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New: Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Speedster and Shooting Brake

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One of the most enduring creative partnerships in the automotive industry reached another milestone today. First with the global debut of the Vanquish Zagato Volante, followed by confirmation that not only will the Vanquish Zagato Speedster enter production, but it will be joined by a spectacular Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake.

This ‘family’ of four Vanquish Zagato models will yield a total of 325 cars. As the first member of the family, production of the Vanquish Zagato Coupes commenced in late 2016. Next to enter production was the Vanquish Zagato Volante. Once again strictly limited to 99 cars (all of which have been sold), production has commenced and deliveries will be completed through 2018.

Of the two remaining models, the Vanquish Zagato Speedster is the rarest, with a production run of just 28 cars. As you would expect from one of the most collectible and covetable Aston Martins ever, all 28 Vanquish Zagato Speedsters have been sold with deliveries scheduled for 2018. Completing the quartet, the Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake will also enter production in 2018, with a total build run of 99 cars matching those of the Coupe and Volante.

With all four cars based upon the Vanquish S, each Zagato enjoys the combination of 600PS naturally-aspirated V12 mated to the smooth, slick-shifting Touchtronic III transmission. Together with adaptive damping – fine-tuned for each model – the Vanquish Zagato family promises exceptional driving pleasure that is every bit as stimulating and memorable as their design.

The Speedster and Shooting Brake represent the two extremes of the Vanquish Zagato family. The former is an uncompromising roofless design that expresses the raw excitement of an open-top ultra-high performance sports car. The boldest aspect of the Speedster’s design is the Speed Humps that rise up to form streamlined cowls that flow back from the seats, representing Zagato’s signature ‘double-bubble’ roof. All the body panels are made from carbon fibre (like the other cars in the Vanquish Zagato family), while shared details, such as the Aston Martin Vulcan-inspired ‘Blade’ tail lights and repeated 3D Zagato ‘Z’ motifs in the front grille and rear vent meshes, create an unbroken stylistic thread that connects these otherwise individual creations.

The Shooting Brake is still a strict two-seater, but one conceived as an individual and exceptionally practical GT. The extended roof on the concept sketch bears the iconic Zagato ‘double-bubble’ surfacing complete with glass inlays to let light flood into the cockpit. The sculptural roof culminates in a powered tailgate that opens onto a luxuriously trimmed rear cabin area, complete with a tailored luggage set. With dramatic herringbone carbon fibre facia with anodised bronze rotary controls, extensive ‘Z’ motif quilting and the option of a fully aniline leather upholstery, the Shooting Brake is a fitting complement to the Coupe, Volante and Speedster.

Aston Martin Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman, said of the Vanquish Zagato family: “We haven’t released Zagato models as a family before, at least not in this way, but the idea is not without precedent. Think back to the DB7 Zagato and DB AR1, or the V8 Zagato Coupe and Volante, for example. We’ve simply taken things a few steps further. Why create a family of Zagatos? Well, many of our customers want different things. Some prefer the purity of a Coupe, but others love the idea of something more extreme, like the Speedster. And yes, some of them have ordered one example of each. There’s always an over-demand from our clients and patrons. We could easily fulfill demand for more cars than this, but we want Zagato to remain something very special. We’re creating collectibles, future concours cars. With only 325 cars worldwide, divided between 99 Coupes, 99 Volantes, 28 Speedsters and 99 Shooting Brakes – they are still the rarest of the rare.”

Andrea Zagato, CEO of Zagato said of the enduring creative partnership: “Zagato’s relationship with Aston Martin began with my grandfather and the DB4 GT Zagato, almost sixty years ago. To have a creative ‘marriage‘ thrive for three generations is something as unique as the cars themselves. My family name is associated with all kinds of wonderful designs, but for many enthusiasts and collectors around the world those that combine the Z of Zagato with the wings of Aston Martin are the most special. Collaborating closely on the design of four complimentary, yet completely different Vanquish Zagatos has been an incredibly exciting challenge. I’m proud to continue the story my grandfather started and thrilled that our partnership with Aston Martin continues to realise such exciting cars.”

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Lewis Hamilton Seals Fifth F1 World Title

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Mercedes ace Lewis Hamilton claimed his fifth Formula 1 title at the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday night, with two races to spare.

Despite finishing fourth in Sunday’s race, it was good enough to see the British driver claim the world championship to draw level with Juan Manuel Fangio in the Formula 1 record books, with Max Verstappen victorious.

The 33-year-old Briton’s only remaining championship rival, Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, needed a victory to keep his hopes alive, but could only finish second.

Hamilton’s success also sees him just two titles shy of seven-time champion Michael Schumacher.

He added his 2018 crown to his championship wins in 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

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Volkswagen Arteon (2018): What you need to know about the newcomer

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The striking Volkswagen Arteon has landed in South Africa and we have specifications and pricing for this model. Here’s what you need to know about the newcomer.

Volkswagen calls its new Arteon, which replaces the outgoing Passat CC, a 5-door grand tourer, which pitches the newcomer against the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, Audi A5 Sportback and a slew of other business class sedans, including the upcoming Kia Stinger.

Built on Volkswagen’s lauded Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform, the Arteon boasts a wheelbase of 2 841 mm, is 1 871 mm wide and 1 427 mm tall. The range comprises 4-cylinder engines only, with one turbodiesel and one turbopetrol motor, both of which are mated with a Volkswagen (DSG) dual-clutch transmission.

