

Throughout the Life of Luxury week exhibition at Sotheby’s, the D-Type went on public viewing alongside 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900C SS Speciale by Boano as part of the A Century of Sports Cars Collection (Est. $1,250,000 – $1,750,000).

Several cars to display at Arizona Sales on Jan 18-19, 2018

Shining the spotlight on the 1954 Jaguar D-Type raced by the factory team at Le Mans, chassis no. XKD 403 (registration mark OKV 2), which will be the first of the featured cars to lead both RM Sotheby’s auction in Phoenix and the entire Arizona car week.

“OKV 2 remains one of the most raced and most original D-Types in existence, retaining its factory tub, chassis, drivetrain, and suspension. The Jaguar is expected to bring in excess of $12,000,000 when it crosses the podium in January.” – RM Sotheby’s

The D-Types presented an exhaustively documented and continuous history from the moment it came out of Jaguar’s Coventry factory in 1954. Visitors will get a glimpse of the OKV 2, which led the race with a new speed record of 172.97 mph on the Mulsanne just before it ran into brake problems; it was also Jaguar’s designated lead team car for Le Mans in 1954, piloted by Sir Stirling Moss and Peter Walker. In addition, OKV 2 went on to make history throughout 1954 on the Reims in the hands of Moss/Walker, and the Dundrod Tourist Trophy with drivers Peter Whitehead and Ken Wharton, securing Fifth overall.

Classic British cars: Jaguar brings back reproduction of new tyres for the Jaguar XJ220 in 2017

Jaguar XJ220. Image courtesy of Jaguar Cars Middle East and North Africa Official Flickr Account

With new tyres in development, the Jaguar XJ220 is set to continue to increase in value. Image courtesy of Jaguar Cars Middle East and North Africa Official Flickr Account

When the Jaguar XJ220 launched in 1992, it was one of the fastest cars any amount of money could buy. It was capable of hitting a Guinness Book of Records certified 217.1 miles per hour or 349.3 kilometres per hour and of lapping the Nurburgring in seven minutes, 46.36 seconds (a time that stood unchallenged until the turn of this century).

However, for the past 12 years, anyone lucky enough to have this car in their collection has been unable to do little more than simply look at its lines or to listen to the turbocharged V6 engine ticking over. And that’s simply because there has been no way of getting tyres for the car. Production of new rubber for the unique-sized wheels stopped when production of the car itself ceased in 1994.

Owners have been reluctant to use their cars because of the tyre shortage. There have been no new tyres since approximately 1995,” said Tony O’Keefe, Jaguar Heritage’s head of communications. “Quite simply if anyone got a puncture, your car was off the road for good.”

This lack of new rubber is also one of the reasons why, as well as being a rare sight at concours car gatherings, the XJ220, despite ticking every conceivable classic supercar checklist box, hasn’t been shooting up in value in the same way that its 1990s contemporaries have.

But all of that is about to change. To coincide with the car’s 25th anniversary, Bridgestone and Pirelli have been working ‘tirelessly’ to develop new tyres for the car and get it back on the track where it belongs and those new tyres will be coming to market in a matter of weeks.

Both companies revealed their plans to re-shoe the car in September, and the excitement was felt well beyond the XJ220 owners’ club. “I believe [the announcement] is one reason why the prices of the XJ220 have risen by at least 20 percent in the last nine months,” said O’Keefe.

To get its tyres right, Bridgestone used a pre-production XJ220 for track tests and picked the brains of many of the engineers that helped develop the original car.

“We brought the engineers and test drivers from 25 years ago back together, so we were pretty much guaranteed to do the job right,” said Bridgestone test driver Justin Law of the development process.

And while the Bridgestone tyres will no doubt do the job, Jaguar has been working directly with Pirelli on a set of P Zero tyres (the de facto standard for every seriously exotic sportscar since debuting on the original Ferrari F40) for the XJ220 with a view to creating P Zeros for a number of its other classics in the future. As such, they will be the only “J-Rated” i.e., Jaguar approved rubber available for the XJ200.

Tim Hannig, Director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, said: “This new tyre permits the full performance of the glorious XJ220 to be exploited where appropriate.”

Special edition luxury car: Jaguar launches re-worked F-Type 400 Sport for 2017

Why Jaguar XKSS Took 60 Years to Complete

Why Jaguar XKSS Took 60 Years to Complete

Jaguar is celebrating its past and its future in equal measure at this year’s LA Auto Show by revealing a perfect recreation of its iconic 1957 XKSS roadster alongside its cutting-edge plug-in SUV concept the I-Pace and committing to the electrification of half its current line up by 2020.

With all of the hype around autonomous cars and the latest innovations in automotive design, it could come as a surprise that one of the stars of this year’s LA Auto Show is potentially an open-top Jaguar sportscar from the mid-1960s.

But the XKSS isn’t any old sportscar and the model on show – a perfect recreation of the 1957 original, down to the position and composition of each of its 2000-plus rivets – is something nine US car collectors have been waiting 60 years to see.

In 1957, nine XKSS models destined for the US were destroyed when a fire broke out at the Jaguar factory. The blaze also wiped out the machinery needed to build replacements.

