FREE UK SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER £60 
Order your Vertar Car Care products online
UK Motoring News
News & Special Offers
Enter Car of The Month
   Win £200 of Products!

Motoring News



01 April 2015

New entry-level McLaren 540C confirmed
News 1 Apr, 2015 New Sport Series range will remain as entry point to McLaren ownership, with less powerful and cheaper 540C also announced

read more

Aston Martin plans all-electric Rapide
News 1 Apr, 2015 1000bhp, four-wheel drive and 200-mile range planned for luxury saloon

read more

Sharp-looking Kia must drive like it looks to break Europe
Kia sells a lot of Optimas in the USA but it's still a rare sight elsewhere. Richard Bremner thinks the new model may change that. The Optima executive saloon does not sell in quantity in the UK despite its pleasingly distinctive looks, but in the US this is the brand’s best-selling model, the company shifting 160,000 last year.So replacing it is a big deal. With such a successful formula it’s not surprise to see the continuation of the same design theme, but an aura of greater quality in the detailing. That’s especially true inside, where the cabin quality takes a useful and necessary jump in materials quality.A significantly more rigid body, reworked suspension, the addition of a downsized 1.6 turbo petrol engine and heaps of detail improvements have produced a car that certainly attracted a swarm of interest on the Kia stand, as might be expected given its popularity here. It’s not quite as strikingly distinctive as the outgoing model, but it would be a surprise if it isn’t a much better drive. 

read more

Subaru's STI Performance Concept doesn't mean a faster BRZ... for now
Subaru STI Performance Concept Subaru's latest concept produces more than 300bhp but don't expect a power boost for the BRZ any time soon Painted an enticing matt satin blue and wearing a wing worthy of a light aircraft’s tailplane, the BRZ coupe-based STI Performance Concept is a hint at what’s coming from Fuji Heavy Industries’ Subaru Technical International performance division, whose activities the company has decided to ramp up.That will mean more STI-flavoured models, more performance parts and more motorsport, although not a return to the World Rally championship, the emphasis being placed on US championships. The BRZ flaunts upgraded suspension, some aero tweaks more subtle than that big wing and some neat Italian coachbuilder-style flush door handles – all the kind of accessories and performance parts that STI wants to push. There’s also a 300-330bhp race version of the boxer engine under the bonnet, which sounds like just what the BRZ needs.Trouble is, explains a Subaru spokesman, there are no plans to introduce this hot BRZ, nor even a more potent boxer motor. Why? Because it will require a beefier gearbox and diff to go with it. The hope is that enough enthusiasts will ask for this and get the Subaru bosses to change their mind. So we’ll start by asking here and now, then – this would be a great way to rejuvenate the STI division. Wouldn’t it?

read more

Subaru STI Performance Concept shows future of STi
News 1 Apr, 2015 Subaru shows new Subaru STI Performance Concept in New York

read more

Hamleys opens new toy store in Moscow
Toy retailer’s expansion strategy will see overseas revenue overtake UK sales for the first time

read more

US carmakers fight for buyers as sales fall
New York auto show offers array of premium product launches including GM’s Cadillac CT6

read more

Subaru’s STI Performance Concept hints at more powerful BRZ
Subaru displays BRZ-based concept car at the New York motor show Subaru has revealed the STI Performance Concept at the New York show.The concept is based on the Subaru BRZ and insiders reckon it shows that the Japanese brand wants to expand its performance sub-brand STI.Changes have been made to the BRZ’s suspension, chassis and aerodynamics and the concept is supposed to put out 300bhp. That’s significantly more powerful than the current production car, which develops 197bhp from it’s 2.0-litre flat-four engine.There’s no word yet on whether the STI Performance Concept will spawn a production model. Read more New York motor show newsGet the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

