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IN THE NEWS: Derek Bell to Lead Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elegance Cavalcade in Jay Kay’s Bentley Embiricos Recreation

August 22, 2014

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There is only one Bentley Embiricos in the world and that sits in California! However, there is a faithful recreation of Georges Paulin’s one-off design which is owned by Jay Kay of Jamiroquai and proudly loaned to 5 times Le Mans winner, Derek Bell MBE to lead a host of rare and unique cars through the Wiltshire countryside for The Chubb Insurance Tour d’Elégance.

The exacting recreation is based on the 1939 example and is the result of an eight year project by Devon-based Bentley restorer Bob Peterson. 

The original car history: -

During the 1930s a Greek businessman and avid race car driver named André Embiricos was looking to have a custom car built. Living in Paris at the time, Embiricos contacted a local Bentley representative by the name of Walter Sleator, who then put him in touch with Georges Paulin, a designer working for coachbuilder Pourtout Carrossier. Under Paulin’s guidance, Pourtout produced a strikingly sleek, aerodynamic body for a 4¼-Litre Derby Bentley that would be ideal for racing. With the support of the Bentley factory back in Crewe, owned at the time by Rolls-Royce, a car combining the Derby Bentley with Pourtout’s design was built and from then on was known as the 4 1/4 Liter ‘Embiricos’ Special.

Open only to Concours entrants, the Steering Committee and Concours Judges of which Derek Bell MBE is chief judge, the Tour d’Elégance returns for the 3rd consecutive year, bigger and better than ever before. Starting at the Royal Automobile Club for breakfast with the chance to say hello to fellow drivers, co-pilots and their vehicles alike, the tour will then depart for a 3hr drive to the historic and beautiful Wiltshire home of The Earl of Pembroke, Wilton House.

Wilton House dates back to 1544, when the buildings and land were granted by Henry VIII to Sir William Herbert. It has been a family home for over 450 years now and plays host to a feast of events throughout the year.  

Leaving Wilton, the cars will depart in cavalcade for the slightly shorter journey back to London and the Concours Show Field of Salon Privé.  Having arrived and with all of the entries safely parked and registered, the owners and their guests will enjoy a fabulous dinner in one of London’s most magical surroundings – the Duke of Northumberland’s Great Conservatory at Syon House.

Other fantastic cars that are taking part in the tour include a Delahaye Type 235MS Coupe, a Delage D8 S, an Aston Martin DB4 GT and a Jaguar D-Type.

The three day Salon Privé spectacular includes the Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance (Wednesday), Boodles Ladies’ Day and The Salon Privé Sale (Thursday), The Royal College of Art ‘Concours of the Future’ design exhibition (Thursday), The British Supercar Show (Friday), EFG Art & Memorabilia Fair (every day), Luxury Retail Village (every day). 

Salon Privé is a boutique automotive Garden Party which opens on Wednesday 3rd September with the crème de la crème of classic cars from around the world competing in the internationally-renowned Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance.

Afternoon Tickets to Salon Privé 2014 costing just £75 are available now and can be purchased either by calling the Ticket Hotline on 0808 100 2205 or online at  www.salonprivelondon.com.  Full hospitality tickets are also available from £195 and include Pommery champagne, lobster luncheon, complimentary bar, English afternoon tea and full access to all areas. 

IN THE NEWS: Saleen FOURSIXTEEN All-Electric Performance Sedan Adds Spark to Tesla Model S

August 18, 2014

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Saleen Automotive Inc. (OTCQB: SLNN) Monterey, CA – (August 17, 2014)

From the same automotive performance brand that brought the true American Supercar, the S7, Saleen has once again set precedence for a vehicle of epic proportions. The Tesla Model S based Saleen FOURSIXTEEN performance electric car was shown for the first time at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

“Tesla has created an entirely new class of American automobile”, explained Steve Saleen. “There are many similarities to this and how Ford created the ‘pony car’ class in 1964 with the Mustang, which is how these vehicles stand out from the rest of the pack.”

Standing out from the pack is Saleen’s specialty. Whether it’s their winning racing pedigree, expertly engineered Saleen vehicles, or instantly recognizable design. The Saleen legacy is perfectly packaged into the FOURSIXTEEN Model S and hinges on the mantra for the performance luxury electric car that ‘status quo won’t do’.

Purposefully advanced design
From the outside, the FOURSIXTEEN is a harmonious blend of aerodynamic aggressiveness and subtle classiness. Applying the same championship Saleen DNA used over the last three decades, Saleen has created a car that can drive the streets of Monaco and set records at Laguna Seca. From the Saleen crafted front fascia to the carbon fiber rear diffuser, the FOURSIXTEEN aerodynamic design is as inspired as it is functional.

Front aero management vents helps ensure that the Saleen FOURSIXTEEN model maintains a low pressure field as air acceleration increases around the chassis. Assisting the lower aero management is the unique V-shaped hood architecture efficiently directing hot air away from the drivetrain cooling system all while generating valuable downforce across the front section.

The rear fascia design finalizes the aerodynamic system as air moves across the cabin and onto the Saleen designed high-downforce decklid mounted spoiler. Mid-chassis air is directed across the carbon fiber accents stretching between the taillights. Supplying rear wake diffusion is a Saleen diffuser design that boosts aerodynamic downforce capability.

Electrified Performance
Just like the rest of the Saleen lineup, this car is more than just an eye catching aerodynamic package. Propelling the new FOURSIXTEEN is the 3-phase, four pole AC induction motor and copper rotor with the upgraded Saleen drivetrain including an all-new 11.39:1 final gear ratio for quicker acceleration. Also new for the FOURSIXTEEN is a Saleen specific MAXGRIPTM locking differential that allows each wheel to efficiently apply rotational force and maximize traction and grip in performance environments. All of the Saleen engineered driveline components increase efficiencies in torque management, give a track capable throttle response, and provide faster acceleration. Overall the FOURSIXTEEN is a well-balanced vehicle and sounds great too!

