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At the end of a year that most people will fondly remember for the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, or perhaps for what was an uncharacteristically spirited World Cup performance by the England football team, those of us who debase ourselves with impure thoughts of turbochargers that glow red hot will instead look back on 12 months of the most remarkable new performance cars. In what has unquestionably been a vintage year, these are our favourite driver’s cars of 2018.

5. Ford Fiesta ST
There are very few cars launched this year or any other that would not find an afternoon in the company of the Ford Fiesta ST educational. The sparkly little hot hatch does so much important stuff to such a high standard that it actually merits comparison with the best sports cars out there, regardless of price. It’s enjoyable to drive at all speeds, it has a sweet natural chassis balance and, what’s more, there is a cohesion to its major controls that only a handful of cars can better.
Search for a used Ford Fiesta ST on CarGurus

4. BMW M2 Competition
Driving the previous BMW M2 – a thuggish, hotrod of a car – was like being married to a clown: always hilarious, but when you wanted to connect on a deeper level it would throw a cream pie in your face and run around honking its nose. The genius of its replacement, the M2 Competition, is that it is no less entertaining and every bit as controllable in a big, smokey drift, but there’s a precision and deftness to its chassis that means you can enjoy driving it neatly, too.
Search for a used BMW M2 Competition on CarGurus

3. Ferrari 488 Pista
Around Ferrari’s own Fiorano test track, the 710bhp 488 Pista is a mere 1.8 seconds a lap slower than the 950bhp LaFerrari hypercar. That’s impressive on its own, but more remarkable still is that far from being tricky to drive or lethal at the limit, the Pista is approachable and benign. On top of that, it is brilliant to drive on the road, too, somehow combining peerless on-track ability with composure and finesse on a bumpy highway. One of Ferrari’s very best.

2. McLaren 600LT
During the development of the 600LT, McLaren’s chassis engineers were encouraged to shave with cutthroat razors so they knew what sharp really meant. The most recent Longtail model adds a little more power, more immediate steering and a less compromising chassis setup to the already brilliant 570S to deliver one of the most thrilling driving experiences of the year. Get the twin-turbo V8 hot enough and the 600LT will spit flames from its top-exit exhausts, too.

1. Alpine A110
At a time when certain performance cars are becoming so fearsomely quick that to stretch one on the road is to place your driving licence inside the box alongside Schrodinger’s cat, the dainty Alpine A110 proves quite brilliantly that speed and power are secondary factors in the make-up of a great driver’s car. With 249bhp and a tiny kerb weight it is quick enough, but an exquisite chassis makes it as rewarding to drive on the road as any car launched in the last five years.
Search for a used Alpine A110 on CarGurus

Dan Prosser is a motoring journalist who tests some of the world’s most exciting cars for publications including Pistonheads, Top Gear, Autocar and Evo.

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The content above is for informational purposes only and should be independently verified. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

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The arrival of a new Porsche 911 is always major news in the automotive world, not least because it signifies the continuation of a car that first appeared in 1963. Common to all is an unconventional rear-engined layout, excellent performance, and admirable practicality for a thoroughbred sports car. In this article we are going to look back at the history of Porsche’s most famous model. To find out more about the very latest 911, don’t miss our story about riding in a prototype Porsche 992.

PRE-73 911
Launched in 1963, the Porsche 911 spent its first decade being powered by an air-cooled flat-six engine that was upgraded over time as the desire for more power took hold. The earliest 911s used a 2.0-litre engine, while in later models it swelled to 2.2, 2.4 and eventually 2.7 litres. At the same time the model range grew from the base 911 to include the E, T, and S, as well as the legendary 2.7 RS of 1973. Plenty of racing models were offered during this period, such as the ST and the fabled R, as was a partially open-roofed 911, badged Targa.
Search for Porsche 911s for sale on CarGurus

G-K SERIES 911 (1973-1989)
In late 1973 the 911 gained rubber impact bumpers to meet US low-speed impact regulations, marking the first major step in its design evolution. Engines included the 2.7 with electronic fuel injection, a 3.0-litre and latterly a 3.2. The G-Series cemented the Carrera name into the regular 911 lexicon (outside the RSs that used it before), while the Turbo, designated ‘930’, offered supercar levels of performance. During this period Porsche also released its first hypercar in the shape of the 959, which was a technological marvel complete with a pioneering four-wheel-drive system.
Search for impact bumper Porsche 911s for sale on CarGurus

