To sum up: the new F-Type and Hennessey plans 1200hp Vette
Big news this week for Jaguar as they replace the long running, popular F-Type model with a revised face and new engine options. Bugatti meanwhile, have announced more limited run Chirons based on their recent Voiture Noire, but at a slightly more attainable level. Hennessey have announced their plans for the upcoming C8 Corvette with big power numbers, as has become expected from the US tuning house. Over in Japan Nissan have announced that their long awaited GTR-50 concept will be put into production next year, while, at the same time, Bentley will be delivering a special Pikes peak trim Continental to celebrate their successful claiming of the production-car record on the famous hill climb course.
The New F-Type
Undoubtedly the biggest news of the week comes from the struggling Jaguar brand, with the announcement of the new F-Type model (see title image). The new model is set to start production next year with Coupe and Convertible versions available. A new V8 engine is also available, a lower powered version, below the top of the range 'R' model, though this has meant the loss of the V6 supercharged unit. The model will retain it's four-cylinder engine also.
The front of the car has undergone a thorough redesign, thanks mainly, to a drastic change in the headlights. This has created a longer, stiffer brow and changed the aesthetic of the entire car, (to me giving it a bulldog like look) while still looking quintessentially Jaguar. The chassis has also seen some updates; with re-tuned dampers, new springs and new anti-roll bars. Also new is a wider wheel and tyre package.
Through dropping the V6, the range is now comprised of the entry-level four-cylinder P300 (297bhp) and two V8's, a lower P450 (444bhp) model and the range topping 'R' model with the P575 (567bhp) engine as seen in the previous SVR F-Type. All engines are fitted with an 8-speed auto 'box, while the four-cylinder and lower powered V8 come with rear-wheel drive as standard. All-wheel drive is an option on the P450 model and is standard on the F-Type R, as per the outgoing car.
The pricing sees a jump of around £1,800 ($2,400) over the previous model, though does represent a marked increase in both performance and technology. The base car starts from £54,000 ($70,000), while the P450 starts at £69,990 ($91,000) and the full-fat 'R' model will cost from £97,280 ($127,500). The car is now available to order, with Jaguar hoping it can take on the best from Porsche and save the company from it's current financial woes.
Hennessey Plans for Another Mad 'Vette
Big power is something we have come to expect from US tuning house, Hennessey over the past few years and they are delivering on this promise yet again, this time with the C8 Corvette and this is before the production car has even arrived in showrooms. The headline 1200bhp version will reach this mammoth power figure thanks to a twin-turbocharger setup, a huge gain over the 495bhp in the standard car. Expect ridiculous performance and a very impressive quarter-mile time, this is not a Corvette to be taken lightly.
To compliment the power, Hennessey will be reinforcing the LT2 V8 engine's internals and the new dual-clutch gearbox. This should stop unplanned explosions from under the hood, though they are promising nothing about those rear tyres. Larger Brembo brakes will take care of bringing you safely back to sane speeds, while a new suspension setup and wheel and tyre package should help keep owners on the blacktop.
Hennessey is also planning a circa 700bhp tuning package for those of a slightly more sane disposition, through the use of a supercharger and supporting hardware. Pricing for both kits is yet to be announced, expect cars to start rolling out of Hennessey's doors shortly after C8 production vehicles hit the road next year.
Bentley's Pikes Peak Special
To celebrate breaking the production-car record up the infamous Pikes Peak hill climb, Bentley are creating a limited edition version of it's Continental GT. The car is essentially just a trim and colour package, available in black or green (as seen above). The roof, mirrors, brightwork and wheels meanwhile, are painted in the contrasting colour.
The new colour scheme is complemented by the fitment of the carbon aero package for a more motorsport-inspired look. You will also notice the acid green brake calipers, green tyre lettering and garish (thankfully optional) 100 motif on the front grille, all are bespoke to this model. The interior has also received a once over, with a smattering of carbon fibre and a whole heap of Alcantara lining the seats and steering wheel. The record breaking time is also featured on the dash panel.
The mechanicals of the car remain unchanged, though that is no bad thing, with a 626bhp twin-turbocharged W12 engine residing under the bonnet. There are no prices released, but safe to say that this 15-car limited run will include a large premium over the standard Continental.
A Slightly More Attainable Noire Chiron
After the reveal of the La Voiture Noire Chiron at this years Geneva motor show, Bugatti have received strong demand from customers to create a more attainable version, with the original one-off being created for a special customer with an undisclosed price tag. To please those who yearned for the original car, Bugatti will create two versions named the Noire Elegance and the Noire sportive.
The Elegance model features a gloss finish to it's carbonfibre bodywork as well as a new design of alloy wheel and bespoke enamel badges. The brake calipers are also black, to finish off that black-on-black finish. The Sportive meanwhile, (pictured) features black gloss black exterior components in favour of the usual polished aluminium items. Both models feature a darker, black-themed interior and a new square mesh design on the front grille.
Mechanically, both models are identical to the standard Chiron, though with nearly 1500bhp this is not something to be sniffed at. Only 20 of these Noire models will be created, starting at a not-insignificant £2.56 million ($3.35 million) before options (not that you really need to add anything to a Chiron). Ironically, despite their being just 20 cars built, this will actually be one of the most common Chiron models on the road.
The Long Awaited Italdesign GTR-50
We've waited since the Goodwood Festival of Speed last year but Nissan have now finally announced that they will produce the limited GTR-50 model next year. The model has been created to celebrate 50 years of the legendary GTR nameplate. Just 50 will be produced. Little change is expected from the concept, but all will be revealed with the first production car debuting at next years Geneva motor show.
All of the 50 cars will be built at Italdesign's production facility in Turin, Italy, once the company has finished it's engineering developments on the car. The changes start by taking the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 to a little over 700bhp, with stronger engine internals and reinforcements to the gearbox to handle all that extra grunt. The suspension will be setup specifically for the GTR-50 models with new Bilstein dampers. The car also receives larger 21" wheels and wider tyres.
The models paint schemes will be highly customisable by the customers, with no limit to the possibilities available. The cars will hit production in 2020, with customer deliveries starting in the latter half of the year. Cars start from just shy of €1 million ($1.1 million) before options, taxes and homologation costs (for certain markets). They have surprisingly not all sold yet, though I personally do not believe that Nissan will struggle to find customers, what with the Internets obsession with anything named GTR.