Electric motor cooling has also been made more productive from the Saleen high-efficiency drivetrain cooling system. Comprising the system is a larger volume radiator, upsampled cooling fans, and a high-flow water pump to help maintain consistent temperatures in more stressful performance applications.

“Electric drivetrains are unique in that they can generate an incredible amount of torque at zero RPM”, detailed Sven Etzelsberger, VP Advanced Engineering. “Our challenge was really to find methods to manage the energy that is generated by the electric motor and rotor assembly. With the FOURSIXTEEN we have successfully found a comprehensive solution to increase performance and harness power in an efficient manner.”

Suspension
Saleen’s design and engineering teams worked together to ensure a functional suspension that doesn’t sacrifice ride quality. The Saleen specific S4 track-calibrated suspension includes a monotube coilover, which works in conjunction with an S4 sway bar setup to increase cornering agility without sacrificing ride quality. The FOURSIXTEEN suspension system can also be ordered in a fully adjustable configuration, allowing the driver to easily increase stiffness for a day at the track and revert to a more streetable setting with simple adjustments.

The Stability Control System has also undergone a track tested performance enhancement. A software change gives the FOURSIXTEEN better cornering response and drivability by allowing the driver to maintain power as traction and vehicle weight distribution change.

Working together with the stability control software, wheel, tire, and S4 suspension system are the Saleen-specific brakes. The standard brake package in the FOURSIXTEEN include 14” 2-piece aluminum hat vented rotors and multi-piston front calipers with performance brake pads. An optional upgrade is the carbon ceramic disc brake system for maximum braking, cooling, and weight reduction. Saleen designed wheels fill out the wheel openings and add an air of performance luxury. All of this combined with the ZR-spec tires make sure the car will hug the corners, accelerate true in the straights, and stop effortlessly when needed.

Supercar inspired interior
The interior refinements of the Saleen FOURSIXTEEN are abundant. From the handpicked leather palette to the carbon fiber dash accents, the cabin environment is as supercar stylish as it is functionally chic. Starting with the seating, black leather is contrasted by perforated leather accents and Alcantara suede inlays providing a true luxury atmosphere.

“Our theme of an electric four-seat supercar really comes to life with the interior of this car”, said Sean Smith, Design Director. “Our design team spent a lot of time evaluating different materials, fitments, and finishes to accomplish the refined interior design of the FOURSIXTEEN while still keeping the modern sports car inspiration intact. I think the result is appropriate for this new class of electric American performance cars.”

A new center console has also been integrated into the interior redesign. This functional aspect gives the driver and front passenger additional center storage, a personal electronic device pocket, and a much needed cupholder all within arm’s reach.

Continuing the track-inspired exterior enhancements, the front and rear seating have been remolded to produce four full bucket seats complete with added bolstering to create a discerning interior that is fittingly built around the driver and passengers. Marrying the seating design to the rest of the cockpit are the Saleen tailor-made door panels and a full leather-wrapped dash both artistically complimented with hand sewn contrast stitching. The final stroke of interior craftsmanship draws attention to the seat shells which have been color matched to the black leather, creating a dynamic modern feel in the rear cabin.

Availability, Pricing and Additional Information
MSRP for the FOURSIXTEEN model is set to start at $152,000 for the complete vehicle, which includes the base P85Model S sedan. This is priced before existing state and federal EV incentives which can range from $7,500 to $15,000 depending on the buyers state (i.e. A California resident would pay $142,000.00).

Warranties are also included on all new Saleen vehicles, components, and labor. Each newly purchased Saleen FOURSIXTEEN will include a 4-year / 50,000 mile warranty to match the manufacturer backed limited warranty.

Purchases for this all new electric vehicle can be placed by contacting Saleen directly for an expedited ordering process of the Saleen FOURSIXTEEN. Orders are now being taken for the FOURSIXTEEN with delivery 6-8 weeks following order confirmation and receipt.

Alternatively, individual FOURSIXTEEN components are also available for Model S owners that are looking to just add a touch of performance or styling to their current vehicle without the desire for a serialized version. Installation can be scheduled through the Saleen Performance Parts division. For more information visit http://www.saleen.com

PICK OF THE DAY: Pristine One-Owner 8,600-Mile Opel GT

August 15, 2014

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Often referred to as a “Mini Vette,” at least in the US, the Opel GT in fact pre-dates the car to which it’s likened, the C3 “coke-bottle” Corvette, by some three years. It, and the Big Vette, take their styling cues from the Ferrari GTO as well as the Pontiac Banshee show car, but to label the Opel GT as a smaller version of a 300+ horsepower American icon is probably off the mark. This is especially true in that, despite the smaller exterior dimensions, they are about the same inside. Furthermore, “Mini Vette” to some extent discredits the GT for what it is: a comfortable, economical, affordable and fun people’s sports car. In that respect, it is much more Karmann Ghia or Alfa Giulietta than Corvette. They were peppy enough and handling took some getting used to, but was decent. Yet they never earned any credentials in motorsport so were missing that true sport in their sports-carness. On top of that, their relative low price opened them to neglect, not worth restoring. Looking at current values, there is some validity to that. What few Opel GTs come on the market, are typically those that have spent some considerable time in a field or the back of a barn. Most are advertised in such a state or strapped to a flatbed. In any case, their decay would take some rather ambitious restoration. For anyone truly interested in an Opel GT, finding one in original, well-preserved condition is the way to go. This is seemingly a needle in a haystack, yet two such examples have come on the market in the last week. This example is especially unique in that, with the exception of some proper maintenance items, it is completely original through the stewardship of a single loving owner. With just a tick over 8,600 miles on the clock, it is as close to a showroom fresh Opel GT as anyone is likely to find. Its Chrome Yellow is also a nice alternative to the typical red and looks especially smart against the black interior (where later models were white). When taking into account where other German cars of this vintage—and ok, the C3 Corvette too—are headed, the Opel GT may just be the sleeper in the bunch. This pristine example, priced at $9,500, may turn out to be an extraordinary bargain to boot. Find it here on Craigslist in West Orange, NJ.

