Newsflash: Bentley komt met extra sportieve Flying Spur


+++ The BENTLEY Flying Spur isn’t short on power or performance, but it’s not the most focused driver’s car at its price point. Bentley hopes to change that with a new S variant of the car, which will follow the lead set by the Continental GT S as a sharper, more exciting version of the posh 4-door. Bentley offers 2 powertrains in the Flying Spur S, including a surprisingly capable hybrid. The V8 powered car gets a 4.0-liter mill that makes around 550 hp and 750 Nm. With the engine on board, the 2.250 kilo-plus Flying Spur S takes just 4 seconds to run from 0-100 kph, and the car can go on to a top speed of 317 kph. The hybrid powertrain features a 2.9-liter V6 engine paired with an electric motor that makes a combined 545 hp and 700 Nm. The system can deliver an all-electric range of 42 km, and the car still sees scorching acceleration just a tenth of a second behind its V8-powered counterpart. Keeping the Flying Spur’s weight in check is Bentley’s Dynamic Ride suspension system, which can apply up to 1.300 Nm of anti-roll torque to aid in cornering. All-wheel steering is also standard and can turn the rear wheels opposite the fronts by up to 4.2 degrees, giving the almost 5,2 meter long Flying Spur a much tighter turning radius than it would have otherwise. Looking at the Flying Spur, it’s hard to see anything other than a stately Bentley, but the automaker gave the S a few styling touches to designate it as “the fast one”. Gloss black replaces polished metal and provides accents for the exhaust, grille, and wheels. The car comes with 21- or 22-inch wheels, red brakes, and exclusive “S” badges. The Flying Spur S’ cabin is every bit as plush as we’d expect at a Bentley price point. A 2-tone color scheme comes standard, with leather and synthetic suede upholstery called Dinamica. The material also covers the steering wheel and gear shift lever. Bentley embroiders the seats with an S logo and offers its logo as a no-cost embroidery option. Bentley will debut the Flying Spur S at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which takes place later this month in England. The festival features a popular hill climb event that has featured everything from Volkswagen’s electric ID.R race car to boutique supercars from little-known constructors. Bentley intends to field several vehicles in the event, including the new Flying Spur S and versions of the Continental GT S and GTC S cars. +++

+++ BMW is nearly ready to introduce the long-awaited second-generation M2. Development work is ongoing, and the Munich-based company published a photo that shows the coupe going flat-out on the Salzburgring in Austria to give fans a preview of what’s in store.In spite of the camouflage, I can tell that the next-generation M2 stands out from the latest 2 Series with a deeper front bumper, larger kidney grilles and model-specific headlights. BMW dialed in a greater degree of differentiation between the 2 Series and the M2 this time around, much to the chagrin of folks planning to put M emblems on a 218i. Moving beyond the front end, punched-out wheel arches hide a wider track while the back end is characterized by a subtle trunk-mounted spoiler, vents cut into the bumper, and 4 round exhaust tips. The list of options will include a carbon fiber roof panel and carbon fiber bucket seats for the front passengers. Speaking of the interior, BMW’s images do a formidable job of keeping it under wraps, but we can nonetheless tell that the M2 receives the curved display found in other members of the range; it’s a big, free-standing screen that merges the digital instrument cluster and the infotainment system’s display. Drivers will have several driving modes to choose from, including Sport and Sport Plus, and the emergency brake is now electronic. BMW notes that power for the M2 will come from a version of the 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged straight-six found in the M3 and the M4. Earlier rumors peg the engine’s output in the vicinity of 450 hp, though nothing is official yet; BMW simply pledged that the new model will deliver a level of performance similar to the limited-edition M2 CS. Rear-wheel drive will come standard, and buyers will be asked to choose between a 6-speed manual transmission and an 8-speed automatic. It sounds like the M2 will be the purest modern-day M model. M doesn’t design cars to merely go fast in a straight line; Dodge’s Challenger SRT Super Stock can help you scratch that itch. Handling is part of the equation, too. To that end, the firm fitted the M2 with a braking system sourced from the M3 and an adaptive suspension system. Some expected to see the new M2 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June 2022, but the coupe’s debut is set for October 2022. That doesn’t mean it won’t appear at Goodwood; BMW could surprise us by entering a prototype in the hill climb. Deliveries will start in April 2023. +++


