Lamborghini Urus SE
Car News 30 Apr 2024

April Car News Roundup

‘April seems to have gone past in the blink of an eye and already we are looking at May being just around the corner. Now that Spring has firmly arrived, hence our ‘Here Comes The Sun’ post last week, the days are getting ever longer and the frost and ice is replaced by sun and a hint of Summer. Whilst we may still be waiting for the warmer weather to return just yet to enjoy sunny road trips, there has been plenty of car news to keep us busy throughout the month of April. Here is our roundup of April’s car news:

Lamborghini Urus SE

Whilst it had been speculated for many years, the hybrid version of Lamborghini’s biggest ever selling model was finally revealed in the shape of the Urus SE. Their first real step towards a completely hybrid future, and their first plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Urus SE offers more power than ever before, yet to keep eco-friendly advocates happy, an 80% reduction in emissions. With a more aerodynamic profile, a more coupe like appearance than before and improved cooling and downforce, the Urus SE provides the full Lamborghini experience rather than a dampened one for greater efficiency.

Lamborghini Urus SE
Image courtesy of Lamborghini

The combination of the 4.0-litre V8 engine and electric motor assistance ensures that with just under 800bhp, the Urus SE is capable of 0-62mph in just 3.4 seconds and has a top speed of 194mph. It can also offer power to all four wheels in fully electric mode for up to 37 miles of silent driving at speeds of up to 80mph, or to pull away from home peacefully on a quiet morning rather than waking the whole street up. A hybrid Urus was inevitably going to be in the pipeline; however Lamborghini were always going to make sure it was done their way, with obscene amounts of power and without changing their exotic status.

Range Rover EV & Range Rover SV Burford Edition

For even longer than the hybrid Urus rumours had been in circulation, the first images of the all-electric Range Rover have also been released to the motoring press. Whilst the quiet running of the electric Range Rover will enhance the opulence and luxuriousness of the experience even further, the brand has been very vocal in stating that the performance will be equal to their most powerful V8 versions too. A statement enhanced by the latest images showing the SUV drifting during extreme cold weather testing in Sweden.

Range Rover EV
Image courtesy of Range Rover

Whilst no details about the car have been released just yet, the current flagship Range Rover V8 offers in excess of 600bhp, can accelerate from 0-62mph in just 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 162mph. So with most people looking forward to the quietness and comfort levels exceeding even the current Range Rover’s exacting standards, the engineering and handling seems to be just as much a priority for the newcomer. The current range starts at a little over £100,000 and can easily approach £200,000 or more for the flagship version in full SV trim with plenty of options, expect the all-electric model to be closer to the latter with its added wafting abilities.

For those looking for something a little more exclusive the brand have also released a limited production run of just 10 ‘Burford Edition’ models. Said to have been ‘inspired by the Cotswolds’ it ‘offers design cues and colour palettes from the beautiful British countryside’. Named after the town said to be the gateway to the Cotswolds, the Burford Edition uses a SV P615 V8 long wheel base as a starting point and features bespoke details unique to the limited edition model curated by Land Rover’s SV Bespoke commissioning house and tailored to each customer’s exacting wishes. With the ‘standard’ P615 LWB model starting at £190,000, you can expect the Burford Edition to be well in excess of £200,000.

Range Rover SV Burford Edition
Image courtesy of Range Rover

Mercedes Benz G580 with EQ Technology

Its almost as if the biggest brands in the business got together and agreed to launch all of their highly anticipated, much talked about SUV’s, at the same time. Joining the much talked about hybrid Urus and the even more talked about all-electric Range Rover is the equally hyped about all-electric G-Class. Despite most people thinking it would be named the EQG, Mercedes Benz have ignored convention and decided ‘G580 with EQ Technology’ was much more catchy. Yet despite the weird name, the ‘580’ part does actually mean that this quad-motor version offers 580bhp.

Mercedes-Benz G580
Image courtesy of Mercedes Benz

What that does mean too is that despite its weight of over 3 tonnes, this G-Wagon is more capable than those that have gone before it. With more torque, more power, greater wading capability (850mm if you’re interested) and the ability to control each wheel’s power independently, the G580 can not only conquer rough terrain like never before, but anyone who has searched online for the prototype doing a ‘tank turn’ will see how impressive being able to power each wheel and its direction actually is. With minimal aerodynamic improvements to attempt to make the boxy shape a bit more slippery, range is claimed to be 285 miles, yet the increase in power means 0-62mph should still be possible in a little over 4.5-seconds. The G580 is expected to cost well in excess of £160,000, probably closer to £200,000 by the time sought after options are added.

