The first motor show of the year is upon us and Tim Oldland takes a look at the best of the new metal…
Most have only just recovered from their New Year’s Eve hangovers, but the auto industry is already gearing up for the first round of new releases. Geneva is the first big European show (and I’ll be there reporting live for you) but the first big show of the year is always Detroit and there are a few big new cars that have been revealed. Let’s get straight to it:
Jaguar F-Type Facelift & new 400 Sport model
The F-Type has been out since 2012 and has consistently been one of the most popular cars in the BOTB competition, probably thanks to the utterly stunning looks, especially in Coupe form. So for 2017 there’s a whole raft of changes, most of them subtle, and a new model. Let’s deal with the looks first – the whole range gets a set of new LED headlights which is certainly welcome, apparently they’re quite clever too, switching their beam pattern over 56mph to account for the longer distances needed to see. V6 models get a new R-Dynamic trim level which adds a front bumper with single intakes either side of the familiar grille, while the V8 model gets a wider intake with a central horizontal bar. All models get newer darker tinted rear LED lights, while there are new wheel designs and the interior gets JLR’s new long overdue InControl Pro infotainment system.
But the big news is the introduction of the new 400 Sport model – basically Jaguar has seen what Porsche does with the GTS and wants a bit of the action. So there’s a bit of a power hike for the V6S, up to 395bhp and there are some unique styling elements such as a deeper front splitter, 20” dark alloy wheels and a choice of only silver, white or black paint. It also gets unique black leather with yellow stitching and a few choice options are now standard, also while the only option is the 8spd automatic gearbox there is the option of RWD or AWD. The 400 Sport costs from £71,115 which is around £6500 more than the V6S Auto, but it comes with more than that amount in options so is actually really good value.
All in, this takes the F-Type to having 22 models in total and is fairly unique in sports cars for having a huge price spread – £51,000 for the V6 Coupe to £115,000 for the SVR Convertible.
Win a new Jaguar here
Porsche 911 GTS models
As mentioned above, Porsche has built a history starting with the 997 now for their GTS model. Initially meant as a run-out version it now just forms a new model part way between S and Turbo in all the ranges. But as before it still represents the best value in my opinion – generally coming with lots of kit that was optional as standard, plus a power boost, all for less than the sum of the parts and has generally made the cars the pick of the range to drive as well. For the revised 911 – known as the 991.2 – the GTS model is available on the coupe and cabriolet in RWD and AWD flavours and the Targa in just AWD all costing around £8500 more than the equivalent S model. So what do you get for your money? First up there’s a tweaked 3.0 litre twin turbo flat-six engine that now puts out 444bhp and 405lb/ft of torque which improves performance a tad. Visually all models get the 4’s wider body, and there’s a Sport Design front bumper and rear apron. That rear holds the openings for the standard Sports Exhaust, and the centre lock wheels from the Turbo S are also thrown in. The GTSs also get Porsche’s Active Stability Management system and Sport Chrono Package as standard. But for me, the most exciting part is that the Targa finally gets the option for a black rollover hoop which on a red car makes it look absolutely fantastic. I’ll take one please!
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Bentley Continental Supersports
The Bentley Continental GT Speed is quite a beast, powered by a 635bhp twin turbo W12 engine, but apparently that isn’t enough for some Bentley owners (probably the same ones who asked for a 600bhp SUV), plus the Conti GT is living on borrowed time as the replacement will be out by the end of the year. So Bentley is giving the Continental one last hurrah with this Supersports model (available in coupe or convertible guise) and it’s packing – are you sitting down – 700bhp. In a Bentley. Not a Lamborghini – a Bentley. How wonderfully insane. Sadly they also saw fit to slap an awful bodykit on it that wouldn’t look out of place on one of Mansory’s creations, but apparently it does do something for aerodynamics to stop the Supersports throwing you off the road at high speed. And speed is something there is a lot of, with 0-62mph taking 3.4 seconds on the way to a 209mph top speed. This will all cost though, with the coupe and convertible coming in at £212.500 and £233,800 respectively. Ouch.
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Mercedes-AMG GT C Coupe and updated GT & GT S
We’re big fans of the AMG GT at BOTB and so are you given how often it’s played for. But it’s a couple of years old now and Mercedes has decided to give it a facelift. We saw the crazy GT R coupe last summer and then late last year they showed us the GT Roadster and GT C Roadster which was a halfway house. Well as expected there’s now a GT C Coupe as well and it sits between the (newly increased) GT S with 515bhp and the 577bhp GT R with a 549bhp version of the 4.0 litre twin turbo V8. It gets the same wider rear bodywork as the GT R and GT C Roadster and the aggressive front bumper treatment. All the models now get the ‘Panamericana’ grille as well. The base GT gets a 14bhp bump to 469bhp and there are new tech and driving options across the range.
Win a new Mercedes here
This is possibly the least exciting of the new reveals, but one that probably appeals to a lot of people in the real world situation of buying one car to do everything. The old Audi SQ5 was available in the UK only as a twin turbo V6 diesel with 313bhp (or a bit more in the Plus model) but elsewhere in the world it used the S5’s V6 twin turbo petrol motor and it is this engine that has just been launched at Detroit. Being the US launch there was no talk of a diesel unit and we’ve no idea as yet if one will even exist, but we do know that Audi said the 349bhp V6 petrol will be coming to the UK. Given that the Merc GLC43 and Porsche Macan GTS both have petrol engines this certainly makes sense, though the diesel unit did offer something different in the form of performance with economy. The rest of the car is as expected, a more aggressive looking new Q5 with a deeper front bumper, new bigger alloys and a sportier rear bumper. We’ll bring you any news about the UK engines as soon as we know.
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