+++ General Motors CEO Mary Barra has lifted the veil on the new CHEVROLET BLAZER EV : the firm’s crucial rival to the Tesla Model Y and Ford Mustang Mach-E. Like its Blue Oval rival, the strikingly styled electric crossover will be sold alongside a mechanically unrelated ICE car and share with it a name that has been used by the firm for several decades. The Blazer was introduced in 1969 as a blocky, capable, 2-door SUV to rival the Ford Bronco. It was sold in 3 generations until 1995, when it was replaced by the Tahoe, but the name returned in 2019 for a conventionally fuelled crossover with much less of a utilitarian billing. The new electric Blazer (described by GM president Mark Reuss as “an affordable, high-volume entry) to the EV market – is completely unrelated to its petrol-fuelled namesake. The sole image published by Barra reveals just how dramatically differentiated the 2 cars will be in terms of design: the EV sits lower and has a bigger gap between the axles, its sides are more heavily sculpted and it has a distinctive wraparound lightbar and illuminated badge at the front. The model pictured is the performance-oriented SS, which is likely to pack the necessary power and performance figures to rival the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT, no doubt courtesy of a highly strung dual-motor set-up, while more affordable variants will likely go on sale with a single-motor system. GM has given no further details of Chevrolet’s third series-production pure-electric car (after the Silverado pick-up and Bolt hatchback) but it is expected to be among the first to use the company’s revolutionary new third-generation EV platform and be equipped with the same Ultium battery technology as the GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq. That means it will be equipped with 800V rapid-charging hardware for charging at rates of up to 350 kW and will almost certainly beat the 4.1-tonne Hummer EV’s 480 km range. Barra has promised more details and pictures of the Blazer EV at a full unveiling on 18 July, before it goes on sale in the US next spring. 5 years on from selling the Opel and Vauxhall sibling brands to the PSA Group (since subsumed into Stellantis), GM has no full-scale retail operation in place in Europe. The Chevrolet Corvette supercar is the only model from the company to be sold there now. However, Barra recently told American outlet CNBC that GM could return to Europe as “an all-EV player” and even went so far as to say she was “looking forward to that”, suggesting the Blazer could come to Europe (where it would shake up the highly competitive and fast-expanding EV crossover segment) after all. The company is already firming up its European operations, even appointing Mahmoud Samara as the dedicated president and managing director of GM Europe. The company told: “His mission is to transform our current operations into a nontraditional mobility start-up in the region. We will make very deliberate decisions about where and how we compete in Europe. Together with his team at our headquarters in Zürich, he is preparing this launch, leveraging the new initiatives and technologies that GM is providing for global growth opportunities”. +++


+++ DACIA has temporarily stopped production of its Bi-Fuel cars, which can run on liquid petroleum gas (LPG), due to problems in the LPG supply chain. This means the Bi-Fuel versions of the Sandero, Jogger and Duster are presently unavailable to order. They all feature a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder turbo petrol engine that can also run on LPG to extend their official touring range north of the 1.000 km mark, although a recent experiment found the Sandero could feasibly travel more than 1.400 km if both tanks were brimmed. Many European countries are currently experiencing a massive shortage of LPG, with a lack of deliveries being made due to ongoing driver shortages and core supply issues caused by the war in Ukraine. Dacia said: “The LPG supply chain is currently facing issues that are creating industrial shortage. Dacia will temporarily suspend orders for versions equipped with the ECO-G engine of certain models”. The Romanian car maker hasn’t confirmed when they will go back on sale. The LPG supply crisis has been brewing for months, even before Russian sanctions following its invasion of neighbouring Ukraine. Following the pandemic, a shortage of drivers meant deliveries of the fuel weren’t getting to the pumps. And when deliveries were then made, firms raised their prices to cover lost income, as LPG isn’t covered by the same price cap as other fuels. This, coupled with Russia restricting gas supplies to Europe, has caused a massive drop in availability and a hike in prices, which has turned buyers away. +++

+++ If you’re wanting a premium SUV then you’re pretty well-catered for today, but DS is hoping an upcoming facelift will help the DS 7 Crossback stand out when it launches next year. Designed to rival the likes of the BMW X1, Mercedes GLA, Audi Q3 and Jaguar E-Pace, the DS 7 Crossback featured plenty of typically-French chic touches when it first came out in 2017 and these first spy shots of the updated car reveal more of the same. Despite this being our first look at the facelifted DS 7 Crossback, there’s a surprisingly little amount of exterior camouflage, suggesting changes to the design will be minimal. The front retains the huge grille and the lower grille also looks unchanged. The lip will gain several inlets, the front fog lights will vanish and the daytime running lights will receive a slight alteration. The side will be unchanged with the same 20-inch ‘Tokyo’ alloy wheels. Modifications at the rear anyover the current model will be hard to spot. It’s likely DS will update its infotainment design. With DS planning on launching electric-only cars from 2024, the DS 7 Crossback could be one of the last from the company with an internal-combustion engine. However, once facelifted, only the 225 hp and 300 hp plug-in hybrid petrol versions will be retained in the Netherlands. The facelifted DS7 Crossback is likely to launch sometime in 2023 and I expect a mild inline increase from the current price. +++

