• Five British custom car builders that you’ve probably never heard of

    By Permalink

    The British automotive industry was once thriving, with globally recognised manufacturers like Aston Martin, Bentley and Jaguar leading the way in engineering innovations. However, whilst these brands remain British by design, they ceased to be manufactured on British soil decades ago and are now owned by automotive giants like VW and Ford. Now, hardly any “British” cars we see on the roads today are actually crafted in Britain and so there is an increased demand for niche UK custom car builders to keep the industry current. Here, machinery manufactures, Baileigh Industrial, present five custom car builders that you’ve probably never heard of.

    Charlie’s Classic ‘N’ Custom

    With an impressive eye for detail, Somerset-based Charlie’s Classic ‘N’ Custom offer ‘top-gear’ bespoke body manufacturing and paint work for all vehicle models. At Charlie’s they are dedicated to providing the highest-quality workmanship for classic and custom car repairs and restorations. For long-term durability and reliability, Charlie’s classic ‘n’ custom is almost unrivalled, a must visit for custom-car enthusiasts.

    Custom Car Mods

    Custom Car Mods

    South Coast Vehicle Restoration

    South Coast Vehicle Restoration have made it their goal to add a contemporary twist to basic car models. By making small tweaks to original elements and sticking closely to the original design briefs, they have transformed hundreds of cherished classic vehicles. Whether you’re looking for a glossy new paint-job, or an extreme modification, this Hampshire based company can deliver an exceptional level of service and results.

    Autostyl

    With over ten years’ experience building and restoring cars, Autostyl offer everything from routine maintenance to custom roll-cage design and welding/ fabrication services. Whether you’re an A to B driver, a rally driver, or, a show queen, Autostyl are a one-stop-shop for all your motoring needs. Their fully equipped workshop combined with their specialist skill-sets means they are well-paced to deal with new challenges, quickly and efficiently, whilst working to the highest standard.

    Southan Metalcraft LTD

    Taking a more traditional approach to car manufacturing, SM tries to make each project unique – there’s no production line of mass-produced copies, just the love and skill of hard-working specialists. Each project is treated as an individual bespoke creation and handled with the care and respect they deserve. Their custom car modifications are works of art, featuring both classic and contemporary upgrades.

    Vintage Car Restoration

    Vintage Car Restoration

    JC Welding Services

    Focused entirely on modern and classic VW vehicles, JC Welding Services caters to a specific niche, offering a high level of attention to detail and skill. Restoring and rebuilding classic Volkswagen cars and vans following years of experience allows this company to balance price with quality, making it a must-use for any VW owner or enthusiast. Committed to honesty and trust, JC offers money-can’t-buy advice, alongside their renowned services.

    Continue Reading…

  • DENDROBIUM D-1 E-HYPERCAR: PLUG & PLAY @ 200-PLUS MPH!

    DENDROBIUM D-1 E-HYPERCAR: PLUG & PLAY @ 200-PLUS MPH!

    The Dendrobium D-1 e-hypercar is confirmed for development and production in UK and debut presentation at Salon Privé.

    DENDROBIUM D-1 E-HYPERCAR: PLUG & PLAY @ 200-PLUS MPH!After the highly successful international introduction at the Geneva International Motor Show in 2017 and subsequent presentations throughout Europe and the Far East, the Dendrobium D-1 electric hypercar has taken its next steps towards production with an all-new company, Dendrobium Automotive Limited, now established in the UK.  The Dendrobium D-1 will be officially presented in public for the first time in the UK at Salon Privé, which takes place in the grounds of the Blenheim Palace from August 30th – September 1st.

    The Dendrobium D-1 was originally a basic electric hypercar design concept, created in the mid-1990s, by Vanda Electrics, a Singaporean product design company. In 2016 the sketched designs were presented to UK engineering and Formula 1™ company, Williams Advanced Engineering with a brief for them to create a working show car integrating many features of the car which would appear on the production version to be presented at Geneva. A uniquely qualified management team has now been recruited to take the Dendrobium D-1 into its next phase of development.

    Nigel Gordon-Stewart is Chairman and CEO of Dendrobium Automotive Limited. Gordon-Stewart has been working in the premium and supercar markets since 1989. He is best known for the sales and marketing of the McLaren F1 and subsequently as Sales & Marketing Director of Automobili Lamborghini SpA reintroducing the Super Veloce brand with the Diablo SV and SVR. He was later an Associate Director to the Board at Group Lotus Plc among other senior roles.

    “Dendrobium Automotive is one of the most exciting businesses I’ve ever been involved with.” commented Gordon-Stewart. “Using the very latest technology, we are developing, what will be, the most impressive all-electric hypercar. We are designing our own in-house all-electric powertrain and we plan to use our own power storage cells moving to Solid State as and when the technology is reliable and financially viable. We are developing unique cabling and connector systems as well as our own complete vehicle integration and ADAS hardware and software. From a technical perspective, the D-1 will be a British engineering tour-de-force.”

