Aston Martin

Gallery Feature | Fifty Shades of (automotive) Grey

Over 17% of new car buyers picked grey last year, and it’s now the third most popular tone in the UK. But how many different types of grey can there really be? Quite a lot, actually.

50 Shades of Grey

For reference ESM’s Editor has never actually seen Fifty Shades of Grey, or read any of the books. However, he surmises that the plot revolves around a man who treats his interior designer quite badly, whilst she struggles to pick the right grey tones for his house. Plus, the lead character insists on one room painted red, in a tribute to Changing Rooms from the 1990s. Beyond that, who knows what happens, other than inspiring us to seek out fifty shades of grey paint offered on new cars.

We’ve taken these directly from the configurator websites for the respective manufacturer. As a result, the quality of some images is not the best. In the case of Skoda, it’s truly dreadful; like 8-bit Nintendo retro. We’ve tried to accommodate as many different brands as possible, but other greys are available. We’re also not sure how some of these can even be classed as grey in the first place.

Shades 1 to 10

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Top Seven New Cars of 2016 | With Ned Jasper

Yeah, 2016 probably won’t go down as a vintage year in terms of global politics and current affairs. However, when it comes to new cars, it’s most certainly been a classic! As the man who has covered the biggest new releases for ESM this year, our man Ned Jasper picks his top seven.

Top 7 New Cars of 2016

Well, here it is. Christmas time 2016. That means festive tunes fill the airwaves, trees go up and presents are bought. That also means that it’s nearly the end of 2016. So let’s take a look back at some of the greatest new cars to come out this year. This is ESM’s top five new cars of 2016. Actually, it’s not. There were so many good contenders this year that we stretched it to seven! Yes, yes, I know I said that last year as well, but this year we really have had some rather special cars released. Here they are:

7. Porsche 718 Boxster S2016 718 Boxster SI know what you’re thinking. Great intro, best cars of 2016, and now I’m presenting you with a Porsche Boxster. What is going on? I had my reservations about this one too. This is the baby Porsche, only with fewer cylinders and a turbocharger. Not really a recipe for success is it? However, it’s been 11 months since this little gem was released and, I must say, it’s grown on me.

First, let’s talk about the heart of this little orange and black tiger. It’s down two cylinders from the previous model, but it’s up one turbo and a whole heap of power. What’s more, the Boxster S has a variable vane turbo – not necessarily something you would expect to find from this class of car.

So what about the rest of it? Underneath we have the same mid-engined, rear-wheel drive, sports car with a manual gearbox (PDK is available, too) that’s been entertaining drivers for nearly two decades. Despite the engine alterations, the recipe remains unchanged with superb handling and excellent composure. Only this time with a little more grunt. Well worthy of the number 7 spot.

 

6. McLaren 570GT2016 McLaren 570GT

You would think that with 562bhp, and a top speed of 204mph, the 570GT would undoubtedly be the fastest hatchback in the world. The thing is, it’s not even the fastest hatchback on this list – told you it was a good year! What the 570GT is, though, is a remarkable piece of British engineering. Not only is it a comfortable, usable supercar, it’s also stunningly good to look at, and actually practical.

First, the looks: unlike the other cars in the McLaren range, the 570GT is a little more mature. There’s no lurid paint and no stripped out interior on this show car. Instead we’ve got rich silver-grey paint, mixed with deep red leather. This car is, in my eyes, the best-looking McLaren of the lot. Now, I said it was a practical hatchback, and I wasn’t lying. In total, the 570GT has 370 litres of luggage space. Sure, it’s split between two different enclosures, but that’s still more space than a Ford Focus.

The 570GT is a remarkable piece of engineering and surely serves as proof that we’re living in a new age. No wonder McLaren has just churned out its 10,000th car!

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Ned Jasper | 2017 Vanquish S – The last proper Aston Martin?

The greatest noise from Aston Martin this year has, understandably, been all about the new DB11. Does it mean time is up for the naturally aspirated V12 creations? Ned Jasper takes a look at the latest Vanquish S.

2017 Aston Martin Vanquish S

Now, I don’t usually tend to comment on a car manufacturers yearly model alterations. The changes from the previous year are minor and, for the most part, insignificant. For me to write about a new brake light cluster or centre console alterations is, to say the least, boring. You’d probably enjoy reading about them as much as a vegetarian enjoys a bacon sandwich. But, when Aston Martin announced they were adding the Vanquish S to their range next year, I just had to do something.

