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Yesterday, 03 February 2015

2015 Porsche Cayman GT4 revealed
Hardcore Cayman GT4 gets 380bhp from a 3.8-litre flat six and "as many GT parts as possible"; due in March, priced from £64,451 This is the Porsche Cayman GT4, a potent Motorsport-developed version of the mid-engined sports car that’s been equipped with a larger engine from the 911 Carrera S and hooked up to a manual gearbox.The Cayman GT4 can be ordered from today, starting from £64,451, just shy of £10,000 less than the Cayman GTS above which it sits in Porsche’s range. First deliveries are due in late March, and the model will make its world debut at the Geneva motor show earlier in the same month.Positioned between the Cayman GTS and the 911 GT3, the Cayman GT4 uses a stiffened and strengthened Cayman bodyshell as a starting point. It is lowered by 30mm and then, as Porsche GT boss Andreas Preuninger says, “as many GT parts as possible” are added into it. “We didn’t make this out of a Cayman GTS,” he says. “This is an entry-level mid-engined GT3 car.”Mounted midships is a reworked version of the Carrera S’s 3.8-litre flat six engine, producing 380bhp at 7400rpm and 310lb ft at 4750-6000rpm. It is hooked up to a modified version of the Cayman GTS’s six-speed manual gearbox. A PDK dual-clutch automatic was considered but rejected, meaning the Cayman GT4 is manual only.Preuninger says the engine didn’t fit at first, and describes the end result as an “old-school hot rod – a big engine in a small c

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The Ford Focus RS is here, and it’s 4WD
Hot hatch sports ‘over 316bhp’ and face-bending grip. Yes, Americans, you're getting it too

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Cheap fuel spurs near record US car sales
January sales surge past already high expectations

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Ford remains cool on global motorsport return
Ford of Europe boss says the Blue Oval will concentrate on its road car business before looking at a return to top-level racing The launch of the new Ford Focus RS and a commitment to launch 12 new Ford Performance vehicles by 2020 will not automatically lead the firm back to top-level global motorsport, the firm's European president, Jim Farley, has confirmed.Ford withdrew its factory support for the M-Sport team in the World Rally Championship at the end of 2012, since when it has focused its backing on the World Rallycross Championship and grassroots motorsport.However, last month’s reveal of the new Ford GT, which will go on sale in 2016 to coincide with the anniversary of the car’s Le Mans win, plus the return of a new Focus RS, had led to speculation that Ford could make a return to front-line competition.Farley said: “While we’ll continue to look at all opportunities, our focus right now is on spending all our resources on pushing the road-going products. I’d prefer to pour everything we have into launching the very best Focus RS possible, rather than diverting our attentions elsewhere.“Being in motorsport requires a long commitment. Today, we want to use Ford Performance road cars to get people’s eyes on the cars they can buy. They might see an RS and end up buying an ST or even a standard Focus, but that’s the great thing about cars like this: they reflect across the whole brand.”M-Sport boss Malcolm W

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If I was PM... Mike’s Motoring Manifesto
Features 3 Feb, 2015 With a general election looming, and the roads and transport set to be key issues, Mike Rutherford spells out changes that need implementing

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Race Retro historic motorsport show
See superb competition cars and bikes at the annual Race Retro show

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This is Ferrari’s turbo 458 replacement
So long 458 Italia, hello 488 GTB: everything you need to know about Ferrari’s new 661bhp V8 screamer

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2015 Vauxhall Corsa VXR hot hatch leaks online
News 3 Feb, 2015 Images of Vauxhall's latest hot hatch have appeared online ahead of official unveiling and Geneva 2015 debut

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Mobility Roadshow returns
The Mobility Roadshow takes place at Donington Park from June 25-27

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More learners recruiting lookalikes to cheat driving test
News 3 Feb, 2015 A record number of drivers are sending impostors to take their driving and theory test exams for them