read more

2016 Kia Optima unveiled
The fourth generation Kia Optima saloon is 10mm wider and has a 25mm longer wheelbase 2016 Kia Optima saloon revealed at the New York motor show The 2016 Kia Optima saloon has been revealed at the New York motor show before it goes on sale later this year.The Optima at New York is the fourth generation of the saloon and is marginally longer, taller and wider than the previous version. It is 10mm wider, while the wheelbase has been stretched by 25mm.Kia says this allows for increased passenger space and luggage room in the Optima, although it has not yet revealed precise dimensions.The new Optima is also stiffer than the outgoing version, with more than 50% of the body made from a high-strength steel. Other advances on the Optima include a higher ratio of carbonfibre-reinforced plastic, which aims to reduce weight to lower the levels of noise and vibration.The car on display in New York is the US-specific model, which will be built in Georgia in America. However, the car heading to the UK will be built in Korea.It will be available with a choice of three petrol engines in America, but UK cars will get one engine. This will most likely be the 1.7-litre diesel unit from the current car. However, the advancements in weight, and other tweaks, are likely to bring the CO2 emissions down from the 122-126g/km of the outgoing model.UK trim levels will be announced closer to the Optima's UK on-sale date, which is due to be in the last couple of months of 2015. It is set to follow the same trim level setup as the outgoing

read more

2015 Kia Venga 1.4 CRDi SR7 review
The Kia Venga 1.4 CRDi SR7 costs from £14,895 Looking for a practical, no-nonsense car for ferrying the family about? This facelifted Kia Venga could be an option, but is it better than its rivals? The car world is always transforming. Models come and go and even the manufacturers that build them are ultimately subject to a beginning, a middle and an end.Happily, it seems that Kia is firmly entrenched in its ‘middle’ phase, and long may it continue. But anyone with a keen eye will have spotted Kia’s morphing from budget manufacturer to mainstream player. In the process its cars have not only become better built, more stylish and superior to drive but also more expensive.Not all the changes have been seismic, though, as we can see with this gentle facelift of the Venga mini-MPV which, at £14,895 for this 1.4 CDi SR7 model, is bang on the money of rivals such as the Nissan Note and Honda Jazz. So has Kia's latest offering lost some of the old model's rough edges and become a real player?

read more

Volkswagen Beetle Denim and R-Line concepts revealed in New York
Two coupe and two cabriolet VW Beetle concepts are on display at the New York motor show Volkswagen shows off four Beetle-based concepts at the New York motor show Four Volkswagen Beetle concepts have been revealed at the New York show, including one that previews an R-Line edition.There are two cabriolet and two coupe concepts on display, including the Beetle Cabriolet Denim and the Beetle Wave convertible. The Beetle Pink Edition and the R-Line Concept complete the line-up.The Beetle Cabriolet Denim concept is finished in 'Stonewashed Blue' and has been created to honour previous jeans-based Beetles of the 1970s, '80s and '90s. The soft-top is finished in a darker denim look than the body, while the body colour also features throughout the interior. The seats are also finished in a light blue denim and feature red and white stripes.VW says that up to nine colours would be available on any subsequent production version.The Beetle Cabriolet Wave is the second convertible concept, and is finished in a bright Habanero Orange. It is said to be inspired by the east and west coasts of the USA and American surfing culture, with wood details on the inside. The Wave takes inspiration from the Dune concept that appeared at the 2014 Detroit show, and will go on sale next year.The Pink Edition is, as its name implies, largely finished in pink. The exterior is largely Fuchsin