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ON THE LAWN: Mercedes-Benz Showcases Past and Present at Pebble Beach

August 14, 2014

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Pebble Beach, CA – Mercedes-Benz will showcase its long tradition of history and innovation at the 64th Annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance from August 14-17, 2014 with a display of vintage, modern and futuristic coupes.  As the ultimate expression of luxury, coupes have always held strong emotional appeal with owners and brand aficionados alike.

Mercedes-Benz will display significant coupes from the past as well as the world debut of the 2015 S65 AMG Coupe.  Marking a return to the S-Class nameplate for large coupes, this model is the ultimate version of the newly-expanded S-Class model range, featuring a 12-cylinder biturbo engine producing an astounding 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque.  The S65 AMG Coupe will make its showroom debut in late 2014.  On display at the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge, the one-of-a-kind Concept Coupe SUV will make its U.S. public debut.

Mercedes-Benz Classic will also showcase the one-off 540K Streamliner coupe.  Following an extensive restoration and reconstruction, this extraordinary vehicle dating from 1938 will celebrate its international public premiere.  Developed in a wind tunnel, this exceptional vehicle features a powerful supercharged engine for high-speed long-distance motoring and a unique, lightweight aluminum bodyshell.   The 540K Streamliner will participate in the Tour d’Elegance on Thursday, August 14 followed by an exhibition at the Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, August 17.

Another theme of this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is the French Grand Prix of 1914.  On July 4, 1914, Mercedes-Benz celebrated an epic one-two-three victory near Lyon.  The three remaining examples of this legendary race car will be reunited in a specially created judging class, including the winning vehicle from 1914.  The Grand Prix cars come from the collections of George Wingard, the Collier Collection and the Mercedes-Benz Classic.

Offering a glimpse into the future, the Concept Coupe SUV celebrates the long-standing coupe tradition at Mercedes-Benz with a flowing side line, stretched greenhouse and bold radiator grille.  At the same time, the Concept Coupe SUV stands out with its muscular proportions, large wheel arches, 22-inch wheels, high beltline and generous ground clearance. 

IN THE NEWS: Jaguar Heritage Unveils “New” Lightweight E-Type

August 12, 2014

 

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Jaguar has revealed the prototype of its ‘new’ Lightweight E-type – a further six of which will be built and sold.

Jaguar announced in May 2014 that it would recreate six new Lightweights, each built by Jaguar Heritage, part of Jaguar Land Rover’s new Special Operations division.

Each of the six cars will be built to a specification originated from the last Lightweight E-type produced in 1964 and will be hand-crafted at the original home of the E-type, Jaguar’s Browns Lane plant in Coventry, England. The cars will be sold as period competition vehicles and all will be suitable for FIA homologation for historic motorsport purposes.

The new cars are the ‘missing’ six vehicles from the ‘Special GT E-type’ project, which originally started in February 1963 with the objective of building 18 cars. Only 12 of the aluminium-bodied Lightweight E-types were eventually built and the remaining six designated chassis numbers having lain dormant, until now. The six new cars will carry those original, historic Lightweight E-type chassis numbers.

A race winner in the hands of a variety of famous drivers during its short competitive career, the car has achieved worldwide fame and original examples are now valued in the many millions. In recreating the Lightweight E-type, Jaguar Heritage has been able to call on the superlative skills and experience of many talented engineers and technicians already working in a variety of departments within Jaguar.

All, when offered the chance to assist with this unique project, leapt at the opportunity. Some even have an indirect link with the E-type when it was new: one master technician calculated that his family – including his grandparents, his father and his uncle – had a collective 170 years’ service at Jaguar stretching back to the early 1960s.

The expertise and attention brought to bear on this recreation project is staggering, with the full resources of Jaguar being applied to ensure that the six new Lightweights will not only be authentic, but will also be built to the highest quality standards.

So the six chosen customers will each receive the rarest of things – a brand new Lightweight E-type, hand-built at Browns Lane and just as desirable as one of the originals.

“Operating from a brand new workshop at Browns Lane – now open for the restoration and servicing of customer cars – the building of six new, meticulously crafted Lightweight E-type period competition cars by Jaguar Heritage is testament to the unique skills within the team. To know those same skills can also be utilised to the benefit of existing classic Jaguar owners means this is a very exciting time for Jaguar Heritage.”

Derek Weale, Director, Jaguar Heritage Business

The bodyshell

The core component of the Lightweight E-type is its aluminium bodyshell. This material replaced the steel of the production E-type in the quest to shed weight – some 250lb (114kg) were saved compared with the standard car.

Despite the 50-year gap, the aluminium build of the six new Lightweights gives them an immediate affinity with the current Jaguar range, the F-TYPE and XJ models being built to exacting standards with aluminium bodies for exactly the same reason. In fact, Jaguar is now the world’s leading manufacturer of aluminium-bodied cars and the company has unrivalled experience in the relatively new field of applying aluminium technology to volume production cars.

So when tasked with the job of recreating the Lightweight E-type’s aluminium body, today’s Jaguar engineers could relate at once to what their predecessors had achieved 50 years before. However, despite the enormous advances in technology since the early 1960s, the decision was taken not to incorporate modern materials or fixing methods. While high-strength aluminium alloys and bonded structures would have been invisible, they would not have been true to the original design – and nor would they have conformed to the FIA’s homologation requirements for historic racing.

Instead, today’s advanced technology was deployed to ensure the highest quality and most faithful rendition of the Lightweight E-type’s open two-seater body components. Using state-of-the-art scanning technology, the inner and outer surfaces of a Lightweight bodyshell were digitally mapped.

The resulting massively detailed scan, which recorded dimensions and shape down to a fraction of a millimetre, was then assessed by Jaguar’s technicians to validate how the body was assembled back in the 1960s, how consistent the structure was side-to-side, and how it could be engineered today to produce the highest quality result for the Lightweight E-type project.

As this digital capturing process gave Jaguar’s engineers complete control over the Lightweight E-type body’s 230 individual components, their shapes could then be optimised before the data was sent to the tool room at Jaguar’s Whitley engineering centre. Even panels which are unseen within the structure have been faithfully reproduced. To ensure absolute symmetry, one side of the scanned body was used as the datum, this being ‘flipped’ to produce an identical condition on the opposite side.

