Posts written by Jamie Branson

JAGUAR F-Type Coupe

The Jaguar F-Type Coupe is here

The Jaguar F-type Coupé will be the most “performance-focused” Jaguar production car ever, says the company. The new model – which makes its public debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show today – goes on sale in March 2014.

Prices for the F-type Coupé start from £51,235 and all but the top-spec version cost about £7,000 less than the equivalent F-type convertible, which was launched earlier this year.

As expected, the F-type Coupé production car looks all but identical to Jaguar’s C-X16 concept car, which was unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show, with the only significant difference at the rear, where a conventional (albeit slim) tailgate replaces the C-X16’s side-hinged rear window.

The F-type has an aluminium body structure and Jaguar says that it has the highest torsional rigidity of any of its production cars yet. The car’s body sides are made from a single-piece aluminium pressings, which Jaguar describes as “probably the most extreme cold-formed aluminium body side in the automotive industry”. The roof panel is available in either aluminium or panoramic glass form, and there’s a pop-up rear spoiler that can be manually deployed.

The F-type Coupé has a 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol engine that develops 335bhp – it gives a 0-60mph time of 5.1sec and has an electronically limited top speed of 161 mph. Standard equipment includes 8in alloy wheels and part-leather seats.

The F-type Coupé S uses a 375bhp version of the same 3.0-litre V6 engine, which knocks 0.3sec off the 0-60mph time and provides an electronically limited top speed of 171 mph. Additional standard equipment includes 19in alloy wheels, a sports exhaust system, sports suspension, upgraded braking system and a mechanical limited-slip differential.

The F-type Coupé R tops the range. It has a 5.0-litre, supercharged V8 petrol engine that develops 542bhp – 60bhp more than the V8 S convertible model. While the standard and S models are cheaper than their convertible counterparts, the Coupé R costs £5,015 more than the V8 S convertible.

Acceleration for the Coupé R from 0-60mph takes just 4.0sec, while top speed is electronically limited to 186mph. The R model has a bespoke suspension set-up and also gains Jaguar’s Electronic Active Differential (EAD). It is also the first Jaguar to feature a torque vectoring system that applies braking force to the inner wheels during cornering to “enhance agility”.

Inside, the F-type Coupé has the same cabin as convertible models. The R model has sports seats with inflatable side-bolstering, and additional leather trim on the instrument panel, armrests, door inserts and centre console.

2014 Jaguar F-type prices

F-type Coupé £51,235

F-type Coupé S £60,235

F-type Coupé R £85,000

Article by The Telegraph – Leo Wilkinson

Microsoft’s Xbox One Launch

Microsoft’s Xbox One game console went on sale in the UK at midnight.

About 300 game shops and 100 Tesco stores across the UK stayed open so gamers could buy the device.

Microsoft held launch events in London, New York and Los Angeles to mark the arrival of the successor to the Xbox 360.

The launch comes a week after the US launch of Sony’s PlayStation 4 and sees the two start their fight for dominance during the key Christmas season.

No advantage

Although the PS4 launched first in the US, it will not go on sale in the UK and Europe until 29 November. By contrast the Xbox One went on sale in 13 countries on Friday, 22 November. Neither console is set to be available in Japan until 2014.

Marc Whitten – and chief producer officer, Xbox One, told the BBC Microsoft had experienced an unprecedented number of pre-orders for the Xbox, far exceeding those of the Xbox 360. “I feel very very good about where we are. Today’s launch is just the beginning of an amazing journey.”

Launches are typically staggered so console makers keep manufacturing costs down, to give makers time to translate content into different languages, and to ensure deals covering what media can be seen on the gadget are in place.

In the UK the Xbox One is expected to cost about £429 (514 euros) and the PlayStation 4 £349 (418 euros).

The more expensive Xbox includes a bundled Kinect sensor that does a better job of spotting movement and hearing sounds than the first generation of the device.

