Bugatti Tourbillon
Car News 27 Jun 2024

What A Week It Has Been

What a week it has been. New car launches and announcements are usually drip fed into the media in a seemingly random and sporadic fashion, however this week the car manufacturers seemed to want to release all their news in one go. Over the past 7 days there have been everything from new hypercars announced to the launch of performance saloon car royalty to limited production track focused cars and even major investment from one of the worlds biggest manufacturers in a start up.
So just in case you missed anything, here is our roundup of the headline car news from the past week:

Bugatti Tourbillon

Bugatti marked the exact date of the 20-year anniversary of the launch of the iconic Veyron with the announcement of their upcoming Chiron replacement, the Tourbillion. Slated as the beginning of their new era under their new leader, electric powertrain pioneer Mate Rimac, the figures for their new hypercar certainly do not disappoint. Out goes the legendary quad-turbocharged 8.0-litre W16 and in comes a naturally aspirated V16, developed with engine magicians Cosworth, and featuring plug-in hybrid assistance for extra power. A lot of extra power.

What A Week It Has Been - Bugatti Tourbillon
Image courtesy of Bugatti

The 8.3-litre V16 produces 986bhp on its own, then has a trio of electric motors supplied by Rimac that produce an extra 789bhp. The headline figures also state that all of that power will result in a top speed of 276mph, a 0-62mph time of around 2.0 seconds and 0-124mph in less than 5 seconds. But as usual with a Bugatti, the attention to detail and exceptional craftsmanship is just as impressive as the speed and power. Firstly the car is named after a tiny mechanism that maintains accuracy in high-end watches, a theme that is obvious with the exposed mechanical workings of the speedometer and rev counter. The instrument cluster alone is comprised of over 600 tiny components and constructed by Swiss watchmakers with microscopic tolerances and using exotic materials such as titanium, sapphire and ruby.

The interior, as with the rest of the car, is designed to have ‘timeless’ appeal, and the use of physical buttons and analogue dials a refreshing change in todays digital world. Every exterior line, crease or vent has been meticulously crafted to optimise airflow, cooling and aerodynamic efficiency. Just 250 Tourbillon examples will be produced, half the amount of Chirons and 200 less than the number of Veyrons made, and the starting price is £3.2million. Even at that price, the exclusivity and demand is bound to mean that if you want one, you better move fast.

McMurty Speirling

Speaking of vehicles that seem to defy the laws of physics, the McMurty Speirling has proved just how impressive a machine it is, yet again. Setting the record time on the Goodwood hillclimb in 2022 by over 2 seconds, and in the process beating a 23 year old record set by a McLaren Formula 1 car, was just the beginning, McMurty are keen to show just what they’re car can really do. This time they have taken on the Hockenheim circuit in Germany and the result was definitely spectacular. Its time of 1minute 24 seconds is over 14 seconds quicker than the time set by the AMG One F1-engined hypercar, now that is impressive. Especially since the car was running at just 75% of its power and downforce, very impressive indeed.

What A Week It Has Been - McMurty Speirling
Image courtesy of McMurty

So what makes the McMurty so incredibly quick? Obviously the first thing is power. With two electric motors sending around 1,000bhp to the rear wheels the Speirling has more than enough power to accelerate as quickly as the best of them. But where the car differs is that it is extremely light. The whole car weighs less than a tonne and its footprint is very small so handling, cornering speeds and acceleration are even more impressive with all that power in reserve. Its trump card however is the amount of downforce it can produce. Twin fans effectively suck the car to the ground and produce up to 2,000kg of downforce at any speed, an F1 car typically produces 750kg of downforce. It may have limited use in the real world but McMurty are proving just how impressive their Speirling is at racetracks around the world. On to the next one.

RS200 and Escort MkI

Retro inspired cars have been having a resurgence for quite some time now. What started with the MINI and continued to the Fiat 500, the Defender, the VW Beetle, the new Land Cruiser and now continues with the forthcoming Renault 5, has now led to the announcement of two icons that are to be reborn for the 21st century. One of Ford’s official licence partners, Boreham Motorworks, have officially been given approval to produce a road legal version of the RS200 rally car and Mark 1 Escort.