2017 Aston Martin Vanquish S

This is it. At a glance it looks much the same as a ‘normal’ Vanquish. That is, effortlessly pretty. Somehow, Aston manages to do something to its cars – something indescribably special. (The fact that you’re reading this means we probably share the same passion, and that you completely understand what I mean. It’s like Aston sprinkles a little bit of magic in with every car that leaves the production line. The bodywork manages to catch the light in ways that you never thought were possible. The paint’s so deep, and so rich, you could almost waste an afternoon getting lost in the colour. Then there’s the noise, a deep, baritone, soulful howl that couldn’t be more Aston if it tried. All of this is true for a normal Vanquish, so what about the ‘S’?

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Photo Gallery – 2016 Newcastle NE1 Motor Show

Following the success of the first event in 2015, the NE1 Motor Show was back in Newcastle-upon-Tyne at the weekend. ESM went along to see what was new.2016 NE1 Motor Show Ford Mustang GT 001

New for this year was typical North East weather of grey skies and rain. Not perfect, but it did bring back memories of Goodwood from a fortnight previous at least. Seeing a Porsche 911 GT3 Rs and 718 Boxster S, both painted in Lava Orange, at the foot of Grey’s Monument did help brighten things up somewhat. Noticeable was the lack of representation from some marques seen at the 2015 event such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Nissan. As an event backed primarily by dealerships, recent restructuring in the North’s big dealer chains might be the reason why. But, regardless, there was still a decent selection of new metal on show:

Further down Grey Street was an array of modern and classic cars which, if we were being lazy, we could probably have just substituted our photos from last year for. Suffice to say lots seemed familiar, even down to the place and order in which they were parked. What did stand out this year was the love for the Ford Mustang. Both new and old, almost every shape of Blue Oval-wearing pony car appeared to be represented.

It’s worth remembering that the NE1 Motor Show is free, and designed to get people into the centre of Newcastle. Given the crowds present, despite the inclement weather on Saturday, it seems to have certainly succeeded again this year. We’ll look forward to 2017 – just surprise us by mixing the order up a little!

Friday Photo – NE1 Newcastle Motor Show Gallery

In something that seems to be worryingly turning into a trend, the North East saw yet another automotive event take place here at the weekend. Naturally, ESM headed along to check things out.

2015 NE1 Motor Show Mercedes SLS AMG Black

Gull-winged SLS AMG stole the show

The NE1 Motor Show, chiefly backed by the Benfield dealership empire, aimed to bring both new and classic cars right to the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne. Occupying the area around Grey’s Monument, and then the entire length of picturesque Grey Street, the NE1 show certainly hit the mark in pulling people in. Being free will, of course, have helped but it was still great to see so many people taking an interest in the event.

With our BTCC Correspondent and Uncle Steve, we made short work of covering the 100 or so cars which made up the NE1 display. Ok, so it wasn’t quite Geneva or Goodwood, but this is progress. We can now tell Katie Glass that ‘the North’ is so modern we even have motor shows these days. Who knows, we might have indoor toilets and colour television by next year… But, we digress. We’ve already written about the NE1 show for the good people at Motoring Research, so here are our collective photographic efforts for you, ESM readers. Enjoy.

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Friday Photo – Geneva 2015 | Orange is the new … blue?

Earlier in the week, the doors opened at the PalExpo centre for the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. EngageSportMode spent a hugely enjoyable day helping the guys at Motoring Research with their live blog on Tuesday. If you haven’t seen the live blog already, go grab a Toblerone and experience it now. Then come back and see why we spotted a new emerging trend on Tuesday: that everything was orange. 

2015 Geneva Porsche 911 GT3 RSObviously, EngageSportMode wouldn’t want to take credit for manufacturers deciding that orange is the colour to be seen in this season. It’s clearly just a coincidence. No, we’ll just be smug about it and present you with a gallery of the cars on display at Geneva that were carrot-coloured. Art-geek point: on the colour wheel, orange is opposite blue – which was, of course, the colour of everything at Geneva last year. Anyway, here are the pics:

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There you go. Unequivocal proof that orange is the colour for this season. Just note that EngageSportMode takes no liability for horrendous depreciation if you order anything in a satsuma-esque shade. It’s your call!