964 (1989-1993)
The 964 was, according to Porsche, over 80 per cent new, yet still retained the proportions of the earliest 911s. There were big differences under the skin too, not least the introduction of a 959-inspired of four-wheel drive for the Carrera 4 model, which was sold alongside the rear-wheel-drive Carrera 2. Other additions to the range included another Turbo, a Targa and a Cabriolet, along with an RS that, with just under 260bhp, is now half as powerful as its modern day equivalent, the GT3 RS.
Search for used 964-generation Porsche 911s for sale on CarGurus

993 (1993-1997)
As the last of the air-cooled 911s, the 993 marked the end of an era. Porsche bowed out by adding technology such as multi-link rear suspension to improve the handling, while the now familiar model line-up was more accomplished – and more powerful – than ever before. Due to the way it combines a classic interior with distinctive styling, that air-cooled engine and modern driving manners, the 993 has become hugely popular with those after vintage 911 thrills mixed with day-to-day usability.
Search for used 993-generation Porsche 911s for sale on CarGurus

996 (1998-2004)
Arguably Porsche’s difficult ‘second album’, the 996 upset the air-cooled 911 purists with its switch to water-cooled engines, not to mention dramatic changes to the car’s interior and exterior styling. Controversial it might have been, but the 996 still set the template for the modern 911 as we know it, not to mention introduced us to the GT3 and its RS spin-off. A standard 996 Carrera is an incredibly enjoyable car to drive, and in second-generation form, with the neater headlights (as pictured above), it looks great, too.
Search for used 996-generation Porsche 911s for sale on CarGurus

997 (2004-2010)
The 997 replaced the 996’s unloved lines with those harking back to its 993 air-cooled relation. That instantly won it more fans, and the 997 is coveted by 911 enthusiasts as a result. Its enduring popularity isn’t just down to the looks. It is also, for example, the last 911 to use hydraulically assisted power steering, which allows for rich detail to flow through the wheel, while the rest of the drivetrain (engines ranged from 3.6 to 4.0 litres depending on model) is sublime. The 997 GT3 or GT3 RS with their screaming naturally aspirated engine and six-speed manual gearbox remains a high point in the 911’s rich history.
Search for used 997-generation Porsche 911s for sale on CarGurus

991 (2010-present)
The 911 is the outgoing 911, and a larger, more adept all-rounder than its predecessors, with sports and GT car genes mixing and – controversially at first – electronically assisted power steering. In launch form it had a naturally aspirated 3.8-litre flat-six, though a turbocharged 3.0-litre replaced that in its second-generation form as Porsche sought to reduce emissions. More than ever before, the 991 represents the 911 as a consummate all-rounder, with a breadth of ability that is is as staggering as the choice of models. For a highlight, don’t miss the outrageous 691bhp GT2 RS.
Search for used 991-generation Porsche 911s for sale on CarGurus

992 (2019 and beyond)
The very latest version of the 911, known as the 992, made its world debut at the 2018 LA Auto Show. The most advanced 911 to date, the 992 will feature technology such as lane keeping assist while still, according to Porsche, performing the role of being a true driver’s car. it will also be the first generation of 911 to offer some kind of hybrid system, although Porsche is yet to confirm when this will appear. To find out more about the new 911, don’t miss our ride in one of Porsche’s prototype 992 test cars.

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The content above is for informational purposes only and should be independently verified. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

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I’m sitting in the passenger seat of a prototype Porsche 992, gaining a rare glimpse into the next generation of one of the world’s most famous sports cars ahead of its debut at the LA Motor Show later this month.

It won’t surprise you to hear that the 992 replaces the current – and hugely impressive – 991. For the uninitiated, these are the internal model designations given by Porsche to its evergreen sports car, the 911, the ongoing development of which remains one of the automotive industry’s greatest stories.

STILL A DRIVER’S CAR
The arrival of new Porsche 911 is always significant, perhaps more so now than ever before. For in a car market where driver assistance systems are increasingly becoming the norm, this is the first 911 to feature technology such as lane keeping assist and lane departure warnings, not to mention a ‘wet’ mode that primes the stability and traction systems when it detects damp road surfaces. These come as standard.

It’ll still be a drivers’ car though, says August Achleitner, the engineer in charge of 911 development. More than any of its rivals, Porsche expects the 911 to be driven – that is, after all, a sizeable part of its enduring appeal. And so Achleitner and his team have sought to improve upon an already winning formula, with detail changes such as the addition of a wider front track and staggered wheel sizes (21-inch rear, 20-inch front) that are designed to make the car more agile. Naturally, there’s an increase in power, too.