Aston Martin DBX 707

In a break to the electric news arrivals, Aston Martin have decided to keep their flagship SUV at the forefront of people’s minds, yet not in a way you might expect. Their DBX 707 offers the same 4.0-litre AMG-sourced V8 engine producing almost 700bhp (707PS hence ‘707’), it is slightly quicker to 62mph at 3.1 seconds rather than 3.3, and the top speed remains at 193mph. Whilst it looks the same from the outside, an appearance that is aging very well especially in 707 form, it is the inside which sees the biggest change of all.

Aston Martin DBX 707 Interior
Image courtesy of Aston Martin

With the launch of the DB12 and the new Vantage, Aston Martin showed us a stylish and contemporary yet thoroughly modern interior that is a vast improvement over their previous generation. Gone is the comparatively vintage Mercedes Benz software and technology, replaced by an all-new bespoke Aston Martin system developed in house, and accompanied by large touchscreens rather than awkward rotary or computer mouse-like controls. The DBX has now received the same overhaul to its interior, making the model now a very nice place to sit indeed. But it isn’t just the technology, everything about the interior has been improved, refined and brought right up to date. Aston Martin are so proud of their new 707 that they’ve made it the only model in the line up, removing the 540bhp ‘entry-level’ car completely, with the sole model starting at just over £200,000.

Lamborghini Huracan STJ

With the new Revuelto and the recent announcement of the Urus SE, Lamborghini are looking to the future of their cars, which also means the Huracan is not much longer for this world. But after 10 years in production and over 20,000 cars sold, it has been a huge success for the brand. After various special editions over the years they have decided to release just one more to celebrate the success of the model and produce the ultimate track honed version. Based on the STO and called the STJ, the limited production model features motorsport inspired changes to the bodywork for improved airflow management, as well as the suspension set up and even new tyres to create a car that can lap the Nardo handling circuit a full second quicker than the car it is based on.

Lamborghini Huracan STJ
Image courtesy of Lamborghini

Whilst that might not sound like a lot, with the power output unchanged at 630bhp, a full second difference from changing the bodywork and improving the suspension is quite impressive. Understandably for a Lamborghini it also features a wild colour scheme of Blue, Black, Red and White to make it stand out from the anything-but-standard ‘standard’ STO. If you are interested in the Huracan STJ you better be quick, there are only going to be 10 examples produced and chances are they probably all have been assigned. But then again, many ‘final editions’ of outgoing supercars tend not to be actually the last ones made, so you may see an even more extreme version announced just yet.

Maserati GranCabrio Folgore

As mentioned in our previous ‘Here Comes The Sun’ article, the choice of which fully electric convertible to buy currently stands at either a Mini or a Fiat 500. Not exactly a wide range to choose from. Whilst more models will inevitably be announced in the not so distant future, Maserati have gone early and announced their GranCabrio Folgore convertible version of the GranTurismo Folgore. Being a Maserati it is obviously stunningly beautiful to look at, both inside and out, yet surprisingly for fans of the brand it is powered by a 750bhp tri-motor all-electric powerplant sending over 1,000Nm of torque to all four wheels.

Maserati GranCabrio Folgore
Image courtesy of Maserati

As well as the obvious impressive power levels, a 92.5kWh battery also means that the GranCabrio Folgore can waft around very quietly for up to 280 miles. Yet for those not wanting to be so quiet and let everyone know you have a Maserati, the manufacturer have suggested that it could potentially come with a ‘sound generator’ much like the Abarth version of the all-electric 500. The car is expected to cost a little more than the £180,000 price of the petrol version so expect around £200,000 before any options.

Alfa Romeo Milano / Junior

Alfa Romeo are another famous Italian name who are making strides in the all-electric marketplace by offering style and sophistication to an otherwise bland array of electric car choices. However, their latest model had more of a slight stumble than a meaningful stride. Their brand-new baby SUV was announced as the ‘Milano’, yet under Italian law any product that sounds like it was made in Italy by the name has to actually be made in Italy. With the car actually being built in Poland, the Italian brand hastily changed it to ‘Junior’, a name used previously in their historic past, to avoid a run in with the Italian Government.