    DENDROBIUM D-1 E-HYPERCAR: PLUG & PLAY @ 200-PLUS MPH!The specification targets of the D-1 are as impressive as you’d expect from a hypercar in this sector: 1,800 horsepower; 2,000 NM and a target weight of 1,750 kgs yet it must represent the true feel of a supercar, not big and heavy. Performance will be very impressive and as linear as possible in its delivery, re-writing the rules for the experience of hypercar ownership. “The car is all carbon fibre, advanced composites and alloys which are superlight and super strong,” stated Jens Sverdrup, Member of the Board of Dendrobium Automotive Limited. Sverdrup has a highly successful background in the supercar industry having worked with Lamborghini, Ferrari and Pagani but is best known for establishing the Koenigsegg brand on the map to the extent that it’s now one of the most desirable and highly valued brands in the supercar sector. Recently he’s been responsible for raising Rimac Automobili’s profile globally.

    “The construction of the D-1 is based on a unique Protocell carbon tub which possesses future adaptability for further generations of Dendrobium e-performance cars. Apart from advanced vehicle technology, the D-1 has enormous drama and presence thanks to our unique Bio-Aerial Locomotion door and roof opening system, which was inspired by the Dendrobium name. A lot more details will be revealed over the coming months, not the least of which will be the D-1’s impressive range and rapid charge time. You can be assured that the Dendrobium brand will become synonymous with the most exciting and technically sophisticated e-hypercars on the market and available globally.”

    “Although all the Dendrobium team has automotive blood running in their veins, we are essentially a technology company developing ultra-performance EV and PHEV cars, systems and components,” continued Gordon-Stewart. “Our Advisory Board is chaired by Michael Kimberley who created Lotus Engineering back in 1978 with Colin Chapman which has provided engineering consultancy and technology services throughout the automotive industry with clients from Toyota to Aston Martin.”

    For more information and the latest news from Dendrobium, please visit  https://dendrobium.com/about-us/

    Check out https://www.salonpriveconcours.com/ for details of events at Salon Privé.

    The post DENDROBIUM D-1 E-HYPERCAR: PLUG & PLAY @ 200-PLUS MPH! appeared first on Car Guy Chronicles.

    Continue Reading…

  • How to Reduce Tyre Overloading

    By Permalink

    We love travelling in cars, vans and motorhomes for the freedom and comfort they give us. And we love the fact we can bring lots of things along. But when we pack our lives into our cars or load the caravan for a trip, we often forget to think about how much additional weight we are adding. Tyres can’t bear unlimited weight! Just because your van has enough space to fit that bike, boat, and a cooler packed with food doesn’t mean your tyres can cope with the task. The same applies to an SUV towing a trailer or a car with a roof box piled high for a road trip.

    For a safe trip, it is crucial not to overload your vehicle. It is very important to adjust your tyre pressure depending on the weight you have added. We’ll tell how to avoid overloading tyres when on a long trip.

    Why is overloading dangerous?

    The tyre is doing very hard work supporting the total weight of the vehicle and withstanding deformations, speed, heat and incredible forces. Heat causes exfoliation and separation of tread pieces as well as sidewall cords damage that can progress even after the extra load is removed. If your vehicle is overloaded then these forces are multiplied. Every tyre has a specific weight limit you shouldn’t exceed or it will simply fail – think about what will happen if you experience a blow at in your hugely overloaded car at high speed on a busy motorway.

    Consistently using tyres on the top of their weight limit degrades tyres the same as overloading them for a short time. If a tyre has already been underinflated or damaged, even a small extra load can lead to a blowout.

    How can overloading be avoided?

    1. Know your limits. At first, you need to find out how much weight your tyres need to support. This information can be found in your cars owner’s manual or on the sticker placed on the driver’s doorjamb. Then check the tyre’s maximum load capacity on its sidewall. It must be equal to or more than the total load you are going to bring along. In this case, your tyres must be inflated to their maximum pressure (this information can also be found in the owner’s manual), which MUSTN’T be exceeded. Let’s assume that information on the tyre’s sidewall says “Max 2,000 lb @ 35 psi”. It means that the tyre can carry the maximum of 2,000 pounds being inflated to no more than 35 pounds per square inch. It also means that, once your car has 4 tyres, the total weight of the car and baggage mustn’t exceed 8,000 pounds.

    If in doubt refer to Tyresafe’s car tyre or caravan tyre pressure calculators.

    2. Choose tyres accordingly. If you need to haul heavy loads, consider changing your tyres for another set with the same size but a higher load capacity or slightly larger tyres. Consult a tyre specialist before opting for larger tyres. Another solution is to increase pressure in tyres if their maximum pressure limit allows doing so. For your RV, use only caravan tyres that match your owner manual’s specifications.
    3. Choose motorhome wisely. If you are going to rent a recreational vehicle, do it with your prospective load in mind. Modern RVs vary in design, size, and loading capacity. Some of them have equipment for carrying a certain type of cargo like a motorcycle, bikes, or a boat.

    Continue Reading…

  • Ford Focus RS Promises Cheaper Thrills

    By , , Permalink

    There was no question that the 2016 Ford Focus RS was going to be quick. That was always a given. No, the question was always “how quick?”.

