Frankfurt Motor Show

Friday Video | Bugatti Chiron sets 0-400-0km/h record

Could Bugatti be trying to distract attention from a certain new hypercar revealed this week? If they are, this is a rather impressive feat to use as a diversion.

2017 Bugatti Chiron World Record

In terms of words written, the Mercedes-AMG Project One has probably swallowed up most column inches and online articles from the Frankfurt Motor Show. Almost enough to make Bugatti feel a little outshone it seems.

2017 Bugatti Chiron World Record

How do you get the attention back when faced with 1,000hp of F1-engined insanity? Set a new world record, and involve a high-profile motorsport legend to do it, of course. Which is exactly what Bugatti did, wheeling in Juan-Pablo Montoya to set an astonishing time for running from a standing start, to 400km/h (249mph) and back to a complete stop again.

The whole process took a slightly mind-bending 41.96 seconds, which is testament to the epic power and traction of the Chiron, but also the immense braking ability. The acceleration from zero to 400km/h took 32.6 seconds, but the Chiron needed just 9.3 seconds required to come to a halt. All of this was completed in 3.12km, 491 metres of which was used for stopping.

2017 Bugatti Chiron World Record

Consider our interest piqued, and not just because we happen to be big fans of Mr Montoya here at ESM. Had he driven in F1 at any other time than against the Schumacher/Ferrari combo, we have no doubts he would have been a World Champion. Instead, you can just watch him go from zero to almost 250mph in less than a minute:

Will Mercedes-AMG enter into the epic contest with the finished Project One? Who knows, but for now Bugatti has kept some of the limelight focussed on the Chiron, and plans for even more records to be broken in the near future.

New Metal (Carbon) | Mercedes-AMG Project One Concept

We’ve heard all the cliches before, but could this actually be the closest thing ever to a road-going F1 car? Well, it’s got the engine from an F1 car for a start…

2017 Mercedes-AMG Project One Concept

Yes indeed, powering the Merc-AMG Project One is the very same 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 used by Lewis and Valtteri every other weekend. Not exactly the same, as the one used here is tuned to use regular super unleaded fuel. will rev to only 11,000rpm. The latter being done to aid reliability – we imagine buyers wouldn’t be best pleased about receiving grid penalties for needing to change turbochargers and gearboxes several times each year…

2017 Mercedes-AMG Project One Concept

Like an F1 car, there’s electrical power as well. Four electric motors in fact, with two driving the front wheels, one added to the turbocharger and one directly attached to the V6 engine itself. All combined, the Project One has a power output in excess of 1,000hp. Granted that isn’t as powerful as a Bugatti Chiron, but lightweight construction and the instant torque hit of the electric motors make that a fairly moot point. For those who want to play Top Trumps, the quoted 0-124mph time of under 6 seconds is  quicker than the 6.5 seconds recorded for the Bugatti. Substantial downforce means a more normal top speed of around 220mph is estimated for the mega Merc.

2017 Mercedes-AMG Project One Concept

An eight-speed AMG Speedshift gearbox controls the power from the engine and, just like an F1 car, features paddles for manual shifting. Unlike an F1 car, ABS is standard for the carbon ceramic brakes, as is a three-stage ESP system which features a Sport Handling Mode, or even the option to turn the assistance off entirely. We imagine that will some serious guts, even with the aid of all-wheel drive and torque vectoring.

2017 Mercedes-AMG Project One Concept

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Guest Post | Ned Jasper | Rolls-Royce Dawn

Young blogger Ned Jasper is back, and this time we’re talking about a car that’s big money, and has an interior colour that looks influenced by ESM.2015 Rolls-Royce DawnThis is the new Rolls-Royce Dawn, and it’s simply stunning. Every time you look at it takes your breath away. If you thought that the Rollers of late were looking a little brutish and angular, then this is the car for you, (providing you have £250k to spare that is). 
This new drop top offers the “dolce vita” lifestyle along with, what are said to be, the sexiest bodylines of a Rolls-Royce ever – and I’m sure you’ll agree.