Certainly, here in the passenger seat, this new 992 feels every bit like a 911, albeit one that’s more modern than ever. The interior, while still partly covered in this prototype, feels like a worthwhile step forward over the outgoing 991, combining the latest technology (including a smart central touchscreen) with classic 911 details, such as the large rev-counter directly ahead of the driver. As far as it is possible to ascertain such things form the passenger seat, this 992 prototype also feels agile and extremely quick – and it sounds good, too. It is also a more mature car than before, with the biggest changes being the reduced road noise from the front tyres, fine body control, and the supple ride. Add in signature strong brakes, and Achleitner’s promise of delivering a driver’s car seem to have real substance.

Good job too, because to many people the Porsche 911 is the definitive sports car, which has allowed it to endure through seven decades and more than a million sales. During that time there have been constant revisions to keep it fresh and competitive, plus the occasional evolutionary leap to fast-forward its progress.

THE FIRST HYBRID 911
The 992 is very much intended to be the latter. Indeed, while its silhouette is familiar, under the skin the changes are arguably the most dramatic the 911 has undergone since Porsche’s switch from air cooling to water cooling for its flat-six engines in the mid-1990s. The reason? “We have prepared this car for a hybrid solution in the future,” admits Achleitner.

A hybrid 911, then. That’s hugely significant, although the word ‘prepared’ is key here. As things stand, Achleitner is not satisfied that current battery technology would add anything to the car, so we’ll not see a hybrid 911 for a while yet. In fact, the expectation is the 992 won’t receive battery technology until it is due a set of mid-life revisions, which is still several years away. However, the preparation for a hybrid future is still important here, for it has inevitably resulted in a few technical changes to the fundamental design of the car. The 992’s body, for example, has room in it for batteries, and the PDK automatic gearbox (now with eight speeds) has space inside its casing for an electric motor.

All of this inevitably adds weight, which in turn has prompted Porsche to use more aluminium in the 992’s structure and bodywork. The lighter body also helps counter the additional mass associated with the engine, which gains an exhaust filter to pass new emissions regulations.

THE ENGINE
The engine itself is a development of the 3.0-litre turbocharged flat-six of the second-generation 991. In Carrera S form it will deliver 444bhp and 391lb ft of torque, enough to give it a 0-62mph time in the region of 3.5 seconds and a 195mph top speed – performance that was once the preserve of the flagship Turbo models.

As with previous 911s, the range rolled out after the initial launch will be expansive. A standard Carrera will follow with an anticipated 380-390bhp, and at the same time a seven-speed manual gearbox will be added across the entire 992 Carrera line-up. All will be offered in rear- or Carrera 4 four-wheel drive form, the 992 being the first 911 to only be offered in wide-body form (even rear-wheel-drive versions will be as wide as the outgoing 991 GTS). A cabriolet and a Targa will join the coupes in late 2019 or early 2020.

The Carrera and Carrera S range will be bookended by the sharper, entry-level T, and the spec-laden, higher performance GTS. Go above that and you’re looking either at one of Porsche GT department’s more extreme, track focussed models such as the GT3, GT3 RS and an eventual GT2 RS, or at one of the flagship Turbo and Turbo S versions, which are anticipated to have power outputs in excess of 650bhp.

So, it’s going to be a busy time for Porsche as the 992 range populates its showrooms – and the garages of customers – worldwide over the next few years. If this first taster is anything to go by, there’s plenty of reasons to start getting excited.
Fancy an older 911? Start your search on CarGurus

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The content above is for informational purposes only and should be independently verified. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

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What could be more straightforward than driving a car and telling the reader if it’s any good? Like sandwich making or manning a telephone at a call centre, road testing is one of those vocations that can be reduced to a handful of words without actually losing the essence of it. Thing is, when you start looking at it in more detail, testing cars does become somewhat more involved.

That pithy job description – ‘driving a car and telling the reader if it’s any good’ – contains an enormous number of variables. In fact, it could actually describe two roles that look almost nothing alike.

DRIVING AND TELLING
Driving, to start right at the beginning, is itself is a very vague term. It might mean driving slowly in town, a little faster on country roads you know well or ones you’ve never seen before, or it might even mean driving at speed on a terrifying race track. A car could be a tiny electric hatchback that will live its life in the city, or it might be a 1,000bhp hypercar with a price tag four times that of the house you live in.

And telling? Is that via a 3,000-word print magazine article or an online piece that’s a fraction of the length? The reader could be a retiree who simply wants the most affordable car going, or it could be some youngster who came out of the womb with her hands at quarter-to-three and has never been seen without a car magazine nearby since.