What A Week It Has Been - Boreham Motorworks RS200 & Mk1 Escort
Image courtesy of Boreham Motorworks

The Fast Ford movement is as popular as ever and just like Prodrive did with the ‘P25’ new born Impreza, Ford are keen to use the looks and appeal of two of their most legendary motorsport vehicles to see what a modern day interpretation would look and drive like. Details are scarce at the moment but Boreham Motorworks have confirmed that the two reborn icons will be built in very limited numbers and that there are plans to recreate ‘5 further iconic Ford vehicles’. Assuming the Escort or Sierra Cosworth is more likely to be in mind rather than a reborn Ford Cougar or Ford Explorer, though the latter would see appeal from a Jurassic Park special livery.

Audi RS3

Audi has quietly been refreshing their A3 line up with minor revisions to the exterior and even less changes to the interior appearance. Aside from incorporating their new more simple logo to the front and rear, and some minor bumper design changes, not much has changed. Their hot S3 variant had seen the most improvements with technology and engineering borrowed from their even hotter RS3, and now it is the RS3’s turn for a mid-life refresh. Again, minor appearance changes and perhaps a new grille to accompany the new badge, it is the bits you can’t see that have been changed the most.

What A Week It Has Been - 2024 Audi RS3
Image courtesy of Audi

In order to make the driving experience and the performance even better than before, the RS3 now has various chassis and handling improvements, revamped stability control and uprated damper settings, as well as something called a ‘fully variable torque distribution system’. What it does mean is that the car ‘turns more willingly’ and the ability to carry even more speed through a corner. Despite the near 400bhp power output from the 2.5-litre 5-cylinder engine remaining unchanged, the facelift RS3 is now 5 seconds quicker round the Nürburgring than its chief rival, the BMW M2, and is as fast as a 997 Porsche 911 GT3 RS and Pagani Zonda F. Not too bad at all for a hot hatchback or family saloon.


Speaking of performance saloons, BMW have announced the all new BMW M5. Exactly 40 years since its launch and the invention of the super-saloon genre, BMW have shown us the 7th generation and its most radical to date. As is the way with most new cars these days, the M5 has gone hybrid. The 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 remains although now it is assisted by a 194bhp motor resulting in 717bhp sent to all four wheels. What it does mean however is that thanks to the electric motor and bank of batteries the M5 is now quite a heavy car, as weighty in fact as a Bentley Flying Spur at over 2.4 tonnes.

What A Week It Has Been - 2024 BMW M5
Image courtesy of BMW

The increase in power yet increase in mass means that the new M5 is actually 0.2 seconds slower to 62mph than the old ‘Competition’ car, yet still impressive at just 3.5 seconds. What it does mean however is that it can run on electric power only for a claimed maximum of 43 miles and at speeds of up to 87mph. Not entirely sure how useful that is going to be to M5 buyers, but useful when starting up early in the morning or on the daily commute. Systems such as multi-stage stability control, triple-mode active suspension, and four-wheel steering should mean the latest M5 can outperform almost everything in its class. It also now starts at base price of £110,500, and there is also an all-new M5 Touring coming in a few months’ time.

Bentley Continental GT

Another iconic car that is switching to hybrid power is the newly announced Bentley Continental GT. In the same way that the M5 is offering more power than ever with its hybrid assistance, the grand touring Bentley is also providing the same claim. Ditching the thirsty 6.0-litre W12, the Continental GT now comes with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 and hybrid assistance to produce 771bhp. This means that the luxurious and opulent coupe can now accelerate from 0-62mph in just 3.1 seconds and will keep going to 208mph.

2024 Bentley Continental GT Speed
Image courtesy of Bentley

It can also drive for 50 miles on electric power alone and at speeds of up to 87mph and thanks to clever packaging, means that the Bentley now offers almost perfect 50:50 weight distribution. So whereas the M5 may disappoint some fans for the way it handles, the Continental GT, which was never a light car to begin with, should handle better than ever. Despite sharper steering and a new ‘Dynamic’ mode, Bentley are also claiming the ‘best Continental ride comfort to date’, so it should be even more of an all-rounder than it has ever been. Externally the styling has been sharpened up and the lines are cleaner and more minimalist than ever before. Prices for the new model start at a £236,000 before you’ve had a play with the no doubt very extensive list of optional extras and customisation possibilities.

Audi RS Q8 Performance

In what looks like a final swansong for the combustion only engine super-SUV, Audi have announced the Performance version of their already impressive RS Q8. Not only is it faster than ever but the 631bhp 4.0-litre twin turbocharged V8 engine is the most powerful combustion engine that Audi Sport have ever produced. The more aggressive bumpers, lighter and louder exhaust system and new paint options mean that the flagship SUV is also better looking and sounding than ever before too.