Microsoft also has ambitions for its console to act as a hub for anything seen on a TV, and the device can act as a controller for cable and satellite set-top boxes. Microsoft’s Skype net calling system is also integrated into the device.

The technical specifications of the two devices are broadly similar and the graphics on games are much improved on the preceding generation of consoles. Experts suggest that Sony’s PS4 has the edge on graphics and early reports revealed that two games – Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts – would play in higher resolution on the PS4.

Both consoles attempt to round out the social side of gaming, giving owners tools and services that let them play with or against friends or find opponents online.

“If history has anything to say about it, core gamers tend to favour Sony,” said Brian Blau, research director at analyst firm Gartner. “There is nothing I’ve seen to say that one platform is going to have an advantage over the other.”

Rob Crossley, associate editor of ComputerAndVideoGames.com, called Microsoft’s build up to the launch “luckless and calamitous” because it had had to drop features, such as restrictions on used games, that had been widely criticised.

Xbox-One-teaser-006

“With Sony’s PlayStation 4 being such a similar device and £80 cheaper, Microsoft will face significant challenges convincing shoppers that Xbox One is the smarter investment,” he added.

In 2013, Microsoft and Sony face a very different games market than that seen when the Xbox 360 and PS3 were launched. The past few years have seen the rise of indie and casual games, a renaissance in PC gaming and the emergence of rivals such as Valve, which is preparing its own gaming gadget.

 

Gymkhana SIX: The Ultimate Gymkhana Grid Course

Need for Speed and Ken Block present:  Gymkhana SIX:  The Ultimate Gymkhana Grid Course.

Need For Speed’s Racing Advisor Ken Block built the ultimate Gymkhana GRID course — a real-life playground to showcase the sheer speed, fun and exhilarating action of driving. This means all-new obstacles that help raise the difficulty for Block to master in his Ford Fiesta ST RX43 2013 racecar, including maneuvering around a moving wrecking ball and sliding through narrow opening cut into the sides of shipping containers. Block also added videogame elements from Need for Speed Rivals. Watch as he executes multiple jumps, drifts around Lamborghini Aventadors and evades the videogame-themed Redview County cops on Segways in his own unique style. You can almost smell the burn of the rubber as he tears up this incredible course. So sit back and enjoy the ride.

#GymkhanaSIX #Gym6 #KenBlock #NeedforSpeed

Aston Martin Vantage V12

The V12 Vantage was an unprecedented engineering achievement. Combining a V12 engine with our lightest sports-car in a package of pure aggression.

We could have stopped there, we didn’t. An even lighter chassis, an even more powerful engine, an even more responsive transmission. V12 Vantage S – the most ferocious Aston Martin ever produced.

An advanced engineering story told by monumental numbers. 15kg lighter than V12 Vantage. 573PS of power. 620Nm of peak torque. With enhanced low and mid-range power the new-generation AM28 engine pushes the V12 Vantage S to a top speed of 205mph, creating the fastest series production model we’ve ever made.

Sportshift III, a new seven-speed AMT transaxle gearbox specifically designed to tap the potency of V12 Vantage S. Seamless gear changes at high engine speeds. Advanced light-touch paddleshifts giving maximum driver control as both hands remain on the wheel. A transmission derived from the Vantage GT programme brings motorsport engineering and race-car capability to the road.

The controlled power of V12 Vantage S comes with revolutionary levels of response to driver input. Three-stage adaptive damping. All new carbon ceramic brakes. A unique track-mode with delayed anti-lock braking technology. This isn’t technology to aid the driver, it’s technology that puts the driver in control.

Extreme performance. Extreme styling. A bold new carbon fibre grille marries design and engineering to improve airflow whilst defining a more aggressive front profile. New roof and rear graphics packs. Lightweight forged alloy wheels. All new interior finishes on seats, doors and controls. Never opulent but always dramatic the V12 Vantage S is tailored for a visceral driving experience.