read more

Cadillac CT6 to take on S-Class
Cadillac CT6 will get plug-in hybrid and twin-turbo V8 versions later in its life cycle Mercedes-Benz S-Class rival comes with a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6, and will be crucial in rebuilding the brand The flagship Cadillac CT6, a rival to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, has been revealed at the New York motor show.The lightweight luxury saloon is one of eight new cars that Cadillac is launching by the end of 2020 as part of a $12 billion (£8bn) investment, and it’s expected to reach the UK and Europe in early 2016.The CT6 is powered by three petrol engines at launch: a turbocharged 2.0-litre inline four, a naturally aspirated 3.6-litre V6 and a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 with 400lb ft of torque. The engines are said to produce around 266bhp, 335bhp and 400bhp respectively, and are paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox.A plug-in hybrid variant and a twin-turbo V8 will join the engine range further down the line, Cadillac confirmed to Autocar.Measuring 5184mm long, 1879mm wide and 1472mm high with a wheelbase of 3106mm and an estimated kerb weight of less than 1700kg, the CT6 comes with a choice of 18in, 19in or 20in alloys.The 2.0-litre model is rear-wheel drive, while the two V6 powerplants are mated to an Active Chassis System as standard that includes an all-wheel drive system and Magnetic Ride Control that adjusts each wheel’s suspension damping individually to improve the ride. It has double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension, and the driver wil

read more

Porsche Boxster Spyder makes its New York motor show debut
Porsche's new Boxster Spyder is priced from £60,459 and is available to order now Lightweight 370bhp Boxster Spyder is the most powerful version of the open-top sports car yet The new Porsche Boxster Spyder has been revealed at the New York motor show, and is the lightest and most powerful version of the car yet created.The Boxster Spyder joins the range above the GTS and is priced from £60,459. It is available to order now and will reach UK showrooms in July.Powering the new convertible sports car is a 370bhp 3.8-litre flat six engine sourced from the 911. This normally aspirated unit is a significant upgrade on the 325bhp 3.4-litre flat six found in the current range-topping Boxster GTS.The 3.8 engine, which has 309lb ft of torque between 4750rpm and 6000rpm, is hooked up exclusively to a six-speed manual gearbox in keeping with the car's purist brief.The powerful engine, in combination with a weight saving of 30kg over the 1420kg Boxster GTS, allows the Spyder to sprint from 0-62mph in 4.5sec and reach a top speed of 180mph. In comparison, the Boxster GTS has a 0-62mph time of 5.0sec and a top speed of 175mph.Unlike its recently launched Cayman GT4 stablemate, the Boxster Spyder has not been created by the GT road car division of Porsche’s Motorsport arm and uses no motorsport parts. However, the model has been

read more

Daimler set to extend chief’s contract
Dieter Zetsche to stay at German carmaker until 2019 after turnround in fortunes

read more

Why the RX is a lucky charm for Lexus
The latest version of Lexus's premium SUV looks just about spot on Car companies regularly make claims for being first with this, that and the other, but Lexus really was first to bring us the premium crossover, and with a hybrid driveline to boot. The RX has long been a winning Lexus bet, three generations selling 2.1 million examples since 1989. These constituted one in three of all Lexuses, making it a vital model for the brand. The fourth-generation version, revealed in New York, is said to have undergone what Lexus is calling the goosebump test, this reaction required from Toyota boss and car-guy Akio Toyoda before he will sign a model off.The latest version is striking for the sharper-edged design language that the brand is now chasing, the spindle grille that’s certainly assertive and the interesting take on the shape of the rearmost side window - although, disappointingly, most of the glass is opaque. Behind it lies an interior furnished with richer materials than before and leather in colours far bolder (but tasteful) than we’re used to from Lexus, making for an inviting cabin. There’s a big 12.3in screen, too.The RX is propelled by a revised 3.5-litre direct-injection Atkinson cycle V6 and an electric motor, their combined output around 296hp. The driveline sits within a strengthened body structure that rides on McPherson struts up front and double wishbones at the rear, the system tuned for a more dynamic driving experience, claims Lexus. You also get a long list of the active electronic safety systems that every premium machine must have t

read more

New 7-seat Ford Galaxy gets more luxury and tech
News 2 Apr, 2015 Ford reveals the new Ford Galaxy 7-seater MPV with sharper looks and lots more tech.