As for ‘any good’? Best not to get me started…

Dan Prosser has been road testing cars since the end of 2007

THE RIGHT ROAD
I began road testing cars at the end of 2007. In the years that have followed it has been my pleasure to work alongside some of the most highly respected car journalists of the last three or four decades. Mostly I write about performance cars for an enthusiast audience, but not exclusively. If there is a single guiding principle in this line of work it is that whatever car you are reviewing, you must approach it mindful of its intended purpose. That’s almost too obvious to bother spelling out, but it’s a golden rule that is forgotten far too often. Toyota Aygo not quite throttle adjustable enough for your liking? You’ve missed the point.

The road tester’s job is made an awful lot easier if you have access to the right sort of road, and even more so if that road is a familiar one. You want one that is flowing and that has long, steady state corners. It is only in an arcing bend that you can explore a given car’s chassis balance and understand what that car is likely to do once the grip starts to bleed away. Very short corners that are more like kinks in the road than actual bends tell you next to nothing at all.

INSTINCTS COUNT
Once you’ve built up a little experience, you have to trust your instincts and have faith in your first impressions. If you find yourself driving a car for mile after mile and vacillating on whether or not it has good steering, or a sophisticated ride quality, you can be certain it has neither. If you have to search for those things, they aren’t there. Your instincts and first impressions are so important because there will be times, typically on a new car launch, when you will spend less time behind the wheel than you do at the dinner table later that evening.

Writing for an enthusiast audience is different to writing for a general audience in one very important way; very often, the enthusiast isn’t looking to buy the car in question. Being a hopeless petrolhead they simply yearn to know what it is like to drive. In that case, it is your job as the reviewer to put them in the driver’s seat. That, in fact, is probably the one thing that, in my opinion, distinguishes a great car journalist from a merely decent one.

Some day I might be able to say for certain exactly how that is done, but at this point in time, a decade and a bit into the job, I reckon it is a matter first of detail, then of conveying the sensations of driving. Generalisations such as ‘sharp steering’ and ‘lots of grip’ mean nothing at all to an enthusiast reader. You must elucidate on that steering in creative but never overused prose, and you must impart a sense of how that grip feels. I could describe to you the way the new Alpine A110 gets along a road in very dry and mechanical terms, all the while giving no real sense of what it is actually like to drive. For that car as much as any other on sale today, it is not the mechanics of driving that matter, but the sensations.

So there is more to road testing than might first meet the eye. Let’s be real, though; it’s still only driving a car and telling the reader if it’s any good.

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The content above is for informational purposes only and should be independently verified. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

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A grand tourer, by definition, is a high-performance luxury car that can effortlessly cover vast distances at speed. Unsurprisingly, as a result, many GT manufacturers have adopted technologies that can ease the process of driving a high-performance car for extended periods.

After all, there’s no point spending a small fortune on a luxury GT if it cannot comfortably and quickly get you from A to B. You also don’t want it to embarrass you; tyre-smoking, twitchy exits from junctions are not refined and nor is crabbing sideways up a mildly slippy slope.

Consequently, when Bentley introduced the all-new 552bhp Continental GT in 2003, the company saw fit to equip it with an all-wheel-drive system. This granted the twin-turbocharged, W12-engined coupe imperious traction, allowing the driver to easily deploy its immense power.

More to the point, if they fancied a jaunt from their flat in Islington to their chalet in Chamonix, the luxurious four-seat Bentley would prove more manageable in inclement conditions.

The 198mph-capable Continental GT was also packed with myriad driver aids, including anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control. Bentley’s all-wheel-drive and technology-laden twist on the grand tourer concept was not a new one, mind – as it was thoroughly beaten to the punch by British manufacturer Jensen by almost 40 years.

THE LUXURY GT THAT BROKE NEW GROUND
Jensen had a history of building powerful rear-wheel-drive GTs but, as engines grew larger and outputs increased, the cars became more difficult to handle. To help counter this, when developing its new Interceptor, Jensen decided to offer a version called the FF. This car would feature a cutting-edge Ferguson Formula all-wheel-drive system, as well as bespoke styling, and would be aimed at those seeking a safer, more restrained and capable GT.

The four-seat FF, first previewed in 1965, certainly needed the additional traction. Under its bonnet sat a 6.3-litre Chrysler V8 that thumped out a melodious 325bhp and granted a 0-60mph time of a then-blazing 7.7sec. While the modern Continental GT would prove quicker, sprinting from 0-60mph in 4.7sec, many of its traits would be shared with the Jensen.