Jaguar is now completing the order, but doing so has meant creating new bucks for hand-shaping the aluminum shell, sourcing original brakes, working in imperial rather than metric dimensions, making new cast iron elements and even employing bronze braising techniques to build the chassis.

“We are committed to making the ‘new original’ version absolutely faithful to the period car in every way,” said Kev Riches, Jaguar Classic Engineering Manager of the new car. “Everything is the same as the original cars, because that is the way it should be.”

Interior of the all-new old school Jaguar XKSS

Interior of the all-new old school Jaguar XKSS

Still all of this could raise the question: “why go to so much trouble?”

The answer is that the original XKSS vies with the Mercedes 300SL for the title of the world’s first supercar. It was derived as a road-going version of the 1955 Le Mans winning D-Type (a car that just sold for $21 million at auction). Just 25 examples were planned and only 16 were completed.

This new car is the first of nine planned replacement models that will be painstakingly built over the next 18 months (each will require 10,000 man hours to complete). Each model is already spoken for despite its £1 million (US$1.24 million) price tag.

The XKSS reveal – hosted at the Petersen Museum – is hugely different from the Virtual Reality show the company staged to launch its first electric SUV, the I-Pace, but both convey the same message according to Jaguar Land Rover.

“We are shaping the future, developing our own approach to autonomy, connectivity and electrification,” said Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover CEO.

During his presentation Speth pledged to offer half of all new Land Rover and Jaguar models with an electrified drivetrain (i.e., hybrid or electric) by 2020. “Design leadership, technical innovation and engineering excellence lie at the heart of this responsible business,” he said.

xkss_rear_3_4-824de142657-h0

How Jaguar Honors Heritage by Restoring Classic Cars

Jaguar Honors Heritage by Restoring Classic Cars

With its future secured, British luxury and sportscar maker Jaguar is now committed to finding and restoring classic Jaguars and Land Rovers and to helping its growing legion of fans buy, service and sell their vintage cars with confidence with its Heritage branch.

“I’m looking outside the workshop now and there are 18 cars out there being worked on, from XJ220s to E-Types and XJSs,” says Tony O’Keeffe, head of communications for Jaguar Heritage.

Now that the company has a very competitive current product range from the F-Type to the XE, it can finally turn to its growing ranks of classic Jaguar and Land Rover (Jaguar and Land Rover are now one company) owners and give them the support and services they need. And in doing so ensure that some of the most desirable and innovative British cars in history can stay on the road for as long as possible.

“The key thing is timing. We are in a position where we can really concentrate now on our heritage,” O’Keeffe explains.

That means moving into a new 12,000 square meter facility that can restore and service classics and offer driving experiences. “People can come and sample a classic if they don’t have one,” says O’Keeffe of inspiring the next generation of collectors. “We want to put fun back into classic ownership and give protection to our brands, too,” he explains.

By protection, that initially means authentication – ensuring the provenance of existing restorations. The 1961 Jaguar Mk X owned by Jaguar’s founder, Sir William Lyons, came up for auction in September and although it underwent a ground-up restoration by specialists, it was sent to Jaguar Heritage for approval, before being entered in the Silverstone Auctions’ Salon Privé sale catalogue.

The Art of Restoration

As for Land Rover, its new Defender Reborn program where it looks for Series One Land Rovers to perfectly restore and sell to fans is oversubscribed. “[There was] an initial plan of just doing 25,” explains O’Keeffe, “But that has quickly doubled. The demand for that has been amazing.”

And it is not just Land Rovers. In July Jaguar started building nine perfect replica XKSS racing cars to replace nine originals built in 1957 that were destroyed in a fire before they could be delivered. Despite a £1 million+ price tag, they’re sold out. “By the end of the day we had sold all nine and we had a further 20 disappointed potential buyers,” says O’Keeffe.

This renewed excitement around the brands’ illustrious past is why Jaguar is now looking to every aspect of classic ownership to see where it can make a difference, potentially even opening showrooms dedicated to selling concours-class XK120s and E-Types. But it’s one step at a time.

“We have lots more things planned and lots more announcements to make this year and next year. But you have to do it right,” says O’Keeffe.

How Jaguar Honors Heritage by Restoring Classic Cars

The first Series One Land Rover restored as part of the Defender Reborn program. © Jaguar Land Rover

This weekend in Singapore, check out what’s happening at the SINGAPORE RENDEZVOUS as a select group of classic cars pulls up onto the lawn. There will also be a short discussion on classic car ownership, presented by our friend Eli Solomon. Tickets are available for sale here.

Dead Man'sCar

Dead Man’s Car: Why You Should Care

When it comes to automotive objects of desire very few classic cars are as rare as a genuine Lightweight Jaguar E-Type or a Shelby 298 Cobra. But such rarity means that owning one is an impossible dream, even with the deepest pockets, unless of course, someone puts them back into production.

Only 12 Lightweight E-Types were built in 1963 and 1964. They are very rarely if ever seen on the public road, and, as each is worth over £10 million, they’re unlikely to be taken to a track event. But that price is theoretical; they never come to market as they’re “dead man’s cars.” In other words, the owner needs to pass away for the car to be passed on, it is so loved

When Jaguar said it was going to build six more Lightweight E-Types some eyebrows were raised in classic car circles. “Some purists were a bit skeptical about it,” remembers Tony O’Keeffe, who handles communications for Jaguar Heritage. “But then they saw the cars being built and realized that they are more original today than they were at the time.”

