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Week 36 : What’s new in Motoring

Hybrid models continue to make waves in the automotive industry.

As another week flies by here at HQ it’s that time once again to reflect on what has making the headlines across the motoring industry as Monterey Car Week comes to a close and we approach the Autumn season in the UK.

Lamborghini unveil limited Centenario Roadster at The Quail, Monterey Car Week

Following the introduction of the Centenario Coupé, Lamborghini unveiled the open version of its latest one-off creation to fervent collectors and enthusiasts at Monterey Car Week in California in occasion of the event “The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering”. A natural successor to its coupé counterpart, the Centenario Roadster is also limited to 20 units worldwide and represents a true illustration of Lamborghini’s commitment to advance automotive design to new, inspirational heights.

The Italian icon continues to honor the centenary of its dynamic founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini, with this special commemorative series. Designers were given the freedom to create an open design that embodies the progressive qualities of Lamborghini’s visionary founder and shines in an elegant environment. This next level Roadster embodies a new design direction for Lamborghini accentuated by clean surfaces and superb reflections as ‘form follows function’ – true to Lamborghini’s core design DNA. Centenario’s silhouette features low overhangs in the front and rear creating a clean, sensuous, mono-body shape.

Lamborghini make Centenario model unveil at Monterey Auto Week.
Following the success of the Centenario, Lamborghini unveiled the limited production roadster model.

Aston Martin unveil the Vanquish Zagato Volante

To accompany the North American debut of the Vanquish Zagato Coupe at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Aston Martin announced a striking partner for this very special car; the Vanquish Zagato Volante. Driven by overwhelming customer interest for the previously revealed Coupe, the Vanquish Zagato Volante will be strictly built to a limited production run of 99 cars at Aston Martin’s headquarters in Gaydon, England.

Vanquish Zagato Volante is the latest creation from a collaboration that reaches back over nearly six decades, beginning with the beautifully muscular DB4 GT Zagato race car of 1960 and includes the DB7 Vantage Zagato of 2002, 2011’s V12 Vantage Zagato and the most recent Vanquish Zagato Coupe announced earlier this year.

Previous Aston Martin Zagato convertibles have included the striking V8 Vantage Volante, first shown in Geneva in 1987 and the DB AR1 in 2003. Developed as an open-topped Zagato-bodied DB7 and also limited to 99 units, DB AR1 was similarly designed for the North American market and is considered today an established collectible by automotive connoisseurs worldwide.

Continuing its' impressive range are Aston Martin with their Zagato Volante Vanquish model.
The stunning Volante model joined the Monterey Auto Week line up from British manufacturer Aston Martin.

Jaguar Land Rover unveil digital buying with accompanying Westfield Stratford Store

Jaguar Land Rover, in partnership with Rockar, will launch a new digital retail website and accompanying store in the Westfield Stratford shopping complex, as it becomes the first premium automotive brand to offer fully-online purchasing. Developed with digital retail experts, ROCKAR, the new car-buying experience will be opening at the Westfield Stratford shopping complex in London in early October, but customers will be able to use the new accompanying online store from 7th September.

Complementing its network of 201 UK retailers – currently undergoing a major £1bn overhaul – the new ROCKAR Jaguar Land Rover retail experience has been developed in response to changing demands from its customers. Visitors to the new ROCKAR Jaguar Land Rover Stratford store will be greeted by specially trained ‘Angels’, product experts that are paid to serve not to sell.

The ‘Angels’ can offer advice, show colour samples and interior leathers, help customers use the in-store Rockar system and show them around the six vehicles on display. Once visitors have gathered all the information they need they can complete their purchase on the Rockar website – either in-store or at home. There is, of course, no need to visit the physical store at all; the online site allows customers to browse models, book test drives, specify their car, arrange finance and even trade in an existing model before hitting the ‘buy’ button.

Putting the buyer first is a primary trait of Jaguar Land Rover and is relatable in their latest development for West Stratford store.
Jaguar and Land Rover launch their digital platform for purchasing the model most suited to the buyer.

Kia launches it’s first hybrid model

Kia’s mission to lower the average CO2 emissions of its range by 25 per cent before the end of the decade is given a boost with the launch today of the company’s first plug-in hybrid model, the Optima PHEV. It is priced at £31,495 after taking into account the Government’s £2,500 plug-in car grant.

With a range of up to 33 miles in all-electric mode, the Optima PHEV is able to complete many regular urban commuter runs with no tailpipe emissions, while its CO2 figure of just 37g/km means company car users pay just 7 per cent benefit-in-kind taxation in 2016-17.

The Optima PHEV combines a 154bhp 2.0-litre direct injection petrol engine with a 50kW (67bhp) electric motor powered by a 9.8kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. The electric motor replaces the torque converter in the smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. When working together, the combustion engine and motor generate 202bhp and 375Nm of torque.

A package of aerodynamic, styling and technology features contributes towards the Optima PHEV’s low CO2emissions and potential fuel economy of up to 176.6mpg while ensuring it is instantly recognisable as the high-efficiency model in the Optima range. The most significant aerodynamic change is an active air flap grille which lowers the car’s drag co-efficient (Cd) to 0.25 when closed. The neat integration of the batteries behind the rear seat and in the spare wheel well, along with a 15-litre reduction in the car’s petrol tank, means the Optima PHEV is still able to offer a generous 307 litres of luggage space.

Optima is the first hybrid model offering from Kia.
Joining the Hybrid Automotive family are Kia following the launch of the Optima.Op

The Nissan LEAF proves it can be the ultimate Summer road trip companion

The 100 percent electric Nissan LEAF took to the roads of Europe for an all-electric Grand Tour, travelling across Europe’s most breath-taking rural and coastal driving routes. The epic journey saw the Nissan LEAF take on six of the most beautiful drives in Italy, Spain, Germany, Norway, Scotland and France; including Italy’s iconic Mount Etna and historic cities, such as Granada, Spain, and Marseille, France.

The new LEAF 30 kWh journeyed over 400 miles (650km) on an adventure to visit Europe’s most spectacular destinations, showcasing its low running costs of just £2.50 (€3) per 62 miles (100 km). Across Europe, 54 percent of drivers would prefer to travel by car rather than by any other form of transport, but with many concerned about the cost of fuel, Nissan has proven itself to be the ultimate travel companion.

With the LEAF’s 30 kWh battery now offering 155 miles (250 km) in driving range* and as many as 2,800 quick chargers installed across Europe, driving a zero-emission car is more practical and enjoyable than ever before, giving EV drivers total peace of mind to enjoy longer cross country drives. The 30KwH Nissan LEAF starts from £25,230, for more information about Nissan’s electric vehicle range visit

Nissan Leaf hits the European roads to showcase its' ability.
Nissan prove that electric power can support your roadtrip dreams with European tour.