Alfa Romeo Junior
Image courtesy of Alfa Romeo

It may be based on the same platform that is found under the Fiat 600, Jeep Avenger, Peugeot 2008 and Vauxhall Corsa, but thanks to Alfa Romeo penchant for stylish design and sporty credentials, it looks like none of them. It appears aggressive and purposeful in stance and thanks to up to 238bhp it should offer the best performance and handling in its class. Range is claimed to be around 250 miles which is more than sufficient for a compact SUV. Alfa Romeo are hoping the new Junior will massively boost sales for the brand and at around £35,000 it should be a tempting prospect for those looking for a small electric SUV. Just hope the name remains the only stumbling block for the model.

Audi S3

The Audi S3 is often overlooked as a hot hatch/saloon alternative, not because it isn’t a good car, just because the bonkers 400bhp RS3 usually takes all the headlines. With that in mind, Audi have given their not-quite-as-hot hot hatchback/saloon a mid-life makeover with updated appearance as well as performance to make the model even more tempting than ever before. The uprated 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine now produces 328bhp making it the most powerful S3 yet, whilst a new Dynamic+ driving mode further sharpens throttle response, quickens gearshift changes on the 7-speed DSG transmission and engages the ‘torque splitter’ borrowed from the RS3.

Audi S3
Image courtesy of Audi

Also brought over from the RS3 is more aggressive styling and darker trim pieces to make the S3 look meaner and more purposeful than ever before. The new front bumper houses the updated flat logo design and more streamlined angles, whilst the trademark quad exhaust pipes remain along with lowered suspension and large 18 or 19” wheels. Those opting for the top of the range ‘Vorsprung’ model will also include adaptive dampers and more technology than you will find in most other compact premium cars. Prices start at £47,500, but with the RS3 starting at almost £10,000 more, the S3 remains an impressive prospect for a considerable saving.

Notable Cars For Sale

Classic or future classic cars commanding a high price are usually dependant on a number of factors. Either the care is incredibly rare, sought after, a combination of both of those things or comes with incredible provenance. It is the latter that can make all the difference to the perceived value of even a run of the mill or car that sold in high numbers and can mean that its value is many times a similar model without a similar back story.

One of those things that offer the strongest provenance are if that car has a famous former owner, especially if they are a notable figure in the world of motor racing. Up for sale recently was a combination that in terms of provenance is almost as good as it gets. The car in question was a 1999 Honda NSX, but not just any NSX, but one personally owned by the late great Ayrton Senna.

1999 Honda NSX
Image courtesy of Top Gear Magazine

The reason this makes such a difference is that for one Ayrton Senna was one of the greatest racing drivers of all time, secondly he was responsible for much of the development of the handling of the NSX before it was launched and thirdly, this was his personal car that he kept at his home in Portugal. So how much does all this provenance add to the price of a car like this? Well if you are interested in purchasing a piece of automotive history that is hard to beat, it is currently for sale on popular automotive maketplace Auto Trader for the princely sum of £500,000.

On the other hand, some cars are merely valuable because of what they are and what they represent. Over the past 30 years one of the most collectable and valuable cars money can but has been the McLaren F1. Designed and engineered to be the best driving car money can buy, the McLaren F1 was developed by none other than F1 designer extraordinaire, Gordon Murray and was the fastest production car in the world right up until 2005. The naturally aspirated 6.1-litre BMW V12 produces 627bhp which propels the car to just over 240mph.

McLaren F1 Chassis #29
Image courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Recently announced for sale is an example of the 106 produced that was sold in 2021 for just over $20 million and is due to be sold again at an RM Sotheby’s auction in May. What makes this car special is that apart from the unique Creighton Brown paintwork (the only one in this colour) and the fact that the custom-fitted luggage, tool chest, tool roll and one-off TAG Heuer watch with chassis number inscription are all included, is the fact that since 1995 it has covered just 254 miles. Less than 9 miles per year since it was built in 1995. Estimates are that it will sell for well over $20 million this time around too, so if you are interested we do offer Auction Car Finance too.


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