The FIA, which oversees all forms of motor racing states in its rules that for a car to obtain its FIA passport for classic competition, it has to be built to original specifications; it doesn’t have to be an original car.

One of the reborn Lightweight E-Types raced at this year’s Le Mans Classic with Chris Harris of “Top Gear” behind the wheel and afterwards O’Keeffe was approached by an original Lightweight’s owner. “He actually said that it’s a shame we can’t get more genuine ones out. This has allowed six more cars to come into the marketplace for people to see and to appreciate,” he says.

Dead Man's Car

An original Jaguar XKSS

An approach that is gaining traction

Jaguar is not alone. Shelby American offers a ‘continuation’ GT40 and a FIA 298 Cobra that both follow the same 1960s production methods and meet FIA criteria to race alongside originals.

These cars are expensive but not as valuable as the originals, and they can often be sufficient to convince owners of originals to bring their cars to events.

Little wonder Jaguar is following the Lightweight E-Type with nine new XKSS track cars. Just as legendary, the XKSS was based on the 1956 Le Mans-winning D-Type and so phenomenal was its performance that Steve McQueen bought one.

“That really helps and makes the emotional side of ownership even stronger,” points out O’Keeffe. “Of all the original XKSS models out there, I know of maybe three that are going to come up for sale, the rest are going to stay with their owners forever. Even the McQueen car will always stay in the Peterson [Museum] collection. They truly are dead man’s cars.”

Dead Man's Car

The Lister Jaguar Stirling Moss edition

But for something even rarer still, how about a magnesium-bodied 1958 Lister knobbly Jaguar? Not a single example of this all-conquering racecar exists. However, Lister is set to hand build 10 exact, FIA-compliant replicas, individually signed off by Sir Sterling Moss, the man that raced the original to victory.

“This is only the second time in history that Sir Stirling Moss has put his name to a car. And this is a truly limited run – we are only making 10. Ever. There will be no more,” said Lawrence Whittaker, CEO Lister Motor Company.

Modern Classic Supercar Jaguar XJ220 Back in Action

Modern Classic Supercar Back in Action

The ill-fated Jaguar XJ220 was once the fastest production car in the world but is now mothballed due to a lack of tires, if you can believe it. If you’re the proud owner of this supercar then we bring you some very good news. Your car is about to go up in value and you’re about to be able to drive it more often.

Certified by the Guinness Book of Records, this is the fastest Jaguar ever built and the world’s fastest car from 1994 to 1999, until the McLaren F1 beat it.

A failure, for economic reasons, at its launch in 1992, only 271 models were ever made, making the XJ220 eminently collectible. There was, however, a catch: there are no remaining tires for it. One burnout too many or one puncture and you’re never driving it again.

Now Bridgestone, the company that made the original run of bespoke rubber for the car announced last week that it has put a team together to develop new rubber that can meet the car’s ferocious demands. “It’s very important to keep such iconic vehicles running today,” said Christophe de Valroger, Vice President Consumer OE at Bridgestone’s Europe. “Technology has moved on significantly in the last 25 years and we believe we will be able to produce a tire that will keep the smile on the face of the enthusiast drivers of the XJ220.” Honestly though, we can’t understand why bespoke tires ever sounded like a good idea but perhaps this is what de Valroger means when he cites technological advances since 1992.

The project team, which includes the car’s original chief development engineer and test driver, is moving on swiftly and Bridgestone is aiming to have new tires ready in early 2017 in time for the XJ220’s 25th birthday.

classic cars as daily drivers

Can Classic Cars Be Daily Drivers?

Whether it’s something as formidable as a 1960s Ferrari or something as fun as an original Fiat 500, jumping behind the wheel of a classic car can turn any journey into a special event, even the daily commute. But should you give in to temptation and be the owner of the coolest daily drive on the road, or should you leave it in storage for anything other than special occasions?

For James Cottingham, acquisitions director for Ferrari specialists DK Engineering, the answer is simple, resist the temptation at all costs.

“If money were no object and you really had no care in the world, there wouldn’t be anything stopping you from using a classic Ferrari as a daily driver,” he says.

And his response isn’t simply born out of the fact that his company maintains and stores some of the most valuable 1950s and 1960s cars ever made.

“There are certain Ferraris that are more suited than others to regular use but classic cars are meant to be enjoyable,” he explains “And if you were to use one every day you would soon lose the enjoyment.”

classic cars as daily drivers

There may be plenty of E-Types on the market but that’s because owners haven’t driven them on a daily basis

The overwhelming majority of cars, not just those from Maranello, built between 1950 and 1980 were built in a period where reliability was a dream, not a reality and where construction techniques meant that vehicles were prone to rust and rot.

“All of the cavities and exposed metal under older cars is what killed them” says Jaguar’s Tony O’Keeffe. “They allowed salt from the road and water to get inside and stay inside, meaning that they corrode from the inside out.”

Even those owners knowing that they might have a future classic on their hands too often made the mistake of taking a car out, getting it wet then parking it up and leaving it for weeks before taking it out again, but in the process allowing rust to start forming.

classic cars as daily driver

Any Porsche from the mid-80s onwards can be driven as an everyday car

California or bust?