The 2.0 TDI DSG is available in Elegance and R-line trim lines. Its 2.0-litre turbodiesel has peak outputs of 130 kW and 350 Nm, with power going to the front wheels via a 6-speed DSG. It’ll be the most frugal of the motors, with a claimed consumption figure of just 5.6 L/100 km.

The petrol engine, meanwhile, is a 2.0-litre turbocharged unit, which delivers 206 kW/350 Nm and is mated with a 7-speed DSG. The motor powers the top-of-the-range all-wheel-driven Arteon derivative that is claimed to complete the 0-100 kph sprint in 5.6 seconds before going on to a limited top speed of 250 kph. It’s a little thirstier than its diesel sibling at 7.3 L/100 km.

Elegance-spec

Exterior:

  • Chrome wing mirror caps
  • LED tail lights with dynamic indicator light function
  • 18-inch ‘Muscat’ alloy wheels
  • Continuous chrome trim strip on lower bodywork
  • Heated windscreen washer jets
  • Chrome strips on side windows
  • LED tail lights
  • LED headlights with LED daytime running lights
  • Alloy wheels (from 18-inch)
  • Keyless Go locking system

Interior:

  • Aluminium pedals
  • Instruments, dashboard and door panels with individualised look and trim in brushed aluminium
  • Contrast stitching on seat covers and floor mats
  • Seat covers in Nappa leather
  • Stainless steel door tread plates, front and rear
  • Composition Media infotainment system, including eight loudspeakers, AUX-IN and USB (Apple-compatible)
  • 3-zone electronically controlled air conditioning system
  • Multifunction steering wheel in leather (with shift paddles on DSG models)
  • Driver Alert System
  • Progressive steering

R-Line spec

Exterior

  • ‘C’-signature of the front air intakes in high-gloss black
  • 19-inch ‘Montevideo’ alloy wheels
  • Heated windscreen washer jets
  • Unique R-Line bumpers
  • Continuous chrome trim strip on lower-bodywork
  • Chrome-plated exhaust system tailpipes
  • Black boot lid spoiler
  • Privacy glass
  • Power folding mirrors

Interior

  • Leather sports multi-function steering wheel in R-Line design
  • Aluminium pedals
  • Roof liner in ‘Titanium Black’
  • Stainless steel door tread plates front and rear with R-Line logo on front plates
  • Nappa Leather/Carbon Style seats with R-Line logo
  • Front seat heating

Volkswagen Arteon Price in South Africa

The new Arteon comes standard with a 5-year/90 000 km maintenance plan, 3-year/120 000 km warranty, 12-year anti-corrosion warranty and space saver spare wheel. Service Interval is 15 000 km.   

2.0 TDI 130 kW Elegance DSG R599 900
2.0 TDI 130 kW R-Line DSG R649 900
2.0 TSI 206 kW R-Line 4MOTION DSG  R699 900

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FIRST LOOK: Here’s the rundown on the new Audi A6

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Stop us if you’ve seen this one before. In case you missed the news on the latest Audi A8 and A7, though, here’s the rundown on the new A6.

As you’ve already guessed, the least expensive of Audi’s medium and large sedan triumvirate borrows, as always, heavily from the long-tail A7 and coddling A8 luxury sedans. At the front, it’s identical to the A7 and mostly the same from the side, save the roofline. The rear end is the A6’s calling card, clearly related to the other two but uniquely executed.

The interior is like the nose, identical to its near-twin, the A7. Its showpiece is the latest Audi MMI touch response system featuring a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen at the top of the dash and an 8.6-inch touchscreen with haptic feedback below that controls the climate and accepts text inputs drawn with a finger. A fully loaded car with both the optional 10.1-inch screen and navigation also includes the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit digital gauges and a full-color head-up display.

Driving-related tech features include everything from active safety systems to driver aides such as adaptive cruise control with lane keeping assistance and Audi’s Parking Pilot/Garage Pilot, which allows you to pull the car into or out of a garage or parking space from outside the car with an app on your phone. As with the A7, the A8’s Level 3 autonomous driving technology is not on offer.

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The theme continues unabated beneath the hood, where again like the A7, the only likely engine for the U.S. market is a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 with a 48-volt belt alternator starter mild-hybrid system. Adding an electric motor/generator to the serpentine belt allows for quicker, smoother automatic engine start/stop as well as regenerative braking, torque fill when the engine isn’t making full power, and the ability to coast with the engine off between 34 and 99 mph. When auto-stopped, which can happen when the car drops below 14 mph coasting to a stop, the engine automatically restarts when the car ahead moves.

That engine is connected exclusively to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and a variant of Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive, which decouples the rear axle when not needed to save gas. A rear-wheel steering system is optional and improves both agility and the turning radius.

As the wheels are driven and turned, they’re corralled by independent suspension all around with one of four spring and shock combinations: springs and fixed dampers, springs and electronically adjustable dampers, air suspension and electronically adjustable dampers, and a sport suspension with stiffer springs and fixed dampers.

Slightly larger on the outside, noticeably larger on the inside, and fully revamped, the A6 will go on sale in Europe in June with U.S. sales likely to follow by the end of the year.

2019 Audi A6
BASE PRICE ZAR587,441.40 (est)
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD/AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
ENGINE 3.0L/340-hp/369-lb-ft turbocharged DOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION 7-speed twin-clutch auto
CURB WEIGHT 4,000 lb (mfr)
WHEELBASE 114.7 in (est)
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 194.5 x 74.3 x 57.4 in
0-60 MPH 5.3 sec (MT est)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON Not yet rated
ON SALE IN U.S. Winter 2018

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