For example, road tests of the time praised the FF for its ability to put its power down in abysmal conditions – making it easy to handle and trustworthy; when the all-wheel-drive Continental GT arrived, it too was lauded for its impressive all-weather capabilities.

The Bentley’s surefooted nature was further bolstered by then-conventional features such as anti-lock brakes. Once again, though, Jensen had long pipped Bentley to the post – as the FF was the first production car equipped with ABS. The fitment of the Dunlop-sourced system, in conjunction with the Jensen’s AWD set-up, led the company to advertise the FF as ‘being far in advance of any other car on the road.’

A CASE OF BEING TOO FAR AHEAD OF THE CURVE
One major sticking point, however, was the price. An FF cost £5,339 in 1967, whereas a standard Interceptor was £3,742 – almost £1,600 less. To put that into perspective, in today’s money the FF would cost £86,000 and command a staggering premium of almost £26,000 over its lesser sibling.

They were also prone to problems and required specialist care. While many appreciated the FF’s capabilities, the premium was judged unjustifiable by most. This, in conjunction with a weakening economy, led to FF production stopping in 1971 – at which point just 320 had been built.

Fortunately, for Bentley, the wide-ranging appeal of its brand and its GT’s impressive credentials helped make it the far more successful car. The market was also ready and willing and, before the car had even arrived in showrooms, the company had reportedly amassed 3,200 deposits.

There was still one more nod to the FF to come, though. In 2008, Bentley agreed to cut the CO2 emissions of its range by 40 per cent in an effort to reduce its environmental impact. As a result, in 2012, a more efficient V8-engined version of the Continental GT was unveiled – further echoing the fabulous but flawed FF.

See examples of the Bentley Continental GT for sale on CarGurus

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The content above is for informational purposes only and should be independently verified. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

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This week’s top stories feature news of Mazda’s latest redesign, fun-to-drive cars under $30K, and America’s favorite vehicle.

  • SUVs and crossovers may be in the headlines frequently, but US shoppers continue to choose pickup trucks as their favorite vehicles. And for CarGurus users, the F-150 and the Silverado 1500 continue to be the top two most-searched-for trucks. In the coming years, we expect shoppers to set their sights on midsize trucks instead of full-size trucks. These midsize trucks epitomize the American spirit — they embody our can-do attitude, and shoppers can find one to fit every budget.
  • If you’re on a budget seeking fun-to-drive cars, you’ve got options. Many of the cars on this list are obvious choices for enthusiasts, especially if they want a manual. Fans who want to add a splash of color should also look to the Volkswagen Golf R, which will offer 40 custom colors, including Viper Green and Ginster Yellow. If you want your fun-driving vehicle to come in crossover form, make sure you look at the Acura MDX. You’ll be able to hit the under-$30K price tag by shopping 2016 models.
  • As we get closer to the Los Angeles Auto Show (which hits at the end of November), more automakers will announce the debuts and redesigns they’ll feature at the show. This week, Mazda announced that it will show off its redesigned Mazda3. The last time the Mazda3 underwent any major changes was in 2013; it’s now in its third generation. We got the first glimpse of what a new Mazda3 would look like last year at the Tokyo Auto Show, featuring Mazda’s Kai concept vehicle. Will the new design fend off competition from the likes of Honda, Toyota, and Volkswagen?
  • The future is here: A few weeks ago we mentioned Terrafugia (now owned by Geely, which also owns Volvo and Lotus) created a plane-car hybrid. You may start seeing this on roads as soon as next year, as fans can now preorder it. The Terrafugia can travel up to 100 mph on the highway and transform from plane to car in one minute. There’s just one caveat: You’ll need a pilot’s license to fly or drive one.
  • Here’s another car show that lets visitors get up close and personal with very expensive cars. It may not be Monterey Car Week, but The Bridge does feature some spectacular classic cars, like the Ferrari 365 California. What made this event different than most other car shows was its inclusion of art galleries (a combo that automakers have done for years). There were 150 vehicles present, ranging from supercars to classic VW buses. Got a favorite?

We’ll be back next week with more stories curated for our readers.

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This week’s top stories picked by our editors feature debut news about the Toyota Supra, the promise of a Bugatti SUV, and a new Niro spokesperson.