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2015 Vauxhall Corsa VXR leaked - first pictures
Performance Corsa to receive 1.6-litre turbocharged engine and uprated styling, as leaked images showcase the VXR model for the first time The new Vauxhall Corsa VXR has been given an early debut thanks to these leaked images.The pictures, which are reportedly official, clearly show the more sporting variant of the recently launched Vauxhall Corsa, which is expected to make its debut at the Geneva motor show next month before coming to the UK in the middle of this year.Previous spy photos have shown the model in testing, with power expected to come from the same turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine that powers the current Corsa VXR. In that model, the engine develops 201bhp and 184lb ft, giving the go-faster Corsa a 0-60mph sprint time of 6.5sec. It's expected to be linked to a six-speed manual gearbox.As these leaked images show, as well as more aggressive styling outside - incorporating a large front air intake, rear spoiler, bodykit and large alloy wheels - Vauxhall looks to have given the Corsa a performance-inspired lift inside, with new Recaro bucket seats as well as trim enhancements.A revised suspension set-up is also expected, as are performance brakes. Current reports also suggest a limited-slip differential will feature on the car's options list, much like the one fitted to the older Corsa VXR Nürburgring edition.Rivals for the new performance model include the Ford Fiest

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Lexus Geneva 2015 concept won't be new LFA supercar
News 3 Feb, 2015 Lexus rules out an LFA successor at Geneva show, mystery car could be near-production version of LF-LC concept

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2015 Skoda Superb - first interior image revealed
Skoda's third-generation Superb will look to take on the Ford Mondeo when it goes on sale in the UK next autumn, but it will be seen first at the Geneva show in March Skoda has released the first interior shot of its new Superb, which will make its debut later this month before going on display at the Geneva motor show in March.Previewing the third-generation Superb's interior for the first time, the Czech car firm states its aim was to "create a superior inner space, with a more modern, elegant and sophisticated look".The manufacturer's impression reveals leather seats, a touchscreen display with sat-nav, a refreshed centre console equipped with Skoda's DSG dual-clutch gearbox and a newly-designed steering wheel with mounted controls.Skoda says the new Superb, which takes design inspiration from the VisionC concept car, offers "striking, expressive shapes" and will aim to make "a visual impact in the automotive mid-class segment".Autocar has already driven the new, third-generation Superb in late-stage prototype form. The model will be used to entice new buyers to the Czech brand when it goes on sale in the UK next autumn.Measuring 20mm longer and 50mm wider than the outgoing car, the new Superb offers improved torsional rigidity and a kerb weight that's claimed to be 75kg lighter than that of its predecessor. Key rivals for the Superb include

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Geneva Motor Show 2015 preview
News 3 Feb, 2015 We look ahead to all the big production car and concept car launches due at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

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2015 Mazda 2 1.5 115 Sport Nav review
New Mazda supermini is a fine all-rounder, and engaging to drive with range-topping petrol power Early drives in the all-new Mazda 2 have revealed it to be a very fine supermini indeed, but not quite a class-leading one - the seemingly unstoppable Ford Fiesta entering a seventh year as leader of the class.Ahead of the new 2’s imminent UK launch, we’ve now had a chance to sample another, more potent flavour of it, those earlier drives having been limited to the mid-range 89bhp 1.5-litre petrol version.That normally aspirated engine is also offered with an entry-level output of 74bhp or the range-topping 113bhp tested here, the more powerful one promising to give the 2 the extra bit of fun factor needed to topple the Fiesta. A 1.5-litre Skyactiv diesel is also offered, but we haven't yet tried it. 

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Call for stricter regulation of crash write-offs
News 3 Feb, 2015 Leader of National Association of Bodyshops wants national write-off register to protect road users

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Mazda plots performance MPS brand revival
MPS brand remains on hold while Mazda determines which models to launch under it Mazda’s high-performance MPS brand remains on hold as the company evaluates exactly what sort of models it wants to launch under it.Speaking to Autocar at the launch of the new Mazda 2, the car’s chief engineer, Ayumu Doi, revealed that MPS was a brand Mazda was “always investigating” as it tried to establish how the performance arm would work under Mazda's new Skyactiv technology banner.Doi said MPS was “not dead” and the firm was evaluating how it could further extend its ‘fun to drive’ mantra with a new MPS performance model, of which the 2 was one likely candidate for the treatment.The firm has yet to establish exactly what an MPS model will be under the Skyactiv range of cars. The firm could opt for purely more powerful models or models that place an emphasis on improved driveability like the Suzuki Swift Sport, or a combination of both like the Ford Fiesta ST.Whatever the outcome of the research, Doi revealed that any future Mazda MPS model would use uprated versions of existing Skyactiv componentry rather than any bespoke parts.Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below: