8 JUNE 2009


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Article from BTNews 8 JUNE 2009

MOTORING UPDATE by Ted Wilkinson

Motoring briefs

HYUNDAI: Hyundai’s small 5-door i20 hatchback range is one of the first cars to win a 5-Star NCAP safety rating under the new upgraded tests. The model scored high marks in all tests - adult occupation, child protection and safety assist. Car is available in 1.2 and 1.4 litre petrol and a 1.4 diesel from UKP8,645.

JAGUAR: You have been warned! Various Police forces throughout the country are currently testing a Police specification Jaguar XF diesel model.

MITSUBISHI: Over 21% of UK dealer sales were made under the new scrap page sales incentive scheme. The company has announced keen low deposit/low interest offers linked to the 5/10-year car scrappage scheme.

CITROEN: Latest Citroens to become available under the Motability scheme are the new Citroen C3 Picasso and the highly practical Nemo Multispace. The French car maker is one of the UK’s leading car suppliers under the Motability scheme.

LEXUS: The Lexus E50h hybrid 4x4 is now being fitted with a key data head up display (HUD) system based on jet fighter technology. This enables the driver to see a LED readout on the lower part of the windscreen providing a range of information, including satellite navigation and safety warnings via the car’s adaptive speed control system. Car is priced from UKP41,600.

ALFA ROMEO: The Italian specialist car maker is bucking the UK downward car sales trend which has recorded a 28.5% downfall on year to date, by posting a sales increase of 76.8% in April. The recently launched MiTo compact hatch back model has been a major contributor to the make’s sales figures.

HYUNDAI: Extra discount on top of the current Scrappage scheme is being offered on 1.4 Hyundai i30 small hatch back model range, bring prices down to UKP8,295, including a 5-year warranty.

NISSAN: To meet increased demand for a number of its mainstream models under the Scrappage scheme, Nissan has recently increased its workforce by taking on 150 extra manufacturing staff on a 4-month contract basis.

Audi's New R8 V10 Has Serious Pedigree

Audi has already succeeded in becoming a highly rated prestige car brand and in doing so has proved that economic adversity is no barrier to forging ahead with probably the most energetic current new model programme of any car manufacturer. Customer demand is reported to be much stronger than most rivals
Under these circumstances I am not surprised that an awesome 517 bhp 5.2 litre V10 turbocharged version of the highly rated and much coveted Audi R8 has been created and on sale in the UK from this May.

Upstaging the original (and still available) 4.2-litre V8 powered Audi R8, this 196 mph mid-engine super car, priced between UKP99,575 (6-speed manual) and UKP104,665 (R tronic selective automatic) draws on a Le-Mans-winning pedigree allied to Audi’s universally acknowledged product quality to seriously ‘mix it’ with the established exotic Grand Touring cars from Italy and Germany.

Utilising craftsmanship standards of finish and assembly techniques combined with advanced engineering, including the extensive use of lightweight aluminium components and the world’s first all-LED headlight system, this new Audi R8 provides the discerning owner with an iconic car that offers both ultra fast performance potential - 62 mph (100 kph) is claimed to take a mere 3.9 seconds and, not surprisingly by Audi policy, a very user friendly car.

Returning a claimed combined fuel consumption in the 20 mpg region, which is respectable for this class of car, the R8 V10 can certainly entertain, the power unit providing a melodious burble when idling along with the bonus of an occasional automatic blip of the throttle when the automatic transmission unit changes down, the steering wheel mounted override facility ensuring driver involvement when desired and the sophisticated Quattro all-wheel drive transmission and race-proven braking systems ensuring pure power delivery without embarrassment.
Want even more driver involvement? Then opt for the manual gearbox car, though on the winding roads used for part of the launch test route in Southern Spain, a colleague ahead of me in a manual gearbox car occasionally demonstrated just how much punch this amazing Audi can unleash.

The Audi R8 V10 is undoubtedly a car for the serious types, serious about the finer things in life (customers have a major say in the personalisation of their chosen car), serious about their driving and with a seriously healthy bank balance. But then Audi has become a master at creating a whole range of car products aimed at seriously sensible customers.

Established producers of top people’s sports cars have more to contend with then a new kid on the block with the arrival of the Audi R8V10, they might find they have a new pack leader when sales figures get down the road a bit!


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