Additionally, before being signed-off, the outer ‘A-surface’ CAD scan was transferred to Jaguar’s design department where the surface geometry was finalised. All this work ensured that the tooling from which the majority of the new body parts are produced is as accurate as possible.

Approximately 75 per cent of the panels are made in-house at Whitley, just a few very large pressings being supplied by external specialists using Jaguar-designed tooling. The grades of aluminium used for both the under-structure and surface panels are almost identical in mechanical properties to those used for the original 1963 Lightweight E-types. The body is completed to original Lightweight E-type Chassis no. 12 condition, by which time Jaguar had added some additional strengthening in key areas of the shell. The aluminium body is then completed by the addition of an aluminium bonnet, doors and trunk lid. As with the original cars, an aluminium hard top is standard.

The development of the body-in-white tooling was undertaken by the same department that builds all Jaguar Land Rover prototype vehicles, so the expertise applied to the project was world-class. The build process and assembly procedures were initially proved out on Car Zero; this is effectively an engineering prototype and will not carry one of the six Lightweight chassis numbers.

For the Lightweight E-type project, Jaguar’s engineers created a ‘grey book’ of the type used during the development of new production Jaguars. This internal document sets out the required quality standards in terms of bodyshell fit-and-finish and ensures a consistency of build quality for all six new Lightweight E-types.

A roll-over cage is fitted as standard, and the body includes mounting points for a detachable front extension which is available as an extra. The cars are built in a form suitable for FIA homologation for historic motorsport purposes (see full specification).

The engine and drivetrain

The Lightweight E-type was powered by a highly developed version of Jaguar’s straight-six XK engine which, with its chain-driven twin overhead camshafts and aluminium head with hemispherical combustion chambers, remained highly advanced in 1963 even though it had first been seen in the XK 120 as far back as 1948.

It was this engine that had powered the C- and D-types to five Le Mans victories in the 1950s, and the unit developed for the Lightweight E-type is based on the 3,868cc (236 cu in) engine which, in the D-type, had won Le Mans in 1957. A similar big valve ‘wide angle’ cylinder head is used, but in place of the D-type’s cast iron block, Jaguar introduced an aluminium block for the Lightweight E-type which substantially reduced the amount of weight over the front wheels. This also features in the present-day car, with pressed-in steel liners.

Another major feature transferred from the D-type is the dry sump lubrication system. This uses a scavenge pump to collect oil from the sump and return it to a separate oil tank in the underbonnet area. This eliminates oil surge during fast cornering and consequent risk of damage to the engine’s bearings, and also allows a greater quantity of oil to be carried.

The compression ratio is 10:1 and today’s car is supplied with three 45DCO3 Weber carburettors. These were homologated by Jaguar for the Lightweight E-type in addition to a Lucas mechanical fuel injection system – which is being offered to customers as a cost-option (and which is fitted to Car Zero). The exhaust manifold is a steel fabrication and leads the exhaust gasses into twin pipes which take them through a centre silencer box to the rear of the car, where the exhaust system ends in twin polished tail pipes.

Whether carburettors or fuel injection is specified, brake horsepower is well over 300, and with torque in the region of 280lb ft at 4500 rpm, the car is endowed with rapid acceleration from comparatively low engine revs – a traditional feature of Jaguar racing engines.

A 12 volt negative earth electrical system is used, and the engine benefits from a modern inertia-type starter motor. The water and oil radiators are in aluminium alloy, there is an aluminium expansion tank for the coolant, and the fuel tank is mesh-filled for safety.

The power is transferred to the road via a lightweight, low inertia flywheel, a single-plate clutch and a Jaguar close-ratio, manual four-speed all-synchromesh gearbox as used by the Lightweight E-type in period. A variety of final drive ratios are available, all with the Powr-Lok limited-slip differential, but a 3.31:1 ratio is supplied as standard.

Suspension, steering and brakes

The twin wishbone front suspension and independent wide-based wishbone rear suspension (where the drive-shaft serves as the upper link) are set-up according to period racing practice, with uprated shock absorbers controlling the torsion bar springs (front) and the four coil springs (rear).

The steering is the excellent standard E-type rack-and-pinion, with a traditional wood-rim wheel for the driver. Larger (12.25in) brake discs are fitted at the front, with the rear brakes being standard E-type. No servo is fitted.

The 15in diameter wheels are period type in the correct ‘perforated’ style, and like the originals are cast in magnesium alloy. Rim width is 7in front, 8in rear. Dunlop racing tyres are fitted, 6.00 section front, 6.50 section rear, both in CR65 compound.

Final assembly

The monocoque bodyshell is built at Whitley where it is mated to its tubular engine sub-frame – which is stiffened with gussets as for the original Lightweight – and then shipped to Jaguar’s Gaydon facility for painting. From there it is then taken to Jaguar Heritage at Browns Lane where the car is built up with powertrain, suspension, brakes, steering, electrical items, instrument panel and soft trim.

This process takes place in a dedicated area close to where the original Lightweight E-types were assembled in 1963/64, and the work is undertaken by highly skilled technicians used to assembling extremely complex JLR prototypes.

It is at this stage that personal consultation with the customer dictates the final specification for each individual car – no two of which are expected to be identical.

Car Zero underwent a 15-day shake-down period at Jaguar Land Rover’s test facility at Gaydon to prove out the car’s dynamics and establish optimum suspension settings. This involved Mike Cross, Jaguar’s Chief Engineer, Vehicle Integrity. Jaguar’s engineers even established a ‘design verification plan’ for the car, just as they would do for an entirely new model. Each of the six new Lightweights will go through shake-down tests to ensure that they meet the required standards in terms of braking, handling and steering.

“In our contemporary Jaguar sports cars our aim is always to achieve an immediacy of response to all driver inputs – and the goal with Lightweight E-type was the same. For me, its response to steering, brake and throttle inputs – along with the terrific noise it creates – is what makes it such an engaging machine from the driver’s seat.”