This corrosion issue is why California has become one of the world’s most popular hunting grounds for European classic cars of the 50s, 60s and 70s. That regular sun might bleach paint but it also ensures that even classic English sportscars and Lancias remain rust-free.

But for those that still like the idea of having something a little bit different and a little bit fun as their runaround, you can go German. Over 70% of all cars ever built by Porsche are still on the road and often in daily use.

Or for those with a smaller budget, O’Keeffe suggests looking to the late 80s and 90s. For instance the first Jaguar XJ sedans (the X300 series), built under Ford’s watchful eye from 1994-97, are reliable, comfortable, have great leather and walnut trim and can cope with inclement conditions and they won’t break the bank with good examples costing as little as $1,000.

But as for undertaking the daily commute in a Ferrari 250GT California Spider or a Series I E-Type Jaguar? “If there’s salt on the road, would you really take out your classic car? I’d say that with their hand on their heart, most classic owners would say “no” because they want to keep them for as long as possible,” answers O’Keeffe.

classic cars as daily drivers

The Jaguar XJ Sedan X300 series from 1994–97 could be a great classic commuter compromise

1955 Jaguar D-Type Pebble Beach Concours 2016

3 Highlights Pebble Beach Concours 2016

With just days until the most important day of the year for classic car enthusiast, we take a look at what visitors can look forward to at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The stream of pre and post war classic cars are all set to captivate visitors on 21 August, the final day of Monterey Car Week and there are several car brands promising to make their presence known at the event. We take a look at three of the car manufacturers who are planning on making their presence known at Pebble Beach.

BMW fetes its centenaryElvis Presley's BMW 507 Pebble Beach

If you’re lucky enough to be going — ticket prices start at $325 — then expect to see an awful lot of BMWs. The German marque is promising the biggest celebration of its centenary outside of Munich.

As well as pristine examples of its greatest road and racing cars of all time, the company will be unveiling a concept-car homage to the 2002, the compact coupe that really established BMW’s performance and premium car credentials in 1966. The Concours will also see the official global unveiling of a painstakingly-restored 1957 BMW 507 roadster that once belonged to Elvis Presley.

Ford GT40s from around the worldPebble-Beach-Ford

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Ford GT40’s historic Le Mans 1-2-3 finish, a result that established Ford as a serious performance car company. In honour of the achievement the concours organisers have managed to convince the owner of every international race-winning GT40 to display their cars at the show.

“We’re honored — and thrilled — to be able to unite all of these historic champions,” said Concours Chairman Sandra Button. “This is an unprecedented gathering — one that has excited every member of our Selection Committee and one that promises to make history in its own right.”

The Lamborghini Miura turns 50

While Ford was beating Ferrari on the track, Lamborghini was beating it on the road. In 1966 it unveiled the Miura and in doing so created the modern supercar. Achingly beautiful and technologically innovative, the Miura continues to resonate with car lovers of all ages today, and will be suitably celebrated at this year’s show in honour of its 50th birthday.

1955 Jaguar D-Type

1955 Jaguar D-Type to be auctioned

Apart from the display from BMW, Ford and Lamborghini, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will also be the venue for five auctions of classic and collector cars. With a Le Mans-winning Jaguar D-Type and the very first Shelby Cobra set to go under the hammer, many are expecting the auctions to set new records for most expensive cars ever sold. Suffice to say, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is one event eagerly anticipated by motor fans and auction lovers alike.

Jaguar Debuts First SUV With F-Pace

There’s always a first for everything – vaccination, kiss and even spouse; the first is usually the most memorable. The same goes for Jaguar’s first-ever SUV, the F-Pace, a jacked-up softroader that delivers more than enough power for that school run.

And Jaguar certainly didn’t hold back on its affectionately dubbed “performance crossover” vehicle. Brought to life with either an Ingenium two-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel unit or the three-litre V6 supercharged petrol variants, the F-Pace is really more sportscar than SUV, and is well-positioned to rival the Beemer’s X3, Audi Q5 or – dare we say it – the Porsche Macan. The former will bring you to 296 bhp, while the latter, 375bhp that propels the car to 62mph in 5.5 seconds.

We have to say that we were perplexed by the four-cylinder version and on the little makeshift test track as the Singapore launch, this version did seem to suffer ever so slightly coming out of corners and hitting the gas. That it works at all is a testament to the creativity of the engineering department.

The highly adaptable Lightweight Aluminium Architecture on the monocoque, previously utilised on the XE and XF models, work in tandem with the F-Type-derived double wishbone front suspension and Integral Link rear suspension for a refined yet dynamic ride. The Jaguar, being sister company to Land Rover, inevitably share the same gene pool. The standard Torque Vectoring, coupled with the Electric Power Assisted Steering system delivers specific handling and control for an enjoyable ride.

JAGUAR_F-PACE_LE_S_Location 10

On that familial note though, don’t expect all-wheel drive in this vehicle. However, an apple never falls too far from its tree, so all F-Pace variants are equipped with Jag’s F-Type sports car rear-biased all-wheel drive transmission. The part-time all-wheel drive is engaged for safety when the weather turns grim and roads get slippery, as they are wont to do in the United Kingdom and indeed, the tropics.