  • Mark your calendars, folks: The Toyota Supra is finally (!) shedding its camo to make its debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. Toyota debuted the racing concept of the Supra at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. Since then, several publications have mentioned seeing (or driving) the Supra while it’s still covered in camo. It doesn’t feel bizarre for a nearly one-year lapse between the reveal of a concept car to one that is ready for market — however, the constant hype of the covered car does have us wondering: Will the hype continue after the Supra hits dealership lots?
  • We admit it: We love our coffee. But it can be a hassle to pull off a freeway to make a Starbucks or Dunkin’ run. Gas Buddy, an app for finding the best deal at the pump, analyzed feedback from users from 150,000 stores across the country and found that 75 percent of them found the coffee at gas stations enjoyable. Some favorites that topped the list include Quiktrip – a top choice across seven states – and Cumberland Farms, which was the number one choice in six states.
  • The Paris Motor Show is happening across the pond this week – and one of the quirkier reveals includes Kia’s newest spokesperson for the Niro EV: Robert De Niro. Of course, De Niro isn’t the first actor to strike a deal with a car manufacturer. This is a move, much like Kia’s debut of the Telluride at New York Fashion Week, that feels perfect for social media, as the Niro/De Niro memes practically write themselves. But can the partnership go beyond a cute play on words? Only time will tell.
  • SUV shoppers may soon be able to look at an option from… Bugatti — complete with a hybrid engine. It’s the latest supercar company to set its sights on the crossover market; Ferrari announced last year that shoppers can expect a crossover for 2021. Some enthusiasts have decried the blasphemy of this decision, while others have pointed at the sound business decision, as SUVs and crossovers continue to dominate the market. Anyone else curious what a multimillion-dollar SUV from Bugatti would look like?
  • Here’s a first in car safety testing: Consumer Reports just put together its first ranked list of semi-automated driver assistance systems. Consumer Reports looked at four systems available to shoppers right now: Tesla’s Autopilot, GM’s Super Cruise, Volvo’s Pilot Assist, and Nissan’s ProPilot Assist. At the top of the list was GM’s Super Cruise — in part because it alerts drivers when it is safe to use the semi-autonomous system — and when it isn’t.

We’ll be back next week with more stories curated for our readers.

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You could say the 2018 Paris Motor Show is as notable for what isn’t there as what is there. Absentees include Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, Ford, McLaren, Rolls-Royce and Volvo, among others.

That said, those who are in attendance have taken the opportunity to reveal some significant and exiting new models. Below we’ve selected our five star cars of the 2018 Paris Motor Show. Do you have a favourite?

Ferrari SP1 and SP2
The Monza SP1 and SP2 are the first cars to be launched under Ferrari’s new ‘Icona’ series, in which it will reinterpret some of the most famous models from its back catalogue for the modern day.

In this case the inspiration comes from the 750 and 860 Monza racing cars of the 1950s, which Ferrari says are reflected in ‘a respectful yet un-nostalgic homage to the past’. Production is limited to 499 cars, with only Ferrari’s best customers getting a look in.

Anybody lucky enough to make the cut will be able to choose between single seat or two seat configurations, both of which use a ‘virtual windscreen’ to direct airflow over the driver’s head. In that regard Ferrari says the SP1 and SP2 have been designed to be like modern single seaters, while the carbon-fibre bodywork keeps weight to a minimum.

Power comes from a version of the 812 Superfast’s 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12, now producing 799bhp (at 8,500rpm!) and good for a 0-62mph time of 2.9 seconds.

Peugeot e-Legend concept
Sadly, the Peugeot e-Legend isn’t even close to a production reality, but instead demonstrates the French firm’s vision of what an exciting car could look like in the future. It is perhaps odd, then, that it draws so much inspiration from the past, the e-Legend’s basic form being based on that of the 504 Coupe that was launched exactly 50 years ago.

This being a concept it is of course fully autonomous, electric and connected, although Peugeot says that a driver can still take control manually. Inside meanwhile is a 49-inch screen upon which the car’s occupants can watch videos or even just shots of the road ahead. Why you’d do that rather than look out of the windscreen, however, is not entirely clear.

As far as the drivetrain is concerned, Peugeot says the e-Legend’s 100kWh battery sends power to all four wheels, giving a 0-62mph of less than 4 seconds and a range between charges of more than 350 miles.

BMW 3 Series
The BMW 3 Series is one of the most important cars in production, so when a new model arrives it’s worth paying attention. The latest G30 3 Series is longer, wider and slightly more spacious inside than the car it replaces and features an upgraded interior with plenty of new technology.

Among the highlights are the availability of a 12-inch customisable digital dial display to go alongside the new touchscreen infotainment system, as well as a virtual assistant with natural speech recognition.