2015 Rolls-Royce Dawn

Although said to be a convertible Wraith, the Dawn has 80% new body panels. It’s complete with more pronounced rear haunches, a heavily raked screen, and a gorgeous open pore wood deck. Which, not only wraps around the rear seating, but also employs a cascading waterfall effect between them.

2015 Rolls-Royce DawnWhen you look at the way that the opulent mandarin leather joins effortlessly with the sparkling exterior it simply oozes quality. It reassures you that this is an item of decadence which is everything you would expect from, well, Rolls-Royce. Underneath the intricate bodywork and sumptuous interior, the story is the same. Powering this beast is the same twin-turbo 6.6 litre V12 as found in the Ghost, producing 563BHP and ample amounts of torque. Although down on horses compared to the Wraith, the company is keen to stress this is the Dawn is “the most driver orientated Rolls Royce ever”.  (more…)

Frankfurt 2015 – Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport

Hitting 40 is kind of big deal, so Volkswagen has decided to celebrate four decades of the Golf GTI in their usual style. Adding a little more power, some bigger wheels, and interior trinkets to create the 2016 GTI Clubsport.

2016 VW Golf GTI ClubsportVW showed off the Golf GTI Clubsport as a concept at the Wörthersee show earlier in the year, and the car has made it through to production format virtually unchanged. It’s hardly revolutionary, following a similar pattern to that introduced by the Mk4 25th Anniversary, but does make for a rather powerful GTI.

2016 VW Golf GTI Clubsport

Power is upped to 261bhp (265PS) from the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It’s an output familiar to anyone who bought a SEAT Leon Cupra 265 SC, but makes this the most powerful production GTI to emerge from the Wolfsburg factory. There’s also the ‘over boost’ function which allows the Clubsport to produce 286bhp (290PS) but only for ten seconds at a time. Surely a quick remap will result in having all the power, all of the time.

Acceleration is improved over the regular GTI, with 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds for the DSG car, with the six-speed manual just behind at 6.0 dead. The DSG loses out by 0.3mph to the 155mph top speed of the manual car, but nobody is going to really mind. Well, except on internet forums, perhaps. Naturally as it’s not a Golf R power only goes to the front wheels.

2016 VW Golf GTI Clubsport

Externally Volkswagen claims there’s an entirely new bodykit with redesigned front bumper, rear diffuser and side skirts though it is hardly a dramatic change. The strakes on the front end now sit proud of the bumper, and get a gloss black finish. In fact VW has gone slightly mad with gloss back, using it on the wing mirrors, and bigger rear spoiler also. (more…)

Frankfurt 2015 – Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo

Remember Gran Turismo 6? That racing game for the PlayStation 3, which isn’t really as fun as Forza Motorsport. Well manufacturers are still churning out exclusive concepts for it and, this time, it’s the turn of Bugatti.

2015 Bugatti Vision Gran TurismoLike a subtle reference to the movie Wall Street, blue horseshoes seem to be the theme of choice in the design of the virtual Bugatti concept. There’s the obvious horseshoe-shaped front grille – a Bugatti staple – but look closer and there’s a number of extra features inspired by equine footwear.2015 Bugatti Vision Gran TurismoThe window line and side air intake combine to form one elongated horseshoe when viewed in profile. There’s also one apparent in the shape of the front end seen from above, and even the interior features one which wraps around to form the centre console. Yet the designers have also mixed in a number of other classic Bugatti elements, with a centre fin inspired by the Type 57 Atlantic, and a huge NACA duct on the roof. The latter, we imagine, influenced by the Veyron Super Sport.

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New Metal – Ferrari 488 Spider

Despite the fact we only got the turbocharged Ferrari 488 GTB less than six months ago, Maranello is clearly in the mood for spoiling us with news of the open-air Spider version.

2015 Ferrari 488 Spider

Whilst the internets may have gone slightly mad at hearing about a new Ferrari, it was hardly unpredictable. For as long as there has been a ‘baby’ V8 mid-engined Ferrari coupe (or Berlinetta, sorry), there has been an open-top version to match. From 308 right through to F430 and 458, there’s been the option to burn your head whilst you cruise around town. We just didn’t expect it so soon; Ferrari made us wait two years between the 458 Italia and subsequent Spider offering.