read more

Stiffer, sharper Mazda MX-5 Club Edition revealed
News 1 Apr, 2015 Mazda's 2015 MX-5 Club roadster gets sporty styling and chassis upgrades, and a limited-slip differential

read more

New York motor show - show stars and gallery
McLaren 570S Coupé The New York motor show has given us new supercars, SUVs and concepts galore. Here's our look at the best on display Picking a single theme from the 2015 New York motor show is difficult, but one word keeps springing to mind: definition.Brands at the show all seemed to be on a mission to define themselves and their offerings. McLaren showed off the first entry in its new Sports Series, the 570S, and thus defined itself as a three-tier sports car maker with global ambitions.Land Rover further defined its SVO brand, bringing the super-luxury Range Rover SVAutobiography to market and likely worrying rivals from Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Mercedes-Maybach.Elsewhere, US-centric brands such as Lincoln and Cadillac defined their luxury offerings, with Cadillac unveiling its new S-Class rival, the CT6, and Lincoln showing off a concept version of the upcoming Continental.Plus we had the new Porsche Boxster Spyder, which is the lightest and most powerful version of the roadster yet made, Kia's new Optima, the

read more

“Cameron will have to do better if he’s to win votes of 30m car drivers”
Opinion 1 Apr, 2015 With an election imminent that could oust David Cameron, it’s no surprise to Mike Rutherford that the PM is trying to befriend motorists

read more

New Lexus RX unveiled in New York
The new RX adopts the large Lexus spindle grille from the smaller NX Fourth-generation SUV to take on Range Rover Sport and Mercedes-Benz GLE when it goes on sale in the UK towards the end of this year The fourth-generation Lexus RX SUV has been revealed at the New York motor show, and will go on sale in the UK towards the end of this year.The new RX’s dimensions make it marginally longer, wider and taller than the current car, while Lexus has added visual elements to bring the RX into line with its current family. In particular, the firm’s large spindle grille dominates the front end, while flared wheel arches and new fog lights also feature.New L-shaped tail-light clusters can be seen at the rear, something Lexus says helps to give the RX a more ‘authoritative’ stance on the road.The new RX sits on 20in alloy wheels, which can be customised with coloured inserts.Inside, a 12.3in infotainment screen features alongside a new head-up display and a new panoramic sunroof. Lexus says that thanks to the new RX’s extended wheelbase - which is 50mm longer than before - the SUV now offers more interior space.Engine options in the new RX will include a 3.5-litre V6 petrol with around 300bhp, which will be matched to a new eight-speed automatic transmission,The car’s current hybrid powertrain will be retuned, and will feature a 3.5-litre V6 engine mated to an electric motor. Total output from the system will be around 300bhp. Lexus says both powertrain options

read more

Full-sized Nissan Leaf used as record-breaking paintbrush
No, it's not an April Fool - a full-sized electric car really has been used to paint a record-breaking artwork

read more

2015 Toyota Mirai review
The Mirai is Toyota's first stab at a UK production hydrogen fuel cell-powered car. What's it like to drive and does it make sense? There’s no doubt that the Mirai (Japanese for ‘future’) is as eye-opening in real life as it appears in photographs. The root of this extraordinary look lies in the two large (but very functional) nose-mounted air intakes which feed its fuel cell stack with oxygen.This styling logic feeds through to the rear of the car where the front intakes are echoed by huge rear light clusters, which look like they might be extractors but aren’t.The extended rear wheel arches, it seems, are meant to tie in with the huge frontal air intakes, relaying a sense of the air being sucked in and nothing but water being ejected from the tailpipe.Whichever way you look at it, the Mirai doesn’t have the easy-on-the-eye futurism of Honda's hydrogen-powered FCX. The technology contained beneath, however, is no less impressive, but with its arrival on UK roads imminent, does the Mirai feel as though it'll fit in?