Here is another first for Jaguar: an infotainment system that won’t let you down. The F-Pace’s new generation InControl Touch says goodbye to Fisher Price graphics of the past and instead sees a 10.2-inch widescreen in its place, providing crystal graphics and none of those tacky buttons. This big friendly SUV also comes in four trim levels – the entry level Prestige, masculine R-Sport and the high performance S and First Edition, an exclusive model dedicated to honoring the new F-Pace’s launch.

JAGUAR_F-PACE_PORTFOLIO_Location 05

“The F-PACE has been much awaited since its dramatic reveal at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year. Instantly recognizable as a Jaguar, our first-ever performance SUV combines maximum driving exhilaration and practicality and is sure to excite the senses,” says Russell Anderson, Managing Director of Asia Pacific Importers, Jaguar Land Rover. “With its seductive look, exceptional ride and handling, it is the ultimate practical sports car. It drives, feels and handles like a Jaguar and we are extremely excited and proud to finally launch the F-PACE in Singapore.”

The F-Pace is now available at Jaguar showrooms in Singapore, and prices start from S$245,999.

Luxuo David Beckham for Jaguar 2016

How British Car Brands Sell to China

Many British automotive marques are already forging reciprocal links with Chinese firms. Aston Martin is working with LeEco to develop an electric version of its Rapide super sedan and everyone from Jaguar to Bentley is also developing models with longer wheelbases and greater space for rear passengers, uniquely for the Chinese market.

But how do these storied British brands get the biggest and youngest car-buying market to fall in love with them within the next few years, when they’ve had over 60 years to become pin-up fixtures on children’s walls in Europe and the US?

Jaguar has already hired David Beckham as its sportscar ambassador to China, but, as football fans will tell you “There’s only one David Beckham” so it appears the long-term answer is to celebrate all that’s good about British motoring heritage by crafting a festival on a par with the Goodwood Festival of Speed and bringing it to the Chinese mainland.

The British Motorsport Festival (BMF), will open its doors to the public at the Goldenport track, Beijing, on October 1 and promises past, present and future cars from Jaguar, Land Rover, Lotus, McLaren, Morgan and Noble.

But more than simply trying to get car fans excited, the two-day event will be a proper family-inclusive lifestyle experience.

“The British Motorsport Festival is a unique blend of cars, fans and fun for the entire family. Our hope is that the British Motorsport Festival can help brands connect with fans to build lasting relationships,” said Jim James, BMF’s founder.

So the event promises racing, a ladies competition, go-karting and electric car racing for kids plus a vintage car show.

Alongside the festival the UK government is also assisting in setting up an annual motorsports conference, in partnership with Motorsport China, the first of which will be held in Shanghai on November 2. Because as with every country that starts to fall in love with cars, the urge to race tends to follow very quickly. But there are pitfalls that need to be avoided if it’s going to be done in a sustainable, profitable way.

“Motorsport in China is developing rapidly, and the goal of the Conference is to bring experts from the UK and China together to discuss best practices, build deeper relationships and ultimately to develop the industry to a world class level,” said Managing Director of Motorsport China, Steven Lu.

So the conference will bring together experts from every facet of racing from track development to team owners and specialist services companies under one roof.

Dead Man's Car

Jaguar Revives 1957 XKSS Sportscar

British automaker Jaguar confirmed Tuesday that the legendary 1957 classic, the XKSS, will be returning to 21st century roads but there will only be nine.

One of the most loved and lusted after of all race-bred Jaguars (just look at it and tell us you don’t want one, post-haste), the XKSS was one of Steve McQueen’s favorite cars. Ok, it is not just the looks of the car that would have appealed to McQueen; it was essentially a road-legal version of the company’s Le Mans-winning D-Type.

Enthusiasts and collectors will want to take note that each of the new cars will be built by hand, using exactly the same techniques and materials as with the original car. We’re taking bets in the office that the continuation XKSS will be completely sold out before the cars debut later this year. The official reason given for the limited production run is because there were only nine models in the original run, which were destroyed by a fire at the Jaguar factory.

They had been destined for US customers but were never replaced. That is also why the continuation XKSS will be making its global debut in the US at the LA Auto Show this November.

Tim Hannig, Director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, said: “The continuation XKSS reaffirms our commitment to nurture the passion and enthusiasm for Jaguar’s illustrious past by offering exceptional cars, services, parts and experiences.”

This story was written in-house, based on an AFP report.

Dead Man's Car

Future Past: Lister Jaguar Knobbly Stirling Moss

£1 million can buy you a lot of things but we’re quite sure there’s nothing quite as satisfying as owning the new Lister Jaguar Knobbly Stirling Moss Edition. Yes, the same Knobbly Sir Sterling Moss took pole position with at Silverstone in 1958. If you’re wondering why a type of moss would have a knighthood and why it took a pole to a tire then you are clearly in the wrong place.

lister_jaguar_stirling Moss

Ok, back to good old Knobbly then. You could be one of 10 in the world who owns this car, an exclusivity coupled with the fact that this is the only other car – besides the roofless edition of the Mercedes SLR – to carry the legendary British racing driver’s name. The million-dollar package will also include a ceremony where you will not only receive the keys from Moss himself but also have dinner with him. Secondly, if you choose the racing spec option over the road legal one, you’ll receive a FIA HTP passport that grants exclusive entry into the Sir Stirling Moss Trophy series and other historic events.