The engine options closely resemble what’s on offer in the current 3 Series, with the 2.0-litre diesel in the 320d likely to remain a favourite among those who want good performance with low running costs.
Read more about the All-New BMW 3-Series

DS3 Crossback
To recap, DS is the relatively newly formed luxury division of the PSA Group, which also includes Peugeot, Citroen, Opel and Vauxhall. Its aim is to give PSA a premium brand to rival the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, where design, craftsmanship and comfort can shine through.

We’ve already seen evidence of such qualities with the arrival of this year’s DS 7 Crossback, which is now being followed by this new, smaller DS 3 Crossback.

Designed to take over from the current, Mini-rivalling DS 3, the Crossback moves DS’s smallest car into SUV territory, and will be available either with conventional petrol and diesel engines, or as a fully electric car. The latter will use a 50kWh battery to give a range of around 150-200 miles between charges.

As with the larger DS 7, it is likely that comfort will be a major factor in the DS 3 Crossback’s dynamic behaviour, while extensive use of leather and metal trim should ensure a luxurious driving environment.

Skoda Kodiaq vRS
Skoda’s range of vRS models expands with the arrival of perhaps the most unlikely candidate yet: the Kodiaq. What we have here is a large SUV from a company renowned for building practical and sensible cars, but with a 237bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine under the bonnet.

Skoda says it’s taken this beast around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 9min 29.84 seconds and that this, apparently, is a record for a seven-seater. Who knew? Perhaps more relevant to buyers are the vRS-specific features such as the inviting sports seats, new bumpers with gloss black detailing, and 20-inch alloy wheels, or the fact this particular Kodiaq will get from 0-62mph in 7 seconds.

As standard the vRS comes with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, all-wheel drive, adaptive dampers and a sound booster to enhance the engine note. Clearly this is not your average Skoda, as will be reflected in a list price of around £40,000.

In the market for a used car? CarGurus makes it easy to find great deals from top-rated dealers. CarGurus compares price, detailed vehicle data and dealer reviews to give each used car a deal rating from great to overpriced, and sorts the best deals first. Find out more and begin your used car search at CarGurus

The content above is for informational purposes only and should be independently verified. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

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If you look at movies made in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, the future was full of cars — albeit very technologically advanced ones. Movies like “Back to the Future” had us dreaming of flying cars with time-traveling capabilities. But at the time, many of these technologies were stuck in the realm of imagination. What about now? Are these cars real or still destined for the future?

Flying Cars

For those old enough to remember “The Jetsons,” an animated TV show following George Jetson and his family, it showed American viewers what the future could look like — including travel by flying car. In 1962, a flying car seemed like… well, a flight of fancy. But car technology and innovation have barreled forward in the fifty-six years since “The Jetsons” debuted.

Flying cars are slowly becoming a reality. There are several companies — including Aston Martin, Uber and Terrafugia — that are bringing cars to the skies, to varying degrees of success. Uber is looking to the skies to avoid on-street traffic jams, while Terrafugia is focused on developing a plane-car hybrid. However, it will likely be a few years until everyday consumers can use them to get to and from work.

Underwater Cars

Bond fans may remember the Lotus Esprit in “The Spy Who Loved Me.” It helped James Bond, played by Roger Moore, in the 1977 movie through a car chase on land and in water. The moviemakers did use a real Esprit — two, in fact — in the 007 film: One was a road-ready Esprit, while the second one was a functional submarine. While the submarine version of the Esprit couldn’t drive, it still became a hot collector’s item. A driver who had a spare $1 million, aka Elon Musk, thought it was a catch. Can we take cars underwater yet? Not quite.

There are few examples of amphibious cars. The Lane Motor Museum is one of several places where drivers can experience amphibicars firsthand. The Boathouse in Orlando is another place where enthusiasts can enjoy amphibicars. While these vehicles are amazing, they’re designed to keep drivers above water, which makes us think true underwater cars will likely stay fictional… for now.

Self-Driving Race Cars

Herbie, a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle, raced onto the screen in 1968 in “The Love Bug.” Herbie had a mind of his own: He could drive himself as well as cause mischief on and off the racetrack. In fact, he could turn other Beetles into sentient cars, too! But it wasn’t artificial intelligence or LIDAR that gave Herbie his powers; it was pure movie magic.

Fifty years later, automakers have used technology to turn Herbie into a reality. Car companies, including Ford and GM, are teaming up with tech giants like Google and Uber to develop self-driving technology. They are using LIDAR as well as machine learning to teach cars to navigate streets on their own. According to tech experts, these autonomous cars aren’t up to Herbie level yet: They can complete some tasks autonomously, but still require drivers to be alert in case something goes awry.