read more

First sketch previews new Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupé
Mercedes has shown off the first sketch of a GLC Coupé, which will rival the likes of the BMW X4 when it makes production The production version of the new Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupé has been previewed for the first time in this official sketch. A car described by Mercedes as a "near-production-standard study" will be shown at the Shanghai motor show later this month.Mercedes says the GLC Coupé aims to transform the GLE Coupé into a smaller format, and this downscaled model will be based on the new C-Class platform. It also says the styling of the Shanghai car will preview the look of the future of Mercedes SUVs.The sketch previewing the design study suggests the car in Shanghai will bear a strong resemblance to the testing mule for the standard GLC that was spotted earlier this year, with a wide grille with a large centrally positioned Mercedes badge.The new GLC Coupé is the first model that Mercedes is offering in the four-door coupé SUV category, and will be a rival to the likes of the BMW X4. There is no firm timing on its release date just yet, but it is not expected to go on sale until 2017.The engine line-up for the Coupé is expected to mirror that of the GLC, which is set to come with a selection of petrol and diesel powerplants. There is also the chance of a plug-in hybrid, which is due in the five-door GLC for 2016.Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries

read more

Mercedes Concept GLC Coupe sets sights on BMW X4
News 1 Apr, 2015 Mercedes reveals a design sketch of possible GLC Coupe, while standard GLC heads to the UK this summer

read more

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLE revealed in New York
The GLE was formerly known as the M-Class Former M-Class receives a new name and a host of upgrades, plus a new petrol-electric plug-in hybrid joins the mix The new Mercedes-Benz GLE has been revealed at the New York motor show.The new SUV - formerly known as the M-Class - will go on sale in September, competing in the same crowded market as other top-end SUVs including the Range Rover Sport, Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5.Alongside revised styling and new equipment, the GLE also ushers in a new era of hybrid SUVs for Mercedes-Benz.The new GLE adopts many of the same styling cues as seen on the smaller GLE Coupé, revealed at the Los Angeles motor show last year, including the new Mercedes family front-end styling. The GLE gets a more boxy appearance than that of its stylised sibling, however, and includes roof rails and dual exhausts integrated into the rear bumper. LED lights feature front and rear.Wolf-Dieter Kurz, VP of the SUVs and sports car products at Mercedes was keen to point out that the GLE is more than just a freshen up. "This is more than just a facelift; there are updates in all areas...We updated the exterior design from the ML with new bumpers, wings and lights. Inside, there's a new dashboard with a wider i

read more

Father pulls out son's tooth using sports car
While some children try extracting wobbly teeth using string tied to a door knob, this youngster resorted to more high-powered means...

read more

Best April Fools' day pranks of 2015
Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Mini It's April Fools' day, and vehicle manufacturers have teased us with unthinkable concepts, radical production ideas and new gear which - thankfully - remains fictional It's the 1st of April, and with it comes the traditional April Fools' day pranks. Car companies are well versed in this tradition, and 2015 has already brought us some truly weird and wonderful creations. Our team has rounded up their favourite April Fools' day jokes of 2015.Skoda Shadechange - John McIlroyThe best April Fools are close to reality, and Skoda's effort - a 'Colour Concept' on Fabias that allows owners to change the shades of individual panels - can easily end up looking like the VW Golf and Polo Harlequin editions of old. It's controlled via the car's infotainment screen; Skoda has included a natty mock-up of the interface, which looks no more confusing than many a sat-nav system and will cost £500. Which is going to make a single shade of metallic paint look even worse value than normal.BMW Mouthguard - Tom WebsterBMW's effort this year might not have fooled as many as previous years (remember the M3 pickup?) but full marks for the use of famous supporting cast. England rugby captain Chris Robshaw plays a convincing supporting role in this video about a mouthguard developed by the German manufacturer. Apparently it lets the players breathe in more air than other mouthguards, according to Head of Product Fabrication Dr Uwe Gotobekidin (say it out loud...). The video is also notable for the unnerving, Jaws-like grin Robshaw pulls at the end.