lister_jaguar_stirling Moss

Perks aside, this lighter and sleeker replica of the historic machine might look like a toy with its standard Lister green and yellow paint job, but it is actually more than race track ready. Seeing as none of the original lightweight models from the 1950s survived, these will be the only magnesium-bodied cars in the world. Magnesium is hardly used for car manufacturing because it is not only notoriously difficult to source but also hard to shape. Every Knobbly requires 18 weeks of intense building and any mistake would render it useless. The result is a car that only weighs 814kg. With its six-cylinder 3.8-liter Jaguar D-Type engine, it generates 337bhp that propels the car to a top speed of 184mph and from 0 to 60mph in under 4 seconds.

“It had quite a lot of horsepower. It was terrific. It was a winning car. I would say that if you were in a race in its era, you certainly had as good a chance as anybody of winning. It was very good,” Moss gushed.

Experience Nürburgring with Jaguar F-Type SVR

For those of you with a yen for speed but don’t have access to a racetrack, Jaguar has the answer. In a bid to prove the roaring power of its F-Type SVR, Jaguar will give supercar fans a chance to go around the famous Nürburgring race course with a pro-driver. The 20.83km circuit was dubbed as the ‘Green Hell’ by former F1 champion Sir Jackie Stewart for its challenging corners, and harsh weather conditions. You can be rest assured, though, that Jaguar intends to maintain maximum safety so that you can experience the thrill of the ride in its full force.

Despite all its infamy and tough conditions, Nürburgring also is also known for its lush scenery (that’s the green bit in Stewart’s description). To be able to catch the visual spectacle, intermixed with the blur of the speed as you go past in the F-Type, a number of precautions have to be taken. The car has a roll cage, racing seats, and harnesses. Passengers also have to wear helmets and neck braces. In exchange for all that (hassle some would say but these could save your life), you’ll be able to receive a precious memento of your experience as the on-board cameras can capture every single second of the ride.

“The weather at the Nürburgring is famed for being unpredictable and the new Jaguar F-Type SVR is the perfect car to tackle the undulating track in variable conditions,” said Mark Stanton, Director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations. While it was deemed out-of-bounds for F1 racing since 1976 (due to racer Nikki Lauda’s near-fatal accident), the track has been a yardstick for supercars everywhere. Everyone from Audi to Nissan has development teams at the circuit for testing.

Well, if all that strikes your fancy, you can book ‘Ring in the F-Type’ experience for €295 per person over at the Nürburgring online shop. Jaguar hopes that you find the experience worth your while, the F-Type SVR might be the supercar you invest in.

Jaguar Land Rover Reports Record Sales

It appears that Jaguar Land Rover have struck gold with their range of crossovers, SUVs and luxury cars as appeal soars despite heftier price tags and financial turmoil. Obviously, this is company that makes Jaguar cars and Land Rover SUVs.

According to its full-year results for fiscal 2015/16, the British automotive company experienced a 13% increase in sales to sell 521,571 cars, breaking its half a million barrier for the first time in history. This is despite the cars’ price tags; an entry-level Evoque costs $42,000 in the U.S., while a Holland & Holland Range Rover LWB is $250,000 – yes, that’s five times as much. Jaguar Land Rover has been riding a wave of high demand, launching several new Jaguar models over the past 12 months, though Land Rover and Range Rover are leading the company’s charge.

“Jaguar Land Rover has produced and sold more cars than at any time in our history. We are now the largest automotive manufacturer in the United Kingdom and our vehicles have received more than 140 awards across the range for design, technology, safety and environmental sustainability,” said Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer.

It also seems that SUV and CUV owners don’t have a penchant for changing their preferences. A study by HIS Automotive has revealed that they have the highest rates of brand and model-style loyalty in the States, with two-thirds of them buying another SUV or CUV. In comparison, only half of sedan owners replaced their car for something similar.

“We continue to see the SUV/CUV segment reaching record registration volumes in the US market,” said Tom Libby, manager, loyalty and industry analysis with IHS Automotive.

With demand for utility-style vehicles on the rise, car companies have cashed in on the trend with more rugged-looking models and choices – an approach that has helped Land Rover grow its appeal. Its vehicle range has grown from three to five core models, with more in the pipeline.

“During this fiscal year, we have delivered sustainable, profitable growth and introduced new models,” said Dr Speth. “We are on track to deliver even more sensational products that will underpin the future performance of the business.”

 

Car Pride: Jaguar F-Type British Design Edition

The Jaguar F-Type is one of our favorite vehicles, largely because it succeeded one of the most iconic cars ever made, the Jaguar E-Type. The automaker thinks the car is starved of attention for its “Britishness” so it has gone with a heavy dose of patriotism here. Jaguar is hoping to highlight that its F-Type is the ultimate sports car currently being built in the UK with a special British Design Edition.

With unique interior and exterior features, the new model, announced last week, will be available in both coupé and convertible form and will come with a supercharged 3-liter V6 engine all-wheel drive as standard.

As for its other accentuated aesthetics, Jaguar has looked to its heritage and to the British flag for inspiration – the car can be ordered in red; white; or a new, specially developed Ultra Blue.