Talking Cars

In 1982, Knight Industries Two Thousand, shortened to KITT, served as the sidekick to Michael Knight in the TV show “Knight Rider.” The 1982 Pontiac Firebird could not only drive itself, it used AI to communicate with Knight. It even had a personality of its own.

Artificial intelligence in cars is well on its way to becoming a full-fledged reality. At present, drivers can talk to Alexa, Siri or Google while behind the wheel (and in Alexa’s case, she can continue talking to you once you’re in the house). These programs can understand natural commands — and programmers are working to give these digital assistants a sense of humor, too.

Robot Cars

Transformers, which got their start as children’s toys, could turn everyday cars into larger-than-life robots. In 2007, Transformers got a reboot with the Michael Bay film franchise. Perhaps the most well known Transformer is Bumblebee. Originally a Yellow Volkswagen Beetle, the Michael Bay films revamped Bumblebee as a Chevy Camaro. Surely Transformers will always be fictional, right?

Transformers are real. A team in Poland took a cherry red BMW 3 Series and transformed it into a functional robot. Even crazier, the robot can return to its car state and continue driving.

Is there a futuristic car that didn’t make the list? What tech would love to see become a reality?

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Just when you thought Lego couldn’t get any cooler, it goes and builds a life-size, fully working Bugatti Chiron. Consisting of more than 1 million Lego Technic pieces, the 1:1-scale Chiron has been completely assembled by hand, a process which took more than 13,000 hours.

As you’d expect, the build created numerous challenges, not least of which was finding a way to craft curved panels out of straight plastic pieces in order to replicate the real Chiron’s bodywork, never mind the ability to make this 1.5-tonne creation drive under its own battery power. For the latter Lego used 2,304 of its Power Function electric motors (divided into 24 motor packs each of which consists of 96 motors) along with 2,016 of those little plastic axles and 4,032 cogs. Together this setup produces a mighty 5.3 horsepower, which is enough to give the 1.5-tonne Chiron a top speed of 12.5mph. Admittedly that’s slightly short of the 1,479bhp and 261mph a real Chiron generates, but it’s still impossible not to be impressed.

As with the real Chiron there’s also a fully adjustable rear wing and airbrake, which uses yet more of the Power Function motors along with Lego’s pneumatics system connected via 15 metres of tubing. This all operates automatically as you drive off or apply the brakes.

The Chiron was developed and built in Lego’s Kladno factory in the Czech Republic, where part of the site is dedicated to creating the large-scale models you see at Legoland theme parks and in Lego stores. Here the team devised a car that was not only a faithful representation of the Bugatti on the outside, but also on the inside, where the seats, dashboard, speedometer and steering wheel mimic the real Chiron’s, albeit made from tiny bricks and goodness knows how many of those little black connectors.

Now, if you’re one of those people who moans about how Lego these days features too many custom pieces then cover your eyes, because the Chiron is said to feature 56 such bespoke parts, albeit some are simply existing pieces made in new colours. Besides, it’s not exactly like all the bits are going to end up mixed together in a big box along with the train set and that Paradisa mansion you bought from a French hypermarket when you were 9.

The Amazing Life-size LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron that DRIVES! - YouTube

Among the countless other amazing details are an electric Lego screwdriver tool that was used to adjust the engine (a real screwdriver produces too much torque), plus a Lego keyhole and working key to switch the car on, and fully working LED lights that even carry the real Chiron’s signature start-up sequence. In fact, just about the only bits not made from Lego are the steel frame upon which the Lego body sits (it really does just ‘sit’ too, with no glue used), the hydraulic brake system, the steering, and the wheels and tyres. Oh, and then there’s the batteries, which primarily consist of one 80-volt unit and another standard 12-volt car battery – because let’s face it, finding enough AAs to power a life-size Chiron wouldn’t be easy.

What’s perhaps most startling about all this, aside from the fact it’s an actual working, driving Lego car, is that the project was only given the green light in September 2017, meaning it took just six months to become a reality.

Needless to say this is one set you won’t be seeing in shops, but as a demonstration of just how amazing a toy can be it surely doesn’t get much better.

In the market for a used car? CarGurus makes it easy to find great deals from top-rated dealers. CarGurus compares price, detailed vehicle data and dealer reviews to give each used car a deal rating from great to overpriced, and sorts the best deals first. Find out more and begin your used car search at CarGurus

The content above is for informational purposes only and should be independently verified. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

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