Toyota has announced that it will invest a further £240 million in its plant at Burnaston in Derbyshire.
Starting this year, the facility will be upgraded with new equipment, technologies and systems so that it can produce future vehicles using the new Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform.
By 2020, the majority of Toyota’s models will be built using TNGA platforms which already underpin the new Prius and the all-new C-HR crossover, which is built in Turkey.
“Our investment demonstrates that, as a company, we are doing all we can to raise the competitiveness of our Burnaston plant in Derbyshire,” said Dr Johan van Zyl, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe.
“Continued tariff-and-barrier free market access between the UK and Europe that is predictable and uncomplicated will be vital for future success.”
Toyota has been making cars in the UK since 1992 and the Burnaston factory employs about 2,500 people.
The Avensis, Auris and Auris Hybrid are currently produced at the site. In 2015, 239,728 British-built Toyota cars were manufactured at the giant plant.
One of the rarest factory-built Corvettes ever built can be seen for the first time in 60 years at the Amelia Island Concours next month.
The ‘57 Corvette Super Sport prototype originally built for GM’s famous Motorama shows of the 1950s will, after six decades hidden from view, break cover in a special exhibit at the 22nd annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance on March 12, 2017. After its auto show duties, it was sold to Ralph Poole of Albuquerque, NM. The current owner, John Baldwin purchased the car in 1996.
“We’ve been working on the SS for the last few weeks and have it running nicely for the first time since the 1950s,” said owner John Baldwin.
Actually a 1956 model, the Corvette was customized by the Chevrolet studio at GM Design and “updated” with a one-off 1957 Vin # tag. It was used to showcase the first fuel-injected Corvette engine, which debuted in 1957 models. This special Corvette debuted at the January 1957 New York Waldorf Astoria Auto Show (there was no Motorama show in 1957) and the Chicago Auto Show, but has not been seen by the public for the past 60 years. Power for this unique prototype comes from a fuel-injected 283/283 small-block mated to a close ratio three-speed transmission.
“This unique Corvette is practically unknown,” said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “It was the cover car for the June, 1957 issue of Speed Age magazine and then it disappeared. It’s been hidden for its entire life. For it to be at Amelia is the sort of thing we dream of.”
Fastest Camaro ever makes one pass at 202.3 mph and backs it up at 193.3 mph on Germany’s Papenburg proving ground. Average top speed: 198 mph.
Chevrolet tested the ZL1 with 10-speed automatic transmission on the high-speed oval at Germany’s Automotive Testing Papenburg GmBH proving ground. Compensating for wind speed, the top speed is the average achieved from running the ZL1 in both directions on the 7.6-mile loop – 202.3 mph in one direction and 193.3 mph in the other direction!
Testing was conducted on the ZL1’s production Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 tires with pressure set at 44 psi, the recommended setting for extended high-speed driving. The car’s only deviations from stock were mandatory safety and data logging equipment.
Papenburg’s high-speed oval features 2.5-mile straights and 1.3-mile turns with 49.7-degree banking on the top lane. The steep banking allowed Chevrolet test drivers to run the ZL1 flat out around the track without lifting off the throttle in the turns.
“The ZL1 was developed with high-speed performance in mind, incorporating a balanced aerodynamic package that reduces lift without significantly affecting drag,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “After testing the car in standard settings, which produced the 198-mph average, we set the front and rear camber adjustments to 0 degrees and the tire pressures to the maximum allowable sidewall pressure, the ZL1 averaged over 200 mph.”
Special aero features include a stanchion rear spoiler that offers an advantageous lift/drag ratio compared to a blade-style rear spoiler, and a patent-pending auxiliary transmission oil cooler cover that reduces front-end lift with no drag penalty. The front-to-rear aero balance was also fine-tuned for high-speed stability.
Additional performance capabilities of the ZL1 Camaro tested with the available 10-speed automatic transmission include: 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds Quarter-mile in 11.4 seconds at 127 mph 1.02g max cornering 60-0 mph braking in 107 feet
The 650-horsepower, supercharged LT4 engine powering the ZL1 is mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match or an available, all-new 10-speed automatic transmission. Additional features include:
Magnetic Ride Control
Electronic limited-slip differential (coupe only)
20-inch forged aluminum wheels
Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 summer-only tires measuring 285/30ZR20 in front and 305/30ZR20 in the rear
Brembo brakes with six-piston Monobloc front calipers and two-piece rotors
The ‘17 Camaro ZL1 starts at $63,435 for a coupe with the manual transmission (price includes $995 destination and $1,300 gas guzzler tax) and $65,830 for a coupe with the 10-speed automatic (price includes $995 destination and $2,100 gas guzzler tax).