Mike Cross, Chief Engineer, Vehicle IntegrityJaguar

Design

Jaguar’s Advanced Design Studio has been involved in the project from an early stage, charged with arriving at the appropriate level of trim for the new car, together with selecting the materials used and the nature and colour of finishes.

“With the Lightweight E-type, our focus as a design team has been to ensure justice was done to the original work of Sir William Lyons and Malcolm Sayer. Meticulous attention to detail has been everything to us in re-creating this car, just as it is in our contemporary Jaguars. I believe the result is a new Lightweight E-type that is as stunning now as the originals would have been when they were new.”

Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar

Connolly leather is used, supplied by Jonathan Connolly with hides produced to the same specification as those used by Jaguar in the 1960s. This leather is used to trim the competition-type aluminium bucket seat base. The centre console covering is also leather, and there is a choice of seven trim colours.

As befits a thoroughbred GT car where weight saving in all areas is demanded, interior trim is minimal. However, the customer can opt for a more fully-trimmed car and the Jaguar team can devise bespoke trim packages. This may include door cards, headliner for the hardtop, removable custom saddle-leather floor mats, and a cover for the transmission tunnel.

Much of Car Zero’s interior – floorpan, sills, rear areas – have intentionally been left unpainted, to emphasise the car’s aluminium bodywork.

The studio has also selected a palette of six ‘heritage’ paint colours recommended for the exterior: Carmine red, opalescent grey metallic, silver metallic, opalescent blue metallic, British racing green, Old English white. However, various colour and trim alternatives are available, as each car is built to the personal specification of each individual customer, who can discuss options with Jaguar’s Director of Design, Ian Callum, in person.

In celebration of the new Lightweight E-types, Jaguar has also furthered its relationship with the Bremont Watch Company. Bremont will create six bespoke ‘E-type’ watches, each of which will be offered to customers of the six new Lightweight E-types.

IN THE NEWS: Land Rover Launches High-Performance SVR Brand with 550-hp Range Rover Sport SVR

August 11, 2014

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(MAHWAH, N.J.) – August 10, 2014 – Capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds with an electronically limited top track speed of 162 mph1, the Range Rover Sport SVR will be the first Land Rover vehicle to wear the new high-performance SVR badge.

The SVR features a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine which has been developed to produce 550hp and 502lb-ft of torque – a 40hp and 41lb-ft increase over the standard supercharged V8 – while its advanced ZF® 8HP70 eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel-drive chassis have been tuned to complement the astonishing performance.

Showcasing an electronically controlled two-stage active exhaust, the SVR produces an inspired soundtrack at higher engine speeds while maintaining refinement during steady-state driving. Emphasizing all-terrain capability, vehicles are equipped with 21-inch alloy wheels with 275/45 R21 all-season Continental Cross Contact tires.

The exterior design of the SVR makes a visual impact, while functionally boosting cooling and aerodynamic efficiencies. Similarly, a modified interior featuring sport seats provides visual differentiation and offers increased support during spirited driving.

Producing a lap time of 8 minutes 14 seconds on Germany’s legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife racetrack, the Range Rover Sport SVR unleashes the full potential of the lightweight and robust all-aluminum architecture, while retaining refinement, luxury and off-road capability.

Speaking ahead of its global premiere, John Edwards, Managing Director of Land Rover Special Operations, said: “The Range Rover Sport SVR is a natural progression beyond the core vehicle’s outstanding on- and off-road capabilities and leading-edge design. It’s exhilarating performance will satisfy a particularly demanding customer set.”

“A thorough range of revisions specially developed by Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations combine to make this premium derivative even more distinctive both inside and out, as well as taking its dynamic capabilities to the next level without impacting on comfort, refinement or all-terrain versatility. The Range Rover Sport SVR is truly the world’s most capable performance SUV.”

The Range Rover Sport SVR – designed, engineered and built in Britain – amplifies the engineering integrity, robustness and attention to detail that are Land Rover hallmarks. The Range Rover Sport was introduced in 2005, with over 500,000 vehicles built to date.  The Range Rover Sport SVR builds on the success of the Range Rover Sport. Its all-aluminum unibody reduces weight by 39 percent compared with its predecessor and provides a strong, stiff and lightweight structure on which to create the Range Rover Sport SVR. The Range Rover Sport SVR was created by the Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations team and will be built alongside existing models and sold through the Land Rover retailer network.

Section 1 – THE MOST POWERFUL LAND ROVER VEHICLE EVER

The heart of the Range Rover Sport SVR is an evolution of the JLR all-aluminum 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine. With cast-iron cylinder liners and cross-bolted main bearing caps, this engine features a combination of strength, performance and refinement.

To increase performance, engineers at Special Vehicle Operations have tuned the Bosch management system and increased maximum supercharger boost pressure resulting in power and torque increases of 40hp and 41lb-ft respectively. Producing 550hp and 502lb-ft of torque, the SVR boasts a 0-60 mph time of just 4.5 seconds and an electronically limited top track speed of 162 mph1.

The Range Rover Sport SVR design enhancements include larger air intakes in the front bumper to increase airflow to two intercoolers that reduce the temperature of pressurized air from the supercharger before it enters the engine.

In Dynamic mode, sport driving characteristics are intensified thanks to sharper throttle response and more incisive gearshift logic2. In addition, the fuel supply is controlled on deceleration, creating a characterful crackle through the exhaust.

The engine’s advanced and highly efficient design characteristics include: low internal friction; high-pressure direct injection with a centrally mounted, multi-hole, spray-guided injection system; dual independent variable camshaft timing (VCT); and an advanced intelligent Stop/Start system that stops the engine instead of idling and instantly restarts it when the driver is read to proceed.

Section 2 – DYNAMICALLY FOCUSED DRIVELINE

The smooth and responsive eight-speed ZF® 8HP70 automatic transmission has been retuned for the available performance. With a sure-footed four-wheel-drive system, the transmission receives additional torque in its lower gears to achieve a thrilling 0-60 mph time of just 4.5 seconds1.