Audi RS Q8 Performance
Image courtesy of Audi

The RS Q8 was always the more subtle and slightly less powerful alternative to the Lamborghini Urus, however these days, before the Hybrid version appears at least, it is closing the gap more than ever before. 0-62mph now takes just 3.6 seconds and the top speed is 190mph. In fact, despite competition from the Urus, the Aston Martin DBX 707, Porsche’s Cayenne Turbo GT and the Range Rover Sport SV, the RS Q8 performance actually holds the record for SUV’s around the Nürburgring, with a time of just 7 minutes 36 seconds, that’s quicker than a Lexus LFA or Ferrari 458.

Audi RS E-tron GT Performance

It may be slightly over a week since this one was announced, but it still deserves a mention, Audi released that the RS E-tron GT is to also get a Performance version added to the line-up. Audi Sport were keen to emphasise the sporting prowess of their flagship electric offering, so much so that they built the RS E-tron GT alongside the R8. Now that the R8 is no longer with us, they have exaggerated its sporting abilities even further by introducing their most powerful road car ever, the RS E-tron GT Performance.

Audi RS e-tron GT performance
Image courtesy of Audi

By borrowing technology from its recently updated sister car, the Porsche Taycan, the pair of electric motors are now not only 10kg lighter than before but are now capable of producing a power crazed 912bhp, enough to propel the car from 0-62mph in just 2.5 seconds. The battery pack is now also slightly lighter and charging capability is now up to 320kW so 10-80% charge is now possible in just 18 minutes, and the range is now a maximum 380 miles. UK prices are yet to be announced as yet, but the European price for the RS Performance starts at €160,500, so around €30k less expensive than the Taycan Turbo S for similar performance. A tempting alternative for sure.

Aston Martin Valiant

When Aston Martin celebrated 110 years of the company with the limited production £1.5m Valour, one person thought it wasn’t quite extreme enough. That man knows a thing or two about driving a car though, especially driving an Aston Martin; Fernando Alonso. The two-time F1 champion and Aston Martin driver wanted a bit more from his Valour so the company duly obliged and created a one-off harder, faster and racier version, the Valiant. That is, one-off until now. Fresh of the back of the 110 Valour examples they built, they are also going to build 38 of Alonso’s more extreme Valiant at £2million each.

Aston Martin Valiant
Image courtesy of Aston Martin

So, what does an Alonso approved one-off custom build entail? Well for starters the bodywork is all carbon fibre, bodywork that is even more aggressive and muscular than the Valour, and it now comes with a deeper front splitter and huge fixed rear wing now too. Under the bonnet is Aston’s 5.2-litre twin-turbocharged V12 producing 30 more horsepower, now 735bhp, and mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. Weight saving has been applied wherever possible and there’s a roll-cage to accommodate four-point harnesses, even the interior carbon fibre is trimmed in what Aston call ‘lightweight upholstery’. Fernando says ‘I believe we have created a masterpiece’ and who are we to disagree. The Valiant is likely to be one of the most engaging Aston Martin cars ever to drive, whether you can get your name on the waiting list for one however is another matter entirely.

Volkswagen Invest In Rivian

Innovative and pioneering newly created electric car brands are having a bit of a tough time of late, fuelled mainly by the drop in demand for EV’s. Despite a lot of promise and great products, ambitious firm Fisker have gone into administration and there are dangers that a few others may follow suit. One firm who have a bit less to worry about in that respect however is EV start up Rivian. Famed for their promising forthcoming line up as well as their impressive R1T all-electric pickup truck, Rivian have just received investment by automotive giant Volkswagen to the tune of $5billion.

Rivian R2
Image courtesy of Rivian

This investment ensures that their newly announced R2 and R3 are certain to actually make it to production, whilst for Volkswagen they receive much needed help with their software and next generation EV architecture. It should also mean that they will ultimately be able to reduce costs through the sharing of technology, with the Rivian brand given faith in their products by such a renowned name, and the VW brand will be keen to embrace the pioneering approach that Rivian have shown. With so many EV start ups showing the way forward with a new approach and outside the box thinking, it is good to see a firm like VW putting their faith in what the company has to offer.

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