We’ve had an amazing week with Geneva, and we’ll be bringing more in-depth details of the big show stars soon.

Friday Photo – The Geneva 2015 ‘known knowns’ Gallery

A few years ago, Donald Rumsfeld made an infamous speech talking about things we know, and don’t know about. Ahead of the Geneva Motor Show next week, we’ve got a gallery covering the new cars we already know will be there. That’s mainly because the manufacturers have already spoilt the surprise by showing them to us. 

The past few weeks have seen a flurry of activity from automakers across the world, as they’ve revealed and announced all-new cars to be shown off at the Swiss show. Here’s a few of the ones we’ve already seen:

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Naturally, these are just a few of the highlights – there’ll be much more to see.  Of course, there’s also another category of cars – the ‘known unknowns’ – which includes ones we know will most probably be there, but don’t know the full details on. Like the Honda Civic Type R and the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS ; although so much information on the latter has been leaked, it might as well be a ‘known known’ now. But there are others, such as the expected Lamborghini Aventador SV and a mystery Bentley concept car. (more…)

Geneva 2015 news and photos – Aston Martin Vulcan

At the moment, there’s a sense of ‘opening all your presents before Christmas Day’ about the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. We’ve already had the Ferrari 488 GTB, Volkswagen has shown off the new Touran, and now Aston Martin gives us the Vulcan. At this rate there’ll be no surprises left.

015 Aston Martin Vulcan_01The phrase ‘track-only supercar’ is certainly becoming a trend in the automotive industry. Take a normal, already hugely fast and powerful supercar, strip out all the road legal-ness, bolt a spoiler to the rear, and then charge a load of money for it. For an added bonus, be sure to include special, exclusive, track-day events for the few fortunate enough to buy one. Oh, and make them part of a ‘development programme’ so they feel important. (more…)

Geneva 2015 – Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3

Ignore the fact the basic car first went on sale almost a decade ago Instead, look at the mental riot of a beautiful road car married to genuine race car inspired enhancements, with performance to match.

2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3_001It might seem a cheap shot poking fun at the age of the Aston Martin Vantage, but there’s no escaping the ‘heritage’ of the VH platform. What this does mean is Aston, and their hugely successful GT racing project, have amassed knowledge on how to make the most extreme version of the V12 Vantage to date.

2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3_003Ignore the striking – clearly ESM inspired – orange spoilers and splitters for a moment. Underneath the chiefly carbon fibre bodywork is a version of the glorious 5.9 litre V12 engine producing almost 600 bhp, with 460 lb-ft of torque. Befitting the GT3’s motorsport pedigree is a saving of 100 kgs, dropping the kerb weight to 1,565 kgs. As a result, the performance is impressive – 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, and a predicted top speed of 185 mph. Whilst the latter figure may not seem so amazing, the GT3 will be producing substantial downforce from the aerodynamic appendages at that speed. A seven-speed automated manual – read paddle shift – gearbox feeds the rear wheels, using a special magnesium torque tube with carbon fibre prop shafts.

2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3_004

Because race car.

Contributing to the GT3’s diet is the extensive use of carbon fibre, with the lightweight material used for the widened front wings, bonnet and door casings. A carbon fibre roof is on the options list (tick it), along with polycarbonate rear windows should you really want to up the race car ante. Naturally, the prominent rear spoiler, diffuser and extended front splitter are all made from carbon fibre, with titanium used for the exhaust system. (more…)

Research proves footballers to be refreshingly predictable

Oracle Finance; you’ll know them if you’ve ever searched for a high-end car on AutoTrader and found their non-ads clogging up the listings, have published details of the most popular car choices from its footballing clients.

76847oracle

Based on the last five years of data, the numbers represent the most popular cars financed by footballers through Oracle’s services. Predictably, in the same week we’ve covered the new Range Rover Sport SVR and its questionable image, there’s no shocks at the top:

1st – Range Rover
2014 Range Rover
Anybody that surprised? No, didn’t think so.

2nd – Bentley Continental GT
Bentley Continental GT
Yeah, this survey seems pretty accurate already.

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