Equipped with eight close ratios, shift times have been reduced by up to 50 percent through the implementation of rapid and precise fuel cut-offs during upshifts. This leads to shorter, more visceral and audibly crisper shifts while utilizing engine inertia for a sense of acceleration through the shift. It also creates a more immediate connection to the vehicle, and ensures the engine is constantly within its power band.

The transmission’s adaptive shift strategy monitors acceleration and brake inputs, lateral cornering forces, kickdown requests and even the severity of gradients, before choosing one of 25 pre-determined programs to seamlessly adapt to driver behavior and road conditions. Sportier driving triggers more aggressive gearshifts and defers upshifts.

To improve dynamic stability, the throttle is automatically blipped during high-speed downshifts, smoothing the transition between ratios. This function also allows the transmission to perform a series of rapid downshifts under hard braking with maximum refinement and control. Corner Recognition maintains one gear through a turn to improve stability while also ensuring a keen response once the bend straightens and the driver can accelerate. Similarly, the transmission recognizes a series of overtaking maneuvers and maintains a lower gear to ensure instant acceleration2.

Despite this performance focus, there is no impact on refinement: the ZF eight-speed transmission’s torque converter operates for smooth take off in first gear, but is bypassed by a locking clutch from second gear. This creates a direct link between the transmission and the driven wheels.

The transmission is controlled via either steering wheel-mounted paddle shift controls, or the gear lever. Drivers can default to full automatic mode, make occasional manual interventions, or push the gear lever to the left to gain manual control. In manual mode, gear shifts are made via the paddle shift controls, or by pushing the gear lever forwards for downshifts and pulling back for upshifts, echoing the shift logic of racing cars. In Dynamic mode, the shift strategy will not upshift at redline and will only downshift to prevent engine speeds below idle speed2.

The Range Rover Sport SVR has been engineered to deliver an incredible breadth of capability. The SVR is fitted with permanent four-wheel drive and a two-speed transfer case, with a low-range option for demanding terrain, and a 50/50 percent torque split front-to-rear.

Optimum traction is maintained with the aid of an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch in the center differential, which distributes torque between the front and rear axles – up to 100 percent can be channeled to either axle in extreme conditions. Sophisticated electronic traction-control systems further contribute to capability.

The transfer case offers selectable low- and high-range, using a two-speed fully synchronized shift on the move’ system which allows the driver to change between the two at up to 37 mph for exceptional flexibility. High-range provides a direct drive ratio of 1:1, while the low-range ratio is 2.93:1, providing an extremely low crawl speed. This allows for an overall crawl ratio of 45.542:1.

To optimize traction and stability, the Dynamic Active Rear Locking Differential has been recalibrated. The differential now locks earlier and to an increased extent, satisfying performance-minded drivers and ensuring torque is transferred to the rear wheel with most traction, increasing agility2.

Torque Vectoring is also uniquely recalibrated. It uses the car’s brake system to create the effect of a torque-vectoring differential, constantly balancing the distribution of engine torque between the four wheels during cornering, for improved grip and steering, and reduced understeer2.

The system monitors the vehicle 100 times per second via the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) module.  As the car accelerates through a corner, the system uses yaw sensors to detect the beginning of understeer.  Imperceptible levels of braking are then used to correct the vehicle attitude, while engine torque is transferred to the outside wheels, which have more grip, thus maintaining traction and steering control2.

Section 3 – LEADING-EDGE DESIGN

The exterior design and luxurious interior of Land Rover’s premium sports SUV have been enhanced for the Range Rover Sport SVR with a range of dynamic improvements.

Designed exclusively by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO), the Range Rover Sport SVR makes a strong visual statement. These include a front bumper with muscular trapezoidal air intakes, dark Range Rover script on the clamshell hood, which also features revised vents, and a new grille in a dark finish that contrasts with the headlights’ LED signature lighting. At the side of the vehicle, an all-new fender incorporates a distinctively designed vent, while unique side moldings add muscularity. At the rear, prominent Range Rover Sport SVR badging and a pronounced high-level spoiler with a centrally mounted brake light signal the vehicle’s sporting intent. The unique rear bumper features a gloss black diffuser, which incorporates unique quad exhaust pipes, instantly differentiating this high-performance derivative.

The larger air intakes in the front bumper create additional airflow for the charge air coolers that channel air to the powerful 550hp supercharged engine.

The new rear spoiler reduces lift, and has been carefully balanced with the new front bumper.  Beneath the front bumper a new NVH comb is fitted, which reduces wind noise and improves aerodynamic efficiency.  It also reduces front-end lift to help the front tires retain high levels of grip during enthusiastic driving. The deeper front bumper’s more aggressive lower section can also be removed for extreme off-roading.

Additional brake cooling has also been introduced for the six-piston Brembo brake set-up, ensuring optimal stopping power.

A choice of seven color palettes are available, including the striking Estoril Blue, exclusive to the Range Rover Sport SVR. Exterior trim detailed in Black and headlights with black casings round-off the design enhancements, creating a visually imposing road presence.

Inside, Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations has differentiated the SVR with distinctive leather sports seats. These comfortable seats offer additional lateral support during spirited driving. Full 14-way electric adjustment is offered and the vehicle’s Sports Command Driving Position2 and generous rear legroom are unaffected.

The sporting theme continues with the rear seats, which have been redesigned to echo the performance-oriented front seats. The result is an eye-catching four-seat aesthetic, with space for an occasional fifth passenger. The new rear seats recline for maximum comfort and offer full 60/40 folding capability and up to 62.2 cubic feet (1761 liters) of load space.

The seats are finished in luxurious Oxford leather with ribbed, quilted centers, Ebony Black top stitching, eye-catching reflective piping, and all feature the Range Rover Sport SVR logo. Four striking interior color options are available: Ebony Black; Ebony Black and Cirrus White; Ebony Black and Pimento Red; Ebony Black and Tan.

As standard, the vehicle is supplied with turned aluminum interior trim details, with optional carbon fiber trim for the door panels, center console, dashboard and steering-wheel bezel available.