2015 Ferrari 488 Spider

Yet this is the first time we’ve seen a mid-engined, turbocharged, V8, open-top Ferrari since… well, the Italian-market only 328 GTS Turbo of 1989, actually. So although it’s not the very first forced-induction Spider, it’s one which the world outside of Italy will be able to buy. So I guess we can chalk that up as some kind of debut. Anyway, this is also Ferrari’s most powerful mid-engined V8 convertible, with the 661 bhp out eclipsing even the 597 bhp found in the epic 458 Speciale A.

As with the regular 488 GTB, torque is the big attraction, with a hefty 561 lb-ft available from just 3,000 rpm. The 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged V8 is mapped to deliver a fast throttle response, with Ferrari claiming a lag time of just 0.8 seconds between hitting the pedal and your insides being churned up. Where we’re genuinely impressed is with performance figures that are seriously close to the GTB, save for a 2 mph lower top speed at 203 mph. That means 0-62 mph in 3.0 seconds, and a still staggering but 0.4 seconds slower, 0-124 mph time of 8.7 seconds. Presumably, this is all so Spider owners no longer need to worry about feeling inferior when pulling alongside those with fixed-roof 488s. (more…)

2013 Frankfurt Motor Show Photo Highlights

EngageSportMode couldn’t be at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show but, fortunately, it knows some people who are. So with the press days now out of the way, what are some of the highlights from the 2013 Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung?

Below are some of the stand out new cars announced at this year’s show. Some are purely concept cars to set new directions and garner interest, whilst others are production ready. Click the photo for bigger images.

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BMW i8 – Plug-In Hybrid Supercar Officially Revealed

The second piece in BMW’s hybrid strategy has been fully unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, with prices and specifications for the futuristic i8 now confirmed. So just what do you get for almost £100,000?

  • Hybrid plug-in electric and petrol turbo power,
  • 0-62 mph in 4.4 seconds, 155 mph top speed,
  • Official 113 mpg, 59g/km CO2, and up to 310 mile range.

BMW i8 - 001

EngageSportMode is already a fan of the coupe’s little brother, the i3, praising its futuristic design and cleverly designed ownership experience. But, whilst the i3 is intended to be an everyday hatchback, the i8 aims to be a pure sportscar – just one with a conscience.

BMW i8 - 002

Unlike the i3, which polarised opinion with its ‘challenging’ aesthetics, there’s no denying the i8 is a real looker. The basic form has been known for a while in various prototypes and test-mules spotted around the world, but it is the little details which make the i8 truly stunning.  (more…)

Jaguar C-X17 Sports Crossover Concept

You wait for ages for one performance crossover concept car, and then two come along at once. Whether it may be a necessary evil is a matter of personal opinion, but a Jaguar SUV seems likely – if it happens, expect it to look like this.

Jaguar C-X17 Concept 001

Jaguar C-X17 Concept 002

Jaguar C-X17 Concept 003

In a world where Jaguar and Land Rover are held together in one company, you have to question just how requisite a Jag SUV really is. Surely no matter what the price point or specification, somehow it will be treading on the toes of either a Land Rover or Range Rover branded product. I have no doubt it fits into a strategy aimed at important world markets such as the USA and China where such vehicles are of significance – even Bentley wants in on the 4×4 action – but it still represents a radical departure from Jaguars of old. (more…)

New – Audi nanuk quattro concept

Another day, another Audi concept car – although this one was slightly more unexpected compared to the Sport quattro concept revealed last week. To mark the start of the Frankfurt Motor Show, which we’ve seemingly been talking about for weeks, Ingolstadt dropped this unexpected new V10 diesel coupe on us.

Audi nanuk quattro concept

  • Twin turbo 5.0 litre V10 TDI making 544 hp and (737.56 lb-ft of torque,
  • 0-62 mph in 3.8 seconds, 189 mph top-speed,
  • AWD quattro drivetrain and four-wheel steering.

Audi is pitching the nanuk (yes, lower case n) as the sports car for “any stage of life and for any surface” combining on-road performance with off-road ability. Although it may only be a show car, the engineering behind the nanuk celebrates Audi’s achievements in motorsport and road car technology, whilst also hinting at future developments. (more…)