A bit like a new Coldplay album, you can’t imagine Porsche ever cocking up the new Cayenne, now can you. That means not straying from the successful SUV recipe that saved the German marque from bankruptcy two decades ago. The rear gets a Panamera look with a signature style line adjoining the tail lamps, while the front is mostly play-it-again Mk2 Cayenne. Tech wise there’s a 48-volt backbone powering active anti-roll and three-chamber air suspension just like the Bentley Bentayga. Two petrol engines are available at launch: both V6 turbo, one ‘S’ and one regular. Interestingly, no talk of the dreaded ‘d’ word, bosses say diesel ‘isn’t important to Porsche’ anymore. Pah!
2nd quarter 2018 – local Cayenne arrival date.
Bentley Continental GT
Gentlemen, start your engines! Forget it’s a two-door Panamera (really nothing wrong with that) and focus on the important stuff. It’s faster, sleeker, more efficient and packed with limousine-rivalling technology. A lux GT is all about pulling admiring glances and the Flying B nails it with EXP 10 Speed 6 concept cues, and, a dose of chiseled Panamera at the rear. It shares its clever air suspension and dashboard with the Cayenne you just read about, while a 6.0-litre W12 delivers all the pomp to go with the circumstance – 0-100kph in 3.7sec courtesy of launch control and an orderly top speed of 333kph, thank you very much.
80kg – weight saved over its predecessor.
BMW Z4 Concept
BMW does have a knack for building up expectations with its flighty concepts, only to bring flaccid production cars to market. Let’s sincerely hope it’s not more of the same with the newly revealed Z4 Concept. The nitty-gritty dictates a shorter bonnet, double-stacked headlights, wider kidney grille and an aero-honed ‘shark nose’. It looks superb, for now, while it’s understood a fizzy 2.0-litre turbo will drive the rear wheels, with a six-cylinder turbo doing work in a potential Z4M derivative. BMW is collaborating with Toyota on this one. The new Supra will be a hardtop, while the Z4 will be roadster only. Sounds fair to us!
335kW – expected output of a peppery Z4M range-topper.
What took you so long, VW? Didn’t think a baby Tiguan would be the hottest compact crossover of the year, or any year for that matter? Well, Wolfsburg insiders are prepared for fireworks, expecting this car’s blatant departure from the solid if unspectacular VeeDub norm to be the catalyst. Two-tone paint, a silly name referencing rocks, we think, and three exterior options: Style, Sport and R-Line to customise the look. Rather usefully, it makes do with the MQB platform of the Tiguan, so it’s not exactly pokey inside either – 445/1290 litres 60/40 rear stowage. 1.0- and 2.0-litre petrol and diesel models are likely to make up the local range. No word yet on arrival dates.
11.7-inch – size of VW’s optional Active InfoDisplay.
When these British tinkerers make stuff, it tends to be mega: skeletal Atom, mental Nomad, et al. Now, as is the way with modern high performance cars, lightweight, grippy and lots of power is no longer enough; it needs to be hybrid. So Ariel is throwing its hat into the ring, too. 880kW, AWD, 0-100kph in 2.4sec and 0-250kph in 7.9sec. If anyone has the track record to pull something like this off, it’s Ariel. And the name? It’s only a working title for now but ‘Hiper’ stands for High Performance Carbon Reduction. Indeed.
1800Nm – projected torque figure of one hyperactive Hipercar.
Maranello’s new entry-level car is coming across as anything but these days. Bye, bye California T, hello another with a name that’s drop-top friendly, the Portofino, named after an Italian port town. A name needs substance though, and this one isn’t lacking. I don’t know if hurricanes come through that particular port but they certainly will when 442kW/760Nm has been unleashed from its upgraded 3.9-litre V8. Acceleration is up, 3.5sec to 100kph, as is the 320kph top speed. However, it’s exterior styling that’s likely to conquest buyers in the 2+2 cabriolet stakes. A body which not only looks good but features reduced drag and improved aero thanks to channeling of the passing airstream.
30 percent – how much Ferrari has improved roof-down wind buffeting.
Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet
Take the nostalgic splendor of Mercedes-Maybach’s Vision 6, shown at last year’s Pebble Beach Car Week, add a dollop of droptop hedonism and the Vision 6 Cabriolet is the outcome. That, or you’ve stumbled upon Cruella Deville’s company car. 5.7m long, 24-inch rims, this car is a complete flight of fancy. Even the drivetrain is ludicrous – a 550kW electric motor that’ll launch it to 100kph in less than four seconds. All immaterial, frankly, when you see the open pore wood, rose gold and nappa leather super-yacht interior bathed in art deco finery. ‘360 degree open air luxury lounge’ is what Mercedes is calling it. Can’t argue with that!
80kWh – theoretically battery capacity of the Vision 6
If you didn’t think it was possible for BMW’s M5 to get any more hardcore, think again. The sixth generation with 442kW/750Nm courtesy of new turbos, a new manifold and higher injection pressure is M wringing its boosted 4.4-litre to the max. Never the most lovable or sonorous motor, the car is now augmented by selectable AWD, dubbed M xDrive, which BMW says brings the front wheels into play ‘only when the rear wheels reach their limit of adhesion.’ Which is going to be fairly regularly we’re guessing. Performance figures are predictably rapid thanks to all four wheels clawing tarmac under acceleration: 0-100kph in 3.4sec. But toggle through the five driver modes and one allows you to switch off DSC fully and send propulsion to the rears only. Hoonigans rejoice!
350 bar – boost pressure of M5’s uprated twin-turbo V8.