“The Range Rover Sport SVR is the ultimate in premium performance,” said Land Rover Design Director and Chief Creative Officer, Gerry McGovern. “Crafted by Land Rover’s ‘Special Vehicle Operations’, its performance-focused design revisions clearly differentiate the most powerful Land Rover vehicle ever produced from existing derivatives with its ground-hugging, assertive stance and additional road presence. This striking evolution retains the trademark DNA for which the Range Rover Sport is so widely acclaimed.”

Section 4 – EXHILARATING SOUND TRACK

Differentiated by quad exhaust pipes, the Range Rover Sport SVR is equipped with a two-stage active exhaust featuring electronically controlled valves that optimize sound quality, performance and aesthetics. The new exhaust features larger diameter underfloor pipes – up from 2.2-inches (55mm) in the Supercharged V8 to 2.4-inches (60mm) – for enhanced flow characteristics.

A new exhaust soundtrack audibly distinguishes the Range Rover Sport SVR, with a purposeful modulation at lighter throttle openings and a higher-frequency staccato at peak performance. The electronically controlled active exhaust valves largely eliminate exhaust flow noise, creating pure engine sound through to peak engine speeds. At lower engine speeds, the electronically controlled valves close off two tailpipes. As engine speed and load increases – typically around 3000rpm – the valves open, allowing greater flow through all four exhaust pipes. A symposer enriches sound quality filtering desirable induction noise into the cabin.

Together with modified engine tuning that cuts the air charge far more quickly when the driver lifts off the throttle, the new exhaust also creates a pronounced crackle during deceleration. If desired, the driver can also select a quiet mode at any engine speed. The new active exhaust system has also been designed to maintain the outstanding off-road performance of the Range Rover Sport SVR should owners decide to use its 33.5-inch (850mm) wading capability2.

Section 5 – HANDLING THAT EXCITES

The Range Rover Sport has been praised for its high levels of comfort and extremely agile handling. The SVR takes that capability to the next level courtesy of extensive development on British country roads, German autobahns and the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Enhanced suspension and steering

The Range Rover Sport SVR chassis has been tuned for enhanced agility. Constructed mainly from lightweight aluminum components, the suspension is fully independent and double-isolated, with wide-spaced double wishbones at the front and an advanced multi-link layout at the rear. A cross-linked, four-corner air suspension and Adaptive Dynamics with continuously variable magnetorheological dampers is featured in the SVR. Adaptive Dynamics active damping monitors vehicle movements at least 500 times a second, adjusting the damping force almost instantaneously in response to changing road-surface conditions and driver inputs2.

The air springs feature a modified piston profile for sportier handling and composure, while the Adaptive Dynamics damper settings have been tuned for increased agility. Rear suspension subframe bushings, upgraded by 20 percent, ensure a connected response to driver inputs.

While offering a level of performance normally associated with performance cars, the vehicle’s high levels of comfort and off-road capability have not been sacrificed: the ride quality retains its compliance and the ride height is unaltered, with an adjustable range from 2 inches (50mm) in access mode up to 9.3-inches (235mm) for off-roading. Wheel travel also remains identical, with 10.2-inches of movement at the front and 10.7-inches (272mm) at the rear. Wading depth continues to be 33.5-inches (850mm). Six Terrain Response® 2 settings continue to be available: General, Dynamic, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, Sand, and Rock Crawl. Alternatively, the “Auto” setting intelligently selects the most appropriate mode2.

The revised Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS) system featuring variable-ratio, speed-sensitive assistance, with added weighting for a more immediate and connected feel at speed. Unlike hydraulically assisted power-steering systems, EPAS does not rely on an engine-driven pump, reducing fuel consumption and emissions2.

All vehicles will be equipped with Range Rover Sport SVR-specific 21-inch alloys and all-season 275/45 R21 tires.

Active-Roll Control tuned for flatter, faster cornering

Working in conjunction with air springs and Active Dynamics continuously variable dampers, the two-channel Active-Roll Control (ARC) enhances high-performance capability. Replacing traditional anti-roll bars, ARC employs actuators powered by a hydraulic pump to keep body roll in check, adapting to body accelerations up to 1000 times a second. Compared with earlier iterations with a single actuator, ARC uses two actuators to respond independently to lateral roll at each axle, providing greater precision. When the system senses vehicle roll, ARC applies an opposing torque, keeping the body level and composed. ARC allows the Range Rover Sport SVR to corner flatter and faster. Dynamic mode further reduces body roll for maximum handling capability2.

While ARC is tuned to behave uniquely for the Range Rover Sport SVR during performance driving, it uses the same software map as other Range Rover Sport models when off-road use is detected by on-board sensors. This maintains excellent off-road capability.

Section 6 – DEVELOPED AT THE NÜRBURGRING

With 13 miles (20.8km) of challenging twists and turns, high-speed straights, daunting crests and compressions, the Nordschleife is the ultimate test for any performance car. The SVR was subject to exhaustive testing, with prototype vehicles completing nearly 1000 laps around the legendary circuit. During testing and development, the SVR recorded a Nordschleife lap time of just 8 minutes 14 seconds. The SVR made its dynamic debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, powering up the 1.16-mile course to great fanfare from the motorsports community.

1 Always follow local speed limits.

2 These features are not a substitute for driving safely with due care and attention, and will not function under all circumstances, speeds, weather and road conditions. The driver should not assume that these features will correct errors of judgment in driving. Please consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for more details.