“This test caps an impressive list of performance stats for the Camaro ZL1, which was designed to excel at everything. It’s the most capable – and fastest – Camaro ever,” said Al Oppenheiser.
Fancy a budget open-faced helmet with some funky graphics? The Duchinni D501 Garage helmets could be right up your street. Apparently, the D501 has been a big seller, and deserved a bit of an update for 2017.
Tell me your inner Evel Kneivel isn’t awoken by the Blue and Red metallic star design. Even if you’re buying it to ride your scooter to work up the A2 every morning.
The retro paint is supposed to have the flavour of the swinging Sixties. But it looks more Seventies to us (To be fair, I was still in nappies at the end of that decade). If you happen to have a Fantic Chopper, then it’s definitely the one to go for.
If you fancy a slightly more subtle approach, then the Duchinni D501 Garage range does include two modern matt paint designs for urban riders. So you should get less glances at the lights if you’re shy and retiring. Although the Black/Orange still stands out, the Black/Green has a more camo feel.
And while the designs may have the retro feel of metal flake custom, you do get modern specifications. And for the price, they’re pretty good. In addition to the ABS shell, you get traditional-looking stitched trim and a goggle-strap at the back.
The textile lining is removable and washable, and there’s the practical internal sun visor which can be raised and lowered with the left hand. The chin strap is the usual seat-belt style quick-release job, and the Duchinni D501 Garage range are all ECE2205 approved for legal use in the UK and most of Europe.
If you fancy looking a bit flash on a budget, the Duchinni D501 Garage is available in sizes XS-XL and costs just £59.99 for the Black/Green and Black/Orange versions. The Blue/Red metallic D501 is £69.99. All you need now is a candy-apple red metallic custom Monkey Bike, and you’re all set.
The Ducati Diavel Diesel is a limited edition model being produced as a collaboration by the two Italian firms. A total of 666 motorcycles will be produced as a result, featuring what the press releases calls ‘a hyperkinteic dynamism of a post-apocalyptic, retro-futuristic world’. Sounds fancy.
To go with the release of the Ducati Diavel Diesel is a small collection of clothing to match from Diesel. On the way in April with the limited edition, will be a leather jacket, two T-shirts and a pair of Jogg Jeans. Which might be why the new bike was actually unveiled at Milan Men’s Fashion Week before heading to the Motor Bike Expo.
Ducati Diavel Diesel Design:
So it’s obvious that a motorcycle worked on by Ducati and an Italian clothing brand would need to look good. And the Diavel starts off with a hand-brushed stainless steel superstructure with visible welding and rivets. That approach is kept for the fuel tank cover, front cowl and passenger saddle cover.
And the saddle itself looks rather lovely, made of real leather, and with a pyramid of three Ds to stand for Ducati, Diesel and Diavel. The mix of leather and visibile steel has that feel of vintage aeroplanes or ships. It’s definitely my favourite part of the bike.
The black anodised lateral air intakes also ave visible welding, and have intake covers in red methacrylate (or bendy plastic as it’s also known). And some Diesel logos on the inside.
There’s a red theme with the LCD dashboard matching the Brembo front brake calipers and even the chain features five red links.
But the exhaust goes for classic black Zircotec ceramic coating, with black silencers. Both the exhausts end cans and rear-view mirrors are machined from a solid block. You also get a black front mudguard with the DDD pyramid logo on it.
To show it’s a limited edition, the Ducati Diavel Diesel comes with a numbered plate on the frame. And buyers will be happy to know they get a bike cover and rear stand included in the price – but will have to wait to pick up a matching Diesel T-shirt.
Mechanically it’s a standard Ducati Diavel, with a 162hp Testastretta engine, with the Ducati Safety Pack (ABS and Traction Control). Which is the point where some people may have lost interest – but as a purely cosmetic limited edition, the Ducati Diavel Diesel has some nice touches to enjoy or possibly emulate.
There’s no word on price, but we’re sure your local Ducati dealer can find out for you before the bike is released in April. And if you can’t stretch that far, you can always buy a T-shirt instead…