However, for those that don’t want to fly the flag, and aware that the car will be sold globally, Jaguar will also offer the car in black. It is our understanding that British racing green is not in the picture.

“The F-Type is a sports car that excites the senses, with a visual drama that is both individual and very British. Creating the British Design Edition gave us the opportunity to subtly enhance the way the F-Type looks – inside and out,” said Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar.

From the outside, the new model distinguishes itself from other F-Types with a gloss black front splitter, body-colored side sill extensions and an integrated rear diffuser or Venturi as Jaguar calls it.

There’s also the option of a fixed spoiler for even more downforce on the coupé, but both versions get seriously upgraded brakes with bright red calipers that should show up behind the unique 20-inch satin grey Cyclone alloy wheels. Although they’re slowing down an ultra-light aluminum-bodied car, it’s still one that can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in around five seconds and on to a top speed of 171mph (275km/h).

Inside, satin finish carbon fiber trim abounds and the sports seats are wrapped in the company’s best Jet leather. This can be specified with a choice of three different contrasting stitch colors – red, white or blue.

For those that like to stay as connected to the web as to the road ahead, the car gets an InControl Touch Infotainment system complete with smartphone and now Apple Watch app remote control for certain functions tied into a 10-speaker, 380W Meridian sound system as standard, but this can be upgraded to a 770W 12-speaker InControl Touch Plus unit.

Luxury Carmakers Cheer Brilliant 2015 Finish

Even as prices at the pump hold steady at low rates, the premium segment of the auto industry is popping the champagne after an historic 2015. Over the course of last year, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo and McLaren have all set or are anticipating new sales records. Aside from sales, Ferrari is celebrating its independence and Hyundai is dropping in on the luxury market with the Genesis badge.

For McLaren, a supercar company that’s only been in business for five years, 2015 is the second year in succession that it’s broken the previous year’s record. Even though each model it produces is hand assembled, it delivered 1654 cars this year.

Demand is such that the company is introducing a night shift. “This accelerated development has led to yet another record year, with unprecedented levels of demand for all of our cars, especially the new Sports Series, for which we are currently holding more than six months worth of orders,” said CEO, Mike Flewitt.

Jaguar Land Rover has also enjoyed a bumper 2015, selling 487,065 vehicles – a 5% jump on 2014. “Customer response has been extremely positive, resulting in record retails across UK, North America and Europe. The appeal of our Jaguars and Land Rovers has also been recognized through over 95 global awards in 2015, including 15 for the Land Rover Discovery Sport and 19 for the Jaguar XE alone. 2016 promises to be another exciting year,” Andy Goss, Jaguar Land Rover Group Sales Operations Director, said.

Despite being implicated in the Volkswagen dieselgate scandal, Audi exceeded even its own lofty expectations – selling 1.8 million cars globally and for the first time crossed the 200,000-vehicle mark in the US where it can’t build SUVs quick enough to keep up with demand.

“2015 has proved that Audi is solidly on track and that we are able to master a year that presented various challenges very successfully,” Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG, said.

Meanwhile Volvo sold more than 500,000 cars for the first time in its history. “I am delighted to report that 2015 was a year of record sales,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive. “Now, with a successful 2015 behind us, Volvo is about to enter the second phase of its global transformation. Once completed, Volvo will have ceased being a minor automotive player and taken its position as a truly global premium car company.”

Cadillac is also reenergized. After years of struggling to compete, it saw a 7.5% growth in global sales. “This creates a strong foundation for our two all-new products launching in the first half of 2016 — the CT6 prestige sedan and the XT5 luxury crossover,” stated Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen.

Mercedes and BMW remain the popular premium automotive brands to beat. Mercedes clocked up sales of 1.872 million vehicles globally, a 13.4% jump on 2014. “We anticipate additional sales impetus in 2016 from the new E-Class, the world’s most intelligent business saloon,” explained board member Ola Källenius.

BMW has yet to reveal full results from 2015 but the firm had already experienced a record 2014, selling more than 2 million vehicles globally; the Munich-based automaker passed the 2 million mark in November last, the first time it has ever done that by that point in the year. “The steady sales growth we’ve shown throughout the year so far reflects the great new products we currently have on the market,” commented Dr Ian Robertson, member of the board of management of BMW AG responsible for sales and marketing BMW.

This report was compiled by in-house writers, in combination with a wire report and image from the AFP.

7 Contenders for Top Euro Car 2016

The Internet loves lists and the year-end period is full of them. This one in particular caught our eye, with two of our favorites – the BMW 7 Series and the Jaguar XE – making the cut. Behold the shortlist of nominees for European Car of the year 2016, released ahead of the awards ceremony on February 29 at the 2016 Geneva Motorshow. The AFP is right to note that this year’s pack is one of the most competitive in recent times.

There are many car of the year awards around the world but what makes the European event so noteworthy is that it represents the oldest, most mature, diverse and demanding of all automotive markets (North American car enthusiasts, register your complaints with the AFP).