3 All figures are EPA estimates. Actual mileage may vary.

4 Price shown is MSRP. Excludes $925 destination and delivery fee. Excludes taxes, title, license and other local fees. Actual price set by retailer. See your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for details.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS*

2015 Range Rover Sport SVR 5.0L V8 S/Charged SVR
Height inches std / off-road (mm) 70.0 / 72.6 (1780 / 1845)
Width excl. wing mirrors / wing mirrors folded inches (mm) 79.5 / 81.6 (2018.5 / 2073)
Length inches (mm) 191.8 (4872)
Wheelbase inches (mm) 115.1 (2923)
Approach angle deg 22.4 std / 30 off-road
Departure angle deg 22.5 std / 27.3 off-road
Ramp breakover angle deg std height/off-road height 19.4/27
Wading depth inches (mm) 33.5 (850)
Turning Circle ft. wall to wall / curb to curb (mm) 41.0 / 40.4 (12.5 / 12.3)
Drag coefficient (Cd) 0.38
Weight from lbs (kg) 5148 (2335)
Front suspension SLA suspension with twin lower links with air springs/CVD with ARC
Rear suspension Integral link suspension with air springs/ CVD with ARC
Brakes 15in  (380mm) ventilated disc-front / 14.4-inches (365mm) ventilated disc-rear
Steering Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) rack and pinion
Four-wheel drive system Permanent 4 wheel drive with std locking center differential & Terrain ResponseTM 2, optional locking rear axle differential.
Engine type Longitudinal / V8 / 32 Quad cam DIVCT (Dual Independent Variable Cam Timing)
Displacement cc 4999.7
Bore / Stroke inches (mm) 3.6 / 3.7 (92.5 / 93.0)
Compression ratio : 1 9.5
Horsepower 550
Max Torque ft. lb. 502
Fuel economy 14 mpg city / 16 combined /19 mpg highway3
Transmission ZF 8HP70 (8 speed Auto)
Fuel tank capacity gallons (liters) 27.7 (105)
0-60 mph1 4.5
0-100 km/h1 4.7
Top speed mph (km/h)1 162 (260)
Wheels / Tires 21-inch alloys with 275/45 R21 110Y Continental Cross Contact all-season tires.

Wheels: 9½-inch x 21-inch EH2+ 49

*Manufacturer’s figures. Correct at time of going to press.

ON DISPLAY: BMW Motorsport at Legends of the Autobahn 2014

August 7, 2014

P90158807

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – August 7, 2014 … Today, BMW of North America announced its participation at the fifth-annual Legends of the Autobahn concours.  Motorsport is the theme at this year’s Legends, an enthusiast club-driven “Celebration of German Automotive Engineering,” which features free admission for spectators. BMW will arrive with a number of famous racing cars. This year’s factory BMW entries include the BMW.Williams FW22 Formula One car, the 1999 Sebring-winning BMW V-12 LMR prototype, the BMW M5 IMSA Bridgestone Supercar Champion, the 1975 Sebring-winning BMW 3.0 CSL racer, and the BMW M1 IMSA Group 4 racer. BMW USA Classic will also provide a display of BMW Classic parts available to help customers keep their legends in top condition. Legends of the Autobahn festivities are planned from 9:00am until 3:00pm on Friday, August 15th at the event’s new location – the Nicklaus Club in Monterey, California.

Legends of the Autobahn began as a stand-alone concours for BMW vehicles in 2009 and rapidly evolved into a joint venture of three of the largest car clubs: the BMW Car Club of America, the Mercedes-Benz Club of America, and the Audi Club North America. BMW Concept vehicles have often appeared at Legends, most recently the 1972 BMW Concept Turbo, featured in 2013.

In 2014, BMW will bring a number of BMW USA Classic vehicles to display at the event, some of which are also entered in the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion vintage races, taking place throughout the weekend at nearby Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The BMW.Williams FW22 Formula One car, driven by Ralf Schumacher in 2000 to  fifth-place in the Driver’s Championship and third-place in the Constructors Championship, still sporting its original No. 9 livery, will appear on static display at Legends.

Alongside the FW22 will be the BMW V-12 LMR prototype race car built to tackle the 1999 24 Hours of LeMans . The LMR on display debuted at the American Le Man Series 12 Hours of Sebring in March of 1999.  Driven by Tom Kristensen (DK), JJ Lehto (F) and Jorg Muller (D), the car won the race overall in the closest finish up to that time, a mere 9.2 seconds separating first and second place.

BMW’s No. 25 BMW 3.0 CSL won the 1975 12 Hours of Sebring and was honored in March 2014 with a Class win at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. It will be driven at the 2014 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion by BMW of North America President and CEO, Ludwig Willisch.

Another BMW race car appearing at Legends is the No. 2 BMW M1 IMSA Group 4 car that was campaigned by BMW of North America at the 24 Hours of Daytona and Mosport during the 1981 season and driven by the likes of David Hobbs, Mark Surer, and Dieter Quester. At the Rolex Reunion, the M1 Group 4 will be piloted by Randy Pobst for Motor Trend Magazine.

Perhaps the best vehicle to showcase BMW’s legendary transfer of success between Autobahn pedigree and race track provenance is the BMW M5 IMSA Bridgestone Supercar Championship double-winner. The M5 “Supercar,” as it is known by enthusiasts, based on the second-generation ‘E34’ M5 Sedan, was a genuine giant-killer in a field of pure sports cars, winning both the 1994 and 1995 seasons of the Championship. The M5, propelled by its highly-developed and extremely powerful 450hp inline-6 engine, was never sidelined due to a mechanical failure during its charge to win the 1994 season with David Donohue at the wheel. The BMW advertisement to celebrate the 1994 Championship win used the following lines: “The 1994 IMSA Supercar Champion has something exotic Ferrari, Lotus, and Porsche competitors don’t. Four doors. Of course, come to think of it, the BMW M5 Sedan also has the trophy.”

Alongside the M5 Supercar, the 2015 BMW M530th Anniversary Edition will make its North American debut at Legends of the Autobahn. BMW recently announced a limited run of 30 copies of the Edition for the United States, with total worldwide production reaching 300 examples. The BMW M5 “30 Jahre M5” features an output of 600hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, and will not only be the most powerful M5 ever sold, but also the most powerful BMW production model yet. After the Legends of the Autobahn event concludes, the 30th Anniversary Edition M5 will join the BMW M5 IMSA Bridgestone Supercar Championship car and an original, first generation ‘E28’ M5 from 1988 on display, back at the BMW Garage in the paddock at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

For More Information:

http://www.legendsoftheautobahn.org

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