+++ MAZDA is working to be considered a premium automaker, the push beginning in with the new CX-60 crossover that has just entered production, with the larger CX-80 to follow. They’ll be part of the brand’s new Large Product group, featuring longitudinal inline-six engines and especially zoom-zoomy driving dynamics. To help them look the part, Mazda’s color designers have come up with a third special paint using its proprietary Takuminuri process to join Soul Red Metallic and Machine Gray Premium. Called Rhodium White Premium and available on the CX-60, the coating is both thinner and more vibrant than Snowflake White Metallic, and more flattering to the company’s Kodo design language. As with the red and the gray, this new white is formed of 3 layers. At the bottom is a color layer using a “newly developed white pigment that delivers silky smooth, fine-grain white” and which emphasizes translucence. Above that comes the “ultra-tin high luminance” reflecting layer of aluminum flakes arrayed to showcase the vehicle’s sheetmetal. A top clear coat seals everything in. After that, the Takuminuri process applies the paint to the vehicle in a way that makes the most impact to the human eye. Mazda says Takuminuri “uses data obtained through simulation painting done by experienced human painters (such as the distribution of coating thickness) to improve robotic painting”. I was told the result is “a pure white inspired by Japanese aesthetics finding beauty in simplicity and the absence of superfluous elements”. Furthermore, the middle color layer of Rhodium White Premium is up to 30% thinner than the color layer of Snowflake White Metallic, meaning less paint gets used. +++


+++ MERCEDES has been on a warpath since 2020, cutting down on variants, platforms, powertrains and components and soon even entry-level models. So why is the new GLC offered with the choice of two bodystyles, two petrol engines, a diesel engine, three PHEV set-ups and a plethora of optional extras? “The GLC SUV is our bestselling model in this segment, so there are no plans to streamline the offering”, said GLC manager Axel Benseler, confirming that Mercedes-AMG variants are also due and even that “more powertrains are coming next year”. Meanwhile, the lesser-spotted Mercedes-Benz B-Class is down to just 2 engines and 2 trim levels. +++

+++ RIVIAN has send a letter to those who reserved the R1S. The letter provided an update on delivery windows, moving the windows back anywhere from 1 to 9 months. According to other member postings, some reservation holders who’d been expecting the R1S from March or April of this year (who still don’t have their electric SUVs) were moved to Q4, sometime between October and December of this year. Others lucked out with shorter delays, being moved from estimated delivery of April or May to August or September. Rivian’s letter to customers gave two reasons for the change in plans, one of them blaming the usual culprit, the other citing brand experience. Calling out the supply chain crisis, the letter said, “As we’ve continued to navigate a tight supply chain, we’ve had to reduce complexity wherever possible, including prioritizing certain build combinations over others”. Although the parts and logistics crunch is affecting everyone everywhere and even legacy OEMs are still stashing thousands of cars waiting for constrained bits, CEO R.J. Scaringe has spoken of how the difficulties are even worse for Rivian because suppliers want to give their limited production to their most established customers first. The second rationale given in the letter explained, “We continue to prioritize deliveries in locations where service infrastructure is in place so that we can provide the full ownership experience to Rivian owners from day one”. Rivian’s website lists 19 service centers across the country, and customers in close proximity to those have a better chance of receiving their orders. There is, for instance, one service center in the South, in Florida. The next-closest center to the north is in Virginia, the next closest to the west is Texas. That’s a lot of dark territory. Not every R1S reservation who appeared in the forum thread has received an e-mail, so some deliveries could still be on track. One hopeful buyer wrote, “Was July-Sept now Oct December — ground hog day in these delay emails but falling into the trap thinking OK… This is legit final delay”. But in today’s world, we’re not sure there’s any legit final anything, especially not final delays. +++

+++ SSANGYONG has officially revealed the ruggedly styled Torres SUV, which is set to hit European shores next year as an electric rival for the likes of the Skoda Enyaq and Toyota BZ4X. New images of the rugged SUV have been released on the firm’s Korean social-media channels, showcasing its new Powered by Toughness design direction, with a Jeep-style front end. Other external features include slim LED headlights, faux front air intakes, a large aluminium skidplate and a long rear overhang. The picture also suggest the Torres will offer a side storage box (like the Land Rover Defender) and side steps, although it’s expected that these will be cost options. Ssangyong said the new look draws on its “distinctive design heritage”, with a range of nods to the 1990s Musso, a Brit-designed, Mercedes-Benz-engined SUV. Inside, there’s a ‘floating’ infotainment screen in the middle of the dashboard and another screen directly below for controlling the interior temperature, driving modes, parking sensors and more. A slim digital instrument panel has also been shown. No pricing information has yet been released, but the Torres is expected to slot between the Korando and Rexton as part of a five-car line-up. The new picture comes a month after Ssangyong released teaser exterior images of the electric variant, which is set to be released at the end of 2023. At the time, a spokesman said: “The SUV market continues to expand and subdivide, and with the Torres, we’re filling the gap between semi-medium-sized SUVs such as the Korando and large SUVs like the Rexton. This move will create an additional segment in the market and will open up new opportunities for us, especially as we further develop the product offering and continue to add value and originality”. The Torres could share a platform with the mid-sized Korando and thus bring a choice of petrol, diesel or electric power. Exclusively the latter will be sold here, and likely matching the Korando E-Motion EV’s 190 hp output and range of a little over 320 km. +++



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