Well, to be fair, it is an especially strong pack of contenders this year and crucially, there’s a very strong chance that the winner could be crowned car of the year for the very first time. Only two shortlisted manufacturers – Audi and Opel/Vauxhall – are former winners. Believe it or not, BMW has never won the top prize…

Audi A4

The latest generation car builds on the foundations of the last A4. It’s not overly aggressive to look at and it’s competent, rather than exciting to drive. But where it impresses is in comfort and refinement and that all-round sense of well-being that’s needed to stand out alongside the latest BMWs and Mercedes.

BMW 7 Series

Despite being runner up on numerous occasions, BMW has never won the ultimate prize. Even though the 7 Series sets new benchmarks for driving dynamics and tech in the highest echelons of the executive sedan sector, the fact that it is such a premium vehicle may count against it. Nevertheless, it is the first car that can be remotely parked via its key fob and has a very clever transmission that uses GPS to automatically pick the right gear to suit the road ahead. The luster of this series is precisely why it is one of our favorites.

897238_jaguar_x.17a7d082025.original

Jaguar XE

Lightweight (check out that almost-all-aluminum body), economical – so much so that it leads the class – and engaging to drive, this is one of the best Jaguars in years and certainly the most complete sedan. Even the infotainment and active safety features are on a par with the best from Germany and Japan.

Mazda MX-5

Despite changing trends and tastes, Mazda has never been tempted to tamper with the MX-5’s recipe. The latest generation is just as much fun to drive as the original car and is just as easy to live with.

2016 MX-5 Club (PRNewsFoto/Mazda North American Operations)

Opel/Vauxhall Astra

With the Astra, a huge dose of premium German quality has been injected into the mass-market family hatchback sector dominated by the Ford Focus and VW Golf. Sharp lines, good looks, full web connectivity and concierge service all come as standard.

Skoda Superb

If the Skoda emblems were hidden, it would be very easy to convince drivers that they were getting behind the wheel of a BMW or an Audi. The Superb really does live up to its name in terms of comfort, rear passenger space, quality and even exterior styling.

Volvo XC90

Like the 7 Series, the XC90’s price might put it out of the running as affordability is a criterion of the judging panel. However, this is the safest car currently on sale at any price and one of the most comfortable. It is also proof that making an off-roader that’s as elegant as it is robust is not a trait exclusive to Land Rover’s flagship Range Rover.

Volvo XC90

New James Bond cars

Bond’s new Jaguar, Land Rover presented at Frankfurt

New James Bond cars

Three new vehicles set to feature in upcoming Bond film “Spectre” were on hand at a September 15 soirée coinciding with the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Jaguar C-X75 supercar Spectre

The Jaguar C-X75 hybrid electric supercar was first unveiled at the 2010 Paris Motor Show but cancelled before a limited run ever made it off the production line.

Land Rover Defender and Range Rover Sport SVR

It appeared alongside the Range Rover Sport SVR and Land Rover Defender, both of which roll on immense 37-inch off-road tires.

Land Rover Defender Spectre

British singer John Newman, “Spectre” actor Dave Bautista, as well as German actresses Hannah Herzsprung, Anja Kling and Alexandra Maria Lara were among those attending the event alongside design and management staff from Tata Motors subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover.

Range Rover Sport SVR spectre

“Spectre” director Sam Mendes had unveiled another British supercar, the Aston Martin DB10, at a Pinewood Studios event in December 2014.

Aston Martin DB10

Terry Grant

WATCH the Jaguar F-Pace SUV set 360-degree loop record

Jaguar’s first SUV has driven straight into the record books by performing the world’s largest-ever loop-the-loop as part of its Frankfurt reveal.

The F-Pace and its driver, Terry Grant, encountered forces of over 6G as they completed the 19.08 meter-high loop and in doing so wrote their names into this year’s Guinness Book of World Records.

The stunt required months of planning and demanded that Grant undertake intense physical training. The astronauts that pilot the Space Shuttle experience less g-force on a typical mission than Grant had to withstand in order to complete the loop. “Driving the world’s largest loop tonight was a very proud moment in my career. The F-PACE’s supreme performance credentials and rigid lightweight structure gave me complete confidence that I had the strength and driving agility needed.”

Terry Grant

Breaking a record is Jaguar’s way of suggesting that the first SUV in its 80-year history represents an ultimate.

“The F-Pace exudes performance yet you can fit five people and all their belongings in it. This is a car for people who love driving, who love design and who love technology — this is the ultimate practical sports car,” said Ian Callum, the company’s director of design.

With the amount of competition in the SUV market already, new entrants need to offer something special in order to stand a chance of success.

In Jaguar’s case, the company believes that offering keen drivers a car that sates their needs while also being able to bring the entire family along for the ride, will prove to be the F-Pace’s x factor.

“When we created this car we thought differently; we took a Jaguar sports car and made it family friendly,” said Callum.

Jaguar F-Pace 360 loop

However, what keeps children satisfied on a long journey is a very different proposition and that’s why, according to the company’s head of communications, Fiona Pargeter, the vehicle boasts some serious infotainment equipment including a 4G/LTE wi-fi hotspot.

“The F-Pace is packed full of innovative technology and features the world’s most-advanced in-car entertainment system,” she said.

Like Volvo did with its flagship XC90 SUV, Jaguar will be offering the F-Pace initially as a special, limited edition launch model. Just 2000 examples worldwide are scheduled for production.

Jaguar F-Pace Guinness World Record