    Now we know. With 350PS and 440Nm the turbocharged 2.3-litre Ecoboost propels the Focus to 62mph in just 4.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 165mph. That’s nearly a whole second faster than the previous fastest Focus, the RS500, and it’s a lot cheaper than that limited edition RS.

    It’s hardly a surprise that this is the fastest accelerating RS model ever, that’s progress for you! What is a surprise is the price that Ford are asking for this level of performance – just £28,940.

    In terms of thrills gained against hard-earned money spent there’s nothing that can touch it. It’s cheaper than a 300PS Golf R and makes the Leon Cupra, Megane Renaultsport and Astra VXR look under-endowed. What it emphatically does is stick two fingers up at the Audi RS3 and AMG A45, who tried to convince us that almost £40k was acceptable for a hot hatch. Jürgen Gagstatter, chief program engineer for Focus RS, puts it quite politely:

    “The all-new Focus RS delivers stunning performance and innovative technology at a price that will make both our customers and premium automakers look twice. After experiencing the acceleration and cornering capability of the Focus RS, drivers will question the sense in spending almost £10,000 more on a premium competitor.”

    So in other words, you’d have to be barking mad to spend another £10k on one of the German rivals. Unless you really, really want some of those pretty headlights.

    2016 Ford Focus RS

    Performance & Economy 2016 RS 2009 RS 2010 RS500
    Engine 2.3-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol 2.5-litre 5-cylinder turbocharged petrol 2.5-litre 5-cylinder turbocharged petrol
    Transmission 6-speed manual, front-engined, all-wheel drive 6-speed manual, front-engined, front-wheel drive 6-speed manual, front-engined, front-wheel drive
    Power (PS / bhp) 350 / 345 300 / 295 350 / 345
    Torque (Nm / lb.ft) 440 / 324
    (470 / 346 on overboost)
    440 / 324 460 / 339
    0 – 62 mph (seconds) 4.7 5.9 5.6
    Top Speed (mph) 165 163 165
    CO2 Emissions (g/km) TBA 225 235
    VED Band TBA K L
    Combined Economy (mpg) TBA 30.1 28.5
    Price (OTR) £28,940 £27,925 £35,437

    2016 Ford Focus RS (08)
    2016 Ford Focus RS Interior
    Ford Focus RS Dynamic Torque Vectoring
    2016 Ford Focus RS (09)
    2016 Ford Focus RS (07)
    2016 Ford Focus RS (10)

    The post Ford Focus RS Promises Cheaper Thrills appeared first on Driving Spirit.

    Continue Reading…

  • Every Little Counts For SEAT Leon Cupra 290

    Remember the SEAT Leon Cupra 280? Launched at the start of 2014 to a flood of praise and accolades (including from myself), it was seen as one of the best hot hatches on the market. Well, that’s so last year, because the Cupra 280 is gone.

    SEAT Leon Cupra 290 01

    SEAT Leon Cupra 290

    Instead we’ve got a Leon Cupra 290 and, as you might have guessed, it’s got a power increase of 10PS courtesy of a mild ECU remap. Which might not seem like much but, as a certain supermarket giant likes to remind us, every little counts. It takes the Leon’s output even closer to the Golf R, beats the Focus ST with ease and matches the Megane 275’s recent power hike.

    Not that you’ll notice much difference. The official acceleration times for the Cupra 290 are exactly the same at 5.7 seconds for the DSG and 5.8 for the manual transmission and top speed is still limited to 155mph. Economy and CO2 emissions are identical but the peak torque of 350Nm is at least available across more of the rev range than before, from 1,700rpm all the way to 5,800 rpm.

    Of course, you could go to an aftermarket tuner and get 4 or even 5 times the power increase along with some extra torques for a few hundred quid. The trouble is that might upset SEAT’s warranty department so if you want a little more power this is one way of getting it without affecting your Leon’s warranty.

    No official word on prices yet but expect to see a slight increase from the 280’s £28,485 OTR.

    SEAT Leon Cupra 290 02

    SEAT Leon Cupra 290

    Model 2015 Leon SC Cupra 290 2015 Leon SC Cupra 290 DSG 2014 Leon SC Cupra 280 2014 Leon SC Cupra 280 DSG
    Transmission 6-speed manual 6-speed dual-clutch automatic 6-speed manual 6-speed dual-clutch automatic
    Engine 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol
    Power (PS / bhp) 290/287 290/287 280/276 280/276
    Torque (Nm /lb.ft) 350/258 350/258 350/258 350/258
    Kerb Weight (kg) 1,395 1,421 1,395 1,421
    MPG 42.2 42.8 42.2 42.8
    Top Speed 155 155 155 155
    0-62 mph (s) 5.8 5.7 5.8 5.7
    CO2 156 149 156 149
    VED G F G F
    Price £TBA £TBA £28,485 £29,840

    The post Every Little Counts For SEAT Leon Cupra 290 appeared first on Driving Spirit.

    Continue Reading…

dd